Monday, July 23, 2007
Pinch Me; I Must Be Dreaming
Wow! Just what in th' Sam Scratch is going on here?! Was Grant Morrison interning at Marvel in 1971? Did Stan Lee's gofer slip a little something extra into his coffee? (And I don't mean "Sweet 'n' Low.") Am I imagining the whole thing, and everybody else looking at this freak is seeing the Melter or some shit?
The cover is a bit misleading, as the fellow with the crab-claw cranium is not named the Slasher and his groovy orange costume is actually a demure olive green. Which I think is George Tuska's and Jim Mooney's woefully misinformed notion of camouflage.
Welcome to the crazy mixed-up world of "Iron Man" #41 (September 1971), without a doubt one of the worst comic books I've ever encountered in my entire life. And I say this as someone who's read "Oblivion." It's written by Gerry Conway at his most hysterically overwrought. And like a lot of Conway's books, most of the characters can be divided into two categories:
1. Snide, hateful jerk-offs who talk way too much
2. Whiny, self-pitying douchebags who talk way too much
Believe it or not, there are a few nice silent panels. Sadly, they merely serve as literary "palette cleansers" -- preventing your brain from becoming numb to young Conway's hackery before assaulting it afresh. Probably 95% of the panels are so stuffed with purple prose that the characters are reduced to the size of ants. In fact this comic is so bad I'm tempted to go all "Gravity Girl" on its ass and blog it in excruciating detail. I mean, get a load of this caption box from the very first page: