Wednesday, October 03, 2007

All Glory to the Hypno-Toad

From "The Amazing Spider-Man" #207 (August, 1980) comes this panel, with a caption box featuring what will surely be a quote in some theater critic's review of Julie Taymor's upcoming (and currently venue-free) production of the Spider-Man rock 'n' roll musical:


Yes, here's Mesmero, described by scripter Denny O'Neil as "formerly a well-regarded X-Men nemesis", reduced to working as a performer in a cheap theater. I did about five seconds of research on Mesmero, thoroughly expecting to find out he'd been exterminated in some gruesome manner in a Civil War crossover. I was surprised to learn he lost his powers on M-Day and has since reformed. Really, Joe Quesada? REALLY? You ruthlessly wipe out minority heroes left and right, but this doofus in a combination bowler/Holly Hobby bonnet is still alive and kicking? C'mon! He was a shoo-in for a quick-yet-spectacular death! Old-school villain nobody was using anymore, with a stupid costume and a stupid name? And he was a hypnotist? What were you waiting for? Remember the Bug-Eyed Bandit!* Remember the Miracle Man!**

Now, I'm not saying I personally want Mesmero dead. Remember, my motto is that there are no bad characters; just bad writers... like for instance, Denny O'Neil. And I love it when criminals actually reform, and I hate it when some writer comes along and undoes a reformation. *ahemGEOFFJOHNSahem* It's just that letting Mesmero "off the hook" seems out-of-character for Quesada's Marvel, and that disturbs me. My world, it is turned upside-down! Oh well, I'm sure Quesada will get around to kacking him eventually.

*Iced by a Shadow Demon in "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
**One of a couple dozen D-list villains offed by Scourge operatives


Anonymous said...

Did O'Neil's run on Spider-Man start by having some mystical force mostly depower Peter so he would have to learn karate from some random guy in Chinatown?

Hey, it's nice to see that the SWAT team decided to take in a show together, though. Maybe next time, they'll change into civvies.

Formerly a well-regarded X-Men nemesis...

Yeah, baby! Nothing says "we're in for a fun ride" like an antagonist who's "formerly cool."

So, where might one buy one of those bowler/bonnet things? You know...for a friend. You don't know him.

Anonymous said...

Poor Mesmero. He can't even get a volunteer who knows what noise a chicken makes...

Stephen R. said...

"Six hundred pairs of eyes in this Broadway theater are fixed on the stage - - and the sorry spectacle occuring there..."

Wow. Either poor Mesmero is booked into the smallest Broadway theatre in New York (and therefore, he's REALLY playing Off-Off-Off Broadway, a.k.a. Jersey) or the house at THE MESMERO SHOW (co-starring Doug Henning) is only at about 40% capacity because the TKTS booth was running a $20 special on tickets to LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL.

Or Mesmero is playing to a full house bored out of their minds. I mean, only 600 of them are even bothering to watch Dick Cheney cluck / "kwak" like a chicken!

Oh, how the mighty have retconed.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I like the idea of villains reforming as well, like Sandman ferinstance. Although on the other end of the coin there's all the villains on GIJoe who reformed, went evil again, reformed again, then went evil. Storm Shadow did more switching sides than Anne Heche.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Anonymous: I consider myself your friend, and that's why I'm not going to tell you where to pick up a replica Mesmero bonnet.

Dr. Tectonic: Maybe he could get the Bluth family to demonstrate for him!

Stephen: Holy cats, it is Dick! The entire rest of his life has been about getting his manhood back after the humiliating Chicken Incident.

Jon: Heh.

Bill S. said...

Now I'm picturing the entire Bluth family acting like chickens for Mesmero.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Bill S.: And the sad part is, they'll do it without any encouragement.