Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Marvel Musings?

Blogger's not letting me post the pics that were to form that backbone of my post today, so instead I shall ask for help understanding Marvel.

1. So how can Dr. Blake be Thor? I don't get it; is it a Billy Batson thing, or what?
2. Red Ghost and the Super-Apes is the most fabulous thing imaginable. Why are they not seen more? At DC, they would have their own mini-series; in Archie comics, they'd be a band with a number one hit and a Saturday morning cartoon show.
3. I give up; why DOES Namor have little wings on his feet? They're really creepy.
4. Where does the Fantastic Four's money come from? Does Reed rent his dimensiotraversifying equipment to Walmart and Starbucks so they can find new territory?
5. Since She-Hulk is more intelligent and less aggressive than Hulk, how come nobody complains that she's a sexist character?
6. What's with the cows? I have my own theory, I just want to hear yours.
7. In DC, it pretty much goes without saying that if you have electromagnetic powers it make your brain a little (or a lot) crazy (Dr. Polaris, Frankie Kane, Praxis, et al.). Has anyone ever suggested that might be Magneto's problem?
8. Does Dr. Doom have a girlfriend? I think it might help. He seems like fatherhood would do him a world of good.
9. Ghost Rider. Does he ... always look like that? Does he disappear like the Phantom Stranger or does he just live in SoHo?
10. Pardon my crude curiosity, but exactly HOW did the Vision and Scarlet Witch have kids? I'm not following that one at all.
11. Marvel had some rocking cowboy titles back in the day. Did they ever have a similar line of space comics, or has space stuff always been part of their superhero line?
12. Is there no equivalent of DC's 31st Century in the Marvel universe?


padgett said...

Not sure you really want to know the answers, but you asked...

1. Odin took over Donald Blake's body and dumped Thor inside to teach him a lesson. I think there was a story a while back about what happened to Blake (who got pushed out of his body so Thor could use it)

2. Because Marvel has no need for apes. They have cows.

3. If he didn't have wings on his feet, how would he fly? I think the wings might be a mutation, actually. And why they were billing him as "Marvel's First Mutant" for a while.

4. I think the Fantastic Four (except Ben) are broke now, but Reed does license out his technology, so they make their money on patents. Marvel doesn't really show everyday people making use of FF-level technology very often, so not sure whether the only people paying for the patent are the folks at Stark Industries.

8. Doom had a girlfriend back before the metal mask. He tried to get back together with her for a while (which included some imprisonment), then sacrificed her to the devil. Or a devil.

10. Well, the explanation given is that Scarlet Witch makes unlikely events occur. Which may cover the conception, but not whether the Vision was manufactured to be anatomically correct or whether she made him that way.

11. I believe Marvel was more into giant monsters than space travel in their pre-superhero days.

naladahc said...

12. Marvel's closest equivalent to a 30th century future story is the timeline of The Guardians of the Galaxy. In no way do they remotely even touch the greatness of the LSH. And I'm even talking about the current version too!

Anonymous said...

11: Stan Lee himself mentioned that he was given a sound effect (SPAKDOOM, FLUGGG, TARKRICKITICKTPHGHT) and that would be the name of the monster for that issue.
A lot of the monster stories were pretty good and we got a lot of the story from the monster's POV. (Hey, THAT could be another monster, POV!!!!)

Anonymous said...

4. It's patents, all patents. Sometimes major companies like Sony pay him big bucks not to release things like an iPod with infinite storage capacity. (My favorite line from the period where Johnny was the FF's CFO: "Invent more stuff. I'll wait.")

7. Magneto's powers have been shown to be out of control from time to time, but his personality shifts were explained by Moira MacTaggert messing with his DNA. Now, Polaris (possibly Magneto's daughter) has been acting pretty crazy the last few years, and Zaladane (possibly Polaris' sister) was definitely nuts when she had magnetic power, so there you go.

9. I believe that, depending on what point in the series you're reading, Ghost Rider can be human most of the time. Johnny Blaze (or Dan Ketch) is just posessed by the Spirit of Vengence from time to time.

10. I can't cite evidence, but I believe the Vision is fully functional, as it were. He is, after all, a synthezoid, not a robot or an android. Even at the time, though, everybody thought it was pretty strange that they had kids.

And I believe your answers to #2 and #6 are related -- the super-apes never caught on because apes are DC's thing, so Marvel tried cows.

Anonymous said...

1. Originally, Dr. Blake just turned into Thor, no further explanation needed. That's just how the Silver Age rolled. Later on, they revealed that Dr. Blake was created by Odin in order to teach his son Thor humility. Eventually, Thor gave up the Don Blake ID when that part of his hammer's enchantment was passed on to Beta Ray Bill.

3. The wings are part of Namor's mutation, and I think they do help him to fly in some way.

4. The FF's money comes from the patents on Reed's inventions. Unstable molecules alone must have netted him millions.

7. As far as I know, no one has ever connected Magneto's powers with his mental state.

8. Dr. Doom did have a girlfriend, Valera, but he ditched her when he got all arrogant and power hungry. I believe she was killed off by Doom during Mark Waid's FF run. So I think it's safe to say that Doom hasn't gotten his freak on since college. Which explains quite a lot.

And Doom WAS a father of sorts, once. He adopted an orphaned Latverian kid by the name of Kristoff. But Doom ended up brainwashing Kristoff into believing that HE was Victor Von Doom, so that he could be a worthy heir to Doom as ruler of Latveria. Doom's ice cold.

9. Ghost Rider goes back & forth to human form, like Jason Blood & the Demon.

10. The Scarlet Witch used her powers to bend probability and make having kids possible. During his West Coast Avengers run, John Byrne revealed that the Vision & Scarlet Witch's twins were basically just figments of Wanda's imagination, formed out of two fragments from Master Parademon's soul (Don't ask. It's goofy.).

11. Marvel has some space characters, like the Starjammers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but as far as I know, they never had a line of science fiction characters. Unless you count monsters like Fin Fang Foom and Spragg the Living Hill.

12. The Guardians of the Galaxy were from Marvel's future, but I forget which era. They also have alternate futures like the "Earth X" Universe.

Anonymous said...

9. Ghost Rider has the ability to transform back into human form (at least the old one did. Haven't seen the new one). Should've posted the pictures, though. Fight the power!

Marc Burkhardt said...

My memories don't include much of late-90s or post-2K Marvel, so this could be out of date. But

1. Don Blake was a guise invented by Odin to teach Thor humility.

2. Marvel is apparently ashamed of its simian - or maybe "better dead than Red" - past.

3. The wings help him fly. It's a mutation that brought him to the attention of Magneto and the X-men in the Silver Age.

4. Reed licenses his technology, as the above commenter stated. He also gets paid a lot by some companies to keep some inventions under wraps, such as a Palm Pilot with unlimited disk space because it taps into Limbo or something. Darn those corporate fascists!

5. Because she kicks as much butt as Power Girl. In Jen's case, the Gamma radiation created a persona that exemplifies her strongest personality traits. That is why she prefers it to her civilian identity. Although the sexist argument has come up here and there.

6. Cows are cool. Not as cool as zombies, granted, but still cool.

7. It's come up now and then pre-Chris Claremont. Ever since that point, though, he's Marvel's answer to Malcolm X. (We'll not get into the Xorn debacle...)

8. He did, but cast such petty concerns aside because HE IS DOOM. I don't remember anything about devil sacrifices, and it wasn't mentioned in the recent "Books of Doom" series.

9. Ghost Rider has a mortal identity. It's like the old-school Spectre.

10. The Vision, like Data, believed to be fully functional. It later turned out the babies were subconsciously created by the Scarlet Witch's reality-warping powers. Recently, the now-insane Witch also depowered 98 percent of Marvel's mutant population. (Although, curiously, there as many X-books as ever ...)

11. As stated before, Marvel was more into giant, Godzilla-like Monsters.

12. Yes, but it's less utopian. Futre Marvel, or one possible aspect of it at least, was conquered by the Lizard-like Badoon and defended by the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

No one's mentioned that Doom mystically skinned said ex-girlfriend and used her flesh as the leather part of his mystic armor (which he now seems to have abandoned for the metal stuff again).

What might be Wanda and Vision's twins are currently in the Young Avengers.

Anonymous said...

No one's touching number five, I notice.

Speaking from a practical perspective, I think it's just hard for a writer to write stories about a character whose sole characteristic is anger. You're pretty much limited to keeping the character as a cipher and telling stories about the supporting cast and and background characters. Various writers have made the male version of the Hulk more intelligent and less aggressive in order to expand the kind of stories they can tell; Peter David is the obvious example.

Andrew Ironwood said...

I've read a lot of fanfic over the years that addresses #7 re: Magneto, but if it was ever *directly* considered as such in the Marvel Universe proper, I'm guessing it was most likely after I'd quit reading the X-titles in the early 90's...

Andrew Ironwood said...

And the thing that always bothered *me* about #1 is that I always felt like Thor didn't even know the first thing about first aid (let alone any competency in regular medical training), so anytime anybody got hurt, it was 'hurry-off-and-switch-to-Blake' time (but then, maybe that's just me...)

[WORD VERIFICATION: Lhvpqfzd -- now *there's* a monster name/sound effect fer ye!...]

Anonymous said...

Written Word: She-HulkSerriously, why was this not your first stop to find out if someone was complaining that She-Hulk was or wasn't sexist?

padgett said...

I sort of held of on responding to number 5 until I could gather my thoughts properly. I'm guessing the point Scipio's going for is that She Hulk is making use of the men=angry/stupid, women=smart/nonviolent dichotomy. And, yeah, there probably a point to be made about the line of thought that led to the creation and initial creation of She Hulk, but I think she's really ended up a better defined character than her cousin.

I may be biased since I've read far more She-Hulk comics than Hulk comics, but I think the issue is that basically she's an attempt to write a Hulk-like character as a person instead of as an allegory for supressed rage. Jen's not really non-violent - she's certainly more than happy to use her strength to solve problems or vent frustration.

And, as the last anonymous poster commented, many Hulk writers end up pulling some of the mindlessness out of Hulk from time to time, which ends up making him like She-Hulk (only without nearly as relatable/interesting/well-developed a personality). So, while her creation may have been a little sexist, I certainly think she's overcome all of that over the years. Plus, the current storyline of her husband being freaked out by her more empowered self is a pretty interesting view on how men deal with self-sufficient, competent women.

Anonymous said...

It may be interesting, but it still sounds sexist. I mean, I couldn't give a fig if my wife is more or less competent than me. There are things she's better at and things I'm better at, and I have no trouble letting her do the stuff she's better at. Machismo is for losers.

Well, and Vibe. But he's a special case.

When did Jen get married, anyway?

padgett said...

Jen got married last month. And her husband (John Jameson) is kind of a macho jerk. Perhaps it has something to do with being an ex-astronaut and ex-werewolf and all. I suspect that messes with your self-esteem somewhat.

Bill D. said...

Early on the Defenders series, Red Ghost adopts a rather disco, dumps the Super Apes, teams up with an Atlantean villain named Attuma and announces he's going to start trying to take over the world the help of porpoises. It's reprinted in the Essential Defenders book. It's kind of brilliant.

As for the rest, yeah, Reed sells his patents (and in the recent Mark Waid run where they went broke, he spent an afternoon inventing new stuff to patent to get the FF fluid again), Ghost Rider isn't always a fiery skelton guy, Scarlet Witch sort of willed her kids into existence, the Thor/Don Blake thing was even less defined than the Billy Batson/Captain Marvel thing, and yes, Doom desperately needs to get laid.

Steven said...

Not as much as having J. Jonah Jameson as a father.

Also, Gamma Radiation has very varied effects depending on the person. The Hulk became a raging monster, and She-Hulk a super powered lawyer, but the Leader became super intelligent (and had trouble shopping for hats) and the Abomination became scaly and super strong without losing any intelligence or cruelty at all.

So it's entirely possible that Jen Walters retained her intelligence not because she is a woman, but because she is Jen Walters, a unique character who can't be reduced to one characteristic.

Which is the most unsexist thing you can say.

Anonymous said...

3. Namor suffers from fallen arches. The wings help correct that and were deemed more appropriate to his royal nature than Dr. Scholl's inserts.

Bill D. said...

Oh, and as at least one person mentioned above, Marvel has the Guardians of the Galaxy living in the far future, but they're a small band of freedom fighters, and they're much different than the Legion. The 90s series tried to give them stronger ties to the regular Marvel Universe, but it ended up being more of a "Who could we convincingly say is still alive this far in the future?" sort of thing (when they weren't doing "the future version of _____" thing, anyway).

Brack said...

2) Red Ghost's haircut.

I could never take him seriously as a kid due to that haircut. I think there's a trend that could be possibly found in for early Marvel Communist supervillains being grotesques. Gremlin springs to mind as an obvious one, I'm sure there are others.

Anonymous said...

As I've stated in another post, Marvel wasn't exactly lacking in the simian department either.

Besides the Super-Apes, there was Ape-Man of the Terrible Trio, Gorilla Man of the 1950s Avengers (now Agents of Atlas), Gorilla Man of the Headmen, Gorilla Girl of the Freaks, the Beasts of Berlin, Ape X of the Institute of Evil and later Squadron Supreme, Man-Ape of the Lethal Legion, the Tri-Animan (who had the powers of a gorilla, crocodile, and one other animal I can't recall), and probably others I'm forgetting.

Verification Word: ROEXAG, which if it wasn't a Stan Lee pre-hero monster, it ought to have been.

Anonymous said...

11. If you're thinking of DC stuff like Space Ranger, Ironwolf, Ultra the Multi-Alien, Tommy Tomorrow, etc., then no. All of the present day space characters (Nova, Quasar, Super-Skrull, Silver Surfer, Starlord) have been swept up in this "Annihilation" crossover.

Marvel did have some potential space characters that never got beyond short anthology runs (Monark Starstalker, Seeker 3000). And of course Killraven and the Guardians of the Galaxy have cult followings.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Part of the fun of the Thor/Doctor Don Blake weirdness is that it was Marvel's First Retcon! (Maybe. If not first, nearly first.)

The original idea was that Blake was just what he appeared to be: a doctor, a regular guy. While fleeing the Stone Men from Saturn whilst on vacation in Norway, he finds a stick that turns into Mjolnir. Written on the side of the mallet was the legend "Whosoever Holds This Hammer, If He Be Worthy, Shall Possess the Power of Thor!" (I'm pretty sure the hammer had that exclamation point on it.)

The original idea was "regular man in the body of a god." Blake had the power of Thor, but wasn't necessarily Thor himself. He was just a dude who was worthy to hoist the hammer. Most of the early, awful Thor stories revolved around Blake losing the hammer and having to get it back before sixty seconds elapsed. Should he not touch it for that long, he'd transform back into the Doc.

But within a few issues, Blake-as-Thor started acting like a different person than Blake. He spoke differently, and he made knowing references to the other Norse Gods. It got weird.

Since Kirby drew god-stuff better than anything else, Lee enjoyed the faux-Shakespearean dialect of the godly version of Thor, and the Asgard stories were a lot more fun than the regular Thor stories, Marvel retconned the Blake story. And they did it very early in the run. Now there was no "Don Blake," and there never had been. Rather, Odin had placed his son in a magical construct, a frail human body, and erased his memory to teach him humility. He left the magic stick in Norway and then gave Blake the "unexpected notion" to vacation in Scandinavia.

Like Superman and Clark Kent, but even moreso, Thor was the real person, and Blake the facade. I don't remember Blake being much of a character in the comics.

The subplot of Blake's nurse, Jane Foster, being Thor's love interest was used for a while, then ditched. Eventually she married Doctor Keith Kincaid (I think that's his name...), the mortal man upon whom Odin modeled Don Blake. Jane's a doctor herself now. Keith's a non-entity.

The end of the Blake ID and the "whosoever holds this hammer" bits were key to the first Walt Simonson Thor stories, the ones with Beta Ray Bill. The Blake ID is long gone. The trick with the hammer still stands.

I'm not a big Thor fan, but dang, those Walt Simonson Thor "Legends" TPBs are absolutely brilliant. I'd put 'em as some of the best Marvel work ever.

As a silver age DC fan, I'd imagine you might be intrigued by a story in Volume Three: Thor the Thunder Frog. Loki turns Thor into a frog. For quite a while, a frog hops around New York, thinking in Thor's faux-Shakespearan speech patterns. Later, said frog finds Mjolnir. Oh my. It is mighty. And kinda Jimmy Olsen-ish. In the best way.

Matthew E said...

7. Wait a second; what about Cosmic Boy? Say what you want about him but he's not even a little crazy. In fact, I don't remember any Braalians being crazy.

Matthew E said...

a story in Volume Three: Thor the Thunder Frog. Loki turns Thor into a frog. For quite a while, a frog hops around New York, thinking in Thor's faux-Shakespearan speech patterns.

So that's what that was all about! I remember a New Mutants comic where they were all depressed at having been killed by the Beyonder, and Mirage (who was also a valkyrie) gets cheered up by a frog who seemed to be Thor. It makes a lot more sense now!

Anonymous said...

3. Marvel seemed to have a thing for little wings. Namor had them on his ankles. Captain America had them on his head. Thor had them on his hat.

Anonymous said...

anonymous above touched on it a little, but regarding #11 yeah, marvel had the big monster thing down, but they had the space thing, too. quasar, silver surfer, alien races (shiar, kree, skrull, badoon, brood), giant cosmic beings (eternity, living tribunal, galactus, stranger), other cosmic characters like thanos, goddess, the watchers, celestials, eon, epoch, and ego the living planet.

i didn't read too many of the titles, but my card collections provided me an outlet to the marvel space/cosmic stories. i was always interested in the idea, but not the stories. it is how we got the infinity gauntlet and phoenix saga, though.

Anonymous said...

Matthew said...
7. Wait a second; what about Cosmic Boy? Say what you want about him but he's not even a little crazy. In fact, I don't remember any Braalians being crazy.

Towards the end of the adult Legion storyline of the early 90's Cosmic Boy goes insane after Brainiac 5 succesfully treats his loss of magnetic powers. This instability leads him to attack Earth and may be one of the reasons he wound up becoming the Time Trapper.

Braalians are portayed as being extremely warlike, having fought both Titan and Imsk and challenged Valor to a trial by combat before letting themselves be rescued from the Dominators.

Anonymous said...

The Scarlet Witch shaped her twins from fragments of Mephisto's soul. She was manipulating mystic energy that the Salem's Seven were using in an attempt to escape Hell to send them back there, so I guess that's where Mephisto's soul shards came from. The Vision was holding her very tightly from behind to brace her while she manipulated the energy.

Recognizing their demonic origin, Mr. Pandaemonium, thought they were fragments of his own soul. His soul had been broken up into five pieces with each piece being transformed into a demon. He wasn't too good at recognizing his pieces, as he once mistook the Thing for a part of his soul as well.

Anonymous said...

I gotta note that She-Hulk was originally created as having Hulk-esque rage in her greener persona. And that's why her original series got cancelled!

As for a cohesive Marvel future team... not really. The Legion was born out of the kind of space-age optimism that was being moved away from by the time Marvel became popular. Which hasn't stopped them from trying, mind.

Marvel's space characters were less like DC's astronauts, little green men, and regular-guys-but-in-space, and more star empires and cosmic beings. A product of the same thing as the lack of Legion, really.

Anonymous said...

I gotta note that She-Hulk was originally created as having Hulk-esque rage in her greener persona. And that's why her original series got cancelled!

Then she was rewritten as a sort of adventure-comedy, which really worked for the character and it's pretty much stayed that way ever since.
She kept her intelligence because a big part of the humor was self-referential parody.

Let me ask you this, do you think it's possible to write a woman without being accused of sexism by some touchy American? A Jew without being called an anti-Semite? A black man without being called a racist?
I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I'll do my best.

1. Originally yes it was like Cap but then it turned out Blake was always Thor. Odin just wanted Thor Humbled for humility and by putting him as a human helped that. It also played into Odin's grand scheme in Ragnarok. Thor's humanity helped him choose a path he other wise would not have.

2. Red Ghost was in the Spider-man Human torch mini just a few months ago?

3. Namor's mutation is flight. The wings are just a physical condition caused by his mutation. When he fought and beat a monster attacking New York, the serum he used on it also destroyed his mutant gene. He couldn't fly and his wings melted/broke off. He's since regained his mutation and his wings.

4. As previously said Reed sells his stuff. I believe he pointed out before that if they're ever in finacial trouble he'll just invent something.

5. She-Hulk is more agressive then Jen Walters. She's just more intelligent then the Hulk. As I've seen it Bruce went nervous smart guy to hulkish brute, the leader went from dumb to smart, and Jen went meek to aggressive and stating her mind.

6. Because turning skrulls into cows was an Awesome idea.

7. No I don't believe any one has brought it up since there's always been another explanation.

8. Doom turned his one true love into a magic armor made of human skin. Doom's funny yes, but he's also an evil evil bastard.

Much like John Byrne

9. Originally Johnny turned into Ghost Rider at night, then when ever danger was around. Danny originally could only do it when a magic gas cap lit up (usually when danger was around) then later he could also do it when ever danger was around.

Currently it seems Johnny is trapped as the Rider as long as he's in hell and dead. But he's out now so he might change back.

I'll read #2 and get back to you.

10. Scarlet Witch used her chaos powers i'd imagine. They can alter reality on a dimensional scale so I think they can give a robot genitelia for an evening.

11. The closest Marvel had to space hero's were in the Super line. Cap Marvel, Surfer, Quasar. Very few non super space explorers. Although the X-Men have had a few but I'm not touching the "Summer's family tree" with a ten foot pole.

Also it was mainly Monsters, well monsters and Thor.

12. Equivilant? No.

Scipio said...

"Danny originally could only do it when a magic gas cap lit up"

Are you funning me?

Scipio said...

"do you think it's possible to write a woman without being accused of sexism by some touchy American? "


Anonymous said...

I thought Danny did it when "the blood of the innocent was spilled" or somesuch. OTOH, I got that out of an issue of What If?, so...

googum said...

I leave for five minutes and Marvel comes up? Well, my work is done...

On #11, Marvel does occasionally try to brand the space stuff together, like the recent Annihilation mini-series. But I'd have to say Marvel's best known space comics were their toy comics: Rom, Micronauts, even the Transformers; all of which crossed over with the regular Marvel Universe.

On the one hand, those crossovers introduced a lot of readers to the larger Marvel Universe. On the other hand, all of that stuff is probably looked at as an embarrassment now (they were after all, comics made for kids), and the rights issues make reprints impossible. Too bad. Those books may be dated and goofy, but they were fun, heroes acted like heroes, and something would happen every issue...

Harvey Jerkwater said...

"Danny originally could only do it when a magic gas cap lit up"

Are you funning me?

Nope. The revived Ghost Rider of the late eighties/early nineties did that.

Danny Ketch's average-seeming motorcycle would suddenly spout a small flame from its gas cap when Eeeevil was afoot. Danny would feel compelled to put his hand on the burning cap...and whammo, he becomes the Ghost Rider and his bike becomes Belial's Bike or the Hades Hog or whatever.

Comics are weird.

Tegan O'Neil said...

The ROM and Micronauts stuff is stil lconsidered "canon" even if most of the licensed characters can't be directly mentioned - the events happened in the Marvel Universe. Even the old Godzilla book still gets mentioned obliquely, in terms of the characters Marvel created for the series occasionally showing up through the present day. But the Transformers, despite Spider-Man's appearance in the early series, and Circuit Breaker's appearance in Secret Wars II, has pretty much been whitewashed out of existence, considering that later revelations in the Transformers series were deeply incompatable with the cosmology of the regular Marvel Universe. Marvel's Hasbro books - Transformers and GI Joe - had a loose continuity between them, but were not part of the MU. Some clever fanboy has probably given the Hasbro Universe a number like 556 or 637 or something.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that kind of thing tends to still be canon. And it's funny the kind of hoops the writers will jump through to try to describe it in, say, "Handbooks of the Marvel Universe". Most entertaining parts of those, IMHO.

Bully said...

Everyone has already given some really good answers. I just wanted to point out that when people ask me why I'm more a Marvel fan than a DC fan, I simply point to question six.

Anonymous said...

As another person pointed out, I'm not funning you.

Danny had a magic gas Cap that lit up when danger was around or really when ever he needed it. It was concretly described early on but then it didn't pay attention and broke some of the rules.

Also his motorcycle could appear when he needed it and drive with out him.

Riders bike is pretty much exactly like Surfers board.

Anonymous said...

1. All the earlier comments have said it all re Thor. But the retcon that re-established Thor as the true identity and Don Blake as the facade was unusual in that it was done by the original creators, just a couple of years after Thor's debut, to open up the scope of the comic.

2.I imagine all of Marvel's "super-commie" characters are underused by virtue of being obsolete. Although the comic possibilities of having the Red Ghost around, still advocating Soviet Communism today, is a neglected goldmine of funny. But yeah, the apes! You'd they they'd be used even without the Ghost, just for their ape-liciousness.

3. Namor's wings/flight ability and super strength are mutations. Without them, he'd just be a hybrid, and Ariana Huffington would love him.

7. Scipio, you're thinking like a DC fan here. You're looking for a rational, physical-world explanation for a character's motivations. At Marvel, pathology comes from psychology. Magneto's mom or the Nazis didn't love him enough, or something.

8. In the '70s there was a Super-Villain Team-Up issue (I think Steve Englehart wrote it) that implied rather strongly that Doom deflowers all the virgins in his kingdom. Well, the female virgins, at least, but you never know with those Europeans. So, no, Doom doesn't need to get laid, and yes, he may actually be the father of his country.

10. You know, there was never a real explanation for the event, even before the gajillion retcons. But yes, Vision is anatomically correct, despite what John Byrne may have said. He's always had the bits. But genetic material is another thing, and Wanda used some kind of combination of her probability-altering powers (which since have been rewritten into brick-and-mortar reality-changing abilities) and hippy-dippy magick, since it was Steve Englehart who was also responsible for the original pregnancy plotline, to create conception. The various retcons to the story have made just about as much sense, if not less.

I don't know what the "Vision was holding her tightly from behind" reference is to. Rear entry?

11. Marvel never had a pre-superhero space line, they only published westerns, romance and goofy monster "suspense" titles before FF#1 and the birth of the "Marvel Age". All of their sci-fi concepts as mentioned above arrived later as part and parcel of the Marvel Universe.

Anonymous said...

I thought everyone knew this: Namor has Hermes-like foot-wings 'cause he's a mythological concatenation of Hermes and Pan (sometimes thought to be fathered by Hermes). Whereja think Bill Everett got the model for that triangular head (minus the horns and hirsute quality, of course, but he kept the pointy ears)? I assume the marine association is that sometimes Pan was pictured as a kind of goat-fish hybrid, which still appears in some renditions of the constellation Capricorn.

And I thought that we agreed on a previous blogpage that frogs were Marvel's animal of choice!

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what the "Vision was holding her tightly from behind" reference is to. Rear entry?"

Nope, its a description of the art on the flashback page where Wanda describes how her children were conceived.

Adam! said...

re: GHOST RIDER GAS CAP -> more like lighting-up than burning. i read that more as an omen of sorts, of innocent blood spilling somewhere, but then again, i was 13 back then.

re: MR FANTASTIC PATENTS -> with all of these scientists and inventors running around the Marvel (and DC) Universe, you'd think their cities would look more like TOP TEN or WATCHMEN, flying cars and cheap energy and whatnot, no third world hunger or any of those bastard world problems.

word verification: TWARS -> the next Millar Marvel crossover event, with buttfloss thongs?

Katherine said...

Re 2: Red Ghost did show up in recent issues of X-Men, because Pete Milligan was writing, and he's big with the wacky. It was... amusing, but somewhat out of key with the rest of the series (like most of Milligan's run).

Re 7: Magneto's not really crazy. Not all the time. Seems to me that the point of the character is that while his methods are awful, when it comes to his beliefs he kind of has a point: it isn't crazy to believe that mutants are superior to humans, it isn't crazy to believe that humans will never be able to co-exist peacefully with mutants (what with them building the giant purple mutant-hunting robots and all). Magneto's evil comes from the fact that he doesn't let himself hope for an alternative.

Then again, sometimes he's just crazy. Hmm, MU characters with electromagnetic powers... Mags, Polaris, Electro, Living Lightning, Victor Mancha... now admittedly Electro's a villain and Victor's a robot, but they're fairly sane, considering. Given the recent behaviour of the Scarlet Witch, I'd say it's probably a Lehnsherr family trait.

Re 12: Don't be silly. Marvel futures are for people to die in. Horribly. (Although, I just read Hulk: The End. It is terribly, terribly sad, because Hulk does not die. If he had died, it would have been a happy ending.)

Anonymous said...

Jim Shooter wrote an Avengers prose novel back when he was the main writer of the comic that did establish (in no uncertain terms, and as could never be done in a code approved comic) that the Vision was not only anatomically correct, but that his density powers gave him certain performance advantages over mere humans. This tied in neatly with my theory that Prof. Horton created the original (android) Human Torch as a sex toy, since, like Frank N. Furter, he built himself a man, with blond hair & a tan...


acespot said...

If Namor's ankle wings are actually used for flight, wouldn't that mean that he would have to fly hanging upside down by his feet? Now there would be a funny panel. Somebody should comission a drawing just for fun!

Unknown said...

Aside from the old Skrull story in FF #2, I don't remember any significant Marvel stories involving cows. Was that the only thing you were referring to?