All said and done, The Project Pegasus Saga is one of my favorite Marvel storylines to feature the Thing, and while I was planning to talk about it at some point and time, I discovered that, lo and behold, the fine folks over at BRONZE AGE BABIES had done so already, and better than I ever could! So I encourage you to head over there and read their exhaustive rundown on the storyline from the first part to the last!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Just a bit of a sideways notice, to those interested in such things...if you're planning to make some nominations for the upcoming first annual PULP ARK AWARDS, you've got until Monday to do so. For more information CLICKITY-CLICK.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Or, 'There Are Nine Seas Not Seven, Actually'.
What are the other two? Space and Time respectively.
Ben Grimm was a pirate once. Just for a little while. Twice, actually, if you count that time he was also Sinbad. It's one of his fondest memories actually...what red-blooded, two-fisted brawler doesn't occasionally dream of taking to the high seas and plundering the ports of the world?
But, as any half-way decent historian (which Ben is, natch...I mean, if you travelled in time as much as the FF, wouldn't you do a bit of boning up on all of the possible eras you could be stranded in?) could tell you, there's a BIG difference between Captain Blood and the real deal.
This is something a version of the Thing found out, much to his cost, in his own universe. A universe where the Thing stayed in the past and played pirate until it stopped being fun and started being something altogether more unpleasant. See, unlike Reed Richards or Tony Stark or even Dr. Doom, the Thing (especially at this point in his history) had about as much respect for the time continuum as he did for oh, say, Namor. Not much, in other words.
Ever read Lest Darkness Fall? Think that, only in the Age of Piracy. With the Thing (excuse me, 'Blackbeard') in charge of a confederacy of freebooters and scalliwags that controls the Seven Seas. Sounds fun right? But the Thing of this universe is a savage, selfish bastard, having never reached the acceptance of his condition that the proper, 616 Thing did. He's become the angsty, frustrated, downright nasty monster he always feared himself to be. In the process, he's brought the whole world to a boil, and forced the sovereigns of half a dozen of the most powerful countries to band together in an effort to destroy his stranglehold on the seas.
And now to top it all off...he's gone. Vanished. Poof. Leaving a big orange hole in his universe. A spot that his most able advisers, including one Valeria Von Damme (ancestress of a certain doctor/dictator of ill-repute) attempt to fill with the aid of ancient sorceries...sorceries which pluck the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing out of his universe and into one where he's anything but ever-lovin'.
Forced to play the part of his doppelgänger as the navies of the Great Powers come for the final showdown in the Bermuda Triangle (because where else would the Thing have his base but Monster Island?), the Thing (our Thing) must find away to save a world his double screwed up as well as find out what happened to said double in the first place!
And that's just issue one...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
So, my pal Dave has done got himself a steady gig at teamfatguy.com discussing that ever-pertinent subject: comics (or 'comix'-really Dave? Really?). His first two posts are now live for the reading and commenting and such, and I suggest you go do so. I mean, all I do is post pictures and you people flock here like pigeons eating the elderly. Actual WORDS should be irresistible.
For those of you uninterested in the idylls of discussion, I present a naked Dr. Doom punching a lion in the brain-stem. Enjoy!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Hey, who remembers Wizard? Anybody? Anybody? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's too late to find out.
Personally, I stopped reading Wizard at around their fifth-no, sixth-Wolverine cover. So, roughly twelve issues in.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
You know who doesn't get enough internet love? NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER, that's who! So, in honor of the man who made green speedos fashionable outside of the Riviera, and because no one asked for it and I want to see who notices, I give you...IMPERIUS REX WEEK!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So, my post from last week is getting a nice bit of play, but I figured I'd boil my opinions down into easily digestible image-chunks (also, it gives me an excuse to post some pictures I've had on my hard-drive for ages now):
So, to simplify:
More stuff like this:
And, of course, this:
Rather than stuff like this:
Also, at least an issue of this:
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Yesterday, Colin Smith posted an interesting essay on Dr. Strange and it sparked a few thoughts (i.e. a rant) in the ol' cerebellum. So, go read that one, then come read this one.
The gist of Smith's essay was that Strange had, for all intents and purposes, already made his 'Hero's Journey' (to crib a bit from Campbell) unlike the other characters in the MU. While Spider-Man, the Hulk and the rest are all still afflicted with the problems that render them more man than super-man, Strange has already cleansed himself of his limitations. In becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Strange has reached the point where weaknesses of personality should no longer factor into his character.
So, Stephen Strange is (was), for lack of a better term, the MU's Only Competent Man. The one guy who knows what's going on, why it's going on and who's behind it. Batman, with a fancier cape and stylish facial hair. He's the guardian of our reality, the protector of the entirety of human existence. He fights gods before breakfast and staves off other-dimensional invasions after lunch. In between, he helps out Spider-Man with the odd spectral predator.
Simply put, he is the greatest hero in the MU, and, unfortunately, the least interesting from a practical standpoint. Likely this is why so many writers, especially recently, have undertaken to adding flaws to the diamond. Only by breaking Strange down does he become approachable. Making him short-tempered, absent-minded or arrogant goes a long way towards pulling him back down to a human level. Of course this also misses the point of just who and what Strange is supposed to be.
Case in point: the Illuminati. Everyone remembers that, right? Great concept, so-so execution and Dr. Strange shouldn't have been a member. Why? Too small. Other than the bit with the Infinity Gems (which wasn't well thought out to begin with), Strange had no reason to join the rest of the Illuminati-why should Strange, who fights off almost daily incursions from predatory realities, bother discussing the Skrulls with Iron-Man and Mr. Fantastic? That's a little picture problem, and Strange is, by necessity, concerned with the big picture. The tapestry of existence.
It's one of the reasons I think that a Dr. Strange series is a hard sell. The right stories would have to be BIG ones. Epic. Jim Starlin levels of epic. And that's a tough job for anyone (though there are some who might be better at it than others-seriously, click that link). Strange is simply too big, too powerful, to tell human-level stories about (unless he's saving Wong from certain death because, y'know, Wong.). He doesn't HAVE normal problems. And when you reduce him to those levels, you weaken the concept. With a Dr. Strange series, the writer should go big or go home.
Too, all of the recent stories with Dr. Strange? His loss of power, his-well, that was it really, wasn't it? 'The Search for the Sorcerer Supreme?'-all of that could be told with any ONE of the half-dozen occult-orientated characters Marvel has the rights to. Brother Voodoo could have joined the New Avengers instead of becoming the Sorcerer Supreme and getting iced. The Son of Satan. Mordred the Mystic. Hell, bring back Baron Mordo or Dr. Druid! They all fill the 'mystic-with-human-foibles' slot a lot better than Strange.
In a way, Strange was, once upon a time, the universal re-set button for the MU. If things got too bad, too dark, Strange was there. A swirl of red and gold and a 'Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!' and that demonic invasion was thrown back. He was the cavalry, riding to the rescue when things got really bad. Used sparingly, he let the writers convey just how real sh*t had gotten. But when he spends three issues fighting ninjas (NINJAS!), the Sorcerer Supreme becomes just another costume. And that's not right at all.
There we go. Rant over.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Or, 'Why Should The Thing Have Another Series Anyway?' Because if you're doing one of these types of things, that's the first question you have to answer. The Thing has had several shots at head-liner status over the years, and while he's a popular character, the sales inevitably slip. There's two reasons for this: one, the Thing is neither Wolverine nor Deadpool; two, inevitably somebody feels the need to rehash 'This Man, This Monster' and point out how much it sucks to be made of primary coloured rocks.
There's very little you can do about the first point, save indulge in plenty of sales-boosting guest-appearances in the best tradition of the bygone Nineties. But for the second it's a simple case of ignoring the elephant in the room. Angst is out. Fun is in.
Now, this isn't to say that you can't occasionally touch on the fact that the Thing drew the short straw in the cosmic radiation sweepstakes, but, frankly, it's best to go with the idea that he's made peace with his skin condition.
That well is dry, time to find a new one, in other words.
But the character has had his shot before, right? Several times, in fact. So what will be different about this time?
Two words...Marvel. Universe. The Thing is the perfect character to explore the MU to its fullest. Every wild and whacky corner, from the Microverse to Michigan. From the Negative Zone to Nue Earth. He fits in everywhere, into every type of story. Want him to fight aliens? Take him to the Skrull homeworld. Beat up a supervillain? He's fought most of them. A hard-edged noir-style mystery? Yancy Street, 'nuff said. Comedy? You have read comics with the Thing in them before, yes? Drama? He's a man apart, even among family. Horror? Look at him.
Simply put, the Thing is a 'plug-n-play' character. He can literally be dropped anywhere in the MU and have a story result. There are no borders to his fictional territory. There are no stories that will not work with this character.
Now, true...all of this can apply to other characters. Wolverine, for instance. But that simply proves the point. A fluid character is a marketable character. A character who can hang anywhere is a character who should never run out of stories. Oh and what stories they could be...but that's for next time.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
By which I mean the same direction, just with more stops. Or something. Anyway, I'm back. Have a picture.
There. That's better, isn't it? Now, on to business. As it's a new year, I figured I'd get the opinion of some of the-holy crap!-one hundred odd people following this blog and find out what you, the reader, would like to see in 2011. So spout off, either here or at the mirror Livejournal site. What do you want me to write about? More Villains With Potential? Reviews? Rants? The return of Rex the Wonder-Dog? What?