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The Marville Horror Part 3: Like an African Fertility God

March 10th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , ,

Article by Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett.

Every time I see that cover, I keep thinking it’s Lockjaw, the Inhuman dog. Anyway. This time we get a recap page full of straight-up lies.

Shot 1 is actually them sending back the time machine, from last issue, sort of ruining the “last son” thing they were aiming for. Why they didn’t mention, “Oh hey Al has a time machine now!” is anyone’s guess. The origin thing I can’t really debunk, the love story is mentioned here for a second and final time (and is still using panels from issue 1 because it does not exist), and I don’t know how the hell Al got credit for capturing Spike Lee when he, uh… just walked out of the room, and left a confused Frank Castle to talk with the irritated director.

Now, issue 3 of Marville is entirely different from the last two. For one, they didn’t bring in an inker on this one, and the change actually gives it a look I like. This will, of course, be tossed out in an instant when this issue ends. The second is that there are no word balloons, thought bubbles, or for that matter, anything beyond “what will make this shot look the best”, no real in-between panels for motion in here. Dialogue and actions are conveyed in the script laid on top of the images throughout the issue. It’s almost like a storyboard.

We pick up after the last issue, almost. Somehow, like I mentioned, Al walking out of Spike Lee’s office translated to, “Look, we disposed of the Kingpin”, and Lucy (the hooker-cop from last issue, now a full cast member) is bringing in yet another bag of reward money for our protagonist. Because it’s a pretty good example of what the issue looks like, here’s one of the first couple of pages, which will save me time in explaining where the plot is about to veer off into.

That’s right, we’re going to meet God. The trio crowd into the time machine, set it for “Dawn of time”, I guess, and we turn the page into… this.

Lucy and Al are apparently next to one another, as well, and figure out quickly that neither of them is seeing anything but what they want to see. About a page later, that idea — and the chance to find out what, say, Mickey would see God as — is tossed aside because now God is a dapper black man in space.

And you thought that “Peter David is disliked by fans” line was the only prescient bit this book had going for it.

Our God (in absentia?) will be going by the name of “Jack” for the rest of the tale, and it’s never entirely said if he’s really God or just a ‘voice of’ type deal. He is, from what some sources say, supposed to be a stand-in for Jack Kirby somehow, though. He also gives us, throughout this issue and this issue alone, “Revelations” of how God works in Jemas’ head. The first is that God is all-knowing, and omnipresent. The latter is what causes the former: if you are everywhere, you can know all that happens. Okay. I can get down with that. Then the pair ask where Mickey is, if they’re up in Heaven talking to him. Answer? Why, they’re actually drowning and Mickey is hauling the pair of them from the water onto shore.

Don’t think that was all a cop-out, though, because now Jack is watching them from the shore. Insert the bit you’ve probably heard by now: “why didn’t you help us God/I can’t because of non-intervention” thing. Although in a bit of hand-wavery, there’s the reasoning of “God is everywhere /= God can do everything”, and that miracles require someone to work through to actually happen, like Mickey hauling Al and Lucy from the water. Dude can’t just snap his incorporeal fingers and save your ass. Alright, awesome, this is sounding fine, maybe this issue will refrain from getting stupid on us…

…ffffffuck.

So at this point, we follow the now-naked cast underwater as they see the beginning of life with single-celled organisms. I will be entirely honest: this is not my field. It might be well-researched, it might be entirely inaccurate. I cannot tell you. If someone wants to take a look at it to debunk/confirm the bits put forward, I’ll transcribe it later, just pipe up in the comments. But just to keep this bit from being completely without nitpick, we have a minor moment of shitting on the “no miracles without assistance” theory when Jack shrinks everyone to an atomic level to see said birth of life. This leads us to our third non-offensive revelation: the first cells were created via spontaneous generation, it would happen eventually on a world with billions of gallons of water and millions of years. Lucy starts going, “Wait, God didn’t kick-start us?”, and the question is just artfully dodged with no real answer. Consider this yet another bit of useless trivia for you nerd-debate types: Evolution trumps God so hard in the Marvel universe that it doesn’t have to make any kind of coherent sense.

We jump ahead 30 million years and now there are plants, and we see the single-celled organisms of the ocean turning into plants. You’d think, “Okay, cool, we’re moving along”, but then in a moment of supreme idiocy, Mickey points out to Lucy that the newer organisms are devouring the old ones for their nutrients to survive. An alternate subtitle for this blog entry was “Patricide, Matricide, and Cannibalism”. That would be our girl Mickey rubbing it in further to describe the process. For some reason, it hasn’t occurred to Lucy, like our other two heroes, that when all you have as sustenance is the deceased who came before you, you might end up doing some things we don’t like to survive. We spend three pages with her whining about it and asking the big mean Jack to make chemicals act nicer with one another, especially when she realizes, “Oh shit, a world solely full of plants will probably kill themselves if they use all the CO2 to make oxygen and nothing is undoing that”.

Lucy, like myself, is overthinking the hell out of this story.

Jack then decides to shut everyone up with our last revelations of the story:

Spoiler alert: we will never get a single word of closure on #6. Not even some lip service. Because once more, this is some drunk-logic shit in the writing department.

Now then, since that was kind of lacking in being utterly retarded, let’s mention those covers you’ve been seeing over each issue’s recap. The first one, you might have seen, was just Al mimicking the promos for a just-beginning Smallville, that TV show about young Clark Kent and how his friends fuck him over every five minutes. It did, however, have two variant covers. One was from UDON for some reason (yes, the dudes who do the Street Fighter comics):

And the other, in line with everything else in the series, was some Greg Horn-designed cheesecake which had absolutely nothing to do with the series. In another less-than-brilliant design, it was also a holographic foil cover, which is why this scan someone took (no, I have the Smallville one too, sorry) looks like such ass:

This cover is the only one that even remotely ties into the story somehow in that I think it’s supposed to imply the poster-girl is Mickey, who, despite the story forgetting about this three pages after it was mentioned, actually drives a cab for a living. The biggest flaw in this theory is that the cover girl is a redhead, and Mickey has purple hair no matter what art style we see her in. Also, the hair’s longer on the pinup girl, and it really doesn’t fit what shell of a character she has at all to be doing that, but hey! It’s not like anyone who actually bought this for those covers gives a damn who it is. Issues 5 and 6 also had a variant cover, but I can’t find anything on what #6 looked like. I’ll toss in issue 5’s with that article, since right now it would spoil an utterly retarded “plot twist”. Don’t go looking for it. Seriously. Let yourself be shocked, it’s more fun.

I’ll also mention, while we’re on the publication information about the series, there are technically 7 issues of Marville. Only the first 6 are collected in the trade, though, because #7 was nothing but the submission guidelines and an explanation of the freshly-launched “Epic Comics” imprint which Marville was to kick off. Most people would know that as the line Trouble, the story about not-Aunt May and not-Mary Parker getting teen pregnant and Peter really being Aunt May’s out-of-wedlock child with Richard Parker, was published under. This is basically because it failed on a fantastic scale within about a year, and that’s probably something that deserves looking into another time.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one, and by “tell you this one” I mean “insert one last bit of redhead into this post”:

See you next time, kids, when we actually will get into something I can debunk.

Part 4!

  • The Marville Horror Part 5: Comics – Pretty Much the Word of God
  • The Marville Horror Part 2: Take Us to Poor People!
  • The Marville Horror Part 4: Stay with the TARDIS, Damn It
  • The Marville Horror Part 1: Better Sales Through Self-Immolation
  • Sexy is good, right? Sexy sells, right?
  • Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

    12 comments to “The Marville Horror Part 3: Like an African Fertility God”

    1. Marvel Comics could use more giant robots of late. Whatever happened to all those Sentinels they had “guarding” the mutants. Shouldn’t Osborne be using them to blow up some dude he has a petty grudge against? Or at least sending them after Spider-Man? And maybe some Red Ronin and/or Shogun Warriors?


    2. the “some reason” for UDON was because the group was just getting started back then and they did lots of covers and fill-in issues for Marvel at the time.


    3. It’s not my field either, but to the best of my knowledge the primordial ooze from which life sprang had more in it than “lots of water.” I’d guess a shitload of carbon, at the very least. Also the sky shouldn’t be clear, Jack Kirby said it’d be filled with roaring cosmic thunder, and apparently he should know.

      @LurkerWithout: Unfortunately, Marvel has even less ownership of the Shogun Warriors than they do of Rom. Marvel got the rights from Mattel, who got them from Bandai, who got them from the various robots’ creators. Plus, despite my belief that Super Robots are Japan’s equivalent of American superheroes (another guest article entirely), there’s really not much call for ’em here that can’t be satisfied by imported anime.


    4. A) I love and hate you for posting these.

      B) Would you be willing, after this, to give a similar treatment to the other wonderful resident of the EPIC line, Mark Millar and Terry Dodson’s TROUBLE? Because holy shit, that comic.


    5. If Gavok’s down with it I could see about writing those up, sure. Calling a local shop I could end up with the whole thing for about $2.


    6. I see no problem in it.


    7. Fair enough. I’ll pick it up with my books tomorrow and see how much I have to work with.

      The line I was referring to was actually about how Epic was mismanaged from the start when I said that was a story for another time. It shocked me looking into it how a nice idea could go so awry.


    8. If you still can’t find the cover for issue 6, check out Greg Horn’s official website. It’s the best, and worst, of the bunch.


    9. That was a horrible thing to ask me to do. That website is a clusterfuck that cannot be described. (Also, that wasn’t the variant. That’s the actual cover to issue 6.)


    10. My bad on the cover, but I like to think the website is comparatively low on the scale of horrible things you’ve been asked to look at. Hell, you paid money to see Terror Titans.


    11. Just a minor point, the theory of evolution only explains the diversity of life, not the origin.


    12. @HitTheTargets: I never paid money for that. It was a ‘friend’s copy’.