Hot Topical Humor

November 23rd, 2006 Posted by Gavok

So yesterday while on my break at work, I wandered through the mall to get me some lunch and, as always, passed by a Hot Topic. This time, I did a double-take and stepped back for a closer look. Hot Topic now sells Zombie Captain America t-shirts, based on the fake Avengers #4 cover where Cap has birds sticking out of his skull. Not only that, but they have a zippered sweatshirt with the Zombie Secret Wars cover on the front. I decided against buying either, but continued looking at what they had.

I saw that they had this on a shirt.

This is Toxin. He’s the Carnage symbiote’s “son” using an honest cop as a host. He debuted in the Venom vs. Carnage mini-series and got his own six-issue series shortly after. I think he’s awesome, but I realize that only five people have read his stories and he will probably never make another appearance in any Marvel comic ever again. Much like Hybrid. So consider me a bit confused that they’d give him a shirt rather than, say, Thing or Daredevil.

Seeing that on a t-shirt was weird enough. What was even weirder was looking at where the tag should be and finding on the shirt “X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND”. Er… yeah. Yes, those two have plenty to do with each other.

While I’m talking about things that have nothing to do with each other, Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I’m thankful for the Secret Wars t-shirt I bought for half-price!

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Spider-Man: No Laughing Matters

September 27th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

“I am not what I was before,” the silence says. “I am anger, I am madness, I am the spider. And God help you if you get in my way.”

This is gonna be a long one. Get a sandwich, come back, get reading.

Even moreso than the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Spidey is Marvel’s flagship character. He’s their everyman. Reed Richards is a super genius who has enough game to woo Susan Storm and convince her, her brother, and Ben Grimm that stealing a spaceship to go into outer space is a good idea. The X-Men are a bunch of freaks and outcasts with perfect bodies, and nobody likes the Avengers.

Don’t even get me started on those freaking Avengers, all right?

Spidey is the guy that every relates to and loves. He’s probably the most human out of Marvel’s big characters. He’s had girl trouble, family drama, tragedy, and upswings. He’s led a real life and ended up marrying a wonderful girl. He’s easy to relate to. He’s the guy that we’re supposed to identify with when tough choices come up. His role in Civil War, at least outside of the main (crappy) miniseries, shows this. He is us. His set of experiences are pretty much universal, except for that whole crime-fighting thing. Let’s look at that. The crime-fighting, I mean.

Spidey is a jokester. He’s constantly cracking wise. It’s been pretty well-established that jokes are his way of both coping with the incredible danger he finds himself in every day and throwing villains off balance. I mean, seriously, I can barely stay calm when some jerk is telling me unfunny jokes, imagine if some guy were telling jokes and punching you. Disorienting for sure. The joking is coping because it allows him to maintain control of a sick situation. It takes his mind off the fact that Carnage is about to murder a schoolbus full of children. It lets him focus.

Spidey also believes in the innate goodness of man. I’m reminded of the scene in “Return of the Green Goblin” where he sits down and just has a heart-to-heart with Norman Osborn about his life, their relationship, and Gwen Stacy. He remarks that Norman can never win because Gwen will always be greater than he is. Her smile and her spirit will always overpower Norman’s hate and crazy. Norman killed her, but her memory defeats him. In his heart, Peter believes that almost everyone can be rehabilitated. Evil exists, but it has nothing at all on good. Good will win out in the end, because that is the way it is. That is the way it has to be. Right?

What happens, though, when you push him to the edge? Not in a battle, I mean. When battles get serious, Peter gets desperate. What happens when you make Peter Parker genuinely angry? What happens when he gets close to that breaking point, or possibly just past it?

What happens when the jokes stop?
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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 3

August 9th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

So remember when I said that Marvel would announce its upcoming What If issues long before I’d have this finished? Looks like I was right.

This year the five stories are all based on major events, most of them recent:

– Spider-Man: The Other. Here, Spider-Man’s spidery side takes over. Why he’s wearing the symbiote on the cover, I don’t know.
– Avengers Disassembled. So what would have happened had they not realized Scarlet Witch was behind it when they did?
– Wolverine: Enemy of the State. He’s still under Hydra’s conditioning and he needs to be stopped now more than ever.
– X-Men: Deadly Genesis. No explanation yet, but I haven’t even read Deadly Genesis in the first place.
– Age of Apocalypse. Oh man, I hope they mean the one from the 90’s and not the new one.

Speaking of What Ifs based on Marvel events…

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Ultimate ROM 05 – Arc 01: Arrival

February 13th, 2006 Posted by guest article

Allow me to reiterate something. This wouldn’t necessarily have to be an Ultimate book. Instead it could be a Marvel Max book, so instead of deformed Chitauri they’d again be Dire Wraiths, and similarly, the other names would remain the same. The reason for this being some of the subject matter. The Wraith/Chitauri have made deals with dark, abominable powers. Essentially, I’d intend to emphasize some of the black magic aspects that were touched on in the original series. Tentacled horrors, gods best left nameless, that sort of thing. In the original series, the wraiths were able to summon Deathwings with a spell/ritual. Imagine instead if in order to summon a Deathwing you needed to lay forth a hecatomb (look it up, it’s pretty sick) of human sacrifices, and even then, you only had a weapon that you could maybe point in the direction of where you wanted it to kill.

The most unspeakable thing the Dire Wraiths did in the original series was to deposit a magical plague in the blood supply of a hospital. The result of this was that anyone who was a recipient of the hospital’s blood supply turned into a hideous, gibbering monster. For this series, this would merely be a starting point of just how depraved the Wraith/Chitauri are.

For now, let me outline the first story arc.
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