Watch out now, she’ll chew you up…

October 30th, 2009 by | Tags: , , ,

From Typhoid #4, the last issue of Ann Nocenti and John Van Fleet’s 1996 miniseries from Marvel Edge:


Typhoid Mary is one of my favorite comics characters and was created by one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite artists. This is a good scene that illustrates exactly what she is. Mary, Typhoid, Bloody, and Mary Walker. Virgin, Whore, Femme Fatale, and Human. Parts of a whole.

I can’t figure out my favorite part of this scene. It’s either when Mary Walker wakes up and puts the gun in her mouth (“here’s to lightening the load”) or the way she switches from Mary to Typhoid to Bloody in quick succession on the next page. Bloody’s justification for killing speaks volumes, too, with shades of Ennis’s Frank Castle lurking in her words:

“You wanted to know why killers kill? What a stupid question. Did it ever occur to you that some people should be dead?”

I dug this mini a lot. I’ll have to work up a real review for it, because it’s really very interesting from a variety of viewpoints. But honestly, I really, really want Ann Nocenti to do some more comics. These are fascinating, and since the blogosphere has a decently-sized feminist faction, I’d like to think that we’d get some interesting discussion of her old work out of it.

This book also convinced me that, like Noh-varr, Bendis has no qualms about taking older, previously-established characters and sanding them down until they fit into the fictionsuit he needs to make his story work. Typhoid Mary goes from representing corruption and beauty and social pressure and imbalance to being… Generic Loopy Crazy Chick With Her Boobs Out. Noh-varr goes from Angry Dane McGowan Bent on Fixing Earth By Force to Confused Baby Hero, Easily Led Around by An Obvious Villain. It’s really soured me on his writing. It feels so lazy, like it’s sucking all the potential out of these wonderful things just to have them in a story.

There were a few pinups in the back of the book. It blew my mind that Howard Chaykin did one:

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9 comments to “Watch out now, she’ll chew you up…”

  1. Checking Amazon I see a hard-back of her Longshot mini, 3rd party sellers of Daredevil Legends vol. 4 and Daredevil: Lone Stranger (listed as a preorder) which collects DD 264-273. Also an X-Men novel involving Mojo…

  2. David Brothers referencing Hall and Oates. My mind is blown.

  3. I loved this comic, apt title, since she does in fact mike tyson the young filmmaker later on.

  4. apt headline, I meant.

  5. When did Bendis use her? If you’re referring to her appearances in Avengers Initiative, that was Slott and/or Gage. I don’t think Bendis had anything to do with that book…

    As far as Typhoid Mary, I remember her in Deadpool, which I thought were great issues. I also vaguely remember some pre-Clone Sage issues of Spectacular Spider-Man that she was in. Come to think of it, those might have been written by Nocenti. I don’t remember much about the story…

  6. @clay: Bendis used her in Daredevil.

  7. Was the Typhoid series ever collected? I would buy this in a heartbeat.

  8. @Twyst: Pffft, I wish. I’d be first in line for the hardcover. Though Nocenti’s Daredevil is getting a release early next year, so hopefully Marvel’s gonna collect more of her stuff. I think right now, at best, the Typhoid Mary stuff in Daredevil and the Art Adams Longshot mini are the only Ann Nocenti books currently in print.

  9. Hot off the wire, Molly Crababble is teaming with Nocenti for a new Typhoid story in Girl Comics! :O