Monday, June 29, 2009

Torpid Tales of Tomorrow

Greetings, organic ones, I am HUGO, and I've been programmed to be your robo-host for tonights trio of FUTURISTIC FAIL TALES. You may remember me from my appearance in "The Perfect Servant", and...What? N..Noo I'm not crying. Its just that I was running errands for Professor Tompkins earlier today, and there was this awful woman at the patent office, then the girl at Arby's got the Professor's order all wrong and it was just awful... ANYway...

SCIENCE! TIME! STUPIDITY! Three dangerous primal elements that mankind toys with at its peril! Witness a future where science is so advanced that time travel is common! So common in fact, that common, stupid children are allowed access to its wonders!! It's fucked-upper than a soup sandwich! It's a PLANETARY ERROR!!

Smooth move, Space-Lax. Of course, the School District bears some responsibility too, I suppose. To quote Seymour Skinner, "God bless the man who invented permission slips". Paular-Nine went on to fade from view, his existence having been negated by his own actions!

Next, They thought him mad, but Karl Crowder knew the secrets of the fleas, and therefore, the secrets of...the TINY WORLD:

Okay, I'm sorry, but that just does not compute. It's too bad that Flea circus owners exert such a stranglehold on the scientific community. OH WAIT, THEY DON'T. My goodness, this is a motley assortment of stories isn't it? I need more robo-hooch to keep this up, if Professor Tompkins BITCH SISTER din't hide it again!

DOOK DOOK DOOK... Much better!

Finally, we enter a DOORWAY TO THE FUTURE...and boredom!

Beware mysterious doors, reader, for they might lead to tedious paperwork...IN THE FUTURE!

Well, my diodes are cracked. I have to be going anyway, to get Professor Tompkin's dinner in the oven, that is if his BITCH SISTER doesn't try to have me deprogrammed again! Er, that is...BLAST OFF, space cadets!

"Planetary Error" published in Marvel Boy #2, 1951
"The Tiny World" published in Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #2, 1957
"Doorway to the Future" published in Frankenstein Comics #33, 1954
Creators unknown in all cases.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Again With the Doom Patrol

I’m a total mark for the Doom Patrol, as well as being a Metal Men fan and a Keith Giffen fan, so the upcoming Doom Patrol comic, with its Metal Men co-feature, why its like they made a comic just for me. Scattered childhood Doom Patrol sightings via reprints sustained my interest in the squabbling band of freaks, and Grant Morrison’s work with Richard Case on the book in the early 1990’s is still counted among my all-time favorite comics runs. It got a bit too crazy for me after the book switched to Vertigo, and two subsequent series had their charms, but never quite caught on with a large enough audience to last for long. So DC is going back for yet another try with the original group, while maintaining that everything “happened", somehow:

But things don't look to good for the Byrne era holdovers, frankly. I don’t expect the new stories to be as weird as the old, but I hope that Giffen maintains the sick and wrong relationship between the Chief and his merry band of misfits, given the dysfunctional dynamic that was established previously. I also hope we eventually see some of the other, odder members show up. Dare I suggest a Crazy Jane cameo at least? And hey, if anybody else could write Mister Nobody...! I'm not familiar with Matthew Clark, but his art for this looks quite nice.

Co-featuring the Metal Men with art by Kevin Maguire is a stroke of genius, too, given the oddball nature of the two teams. Maguire can’t keep up with a monthly book, but a backup feature should be more his speed. I notice that they kinda quietly switched back to the softer, human faces for the robots. Good. Between the two, I'm all over this.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Red Hulk Revealed?

UPDATED 7/23/09

WARNING: Contains speculative SPOILERS about upcoming Incredible Hulk storylines!

My Red Hulk theory proved to be quite a popular feature for Again With the Comics, generating dozens of comments, alternate nutzo theories, and lots of traffic. Well, when I made my guess as to big Red's secret, I had no idea we'd still be wondering over a year later! Now it looks like we may be finally finding out who the Red Hulk is, in the upcoming Incredible Hulk #600:


Huh. Well, why not Spider-Man? No one else has been inclined to clear up the big mystery, so the web-head may as well pop up out of nowhere to do it. Problem is, If I'm right about the Red Hulk's identity being Glenn Talbot, Spidey probably won't even recognize the guy! Of course, at this point, the only real in in-story suspect is Clay Quartermain, kind of, as both General Ross and Doc Samson have appeared alongside "Rulk" in the story. But then Quartermain was never portrayed as having any particular grudge against the Hulk or Banner. Even when he was hunting the Hulk, it was often with Rick Jones at his side, and with the intent of helping Banner, not killing the Hulk. So even if it does end up being Clay, I'd cry foul on characterization. At any rate, Glenn Talbot hasn't been mentioned at all yet, so who knows if I'll end up being right? We'll see soon enough, I guess.

UPDATE: OR NOT. Psyche! Incredible Hulk #600 revealed nothing, but there was MODOK, and an unnamed, pencil-thin-mustached guy standing around with General Ross who could be Talbot, but who knows? The guy didn't say or do anything. Obviously, Marvel wants to milk this "mystery" for all its worth, so they may never say who Red Hulk is. Guess who doesn't even care anymore?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Again With the Comics Triple Action!

Today marks three long, long years since Again With the Comics made its dubious debut in the comics blogosphere! When I started all this, I had no idea how long I'd be able to sustain it, but here we are, three years old, and somewhat less completely irrelevant than we were before! The last year has seen AWtC exceed one million page views and pass half a million unique visits, which proves that lots of people will read anything if its free. I still enjoy babbling away here, so if you're all game, lets try for a year four.

I'm all about being "green", so how about some recycling? Here are a few highlights from the last year of Again With the Comics:

Hometown Triple-A Baseball Heroes Meet Murderous Marvel Comics Lunatics!
AWtC Rips the Lid off the Civil War/Secret Invasion Conspiracy!
Before his coming Red Circle debut, read An Open Letter from the Web to J. Michael Straczynski!
The Hulk Juggles Circus Animals While Posing as a Robot Clown!
Not long ago, one man had a dream... a dream of Corpses...Coast To Coast!
We've recently met J. Jonah Jameson Senior, but what about the guy who raised Jonah?
The Fire Apes Skulk Forward...And Death Is Abroad!
This wasn't a real official comic book blog until I made fun of Star Trek/X-men!
Speaking of X-Men, this post about the Best Alternate Future Wolverine Ever got interesting/disappointing in the comments, where we found that X-Men can make even the simplest one off gag insanely confusing, given enough time and pages!
I officially apologize for my Krypto obsession, but I can't swear it won't happen again!

Thanks for reading, folks! Check back for more comics and comic-related accessories!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Incorrigible Hulk Lives!

Hey look! All my bitching and moaning about Peter Bagge's long-shelved Incorrigible Hulk story finally paid off! Well, either that, or Marvel decideed it was time to print this one and get it off the damn books already, and my pissant little blog had nothing to do with it. Either way, Marvel's Max imprint brings the long awaited tale to print in September, in Strange Tales #1-3. More from Marvel's PR:

Just what does Peter Bagge have planned in “The Incorrigible Hulk”, a story so incredible that we had to serialize it over all three issues? Will Spider-Man make it out alive of Jason’s thrilling story? This first issue comes wrapped in a marvel-ous cover by Paul Pope and Jose Villarubia!

“Flat out, this is the apex of human artistic achievement. This is it. The end. The crowning result of tens of millions of years of evolution, right here, in three packed-to-the-gills issues,” said Editor John Barber. “The philosophy of the book was to have these creators from ‘indy’ or ‘alternative’ or “literary” or ‘art’ comics come in and do what they do best. I think Marvel readers will really dig seeing radically different versions of their favorite characters, and the fans of these cartoonists will get to see the creators work in a milieu they never thought they’d get to see. It’s win-win. It’s really the best of both worlds.”

Editor Jody LeHeup added, “This book is a metric ton of solid gold awesome. The talent we’ve got lined up are without hyperbole some of the greatest creative minds working in comics today. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a Spider-Man story by Jason? Or an Iron man story by Tony Millionaire? Or anything by any of the contributors we’ve got attached to the project? I’ve been reading independent comics my whole life and I’ve always wanted to see what those creators could do with Marvel characters if they were given free reign to tell their stories. Well, now that visions becoming a reality and I can’t tell you what an incredibly special thing it is to see the final result. If you’re a fan of comics of any school, do yourself a favor and pick this up.”



DC did a similar project a few years back, the fine Bizzaro Comics Volumes 1 and 2, (fine, though they suffered a bit from an odd editorial edict that no contributor could both write and draw their stories). The MAX project has no such restrictions, so I expect to enjoy the final product that much more. Aside from the Bagge Hulk story, I eagerly await "an Iron Man story by Tony Millionaire", for example.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Sensual Aunt May!

FAIR WARNING: Possibly NSFW, Definitely Not Safe For SANITY.

Dear Peter:
I'm sending you this letter because I know what a sensitive boy you are and I don't want to frighten you in person. I know you're still shaken after finding me and J.Jonah Jameson Senior "getting it on" recently, but surely you knew that your Aunt May is a grown woman with needs and desires of her own, didn't you dear?

Why, I've always been a randy old girl, Peter. When I wasn't making you Wheat cakes, I was makin' bacon with your Uncle Ben, Lord rest his soul. After Ben passed, I thought nothing would fill the void so to speak, until I met dear, dear Willie Lumpkin. Oh, I don't think you knew about my first torrid affair with Dear Willie. It was about three weeks after we buried Ben, and I met him right after he applied for Fantastic Four membership.

Oh, that ear-wiggling devil sweet talked me right into his mail sack! And let me tell you, Peter dear, those ears aren't the only part that wiggles! ;-) You're a grown man now Peter, and you're old enough to know that Doctor Octopus, Nathan Lubensky, Willie Lumpkin (the third time) and that well-endowed but nonetheless horrible creature who was posing as that nice Mister Jarvis were just the tip the May Parker sexberg.

Yes, my dear Peter, that first torrid, sweaty affair with Willy was the first of many, many many, secret sexcapades you were never privy to! This might be a good time to take a break, drink a peptic bromide and settle your nerves, dear.

I hope you feel better Peter, and realize I am only telling you this out of love. As I was saying, in some ways, I dealt with Ben's death by taking many lovers into my boudoir, including the Vulture, the Tinkerer, the Ancient One, Captain Stacy, Anna Watson, the Real Jarvis, Baron Mordo, that nice Mister Robertson, Nick Fury AND Dum-Dum Dugan, Agatha Harkness, and oh, so many others!

Unfortunately, in my passion, I often forgot about my weak heart, hence all the heart attacks I've had over the years. Yes, my nephew, I'm sorry to tell that my poor health was mostly my own fault, what with all the wild boning and screwing. I certainly hope that was never too much of an inconvenience for you!

My physical health has improved over the years, but now my memory is getting unreliable. I keep trying to remember why I was living in Avengers Tower. Did I move in with Edwin? But why were you and Mary Jane also living there? Oh yes, I remember now! You were posing as Spider-Man! Why did you do that, Peter? That was so dangerous for all of us, it finally ended my sex life for good. Well except for Jarvis, of course. Then HE ended up being some sort of monster from space. After that, there's so much I cannot remember, but all I know is that I want to slow down and marry the best man I've known since Ben.

Peter Parker, I am going to marry J. Jonah Jameson Senior. I'm going to settle down with one wonderful man who loves the real me, and yet is still very flexible and up for some light bondage. There's just one last conquest I want to make, before I put my swinging days behind me forever. I've had my eye on one elusive young man for quite some time, and I think you might be able to introduce us, if it doesn't make you too uncomfortable. Peter, could you possibly introduce me to that hunky young Spider-Man? There's a stack of wheat cakes in it for you!

With Love - Aunt May

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Web of Woeful Spider-Man Foes

Speaking of Backwards Men, DROM, THE BACKWARDS MAN makes for a better sci-fi short story subject than a super-villain. For reasons unknown, Drom's infant self was swapped with his elderly body moments after birth, leading to a backwards-speaking, backwards-aging supervillain, who basically only had life-energy draining powers at his disposal and an arsenal consisting of special machinery to translate his gibberish and to process his food. He also has a magic mirror that does nothing save be utterly essential to Drom's survival, and extremely easy to smash, in that order. Which, given this is Marvel Team-Up, and not Antique Mirror Fancier it eventually, inevitably, is. The most forgettable villain in Spidey's history is literally forgotten after he devolves to infancy, then nothingness. Drom's first and only appearance was in Marvel Team-Up #13.

Who started out as a henchman for the Kingpin? Who does kingpin still consider his worst henchman ever, even worse than Turk? Who was given his powers by ubiquitous Marvel Universe Mad Scientist Dr.Harlan Stillwell? Who was genetically engineered to spontaneously generate whatever superpower he needed to deal with a given situation? Who squandered that awesome power being the lamest most generic villain ever? Who has a giant white phallic symbol pointing at his groin? Who has a girly wee tassle atop his pointy purple head? Who should NOT be allowed to dress himself ever, ever again?? Who is a response to a question no one asked?? THE ANSWER, that's who!

Speaking of which, answers were in short supply during the much-reviled FACADE "saga" in which much was made of the identity of the armored mystery man. Longtime Peter Parker rival Lance Bannon was killed by Facade, and an elaborate mystery was built around his identity, with suspects ranging from J. Jonah Jameson, to John Jameson, to some business guy nobodies introduced during the story's beginning. It doesn't matter, because Spider-Man fought Facade, the armor was destroyed, and a shadowy figure slipped away, vowing to return. The mystery of Facade was never solved and never addressed again, with the infamous Clone Saga taking over the Spider Man spotlight soon after. Who knows, maybe Facade was another Spider-Man clone, lowering the bar for the clone suckage to come.