A Scanner Dorkly: Oct. 8
Last week, Star Sapphire took center stage in the Green Lantern / Blackest Night storyline, Black Cat continued to torment Spider-Man and the Divas continued their sashay through the Marvel Universe.
It should be no surprise, then, that with all the estrogen the theme of the week would be outfits.
They Call Them ‘Out’fits Because The Fun Ain’t About Getting ‘In’
With a cover like this, we knew we were going to be treated to Black Cat at her cheesecakiest best. And the opening passage didn’t disappoint. Having broken into a hotel room from the outside, Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy and Spider-Man enjoy a little safe sex — safety for Parker’s secret identity being the top safety concern. Thanks to the heavy drapes, the two doze in anonymity after their tryst until a pair of newlyweds try to enter their honeymoon suite. Desperately trying to apologize/escape/dress, Our Hero offers the following bit of Friendly Neighborhood Advice to the groom who is still trying to hoist his bride over the threshold:
Um… You may want to call room service before you put her on the bed, chief. Sorry. Again.
Later, after Diablo encases both lovers on solid gold, Spidey has to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Hardy:
Spider-man: … That has to be the first time I’ve ever been slipped the tongue during CPR.
Black Cat: Instinct. You can still do the chest compressions if you want.
‘I Know The Outfit Is Ridiculous, But They Make Us Wear It…’
Meanwhile, in the thrones of Blackest Night, Hal “Green Lantern” Jordan pairs with his romantic interest, Carol “Star Sapphire” Ferris to defeat some
Marvel DC Zombies. The Star Sapphire Corps is similar to the Green Lantern Corp in that they use a ring to channel a portion of the emotional spectrum. To get into the Green Lantern Corp, you must have tremendous will. Evidently, admission to the Star Sapphire squadron requires you have a tremendous bustline. And other stuff. In the heat of battle, Hal and Carol discuss the difference:
Green Lantern: And the Zamarons dragged you into this [becoming a Star Sapphire]?
Star Sapphire: Actually, I volunteered..
Lantern: You volunteered? Are you crazy?.
Star: Especially for wearing this uniform.
Lantern: You look good in purple.
Star: I know.
This ish also has a phenomenal throw-down between Mongul and Sinestro — the later of whom spends a significant amount of time getting his scarlet-hued keister kicked until:
Mongel [ready to squish Sinestro’s skull between his fingers like a ripe grape]: Do you truly believe you can pry my fingers apart.
Sinestro: No. But the rings you wear on your fingers? I designed them… Do you think me foolish enough to create something I could never control over anyone else.
Yellow rings: Override activated.
Sinestro: Losing my Corps to you was my last failure. My army is now and forever… the SINESTRO CORPS.
With with, Mongul’s stolen yellow rings fire off enough spikes to turn Mongul into a replica of the Michael Moore voodoo doll that Bill O’Reilly keeps by his bed.
Clothes Make the Man… Crazy
Thanks to his amazing power suit, Thunderbolt teammate Ghost is able to turn invisible as well as intangible. He’s able to do the same to anything he touches as well. And that’s a bonus in the crucial sword-removal business. Just ask Paladin, who got shish-kabobbed in the early pages of T’bolts #136:
Paladin: Whoa, that’s weird. It stops hurting when I’m intangible..
Ghost: Everything’s better whenyou’re intangible. Once you realize nothing’s really real… Well, it gives you perspective.
The perspective of a crazy person.
Clothes Make The Man… Delusional
Next to paste Paste Pot Pete, there are few villains in the Marvel Universe more badly in need of a major P.R. reversal than Paul “Grey Gargoyle” Duvall. Every hero reminds themselves that he went “toe-to-toe with Thor” just before they mop the floor with him. I think it’s the same way a forty-year-old wears his high school varsity jacket into the bar in his old hometown. He hasn’t done squat since throwing that winning touchdown twenty years ago, but he did throw it. And you’re going to hear about it. Again.
Here, he approaches Karla “Moonstone” Sofen about gaining membership into Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers — who, he has figured out, are all villains masquerading as heroes. And he has a bargaining chip: His team, the Lethal Legion has kidnapped Norman Osborn.
Duvall: I mean, when Zemo was forming the Thunderbolts, did I get a call? No. He took the Beetle, for God’s sake. The Fixer… The Fixer?! And that imbecile Goliath? Don’t get me started on that.
And now this fake Avengers thing? And I’m out of the loop on this, too? No, not this time. Not again. Why do you think I joined the [Lethal] Legion in the first place? To show that b*****d Osborn the error of his ways for dismissing me as —
Sofen: OK. I get it. You’re royally p****d. I get it. But now let’s see if maybe we can accommodate each other, shall we? You want in. We want Osborn back. So assuming you’re right about the Avengers… you catching my drift?
Duvall: Yes, in fact I even came prepared in case we reached an understanding. I got to thinking that maybe…
[pulling out a miniature Mjollnir] I could be your Thor.
Moonstone, of course, becomes one of a long line of women who have laughed at Duvall’s little hammer.
If The Shoe Fits…
I think my main complaint about this series is that it’s trying desperately to be the “Sex & The City” take on superhero comics — even though the writing shows precious little knowledge of the show itself or women in general. It’s like if I were asked to write a comic about something I didn’t know much about — football, for example. I’d take a bunch of keywords from the game and try to fit them into a storyline that I’m more comfortable writing. And throw in as many references to the stars of the game as possible to try to get hardcore fans associating their feeling towards their gridiron heroes with the story I’m offering them. “Maybe if I throw enough Lyle Alzado at them, they won’t notice the rest of this stuff.” I’m not saying this guy ain’t a good writer — he’s a tremendous playwright and one of the minds behind HBO’s “Big Love.” I’m just saying that this series reads as if it’s a little outside of his comfort zone.
And as such, he throws in a ubiquitous reference to the four touchstones of the Marvel Divas seres as Angelica “Firestar” Jones looks at wigs to replace the hair that chemotherapy has caused her to lose :
Over-The-Top, Gay Hairdresser: Something fun, something sassy, something a little less 1985. No offense, but we’ve come a long way since bobs. Allow me to introduce you to [motions towards four wigs] The Carrie… the Miranda… the Charlotte… and the Samantha.
They were all drawn well, but the Miranda wig was done so well, it actually sneered at every male who walked past my coffee table while I had the issue out last week. Later, Monica “Photon” Rambeau joins Black Cat and Hellcat as the three Divas wait for Jones to recover from an operation to remove her tumor. Monica and Felicia have to excuse themselves from the vigil and offer the third friend a lift.
Monica: Want a ride, Pats? And by that, I mean a cab ride; I’m not flying in these heels.
Because heels. They hurt. When you walk. And.
Hey, I’m no better. I’m not even sure if Lyle Alzado was really a football player.
Puttin’ On The Dog
I’m so bummed this series only went four issues. It was easily one of the high points in the month for me. But, happily, the creative team went out strong with the final issue. As I was telling a Bullseye cosplayer at Mid-Ohio-Con last weekend, his namesake had one of his all-time best moments in Sinister Spider-Man #4: Using two different kinds of dog as lethal weapons. It begins with Bullseye and Daken observing a public gala in honor of Venom-masquerading-as-Spidey. As the Wall Crawler is announced, the panties fly. The two hidden baddies discuss, um, strategy.
Bullseye: Left eye or right eye?
Daken: Which will be more challenging?
Bullseye: Using a yap dog? [holding a poodle aloft] Um… left eye.
Daken: Left then.
At which point, Bullseye hurls the hapless pup at Venom, impaling him with it. In the left eye.
Venom proceeds to do battle with Daken and the two city gangs who have all assembled to eviscerate him, taking them all on single handed (and one-eyed). At which point, Bullseye fires forth another volley.
Sticks embed themselves into mac “Venom” Gargan with a meaty “SHFLUP! SHFLUP! SHFLUP! SHFLUP! SHFLUP!”
At the end of the battle, Gargan removes the dog from his skull — and the little yappy poodle is still alive! Whew.
At which point, Mac tosses the pooch over his shoulder.
About four city blocks over his shoulder.
And then proceeds to find a little tail. The non-dog kind. He ends the series with this amazing riff on a classic Spider-Man monologue:
Gargan: Whatever life holds for me… I’ll never forget this one simple fact… I can get any chick in this town. This is my gift. My curse. Who am I? baby… I’m Spider-Man.