Gather to me! Hear my words! I, Jason Cragg, speak truth! Truth! – The Voice
Journey Into Marvel – Part 85
Extremites, Ant-Man stories are haphazard and make little sense. Hank is unlikable. He’s reclusive. He’s quick to anger and downright abusive. Today’s story pits cold, uncouth Ant-Man against an antagonist who’s power is his radioactive charisma. It shows that Ant-Man is never going to be a darling of the public. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 80
A building rising in the air and then vanishing! People losing their memory for no physical reason! It smacks of supernatural mischief…and that smacks of the god of evil, my old enemy…Loki!
Extremites, like most western fiction the comic’s roots lie in campfire stories. Religious stories, mythologies, and legends all descend from these roots. One of the recurring archetypes that comes out of these traditions is the vice character. I have brought him up before in this series; think Satan or any crux character that coaxes the hero to act against his or her nature. Thor, based out of Norse myth, is the closest Marvel line to these roots. It’s right that his line has the strongest and most obvious vice character in Loki. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 73
Extremites, Johnny Storm is a jerk. It’s official.
Since I started reading the Fantastic Four, I’ve concluded that the Four’s weakness is their egos. Whenever a villain wants to destroy the Four, all he or she need do is appeal to their arrogance. This tactic works well with Ben Grimm, sometimes Reed, but is most successful with Torch. Torch is a bully.
Carl Zante, the Acrobat — the villain of this issue — is a pretentious bonkers cartoon of a man. He has a thick Tony Stark moustache, a gaudy Cruella DeVille cigarette — complete with holder — and a beret. Honest to God, a beret. I love Lieber’s villains. They always have such panache and what they lack in depth is made up in star power.
Remember, that secret identity Johnny maintains in Glenville (Strange Tales issues) but doesn’t even mention in New York (Fantastic Four issues)? The writers put an end to that discrepancy. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 69
Extremites, I was thinking about Batman. The concept of a mortal superhero is ingenious. Batman is full of the flaws of humanity yet he can challenge any mortal or extra skilled foe. He can face a human antagonist like the Riddler and an extra-human like Ra’s Al Ghul.
When it comes to Superman, his antagonists must be more powerful to pose a threat to the Kryptonian. Lex Luthor, begins as a billionaire with an endless supply of resources and over time morphs into a superhuman cyborg just to keep up with Kal’El. At Marvel, Thor, a god, has this same problem. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 68
Extremites, I am once again confused as to why Human Torch is considered not only a hero but one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. He’s a prideful, arrogant, and rude character that has more in common with the villains he is defending humanity from than the heroes that are watching his back.
Journey Into Marvel – Part 60
Extremite, American sensibility is said to be different from the rest of the world because it elevates practicality over theory. Americans do things and Non-Americans think things. Although, I dislike this just on the grounds of generalization, I can see what and where this idea comes from.
What does any of this have to do with comics? Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 59
Extremites, they’re back. Stan Lee’s favourite punching bags. The sign that the writers were strapped for time. Those monsters that appose everything that the US stands for and therefore Marvel. Those disgusting malevolent Reds!
Journey Into Marvel – Part 56
Extremites, Ant-Man since his creation has felt like a pathetic attempt to get readers. From his early character changes to the lack of decent storylines Tales to Astonish was a sea if character discrepancies and unpleasantness. Ant-Man was Marvel’s afterthought. After the creatives had made great stories for all the rest of the titles, they (usually Stan) devoted little time to creating a compelling issue for Hank. This is once again shown in today’s issue.
Today’s issue is yet again another character redefinition for Hank Pym. Stan Lee often moulded character definition to fall in line with fan feedback. Although, this openness to suggestion would lead to a creative blossoming unseen anywhere else in comic book history, it also created — in the first few issues of any character’s tenure— an environment of incoherent discontinuity. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 54
Extremites, we forget that at one time the threat of nuclear war was as present as the threat of a thunder storm on a humid day. In 1962, when the world came the closest it ever came to total nuclear annihilation — during the Cuban Missile Crisis — comic books all took a dark turn. Never has this turn been more clear then in today’s Thor adventure. Journey Into Mystery #86 is full of anxiety and shows that even wild stories, about time travel and feats of strength, can be full of zeitgeist ideology. Read the rest of this entry
Journey Into Marvel – Part 51
Even two issues into his run, in the failing Strange Tales line, Stan Lee relies upon crossovers to cover the dramatic deficiencies of everybody’s favourite flamer.
The Human Torch can’t function without the other heroes. Read the rest of this entry