W.I.L.M.C.

Everything I Love About Marvel Comics in Just Two Panels

 So, this is going to sounds like shameless plugging for Marvel.com, but I do love digital comics, especially as they allow me to time-travel back to the golden age. And, this Friday was no exception.

Skimming through the online release of Incredible Hulk #111, I found a two-panel sequence that perfectly encapsulates the  absolute “comic bookiness” I love about the Marvel U. I know realism is all the rage, but my lifelong love of comics was founded on the wild abandon with which Stan, Jack, Steve and the whole family created their colorful world. And, here it is … “Bring forth the Titan Time Probe!”

time probe

OMG. I love it. The hamminess. The schlock. The unbridled imagination and utter disregard for common sense. That is a sentence that can only be uttered and believed in the world of a comic book.

 And, what is the purpose of the Titan Time Probe? Why to compute the identity of the unknown victim-to-be, of course! And, apparently the robotic probe is a “he!” And, “he” just happens to look like a low-rent lunar lander from an episode of Jon Pertwee-era Doctor Who. And, lest we forget, “he” is the only “he” who can bring forth the victim … the all-important unknown victim-to-be!

Oh, Stan … I just love you for this. 

I continued to read and found 10 more things I love about Marvel comics on glorious display in just one little issue of the Hulk. Join me, please … 

Shakespearean Language

The totally dramatic turns of phrase in Stan’s writing. We get “naught” on two consecutive pages …

naughtb

A Little Dash of Irony

Here, we have a man raised in a land of dinosaurs standing next to his best friend, a sabre-toothed tiger … in Antarctica … in a loin cloth … and apparently unfazed by sub-zero temperatures. But, the fact that the tracks just end … now, THAT … that’s just MADNESS, my friends. 

kazar

Language Defying Sound Effects

Forget for a moment that there’s no noise in space … “Sptoo00m!” Let’s face it, “Sptooom” would have sucked. But, the fourth “O” really makes the magic. The issue also gives us a “Rbthoom!”, a “Zzask!” and, no lie, a “Skrazzzskkkk!”

fx1

Buckets of Dramatic Gesticulating

There’s more dramatic gesturing in this issue than an episode of “Glee.” But, who can blame the bad guys? I mean, releasing the main lever so “it” can “begin” is pretty fucking important.

P.S. Is it me, or does the lever look like the gear shift of a Scion?

lever

Understandable Character Motivation

The Hulk is completely shredding the aliens in this issue. He’s trapped in outer space. He doesn’t know where he is. Hoe doesn’t know how he’ll get home. But, it is absolutely IMPERATIVE he discover the identities of exactly who’s doing this to him. Because then, and only then, he can correctly administer them a jolly good rodgering.

hulk pointing

The Villanous Bitch-Slap

To be a truly proper villan, you must regularly backhand your subordinates. That’s like a law or something. I mean, they just won’t respect you if you don’t. If you can’t deliver a really impactful, mid-evil-trantrum bitch-slap, you’re not going to be promoted. Just give it up and go work as “Flunkie #12″ in HYDRA.

bitch-slap

 Psuedo-Science 101

Okay, this is a species capable of building a “Titan Time Probe” capable of locating an unknown victim-to-be, which we all know is, like, really, really hard. But, they are totally mystified by how the Hulk can lift the scanner in one hand … in space. Umm … there’s no gravity, so it’s weightless?!?! Just saying …

gravity

The Big Reveal

The Hulk is ready for the “Big Boss” (as are funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung) … and it’s apparently an enormous, radioactive space amoeba … with vampire teeth. It’s apparently upwardly mobile as it has risen from single-celled organism to being the supreme space lord. It’s the American dream, bless its heart. Oh, wait … it doesn’t have a heart.

Best of all … we are promised that this story will soon be “Hulk-inued” next month. And, after all, isn’t that the single most important promise a comic can make to a reader?

VampireAmoeba

And, a little Extra Credit

I didn’t qualify to take AP physics, but I don’t think Ka-Zar and Zabu made it …

kazar jump

3 Responses to W.I.L.M.C.

  1. highfivecomics says:

    Oh dear! I both love and hate just how danged cheeseball comics can be at times…

  2. marvelsmartass says:

    The wild abandon is what I love. There were just no boundaries of what was done … and accepted … in the 60s. It’s why I LOVE that era in DC, too. Metal Men. Metamorpho. Ultra-The Multi-Alien.

    I enjoy the full spectrum (ahem … blackest night) of reality and unreality in comics. But, there will always be a place in my heart of those characters and situations that can only really live on multicolored newsprint.

  3. This is a brilliant analysis. I’m always blown away when I go back and read classic collection TPBs and see how text (specifically narration)-driven the stories were in the early years. I love Stan Lee and what he did for comics, but I don’t think he could have survived a single panel without a yellow box of description full of over-the-top adjectives.

    Also, I feel like Ka-Zar is going to pull the patented Super Mario World Yoshi-Dump-To-Stay-Alive maneuver on Zabu. Glad Ka-Zar knows his video games. Zabu probably isn’t quite as glad though.

    Great breakdown.

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