Monday Haiku

The cool blue ocean

Cannot calm his hot temper

Amphibious REX!

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Dream Team

The time has come once again to walk down the hall of mighthavebeen and look out of the window to the fields of neverwill with this installment of Dream Team.

This go round, we’re not looking at a title so much as a super team within a title. This one is going to read more like a fantasy football roster.

It’s a little known fact that I enjoy Marvel’s Defenders. The premise appeals to me more than the line-up: a group of heroes who don’t really like eachother or know each other that well get together infrequently to stop extinction level events.

Sure, this is how most teams start out. The beauty is that the Defenders never go on to gel as a team. There’s no headquarters, no signal, no symbol, no table that everyone sits around…nothing. It’s the team your dad would put together if he needed help working in the yard one weekend. Anyone helping out is there because they didn’t have anything better to do. And so help me, I love ’em for it.

So who do I put on this farm team for the Avengers? While the “membership” grew over time, I’m going to contain myself to the original format of only four members.

1. The Punisher. To say that Frank Castle is not a team player is like saying that Chris Claremont is a little wordy, but that’s the general idea of The Defenders. From a story telling point of view, I like the idea of the Punisher on the team because he’d add a twisted fish out of water spin. He’s also really good at improvising in a pinch. So what that he relies on guns and explosives? You’re facing the Punisher and he just ran out of ammo? Don’t stop to gloat. Sure as anything his next move is to fuck your shit up with whatever is at hand…even if it’s your hand.

2. Hank Pym. How this loser is still an Avenger is beyond me. He shrinks; he grows; he whines; he creates robots bent on killing him and his friends, and yet he’s been on practically every roster of the team. Being this much of a gomer is automatic nomination to Defenders for me. Besides, every team needs a science guy.

3. Namor. He helped get the ball rolling with the original team. Why is he a Defender? Being an Avenger is too much drama; Reed won’t let him near the FF; and Atlantis pretty much runs itself. I’d like to see him teamed with Pym. Imagine the boundless insults and slurs. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got his own army and is really strong.

4. Rounding out the roster is Valkyrie. She’s got history with the team. She’s got a great costume, a sword, and a winged horse. A WINGED HORSE.

That’s my Defenders team. The book I read when I dream at night. Enjoy comics tomorrow.

Namor … Secrets!

These ankle wings aren't just for flying...They're also for the ladies.

namor

Namor was referring to himself in the third person twenty years before Doom was a twinkle in Stan Lee's bloodshot eye! DOOM!!!

namor

Atlantis lost their bid for the 2012 Olympics because 99% of the competitors wouldn't be able to breathe underwater. Pussies.

namor

Of course we left Aquaman on a reef in the air to die! Wouldn't you?

Boxers, briefs, and commando

Since my three exciting days in costume at the San Diego Comic Con this year, I’ve been thinking a great deal about costumes, their design (both from the artist’s and the character’s p.o.v.), and functionality (Incredibles pegged it right: capes are a pain).

The biggest mystery remaining is the briefs on the outside that some heroes wear. Why? But more importantly why do heroes that survived the Golden Age intact uniformly wear these?


Superman invented them, Batman’s got them, so do Spectre, Captain America, and Namor.

Why? From an artist’s stand point it does a couple of things.

a. breaks up large areas of a single color. Think about when they briefly revamped Batman back in the 90’s sans briefs. There was too much gray, and the inkers were placing shadow there anyway. The fight was lost and Batman regained his dignity.

b. conveniently gets rid of the need to draw even the hint of the old twig and berries.

But as Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent why? When they were cobbling these outfits together why?

I’m willing to concede that modesty might have played a factor. A sports cup would have achieved the same goal.

A friend pointed out that in Superman’s case his mother designed the costume after Kryptonian fashions. They’re aliens and culturally underwear is worn on the outside.

In Namor’s case, it makes sense. He’s a swimmer and needs to weigh less and not create much drag.

I don’t know why for the other characters, but I have noticed that those with the extra layer seemed to have fared better in the void between the Golden Age and the Silver Age. With the exception of Hawkman, all of the DC characters that received a revamp didn’t wear briefs. By the 50’s they didn’t need them either. Flash didn’t sport them, neither did GL. The Silver Age wasn’t so worried about modesty I guess.

Any thoughts? I think I’ve spent too much time thinking about this.