The series that grips the nation, unkillable like Jason, returns once again. Yes, not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary story returns again, and this time we're on issue four "From Dragon-Man to Gypsy Moth," and if you said "Who and who, now?" you would be very right to do so. All this and out first guest entry does me a solid by sparing me one talking about the Elders of the Universe one more goddamned time. I really appreciate that because, and I say this with all candor, the Elder of the Universe suck a full bag of dicks. A full bag.
DRAGON MAN--So, if you're a scientist in the Marvel Universe, some day soon you're just going to create out of fucking nowhere an egg-headed dragon wearing underpants. It's the law of averages or something. Dragon Man is . . .well, he flies around. Burninating. Burninating the country side, burninating the peasants and their THATCHED ROOF COTTAGES!!!
DREADKNIGHT--I swear to God, Dreadknight had probably appeared more often in Marvel Handbooks than he ever has in the comics. The most recent time I saw him (besides the Iron Man cartoon like 16 years ago or whatever) The Dreadknight was basically the old bad-guy Black Knight with a new coat of paint, this was part of an intermittent initiative on the part of Marvel where they created a character adapted from an old one (like when the Hobgoblin came around because they didn't want to bring the Green Goblin back . . .not that they didn't anyway) which was a pretty cool way to create a new character without having to saddle them as the direct replacement for another hero. None of this worked for the Dreadknight, so why am I ranting about it here?
DREADNOUGHT--When HYDRA or the comic book Mafia needs muscle, they turn to the Dreadnoughts, big powerful robots that most every superhero worth a damn can shred the same way you and I can destroy a Kleenex with a bad head cold and a good blow.
ELDERS OF THE UNIVERSE [written by Special Guest Star Chris Elam!]--While these write-ups have done an excellent job of beating these guys with a lead pipe in their individual entries, I just want to point out how impressed I am that SOMEONE decided to gather together a bunch of second-rate characters and make them into a "race" hinged on the high concept that they are eccentric old men...FROM SPACE. What I'm trying to say is that we were this close to seeing Howard Hughes as a cosmic villain dubbed "The Hider".
ELECTRO--Maxwell Dillon was a lineman for the county, and he drove the main roads. Then, while searching in the sun for another overload, he got jolted with electricity, put a starfish on his face, and decided to spend the rest of his life pestering Spider-Man, because Maxwell Dillon is a man with big powers and small plans.
ELEKTRA--Oh God, Frank Miller's trend toward weird bodily dysmorphism is starting. Elektra's head is far too huge for her body and half her body is crosshatched like Rob Liefeld had a go at it after eating an entire 8-ball. Anyways, Elektra has recently gone from being dead to getting better, as we see from the shot beneath the main pic, where she's being felt up by ninjas. Really, we shoulda known long ago how weird Frank Miller was.
ENCHANTRESS--Asgard's original hoochie-mama, Amora the Enchantress, spent most of her existence pestering Thor, cock-blocking the Executioner, and finally slutting around with Thor when Warren Ellis wrote the book and he was dressing like He-Man. God, that sucked.
ENFORCER--Arn Anderson, master of the gourdbuster and right hand man to the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair . . .oh wait, this is the other one. It matters absolutely not at all because in about a year and a half, the Enforcer gets to be the first victim of the Scourge and gets his sorry ass deaded.
ETERNALS--Dear God, do I have to? The Eternals aren't very interesting, not that Neil Gaiman didn't try. Anyways, all you really need to know about the Eternals is that it was Jack Kirby's way of filing off the serial numbers on his New Gods stuff and taking it with him when he moved over to Marvel again.
ETERNITY--When you think about it, the sheer amount of cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe means the existence of every man woman and child is an existential nightmare, because the MU, like every corporate structure is full of vice presidents, all of which have their own little feifdoms and no one has any real power. Thus, Eternity, the embodiment of everything, is not an actual wielder of power but attracts attention away from where power is actually held. Much like Zaphod Beeblebrox.
EXECUTIONER--You know, I never realized it until now, but The Executioner has the same hairstyle as Hawk from the Road Warriors.
FALCON--The Falcon used to call himself "Snap." I like to think he stopped because people kept walking up behind him and yelling "I'VE GOT THE POWER!" all the time. I can see how that would make someone want to hurt somebody and change their name.
FANTASTIC FOUR--Reed Richards is a cheap fucking date. Really, that's how all this mess got started: "Honey, don't you want to take a ride on my rocket?" "Oh Reed! I've been waiting for you to say that for years!" "Oh, Johnny and Ben can come along too." " . . .what?"
FANTASTIC FOUR POGO PLANE--You know, given Reed Richards' record when it comes to safety violations, I wouldn't ride on a bicycle with the man. Needless to say when it comes to aircraft, like B.A. Baracus, I ain't gettin' on no plane.
FANTASTICAR--"Look, it's a jet isn't it?" "No, it's the Fantasticar." "But you've got jets right here on the sides. It's not a car at all." "Yeah, but I've got wheels, too." "But we never drive anywhere! We always use the jets!" "SHUT THE FUCK UP, JOHNNY!"
FANTASTIC FOUR HEADQUARTERS--Because of course, New York realtors can find you some office space with a convenient rocket tube on the side of the building. Most places you can't even find a laundry room.
FIREBIRD--HOLY SHIT WHY ARE YOU MAGENTA? Anyways, Firebird was apparently tied in to the Phoenix thing before someone thought better of it and then they made her part of the hick Avengers team the Rangers, and then she got religion and really, she shouldn't be coloured magenta, she's Hispanic for God's sake.
FIRELORD--Like the McFly family, no one from Xandar has ever amounted to anything, and Firelord is no different. He's one of the heralds of Galactus that shows up to get beat on so the person beating them up and get some "heat." Unfortunately, since barely anyone who doesn't drink deeply of the draught of continuity backwater knows who he is, half his dialogue is all "I AM A HERALD OF GALACTUS" which is supposed to establish his cred, but more often than not makes me wonder more about Galactus' decision-making skills when it comes to manpower.
FIXER--Bob Barker's secret identity. He spays and neuters your pets when you're not looking.
FLY--Okay, if I'm planning on making myself a Spider-Man villain (which, let's be honest, doesn't require that much) I would damn sure not pick the one thing I know spiders eat. It's like going up to people with a sign that says "Please Beat The Shit Out Of Me" in Comic Sans.
FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER--I like how the Frankenstien's Monster is walking jauntily here. It's like he's boogie-ing out of the book and into blissful obscurity, which is pretty much exactly what happened.
FROG-MAN--In order to redeem his father's criminal activities, Frog-Man dressed like a frog, and called himself the Fabulous Frog-Man. I have a feeling this kind of thing happens all the time in the Marvel Universe. "Yes father, I shall become a marmoset and avenge the night."
GALACTUS--It's time to get real--Galactus is a loser. Oh sure, he's gigantic and has a big head and supposedly eats planets, but he hardly ever gets to eat planets. Unicron managed to eat like, one planet and two moons in one movies time. Also, he was a robot who ate planets and transformed into a planet . . .to sneak up on them, I suppose? Anyways, Unicron wins and Galactus is a punk ass bitch who says he eats planets, but hardly ever does. Fucking poser.
GALACTUS' HERALDS--And let's talk about Galactus' hiring practices. Using a slightly less comprehensive vetting process than the one girls in sixth grade use when they drop that "Do you like me? check one ____yes _____no" note, Galactus has an unerring ability to search the entire universe for people who will, almost immediately, turn on his ass the minute they have the Power Cosmic. In this, he is very much the Vince McMahon to their Stone Cold Steve Austin, constantly getting kicked in the balls and getting the Stone Cold Stunner and having the nerve to look surprised every god damned time.
GARDENER [Featuring Special Guest Star The Iron Sheik!] --
GARGOYLE--One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled. It was a time of darkness, a world of fear, it was the age of Gargoyles . . .oh, wait this is the geriatric who turned into a demon and stayed with the Defenders. In his entry it says that he got Gargoyled up by "dabbling in the occult," as elderly folks are wont to do after they finish their crossword puzzles.
GIERRODUR--One of Dethklok's more underrated albums, I thought.
GLORIAN--Glorian is the apprentice of the Shaper of Worlds, and their whole relationship (plus Glorian's predilection for dressing up like Kid Icarus) makes me wonder if his apprenticeship didn't begin with the Shaper pulling up in a white van and offering him candy.
GORGON--Gorgon is a member of the Royal Family of the Inhumans, which puts him in the same level as America's founding fathers. And like the founding fathers the Inhumans are some slaveholding motherfuckers. Gorgon has little to do with that, but it was either perpetuate the meme or talk about his dainty little donkey feet.
GRANDMASTER--Like his fellow cosmic being and punk-ass bitch Galactus the Grandmaster fancies himself the ultimate gamesman. And of course, he loses pretty much all the time. That's not to say he's a complete failure (even though he is) but it would help if you're going to make something your one thing, it would be a good idea to be, y'know, good at it.
GRAVITON--Oh I loved this thing at the state fair, especially because they always blasted "Children of the Sun" through the sound system and if anyone tried to spit it went back in their . . .oh, wait, this is the guy in the disco collar who controls gravity. They've sort of made the fact that he's godlike but underachieving his thing, now. On the other hand, he got to destroy most of New York City in the first few episodes of the new Avengers cartoon, which is amazingly high-profile for him.
GREY GARGOYLE--Now, here in Manhattan, THE SPELL IS BROKEN, AND WE LIVE AGAIN! The Grey Gargoyle actually has nothing to do with that. That said, Gargoyles was a cool ass show, wasn't it? Anyways, the Grey Gargoyle is a French dude who learned he could turn himself to stone by wanking off, and decided to become a super-villain, just like your Mom said would happen if you jerked it too much.
GRIM REAPER--Completely twisted over the idea that his brother (the utterly milquetoast Wonder Man) the Grim Reaper decided the best way to get back at a world which was clearly playing a cruel joke on him, put antlers on his head and decide to go all Sling Blade on the world. Not that he wasn't provoked.
GUARDIAN--For all we talk about Canadians being mellow, well-adjusted people, consider the case of Guardian. Nailed his boss's underage secretary, stole the experimental power armor he'd been making for an oil company ("zapping shit" being the new "deep water drilling" I guess) taking Wolverine into his house during Logan's Run Around The Boonies Naked As A Jaybird Tour '78 and eventually parlaying this into forming Alpha Flight, Canada's greatest superhero team not featuring Mr. Canoehead. This would soon lead to Guardian getting himself blown up, then impersonated by a robot tranny, then alive again, then replaced by a 19 year old clone and I'm bored as hell of talking about Guardian now.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY--I have nothing of consequence to say about the Guardians of the Galaxy. I will say, however, their spaceship is the ugliest kitbash of the Starship Enterprise I've ever seen.
GUARDSMAN--Here's a period-relevant reference for you: If Iron Man is the full-price version of an armoured superhero, the Guardsman is the knockoff you buy at Zayre because you have a week left before payday. Eventually the Guardsman armor gets mass-produced and they become the starting line for the federal government, which ends up working as well as every other time they've tried this (see the Mandroids)
GYPSY MOTH--To be Spider-Woman's arch-nemesis doesn't take a lot of ambition. So leave it to Sybil Dvorak, possessor of the power to control fabric to dress up -again-like something a spider eats and hassle a perfectly good super-hero. Later she changes her name to Skein in an effort annoy my spell-checker and also to join the Thunderbolts so she can bang Songbird. Not exactly Batwoman, is she?
YO, BITCH--SOME ALIENS!
FOMALHAUTI--There's really nothing I can say about aliens that look like big blobs of spunk without saying they look like big blobs of spunk, and as I understand it, the 7 readers don't like it when I "work blue."
FROMA--Oh, THESE guys. The Froma were named "Edam" and "Gouda." I would venture that other members of their race include "Danish Finbo" and "Venezeulan Beaver Cheese."
GLX--Responsible for creating Z-list Hulk villains Hammer and Anvil, the Glx have big flat heads that look like waffle grids. Neither of these make for particularly distinctive things to talk about, if I'm honest.
GRAMOSIANS--"Years ago, Gramos' magnetic polarity changed . . .which caused mass insanity and death. Normalcy was restored by the debris of Xorr the God-Jewel." Oh, well--everything's handled then. That's great!
GRUNDS--I could easily have skipped the aliens, but I would have missed out on the Grunds--3'2" aliens whose only representative as "Grott, The Man-Slayer." This is truly everything I adore about comics, lemme tell ya.
GUNA--"Grott the Man-Slayer." I'm still laughing about that. I'd love to be able to put "Man-Slayer" on my resume.
HORUSIANS--I like that there are aliens who go around impersonating long-discarded human gods. That's just hilarious, especially if they land in the wrong place. "REJOICE! BA'AL HAS RETURNED!" "That's great and all, but this is Canada."
INTERDITES--The only Interdite I've ever seen basically showed up long enough to tell Warlock he was going to die dead dead dead, so as near as I can figure, their sole purpose appears to be to be real fucking killjoys.
And that's it for this time! Come back for a heaping helping of fun next time, wherein we go from "Hangman to The Juggernaut, Bitch!" It'll be coming at you soon with music and fun and you may learn something before it's done. HEY HEY HEY!