Tuesday, December 7, 2010


In 2010 a mildly insane comics blogger was sent a complete run of the Offical Handbook Of The Marvel Universe for a crime he didn't commit. Promptly escaping from a maximum security post office, he made his way to the North Carolina underground, where he started recapping them in ever more eccentric and profane posts. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you've pretty much given up all hope of resolving it and just want to talk to the guy who can successfully explain Adam Warlock killing himself using time travel, maybe you can read . . .a Kazekage post.

MANDARIN--Fuck me running, I hate the goddamned Mandarin so much. Of all the bad guys who are declared Ion Man's nemesis, somehow this cringing racial stereotype who becomes even more of a stereotype every damn time they try to fix him, I wish to fuck the Mandarin would finally get pitched in the bin with the rest of the commie supervillain holdovers and be done with him. Fuck the Mandarin, and fuck anyone who thinks he's at all worthwhile in soon to be two thousand god damned eleven. We should be over this now.

MANDRILL--The Mandrill is stupid and awesome. Born to look like a baboon for heaven only knows what reason, the Mandrill's main reason for getting into this whole supervillain game was solely to pull chicks, because wouldn't you know it, that's his only power. He is the Primate Pimp Daddy. Thankfully he's Shanna the She-Devil's arch-nemesis--this really wouldn't fly on anyone else. Can you see him fighting Captain America and going, "All right, taste my power . . .BITCHES, PROTECT ME!"

MANDROID--I have no earthly idea why they're purple. The Mandroids are yet another government initiative to control supervillains, and like all the others, they really don't work all that well, unless the object is to give superheroes something big and metal to punch. I can only imagine what the push-back against government waste is in the Marvel Universe. That whole "$50 for a stapler" shit pales in comparison to the pork in the Sentinel program, I bet.

MANHATTAN--Despite the fact that it looks like a huge, densely-populated island, Manhattan apparently only has 30 buildings total, according to the map. Frankly, the Warriors should have been able to make that in an hour with good traffic.

MAN-THING--"Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch." Yeah, that's kinda what my mom always warned me about.

MAN THING'S SWAMP--You wouldn't think a swamp would be all that happening, really. There are bugs, marshes, stinky algae, mosquitoes--not much you couldn't find in any swamp. I know, I live close to one. But leave it to Steve Gerber to concoct the idea that this Swamp is the Nexus of All Realities, and then pity the people in this story when they deal with talking ducks, barbarians appearing out of jars, and ham-handed allegories like corporate magnate F.A. Schist.

MARRINA--A friend of mine from Canada once responded to an entry I wrote about Marrina thus:

"...when she was 16 she began exhibiting superhuman traits."

Usually Newfies start exhibiting alcoholic traits at 16.

I can't embellish too much on that, except to say: Can we decide if she's fucking dead or not? Seriously, Marrina has nine more lives than a cat. And every story's pretty much the same--Marinna does superhero shit, goes nuts, Namor goes after her, Marrina gives the whole "because I'm a genetically engineered alien designed to breed and kill, we can't be together, leave me alone!" which was the "Remy, ah loves ya, but ah cain't touch ya" of its day. Then Marrina goes nuts and Namor has to kill her. This seems to be the only story anyone's ever bothered to tell with her and my God, do I never need to read it again.

MARTINEX--The darkling twin to the one-hour Martinizing process, Martinex is a Guardian of the Galaxy and despite having a full page all to himself, I really don't give a fuck about him.

MASTERMIND--For a guy named "Mastermind," he sure has done some stupid shit over the years. The most egregious one, naturally being "Hey, let's push Phoenix over the edge so we can get her to dress like a slut! It'll be a fun Saturday, we'll get to see some boobies in a corset, and really, what's the worst that could happen?"

MAULER--Frank Miller had to draw an off-brand Iron Man suit and came up with a welder with a scuba apparatus glued to him. Bless him, Frank was never gonna be an Iron Man artist, was he? I actually kinda like the Mauler's first story in Daredevil--it was kinda cool to see Daredevil not fighting a ninja or beating the shit out of Turk for the 90th time.

MAXIMUS--I have a theory, it's a good one: Maximus is not actually mad, the Inhumans just fuck with him and use him as a scapegoat when they're not rubbing their feet on the backs of their slaves to ease their rheumatism. Generally though, they keep Maximus locked up and whenever the Inhumans do something particularly assholish (which only happens on days ending in "y") they blame it on Maximus. "Oh sorry, that wasn't us. Nope, crazy guy in the basement, controlled our minds . . .you know how it is."

MEDUSA--Medusa, being an Inhuman, has living hair and slaves. Being that she generally keeps to the supply side of villainy (seriously, is there a villain crew she won't join at least once?) when she's being codependent with Black Bolt, it's not a shock that she's been a fairly consistent character over the years, by which I mean bitchy.

MELTER--Iron Man has shitty villains, and there is no greater exemplar of this than the Melter, a character so utterly weaksauce that being killed by Scourge counter as a mercy kill. The Melter, as his powers implied, had a special ray that made things melt, which would have been more impressive as a feat of science IF EVERY GOD DAMNED SOURCE OF HEAT THAT EXISTS DIDN'T HAVE THE EXACT SAME EFFECT. That said, I'd still rather read Iron Man vs. the Melter than another stupid Mandarin story.

MENTALLO--Speaking of consistent characterisation, Mentallo's been in a coma on-panel for like twenty years now. I think it's due to the misfortune of being only mildly telepathic in a comic universe where Professor X can turn a room full of Freemasons into a roadshow cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a mere furrowed brow. It's a bit like trying to have a shootout with the police and all you have is a musket.

MENTOR--Jim Starlin can make even the Eternals interesting, though for all the wrong reasons. When Mentor first shows up, we're supposed to be mightily impressed by the fact that he built a whole self-sufficient society on Titan. It's only later that we learn that whatever his engineering skills, his parenting skills are utterly wrecthed, as his two sons are a death-worshiping omnicidal maniac and a date rapist. He's not exactly Cliff Huxtable, I guess is what I'm trying to get across.

MEPHISTO--Hey, you know who belongs in a Spider-Man book? Mysterio. He's a couple entries down. Mephisto doesn't, and yet, because some people are so hot to jam in retcons whether they belong there or not, there he was. Apparently Mephisto collects marriages, in much the same way as people collect Hummel figurines. We all have our little hobbies, I guess.

MERCURIO--Mercurio's origin is utterly hilarious but far too insane to go into here. Seriously--see if you can find it online and tell me it doesn't sound like something that Grant Morrison would come up with whilst in the throes of autoerotic asphyxiation. Mercurio's occupation before deciding to pester Thor was "government psycho-explorer." I hear they have a great benefits package, actually.

MESMERO--If you were rolled out before X-Men #94 and your name is not "Magneto of Sentinel," you may as well not exist. Even under the admittedly low standards of pre-cancellation X-Men villains, Mesermero stands alone by dint of concocting a hopelessly convoluted plan to turn Polaris into a mutant and he had a huge, Jim Steranko-designed city full of mutants to help him with this. Oh, and he seemed to be completely gay for a Magneto robot. X-Men comics back then were pretty fucked up, I guess is what I'm saying here.

MISTER FANTASTIC--Oh, hey, the new FF costume debuts here in the Handbook. I can't remember if this was before or after that utterly baffling Byrne issue where he pleads for Galactus to be exonerated because he's a force of nature (a truer defence would have been "fuck this purple shithead. He talks a good game but how many planets has he really eaten?) or not, but that was yet another example of Reed Richard's sterling record of Good Decision Making.

MISTER FEAR--Has Mister Fear shown back up in Daredevil? I would be surprised if he had, given he's not a ninja, the Kingpin, or Bullseye. I know the Matador has which was . . .wow. He's even more obscure than Mister Fear. Anyways, as Daredevil was the Man Without Fear, Mister Fear was his opposite number--a man who spread fear the old-fashioned way--by shooting fear pellets at people. I'm scared already!

MR. HYDE--Mr. Hyde's real name is "Calvin Zabo." That, ladies and gentleman is an awesome comic book name. Apparently obsessed with the old story, Dr. Zabo came up with a way to make him mildly hulk out and go nuts on people. Naturally, as extrapolated evil sides of oneself distilled and put in control of human physicality don't tend to be the best long-range planner's the first person he decided to unleash his rage on was Thor. He's been getting the shit kicked out of him ever since.

MOCKINGBIRD--Mockingbird is known for being Hawkeye's wife and killing the Phantom Rider, which should mean more than it does, except that people barely care about Hawkeye and couldn't care less about the fucking Phantom Rider. None of this has translated into a personality of her own, of course, but don't expect that to stop them from trying.

MODOK--OK, so now that MODOK is in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, can we please stop the MODOK stuff? You won. MODOK is no longer that one obscure crazy thing that you found that you're sure no one else knows about. Move on to something else. Toomazooma's free.

MODRED THE MYSTIC--This is "the mysic" guy, not Modred the Chiropractor. Modred is, like Donnie Yen, working on being something big for awhile now. Apparently he gets all his powers from some ancient demon, which explains why he looks like he wandered off a Hobbit calendar, I guess.

MOLE MAN--Ah yes, the Dennis Stamp of the Marvel Universe. The Mole Man is not an especially good villain, mind, but he was in Fantastic Four #1 and that means you should care, god dammit. He's a historical touchstone. Never mind that he loses all the damn time.

MOLECULE MAN--The Molecule Man, depending on who's writing him, is either God or God's Middle Child. Owen Reece played around with SCIENCE (represented by Van Der Graff poles, as Science always was then) and became the Molecule Man, who controlled molecules, which is very useful and on the whole a more valuable power than, oh let's say Moss Man. He also inadvertently started the whole Secret Wars thing, so thanks a lot for that you fucking dorkbag.

MOONDRAGON--The Handbook will tell you Moondragon's superpower is "telepathy," but her real superpowers are "being a bitch" and "running around as close to naked as the Comics Code will permit." Her big moment (besides being called Madame MacEvil) was when she took over a whole planet and made everyone into mindless zombies and killed her father. Obviously, this sort of thing is frowned upon in the superhero community, so she was shipped off to Odin, who has such a sterling record with criminal rehabilitation (see Surtur, Frost Giants, Hela, Executioner, Loki, and every other person in the "Asgardians" entry) he was a natural for the job. Soon after, she was shipped down to the Defenders, where she got everyone killed. I guess the rehab really didn't take, did it?

MOON KNIGHT--Like Mick Foley, Moon Knight uses three personas in his war against crime. Unlike Mick Foley, Mook Knight neglected to name one of his "Dude Love," and as such, he suffers in comparison. The best thing about Moon Knight (apart from the great Bill Sienkiewicz art) was the massive amount of stuff thy tacked on to him to show he wasn't a Batman knockoff (even though he was) My personal favourite is that he is the avatar of an Egyptian god, which is funny to me, because Egypt is a country of early 80 million people (according to Wikipedia) and said Egyptian god basically said, "Uhm . . .how about the white dude?"

MOON KNIGHT'S HELICOPTER--It's at lot easier to make planes and cars and shit look like bats. When you try to make a helicopter look like a crescent moon, you end up with . . .this. Looking unsafe in every possible way, Moon Knight's copter is a crazy piece of tech that seems to exist for the sole expediency of providing Moon Knight a ladder any time he needs it. What, he can't climb a rope?

MOON KNIGHT'S MANSION--I like that they put the helipad so close to the kitchen. I tell you, when I park my chopper the first thing I do is make a sandwich. It's hungry work.

MOONSTONE--Moonstone is years away from her role as master manipulator and further still from being the team slut in Ellis' Thunderbolts. Basically, the only thing she's done up to this point was hassle the Hulk a little bit.

MORGAN LE FEY--It's hard to be taken seriously as a villainess, so obviously the best way to overcome that hurdle is to dye your hair magenta and wear a dress slit down the front all the way down to your mons and you will get the respect you deserve, and by that I mean, "you will be in that one arc of Dark Avengers where you get killed over and over again."

MORLOCKS--Man, I remember fondly the days when there were just five Morlocks of any consequence. Sadly it soon got to the point where there were 20,000 of them, they got massacred at least twice and neither one seemed to take, and the only one of any consequence who was at all interesting was Marrow, and they soon took care of that.

MORPHEUS--You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe about a barely consequential Moon Knight villain. You take the red pill, you stay in the Marvel Universe and I show you more entries about aliens you don't care about.

MYSTERIO--BOOYAKA! BOOYAKA! Mysterio supplements his mastery of illusions with the devastating 619 off the ropes and the West Coast Pop. Oh, wait, actually he doesn't. He just makes illusions, has a fishbowl on his head and I think Kevin Smith killed him and then had another guy be Mysterio to get back at his brother who kept raping him, and then he was a cyborg, and Batman's peeing on himself and god damn it Kevin Smith shouldn't be writing comics. I don't think he's all that good at it.

MYSTIQUE--A lot of people love Mystique. A lot of people are wrong. Mystique has constantly been perpetrating some kind of master plan that grows ever more convoluted and everything she does works towards its fruition, even if it's completely stupid and/or out of character. In other news, did you know Mystique and Destiny were supposed to be Nightcrawler's mom and dad (since Mystique can become a tranny at will) Man Chris Claremont, I really don't understand you, sometimes.

MOBIANS--So near as I can tell, despite living on Mobius, the Mobians have nothing to do with Sonic The Hedgehog.

MORANI--It could be the printing on my copy of this issue, but I'd swear that the Morani actually come from a star system called "Jerk." Well, when the only person you can bother to send over is Warlord Wrogg, it's not that surprising, if true.

OVOIDS--The Ovoids taught Doctor Doom how to switch minds at will, and as such are responsible for more messed-up shit that Victor gets up to with his Latverian harem than you can possibly imagine.

PEGASUSIANS--Under "Representatives," they have listed "Sphinxor of the Prime Movers of Tarkus." It's an underrated album by Yes, but still worthwhile for a picture of progressive rock at its height . . .

PHANTOMS--This is where the Space Phantom hails from. Apparently they would soon be retconned into a whole race of Space Phantoms who, like EMTs or the Los Angeles Clippers are constantly on call in case something terrible, stupid, or otherwise inexplicable happens so they can be blamed for it in the resultant retcon.

PHERAGOTS--Under characteristics of the Pheragots, they mention "Benevolence, meekness, and sensitivity," which is how Manu Ginobili is described, ironically enough.

PROCYONITES--You are a giant turtle. Your name is Tork. Of course you're angry about this, so you go join Korvac and partner with Grott the Man-Slayer to fuck some shit up. Prospective parents, this is why naming children something that won't get them savagely beaten is so very very important.

PROSILICANS--So I think this is the race that the Watchers interfered with and after nuking themselves to death, the Watchers looked at each other and said "Well, let's not do that again." Not that it stopped them from doing shit anyway, this was just the beginning of their whole official spiel about non-interference. It's there for the lawyers more than anything.

And that'll do it for this time! Join us here soon as we tackle the next issue, which already promises to be a cornucopia of hilarity as we tackle everyone who's anyone from Namorita to Pyro. Will I finally crack up and start doing them as e.e. cummings poems? Will I post the whole entry upside down or backwards or rely on some other gimmick? Will the sheer mental exhuastion finally break me? And most importantly, will I make it through the Power Man entry without using the words "Brian Bendis" and/or "in the pooper?" See you then!


C. Elam said...

I am pretty sure you did commit that crime. Just sayin'.

Hmmm, I still like our idea that the Mandarin should be recast as a talking orange.

Even before I clicked the link, I knew it was Ivy. Dammit girl, come back to the Internet!

I am utterly shocked you failed to mention Mesmero's jaunty purple derby, which is honestly all I can ever remember about him.

And most importantly, will I make it through the Power Man entry without using the words "Brian Bendis" and/or "in the pooper?"

I sure hope not.

Kazekage said...

What is the likelihood that people will get that reference, I wonder?

It's a great idea, it's just when I see "evil chinaman" in 2010 I really think we're better off calling the whole thing off.

She's busy getting married and moving, last I heard from her!

I failed to mention it because Mesmero, from his derby to his skirt, is so ridiculous I didn't know where to begin and frankly, the idea of him being gay for a Magneto robot struck me as the strongest bit.

There's every possibility!

C. Elam said...

Man, I would hope people can connect the dots there, especially considering there was a movie this year. (You are excused if you've already forgotten it.)

The costume changes haven't helped. Honestly, if he was still in the first costume, he'd be too ridiculous for anyone to care. (And I spent a lot of effort parodying that very stereotype, so yeah.)

Me too, but that was like a year ago. I should try to write her again.

Well, I can't deny that. I am pretty sure he looked like a moron when he first appeared, even by the standards for super-villain costumes of the time. And I did not know this fact, or perhaps forgot it, but I shall treasure it always now. Moreso than Mysterio even.

Kazekage said...

And it was a movie with Liam Neeson, who has . . .oh wait, that's a running gag at the other place.

True, the fact that every time gets a new outfit he manages to look more ridiculous than the last time is quite an achievement.

I talked to her around the time I moved . . .and that's pretty much what she was doing.

Yeah, and no one's really managed to give him a better costume in the ensuing decades, either, which is . . .well, vaguely impressive, I guess. But still, the whole robot thing . . .that shit is awesome.