I have -- literally -- a pound of comics on my desk from last week that had moments good enough to share. Dr. Doom proved that there's nothing so delightful as a well-timed crank call. Two new Black Lantern tie-in series launched, and although neither was particularly stand-out, both set up some rather nice plots. And Noh-Varr got a really spiffy makeover. Here are some of the highlights. Click on the thumbnails for a full-page excerpt.
Finding a "Ka-Chunk" in the Armor
What If: Secret Invasion #1
In What If: Secret Invasion
, an underground movement of heroes finally thwarts the Secret Invasion by releasing a virus that kills anything with Skrull DNA. Unfortunately, many civilians have already volunteered for a ritual that turns them into Skrulls -- including Peter Parker's beloved Aunt May (who gets youth and
an extraordinary rack in the bargain). The virus had been engineered by Tony "Iron Man" Stark to target only true Skrulls, but something went awry. Of course, in true What If
fashion, that's when Shell Head removes his helmet to reveal... Norman Osborn! Bucky :Captain America" Barnes reaches his boiling point, and fires off five rounds at point-blank range with a pistol.
Norman: You'll have to do better than that. This armor has withstood the Hulk.
Cap: Fine. (beheads Osborn with his shield)
As T'challa comforts him with platitudes about warriors doing what is necessary, Bucky broods:
From the moment I chose to wear this uniform, I became a symbol. Of Freedom. Of everything right. Steve Rogers would've never taken a life in cold blood -- that was his legacy. Today, I didn't live up to it.
Technically, Buck-o, in my opinion you kinda let down cap's legacy the day you started toting pistols along with the shield and the cowl-wings, but that's beside the point.
A Doctor that Make House Calls
Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1
Meanwhile in Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1
, Dr. Doom is part of a secret anti-Hulk cabal that includes fellow luminaries such as the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. -- as well as scrubs like Egghead and the Mad Thinker. As the history of this group of Hulk-haters unfolds, the Leader recalls a pivotal moment between Von Doom and himself. As the Leader is putting the finishing touches on a device that is guaranteed to stop green genes once and for all, he gets a communications transmission (collect, we can only assume) from Latveria
Doom: I've intercepted a transmission between Reed Richards and Tony Stark. They have a plan to deal with your eternal dilemma.
Leader: My dilemma?
Doom: They are in the process of deceiving Bruce Banner... He believes once done with a "mission" they will bring him back home. Instead they intend to be done with the Hulk forever. Sending him to a distant world to live alone.
Seems so simple, really. I knew you would appreciate what great minds can do when faced with a problem.
Of course, the transmission ends there. One can only imagine a subsequent transmission -- also from Latveria --moments later in which a steely voice asks a petulant Leader if his refrigerator is running.
More Girl Power
Black Widow and the Marvel Girls #1
Seems like 2009 has been the year of the all-woman team-up. Unfortunately, Gotham Sirens
has been shaky at best. Marvel Divas was a downright disappointment. But this time, I'm catching a really cool vibe from an all-female ensemble piece. Much in the tradition of the Brave and the Bold
series, the hook seems to be tying Black Widow with another female, Marvel meta-human in every issue.
In the inaugural issue, influence of the Enchantress is revealed in the origin of the Black Widow. It seems she helped a young Natasha Romanoff escape from the "Red Room" -- a Siberian camp for training spies -- where the girl was to be used as a living target for the better students. In the present-day storyline, Romanoff has been contracted to infiltrate the very same compound and eliminate the same man that had marked her for elimination so many years ago.
Part of her infiltration involves snagging a guard and wrapping black tape around his head. After she sets him loose, he runs to his pals for help. They, of course, see a black-masked figure charging them and open fire. By the time they have it figured out, the Black Widow is already well on her way to achieving her target.
Speaking of Girl Power...
Black Lantern Wonder Woman #1
The heroine synonymous with the concept of female power, Wonder Woman, steps front-and-center in the three-issue Black Lantern Wonder Woman
series. Predictably, she faces off against the zombified Black Lantern Maxwell Lord. Zombie Max has re-animated many of the bodies of American war heroes -- including the Unknown Soldier -- to fight he battle. The princess of power intercedes just in time to save the lives of the honor guards who stand watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
Wonder Woman: Are you all right, soldier?
Soldier: Aside from the maximum pucker factor? Yes, ma'am, I am.
It's OK. I had to Google it, too:
Pucker Factor: A term used to describe the tightness of your sphincter following a close call.
I picture that poor soldier in a barracks bunk somewhere, staring at the ceiling, playing that sentence over and over in his head, realizing that he was face-to-face with one of the most tantalizing women on the planet.
And all he could talk about was one thing
That's No Girl...
Blackest Night Flash #1
Meanwhile, in Blackest Night Flash #1
, Flash's rouges gather to prepare to do battle with the DC zombies. They do a quick run-down of the list of potential reanimated corpses they can expect to meet.
Trickster: So who's risen from the dead? Besides the first Trickster?
Mirror Master: The first Mirror Master. Th' Top. Captain Boomerang. Th' Rainbow Raider.
Trickster: Who's the girl?
The rogues turn, furtively, to the guy in the parka.
Captain Cold: That's Golden Glider. That's my sister.
I'd advise Trickster to keep it in his pants, but better advise might be to keep it in his rib cage.
Man, do I ever hate the Creeper. Is it the page-boy haircut? Is it green hair and yellow skin? Maybe it's the striped bikini shorts.
Nope, it's his insistence on quoting Michael Keaton movies.
Katana: She's our teammate -- she's my friend -- get out there and help me find her.
Creeper: My father grabbed me like that once. Once.
Johnny Dangerously never ran around the woods with a red, fur stole around his shoulders.
Only Two Sure Things in Life...
New Avengers #59
A cadre of Luke Cage's friends -- from Iron Fist to Valkyrie -- assemble to spring him from the clutches of Norman Osborn's "Hellicarrier of evil." As they make good their escape. Danny "Iron Fist" Rand lays a little Tae-Kwon-Don't
on the deck of the hellicarrier that cracks it open like a fortune cookie.
Mockingbird: Everyone in one piece?
Thing: Well, we're all gonna get audited.
It's nice to know that, like many of us, the only thing that an FFer fears more than Dr.Doom is the IRS.
A Mule for Sister Deadpool
Deadpool Team-Up #898
Remember when I said I couldn't decide who I liked Deadpool playing off better -- Dr. Betty, Domino, the Deadpool zombie head, etc? Well, it seems I left one out. The old man getting blotto in a graveyard. Deadpool askes the man if he can borrow his burro.
Deadpool: Nice @ss.
Old drunk: Thanks. I try to stay fit. I've got one of them abs of --.
Deadpool: The donkey.
Old drunk: Oh. Her name's Betsy. She's gettin' on but she's still got some kick left. Betsy's fast as the wind.
Deadpool: Think I could borrow her for a couple hours? For... say... a thousand bucks.
Old drunk: All depends on what you want to do with her, know what I'm sayin'?
Deadpool: Unfortunately I do. But I make it a habit never to date out of my species.
Old drunk: To each his own.
Kinda makes you wonder whose grave the Old Drunk was drinking by. Or what exactly put her in the ground.
Assault on Battery
Web of Spider-Man #2
Man. I hate to be that guy. I mean, I'm all about suspending my disbelief when I'm reading fiction. And I'm not about to calculate the speed that it would take to actually stop a bullet or anything like that. And, while I'm excusing myself, I know zilch
about cars. But. Well... Web of Spider-Man #2
opens with two armed guards driving a truck for Stark enterprises.
Guard: What are you doing? Why are you slowing down?
Driver: I don't believe this... battery's dead.
Now. I know the battery is crucial
in starting your car. But once the engine's running, the alternator charges the battery. As long as the alternator is cranking, the battery is getting recharged, right? So, how does Electro drain the battery of a moving vehicle? And why would it matter?
Everyone Loves a Makeover
Dark Avengers Annual #1
In the first Dark Avengers Annual
, Marvel Boy (a/k/a/ Noh-Varr), a Kree Warrior trapped on Earth, makes friends with a NYU co-ed named Annie. As they exchange data, I realized that Marvel Boy is missing out on an excellent opportunity to re-ignite a little vaudeville into the pages of Dark Avengers. Just picture it:
Annie: What's your name?
Annie: Well, which is it? Yes or no?
Annie: It's no, yes?
Noh-Varr: No. "Noh."
Noh-Varr: No. Noh-Varr. My last name is Varr.
Annie: You're teasing me! That's no fair!
Noh-Varr: No. That's Noh-Varr.
Aaaaaanyway, whateverhisnameis gets a cool new costume and a power upgrade after
going a few rounds with the Sentry. It sounds like his new powers will be very similar to the powers of classic Marvel white-cape Mar-Vell -- only stronger -- including the mega-bands.
And what ever happened to Annie? The new-and-imporved Noh-Varr seeks her out to reclaim some weapons he'd left behind in the Sentry melee. He assures her that he will
see her again. As he rockets away, she thinks: "Now that... that is boyfriend material."
Just remember, Annie. Noh means no.
At least I think