Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Mirror, Mirror, Please Don't Fall..."


Can YOU


Name This Marvel Villain??



It's an encounter between the amazing Spider-Man and Iron Fist that caught the attention of Drom, the Backwards Man, whose survival depends on absorbing the energy of others to sustain his temporal state. Drom will possibly remind you of the curious case of Benjamin Button, but with a twist: in Drom's case, moments after he was born, his infant form was exchanged through time with his aged body from the future, causing him to live his life in reverse, even to the point of speaking his words backwards. (Or, as Drom might say, ".sdrawkcab sdrow sih gnikaeps fo tniop eht ot neve".)



It's never really clearly established why Drom's survival depends on stealing others' life energy. He uses machines to convert his food so that it would be accepted by his reversed metabolism; but Drom also seems to believe absorbing someone's energy might slow his temporal regression. And so he stalks people in order to lure them into conflict, which is apparently necessary to have their energy rise to a level which he can use. In some instances, however, he's forced to use more direct means to sate his needs.



Fortunately, Iron Fist has been tracking Spidey, and arrives in the nick of time to free his ally and take on Drom. Spider-Man is careful to warn Iron Fist to avoid direct contact with Drom, which is admittedly going to make it difficult to subdue him since Spidey's webbing turns into dust when touching him. The only other option would be to use objects in the room to take him out--and the one they choose just happens to be crucial to Drom's existence.




Again, details are sparse in this story--we don't know why the mirror's destruction would accelerate Drom's regression, or why Drom is absolutely certain it will. Perhaps a constant visual reminder of his state helped to slow the backwards plunge through time, though I'm just shooting from the hip here.

Spidey and Iron Fist call it a day, though Iron Fist poses a question before departing: "If a man ceases to exist, how long will his memory survive him?" It's a rather odd question, since people cease to exist every day and the memories others have of them aren't theirs to take with them; but it serves to explain why Peter Parker is narrating this story through use of a tape recorder, and why the story closes with him finally pausing and wondering what he's doing and why he's doing it. In fact...

...in fact, I'm starting to... to wonder why...

...wonder why ...

2 comments:

Colin Jones said...

So is Drom actually called Mord ? Having him talk backwards is a bit ridiculous - by that logic he should walk backwards, eat backwards etc, shouldn't he ? Surely he could de-age without literally doing everything backwards.

Comicsfan said...

Well, Colin, in the writer's defense, we never find out the circumstances of Drom's transferral through time, so that leaves the door wide open for Drom to be the way we see (and hear) him here. I suppose it was felt that Drom needed a few unusual characteristics in order to make him more of an oddity to pique the interest of the reader.

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