Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In This Corner--The Mighty Matador!

I think most bloggers will admit that they occasionally come across ground that they don't wish to tread on, for whatever reason. They may feel unable or ill-equipped to step up to the plate of the subject matter in question; or perhaps it's simply a matter of being unable to muster enough presence of mind to do the material justice. For comics bloggers, sometimes we'll come across material that, try as we might, we simply can't find anything noteworthy to say about it--no points to elaborate on.

Or, boiled down to one word: meh.

Thumbing through some old issues of Captain Marvel and Mighty Thor, I came across two stories that I can't in good conscience post about in detail. All I can do is to put up a large PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! warning sign that tips you off to the ill effects you might suffer at choosing to read them. Really, a full review would be mining for more than is there--and you'll thank me someday for sparing you.

First, there's the Thor story:

Yes. Thor battles a man dressed as a red bull, in a wrestling ring. Except that this man is a Deviant, who had practically gored one of his wrestling opponents (Vampiro, an Eternal, whom Thor encountered in a weakened state), prompting Thor to investigate. This story was written by Roy Thomas, who crams it full of dialog and backstory, as he does with even minor characters like these--but even so, Thomas is hard-pressed to muster enough of interest to the reader here. Do we care that Vampiro, complete with fangs, is an Eternal slumming as a pro wrestler? Are we wondering if Eternals now count bona fide vampires among their ranks? Are we really craving to see the mighty Thor in a wrestling ring?

No--no--and no.

And as for the scene you just knew was coming, that I'm afraid I can't spare you:

And I'll say no more.  Except, I guess, olé.

As for Captain Marvel, he meets and battles Iron Man:

Sort of. Iron Man is under the influence of the Puppet Master, and we've seen this sort of thing before. It's as pointless a battle as you might expect--but in this story, it's also as directionless and meandering as Mar-vell himself seems under the stewardship of writer Gary Friedrich, who does his résumé no favors by noting this story on it. This issue is an excruciating read, relying on its bold cover to draw you in but failing to live up to the bar that it sets.

Once the battle's done, Mar-vell is whisked away toward his homeworld, only to be intercepted by a voice from beyond:

Good grief. Don't you have the strange urge to order a Captain Marvel decoder ring and insignia T-shirt right about now?

So you may want to trust what your gut is telling you and give these issues a wide berth.  Given the choice, I think both Thor and Mar-vell would have done the same.


Kid said...

There must be many stories from that period which fall into the 'meh' category, eh? (I do like that Captain Marvel cover 'though.)

Anonymous said...

It must be difficult to come up with heavy opponents like Surtur or Ego every month. Or even super-strong slobs like the Wrecker or Ulik. I guess ya gotta throw the occasional meatball in there, maybe let the big guys sit out a few plays.
Frankly, I was always surprised the managed to come up with as many challenging opponents as they did for the likes of Thor and the Hulk. Especially the Hulk.
As for Captain Marvel, they seemed to have no idea to do with guy 'til Starlin showed up.

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