Monday, November 11, 2013

No Sanctuary From The Power Cosmic

The Human Torch's battle with his Golden Age predecessor ended tragically for Jim Hammond--but the circuitry-with-a-face which brought about that end might have something to say about which of them suffers the greater tragedy:

Fortunately for Quasimodo--the Quasi-Motivational Destruct Organ--there's always a sympathetic Silver Surfer flying by when you need one:

The Surfer, of course, has no way of knowing what he's unleashed by giving this being life and mobility--but he'll learn soon enough that making a creation of the Thinker human is still a long way from giving it humanity.

Quasimodo is at first elated at the new sensations he's experiencing, and the Surfer is understandably pleased at releasing him from his previous state. But the mood in the room changes when Quasimodo becomes bitter at seeing his own appearance:

With the Surfer out of the way, Quasimodo proceeds to the streets, where the reactions of those who look upon him drive him into a destructive rage:

But he doesn't get far before the Surfer, obviously recovered and none the worse for wear, locates him and seeks to put an end to his rampage:

Having the upper hand (at least for now), Quasimodo again notices how the humans watching the battle regard him with fear and recoil at his appearance, while it's the Surfer's fate they're concerned about. (Quite a difference from the Surfer's treatment in his own upcoming title, where he'll instead be treated as anathema by the human race). For a guy who thinks so highly of his computer mind, Quasimodo never stops to think that they might be fearing him because it was he who viciously attacked them in the streets earlier, while it was the Surfer who sought to stop him--in other words, despite Quasimodo being able to feel and move like a human, the only humanity the humans see here resides in the Surfer.

As for the Surfer, he's reached the conclusion that Quasimodo is a lost cause, and acts to rectify his earlier actions:

No doubt some of you have picked up on the similarities between this story and the 1923 film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame--though there is no Esmeralda, and Quasimodo quickly snuffs out whatever sympathy we might have had for his condition. But we see one last nod to the film when, in his futile climb to escape the Surfer's power, Quasimodo meets his end atop his own "belltower":

But you can't keep a good Quasi-Motivational Destruct Organ down, and Quasimodo would go on to mix it up with quite a few Marvel characters. From what I understand, he finally ends up in a virtual reality program where he believes he's gained his heart's desire of a new body.  It's probably fair to assume that the Thinker would be appalled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for showing this, C.F., as well as the previous post showing the battle of the Torches. It took me back, because I grew up with this kid in the 70's who had the reprints, and nothing I could offer in trade would make him give 'em up. I guess he liked Marvel Comics as much as me.
He also had a couple issues of Jack Kirby's run on Captain America from the mid '70s. He even let me read 'em, that selfish bastard. I hadda wait twenty years to get my own copies.
These are great comics and good fun.