Thursday, March 26, 2015

Twinkle, Twinkle, Golden Oldie


This is one team-up we probably didn't see coming:



And it's not like we haven't seen this kind of lunacy repeated:





Also, it's Assistant Editors' Month, so all bets are off as to whether or not this story is going to be on the up and up. The preposterous absurd insane unlikely team-up that greets our eyes in this issue of Marvel Team-Up declares on its cover, "Not a hoax! Not a What If! Not an imaginary story!" Aunt May should wash out the mouths of the assistant editors with a bar of soap for making those claims. But let's see how bad bad can get, eh?



The story actually starts out pretty reasonably, with Nova, the herald of Galactus, being injured when a world that has been targeted for being consumed by her master is destroyed by its populace as a desperate measure to deprive him of sustenance and thus hopefully bring about his end. But desperation, in this case, breeds desperation--and Galactus sets a course to find a herald in time to locate a new world to sate his hunger:




And just in case you haven't guessed which world he's hurtling toward, let's pick things up on that planet where, under the "Big Top," a certain celebrity family unknowingly crosses paths with a fellow hero, his girlfriend, and his doting aunt. Though, thanks to AEM, the Fantastic Four will have to abandon their day's fun to answer the call of duty in San Diego:



The question is, what to do with Franklin Richards, who's tagged along on dangerous encounters with super-foes before but has the FF scrambling this time for a babysitter? Why, you leave him with a total stranger, of course (if a highly recommended one):




Yes, I see those eyes popping out of your head. You, like myself, haven't a clue why May Parker, who's always been terrified of Spider-Man, would not only tolerate his being within ten feet of her without so much as a shrug, but also not feel creeped out in the slightest that Spider-Man is acting like he knows her. Suffice to say that the FF are in a hurry, and they take her up on her offer to mind Franklin for them.

As for Galactus, he's sought Reed out at the Baxter Building, and, upon finding no one at home, picked up Franklin's power signature like a bloodhound and followed it to the circus. And if there's anyone who knows how to make an entrance:



Since Galactus is in a weakened state, and since Franklin already contains power to spare, Galactus chooses the boy to be his new herald--at least that's the plan. Instead, this scene demonstrates that there are days when even Galactus can't hit the broad side of a barn:




Yes, "Golden Oldie," which you must admit sounds better than "Old Biddy" (to do the "bidding" of Galactus, get it? heh heh).

As a new herald empowered to search the cosmos for a suitable world that will sustain Galactus, May's next course of action is clear. Instead, her young charge offers a substitute that wouldn't even have occurred to Reed Richards in his wildest imaginings:



Demanding more "Twinkles," Galactus sends May to comb the Earth for every single package of them. But all the Twinkles on the planet aren't enough to still his hunger, and so she's soon left no choice but to head starward:




Be warned that we're now about to detour into the ridiculous. Because in Galactus' current state of gorging himself on Twinkles, May has found him the most suitable "world" of all:




A Twinkle that's able to sustain life. A dough boy who created it as an offering to his god. The god turning out to be Galactus. What happens next shouldn't surprise you in the least.



And so, Golden Oldie returns to Earth--and man, does Nathan Lubensky have a heckuva hot date coming his way tonight. But a welcome home hug from Franklin acts to return the Aunt May we know and love:



But, come on, we can't just leave things like this! Franklin's power now off the scale? (As if it wasn't before?) The entire world now devoid of creamy sponge cakes? Aunt May having to downgrade from searching for worlds to searching the stores for a sale? And a dough boy as the herald of Galactus? What space god wants a laughing stock announcing their coming? Fortunately, the issue's last page gives us a cascade of very relieved dreamers:





That last bit of narrative is splitting hairs, of course. The cover may have omitted "Not a dream!" from its teaser--but I'd say "hoax" and "imaginary story" were right on target.

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