Friday, March 15, 2019

With Great Power Comes Great Payback


Name This Marvel Villain??

In spite of his exuberant expression here,"disgruntled" would be an understatement when describing Stewart Cadwall, an '80s network television writer who churns out what's asked of him but seethes that he isn't allowed to inject more realism into his scripts that would reflect the dog-eat-dog world he lives in. Little does he realize that an unobtrusive mass of energy outside of his office is listening far more closely to his frustration than his hapless agent.

(Stewart is clearly ahead of his time where more graphic realism in television viewing is concerned--the director's cut of "Watchmen" would have been a dream come true for him, eh?)

Unexpectedly showing up on his doorstep is none other than the Beyonder, who has traveled to Earth in order to more completely experience and understand the human condition that he studied from afar during the contest he staged for Earth's heroes and villains on a planet far from our own. Having already encountered the Molecule Man, who's pointed him in the direction of Los Angeles in order to fulfill his desire to "experience," he takes his form in order to communicate with the first random human he comes across. Of all the people he could have picked to learn from, we can probably all agree that Stewart, in his current state of mind, isn't the ideal person to demonstrate what one could do with a sense of purpose.

And so the Beyonder has unwittingly unleashed Thundersword on the unsuspecting population of L.A., a new villain who feels compelled to strick back at mass media outlets and educate "the mindless masses" who have been consumers of the dreck that said media have so successfully marketed to them.

Responding to Thundersword's rampage are the X-Men, who have been alerted by Charles Xavier of the Beyonder's presence on Earth and who at first mistake Thundersword for the one they seek. With Xavier currently in poor health, however, the team is led in the field by Magneto, who has recently accepted Xavier's proposal to become more associated with his school; even so, when facing a foe who's been empowered by the Beyonder, they have their work cut out for them.

Yet one other has intercepted Xavier's mental alert concerning the Beyonder--one whom Thundersword is more than willing to confront as a defender of American consumption and decay.

Due to a misjudgment that results in the X-Men teleporting away, however, Cap is left vulnerable to Thundersword's attack--while, elsewhere, news of the battle has reached Tony Stark, who is currently hard at work on a brand new suit of Iron Man armor. Fortunately, James Rhodes is on hand to suit up in his place, and arrives on the scene to take the heat off Cap in the nick of time.  Yet Iron Man also provides the key to bringing down their foe, who is less than gracious in accepting responsibility for his actions.

Stewart Cadwall--a man who bit the hand that fed him, and paid the price.  (Or soon will, if NBC's lawyers have anything to say about it.)


tsj017 said...

This was a thinly disguised Steve Gerber, if I'm not mistaken.

Comicsfan said...

That would seem to be the case, tsj017--thanks!