Friday, March 20, 2020

The Height And The Hammer!

(It was either that or "This Height--This Hammer!")

Having seen the schemes of Wilbur Day, a.k.a. the villain known as the Stilt-Man, when he was just starting out in crime, why don't we leap ahead nearly thirteen years later, where Day finds himself broken out of prison and hauled before a mysterious benefactor who offers to put him back on top (so to speak)--complete with a near-invincible new suit of armor, and no questions asked.

Clearly our hidden voice has some dangerous hired muscle at his disposal to ensure the compliance of their wishes; but Day isn't about to look a gift voice in the mouth, and given what he learns of the job he realizes that the work involved is the sort of thing he's been doing since Day One. And just as was the case then, to the Stilt-Man it will be like taking candy from a baby (if an armed, whirling baby).

Yet as callously as the Stilt-Man has left our hapless pilots to their fate, another reacts more valiantly--first, as a mortal doctor, and then, as the immortal God of Thunder.

Needless to say, the new, improved Stilt-Man is about to learn if his recent upgrade is able to stand up to the most rigorous testing one can obtain outside a controlled environment--as well as keep him from being taken into custody and going back to prison. That particular outcome is information another figure will be watching closely for.

As for the reader, they're getting a pretty decent return so far for their hard-earned 35¢.

As is his usual behavior following a successful heist, the Stilt-Man strides confidently across the cityscape, certain that no conventional means of pursuit would be able to keep up with him, or, for that matter, engage him successfully. What he hasn't reckoned with is unconventional pursuit, a category which a vengeful Asgardian storm god easily qualifies for. On the other hand, Day has never demonstrated hesitancy or fear when engaging with an enemy--and, knowing the potential danger which Thor presents, he wisely doesn't hold back.

Yet the one who monitors the battle concludes rather quickly that Day will not prevail in this encounter, and subsequently takes steps to ensure that the Stilt-Man will prevail, or die trying.

Finally, however, Thor sees an opening to definitely deal with the Stilt-Man--but in doing so, he only paves the way for the entrance of the one who appears to fervently obey Day's benefactor, a monster who has reclaimed what Day stole and now moves to remove Thor's threat. And he just might do it, given the circumstances of this story's shocking closing page.

Seeing Blastaar free of the Negative Zone is bad enough--but seeing him willingly and eagerly doing the bidding of another is cause for concern. In this story's conclusion (posted elsewhere in the PPC), some answers will hopefully be forthcoming. (But first we'd better learn if Thor survives the day!)


Anonymous said...

Truly Stiltman's finest hour. He stood up against Thor for about three minutes.
Of course, if Thor didn't care about not killing him, I'm guessing five seconds.
But at least Stilt's got a good story out of it, something to brag about in that supervillain bar those guys used to hang out in. Wasn't it the "Bar With No Name?" I would think a war story like that would be worth one drink on the house, anyway.
It's not like the Water Wizard, the Shocker or Killer Shrike ever had the honor of getting pummeled by Thor.


Tiboldt said...

Here's an idea. When Stilt-Man has his stilts unextended, loop Mjolnir around his wrists. Extending his stilts would mean lifting the hammer and Stilty is nowhere near worthy. Better yet, attach them to him while he is tall and watch his stilts collapse.

Anonymous said...

This repeated exposure to Stilt-Man has belatedly got me really wondering about his costume/armour design. That half-bucket on his shoulders would make anybody nuts with all peripheral vision lost. "What the holy hannah is that behind you??" would require any of us with that bucket to do a quick skip/shuffle to turn around and look. A guy with 40-storey legs cannot skip, shuffle, or otherwise be too nimble on his toes.

"What's behind me does not concern the Stilt-Man!" Not other helicopters, planes landing at LaGuardia, or Iron Man or...

Comicsfan said...

Well, M.P., as you probably know, when it was "last call" for Stilt-Man at the Bar With No Name, he didn't have to have a recent story in order to ensure his drinking buddies gathered around him.

Tiboldt, I'm not sure that your plan is feasible, given that Stilt-Man is covered from head to... er, stilt in adamantium alloy, and things like metal arms (or other non-organic materials) have been used by crafty villains to lift the hammer without the condition in its inscription kicking in. We wouldn't want Stilt-Man actually making off with Thor's hammer, would we?

Anon, I can only guess that with Stilt-Man's ability to bend his stilts as we've seen here, he can keep an eye on things not within his current line of sight when he needs to. (And look ridiculous doing so, I hasten to add.)