Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Fearsome Forgathering of Frivolous, Far Out Frenzy!


Aside from mental institutions and Congressional debates (which may sound redundant), you and I are generally not exposed to much if any sort of frenzy in our lives. Yet on planet Earth as seen through the eyes of comic book creators, incidences of large-scale mania, madness, insanity, or sheer frenzy can be found across the globe--any year, every year, whether due to invasions, or the plans of a super-villain brought to fruition, or world-ending disasters brought on by a malevolent power, or attack-induced panic, or any of a dozen other threats which the human race has proven ill-equipped to deal with. The word can also be applied to the unpredictable and seemingly unstoppable circumstances occurring within a particular story, as the characters involved struggle to deal with the situation.

So, fair warning:  If you're easily affected by such heightened states of hysteria, reach for that mouse or touchpad and click over to a less alarming site! (Like the news.  Ha! Kidding!) Because the PPC is about to do a frenzied roundup of those incidences, and try to figure out just why they're in such a state of:

Come on, shriek it with me...

AAAAAH! Stop it! Can't... STAND IT!

DC Comics of course had its own frequent frenzied situations to choose from--but, alas, Marvel must be given its due at the PPC, starting with its oldest occurrence of this dreaded word: July, 1966, as the Avengers investigate not only the Black Widow's activities with her partners the Swordsman and Power Man, but an unexplored area of South America where a madman seeks to gain control of a deadly cobalt flame which could destroy the world. And on top of that, the Scarlet Witch and her brother, Quicksilver, leave the team! Great timing, you two!

Two years later, another Avenger, Iron Man, is snatched away to the 24th century, where Tony Stark is to be executed before he can invent a powerful computer which will lead to the enslavement of civilization. (Talk about an alarm bell of things to come from this man.) But there's even more frenzy behind the scenes, as letterers Irv Watanabe and Sam Rosen clash over which style of lettering to use for the title! (I have to go with Mr. Rosen's cover version, Irv!)

And speaking of clashes, the cover and splash page of this Incredible Hulk issue can't agree on whether "a far-away world" and Counter-Earth are one and the same! At any rate, we can all probably agree that the Hulk brings enough frenzy to the table for everyone, wherever he's going.

Say, how about a small break? Is anyone hungry? Well, you know what THAT means:

There's so much frenzy going on here that you would think issue #3 of Realm Of Kings: Imperial Guard, which lacked a title for its otherwise excellent story, wouldn't have had to practically adopt one from the caption slapped onto the final page of the prior issue, where "the Guardsmen and their Starjammer allies await their doom as alien microbial forms begin the gruesome process of decomposition" of their vessel--and themselves. That's fairly gruesome frenzy.

What? Iron Man AGAIN!? Looks like he's now finding his frenzy in the sea, courtesy of Commander Kraken. And it's hard to tell which of them looks more frenzied!

We've already seen how many stairs Ka-Zar is willing to take to handle the frenzy of battling Kraven the Hunter--but in his 1974-77 (bimonthly) series, he's dealing with two worlds of it. (Can't this guy catch a break?)

Six years later, in the Marvel Super Hero Contest Of Champions limited series, our heroes are feeling pretty frenzied--and pretty frigid--when they're dropped off in a blizzard that's well below zero. If even Sunfire is worried about withstanding the conditions, that doesn't bode well for the other five who aren't well suited to survive in such cold.

We have to assume that Sue had the good sense to slap a force field around herself and Iron Fist, her future martial arts sensei.

And who knew that a full-of-frenzy character like Man-Wolf and a cold assassin like Deathlok would have something in common? (Chances are it's Deathlok's targets who were feeling the frenzy.)

As we've seen, in addition to this post's title, there's no shortage of alliteration in many of these selections--so let's really throw some Fs around here, as both Namor and the X-Men are up against powerful, almost overwhelming threats. (Though, honestly, both the Sub-Mariner and Firelord could claim "frenzy" as their middle name.)

An issue of Thor, during the book's Lord Of Asgard arc, claims the title of "Frenzy," though it certainly is calm about it. As opposed to an issue of The Micronauts, where the frenzy erupts to such a degree that it threatens to crush its story's title beneath it!

Sandwiched between the two is an issue of X-Factor, which launched a character named... oh, come now, do I have to say it?

Finally, you just knew the Marvel Bullpen was going to take a hand in this:

(Maybe fans were in such a frenzy at the news of John Buscema penciling Thor, eh?)

In the spirit of full disclosure, the PPC shares culpability with mighty Marvel here, having mentioned the word "frenzy" in 17 prior posts. (Hey, you try a nearly nine-year stretch of blogging and see how calm and collected you feel! ;) )


Colin Jones said...

The PPoC features a Conan The Barbarian cover!! As a life-long Conan fan I feel a frenzy of excitement at this unexpected development :D

Comicsfan said...

Strictly research, Colin--but for what it's worth, I did think you'd get a kick out of it! ;)

Anonymous said...

Great post Comicsfan.

I felt there had to be a joke about Ron Frenz in this somehow, but I just couldn't figure one out either...


Comicsfan said...

How about this, sean:

"Also, consider artist Ron 'Frenz'--coincidence? I think not."