Saturday, December 29, 2007
Marvel superheroes are apparently going to fight under the auspices of the United Nations. As a longstanding fan with more than 5,000 comics in my attic, I call bullshit. With the possible exception of the Fantastic Four (who have always worked with the Man), there are no important superheroes in the Marvel Universe who would work for the United Nations. Certainly not Spider-Man. Unless, of course, the story requires them to beat up on United Nations soldiers for raping girls and trading sex for favors. But somehow I don't think that's the point.
The Phantom works for the UN.
From King Features Syndicate: "Always changing with the whirlwind times around him, he has increasingly come to function as something of a United Nations troubleshooter-at-large, a shadowy trench-coated figure slipping in and out of modern Third World political intrigue."
I like the Phantom. We have a lot in common.
The Phantom is a syndicated dude, not a member of the Marvel Universe. There are definitely other superheroes who would work for the United Nations -- it is just the sort of thing that Supes would do, or Green Lantern (who is a member of the Green Lantern Corps).
These are the geniuses (Marvel) who just wiped out Spiderman's marriage to Mary Jane ... what did you expect?
I rest my case.
Storm has already worked for the U.N.
"During a world summit to address the increasing hostilities between humans and mutants, Storm offered her X-Men team's services to the United Nations as a global mutant police force, the X-Treme Sanctions Executive.
Storm's first mission would be a solo one as she was charged with infiltrating and exposing an underground slave trading network that forced mutants to fight in gladiator-style arenas. Soon after, Storm and her team returned to Westchester to help rebuild the mansion following an attack by Magneto and stayed on to continue their new direction. With the XSE, Ororo and her teammates opposed such threats as the Weaponeers and the extradimensional Fury, as well as aiding the Hellfire Club against an attack by rogue member Donald Pierce."
Over the years, I have helped my grandsons in their collections of comics. Marvel being a part of it of course.
I hope you have those comics in your attic, vacuumed packed. Attics can collect moisture even if they are ventilated.
We use those space saving plastic bags that were designed to store blankets, pillows and such. You just hook up your vacuum cleaner and suck all the air out. They can be reopened and closed as many times as necessary.
I hope that you and yours have a wonderful New Year and that you get everything that ya'll need and a few of the things that you want.
Eh. No loss for me. I never liked Marvel very much with a few exceptions -- Frank Miller's run on Daredevil and the X-Men related titles in the 1980's, in particular Miller's classic Wolverine series. Coincidentally, Miller is also the only conservative comic book writer/artist I can name off the top of my head.
It doesn't surprise me though that the U.N. is one the "good guys" to Marvel. To the extent that I have seen political issues creep into comic books over the years, it is usually to advance a liberal point of view (i.e. gays are nice, white people are racists). The issue of Lois Lane where Lois spent the day as black woman in 1970's is great example. Truly inspired commentary on racism that was. Green Lantern Hal Jordan was DC's token conservative/establishment foil for the hippie loving Green Arrow during the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in the 1970's. More recently in New Frontiers series though, Darwyn Cooke re-imagined the stalwart Hal Jordan as a Korean War fighter pilot that refuses to shoot down enemy planes -- because he's just so good a pilot he doesn't need kill anyone to accomplish his missions. Good thing comic books don't have to be realistic.
One question though -- how long until the Marvel U.N. passes a resolution authorizing the Hulk to SMASH! Israel?
Didn't Marvel kill off Captain America earlier in the year.
The UN supporting comic is going to be distributed free of charge to children (I think I read schools) in the US.
So we have the Socialists wet dream coming true. Whereas in earlier days the propoganda comics were distributed via the local East Wind book shop (The Imperialist Running Dog kind of comic),we now have the same propaganda being distributed mainstream, probably using US dollars to do it.
Didn't Marvel kill off Captain America earlier in the year.
Cap's dead in the same way Superman was, I'm sure. Marvel's comics have actually been pretty cool lately, Cap, Iron Man, Astonishing X-Men.
Mr Surly, you ought to check out Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon. It has all of the cool Claremont 80's X-Men and good stories.
Still, making heroes of the UN is a total load of pc crap.
I mentioned this to my wife who is a professional book restorer. She recommends individual mylar sleeves for the comics. Even so you won't have much luck with this over the long run since the acid in the cheap pulp paper causes rot. Most of my Pogo books from the 50's are in real bad shape as are my old Matt Helm paperbacks from the 60's.
Sometimes for a quality book, she'll take it apart to the individual folios(sheets of paper), wash them in a pH balanced solution, and then press dry them between pads of felt held down by weighted sheets of glass, Then the folios are sewn back up into signatures(a group of about 4 sheets or 16 pages of the book), and the signatures are bound back into the book. The spine is given the proper arch and the whole mess is pressed in a book binding press for a period. Finally a new cover is made either in leather or cloth, both over a cardboard base and added with new end-papers. Last but not least the spine and front cover are re-labeled. If at all possible she likes to reuse as much of the original lettering as possible.
Well, there are comics collectors who keep their comics for resale value, and guys that accumulate comics that they read.
As an accumulater I'm very pleased that Marvel is releasing the entire runs (40's -2006) of several of their books on DVD. I picked up X-Men and Iron-Man over X-mas.
Our enterprising cub reporter got his hands on the first UN superhero comic book, the cover is reproduced here...
Actually, even back in the day the Avengers operated in part as an arm of the US government. And of course Cap, who was created by the State Department, seemed to have periodic contact with high ranking officials. (Although there was a bit of a hiatus following CA #175, in which he found out the President was also behind the Secret Empire, and then got to watch the President blow his own head off. He became so disillusioned that he stopped behing Cap for nearly a year, becoming instead Nomad. But Cap returned when the Red Skull kidnapped his girlfriend.) Anyway... I'm not that surprised at the UN tie in. And I imagine their efforts, thus harnessed, will have about the same effect of most UN initiatives.