Saturday, September 24, 2016

So, Just How Old Is Tony Stark?

You all know how much I hate the tragedy of sliding timescales.

The understandable desire of trying to keep our heroes at a certain age, combined with the apparently irresistible need to ties their histories in with certain fixed historical events, leads to all sorts of unnecessary cognitive dissonance.

Like Captain America not being awakened in the 1960s any we keep having to get unnecessarily specific, various marvel writers have had him unfrozen during the Clinton administration, and now even the George W. Bush era.

Of course, that means that Cap now slept through the Civil Righs movement, slept through Watergate, slept through the Bicentennial, slept through the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin all those stories are sorta kinda quietly elided out of history, a sub rosa retcon. All because someone needs to put a specific date on things.

But what about Tony Stark? In Tales Of Suspense #39 (1963), Stan had him injured in the Vietnam conflict. Oh, but we can't have Tony Stark be that old, see, so the Iron Man movie (and subsequent comics) set Tony's injury and capture to an unspecified time in Afghanistan.

All right, that's vague enough (because, sadly, there's always some conflict going on in Afghanistan) that we're not tied down to a specific time and date that a) hurts our brain and b) will require yet more historical shifting in a couple of years.

Ah, but that's not good enough for Bendis. In this week's International Iron Man #7, he feels the need the to ignore subtlety, and tie things down as specifically as humanly possible.

I'll keep this as spoiler-free as possible, through the magic of captions!

In this tale, we get the story of how Tony Stark's parents started their relationship... thing progressed...

And of course...

Oh, dear.

Even if you allow for some imprecision in these apparently precise captions, some rounding up or down, you end up with the conclusion that Tony Stark is most likely 34 tears old. That he was born in 1982, the year I graduated from high school. That, even allowing for super-genius and inheriting a massive arms company and what have you, there's pretty much no way he could have become Iron Man until after 9/11. So all those fights with Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man and other Soviet stooges? I'm not sure what happened there. Those issues where Tony got involved in groovy campus protests of the most 70s kind? Nope!

Sigh...I HATE sliding timescales...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Night Fights--Redwing Gets Stoned Style!!

We've got some rock-kicking in this week's Friday Night Fights.

The Grey Gargoyle has routed the Avengers, and now he's threatening this woman for having the temerity to move into his old apartment and throw out his chemicals while he was presumed dead.

Fortunately, Sam Wilson is on the job!


Whoa!! Two-footed face-kick!!


So much for the Falcon!!

Oh, all right...

SPOILER ALERT: The cavalry shows up!

Spacebooger is curious how the Gargoyle turns some things to stone but not others...

Bird vs. stone is from Avengers # 191 (1980), by David Michelinie, John Byrne and Dan Green

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why? Because I deliberately held off on most of the "stone" and "rock" puns I could have used. So go vote!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

This Is Your Brain On Crusher Creel--Any Questions?

This is either the worst use ever of the Absorbing Man, or the best ever use of the Absorbing Man. Probably both simultaneously.

Crusher Creel has just broken out of prison, where he had become addicted to drugs (in part because the prison officials there were using drugs to keep the super-powered inmates under control).

Anyway, Creel makes his way to New York, where he becomes an enforcer for the Owl. Unfortunately, along with his usual lack of intelligence, Creel's jonesing for drugs is making him far more of a liability than an advantage.

So the Owl has a him in drugs!! Why...?

All right...someone had been watching Scarface, right?

This is going to lead to a really big EEEEEWWWW later, isn't it?

OK, so what does snorting Crusher Creel get you?

Yeah, so it turns out that ingesting Absorbing Man kinda sorta gives you his powers, for an hour or so. Which leaves poor Spider-Man to try and clean up the mess...

 Gee, Spidey, you didn't react that way when Harry Osborn was tripping out!

Of course, the drug is a hit!!

But what about poor Crusher Creel, you ask?

Yes, the Absorbing Man reforms from the tears of junkies. Because EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW...

From Marvel Knights Spider-Man #15-16 (2005)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Making Mega-City One Great Again!

In the not-too-distant future, soon to be Chief Judge Eustace Fargo is seeking his destiny, as this documentary tells us:

2027? That's not that long from now...

Thank heavens it could never happen here...

From 2000 AD #1510 (2006)