Non-violent interludes and other happy talesPosted: 12/16/2012
I originally had an article all ready for today about the superhero Speedball. For those who don’t know the story, Speedball makes a mistake and ignites an exploding supervillain. The resulting blast kills 600 plus people, including 60 schoolchildren. So in light of recent real world events, that article’s going to have be sidelined for a week or two. Instead, let’s just have a good time. No punching, no bad guys, and no problems. Instead of covering tragedy and pain, we’re going to have some fun. Mostly Spider-Man fun.
First up, Mary Jane and the Avengers watch basketball
Before the demon Mephisto erased Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage, Spider-Man’s wife received all sorts of privileges and benefits. Like living in the Avengers Tower with the other superheroes. And when Galactus or Kang the Conqueror are busy destroying other worlds and dimensions, the Avengers can finally relax and catch up on the Knicks. Here’s a delightfully quick scene from Spider-Man: Web of Romance one-shot, written by Tom Beland and drawn by Cory Walker:
Mary Jane’s such an amazing character. Easily the best non-superheroine wife of a superhero. From a strictly storytelling perspective, making Spider-Man single again is a fantastic idea. But the extreme fan outrage of their “divorce” says wonders about the fan appeal for the dear lady. It’s only a matter of years before the two get back together again, and my bleeding heart agrees.
A brief Zatanna intermission
The biggest obstacle for new fans looking to join the comic book world has to be the decades and decades of insane back story and continuity. Actually, trying to give new fans a good starting point is one of the major reasons I started this blog in the first place. So in the interest of getting everyone caught up, let’s learn about Zatanna’s past in the most lighthearted way possible with a scene from Zatanna: Everyday Magic, written by Paul Dini and drawn by Rick Mays.
Like most DC women, Zatanna’s terribly unlucky in love — maybe due to an abundance of male writers or to add emotional layers to the characters or something. I have no idea and that’s a problem I’m not going to touch. Anyway, even sorta sad stories can be made fun with a bit of silly narration. Oh, and if you ever wanted to see Zatanna unleash the occasional f-bomb while teaming up with John Constantine, this might be a good one-shot to pick up.
Finally, Spider-Man bonds with his best friend the Human Torch
You can’t deny they’re best friends. They’re the brother they each wish they had. I don’t care what Harry Osborn has to say. Remember when Johnny Storm “died” a few years ago and he personally requested Spider-Man to be his replacement? I’m just saying Harry Osborn spends most of his time thinking of ways to kill the webslinger. Plus, the Human Torch and Spider-Man fulfill a very important trait lacking in the superhero community: immaturity. In Spider-Man/Human Torch #5, written by Dan Slott and drawn by Ty Templeton, we see the exact moment they became the best of friends:
You see, despite all the arguments and childish games between the two, all they really lacked was the mutual respect that’s so important in superhero partnership. Normally, superheroes will bond while roundhouse kicking ninjas or terrorists, but you know what works faster? Deep, personal secrets.
I love this scene. Johnny’s biggest insecurities — a desire for a parental figure, a legitimate career, the intelligence to match his family, and a steady relationship — are what Peter has in droves. Respectively, Johnny’s lifestyle — the wealth, the unrelenting love from the public, access to the coolest scientific exploits, and an unnecessary need for accountability — are all Peter has ever wanted. See? They complete each other. Thus starts a comic book tradition we can all agree on.
Let’s end happy. We deserve it.