Chris Has A Cold



Your regularly scheduled hilarity will return when I emerge from my NyQuil Coma.


Peter Parker shares my pain in Spider-Man’s tangled Web #11 by Darwyn Cooke, which also doubles as one of the best J. Jonah Jameson stories ever printed. For reals.

The Shameless Flirting of Mary Jane Watson

Your Spidey Super Stories Moment of Joy for this week:



Dude, Mary Jane. Your boyfriend is right there.



We know, Spidey. We know.


The heartbreak of dating a super-model is chronicled in Spidey Super Stories #27, wherein Loki interrupts MJ’s game and gets a boot to his chops for his trouble.



BONUS FEATURE: I Seriously Have No Idea


Behold, and be perplexed:



Celebrating International RGAHSA Day 2007

…And we’re back, and what better way to return from a week of being able to catch up on sleep and video games than with an earnest, heartfelt discussion of a man and his super-powered Communist primates?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen:



It’s The Red Ghost And His Super-Apes!


It’s not that I really need an excuse to talk about these guys–what with the fact that a cosmonaut and his Marxist test monkeys getting super-powers from space is like the fifth best character concept in history–but this particular discussion actually comes from a conversation I was having with my pal Chad.

As you may already know, bad simians of all kinds hold a particular interest for Chad, which led him to delcare that today, August 18, should be International Red Ghost And His Super Apes Day, and I wholeheartedly agree. Even without the benefit of being focused on a commie who–and this is going to be so awesome that I have to italicize it–battles the Fantastic Four with cosmic-powered space-apes, there’s really no better way to celebrate the birthday of our own Kevin Church. After all, he was able to overcome the handicaps of being a communist ape himself to achieve his own brand of Internet Fame in a story that can inspire us all.

So for tonight’s inaugural edition of International RGAHSA day, I bring you something awesome:



For those of you who have never read the absolutely phenomenal Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series, allow me to assure you: It has everything you love about Spider-Man, everything you love about the Human Torch, everything you love about Dan Slott’s scripts, and pretty much everything you ought to love about Ty Templeton’s art. And this is the best issue of the series.

Each issue takes place at a certain point in the charaters’ history, and this one–opening with Spidey complaining to a recently-killed Gwen Stacy about recent run-ins with the Punisher and Luke Cage–fits in squarely around 1974, just in time for Amazing Spider-Man #130’s debut of the single greatest piece of super-hero paraphernalia since Stardust’s various lasers: The Spider-Mobile.

Because really–and I am totally serious about this–there is only one thing better than seeing Spider-Man rolling around Manhattan in a color-coordinated dune buggy. But we’ll get to that in a second.

All you really need to know for this issue is that Reed Richards has (surprise!) invented a crazy machine that changes gravity in a localized area around an object, and while he is completely ignorant of the radical wall-crawling dune buggy applications, the Red Ghost has decided to steal it for the further glory of the Soviet Union.

Let’s pause here and take one more look at that guy, shall we?



Man. A long-sleeved red vest with no shirt, blue gloves, a studded leather belt, a mini-skirt, and capped off by a head of hair reminiscent of Hulk Hogan, circa 1999. The only way the Red Ghost’s outfit could be better is if he was Zardoz.

Anyway, before he can get his filthy communist paws on Mr. Fantastic’s Anti-Gravity Ray, however, Spidey and the Torch decide that it would be a good idea to add it to the car’s engine:



They were wrong. That is an awesome idea. If only because of what it leads to.

Realizing that his original plan of replacing the Gravity Localizer with a shape-shifted cosmic baboon was doomed to failure despite critical levels of radness, the Red Ghost (and his Super-Apes) track down the heroes, at which time something happens that may actually be the most awesome thing ever:



Spider-Man Gets Carjacked By Super-Powered Communist Space Monkeys


Just being able to type that sentence has brought tears of joy to my eyes. But it actually gets better, because really: When your car gets stolen by a gang of Soviet primates and their sinister middle-aged master, there’s only one way to fight back:

The Delicious Taste and Real Fruit Filling of Mostess Fruit Pies



So, to review: Fruit pies, monkeys from space, the creeping scourge of cosmic communism, Zardoz, and a red and blue dune buggy that can do donuts on the side of a skyscraper. I’m no scientist*, but I’m pretty sure that makes this a good contender for the title of Best Comic Ever, and it’s only made better thanks to the Red Ghost and His Super-Apes.

Join us in our appreciation, won’t you?



*: Surprise!

Giant Robot Super-Heroes!

After taking on the Punisher’s brief tenure as a black guy earlier this week, I thought it might be a good idea to take this opportunity and explain another one of the more obscure references I’ve made lately. This time, though, I’m bringing out one of the most awesome pieces of Marvel history that remains overlooked to this day, much to the detriment of the company at large.

I refer, of course, to the mind-shattering saga of the Marvel MegaMorphs.



Written by Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane‘s Sean McKeever with art by four-time Mortal Kombat tournament champion Liu Kang–sorry, that’s actually Lou Kang, of Warlands fame–this series is about… Well, you can probably guess the premise just from looking at the cover, but just for the sake of being complete, I’ll go through it one more time for those of you in the back:



Of course we can, Tony! That’s why they call these meetings “Anonymous.”

Yes, Tony Stark, in an effort to stay on the cutting edge of the super-heroes’ war on crime, has created The MegaMorphs, which are giant transforming robots powered by the super-powers of the user. Thus, the Spider-Man robot can shoot webs and climb on walls and the Wolverine robot can repair damage to itself, but only when Spider-Man and Wolverine are riding around in them.

One more time, that’s a giant robot that has a healing factor powered by its driver’s own mutant abilities.

This is unquestionably one of the absolute stupidest premises in the history of comics. And it is also genius.

McKeever and Kang take the basis for the story–provided, much like our beloved ROM: Spaceknight, by a toy line consistently rated at one whole star on Amazon–and just go freakin’ nuts with it. These are guys who don’t waste time asking why the Hulk needs a giant green robot that can turn into a tank, but instead focus on all the things the Hulk could smash with a giant green robot that can turn into a tank.

And it’s non-stop: Aside from Tony Stark’s half-sheepish, half-bragging introductions, there is absolutely no explanation made whatsoever to explain how these things are supposed to work, which becomes especially problematic when Ghost Rider’s giant metal body starts shooting mystical hellfire out of giant flamethrowers. Heck, there’s not even really a discussion of what these things are supposed to accomplish by turning into hundred foot-long giant motorcycles and metal spiders at all. Instead, all of that is neatly avoided, and replaced starting on page two with scenes like this:



Your eyes do not deceive you: In a master plan almost worthy of Spidey Super Stories, That is a Giant Robot Doctor Octopus using rockets to steal the Statue of Liberty so he can build a giant machine that will steal the powers of every super-hero on Earth. It’s been a while, but I think it’s safe to say it:


And it just gets crazier from there: The first part of the trade is taken up with the comics that were included with each of the figures, where we see the MegaMorphs utterly failling to stop Giant Robot Doc Ock’s evil plan. Which, for those of you keeping score at home, means that yes, he manages to steal the entire Statue of Liberty by using rockets, even though Captain America hits him so hard that he gives a giant robot googly eyes.

They do eventually manage to beat him through, I don’t know, togetherness or teamwork or believing in yourself or something like that, but not before it’s revealed that Dr. Octopus was working for someone far more sinister, but with an equal postgraduate education.



That’s right: Dr. Doom not only hired Doc Ock to steal the plans for the MegaMorphs and built an entire army of giant Doombots to fight them, but takes over the Hulk’s brain and attacks a SHIELD installation to achieve his true goal, which would allow them to destroy the MegaMorphs himself. And what, I ask you, could he possibly have in mind to take on a squad of super-powered giant robots?




Oh Yeeeeeeeeah!

When you absolutely positively have to team up with a bowler-wearing secret agent to take on the King of All Monsters… Accept no substitutes.

Long story short, Red Ronin kicks the crap out of the MegaMorphs for a while until clean living and cooperation save the day or something, and everything pretty much works out okay.

That might sound vague, but to be honest, I have absolutely no idea how this story actually ends, because every time I see this



…my brain explodes.

I mean really: That’s Giant Robot Spider-Man riding around on a motorcycle–which is on fire because it is also Giant Robot Ghost Rider–and dragging Red Ronin’s decapitated robot body behind him on a giant spider-web. The only way that could be better is if they jumped a creek while the horn played Dixie.




The Two Most Awesome Non-Fightin’ Scenes
From Marvel MegaMorphs




Oh yeah. That’s continuity, suckers.

Thanos! The Aftermath

Thanos was arraigned in Superior Court, in and for the City of New York.

In a moment, the results of that trial.



Thanos was found guilty on one count of disturbing the peace and one count of simple assault, and was sentenced to forty hours of community service and a stern talking-to from Mar-Vell.



BONUS FEATURE: Thanos Has A Rap Sheet


Courtesy of The Smoking Cube:


(Click for a legible image)


Thanos! The Ultimate Nihilist!

Your Spidey Super Stories Moment of Joy for this week:




But alas…


(Click for a larger, somehow more awesome image)


Here’s something you might not know about Thanos: Sometimes, he rolls around in a helicopter with his own name painted on the side.


All panels from Spidey Super Stories #39, which concludes with Thanos being taken into custody by two uniformed policemen in what is the most beautiful denoument ever written.