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?
How about AN EVEN BIGGER SUPER-POWERED GIANT ROBOT.
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.