Monday, June 27, 2005
THE AVENGERS #198 Marvel Comics, 1980
Does Wolverine even smoke anymore?
I mean, sure, he guts people like fish, but does he smoke and drink anymore? Back in the day Wolverine smoked like a frickin' chimney and could often be seen in bars trying to pick a fight or get in somebody's pants - now he just kills people. Am I off base, here? I don't really read a lot of Wolverine or X-Men comics anymore, on account of them sucking so much ass, so maybe I'm out of the loop. It used to be that Wolverine would smoke and drink but he’d never kill anybody or he’d only kill “androids,” (wink wink) but now it seems like he can Go Manson on people but doesn’t have any other vices. Because, you know, he’s a role model and stuff.
That’s why I like The Avengers #198; because the comic starts with Wonder Man and The Beast just shit-faced drunk after an all-nighter.
Now that’s what I want to see more of: drunken superheroes! And not Tony-Stark-tragic-drunk-superheroes – I’m talking about wacky, fun-loving drunken superheroes! It’s just something we don’t have enough of these days. I would draw the line at showing The Beast snorting a line of coke off a hooker’s ass, but I don’t begrudge the guy a drink now and then. Hell, if I had to fight Ultron or somebody I would be hitting the bar afterwards and boring everybody with my war stories and making people buy me drinks. “I just saved all your asses! Who’s buying Wonder Man a drink?”
Ok, let’s move on to the other thing I want to see more of: giant robots!
This issue, written by David Micheline with art by George Perez, pits The Avengers against a rampaging giant robot named Red Ronin, who was built to fight Godzilla.
Let’s just let that sentence sink in for a minute. How can this not be a great comic book?
Here’s Hank and Simon, still drunk, spotting Red Ronin (or as the cover refers to him, Red Ronan).
“That’s not the booze talking, Wondy…”
Red Ronin has been ‘jacked by the insane Dr. Cowan, who has designed a cybernetic helmet that allows him to control the giant robot from within. His plan? He wants to start World War III to bring humanity together or something. That makes a lot of sense, Dave said ironically.
Anyway, The Avengers intercede. Captain America knows that he can’t do jack shit against a giant robot, so he sends the two Avengers who are actually weaker than him into the robot. Now that is what I call leadership.
Okay, to be fair, Yellowjacket and Wasp are tiny and they can get inside the robot, whereas Cap cannot. They both get blasted out by high-powered vents shortly after entering Red Ronin.
You know, if I was Captain America I’d put my foot down and say, “It’s great that there are so many shrinking heroes, but we’ve got to put a limit on how many we can have on our team. Maybe we could have one full-time shrinking hero and have the rest on-call in case we need somebody to hunt for rats in The Avengers Mansion or recover lost quarters or something.” I mean, the Pym particles that allow Yellowjacket, The Wasp, and the various Ant-Mans to shrink also allow them to grow, too. Would you rather have a teeny-tiny Avenger or a 75 foot Avenger when you have to fight a giant robot? Seems like a no-brainer to me, but Cap’s a tactical genius, so what do I know?
I loved this issue when I was a kid because, hey – giant robot! I have always loved giant robots, though not as much as some people. When I was a kid I had the Mazinga Shogun Warrior figure and I dearly wanted to be little Johnny Sako and have Giant Robot at my beck and call. Alas, in the real world giant robots are rare and not available to children, so I had to turn to the world of fiction. I still want to get one of these, though – I think that’s as close as you can get.
But you know, as this issue clearly demonstrates, if you build a giant robot like Red Ronin, you run the risk of it getting ‘jacked by somebody like crazy-ass Dr. Cowan. How crazy is he? Check it out, his cyber-control helmet has a “destroy” setting:
Clearly he is out of his frickin’ mind.
If it were me, I’d hook up the loudspeaker on Red Ronin and spread a little fear while I was at it:
Giant robots? Drunken superheroes? It is on, indeed!