Wednesday, August 17, 2005
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS YOUR MOM #135 Marvel Comics, 1993
Marvel Comics Presents was perhaps one of the most unsatisfying comic book reading experiences ever. Ever!
An anthology book, MCP had four serialized short stories per issue – about eight pages each. You could count on two of the four stories starring Wolverine, Ghost Rider, or The Punisher, and the rest was filler. Despite the bi-weekly shipping schedule, MCP was a frustrating read because you would only get a fraction of each serialized storyline - you could read just enough of the story to remember what the hell was going on, and then it ended.
This issue, for instance, features part four of a five-part Wolverine story, part three of a four-part Iron Fist story, part five of a six-part Ghost Rider/Luke Cage story, a stand-alone Black Widow story, and a story featuring a cute little Japanese Sanrio animal. Each story has a different creative team. Each story is crap. That's right: crap. I'm going to go so far as to say that this comic – Marvel Comics Presents #135 - literally sucks ass. Literally.
The only MCP storyline that anyone really was invested in was Barry Windsor-Smith's twelve part "Weapon X" storyline, which featured the sort-of origin of Wolverine. It was beautifully illustrated, but I don’t remember being blown away by the actual story. It mostly consisted of Wolverine hooked up to a bunch of colorful wires and pretty lights.
In this issue we have an obligatory Wolverine story by Dan Slott and Steve Lightle which I won’t mock because I like both those guys. There’s also a Ghost Rider/Luke Cage team-up, only during the nineties he was just called “Cage.” Because, you know, it’s cooler. This story is just eight pages of Cage running from zombies and Ghost Rider arguing with Generic Demon #73.
Here’s an excerpt of the conversation between the two demons:
That’s about as interesting as it gets in that story. At least Ghost Rider knows where he stands: “No.”
Then there’s a quick little eight-page Black Widow story with the most bizarre art. I can’t figure out how this art got accepted and published. My daughter can draw better than that – and she’s not even three yet.
Don’t take my word for it, have a look:
What the hell? Did the artist just use his left hand? Or maybe he kept his eyes closed the whole time? Drew it in a mirror? Or upside down? Maybe the artist got carpal tunnel and just made his 10-year old nephew draw the whole thing? Or perhaps this is the first comic ever produced by monkeys in captivity?
Whatever the reason, the end result is really bad art of women who look like they've been hitting the 'roids. And where are Black Widow’s pupils? How do you forget something like eyes?
In addition to the hard-on-the-eyes Black Widow story, we get an Iron Fist vs Sabretooth story. The art is a little cleaner in this story, but it’s full of grimacing characters who look like they are trying to pass a couple of bowls of Colon Blow through their system:
Finally, there’s a gritty one-shot story that features a flying Sanrio kitty who has to use all of her mystical kitty powers to defeat a group of crack dealers who have been possessed by Dormammu. Heads will roll and arteries will spray before the Sanrio kitty emerges battered but victorious. I thought the juxtaposition between the adorable Japanese kitty and the horrific Satanic imagery was disturbing, but effective.
Okay, maybe there wasn’t actually a Sanrio kitty vs. possessed crack dealers story. But you can’t tell me that Marvel Comics Presents #135 would have been any worse if there was.