Friday, January 06, 2006

THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, DELUXE EDITION #8 Marvel Comics, 1986



My copy of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition #8 is beat to hell. I’m not complaining; a lot of my comics are kind of trashed. Let me share a little secret with you about my comic book collection, which is bigger than some and smaller than others:

None of my comics are in bags.

Sure, I have a few dozen cherished comics that are bagged up; for some reason all of Grant Morrison’s JLA comics are in bags and are therefore in great condition. But the rest of them are just sitting naked in my long boxes, vulnerable to the ravages of time, ultraviolet radiation, and my cat. Believe me, I have tried bagging them in the past, but I have so many frickin’ comics now that the prospect seems daunting. My laziness is going to be the death of my comics collection some day.

You know what? I don’t really care. I’m one of those strange people that buys comics to read. Bags just get in the way.

Anyway, if the condition of a given comic in my collection is an indicator of how much I enjoyed it, then OHMU(DE) #8 and I should move to Oregon and get legally married, because that comic is fucked up. You should see my copy of Daredevil #181, it looks like it’s spent a year on the bottom of an elephant cage. It would make you cry how badly I’ve taken care of it.

This beat-up edition of OHMU(DE) has mandroids, Man-Thing, The Mandarin, and a roster of The Masters of Evil drawn by Kevin Maguire. Is it any wonder why I love it so much?

Plus! Ripped from the pages of West Coast Avengers, one of the Greatest Villains Ever (he said sarcastically): Master Pandemonium!

I had started to describe Master P, the man with the demon arms, but he is so lame that he is worthy of a post all his own. For now, be satisfied with just gazing on his OHMU(DE) entry and contemplating the brilliance that is Master Pandemonium.

You know who really is one of the coolest villains ever? For reals? The Mandarin, the incredibly powerful Iron Man villain. First conceived as a Fu Manchu rip-off, The Mandarin has evolved over the decades into… well, okay, he’s still sort of a Fu Manchu rip-off, but that’s part of his charm.

In addition to the Mandarin character entry, OHMU(DE) #8 has this great layout of The Mandarin’s rings of power. For those who do not know and love The Mandarin like I do, let me explain: The Mandarin wears ten strange rings of alien origin, each with its own super-power. Check them out:

The rings are, from left pinky to right thumb: ice blast, mento-intensifier, electro-blast, flame blast, white light, black light/dark force, disintegration beam, vortex beam, impact beam, and matter rearranger. (Stupid spell check doesn’t think that “rearranger” is a word, but if it’s in OHMU, then it’s a word.) Any one of those rings would be enough power for most villains, but Mandy wears all ten at the same time, making him insanely powerful. Seriously, The Mandarin could kill Superman. And his dog.

The Marvel Universe version of Merlin is included in this issue as well, and boy does he look pissed:


Hey, is Merlin flipping us off? Not only is he flipping us off, his middle finger is glowing with eldritch power for extra style points. That is one pissed-off wizard.

Maybe it’s the cone hat. I’d be in a foul mood if I had to wear that, too. Merlin’s probably just angry because people mix him up with Gandalf, even though he precedes Gandalf by a couple hundred years. I can just imagine some punk kid coming up to Merlin and yelling: “Hey, Gandalf! Yooou shall not pass!!!” I’ll bet he gets that all the time, and if people don’t think he’s Gandalf they think he’s Santa. No wonder he’s so agro. There’s only so much disrespect a wizard can take before he turns somebody into a frickin’ toad.


63 comments:

dave o said...

Ah, back when Jean Grey had a code-name.

Mike P said...

Was this an unofficial "OHMU" week? Will there be more "OHMU" shenanigans next week? I hope so.

Didn't Master Pandemonium end up getting shredded to death by his own arms or something?

Nik said...

What I want to know, where the hell is everyone running to on those covers? Is the Hulk behind them with a horrible case of indigestion?

gorjus said...

John Byrne. John Byrne is making them do things they don't want to do.

I liked "Master Panda"! Okay, mainly because I was such a total Whacko. And? Bagging comics is for dorx. Real nerds read comixx!

Cassino said...

Master Pandemonium he has a whole in his heart that can only be filled by magic babies. It's kind of sweet, when you think about it.

Michael Brown said...

As lame as Master Pandemonium is, that West Caost Avengers story was probably one of the creepiest ways to kill off two babies I've ever read in comics.

When he used Wanda's wailing kids as arms ... just thinking about it in context is just thrillingly horrible.

Martin Wisse said...

Bloody Byrne.

As a writer he made a great penciler.

I used to have a school agenda which used those wraparound covers of OHOTMU (Deluxe) as background illustrations for each week --how cool was that?

Chris said...

"You know who really is one of the coolest villains ever? For reals? The Mandarin, the incredibly powerful Iron Man villain."

Yes! Why does Marvel not realize this? The dude is Asian, carries the bling, and could pretty much put any hero into Jupiter's orbit just by giving him the finger!

Bonus points to the Mandarin for having a name that allows Iron Man to make fun of him by calling him "Mandy". (Yeah, he did that.)

Vic Fluro said...

Is that Brian Bolland doing Merlin?

David Campbell said...

Impressive! Extra points for Vic Fluro. It was indeed Brian Bolland who drew Merlin.

kelvingreen said...

Hang on, which Merlin is that? The one who fought the Avengers, or the one who used to be Captain Britain's boss?

Grotesqueticle said...

Call me anything you want. The thought of all those comics sitting there unbagged is just baffling.
For all you Bryne-haters - between the time Kirby left and Bryne took over FF, the only event worth noticing that happened in between was Ben Grimm wearing the "Thing" exo-skeleton. That was cool.
We're talking a 12 year drought, people.

Bill Reed said...

I don't bag my comics either. I'm too lazy, and it's an extra expense. The only comics I have bagged are the ones that came that way when I bought them.

Let's not suffocate our comics; let your children run wild and free! For as the old saying goes, "Let your children run wild and free."

Anonymous said...

"No, Merlin, I am *not* going to sniff your finger."

Anonymous said...

All hail King Byrne! I heard (rumor) he was currently making right-winged rants from his web site a la the ultimate warrior, but I STILL love the guy! His runs on x-men, avengers, and ff are the stuff dreams are made of!(70's popular culture touchstones aside...)

PS: With all due respect, who bought a comic book in the 90's and doesnt own a million bags?

-thebridgeisover

Angry Android said...

I like how you shortened Paster Pandemonium's name to "Master P." Make 'em say, "Uhhhh!"

zailo said...

I like the way that al of the Mandarin's power rings' emblems look as if they were made with that old playdo extruding toy and pasted onto rings. Wait, was that a run-on sentence?

verification: mcnxsuks

Hey! McNx does suck.

Macavity said...

I can't believe I'm the first one to point this out: Merlin is pointing with his index! It's clearly the first finger beside his thumb and 3rd from his pinky..... damn! The reason this man is so pissed off is that he only has 4 fingers!!! or, 3 and a thumb, if you are one of those people... Poor Merlin......

arizonateach said...

Damn you Peter Sanderson! I tried to build my own power ring (and I do NOT want to talk about what I had to do to get my hands on a magno-gravitic particle projector in a post 9/11 world), but he must have left some key component out of his intricate diagrams! All mine does is turn my fingers green.

Which I suppose is what happened to the Mandarin's right hand.

And for the record, I think it's terribly obvious that the Merlin we see there is the future incarnation of the Doctor. Duh.

Dweeze said...

Pandemonium,
He's the man, the man with the demon touch
The demon touch
From Master Pandemonium


Several years back, prior to moving in with the woman who would become my wife (Thanks Mind Control!), I threw away - THREW AWAY - about 25 years worth of comics, keeping only those things I thought I might read again, which still amounted to 20 long boxes. And despite four subsequent moves, those long boxes are still with me, though they are recipients of much swearing and stern looks every time I have to move them, and the 20 or so short boxes, I have acquired since the purge.

Anonymous said...

"I like the way that al of the Mandarin's power rings' emblems look as if they were made with that old playdo extruding toy and pasted onto rings. "

Actually, that *is* how they make some jewelry these days. There's this special clay-like material, which contains gold or silver particles in a polymer binder. You mold it to the shape you want, then bake it in a kiln or oven, which evaporates the polymer leaving only the precious metal in the shape you wanted.

Apparently, the aliens who made Mandarin's rings were bizarre refugees from a 2006 craft store.

Dan Coyle said...

Didn't they once do an Iron Man where the Mandarin fought Fu Manchu? Well, they should have.

kalel666 said...

Why are they all running? It was a little known event from the "Contest of Champions" series: Eat a greasy pork sandwich, served in a dirty ashtray, then run for the one crapper. Winner is Champion of the Universe.

kelvingreen said...

And for the record, I think it's terribly obvious that the Merlin we see there is the future incarnation of the Doctor. Duh.
Oh dear. Let's not get that one going. .. ;)

Chuck T. said...

My local comic shop is nice enough to sell all new comics bagged (I don't know if other stores do that as standard, but anyway) but I don't bag either. Too lazy, and if I wanna read something, I wanna read it. My old Marvel Star Wars comics are the ones in the worst shape, because back when I was a kid, I may have had a hundred or so comics total, and I read and re-read them.
By the way, the Comic Book Shop, Spokane Washington; would have the best quarter book selection ever, if I wasn't pillaging it...

Fantomas said...

Can't believe that no one mentions that the reason that Bolland drew Merlin is because he was doing Camelot 3000 for DC Comics at the time.

Anonymous said...

I have never bagged. I'm not a collector. I just don't throw away.

Austin G. said...

Okay, I buy comics to read them. And I keep them to someday read them again. And again. So I'm also a collector. But I have no intention of ever selling my comics. I've never purchased a comic I didn't want to read. I've never slabbed a comic. However, every comic I own is bagged, and sixty percent are boarded as well. Why? So that I can keep reading them. Over and over. And my future, unborn offspring can read them. Bagging 'em just makes them last that much longer.

Jason Fliegel said...

The running thing is worse than you think. Lay all 15 issues of the series end-to-end and it forms one big long panel of everyone running ... and the panel wraps around from issue 15 back to issue 1, so those guys can never stop running.

Ever.

OHOTMU(DE) #3 was one of the first comics I bought with my own money. I'm such a dork that I can still tell you (from memory) that it covered Cloak to Doctor Octopus.

Stacie Ponder said...

Are Master Pandemonium and friends line dancing in that action-packed panel?

Is that "Achy-Breaky Heart" I hear?

gorjus said...

Vas ist der Dave??

Anonymous said...

Bags are for fa-- sissies. Mine is less a collection than an accumulation.

Sarah said...

Don't you worry about the comics falling over in the box and getting all folded up? I don't mind wear from reading, but I do get annoyed when my stuff self-destructs in storage. Hence, bagging.

Of course, I don't even have enough floppies to fill a single longbox since my mom THREW OUT MY CHILDHOOD COLLECTION. Including not a few Official Handbooks! *sobs*

Mike P said...

I think Dave has been done in by the now mutated Yard o' Beef.

Bully said...

"Dave's not here, man." (snicker, giggle)

Snoops said...

Wasn't there a new Campbell coming into the world around this time? I figured that's where Dave is.

Now, where's the Velvet Marauder?

NiolK said...

Technically it should be "Wo ist Dave?" gorjus Unless you meant to say "What is the Dave?" which is also a valid, albeit existential, question.

Mandarin does indeed rock out with his cock out.

Kevin Church said...

I suspect Dave is busy with a new baby, as his wife was supposed to pop any day now.

emoticripple said...

Dave, if the rumors are true, congrats. However, we know very well you're not sleeping, so why not throw all those extra hours of consciousness into a panel-by-panel review of The X-cutioner's Song?

Also, it's odd that Brian Bolland should come up, because I reread The Killing Joke in the can today and was just coming on to say that A) It is totally post-worthy B) goddamn is it worthy! C) I am not, in fact, worthy and D) Brian Bolland is a mad, mad pimp in a mad, mad world.

Alan Moore's no slouch either.

missbhavens said...

Oh, I have no idea how I got here but I'm ohhhhh so glad I did!

Master Pandemonium?

How did that one slip by me all those years ago?

RD said...

I have been reading comics for over 28 years and I guess I am the only person on the planet who did not like, or even see the canonical value of, The Killing Joke. I read it again just last week, and still feel the same. And I loves me some Batman. Plus, sad to say, Dave can't marry his comic in Oregon any longer.

Anonymous said...

You okay? it's been almost a week since the last update.

Derek B. Haas said...

What is the Dave? :(

NiolK said...

Thats some deep shit Haas. Fucking poetic. You beautiful bastard.

Nik said...

If you didn't name the kid Kal-El, you're no friend of mine.

Bully said...

I suspect Dave is busy with a new baby, as his wife was supposed to pop any day now.

Oooh, okay. But he'd better produce a birth announcement in the style of OHOTMU, complete with stats, first appearance, history and action shots, or there'll be heck to pay.

Alain said...

You and me RD. Never cared for the Killing Joke. Haven't read it in 10 years or so but I distinctly remember being underwhelmed by it.

We will seem if I still agree with the above when I get my hands on the Complete DC Sories by Alan Moore TPB

Hooligan X said...

I guess it's pretty obvious we're gonna have to take up the slack while Dave is busy. Who wants to break into his house and pick a comic?

Anonymous said...

Chances are that right this minute Dave and his new born spawn are doing fierce battle with a now mutated yard 'o beef!!!

I also wonder what the yard 'o beefs stats would be in the handbook??

Bully said...

I do want Dave, when he comes back, to change his sidebar to "I was sad when Yard O' Beef died."

Anonymous said...

I knew that yard o beef was nothing but trouble when I saw it....

-thebridgeisover

Anonymous said...

You baggers must surely realize that the bags are killing future resale values of comics, don't you? The key to rising comic values is for most of them to perish or be damaged.

Your best bet is to start a bagging backlash, while secretly keeping your own comics bagged.

emoticripple said...

*flames those who do not love Teh Killing Joke


No, I understand. I wondered about the interaction as relative to canon, but, given that Barbara's not walking around, it has to be seen as a legitimate, if strange alleyway of continuity. As a character examination, I couldn't love it more, but I do think it odd that even after learning about Barbara, Bats still has the conversation.

Whatever. I maintain that it's a great piece of writing.

Anonymous said...

Pick me to break in! Pick ME!

Mike P said...

Which comic book parent/child relationship do you think Dave's life will be most like? Reed Richards and his children? Ben Parker and Peter Parker? Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson? Other relationships I can't think of right now?

gwalla said...

Corsair and Cyclops and/or Havoc?

Nate said...

Where have you gone? Who is left to protect us from Kobra's insidious designs?

Bully said...

Any truth to the rumour Dave named his kid "Airwolf"?

Bully said...

Which comic book parent/child relationship do you think Dave's life will be most like?... Other relationships I can't think of right now?

Doom and Kristoff?

Hooligan X said...

Alright, Anonymous, go get us one of Dave's books then we'll give it a read.

Perfect name for a B&E man, BTW.

Anonymous said...

"Which comic book parent/child relationship do you think Dave's life will be most like? "

Dominic Santini and Stringfellow Hawke.

Okay, they're not family. Work with me.

The question is, will Dave tell his offspring that they have a long-lost brother named St. John?

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