Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Sheriff Lobo

I hope the Omega Men cover is here.  I had a hell of a time getting it to load.  It was a huge pain in the ass, which is much the same way I feel about the cover star, Lobo.  As you can, the DC star who used to be as popular as Wolverine wasn't always a leather jacket wearing psycho with wild hair.  He used to wear a purple and orange leotard.

I've written about Lobo before and my lack of understanding when it comes to his appeal.  When he first started getting popular, however, I will admit to snatching up this back issue (#3, in case the image is not showing up) since it was his first appearance and I figured I would at some point cash in on it.  The store that had it had no idea it was his first appearance.  The back issue was priced at something like $2.00 in Near Mint condition.  It seemed like a good idea.

I never read the issue, though I paged through it.  Quite honestly, his hair freaked me out a bit.  I promptly put the issue back in its sleeve and filed it away.  The series wasn't one I was interested in, and Lobo's appearance in it wasn't enough to get me to read it. 

Characters sometimes have some really strange beginnings.  Wolverine was decent right from the gate.  Batman, too.  Lobo's first appearance isn't anywhere near as bad as Squirrel Girl's, but it's fairly close.  It goes to show that first appearances can be turned around and made into something that falls just short of a phenomenon ... no matter how big of a pain in the ass it is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Namor the Asshole

What Marvel character is arrogant, has tiny wings and smells like fish?  If you guessed Namor, you got it right.  (If you guessed Captain America, give yourself some laugh points.)  The first mutant, Namor is every bit the badass Aquaman wishes he could be all without Aqua's better personality.  He's fought everyone from Daredevil to Wolverine, along with a host of various villains (he's been portrayed as both hero and villain), and he's spent a good part of his life trying to get a peek at Sue Storm's vagina.

I thoroughly dislike the character.

I don't loathe him because he's an asshole.  There are plenty of characters who are assholes that I like (Batman comes to mind).  It has everything to do with how he is portrayed.  Granted, he's among some of Marvel's most three dimensional characters who is as complex as he is wet.  I just have problems with whiny people in power. 

Anakin Skywalker started out as an innocent kid who became a whiny teen.  This whiny teen (who acted as all teens do, and had every reason to turn against the Jedi) became one of cinema's most loved villains who, it so happens, left the whining behind.  Namor has power, prestige and the ability to actually put his plans in place, but his arrogance usually fouls him up somehow, and then he starts whining about it.  He also doesn't learn from his mistakes.  The "surface dwellers" have screwed him over roughly two billion times, yet he still deals with them instead of handing them their heads.

This can be looked at as complex writing in the hand of Marvel's creators, and normally I'd agree with that.  I see it as kind of lazy, though.  It seems as if the writers are afraid to really make this guy grow in any substantial way.  Yes, his character has had marginal changes throughout the decades, but they aren't significant enough.  Such is the nature of comics, I suppose, but that shouldn't stop someone from complaining about it especially when you see how other characters have changed (Guy Gardner, Daredevil, and Steve Rogers come to mind).

I understand that Namor's fans will have issue with a lot of this, and I accept that.  I will contend, however, that the character will be so much better if the writers would really cut loose with him, and that's something I don't think anyone will argue against.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fear and Loathing: Marshal Law

That man to your left?  The guy wearing the bondage mask and holding up sign asking if Public Spirit is a rapist?  That's Marshal Law.  In 1987 Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill introduced him to the world through Epic Comics.

For me it was love at first sight.  Bondage gear goes a long way with me, I guess.  That and barbed wire wrapped around the arm and a job that involves hunting heroes didn't hurt any either.  It was dark, funny stuff that was the antidote for titles like Web of Spider-Man.

The character has jumped from company to company and cross-over to cross-over.  Original output has been pretty scarce, however.  Perhaps it was too dark.  Perhaps it was because it poked fun of many sacred comic book icons.  Or maybe it was the cross-overs.  It doesn't really matter.  The stories have all but stopped, and that's a shame for the fans of this character.

Marshal Law is no Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or even Iron Man.  That said, he is unforgettable.  His unapologetic way of dealing with the heroes he has had to go up against sets him apart from most of the pack.  His costume also does the same.  Just looking at him is painful.  He needs a regular book, and he needs it now.

Until that day comes, I have my back issues ... and violent, violent memories.