Friday, July 29, 2011
Avengers: The Super Villain War!
Sponsored by Integr8d Soul Productions, featuring DNA: The Mountain, drawn with crisp, clear story telling by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane, with scenes and ideas you won't find anywhere else in entertainment!! The comic for those who don't read comics! Black and White, $3 plus shipping each.
Available from C Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101 The Vision takes apart the master plan while held at laser point by a suspicious Doctor Doom, in AVENGERS #156, cover date February, 1977 (probably appearing on spin racks by Thanksgiving, 1976; cover dates were usually thought of as "pull dates" for taking unsold magazines off the stands).
Excellent Avengers tattoos taken on a busy curbside of Harbor Drive during Comic Con, featuring Ant-Man, the android Jocasta, and the scarlet-visaged Vision on the back leg.
When Hollywood's introduced the Avengers to the world at large that hasn't met them yet, you can only hope they'll come up with something half as fun as this idea. This is a story that crossed over with the Super Villain Team-Up as well. Here we have Marvel Arch Villain One Doctor Doom, in what I think is probably his second ever battle with the Avengers.
Not only do you get Captain America and Iron Man, but the Beast (yes, the X-Men guy) and Wonder Man and..er, the Whizzer (super-fast crimefighter active during World War Two), who's presently mistaken to be the father of longtime Avengers Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, so you get a bit of soap opera, too. That set-up, from the issue before, is subsumed when a warlord from under the sea named Attuma has raised the stakes. Part of his gambit involves cybernetic slave collars fitted to the subdued Avengers, filling them with rage as he directs them to attack his enemy, Prince Namor, the Submariner...only to find their target, an armed island off the Atlantic Coast, code name Hydrobase, controlled instead by Doctor Doom (who's just recently dealt with an attempted coup in his kingdom of Latveria). They themselves have fallen to an attack by a powerful minion of the undersea barbarian Attuma, enfolding them in a greater mystery uncovered in the final part.
Listen, it's a big tie-in of so very many elements of the classic Marvel Universe, where heroes and villains originating in one month's stories might well appear in another comic that month as a guest, or enemy, and places established in earlier stories have continuing stories, tying it somewhat loosely, depending on the editorial vision, together as a version of Earth---a very weird version in some ways. I think it's a great lot of fun, and it takes me back to a time when learning often came naturally to me. These stories depicted here, from 1976, are very much in the spirit of their celebrated predecessors of thirteen years before: hyper-active action, American good versus evil, moral questions, and a touch of romance amidst a lot of very human (if occasionally, formulaic) misunderstanding.
There's even some room for characterization, as the Vision, the cybernetic member of the team---the one created as an android, courtesy of the robot Ultron---has been struggling through some issues already when he makes a calculated move in the middle of the action, where he apparently abandons the Avengers, including his wife the Scarlet Witch, after being freed cleverly by her and Captain America. All of these super-heroes, these protectors, stand somewhat apart from the society and individuals they risk their lives to protect. With all its itinerant melodrama, the saga of the Vision, the android's search for a place in humanity while remembering always he is not a human, will most likely be a part of an Avengers movie sequel one day, depending on how things go next year.
Sometime-ally to both Doom and the Avengers, Namor the Submariner, is on the loose as well, and while he's on the side of angels, he's fighting mad, and Attuma uses the arrival of heroes Namor doesn't know to set up a diversion that endangers them all, with a powerhouse battle. In fact, George Perez draws some terrific battles spacing out confrontations in a clear and bombastic way, beginning with the controlled Avengers versus Atlanteans under Namor's cousin Namorita---wary ally of Dr. Doom! The Beast hides himself aboard Attuma's escaping vessel...and the Vision confronts Dr. Doom, with an offer the technocratic tyrant can hardly refuse.
Life's taken me a lot of places since the days when I had little else on my mind, before I saw formulas in writing and before I outgrew the visceral thrill of an adolescent power fantasy, of being colorful, vibrant, and able to shed the everyday world like a sweaty t-shirt. Gone are the days when I absorbed every scintilla of storyline about these marvelously, absurdly fabricated lives, but thanks to a friend and a precious allotment of free time I've had a chance to read many from a cd catalog of comics once reserved for the expense of the back issue boxes (in my case, the ones that survived a terrible fire in 1987, nearly wiping out my favorite comics shop).
But the merits of the comics themselves can't be distinguished without a sense of how they were an early vehicle for me to dig into the past, into the culture of kids and teens of another time. Like music, movies and sometimes even hairstyles and clothes, they brought out a familiar sense to those who recalled them fondly. While comics, like all pop culture, are riven with advertisements (for novelties, books, hobbies, career opportunities and clothing), they evoke an almost unsavory sense of youth and creativity, and images of lives before mine, gathered together with many conversations. Southerners are very much a nostalgic culture and love to tell stories of times gone by.
I could put on Blue Oyster Cult Spectres, Rumours or KISS Alive, the Eagles or ELO, or Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand" and the Southern California summer outside my window could be 1977. Or put on some Motown, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Mozart, and it could be any timeless summer.
As soon as I have a good time sharing with a friend, that wealth of seemingly useless knowledge---which moved a sort of nobility in me and offered my imagination scope and grandeur that would help me succeed in school, get me thinking about life and friendship, and suggest to me the satisfaction of a bit of philosophy now and then. These are so different in tone that the kinds of comics we make at Integr8d Soul, but I devoted hours to writing innovative new adventure heroes and heroines last year, so it's just a matter of time before we catch up to that!
The whole thing would've just been so much fun to play out with a whole neighborhood of kids. Wasn't that the point, in those days when a new comic was twenty-five cents?
Well, here's an aside: actually, they'd just gone up a nickel, in a trend that would see them double in price by the difficult economic tides of 1979. Around that time, comics were considered a dying industry---I think I've heard that refrain somewhere.
I'm feeling the pull of something with more cerebral bite to it, and while that can be offered in a well-designed comic book, to ask too much of a comic of those times besides what it was---a boredom-killing past time for a wide-eyed, energetic person. That's been very useful indeed; of late my learning's been based entirely in experience, as no amount of reading substitutes for playing one's instruments.
I enjoyed reading this, and all of these I've discussed, to relax and stimulate the wide-eyed energetic person still in me. I may not be playing pretend somewhere in the shadows of the back yard literally, but that energy attracts to me original ideas and inspirations.
I think it's getting time to wind up the play of summer with a more studious frame of mind, not only as I continue learning how to embellish my art and complete pages of my own stories, nor the self-taught musical education I share with my partner, but poetry, painting, stories in other languages---the qualities of things discovered as I learned the landscape of the humanities in college long ago.
As I shift focus, I have a special guest coming up who will help me bring you a few DC Comics and foreign comics treasures, and we'll talk Indiana Jones and Conan the Barbarian over the dog days as they swelter away.
First: DNA Comics #1 is ONLINE!!!
Listen, I'm still figuring out integr8dsoul.com, but meanwhile, you can do what Jason did. (He also got a special bonus copy!) In Jason's case, he sent us $9 at
C. Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
which was really cool as it covers shipping and handling, at $1.25 each! The issue itself, DNA #1, retails for $3.00.
You can send $30 and get any three t-shirts and the comic, too---or $25 for the two styles of shirts and a comic.
Be on the look out for Not Another Comic Book! Preview this July!!
Our fresh Integr8d Soul t-shirts can be yours for $12 each or 2 for $20; write for shipping & handling.