Saturday, December 3, 2011

CONCLUSIONS: 1980s Avengers by Marvel Comics Group

You can say that again, Cap.


Roger Stern had a knack around ’83 for writing one-word titles for his AMAZING SPIDER-MAN stories. So, my little tribute to that: “Conclusions!” Er, I probably ought to read #277 again real quick. Or go on to bed.

FIRST: It's really the ideal third or fourth AVENGERS movie, imho. Maybe, with some re-"Vision" even a template to the sequel of the one coming out next summer! I would love to write that treatment...all credit to this team for inspiring me so. Write absent Tony Stark/ Iron Man into absent Namor's place and it starts writing itself.

As a kid, one thing I LOVED was pretending to be the different scenes of a fight, heroes versus villains, crossing right over into each other's way. Here, you have Thor on one hand, cursed with brittle bones, fighting the ever-growing Goliath, and on the other, the Wrecker, now with the power of all the Wrecking Crew channeled back into him by Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, leaving Piledriver, Thunderball and Bulldozer powerless. Cap, without his shield (Zemo's got it, remember) and the Wasp take him on..and with team work...and a fifty foot drop!!!....the Avengers prevail!

I have to write about this because, complete with coda, it’s the very best Captain America scene I ever read. The Masters of Evil fall apart, but the psycho-drama generates the most intense moment of the entire run, as Captain America confronts the very madness that has caused all this devastation.

the face-off


If you’ve ever had your home torn apart, literally or figuratively, you understand this last scene. After all the physical bravery is done, there’s a moment of mourning, a way to initiate the courageous path ahead, from a past whose connections recede further into the distance. But mourning becomes morning once ‘u’ be taken out of it---right?

Let’s just say it reminds me today of something villainous done to me and my family by someone we trusted and loved. Lies and destruction do not need fantastically powered thugs…very ordinary ones will do. What we lost was the way to talk to, see, listen to our nephews and niece, David, Austin, and Ciara. Someone’s insanity led to destruction somehow symbolized to me by wounded Hercules, Black Knight and Jarvis…who will never be what he was, again, most likely. Yet, there is a road to recovery from anything that didn’t kill us. Sometimes those we thought lost have never, where ever they are, forgotten us. We can still inspire them!

To me, those kids---I read the story of the Avengers finding Cap frozen in the ice with David and Austin when they were little boys at Grandma/Granpa’s, and they still loved the SECRET WARS characters when I saw them and we played in the front yard of their aunt’s house after the big Cecilpalooza picnic, my delightful memory of visiting Georgia last year---those kids are the ones who must really be brave, torn from all they knew and loved, by people severing them from their roots. They are my little heroes. They won’t be quite so little anymore when we see each other again.

Captain America’s fictional plight is that ALL his people, his family and friends of old, are washed away by time, yet he must progress nonetheless, for the love of everyone’s family and friends.

When we view Steve Roger’s torn photograph from between his shaking hands…the only one, of a mother he loved, who never liked having her picture taken…we become Steve Rogers. We become Captain America. And with him, we move on from the past, shattered by time and elements, to those who need our help now.

And get this guy a digital camera. He needs to take more pictures than he did back then.

Let me just say here, once someone spirits away comatose Hercules in the night, the quest to find him leads them to another epic test, #381-385. The last complete Stern storyline gets high marks as pretty wicked, too; the Avengers against the divided alliances of the vengeance driven Greek Gods, whisked away to the worlds of their cosmology? Fighting their way through Hades?

Yes, take it from someone who discovered the Greek myths through Encyclopedia Brittanica via Thor, Hercules, and cross-reference, it’s all that. Machine Man was next on the agenda, too, and I know he loves the character and handled him well in a guest shot multi-part collision with INCREDIBLE HULK before MM’s book was resurrected under Steve Ditko! (See last fall’s Integr8d Fix. Blogspot for those---Late night Lue).

Like Stern (ha! I fancy myself “like Stern”), my next work’s going to be about robots…DANGER BOT in particular, my Superman/ Superwoman of the 21st century, in a world very much like our own, eleven years in the future. I have a couple more great installments dedicated to STAR BLAZERS to keep me writing meanwhile, too!

I just thought it'd be fun to remember these comics, after reading them a couple months ago. I meant to create my own seven page comic story in the meantime, which I now see needs adapting as storyboards (where the page layout of the frames is not inter-dependent) as well as prose, springing from a comic-book style script, somewhat similar to a television script in its concerns, managing the story's presentation. I apparently will have to start on all those forms simultaneously; should I journey to blick's art supplies and buy actual story board paper, to go with the Bristol boards?

I plan to call two of my favorite science fiction fans ever as I work on this, too. It seems like the story boards---all screen-sized frames of rough drawings---should come first, to help me set up the individual "camera shots." I even wonder if another story from this spring won't come to life meanwhile first, as it does not require the handling of technologically-picky information like DANGER's more of a psycho-mystical thriller, is MIRROR MASK. So is the plot I'm working up, inspired by friend Ed Pettis' stream-of-conscious re-interpretation of the Vision...and at least one of the stories written here in this blog, adapted with wholly original characters.

(Not to mention the stories I originally had planned this time last year; there was something incomplete in the process at the time, so maybe going into next year...I have a business to develop and music and drawings, alongside the stories, plus a magnificent project to help me cope with my nephews and niece being snatched away from the family without warning, right out of the house their grandfather and aunt restored with their own two hands...they are with their parents, we believe, but sadly, who knows. All this happened while we two are three thousand miles away; one day we weren't Facebook friends anymore and didn't have a phone number or address for them. Those kids were cut off from contact with everyone they had known.

I think we will see each other again one day...starting with these paintings we have in mind, celebrating the things those David, Austin and Ciara loved and found exciting when we knew them. It's a way to reach them, after all.)

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