Thursday, August 5, 2010
Diamondhead: "Am I Evil? Yes I am"
Spider-Man! Iron Man! Thor! Nova! All shatter before our eyes---smashed by the angry fists of Diamondhead!
Yet this is no mere symbolic montage: in fact, much like the opening splash that first brought us the Punisher, Diamondhead trains against these robots, a rockets, bullets of titanium. Nothing can stop him! He nearly forgets the Destructoid Super Robot remaining, yet he readily demonstrates the prowess that he thinks will make him a great new crime lord.
All of his life, from the playground to the boxing ring to now, Archie Dyker identifies with the villain. His attempted theft one night led him to exposure to the diamond-based ray that played catalyst to his skin’s new surface, resembling a roughneck in diamond, like a jewel given life shaped by human greed and form.
Though their paths have yet to cross, Diamondhead shares an ultimate foe with Condor and Powerhouse, in the guise of the unrevealed Dreaded One. Who is this colossal menace, whose battles already begin to ensnare the Human Rocket?
So around 800 words.
From the hidden laboratory of Diamondhead to the Ryder family home, being the rare unorphaned Marvel super hero does not exactly make his life a rose garden. Rich argues about his apparent school fighting with his principal dad, who sends him to his room without supper. Mom comes in with a steak sandwich and a peace keeper’s words about the pressures Dad has, answering to new enforcement in school standards.
Out of frustration, Rich kicks his weight set, nearly wrecking his room with his strength, not to mention giving away his secret!
She's devoted to keeping all her men strong, and Rich feels now at ease.
His solitude becomes a relief, as now he can patrol the city as Nova, unmissed. Good old police band tips him off to a robbery, where he pits himself against a get-away that he turns into a “no-go.”
This makes him feel like a genuine super hero...which is why he decides, the next day at Harry S. Truman High School, when bully Mike Burley shows up with a knuckle sandwich as retaliation for Rich’s speeding spaghetti catastrophe (rushing to face Condor last issue), Rich delivers an unbelievable punch that lays him out splayed Kirby-style. Suddenly he becomes conscious of showing abnormal strength and jeopardizing his Nova identity, so Rich beats feet, and out of sight of Burley, flies on to the roof.
Next comes the Diamondhead crime wave, an anti-social montage that lands him in prison. This is secretly a plan to put him near the confiscated box stolen by Powerhouse from the museum.
Clowning around over Robbie Rider’s apparent 177th “scientifically-approached” Monopoly victory, the game is cut short when Rich hears on the radio about Diamondhead’s theft and escape (we find out Powerhouse’s abilities are being nullified while he’s in custody). His helmet picks up Mom, civilian dispatcher for the police department, on its radio receiver, and Nova speeds to the rescue, confronting the new villain, who hits really, really hard. When he catches up again, Nova discovers how unpleasant punching Diamondhead is, but stays on the chase, crashing together with his foe, who suggests “you should be in school, making out with the girls!”
While Nova’s pulling it together, his friend Caps Cooper says goodbye to Bernie and turns to meet a figure off – camera who declares: “surprised to see the man you thought you’d murdered?!?”
Nova’s doing better when he becomes distracted by his Mom’s voice again over his radio, forgetting his “pay attention and dodge” part of the strategy. Diamondhead gains distance with his smash, and leaps atop a train. His Box Car Willie routine is spoiled when his taunting causes him to ignore the low underpass. Nova speeds into the tunnel: no sign! But in the shadows, the Condor approaches the surly super-thug and strikes a partnership against their common enemies: Nova, and ‘the Dreaded One’!
1. *Marv obviously felt at least one if not two supporting cast members a month could have something going on---Mom's job with the police department for example doesn't make it into the spotlight in the first 25 and wouldn't have for a while, since those end in the middle of space.
So trouble's afoot for father already, as his arc develops towards more family trouble later.
We only get a hint of those school standard travails here, illustrating for me the content variation necessary for a 22 page story as opposed to these, where you really must include all the fast-moving content related to the star.
17 page stories seen throughout th e last half of the 1970’s. For a brief month or so, 17 pages of comics would run a whopping 50 cents, or double the price the same material cost five years before.)