Monday, November 30, 2015

No to the 90's Clone Saga, no to Women in Refrigerators: a wild alternative take on the original Spider-Man Clone Saga, by Cecil Disharoon.

For your Spider-phile pleasure, here's an alternate story direction inspired by the end of Amazing Spider-Man #144, featuring the shocking return of Gwen Stacy, as though from the grave. This story, when I first read its reprint, built a "Gwen Stacy returns" subplot that was clearly hair-raising, haunting and cool, though it was six years before I found out what happened next. You can find a synopsis online easily, like -I feel much the same! ASM#145, for those of you who know or want to know the source story, is fine, and out of respect and familiarity, I suggest no changes, not even yet to make Gwen any less vulnerable, as these are distressing circumstances.
Well, it would be nice if the New York Police Department didn't hand Mac Gargan his crime-making outfit and equipment, as it seems ill-advised to treat it just like handing back a wallet and keys. There's a few good places to tighten up plot holes. For one, it's too bad a private investigator, like Mac Gargan, didn't recognize Peter Parker's face from the Daily Bugle, and also, too bad he doesn't suspect he's found Spider-Man, as he was told he would, just in civilian clothes. An interesting problem's introduced but thrown away. Missed opportunities are realistic, though.
How did the Jackal know where to find Spider-Man? We will find out in Conway's original tale how he knows to look for Peter Parker, but space permitting, it might have been cool to see Jackal's method of gathering intelligence. He apparently has some way of knowing Aunt May's in the hospital. I would presume Conway's trying to avoid spilling the beans that the Jackal may be using Gwen, with hypnotic suggestion as his method of interrogating and perpetuating her use to him as an unwitting spy. I do have a secret as to how our Gwen's been spending her nights, besides her stay at Betty Brant's.
In our story, the Scorpion decides to look in on May Parker in his civilian clothes. Peter, however, senses a mild warning and then spots Mac Gargan, whom he recognizes as the Scorpion, as he leaves May's room. He's careful not to be seen, because Gargan might recognize Peter, if he can recognize Gargan. He rushes in to check on her, and even though she's all right, he is ready to go beat the snot out of this super-villain for getting so close to his recuperating, elderly aunt!
When Peter leaves, we follow a nurse seen earlier assisting an attendant of May's, very background, no lines yet, as she walks into the blood bank refrigerator and finds Gwen Stacy. She replies she's impressed by the set-up of the facility, she's just taking a look while Candy-Striping. She suggests sweetly the nurse simply forget it; she promises to get permission next time. The nurse placidly agrees. Scorpion's dialogue can get a twist besides the usual generic rants, as he replies to being accosted after his very first step towards being something besides the Scorpion, which seems unfair and gives Mac Gargan a self-righteious rage with which to strengthen his response. But this is an angry Spider-Man attack all the way, some straight-up vigilante one-two for anyone who would dare threaten his innocent surrogate mother, and in three pages he basically tells Scorpion to shut up and go to sleep. Our next change: Scorpion's not led in simple handcuffs back to the bedside of a woman he's threatened, no sir. That's the original, comedic ending.
He's wearing something a bit more durable. Gwen seems to react strongly to what's occurred with May, and says in a way, it's her fault May's here in the first place. She strides up to the Scorpion and demands to know: who sent him? Instantly, Spider-Man's rushed up to stand between them, still running pretty hot. No way is he going to let any Gwen be harmed by a super villain again. As the Scorpion's led away, he seems dazed; one of the cops comments on him being punch drunk already. He mutters a word; we see his lips move but can't hear him. But Gwen stares intently after him in the foreground of the next panel, as Spider-Man's trying to offer reassurance to a figure that, from her stance, seems fearless. He will wonder in the next issue if this reflects a transformation after returning from death itself, somehow. Has it ever. That's my first part. We are going to have some wild fun on the way to ASM #150. I'll give this a few days, then I'll share my re-writes integrated into ASM #147 and 148.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A new idea grown from Amazing Spider-Man #90, or, if only Stan Lee thought of this...

Part One: A new idea grown from the ending of Amazing Spider-Man #90, or, How to Have a Dream Girlfriend and an even more Marvelous storyline!
I’m not in a position to return to the original issues themselves. Some background, courtesy my friend Nathan Adler: I finally had a chance to look at the actual issues in question, and it’s a bit more complicated than I had remembered. At the end of Amazing Spider-Man #88, Doctor Octopus is seemingly killed in an airplane crash & explosion. At the beginning of the next issue, Peter sees the headline of the Daily Bugle is “Dr. Octopus Killed in Airport Crash.” So, as of the next morning, people in NYC believe Doc Ock is dead. However, Peter notes that no trace of Doc Ock or his tentacles was found in the wreckage. Fearing that Ock is still alive, Peter decides he’d better search for him as Spider-Man. Over an hour later, Spidey comes across Doc Ock wrecking one of the smokestacks on the city’s main power plant. Rubble has fallen onto the roadway below and blocked traffic. Some crowds below can see Doc Ock up on the smokestack, but not clearly. Spidey then attacks him, and they fight across several rooftops. People on the street below catch glimpses of their battle. Doc Ock throws Spidey off a roof, but he swings through a window and hides inside a ventilation shaft until Ock gives up the search and leaves. As the tentacles are withdrawing, Spidey tags one with a spider-tracer. When he finally reaches the rooftop again, Spidey finds that Doc Ock is gone. This whole battle took not more than several minutes.   So some people spotted a figure that most likely was Doctor Octopus, but most of the city still thinks he died yesterday. Peter then spends the rest of the day at the Stacy’s townhouse, then returns home to create the web-formula that will cause Doc Ock’s tentacles to go haywire. When Peter leaves his apartment to search for Doc Ock, Harry is asleep. So you would think that it’s either late at night or shortly before dawn. Spider-Man finally locates Doc Ock 82.5 minutes later, according to a handy caption. The fact that there’s a little kid for Captain Stacy to save suggests that it’s now early morning. The battle again takes only a few minutes. Some people on the street do spot Doctor Octopus battling Spider-Man, including Captain Stacy. Doc Ock’s tentacles clearly destroy the chimney, sending the rubble falling to the street below. Captain Stacy pushes the little boy out of the way and is crushed by the falling bricks. Spidey swings down, digs Stacy out and carries him up to the rooftop. Somebody in the crowd says, “It was Spider-Man’s fault! He killed him!” Doc Ock slips away and disappears. In the next issue, ASM #91, the opening narration says, “Due to a weird quirk of fate, it seemed to those who witnessed the tragic event that the blame for Capt. Stacy’s death belonged to Spider-Man.” No one mentions Doc Ock again, they just keep saying Spidey was responsible for Stacy’s death. Doc Ock lays low until the end of ASM #112. So I interpret that to mean that everyone thought Doc Ock was dead, so the few people who saw him after that were not believed, and it was chaotic enough that they couldn’t be sure of what they saw. Especially since, at the beginning of ASM #88, the tentacles had gone on a rampage on their own, without Doc Ock. Most people accept the narrative that Spider-Man was fighting someone or something on that rooftop when the chimney collapsed, and there’s some wild rumors that it was Doc Ock, but the blame for Stacy’s death is placed squarely on Spidey’s shoulders. Gwen gives no indication that she thinks Doc Ock was involved. Thanks, Nathan! His writing and ideas about the Marvel Universe, explanations and even improvements on problematic portions of its shape, can be found here: So... #91 opens with Gwen going over her Dad's belongings.  She happens upon his journal. This would alarm Peter, because George revealed he knew who he was, right?  Otherwise, we keep Stan's Bullit villain and plot.  I know he's not very subtle, but General Hospital's doing the same premise right now, mob boss/ police chief.  You have to wonder how much better it might have been if he'd gotten in office...but in addition to his racist characterization, the Code probably wouldn't have been patient with a corrupt police chief, however good that story would be under Frank Miller in Batman: Year One. Bullitt's coalition is also tied to the escapades of the arms of Doctor Octopus in #88; his freedom depended upon activation of a deal and a plan from inside the system. I do like it that Ice Man and the Prowler both tried to bring Peter in.. I would've kept the heat up on that Spider-Man: Wanted! subplot.  That tension is what I feel is generally missing in the last fifth or so of Stan's run, but Captain Stacy's death was a true shocker.  There was reason for many characters to reflect on his passing.  First, a salient fact: no one but Spider-Man witnessed Doctor Octopus on the rooftop at the scene of Captain Stacy's death in ASM #90.  No one, except, as we'll find out in (our) ASM #105-107, Spencer Smythe. #92  Gwen evolves from thinking Bullitt and a change in the system towards law-and-order will get her satisfaction---very relatable and human---to more action based on her dad's notes, to accepting Jonah's Spider Slayer help in #94 and 95. (The Tinkerer  actually does some subcontracting for Smythe here; the villains have an acceptable open season on the wallcrawler, they can hunt with a veneer of right and decency---irksome!) #93: The Trapster AND the Prowler come after Spider-Man in unrelated but crossed-up fashion in that second Prowler encounter in the original issue. They are both kind of ersatz embodiments of similar ideas to Spider-Man. This does give him more of a challenge, but The Trapster's fall in this battle leads to a mysterious observer pillaging his gear!   MJ speaks her mind about Gwen's renewed coldness and her anti-Spider-Man crusade.  Harry takes the opportunity to say he doesn't know what he'd do if he lost his dad, and Norman's not been himself lately, for that matter.  The Stacy death has been in the news and in Norman's personal life through the loss of George and through Harry's friendship with Gwen.  Gwen, meanwhile, begins assembling allies, through her connections, a couple of police officers, an ex-soldier, and at least one professional mercenary, as we'll see over the next issue. In the original story, Gwen's role was more passive, confined to the "girlfriend" role. Our plot may depict Gwen hurting over Peter's distance, but she's developing a resolve that may have been unsettling to some readers of the time, and getting more attention and change when she's on-panel.
 Just once-somewhere in #93, perhaps, observing Spider-Man, the Trapster and the Prowler in battle, is an unidentified scavenger who here appears very mysterious.  As we will discover, she is the next neophyte level of experience below The Prowler, but she's methodical, a student.  I imagine she'll be able to fly (jet pack at this point; it's her getaway); she would at least be able to meet him in the air, before she would ever confront Spider-Man.    She wouldn't need a costume yet, but a costumed woman with no explanation is right for the era.  She sees Hobie's gadgets, the Trapster's, Spider-Man in action.  Trapster, she leaves in a cocoon, with his own fairly easy-to-operate paste gun. Great picture to sell the Bugle—but who did this? Next: The Black Widow! Daredevil! Betty Brant! An all-new take on Spider Slayers! A head-spinning alternative take on the classic Goblin Drug Issues! All building up to a very different Amazing Spider-Man #100! Who's in? Feel free to comment here or write me at I'm waiting until I hear back from Nathan, because with that mystery figure, we're crossing over to his ideas in unison with mine, and I want to make sure it's cool. Otherwise, I will probably leave you tantalized with #94 next and my best mock-up of a cover for #95!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Eminem's Rap God sample: that's Captain America and the Falcon, from Power Records!

What do Eminem and most Integr8d Fix readers have in common? Comic books, man. As a boy, I had two Power Records, a brand that released dramatized versions of comic books on 45 rpm, complete with a book sampling most of the comic's artwork. The first was a stand-alone Superman adventure I think was written by Elliot S! Maggin, where aliens fell to earth in the form of silver-hued bullets. The second one, I only had the record, but it was intense: Captain America and the Falcon confront the mystery of The Phoenix, a man whose thirst for revenge is born from Cap's battles in the world war before his frozen suspension. I didn't get hooked on Eminem's 2013 release "Rap God" until I was putting together a hip hop playlist this September. Not unlike when Anj and I discovered Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre back in college, I was wrestling with an angry mood over someone who cheated me of recording time after I gave up eleven Sundays of my life to give...his initials are B.S., no kidding....BS a bassist for his band's practices, among other favors, at zero recompense. DMX's "X Gonna Give It To You" plays as the background for that hilarious Rick and Morty montage where Rick and his grand daughter Summer train together, lifting weights, bulking up, so they can pummel the Devil and random bullies afterwards. I decided to get in touch with my aggression, so I put on that, "Go To Sleep," then found my way to "Rap God," which soon hooked Angela and I with, as always, those deft, juvenile, utterly slik Eminem cadences. I even looked up "Supersonic" by JJ Fad, a song whose hook I knew from school days. Angela said the case for swiping "Hey Lookin' Boy" wasn't worth nearly what the Chicago band that performs "Hey" is suing for, $25 million, I think, but I pointed out that was a way to get a few thousand listens out of the TMZ crowd, too. But who was that voice? It sounds like some kind of gangster movie serial from your grand parents' day. I couldn't get away from how familiar it seemed. I haven't listened to that Power Record in even more years than it's been since I watched cheerleaders dance to "Super Sonic," while we played the beat from the percussion section. (You don't care about the label "band geek" when you get to put showing off and music together in one go. Besides, how else was I really going to get out of the house back then?). But there he is, Captain America. "Look! I was going to go easy on you..." That's Cap talking to his partner, the Falcon, as he's throwing him off the trail with a ruse, so he can take on The Phoenix vendetta alone. Not very partnerly of you, Winghead. "Something's about to happen, I can feel it!" is Cap thinking to himself. "And if he's as bananas as you say, I'm not taking any chances." That's Captain America referring to Baron Zemo II, referred to in this story as "the Phoenix." Here, since Rick and Morty started this whole thing, maybe you'll get a chuckle out of this pairing of Rick and Eminem. Speaking of the Falcon, Anthony Mackie plays him in the Marvel Cinemaverse, but Mackie also plays Papa Doc in 8 Mile! Eminem's interest in comic books is fairly well-known. I wonder what's the chances he's going to find Integr8d Soul Comics Number One, where one page features a Rap Bot with "a laptop in" his "back pocket"? You can pretty much bet Em had the Cap 45 rpm when he was a kid, because he samples it again for "Groundhog Day." (His lyric "Captain America on It could've been Dr. Dre's idea, too, or maybe even a fresh sampling of old vinyl had simply turned this up and caught their ear. Possibly after it turned up in the huge list of samples used by Jurassic 5 a couple years before? If you want a clinic on sampling, check out the LP, Jurassic Five, classic hip hop group (whose new track "Golden" led the way to the J6's invasion of my hip hop playlist), especially track "Lesson Six (The Lecture)." The song samples 31 completely different recordings...and somewhere in there is the Power Records version of"And A Phoenix Shall Rise!" presented in Captain America and the Falcon #168.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Unity, Mr. Meeseeks, The Eyehole Man, Mr. Poopybuthole and Zanflorp: Weird characters for the win

Ten of my favorite Rick and Morty Characters 10Bird Person I covered this pair in my first post, early this week. 9Squanchy 8* The President of the United States---I bumped the Prez for Beth as my new entry, but Keith David's voice work shines. His stately regard for Rick's world-saving pop song 'Get Schwifty' is hilarious.
7Unity Do opposites attract? Such a generalization---but here, it makes a case study sort of point. Unity is a consciousness that takes over other minds and essentially replaces their will with Unity's will. Rick? Not a collective kind of guy; in fact, he won't even join an organization composed solely of different versions of himself: The Council of Ricks (which is a character in and of itself). Squanchie and Bird Person are pretty much the only grouping Rick tolerates---and after that, his daughter and her family, just barely. The decision to do something for the good of the whole, and in so doing, be a part of something larger than one's self in importance, doesn't come naturally to Rick at the point he meets up with Unity again, after some years. Maybe it's good Rick offers Unity some reflection in the face of these new planet-wide ambitions, but with Unity and a whole planet of marionettes, he's totally irresponsible.
I think Unity gave him some things to think about that do push him to truly become part of his family with Beth, but it's the one move that accomplishes this that ironically takes him away from Beth all over again. 6Zeep Zanflorp Genius of his world---a world made to be Rick's car battery, phone charger, etc. Zeep cuts Rick's power supply by introducing an alternative energy scheme that parallel's Rick's own invention, a way for the people of his microverse to build an economy and culture around generating the energy for which they were secretly created! Zeep's voiced by Stephen Colbert. So many parallels between creator genius and his creation genius, who hears and then sees the irony in repeating a lecture Rick essentially plagiarized from Morty. When they're stranded together in the Teenyverse, they try to out-tinker one another with weaponry invented in the wild. The inescapable conclusion---that Zeep's world's obsolete if Rick can't use it for a battery---gives Rick the win, but you have to imagine we'll hear from Zeep again. 5.Jerry-I kinda thought I'd put the nebbish son-in-law together in one post later with... 4.Summer A character I overlooked until she went to work for the Devil. I, too, now want to know when they're bringing her pink space ship back! So I'll get to Summer and Jerry (and Beth) and their relationships with Rick and Morty on the flipside. It's so interesting in real time that we find ourselves, in the wake of the show's concluded second season, sharing an empathetic point of view with Beth, arguably the most unlikeable character but Rick's favorite- as much as you miss the show, hey, no one could miss him more. I think he left Morty best able to carry on without him, though at first glance, the Federation's quickly-transplanted institutions on Earth solved Jerry's immediate problems of depression and joblessness. 3Mr. Poopy Butthole Here's an interesting character: he seems to have really played some part in the family's adventures, yet he suspiciously first appeared in "Total Rickall," an episode about parasites implanting happy memories so they can continue, with the family's acceptance, to multiply unchecked. The dark but funny reversal where Beth opens fire on Poopy ends that episode, only for his continued, non-parasitic reality to be continued at the season's end. Poopy finishes the episode, the same time as the viewer, then answers the door for pizza with full-on anxiety as to how things will work out for the imprisoned Rick Sanchez. We never see him otherwise. Poopy apparently has a relationship with the family, but he also observes them as a TV show. We've long said our lives were TV shows on Alien Channels. Is he a parallel universe friend, who walked in with actual memories of the family made elsewhere, and if he is, why do they accept him here and now? Remember, we've sat and speculated about a made-up guy named Mr. Poopy Butthole. 2Mr. Meeseeks- Look at Me! This surprise break-out character appears in episode five of season one. It's unclear if he is Rick's creation or if Rick simply made the Meeseeks box through which he requests help from each one. A Meeseeks is always happy to help, but it's best to give him a finite task, like cleaning the cat litter box, for example. A seemingly simple request to help Jerry reduce his golf game by two strokes ends up in a murderous, multiple Meeseeks mission. Why does continued existence in our world cause Mr. Meeseeks pain? Why does it open the door to madness and savagery? I don't know, but he's the most Sesame Street looking-thing I've ever seen take hostages in a restaurant. 1The Eyehole Man This reminds me of Elf With a Gun from Marvel's Defenders. Eyeholes are apparently delicious; Rick says they melt in your mouth. It's important you don't enjoy them in sight of the Eyehole Man, however. As seen on a multiversal television program in Season Two, he's quite jealous of anyone else's eyeholes. He's even wearing a themed costume, complete with megaphone. We've been enjoying some chocolate candies after Halloween and had quite a few laughs about the milk chocolates wrapped as eyes. Somehow we kept bring up The Eyehole Man all day on a long trip, and we really needed a laugh that day---so I'll always have affection for the pure randomness of The Eyehole Man.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rick & Morty: Science that's more art than science

Science that's more art than science! How today's tall tales are told with Rick and Morty! by C Lue t's fun to think Rick's interdimensional career kicked off about the same time as Reed Richards did as a fictional character in 1961. If Rick's 80 and 54 years have passed, then a breakthrough like the prototypical portal gun by the time he's 26 sounds credible. Super geniuses, particularly in more abstract mathematical fields, physics, etc, that is to say, IQ's over 180 that manifest in anything but the self-destruction of the person in question, tend to have their signature breakthroughs fairly early in life. Many of our most accomplished minds complete their most difficult concentration to a breakthrough of sorts before 35. For skills where supply overwhelms and washes away one's contribution until the right attachment arises, like writing, it's all bullshit, anyway; objectively speaking, critical reflections of your work are possible, and might play part of further creative reflections of it by other artists, but it boils down to how people feel about it and how many people feel it's part of their life for any amount of time, and that will always be more a matter of opinion than science is ideally meant to be. Don't have a heart attack, writers, I do have the conviction that there is a truth to people reading what you write and engaging it with their imaginations, and that is no bs to me. But scientifically speaking, the best you can hope for to judge quality of writing might be the reach of its influence, so...inconclusive, as it needs be. One thing I love about this show: you're reminded there may well be an infinite number of realities and possibilities, some reconfigured into a life you might recognize somewhat as your own, many times over. This also means that the fictional worlds, however well we may execute our description of them, have an existence apart from our own, too. The fun the show has with the most startling and wonderful of theories and experiments done in the real world today has that pitch-perfect level of communication, of simply opening the possibilities to a general audience, in the least didactic of guises. Crude and hip enough to get away with how brilliant it actual is: that's been my opinion of Rick and Morty since the glee of Season One. I'm going to borrow a little behind-the-scenes speak I picked up from an interview with Dan and Justin. The retro-scripted dialogue resembles the “Marvel Method” of Stan Lee's Bullpen era, in that suggestions are given by the incidents in the plot, but the actors choose what to say, how to put it, and only then do artists storyboard and from that blueprint, create the director's vision of the individual cartoon episode. (Lee would offer a plotline suggestion without resolving the method, more like posing the problem for the heroes, and then his artists, heroes in their own right, would figure out how in the alloted number of pages would they solve said problem. Only then would Lee dialogue their depicted solution to his proposed problems of the month, responding, sometimes clashing, but always with as much energy as could be mustered from the inspiration at the core each time would he then give words to the drawn characters. My point is, the made-in-the-moment quality keeps up with the low boredom of threshold in everyone involved. It also sheds the brainy concepts and intelligent character depictions of wordiness, an indulgence always tempting when one discusses a subject that rewards invested intelligence. You've got to be able to appeal to idiots too, Morty. Everyone wants to be entertained. As for the idea of Rick as peer to the other fictional super-minds, I can't resist touting him as the Superman of the *uuuhht century, which urks me because I have my OWN idea for a new Superman of the 21st century, but mine's a triad of characters as one hero and Rick shows up with vomit on his mouth regularly. Dangernauts are at least supposed to live up to the highest moral code possible, but I'll let you see how that works out for yourself in Danger Bot's comics appearances-like the debut in Integr8d Soul Comics Number One, on the drawing board now! With a cat on it, occasionally. There's a devilish glee thinking of writing about Marvel's Tony Stark on a bender with Rick Sanchez, and maybe a Boy Scout Duty follow up where Tony makes a case for giving up the sauce. “Easy for you to say, Mr. I Live in Cliffside California Mansions!” Rick scoffs. More than likely, if it's Cinema Marvelverse Tony, he's probably really screwed up something when Rick and Morty meet him, maybe just maybe before he flips the switch. Mistakes can be a magnificent way to convey and glean information. Dr. Who.He messes around in time AND space. Space has so much to offer: why take chances with time travel? How can you expect the first instance of THAT to go very well? If that rules out Mr. Spock, remember that Mr. Spock's been known to travel to our present day! Who's to say all of Spock's journeys are told? You know those space warps and all. We've seen Rick enjoys sign language greetings, so they will get on fine.You could always do a tribute character (Bird Person via Hawk was actually close to that persona, the alien friend warrior) like our buddy David Anthony Kraft did with Micro Adventures #6, which also carried an homage to my favorite all-time Dynamic Defender, as I like to remember her at her sunny best. Now Patsy Walker is the kind of help Rick would probably take, and around here, we can't help but welcome a Hellcat! We have at least two, heh heh...according to Pops, anyway. Hey, at one point, Hellcat had Devil Slayer's confiscated Shadow Cloak and was going to try using it as a super hero. That cloak sounds like a fertile place for a Rick and Morty intersection of misadventures. Cool, this panel is from Defenders #61, which Mom and Dad got me for Christmas for cover price at the D & L Supply. In other words, I met her at the same time Spider-Man did! Hmm, Spider-Man... Reed Richards---y'know, before I get into Reed, I'm bored! I mean, distracted, and I'm going to give the disruption rein: I'm positing my own super genius character, Dr. Bonnie DeLighte. She's much earlier in her career. We meet her, in fact, accomplishing her first ever feat that is almost certainly beyond the scope of present human capability. At least, no one on Earth's really completed the loop she travels on purpose, and you'll find out what I mean in Integr8d Soul Comics Number One! But look, she's got many natural blessings, heart, and moves going for her and is lots more fun than stuff Professor Richards. She cares about making people smile. That's the struggle my almost autistic hero Reed has: just being a nice normal guy, remembering anything else matters, coming down to Earth...being a family.This super genius knows a thing or two about dropping strange veils that blows apart her polar stereotypes at once, believe you me. This woman, you do not have pegged. It just might be a fun exercise to team the two up Rick Sanchez and Bonnie De Lighte. And why oh why would I not try to get it to Dan and Justin somehow, if I'm going to dream, right? Well, enough of my enthusiasm, my fingers might write a check my fingers can't cash. Braniac-5
I am busted: I know he's a formidable exemplum of genius in science fiction DC, but I've read a fraction as much about him as the other folks I mention, save for Inspe---you'll see. But what I know about Legion of Super Heroes means it's always at least in the 30th century. Rick doesn't do time travel. There's your loop hole. So, that's it for that. On the other hand, in the pilot, Rick DID go to "a future dimension" to get Morty some broken leg serum, though maybe he avoids that so he doesn't have too much fun and lose his portal gun charge. Parallel dimensions, hanging out with the Flash...there's ways, but, you know, good thing Rick and Morty isn't a story engine concerned with making a plan match up like so, because time travel, once it is out of the bag, is either a broken mess or a considerable part of your storyline as you keep your details all moving along in this strange order. He's more likely to be eluding Green Lantern than working with him. Fighting evil alongside the Flash and his friends? Yeah, give me a break. He doesn't have enough black in his union suit, which is much more in the Albert Einstein “I could care” or Bruce Banner “I am going to rip it to shreds probably anyway” mode, lab coat short hand and brown pants handy for handling accidental loads when you meet things you didn't expect and they seem hungry. Let's face it, if he'd showed up in a Lee/Kirby joint around 1967, Rick Sanchez would've turned out to be the super-villain! To give the story heart, Morty would win the FF over, probably with help from Sue Richards, and I could even see the duo and the quartet parting on good terms, albeit mixed reactions.
The trick would be to give the creative side of the story over to the numerous gadgets belonging to Reed and Rick. The Council of Ricks does indeedie sound like a riff on the Council of Reeds from Johnathon Hickman's Marvel Comics run.
Hey, what if Rick found the guy who disappears to die nobly in the Negative Zone in “This Man, This Monster!” from FF#51? Yes, we geekazoids love our shorthand. And no, let's leave at least somebody at Marvel Comics dead.
The way you'd play it these days, it would be one of Reed's cock-ups that Rick happens along to help fix. Only afterwards do they begin to appreciate his skill as an intergalactic crackpot. They also aren't the police of anybody, which is something I really still like about the Fantastic Four and am glad at least in the Civil War Cap movie, there will be no chintzy Reed Richards holding people prisoner in the Negative Zone. Heh, now that would be a hilarious place for him to meet Rick Sanchez: in the middle of the worst Reed storyline you could ask for. I did say, it would be during one of Reed's mistakes, and that would fit the bill. This is what I get for thinking about it! There's also no way Rick didn't meet up with someone from Grant Morrison's Invisibles, either. And how about Heinlein's Lazarus Long? Maybe LL gave Rick the idea behind how to pull off Project: Phoenix, but Rick was younger and less interested in longevity. Then Rick found himself 80 years old in his daughter's garage and got thoughtful about notions of living on.
Finally, let's see Rick and Morty meet Inspector Gadget!
I remember when that was honestly the very best super hero cartoon on TV. How about it, Uncle Gadget? “I'm always on duty!” Penny and Summer could carry an episode thread ably between them. Imagine: lines by female characters that aren't about the male characters. I mean, really unusual, creative stuff!
OK! See, screw a format, I can't even patiently stick with a list of characters, because I don't want to! But we CAN get back to that topic; I've already started a document with observations about Unity, and Beth again, despite the fact that I didn't even list her in my ten favorite characters list. So, I'm more interested in the organic evolution of my thoughts about this funny little show of ours.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bird Person and Squanchie: Get Together, One More Time (Rick & Morty)

Ten of my favorite Rick and Morty Characters: that sounds fun! Let's kick it off with Rick's best friends. Oh, yeah: spoilers without mercy! 10Bird Person- First of all, at least the version we apparently know now rests in peace! Thanks a lot, “Tammy.” He had some valuable insights into what makes Rick tick, conveyed while showing kindness to Morty. He's got a legendary cool past, implied more than shown; Bird Person added depth to the story in just three appearances. His effort to find a late life mate opens the downfall of a coalition of rebels living outside Federation law. It's such a silly show, but it has an emotional dimension and true personalities, too, which sets the stage, given the constant recurrent danger, for an actual story tragedy. I can't help enjoying it as an adventure show as much as a family sitcom. Bird Person's the first and best of that adventure's heroes to fall. But we never actually saw him in battle. Alas, Bird Person, we hardly knew ye. He instantly reminded me of Hawk from Buck Rogers, which he is, essentially, as much as Rick Sanchez began as a parody of Doc Martin in Back From the Future. Maybe a greenish, middle-aged, somewhat out of condition version of Hawk. A Harmonized Hawk. Funny moment: In "Get Schwifty," Morty recuperates at Bird Person's house and thanks him for the food. “What is it?” he asks. “It is random debris I found in my carpet. I do not know what humans eat.” (I guess he and Rick didn't get together for dinner often?) His fiancee Tammy, dishelved from intercourse, walks in and says, “You know ONE human likes to eat!” Oh, no, hell no, btw, this was not a cartoon made primarily for children. "Is your intention to abandon Rick, using his own portal gun? In bird culture, this is considered a dick move." Bird Person's primary motive for inclusion in each scene is to build Morty's faith in his grandfather Rick. He serves to personalize, humanize, the years of interdimensional encounters that have driven Rick crazy. Inebriated at his wedding, Bird Person tells Beth: “The road your father and I walked together was soaked in blood,” and levels with her there were “numerous atrocities in the name of freedom.” Her disappointment is that she can't steer the conversation to Rick as her father, which is comedic when juxtaposed with what should be shocking and fantastic...and as we'll find out minutes later, it's relevant, too. I'm sorry if Bird Person brought some of you readers here looking for the championship Boston Celtics teammates. 9Squanchie- With the most ambiguous word for a name and an all-purpose verb, this passing homage to Snarf of the Thundercats makes up the third in a trio of close intergalactic friends: Rick, Bird Person, and Squanchie. Along the way, they were in a band called the Flesh Curtains. If it was cool, you can fill in the blanks and say they did it. Too bad he threw away his BFF bracelet during Rick's moody toast to Bird Person and Tammy. He put aside his feelings pretty quickly when the shit went down, though. Squanchie may not look like much in a fight, but he flips the lid on the secret to THAT at the aforementioned wedding. We can only hope he got away to Squanch another day! Beth tries picking up the word; they tell her it's all in the way you say the word, which applies to many words you also wouldn't use. So why not try to appropriate the seemingly-all-purpose word “squanch”? “I squanch my family,” she says the visceral disgust of everyone around. A comedy of manners, Beth touches upon its unseemly implications, as you'll see in episode ten where he and Bird Person first appear. Beth, and her relationship to her long-absent father Rick, is the real heart of the show, according to its creators, Dan (Bird Person) Harmon and voice maestro Justin Roiland. Here's where we see much of why he was gone. What infinitessimal hope is there Beth can ever find a place in his way of life? The conflict wears both masks, comedy and tragedy, so you get the laugh on the fly, and come away with plenty for cogitation.
And this week, if anyone's into it, (and as soon as I posted, I averaged over a hit a minute) I'll be happy to tell you about: 8Unity 7Mr. Meeseeks- I paired these two entries because, as Angela pointed out, he's a kind of collective entity, like Unity. 6Zeep Zanflorp (These three, I'll do together.) 5. Jerry (I originally went with President of the United States. On second thought, my writing's leaning this whole exercise heavily towards Beth. Yes, she's ultra bitchy, but I have discovered I probably have felt the most like her of anyone in my actual life experience. Beth! Least fun of all to watch, the one I relate to best. The horse surgeon of writing, while making Jerry wages. Fortunately for me, I AM married to a goddess!!!)
4 Summer (What DID happen to her pink space ship? Angela wants to know!) 3 Beth (I've decided, to really get Rick's perspective, I had to get on board the BEth train and see her outside of her dysfunctional role of wife and mother.) 2Mr. Poopy Butthole 1The Eyehole Man ...but how much are you going to read at a time, anyway? Later!