Friday, August 17, 2007

Once again, Friday Night Fights!

I thought hard about how to phrase this, but I think the Absorbing Man works best as a two-dimensional character. I don't want to see Crusher Creel's relationship with Titania, I don't want to hear about his crummy childhood, and I definitely don't wanna see him try to reform or join the Thunderbolts or the Wild Pack or anything. Absorbing Man equals mean-spirited thug. That's it. That's all I want out of the character. (And frankly, I think some of the attempts to humanize or add layers to his character, have just made him creepier.)
Big words? Thor didn't use a word bigger than 'against' when he was talking to you.
This month, Thor's got a bit on his plate already, with his girlfriend Jane Foster in the hospital and dying, and his dad Odin missing and living like a homeless yokel. That might be an unfair assessment, but how do you explain the majesty and might of All-Father Odin, dressed like Hillbilly Jim?
I have to admit, it's a better plot device for getting Odin out of the scene than the Odin-sleep again.
Actually, that bit's weird in and of itself: Amnesiac Odin gets attacked outside a grocery store in California, by a concerned batch of citizens who find it odd and distasteful such an old man should be in the company of a much younger, pretty woman. The elderly should be in homes, where we need not be offended by their wrinkly visages! Admittedly, these guys are first seen standing in front of a bar in broad daylight, which seems to hint at their state of mind, but they accuse 'Orrin' of being a dirty old man and pick a fight. Yeah, take the law into your own hands and females from senior citizens. Hmm, Dateline NBC this isn't; and they receive a Norse-sized whipping.

Elsewhere, Thor is picking himself off the sidewalk, after being stoutly floored by the Absorbing Man. Beaten, he refuses to give up:
Nice to see Mjolnir get a close-up every now and again.
Anyone read a new comic this month with a simple 'KLOM!' in it? If so, please let me know so I can buy it immediately.
Thor renews the battle, and Crusher takes a moment to explain how after his last fight, when he accidentally absorbed the power of water and nearly dissipated, it took him six months to build up his nerve. Thor responds by punching him in the face and running.

Convinced he's now won, Absorbing Man gives chase, following Thor into a department store ( seen on the cover) and cornering him in the toy department. Thor holds up his hammer, as if to shield himself, but true to his name, Absorbing Man takes on the hammer's power. (Wait for it...)

The hardest part of Thor's plan? Keeping a straight face...
I know Crusher's a moron, but 'outsmarted by Thor' looks way worse in the papers than 'beaten into jelly by Thor.'
Marvel's America even outsources cardboard hammer replicas? Wouldn't Cap have asked Thor to buy American?
If you're wondering how Crusher was fooled by a cardboard replica, that toy company does really good work. Thor and the other Avengers once replaced Cap's shield with one of the company's toys; and although Cap got himself shot three times, they all had a good laugh about it later.

I can't wait for a Thor movie, because I'm totally buying one of those. Actually, since we live in the space-age 21st century, by the time it comes out we should have toy Mjolnirs that return when thrown, and spark lightning. Or at least make cool sound effects. BOMM! KROOMM! KRAK! Oh, I want the Walt Simonson version, you have to hook it up to a car battery for the sound effects.

In the end, Crusher needs to get on the horn to the ACLU, quick: is keeping him trapped in a refrigerator box even legal? I wonder if he eventually remembered he could just turn back to human and punch his way out. That might be tougher than it sounds for most people, but in his normal form Crusher's still a brute, hence the name.

Also at the end of this issue, Sif gives her lifeforce to save Jane Foster, although she's really just absorbed within her and would eventually return. Hell, we even saw it mentioned in passing way back when, as part of a knot of continuity so dense, even Chris Claremont wasn't going to get into it, and that's dense.

From Thor #236, "One Life to Give!" Written by Gerry Conway, art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott. And check out Bahlactus for more Friday Night Fights!


CalvinPitt said...

I do remember seeing a replica of Beta Ray Bill's hammer, Stormbreaker, that looked pretty damn heavy and impressive in a volume of Previews awhile back.

But it was like $275, and no special effects, so no thank you.

As far as Crusher, most of the appearances I've read of his, he's been in a relationship with Titania, and the story usually involves him doing something on her behalf, trying to steal for medical bills, or help her get over her fear of Spider-Man. Of course, it all boils down to him fighting a super hero, so I guess it is pretty unnecessary.

SallyP said...

Heh. I HAVE this issue, and remember loving it sooo much. Of course, I WAS pretty young at the time. Still, the cardboard hammer was an interesting concept.

Unknown said...

Yay! One of my favorite old issues of Thor - especially the part where he'll even fight beyond death if "Hela be mericful!"

That's why I always think a good Thor comic should be accompanied by "Deaf Forever" by Motorhead!

And yeah, the Absorbing Man works best as a thug. I hope no one ever tries to "humanize" the Wrecking Crew either.