Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I'd be more surprised to find someone who wasn't part of the Conspiracy, at this point.

This was a two-page spread, afraid I lost a chunk of it in the scanner. Conspiracy from 1998 was a two-issue limited from Marvel, written by Dan Abnett, with painted art by Igor Kordey. It's very much like a summer blockbuster like say, National Treasure or um, Conspiracy Theory; but using all the trappings of the Marvel Universe like S.H.I.E.L.D. flying cars, Thanos' ship Sanctuary, and z-rate Clone Saga villain Spidercide. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, the unrevealed secret origins of the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, and more.

I thought Gormuu and the other giant Atlas monsters were almost common knowledge in the Marvel universe, but not widely spoken of.
After the aforementioned Spidercide destroys a goodly chunk of the Daily Bugle, muckraking reporter Mark Ewing discovers a hidden file. The file was from missing reporter Cliff Garner, who had been investigating a conspiracy he called Control, that involved key men like Bruce Banner, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, and Henry Pym. Intrigued, Ewing begins following-up but comes up dry, until a mysterious figure gives him more. The identity of the mystery man is never known, although he hints he could be Loki or Mephisto or a disgruntled employee, and he was apparently the last person at Marvel that was allowed to smoke. Which might make him Wolverine...hmm.

In short order, Ewing's apartment and girlfriend are blown up, and Ewing goes on the run. Ewing is then captured and taken to Arizona by Garner...who then turns out to be a Life Model Decoy, an android; and Ewing is left with former General Edward Harrison, formerly of Control. After S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to capture them, Harrison explains the sinister secret of Control, which had it's fingers in the creation of the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Project: Wideawake (the government's mutant program, and still a remarkably sinister-sounding name), and many more.

I love Dum-Dum. The hat just makes me feel safe. Or, Harrison may be a psychotic. Abnett does use a much-used Marvel theme of having Dum Dum Dugan show up for the (possible) denouement: using Dum Dum is shorthand for S.H.I.E.L.D. being the good guys; whereas if Nick shows up, things could be ethically grayer. (Plus Dum Dum is more good-natured; if Fury had been the lead in Marvel's Godzilla, Nick'd be wearing a pair of giant lizardskin boots.)

The ending of the book is slightly ambiguous, but Ewing very likely ends up in the end zone of Giants Stadium or part of a bridge or something. God, the mortality rate of Daily Bugle reporters is nothing to sneeze at. There's Ben Urich, you could count Peter Parker; and it's like everyone else's nameplate is a Post-It.

Conspiracy isn't a bad little series, although Ewing is kinda led by the nose from clue to plot point; and it raises more questions than it even tries to answer. On the plus side, the flying car (Smart Stan!) is a great sequence, and that probably was the coolest use of Spidercide in anything, ever. Heck, he even looks action figure worthy there, for a moment.


SallyP said...

I haven't come across this, but that IS an awfully nice monster.

disa said...


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