Friday, November 07, 2014

Spinosaur: Myth or Hoax? (From the J.Jonah Jameson school of headline writing.)

On Twitter yesterday, comics legend Walt Simonson mentioned his pick for Thursday night's TV viewing: the newest episode of PBS's Nova, "Bigger Than T.Rex" "Meet Spinosaurus—the lost killer of the Cretaceous and the world's largest carnivorous dinosaur ever." Neat, but that's weird...I seem to recall reading something of that nature recently. But what?

Oh, yeah: from 1991, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36, "Footnote to Infinity" Written by Roy and Dann Thomas, pencils by Dan Lawlis, inks by Andrew Pepoy. Clea throws a surprise party for the good Doctor (with guest-stars the Scarlet Witch, Doctor Druid, and Strange's kid brother Baron Blood!) to celebrate him helping save the universe from Thanos in Infinity Gauntlet! Most of the guests don't recall being wiped out of existence then brought back, but still, any excuse for a party.

Unfortunately, as often happens, the party is broken up early, by the sudden appearance of Pip the Troll and Gamora, who have come to get Dr. Strange, since together they may have to kill Adam Warlock! He had the godlike powers of the Infinity Gauntlet, and wasn't above abusing that power a bit: juggling planets, and pranking earth scientists by retroactively creating the "Great Annihilator" near the center of the Milky Way, and gigantic fake dinosaur bones "seeded" in Wyoming! Warlock had been himself created by earth scientists, so he may have been working out some issues there.

Strange doesn't think that's much to be worried about, but Warlock is just getting warmed up: next, he will "send out emanations" to wipe out ambition and competitiveness, making every living soul "good." Strange is appalled, since at the very least this would wipe out the choice to be good, as in free will; and challenges Warlock. Luckily, Strange brought his A-list magic items, like the Orb of Agamotto and the Wand of Watoomb; but even with those it's a losing battle, as Warlock turns five of the six Infinity Gems on Strange: Time, Space, Reality, Mind, and Power. Strange realizes the sixth gem, the one that spent years with Warlock, is key: Soul. Working through it, Strange shows Warlock a vision of the future, reducing all life to apathetic, pointless shells. Warlock realizes his error, and recants, and asks Pip and Gamora to be his "moral compass."

Before Strange is returned home, he's visited by a pissed-off Eternity, who has no intention of letting Warlock keep the Gauntlet. How could he take it from him? In trial...but that would come later. Strange returns to his party, none the worse for wear.

So, is spinosaur nothing more than a prank from god? Yeah, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess "no."


SallyP said...

Man, Comic book science is almost as much fun as REAL science!

Dale Bagwell said...

Indeed Sally, indeed.
Nice line by Warlock about God getting to play a prank every now and then. No kidding there right?