Friday, April 13, 2007

I don't think even mutants and synthezoids could get me to watch Desperate Housewives, but you never know.
Why is Peter Lorre against mutant/robot love?
During the 80's, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch were farmed out of their long-standing spot in the Avengers (both in the team and the comic) and into a couple limited-series and guest spots, set in Leonia, New Jersey. So, the premise was taking two characters that were fish-out-of-water, to some extent, even among the Avengers; and throwing them into the more stagnant pond of suburbia. I haven't read all of those issues, but in the ones I remember, the normal people react against Wanda and Vizh...there are no good nicknames for the Vision, are there? a stereotypically hateful, suspicious manner; making the good couple stand-ins for any and all sorts of mixed-race, gay, ethnic, or otherwise misunderstood couples.

When else are you going to see Mignola draw the Avengers?
In the dramatic shorthand of the time, the suburbanites were borderline racist xenophobes with little to no other identifying characteristics. They were usually about two torches and a rake away from the angry mob in a Frankenstein movie. (Sam and Max pointed that one out to me, and now I see it all the time.) And those stories were from a time when the middle and upper classes were trying to escape from the problems of the big city by getting to the suburbs and barring shut the doors behind them.

I'm hard pressed to think of any sympathetic normos from the Leonia days. While that keeps the focus and sympathy on the Vision and the Scarlet Witch; it also makes you wonder why they elected to, and continued to, live in a neighborhood that would've burned a cross in their yard if the milk turned sour. (Or, in the Vision's case, if their VCR started blinking 12:00 again.)

While I'm not the hugest fans of the characters or the premise, it just might be interesting to see what would happen if the Vision and the Witch were living in Leonia today. (Or, maybe a better, or at least more trendy suburb.) Nowadays, while there would doubtless still be a few haters, there would be others that would be overly accepting of the celebrities in their midst. Some would be afraid of Ultron or Magneto leveling the town to get at the couple, others might be grateful they were no longer the block's scapegoat. And of course, there would probably be some prurient interest in the couple from bored, jaded housewives and sneaky, creepy husbands.

Would the Vision really swear by Ultron?
Throw in 'family' trouble from the usual suspects, Chaos-magik randomness, and even your Civil War nonsense, and you could almost have something there. The real trick would be to make Wanda and Vision seem like a couple first, since I don't recall that ever happening either. Then making them seem like an interesting couple. Tough trick there, and I'm still not 100% sure that it would be a book for me, but maybe...

How I missed this when I posted all that Mike Mignola stuff, I don't know. From Marvel Super-Heroes, Summer 1992, "The Terror" Written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Mike Mignola, inks by Armando Gil.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

You know, as a suburbanite myself, I'm getting a little tired of the stereotype. We don't care WHO you are living with or what you are doing, just keep your damn lawn mowed, and the number of unregistered rotting cars down to a decent minimum!

My guess, is that Wanda's gypsy ways caught up with her, and her yard was a mess, except that's probably an insult to gypsies.