Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It was a short fight; that's why I forgot it. Yeah...

Crossbones uses a table as Cap's shield, even including a bank shot. When I put together my homemade strips, best case scenario I work off of "selective continuity." Crossbones, Deathstroke, and Bullseye seemed like a perfectly reasonable teaming of mercenaries; even if Deathstroke's from DC and the rest from Marvel. But, I had forgotten about this fight: from Streets of Poison (again!) Bullseye vs. Crossbones. Back in this one, Bullseye seemed much less likely to want to fight hand-to-hand, which is why I think it's odd to see him do so now, like the recent Moon Knight fight. (From Captain America #377, "The 100% Solution" Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Ron Lim, inks by Danny Bulanadi.)

I mention this because it's something I bitch about when other writers do it in real comics. Take for example, the Inhumans. They're characters with a certain fan base, and creators like the Inhumans--well, they like the Lee/Kirby Inhumans. Maybe a couple of the old Byrne issues, or the Jenkins/Lee limited. Other than that, every other Inhumans story? May as well not exist. Every appearance of the Inhumans seems to have, at best, a tangential relationship to the one before. That may stem from the fact that they were usually used as guest-stars, and only the most hardcore of fans (or random chance) is going to keep track of Black Bolt and company's appearances in Silver Surfer or New Warriors.
Being viceroy, or whatever, to the Inhumans is like being Number Two on the Prisoner: a one-shot gig. Usually.
From Inhumans #3, "Ghost in the Machine" Written by Paul Jenkins, art by Jae Lee. Reprinted in Marvel Knights Magazine #6.

(Did the Inhumans ever appear in ROM? Just about everyone else did, but I don't know if ROM hit Attilan in his world tour. Also, it always bugged me that the Ladronn Inhumans mini of a few years back wasn't "in continuity," but it wrote out almost of the citizen, rank-and-file Inhumans; leaving a royal family with no subjects.)

Man-Bat would fall into the same boat. Everybody likes Man-Bat. (Everyone should, anyway...) But is Dr. Kirk Langstrom a troubled genius striving for acceptance? Was he deaf before taking his bat-formula? Was Kirk a private detective? A research scientist? A museum curator? Is he an environmental psychotic trying to replace humanity with bat-hybrids? Do his wife and children still have bat-traits, and are they even alive? Can he control his transformation? When he transforms, is Kirk in control, or is he a mindless beast, or something else entirely?
Bolton's art is so good here, I would read this every so often anyway.
I don't think Jamie Delano and John Bolton's Man-Bat (art here from issue #3) is in continuity, as it's an Elseworlds book; but aspects of it seem to have bled into the DCU version. (Also, the Batman in this, is a colossal dick. I just had to look if Delano had worked on Judge Dredd, since his Batman seems to be of the same stripe.) Some would say, if it's in service to a good story, the continuity doesn't matter; and they would have a point. But if you remembered his first series, or his Brave and the Bold appearances where he tried to one-up Batman; this new Man-Bat would be disturbing and wrong. Which in this case works: Man-Bat here is supposed to be alien and terrifying, while retaining remnants of his family man roots.

So, in a nutshell, there's your pros and cons to continuity: it's great, except when it isn't, so you can pick and choose, but rarely does everyone agree on what to keep and what to toss. There's still a few fans of the Spider-Clone out there, you know.

Not me though. Well, not really...

1 comment:

Ace said...

Ahh but which Spider-clone? Kaine? Reilly? Parker? Brand New May? Or one of the Ultimate clones like Spider-Woman (who's not even 18...)?