Thursday, June 14, 2012

Even running out of cereal is cause for depression now. You're welcome.

Is there a word in English, for that queasy, uncomfortable feeling you get in your gut, when you see someone being completely and utterly screwed over, like Charlie Brown in an old Peanuts strip? And not quite in the way like he's running at the football, and surprise, Lucy pulled it away again; but instead the shafting is novel, surprising, and goes on for an appallingly long time. Because Chris Giarrusso nails that feeling of injustice making your tummy hurt, in "Cereal Quest" from Spidey and the Mini Marvels #1.

The GCD's synopsis reads "Wolvie has a number of adventures buying a box of his favorite cereal after his thoughtless teammates devour the last bowl." 'Adventures,' may not be the right word; as they seem like the same adventures Sisyphus had. "Kafkaesque" would be another word for it. And that's for a sixteen page story where Wolverine goes to the store. (A younger, cuter Wolverine, but that just makes it weirder.)

After the dickish X-Men eat all of Wolvie's cereal, he angrily slashes the table and stomps off to get more. Short-cutting through the woods, Wolvie frees a bear cub from a bear trap; for his trouble, the bear mom drives him out of there. Literally, with a driver. (That sets up an offhand joke later, but it's just weird.)

Hit by a car, Wolvie's admantium skeleton and healing factor mean he'll be fine, but the driver yells at him for denting his car. Next, at the supermarket, Wolvie is too short to reach the last box of X-Crunch. Asking a shopper to get it down for him, he's a little too enthusiastic, and the shopper keeps it for her daughter. He goes to a stockboy to ask for more, and is told to cram it; so drastic measures have to be taken...

This next sequence just makes my tummy hurt every time I read it: at the counter, the salesgirl asks Wolvie where his mommy is. "I don't have one. I'm an orphan." "Nonsense! Everyone has a mommy! You probably just haven't looked for her hard enough." Giarrusso's Wolvie is far more controlled than the typical Marvel version, who probably would've stabbed everyone in the store by now, but it's just getting started. The salesgirl tells Wolvie the register is jammed, but suggests he doesn't really need a receipt. Or a bag. Fine, until Wolvie gets stopped by the manager for shoplifting, who takes him back to the register.

To further ice the cake, outside Wolvie's attacked by Sabretooth, Toad, and the Blob. By this point, even in a kid-friendly book, readers would completely understand if Wolvie cut the lot of them into strips; but he settles for outsmarting the Blob, then getting a helping golf-club from the momma bear...

Finally back home, Wolvie pours himself his long-awaited cereal, and then, no milk. Luckily, at least one of his teammates isn't a dick: Nightcrawler!

I'm pretty sure Nightcrawler just stole that milk. Good for him. Still, if you think that means a happy ending for Wolvie, you haven't been paying attention. Also, Cyclops continues being a complete tool, for good measure. And for further depression, as Comic Book Legends Revealed pointed out, Giarrusso's Mini-Marvels were phased out for inferior Superhero Squad strips--in the style of the toys and cartoon, but not as good.


Dale Bagwell said...

See, Nightcrawler really is good for something, other than dying stupidly:)

Actually I don't know why him doing stuff like that hasn't already been used in past X=men stories. You would've thought at least Claremont would've showed this type of scene before. I Imagine kurt's so damn handy, they just send him to go grocery shopping for them anyway.

As for stealing, he might have done that sort of thing all the time when he was younger, but I know during the late 90's, when Kurt, Colossus, and Kitty re-joined the X-men, there was a scene in one of the Uncanny X-Men issues, where Kurt stole Star of David necklace for Kitty after she saw it, but didn't buy it due to lack of monetary funds. Kurt felt guilty immediately after doing the deed, but justified it as being a Christmas gift for Kitty, and that after all the shit they've all been through, they're owed a little free swag every now and then. I guess so, right?

Yeah I used to enjoy these strips too, damn shame they didn't last long.

SallyP said...

I miss Nightcrawler so damn much!