Tuesday, November 21, 2023

If he doesn't get a figure in the next couple years, egg will be on my face. Or half my face maybe.

I don't think I'm one to repeat rumors, but supposedly Jack of Hearts is finally on the list of upcoming Marvel Legends figures: he's probably got a bit of a bump from his recent appearances in She-Hulk, but we're going way back today: from 1978, Marvel Premiere #44, "The Jack of Hearts!" Written by Bill Mantlo, breakdowns by Keith Giffen, finishes by Rudy Nebres.
Headed home from an appearance in Iron Man, Jack of Hearts helps a Coast Guard cutter find some sinking yachters, with the old-school flourish of slipping his 'calling card' into the captain's pocket. Jack displays some of his grab-bag of powers: energy projection, seemingly enhanced senses and intellect--his so-called "computer mind." But his power could build up explosively, to the point that he had to wear his armor 23 hours a day: he could use Tony Stark's "neutro-mist" to negate his powers for an hour. At his home, his late father's mansion, Jack chats with his butler, Martins, a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist assigned to help him. Martins has a recent letter for him--ooh, perfumed, nice! Except it's from a Corporation assassin, Hemlock, calling him out!
Now, I grant you, I can't think of a logo or sigil for Hemlock, but Jack has one of the most intricate costumes in superhero history, and Hemlock gets...a mostly featureless black outfit: it's either an interesting contrast, or super-lazy. Not sure which. Anyway, Hemlock left his address, in scenic Ithaca, to lure Jack in and get the secret of the "zero fluid" that had given him his powers. (The Corporation had tried to destroy the new energy source, to maintain their fossil-fuel monopoly, but maybe thought it might be nice to have later.) When Jack proves resistant to his poisons, the fight carries into Hemlock's greenhouse, to his regret, as his prize azaleas become a casualty! Hemlock catches Jack by surprise with a hidden "hand-blaster" and knocks him out, but when he tries to cut Jack out of his suit, he releases too much power, and is seemingly killed, or at least knocked out. Jack's a little put out that he didn't learn anything and that wasn't much of a win, but life goes on.
Somehow, I could see that coming up again in She-Hulk: Hemlock returning, blowing up Jen's apartment trying to kill Jack, to avenge his azaleas; Jen suddenly realizing they should see other people...Also this issue: the Dave Cockrum character sheet for Jack, to try and keep him on-model. The GCD points out, George Perez was maybe Jack's first artist, but Keith Giffen had designed him. Man, I'm going to miss him. 

I got this and the Jack of Hearts mini-series from the toy show; I think they were all stamped from Lone Star Comics in Wichita Falls, TX.

1 comment:

Mr. Morbid said...

If I had to guess probably super lazy, given all that time and energy went into drawing Jack, but they’d definitely give you a no-prize for the contrast explanation.

I wonder if they’ll ever bring back the idea of no-prizes or if that concept’s time has come and gone.

Anyhoo Jack better be getting an ML figure in the coming year. He’s loooong overdue & as we’ve previously discussed amongst each other, they can always cheap out and skimp out on the sculpting details for paint & print apps. Personally I’m sure we’d all want the time & resources to go into sculpting the fine details of his suit, but that depends on Hasbro. I’m sure a Diamond Select/Marvel Select version would go all out on detail.