I'm Just Sayin'…#68

Hey, everybody – I finally made it back with this latest edition of…


Before I went off to Wizard World Chicago/Chicago Comi-Con, I had some bits of news that I wanna get out of the way just cuz they’ve been sitting here for a week or two – such as Peter David’s response to Rob Liefeld’s comments regarding the RictorStar kiss, this entry from LIVING BETWEEN WEDNESDAYS, where some forgotten Batman redesigns were examined in all their hideous ’90s glory, and the news that Ryan Reynolds landed the lead in the upcoming GREEN LANTERN feature film…


I dunno - I think he'd be better suited for Kyle Rayner, myself...

…meanwhile, Stephen Chow has completely pulled out of THE GREEN HORNET, thus removing my main driving interest in seeing that movie outside of a DirecTV selection on an uneventful Sunday afternoon…maybe.
I also plan on talking about my experiences at the Chicago con, because I really had an amazing time and a wholly positive experience (I don’t think Liefeld would say the same…) and want to tell you as much about it as I can – I may suspend AND NOW, JUST CUZ I FEEL LIKE IT… just for the time being…well, before I do that, maybe one more:


I really liked that one. Wait, just one more:


"Big Rock Candy of Solitude"

Okay, okay…got just one more for ya:


Gotta get it out of my system, you know?

Okay, so like I was saying…what I think I’ll be doing in the coming weeks in lieu of AND NOW, JUST CUZ I FEEL LIKE IT…, is a series of CHI-TOWN SHOUT-OUTS, where I will get a little into my experiences over that weekend and send a lil’ love to some folks I met at Wizard World who are doing their thing in the world of comics and illustrative artwork, and who I’d like to point your way.

I realize it’s been a little while since my last column, and to tell the truth there almost weren’t any more. Since the last post, I was informed of a note of exception to a review I wrote on this site before I left for Chicago. That led to a bit of a dispute that was kind of like those Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoons, but only kind of; it was every bit as silly, but nowhere near as funny.  (Looking back, the whole thing probably could’ve used a rabbit, a duck and a moderately functional bald dude with a delightfully comical speech impediment, standing around waiting to figure out who to shoot…whom to shoot…whatever.) Suffice it to say, it was not a pleasant experience, and it almost soured me on continuing the column. But then I thought it over and the more I did, the more that felt a bit premature.

So to the writer of the previously reviewed material in question, I would like to say I truly regret our kerfuffle. Surely this could all have been handled differently, and as a gesture of goodwill I’d like to make a promise here and now, that I will not be reviewing, reading, recommending or otherwise discussing anything of yours  in the space allotted to this column again, for as long as I am here. In fact, I will sweeten this deal and go so far as to say that I will not be buying, reading, recommending or otherwise discussing anything of yours among those who I am likely to talk comics with on a general basis, either…

…after today.

And that’s only because a week ago, Dr. ‘Nolis of the Nexus asked me to expand just a little bit on my original review anyway.

What? That’s his pimp-wizard name. Don’t you like it?

Now when I first heard about latest revamp of one Doctor Otto Octavius in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN* #600, I thought to myself, well…that is a pretty cool look…very jarring, very creepy, very science-gone-horribly awry, in that classic Spider-Man tradition…

Creepy, but Flawed - Amazing Spider-Man 600

…except there was something a little off about the explanation. The idea here is that while his mind remains sharp as ever, Octavius’ body is decaying due to repeated blunt force trauma over the years, due to being on a near-constant collision course with other superheroes at varying levels of physical ability.

Ock sees the Doc - Amazing Spider-Man 600

And I can’t catalogue every single time he’s appeared in a Marvel comic over the years, plus I’m pretty sure not every writer took the time out in the last 40-70 years of Marvel’s existence to throw in a thought bubble along the lines of “His arms are deadly, but he’s still just a middle-aged man! I’d better pull my punch so as not to kill him!” for every single superhero he’s ever faced. So while that may have some truth to it, there’s something that Ock fails to tell his Doc: he’s also died before.

Kaine Kills Doc Ock - Spectacular Spider-Man 221

Yep. Died. Some of you probably remember this. THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, Vol. 1 #221. Had his neck broken and face disfigured by a really nasty burn, got a pool of blood there, the whole kabuki.

Ock Dead with Mark - Spectacular Spider-Man 221

See? Just a big ol’ pool of the blood, right there.

Then, in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #427 he was resurrected by the Hand, and wouldja look at that…

Amazing Spider-Man 428 No Scar Dot Com


…no burns. No sign of a broken neck either. And he also makes a point of saying…

Doc Learns from Past Mistakes - The Amazing Spider-Man 428

It’s not all that clear, I realize; what he said was: “Forgive me, Spider-Man. In my haste to destroy you, I apparently neglected to mention that my associate – Doctor [Carolyn] Trainer – saw fit to equip me with a personal force field. As a serious student of our past encounters, she pointed out that you often gain the upper hand by resorting to brute force — striking me bodily.”

So it stands to reason that, if the Hand could return to life a man who had been dead and buried for at least a few months, then all of these…

Ock sees the Doc - Amazing Spider-Man 600

…would have been healed as well, thus giving his body a relative clean slate in terms of personal injuries. And if that’s the case, and this highly intelligent supervillain has since been employing means of protecting his body, then this…

Again - Creepy, but Flawed - Amazing Spider-Man 600

…needs another explanation. But I’m sure by now they’ve thought of one, and they wouldn’t be a Brain Trust if they hadn’t. Probably will be the same one that explains this very effective, albeit completely-out-of-left-field Chameleon revamp…

New Chameleon - The Amazing Spider-Man 602-01

New Chameleon - The Amazing Spider-Man 602-02

…and it will all most likely have something to do with the current “Gauntlet” storyarc that’s leading into the pending “Sinister 666” storyline. And while I have my suspicions, I’m sure it’ll be interesting to learn what it is that they’ve had planned “all along.”

I have to say – considering the only thing that’s supposed to have changed since NO GOOD REASON came about, is that a single marriage was lifted out of history like a stain from a laundry detergent commerical – it’s interesting to me that any such explanations are even necessary. Ah well – in any case, maybe I can at least give credit to the Brain Trust where it’s due, for finally presenting us with a scenario that necessitates a single Peter Parker, even if it took roughly eighteen months to do so. Because after all, what kind of man gets so discombobulated at the sight of his own wife

Redheaded Stranger - Amazing Spider-Man 601-03

…that he then proceeds to get completely hammered…

Redheaded Stranger - Amazing Spider-Man 601-04

…and sleep with his roommate?

Redheaded Stranger - Amazing Spider-Man 601-05

The answer, in 2009? Your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man! Who else?

Touche, Brain Trust. Touche.

And with that I’d like to extend my first CHI-TOWN SHOUT-OUT to one Matt Wendt of Planet Doom Studios, for a delightful little strip called GREAT BIG PISSED OFF BEAR.


Happened to run into this gent in Artist Alley and after flipping through this irreverent little piece of self-published hilarity, I had no other recourse but to throw a little business his way. The premise is pretty simple, and I dare say 100% foolproof; because no matter what your personal politics may be, it’s kind of hard not get behind the idea of comically violent animals striking back against obnoxious human stereotypes.


If you like what you see here, feel free to contact him at planetdoomstudios@comcast.net. He’s also planning on being at the Minnesota Fallcon, so those of you readers who live in that area and plan on attending, be sure to look for his booth. As for me, I am gonna keep my eyes peeled among my local stores because without a doubt, I want to see these crazy-assed animals of his on a t-shirt or a coffee mug or in the humor section of my favorite bookstore and I want to see it yesterday.

And I think that’s it from me this go ’round, folks – til next time, I’m Greg Manuel and I’m just sayin’, is all…

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