Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Domino Effect

Greetings and salutations, Denizens of the Unspoken Universe! The Symbifan is back in the hizzy! (That’s my failed attempt at humor. Don’t worry. There’s more to come.) I thought I’d return to the Marvel Universe for this article. But not the Marvel Universe you know and love. No. For this particular article, I dare to ask the question…….”What if?”

This story begins as most tales of alternate realities begin, with the Watcher! The Watcher is a cosmic being blessed/cursed to bear witness to important events in the history of the Marvel Universe, yet he can never intervene, no matter how much he is compelled to. (So he’s pretty much a godlike peeping tom with excuses as to why he can’t step up like a real man. Oh! Burn!) But the Watcher not only sees one universe, he sees all of them from his hidden perch atop the Earth’s moon. It seems that in most cases, history can and will change drastically as the result of one single changed event. Like so…..

In the Marvel Universe we know a frail, yet patriotic, young man from Brooklyn, Steve Rogers, would become the only super soldier when the scientist who created the unique serum, Dr. Erskine, was shot to death by a German spy. But things in this universe went down slightly different as Rogers was fast enough to push his creator to safety, causing the bullet to miss its intended target! This moment would change this universe forevermore. (You ever try to say “super soldier serum” five times fast? It’s impossible! Did you try it just now? Ha! Made you do stuff!)

The U.S. government would now go on to create severel more super soldiers with Rogers, AKA Captain America, and a young Nick Fury leading them. Before long, World War II was at an end, with America being the ultimate victor of the conflict. The war over, Rogers and Fury began their long journey home. However, their ship was attacked by some remaining Nazi U-boats. Only Steve would survive to return to the States. (Seems a bit shifty to me. Hmmm.)

Steve Rogers would return as the biggest hero in American history. He would go on to create more super soldiers to serve in his world police force, S.H.I.E.L.D. His popularity grew until he was even elected as President for an unheard of three consecutive terms. It all seemed like the beginning of a fantastic new era for America. But all was not as it seemed. President Rogers had a twisted idea of “human perfection”. His ideas of a “master race” mirrored Nazi beliefs as his men began to exterminate not only those that he saw as potential superhuman threats to his dream, but citizens that were deemed as “undesirables”! (Like people that don’t reply when you say, “Excuse me.” Ugh! That really toasts my buns!)

One of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most feared soldiers/hunters was a man named Frank Castle. He wears devastatingly powerful armor, created by a man named Tony Stark. With it, hes been dubbed the Iron Man. It’s during his mission to execute the famed Sub-Mariner in the North Atlantic that a startling discovery is made…..a block of ice that seemed to contain the frozen body of Captain America! (Cap just seems to be destined to enter the new world with horrible brain freeze no matter what!)

Iron Man uses Namor’s confusion to his advantage, stunning him with several repulsor blasts. He then hauls The Sub-Mariner and the frozen man onto a waiting S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft. Namor is placed within a containment cell while a quickly-melting Captain America is laid out on a slab. Castle gets involved in a heated conversation with the two super soldier pilots, making him completely unaware that the man dressed in red, white, and blue has opened his eyes! (It’s on now! Yeah! Go, Cap! Sorry. I got a little too hyped there. It’s all of the caffeine admittedly.)

Captain America’s time frozen in ice has done little in slowing his fighting prowess! He quickly not only disarms and defeats the soldiers, but Iron Man as well! He then quickly frees the aquatic prisoner. They move in on Castle. Cap is quickly brought up to speed on the recent state of his beloved country and that it seems as though he is the cause of all of this horror by Namor. Castle states that he was only following orders as Cap is his childhood hero. Rogers then asks if this is the America that Frank truly wants to fight for. His reply is to incinerate the two super soldiers! Namor flies into a frenzy! This man can hardly be trusted! Captain America separates the two and states that they all have a common goal here. If this war is to be won, they will all need to work together. Both men agree and the Avengers are born! (Frank Castle with Iron Man armor is the stuff of nightmares. Just sayin’.)

The trio commandeer the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft and use the computer systems aboard to search for others with extraordinary skills to aid them in their cause. This search takes them to the vast wilderness of the world’s 51st. state, Canada. They exit the ship and it doesn’t take long before they find the one they’re looking for, a mysterious man from Cap’s past that goes by the name, Logan. Logan wastes zero time for pleasantries, but instead attacks! As he fights, his body goes through a strange metamorphosis, sprouting long, white hair all over a huge, monstrous form! (Hey! My hair’s turned white too. I want super strength to go along with it! Of course, my hair’s the side-effect of raising two teenagers.)

The Avengers throw everything at the rampaging beast, but to no avail! Logan roars that he’ll destroy anyone who works with a monster like Steve Rogers! That’s when Cap finally says that he’s the real Captain America and that if he joins them, there will be no shortage of super soldiers to maim and kill. And just like that, Logan replies that he is now known as the Hulk and that he’ll join them. (That didn’t take long. I don’t want to say that Wolverine’s a psycho, but maybe some medication wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.)

Unfortunately, the Avengers would arrive too late to recruit their next man. Hank Pym and his wife had been murdered. Their bodies still lie on the floor. But before they can take their leave, Iron Man catches a burglar as he’s breaking into the house! The burglar says that his name is Sam Wilson and that he detests having to steal in order to live. But in this country, a black man’s lucky not to be sent to a death camp, let alone get honest work. Captain America is then struck with inspiration. He hands Wilson one of Pym’s costumes and pills that Pym was going to use to alter his size. Sam takes these items and becomes the mighty Giant Man! (What’s that you say? Where’s Scott Lang to take up the mantle, like in the Ant-Man movies? Isn’t Pym supposed to be an old man? Read a comic, people! Damn!)

(I omitted a part here involving Magneto that I felt served no purpose to the present story. I am not, nor have I ever been, a mutant-hater. That is all.) The team uses Castle’s security clearance to gain access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. But as they rush by, they witnesses great power humming within a nearby room. Looking in, they see a man with long, blonde hair and body armor, shackled with energy cuffs! The super soldiers are seemingly attempting to drain not only him, but the power from a large hammer held firmly in his grip! Cap and his allies spring into action, fighting off the soldiers and freeing the prisoner! He claims that he is the Norse god, Thor, and he will help them.

While more super soldiers enter the room, Iron Man shouts that Cap needs to find the room that holds the super soldier serum and destroy it. With the heroes covering his escape, he follows Castle’s directions to navigate the humongous helicarrier. He finds many soldiers along the way, but always he triumphs and moves ever onward. Soon, he finds the lock to the correct door. He scans his fingerprints. The device confirms that he is the President of the United States and opens. Inside, even Captain America must gasp. Standing there is none other than his un-aged creator, Dr. Erskine! (Crap! I want some of that de-aging serum! I pop more than Rice Crispies when I stand up!)

Cap approaches the older man. To his surprise, the good doctor is beyond pleased to see him. He comments how proud he is of him and his good work. How his serum helped in saving America. That’s when the forlorn superhero turns on a wall of television screens. The several news channels report on the horror that the United States has truly become. And at the center of it all, President Steve Rogers. Dr. Erskine then drops to his knees and sobs. He had been blissfully unaware of the outside world for decades. This sad moment is interrupted however by the sudden appearance of President “Steve Rogers” with a loaded gun! (That’s heartbreaking. Decades with no t.v.? How can he be expected to keep up with the such educational programs like DC’s Peacemaker, starring John Cena? Those monsters!)

Captain America doesn’t have to wait long for an explanation on just who his doppelganger is. He is none other than the Red Skull! The Skull was thought dead near the end of World War II, but he had his top scientist place his mind into a cloned body of Rogers! He then ordered Nazi U-boats to fire upon Cap and Nick Fury’s ship, trading places with the real Captain America in the confusion! The rest, as they say, is history. (Don’t you just love when the villain explains their entire master plan? It’s idiotic in practice, but us readers enjoy the explanation. Villains: Catching up slow comic fans since forever. Amen.) The Red Skull then tells a distraught Dr. Erskine that he’s no longer needed. The Skull has figured out the super soldier serum for himself!

The Red Skull aims the handgun directly at Cap’s face! But Erskine moves suddenly in front of the hero, taking a bullet to the chest! A bullet that perhaps should have hit its target so very long ago. (As Metallica might say, “Sad But True”. What? I already admitted earlier that I was old!) Enraged, Captain America throws himself at his evil double! The two scuffle until the true patriotic super soldier picks up the cloned madman and hurles him into a power generator! The body convulses and sizzles until it falls lifeless to the floor! But the threat has not yet ended. Cap returns to his allies. The battle continues to rage between super soldiers and the Avengers!

More and more heavily-armed super soldiers continue to flood into the room! The heroes know in their hearts that they won’t survive this fight. But, like true warriors, they’ll go down fighting! That’s when Captain America calls out a battle cry that seems to empower his loyal comrades, “Avengers assemble!”

Time passes as time does, and America slowly begins to become what it was meant to be, a home for people of all races and religions to come together as one people. And though the heroes that fought to make this dream a working reality once again perished during that epic battle so long ago, the people will never forget their sacrifice.

Well, that’s it. With this story now concluded, this very tired Symbifan is gonna go to bed. Later, alligators! After awhile, Loki Crocodiles! Lol! Until next time.

Webs and Croutons

David versus Goliath. Achilles versus Hector. King Arthur versus Mordred. Hulk Hogan versus the Ultimate Warrior. These were truly clashes between titans. Fights between two, mighty combatants that have gone down in history. This is not one of those fights. So sit on back, relax, and pop the popcorn, because your Friendly Neighborhood Symbifan is about to take you back to a comic epic of yesteryear! Witness the majesty that is Marvel Comics’ “The Ren & Stimpy Show” #6!

Our story begins as 90’s cartoon characters, Ren and Stimpy, sit down at their kitchen table to enjoy their favorite breakfast, Powdered Toast. But what’s this? The can is empty. No reason to panic though. Stimpy dons a peculiar-looking headset and calls out over a large microphone for the assistance of none other than Powdered Toast Man! He’ll fix this problem in no time. Suddenly, the kitchen curtains blow with a mighty gust of wind and Ren and Stimpy await the awesome entrance of their hero! But strangely enough, Spider-Man has appeared instead! (What’s this? Why Spider-Man? Does Disney know about this unannounced cameo appearance? In a comic book that spotlights Nickelodeon animated stars no less? Gasp! Better watch out or this intellectual property will be acquired next!)

Obviously confused by this strange turn of events, the duo question the wall-crawler as to the whereabouts of their breakfast champion. Spidey nonchalantly answers that Powdered Toast Man is simply under the influence of an evil villain and that he’s just subbing until all is righted. To prove that he’s just as useful as his predecessor, Spider-Man fires his web-shooters at Ren and Stimpy’s empty plates, creating toast-shaped webbing masses! Suddenly, Spidey receives an alert from the spare pair of Powdered Toast Man’s shorts he’s currently wearing under his own costume! (Why’s Spider-Man wearing P.T.M.’s undies? Was this a prerequisite for being his stand-in? Is this a common superhero practice? Where’s the Comics Code Authority when you need it? Color me offended!) After Spider-Man makes a hasty exit, the two try their “web toast”……and actually enjoy it!

Meanwhile, not far from this scene, Powdered Toast Man is wreaking havoc upon the city at the command of his arch-nemesis, Dr. Dough-Naught! Spider-Man arrives on the scene and looks on in horror as the destruction to his beloved metropolis mounts! Spidey surveys the situation, trying to come up with a plan that might succeed against the mind- controlled Breakfast Avenger! Swinging down, straight into P.T.M.’s path, the wall-crawler tries first to talk some sense to the other superhero. Perhaps he can get him to break the villain’s hold on his own. No such luck! Dough-Naught increases the power to his control device, forcing Powdered Toast Man to attack! (Here we go, folks! It’s time the fight of the century! That’s right. It’s Darth Vader alone against the Klingon Empire! What? It’s Spider-Man, and he’s fighting who now?)

P.T.M. wastes no time! He unleashes a barrage of high-speed croutons from his armpit, stunning the web-slinger! Spidey quicklly recovers and responds with a powerful left hook to the other hero’s toast-shaped face! Seemingly unaffected, Powdered Toast Man fires an onslaught of raisins from his mouth! The bullet-like projectiles are halted however by Spider-Man’s webbing! Still under the villain’s evil control, P.T.M. blasts razor-sharp, stale toast slices at the wall-crawler! Spidey uses his spider-sense to dodge every one of the deadly weapons, advancing on his friend-turned-enemy! When he’s close enough, Spider-Man hits Powdered Toast Man with all of his strength! While stunned, he then follows this attack with a powerful blow to the other hero’s stomach! The Breakfast Avenger falls at last! (You should all know that this is by far the strangest thing I have ever written!)

But what’s this? Powedered Toast Man isn’t finished yet! No, he has one more trick up his crusty sleeve! Using a finger to block one of his nostrils, he blows with all of his might, unleashing a devastating attack at an unprepared Spider-Man! He has unloaded a mucus-like fluid that has completely encased Spidey. As this sticky dough begins to quickly dry, it hardens like stone! Spidey finds that movement has become quite impossible! Has evil truly won the day? Will Powdered Toast Man forever be a servant to the evil Dr. Dough-Naught? (Will Symbifan finish writing a single article without chain-smoking an entire pack of cheap cigarettes?)

Never! Mustering up all of his inner strength, Spider-Man shatters his rock-hard prison, freeing himself completely! That’s when Spidey spies the source of his salvation, a large milk truck! Before his opponent knows what’s going on, the wall-crawler grabs the hose from the back of the vehicle and turns it on, saturating P.T.M. in gallons of milk! This attack not only defeats the Breakfast Avenger, but frees him of the supervillain’s mind control! Powdered Toast Man collapses, too weakened to even stand. But before Spider-Man can even utter a word, his spider-sense tingles! Confused as to the source of the danger, Spidey never sees the lead pipe as it comes crashing down on the back of his skull! (I would like take this moment to say that lactose intolerance is no joke. And neither are the loud and deadly farts that are a side effect of this very serious condition. That is all.)

Again and again the pipe comes down on Spider-Man’s already severely wounded body, wielded by an enraged Dr. Dough-Naught! Powdered Toast Man reaches towards his friend and ally but is too weakened to be of any use! Suddenly, P.T.M. remembers the spare can of powdered toast that he carries in his trunks in case of emergencies! He quickly seizes it, pops it open, and devours the contents! Powdered Toast Man is now at full strength once again! (Hey, it has to be tastier than spinach! Popeye cartoons speak filthy lies!) The hero leaps through the air, straight at Dough-Naught, and connects with one mighty punch! The villain is then thrown into the air where a wounded Spider-Man encases the villain in webbing! He then comes plummeting to the street below, unconscious and defeated!

Now that the danger has passed and the villain lies beaten, Ren and Stimpy run out to meet the two superheroes. They exclaim how the two of them should really make their partnership more permanent as they just worked so well together. Spider-Man replies that a superhero of Powdered Toast Man’s caliber just isn’t in the same league as a seasoned veteran like himself. This causes the Breakfast Avenger to lash out verbally to defend himself. Soon, an argument escalates about just who would actually win between the two of them in a fair fight. Powdered Toast Man then sucker punches Spidey through a nearby brick wall.

Nuff said!

Dedicated to the fans of the Unspoken Decade. Without you, there would be no Symbifan. It’s as simple as that. Until next time, peace out!

SBTU Presents: The 1991 Marvel Holiday Special!

 

 

 

Hello Legions of the Unspoken!  We’re proud to once again be a part of the Super Blog Team Up, this time taking a look at Christmas stories!  Dean and Emily set down and had a nice long chat about the 1991 Marvel Holiday Special!  Take a listen, and then take a gander at what the other SBTU folks have cooked up for you during this special time of year!

 

 

Check Out the Other Players in the Super-Blog Team Up!

Super-Hero Satellite-4th Annual Holiday Special

Chris is on Infinite Earths-Christmas with the Super-Heroes

Between the Pages-The Ghost of Supergirl Past

The Retroist-Christmas Knight

The Crapbox Son of Cthulhu-Impact Winter Special