Wednesday, September 2, 2015


It seems somewhat universally acknowledged that Sony and Fox have largely mishandled the movie versions of their licensees Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, respectively, by way of some poorly-received reboots which have recently been polluting your local Redboxes. This is a catastrophe roughly on the scale of absolutely nothing, because who gives a flying fuck about comic book movies anyway? I mean, I know everybody gives a fuck about comic book movies, I'm just suggesting that maybe no one should? This is my wild idea and my total solution to resolving the problem with the recent Spider-Man and Fantastic Four movies and, for that matter, Batman vs Superman or Civil War or Speedball:The Motion Pictue or whatever - stop caring about them and stop watching them and maybe go see a waterfall instead, those things are amazing.

Galactus seated comfortably in his Lovesac.
BUT, I say all of this while knowing that people love comic book movies more than their God, their family and - by a multiple of thousands upon thousands - actual comic books. So, instead, might I suggest that Sony and Fox resolve their issues by seeking to partner with one another, rather than trying to tap into the overflowing Disney teat, and make a team-up movie featuring one of the very famous crossovers between Spider-Man and the FF?

There is, for instance, the first meeting between them in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man vol.1 No.1, and the much-beloved Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four series illustrated by the much-missed Mike Wieringo. Or, alternatively, how about the time Spider-Man's aged aunt became the herald of Galactus and the son of Reed and Sue Richards stuffed the godlike being with Twinkies?

Yep, that's the plot there of "Twinkle Twinkle," the story which popped up in Marvel Team-Up vol.1 No.137 (January 1984) during the chaos-and-comedy line-wide event dubbed "Assistant Editor's Month." Nothing published in January of 1984 was particularly meant to be taken all that seriously, unlike every other month when everything that happened in comic books was AS SERIOUS AS CANCER.

Shut it down, shut it all down.
Promoted as being neither a hoax nor an imaginary story (aren't they all? Hoaxes, I mean, aren't all comic books really hoaxes?), the story begins with the civilian identities of the wall-crawler and Marvel's first family taking in the circus. Apparently the wonders of the Negative Zone pale before the delight offered by sweaty middle-aged men in urine-reeked clown suits smashing pies into each other's crotches, mimicking the closest thing to sexual delight they've experienced in years, and also Spider-Man's probably there just to see which circus performer he's going to have to end up fighting. These folks have been confronted with evil circuses so often, you think they'd be camera-shy.

When Reed "The Stretchtastic Man" Richards notices a headline on a passing newspaper, however, the family fun must stop - there's an emergency! In San Diego! That's in a newspaper, so it's probably not urgent! Still, he drags the FF off to fight something going on in another Assistant Editor Month comic, hauling Spider-Man with him and leaving young Franklin in the hands of Peter Parker's aged Aunt May (played in the films by 21 year-old Selena Gomez).

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the nearly-omnipotent Galactus is on his way to Earth to seek Reed "Dr. Stretchable Mantastic" Richards' help with his rumbly tummy. Yes, starving, Galactus has returned to Earth, just as your drunk uncle keeps returning to the Frolic Room after each AA meeting.

Not able to locate Reed "Longbody Doctor Wonderful" Richards, Galactus chooses instead to make a herald of the nearest supporting character, mistiming a shot and turning Aunt May into "Golden Oldie" and pardon me but I just closed this comic book and I'll have to get back to it in a year.

Golden Oldie is gifted with the power cosmic, and Franklin Richards happens to be gifted with a pocketful of creamy filling and golden sponge cake goodness. Yes, it turns out that Galactus not only loves the taste of rebranded-to-avoid-a-lawsuit Twinkies, but they satisfy him just as planets do. Probably because of all the harmful bacteria running rampant at the Hostess factory.

"I know you're *hic* in there!"

This leads Golden Oldie to round up all the "Twinkles" on Earth and then, having exhausted the supply, fly into space looking for more. This allows her to cross paths with some sort of cosmic Pillsbury doughboy, a devotee of Galactus' who makes planet-sized Twinkles and I'm sorry the book just closed again I'll get back to it in 2017. Maybe.

I endure a lot of terrible comics for this site, but I just have to add how little I enjoy the "fake Hostess ad" joke - it's an easy gag, and the premise is that the Hostess ads which used to show up in comics? They're silly. That's the whole context of any fake Hostess ad, that the actual Hostess ads were sillier than the comics. Okay, seems like a legit axis upon which to spin the wheel of comedy, I guess.

Anyway, I dislike 'em when they're one-pagers, and heres a whole book of 'em!

Well, it's all over soon enough, as it turns out that while this wasn't a hoax or an imaginary story (it actually happened, you can read about it at your local library), it was in fact a dream. According to the candid views we get into assorted bedrooms of the Marvel U, it was Peter Parker's dream, or Danny Fingeroth's, or Jim Shooter's, or Stan's, or Galactus'. Also we get to see naked Danny Fingeroth and Jim Shooter, so cross that off your bucket list.

::masturbates furiously::

Ta-da, well, I stick by my original assertion, that this would be better than the FF and Spider-Man movies they've made, or any superhero movies, or any movies. Let's shut it all down, I got the address of a really good waterfall.


Tom said...

I don't know which thing I love more about that panel of Galactus at the Baxter building: the way traffic just seems to be passing by like nothing special's going on, or the way he's tilting his head up to yell at the penthouse instead of, you know, floating up a few stories so his face is level with the people he thinks he's talking to.

Jim Shooter's art direction for his bedtime scene: "Bear in mind that I am cut like a goddamn diamond. Make all the Garfield jokes you want but convey the fact that I am a Greek god in human form."

Calamity Jon said...

There's a pleasing bunch of gags about the people milling around Galactus' feet, just straight giving him the business (It starts with a less-successful aspirational cred-gathering joke where someone describes his shoes as "Adidas" and I assume is the product of a passing authorial association with the music of Run-DMC)

James W. Fry 3.0 said...

Waterfall? WATERFALL???! Nearest goddamn waterfall is, like, three or four blocks away from here, sure, but it's UPHILL! Fuck that noise. Bring on FANTASTIC SPIDER VII!...actually, the part about the waterfall is true. I first saw our local falls on TV, years before moving here. A guy almost got thrown into it in season one of THE SOPRANOS.And why in hell should anyone care about that? Excuse me folks. On a diet and jonesing for some burgers. I get light-headed. Carry on.

James W. Fry 3.0 said...

Actually, all this reminds me of something: anyone out there remember Aunt May's near-miss body switch with Doctor Doom?

Calamity Jon said...

No I do not! Fill us in, Uncle James!

James W. Fry 3.0 said...

Thanks, Jon. It's a pleasure to be here tonight. All right, fplks, show of hands---who's here from outta town? >ahem< The short-ish version of things is that near the end of FANTASTIC FOUR #260, written and drawn by John Byrne, Doctor Doom is about to get blowed up real good. In order to save himself, he transfers his consciousness into the body of a random onlooker.Thing is, the un-named shmendrick who is now Doom's host was standing Right Next To Aunt May! Which left me (and tens of thousands of other funnybook readers, I'm sure) grinning like idiots over how cool it would have been if Doom had landed in the old lady's head instead. I still think of it as One of The Most Awesome Things Marvel Comics Ever Punked Out On. You can see the sequence in question here:

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