With the anticipation growing for Leva Bates' upcoming appearance on Asked with Riv & Landin, her love of cosplay and all things geek has only served to compel me to bring more articles from the old JasonRivera.com archives back earlier than scheduled (typically one will be brought back every Thursday). Tonight I've decided to bring back an old classic - a look at one of the absolute worst comics in Marvel History - a Team-Up between Spider-Man's Aunt May and Franklin Richards. I realize Disney wants to try to wipe everything prior to their acquisition of Marvel off the map (such as all the great video games) but in this instance they might actually be JUSTIFIED in doing so. Check it out below:
As you may have noticed, we here on ListenToThisShow.com happen to have a somewhat vested-interest in comics. Between our various jokes and references made on the show it’s safe to say we’ve been raised on comic books and superheroes long before it was the “in” thing for everybody to do.
With that being said, I take myself back to when I first started collecting. I was, and still am a huge Spider-Man and X-Men fan. If Spider-Man had an issue out, I was going to buy it, whether it be Spider-Man, the Amazing Spider-Man, the Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Deadly Foes… you get the point.
The problem is I was also a young, stupid, naïve little kid with no true knowledge of comic book worth. Enter Eddie Meltzer, my downstairs neighbor on the fourth floor in the Skyview apartment complex.
Eddie was for the most part a punk, who used to start trouble and cause havoc. He used to want to be cool, and he was Russian-born, American-raised, and loved to curse out his Russian grandmother in English because she had no idea what the hell he was saying. In retrospect, Eddie Meltzer is probably the reason I grew up into such a hateful adult.
Anyway, Eddie, ever the opportunist, and several years older than me, informed me that 1 old comic is better than 5 new ones and also more valuable. He traded me 5 really good McFarlane-era Spider-Man comics (featuring Wolverine, and against Wendigo), for two issues of Dazzler, and by far the most brutal comic ever to bear the Marvel name. Are you ready for this?
Marvel Team Up #137: Aunt May and Franklin Richards Versus… GALACTUS!!!
The worst part? I was pretty sure I got a good deal. Wherever Eddie is, I hope he got a hate-crime committed on him for being such a dickhead.
Marvel Team-Ups are usually pretty brutal, to begin with. I mean, when you have Spider-Man teaming up with Jay Leno, or the Saturday Night Live cast, or when you have the Avengers teaming with David Letterman, that’s pretty brutal. Even Howard the Duck’s been in a Marvel Team-Up in his day, but nothing can prepare you for the horror that is a small child and an old woman taking on Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, in the battle to end all battles.
Chances are even if you are not an avid comic book reader, you already know the common knowledge that Aunt May raises Peter Parker (Spider-Man), and Franklin Richards is the child of two of the members of the Fantastic Four. Both of whom are regular people (or at least were back in 1983) So what’s a Galactus, you ask?
Galactus is a Deity-type character in the Marvel Universe who lives only by devouring planets. He must consume worlds to live, and he must do it very often. The more advanced and populated the planet, seemingly the more energy it gives Galactus. Galactus also has God-like powers that allow him to turn mortal man and woman into cosmic entities to serve him by finding him planets which he can eat so that he can continue to exist. The most popular character to come from Galactus’ powers is the Silver Surfer.
Galactus, in all his infinite power, and wisdom however, is also acclaimed as the absolute worst dresser in the Marvel Universe, wearing a big blue suit, with purple trim, and pink gloves, boots, and a bright pink helmet with funny antlers on the side. I guess when you’re the size of a small galaxy you can wear whatever you want, but still, why would you dress like a gay Easter-pastel-themed pope?
Our comic starts off with Galactus’ herald Nova, dying. Heralds are supposed to find him his planets which he can eat, but the last planet he found blew itself up rather than let Galactus eat it, so he’s shit-outta-luck. Our giant friend with the fruity helmet really doesn’t want to have to eat any planets that have living people on it, but he doesn’t have the strength to be choosy right now. He tells us that he knows of only one man with enough knowledge to save the life of Galactus, and thus this man shall become his new herald.
Meanwhile on earth, Peter Parker and Mary Jane have brought Aunt May to see the circus, thinking she will have a good time. Isn’t it funny how as a society we treat old people the same way we treat children? I mean, if I were 80 years old or so, why would I want to go to the circus? I would want to sit at home and watch television from back before it sucked. It’s what grandma does. It’s what my father does. And it’s worked out pretty well so far. Coincidentally the trio are sitting right next to our good friend from Fantastic Four, the Thing, and he’s brought little Franklin with him.
Another thing that’s always been somewhat amusing is that the Thing chooses to wear the same trench coats and hats that you see child molesters and serial flashers sport. Would YOU trust your kid to anyone dressed like this?
For some reason, Mr. Fantastic starts reading over some poor guy’s shoulder than there is trouble in San Diego. I don’t care if you have special powers or not, isn’t that just a little bit rude? We don’t exactly get told what, but suddenly we’ve got the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man suiting up and leaving their loved ones behind at the Circus – because abandoning small children and the elderly is completely acceptable as long as you have super powers.
Wouldn’t you know Galactus *JUST* missed him? For a powerful, omnipotent guy, he surely doesn’t have any etiquette. He could have at least called and left a message first. Galactus crashes the circus, and finds Franklin and Aunt May. Since Galactus isn’t feeling choosy about with of the Richards’ family he gets, he tries to turn Franklin into a herald using his golden optic blast of power.
Galactus misfires and hits Aunt May. You know, this guy’s pretty pathetic for an almighty… If he doesn’t eat he becomes a pussy, he wears pink boots and antlers, doesn’t pick up the phone, hires other people to do his dirty work, and on top of that he has the worst aim and accuracy of anyone in the Marvel Universe.
Aunt May becomes the “Golden Oldie,” but Galactus can care less who becomes what as long as they’re able to feed him. Geez, learn to cook for yourself, loser! Franklin tries to buy the devourer of planets off with some Twinkies because in the late '70s/early ‘80s comics were nothing more than giant advertisements for junk-food and Kool-Aid.
In the worst turn of events to ever grace comic panels, Galactus not only eats the pastries out of mock-pity for Franklin, but even worse they SERVE TO REPLENISH HIS ENERGY. Galactus rubs his tummy and licks his lips as he eats an entire snack-bar of Twinkies, leaving Aunt May to rob everyone on earth of their Hostess snacks…
Before we get to the horrible result of Galactus eating the earth’s supply of Twinkies, here is a comic book ad for Bubble Yum with an “unscramble the fun” mini-game. I’ll have you know that unscrambling a bunch of 1st grade-reading level words was a lot more entertaining than the rest of this entire damn comic book.
Back to the lame story. Aren’t you glad I’m reading this piece of shit comic, and not you?
Galactus runs out of Twinkies, meaning that Aunt May must now find him planets. Wouldn’t you know that out in deep space, Aunt May finds a GIANT GODDAMN TWINKIE?!?
Suddenly a Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man guy complains that he created this delicious planet made of sponge-cake and a creamy white filling. Galactus comes for the Twinkie Planet and ingests it. Aunt May suggests that Galactus make the Stay Puff guy bake Planet-sized Twinkies for him so that she can go home where somehow Franklin’s mutant powers absorb the Power Cosmic turning Aunt May back into an old woman. We finally see the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man return to tell us that they went to save some Editors that were in trouble but Dazzler already did it, and to see Dazzler #30 (no, absolutely not).
(Definition of "Dazzler" for the Comic Book Illiterates: a weak Disco-Queen character that can turn sound into damaging light and was made right after Disco died. She joined the X-Men for a time, sucked ass, and married another mutant named Longshot with a bad Rod Stewart haircut and was thankfully never seen again).
They arrive just in time to see Galactus return, and this time he has come for milk with which to wash-down his Twinkies.
In the end however, it turns out to be a series of bad dreams meaning this comic never really happened meaning that they probably should have never even wasted our time producing it meaning that 60 cents was overcharging back in ’83, and meaning I *STILL* got jipped out of some decent issues. Former JasonRivera.com co-writer Steve tried to justify this for me to cushion the blow of being ripped off when I was a child:
Steve: If it makes you feel any better, although the McFarlane comics were worth money back then; now they're worth nothing!
Riv: True, but those were also better reads. At least the heroes didn’t buy Wendigo off with Twinkies.
Steve: VERY true.
In short, this comic sucked all levels of ass, and should be kept in bathrooms across the world in the emergency that you run out of toilet paper and need to wipe your ass, and even then, would you really want a picture of a THIS GUY wearing pink to touch the inside of your anus?
Didn’t think so.
Now for my final thought. Remember when comic books used to publish fan mail with the names and addresses of the readers? It’s really a shock to me that some crazy serial killer didn’t start jotting down the addresses and murdering people, really. Something like this is a threat to public safety.
Still, sometimes thoughts go into my head like: Does Renee Trang of 53-31 Junction Blvd, Elmhurts, NY, 11373 STILL READ Marvel Team-Up comics? Does she know her fan-mail got published? Is she embarrassed and ashamed that her home address is in the worst comic book to ever be written?
Oh well, next issue: