I’m through with all of my seminarwork, and if I ever hope to get this dissertation done, I’m gonna have to start reading superhero comics again. A LOT of superhero comics. And I’ll need your help to do it. All you have to do is egg me on (you can put egg ON me too, if you think I need it)
We’ll start right now. A Bronze Age comic at random…
Daredevil #87–May 1972–an excellent vintage…
Written by Gerry Conway, drawn by Gene Colan, inked by Tom Palmer… a classic late sixties/early seventies Marvel line-up!
And what have they wrought?
It’s a classic Colan vogue–reminiscent of the lunatic poses struck by the Sons of Satannish in Doc Strange’s pages, but that torch-blast represents the spark of new inspiration!
It’s a wonderful way to bring Marvel’s New York West… See, if Electro hadn’t impersonated the statch, we wouldn’t have had a chance to see it this issue–’cause DD’s in San Francisco! He’s moved there, in fact–or, rather, moved IN there, with former-criminal The Black Widow, whom Matt, in his lawyer-suit, had very recently gotten off (in a court of law, I mean–as Natasha keeps reminding Ivan, the chauffeur, they’re “just good friends”) Is this the first such migration (geographically AND “morally”) in Marvel lore? I think it is. But I’ll have to double-check on that…
But the real focus, this issue, is on the supervillain. Lemme tell ya, folks–Conway’s Electro is one huddled mass of neuroses! No wonder he crackles–he’s way beyond the snap and the pop.
If we are to believe this soliloquy (and who ever told you to do that?)–the man went west (in full costume?) for a break, but these panels show that it has been a psychotic one:
“Buckle your horns” indeed, “babe”–methinks Conway had been reading Dashiell Hammett–and The Glass Key in particular. He’s so right though! Hammett’s Jeff, the “big, good natured slob”, is the prototype supervillain. Motivated by pure, practically UNsublimated homoeroticism, Electro leaps into action, causing a San Fiasco earthquake that only DD and his new partner can cure.
And all of this nonsense merely provides an opportunity for our red protagonist to place his Conway-directed finger upon a very common feature of Marvel Comics in general:
Oh really? And what does this imply about Stan the Man? Plenty, I suppose. But all I can say to thee, dear reader, is: “If this be sickness–I don’t never wanna get well”
tomorrow (or sometime soon):
What about the readers, Dave?
p.s. don’t worry friends–Electro got away, and no one bothered to chase him–these stories aren’t about good defeating evil, remember?