The End is Fourever, Part 2. (Ahead of Schedule, for Obvious Reasons)
Seriously…almost thirty years to reach this punchline. In Alan Moore’s “The Watchmen” published in 1986/1987, the big reveal is that one of their own, Ozymandias, is the mastermind behind the whole “deconstruction of superheroes” problem. He sets out to make a fake menace so @#$%ing huge that the entire world needs to unify against IT, putting aside their petty squabbles and starting a lasting world peace. His brainchild is a telepathic alien squid made with high tech genetic engineering, that beams into New York and detonates, causing massive damage, death, and casualties. The entire Earth is so terrified and appalled that they unify against this fictitious alien threat.
At one point, it seems as if Rorschach and the Nite Owl can stop him. The in fact say something along the lines of, “You’ll never get away with this.” Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world replied with the genre changing, “I did it thirty five minutes ago.”
Never before in comics, in any lasting or important way, had the heroes been too late. It was huge.
In the most recent Fantastic Four, almost a month ago, the Quiet Man sort of reveals his plan. It’s really, really stupid. In order to get revenge on Reed Richards (way to make friends, bro) he has created an “alien invasion” of insano insect things from the universe of Heroes Reborn. Ultimately, his goal is to blame the Fantastic Four, and defeat the invasion himself, looking like the good guy.
Even dumber…once he reveals it, Reed does the…”You know we will stop you” thing, and the Quiet Man replies with, “I did it 49 seconds ago.” He then goes on about how the invasion is unstoppable.
As if we hadn’t read the Watchmen. As if we hadn’t seen the heavily marketed and merchandised movie. As if Watchmen were not arguably the high water mark for the entire comics industry. This was presented as if it were a NEW and INNOVATIVE plot point.
I have been waiting decades for someone to make that mistake, and Marvel…you have finally delivered.
It’s only a happy coincidence that the plot also has to do with this lame “Quiet Man” trying to impress Sue Richards, giving me a more Epic punchline. There was no need to have a final line about being a backup dancer in Xanadu, or anything related to Grease II. No…thanks to the Epic Lameness of the character’s motives in the first place, which I have been consistently mocking, I also get to take a cheap shot at Sue Richards.
If you’re a new reader, the Quiet man’s whole motivation is that Reed asked Sue out in college before he could get up the courage to do it himself. Lame.
I decided that I needed a faux sketch cover for this, since it had so much time in the making. Also, the panels above were three separate pages, cut and pasted together to a final composition. There’s a lot going on here….!
For the cover, I wanted to reference both the actual upcoming cover, and the punchline, so it needed to be Sue-centric. Thankfully, the upcoming cover is too. It has Namor the Sub-Mariner, who Sue tends to like to kind of periodically flirt with and make out with, despite you know…being married to Reed. Makes you wonder how much the Quiet Man lost out on. Does he ever read a tabloid?
Our hero is on the cover…also not a big fan of Namor. The pony Torch, of course…and Sleepwalker. Sleepwalker…a very not great early nineties era character who is apparently being brought back in the upcoming FF issue…since it was a last page reveal in the last issue.
Let’s get this straight…I’m supposed to be excited about the Sleepwalker.
A character who has to be asleep in order to be active. literally, boredom is built into the narrative. House of Ideas, indeed.
Let’s look at the cover…
Amazingly, I am criticizing a book BEFORE it’s release date. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there is so much lingering material from the previous issue, and such a cheap punch line, it is worth it.
Two…when next week it actually hit’s stands, and fails to be “internet breaking” as Marvel has been hyping it…I’ll be able to say, “I trashed talked that a week ago.” Thus making my trash talk about the “49 seconds ago” line a kind of “meta trash talk,” previously unseen.
From Garbage into Gold, people. Garbage into Gold.
Next Issue: Litigious Tales!