Team Up Week: When Friend Groups Clash!

They are still called the "Spider-Friends" even though the protagonist is a stand in for Spider-Man.  Go figure.

They are still called the “Spider-Friends” even though the protagonist is a stand in for Spider-Man. Go figure.

That stems mostly from my lack of desire to do one of two things…either create a new logo for the Spider-Friends from scratch, or a new name. Hence why Spider-man gets a mention, without actually being involved. Considering that Peter Parker is being presented in comics these days as a kind of Diet Tony Stark, we can assume that makes sense. Peter can just license out various spider based names from “Parker Industries.”

What’s that Alien American with four arms doing? It looks to me like he’s building a drone filled with balls. Who knows what kind of diabolical purpose that has, but considering that we are safely in the bounds of seventies and eighties era Saturday Morning Cartoons…it can’t be all that diabolical. Some sort of byzantine scheme to dominate the world, or steal energy, or both. Wow…reflecting on that…Saturday Morning Cartoon plots were kind of evil. Once again…go figure.

This is more of a commentary on the nature of team ups, and how they change, then anything else…right here in the middle of Team Up Week. Previous issues of Adequacy have shown that the protagonist was once an intern with the Superfriends, like Wendy and Marvin and later Zan and Jayna. That issue suggested that the Superfriends were pretty uncool to her, despite her awesome Generic Alien Superpowers. I always got the feeling that the Superfriends were kind of like the Popular Kids in School, and would be that way toward anyone that was an outsider. Plus…they have that huge Hall of Justice, in a really nice part of New York, with a huge lawn…it just smacks of a kind of snotty privilege in a subtle way.

I don’t figure that the Superfriends would be openly jerks to you, either. It would be little things, passive aggressive super nonsense that would just annoy the @#$% out of you.

Still, the Superfriends was a crazy cool cartoon for its time. I think my attitude toward the Superfriends has something to do with my attitude toward people and professional relationships in general these days. Sort of having learned my lessons to a degree about working relationships, and how to manage them. I just don’t see Robin hanging out with Zan and Jayna outside the Hall of Justice…much less hanging around with Wendy and Marvin. They could just as easily be the SuperworkFriends. The SuperItStaysAtTheOfficeFriends, maybe.

Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was different though. Half the time the plot was predicated on the three college aged students having trouble being able to pay their rent. Forget fighting Doctor Doom, these people had to count on each other to keep a roof over their heads. If someone left the toilet seat up, that was going to be an Issue, because by definition, they couldn’t keep it in the office. I’ve noticed in my general depictions of those interactions, with the protagonist taking over Peter’s part of the rent in flashback, or the current team ups…the tone is pretty positive. Like these people genuinely like each other, and tend to screw up a bunch. But…the screw ups are okay.

I like that Firestar and Iceman are basically very casually bodychecking Wendy and Marvin out of the way. Kind of quietly standing up for their college roomie, who turned out to be a better roommate than say, Reed Richards wound up with. Again, it speaks to sort of a feeling I’ve been working through, having recently returned to very regularly fencing. All of the old friends from that endeavour were only too happy to see me back, like I hadn’t been absent at all. The kind of people who always stick up for you, although sometimes in very subtle ways…sometimes with a bodycheck.

Once again, without 70's and 80's trade dress.

Once again, without 70’s and 80’s trade dress.

It’s kind of a rambly post, to be honest. About feelings, and bad cartoons that I have been watching on my iPad. About the differences between two old cartoons, which could be likened to a process of maturing, both in media, and in personality.

The creative process for the crowd shot was surprisingly easy. It’s way harder to draw detailed backgrounds in perspective, then a couple of people being hip checked with their dog, and a crowd way in the background.

The creative process for the piece was tougher. My content generation process is pretty simple…things happen to me, and I try to turn them into superhero comics. Except…I’m on vacation now. Not much is happening at all, which is a good thing. Today, the only things to happen of interest were my quest for a rolly-bot (unsuccessful) and being told by a police officer to get off my phone. Seriously. When I respectfully indicated that I was not, in fact, on the phone, he said, “Well you were back there.” A quick display of my phone’s usage log showed that it hadn’t been used in an hour…and there was no ticket.

That might have made a good Judge Dredd story…but isn’t much of a team up.

Today’s is interesting, because our hero is teaming up with the Spider-Friends…who are in turn, actively snubbing another team. I don’t think that guy with the four arms really warrants a total of ELEVEN superheroes to do him in, if you include Wonder Dog. Lets say he launches that drone, right? Our hero catches it and hurls it into the sun. Iceman freezes four arms in a block of ice. Firestar melts all of his evil tech with the cleansing power of fire. Pretty easy fix. Not only is it excessive to have the eight Superfriends on hand too…it really is something that we can assume “they’ve got.”

Can there even BE henchmen? I mean…all of them are in the room with his big ol’ rocket drone, so it seems that all henchmen have probably been defeated. Those kind of Alien Scientist guys sometimes have a Final Robot, or Self Destruct Mechanism though.

So…there’s that. I’m still willing to say that the protagonist would insist on the Superfriends going home. She certainly isn’t going to listen to Batman telling her how to do things.

A pretty fine post about nothing, I think. Or about changes…moving from one place to another, but keeping in touch with things that DO matter.


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