Friday, August 1, 2014

The Torpedo is One of the One Percent

I am severely lacking in issues of the long-defunct Marvel Premiere.  That was a great title from 1972 until 1981, lasting 61 issues.  It was a title where characters who didn't have their own runs (for the most part) could get a run and the powers that be could gauge interest.

After the first two issues starred Adam Warlock (not my fave... sci-fi really isn't my bag), there was an entire year given to Dr. Strange (again, not my fave... magic really isn't my bag).  But then there were ten issues of Iron Fist, who is always awesome.  They're also worth reading because the writing describes the minutia of every martial arts move he does.  It makes for pretty tedious reading (and thank goodness they stopped doing it), but... well, it's Iron Fist.

Anyhoo, there were also some try-outs that didn't go quite as well.  F'rinstance, the Torpedo.

The Torpedo originally appeared in the pages of Daredevil.  I thought he was kind of cool at the time simply because... well, apparently I thought that a stripped-down Iron Man had some kind of appeal.

But I read his Marvel Premiere run of two issues, and I think I know why he didn't catch on:

Loving kids?  Check.

Good job?  Check.

Loving wife?  Check.

Yeah, here's where it became insufferable.  You're a corporate executive with a history as a football hero.  I'm sorry, what are you bitching about?

Awwwww... the money's great but you're missing the adulation of others?  WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD!

"Security isn't everything" to people who have security.  If you don't have security, it's everything.

Oh, that's right.  He married a former model.

Wow, am I hoping you'll get shot and killed your first night out. 

So, the whole "hero" gig is just the equivalent of a sports car and a prescription for Viagra so you can deal with your little mid-life crisis.

Great job, loving kids, gorgeous wife, past life as a football hero:  Peter Parker, he ain't.

I think I just bleeped over all that when I read it as a kid.  As an adult, I just want the suit to overheat and blow him up.

Oh, and he also used football terminology when he'd fight.  He'd shout things like "TOUCHDOWN!" and.... well, this:

Yeah, I hate this guy.  After a brief appearance in The Defenders, he was a minor recurring character in Rom: Spaceknight for a couple of years.  I remember I felt pretty badly when he was murdered in Rom #50, but I'll have to dig 'em out and re-read them to see if I'd still feel the same way today.

Anyway, Marvel Premiere had trial appearances of characters I liked such as Ant Man, Wonder Man, the Liberty Legion (don't judge me) and the Falcon.  There was also a one-shot of the Jack of Hearts, who I always kind of liked until they dragged in an alien race origin and made everything all weird.

Which isn't to say Jack of Hearts before they made him half-alien wasn't weird.  In this solo story, he fought a gardener-themed baddie called Hemlock.  Hemlock was no Poison Ivy, or even Plant Man.  He used... well, you won't believe me if I just say it, so see for yourself:

AGGGGH!  It's the Heat-Seeking Trowel Missile!

Rookie mistake, Hemlock: Always go for the Laser-Guided Rake Rocket.

So, anyway, I have some holes in my Marvel Premiere collection that need to be filled.  

And some issues that I just can't bring myself to read after all these years.  Yeah, it's probably loaded with material for the blog, but I'm not reading a sci-fi / sword and sorcery series staring a wolfman.  Sure, it sounds awesome on paper, but if it turns out to be too good to make fun of, I'll just be sad.

See you Monday!


Aaron Carine said...

I read the Man-Wolf story, and I assure it is NOT too good to make fun of. It is ideal to make fun of.

Aaron Carine said...

Forgot the "you".

Adam Barnett said...

I can't do it... I wish I could, but I just can't. I hate space stuff so much that I don't think I can tell the crap from the good stuff, because most of it seems like crap to me :-)

Aaron Carine said...

Regarding the Torpedo's whining, Marvel's heroes had a strong tendency to self-pity. That was supposed to make them "real", but sometimes you wished they would just stop moaning and man up.

Adam Barnett said...

Especially a guy who has an awesome life before you even consider the super-hero element.