Wednesday, September 9, 2009
You’ve all heard about it by now: Disney (AKA The Benevolent Mouse-Eared Overlord) has purchased Marvel Comics for an undisclosed sum that is rumored to include a lifetime supply of Mouse Bars. There’s been a good deal of debate over whether this purchase bodes well for either Marvel or TBM-EO. Disney benefits because they get free access to the, ah, heretofore unexploited (read: B-List) canon of heroes. Marvel benefits because… Really, I got nothin’. I guess Marvel benefits somehow. Marvel fans, however, stand to lose. How soon will it be before Disney starts to exercise influence over Marvel? I can see it now: each issue of Moon Knight must feature a full-scale song and dance spread; Super-heroines will have to cover up a bit; Marvel writers can no longer wear jeans but must instead wear Aladdin pants.
Arthur and I have been speculating on what the first massive success to emerge from this union will be, so we’re going to rev up the old Versus engine and take a crack at it.
We’ve flipped a coin. I’ve called Donald Duck, and Arthur has called Howard the Duck. …And it’s Howard! Arthur goes first:
Arthur: My first thought about this versus was: my goodness, where do I go from here? Then as ideas percolated in my mind, one crystallized and rose above the others. So with much further ado, I give to you lady and/or gentleman, the first Marneyvel collaboration, Daredevil Duck, the Manduck with no Fear(?) The title is tentative but the explanation is as follows:
Villains: My primary line of thought on this was which villains line up together well, after all a hero is nothing without a tasty villain. So which villains gel the best? Bam! Kingpin and Scrooge McDuck, two people after one thing: cold hard cash.
Secondly, we need some heroes. Daredevil easily gets the call here; he’s been after the Kingpin for years. Who better to go after a duck than another duck, so Donald scores the invite as well.
The plot is as follows Kingpin and Scrooge team together for crime hi-jinks. In their endeavor they are foiled by the Devil & Duck Duo. A nefarious plan is hatched where Huey, Dewey, and Luey are ducknapped and a rescue mission transpires. The building the baby ducks are kept in is rigged with all sorts of traps that no one could handle alone. Daredevil is forced to rely on Donald and vice-versa. Before you know it they are acting as one cohesive unit. The nephews are rescued and returned to safety while the real threat has been revealed. Scrooge and Kingpin have taken over Wall St. They are emptying out the Federal Reserve.
Duck & Devil descend on Kingpin’s lair where they are met by none other than Kingpin and Scrooge. The villains indicate that they were no match for the heroes and so had to enlist some help. Out of the shadows step Bullseye and Taurus Bulba “an actual bullman”. They quickly beat down our heroes, trapping and torturing Daredevil when Scrooge realizes Donald has gone missing. He looks around where he sees a shadowy duck like figure. Out of the shadows steps none other than Darkwing Duck (let’s get dangerous).
After a quick fight where Bullseye is defeated, Daredevil is freed and takes out Taurus Bulba. The heroes turn to face the villains Scrooge and Kingpin. After another quick fight where Kingpin uses his massive physical presence to challenge the heroes, he is eventually defeated. While attempting to run away from Darkwing, Scrooge falls into a thick fat of cooking oil, where he slowly sinks to his doom.
The heroes wrap it up and part with a handshake. Meanwhile, back in the Kingpin’s lair the vat of hot oil moves as a grizzly fried duck hand rises from the oil. So is born Kung Pow Chicken…
That’s my take, now on to Bill:
Bill: Wow, Arthur. That’s a dang well fleshed-out plot there. I feel like I just sat through an action movie. I’m starting to wonder if you were inadvertently exposed to a radioactive book at some point, giving you heightened powers of imagination.
When we first came up with the idea for this installment of Versus, I thought it would be a breeze. Making fun of Disney using Marvel characters? What could be easier? (Or more fun?) But you’ve thrown down the gauntlet, and I’ll admit to being a little intimidated.
The problem, of course, lies in coming up with an idea that is too ridiculous even for Disney to attempt. And that’s ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO. Will we see a movie starring Miley Cyrus as Dazzler? Of course we will. An animated feature in which the Avengers team up with the Rescuers? Someone’s penciling that sucker as I write. Heck, if we don’t see a new Marvel series in which an updated version of Power Man and Iron Fist do battle against the evil, Disney-downloading video pirates, I’ll eat my boots.
You see what we’re up against here? Now, you, Arthur, have a pronounced talent for the ridiculous and awesome. You could be just the super-villain to take down the new media juggernaut (Dis-vell? Marv-ney?) Me, I’m just your sidekick who can turn invisible or see 47 seconds into the future or something useless like that.
That said, I’ll give it a try (and I have to give props here to my friend The Rev, who helped this idea along during our geek-summit yesterday at our own little Avengers Mansion):
Somewhere in the West Village, in a dark attic room, a figure enshrouded in a long, blood-red cloak calls upon the power of the Vishanti to transport him to an alternate reality. His apprentice, it seems, is missing, having vanished in the midst of his cleaning duties. Disturbances in the threads of the universe have led this magician to believe that danger is afoot. He must investigate.
Passing from our plane into the next, the visage of Dr. Strange is revealed to us. He is focused and intent on his journey, but confused and awed by what he perceives. From all around him come the sounds of strings, tympani, brass. Abstract colors flow around him, seeking to distract him from his purpose. Such naked trickery reeks of the demon Satannish. Strange forges ahead.
The next plane holds no clues, only temporal acceleration. Dr. Strange watches as the seasons shift rapidly around him: summer flows into autumn, autumn into winter. Nature’s fauna seem to have become sentient and are either celebrating or causing the smooth but rapid change in seasons. As he passes from this plane, Strange catches a glimpse of the Man-Thing, engaged in a slow pas de deux with a giant mushroom…
As our dark hero breaks through the next barrier between planes, he senses chaos, panic, and danger. He is approaching his destination, and he instinctively draws on the power of the hoary hosts of Hoggoth to prepare himself. What he sees shocks and alarms him. His apprentice is under attack by an army of enchanted cleaning implements. The apprentice hacks away at the demonic hoard with an axe, but the monsters only sweep past him, filling an overflowing basin with water in an attempt to drown him. The air fills with the laughter of the Dreaded Dormammu. Strange's enemy is revealed. He uses his elemental magic to halt the flood and repair the damage wrought on this plane.
Dr. Strange is angry. His apprentice strayed from our plane and attempted magic far beyond his reach, nearly destroying an entire plane of existence. But Strange cannot sustain his rage for long. He was once a young mouse himself.
So, there you have it, readers. I’m not sure whether to hope that these projects come to light or are forever buried in the vault of the Gargoyle. If you’ve got ideas for Marv-ney projects, or if you simply want to beg Arthur and me to never enter the comic business, leave a comment. Until then, we’ll see you at the Gothic.