March 31, 2014
Babies and other dimensions and a whole lot of just awful.
(We open with Linkara on his futon rubbing his face in true disappointment and infuriation. He then looks at the camera)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. So, this one's been on the review pile for a while. Lots of requests for it. It took me awhile to find a copy that hadn't been torn to shreds by the people who read it.
(Cut to clip from Marvel's The Avengers)
Linkara (v/o): I feel pretty confident in saying that The Avengers is one of the best superhero movies ever made. Part of it is all the build-up of the individual character movies going in so all the characterization wasn't crammed together in one film, as told through a single viewpoint character who ended up being the whole focus on the franchise -- I'm looking at you Wolverine and the X-Men movies. But of course, there are still characters who should be in the movies and hopefully we'll see them in the coming years.
Linkara (v/o): One of whom is Miss Carol Danvers, AKA Miss Marvel, or Captain Marvel at the time of this video's release. Carol had been a supporting character in Captain Marvel and that's Marvel's Captain Marvel just to clarify.
Linkara: And before anyone says that I should just call him Shazam like he is currently in the DC Universe, that's also the name of the wizard who gave him his powers. Why do you think that it would make this all less complicated?
Linkara (v/o): Carol is a military officer, particular a jet pilot. She got her powers after an explosion from an alien device mixed some of the alien genetics of Captain Marvel into herself, granting her many of the same powers. In essence, she has become a Kree-human hybrid -- the Kree being and often-fought alien race in the Marvel Universe. She has enhanced strength, flight, a bit of psychic potential, mostly minor precognition, and energy absorption and projection. Carol has gone through several identities and costumes and, while I don't think any of them are bad, there have been lamer ones than others. She is probably most known for her one-piece outfit with the red sash and lightning bolt symbol. Though personally, I'm most fond of her current Captain Marvel costume. By the way, you can also thank Carol for the time when Rogue of the X-Men had super strength and flight, stolen from Carol when Rogue was a villain.
Linkara: Oh, didn't you know that? Rogue started as a villain. This has been another edition of (along with caption) "Comic History You Don't Care About But Need to Know in Order to Understand This." (caption disappears) Well, okay, you don't need to know this, but point is Carol Danvers: Super heroine, awesome. So, what's the deal today?
Linkara (v/o): Well, as I said, this story is kind of infamous, but people actually assume the whole thing is strictly contained in the pages of Avengers number 200 when it's not entirely. This story begins in Avengers number 199. The Scarlet Witch had taken a leave of absence from the team with Miss Marvel standing in for her. However, the Avengers return to their mansion after an adventure to find her, Donald Blake, --who you may recall as the human guise of Thor-- and Carol Danvers waiting for them, a very pregnant Carol Danvers. Naturally, The Avengers are a tad confused since they had seen her a few days ago and she was not pregnant at that point. Ahh, the mystical pregnancy, boon to lazy Sci-fi and fantasy writers who don't know what to do with their female characters. It's possible to get a good story out of it, but odds are good that, if you don't know what the hell you're doing, you'll get Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Child." (clips of said episode play) And yet today's comic kind of has many parallels to that one. We'll get to that later, but let's get back to the story. (Back to Avengers no. 199) So, Carol is pregnant and they want Donald Blake to perform some tests with the advanced equipment of the mansion. So, what's the immediate reaction here? Wasp, do you have anything to say?
Wasp: I think it's great! Gosh, a real baby!
Linkara: (as Wasp) As opposed to those fake babies I make out of paper mache.
Beast: Hey, if the kid needs a teddy bear, I'm available.
Linkara: (laughing uproariously) Oh, we're all so jovial about this completely impossible situation that doesn't affect us.
Linkara (v/o): Oh yeah, Beast of the X-Men was an Avenger during this time, just an FYI. The Scarlet Witch tells them that Carol insists that there's no father, which means they should be even more confused about this whole thing. But nope, let's all set around and have some coffee. The end of the issue is Donald Blake yelling that they have to come quickly because Carol has gone into labor. And "it's not like any kind of Labor I've ever seen!"
Linkara: (as Blake) And I've seen like 5 different kinds of Labor guys!
Linkara (v/o): So, what's going on? What is the story behind this?
Linkara: Well, let's dig into Avengers no. 200 and you'll see the horrible, terrible explanation.
(AT4W Opening title sequence; Cut to opening title card with "I Touch Myself" by The Divinyls playing)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is okay, though, for a 200th issue, it's pretty lame. The Avengers are all just kind of hanging around a big 200 chiseled out of yellow stone. Huzzah. What an impressive sight? And to be fair, half of the team seem like they're ready to go in action, Thor swinging his hammer, Hawkeye readying his bow and arrow, Iron Man with flowing Kirby Krackle from his fist… and then there’s Beast just kind of slouching in front of the 200 like a sloth or some kind of bikini model. Then again, the only article of clothing he wears is a black Speedo. Oh yeah, and there are some other members I should probably mention. The shiny silver lady on the side is Jocasta, I'm sure I’m pronouncing it wrong. She is a robot. Then, there's the dude on top who looks like a clown, who’s cosplaying as the Jolly Green Giant. His name is Vision. He is also a robot. And on the left is this smug dude in sunglasses and a black turtleneck, along with a red jacket. This is Wonder Man. Surprisingly, he’s not a robot, but his brain patterns did help create one, the aforementioned Vision. Comic books are weird. Anyway, we open inside the mansion and, if you'll recall, Donald Blake had, at the end of the last issue, told the Avengers they needed to “come quickly!” So, what was so important for the Avengers to do that they needed to “come quickly?” Why they needed to stand around and pace back and forth outside the sick bay. Thanks for your help, Donald Blake. I guess you just feel nervous working without an audience.
Text box: For generations the symbolic root values of the American people have been embodied in the phrase: “mom, apple pie and the girl next door.”
Linkara: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? (scoff) Nah! It's all about parents, baked goods, and dates.
Text box: Wars have been fought for these ideals;
Linkara: Few people realize that the real reason we fought the Nazis was because they plan to steal our apple pies.
Text box: Presidents have been elected over them.
Linkara: (as President Kennedy) We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because we need to get to the girl next door.
Text box: Obviously, motherhood means a great deal to most Americans.
Linkara: So, let us profane it with a concept designed to reduce the idea of motherhood to body horror and lame jokes about Beast being a teddy bear.
Text box: So why, then, do these five heroes, these Avengers, seem upset that one of their own is about to give birth? Why is there excitement changed with a subtle subconscious shadow -- of fear?
Linkara: Because they read ahead in the script and know where all of this is going.
Linkara (v/o): Captain America is wondering if there is anything they can do.
Hawkeye: Easy, Cap. You're starting to sound like it's you who's the proud pappy-to-be!
Linkara: One, yep, they sure seem to be under the “shadow of fear.” I could just tell. Two, … um, no, Hawkeye. Does he have to be the father in order to be concerned about his friend and teammate?... Dick.
Linkara (v/o): Even ignoring the overall story problems and implications of what is the come later in this issue, I think that opening narration is just the biggest sign of how awful the writing is in this comic. Flowery, over-dramatic narration that seems completely out of left field is shoved in to try to make a vague connection about ‘murica and the concept of motherhood. And then, it becomes even more disconnected with what's actually happening in the scene with the first pieces of dialogue exchanged. It's amazing how bad this truly is even by the standards of 1980, when this comic was published. And in case you're wondering there are four credits on this book for the plot: Jim Shooter, George Perez, Bob Layton, and David Michelinie. And none of them want to take credit for this.
(Cut to a blog post by Shooter under "Jim Shooter: Writer. Creator. Wild Mammal.")
Linkara (v/o): Shooter is the one who has said the most about it, saying that he takes responsibility for it, since he was editor-in-chief at the time and thus he must have signed off on it, but he has no actual recollection of how the hell it ended up the way it did and he admits that it is absolute dreck.
(Cut to a cover for "What If The Avenger Fought Kree-Skull War Without Rick Jones?")
Linkara (v/o): Mind you, the way things will play out in the actual stories are different than what was intended for the story, that the source of the pregnancy was that the Kree’s leader, the Supreme Intelligence, had artificially impregnated Carol to create a new human pre-hybrid because... science, I don't know. However, it was decided that had to be changed in the last minute because they had actually done a similar idea over in the pages of the comic What If.
(Back to Avengers #200)
Linkara (v/o): And David Michelinie had to write up what we got. Bob Layton was the frequent co-plotter of Michelinie and Perez most likely got the plotter credit because, when he did artwork, he frequently added in panels and dialogue outside of the original script.
Linkara: And when George Perez wants to do those kind of changes, you let him do it because George Perez is a multiplying factor of awesomeness... Unfortunately this comic started with zero, so the multiplication result is still zero.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, time for some more writing stupidity. The Scarlet Witch and Vision run in wondering if they missed the delivery, because she apparently needed to change into her costume for this. She asks Cap if there's been any progress finding out the cause of the pregnancy and Cap proceeds to recap the information that Wanda already knows. In fact, it's the same information that she told them in the previous issue.
(Cut to clip from Phelous and Linkara crossover review, "The Airzone Solution")
Phelous: Great continuity.
Linkara (v/o): Inside the surgery chamber, I was unaware pregnancy counted as a surgery but whatever, Jocasta and Donald Blake discuss how weird this birth process is going.
Blake: I know, Jocasta. There seems to be no trauma occurring at all and if Miss Danvers is feeling even the slightest pain…
Carol Danvers: No, doctor, I feel no pain. So do what you must.
Linkara (v/o): Yep, no pain in the pregnancy and birth because then we get to avoid all the icky details: the screaming, the juices, the pooping, Etc. Just like in the Star Trek episode I mentioned, it's there to make her as disconnected from this process as possible for the inevitable consequences that will come from the child. To quote my friend and colleague Obscurus Lupa, “MAKES IT EASYYYYYY!” As wasp and Yellowjacket, that's what Hank Pym was calling himself at the time, run in and ask if they’re late to the party. I suddenly have this creepy realization that that window into the medical bay means they're all watching her give birth. Look, I know some people like to film this stuff, but I think it's kind of creepy to have all your friends watching this process, especially considering… you know, your friends are all watching the part of one's body, where the baby comes out. All eyes are on Miss Marvel's vagina. This is kind of weird.
Blake: That's it, Carol. You're constrictions are perfect.
Linkara: Man, this is a weird birth. Usually during labor, there are contractions. But this one has constrictions. I guess she's giving birth to a Micronaut.
Linkara (v/o): Blake tells her to keep pushing like she is, except she says she isn’t pushing at all.
Linkara: Self-delivering babies: The wave of the future.
Linkara (v/o): At this point, I'd be surprised if there was even an umbilical cord for this kid. Heck, I don't even know if there is one since Blake just says that it's a boy and then “moments later” the kid is inside kind of sci-fi bubble dome and all the Avengers are in the room crowding around it and making cutesy faces at it. Because, in this story, the Avengers are less superheroes and more sitcom characters. Scans of the kid don’t point anything unusual, but Cap tells Blake to keep searching.
Captain America: Obviously, there's something about that child that just isn't ... natural.
Linkara: This just in, Captain America to be renamed Captain Obvious.
Linkara (v/o): Blake shoos them away so he, Iron Man, and Yellowjacket can run some more tests. The Wasp meets up with Carol.
Wasp: I just wanted to congratulate the proud parent. It's really a beautiful baby, Carol. You're so lucky to--
Carol: “Lucky?” Wasp, think about what you just said!
Linkara: If there was any thinking involved in this comic, it was quickly quelled by the creative team hitting their heads against the wall repeatedly.
Carol: I've been used! That isn't my baby! I don't even know who the father is! So if you want to help me, please… Just leave me alone.
Linkara: I wouldn't take that too hard, Wasp. Postpartum depression is a common thing… or, you know, she's absolutely right and what the hell were you even thinking, Wasp!!
Linkara (v/o): They really could rename this entire damn book “WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!!”... No. 200. I know it seems like I’m spending a lot of time just hinting about the horrors about to come instead of getting to it already, but, trust me, the “what is even the hell” factor has not even begun to show itself. There’s some decent character development for some of the others including Scarlet Witch and Vision, who are in a relationship and have their own thoughts about having kids, and even stuff between Jocasta and Wasp that isn’t cringe-inducing. We even have a bit where Hawkeye and Beast are playing pool… And Beast whips out a calculator.
Beast: It’s a TI-59, actually. Top of the line from Texas Instruments.
Linkara: This was a weird tie-in to Texas Instruments. Or perhaps, this was originally meant to be “The Tandy Computer Whiz Kids: The Computer That Impregnated Someone.”
Beast: I’m calculating the angles.
Linkara: And if a TI-59 had a protractor function, that might actually mean something in regards to pool.
Linkara (v/o): But let’s get back to the real insanity. The baby, being of the mystical pregnancy variety, has already begun aging at an accelerated rate. He’s now the equivalent of a two-year-old in only an hour. And he begins to speak, though only one word at first.
Linkara: The secret origin of Chester A. Bum.
Linkara (v/o): Or perhaps, the kid crapped himself and needs a new diaper, knowing how the humor has progressed in this comic. We cut to several blocks away, where a man gets off the subway in order to open up a store. But, when he has emerged from the subway, the street has been changed as it’s now something out of the late 19th Century. And now, back over to the mansion again. Miss Marvel has put on her costume and is none of the worse aware of her having given birth only a few hours ago. Wonder Man asks if she wants to go see her son, but Carol snaps at him that whatever it is, it's not her son and she wants nothing to do with it. In a rare moment of clarity, he recognizes how frightened she is about this whole experience and says that ignoring it won't make it go away and she needs to face up to the kid. And any of the good will garnered there is immediately tossed out of the window as the very next panel shows Beast walking down the hallway carrying various bits of sports equipment for the kid.
Linkara: Beast in this story is like that dad who's trying to live vicariously to their kid and then gets arrested for getting into a fight another kid’s dad.
Linkara (v/o): So, Beast has brought all this sports crap to the kid, but he's not interested.
Child: But I'd really prefer a laser torch and whatever electronic components you could spare.
Linkara: When the baby is not even half a day old yet is asking for laser torches, now is the time to put him in some kind of sealed bubble!
Beast: You… you're talking!
Linkara (v/o): And Beast, you suddenly have skin instead of fur!
Child: I assume colloquial English is satisfactory?
Beast: Geeee, that's spooky!
Blake: That it is, Beast. Not only has the boy’s physical form increased to that of a five-year-old--- but his intellectual capacity has grown far, far greater!
Linkara: I love how they’re not even amazed by this. They're just kind of like, (switches to a stunned look) hmmph. Weird. (annoyed) What is wrong with you people? Is this situation so stupid that it's drained all your intelligence?
(Cut to a clip from Pulp Fiction)
Jules White: What happened here was a miracle, and I want you to fucking acknowledge it!
Linkara (v/o): The kid is fully aware of who he is and has knowledge beyond his years … er, hours. He says his name is Marcus, but refuses to tell them anything unless they provide the materials he asks for.
Captain America: Where did you come from?
Marcus: My mother.
Captain America: Yes, we know, but … that is, how were you conceived?
Marcus: Uhhhm… by my father?
(Cut to a clip from Scrubs episode “My House”)
Dr. Cox: That answer was either very sarcastic or very stupid. Either way, I'm whacking you with my clipboard.
Captain America: Well, of course, blast it! But who is your father?
Marcus: I am.
(Cut to another clip from the episode)
Dr. Cox: That's it. I'm whacking both of you.
(He whacks his clipboard on Lisa and Keith’s heads)
Linkara: And in case you're wondering, yeah, he is his own father. And this isn't some weird engrossed time-travel thing, either, it's much grosser. Also, bit of a smart ass, aren't you kid?
Linkara (v/o): Iron Man being a genius of several magnitudes has a suggestion.
Iron Man: It's obvious that he's not going to give us anything he doesn't want to. Why not let him have the materials, let him tinker?
Linkara: Let the mysterious child, who violated your friend, is growing at an accelerated rate, and refuses to give you a straight answer, have laser torches and electronics. Man, that booze must taste great today, huh Tony?
Linkara (v/o): Another interlude follows about a woman who gets a letter about her winning the sweepstakes before dinosaurs suddenly pop up in front of her. Next scene! Back in the mansion, Wonder Man's empathy has apparently dried up.
Wonder Man: I guess Miss Marvel isn't going to show. Tell me, Hank, you're an old married man -- How did you ever come to understand women?
Linkara: It's just a bizarre hell child that grew in your womb without your consent. (throws a one-armed shrug) Women, am I right? (The hand used for the shrug turns into a claw of fury, as he grows more annoyed)
Linkara (v/o): Yellowjacket says he doesn't know either.
Yellowjacket: I love Jan, and I accept her for what she is. But to be honest, the day someone comes out with a book on what really makes women tick--I'll be the first in line with my checkbook!
Linkara: Women: mysterious creatures that cannot be defined properly by even the most advanced scientific minds.
Linkara: We will be right back after these messages, so I hope to see you there. (he pulls his magic gun and aims it toward the camera) Or else...
(cut back to Linkara still aiming his magic gun at the camera)
Linkara: And now we're back. I can't shoot you through the camera.
Linkara (v/o): Seriously though, this comic came out in 1980. Why the hell does this feel like something from the Early Silver Age? While Marcus reaches the equivalent of a 12-year-old, he continues working with laser torches and a huge ass stack of RadioShack parts.
Linkara: I guess every kid needs a hobby, but maybe you should discourage the death rays until they're older.
Linkara (v/o): Hawkeye, having the slightest bit of sense, although for some reason he's having tea and bagels in the lounge, recommends that Marcus be put in a cage, but Cap says it's not prudent. Maybe there's something in the food that's affecting them. I do see Cap drinking, Beast eating, and Hawkeye only pouring at this point. Iron Man and Jarvis walk in to say they've apparently been getting crank calls on their public hotline connected to all the weird interludes we've been seeing. More character development comes in when we see Jocasta wanting to connect her cables with Vision, if you know what I mean, but is interrupted by the dude’s actual girlfriend. Mainly that Vision and the Scarlet Witch actually have their minds on task with, you know, trying to figure out what the hell the deal is with Marcus and not about robot sex.
Text box: Neither she nor the Vision even notice when Jocasta turns and, softly, leaves the room. And that, thinks the metalloid would-be Avenger, is the harshest hurt of all…
Linkara: (singing) I don’t want anybody else/ When I think about you/ I touch my network port, ooohh...
Linkara (v/o): after Miss Marvel apologizes to Wasp, she comes in to finally see the kid, who is no longer a kid.
Textbox: And so she steels herself, bracing for a resurgence of the loathing and humiliation she had felt before, waiting for the swell of fear and anger she knows will follow-- but doesn't! For as she steps forward to face the slender young man who awaits her, she feels instead in odd sense of calm... along with an unexplainable, and undeniable, attraction.
Linkara: (with a straining grin) Eww.
Marcus: Hello… Mother.
Linkara: (as Marcus) How do I look, Mother? (as Ms. Marvel) Young man, you march upstairs and you put a shirt on! We’re gonna go get that hair cut!! You look like a dirty hippie! (as Marcus) But MOOOOOOM!!
Linkara (v/o): Miss Marvel seems to recognize him from somewhere, but doesn't understand. Also, for god sakes, man, put on some pants. Why are you still wearing a freaking nappy?
Marcus: Please, Carol, don't be upset. Everything will be fine once the flux is negated.
Yellowjacket: “Flux”? What does he mean, “flux”?
Wonder Man: And how did he know Miss Marvel's name was “Carol”?
Linkara: I don't know, Wonder Man. How the hell did he grow up to be 25 in less than a day, wield electronic equipment, and mysteriously impregnate Miss Marvel with himself? WAKE THE HELL UP, MORON!!
Linkara (v/o): Marcus says he’ll explain after he’s finished, but then there are suddenly explosions all over the mansion. While Marcus screams that it's “too soon”, Iron Man looks out the window to investigate.
Iron Man: Cap! Come here, quick! Either that last explosion scrambled my brain--
Linkara: Too late.
Iron Man: --or our backyard has turned into a battlefield!
Linkara (v/o): And indeed it has become a battlefield, featuring biplanes spaceships with laser guns who all have terrible aim by the way because I presume aiming for the giant dinosaur but they're hitting the Mansion instead. It's like the writers realized, “Oh crap, the story is boring and really stupid, so we need to compensate with something awesome.” And the only way to compensate for the sheer horribleness is to throw everything at the comic: time travel, dinosaurs spaceships, and just hope that all the cool weird stuff will actually somehow balance it all out. SPOILERS! It doesn't. Yellowjacket and Wonder Man remain behind to keep an eye on things while the rest of the Avengers go out to deal with the crisis. And I've got to admit, Iron Man punching a dinosaur is pretty damn awesome. It's also followed up by a knight fighting the Scarlet Witch and Captain America, Beast and Hawkeye taking on a bunch of Native Americans. Beast hits someone, creating a ‘poke’ sound effect.
Beast: Surprise, pal! It's National Poke-a-hontus Week!
(Linkara gives an confusedly unimpressed look)
(Cut to a clip from X-Men: The Animated Series; Beast is taking on Ruckus, grabbing him from behind and carrying him over his head)
Beast: The noblest answer unto such, Is kindly silence when they brawl -- Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Linkara (v/o): I don't even get how that pun works. What the hell kind of sound is poke? Hawkeye decides to head back to the lab, suspecting Marcus is responsible for all this. Wonder Man flies off to help the others while Yellowjacket and Wasp go out to inspect the damage to the mansion. Donald Blake becomes Thor to assist out of sight because I guess he doesn't want them knowing for some reason. And more fight stuff, including more big lizards, Jarvis punching a musketeer, and Jocasta helping deal with that knight from earlier. Back over to Marcus, he's still trying to complete his machine-o-tron 9000, or whatever it is. Carol tells him they have to get out of there, but he says she has to leave in order to activate his machine. But, since she refuses to leave, he knocks her out.
Marcus: Forgive me, mother. Forgive me... my love.
Linkara: Again… Eww!
Linkara (v/o): Hawkeye arrives to see Marcus holding the unconscious Miss Marvel and assumes that he’s up to no good. As such, he fires an explosive arrow at the machine, destroying it and a single sexy tear rolls down his face. Awww, Pooky. I feel so bad for you and your horrible methods. He says he was going to get Miss Marvel away from the machine since he feared the energies might prove dangerous to humans.
Linkara: Because simply explaining that to Miss Marvel would have just been crazy. Better to knock her out.
Linkara (v/o): Thor and Iron Man arrive telling Marcus to back off, especially since Thor says that the guy looks familiar to him.
Thor: From whence did thee come, and why?
Marcus: I’ll tell you nothing!
Linkara: So, no different than how you’ve been acting so far.
Marcus: You'll have to kill me first! Before I kill all of you!
Linkara (v/o): Overreact much, jackass?
Miss Marvel: No, Marcus. You’ll kill no one.
Marcus: What -- Mother! S-stay out of this!
Linkara: (as Marcus) MOOOOM!! You’re embarrassing me!!
Linkara (v/o): She says she knows he doesn't want to kill anyone and he keeps proclaiming he totally does. But then, she stands in their way and says, “Fine. Kill me then.” But then he explains he wants them to kill him. He explains that he doesn't want to return to the realm of his father, Avengers long-time enemy, Immortus. Except, of course, that he said earlier he was his own father, except he really has a father, but then he was reborn through Miss Marvel and--
Linkara: And this is all really stupid… And yet it only gets worse.
Linkara (v/o): Immortus is the ruler of a limbo dimension, where things are unchanging and there is no time, except, of course, events like moving your body or something clearly have have a before-and-after, so, yes, there is time. Immortus grew bored and lonely in limbo, rescued a woman from Earth, who would have died in the sinking ship, and took her back to limbo.
Marcus: Once back in limbo, through a combination of gratitude and the subtle manipulations of my father's ingenious machines, the woman fell in love with him.
Linkara: AKA, he raped her, because there is no way in hell you can say “subtle manipulations of ingenious machines” without really meaning “brainwashed her and altered her mind.” And no, the word “subtle” does not make it okay, as if there are varying degrees of mind control at play here. He made her do something she wouldn't have done without the machines.
Linkara (v/o): He was the product of that union, but naturally Miss Marvel is confused because, well, she gave birth to him less than a day ago. Immortus hadn’t banked that “mortals couldn't permanently stay in limbo due to their different physical laws,” so his real mom ended up getting pulled back to Earth. Immortus then vanished due to a previous Avenger storyline and Marcus was left alone in limbo. He couldn't go to Earth because he was “a product of limbo” and thus his presence could “cause irreparable disruption in the local time stream,” probably what's going on with the dinosaurs and crap, and thus hit upon the new plan, become reborn onto Earth and the gate the time flux distortion whatever, through multimodal reflection sorting. He scanned Earth and decided Miss Marvel would be the best candidate because they needed an exceptionally strong human for some reason. He kidnapped her and says:
Marcus: While I knew Immortus’ devices could bend your will to mine, I didn't want you that way. And so I set about... winning you.
Linkara: I wanted to earn your love… through Stockholm Syndrome, I guess, because I still kidnapped you.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, and he immediately turns that around after several weeks of trying to woo her and I quote…
Marcus: Admittedly with a “subtle boost from Immortus’ machines” -- you became mine.
Linkara: Like father like son. Like rapist like rapist.
Linkara (v/o): You know... if they had just excised that one line, the terrible implications here would not be AS BAD. It’d still be bad, but not AS BAD. What the hell was the point of keeping that line? Was it because the idea of him wooing her for this plan in only a few weeks was too ridiculous? Well, yes it is, but this plan is about impregnating a woman from another dimension, so she can give birth to you in that other dimension. This is already ridiculous!! That one line turns this from silly and stupid to HORRIBLE, from badly-written romance to FREAKING RAPE!! And yeah, after said rape, the equipment of the place allowed him to merge his essence into her, causing “a condition that resembled pregnancy.” Dude, you were inside her womb, exited the womb in the standard pregnancy fashion, and came out as a baby. You apparently needed to have sex in order to accomplish this feat. RESEMBLE NOTHING!!! IT WAS PREGNANCY!!! She was then put right back on Earth without any memory of those events, just to help the brainwashing and utter lack of consent here, a mere second after she left because wibbly-wobbly, timey- WHY THE HELL WAS THIS APPROVED!!! And then, of course, apparently reborn in this universe wasn't enough. The machine he was building was going to negate the effect that limbo had on time, allowing him to live there and bring peace and love and no traffic accidents to the human race or some garbage like that.
Marcus: Therefore, since I cannot and will not cause the destruction of a world just to realize my dream* my options became either to return to limbo, living in Sullivan, solitary hell on to Infinity… Or else goad you Avengers into killing me and thus sparing me.
- It actually reads “A dream” in the comic.
(Cut to Linkara with his glasses off and rubbing his eyes in annoyed distress)
Linkara: (under his breath) Lord. (normal) I don't even know where to start with this. (Puts his glasses back on) Okay, let's leave aside the completely insane nature of this plan for a second and instead look at all the other holes in this.
Linkara (v/o): One, why the hell didn't you just explain all this while you were building the damn machine? Sure, they would have been naturally suspicious of this whole thing, but telling them nothing is what caused Hawkeye to destroy the damn machine. He says because they wouldn't have trusted the son of one of their oldest enemies, but nothing is stopping them from trusting his word now. Two, why erase Miss Marvel’s memories? You wanted to her to love you and, by the dumbass logic of this story, she did. Not really, but I'm speaking in terms of this comic’s narrative. So, there's no reason to not have her tell them so she can back you up. Three, why the hell did you keep calling her ‘mother’, when, again, under the internal logic of this comic, SHE'S NOT YOUR MOM, YOU DICKHEAD? Four, why did you even need to woo her at all? I’m not trying to underplay motherhood or maternal instincts, but, by all accounts, all you needed was a surrogate who could give birth to you in 3D. Contact the Avengers, explain the situation, --Hell, he was able to just pluck people out of time by his own admission-- and pay someone to act as the surrogate. Five, what the hell is stopping you from doing this all over again? Go back to limbo, restore Miss Marvel’s memories, let her willingly do it this time, come through again, build the damn machine AND DONE!!! THERE IS NO DILEMMA HERE!!! LITERALLY, NOTHING IS STOPPING YOU!!!
Linkara: (still rubbing his forehead) And now... (puts his glasses back on) We get to the worst part of all of this. Yeah. That was not the worst.
Linkara (v/o): Marcus says he'll leave and “perhaps he’s destined to be alone,” but Carol speaks up saying he won't be alone.
Miss Marvel: I mean that while I still don't know what I felt for you in limbo, some of that feeling still lingers.
Linkara: Yes, those lingering, brainwashed feelings.
Miss Marvel: And that, combined with the fact that by some bizarre logic, you are my “child”--makes me feel closer to you than I felt to anyone in a long, long time. And I think that just might be a relationship worth giving a chance.
(Cut to Linkara reading the comic with a disgusted look on his face)
(Cut to a clip from another episode of Scrubs, "My Malpractical Decision": Dr Cox watches J.D kissing Neena)
Dr. Cox: I’m gagging and vomiting at the same time. I-I’m gavomiting!
Linkara (v/o): Iron Man asks her if she knows what she's doing.
Miss Marvel: Not entirely, Iron Man. But I've been denying my feelings for quite a while. Maybe it's time I started following them.
Linkara: Denying what feelings? The artificial feelings created by the mind control over you or the ones about your not-really-your-child?
Linkara (v/o): She asks him to say goodbye to the others and he agrees, though obviously a bit flummoxed by this. Thor provides transportation back to limbo and all the time shenanigans disappear from the world. Hawkeye feels bad about destroying the machine, but Iron Man says there's no way of knowing, if things wouldn't of just ended up the same way anyway. And so our comic ends with Hawkeye just hoping Miss Marvel has a happily ever after.
Linkara: Yes, actually, she did have a happily ever after… but only because this comic pissed everyone right the hell off.
Linkara (v/o): But before we get back to that, let’s consider something else about this comic. Even if there wasn’t the utter horribleness of a story featuring a guy raping a woman to give birth to himself...
Linkara: Which, HELL NO! Let us NEVER forget that part of this mess.
Linkara (v/o): This is the story you tell for your 200th issue? It’s a pretty big milestone issue and the story you decide to tell was about some asshole in limbo deciding to free himself from limbo by falling in love with Ms. Marvel in a quick, contrived romance and they go off and live happily ever after? That’s your big story to celebrate this event? Not some big celebration or even a low-key remembrance of everything that’s transpired in the last 200 issues? No story hearkening back to beginnings and how far things have come? Just a weak-ass romance and a wave goodbye to Carol Danvers? For crying out loud, porno movies have more setup for their romances than this dribble!
Linkara: And somehow, I would imagine you’d feel less dirty watching porn than reading Avengers #200. (he holds up the comic) This comic sucks!!
Linkara (v/o): It sucks SO MUCH! From the Avengers not giving one iota of a damn about Ms. Marvel’s feelings about this whole thing and instead cracking jokes and happy glee over the freaking hell-baby, to their complete idiocy over letting Marcus do whatever the hell he wanted with advanced tools and electronics, to Marcus, the rapist retcon, or even just Marcus’s stupidity of not explaining anything. And then, there’s poor Ms. Marvel, the ultimate victim in all of this, being tossed aside to live a happy life with her rapist husband/son in limbo and has no bearing on the events other than to be the one who carried the kid. What a load, getting rid of a prominent team member for no reason in a horribly offensive, rushed manner. This story is so horrible and was so despised at the time, even by people at Marvel, that Chris Claremont went ahead and made Avengers Annual #10 to undo this garbage. And to its credit, he doesn’t try to sweep it under the rug as if it didn’t happen. Oh no. They don’t retcon it, they build story on it, with Carol returning and berating the Avengers for all this crap and admitting full well it was freaking mind control and it was wrong! And, to be fair, to the Avengers team members for letting this happen, only three of them were actually present during her leaving. But, at the same time, with how horribly written they were, do you honestly think any of them would have raised a single objection if they had all been together?
Linkara: Avengers #200, like Marcus himself, deserves to be remembered only as a lesson in how not to make a love story, milestone story, or just any story whatsoever!! (he throws the comic down and walks off) God, I need a shower!
The healthiest way to make sure a newborn baby stays warm and safe is to put it inside a pop-o-matic.
Yes, I'm reading the new Ms. Marvel and Carol's Captain Marvel book. Enjoying both, but it's still too early to give any deeper opinions than that.
(Stinger: A page featuring Iron Man looking out the window)
Linkara (v/o): My personal headcanon is that this entire story was just dreamed up by a very drunk Tony Stark.
Tony Stark: (slurring) And then I fought a dinosaur and Carol went off and was happy with this white guy, who has a stupider-looking goatee than me. No, don't take away my liquor! I'm not drunk you're drunk!