Lois Lane, Godzilla, and the Vibrator

One thing about being into comic books around the holidays; you know you’re going to get some pretty cool stuff.  Of course, most people can’t appreciate the subtle joys of a silly-string web-shooter or The Saga of Battlestar Galactica on vinyl, but who cares?  All you know is that you finally got that Emma Frost bust you’ve been eyeing for months now, and yes, feel free to make with the jokes.  Anyway, one tradition that’s developed over the years is that every Christmas and birthday, I buy certain friends back issues.  For Megan, it’s usually an old Lois Lane comic where she uses a robot or a werewolf or some kind of 30th century time-trap to get Superman to marry her; or maybe a Jimmy Olsen where he goes back in time to ancient Rome and starts the Beatles craze two thousand years early (no, I’m serious — that really happened in one of those issues.  Look at some of those old covers!).  My friend Randy is a diehard Spider-Man fan, and he loved the back issue I found introducing the Spider-Mobile — who wouldn’t?  This year, I found an old Amazing Spider-Man for him; it was a Stan Lee/John Romita issue, I think with the second appearance of the Shocker.  The Shocker, by the way, wears a big “V” belt buckle on his costume, so you’d think he’d be called The Vibrator or find another way to hold up his pants.   But I digress…

A few days ago, I asked Randy if he liked his comic.  He said that it was his favorite comic-related gift this year (coming from a guy who’s worked in a comic store for at least the last ten years, that says a lot).  However, he also said that it made him feel very sad.  Why?  “Because it’s so great —- this is how comics SHOULD be.  I read any new Spidey comic nowadays, and I realize how much comics have changed for the worse”.  He’s got a point.  Back in the day, you knew that any given Marvel comic would include action, amazing artwork, great characterization, enjoyably basic plots, and the wittiest dialogue that Stan Lee could spout.  Crossovers were usually limited to Thor flying past the SHIELD Helicarrier, or Peter Parker taking photos at an Avengers press conference.  And if the world was going to end, you knew it was because a giant purple guy with a “cosmic wok” had shown up with some bald guy on a flying surfboard — AND IT MADE PERFECT SENSE!!!

Ah hell, before I slide deeper into comic-book depression, let me tell you about a rare back-issue gem:  Godzilla #16, by Marvel Comics.  This is the second half of a storyline involving cowboys — cowboys! — who think it’s a great idea to go lasso and hogtie Godzilla.  You’d think that a story like that would last half a panel, but writer Doug Moench found a way to stretch this epic tale into two parts, giving us a whole subplot about cattle rustlers that has nothing to do with our favorite green lizard stomping the hell out of Tokyo.  Towards the end of this saga… oh, wait:  SPOILER ALERT.  There, happy?  Okay, anyways, the missing cattle has been found and the rustlers have been rustled, but the head bad guy is standing on top of a mesa aiming a high-powered rifle at the head good guy.  At this point, Godzilla sneaks up on him.  Yes, you read that right — GODZILLA,  A FRICKIN’ 400 FOOT GIGANTIC RADIOACTIVE FIRE-BREATHING MONSTER WHO SHAKES THE EARTH WITH HIS EVERY STEP, somehow manages to sneak up behind the bad guy and knock him off the cliff.  Don’t take my word for it; plunk down your quarter and buy the comic just for that scene!  As if this couldn’t get any better/worse, the last line of dialogue is — are you ready?  “Who was that masked lizard?”  Like your head wasn’t about to explode anyways!  Truly a trash gem; buy ten copies and keep your local store in business.

One Response to “Lois Lane, Godzilla, and the Vibrator”

  1. Agreed, lets keep Our Favorite Comic Stores in
    business. From your title, I was very afraid you were also going
    to make a pitch to keep Our Favorite Adult Stores
    from going under (oh hell, that was a bad pun).

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