09 March 2007
It is Friday night, and while I am not having an active and fulfilling social life, I don't want to dwell on why some things are not very good. I would rather dwell on FUN. Funnybooks can often be a lot of fun, as the cover to the right suggests; but it's not some sort of aw-shucks FUN that people seem to think superheroes used to embody. During their earliest years, superheroes were busy beating the crap out of people in a bloody World War, or barring that dropping people out of windows and shooting them. And yes, post-Comics Code things were a lot more sanitized but at their core they were still stories about life-and-death struggle and crazy things like jumping out of airplanes and faceplanting on the street.
Luckily, nostalgic parents can now cater to their children's desire for brightly colored warriors with the Spider-Man & Friends line! While the "adult" Marvel heroes are in the midst of turmoil - the Hulk exiled on a foreign planet, Spider-Man mourning in his black costume as he runs from the cops, Captain America dead -- Spidey and Friends show how allll the Marvel heroes can be pals, run a charity car wash and hang out in an awesome tree-house. Even bloodthirsty loose cannons like Wolverine get to hang out in the treehouse, and despite the posted "NO VILLAINS ALLOWED" policy, lovable scamps like the Green Goblin and Rhino get to tag along. Just remember, it's the Spider-Man & Friends Green Goblin, not the other one, the one who killed Spider-Man's first love after seducing her and forcing her to bear his lovechildren. This little fella has never kidnapped and tortured Aunt May, trying to make Spider-Man go insane with grief at his aunt's apparent death, and he's certainly never strangled nosy reporters with his bare hands and thrown their corpses into the street as a "warning"! No, this is the sort of Green Goblin you can be comfortable letting your kids play with!
Undoubtedly the finest product from the Spider-Man & Friends line is the "Cuddlin' Time" Thing plush doll. I really do think it's adorable, but I wonder what market research led Toy Biz to decide that nothing says "cuddling" like a huge rock-covered curmudgeon. I suppose they couldn't resist the pun.
Sadly, recent real-life discoveries suggest that The Thing would not be very cuddly at all.