Monday, November 3, 2008

With Cops Like These, Who Needs Supervillains?

After my lovely day yesterday--a day that featured a brisk afternoon chase of screaming fury after the guy who had just made off with my bike in broad daylight in a public thoroughfare as the teeming masses stood around and stared*--I am in no mood to tolerate comic-strip stupidity. I'm afraid today's Spider-Man is about to be crucified...pun most definitely intended.

This strip is incredibly stupid. A lot of writing for superhero comics is, very unfortunately, incredibly stupid..."very unfortunately" because as certain writers have proven over the years, it really doesn't have to be. The Golden and Silver Age stuff is especially prone to the following sort of dialogue: "Great Scott! The Dominator has just climbed into his supersonic Punishomobile and is escaping through the time tunnel! I must activate my mind powers and stop him!" For the most part, comic-book dialogue is not quite like this any more. It is sometimes stupid in different ways, but it does not do as much explaining of what you can see right in front of you.

Stan Lee, or whoever is now writing this strip under Stan Lee's name, is still stuck back in the Silver Age. He does not seem to understand that visuals can actually stand in for dialogue. He is also addicted to incredibly moronic plot machinations that have nothing to do with how real people behave. To wit: if you were a cop, and you for some reason decided to enter an antique clock exhibit in the middle of the night, and while you were there, you found that all the clocks were gone and someone had put a man in high-tech handcuffs and left him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor, would you blame the unconscious, handcuffed man for the theft? You would in Stan Lee's world. Why? Who the hell knows?

Only returning to the Antichrist narrative we discussed earlier in relation to Spidey is going to help us here. The cops are clearly under the influence of the Beast; they may think they are simply hauling in a perp, but in truth, they are believing the terrible lies of the False Spidey, the henchman of Satan, and thus rejecting the True Spidey, the human incarnation of God. Never mind that the timelines have been folded back upon themselves to allow Spidey and the Antispidey to exist simultaneously; it's all an allegory anyway. Next up, we will undoubtedly have some sort of crucifixion scene during which Mr. Lee will come up with all sorts of excuses for no one to think of reaching down and removing Spider-Man's mask.**

It's possible, of course, that Spider-Man is merely an incredibly idiotic comic that is taking up precious newspaper space and should be put out of its misery before it starts foaming at the mouth and biting other strips, but I prefer to look at it as medieval allegory. That way, I spend a slightly shorter time each day weeping copiously into my pillow.

*Did I catch him? No. What would I have done if I had caught him? I'm not sure. He was a big burly guy, and I have arms like strands of overcooked spaghetti. However, I did have quite a lot of adrenaline on my side. There could very well have been some semi-successful flailing involved. At any rate, I might have had a bike at this point instead of suddenly and unexpectedly being utterly without transportation. I really love Toronto sometimes.
**The last excuse in this vein belonged to Big Time / Satan, who apparently simply didn't have enough time to pull off the mask while he was stealing an entire clock exhibit and framing his nemesis for it.


Anonymous said...

As a slight expansion on your analysis, I'd suggest that the cops represent Godlessness specifically, since we learn from Psalms 14:1 that "the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God", and these cops are most definitely fools.

Also, the clock display probably represents salvation, which has been "stolen" by the Great Enemy, while at the same time his Godless, deceived followers persecute the only one who can actually bring salvation back to them.

Regarding your bike, you're saying that you raised the hue and cry, yet no one in the community responded? That's a very serious offence. I'd suggest hanging the village elder straight away.

Marq said...

Stan Lee's brother Larry Lieber wrote the comic strip for many years, but I doubt that either one of them are writing it now.

Simon said...

I'm impressed by your translation of camera obscura as derkchaumbre. I applaud!

Angry Kem said...

Marq: Yes...I'm pretty sure it's ghost-written by someone anonymous. However, Stan Lee's name still appears on it; even King Features' official Spider-Man page lists him as the writer. It seems to be impossible to discover who is writing Spider-Man nowadays. It's a pity. I would like to shake this/these person/people by the hand and congratulate him, her, them, or it on the pure stupidity of the strip.

Voxindeserto: You're right. Something could probably also be made of the stolen clocks (stolen time? The end of time and therefore the world? Who watches the watchmen? Er...).

Simon: Once I get off the fersoun, I think I'll snap a few pictures with my derkchaumbre. Yeah...sounds like a plan.

dmontag said...

Sorry about your bike...

Angry Kem said...

Dmontag: Thanks. I now have a "new" one (i.e., someone has given me a really, really old one). Luckily, it looks very battered and worn. The only type of bike that one has a chance of keeping in Toronto is the battered and worn type. Admittedly, my last bike was also battered and worn, and someone still stole it.

I shall try to get a new post up in a couple of hours. It is being one of those days.