Characters Appearing: Carlos Cardinale, Poison, Slug (Crimelord)
Marvel Comics Presents #60-67 (Poison)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #60,Marvel Comics Presents #61, Marvel Comics Presents #62, Marvel Comics Presents #63, Marvel Comics Presents #64, Marvel Comics Presents #65, Marvel Comics Presents #66, Marvel Comics Presents #67 (Poison story only)
Her "chosen enemy" are the "vandals of the heart". Basically she goes after people that cause heartbreak. For this arc, the heartbreak victim is Joe Trinity, the latest in a string of Steve Gerber/Richard Rory stand-ins. This one is armed with a magic mop.
He kills two skinheads and knocks down a third, because they were bothering a stray dog.
He then calls his ex-wife
Poison appears immediately after that.
Joe sends her away, but she remains interested in his situation. However, she also has to contend with her day job as a motel housekeeper and her role as a parent to her son Carlos.
Already with part one of this, we're seeing a very different tone and structure than the majority of the stories in Marvel Comics Presents. You'll notice it's not ending on a cliffhanger. And the overall tone is very subdued. If it wasn't for Joe's magic mop (which isn't obvious yet) and the fact that Poison flies and talks about the extradimensional being that gave her her powers, you might wonder what this is doing in a Marvel super-hero compilation at all. In a sense it's a disservice to both the story and to the regular Marvel Comics Presents readers to put this story here. It seems like a mismatch with the readers. But on the other hand it does ensure that more people would see it beyond those that would automatically pick up a Steve Gerber graphic novel. So these are the quandaries that editor Terry Kavanagh had to consider. I'll just note that based on the number of appearances of Poison after this arc, it doesn't seem like she set the world on fire saleswise.
The second part of this does introduce someone a little more Marvel universe oriented. Sort of. It's everyone's 11th favorite Marvel crimelord (or is that being too generous?), the Slug.
The Slug also appeared in Poison's debut appearance, and he's the local Miami area crimelord, so his inclusion here is natural enough.
It turn's out that Joe's ex-wife's current boyfriend, Dallas, works for the Slug as a financial manager. He asks the Slug to deal with the fact that Joe keeps calling Sally. But Poison shows up when Slug's thug is menacing Joe.
A very fetish-y kind of fight, which i guess is inevitable given the character's costume design.
And for those of you with a different kind of fetish, here's the naked Slug punishing his thug for failing.
Meanwhile, Poison learns Joe's story. Basically he was an accountant that refused to work on the Slug's account. So he was fired, and his assistant Dallas got his job and, eventually, his wife.
At this point two people are searching for Joe. A higher quality hitman working for the Slug, named Foxy. And a police lieutenant named Daniel Harris, investigating the murder of the skinheads.
Foxy finds Joe first, and shoots him.
Joe winds up in the hospital, and the bullets that Foxy used are known to detective Harris, who is apparently also looking for Foxy.
Foxy, meanwhile, is having trouble convincing the Slug that it was a mop that gave him problems.
Harris catches Poison hovering outside the window of Joe's hospital room, and then she leaves to confront Sally, who is not exactly living in bliss with Dallas.
Poison tosses Sally through a window and then goes after Dallas. She is definitely into the "vengeance for scorned lovers" thing.
I know you're probably nodding off at this point, and understandably so. So i remind you that, for all its dreary faults, this story does feature a magic mop.
The mop is actually possessed by a spirit called Myrna or maybe Mrinha. Sadly, the spirit moves from the mop to Joe himself. I'd much rather have the mop continue to float around. But Joe is totally healed after merging with Mrinha, and when Foxy and Dallas come after him, it allows Joe to blow off Foxy's arms.
He chases them all the way back to the Slug's place.
I should note that throughout this story, there's tension between Poison and her son, who feels like she's constantly abandoning him. Which, to be fair, she is.
Poison follows Joe, but takes no action at first. But she stops Joe from beating Dallas to a pulp, telling him that Mrinha's vengeance is devouring him.
Then she fends off the Slug and his men.
When Joe pursues Dallas back to Sally, Poison goads him on...
...but then battles Mrinha (if by "battle" i mean go-go dancing).
And holy crap suddenly it's all over. Joe passes out and she says that when he wakes up he'll be free, and she tells Dallas and Sally that they'll always live with the regret of what they did, and she says that she's going home to her kid. And that's it. It's an incredibly boring story. Poison herself has no personality. I guess she's almost like a cosmic being like, say, D'Spayre, with a focus on betrayed lovers, except that she isn't really cosmic (after the entity Ylandris left her in her origin story). Her situation with her kid therefore doesn't have any drama to it. He whines that she's never around, and she just kind of sadly shrugs and leaves anyway. She could still work almost more as a story vehicle instead of an actual character, with the focus being on the stories of the betrayed lovers that she helps. But the story with Joe and Sally and Dallas isn't interesting, either (despite, and i say that loosely, the involvement of the Slug), and the inclusion of Mrinha, whatever that is, muddles it up anyway. Overall, it's a mess, and a boring mess at that. And that's saying a lot about an arc that started off with a guy fighting skinheads with a magic mop.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The Marvel Universe was just crawling with skinhead street gangs in the late 80s-early 90s, wasn't it?
Posted by: Bill A. | August 4, 2015 12:49 PM
Fnord, you have the same image posted twice of Poison goading Joe on (the scan where Joe is apparently wearing two hospital gowns, one over top of the other, in order to comply with Comics Code Authority rules about nudity :P )
Posted by: Dermie | August 4, 2015 2:48 PM
Bill, definitely a lot in Gerber comics alone, between this and Foolkiller.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 4, 2015 3:28 PM
I suppose it had to be either a skinhead gang or a gang of ethnically/racially diverse thugs. Or "punk rockers".
Posted by: Bill A. | August 4, 2015 3:36 PM
I think the idea is that Mrinha is from the same race as Ylandris- they both came through the Nexus in the Man-Thing's swamp and for some reason were drawn to people who were betrayed by loved ones.
Posted by: Michael | August 4, 2015 11:00 PM
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