Characters Appearing: Al Laguardia, Bug-Eyed Voice, David Bealer, Don Phipps, Emily Barron, Joe Spenser, Justin Baldwin, Maddie Baldwin, Nathan Boder, Niels, Speedball, Teri Cooper
Issue(s): Speedball #6
The Bug-Eyed Voice turns out to be an insurance investigator who's been stealing the stuff he's supposed to be investigating. Another non-powered villain.
Speedball stops him...
...but the police don't know that he was involved.
Robbie is learning to control his powers a little better.
His parents are still keeping secrets from each other.
And here's those reporters having the print vs. television fight.
I wanted to get that out of the way because the second story is objectively awesome. It involves Speedball again trying to catch Niels the cat.
And some aliens from outer space see Niels being chased and come to his aid.
Robbie, meanwhile, has been studying cats for a school project.
So while the aliens are landing, he's putting out milk and cat-nip filled mouse toys.
And it turns out that the aliens are cat people (do we need to get Steve Englehart to write another 18 part epic to tie these guys in with the other Cat People in the Marvel universe?).
And so he hits them with the cat-nip.
And they love it! So they gather up the rest and go back to their ship.
Awesome! My only regret is not being able to see the cow incident they refer to.
And i'm sure this guy (Robbie's friend/rival David Bealer, i think) regrets having to wear a jester costume to school.
Here's the image that, per Michael's comment below, is a preview of Nathan Boder. Boder is pretty much the one ongoing (behind-the-scenes) bad guy in the series, relating to the story that first came up in issue #4 (which is also, separately, referenced in this issue). Boder, if it's him, is they guy with the mustache and the bowtie.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Why is this comic still going? I may have missed this during your reviews or one of the comments but is this comic done as a favour for Ditko? Maybe to help him pay rent or something.
Posted by: JSfan | September 12, 2014 5:55 PM
Clyde also claims to be behind the Bug Eyed Voice, despite his lack of powers.
Posted by: Michael | September 12, 2014 8:17 PM
It is kinda interesting that the comic is called Speedball, but the character never is, he's always The Masked Marvel. It's certainly an odd choice. Maybe Ditko hated the name? When does he actually get called Speedball, is it when The New Warriors starts?
Posted by: S | September 12, 2014 11:13 PM
As we'll see when fnord reviews Captain America 352 soon, he's called Speedball in that issue.
Posted by: Michael | September 12, 2014 11:20 PM
When I met Mark Bagely about seven or so years ago we discussed Sppedball and he said that Steve Ditko wanted to call him The Blue Bomber. I don't recall, or didn't ask, who came up with Speedball. It may have been his co-creator Tom DeFalco.
Posted by: Tenzil | September 12, 2014 11:29 PM
Is the absence of real villains down to this having been planned as a New U title? There's nothing to tie it to the MU in the series itself, or is there?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 13, 2014 1:23 AM
I wonder if there weren't however many issues of Speedball more or less drawn, scripted, and complete as of 1986, before the New Universe's launch. Shooter has said DeFalco blew a big budget and Speedball was all he developed. Maybe the money went into getting all these issues done in advance, only for Shooter to take the line in a different direction. It would slain why Roger Stern is here at a time when he wasn't doing any other Marvel work.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 13, 2014 1:30 AM
JSFan, i don't have any behind the scenes info on this book except what Walter says, that the character was an initially developed for the New Universe. It does feel like a backdoor pension project for Ditko, though.
Walter, nothing in the series itself so far. Obviously the character debuted in the Amazing Spider-Man annual, but there haven't been any references back to that or anything else.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 13, 2014 1:31 AM
Cross-posted with Walter's second comment. That makes a lot of sense, Walter, even regardless of when the scripting took place.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 13, 2014 1:33 AM
And thanks, Michael. I've added Nathan Boder as a character appearing.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 13, 2014 1:36 AM
"There's nothing to tie it to the MU in the series itself, or is there?"
During one of his parents' arguments in the first issue, Captain America is brought up (in regards to his wearing a mask), which COULD have been excused as a pop-culture reference if Speedball ended up being non-MU (but works better as part of the MU, Cap being fairly obscure until recently).
That's the only tie I remember in the series itself and it's a really weak one.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | September 13, 2014 12:31 PM
The "cow incident" may just be a reference to the hypothesis that aliens are responsible for random cattle mutilations (although, in these modern times, everyone knows it's really the Chupacabra).
Posted by: TCP | April 22, 2015 9:29 AM
Wait a minute, did Speedball actually cause a bunch of aliens to get hooked on catnip?!?
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 10, 2015 1:58 PM
Comments are now closed.
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