Characters Appearing: Black Tom, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Copycat, Feral, Gideon, Juggernaut, Shatterstar, Siryn, Spider-Man, Sunspot, Warpath
Issue(s): Spider-Man #16
This issue is a "special sideways issue", like Fantastic Four #252 (and X-Force #4). So please excuse the fact that some of the scans are a little weird, but i assure you that is not the major problem with the issue.
Spider-Man is apparently aware that Cable leads X-Force.
But since Cable is dealing with Black Tom (or, actually, bickering with Gideon)...
...Spider-Man tries to step into the role of the experienced hero.
Of course, he's got nothing that can stop the Juggernaut either (and this isn't going to be a cool two-issue fight across the city ending in Juggernaut trapped in a ton of cement like in the Roger Stern Spidey/Juggy fight). The one thing that does have an effect is Shatterstar's sword.
This, or what's not here, is actually what got McFarlane to quit. I guess he actually wanted to show Juggernaut's eye with the sword sticking out, and new editor Danny Fingeroth disagreed, and Tom DeFalco backed Fingeroth up. I think the situation here was more the straw that broke the camel's back and the bigger issue was about Fingeroth's more hands-on approach to editing compared to Jim Salicrup.
I have always had a more continuity-based problem with this scene. Juggernaut is invulnerable. How is it possible for Shatterstar's blade to have pierced him. It's not like Juggernaut's armor is what makes him invulnerable and his eyeslots are therefore a weak spot. He's literally invulnerable. The answer is actually given in the next part of this story: Shatterstar's swords are magic, since he comes from another dimension with magical elements (not that Longshot came to Earth with magical blades that could hurt the Juggernaut, as far as we saw). And ok, i can buy that, i guess, maybe. But i still don't like it. I also don't like the idea that Juggernaut has a healing factor.
He's actually relatively casual about getting hurt. Sure, he's mad. But he's a guy that's literally not supposed to be hurt. And he's immediately like, ok, no problem, my healing factor has got this. Like, how did he even know he had a healing factor? He's never been hurt before!
Anyway, the big news at the end of the previous part of this crossover was that Black Tom has detonated a bomb at the World Trade Center.
And, if i understand the art correctly (and i may very well not), it looks like Juggernaut compounds that by bringing down one tower entirely.
After the real life attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, Marvel put out a well intentioned tribute comic that showed several Marvel villains, including the Juggernaut, standing around the rubble looking sad. Based on the events here, that seems crazy (and i don't even know if that issue is considered canon).
Obviously in a post September 11th, 2001 world, we see this scene differently. I do think McFarlane and Liefeld are being a bit causal about the destruction involved here, just from a sense of realism. Most writers are careful to note that the battles are going on in abandoned or under construction buildings. And that may be just as conveniently cartoony in its own way. And of course there's also Damage Control #1, which has the World Trade Centers damaged and put back together all in one issue. But for a non-comedy comic, the amount of damage caused by this kind of destruction should be pretty devastating, and it was also a cultural landmark, and the destruction would have merited more outrage. It's done here for just a quick kewl moment that barely gets noticed.
When the Statue of Liberty was damaged during a fight in Astonishing Tales #18, it seemed important enough that the Avengers were called in to put it back together in Avengers #113. And the destruction there was caused by a mindless monster. Here the World Trade Center is destroyed deliberately by a pair of known super-villains. And yet we'll see in the next part of this story that the focus of SHIELD remains capturing Cable, not going after Black Tom and the Juggernaut.
Still, while it's a poorly thought out and executed plot, that's all its is. This plot isn't extra bad just because it involves a scene with the twin towers. That said, this comic is extra bad all on its own. McFarlane seems to have rushed through this on his way out the door.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from X-Force #3 and continues directly in X-Force #4.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I'm definitely seeing some Liefeld influence in the artwork here. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Liefeld either assisted with the inking or he did some pencil work (perhaps on the X-Force characters) while McFarlane did the inks. It's definitely not McFarlane's "normal" looking style.
This story proves why September 11th wouldn't have been no big thing in the Marvel Universe. Heck, this WAS 9-11 already!
Posted by: Bill | November 5, 2015 4:30 PM
MacFarlane was clearly half-assing it here, out of spite to Marvel and, by extension, the readers.
I seem to recall he more or less admitted this later on.
Posted by: Bob | November 5, 2015 5:43 PM
Re: how Peter knew Cable's name- did members of X-Force mention it earlier in the issue? If so,Peter could have overheard?
Posted by: Michael | November 5, 2015 8:31 PM
Bad taste aside, the embarrassing 9/11 "tribute" just makes no sense in the Marvel universe.
1. The plot's far less likely to succeed with all the heroes around. You've got those who regularly discover and thwart even more secretive schemes, like Nick Fury, and those who can physically intervene and stop plane crashes, like Thor.
2. Like Bill said, if the attack did succeed, it wouldn't have been that big a deal in a world where such catastrophes regularly happen. Juggernaut already destroyed one of the twin towers! Namor devastated the whole city!
3. The super-villain reaction. Like Juggernaut's going to be upset about someone leveling a building he once leveled, and laughed his ass off about. Dr. Doom, there's a guy who'd shed a tear at the destruction of New York skyscrapers. And Magneto takes great affront to the deaths of hundreds of normal humans.
4. The idea that Bin Laden could piss off lots of heroes and villains and make it to the end of the day without being captured or annihilated, depending on who gets to him first.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 5, 2015 8:42 PM
Since 9/11 took place over 14 years ago, it's probably past the sliding timescale by now, so questions about whether the tribute issue is canon is moot.
Posted by: mikrolik | November 5, 2015 9:36 PM
Speaking of out of character supervillains Juggernaut laughing so maniacally seems out of place. I mean the Jugs I know are from Claremont's and Stern's runs.
Posted by: davidbanes | November 5, 2015 10:13 PM
Michael: I thought it was assumed that "everyone knows Cable...because". (mostly joking but considering how many characters already who knew of Cable's existence even when the readers barely knew who Cable was, my question is more "so...who didn't know of Cable besides the readers?")
On the other side of things: so this is where the Todd McFarlane legend "ends" at Marvel. On one hand, the founding of Image does ultimately lead to quality and important things emerging as they become a separate voice outside the mainstream (and of course Todd runs off to do his own "Spawn"). On the other: he was just such an egotistical brat that maybe his departure was probably for the better...not for the short run considering what happens with the Image exodus and Marvel's obsession to keep having that artstyle he paved the way for, but for when things eventually do get better later in the 90s.
Posted by: Ataru320 | November 6, 2015 9:27 AM
And thus we cum to the end of two of the greatest runs in comics, Claremont's 17+ years on X-Men and Todd's... 15 issue run on Spidey.
In all seriousness tho, enuff of Todd's fault have been pointed out ad nauseum, so I cum not to bury Todd but to praise him.
His art redefined Spidey for a new generation. For 30 years no matter who the artist, the stylings were always in homage of Romita Sr. Then Todd art's hit us like a hurricane and changed all dat. He brought in the crazy dynamic poses, the spaghetti webbing you eat off of, reminded us why MJ was a model, and ofc the amazing pin-up shots.
Perhaps nothing was moar symbiotic/symbolic of Todd's run than Venom. A character with no character, aim, or motivation other than a bigger, monstrous, version of Spidey dat lived solely to kill him. Dis would be reflective of Todd's run, poor writing and motivations and an emphasis on big giant monsters beating the shit out of Spidey. And whatever critical failings he may have had, the public ate it up like Aunt May's hotcakes.
I had the good fortune of winning a meat and greet with Todd a number of years back. And the legends are true, the man's ego is palpable. But so was Stan Lee's and much like Stan, Todd has much of the showmanship in him. It wasn't dumb luck dat got Todd where he was, he knew full well the load of goods he was selling the public, and did dey ever buy it.
So long Todd, your name will live in Spider-Man infamy.
Posted by: JC | November 6, 2015 5:48 PM
A few days after 9/11, John Byrne wrote on the forum he used at the time a good parody of the idea that superheroes could have done something about it. It was basically the FF receiving reports of the initial attacks and, in character, Reed turns Doom's time machine on, expositing to whoever questioned him that the attack was still on-going, so there was a chance to change the results without altering the future.
It was fine, and a good description of how unrealistic superhero comics are. Scary thought, Byrne had another decade of superhero comics to read after this comic was published, before 9/11. As much as I love superheroes, 9/11 was the point where I departed from the idea that they were useful or believable in any way.
I love superheroes. I still aspire to write superhero comics. But they should be tempered with realism. One reason "The Boys" is one of my favorite comics ever is because it's a deliberate deconstruction of what superheroes would have accomplished on 9/11. [I won't describe it here, it must be read to be believed. NSFW.]
So, yeah, I can accept all the jokes in "Damage Control" or whatever about the World Trade Center, but this is the sort of thing that really drives it home for me. You don't just build up these massive towers for The Enemy to destroy to show off how bad they are. Never mind the hostages, there's no way the WTC was emptied when the Juggernaut brings it down because that's what Rob Liefeld wanted to draw. He's a mass murderer. If we're throwing continuity out the window, Cable or Shatterstar should have killed him on the spot. Like they did with Black Tom.
JC, I'm a fan of Todd, and I agree with you. At the "Spawn" panel at the last Chicagocon I was at, I got there at the last minute, so I had to stand at the back because the room was packed. Dave Sim and Neil Gaiman were also on the panel, and they made sure to use their microphones so that we could hear them. I honestly don't remember Todd using a microphone once, and even at the back of a crowded room, I wished he'd tone it down. To this day, I still have respect for Todd, but as you say, the man's ego is palpable.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 6, 2015 10:40 PM
And is that panel of Jugs confronting Spider-Man ripped off from "X-Men" 218 before he smacks Rogue, or is it just a natural pose?
Posted by: ChrisW | November 6, 2015 10:42 PM
The X-Force: A Force to Be Reckoned With hardcover (and possibly also the Spider-Man: Masques hardcover and X-Force omnibus) includes the original page with Juggernaut's eye being stabbed as a bonus. It's completely inked and colored. So in McFarlane's defence (again), this isn't the case that he came up with a violent idea or art and then stormed off because they said no. This is the case that he did something that was considered fine throughout the various stages of production and then editorial suddenly decided they had an issue with it after it had been finished. Enormously large chance that the red blood splatter panel was created and inserted by someone else.
Posted by: AF | February 27, 2016 5:54 PM
Ah, nevermind. Just checked it now and it's sourced from Marvel Age. So what I thought was a neat bonus is a bit less neat.
It cites being from Marvel Age #102 but I just checked and it's not (that issue instead has a preview of X-Force #1). I'll flip through the other Marvel Age around then and see if I can find it for those interested...
Posted by: AF | February 27, 2016 6:02 PM
Was Marvel Age #107.
Posted by: AF | February 27, 2016 6:13 PM
Is it just me or does the lettering seem to be really off on this issue, too?
Posted by: Jonathon | October 4, 2017 11:17 AM
Since it's not said in what way are Shatterstar's blades magic, here's my theory: his blades have the power to produce an illusion, convincing the opponent to be hurt by them, even when they fail to do so, but their effect fades away quickly (of course Juggernauts thinks it's some healing factor because he's got no idea what he's talking about). How about that?
Posted by: KombatGod | December 16, 2017 6:31 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|