Issue(s): Thing #28
Since the Thing was only pretending to be into the Thunderiders to get with Sharon Ventura, and since she's moved on, the Thing soon quits the team, leaving the 'riders a teammate down. They are incredibly good-natured about it, especially considering this is their last appearance ever (except Wolf, who gets one more appearance in Captain America #408).
Vance Astrovik's next cockamamie scheme is for the Thing to join the wrestling circuit. Acutally, there's a cool idea in here. This is Unlimited Class Wrestling, and all of the participants seem to be of the super powered variety. I've been thinking about this with the re-introduction of Team America and also Power Pack #13 - would people really still be interested in regular sports in a world with super-people, and wouldn't super-people wind up infiltrating the games, intentionally or not? Presumably there would be some kind of screening, but would it be a violation of civil rights to exclude people? In order to prevent the Marvel world from deviating too much from the real one, you'd have to assume that the exclusion was happening and ruled legal, but the introduction of a separate league of super-folks is the next best thing and that's what we've got here.
of course the problem now is you either have to round up a huge group of minor established characters to join the league, or introduce a whole league of new super-people, and Carlin goes the second route here.
The problem with this, of course, is that it makes having super-powers a lot more generic and therefore less special. You'll also need an explanation of where these people are coming from, but that will be taken care of in a future issue.
Another thing to note is that this is not scripted wrestling. The Thing, of course, is accepted onto the team, but then when the promoter (Ed Garner) tries to get the Thing's first opponent to throw the fight, it's treated like a shady unorthodox move.
Of course, there was no way the Thing was going to lose anyway.
Actually, the Thing's opponent is "Demolition Dunphy".
It's made clear that he wasn't in on the fight fixing.
He'll later become D-Man, and he does put up a decent fight.
The wrestling match, for the most part, is unspectacularly drawn, which is surprising for Wilson.
There's nothing great about the writing here, but it's serviceable. It's a bit odd that the Thing would sign on for another commitment when he's really just looking for Sharon at this point, but Vance's nagging about the Thing being a repeat quitter seems to get to him.
An "I love the 80s" moment in an editorial blurb in the lettercol, trying to describe the first lasertag arena:
[Carlin & Wilson] accidentally got the workout of their life playing a new participation-type role-playing game of sorts. Now if that description isn't confusing enough, we can just tell you that the game is called PHOTON and Mike and Ron inform us that it was a literal blast! ...fitted into the official PHOTON playing gear (crash helmet, power-pack belt, chest plate, and Photonian blaster!) and herded into their "team's" home base! ...Totally computerized, with laser light effects and sound simulators, PHOTON promises to be a big smash hit all around the country!
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Per Michael's comments below, the Thing's appearance in West Coast Avengers #3-4 need to take place after the Thing is a member of the UCWF. This placement should also allow for the Hulk/Thing fight in Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCowboy, D-Man, Georgiana Hebb, Justice, R.U. Reddy, Thing, Wolf, Wrench
There's a couple of stories that influence this issue's chronological placement. The Hulk vs. Hercules one-shot featured a flashback where Gaea transports the Hulk from the Crossroads to Olympus and Zeus transports Hercules from an Unlimited Class Wrestling match with the Thing for charity to Olympus to oppose him. Thus, the issue has to take place before Hulk 313.
Posted by: Michael | June 29, 2012 10:49 PM
Thanks, Michael. I'll adjust for both of these as things settle for the WCA and Hulk issues.
I assume the Hulk vs. Hercules issue is the more recent Pak/Van Lente one, not the PAD/Deodato issue? I have the PAD issue but it's been a while...
Posted by: fnord12 | June 30, 2012 12:13 AM
Yeah, the Pak/ Van Lente one.
Posted by: Michael | June 30, 2012 12:16 AM
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