For the inaugural installment of "Thought Bubble", I talk with the host of The Early Late Show with James Introcaso, James Introcaso. We discuss Britney Spears' alien vagina, the devil, and the riveting cultural undertones of the early works of Stan Lee and how they apply to a post-industrial American society. Just kidding. We talk about Gay Batman.
PANEL ONE: The Marvel Universe is currently being invaded by Skrulls, a shape-shifting race of aliens intent on killing or enslaving any human they see and turning Earth into their new homeworld. Anyone can be the enemy. No one can be trusted. Someone call Joe McCarthy.
James: Big surprise. Someone in the Marvel Universe isn't who they really say they are. They're a clone. Wow. This has NEVER been done before.
Sean: Everyone in the Marvel Universe has either been cloned, impersonated, kidnapped, or dead at some point in their life. After all, you know what they say, "Death is only the halfway point of life."
James: Here's the disappointing part. This is supposed to totally change the Marvel Universe. Civil War was supposed to change the face of the MU. So was World War Hulk! Everything always turns back to normal because no one wants to be reading Daredevil for 36 issues and then find out he was A F*CKING CLONE and now you just blew $144 to read about some blind alien who sucks.
Sean: Clone, alien shapeshifting zealot, same diff.
James: Agreed. Not that I wouldn't love to be a shapeshifting alien. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Sean: Maybe you are.
James: I'd pretty much be a shame for that alien. My identity is more or less worthless to world domination. I'm being interviewed as a comic book expert.
Sean: I think if shapeshifting aliens wanted to take over the planet, the best way would be to impersonate a pop celebrity, make everyone think she's crazy, and make sure no one talks about important stuff. Wait
James: WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!
Sean: Can aliens shapeshift vaginas, too?
PANEL TWO: Spider Man's been through a lot recently. In the course of the Civil War storyline, Spidey unmasked himself on national prime-time television, revealing himself to the world as Peter Parker, which eventually led to his life as he knew getting completely destroyed in the One More Day storyline. He was fired, made a fugitive from the law, and his dear sweet Aunt May took a sniper's bullet that was meant for him. After completely destroying every staple of the entire Spiderman mythos, the writers called a mulligan and had Mephisto make everything back to normal, except- PETER AND MARY JANE AREN'T MARRIED ANYMORE! DUNH DUNH DUNH! Thus begins Brand New Day.
Sean: PLUS HE'S ALSO A CLONE! I MEAN A SKRULL! OR HE COULD BE you know, it's hard to care anymore.
James: He's definitely a moron now.
Sean: I love Spiderman, he's been my number one superhero since I could read, but this is just getting ridiculous. How old is Aunt May now? Let her die!
James: Here's my problem. Why are comic book characters never allowed to change? The stories last decades. DECADES! Do you know how long a decade is? It's a lot. AND SERIOUSLY? MAKE THEM NEVER GET MARRIED?!? That's balls ass backwards. Have them get divorced. Allow for change. It's good. It puts hair on your balls. Which Spiderman now needs to regrow thanks to this story line. Aunt May needs to bite the dust. She's been ancient since the comic began.
Sean: They ended the Gwen Stacey relationship in a pretty realistic way: she got thrown off the Brooklyn Bridge by an homicidal lunatic dressed like an imp on a glider. They couldn't have done something better for MJ? Have some respect.
James: Seriously. This was the one hope for all nerds and geeks. Peter got some super hot-red-head-tail. What the hell are they doing? Comic books are supposed to fantasy. Let the nerds bone the chicks with the thin waists and huge knockers once in a while.
Sean: Ah, the nineties. When men had biceps made of tree trunks and women had planets for chests. But I have faith in Peter. He'll be boning someone else super hot before long.
James: He better be. That boy was our last hope.
Sean: You know, now that I think of it, do you know of any ugly female characters in comics?
James: Just Aunt May.
Sean: Whoa dude, that's Aunt May you're talking about. She's like everyone's grandma. She's not ugly, she's elegant.
James: And her vagina is old.
Sean: DUDE. SERIOUSLY.
PANEL THREE: One surefire way to get people to buy more comics or see more movies is to give a character a different costume. Sometimes, this turns out to be awesome- Wolverine's had some kickass costumes over the years, and Spiderman's black duds are just as classic as his classic duds. But for every good costume change, there are 500 bad ones. Let's take a look at some.
James: Ok, first worst change that comes to mind is when Batman got nipples on his costume in Batman Forever.
Sean: Yeah, for now and forever, that's the worst thing that's ever happened to anything ever.
James: Is it a coincidence that the appearance of the nipples in that movie comes along with the appearance of Robin? Maybe Bats was just THAT turned on by Chris O'Donnell.
Sean: He does have incredible abs.
James: He's a boy wonder.
Sean: But moving away from male nipples before it gets too manlicious, have you ever heard of Superman Blue?
James: Oh God. Superman Red.
Sean: In the nineties, Superman was given electric powers and a new costume. Then a split personality. Then the personalities manifested themselves into different bodies. It was like the Odd Couple if they could break planets.
James: Yeah, DC has an obsession with colors. Green Lantern. Black Lightning, which was the beginning of African Americans in comics and racism in comics.
Sean: Does the Clone Saga count as alternative costumes? Because that's a slew of crappy decisions. One of them looked like he was literally made of trash.
James: We can totally count that. The Clone Saga was the worst thing to ever happen to comics besides RAINBOW BATMAN! Batman in a pink costume, followed by a green one, followed by a blue. He wore a new color every night while boy wonder was still in his European swim trunk bottoms. You'd think a man who spent most of his nights with a young boy would want to avoid the rainbow image.
Sean: I honestly thought you were kidding about Rainbow Batman. But I just Googled it, and it turns out that is such a ridiculous idea that it has to be true.
James: It has to be the least hardcore thing ever done by Bats.
Sean: That really actually happened?
James: Oh yeah it did. Detective Comics No. 241. Yes, I just quoted that.
Sean: Batman in a pink costume. Now we know where that nipple idea originated.
James: I have to say, though. The silliest costume is Iceman's original outfit. He looked like Frosty.
Sean: Yeah. His name is Iceman, not Snowman. Who thought a snowman would look cooler than a person made of ice? "So I've got an idea for a character: the Human Torch." "Oh cool, is he made out of fire?" "No, something better: he just looks like he's melting all the time."
James: If I were one of the other X-Men, I'd stick my beers in his body to chill them.
Sean: Definitely. Greatest tag team X-men power combo? The Wolverine-Iceman "You chill the beer, I open it" special.
James: Finally, a beer ad that appeals to comic book nerds. "See, Wolverine, the mountains turn blue after I chill them!"
Sean: You just have to remind them that Beer gives you 2 charisma. But too much Beer gives you 6 Pending Restraining Orders.
James: Yes, and that all women around you immediately become affected by a "Summon Hottie Level 2" Spell.
Sean: And we've officially gotten too geeky for the comics column.