Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Comics: He Tells It Like It Is

This is from Avengers: Initiative #34, By Christos Gage and Jorge Milina. The first panel's the focus here. Background: As the 90s "Death of Superman" saga showed, comic book characters are infamous for coming back from the dead. In Marvel comics, this tendency was often represented by the saying "No one stays dead but buck Bucky and Uncle Ben." Ben being Spider-Man's uncle, who died to teach him that whole "with great power comes great responsibility" thing, and Bucky, Captain America's teenage sidekick, who died in World War 2 to demonstrate what a bad idea it is to take a teenage sidekick into World War II. I mean, to demonstrate the pathos of war.

But in another highly televised superhero offing, they killed Captain America, and replaced him with Bucky, who survived death by rocket in the 1940s by... sigh... being retrieved, revived, and reprogrammed by Soviet soldiers, and kept in suspended animation between missions for the next 50 years or so. (The brainwashing wore off.) So that's who the guy on the left is.

The guy on the right, on the other hand, is the mercenary turned Avengers-Iniative leader, Taskmaster. His power is that he can instantly imitate any fighting style (or anything, really) by watching it for a few minutes. He started off as a super-villian with a unique twist: rather than ever commit any crimes himself, he trained the henchmen of other villains. He spent a few years freelance, then got significantly expanded in the Agent X series by Gail Simone, where he became a foil to the lead character (who himself was an amalgamated foil of an Asian assassin, a German telepathic assassin, and Deadpool. Comics, right?). More recently, he was put in charge of training superheroes by the Green Goblin at the Initiative Training facility, and his story has consisted of a rise from mediocrity into the big leagues, combined with the realization that he probably preferred mediocrity. (His wikipedia page badly needs an update, BTW, for any industrious fans out there.) So essentially, the character whose entire shtick is that he creates imitations of unique techniques is complaining about things not being sacred.
This amuses me. That is all.

Later Days.

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