Over at his blog, Benjamin Birdieartist on The Rack and a big Green Lantern fanhas come up with an idea so brilliant, a design mashup so triffic that I wish I'd thought of it first (That green glow you see about me isn't a Lantern Ring, it's jealousy, folks!): the Lantern symbols as New York City Transit signs.
Portugal! Our friendly neighbor to the North! Home of the diggeridoo, fine mustard yards, beautiful beaches and hand-rolled cigars, the world's finest chocolates and cuckoo clocks, ruled over by Victor von Doom and headquarters of the JLP...The Justice League of Portugal!: Grande Boca, Crânio, Tia Biquíni, Churrasco, Sabonete Líquido, Voleibol, and Portuguese Man-of-War! Yes, this country has a rich, exciting culture of the sort generally only seen in 1960s View-Master reels. Because of the Portuguese UN sanctions of 1968, you and I can never visit this secretive, closed country, but we can enjoy its hearty native foods like cravinho, guarda-chuva, and verniz de unhas! Of course, on December 2, everyone in the friendly and bustling Little Portugal communities in every major US city gather to celebrate the Feast of Nelly Furtado, and it's a grand time for all until the last of the traditional nine thousand fireworks have gone off.
Yes, we here in America obviously know pretty much everything about Portugal! But do you know how to speak Portuguese? Why, I'm betting you don't know anything more than the few basic words it takes to communicate with the Portuguese squid fisherman who shares your carpool each morning. Be sure to greet him with a hearty slap on the back and a friendly feliz Páscoa! each and every day as he slides into the Toyota Camry alongside you. But for those of you longing to learn more conversational Portugeuse, perhaps to impress former Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, why not do what I do...
Learn Portuguese with Mary Jane Watson!
Why, it's as easy as tarte de natas to learn this romantic language with the help of the Marvel Universe's most vivacious, outgoing, energetic and frequently retconned-out-of-existence redhead. All you need is a copy of O Homem-Aranha, available at any good local Portuguese corner store. (Pick your favorite artist: Estêvão Diitko, João Romita, or even the artist known in Portugal as ''Todd McFarlane". I've chosen for the example today a copy of O Homem-Aranha #167, which I purchased for a mere eight-eighty thousand Portuguese escudos. (The exchange rate is really good over there!)
Now, we could consult special Portuguese to English dictionaries or perhaps phone up our pal, Portuguese-American actress Danica McKellar (formerly "Winnie" on the hit TV show The Wonder Years and now the superheroine 'Math Maiden' of the Philadelphia Avengers). But translation is easy when you pull from your own collection the corresponding issue of the American Spider-Man comic...in this case, Spectacular Spider-Man #220!
Cover of Spectacular Spider-Man #220 (January 1995), art by Sal Buscema
See, comparing these two comic book covers makes it simple to read Portuguese! The word Peter, or, as we say in English, Tiger, is easy enough, and comparing the highlighted words in red we can detect that the word "papai" means "news." Hence, I would imagine the Portuguese J. Jonah Jameson would work on a "papai-papel." I bet he is shouting for Parker to take him photographs of cork oaks all day long!
The rest of the phrase immediately falls into place: "você vai ser" can be translated as "here, please accept this" or "O am happy to present you with," or, most colloquially, "catch!"
Therefore: Peter, você vai ser papai! can be translated as Tiger, do I have news for you! Why, thanks, Mary Jane...or as we say in Portugal...muitíssimo agradecido, María de la Iva!
Hey, girls! Got a Portuguese boyfriend? (Sure you do!) Surprise him tonight when he comes home by tossing your arms around him and declaring happily "Você vai ser papai!" That look of shock and surprise on his face is pure delight that you've taken time to learn his romantic, old-fashioned language!
Tune in next time when we learn Norwegian with Namor the Sub-Mariner!
from Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants (1982), script by Chris Claremont, pencils and inks by Bob McLeod, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski
from The New Mutants Annual #3 (1987), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Alan Davis, inks by Paul Neary, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski
And then, Rahne discovered Hot Topic:
from The New Mutants v.3 #9 (February 2004), script by Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir, pencils by Carlo Barberi, inks by Wayne Faucher and Juan Vlasco, colors by Ian Hannin and Rob Ro, letters by Dave Sharpe