Panel from Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #3 (April 2001), plot by Erik Larsen and Eric Stephenson; script by Tom DeFalco; layouts by Erik Larsen; pencils by Keith Giffen; inks by Al Gordon; colors by Eric Stephenson; letters by Richard Starkings
That means the winner can only be...JOE "ROBBIE" ROBERTSON!
Winning easily with a landslide margin of 78% to Mrs. Arbogast's 22%, Robbie now goes to Zaire on April 15 to fight Muhammad Ali for the world championship. Also, he's heading over to May Parker's to watch her stories with her.
Actually, why don't you track Robbie's winning progress using the all-new downloadable SCSD Bracket Chart? Pin it up to your wall or tape it inside your lock to keep track of each bout and amaze and befuddle your friends! Also, get them to guess who Robbie will be fighting against in Round Two!
Click image to slam it up in size!
And who will that be? You'll get to vote for the next bout's winner, coming up next week! Bring your popcorn and hotdogs, and also bring your binoculars, because I couldn't get us seats right near the ring. But be here or be elsewhere! Meanwhile, let's have a celebratory coffee.
You tell me: where would the great businessmenthe movers and shakers of industry and commercebe without their second bananas? Those industrious sidekicks do most of the work and take little of the credit, and have they ever, ever had a comic book named after them? No they have not. That's what qualifies them for tonight's Supporting Character Slamdown as we see Stark International's secretary supreme face off against The Daily Bugle's diligent blue-penciller...woo boy, this is a tough battle to call! Luckily I don't have to make the decision...no, it's all up to you! First, let's meet the competitors!
Yes, her name is Bambi, but you better be calling her Mrs. Arbogast. Tony Stark's personal secretary and executive assistant in the post-Pepper-Potts-period (round about the time Pep was running around Spain with Mario Batali and hanging out backstage at Coldplay concerts), Mrs. A. made herself absolutely essential to the Starkster from Day One with her cool unflappability under pressure and her expert phone manners:
Any secretary can keep an unwanted visitor out of her boss's office...but only a super-secretary can keep Namor, Lord of the Fishes, from stinkin' up Tony's executive office, what with the seaweed hanging off his little wings and his cologne with the fishy requisite-t-t-t-t-te. We here at Comics Oughta Be Fun! love the big shirtless lug, but ya gotta give Bambi props for putting him in his place. Namor respects that. In fact, he's scarily turned on by that.
Her weapons? Sarcasm. Why, Bethany Cabe's zip-a-toned green dress doesn't stand a chance against Mrs. A's withering tongue. (Eww, I didn't mean that the way it sounded.)
In fact, all you need to get Mrs. Arbogast riled up is to get her angry. Like Bruce Banner, the angrier she gets...well, let's just say that nobody parks under Tony Stark's office window for fear of the flying typewriters.
If she's got a weakness, it's got to be her tendency to gossip. If you happen to be a secret drunk on the job, filling up your red and gold armor with rich, buttery Kentucky whisky until it pours out of the eyeholes, well, then, Mrs. Blabbermouth is gonna make certain everyone knows you're back on the sauce again. Why do you think Tony took the editorship of the Stark International in-house newsletter away from her?
And hey, speaking of editors...bring on the opponent, Ragin' Robbie Robertson!
One of the greatest rock 'n' rollers of all time, Robbie Robertson has made music history during his career with hit after hit from The Band and also in his long and solid solo career. Penning such classics as "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Broken Arrow" and many others, he was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1994. Robertson has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, including Springsteen, U2, Josie and the Pussycats, Rick Jones, the Electric Mayhem...
Wait a minute. I'm being handed a note. What's that?
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so very very sorry. I've made another one of my silly mistakes again.
Joseph "Robbie" Robertson is the heart and conscience of that fine, fine, metropolitan fish wrapper The Daily Bugle. Between shouts from his boss of MISS BRANT WHERE'S MY COFFEE and PARKER GET ME PHOTOS OF SPIDER-MAN!, it's Robbie who does the real heavy hauling, keeping JJJ from being sued for libel on the average of three to four times a day, while still managing to hold down his job as Friendly Older Mentor to that wacky Peter Parker and his pals. Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows the news business better than Robbie Robertson. Except, possibly, Perry White. And Charles Foster Kane. And maybe Sarah Jane Smith. Maybe Kent Brockman. Okay, and don't forget Lou Grant. And, of course, Steve Martin. In fact, about eighteen people know the news business better than Robbie Robertson. Twenty, twenty-two, tops.
Add to his favor that he's a devoted family man...
And he never, never, never, never (well hardly ever) gives up:
And if there's one thing you can say about Robbie: he's never, never, never been to jail.
Man, I really gotta start doing better research on these things.
So there you go. Who's gonna win this battle of the Supporting Character Slamdown? The decision is up to you! Vote for your favorite, vote for the logical winner, vote for the character you want to see spun off into a weekly television series starring either Taye Diggs or Tyne Daley.Vote for the one who will give you a better national healthcare program! Vote for the one you think will be mostly likely to give the trix Rabbit those yummy, yummy fruity and delicious Trix! Just vote! Vote, vote, vote!
Place your vote before nine PM eastern daylight time on Thursday, April 1, or risk being mocked by Madonna because you didn't rock the vote! At nine PM on Thursday we'll count up the ballots, throw custard pies at the loser, and elect a winner!
Imagine an interlocking cover mural so long you can't fit it on a blog. Unless, of course, it's Giant-Man's Giant Blog of Hugeness. And you're reading it on a big-ass monitor. All others, be prepared to sacrifice size for humorous effect. (Why are all the women in my readership laughing so much?)
But now, open your eyes wide and look through your binoculars backwards, because now you may spy with your little eye something beginning with "O": the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition!:
Front and back covers of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1-15 (December 1985-March 1987), pencils by John Byrne (#1-14) and Keith Pollard (#15); inks by Joe Rubinstein; colors by Andy Yanchus (#1-14) and Paul Becton (#15)
Click once, then again, to OH GOLLY IT GOT REALLY REALLY BIG-size
Holy moly! That's one long muralthirty comic book covers wide! Now, I know what you're about to say, because if there's one thing that everybody knows about this cover, is that it wraps around on itself, featuring all the characters running in a completely circle. Well, as the Firesign Theatre once declared, everything you know is wrong! Take a look at the connected image...although #15 and #1 connect to each other, #6 and 7 don't. In fact, there's a good deal of white space behind all the "K" and "L" characters on the back of #7, including waaaaaay at the back, The Kingpin. He didn't get where he is today by rushing off all willy-nilly to find out what's going on, no sirree! Instead, he'll let every other hero and villain in the Marvel Universe do the dirty work for him., (Don't worry, Lockheed's keepin' an eye on him.) That means, of course, that the procession of racing 616ers begins on the front of issue 6. At the front of the group? The In-Betweener, Hydro-Man and Iceman. I dunno about you, but I sure as heck wouldn't follow them.
I still don't know what they're running to, but there's a good deal of fun to be found examining these characters closely. Trivia question: the members of which team appear in the line-up twice? (Highlight blank text for the answers!) A: The five original X-Men appear individually and also as a groupX-Factoron issue #15. Whose uniform was outdated even before the issue they appeared on was published? A: Cyclops, who wears an early design version of his new costume both on the cover and inside issue #2. Marvel admitted their mistake in a later issue. There's one character who appears on the wrong issue's cover. Putting him in the correct position would move him as far away in the alphabet as possible, but physically he'd only move a few feet back. Who is he? A: Arnim Zola, who's alphabetized under "A" rather than "Z." He's on the back of issue #1, but move him a few feet back behind the Abomination and he's in his correct place on the front of issue #15. Who appears on the most different issues? Mr. Fantastic, whose right leg is on the front of issue #7, his entire body across #8, and his right arm stretching through 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14...until at last his hand shows up on #15, yanking away the Wrecker's crowbar. Whose body and head doesn't appear at all? A: Stilt-Man: all you can see are his stilts on issue #12. And, what the heck is the Punisher shooting at? A: Looks like Shanna the She-Devil's rear end to me.
This, of course, wasn't the only OHOTMU whose covers form a mural, but it's certainly one of the most impressive. Out of date they may be, but the eighties editions of the Handbook are not only one of the best bargains in comics of all time (you could read these things for hours for a buck fifty a shot) but they were also incredibly fun...from cover to cover. To cover. To cover. To cover to cover to cover to cover to cover to cover to cover to cover to cover to cover.