The "Pomp and Circumstance" sequence from Fantasia 2000 (1999), directed by Francis Glebas, music composed by Sir Edward Elgar and performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring Kathleen Battle and starring Donald Duck
Panels from the Hurricane story "The Devil and the Green Plague", in Captain America Comics #2 (April 1941), by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
In five consecutive panels...not even a full comic book page...there's more action, excitement, explosions, death, angst and tiny, tiny heads than in ten or fifteen modern "deconstructed" comic books.
After the War, of course, Hurricane set out on a walking tour of America. Punching everyone where ever he went. Great action hero, had a few anger management problems.
This is from a reprint; hence the modern colors. And say, does it look to you too like Hurricane's name has been relettered? Whatever his original name was, Hurricane has now been retconned to be The Eternals member Makkari. That Neil Gaiman Eternals series coulda used a few shrunken skulls, huh?
I see, you see, we all see, for TV! Yes, that's right, everybody loves television! Never trust anybody who says "Oh, we got rid of our television and we spend our evenings having family discussions, reading classic books and playing board games." They're communists! After all, if TV wasn't good for you, why would they be piping it completely free of charge into your home 24 hours a day, eight days a week? Well, except for cable. And Hulu. And video cassettes...look, you get the idea. To paraphrase Randy Newman: I love TV! And so, apparently, do superheroes! It's true. In their busy and hectic comic-book lives, you may not see them sitting around for twenty-two pages watching Lost (unless you're reading a comic by Brian Michael Bendis), but trust me, from their wisecracks, commentary, and up-to-the-minute pop culture references, we definitely know that superheroes love television. How do we know that TV is a hero's best entertainment value? Well, they're certainly not reading comic books! BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA! But my point, and I do have one, is this: which shows do you think the Marvel Superheroes and their supporting cast members love to watch best? Is Captain America a fan of Love, American Style? Does Johnny Storm enjoy Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen? How about Doctor Doom? Do you think he tapes every episode of Phineas and Ferb? (Yes.) Anyway, let's out out, shall we? Yes, let's shall!
U.S. Agent is no out-of-time, never-watches-NASCAR Captain America type, oh no no no. But what the Agent loves best are the great shows of the sixties and seventies: Hawaii Five-O and Gilligan's Island! Guess he loves shows set on land masses smaller than a continent that are entirely surrounded by water. And he likes the remake of Twilight Zone. Let's hope he means the late-eighties TV version and not the Vic Morrow-killin' movie version.
Oh course Edwin Jarvis, the Avengers' butler, enjoys watching not one but several news programs. He better not lose track of time watching CNN, though, because if Thor steps through the door and his dinner isn't on the table, there's gonna be Hel to pay!
Also enjoying newscasts: Dr. Anthony "Don't Call Me Droom" Druid. But what he really loves is appearing on local cult talk shows alongside faded Broadway stars. No Tonight Show or Letterman for Druid, nuh uh!
Of course an old-time newshound like J. Jonah Jameson is also a fan of TV news, altho' he prefers his retro-style without all those confusing modern computer graphics. In fact, if he had it his way, Edward R. Murrow would smoke his way through every newscast, and they'd all be about how Spider-Man was really a communist.
Guess who else likes watching the news! (Betcha can't!) That's right, everybody's favorite party girl and non-existent bride-to-be, Mary Jane Watson-Parker! She especially loves the news footage of supervillains tossing her female competition off New York City's bridges.
But don't kid yourself: boy-crazy MJ is really all about the hottest hunks out there in TV-land. That means Scott Baio, Donny Osmond, Shaun Cassidy, and an actor by the name of John Travolta who nobody would ever hear of ever again.
Not every hero watches episodic television, though. Scot Lang (Ant-Man II) prefers the movie classics that run on Sunday afternoons during baseball rain delays, or overnight on the Superstation. I'm not certain he's got the finest taste in cinema, however. Or maybe he just likes hairy, hairy men of the 1970s. Don't we all?
Just don't ask Scott to be on your team when playing Trivial Pursuit: Hollywood Edition.
Daredevil never watches TV, but he's a big radio fan. Gal pal Elektra, on the other hand, is a big fan of movies like The Princess Bride. Now do Andre the Giant, Elektra!
On the other hand, judging from her expression, it's pretty sure that Elektra has never seen the movie Se7en. And also, that she would kill anyone who actually pronounced it like that.
Now, Colleen Wing of the Daughters of the Dragon...you'd think she would be watching chop-socky Hong Kong action flix all the time on TV. But actually, she reads a lot. Huh. Maybe Misty Knight is watching Cleopatra Jones all the time.
Not so literary: Tigra. She's a fan of The Wheel. And we're not talkin' about the one that's on fire.
Oh, now, it's not like Tigra doesn't or can't read. It's just that her preferred reading ain't exactly fine literature. Then again, who does like Mondays and who doesn't like lasagna?
But by far the TV-watching champ of the Marvel U is our old pal, everybody's ever-lovin' blue-eyed friendly neighborhood Ben Grimm. He enjoys watching morning nautical shows:
..and true-to-life historical reconstruction documentaries about life in the prehistoric stone age:
For Ben Grimm, there's only one true late night talk show host, and it ain't Joan Rivers:
And he's not only a fan of two single girls in the big city (maybe because they work in a brewery), but he knows all about that show with those Muppet things:
Why, he even watchesaltho' he's green with jealousyshows about his fellow Marvel Superheroes!
Then again, even The Hulk watches his own show. Bixby was raking it in on those shows! Maybe that means he could finally give Mrs. Livingston a raise and put Eddie through college.
Hulk's such a TV fanatic, he even makes a regular pilgrimage to drop in on the filming of his favorite Monday night comedy-drama S*H*O*W:
And, as we begin to wrap up, what kind of TV show do you think a goth teen who secretly thinks her parents are evil enjoys watching? Seein' as Nico Minoru enjoys dystopian fiction, I'm betting it's not Saved By the Bell!
The "Dark Beast" (Henry McCoy of Earth-295, the "Age of Apocalypse" reality) and his pal Onslaught, in a panel from Onslaught: X-Men one-shot (August 1996), script by Scott Lobdell and Mark Waid, pencils by Adam Kubert and Pascual Ferry, inks by Dan Green and Art Thibert, colors by Steve Buccellato, letters by Richard Starkings
Sure, it's usually Hawkeye who's the one uttering utterly unsettling slang in the Marvel Universe...the sort of talk that makes you step back a little from Mister Clint Barton. The kind of metaphor that probably is just taken out of context, right? You know, the slang that doesn't quite seem like it belongs in a comic book?
Well, fear no more: Clint Barton's cleaned up his act (Dying a couple times will do that to ya)! Maybe because he's too busy keeping track of what identity he is this week (seriously, this guy's just one codename short of a Hank Pym), but Hawkeye's been on his best behavior recently. But I'm afraid we can't say the same thing about millionaire mutant Warren Worthington III:
Panel from Champions #5 (April 1976), script by Tony Isabella, layouts by Don Heck, finishes by John Tartaglione, colors by Janice Cohen, letters by Irving Watanabe
Hey-oh! We're sure he's just referring to a plate of creamed spinach or corn or something, I betcha.
Anyway, there you have it: The Unsettling Slang of Someone Other Than Clint Barton for Once. No more laughing behind your back at you, right, Hawkeye?
Panel from Tales of Suspense #57 (September 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Don Heck, letters by Sam Rosen
Murals! Sure, we've seen 'em pop up once or twice each on our favorite series, but...can you conceive of...a comic book title whose entire series is a set of murals? Why, you would be better able to conceive of Superman dying, or Batman having his back broken, or Wonder Woman getting a new costume.
Or, you could just take a big steamin' gawk at the eighteen, count 'em, eighteen consecutive murals from DC's weekly event series of 2008-2009, Trinity! Never before have the super forces of Larry, Moe, and Curly Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman been so...interconnected!:
Trinity #1-3 (June 4-18, 2008), art by Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, and Allen Passalaqua
Click any image to triple-size
Trinity #4-6 (June 25-July 9, 2008), art by Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #7-9 (July 16-30, 2008), art by Andy Kubert and Edgar Delgado
Trinity #10-12 (August 6-20, 2008), art by Andy Kubert and Edgar Delgado
Trinity #13-15 (August 27-September 10, 2008), art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair
Trinity #16-18 (September 17-October 1, 2008), art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair
Trinity #19-21 (October 8-22, 2008), art by Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #22-24 (October 29-November 12, 2008), art by Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang, and Chris Sotomayor
Trinity #25-27 (November 19-December 3, 2008), art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair
Trinity #28-30 (December 10-24, 2008), art by Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #31-33 (December 31, 2008-January 14, 2009), art by Jim Lee, Richard Friend, and Alex Sinclair
Trinity #34-36 (January 21-February 4, 2009), art by Shane David and Richard Friend
Trinity #37-39 (February 11-25, 2009), art by Jesus Merino
Trinity #40-42 (March 4-18, 2009), art by Shane Davis, John Dell, and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #43-45 (March 25-April 8, 2009), art by Jesus Merino and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #46-48 (April 15), art by Tom Derenick (#46), Scott McDaniel (#47), Mike Norton (#48), Wayne Faucher, and Allen Passalaqua
Trinity #49-51 (May 6-20, 2009), art by Shane Davis, John Dell, and Pete Pantazis
And because 52 goes into 3...(counting on my hooves)...with one left over, final issue #52 was a three-part fold-out extravaganza mural all on its own:
Trinity #52 (May 27, 2009), art by Mark Bagley, John Dell, and Pete Pantazis
So there you have it: the only comic where every three issues was an interconnecting mural. And have you noticed this: if you put them all together, end to end, in a long straight line, folding them carefully and lining them up just right...and take a step back to survey the entire 52-comic panorama, well then...you've got way too much time on your hands.