Sunday, March 30, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 89: The Murder Chair of Franz Cadavus

Even Nazi supervillains like The Red Skull like to have a few pals over to shoot the breeze and watch the game! And here they are...the Exiles! Clockwise from top left: Sprawly Legsapart, Earth-3 Winston Churchill, Big Bear MacCaber, The 5,000 Hats of Jack Kirby Guy, Evil Mirror Universe Spock After a Shave, The Red Skull, and Moe "Professor H" Howard of the H-Men!

Page from Captain America (1968 series) #104 (August 1968), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Dan Adkins, letters by Artie Simek

Naw, i'm just kiddin' ya about their names. Especially that last guy, in the wheelchair. This is actually Franz Cadavus. Of the Montauk Cadavuses, I'm guessing.

The Exiles, far from being that later-similar-named team of reality-bouncin' Marvel Mutants, seems to consist of the Red Skull's old war buddies, and seeing as the Red Skull was a freakin' low-down dirty Nazi, these guys can't be up to much good, either! Why, they were actually banned from the Hoboken VFW post pancake breakfasts! Mmmm, post-war pancakes. When the Red Skull captures his archnemesis, the colorfully named and costumed Captain America, rather than just shooting him in the head and being done with it, he toys with Cap like a particularly stupid kitten. Have you never watched any James Bond movies, Skull?!? And it looks like Cadavus is up to bat in the lineup to destroy Cap. But what can a man in a wheelchair do, we may ask. What can one wheelchair-bound man do?

That's because Franz Cadavus is the Monarch of the Murder Chair. Wow, nice title, lyrical and yet menacing...hey, what a murder chair? And how come they never gave Professor Chuck Xavier one of those?

Cadavus's Murder Chair has only one weakness...EVERYTHING.

Well, that went well. You know, no matter how much murder you have in your chair, it's probably a good idea not to attack a guy who has two working legs.

Months later, The Exiles are Back in Action (trademark 2003 Warner Brothers Pictures) hunting down Captain America on the beach of Exiles Island.

Edited on 04/5/14 to insert this addition:

Exiles Island! A nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to be exiled there. Look it up in your Marvel Universe APA Guide and you'll discover that it boasts another fine example of KirbyTecture!

Panel from Captain America #102 (November 1977), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Syd Shores, letters by Artie Simek

Just remember, traveling to Exiles Island demands a keen hand on the rudder to navigate through the natural protection of the isle: the Killer Kelp!

I'll mention just a couple quick things here. One, Steve Rogers has had his mind swapped into the Red Skull's body by the Cosmic Cube, so the Exiles think they're hunting down their former leader. And B: who the heck thinks taking a wheelchair Murder Chair out on the sand dunes of a beach is a good idea?

Panel from Captain America (1968 Series) #117 (September 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen

In touch with the ground, they're on the hunt. They're after him! Smell like he sounds, he's lost in the crowd, and they're hungry like the wolf!

yeah, yeah, yeah, we can all make fun of the Murder Chair, but keep in mind that the Exiles also contains a guy who will whip you with his scarf. I'm not certain about the rest of them, but I'm expecting one of them will kill by waiting until you get into the bathtub, and then stepping up to the bathtub, and then plugging in a radio, and then tossing the radio into the bathtub. And another one of the Exiles will kill you with his stamp collection.

Just remember: no matter how you plan to murder Steve Rogers, nobody does it better than the Murder Chair. Makes me feel sad for the rest! Nobody does it half as good as you! Murder Chair, you're the best!

So remember: the Murder Chair can only be defeated by pushing it over. Come to think of it, maybe a chair is not the best mode of transportation/murder.

Why, the Murder Chair can even be pushed over by The Falcon, and this is before he had his cool flying wings

Page from Captain America #118 (October 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen

A good scene deserves an encore. Here's a flashback to the same moment from the eulogy comic Fallen Son. Because the correct time to remember The Murder Chair of Franz Cadavus is at Captain America's funeral. Somehow the Murder Chair doesn't really gain much even when it's lovingly rendered in painted photographic-style detail, though.

Panel from Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #5 (August 2007), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by John Cassaday, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Richard Starkings

Following their second defeat at the hands of Captain America and their first defeat at the wings hands of the Falcon, the Exiles decided to tackle a much easier opponent. But they got overruled by the Red Skull, who took them off to attack Doctor Doom on his home ground. Also, in the interim, Cadavus gave the Murder Chair a bitchin' new hot pink paint job.

Panels from "A Land Enslaved!" in Astonishing Tales #5 (April 1971), script by Larry Lieber, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Mike Stevens

Yep! Against the world's premier supervillain, a guy with a Murder Chair is surely unstoppable, right? There's no way that Doctor Doom can fight back against Franz Cadavus, can he?

Oh yeah. He could dump 'em all in a pit and gas them. You've got to admire Doom's tenacity, wits, and well-thought out plan of fighting a guy in a wheelchair.

By all rights that should be the final appearance of Franz Cadavus and his Murder Chair, but the Exiles pop up years later during the events of "Chair Itself." Whoops, I mean "Fear Itself." This time Cadavus and Co. are battling only two SHIELD* agents, Victoria Hand and Daisy Johnson. Surely nothing can stop the Murder Chair now!

Panel from Avengers (2010 series) #16 (October 2011), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by John Romita Jr., inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Cory Petit


Victoria and Daisy don't know who the heck these guys are? They clearly haven't consulted their Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe!

Page from Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook (one-shot) (February 2006)

Now you know all about the Murder Chair of Franz Cadavus, the deadly weapon you can defeat sitting down. And knowing is half the battle!

*Settle Harmlessly Into Elegant Lounge Divan

1 comment:

Blam said...

"An unknown stranger! Who…??"
Nice one, Baron von Redundancy.