Sunday, August 18, 2013

50 Shades of Orange!

Despite being a radioactive  orange rock man, The Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm, The Thing, appealed to a range of ladies over the years but by the 1970’s, The Bronze Age, he had fallen on harder times. He lost his solo title by 1974 and outside of his FF appearances, he had to guest star in other comics, usually to raise the sales of those books. Here he is in Marvel Tales #6; this is the beginning of his steamy romance with Moondragon, bald Space Vixen.  Their relationship had heavy elements of S&M (which was very popular in the 1970’s) to it but because it often occurred under the guise of brawling the censors never noticed! Later they broke up and eventually Moondragon became yet another Herald of Galactus. 

Most fans agree though, the lowest Ben has sunk when he became dance partner to Dazzler, Marvel’s Disco Diva. Dazzler was planned to be a multimedia star; an album, comics, and a movie were in the works in 1979 but she arrived on the scene just as the popularity of disco began to wane. So no one wanted to create a Disco record, still The Dazz, as her millions of fans called her, lingered on in comic book form until she was abruptly canceled. Later when  she died during the Secret Wars it seemed like a mercy killing. 

However, getting back to Ben’s Ex, Moondragon, here is what I consider her most embarrassing cover. By the way, Spidey Super-Stories take place on Earth-57780. This cover shows how far Marvel will sink in an attempt to exploit any cultural phenomenon. A Star Wars rip off starring Spider-Man, Moondragon and Dr. Doom? Sure, why not? You can’t make this stuff up.  Marvel had a well-known tendency to jump on fads. ‘Nuff said! 

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