Conservative Comic Book Pundit

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Weekly Review - MK 4 #21

A very interesting stand alone issue. This amounts to a "girls night out" among the super heroine set. The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm-Richards), upset that Reed seems to have forgotten their anniversary AGAIN, heads out to a night on the town with She-Thing, She-Hulk, Alicia Masters (one time girlfriend of the Thing and daughter of the Puppet Master) and (?) Emma Frost, the White Queen (Sue expresses surprise Emma comes, and even Emma isn't sure why she came along).

Anyway, that's all just an excuse to tell an amusingly retro tale (complete with retro 60s era Kirbyesque art and campy Stan Lee-ish dialogue) where Sue relates the time she almost had an affair with the Black Panther.

that's it. In the end, Reed Richards has a perfectly valid excuse for missing their anniversary and makes up for it with some touching and endearing gestures.

If I were one of my fellow graduate students, I might write a seminar paper on how this comic deals with Sue's dissatisfaction with her hegemonic suburban/urban upper class lifestyle, and the almost-affair with the Black Panther comes from our culture's deep distrust of black male sexuality (not to mention other trademarked terms like "fascination with the Other"). Let's see:

"In deference to the inaccessible unity with her hegemonically induced spousal unit, the Invisible Woman momentarily transgresses acceptable cultural/normative boundaries in an ultimately futile attempt to achieve union with alien otherness presented in the figure of the savage and countercultural imagisitic icon of the Black Panther. However, cultural pre-conditioning asserts its supremacy, and Sue Storm finds herself unable to breach the boundaries of race and marital supremacy, leaving her subject, once again, to a patriarchal overlord represented by the intricately phallic machines her husband Reed Richards . . . . "

Forget it. I'm scaring myself.

Well, I had a hard time figuring out if the Lee/Kirby riffs that make up about half the issue mock or revere their source material. In the end, I decided, much like the movie A Mighty Wind, in this case the line between mockery and devotion all but vanishes. Overall, a fun read.


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