Join 3,363 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I Love The Smell Of Web-Fluid In The Morning
June 7, 2011 6:40 PM   Subscribe

What if Spider-Man served in Vietnam? A short comic by intricate artist James Stokoe, best known for his drippy fantasy comic Orc Stain. (Last two links may be NSFW)
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (28 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:42 PM on June 7, 2011


Isn't it a little late to be writing Joan Osborne parodies?




Oh, wait. Never mind.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:46 PM on June 7, 2011


Sys Rq: "What if Spider-Man served in 'Nam" would scan better.

"Just a grunt like one of us," is obvious, and the later line: "Trying to make his way home," is a poignant encapsulation of the Vietnam experience.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:50 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't he have to take off his mask?
posted by KokuRyu at 6:54 PM on June 7, 2011


Man, this artist is fucking fantastic.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:57 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Koku, that's addressed in the narrative of the like... 5 or 6 comics pages that I skimmed across like a light spring breeze across pond ripples. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have Read TFA, but I caught that much. :/
posted by kavasa at 6:57 PM on June 7, 2011


Would have been a great idea 40 years ago
posted by Renoroc at 7:04 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The art is excellent, and it's definitely something that hasn't been done before.

If I'm Marvel, I'd look into this. It'd get a lot of publicity from mainstream outlets, and would get them some more cred with the online comics community.
posted by HostBryan at 7:05 PM on June 7, 2011


If I'm Marvel, I'd look into this. It'd get a lot of publicity from mainstream outlets, and would get them some more cred with the online comics community.

I don't like the idea of happy go lucky (if mopey) Peter Parker getting Changed by the Horrors Of War, but a photojournalist storyline might be fun for a bit. I'm reminded of Frank West from Dead Rising, taking photos and suplexing zombies.

Agreeed that the artist is awesome.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:20 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, I never actually read the little bubbles in superhero comics, if you can believe it. I just like the artwork.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:22 PM on June 7, 2011


I suspect that given Spidey's powers and conscience, he wouldn't last long in active service in Vietnam -- he'd wind up in the stockade or worse. He is not exactly the Comedian, y'know.


Spider-Man, served in Nam,
Drafted by Uncle Sam,
In the shit, with his troops,
Through the air he swings and swoops,
Hey there! Here comes a Spider-Man!

Is he short? Listen, bud,
He's out there in the mud,
Can he swing from a thread?
What are you, an acid head?
Hey there! Here comes a Spider-Man!

In the chill of night, or at Hill 359,
He brings the VC right to the firing line!

Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Fifth Battalion Spider-Man,
His pangs of conscience are ignored,
He's hauled up to a review board,
Hey there! There goes a Spider-Man!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:24 PM on June 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


I love Stokoe's stuff. Check out how he holds a pen!
posted by lilnemo at 7:30 PM on June 7, 2011


Fuck your Nam stories grandpa. Our generation has had it worse withthe bullshit you started in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also you social security and Medicare whole we have to Pico up the check. The baby boomers are the worst generation.
posted by humanfont at 7:33 PM on June 7, 2011


What can I say, humanfont? We have great power. You're responsible.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:35 PM on June 7, 2011


So is Orc Stain pretty good, then? I've been mildly interested in it for awhile.
posted by jnrussell at 7:59 PM on June 7, 2011


We have great power. You're responsible.

Having followed Spider-Man in the last few years principally through The Comics Curmudgeon (which highlights how the daily strip shows Spider-Man mostly interested in watching daytime TV and napping), I am inclined to revise Spidey's motto to "With little power comes little responsibility." After all, he coexists in a universe with The Hulk and Thor and the X-Men and Galactus, and he is a guy who can climb stuff.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:04 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having followed Spider-Man in the last few years principally through The Comics Curmudgeon (which highlights how the daily strip shows Spider-Man mostly interested in watching daytime TV and napping), I am inclined to revise Spidey's motto to "With little power comes little responsibility." After all, he coexists in a universe with The Hulk and Thor and the X-Men and Galactus, and he is a guy who can climb stuff.

Besides Comics Curmudgeon, I haven't read Spider-Man comics at all in the past few years. But you're both missing the point of Spider-Man and hitting on what makes him great. He's a superhero, but compared to most superheroes he's pretty weak. In one of his earliest stories he tries to join the Fantastic Four but gets humiliated and rejected. He's a loser. He's a schlub. He's powerful enough to take on common crooks and mad scientists but he can still be beaten by a big game hunter.

But he never gives up. He never backs down. He's always out there, fighting and quipping and trying to do good. One of his most iconic moments is when he's buried under a collapsed subway station but he doesn't give up. He lifts the damn thing.

In a world with gods and mutants and Sorcerers Supreme Spider-Man is still the icon of the Marvel Universe, and that means so much.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:14 PM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fuck your Nam stories grandpa. Our generation has had it worse withthe bullshit you started in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also you social security and Medicare whole we have to Pico up the check. The baby boomers are the worst generation.

This is just silly. If you really think there's anything special that makes one generation better or worse than the next, you're kidding yourself. What makes you different from a boomer is that you grew up with a fucking iPhone. That means nothing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:23 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


After all, he coexists in a universe with The Hulk and Thor and the X-Men and Galactus, and he is a guy who can climb stuff.

This is an obvious troll.
posted by Bonzai at 8:35 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't like the idea of happy go lucky (if mopey) Peter Parker getting Changed by the Horrors Of War

Dang, the dude snapped his own girlfriend's neck trying to save her from the Green Goblin. Happy go lucky (if mopey) Peter Parker has been Seriously Changed by Lots of Horrors At Least As Horror-ful As War many, many times already.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fuck your Nam stories grandpa. Our generation has had it worse withthe bullshit you started in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also you social security and Medicare whole we have to Pico up the check. The baby boomers are the worst generation.

Volunteers killing people by remote control is truly a generational millstone. Just the traffic on the way home must be worse than the draft.

(I am being trolled here, right?)
posted by pompomtom at 9:37 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


After all, he coexists in a universe with The Hulk and Thor and the X-Men and Galactus, and he is a guy who can climb stuff

Actually, Spidey is the POV character for the Marvel Universe; as LiB noted above, he lives in a universe with Thor and The Avengers and Galactus. What makes him unique among all those heroes is that is his problems are OUR problems; he isn't rich, and has to work a crappy day job with a tyrannical boss just to put himself through school. He gets picked on by the "In Crowd." He has problems with his girlfriends (Whoa boy, does he have problems with his girlfriends!) and still lives at home with his parent (well, Aunt, but she raised him). Among all these obstacles of everyday life that we all face, he still manages to make time to go out and fight crime. Crime. Not alien invasions. Not meglomaniacal mad scientists bent on world domination. Crime. Crime of the most mundane sort-- muggings, robbery, assault & battery, drug-fueled gang violence. While all those other heroes are out saving the universe, Spidey is there for US, trying to make our day-to day lives a little bit safer and easier, so that we can walk home at night and not be afraid of being mugged or sexually assaulted or worse.

TH;DR version: Spider-Man is the most AWESOME Super Hero in the Marvel Universe (and all of comicdom, frankly) because he embraces his humanity, rather than try to transcend it.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:41 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you were doing this story for real would you work in Tony Stark's original origin, where the shrapnel that pierced his heart came from a VC landmine?
Or just send him to Afghanistan/Iraq. The set-up would be pretty easy. He's having money and self-esteem problems, as usual. He figures 'hey, I'm a superhero. I've fought supervillians and seen some horrible stuff. War shouldn't be too bad' and hauls off to the Middle East in the hopes of making his bones as a war correspondent.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:16 AM on June 8, 2011


Having followed Spider-Man in the last few years principally through The Comics Curmudgeon (which highlights how the daily strip shows Spider-Man mostly interested in watching daytime TV and napping), I am inclined to revise Spidey's motto to "With little power comes little responsibility." After all, he coexists in a universe with The Hulk and Thor and the X-Men and Galactus, and he is a guy who can climb stuff.

If you only had the daily strip to go by, that might be the case. The inherently cramped confines of a three- or four-panel strip are pretty limiting for a character whose abilities are based around the concepts of motion, speed, and scale. The Curmudgeon's coverage has pointed out several times over the years that daily-Spidey is a weirdly-anachronistic lobotomization of monthly-Spidey, insofar as it seems to totally ignore anything that's happened in the last thirty years' worth of "real" Spider-Man comics.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:17 AM on June 8, 2011


last thirty years' worth of "real" Spider-Man comics.

After fake parents, clone spidey, spider spirit god, One More Day, Civil War unmasking, a half dozen Aunt May deaths, that's not really a bad thing.

yet somehow the newspaper strip is still worse
posted by theclaw at 7:27 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should own more of this guy's work. He did a Galactus/Silver Surfer story in Marvel's recent Strange Tales anthology; in addition to the incredibly rich and detailed art, there's a funny bit with some Skrulls playing cards while the Big G destroys their world around them. I also have to admire someone who not only names a character Bowie, but also posts a pin-up of them [NSFW] with the caption, "She’s probably the only main character whose genitals I haven’t drawn yet, so now that’s settled."
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:02 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, don't knock daily strip Spidey when it brought us the cracktacular "Aunt May marries the Mole Man" saga! (Via scans_daily: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. Missing some bits, but the gist is there.)

It's completely ridiculous, yet I actually enjoyed it more than most of the Amazing Spider-Man issues that have come out in the last several years. Not that Spidey's any more in character, but at least it's funny out of character instead of headdesky out of character.

I wouldn't go overboard in underrating Spidey's powers. He's pretty squarely in the median range among Marvel's heroes and has been for about as long as there have been enough to rank. Essentially, he's Marvel's Mario: he's not the strongest, the fastest, the smartest, the most agile, or the most tough, but he's enough of each of those that you can throw him in just about any situation -- whether it's a bank robbery, a gang war, a mad scientist's death trap, the Savage Land, the Darkforce Dimension, or twenty feet from an angry Hulk -- and he has a fighting chance, without it being so easy for him that there's no suspense. He's seen it all but retains an amiable, down-to-earth confusion the ongoing weirdness of life as a friendly neighborhood superhero. He's simultaneously adaptable to any setting and perpetually in over his head, and that combination is a big part of his enduring appeal.
posted by bettafish at 12:15 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


We just finished watching both seasons of 'Spectaular Spider-Man'. It was what it said on the box - just fantastic television.

In my head superheroes all exist in separate universes and they don't meet. There is no Justice League. One person in a costume delivering vigilante justice is fine. A whole bunch of them in a building with a talking computer is stupid.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:03 PM on June 9, 2011


« Older In the 1970's, the prevailing wisdom was that chil...  |  Look back in wonder. Prepare f... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments