I. . . SAY. . . THEE. . . NAY!!! That's right, just like Skurge at Gjallerbru, I'm going to hold the line against the forces of Hela, Goddess of Death. Of course, by "forces of Hela", I mean DC bloggers. No, not because they're hideous monsters! Because we're that damn outnumbered! But that's not what this post is about.
I'm talking Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #9. I've been wondering if I've been too hard on this "Hobgoblin" storyline. I mean, it's not mystical stuff, it's not Civil War related, he's actually fighting a villain right? So what's my problem? I think I'm disappointed that's it's another grudge battle. 'Hobby' is pissed at her dad, but she's going to take it out on Peter Parker. Just from an enjoyment standpoint, I think I'd have preferred a Booster Gold situation, Hobgoblin comes back in time to steal valuable artifacts, like a DVD copy of "The Rundown" because, in 2211, Christopher Walken's greatness is even more revered than it is now. As well it should be.
When I first started reading X-Factor, I saw a number of reviews that said Peter David has a tendency to get too "cute" or try to be "too clever". I didn't understand at the time, which makes no sense, given that I've read through some of my old posts at times, and I could see that I was trying too hard to be funny, and that at the time, I was sure I was being brilliant, so I've got that in common with PAD, I guess. Anyway, with the introduction of the "retcon bomb", I know what people meant. I mean, if he called it a "paradox bomb" or something, that could have worked, but 'retcon'?
Still, whether it's too over-the-top or not, it does provide an interesting question: if you were given access to the universes of Marvel (or DC), and could throw one of those at any character, who would you choose?
If it was DC, I'd pick Ma Hunkle. I'm kidding! Doomsday. He's a one-note character, created for the simple purpose of killing Superman. Once he succeeded, he was dead, and all was well. Then we found out that Superman is apparently too powerful to stay dead, and Doomsday was completely useless. My only misgiving is that story prompted the creation of Superboy, Steel, and probably all the "cool" '90s versions of heroes - Connor Hawke, Jean Paul Valley, probably Scarlet Spider. Hopefully those characters could be created under different circumstances.
Of course, if they had left Superman in the after-life (which I think makes DC more interesting), I'd have to pick someone different. Guy Gardner? No. I don't know, I'm not well-versed enough in DC lore, so let's switch to Marvel.
First off, it's not Joe Quesada. Fictional characters only please. besides, I got other plans for that schmoe. No, the correct answer is "Carnage". I mean, what did he give us?
1) A more extreme version of Venom. Oh goody, because the guy that talks about eating Spidey's liver was going far enough.
2) He gave them the chance to introduce Shriek. Yippee.
3) He gave Marvel a reason to put Venom back in play. As of Amazing Spider-Man #348, Venom thought he'd killed Spider-Man on a deserted island, and had decided to live in peace there, bringing a decent conclusion to a 50-issue stretch that featured at least 10 issues with Venom. Carnage forced Spider-Man to go to Venom for help, thus letting Venom know Webs wasn't dead, giving Venom a reason to go after Spidey again.
4) Wait, why did he need Venom? The Human Torch can fly out to the island with him, but he can't cruise around New York and help Spidey fight Carnage?!
5) He helped push forward the symbiote explosion, which lead to at least six characters having symbiotes, giving Venom more people to squabble with besides the other "extreme" heroes.
6) Kasady being completely evil let Marvel make Venom out as a hero. Sorry "lethal protector", which is the '90s definition of "hero".
7) "Maximum Carnage", because the Spider-Man history was crying out for a 14-part series where a bunch of loonies beat up on third-string heroes while killing hundreds of civilians.
Look at that list. Is there a single damn thing up there that is any good? Sure "Maximum Carnage" gave me fodder for this post, but that's not enough. So for being completely worthless, Cletus Kasady, you get a retcon bomb in the face! And now, none of that stuff happened.