4 min read

Don't Box Me In

A box, a frame, and an earth-shattering discovery.
A detail from IMMORTAL THOR #12, out today.
Or rather, a B.O.X.

Well, here we are again on a Wednesday morning - a.k.a. "later than we should be doing this" - because there are comics out today. What's out today, you ask?


Immortal Thor #12, that's what!

The cover for IMMORTAL THOR #12, by ALEX ROSS, showing Thor confronting his great-grandfather Buri.
Family drama.

In which we do the second part of the "Children of Odin" two-parter and a child of Odin bites the big one. Is it the baby? I wouldn't kill a baby, right? Meanwhile, revelations are revealed, Thor confronts his great-grandfather Buri - and learns why Odin's dad's dad might be the Utgard-Odin, as we hinted way back in #7. Valentina Pinti joins us as our guest artist.

The cover for VENOMVERSE REBORN #1 by TONY DANIEL, showing a plethora of alternate Venoms leaping out at the reader.
Tag yourself.

Also out today - Venomverse Reborn #1! In which I tackle the framing sequence, with Danilo Beyruth on art duties. It's Eddie Brock in full-on Horror Host mode, introducing a tale from Christos Gage and Greg Land about a certain pixel-perfect Venom oozing straight from your PS5, after which Ben Percy and Brian Level offer something very dark indeed. Not that Eddie's only playing Crypt-Keeper in our tale - there are hints dropped about certain plans for Venom's future, too. Feast on it, goo believers!


What the hell, I got a spare ten minutes to delve into this one:

Down in Horton's lab, the green-suited member of the scientists' guild stands by a weird pink machine, saying " - He looks harmless enough -- do you mind feeding him some air, Horton? - So we can measure the heat given with this pyrometer?" Horton stands to the side, next to the inert Human Torch, and says "Very Well! -"
Always keep a few spare hyphens for emergencies.

At this point - faced with a livid magenta undoubtedly meant for grubby newsprint instead of a 4K monitor - I find myself worried. It's 1939 and you are a child who until recently was in possession of ten cents. Are you honestly looking at the same wild fuschia tone as me? So much of this hem-hem "analysis" has been based on color theory, but can we trust our own eyes when the history of comics coloring is one of the most imperfectly preserved histories of all? That gamma explosion in Incredible Hulk #1 (a comic that has yet to exist and, at the pace we're going, likely never will) - was it green, or red? Is the man from the Scientists' Guild who's so eager to replicate what we've already seen truly dressed head to toe in green, the established color of rage and anti-heroism? That pyrometer's obviously colored to stand out in the scene - but is it really 100% Magenta in the CMYK spectrum? These are vital signs and portents, we have to know for sure.

Fortunately, we have other sources at hand. The Folio Society has taken a picture of what looks like a Marvel Comics #1 in decent condition:

Marvel Comics #1, opened against a white background showing the first page of the Human Torch story and a smattering of one-panel gags on the inside front cover.
Compare and contrast with episodes 2-10 of this feature.

Hmm - actually, is it a replica? The Torch's hair looks pretty blonde here. But then, the journalist's suit is a light pink down at the bottom - maybe it's an artifact of the original color process. Whats important for our purposes is that that green is still as vibrant as --



What's on the inside front cover?

Oh my God. We've been living a lie! This entire feature is a parody of a mockery of a sham resting on a foundation of lies!

MARVEL COMICS PANEL BY PANEL, I said! Yet here on the inside front cover, we have FIVE ENTIRE PANELS previously undocumented! Available nowhere! Each one presumably offering unknown insights that could reshape the entire Marvel Universe as we've previously understood it. What secrets are contained within NOWI'LLTELLONE!? Clarence, we have to go back! We have to document each of these panels in turn, probably via the medium of painfully zooming in on them! This primal ur-story must be picked apart in full measure – only then can we have full knowledge of the Marvel Universe! TO BE CONTINUED!


Well, that was a long ten minutes thanks to that earth-shattering discovery. I've got my own weight in plot pages to write today and it's already past lunchtime and the Marvel offices are opening. But it's still Pride Month, so I'll play us out with "Homosapien" by Pete Shelley -- that's "Shelley" with two "E"s, Youtube.

I don't wanna classify you like an animal in the zoo... but it seems good to me to know that you're homosapien too.