Sporadic Sequential
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Old Men: Threat or Menace???

In his discussion of Marvel Team-Up #117, Chris Sims posted this odd panel of Wolverine facing down an old man wearing a suit of armor:

Seeing that panel reminded me I'd recently come across a similar image in yet another issue of Marvel Team-Up, this time from Marvel Team-Up #28 (reprinted in Essential Marvel Team-Up Volume 2):

Clearly there's a pattern here: Old men are now terrorizing the Marvel universe. The best part is that, when they're caught, the old men feign senility, stammering out a string of denials and pretending they don't know how they got there. "Are you my grandson? My grandson Timmy likes baseball. I used to play baseball. What time is it?" How could any hero hope to cope against such a pointless, rambling onslaught? After watching the old men fumble with their medication, most heroes feel too sorry for the aged villains to knock them out, so they just sneak away as soon as the geezers pretend to fall asleep.

Another bonus in using old men in exoskeletons as your henchmen is that they never lose the element of surprise. When a big, tough superhero finally brings down the armored bad guy who's been threatening to steal Manhattan Island, the last thing he expects to find inside is an elderly man, no matter how many times it's happened before. Even Hercules -- who has been around for thousands of years and presumably has seen just about everything -- is unprepared for finding out that the "major threat" he's been fighting is a 90-year-old man:

According to this site, all these old men (or at least the second one) were just pawns in the plans of even older old men called "They Who Wield Power." I gave up before I read the whole profile, but I gather that "They Who Wield Power" were the shadowy figures behind many of the nonsensical plots in early issues of Marvel Team-Up, a fact that was only revealed more than a half-decade later in the pages of The Incredible Hulk. Ah, the wonder of unresolved plotlines in a shared corporate universe!

And for Chris's birthday, here's a little belated face-smashin' KERORO-STYLE!!:

Happy birthday, old man!