Actually, the story, published in issue #6 of 1985’s Vision and the Scarlet Witch maxi-series, is called “No Strings Attached.”
These were the days when Marvel Comics were consistently fun. Possibly the last of those days, as the onslaught of the 90s (Get it? Onslaught? Heh.) turned the Marvel Universe into a place of doom and gloom and dark despair. And epaulets. Jackets with epaulets. Yeah. ‘Cause that’s what super-heroes are about.
If you want to find comics that capture the spirit of fun and optimism that you find when you go to see a Marvel Studios movie, your best bet is to go pre-1987. That’s not to say that there aren’t some dark times for our heroes during those runs—the death of Gwen Stacy, the Secret Empire, the Dark Phoenix Saga—all angst-ridden and brooding, yes. But still the ultimate feel was fun and light and triumph.
So my favorite Marvel film has been taking a pounding this week, from the usual nay-sayers who wanted it to be Batman, or who wanted it to be just the first one again (suggestion – watch the first one again!) I’ve heard Ultron called a generic villain, and read that Evan Peters was a better Quicksilver in Days of Future Past.
Okay, I’m not going to review this film. Because, if I were to review this film, you’d get about 1800 words, all of which were various combinations and permutations of these: “Oh”, “My”, “God”, “This”, “Film”, “F___ing”, and “Rocks.”
This is my favorite Marvel Studios film to date. None of them have been bad. A couple (Iron Man 2, Thor 2) were not what I wished they could have been. I’ll still watch them any day over, say, Ben Affleck in Daredevil or Man of Steel and any of its ill-begotten spawn. But Age of Ultron is my dream Avengers movie.
The tell-off. It’s one of our favorite dramatic devices, isn’t it? It’s so satisfying. Great tell-offs which come to mind include everything from Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence to Louise Jefferson telling off the snotty bigot-of-the week; from Flo telling Mel “Kiss my grits!” to James T. Kirk telling Khan to… Oh yeah, he just said “Khhhhhaaannnnnn!”
But we knew what he meant, and we loved it. (And wow, I just dated myself!)
But there’s a problem with most tell-offs, excepting Thomas Jefferson’s… they don’t actually accomplish a damn thing. In most cases, they don’t even make us feel better. They may seem satisfying, if you don’t think too hard; but in truth…? Telling off someone, be it a co-worker, family member or friend, creates animosity and hurt feelings; it damages relationships and often makes working or living together impossible. Really, it’s something from the realm of wish-fulfillment fantasy (“I’d like to tell him off!”) that has no place in practical reality.
So should it really be one of our favorite dramatic devices?