Monday, February 18, 2008


OK, first up on the improved MPM, we'll just do a quick gloss over of the Initiative, Mark Millar's Faboulous contribution to Marvel Comics.

Oh, let's look it over.

-Failure to prevent many female superbeings from being kidnapped for auctioning (Ms. Marvel)
-Failure to protect secret identities of members from a low-level Criminal for use in his scheme to control the superheroes (New Avengers)
-Using portals to the Negative Zone for transport, even knowing it weakens the barriers between universes, possibly threatening all of existence (The Initiative)
-Sentinel Squad O*N*E* aka the Keystone cops of the Marvel Universe Seriously, have they stopped even one threat? Or done a damn thing? (All X-Books to date)
-Failure to protect Captain America, subsequent total failure to investigate or incarcerate any and all individuals involved (Captain America)
- Total failure to prevent even a limited planetary invasion (World War Hulk)
- Total failure to prevent or be prepared for any serious alien Invasion (World War Hulk, upcoming Secret Invasion, and implied in Nova)
-Total Failure of SHIELD to prevent Ultron Attack (Mighty Avengers)
-Multiple Failures of leadership and security and safety at Camp Hammond (Avengers: The Initiative)
-Failure to prevent multiple non-registered beings from escaping to Canada (Alpha Flight)
-Failure to apprehend Daredevil, despite his ID being basically an open Secret (OK, yes, Tony might have some sympathy for Matt, but somehow I doubt that would stop say, Norman Osborne or someone from the gov't from saying "no exceptions, we can't have blind men in red devil outfits running around Hell's Kitchen beating muggers because you feel sorry for them. It's the law".
-Failure to apprehend any member of the outlaw "New Avengers"
-Failure to protect American against Atlantean terrorism, and subsequent failure of SHIELD to contain Atlantis. Failure to prevent Namor/Doom Alliance and Atlantean Sleeper cells from going global. (Sub-Mariner)
-Failure to apprehend Runaways, The New Warriors, and the Loners (who should be considered as in violation of Registration terms as I understand them, if they are even registered).
-Breakout at the Raft, AGAIN (New Avengers - SHIELD BUGGERED UP AGAIN)
-Failure to protect the identity and family of a registered Hero (Tigra, New Avengers)
-Failure to protect nuclear launch codes and government secrets and government properties from a rogue Initiative member (Penance)
-Failure to capture perpetrators of an Alaskan village from Purifiers and Marauders (X-Men: Messiah Complex), which subsequently lead to a cross-country mutant war and the deaths of Sentinel Squad O.N.E., among others. Hell, the fact that the Purifiers (High-tech anti-mutant terrorists) are able to openly recruit kind of high-lights the effectiveness of the Initiative, doesn't it?
-Total Failure at all levels of Camp Hammond, including a Skrull Infiltrator, a Hydra Infiltrator, and God only knows what else (Avengers, the Initiative)
-Failure to prevent Symbiote Bomb (Mighty Avengers)
-Corruption of Initiative and SHIELD resources and allowing Extremis technology to fall into the hands of the Mandarin (Iron man)
-Failure of SHIELD to prevent potential lethal attack on SHIELD director by a prisoner in the Helicarrier (Captain America)
-Failure to reform, capture, or prevent the re-empowerement of Tarantula (Daredevil)
-Failure to prevent Hell's Kitchen from going up in a mad blaze of insanity-causing chemical drug madness. Subsequent failure to detain the Enforcers, Razor Fist, or Mr. Fear (Daredevil).

Geez, makes you wonder how badly things would have gone if they hadn't even bothered, huh?


Robert said...

Kee-rist, that is an abysmal track record...but I doubt anyone at Marvel is keeping as accurate of a list as you are. How could an EIC look at all this constant handing-of-the-ass and think kids would want to read any of it? The reason you pick up a comic book is to see the good guys beat the bad guys...not fail like ordinary humans.

Unless.....unless Warren was right all along. All the masses really want is...KICK-SPLODE.

Sales seem to agree; no one cares who is kicking or sploding, just as long as there is lots and lots of kicking and sploding.

MrCynical said...

First, thanks for being the first commenter at the new-impoved MPM. Tell your friends and come back!

Second, well, really, here's the problem. The whole concept of the Initiative is that "it will make people safer and run things more efficiently" but that runs EXACTLY counter to the very nature of superhero comics (Things are falling apart, and we need a hero to save us!). Now, outside of characters saying "Oh, super-crime is soooo down", well, we never see any evidence of it, because if we did, we'd have issue after issue of superheroes drinking coffee and discussing the merits of Mammet...or basically, every issue of New Avengers. Except in all the comics.

So, by nature, the whole damn thing fails. Which has a whole host of other meanings if you get right down to it.

Alex said...

That or this is Marvel making a very clever argument on how paranoia and fear can lead to bad decisions and huge levels of beauracracy.

If Civil War is a social commentary on America's current state of affairs, then the Initiative can be seen to be the equivalent of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. Seeing the immense number of tragedies and idiotic instances we've seen thus far (Katrina, random school shootings, etc.) and how some people still believe they are "safer" as a result of these ham-fisted attempts of complete protection, one can sort of make the correlation.

Except I don't think Marvel's THAT clever.