thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
[personal profile] thanekos posting in [community profile] scans_daily
To be precise, it's the PSA where he'd already learned that.

His education in the matter's the stuff of a cautionary tale, related to a guy named Joe who has a kid named Ray he could be spending more time with. Spider-Man, who'd found the latter graffiting in the dead of night, had brought the former to Four Freedoms Plaza in hopes that Mister Fantastic could get him to see sense.

Spidey's own efforts to that end, perhaps fueled by a discussion with his wife about the possibility of their trying for another child (surprising use of continuity in something like this, isn't it?), hadn't been enough. He'd told Joe the barfly that " Immaturity is the one foe even I can't fight! ", knowing that what could was wisdom in the matter.

So he'd asked Reed (because who else could Spider-Man the superhero ask?) to talk to Joe about how important a father was to a son.

They came by the next day and found him with Franklin, practicing what he was going to preach so effectively that they mistook a joyful yell for a terrified one.

" My spider-sense isn't tingling.. " Spidey said, " .. but be prepared for-- "

(I get the purpose of this scene in the story's context, but it still looks a little weird to me. I don't mean that any part of it's out of character for anyone involved, but that it's less like something that would naturally happen and more like they set this up for Spidey and Joe to see.

Maybe it's just what Ben and Johnny are doing, off to the side; they seem superfluous to the scene's composition, or at least to the action in it.)

He took them aside, and Joe asked him how he managed to balance being a good father with being a super-scientist and a superhero (Spidey'd at least got him genuinely interested in repairing his relationship with Ray).

Reed answered him soberly:

(His whole manner in this panel's a bit incongruous with this and the last page, but it still works as a lead-in to a flashback to when he didn't know the story's moral. It's a nice touch, that way.)

(In the past, facial expressions were a guessing game for Sue, one she often lost through overestimation.)

Now, with the neglect on his part having come from his own scientific curiosity, (really, could it have been anything else?) you might be wondering what form his wake-up call took- a frustrated exclamation on Franklin's part, maybe, which sparked a serious conversation with Sue and an attempt to make amends with his son?

Well, it was nothing so subtle or far away- it came out of space and time, Kirby dots scattered in its wake, on the very next page and with the activation of his temporal telecommunicator:

Also? It was an alternate Franklin.

No, seriously- see that name? That name has a history with him, one that makes its re-use here a very appropriate one.

(The odd genericness of the costume, admittedly typical of PSA villains, also works with that. Seriously, I can't help but imagine the helm and cape were just him trying to jazz the generic red-brown " second from the right in any team whose name ends with ' of Evil ' " armor up.)

So now you might be wondering: was this just another unconscious manifestation of his powers, through the experiment that distracted his dad?

No, it wasn't; this what-could-yet-be had been, somewhere else..

(I'd argue about " dull reality ", but he's clearly not the most objective of judges. I mean, if it's a choice between vicarious and engaging entertainment or the world for which your father ignores you to spend all his time in, then it's obvious which one you'd prefer.

Also, it feels like he's regurgitating some psychotherapeutic text here; I know PSAs aren't exactly supposed to be subtle, but his whole " marauder from an alternate world " effect is kind of ruined by that. Of course, that effect's of secondary importance to the story's main message, but its execution's still a bit jarring.)

..and now wanted to be here too (I'm not sure if he's using virtual in the right way, but the playground part adds a nice " child gone wrong " angle to him), thanks to his upbringing, which he was more than willing to monologue about:

(It sounds like he's calling himself Ego-Spawn here because he doesn't consider himself his father's son anymore, but something more self-spawned. If that's the case, then it's a nice justification of the name.

Also, I like that he's willing to acknowledge his father wasn't all bad, though it still makes him sound like a walking talking case study. His armor being unable to repel an attack's pretty interesting too, in that it really makes the outfit look even more slapdash- I'm starting to wonder if he didn't just straight up steal one of Doom's cloaks for his cape.)

In the present, Joe voiced Reed's realization of the past:

Reed concluded by telling him that spending more time with his son really would be good for the both of them, leaving it un-explicitly said that it took a confrontation with an immature destructive version of his own kid for him to learn that.

(It does make me wonder, though, if his own bonding with his son here wasn't at least partly motivated by a desire to prevent another Ego-Spawn from being loosed upon all of space and time.)

Joe takes the lesson to heart, taking the first step to reconciling with his son as Spidey swings away towards home, where he and his wife decide that they probably don't want to try for another kid with " all the things in [their] lives now ".

But someday, well.. they'll be able to deal with the responsibilities of parenthood.

Date: 2012-03-12 02:41 am (UTC)
atom_punk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] atom_punk
Hahahaha! Johnny looks so weird in that first panel!

"And now put your hands together and STRETCH! Good! Now to the other side! And STRETCH! Feel the pull in those muscles! Feel that burn people!"

Sue is in a cryogenic freezer tube (I know its a force field, but the opaqueness makes it look off from other renditions of her force field I've seen)

Ben....I don't even know. Maybe there's a mouse flipping the bird off-panel and Ben is giving a raspberry in retaliation.

Date: 2012-03-12 04:50 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
"When I was a child, my only role models were the violent characters I watched on TV, in movies and on video games!"

Comics, of course, are not to blame. (And what's Victor Von Doom's excuse?)

Date: 2012-03-12 10:29 am (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Crazy)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
Silly Jack. Kids don't read comics!

And in Doom's case? 80's hair metal. :)

"Tesla rocks. So says Doom!"

Date: 2012-03-12 01:12 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
"Tom and Jerry" are amongst the most violent cartoons EVER, and easily predate Doom's childhood.

Date: 2012-03-12 02:17 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
Well, at least he's a self-aware inter-dimensional conqueror.


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