Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Part Six: Marvel-ous, or Not?


Doug: Hey -- anyone out there like men in shorts? No, I mean shorts. Today we're going to poke a little fun at a character who was actually on the cover of one of the first several Fantastic Four comics I ever purchased. We're talking about the Crusader. Er, ah, Marvel Boy. No, no -- it's Quasar. Oh, jeez...

Doug: Most of you may be familiar with the two covers on the left, and you're wondering -- shorts? The dude isn't wearing shorts! But, effendi, take a gander at the cover on the right and you'll see ol' MB wearing basically the same costume, but without the blue pants -- later in his "life", George Perez mercifully changed the bottom of the bodysuit to red and added the blue pants. Took DC a long time to commission Neal Adams to save Robin from a similar fate...


Doug: This is, garish as it looks, a favorite costume of mine. Perhaps it's because it came out somewhat early in my comics-buying career, but it just always stuck with me. The period in the FF that saw the debut of the Crusader was a nice little run, with the Hulk 2-parter coming right after this and the loss of Ben Grimm's powers, the addition of Luke Cage, and the creation of the exo-skeleton coming even after that. As to the Marvel Two-In-One cover, who read and didn't like the Project Pegasus storyline (soon to be released in a Marvel Premier Hardcover edition)?

Doug: I actually prefer the above look (with the blue pants -- no, not with the shorts) to whatever Quasar is wearing these days. I understand that his recent get-ups are loosely based but still an able homage to the original 1950's costume. I liked the headband (and I generally eschew headbands, my friends), the large chest symbol, and the big belt. While virtually none of that may be practical, it had that over-the-top look that comics can get away with. The suit to the right -- something would have to be modified even more were it to see the light of Hollywood day. But not in a four-color comic, baby!

Karen: I suppose his original short pants look was much more acceptable to kids in the forties. But a bare-legged hero today looks a little funky. What's interesting is how Quasar's look really began to become more like Captain Marvel (or Mar-Vell as it were) as his powers and role became more like the former protector of the universe.

Karen: Of course we also have the original Marvel Boy, Bob Grayson, now running around as the Uranian in Agents of Atlas. But his look is nothing like Quasar's.

Karen: All in all, I'd give him a thumbs up. It's hard to go wrong with primary colors and sparkly effects!



2 comments:

Sphinx Magoo said...

I loved his outfit. I was young enough when I read this to be impressed by his powers and background, but really hated the old Roy Thomas trope of "the old-timer has lost his mind and is attacking the younger heroes" plot that he used for characters like Red Raven and the Whizzer. It used to make me wonder if he had issues with his folks...

MaGnUs said...

The starfield effect would come back later in M'onel's costume in the 90s Legion, and today in Starman's (ex-Star Boy) costume. Works better nowadays with digital coloring.

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