Comic Fodder

Marvel's Licensing Department Reaches Ludicrous Speed

Hi, you might know me as the DC reviewer who takes comics entirely too seriously.

What does it take to move things from the super to the super awesome? At Marvel comics, it's either the right hand not understanding the left hand, or else moving forward and praying to God that consumers don't think too hard about the product they're shoving into their carts at Target.

Lately, Marvel's licensing department has been on a rampage of amazing proportions. Luckily, kids no longer read comics, so Marvel doesn't really need to worry about its Baby Marvels line somehow exposing some kid to the inhuman tortures, tragic accidents and non-FDA approved human experimentation which would need to occur to these adorable tots to gain their amazing abilities.

best not to ponder what horrors were visited upon these cherubs

For best effect, tots should also not try to imagine a world in which the US Gov't turns a baby into a razor-fisted killing machine. I am also fairly certain that, no matter how patriotic he may have been, little Stevie Rogers was not old enough to agree to being injected with a super-soldier formula. And poor, poor Otto. He's going to grow up with these teeny little Octopus arms embedded in his back. That's going to make middle school all the worse.

I long for a Baby Authority. Or Baby Lady Death. or Baby Evil Ernie. Or Baby Tarot. Or even a teensy, surly Baby Punisher. The possibilities are endless.

Flipping through one of my Marvel comics (yes, I DO read Marvel) I stumbled upon the full-page ad for the Personalized Spider-Man video from Kideo. Now, your child, too, can experience the trauma of Tony Stark's betrayal and the death of their beloved Uncle and parents.

"Mommy and Daddy are inflating my sense of entitlement!"

It appears from the demo video that your child's likeness is inserted into the video by importing a still image of the little troll's face, creating an horrific, zombie-like effect. Most likely your little addition to the gene-pool will be so high on sugar cereal and ritalin that your greatest reward will be that your kid's eyes will be able to focus long enough upon seeing their own image that you might get five minutes of peace and quiet. That seems worth the asking price.

But the prize for most totally awesome Marvel product has to go to the Marvel Heroes Music for Me. Sure, Living Between Wednesdays found this disc first, and for that, we salute her. But I can't help but wish to share in her joy and spread a little bit of the love around.

Not since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rap has there been faux-pop music so devoid of meaning and underscored with such contempt for the source material.

Ah, the dulcet tones of the voices of Wolverine and Hulk

The odd bit is that, like Kideo's Video, you can request that your kid's name be inserted into each song. Now, this probably only works if you have a fairly Euro-centric name or a name originating from the romance languages. In short, I assume little kids from India may not be so lucky as to have their names included in the list. Sorry, little Srinivas.

I beg of you, check out the link.

Kids are kind of stupid, so they'll probably be tickled pink just to hear their name sung along with the words "Spider-Man". But I keep thinking this gift would really be best for the surly, black-clad Wolverine fan in your life who grows infuriated when people just can't accept that comics are totally hard-core now.

To the best of my knowledge, I'm not a parent. I don't know what it's like to raise a kid. However, I can play the part of a grumpy old man and wonder what the heck kind of world we live in where kids will expect the characters in their entertainment to address them by name, or reveal themselves to actually BE that kid. We're maybe 5 years away from Fahrenheit 451, aren't we?

As goofy as all of this stuff is, why isn't DC exploiting this market? What kid doesn't want to see himself in the Batmobile? Or punching Joker in the breadbasket?

But before we depart this topic, let us not forget Marvel's recent foray into the world of fragrance.

Now, you too, can smell like The Hulk.