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A DIAL B FOR BLOG MICRO-SERIES
Marvel Explodes on TV - Part 1

"One To Thrill You" takes a brief vacation as DIAL B for BLOG presents a two-issue micro-series: Marvel Explodes On TV, featuring Marvel comic covers that have either been dramatized or appeared on television or in movies. We'll start with the A-Team episode "A Small and Deadly War."

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The A-Team is in their famous van, on a mission...
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As the team discusses their plan...
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Murdock reads a copy of Fantastic Four #253!
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The cover, by John Byrne...
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Oh by the way, Murdock was apparently a big FF fan. He was seen reading the FF's comic book in Marvel's A-Team #2, April 1984.
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Or maybe Murdock is just a John Byrne fan?
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By the way, Mr. T is something of a comic fan too...
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At least he likes THIS comic...
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At the start of Ang Lee's 1997 film The Ice Storm, Paul Hood (Toby Maguire) reads an issue of the Fantastic Four while riding the train. In a voice-over narration, he explains (in riciculous artsy-fartsy terms) how the FF is really just like your own family. It's hard to believe, but the paragraph below, written in red, is the actual verbatim narration from the movie...
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PAUL HOOD (Toby Maguire):
"In issue #141 of The Fantastic Four, published in December of 1973, Reed Richards has to use his antimatter weapon on his own son, who Annihilus has turned into a human atom bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four because they weren't like other superheroes. They were more like a family. And the more power they had, the more harm they could do to each other without even knowing it. That was the meaning of the Fantastic Four, that a family is like your own personal anti-matter."
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Wow. I did not know that a family is like your own personal anti-matter. Anyway, Maguire, the future Spider-Man, rolls up his FF comic as he exits the train to meet his family, oops I mean his anti-matter.
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BELOW: The issue itself, Fantastic Four #141, December 1974. Sue's frantic word balloon always did amuse me. As Ben throws Reed out the window, Sue helps out by screaming: "Little Franklin is glowing like an atomic bomb!" Apparently, Sue is an expert on "glowing,"and she specializes in determining which types of "glowing" most resemble the "glowing" of an atomic bomb, which doesn't really "glow" at all. Whatever. "It's too late for ALL of us!!"
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This particular issue of Fantastic Four is apparently a harrowing dramatization of superhero-family dynamics worthy of Tennessee Williams, and all FF stories are pregnant with deeply meaningful Xexistential symbolism. At least in the eyes of director Ang Lee. Who knew?

Lee would later ruin the first Incedible Hulk movie with this type of psuedo-meaningful claptrap, attempting to impart deep social meaning and relevance to a superficial action-hero story. Oh well. He put an FF cover in Ice Storm, so I guess I shouldn't complain. And the FF interior page BELOW is also shown in the movie! Holy Moley!

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BELOW: The FF page (page 20 of the story) as it appeared in the comic. If I was Reed, I'd say, "OK I'll change him back and he can destroy the whole world. Will THAT make you people happy?" Ben is especially stupid on this page. It's like he can't WAIT to say "THE END OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR!" It's like the FF was a reality show and the producers were making Ben say provocative lines just for the sake of it. It's like ... oh never mind.
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Later in the film, Maguire offers another high-falutin' doctoral dissertation on the deep inner meaning of the Negative Zone, domain of the evil Annhilus. Again, here's the actual verbatim narration from the movie (in red):

PAUL HOOD (Toby Maguire):
"To find yourself in the negative zone, as the Fantastic Four often do, means all every day assumptions are inverted. Even the Invisible Girl herself becomes visible, and so she loses the last semblance of her power. It seems to me that everyone exists partially on a negative zone level, some people more than others. In your life, it's kind of like you dip in and out of it, a place where things don't quite work out the way they should. But for some people, the negative zone tempts them. And they end up going in, going in all the way."

And then they meet Annihilus, and get killed. Uh, right?
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Before we close the file, there's just one more thing I had to do...
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Here's Iron Man #76, March 2004, cover by Adi Granov...
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This cover was the model for a promotional photo for Iron Man 1...
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It was dramatized on screen in Iron Man 2...
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And finally ... they even made a "Comiquette" statue out of it,
complete with way-cool Stealth Armor Version!
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The pose is mocked in the opening of "The Colbert Report,"
a comedy news show featuring left-wing Democratic shill Steven Colbert.
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"Marvel Explodes on TV" concludes next week, in DIAL B for BLOG #536.
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