Wednesday, 17 October 2012

SON OF LOOPY LAPSES IN LOGIC DEPT...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS.  Cover art by JACK KIRBY

One of the drawbacks of the much-vaunted 'Marvel Method' was
that, occasionally, the words didn't always match what was going on in
the pics - or vice versa, if you prefer.  Writer STAN LEE usually tailored
his script to the art, and on the odd instance when he diverged (for what-
ever reason), he would have a panel or page redrawn to fit the direction in
which he wanted the story to go.  It has to be admitted 'though, that some-
times things didn't quite gel and that glaring inconsistencies managed to
sneak past the proof-reading process.  Such an example is the one
below from THE INCREDIBLE HULK #5 - take a look.
   

Got that?  According to Rick Jones (the inevitable teenage
sidekick), Tyrannus and Betty have already passed through
the opening which the boulder now blocks, this being the route by
which the villain first reached the surface.  However, peruse the
following panels and see if you can spot the 'loopy lapse in logic'
which Stan, as both writer and editor, failed to see. 


It's obvious from the first panel that Tyrannus and Betty are still
making their way up the mountain (from the other side, presumably),
not descending into the bowels of the earth.  And, when The HULK
and Rick return, the boulder has been moved.  However, if Tyrannus
was already on the other side of it, who moved it and why The scene
as dialogued just doesn't make sense.  It's clear that JACK KIRBY in-
tended Bruce and Rick to detect tracks leading from the boulder, not
to it;  and while they made their way back to the lab, Tyrannus ar-
rived and moved the rock, which is why it wasn't in place when
ol' Greenskin and his teenage chum returned.

 Here's how certain dialogue and captions should read:

CAPTION:  A SHORT WHILE LATER...

Bruce:  IT DOESN'T SIT RIGHT WITH ME, RICK!  WHY
WOULD AN ARCHAEOLOGIST NEED A LOCAL GIRL TO
SHOW HIM THESE CAVES?  WE'D BETTER INVESTIGATE!

Rick:  AW, THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS, PAL!  WHO
WANTS TO LOOK AT SOME OLD CAVES?

Bruce:  ANOTHER THING - - WHY DIDN'T TYRANNUS
HAVE ANY ARCHAEOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT WITH HIM?
RICK - - LOOK AT THAT!

Rick:  TRACKS - - LEADING FROM
BEHIND THIS GIANT BOULDER!

Rick:  WE CAN'T BUDGE IT - - YET IT'S CLEARLY
BEEN MOVED RECENTLY!  BUT HOW?

(Etc., etc.)

Caption:  NOT LONG AFTER, AS TYRANNUS TAKES HIS
BEWILDERED PRISONER TO HIS SUB-SURFACE ESCAPE
CRAFT, THE MOST POWERFUL CREATURE OF ALL LEAPS
TOWARDS THE CAVE ENTRANCE... 

Obvious when you apply a little logic, isn't it?  Still a
classic story 'though, and one of my all-time favourites.

For more Loopy Lapses in Logic, click here and here.

******

(In case there's anybody out there unfamiliar with the 'Marvel
Method', this was when the writer would supply the penciller with
a brief synopsis (or both of them would work out a basic plot), which
the artist would then illustrate, perhaps adding some ideas of his own
to 'flesh things out'.  Then the writer, usually following explanatory
 margin notes by the artist, would script the dialogue and captions,
before sending the pages to be lettered and inked.)

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