When I got the (admittedly last minute) idea to write about the best Thanksgiving issue of any comic book in the history of time and space, there was no contest. That would be issue #4 of “Into the Void”.
But, since that hasn’t been written yet, here’s the VERY close second-place issue, Vision and the Scarlet Witch #6, “No Strings Attached” (per the splash page in the book).
Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m going to give thanks for my ADHD and allow myself to tackle things a bit “stream of consciousness”. Or “wibbly-wobbly”, whichever you prefer.
The cover says “The Mutant Who Came to Dinner”, which I much prefer as a title. Maybe someone more enlightened than I can tell me which is the actual title – the teaser text on the cover, or the title on the splash page. Also there’s this – every comic should have teaser text on the cover. How come no one does that any longer?
Back to linear love on this wonderful example of Marvel min-series from the 80s.
The cover itself tells quite a story – a bunch of heroes having a lovely Thanksgiving meal. Doctor Strange is drinking what looks to be either a mimosa or chicken gravy. Can’t make that one out. The Thanksgiving meal appears to be taking place in a gleaming metal room with an oriental rug tossed down near the serving station. Are they in space?
One thing remains clear. Even when sitting down for a traditional holiday meal, every hero must be in full costume. OK, fine, Cap has his shield at the ready while the guy in a grey suit fills his glass with butter. I get that.
But regardless of who the mystery figure at the door is, he can’t be more frightening than the prospect of sitting next to Namor in his bun huggers and trying to slug some stuffing down your throat while watching the Lions lose.
They just don’t do covers like this today, which is a shame. Intrigue at maximum from the cover, let’s check out the rest of the book. Allons-y!
Rereading this one reminds me why I loved these series back in high school. It also validates my theory that Netflix and Marvel need to get working on a Vision and Scarlet Witch series in the style of Bewitched, a fanciful romantic comedy. Hey, honey, Thanksgiving meal is on. But there’s a stranger at the door!
And, relatable to everyday audiences, the mutant who came to dinner is…
(Spoiler for a 27-year old comic)
Wanda’s dad. Who, for those of you that have been following along is Magneto. Why is Magneto at the dinner? To attack the collection of heroes? To cause family drama not unlike an episode of “Brothers and Sisters”? Let’s dive in…
Typical to the Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series, we’re going to get back story and origin information out of the gate. It’s less awkward than the Jim Shooter penned “Secret Wars” intro, but remember – this is the SIXTH issue and we’re still going over who is related to whom, and what their affiliations are. Two quick notes:
- I haven’t heard from Glamor and Illusion since this series. I hope they haven’t had a gritty reboot.
- Who invites their real estate agent to Thanksgiving dinner?
That’s an odd way for Magneto to introduce himself to his family upon the door opening. I can’t tell if Namor is shaking his fist in anger, or if he’s shivering from the cold air they’re letting in.
The Vision is so smooth… “May I take your coat, indeed”. Meanwhile, Magneto clearly has the look of someone who just realized no one told him it was a costume party.
I love seeing a jerk like Pietro try and fake concern over “delicious-smelling turkey”.
See that second panel? They stole that gag on Seinfeld – the episode where George’s parents are going to move to Florida, so Jerry’s parents talk about staying in New York. Pietro needs his “buffer zone”.
Aaaaaand, now we get one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe getting “hormonal”.
Like any other family Thanksgiving, the rest of the guests are simply chatting, oblivious to the family drama in the kitchen. Maybe the Vision has another super-secret superpower, hypnotic casual conversation. I mean, come on, he’s got Namor – uberjerk of the Marvel Universe – asking him how he likes retirement and life in the suburbs.
Only Magneto appears to be having a bad time, he must be plotting…
So Magneto IS plotting… an escape from the dreafully boring chit-chat of Glamor and Illusion. The weather? I guess there are only so many “safe” conversations you can have with a guy who has plotted the complete annihilation of all Homo Sapiens on multiple occasions.
You know it’s getting bad when even the writer comments on how much time has been devoted to continuity in this issue.
Then, another part of Thanksgiving everyone can relate to, the racist comment that causes the conversation to go downhill.
Thanks, Doctor Strange, for reminding everyone that the only other person in your house is your Asian “manservant” Wong. And that you’ve left him at home, ALONE, on Thanksgiving. Because he OBVIOUSLY doesn’t enjoy Thanksgiving as much as you do.
Sorry, Wong, Thanksgiving is for people whose descendants came over on the Mayflower. And Mutants. That’s it, Wong. You stay home.
Somehow, in the awkward silence following Doctor Strange’s weird Thanksgiving slam on Asians, everyone stews about all the times Magneto tried to kill them over their after-dinner coffee.
Then, again, another lovely Thanksgiving tradition, the awkward rush out the door. Cap tries to be the first guy out without causing a scene, but sensing an opening, Doc Strange rushes out the door, too. Then, having had too much to drink, I guess, Namor decides to hit on the hostess. She tries to deflect with the “I’m pregnant” reminder, but Namor counters with the always creepy, “you’re still hot and your husband is a lucky man” comment.
When you take your family into the kitchen on Thanksgiving and close the door, all your guests know there’s family drama going on in there. You know that, right? Again – Vision’s gotta be small-talking it up out there like a champ.
Then the neighbor who “pops in” on the holiday just after dinner… I still don’t buy Wanda calling her husband “Vizh”, by the way.
After all of this, there’s a big superhero battle in the back yard. If you’re interested in that, you’ll have to get a copy of your own. I got mine at San Diego Comic Con for a buck. Again, money well spent.
As you sit down to your holiday meal this year (even if you are Asian – right Doctor Strange?) I hope you’ll remember the lessons of this issue. which I think revolve around the ability of small talk to defuse any situation, even when an evil mutant, your wife’s estranged dad, or both show up to dinner.
Also, make your guests wear a shirt and pants. Otherwise, expect that he’ll hit on your wife.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!