The current Secret Empire storyline extending throughout Marvel’s comics line has a lot of people up in arms, incensed over the portrayal of a fascist Captain America as the Supreme Leader of Hydra. However, it’s not exactly the first time that mainstream comics has unexpectedly done something truly weird with a tried and tested character or formula.
‘Weird’, of course, doesn’t always have to mean terrible. Some of the greatest stories of all time have come from approaching a familiar subject with a fresh eye and some lateral thinking. And then of course, there’s the insanity that comes with stories so poorly judged or badly conceived that ‘dumpster fire’ is probably the only appropriate way of describing them.
To qualify, of course, you’d have to discard the creators and concepts which start out weirder than seaweed chopsticks – which excludes the worst excesses of Mark Millar and Garth Ennis, the best work of Grant Morrison and Peter Milligan, anything from Ultimate Marvel or the pen of Robert Kirkman, and all of the clownshoe crap that happens to Deadpool and Lobo every other week.
This is about out-of-the-blue insanity, the most WTF moments in comics…
10. What Happens In Vegas…
Hank Pym’s had it rough over the years. The infamous wife-beating storyline that’s plagued the character for nearly four decades was the result of slack editorial control over the comic back in 1981; an absent-minded shove that the artist decided to interpret as a full-blown punch to Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp.
They ran with the end result, and it skewed the character for all time. In 2003, there was an attempt to redress at least a little of the damage to Pym’s character, as Geoff Johns scripted a reconciliation of sorts between the former husband and wife in Las Vegas in Avengers #71.
However, popping up immediately before all the insightful dialogue between the two over their ruined relationship is the opening scene of that book, in which Pym makes a FEAT roll and uses his size-manipulation powers for some Rated-R power stunts.*
Context clues make it obvious what Pym was up to (for anyone who’s ever had sex before, at least). What’s a little unclear is how he expected Wasp to return the favour – it’s pretty unlikely that her Avengers training regimen included the caber toss.