Thursday, September 29, 2016

1286 - "Doc Ock's Suicide Squad"

I started this project over a month ago, and by that time the "Suicide Squad" movie was already stale in the theatres, so sometimes JSVB just isn't as topical as I'd like.  Suicide Squad isn't a movie I've seen, nor do I particularly want to see it.  So lampooning a movie that has been out for ages and I haven't seen it?  None of this is in good form, yet I soldier on.

Click to embiggen.
 My friend Earl seems to like this show quite a lot.  I looked at the reviews and was hoping they'd just re-make "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), which is one of my favourite war films.  Superheroes versus Nazis in a suicide mission sounds like fun to me. 

So Earl has been discussing Suicide Squad in detail, and I asked how come Doctor Octopus isn't in the movie, since he's able to fire eight machine guns at once*.  Earl patiently explained, as to a child, that Doc Ock is a Marvel Comics character and the Suicide Squad belongs to rival DC Comics. 


The people I know who enjoy superhero movies tend to be creative, generous, friendly, liberal folk.  However at the mention of merging Marvel and DC Universes, they immediately recoil at the suggestion.  Blasphemy!  Sure, the fans wonder if Spiderman could beat Wonder Woman in a fight, but a true "official" cross-over between Marvel and DC is rare as finding a black diamond.  Lawyers have to become involved.  

The issues of crossover are purely contractual.   If the studios do not protect their property, wonderful things happen as artists find freedom to explore new permutations and combinations of characters and events.  No, wait, that's the alternate universe cross-overs.  In our universe, studios jealously protect their property so that their product isn't diluted by bungling idiots.  Why else would Joe Shuster, the original illustrator of Superman, have his contract bought out so that Supes could be drawn by more competent artists?  Shuster became destitute and ended up taking a job as a panel truck driver who ended up delivering packages to DC Studios, the same company that bought his Superman design.

All of this boils down to where the money goes.  If the money has already been spent, there's not much anybody can do to prevent a cross-over.  For example, Earl tells me that the Suicide Squad is based on a comic book he owns.  I've threatened to use white-out on his book so that I can draw in Doctor Octopus, who I strongly believe should be in on the fun.  

Instead of defacing Earl's property, I've resorted to drawing a couple of panels of what Doc Ock's Suicide Squad might look like.  It's a hodge-podge to be sure.  Maybe the reason there aren't many cross-overs is that you need a lot more talent than I have to make them work: see Rickard Williams who brilliantly merges Disney, Warner Brothers, and Fleischer Studios' characters into "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988)

*To my shame, Doctor Octopus cannot fire eight machine guns at once.  He can only fire six, since he's only supposed to have two human arms and four mechanical arms.  See JSVB Post #1273 by clicking here. While "Dr. Sextopus" would be far more accurate, that name likely wouldn't sell to the target demographic: Marvel Comics fans (and not DC).