Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Haul Part 1: The Marvel Vault

While in Wisconsin last week, my inlaws gave me, not as a Christmas present but as an early birthday present, The Marvel Vault.
This giant book, written by Roy Thomas and Peter Sanderson, is impressively designed and includes many clear plastic sleeves containing replicas of Marvel memorabilia, including facsimiles of early sketches of Golden Age Marvel characters, Merry Marvel Marching Society (M.M.M.S.) membership materials, replicas of Marvel Value Stamps from the 70s, and a duplicate of Roy Thomas's own stock certificate when Marvel went public. While these items are the big draw, the book itself is well-written and surprisingly honest. For example, the authors admit to several mistakes on Marvel's part, including the proliferation of variant covers that led to the late 90s bust in the comic market and the poorly conceived Clone Saga in the Spider-Man titles.

My favorite item in the book, however, has to be the menu for the short-lived Marvel Mania restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood, which only lasted from 1998-2000.

I may be wrong, but the art in this menu looks to me like it was done by Ron Lim.

As you can imagine, most of the menu items are named after Marvel characters, like "Gambit's Sugar Cane Shrimp," "Howard the Duck's Chicken Fingers," and "Shang-Chi Chinese Tacos." Others are just given hyperbolic Marvel-sounding names, like "Dastardly Dip," "Power-Packed Potato Soup," "Linguine Team-Up, Featuring Mighty Meat Sauce," and "Riotous Roasted Roll-Up of the Vegetable Variety." Also, if an item is spicy, then it has a picture of the Human Torch next to it. However, in some instances, it seems that the copywriters got a little lazy, with "Crispy Onion Straws" and "Baked Potato Salad" given no exciting adjectives or connection to a Marvel character (seriously, who could resist "Dr. Doom's Outrageous Onion Straws" or "Juggernaut's Baked Potato Salad"?).

The true gold mine here, though, is the drink menu. Clearly, it is here that the copywriters had the most fun.

This gives me a great idea for a Marvel-themed New Year's Eve party!

Under the heading "Curious Concoctions," we have several drinks named after Marvel titles, all of which seem to promise either brain-numbing inebriation or wild sex. With that being the case, they really needed to include a drink called "Marvel Two-in-One," though "Marvel Triple Action" may have the same result.

The "Web-Shooters" list contains the most obvious choice for a drink name" "Clobberin' Time." And, unlike some of the other drinks, the title isn't arbitrary--the orange color of the drink would fit The Thing's hue. However, I don't know if Ben Grimm would actually approve of such a fruity drink named after his famous catch phrase.

Finally, we have the martinis (which could have easily been called "Marveltinis"), all named after locations in the Marvel universe, with the exception of the "Mangotini," again showing the copywriters falling asleep at the wheel. I like the idea of the "Negative Zone," with a dark chocolate rim surrounding a white drink. On the other hand, I don't see what the ingredients of the "Asgard" have to do with Thor's homeland, and the "Savage Land" sounds just awful.

Here are my suggestions for Marvel-themed drink names that really should have been used:

  • Mjolnir
  • Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans
  • Annihilus
  • The Vision
  • The Beyonder
  • The Blue Area of the Moon
  • Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up
  • The Adamantium Claw
  • The Abomination
  • Angar the Screamer
  • Crimson Dynamo
  • Bullseye
  • Ulysses Bloodstone
  • Ego, The Living Planet
  • Deadpool
  • Iron Fist
  • Thunderbird (on the wine list, of course)
  • Dum Dum Dugan
  • The Berzerker Rage
  • The Wrecking Crew
  • Grandmaster
  • High Evolutionary
  • Killraven
  • Brother Voodoo
  • The Howling Commando
  • Werewolf by Night
  • Justin Hammer
  • Lady Deathstrike
  • The Hatemonger
  • Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu
  • Night Nurse
  • The Eye of Amaretto
  • The Punisher
  • It, the Living Colossus
  • The Life Model Decoy
  • The Man Without Fear
  • Kraven the Hunter
  • N'Kantu, the Living Mummy
  • Mad Thinker's Awesome Android
  • Maximus the Mad
  • Quicksilver
  • Thunderbolt Ross
  • The Red Skull
  • Unus the Untouchable
  • M.O.D.O.K.
  • The Hulkbuster
  • The Badoon
  • The Dire Wraith
  • Lockjaw
  • Terrigen Mist
  • Juggernaut
  • The Ringmaster's Circus of Crime
  • Blastaar
  • Batroc the Leaper
  • The Warriors Three
  • Stan's Soapbox
  • The No-Prize

and, of course,

  • The Ultimate Nullifier

Any I missed?


snell said...

You lucky, lucky bastard...

Chris Sims said...

The Whizzer!

Jim Shelley said...

I'm think Uman would make a good drink, but damn if I know what would be in it...

...btw, did you get that Apes Boxset?

Lisa said...

That Marvel Box is pretty awesome! We sold a few over the holidays.

Thanks again for stopping in, and for posting such nice things about the store. It was very nice to meet you & your wife. Glad you made it back home safely and enjoyed your holidays in Wisconsin.

Intruder_W said...

Make it Dr. Doom's Ominous Onion Straws and I'm sold.

I don't usually drink in public, but I'd drink a "Clobberin Time" (and probably develop Deadly Hands of Kung Fu).