My 2015 in Books

20151206_144709.jpg

As the year draws to a close, it’s time for another post to summarize my activity in the past twelve months. As I did last year, I kept track of the books I read this year (I’ll look back on films I watched this year tomorrow). As before, I’ve only listed books I read from beginning to end (that’s why only one of the Robert E. Howard collections I wrote about in October is listed, the others having been read before). All were first-time reads (although I know I had read parts of American Humor before, but apparently not the whole thing), and I managed to keep my resolution to read more than I did last year, including some classics (hey, it turns out Moby Dick is a pretty good book!).

How does one summarize a year of reading activity? I don’t read by working through a list: I have books in mind that I want to get to, and I own a lot of books I haven’t read yet, but in general I let the last book I finished help me decide what to read next. Sometimes I continue along a certain track (several threads appeared in my reading this year, including books about the art and craft of writing; Wonder Woman and the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of her creator, psychologist and sex researcher William Moulton Marston; non-fiction on a variety of subjects; and several novels and collections of fiction).

After reading so much about Wonder Woman, the opportunity to pick up a set of reprints of her contemporary Phantom Lady made for a useful comparison. For one thing, it’s interesting to observe how much bondage and role-playing is in the wholesome Wonder Woman as opposed to the supposedly racier Phantom Lady; the difference is largely in that Moulton’s Wonder Woman presents its themes of domination and restraint from a playful perspective, and Harry G. Peter’s simple illustrations don’t draw quite as much as attention as Matt Baker’s famous “good girl” art (although in Classic Phantom Lady Volume Two, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. makes a strong case that Baker drew much less Phantom Lady than he is usually credited with).

At other times, after spending time in a particular headspace, I’m ready for a change: I was eager to part company with “Walter,” the narrator of the Victorian sexual diary My Secret Life, after nearly 600 pages (and the original work was published in eleven volumes!). “Walter’s” escapades are by turns titillating, horrifying, and deeply sad, the book itself a mixture of Victorian letters to Penthouse, inadvertent social history, and pre-Freudian psychosexual analysis. Even abridged, it’s “everything you wanted to know about Victorian sex but were afraid to ask.”

That made Edmond Hamilton’s The Valley of Creation, a short and breezy pulp novel, a welcome palate-cleanser. I used to read such short novels frequently; although I enjoyed most of them, I also thought of them as research, fleshing out my picture of the pulp era and stocking up on plot and character formulas for future reference. I still have many on my shelves that I haven’t gotten to (many of them were boxed up until this year, when I got some new book shelves and was able to unpack them), so perhaps 2016 will be a year to renew my acquaintance with the diverse output of the pulps.

ValleyofCreation

January
Danse Macabre, Stephen King
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
On Writing, Stephen King
Don’t Fear the Reaper: Why Every Author Needs an Editor, Blake Atwood
The Juggler, Rachilde (trans. Melanie C. Hawthorne)
Wonder Woman: the Life and Times of the Amazon Princess, Les Daniels

February
American Humor: A Study of the National Character, Constance Rourke
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore

March
Moby Dick, Herman Melville

April
The Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume One, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter
A Year with a Whaler, Walter Noble Burns
Wonder Woman: Feminism and Bondage in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948, Noah Berlatsky
Revival, Stephen King
The Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume Two, Marston and Peter
Cities of Dreams, Stan Gooch

May
Guardian of the Gods, Mark Rodgers

June
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, ed. Sean Wallace
Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan, John Taliaferro
The Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume Three, Marston and Peter

July
Classic Phantom Lady Volume One, various
Classic Phantom Lady Volume Two, various
Classic Phantom Lady Volume Three, various
Ladies in Distress, Kalton C. Lahue

August
The Pentagon: A History, Steve Vogel
The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission, Jim Bell
Save the Cat!, Blake Snyder
Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed, and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle, David Tripp

September
The Orientalist, Tom Reiss
The Haunter of the Ring & Other Tales, Robert E. Howard

November
The Log of a Cowboy, Andy Adams
All the Wrong Questions: “Shouldn’t You Be in School?”, Lemony Snicket
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

December
My Secret Life, Anonymous, ed. James Kincaid
The Valley of Creation, Edmond Hamilton

So, readers, I ask you: what did you read this year? Did you meet any reading goals, and what do you look forward to reading in the new year?

Advertisements

Fates Worse Than Death: The Could-Have-Beens

In watching and researching motion picture serials over the past few months, I’ve run across many based on characters from other media: comics, radio, and literature. Allowing for the vagaries of art and commerce, I’ve been struck by the absence of several characters who one might expect to be adapted as source material. What follows is necessarily speculative, but I’ve compiled a list of characters, popular at the time, who could have appeared in a serial but didn’t, for whatever reason.

Perhaps arbitrarily, I’ve excluded characters who appeared in feature films or cartoons during the “Golden Age” of the serials: Sherlock Holmes and Dracula may not have appeared in serials, but they are well-represented on film. I’m more interested in characters whose film appearances are either limited to the modern era or who haven’t appeared on film at all (yet).

John Carter of Mars

From one perspective, it isn’t surprising that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ interplanetary hero didn’t make the leap to the big screen until 2012’s poorly-received adaptation. Although John Carter set the pattern for the early space heroes, appearing in print in 1912, both Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were featured in serial adaptations during the Golden Age of science fiction (in 1936 and 1939 respectively). It was Gordon and Rogers who cemented the conventions and story beats of space opera for film audiences and became household names in the process. Later, Star Wars and other science fantasy epics would borrow elements of Carter’s adventures (what is Tatooine but Burroughs’ dying Mars?), further stealing the series’ thunder.

john-carter-poster

On the other hand, clearly there was a market for science fiction adventure, and Burroughs was aware of the power of licensing his creations: his other famous character, Tarzan, was featured in numerous film adaptations in the 1930s and ‘40s (continuing to this day), including one produced by Burroughs himself.

Perhaps it was the extravagant native fauna of Barsoom (the locals’ name for Mars) that made it prohibitive to film: in his adventures, Carter faces the four-armed giant Tharks (Green Martians), rides eight-legged thoats, and encounters other multi-limbed creatures that would have been compromised by the special effects of the 1930s, to say the least. (Flash Gordon tries manfully to create convincing space monsters, and is only intermittently successful.) In a similar vein, the fliers and radium guns of Burroughs’ novels might have seemed like a daunting proposition to film, but other science fiction serials and features found ways to create such effects or work around them.

Book-1-A-Princess-Of-Mars-1

Intriguingly, there was at least one attempt to produce a John Carter film during the Golden Age: in 1935, Warner Brothers animator Bob Clampett approached Burroughs with a proposal to put together an animated John Carter series that, had it been made, would have beaten both Snow White (the first animated feature) and the Flash Gordon serial to theaters. Clampett and Burroughs put together a deal with MGM, but ultimately the project was deemed too weird for audiences. Only a few minutes of test footage remain to show what might have been.


(Thanks to fellow fan Bruce Ross for alerting me to this aborted project, and check out Bruce’s blog to see his impressive custom action figures, including a certain Warlord of Mars.)

Jules de Grandin

The most popular author to appear in Weird Tales magazine wasn’t Robert E. Howard or H. P. Lovecraft: it was Seabury Quinn, a lawyer with a specialty in mortuary law and the funeral business. Quinn’s most popular creation was the feisty French physician Jules de Grandin, a prime example of the “occult detective” character type. With his sidekick/narrator Dr. Trowbridge (clearly modeled after the sturdy Holmes/Watson dynamic), de Grandin defended Harrisonville, New Jersey against supernatural, scientific, and just plain criminal threats in nearly a hundred stories.

DeGrandin

Although less well-remembered now, the de Grandin stories contain plenty of ideas that could have made for excellent serials—killer animals, vampires, cults, mad scientists, and more—and were formulaic and action-packed enough to provide what audiences of the time expected.  De Grandin, with his cod-French exclamations (not only the time-honored “Sacre bleu!”—de Grandin would frequently vary his patter with insertions of “Parbleu!”, “Mordieu!”, “Zut!”, and odd turns of phrase like “Horns of a little blue devil!”, “Name of a gun,” etc.), was likewise a character whose exaggerated national character would be right at home at Republic or Columbia. (His catch-phrases are no sillier than the “inscrutable” Orientalisms of Charlie Chan or the “By Jove!” English of Anthony Tupper in Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island.) More importantly, like all serial heroes, de Grandin favored the direct approach, and was as likely to defeat the forces of evil with a sword or automatic as with an incantation or clever trap.

WeirdTalesdeGrandin

Conan the Cimmerian, et al

Speaking of Robert E. Howard, it’s unlikely that a serial based on his famous creation Conan would have been anything like the 1982 feature Conan the Barbarian, influenced as it was by the success of special effects blockbusters like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark and the contributions of later authors (not to mention the Frazetta-esque physique of star Arnold Schwarzenegger). However, the ancient past had been represented in epics like Ben-Hur, and fantastical “lost worlds” were featured in serials such as The Undersea Kingdom and The Phantom Empire, so it wouldn’t have been out of the question. A Conan serial would have probably resembled those starring Tarzan or “jungle girl” Nyoka, with an emphasis on action and the lead’s physicality, toning down Howard’s often pessimistic philosophical digressions.

WeirdTalesConan

It’s worth noting, however, that Howard created several series characters, in a variety of genres, that could have headlined serials (and to this day, not all of them have been adapted for film). “Last king of the Picts” Bran Mak Morn and medieval Irishman Turlogh Dubh O’Brien represent Howard’s interest in the history and people of the British Isles; King Kull of Atlantis and swordswoman Red Sonja represent a strain of sword-and-sorcery similar to the Conan stories. Of all of Howard’s series characters, probably the closest in spirit to the serials is Steve Costigan, a modern-day merchant sailor and boxer whose stories combined action and wry humor. Although Conan remains Howard’s best-known creation, the author left behind a wealth of material yet to be mined for adaptation.

fightstoriesCostigan

The Spirit

thespirit

Cartoonist Will Eisner created the Spirit (the supposedly dead criminologist Denny Colt, going forth from his cemetery hideout to fight crime) in 1940 as the lead character in a series of comic books he produced for inclusion in newspapers owned by the Register and Tribune Syndicate. Ownership of his own character, with little editorial interference, gave Eisner the freedom to explore a variety of story-telling techniques, and due to his innovative approach to composition he is often compared to cinematic masters such as Hitchcock and Welles. (In Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, the title characters are inspired by Citizen Kane to invigorate their own comic book stories with devices such as achronological narratives, alternating points of view, and dynamic, cinematic compositions applied not just to the panel but to the entire page. Although fictional, this is likely a reference to the leaps forward that Eisner made with The Spirit.)

Sometimes the title character was barely featured in stories, making cameo appearances in the stories of a range of urban characters both poignant and humorous; this approach would have fit perfectly with the serials, which often introduced audiences to original characters who had equal screen time with the licensed characters in the title (such as Linda Page and her uncle in the 1943 Batman serial). Quoted in A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics, Eisner explained,

I began to realize who I was writing for”—that is, an audience dominated by adults, rather than children—and “I suddenly found an opportunity to do what I had really always wanted to do, which was to write ‘seriously’ or write good material, and at the same time stay within the medium I knew and had developed skills for.

Ironically, as Eisner drew from film to develop his sophisticated visual language, the serials were increasingly geared toward children, dropping the nuances of the 1930s serials in favor of formula and non-stop action. Without Eisner’s ambitious style, the Spirit wasn’t superficially different from other masked pulp heroes like the Spider or the Green Hornet, and it is unlikely a Spirit serial would have been very distinguished. (However, many commentators have pointed out that the title character of the 1943 serial The Masked Marvel bears a strong resemblance to the Spirit; in that serial the central mystery of the story was the true identity of the hero, with four possible candidates.)

Tom Steele as the Masked Marvel

Tom Steele as the Masked Marvel

Wonder Woman

Seriously, what gives? Despite the news that DC’s premier superheroine—the female superhero in the mind of the public—will appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman is severely underrepresented on film. She has yet to headline her own theatrical feature film, and has only a single direct-to-video animated feature to her name. Considering that Wonder Woman spent World War II fighting Nazis alongside Captain Steve Trevor, a serial would seem to be a no-brainer. But it was not to be.

sensation-comics-13

Created in 1941 by psychologist William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman reflected his desire to create a strong but loving role model for girls, an Amazon princess fighting for equality in “Man’s World;” in his words, she would be “a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” Marston modeled his creation on both his wife Elizabeth and a woman named Olive Byrne who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship. Although Marston’s unconventional views on the sexes and Wonder Woman’s fetishistic overtones (including the “lasso of truth” and the notion of loving domination) raised eyebrows in later years, they don’t seem to have been considered problematic during the 1940s. (Certainly the serials had their share of questionable material, and anything objectionable would likely have been removed or changed anyway: some of the changes studios made to comic book characters could be quite drastic.)

Consider the screen presence of Wonder Woman’s fellow heroes: Columbia produced serials starring Batman (in 1943 and 1949) and Superman (1948); Republic brought Captain Marvel (1941) and Captain America (1944) to the screen, and there were numerous less-remembered costumed heroes in serials as well. (That’s not even mentioning the animated Superman shorts from Fleischer or the later Superman and Batman TV programs; as of this writing, Lynda Carter’s portrayal of Wonder Woman is still the only prominent, long-running live-action version of the character.)

Female-led serials weren’t unheard of: I’ve reviewed two this summer, The Perils of Pauline and Zorro’s Black Whip. The star of the latter, Linda Stirling, was actively groomed to be the next Pearl White, appearing in several jungle, Western, thriller, and science fiction serials for Republic. (In fact, it was reading about Stirling’s career that brought Wonder Woman to mind and inspired this article.)

Realworlds_Wonder_Woman

(Interestingly, an issue of DC: Realworlds, an out-of-continuity series in which DC’s heroes are expressly fictional but inspire ordinary people to take heroic action, features a hypothetical Wonder Woman serial. The story centers on an actress who finds the courage to stand up to a Red-baiting politician who combines features of Joseph McCarthy and Ronald Reagan. Perhaps in an alternate universe, audiences are thrilling to Wonder Woman vs. the Nazi Baroness or Wonder Woman vs. the Red Menace.)

What’s Next: In one week, I’ll conclude Fates Worse Than Death (for this summer, at least) with a look at Gang Busters. See you then!

The Pleasures of Anthology, Part Three

You can read Parts One and Two here and here.

As far as shared worlds go, it doesn’t get much more eclectic than superhero comics: just as an example, the three most recognizable characters in DC’s universe are an alien from another planet, an Amazon warrior with ties to the Greek gods, and a self-made vigilante, illustrating nicely the superhero genre’s connections to science fiction, mythology and pulp adventure.  It helps to realize that Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman were not originally invented with the idea of coexisting in the same world, but grew organically in their own books, developing their own identities, casts of characters, themes, and locales before anyone thought of teaming them up.  It was only later that the tangles of continuity across different books had to be cleaned up and what were often spur-of-the-moment inventions rationalized and codified.

Beyond the editorial offices of DC and rival publisher Marvel (and to a lesser extent Charlton, Fawcett, and the other small publishers that would either fold or be absorbed by DC), the first serious considerations of comic book worlds and how they were put together were written by fans, for fans.  The comics fanzine Xero emerged in 1960, and more were to follow.  Fanzines and amateur press publications have largely moved online since the rise of the internet, but organized fandom used to leave quite a paper trail, spread by word of mouth and united by newsletters, fan clubs and conventions, often advertised in the comic books and science fiction magazines where like-minded readers would be most likely to find them.  Many of the fan writers would go on to work in the industry: Roy Thomas and Mark Gruenwald were both superfans who had in common an encyclopedic knowledge of characters and plot points that they would build on in their own stories for Marvel in the 1970s and ‘80s.  Gruenwald had even made his name with a self-published thesis on comic book universes and their interconnected nature.

Even when writing about comic books began to enter the mainstream, it was still written from the point of view of a comics reader rather than a disinterested outsider.  Jules Feiffer got the ball rolling with The Great Comic Book Heroes in 1965, a critical history of comic books in the 1930s and ‘40s mixed with Feiffer’s memories of reading comics as a child and working in the industry as a young adult; All in Color for a Dime, edited by Dick Lupoff and Don Thompson, was published in 1970, collecting a number of essays, including Lupoff’s own “The Big Red Cheese” (about Captain Marvel) from that first issue of Xero; and so on.

Feiffer, of course, was the long-running cartoonist in The Village Voice­ and had counter-cultural cachet; Lupoff would make his mark as a science fiction author and scholar of (among other subjects) Edgar Rice Burroughs; Thompson, with his wife Maggie, founded the influential Comics Buyer’s Guide.  Authoritative as their essays are, one of their chief values is in putting the reader in the shoes of a young kid encountering Superman or Captain Marvel for the first time, seeing the characters through their eyes and accepting them on their own terms.  But such is almost always the way, especially when pop culture subjects are involved: the first writing on jazz was descriptive, by journalists rather than musicologists, and the first jazz discographies were written by aficionados to aid fellow record collectors.  Scholarly writing would later lag behind journalists and fans of rock and hip-hop as well.

A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics, edited by Michael Barrier and Martin Williams, appeared in 1981, by which time scholars were taking note of comic books and it was more common for books on the subject to disentangle history and criticism from the personal and anecdotal.  A Smithsonian Book may not have been the definitive volume on the subject, but it certainly seemed so to me as a young teenage comic book reader encountering it for the first time.  Of course, more than the scholarly apparatus it was the reprints of comics from the “Golden Age” (up to 1954, the date of the adoption of the Comics Code by the industry) that made the book so valuable and enjoyable.  I had been collecting superhero comics for a couple of years, starting with reprints of Stan Lee’s and Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man in the pages of Marvel Tales and gradually getting into the current stuff from there; reading about the storied history of Marvel and the Distinguished Competition made me feel like a real newbie, but the truth was I had been reading comics most of my life.

smithsonian

Before middle school, when I was younger than ten, most of the comic books I read were licensed “funny animal” books starring the Looney Tunes or Disney characters, and were often more far-ranging and imaginative than you would expect: Did you know Goofy had a side career as a superhero?  If you read Super Goof you did!  Just as Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse strips gave its title characters a sense of scope and adventure grander than what could be shown in the short animated cartoons, so the licensed Gold Key and Dell comics expanded my young mind by showing the “further adventures” of characters I already knew and loved.  And needless to say, I enjoyed the Uncle Scrooge comics of Carl Barks long before I knew who Barks was, having a particular fascination with the evil duck sorceress Magica de Spell: who was this vivid character whom I had never seen in an animated cartoon?  Why would Walt Disney (for of course I thought that’s who drew all the comics—he signed them, didn’t he?) create such a great villain and not use her in a movie?  Why did all the Disney characters have such complex, fulfilling lives offscreen?

Image

Oddly, when I graduated to more “mature” (or so I thought) comics, I completely discounted the funny animal comics I had cut my teeth on, and got rid of them completely.  This isn’t an unusual experience by any means: most of us go through at least one phase where we clean out all the “kid’s stuff,” only to regret it later.  What separated my later comics habit from my funny animal years wasn’t just the subject matter—there were some Twilight Zones, Archies, quite a few issues of Mad and Cracked, and even some superhero books mixed in with the comics I threw out—but my self-consciousness that I was collecting comics, that I had to keep them organized, follow a checklist, fill in gaps in my knowledge, and basically keep up: all the demands of fandom.  Before that, comics were acquired at random (sometimes brought home by my parents when my sister or I was sick), often in one of those packs of three miscellaneous comics in a plastic sleeve (you could see the covers of the two on the outside, but the one in the middle would be a mystery, and may or may not have anything to do with the other two).  That’s how we ended up with a bunch of Spire Comics’ gospel-themed Archie comics, basically church tracts starring the Riverdale gang.  Except for a few favorites, they were equally disposable, in the tradition of pop culture since the dawn of mass production, and the ones that didn’t completely disintegrate wound up unceremoniously dumped in a cardboard box, a sort of comics slush pile.

A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics helped me make connections between my undiscriminating childhood and my status-conscious adolescence.  It taught me Carl Barks’ name and helped show me that his talking duck characters weren’t just for little kids; it introduced me to the original version of Captain Marvel, before DC ensnared publisher Fawcett in a crippling lawsuit over his supposed similarities to Superman; it let me connect the name Basil Wolverton to the grotesque caricatures I had already seen occasionally in Mad; it introduced me to the ambitious and insightful work of Will Eisner in The Spirit and the breadth of E. C.’s output before the comics panic of the ‘50s and the Comics Code forced them to cancel everything but Mad; it made me unable to see Marvel’s parodic Forbush-Man without thinking of the similarly attired Red Tornado from Sheldon Mayer’s Scribbly.  It would even, much later on, form a foundation for me to understand what the heck was going on in the historically-informed comics of Tony Millionaire and Art Spiegelman.

ImageImage

Aside from giving me some ammunition if I’m ever cornered by Harlan Ellison, the Smithsonian book provided a great deal of entertainment and enriched my appreciation of the current books I was reading.  My adolescent comic book collecting in the 1980s coincided with a period of reassessment in the superhero world: Superman’s fiftieth anniversary would be celebrated in 1988, and (perhaps not coincidentally) fifty years of world-building and cross-referencing would be consolidated (or swept away, depending on your perspective) in 1985 by DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, clearing the decks for a “fresh start” for Superman and company in the first and biggest of many company-wide “reboots” to come.  The complexity of DC continuity included a number of parallel worlds, including separate universes for the Golden and Silver Age versions of characters, introduced to explain how Superman could fight saboteurs during World War II and still be a young man in the 1960s.  It was simple, really: there was an old Superman in one world and a young one in another, and sometimes they would break down the barriers between universes and team up.  Captain Marvel even came on board in the 1970s, at first in his own world (“Earth-S”) and later woven into the fabric of the DC universe as other characters had been before him (although he started going by the name Shazam to avoid confusion with that other comic book company).

The 1980s were also truly DC’s decade on screen, especially for Christopher Reeves’ iconic portrayal of Superman, but not overlooking Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman on TV and the truly game-changing 1989 Batman directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton (many fans have cooled on Burton’s Batman in favor of Christopher Nolan’s grittier trilogy, but it’s hard to overstate what an event the 1989 film was at the time).  By comparison, Marvel’s best-received screen adaptation was The Incredible Hulk in the early ‘80s.

I don’t bring up Crisis or Burton’s Batman to make comparisons with DC’s New 52 or to point out Marvel’s current domination of the big screen.  The contrast speaks for itself, and more importantly the industry has changed greatly: one’s preference for a particular era of comics says as much about one’s age as it does about one’s taste.  I’m thankful I stopped collecting before the huge boom of the early ‘90s—otherwise I might be burdened by nostalgia for foil-stamped hologram covers, oversized guns, and costumes festooned with pouches!  Nor do I want to say things were better then just because I was younger: Crisis on Infinite Earths pissed off plenty of comics fans, myself included.  I liked the alphabet soup of parallel worlds and twisting timelines in the DC multiverse.  It irritated me to see whole settings and storylines erased from official existence.  On the other hand, if I were an editor or writer, chained to stories that had been written decades before, I might have felt differently.  Still, good writers had ways of getting around that, and a good story trumped pedantry any day.

And of course the characters who had been written out came back: Supergirl came back.  Titano the Super-Ape came back.  The Huntress came back.  Kamandi and OMAC and all the rest found ways back in, sometimes in different places and sometimes greatly changed, but eventually they came back.  And when Superman himself died, and it turned into a media frenzy, comics readers just nodded sagely to each other and knew it wouldn’t be permanent.  He’d be back.  Just ask Captain Marvel.

(Continue to Part Four)