Australia is an age of upheaval and change. As leaders come and go, stock markets plummet, and reputations flounder, our antipodean country is in a continued state of flux. But thankfully, there might be a light at the end of this tunnel. Let us show you what we mean by way of popular comic and film company, Marvel.
With the rise and rise of Marvel’s powerhouse blockbuster films, it’s easy to forget that they weren’t always the kings of box office-friendly entertainment. Like the tragedies that befall many of their villains, a few of those villains were simply tragedies in themselves.
Also known as Diego Casseas, when The City Lane’s comics and characters research department first discovered this villain, they didn’t quite know what to think. But one thing they did find was that Left Hand was born out of what we assume was an awkward phase in the comic powerhouse’s long history.
You see, despite having two hands, only Left Hand’s left hand is of any superhero significance, so while his right hand may be able to lift a moderately sized suitcase, his left could kill his foes in a single swoop. It’s a lopsided approach that we assume was a big weakness, say for example if someone tied his left hand behind his back or if he fell asleep on the hand. We assume that in a situation where he talked with hands, the sheer confusion might be enough for him to take out the entire room, including himself.
This ‘gentleman’, also known as Number One Fan, is perhaps one of the more surprising and disturbing discoveries in Marvel’s canon. He’s a mutant, or a mutant-hater, we’re not entirely certain … but one thing we are certain of is that he is very stupid and very short sighted.
In an uninspired decision, Rick made the bold choice that in order to avenge someone’s death, he would remove his own hands (see the um, hand-off with our previous champion?) and replace those hands with oversized and unwieldy blades. Of course, after making this sanity-defying decision, he found himself in the awkward position most people who remove their hands and replace them with blades find themselves in: he couldn’t do anything. This frustrated him, obviously, and his solution, which we suspect in hindsight was not quite the right one, was to hit himself in the face with, you guessed it, his newly attached blades for hands.
Now you might be wondering whether this entire article was really just a veiled lesson on the past cultural oddities of a renowned comics powerhouse, and in truth, you would be right to think so. However, if you take a few steps back you could also take the traits of these villains and apply them to a particular recently befallen Australian leader.
Yes, you read right, if their powers and personas were combined, Left Hand and Rick Chalker would become the former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
*gasp!* We’ll go on shall we?
When in power, Tony had all the traits of Left Hand due to his ill-fated ability to propose great sweeping changes, but really only being able to do a confused and half-assed job with implementing them. The power of one hand (or one part of the country if you’re having trouble keeping up) just isn’t enough when he really needed both hands to successfully make the changes he proposed. But Tony also has all the traits of Rick Chalker due to his almost-obsessive self destruction. With gaffe after gaffe after gaffe, Tony effectively managed to not only attach blades to his arms, metaphorically at least, to become a misguided distructive power, but also to cause himself tremendous harm and political death in the process.
But there is a silver lining (not a silver age, for the comics fans our there) and a strange parallel to this tale of failures. Because while this article has gone very far out of its way to point out the follies of the Marvel through the years, a look at them today reveals them to be at their financial peak, grossing billions of dollars on their thousands of characters and hundreds of storylines. Marvel is now an unstoppable creative and money making force that is showing no sign of slowing down. Their comic book failures, and even their film failures, gave them the strength and confidence to create something new and remarkable from the ashes of a once lost and at-times crumbling institution.
Thinking back to Australia, and with our own Left Hand/Rick Chalker days hopefully behind us, we’re expecting big things Malcolm.