25th Issue Spectacular! (or, What the Hell, It’s a Party!)

Greetings, fans, and welcome to Tact is for the Weak, the article that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “moderation” (or “restraining order”).

I usually don’t admit to many mistakes (because, let’s face it, I don’t make them very often!), but it seems I’ve got to swallow my pride for a moment (before I promptly regurgitate it back up) and admit that, lately, I’ve been a little lax in my duties as your leader in the dark! Between illness and school (hardly good excuses, I know), I’ve been unable to resume my weekly schedule. Well, to make amends, I’m offering up a special, extra-sized 25th-issue extravaganza! And slippity-slap, pippity-pap, here we go!

There’s a whole lot of sh** that’s gone down since our last diatribe, followers! For starters, it has been announced by Marvel Comics that, as we all knew it had to, the reign of Spider-man’s “Iron Spider” costume nightmare is coming to a close. In the upcoming Amazing Spider-man # 539 (shipping February 2007), Marvel representatives have let slip that Peter Parker (the world’s oldest twenty-something) will be returning to a classic, beloved costume. However, this does not mean that we’ll be seeing the return of the famliar blue-and-red; no, fans will instead witness the return of the late, great black costume.

The black costume originally worn by Spider-man was actually an alien symbiote, which granted him increased strength, speed, stamina, etc. at the cost of his humanity (well, sort of). After eventually parting with Spider-man, the symbiote went on to become the now popular comic book (and soon-to-be movie) villain Venom. However, Marvel’s editors are keeping quiet as to how the costume is coming back, or what its return means for the symbiote or Venom.

You know, one has to wonder what Marvel’s motivations are. As with most changes in comics, this will probably end up short-lived and poorly executed, and before long fans will be clamoring for a return to normalcy (which, in all fairness, is probably Marvel’s plan already). I mean, does anyone out there really expect the black costume to last through the summer? As with Spider-man’s current garish look (you know, the one with gold tentacles and a Stark Industries tracking device), no one except the young and the unbelievably gullible should expect the black costume to last very long before giving way to the purists out there.

Besides, who benefits from the change? At best, this is a ploy to play with the heartstrings of nostalgic 1980′s comics fans, and at worst, a delay tactic to milk some more “alternate costume variant covers.” If Marvel wants to play on the longings of old fanboys for a profit, it should take a hint from the average readership age and revisit some of those frazzled storylines of the mid 1990′s (hmm, what’s that? Onslaught is coming back?). Of course, this change is probably due largely to the one reason that Marvel repeatedly denies: product placement. With the upcoming release of the movie Spider-man 3, featuring the black costume, this move would provide a certain sense of synchronicity between the current titles and Hollywood that would essentially draw new readers into the Marvel fold. After all, why else would the “Back in Black” comic storyline be slated to end in June? Certainly it has nothing to do with the movie that just happens to come out one month prior?

Yes, come next Spring, Spider-man’s black costume will be the talk of the comic shop. But, at the moment, a different costumed character is making waves at local comic shops, and in an exclusive Tact is for the Weak feature, we’re proud to reveal to you all the exploits of Dagoth the D&D Master! It seems that every Wednesday, this revered sorcerer makes his weekly trek to his local Comicks Shoppe, and has accidentally left his leather-bound war journal on the sidewalk next to his Volkswagon Rabbit. So, I welcome you all to bear witness to the mighty deeds of… DAGOTH, the D&D Master!

September the 20th, 8:00 in the morrow.

The two hundredth and twenty-fifth day of the thirty-second year of my life! I rose promptly at the sun’s rise at 5:00 to bathe and adorn myself with my armour. After consuming a healthy supply of vittles provided by the matron of the manor (my mother, who has graciously housed and fed me in the ten years following my studies at the University), I gather my coins and mount my trusty steed (whom I have dubbed “Thumper”) for the perilous journey to the Comicks Shoppe.

September the 20th, 8:07 in the morrow.

As is always the case, my clamorous call to arms is unheeded by the shopkeep, who claims that the shoppe does not open until 9:00. The buffoon knows not to whom he speaks! However, I fear that despite my sterling punctuality, I have indeed erred in another realm. Fool that I am, I forgot to bring with me my magick powders and potions, leaving me unable to cast so much as a level 1 Magic Missile to gain access to the comicks haven within! However, I must remain vigilant and abide by the gates of the Shoppe, for before this morrow is finished, I will have purchased entry!

September the 20th, 8:52 in the morrow.

Once again, the tenacity of DAGOTH has proven the victor! The unkindly shopkeep has grown uneasy in my vigilant company, and has admitted defeat and opened his gates to me eight minutes early! Of course, it was under the condition that I not return to plague him for the next fortnight, but by next Wednesday, my mana pool shall be restored and the fool will have no choice but to yeild to my level 5 Magistrike!

September the 20th, 10:34 in the morrow

I have been in the Shoppe for over two hours now, but no word has yet reached the Shoppe from the comicks couriers. Hopefully my bounty will arrive soon; I have a roundtable meeting with Blackheart the Dwarf King in my mother’s basement later this afternoon.

September the 20th, 3:23 at the noon

After an extended stay, the courier has arrived! My apologies to Master Blackheart, but my thirst for literature must be quenched! So many works to choose from; Warlord, Shining Knight, and Wonder Woman, to name a few! I have spent the last two hours compiling my bounty, and shall soon travel to the bursar to purchase my exchange!

September the 20th, 3:29 at the noon

It appears that I have left my coin purse at my home. Damn the fates! If my friend Norric the Elflord were here, he could use is Sorcerous Haste spell and travel to my castle and retrieve my coin purse in no time! Alas, I am unaided, and must quickly mount my trusted steed Thumper and fly to my castle!

September the 20th, 3:44 at the noon

Damn that shopkeep! I hastily made my journey to and from my castle, only to find that the shopkeep has closed the shop early (no doubt in order to impeed my entrance)! Now, that fool shall face the fury of DAGOTH scorned! If only he were here now, I would conjure up a Troll Golem to vanquish the baron!

So endeth this entry in the war journal of Dagoth the D&D Master. I’m sure you all know someone like this (I personall have to live next door to a level 13 Eldritch Sorceror).

Well, as promised, there are a number of prospective new features (the journal of Dagoth being one of them) making their debuts here in this special 25th edition of Tact is for the Weak. So, without further ado, I present to you a sampler of potential features (bearing in mind that these are not full length, but merely a taste of what could be on the horizon):

Snapshot Reviews: all you need to know about this week’s comics in a nutshell!

52: Steel gets tough, Supernova’s taking stuff, and Lobo’s had enough. Supernova goes scavenger hunting in the Batcave and eyes a beautifully-crafted, kryptonite-powered gauntlet. Only one previous owner (Lex Luthor)! However, that’s the only real important thing that happens. Chris Batista’s art gets an A, but the slow plot gets a C+.

Ion: Rayner grows up, Nero blows up, and readers throw up…at the “secrets” revealed this issue. So, what was the Guardians’ great plan for Ion? He’s the Torch Bearer! …wait, we already knew that. The art gets a B- (for quality despite inconsistency), but the “big reveal” dud earns the plot a D+.

Civil War: Spider-man feels alone, Thor picks a bone, and someone’s a clone. Except for the whole clone thing, this issue’s chock full o’ plot twists and turns (hint: the clone carries a hammer). As always, the art proves satisfactory. Overall, this issue gets an A-.

Moychendising: sh** we wish we could buy!

  • Clonable Norse god hair.
  • Volume Two collection of the Justice League Elite miniseries.
  • DC’s The Greatest Stories Ever Told collections that actually have the greatest stories ever told!
  • An official Flash ring (a la Barry Allen).

Where were they then: a brief look at the yesteryears of comics creators.

Stan Lee: after constant rejection for his revolutionary ideas for the “Fantastic Family” and “Spider-guy,” Stan Lee gets ambushed by a street tough in downtown Manhattan. Frantically scrambling to fight, Lee grabs the nearest thing he can and throws it at his assailant: a full bucket of green paint. After getting covered in green paint, the muscular thug gets further enraged after ripping his favorite purple pants on a chain link fence. After receiving a savage beating, Lee is hit with a thunderous revelation: call it “Spider-man,” and ditch the sissy short shorts for some manly spandex! The rest is history.

Ten Years Later: the comics headlines of 2016…today!

  • DC Comics’ Infinity Crisizzle is coming to a close, as Black Lantern and Black Lightning lead the fight against the evil Anti-matter LAPD!
  • Marvel Comics’ new X-title, X-patriots is about to debut! What happens when the INS (led by their new leader, suptugenarian Nick Fury) comes down on a certain claw-poppin’ mutant? Find out as Wolverine unites with the remainder of Alpha Flight and foreigners Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Katana (who was traded from DC Comics in 2012 in exchange for exclusive rights to the name “Captain Marvel”)!
  • Once again, Dark Horse publications blew all other companies out of the water in the sales race! Ever since Dark Horse gained exclusive rights to the graphic rendition of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, no other publishers have been able to compete with the rising giant’s success.
  • Judd Winick’s 7-year prison sentence ended this week. Winick was imprisoned in 2009 for giving a 16-year-old ex-prostitute HIV. The girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, has since come to terms with her condition, but has made vehement claims that Winick’s exploits were all in the name of raising controversy rather than furthering plot. Winick’s second sentence of 23 years will begin in one month (this sentence stemming from Winick’s 2010 conviction of urinating on President Dan Didio).

Well, hopefully you’ve had enough of this tomfoolery! However, as always, it’s time to hand out this week’s Tactless Book of the Week Award! This week, the award goes to MArvel Comics’ Civil War #4! The big surprise of last issue was the supposed return of longtime Marvel heavyweight Thor, god of thunder. In this issue, the Norseman makes his presence felt, tossing around Captain America’s team and blasting a hole in Goliath’s torso. However, it turns out that Thor is a CLONE, created by Tony Stark fro a piece of HAIR left on the Avengers’ couch! Suddenly, Superboy Prime punching time seems like a somewhat palatable option… Plus, this issue marks the disintegration of the Fantastic Four, with Sue and Johnny Storm leaving the team. Here’s hoping that, unlike their competitors, Marvel can keep this beloved Sue alive!

Okay, that’s enough of that; by now, your tiny little minds are undoubtedly bursting with tactless information! I hope you’ve enjoyed this special 25th issue spectacular! Be sure to WRITE IN your thoughts on the prospective new features; your reactions will have a VERY REAL effect on the future of this column! So write in (and getcha ass checked befo’ it’s too late!)!

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