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King of the Hill, Calvin and Hobbes, Adamantium armor, and more in this week’s Marvel comics Watcher Report

The Watcher’s Report: The biggest changes in Marvel Comics this week

Daerdevil Calvin and Hobbes parody
Image credit: Marvel

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Report, our weekly breakdown of Marvel’s biggest comic book moments from the current batch of releases. Like Uatu the Watcher, each week I observe everything that goes down in the Marvel Universe. That means reading every Marvel release and cataloging the most startling, exciting, and amusing developments.

What did I observe this week? I saw Hank Hill and Calvin and Hobbes make their way into the Marvel Universe (kind of), a cool upgrade for Wolverine, and a big change (and possible continuity error) for Marvel’s underworld. Let’s dive into the Watcher’s Report for the week of April 24 for more...

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Keep up to date on Popverse's Marvel coverage, with these highlights: Marvel Comics' return to fun, how Marvel Comics' boss said it was lost in 2023 (and how its finding itself again), How 2024 is a pivotal year for Marvel Comics & Marvel Studios, the 3 big challenges facing Marvel Studios in 2024 (and what they could learn from Marvel Comics), Inside Marvel Comics' plans to fix its pricing issues, Overgrown children of the atom: Marvel's X-Men can't evolve past their '90s commercial peak, and the biggest outstanding questions of the Marvel Studios' movies & TV shows.

This week’s funniest moment: Daredevil does King of the Hill and Calvin and Hobbes

Daredevil parodies Calvin and Hobbes and King of the Hill
Image credit: Marvel

Daredevil sells propane and propane accessories.

Maybe not… he’s still a blind vigilante, after all, but Daredevil #8 does contain a fun King of the Hill parody. The 60th anniversary issue contains some fun newspaper-style comic strips from Ty Templeton. One of those comic strip parodies is Kingpin of the Mob, a spoof of the animated comedy King of the Hill. Wilson Fisk is Hank Hill, Nuke is Bill Dauterive, Tombstone is Dale Gribble, and Bullseye is Boomhauer. They drink beer, say “yup,” and Bullseye kills Tombstone. “That boy ain’t right,” Fisk says.

There’s also a fun Calvin and Hobbes parody called Matty and Stick. The comic depicts Stick pushing young Matt Murdock down a dangerous hill as a training exercise. Child endangerment is normally horrifying, but since it’s drawn in the Calvin and Hobbes style, it’s kind of cute.

(Some of our readers might recall that this isn’t the first time Ty Templeton has given a Marvel property the Calvin and Hobbes treatment)

This week’s coolest hero upgrade: Wolverine gets Adamantium armor

Wolverine Adamantium armor
Image credit: Marvel

Wolverine is currently operating without his greatest asset – his healing factor. In Wolverine #46 Sabretooth shot Wolverine with a depowering gun, which removed his healing factor. This is a big problem for Logan, since he’s currently tackling an army of multiversal Sabretooths. Without his healing factor, how can he hope to defeat them?

The answer came in the final page of Wolverine #48 (written by Benjamin Percy and Victor LaValle, penciled by Cory Smith): Adamantium armor. That’s right, Wolverine is now wearing a suit of armor made from the same material as his skeleton. Sometime before the fall of Krakoa, Wolverine had asked Forge to create the armor as a contingency plan. The metal armor covers Wolverine’s entire body except for his lower face. There’s little doubt that Wolverine will get his powers back, and this armor is a temporary accessory. Still, we can’t deny the cool factor, so we’ll enjoy this for as long as Marvel lets us.

I wonder how hard it is to move in armor that heavy.

This week’s grossest moment: Spiders crawl into the skulls of every New York citizen

Doc Ock sends a spider up someone's nose
Image credit: Marvel

If body horror makes you uncomfortable, then I suggest skipping to the next section. Superior Spider-Man #6 (written by Dan Slott and Christos Cage, penciled by Mark Bagley) ends with Doctor Octopus taking over the bodies of every New York citizen. Doc Ock accomplishes this by sending spiders into the skulls of every human in the city.

“We are all of one mind now. We are a cluster of spiders! A colony! Dare I say…a superior colony,” Otto says (speaking through Spider-Boy’s body). In case you weren’t uncomfortable enough, the spiders are entering everyone’s skulls through their noses. Good luck sleeping tonight. Interestingly, this is the second week in a row where a comic written by Dan Slott has taken the crown for grossest moment. Don’t underestimate Slott because he never plays it safe.

Continuity cop watch: Who controls New York’s underworld?

Kingpin returns
Image credit: Marvel

Who controls New York’s criminal underworld? Good question. Marvel just wrapped up a huge crossover called Gang War, which was supposed to resolve the issue. The storyline ended with Tombstone taking the reins of New York’s underworld, a role formerly held by Wilson Fisk (otherwise known as the Kingpin). This is all well and fine, but Daredevil #8 (written by Saladin Ahmed and penciled by Aaron Kuder) appears to ignore these developments.

The current volume of Daredevil features a criminal enterprise known as the Heat. Daredevil #8 ends with both Daredevils (Matt and Elektra) spying on a Heat meeting, where they learn the identity of the group’s secret leader – Wilson Fisk. In a video message to the gang members, Fisk proclaims himself Kingpin again. There is no mention of Tombstone.

Is Kingpin supposed to be a rival crime boss, operating in opposition of Tombstone? Recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man seem to indicate that Tombstone has no legitimate rivals. I’m not ready to call this a continuity error until Daredevil #9 gives us more context on Fisk’s new role. No continuity cop tickets are being issued…for now.

An Avengers goodbye

Avengers #13 cover
Image credit: Marvel

One of the biggest events of the week didn’t happen in the pages of a comic book, but in the real world. This week, Marvel released the last Avengers title edited by Tom Brevoort. This is significant because Brevoort has been editing the Avengers titles for 26 years. During his tenure the book went through a creative renaissance, thanks to titles like New Avengers and events like Secret Invasion. The letters page for Avengers #13 features an emotional goodbye from Brevoort.

“I’ve long since surpassed the prior longest tenure as editor of Avengers. In fact, I’ve more than doubled it, possibly even tripled it. In fact, my time editing Avengers is the second-longest editorial stint in Marvel history. It’s only surpassed by Stan Lee’s time editing Millie the Model from 1945-1973. And even there, Stan put out way fewer issues of Millie than I have of Avengers, to say nothing of all the book’s spin-offs, such as Mighty, Secret, Uncanny, Initiative, Savage, etc.”

“I am consequently strongly associated with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. During my many years in the editorial chair, I got to watch the series take comicdom by storm, not just once but on multiple occasions. I also had the pleasure of seeing the property move into animation and live-action film success – to the point where practically every English-speaking person on the planet now recognizes the name Avengers and knows what it is,” Brevoort writes.

Brevoort went on to thank various creators and associate editors who helped make his tenure a success. Brevoort will begin editing the X-Men titles this July, but notes that he probably won’t be doing the job as long as he did for the Avengers. It’s fitting that Avengers #13 is his last issue before moving onto X-Men, since the comic focuses on the Avengers fighting Orchis’ Stark Sentinels. I have a feeling that Brevoort will be seeing plenty of Sentinels in the years ahead.

That’s it for this week’s report. Popverse’s Watcher (that’s me!) will return next week to break down the latest developments in the Marvel Universe. See you then…

Advance copies of this week’s Marvel books were provided ahead of release by Marvel.