In The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1, Kamala Khan was surprised to learn that her father had become aware of her secret identity as a teen superhero… and forbid her to continue. But perhaps all was not as it seemed? That issue ended with Kamala returning home after a long day of superheroing to be confronted by her parents once more and witness them melting into puddles of gray goo. That's where this week's preview of Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 picks up…
Does this scene look familiar to you? If so, you may be a child of the 80s.
There's No Place Like Springfield was a 2-part episode of G.I. Joe written by Steve Gerber. Yes, that Steve Gerber — one of the many reasons I'll die on the hill that G.I. Joe is the greatest animated series of all time. In the episode, Shipwreck and Lady Jaye rescue an old scientist named Mulvaney from a dessert island. Paranoid that he might not make it, Mulvaney implants his knowledge of a formula that can turn water into a bomb into Shipwreck's brain and gives Lady Jaye a codeword that can unlock Shipwreck's memory.
Cobra attacks, of course, and in the ensuing battle, not only do they lose Mulvaney, but the SHARC (a plane/submarine) that Shipwreck, Lady Jaye, and Polly are escaping in is sunk before Shipwreck can board the U.S.S. Flagg, G.I. Joe's aircraft carrier. Shipwreck sinks into the sea in the SHARC as the aircraft carrier is attacked by Cobra Rattlers…
…and he wakes up in a hospital six years later to find that he's married to his mermaid girlfriend, Mara, from the episode Memories of Mara, and they have a daughter. Even better, Shipwreck escaped the SHARC wreck to become a hero, personally capture Cobra Commander, and end the war. Now, the G.I. Joe team is disbanded and Shipwreck (along with the other Joes) lives a quiet life in the town of Springfield.
Unfortunately, he doesn't remember any of this, having fallen off his roof while installing a satellite dish… but maybe that's because all is not what it seems, as Shipwreck learns when he takes a nap and finds himself having nightmares of being taken inside a mysterious car wash where Cobra Commander demands to know what Mulvaney told him.
The next day at work, Shipwreck notices the car wash from his dreams and sees his old pal Roadblock drive through. Shipwreck meets him at the exit, but as Roadblock pulls out of the car wash, he says: "Sure was toasty."
And then he melts into a puddle of gray goo.
Shipwreck freaks out and is arrested, but his cell floor opens and he falls into a room where his fellow retired Joes insist he tell them what Mulaney told them. As he fights back, they each melt as well…
The first episode ends with a screaming Shipwreck carried away by the sentient goo…
We won't spoil the rest, but if you guessed that this episode calls back to the previous two-parter, The Synthoid Conspiracy, you'd be correct. In an interview about his animation work, Gerber described There's No Place Like Springfield as the culmination of "stranger and stranger" experimentation with the toy-based cartoon format…
Well, quite a bit had been established already. There was already a five-part mini-series, that had been on the air the year before, that had established most of the major characters. Of course, there were also all of the comic books and all of the biographical material written for toys that, I think, Larry Hama had mostly done.
So all of this stuff existed. When people were signed to write an episode they were handed what we called a briefing book, essentially all of these characters and the vehicles – the airplanes and the tanks and the ships and so on. They were given a looseleaf notebook with all of this material – it looked like the Manhattan phonebook. It was enormous. I'm story-editing TRANSFORMERS now and we've got another one like that. So, there was a great deal of raw material to work with already.
The question was how do you take all of those individual characters and, of course, whole tapestry woven into the mini-series, make it work as a bunch of individual episodes. The requirements are very, very different. It took a little while to figure it all out. In the beginning, what everyone wanted to do, the natural thing…my own first script for G.I.Joe was a Cobra-tries-to-conquer-the-world-and-the-Joes-stop-them script. We real quickly got away from that kind of story. It was the natural inclination to do something like that, first of all because it's the kinds of shows the networks would do all of the time and basically what everybody's experience is or was out here, and secondly because that was the way the mini-series was structured and that was the model that people were working from; therefore, we craft everything to conform to that model. Everyone assumed that.
It was only about, I would say, like four or five or maybe even six scripts that into the series we began to realize how weird we could actually get with that show. (laughter) And then once it started it couldn't be stopped. It got stranger and stranger right up until the end. The last script that I did of G.I.Joe – I wrote three of them all together for the first season – the last story was a two-parter that bears virtually no resemblance in structure, in pacing, in tone, in everything, to the first script I did.
Ms. Marvel will have a lot to live up to if she's calling back to the greatest episode of the greatest cartoon to ever exist… but we think Kamala Khan may be up to the task.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 hits stores on Wednesday. Credit the AV Club for this preview.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2
(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Minkyu Jung (CA) Eduard Petrovich
• Ms. Marvel is reeling from a devastating loss, but with an alien invasion ravaging Jersey City, she's not going to have much time to grieve!
• Even if Kamala saves her hometown, will her family ever be the same? And what's all this business about a "Chosen One"?
In Shops: Apr 17, 2019