Two of the more recent Marvel Studios film franchises feature a talking raccoon with machine guns, a dancing baby tree, and Paul Rudd shrinking to the size of an ant. If you think that's as goofy as the Marvel Universe can get, you're either not into comics or not into the right ones.
As you take a break from binging on Netflix's ultra-gritty Daredevil, here's a reminder of the batshit insanity that could potentially (hopefully?) take place in that same universe:
6Loki Is A Candy-Obsessed Maniac
In the movies, Loki is a ruthless manipulator whose triumphs tend to involve kingship, global domination, and massive casualties. In the comics, however, his priorities are a little ... different.
And more delicious.
That's from the time Loki turned an entire street into sweets as part of a cunning plan called "annoying the shit out of Thor." Now, we know Loki is supposed to be a trickster god, but the story titled "The Vengeance of Loki!" from Journey Into Mystery #88 might be one of the most ham-handed slapstick bad-guy plots ever engineered. Loki starts by summoning a tiger to attack Thor's romantic interest, Jane Foster, who is an intrepid nurse instead of an intrepid astrophysicist in this version.
Her greatest aspiration was polishing Thor's hammer.
By attacking Jane, Loki forces Thor to let go of his hammer for more than a minute -- which, as we've covered before, causes the mighty god of thunder to turn into a puny doctor named Don Blake. Loki encases the hammer in an impenetrable force field, leaving Thor powerless. Now Loki is free to do whatever the hell he wants ... and the best thing he can think of, apparently, is turning stuff into ice cream and candy. And then for good measure, he also transforms a bunch of people into colorless beings, thereby realizing the same goals of the baddies in Rainbow Brite.
"Hey, Stan, what if in this issue some people turn into blank outlines?"
"What if you draw a full comic for once, you lazy bastard?"
Thor/Blake overcomes this truly diabolical scheme by hiding behind a friggin' plastic Thor replica. This blows Loki's fucking mind. When Loki sees what appears to be a very, very motionless Thor standing in front of him, he takes away the force field to check on the hammer just to make sure he's not tripping balls. Dr. Blake then leaps out of the bushes, grabs the hammer, turns into Thor, and chases Loki's ass back to Asgard using a bag of peanuts and a tennis net.
"It's not cool to make fun of my lack of depth perception."
As for the blank people, we never see them again, but we wouldn't worry too much about them: Thor already proved in a previous issue that his hammer has literally any power the writers want to pull out of their asses, including turning negative people back to normal with anti-matter.
5Kingpin And The Red Skull Strip Down To Their Underwear And Fight In A Bubble
Kingpin and the Red Skull are two of Marvel's deadliest villains, each responsible for more suffering and atrocities than any real-world serial killer. Can you imagine what it would look like if these two merciless bastards were pitted against each other? You don't have to, because that's already in a comic! And the answer is: It looks completely bonkers.
Trust us, context doesn't make this any less ridiculous.
In Captain America #378, Kingpin and the Red Skull have an argument about who gets to sell all the drugs in New York. Kingpin is doing it because he thinks culling the weak-willed will make America stronger, while the Red Skull just wants to make everyone OD until there is no more America.
To that end, the two decide to sort things out with a gentleman's agreement: Whoever can beat the other senseless gets to keep distributing. This doesn't seem like the wisest choice for the Red Skull, considering the fact that he's a little bald Nazi and Kingpin is built like a dump truck. But then, the Red Skull is completely crackers, and in his defense, Kingpin doesn't really look like exercise is his thing.
So, in order to satisfy honor and make sure no one has any secret weapons, the two villains naturally have to take off their clothes, revealing that Kingpin is a boxers man and that the Red Skull has been walking around in a tiny black banana hammock all this time.
"H-How did he find out about my crippling foot fetish?!"
Remember, this is a comic book set in a world full of superpowers and fantastic technology -- if they wanted to, the writers could have easily made it so the villains simply scanned each other with X-rays to make sure they had no weapons. This clearly comes down to someone at Marvel really, really wanting to see Kingpin and the Red Skull punching the shit out of each other without clothes. The biggest blows, however, are verbal:
Yeah, Kingpin, that sounds way more convincing than, "I'm big-boned."
As much as he protests to being called fat, Kingpin's winning move is the same one every pudgy kid used in the fifth grade: pinning the other dude under his enormous gut until he gives up.
Captain America wisely waited for the greasy shitshow to be over before intervening.
And so, Kingpin effectively wins the fight and sees to it that if the people of America want to smoke meth, it's going to be his meth.
And speaking of meth ...