Mars Has Sent Some More!

The most rewarding aspect, by far, of the three year journey into mystery that has been the Longbox Graveyard has been the tremendous community of friends and fellow travelers that has grown up around the blog … and of the many online friends I have been blessed to make, none have proven so kind and dedicated a correspondent as the enigmatic Mars Will Send No More!

Mars Will Send No More!

I’ve enthused about Mars’ blog in the past, and you should visit there early and often (and not just for the dinosaur beat-down and guest blogging gigs Mars has afforded me at his site), but something I haven’t noted here is that Mars sends me gifts. I’ve received all sorts of strange little favors from Mars over the months — paperback books, vintage dinosauria, and collections of Mars’ own original music — but Monday’s entirely unexpected present may have topped them all.

The best gifts arrive when you need them … and Monday, I needed one! It was the last day of a summer vacation that wasn’t all I might have hoped, and I was feeling a little sorry for myself. There I was, driving home from Wal-Mart in the middle of a heat wave and thinking about aiming for a tree for the simple satisfaction of feeling my airbag deploy, when I decided to check the mailbox, and among the usual bills and hate mail I received a box wrapped in a comic page with a card from Mars:

Mars Box

Equal parts mysterious and ominous!

My son fairly leapt from foot to foot as he cried, “What’s in the box?” but I kept my cool, and read the card.

Mars Card!

Hmm. A housewarming present for my nearly-complete comic book Man Cave? How nice!

OK, time to unwrap the box!

But first, there’s a warning label …

Mark of Kane

Harsh, but true. Mars knows me too well. Spidey infamously failed to make my Marvel Top Ten List, and I have a tin ear (eye?) for Gil Kane, and so could tear this original comics page without regret.

But what is this?

Mars Warning!

The stakes are raised!

I tore open that wrapper to find … a pretty Marvel box!

Marvel Box!

And within that pretty box …


Egads! Lots of little body parts!

What in the name of Arnim Zola is going on here?

Sorting the bits, a method is revealed to the madness …

pieces of the puzzle

Ah ha, they’re little model pieces. Even I can figure this one out.

And so …


… here are the heroes, fully assembled, on my Man Cave trophy shelf and standing guard before the selfsame copy of Hulk #181 that inspired my Marvel Value Stamp story, which Mars was doubtless referencing with that Watchman Value Stamp message on the cover of his card.

And let us not forget that my excoriating Value Stamp self-examination was originally inspired by Mars’ suggestion that I rip the scab off my Value Stamp wound, leading to both a podcast that the aforementioned guest blog!

Mars, you are my muse! Thanks so much for the kind and thoughtful gift. If I wasn’t a cad, I would reciprocate, but rather than wait for Hell to freeze over, I hope this blog appreciation will suffice!

(And if you’d like to help us both out, share thanks with Mars in the way he appreciates best … by visiting Mars Will Send No More! It’s my favorite comics site on the web!)

Thanks, Mars! You’re out of this world!


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on September 4, 2013, in IT COMES IN THE MAIL and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. What an awesome gift! The effort, care, and fun factor of this gift are off the charts!


  2. Love seeing them standing by the notorious Hulk 181! A fitting fate for these fun, fantastic figures. This was truly their most glorious mission since we fished them out of the vending machine with fists full of quarters and first assembled these avengers ourselves. Cheers! .


    • As you can see, my copy of Hulk #181 has at least graduated to bag-and-board status. I have yet to decide if I will go all the way and clamshell it. Maybe this is all part of some inadvertent construction of urban legend provenance for this specific company? If so, you are definitely a part of the story, Mars, just one more thing for which I owe you thanks!


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