What’s this? A mysterious package arrives at Longbox Graveyard Secret Headquarters!
(Actually, it’s not a surprise at all, as I ordered it. But I pretend otherwise. Coy self-deception is a survival trait for comic book bloggers).
Within, red wrapping.
(Nice of this eBayer to go to such bother. I would have just tossed the thing in a box).
And within that wrapper, within that box … it’s the Mole Man!
I was all set to tear the box open … but this is a pretty cool box. I particularly liked the “Then & Now” information panel that made up one side of the box.
Ah, but “WHY Mole Man?” I hear you ask. Why did I buy this bust?
I don’t particularly like Mole Man, and I don’t collect busts. I’ve sold off or given away nearly all of my comic book stuff.
Yet here I’ve purchased a Mole Man bust!
Don’t blame the Value Stamp per se (though a different Value Stamp cost me my copy of Hulk #181 … that’s another story).
No, blame that portrait of the Mole Man, excerpted for a Value Stamp. You see, when I set up this blog, back in the dim days of 2011, I set up a Twitter account to go with it, and Twitter required an avatar. Child of the Bronze Age as I was, I “naturally” flashed on using a Marvel Value Stamp. I scrolled through the invaluable on-line listing of Value Stamps and settled on one that was a portrait with a good “read” and a funny expression: Mole Man.
Not really thinking more about it, I took to Twitter as the Mole Man.
Of course, if you follow me on Twitter … all you see is that damn Mole Man face.
With no small degree of regret, I admit to 27K-plus Tweets on Twitter. That’s a lot of Mole Men!
OK, so I’m the Mole Man. I can go with that.
My Unintentional Avatar is made sweeter through the intentionality of Glenn J. Smith, a Longbox Graveyard reader and Twitter spirit animal who fixed me up with a less gloomy version of the original Mole Man:
With my avatar thus afforded the legitimacy of an individual’s artistic expression, I’ve come to embrace the Mole Man.
(You see, I become more like Mole Man each moment!)
Then I wrote an impassioned plea for why Ian McShane should play the Mole Man on film.
But, really, those were baby steps, leading up to owning my very own Mole Man bust.
I’ve been looking for this bust for years. Really!
Yes, I know it is readily available on eBay. That’s where I got it! But I set strict rules for the acquisition of my Mole Man.
Specifically, I wouldn’t pay more than twenty bucks for it.
I spent the last two or three convention seasons hunting for Mole Man on dealer floors up and down the west coast, but never found my quarry (and the prices, overall, of these Bowen Designs statues were not encouraging).
So when I found a slightly damaged version on eBay, for $14.00 shipping included, I pounced like a ravenous Moloid!
And now Mole Man resides in a place of prominence on the bedroom deck that doubles as my office in my new beach condo digs.
It has been a long, strange journey, but I cannot escape this fate. My bust is here at last …
… and as for me …
… I AM THE MOLE MAN!
(goo goo g’joob!)
I love Ian McShane and we need to get him a gig as a Marvel movie supervillain, RIGHT NOW!
Like many U.S. television viewers, I was introduced to Mr. McShane through his astonishing turn as the profane and magnificent Al Swearengen, from HBO’s short-lived and idiosyncratic western, Deadwood:
McShane is brilliant — glowering, menacing, magnetic, soulful. He would make a spectacular Marvel movie villain.
Unfortunately, the Marvel Studios docket is pretty full, and I don’t see a role for McShane in Avengers 2 or Ant Man. And I don’t want to see him under heavy makeup as a cosmic heavy in Guardians of the Galaxy — we need to see McShane’s eyes and expression and hear that voice in the most direct means possible for maximum villainous effect.
Fortunately, Marvel Studios isn’t the only game in town when it comes to Marvel movies!
Sony recently announced plans to blow out their Spider-Man license to a full slate of films featuring characters like Venom and the Sinister Six. Yes, this is storytelling bloat, and yes, this is an unwise line extension and a naked cash grab on behalf of Sony.
But if we must be made to suffer through a Sinister Six movie, then how about Ian McShane as … Kraven the Hunter?
Being a gentleman of distinguished years, we will have to reimagine Kraven a bit to suit McShane. As much as I love Steve Ditko’s original design, I don’t see McShane leaping around on rooftops while rocking an outrageous lion skin stole!
But I could see McShane as what Kraven became over time — a dangerous, bitter, tough old bird who had hunted and killed everything worth killing … save for Spider-Man. Effectively, we’d jump right to the end of Kraven’s arc with his first appearance, embracing the dying hunter we saw in Kraven’s Last Hunt.
A half-mad Kraven drinking poisonous spider venom to “wear the skin” of his most hated quarry? That’s a Kraven McShane could play!
Sony isn’t the only studio looking to catch a bit of Avengers magic with their Marvel licenses. Fox is milking the heck out of X-Men, but they’re also looking to get the Fantastic Four franchise relaunched. The movie has a release date and a director attached, but casting information hasn’t passed the rumor stage.
So, how about McShane as … Mole Man?
Age-wise, this is a better fit for our man, and McShane showed in American Horror Story (Season 2) that he can play an unhinged, hair-in-his-eyes sociopath that has been shut away from the world. Plus, McShane has the inner nobility to pull off the misunderstood monster and fallen king that is the Mole Man. About the only change I’d make to Mole Man is removing his crazy shades so we can always see McShane’s gun barrel eyes.
Finally, it is a rumor of a rumor at this point, but it sure looks like Marvel will be sending us a Doctor Strange movie sooner or later, so how about Ian McShane as … Baron Mordo?
This might be the best role of all for McShane … I can totally see him as the most evil sorcerer in the world. But Doctor Strange is too far away! I want McShane in a Marvel movie right now.
Or better yet, give me McShane in all three roles! Why not? If Chris Evans can be both Captain America and the Human Torch, or if we can get two different Quicksilvers in two different superhero blockbusters, then is it such a stretch that McShane might play three Marvel villains for three different studios?
Let’s make this happen! Forward!
Give me YOUR Ian McShane villain casting ideas in my comments section, below!
- True grit: Deadwood star Ian McShane on villainous turns and his days as a Hollywood hellraiser (independent.co.uk)
- Rumor: Doctor Strange Movie Plot Leaked Online (capesonfilm.com)
- Newswire: Sony firms up plans to turn Spider-Man into its own Avengers-style movie universe (avclub.com)
- Marvel Studios Head Honcho Drops Info On Upcoming Movies (capesonfilm.com)