Strange Times & Places: Timeslip The Collection

The Mandarin by Paul Pope

Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where this week you’re in for a bit of a mind-flip, because we’re looking at Timeslip: The Collection.

How’s It Different?

This is a slightly strange example, since it’s a For Want of a Nail story…applied to the real world. Timeslip was a feature that ran in Marvel Vision, Marvel’s official fanmag of the mid-90s, which posed the question “What if….modern artists had worked with Stan Lee to create Marvel’s classic characters?” It eventually diverged somewhat from that premise, the overall idea was modern creators (including the likes of Jeff Smith, Cully Hamner, Dan Jurgens, Paul Pope, and Bill Sienkiewicz) reimagining Marvel heroes of the Golden to Bronze ages.

What’s The Story?

Ghost Rider by Glen Fabry

As implied above, there’s no one story here (not unlike the later Millennial Visions oneshots in that regard.

Best of Differences

  • Paul Pope’s almost pulp hero take on The Mandarin, recasting him as an anti-hero fighting the Chinese government as the first path to world domination, is probably the most interesting of the lot. It would make a great mini-series or OGN.
  • Glen Fabry’s Ghost Rider, which re-envisions Dan Ketch as the flame-headed highway patrolman on the literal road to hell, is another fantastic idea that could stand in its own right.

    The Hulk by Tony Salmons

  • Tony Salmons’ has an interesting take on the Hulk, though it seems highly derivative at first. In this text piece, Rick Jones and Bruce Banner merge ala Firestorm to become the Jade Giant whenever one of them is angered. While initially sounding too much like Firestorm, it recasts Rick Jones (rather than Thunderbolt Ross) as the nemesis hunting Bruce Banner – Rick wants revenge for the life stolen from him and peace from sudden, unprompted transformations into the Hulk

Meh-ist of Differences

The text pieces with the first five pin-ups are written as though Stan Lee is giving the artists the summary of the character, backstory unchanged from the main Marvel U.

Worst of Differences

  • Vince Giarrano’s Quicksilver

    Tommy Lee Edwards’ Black Panther reimagines him as a low-tech tribal warrior, which seemed like a bit of a trade-down.

  • Scott McDaniel’s cosmic horror version of Galactus, an undefeatable old one that destroys the universe, is not particularly compelling.
  • Vince Giarrano’s liquid metal version of Quicksilver, enslaved to Magneto by his metallic nature, is another lesser version of a cool character.

Join me next week for another installment of Tokusatsu Gesundheit!

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past’s social media lackey. He’s all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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