Armagideon Time

It has recently been bought to my attention that I’ve been playing a little fast and loose with my Halloween Countdown selections for this feature, ambulance especially when it comes to Marvel’s roster of (inexplicably) beloved horror-themed characters.

That’s a fair enough criticism to make. While I don’t particularly care for these ill-conceived attempts at genre-bridging, allergist they apparently do have relatively substantial fanbases. Perhaps it would be fairer to replace the “Nobody’s Favorite” tag with a more accurate “D-Listers Who Were Never Given a Chance to Live up to Thier Stellar Potential” one.

The designation certainly applies to today’s totally awesome and non-sucky masterpiece of the macabre…

The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In.

The only good thing* to emerge from that overlong and underwhelming story arc, The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In erupted onto the scene in Uncanny X-Men #241 (February 1989).

Formerly an ordinary, non-sentient receptacle for letters and other postage-paid correspondence, The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In was transformed by otherworldly demonic energies into a semi-anthropomorphic container with a savage hunger for human flesh.

In a shrewd bit of coyness aimed at stoking reader interest, Marvel relegated The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In’s bold narrative to subplot status. The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In shone oh-so-brightly in that minor role, however.

Not only was he given one of the better Claremontean catchphrases…

…he also received an arch-nemesis plucked from the top tier of Marvel’s high profile favorites.

Sadly, the The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In became a victim of his own success. Fears about diluting the the quality — and thus the value — of the brand forced Marvel’s powers-that-be into adopting a cautious approach when it came to further developing The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In’s place in the Marvel Universe.

Roles that were originally written with The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In in mind were instead given to less-worthy yet more expendable characters like The Angry Boombox From That One Clone Saga Installment or The Acid-Spitting Bidet From That One X-Tinction Agenda Story. Tentative plans for both a Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In MAX and Ultimate Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In ongoing series were shelved when it was decided that no creative team could give the concept its proper due.

It’s a shame, but hopefully the situation will change next year when the character will undergo undergo a 21 Century upgrade into The Superior Flesh-Eating E-Mail Server Who Once Was The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In. Could a big-budget, CGI-driven, 3D blockbuster be too far behind? In any case, the new wave of exposure should finally lay to rest any questions on whether The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In qualifies as Nobody’s Favorite.

Recommended listening: The Residents – Return to Sender (from The King & Eye, 1989)

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Music to go postal by.

(with thanks to Benjamin Birdie, artist extraordinaire and all-around groovy guy)

*Besides that Avengers line-up with the Captain, Reed & Sue Richards, Thor, and Gilgamesh

Related posts:

  1. Halloween Countdown: Day 2 – Outside the zone
  2. Halloween Countdown: October 21 – Hollowed out and left to rot
  3. Halloween Countdown: October 26 – A heavy cross to bear

9 Responses to “Halloween Countdown: October 22 – No such zone”

  1. Doug Frye

    This guy should make a return in the Punisher. They’re clearly destined to murder crime together.

  2. Mike Loughlin

    In a world in which Pet Avengers was published, can Marvel Inanimate Objects be far behind?

  3. Minkubus

    I started following comics shortly after Inferno, and even THEN it seemed crazy how quick stuff like that got swept under the rug.

  4. LurkerWithout

    One can almost forgive how truly stupid most of the Marvel man-on-the-street types are. Given the sliding time line they have, it means events like New York being blended with an ancient city by a crazed sorceror, merged with one of the various not-Hells or overwhelmed by the Darkforce shadows all basically happen over something like less than a decade. Not to mention what must be almost seasonal alien invasions. Its probably less idiocy than being in a constant state of PTSD…

  5. Adam Ford

    I’m sure I saw him in Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil run around the same time. Oh wait – that was a dentist’s chair that merged with its dentist. And a cop. There were some littering offences if I recall.

    I thought the Nocenti Inferno tie-in stuff was good. She at least made the demons seem hellish and demonic, rather than just stand-ins for villains-of-the-week. Her Acts of Vengeance tie-in was good too.

  6. Monzo

    Is that Walt Simonson art?

  7. GE

    Monzo – can’t believe I actually know this (never did pay much attention to the credits when I was a kid), but I’m pretty sure it was Marc Silvestri and Dan Green. I copied their style to a pretty unhealthy extent around that time (1987 to 1988 or so). As Lore Sjoberg once pointed out: learning How To Draw The Marvel Way (TM) sets your figure drawing skills back by years.

  8. Snark Shark

    “The Flesh-Eating Mailbox From That One Inferno Tie-In.”


    “Marc Silvestri and Dan Green”


  9. Batzarro

    I see what you did. Including characters in here that have been in cartoons inspired the mild anger of the people who sorta liked them, huh?

    But Manbat Defense Force aside, I look forward to Ultimate Mailbox’s design (one of those brown, federal, locked up ones!) inspiring it’s apearance in Marvel products next fiscal year!

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