So Lis over at Kid Sis in Hollywood sends me a wonderful Chanukah present, the fancy-shmancy tin of the Marvel Trivia Game. I am, of course, delighted by the thoughtfulness of the present, and also quite sure that there are only about 2 or three people in my present universe that I can actually play the game with.
After all, this is not like pulling out Candyland or Scrabble. Likely, no one else but me is going to get a question about the Abomination, even if I can look up "abomination" in the dictionary and make two double letter and a triple word score out of it.
(One could make the case that reading Claremont's X-Men was a lot like playing Chutes and Ladders however. Almost done, almost to the end of a story... oh no, back to square two. You're now in an alternative universe. So sorry.)
However, once i start to look over the cards, I realize that what appeared to be a wonderful gift is, in fact, a curse! how could that be, you ask yourself, its just a harmless trivia game. And you would be right... on the surface.
Lets take a look at card 74 and you'll see what I mean.
The cards progress in difficulty as you read down. Question 1: What is Mr. Fantastic's name? Reed Richards. Fine, we're good there. Question 2 requires that you were reading West Coast Avengers of a particular time period to get the US Agent answer. Question 3 and 4 are pretty old school, but question number 5 puts us into knowing when that first Marvel Spotlight was published.
OK, so far so good. After all, we've had nicknames, secret identities, mistaken identities and publishing dates on one card. I'm 5 for 5. Then we look at another randomly selected card:
Well OK, I'm down with Mystique's adopted daughter, Rogue. Question 1, the easiest one down. Question 2: What team is M on? Huh? Who is M? M exists? How? I mean, I don't even know the character, how the heck am I supposed to know what team he's on?
Maybe this is an abberation, so I'll move to the third question: Tony Stark makes his million how? Well, as the long suffering Iron Man fan, I say Stark International as the answer, or making munitions to go all old skool and SHIELD on you. The card, however, has Stark Industries as the answer.
Now wait, you're going to have to start qualifying eras or I'm never going to get an answer right here.
Question 4: Who is Spider-man 2099's arch nemesis begs the answer: the 25 cent bin, which is not going to be on the back of the card.
I won't even go into the fifth question, which I thought was one of those Area 51s for Marvel: don't ask, they don't officially exist. you mean they actually did a story for the creation of Cap's shield? when? I'm not even sure that I would want to read it. I think that I'd rather there be some mystery in life, like the real origin of Wolverine. Some things Marvel is better off not doing.
The cards go on and on. You can see the problem here: there are just so many issues, so many that I don't recall reading, that I missed that I simply don't know about... its almost too much for my brain. It used to be that you could read the Avengers or the FF and actually keep continuity in your head AND YOU WERE PROUD OF IT DAMN IT! Now there are indestructible shield storylines and reboots and even New Universe questions and it's just too much.
Excuse me, I have some reading to go do....