Psych Ward: Layla Miller
By Tim Stevens
Layla Miller is a female who presents as an adult. There has been some question whether her level of physical maturation corresponds with her actual chronological age and/or her level of emotional and psychological maturation, but the client maintains that they do and, if anything, it is when she appeared more childlike that things were not properly aligned. The client also presents as being in average to above average physical fitness, with no prominent physical limitations, and is able to fulfill any and all activities of daily living (ADLs). How she came to be an “adult” may be unconventional but an extensive physical exam done by our clinic’s medical partners does not find that there have been any dangerous medical consequences in the physiology of the client’s body or brain.
Client self-identifies as a mutant and summarizes her mutant gift with the statement that she “knows stuff.” She refuses to describe the power in more detail or how it works claiming that to do so would have dire consequences to her or others. This writer has not pressed the issue as it does not seem relevant to therapy at this time. However, it is important to monitor as it may be indicative of delusion. Miller is currently a member of the for-mutants by-mutants private investigation firm X-Factor Investigations and is married to founder and fellow Investigator Jamie Madrox (also known as “Multiple Man”). The client has also gone by the “mutant” or codename of Butterfly but does so very rarely.
As previously mentioned above, although the client was only a child a few years earlier, she is now a full grown adult. On the way to becoming so, she has been subjected to an apparently alternate timeline in which mutants are kept in internment camps. She was stranded there for a period of time, apparently instigating a full-scale revolution, the so-called “Summer Rebellion,” before finally making her way back to her “native” timeline. Although arguably traumatic, her time in this alternate place seemed to have only strengthened her resolve. The client characterizes it as having both taught her limits and affirmed, for her, her abilities. She was similarly largely unaffected by being sent back too far into her past after another excursion, with Madrox, to the alternate timeline.
Consistent with observations made by Dr. Leonard Sampson and reports by her teammates, the client is oriented towards the greater good and self-sacrifice. Having said that, however, she has shown increasing signs of becoming more personally involved with those around her and therefore more likely to make “selfish” choices. This is perhaps best highlighted with her resurrection of the Guido Carosella (Strong Guy) after his death which she claims was about sparing Monet Yvette Clarisse Maria Therese St. Croix (M) the pain of guilt as they were teammates and, evidently, eventually going to be best friends.
In general, although she presents unconventionally, Miller does appear to have a normal, healthy range of emotions and is capable of expressing them in appropriate manners. She has the capacity for empathy, even though she does seem to actively suppress it at times in the name of “knowing stuff;” as noted, that seems to be happening less and less the more she develops relationships to those around her. The client is a quite capable manipulator and often conceals information for others, which she claims is motivated by her desire to ensure the greater. However, as with empathy, the deeper her relationships have grown, the more she has been open and honest with those around her.
As a therapist, this writer is dedicated to helping the client continue to deepen her bonds to others and to develop her sense of appropriate withholding versus deception and manipulation. Despite a rebellious streak and a clear desire to prove her intelligence superiority, she seems receptive to therapy and does appear to be developing a therapeutic bond with this writer.
Layla Miller’s next appointment is scheduled with Doctors Peter David and Neil Edwards on June 5. Please see file X-FACTOR #257 for details.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee who currently provides therapy and outreach at a state university.
Fightin' Fanboys: Chris Sabin of Impact Wrestling
Chris Sabin (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Photos courtesy of Impact Wrestling
By James Viscardi with Ben Morse
For a decade, Chris Sabin has been a mainstay of Impact Wrestling, winning the X Division title on multiple occasions and comprising one half of the legendary Motor City Machine Guns. However, for the past two years, Impact has lacked one of its favorite sons, sidelined with a variety of injuries.
On June 2 in Boston at Slammiversary, Sabin steps back up to the plate, challenging X Division Champion Kenny King in a three way contest also involving Suicide.
We spoke to Sabin about his comeback, competing with Spider-Man, his qualifications to be an Avenger and more.
Chris Sabin (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Marvel.com: So you’ve been out for a bit; two years on the sidelines. What does it mean to come back to the stage as big as Slammiversary?
Chris Sabin: To me it means everything, especially something as big as Slammiversary, because I’ve been there for every anniversary that the company has had since their very first one. I might not have been physically at every Slammiversary, but I’ve been working with the company for [all of them], so it’s cool to come back and be a part of the company being around for so long.
Marvel.com: Did you make any adjustments in your time off to your training and your style?
Chris Sabin: Yeah, definitely. I tried to change everything up from the way I looked to the way I wrestled to the way I talked. I tried to give them something completely fresh. I have to change my wrestling style because physically I can’t keep up the pace I could do before. But, you know, you can get around that and still put on an entertaining match.
Chris Sabin (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Marvel.com: Do you see any challenges transitioning back into singles competition, or are you just ready to go full fire?
Chris Sabin: Yeah, pretty much ready to go full fire. You know, it’s been 24 months since I’ve been here, really. I was back for about seven matches then put back [on the shelf] so I’m pretty much ready for anything at this point.
Marvel.com: Are you a big Marvel fan?
Chris Sabin: I just started getting the comics in the past couple months. Growing up, I watched the X-Men cartoons; I watched the Spider-Man cartoons, movies, video games, all that stuff. I had the X-Men characters as toys; I remember I had Wolverine and Cable. But I wouldn’t use them as X-Men. I’d actually use them in my little wrestling promotions.
Marvel.com: Let’s say you had a match against someone like Spider-Man. With your high flying abilities, how do you think you’d do?
Chris Sabin: I mean, I think I’d do pretty well. Two years ago, I definitely would have been a lot better because I could’ve maybe kept up a little bit. But I mean, it’d be hard to keep up with Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: You mentioned being an X-Men fan. Let’s say you were able to pick someone as a tag team partner, who from the X-Men do you think you’d team up with?
Chris Sabin: That’s a pretty tough one. I mean, Wolverine is a great wrestler because he has the healing factor, so he can take any bump whatsoever. You can pick him up and throw him, superplex him off the top rope on the stairs, and he’s able to heal himself, so he’d be a pretty mean wrestler.
Marvel.com: If you were to have any superpower, what do you think would be the best one to help you out in the ring?
Chris Sabin: It almost seems like the healing factor would be the best. Obviously, you know, we get beat up so much. Healing would be very good. I’m just going to go with that, because that’s the most logical one.
Marvel.com: Last one for you. Let’s say the Avengers came up to you and said, “Hi, Chris. We’ve got a spot open for you.” What can you bring to the table?
Chris Sabin: Wow. You know, someone’s going to have to train me, that’d be the first thing. If it’s just regular old me and the Avengers ask me to join them, I’d probably have to politely decline because I don’t have any kind of superpowers. I can’t hold a candle to Thor, Iron Man, or Hulk. Actually, maybe I’d ask Bruce Banner if he could hook me up and maybe become like the Hulk. Maybe he has a better formula now and I can keep it under control.
Tuesday, we talk with “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels!
Exclusively Preview Angela in Age of Ultron
Marvel is proud to unveil Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada’s jaw dropping wraparound variant cover to AGE OF ULTRON #10, featuring Angela! To save the Marvel Universe, Earth’s Mightiest made the most controversial decision of their lives resulting a disaster unlike any they’ve seen before. But with one final shot to make things right, can they turn back the hands of time and restore everything to its former glory? And if they can’t what happens next?! AGE OF ULTRON #10, by the jam packed creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco, Brandon Peterson, Alex Maleev, Butch Guice, David Marquez and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, leaves no stone unturned and has an ending nobody can see coming!
Age of Ultron #10 variant cover by Joe Quesada
The Avengers are down to their last resort as they forge the ultimate plan to finally break free from Ultron’s ferocious iron grip. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to your local comic shop and reserve a copy of AGE OF ULTRON #10 today!
AGE OF ULTRON #10 ANGELA VARIANT (APR130592)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by BRYAN HITCH, CARLOS PACHECO, BRANDON PETERSON, ALEX MALEEV, BUTCH GUICE, DAVID MARQUEZ & JOE QUESADA
Cover by BRANDON PETERSON
Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
ON-SALE – 6/19/13
Follow the History of Deadpool Pt. 2
By Brett White
After making a bloody splash as an X-Force villain just over 20 years ago, Deadpool has grown from a cult favorite second banana to Marvel's most notorious leading mercenary.
On June 25, 2013, comic book fans everywhere will get to experience life in the red and black tights when Deadpool's first ever video game breaks its way into stores. This marks Wade Wilson's first time headlining a game after appearing in other titles like “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” and the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're giving you an in-depth look at Deadpool's history, from his humble beginnings as X-Force's snarkiest foe all the way to today.
Wade Wilson finally became a legit leading man with his first limited series, 1993's DEADPOOL: THE CIRCLE CHASE. Without Tolliver's support network, Deadpool had to give his old tech expert, Weasel, his job back. Following his boss’ death, DP found himself concerned with only one thing: Tolliver's will and the big prize that went to the first person that found it. The catch: every criminal wanted the goodies and everyone thought Deadpool knew the location.
He also became a target for Garrison Kane, looking for Vanessa. The mutant known as Copycat had gone missing after Deadpool's botched attack in Boston. After he realized that the merc didn't know Vanessa’s location, Kane left him alone.
insert caption here
After Deadpool stole a disc containing information about the will, Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy immediately attacked him. Even though the two hadn't come looking for the info, they stole it after learning its value. ‘Pool followed the pair to an airport, stowing away on their getaway plane. They clashed again midair, allowing Deadpool to get the upper hand by blowing out the plane's door. Black Tom and Juggernaut were sucked out of the plane, and Wade managed to get the disc back in the scuffle.
But peace didn't last long, as a group called the Executive Elite overwhelmed Deadpool. Just as their agent Comcast started to suck DP’s knowledge of Tolliver's will out of his head, Weasel came in cavalry-style and distracted them long enough for his pal to overpower the alliteratively named team. After putting together the information from the stolen disc with the Elite's Intel, our main merc pinpointed the will's location.
Upon arriving in Katmandu, Deadpool found a number of individuals already there: Garrison Kane, a cybermorph psychopath named Slayback along with hostage Vanessa, and a dormant ADAM unit guarding the will. The skirmish woke the ADAM unit up, engaging its anti-weapon protocols. The being obviously pegged Slayback and Deadpool as weapons, immediately vaporizing the former. But when ADAM turned its attention to Deadpool, Wade reasoned with the robot. He said that he could also help people and then let the impaled Vanessa use her copying powers on his healing factor, thus saving her life. This satisfied the unit. Vanessa left with Kane, and Deadpool gave up on the will. Saving Copycat’s life gave Wade Wilson his first taste of heroism.
Deadpool ventured outside of the X-Men's corner of the Marvel Universe during this time as well, appearing in the pages of SILVER SABLE AND THE WILD PACK #23 and AVENGERS #366. He even joined up with Luke Cage and Dr. Druid to repair the fabric of time in SECRET DEFENDERS #15-17.
But no matter how far away Deadpool ran, his own past kept coming back to haunt him. 1994's DEADPOOL let fans peek behind the mercenary’s mask. Wade Wilson revealed his origin and scarred face to a bartender; one not prepared for that epic a sob story. Wilson disclosed that he had terminal cancer and became Deadpool to earn money for a cure. The cure he found worked, but left him horribly scarred.
After getting personal, Deadpool fell victim to an attack by a group of armored goons sent by Black Tom Cassidy. One of the goons made off with Deadpool's severed hand, but the rest suffered defeat at the screams of Banshee and Siryn. The father and daughter in search of their relative Black Tom tracked down his goons. Banshee decided to chase down a few leads of his own, leaving Siryn with Deadpool.
And that's when Deadpool fell in love with Siryn.
While Wade's hand healed, he flirted relentlessly with Siryn. The two got close; Siryn revealed that Black Tom raised her, and Deadpool told his real name.
Back at Black Tom's castle, Deadpool's stolen hand came in handy. The villain’s doctor, Dr. Killebrew, grafted the limb to his body, causing Tom's new, unstable mutation to heal.
Banshee found Black Tom's base, leading Siryn and Deadpool there. The trio took out Juggernaut and went head to head with Tom, but the dark Cassidy’s new appendage hadn’t taken so well, and the healing factor had begun to overpower his body. Killebrew, looking out for his patient, urged Deadpool to take his hand back, which he did—with his sword.
With a stalemate reached and Black Tom's cure unsuccessful, Deadpool snuck off with Dr. Killebrew, hoping that the doctor would be able to fix his scarred body. Siryn managed to say goodbye before 'Pool slipped away, noting that the pair made a good team and saying that if he ever needed help, he knew where to look.
And that's where Deadpool's unhealthy obsession with Siryn took hold. Next up, Wade acts on that unhealthy obsession.
Witness the Avengers Battle the Enemy Within
Avengers Assemble #16 preview art by Matteo Buffagni
By Andrew Wheeler
Since taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has worked hard to prove herself as one of the premiere super heroes in the Marvel Universe. In the Enemy Within storyline weaving between CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artists Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffagni, Carol finds her confidence tested like never before as she faces a lesion on her brain that could see her permanently grounded even while facing torment at the hands of an old foe.
The Enemy Within launched earlier this month and continues in June’s AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #13. According to DeConnick, the title has a triple meaning:
Avengers Assemble #16 preview art by Matteo Buffagni
“[It refers to] Carol fighting her own worst tendencies [and] her own insecurities; the actual lesion in her brain and the enemy who's ‘gotten in her head.’”
The external threat comes from Kree officer Yon-Rogg, a rival of the original Captain Marvel who seemingly died in the accident that gave Carol her powers. He's been taunting the new Captain from the sidelines for a little while now, but he's not quite the man that Carol remembers.
“Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that he's Yon-Rogg's next evolution,” shares DeConnick. “He's someone who's been in Carol's life before, and someone who holds her up as a symbolic representation of everyone and everything that has wronged him and robbed him of the life and honors he feels he has earned.
“I have some sympathy for him too. He's a man who's been separated from everything that had any meaning for him. He's a man without a home.”
Avengers Assemble #16 cover by Joe Quinones
The story features art from two rising stars. According to DeConnick, the artists represent two sides of the coin.
“Scott brings grit. Dirty ink washes; brawn,” she explains. “Matteo counters that with grace, elegance. They dance.”
The Avengers side of the story brings in a roster of heroes to help Captain Marvel in her fight, including Spider-Woman, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Wasp, Falcon, Wolverine, Captain America and Hulk, but she'll also have help from her own supporting cast, including Dakota North, Wendy Kawasaki, and Chewie the cat. She may need all the help she can get.
“[The Enemy Within] ties together a lot of what we've been doing with Carol, plot-wise and thematically,” continues DeConnick. “It challenges her and gives her the opportunity to really put herself on the line as a hero—to really make a bold sacrifice—and then gives me some really fertile ground to spring out of, too.”
For new readers, it's a great opportunity to discover why CAPTAIN MARVEL has inspired such a passionate following among fans who call themselves the Carol Corps. DeConnick finds no mystery in the character's appeal.
Avengers Assemble #16 variant cover by Amanda Conner
“I think people identify with her struggles, honestly,” she says. “She's flawed; she's both insecure and arrogant, she has a short fuse and a giant heart. I think people see themselves in her anger and her mistakes as much as they see themselves in her love and loyalty, you know? We all want to be heroes in our own way. I think her tenacity is as inspiring as her ass-kicking.
“Too cheesy? Feels true to me.”
The Enemy Within continues in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16-17 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #13-14.
Unlimited Highlights: X-Men
By Ben Chabala
Every week we'll pick a handful of awesome comics from the thousands available through Marvel Unlimited. From creator spotlights to editor's picks and more, this'll be your spot to find something new and cool.
Next week Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel’s X-MEN #1 features some of the most dynamic and daring in the X-Universe. Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue and Storm round out the roster and we want to share some of their awesome adventures in this week’s Unlimited Highlights!
After a falling out with Professor X over her status as an X-Man, a young Kitty Pryde spots an anomaly in the tunnels beneath the mansion and decides to investigate. Little does Sprite know that Sidrian hunters stalk the hallowed halls of the School for Gifted Youngsters! In the darkness she finds the tricky little robots primed and ready to vaporize, and just when it looks like the technological monstrosities might overwhelm the intangible phaser, help comes from an unexpected quarter on leathery purple wings and breathing fire!
Cyclops vs. Storm—the winner leads the X-Men! Sure Storm lacks her omega-level mutant gift, the power to manipulate the weather of Earth itself, but don’t count her out yet. Ororo knows how to lead, how to fight, and Scott’s every weakness. While Cyclops may seem to have the advantage, in the Danger Room anything can happen!
Ever tangle with an honest to goodness Greek god? During the human/mutant riots in San Francisco, Rogue went toe-to-toe with Ares, the God of War. How you ask? She absorbed some of his divine might of course! The experience almost killed her, but what’s a brush with death compared to the powers of a deity? However, can she survive his wrath afterwards?
Betsy Braddock and Amahl Farouk, Psylocke and the Shadow King, join once again in epic psychokinetic combat. The deviant King wants Betsy to suffer for imprisoning him within her mind for years, and the psychic ninja means to permanently extinguish his evil psyche from the astral plane. Who will emerge the victor, the valorous X-Woman or the black nightmare of the mindscape?
Jubilee fights to keep her bloodlust in check as the Science Team works on a way to cure her newly inherited vampiric nature. Her anger runs unchecked as she lashes out at the people that love her most. Will the girl that could create brilliant fireworks ever walk again in the light? Can she overcome her burning desire for blood? With Wolverine’s help she just might stand a chance.
X-MEN #1 goes on sale Wednesday, May 29!
The Marvel Life: Mike Lawrence
By Blake Garris
A New York based comedian who has been featured on Conan, Comedy Central and John Oliver's Stand Up Show, Mike Lawrence also happens to be a huge comic book fan.
We recently spoke to Mike as he geared up up for the release of his debut comedy album “Sadamantium” about his love for The Thing, why he would be Wonder Man if he could be any super hero and how he once explained Spider-Man's Clone Saga to Marc Maron.
Marvel.com: To begin, what Marvel comics are you reading right now?
Mike Lawrence: I do stand-up comedy so I don’t always have the money, but I read some of them. My favorite guy working now is Dan Slott. I’m not all caught up; I haven’t read all the Marvel NOW! stuff but I love a lot of his stuff. We live in an age where Hawkeye has the best book on the stands. That’s pretty awesome.
Marvel.com: How did you feel about the twist with SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN?
Mike Lawrence: I think all that’s cool. I know people hate that stuff. But every day that goes by and we’re not in the Clone Saga, I think people should just shut up. It’s been way worse if you hate that kind of stuff. I think it’s awesome. The characters are supposed to do these weird, different stories and wacky interpretations. He’ll always end up going back to punching the Shocker in his face and making fun of him for it.
Spider-Man: The Clone Saga
Marvel.com: Speaking of the Clone Saga, you were on Marc Maron’s podcast and had a lot of things to say about that. Can you explain that?
Mike Lawrence: I got to explain to Marc Maron what the Clone Saga was. While the technical terms of continuity don’t make sense, the heartbreak does. He was able to understand through that and the amount of crying I was doing.
Marvel.com: What would be your all-time favorite Marvel book if you had to pick one?
Mike Lawrence: If I had to pick, I would go with the one that resonated with me the most in my formative years of comics. The one I absolutely loved was UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, because that made me love the modern stuff that was going at the time and also made me super into the [Steve] Ditko/[Stan] Lee stuff. I love all that old Silver Age stuff. I think that John Byrne’s FANTASTIC FOUR is up there. I just bought an Omnibus for the first time and that’s the one I got. Those are really hard to read. No one told me that holding a seven-pound book would be that difficult, but it is.
Marvel.com: The cover of your album is a drawing of you as Wolverine. Why is that?
Mike Lawrence: I wanted to embody the most popular character in Marvel history that Stan Lee didn’t create, that way he can’t take credit for it. [Laughs]
This Man, This Monster
It’s funny because my actual favorite super hero is The Thing. I love The Thing. He’s just not as popular. I would love to have had the album called, “This Man, This Monster.” That’s what I really wanted to do. It was just a little too obscure. Trust me; it’s painful to realize that not everyone has read FANTASTIC FOUR #51, one of the greatest issues of all time. It came right after Galactus, too. That’s how great those two dudes were. They did this epic battle against Galactus and then the next issue was “This Man, This Monster.” I would totally love to do that. It really was The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine. It really was the pinnacle of the 60’s. That was the X-Men of it’s time. It was the biggest and most popular book.
Marvel.com: Have you read some of the recent Fantastic Four stuff?
Mike Lawrence: The Jonathan Hickman stuff? Yeah, some of it’s awesome. I love the council of the different Reeds. That’s a really cool idea. I love a lot of it. I could never get into characters like Annihilus. Those villains are so big. I’ll always take Rhino over them. Just some dumb thug that agreed to be put into a rhino suit is more appealing to me than this great evil that never has a personality. I think Thanos is one of the only characters of that type that bucks that trend. That’s only because most of his stuff was written by the same guy, Jim Starlin, who just kept pushing that character and giving him new layers. For the most part, those kinds of MacGuffin characters usually don’t interest me. I think Ultron is the exception, just because of how weird all of that is. All the Oedipal stuff. [Laughs]
Marvel.com: What makes The Thing your favorite character?
Mike Lawrence: For one, he’s Jewish. That’s seriously a part of it. We’ve got him, Sabra and Magneto who’s sometimes a villain and sometimes not. It’s cool to have a Jewish hero. That and he’s the guy that everybody loves. He’s like a great character actor. He’s like Stephen Root, who is amazing in “Office Space,” great in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” He steals the show in everything. You don’t always notice him the most but he makes things that much better. I don’t even drink but I would have a beer with Ben Grimm.
One of my favorite issues, and you couldn’t really do this with any other character, was MARVEL-TWO-IN-ONE #186, where it’s him and the Sandman. Sandman comes into a bar and thinks that they’re going to fight and then he’s depressed because he had recently merged with Hydro-Man to become a giant mud monster. So they’re just talking it out and Sandman explains his origin and how he’s depressed. And then Ben just lets him go and that’s the issue. That sort of began the Sandman’s good guy turn. The Sandman is my favorite Spider-Man villain. I’m a bit of a “Spider-Man 3” apologist because of it. There’s a scene between Sandman, Spider-Man and the armored car. That’s the best scene in Spider-Man cinematic history for me. That captures everything I love about the character. It’s only three minutes and I watch it on YouTube all the time. When Spider-Man punches through the stomach and he pulls his shoes off and there’s sand in them. He’s fighting and he’s kind of quippy during it. He’s overwhelmed and he loses. That’s the thing I love. Spider-Man lost all the time. He always figures out how to win in the end but it was like twenty pages of losing and one page of victory. [Laughs]
Marvel Two-in-One #86
Marvel.com: Can you tell fans about your “Nerd of Mouth” podcast?
Mike Lawrence: It’s definitely more entertaining than it is informative. We don’t have all the newest news and we’re not all caught up on everything but we analyze stuff and make fun of it. It’s the conversations that used to happen at comic book shops before they just existed to take your money. The beautiful, dusty, musty, stinky comic book shops where a guy with no social skills and no business acumen would sit there, looking terrible, and almost push you out before you ever bought a book. We try to capture that feeling a bit and it’s awesome.
Marvel.com: Did you like “Marvel’s The Avengers?”
Mike Lawrence: I liked “The Avengers” because it was a great movie and it was a great super hero story. I’m a wrestling fan too, and I will say this: The actual fight was a bit of a squash match. There was never any suspense or drama. But that’s often how the first movies are, bringing everything together just to show off everybody but it did it in a great way. Everyone was doing something the whole time and no one was overexposed.
Marvel.com: If you were a Marvel super hero, who would you be?
Mike Lawrence: I was about to say Hawkeye, but am I really going to deny myself powers? I could be Mimic but nobody else has powers so I wouldn’t be able to mimic them. The trick answer doesn’t even work. Oh man, this is really genuinely tough. I would be Wonder Man. I would be Simon Williams. The red eyes are awesome; it’s just a cool looking visual. You can say, “I was killed and then my brain patterns were put in a robot and my brother has a scythe for a hand. But you’re telling me about your problems.” He has one of the craziest origin stories but he’s still like a happy-go-lucky dude. I love Wonder Man. I would be Simon Williams.
Marvel.com: What made you decide to have a Wolverine type album cover? Album covers are a pretty big deal, why did you decide to go that route?
Mike Lawrence: It just fit. That title, I love it. I couldn’t pass it up. I came up with it and it was just too fun. I knew I was going to do something comic book-y, and then that came together. I said Wolverine isn’t my favorite character. I don’t think he’s a mutant; he just uses the Canadian health care system a lot. It just fit. It’s that thing too, where if you don’t know what it is it’s not going to completely stop you from buying it. But if you do know what it is, you’re definitely going to want to buy it.
Marvel.com: The title is so great that it’s a wonder no one came up with it before.
Mike Lawrence: I Google searched it. I looked it up, because I was terrified that there was no way this name hadn’t been taken. When I saw that it hadn’t, I was so happy. It says everything about me. My act is very pop-culture heavy. It’s very comic book heavy, but also [expletive] depressing.
Marvel.com: It sounds like Marvel fans would really love your stand-up.
Mike Lawrence: Yeah, for sure. I don’t dwell on it and the thing that I can say about my nerd comedy is that I don’t pander. I make jokes but I’m not contextual. I know there are guys who exclusively do cons and that kind of stuff. They’re just goofy and fun. I am not. My act is not “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s heavier, it’s more depressing, but it’s fun too. I tried to really capture what it’s like to be a nerd; the idea of growing up and feeling uncomfortable and then also realizing that everyone wants to take your money.
Cover to Sadamantium
Marvel.com: Is there a nerd community of comedians that get together and talk comics?
Mike Lawrence: Yeah, in some ways. What often happens is that there’s definitely a huge sports community. There’s a ton of dudes who love talking about the Knicks and all that. Those guys are fine, and then there’s us. It definitely goes both ways. People will come up to me knowing that I’m the guy they can talk to about that stuff. It’s awesome.
Marvel.com: Last question, how can fans reach you? I know that you’re active on Twitter and you have a website.
Mike Lawrence: Yeah. I’m active on Twitter and Facebook. I guess I would say that if you find flaws in the album, point them out to me and I’ll send you a No-Prize. [Laughs]
Fightin' Fanboys: Joseph Park of Impact Wrestling
Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Photos courtesy of Impact Wrestling
By Blake Garris with Ben Morse
Impact Wrestling superstar Joseph Park combines the traits of many great Marvel super heroes: The pure power of The Hulk, the dedication to responsibility of Spider-Man—and the courtroom skills of Daredevil.
Though he entered the promotion one year ago as a mild-mannered lawyer searching for his missing brother—and former World Champion—Abyss, Park has become caught up in the struggle between Impact and the nefarious Aces and 8s gang, becoming a full-fledged competitor along the way. On June 2 at Slammiversary, the litigator will attempt to wrest the Television title from Aces and 8s member Devon.
As he prepares for his big opportunity, we got Park to chat with us about growing up with Marvel heroes, how he got into wrestling and much more.
Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Marvel.com: Slammiversary caps off your first year with Impact Wrestling. What have been some of the highlights?
Joseph Park: Well, you know, it’s been a wild year. It’s been crazy. I gotta say the most memorable thing was getting my first win—my first big W against Robbie E. But it’s been a whirlwind year to say the least for me, and I really think going to Slammiversary is a chance for a part of me to get a little momentum for a change and start to progress a little bit. I want to keep getting better and better, and practice and so forth. Get myself to where I need to be. I think Slammiversary could be hopefully a nice avenue for me to get to do that.
Marvel.com: You’re going to be taking on the Television Champion, Devon, who has both experience and the Aces & 8s on his side. What will you do to win the title?
Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Joseph Park: Well you just said it yourself: The deck is stacked against me. Not only am I in there with a very, very smart and very, very tough competitor in Devon but I also have to worry about the rest of his buddies in the Aces & 8s, so I’m going to have to have eyes in the back of my head. I’m going to be training hard. I’m going to be hitting Ohio Valley Wrestling, getting as much ring time as I can and just preparing for a fight. It’s going to be a battle. There’s no doubt about it. I need to stand up for myself and stick to my instincts and not back down, and that’s exactly what I’m planning on doing.
Marvel.com: Switching gears, you’re both a lawyer and a wrestler. Daredevil is both a lawyer and a super hero, but of course he has a radar sense that compensates for his blindness. How would you use those kinds of abilities in the ring?
Joseph Park: Gosh, I wish had the radar sense Daredevil has. It would’ve come in handy an awful lot up to this point. If I would’ve had what Daredevil has, maybe I would’ve been able to fight off a couple of these attacks that have happened on me and on other members the Impact roster
Marvel.com: Let’s say the Avengers were recruiting—what would you bring to the team?
Joseph Park: I think one thing I’d bring is a great outlook, a great layout intelligence-wise. I think I could really add smarts. I think Joseph Park could bring a little bit of strategy to the table for those guys.
Marvel.com: Let’s say you were getting a new tag team partner and could pick any Marvel super hero, who would it be?
Joseph Park: I’m going to go with the Incredible Hulk. I mean, how could you go wrong with that guy? You can’t match his strength and you can’t overpower the guy. He really is a monster.
Marvel.com: Did you read comics growing up?
Joseph Park: Yeah, I was big into comics. I was really big into Spider-Man when I was younger. My teenage years and stuff like that, I really got into the Incredible Hulk comic books after the TV show came out. That’s when I really started getting into them.
Marvel.com: What made you go from Spider-Man to The Hulk?
Joseph Park: I think just because of the power and the strength. Spider-Man was a little bit more finesse. Spider-Man was a little quicker obviously and climbing walls and so forth, which doesn’t really describes me. I think I’m more of an Incredible Hulk guy—big, obviously; big in stature, big in fire, big in strength. I think that’s why I gravitate a little bit more towards the Hulk than towards Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: Obviously there is a lot of crossover between comic book fans and wrestling fans. What would you say to fans that just like comics to get them excited for Impact Wrestling?
Joseph Park: I would say that there’s an awful lot of positive crossover between comic books and Impact Wrestling as far as they have the larger than life characters, and larger than life people, and larger than life storylines that you see. Comic book characters are really relatable to wrestlers. I mean, you have the Incredible Hulk in Marvel Comics and Hulk Hogan for Impact Wrestling. Comic book characters are larger than life, and in a lot of ways, wrestlers are too.
Marvel.com: I know you mentioned you grew up with the Hulk and Spider-Man, but what got you into wrestling in the first place?
Joseph Park: I was about eight or nine years old and I was flipping through TV. This is before the advent of cable and so forth. This was back when I remember in Cleveland, Ohio growing up I had four or five channels total and that was it. It was probably about midnight or 12:30 and I was flipping through and I saw this show. It WWF and they were getting ready for their first WrestleMania. I fell in love with the business. I fell in love with wrestling. I fell in love with Hulk Hogan. And I couldn’t get enough of it. I couldn’t watch enough of it; I couldn’t talk about it enough. I used to bug my childhood buddies and they were sick and tired of hearing about it. I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with the athleticism and the drama and the contact and the physicality. I just fell in love with all of it. It’s been a part of my life since I was 10.
Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Marvel.com: What’s it like working with the guy who got you into wrestling, working with Hulk Hogan now?
Joseph Park: It’s so surreal. Sometimes I pinch myself, I can’t believe it. This is a guy literally I grew up watching, I grew up idolizing. I was in love with everything he did and everything he stood for. Fast forward twenty-some years and here I am actually working with him. I can’t begin to tell you what a gigantic honor it is to be able to work with Hulk and to pick his brain and get his advice, his feedback, and his help. I remember, looking back on it, being such a fan as I was. Now I’m actually working with him. It’s amazing; it truly is a dream come true, so to speak.
Marvel.com: What makes Impact Wrestling such a fun atmosphere?
Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)
Joseph Park: We’ve got a fantastic group of people here, and I’m talking everybody from Dixie Carter on down. I think what makes us special as a locker room and as a company is the support that we give each other and the competitive edge that we push each other to reach every week. I think another thing that makes us different and special is our fan base. We have a loyal following that’s been with us for almost 11 years now, and they’ve been fantastic. They’ve stood by us and I think that camaraderie and that workmanship in the locker room between all of us relays into positive television and the fan base has been right there to support us throughout it. I think it’s a combination of our locker room, and the talent we have here—which is second to none—and our great fan base.
Tomorrow, we talk with X Division title contender Chris Sabin!