Wednesday, November 04, 2015

What The Fuck Were They Thinking?: The Orb

Happy Hump Day People!!!!

Remember this guy? 

If you're longtime fan of Ghost Rider you might.
I'm talking about z-list extraordinaire, The Orb.

And get this, there's actually two Orbs.
More on that in minute.

Okay so the first Orb was Drake Shannon, in case you didn't read that first image.

His backstory was that he used to be the partner of one Crash Simpson, who was Johnny Blaze's stepfather, and basically the whole reason why he sold his soul and became Ghost Rider.

Here's his official origin in a nutshell:

"The Orb first appeared in "Marvel Team-Up" vol. 1 #15 (November, 1973). According to his origin, Drake Shannon was an expert stunt motorcyclist. He and Craig " Crash" Simpson were co-owners of a stunt cycle show. Their partnership led to arguments concerning their approach to their stunts. Simpson grew to consider Shannon as too reckless. Shannon himself considered Simpson too afraid to take chances. At last they decided to part ways but neither was willing to sell his share to his partner. They decided to hold a cross-country race with full ownership of the show as the prize. The loser would walk away empty-handed. Their race initially failed to provide either one with an advantage, both competitors riding side by side. Shannon lost his patience and tried to maneuver his motorbike on a collision course with that of Simpson. He was trying to knock Simpson out of the road but the latter managed to evade. Shannon lost control of his bike and hit the ground. With no helmet to protect him, Shannon found himself hitting the ground at the speed of 95 miles per hour, his face sliding 25 yards across the tarmac. He survived the accident to find himself slowly recovering at a hospital, his face horribly disfigured. Simpson visited him but Shannon drove him away. He left the hospital to find himself a loner and an outcast, people unwilling to approach him and take a second look at his face.
Twenty years later, Shannon was desperate and reaching the end of his life (possibly contemplating suicide) when approached by They Who Wield Power (Keeper of the Flame/Lann, Prince Rey of el Dorado, Tyrannus), an alliance of would-be world conquerors. They empowered several new super-villains as pawns in their plans for the world. Shannon was provided with a helmet designed to look like a human eyeball and able of hypnotizing victims who gazed at it. He was also given a laser pistol. His career as a villain had begun."

So Drake got in a bad motorcycle accident, and as a result unfortunately became horribly, horribly disfigured. 

I'm talking melted House of Wax with Vincent Price disfigured. 

I'm saying he was so ugly, if he had a pet dog, he'd have to tie some meat around his neck so that the dog would play with him, ugly.

So naturally Drake blamed everything on Simpson and felt he was owed a his share of Simpson's business since he was a partner in said business.decided to get his revenge on him to even the score. Sounds legit right?

Which placed him directly in Ghost Rider's path. A lot.

After he got his ass handed to him by both Ghost Rider and Spider-Man, Orbie would keep coming back and get his ass handed to him again and again, each time, receiving more and more damage to his grill.

In fact there was one time in Ghost Rider (Vol.2) #54(1981), that after repairing damage to his giant eyeball helmet, he also got some plastic surgery to fix his face to the point of being as normal as it was going to get considering the circumstances.
He wound up pissing Ghost Rider so much that, despite being convinced to spare his life, he decided to fuck his day up more by almost burning Drake's face off, thus undoing all that painful and expensive plastic surgery.

Eventually Drake would would fade away into obscurity/limbo-land after a brief run in with Hawkeye in an issue of Avengers Spotlight in 1989.

Then another big-eyed character calling himself the The Orb would show up.

First appearing in Deadline#2 (2012), This 2nd Orb was actually born with a huge eyeball for a head.
He was abandoned by his family( why because they had giant noses or butts for heads?) and was taken in by a traveling freak-show carnival. (Well of course he was)
He grew up to become a mercenary (Because why not) and was later hired by a rogue angel name Zadkiel to kill Ghost Rider.
When that didn't pan out he formed a gang called the Orblings and decided to be a bank-robber.

After running afoul of Wolverine and Spider-Man and getting his big-eyed ass handed to him by them, he didn't show up until that horrible Jason Aaron Original Sin event in 2014.

It was here that Arron's love for the Orb(even though it wasn't the original) showed big time as he, along with former Marvel Boy(Grant Morrison's version) foe Dr. Midas and his daughter Exterminatrix teamed up and attacked longtime MU mainstay, The Watcher. And in his own home on the moon no less.
They stole his weapons, shot him, and left him for dead.

Then the Orb being super jealous of the Watcher's ability to see everything, stole his left eye and bonded it to him.

Yes, that really happened, and Marvel's EIC and bigwigs let it happen.
And that's how he's been left.

He can now "see things that other people can't", which just makes him sound like any other regular paranoid schizophrenic in the world doesn't it?

I guess if used by the right writer, he may have potential, otherwise, this 2nd iteration is just an undeservedly over-powered schmuck.

At least the original had a legit gimmick and reason for being a bad guy, albeit one on the super-low end of the totem poll.

Not to mention all he really was a horribly disfigured evil biker who wear a giant eyeball helmet that shot freaking lazer beams.

More so on the second Orb, than the first(although not by much)....

I will say though, This Jason Arron-written panel is admittedly pretty awesome

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Original Sin was amazing. This version of the character's an exemplar of what makes comics great.

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