Category Archives: chew

The HAMMER Comes Down

Here’s something that appeals only to fanboys: what the hell does HAMMER stand for?  Ever since SHIELD died a horrible death in the wake of Secret Invasion, we’ve been hearing about Norman Osborn’s newer, eviller organization: HAMMER.  But the acronym was left unexplained.  For a while, at least:

HAMMER means nothing

So Norman Osborn admits what some had guessed: HAMMER means nothing at all.  It was picked simply because it sounds cool.

Not that SHIELD was always 100% certain what it stood for.  In the days of Jim Steranko’s Nick Fury series, it stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division. In recent days, we had Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate.  And, in the movies, we have the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (Personally, I prefer the original one).

Clearly, the lesson for Norman Osborn is this: if you want your shadowy, sinister death squad to last, pick the name early.  You’ve got the pin those letters down, and never waver. We’ll probably get something like this:

Homeland Armed Military Management, Enforcement, & Reconaissance

There are clearly better options.  My faithful friend Mr. Chew suggests, rather adroitly:

Hackneyed Acronym Made at Marvel Executive Retreat

I don’t think that one can be beat.  But please, all readers, feel free to try.

Note: I know acronyms should have periods between each word, but I’m too lazy to type them all in.



Filed under bendis, chew, marvel, nick fury

And now, a special guest rant by Chew

My buddy Chew is no fan of Newsarama Best Shots reviewer Steve Ekstrom’s prose, in particular his review of Criminal #6:

Sometimes these Newsarama reviewers piss me off.  Mostly because they either
misspell everything, or they misuse words with reckless abandon.  A
vocabulary only counts if you know what the words mean.  This is a
disturbing example.  It’s a crime against literacy that this was ever
allowed to be read by the public.  I’m actually kind of angry.

Examples from the most recent “best shots” review of “Criminal”:

“Tracy Lawless is the kind of antithesis that would make weaker men crumble
with the rasp of his voice before their cold bodies hit the ground.”
— Yes, he’s truly an antithetical, ANTITHETICAL man.

“Lawless would have already silently dispatched them, two or three ways to
Sunday even, and done so in such a fortuitous manner that people wouldn’t
notice that they were gone—like thinking you heard a whisper but then second
guessing yourself.”
— I guess he’s lucky to be dead.

“What makes Criminal that much more of a dazzling beast of a ‘crime book’ is
its combination of the economically savvy Brubaker with the sumptuous grime
of Sean Phillips’ artwork.”
— First off, let’s ignore the idiocy of the term ‘dazzling beast’ (as if
the comic was a Yeti in a sequin tutu), it’s still true: Brubaker spends
very little on his writing materials and has been playing the stock market
for years, which is why he can afford to write comics.  This review is so
metamorphically awesome, I’d like to shove some ‘sumptuous grime’ in the
writers mouth so he can taste it on his malapropistic palate.

“Rich colors by the talented Val Staples shifts the tone of the book from
being a trope in the background to a full fledged elephant in the room.”
— Oh!  Oh yes, yes, but of course!  I should have noticed earlier how the

“Is this book saying more about us as humans—beyond its exposition into the
criminal underworld and the mind of any skulking, scuttling bastard?”
— Ah yes.  Maybe the comic will expound or explain into it later.  Or,
maybe if we’re lucky, explore unto it.

“Having enjoyed this series as much as I have thus far—I’m starting to not
only question Ed Brubaker’s categorical imperative but my own as well.”
— He has no idea what either “categorical” or “imperative” mean.  He
should be questioning his education.

Steve Ekstrom is a tool.

I would just like to point out that the comic in question is an excellent one, well worth your time and your hard-earned money, and that Steve Ekstrom is probably a very, very nice person. 

But when it comes to his purple prose, he is, indeed a tool.



Filed under chew, soap box