"Before I can be a hero, I have to figure out what's right and what's wrong. We need to figure out the meaning of life. Where it all started and where we're all going."
— Kal-AOL Turner, Marville #2
"Bill Jemas thought there was too much joy in the world, and thus attempted to get rid of it by creating a comic that sucks joy in like a vacuum and then incinerates it."
—Linkara's quote from Marville #4 and his take on the comic.
A notorious "parody" comic created by Marvel Comics editor Bill Jemas, as a bet between him, Ron Zimmerman and Peter David on who could make a better-selling comic. Known as the "U-Decide" event, Zimmerman's six-issue Ultimate Adventure took a year and a half to come out. David's Captain Marvel title went on for twenty-five issues and was well-regarded. As for Marville, well...Kal-AOL Turner, son of Ted Turner from the year 5002, is transported into the present day. Believing himself to be a superhero, Kal-AOL meets up with Mickey (who nicknames him "Al") and Lucy. And crosses paths with Spike Lee and Rush Limbaugh. The first books are also filled with attempts at parody and topical humor.Then it takes a turn for the weirdly philosophical when they all go back in time and meet God, who is actually a black man named Jack. After that, they watch the evolution of the world, and discover that dinosaurs talked with Jewish mannerisms, and Wolverine is the first human, evolved from an otter.Has been Snark Bait to somereviewers.
All There in the Manual: Subverted, if it's even possible to do. Despite the redundant amount of "Previously On" prologues, they add nothing useful and frequently get things WRONG about the story.
And Now For Something Completely Different: Marville #7 is... a submission guide for the upcoming Epic line of Marvel Comics. How anyone is supported to know this is unclear, since the cover is graced by the same Marville logo, the same Marville cover chick, and "EPIC" stamped on a fence.
Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The comics states that only humans kill their own species. A theory that has been debunkednote for as long as humans have been able to observe animals.
Art Shift: Issue #3, that ditches thought balloons in lieu of text running in the borders of the comic. Then #5 eschews art of any kind and has text on a blue background for two pages.
Artistic License - Paleontology: Apart from all the various inaccuracies about dinosaurs, Jemas continually refers to the Jurassic Period as "Jurassic Park". This may be a joke... but it happens so much that Jemas may actually believe that's the real name.
Behind the Black: Issue #2 attempts this when the cast and Spider-Man track down the Kingpin of Crime's lair to an abandoned bowling alley. Lucy asks him if this is really the place, and the next panel pulls out to reveal a gigantic skyscraper behind the bowling alley with "KINGPIN ENTERPRISES" on the side. It had the potential to work, had the previous panel not showed the roof of the bowling alley and above, showing that there was nothing behind it until the next panel.
Bigger Is Better: Naturally God, aka Jack, has a huge black dick. That is, in exact words, "like an African fertility God".
Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: It is revealed that the religious debate part of this comic is not a parody, Bill Jemas fully believes all of what is being said. This including many debunked theories such as humans only using 10% brain power, Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, and so on. Also much of the debate hangs on Wolverine being the first human being, who mutated from an otter; backing up real-world debates about evolution and stuff by using comic book characters as evidence (and making them as weird as possible in the process...)
Cerebus Syndrome: It went from a "parody" comic to a philosophical comic about life, the universe, and everything. Also doubles as Going Cosmic.
Death by Origin Story: Zig Zagg with Al's dog, AOLstro. At first, Al's failure to stop a bank robber appeared to have lead to AOLstro's death, but it turns out the robber slipped on AOLstro's drool. Later, when Al and Mickey go to the movies, a mugger apparently shot AOLstro in an alley, but it turned out AOLstro knocked him out by farting.
Fox News Liberal: Let's see: Ted Turner is a doofus, Spike Lee is a criminal mastermind, Rush Limbaugh is a Godlike hero (and slender, to boot), intelligent design, the original humans were white, batshit insane pseudoscience, mocking racial sensitivity and vegetarianism, and so on. Yeah, there's a certain political viewpoint going on here.
God Was My Copilot: But isn't omnipotent and requires a time travel machine from the year 5002.
Idiot Hero: Al. Special emphasis on the "idiot" part (and the "hero" part is pretty questionable as well).
Implied Love Interest: The recaps in Issues #2 and #3 claim that Al "falls in love with Mickey, but it's a one-way street." Nothing in the actual comic suggests any romance between the two.
Insane Troll Logic: Al, for some reason, believed he gained superpowers from being sent back in time. Mickey repeatedly has to remind him that he does not have any powers.
MANY of the religious debates.
Ted Turner trying to convince bystanders to save the world from a meteor shower by Tomahawk Chopping the meteorites (as mentioned in the Colony Drop example above). One man calls him out on his, but only because it'd be offensive to Native Americans.
In Name Only: Issue #7 has nothing to do with the rest of the series, and is instead an advertisement and pamphlet explaining "Epic Comics" and its intention.
Irony: Peter David is portrayed as a homeless bum in #2 and pretty much stating that his work was worthless, all while the comic he made for the contest against Bill Jemas sold twice as much as his did.
Mind Screw: Add haphazard storytelling when it tries being straightforward, showing downright insane scenes once it attempts being serious, and the weird "scientific" debate, and it's hard to make much sense out of the comic.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Actual celebrities appear, from the hero's parents being Ted Turner and Jane Fonda in 5002, to Spike Lee being the Kingpin, and cameos by Alan Greenspan and Rush Limbaugh (who is handsome and thin).
Plot Hole: You can't go more than three steps without falling into one. Around issues 3 to 5, the Time Machine's mechanics become a little confusing and inconsistent. The characters decide to use a bag, some water, and a pre-historic life form to check what year they're arriving at, but it's never explained how they're not aging along with it either, and a panel ago, there's a window on the time machine, rendering their "biological clock" a little pointless. Also they claim that the Time Machine does not move from the location they started from, but Al was sent into the middle of the street when he first arrived in the past.
Also at the beginning of each book, there is a few pages recaping what happened before. Often getting its own material wrong such as claiming that Mickey and Al are in love (which is never shown in the comic) and when stating Al being sent back to the past said picture is of Al receiving the time machine in the past.
Science Is Useless: The comic does this to an insulting degree. To the point that it pretty much states that if you believe in science you are a moron.
Sex Sells: As mentioned in Covers Always Lie, there were several covers featuring a very scantily clad woman who never showed up in the comics, with the covers being attributed to the fact Bill Jemas was losing a bet with Peter David. The desperation ramps up til you get bare ass, almost bare breasts, and Wolverine's claw in #5.
Skinny Dipping: Issue #3 has everyone doing that in prehistoric Earth.
Small Name, Big Ego: If Bill Jemas will have you believe, he seems to think if you buy this comic and understand the "depths" of the story, it will bring about World Peace.
Stripperiffic: Lucy is introduced in this, supposedly as an undercover cop. The girls also dress in those every now and then.
Viewers Are Morons: Issue #1 gives a summary on the people who are riffed on in the comic. Even the backstories for Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man are given. However, it does not explain such things as Ron Perelman or controversy around the Atlanta Braves.
Also, saying things such as Wolverine being the first human.
Issue #6 is a long accusation towards everyone not buying the comic because they didn't get the deep meaningful message.
Wolverine Publicity: Wolverine shows up in Issue #5, and is on the main cover of Issue #6, even though he has no part in Issue 6 at all.
World War III: It is revealed in #5 that the reason that they are traveling through time is because Jack wants to show them how war works and due to their popularity and wealth from "fighting" crime they will prevent the upcoming World War.