Thursday, October 04, 2007

Puppet Master: Goodbye, Funny Man

Perhaps Phillip Masters -- better known as the Puppet Master -- didn't have the notoriety of Dr. Doom or the face for licensed material like Mole Man.

But the gimlet-eyed supervillain with the oversized head and the penchant for sculpture had certainly put in his time at The House Of Ideas. That's why when I read the latest issue of "Ms. Marvel" yesterday I was shocked to find that he was blown to kingdom come.

In a word, deeeeeeeeed.

It is only fair to mention here that it was, in the end, sort of Masters's own fault. He had been recently operating a "superheroine love-doll" service out of Chile, farming out B- and C- list superheroines for "imaginative play" to wealthy businessmen.

Still, it is sad to see the macrocephalic prince of puppetry go. As such, I wanted to present a remembrance of sorts, something to mark the passing of this classic Lee & Kirby creation.

His last words: "I amused myself!"

That's right, Freebird -- amuse yourself. Fly. Go fly.

Goodbye, Funnyman.


  1. He'll be back. He's "died" a time or two before, I think; popped his mind into his own radioactive clay, and went around like a big evil golem. I give it five years before he shows up again (on the outside; the way Marvel handles continuity these days, it wouldn't surprise me if he popped up in Millar's FF because someone forgot to tell Millar he'd died in 'Ms. Marvel'.)

    The "love-doll" thing is pathetic, though, and seems pretty out of character for him. He's bitter and vengeful, but he's never really seemed to be that kind of creepy.

  2. Hrrm. I despise mind-controllers, so you'll forgive me if I say that it couldn't have happened to a better guy. ^_~

    On the other hand, not so happy about Carol LETTING him die, something she calls herself on...

  3. I actually really bought Ms. Marvel's whole "That is the problem with being invulnerable. You can do whatever you want. Who is going to stop you?" whole disassociation complex in a way that I don't buy when most writer's try to sell it. I'm really rooting for her revamp to keep kicking till she IS one of the Marvel Big Players.

  4. I prefer to think we're reading too much into it with the whole 'love-doll' angle. 1) Because it's never explicitly stated in the book that it was a 'superheroines for sex' kinda deal - and 2) considering Arana and Stature are supposed to be minors, I prefer to think sex wasn't a part of it because being a pedophile pimp is the kind of creepy it's hard to retcon out of a character's backstory at a later date.

  5. It's really hard to argue against him selling them as sex slaves from that first issue. You'd have an easier time selling it as we saw it in the other two parts of itt, but the first part made it pretty clear.

  6. Philip Masters = Clint Howard.

    Not for the sex-slave thing, of course.

  7. "It's really hard to argue against him selling them as sex slaves from that first issue."

    I agree, but I think it's best to just metaphorically put my fingers in my ears and repeat "lalala" over and over, rather than think the whole thing through to it's logical conclusion.
    Like the whole 'mind control' thing wasn't creepy enough without adding sex-slavery (and by extension, rape and child molestion) to the mix? The bare-knuckle fights to the death were almost comic relief in comparison.

  8. Well, Philip Masters always was one of the creepier villains of the Marvel Universe. My impression was that, although the captured heroines would be available for the whole "love doll" thing, he was charging, shall we say, a prohibitive price for them?

    Of course, now some writer will prove me wrong and have some female character crop up in some comic in the not-too-distant future, ticked off because that bald little creep sold her off to some pervy billionaire...