The 8th Night of Wolkin is Looking Grimm
(This post is part of 8 Nights of Wolkin, my unnecessarily narcissistic semi-exploration of various incarnations of Jews and Judaism in comics, for better or for worse. It’s my way of celebrating Chanukah. That’s how I spell it. Do you have another way of spelling it? I don’t care.)
Ok, so look 5 for 8 ain’t bad, and you’d be blown away that I’ve gotten this much done if you had the slightest idea of the week that I’ve had. I hope you’ve enjoyed this; I know I have. And since I didn’t get all 8 posts done, I can tell you that I still have a lot of good stuff to come. It seems like I have more to say about Jews and comics than, I realized, so I’ll keep saying it, but I have zero desire to make that the primary focus of whatever it is that I do on this thing. Enough.
This is a short one, but a nice surprise at the end. There’s things to do.
The Thing #8, by Dan Slott and Kieron Dwyer. This book has a special place in my heart, and for this simple reason, I’m willing to overlook the things about the book that sort of annoy me in the vein of Judaic inaccuracies. And in the interest of time, I’m gonna skip the meat and potatoes of this thing, for the most part. However, it does include a Thing-hosted superhero poker game, where everyone is inexplicably in costume except for the Thing himself. Guess that’s like a hosting rule or something. Then there all these flashbacks of fights he had: Thing and Squirrel Girl take on the Bi-Beast.
That’s right, the Bi-Beast. An editor approved the creation of such nonsense. Hey, it was the 70’s!
Then he fights the Impossible Man or something, then there’s a thing with the Dalai Lama maybe?
And then, well, he decides to have a second Bar Mitzvah to celebrate 13 years since he got his powers. Seems a little iffy, but I’ll take it. Anyways, other than the nebbishy rabbi (if you know anything about me, you know this bugs me.), the one issue is with Ben’s little Bar Mitzvah speech. He talks about his Torah portion, and says it’s from the story of Job. This is a problem.
The Book of Job is not a part of the Five Books of Moses, and therefore would never be chanted as a Torah portion. It is chanted sometimes, though. Also, I’m shocked that he would use Job as a parallel to his own life at all. Job was a guy who God literally messed with just to see what would happen (Religion, everyone!); Ben Grimm was a fighter pilot who yes, lost his handsome looks, but then got to be one of the world’s greatest adventurers with his best friends. Helluva trade-off. Yeah studying Job makes him realize that he’s got it pretty good, but man, how many Thing stories are there where he’s dealing with this? Can’t we get him an off-panel therapist or something or be done with it?
Therapy: that’s pretty Jewish, right? (GAAHHHH STEREOTYPES EVEN THOUGH I TOTALLY SEE A THERAPIST TOO.)
Anyways, here’s why I love this book so much. See this place where Ben Grimm celebrated his second Bar Mitzvah?
That’s where I work.