And there came a day, unlike any other – in which the clouds parted and the mist dissipated, marking the return of the one… the only…
…I said, THE LOOTER!
Why aren’t you freaking out? Haven’t you read any comics with THE LOOTER! in them? Well, I can’t say that I blame you really – I’ve only caught two of his appearances myself. But man, the guy sure does make an impression.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE LOOTER: A LOVE STORY ABOUT FALLING IN LOVE
I first laid eyes on THE LOOTER! in the pages of Sensational Spider-Man Vol. 1 #27 – a series that was being written and drawn by Todd Dezago and the late great Mike Wieringo respectively. In the book, a mysterious figure is seen floating down from the sky, getting ready to break into a building. In short order, there’s the reveal – and of course, it was THE LOOTER! – who was talking to his precious meteor, which he claims is sentient and the source of his powers. See, Norton G. Fester is in love with his precious baby, and will pretty much do anything for it – including robbing a whole bunch of places to give it the life that it deserves. Naturally, when Spider-Man shows up to save the day (in this issue, using his Hornet identity – long story) he thinks THE LOOTER! is crazy. And he is, but that doesn’t stop the events from being hilarious.
From there, the guy disappeared for quite some time, resurfacing briefly and inconsequentially in Mark Millar and Peter David’s recent-ish Spider-Man series’. In fact, it would be a long time until he would return with a glorious flourish in Spider-Man Family #7 – a tribute issue to Wieringo, who at that point, had passed away quite suddenly. The book was filled with the kind of story telling ‘Ringo loved – big, fun and goofy. The basic story involved THE LOOTER! discovering the possible existence of his beloved meteor’s twin in the Savage Land, and in his quest to get to it, he ropes in Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and Ka-Zar and Shanna into his lunacy. For the entire issue, everyone but Spider-Man seems to think that Fester is just a regular, charming dude. They keep capturing him, and due to various shenanigans, he keeps slipping through their fingers, leading them on this fantastic whirlwind tour that includes many much dinosaurs. It’s a big, goofy, fun story that captured the whole Comics Should Be Fun vibe that would later bring about the creation of this site. And for being apart of some incredibly goofy stories, THE LOOTER! with his inappropriate delusional love for his glowing green rock, and the constant consternation he causes Spider-Man, I will pretty much flip the fuck out whenever he decides to appear in a comic book.
Which brings us today. In the back pages of this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #652… Fred Van Lente. Reilly Brown. One. Glorious. Page.
By all indications, this THE LOOTER! might have a bit of a different feel from that of the Dezago/’Ringo take – which is fine. I’m willing to leave room for different creators’ different takes. But come on. When you tease me with the chance of seeing a crazy villain romance a glowing rock and cause so much random trouble that he forces Spidey to play the straight man? You’re going to see me lose my shit.
And man, that’s absolutely what Comics! are all about.