Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Snake" Marston of The Enforcers

Like many kids, I became a fan of Spider-Man on sight. He's a fun character (or at least he was at the time) but his wacky villains were, of course, a big part of the appeal of his adventures.  Guys like Mysterio, the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus...

So I remember how bummed I was when my mom brought home an Amazing Spider-Man issue for me in which web-head squared off against...The Enforcers.  It was a reprint of the book at right.

Man, mom meant well, of course, but...What a letdown. Spider-Man has all these wicked villains and mom buys one with these three losers who were already dated when I was a toddler.  Even the Vulture would have been greater cause for excitement.

Years later, I would somehow end up with another book which featured the Enforcers; Marvel Team-Up 138.

In this book, the person who hires the Enforcers adds a couple of members to the team.  What I'm only realizing, almost 30 years later, is that one of those recruits is Canadian.

The original three (Ox, Fancy Dan and Montana) were joined by a guy called Hammer Harrison (the dude with the metal gloves, obviously) and the skinny guy in black. The latter would be Sylvester "Snake" Marston, our Canadian content.

Snake, whose first name is surprisingly not Jake, has no powers as such, but he is an accomplished contortionist.  That doesn't sound like much of a skill to possess, but in one of his few appearances his ability is described as being "murderously efficient at silently crushing sinew and bone".  I can see how that would suck.

MTU 138 was not his first appearance, mind you.  That significant moment in comics history took place in Machine Man #16.  It would be about 12 years until Snake would slither his way into our lives again, appearing in a couple of issues of Daredevil in 1996, then in the Thunderbolts book a decade later. He was a member of the Enforcers in the former appearance, but not the latter, so presumably he is no longer on that team.

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