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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Spider-Man’s Greatest Ally…Razorback!

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today (in the debut of this feature’s new Sunday timeslot) we look at the three-peat storyline that I like to call “The Razorback Trilogy,” from Spectacular Spider-Man #13-15, which introduced Spider-Man’s greatest ally, the CB-talking superhero Razorback!

First off, I just love how much info is being dumped on us in the first page of Spectacular Spider-Man #13…

Wow, that’s a lot of info.

By the way, Flash Thompson coming back from fighting in the Vietnam War with a Vietnamese girlfriend? Totally fine idea. Very realistic. Flash Thompson coming back from fighting in the Vietnam War with a Vietnamese girlfriend who turned out to be part of some super-powered cult? That’s dumb.

Anyhow, forget that for a moment because you’re about to meet Razorback!!

I bet you were thinking wow, Razorback is awesome. But you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! Wait until you see his ride!!

More superheroes should pop wheelies. Why does Batman never pop wheelies in the Batmobile?

Anyhow, here we learn why Razorback is after the cult and what, exactly, is his super secret origin?

Yep, as you figured, just some dude.

The big reveal in #13 is that the cult is actually led by the Hate-Monger!!

So Flash, Spidey and Razorback are captured and chained up in a dungeon by the end of the issue. The next issue is called, awesomely enough, “Killing Me Softly…With His Hate!” Oh man alive, that is a great title.

Check out how they escape…

I don’t know if that makes any kind of sense, but it is still fan-freaking-tastic.

The issue ends with a big twist. The Hate-Monger is not actually the Hate-Monger, but the Man-Beast!!

Sadly, at no point in #15 (the finale) did Man-Beast tear off a furry mask and reveal that he was secretly a THIRD villain. It was just a typical resolution (Although interestingly enough, Razorback’s sister still wants to be apart from her family, which was an actually pretty cool ending to that story).

Because Mantlo missed out on the opportunity, I am now leaving it to you folks – what would be the most awesome villain for Man-Beast to tear off his mask and reveal that he secretly was at some point in #15?


Well, Chameleon would have made sense. But Hobgoblin would have been ideal, for his constantly shifting secret identity…

“Because Mantlo missed out on the opportunity, I am now leaving it to you folks – what would be the most awesome villain for Man-Beast to tear off his mask and reveal that he secretly was at some point in #15?”

Why, Psycho-Man, of course!

Razorback makes me wonder how the Rhino became such a badass Spidey villain when guys like Grizzly and the Gibbon couldn’t cut the mustard.

It’s also amusing how DC never bothered to sue over the “Brother Power” moniker being swiped after Joe Simon’s creation fizzled right out of the gate. I tell ya, good buddies… that raggedy dude gets no respect.

The Hypno Hustler!

PS so did Flash know Spidey’s identity? Or was he all ” you’ll never guess what happened to me?” when he met Pete.

Judging by this episode he has seen more action than some Avengers reservists.

what would be the most awesome villain for Man-Beast to tear off his mask and reveal that he secretly was at some point in #15?

J. Jonah Jameson!
And it would be sweet at some point if JJJ said “I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

January 7, 2013 at 3:01 am

“Hate-monger” and “Man-beast” are certainly fine, traditional supervillain names (also suitable for heavy metal bands), but “Man-monger” and “Hate-beast” would have been even better.

I remember this story fondly. I must have been nine or ten when it was published, and it was one of the first Marvel “sagas” where I owned all the installments. I still think Razorback is pretty cool. He showed up in some issues of John Byrne’s She-Hulk series, if memory serves.

Not another mask, but it turns out Doc Ock swapped minds with the Man Beast, and is now in his body for the next 2 years or so…

Haven’t read this but I remember Razorback from his appearance in She-Hulk, which is of course a stamp of awesomeness.
For some reason Hatemonger never made the cut in that book…

Not only did Byrne bring back Razorback in She-Hulk, but he had him team up with the cast of US1! In outer space! I… I think I may have just spoiled a future installment of “I Love Ya But You’re Strange”. (Or suggested one. Either way.)

And the greatest part of it all? Razorback is also a MUTANT, with the super-power of being able to drive any vehicle like an expert. That’s how they get into space in She-Hulk…they hijack a space shuttle, which Buford can totally drive, y’all.

Why do you think Sha Shan being part of a cult is so dumb. Not disagreeing with you necessarily, just curious about your logic. I mean it is ridiculously coincidental but with all the weird coincidences inherent to Spider-Man comics it seems like a relatively minor offender. For example Peter Parker’s classmate just happens to be te son of his archenemy? And how many villains have turned out to be Peter’s coworkers or real life acquaintances?

I think it would have been cool if Man Beast took off his mask and turned out to be Adolf Hitler. Like a curveball that throws in an extra twist by turning out to be the easy expected solution after all.

Man Beast tears off his mask to reveal that he is actually… The Tetrarchs of Entropy!!!

Man-Beast should have removed his mask to reveal…. Flash Thompson!

Under the mask, Man-Beast shoud have been a coyote — or maybe a sheepdog… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EEORunLi78&feature=player_embedded#! (start at 5:00)

Man-Beast rips away his face to reveal that he is Doctor Bong!!!!

in a rare twist man beast removes his mask and reveals he is actully master mind from the x-men only to then once again remove another mask and reveal its been an early version of the hobgoblin.

plus kind of expected razor back to windup say ten four good buddy for with his ride he seemed to have the ole trucker thing going

I have loved Razorback ever since I read Adam-Troy Castro’s “The Gathering of the Sinister Six.” (If you haven’t read Castro’s Spidey novels, by the way, you’re missing out on some damn good stuff.) In fact, Razorback was my short-lived Epic pitch back in 2002. I never found an artist before the line was abruptly flushed away in the wake of Jemas’s fall from grace, but the basic concept would have been a 21st century Smokey and the Bandit, with Razorback hauling cargo that, unbeknownst to him, is wanted by every secret organization on the planet, from SHIELD to AIM to Hydra to ULTIMATUM to Black Air to the Masters of Evil to, if we could get permission, SMERSH and Fearless Leader. It also would have featured the 616 version of Switchback, a character from Warren Ellis’s Age of Apocalypse issues of Excalibur.

I’ve never forgiven Marvel for de-powering him in the Decimation.

Man Beast removes his mask to reveal… Richard Nixon!

Man-beast rips off his mask to be none other than …. THE GIBBON!!!
but during the fight Spidey grabs the Gibbon’s face and it is another mask and The true villian is the KANGAROO!!
The Kangaroo takes off his mask and he is none other than IRVING FURBUSH!!!
Then he takes off his mask and It is revealed that it is not Irving Furbush but he is actually a Broom.

Laugh if you want, but personally, I think having “the mutant ability to drive any vehicle” would be pretty awesome!

Not kidding, I JUST read the Razorback story from Sensational She-Hulk about six hours before this column went up.

Also, the Man-Beast is clearly Fin Fang Foom, who later pulls off THAT disguise to reveal he’s Jormungandr, and then he eats Razorback who breaks out through his teeth… I’ve been reading way too much 80s Marvel lately.

How is it that nobody’s said anything about “Brother Power?” This was several years after Joe Simon’s infamous Geek.

Let’s think the way Marvel did at the time. Man Beast last appeared as the bad guy in Warlock before Starlin took over, so he HAS to be The Magus! Yep, Warlock’s sacrifice in issue 12 (and Two in One annual 2) didn’t change anything, since he didn’t stay dead…..

What if Spidey pulled off HIS mask to reveal he’s Skull the Slayer!

Everybody who keeps mentioning the Hobgoblin? Way too early for that. Razorback debuted something five years before the first Hobgoblin. Just saying.

@mdk: A mutant driving ability can assure you work in this difficult economy. Need a trucker, a bus driver, a guy to drive a woman tied up in the back of a sedan? Razorback’s your guy. I wonder if he gets a special “Class R” driver’s license.

There was a bit in the Ren & Stimpy comic where Ren & Stimpy on one side, and their enemies, on another, keep doing pull-the-face-off revelations until the bad guys pull their skins off their skulls and say, “Huh. I guess we really were those last guys.”

I had this storyline, too. I bet I read them 50 times. And I was incredibly happy when Razorback showed up in She-Hulk.

Man-beast pulls off his mask to reveal his is actually… Man-beast!! And like a Russian nesting doll, he’s actually wearing about thirty masks because he has a really tiny head.

there has to be a way to incluse the Dennis Hopper movie Space Truckers in here…..

Man-Beast was meant to be Daredevil, but readers worked it out, so when he tears off his mask he’s actually Echo.

Man-beast pulls of his mask and reveals he is actually Bill Mantlo

Man-Beast pulls off his mask to reveal a chimpanzee face. That mask is ripped off to reveal the face of Number 6.

Either the Rocket Racer or Big Wheel.

Hmm, Google Translate says that Chinese post begins:
“Has been pants is essential clothing for young children. Age age began to wear open file pants are generally born shortly after, but stop wearing pants but there is a huge difference.”

Anyway, he rips off his mask to reveal….Ultron! It makes no sense other than Ultron could easily fit a hood over a mask on his head.

Didn’t Chris Claremont give Razorback a cameo somewhere? I also can’t remember how Man-Beast got from Counter-Earth to the real one.

@Mike Blake: he took the place of one of their astronauts and somehow directed the rocket.

Not a very reasonable or believable story, but that was what he told Spidey, Flash and Razorback in #15.

Man-Beast reveals himself to be… Captain Atom! Wait, no, someone else.

I can think of another reason for it to be Ultron, if you remember that Masters of Evil story in the Avengers (the first post-Zemo MoE).

First their leader, the Crimson Cowl, rips off his hood to reveal…Jarvis the Butler!

But later on he pulls off his cowl to reveal…it’s really Ultron!

Man-Beast pulls off his mask to reveal… Aunt May!

Man Beast rips his mask off to reveal Paris from Mission:Impossible.
Or he rips his mask off to reveal Tom Cruise from the Mission:Impossible movies after which he gets shot by the Punisher who rips his mask off to reveal Jim Phelps from the M:I tv series who rips his mask off to reveal Katie Holmes who rips her mask off to reveal Leslie Nielsen as Dr Rumack from Airplane eho says “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley” who then……..
Or he rips his mak off to.reveal Jimmie Waker from Good Times! Dyno-Mite!

@ The Mutt – “Richard Nixon”! Bwahahaha! Would Peter then have forsaken his Spidey persona and called himself Nomad?!

What I would like to know is – Who would win a coolness-duel between Fancy Dan and Razorback? Or in a fight between Razorback and the giant Psycho-Pig from the horror mpvie of the same name? !

That should be “mask off” not “mak off”. The Love Boat it’s exciting and new…

What I would like to know is – Who would win a coolness-duel between Fancy Dan and Razorback?

Fancy Dan, of course. He’s Fancy freakin’ Dan!!!

“He’s Fancy Freakin’ Dan…”, I can’t argue with that, Brian!

Yeah, mutant ability to drive any vehicle would be a nice ability to have in the real world, it would beat shooting beams out of your eyes any day.

Man-Beast, of course, is Ben Reilly.

Man-BEast removes his mask to reveal… just some random guy named Bob Hendersen. But then Bob puts on a hood and becomes the new Hate-Monger!

Following Benn’s allusion (the finale of “The Prisoner”) Man-Beast is Peter Parker. Loved these comics actually. Reminds me of Butcher Baker Righteous Maker too

Man-Beast rips off his mask to reveal he’s…actually the Hate-Monger all along!
And Razorback rips off his mask to reveal he’s…Man-Beast!
Spidey rip off HIS mask to reveal he’s…Flash Thompson!

And “Flash” rips off HIS mask to reveal he’s…The HAT-monger, Sartorial Sultan of Cerebral Excellence, maker and blocker of fine hats, wigs and masks, there to stop the Hate-Monger from sullying the good name of H-based-“mongers” everywhere!

If I remember correctly, the cult is a meant to be parody of The Unification Church, this being around the time the church was under investigation in the US.

All the jokes remind me of GK Chesteron’s “The Man Who Was Thursday” in which the inner circle of a revolutionary society all turn out to be government agents infiltrating it.
I don’t see the problem with Sha-Shan either. It wasn’t like she was part of the cult all along–she jointed it after she and Flash met as an agent of her father (who’s some kind of high-powered Eastern mystic).
I do think “10-7’d Spiderman permanently is an odd phrase” –who the heck says “I’m going to kill you permanently?” Okay, that threat actually makes sense in the MU or DCU, but still.

I didn’t think of Brother Power the Geek, but I am amused to see a Flash and a Kobra running around Marvel’s NYC.

He rips off his mask and reveals himself as Martin Landau. (yes, I was alive in the 60’s).

The Man-Beast pretends to be someone else quite a lot.

On Counter-Earth he first pretended to be the Prophet (as T. pointed out) and then he possessed “US President Rex Carpenter” and played Pontius Pilate to Adam Warlock’s Counter-Earth Jesus.

Then came this “Hate-Monger” story.

In “Warlock and the Infinity Watch” he was first “Omega” and captured the Watch. Then later he pretended to be “US Senator Kyle Munson” and had the UN invade Monster Island.

He might have done this to Thor as well. It’s kind of his thing.

Man-Beast pulls off his other mask to reveal — Fang from the Shi’ar Imperial Guard (who looks almost exactly the same but is FROM SPACE!!!)!

“I’ve never forgiven Marvel for de-powering him in the Decimation.”

Well… it takes all kinds, I guess.

Have a good day.
G Morrow


He pulls off the mask to reveal he’s Hitler.

Willie Everstop

January 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Under the mask he is actually an LMD of Gwen Stacy’s clone with the mind of Doc Ock and a symbiote

Ferb Morgendorffer

January 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

This is even funnier when you imagine Razorback’s voice as Jim Stafford’s (MST3K fans will understand).

@MDK Good point, just like Cypher his powers might not have been taken to their full potential.

This was in the ‘Spider-Man is a bit of a weak idiot’ era. His spider-sense tells him to punch Razorback when Razorback wasn’t threatening but couldn’t warn him that the costume was electrified? The real suspension of disbelief required in the 70s must have been why the heck Spider-Man wasn’t killed every other issue.

He pulls off the mask to reveal he’s Hitler.

I thought the Hate-Monger was a reincarnated (or cloned?) Hitler? So it would be Hitler pretending to be Man-Beast pretending to be Hitler as Hate-Monger?

My brain just exploded.

The original Hate-Monger and the most recent (I think) incarnation were Hitler in a cloned body (courtesy of Arnim Zola) In between Man-Beast, Arisen Turk (I think) and then an android run by Psycho-Man (but without the hood and the costume).

…pulls off his mask as the clone (because you have to have clones) of Razorback!!! His new arch nemesis. (Or Bobby Petrino).

I like the caption that says “name his first and last appearance.” Back then there were few enough comics that you might have a shot at doing it. I would remember where characters last appeared better than the editors sometimes. Now I have no clue what the characters were doing before they’re written again.

Being an Arkansas native, I thought having our own superhero was pretty cool, even if he didn’t talk like a real Arkie (of course, Texarkana is half-in, half-out of the state). WOO, PIG! SOOIE!

An alternate universe Razorback later appeared in the novel “Spider-Man & X-Men: Time’s Arrow – The Present” by Tom DeFalco and Adam-Troy Castro, in which he sought revenge on the Evil Alternate Universe X-Men for “killing” Big Pig. Amusingly Spidey himself noted that the idea of a grim’n’gritty Razorback was the final sign that this universe was *completely insane*.

Beast-Man’s mask is torn away to reveal….NOTHING! An empty suit of scale mail and some furry gloves! But there was no monster! And the line between science fiction and science fact becomes microscopically thinner.

If I recall correctly, newspaper-strip Spidey went up against a different cult leader named Loomis, who was less of a goofy Kirby pastiche and more of a frightening Jim Jones type. But I was maybe 11 when that happened so I’m probably overlooking some serious flaws that would be obvious to me now. It was newspaper-Spidey after all.

Oh cool, it’s available online. Google “Loomis Loves You”. It’s actually pretty decent.

Razorback pulls off his pig-mask to reveal… Dwayne Johnson or Mickey Rourke. Either would be good casting.

Why, DC’s Monarch of course! There was a time when everyone was suspected of being Monarch. (even me!)

The Hate-Monger’s first appearance was in FF#21 and his most recent before this issue was in Creatures on the Loose #35, so Razorback is actually a step up from getting his ass kicked by the Man-Wolf, IIRC.

(Or was that #45? George Perez drew it, I remember that much.)

Big Pig’s Bonk is a great album!

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