Back in 2008-09, CGS recorded a series of Footnotes episodes on Marvel’s Secret Wars. During the breakdown of issue one (or issue six), I took notice of how often the purple-green color scheme was used for many of Marvel’s villains featured in the event: Kang, Molecule Man, the Wrecker, the Lizard. Doctor Doom and Enchantress are based in green. And if you extend that scheme to add in orange, you can throw in Doctor Octopus. I’m sure it wasn’t a new observation in the whole of comicdom, but it was a new one for me at the time that most likely stems from the limited coloring palettes in the Silver/Bronze Age of comics. If your heroes are Red, Yellow and Blue based, it only makes sense to make your villains out of the complimentary or secondary colors of Green, Purple and Orange.
After those episodes aired, a listener sent in a snapshot of a Dan Slott Spider-Man panel where Spidey’s narration is describing this very concept: the idea that his major villains are all in some variation of green-purple: Green Goblin, Mysterio, Scorpion, the Ringmaster, the Prowler, even Electro to a degree. I tried looking for that email to put that image up but I’m having trouble locating it. I’ll add it in later if I manage to unearth the panel.
This entire notion was brought up recently, in about as official a manner as you can make it, in FF #12 by Matt Fraction and the Allred First Family of Lee, Mike and Laura. In this issue, the young members of the Future Foundation are debating with the son of Impossible Man on whether or not his father is a true super-villain, a label the son can not accept. The others break out an issue of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Deluxe Edition!) in order to establish the “Rule of the Costume”:
And it’s with this set-up that we get this wonderful page:
Having just read the entire Fraction Fantastic Four/FF Marvel Now output, FF is without a doubt the better of the two – mostly for its creativity as expressed in the above celebration of super-hero costuming. And now it is down on paper for all to read. Between this sequence, the new Pym Particle revelations, and the smackdown of Doctor Doom by Scott Lang (both physically and mentally), the wrap-up of FF more than makes up for the lackluster F4 run. This costume talk also made me think of the Cape Conversation in DC’s Young Heroes in Love (for those that may know what I’m referencing).
By the way, the outcome of the debate leaves us with the son of Impossible Man chasing the others in an all too clever homage to OHOTMU:
Yea, this was a fun book.
2 thoughts on “Fashion Friday: “Purple-Green. Bad.””
Very cool. Never noticed this before, but it makes perfect sense (stemming from the limited palette, as you mention above).
Wondering how in the hell I missed this! Its just a subliminal thing you simply accept! Crazy!! Love this post! I actually feel I have learned something!!