Ever since Avengers: Endgame, there’s been a feeling of malaise over the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the basic plot points of every movie can be predicted by the time the first trailer drops, so what can be done? Disney has access to the entire history of the Marvel universe, which means they can break the glass and bring in a hero that is pure chaos. Slapstick, a 90s hero with the powers of a Looney Tune cartoon, is the perfect edgy, crazy, funny hero who can turn the MCU around.
Who Is Slapstick?
Created by Len Kaminski and James Fry, Slapstick was originally a high school student named Steve Harmon, who accidentally found himself in Dimension X. In the process of rearranging his molecules, Steve’s body was re-shaped into that of a living cartoon, or in Marvel comic terms, a body of unstable molecules. Using his new powers, Steve freed kidnapped humans held hostage in Dimension X by the Overlord and returned back home to Earth-616.
With his ability to withstand any amount of damage (even a punch from The Thing), Slapstick sets out to fight crime, aided by some Dimension X technology, including his special gloves that allow him to access “hammerspace.” This is the name given to the ability of, say, Bugs Bunny to pull an object out of thin air, usually a giant mallet, which becomes Slapstick’s weapon of choice in his self-serving war on crime.
As revealed while battling alongside the New Warriors, Slapstick hopes fighting crime will impress women. Clearly, he never heard, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Given his origin as a class clown and use of literal cartoon weapons, it makes sense that he’d cross paths with Marvel’s other absurd cartoony hero.
Slapstick And Deadpool
After the 90s, Slapstick made some appearances in the Avengers: Initiative series, which shows how dangerous he could be when focused, but it’s as part of Deadpool’s super team, the Mercs for Money, that the writers finally found a great use for Slapstick: as a fake Deadpool. The Merc With The Mouth decided to franchise, bringing together a team of….not even D-list characters….let’s say, the bottom of the barrel. Slapstick was part of the crew alongside Solo, Stingray, Massacre, and Madcap; even the pre-MCU Guardians of the Galaxy had more name recognition, and one of them was a tree.
The pairing of Slapstick and Deadpool, two characters that break the fourth wall, was one of the highlights of the comic run. However, the team-up came to an end when Wade Wilson kept delaying paychecks, and the other Mercs found out that he was skimming from the top. Yet, with Deadpool now in the MCU, and the multiverse opening up infinite possibilities, now’s the time to bring in Slapstick.
How Slapstick Could Work In The MCU
For starters, Doctor Strange and America Chavez already traveled through the crazy dimension in which they were living paint splotches; how absurd could Dimension X be in comparison? Who Framed Roger Rabbit (also a Disney property) is still popular today, and with Across the Spider-Verse, there’s already been an interaction between a live MCU actor and a cartoon. Slapstick’s introduction to the MCU, even as a throwaway gag in Secret Wars, could not come at a better time than within the next few years.
There is no way Slapstick could sustain his own movie or series but as a background player on a team? Or in a Werewolf by Night-style special? He’d be an amazing addition: come in, shock the audience, get a few cartoon gags out, and then he’s out.
Not every story has to lead into a multi-part epic, and a short Slapstick special would be the perfect way to fill time in between the next world-shattering event movie. Disney needs to embrace more one-and-done MCU stories, and a memorable but ultimately unimportant hero like Slapstick, is perfect for 45 minutes of fun.