Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Marvel rankings system and our place upon it.

Avengers #48, the Black Knight rides again
I think we all know that one of the great scandals of British history is that I've never been given a knighthood.

Granted, I can't think of any good reason why I should get a knighthood but I see that as no reason why they shouldn't give me one.

After all, knights wear armour and, frankly, with my level of popularity, I could do with a suit of armour.

I could also do with a lance and a flying horse.

But, when I was a youth, there was an honours system that was even more exciting than that run by the UK government.

And that was the Marvel Rankings System. With it, dedicated readers could get a whole host of initials after their names, Ones that humbled the gongs one might get from any mere queen.

If the internet's to be believed, they were invented by Mark Evanier and are as follows:

  • Real Fanatic One. A buyer of at least three Marvel mags a month.
  • Titanic True Believer. A divinely-inspired No-Prize winner. 
  • Quite 'Nuff Sayer. A fortunate Frantic One who's had a letter printed.
  • Keeper of the Flame. One who recruits a newcomer to Marvel's rollickin' ranks.
  • Permanent Marvelite Maximus. Anyone possessing all four of the other titles.
  • Fearless Front-Facer. An honorary title bestowed for devotion to Marvel above and beyond the call of duty.

Taking a look at them, the only one I seem to ever have qualified for at any point in my life is Real Fanatic One, as, in my day, I read a lot more than three Marvel mags a month. In fact, at my peak, I read more than that every week.

Hold on a minute! I used to read three Marvel comics a week and still the Queen won't give me a knighthood? Well, that's the last time I vote for her!

Anyway, such nightmare injustices aside, have you ever qualified for any of those other titles? And, if so, which ones and why?


Anonymous said...

I'll have you know, Sir Steve, that I happen to be a R.F.O., Q.N.S., K.O.F., and according to some people, an S.O.B.
I may, in fact, outrank you!
Of course, here in America, we don't believe in a class system. We all despise each other equally.

Anonymous said...

I was way past frantic in my Marvel reading heyday, Steve. Not sure about the rest... does a SteveDoesComics no-prize count for anything?

Its bit disappointing to hear you'd like a knighthood (sounds like the old glorious workers paradise of South Yorkshire really is long gone ).
I believe Grunt Morrison is a Member of the most Excellent Order of the Britsh Empire, which so far as I know makes him unique in the comic world in terms of royal recognition (hyphenating Windsor onto your surname doesn't count) and, in my book, a right plonker.
Why would you want to be the second?


dangermash said...

I remember those titles beng publicised in the UK but never qualified for any of them.

I am, though, an S.S. (Spidophile Supreme), being able to recognise all the villains on a fancy splash page within ASM #94 and SMCW #125 and name five that were missing. Not difficult, admittedly.

Anonymous said...

PS Hey,MP -If you don't have a class system in America, how did Jack Kirby get to be king?


Colin Jones said...

Steve, you've written Real FANATIC One - was it fanatic or frantic ? I'm not quite sure but I think the British version of R.F.O. required the purchase of ALL the UK weeklies and as there were 7 weeklies at the peak of Marvel UK that was 28 comics a month - we had to work a lot harder for an R.F.O. than those American readers...3 mags a month, what a bunch of wimps. I completely agree with Sean about knighthoods - abolish them along with the daft OBEs and MBEs etc...has anybody told these people that the British Empire ended decades ago ? But it's nice to know there are people who refuse knighthoods - just a couple of weeks ago Jeremy Irons said he'd never accept one because he didn't want to be owned by the Establishment, woo hoo, way to go Jezza !! (Jezza...?)

Anonymous said...

Sean, Jack Kirby got to be king because he was just that damn good. Same with Elvis. We're well overdue for another king, another flash of greatness, but despite what my mother thinks, I just ain't up to it.

Anonymous said...

MP, thats a shame, as M"King"P has a certain ring to it.
Which is more than I can say for dangermashSS (No offence dangermash, but you have to admit Marvel UK probably didn't think that one through enough)


Aggy said...

Back in the 1990's I was getting 200 titles a week! Which included most Marvel books (and back then it was a lot of books. Night Thrasher. Sleepwalker. Darkhawk. To name but 3)

The only letters after my name were P.O.O.R.

dangermash said...

Yes Sean - definitely not well thought through, that one, and a qualification I don't include on any business cards.

But Marvel UK's not to blame. It comes from a panel in the middle off the story on ASM 94 so it was Stan's doing. If you google amazing spider-man 94 and search for images it will be in there somewhere. I Couldn't post the link as it was in some Pinterest account that I couldn't access.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I too was always convinced it was Real Frantic One but the internet tells me otherwise. I think it might because Stan Lee kept referring to fans as, "Oh, frantic one," in interviews.

Sean, a Steve Does Comics No-Prize is indeed the highest honour any man can attain in life.

I can now announce that, due to public demand, I have decided to preemptively renounce my knighthood. I will however insist on keeping the flying horse that comes with it.

Anonymous said...

And you oughtta keep the magic sword, too, Steve. Don't forget the sword!

Anonymous said...

I googled Amazing Spiderman 94, and dangermash is right about it not being difficult - in fact, I'm not even into Spiderman and it was a piece of piss. So we could all be an SS it seems. Oh dear.
I googled RFO too, and got plenty of hits for Real Frantic One. Steve...?


Steve W. said...

MP, they'll have to snatch the magic sword from my dead, clammy hands.

Sean, all I can conclude is that Google has it in for me.

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