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We must get nerdier about Marvel Snap

Do it for your comic book friend

A photo of the Devil Dinosaur card in Marvel Snap on an iPhone Image: Second Dinner/Marvel
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

It’s been a little over two weeks since the release of Marvel Snap, and it’s safe to say that it’s taken over the lives of Polygon staff. I start work every day only to find that the topic of discussion is an earnest discussion of Leech, or Enchantress, or Devil Dinosaur. It’s great that it’s making everyone I know interested in the most absurdly minor facets of comic book lore.

There’s just one problem with this: None of them want to ask me about it!

They want to talk about the efficacy of using Swarm in a discard deck.

“Once I was Fritz von Meyer — world expert on toxic poisons, apiculturist — and expatriate nazi!” Swarm says as he begins to relate his origin story in The Champions #15 (1977). Image: Bill Mantlo, John Byrne/Marvel Comics

They don’t want to talk about how he’s a Nazi made of bees.

They wanna talk about the best cards to take advantage of Bar Sinister’s multiplicative abilities.

Mister Sinister expresses desire for a cape, and then orders the execution of an advisor — who is also a clone of Mister Sinister — for not advising him to get a cape, in Powers of X #4, Marvel Comics (2019). Image: Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva/Marvel Comics

They don’t want to talk about how Bar Sinister is a castle of nobles who were all genetic duplicates of Mister Sinister in different glam rock outfits.

They want to talk about the best Devil Dinosaur decks.

“Thunder-Horn has come to the valley! Drive him out, Devi!!” cries the hominid Moon Boy, as he rides astride on Devil Dinosaur in Devil Dinosaur #1 (1978). Image: Jack Kirby/Marvel Comics

They don’t want to know about how Devil Dinosaur was created by Jack “The King” Kirby for an never-materialized animated series about a hominid boy and his dinosaur pal, how one time he and Captain America became gladiator friends, and that he’s got a new animated series coming out in February.

Every day I sit, and I wait, for someone to say, “Hey, Susana, who is Blue Marvel?” so that I can tell them exactly who Blue Marvel is and why he whips ass. For someone to say, “Who the hell is Ka-Zar and why is he just Tarzan?” “What’s the difference between Monster Island and Monster Metropolis?” “Why does Onslaught look like he’s wearing Magneto’s helmet?”

But no one does. I’m being infodump cockblocked by a trading card game — and I still haven’t drawn a Devil Dinosaur!

In seriousness, my actual biggest problem with Marvel Snap is that the cards don’t have artistic credits. But my second actual biggest problem is convincing my co-workers that they can ask me about comics anytime, any place, and it will not bother me.

Unless they’re asking about Adam Warlock. I have my limits.

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