My take on the conclusion is Peter et al. have all had the same dream for real. Peter wakes up and realises he was just dreaming. Fingeroth's dream continues longer than Peter's and includes the real event of Peter's waking up. Shooter's dream continues longer than Fingeroth's and includes Peter's and Fingeroth's waking up etc. The shared nature of the dream, and the overlap between each figure's real awakening and the next figure's dream, means it's not really just a dream, but something stranger.
If that's right, Spider-Man, Galactus and Nova appear for real in the issue.
Through the 60s and early 70s Hulk was really miserable with his constant being reject by the world. The frustration of his sorrowful situation was compelling, but it was too much. I think that his entering in the Defenders was a really needed relief valve. In the early Defenders' stories it was touching to read Hulk screaming at his deceitful enemies that he has friends and starting to list them (http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/hulk_172.shtml), especially with their "Hulk monikers" (purple man, dumb magician, silver man...). It just underline his being an eternal child despite his enormous strength.
Here, the first page of #46 show the face of the Defenders just after Strange announced to be leaving the team. I think the the Hulk's one is just telling. That image just shows how much this first group of people that he can finally call friends has become important. The guy can brawl with god and cosmic being, being hit by nuclear weapons and worse, but it's when his new group of friends show signs of weakness that his world is at stake. Even the importance of the group during the events of Jarella's death are significant.
After that, the Elf with a Gun. Seriously? I mean, I am a sucker for nonsense, but that is just random. You could expect that in Howard the Duck.
I'd assume it was his idea. Remember, the books reflected the new status quos straight away when Secret Wars #1 came out. So, when it got to Secret Wars #12, Byrne had already established She-Hulk as Thing's replacement for months (and was also writing The Thing's book), so Shooter may have written Byrne's status quos in as part of Secret Wars.
Byrne seemed to have taken She-Hulk's addition to the team and the Thing leaving rather well, certainly better than the issue of Dr. Doom's death, so I wonder if he'd have put her in regardless even without Secret Wars.
Fun facts: The original Libra, Gustav Brandt, uses yoga or something to appear dead in this issue, and will return decades later in Avengers Forever. Also, Gustav Brandt is the name of a relatively famous turn-of-the-century German cartoonist.
If I'm not mistaken, Marvel Premiere #5 marks the first time the Vishanti are depicted visually. The designs will later be taken up by such greats as Mike Mignola (in the superb "Triumph & Torment") but they originate here under the pen of Sam Kweskin. Are they his legacy to the Dr. Strange strip? Or was he reproducing another artist's designs?
Although Kweskin's art was unpopular at the time, it succeeds in giving me an unsettling feeling, which suits this particular story. Those bizarre Starkesboro faces on the splash page of #5 call to mind the regressed sub-humans in Lovecraft's creepy story, "The Rats in the Walls." Like Jeff above, I've been enjoying these issues in the "Separate Reality" Epic Collection volume.
Chris, wasn't Shooter responsible for the travesty that was Dazzler's graphic novel? That and this mini-series take her character, and completely drag it through the mud. If Shooter wrote the graphic novel, I can see why he authorized this.
It does look like Christopher Lee is the template for Fu Manchu here and in the MoKF series. Understandable since Lee did five Fu Manchu films between 1965 to 1969. However, I wouldn't have minded seeing an artist try to model him after Boris Karloff from the most infamous (and arguably best) take on the character, MGM's "THE MASK OF FU MANCHU". Made in 1932 before the Hays Code and co-starring Myrna Loy, its infamy stems from how wildly offensive it was to Asian-Americans at the time, not to mention the torture scenes, violent and sexual (including homoerotic) undertones. In subsequent re-releases, after the MPAA Code had been implemented, the censors had a field day slicing and dicing the film like Jason Voorhees and Leatherface combined. Today fully restored on DVD (with a great commentary by film historian Greg Mank on all the initial hoopla), if shown on TCM today it would likely still get a TV-14 rating.
So, the Rhino story taught us Marvel Universe Denizens are ungrateful bastards who will quickly react with violence and insults against the people trying their best to help them, over the pettiest of reasons, even from childhood.
I don't know why, but I've been re-reading the first five "New Mutants" issues with Cable, and they really do suck.
I just reread 88-89 on a whim and found it a little dopey how Moira was so easily persuaded by Cable to let Rahne stay with the group. But the sad thing is, these are probably the best comics Liefeld has ever done just because he couldn't run wild with his own "introduce a new group of rip-off characters every five pages" nonsense.
He invented an entire goofy ensemble for Mike Murdock. For someone with radar senses instead of sight, Matt knows his costuming. (outside the yellow suit...but you can blame just starting out then...or just not caring about color due to being blind. Seriously, I could see a Toph joke with that)
When I saw the crossover bit, I was like "damn! Thats cool!"
Other than that I have to say that ross is the most unintelligent man yet to be in a marvel comic. Taking his daughter to these dangerous places, thinking that the hulk killer would have no consequences. He's plain dumb!
In the Olympus storyline in Avengers, Hephaestus mentions that he is able to move Mjolnir with a complicated sets of winches and levers. But he's also a god, so we're not talking ordinary machines there.
I remember Jinku once lifted Mjolnir with a lava hand he created so this counts as a mind construct, I guess, but machines? Doesn't sound very Asgardian to me. Why would mere mortal machines be able to lift an enchanted hammer? At least the "mind construct" part makes some sense since it can be interpreted as magic, elemental energy, whatever sounds good. Of course the movies have different rules than the comics, but I remember machines were useless in the first Thor movie when trying to lift Mjolnir. Not sure if there have been comic examples. I could buy Asgardian/advanced alien machines lifting Mjolnir, I guess...
As the gas in the tank becomes insubstantial, it stops combusting, pistons stop pumping, everything seizes, and the car slams to a halt. The tires raise some dust as they slide via the same magical friction that allows Kitty to walk while intangible.
Vin: Perhaps, but I think it's worth reiterating that when DeFalco conceived of the character of the Rose back in #253, he did not intend him to be Roderick Kingsley (or Richard Fisk) at that point either; he intended the Rose to just be a middle-management crime boss who wore a mask, and had an inconsequential true identity, sort of like an 80's version of the Crime-Master. I think it was around #275, DeFalco claimed people were starting to question the Rose's "secret" identity, so he decided to make him a pre-existing character, and chose Kingsley at that point.
I realize I'm late to the party on this one, but who on Earth says to houseguests, "BRB, just gonna go bang one out upstairs. Make yourselves comfy, we'll be back in 20... no, maybe 30 minutes." That's not normal, right?
Either that's weird, or I'm hanging out with the wrong people.
Completely agree with Cecil on his assessment of this series. Though I would add that once Ploog bolted to work with Ralph Bakshi and various other Hollywood projects that followed, Tom Sutton would have been the ideal choice to fill the artist's chair (the letterer's as well if he were so inclined).
Looking at the cover to WBN #8, one could expect a thought balloon over the Werewolf's head saying "The white furry one... must have eaten... the atomic wings!" And since there was a "white rabbit" in the story, when Jack asked what was wrong with it, the obvious answer would be "Go ask Alice..."
I always found it amusing that Kyle Richmond had such a cavalier attitude with his so-called "secret identity", like he was in this story with Ben and later with Spidey. "Oh hey, did I mention that I'm Nighthawk?"
@Fnord- Ghost Rider and the Son of Satan fought side-by-side in GR #17-#18, which falls in between the Marvel Spotlight issue you cited and this issue of Defenders, in case you wished to site the last time they saw each other.
I don't know if Baron Thunder is supposed to be some weird hybrid of Parnival the Plunderer and the Kingpin with a Marine drill sergeant's haircut, but he kinda looks like the manager/mouthpiece for a gothic-themed pro wrestler.
"Slouching Towards Bethlehem" was a collection of essays from 1968 by Joan Didion revealing the darker side of the hippie experience in the infamous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. When I initially saw the title, my first thought was to the book by the equally-infamous Robert Bork, "Slouching Towards Gomorrah".
The very idea of being a teenager had only just been invented a few years earlier. The Baby Boomers were the first generation to really experience years of their lives between childhood [not old enough to have a family] and adulthood [have a family and work to support that family.] For that matter, they were basically the first generation where not having a family was even a possible option, because if you didn't have kids, no one would support you when you're old unless you've amassed enough money to pay them. We forget how recently being a successful parent meant three of your eight kids survived to adulthood.
The concept of being a teenager was basically invented in the 1950s for merchandising purposes. This can be seen in the pop music cycles starting with rock'n'roll, as well as comic book characters like Johnny, Peter and the popularity of Archie. I'm being a bit glib about this - Archie was popular since the 40s for instance - but it's pretty much how I see it.
So, uh, why did Parker create Venus-the-Siren in the first place, instead of just writing the character as the goddess?
I can understand why at least some retconning of Marvel Boy/Uranian and Human Robot/M-11 were necessary for the metaplot of the series, but it's not as if Marvel doesn't have plenty of gods with fluctuating power levels running around anyway.
Also, Wasp never really seemed written like a teen hero. How old was Hank at the time, in his 20s, 30s? Old enough to have a dead wife Janet reminded him of. For them to have a mutual crush on each other was all kinds of creepy if Janet was really a teenager (even before getting into the "she looks like my dead wife" thing), and it was her defining character trait. Wasp seemed more mature than her alleged age in other ways as well (well, accounting for Stan Lee's sexism), and seemed to be drawn closer to Sue Storm than Jean Grey.
I think one element regarding the bond is just the idea of superhero teenagers. Amazing Fantasy 15 came out in August of '62, and Marvel probably knew that they were on to something thus, three months later in October, Johnny's feature started in Strange Tales. (while Peter had to wait to early '63 before getting his actual book) It's hard to scope whether he or Ben were the breakout characters of the F4 in the beginning, but the idea of teenagers attaching themselves to a solo teen hero clicked; and what better way to make it work better than to have them together, thus why Johnny and Peter tended to hang out so often in the early days, with them the only real teen heroes out there. (well OK, there was also Wasp...but Jan was tied up with Hank more or less)
But, that's...really not the issue...or even a consideration...with the problems with Venus.
Parker retconned that Agents of Atlas' member Venus wasn't the Goddess of Love but was actually a Siren of myth who was deluding herself into believing she was the Olympian Goddess of Love - the problem being all the past appearances of a Venus character, many of which had her portrayed as a Goddess or a contemporary to Hercules and co., and all the subsequent mess-ups Parker does to try and remedy/fix it.
(I also see Wikipedia's Venus page subscribes to the working version of events - that Aphrodite the Goddess never appeared before Agents of Atlas #10 - BUT that may have been me who edited that ages ago and I forgot i did that or someone might've just copied it from another site that I stressed that as the only real working version on)
Yes, the edition of Amazing Adv #1 (on Marvel Unlimited) shows him as a nondescript bald white guy throughout the story until he holds hands with the dying lama to transform into a stereotype. "My eyes! They're becoming slanted!" is his actual word balloon. If he had a mirror, he would have commented about being recolored yellow, too. Bizzare art & script choice.
Hell hath no fury like a horny werewolf scorned! Also, it was a pretty hardcore on Dr. Tumolo's part to release the the black plague on those Hydra goons. Guess beneath the sweet grandma outer shell lay the soul of a tigress (pun intended). Finally, my WBN omnibus contains the aforementioned text piece by Roy Thomas. It does come off as self-congratulatory, and even though Thomas was trying to be cute, Ploog was much more than a "boy artist". I would be curious, however, to see samples of the western comic Ploog and Thomas were working on before the project was scrapped.
I must give credit to Don Perlin (for once) for giving Lt. Lou Hackett a magnificent head of hair that he was able to maintain even in his werewolf form. I only bring this up because my own hairline has gone the way of the triceratops, with the exception of a pathetic, Phil Collins-style widow's peak, and seeing televangelist-style hair, even on a comics character, gives me a sense of wistful nostalgia for my own long-lost locks.
Chris, I recently noticed that Johnny Storm is one of the most recurring characters in early "Spider-Man" comics. The Fantastic Four appeared in "Spider-Man" #1, the Human Torch appeared in "Spider-Man" #3, the FF appeared again in "Spider-Man" #5, Spidey fought the Torch with the FF showing up at the end in #8. Then there was the Annual, followed by three consecutive issues of Johnny attending the first meeting of the Spider-Man Fan Club, Johnny chasing Spidey to ask why he had run away, and Johnny being rescued by Spidey from Sandman and the Enforcers.
I can't figure out why it makes sense, but it makes sense that Spidey and Johnny would be the closest associates in this early Marvel Universe. We'll never know who had the idea of a shared universe, but Stan, Jack and Steve obviously made great use of the idea. So Johnny and Spidey were the most prominent teens, and it would be natural if they fought over girls or other stupid stuff.
I always say that superhero stories can be so much more than about fighting the villain, and this is a perfect example. Yes, the Beatle is a threat, yes Dorrie is a damsel-in-distress. But it's really about Johnny and Dorrie, Petey and Betty, and it reads like an Archie comic on steroids.
Which fits in with JJJ's public persona, that he's not remotely in it for himself. He's doing Peter a favor by buying those pictures and Peter is always taking advantage of his good-hearted nature. He's exposing Spider-Man as a menace and sells a lot more copies of the Bugle when Spidey is on the front page. He's so selfless and giving, he shows up to high school graduations to tell the youngsters about himself before he reached his pinnacle of greatness.
Because comics uses pictures and words - I cannot fathom why modern comics have dropped thought balloons when they're such a useful tool - it's very evident that JJJ isn't the paragon of altruism that he pretends to be. It's not a serious study of altruism in a Randian sense, he's a supporting character in a superhero comic.
Michael, I think you made a typo about who Liefeld introduced. I'm guessing Cable and the MLF, but this is me being too lazy to look it up, which is why I was just guessing earlier. Ok, could the Harriers be a reaction to Liefeld's obvious lack of characterization or naming?
Making the characters in the issue of "Wolverine" part of a team is a Claremontean thing to do, especially if they're newly-released from SHIELD duties. Nick Fury was playing a larger role in "X-Men" towards the end, whether fighting in the Savage Land or as one of Wolvie's hallucinations.
I'm still just speculating with no evidence. Carry on.
Rand was using altruism in the original sense that Comte coined it- it's been watered down when it made it into popular usage. Conte believed that individuals' choices should only consider the impact on others, not on themselves, and consequently humans had no rights. Most people find this incredibly creepy.
That being said, there's plenty of creepy elements in Rand's writing, as well.
This issue is when the Hulk starts to shape into what we know him as. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's wearing torn purple pants for the first time (before this issue he wore a purple speedo) and Banner turns into the Hulk all by himself (without a Hulk-turning-ray or the sun setting) for the first time.
When talking about Aphrodite/Venusand Ares/Mars, I think it helps to remember that a lot of what we think of as Greek myth is actually Athenian myth. Athenians, who liked to think of themselves and their patron goddess as the pinnacle of wisdom, had a political and sociological reason to portray rival gods, particularly Ares and his lover, as dull-witted, petty, and even cowardly. So in part Parker and Pak may have been just trying to remediate an ancient calumny.
In that first comic excerpt, Marlo says the band's drummer is cute and looks like "Albert" from Twin Peaks. "Albert" is the character Albert Rosenfield played by Miguel Ferrer. Miguel was a friend of Peter David, and he did play drums in the band "Seduction of the Innocent" which was composed of various artists and played at San Diego ComicCon and elsewhere. Based on that, it is entirely possible Rick Jones' band has the same members (at least in this issue) or is even the actual self same band ("King Jack" is one of their songs). When the band reappears in issue #388, they even open their act in the same way. Peter David explained about the real life band in one of his But I Digress columns - http://www.peterdavid.net/2012/10/15/seduction-of-the-innocent-the-band/
Ayn Rand's use of terms like "altruism" and "selfishness" do NOT use the typical definitions that we all think of. They are jargon terms for her, and she uses them in a very specific context. This is something most of her critics overlook (but is predictable, she really should have use other terms). So while a Randian superhero will not fight criminals out of a sense of altruism, they'd definitely fight them out of a sense of justice. And that is where Ditko's take comes from.
The thing to remember about Ayn Rand is that she grew up in a Communist society. She saw first hand the difference between what Communist propaganda promised and what it actually delivered. So she particularly hated the reasons the Marxists gave for their supposed moral superiority.
Back on topic - really surprising how often Ditko uses both the Human Torch and Dorrie Evans in his run!
Then in Incredible Hercules #141 (the issue where she officially becomes the Goddess of Love), Aphrodite the Goddess claims "I haven't been the Goddess of Love in a very long time. I've been the Goddess of everything petty and vain since the Trojan War". This supports that those other Venus appearances are Venus the Siren as Venus has generally been portrayed as not those things.
But then the next panel, Aphrodite bequeaths the Golden Cestus to Venus and says with it "The Olympiad will acknowledge your status as the Goddess of Love"... but I don't think that necessarily means that they didn't mistakenly acknowledge that status beforehand when Aphrodite the Goddess was absent and Venus the Siren believed herself to be her.
And the intention that the Cestus denotes when it was Aphrodite and when it was Venus may have been Parker's intention but it's not quite stated in the comic. And it doesn't work as I said, appearances which have to be credited to Venus the Siren have her using and mentioning her Cestus and even in the first Agents of Atlas mini and even the ongoing, Venus is regularly drawn wearing a Golden Cestus.
And that's the last time Parker does anything with the Venus/Aphrodite thing.
I just find the "Venus never appeared before Agents of Atlas #1" approach that Marvel Appendix and Wikia use to be incredibly wrong.
But to reiterate, most the confusion comes from a character who wrote a book about Venus and he makes claims and theories about whether or not it was her or the Goddess. This character is possibly obsessed with Venus and only met her once, most of his "authority" on the subject comes from interviewing other people who have had encounters with her. While this was obviously Parker trying to establish his retcon, these ideas don't work. As mentioned, the UCLA has to be Venus the Siren - Parker even says so - and that original Sub-Mariner issue is footnoted or referenced in so many subsequent Venus appearances (Champions, Avengers), by extension they have to be Venus the Siren too.
The alternative is both Venus and Aphrodite taught Namorita at UCLA which is just stupid. And causes problems with why Aphrodite didn't confront Venus then when they were in close proximity and Aphrodite is meant to be off being hedonistic anyway.
To continue on with the Venus debate - in Agents of Atlas/X-Men #2 (the issue which has the first meeting between Venus the Siren and Aphrodite the Goddess); Venus the Siren claims that Aphrodite the Goddess doesn't "even use the name Venus". Now, this would be a fantastic evidence to the version that works (i.e. Aphrodite the Goddess has never appeared before and it's always been Venus the Siren) but then Venus also contradicts that working by also claiming in the sentence just before that "I don't try and convince anyone I'm you" (although, this might be semantics - she might just be talking about recently since she accepted her true origin in the 2006 mini). And even if you read the line about not convincing people she's the Goddess, she again contradicts that on the next page by saying:
"People assumed I was Venus returned. It was a much better history, so I accepted it too."
Which I think is a fantastic line to resolve everything. People want her to be the Goddess of Love returned (as Aphrodite the Goddess has secluded and indulging herself), which allows a lot of leeway with those past appearances of a Venus. Hercules, Zeus, Ares - they are just as likely to assume and the physical resemblance goes beyond similarity as it's said the Sirens were created by Phorcys in the image of Aphrodite the Goddess.
Parker will introduce the Cestus excuse next few issues but as I said that flat-out doesn't work.
I remember this on the old Power Records blended with WBN #15 and Tomb of Dracula #18 and featuring narration from the late Peter Fernandez of Speed Racer fame, plus if I recall, he also voiced Philip Russell. I mentioned on my earlier posting on ToD #18 how it was such an odd blend of art styles, but both Mike Ploog and Gene Colan were among my earliest comic art heroes, along with Neal Adams and Curt Swan from the Distinguished Competition.
This issue was published AFTER Liefeld's early issues of New Mutants, where he introduced the New Mutants.
The Harriers that appeared in Wolverine seemed to be just mercenaries, although there was a mention of a "team" that they belonged to that were supposedly a match for the Avengers.
"Seduction is always dishonest. People lie to get people to like them."
Um, it doesn't ALWAYS have to be dishonest, and if anyone needs to lie to others to get them to like them, then either they or the people they are trying to reach to are awfully bad people. Either way it'd not be a relationship worth pursuing.
I have absolutely no evidence for this, but Betsy's outfit reminds me of Milt Caniff's "Dragon Lady" (and "Miss Lace," who I'm more familiar with) who was very much used for cheesecake, as well as other story purposes.
Honestly, the two-page spread introducing the Harriers reminds me more of Rob Liefeld. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Liefeld hadn't even taken over "New Mutants" yet. McFarlane had maybe taken over "Amazing Spider-Man." In some ways, the issue just screams opposition to company ownership of new characters. This is something I'm making up out of my own head so don't take it as true, but did Bob Harras tell Claremont and Silvestri to write and draw an issue with new characters and mixed-up art styles so he could instruct Liefeld on doing comics the Marvel way?
I forget which Harriers were in those issues of "Wolverine," but from what I know of SHIELD's collapse - wasn't that written by Harras? - I could easily see Claremont using the event to spin out whatever baddies needed for, say, a solo Wolverine adventure, and then being told to make them a team and put them in X-Men.
Again, I'm making this up. I have no evidence at all.
I've said this elsewhere, but Kirby really perfected the art of the segue by this point in his "FF" run. #47 ends with a cliff-hanger, Maximus turning on his new weapon. #48 begins with the FF being kicked out of Attilan, and realize that there's nothing they can do at the moment. So they head home and run into the Silver Surfer, fight him, and then Galactus shows up. #49 is all-Galactus [unless there's an Inhumans subplot I've forgotten about] and then halfway through #50, the big G exiles the Surfer to Earth and then leaves.
The rest of the issue is about Johnny going to college and meeting Wyatt, Ben moping about the Surfer's interest in Alicia and so on.
I wouldn't say if it's rape or not - I only know this story through its reputation and this-here website - but it's creepy beyond imagining. The incest is explicit, but nobody is bothered by it. Wanda and Vision's conversation about their lack of reproduction sticks out like a sore thumb, and Jocasta's comment doesn't help.
It's just creepy. This isn't a story that could be told better if it didn't star guys and gals in tights solving problems with their fists in Code-approved ways, this is a story that just didn't need to be told.
will, you can't meaningfully consent to a kidnapper. Marcus was the only way Carol had to get home. If she didn't have sex with her, he might have left her in Limbo.)
(And I have never tried to seduce Carol.) :)
Look, I know I'll get heat either way, but the argument is rather simple. If Michael had used a machine to literally hypnotize or control Ms Marvel's mind (like countless villains have done in countless comic books) then it would be a clear cut case of rape. But this wasn't the case. The book explicitly states that it took Michael WEEKS to seduce her... weeks. If you have a machine that can make a woman like you instantly, you don't need weeks. The machine only made his seduction of her EASIER. Which is why I compared it to alcohol. People do things under the influence that they wouldn't do sober. Most sex encounters in the world occur under the influence of alcohol. Does that makes us all rapists?
Michael seduces Carol for several weeks. He used the machine to made it easier, but he did seduced her. Yes, he kidnapped her, used her for his rebirth, erased her memory of it. He's not a nice guy. But calling it rape is incredibly insulting to actual rape victims. I remember having read about this story years before actually reading it. I frankly thought Ms. Marvel was "legitimately" raped, like under physical violence. When I finally caught up with issue #200 I couldn't believe my eyes... it's just not rape, guys. Seduction is always dishonest. People lie to get people to like them. This isn't any different.
I quite frankly don't see why people consider this rape. Yes, he kidnapped her, but that happens almost literally every issue of every superhero comic book. He used a subtle machine that made Ms Marvel more open to liking him... how is that ANY different than using a bottle of champagne? Or for that matter, any different than "romancing" her with tactics such as musicians playing, or giving her flowers or any other classic flirting/seduction gamble men usually play? Did Marcus actually develop a relationship with Carol Danvers and did they actually fall in love? No. He just played a role to get her in bed, which is pretty much the definition of seduction in the real world.
This wasn't any more rape than any other casual encounter between a man and a woman in this day and age.
The story was creepy considering that once Ms. Marvel found out, she still chose to leave with him, but rape? Nah. Not in any sense of the word.
I've just finished reading the 1998 Wolverine: DoFP 3-parter which takes place before this arc and I found it a big failure. It could've been a good opportunity to expand the background of the characters introduced in #141 and illustrate a few major events...sadly none of that happens. We just get to see how Magneto got in a wheelchair...
I feel like maybe there were plans to create more stories between that 3-parter and this arc because there are a lot of loose ends at the end...
My recommendation: stay away from it, doesn't really add anything important
Help. Somebody knows where "Wanda's comments about being a child during WW2" and where "Pietro's memories of their father carving marionettes"? I´ve reading the comics about the parents of the twins and i don´t remeber those things. Thanks.
In addition to the up-nostril look for Starseed a la Gil Kane, Robbins must have tipped the cap to Sal Buscema with the Werewolf displaying the open-mouth saliva shot in a panel where he wrestles with Starseed.
Something that bugged me about #100 when I read it - Sam names every member of The New Mutants in his monologue to Tabitha, except Illyana (if I remember correctly). Probably just a minor mistake editorial didn't notice, but I've never forgotten it.
Liefeld definitely wasn't one of "me;" I disliked what the x-books became in this era, and I stopped reading them consistently after this, never to fully return.
Peter David tried to explain it by revealing that sometimes it was the Foreigner's agents, and not the Foreigner himself, who was impersonating Keating and they did "whatever naughty bits they concocted on the side". Don't ask me why the Foreigner tolerated this.
So, Rose's men show up to kill Kingsley and Keating and succeeded in incapacitating Kingsley... but then didn't bother to actually kill him?
And if Keating is the Foreigner and Foreigner is Keating (at this point), what the hell is this gibberish about Keating being involved with the Rose? Why would Foreigner need to be involved with the Rose and secondly why would he risk his cover identity with that. The real Keating being involved with the Rose actually could make sense - but for that to work then that means that Keating was alive a LOT later than here, Marvel Appendix or marvel wikia credit him.
I mean, the latter flat-out shows how toxic Priest was to the Spidey books, he just went ahead with whatever ideas he wanted and never bothered squaring anything with even his "friend" Peter David who got stuck with having to clean up or make sense of the majority of this turgid trash.
And after 12 issues of being treated like an afterthought, no less. I think it would be comical if either Weezie, Liefeld or Nicieza stumbled on all my comments complaining about their mishandling of two insignificant characters. It's just that this was probably the first time someone from the X camp defected to the other side, and this angle could've been more interesting than it was.
Also, having not been very familiar with the original Youngblood until watching Linkara's reviews, I can't help but roll my eyes thinking how in the second storyline with Stryfe, Rob didn't even bother with the existing MLF and had to bring out the "Away" team.
Reached the character limit with the last post, sorry!
MARVEL HORROR: THE MAGAZINE COLLECTION TPB
Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT, DOUG MOENCH, TONY ISABELLA, DON MCGREGOR, BRUCE JONES, J.M. DEMATTEIS, STEVE PERRY & MORE Penciled by TONY DEZUNIGA, RICO RIVAL, VICENTE ALCAZAR, ERNIE CHAN, BILLY GRAHAM, JUAN BOIX, MICHAEL GOLDEN, DAVE SIMONS, BOB HALL, GEOF ISHERWOOD, STEVE BISSETTE & MORE Cover by GENE COLAN, BILLY GRAHAM & GIL KANE Marvel’s supernatural superstars star in lavishly illustrated tales of horror! And many of these bizarre adventures from the age of the black-and-white magazine are collected here for the first time! Blade hunts, Dracula stalks and the Zombie shambles! Meanwhile, night brings the daughter of the diabolical, Satana! You’ll meet Gabriel, Devil Hunter! Discover the magic of Lady Daemon! Fear the Death-Dealing Mannikin! And brave the Haunt of Horror and the Vault of Evil! They’re rarely seen creepy classics filled with werewolves, vampires and monsters unleashed — read them if you dare! Collecting material from MARVEL PREVIEW #3, #7-8, #12 and #16; HAUNT OF HORROR (1974) #1-2; MONSTERS UNLEASHED (1973) #3-9; and BIZARRE ADVENTURES #25 and #33. 264 PGS./Parental Advisory …$34.99
There's also a WEREWOLF BY NIGHT: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL. 1 TPB coming out as well if you want to look for it.
Got a double feature for you from September in case you're interested (has a couple issues that you're missing included in each one):
TOMB OF DRACULA: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL. 1 TPB
Written by GERRY CONWAY, ARCHIE GOODWIN, GARDNER FOX, MARV WOLFMAN, ROY THOMAS, STEVE GERBER & TONY ISABELLA Penciled by GENE COLAN, ALAN WEISS, RICH BUCKLER, NEAL ADAMS, JIM STARLIN, JOHN BUSCEMA, ALFONSO FONT, MIKE PLOOG, DICK AYERS & VICENTE ALCAZAR Cover by NEAL ADAMS Sink your teeth into a vampiric volume that chronicles some of the greatest supernatural comics ever printed! The all-time classic TOMB OF DRACULA ushered in Marvel’s glorious age of horror, while the black-and-white magazine DRACULA LIVES! delivered stories with real bite — and both featured legendary creators, including Gene Colan in his prime illustrating the Lord of Vampires! The tomb has opened, and Dracula lives again! But his descendant, Frank Drake, joins vampire hunters including Rachel Van Helsing and Quincy Harker in a bid to return him to his grave! Will they drive a stake through Dracula’s heart — or will that honor fall to Blade? Plus: Tales of terror from across Dracula’s 500-year existence — featuring Hell-Crawlers, the Monster of the Moors, wizards, gargoyles, voodoo queens and more! Collecting TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #1-15 and DRACULA LIVES! #1-4. 512 PGS./Parental Advisory …$39.99
Considering the fact that Prof. X had Rogue join the X-Men when Carol is an ally to them and knows the history between the two, then I do feel the need to question some of Claremont's decisions. I mean when I first heard about the events surrounding Avengers #200 and Avengers Annual #10 I was wondering why he would switch Carol from one bad situation to another.
Yeah, that analogy occurred to me too, but there are really more differences than similarities: Kowalski doesn't have complete control over the bodies he inhabits, he can't control where he goes, he's not trying to find his killer, and he has no grounding like Deadman did with Nanda Parbat and the League of Assassins. Also, no Neil Adams.
What do you mean? Considering what Rogue did to Carol, her anger is certainly justified, and I've never interpreted this story as Claremont thinking it isn't. Having written her solo series, Claremont seems to have had a special affinity for Carol, so he brought her back after the horrible ending of Avengers #200, chastised the writers of that story for giving treating her so horribly, and kept her appearing in X-Men when no one else seemed to have had any interest in writing her. Heck, without Claremont it's perfectly possible Carol would've faded into obscurity after she was written out of Avengers, which means she might not have had the glorious revival she got in the '00s, and there would be no Captain Marvel movie coming out.
I actually liked the Fly as a villain. I think his costume was good and power set was decent. Despite the fact that spiders eat flies, I thought the Fly could have been a good villain against Spidey as he was powerful enough. And the conflicting animal themes could have been put to good use provided the Flies advantages (like flight) were put to good use against Spidey.
Having the Fly devolve though put the character on the path to doom. As a one shot thing, it seemed disgusting and creepy, but there's not much room for the character after this. Pretty much any time a character begins to degrade like this (see Manticore or Man Bull), the character has had it. The character had managed to appear about once every two years on average which isn't bad. But the next time we'll see him, it's Scourge bait.
I think there was a lost opportunity later on in the series to bring back Quantum. He's a powerful enough foe, decent costume, and an intriguing origin (despite being derivative from Superman) that he could have made a good recurring villain as part of Quasar's rogues gallery. "Kryptonians as militarists" angle and the nature of the experiment was different enough that Quantum could have become a good character on his own. And it eventually could have lead to interesting stories on Dakkam itself.
I think of one Gruenwald's mistakes is that everyone Quasar fought was kind of one and done, and he didn't build a recurring rogues gallery. I think if a few of the best villains reappeared and became Q's personal foes, it would have helped.
With all the Satanists and references to the occult (pronounced AH-CULT if you're Pat Robertson) that permeated the horror line in the '70's, it's surprising that right-leaning religious groups and "decency warriors" didn't raise a huge stink about it. I suppose they were too busy snooping around for hidden messages in the music of everyone from Led Zeppelin to Black Oak Arkansas at the time. Or perhaps they simply saw the comics world as a "gutter culture" not worth muddying their hands over.
Wasn't Daredevil's creation influenced by DC's Golden Age hero Dr. Midnight? Both were blind with compensating senses (or sense in Midnight's case, with the ability to see in the dark), both were fair-haired professionals in their civilian ID's (redhead Matt Murdock an attorney, blonde Dr. Charles McNider a physician), and both had an association with an owl (Here a member of DD's rogues' gallery, Dr. Midnight had a pet owl named Hootie). Come to think of it, considering the good doctor's trained avian sidekick, perhaps he influenced the Falcon more indirectly.
Issue #3 features the first instance of Jack responding to danger by driving a convertible on the night of a full moon, totaling the car after the transformation. His insurance premiums must be a bitch! Hope Buck had the proper coverage! Changing the subject, Ploog's close-ups of Wolfie's mug are pretty damned awesome, IMHO.
Of course, but it's fun to make outlandish theories about characters based on incredibly subtle character points in works made before the elements the theory revolves around would have even been a consideration.
I don't have this issue, but I own DC's Heroes Against Hunger and yes, inevitably it suffers from the same core thematic problem fnord mentioned here. Being from a Third World country myself, and one in an alarming downward spiral as we speak (Venezuela) first hand experience has left me very cynical about the developed world's efforts to ever help the least economically advanced countries. When they even exist at all, that is. Most of the time, we're just ignored altogether. Who cares if our children die starving and our political liberties wither as long as the people who matter can regularly amuse themselves with Kim Kardashian throwing her money around, right?
It's always or a lack of real interest or, at the best of cases, a well intentioned lack of understanding of our problems. Problems that come both from ourselves (which places us in the situation of being unable to change ourselves) and from the First World's own exploitation of the rest of the world. To set us in an actual 'straight path' towards full economic and social recovery, a full on intervention would be needed, but not only that violates every country's independence, but those willing to intervene only have THEIR OWN interests in mind. It's a real Catch 22 and a perpetually self-preserving (and even worse, self-worsening) situation.
Also, 'Why do you have to make a RACIAL ISSUE OUT OF EVERYTHING?' is such a funny thing to say when you're editing the freaking X-Men.
Fnord, the theory is that Magma is in a New Mutants uniform here because this is Hel, so this is her soul not actually her body, which was dressed differently in the Asgardian Wars annuals. Partial tip of the hat to The Lightning and the Storm podcast for also pointing that out.
I love Kelley Jones' art, but it's an acquired taste, and certainly not for everyone. And it's always been highly inconsistent. Characters looking totally different from one panel to the next is common for him.
I'd love seeing him doing a Dr. Strange or Ghost Rider story.
The idea of "some lunatic that was taking advantage of natural earthquakes to make his ransom demands" would also be used later in Batman's 1998 major crossover 'Cataclysm', where the Ventriloquist assumed an all new identity as 'the Quakemaster'.
Iceman's behavior towards Jean seems to be of the classic 'little boys think girls are gross and have cooties' variety common in popular entertainment at the time, emphasizing his status as the junior of the team. Back then creators liked to pretend very young people couldn't hold crushes, that's all.
It could have been a reference to the Infinity Gauntlet series. I don't know for sure. I remember thinking it was a reference to the Hulk having been a founder of the Avengers, because they were the only team other than The Pantheon that included The Hulk as a member (The Defenders not counting, as they were never an official team).
PeterA - I've wondered if Keown leaving the book affected how David planned to pay off Delphi's prophecy. As it is, I thought the art in #400 looked very rushed and atypically messy for the book at the time. Peter David often wrote to the strengths of whoever the penciler was (Purves, McFarlane, Keowen), even fill-in artists (Sam Keith), and that seemed to be missing here. I definitely remember thinking that the story seemed "off," as if it wasn't quite what was intended, though I couldn't put my finger on the reason why I thought that way.
Technically Aunt May is calling the doctor, not Peter, a 'pussywillow'. By the way, was that supposed to be funny? I imagine it was just as lame a joke in the sixties as it'd be now, but then I suspect Stan Lee wrote Aunt May with the intent of making her as grating as possible.
The Spider-Man backup had some very crazy use of webbing, including electrified webbing that was never used in Spider-Man's own series (which Spidey says he designed for "those gay, carefree moments").
Frank Robbins' art style, roundly criticized by several on this site including myself, was really not suited to such dark subject matter, IMHO. His depiction of Satan wouldn't be out of place in an Ed Wood film, and to me Death's Head's steed is looking at the reader with a silly grin on its face. Believe it or not, I mean no disrespect to the memory of Mr. Robbins, whose 100th. birthday would've been this September 9th. He created and maintained a 33-year run on the aviation adventure newspaper JOHNNY HAZARD. As a writer for DC in the late '60's, he and Neal Adams were responsible for bringing Batman back to the dark, brooding detective so revered today. Given his track record with the Caped Crusader, perhaps it would have been to bring Robbins into the fold as a writer only, because by this late stage of his career, his cartoonier art style had fallen behind the times.
Please forgive my silliness here, but when I'd read comics as a child that featured Valkyrie, I wondered if she was blind in her right eye, hence the hairstyle. And if Marvel ever started another self-lampooning book like NOT BRAND ECCH, a story of Val and Jennifer Kale going bra shopping together might be in order.
Right around 1986, I attended a comics convention in my home town, and I purchased a packet of black-and-white prints of the Black Widow illustrated by Paul Gulacy. There were six total, four of which featured the classic form-fitting black leather garb, but one had Natasha glammed up in a party dress and fur coat, and the other depicted her with her hair up in a one-piece leotard, topped off with "goddess sandals", sitting in the floor next to Nick Fury, who is seated in a throne-like chair complete with his gun and customary stogie. One of Gulacy's many strengths as an artist was being able to capture strong, sexy female characters, not only in those prints but also in these issues with Shanna. The only inconsistency I note is in some panels, Shanna is drawn in a leopard-skin thong, others in standard-issue leopard-skin bikini briefs. Of course, this is simply a case of me picking entirely one-too-many nits!
For a long time I'd only had 336 of this arc, which I held in high regard. The art was good, and the story seemed cool. I picked up the rest later and was disappointed. Deadlines must have got to Epting for The later parts, and the opening chapter from Kubert looked dreadful. Young Kubert was like an Image guy wannabe.
Too bad about Typ, he was exceptionally friendly for a Marvel monarch. Considering he wasn't able to avoid being assassinated, though, I suppose there's something to be said for brooding hypervigilance.
The premise of this series is intriguing, but the execution is a mess. I don't think the circumstances of Kowalski's supposed treason are ever revealed. It's not clear whether his spirit survives because of Osterman's curse, or because Death has some sort of plan for him, or what that plan really is. Also, his supposed cowardice is simply that he didn't believe Osterman when he told him about the impending invasion. Not his finest hour, but not such a great sin. Didn't Osterman have contacts of his own? This issue says Kowalski is a naturalized citizen, but it's later said he was born in Pennsylvania. Also, Kowalksi didn't occupy people just prior to their deaths; he took possession at the instant of their deaths, having only as much control over the body or even memory of his previous life as was convenient to the plot. The relative high point of the series is issue 12, a sort of riff on Madame Butterfly in which Kowalski encounters a long-lost Chinese love while stuck in the body of her captor, a Japanese colonel. It has all the tics Claremont will become famous for: a bar fight, a fascination with the underside of Asian culture, near rape, his usual odd dialog ("And I you," "With all my heart", etc.), and most interesting (to me, anyway) is a throw-away character named Rossi, well before Michael Rossi shows up the X-Men.
That does look like a hazy pink skyline in the background, fnord. It is strange to see actual feet and near-normal posture here, of course considering the hands and feet of the Beast are such a part of his identity, Liefeld had to do them justice. The sparse backgrounds remind me of what John Byrne later did on his WONDER WOMAN run, of course he had the excuse of being nearly a one-man band on that title (plot, script, pencils, inks, and lettering all by Byrne). It would have interesting to see how Vince Coletta would have inked Liefeld,given Coletta's rep for speed enhanced by heavy erasing to meet deadlines.
It's like Stan Lee recycled the first Spider-Man annual when Webhead took on the Sinister Six: Tailor the story for DD, borrow Electro since they faced off in issue #2 (Is there a member of Spidey's Rogues' Gallery Daredevil HASN'T fought?), then subtract by one and make it the "Furious Five" (with apologies to Grandmaster Flash).
Yeah but I can't say all of us had the same mentality that Liefeld had:
Liefeld: "Hey, I got this new idea for the revamp: I'm going to create this awesome guy with a ponytail and pouches and name him Shatterstar because it's awesome! And so what if I can't get that werewolf girl, I'm going to make a cat on my team! And there's going to be a white haired guy with a ponytail cause it's awesome. And there's going to be a merc, and he's going to be Deathst...that's taken? Well then, Deadpool. Same thing."
Marvel: "Just let him do what he wants. He's selling out books and none of these guys will last after he's gone."
Quick recipe check: Take one werewolf, throw in one shark and one dwarf, have it brought to life by Mike Ploog. Yep, sounds like an A+ stew to me! Although I do agree with Mark that Ploog inking himself, plus being his own colorist to boot, is superior work.
I agree, chronologically-wise it would make a lot of sense to have the Classic X-Men back-ups separated from the main stories and placed accordingly. It would take a lot of work though so I understand why fnord doesn't do it.
Even though this version/look of the Vulture would appear only one more time, this was the version I knew best as a little kid because of it's appearance in the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon which played in syndication regularly at the time.
Recently had the good fortune of finding well-preserved copies of these two issues (also of # 381 and # 382) at a gem of a comic store tucked in the corner of a sprawling, Home Depot-dominated shopping center about 20 minutes from home at more-than-reasonable prices. Returned home, settled in on the sofa, popped in Jethro Tull's "Broadsword" from BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST (A great choice for this read, although even better if reading Lord Elric or Conan),and enjoyed the ol' Simonson magic while reminiscing of a great time period never to be fully recaptured.
I could not help but think of Jethro Tull's song "Pussy Willow" when I saw the above panel with the Pusher, although I've never known of any street gangs of any stripe who were fans of flute-based progressive folk-rock. Anyway, I do wish to reiterate a point I made in a previous post (as I am wont to do): Gil Kane, for all the criticisms, drew one BADASS Zabu!
Piggybacking off Bobby's comments, there was also Boston Blackie, a reformed safecracker and jewel thief turned detective first brought to life in the 1910's in short story form by Jack Boyle, a Chicago-born, San Francisco-based journalist who first conceived of the character while serving a prison term for check forgery (according to Wikipedia, Boyle ahad also developed a nasty opium addiction). In the 1940's, the Columbia Pictures "B" unit produced a long-running series of films with noted character actor Chester Morris in the Boston Blackie roll. These movies still show today in regular rotation Saturday Mornings on Turner Classic Movies (Let's Movie!). Of course, many years later came the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. featuring bassist/singer/songwriter Blackie Lawless, but that's a tale for another time.
The Prowler has a great name and costume, but Hobie Brown is just uninteresting. Even if he was a lesser cat burglar type (like the Black Fox and Black Cat) that only preyed on the rich and avoided violence, but not a real menace, his origin, source of powers, and motivation are just weak. Hobie Brown himself was just fine for the limited appearances at the tail end of Stan Lee's run, but really didn't need to be brought back.
If the Prowler as a villain were to work, it'd be better if they continued with what Roger Stern set up in PPTSSM # 47/48 with the old Cat being the Prowler. Even then they'd still need to do something so he'd be able to present some kind of menace for Spidey.
How does that translate to the Avengers needing him thouh? Betty and the Pantheon both are wanting his time and attention right then and there and to lump them in with a metaphorical allusion doesn't make any sense?
I really loved the Prowler as a kid. My dad brought back an Italian reprint of his first appearance after a trip to Europe. The great Romita art look even better in the lush European printing, and it was all super-mysterious because of course I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. Amazingly, this is first significant appearance in seventeen years.
I guess they were saying that Frenz was emulating Kirby's style just a bit too closely. I can see the point, but I'd still rather have this than some of the stuff from the "hot" artists who were starting to pop up around this exact same time.
In fairness, though - didn't Alpha Flight #6 (the "Snowblind" issue) come with a big "Assistant Editor's Month" warning label? Sure, the white panels were a stunt, but that was the case for a lot of books that month and we were warned in advance. Some books got silly stories, some got fill-in artists, some had the creator injected into the story artificially (oops, also true of Byrne's "Fantastic Four"). Frankly, given the choice between a few pages of white panels and what some of the other books had to offer that month, I feel like Alpha Flight readers got off light. You can argue about whether it was a good idea to do it at all, but I don't think it's fair to blame Byrne for his contribution to a scheme thought up by editorial.
Although not a regular reader of books he has worked on, I do have a liking for Allred's Roy Lichtenstein-inspired, pop-art style. Though I will say Sue Storm here looks better-suited for a romance comic, or a newspaper strip like "Rex Morgan, M.D.".
Regarding the Hulk's healing power, Peter David built up the idea that the Hulk was a truly indestructible force, over the course of his writing the series. That could make for a boring character, but David made it work, by exploring the idea that this indestructibility is more of a hindrance (particularly to Bruce's mental health) than a benefit.
The healing definitely sees to be part of this. It peaked with the Future Imperfect story, where Hulk has even survived a nuclear war that wiped out almost all of the other superheroes. The same story arc also peaked with #400, with Bruce genuinely afraid of losing control and becoming a malevolent force.
I think it is a reference to The Hulk having been one of the founders of The Avengers. He left in issue #2 after deciding his unstable personality was too dangerous for the rest of the team to function well.
"The Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron vie with the Shire for DD's seating"- My own very corny paraphrasing of a line from Jethro Tull's "Heavy Horses". Still, one of those should go under Daredevil, with Black Panther dragging behind trying to hold on.
Gotta love Daredevil in the classic Barry Windsor-Smith "wide stance" pose. Had this been ten years ago, I would have said "Insert Senator Larry Craig joke here", but I'm behind the times enough as it is. Still, someone could easily draw or photoshop a Clydesdale under DD with reins for him to hold on to.
Iron Man #15's cover really pops the action of the fight scene and uniform colors. I also have always enjoyed how the Tuska drawn Iron Man has a face that can articulate emotion with just slits for the mouth and eyes.
Recently I had the good fortune of picking up both of Garth Ennis' reimagining of the Phantom Eagle: 2008-9's WAR IS HELL: THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE PHANTOM EAGLE (art by Howard Chaykin), and 2015's Secret Wars Warzones title, WHERE MONSTERS DWELL (art by Russ Braun), where unlike the original run, Karl Kaufmann survives the Great War and plies his trade as a sort-of pilot-for-hire and is an all-around lout. All the Ennis hallmarks are present: Dark hilarity, outrageous situations, and violence abound, the story augmented by great art on both titles. Not your father's Phantom Eagle, for sure! Since Ennis has now done PE for Marvel and Enemy Ace for DC, I'd personally like to see him take on two more comic-book WW1 aviators: "Balloon Buster" Steve Savage back at DC, and while it's possibly a longshot, also assuming Dark Horse still has the rights, let Garth loose on the original WW1 flyer/ pulp hero himself, Captain Midnight.
Costume grants: Ability to create whirlwinds
The second Cyclone appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #97/4 (December 1992). Gregory Stevens acquired the Cyclone costume. At the "Bar with No Name," Cyclone participated in a bar fight initiated by the Impossible Man posing as the Ace of Spades in a poker game.
He later assisted various agents of Justin Hammer (consisting of Afterburner, Beetle, Blacklash, a substitute Blizard, Boomerang and Spymaster) in attacking Silver Sable and her Wild Pack. Cyclone used his cyclone-producing gloves to throw rubble at Silver Sable's group. Cyclone and Beetle retreated when Larry Arnold started shooting at them.
Never saying a word in all of his appearances, Stevens was reported killed in a skiing accident."
The Jester to me seemed like a hybrid of Batman's Joker, Superman's Toyman, and Flash's Trickster. Not that that's necessarily bad, with a little fleshing out he could have been a top-notch DD foe. Simply a case of following Picasso's old axiom, "Good artists borrow ideas, great artists steal them", but without much in the way of follow-through.
In #400, Hulk moans "you need me... the Pantheon need me... the Avengers need me". Would the latter count as a reference to Infinity Gauntlet/War? Was trying to work out if it was a reference to anything in particular.
I think Ditko-JJJ would have treated Robbie like he treats everyone else. With the dignity and stature befitting an employee of the great Daily Bugle. If the toilets need to be cleaned, get that punk kid to do it. Robbie has more important duties.
The gay angle for Scorpio doesn't really work because clearly Kraft didn't know anything about the what it would feel like to be gay in America at the time. It was just an idea Kraft threw into the mix of general existential angst. What I find funny/sad on re-reading these issues is the number of times Scorpio announces he's 52, like it means he's on the precipice of death or something. Being 52 as of this writing, I can say I'm certainly not young anymore, but I certainly don't feel like my life is almost over either.
I think what he's getting at is that the implication is that they are so identical that they end up falling for the same person, or that Simon had already started falling for Wanda before he died and it's only now being acknowledged, since the idea is that falling for Wanda is something that's already embedded in their shared brain pattern. Whether or not that makes any sense is another matter.
I remember as a youth seeing that image of Howard with the cape, trident and pentagram, the "Drake of Satan"! It's like Donald Duck showing up in a Kenneth Anger film. At the same time this came out, I was a huge KISS fan, unaware of the shameless self-promotion tactics of Gene and Paul (much more for Gene, of course).
Should Ultron be listed as "behind the scenes"? As it is later confirmed that the Reaper's "Coma-Ray" here is a version of the "Encephalo-Beam" that Ultron uses next issue and that Ultron supplied him with it.
Also, there's the minor historical significance of the Reaper destroying Wonder Man's original (Kirby-designed) costume, leading to Wondy's new (but very briefly-lived) threads next issue.
A small typo where you refer to the Beast calling himself the strongman of the Avengers, when it's the X-Men he's comparing himself to, as seen in the scan. (I know, I should register for the forum and use the thread for that sort of thing there, but while I'm here…)
- if Simon has exactly the same feelings and personality as the Vision, then it could be argued that the Vision really is a copy and not an individual person.
Except that a copy comes after the fact; both Simon and Vision developed their feelings for Wanda after the Vision was created, so it's not as though Vizh is working from Simon's pre-established feelings or anything like that. IMO, it's a "two roads diverged" issue: Vision is Simon with a full body prosthesis, and Wondy is Simon having missed all the time in stasis. Their lives are independent trails from a common starting point, like very-late-in-life identical twins.
(John Byrne would disagree. But he can…well, you know.)
I'd really hesitate to call #157 a "fill-in" issue. Yes, Dashing Donny is deployed to substitute for Perez on the art (I don't know what's happening with George, but he had to leave the FF in Ron Wilson's hands at this same time, with assists from Sal B. on both books), but the story seems to fit right into the Avengers continuity; an austere tale that rids us of the Black Knight statue (no longer needed with Dane's spirit enjoying religious genocide back in the time of the Crusades) while setting up the Simon-Wanda-Vision triangle and laying on the VizhAngst nice and thick.
I rather thought Conway went out on a high note here, with the "were he flesh and blood" narration in the scans about the Stone Knight's suicide paralleling earlier narration about the Vision, and thus reinforcing Vizh's feelings of inhumanity and insecurity. Indeed, the lettercol that covered #158 (#162?) criticized Shooter for tying this up so quickly with a fight, an Iron Man intervention, and a sudden shift to the introduction of a very DC-esque new villain. (I've come to enjoy Frank Hall/Graviton through the years, but this origin is so very cartoonish.) So, much as Heck/Marcos is definitely not my preference on the art front, IMO #157 is the winner of these three.
In addition to Doug Moench coming on board for the duration with Don Perlin, the previous issue began a six-issue run at the inkwell by Vince Colletta, one of the most prolific inkers of the Silver and Bronze Ages, and who worked on virtually every Marvel title at one time or another, most notably inking over Jack Kirby's run on Thor. However, according to Colletta's Wikipedia page, he wasn't a favorite of some of his fellow creators, and Kirby purists particularly hold him in contempt. While noted for his fast work to avoid missed deadlines, he was roundly criticized for erasing backgrounds and details from the penciler to quicken the process to get the art to press, as well as reducing his own work time. While I can't say if this was the reason for his brief time on WBN, I think it's a safe bet that Mike Ploog wouldn't have stood for his own art getting "the Colletta treatment".
Though if Kraft was hinting that Jake Fury was gay, it doesn't really fit with the Virgo LMD, does it?
It probably does if the point of the Virgo LMD was for Jake to try and make himself "normal", like a closeted gay guy in denial who marries a woman to try and turn himself straight or live the way he thinks he 'supposed' to live.
Yep, Gay Jake can't connect to any real woman, so he makes himself one, thinking that will solve his "problem". As seen in this monologue, from the scans above:
"You were my last chance to be…normal. I loved you, Virgo, even though I never really knew you."
As a later lettercol points out, part of Jake's depression may stem from the fact that while he, as the younger brother, keeps aging, Nick is at this point essentially immortal, thanks to the Infinity Formula. So it's doubly ironic that he's pouring out his heart (and eventually going suicidal in front of) a LMD of his seemingly eternal brother.
Clea's all-gold Valkyrie costume was a disaster, I'll agree, but the white/gold one here will do for a pinch. I, like Marvel eventually, preferred the classic black, but I understand that there was a segment of the readership that found the "steel tit-cups" look a bit too much, so I'm willing to compromise.
The werewolf on the cover looks pretty ferocious, and Perlin has a few good moments with Wolfie and the Anton LaVey wannabe, but his Frankenstein's Monster is inconsistent, at least in the facials. In some panels he looks like an homage to the classic Universal creature, other times he looks like he wouldn't be out of place on "Pinky and the Brain".
I actually thought the Kissinger twist (and subsequent FF argument) was brilliant, a way to comment on the idealism v. realpolitik arguments that dominated real-world issues at the time, where the USA was only too happy to hop into bed with any dictator who would have us because "hey, otherwise the Commies will win!".
That said, the subsequent pimpage of Englehart's Batman clone, the Shroud, to the extent that he beats Doctor Doom (and even thinks he's killed him!) is silly as all get-out. But Steve was getting pushed out of Marvel at around this time, so perhaps this disrespect for their signature villain was something of a middle finger salute? I don't know.
I really like JRJR's way of drawing Mephisto. His classic humanoid form with anime hair is cool but he really captures the evilness by depicting him as a truly demonic creature. At times he looks like a snake to me, I guess we can see some "original sin" symbolism in there. And Blackheart goes a step further by being a walking mass of dark thorns and having difficulties hiding it. That's just amazing.
There almost certainly wasn't a "publishing delay" issue; some lettercol somewhere (I know, I know) responded to a letter that praised Gillis's writing on a fill-in and asked that he be given a regular series by saying something like "Pete already has a regular series, he writes Super-Villain Team-Up! Sure, it only comes out once a year, but…" , which seems to imply that the scheduling is deliberate.
And so the copyright-blocking issue was probably the reason for this. Of course, younger me had absolutely no idea why this was happening, and it was pretty frustrating, as I'd always enjoyed SVTU. Oh, well.
This is one of those "blinding rage" stories for me; Byrne doesn't seem to understand that treating supervillains as disposable jokes retroactively damages the better stories they've appeared in the past. Stan moved Pete forward (after he'd already been an antagonist worthy of multiple battles with the Torch and had even helped save the Avengers in Avengers #6) by giving him a better name, a better costume, and a team, but here Byrne turns him into an illiterate idiot for the sake of an extended joke. HATE.
Of course, this could just be that I'd been recently Byrned, er, burned, by "Snowblind" and John's just stealing the money for that one. ("It's a snowstorm, I'll just make blank panels and I won't have to draw anything!" I'm pretty sure that had already been joke in an issue of What If…?, along with an all-black panel about Blackout fighting in a coal mine or something like that, and JB had enough clout that he could actually get away with this crap whereas the actual working artists had to draw something for their wages.) I mean, it doesn't insult the customers at all for them to pay money and find they've purchased F*CKING BLANK PANELS, nope! Especially when they're likely buying because Byrne was the "hot" artist of the day.
Combine that with "this supervillain doesn't meet my standards, let's kill him off" snobbery that was a year's worth of Scourge crap I was still bitter over, and this pushed all my buttons, and not in a good way.
Bought this off the spinner rack and it always bugged me a bit. Doc Ock always gave Spider-Man a run for his money, sometimes over 2-3 issues. Cap defeats Octavius in a few pages. I guess it was stories like this that do Ock becoming something of a joke.
As noted in…er, some lettercol somewhere (I'm too lazy to check right now), the name of "Ward Sarsfield" is a homage to Arthur Sarsfield Ward, which was the real name of Fu Manchu creator "Sax Rohmer".
Really sleek action work from Zeck here. And the answer to the question in Shang-Chi's thoughts during the train fight ("why is Zaran's pike-staff hollow?") turns out to be "because he also uses it as a blowpipe", in case anyone is wondering.
Fnord, I must respectfully disagree with you about Ross' "bulky" costumes. I love that he shows the folds and creases in clothes that are indicative of a character being in motion. Also, Spider-Man's wrists and forearms bulging due to the web shooters under his costume is a great touch, showing how it would look like in real life. It's also refreshing to not see the exaggerated musculature so customary to the medium. Personally, I always found it funny to see the rippling abs of Tony Stark through his Iron Man armor, as a for instance. All this attention to detail makes Alex Ross, in my estimation, the "Anti-Liefeld". Cheap shot? Sure, but someone had to take it.
"With that stupid hair and ridiculous costume I've never been able to take Doc Samson seriously."
And yet…still IMO far better than the pony-tail and bare-chest-con-shoulder-pads revamp John Byrne did for him, down the road. The Tee-shirt works for me, conceptually.
Have to agree with Brian C. Saunders that everyone has taken a triple-dose of stupid pills here. The absolute worst is that Bruce Banner, finally and completely cured of being the Hulk, willingly turns back into Ol' Purple-Pants because his love life has hit a rough patch. Oy.
Sue may be misspeaking in claiming she's failed to contact "The Avengers", since the opening section (seen above) only makes reference to Cap/Iron Man/Thor, none of whom are full-duty active at the moment. That's only Vision/Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver/Goliath (Clint) right now, and it's more likely they're in the Arctic battling Ronan, as seen in Avengers #90-91. Avengers #89 was published the same month as FF #112, but takes place a little later (presumably while the FF are having their initial troubles with the Overmind) as the Avenger quartet has to respond to Reed's Negative Zone alarm because the FF are away from the Baxter Building when Annihilus is trying to break through (in response to the events of FF #109).
So even though FF #115 came out the same month as Avengers #92 (which opens with that group just chilling in NYC, and clearly available to help out until H. Warren Craddock starts making trouble), it's more likely that there's a bit of a time-lapse, and the Avengers don't get swept up in the Kree-Skrull War until after the FF have dealt with the Overmind situation. (It would be odd for the FF to be testifying at the Avengers' hearing if their own legal status was in question, I'd think.)
[OT] I was at my therapist's yesterday and I made reference to Mary Tyler Moore having died…and she had no idea who that was. God, I felt old. I eventually, after sketching Mary's career and the success of her show, described her as being "between Lucille Ball and Tina Fey in significance for women on TV". Now, I'm wondering if the therapist thinks I meant to imply that Tina was #1… [/OT}
Wonderful, wonderful work. And just in case anybody has the same questions about Spidey's perception by the general public that Paul had a few years back, remember that Spidey spent almost 100 issues (88-186) being wanted by the police in connection with Captain Stacy's death. And that's just in ASM, not even counting Team-Up or Peter Parker.
I even remember the police firing shots at Spidey as he swings away, on more than one occasion. Someone with a better memory of Spider-books would have to help me with the details on that, however.
Because Zeilstern's (three-years) previous comment about how #23's cover was an "problem" just like the spelling flub in this issue was on this page, just above mine. I'm arguing that they're two different things, so I'm (very belatedly) replying to him (?).
(And that's hardly the only misspelled word that ever made it past the proofreaders.)
"Then the Avengers induct the Black Knight onto the team. No dudes, that was your ace in the hole!"
Be pretty hilarious if instead of "remedying" that omission, the Avengers had been dicks and used that as an excuse to screw Dane out of membership. "Aw, gee, we'd love to have you on the team…but we might need you in case Kang gets power over us again. You understand how it is, right, bro?" Lmao.
@Andrew I see that now with Van Dyke and MTM, thanks for pointing that out. Don't know how I missed that besides over-thinking while looking at the panel, easy to do when trying to spot who's who in Ross' renderings.
Yeah, especially when juxtaposed with "brass monkey" in the narration box above. NYC-dwelling Roy was hardly insensitive on these issues, having brought T'Challa into the team and later creating his "Luke Charles, urban teacher" alternate identity, but that page definitely looks like a clunker, half a century onward.
I doubt the splash-as-cover on #23 was a "proofreading error" or anything similar; the story would have run one page short in that case. (Also the credits are properly placed on page one, and there's the interior splash with the footnote asking if this makes up for not having an opening splash page.) Seems more like an experiment on Goodwin's part.
Craig's pencils are effective here, but not up to the standard of #14, IMO. (I don't have 2-4, so I can't judge those yet.)
I noted the Johnson reference above. And that's not Liberace; it's Dick Van Dyke, with his sit-com wife Mary Tyler Moore next to him. Tony Stark is based on Timothy Dalton or Errol Flynn, depending on Ross's mood. The use of Linda Hamilton threw me for a bit, since pretty much all the celebrity models in Marvels are from the seventies or earlier, but it makes sense because Ross's first published comics work was the 1990's NOW comics mini-series Terminator: The Burning Earth.
It's always fun to see the inside jokes and real-life templates for characters Alex Ross puts in his artwork. Take the wedding of Reed and Sue, for instance. Alicia Masters is based off Linda Hamilton from the Terminator. Dr. Strange is Frank Zappa (from the PMRC Senate hearing years). Reed Richards himself, if memory serves, was based on Russell Johnson, a.k.a. the Professor from "Gilligan's Island". Can't say for certain, but Quicksilver's face looks like Sting's. Of course, a certain Fab Four are scattered in the back amongst the attendees. It looks like Liberace managed to wrangle an invitation somehow (behind Iron Man). And in the back left, is that Clark Kent? Oops, better stop for now, this "spot the celeb" game can get addictive!
I'm torn between suspecting Vermin's role had this been a Batman story would have been played by Killer Croc, and thinking it'd be too obvious. Yet I doubt it'd have been the Joker (I can't see this story's bones meshing with the Going Sane arc at all). It doesn't really fit more collected villains like Penguin, Poison Ivy or Riddler either.
Perhaps Two-Face? De Matteis would use a few similar abusive father story beats in his later Two-Face: Crime and Punishment graphic novel, but then that story seemed to drink from Andrew Helfer's Eye of the Beholder origin story in the very early nineties.
Jonah's overall opinion on mutants seems to be, he's against them being discriminated and pursued, and he'll make strong stands against mutant haters, but he'd rather like mutants to avoid interfering in matters using their powers, and he'd prefer it if they lost their powers-- granted, that seems to be his policy against superpowers in general rather than any kind of powers, born from mutation or not.
It makes sense he's not a racist, after all he always treated Robbie with respect and care even during less racially enlightened times, at least from what I've read. Then again, I'm not that sure the Ditko Era Jonah would have been that respectful of Robbie.
I read this issue in my Fall of the Mutants trade the other night, and I really like all the intersection with X-Factor 25. And as usual with Power Pack X-over tie-ins here lately, I found myself enjoying them. Maybe I unfairly judged Power Pack all those years? Maybe I just didn't see why they were being shoehorned into so many X-events and other appearances (come to that, I still don't). UXM 195, UXM 205, X-Factor Annual 2, and X-Factor 25 all guest starred or at least featured appearances by some or all of Power Pack, plus two issues of Power Pack tied in pretty closely with Mutant Massacre and Fall of the Mutants, and it got a three-issue Inferno tie-in as well (admittedly, there were a lot more tie-ins for that one). It's kind of a lot, and it feels like they're being shoved down our throats. Yet each time I actually read a Power Pack issue (usually dreading it beforehand), I find myself enjoying it far more than expected, and appreciate what I read for reasons beyond the tie-in of it all. I find the scripting, at the very least, to be among Simonson's best. Maybe it's just me.
Just the other night, I reread these issues for the first time in years. Unlike the previous times I read them, I had actually read the 20ish issues of buildup this time, so the big reveal really felt right. I'm also reading these tie-ins for the first time, and as it usually does, Power Pack surprises me by being perfectly readable. (Haven't gotten to the other three yet, or X-Factor 26.)
No version of the Horsemen has ever had or will ever have the same impact as this group. We have the first X-Man to be corrupted by Apocalypse, into a biblical-themed Angel of Death, and we have three other Horsemen whose powers fit their own biblical-themed names perfectly. Every single further iteration of the Horsemen has seemed like a feeble attempt to recapture this coolness. Woverine was a pretty cool Death, but narratively the story of how he became and was revealed as Death was nearly a carbon copy of this one, and everything else about that story was definitely below this one in quality. And let's not even get into the overkill that was turning Polaris, Sunfire, and Gambit into Horsemen in the same batch.
Those panels where Caliban is just observing and Apocalypse is moustache-twirling during the battle really are quite cool. I definitely never really noticed that in the past. Great stuff.
Gotta love the real names for the Ani-Men. Monk Keefer? Well, it would sound better than "Gordon Rilla". Of course the Frog-Man would have a French surname. Henry Hawk? Wasn't that the name of the little chickenhawk who pestered Foghorn Leghorn? I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been Hudson Hawk! (Insert Bruce Willis joke here.)
I've always had a soft spot for the splash page to issue #13 because it and issue #12 were the first genuine,non-reprint Silver Age Marvel I ever purchased. It's fun to see Parnival out of his customary cloak and bow-tie and in the role of old-fashioned privateer and in his white lucha libre gear. "El Plundero", heel opponent for El Santo or Mil Mascaras! Also, Ka-Zar looks to have good form as a bronco buster on that dinosaur, with Zabu in the role of rodeo clown!
That's where we cross the line from the Ditko-Jonah to the post-Ditko-Jonah. JJJ was just such a cartoon character, even before Ditko left, that he doesn't make sense as a character. Trying to make him fair-minded on other issues contradicts the Ditko issues of "Spider-Man," - I'm sure JJJ has given his opinions on mutants, but I honestly have no idea what he'd think about them - and trying to carry on the Ditko-JJJ without understanding what Ditko brought to the character is a disservice to JJJ, and everything he represents.
Peter Parker's graduation ceremony, where JJJ gives the speech. One of Stan's finest scripting efforts, but there is no way that Ditko didn't decide what was happening there, and it does *not* show JJJ at his best. Actually, it's hilarious. The graduates are getting sick, and Peter tells them they'll need more than one bag, he gets worse as he goes along.
Seeing this here makes me nostalgic for the Mark Waid run on Ka-Zar. The Waid/Kubert run brought me back to reading Marvel after a long absence, at the time I was reading mostly DC's or picking up some random back issues. Funny how much of the boom years of the early-to-mid '90's I missed due to school/work/life. But I digress. This was neat to see aspects of Kevin and Parnival's formative years, and it's cool to see early John Cassaday. It is strange to see Zabu without the giant teeth, but hey, big cats apparently have awkward formative years as well.
I wished this duo-shading thing was used more often in various comics. It looks really good!
Also I'm gonna sound extremely obsessed with details, but I'm pretty sure Justice appears in this issue. In the panel with the tiny shapes of everyone in the last page there's someone with a big cape next to Namorita and the other New Warriors.
Well, as far as the "Clint never told the Avengers his name" bit, remember that later on, not only does the Swordsman serve his entire tenure without telling them *his* name (they only learn it's "Jacques" from a tape he left behind in a Solo Avengers issue, later on), but apparently Swordy's a member from issue 114 until his death in GS 2 and he NEVER TAKES OFF HIS MASK around the others. The Avengers of this era are *really* big on respecting each others' privacy, it seems.
(And this with Swordy being an internationally-wanted criminal, at that. No wonder he's so paranoid that he covers up the extent of the wound he gets in #117 for months and nearly dies of the infection in #123. And no, I don't know why if his name is "Jacques", the alternate Swordsman who hung out with Magdalene was named "Phillippe". I guess that's the timeline divergence? Well, that and Phillippe's lack of a mustache.)
Moench stated in Alter Ego #146 that he wanted to keep the Frankenstein Monster in a Universal-horror movie type setting, but Marvel insisted on putting him in the present day, which Moench couldn't get a good handle on.
Clarification needed: Don Perlin's credits on Werewolf by Night appearances (including Giant-Size issues and Marvel Team-Up #12) include 30 issues as penciler, 18 as penciler and inker, and 2 as inker only. As stated before, his role on this run of Man-Thing was strictly penciling.
I've been critical of Don Perlin's art on WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, in no small part because he succeeded Mike Ploog, and I'm sure I'll have more to say as I review my WBN Omnibus. That being said, the common denominator on his stay with Wolfie is that he was his own inker as well as penciling on most to all of those issues. Flash forward to his time on Man-Thing, where he is paired mostly with veteran brushman Bob Wiacek, and his art is markedly better. It looks more realistic, Manny's larger, more prominent ruby eyes make him even more menacing, and Jennifer Kale is enticing in her classic heavy metal viking sorceress get-up. Guess one should never underestimate the importance of the right inker. Of course working from Claremont's stories likely didn't hurt, either.
LOL at this "ruining" the industry. Big deal, Todd made a bad comic. People bought it. Comics are still being made today. Honestly I prefer the fan that would be inclined to follow a creator vs one who is just into continuity porn.
Jonah may be inaccurate in his stories, but he never seems to do it out of conscious malice. He reports what he THINKS is true, and when there's been enough evidence to clear Spider-Man out of a crime (like in Kraven's Last Hunt, for instance) he'll still go and publish it in the first page.
I'm not saying he's not actively petty and malicious once he zeroes on a grudge and never lets it go, but in his mind he's always convinced he's right, even if that doesn't fully excuse him. For what it matters, whenever he's portrayed in non-Spidey stories he tends to be depicted as a fair play person and itching to take actual bad guys at any given chance, so there's that, but I'll admit a lot of it comes from post-Ditko and post-Lee fleshing out, and to a point it's been done explicitly to clean his character up a little.
The value of Rand's ideas don't reduce themselves to makers and moochers. The most simplified [other than A = A] is that an individual should know the difference between making and mooching, and be grateful for unearned gifts. JJJ isn't giving Peter money because he likes the little weasel, he's paying Peter for pretty pictures to promote Page One. If he can get away with paying Peter less than the pictures are worth, he'll do it. If he's stupid enough to pay Peter more money than the pictures are worth, that's on him and Peter keeps the money.
It's a disservice to Rand's ideas to think that they only apply to the rich and powerful as excuses for them to remain rich and powerful. She grew up in Russia before Stalin was in charge, and didn't leave until after he was in charge, but probably before anybody knew he was in charge. Recognizing skill and competence on an assembly line is important, and Rand's work speaks to those who recognize skill and competence. It doesn't help that it's a superhero comic, but Spider-Man is the hero. If JJJ (or Aunt May) had no virtues, they'd be powerless against him.
Altruism is the default of superheroes. If you think about them in real terms, Reed Richards, for instance, could do much more to fight evil if he shared his technology with the US government. Any Doombot that crosses the US border gets incinerated, and only Victor himself can claim to be Doom. 95% of problems with Latveria get solved right there.
Or Reed uses his technology to profit. Sells it to the world. Dimensional portals, Fantasicars and image inducers [I know Tony Stark invented those, but Reed could probably come up with his own which wouldn't violate Stark's copyright.] Doesn't stop the FF from fighting villains, just makes them a lot more money while doing so.
But it would radically reshape the world, which the superhero genre requires to be reset after each adventure. And that's just thinking about superheroes as real people.
They're fantasy. Fictional characters whose lives exist because real people, creators and audience, do all the work. "Atlas Shrugged" was a fantasy. "The Fountainhead" was a fantasy. Rand did a great job making her fantasy *seem* real to the audience, and there were enough parallels to reality that it really helped the story. I've never read "Lord of the Rings," but it sounds like Tolkein did the same thing.
OK, I just noticed it: Spidey and Mary Jane go to a disco in this issue...in the same month as the Hypno-Hustler issue in Spectacular. Eh...guess he wanted to avoid Luke Cage knowing he didn't have any "sweet Christmas" beats.
I am no expert on Rand, but she is normally quoted as being against altruism, which (mixed in with some guilt/revenge) is the default philosophy of mainstream superheroes.
Whatever views Ditko borrowed from Objectivism, he also had his own eccentric personal beliefs that were separate from (or not unique to) Objectivism. I think Ditko portrayed JJJ as a buffoon and something of a phony, and Ditko did seem to have a clear contempt for anything he perceived (rightly or wrongly) as phony.
The following article argues that despite fans looking for Randian worldview in the Ditko Spider-Man issues, the overall message opposes Rand: http://sequart.org/magazine/42384/the-lack-of-ditkos-objectivist-bias-in-amazing-spider-man/ (I guess it could be argued that for the first 20+ issues, the non-Rand messages are coming from Lee collaborating with Ditko, but even after, Lee controls the script and may be giving different messages than Ditko intended.)
The article also posits the intriguing notion that as Lee calls JJJ an exaggeration of himself, Ditko may have seen himself as the noble Peter whose work is being underpaid by the phony JJJ. I don't necessarily subscribe to it (obviously Peter selling photos of himself is exploiting JJJ as well as JJJ is exploiting him), but it's an interesting thought that Ditko could have recognised Stan Lee elements in JJJ (Funky Flashman may not be that far a jump from the 1960s JJJ) & might resent JJJ rather than write a letter in his defence.
I guess the point I was trying to make is in the Randian worldview there are only makers and moochers; heroes who got ahead by being smarter and working harder than everyone else, or villains who used the government to siphon their money away. So Ditko (or a friend) was trying to shoehorn Jameson into a category he was too complex for. More to the point, Randian rich men aren't ashamed or envious; they're proud of their success, always. I think that Ditko drew the scene Lee wrote for him in issue 10 without thinking much about it, but kept coming back to it in his mind, growing more resentful over time. That's my theory, anyway.
So were they considered "mutants" at this point or did that first come up after the X-Men became mega-popular at the beginning of the 90s? (Of course Marvel would confuse the matter by going back and forth of this. For all I know they're probably Inhumans now.)
It's Man-Thing versus Sybil! Never knew Starlin drew Ol' Carrot Nose, and he does a commendable job here. I too dig the splash page, although it kinda looks like Man-Thing is bored and just wants to "hang out". The creators surely must have enjoyed the freedom to tell more adult-oriented stories these b&w magazine allowed at the time. After all, Starlin couldn't get away with depicting all the crack shown by Andrea's she-demon side, or how Andrea herself was a "developed" young lady. Also liked how Andrea's macho and childish sides hightailed it once they got a glimpse of Man-Thing! Also, kudos to Gerber for the unique take on multiple personality disorder, I wonder if this inspired the later Hulk stories dealing with Bruce Banner's inner struggles?
This goes for the supporting cast too. Liz was a frivolous teenage girl, and then she caught a glimpse of who Petey really was, and threw herself at him. No great revelation, just a highly-pubescent high-schooler who realizes that this guy is greater than all the ordinary boys she's known.
Betty was definitely a good girl, and I am convinced that Ditko intended her to be Peter's One True Love. But she had a dark secret - her brother - which cast a long shadow over their relationship and drove them apart. She couldn't make it work with Peter because Spider-Man always stood between them.
Aunt May is Aunt May. It's Peter's great responsibility to look out for her and provide food and shelter. And it's May's great responsibility to finish raising Peter from a boy to a man, and she sometimes needs to set him straight. Call your aunt so she knows you're going to be late and you aren't dealing drugs or getting some girl pregnant. Or pretending to be Spider-Man, which seems to be a fad nowadays. Good heavens!
And don't get me started on Flash... 'Money, power and influence' are completely absent from many of Rand's beliefs. And remember, Ditko was pioneering the superhero genre as a whole. One suspects that [before they stopped talking to each other] he and Stan had a lot of discussions about what made Spidey different from the other long underwear characters.
The letter, entirely possible. I doubt we'll ever know the truth there.
JJJ, it's not that a Randian hero has to have money, power or influence. Don't let the past 50 years [!] of Spidey stories influence your opinion of JJJ, by the end of Ditko's run, he was mostly a loudmouth employer who hated Spider-Man, and I can't think of any point in Ditko's run where Spidey personally saved JJJ. Betty, yes. The Bugle, yes. Going after crooks who are going after JJJ, yes. His money, power and influence make his problems worse.
He's almost the exact opposite of Flash Thompson, not entirely opposite because as the BMOC, Flash certainly had influence. But Flash worshipped Spidey. He even started a fan club.
Reducing Ayn Rand's views to 'power, money and influence' (not saying you're doing that, just that you provided a good description) misses a lot of the points she made in her best work. Peter Parker might grow up to be John Galt or Howard Roark someday. In the meantime, he's still young and makes mistakes. JJJ has worked very hard to create his newspaper empire, making payrolls and negotiating with unions, and still finds time to buy the front page picture from some freelancer. But he doesn't know what to make of Spider-Man, and opposes Spidey naturally.
Fantastic artwork here, and Mantlo does some of his best work with these early Cloak and Dagger stories. It's just too bad he wasn't able to build a successful title by including all the necessary building blocks. But this LS is very good.
Interesting. However, I fail to see why Ditko would praise JJJ as he is obviously not portrayed well. JJJ is responsible for creating both the Scorpion and Spider-Slayers. He is also seen as greedy and exploitative. This is obviously not just from Stan's dialogue. Ditko's panels make it clear JJJ acts like a heel on multiple occassions.
One can see similar characters in other Ditko stories, especially the question. Those with power, influence, and money are not always Randian heroes, but fools and charlatans who aid the villains. Ditko's heroes are always people who tell truth to power and are often hated for it. JJJ is more often an example of someone who lies and cheats and manipulates people in the media.
I don't think Ditko is the letter writer praising JJJ. Perhaps Stan selected it in order to rub it into Ditko's face, that another Rand fan had adopted Ditko's own foil.
Definitely love Peter remembering to call his Aunt. Just the way the door looks. It's not bending like cartoony characters are trying to break in, bullets aren't shooting through, but there's a very powerful sense that the bad guys are trying to take the door down and get to Spidey, but he's just having a natural relaxed conversation with his aunt. Wouldn't want the poor dear to worry about him.
I do not know where I heard this, so do not treat it as fact, but I believe Ditko had been a fan of "The Fountainhead" before "Atlas Shrugged" came out in 1956. "The Fountainhead" was a genuine word-of-mouth success. No one expected it to be a hit. If the contract had been signed a week later, it couldn't have been published because war shortages wouldn't have allowed a book that long.
I would think that the letter was either written by Ditko or someone doing Ditko a favor. I'm not an Objectivist, but I do likes me some Ayn Rand, and it's a sad fact that her first generation or so of fans wrote like her. If accurate, that letter screams 'early Rand fan,' and is similar to late-era Ditko. Probably Ditko wrote it. Stan had to fill up the letter column somehow, and Ditko wants to anonymously describe his inspirations, one less thing Stan has to bother with.
It's a study of being a hero. Spidey is helping people, improving others' lives, but he's not using his webbing to advance construction techniques or space exploration. It's almost a joke, even when he tries to sell his webbing, it falls apart quickly.
I will agree that anyone who describes Jameson as someone who provides news "accurately" is capable of holding two conflicting opinions in his head at the same time - I thought that was the definition of a schizophrenic; where's my No-Prize? - but I think it's fair to say that up until Spider-Man entered his life, JJJ did exactly that, as best he could.
I recall as a young lad picking up this issue up at the nearby 7-11 (along with my Mountain Dew-flavored Slurpee in a plastic cup featuring a drawing and mini-bio of Marvel characters) and noticing how much better the Invaders were drawn here than in their own book. Even then, I just knew that Frank Robbins' "Kabuki mask" faces were no match for the more realistic renderings of one J.Buscema.
I hadn't heard before the theory about Ditko writing the letter, I agree it is possible though the "accurately" makes me doubt it. It would also raise the question of what Ditko believed he was portraying when he drew the scene of JJJ admitting he was jealous.
Does anyone know when Ditko first became interested in Rand? It seems to me that he became increasingly obsessed with Objectivism from about 1965 onwards, and his views evolved over those years, but I don't know if it's ever been established when he was first introduced to it? Does it happen before or during his time on Spider-Man?
Byrne has credited the astral projection/telepathic battle at the end of Peter Saxon's book "The Killing Bone" as inspiration for the similar battle here, but it could certainly have been Fourth World influenced as well.
Hi fnord. It's funny to me that you say Amanda Conner isn't known for anything in particular. In my mind at least, she's known for her immediately recognizable good-natured "good girl" art (which was featured on The Big Bang Theory) in general, and for her work on Power Girl specifically.
This seems to be where the standard Goblin arsenal is solidified, and it builds nicely on the Goblin making his rep by "defeating" Spider-Man back in issue #17. It seems clear Ditko had a long-term direction in mind for the character stating with that appearance, and this tory is a nice bridge between the Goblin's first two appearances and his "big" stories in issues #26-7 and #37-8 where he's trying to run the mob and fights rivals rather than targeting Spider-Man.
Also, not only does Jim Shooter have a letter here, he basically spends the whole thing telling Stan and Steve how to plot the book.
Issue #40 was the first WBN I ever read - this was a few years later, maybe '79 or so. That issue was just drenched in seventies cliches and I loved every panel of it. THIS was a "super hero" comic? Zombies, ghosts, a disco fashion villain named Glitternight, a posse of cosmic beings that I assumed had a lot more previous appearances than they did, AND the "hero" was a werewolf? I could practically hear Blue Oyster Cult or Uriah Heep or Mahogany Rush playing in the background (then again, as I recall the circumstances of reading that issue, it's possible I was actually hearing them).
I've always been drawn to the cosmic and horror fringes of the Marvel U and this was probably the first story I'd seen that combined the two (almost by default, as I think the only previous horror story I'd read was the Dracula/Frankenstein encounter). I again didn't realize how compartmentalized the cosmic entities here were, as I had by this point already read the Avengers/Korvac story where "Michael" spied on Odin, Mephisto, and Eternity and I assumed these folks were part of that whole pantheon of characters.
It would be a long slow road before I went back and read a lot of the seventies monster/horror titles or even the mainstream stuff like Dr. Strange - I didn't even know how weird and awesome the Defenders was. But this story was probably as much the catalyst for me exploring that as anything. So yeah, not so great in hindsight, but it hit all the right beats with me at the time.
Gotta admit, I was glad that Herbie was put out to pasture, but sad it had to come at Doctor Sun's expense as well. Sure he was a disembodied brain, but Sun was the catalyst for a brief babyface turn by Dracula that saw the Count actually working with Blade. That's worth some bad guy props in my book.
I don't have any evidence to back it up, but I thought it was generally assumed that Ditko wrote that letter himself, like Steve Engelhart wrote that letter (appearing in Dr Strange #3) from "Rev. David Billingsley" praising the Sise-Neg storyline, going so far as to mail the letter from Dallas on a stop-over from the west coast. Clearly, the use of the word "looter" indicates an Ayn Rand fan, and recalls the soon-to-be-introduced villain of the same name. On the other hand, anyone who describes Jameson as someone who provides news "accurately" either doesn't understand the character, or is able to hold two conflicting opinions in his head at the same time.
Having just finished reading the Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus volumes, I couldn't help but notice the astonishing resemblance between the Astral Farouk vs. Xavier battle and the Id battle between Mr. Miracle and the Lump in Mr. Miracle #8(maybe not coincidental; Byrne was since revealed to be a Fourth World fan).
I agree that ASM Annual #18 is awesome and is probably the best depiction of the Scorpion. I also think he has tremendous potential in the hands of a skillful writer along the lines that mikrolik indicated. Really, all we need is some background on Mac Gargan BEFORE his transformation, and some kind of consistent portrayal where Scorpion's psychosis can be well handled. A good role model might be Anton Chirguh from No Country For Old Men. Chirguh has the menace, craziness, and cool factor that the Scorpion could easily have. The Scorpion as some kind of psychopathic, but utterly competent (he was a good enough private detective to be hired by JJJ), hitman/agent for organized crime and subversive organizations. But he retains an obsession on revenge against Jameson.
That would keep the core of the character, but elevate him beyond a thug.
Let's see: Take the billionaire industrialist/inventor in the the flying metal suit, and put him against the lycanthropic drifter/trust fund baby in the classic misunderstanding fight. Next, have them call a truce and then team up to take on a second-division Daredevil foe (the equivalent of a fourth or fifth-division Spider-Man foe) and a gorilla/cheetah/alligator hybrid creature. It's like Moench knew the series was on the chopping block, so he cooked up a gumbo of mismatched ingredients, then grabbed the pot and tossed the contents against the wall to see if anything stuck. Not that it mattered at the time, since between Shang-Chi, Ka-Zar, upcoming stints with Captain Marvel and the Inhumans, plus his various and sundry film and literary adaptations, there was plenty of work to go 'round for ol' Dougie-Boy.
Omar Karindu: I personally think the Scorpion is interesting (or at least, can be interesting) beyond his power set. At least its refreshing to have a Spider-Man villain whose primary focus for revenge isn't Spider-Man. I would point to Amazing Annual 18 as the best example (IMHO) of development of Mac Gargan as a character; he's psychotic, unstable, and unwilling to accept Jameson's money and let bygones be bygones. I personally enjoyed David Micheline's handling of the character in his Amazing run as well.
I don't think the problem with the Scorpion is that there isn't much to work with; it's that writers haven't always done the best job of giving him a consistent personality; at times he's motivated by revenge against Jameson; at times he's just an insane lunatic; at times he's pining to no longer be the Scorpion; and sometimes he's just a cheap thug (I think its the times when he's just portrayed as a cheap thug when his potential seems lowest, and then it appears there's not much to work with). But I feel there have been good Scorpion stories, and the character can be interesting, so long as a writer handles him properly (my ideal Scorpion is psychotic, motivated by revenge with occasional forays into greed, and a good brawler against Spidey).
I am not a big Wolfman fan, but his work on ToD and Teen Titans are certainly classic runs. Using Quincy Harker as a character was genius since he ties directly into the original novel and lends a credence to the story while not being completely obvious (like Rachel Van Helsing who is also a great character).
While Wolfman and Colan did receive on-screen credit for Blade's creation, it's still a damn shame that Marvel and New Line Cinema didn't see fit to settle and cut them a slice of the back-end and the merch. After all, all of TOD's major players besides Dracula (Blade, Hannibal King, Lilith, Quincy Harker and his team, etc.) were created under their stewardship. Sorry Fnord, I won't turn this into a full-on creators' rights rant, simply just sayin' my piece.
No doubt one of the two best decisions Wolfman made in his comics career, the other when he left for DC to accept the writer's chair for THE NEW TEEN TITANS and establish another successful writer/artist collaboration, that time with George Perez. Regarding TOD, it was these issues where the journey truly began.
Er... After reading that Alf story again, I don't think that was a dream. High Evolutionary says he would erase Alf's memory, and that's why he's disoriented and thinks he just had a Nightmare at the end, and also he's not waking up from that basket, he just fell in it in the previous panel. The biggest sign that Evolutionary was really there is that in the very same panel where Alf is "waking up", you can still see the trace of him teleporing away with a "Ping!". Finally the mere thing that Marvel comics exist doesn't necessairly mean that those stories are fictional in the universe, as we know well from the mainstream Marvel stories.
Bottom line, yes Alf exists in the Marvel universe and you'll have to make entries for all his comics as well. :)
Ah yes, the Vampire Hunters' Knitting Club is now in session, the Honorable Quincy Harker presiding. Can't tell if Saint is sleeping or hiding his disgust by feigning sleep, but it's like he's representing the reader's thoughts during these "skull sessions" Either that, or he's embarrased because Colan drew his head to look like a donkey's.
I think this works in its chronological placement, too: Spidey has some reasons, albeit stupid teenage ones, for wanting to get back at the Torch after ASM #21, and he's basically using his poorly thought out "hit on Dorrie as Spidey" plan that the Beetle interrupted last time he tried it.
This issue's letters page includess a missive in which someone criticizes the reveal that J. Jonah Jameson is envious of sSpider-Man ont he grounds that
J.J.J. [is] a producer....who has provided work for hundreds or thousands and news for millions...[and] has amassed a fortune solelt through providing the news faster, cheaper, more concisely, and more accurately than any other source. Money is not a tool of the looters or the moochers; it is a tool of the producers. To be able to say that one has made money is the highest possible compliment
One wonders what Ditko thought if he ever saw it! (And perhaps that's why Stan chose to print it.)
A page or two after the corpse of the Eel there's a panel where you can see a cardboard box full of what seems to be purple cloths (or a costume).
I guess that should have been a possible way to explain an eventual survival of the Eel. Something like "the real Eel escaped after changing cloths and simulating his death by putting a mannequin or something".
Much has been made over the years about Jack Kirby lifting ideas and concepts from the work he did on CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN in his time at DC in creating the FF. An even more obvious "lift" is from DC's SEA DEVILS, created by Bob Kanigher and Russ Heath, about a team of four scuba divers who take on strange creatures in the ocean depths. The team consisted of Dane Dorrance, the dashing, intelligent, alliteratively-named leader, Biff Bradley, the big, brawny strong guy/right-hand man, Judy Walton, Dane's beautiful blonde girlfriend who had some acting aspirations, and Judy's equally-blonde, younger teen brother Nicky, described by Dorrance as "a kid topside, but a man underwater" (insert joke here). Take this team topside (and beyond), replace the flippers and tanks with blue spandex, power them up and add a dose of personality (a bigger dose for the strong guy), and see what you get. Of course, while the FF have survived and prospered, the Devils' own series fizzled out in the mid-60's and have been seen sporadically since. Most notably, Dorrance as one of the Forgotten Heroes, as part of DC's Tangent line written by Kurt Busiek, and most recently re-imagined as eco-terrorists.
Fnord, I think it's a lost cause to set aside a separate place for correcting typos. Any newcomer is going to go 'hey cool, comics!' and feel glad to contribute by pointing out a misplaced comma. My suggestion would be to correct the typos and then delete the posts pointing the typos out, establishing that policy in your FAQ, "Thread of Shame" etc.
Maybe it's just me, but it looks like your problems [beyond doing a Marvel Universe timeline in the first place :P ] are fixing typos and thanking the people who point them out. I'd advise fixing the typo and either erasing the comment that brought it to your attention or letting the comment stand. It would certainly encourage people to go back and read the arcitle again. [Where did he misspell "article"? Scroll back up.]
People who point out typos on the spot are always going to be there. Take them for granted as proofreaders, and thank them or not as you see fit.
Also, I misspelled "article" up above, you should fix it.
@fnord12 I understand losing faith in Frank and Rachel and even Harker himself to an extent, but you should never have lost faith in Saint. The poor fella had to sit through those knitting sessions, and as I speculated in another post, Quincy probably had him neutered as a pup, so "bitch-combing" was out. Add in all the times Dracula tossed him around like a rag doll, and he was ready to cut loose and tear a chunk out of Drac's ass. By this point in the book, Saint was the most effective member of the team. Harker should have sent Frank and Rachel to couples' therapy and assembled a team of Blade, Hannibal King and Saint to do the legwork. I've been known to dabble in poetry and short stories for a hobby, maybe there's a piece of fan-fiction to be made here, possibly from Saint's POV? Hmmm...
As Morgan notes, the MCP does not treat Marville as non-canon, although on the other hand it only has a listing for the main character, Kal-AOL. According to Wikipedia the character also appeared in a GLA series and got a Handbook entry.
I've never read it and don't want to make a unilateral ruling on it. It seems like a decision i can defer at least until i get to 2002.
@Brian, the MCP doesn't list the story, but i have covered other text pieces (i'm thinking of the Satana stories) and from what you say it sounds like this Werewolf By Night story should be cannon. I've listed it on the What's Missing page. It's unlikely that i'll ever cover it, thought.
(I also want to clarify that i'm not part of the MCP, although i do rely heavily on their work.)
Acerno had great line work; as much as I love Priest's work, why not clue the boy in on the joke?
My example: The wrong hand is purposely drawn on Woody as a woodchuck on a famous cover of Quantum and Woody. Are we to think that the artist known as Doc got hands wrong? And Greg Adams inked it? Then Fabian Nicieza not catching it?
Jerry was like Josef Rubinstein mixed with Jimmy Palmiotti. Jimmy, I owe ya one, brother.
The cowboy assassin looks to be modeled after Dennis Weaver in "McCloud". And his name is Francis Leroy Brown? Must be the son of Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown". As for Harker and Co., maybe they had graduated from knitting and were playing canasta or maybe a few rounds of Clue. Speaking of which, Harker must have had Saint neutered as a pup, otherwise he'd be out hunting for some bitches while the others were knitting. Seriously, this was a neat twist having Drac exploring his long-lost humanity,and it's fun to see his reactions to situations most people take for granted (out of cash, overdone hamburgers, etc.). Takes the great nobleman down a few pegs, so to speak.
Well, exactly: the villain here, the one with motives and personality, is Jameson. The Scorpion is just a scheme that backfires in spectacular fashion, a living Spider-Slayer prototype.
Come to think of it, the plot outline here -- Jameson's money gets a relatively "innocent" scientist to do something extremely questionable by creating an agent JJJ can use against Spider-Man -- is almost identical to issue #25 as well. Though the first Spider-Slayer is played in a more lighthearted fashion.
Having recently re-watched the 2011 Marvel Anime Blade series, particularly the episode where he encounters Wolverine in Madripoor, I've come to see some similarities between the two characters. Both are loners who have had to adjust to team situations. Both are "the best at what they do", and no, what they do ain't pretty! And each of them has a close misfit friend with whom they can banter, bicker, and B.S. (Wolvie with Nightcrawler, Blade with Hannibal King). Don't know if Marvel proper has ever done it, but I for one would like to see them join forces in a mini-series somehow. Hell, bring Kurt and Hannibal along for the ride in supporting roles.
If this is a knitting club, someone needs to take responsibility for that wretched pullover/turtleneck combo Frank Drake has on. Perhaps he could have gone with basic white plus an ascot, and while they were at it dye Rachel's hair red and put her in a miniskirt, because Fred and Daphne would be more effective for Harker at this point. At least they'd have a groovy van they could soup up! Saint would have been a better partner to Scooby than Scrappy ever was. Speaking of Saint, is that a "what's up with this crap?" look in his eyes? And what about Janus just chillin' in the background? Seriously, as much as I revere this series, Marv and Gene's biggest mistake was not having their two most compelling and useful good guys, Blade and Hannibal King, just fall through the cracks and not have them around for the final push to the series' finish line.
And yet he appeared in two of the best issues of Ditko's run, which is really saying something.
The Scorpion works because he's a pawn used by JJJ to attack Spider-Man. He wasn't even a generic criminal (what retcons there may be notwithstanding) he was hired by JJJ to spy on Peter, and when JJJ found a better idea, Gargan was willing to go along with it. The fight scene even made it clear that (from memory) 'even Stillwell's serum would do no good now, Mac Gargan is gone, there is only the Scorpion.' "Spider-Man" #20 and #29 are among my favorite fight scenes in any medium whatsoever.
And JJJ is the one who made the Scorpion possible. You're right that there's not much that can be done with him, but those two Ditko issues make up for everything.
Part of the problem with the Scorpion is that he's not that interesting beyond his powerset: what does he want, exactly?
There's just not much there, especially compared to Doctor Octopus and the Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn iterations of the Green Goblin incarnations, all of whom work as foils to Spider-Man. Even 50+ years later, Mac Gargan's still not a well-developed character beyond "generic criminal with a grudge," so there's nothing much to work with.
Well it should be Ma Hunkle, whom Irving Forbush was obviously modeled after. Someone should be doing something with her anyway.
I know it wouldn't exactly be a box office smash, but I can't imagine why DC doesn't reprint Sheldon Mayer's work. "Scribbly" is one of the great early comics, and "Sugar and Spike" should be in cheap collections and shoved into the faces of every 3-8 year old on Earth.
Holy Haggis, talk about a stereotype! I'm sure Drac's Scottish executioner used the cheapest material for his weaponry, as well. Plus his attire looks less like tartan than a quilt of the world's flags, or something designed by the old Batman and Robin foe, Crazy Quilt.
I like ninja Psylocke but for some reason I like her old self even more, and not just because I recently got to know her original self from my readthrough. I guess she ended up becoming the perfect version of her character during the Australian adventure, a powerful telepath who still has to wear armor in battle and eventually takes control of the team while the leaders are away, doing what's necessary to get out of that mess in one piece. The armor and her stronger, edgier characterization made her become the steel woman she saw herself as in the Horde annual. And then this story makes the characterization go off the rails by transforming her into an almost totally different character. Betsy is still there, but buried under tons of ninja-ness and more generic edginess mixed with a more sexualized appearance. Her outfit goes in the opposite direction, (she doesn't need an armor anymore) while her powers become more openly aggressive. (psychic knife!)
Also, why did nobody at Marvel even think of naming her "the Mandarin's Hand" in #257? It would have summed up the combination of the Mandarin and the Hand's powers that was needed to control her and it's a "Mouth of Sauron" kind of nickname that would fit a powerful emissary. It's probably better than Lady Mandarin anyway, which sounds too generic, uncreative and yet insists too much on the fact that it's a woman.
Long post? Sorry, I love writing on the progression of characters. I always feel I learn something out of it.
While reading these issues, I couldn't help but be reminded of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, which features a protagonist with the surname Maas, someone allegedly committing suicide by walking into the ocean, and an affluent man with a possible messiah complex. That may be where the similarities end, however.
In reference to the appearance of Shiva being retconned as Indra, Shiva will reappear in Thor Vol. 2, issue 61. It's definitely the same guy, with purple skin and 3 eyes, and this time he's accompanied by Vishnu and Brahma, so it's unquestionably all 3 of the currently still-worshiped Hindu trinity.
Wait, what? I like Jubilee [pause for all the tomatoes thrown at me] but a replacement for Dazzler? I'm going to need a source, because Claremont went out of his way to include Dazzler in some of the early Brood stories, the Karma/Farouk story, and she was clearly a first choice to join the post-Massacre X-Men.
I just don't see someone on Claremont's level spending so much time on characters that he doesn't have complete control over. The Beyonder can show up at any moment and make Boom-Boom an interesting character. Claremont has no control over that.
Rachel had serious problems. She went from a time-travelling Holocaust survivor with parental issues [shades of Jubilee?] to her mother's daughter, willing to destroy the universe just because she thinks it's a good idea, to a total wreck who gets seduced by Mojo, at which point she becomes the big-breasted babe in sheer clothing that we all know.
Claremont at his best was able to tell good superhero stories. It is his prize and his curse that they were all about muties, and he was far too good at his job of thinking about the mutant point of view. He brought in the entire Marvel Universe, and when that didn't suffice, at least kept tabs on Ms. Marvel or Spider-Woman whom he had a personal connection with.
Totally agree, if there's any value to the Impossible Man's recent appearances, it's that he referred to the history of comics. It was horrible and quickly forgotten - I don't even remember Ma Hunkel appearing in the story - but Dark Phoenix, Spider-Ham, Rocket Raccoon and the Yellow Kid, this story was clearly trying to refer to comics history.
Plot hole: Where do you get flypaper that big? I can buy the idea that it can be suspended from the ceiling by ants because there are millions of them and half are sticking to the ceiling while holding onto the other half who are sticking to the fly paper, but the size of the fly paper troubles me. Is this another project Pym was working on? Are the ants okay with this? What practicle comertial use does giant flypaper have? So many questions in these early Ant-man epics. Sometimes it's better that we don't know the answers to evrything, and in this case I think even Roy Thomas respected that.
@Gary Himes: I'd go for that as an ongoing! Good combination of powers and personalities there. Moon Knight was a mercenary but regrets it, Cage is the 'Hero for Hire' and Spidey is leary of the whole idea but takes photos of himself for money and Iron Fist is above such things but has money Peter Parker never did. I really think it'd be seriously good with the right creative team!
"Lalala ngrphlptup la!"
"Bug would be able to beat Cthulu! I wish we had acknowledged his awesomeness more!"
Fun stuff. Also, this Solitaire person is a little unnerving. I like this run for it's shaggy dog quality. The story is really an excuse to ramble on a lot on different tangents, though given that they were all going to die of radiation poisoning in a few days a few issues ago it is being pushed now. Does this affect placement? I have this long run bunched up together in a short time frame due to that.
Arcade's wardrobe looks to be inspired by John Evan, keyboardist from Jethro Tull's classic lineup. Onstage, Evan wore a white suit with a pink and yellow tie, and was known for his wild gesticulations and occasional readings from the local newspaper of whatever town they were playing. During band intros, Ian Anderson referred to him as "everyone's favorite ice cream salesman". He is also known for composing and playing the piano intro to "Locomotive Breath", as well as writing some of the humorous newspaper inserts on the "Thick as a Brick" album.
Credit where it's due: One panel looks like a nod to the Golden Age Red Tornado, another to the Yellow Kid, the 1890's satirical character who had the distinction of appearing in both the rival New York newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, and was the inspiration for the term "yellow journalism", sensationalism that each publisher had been accused of.
By all accounts Mutant Wars (plus the original, as of yet still unleaked plot for Days of Future Present) was spiked/replaced with Xtinction Agenda due to the arrival of Jim Lee and Bob Harras wanting a full-on reset of the status quo ASAP.
Mutant Wars would have brought together the X-Men again, but they would still be operating underground and on the fringes, until #300 (which is when Claremont wanted to have everything climax).
Bob Harras wanted the book restored to the classic status quo by the end of 1991, especially after the decision was made to greenlight the launch a second X-Men book following the huge success of Spider-Man #1. Lee was on Harras's side, as Lee wanted to draw more or less "traditional" X-Men stories with Magneto, Sentinels, Mojo, etc.
Claremont went along with the spiking of Mutant Wars and did Xtinction Agenda instead (plus rewrote Days of Future Present) but did so under a tacit understanding that he would be allowed to keep the Shadow King story going until #300. Then that got reneged on and orders came to wrap everything up in time for the launch of X-Men #1 and the final straw being Claremont, almost on a dare, tried to get Harras to greenlight his Wolverine dies/becomes a pawn of the Hand storyline that got rejected several years earlier, with the intend of using it as the big storyline leading into #300.
Bahahaha @ Rachel as a villain. You're totally right, she's the villain in that story. When I reread that months ago (for the first time since I was a kid), I was like, oh yeah, no wonder she was an X-Man for so short a time. Rachel sucks right now.
I think one of the strengths of Claremont's run is his willingness to bend norms. Evil mutants? Yeah, maybe, but maybe they're just misguided. Maybe this one dude survived the Holocaust and then more assholes killed his daughter and he kinda snapped (though I must say I'm a much bigger fan of Magneto's more recent second reformation than I am of his first one). Maybe this other dude who seems like a monstrous little beast of a man who has no business on a superhero team is actually an honorable samurai warrior with a tragic past. Maybe this chick who tried to kill all the Avengers is really just a scared kid. Maybe the people controlling these robots are.....ok, they're legit villains, that's fine.
I think that keeping the X-Men from being totally mutant-centric was part of this strength. I also think that anytime the X-Men get too far away from being superheroes and too absorbed in the mutant muck of it all is when it gets bad, with only a few exceptions.
I remember enjoying this story more than the Spidey/Hulk one. Mainly found it interesting for the interplay between such mismatched heroes. Also, unlike when Hellstrom teamed with the Human Torch and the Thing, although less so when paired with Ghost Rider(obviously) and even Howard the Duck, Luke is fairly comfortable with who/what Hellstrom is. I know they each have a connection with the Defenders, but I'd think some members might still feel uneasy around him.
You probably already know this anyways, but I'd like to add that according to the MCP there's a 2010 continuity insert called "Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way) which should be placed between 137 and 138.
Synopsis by uncannyxmen.net:
Following Jean Grey's death, Wolverine has the idea to allow Cyclops to release all his frustrations and pent up feelings by taking him to the desert with a few friends for a fight. He and Havok antagonize Scott into battle and he unleashes his optic blasts at each of them until he and Alex turn their powers on each other. Unable to do one another serious harm, Scott gives him everything before dropping to his knees, exhausted. Later, at Jean's funeral, Scott grieves for Jean, now much more relaxed and able to contain his frustration.
Regarding the issue of Dazzler dying in this story.
The only reason Dazzler didn't die was Silvestri. He liked Dazzler but Claremont didn't (she was a Jim Shooter pet project) and wanted her dead/replaced with Jubilee.
Silvestri went over Claremont's head to Bob Harras to save Dazzler (which he agreed to) and then pitched the idea of revisiting the Dazzler Movie graphic novel to convince Claremont of a plotline to keep Dazzler around.
Dazzler was going to rejoin the X-Men during the aborted Mutant Wars storyline but once Silvestri was off the book and editorial nixing Mutant Wars, Claremont shoved Dazzler into limbo.
I believe this was Miller's first official "writing" credit.
I am not a fan of the art. That full-page spread, the last scan, Spidey looks like the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon. And the rest of the issue wasn't much better.
I'm also not a fan of the writing, honestly. Serviceable for Marvel at the time, but Miller would get much better very quickly on "Daredevil." Power Man, Iron Fist and Moon Knight didn't even appear in the story until halfway through. The story did set up the Kingpin as a serious villain [which I think Miller did something with later] but for me, the only interesting part is when Spidey doesn't know any Shakespeare, and asked what he does know, answers "Elvis Costello." 'Fine, sing us some Elvis Costello.'
A landmark story signaling Frank Miller's arrival in comics. I'm not a fan.
Professor Frye is Northrop Frye-- his first book, Fearful Symmetry was a huge deal in Blake studies for a long time. I'd say this is probably his only Marvel appearance but I think Vivisector miiiight be shown reading a book of his in X-Statix.
What a difference 12 years makes. Jim Steranko caught hell from the Comics Code Authority for his rendering of Contessa Val de Fontaine's backside in Strange Tales #168 and was forced to "touch it up" (pardon this pun). Flash forward to this issue and the impressive, in-your-face shot of Miss Locke's rear while she's throwing Amos Jardine onto the limo's hood.
Even earlier, Fawcett had the Bulletman villain the Weeper (or at least his son) turn up fighting Mary Marvel. And the arc that introduced of Captain Marvel Junior and Captain Nazi were a no-kidding crossover that went across tiles so both Bulletman and Captain Marvel, uh, Senior cold get in on the fray.
And of course some of the old Justice Society stories had villain crossover, like Solomon Grundy,a Green Lantern enemy, fighting the whole team at once, or the second Injustice Society including villains like Wildcat's foe the Huntress when Wildcat wasn't appearing in JSA stories anymore. The Grundy story even starts by explaining how Grundy came back after his last appearance fighting GL as a solo hero.
That said, these were rare exceptions, not business as usual, and that the World's Finest "crossovers" were generally held to that book alone. When Luthor turned up fighting Batman, no one even mentioned Superman, for example. What Stan Lee did was to foreground the continuity and create a true "shared universe" where those elements were always int he background to some extent.
And, of course, you get things like Doom basically kicking Spidey's butt in this story, and only leaving because her doesn't want to fight the FF on top of Spider-Man. And the FF, unlike DC heroes, don't all get along with each other, and don't think much of Spider-Man either. When Luthor showed up to oppose Batman, it wasn't played as anything special: he's just one more mad scientist.
I recall picking up a copy of issue #282 off a spinner rack at the neighborhood convenience store. I hadn't read Daredevil regularly since the glory days of Miller and Janson, but I was drawn in by JRJR's cover art: the tiny DD on the ridge, the freaky-looking Mephisto, the bad-ass Silver Surfer swooping in for the save. I was also pleased to see guest appearances by Karnak and Gorgon, although not thrilled to see them appear in the buff. Needless to say, not a good jumping-on point. As for this arc as a hole, maybe with the right music I would enjoy it more. Being a Mephisto story, "In the Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson came to mind, but also Genesis' "Supper's Ready", since the last panels have "an angel standing in the sun". However, I can also hear Peter Gabriel singing/paraphrasing "Hey babe, this comic's just too weird for you!/ Hey my ba-by, Daredevil's sure in a stew!"
I wonder if anyone was going to address why the Burglar was no longer in jail. From AF 15 to ASM 170 is probably five or so years (give or take) in the sliding timescale. I mean, I know super-villains escape prison constantly, but an ordinary unpowered guy? This is why I'm assuming he was legally released since he's out in the open, undisguised, doing business with a real-estate agent.
Also, would the authorities have notified May or Peter Parker that the man who killed their husband/uncle had been released from prison?
At least Fury has an actual coherent plot and is actually vaguely grounded in reality. Take issue with what it's trying to do, at least it's trying to do SOMETHING and actually vaguely succeeds at it. Marville doesn't have a bunch of excessive gore and violence, but it might inflict more on your brain. (Of course I've only read the Wikipedia article on Fury Max, it may be worse than that lets on.)
Actually, no, this isn't the first time a hero's villain went to another hero's mag to battle him. Even ignoring the Lex Luthor and Joker teamups against Batman and Superman in World's Finest, Luthor already had made a guest appearance in a Batman comic in 1960, without Superman.
@Mark Drummond Thanks for the info. I also cross-checked Trimpe's Wikipedia page, and saw where he enlisted in the Air Force and served in Vietnam at an aviation weather station, so that helps explain the interest as well. If he owned a biplane, that's DAMN COOL! Should have known Captain Midnight had his own comic, and later a TV program. He was quite the media sensation in his time. My father had a decoder ring at one point, I believe.
Between Dorma dying and Ikthon turning traitor and vanishing from the supporting cast, it feels like Thomas was clearing the decks for some reason. It's especially blatant given that Ikthon doesn't seem to have much of a motivation for going bad.
Also,m it's kind of cool that the Atlanteans are common-sensical about the wedding rules. But then, any ceremony officiated by Proteus would probably be wise to shapeshifters' tricks.
Trimpe was a WW1 aviation fan, and I think he owned a biplane. Captain Midnight was also a long-running Golden Age comic, so he might have had something to do with the Phantom Eagle--especially when you consider that Fawcett, Captain Midnight's publisher, had a Phantom Eagle of their own.
Phantom Eagle seemed an odd combination of Eddie Rickenbacker (America's first air ace, also a race-car driver whose parents spoke German and who emigrated from Switzerland) and the 1930's radio and movie serial hero Captain Midnight (minus the super-cool decoder ring, of course!). Perhaps Trimpe was a fan (as I am) of the 1966 WW1 aerial drama THE BLUE MAX starring George Peppard, James Mason and Ursula Andruss. I certainly hope Marvel wasn't trying for an answer to DC's popular Enemy Ace series, mainly because Hans von Hammer is amongst my all-time favorite comic-book characters. Whatever the inspiration, it's safe to say that the Phantom Eagle wasn't able to get off the ground or his wings at the time, puns most defintely intended.
It's actually rather silly to have the audience for a bullfight root for the bull and shun the matador because the man's too cruel to the animal-- bullfighting is literally all about slowly killing the animal in a torturous, abusive way after it's been throughly weakened and put the wringer previously so the man has a fighting chance.
This appears to be the end of Karen Page as a supporting character in DD until her reappearance in Born Again 140 issues later! That is more than a decade later (almost 15 from 1972 to 1986 so I assume DD must have gone bimonthly at some point)! It is kind of amazing how such an important supporting character was gone for so long. By the time she is reintroduced, she's been gone longer than her original stay in the title.
That panel with the Falcon turning away from the judge looks worse than Robbins' usual "Kabuki mask" faces. As for the letter writer who defended Robbins and saying the art would get better, they must not have realized that Frank Robbins was in his late fifties when he drew this, and improvement was highly unlikely.
The MCP actually does seem to treat Marville as taking place on 616, and the closest fnord has come to declaring a comic as being straight-up non-canon (as opposed to not being in scope based on when it's set) that the MCP hasn't is Namor #44. On the other hand, even if Marville were otherwise in scope, if there were any comic "deserving" of the "coveted" F rating, it's hard to think of a "better" candidate than Marville. (It may actually be the equivalent of Scrappy-Doo in that sense: are The Crossing or Chuck Austen's crap really that bad, compared to the verminous, soul-tainting badness of Marville?)
I know I only got around to Cable in my last comment, but for the reasons stated above, he, Warlock and Wolfsbane were the characters I have the most familiarity with. If I recall correctly, Alex Ross' design for Magog in DC's seminal "Kingdom Come" was "inspired" by Cable and similar characters with too many weapons, pouches, etc., that were prevalent at the time, and those characters Ross, along with Mark Waid, held in contempt.
Farouk, a few Magneto stories, the first few Hellfire Club stories, Proteus who had a bad childhood, Black Tom... I'm having trouble of thinking of any place in Claremont's stories where there was a genuine Evil Mutant involved. Shan's brother was evil but he died. The Morlocks were a tribe. The Marauders' claim to be mutants always seemed far-fetched before they were revealed to be clones. Freedom Force was just old X-Men villains anyway. Rogue was a villain, briefly, then joined the team.
Looking up these issues, it's actually amazing how few of the villains were mutants, and even more amazing is how few of them had anything to do with mutants. Just looking up, say, appearances by Storm, I see a stretch where the villains are the Sidri, Rogue, Dracula, Belasco, HYDRA, the Brood, the Morlocks, Viper and Silver Samurai, Mastermind [an actual evil mutant] Morlocks, a giant dragon, Juggernaut, Forge, Dire Wraiths, Kulan Gath, Thunderbird II, anti-mutant bigots, Lady Deathstrike, Morlocks, Freedom Force, Loki, the Beyonder, Fenris, the Sentinels, Rachel...
I might be missing a couple of villains, but Fenris, Mastermind and Freedom Force are the closest to Evil Mutants as we get. Forge, the Sentinels, the Morlocks and Fenris all vaguely serve the "mutant" themes, but only Fenris qualify as Evil, and they were created to serve as a sequel to #161.
J-Rod, I agree. I think a large part of the conflict comes from the increasing amount of "identity politics" over the last 40 years. "Mutant" stories must be about mutants. No if's, and's or but's. They must conform to a very limited set of stories where the muties are heroes but also hated as outcasts. Threats by aliens or magicians don't matter because they aren't about mutants and they don't exploit the mutant plight. Once you reform Magneto and have Xaviers School join the Hellfire Club, the whole concept of Evil Mutants is out the window, so don't even think of telling stories that place the muties in an unfavorable light. Even as they brainwash and mindwipe people at the drop of a hat.
I'm someone who will go 'dude, it's a comic book' as a first response and only think in-depth about it when I want to. The strength of Claremont's X-titles and the Marvel Universe as a whole is a good thing. Some of my favorite moments in Claremont's run involve acknowledging the larger world outside mutanthood. Emma Frost calls the Avengers on Magneto. The Brood Saga. "Inferno." "FF vs. X-Men." The Kulan Gath 2-parter is one of my favorite comics ever.
But Claremont and his enablers are some of the people most responsible for "identity politics." Larry Bodine could have lived a long fruitful life, or at worst ended up like Scott McCloud's "The Sculptor" (a 500-page graphic novel that turned into a superhero story at the very end) but that's not the world he lived in.
That is the biggest train wreck of a pin-up I've ever seen. Cable looks like he's wearing one of Ace Frehley's old KISS costumes. Is that a CD player covering his stomach? Those must be the speakers coming out of his shoulders. With the way the bandalero is strapped around his man-region, it's like a futuristic chastity belt! Bet the dogs he stole the spiked collars on his human arm are pissed! The metal band on his left leg must be post-quad surgery support. And all those vials around his waist and right bicep help to make him look like the world's ugliest shooter girl! "You want sex on the beach or a green iguana?"I'll be the first to tell you that Liefeld's ascension came at a time I was working and in college, plus a more active social life than in high school, so my comics buying around this time was self-limited to a few DC titles, and I missed the boat on his "genius". It wasn't until Heroes Reborn when I returned to more regular collecting and saw his work and ran from it like the bag-and-board had anthrax in it! To this day, the only words I can use to describe Rob Liefeld are "How?" and "Why?"
I have a vague memory of a story in the early 90s, possibly in Amazing Spider-Man, where Thunderball turned good and helped out Spider-Man defeat some villain. Does anyone else remember this? I seem to recall Thunderball's expertise in science figured into the story.
I'm gonna toss out a wild guess and say that Wood based the Matador's look on Tyrone Power from the early Technicolor epic "Blood and Sand" (1940). It tells about the life and death of a bullfighter (played by Power who, to the younger set out there, was the George Clooney of his day) and the two women he was torn between (Linda Darnell and Rita Hayworth, poor Tyrone!). Still, I'm with the consensus that Matador was epically lame. For more on DD's "mustard and ketchup" early costume, check out DAREDEVIL:YELLOW, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's fine retelling of Ol' Hornhead's early career. Finally, I must say I too dig Wally Wood's art on this as well, too bad he and Stan Lee locked horns, pun intended.
Not sure how much of a "goold ol' boy" Piledriver would be anyway if he considers date-rape...
Thunderball showed a strong desire to be respected in last year's Illuminati series and reminded people he's a scientist, which implied he wants to distance himself from the rest of the Wrecking Crew. Hell, he worked with totally different people in that series. I like that characterization when writers remember it. I know it's damaging to the teamwork of the Wrecking Crew but Thunderball still seems to be the kind of guy to seek independence.
Funny how one can get a very different interpretation of the "who did what" argument based on these issues. First, I want to say that the "who did what" argument is one that should be put to bed and is a great disservice to both Lee and Kirby. Having read "The Wonder Years" and many articles that are well researched and by authors who are not in the Kirby camp, it is obvious that the Lee-Kirby stories were a collaboration in every sense of the word. Yes, Kirby was clearly the idea and the concept man. And it is just as clear - as these issues clearly show - that Lee was the storyteller. As great as many of the Lee-Kirby stories are, the Infinity Saga reaches those same heights, in my opinion. It may be my favorite Thor adventure from the Silver age. As far as Lee-Kirby is concerned, Lee relied upon Kirby's richer imagination and ability to create new characters. Kirby relied upon Lee to turn those ideas into a well-paced story, and to apply characterization, sub-plot, drama and humor to the tales. We should embrace the partnership rather than try and tear it down into its individual parts.
Given his impressive background in horror comics (Vampirella, Creepy, etc.), Tom Sutton would have been a great replacement for Mike Ploog on this title. Loved his art on these two issues, which he penciled, inked, AND lettered! My guess is he would have turned down the book if offered. He was already in high demand as a freelancer and, since he had no great fondness for superheroes, likely didn't wish to get moved to titles out of his comfort zone on a regular basis.
I hate to pile ont his issue, but it also screws up the Wrecking Crew's personalities: It's Bulldozer, not Piledriver, who's supposed to talk like a Southern "good ol' boy." Piledriver is the guy who sounds like he's from Joisey.
Of course, this is just the beginning of writers slowly losing track of the distinct personalities of the Wrecking Crew guys; by the 2000s, there's nothing left to indicate that Thunderball is a scientist instead of just a brawler.
Hi fnord, have you heard of the "parody" 7-issue Marville series? I recently heard of it on TVTropes and man it looks awful. But regardless of (the lack of) quality, the biggest issue is that apparently it says Wolverine is the first human, evolved from an otter. That violates so much canon it can't be considered in scope, right? Oh, and Batman seems to appear in it. And the Marvel Wiki just puts the whole thing in an alternate reality anyway. So yeah, I was just wondering why it wasn't listed on this page yet.
Hulk and Wendigo bashing heads! Hulk apologizing to a jerk farmer! Hulk telling a knocked out Wolverine he won because he was SMARTER than him, and actually kind of having a point(because come on, it was Logan who thought it'd be a good idea to turn on Hulk AFTER seeing what he was able of)! The Great Pumpkin! Wolverine throwing a whiny fit!
Only way this woulda been funnier is if Hulk actually had stopped to try and repair the fence.
@Fnord I've been perusing my recently acquired Werewolf by Night Omnibus, and noticed that Monsters Unleashed #6-7 contains a prose WBN two-part story by Gerry Conway. First part is titled "Panic By Moonlight", the second is "Madness Under a Mid-Summer Moon". It tells of Jack's encounter with a biker gang, most notably one Baldy Kingston, the bald-headed (obviously), chain-swinging lead antagonist and his corpulent friend, Boxer. These stories also feature Clairy Winter and Raymond Coker before he lost his own lycanthropy, plus a lady-friend of Jack's named Sam I don't recall. The art is limited to a few panels, save for each issue having a neat splash-page equivalent, part two's signed by Pat Broderick and Klaus Janson. I wasn't sure if you included prose tales in the MCP, perhaps this could listed on the What's Missing page? Hope this has been of some help.
Funny to see the Werewolf take on Morbius while wearing the forest green boxers. Today they look like baller shorts, like Jack and Buck were shooting hoops before the transformation. It would give new meaning to the term "slashing to the basket"!
More nightmare fuel: Beta Ray Bill is seen using Mjolnir throughout.
We're definitely gonna write that off as an artist error, yeah?
Seemingly it would have to take place between Thor #337-338 to maintain that idea (and the only bonus of that would be it also explains why Thor is absent) but it definitely can't be the case with regards to absolutely everyone else's continuity. It's clearly just the case Mantlo and/or Ditko weren't doing good reference work for a lot of the stuff. They maybe didn't even know what was going on in Thor, it seems they were basing his inclusion here on either just seeing his first appearance or only having heard about the character being described as "the new Thor" (hence him apparently having replaced Thor here and even being randomly grouped in with the Avengers too). Plus Thor #337 was published almost two years before this. It can't be an intentional attempt to fit it into a really specific place in continuity.
That is an interesting thought that I think finally seems to explain Thomas' run with the X-Men up to this point. Admittedly no one today thinks of the X-Men as the ones who encounter the "weirder side" of Marvel ala the Doom Patrol (though even they had some definitely strange elements in the early days; heck the Lee/Kirby era brought in the Savage Land and the Stranger) But somehow with most of the universe defined by this point, Thomas figured "well these guys were born with strange powers, so let's have them fight the strangest elements of the universe". It probably explains why the team went through a lot of weird aspects until they figure it out again by the point of the Mesmero arc.
These issues were a major letdown for me at the time because I was stoked for Byrne's and expected it to be more like the cover to 17 but Janson's finishes seemed to swamp Byrne. Never have liked Janson. These were still decent issues but man was I disappointed.
Thomas's emphasis on the shared universe is a big part of it, but I also wonder if some of it can be explained as him (and maybe Marvel in general) seeing the X-Men as the "weirdie" book at the time and putting in all the eccentric menaces they could think of. The tagline, early on, was "The Strangest Teen-Agers of All!", and the X-Men's DC counterpart, the Doom Patrol, tended to battle strange villains despite having a similar "prejudice against the different is bad" theme.
This would also explain why the X-Men never fight the "mainstream" archvillains who show up everywhere else in the 1960s, the Doctor Dooms and the Mandarins. Indeed, every other Silver Age hero at Marvel had an encounter with either Doom or the Mandarin, but even when Roy was dragging half the Marvel Universe into the title, neither of those two showed up to take on the X-Men. Nor do the likes of Loki or Kang, Instead, it's all obscure castoffs from other comics, presented as such. For example, Nefaria's crew are described in-story as "forgotten villains," and guys like the Cobalt Man are expressly kooky knockoffs of "mainstream" heroes. Even the Mole Man is a grotesque, pitiable type, and Tyrannus is from what was then a cancelled title.
Sif is a much better supporting character than Jane, but as a love interest she's kind of non-existent for most of the Lee/Kirby run. At least with Jane there was some drama, but Sif is just there, always talking about how bloody great Thor is. It gets boring after a while.
I never made that connection! Your comment spurred me to look up fnord's review of Chondu's first appearance. The story was drawn by Gene Colan, and the image of Chondu in its splash panel is a superb likeness of Lugosi.
Looks like Chondu the Mystic was swiped from an early-'30's radio show called "Chandu the Magician", about Frank Chandler, an American stage magician who spent time in the Far East learning and perfecting the practice of white magic, later returning to the States to use his knowledge against various and sundry evil-doers. In 1932, at the height of the pre-Hays Code era, Fox made a film adaptation of the show, starring Edmund Lowe as Chandler/Chandu, with Bela Lugosi as a villain called Roxor. Strangely enough, two years later a 12-part serial called "The Return of Chandu", with LUGOSI in the title role, one of the few times he got to play "the good guy".
There was a theme in the early issues of The New Mutants that the students did not have full control of the abilities, unlike the X-Men, hence their attendance at the Xavier school. The conceit was that, while the X-Men used the school as a cover, it was a true school for these kids.
That opening is an extreme example of this, setting the tone for the series, though the idea starts to slowly disappear sometime after Secret Wars II (when most of the kids are killed and resurrected by the Beyonder and have their skill levels reset).
Dani does this a few times in early issues, though never to this dark level.
@RocknRollguitarplayer Thunderbird never happened because he was way too close to Wolverine in terms of personality in these early appearances. They couldn't have both characters on the same beats. Can you imagine what the comics industry would have been like had they killed off Wolverine instead? Neither can I. It's impossible to know. Maybe Thunderbird could have become a great character. As it is, he's one of the rare characters who has (largely) stayed dead, and I think that's significant. Furthermore, a lot of the story beats you're talking about DID get used on his brother, and I think they worked a lot better on a character who had lost family to all this mutant nonsense.
Were there times Claremont went overboard? Maybe a little. The heavily space-based stretch of issues from UXM 154 to 167 and the fairly frequent appearances of the Starjammers through 200 come to mind, as do some of the early mystic stories (I've always found that Annual 4 with Dr. Strange very boring). But cosmic grounding gave us the Phoenix and therefore the Dark Phoenix, still generally (not unanimously) agreed to be the best X-Men story. Cosmic stories gave us one of the creepiest X-villains, the Brood (OK, so really Ridley Scott gave us this, still I think Claremont's spin with the transformations had its own level of creepy). Mystic stories gave us Juggernaut, Magik, Inferno, all characters and stories that many people liked. And on the other hand, focusing on mutant themes hasn't always worked out; for large stretches of the 90s and 2000s, there were some dreadful stretches of almost exclusively mutant-focused X-stories. Was there some good mixed in? Sure. And some of that had non-mutant stuff.
I'm not sure the continuity error of JJJ being in two places at once can be explained away. He is with his son telling him about the Man-Wolf, then he is at the Bugle tear-gassing Spidey and wearing something different, then back again with his son with the same outfit as before. Looks like just a plain old continuity good.
I personally love Warlock. I haven't read MOST of the original New Mutants run, but he's a delight to read in everything that I have read. And he was an integral part of the fun of the 2009 revival. And also the only really fun element in Fallen Angels.
What I don't get is this obsession with "X-books should only be telling mutant stories." This idea that all space stuff, all mystic stuff, all non-mutant elements are out of place. I don't think that's quite the discussion here, but it's close, and that's certainly what has been mentioned elsewhere as a major reason Claremont gradually lost more and more control of "his" books.
I don't buy the argument. Should there be more mutant than non-mutant stuff in X-books? Sure there should. That doesn't mean that's all they should have. Despite Fox's movies, and despite what Disney may at times wish (and push) for in the books, the X-Men do NOT exist in their own universe. It's a shared universe for a reason. This is why we CAN have mutant characters pop up and even star in other books (I doubt I'll ever accept Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch not being mutants), and this is why the original '60s run of the X-Men had the non-mutant Juggernaut (come on, there is no particularly good reason why he was not made a mutant, Stan just didn't think that's ALL the X-Men were about) and the alien Stranger under Stan and Jack, and countless others under Roy Thomas and the other later writers of that run.
I have loved Staton's work too: it's very modern and catching. Another trait of the issues is the unusual racy exploit of the absence of the Comic Code nulla osta: another story in #32 is about Misty Knight and Collen Wing, with plenty of nude, nipples, gore and blood (had ever a cut-by-katana hand, with relative stream of blood, appeared before in Marvel?). I guess Marvel was experimenting.
If you listen to some Jethro Tull albums, you can find other potential Elders: The Poet, the Painter, the Doer, and the Thinker("Thick as a Brick"), the Minstrel ("Minstrel in the Gallery), the Whistler and of course the Gardener's more debaucherous cousin, the Jack-in-the-Green ("Songs From The Wood").
Idle thought: Could it be an attempt to approximate an embarrassing first day at school? Everybody expects everything to go right and the result is abject humiliation for reason of drama or humor? Very jarring, yes, but not 100% inappropriate for teenage female superheroes.
Might not be analogous to 'first day at a new school' examples, but "Karate Kid," "Animal House," "Carrie" and various Judy Blume books had some very humiliating experiences for new/outcast students at school.
The change in mood near the start of the first issue is pretty shocking. I can't think of a story where someone committed a worse faux pas with a new classmate than broadcasting images of a time she and her mother were gang-raped to everyone in school.
You left out the Matador. Purple Man and Death- Stalker were the top of the line as far as DD's old rogue's gallery. It's a shame the writers felt the need to dig so much into Spider Man's foes for Daredevil opponents, although it certainly worked out well with the Kingpin.
Okay, what to say, where to start... Well, the cover is pretty silly, and the title of the story sounds like a Roger Corman ripoff. The premise has potential, but the characters are wasted and the story feels rushed through. Finally, looking at Frank Robbins' art, I start to think maybe I've been too hard on Don Perlin. Ghost Rider looks sleep-deprived with his eye bags,Man-Thing's "carrot nose" looks like it should be plugged into a vacuum cleaner, Morbius' face looks like a kabuki mask of Morbius, and in a couple of panels, Starseed is drawn with nostril shots that look like an ode to Gil Kane. As far as the Werewolf goes,on the opening page he looks more hyena than wolf, and his ears are less subtle than Ploog or Perlin. He and Morbius' have bad overbites,and in the climax where Starseed briefly changes them to normal,everyone except Morbius looks like they have the same face, just different hairstyles drawn in. Maybe Rob Liefeld got art ideas from this issue? Overall, HUGE disappointment.