You'd think if DeFalco wanted the FF run so ragged he wouldn't have allowed generic appearances of the FF in other books with some but not all of the changes he was instituting, or at least had the FF directly tie in with Infinity Crusade so it could actually fit in a coherent spot in their timeline and maybe even be part of their being run so ragged, or at the very least allowed FF Unlimited to occur at coherent spots in the timeline either by weaving his plots through it or not having it include some but not all of his changes, but it's clear no one really cares about coherent continuity at this point. I'm not sure how much power DeFalco even has as EiC at this point; he seems to be mostly focused on his FF run and as mentioned elsewhere didn't put any more effort than anyone else into this year's "new character" annual initiative.
My No-Prize explanation on the Epoch/Eon situation: Epoch petitioned Anthropomorpho for a copy of her father's body along with the experience and wisdom it holds in order to stand a chance against Thanos.
As i said, Ben, i didn't want to seem like i was calling out the letter to shame you or anything like that. :-) I just think it's an interesting case of Marvel's "illusion of change" working. I'm sure what you expressed in that letter was a common sentiment. It just bugs me because in retrospect it's easy to see how DeFalco actually squashed a lot of previous development. But what is "obvious" in retrospect wasn't necessarily what readers, especially new readers, were seeing, and your letter was a great example of that. I intended to use it even before i saw that it was yours, but that made it all the more interesting. Hope you don't mind!
*THUMP!* Um, that's the sound that occurs when you do a facepalm, isn't it? I ask because that was *my* letter that fnord is quoting. A few months ago he mentioned he'd be referring to it when he got to these issues, so I dug out my copy of #382 to see what exactly I had written waaaay back in 1993. And, yeah, I wasn't happy with what I discovered.
Okay, there were no TPBs or Essentials for me to read back then, so I obviously would have been mostly unfamiliar with pretty much any FF material from the 1970s. But I cannot believe that I was so completely stricken with amnesia that I forgot Steve Englehart's run, where a hell of a lot changed, for better or worse, as well as Walter Simonson's brief but amazing stint on the series.
So please ignore what I wrote when I was 17 years old! Maybe I was swamped with senior year high school term papers and my brain momentarily went on the blink.
For what it's worth, though, I never did think Reed Richards was dead, either.
By the by (and I didn't read all the comments so I apologize if someone has mentioned it, though it doesn't appear so from my Ctrl+F), the ending, wherein Nimrod saves Rodriguez, was retconned in an issue of New X-Men (formerly New X-Men: Academy X) from circa 2008 or so. Originally, it was assumed that Nimrod came directly from the Days of Future Past timeline, right? Well, in a story featuring William Stryker attacking the mansion and mostly dealing with the 2000s-era young students not long after Decimation (I don't have issue numbers handy atm, but I can easily check later), a Nimrod that Stryker's team seems to have found somewhere is used and then is sent back in time, popping up in the scene at the end of 191 (the scene is duplicated), indicating that Nimrod made another stop between Rachel's time and this issue. I thought it was a fun bit of continuity insertion that doesn't seem to have disrupted anything else.
I loved this story when I read it in X-Men Classic as a kid in the 90s; the XMC issues came out within my first year of collecting, and this left a lasting impression on me. I have reread this several times over the years (for example, after I tracked down the entire Busiek/Perez run of Avengers and happily discovered another Kulan Gath story), and I most recently reread it just a few months ago, and I was happy to find that it still holds up. Very fun story.
Yeesh. The O-faces, the hideous artwork, the fact that Sharon basically is gone from the entire F4 book after this mess (aside from the ridiculous "rocky Toxic Avenger with boobs" look she seems to have)...I'd say the book's hit rock bottom, but another post elsewhere seems to confirm it's just going to get worse.
Buckethead Thing, space hooker Sue (whose gawdawful costume looks hilarious while sporting one her most June Cleaver hairstyles), Johnny married to a skull (though at least no longer wearing a bomber jacket), and now Reed and Doom killed as an afterthought, rather than the epic storyline such a move would have demanded, adult Franklin in a suit of armor that makes Portacio look subtle - while Cable...I mean Nathaniel...is lurking in the background.
At this point, I was not buying, but Byrnes-stealing the book, which seemed to serve no purpose other than to infuriate me from the spinner rack every 30 days.
This storyline begins some of the absolute worst comics of all time and the nadir of my beloved FF...at least til Civil War destroys Reed beyond redemption.
The only silver lining: As bad as DeFalco's grimdark and shock schlock was, at least it was mostly reversible, unlike what Miller has coming in 10 years.
@Morgan Wick: I would not be terribly surprised if Marvel / Disney did try to buy the rights to Rom from Hasbro but gave them some lowball offer. I've heard that was what held up the Master of Kung Fu reprints for so long, Marvel was being stingy about loosening the purse strings.
I almost wonder if the revival of Rom and Micronauts at IDW is an attempt to spite Marvel or something, or something similar to the X-Men and Fantastic Four movie situations, an attempt to get some value out of the IP rather than just let Marvel have them. With Marvel getting the rights to Fu Manchu back, I have to imagine Marvel was pushing to get Rom and Micronauts back as well.
"The Wizard talks about it like it's something that the Torch (and we) should remember, but there's no footnote and i can't believe that he would have used something before and i wouldn't have made a note of it. "
No-Prize time -
Obviously The Wizard used the "Letho-Ray" on the Human Torch and everyone reading the story to make you forget that he used that before.:)
"Interestingly, the Wizard attributes his death to "the Hunger" and not Dr. Doom."
IMO, if not for "the Hunger" mortally wounding Dr. Doom, Doom wouldn't have tried to "finish off" Mr. Fantastic. so, it could really be attributed to "the Hunger" in the first place.
I have never heard of this before. The art reminds me (very) vaguely of Mark Bagley (facial structures, eyes, fairly clean and detailed), but with more, I guess, shading/filling lines? Also Shadowforce (and Shadowgames) sounds like an Image launch property or a Sega Genesis title.
They're must have been some major crushing on Nocenti in the Marvel offices back then. She's front and center in most of the Asst Editor's Month spots, more so than the other staff, and Adams completely drew Ricochet Rita as her in Longshot.
@Luis Dantas: That was my understanding as well, that it was never actually established in any stories that SODAM became MODAM, and it was only stated in the Handbook of the Marvel Universe.
As I've probably mentioned, I had dropped Iron Man several issues earlier, but I came back for this two part story. I was interested in seeing Iron Man fighting Omega Red, who at the time was a fairly high-profile X-Men villain. In the 1990s there was very little overlap between the Avengers and X-Men titles, which made stories such as this one more distinctive due to their rarity. I enjoyed these two issues, just not enough to start reading Iron Man regularly once again.
The official Marvel Index tot he Amazing Spider-Man suggests that the reason NATO rejected the Cyclone's tornado-creating weapon was specifically that it could be defeated with something like an ordinary fan.
I basically agree. I only read a few PAD "Hulk" issues when they were coming out, but I'm missing few-if-any issues now, and as good as they are, they're mostly forgettable. I'm sure I've read these issues, but I don't recognize anything here. Although Rick proposing to Marlo tells me the wedding is coming soon, and I do remember some things from those issues.
I never knew Dematteis used Zemo again in his Spectacular Spider-Man run. You can put me down as one of those disappointed in Zemo's depiction here. This is definitely the Zemo as Dematteis last used him and not the one we've seen in Stern's and Gruenwald's stories. Dematteis needed to do a better job incorporating the latter stories characterization in order to make it work. The Stern Zemo is just a much better villain than Dematteis's Zemo, and what we see here just weakens that.
Ran across this fascinating interview with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman where they both cite this as the first Fantastic Four issue they could not read. The interview's really a gem, especially, when they're voicing their opinions on Byrne.
I guess I'm making a subtle argument. I'm reacting to fnord's comment that he's surprised to see that word in a CCA book. It's kind of like having drugs as subject manner, except in reverse. Once, you couldn't even mention drugs, then, you could as long as it was in the context of drugs being bad. For the n-word, it was once acceptable to use it in a story dealing with the evils of racism, now it's a word that can't be used at any time for any reason.
In support of Walter, I think that if you compare the Gardener's wording here ("Brothers had I, one who loved to study, another who engaged in endless sport!") and the Collector's in AVENGERS #174 ("My brother sought sport in this continuum, and...I wished only to study the simple creatures here"), it's indisputable that the Gardener is referring to the Collector and Grandmaster.
Hulk was the only Marvel comic I was reading in the period, and I enjoyed it. But I must admit there are some major weaknesses to Peter David's work here. His villains are mostly forgettable. Whenever he creates a new villain, I really don't care if I ever see them again. And when he reuses classic villains, they seem misused or at least not threatening. Second, the Pantheon doesn't work. I don't like these retroactive continuity implants in the first place, far better to simply make them a relatively new organization becoming prominent for the first time. Then these characters are all generic - find a Greek hero's name and make it the name for a superhero. And their powers are rather generic. The concept just isn't strong enough to be a major part of the title.
This story is a good example of that. Piecemeal is an uninteresting villain. Madman was initially an intriguing villain who is just ridiculous right now, there is no gravitas or coolness. Perseus is just another disposable character no one cares about.
So despite the fact that I like a lot of David's work (good characterization and intelligent writing) and this is the only Marvel book I was reading for a good four to six years, I only have vague memories of this era. I never thought Gary Frank was a great artist, but he's decent and serviceable and not atrocious to look at like most of Marvel at the moment. So I remember liking the art, but that is about it.
Another possibility on the origin of the plot- Kaminski mentioned that his first draft for War Machine 1 was rejected and Yomtov only agreed to give him one more chance after that. Maybe this is the rejected plot and the navy captain was supposed to be a supporting character in War Machine's series?
Andrew, I was in college when at the time of the OJ trial. Trust me, even before it, people knew not to say the n-word. In fact, there was an episode of "Gimme A Break" that aired in February 1982 that hinges on the daughter using the n-word and the father getting upset.
One of the issues of the Official Handbook has a MODAM entry that claims that SODAM became MODAM, and that it was revealed in a Quasar issue (almost certainly #9).
Checking that issue's entry, I guess it was not made explicit. The main piece of evidence beyond the Handbook's entry itself is the fact that whoever we thought to have been Maria Pym appeared in Solo Avengers as SODAM just over a year before Quasar #9 and has not been mentioned since. So it is all circunstantial, apparently.
What that bio doesn't show is when it is revealed that MODAM is SODAM. That hadn't happened by these issues (unless i've missed it). I realized that when i went to comment on Omega Red's (disputed) claim about her identity and how it contradicts the (also disputed) idea that SODAM was Maria Pym (nee Trovaya).
The problem is that the claim Satannish was "above good and evil" never really made much sense- he was clearly willing to accept Strange's soul against Strange's will and helped his followers bring Surtur and Ymir to Earth. In Giant- Size Defenders 2, by Len Wein, Satannish's servant Asmodeus is unable to hurt Daimon because "the powers of darkness cannot harm one who was spawned in the lower depths"- the clear implication is that Satannish is one of the "powers of darkness". Later on, in the Six-Fingered Hand storyline, Satannish is explicitly described as a Hell Lord. So it was Wein and DeMatteis that decided Satannish was a Hell Lord- mostly Wein.
Speaking of the Crossing, I have a question for Fnord: Are you going to cover it? The reason I ask is that you've said that anything that would truly deserve a rating of "F" wouldn't be covered, and I just don't see how the crossing could be anything else. It makes the Clone Saga look like a well-planned, well-executed masterpiece, it's at least as damaging to Iron Man as a character as One More Day is to Spider-Man (and maybe more so, since it basically invalidates everything but the first couple years of the character's development), and it's so atrocious that it gets retconned almost out of existence.
Perhaps slightly off-topic, but only slightly, and I am curious.
Speaking of Satannish, I never understood how a being that seemed somewhat like a burning Zeus in its first appearance and was mentioned as being above good and evil ended up as another hell lord... with two faces to boot.
So Pepper is yet another Marvel woman who didn't start out with her iconic hair color? And as silly as that scene was she DID look very different from her previous "frumpy" appearances. Of course she'll get even more Gwynth Paltrow-ized later down the road.
In response to Michael's point, I think writers can just about get away with it if they emphasize that Stark tends to run his company in absentia because he's too busy running around as Iron Man or chasing the next Big Thing. But that's probably influenced by the movie version's personality, and is anachronistic when applied to older stories.
Part of the issue is that writers, especially in the older stories, tend to both misunderstand how corporate governance work -- like the whole bizarre Simon Gilbert plotline in the 1970s that makes no sense if Stark is the majority shareholder all along -- and that, prior to the 1980s or so, writers also had the view that the hero of the book should be "good" as they defined good. So Stark tended to take on the views of the writer, even if that didn't fit with much else about him.
Kaminski's take on Tony is that he's a manipulator at heart. Rhodey's hostility flows from the was Tony jerked him around with a faked death, giving him the reins at Stark International only to yank them away again.
In essence, many of the things that Denny O'Neil's Rhodey *irrationally* though Stark was doing to him, Kaminski's Stark *actually does to him*. It's worth noting that the Stark-Rhodes friendship never really recovers from all of this.
That misplaced thought balloon really cracked me up because by this point, the level of Rhodey's hostility towards Tony was basically undoing the work that Shaman did with Rhodey to "cleanse" him of his inner demons back in #195. Rhodey became more than just Tony's copter pilot and confidante during his run in the suit. I like them better as best friends who treat each others as equals or (at worst) competitors in the superhero biz. Granted, Tony can be a self-righteous prick, but an angry Rhodey just doesn't make up for it.
These were among the final issues I bought in real time since discovering the series in 1981 and becoming a regular reader in 1983. I liked seeing the supporting cast members from various eras being brought together much like they did around the previous two anniversary issues (#100 & #200) but I hated how Abe Zimmer put down the previous armors only to be proven right when Ultimo trashes most of them. It was painful to see the iconic Mark V brought down so fast when it should have endured under pressure as well as the Mark VII (Silver Centurion) and Mark VIII models.
My feelings about the book at the time were mostly frustrations at how Tony was designing a new suit every other couple of issues. I quit comics cold turkey in 1994 just before The Crossing happened and when I came back, things hadn't changed at all. With the movie era cementing Tony as a solid A-lister, I would guess that he's up to his 500th armor model by now, right? Geez.
The lead story does feel more like Meredith's origin as Kaze II rather than an intro for the Face Thief. What a waste of a perfectly good trading card. Also, it's a clear sign that the CCA was long asleep at the wheel by this time given that they let that whole "face off" sequence pass muster. Ugh.
I do like Meredith and how she's portrayed here, though. The art is nice. I might pick up this issue if I come across it in the near future.
I think the deal with Rhodey's story (and the O'Neil/Adams GL/GA run) has a lot to do with the creators' frustration at not being able to solve real world problems when they write about tackling fictional ones all the time. When you care enough about something, sooner or later your conscience will begin to influence your work. Whether or not that is good for the story itself is usually left up to the reader.
The board members selling nukes to AIM is just a symptom of an overused plot device- a former employee and/or lover of Tony turns against him. The problem with this is that womanizers and successful businessmen usually can read people better than the average person. And Tony usually can read people pretty well. But this kind of plot has been done so many times Tony looks like the worst judge of character in the world.
The backup story is weird- Clint talks about how he tried leading the AWC in the past tense- he says he went back to being a foot soldier. But Clint is leading the WCA from before War Machine joined until Avengers West Coast 98, which starts the story where Bobbi died. So either Clint is talking in the past tense while he's still leading the AWC or Rhodey is being pretty mean to someone whose wife just died.
Meredith McCall appears after this as a Master (Mistress?) of Silence in a Ghost Rider story in Marvel Comics Presents. But when she reappears in Iron Man after the Crossing, not only is she no longer a Master of Silence but she has a different husband than the one killed in this story.
"A man of wealth and taste" is a reference to the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil".
Remembering the Iron Man cartoon, I also remembered the AI; it probably is just a natural development of Tony to have something like that assisting him about now. It's stupid they went with "Jarvis" instead of HOMER, but my guess is they didn't want to keep around the concept of 'let's give Tony Stark a butler' so they just used his name for the AI to at least use something people would accept...and later to just use him for Vision.
Regarding why Hate-Monger is acceptable while Coldsteel and Zyklon aren't...
I am not quite fond of Hate-Monger, either - using Hitler in that way *does* feel tacky to me. The difference here is, I think, that Hate-Monger is conceptually tied to Hitler's real-life methods. In real life, Hitler was a hate-mongering dictator, in MU he is a hate-mongering super-villain. Like Mortificator said, this character can be seen as a statement on the dangers of hate and prejudice. Meanwhile, Coldsteel and Zyklon have no such ties to their real-life counterparts. Stalin was a dictator surrounded by a cult of personality, while Coldsteel is... a super-strong bruiser? Himmler was a shrewd politician with deadly ideas and a skilled manager who used his talents to build a machine of terror - while Zyklon is... a guy who flies around and shoots poisonous gas? There's no bigger point here - these very dark historical figures are turned into simple villains in the vein of Pyro or Blob. It just feels... wrong.
I know that the comics (and other media) have a tradition of appropriating real-life evil people into colourful villains - for example, Jack the Ripper has appeared in countless books, movies, comic books, even board games. This, too, could be considered questionable - after all, in truth the guy was an actual murderer not unlike Ted Bundy. The fact that he was active over 120 years ago softens that, though... It does not feel the same with Himmler and Stalin: it's just... too soon.
The net tells he me was a speedster. Apparently "Zyklon" means "cyclone" in German. Looking him up online I see he was designed to look like Siegfried from WONDER WOMAN #240, who was the Golden Age Flash in disguise. See http://www.amazonarchives.com/ww240.htm .
What is it with 90s comics and everyone having either ponytails or the Gideon look of shaved heads with ponytails?
It's not like this was actually a fashion thing at the time. Why was is it so prevalent in the Image guys' and the knockoff Image guys' work?
I picked up these issues last year in order to complete my collection of Stingray appearances but cringed at the covers. Diane Arliss Newell went from being eye candy during her Avengers appearances to your stereotypical, Image-ized Hot Babe in Undress by the time the 90s had hit the industry. I do have to admit that Roy Thomas adapted to the times quite flawlessly.
The way Stalin and Himmler were used as supervillains feels embarrassing, yet Hate-Monger is an aspect of Marvel history I like. Maybe that's contradictory, but thinking about it, there are some differences to me.
In his public identity, Hitler had very prominent appearances in Golden Age comics, and has figured into the stories of some major characters. He was almost the arch-antagonist of the first published era of the Marvel universe. When two Jewish World War II veterans gave him a costumed identity and pitted him against their heroes in the Silver Age, they tried to make the story thematically appropriate. FF21 was about how people anywhere can do great evil if they're ruled by hate. In contrast, Stalin and Himmler didn't have a major role in the comics, and were made into supervillains just for a brawl and some jokes.
Also, FWIW, when the X-Men arrive to where Vanisher is stuck, it looks like they're using the old Larry Trask Sentinel ship, which gets destroyed by Dark Phoenix, further justification for the earlier placement (I just noticed that working on my own review of the issue).
While the name of Zyklon may be bad, how is using Himmler and Stalin in this story any different than Simonson's cyborg Stalin, or the Hitler-as-Hate-Monger story done by two guys named Lieber and Kurtzberg?
"And don't feel too sorry for Hawkeye, a guy that couldn't even tell that his wife was replaced by a Skrull". It's explained that the Skrull had a copy of Bobbi's memories, and therefore could exactly mimic her body language, manner of speaking, etc.
Roy Thomas wasn't told that issue 101 would be his last issue until he started writing it, which is another reason why Mockingbird's death wasn't fully dealt with.
The elderly woman- Moira Brandon- is actually made an honorary Avenger in the story- something that fans sometimes reference.
The War Machine backup is the setup for a story in Marvel Comics Presents.
At the start of this story, Night Thrasher is considering killing the family's murderer, but he decides against it upon learning that the boy's parents were criminals. Huh? I mean, that might be a reason to reconsider if the parents were the only ones that died, but the kid died as well. I mean, there's legitimate arguments against committing murder to avenge the boy's death, but "his parents were criminals" isn't one.
Shit, no, i think someone was having fun with whoever scanned my digital copy. I've replaced that image with a scan from my hard copy.
Whoever did that did it to all the images of Diane in issue #43, and i avoided using those shots but missed that one. She's barely wearing anything anyway, so they might have been making a point or were just taking advantage of it.
Jim McCann's explanation about Bobbi's corpse with the later Skrull reveal is that just a second after the panel where we see "Bobbi" die in Clint's arms, the corpse turns to ash--that as soon as she died, the magic of the hellfire incinerated her. That's why no one discovered at the time she was a Skrull; there was no corpse left. And since the scene immediately cuts to the funeral, at the headstone with no body, there is nothing on-panel to contradict it. So that's ONE upside to the rushed way Bobbi's death was handled--it provided a clean way to slip that retcon in there and bring Bobbi back by a writer who wanted to use her right!
Getting back to this story--I had to laugh at the scene when USAgent is getting out of his hospital bed and tells Bobbi to avert her eyes so she doesn't see him naked. This is the same guy who deliberately flashed her his bare butt the last time he was in the hospital! But I guess now that she and Clint were officially back together, that changed the rules for him. I just thought that was interesting, for what it says about Walker's character and his thinking on such things.
Mockingbird has always been one of my favourites, so I was disappointed to see her killed off--but not surprised. When they announced that an Avenger was going to die in the story, you just KNEW it was going to be Bobbi. There was no chance of it being anyone else.
Roy Thomas rarely did well by her character anyway. With the likes of Gruenwald and Englehart she was a strong, smart lady with a distinct personality and sense of humour. The AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT book had her and Clint resolve their differences and repair their marriage. Then Thomas takes over WCA and suddenly she and Clint are separated again with no explanation and Bobbi is reduced to just another costumed athlete and a nearly constant pissed-off attitude. It improved a bit when he finally had Bobbi and Clint get back together--but since he only did it to make it more dramatic when he killed Bobbi off, it was too little, too late.
I agree completely with Fnord that Bobbi's death and funeral were horribly handled. I appreciated that they at least showed Tigra, Miguel and Cap showing up for the funeral--but there had better have been a LOT of other people in attendance that weren't shown on-panel. Maybe some of the space that went to the back-up features could have been better spent showing the funeral in more detail, and having the characters honour Bobbi (at least ONE of the back-ups was a Clint/Bobbi story, so that's something).
I did appreciate that this gave Silhouette a bit more panel time and some personal storyline. She was always one of my favourite Warriors, but she rarely got much time in the spotlight in the main NEW WARRIORS book.
Between his build and those red eyes, in the scan where he is naked one could easily mistake Gun Runner for Wonder Man with a bad haircut (which is pretty plausible, given some of the ones Simon has had over the years).
In the next scan Gale describes him as being 'almost naked' when she found him. Unless she's counting the elastics or whatever they are holding his hair into shape as clothing, I'm not sure why she's giving him the credit of 'almost'. lol
(Incidentally, when I opened the page Bob's comment wasn't up and I never reloaded it, so I could surmise from Andrew's comment that "Zyklon" had some importance of its own that would make it offensive but I didn't know what it was.)
When this series started, my favorite aspect of it was Hawkeye and Mockingbird's marriage. They met and got married in a whirlwind miniseries, which was perfectly in character for Hawkeye, and it just made Mockingbird that much more appealing that she was able to appreciate what a goofball he is. And then they went and had her get raped by a ghost cowboy or whatever, and the whole stupid falling out between the two of them when Hawkeye uncharacteristically takes the ghost cowboy's side, basically...it would have been a gross and inappropriate story even if I wasn't invested in that couple. They never came back for me, even when they finally got back together...the magic was gone. And then they go and kill her off without much fanfare.
Basically this whole series started great and turned into a huge disappointment. It's a product of the era, I guess.
Ah, because it's depicted poorly over some awkward splash panels. More and more i find myself not including scans of scenes because they're like stretched out over two pages in some weirdly laid out splashes.
Yeah, it's tacky. Calling a character Zyklon is just offensive no matter how you look at it. Lizzie Borden was probably innocent, and is only remembered because of the poem. Stalin almost works -- the guy did name himself "steel Lenin" after all -- but that's the best I can say about it.
#42 was my first issue of a Namor or Sub-Mariner series. I remember wondering if Dorcas was the same guy who piloted the Mech. Taco in the Avengers arcade game (which is an octopus, by the way, not a food item). I wrote him off as a half-assed Doc Ock regardless, though Orka made a positive impression.
Marvel UK's really diversifying. Their Pumping Iron imprint just gave us Die-Cut, a genetically-engineered alien cyborg, and now the wildly different Gene Pool imprint gives us Gun Runner, a genetically-engineered alien cyborg.
I'd love to hear other people's opinions on the use of the historical villains here in this story.
For me, it's tacky. I understand that real-life villains tend to appear in comics, but it's one thing if you use people like Lucretia Borgia, who lived centuries ago. But using Himmler and Stalin? These aren't just some people from a history book, these were real-world politicians whose actions' effects are still remembered (or, in some respects, even lasting) in our lifetimes. Turning them into comic book supervillains seems really disrespectful. Especially villains who are, essentially, bruisers. Seriously, Stalin - a cruel dictator - becomes an evil strong guy? Really, Thomas? That's how you use a person like that?
Also, from the purely factual point of view, this selection of villains doesn't make quite sense. Really - Stalin, Himmler, Borgia (let's say that the MU version of her did kill people) and... Lizzie Borden? What's so special about her..?
I like that you're writing sentences like "That's Tantrum above, and he also confronts Impulse", as if I'm supposed to remember who those people are :P I applaud Nieceza for introducing new characters rather than just relying on the established stable of Marvel baddies, but the characters he introduces in New Warriors and its spin offs... I see them, I forget about them, next issue introduces new ones, and then I forget about those as well, until I stumble upon their entries on the "Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe" website years later. Even though some of them have quite neat designs, they really don't stick in my mind.
@Clutch: Good points about how well Spider-Man and the Beast go together. I enjoyed the times that the two co-starred in Marvel Team-Up (which I read when they were reprinted in Marvel Tales in the early 1990s) and Erik Larsen's Spidey / Beast story in Spider-Man #15 is a favorite of mine. I never read The Mutant Agenda, but if I ever come across the trade paperback for sale at a discount maybe I'll get it.
Is this really the only appearance of Zyklon/Himmler in your project? You'd think that with the Golden Age obsession of certain writers every member of the Nazi high command would've put in at least a few cameo appearances...
I really liked the bar sequence. Steven Grant's great strength has always been sharp, witty dialogue and he handles Macendale as the badass mercenary he should have been, albeit an unlucky one at that.
The banter between Spidey and the Beast is also spot on. I've always thought of them as kindred spirits. Both are super smart, tech-savvy, and have been viewed as social outcasts due to their powers and/or appearance. It makes perfect sense for them to work well together, in many ways more so than Spidey and someone like the Human Torch. I've never really understood the connection there aside from Stan pairing the two due to them being similar in age.
But I digress. This looks like a nice read to pick up and one of the better Spidey tales to come out of the grittier 90s era.
The 90's Marvel cartoons were almost entirely based on plots lifted from the comics, albeit rewritten to be more concise and with some elements shifted around (i.e. Bishop taking the place of Kitty Pryde in DoFP).
I think as a reader you could almost sneak in a fan-fix for the adamantium unbonding: bonding the adamantium to Wolverine in the first place was meant to be tricky, and I think we see later, maybe in Wolverine 100, that the healing factor fights against it. So you could say that Wolverine's body has been trying and failing to expel the admantium all along, and Magneto's "tug" provided the tipping point, combining with the healing factor to undo the bonding. On this reading, even though Mags intended to pull out the metal, he might not have expected it to happen the way it did.
This book has a good premise, but I suspect it's heavily inspired by Friday the 13th: The Series, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th:_The_Series , which has a trio of occult investigators trying to "catch 'me all"--in that case, not Darkhold pages (or Pokémon), but cursed antiques.
Re: Magneto sinking the sub-in X-Men 274, Claremont has Magneto reveal that when she sank the sub, he was thinking "How dare they defy me, these Russians whose countrymen let my daughter burn to death" and in X-Men 1, Magneto admits that when he sank the sub, he thought of the sailors as pawns instead of men. So Claremont clearly intended us not to like Magneto sinking the sub.
And to add to FF3's point about governments conspiring against Magneto, part of it is that Mags is more likely to invoke sympathy among fellow mutants (or those sympathetic to the "downtrodden") than, say a Dr Doom or a Red Skull (it was one of the factors that made his appearance in Acts of Vengeance stick out like a sore thumb) Not to mentions Max's raw power, which wou,d freak people in the Marvel U more than even the most technologically advamced gizmo-weilding so-and-so.
Also the "revelation" that Tempo doesn't actually distort tone is an error because previously any time she used her powers, her teammates would be physically affected (ie feeling "tired" if Tempo was speeding up the area around her team.)
I knew nothing about this series and never imagined that the animated version wasn't an original storyline. I even thought Herbert Landon was created specifically for the show! Weird how he became a recurring character there.
Woah, I remember the animated version of this too. It's interesting to see the stories it was adapted from and how they differ according to their format.
I have to wonder if anyone on Earth bought the "groundbreaking" hype Marvel's editorial was trying to put over. Even if a person's a fan of both the comic & strip, this kind of event just means that instead of getting two stories to read, you get one story told twice.
Hey, you're right! This was a plot of one of the 90s Spider-Man cartoon episodes. Although in the cartoon, the story involved also the rest of the X-Men and it was tied into the longer storyline of Spider-Man mutating into a monster.
BTW. One of my friends watched that episode and it was his first exposure to the X-Men. He didn't like them :(
I remember the Spiderman TAS arc and it started to feel familiar when you mentioned the Beast here. It's not bad as an introduction to those who don't know about the X-Men I admit; but then again we had the X-Men animated series running alongside Spiderman TAS so...
A bit surprised little is mentioned of the Englehart Beast story in the comic, though.
I neglected to include the writing credits for the third story. It's actually by Joey Cavalieri, not Mackie. That said, Mackie provides us with similar tombs under the Cypress Hill cemetary during the Road to Vengeance storyline. So your point still stands. ;-)
I was actually thinking of 150 myself. I don't know, a couple hundred deaths is bad and all, but on the scope of global war it's nothing, really -- and he only does it after he's attacked, after he warns the USSR, and he apologizes to the crew before he kills them. And he intentionally keeps the volcanic eruptions under control until the city can be evacuated -- which seems preposterous, but these are comic books.
We could argue whether he succeeds in being honorable: his emotional instability, especially his rage, are clearly his tragic flaw. But I think he's at least always trying to be measured (at least after the Silver Age).
"I've always thought that the heart of Magneto's code of honor involves only causing the minimum amount of harm to defeat his enemies and achieve his goals"
I'm not sure that's entirely accurate -
From Uncanny X-Men 150 -
"and Magneto sinks the sub, killing the entire crew."
"He also raises a volcano in the USSR."
If he wanted to cause minimum damage, he could have easily raised the sub out of the water and opened it like a can of sardines, ejecting all the people.
Just my opinion.
I like him as a villain. However, he should never have been trusted with the care of the New Mutants or running the school.
Nitpick: I think you mean bishonen rather than yaoi. Bishonen refers generally to the androgynous aesthetic often found in romance manga; yaoi is specifically gay . Though, yaoi is often also bishonen, it doesn't have to be.
It also seems totally in character to me for Magneto to go to the trouble of de-bonding Wolverine's skeleton, rather than just ripping the whole thing out, for two reasons.
First, I've always thought that the heart of Magneto's code of honor involves only causing the minimum amount of harm to defeat his enemies and achieve his goals, especially to mutants. Second, Magneto loves showing off. This tactic feeds into both those drives. Wolverine might (and, in fact did) survive the debonding, and it's a lot more impressive than just pulling out his bones.
I don't think it's that strange to imagine that the governments of the world had worked to coordinate the Magneto Protocols but didn't have a similar level of cooperation for other villains. To my mind, among Marvel villains only Dr. Doom really represents the same kind of consistent, publicly known geopolitical threat that Magneto does, and Doom, having Latveria, is part of the international order rather than only being an enemy of it.
Other villains that present a global threat tend to move in the shadows (Loki, Masters of Evil, Hydra), or are just so alien that world governments kind of just have to leave them to the Fantastic Four or the Avengers (Kang, Thanos, Galactus, Skrulls, Kree, etc).
And mutants are irrationally hated and feared. And Professor X is an expert diplomat and might have exerted psychic influence to get it done. I can see a lot of different ways to justify it.
Never heard of this. It looks interesting, and, yeah, a whole lot like Vertigo. That panel of Dr. Strange beheading vampires by the dozen totally looks like something I'd expect to see in a Neil Gaiman book (and, as it happens, in 1602, Strange being beheaded himself is a major plot point).
What really sticks out to me here, though, is using Spitfire of all people. With her white hair, in a book with Strange, she could easily be mistaken for Clea. When I was paging through the images, I certainly made that mistake at first.
I don't know if fnord's no-post-Secret-Wars rule applies to continuity inserts published after that point, but I would guess it's off-limits, though I'm shocked that Marvel would do any revisiting of its past in 2016.
Not a great payout for years of teasing, but I guess it is an attempt at an origin for the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider. Sloppy and flawed as heck, but I can't claim to have expected anything better, nor to have ever cared for Danny Ketch in the first place.
Still, I can't help but notice that there seems to be a particularly glaring inconsistency, or probably just sloppiness, regarding the number of pieces of the medallion.
There seem to be exactly three - Danny's, Vengeance's and Johnny's (the last one apparently working strictly behind the scenes up to this point). Yet the Blood, whose whole reason for being is to protect those pieces, does not seem to be aware of that basic piece of info until this storyline.
Also, how is it that there is (as we will later learn) a whole tradition of various generations of Ghost Riders, but not of duos or trios operating at the same time? As noted above by Morgan Wick, it is not even clear whether the Blood wants to keep the fragments together or apart from each other nor from their hosts; their actions and claims, sporadic and vague as they are, still manage to be all over the place.
Speaking of Avengers, here's one more possibility for you to look into in the future:
AVENGERS: FOUR TPB
Written by MARK WAID Penciled by BARRY KITSON Cover by BARRY KITSON The Old Order Changeth — more than you ever suspected! For the first time ever, learn what really happened all those years ago when the founding Avengers turned over their membership to a set of new recruits. Three reformed super villains — Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch — join the recently thawed Captain America as a new group of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes takes shape! But with his team labeled “The Mighty Pretenders” by an unforgiving public, how can Steve Rogers revive the Avengers’ reputation when they face an unbeatable foe? Perhaps he has an ace up his sleeve — one you’ve never seen before! It’s a new story of Cap’s Kooky Quartet (should that be Quintet?) that has direct ramifications for the Avengers of today! Collecting AVENGERS (2016) #1.1-5.1. 112 PGS./Rated T+ …$15.99
For the sake of completeness, Avengers: The Origin is apparently a 2010 prequel miniseries to the Earth's Mightiest Heroes series expanding on Avengers #1.
For the sake of "whenever you start emphasizing back issues more again", since D09 and Ataru have been alerting you to the Marvel Monsters and Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu omnibuses, Volume 3 of the Master of Kung-Fu omnibus comes out in March and reprints #71-101 (and What If #16), of which you only have four issues, as opposed to the earlier volumes with only a few issues you don't have (the Giant-Sizes in volume 1 and #64-70 in volume 2). Don't know if that's as much of a focus for you as Deadly Hands is with the Sons of the Tiger, but there it is.
Johnny Blaze had a pretty strong origin, especially once Roger Stern cleaned it up in issue 68 of the first volume. I totally agree that the medallion stuff clashes terribly with the original's Faustian bargain, as well as not making much sense in and of itself. (and I'm criticizing Mackie here, not D09's admirable attempt at fitting the backstories together)
Something I'm mostly fine with is giving Johnny some younger half-siblings; his birth mother's life after she left hadn't been elaborated on. But Danny Ketch is a dull character, almost indistinguishable to me from Chris Powell or Rick Sheridan, so making him part of Johnny's family isn't compelling.
On the positive side, I like this redesign of Zarathos' true form much better than the versions from GR76 or 77.
The way you describe it, it almost seems like they should have just made Ghost Rider a single biweekly book with Blaze being added to the cast, even though there are some thematic differences to Spirits of Vengeance with the focus on the circus crew.
If the medallion pieces should never be brought together and even bringing two of them together is a step too far, why the hell were all the pieces divvied up among pairs of siblings?!? It would seem to be effectively cutting the number of vectors that would need to be brought together nearly in half! AND WHY ARE THEY ALL IN AMERICA?!? All in the same city even, I think! God, these Blood doofuses are complete idiots!
At this point in the timeline I'd like to put forth the theory that Johnny Blaze always had the "potential" to become a Ghost Rider like Danny and Barbara Ketch and possibly hundreds of other candidates before them and that the Medallion of Power is only one such method to becoming a Spirit of Vengeance. I would also like to theorize that Mephisto hijacked both Johnny and Zarathos (the Native American Demon-God bit is probably his day job so to speak while his hunting the Medallion of Power was most likely a hobby to get more power for himself) in order to create his own pet Ghost Rider for his own dirty work. Finally I get the feeling that the reason that Zarathos got out of his crystal prison is that the Medallion pieces were in one location for the first time since they were separated and that, coupled with the fact that one of the Medallion piece holders was his former vessel, was able to transfer enough energy to him to manifest back on Earth long enough to finally try and get the Medallion for his own purposes.
This is yet another storyline from the 1990s that I own, and I know that I've read it, but, except for the ending where Ravonna stabs Kang in the back, I don't remember a single thing about this miniseries.
I know you don't track Conan appearances in his own era, but I think it's worthwhile to shout out the Conan appearance in case people are using the search function.
(If the search indexes comments, this comment can serve that role ;) )
Brian Cronin did a CBR that reveals that Jean WAS always supposed to lose her telepathy in X-Factor: http://www.cbr.com/jean-grey-x-factor-telepathy-bob-layton/
According to Layton, "In my view of the conventions used in writing comics (and the laundry list of standard abilities), a telepath would be nearly impossible to defeat." So apparently I started an urban legend that wasn't true. Mea culpa, maxima mea culpa.
I wonder if the Siminsons intended for Infectia to be tied into the Eternals' mythos. The Dreaming Celestial story that Walt S. does in FF is one indication' he and Louise were going to write an earlier story with Havok, Polaris, and the Dreaming Celestial around '85 or '86, before Havok joined the X-Men. Was Infectia's geneticist father studying Eternals/Deviants, or maybe one himself? Infectia destabilizes her victims' genes, turning them into monsters, which has a certain parallel to the Deviants and their monstrous instability. The Eternals/Deviants/Celestials stuff could explain Infectia's interest in Ship.
All pure speculation, but I know the Simonsons like to play with the Eternals mythos.
Random's powers also shift around: he started out with Random power that he needs" abilities but turns into a kind of organic T-1000 and nothing else starting around this time. PAD liked characters with "manifest any power set" abilities: the Wild Man in Hulk a few years down the line and the Isolationist in his second X-Factor run much later are variations on the themes. (I guess you could say Piecemeal is, too.)
DeMatteis does some ok issues. You'll think they're Alan Moore-quality once you get to the Mackie run after this!
In X-Factor 102-105, we learn that Malice took control of a government official and hired Random to attack Polaris. I think the most likely explanation is that Dark Beast hired Random to get close to Alex and Malice hired him to attack Polaris, so he decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I remember being completely confused about the ending. There's a scene at the end fnord didn't post where Kang and Ravonna seem to be together in the early 20th century, suggesting Kang has recovered and they've reconciled... or not? And are there two Tempuses- one created by Kang and another by Immortus? Or only one?
In 1996 (during Onslaught) Random is implied to have been working for Dark Beast here (and in all his appearances in X-Factor) but I think in between then and now we get a different explanation of his motives. I suppose he could be working for two groups. He's a complex guy.
"A minor note about the cover dates. Issue #4's cover says Dec, but also says that the issues was "long awaited" and the indicia says January 1994. That makes it seem like issue #4 was late. However, Mike's Amazing World of Comics shows that the issues came out about a month apart, so i guess that wasn't the case. But i still wanted to note the cover vs. indicia dates."
Mike's Amazing World of Comics sometimes has the "intended" ship dates, not the ship dates when it actually shipped. If you want to find out what date it actually shipped, check out the Bullpen Bulletins page and look at what books are shipping this week. Sometimes it's a week behind but if you compare those books to the dates those books were expected to ship, you can find out approximately when it really shipped.
There's one problem with placing this after Thunderstrike 2-3- Eric says in issue 1 that he doesn't know why but he doesn't like Bobby Steele. After the events of Thunderstrike 2-3, Eric would have some very good reasons to hate Bobby Steele.
@J-Rod: Oh, I won't argue that some of the tie-ins are badly done, especially most of the X-ones. But others are done much better (Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Thor, Avengers), and I'm a fan of the main series.
@Thanos6: I must admit to being intrigued by it despite what I've read, but I'd have to buy a bunch of stuff to get it. Ultimately, though, regardless of the quality of the event, the three UXM tie-ins feel very disjointed, especially this one.
@J-Rod: I'm going to go against consensus opinion here and say that Secret Wars II is actually quite good, *if you realize what you're getting into.* Namely, it's an examination of the possibilities and limitations of being God.
Guice is definitely not the problem with this run (really, more of a walk, isn't it? Other than Len Wein leaving X-Men after Giant-Size, I'm having difficulty thinking of an ongoing that lost both its launch creators more quickly). Layton is the problem. I like to think that the flaws in the premise were intentional, but they took too long to deal with them. And that problem is compounded with trying way too hard to establish a retro status quo (we get Vera back from forgettable-character limbo and Beast loses his fur....why, exactly? Just because it resembled Roy Thomas' X-Men?) and just some rather boring early stories (especially, ugh, that annual). I'm glad Layton left early, but I wouldn't have minded more Guice. I think he conveys emotion quite well here.
I enjoyed this fight issue. After a string of issues of inconsistent (at best) quality, and simultaneously the very boring Layton X-Factor, this issue, the subsequent three issues, and X-Factor 6-8 seem to be both restoring some quality and good sense to the two titles while also setting up nicely for Mutant Massacre. I don't know if I read this as a kid after buying it as the final issue of XMC, but on my recent reading, it felt like a breath of fresh air after two Secret Wars II tie-ins (one of which I thought was absolutely terrible), a forgettable if almost fun Nightcrawler story, and a BWS Wolverine story I also found quite forgettable. Add to this some interesting developments for both the Hellfire Club and Nimrod in the next arc, plus the first Apocalypse, dealing with some conceptual problems, and an X-Factor/Freedom Force clash, and I feel like this was a few months of righting the ship and returning to form for both books, which now seem ready to exist in the same story in MM, even if they don't actually meet.
When I reread this a couple of months ago (though I don't know if I ever got around to actually reading it as a kid buying X-Men Classic), it totally destroyed Rachel's character for me. She's so out of line here that I have a hard time believing she could be seen as anything but a new Dark Phoenix. Is she treated a little unfairly, by Rogue and others and particularly Wolverine? Yeah, but I can't really blame them for doing so after this. This is to say nothing of the fact that the Shi'ar absolutely should have had a reckoning for her after this. (I mean, I guess there WAS a reckoning for Rachel decades later in End of Greys, but IIRC it doesn't reference this attempted destruction of the universe even obliquely and doesn't seem aware it even happened, despite also being written by Claremont. Or maybe I'm wrong.)
After rereading this issue, I wasn't sorry to see her leave the team a few issues later. Rachel is too dangerous.
I don't remember reading this when I was buying X-Men Classic as a kid, even though I had it. Maybe it was that it was the next-to-last issue and I never really read it, maybe it was just forgettable. I read (or reread) it a couple of months ago, and I thought it was okay, but not really worthy of any further thought either way. I'm not a fan of BWS's art, but I can forgive a one-off issue with art I don't like (or the third in a sporadic string of such issues, though I'm OK with his work in Lifedeath I, which seems to work better with his style). I don't care much for Power Pack and definitely think Katie is out of place here, though others are right to comment about the charm of her pairing with Wolverine. As for the Lady Deathstrike thing, I guess it's just the benefit of years of external context, because, of course, I know who she is now, and I guess I wasn't really thinking about how I "shouldn't" if I were reading only this title without the outside knowledge.
Still an unremarkable issue. I think most of 202-205 is unremarkable (I guess the battle in 202 is fun, but 203 destroys it for me).
Maybe it's just the limitations of my current project (which, in part, is defined by the current state of my collection). I'm not doing Secret Wars II (it would take a lot of acquisitions, as literally the only pieces I have are the X-Men and Avengers tie-ins, plus I've always heard it was generally not worth reading). And I'm not adding New Mutants until after Inferno, largely because I would have to add a LOT to my collection (I really only have a few isolated issues and annuals). Maybe with all the context, I'd love this one. But in my current context, as an installment in the UXM series, 196 fails spectacularly, IMO. I can move past it (and I have; currently rereading Mutant Massacre after a bit of a break during Bob Layton's boring issues of X-Factor), but man, this issue left me scratching my head. No wonder Claremont didn't like being swept up in crossover events.
I must be in the minority. I reread this issue (having first read it over 20 years ago when the X-Men Classic version was newly released, as I was a kid and rather new to comics then) a couple of months ago as part of a long '80s/'90s X-Men reading project...and I really didn't enjoy this issue. I have rose-colored memories of the X-Men Classic run I read as a kid (starting at XMC 85/UXM 181 and ending with XMC's final issue, 110/UXM 206), but when I got to that run of issues again recently, I was kind of taken aback at how disjointed so many of them feel. Overall, the quality is inconsistent and there's a lot of weird stuff going on. And I think this issue might be my least-favorite of the entire run, because it really doesn't continue at all from the previous issue and I had a lot of trouble understanding it because I didn't have the issues of New Mutants and Secret Wars II that came in between 195 and 196. In short, I felt it had way too many new story elements introduced in other titles.
I bought the first (and only the first) issue of this and hated it. I don't even remember why I bought it, to be honest, since I was not a fan of Pat Oliffe's previous work on Thor at that time. I appreciate it more now, though. Oliffe's art, I mean, not this turd burger mini.
One thing I'll say about this is at least it didn't mislead people with the cover. The goofy alien is on full display, drawn by Lieber and Al Milgrom to boot. A lot of times they would have someone like John Byrne or Mike Zeck draw some pin-up action shot for the cover while the inside art is cruddy stuff drawn by some kid trying to break into the business or some old pro whose better days are behind him.
"#176-177 - Daredevil has been having trouble with his radar sense and it's getting worse. He decides to seek out his old mentor, Stick. Elektra also has the same idea. And Turk has acquired the MAULER armor from Cord Industries. There's a comical scene where Daredevil, Elektra, Heather Glenn, and Turk all show up at a local stool pigeon's place one by one, each demanding to know where to find Stick."
Daredevil has a line in 243 about his radar sense being "not nearly as strong as it once was" - is that a reference to some current plot point in Daredevil's comic? I don't remember that being a thing.
I agree with Omar that it's a shame what was done with Mojo later... My favourite Mojo story is the X-Men / New Mutants that introduces Longshot to the X-books. It's a story that starts comedic, but eventually turns into something quite scary. And that's the way I like it: Mojo should be about grotesque evil, minds and bodies being warped etc. Not about TV entertainment parodies.
Oh, and I absolutely love Spiral. She's an amazing character.
"considering we'll learn that Roth is gay, his exaggerated body language in these panels is a little suspect"
Zeck's introduction of Roderick Kingsley/Hobgoblin is even worse for this.
(Not necessarily totally Zeck's fault - I guess part of the issue is that Marvel didn't like to clearly state that characters were gay, so the artists tended to do caricatures to try and state what the script wasn't, as apparently occurred with Starr Saxon/Machinesmith. Though Stern hadn't intended for Kingsley to be gay or effeminate so that's a different matter.)
To build on Andrew's comment, there's an implied feedback loop built into Mojo's need for worship as a power source: his power also warps and destroys life. So Mojo gathers worshippers, which twists reality and distorts or destroys independent life, which would make it easier for him to gain worshippers since reality itself is turning people into twisted devotees of Mojo.
Nocenti has definitely borrowed form Kirby here: the "no free will = anti-life" idea from his Fourth World comics is taken up here and made very, very literal, in that Mojo literally destroys life by his very presence.
It's a shame that Claremont turned Mojo into a comedy villain used mostly to take potshots at the entertainment industry and editorial. Nocenti seems to be going for a much darker commentary that links organized religion, entertainment culture and personal autonomy, which is undermined (like so much of her work) by a hypercompressed version of stream-of-consciousness.
(Seriously, imagine some of Nocenti's thought and dialogue bubbles split across multiple panels rather than run all together in a single word balloon or thought bubble, and it all makes much more sense. Hence fnord12's "crammed in" comment.)
I feel sorry that Vera had to be written out of the X-universe with this. She was there from early on and it just is nice to get a mousy nerdy girl for a superhero for once, especially someone like Hank. What happened in early X-Factor really just felt like it did too much to make her someone else and while she isn't how she was here in this final appearance, at least she gets to leave with her dignity.
You seem to be treating this as though it can be any amount of time after last issue, as long as Dr. Strange has been busy enough not to think about it, but your first scan says it's been "twenty-four hours" since Clea left. Can Defenders #106-115 all be squeezed into that twenty-four hours?
Another major mystery: Locus suddenly changing her ethnicity in subsequent apperances.
That being said, I really liked this arc. This configuration of the MLF was a lot more interesting than the previous version. (Imagine, the MLF with something resembling a personality!) Plus, this does go well with the previous attempt at characterization for Tempo.
I mentioned this in a previous entry, but keep in mind that there's quite a bit linking this to Dani's last appearance. Not only does it kinda match Dani's claim of "being cast out from heaven" but her costume (and her...figure) is pretty similar to the MCP story as well.
Nah, the turtles were in another part of the sewers and didn't get anything until the crap that made Matt Murdock blind.
Then again, Hank does have a reputation as Ant-Man early on after he finally does become a hero...then again so does Johnny Storm with his solo adventures but at least he was known to be on a superhero team...and Hank was just some crazy guy with the ability to shrink things. (and it isn't like he's the only one with "super-villain aspirations" with his super-science considering Reed Richards or Tony Stark in the early days)
@Walter Lawson: I've searched about the internet, but haven't been able to locate any explanations by Nicieza concerning his intentions for Reignfire. The only thing I came across was this unverified statement on Wikipedia: "Originally, Fabian Nicieza had meant for Reignfire to be a time traveling, slightly older, more mentally disturbed version of Sunspot."
Has FabNic said what he had in mind for Reignfire? Was he Sunspot after being sent to Cable's future timeline, or Sunspot after a while in the Age of Apocalypse? I believe Locus is at some point hinted to have visited the AoA timeline.
I won't say 'ending of an era,' but it does feel like 'moving onto the next chapter.' This issue was Shooter, Byrne and Claremont at their arguable worst. Byrne has an excuse because he's already been hired to write Superman, but from the editorial interference at both ends of Dark Phoenix, it feels like something important has happened.
I agree that Sam Buchanan appears somewhat dense for being in denial about the existence of the supernatural after repeatedly seeing it, but at least he argues that they're fighting mutants or other beings with super-powers. In other words, he's acknowledging the existence of very weird stuff; he just believes that there has to be a scientific explanation for everything he sees. That's at least somewhat less moronic than the character of Doctor Thirteen from DC Comics, a guy who every single time he encountered the supernatural wrote it off as the work of con artists. He also thought that Superman and everyone else with superpowers in the DC universe was a hoax. That guy makes Sam Buchanan look reasonable by comparison.
At the very least, even if we-the-readers did all collectively dream it, since fnord needs to tag someone as appearing in this issue, it makes more sense for it to be Galactus, who's at the outermost layer of dreams-within-dreams, than Spider-Man at the innermost.
Looking up Rogue's appearances before joining the X-Men and thinking freely:
I agree that Carol-as-Binary was Claremont's way of getting another Phoenix-level character, and probably restitution for what other writers put *his* character through. Overall, he didn't have too many plots that were firmly set in stone, and given all the genre-bending he'd already put the title through, adding Ms. Marvel to the X-Men, short-term or otherwise, probably made sense.
And Rogue is a very fluid character in her early appearances. She becomes the character we know immediately after joining the team. The Rogue in the Wolvie's Wedding 2-parter is basically the same Rogue who went through the Seige 70-some issues later. I think Claremont probably brought her onto the team as a way of keeping Carol/Ms. Marvel and the obvious tension that would cause with Binary, and then Binary simply stopped appearing. Early on, there was some business with Michael Rossi, and then Storm lost her powers and Rogue was simply 'one of the team.'
But looking at the scans of her earlier appearances, she's all over the map. In "Avengers" Annual 10, she's kept Cap and Thor's powers a lot longer than she ever would again. She thinks that she can't "lose control again" with Cap like she did with Carol, which implies that she ever had control, which immediately vanished in later appearances.
Mark, as far as I can tell, this is Riley's only credit. As fnord notes, the unpublished SPOTLIGHT #12 story finally appeared in (aptly) MARVEL SUPER-HEROES Vol. 2 #3 (Fall 1990), but Nasser only drew the unused cover; the interior art was by Jerry Bingham.
@Archie - Good call. I'm not usually a fan of continuity inserts but that does sound like a fun "retro Marvel monsters" comic someone should do.
Pym pours shrinking & growing formulae down the sewer, hijinks ensue. Especially with what's down in Marvel sewers: could have giant insects, frogs, rats, alligators & maybe even a giant (or shrunk) Morlock or two roaming the city.
Maybe the rats and frogs are battling at the time, a generation before Thor meets them, and this time the frogs win because one of their crew becomes a giant?
Pym, distracted by getting back to work on other projects, doesn't hear the news for a while & then saves the day at the end, brewing a gas to return everything to their normal sizes. This little bit of heroism makes him wonder if there's mileage in this size-changing stuff after all.
I don't know how Bendis hasn't made an 8-part series exploring Pym's early instability with a retelling of this issue & its "Havoc In The Sewers!" aftermath already. (He hasn't, has he?)
Pietro doesn't have to be quasi-incestuous or even creepy and controlling to have been warning Wanda away from romancing the Vision. Given that he well remembers that the first time she used her powers, she nearly got *burnt at the stake*, it doesn't take an enormous amount of foresight to imagine what's going to happen in #113, just a little bit down the road.
Yes, he's being cynical and paranoid, but he's pretty much right. And I say this being 100% on Wanda's side (you can't let the bigots win, etc), but she's rather sheltered and naive here, IMO.
I don't know; given that #71 made such a big deal of the Black Knight becoming an *official* Avenger rather than just a hanger-on, and given that Cap had been such a stickler about inducting Natasha before (even leading Clint to briefly quit the team on her behalf), I think that her being formally inducted is a milestone of sorts, however transient it turns out to be.
But for me, the best part here is "Piper" felling Magneto with the Bad-Ass Vision line about "you should learn to count, madman. You are one Avenger short." A great climax and one of my favorite moments for ol' Vizh.
Jonathan, the reason that Maynard and the boys think they can take Thor is because the Thor they fought in Thor #147 was a semi-depowered Odinson, ol' Longhair not getting his full Asgardian mojo back until #150, IIRC. That's why he has to hitch a ride on Spider-Man's web in FF#73, for example.
So to the Circus, Thor's just another Daredevil-level foe, all puffed up with the "god" shtick, but not that different than their usual opponents. And heck, they've fought the Hulk! Compared to him, Thor's a nobody.
This is a serious mistake and hardly excuses the incredibly poor tactics noted in the review. But it's why "ah, Thor ain't so tough" isn't completely bonkers from the Circus's p.o.v. They're lucky they don't get slapped in the face by reality here, obviously.
To be fair, Arthur Douglas was dead long before Moondragon killed Drax. I believe it's Captain Marvel (v.1) #28 where we see the flashback of Thanos killing Mom and Pop Douglas simply because they witnessed his landing on Earth. And then Mentor/A'Lars finds little Heather stumbling out of the wreck and takes her to Titan, and later creates Drax out of the soil (no organs, so he can't be killed again) and gives him something of Arthur's soul, albeit we never really see Drax in much more than "Crush Thanos!" mode, that I recall.
The brain damage is entirely on Heather's tab, it's true, though.
Although I rather wish that Silhouette had gotten to make a "noble sacrifice" and get sucked into the vortex with Bad Granny, no matter how much fun seeing Dwayne finish things off with his Chekhov's Gun might have been. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be ableist, but seeing her fling herself around like an action hero when she's paralyzed from the waist down never really worked for me. Look at that "dramatic" shot of the Warriors and Future Warriors, with her hunched over her sticks.
A once-off character or even a recurring girlfriend role would have been fine. A full member of the team just strains my credibility on this issue to the breaking point. (I would say "pardon the pun", but it was a bullet, not Bane, that got her spine, so never mind.) So I'd rather have seen her take the dramatically-suitable exit ramp here. Oh, well.
I'd argue that the mystical plot shows impressive long-range planning, and I find it really cool that the "reason for the team" is not the cliched "We'll fight crimes the Avengers don't touch!" or even "Night Thrasher seeks the secrets of his past", but "these suckers have been played, and they're set up to be human sacrifices". I thought that was a very nice twist at the time.
Where it falls down, for me, is that the rest of the cast is so damn uninteresting and the names are so stupid. Fabes may be going for some pseudo-Asian mysticism here but "Smiling Tiger" and "Bloodstrike" and "Midnight's Fire" needed to be tossed back into the Supervillain Name-Generator until something better came along. And it doesn't help that we haven't seen any of the cast before this…if Left Hand had been lurking in the background every time we saw Midnight's Fire and Silhouette, it would have added layers of mystery to the story. If some of the "lost platoon" who had sold themselves for power were characters we'd seen before (Gideon, Walter Rosen, even Father Janes), it would make the pontification about moral dilemmas more on point for what is supposed to be (I take it) an examination of US soldiers using and disposing of Vietnamese women, abandoning the Bao Dui the moment they could get out of there.
But this isn't exactly "Miss Saigon" here…although imagining Chord busting into song has its pleasures, it's true.
One thing your review doesn't make clear- Sunspot is missing at the end of this story.
Marvel was making an effort to get it's books back on schedule at this time, so issue 27 came out 4 weeks late, but issue 28 came out three weeks later (only two weeks late) and issue 29 came two weeks after that (on time).
Don Lomax's presence here is very strange. Just before this, he was known for doing Gulf War and Vietnam-related war comics for independent publishers. He's most known, however,for doing hardcore porno comics all the way from sex tabloids like San Francisco Ball in the early 1970s to giant-boob magazines like Gent and D-Cup, which he was still doing at the same time as this book.
But it's also worth mentioning that the Zemos are mainly scientists and not really cut-out to be full-time masterminds. A story late in the first T-Bolts series makes this clear with a flashback where Heinrich is salvaging the android Human Torch for the Skull.
Given that GA comics tended to be episodic and not drag out plot threads across multiple issues (Or so that's my impression; not an expert on them), it probably didn't seem like a big deal to insert a new "old" enemy into Cap's backstory. Plus it's at least being done by Kirby and not some newcomer.
Helmut is an interesting character in that he's a try-hard. Instead of running a fiendish organization and doing normal, super-villain things like the Skull, he sulks around in his castle between grand schemes like invading the Mansion and then the Thunderbolts. Most of his dialogue and actions like destroying Cap's memorabilia reflect his wanna-be status.
Oh, and if the internet was around in the early 60's, I'm sure Lee and Kirby would have faced a lot more complaints about their new direction at Marvel.
Looking at the pics of Pete before and after this, I sort of wonder if somehow Kirby confused the Wizard with Pete and thus we get this weird composite Wizard/Pete hybrid that happens to be called "Paste Pot Pete". (it doesn't help that the next appearance he has no facial hair and is stocky again)
I used to think Kirby drew the Wizard in #5 too. But the Wizard didn't have a thin moustache in his early appearances, and usually had a goatee. The version of Pete on the cover of STRANGE TALES #104 looks just the version here: apparently thin, with a thin moustache.
If Zemo was 30-40 at the time of the events of SGT. FURY #8 he must be 50-60 here.
I think Helmut ultimately works better than Heinrich is because he actually had time to evolve and develop as a character as opposed to suddenly appearing as a plot device to create another villain to the level of the Red Skull, particularly with how the "Bucky dies" story changes so much as much as Cap's origin But that's an advantage of hindsight: Helmut was created in the 70s and while originally bizarre himself ("The Phoenix?"), had good writers to get him to the point of well known aspects like the Avengers Mansion assault and the Thunderbolts; Heinrich...was created by Lee and Kirby as an early Avengers villain to create some sort of "old foe" that wasn't the Skull once Cap was on the team.
Sorry, that first line should read "can't draw on the 'white holes' as a power source."
On a separate note, it's wort remembering that Rogue's first appearance portrays her powers and personality very differently than her later appearances in Uncanny. She's not a sympathetic character, there's no real sense that Carol's *personality* is any sort of influence on Rogue, and Rogue certainly doesn't seem to be any sort of "misled youth." She's mostly a device to write out Carol Danvers (again!) and make the Brotherhood powerful enough to fight the Avengers by taking out some of their heavy hitters.
And as to Carol, there's absolutely none of the "no emotional connections to her memories" idea that comes up when Claremont brings her back to remake her as Binary. Hell, she's *angry* at the Avengers' failure in that story, so clearly she feels betrayed by people she trusted and cared about. She knows that she "hated" the Avengers after Marcus died, and still feels some of that hate. That's emotional connection! No, Carol's lasting trauma in that story is that she'll "never regain all [her] memories." Oddly, Claremont essentially reversed the situation down the road: she had pretty much all of her memories, but none of the feelings associated with those memories. And Xavier notes that when he helped Carol recover these memories, he "shared her pain, her loss, her grief, her anger." Really, the whole "PTSD" metaphor does't work if we accept the later version.
Ms. Marvel still has the basic Binary powers, but for whatever reason she can draw on the "white holes" as a source, so her practical power level is much lower. She still absorbs various forms of energy to gain strength, flight, and energy projection powers.
The way she was written by Busiek and others in the 90s, Carol's basic personality is intact, but she doesn't have as much attachment to her old life because Rogue's powers somehow took away her "emotional connections" to those people and events. However, she has very detailed memories. There's a sequence in Avengers v.3 #6 where Carol very specifically remembers a trivial interaction with some random guard at Project: PEGASUS, and the Brian Reed Ms. Marvel series made a lot of hay out of Carol's past as an intelligence operative.
To a large extent, it works more as a metaphor for extreme psychological trauma than an actual mind-body split. That, plus a general lack of interest by post-Claremont writers in playing with Rogue having a set of Carol's memories and emotions mixed up with her own, meant that by the late 90s Carol was back to a version of her original personality and Rogue was more what we think of as her base personality.
Honestly, the whole Binary/Rogue-as-Carol thing feels like Claremont trying to get a) a new Phoenix-level character into the mix and b) getting to use 1970s-model Ms. Marvel one last time. Even Claremont pretty quickly puts Rogue back to her usual persona quickly enough.
Funny thing, it seems like a lot of Zemo stories try to make him a significant bad guy, but something's always off about it. (On an unrelated note, there's this great Marvel comic from the late 90's called Thunderbolts. Anyone who hasn't heard of it should check out the first issue. Yeah, no idea what made me think of it.)
Carol started losing her Binary level of power after Onslaught/Heroes Reborn/Heroes Return. It's explored when she decides to rejoin the Avengers in the Heroes Return era, Beast tests her power level, and Tony Stark notices she's developed a drinking problem.
"How dare Stan Lee and Jack Kirby ignore all of the appearances that Captain America and Bucky made in the late 1940s and in the mid 1950s! What gives them the right to retcon away all of those great stories? And to reveal that Bucky was killed by some lame loser we've never heard of who has a pink hood glued to his face, instead of Cap's arch enemy the Red Skull? Lee and Kirby are destroying Captain America! I am outraged! I am never buying another Marvel comic book again!" :P
I'm actually surprised it took Conway this long to give Tombstone actual superpowers. Before this arc, he was apparently in the same league as Kingpin, Ox from the Enforcers, and other "peak-human-strength" but supposedly non-super-powered villains who could somehow go fist-to-fist with Spidey who can bench 10 tons.
Hammerhead used Tombstone as a goon, but that was before Tombstone gained superpowers in Web 66-68, and in that arc, Tombstone turned against Hammerhead as well. But before that, Hammerhead teamed with the super-powered Chameleon, and hired Hobgoblin (Demo-possessed Macendale) as a hitman.
Which is kinda funny because Fantomex is basically Gambit + Weapon Plus stuff (yes, I know that Fantomex is actually based on Diabolik). And yet nevertheless Fantomex could almost be a parody of Gambit. Which makes it odd that they never really teamed up.
I remember being mildly excited at the prospect of Gambit getting a solo mini when this was first announced, then mostly disappointed by it - my thoughts were basically along the lines of "oh, this is just going to be ALL about that Guilds nonsense? Bleck".
I did rather enjoy FabNic's later Gambit solo series, which also played with that group of characters/setting, but in more of a supporting role, rather than constantly being the main focus of the narrative.
Oh, and it's kind of funny that right around the same time Nicieza is trying to put Liefeld's Externals nonsense to bed over in X-FORCE, Mackie is adding to it here with Candra. I think she's pretty much the only External to appear much at all between this and when the whole business is mercifully ended once and for all later in X-FORCE.
"Hey, Erik, remember a while back how you immobilized all my students in metal chairs, reduced them to psychological infancy, and left them to die beneath an active volcano? Good times. And just recently you sank a nuclear submarine with all hands on board? And then caused a volcano to erupt in the middle of a Russian city? Anyway, I hear you're all better now, so I'm just going to hand off my youngest, most vulnerable students to you. Actually, one's an alien, one was recently possessed by a spirit of pure evil, and one spent almost her whole childhood in Hell. Honestly, pretty much any one of them could go full-blown super-villain at any moment. Anyhoo, I'm going to go spend some time with my outer-space girlfriend. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. And no more volcanos, okay?"
Borrowing Black Cat's mask was probably worth a try, but it is difficult to imagine that it would do much to hide Peter's secret identity.
Black Cat herself is a difficult character to handle consistently in a supporting role for Peter. As a sometimes partner of Spider-Man with a public identity, she would be a natural lead to follow in order to find out Spider-Man's own secret id, so she can never be too close to Peter.
Her showing may be weak in this story, but let's face it, that is often the case. Here she at least shows a measure of a spine and a refusal to accept everything that Peter throws at her, without falling into the slutty or superficial personas so often attributed to her.
This was the issue that made me quit comics for a few years. I couldn't believe how low WEST COAST had sunk. It used to be one of my favorite titles, and I remember even my 18 year old self knew this issue was garbage.
Love the comments section here! By the way, about The Crossing I have mixed opinions. I agree it's not the best, but I will say it was totally exciting reading it. I had no idea what was going to come next.
I certainly like it more than most of you. I bought the Omnibus and it still holds up twenty years later. Definitely flawed, but still enjoyable reading.
Also Walter, regarding your earlier comment, I would agree that this storyline is what really pushed Maddie over the edge in terms of becoming evil. In that sense, it's one of Claremont's better long-term plots, since he'd have to figure out something to do with her from the moment Jean Grey's return was inevitable. One can argue that there might have been better options for Maddie, but this was the superhero genre at late-1980s Marvel Comics, so turning her evil and finally bringing back Dark Phoenix really was the best option, story-wise.
For good or bad, Maddie got an arc that showed her stumbling her way towards pure evil. She wakes up in a San Francisco hospital, she calls the few people she knows for help, the X-Men rescue her and get their first payback against the Marauders. Scott's brother has already joined the team after his life has fallen apart. They die and go to Australia, where Maddie does her best to be useful, including this one time where she flies planes for charity. Before she died, her last plea was that her estranged husband find their baby. She does her best to be useful to the X-Men since she has nothing else in her life.
Then Sy'm finds her, she hooks up with her husband's brother, she starts heading downhill rapidly and, because this is a late-80s Marvel superhero comic, we wind up with, well, you know how it ends.
Also, I doubt Claremont was going anywhere with Carol and the Shadow King, except in the sense that all his subplots wound up long-term and never-finished. It's entirely possible there might have been some sort of fusion between whatever happened to Carol after Magneto chose Rogue and the hallucination in Wolvie's head, but I am convinced that Wolvie's hallucinations were just that, hallucinations, products of a fevered brain foreshadowing Logan's death.
He obviously liked using Carol, which is why he rescued her from "Avengers" #200, but even that begs the question of why, with the exception of #182, Carol was so inactive in Rogue's head until this Genosha storyline.
Walter, unlike everything else he ever wrote, Claremont was kinda vague on the Rogue/Carol relationship. The problem is that Carol is the major exception to Rogue's powers in every way. She touches someone, they fall into unconsciousness resembling a coma. Normal exceptions include that they're stronger and can possess her [Mr. Sinister] that there's just no end to them and it doesn't really work [Mojo] that she touches someone who cancels powers and they both drop [Scrambler] and I'd swear there was another form of exception that I'm blanking on.
In Carol's case, it was permanent, but she's still walking and talking in "Avengers" Annual 10. So in theory Xavier [or Rachel, or Betsy] could have reconstructed anyone. Storm or Cyclops would still have been in charge while Rogue is off using strength, flight, invulnerability and optic beams/weather control against whoever. That's really why I draw the line and say Carol/Binary is a distinct entity, and Carol/Ms. Marvel resides full-time in Rogue's head.
Obviously Marvel's had different ideas in the last mumble-mumble years since I was reading, so I'm not saying you should take this as gospel, but to my mind, Carol/Binary is the one who needs to be retconned, Carol/Ms. Marvel was a member of the X-Men from #171 through #269.
D09, I'm saying that the separation occurred during the issue. She starts off as Carol/Ms. Marvel, and whoever is walking and talking at the end of the issue is Carol/Binary. This would explain why she's able to walk and talk when no one else Rogue absorbs can do so.
Omar, so what happened to Binary? I assume Rogue still has her absorbed powers.
AF, in "X-Men" #194, Kitty voluntarily touches Rogue. Then she convinces/overwhelms Rogue to take Kurt and Peter's powers. It's not just memories and powers Rogue absorbs, her thoughts become noticeably similar to the other X-Men, and Kitty even starts taking notes on Nimrod, saying "neato" or something else that Rogue reacts negatively to. Like Carol taking control to redecorate Rogue's house, or buy a dress and doing her hair, this is more than just memories.
Clearly Grant thought it was idiotic for someone who'd been arrested multiple times, and presumably booked under their real name, to have a secret identity, but Peter clearly thinks Flash is an idiot here and Michael's comment makes it seem that the Cat herself and the entire Bugle staff look like idiots.
The question of how real or authentic the Carol in Rogue's head is meant to be in unanswerable for certain apart from asking Claremont what he intended. Even in real-world philosophy it's a debated question whether seaparating a mind and body creates two of the individual, or one new and one original person, or two new people derived from the original. We can at, though, that there are plenty of instances where people Rogue absorbs wind up controlling her--Mr Sinister and Spiral are two examples--and it's treated like a mind/soul/psyche transference, not just a memory capture and KO zap. My read on the Ms Marvel situation has always been that Rogue absorbed Carol's mind and memories, leaving Carol's body a shell whose mind had to be rebuilt by Xavier, with memories restored but not feeling emotionally connected. Rogue-Carol and Binary-Carol are both arguably authentically Carol, yet both incomplete. I wish we'd had a chance to see Claremont's resolution: I suspect he was going someplace with Shadow King-possessed Carol, SK wanting to take over the stars, and Wolverine having a third, hallucinatory Carol. But maybe he just liked using the character one way or another.
If Gru isn't mocking the whole annual create-a-character idea, my guess is he's indulging in his affection for Silver Age DC, partivularly Batman. I could see late Silver Age Bats fighting a guy like this. He's no worse than a Calendar Man.
I think fnord is overthinking the council not having supervillains working for them. There have been stories where the Kingpin, Hammerhead, etc. have supervillains working for them and other stories when they don't. It's understandable that the council couldn't find a supervillain to protect them in the brief time between Tombstone's first and second visits.
Note that Peter says that anybody that can read a newspaper knows that Felicia is the Black Cat. This is foreshadowing the revelation in a few issues. The problem is that's not how it's been portrayed before this. Her whole revenge scheme hinged on Peter and MJ being unable to tell Flash she was the Cat without revealing Peter was Spider-Man. In Web of Spider-Man 77-78, Felicia went to a party with the Bugle staff, and it seemed like nobody realized she was the Cat- Jonah needs to hire better reporters!
"when i was first introduced to Hammerhead it didn't really sink in that he was modeled after 1930s movie gangsters"- Me too. I always thought it was because I was young but now I'm wondering if they were a bit subtle about it.
Back in 1988, Marvel Age 64 announced that a new black hero called Bantam would be appearing in Web of Spider-Man Annual 4. But he never appeared, and instead Posion appeared. I wonder if this is the same character reworked. It's an interesting question- which is worse- a minority boxing chicken or a Hispanic maid that dresses like a prostitute?
The Marvel Comics Presents story was published before this. The reason the Marvel Chronology Project had no qualms about placing it after was that during Cage's next appearance in Secret Defenders 15-17, he's been hired to guard a museum, which makes no sense if he's faked his death and on the run. So clearly, Cage's fake death had to be very temporary.
I have to wonder if the cancellation was more abrupt that it seemed- hence the Stiles subplot and the absurd "Cage lets Johnny think he killed him" ending.
A very minor point but the weight limit for the bantamweight class is 118. Technically he is a super bantamweight (which may be the point) or a junior featherweight. Neither of which serves to make him any less ridiculous.
For what it's worth, Shroud's upcoming mini is promoted/footnoted next issue, so it's not a case of that particular issue creating a demand for the series. It was already in the works, and if anything the Shroud's appearance was to try to generate interest in it.
Something tells me Gruenwald didn't like the editorially-mandated "create a new character" gimmick any more than anyone else, so he created a character as ridiculous as possible, basically making a mockery of the whole thing.
I don't have this one, but if I had known that DeMatteis was the writer and that it tied in with his ongoing storylines from SSM then I probably would have gotten it. That was the major problem with polybagging these annuals with trading cards, it made it impossible to peak inside to see if the stories and art might actually be decent.
It's really unexpected to see John Romita Sr's work in this annual. He was mostly retired at this point, and the occasional penciling jobs he did in the 1990s were usually for high-profile specials or anniversary issues. So it's odd that he worked on a throw-away back-up story featuring the Prowler.
As I've mentioned on a few occasions, I was a *huge* fan of Captain America in the 1990s. I really really really wanted to like this annual, but as much as I really attempted to be open-minded, a part of me always recognized that the Bantam was a ridiculous character. A guy in a rooster costume with boxing gloves feels sort of like a throwback to the oddball animal inspired characters who popped up in the early Bronze Age. Maybe the Bantam might have kinda sorta worked in the early 1970s, but two decades later he was ridiculous.
I always laugh at that one panel where Cap thinks to himself "he's in some sort of berserker rage!" Really?!? This is a boxing chicken you're dealing with, not Wolverine or Sabretooth!
Rogue absorbed Carol's memories, not Carol's existence.
You've not thought it through at all. Carol here is made from those memories. It's not Carol, it is a physical representation of her created based on those memories Rogue absorbed. Yes it is accurate and identical - because Rogue has all her memories to draw from. Best way to explain this is, look at Captain America #400, when the Supreme Intelligence uses Captain America's memories to recreate his rogues gallery. It can only build them based on Captain America's knowledge, so Batroc doesn't have a face because Captain America has supposedly never seen his face. Rogue's internal representation of Carol is identical to the real Carol Danvers because she has TOTAL knowledge of everything Carol.
And, if a character gets amnesia, they don't cease being that character, do they? The same is true of Carol Danvers, just because you think Binary is rubbish (and it is), it's still her. She basically has amnesia, and just because it's done in such a personal and defined way, doesn't mean that wherever those memories wound up is now her character.
I really can't lament enough that Claremont's plans for Gambit didn't come to pass. If he stayed long enough to write this, this would be an *awesome* twist. But he didn't... and now we're stuck with a character that doesn't make much sense. Drat.
Agreed that very little about Gambit's character makes sense removed from Claremont's original intentions. It's exactly the same problem that Mister Sinister has... which makes sense because originally they were supposed to be different aspects of the same person.
Gambit, as conceived by Claremont, is a ten year old's idea of what a suave, sexy, cool-under-pressure ladies man would be like, which is why he has a cheesy accent, and he's a thief, and he had a complicated costume with a trenchcoat on top of it, and he fights with a staff, and he smokes, and he always has a five o'clock shadow. In other words, he's a Marty Sue conceived by Sinister's real ten-year-old self to seduce Rogue and infiltrate the X-Men. If you know that then suddenly the character, with all his cheesiness, makes perfect sense.
However, once you remove that backstory and make him exactly what he appears to be, now he's just annoying and implausible and overly complicated, especially when you toss in all the nonsense about the Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild.
"Usually I be goin' for the cash, jewels, or maybe some other valuable trash." I mean, sure, "usually" in the sense of "not once since he's first appeared"
Actually Gambit was doing that in Uncanny #267. I think he also does it in a few solo guest apperances in other books. And of course this was utelized in his most recent solo series.
Incidentally, not only will Gambit have many solo series, next to Wolverine (and Cable) he's the X-man that the longest one around. Most other X-men would eventually get a series (Storm, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Jubilee, etc.) and all had series that were quickly cancelled.
Also, kinda ironic that Gambit goes to Paris here since Paris is the scene for another significant chapter in Gambit's history (oh it involves more thieving so he does/did do it.)
Finally, as the overwrought narration hints at on the last page there are actually three big tenets to Gambit's character profile. Sure's he's a theif, but there's also his constant status a The Traitor (or at least someone who would easily betray someone) That tension is probably residue left over from whatever Claremont had planned for Gambit and is usually reserved for team dynamics. There is also Gambit's characterization as a lothario and womanizer (which is why having a wife out there isn't a bad development. It's supposed to bring up and test questions of Remy's faithfulness and whether he's stinging a bunch of women along or not.)
The "Carol" personality here does not, in fact, re-merge with the physical form of Carol Danvers. A few scenes in Kurt Busiek's Iron Man and Avengers runs show that Carol has rebuilt her life the hard way and made efforts to reconnect with her parents (ands slipped into alcoholism as a result).
So ChrisW, what you're saying is that Rogue absorbed all of Carol's essence before Avengers Annual 10 and that she is now stuck in Rogue's mind? Then in your opinion, who or what is operating Carol's body when she appears in Avengers Annual 10?
So that's 'uncanny similarity' then. There aren't too many letterers whose work immediately sticks out to me, but John Workman is one of them, and as far as I know he's been almost entirely DC for ages. Thanks.
I don't know if you can call it one of Claremont's overused tropes or if it just feels that way, but I find it a repulsive notion that giving someone help will forever destroy their lives, even if everything we know and love will die if you don't give them help right now, in the next few seconds. "Fantastic Four Versus the X-Men" is the only other place I can think of it being specifically referenced, but it really feels like one of Claremont's overused tropes.
I do see Sienkiewicz influence in the two page spread [which blew me away when I first read the story.] I've also seen a bit of influence in the scene where Illyana teleports one of Magus' limbs, but that's probably because the giant teeth always made me think of Frank Miller's Mutant Leader [!] in "Dark Knight."
I believe Carol does become herself again. My knowledge comes entirely from the "JLA/Avengers" miniseries, where Ms. Marvel is clearly Carol Danvers, and I have no idea how Binary was worked into the mix. Take this for what it is since my knowledge is almost entirely Claremont-centered, but the Carol inside Rogue's head is Ms. Marvel, Kree heritage and all.
Carol-as-Binary was just another Phoenix retread, and it suddenly occurs to me that Binary was completely absent from the 'rescue Xavier' Starjammers/Deathbird story at the end of Claremont's run. I don't know how or if this was ever retconned, but Magneto had literally just chosen Rogue over Carol when the two couldn't survive with two bodies. This reinforces my point that Carol as Ms. Marvel was in Rogue's head the whole time, and Binary was something else.
Like I say, I'd swear I've asked this before and fnord had a sensible answer, but if it were my decision, Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) would be tagged in most of her appearances, including the relevant issues of "X-Men" like these, and Carol Danvers (Binary) would be tagged for her appearances, starting with "Avengers" Annual #10. Or "Avengers" #200, if you have a particularly good explanation for it.
Nice Lee Weeks art, though. I don't recall hating this, so I'm surprised to hear fan reaction was so negative. I mean, it's not actually very good, but surely we've seen worse in the x-line over the last few years.
But then, I'm weird: I don't hate the idea of the Thieves and Assassins Guilds, though I do dislike the fact we never see them steal anything or assassinate anyone. I think in the right hands the concept could work, and it gives Gambit a cast apart from the X-Men who could make a solo series viable. I do enjoy Nicieza's series a few years after this--one of the last x-titles of any kind I took an interest in, in fact, partly because it was less relatively independent of the other books.
Those all work as explanations, though the Mandarin wouldn't be tagged in any of them. That's actually my suggestion for the big hand-wave, to leave this guy untagged and say he can't be the actual Mandarin. It's much more sensible for one of the many extant shape-shifters to be imitating him here than for the Mandarin to wake up from a coma, leave the village, obtain bionic hands, use a holographic disguise to appear as if he cleaned himself up, get in an out-of-character opium war with Hydra, turn off his image inducer, take off his bionic hands, go back to that remote village, and fall back into a coma, all without the people who are nursing him noticing.
@Berend- the problem is that Shinobi references the Gamesmaster in the above panels and Shinobi quits the Upstarts in New Warriors 46. Placing Mandarin's appearances starting in Iron Man 307 before New Warriors 46 is difficult- the Warriors appear in Iron Man 302-303, New Warriors 46 takes place directly after X-Men 29, which has a February cover date (and Iron Man 307 has an August cover date), etc.
The point is that Bella Donna is amnesiac because Rogue stole her memories, as we'll see in the Rogue series.
Shouldn't this get a 2 for the first appearance of Jean-Luc LeBeau, Candra and Tante Mattie? Jean-Luc Le Beau and Tante Mattie have several more appearances in the later Gambit series, and Candra has a few more appearances (mostly written by Mackie).
It's impossible to convey just how negative the reaction online was to this series back in the day.
@Berend: I'd honestly leave it here and just chalk up the Mandarin's appearance as a combination of fnord12's image inducer idea and a pair of robotic prosthetic in case he needs to actually handle something, it isn't something that Mandarin will do for a long-term basis but for short periods of recovery like this arc, it'll do.
@Ben, thanks for noting the problem with the Mandarin. I considered trying to push this back before the Mandarin's defeat in Iron Man #275 (3 years!) but doing so would just introduce other problems. I've made some notes in the considerations.
Mimic feels too much of a patsy to be on a villain team. Could see the Super-Skrull and Super-Adaptoid though; maybe Rogue and Mystique together in the early days prior to the Miss Marvel incident though.
In Cap 173, Cap does explain why he and Falcon are wearing their costumes when they raid Brand: it's so that if they're captured, there's a chance it eill be by someone who still believes in Captain America (and presumably will let them go or even help them). Not a very good reason, but the script does offer an explanation.
I'd be more inclined to put the Super-Skrull in there as a counterpart to the Super-Adaptoid and Mimic since the Taskmaster doesn't copy actual powers. He also tries to keep a low profile. Still the basic idea of such a team-up is pretty awesome.
Rather irritatingly, the first two flashback panels of "Charlie" the crook in issue #38 seem to be lifted from page 2 of Amazing Spider-Man #3, so apparently the guy in the cap in that story is Charlie from this story.
Though Part I has Harry fighting Peter to a standstill and only failing to kill him because his glove blasters run out of power. There seems to have been some kind of a plot change between parts, too; the end of Part I promised "Spider-Man: Renegade" and suggested that Peter was about to go berserk. It also plays Harry as "as fast as the original Goblin" and a serious physical threat.
But here, Peter is only POed at Jonah, Spider-Man is his usual self-deprecating self, and after the prologue with the atomic bomb theft sequence, Harry is quickly dismissed as a guy in the middle of a mental breakdown who's in over his head playing villain.
The whole bit with Norman's lair being coated in fake dust and seemingly unused doesn't fit with Harry being a raving loon, especially since nothing is missing from the lab. How is that possible, if it's where Harry's been getting his Goblin gadgets?
Interestingly, the much later retcon that Mysterio helped Norman fake his death helps clean that up; since Spidey notes that the fake dust is like the sort of thing special effects artists use. So maybe Mysterio and Norman were trying to protect Harry by cleaning up after him.
There's another odd bit where Spidey spends hours in a web-hammock -- the captions tell us it's hours -- without it dissolving under him.
Rather oddly, Spider-Man deduces the Molten Man is the baddie in #132 after noticing the Molten Man's footprints burned into the floor....only the Molten Man's fiery powers are a new development Spider-man isn't supposed to know about.
This was one of the earliest Spidey comics I read, and I remember quite liking it. But that is probably because I had little to compare it with. If you've never read any other J.M. DeMatteis "villain deconstruction" story before, or any Kurt Busiek "focus on a civilian interacting with Spidey" story, this is almost mind-blowingly novel. Now that I'm more well read though... yeah, a bit of a mess, this issue.
I still like this motivation of Electro though, just... not for Electro. I also see him more as someone entirely comfortable as a hired thug. If I were to do a story delving into his personality, it would be about him realizing he's actually ridiculously overpowered for the jobs he's doing, attempting to become a more high stakes super villain, only to end up realizing it's just not for him, and that he's happiest in a mercenary/henchman role.
Still, there must be plenty of other fairly blank super villains lying around you could use for the sad-sack role in a story like this.
Gotcha. Thanks. I'm still learning how to navigate this site. I'm working on an 80s/90s read/reread of X-Men (adding X-Factor from its inception, New Mutants from 86-100 and X-Force from its inception, and numerous other issues where relevant), starting from Dark Phoenix Saga (having read the previous stories many times) and, theoretically, ending at Age of Apocalypse, which I think is a nice endpoint. I'm just before Mutant Massacre now, and reading X-Factor for the first time (spotty so far, but thankfully I'm through Layton). After Mutant Massacre, I've got a huge stretch of issues I've never read except for the ones from "event" trades, up until my very first Marvel comic, Uncanny 300 (which I think still holds up as both a fantastic anniversary issue and solid advancement of storylines from both core X-books at the time). I bought Spectacular 198 and 199 in the month or so after I got Uncanny 300 for my ninth birthday, so they were probably among my first 10-20 comics ever. I lost those issues many years ago, but bought them again a couple of years ago along with 197 and 200, and currently have them placed somewhere around Uncanny 298-300 for reading when I, someday, get to them.
That was a lot to say, thanks for the information that helps confirm that I have these placed approximately correctly.
A bigger continuity problem with the Mandarin is that the last time he was seen, at the end of Iron Man #275, his hands had been disintegrated and he was left comatose. The next time he appears in 1995, in the lead-in to the "Hands of the Mandarin" crossover, he is finally waking up from his coma and growing a new pair of reptilian hands. So that would make it really difficult for the Mandarin to show up in this story.
There is an interview with Kenneth Johnson in Back Issue #70 in which he unfortunately reveals a very contemptuous dismissal of the Marvel Comics source material. Johnson's whole attitude towards working on the TV show can basically be summed up by him stating that he succeeded in making an intelligent, quality television series in spite of the fact that it was based on a stupid, childish comic book, or words to that effect.
Added Deathtrap as a "reference". Thanks Michael. He also killed a regular police officer while awaiting transfer back to the Vault in Amazing Spider-Man #373 but i don't think that or the Vault doctors should "count" (i mean, it's not really an explicit reference anyway).
I'm somewhat familiar with American gay history, and for reasons that are probably lost to time, back then the name Bruce was indeed associated with homosexuality, both in gay and straight circles. And I don't think it's because of Wertham or Batman? For example, the queer moviemaker Bruce laBruce chose his pseudonym because of that connotation.
Does Rogue!Carol ever make her way back to Carol Danvers' body? Is anything else ever done with her other than one or two Easter egg stories where she's separated from Rogue (which wouldn't count as making her a separate character any more than the countless times Bruce Banner and the Hulk have been separated)? No? Then she's not Carol Danvers no matter what Claremont's intention is at the time. Even in the first case the tag can only follow one version of Danvers at a time, so you're going to have to start arguing why the version of Carol in Rogue's head is more real than Binary, even taking into account later developments to the characters.
Since we all know that guts who are perceived as particularly masculine can't possibly be homosexual (sarcasm... if that wasn't obvious), we should mention Bruce Willis and Bruce Campbell as (somewhat) more current. (But who's more current than Caitlyn Jenner, really?)
Let's also not forget Springsteen. And recalling that, I always thought that Rick Springfield song "They Call Me 'Bruce'" was complaining about being mistaken for "The Boss" (He wishes!) Maybe it was about being perceived as gay?
@Ben, Miller was particularly aggrieved that Macchio brought Elektra back into circulation, because Macchio had personally promised him that as long as he (Macchio) was editor, only he (Miller) would be allowed to write Elektra.
The Plunderer had turned up in Tales to Astonish fighting the Sub-Mariner towards the end of its run, but the Gladiator is the first of Daredevil's actual villains -- as opposed to a guy created to battle Ka-zar -- ever showed up outside his title.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first instance of a villain created in Daredevil appearing in another hero's book. Although I do want to stress that some early Daredevil villains can be interesting and compelling if written well; besides Gladiator, Owl, Purple Man, Mr. Fear, the Ani-Men, and even Stilt Man (ASM 237 for example).
Banner and the Hulk are the same person, Legion's personalities have been part of his mind since his first appearance, and I don't know enough about Deadpool to respond to that. Body-mind-switch stories are tricky in this regard, but with Carol and Rogue, the point is that she really is Carol (Binary notwithstanding.)
"If that proves an 'inconvenience,' then consider it fair punishment for a crime that was itself the next best thing to murder."
I remember. That rumor was persistent enough that they made fun of it in Mad magazine, pointing to Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner as an icon of masculinity. In retrospect, maybe they should have gone with Bruce Lee. Of course, the calumny against the name "Bruce" started with Frederic Wertham and his contention that Batman was a (latent?) pedophile.
It's understandable Spider-Man doesn't recognize that Tigra was the Cat, but I'm a little disappointed she doesn't mention their earlier team-up.
Shades of Kraven's Last Hunt: Spidey gets tranq-darted by Kraven and ultimately falls unconscious on a rooftop while scared he's going to die. We could even say he's remembering this story in later one when he's dismissively thinking Kraven's going to take him to a lair and talk his ear off. And in both cases, Kraven's plan involves pitting Spider-Man against an animal-person.
Imagine if fnord had to track all of Legion's personalities as separate characters. Or the voices in Deadpool's head (which he may actually have to do, God help us). The only place it gets tricky is body-mind-switch stories. If we had a single issue with nothing but Jack Norriss's mind in Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body, which characters would count as having appeared? (I'm guessing all three, as if Chondu and Nighthawk were present but sleeping.)
Oh right, Nightwatch is a rip-off (probably unintentional) of yet another concept: Monarch, the DCU bad guy who is the future self of Hawk (of Hawk and Dove). Both characters inherit their super-powered armor from their dead future selves with no explanation of how that macguffin could exist.
The most you could do is create a separate entry for the Danvers personality in Rogue's mind, because at best it's a separate character. The purpose of the character tags is to follow the continuity of a character relatively seamlessly from issue to issue, and having the Carol Danvers character page bouncing between her Binary and Rogue halves defeats that purpose.
I'd swear I've asked this before and fnord gave an answer that I may not have agreed with, but it's his site and his rules. I'll probably forget and ask again in a year or two.
But she's in charge. I know there's a walking, talking Binary out there, and Ms. Marvel will be back in a few years, but come on. Silvestri and Leonardi drawing Rogue is the only thing that's not explicitly Carol Danvers. Carol isn't listed in #182, #244, #246-7 or #269, when she's clearly a major participant in each issue.
It just occurred to me that when producer Kenneth Johnson created the 70's Hulk TV show, he changed "Bruce Banner" to "David Banner" because he thought the alliteration was too comic-book-y, but his star had the very alliterative real name of Bill Bixby. That's irony, or something...
Interesting to see Marvel claim they had "the greatest impact on the future of comics" when they published Amazing Fantasy #15, not Fantastic Four #1.
If only speculators or even anyone at Marvel itself in the 90s had read what they said about Shazam #1 here, a lot of the madness of that decade could have been avoided...DC can take some comfort that even when Marvel recognizes DC's mistakes, they don't learn from them.
Note that the Guardians are referred to as the Congress of Realities, the same name as Thog's minions in Fear 19 and Man-Thing 1. Are they supposed to be the same organization? Their scheme was also centered on the Nexus of Reality.
At least Venom is on the receiving end of the same BS logic that justified his vendetta with Spiderman. And amazingly enough, despite blaming the Punisher for delaying him, he also accepts partial responsibility for failing to rescue Grey/Pyre.
Grey somewhat indirectly acknowledges that his curiosity about the Hydra lab got him in that situation, so my bigger problem here is that Venom had an opportunity for some character growth and it was overlooked. No, Eddie, don't realize you were full of crap calling yourself "innocent" before Spiderman "ruined" you.
I'd point to Chance and the Life Foundation,the Trump parody "Trask," and Jonathan Caesar. And in the most literal sense, the use of Justin Hammer and a number of his operatives (Blacklash, for example). Chance is exactly the sort of hi-tech mercenary Iron Man might battle, and his civilian alter ego seems like a foil of sorts to TonyStark: a socialite with a gambling addiction to contrast Stark as the industrialist struggling against an alcohol addiction. And the Life Foundation, Trask, and Caesar are very much the sort of "corrupt rich guy" antagonists Michelinie used in his Iron Man run (Hamer, Edwin Cord, and so on).
More broadly, Michelinie tended to emphasize the weapons tech used by Spider-Man's villains, new and old. His take on the Scorpion is all about the gadgetry Gargan keeps having added to his tail, for example, and there's a general emphasis on the kind of "James Bond plot" -- rich, untouchable villain using colorful henchmen as assassins and operatives -- that Michelinie and Layton used in Iron Man rather than the more street-level Spider-Man stuff you'd expect.
I can't think of an organized crime storyline in Michelinie's run, for example, and those were the bread and butter of Spider-Man under most previous writers. It's all "villain using a new technology or augmenting their gear" stuff, or "corrupt rich dudes with a colorful pet operative who does the fighting." It's all very Iron Man to my eyes. The symbiotes are the big exception.
Venom also killed a couple of doctors at the Vault in Amazing Spider-Man 330-331.
I always thought the reporters scheme with the note was idiotic- who knows how long it could have taken before help arrived?
The only thing I can remember Caragonne from is as the writer on the two issue What If Phoenix Had Not Died story.
Chris Claremont was given co-writer credit on that one and, since he'd probably already left Marvel by then, I assume that's because Caragonne used Claremont's outline of the alternate ending to Uncanny X-men #137.
I had absolutely no idea who H.D. Mk II was going to turn out to be while reading these reviews. The seemingly-incongruous tag for Erishkigal the last twenty (!) issues probably should have clued me in, or at least been more of a clue than Gru gave. I wonder if someone told him Maelstrom was too easy to guess, so he made the next mystery villain virtually un-guessable.
Stories like this make me question how we're supposed to take Franks claim not to endanger innocents. He's opening fire in the middle of a police lineup. There's no way to guarantee the innocent people in the lineup won't get hurt in the crossfire if a cop panics.
The Starbrand used to be a big deal. I expected it to have more of a spotlight in Quasar, but I find myself underwhelmed by Gru's handling of the concept.
One of the five aspects of Quasar in the astral plane is "avatar of Infinity", a title that he used to claim some 30 or 40 issues before. That has never been elaborated to my satisfaction (and is not very likely to make much sense), although it seems to connect to the resolution of Cosmos In Collision, also reflected in the third dilemma presented.
I bought this in real time because Tom Lyle was penciling it. I also thought that there was a certain potential in having Venom and the Punisher being forced to work together because it meant that for once Frank Castle would actually be the more sane half of a team-up. But in the end I just found the story really underwhelming, and I later sold it off along with many of my other Spider-Man related comics.
I did read Evanier's column about that when first published, but his statements seemed a tad hyperbolic to me. How did he know that some people required years of therapy? And if people commit suicide that way, how do you deal with if they're successful? Smack the corpse around?
It's interesting, in light of the sometimes bizarre treatment you mention, to note that Marlene's last name, Alraune, is that of an oft-filmed 1911 German novel by Hanns Heinz Ewers. Its eponymous protagonist, per Wikipedia, "suffers from obsessive sexuality and perverse relationships throughout her life." Does shacking up with a guy who has four identities count as a perverse relationship?
Erik, my all-time favorite panel is the grand debut of Jim Lee's Europop redesign of Fenris. The hilarious post-basketball flirting scene between Anna-Marie and Remy being a close second. But the sheer WTF moment of seeing trashy Neo-Nazi fashion made me realize that Ol' Jim must be a fellow camp aficionado, because seriously!
@Mark Drummond: Not just "a high building," but the INSIDE of the lobby of the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York. Caragonne weighed over 400 pounds at the time. To quote his friend Mark Evanier, "Miraculously, no one else was killed but many people, including some children, suffered severe emotional traumas and required years of treatment, all because of what they witnessed. I believe human beings have a right to do away with themselves, but not when they're insane and certainly not the way George did it."
@Bob: You're right, the art by John Buscema here is glaring for the lack of backgrounds. I wonder if this was the equivalent of Big John phoning it in. The artwork here is still more impressive than half the stuff Marvel was publishing at the time, but by Buscema's own standards it's quite underwhelming. I'm really surprised that he inked his own work on this story. Even on Conan, which was one of his favorite assignments, Buscema only did full artwork on a handful of occasions.
That panel with the Darkhold Dwarf doing his Stan Lee impression always cracks me up :)
A year ago on his Facebook page, Mort Todd revealed that he wanted to use Electro as the villain, but the Spider-Man office wouldn't let him because the character was being used in another storyline. So instead Todd ended up using the Paralyzer. As I replied on FB, Electro is way overused. Better that he had Spider-Man encounter a semi-obscure and rather goofy bad guy created by Jack Kirby. That made for a much more offbeat fight.
It was also fun to see Zzzax, another villain who you would never expect to see pop up to fight the Midnight Sons.
Yeah, I liked this story because it was so damn weird and offbeat.
I'd say that Namor intead rhat pleading allegiance to Doom he tries to commit suicide: at the end of the story he accepts to head toward Doom just because he knows that, dehydrated as he is, he'll plunge to his death.
Wow, it's hard to believe the same Shawn McManus who was doing great work with The Sandman at this time was also drawing these grotesque musclemen for Marvel. It's like a whole different artist. I guess there really was some pressure for Marvel artists to imitate the Liefeld style.
What the hell is going on with Hulk's left arm on that splash page? It connects to half the length of his torso.
I've seen middle school kids draw better stuff in their notebooks with ballpoint pen.
Was the entire editorial department on drugs when they let this study through?
That chest piece has to be a bitch for Namor when trying to get through a door.
And the anatomy oh Rhodey - good lord.
I wondered if 90s Marvel, during the years I dropped the books, was really as bad as I remember it being when I would, on occasion, glance at the stuff at Waldenbooks.
And the answer is a definitive yes.
You can check where it landed on the 1993 category page or see how it falls for specific character listings. But basically it was context free for the X-Men so it's just placed in a gap in X-Men stories circa publication date.
Thanks guys. It got a little hairy because Tuck can't appear in Battletide (I) until after Death's Head II #6-9 and Battletide II also takes place between Death's Head II #9-10. And i didn't want any other Death's Head II appearances between the issues. So it turns out the Battletides take place in relatively quick succession.
Building on Ben's comment about Cardiac not encountering Iron Man, I am also amazed Marvel has yet to put out a story of Cardiac going up against Daredevil.
Think of the dynamics:
1. A doctor versus a lawyer.
2. A hero who believes in the law versus a villain who targets those who are not criminals in the eyes of the law.
3. The hero uses heartbeats to predict opponent's moves, but the villain has a pacemaker.
It looks like PAD retconned the Hulk and Doc Samson appearances, not those of Mary Jane or Aunt May. As long as the Hulk and Doc didn't appear in those panels and had no interaction with those characters, those segments can still be in "real" time while only those with the Hulk and the good doctor would be the dream sequence.
To be fair, AF, this also has "important developments" for the entire X-Men line as well, as Fnord mentioned above (Again it cracks me up that the rest of the Marvel Universe just shrugged at these developments, even though the Avengers sometimes has mutant members and the F4 has a mutant son. And they might worry that a discriminatory public might eventually then turn on them...which DID end up happening. And of course, as "do-godders" they might cringe at innocent people being threatened and hurt.)
Ironically enough the art looks like the style that would be used in early issues of Harbinger.
The weird thing though is the the initial "revelation" of the Maximoff Twins paternal heritage happened around (roughly) the same time that Claremont's "Magento:Reformed" plotline started in ernest. So despite happening separately, both stories end up working rather well for strengthening the narrative of the other (the same way it was implied that a relationship with Lee Forester helped contributed to his eventual turn toward heroism.)
Blade really comes off as dense here. He's supposed to be hunting the supernatural, but only recently he accepted the Darkhold page. Nothing good came out of it. So, this issue, a dagger with supernatural powers shows up... and what does Blade do? He immediately uses it... *facepalm*
Yeah, normally whenever Rogue absorbs the powers of someone with different skin colors or other deviations from the human norm, she absorbs those deviations too. See also Marvel Super Heroes #2, for example.
In respect to the n-word, it may be hard to remember, but it wasn't always considered profanity. It wasn't a word used by polite people, at least in the north, but by itself it wasn't unutterable. The OJ trial that changed that.
So first super-strength spores, and then the Man-Wolf. If this didn't stick, I'd all be for John Jameson being the Jimmy Olsen of Marvel for how many superpowers he can develop. (then again we already have Rick Jones...)
Bob - Did Wizard hype up the story itself or just the fact they were "hot" back issues (Daredevil 319 and 320 went up in price)? I recall from over the years of reading Wizard they barely mentioned "Fall From Grace" and basically didn't start paying attention to DD again until Karl Kesel's run.
Am I really the first person to have noticed the secret message in the incantation? I find that hard to believe, and yet I can't find it commented on anywhere. If you can't see it, think about reversing it and flipping around a couple of letters.
This arc lost me not so much on the shredding of the old costume but on the making of the new one. How exactly did Matt Murdock know about all these materials? And how did he know how to make them into a new suit if body armor? And why was he okay with stealing it all?!?
In one of the panels taking place inside Rogue's mind, there's someone in the crowd that looks like Havok. When did she absorb his personality? Must have been a trivial moment, just to get his power or something, since I forgot it.
You may consider this semantics, but it seems you dislike the direction of the series more than the dialogue per se (which is still your prerogative, ofc). The series will show how Ka-Zar keeps up with the outside world.
@Tuomos: Here is my interpretation of Miller's intentions for the ending to DD #190. Elektra has been resurrected, but she is now purified of the darkness in her soul, she is at peace, and outside of flashbacks this is her very last story, she will never ever be seen again.
Of course, as I've pointed out before, the inevitable problem with writing a "very last story" at Marvel (or DC, for that matter) is that you do not own the characters. Six months or a year or ten years after you leave the book, there's a really good chance that another creator is going to decide to bring back your character, your intentions be damned.
I wonder why Frank Miller believed that Marvel was somehow going to treat him differently than they did Kirby and Ditko and every single other creator who ever signed a work-for-hire agreement.
It's also worth noting that Miller did bring Elektra back in the Elektra Lives Again graphic novel. In response to letters published during this storyline, it's confirmed that Elektra Lives Again is not in continuity. A fan suggests that this is because it killed off Bullseye (it also re-killed Elektra)
Miller didn't bring Elektra "back" in Elektra Lives Again, he already resurrected her in Daredevil #191, at the end of the Chaste/Hand storyline. Elektra Lives Again simply follows from that story, with Elektra having been alive the whole time. That's why I've always been puzzled by the idea that other writers bringing her back is somehow sacrilegious, since Miller had already done that her towards the end of his DD run. He must've know that he wouldn't be working on DD forever, and that after he was gone Marvel had the right to do whatever they want with the character. So if he truly didn't want anyone else to use the character, why bring her back from the dead to begin with?
"The funny thing is how fast it happens. Daredevil is put through the grinder more than any other hero this side of Black Panther under Don McGregor, and his costume mostly remains intact. But put him up against the Crippler and his costume is in tatters by page 2."
Perhaps it was one battle too many for that particular costume?
I believe you're one issue off with the second reference. #67 was the one where Ben saw Alicia with the art dealer.
Some faces this issue are drawn well, while others have bizarrely inappropriate expressions. There's a panel of Reed welcoming Alicia to the FF where he looks like he should be making a supervillain proclamation.
I'm not sure what to make of this run bringing back (two of) Psycho-Man's uninteresting trio ten issues after bringing back Dr. Doom's uninteresting trio.
The end of Steranko's story would make sense if Cap didn't mean to go back to being Steve Rogers. Perhaps he meant to have Cap adopt a new identity, or get by without a permanent one.
In Gleason's DAREDEVIL COMICS #42 the Golden Age Daredevil's true identity was uncovered by a reporter. He gave it up, and became a crusading newspaper publisher. I assume the change was meant to be permanent, but it was quickly reversed. In #43-#45 he became Daredevil again, and adopted a new secret ID.
Here's the amazing thing. In #44 some crooks with grudges against Daredevil attempt to kill in when he's out of costume. At one point they try to machine-gun him. DD escapes by playing dead, and has his newspaper publish a false report that he's been killed. This lures the crooks the funeral home, where DD's assistants capture them. He continues to fake being dead afterwards. (I suppose this is to take the pressure off while he establishes his new identity.)
Steranko's story isn't a rerun of the Daredevil one: but the points of similarity - the hero fakes his death as part of a scheme to establish a new secret ID, the funeral home climax - may indicate the earlier issues were his inspiration. We can be sure Steranko was interested in Golden Age comics: he wrote THE STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS! I could also believe the storyline inspired TALES OF SUSPENSE #95-#96.
Well, Paladin is likely named for the character on Have Gun - Will Travel, rather than the knights of Charlemagne (of course the TV Paladin named himself after the knights). The TV Paladin was a gentleman gunfighter who was a mercenary to solve problems for people who needed a heavy. And that is pretty much what Marvel Paladin does.
Wolfsbane as a name for a character who turns into a wolf is pretty boneheaded though.
Regarding Foggy, this story makes it seems like he knows Matt's identity but when he next meets Matt during deMatteis's run, he learns that Matt is Daredevil and is completely shocked by the revelation. I guess deMatteis didn't read this story.