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World War Hulk - original plan

Why do i always like the original idea better than what eventually comes out of it?

By fnord12 | July 25, 2008, 3:53 PM | Comics | Link

Stealing Wanyas' gig

The physics of super-heroes.

By fnord12 | July 25, 2008, 1:56 PM | Comics & Science | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel's Black Men in Chicken suits

I don't get it, really. I mean, the rooster is a symbol in voodoo, so i kind of get Black Talon (but not really).

Gamecock is just bewildering. He's a street-gang level villain. On what planet do you decide dressing up like a chicken in the poverty stricken ghettos of the 1970s is not going to get your ass kicked? And how do you convince two of your friends to dress up the same way, Adam-West-Batman-villain-henchmen style?

How does Marvel wind up with not one but two super-villains that are black guys dressed up like chickens?

In one of our high school history books, there was a picture of a white man in black face (possibly Al Jolson?) dressed up as a rooster to illustrate minstrel shows (wish i could find it online). That's what i think of when i see these guys.

Update: Also, Bantam.

By fnord12 | July 24, 2008, 4:55 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

Sick and tired of my job

I love the guy's expression when he says "Oh all right". It looks like he's laughing, but in context it's more like frustrated hysterics.

This ran in Marvel comics around their April 1975 issues.

By fnord12 | July 24, 2008, 1:17 PM | Comics | Link


Iron Fist first appeared with this image in the Marvel Bullpen (March 1974). The nonsense he's spouting is in a secret code that was given to subscribers of Marvel's fan magazine Foom. I can't find the code anywhere online. I've been seeing this crazy image for years - any cryptologists out there want to take a crack at what he's saying?

By fnord12 | July 24, 2008, 10:40 AM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

Why there were no Mighty Avengers in Mighty Avengers

Hannibal Tabu:

Wanna find out how Skrullektra got in to her shtick? Well, you should read Right Wing Avengers, er, "Mighty Avengers" #16, which has (fun fact) absolutely no members of the team in the issue. Seriously. It's not a bad story, showing how disturbingly easy it was to infiltrate the Hand (no ninja senses? So, say, The Sentry could come in and take over the Hand, seriously?) but it could almost have been an issue of "Secret Invasion" ... or was it an issue of ... oh sweet spirit, that's it! That's what's happening! THE SKRULLS ARE REPLACING OUR COMICS WITH SKRULL COMICS! THAT'S THE "SECRET" OF THE "INVASION!" HOLY CRAP, WE'VE GOTTA TELL SOME ...

*brief pause while reviewer falls over ... and then gets back up to keep typing ... or does he?*

... er, that is, "Mighty Avengers" #16 was still really cool, with those Skrulls and all kicking butt. Those Skrulls rock. Right. Er, moving on ...

By fnord12 | July 23, 2008, 4:44 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Iron Man #31 - Once you accept that this isn't going to be very good, it's actually not that bad, if that makes any sense. Two complaints: 1) I think to myself, 'Man, that looks a lot like Braniac's skull-ship, and a few pages later the characters refer to it as "that Braniac thing" - guys, if you're aware that you're ripping off your competition, change the design. 2) Is this the second? third? time Iron Man has been in a bind and then said "Wait a minute! My opponent doesn't know about... Extremis!". Why isn't he just using his armor to its potential the whole time? Anyway, not terrible if approached the right way.

X-Force #5 - Not thrilled about the turn of events where the bad guys are now fighting amongst themselves. This wasn't a great issue. *I* don't have any problems with the art, though.

Hercules #119 - This continues to be great.

Captain America #40 - Now i like the way these bad guys fight amongst themselves. It's realistic and despite their differences they still manage to work together. Bucky's confrontation with 50s Cap was cool too. Ah, it's just a damn good comic overall, and Epting's back on art.

Mighty Avengers #16 - On an irrelevant point, what is this story doing in Mighty Avengers? The Elektra plot took place in New. Anyway, i enjoyed this even if it seems a bit much for Elektra to be able to take out three super-skrulls by herself. But is she dead? She sure looked dead. At least we now we know that the point of this wasn't to retcon out every post-Frank Miller appearance of Elektra, which is good.

By fnord12 | July 21, 2008, 11:49 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | July 16, 2008, 10:23 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Young Avengers Presents #6: Hawkeye This was a good character driven story. Much less sappy than the Patriot issue i read. I'm a sucker for these kind of historically referential stories if they are done right. And Alan Davis on art always helps. Liked it so much i stole it from Wanyas, which he claims was his plan all along.

Nova #15 - Galactus continues to rule. I thought the idea of riding up the energy shafts into Taa II was cool, and i like the repercussions. The shadow/despair creature part was a bit long but overall this is still good. Looking forward to the Secret Invasion crossover and seeing Nova on his own without the Worldmind for a while.

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 - Three issues in, this is feeling a bit samey. Still good, but it needs to break the format of having the team giving a debriefing of a mission where things didn't quite go as planned and they nearly got killed. Also, i'm not a big fan of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, so while i thought bringing back Vance Astrovik was cool, i'm a bit wary about where this is going after seeing a version of Starhawk this issue.

Secret Invasion #4 - This issue felt more like an interlude, possibly due to the narrative style at the beginning. Is it possible there is too much going on at once and not enough space to devot to moving the plotlines along? Anyway, it was all made up for when Nick Fury shows up with his giant @#$&% gun.

And hey, Yu's art is... not terrible when the colorist isn't trying to make everyone look like a zuvembie.

By fnord12 | July 16, 2008, 10:05 AM | Comics | Link

The History of Marvel Comics

Semi-regular commentator mikkim recently wrote this history of marvel comics from a publishing point of view and i've asked if i could host it online here.

This is the abstract:

Marvel Comics began in the late 1930s with the popularity of superheroes. They thrived on booming sales, publishing comic books of various concepts, until major criticism in the 1950s. In 1960, Marvel came out with dynamic and well developed characters, bringing high sales once again. The emersion of comic book specialty stores and a collecting craze made the company thrive through the 1980s. When the enthusiasm ended, marvel filed for bankruptcy in the mid 1990s. Business plans for licensing brought Marvel out of debt and are aiding to propel a prosperous future for the company.

Go check out the full paper.

By fnord12 | July 14, 2008, 4:10 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk: Raging Thunder #1 - I like Parker, but i don't know what the point of this was at all. Surely they're not floating a Thulkra series? Maybe she should meet up with Skaar for a Hulkids series. I did appreciate the reprint though; i didn't have that issue.

Clandestine #5 - Well, it's over, anyway. It started off very promising but it didn't really go anywhere, or it went in too many directions at once, or something.

Iron Man #39 - Two more issues till Gage. Just gritting our teeth through this fill in story until then.

Runaways #30 - Well, it's over, anyway. It started off very promising but it came out like once a century and introduced like a bazillion new characters from the past that i wasn't very interested in and couldn't remember who was who from issue to issue. Joss Whedon can stay away from comics for a while, please. At least he didn't kill anyone.

Daredevil #108 - Getting fun again. And who would have ever thought we'd be seeing so much of Dakota North?

Fantastic Four #558 - This is more like it. That first story was terrible, but this is quite good. I wish it could be the real Hulk but even so i think this is going to be very interesting.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 - Well, we're committed to the Universal Church of Truth story, which i have reservations about but we'll see where it goes. In the meantime, more telepathic dogs, talking racoons, and noble seedlings, plus Vance. Not sure that Vance should stay, though. Too much danger of creating a lack of uniqueness with duplicates of both Captain America's shield and Justice, but i guess it's the other end of the universe so it doesn't really matter.

Secret Invasion: Runaways & Young Avengers #1 - This is only a 3 issue mini? Hmm. Yost does well with the characters; i wouldn't mind if he wrote one or both of these teams as an ongoing. I like following up on Hulkling's lineage so this should be interesting. I like the cartoony art style, but i'm not sure about what Nico's wearing.

Avengers: Initiative #14 - Good old Gage, using continuity elements from 3-D Man, of all things. This was very good. I like how this book is essentially about no one in particular, letting Gage (oh, ok, and Slott) utlize whatever characters they'd like.

Captain America #39 - This continues to be good although i do miss it when Epting isn't on art. I was surprised by the ending; it's been a while since we've had a traditional "bad guy shows up and threatens to beat up the good guy" type of cliffhanger ending. I don't mean that as a bad thing, just noticing.

Thunderbolts #121 - Nice Goblin/Mimi fight and nice to see something being done with Speedball. I liked the Samson/Moonstone dynamic as well. And Bullseye was also great. Ah, it's just a damn good book. As much as i like Gage, it'll be a shame to see Ellis go.

Hercules #118 - Not a ton to comment on since we're mid-story but this continues to be a great book. I see that the sales aren't weathering the Hulk/Herc swap as well as Marvel might have liked which is a shame because i'd like to see more books about less prominent characters (and i want this one to keep going). Nightmare was well depicted.

New Avengers #42 - Secret Invasion is going to play hell with my timeline project, but luckily it'll be long over by the time i get to these books. Bringing up House of M raises an interesting questions for me - it's interesting that the Scarlet Witch essentially did exaclty what the Skrulls were aiming for with regard to mutants, so were they actually controlling her? Did they replace Magneto or Quicksilver? And if not, wouldn't Wanda have "fixed" the Skrull infiltrators when she was re-creating everything after House of M? We'll see; obviously it looks like it will be addressed.

Mighty Avengers #15 - Hey, it's Romita, Janson, and Palmer on art. That's a nice team. Poor Hank. Such a loser. I don't think there's anything wrong with "drunk Jan". I think we're seeing an aspect of the Hank/Janet relationship you don't normally see; they're trying to get back together and it's not working and she's not handling it well. I don't think that's supposed to depict how she typically acts. Hank, on the other hand, has a long history of being a failure.

By fnord12 | July 6, 2008, 11:18 PM | Comics | Link

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