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This might come across a bit creepy...

There's been some complaints that since Chris Evans will have played both the Human Torch and Captain America, a Secret Wars movie will be a challenge, but as i show here, it's quite possible.

Chris Evans Secret Wars

By fnord12 | May 30, 2011, 10:51 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

After last week's deluge, we've only got two books for this week...

Captain America #618 - I'm enjoying the espionage/intrigue aspect of this plot. Not a typical Captain America story, and it's good. Since it was a slow week i finally started getting to my trade paperback backlog, and i'm also reading Brubaker's Sleeper, which has a similar vibe. Good stuff. The art could be better. The art credits say "Butch Guice & Stefano Gaudiano; and Chris Samnee" (all punctuation reproduced verbatim). I'm not sure how that breaks out in the issue, but there's a very cartoony prologue with Agent 13 and Black Widow, then a sketchy but gritty mid-section with Bucky in the prison, and then a sketchy but cartoony end section with Steve Rogers. It's all a bit of a mess, but it doesn't distract too much from the story.

Amazing Spider-Man #662 - I gave the first part of this story very high marks. Conclusions can sometimes be a bit of a let down, especially in cases like this where it's a guest writer so there's no real chance for any continuing developments, and this wound up feeling a bit too pat. A bit too much of the 'triumph of the individual spirit' type of thing, which i guess is inevitable when fighting Psycho-Man. Really, this was fine and i enjoyed it, but there were parts that felt a bit too sentimental. The additional material at the end of the book was odd. The "Infested" storyline was a pointless two pages that didn't do anything to make me want to read the Spider-Island story i assume it's building up to. The Magnetic Man story by Frank Tieri was 8 pages, and i actually thought it was pretty good. But it was Infested that was advertised on the cover so i thought it was strange that it barely existed in the comic and there was this additional story instead. Still, i thought the Magnetic Man story was a nice Astro City style POV piece.

By fnord12 | May 30, 2011, 9:22 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link


Here's that scene with Marrina from Alpha Flight #.1. As you can see, Department H tells Alpha Flight to go "be adored" by the media. There's a group shot of the team standing there proudly. And then the insert with Marrina looking crazy wild and flipping out. It just seemed odd, especially since Marrina has always been such a demure character in the past.


By fnord12 | May 26, 2011, 10:23 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers - First, let's start with the obvious: I approve of the tagline "The Mighty Fighting Avengers" and i wish to see it used again in the future. This was an out of continuity 'Free Comic Book Day' book, and it was cute enough. Relatively well written with some funny bits. The art is deliberately cartoony in a way i don't love but it's fine for what it is. Odd to see Loki using dialect like "Don't blow this for me, bro", but i understand this issue was based on a series by this creative team and i guess it's consistent with that version of the character.

Hulk #33 - I've been told to "get off my cranky pants" and admit that i secretly love this book but am too bitter to admit that i only like things when they're new. Or something. So i'll start with the positive. I'm looking forward to seeing this Omegex the World Ender showing up next issue. He reminds me of the Asgardian Destroyer and/or Galactus' Punisher robot, so this should be a fight worthy of a Hulk. And anything that gets the focus off Zero/One will be good too. Did anyone else find it odd that here the Hulk is being chased by a rogue General and getting attacked by a mysterious new enemy, but when Steve Rogers calls him up to give him a new assignment, he just gets on board without even a peep about his current troubles? Even if we allow that Red Hulk wants to deal with his "personal" problems himself, one of his government issued LMDs has already been destroyed, so shouldn't he at least let Rogers know that there's things going on that could complicate his mission? Or something? Anyway, this book was great and i'm not wearing any pants!

Black Panther #518 - Whew. That story arc's finally over. Now we can drop this book.

Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Spider-Man) No. 1 Another free comic book day book. It was by Dan Slott so i was expecting crap, but it actually was a fun book. The Spider-Woman fight was cool (I would have thought that Spider-Woman, who is immune to poisons, would be immune the Mandrill's pheromones and i could swear that the issue already came up once during the Hood/Master of Evil plotline, but i'm ok with being wrong about that). Spider-Man getting some Kung Fu lessons from Shang Chi was cool. But this upcoming Spider-Island storyline looks silly, and i'm not a big fan of this Madame Web (who is Julia Carpenter now, apparently) idea that Spidey (and i guess Julia) have ties to the "web of life" because they have spider powers, so i'm not rethinking my Dan Slott avoidance. Still, a nice Free Comic Book Day bonus. Also, i'm really not a Humberto Ramos fan, but i enjoyed the art in this issue quite a bit.

Amazing Spider-Man #661 - Hey, look, i'm reading a post-Brand New Day issue of Spider-Man. But it's ok, cause everybody's favorite Christos Gage is guest-writing, and it features the Avengers Academy. I liked it a lot - the scene in the beginning with Mr. Fantastic accidentally insulting Spidey, the giant gorilla (who doesn't love a giant gorilla?), the appearance of the awesome Psycho-Man, and the fact that all of it was directly related (Psycho-Man inflicting Spidey with guilt/the gorilla coming from the Microverse). In my first read, i felt like Spider-Man wasn't doing a good job managing the class and that it was a deliberate attempt to make the Academy kids look kewler than Spidey, but on reflection it was clearly due to Psycho-Man's influence. Good stuff.

Avengers Academy #14 - Now, despite the fact that Amazing Spider-Man #661 ended with the Academy kids getting hit with Psycho-Man's fear ray while teamed up with Spider-Man, and the fact that the cover of this issue features the Academy kids facing off against what appeared to be a horrifically distorted version of Spider-Man's rogue gallery, it turns out that this issue is not a continuation of that one. It's completely unrelated. And it turns out that's what the Sinister Six actually looks like nowadays. What the hell happened to Doctor Octopus (and, to a lesser degree, Electro)? That all out of the way, i enjoyed this. I like the fact that the Academy kids got their butts handed to them by the Sinister Six; they're kids in training and it's good that they can't win a fight against a major group like that (my opinion is that these villains could hold their own against a real team of Avengers; i'd like to see that some day). Also, watching Henry Pym get punked by Doc Ock was enjoyable.

Avengers #13 - I suppose if i write something like "Since it's written by Matt Fraction, the only thing i do fear is Fear Itself" people will just groan, so i'll pretend that i didn't write it, but when i saw that the event was crossing over into the Avengers, i was a little disappointed. But it turns out that this issue doesn't really have much to do with Fear Itself at all. It's basically an illustrated version of one of the interview transcripts that have been appearing in the backs of all the Avengers books, and i'm a fan of those, so this worked out well for me. Three minor complaints: 1) Spider-Man violating Bob's vomit rules, 2) As far as i know, there's no reason why General Ross would have such a hankering for raw eggs (but i guess being a Hulk has affected his appetite? The real Hulk sure did love his beans.), and 3) Volstagg seemed a little out of character. Also, not a complaint, but i guess the Skrull currently impersonating Jarvis didn't have a good reference photo.

Herc #2 - Good stuff!

Herc #3 - Even better stuff! Except it felt like the Fear Itself plot kind of interrupted the main plot towards the end there. Felt a little incongruous after introducing the 'hero of the people' concept. But i guess that's the point. And i enjoyed the Hercules/Man-Bull "team-up".

Heroes For Hire #7 - Good stuff, tying everything back to the earlier arc. Looking forward to seeing Misty actually get in on the action next issue.

New Avengers #12 - Yep, fake Red Skull. I'm still kind of waiting to see where the 50s Avengers plot is going - so far there's no indication regarding how (or if) it ties in with the Superia story in the modern timeline. But i'm enjoying it.

New Mutants #25 - Wow, i thought this was really good. Nice to see Abnett & Lanning following up on the previous team's plots and doing so well with the character moments. Very cool. And i like the new mission statement ("Go around and tie up all the X-Men's unresolved plot points"). Plus i'll finally get a good story involving the Sugar-Man. So far i've had no good justification for owning his toy except that he looks cool.

Alpha Flight #.1 - Ok, i liked this a lot. Not sure if this .1 issue is actually leading in to a series or if it's some kind of standalone or trial balloon (i'd ask Wanyas but he gets mad at me when i don't remember what i've agreed to collect. i'm sitting here reviewing 14 books ferchrissakes! That's only 2 week's worth!). Hope it's the former. The one thing that's weird though is that cut-out panel at the end with Marrina. The team is posing for the press after saving the day, and then there's that weird panel with Marrina flipping the bird and shouting about how the press loves to photograph the freak. First, totally out of character from the old days, so i guess there's been some changes. Second, it didn't seem to fit at all with what was going on. Really odd.

Thunderbolts #157 - This has definitely become my favorite book.

By fnord12 | May 25, 2011, 10:40 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

"I was looking for the awesome"

Via The Beat, here is a long interview with Jack Kirby from 1990.

I thought this was funny:

GROTH: Was that around 1940 when you met?

ROZ KIRBY: When I met Jack, he asked me if I wanted to go to his room and see his etchings, and I did, but imagine my surprise when he really did show me etchings! [Laughter.]

KIRBY: Let's face it, I was rather naive.

Jumping ahead to the Marvel years, Kirby basically takes credit for everything (including Spider-Man!) and says that Stan Lee didn't do much of anything - not even dialogue. Very bitter at this point. Due to a lack of recognition.

It's also cute how Roz keeps getting Jack back on track during the interview ("Gary wants to know how you created The Fantastic Four" or "No, that comes later. He didn't ask you about that.").

Anyway, interesting read.

By fnord12 | May 25, 2011, 4:01 PM | Comics | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | May 25, 2011, 3:41 PM | Comics | Link

Disclaimer: not all 5,000 hats are shown.

Bully the Stuffed Cow gives us the 5,000 Hats of Jack Kirby.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2011, 2:32 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

I promise you it never happened like this

By fnord12 | May 19, 2011, 8:31 PM | Comics | Link

ElfQuest online

I've always been interested in ElfQuest but i was always too intimidated by the sheer volume to ever get into it. Now that it's all available online, i'm... still intimidated.

By fnord12 | May 18, 2011, 3:57 PM | Comics | Link

That's not making me laugh

Micronauts Tron Robot Clown

These so-called Robot Clowns look pretty damn terrifying to me.

By fnord12 | May 15, 2011, 10:39 PM | Comics | Link

Simonson Smash

Here's some nice early art by Walt Simonson (from Hulk Magazine #11, Oct 78). He only drew this pin-up, not the whole issue.

By fnord12 | May 12, 2011, 10:58 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Big stack to go through...

Heroes For Hire #6 - i wasn't expecting to like this (hence it being first in the pile) due to the lengthy and lackluster first arc, and because i thought this issue was going to turn into a big misunderstanding fight (due to the fact that the cover, in what i assume is a tribute to ASM #129, is misleading), but it turned out that this was great. Abnett & Lanning write a funny Spider-Man, we actually got some decent character development for Paladin, and we did get something of the Mission Statement i was demanding last time.

Avengers #12 - A satisfying conclusion to the Hood/Infinity Gem arc, i think. I was at first a little uncomfortable with Steve Rogers agreeing to join and continue with the Illuminati, but now that he's the new Nick Fury it kinda of makes sense. And again, i felt like some good things are being done with the Red Hulk; better than in his own book. Good writing and nice art overall.

Avengers #12.1 - I like the Intelligencia concept, so i'm glad to see them again. I have a vague recollection of there being a new MODOK but i'm not 100% sure on that. If not we have a problem since the original is locked up over in the Red Hulk's book. I thought this book was well written, funny, and had good clean art. And unlike every other "point" book, this felt like a nice jumping on point - it introduced the characters and set up a (pretty major!) new arc. From a continuity geek point of view, using SWORD and the Intelligencia and plot elements from the space books plus bringing back a classic Avengers villain... you can't do much better than that for me.

Annihilators #3 - Speaking of the space books, this series just hasn't felt as good as the others to me. And i'm saying that as a guy who just loves Dire Wraiths. It's not quite bad... but something's not quite catching with me. We can chalk it up to no talkink dogs. The Groot and Raccoon stuff, sadly... so sadly... i'm definitely not loving, and i don't think we really needed a revision of the original Mantlo setup, silly as it was. Also, it got a lot of space this issue. Oh well; one more issue to go. We'll see.

Avengers Academy Giant Size #1 - Arcade is the type of villain that just doesn't work anywhere outside of the Adam West Batman show, but because his first few appearances were actually done quite well by some excellent creators, he's managed to not be quietly retired. But this was tedious. Especially in the middle where each of his deathtraps were explained at great length. Overall, i felt like there wasn't much character depth here and there were no twists in the plot - i kept waiting for it to turn out that Arcade was actually working with the Academy as a trainer, or that he had some twist up his sleeve that made it seem reasonable that he'd target a bunch of teenage neophytes without having been hired to do so, or something, but... no. Very straightforward, and not a favorite character of mine so i didn't enjoy this. Luckily this wasn't by the regular writer (in fact... how did i wind up with this?).

Avengers Academy #12 - A pretty straightforward conclusion to the Korvac arc and there was enough action and development here that it improved from last issue (and the overall arc will probably read better all together).

Avengers Academy #13 - A great downtime issue with lots of character moments. Loved it.

Captain America #617 - The art - by about 15 different people - wasn't so good. Of course Deodato winds up drawing the scenes with the hot spy chicks in skintight outfits - play to your strengths! Story-wise, i'm enjoying the prison plot well enough.

Hulk #32 - I don't know how this got so close to the bottom of the pile; i haven't been enjoying it lately and this issue is no improvement. We're going to great lengths to set up this Zero/One character and her minions, but it's not making her any more interesting, in my opinion. And the "nanite bombs in the Red Hulk's head" plot is dragging, too. He's working for the government, has access to Bruce Banner and Steve Rogers and is now buddies with the rest of the Avengers; it's just not believable that he's got no one to turn to on this.

Secret Avengers #12 - This book has stopped being Secret Avengers and become the John Steele Show, but Brubaker's a good writer and i'm enjoying it.

Thunderbolts #156 - Now how can the guy writing this be the same guy who's writing Red Hulk? I thought this was fantastic. The Beetle's conversation with the Shocker was perfectly characterized. Satana's introduction to the rest of the Thunderbolts was well written and funny - Moonstone's discomfort over getting fondled was well done. The only minor complaint is the way the subplots were broken up. Songbird's conversation Zabo/Hyde was oddly interrupted by the Thunderbolts' fight scenes and it just didn't feel right dramatically. But i'm definitely liking this book way more than Red Hulk, even though both are by Parker. Is it just the characters?

By fnord12 | May 11, 2011, 3:33 PM | Comics | Link

More ads!

Don't know why i'm posting all these old ads - they just struck my fancy, i guess. Here's some text and art from the same Iron Man issues as the ads below. These were promoting Marvel's odd Pizzazz magazine.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2011, 10:39 PM | Comics | Link

Wonder Bread and aliens - perfect together

Odd to see an advertisement for bread in a comic book (also from Iron Man #111).

By fnord12 | May 3, 2011, 10:37 PM | Comics | Link

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