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Archive for August, 2011

Comics That Never Were #1 Mighty Mouse 11

31 Aug

Due to the continuous nature of most comics, work is often planned for comics that are months away from being published. Occassionally a title is prematurely canceled, leaving unpublished writings/ideas/art behind in various stages of completion. Here’s a look at a comic that never was.

Marvel’s Mighty Mouse series ended with issue #10. But, in the letters pages of that issue, we’re privy to the cover design for issue #11 (which was never published). It’s a pretty cool find because the cover was done by artiste extraordinaire, Charles Vess. And, what’s more, it pays homage to the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15 (famous for being the first appearance of Aunt May …. oh yeah, and Spider-Man, too).


Mighty Mouse (Marvel Series) #10

On Ebay: Mighty Mouse
On AtomicAvenue: Mighty Mouse

 

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #74 Incredible Hulk

30 Aug

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

The Marvel Zombies series were filled with classic cover swipes. This one swipes the McFarlane cover to the classic Hulk vs Wolverine battle.

Incredible Hulk #340
Incredible Hulk #340
February 1988
Todd McFarlane
Marvel Zombies #3
Marvel Zombies #3
April 2006
Arthur Suydam

On Ebay: Hulk | Marvel Zombies
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Zombies | Hulk

 

One-Shot At Greatness #74 Eternals: Herod Factor

29 Aug

Because publishers want you to buy their product every month, comics are typically serial in nature. However, occasionally (and more often nowadays than ever before) publishers launch a comic title that is only meant to last for one issue. While ongoing series often have multiple chances to hook in new readers, the comics highlighted in this ongoing investigations only had One-Shot At Greatness!

Eternals: the Herod Factor #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: November 1991
Cover Price: $2.50
Writer: Roy Thomas with Dann Thomas
Artist: Mark Texeira

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

A mutate is loose on Earth, killing eighteen-year-old sets of twins. And, while this may seem unrelated to the Eternals, it’s actually quite important to them. Especially since they just found an ancient prophecy that predicts that the twin spawn of a Deviant and Eternal coupling will rise to power over all three species (Humans, Eternals, and Deviants) on their eighteenth birthday. Initially the Eternals suspect that the Deviants, who have long desired to be Earth’s ruling species, are behind this monster on the loose – but they quickly realize that the culprit could be an Eternal, too. So, the Eternals set out for Lemuria (the Deviants’ home) to discover who is commanding the mutate. Along the way, they Eternals will discover who spawned these twins [Answer: Thena & Kro] and just who is the mastermind behind the slayings [Answer: Dr. Damian].

I’ve just recently read through the first two Eternals series so I’m very familiar with the characters and, I assume that’s why I enjoyed this story so much. Even though the writers recap what has gone before in the Eternals’ history, I feel that without the grounding in their first two series, I wouldn’t have as much attachment to these characters. That being said, Roy & Dann Thomas pace this giant-sized tale really well and work in plenty of character moments that are truly fitting. The story even advances the Eternals’ grander storyline as one of the immortal beings dies in battle with the villain. It also introduces the first known spawn of Eternals and Deviants and carries right on from the events that previously happened in the last issue of the second series. Eternals fans should not miss this one!

On Ebay: Eternals | Roy Thomas | Mark Texeira
On AtomicAvenue: Eternals

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #23

26 Aug

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #23
Cover Date: Early July 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Bret Blevins


Cyclops in “the Retribution Affair” part 7
written by Bob Harras
art by Ron Lim

 
During his battle with Master Mold, Cyclops musters up enough determination to bring his power back, despite its near-neutralization due to the Retribution Virus he’s been infected with. But, after being swept easily aside, the X-Man and Conscience devise a plan. Since Conscience is based on Stephen Lang’s emotional engrams (and Master Mold’s programming is based solely on Lang’s rational mind), he may be able to “infect” MM’s programming, causing Master Mold to rethink unleashing the Retribution Virus upon humanity at large.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 11
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
The Black Panther manages to escape the South African soldiers and he seeks out Sarah Slade. He sets up a meeting with her husband for the following evening. After his conversation, he returns to his glider to rest for the night.

the Falcon in “The Forest For The Trees
written by Fabian Nicieza
art by Dave Cockrum

 
The Falcon breaks up a gang initiation and finds that one of the new members is the son of a neighbordhood acquantaince named Hal. But, when he goes to speak with the kid’s parents, he discovers that they’re influencing his bad behavior. Can the Falcon save this family from a life of drugs and gangs? Does a costumed vigilante even have the right to interfere?

Wheels in “Lady Jane
written by John Figueroa
art by Ron Wilson

 
Wheels (of the Wolfpack) has his eye on a cute girl named Jane. And, when her ex-boyfriend won’t accept the break-up, Wheels finds a perfect opportunity to make his move.

The Falcon tale is an excellent insight into the importance of parenting and the concept of “it takes a village”. I highly recommend checking this one out.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | Falcon | Wolfpack
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | Falcon | Wolfpack

 

Famous Fanmail #73 733rd Medical Detachment

25 Aug

You may not be surprised to learn that most people in the comic business grew up reading comic books. However, you might be interested in knowing what they were reading. Here’s a look at “Famous Fanmail”!

The United States Army’s 733rd Medical Detachment got a letter printed in Fantastic Four #25 (cover date – April1964).

Fantastic Four letters page with 733rd Medical Detachment

On Ebay: Fantastic Four
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four

 

Connecting Covers #3 I-Bots

24 Aug

A fun aspect of comic books is that sometimes their covers combine to make an even larger image. Here’s a look at some connecting covers.

Tekno Comix (later called Big Entertainment) launched their line of books by hiring big name creators to come up with concepts that were then expanded upon in comics form other writers and artists. One such title was I-Bots, which was created by Isaac Asimov, the mind behind I, Robot and other influential works. The final three issues of their second series combine to form one image.

Gene Roddenberry's I-Bots vol. II #7, 8 & 9 Avengers & Fantastic Four

On Ebay: I-Bots | Isaac Asimov
On AtomicAvenue: I-Bots | Asimov

 

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #73 Civil War

23 Aug

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

The Marvel Zombies series were filled with classic cover swipes. This one swipes the Michael Turner variant of Civil War #1.

Civil War #1 Michael Turner Variant
Civil War #1
July 2006
Michael Turner
Ultimate Civil War: Spider-Ham #1
Ultimate Civil War: Spider-Ham #1
March 2007
Mike Wieringo
Marvel Zombies 2 #1
Marvel Zombies 2 #1
December 2007
Arthur Suydam

On Ebay: Civil War | Marvel Zombies
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Zombies | Civil War

 

One-Shot At Greatness #73 Mangaverse Punisher

22 Aug

Because publishers want you to buy their product every month, comics are typically serial in nature. However, occasionally (and more often nowadays than ever before) publishers launch a comic title that is only meant to last for one issue. While ongoing series often have multiple chances to hook in new readers, the comics highlighted in this ongoing investigations only had One-Shot At Greatness!

Mavel Mangaverse: the Punisher #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: March 2002
Cover Price: $2.25
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Lea Hernandez

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

The Punisher allows her captive, Kusugutai, to be freed in order to follow him. And, when he goes running back to Ho of the Skang Kee family, the Punisher is there to force the Skang Kee Family out of her city. What she may not have planned on was an assault by Yew, the Skang Kee’s oni enforcer. But, luckily for the Punisher, her sister has come to the rescue brandishing the ancient Tachi sword!

So far I’ve been quite disappointed with the Marvel Mangaverse one-shots. But, this time, Peter David’s name jumped off the cover! Finally! I’ll get a well-written manga version of a Marvel hero. Unfortunately, I was still let down. Even one of my favorite writers couldn’t make it interesting for me. The “adventure” wasn’t all that fun or interesting and the book included some lame humor that just didn’t click with the Punisher mythos. The Punisher’s name is Sosumi …. and the antagonist is Skang Kee Ho. Yeesh!

On Ebay: Mangaverse | Punisher | Peter David
On AtomicAvenue: Mangaverse

 

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #22

19 Aug

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!


Marvel Comics Presents #22
Cover Date: Late June 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Marshall Rogers


Cyclops in “the Retribution Affair” part 6
written by Bob Harras
art by Ron Lim

 
Conscience decides he cannot allow Master Mold to destroy billions of humans in his quest to destroy every mutant with the Retribution Virus. So, the villain strikes an uneasy alliance with Moira MacTaggert, Callisto and the depowered Cyclops.

Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” part 10
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan

 
The wounded Black Panther fights through a strike force of South American soldiers. His fight inspires the local villagers to rise up against the militia that has invaded their home.

Wolfsbane & Mirage in “Suffer A Wolf To Live
written by Sue Flaxman
art by Rodney Ramos

 
Wolfsbane and Mirage journey to Muir Island on their summer vacation from Xavier’s School From Gifted Youngsters. Playfully, Wolfsbane runs off into the woods to chase a wolf – she quickly becomes lost but is found by a stranger who welcomes her to Avalon and bids her to join in the Midsummer Celebration. Rahne discovers a local village made of the Tuatha de Danan - the Children of Danu – all wolf shape-changers! The village hopes that Wolfsbane will add new, young wolf blood to their family – allowing it to continue with a new generation. But, when decides not to stay, will her new-found friends let her leave?

Starfox in “New Worlds to Conquer
written by Peter Gillis
art by Dave Cockrum

 
Cruising through space, Starfox‘s ship discovers another spaceship that has jumped into their area of the vast void known as outer space. He and his gal-pal, Heater Delight, go out to investigate the new vehicle and its inhabitants. In the foreign ship, they meet Aalbort the Aakon trader who is still in battle with the ship’s invaders – alien warriors with energy swords. Their leader, Azunbulxibar, demands that Starfox, Aalbort and Heater surrender! When it becomes quite clear that our hero is physically outmatched, he’ll have to rely on his wits to save the day.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | New Mutants
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Cyclops | Black Panther | New Mutants

 

Famous Fanmail #72 Don Glut

18 Aug

You may not be surprised to learn that most people in the comic business grew up reading comic books. However, you might be interested in knowing what they were reading. Here’s a look at “Famous Fanmail”!

Don Glut has worked as a screenwriter for cartoons including Spider-Man, G.I. Joe, X-Men, Transformers and many more. He created some of the characters and much of the back story for the Masters of the Universe toy line, which later served as the basis for the cartoon. He got a letter published in Fantastic Four #24 (cover date – March 1964) at the age of 20.

Fantastic Four letters page with Don Glut

On Ebay: Fantastic Four | Don Glut
On AtomicAvenue: Fantastic Four