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November 30, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #90

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 9:23 am

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 #90
Cover Date: 1991 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Sam Kieth


Wolverine in “Blood Hungry” part 6
written by Peter David
art by Sam Kieth

Tiger Tyger inquires about Cyber’s involvement in Logan’s past. He explains that he used to look up to the man in his youth until they had a falling out. Cyber‘s one of the few people to have ever beaten Wolverine. Beaten so bad that Logan still can’t quite understand what happens – he recalls it all in nonsensical, symbolic dreams. Later that night, Tiger Tyger and General Coy both meet with Cyber but, he turns the deal around. He explains that intends to inject them with the drug (which will cause them to fight to the death) and then he’ll take the money they’ve brought and establish his own criminal empire in Madripoor. But, before he can take action – Logan shows up!

Beast in “Just Friends” part 6
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Jae Lee

While the Constrictor is battling the Super-Apes, the Beast has been caged by Jennifer Nyles and Commander Courage. Courage explains that he intends to capture the scientists attending the World Symposium on Mutant Research and then turn them into Were-Borgs. As the explanation draws to a close, the Beast’s sedative wears out so he’s able to escape (and take Nyles with him).

Ghost Rider/Cable in “Sevants of the Dead” part 1
written by Howard Mackie
art by Guang Yap

Trekking through one of the many tunnels beneath Manhattan, Cable finds a young girl who’s running away from the Grateful Undead. They catch up to her and Cable while above-ground, Dan Ketch’s motorcycle calls to him – it senses that an innocent is in danger. He transforms into Ghost Rider and burrows into the tunnels to find Cable has been captured.

Nightmare in “Fangu Lives!
written by Steve Buccelato
art by Steve Buccelato

Nightmare tells the tale of an other-worldy orb that lands on Earth. Later, it hatches and grows into the alien creature called Fangu. The alien is eventually killed by humans but, unbeknownst to them, the creature intended to transform into a human form and reveal to them the secret of space and time exploration.

It’s a strange sight to see Wolverine scared of a foe – that’s the case with Cyber, here. The Beast feature wasn’t quite as fun as last issue but the Nightmare short reminded me of those fun “Twilight Zone”-style Marvel Monster Mags from the 1950s. Finally, the new Cable/Ghost Rider team-up is off to an uninteresting and too-coincidental start.

Note: This issue began the new MCP flip cover format.

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Nightmare | Beast | Cable | Ghost Rider
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Nightmare | Beast | Cable | Ghost Rider

November 29, 2012

Famous Fanmail #139 Charles Novinskie

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 8:03 am

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”!

Charles S. Novinskie served as Topps Comics’ sales and promotions manager. He’s written articles for Comics Interview and Star Wars Galaxy Magazine. Novinskie was also the editor on Overstreet’s Fan magazine and Topps’ Duckman series. He got a letter printed in the Micronauts #53 (cover date – July 1983), recommending that the creative team get rid of some characters that he finds uninteresting.

Micronauts letters page with Charles Novinskie

On Ebay: Micronauts | Charles Novinskie
On AtomicAvenue: Micronauts

November 28, 2012

Connecting Covers #44 Starship Troopers

Filed under: Connecting Covers — Doorman @ 11:40 am

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.

Markosia acquired the license to Starship Troopers in 2006. The variant covers of issue four connect to form one image.

Starship Troopers: Dead Man's Hand #4 A B

On Ebay: Starship Troopers
On AtomicAvenue: Starship Troopers

November 27, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #139 Buffy

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 6:00 am

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.

Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired seven seasons from 1997 until 2003. A few years later, Whedon launched season eight as a comic series, published by Dark Horse Comics. That “season” concluded with issue #40, and was followed by Season Nine #1.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #1
March 2007
Jo Chen
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #40
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #40
January 2011
Jo Chen

On Ebay: Buffy
On AtomicAvenue: Buffy

November 26, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #34 the Thing and Nighthawk

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 6:00 am

Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #34Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: December 1977
Cover Price: 35¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Ron Wilson

WHO stars in this issue?

the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.

Nighthawk – Kyle Richmond is a wealthy man who’s dedicated his life to helping people. In addition to keeping his body in superb fighting condition, from dusk until dawn he acquires mild super-strength. He also utilizes a costume that gives him the ability to fly.

WHAT happens?

Kyle Richmond has been summoned to his company’s London headquarters for an important meeting. His employees reveal that they’ve discovered a rock in the Himalayas – one that contains some type of bizarre creature. Meanwhile, back at Doctor Kort’s lab, the Thing stands witness as Deathlok is finally brought back to consciousness and is then taken away by Nick Fury to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters. Moments later, Kyle Richmond summons Doctor Kort (along with the Thing) to help with analyzing the previously mentioned rock.

Doctor Kort manages to free the creature from the rock but, when it is finally loose, it emits a gas that knocks unconscious all those present, including the Thing. The beast is aware (it can think thoughts to itself) but it cannot formulate a means of communication. It doesn’t seem to be on the attack – but, it’s actions could be perceived that way (mostly because of the way it looks). So, it takes off for the countryside.



The “monster” comes across a hospital that has caught fight and decides to try to save the children trapped inside. The Thing and Nighthawk also drop in to lend a hand but onlookers, frightened by the beast’s looks, determine that it is intending to do harm to the children. So, the heroic yet misunderstood beast is rewarded for his good deeds with deadly gunfire.

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

There is no villain in this issue and the alien creature doesn’t live beyond its first appearance here.

WHY is Nighthawk the guest-lead?

I don’t see much of an ulterior motive to get Nighthawk (of the Defenders) involved in this storyline. Marv Wolfman never wrote that title – so it’s clear he wasn’t cross-promoting his own work.



HOW was it?

This was easily the most heart-breaking issue of Marvel Two-In-One. Wolfman did a wonderful job of creating a “monster” that you truly feel for – and Ron Wilson created a truly frightening looking beast. What a dichotomy!

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #29.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Nighthawk
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Nighthawk

November 23, 2012

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #89

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 6:00 am

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 #89
Cover Date: 1991 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Sam Kieth; Joe Madureira (back)


Wolverine in “Blood Hungry” part 5
written by Peter David
art by Sam Kieth

After her meeting with Cyber, Tiger Tyger sets out to find Wolverine – he’s gone missing ever since Cyber infected him with a hallucinagenic drug. As he comes to – she reveals that she did, in fact, make a deal with Cyber for the drug shipments – even though she really didn’t want to. Afterwards, we see Cyber making a deal with General Coy Tiger Tyger is sure to disapprove when she finds out.

Beast in “Just Friends” part 5
written by Scott Lobdell
art by Jae Lee

The Beast seeks out the Constrictor and reveals that he thinks he was set up. After all, why would the Red Ghost hire him to kill the Beast? The Red Ghost is typically a Fantastic Four villain – and hasn’t encountered the Beast. Constrictor confirms that he never actually met with the Red Ghost – just that he was told that’s who was paying for the hit. So, the Beast convinces the Constrictor to join him in his quest for answers. The two of them then have to fight their way through a squad of Were-Borgs in to the Belgian Ministry of Defense (that’s where the Red Ghost is being kept – in ill health). After they dispatch those goons, they split up. The Beast finds Jennifer Nyles – and she pulls a gun on him!

Spitfire in “Young Blood
written by Dan Slott
art by Rita Fagiani

After receiving a second transfusion of blood from the original Human Torch (in Namor the Sub-Mariner #12), Spitfire‘s body has reverted biologically back 48 years! It’s a strange mutant power – to have regenerative blood that is triggered by the addition of synthetic blood. Blood that Selene (the Black Queen) wants! After all, Selene is an “energy vampire” – she has to kill others to maintain her youth. To that end, she’s kidnapped Spitfire‘s son in an effort to gain access to her body. She intends to vivisect the heroine in order to duplicate the process – a far simpler task than having to kill someone every time, I suppose. Naturally, Spitfire doesn’t want that to happen so she figures out a way to defeat Selene and rescue her son.

Mojo in “What’s Wrong With This Picture?!
written by Dan Slott
art by Joe Madureira

Mojo’s media empire’s ratings have plummeted – a competitor has been luring away the audience with documentaries. Minor Domo suggests that they create a documentary to stay relevant (and, more importantly, in business). So, Mojor sets out to capture the X-Men in their natural habitat. Turns out, it’s pretty boring watching them live a normal day. When they get back, they realize that the camera was facing the wrong way – the X-Men were never even filmed. But, what it did capture saves the day – it becomes a hit show!

Lots of good stuff here, folks. A Sam Kieth cover and very early work by Joe Madureira (and Dan Slott, too). I’m curious to see how this double-deal Cyber’s planning unfolds. The Beast story is really fun! I certainly did not see a Beast/Constrictor team-up coming … but I like it! Spitfire was this issue’s low point but the Mojo story was silly and fun (in that special Mojo-way).

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Spitfire | Beast | Mojo
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Wolverine | Spitfire | Beast

November 22, 2012

Famous Fanmail #138 Luna Brothers

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 6:00 am

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”!

After the success of Invincible and the Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman decided to launch his subsequent ongoing series, the Astounding Wolf-Man. He gave the first issue away for free in that year’s Free Comic Book Day Event. In the letters pages of the second issue (cover date – July 2007) , we get to see the Luna Brothers reaction! You may know them from their creator-owned titles: Ultra, Girls and the Sword. They also provided the artwork for Marvel’s Spider-Woman: Origin mini series.

the Astounding Wolf-Man letters page with the Luna Brothers

On Ebay: Astounding Wolf-Man | Luna
On AtomicAvenue: Astounding Wolf-Man

November 21, 2012

Connecting Covers #43 Black Coat & Athena Voltaire

Filed under: Connecting Covers — Doorman @ 10:57 am

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.

In 2009, Ape Entertainment released a comic series teaming up the Black Coat with Athena Voltaire.

Black Coat/Athena Voltaire #1

On Ebay: Black Coat | Athena Voltaire
On AtomicAvenue: Black Coat | Athena Voltaire

November 20, 2012

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #138 Doom Patrol

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 am

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.

After the Vertigo series, Doom Patrol was relaunched in 2001 as a more straight-forward hero book. Well, straight-forward … for Doom Patrol, that is. The series was still very quirky and I was glad to see that it didn’t completely ignore what happened before. The last issue of this series swiped the first issue’s design.

Doom Patrol vol. III #1
Doom Patrol vol. III #1
December 2001
Tan Eng Huat
Doom Patrol vol. III #22
Doom Patrol vol. III #22
September 2003
Tan Eng Huat

On Ebay: Doom Patrol
On AtomicAvenue: Doom Patrol

November 19, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #33 the Thing and Modred

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 9:18 am

Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #33Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: November 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Ron Wilson

WHO stars in this issue?

the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.

Modred – Modred was ordered to becom the apprentice of the wizard, Merlin, but he refused – and later sought Merlin’s death. Using sorceries from the book of the Darkhold, Modred induced a great slumber upon himself – he was later awakened in the modern world.

Spider-Woman – As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

Now that Alicia has been restored to normal, she wants to see Stonehenge before she and the Thing depart for home. When they arrive there, they found themselves attacked by the Brothers Four (Aero, Hydro, Fire, Mud). These four elemental-like beings have been summoned by Merlin to find Modred – but, in the meantime, they’ve been kidnapping every human they find. Luckily for the Thing, Spider-Woman followed him there and has decided to lend a hand. But, even still, they’re out-powered by the four monsters.



Not much later, Modred the Mystic shows up at the scene of the battle. And, as he keeps the elementals occupied, the Thing seeks to free the other humans that have been taken captive (included amongst them are Trevor and Chauncy, the thieves that were sucked into the mysterious treasure chest, last issue). Modred manages to destroy one of the elementals, Aero – he then sets Fire against Hydro, and they destroy each other. Finally, he reduces the earth elemental to dust.

After all has settled, Modred wipes the painful memories of the Thing‘s visit to London from his mind – and Alicia’s as well (that means that the Thing will not remember meeting Spider-Woman). Modred and Spider-Woman walk off into the sunset, as he explains that he’d like to help her learn about her mysterious past.

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London – Stonehenge, to be exact.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

These specific four elementals summoned by Merlin from ages past are all destroyed in this issue. It doesn’t look like they’ll be popping up again.

WHY is Modred the guest-lead?

Modred the Mystic had not been seen since his first two appearances in Marvel Chillers #1 & 2 (cover date: January 1976). Not much was done with him immediately after this issue, although he did appear in a few issues of the Avengers in 1979. So, I don’t see an ulterior motive for including him here – other than that Wolfman liked the concept of the character.



HOW was it?

To be honest, battles against elemental beings is so over-done in comics that it’s not even funny. I understand that they fit well into the type of beings that Merlin might have summoned ages ago but they’re just such boring creatures. As for Modred, he’s shown to be extremely powerful here – but not much is revealed in terms of characterization for him. The Thing and Spider-Woman continue to reveal “woe-is-me” thoughts (Spider-Woman concerned about her perceived non-humanity; the Thing fretting over all the problems he drags Alicia into) and there just isn’t much room for fun or humor in this issue. All in all, it wasn’t that entertaining – and we still didn’t get an explanation about that mysterious treasure chest (although, we can assume it’s linked to Merlin somehow).

Note: No letters page this issue.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman | Modred
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman | Modred

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