Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Kitchen 2."

We hadn't seen Satana or Black Cat since June, Hellcat since a bit before that, and Frank guest-starred back in April 2015! But this is a new Punisher figure, the Walgreens exclusive Punisher! (Which may or not be available at that link now.) Oddly, I thought I would like the other head more, but the bandanna-one has grabbed me. I did try the other head on the Commander Rogers body, and didn't look bad.

The kitchen set hadn't been seen in a bit, either. Hasn't fallen apart yet, which is a plus!
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I plot like this by myself, with co-plotters it could get out of hand...

Today, a story I've wanted to blog forever, but couldn't find a copy to fit in my scanner! Which is weird, since I've bought the bigger version twice! From 1979, Marvel Treasury Edition #22, reprinting Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5, "Here We Go A-Plotting!" "No credits for this one 'cause nobody will take the blame!" Per the GCD, story and pencils by Marie Severin, inks by Frank Giacoia, preliminary layouts by John Romita.

Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and John Romita are locked in mortal combat against...writer's block, coming up with a plot for the Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip! Luckily, Larry first gets heartburn from, then nearly chokes on, a green sour ball; giving Stan and John the inspiration they need for a strip with Spidey hiring a housekeeper for Aunt May...that's really Dr. Doom in disguise!

I love the idea of Stan and John writing Spidey into a corner every week or so, then coasting until they have to write their way out of it. And I got this book when I was a kid: I lent some books to an older friend, who lost them, but gave me two treasury editions to replace them! Then I lost it when my basement flooded some years back, but lucked into a replacement. And yet, I've never been able to find a copy that would fit in my scanner. The main story of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 was reprinted in Marvel Tales, but not this back-up. A shame, it's more fun!
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Either an extra-crafty, extra-circuitous plan; or Loki just managed to fail uphill.

In the movies, Loki usually seems at least three steps ahead of everyone else. In Avengers in particular, getting captured isn't a setback for him, it's just another step in his plan. In the comics, Loki's schemes aren't always as well thought out...but sometimes...From 1971, Thor #194, "This Fatal Fury!" Written by Gerry Conway, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Sal Buscema.

Loki's controlling the board at the start here: he's got the Odin-Ring, he's got storm giants backing him up, he's got Thor away from Mjolnir, and he's got a wedding planned, to the Lady Sif! Dragging her off, they don't notice Thor turn into Dr. Donald Blake, scamper away from the giants, and regain Mjolnir. Fighting reams of giants, the people of Asgard are more than impressed with their prince, but can't disobey while Loki has the Odin-Ring...even though it is causing Loki some pain.

Thor brings the battle to the wedding, while the Warriors Three wake Odin from the Odinsleep, and discover he can't intercede. For a change, Loki is able to overpower Thor in battle, but the power of the Odinring becomes too much for him, leaving him alternately blind and withered until he casts it away, for Odin to casually pick back up. Odin banishes Loki once again, and as Thor and Sif embrace, he explains the ring isn't the power, merely a tool. Still, the Vizier takes Odin aside, to check out the Cosmic Well, and they observe Loki, cackling with glee, apparently banished to exactly where he wanted to be! Odin seems to realize he messed up, bad...!

Also this issue: a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby reprint, "The Golden Apples!"
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Friday, August 26, 2016

Not unlike the Hulkbuster armor, I think it's had more action figures than comic appearances...

I may have confused it with some other armor--possibly the Hulkbuster--or maybe a sarcastic comment I took at face value, but I swear I thought the Spider-Armor only lasted like three pages. It lasts at least eight, in 1992's Web of Spider-Man #100, "Total War" Written by Terry Kavanagh, pencils by Alex Saviuk, inks by Joe Rubinstein.

With the Kingpin currently out of the picture, it's gang war season in New York City again, and currently the New Enforcers are trying to destroy the Foreigner's evidence against them. New Enforcers? What happened to Montana, Ox, and Fancy Dan? This new group was a grab-bag of villains, including old pros like the Vanisher, the Eel, and Plantman; newbies like Thermite and Tangle; and robot types Dragon Man, Dreadnought, and the Super-Adaptoid. (The Super-Adaptoid by itself should've been plenty!) While Spidey's trying to deal with that lot, Richard Fisk--the son of the Kingpin, and former crime boss the Rose--has taken the identity Blood Rose and was going vigilante against the criminals plotting to take his father's place. Richard's motivation was always a bit questionable--was he plotting to destroy the Kingpin, or for his own power?--and was further complicated by his friend Alfredo, who had helped him as the Rose, then betrayed him and took his place. Alfredo was brought down, but then came back with a mysterious gauntlet stolen from another vigilante, Nightwatch. Alfredo named himself Gauntlet, and was coming back for revenge against Richard.

The whole thing comes down to a slugfest, with Spidey's new armor--an "experimental hard-web agent" that had to cost Peter Parker a few bucks--giving him enough of a edge to mop up most of them. Several of the New Enforcers, Richard, and Alfredo are all left for the cops; although Spidey is confused since Richard and Alfredo look very much alike, and he had thought Richard had been shot. Nightwatch recovers his power gauntlet, and the rest of the issue is the new hero's origin, where a young man is saved by a dying vigilante, who appears to be an older version of himself! This origin may have been retconned some time later...

I picked up the Web-Trap Spider-Man last month, but there have been a few versions. He's got a pretty good spring-loaded launcher arm, too. I don't recall if I bought it before the comic here, though.
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

I was confusing her with another character, but still wrong.

Got this little trade for a buck-fifty: from 2013, Iron Man: Armored Vengeance, reprinting Iron Man #258.1 to #258.4, script by Bob Layton and David Michelinie, pencils by Dave Ross, inks by Layton. Why #258.1 on? Because the numbering for Iron Man wasn't already a nightmare...actually, as the introduction points out, while Michelinie and Layton were the creative team for the original Armor Wars storyline, John Byrne and John Romita Jr. did the follow-up, Armor Wars II, in the original Iron Man #258. This series was Michelinie and Layton's own spin on a sequel...

There are a couple good points for it: it does tie in to a point from their run when Rhodey was nearly killed and a bit gun-shy about suiting back up, and gets him back on track. There's also some classic IM foes, the Dreadnoughts and the Mandroids. Unfortunately, I don't consider Justin Hammer a classic, even if here he's the aged industrialist and not the hip douchebag of the films. Hammer used nanites on Stark, which combined with the biochip in his spine to form the Entity, an online consciousness out to destroy any that might stop it. (EDIT: The biochip and the Entity weren't still in Stark's spine, that might've raised the stakes some!)

A couple supporting characters are killed by the Entity, namely Stark's personal physician Dr. Sondheim, and his girlfriend Rae LaCoste. But that doesn't fit, continuity-wise: LaCoste dated Rhodey in the War Machine book. That makes this a "What If?" kind of story; I wish I had the original Armor Wars II handy to compare it to. I was misremembering and confusing Rae with the much, much cooler Bethany Cabe, and I was going to be pissed if she was killed off.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Picked up "Bluepool" here from eBay a couple of weeks back, and had no idea what to do with first. Where is he from? Ooh, it's a surprise; a deep Marvel cut that still turns up from time to time. And we'll check out some of the comics we're referencing as well, next week!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

So, we mentioned the Forgotten One, Gilgamesh, last week; why not check out his Avengers Spotlight story?...I can't think of a reason why not, and I'm really trying. From 1990, Avengers Spotlight #35, "Call Me Whatshisname" Written by Danny Fingeroth, pencils by Jim Valentino, inks by Jeff Albrecht.

I may have read this back in 1990, but offhand I thought this issue was part of that "Avengers Reborn" thing this title was doing, that gave us Black Knight, Tigra, and Dr. Druid stories: it's not. Maybe it was supposed to be, but it may have been used as a fill-in for whatever reason; a caption on the splash page notes the book's usual headliner, Hawkeye, would not be seen that month.

Instead, we get the return of Gilgamesh...which I'm not at all positive anyone was jumping up and down for. He had recovered from the beatdown that took him out of the Avengers (the group and the comic!) but was still rather grumpy, and the puckish Sprite had taken it upon himself to both cheer up his Eternal brethren and work on his name recognition. The latter may be the harder sell, since Gil notes no one ever took notice of his deeds before, someone always poached the credit. Sure enough, moments after the start of their visit to Paris, Gilgamesh stops a robbery, and the press fawns all over a nearby actor, mistakenly assuming he stopped the crime. Gil figures his lot in life is to be unsung and unappreciated, unless there was a mighty foe he could prove himself a dragon or something...

Cue dragons, stage left. Riding a dragon and leading a pack of them, B'gon the Sorcerer confronts his ancient foe Gilgamesh...who, amusingly, has never heard of him. B'gon recounts his earlier defeat at the Eternal's hands, and in many stories this would involve time-travel or such; this time I think it's merely mistaken identity. Gilgamesh covered for Hercules for at least one of the god's twelve labors, perhaps it was Herc who defeated B'gon and the sorcerer simply couldn't tell. Anyway, long story short (too late!) Gil defeats B'gon, who disappears with his dragons, and Sprite, disguised as Captain America, gives him a hearty endorsement to the gathered press. Who, the next day, give "Cap" the credit; although Gilgamesh does have to smile: at least his name's out there.

This is a little throwaway story, with far too many coincidences for even this type of one-shot comic, but Valentino's art still has some charm.
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