Friday, December 03, 2021

We mentioned this back when we looked at Quasar #11, but here we've got another Excalibur guest-spot. From 1992, Dark Angel #6, "Bad Blood" Written by Simon Furman, 'art starts' by Gary Frank, finishes by Andy Lanning.
This was a Marvel UK book, and not one I had read before this guest-spot; although I do think I read this at the time and before Dark Angel's guested in Excalibur #67. (That was Alan Davis's last issue on the book, and also features a surprisingly hopeful coda to the Days of Futures Past future, albeit after a lot of Marvel UK characters are brutally murdered...) Dark Angel (formerly Hell's Angel) was on a fetch-quest to recover the fragments of her father's soul, even though he was no innocent: he had been part of mysterious conspirary corporation MyS-Tech, plotting to weasel out of a pact with Mephisto and getting his soul blown apart for his trouble. I kind of dig her look, though; but of course I would, it's very 90's. Feel like the design could've used another pass or two though; it looks like it might be a pain to draw repeatedly. This month, "something's wandering the moors chewing up civilians," as Captain Britain somewhat insensitively puts it, and both Excalibur and Dark Angel are on the case.
As Dark Angel fights the monster, Nightcrawler leaps in to help, assuming "at great personal risk" the pretty woman was the good guy. (It feels like Kurt shouldn't make that assumption, but she was pretty...) Meggan has an empathic reaction, the monster seeming to have "a child's voice," and Dark Angel realizes the monster is her brother, somehow changed by her father! The scene then switches, somewhat abruptly, to where MyS-Tech's executive board is seemingly fighting through dead heroes (Guardian, Thunderbird, the Torpedo, and Miss America!) to get her dad's soul fragment, but one executive seemingly lets her get there first. (Said executive has a very British face: I suspect she's based on someone real, but couldn't say who!) Dark Angel is furious with her father, but won't pass judgment on him; freeing his soul but hoping he gets what's coming to him.
There wasn't really much reason for Excalibur to be here, but I guess there was little reason why not, either. Dark Angel would run until #16, which appears to have Death's Head II in a prominent role, since he was the closest thing to a breakout star Marvel UK had, but the whole Marvel UK subline was done by 1994. Guest-spots like this notwithstanding, Marvel's titles were somewhat 'siloed' at the time, with larger interactions limited: it might have made sense for Ghost Rider to crossover, with the Mephisto angle here. (Back in the 70's or 80's, if this had been cancelled, Dark Angel probably would've turned up inside of six months in Marvel Two-in-One or Team-Up.)
The back-up feature, "Power Unconfined!" perhaps explains the clunkier parts of Dark Angel's costume, as she executes a training program from her mysterious Guide: the black portion of her costume is the "fabric of the universe," granting immense cosmic power, while the armor serves as a limiter. Could she do more without it? Maybe, if she wanted to be overwhelmed by information and wreck the timeline. So, armor for a reason, lesson learned. (Story by Bernie Jaye and Paul Neary, pencils by Kev Hopgood, inks by Sean Hardy.) Read more!

Thursday, December 02, 2021

If this was a Plop! story, I'd probably be finding issues of it in every box.

Hopefully, there's nothing ominous or sinister about finding another issue of Plop! when I thought I only had one. Or maybe my whole collection is slowly turning into Plop! Could go either way. From 1975, Plop! #17, cover by Basil Wolverton.
After two issues, I worry about the hit/miss ratio for this book, since this wasn't a great one either; but it does feature one fairly good one from Steve Skeates and Frank Robbins, "Old Butterfly Story!"
They aren't wrong, on either count... Read more!

Wednesday, December 01, 2021


And we're back to one of our regular sets! And some new Re-Ment drink pieces. This was going to maybe be longer, but was done last night and may have to keep for now. Also, Jessica Jones kind of took it over.

I keep PlutoTV on in the background a lot; which has an unfortunate side effect of seeing the same ads a lot. That said, they aren't advertising right-wing bullcrap now, so I'll count my blessings. So I've seen that ad for Drizly that those drink orders are lodged in my skull; but not so many times that I've ordered anything. Besides, I don't know if vodka + Hawaiian Punch is a valid selection..."Lushlife" strikes me as a better name, if somewhat disparaging. I swore that was a Lush album, though...

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

You kill Marvel's cash cow in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.

This is a gimmick I didn't think Marvel was going to go back to, but I guess over a long enough timeline everything will come back around again. From 2009, X-Men Forever #10, "Home, Come the Heroes!" Written by Chris Claremont, pencils by Paul Smith, inks by Terry Austin, letters by Tom Orzechowski (who should get paid by the letter!)
So X-Men Forever was supposedly what Chris Claremont would have continued with the mutants, if he hadn't left in 1991's X-Men #3. I say 'supposedly,' because even at his peak popularity I can't imagine editorial letting him kill Wolverine and keep him dead. Even with his dad, Sabretooth, moving into his role--that was one of several large breaks from 616 traditional continuity. Mutants were also prone to instability and dying young (too late for Magneto and Professor X, I'd say) while Jean Grey revealed a secret (but chaste) love for Logan, and the GCD link notes Cyclops's son Nathan wasn't sent to the future, so no Cable here!
Logan's funeral is attended by the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Nick Fury, and Captain Britain; Bruce Banner also makes an incognito appearance as a flower delivery man to pay his respects. Cyclops gives the eulogy, largely to the effect that it was tough to like Logan sometimes, but you always had to respect him. Scott then flies back to Alaska, to see his family and Nathan. 

I've read a bit of this series, but never loved it; probably because I get irritated at Claremont playing favorites, especially when Nightcrawler doesn't have someone like Dave Cockrum to advocate for him. Kurt's fate is uncertain in the last issue, I swear every plot he had in the series was crapping on him.
Read more!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Neo-Tokyo Gotham is about to explode.

I'm having a bit of a motivation problem today, so trying to shake myself figuratively awake with a post. Today, a limited series I think I got seven of eight out of the quarter bin years ago, but only got the conclusion recently! From 2004, Batman: City of Light #8, story and art by the Pander Brothers, story by Mark Paniccia.
This may have been ahead of the curve, as every Batman story now involves massive amounts of property damage and casualties, but maybe that was novel in 2004? This was the conclusion of Batman and Batgirl (Cassandra!) versus an insane architect blowing up chunks of the city to replace with his own vision...wait, that's the plot to Destroyer, the 90's story intent on maybe retrofitting Gotham to look more like Tim Burton's movies. OK, this one also involved an artist commune, some kind of living light technology, and Purge, the architect's enforcer-slash-Batman replacement.
Bats is more monosyllabic than Cassandra this issue, because he's been put through the usual wringer; but I also think this was fairly far along for Cassandra, as she even seems to go on a date in the end. Batman also seems harsher than usual with Purge, but I'm guessing he wasn't really alive. This might've been easier if I had the other seven issues next to me...
Oddly, I think I recently got the last issue of the 2002-03 Batman: Family limited; we saw one issue of that some time back, but I bought most of it from the same quarter bins and didn't have the end!

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Mmm, crab venom, that's the stuff.

I had wanted to read this one, since I hadn't read this stretch just before the last issue, and I thought it would be a lot of re-boxing the toys. I forgot about a crossover here, with Doom 2099! From 1996, Fantastic Four #413, "Missions: Impossible!" Script and plot by Tom DeFalco, plot and pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by John Lowe and Bob Wiacek.
The future Doom--who may or may not be the Doom we know from the present, but who is also wearing a latter, lesser version of his 2099 design--was on a pretty convoluted mission. The citizens of future Latveria were all dead, dissolved by deadly "necro-toxins." To save them, Doom 2099 had discovered long-term use of a drug made of crab venom, would alter his people on the genetic level and save them from the necro-toxins if he got them hooked on it in 1996. The Thing and Daredevil (in the yellow costume, putting this around 1995's Daredevil #347?) stopped him, forcing 2099 to take some crab venom himself, but with the crab extinct he now had to find a way to synthesize more. And Reed always had the best toys...
At Four Freedoms Plaza, the newly shaven--and seemingly mostly recovered--Reed was hard at work on a couple projects: a dimensional probe to contact either Galactus or the Silver Surfer, then a little surgery on the injured Black Bolt. Reed's trying to get help to beat Hyperstorm, even though his dad Nathan keeps discouraging him from even trying, which isn't suspicious or anything. Reed is assisted during the surgery by his son Franklin, who was currently aged up to the young hero Psi-Lord; then takes a shortcut through the Negative Zone to cross the universe and see the Surfer, who gives him the bad news about Galactus's 'death." (Silver Surfer #109, as we mentioned the other day!) Then, the Thing returns, to warn of his encounter with Doom 2099 in, well, Doom 2099 #42, only to see the armored intruder on their security cameras! He had used Reed's stuff to analyze the crab venom, saving the info in his mask. So, 2099 is a little hesitant to let the Thing and the Torch give him any shots to said mask, but probably shouldn't have mentioned it like two dozen times.
When the power is interrupted, Psi-Lord has to fish Reed out of the Negative Zone, while the Inhumans get into the fight. Desparate to save his people, 2099 swallows his pride and makes a break for it, only to be immediately captured and absconded with by Namor and present-day Doom! Nathan gives another warning to Reed, who is getting steaded at his naysaying, but he may have had a point, since Hyperstorm was watching, and uses a time platform on Psi-Lord. Previously, Franklin had been taken in the same way, and spent years before he could get back to the present; but this time he returns--as a child again! I don't know if there had been a ton of clues to Hyperstorm's identity, but this should be one: why wouldn't he just kill Franklin, unless he needed him for something?

The cover features Reed drifting into space, his lifeline not pulling him in; which I feel was a common problem for him, always drifting off into the Negative Zone or some damn thing. Also, is it weird a guy that can stretch has to trust a lifeline?
Read more!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Feel like there's something I should be doing today...defrosting the turkey? That's not it...

Well, I'm always thankful for a random-ass comic, so why not? From 2011, Spider-Man: Marvel Adventures #19, "Going Cosmic!" Written by J.M. DeMatteis, art by Clayton Henry.
It's a bit of a Freaky Friday, as Spidey finds himself careening through space on the Silver Surfer's board, and the Surfer finds himself passed out under a park bench in Central Park. A young fan finds the amnesiac Surfer and tries to help him out, while the suddenly-soliloquizing Spidey comes face-to-giant face with Sinistar Primordius, an angry cosmic tentacle-thing. While eating a hot dog, the Surfer remembers what happened to him: a cosmic probe tried to drain his energy, but as Spidey happened by he got the power cosmic. So it follows...maybe the Surfer got Spidey's webs? And they'll have to combine into a "Spider-Surfer?" Sure, why not! I am a sucker for other heroes borrowing Spider-Man's webs, since Doctor Strange did it way back in Marvel Team-Up #21.
In defeat, Primordius admits his grudge against the Surfer: he had been a herald of Galactus himself, before the Surfer, but had displeased Galactus and was sent away. Spinning him in a webline, the Surfer throws him out, to consider changing his ways; and he and Spidey have dinner with their fan and her mom. (This wasn't 616-continuity, but I suspect Galactus tried other means before settling on heralds; Primordius could have been a drone above his station.)
Also this issue: "The Hundred-Story Hunt" Written by Sean T. Collins, art by Pere Perez. A pleasant afternoon enjoying a slice, is interrupted by Kraven the Hunter, who chases Spidey all over an office building. Injured, Spidey armors up supplies? With which he proceeds to clown Kraven; gotta spice up those fights sometimes.

No Mini-Marvels strip this time; that's mildly disappointing.
Read more!