Monday, March 31, 2008

There's obscure references, and then there's comic book obscure references.
Admittedly, the Logan's Run, might motivate my lazy ass a bit.
I could've sworn there was going to be a remake of Logan's Run by now, but in today's culture, it would be less a cautionary tale then a call to arms. Oddly, even though I'm old enough I should've caught it on cable as a kid, I didn't see it until I was in college. (I'm still trying to catch Damnation Alley and Silent Running, though...)

Coincidentally, the Planet Express Crew ends up in college this issue, and there's cameos from Hogwarts School, a Talosian, the Breakfast Club, and below...
Lost in the Supermarket, no doubt.
Halby and Blue from Evan Dorkin's vastly under-rated Hectic Planet! Nice. They're the two in the hats in the lower row. Look, you really should go read it, OK? Not sure Blue was actually blue, though, most of the series was in black and white, but who's going to know? Well, you now, I suppose.

From Futurama #16, "Kickin' It Old School" Script by Ian Boothby, pencils by James Lloyd, inks by Steve Steere, Jr. Read more!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just to show I'm not the only one wasting the day playing with toys.
Somehow, I can picture Dr. Doom doing just about the same thing.
One of my favorite pages ever, from one of my favorite runs. From The Incredible Hulk Annual #17, "Old as the Hills" Written by Peter David (based on a concept by Paul Ryan), pencils by Ron Wagner, inks by Mike Witherby and Al Milgrom.
Wonder how the Hulk would feel if he came with an Annihilus wing or a piece of the Blob's ass?
I had the old, early series Captain America and Silver Surfer: those and the first Toy Biz Nightcrawler are what got be started back on toy collecting back then.

Once, a friend asked me what I did with all these toys, and perhaps thinking of these pages, I told him whenever I was depressed or sad, I made them fight. Without a moment's hesitation, he told me that was "the cruelest thing" he ever heard: "Poor bastards must have bruises by now!" Ow. Read more!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What About Bob?

Wait. I hated that movie, I'm not using that for a title...oh, too late now. Click pictures to enlarge!

Stock footage away!

When I was a little kid, I had a metric ton of Star Wars toys. I got about every one I could find, pretty much up to when Return of the Jedi came out, when I was supposed to be getting too old to play with toys, and the barrage of aliens and Ewoks seemed overwhelming.

And yet, in a good five or six years of hard play with those toys, they still held up damn well, but one thing always bothered me. I only had one regular Stormtrooper. Oh, he had a Death Star Commander guy for backup, and his Snowtrooper counterpart, but one lonely Stormtrooper isn't all that intimidating, is it?

This poor bastard got shot, lightsabered apart, beaten by Wookie, strafed by X-Wings, shot some more, in the battlefields of my mind and the living room; hundreds of times. They say cowards die a thousand deaths, a brave man dies but once; so he must have been the most chickenshit bastard in the universe.

Years later, when Hasbro started the new Star Wars line, I collected for a while: not every single figure, for that way lies madness, but I cherry-picked the ones I liked. And I made sure to get more than one Stormtrooper. Nowadays, with the prequels, fans can build armies of Clone Troopers, either uniform, or in any number of variants.

But, I'm mostly collecting larger figures now, which means a higher price point, which means it's more of a pain in the ass to build an army. All of this has been prelude to me saying I did not want to buy the Hydra Soldier Marvel Legend. Then, just like She-Hulk, I saw him on the racks, left him, and had an idea for a comic like twenty minutes later and had to come running back later.

For those of you who didn't read Cable & Deadpool, thanks heaps for helping it get cancelled, and you missed out on one of the more fun Marvel books in recent memory. (Admittedly, the Incredible Hercules and Iron Fist appear to be more successful fun books of late.) Bob was an agent of Hydra...pretty much just for the medical package. Kidnapped by Deadpool, he ends up becoming Wade's lackey, or pet, since he wasn't really a bad guy. Get the back issues while you can, since I'm frankly terrified that Marvel is going to try to grit up Deadpool the next time around. That would be easy enough to do: played completely straight, Deadpool would be grimmer than the Punisher, but we already have one of those.

Daily posting may be spotty for the next little bit, as financial troubles with the Youngest's therapy are cutting into happy time. Still, he's doing great, so it's worth it, and intermittent posting isn't going to hurt anything...God forbid, I might actually read some comics this next week. See you soon! Read more!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Barely getting in today:
Little known fact: Dragons love licking the spatula more than anything.
It's that time of year again, where winter's all but over, and spring's not quite here; daylight savings time doesn't seem to be doing a damn thing, and it's gray all the time. My lungs feel like they're trying to clear out an entire winter's worth of flem in the morning, but I'm usually fine by the afternoon. In fact, it was nice enough for the boys and I to play outside today, something I wouldn't have bet on when I got up.

I may have over-extended myself this week: even though I wasn't feeling great, I was going to try to get three weeks worth of homemade comics done over the weekend. As it stands, I only got the pictures done for two, which admittedly is the hard part. The third one was a bit more ambitious and is going to take a little more doing, it was--or will be--a DC Comics extravaganza with a cast of, well, whoever I've got lying around, I suppose.

My Wife worked this annual big garage sale thing, and while the toys were a bit lacking, and she damn near got another dog while she was there; I did come away with a hardcover copy of Leave It to Chance Book One, by James Robinson and Paul Smith. I have the individual issues, but this was too nice to pass up. Feel a little greedy though, like I should donate it to a library or something. Except I like it too much...

With a little luck, we should have a marginally more substantial post tomorrow, but for today, just take me at my word that Leave It to Chance was a great book that deserved (deserves) a bigger audience. Buy it if you see it, dollar or no. Read more!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Y'see, sometimes retirement isn't rewarded, it's forced."
Give me a jumpsuit and a handgun, and I'll take better care of the yard. I promise.
From What The--?! #2.

I wasn't feeling too hot today: long, boring day at work, it's tried to snow on me a little twice today, Sugarpie's dug himself a nest in my mattress, and so on, etc. I was hoping to get started on pictures for the next batch of homemade comics, but I just wasn't up for it.

I did find this issue while I was digging up some Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe issues, though. Nick Fury and the Infinity Formula came up over at Pretty, Fizzy Paradise a couple of weeks back, and Kalinara had a pretty funny take on it. (I have the Jim Starlin/Howard Chaykin Marvel Premiere issue where Fury gets the Formula, but I don't see it right handy, so maybe we'll check that later.)

The point is, it's never really been addressed why Fury's friends, namely Gabe Jones and Dum Dum Dugan, aren't much, much older than they appear to be. Fury has the Infinity Formula (called the Eternity Formula in this spoof, which is no worse a name) to keep him more than a bit more spry than an eighty-plus-year-old should be.

This could be a reason to look forward to senility...
"Furey" then runs afoul of the Hydra Ladies Auxiliary. Hilarity ensues. In the end, he offers to try and get Dum Dum a prescription for the Formula, mostly for his own benefit. Funny, but it would be pretty cool if Dum Dum and Gabe had found their own, unrelated methods of staying younger: I think Jimmy Woo did something like that in Agents of Atlas, which I really need to finish reading.

Speaking of finishing reading, this reminds me: I think I missed an issue of Severin's Bat Lash, I better track that down. Probably out for the week, so have fun, and stay warm! Read more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Best Laid Plans of Mice, Men...Things named Ben.
Oddly enough, Dredd's the one out of uniform:  he's not carrying the regulation bootknife.
Click for full-size!
Curious about 'primae noctis'?  Look it up.  Or watch Braveheart again...
To be honest, leading the FF sounds like a pain in the ass, but don't rain on Ben's day...

Will we ever see the Thing's Fantastic Four picks? Well, maybe. I have two characters in mind that Ben would want for his team, and that I have toys of. One's appeared briefly in a strip here before, the other I don't think I've used at all. Both are women, Ben's definitely met one back in his Marvel Two-in-One days, but the other maybe only in passing. Guess away.

That said, if I keep this going, I'm trying to figure out another couple of B-list (or lower...) Marvel characters that Ben would ask to join his team...that I have toys of. Hmm. They don't have to be in scale either, since Ben will be calling them, so I could use the older Toy Biz, pre-Legends figures; especially since I'm getting tired of waiting for the new Hasbro Legends. (I want Tigra and Nova in particular.)

Through most of the strip, Ben's holding a Star Wars Galactic Heroes Millenium Falcon, which I bought for my son a couple years before he was born. (It was marked down, I had the money, and I knew he'd need it.) The Panther's treatment of Ben is a throwback to (and exaggeration of) all those old Fantastic Four or Marvel Two-in-One issues that open with the Thing lugging around some ginormous lump of Kirbytech, for little apparent reason, like he has nothing better to do. Maybe he doesn't, but still.

And I swear, the "primae noctis" jokes were done well before I saw it again in Super-Villain Team-Up, with Dr. Doom the other day. Strange how you won't think about something like that forever, then it'll come up three times in the same week. Here's hoping it doesn't come up for you! Read more!

Monday, March 17, 2008

See, Adamantium is a resin!
Ah, I want a life-sized Awesome Android for my office! Lucky.
Sometimes, the fun thing about remembering trivia from old comics, is going back and finding stories that are almost forgotten. From The Incredible Hulk #469, "Adaptive Audience" Written by Joe Casey, pencils by Javier Pulido, inks by Larry Mahlstedt. Like just about everyone else, I think I dropped Hulk after #467, when Peter David left the book. I did pick up Casey's issues later, marked down when a local store closed. To my surprise, they were pretty good, and have held up since then.

Reportedly, David left the book since he was getting pressure from editorial to dial back the Hulk's status quo to the savage, "Hulk smash!" version. Casey doesn't take it there, but Banner and the Hulk seem like separate personas, but working fairly well together. After the recent death of his wife Betty, Bruce is kidnapped and put to work by Devlin Deangelo, a supplier for super-villains. Devlin offers him info on who was responsible for Betty's death, in exchange for Bruce repairing the Super-Adaptoid. Unfortunately, just because he has to see the look on Bruce's face, he plays his card too early...

All the powers of Captain America, Iron Man, Giant-man...yeah, Hawkeye too.
Why the Super-Adaptoid doesn't have an action figure, I have no idea: evil robot with the powers of dozens of heroes, looks like he's made out of green plastic and cobbled-together parts. Even though the Hulk and the Adaptoid throw down, Banner's the one that makes the save: reprogramming the Adaptoid to go back and kick Devlin's ass.

Glad I dug this one out. We might look at Casey's last issue, the last of the series, later. Read more!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

(Mostly) Off-topic: How I spent my weekend
I kind of feel bad planning to eat that potato...yeah, don't ask.

I don't buy a lot of movies lately, but the Wife and I were out, and stumbled across this pile on sale. And that was right after we rented 30 Days of Night, We Own the Night, and Hitman. (She had thought I was waiting for Hitman, for some reason, and I don't know if I was jumping up and down for it, but it looks like dumb gunplay fun. And after watching it, nobody comments on the barcode tattoo? Yeah, that's not an identifying mark or anything.) The Wife had actually been waiting for 30 Days for years now, since I told her about it back when it was first optioned and she thought it sounded interesting--not interesting enough to read the comic, but interesting.

30 Days was pretty enjoyable. I don't remember if it was a panel-by-panel accurate adaptation, since I haven't read it in a while, but I'm not a stickler for that. I don't wanna get all into the movie, but there was one point that reminded me of, all things, Army of Darkness: The hero, in a four-wheeled death machine, mowing down the monsters, triumphantly...drives into a wall. Well, I guess it would be anticlimactic if it worked and he just ran them all over. The above probably doesn't make any sense unless you remember both movies well, I suppose.

Anyway, the DVD pile restocks our house pretty well: the Wife likes to watch seasons of shows, or just leave them on for background noise; usually reality shows or comedies like the Office or Reno 911! Just yesterday she was watching her Anna Nicole Show set; so I'm more than happy to get something new into the rotation. Can't say I'm thrilled to have So NoTorious in the house, though.

(I say that, but suddenly I'm curious/terrified about the numbers. I'm not going to look it up, but I think Justice League of America sold just under 100,000 copies on the direct market last month. How many DVD's did Tori Spelling sell in that time? Or books, for that matter? On second thought, I don't wanna know.)

I was looking forward to getting Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and the Grindhouse movies (although, it's weak that they don't come with the fake trailers that were in the theatre, I particularly miss "Don't.") since I really wanted them, I just didn't want them at twenty bucks a pop.

Just before finding all the DVD's, I had just picked up Fulltime Killers on VHS. Don't laugh, I like picking up the occasional tape, and it was cheaper than renting it. Of course, I say that, and I still have a Lone Wolf and Cub movie I haven't time to watch around here somewhere. Every so often, the kids will go through the old tapes, and I'll see it and remember I have it, but not enough time to watch it. Actually, that's not true, I probably have plenty of time, but I'm the only one in the house that wants to watch it, so I have to clear everyone out and take the time out of blogging or nattering away with toys. Oh, and the family, I guess.

Speaking of family, the Oldest's guitar lessons continue, and he's doing great. His grandpa made this tape of him, so check it out if you like. Man, I remember taking piano lessons when I was his age and sucking terribly.

I'm a little antsy lately for toys: the second series of DC Super-Heroes hasn't turned up yet, the new Marvel Legends either. There's also figures I want that I'm hoping don't go all vaporware on me: the twelve-inch Marvel Icons Nightcrawler, Shocker Toys Scud figure, probably some others that aren't showing up any time soon, if ever.

Still, I've been getting a lot of clearance toys lately. This Superman: Through the Ages set was marked down to $12.50, down from $49.99. I don't think of myself as a huge Superman fan, but that averages out to like three bucks a figure, and I was able to trade in a pile of old DVD's and books to get it for nothing. And trust me, I have plans for the Superman Robot.

Oh, and since this morning, one of the dogs got that potato. Weird. Happy St. Patrick's if you're doing something. Read more!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Six Months Later:
Does Hank wear the Yellowjacket costume all the time?  Well, hell, I would.
Cheating on your spouse is wrong, but...Hank's taken a lot of crap over the years, and I'd have a hard time scolding the guy.
There's a Heroclix Ultron, right?  I thought I might have one, but didn't find it in time.
I was going to save this one to pad out my comic-a-week backlog, but then decided if it was gonna work, it probably would work better immediately after yesterday's. This one was knocked out over the course of a day: written at work, pictures around nine, on the computer until a little after eleven. The Ultron is from the Marvel Battledice, and I have a grand total of seven: a starter set with him, Spidey, Cap, Doc Ock, Wolvie, and Magneto; and a Nightcrawler I picked up on eBay.

My Ultron is probably as evil and genocidal as the "real" version, just way less effective. It also occurs to me that Yellowjacket--"Hank"--may be hearing the voice of Ultron, or it could all be in his head. Maybe he did another bang-up job in the Ultron reconstruction, or maybe it's just a toy that Hank imagines to be his "bad son." Does a parent ever stop loving their child? Admittedly, Ultron's tough to love, so it could go either way.

And for anyone who wonders why Wasp doesn't notice Ultron, and if that hints at him being a figment of Hank's imagination, well, I kinda figure no matter how much Jan loves Hank, she has at best a passing interest in anything Hank's up to. Usually, it's more likely a benign indifference. Just a thought. Read more!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cap is this close to putting Vision and Yellowjacket on KP.
Click pictures for Giant-size!
To his credit, Ultron's never turned Hank into a girl, either...

Who would've thought brainwashed zombies might do a subpar job of advanced electrical engineering?  It was a foolproof plan, otherwise.
I figure Cap sounds normal and current like 90% of the time, but occasionally slips into Grampa Simpson mode.
Is Jan taller than Hank?  Or has she been huffing Pym particles?
Is this really the end of Ultron?  We'll see...

Even though I readily concede he's one of the Avengers' greatest bad guys, there's a couple of nagging questions I've always had about Ultron.

Since his outer shell is made of indestructible adamantium (which is what adamantium should be used for, killer robots, not cramming into hairy Canadians...) Ultron doesn't usually perish in the traditional explosion as you might expect. Instead, a lot of the time, some of his non-adamantium internal parts are damaged or destroyed, or his reactor goes all meltdown, or one of his creations turn on him: the Vision, Jocasta, War Toy, Aibo...

Of course, Ultron's returned several times, since he is just a robot and can be rebuilt, but here's the thing: on multiple occasions, Ultron's left brainwashing or reprogramming subliminal messages in the Vision, Iron Man, and his creator Hank Pym. Without them even knowing they were doing it, they were forced to reconstruct one of their greatest enemies.

Now, I'm pretty sure the Vision would do a good job of resurrecting Ultron. And since he doesn't sleep, he has a lot more free time to do it. But I'm 90% sure, the time Ultron made Tony Stark do it, was when he was a drunk; right around the classic "Demon in a Bottle" storyline. (Maybe. I could be off on this, and I'm pretty sure every issue immediately after didn't jump up and down on that point, either. And for a dissenting view on Tony's "alcoholism," check out this one from Ye Olde Comic Blogge.) I try to avoid the drunk Iron Man jokes--others have done them, better than I--but it is fun to consider a completely hammered Stark, hypnotized and drooling, slapping together a very shoddy Ultron.

Hank's almost in the same boat. He suffers from a whole mess of psychological problems, including but not limited to the physiological effects of size-changing, mental tampering from Kang and others, an inferiority complex, and the capricious whims of editorial mandate. And he was married at the time. (Which probably didn't help the inferiority thing...) So, how Hank was able to sneak away, and be together enough to put Ultron together, well, seems dicey, like not the best quality craftsmanship there. Hell, if you figure Hank's first Ultron went nuts and tried to kill him, why would you assume he could build a more advanced model? (I kid, I kid: I like Hank, and have already admitted wanting the Yellowjacket costume.)

Of course, if you assembled Ultron's CPU and an arm, he could probably rebuild the rest himself. Eventually. Which leads to the next point, materials. None of the crap you need to build Ultron is gonna be at Radio Shack. Most of it, even guys like Stark and Pym aren't going to have lying around, like adamantium resin. Is resin the right word? As I recall, you mix together the two compounds, stir well, bake at 400 for forty-five minutes, voila! Adamantium. (Not quite, but I think there's a Joe Casey Incredible Hulk issue that discusses it.)

Therefore, adamantium isn't going to be an over-the-counter kind of purchase. You have to figure the Avengers (and possibly Wolverine) would be curious as to who was buying it. Though, I suppose Ultron could have depots, little hidden stashes of it for his hypnotized lab rats to use later. ("Ultron Depot: For all your Ultron needs!")

No spoiler now, but after the female Ultron whatever in Mighty Avengers, he turned up as the big bad in the new Annihilation: Conquest series, leading the alien Phalanx, or "Marvel Borg." Is Ultron advanced enough technologically speaking for that? Or is it like your blender trying to download music?

Anyway, the bulk of the idea for this week's comic was the fact that I have the older, Marvel's Most Wanted Ultron; and not the Marvel Legends Ultron, which was part of the (not so) Legendary Riders and came with like an Ultron-faced Goblin Glider. I had thought my Ultron was a bit smaller, and had to cheat: he's on his knees in all the pictures. I think, although I'm not positive, there was one more in the Avengers cartoon toys; and I swear, I remember seeing an Ultron-5 (that's the robot upper torso, mounted on what looks like a jet engine desk) in Previews seven or eight years back, but I don't think it ever came out. If anyone else remembers even the solicit for it, let me know I didn't hallucinate that part of my life too... Read more!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another post on this issue? You're lucky it's not a month on it. Seriously.
Release the...whatever the hell those are.  They couldn't win the Latverian Kennel Club.
Last week, we started on Super-Villain Team-Up #7, ("Who is...the Shroud?" Written by Steve Englehart, art by Herb Trimpe, inks by Pablo Marcos.) and focused on the origin of the Shroud himself. This time, let's take a peek at some of the rest of the story.

In the last issue, Dr. Doom has Namor onboard, sworn to serve him in order to save his Atlantean subjects. Show of hands:  who else is surprised Johnny could even identify World War II? Doom has also just signed a non-aggression treaty with Henry Kissinger for the United States. This frees up America to focus on Russia and China (this is 1976) but bars Americans, like the Fantastic Four, from interfering with Latverian affairs. Somewhat uncharacteristically, Johnny Storm gets really, really worked up about it. I was going to say he probably fell asleep in front of the Discovery Channel, but again, 1976. Let's go on.

While Doom gets ready for a little walk, the Shroud introduces himself to Namor, shares his origin, then his purpose for being there:
Again, the Kali-logo would eventually be added to the cowl; this outfit looks like the Shroud bought it off the rack. It's interesting that the Shroud's motives are still completely above board: he's not doing this to profit off his name, he's doing this to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, by taking out what he sees as the lead dog. Plus, this is well before 'think globally, act locally,' the Shroud doesn't believe in taking out small fry and working up the ladder.

This brings us to the page we started with: Doom walking his uglyass hounds, and deciding to avail himself of his droit de seigneur, or ius primae noctis; several years before Michael Scott or the movie Braveheart. It's not really clear what Doom has planned for Gretchen--look, with the mask, the armor, the robot servants, Doom doesn't seem like the type that craves close contact, does he? But the Shroud calls Doom out before it goes any further.

'Copyright infringement, away!'The Shroud uses more gadgets in the rest of the issue than he would the rest of his publishing history: at this point, he has his mystic sight, but his "mastery over darkness" seems more figurative. Later, he would have actual, darkness-casting powers, but not here. Still, he does pretty well, eventually using a magnesium bomb to force Doom to discard his chestplate, and Doom's luck continues to go south from there:
Wolf attacks are so scary, Doom's mask closed it's eyes!
I do like how Dr. Doom is still up for kicking the Shroud's ass without his armor. Until the wolf attack, of course. Better get some wolfsbane on those scars before the next full moon...

Doom and the hounds and the wolf go over a cliff in a literal dogpile, and the Shroud gives the poor, seemingly mute Gretchen a celebratory kiss on the head in celebration. For his part, Namor is waiting around for that ass Doom to come in, bragging about wasting some punk superhero; and is surprised and appalled to find out the Shroud apparently won...especially since Namor needed Doom for the antidote for himself and his people.

Of course, Doom wasn't really dead, he was rescued/captured by Namorita. Of course. Hey Doom? How well does this issue hold up?
Those darts are going fast enough to embed into a redwood, do they even need to be poison?
Damn straight. Read more!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Even though he's ripping off Batman's costume and Deadshot's origin here, Nighthawk would go on to better things. Eventually.
Nighthawk's pretending to be a hero, while running a protection racket for crooks...which may have been a new plot then, but it's iffy.

The other day, I mentioned Nighthawk, but didn't have a scan for him up, which didn't seem fair to me. So, I went down, got my pile of old Defenders comics, and started flipping through them, so we can take a brief overview at some of Nighthawk's history. (Before we get into it, we're going to mostly stick with the regular, Marvel universe one, not either of the Squadron Supreme versions.)

Without getting bogged down in his origin, let's see how many words it takes me to recap Nighthawk's character arc over like 90 issues: Nighthawk joins the team, gets his brain removed and body stolen, feels bad for being a wastrel millionaire do-nothing who got his girlfriend killed driving drunk, except she eventually comes back in a U.S. secret agency psychic weapon program. Eventually Nighthawk gets indicted for financial reasons, the Defenders burn down his house when he's not there, he ends up in a wheelchair during the day and mobile at night, then dead, for a couple decades, until in 1998 when he's not.
This page sums up the last annual, and they were pretty tied in to the regular issues at the time.
It may sound like I'm being glib, but I'm not.

As it stands, the story in Giant-Size Defenders #4 is a chilling stab at the banality of evil: when Trish, a successful model, won't loan money to her uncle, failed super-villain Egghead; he leaves a car-bomb in her boyfriend Kyle (Nighthawk) Richmond's car. The horrible part, is that Egghead deliberately drains the gas tank, under the rationale that he doesn't want to kill her, just maim her. (And Kyle assumes the bomb must have been meant for him, which puts the Defenders on his estranged teammates, the Squadron Sinister.) I almost think Gerber may have missed an opportunity to make Nighthawk stand out: if he and Trish had stayed together, it would've gone a long ways towards differentiating him from Batman.

Much, much later, things would go even worse for Nighthawk: the issue after his 'death,' Valkyrie is shot in the back, which leads to her 'death' and a big thing with the Enchantress and Valkyrie's origin and about as far away from poor Nighthawk as possible. I'm not sure if Nighthawk was being written out of the regular 616-Marvel Universe, to clear the decks for Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme down the line; or if someone at Marvel decided that they didn't need a Batman wannabe with an even worse dating history.

Writer Jim Krueger was responsible for Nighthawk's 1998 limited series that brought him back, probably planning ahead for using him as one of the narrators in Universe X, where the events of this series would come into play. Allegedly just in a really, really long coma, Nighthawk returns, but he's been given the gift of precognition from an 'angel.' Yeah, turns out that was Mephisto, and his precog-vision is a trap: he can see crimes before they happen, so Nighthawk's beating the hell out of people before they do anything. Which leads to a fight with Daredevil, where Nighthawk accidentally kills him. Oops. Nighthawk then has to fight his way, through hell, with Daredevil on his back, and resisting further temptation, as to avoid damnation.

Convoluted, isn't it? Nighthawk's not an A-list character...all right, he's not B-list either. Keep going...but is he not popular because of his tangled history, or is his story switched back and forth in at attempt to become popular? Chicken and egg. Either way, Nighthawk's costume can look pretty sharp.

Sometimes. Nighthawk's cape either covered, or was, a jetpack, depending on artistic interpretation. And sometimes, his cape had lasers. Lasercape! I don't think that's been a Batman action figure yet, but I could see the execution on that being either pretty cool or utterly craptacular. Now that I've opened that can of worms, I had damn well better find a picture with the lasers...

Coincidentally, Nighthawk makes an appearance in The Last Defenders, due out this week. There's a preview over at Newsarama, so see if it grabs you. For good measure, here's a link for a sharp-looking custom over at Fwoosh! Wouldn't be hard to make, Hasbro, no, not hard at all. Lasers not withstanding, of course.

Even though we were talking #4, everything today's from Giant-Size Defenders #5: The first scan from "Quoth the Nighthawk, 'Nevermore!'" Originally from Daredevil #62, written by Roy Thomas, art by Gene Colan, inks by Syd Shores. The second's from the main story, "Eelar moves in Mysterious Ways!" Written by Steve Gerber, with plot assists from Conway, Slifer, Wein, Claremont, and Edelman; drawn by Don Heck, inks by Mike Esposito. Read more!