Sunday, September 30, 2012

1983 - Byrne's suggested costume changes for Wolverine

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top 10 Deaths in the Marvel 1980s (revised)

I wrote an early blog entry on the Top 10 Deaths of the Marvel 1980s, so I thought I'd revise the list based on those characters that actually stayed dead! Interestingly, I had to strike 7 of those original 10 off my list!
  1. Captain Mar-Vell (Died in The Death of Captain Marvel Graphic Novel)
  2. Jean DeWolffe (Died in Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #107)
  3. Stick (Died in Daredevil #189)
  4. Mariko Yashida (Died in Wolverine #57)
  5. Kraven (Died in Kraven's Last Hunt, 1987)
  6. Madelyne Prior (Died in X-Factor #38; clones of Madelyne have recently surfaced, but the original Madelyne has not)
  7. Kyle Richmond/Nighthawk of Earth-712 (Died in Squadron Supreme #12)
  8. Sam Sawyer (Died Captain America #274)
  9. Deathstalker (Died in Daredevil #158)
  10. Skurge the Executioner (Died in Thor #362)
Okay, I had to stretch the timeline a bit to get to 10. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

1983 - Amazing Spider-Man #243

Amazing Spider-Man #243
August 1983
Writer: Roger Stern
Penciler: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Dave Simons

This issue starts with a fun Archie moment with Peter locked in the arms of Amy Powell and covered in lipstick as Mary Jane Watson walks back into his life. Interestingly, it’s MJ’s sudden reappearance that has more of an effect on Peter’s life as over the next few years, she becomes a more prominent character.

Amazing Spider-Man #243 is a quiet, character issue with no real bag guys to fight (okay, maybe a handful of armed men taking worshippers hostage in a church), that gives Peter a chance to digest everything that’s been going on in his life and to figure out the direction he wants to take going forward.

This story isn’t so much about options like the story title suggests, but more about decisions. Peter has been struggling with balancing all of his responsibilities. He’s a student, photographer, and super hero, and something has to give. Peter passes his final exam, but realizes that the next year of school will demand much more of him, especially in terms of the lab and research work.

After considerable thought, Peter decides that its school that has to give at this point in his life and quits. It’s not an easy decision and it was a shocking twist by Stern, who was the first writer in Spidey history to pull Peter out of school. Even today, I recall that last page and the emotional weight of it. “And once those decisions are made – for good or bad – we must live with them… all the days of our lives.”

Growing up with a maturing Peter Parker, I could sympathize with his dilemma, but I couldn’t help but feel it was the wrong one. Rereading the issue it’s difficult to see where the blame of this decision should land. Was Stern to blame or was this simply a natural progression of the character. People don’t always make the right decisions, but that’s part of growing up. Even for a comic book character.

Peter’s life up until that point has always been tied to school and his studies in the realm of science. Leaving that behind seemed to be liberating. Unfortunately, this character shift isn’t really dealt with later in the Stern-Romita run, but is eventually picked up over two decades later by J.Michael Straczynski, who had Peter return to the classroom as a teacher.

Some Incredible Commissions by John Byrne

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Top 10 New Spider-Man Villains from the 1980s

  1. The Hobgoblin (Amazing Spider-Man #238)

    I've always loved the Hobgoblin as I felt he was my Green Goblin of the 1980s. His storyline that ran through Amazing Spider-Man was great as it kept everyone guessing as to his secret identity.
  2. The Symbiote/Venom (Secret Wars #8)

    The Symbiote was a nice twist on the new costume gimmick. Eddie Brock was also a great new character, but early in the 90s, Venom's popularity led to some over-exposure which had me disliking the character more and more.
  3. The Puma (Amazing Spider-Man #256)

    Really liked the calm and collected Thomas Fireheart and the complications that this millionaire added to Spidey and Peter's life. The Puma was a great character and went beyond the native american stereotypes.
  4. The Sin-Eater (Spectacular Spider-Man #107

    The Sin-Eater storyline stunned me and the shocking death of Jean DeWolffe was a complete surprise. This four issue story arc made me aware of Peter David for the first time. He did an amazing job fleshing out the Sin-Eater and really getting into his head.
  5. The Rose (Amazing Spider-Man #253)

    The Rose was a solid addition to the New York mob landscape of the Marvel Universe and his connection to the Kingpin made him that much more powerful and that much more of a threat.
  6. Tombstone (Web of Spider-Man #36)
  7. The Foreigner (Web of Spider-Man #15)
  8. Hydro-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #212)

    Hydro-Man was a simple take-off on Sandman, obviously substituting the sand for water. He doesn't really live up to his potential for another few years at which point he joins the Sinister Syndicate.
  9. The White Rabbit (Marvel Team-Up #131)
  10. The Spot (Spectacular Spider-Man #99)
  11. Slyde (Amazing Spider-Man #272)

    Okay, okay, I know it's 11... :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



Based on today's New York Times article, Cyclops kills Professor X.

Enough with the killing off of your characters. Sigh. It's just become such a throw away concept that has little effect any more since its been overused. I'm still getting over them having killed Nightcrawler a few years ago. (And don't get me started about the Spider-Man-Mephisto reboot.)

“The moment is shocking, and certainly will be talked about by message boards forever and ever, but it’s really about what you get afterwards,” Bendis says. “What Cyclops has to do now, is dig himself out of the biggest, deepest hole in the history of comic books.”

I was never a big fan of the deterioration of the relationship between Scott and Xavier. Sure, we all grow up and bump heads with our teachers and mentors, but I never bought that the cool and collected Cyclops would have such a disdain for Xavier.
Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort promises, “This is about as serious and lasting a death as you’re apt to get in one of these.”

Maybe I'm just a grumpy, cynical old man... Any bets on how long it'll take for they bring Professor Xavier back? 

Iron Man unpublished cover by Bob Wiacek

Circa 1987? 1988?

Monday, September 10, 2012

1984 - Incredible Hulk #300 unpublished cover

Tip of the hat to Ferran Delgado who found this on eBay, the unpublished cover to Incredible Hulk #300 by Bill Sienkiewicz.

And here's the published version by Bret Blevins.


Related Posts with Thumbnails