Saturday, January 31, 2009

Comics Make Me Hungry

What was it about this week's comics??

Mmmmm, fishwich...

Mmmm, Batwiches....

Sorry, I just can't help it...

...comics make me hungry!!

Pantries raided for these panels were Incredible Hercules #125, Legion Of Super-Heroes #50 (sigh), and Final Crisis #7

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Fights--O-ren Ishii Style!!

Ah, Luke, sometimes the old tricks are the best, eh?

35 years ago, Cage pretended to work for Harlem gangster Cornell Cottonmouth in order to flush out a the records of the dope shipment that was used to frame him. Once Luke got what he wanted, he turned on Cottonmouth, and went back to the side of the angels. No, that doesn't sound anything at all like this week's issue of New Avengers.

Anyway, it turns out that Cottonmouth is super-strong. It's never explained how (although that sure looks like a piece of the Bloodstone, or maybe the Ruby of Cytorrak, that he's wearing, eh?). And I don't think he ever appeared again, so we'll probably never know.

Anyway, on with the battle!!

At one point one of Cottonmouth's flunkies is accidentally knocked out the window...

Spludd for me, sir!!

On the big finish--

Ouch, babe.

If Luke tried to body slam Spacebooger like that, well, it wouldn't be pretty.

Battle scenes courtesy of Tony Isabella and George Tuska in Luke Cage Power Man #20 (1974).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sharp Dressed Apes

Yesterday we saw that Hank Pym was being a little more unstable than usual, lashing out at the Giant-Man fan club and sneaking into East Berlin in one of the more ridiculous disguises possible.

But you see, there's a reason for this odd behavior: his buddy has been captured as a spy.

Hank Pym hates commiesBut wait--there's more:

The Air Force assigned a special jet for Pym?!?So, after skulking around completely inconspicuously, Pym realizes that this is no job for Giant-Man!!

When Ant-Man can do the job better than's time to find a new jobWait a minute...can Pym speak German ant??

Religion, however, is quite the barrier to antsOh, well then.

Now, you might want to be sitting down, because we're about to get the big reveal on what the commie secret weapon is. Are you bracing yourselves? Seriously, you are so not ready for this...

No, the usual sense of the word would be, you know, an actual weaponWhat??

Enjoying Hairy Potter??Yes, the Red secret weapon is...monkeys who can read.

Do you have any idea how hard it to NOT make Planet of The Apes jokes here?
Bold Fashion Choice--Gorilla StyleHmmm...can I just say that this army isn't that formidable...they don't have guns, they don't have superpowers. Nick Fury could take down a whole platoon of them with as single "WAHOO!!!" Hell, even Hank Pym could take one down!!

The Reds, fortunately, had scads of gorilla-sized hammer and sickle coveralls lying around
Greatest action pose EVER
Gorilla with a glass jaw
World's slowest ex-FBI agentSee? But what about 6?? (And where, exactly, do they find all of these gorillas in East Berlin?? Must be from Octopussy's circus...)

East berlin was in such dire economic shape, they couldn't even afford backgrounds
Run away!!Ahh, you mean the time for cowardice, don't you, Hank??

Anyway, Pym has (somehow) deduced the solution to this gorilla crisis. Hang on folks, because it's time for Marvel Science, Pym Style!!

Really...would you want this invention on a swivel base?!?
Oh, the sweet ironyWow, he didn't even have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow--the machine just happens to work the opposite on humans!!! Lucky guess, or brilliant discovery? You make the call!!

Fortunately, Pym is now able to destroy the way, and it turns out the effect was only temporary. The world is safe!! Now Giant-Man and his pal just have to escape from East Berlin. How, you ask?


The Giant-Man Who Came in from the ColdWow, that makes me all warm inside. How about you, Lee Kearns?!?

Bob crane asks, 'What is Patriotism?'Bonus panel: The Wasp psychoanalyzes her boyfriend:

Run, far way!!No, Jan, it's because he's an unstable, self-absorbed emotional recluse who will beat you...hey, wait a minute, what did she mean by "first wife?!?!" Pym wouldn't marry Janet for years yet!! Was there some secret second marriage we didn't know about?!?!?!?

So that's Pym--unstable and broody, even back then. But at least he could beat up commie super-intelligent gorillas and talk with German ants...

This Tale To Astonish brought to you in issue #60, 1964, by Lee and Ayers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hank Pym--The Early Days

Henry Pym, one of the oldest denizens of the Marvel Universe, has undergone yet another costumed metamorphosis...his new identity is The Wasp (woo, hoo).

My good friend Siskoid notes that, in the latest effort to re-invent Pym, they've essentially made him into Doctor Who. Which is well and good, because ever since Jim Shooter made him a neurotic wife beater, nobody has had the least idea of what to do with him. (Although I should note--adopting the super-hero identity of the dead ex-wife you smacked around sure isn't a sign of stability, at least in my eyes)

But, and I don't say this lightly, Hank Pym was always a bit of a nutbar, even from the early days. After all, Roy Thomas had him creating the Avengers' greatest enemy, having psychotic breaks with reality, and marrying Janet while believing he was someone else, well over a decade before Shooter's demolition of Pym.

And even earlier...well, maybe it was all the size changing, but even under Stan's hands, Pym was a bit off. Note, for example, how he reacts to his fan club (yes, Giant-Man had a fan club):

How sad it must have been, to have 'President of Giant-Man Fan Club' on your resumeSadly, that was the last time Giant-Man would have to worry about having too many fans pestering him...

And if he's such a smart guy, how do you explain his brilliant disguise for sneaking around East Berlin?

Don't argue with a man in a mask and trenchcoat!!
Why wait til he's out of sight?? YOU'RE WEARING YOUR COSTUME, HE KNOWS YOU'RE A SUPERHERO!!Yup, no one would notice him at all...

So anyway, why exactly is Pym so cranky? Why is he sneaking into East Berlin?? That's a story for tomorrow. One hint: DC wasn't the only ones putting gorillas into their comics in the 60s...

Hank Pym, Unstable Super Spy is from Tales To Astonish #60 (1964)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Manic Monday--The 198??

From Marvel's April Solicits:

Wolverine Noir #1
Wolverine Origins #35
Astonishing X-Men #29
Uncanny X-Men #508 & #509
X-Men: Legacy #223
Wolverine #72
Wolverine: Weapon X #1
Wolverine: Weapon X Files
Wolverine: The Anniversary
Rampaging Wolverine #1
Cable #13
X-Force #14
X-Men: The Lives and Times of Lucas Bishop #3
X-Factor #42
X-Men: First Class Finals #3
Wolverine: First Class #14
X-Men Origins: Wolverine #1

Soon, baby....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Should Go Without Saying...

...but 70th anniversary or not, you don't get to call something Captain America Comics #1...

Close, but no cigar...unless you show Cap punching Hitler in the face on the cover:

His shield blocks the bullet from the dude in front of him...what about the guys firing from behind?!?And no, having Cap's fist appearing over Hitler's cheek on a poster in the background doesn't count.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dork Avengers

Questions, I have questions...

A) Man, if Bendis really wanted to write Thunderbolts stories that badly, why the hell not just write Thunderbolts? Why drag Norman Osborn et al into a whole new and unnecessary Avengers book???

B) Why the elaborate charade?

Remember, the premise is, the public saw Osborn being a hero against the Skrulls, and the public clamor caused the president to put him in charge of H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Avengers.

Well, the rest of the Thunderbolts team was there too, right? Moonstone was there, Bullseye was there, Venom was there. They fought and killed Skrulls live on TV. Wouldn't they then be regarded as heroes, just as much as Osborn?

So why the pretend game? Why pretend Moonstone is Ms. Marvel, or Bullseye is Hawkeye, or Venom is Spider-Man? Why would the public accept Osborn as the Iron Patriot, but not the rest of his team??

C) Spider-Man.

Let's check in with Peter Parker, and see what's up in his life.

...and fearedOh, right. He's wanted for suspicion of being the "Spider Tracer" serial killer. The police are shooting to kill on sight. The general public believes he's a killer, and is frightened to death of him.


So having Venom disguise himself as a perceived serial killer is an advantage how??

Yet, in the very same city, here's the press and the public, wildly cheering for the man identified as Spider-Man.

But hailed as a hero here. Hmmm...So, the police and the people and the papers (especially the DB!!) have magically forgotten their vendetta against Spidey why?

Or has Osborn somehow pardoned Spider-Man, and the message just hasn't gotten through to the NYPD yet?? So instead of tweaking Spider-Man, he's actually doing him a favor?? And we can expect to Peter Parker receive some of this love in his own mag??

Or, more likely, is it that Bendis just doesn't give a damn what's going on in anybody else's books? That he can't be bothered to have his charade make sense because, dammit, he wants Venom to be an Avenger, and the storyline in Amazing Spider-Man can just go frell itself?!?

D) Ares and the Sentry?!?!?

Look, Bendis clearly has some deep liking for these characters, as they're the only ones he kept around from Mighty. But in heaven's name, why?!? In the Sentry's stint in New and Mighty Avengers, and Ares' in Mighty, have either one of them done anything even remotely interesting, or even memorable?!? If you like these guys so much, Bendis, why the hell don't you have them actually do something?!?

So what does the first real event of Purple Reign give us? Gussied up Thunderbolts, used in ways that make no sense, and a 7-page preview of Secret Warriors that had ALREADY been run in the Dark Reign: New Nation special. There's $3.99 well spent.

I guess it really is a dark reign...

Clips from Amazing Spider-Man 584 and Dork Avengers #1

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Night Fights--FSHAM Style!!

Hey, sometimes sound effects are great in a fight. And sometimes, when the creators phone it in, they're a tiny bit repetitive. Just a tiny bit.

Case in point--the "Mighty" Avengers are facing the terror of Ultron, who is controlling dozens of Iron Man's spare/old suits of armor:

Hmmm, are you getting the idea that Tony Stark's security is somehow completely underwhelming?!?Well, this is going to be difficult. And what creative tactics does Ultron use?

Guess she should have shut her cow-mouth...OK, the repulsor ray barrage is cute, and FSHAM is nice. What else you got, Ultron?

More of the sameHmmm....anything else??

Emphasis through repetition is a valid literary tool...
Rinse, lather, repeatO...K...that's a whole lotta FSHAM, isn't it??

But Ares is pretty pissed off...

Just for the record...why, exactly, is Ares in the Avengers?!?Surely, he can overcome the constant FSHAM, can't he?

God in need of a good body waxingUh, not so much.

Time for a change in tactics:

I know the armor's controlled by Ultron, but should it really be so easy to chop Iron Man in half?!?Ah, here we go...surely a jet boot won't make the same sound effect as a repulsor ray, right?

Why bother to come up with a new sound effect, when the old one works so well??Sigh...

You know, Spacebooger could have come up with a few more sound effects--in his sleep!!!

Bendis, Cho, and "Artmonkeys' Dave Lanphear" get extremely lazy with their sound effects in Mighty Avengers #4 (2007).