Archive for the ‘Marvel Comics’ Category

Posted Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (Winter 1991)

In case you were wondering, yes, there is a Squirrel Appreciation Day. That day is today. Acting as ambassador is Marvel’s own Squirrel Girl.

Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (Winter 1991)

Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (Winter 1991)

Doreen Allene Green was introduced to readers in Marvel Super-Heroes Vol. 2 (number eight) cover-dated Winter 1991. Testing her mettle, Doreen takes on Iron Man. The tussle is interrupted by Doc Doom, whom Squirrel Girl defeats, and the story ends with she and Shell Head going their separate ways.

From there Squirrel Girl made cameos throughout the Marvel Universe, partnering in quasi versions of the Avengers, before earning her own mini in 2014. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl ran for eight issues before becoming an ongoing series beginning in October of 2015.

In 2016 Squirrel Girl received her own graphic novel.

Squirrel Girl was created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko. She has shared the spotlight with a variety of sidekicks, most notably squirrels Monkey Joe and Tippy-Toe.

The running joke earning Squirrel Girl her “unbeatable” title is her ability to defeat anyone she encounters.

Take time today to discover Doreen and her extended family as well as our furry compatriots we share our world with. Recommendations encourage feeding and ensuring their safety.

Posted Thursday, January 9th, 2020 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 9

Believe it or not, today is National Static Electricity Day. Yeah, big whoop. Well, it kinda is. This gives us a chance to introduce a way under used Spider-Man foe:  Electro.

The high-voltage villain makes with the crimes early on in the story while our hero, Peter Parker, tends to his ever-ailing aunt. One of the kilowatt capers occurs in front of J. Jonah Jameson. He distorts the evidence and convicts Spider-Man in his newspaper.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 9

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 9

Readers learn Electro is Max Dillion, a former electrical engineer and lineman. In one of those freak comic book accidents, Dillion is zapped after saving a fellow worker. The strike causes his body to become charged with electricity. With his new-found powers, Dillion chooses the dark side and turns to villainy.

After recounting Electro’s origin, the story returns to Aunt May’s hospital bed where Peter learns she will live another day – and several decades – giving him renewed interest in Electro. Spidey humiliates JJJ by proving him wrong and even winds up with the girl at the end.

Electro returned several times to fight Spider-Man and other members of the Marvel Universe. For a time, he served as one fourth of the Frightful Four. He was also a founding member of the Sinister Six.

Jamie Foxx portrayed Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 released in 2014.

So, happy National Static Electricity Day and have a shocking good time.

 

Posted Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 by Barry

Marvels: Epilogue (2019)

Readers returned a last time to witness Marvels in 2019.

Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross recall a time when the X-Men were not a household name. Phil Sheldon is the host allowing us a glimpse – from the public’s-eye view – at Uncanny X-Men issue 98. Or, at least the beginning of the story.

Marvels: Epilogue (2019)

Marvels: Epilogue (2019)

This time Sheldon’s daughters accompany him for the snow-covered trip to Rockefeller Center circa Christmas 1975. The story, ‘Merry Christmas, X-Men’; was also the launching pad for ‘A Few blocks Down from 34th Street’ as featured in the Marvel Holiday Special 1991.

Busiek and Ross began their journey through the Marvel Universe in 1994 with the four-issue series Marvels. Warren Ellis followed the act with Marvels Ruins. The original creative pair reunited in 2008 for a six-part storyline entitled Marvels: Eye of the Camera.

Epilogue was released as a 25th-anniversary swan song for the partnership and concept that witnessed the world as it changed.

Posted Sunday, January 5th, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 46

As the nights continue to outlast the days adding to the hangover of the holidays, maybe a movie marathon or binge watching a series is in order. While the actors and directors receive the lion’s share of the credit, the screenwriters should not be shortchanged. To honor those wordsmiths, today was created as National Screenwriters Day.

Using a more static medium, Four Color Holidays will remember the writers with Marvel Two-in-One issue 46.

Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, proves his baby blues can turn as green as Kermit when it comes to his old nemesis the Hulk upstaging him. All this is courtesy of the Hulk’s new television series.

Hopping one of the many Fantasti-vehicles, Ben packs his bags and heads to Hollywood.

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 46

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 46

The Thing isn’t the only one tuned in to the show. Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s alter ego, is also watching. Dismayed at having his inner demon taken advantage of, Banner (literally) Hulks out and bounds to Hollywood himself.

The two titans meet, have their obligatory battle, resolve any issues and ring down the curtain on another adventure.

To celebrate this day of storytellers, visit nationalscreenwritersday.com. Observers may also post to #NationalScreenwritersDay on social media.

National Screenwriters Day was founded by ScreenwritingU.com, the leading education source for screenwriters worldwide. Its purpose is to recognize the talents behind the scripts coming out of the television and film world.

Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2019 by Jeff

Santa She-Hulk Returns

She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk have helped us celebrate the holiday season in the past.  Like any good tradition, She-Hulk is back to help decorate the tree courtesy GenzoMan.

She-Hulk Returns

Posted Friday, November 29th, 2019 by Barry

Marvel Comics Presents (1988) 18

Readers received a late Christmas gift with the first taste of John Byrne’s treatment of She-Hulk in this May 1989 dated issue of Marvel Comics Presents.

Cyclops and Black Panther took the first two-story slots, neither holiday stories, but the book closed on a holiday note.

“X-Mas Tease” is an eight-page treat veiled in a Christmas Eve telephone conversation with Ben Grimm. Readers are rewarded in the final panels as Shulkie unwraps her present from Marvel. Under the Spider-Man paper are advance copies of the first issue of The Sensational She-Hulk (1989).

Marvel Comics Presents (1988) 18

Marvel Comics Presents (1988) 18

Willie Lumpkin, mailman to the Fantastic Four, plays an unsuspecting Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Card” for a spoof of A Christmas Carol.

Downsizing and carelessness has the ghost of Christmas past, present and future all rolled into one visiting the wrong address. Willie must relive the failures of his life until Christmas morning when he realizes the season is over rated.

Marvel Comics Presents ran from 1988 to 1995, 175 issues, featuring various storylines by different authors and artists. Each issue offered four story lines. It was revived in 2007 for a one-year return. A third volume started in 2019.

She-Hulk’s second volume tallied 60 issues with John Byrne at the helm for the first 50. The title proved very quirky as She-Hulk would break the fourth wall on a regular basis. Plots were equally whimsical.

Posted Thursday, November 28th, 2019 by Barry

Super Hero Adventures (2018) 1

Super Hero Adventures (2018) 1

Super Hero Adventures (2018) 1

Beyond the cover and the second story’s title, there’s no real Thanksgiving material to be found.

“Slice of Life” is the opening tale. Ghost Spider just wants some pie. Pure and simple. So does Venom. The difference is only one of the two have money to buy said pie.

In what appears to be the only pie shop in New York, or at least the most popular one, Ghost and Venom cross paths. A short battle later, Ghost Spider finds crime does pay; at least for the victor.

The two stories are interrupted by a swipe at the Sunday funnies. Page 12 offers a spread as it would appear in the Daily Bugle.

Next up is “Thankful.” Spoiler:  Loki is the guest villain.

Thor can’t find his hammer. Spidey happens to be nearby and the two team to search. The little Lord of Mischief proves to be the culprit. Spider-Man tricks the trickster and everyone goes off happily ever after – except for Spidey who can’t find his fries.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, sharing it with family and friends.

Posted Sunday, November 24th, 2019 by Barry

Spoof (1970) 4

A short-lived parody series from the Marvel bullpen, Spoof asked the question, “What if…Famous People were Santa Claus?” for Christmas 1972.

Spoof (1970) 4

Steve Gerber penned the seasonal story showcasing, then, Vice President Spiro Agnew as Santa before assigning the role to John Lennon. The hawk and dove approach to Christmas was peppered with caricatures of popular figures of the time like John Wayne and Charlie Brown.

Wrapped around the Christmas take was pop culture send ups of Blackula entitled Blechhula! written by Stu Schwartzberg and penciled by Marie Severin.

The book closed with Maykus Wellby, M.D., a take on Marcus Welby.

The title would last one more issue before cancellation.

Prior attempts at humor magazines included Marvel’s first stab in 1953 with Crazy. The title ran for seven issues before folding. It was resurrected in 1973 with reprinted material from the 1960’s Not Brand Echh! book. The comic book version lasted three issues before transforming into a black and white magazine. That version lasted from October 1973 to April 1983.

Not Brand Ecch! was a humor comic book mainly lampooning the super hero industry. It would run from August of 1967 to issue 13 in May 1969. Issue 14 would be published as part of Marvel’s Legacy numbering in 2017.

Marvel made another attempt at a humor title in 1974 with Arrgh! The book lasted five issues focusing on horror.

Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2019 by Barry

1989 Marvel Universe Thanksgiving Parade Performance and Spiderman Balloon

Willard Scott and Deborah Norville introduce Marvel’s 1989 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. Melba Moore dishes out a performance of her “Holding Out for a Hero” amid Cap, Spidey and the Silver Surfer posing. Emma Frost tosses in a few kicks for good measure.

Costumes look like a rehash from the 1987 offering.

Posted Thursday, November 14th, 2019 by Barry

1987 Marvel Comics Parade Float

Leaves are turning, stores are pimping Christmas and sale ads are hawking turkeys. Must be Thanksgiving.

And, it is.

Almost.

Along with football from the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, there’s the over eating and family squabbles. To kick the day off is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As the culinary bouquet wafts from the kitchen, those not involved beyond devouring the dinner are watching the second-oldest American parade unfold in the living room.

For three hours.

The parade began in 1924 in Newark, NJ, then transferred to Macy’s in New York City. Character balloons began appearing in the parade in 1927. It went on hiatus during World War II, 1942 to 1944. The parade was first broadcast on network television in 1948.

Being a part of New York City, Marvel Comics was represented by Spider-Man in 1987. Attached was a camera that has become known as the Spidey-Cam.

Also introduced that year was a Marvel Universe float featuring a multitude of heroes and villains.