Archive for the ‘Marvel Comics’ Category

Posted Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 86

Bet ya didn’t know there was a National Beer Day.

Well, there is. National Beer Day is a perennially celebrated non-holiday to honor the Cullen-Harrison Act, which made beer legal even before Prohibition ended December 1933.

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 86

Marvel Two-in-One (1974) 86

If you’re so inclined, crack a cold one and enjoy the following synopsis for ‘Time Runs Like Sand,’ as maudlin a sounding title as the story that follows.

Sandman, aka Flint Marko, has not had a good day. A good month for that matter. Well, a good coupla years. Not since he and Hydro-Man, aka Morris “Morrie” Bench, merged to form Mud-Thing in Amazing Spider-Man 217.

A little radiation goes a long way and the two are able to disassociate their molecules. Each go their separate ways, Marko’s path leading to a local watering hole. The bartender recognizes his patron and contacts the Fantastic Four. As fate would have it, Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, answers.

Figuring the worst that can happen is he’ll get a cold beer out of the visit, Ben hops on his skycycle.

Rather than fight, the two former combatants share a few beers. Marko recalls his past and how it led him to his life of crime.

Kinda of a soap opera of an issue, but, deep down, aren’t they all?

Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel offered the Marvel Digital Holiday Special as an exclusive to their online subscription service Dec. 17, 2008.

In the first story, the X-Men herald the holidays and service with ‘If the Fates Allow.’ Storm, Wolverine, Iceman, Angel, Beast Cyclops, Colossus, etc. celebrate with a bittersweet loss of Kitty Pryde for the first Christmas without their youngest member.

‘Last Christmas’ is a prelude to Secret Invasion.

‘Werewolf by Eve’ is a one-page slapstick story of the Russell home.

Finally, the jolly, fat one borrows the Infinity Gauntlet in ‘Santa Claus vs. The Illuminati.’ The results are not good.

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited was launched Nov. 13, 2007 with over 25,000 issues at the ready for fanboys.

Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2020 by Barry

Daredevil (1964) 4

As March departs, let’s usher in Zebediah Killgrave to commemorate Epilepsy Awareness Day, or Purple Day.

Epilepsy Awareness Day is also known as Purple Day. Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, created Purple Day as a way to educate the public on the condition. The World Health Organization reports nearly 50-million people worldwide live with epilepsy. It is not known how it occurs, though it is non-contagious. While treatable, medical treatment is not available in all parts of the world.

For more information, log onto the Epilepsy Foundation site.

Killgrave is The Purple Man, introduced in Daredevil 4.

The second-tier villain was one who waited in the wings until the right writer came to his rescue. Brian Michael Bendis helped himself to Killgrave for Alias. The storyline matured Purple Man enough for modern-day audiences. Enough so it became part of the short-lived Netflix story of Jessica Jones where David Tennant portrayed him.

Killgrave produces a pheromone allowing him to control others.

Daredevil (1964) 4

Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2020 by Barry

Sensational Spider-Man (2005) 24

Sensational Spider-Man (2005) 24

Sensational Spider-Man (2005) 24

Peter finally finds the Christmas spirit in himself while looking for the perfect gift.

The hapless hero finds himself without the holiday cheer. He doesn’t know why. He started early and found the right gifts for the right people. Maybe it’s the bounty a recently returned Norman Osborn has offered for Spider-Man’s head. Or, the hard year and Mary Jane have had.

Fellow journalist Billy Walters surprises Peter with an unexpected gift. One for which Peter has no reciprocal present for. Soul searching – and his red and blue union suit – bring the answer.

Hydro Man also makes an appearance in this issue, but doesn’t add to the storyline.

Not a bad story for a time when Marvel was going through so much turmoil. I only recently stumbled across this by accident.

Merry Christmas from the merry Marvel team and the Spider-Man family.

Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 182

Believe it or not there’s actually a National Proposal Day. The day you’re supposed to ask those four simple words that are the hardest to say, “Will you marry me?”

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 182

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 182

To commemorate the day, let’s look at Amazing Spider-Man issue 182 when Peter Parker first asked Mary Jane Watson to marry him.

Not much special about the issue other than Peter popping the question. The Rocket Racer is back. Spider-Man attempts to knock Robert Farrell off his land board with no success.

Between battles readers wind through the day with Peter as he visits Aunt May, stops by the Daily Bugle and relaxes at home. Each stop offers him a chance to chase his thoughts. When he does catch up with them, they all lead in the same direction.

By book’s end Peter is at Mary Jane’s doorstep. In one hand is a box of Cracker Jack and his heart in the other. Read the issue to understand.

MJ would turn down the initial proposal, but relent by 1987 in ASM 290.

The two would later wed in Amazing Spider-Man annual 21.

A mock ceremony was held at Shea Stadium in 1987, Stan Lee officiating.

Posted Sunday, March 1st, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (1983) 1

Welcome to National Pig Day; according to National Day Calendar.

National Pig Day is celebrated on March 1 annually, recognizing the domesticated pig. It is – supposedly – celebrated with pig games, pig parties and gatherings with pig collectibles.

Go figure.

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (1983) 1

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (1983) 1

For those tuning in today, we’re gonna focus on the anthropomorphized-fictional character of Peter Parker.

Peter Porker first appeared in the Marvel Tails of his namesake in November of 1983. The web-slinging swine was created by Larry Hama, Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong.

What began as a one-and-done became an ongoing series two years later with Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham as part of Marvel’s Star Comics subdivision. The series lasted 17 issues on a bimonthly schedule before cancellation in 1987.

Mr. Porker wasn’t in literary hiatus long. Ol’ Ham Head became a backup in Marvel Tales beginning with issue 201. Later he would headline in the short-lived What the…? issue three in a parody of Kraven’s Last Hunt.

He has continued to float around the Marvel Universe(s) with a 25th-anniversary special in 2010.

Fry up your bacon and sit down to an adventure on Earth-8311 today.

Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 by Barry

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

‘Kitty’s Fairy Tale’ celebrates National Tell a Fairy Tale Day today.

Chris Claremont was firmly in the driver’s seat by the time this tale was told in January 1982. Readers had been treated to the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’ and ‘Days of Future Past.’ Magneto had returned and been retired for the 150th issue. Kitty had just escaped the clutches of the White Queen. It was time for a breather.

Claremont and Pryde took readers to the world of Nhu Yorkh as she and first mate Colossus joined forces with doppelganger X-Men to save Jean Grey from Dark Phoenix in a less lethal manner.

To observe, share some short stories with the small fry in the audience. Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.

Posted Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 by Barry

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

A 1978 inhouse ad from the House of Ideas – and merchandising – showcased the beginning of the graphic novel and trade paperback era.

Aside from The Incredible Hulk 1979 calendar, the advertisement promoted the Fireside books published from 1974 to 1979.

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Fireside was an imprint of publishing house Simon & Schuster. Stan Lee’s vision was to offer a more traditional format featuring Silver Age stories at affordable prices.

Fireside and Marvel teamed for 24 such books during the six-year association. Origins of Marvel Comics hit bookshelves in 1974 followed by Son of Origins of Marvel Comics in 1975. Bring on the Bad Guys and The Superhero Women were published in 1976.

The return of Jack Kirby to Marvel was heralded by The Silver Surfer The Ultimate Cosmic Experience. It also marked a reunion with collaborator Lee.

Other books included The Best of Spidey Super Stories, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel’s Greatest Battles, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts, Captain America Sentinel of Liberty, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun books one through five, The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, Marvel Mazes to Drive you Mad, The Mighty Marvel Pin-Up Book, Marvel Word Games and The Might Marvel Jumbo Fun Book.

All stocking stuffers to be sure.

Posted Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 by Barry

Fantastic Four (1961) 11

Today is National Thank a Mail Carrier Day. That said, Willie Lumpkin is the most deserving master of ceremonies for the day in our universe.

Fantastic Four (1961) 11

Fantastic Four (1961) 11

Willie was originally created by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo for a newspaper comic strip. Stan resurrected the character in Fantastic Four (1961) 11 in ‘A Visit With the Fantastic Four.’

Readers are treated to a more idyllic story as the famous foursome go about daily activities. They are greeted by Willie as he delivers a bag of fan mail. The short introduction ends with an offer by Mr. Lumpkin to join the team; his hidden power is the ability to wiggle his ears.

The mail carrier makes a final appearance in the last panel of the first story with an even larger bag of mail to be delivered.

Mr. Lumpkin would continue to make cameos in The Fantastic Four through the ensuing years. In 1989 Willie was given his own short in Marvel Comics Presents issue 18 in a parody of ‘A Christmas Carol.’

He would later become a beau of Aunt May Parker until one of her many perceived deaths.

After his retirement, Willie became a biology teacher for the Future Foundation with the FF.

In a touching tribute to his creation, Stan Lee portrayed the beleaguered mailman in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie.

Posted Friday, January 31st, 2020 by Barry

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

Science tells us time travel doesn’t exist.

But, it does.

At least in our minds. Here’s a prime example.

The holidays may be over, but here’s a look – 39 years – back at “Marvel’s Big Money…,” well, just re-read the title of today’s offering.

This one hurts my heart a bit. This was the end of an era. This was the final full year we lived back home; Virginia.

No, I didn’t order from this ad. We were fortunate enough to have one of the early comic book shops in Winchester. If I couldn’t make it there – these were the days before a driver’s license – there were newsstands and a 7-Eleven within pedaling distance.

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

When the advertisement first appeared, it was just another page to flip past for more action. Looking at it now, the wreath is a portal to a time when adventures came at $.40 (plus tax) right off a spin rack.

Less if you subscribed for a year. Just read the hype: “The first subscription costs $5 – A big $1 savings off the regular sub price of $6!”

Read a little further and you could have saved an additional dollar with each subsequent subscription.

Whatta bargain.

It might have been nice, but there was – and still is – a thrill that comes when you pick up your pull box stack or find one on the wall that calls out; looking at those lavish covers and being drawn into the story without turning a page.

Hope your holidays were wonderful and the memories made will be good ones in the years to come. Jan. 31, 1981, has come and gone; buried by a lotta years. But, we can still remember.