Posts Tagged ‘Spider-Man’

Posted Saturday, August 17th, 2019 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 194

Believe it or not, there is a National Black Cat Appreciation Day. And, that day is today.

What better comic book to represent our ebon feline friend than Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 194, the first appearance of Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat.

The beauteous Black Cat originated from a textbook-Freud/Jung Father Complex. Felicia’s father was a notorious cat burglar. To earn his love and respect, she emulated her father and later tried to break him out of prison.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 194

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 194

Her original appearance ended in the second issue of a two-part story arc as she fell, seemingly, to her death.
Felicia would return a year later in Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 204 for another two-part story line. This time her affections would be focused on Spider-Man.

Eventually a romance did bloom. Felicia repented of her criminal ways and became Spider-Man’s lover. I say Spider-Man, because the thought of Peter Parker and his mundane life outside the costume repulsed her.

She would go on to secure “powers” from the Kingpin allowing her to induce black cat hoodoo against anyone wishing to do her harm.

Eventually Spider-Man and Black Cat would go their separate ways.

Felicia has had a healthy career in the Marvel Universe as a sexy siren. In addition to appearing in various Marvel mags throughout the years, Felicia has starred and co-starred in mini-series sporting her name and image.

To properly observe the day, National Day Calendar suggests consideration of adopting a black cat.

Four Color Holidays suggests you curl up with several favorite issues featuring the felonious feline with your favorite real life feline.

Posted Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 by Barry

“Deck the Halls with Marvel Comics”

Before Black Friday was a thing, Marvel Comics Company tried to help the holiday shopper with this house ad for the perfect gift.

Apparently the thought of not having to fight holiday shoppers for the gifts is enough to set Magneto, Doc Ock and Dr. Doom caroling.

In addition to staying home, shoppers have the knowledge they may cancel their subscription at any time if not satisfied, orders are delivered right to their door, they will save a whopping $7.20 off newsstand prices and are offered the lowest price on renewals.

Santa Spidey continues to plug the ad by exhorting, “Your first two 12-issue subscriptions cost $6 each—or just $.50 per copy!

“Each additional 12-issue subscription you order for yourself or a friend costs only $4.50 each—or just $.38 per copy!”

This was a time when Marvel offered just 25-regular titles. Special titles included the Micronauts, Moon Knight, Ka-Zar, What If…?, King Conan and Marvel Fanfare.

Too bad the ad expired Jan. 31, 1983 considering what comic books cost today.

According to Wikipedia, Black Friday didn’t receive its name until recently even though the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the kick off for Christmas shopping since 1952.

“Deck the Halls with Marvel Comics”

Posted Thursday, August 1st, 2019 by Barry

Amazing Fantasy (1962) 15

Based on today’s headline, any comic fan should be able to guess this is National Spider-Man Day.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy issue 15. Other stories included were “The Bell Ringer!,” “Man in the Mummy Case!” and “There are Martians Among Us!”

Amazing Fantasy (1962) 15

Amazing Fantasy (1962) 15

When sales figures returned for what was the final issue of the title, Spider-Man proved a financial success. He returned in his own book, The Amazing Spider-Man in March of 1963. Lee and Ditko continued to chronicle his exploits to issue 38 when Ditko left. Lee remained scripter until issue 100.

Though the Fantastic Four were recruited to help bolster sales for the first issue, it quickly became apparent the guest stars were not needed. In little time Spider-Man became the flagship of the Marvel Universe.

By mid-decade Spider-Man was as recognizable and popular as Bob Dylan. In 1972 he received a second series, Marvel Team-Up. As the title may indicate, Spider-Man would join other heroes for one-and-dones or story arcs.

In 1976 a third book was devoted to the character, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man. This one dealt more into the Web Head’s alter ego.

In 1985 Marvel Team-Up ceased publication. Web of Spider-Man replaced it, focused solely on Spider-Man.

Since then titles have popped up or ceased publication, but always sold well.

Spider-Man first appeared on television during Saturday mornings. Spider-Man ’67, as it’s become known, ran from 1967-70. Spidey shared television time with himself in the early 1980s when Spider-Man and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends ran concurrently. Fox Kids studios would option a series in the 1990s running five seasons and 65 episodes. Spider-Man Unlimited followed.

A CGI series aired following the Spider-Man movie. Not until 2008 would he return in animated form. This time in The Spectacular Spider-Man beginning March 8. Ultimate Spider-Man followed on Disney XD in 2012.

The character’s two lone forays into live action on television were the Electric Company shorts and syndicated The Amazing Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond.

A Japanese version aired in 1978.

Spider-Man broke into Hollywood with a feature film in 2002. That was followed by two more before the franchise was rebooted in 2012. Spider-Man Homecoming, released in 2017, was a second retooling of the character on the silver screen. Most recently was Spider-Man: Far From Home.

In addition to the small and big screen appearances, Spider-Man has been featured in pretty much every medium there is to offer. His comic books continue to sell and his likeness is one of the best recognized in the world.

Posted Saturday, July 13th, 2019 by Barry

Hallmark Holiday ornaments

Posted Saturday, June 29th, 2019 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1962) 2

National Camera Day may not be much reason for most to celebrate, but maybe it’ll give you an excuse to re-read some vintage Spider-Man comic books.

Amazing Spider-Man (1962) 2

Amazing Spider-Man (1962) 2

I’ll admit I’ve lost track of the Web Slinger. Calling him a Web Slinger may even date me. I wasn’t around for Amazing Spider-Man issue one, but I’ve been around for a lot of the others over the years. To be honest, I’m not sure where and what is going on with the Spider-Man titles these days.

Amazing Spider-Man 133 is, maybe, the first Spidey I remember reading. Maybe. That or the issue before.

Anyway, by issue 132 or 133 Spider-Man was fairly established. He had a substantial rogues gallery and had been working at the Daily Bugle since issue two.

That’s how we’re shoehorning in the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man for National Camera Day.

At the behest of Jolly J. Jonah Jameson himself, Peter Parker possibly started the selfie craze by photographing himself in action against the Vulture.

That was the beginning of Mr. Parker’s photojournalism career. As a freelancer, Peter was able to keep his aunt in medicine, himself in web fluid and just make the rent payment.

It also introduced an extended cast of characters including his first love, Betty Brant.

To observe National Camera Day, snap a photograph of someone you enjoy. Post photos on social media using #NationalCameraDay.

We suggest you toss in some choice issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man.

Posted Sunday, April 7th, 2019 by Barry

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

Comic book shops were common place by the beginning of the 1990s, but original graphic novels and trade paperbacks were not.

The Might Marvel holiday Wish List, sporting a caroling Spidey, Hulk and Cap, was a festive gift guide for the comic book fan. What could be simpler? Make a check beside the corresponding title, hand it to the gift giver and wait for Christmas morning.

Looking back at this pre-internet solicitation reminds me of how far the industry has come. Of course I forget this is 30 years ago.

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The year 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago. Saying 30 years does.

Anyway, 30-years ago trades and collections were not the norm. Marvel had its high-end Masterworks and DC its Archive editions. Those were available in most comic book shops and retail book chains. They were just pricey for the day.

Trades were much more reasonable, but still a novelty. That’s why it’s so odd looking at the ad paper and seeing so few story arcs collected.

Readers must also remember this was a time when stories were written from beginning to end with no worries about how they would fit in a trade.

As much as I love Neil Gaiman and Sandman, I blame the wordsmith for the advent of trade-length story arcs. He invented the four- to six-issue story arc with a few one-and-dones in between that seem to have become the industry standard for trades.

So, sit back and check out the Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List – in full – courtesy ComicBookDaily.com. It’s a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past.

Posted Thursday, April 4th, 2019 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special (2005)

Marvel recycled the cover and stories for its Marvel Holiday Special trade, but the original 2005 one-shot was all original.

Marvel Holiday Special (2005)

Marvel Holiday Special (2005)

Shaenon K. Garrity serves up a jaunty pre-Christmas tale with shades of Citizen Kane. The Fantastic Four and Namor celebrate the holiday to satisfy an aggrieved Moleman’s childhood fancy in “Moleman’s Christmas.”

The disgruntled youth’s misgiving-theme is continued in “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santatron.” Spider-Man swings in late for the annual Avenger’s Christmas party. An unexpected – and unwanted – guest arrives in a Tannenbaum trimmed Trojan horse. Heroes prove their mettle as they circumvent the intrusion with a confederate confection.

Marvel’s holiday season comes to a close with “Christmas Day in Manhattan.” A rhythmic recital has the Fantastic Four saving another holiday from a poor-intentioned father. Their mercy provides presents for the innocents.

This 2005 edition is a worthy addition to any collector’s repository. A goodly portion of the Marvel U appears in either leading rolls or in cameos. The stories are heartwarming without being saccharine and the feeling of the season is almost tangible.

Posted Thursday, February 7th, 2019 by Barry

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

DC beat Marvel to the holiday punch with the first of the Christmas specials beginning in 1974.

The Marvel Treasury Special was released Nov. 26 of that year on the heels of DC’s Limited Collector’s Edition (C-34) that hit newsstands Nov. 7.

Whereas DC had decades of material to draw from, Marvel had a little over 10-years worth of stories to plumb.

Naturally “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” led the list.

It was a reprint from Marvel Team-Up issue one starring Spider-Man and the Human Torch battling Sandman. A sappy story that brought out the season in both heroes who allowed Sandman to visit his mother on Christmas Eve.  The good deed does not go unpunished leading both heroes to a continuation of the story in issue two.

The remainder of the book is what the title promised:  a grab-bag.

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

In “Mortal Combat with…Sub-Mariner” is reprinted from Daredevil issue seven. Namor makes land fall to seek out Matt Murdock to serve as his lawyer. The sea prince wishes to sue the surface world for its exploitation of the other three quarters of the Earth.  Murdock’s alter ego is called upon when he refuses to take the case.

Black Widow stars in the next story taken from Amazing Adventures (1970) issue five. An unremarkable story. Maybe the most noteworthy of the book is Neal Adam’s assumption of penciling chores on the Inhuman’s story.

Fantastic Four issues 25 and 26, a two-part tale, finish out the book. The Thing and Hulk go toe-to-toe in issue 25 with the Avengers guest starring in the second part.

Far from the holiday specials to come in the 1990s, but at least setting a precedence for the company.

Posted Thursday, December 27th, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Team-Up (1972) 79

Finally, some down time devoted to catching up on hauls from the year past.

Pulling from a box of unread issues, I decided to finish what Marvel Team-Up books I’d picked up. As most any collector of any length of time can tell the uninitiated, you tend to give, buy and trade/sell books on a regular basis. Spider-Man titles are no exception.

Marvel Team-Up (1972) 79

Marvel Team-Up (1972) 79

I know I’ve owned issue 79 before. I know I’ve read it before. But, when I cracked the cover and started, I was pleasantly surprised to find this is a Christmas comic book.

Of sorts.

The story takes place Dec. 22, 1978. Chris Claremont is very specific on that. The date is front and center in the opening dialog box. The snow is falling across New York City, evening a backdrop as the moon shies behind thick stratus clouds. No colored lights lift the night’s burden. The first few pages are exercises in a Glynis Wein blue period.

Having set the mood, in prose and color, a young John Byrne pencils Spider-Man swinging to the Daily Bugle for the annual Christmas party. A quick change to Peter Parker and the titular character is greeted by Mary Jane and mistletoe.

What romance she wished to rekindle is squashed as Peter is ushered out the door on assignment to cover strange doings up town.

As promised on the cover, Red Sonja guest stars with Spidey making for an odd pairing. Still, the story works. And, as any red blooded American boy from the 1970s can vouch, when you found an appearance of Red Sonja on the spin racks, it was a good week.

Claremont and Byrne, already a team on The Uncanny X-Men, wrap the story up in the industry standard 17 pages leaving the reader fulfilled and satisfied their 40 cents didn’t go to waste.

Posted Monday, December 24th, 2018 by Jeff

Peace on Earth…

Settling into Christmas Eve with Marvel Team-Up (1972) #1. Pencils by Ross Andru and inks by Mike Esposito.

Peace on Earth