Posts Tagged ‘Wolverine’

Posted Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 by Barry

Hulk (1968) 182

What do Hulk 182 and National Eat Your Beans Day have in common?

The most obvious feature of issue 182 is the third appearance of Wolverine. Just one page. Only three panels, but still the official third appearance of the mega popular character.

Yet that’s not what causes Hulk 182 to make the list for July 3. No, it’s another character. One that only appears in this issue:  Cracka-Jack Jackson.

Hulk (1968) 182

Hulk (1968) 182

Well, Cracka-Jack and his meal of choice: beans.

Having failed to capture the Hulk in the previous two issues, Wolverine is dispatched back to headquarters. The Hulk is subdued with gas, but awakens only to escape once more. During his aimless travels, the Hulk discovers Cracka-Jack.

The homeless minstrel welcomes the green-skinned stranger and offers him what is left of dinner, beans.

The Hulk takes a liking to the meal and it becomes his request as the two share their travels until scribe Len Wein amps up the action.

Hulk remembers the meal throughout future issues giving us license to use this book as a commemoration of the day.

National Eat Your Beans Day is described as “a ‘live healthy’ holiday observed on July 3. This day celebrates the bean vegetable in all sizes, shapes and colors. Beans (legumes) are one of the longest-cultivated plants dating back to the early seventh millennium BCE.

Celebrate with a bean-based recipe, but maybe do it alone.

Posted Sunday, May 12th, 2019 by Barry

A Year of Marvels May 01

Okay, not sure about a lot of the details on this other than from the standard release published ad nauseum on Web sites.

In 2016 it looks as if Marvel released a series of monthly one-shots under its Marvel Digital Comics imprint. Since then it has been released in hardcopy as a trade paperback.

Based on release info, artists celebrated a holiday each month throughout the year. In May, readers received a – pun intended – monstrous Mother’s Day tale.

A Year of Marvels May 01

A Year of Marvels May 01

X-23 cum Wolverine teams with She-Hulk tackling sister Wendigoes sired by Mother Monster. Her real name.

Mother Monster experimented with cannibalism to craft her (wo)man made monsters. Success was elusive until she was able to feed her “daughters” authentic Wendigo meat. The combination of human and Wendigo flesh created a hybrid pair.

With She-Hulk and X-23/Wolverine captured, Mother Monster tried to transfer their powers to the man-made Wendigoes. X-23/Wolverine is able to nullify Monster Mother’s machination and earn the respect of She-Hulk.

Dennis Culver scripted the story with Geoffo and Leonardo Romero fleshing out the visuals. Overall the story is a nice piece harkening back to the original – and first appearance – of Wolverine and the Hulk. If you have to ask what issue that was, you shouldn’t be reading this.

A fun romp for Mother’s Day.

Posted Saturday, January 26th, 2019 by Barry

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider reads more like a grindhouse movie than a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Logan takes on small town corruption to avenge the death of an innocent.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the book. The more it reminds me of those 1970s drive-in classics. The more it feels right.

Right for the character.

Gregg Hurwitz does a good job unsheathing the claws. Jerome Opena does an equally good job in rendering those claws.

Chris Claremont gave Logan his catch phrase in the 1982 Wolverine mini-series, “I’m the best at what I do. And, what I do isn’t very nice.”

None of Flies to a Spider is nice. Just satisfying.

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider

Posted Monday, December 17th, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special 2011

Marvel Holiday Special 2011

Marvel Holiday Special 2011

Marvel dusted off previously released material offered through Comixology in digital format for the 2011 Christmas Special offering a mixed bag of holiday cheer.

Spider-Man stars in “Cold Hearted Christmas.” Family is missed the most when gone from the holidays. Justice and compassion do work in unison, though.

“Logan’s Lost Lesson” is pretty much what the title suggests. Wolverine doffs his work clothes to teach hockey and a lesson to the naughty at Xavier’s School for Gifted Students.

“Ol’ Saint Nick” is Nick Fury handing out a Christmas pummeling to the agents of Hydra while on an important mission to show a man his future.

“Chinese Food for Christmas” has a meeting of the non-Gentiles of the Marvel Universe. Together they prove there’s more than one way to celebrate Christmas.

Posted Thursday, December 13th, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special 2006

Three stories and a two-page Fred Hembeck spread pulled from Marvel Age 25 make up the 2006 holiday special.

Marvel Holiday Special 2006

Marvel Holiday Special 2006

“A Piece of Cake” opens the Christmas book in strong fashion.  Spider-Man and Wolverine combine forces for a memorable team-up.  Peter Parker attempts to keep his appointment at Aunt May’s annual Christmas party and provide dessert.

While everyone else is reveling in the seasonal spirit Wolverine is bah-humbugging his way through the sewers of New York in search of a rogue sentinel.  Finding the man-made colossus is easy; stopping the stripped down, ramped up Santa-nel is harder.

Donning his union suit, Spidey aids his north-of-the-border born neighbor in shutting down a discount store Santa’s evil machinations to exact revenge on a perceived slight.

Hembeck dresses up some Marvel mainstays for the season followed by a confusing tale entitled “Secret Santa.”  It appears the Runaways are gathered for the holidays making amends with each other.  Unless a reader of the title and time, there’s no context for what happens.

“The Meaning of Christmas” is tossed in foreshadowing major Marvel events to occur.

Not a bad offering, but the momentum promised in “A Piece of Cake” dies with the headlining story.

Posted Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special 1995 TPB

Riding high on the speculator market soon to go bust – the company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year later – Marvel released its 1995 Holiday Special trade paperback.

Flagship character Spider-Man carried the book with three stories beginning with “A Spider-Man Christmas Carol.” The Web Head saves a hospital ward full of sick children with a little help from Daily Bugle Publisher J. Jonah Jameson.

“A Miracle a Few Blocks down from 34th Street” showcases the X-Men in the oft reprinted Christmas tale outing Santa as the world’s most powerful mutant.

Spider-Man returns in another seasonal fan favorite, “Down and Out in Forest Hills.” The story is miss-billed as “Star Of the Show” that appears later in the book.

Marvel Holiday Special 1995 TPB

Marvel Holiday Special 1995 TPB

“Down and Out” features Peter and Mary Jane as they are ousted from their condominium on Christmas Eve. Uncle Ben is the Ghost of Christmas Past who provides wisdom in Peter’s decision to return to his roots. The story originally appeared in Amazing Spider-Man 314.

“Zounds of Silence” is a textless tale featuring Wolverine – of sorts – in an imaginative dream of consumerism during the holidays.

“Hopes and Fears” sees the return of Spider-Man in a test of faith against Mephisto.

“Free Will” is lifted from Peter David’s run on The Incredible Hulk. Banner Hulk questions the holidays and choices.

“Star of the Show” finally appears as a one-page, textless story with the jolly, fat one making a guest appearance.

The Punisher is shoehorned into the book with customary bullets flying and body count in “The Spirit of the Season.”

Finally, “The Big X-Mas Black Out” brings Spidey back for an encore appearance as he dukes it out with Electro using Rockefeller Square as a backdrop.

Slap an $8.95 price tag on the title and Marvel made itself and readers a little merrier in ’95.

Posted Monday, December 3rd, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Not since Amazing Spider-Man 192 has there been as entertaining a face-off between J. Jonah Jameson and Spidey. “Not a Creature Was Stirring” is refreshing, fun and Mark Waid at his story-telling best teasing the title characters and readers.

Jonah’s greed backfires while attempting to publicize his philanthropy. The end result has JJJ and Spidey pinned beneath warehouse roof rubble as snow mounds about their fast freezing bodies. Nothing ever ends well for the Bugle publisher and this story is no exception. Jonah’s pride falls victim after deciding to do what’s right.

“Unto Others” focuses on Kitty Pryde, her Jewish heritage and mutant birth rite. Hatred and ignorance form a common bond between Kitty and a young girl who only wishes to see her father’s face again. The history of Hanukah is tossed in for good measure.

Silver Surfer stars in “Hark! The Herald!” Galactus’ former minion faces a paradox only faith can solve.

“Ambush at Angle Rock” shakes the trail dust off the Rawhide Kid character for a western holiday and the only weak spot in the special.

Wolverine rounds out the book with “Humbug.” A walk around town and head full of thoughts brings little comfort to Logan at this time of year – though he wishes the spirit could touch him.

Posted Friday, November 23rd, 2018 by Jeff

Happy Holidays

Marvel’s holiday card, circa 2010.

Marvel 2010 card

Posted Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 by Barry

Wolverine 49 (2003)

Wolverine 49 (2003)

Wolverine 49 (2003)

Wolverine out Bruce Willis’ breakout character John McClane in this semi-cloned Christmas Eve story. The only thing missing is the “Yippy ki-yi-yah (explicative deleted).”

While I say this is a re-imagining of a classic action movie, “Better to Give…” is much more. Like Uncanny X-Men 143, the similarities between comic book and movie are laid bare early on and, in this case, Rob Williams makes no apologies. Nor should he.

The juxtaposition of a character with more red ink on his hands than a copier repair man on a mission of mercy for team mate Kitty Pryde on the cusp of Christmas in a crowded New York department store is, well…Wolverine says it best.

“I’m the best at what I do.

“But what I do best…

“…isn’t shopping.”

Williams swipes from master Wolverine scribe Chris Claremont, but who hasn’t? Plus, the line works perfectly.

If looking for a stocking stuffer for the tougher-to-shop for, this is the one. Even the cover oozes menace.

Posted Thursday, March 30th, 2017 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

As I said, the 1990s were bleak for comic books in general. One shining beacon were the early Marvel Holiday Specials.

Stan “the Man” Lee himself returned to pen the Spider-Man story, the first time since issue 200 outside of the newspaper strip. Barring Lee’s story, the star is Doc Samson’s revisionist origin of Chanukah. Even his ridiculous pony tail and post-Village People jump suit couldn’t spoil the fun.

Thanos’ touching tale of parenthood comes off as anything but contrived as do all the stories, featuring Wolverine, Punisher, New Mutants, Ironman and Daredevil.