Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 12th, 2011, 4:13 pm #71

Amazing Spider-Man #663-664
Quickly ties up the Mr. Negative/Marti Li subplot that had been brewing since the whole "Brand New Day" re-start. With the help of the new Wraith, Anti-Venom and Spidey expose Li as Negative, seemingly ending his days as a crimelord and plot element.

Wraith turns out to be NYPD's Yrui Watanabe, using confiscated tuff from Mysterio and Mr. Fear to pose as "the ghost of Jean DeWolfe". Spidey's girlfriend Carlie Cooper finds out and is in on the secret with Watanabe. Spidey hears both of them talking and finds out, as well. Of course, Spidey was being stealthy by climbing on the ceiling above them. I know, that particular action has been used since the 60's, but I've always found "nobody notices Spidey while he's on the CEILING" to be a tough pill to swallow.

Also, Peter Parker confesses to Carlie that he "designs Spider-Man's tech" and she's all giddy about it. So we have that out of the way, as well.

Essentially, these two issues end subplots so Spidey can have a lighter plate for the upcoming "Spider-Island" story.

Batman & Robin #25
Red Hood (Jason Todd) escapes both Batman & Robin and whatever "agency" was holding Scarlett captive. In the end, Hood and Scarlett fly away in a helicopter. Again, since this is written by Hack Winnick, EVERYBODY in the entire story is a smart-ass and talks like they're in a 15 year old's idea for a movie script.

And--surprise, surprise-- Hack Winnick uses a BOMB as a plot device, once again.

This is the second-to-last issue of "Batman & Robin". #26 looks like a pretentious writer's attempt at being "cerebral" by including surrealists elements. It's even set in EUROPE, which always makes things smarter! Right?!

Y'know, there's a reason those late 80's Doom Patrol books can be found in a bargain bin.

I have one more issue of this and then I'm FREE.

Thunderbolts #150
The team goes head-to-head with the possessed Juggernaut and even have a weird confrontation with Kuurth (the possessing spirit). The pages with Kuurth try to be all artsy, with a lame attempt at cubism. But since it's all on the 'astral plane', it's allright. Whatever... at least it's not set in Europe.

With FEAR running rampant, Man-Thing suddenly disappears as part of "the next step in his evolution". Y'know, I wasn't expecting that FEAR Itself would affect him, but feel silly for not thinking of it ("Whatever knows FEAR burns at the touch of the Man-Thing"). I wonder if Morbius or other guys from 1970's "Journey into Fear" will make cameos just for shits n' grins.

Weird thing about this story is that the Bolts are trying to stop Juggy from attacking Chicago. While over in "Uncanny X-men", Juggy's attacking San Francisco. Sure, these aren't supposed to be happening at the same time, but that's a rather weird geography jump. Juggy went from NYC to Chicago, then to SF. I guess the other cities in-between didn't matter.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 12th, 2011, 9:17 pm #72

Fear Itself #4
Borrows heavily from the recent Thor movie, as he's dumped through a vortex in the middle of the desert. Thor rallies the heroes and tells that The Serpent is actually Odin's brother; the one whom Odin beat the piss out of to take control of Asgard. It's sorta' implied that he's the "original sin" of old. Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers all split off to fight The Serpent's forces.

In the end, Thor goes to confront The Serpent to fulfill a prophecy. But The Serpent sends him through a vortex, again, back to NYC where he's set to fight the possessed Hulk AND Thing.

Also, it's confirmed that Bucky Barnes "died" from last issue's attack. Well as much as anyone can "die" in comics. Steve Rogers puts his Cap suit back on and goes into battle (while carrying a machine gun. Huh?). Iron Man begs for Odin's help in Broxton, including giving him "the only thing I have left", which was apparently his dignity through sobriety. That part felt a little forced to me, but the rest is perfectly acceptable comic book action. This would read better with all 7 issues in one sitting, or...gasp...the TPB.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 15th, 2011, 3:04 pm #73

Sensational She-Hulk #1-3 (Vol.2 , 1989)
Once again to the "Crap I Gotta' Get Rid Of" pile. I just wanted to see if these were as weird as I remembered. I wouldn't say "weird" (aside from the Byrne thing), but just bad.

The first issue starts off well enough, with a nod to the "Clown Hulk" from Avengers #1. The Circus of Crime is around and hypnotizes She-Hulk....which is when things get strange. They dress her up as "Glamazonia", which may have been John Byrne's idea of the ideal (comic book) woman: a 7-foot tall red head in a cocktail dress. The twin acrobats from the Circus of Crime even say; "mama mia! That's a spicy meat-a-ball". I didn't see the proposed "hotness" at all.

There's an ongoing subplot in the first three issues as the Headmen are hiring flunkies to attack She-Hulk. You may remember the Headmen from "Defenders". You may then remember that reading Defenders was like reading Avengers....while tripping on LSD. Anyways, the Headmen's master plan is to catch She-Hulk and use her body for their pal Chondu. Mysterio pops up in issue two, which gets Spider-Man involved in issue three. Of course the good guys win.

While that's the gist of the first three issues, the details are what this book became famous for. In the first issue, She-Hulk specifically mentions "you probably read about it in the first issue of Avengers" as well as the actual page she's on. Later on, she talks about all the cliches of comics, such as the positioning of sub-plots, the shadowy villains and other stuff. Supporting character Weezi keeps popping up, saying stuff like: "oh yes, I told you that before. But the readers weren't here to see it". Other characters think she's insane.

That's all fine... but it enters the Lameness Sector when they start dropping creator names and inside jokes. I absolutely HATE when Marvel does this. Issue two is full of little post-it notes from the editors. Issue three has a big gag about "cutting to the Chase"...then they insert a picture of Marvel editor Bobbie Chase. Oh... yuk.... yuk. She-Hulk even yells at "Byrne" in the second issue.

She-Hulk tries to tell some deliberately bad jokes to fill a page in issue three. Only thing worse than deliberately telling bad jokes is badly telling deliberately bad jokes.

Using the Circus of Crime, Mysterio (who was something of a joke at the time) and the Headmen made for some cheeky shenanigans. By their nature, those are all goofy villains. But they immediately went too far on the "humor" elements of this series by bringing in the creative staff and it was quite annoying. In short, I'd say the lesson learned was: just because you're writing something that's humorous, it does not mean YOU are humorous.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 15th, 2011, 3:16 pm #74

Oh, FWIW, last week I had some jackass try to tell me that "newsstand" versions are actually CANADIAN and worth much less. As opposed to the "direct" edition which are much more valuable and made in the USA.

Sure, and comics read with your RIGHT hand are worth more than comics read with your LEFT.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 20th, 2011, 2:47 pm #75

Excalibur #18 (1989)
Part of their big "Cross Time Caper", which was a story featuring the team traveling to random, senseless, alternate realities in a random senseless plot. All via a magical train.

This time they land on a world that's similar to Speed Racer. The art even deliberately evolves into a "manga" style halfway through. It's full of so much explanatory dialogue that it's very unnatural and I couldn't get more than halfway through the book. Garbage.

This was sort of the the "third sting X-men" book at the time, with Capt. Britain, Meggan, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler and Phoenix (Rachel Summers). Plus the occassional connection to Marvel UK comics that had no relevance to us Dumb Yanks. The book was never a sales giant and seemed like something of a self-indulgent labor of love for Chris Claremont.
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captcomic83
Friend of Pete Doherty
captcomic83
Friend of Pete Doherty
Joined: July 14th, 2011, 2:49 am

July 26th, 2011, 6:24 pm #76

Erick Von Erich,Jul 20 2011 wrote: Excalibur #18 (1989)
Part of their big "Cross Time Caper", which was a story featuring the team traveling to random, senseless, alternate realities in a random senseless plot. All via a magical train.

This time they land on a world that's similar to Speed Racer. The art even deliberately evolves into a "manga" style halfway through. It's full of so much explanatory dialogue that it's very unnatural and I couldn't get more than halfway through the book. Garbage.

This was sort of the the "third sting X-men" book at the time, with Capt. Britain, Meggan, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler and Phoenix (Rachel Summers). Plus the occassional connection to Marvel UK comics that had no relevance to us Dumb Yanks. The book was never a sales giant and seemed like something of a self-indulgent labor of love for Chris Claremont.
Well, EVE, at the time, Excalibur was hardly alone in the 'third-string X-book' category, as sister title 'New Mutants' also was in its own 'dork age', as it is after Claremont's writing run on the book but before Rob Liefeld came on board, when then-writer Louise Simonson was putting anything into the book to see if it could stick: Most of them failed to impress. At that time, New Mutants had lower sales than Excalibur!

You should check it out!

J.A.P.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 26th, 2011, 7:45 pm #77

Please keep in mind the definition of "sort of".

I did check out "New Mutants", back in the day. I remember some weird junk going on with Asgard and Hela, plus some monster sorceror and a elf chick named "Gossamyr" or something (really, I appreciate the effort, but you do not need to fill-in-the-blanks for me with exact details). The only interesting thing, to me, was that the New Mutants had new costumes and not the ubiquitous yellow/black X-jumpsuits they had had since their debuts.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 1st, 2011, 5:40 pm #78

Avengers #15
A "Fear Itself" tie-in, as Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye and the Protector go to Brazil to stop the possessed Hulk (okay, it would've been nice if the creative team had worked in Hulk's temporary evil name-- Fhart, Breaker of Wind or whatever it is). They fight for awhile, save some kids, then hide as Hulk apparently walks away. Spider-Woman and Hawkeye then begin making out. Not a great story by any means.

It's also told in that annoying "flashback/talking head" interview gimmick that this book has been running recently. These kinda' ruin any intrigue, as we know the characters aren't in any immediate peril if they're narrating this thing in flashback.

Batman #712
I think... hopefully...that this is my last issue of Batman. I officially put a hold-box stop on all my DC's as soon as they end their current runs. Is there an issue 713?! Fuck, I hope not.

Once again, this story is "writer" Tony Daniel trying to make significant or meaningful stories...and still falling short. This whole thing with Gilda Dent and Two-Face? Well, she's back, but it was part of a distraction by Riddler so he could get some documents. It's implied that Riddler then kills his sidekick, Enigma. Huh?

Catgirl is also written out for the foreseeable future. But she leaves Batman a note saying that she'll be back and "be BAD-ASSED!"

Also need to mention that the artist still insists on drawing people getting their heads blown off or bullets going through people and splattering blood everywhere. I can't say how UN-interested I was in this whole mess. I'll never have a better time to leave Batman, so this is it for me.

GI Joe #168
As expected, Blizzard saves his arctic teammates and they thwart Cobra's attempt to recover the ultra-low frequency broadcast equipment (Kwinn and the Russians' stuff from wayyy back is 1982'2 issue #2). The action is a little too reliant on Joe Colton's pulse-beam orbital laser, though. The ENTIRE Joe team just sits back in the Pit, worrying about their guys in the Arctic and hoping Colton can get his laser back online.

There's an interesting subplot, as Dusty confronts Sneak Peek about his supposed, unexplained, return from the dead. It'd be cool if "Sneak Peek" is just a ghost and all in Dusty's mind. If it's a clone, Zartan, or the original Sneak Peek's long-lost twin brother, I'll be pissed.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 4th, 2011, 4:16 pm #79

Amazing Spider-Man #666
While Spidey runs around fighting Hyrdo-Man and hanging out with the Thing, Prof. Miles Warren (the Jackal) has infected a good portion of New York with his own version of bed bugs. Ones that give everyone Spider-powers. Jackal's working for a "mysterious female benefactor" and has even mutated Kaine (by GAWD, King! It's KAINE!! KAINE!! Errr... nevermind) as his sidekick. A bit ballsy that they're diving back into the whole clone nonsense for this widely-promoted story.

Things don't really need to make sense in Spider-Man, so I'll guess that the "mysterious female benefactor" is the Gwen Stacy clone or, more specifically, the gal who was twisted into thinking she was a Gwen clone. Whatever the case... I don't know if she popped up in the mid-90's clone stuff, but last time I recall seeing her was in a Spectacular Spider-Man annual, circa 1988 (I think it was an "Evolutionary War" crossover).

EDIT:
Ayup... more for my sake, here's the Gwen Clone's brief bio from Wiki:
wrote: Approximately two years after her death,[7]  Gwen Stacy reappears, perfectly healthy but with no memory of the time since her death. The Jackal has managed to create a clone of Gwen, and uses her as part of a plot against Spider-Man in the original Clone Saga. At the end of that story, Gwen’s clone leaves to find a new life for herself.

In the 1988 crossover "The Evolutionary War", the High Evolutionary, who had once been Miles Warren's teacher, captures Gwen's clone. The High Evolutionary is determined to discover how Warren had been able to perfect cloning. In the process, he discovers that Warren had not, but had instead created a genetic virus (the "carrion virus") that transforms already living beings.

Spider-Man investigates Warren's old laboratory and identifies Carrion as a genetic weapon developed by Warren. Another former student of Warren's, Malcolm McBride, is infected with the virus and becomes the second Carrion.

The High Evolutionary identifies this Gwen Stacy to Spider-Man as in fact not a clone but a woman named Joyce Delaney whom Warren had altered. Beautiful Dreamer, a follower of the High Evolutionary, allegedly restored Delaney's memories, but later events suggest that the High Evolutionary had lied and Delaney never existed.

During the second Clone Saga, Gwen Stacy's clone, now married to a clone of Professor Warren named Warren Miles, sees a copy of Peter Parker's book of Spider-Man photos, Webs, and remembers (to an extent) her real history, and returns to New York City. During this storyline, she again disappears from Spider-Man's life.

In many of her appearances, Gwen Stacy's clone has appeared somewhat confused by her contradictory and bizarre memories. As of 2009[update] this "clone" of Gwen has yet to re-appear since her role in the second Clone Saga.
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captcomic83
Friend of Pete Doherty
captcomic83
Friend of Pete Doherty
Joined: July 14th, 2011, 2:49 am

August 4th, 2011, 7:18 pm #80

The Gwen Stacy clone DID show up in 'Maximum Clonage', as seen here: http://atopfourthwall.blogspot.com/2009 ... onage.html

Jeremy.
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