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

June 22nd, 2018, 3:19 pm #41

No Blue Devil, aside from one random issue in my boxes.
JimBob Skeeter wrote:I was going to say I couldn't STAND Invasion~!, but it was a different DC miniseries I am thinking of. Can't think of it right now. It was another one of those "Random Earthlings gain super powers and are treated by like the Chosen Ones, but then in two years are more than likely killed." I want to say red aliens were involved.
I'll say you're thinking of "Millennium", which was indeed terrible. Even when it was coming out, I thought it was terrible. It involved aliens, the Manhunters (red aliens), the Guardians of the Universe, the Amazonians, Harbinger, then random people getting powers. Two notable ones were "Pieface" from Green Lantern and the Floronic Man. They all had weird powers and were spun-off into "The New Guardians", which didn't last long.

The Manhunters thing seemed like a big retcon or shake-up...as established characters suddenly revealed they were Manhunters all along. They'd rip off a mask and say: "No man escapes the Manhunters"! I think Lana Lang was one, along with the first Rocket Red in the JLI.

All the Manhunter reveals and the "New Guardians" were forgotten fairly quickly and/or never mentioned again. The solo "Manhunter" title with Mark Shaw in the title role was also indirectly spun out of it. I think DC said something like: "there is now only ONE Manhunter....read his adventures monthly!"



I haven't read "Invasion" in forever (maybe since it first came out), but it seemed like a Big Deal to me because they snagged Todd McFarlane for it. In the midst of his ASM run. I think the story was all the random DC alien races teaming up and simply invading Earth. Captain Atom got to lead all the united superheroes against them. The "MetaGene Bomb" went off, which was another gimmick to whip up new characters.

"L.E.G.I.O.N" was spun-off from "Invasion"-- I remember I followed that title until mid-1990 or so.



Manga Kahn was too silly for me. He was basically a satire of Galactus, yet with fashion. Even add in the Scarlet Skiier. He was funny, but he seemed to linger in the book for way too long. I did absolutely LOVE The Injustice League, though. The Mighty Bruce!
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JimBob Skeeter
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JimBob Skeeter
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Joined: January 4th, 2008, 8:03 pm

June 29th, 2018, 7:36 pm #42

Yea, Millenium was HORRIBLE. I do remember L.E.G.I.O.N. coming out after that, and also followed it for like two years.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 16th, 2018, 10:45 pm #43

Captain American & the Mighty Avengers #1-7 (2015)
Picking up from Luke Cage's "Mighty Avengers", which was basically "Heroes for Hire" without the hiring part. Strange team, as we've got:
-Luke Cage
-Jessica Jones (part-time)
-Spider-Man
-White Tiger II
-Power Man III
-Blue Marvel
-Spectrum (Monica Rambeau, the former Photon/Captain Marvel)
-Kaluu (I... don't know)
-She-Hulk
-Capt. America (Sam Wilson; who doesn't really join, just teams up with them)

The first 4 issues are spent on Marvel's silly "Axis" inversion, as Luke acts like a weenie and tries to sell the team to the Cortex Corporation and Jason Quantrell. Quantrell's another "corporate suit", so you know he's a bad guy. Cap's also being a jerk, along with the official Avengers. There are some actual super-villains who pop up, but they're strictly comic relief. There's the "Plunderer", an intentional homage to Dennis Moore of Monty Python ("Stand and deliver"). Also Bluestreak (the skate guy) and his team of multi-colored speed freaks called "Fast Five".

With the inversion/Axis over, the next 3 issues focus on Quantrell, who turns out to be a pawn of the Beyond Corporation. I dunno' who they are, either... maybe tied to the Beyonder. We're told to check out the series "Nextwave" for a full explanation, along with their connection to Spectrum.

This definitely feels like a DC book. Spectrum even looks like DC's Jade. Heroes all waltz into battle, calling each other by their first names. Blue Marvel is a clean slate to me, but he feels like a rip-off of DC's Mr. Terrific and/or something from the modern New Gods. Marvel has a son, called "Dr. Positron" and I kinda' wish I was kidding.

So, I'd say this series (and its predecessor) are definitely NOT the lineal heritage of the "real" Avengers title. I was interested to see all these new characters (Blue Marvel is made out to be a Heavy Hitter), but they don't really do much together, so the actual "TEAM" dynamic isn't really established. It's there for one issue, as they all face the real Avengers, but the rest is all a mish-mash of different scenes.

Picked this up from the local library in TPB form. Glad I did that, as I don't think I'd want to spend money on this title, even though it only ran for 9 issues.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 2:44 pm #44

Avengers #3-6 (2018)
Mostly background on Odin's "prehistoric Avengers" and the first Celestial to arrive on Earth, 4 million years ago. Somewhat borrowing from the movie "Prometheus", the Celestial ("The Progenitor") was infected by the cosmic bugs called the Horde. He/she then died on Earth, barfing out the infection brought upon by the Horde bugs. Another Celestial, Zgreb, came looking for the Progentior, but Odin's team pummeled him. He was left to rot away. Finally, the "First Host" of Celestials came much later--- and beat the tar out of Odin's team, but left Earth, fearing the infection. So, two infected Celestials are supposed to be the creation of the "Marvel Universe".

Zgreb got better, left Earth, and apparently spent a long time killing other Celestials and turning some into Dark Celestials. So Zgreb's plan is finally paying off and he's back; with his friends; to destroy Earth. I'd buy into this more, if I felt that all the Celestials would remain dead. They've always been fairly undefined and mysterious, so I'd say there's a 75% chance everything's reset. Zgreb and his band are destroyed or trapped in some prison as potential recurring villains; while the regular Celestials resume their Celestial things so they can also be re-used, going froward.

Anyways, aside from the Celestial History, the Avengers team is coming together, right on schedule. And, yup, the big battle is set to be issue 6, as predicted. Big battle isn't hyperbole, though. Iron Man ascends to giant size with his "God Killer Mk. II" armor. Thor and (She)Hulk grow, as well, due to ingesting the blood of Ymir the Frost Giant. Then; in something I thought was incredibly cool; the new Ghost Rider uses his vehicle powers to ignite a deceased Celestial as his new ride. Iron Man makes a fan-pandering comment about how they're now the "Giant-Size Avengers"; which I actually appreciated.

There are some hiccups in the art panel sequencing, though. For one, Capt. Marvel and Black Panther are supposed to be fighting the Horde bugs, but that's not shown. A scene where Ghost Rider fights and captures Loki is entirely off-panel and un-seen. Then, Thor and (She) Hulk arrive, out of the blue, in a small panel. So you have to really pay attention to the word balloons, which is kind of a cop-out. I guess they had SO many ideas and action to work in, that they began to run out of space.

Having Loki around provides a mouthpiece for the Dark Celestials, but I don't get his motives for joining up with them ("Destroy the Earth"?) or why they needed him. I kinda' feel like he's tagging along, but isn't essential to the Dark Celestial's plans.

A little too much attention has been spent on Odin's "Prehistoric Avengers", but the modern story has been entertaining. Again, I hope they keep this team together for awhile and...gasp... maybe even run this title into the 30's before re-booting it again. More likely, they'll probably run it until next May when the new Avengers movie comes out and have a new #1 to coincide. Hey, it worked THIS time.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 25th, 2018, 8:35 pm #45

Marvel Two-in-One #72-73
Jumping back to what I thought was a forgotten plot-thread from issue 65-- the Thing, Mr. Fantastic and the Inhumans travel to Hydro-Base to cure Henry Croft and the other infected people. It actually works and, for once, Mr. Fantastic's research benefits someone NOT named "Richards" (or "Grimm" or "Storm").

This brings new villain Maelstrom into the fold, but first he first sends his weirdo minions-- Phobius, Helio and GRONK (who's not an All-Pro tight-end, but only slightly more intelligent). The Thing and the Inhumans are playing a modified game of football, when they're attacked. May sound stupid, but the Thing is such an "average Joe", personality-wise, that having him run off and screw around with the Inhumans is perfectly fine.

Maelstrom is revealed to be a distant off-spring of the Inhumans. The heroes attack his undersea base and Maelstrom then "dies" with the help of his weirdo minion Deathurge. I think they were trying for a new high-level bad guy with Maelstrom, but it kinda' falls flat. He'll return in "Avengers" in about 4 years.

Marvel Two-in-One #73
Thing and Quasar are following up on the "Nth Corporation" who orchestrated the attacks on Project: Pegasus about 12 issues ago. They get zapped to an alternate dimension, full of cavemen and dinosaurs. Roxxon Oil has taken over the place and is basically doing trans-dimensional oil drilling.

Roxxon is revealed to be behind the Nth Corporation and the Pegasus attacks... because see, they're BIG OIL, and researching alternative fuel sources could potentially hurt their profits. That makes perfect sense! Usually, Roxxon was involved with random BAD STUFF, just because. But here it actually seems believable.

Anyways, Thing and Quasar rally the local cavemen and dinosaurs, destroy Roxxon's interdimensional refinery and end the Nth Corporation. Non-stop action story, and while it's a little cheesy, the Roxxon reveal and motivations save it. There a LOT of word balloons in these past 3 issues, but this is "vintage Marvel' shenanigans and surprisingly well-plotted.
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Infinite Devil Machine
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Joined: November 22nd, 2006, 3:02 am

July 26th, 2018, 11:13 am #46

To be fair, given his characterization in the Marvel movies, Loki hanging out with the Dark Celestials and playing their mouthpiece really sort of fits his character. He's the "mastermind", in his own mind, who's really a dope (still with a good deal of power and magic, but still a damn dope) who's too smarmy and self-absorbed to realize he's swum out of his depth. And he's super fun playing that character, too.
What "World of Warcraft" players see when they're not playing.....



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

July 26th, 2018, 5:17 pm #47

You're absolutely right. This fits right in with "Marvel Cinematic U" Loki--and that's a good thing. If this had been the "traditional" Loki from 1963 to 2010, there's no way he would've had this role. I used to think Loki sucked, but since Tom Hiddleston breathed life into him, I've done a 180 and think he's great (writers apparently feel the same and treat him differently, now). In this story arc, I still think he needs more of a reason to join up with the Dark Celestials aside from "Destroy the Earth". But it's not over, yet, and there may be something dropped in issue 6 (like: "I was promised Ultimate Power and the chance to remake Earth in MY image" or some shit).

Also, along the casting and characterization lines: Iron Man is much more sarcastic and talkative than he's ever been, thanks to Robert Downey, Jr. Traditionally, Hawkeye was usually the Avengers' wise cracker (or the Beast in the 70's). Not that he didn't have a sense of humor, but Iron Man/Tony Stark was usually more straight-laced in the personality department. Again, I don't mind, as he's much more entertaining and, overall, has graduated from a B-Lister to a bonafide A-Lister in Marvel. Part of that was the movies, but another part was his role in the original "Civil War" in 2005-2007.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 3rd, 2018, 4:34 pm #48

Tales of Suspense #59 (1964)
One I've wanted to read for a long time. Significant, because it's the first time the title features Captain America, as it's now split 50/50 between him and Iron Man. 

It's basically "Avengers Spotlight, 1964", as they take place somewhere amongst Avengers issues 6-14. If you like to read things in chronological order, these compliment "Avengers" well, but aren't essential. I like it because the original Avengers (minus Hulk) really didn't seem to be together for too long; breaking up in issue 16. So this adds some meat to the team concept.

Both stories start with the star staying behind at Avengers Mansion to "monitor" any emergencies that may come in. The standard superhero term of "monitor duty" hasn't been coined, just yet, but that's exactly what it is.

Iron Man gets called away when the Black Knight attacks his factory. So much for monitor duty, as, after the fight is over, he remains at Stark Industries to hide his secret identity from Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. I finally realized that the first renditions of Tony Stark have him looking a lot like Clark Gable. He was definitely intended to be older than most heroes.

Captain America has an incredibly generic story and it's a huge disappointment for his first (post-thaw) solo story. A buncha' thugs, led by a guy named "Bull", attack Avengers Mansion when Cap is on monitor duty. Why? Because "he's just a glorified acrobat". This plays into the story, as the writers have forgotten the whole Super Soldier Serum thing, which has been ret-conned to play into a TON of inspirations and plots for early Marvel. It has the supposed dream team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. While Kirby's in his prime Silver Age form, the story leaves a LOT to be desired.
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SamoaRowe
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SamoaRowe
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Joined: December 30th, 2004, 5:59 am

August 5th, 2018, 2:09 pm #49

I just started reading The New Teen Titans collection by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. The first few issues were fairly enjoyable cheese, but then things took a harsh turn once Trigon gets unveiled. He freaking murders a little girl in devastating fashion, which dramatically shifts the tone of the story (in issue #6) and there's a surprisingly risque flashback story about Trigon fathering Raven that I'm surprised made it past the comics code of the early 80's. 
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 6th, 2018, 2:38 pm #50

How many issues of "TNTT" are you in for? Trigon starts out more like a Conan villain, but becomes more like a (Marvel) Mephisto in his subsequent appearances. Not really a spoiler, but hope you like him, because he'll play a big part until the title dies in 1995!

Comics Code Authority...I don't think they gave too much of a darn after they put EC Comics out of business. Or else there were SO many comics coming out, that they didn't have time to proof every single word balloon or panel.There were some Man-Thing covers and stories in the 70's that definitely bordered on their so-called "Code" against horror images. DC also ran some risque "Huntress" back up stories in Wonder Woman in the early 80's. Supergirl and her hot pants in the early 70's seemed to be pushing things, as well. There's even a story in "Adventure Comics", circa 1977, where the Shark chains up Wonder Woman and tries to "mate" with her (or, as it would more accurately be called today: rape). 



Started reading "Scout" from Eclipse Comics in 1985. Very intriguing and unlike anything I've ever read. The basis is that an Apache warrior (the titular Scout, aka Emanuel Santana) is going on a one-man war against the government. Yet here's the difference-- it's a semi-apocalyptic future where the US has been bled dry of all resources (including agriculture) and there was never the cliched nuclear war. Tariffs and over-use of resources have destroyed modern American life. What's VERY disturbing is that the former KKK have been re-dubbed "The Knights of America" and are used as a back-up militia by the government.

The writer/artist (Timothy Truman) mentions that he's a fan of "Road Warrior" and "A Boy and His Dog" and both of those can be seen to have some influence.

Lot of themes about how the Native Americans were able to live off the land well; and in harmony with it; for a couple thousand years. Along comes industrialization and white men and everything goes to poo in a relative short time. That's part of why Scout has decided to re-enter society. Scout also routinely eats peyote and receives messages from the Life-Givers through his "gahn"-- a talking chipmunk (who occasionally swaps bodies, as he first appears as a cricket). Everyone think Scout is crazy, but his visions seem to be accurate, thus far.

There are some definite 80's elements. Scout becomes a one-man army, part of the "Rambo-ism" effect that was popular. A supporting cast appears in issue 3 and they all seem like caricature leftovers from "Judge Dredd". The art itself is pretty good for the time, but some of the faces and postures of characters still have that "indy feel" to them. It shows improvement as time goes on, though. Truman apparently likes to draw women, and the readers seem to be nuts about it. Like most 80's "indy" comics, Truman seems to go off-the-rails, at times, in the letters column.

There's an odd back-up in all issues, "Fashion in Action". Something that I've never heard of. I've tried to get through it, but it's definitely not for me.

Also, Eclipse runs an editorial/"Letter from the publisher" page, like most comic companies do. Damn, does it need an actual EDITOR! Frequent mis-spellings and typos, but the most annoying is that "I" is never capitalized. So you get "i have heard from readers..."
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