Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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When to a music festival in Atlanta this week and rode with a friend. On the way back today I read vol 1 TPBs of both the DC Rebirth Wonder Woman and Detective Comics. I enjoyed both, I think I may have liked Detective a bit more though.

STARLORD: My hobby consists of three phases which I like to think of as acquisition, reading and discussion. Sometimes these phases overlap, sometimes they are simultaneous, sometime they are separated by years. I don’t remember what got me interested in the character Starlord. It was probably the early ‘80s color reprint of the Chris Claremont/John Byrne version originally presented in the black and white Marvel Preview magazine #11. It was only the character’s second appearance, but was a total revamp of the first, Marvel Preview #4. The Steve Englehart story was heavily based on astrology, an angler no other writer would have been able to continue, at least not without loads of research. The reprint also added a framing sequence by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden.

After reading that, I moved into the “acquisition” phase, buying random appearances of the character as I came across them, but not necessarily reading them. After I joined this board, the “reading” and “discussion” phases overlapped, and I led a discussion of all of Starlord’s appearances through 1996. Toward the end of that, someone linked a web-site which had already done the same thing, but in much more detail. (If I knew in advance that web-site existed I wouldn’t have bothered.)

Now, due to the confluence of the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie and Starlord’s backstory with Kitty Pride (as alluded to in X-Men Gold), I’m back in the “reading” phase again. Now, however, it’s easier than ever for anyone interested in reading and discussing to bypass the acquisition phase entirely (well, almost) by buying the handy-dandy Starlord tpb, reprinting all of the early appearances. Here’s what it includes, what I am in the midst of reading now.

Marvel Preview #4 – Steve Englehart & Steve Gan

Marvel Preview #11 – Chris Claremont & John Byrne

Marvel Preview #14 – Chris Claremont & Carmine Infantino

Marvel Preview #15 – Chris Claremont & Carmine Infantino

Marvel Super-Special #10 – Chris Claremont & Colan [in color]

Marvel Preview #18 – Doug Moench & Bill Sienkiewicz

Marvel Spotlight #6-7 – Doug Moench & Tom Sutton [comic book]

Marvel Premiere #61 – Doug Moench & Tom Sutton

Starlord – 3-issue mini-series – Timothy Zahn & Dan Lawlis

That’s an eclectic mix or writers, artists and formats that one finds pretty much only in comic books. I think it’s fascinating to trace this character’s origins, and I look forward to sampling some of his more recent appearances in the days to come.

Wasn't Starlord considered not to be part of the Marvel Universe originally?

I knew about the character and I had the Marvel Spotlight/Premiere issues which were late 70s, I think but when was the mini-series published? And when was he 100% in the MU?

I have the Starlord trade - the equivalent of an Epic volume which I think covers all the early stuff before his Annihilation revival. Loved it.

I too think he started as a non-MU or a Future story but got merged into current continuity.

Modern Starlord is do different I almost wish they were different characters - Like Mar-Vell and any other Captain Mar-Vell .

The romance with Kitty grew around the 'Trial of Jean Grey' X-Men crossovers which was quite a nice organic relationship but was dulled by Bendis's plots going nowhere! (Battle of the atom!)

"Wasn't Starlord considered not to be part of the Marvel Universe originally?"

It wasn't really specified one way or the other, but the galaxy's a big place. The Claremont/Byrne reboot struck me as a cross between Star Wars and Space Ghost.

"...when was the mini-series published? "

Much later... 1996.

"And when was he 100% in the MU?"

I think midway through the 12-issue Thanos [meant-to-be] "ongoing" series, when Giffen took over from Starlin.



Jeff of Earth-J said:


"And when was he 100% in the MU?"

I think midway through the 12-issue Thanos [meant-to-be] "ongoing" series, when Giffen took over from Starlin.


Apparently, he was shown to be part of 616 continuity in an Inhumans mini-series by Carlos Pacheco prior to it being solidified in the Thanos series. I haven't read that Inhumans book so I can't confirm.

I think what hurt the original version of Guardians of the Galaxy was that they were stuck in the future with little hope of interacting with the rest of the Marvel characters.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (#153-156): First let me make it clear these four issues are not among those I got rid of in college. These four issues comprise “The Captain America of the 1950s,” one of the best and most important Captain America stories of the era. For those of you who may not know, Captain America was published through the mid-1950s. When Stan & Jack revived the character in Avengers #4, they revised the character’s back-story so that he was apparently killed in action in 1945. This raised the question “What about the Captain America of the 1950s? (It should have raised the question “What about the Captain America of 1945-1955?” but that’s a story for another time.) This is the story of the Captain America of the 1950s.

In a nutshell, this Captain America and Bucky were replacements of the originals. They both gained super strength using an imperfect version of the super soldier formula (one without “vita-rays”). Without the vita-rays, they pair became increasingly unstable, seeing “commies” and other sundry threats to America where none existed. Finally, the government had no choice but to put them into cryogenic suspension until a cure could be found for their condition. Before that happened, however, a government worker, disgruntled with the way America was headed, released them on his own.

Issue #153 was only Steve Englehart’s fourth professional comic book script, and he hit it out of the part his fourth time at bat. Actually, #153 itself is a slow build. It starts with 11 pages of the adolescent love triangle between Captain America and the Contessa Allegra de Fontaine and Nick Fury. From there it’s one page of Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter on vacation, one page of the Falcon one his own, and one page of the Sgt. Muldoon subplot before the main plot begins on the last six pages.

One thing I had never noticed before is that, when Sam Wilson sees Sharon and Cap off at the airport (p.12), Sam kisses Sharon on the cheek, with an older couple glaring at them aghast with shocj=k and disapproval.

Perhaps the highlight of the story (for me, anyway) is #155, which reprints actual pages from Young Men #24 which reintroduced Captain America back in the ‘50s.

One time, my brother had to attend a teachers meeting in Miami, and his district made him stay over a Saturday night to get the excursion rate, even though the convention was over on Friday. He invited me to fly down and spend the weekend with him. On Friday while he was in meetings, I took a walk around the down Biscayne Blvd. Completely unexpectedly I came upon the “Torch of Friendship” monument and thought, “Hey, Captain America #156!”

Looking at that cover today, I think it’s still as timely as ever, as symbolic representation of the “two Americas.” (I can hardly wait until Howard Chaykin’s Divided States begins next month.) Incidentally, I also kept issues #157-158, but I have no idea why. Will find out soon.

Velvet, Vol. 3: The Man Who Stole the World
Ed Brubaker, writer; Steve Epting, artist; Elizabeth Breitweiser, colors
Image Comics, 2016

The spy series comes to an explosive conclusion, but first there is plenty of deceit and double-crossing: business as usual, in other words. The trail has led Velvet Templeton back to the United States, to Washington D.C. She makes moves to shake up the mystery conspiracy enough to make them reveal themselves. There are still plenty of surprises, and a high body count. Smart as Velvet is, she still has to scramble when her plans go awry--and loses an ally in the process. In the end she does solve the mystery, and has her revenge. The ultimate solution probably came as more of a surprise than it should have; I realized that I hadn't been paying close attention to the the time period and the setting. Without spoiling anything, it's safe to say that the story ties in to significant historical political events, proposing a kind of alternate history.

I need to go back and reread that whole series. I loved it, but the slower schedule toward the end made it harder for me to fully engage with the story. Spy stories are all about the pieces coming together with a certain elegance, and they lose something when you forget what some of those pieces were.

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

Velvet, Vol. 3: The Man Who Stole the World
Ed Brubaker, writer; Steve Epting, artist; Elizabeth Breitweiser, colors
Image Comics, 2016

The spy series comes to an explosive conclusion, but first there is plenty of deceit and double-crossing: business as usual, in other words. The trail has led Velvet Templeton back to the United States, to Washington D.C. She makes moves to shake up the mystery conspiracy enough to make them reveal themselves. There are still plenty of surprises, and a high body count. Smart as Velvet is, she still has to scramble when her plans go awry--and loses an ally in the process. In the end she does solve the mystery, and has her revenge. The ultimate solution probably came as more of a surprise than it should have; I realized that I hadn't been paying close attention to the the time period and the setting. Without spoiling anything, it's safe to say that the story ties in to significant historical political events, proposing a kind of alternate history.

I just read DC Super Stars #1, with two Teen Titans stories: "Monster Bait," in which the Titans team with Speedy to help a kid blackmailed by crooks into stealing plans from the scientist he's interning for, and "Skis of Death," which is one of my favorite Silver Age Teen Titans stories. The team helps a friend who's running a ski lodge fend off people that are trying to scuttle his business (for a variety of reasons). Nick Cardy was a truly underappreciated talent. The man could draw like a fiend.

I've got that one! The cover was by Cardy. I think he didn't draw them again until he did the cover for Teen Titans Annual No. 1, 1967 Issue in 1999.

The GCD tells me he subsequently drew a character profile for Silver Age Secret Files #1, and the covers for Silver Age: Teen Titans #1, The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives #1, and Teen Titans Lost Annual #1.

One of the good things about the series is the way it depicts the TTers as teens who like hanging out together. That's true to life.

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