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

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I got it, too, but no, I haven't read it yet.

It's first on my list, but after today I'll be offline until Monday.

I really liked Cockrum's Ms. Marvel outfit, the black one with the yellow zig-zag and red sash. One of my disappointments with the series was that a tough, independent female character was turned into a spin-off of a male character, and not a very important one at that. Having her own, non-Mar-Vell outfit helped ameliorate my disappointment. Plus, it was really attractive -- at least when Cockrum drew it.

So I saw some potential there, but I felt like it wasn't realized. It just all seemed so pro forma, more an exercise in trademark protection than a stab at a major superheroine.

I haven't re-read any of those stories since they came out, so maybe my opinion could change. I'll read your assessments with interest, Jeff.


 One of my all-time favourite costumes too Cap.

I agree though that MsMarvel never really reached her potential even when joining up with the Avengers prior to 'that #200' and Chris Claremont upped the angst way too much using her in the X-Men after that.

Busiek made a good attempt in his run but the alcohol had all been done before and the name Warbird was pointless.


Captain Comics said:

I really liked Cockrum's Ms. Marvel outfit, the black one with the yellow zig-zag and red sash. 

I am still on a brief sabbatical from reading through Batman Eternal, but I am finding plenty of material to cleanse my palate. As I work my way through my neverending pile of shame, I finally cracked open the complete run of Atari Force I found several years ago at a show. I think I paid $1.50 a piece for them.

DANG, if this isn't awesome! Gerry Conway and Luis Garcia Lopez doing some amazing work. The line work looks so incredibly modern. Sure, the coloring is of its time, but it looks fantastic. I love the characters, the fact that they have a history right here from the first issue, and a well-developed world.

I know why this can't be collected, as much as I hate it. I would wonder if any of the characters could be salvaged and brought into modern stories.

Just as a package, though, this is a great story.

Atari Force was one of DC's best during the 80s!

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

I am still on a brief sabbatical from reading through Batman Eternal, but I am finding plenty of material to cleanse my palate. As I work my way through my neverending pile of shame, I finally cracked open the complete run of Atari Force I found several years ago at a show. I think I paid $1.50 a piece for them.

DANG, if this isn't awesome! Gerry Conway and Luis Garcia Lopez doing some amazing work. The line work looks so incredibly modern. Sure, the coloring is of its time, but it looks fantastic. I love the characters, the fact that they have a history right here from the first issue, and a well-developed world.

I know why this can't be collected, as much as I hate it. I would wonder if any of the characters could be salvaged and brought into modern stories.

Just as a package, though, this is a great story.

  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1" TRUE BELIEVERS " dollar-reprint. It's possible I may not have read the first story before - I suppose it's been retold elsewhere?

  ALL TIME COMICS #0 - 2017 issue

  DOG DAYS OF SUMMER #1 - DC 80 Page Giant

@Wandering Sensei, et al:

For what it's worth, I second your opinion of Atari Force, especially if they could take and also add the comics that were included in selected Atari Games of the time that formed an adventure before the start of the series. As I recall, there were 5(?) and at least one had George Perez art.

Of course, there's also a whole lot of other short lived series from the 70s/early 80s I would love to see DC collect, like Star Hunters, Rima The Jungle Girl, the non-Titan related Starfire, (The Mighty) Isis, etc.

SPIDER-MAN LIFE STORY #4: The big Spider-Man story of the ‘90s was the “Clone Saga” and, now that this series has reached that decade, we get the “Life Story” version of it. (I experienced an odd disconnect reading it in that I kept thinking these events should have happened when Peter was younger.) This retelling hits all the major beats of the original (and in a single issue!). In this version, the clone survived the initial adventure, took the name Ben Reilly and went to live in Chicago. Peter is initially identified as the clone, then later that revelation is reversed. In this universe, Peter decides to relinquish his identity to his clone and become “Ben” himself.

IMMORTAL HULK #19: This one is pretty gross. All four of Hulk’s limbs and his eyes are dissolved by the Abomination’s acid. He is then disemboweled/eviscerated by the Harpy, and she eats his heart.

INVADERS #6: Namor floods a small town in Maine and turns the residents into water-breathers. A flashback to a battle in 1943 is shown in parallel.

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #3: Bronze Age Boogie is not all that much like a 1970s-era comic really, but it does an excellent job of evoking the comics of that era.

SWAMP MONSTERS: I’m not finished with this one yet, but it’s everything I expect from a Craig Yoe themed collection of pre-code horror. It also features a 15-page illustrated introduction by Stephen Bissette.

MMW PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN v2: This is a Bill Mantlo volume. He wrote every issue in it (#16-31) except one (#16). The two main artists are Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney. Highlights include: #17-18 (a proper conclusion to the then-recently-canceled Champions series), #22-23 (an early appearance of Moon Knight), and #25-31 (which introduced Carrion, [SPOILER] the failed clone of Professor Miles Warren [END SPOILER]).

Issues #27 and 28 feature the first time Frank Miller ever drew Daredevil. Those two issues have been reprinted many times, in many different formats, but those are chapters three and four of a seven part story, which I have never read in its entirety. (That’s my own fault, really. I bought the “Essential” edition which contained them some time ago, but never got around to reading it. Just as well. Now I can read it in color.) Did you know that Bill Mantlo originally intended to Carrion to be the clone of Peter Parker (the one who was dumped down the smokestack)?

AHOY! COMICS: I thought we had a thread dedicated to AHOY! Comics but I can’t find it. Oh, well. What I have to say is related to what I posted above about Bronze Age Boogie, anyway. Whenever I read an AHOY! Comic I have the same thought: “I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a new comic book company since…” and then I can’t remember which company, but it’s a specific one. Then, when I was reading Bronze Age Boogie #3 it came to me.

The answer is: ABC Comics.

I remember when we were discussing Tom Strong specifically, someone commented that it was just like a Silver Age comic. Well, no, it’s not “just like” one, however it does evoke one (in the same way reading Bronze Age Boogie evokes 1970s comics). But it’s more than that. With titles such as Tom Strong, Promethea, Top Ten and Tomorrow Stories, and characters such as Jack B. Quick, the Cobweb, the First American, Greyshirt and Jonni Future, I used to say that my favorite ABC title was whichever one I was reading at the time.

That’s pretty much the same way I feel about AHOY! Comics.

I hope it’s not anpother case of a flame burning twice as bright but half as long.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

SPIDER-MAN LIFE STORY #4

Peter decides to relinquish his identity to his clone and become “Ben” himself.

The real Peter returns to MJ and his kids. I suspect that the clone who has now become Peter, taking over his business empire and presumably his Spider-Man identity, will soon encounter the Venom/Kraven combination that was teased at the end of the previous issue.

MMW MS. MARVEL v2 (plus):

This volume starts with stories much like the previous one, but gets better.

ISSUE #15: Fights Tiger Shark; Namorita appears (unconscious).

ISSUE #16: Fights Tiger Shark; Beast, Scarlet Witch, Namorita appear.

ISSUE #17: Mystique (behind-the-scenes).

ISSUE #18: Meets the Avengers.

Between issues Ms. Marvel assists the Avengers against Ultron and Tyrak in Avengers #171 and 172 (respectively).

ISSUE #19: Ms. Marvel meets Captain Marvel for the first time since gaining her powers. This issue also wraps up stray plot threads from Captain Marvel regarding Mac-ronn, Minerva and Ronan on the Wilford Farm. (On the splash page, the farmhouse is destroyed by a lightning bolt with the accompanying sound effect “SHZAM!”) This is a significant issue in that Ms. Marvel realizes she doen’t want to be simply a copy of Mar-Vell.

Between issues Ms. Marvel assists the Avengers against Korvac in Avengers #175-177.

ISSUE #20: New logo, new costume, new penciler. Too bad the story is a kind of throwback to Marvel’s “monster era.”

ISSUE #21: Part two of Ms. Marvel’s conflict with the lizard people.

ISSUE #22: Fight Deathbird. J. Jonah Jameson fires Carol Danvers from Woman magazine.

Between issues Ms. Marvel assists the Avengers against Dr. Spectrum’s Power Prism in Avengers Annual #8. Also, in Avengers #181, Henry Peter Gyrich announces the new government mandated line-up, but Ms. Marvel didn’t make the cut.

ISSUE #23: Features Vance Astro. LAST ISSUE (April 1979).

AVENGERS #183: OFFICIALLY JOINS AVENGERS (May 1979). Ms. Marvel replaces the Scarlet Witch, who has taken a leave of absence. She will serve on the team through issue #200.

At the time Ms. Marvel was cancelled, issues #24 and #25 were already in the can. They eventually saw print in Marvel Super-Heroes #10-11 (1992). Both of these stories (as well as the never-before=published cover intended for #24) are included in the Masterworks volume, in chronological order of when they occurred (not when they were released). In the first of these stories she fight Sabretooth, in the second the Brotherhood of mutants and the Hellfire Club.

The volume also reprints three pages of Avengers #197, one and one third pages of #198 and 2 pages of #199, all dealing with Ms. Marvel’s pregnancy, then it reprints…

AVENGERS #200: …in its entirety. [You should really read Carol Strickland’s 1980 essay “The Rape of Ms. Marvel” if you never have.]

Then the Masterworks reprints the final five pages of what was to have been Ms. Marvel #25 from Marvel Super-Heroes #11, detailing her fight with Rogue. This story leads directly into…

AVENGERS ANNUAL #10: This story is partially told to mitigate the negative aspects of Averngers #200, but given that the stories leading into it (from Ms. Marvel #24-25/Marvel Super-Heroes #10-11) were prepared months before (and didn’t see print until years after), I can only conclude that this is the direction Chris Claremont would have taken the story had the series not been cancelled, and the confrontation with the Avengers at the end was tacked on to deal with the fallout from issue #200.

I have read the end of this story many, many times, but I realized last night that I hadn’t read the whole thing start to finish in years. The artwork is by Michael Golden and is one of his most memorable ad distinctive jobs, ranking right up there with Micronauts and The ‘Nam. I must admit, though, I wasn’t reading X-Men at the time, and this was my first exposure to Kitty Pryde. The way Golden drew her (with big ol’ eyes), I thought she was an elf or something. If people have a hard time forgiving DC’s Zatanna for her role in the Dr. Light affair (revealed in Identity Crisis), I must admit I fell little sympathy for Rogue given her role here.

After Averngers Annual #10, Carol Danvers hangs out with the X-Men for a while until she eventually gains the powers of Binary (but that’s a story for another time). The volume concludes with a story from…

MARVEL FANFARE #24: Binary returns to Earth and learns of Mar-Vell’s death while she was away in space.

This volume is worth a look, primarily for the Avengers #200 debacle (and Avengers Annual #10 fix) and the way the stories from the cancelled issues are edited together with relevant pieces of Avengers #197-199.

SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE #1: First of all, the title is a misnomer. I would expect a series titled “Year One” to detail Clark Kent’s first year as the Man of Steel. But “Year One” more often than not means “origin” and that’s what it means here. [This is a good time to slap a SPOILER on the rest of this post.] The story begins on Krypton when Kal-El is a toddler. After he lands on Earth, the first issue presents a detailed look at his youth from the time he lands through high school. As with other recent versions of his origin, his powers are more or less an open secret among the Smallville townsfolk. He had no career as “Superboy” in this version, but he did cast himself as a protector of his classmates who were picked on by the school bullies… more than “picked on” really. Their treatment of the geeks, nerds and misfits constitutes outright abuse. The faculty, unrealistically, seem to pay little heed to this progressively worsening situation.

John Romita’s artwork is expectedly top notch, and the coloring is phenomenal. (It is not often that I mention a comic’s coloring unless it really catches my attention.) Frank Miller’s writing is… I don’t know. I’ve been trying to find the right word since last night and I can’t quite find it. He employs a writing style that is… I don’t want to say unprofessional… perhaps “unpolished.” It seems to me to be the style of a really enthusiastic amateur. “Amateurish,” yes, that’s it. The closest comparison I can think of is Todd McFarlane’s style on early issues of (the “adjectiveless”) Spider-Man.

Throughout the story, Pa Kent advises him to get to know his adopted planet. By the end of the story, concluding that water covers ¾ of the Earth’s surface and that that is where the most life is, Clark graduates high school and joins the Navy. (That surprised me.) As he is boarding the bus, Ma Kent gives him a bundle of red cloth made from the blankets they found him wrapped in. (Presumably this is his cape.) I am curious to find out what others here think of this series.

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