There’s always this fear when I hear that a comic book is getting turned into a television series or a movie. I understand that some liberties need to be taken and there needs to be some diverting from the source material. If every comic book movie were a straight up point-by-point recreation of a comic
Needing an independent comic to review, I found inspiration in Boss Fight Studio’s line of Bucky O’Hare figures. I have absolutely no background in reading these comics, although I remember them being advertised and perhaps even seeing them on a spinner rack, however, this period saw me getting most of my comics from a comics shop,
I was going to continue on the the mid-80s frenzy that I was in, visiting the dawn of the West Coast Avengers, but in looking at the series, I wanted to hit where the series had its greatest impact. The mini-series was not that point, and in the series itself, the high points seemed to coincide with John Byrne's run on the title. Those also tended to run with multi-issue stories, with a couple notable exceptions, and one of those is the introduction of some of the silliest heroes of the 1980s, the Great Lakes Avengers. They keep coming back and at one point in their evolution boasted among their members, Squirrel Girl. This is before everyone's favorite nut-eating, butt-kicking hero was invented, and features some heroes that if not silly, definitely were interesting, to say the least. So with the intro now long enough to wrap past the Reviews of Old Comics logo, let's get started.
When I decided on this comic for review, I realized shortly thereafter that is was from the same year, and only a month away from the previous Reviews of Old Comics article. So what makes 1984 so ripe for memorable comics to review? Yes, I know that technically, this and the previous comics were actually from late 1983, but in the zeitgeist, if the cover is dated 1984, we tend to view it as being from 1984. This was the year that brought us the first Secret Wars and DC's Super Powers, which were some of the first big crossover comics with toy lines. Alan Moore's first issues of Saga of the Swamp Thing are from this year, a definite turning point in comic books for more mature readers. This year also saw the debut of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which vitalized an independent comics market with hope that a small book could become vastly popular with fans. It also saw DC Comics launch its prestige format Baxter line, available only through comic shops, which probably marked the beginning of comic book shops becoming a destination for fans of comics, eventually supplanting the newsstand as the preferred outlet for new comic books. 1984 was a benchmark year, as it saw significant change in the comic book market and industry.
It's a TWO-FER! For my first Review of Old Comics for the year, I'm going with two comics my wife gave me this last Christmas. To be honest, I got the comics about a month ago in a special sale at Heroes Aren't To Find, a shop that we've talked about here before. She forbade me from even ripping the tape on the bag and board, and instead wrapped them up and put them under the tree. I read them today, and was reminded of the time John Byrne used a Marvel comic to parody another creator for a wacky set of beliefs. More on that later.
I initially started this review of an old comic reviewing an early independent comic featuring one of the earliest creator-owned characters of the Bronze Age of comics, E-Man #2. I abandoned that after months of trying to sum up a comic that not only featured of the most bizarre stories around a bizarre character, but also a story from the legendary Steve Ditko that seemed a little different in tone. After a while, I had to accept that my heart was just not into reviewing a comic just to get another Review of Old Comics done. I wanted to review something I was a little more nostalgic for, and that meant revisiting the Legion of Super-Heroes.
I wanted to write another review of an old comic tonight. Going through my list of comics, I came across Squadron Supreme and remembered it taking the concept of a team meant to mirror the Justice League and running with it.
I've been a huge proponent of the potential Dazzler has a character. The success of Jem and the Holograms in portraying a music group, complete with performances, shows that it can be done and done well.
Let's try to get these Reviews of Old Comics going again, shall we? As if our Spider-Man: Homecoming Banner wasn't a giveaway, this is Marvel Month at Needless Essentials Online. It seemed fitting to start with a Spider-Man comic. Wanting to pull from the run that featured the art of Ron Frenz, my first instinct was to do a review of the return of his original costume, but that issue featured the "origin" of Mary Jane Watson, and feeling rather disappointed after reading it for probably the first time since I was a teenager, opted instead for the previous issue, which revealed the black costume he sported after Secret Wars as an alien symbiote, which would later become the villain Venom. This series set the stage for a character that has become almost as popular as the one that spawned him.
Occasionally, I just trip across a cover while browsing the Internet, and I remember it vaguely from my childhood. Magik, the Storm and Illyana Rasputin mini-series from 1984, fills in the space between panels of Uncanny X-Men #160. In that issue, the X-Men, and Colossus's little sister Illyana are transported to the other-dimensional domain of Belasco, a one-armed sorcerer that had previously faced off against Ka-Zar and Shanna, the She-Devil. Near the end, as the X-Men are escaping, Belasco takes Illyana from their grasp. For a brief second, Kitty Pryde loses her grip on Illyana, but regains it, only to pull her through after she's been in Belasco's realm for several years. Later on, Illyana would exhibit mutant abilities to travel through space and time using "discs" similar to those that randomly appeared in Belasco's realm. She also began using magical abilities and summoning a "soul-sword" that went from looking like a lightsaber to a traditional, albeit glowing sword. This series explained what happened in that span of time.
Here’s the ranking of best to worst in my Reviews of Old Comics. Why best to worst? Let’s keep this as positive as possible, but some of you just want to hear me rant about bad comics, so you can scroll to the bottom of the list. I should also point out that comics with
It seems like Marvel Cinematic speculation is falling towards Infinity War, the third Avengers film where all of the MCU heroes will be brought together against the plans of Thanos. It all builds on the story that started over a quarter century ago. Recently, I revisited the event that started this journey that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is building itself around.