I bought myself a membership to Marvel Unlimited Plus, a neat service Marvel offers where you can catch up on the history of the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men and the like. I like the idea of reading old comics whenever the urge hits me. Thus, I decided to use this gift to do a Review
The urge hits me every so often to revisit Dazzler’s comics from the 1980s. She’s just one of those characters that never quite got to see her full potential realized. There never really seemed to be a mandate on what type of stories she should have. She was a super-hero, but a reluctant one. She
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.
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 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.
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.
With Luke Cage now available on Netflix, I thought it would be nice to look at some of the character's comic book past. Instead of going with one of the issues that everyone refers to in looking at the character's past, such as his first appearance or the time that he to collect payment from Doctor Doom, I went with the first issue that Power Man officially shared with his long time partner, Iron Fist. For two issues, Iron Fist was a guest star, but this was the first time the cover logo changed to reflect a partnership. Legally, the title wouldn't officially change for a few issues thanks to way these things would happen in the 1970s, but this is the issue where the logo changed, making this the first issue of Power Man and Iron Fist.
It's time for another edition of me reviewing old comics, this time with the first appearance of the New Mutants. I know that the last Marvel comic I reviewed three weeks ago was another New Mutants comic, but I have a fondness for the concept that Xavier's School should have actual students at it. In 1982, Marvel felt the same way, introducing five new youngsters to become students of Charles Xavier, even wearing the original X-Men uniforms that Kitty Pryde had eschewed in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.
New Mutants #98 marks a departure from me in writing these reviews. My golden rule in writing any review is not to write a negative review. I also try not to go into a comic that I actually haven't read with no pre-conceived notions. That's usually hard for me to do, but given that this book features a character that I don't really care for, although his movie was really good and an artist that I consider one of the worst artists of my generation. It's hard not going into this comic with the expectation that it will be bad.