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.
So with Captain America: Civil War in theaters, I wanted to tie an Avengers review into it. Combine that with the guilt of running four consecutive DC Reviews, and it's time to review an issue of something by Marvel. Fans of the Indy titles should stick around for next time, because I haven't tackled one of those in months. If you have a suggestion, just contact me and I'll see what I can work in.
This week, we re-visit Marvel Comics in the 1980s once again with the Uncanny X-Men. This is one of those pivotal issues in the title's history. As is the case with most pivotal X-Men issues, it involves Wolverine. This issue marked the point where Sabretooth became one of Wolverine's primary foes, and by extension, a major foe for the X-Men.
Let’s revisit the early 1980s this week with a review of Iron Man #152, which featured one of the first specialized suits of armor, his all-black Stealth Armor. The first was his Space Armor ten issues earlier, and at this time it seemed that Bob Layton and David Michelinie were using the logic behind Tony Stark custom
With us being only days away from the seventh Star Wars movie, it seemed like a good time to review an old Star Wars comic. I could have gone with a Dark Horse comic, but when Marvel took back over the Star Wars license this year, a lot of people made references to forgotten character from the original Marvel series. Jaxxon the six foot tall green space rabbit is one of those characters that comes across as a joke. I thought that I should go back and read his first appearance in 1977's Star Wars #8.
We're back with an new review of an old comic, Excalibur #1. This time we go back to the late 80s when Marvel started spinning off its popular Uncanny X-Men title. Wolverine's regular series came along about this same time. After the X-Men had apparently died in their own title, a few of the team members left behind joined with Captain Britain to form Excalibur, complete with a new series written by Chris Claremont and drawn by a fan favorite artist who just happened to have a history with Captain Britain, Alan Davis.
FANTASTIC FOUR #258 September 1983 With his prominence in Secret Wars, and the endless speculation about how he could be done better in film, Doctor Doom has been on my mind a lot lately. However, for all of my recent disappointment with John Byrne, he was the first writer, for me, that made Doctor Doom a real character instead of a stereotypical comic book villain. It first started in Fantastic Four 247 where he enlisted the Fantastic Four to aid him in overthrowing the ruler of Latveria that they had helped put in place, a ruler that had gone mad and paranoid with power. We saw then that Doctor Doom had room in his heart for the people of his homeland, and only ruled them because he truly wanted what was best for them.
FANTASTIC FOUR #1 November 1996 With the newest Fantastic Four movie being given horrible reviews on its opening weekend, it seemed like the time to review another reboot of the Fantastic Four. In 1996, the crash of the comic book industry started, with sales for that year dropping by about a third. Marvel, making an effort to capitalize on the popularity of comics bought it's own distributor and took four of its flagship books, all of which had done horribly in sales compared to the speculator-fueled frenzy in its X-Men titles and handed over creative control to Image founders Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. Within three months of this reboot of those titles, called Heroes Reborn, Marvel would file for bankruptcy. Jim Lee was given control over two titles, Iron Man and Fantastic Four. While Iron Man was handled primarily by Scott Lobdell and Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee personally rebooted Fantastic Four. How was it? To be honest, I've never read it, despite it being in my digital collection for about ten years. Let's take a look at Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four and see if it handled rebooting the Fantastic Four any better than the films have.
AVENGERS #214 December 1981 Ant-Man came out this weekend, and knowing at what period in Hank Pym's history this issue came out, I thought I'd give it a review, so we don't get confused about the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Hank Pym being entirely a good guy. As a matter of fact, it's because of the events that affect this issue that I was very glad to learn that Ant-Man would feature Scott Lang. SYNOPSIS: Captain America is working out some frustrations in the Avengers' training room. Tigra, realizing that Cap would prefer to be left alone, encounters Jarvis in the hall and discuss the recent expulsion of Yellowjacket after he disgraced himself twice over. Tigra is glad to see him gone, but Jarvis misses the good man inside of the disgraced man Hank Pym had become.
RED SONJA #1 January 1977 There's a pattern here at Reviews Of Old Comics that I try to do DC one week, Marvel the next, an Independent comic the third, and then I repeat. SYNOPSIS: After killing her injured horse, Red Sonja comes across a group of men led and directed by Andar of Bezfarda, attacking another horse. Sonja soon realizes that this horse Andar is so zealously set on capturing is a unicorn, that legends say can grant eternal life. The unicorn's horn is severed by a low hanging branch, which Andar catches. Sonja rescues the horse, cutting down many of Andar's men and riding off on the back of the unicorn.
MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #2 June 1984 With the second coming of Secret Wars currently reshaping the Marvel Universe, it seemed like a good time to revisit the one that started it all. For some background, you should know that the mini-series stands on its own, as it was intended as a tie-in to the toy line and Jim Shooter, the Editor-In-Chief of Marvel decided that he would write the mini-series. In one month, at the end of their comics, all of the heroes walked into in huge construct in Central Park and in the next issue came out, some with new costumes and some as part of a new team, and readers had to read the mini-series to see how all of the changes happened. Unfortunately, by the time the last issue of the mini-series was published, most of the changes were moot. The most lasting change was Spider-Man's black costume which became the basis for the character Venom.