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.
Dazzler #34 October 1984 Because we had some fun with Dazzler at the beginning of the month as part of our April Fool's celebration, and it got me wanting to do a review of an old Dazzler comic. Everyone generally assumes that Dazzler: The Movie is a bad comic, albeit the definitive comic for the character, but I find it a little less typical, and really prefer the issues of the regular series around there with Bill Sienkiewicz covers. SYNOPSIS: In Los Angeles, a fashion model disappears in the middle of a runway show, right out of the designer dress. Elsewhere, one of Alison Blaire's students in her aerobics class tells her that she's been signed by Millie's Models and suggests that Alison do the same. Using her mutant powers to help light herself, she puts together a portfolio that she then sends off to Millie's Models. Upon receiving it, Millie herself (yes, that Millie the Model) demands that they contact her right away, and then frets about another of her models vanishing.
What If? #11 October 1978 Today of all days, we need to review a comic that might have had the best of intentions somewhere, but was obviously created with the intention of having fun with a story. Therefore we give you a What If? story created by Jack Kirby, proving that while fandom may hold the original Marvel Bullpen with awe, one of them can have a little fun with their roles. SYNOPSIS: The Watcher introduces us to a version of the Fantastic Four that while different, is still familiar, the original Marvel Bullpen: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky and Flo Steinberg. They are fighting an ogre-like creature whose weapon takes out everyone bu Flo, the Invisible Girl. She lets him defeat himself by surrounding him with a force field while he fires his weapon. She then realizes that he's the reclusive scientist that they came to meet.
BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT COMIC BOOK #1 December 1991 Just announced last month, March will see the debut of Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return, the first new Bill & Ted comic in over 20 years. Because we have a platform here for looking back at comics that old, we're going to take a look at the first time Bill & Ted made their way into comic books. SYNOPSIS: Abraham Lincoln arrives for Bill & Ted's wedding, which is a huge party. The usual historical figures are there as well: Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Sigmund Freud, and the Grim Reaper, who seems very drunk.
Typhoid #1 November 1995 I have to get in the right frame of mind for some of the plans we have for October, so I'm reviewing a darker comic, from Marvel's short-lived Edge imprint. It features Daredevil villain Typhoid Mary SYNOPSIS: Two young men, Trent and Quince have gotten hold of interrogation footage of Typhoid Mary in which she demonstrates an ability to switch between personalities at will. They are intrigued by her and start to develop a plan to create a movie about her, using her as the star. They uses Quince's mother's guilt to get all of the equipment that they'll need. Meanwhile, someone is abusing and killing prostitutes. Mary has established a quiet life when she's dragged into the mystery of the prostitute killer by her neighbor who's been told the daughter is a prostitute and has been killed. Mary calls the woman who contacted her neighbor and swears to find the killer and kill him, switching into her more violent and angry personality, she trails the police and follows the clues until she finds the killer and beats him to death. Quince finally gets all of his equipment and it's clear that his plans for Typhoid Mary are a little more sinister than just making a film about her.
What If? #35 October 1982 SYNOPSIS: Matt Murdock is mourning at Elektra's grave. A large mysterious bald man visits and asks him to imagine a world where she didn't die, because Bullseye was killed while escaping from prison. Elektra is contracted to kill Matt Murdock's friend, Foggy Nelson. When he recognizes her as Matt Murdock's girlfriend from college, she lets him go. This angers the Kingpin who contracts a different assassin to kill Elektra. Foggy Nelson runs to Matt Murdock to tell him what has occurred. Matt sends Foggy home and goes after Elektra as Daredevil.