Thunderbolts #5

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The crimson-clad murder squad is back and just like this image suggests, love is in the air! The Thunderbolts are still on the island of Kata Jaya. There’s a lot of stuff happening in this issue that is set up to conclude this first story arc.

Red Hulk has hulked out back to his human/General Ross form and is carrying around the Leader, who he was able to revive. We’re not sure if it’s the two of them hallucinating, but it appears that they are talking to the former Hulk villain Mercy, who is floating around and talking to them like she’s an angel. Apparently the Leader knows nothing of his

Remember how they thought that they took out Mad Man in the previous issue? Turns out they really didn’t and Venom has to finish him off. Eventually Venom does, and finds a room filled with people plugged into a computer mainframe like something out of the Matrix.

As this is going on, Deadpool surprisingly has become the most noble of the characters, telling the Kata Jayan rebels that they just can’t kill Mad Man. He has to be tried for his crimes, as it makes them as awful as he was. walking away he finds Punisher and Elektra–who spent a good part of the issue fighting/maiming/killing people–making out.

Power Pack #26

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Don’t let this picture fool you, but Cloak is a great babysitter.

There is a lot of fun stuff happening in Power Pack #26. The group of kid heroes is on their way back home from an adventure on Kofi Whitemane’s home planet of Kymellia.

As a sidebar, I wonder if there is a reason that the Louise Simonson created the Kymellians, a race of horselike aliens, for this series right around the time her husband Walt created the horse-faced Thor stand-in Beta Ray Bill. It makes you assume that horses were very popular in the Simonson household during this period.

Once they land, Cloak and Dagger find Power Pack, only to attack Kofi and his father Yrik. Kofi literally has to climb inside of Cloak to rescue his father from the dark dimension. Once everyone is safe, Kofi returns home with his father and Cloak and Dagger take the Power Pack kids back to their parents.ck are off to Kymellila to help Kofi’s father fight off a hostile takeover, and they are returning to Earth successful in their mission. Because they essentially disappeared, their parents are quite worried. James and Margaret Power have sent out Cloak and Dagger to find their missing offspring, which was kind of weird to me. Cloak and Dagger weren’t really the most highly regarded heroes in the Marvel Universe at that time. There’s also a pretty funny scene with Power Pack-er Franklin Richard’s parents, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, deciphering a note he left behind explaining what they were doing. The Fantastic Four take off into space, only to wind up passing the Kymellian ship that is carrying their children back home.

The final pages show why I loved Power Pack so much as a kid. They may be child super heroes, but they are one big happy family and the story ended with them more concerned over what they were going to have for dinner rather than discuss their intergalactic adventure.

 

 

Silver Surfer #10-11

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These issues somehow manage to tie the Silver Surfer/Shalla Bal love story into a Latin American revolution during the 1960s. And yes, this story arc is as amazing as that sounds.

One of the key points in this series has been how there is such a huge disconnect between the Surfer and humanity. The story starts out with Surfer saving a man attempting to commit suicide and the police officer who was literally trying to talk him off of a ledge. Unfortunately, it becomes a scenario that Surfer is all too familiar with: instead of being thanked for his actions, he is getting yelled at for being a pariah and a danger to mankind.

Silver Surfer winds up travelling to Latin America and winds up getting sucked into a revolutionary war. Siding with the “freedom fighters” instead of the country’s established government, Surfer sets out to rescue one of their leaders, a woman named Donna Maria.

I like the fact that they make no effort whatsoever to identify what Latin American country it was set in. I don’t think it was possible to make it any vaguer.

As this is going on, Shalla Bal is being courted by Yarro Gort, who can’t stand that she still pines for Surfer even though he is no longer really a Zenn-La-ian. So Yarro decides that he’s going to break Shalla’s heart by taking them to Earth so she can see for herself that the Surfer has moved on with his life and that she should as well. Yarro has totally lucked out, as when they get to earth Surfer has just rescued Donna who is smooching him as a thank you. Yarro really is a dick.

Shalla doesn’t seem to be to worried about that and is more concerned by the fact that they’ve been captured by the evil army. Yarro shows his true colors and makes a deal with his captors: if they let him go, they can use his space ship’s weaponry to not only put down the rebellion but the Silver Surfer as well. Ultimately it comes down to an all out battle between Yarro and the government against Silver Surfer and the rebellion. Yarro gets killed, but Shalla is mortally wounded during the melee. Surfer then repairs the space ship and sends her back home to Zenn-La, as no Earth medicine could save her.

Stan Lee and John Buscema really get across with the words and art is how much sadness there is in the Silver Surfer’s life, not to mention that he always does the right thing, even when he has nothing to gain from doing so. He saved those men at the bridge only to be treated like a monster. He’s reunited with his beloved Shalla but has to send her to the other side of the universe so she can survive. It sucks being the Silver Surfer.

Silver Surfer #8-9

 

silver-surfer-9Silver Surfer #8-9 brigs the legend of the tormented soul of the Flying Dutchman into the Marvel Universe via the evil machinations of Mephisto. And boy, didn’t that last sentence sound like something Stan Lee would have written.

At this point, Mephisto is pretty much Silver Surfer’s recurring arch nemesis. The demon lord fears the Surfer and is trying to find a way to stop him. The latest involves finding the evil spirit of the old Dutch pirate Joost van Straaten and empowering him into his new “Flying Dutchman” state. And by that, Mephisto made him into a cyborg looking a lot like Deathlok. He also has these really lame looking grappling hooks for hands.

Any way they fight back and forth until the Silver Surfer is finally able to defeat the Dutchman. There’s a few really cool panels where Mephisto is getting involved unbeknownst to either the Surfer or Dutchman, but to no avail. The end of the story has the Surfer showing remorse for the Dutchman, who only teamed up with Mephisto in an attempt to free his soul. Silver’s empathy is enough to void the Dutchman’s deal and freeing him.

This wasn’t the best of Lee and Buscema’s work on this title, but the story worked. They all can’t be classics I guess.

Silver Surfer #7

silver-surfer-7Alright, I lied. This has been my least favorite issue of Silver Surfer so far. The best stories are when he is out exploring the cosmos or the  human condition. Unfortunately, this does neither.

To be perfectly honest, nothing that extraordinary happens during this story. Ludwig Frankenstein (of that Frankenstein family) tricks the Silver Surfer into powering his monster. The rest of the story is the Surfer trying to stop this aberration.

There is also a subplot with Ludwig’s long suffering assistant Borgo, who has enough of his master. The two meet their demise as they fall out of a castle window.

Silver Surfer  #7 really doesn’t offer that much. It’s recommended only for the completist.

Silver Surfer #6

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Well the streak had to end sometime. So far, Silver Surfer #6 is my least favorite issue in the run. It’s not that it’s a bad issue or anything; just compared to the rest.

In typical fashion, Stan Lee and John Buscema (who is joined by his brother Sal Buscema on inks) have Silver Surfer being depressed. He’s still reeling from the loss of his newly found friend Al in the last issue, and he still pines for Shalla-Bal back on his home world.

Thinking that Galactus’ intergalactic barrier will probably not be keeping him trapped on Earth forever, Silver Surfer tries to move at the speed of light in order to travel to the future in a method similar to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Unfortunately, the future he travels to a really terrible future.

It wasn’t explained if it was the near for way future, but the universe has been conquered by the evil Overlord of Dakkam. Both his home of Zenn-La and Earth have been destroyed.  So Silver Surfer does the only logical thing: he travels back in time to prevent the event that caused the Overlord to come to power and thus never conquer the universe. Unlike Captain Kirk, the Silver Surfer has no qualms about violating the space and time continuum.

Rules are meant to be broken, after all. Anyway, poor Surfer returns back to present day Earth, only to be lonely and trapped. Poor little guy.

RDJ Back As Iron Man!

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Well color me unsurprised.

Marvel just announced that Robert Downey Jr. is going to be wearing the Iron Man suit once again in a press release.

It goes on to say that the Iron Man character will be in Avengers 2 and Avengers 3.

So why the sudden change?

Downey, Jr.’s last two Marvel films, 2012’s “Marvel’s The Avengers” and this year’s “Iron Man 3,” rank as two of the top five grossing films of all time, collectively earning over $2.7 billion worldwide to date.

Simply put, as awesome as he is playing Tony Stark, he’s an even more awesome box office draw. I’ll be the first to extend my congratulations.

Silver Surfer #5

silver-surfer-5So far the Silver Surfer’s imprisonment on the planet has been pretty depressing. All of mankind wants nothing to do with him. Everyone who has attempted to befriend him (Loki, Mephisto, the Badoon) all have alterior motives. That said, in Silver Surfer #5, he finally makes a friend.

After a failed attempt at breaking through the barrier that keeps him from the rest of the universe, he falls back to earth and is found unconscious by a man named Al B. Harper (who is drawn like he is an African-American Jack Kirby). Al takes Surfer in. Conveniently Al is some sort of mad scientist/astro physicist who thinks he can figure out a way for the Silver Surfer to break through Galactus’ barrier. Really, what’s the luck of finding someone like that?

Before Silver Surfer can use this device, the evil alien the Stranger has returned to earth and revealed his latest evil scheme to kill off mankind. So while the Silver Surfer is battling the Stranger, Al takes it upon himself to disassemble the Null-Bomb that is set to destroy all life on the planet. Unfortunately, this heroic act winds up claiming his life. Realizing that his latest attempt has failed, the Stranger leaves to return to his cushy intergalactic lair. I’m assuming it’s probably somewhere on Pluto.

The best part of the story is in how Silver Surfer is mourning the loss of his new-found friend Al. It has nothing to do with the fact that this human had a plan to free him from his earthly prison. Instead, the Silver Surfer admires how brave Al was in the face of certain death and is really disturbed that the rest of the people of Earth will never know that this man saved everyone. This selfless act has caused the Silver Surfer to reevaluate his opinion on mankind.

Silver Surfer #4

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In this issue, Silver Surfer almost let’s his altruistic nature almost take the best of him when he encounters Loki.

The Asgardian’s story is pretty typical for this time. Loki really really hates his brother Thor and is always looking for new ways to destroy him. His latest plan involves using the Silver Surfer to do his bidding, with a little treachery.

Loki explains to Silver Surfer that his brother Thor is a huge miscreant and is a danger to Asgard. Silver Surfer, for all the cosmic power he wields, is a bit of a rube and believes Loki’s story. The two make a deal: if the Silver Surfer goes to Asgard and kills Thor (who is planning on taking over Asgard), Loki will remove the enchantment that keeps the Surfer imprisoned on Earth. He is a god of sorts, after all.

This plot really is textbook Loki logic. He has a problem that he himself can’t solve, so he manipulates someone into doing it for him. Surfer is transported to Asgard and is on a mission to kill Thor. Eventually the two meet, and Surfer attacks him as he thinks he is a liberator to the Asgardians. The whole fight sequence by John Buscema is filled with so much energy and kinetic-ism that it rivals something that Jack Kirby would have done during this period.

Surfer has the advantage in the fight and realizes that Loki is doing something to not only augment his powers, but control his body. He also notices that the Asgardians are coming out to protect Thor; if he was as villainous as Loki described, no one would be doing this. Surfer confronts Loki, who does admit that this has been a more villainous plan all along and sends Surfer back to Earth as he wasn’t able to live up to his end of the bargain.

Poor Surfer. He gets duped into doing Loki’s work and gets beaten up by Thor. But on a positive note, Thor wasn’t too mad at him as he knows the lengths Loki would go to in his diabolical schemes. The book ends with Silver Surfer still upset that he’s still trapped on a planet that he really doesn’t understand and had been tricked by someone he had trusted. The moral of the story: don’t help strangers.

Silver Surfer #3: The Last Temptation of Silver Surfer

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In Silver Surfer #3, the Silver Surfer bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste and a flannel for his face. No, those are the lyrics to that Squeeze song.

This tale from Stan Lee and John Buscema is all about making a deal with the devil. And in this case, Mephisto. The demonic lord of Marvel’s underworld makes his debut in this issue and does everything but formally say that he is the devil or Satan himself. Being that the Comics Code Authority was still in effect during this era, I’m assuming that might have had something to do with it.

With a theme of power and control permeating the story, Mephisto is introduced as being someone who has a keen interest in the Silver Surfer. His altruism–not to mention cosmic power–is seen as a threat to Mephisto.

Being that he is an all-knowing demon, Mephisto tries to tempt the Silver Surfer with the one thing he loves most in the universe: Shalla Bal. After attempting several other ways to trick (and in some cases, physical violence) the Surfer into submission, Mephisto gives one final offer of Shalla Bal in exchange of assistance (or at the very least, the allowance) of him collecting and corrupting souls throughout the universe.

Before the Silver Surfer can announce his decision, Shall Bal interrupts and pleads to not accept the offer. Their love isn’t worth the damnation of millions. Silver Surfer agrees that the good of the universe far supersedes their own love and rejects the Faustian deal. And the issue ends with Shalla Bal back on Zenn-La and the Surfer alone and still trapped on earth.

The story is pretty powerful and really is a morality play with Surfer having the weight of the universe on his chrome shoulders. Ultimately his (and Shalla’s) decision makes perfect sense. Sometimes making the right decision isn’t necessarily the best personal decision.

Marvel Super-Heroes Special Summer 1991

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Anthologies are so much fun. Especially ones that are budget priced. Marvel Super-Heroes Summer Special 1991 would have been perfect beach reading back in 1991…except everyone who bought it was probably in super collector mindset of the time.

The cover might lead you to believe that the X-Men are the highlight of the book, but that’s not the case. The stories with Power Pack and Cloak and Dagger steal the show.

The Power Pack story has the child heroes finding the recently hatched offspring of the Monster from the Lost Lagoon and protecting them from scientists until they could be reunited with their monstrous parents.The story really connected with me, probably because as a child of the 1980s it really reminded me of movies like ET and Harry and the Hendersons. It was very lighthearted and plain old fun.

On the other hand, the Cloak and Dagger story somehow manages to be both depressing and disturbing, as Dagger is investigating the death of one of her old boarding school friends. Basically it is a story about life choices, and this friend had a series of terrible choices.

As for the rest of the book, the X-Men story is fine, the Speedball one is by Steve Ditko and pretty silly (in a good way) and Sabra’s part is pretty forgettable. But as a whole, there’s nothing bad about anything in this.

Venom #28-29

 

venom-28-29I’ve really enjoyed the new Flash Thompson version of Venom. So when the character is off to Philadelphia, which happens to be one of my favorite cities, it was a natural jumping on point for me.

The story in these two issues has Flash sparring with Valkyrie. It’s kind of funny when you think about it; the only person who can “play” combat with the homicidal symbiote is an Asgardian. Anyway, during these playful (and by mean playful, beating the crap out of each other) scenes, you also find out that the two of them are kind of seeing/dating each other. This training session is ended as Flash’s pal Katy Kiernan (a reporter for the Daily Inquisitor) gives him a phone call. She is investigating something going on with contraband weapons and the phone call is abruptly ended by the U-Foes.

The rest of the issues have Venom battling the U-Foes around Philly, eventually with him having to call in his girlfriend for backup. Cullen Bunn threw a couple good one-liners into the script about the odd nature of Valkyrie coming to Philadelphia to help out some woman that she doesn’t know who happens to be friends with her boyfriend. I know Flash has the symbioite and all, but do you really want to give your girlfriend–who happens to be a Viking goddess of war–an inferiority complex?

So it’s good ol’ team V-Dub going up against the U-Foes. They’re helplessly outnumbered and Flash is about to lose control of the symbiote. Will he go on an uncontrollable rampage? Why do the U-Foes want this alien technology? Is Katy safe? Is Valkyrie jealous?

And that my friends is what we call a cliffhanger. Well done, Mr. Bunn. Well done. Needless to say, I’ll have to get what comes next.

 

It Came From San Diego Comic Con 2013: Deadpool Corps Set

deadpool-sdcc-2013bIt’s no secret that Deadpool loves tacos and has found kindred spirits around the multiverse in the Deadpool Corps. To celebrate the Mexican delicacy and the friendship that has been found across the multiverse, Hasbro has put together a Deadpool Corps exclusive set for San Diego Comic Con this summer.

This set of three Marvel Universe-style action figures (and three non poseable sidekicks) are packaged in taco shaped blister cards housed in a taco truck box.

So who do you get in this package?

deadpool-sdcc-2013-aFrom left to right: Kidpool, Championpool, Squirrelpool, Deadpool, Lady Deadpool and Dogpool. Sadly, Headpool (the talking and disembodied head of Deadpool from the Marvel Zombies Universe) is not included.

The exclusive set is priced at $49.95 and will be available at SDCC. If there are any leftovers, Hasbro usually sells them at their online toy store.

 

 

Silver Surfer #2: The Badoon Strikes Back

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I’m continuing my fun look back at the old Silver Surfer series. The second issue not only helps set the main themes for the series, but it also introduces a new villain to the Marvel  Universe that will play a big roll in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film next year.

The Badoon–a reptilian alien species–has targeted Earth as its net conquest. After a brief encounter with the Silver Surfer, they explain that they have come in peace and are only interested in ending all evil. Surfer can kind of agree with that, as during his brief time on the planet he has grown greatly disenfranchised on how mankind treats one another.

This opinion on the Badoon is changed when an imprisoned Earth woman shares their true intent: enslaving the planet. This doesn’t jive well at all with the Silver Surfer, and the rest of the issue has him fighting off the Badoon spacecraft and monsters that are attacking Manhattan. Eventually they give up on their conquest, only to return in the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Silver Surfer may have gotten rid of the Badoon, but his reputation took the worst of it. The aliens were using some sort of cloaking technology straight out of Star Trek that made them invisible to the world, making it look like it was the Silver Surfer attacking the city on his own.

Stan Lee does such a great job writing the character. He’s an outsider, cursed to live among a world that completely fears and distrusts him. Even when he does the right thing (in this case dealing with the Badoon) it only winds up hurting him in the end. That is combined with the fact that Surfer continually brings up the fact of how hypocritical human nature is. Oh yeah, and that John Buscema who drew this is pretty sweet too.

Silver Surfer #1

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With summer right around the corner, its beach season. To celebrate, I’m going to read about the premier surfer in comics history–the Silver Surfer. Granted, the chrome-domed hero never actually steps foot on a beach, but go along with me.

Silver Surfer #1 expands the character’s back story, showing what makes the man formerly known as Norrin Rand tick and why he made the choices in his life. It’s pretty clear that this is a continuation from his debut appearances in Fantastic Four, which is one of the things that I really like about the Stan Lee-helmed Marvel books of the early 1960s. The continuity really works, as he was co-scripting and editing everything the company was releasing.

Norrin lives on the far off planet of Zenn La, which is a perfect utopia. Unfortunately for him, he finds that society around him has become weak, if not ambivalent to the world around them. They overly rely on their technology and no one has the ambition to do anything out of he ordinary.

This lack of purpose is really evident when the world devouring Galactus comes to destroy Zenn La. Once their defense systems have failed, they whole civilization has pretty much given up.

So to save the planet (well mostly to save his longtime fiancée Shalla-Bal), Norrin makes an offering to Galactus. If the cosmic destroyer would spare this planet, he would serve as a herald of sorts, searching for planets that are less civilized for Galactus’ feeding. Norrin gives up everything that is important to him (Shalla-Bal’s love) in order to save his home planet.

Before you completely applaud Norrin’s nobility, he does look at this heraldship as an opportunity to explore the universe, as living in a Utopia is fairly boring. Now that we have a better understanding of his character, we have a better sense on why he was so upset to be imprisoned on Earth for defying him.

The writing on this (and the subsequent issues) is some of Stan Lee’s best. There is a fine mix of high-concept science fiction mixed in with his best Shakespeare-styled dialogue. It might be a little silly, but at the time no one was doing anything like this in comics. On the art side, John Buscema is just great

New Mutants #99

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Rob Liefeld’s cover of New Mutants #99 is a homage to X-Men #138.As that much earlier issue was about changes, this issue serves as the beginning of the transition period from the New Mutants to X-Force.

It’s been a rough few months for the New Mutants, and Cable’s leadership of the group is becoming more apparent and causes a lot of discord. As the cover shows, Sunspot leaves the group at the end of the issue. After being informed that his estranged father was murdered, Sunspot is returning to Brazil and Cable is mostly apathetic to this.

That sets up a yelling match between Cable and Cannonball about the direction of the team. Cable sees the New Mutants as soldiers he has to train and develop for an upcoming war, with little regard for the people themselves. Cannonball gets even more upset, when Cable has the same reaction to the news to Rictor’s leaving.

You really get the feeling that there is a huge changing of the guard, both in the make up of the team and in the group’s philosophy. Out of the remaining members you have Cable and Domino, both of whom share this bleaker outlook. Even Boom Boom is buying in on their more hard line approach. And then there is Cannonball, who is begrudgingly hanging on to this group he helped start in the first place.

With Rictor and Sunspot out, the team will need new members. This issue conveniently provides them. Warpath has returned; the Apache reservation he lived on was seemingly destroyed by the Hellfire Club and he wants revenge. Cable promises he will assist in that as long as he’s dedicated to fighting the war to save mutantkind.

On the brightside, this issue is the debut of the cat-powered Feral, who is looking for protection from the Morlocks, and the end features a yet-to-be-revealed Shatterstar popping up in the Danger Room.

 

Infinity: Free Comic Book Day Special

infiniteI think this might have been my least favorite of the Free Comic Book Day offerings. Infinite helps to set up the latest big Marvel crossover which involves Thanos. It’s not writer Jonathan Hickman’s fault–I’ve just never really gotten into the super cosmic event stories.

After reading it a few times, I’m still not sure what exactly happened. It was intentionally vague, with Thanos’s forces scouring the galaxy for various tribute and this will lead him to Earth for some sort of cataclysmic encounter with the Avengers (I guess tying into that next movie, at least in theme). As someone who is up on their comics, I had trouble following what was going on. So I can only imagine what someone making their first trip to a comic book store would think after reading this.

On the bright side, Jim Cheung’s art was stellar. But that’s usually a given.

The book also reprinted a back up story from Logan’s Run #6, which had Thanos and Drax the Destroyer battling on an alien planet. The mad Titan winds up destroying the last living plant on the planet in a symbolic gesture that one day he will be back to kill them all. There’s also a super brief excerpt from Warren Ellis’ new Avengers graphic novel, but it was really too short to get any feel for. I’m extremely interested that and have added it to my mental pull list.

Sub-Mariner #67

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This might be one of the most iconic Sub-Mariner covers of all time. Issue #67 reveals a brand new costume for Namor–the bad ass version designed by John Romita! In this issue, the Sub-Mariner is back and angrier than usual!

Namor is fighting the evil killer whale Orka and the monstrous She-Beast (who has an incredibly boring name) are battling on the floor of the ocean. The Sub-Mariner’s are attempting to destroy Atlantis yet again. In the ensuing battle, Namor winds up getting thrown into the wreckage of an old US Navy submarine. The impact releases a toxic gas into the water that nearly kills Namor.

The underwater Inhuman Triton finds Namor’s sickly body and brings it to the Fantastic Four for help. It turns out that the chemical has somehow changed Namor’s biological makeup, no longer allowing him to spend extended time outside of water. Luckily for him, Reed Richards is able to put together some moisture delivering clothing to make him a new outfit (that reminds me of something that Gene Simmons would have worn during the seventies) to allow him a little more environmental flexibility.

Then Namor goes, well, Namor. Enraged that he has had suffered the indignity of not allowing to walk on land and the fact that this chemical has caused a plague among the Atlanteans, it’s time for a good ol’ fashioned Namor rampage. He trashes the Fantastic Four’s headquarters and then declares war on the surface world.

The book is pure Namor fun; he gets mad and destroys everything in his path, all the while completely being self-absorbed and unreasonable. And as a Namor collector, I like having the first appearance of this iconic look.

Super-Villain Team-Up #2

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Poor Namor.

I love the whole concept of Super-Villain Team-Up so much. The idea of Dr. Doom and Sub-Mariner just teaming up and going on there own adventures just entertains me so much.

On one hand, you have the extremely self centered ruler of Atlantis. And his best friend (well, at least for this story’s purpose) is an egotistical mad scientist with an inferiority complex. It’s like the adventures of Cousins Larry and Balki, especially since Dr. Doom and Balki are eastern Europeans.

The second issue of this series has Namor by his longtime villains Attuma, Tiger Shark and the worst named villain in the history of comic books–Dr. Dorcas. His name is just s ridiculous as it sounds.

It’s up to Dr. Doom to save his bestest friend in the world, using a remote controlled camera masquerading as a fish to find his location. And with some help from Namor’s longtime love interest Betty Dean Prentis, the prince is rescued. During the ensuing facas, poor Betty gets hit fatally by a blast from Dorcas’ laser cannon. And this sets up the next issue, where we assume the Sub-Mariner gets a little savage.

The book is just what you would expect of a Marvel issue from the mid 1970s. It’s a fun story, sublimely over-the-top in all aspects. But what makes the book is the artwork; with a cover by Gil Kane and interior art by Sal Buscema, it’s just full of awesomeness.

So does Betty survive? Or at the very least, does Namor avenge her?

Who knows.

I don’t have Super-Villain Team-Up #3, but I would be happy to review it if one of you doesn’t mind passing it along.

Moon Knight: Fist of Knoshu #1-4

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Remember how not too long ago I was professing my love of those early 1980s Moon Knight comics? I read that series’ 1985 follow-up mini-series Moon Knight: Fist of Knoshu and didn’t really enjoy it.

The whole purpose of this was to set up a new status quo and to reboot the character to a certain extent. The character’s origin is still the same; they’ve just added more ties to the Egyptian god Knoshu.

Knoshu’s rival, the deity known as Anubis has selected a new avatar to walk the earth. To combat this, Knoshu’s worshipers have recruited Marc Spector into becoming Moon Knight once again. To help sweeten the deal, the cult arms him with some magical weapons and cast a spell on him gives him supernatural powers tied to the moon.

Moon Knight goes on to stop Anubis’ avatar, but at the cost of alienating his girlfriend Marlene and much of his inner circle by re-donning the costume. But hey, he got some sweet powers out of the deal!

I really liked the previous take on the character, with Moon Knight having a much stronger pulp influence. This more supernatural based version really didn’t do it for me. I mean, I still like the character but in general anything that goes too much into supernatural and even horror genres turns me off. I do have more of the previous series that I want to look at. That said, I’ll recommend this for completion only.