Dan

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Everything posted by Dan

  1. Jim Mooney was quite a good artist, but his style mirrored Romita's so closely it was kind of eerie.
  2. X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus: collects Uncanny X-Men #97-105, #107-108, and #125-138, Phoenix: The Untold Story, Bizarre Adventures #27, What If? vol.1 #27, and a bunch of material from Classic X-Men. Technically, this probably should have been called The Phoenix Saga, as it collects the entirety of the Jean-as-Phoenix storyline, but this is what'll sell. I mean, it's 70s X-Men. You don't need me to tell you this is good. It's some of the best comics work Marvel ever put out. Eleven issues of Dave Cockrum, followed by fourteen of John Byrne at the absolute height of his powers. This collection also includes The Untold Story, which is what issue #137 was originally would have been before Jim Shooter refused to allow the story to end with Jean alive after having destroyed the planet of the asparagus people, along with a roundtable interview with Shooter, Claremont, Byrne, and Terry Austin, explaining the history of the story and why it was changed at the last minute. There's a story from the Bizarre Adventures magazine where Jean's sister comes to terms with finding out Jean is A) a mutant and B) dead by remembering that time they got kidnapped by Attuma and turned into water breathers. (Comics, everybody!) What If? #27 is probably the most famous issue of the original series, which explores the ramifications of Phoenix surviving the battle with the Shi'ar. It's... not very good. Overall, this is a vital collection; my copy had a major printing error that severely fucked up issue #138 (Jean's funeral and Scott's departure), accidentally reprinting several pages of the issue before and some pages of Classic, but I'm not seeing this online as being much of a thing, so I may just have gotten a bum copy. Captain Marvel: Ms. Marvel - A Hero Is Born Omnibus: collects Ms. Marvel #1-23, Marvel Team-Up #61-62 and #76-77, Defenders #57, Marvel Two-In-One #51, Avengers #200, Avengers Annual #10, Marvel Super-Heroes (the 1990 series) #10-11, Marvel Fanfare #24, and a few pages from various other Avengers issues. I.e., pretty much the entirety of Carol Danvers' career as Ms. Marvel the first time around. What started as a naked attempt to hop on the 70s Women's Lib train several years after it left the station (the corner box on the cover has the words "This Female Fights Back!" in tiny print, and original writer Gerry Conway, who will gladly today concede he had no idea what he was doing, presents the Adventures of A Strong Independent Woman Who Doesn't Hate Men, Exactly, But Can Kick Your Ass While Making 73 Cents On The Dollar) gets a lot better when Chris Claremont, a writer who actually does have very definite ideas about how a strong female character should be written, takes over early on. On other words, it becomes a perfectly serviceable B-or-C-level Bronze Age Marvel comic. Most of his overwhelming Claremontisms are missing, as he's more concerned about writing a fun adventure book, not a soap opera with Important Things to Say. The art is chiefly handled by Jim Mooney with Joe Sinnott on inks, so it looks nice enough (Mooney was the guy you got if John Romita Sr. didn't pick up his phone) for the bulk of the book, with a couple of fill-ins by Carmine Infantino. Towards the end, the panic is setting in, and they try everything they can think of (a new costume, streamlining the cast, a change of setting), but it becomes clear the book is out of steam and it gets cancelled mid-storyline. Mike Vosburg is the artist of the last few issues, and it's some of the worst artwork I've ever seen. Afterwards, Carol makes a handful of appearances here and there (the MTIO is excellent, and features very early Frank Miller artwork), before her original storyline wraps up in the pages of Avengers, and specifically Avengers #200, which is heralded quite justly as one of the worst comic books Marvel ever put out. It looks nice (the art is by George Perez, at the point where he was becoming very recognizably George Perez), but the story hinges on the fact that (CW) , presented by oblivious, tone-deaf creators who had no idea that there was anything wrong with any of that. Claremont came back for Avengers Annual #10 to explain why the Avengers, and the writers of #200, are stupid motherfuckers who are motherfucking stupid and JESUS CHRIST YOU GUYS; this is also the issue where Rogue, who up to this point only had the power to absorb powers and memories, holds onto Carol for too long and permanently takes her powers of flight, super strength, and invulnerability. (Michael Golden does the art here, and you either like him or you don't; I'm not especially keen on him.) After this, the collection skips over the whole time a powerless Carol hung out with the X-Men and eventually became Binary (presumably that's in Uncanny X-Men Omnibus vol. 3), only to wrap up with a story from Marvel Fanfare that calls back to the MTIO poker game and she finds out for the first time that Mar-Vell had died while she was off-world, and now she's Binary and look out, outer space, here she comes. Overall, a pretty representative slice of Bronze Age Marvel, more historically interesting because of what's happened with Carol in the last ten years than anything else.
  3. A History of Violence Captain Fantastic
  4. That issue is really more important than it is actually great. It's an interesting historical document, but as an actual story it's... fine. I've been doing some reading myself, finally... Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction Omnibus: Collects Fantastic Four vol. 4 (the 2013 series) #1-16, FF vol. 2 #1-16, and a couple of one-shots. While I understand collecting these together as they were tied into each other (The FF goes away for a while (Fantastic Four) and leaves a new team in charge of the Future Foundation (FF), composed of Ant-Man, Medusa, the She-Hulk, and a new character called Ms. Thing who's basically "what if Taylor Swift got a hold of one of Ben's old Thing exoskeletons"), it's actually a jarring read as the tone of the two series could not possibly be more different. Fantastic Four is a fairly straightforward FF book with art by Mark Bagley, and it's quite good. FF, on the other hand, is drawn by Michael Allred, and it is awesome. It is pure Allred Silver-Agey wackiness from beginning to end and I loved every page of it. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1-10: Post Marvel Divas Patsy, written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittney Williams, it's adorable and fun. The Unstoppable Wasp vol. 1, #1-8: Nadia's setting up shop, becoming an American citizen, recruiting teenage girl supergeniuses for a think tank she's setting up, and generally being superhumanly cheerful all the time. Also very cute, even if "Nadia instantly wins over everyone she encounters" gets a little much after a bit. However, the back pages have interviews with real women in STEM who talk about how awesome science is and why girls should study and find careers in engineering, that that's amazing. Ant-Man and the Wasp #1-5: Mark Waid writes a surreal trip through the microverse with Scott and Nadia, made more awkward as Scott is literally the only person on the planet Nadia doesn't like. Gorgeous artwork by Javier Garron, Beautiful covers by David Nakayama, and Waid in goofy banter mode? I'm in.
  5. Back in April, they announced that David Harbour was signed for an undisclosed role in Black Widow. A month later, he confirms this at a London convention where he said,
  6. It's true. Allie Goertz confirmed on Twitter that there will be another two issues, then it's going all-reprint.
  7. There's been nothing official from the publisher, but according to Evan Dorkin, MAD Magazine is shutting down, so fuck today.
  8. ... are you explaining racism to Donovan, Jack?
  9. I do dig the Rorschach-inspired fascist morons. This series apparently understands that Rorschach is not someone to admire, which was not something I always felt Snyder got.
  10. It's always wild when you look back and realize these things. The town I grew up in is about halfway between Boston and Providence, and when I was a kid the head of the Providence Mafia actually lived less than a mile from my house. As a result, there were a number of businesses in town that turned out to be mob-owned, although it was mostly kept relatively quiet (it wasn't until I was an adult that I found out a certain dry cleaner and a couple of restaurants were fronts), but it was well known that they owned what was one of the most successful strip clubs outside Boston's Combat Zone, right down the street from my high school. (Incidentally, having a club like that in your small town is a lot less awesome than you would think. Going in for the first time gets very awkward very quickly when you realize that dancer named Chantal is actually named Rachel and she was in your English class last year.)
  11. This, possibly swapping out Toy Soldiers for Encino Man.
  12. Wait, Joel McHale is Starman in this?
  13. Shazam!: Early screening through Fandango. It was all right. Most of the best stuff was in the trailers. Zachary Levi is pretty funny, and the actors playing Billy and Freddy were great.
  14. This. I've been thinking this was the way to go for a while now. Seriously, think about the insanity if out of nowhere there's a post-credits scene in Endgame that has an early 60s rocket crash and John Krasinski and three other people climb out in blue jumpsuits.
  15. Captain Marvel: Agreed with Mike that this belongs in the higher end of mid-tier. Brie Larson was terrific, Mendelsohn was much more engaging than I expected, and overall I had a great time. Some sequences absolutely felt lifted straight out of a mid-90s action blockbuster; they nailed the aesthetics. EDIT TO ADD: In the credits for the art team, one name I noticed was Eli Katz, which was Gil Kane's real name. Kane created Mar-Vell's classic red-and-blue costume. I wonder if that's a co-incidence or a cool nod, especially since Kane's name was notably missing from the list of creators in the "special thanks to" section.
  16. For this performance of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the role of Barry Allen/Linda Lee Danvers will be filled by Oliver Queen.
  17. I can't stress this enough: the 2005 FF movie is Not Very Good. However, the stuff it gets right, it gets so right. I watch it every couple of years.
  18. There's a small moment when Sam successfully curves the mug of beer around the bar, signifying that he has his juju back, where Ted Danson can visibly be seen taking a step back from the edge. It's a little thing, but it's a great visual moment of acting that ranks up there with THAT MOMENT in The Good Place season one in terms of reasons why Danson is a very, very good actor.
  19. Legends has become completely, hilariously bugfuck nuts and it is the show I look forward to most all week. I don't know how I'm going to make it to April.
  20. Rocky III is, for me, the epitome of "you're flicking through the channels on Sunday afternoon and this comes on and you immediately put the remote down" movies. Rocky is a tremendous film, and Rocky IV is probably the greatest slice of 80s cheese you will ever be ridiculously entertained by, but Rocky III is a really solid movie that sucks you in almost entirely on the strength of Mr. T's performance.