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Old Comics Thread


#181

Onslaught: Epilogue - Hama & Green

Although the Prof handed himself in, it seems Bastion is treating him like a convict and keeping him locked up.

Man, he doesn’t like mutants much.

Once Bastion has left a strange child called Nina appears.

She explains that the Prof might still be able to use his now stripped abilities if he can just find a way to turn them back on.

Nina manages to escape the compound but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing her again.

This is a bit of a nothing issue that’s sole purpose is to introduce Nina. It’s better than the previous Hama X-books at least.

Uncanny X-Men 340 - Lobdell & Madureira

After Bobby’s dad stands up for mutants at a Graydon Creed rally he is severley beaten and Bobby rushes to his side.

He goes over an encounter he himself had with Creed.

Creed quizzes Sam about his father.

But doesn’t like the answer.

A hit squad is sent to off Bobby’s dad but Wolvie has other ideas.

Bobby decides enough is enough and quits the team.

This issue focuses on relationships, specifically father/son and although it gets a bit smooshy at times, Lobdell makes a good go of it. Mad has calmed down his art a bit and it makes for a much better read.


#182

Adventure Comics #311

‘The War Between the Substitute Heroes and the Legionnaires’

By Edmond Hamilton and John Forte.

A new Legion of Super-Heroes story is always welcome, and
this one also has my favourite team of heroes—The Legion of Substitute Heroes!

I am concerned about the title. I don’t want to see heroes
fighting each other, and this smacks of writer Edmond Hamilton jumping on the Batman
vs. Superman and Captain America: Civil War bandwagon. But let’s
look at the story and see how it pans out before pre-judging.

The story starts innocently enough, with the Substitute
Heroes watching the Legionnaires embark on a mission to a distant galaxy. The main
point of interest at first is Night Girl’s surprise revelation:

Well, we didn’t see that coming, did we?

Anyway, this is a small aside, and the main plot begins when
a colossal machine lands on Earth and begins strip-mining rare mineral ores.
With the Legion still away, the Substitutes bravely step up to the plate,
though it’s soon apparent they’re hopelessly ill-equipped for the task:

What I love about this short fight is that Hamilton is at
pains to show, and explain, everybody’s abilities, and even though the machine
is too powerful for them, everybody contributes to its defeat in some way. Even
Stone Boy, who surely has the most useless power ever bestowed on a hero, helps
with his ‘knowledge of minerals’ (which is quite fitting for him). And
eventually the team wins through cleverness and perseverance—all in the space
of seven panels. It’s really quite brilliant writing, and perfectly supported
by John Forte’s art, which not only shows every action clearly and concisely but
also shows you through subtle facial expressions exactly what each character is
feeling.

The Substitutes decide the threat is big enough to alert the
absent Legion, and they are given the brush-off in no uncertain terms.

This is really awful treatment, but really, should the
Substitutes be surprised? The Legion have been consistently portrayed as bullies
and glory-hounds, and I find this approach entirely in character. It’s why the
selfless Substitute Heroes are by far the better group.

Polar Boy figures out, however, that the ‘Legionnaires’ are
alien impostors. So the ‘war’ isn’t between the Legion and the Substitutes at
all. But we don’t find that out until the end, so we’re treated to several pages
of the Legion being bullies and the Substitutes beating them at every turn.
Then Polar Boy reveals the twist, and they save the real Legion, still without
looking for an iota of praise or reward. True heroes:

Where the story concept fundamentally breaks down is when we’re supposed
to think ‘How awful that the Legion is acting like this’, and we’re actually
thinking, ‘Yep, not at all surprised.’ But despite this problem, I love this
story. It’s tightly plotted, and my favourite team of heroes (the Substitute
Heroes) comes out of it looking great.

Plus, I’m happy to discover that it’s not actually
about heroes fighting each other!


#183

Top stuff as usual David.


#184

Beautiful art. I was always so disappointed when the Joe Mad run was interrupted with fill-ins and shared-pencil-credit issues. Even his final issue was a split-job.

This issue and the upcoming one with Cannonball vs. Gladiator are brimming with completely perfect artwork, in terms of consistency - he was completely comfortable and self-assured in his style at this point; there aren’t many comic book artists that can pull that off, especially at that age.


#185

X-Men 60 - Lobdell/Macchio & Nocon

Storm is just chillin’ at the mansion when suddenly that hot head Cyclops attacks her!

No wait, Cyke hasn’t lost the plot, he’s been possessed by Candra of the thieves guild.

It’s all about a gem that Storm stole when she was just a nipper.

She took it to her boss, El Gibar, and never thought to see it again.

Interlude - Annoyingly, the whole Graydon Creed for president plot that has been going on for ages has now ended with his death. It’s annoying because it happened in X-Factor 130 even though the story featured heavily in X-Men and Uncanny. (I sold my entire X-Factor run so don’t have the issue to hand)

Back to Candra and she really wants that gemstone that Storm now appears to have.

It seems to have some kind of reality/time/space warping powers as Storm she herself with T’Challa. In just over 100 issues time this would actually become a reality.

Then up pops this guy, who’s name I can’t remember, who was in a recent X-Men Unlimited issue and he claims he has the powers of the Shadow King.

Marvel goes digital with online comics in the year 1996!

It’s not a bad issue but feels very of it’s time. Very much in the mold of early Image style books.

X-Men 61 - Lobdell/Macchio & Nocon

It might be ridiculously out of proportion and over muscled but I quite like this cover that feels a bit like a Deodato rip off. The Crimson Dawn subplot involving Psylocke and her new powers is still running and here she gets attacked by a bunch of ninjas.

Gomurr shows up and warns of upcoming doooom!

Storm is about to lay the smack down when suddenly…

…Juggie blasts in through the museum window (the battle moved form the mansion).

Here comes Cable now!

Rushing to the rescue are Jean, Scott and Logan.

Wait a minute, none of that stuff actually happened. It was all an illusion created by the gemstone.

An unsatisfactory conclusion to a passable fill in 2-parter.

X-Men Unlimited 14 - Kavanagh & Cheung

After the events of Onslaught where a whole bunch of heroes went missing, we catch up on young Franklin Richards who lost his whole family.

After having a nightmare he wakes up and is comforted by buddies Artie and Leech.

The kids and a bunch of X-folk are having some down time and relaxing at Hank’s parent’s.
farm.

In the nearby town a group of mutant haters is getting drunk and thinking bad thoughts.

Suffice to say, they act on it and capture themselves some no good muties.

Meanwhile, Franklin confronts Joseph who he blames for the loss of his parents.

Anyway, it all works out fine in the end. For an extra sized issue it’s pretty standard fare with the usual mutant hating rednecks needing to be taught a lesson. However, the much more interetsing point is that the majority of people still view the now young Joseph as his older evil self. Using a young child as an antagonist is a nice idea to get a fresh perspective but far too few pages are used on this. The issue isn’t helped by the fact I’m really not a Jimmy Cheung fan.


#186

For me, his best periods were early on when he was trying to ape J Scott Campbell (around 312-318) and then later with Battlechasers. I felt the in between stuff was okay but had too much ‘playing around with styles’ which meant it lost focus with me.


#187

X-Men Annual '97 - Moore & Epting

Bold headline on the cover. Unfortunately it’s completely untrue.the story begins with Bobby and Joseph are running from a mutant hating horde. Same old, same old.

Except it’s not mutie bashers but instead, a bunch of Iceman groupies!

Cut ot the mansion and i felt like I’d missed a key issue somewhere as Rogue and Gambit are smooching away with no side effects from Rogue’s powers.

Now Scotty is walking around without his ruby quartz glasses. Something aint right here.

Yep, the legacy virus story line is still ongoing and finally Hank has cracked it and found a cure. Go Hank!

Going against the flow of most, Logan can differentiate between Mags and Joseph although the latter senses something is up.

Whoa, no one remembers Jeanie. Evil is afoot me thinks.

Joseph gets to work with cerebro to try and find Jean.

As the caption says, somewhere else…

The villain is revealed and I honestly didn’t expect Gamesmaster.

Holly tortilla chips, this guy is major powerful. Basically he’s saying he can rewrite reality.

Why is Magneto immune to GM’s psychic manipulations?

Good page here with nice use of colours and merged images.

Ah, so GM isn’t that powerful. He did however instill in the X-folk their heart’s desire which is why Gambit and Rogue were kissing and Beast thought he had cured the legacy virus (he hadn’t). As usual though for a comic book villain, his ‘motivations are his own’, so we just get left with more questions as to why he wanted Mags in his debt.

Jean backs up what we just learnt.

Barring a couple of cliched missteps I thought this was an enjoyable issue. Epting is solid on art duties and John Francis Moore proves he’s an underrated writer. I absolutely love his Doom 2099 stuff, maybe more than the Ellis run, and I might put that on my next to read list. Out of interest, what else did he do that is worth picking up?

Uncanny X-Men 341 - Lobdell & Madureira

It’s Christmas time and the gang are taking a stroll downtown. I don’t understand what the difference is between what the horse carriage dude is asking and what Joseph is saying.

It seems like every issue Lobdell chucks in at least a couple of panels with a character reciting what has recently gone on in X-world. It’s fine for new readers but gets tiresome.

Yeah, crush that puny skull Glads!

Irresistible force meets immovable object.

Back in town, Joseph thinks he might have a way of negating one of Rogue’s powers. When did he become a tech expert?

A tender moment. Good job Gambit’s not around!

Oh dear, Mr Lobdell makes Gladiator sound light he’s some kind of wise cracking hard man.

And there you have it. He comes in peace. It was all a misunderstanding. Ugh.

Glads transports our heroes across the galaxy to aid in some far flung conflict which he himself, like a naughty boy, has been barred from.

I’m not really a fan of those, ‘good guys fight each other only to then team-up’ stories and that’s what we have here. Joe Mad’s art has settled down a bit to at least be more consistent but I have to admit I’m not as big a fan as I was back in the day.

Uncanny X-Men 342 - Lobdell & Madureira

Nice opening double page plash that shows our heroes in a spot of bother.

Joseph’s past as Mags still hangs over his head.

Sam tries to explain hat happened but Logan isn’t taking it easily.

Beasty and Trish have a little heart to heart…

…and she changes into a ridiculous shi’ar outfit. Yowza.

Bishop is still struggling with learning the truth of the X-traitor plot and Rogue tries to comfort him. Do southern belle’s use the term ‘body’ a lot or that just bad dialogue from Lobdell?

After coming to terms with their situation, things take a new turn as they discover a non-populated starstation…

…and a surprising survivor.

I quite like a good space faring story but this one starts off pretty boring. Not much of real note happened apart from characters being moody and we haven’t seen the protagonists yet.


#188

I picked up four 25¢ comics at my LCS this week. They were all from John Byrne’s run on Action Comics that consisted of Superman teaming up with various others from across the DCU. I read a couple last night.

Action Comics #586 - This issue seems to have been a part of the Legends crossover. However, it was told in a very done-in-one style. Superman starts as a slave of Darkseid but is soon won over by Orion and Lightray. I liked that the entire story was finished in a single issue. The Byrne/Giordano collaboration was pretty great.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/cmx-images-prod/Item/30740/ICO004089_1.SX640_QL80_TTD.jpg

Action Comics #587 - Another great done-in-one from Byrne & Giordano. This time Etrigan was the co-star. I really like how each issue has Superman connecting with a part of the DCU he otherwise wouldn’t have. I really love the format of these stories especially by this creative team. I wonder if something similar would be possible today.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/cmx-images-prod/Item/42378/DIG004765_1.SX640_QL80_TTD.jpg


#189

That Etrigan cover is pretty great.


#190

I love Byrne’s Superman. Giordano’s inks make it even better.


#191

Uncanny X-Men 343 - Lobdell & Madureira

Whoa, the cover reveals the villain of the piece and I didn’t expect that! Before it’s been revealed that the Phalanx are back, Deathbird appears to kill Gambit and Joseph much to Bishop’s surprise.

Turns out though, she was right to blast those dirty techno scumbags.

Elsewhere on the ship Rogue is captured and professes her love for Gambit

Interlude - Bastion is still going strong and now he has Jubilee as his captive.

The team relies on Joseph to get the, now battered, ship down in one piece.

Aside from some corny dialogue this was a fairly enjoyable issue. I’m surprised Joe Mad never did any robotic or tech heavy comics as I really like the way he draws that stuff. He would have been great on a transformers comic.


#192

Hulk 403. One of my first ever comics and I was introduced to this sorry Avengers squad.


#193

Ha, but there was charm to the fact that the supposed best team was perennially made up of B or C listers.

I’m not a fan of what Bendis did to the Avengers but I can’t argue with the fact that Marvel wanted their biggest team to be full of their biggest characters.


#194

There’s always the side that if you use the lesser characters you can get a lot more character development. In the 80s and 90s when the soap opera style storytelling ruled the roost you could have characters die unexpectedly or get married or whatever.

When you go for the icons, like GM did with JLA and BMB later with Avengers then you lose that element.


#195

Uncanny X-Men 344 - Lobdell & Rubi

There’s a handy recap on page 1 that tells you all you need to know.

The Phalanx can’t be reasoned with. They just go around absorbing or exterminating.

Please someone think of the children!

The X-Men draw up a rescue plan but Deathbird still manages go get a dig in.

Interlude - Kelly and Gyrich express some concern over operation zero tolerance (the name was a clue about how lenient it would be surely) and especially Bastion.

Mel Rubi channels his inner Jim Lee for that Magneto close up.

Are Charles and Lilandra still an item at this point?

They did it!

This was all wrapped up way to quickly and easily. The Phalanx seemed to pose no real threat and before I knew it the X-Men had saved the day although I’m not sure how or what they specifically did to ensure victory.

Uncanny X-Men 345 - Lobdell & Madureira/Rubi

The cover makes Maggot look creepy and evil so it’s a sure bet he’s actually going to be a good guy. Remember sister Maria from issue 327? Well she’s back and being hunted by some kind of cyber organic monstrosity.

Luckily, a new stranger is on the scene to rescue her.

Meanwhile back in space, as the Shi’ar celebrate, Joseph reveals that there might still be some left over left anger issues from his Magneto days.

He is still wrestling with self doubt and worries about his previous actions.

Gambit is also struggling with things from his past that will no doubt resurface soon.

Bishop chills out in a loin cloth, as you do, and starts becoming obsessed with Deathbird.

As the X-Men attempt to get home they are overtaken by a starship of epic proportions.

A bit of a nothing issue with yet more teases of both ‘is Joseph a good guy/bad guy?’ and ‘what is Gambit’s secret?’ The problem is, these have been dragging out for a while now but with no forward progression. Art wise, the mix of styles isn’t ideal and there aren’t many stand out pages.


#196

I love Senator Kelly’s ‘I lost a wife!’ line, like it’s important but he’s got a couple more wives around so it’s not the end of the world.


#197

Yeah and I’m sure he’d issue more than a ‘for pity’s sake’.


#198

From what you said before, I think the 2-parter where Kelly’s wife died is a little before your time (it was Uncanny 245 or so, the tail end of the Australia era), but it was pretty decent and Kelly was portrayed as quite a reasonable person who was understandably upset by her death. Impressive writing given that it was her first - and last, obviously - appearance


#199

It’s a Marvel comic. Are you sure about that?


#200

At Marvel, only two people stay dead: Uncle Ben and Bucky, uh Doug Ramsay, uh Senator Kelly’s Wife