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Old Comics Thread


#161

Onslaught: X-Men - Lobdell/Waid & Kubert/Miller

Why is Prologue spelt Prolog?

Regardless, this is a scene that first appeared way back in Uncanny 287. It’s the message Bishop replayed over and over in the future and resulted in him searching for the nefarious X-traitor.

The Prof calls in his X-Men to warn them of a foreboding threat.

He then goes on a wordy spiel that would make Chris Claremont proud.

Out of nowhere, up pops the villain!

Wait a minute, “Energy which only I wield and which in turn wields me”. Awful gobbledygook.

Enough though the Prof is inside the Onslaught ‘energy’, Scott still blasts away without thinking.

There is still the tease that it’s not just the Prof but also someone else, even though it’s blindingly obvious by this stage who it is.

Elsewhere, Franklin Richards is playing with his new invisible friend lil Charlie. What?

Pretty terrible issue with some bad scripting and overblown art. Not a good start to the whole Onslaught saga.

Uncanny X-Men 335 - Lobdell & Madureira

Apocalypse has risen (not sure when that happened) and he’s taking an interest in the X-folk.

Alerted by X-Man, the Avengers rush to help…

…and of course we get a hero v hero scuffle.

The realisation that our heros have to fight a form of Xavier weighs heavy on their minds.

Especially Bishop.

Oh yeah, Dark Beast decides to side with Onslaught and is the Prof giving up?

Some cliched writing and not much in the way of story substance adds up to a lackluster issue.

X-Men 56 - Waid & Kubert

I thought it was Bastion who had control of the sentinels but apparently Onslaught is using them to control New York.

Heroes assemble!

When did Joseph become an X-Man and get a snazzy outfit?

Of course, ice and fire don’t mix.

I’m confused. Who is this lil Charlie? Where is this scene taking place? Why should I care?

These Xavier Protocols seem very similar to the files Batman had that regarding taking down the JLA. Oh wait, Mark Waid wrote that story as well.

An Archie reference. Oh wait, Mark Waid writes Archie now!

Too many tie in books for my liking.

Not a bad issue but again, it’s trudging along too slowly and things seem to be either glossed over or vital story points are contained in other issues. Not great.

Uncanny X-Men 336 - Lobdell & Maduriera

Without all the lettering and logos that would be a cool cover. I’m guessing these scenes are taking place on the astral plane or psionic plane or some other kind of plane.

Apocalypse sure didn’t look like that in the movie.

Nice little bit here that emphasises Onslaught could be what Apocalypse aspires to and what he sees as the evolution of the species…a survivor.

Why are the people saying it’s Magneto’s fault?

Uh oh, Charles’ monster that he somehow created has now somehow taken his mental powers. Bad times!

If nothing else, these issues are playing up to the high drama and tension of the situation and the scale is pretty big.


#162

X-Men 56 - Lobdell/Waid & Kubert

Kubert always does wll with ‘spectacle’ scenes.

Doom shows up but is he friend or foe?

Okay, so Onslaught is all the hate and anger buried in the soul of Magneto and which Xavier accidentally allowed into his own soul where it blossomed as a direct result of the mind wipe back in X-Men 25.

Wow, ad for the Virtual Boy. I never had it but I believe it was a piece of junk. Interestingly there’s not much to suggest this is a Nintendo product.

Onslaught has evolved and he’s not happy!

The Prof is still fighting the good cause.

I never read this Apocalypse series but quite fancy tracking it down. More so for the Polina art than the probably awful Kavanagh script. Anyone read it?

Onslaught Universe - Waid & Kubert/Green

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Damn that’s a big head.

Small retcon from one issue ago where now it’s the darkness of both men not just Mags.

Mark Waid still hasn’t found his feet and is writing some pretty bad dialogue.

Adam Kubert picks up the slack with a great splash page.

Meanwhile the recently captured Franklin and Nate plan an escape.

The adults also formulate a strategy to take down Onslaught although I’m not sure I understand it.

The watcher continues with his exposition which happens for much of the issue.

More battle plans.

Eventually it’s the Hulk that takes down Onslaught as, you know, Hulk is strongest one there is.

Quite a lot is going on here. I really like the idea of a being formed from the inner most parts of Xavier and Magneto but the execution of the overall story was very poor. Too many tie in issues, which I didn’t read, was a problem as well. The Franklin/Nate thing was covered elsewhere and it all got a bit confusing. Art was pretty solid throughout and the scale of the events was captured well although the writing couldn’t match that standard.

As if the idea of an evil version of Xavier wasn’t enough of a story, Onslaught also heralded the Heroes Reborn line of books. It was certainly bold of Marvel to remove a big chunk of their main players from the board for a little over a year although I’m not sure how well Avengers, Iron Man, Cap and FF were selling at the time. I think X-Men was the big franchise of the moment.


#163

Enjoying these recaps - as controversial as it may be this is my peak X-Men; pretty much the four or five years between Uncanny 300 and Uncanny 350.


#164

I’m the same although I perhaps go back to Uncanny 287.


#165

The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix - Milligan & Leon

Much like the previous mini where we learnt that Red and Slim raised Nathan in the future, this also sees Jean and Scott being pulled through time but now it’s the 19th century. Following the death of their first child, Nathaniel Essex and his wife Rebecca are expecting their secind but some things weigh heavily on the scholar’s mind.

Meanwhile, in the shadows, a dark force watches.

Essex is convinced that mankind has a further step of evolution coming.

Essex goes all Doc Frankenstein and starts creating a monster from parts of dead folk and animals.

After being ridiculed by his scientific contempories Essex gets led down to the sewers by a group called The Marauders. They show him people they have captured that they have deemed freaks.

The big A makes his presence known and Leon draws him in a great steampunk kind of way.

Finally Jean and Scott show up and learn that they are here to prevent Apocalypse’s dark rise to power.

Marvel were putting out 12 X-books at this time.

Mini Apocalypse origin recap.

He confronts Essex and suggets…a team-up!

Jean reiterates to Scott what is at stake.

Essex takes En Sabah Nur to the Hellfire club and he begins to like the idea of experimenting on live specimens.

He has second thoughts though and returns to his wife to where his heart lies.

En Sabah Nur starts planning his four horsemen.

Spurned by his now dead wife, Essex accepts Apoc’s offer and becomes the man we know as Mr Sinister.

This was a welcome change from the heavy super cape stuff of concurrent X-books and has a dark foreboding tone that suits the characters involved. Milligan writes a good tale of discovery and rebirth and manages to stick in a bit of horror as well. Essex is shown to be a conflicted individual who made a couple of bad decisions and pays the price. Interestingly his situation very much reflects that of Scott in that he had a sick child and would do anything to save him. It’s a good origin story and John Paul Leon, although slightly heavily inked at points, does a bang up job of capturing the era.

Uncanny X-Men 337 - Lobdell & Madureira/Larroca

Lots of reflection here as the aftermath of the Onslaught saga is laid bare.

I’ll admit, the Prof has turned into a bit of a dick.

With Graydon Creed stealing all the headlines regarding his presidential campaign, JJJ wants the scoop on his connection to the mysterious Bastion.

Scott seems a bit clueless on the whole Onslaught thing. I don’t think the Prof betrayed them, he just couldn’t contain all the evil from Eric’s soul anymore.

The real Beast is back. When did that happen? Must have been one of the multitude of tie-in issues.

Wait a second, Cyke’s eye beams can bounce off mirrors without destroying them?

Joe Mad uses some really think black lines during some of the pages. It looks weird.

Logan continues his pep talk.

Was this Eleltra book any good?

I like the idea of dealing with how everyone is feeling post Onslaught but this issue doesn’t have enough of it. Lobdell is definitely on a downward spiral as far as scripting as well. Art wise, I think I’m over Joe Mad.

X-Men - Lobdell & Kubert

The cover pretty much tells you what is going to happen. Val Cooper shows up and wants Xavier.

Not sure how many comic pages have had a leg that size drawn into the foreground. I’m guessing not many.

The X-dudes are split on what should happen to Charlie.

More mentions of Zero Tolerance and JJJ stands his ground.

No matter what his students have to say on the matter, Xavier decides that it’s his decision to make and turns himself in.

This is a better issue than the last and promises a bit of a shake up in X-mansion tidings.


#166

Uncanny X-Men 337 - Lobdell & Madureira

If the cover didn’t give away what happens in this issue, page 1 sure does.

Warren is greeted by Ozymandius.

Meanwhile in the danger room, Joseph is confronted with his past self. (if he and Magneto are in fact the same person).

We see Betsy has some new abilities.

I don’t remember if this sub plot actually goes anywhere. Time will tell.

There’s a horrible bit of dialogue here as Hank has to explain to the reader what Cerebro is.

Bobby has gone undercover to learn more about the enigmatic Graydon Creed.

The team are alerted to a fire and discover Pyro is at it’s center. More hokey scripting with Pyro believing there is only one super powered individual in the world that can control metal.

As Pyro croaks it from the legacy virus a mystery dangles from his dead lips.

The Wizard poll results are in and Marvel cleaned up!

At the back of the issue are some cool ideas called ‘Time Slips’. by Guy Davis, John Paul Leon and John K Snyder III. Did anything else ever come of these?

Not the best issue with quite a few questions and not really any answers.

X-Men 58 - Lobdell/Macchio & Chang

I guess the covers confirms that Joseph is a de-aged amnesiac Magneto. We open with Storm visiting the Morlock tunnels to pay tribute to the lives lost.

Sh is surprised to she Gambit also there. Could this have something to do with Mr Sinister and their meeting back in issue 45?

Wow, Bobby sure has climbed high in a short space of time.

At a Creed campaign rally, Bobby’s dad pipes up. It’s a nice arc for the character as he is evolving from a mutant hater to a mutant sympathiser.

Gambit finally does what he’s been wanting to do for ages.

Boom! Take that cajun chump.

Rogue will sort it out I’m sure.

Meanwhile, Havok lurks in the background and it seems he’s a bad guy now.

Pretty poor issue with passable art and some cliched scripting.

Uncanny X-Men 339 - Lobdell & Kubert/Nocon

Mystique ponders killing her son and gives us a ton of exposition to help out the uninitiated.

With the Prof gone, Cyke struggles with the mantle of leadership.

Joseph also struggles but this time it’s with some convoluted X-history.

The plane Cyclops is on gets targeted for destruction and some weird dude shows up…

Along with Havok!

It’s brother v brother as they plummet to earth.

Interlude - Some reporter has found out the skinny on Bastion and is silenced.

It’s an okay issue but the motivations of quite a few characters are unclear and muddled and there are consistently more plot questions being raised with few answers.


#167

X-Men 59 - Lobdell/Macchio & Kubert

This is a quite non-action issue and it opens with a cool shot of Scotty in the cinema watching Mr Smoth Goes to Washington.

Elsewhere, Herc shows up at the mansion and has some tomfoolery with Bishop and Beast. I love blundering naive Herc and here he’s written perfectly for laughs.

Herc seems to have been oblivious to the whole Onslaught thing so Beast gives him a handy update. They really did go overboard with these heavy exposition pieces during this period. I thought that was a thing of the past.

Some inner reflection, literally, from Pietro as he tries to come to terms with his father’s part in the whole mess.

This is compounded by the fact that Joseph is living at the mansion now.

Jean shows up at the picture house to give Scott some company.

Interlude - As well as Bobby, Sam is also undercover and spies Creed talking to someone but he can’t make out who. As mysteries go, it’s not that great as we all know it;s Bastion.

Joseph tries to makes amends with Quickie but it might all be in vain.

I really dug this issue. Plenty of characters had a moment to display some emotion or motivation and Macchio turns in a good script for once. Kubert also dials the weird poses back which works well for this kind of issue.

X-Men '96 - Hama & Flores/Castrilo

Another one of those oversized ‘extra’ issues and like most it’s a dud. We begin with that old x-staple when there’s down time for the gang, with a baseball game.

The issues contains some horrible art from guys I’ve never heard of.

Scott and Jean show up with a food offer. That top panel is awful. Just then…

…a sentinel appears!..

…except he’s a good guy…kind of…as far as sentinels go.

can you really see all the X-dudes saying, ‘Darn few left’?

Closing shot and everyone’s happy. Ahhh.

Wow, Larry Hama really should have stayed away from any X-books. This was one of the worst comics I’ve read in a long time not helped by some atrocious art.


#168

I honestly would not have recognised that as Hercules if it wasn’t for the captions.


#169

Boys World. my favourite UK comic as a 12 year old.

Favourite strip was Wrath of the Gods. Allegedly written (but denied) by Michael Moorcock

Another favourite was The Angry Planet, Harry Harrison of Soylent Green Fame.
In a way, ahead of its time being before the Gaia Hypothesis saw the light of day and before conservation became the latest darling of the chattering class.


#170

I’ve never heard of that comic. It might be a bit before my time, but those pages are great.


#171

It’s amazing how great some of that art was on old British comics. I remembering commenting a while back that some of it was so sophisticated compared to US comics of the time. Look at this from Frank Hampson in 1959.

I used to read my brothers Look and Learn in the early 80s for the likes of this Don Lawrence genius on The Trigan Empire:

Of course there was less of a production line element and lower output than US comics because they used the anthology format to cycle things in and out as 2000ad still does today.


#172

The Hampson studio and Dan Dare was actually the first thing that I thought of. Some of that stuff is absolutely beautiful.

I have heard Don Lawrence’s name being mentioned before, mainly on the 2000AD Thrillcast, but have never seen any of his work before. That’s bloody amazing.


#173

I instantly thought of the Trigan Empire as well. It was a bit before my time but there was a huge box of old comics in my primary school that included issues of Look and Learn that included the strip.

And of course, Lawrence’s influence can still be felt via Liam Sharp and Chris Weston, who worked with and learned from him.


#174

Boys’ World was merged into The Eagle after a fairly short independent existence.


#175

By the 80s Lawrence started working mainly on European books. Storm was the most noted and was briefly reprinted by Marvel UK in their anthology ‘Strip’ which didn’t last long but notably had some of the first published work by Dougie Braithwaite.


#176

It’s interesting to read in Thrill Power Overload (the book about the history of 2000ad) that publishers deliberately set up new titles to end and get merged. Their plan for Starlord was that it would eventually absorb 2000ad and bring in overall more readers from the combined audience but at the last minute 2000ad held on as the main book because sales were stronger.

It’s probably quite an alien idea to US comic fans but we were used to it. Books didn’t get cancelled but got merged.


#177

I shudder to think about what Ro-Jaws is spraying out of his arm on that cover.


#178

I came across the name a couple of years back and was able to track down a copy of Tales From The Trigan Empire for a decent price. Also nabbed the Wells Fargo western stories he did:


#179

Yep! A readership harvesting technique I presume.


#180

Absolutely and I always knew that they merged to try and bring along the readers from one book to another, what surprised me with that behind the scenes view of IPC is that they did it from the off. They were developing books just to be merged. It’s very cynical if you think about it.