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Brian Cronin, Author at Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Knowledge Waits: 20 Rejected X-Men Covers

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

Today we take a look at 25 X-Men covers that were turned down for publication by Marvel. I used Chris Haizlip’s amazing The Unpublished X-Men site for a lot of these.
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The Wrong Side: Batman vs. Carnage

In this feature, I examine comic book fights that were particularly notable in the wrong side winning (or at least that the fight wasn’t won the “right” way). This really isn’t a big deal, of course, as it doesn’t really matter if the “wrong” person won a fight. But it’s fun to talk about!

If you want to suggest a fight for future inclusion in this feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t suggest a fight in the comments!

This week, based on a suggestion from reader Michael S., we’re taking a look at the time that Batman did some maximum damage to Carnage through some, well, punches to the face…
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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – No,Really, HOW Did Storm and Black Panther First Meet?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at the first meeting between Storm and Black Panther and how it was retconned and then (based on a suggestion by reader FRM) re-retconned…
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Vote for the Top 100 DC and Marvel Characters of All-Time!

Welcome to the 2015 Comics Should Be Good Top 100 DC and Marvel Characters poll!

This is the third time we’ve done one of these, so it’ll be interesting to see what has changed!

It’s time to vote for your top ten all-time favorite DC and Marvel comic book characters.

Here’s the deal. You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, September 30th. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the winners starting some time in October (after NYCC, so I dunno, the 9th? Something like that).

Sound good?

Okay, here are the guidelines!

1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.

2. You’re going to be voting for twenty people in total here. Your ten favorite DC characters AND your ten favorite Marvel characters (either living or dead characters and either heroes or villains or supporting characters). Vote for TEN each – less than ten DC characters and ten Marvel characters and I don’t count your ballot.

3. Rank your ten favorite DC and Marvel characters from #1 (your most favorite) to #10 (your 10th most favorite). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best.

Here’s a template you can use as a guide. You can just copy and paste it into your comment:





4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.

5. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

6. Any character currently owned by DC or Marvel is eligible. So the Wildstorm characters, the Watchmen and V for Vendetta characters and Vertigo characters. But no Marvelman stuff yet. Next time we do this thing I figure there will be actual new Marvel Miracleman stories and then I’ll allow it. What mostly is NOT allowed are any licensed characters. Luke Skywalker, Snake Eyes, Rom, Optimus Prime, Doc Savage, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Astro City and the Milestone Media characters – none of them are allowed.

7. One of the more controversial aspects of the vote is how to handle alternate universe versions of characters. I’ve decided to go with “One name, one character” So Ultimate Iron Man and Iron Man would be one character, not two separate characters. Dark Knight Returns Batman and Batman would be one character, not two separate characters. You can include which version you’re specifically voting for, and I might include that in the end (you know, like, “Iron Man – XXX points (XX of those points for Ultimate Iron Man”). Similarly, Legion of Super-Heroes characters will all be lumped into one (so a vote for 3Boot Cosmic Boy would just be a vote for Cosmic Boy). The only difference would be if they do not share the same name. Like Green Lantern Alan Scott is different than Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Spider-Man Peter Parker is different from Spider-Man Miles Morales (the new 52 is making this tricky with stuff like Wally West, but for now, Wally West will remain a single character).

8. Identify which character you mean when you vote for a legacy character. In other words, don’t just write Green Lantern or Flash, specify which one you mean (Hal Jordan, Jay Garrick, etc.)

9. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

10. The following groups count as one character for voting purposes (I’ll add more as it becomes appropriate):

Female Furies
Metal Men
Inferior Five
Warriors Three
Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur
Legion of Substitute Heroes
Red Ghost and the Super-Apes
Power Pack
Monsieur Mallah and the Brain
Skrull Kill Krew
Tiny Titans
Challengers of the Unknown
Cloak and Dagger
Hawk and Dove

11. The following groups do not count as one character (I’ll add more as it becomes appropriate):

Power Company
Young Avengers

12. For characters with multiple identities, vote for whichever one you like best, but I’ll be combining the votes in the end (so a vote for Yellowjacket (Hank Pym) is the same as a vote for Giant-Man (Hank Pym) and a vote for Oracle is the same as a vote for Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)).

13. I’ll make various other decisions in the interest of fairness.

14. If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. I’ll list the answers here:

– Astro City does not count. They are entirely owned by Kurt Busek’s Juke Box Productions.
– I’ll allow Pre-Crisis Superboy to count as an individual character
– I’ll allow Ultimate Nick Fury to count as an individual character.

Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).

Now vote! :)

Foundationed Deep – Wolverine Knows EVERYone, Even Spider-Man’s Parents!

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.

Today, we take a look at the time that Wolverine met Spider-Man’s parents…
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Our Lives Together – That Time The Entire Marvel Universe Suffered a Summer Blizzard

In this feature, I will spotlight some of the more interesting examples of shared comic book universes. You know, crossovers that aren’t exactly crossovers.

Today we look at Marvel’s November 1984 cover-dated books (so August-shipping books), as nearly the entire line of comics tied in with a Thor storyline involving the Cask of Ancient Winters going on that month.
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Sue Storm Celebrates Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

This week’s Line it is Drawn involved Jack Kirby characters celebrating his birthday. Here is Phil Horton’s entry, which was delayed due to some technical issues on my part. So I wanted to make sure everyone got to see it…

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #538

Welcome to the five hundred and thirty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, just who decided to kill Gwen Stacy, anyways? Plus, did Gene Day sell a Star Wars portfolio of prints before getting permission from Lucasfilm? And how did Green Arrow become Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves?

Let’s begin!
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The Line it is Drawn #255 – Jack Kirby Birthday Tribute

Welcome to our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from YOUR suggestions!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas and Sonia Harris

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post their drawings based on your suggestions here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 3pm Pacific Friday).

The topic is…

In honor of next week’s Labor Day weekend, superheroes have to go to work! Imagine all the crime has been fought. So come up with new jobs for superheroes using their powers in new and interesting ways.

Read on for the drawings that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of Jack Kirby’s birthday on August 28th, name us one of Kirby’s many comic book creations (Hulk, FF, X-Men, etc.) and our artists will use that character in a birthday card for Jack.

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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Can Cyclops Not Control His Powers Because of a Head Injury?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at the odd history of Cyclops’ head injury and its affect on his powers.
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Top Five Characters Retroactively Empowered by Apocalypse

Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve one over the years.

The X-Men villain Apocalypse was introduced in 1986. However, his backstory soon established that he was actually an ancient mutant who had simply been operating behind the scenes for years. Therefore, over the years a number of writers have chosen to retcon Apocalypse into the backstory of various characters, revealing that Apocalypse was the one who gave them their powers. Here are the top five such characters…
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The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 152

It occurs to me that it seems like many comic book covers are homages. Which is fine with me. I have no problem with it. It just made me think, though, how long could I go before I hit a week where NO new comic book was released that had a cover that was an homage to something? Let’s find out! Here is an archive of all the cover homages featured in the streak so far!

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Comic Book Six Degrees: George R.R. Martin to Larry Niven

As suggested by Jenos Idanian #13, the idea behind this game is to connect two comic creators to each other through artists/writers that they have jointly worked together with, in as few links as possible.

For instance, take connecting John Byrne and John Buscema.

Byrne drew Captain America with writer Roger Stern
Roger Stern wrote Avengers with artist John Buscema.

That’s a simple one, but presumably there are more difficult ones out there.

I’ll try to keep the ground rules brief.
1. We’re only using writers and pencilers for this game. No offense to inkers, colorists and letterers, but it makes this too easy if we count them.
2. Plotting counts as writing and breakdowns/layouts count for penciling. Finishes SHOULD count, but I’m not counting them for the same basic reason of #1.
3. Alterations by another penciler don’t count as a connection to the first penciler. Basically, you’re never going to connect an artist with another artist. You can connect writers with each other, though, if they co-wrote (or plotted/scripted) a story. And obviously if an artist wrote a story, you can connect an artist with another artist in that fashion (like John Byrne can connect with Jerry Ordway from Byrne writing stories Ordway penciled).
4. Only comic book stories count. No pin-ups.
5. If a comic story contains multiple writers and artists, it’s up to you to prove that the given writer actually wrote the page in the comic that the artist drew.

Every installment, whoever connects the two creators in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly among the people who sent in challenges for the next match.

NOTE: When you folks send in your answers, please include your suggestion for the next match in the event that your answer is chosen. And demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices within six moves. Thanks!

Last week’s match-up was David Petersen to Peter David. Rob M. was one of three people who connected the two in three moves. Rob was the randomly selected winner. Here is how Rob connected the two:

Bill Willingham wrote and David Petersen drew a story in Fables #150
Bill Willingham wrote and Steve Leialoha drew Fables #139
Peter David wrote and Steve Leialoha drew She Hulk #12 (1990)

Rob’s challenge is…

George R.R. Martin to Larry Niven


And remember, we’re only talking books actually scripted by these guys, not adaptations of their novels by other writers.

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of creators gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

Do You Know Who Would Have Made a Good Captain Marvel Writer?

Let me open up by noting that I totally get why Marvel would go with Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters for the new Captain Marvel series launching after Secret Wars. They showrun a great comic book related TV show that also features a strong female lead, Agent Carter. So they are fine choices. This is not a “boo that choice!” thing. This is only to note that if you have been reading Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps so far (the third issue is out this Wednesday) you would know that Marvel had a really good option on their hands already for a good Captain Marvel writer, namely Kelly Thompson, who is co-writing the series with the departing Captain Marvel writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick.
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Things That Turned Out Bad – Uncanny X-Men: For Your Time-Traveling Incest Needs

In this column, I will spotlight plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect. I’ll try to stick with stuff that’s more ill-conceived than flat-out offensive (like racist stereotypes of characters during the 1940s).

Today, based on a suggestion (kind of, he didn’t specifically say to use it for this column, but close enough!) from reader DocSpin, we look at the bizarre piece of time-traveling incest from Uncanny X-Men #321.
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