Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
A good villain should do two things: 1. Work as a compelling character in their own right, someone the audience is interested in regardless of circumstance, and 2. Jive with the hero within the specific context of their shared story. Judged by these two metrics, Iron Man #219-221 is a tremendous triumph, introducing readers to the Ghost, a supervillain whose concept is simultaneously so strong and so simple that he works as a character despite (or because of) a total lack of background details or origin story. We don’t need to know exactly where he comes from to understand his motivations and the danger he represents, and he’s a perfect foe for Iron Man because of both his power set and his ultimate goals. It’s always nice to come to the end of a story and feel fully gratified by it while still somehow wanting more, and that’s exactly what this Iron Man arc delivers. There are no glaring loose ends when the narrative concludes, but there are plenty of open doors and unanswered questions, so that it feels complete but also like it’s the start of something bigger (which, of course, it is, insofar as the Ghost has made numerous appearances throughout the Marvel Universe in the decades since this initial storyline was published). Continue Reading »
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is John Romita, Jr., and the issue is Iron Man #120, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated March 1979. These scans are from the hardcover edition of Demon in a Bottle, which came out in 2008. Enjoy!
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Since it’s Christmas (whether celebrating it or not) I thought I’d forego my usual Wednesday column for something to do instead. So here are five snowflake templates to print and cut out, each based on a different superhero; Batman, Storm (I used her old headdress, who knows if she’s still wearing that), Iron Man (both the old circular chest reactor and the triangular one incorporated), Wonder Woman, and the Punisher (I wanted to make the knives serrated, but my paper was too thick and it was too fiddly).
Here’s the first of the daily voting threads for The Greatest ____ Stories Ever Told!
Our first character up for voting is Iron Man!
Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, is set to be the feature character of his THIRD movie very soon!
You have until 11:59 PM Pacific time, March 31st to vote for your top ten favorite comic book stories featuring Iron Man! Your choices will be revealed on April 1st.
You vote by sending your top ten choices to firstname.lastname@example.org (make the subject heading clear that it is about The Greatest Iron Man Stories Ever Told Voting) by that time (you send your votes by e-mail, not in the comments to this piece. I repeat DO NOTE VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS PIECE).
Be sure to first click here to read about the rules and guidelines for the voting (so you don’t vote for stuff that is ineligible, like you can’t vote for “David Michelinie/Bob Layton’s Iron Man run” you have to pick a specific story or story arc).
I’d prefer you not share your votes in the comments section – please let’s keep it a surprise until the results go up. You can share your votes then if you’d like!
Have fun voting and be sure to check back April 1st to see the results!
Every week, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at email@example.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).
Today we look at an issue of Captain America by Mark Gruenwald, Rik Levins and Danny Bulanadi where Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man visit a bar that is packed to the gills with easter egg cameos.
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In this feature I explore the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments!
Today we take a look at Chris Claremont’s resolution of the still-bizarre Ms. Marvel storyline from Avengers #200, where we see Claremont tear that story apart.
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
This week, we take a look at how Marvel resolved the whole “Iron Man is a bad guy and has been replaced by a teen version of himself from the past” storyline from the mid-1990s.
Out of the seven days of creation, four were successful and three were unsuccessful. Only one day held sway and made this world a successful world. That was the seventh day, the day of rest, when the Creator did nothing. (Milorad Pavić, from Landscape Painted with Tea)
Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: John Romita Jr.! (Romita was one of two artists who got two votes from the readers, so he won. The next artist will be featured next week.) Today’s page is from Iron Man #124, which was published by Marvel (it’s JRJR, of course it is!) and is cover dated July 1979. Enjoy!
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As someone who spent her entire youth having inappropriate thoughts about superheroes, I’ve always understood that women aren’t the only ones being physically objectified in comic books, and men are being depicted as basically naked and entirely perfect as well. Finally it seems that the rest of the female population is catching on.
In which the author gives himself an existential crisis about the state of pop culture, and also links to a picture of a bear eating a space ninja
The greatest superhero movies aren’t cartoons or direct adaptations, they are films about regular people who step up when events conspire against them.
Media input in early childhood can have a lasting effect on adult tastes. If I hadn’t grown up with so many art, design and comic books around me, would I love them as I do now? Would I be so involved in the arts and communication profession? All of the imagery and information that we absorb as infants can influence us for the rest of our lives. For this reason I’m increasingly grateful for all of the things I was exposed to in my childhood.
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