Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
1987 And All That: Star Brand #4-10 (Marvel) by Jim Shooter (#4-7), Roy Thomas (#7), Cary Bates (#8-9), George Caragonne (#10), John Romita, Jr. (#4-7), Arvell Jones (#8), Keith Giffen (#9), Mark Bagley (#10), Al Williamson (#4-6), Rick Bryant (#6), Al Milgrom (#6), Art Nichols (#7), Danny Bulanadi (#8), Bob Wiacek (#9), Pablo Marcos (#10), Christie Scheele (#4), Janet Jackson (#5-7), Petra Scotese (#8), Andy Yanchus (#9-10), Joe Rosen (#4-5, 7-8), Rick Parker (#6, 10), Ken Lopez (#9), Jack Morelli (#10), Michael Higgins (#4-9), Howard Mackie (#10)
There is no single, unifying narrative or theme that bonds all of these issues together, and often when that happens, I will review only one arc of the title rather than the entire year’s worth of material. In the case of Star Brand, though, the most interesting element of this particular run of issues is just how different they are from each other, and in particular the stark change that occurs when Jim Shooter and John Romita, Jr. leave the book. Continue Reading »
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mike Grell, and the issue is Superboy #221, which was published by DC and is cover dated November 1976. Enjoy!
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A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.
Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker’s marriage is a weirdly divisive subject for some people, but I don’t personally have too strong an opinion on whether or not Spider-Man ought to be married. When it happened in 1987, it was pretty much a gimmick, an editorially mandated special event designed to sell comics based on the novelty, as opposed to being a story that someone felt needed to be told. As such, there’s only the faintest impression of a plot in this comicbook, despite its extra pages and the fact that then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter is credited with the plot and David Michelinie with the actual script. It’s hard to imagine Shooter’s role amounting to very much more than telling Michelinie, “Spider-Man gets married, even though he and Mary Jane both have doubts.” I’d believe he contributed less than that, because that’s about 90% of what the issue contains, and I want to give Michelinie and the artists some credit.
In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.
This week, based on a suggestion from reader Stephane S., we take a look at five instances where Captain America’s unbreakable shield was broken…
Welcome to the four hundred and ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and eight. This week, who is Scott Seva and how close did he come to portraying Spider-Man on film? Did Jerry Siegel almost write “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Finally, what behind the scenes reason led to the whole “Ms. Marvel gives birth to her own boyfriend” plot in Avengers #200?
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 email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
I just featured this story in a recent Meta-Messages, but I really think for the sake of completeness it really belongs being featured here, as well, as it definitely IS the case of a writer abandoning the work of a previous writer, as Chris Claremont very vocally abandoned the storyline of David Michelinie and Jim Shooter’s Avengers #200.
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 day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Dazzler #35, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated January 1985. Enjoy!
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In one of his Bullpen Bulletin columns, Jim Shooter was talking about how a friend told him he could have sued DC over the Legion stories he wrote as fourteen year old. He said he didn’t because it wouldn’t be right, as he agreed to the same deal as everyone else who worked for DC. As I read that, in an issue of Simonson’s Thor, I couldn’t help but wonder if this a thinly veiled response to the Kirby original art controversy. So, for those of you who were around at the time (or have read up on the story), was it? Am I off in my time line there? Was it a thinly veiled jab at another freelancer entirely? Or was it just a random, malice free musing from comics’ tallest former EIC?