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Joe Rosen Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

1987 And All That: Star Brand #4-10

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

StarBrand11987 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 »

1987 And All That: Daredevil #239-240

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

Daredevil1Daredevil #239-240 (Marvel) by Ann Nocenti, Louis Williams, Al Williamson, Geof Isherwood (#239), Max Scheele (#239), Bob Sharen (#240), Petra Scotese (#240), Joe Rosen, Ralph Macchio

Though not a great story by any stretch, there were two dominant themes in this pair of Daredevil issues that I always like to see explored, even if they’re not handled especially well. The first is the notion of superheroes being as bad for the world (or worse) as the villains they fight. This was not a new idea in 1987, and it’s been discussed many times since, but for any consistent fan of superhero stories (not just in comics but across all media) it’s a point that bears repeated examination, because there is no wholly satisfying answer. Are the protagonists of these narratives really deserving of the title of “hero,” or are they merely super-people fighting against other super-people in a self-fulfilling and never-ending cycle of violence begetting violence? The truth likely falls somewhere in between, and attempting to uncover it is a worthwhile activity. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 312: Michael Golden, Part 3: Bizarre Adventures #25 and Avengers Annual #10

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Michael Golden, and the issues are Bizarre Adventures #25 and Avengers Annual #10, both of which were published by Marvel and are cover dated March and [August] 1981. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: X-Factor #12-23

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

XFactor1X-Factor #12-23 (Marvel) by Louise Simonson, Marc Silvestri (#12), Walter Simonson (#13-15, 17-19, 21, 23), David Mazzucchelli (#16), June Brigman (#20), Sal Buscema (#22), Bob Wiacek (#12, 14-15, 17-19, 21-23), Dan Green (#13), Joe Rubinstein (#16), Randy Emberlin (#20), Petra Scotese, Joe Rosen, Bob Harras

I tend to enjoy any comicbook that looks at the inescapable personal torments, damaged relationships, and psychological strains of the superhero lifestyle. Secret identities, an endless and self-feeding cycle of violence, taking on the impossible responsibility of keeping the rest of the world safe—it’s bound to take its toll on anyone, and it’s nice when a narrative acknowledges that. X-Factor #12-23 digs deep into these superhero problems and their consequences, then piles on several other whole sets of problems, too. There is, of course, the classic conundrum of humans fearing/hating mutants no matter what they do, which is amped up more than usual in this particular series because of its foundational concept of X-Factor pretending to be mutant hunters. Though less explicitly discussed, there’s also an argument embedded in these issues that the whole idea of gathering mutants together and training them to use their powers and fight evil mutants might be flawed, that Xavier did both harm and good with the original X-Men and now, as X-Factor, those same characters are repeating his mistakes with a new generation. Then again, there’s no better alternative offered here, because if not protected, nurtured, and taught control, the young mutants of the world could potentially do massive damage without even meaning to. So X-Factor presents a pretty dreary interpretation of the mutant-heavy reality of the 1980’s Marvel Universe, one where there may not be any truly good choices for mutantkind to make, especially because, in that world, superpowers almost always lead to superheroics (or supervillainy), which in turn lead to their own significant stresses, injuries, etc. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 277: David Mazzucchelli, Part 2 – Daredevil #206

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is David Mazzucchelli, and the issue is Daredevil #206, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 1984. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 276: David Mazzucchelli, Part 1 – Master of Kung Fu #121 and The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #14

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is David Mazzucchelli, and the issues are Master of Kung Fu #121 and The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #14, both of which were published by Marvel and are cover dated February 1983 and February 1984. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 262: Marc Silvestri, Part 1 – House of Mystery #292 and King Conan #13

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the story is “… And Spoil the Child!” in House of Mystery #292 and the issue is King Conan #13, the first of which was published by DC and is cover dated May 1981 and the second of which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1982. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 218: Bill Sienkiewicz, Part 2 – Moon Knight #23

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Bill Sienkiewicz, and the issue is Moon Knight #23 (with some context provided by issue #20), which was published by Marvel and is cover dated September 1982. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 194: Rob Liefeld, Part 3 – X-Force #4

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Rob Liefeld, and the issue is X-Force #4, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1991. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 193: Rob Liefeld, Part 2 – Uncanny X-Men #245 and New Mutants #88

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Rob Liefeld, and the issues are Uncanny X-Men #245 and New Mutants #88, both of which was published by Marvel and are cover dated June 1989 and April 1990. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 190: Steve Ditko, Part 9 – Daredevil #264

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Steve Ditko, and the issue is Daredevil #264, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated March 1989. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 169: John Romita, Jr., Part 3 – Daredevil #260

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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 Daredevil #260, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1988. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 168: John Romita, Jr., Part 2 – Amazing Spider-Man #246 and 250

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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 issues are Amazing Spider-Man #246 and 250, which were published by Marvel and are cover dated November 1983 and March 1984, respectively. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: The X-Men vs. the Avengers #1-4

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.

XvA1The X-Men vs. the Avengers #1-4 (Marvel) by Roger Stern (#1-3), Tom DeFalco (#4), Marc Silvestri (#1-3), Keith Pollard (#4), Josef Rubinstein, Christie “Max” Scheele, and Joe Rosen

25 years before the Avengers tried to take custody of Hope in order to prevent her from mishandling/abusing the power of a threat falling from space, they tried to take custody of Magneto in order to prevent him from mishandling/abusing the power of a threat that had recently fallen from space.

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Year of the Artist, Day 42: Kevin Nowlan, Part 2 – Moon Knight #32

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Kevin Nowlan, and the issue is Moon Knight #32, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 1983. Enjoy!
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