web stats

Mark Bagley 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 »

Gimmick or Good? – Amazing Spider-Man #400

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far. We continue with 1995’s die-cut embossed “tombstone” cover of Amazing Spider-Man #400…

ASM 400 cover

Amazing Spider-Man #400 (published April 1995) – script by J.M. DeMatteis, pencils by Mark Bagley, inks by Larry Mahlstedt

In an attempt to piggy-back on the enormous cultural and commercial success and impact of Amazing Spider-Man’s previous “centennial” issue (ASM #300), Marvel busted out a cavalcade of 1990s gimmicks for ASM #400. The front cover sported an embossed die-cut overlay in the shape of a tombstone, promoting a “death in the family” (Jason Todd was spared this time). And if that was not enough to titillate collectors, Marvel released a very limited edition variant cover with a snow white tombstone rather than the standard gray/off-white edition.

On a personal note, I will always remember how the release of this comic bought out the speculator in me. After kicking myself over the fact that my 7-year-old self destroyed the copy of ASM #300 I had picked up on the spinner rack when it first came out (forcing me to have to pay upwards of 30 times the cover price for a copy at a comic book show in the early 90s so I could own the first Venom story), I reserved TWO copies of ASM #400 at my local comic book shop months in advance: one for reading and one to preserve for the day it would inevitably accrue in value. I was ecstatic when the store owner called my house the night before the comic was released letting me know I could come by and get my copy AHEAD of everyone else. When I saw that tombstone on the cover, I was convinced that my college education would be paid for in no time.

But what about inside the comic?
Continue Reading »

Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 257: New Warriors Annual #1

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from New Warriors Annual #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 1991. Enjoy!
Continue Reading »

Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 79: Ultimate Spider-Man #74

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Ultimate Spider-Man #74, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 2005. Enjoy!
Continue Reading »

Comics You Should Own flashback – Daredevil #283-300

You know, recently I got most of the early Nocenti issues of Daredevil, but I haven’t read them yet. I’ve read a few, but I can’t really comment on them. So you’ll just have to deal with these, which feature the end of her run!
Continue Reading »


Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives