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Todd McFarlane Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

1987 And All That: Infinity Inc. #34-44

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.

InfInc1Infinity Inc. #34-44 (DC) by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Todd McFarlane (#34-37), Martin King (#38), Michael Bair (#39), Vince Argondezzi (#40-44), Tony DeZuniga (#34-42, 44), Pablo Marcos (#39), Danny Bulanadi (#40), Al Vey (#42), Rodin Rodriguez (#43), Alfredo Alcala (#43) Liz Bérubé (#34, 38, 41, 43-44), Carl Gafford (#35-37, 40), Anthony Tollin (#39), Shelley Eiber (#42), David C. Weiss (#34-39), Agustin Mas (#39-40), Jean Simek (#41-44)

It’s a little hard to sum up my opinion on the 1987 issues of Infinity Inc., because it was an unsteady series at that time, varying in quality not only from issue to issue but often from scene to scene. It was more interested in the personal dramas of its cast than the flash and flair of superpowered action, yet the action sequences were more reliably entertaining than the more grounded character work. Then again, all the strongest moments center on the characters’ emotional lives, but so do the weakest ones, with the fight scenes falling somewhere in between. This gives the comic a strange lack of identity; is it compelling teenage drama or lame teenage melodrama, a fun superhero adventure or a dull superhero business meeting? With 27 story pages per issue (on average…sometimes 26 or 28) Infinity Inc. has room to be all of those things and more, but it’s never any one thing for long enough to get the reader fully, unwaveringly invested. This is frustrating to a degree, but also appropriate, because as a team Infinity, Inc. is a fairly disjointed, non-unified group. They have wildly different priorities and opinions on how to operate, and they pretty much never do anything as a full team, splintering instead into smaller units for each new mission/threat. So the book’s somewhat chaotic voice fits nicely with the team’s mismatched energy, and may even be an intentional aspect of the storytelling for that reason. Which is all well and good, but doesn’t make it any easier to know precisely how I feel about these issues as a group. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 211: Todd McFarlane, Part 5 – Spawn #9

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the issue is Spawn #9, which was published by Image and is cover dated March 1993. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 210: Todd McFarlane, Part 4 – Spider-Man #5

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the issue is Spider-Man #5, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated December 1990. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 209: Todd McFarlane, Part 3 – Detective Comics #576

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the issue is Detective Comics #576, which was published by DC and is cover dated July 1987. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 208: Todd McFarlane, Part 2 – The Incredible Hulk #330

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the issue is The Incredible Hulk #330, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1987. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 207: Todd McFarlane, Part 1 – Coyote #11 and Infinity Inc. #16

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the story is “Slash” in Coyote #11 and the issue is Infinity Inc. #16, the first of which was published by Marvel (under Epic Comics) and is cover dated March 1985 and the second of which was published by DC and is cover dated July 1985. The scans of “Slash” are from the trade paperback Coyote volume 4, which was published by Image in 2006. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist archive!

Here is a listing of all the artists featured in my daily posts, “Year of the Artist.” Easy-peasy!
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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So WHO Killed Spawn?

Every week, we will be examining 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 take a look at the downside of having a shared universe when the characters in the shared universe aren’t owned by the same people, as a departure by an Image Comics founder led to Todd McFarlane having to come up with a new killer of Al Simmons, the man who would return to Earth after death as the hellspawn known as, well, Spawn.

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Gimmick or Good? – Spider-Man #1

I’ve written in the past about Mark Ginocchio’s blog, Chasing Amazing, where he writes about his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man ever made. Mark wrote me with an idea for a column where he would take a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and give 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 begin with 1990′s multi-cover Spider-Man #1…

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Spider-Man #1 (published August, 1990) – script and art by Todd McFarlane

Superstar artist Todd McFarlane’s first foray into both scripting and illustrating his own series is also considered one of the prime contributors to the comic book collector speculation bubble that dominated the first half of the 1990s. McFarlane was fresh off a stint on Amazing Spider-Man where he truly made a name for himself as the illustrator responsible for the co-creation of Venom. After asking off ASM essentially because he was bored of doing artwork for someone else’s story (something McFarlane himself explains in the notes page at the end of Spider-Man #1), Marvel, in a show of appeasement, decided to make McFarlane the focal point of what was to be their fourth ongoing series dedicate to the Wall Crawler (fifth if you count the Marvel Tales reprint series). In addition to having McFarlane’s name and a “collectible” #1 issue tag to create buzz about this series, Marvel also published multiple variant covers using different ink colors (silver, gold, platinum, etc.). The variant cover idea became so popular, that retailers even took advantage of a printer error on some of the interiors, selling a “Blue Lizard” variant (with a price mark-up, of course) based on the poor mix of yellow and cyan on somebody’s printing press.

But what about inside the comic?
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 362: Amazing Spider-Man #298

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 Amazing Spider-Man #298, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated March 1988. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 327: Spider-Man #2

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Spider-Man #2, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated September 1990. Enjoy!
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Comics: The most versatile art form?

I was going to call this “Comics are awesome,” but I guess Bill Reed has already cornered the market on that title! Oh, and SPOILERS below, in case spoilering things bothers you. And some minor NSFW work stuff, too. Man, I’m out of control!
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