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

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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