What If…Todd McFarlane Had Drawn The Foolkiller Series?

I had an interesting thought after reading the late, great Steve Gerber’s blog, in which he notes that the adjective-less Spider-Man#1 came out the same week as Foolkiller #1.

What if…instead of being given free reign to write and draw yet another Spider-Man book, that instead, he was given the assignment to draw Steve’s Foolkiller book?

Foolkiller was drawn by Joe Brozowski, under the pseudonym J.J. Birch, and inked by Tony DeZuniga (1-5) and Vincent Giarrano (6-10). I like the book just fine as it is. J.J. did a couple of swipes from Amazing Spider-Man #225, by Roger Stern, John Romita, Jr. and Bob Wiacek, but they in no way detract from the book; rather, they allowed me to make fond rememberances to the issue.

Spider-Man #1 sold an incredible number of copies:

“Todd McFarlane was at the top of his game as an artist, and with Marvel’s release of this new Spidey series he also got the chance to take on the writing duties. The sales of this series were nothing short of phenomenal, with approx. 2.5 million copies eventually printing, including special bagged editions and a number of variant covers.”

Imagine if he had drawn those ten issues for Steve instead?

I have two copies of Spider-Man #1; the regular cover and the black cover. I have a lot of variant covers,  but it’s usually either one or the other.

Spiderman1cover

I was lucky to be able to pick up Incredible Hulk #340 for $1.25 at the time…check what it lists for now.

I picked up Amazing Spider-Man #300 on a newsstand on the way home from a Hallowe’en party (along with Iron Man #225 – the Stark Wars, with excellent art by Doc Bright and Bob Layton). Early on in Todd’s career, he did a couple of swipes from John Byrne’s run on Hulk, but he eventually made them his own, and developed his own visual vocabulary. It was a lot of fun reading those issues, having the wordsmithing of Peter David juxtaposed with this unique take on illustrating the Grey Goliath.

I mention Incredible Hulk #340 for a reason. Todd drew one of the best renditions of Wolverine since Byrne and Austin had him fighting the Wendigo in Uncanny X-Men #140. It was also the first issue fully drawn by McFarlane. So, of course, when it was released that not only Wolverine, but also Hobgoblin and the Ghost Rider were going to be in Spider-Man #s 6 & 7, I was sure that I was going to see that fantastic rendition of Wolverine once again.

Uh…nope.

What the bloody hell happened?!?

It’s fine, I guess – I just go back to Incredible Hulk #340, to see it done right.

Anywho, I’m looking forward to Free Comic Book Day tomorrow.

Let’s not forget Avengers – Age of Ultron. I’ve been watching the first Avengers movie being broadcast on FX, and I’m not tired of it yet.

I can only hope A-AoU is at least as good.

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Secret Wars!

Avengers – Age of Ultron is but two days away, and Free Comic Book Day is but one day after that.

My nephew and I will be making the rounds on Saturday. I just ran across a film called Sucker Punch – check it out!

Let’s talk about this week’s Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

The cat’s out of the bag regarding the Reverse-Flash taking over Harrison Wells’ identity, Cisco attempts to set a trap, but instead is fooled by a substitution with last week’s antagonist, Everyman. Eobard Thawne reveals himself to Eddie, who had just attempted to propose to Iris. An interesting thing is the future news clipping, revealing that Iris would eventually marry Barry (as it was in the comics). Joe West refuses to give his blessing for Eddie to take his daughter’s hand, and tells Barry that he knows that he and Iris belong together.

I’ll bet we will soon find out it wasn’t the greatest of ideas to let Eddie in on the secret…and Barry has just boldly LIED to Iris about not having received powers.

I was able to catch up using the online version, but I kept losing connection. Of course, when I gave up trying, the connection stayed intact.

EVIL.

Before I recap on this week’s AoS, here’s an online clip I found: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Double Agent – ABC.com

I haven’t caught up with the previous episode, but there was one thing I was mindful of; that this episode would lead into the upcoming Avengers movie, much as  the previous season’s AoS led into Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

How about the reappearance of Ward and the comment: “We got the band back together?”

Skye now has full control of her powers, enough to be able to bring Lincoln back to life with a pulse to his heart. Deathlok was partially dismantled, but will be sent to be repaired. Bakshi was inadvertently killed by Jemma – it looked to me that she was attempting to kill Ward.

There is some discord being sown among the InhumansRayna has a premonition of Iron Man and upcoming destruction. I guess we’ll see in two days.

SECRET WARS is here!

SWP

So…the BEYONDERS have murdered the godheads of our universe, among them the Living Tribunal?!? How will this jibe with the two previous Secret Wars series? Will it relate at all to BMB‘s retcon in Illuminati #3?

A quick aside – why did the good guys use the term “Illuminati“, and the bad guys “Intelligencia“? IMHO, it should have been the other way around.

A quick look at the above cover will let you know that we’re in for a wild ride!

I was previously unaware that the cancellation of books like FF were due to SW. It made more sense to me that the entire Marvel line is being realigned (I hesitate to use the term rebooted), but I surely hope it doesn’t end with the Hulk/Doc Green being stuck on Battleworld II for a year.

I plan on doing a review of my favorite FCBD releases this weekend.

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The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Week of April 4th, 2015)

I was able to catch these two shows this week!

CW Tricksters

Tricksters featured former (and soon to be present) “Luke Skywalker” Mark Hamill as James Jesse, the original Trickster, and Devon Graye played Axel Walker, his protégé. This followed faithfully the comics storyline written by Geoff Johns, and was a fantastic episode, considering I’d missed a number of them since the Firestorm episode. I’m sure mark had a great time of playing the maniacal character, especially after voicing the Joker after all this time. Go ahead and check it out from your On Demand menu (it took me way too bloody long to figure that out).

skyeAoS Gordon

The newest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is titled “One Door Closes”, in which we discover Skye’s Inhuman power, and the decision she makes when she has to decide being hunted by her former teammates, or going with a completely unknown character, Gordon, who happens to be a blind Inhuman who can teleport.

If that hasn’t piqued your interest enough, much of the episode is the behind-the-scenes action of what occurred during Captain America – The Winter Soldier; and to add to that, we get to see Lucy Lawless kick major @$$, and Edward James Olmos as a high-ranking member of what’s being referred to as the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.“, Gonzalez.

I’ll be back with more as I find out more – have a happy Easter, everyone!

Update (05/03/2015): I promised I’d come back with more, and since I was able to catch that missing episode of AoS, I was able to determine that Skye’s character is based on Daisy Johnson, also known as Quake, in the Marvel Universe. Quake was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Gabrielle Dell’Otto in the Secret War LS (not to be confused with Shooter’s SW series or Hickman’s upcoming series).

That was a great episode, as well!

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The Owl Needs A Makeover, Stat!

I posted a comment over at Brian Cronin’s Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #42!:

“Leland is obviously in need of a bionic makeover.

Bionic legs, with clawed feet, and hard light wings. Also, he can rotate his head 360 degrees.”

I believe I have a great treatment for him, and I should probably write it up and submit it.

Owl_MC

I’m envisioning that after he gets his bionic legs, he still dresses in suits; however, he will not wear shoes. Because the legs are now completely bionic and can conform to his thoughts, he will do things like sitting at a table with his legs up, smoking a cigar using one of them, picking at his scalp occasionally, things like that. Sometimes the legs act on his subconscious thoughts, making for fun visual sub-context.

What do you think?

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What Cool Stuff Do You Recommend?

I was introduced to Saga by a co-worker – it’s a fantastic book!

Saga is by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples; of course, you should know Brian by a number of series, notably Ex-Machina and The Hood.

Another book I was informed of is called Chew – funnily enough, I went to school with a Tony Chu, the protagonist of the series. I can’t be sure if this isn’t about the Tony Chu I knew. It’s pretty inconclusive from reading the book – it could be Tony, or it may no relation whatsoever. I gotta keep on reading.

This posting isn’t finished by a long shot…but it’s drinky time.

Drinky time is done…and I want to change the tone of this posting.

I invite readers to suggest cool stuff, and I’ve changed the title of this posting to reflect that.

My cool thing to mention is a site that I’ve been on for the last month – SuperMegaMonkey! I haven’t even come close to fully digesting the site, and I’ve primarily been concerned with the comics portion!

You have to check this site out!

Interestingly enough, the book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe is discussed by many on the site, and on my way home, I happened to see a fellow reading it. Could that have been the author of the site, fnord12? It could have been one of his readers…I have to know!

Just to finish this off the right way, I present to you…Random GIF Time!

owlani panda propellerani Slidy Chimp

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Comics and Other Media

It’s been a while since I have been able to enjoy life like a normal person. Suffice it to say, it’s been nearly three years, and I’m still not yet recovered.

You may notice that I’ve updated my Gravatar – that is a picture of my sweet li’l grrl, Becca. She isn’t with me, but I love her and miss her dearly.

She has her own li’l comics collection.

I caught The Flash on CW and Agent Carter – and I was glad to have done so!

GG Flash

I was with The Flash from the beginning, but I’ve missed a couple of episodes – this episode introduced Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. Of course, his origin is slightly altered, so the emblem from his costume is incorporated into the device that ultimately saves his life and Central City.

Agent Carter

Agent Carter is a fantastic show – Hayley Atwell is awesome and fierce – not to mention beautiful. I will make the effort to catch the last episodes, and I will catch up this weekend if possible.

A quick word regarding the Marvel Universe (MU) versus the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – what we get are reimagined characters and concepts…to wit:

Roger Dooley

Dooley Ac sshgn18

In the MCU, Dooley is a fairly principled character who reached his rank by dint of hard work and dedication; however, in the MU, ol’ Rog likes to see titties as much as possible, and forced Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk to strip, not once, but twice. Dooley is the fellow threatening Wyatt Wingfoot in the scene from Marvel Graphic Novel #18 by John Byrne, Kim deMulder, Petra Scotese and Janice Chiang.

While DC excelled in the concept of Elseworlds (a refining of the What-If concept imagined by Roy Thomas), Marvel cemented it in the advent of the Ultimate Universe, conceived by Joe Quesada and the late Bill Jemas. Many of those UU concepts have been adapted for use in both the MU and the MCU – paramount in that is the Samuel Jackson-themed Nick Fury character. Mark Millar struck gold with this idea; it may have proved his entry into the world of movies. The Secret Service (renamed Kingsmen) looks to be interesting. I wonder how true it is to the book by Millar and Dave Gibbons.

I’d like to see Supercrooks adapted to a television series. The smart money would be to make the pilot episode a number of vignettes of the actual theft, interspersed with intros of the thieves. Then flashback to the Bastard’s crime career, eventually coming to the present day and the theft of his life savings.

Oh…you didn’t read Supercrooks yet? Whaddaya want from me?

On the subject of Millar, I’d like to talk briefly on The Authority #28, the book that broke the Morrison/Millar pairing in two, never to be together again.

I have the trade paperback of that arc, which includes Tom Peyer and Dustin Nguyen’s New World Order, commissioned due to Frank Quitely’s being wooed away to drawing Morrison’s New X-Men. Quitely was replaced by Art Adams, who drew two incredible issues before the art nannies of DC pissed him off and he quit before completing the last issue, which was done by Gary Erskine. Gary attempted to emulate a faux-Adams style, while I though failed in comparison to his original style of art, which was rich with detail…but I digress.

I seemed to have an incredible attraction to #28, more so than to the other chapters, and before I had an idea in regards to the authorship of the book in question, I could never quite put my finger on it.

Reading Brian Cronin’s Comic Book Legends Revealed, that information came to light, and things began to make sense.

In this case, the student has not yet surpassed the master. I’m not counting success in getting movies adapted as progress; as well as Zack Snyder adapted Watchmen to the screen, changing the ending only made to segue into an easy sequel, as removing the exploding squid nullified the motivations of nearly all of the characters in the movie.

Think about it:

What drove Edward Morgan Blake crazy? There never was an exploding squid.

Adrian Veidt was able to set up intrinsic field generators in the short time Jon Osterman was away from Earth? Implausible.

Night Owl’s (Hollis Mason) death was rendered absolutely wasted by the fact that there would not be any sort of karmic retribution – none of the KT-28 heads died at the Pale Horse Concert.

None of the bit characters that Alan Moore used to flesh out the neo-Charlton characters had any true reason to be in the movie – the Bernards don’t die in each others arms; the Big Figure is just comedy relief; Adrian’s staff don’t need to be killed because the “master plan” involves simply blaming Jon.

I think Alan hates each and every movie adaptation made from his stories; and honestly, his books weren’t designed to be adapted as movies. Every time I read Watchmen, invariably, something new will jump out at me from some previously read panel.

That’s NEVER going to happen from re-watching the movie.

This is much the same experience from re-reading The Authority #28.

As one commenter indicated, “Religimon” should have been a hint that I was reading something other than a Mark Millar jam.

Here’s an example of the censorship that drove Art from the book (no pun intended):

A28gm

There’s also the infamous scene where the Midnighter, not dead from Three-Willie Seth’s attack, pops a bolt through the head of faux-Apollo Teuton, right before he rapes Apollo. The scene was changed to only display the bolt impacting the skin in the front of Teuton’s skull (a funny callback to Elektra’s sais completely running through human bodies, but never the backs of clothing). Apparently, that was just too bloody much. Of course, Millar’s first arc detailed yet another rape upon the person of Apollo by the Commander, a Captain America analogue (John Walker mixed with Neil Patrick Harris), which concluded with the Midnighter taking a jackhammer to the sphincter of the Commander, as well as using one of the Commander’s teammate’s own mace as a butt plug.

Yes…you read that right – go and read The Authority #16.

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Gerry Duggan is doing yeoman service writing the Hulk. Mark Waid left him with an interesting cliffhanger, and he did wonders with it. Doc Green is the perfect progression for the big green guy, though you and I all know that it can’t last. Will it parallel Flowers for Algernon in some fashion? Bruce Banner came as close to death as one could come.

Will Doc Green ever yearn for Betty Ross?

Will Leucenstern be seen again?

Will Rick borrow Miss Thing’s exo-suit?

And…what’s Project Green? It’s obviously some sort of fail-safe for the formerly gamma-powered, but in what fashion?

We are only 10 books away from seeing the third chapter of The Silver Age. The “Silver Age” of what, you say?

miracleman15-00 MM15NewCover

MIRACLEMAN.

Nemesis” came out, and it looks to me that the redone lettering takes away somewhat from the menace of the issue. Not appreciably, but I do have the original issues, and I searched long and wide to complete that collection.

I still can’t quite fathom that this is happening.

I actually wrote an email to “The Original Writer” regarding the cliffhanger in #24.

I didn’t get an answer – maybe that was for the best.

So…of all of the Marvel movies yet released, I haven’t yet seen Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy. I won’t count Ant-Man…too new.

hell-comes-to-frogtown-4

Let me end this for now with a notification to find a copy of Hell Comes To Frogtown – starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Leave the brains in another room and just enjoy.

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What’s The REAL Story Behind PPTSS #40?

This post is dedicated to Ben Herman – we were issues apart from being twins (having first purchased almost the same issue of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man).

He first purchased PPTSS #32; I purchased PPTSS #34 (you can see the excitement at Brian Cronin’s awesome corner of Comics Should Be Good at CBR). Amazingly, both books were the bookends of a three-part story on the Lizard, one of Spidey’s earliest foes, and one of my favorites.

SPOILER ALERT:

PPTSS32part I could only find a partial cover – sorry, Ben 😐

PPTSS34

So…as you can see by the covers, a new character had been added during the arc. Dr. Curt Connors was performing yet another experiment to see if he could grow back his missing arm, and was testing some theories upon an iguana, when he accidentally stumbled into the path of his enervator, imparting some of his Lizard persona to the reptile. The iguana became…

…the IGUANA!

Here was a creature with the same powers as the Lizard, but without any of his humanity, which often worked to stop his predations. After a number of battles, Spidey realized that he needed to siphon the Lizard persona from the Iguana. He disassembled Connors’ enervator and constructed a portable unit that fit on his back. But, like Reed Richards, back on the fateful rocket ride that turned him and his cohorts into the Fantastic Four, he neglected to ensure that there was proper shielding.

He used the enervator on the two reptile-men, and achieved his projected result.

Now, let’s fast-forward to PPTSS #39, drawn by John Romita, Jr. and Jim Mooney:

PPTSS39

Chip Martin, the sone of Senator Robert Martin, looses control after Morbius’ attack on Spider-Man last issue, and becomes the Schizoid Man. He unleashes an onslaught of insanity against the campus, until Spider-Man intervenes…painfully.

Spidey beats the Schizoid Man like a red-headed stepchild, and is admonished for his attack. Uncharacteristically, he storms away to a rooftop, where a startling transformation takes place…he turns into the Spider-Lizard!!!

Peter_Parker,_The_Spectacular_Spider-Man_Vol_1_40

PPTSS #40 is drawn by Frank Springer (the penciler of Dazzler, and Jim Mooney’s inker here on PPTSS) and Ricardo Villamonte.

My question is…was this a hastily created fill-in? If so, what was the original plot, and why was it scrapped? Like PPTSS #34, I got this issue long before #39, so I wasn’t aware that I was missing some vintage JRjr magic.

Will I ever get to the bottom of this mystery?!?

If anyone has an idea about this, let’s get chatty.

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