Apr 20, 2012

Scent of a Venom

The day we stop lethal protecting, Charlie, is the day we die.
(Venom: Along Came a Spider #2, written by Larry Hama, art by Joe St. Pierre and Randy Emberlin)

Apr 15, 2012

Sal's Sunday Punch #15

Like ASM #407, today's Sunday Punch comes from the Complete Ben Reilly Epic volume 2.  In Spectacular Spider-Man #230, from Todd DeZago, Sal Buscema, and Jimmy Palmiotti, rookie Spider-Man Ben Reilly's on the trail of David Kalen, an environmental consultant who ran afoul of a booby-trapped toxic waste dump.  Because this is comics, Kalen survived, of course, and become a horrific purple goo-man, capable of decaying anything he touches.  He's not too happy about this state of affairs, given that his brother died in that same explosion, so he's terrorizing the crooked CEO behind it.  Spider-Man is sympathetic, of course, but he's not about to let Kalen (who now goes by DK, because those are his initials and also it sounds like "decay") just kill this dude.  So DK punches him really hard.

I guess nothing can stop the Smooze.

Who Watches the Nightwatch Part 4: Ongoing Nightmare

If asked, Stan Lee will deny ever presenting this book.
Face it, Nightwatch - you just hit the jackpot.  It's 1994, and, off the strength of a dozen appearances in various Spider-Man books, you just got your own series.

It's important to remember that the comics business was booming back then.  Anything and everything was getting greenlit.  Let's take a look at what else Marvel was publishing in April, 1994:

Apr 12, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #407 is always gonna be with you.

Well, better than the one-stroke penalty you get when you hit your ball into Hydro-Man.
I was reading The Complete Ben Reilly Epic, volume 2 (available at all finer booksellers now, from the good people at Marvel's Trades Department), and the lead issue, 1996's Amazing Spider-Man #407, really grabbed me.  The issue centres around the people of New York City (and specifically, the Human Torch, Silver Sable, and the Sandman) getting used to new Spider-Man Ben Reilly, and around Ben Reilly getting used to his new job in a coffeehouse (because 1996).  It's not the best thing DeFalco's ever written or the best thing Bagley's ever drawn, but it made me smile in that goofy "oh, comics" way that Tom DeFalco does so well.  Specifically, it made me smile three times.

Apr 6, 2012

Well played, Darkhold, well played.

Marvel's 1990s comic series "Darkhold" was pretty much a mediocre attempt to cash in on the horror craze started by the success of Ghost Rider. It wasn't that well drawn, and certainly never that well written. But every now and then it was at least kind clever.

Taken from Darkhold #2, art by Richard Case, writing by Chris Cooper.
This is from Darkhold #2. The main characters are searching a military warehouse for a gama bomb that's about to go off. The issue's a little unclear about how this all relates to the supernatural aspects of the book -- mostly it seems to be about the summoning of a hell hound. That's not important. What's important is that this actually led into a surprisingly clever little referential gag.

I dunno. Maybe my guard was just down, but I found this very funny.

--Andrew S.
(And it's nice that they put the reference in, in a way that was in character, and beats the Comics Code. Though I'm not sure the word 'bitch' was much bother for the Code at this stage...)