Jun 25, 2012

Rap like a mummy.

Sometimes I see something in a comic and I just have to share it with you all.  This is one of those times.

(Sensational Spider-Man #20, plot and art by Richard Case, script by Todd DeZago)

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking "What in the f***?".  All will be revealed when I reveal Spider-Man's Greatest Villains #170-161!  Watch this space!

Jun 24, 2012

Sal's Sunday Punch #17

Hey there, fight fans.  A special treat today - it's Marvel's artistic soul of the '70s clashing with their hottest new heroes of the '90s in 1997's Spider-Man Team-Up #7, brought to you by Kurt Busiek, Sal Buscema, and Dick Giordano.

The scientific no-goodniks at the Enclave (creators of, among other things, Adam Warlock), have created a super-robot to steal stuff.  It kinda-sorta-maybe-if-you-squint looks like Spider-Man, so when it kills a security guard during one of its heists, the hunt is on for the wall-crawler!  This is after the Avengers and the Fantastic Four sacrificed themselves to destroy Onslaught, though, so who's left to bring him to justice?  Why, the Thunderbolts!  But, of course, as we know and Spider-Man doesn't, the Thunderbolts are the villainous Masters of Evil, masquerading as heroes to gain the public's trust.  Thus, they're really excited to have a good reason to pound on Spidey - especially MACH-1, who is secretly former Spider-Man punching bag the Beetle.  But while he and Songbird fight Spider-Man, his teammates Techno and Meteorite find the robot, and it's none too friendly.

Due to recent events in Thunderbolts, at this point that may be the present incarnation of this guy, mind-wiped and altered to resemble his past self...meaning this is the second time he's been punched that hard.

Jun 23, 2012

Spider-Man's Greatest Villains #180-171

These are always the guys sitting behind me when I go to a baseball game.
(Sensational Spider-Man #32 (2007), written by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, art by (despite the credits) Sean Chen and Scott Hanna)
We continue to creep ever so slowly towards Spider-Man's greatest foe - but until then, enjoy these guys.

Jun 21, 2012

Who Watches the Nightwatch Part 5: I Left My Plot In San Francisco

"I am vengeance.  I am the night...watch...listen, I'm still working on this."
(Web of Spider-Man Annual #10, art by Mark Tenney and Keith Williams)
I was gonna go all amateur-hour David Brothers on y'all and talk about how Nightwatch was Marvel's first headlining character from the then-kinda-new black middle class, but then I remembered Deathlok who a) came first, and b) was in a way better book.  So...yeah, let's just talk about Nightwatch.

Jun 20, 2012

Spider-Mannotations: Amazing Spider-Man #671, Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #524, Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire #1

We're getting into the home stretch!  The penultimate issue of Spider-Island, and the Black Panther and Heroes for Hire too!

Amazing Spider-Man #671

Tiny pants, giant socks.
(art by Humberto Ramos)

Jun 19, 2012

Let's talk about Harvey Comics.

It's funny because he's RICH.
Harvey Comics, now that's a blast from the past, right? They did all those characters you know, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Hot Stuff the Little Devil and... uhhh... others, right? Little Dot?

Yup, that's them. Harvey were a straightforward comics publishing house until they started licensing the characters of Famous Studios, and of course their biggest hit Casper the Friendly Ghost. Harvey Comics really was the house that Casper built. Animators became comic artists, and the publishers developed a huge range of Casper comics -- as well as creating a whole range of comics based on other Famous Studios characters like Little Audrey and Baby Huey.

Then in 1949 came Harvey's in-house creations like Little Dot. Little Dot was a little girl obsessed with dots. She was so successful that she launched a bunch of spin-offs like Richie Rich and Little Lotta. All of these characters were made in the Casper vein; they were family friendly, they were mono-maniacs and they were drawn in Harvey's house style of giant heads and fat legs.

Oh yeah, and they all suck.

Jun 14, 2012

Tooning Out: Defenders of Dynatron City

Watch Defenders of Dynatron City in Animation | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Defenders of Dynatron City was a LucasArts project that, as far as I can tell, was dead on arrival. It produced a handful of comics, a single animated pilot episode, and a mediocre NES game I could maybe sometimes get to the second level of. I don't know anything about its development beyond those facts, but the reason I didn't completely disregard the property to the dustbin of history was sparked, of all things, by childhood frustration.

As a kid living on Guam, I saw ads for the pilot's special Fox Kids airing a few times, and got super excited because ANIMATED SUPERHEROES I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE! However, due to the time delays and schedule shuffling inherent in watching TV on a Pacific island in the 1990s, I never actually SAW the pilot, despite looking for it in the local schedules. Many years after the fact, my memories of this annoyance led to me tracking down the show's release on VHS tape (though I can no longer remember where I got it from).

This was probably not worth the effort, but I must admit the non-CG animation in the pilot is surprisingly nice, having been done by the same studio that animated "Heart of Ice" for Batman: The Animated Series. Plus, it was written by Bob Forward, of Beast Wars story editing fame, and features the voices of Gary Owens, Tim Curry and... Whoopi Goldberg? Huh. Anyway, you can watch the whole thing at Veoh.


And that, my friends, is more on Defenders of Dynatron City than has been written since 1992.

Jun 10, 2012

Sal's Sunday Punch #16

It's been a while, and I have left you without the gloriousness of a Sal Buscema punch. To make up for that I thought I'd post something a little bit special. There's been something of a Hulk/Spider-man bias so far with the Sal Buscema punches. The reason for that is simple -- Sal had a very long relationship with both Spidey and the Hulk, with long runs on Incredible Hulk, Spectacular Spider-Man and the Defenders.

So let's look at a different character with whom Sal had a long and eventful relationship. Rom: Spaceknight!

From Rom #21 by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.
Oooo! ouch, Rom!