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Sep 112014
 

fourColorBullet1

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for another Four-Color Bullet, the only comic-book review column not guest-starring Deadpool.

On the Marvel side of things, the Spider-Man of the 1930s returns, this time not only up against the man called Mysterio, but knee-deep in the multiverse-spanning event that will affect every known spider-powered hero in existence, in Edge of Spider-Verse #1 starring Spider-Man Noir; Captain Marvel and her cat, Chewie, must fend off an alien intruder. They will both discover that in space, no can hear you meow, in Captain Marvel #7; and in the march to Axis, Marvel’s next big event, Magneto discovers the Red Skull is hauling mutants off to re-education camps, and is in possession of Charles Xavier’s powers, in Magneto #9.

Over at the Distinguished Competition, Batman Beyond and his team must make their move on TerrifiTech, in Futures End #19; Amanda Waller’s covert war against the United States reaches the tipping point as the Suicide Squad takes the White House, in New Suicide Squad #1: Futures End; Batman and Robin are about to be turned into pasta thanks to General Gumm’s death trap, forcing the Green Hornet and Kato to bring in Gumm and the Joker on their own, in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #9. 

And from the Valiant Universe, Archer’s assassin-for-hire sister Mary-Maria takes center stage in a roller coaster ride into next month’s game-changer, in Archer and Armstrong #24

 

Written by Dan Slott Penciled by Humberto Ramos Colored by Edgar Delgado MARVEL

Written by Dan Slott
Penciled by Humberto Ramos
Colored by Edgar Delgado
MARVEL

When last we left our intrepid web-slinging hero, the now-psychotic Black Cat was about to unmask Spidey on live television while Spidey’s new ally Silk fought Electro, and good ol’ J. Jonah Jameson himself narrated the unmasking. I thought it was going to be a gimmick. That Amazing Spider-Man #6 would roll out and Peter had a mask under the mask, or something similar.

Friends, I was wrong. Spider-Man has been unmasked. Again.

The first story arc of Peter Parker’s return to life ends here, with him unmasked on live television, and he and Silk fighting off Electro and the Spidey-Scorned Black Cat. Writer Dan Slott is showing no signs of slowing down, actually keeping the action moving, moving, moving with virtually no time to rest. Black Cat is so ticked off she’s forming her own criminal empire just to take Peter down. Then we have Silk’s intense attraction for Peter, and some brewing trouble at Parker Industries. Thankfully, we’re not getting mindless slugfests every month, and Slott is developing plot threads in true Dan Slott style to keep the fifty-year-old character interesting, and fans coming back to the book. Penciler Humberto Ramos does some great work with his action scenes, keeping up with the frenetic pace of the story.

However, I am still having serious issues with Black Cat’s violent anger toward Peter. I get that when SpOck nabbed her while in Peter’s body, she lost everything. Wealth, credibility, all of it. But Peter and Felicia have history, and in my opinion it shouldn’t be that easy for Felicia to just develop a psychopathic anger toward Peter, when Peter has proven several times over, and again in a scene in this issue, that Otto was driving the body when he caused Felicia’s downfall. I’m left wondering if something’s up with her. Symbiote, mind-control, something.

Overall, I liked this issue and the feel of the series overall. There’s a lot building with Silk, Black Cat’s obsession with destroying Spidey, whether or not Peter’s unmasking comes back to haunt him, and the ramifications of the upcoming Spider-Verse event. There’s definitely going to be a lot to look forward to.

 

Written by Jeff Lemire Penciled by Jed Dougherty Colored by Gabe Eltaeb DC COMICS

Written by Jeff Lemire
Penciled by Jed Dougherty
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
DC COMICS

I am not a fan of DC’s current need to run a line-wide event in almost all of their titles. This month, the Futures End event that puts the DCU five years in the future has gone through most of the titles as tie-ins and restarted them (sort of) as first issues. The one I picked up this week was Justice League United #1: Futures End, because for a couple of months, DC has touted the return of my much-loved Legion of Super-Heroes in the book. As I read my comics on Comixology, I pre-ordered the book, excited to the point of vibrating because the Legion was coming back. All of the solicitations said this was the return of the Legion! This comics geek was happy!

Then I read it. You know what I got? Dawnstar. Now, don’t get me wrong. Dawnstar is one of my favorite Legionnaires, and it was nice to see her in action as a member of the future Justice League, and it was nice to see she, and maybe the others, were still around after Legion Lost ended. This Legion fan was left wanting more. But it is a two-parter, so we shall see.

The Legion disappointment aside, it was a good story. I like writer Jeff Lemire, especially his work on Justice League Dark, which is probably my favorite DC title right now along with Batman. In the story, Equinox gets a telepathic call from Martian Manhunter, essentially warning her that super-powered criminals on a Mars prison complex have escaped. As this is five years in the future, Equinox rounds up what’s left of the Justice League to head to Mars and deal with the problem.

There’s some pretty good character development and world-building here, as we see what has become of the Justice League United team during the Futures End event. It’s well-paced, with snappy dialogue, and an interesting cliffhanger. What I didn’t like was the art. Jed Dougherty isn’t a bad artist, but his work with facial expressions are unusual and off-putting, and his action scenes aren’t my favorite either. I suppose the word is “static.” I’m not sure he was the right choice to pencil a Justice League title.

With all of that out of the way, I will say that there will be a big Legion/Justice League team-up in the pages of Justice League United in October.

Overall, a decent addition to the Futures End event that offered some much needed hope that the Legion of Super-Heroes will return.

And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Email and comments are always welcome, if you wish to sound off. Make your comics shop owner happy and clear those files out.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!

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Sep 022014
 

230px-StanGoldberg11.15.08ByLuigiNovi1by Michael Brown, staff writer

Stan Goldberg, revered artist for Archie Comics and Marvel Comics, passed away September 1, 2014, due to complications from a stroke he had suffered two weeks ago.

Goldberg’s career began in the 1940s with Timely Comics, then Atlas Comics, both of which were the predecessors to Marvel. He would work for Marvel, right alongside greats such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, until 1969. At Marvel, he designed the color schemes for both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.

After a very brief stint at DC, Goldberg moved on to Archie Comics, where he would spend the next 40 years drawing the adventures of Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and the rest of the gang, in both comics and newspaper strips. His most widely recognized work is the cover of Archie Meets the Punisher, an Archie/Marvel crossover from 1994 that did very well in sales.

The Archie Comics version of Archie Meets the Punisher. (Aug. 1994) The Marvel Comics version had a different cover and was called The Punisher Meets Archie

The Archie Comics version of Archie Meets the Punisher. (Aug. 1994)
The Marvel Comics version had a different cover and was called The Punisher Meets Archie

Abruptly and without explanation, Goldberg left Archie Comics in 2010, and did freelance work for both Marvel and DC. In the early 1980s, Goldberg worked on DC’s Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew, and in the last few years he had done work on Marvel’s FF #1 from 2011, and in Bongo Comics, publisher of The Simpsons comics, where he drew an Archie-parody in an issue of Bart Simpson.

In 1994, Goldberg won the Inkpot Award from San Diego Comic-Con, and, more recently in 2012, the National Cartoonists Society presented him with their prestigious Gold Key Award. Marvel will be posthumously publishing his Archie-styled Spider-Man short story called, That Parker Boy, written by Tom DeFalco in Marvel’s 75th Anniversary Special, due to be released October 2014.

“Stan was a cartoonist … and a more devoted one, you could never find,” said Mark Evanier, comics historian. “He was also a charming man who was always willing to talk about his days as Marvel’s star colorist or the many decades he spent drawing Archie and other comics in much the same style. The number of pages he produced in his lifetime was staggering.”

Stan Goldberg was 82.

We at Krypton Radio join the comics community in mourning at the loss of a great man who gave a great contribution to the comics industry.

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Aug 142014
 

fourColorBullet1

Welcome to another Four-Color Bullet, the only comic-book review column that’s getting it’s own series on Netflix. Denzel Washington is cast as me.

Over on the Marvel Comics side of the multiversal boundary, Miguel O’Hara tries to adjust to life in 2014, being a Spider-Man out of time, and keeping his secret identity safe from his boss, in Spider-Man 2099 #2; Ben Grimm. Murderer? The secret revealed in Fantastic Four #8, a pivotal Original Sin tie-in; Arnim Zola wages war on New York, but there’s no Captain America to stop him. Can the Avengers rally and stop him, in Captain America #23.

On the DC Comics side of the multiversal barrier, Batman is after a killer who has haunted Gotham for years, in Batman #34; Have the Green Hornet and Kato finally become the criminals everyone believes them to be?! All-out battle ensues! In Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #7;  Constantine realizes he’s on to something much bigger than he thought as the events of five years into DC’s future begin to collide, in Futures’ End.

From IDW this week, The Q Gambit continues in Star Trek: Ongoing #36 as Q thrusts Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise of the new movies into the future. But does Deep Space Nine exist in this new reality? Krang and the Shredder have always been two separate and opposing forces that have dominated the lives of the Turtles. But now, for the first time, they’re joining forces, in this special stand-alone issue, number 37, of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. UFOs, the return of the Cigarette Smoking Man, and the New Syndicate, in the mind-blowing conclusion of  the Pilgrims story arc in The X-Files: Season 10 #15.

And Dark Horse Comics drops the curtain on a decades-long period of  award-winning Star Wars storytelling, with Star Wars #20. Next stop: Marvel.

Written by Jason Aaron Art by Mike Deodato Jr. MARVEL

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
MARVEL

It is on! The penultimate issue of Original Sin finally hits its action-packed stride, as Captain America rallies the Avengers to take on Nick Fury. In space! Colonel Fury has been a bad little monkey with all of his secrets and manipulation and the heroes are fed up.  And while you, the reader, know what Fury’s been up to, our heroes are still largely left in the dark.

The elderly Fury still has some fight in him and, as a matter of fact, one hero will be majorly affected by the battle. We get some flashbacks to the moment the Watcher was killed. But we still don’t get all of the answers, and there’s a still a lot left to be revealed in next month’s final issue. It leaves you wondering what else writer Jason Aaron is going to throw at us. And Mike Deodato’s art is amazing. Jason Aaron gives him a lot to work on.

However, as much as I enjoyed it, we still only have one more issue to cram in all of the answers we’re still missing, as well as wrapping up a monster fight, because we’ve still got Gamora, Moon Knight, Rocket Raccoon, the Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, the Punisher, and Doctor Strange on the sidelines wondering what the heck’s going on, and not even in the fight. There’s just a lot to cover in one issue.

So if you’re keen on superhero vs. superhero combat, this will make you happy. I’m a Nick Fury fan, and I’m left waiting to see how all of this plays out. A great issue with Aaron and Deodato rocking the heck out of it.

 

Written by Dan Slott Pencils by Humberto Ramos Colors by Edgar Delgado MARVEL

Written by Dan Slott
Pencils by Humberto Ramos
Colors by Edgar Delgado
MARVEL

Amazing Spider-Man #5 has Black Cat and Electro continuing their plans for revenge against Spidey, and more of the heated relationship between Spider-Man and Silk. Peter may be back in control of his body, but that’s about it, as writer Dan Slott puts everything in a spiraling, chaotic mess. Black Cat was apprehended by Otto Octavius while in Peter’s body, and she is focused on revenge, almost psychotically. She’s lost everything as a result, and she’s teaming up with Electro for some payback, despite Peter’s pleading and explaining the situation.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s Silk. Cindy Moon was bitten by the same spider Peter was, and she is stronger, faster, and better than the original. Cindy has been locked away to keep her safe from Spider-eating, super-scary bad dude Morlun. But now that she’s free, Morlun is locked in on her, and he’s coming. And the last time Spider-Man fought him, he barely managed to walk away with his life. Slott’s laying the ground for the upcoming Spider-Verse event.

Humberto Ramos’ art is always fun to look at. He always manages to capture the fun that comes with the Spider-Man mythos. Lots of scenes lit up in orange and blue, as Eel and Electro are both present, colored by Edgar Delgado. Beautiful pages to stare and drool at. And there’s a big cliffhanger at the end of this one, but we can only assume and hope Peter gets out of it.

I don’t like Black Cat’s sudden and extreme transformation into crazed, vengeful, murderous criminal. Granted, she’s been humiliated, she’s broke, no longer taken seriously, and she is ticked-off. But Cat and Spidey have years of history. They’ve been intimate. And when you consider the Avengers just shrugging it off when Peter dropped the truth on them … I don’t know. maybe it’s just the idea of a woman scorned.

Overall, a good, fun issue. And that cliffhanger will have me snatching up the next issue.

And that is it for Four-Color Bullet this week. Email and comments are welcome if you want to talk comics.  And I dig talking about comics.

Before I forget, do you like swag? Krypton Radio sure does. Your favorite sci-fi/fantasy radio station sent its Nerd News-hounds to San Diego Comic-Con and they left no table unturned in their gathering of swag. Stuffing it in purses and backpacks and rucksacks and plastic bags and pockets …  Well, now there’s just too much darn swag. It’s everywhere. The station manager won’t let us blow it out the airlock because we’ll “litter space,” (*eye roll*) so we’re doing the next best thing. We’re giving it away! Go to the contest page and see what’s up for grabs! Then enter to win!

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!

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Jul 242014
 

fourColorBullet1

Welcome to the regularly scheduled edition of Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column sponsored by LuthorCorp. Yesterday, I featured a special Batman Day edition highlighting my Top 10 Batman stories. Check it out  if you haven’t seen it, yet. I forgive you. It was a pretty important day, after all. But let’s get to the business at hand.

This week from Marvel, The X-Men’s Storm flies solo in the first issue of her new book, titled Storm; Peter Parker discovers that he wasn’t the only one bitten by that radioactive spider, in Amazing Spider-Man #4, an Original Sin tie-in;  and Preston discovers something from Deadpool’s past that needs to be dealt with, but he and Dazzler are neck deep in vampires, in Deadpool #32, an Original Sin tie-in.

Over at DC, Zero Year, the New 52 retelling of Batman’s origin, comes to a powerful end, with Batman taking on Riddler, in Batman #33; Take a further glimpse into the possible grim future of the DCU, in Futures’ End #12; and the House of Mystery is heading into the Void of Non-Being, while a team member is possessed, in Justice League Dark #33.

And IDW rounds out the bullets with Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #2, as Kirk, Spock, and Yeoman Rand return to the Enterprise after their first encounter with the Guardians, only to find a darker timestream awaiting them.

Written by Mark Waid Art by Javier Rodriguez Cover Art by Chris Samnee

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Javier Rodriguez
Cover Art by Chris Samnee

In Original Sin, a group of heroes was subjected to a blast from one of the Watcher’s stolen eyes. The blast imparted many of the Watcher’s secrets into the minds of those in the blast radius. One of those heroes was Daredevil. Daredevil’s entire crime-fighting career was predicated on the hero-worship of his father, Jack Murdock, a boxer, a good man until his death. But in this tie-in, Daredevil makes the shocking discovery that his father wasn’t the saint he thought he was.

This was another great issue from writer Mark Waid, who is joined by Javier Rodriguez on pencils (and inks and colors) instead of Chris Samnee, delivers a story about what happens when our heroes turn out to not be as heroic as we think they are. And when DD tries to contact his mother for answers, he discovers she and some other nuns have been arrested and are being extradited to Wakanda as part of a bizarre conspiracy. Chris Samnee stepped off the penciling duties for this issue but Rodriguez’ clean art looked great depicting Waid’s words. And it’s nice to revisit Matt’s mother, who happens to be in quite a bit of trouble. And we get a glimpse of what Jack Murdock’s sins were, and Rodriguez’ art shows us some pretty obvious spousal abuse. This one will be continued next issue with some obvious emotional baggage that may resonate in Matt’s life for years to come.

 

 

Written by Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, and Scott Snyder Art by Bob Kane, Bryan Hitch, and Sean Murphy, and Chip Kidd

Written by Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, and Scott Snyder
Art by Bob Kane, Bryan Hitch, and Sean Murphy, and Chip Kidd

This year marks Batman’s 75th anniversary and DC Comics designated yesterday Batman Day. Many comic shops across the globe gave out Bat-swag, including a free issue of a new 75th Anniversary issue of Detective Comics #27. You get four stories in this free book, including a reprint of the original story from the 1939 Detective Comics that featured the first appearance of Batman in a story called The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane. In addition to this, thriller novelist and sometime comic-book scribe Brad Meltzer wrote a modern-day telling of that same story, that was penciled by Bryan Hitch. This alone was enough to snag the book in my opinion. You get to see the original story and compare it to Meltzer’s retelling and with Hitch’s gorgeous artwork that comics fans have seen in stuff like The Ultimates and Civil War. And it’s fun to compare the two, seeing how Kane and Finger’s creation has evolved over time. A real treat for fans of comic book history.We get all of that history, plus Scott Snyder  provides a future tale of Batman. And Meltzer teams up with Chip Kidd for a sneak peek of their take on Kane and Finger’s original story.

Did I mention it’s free? If you didn’t do it yesterday, go to your local comic shop and see if they have any left. It’s worth it.

And one more special thing about this issue: it features the first and only time Bill Finger has ever been credited on any cover of a comic featuring the character he helped create. Bob Kane, whose name we see plastered all over anything Batman, came up with the concept, but Batman’s modern appearance, from the cowl to the boots, was all Bill Finger. Many older fans know this, and many don’t. And there are many younger fans who know nothing about Bill Finger. And I’ve been more than vocal in other venues on my thoughts of Bill Finger getting shafted, so I won’t mention them here. But it is a crime to the industry, and a slap in the face to the man who more than helped Bob Kane bring this beloved pop culture icon to life, to have ignored his contributions for 75 years.  Bless DC Comics for putting his name on the cover where it belongs. I know for a fact that there was a collective cheer that went out when fans saw it. I was one of them.

And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Email and comments are always welcome. Be sure and check out Krypton Radio’s coverage of San Diego Comic-Con this week. We have geek boots on the ground on location, as well as live broadcasts. Tune in from your mobile device while you’re waiting in line! So if you’re in the area, find one of our roving Nerd Newshounds and say ‘hi.” Maybe they’ll put you on the air. And then you can brag that you hung out with the best, fastest-growing Internet radio station in the multiverse. And then your friends will get jealous because they don’t rock like you do. Totally worth it.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!

Jul 162014
 

Rocket Raccoonby Nur Hussein, staff writer

The comic book movie trailer is a special kind of beast; it needs to introduce weird characters to a general audience in a way that gets them excited about it, and at the same time it can’t reveal too much about the story. A good trailer hooks us, creates buzz and ultimately makes us want to go see the movie. Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable comic book movie trailers over the years, and why they are so very effective in their presentation.

X-Men (2000)

We start with the film trailer to Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie in 2000. While Blade (1998) was the first moderately successful film to star a Marvel property, it was X-Men that got the positive reviews from critics and it is arguably the first film in the 2000s that spearheaded an era of superhero and comic book films.

The producers of the first X-Men had their work cut out for them when they created the trailer; they had to communicate the premise of the movie and introduce an eclectic mix of characters to audiences that weren’t necessarily familiar with the premise. Plus, there weren’t really any ensemble comic book hero movies yet.

With this trailer, they went the direct route: simply name them all in an action montage of each. It was simple, and it worked. Audiences unfamiliar with the characters got to see them all, and the geeks got to hop up and down as each mutant got his or her name called. The concept could have gone very badly, but this trailer is stylish enough that it’s not (too) cheesy and childish. Viewing it now it looks a bit dated and silly, but at the time it was very effective.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Say what you like about sequels, but some of the best superhero and comic book movies are seconds, even better movies than their firsts. Getting people excited about Part 2 of a movie franchise is in some ways easier than a brand new property: you don’t have to introduce many characters since we can assume the audience is familiar with them from the first part. But you have to give viewers a reason to come back from more.

In this particular teaser trailer for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, we see Peter and Mary Jane sharing a “will they/won’t they” moment before an entire car just smashes into the restaurant! Then Doctor Octopus makes a brilliant entrance! No “in a world where …” voiceover, no text snippets explaining the situation, just a short clip and a bang. Then the usual action montage starts, but I like how we’re thrown into the action from a quiet character-based moment.

The Dark Knight (2008)

This teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is textbook perfection for teaser trailers. Honestly, it was the only trailer they ever needed, (though they did release a full trailer, which was also pretty good). When I first saw it, it gave me chills. It is just a simple animation: the Batman logo slowly disintegrating with the voice-overs from Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and the Joker. It cleverly introduces the situation and the key players without showing a single scene. Batman is about to face a terrifying villain, and the maniacal laugh with the brief glimpse of the Joker card at the end just seals the deal. To this day “some men just want to watch the world burn” remains one of the most memorable movie quotes of all time.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

We saw this one pretty recently, the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. As a relatively obscure Marvel property, the filmmakers had to make a trailer that was both exciting and introduced all the oddball characters. Like the X-Men trailer, we are given a character roll-call, but in a more subtle way. It is framed in a scene where the protagonists are described in a prison line-up, one by one, by a Nova Corps (Marvel’s space police) officer.

One of the more memorable aspects of this trailer is the use of Blue Suede’s song, “Hooked on a Feeling.” Instead of the usual generic dramatic music, we got an old pop song, subverting our expectations. Then, said pop song was remixed to work in a dramatic, exciting way (the corny “ooga chaka” chant got turned into the montage music), subverting it twice. The trailer is humorous and creative, and it gives us good vibes for the movie (which Marvel is promoting like crazy). It remains to be seen whether the film will be any good, but the trailer was one super effective introduction to the movie.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and additions! Sound off in comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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Jul 102014
 

fourColorBullet1Welcome to  the Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column dedicated to those of us who wanted to be Superman, and have the x-rays to show for it. Let’s get to the Bullets.

Over on DC’s side of the multiversal boundary, Dick Grayson has traded in the Nightwing togs and Bat-tech for spy-tech, as he begins his new career as an agent of  Spyral, in Grayson #1; Joker’s Daughter, Deathstroke, and Black Manta join the Suicide Squad, as DC starts the series over again, in New Suicide Squad #1; and Knightfall’s deadline for all criminals to leave Gotham or be killed on sight is fast approaching. But Batgirl is not without a plan, in Batgirl #33.

Meanwhile, in the Marvel Universe, it’s Deadpool and Dazzler vs. Dracula, with all of the fallout from Original Sin, in Deadpool #31; Jim Hammond, the Original Human Torch, reveals a dark secret from the Invaders’ past in the Original Sin tie-in of All-New Invaders #7, and Spider-Man’s biggest fan becomes his first super-villain, in a telling of a story of the days after Peter Parker became Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1.3

From IDW this week, Q plagues the crew of the new Star Trek films in an adventure that will send Kirk and the Enterprise colliding with pieces of  Star Trek lore, beginning with the crew of a certain space station, in part one of The Q Gambit in Star Trek: Ongoing #35; Black Dynamite goes to the aid of some Shaolin monks in Tibet, where he discovers a Red Chinese/neo-Nazi conspiracy to create deadly kung-fu fighting Man-Beasts, in Black Dynamite #3.

And Dark Horse Comics brings us the next-to-last Star Wars tale before the whole shebang moves to Marvel, as Han, Luke, and Leia are together again on a mission for the Alliance, but IG-88 might be in the way, in Star Wars #19.

Written by Peter David Penciled by Will Sliney MARVEL

Written by Peter David
Penciled by Will Sliney
MARVEL

Back in the 90s, when gimmick covers were all the rage, with their die-cuts and holograms and foil, all poly-bagged for extra protection; when parents thought they could get an issue of Superman #75, lock it in a safe, and send their kids to college on what it would sell for;  when comic-shop owners over-ordered X-Force #1 and we all bought 10 copies to help out;  when baseball card companies were getting into the comics craze, and going bankrupt as a result, Marvel released a series of books that all took place in the year 2099.  They spotlighted the return of a “Heroic Age” as new heroes would emerge to take up the mantles of heroes long dead and forgotten. Among these new heroes were the Punisher, the X-Men, Spider-Man, a dude named Ravage, the original Fantastic Four after a temporal accident, Ghost Rider, Hulk, and even Doctor Doom. And all of them had “2099” tacked on their titles. The most successful of these would be Spider-Man 2099 and would run 46 issues before being cancelled, a mere two issues after series writer Peter David left over an editorial dispute. The series starred Miguel O’Hara, a geneticist working for the villainous mega-corporation Alchemax in Nueva York in the year 2099.

In a nutshell, O’Hara has an accident that results in half of his DNA being re-written with spider DNA, giving him spider-like powers. He can climb walls with the use of tiny retractable talons on his hands and feet, shoot webbing via organic web-shooters in his forearms, and heightened speed and strength. The accident also turned O’Hara’s irises red, giving him a sensitivity to sunlight and forcing him to wear sunglasses. He also received a set of fangs, forcing him to alter his manner of speech to keep from revealing them, and as a result, he’s often accused of mumbling. As Spider-Man, Miguel’s foe was largely Alchemax and its corporate evil. Recently, however, in the pages of Superior Spider-Man, Alchemax sent Miguel back in time to 2014 to be rid of him. Now Miguel is stuck in the past, and trying to keep New York’s newest corporation, Alchemax, who he works for yet again, from becoming the evil entity it will become in the future.

Peter David returns to the series that was an instant fan-favorite back in the day, and Mr. David hasn’t missed a step. David’s sardonic wit and humor, and goofy asides fly in the first issue of Spidey 2099’s return to comics. O’Hara is just as charming and sarcastic and even heroic as he was before, only this time, in addition to his own burgeoning supporting cast, he also has Peter Parker’s cast to play off of. For example, Liz Allan, longtime Peter Parker foil, is part of Alchemax’s corporate management and is going to provide Miguel with no end of difficulty, starting with discovering who he is after a fight with a new, throwaway villain lands Spidey 2099 in her office.

But there is one thing that bugs me, and here it is:

complete with possible spoilers

Miguel’s new foe comes from a future organization called T.O.T.E.M. (Temporal Oversight Team Eliminating Mistakes), who has come to the past from a further future to erase Miguel’s existence. I won’t tell you why. But to stop the villain, Miguel kills him. Kills him. And to me, it just kind of put the screeching brakes on the story. Now, I know that Miguel isn’t Peter Parker, and Miguel has killed in the past when necessary. But, I don’t know. This issue would have perfect if not for that drag-the-needle-across-the-record moment.

Spoilers over

Written by Mark Waid Penciled by Chris Samnee MARVEL

Written by Mark Waid
Penciled by Chris Samnee
MARVEL

But while there’s no Rick Leonardi penciling in this new series, readers are graced with Will Sliney’s beautiful rendering of our temporally misplaced hero. The action is fast paced and is as good of a first issue launch as I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see where Peter David takes it. A fantastic and fun book that will give readers a sense of home, especially for those of us old-timers who loved the original.

After Daredevil’s move to San Francisco, Matt felt it was necessary to fake Foggy’s death to keep him safe, and, with his suffering from cancer, wouldn’t be a hard lie to sell. This issue is light on action, but focuses on the story of the details of Foggy’s “death”. I loved Matt’s unique solution to combating Foggy’s cancer, combating, not curing. Writer Mark Waid simply writes a poignant tale of two longtime friends and the efforts of one to give the other a place in the world. Really not much to say about this one, except it was enjoyable, and one more great addition to a great series.

And that is the Four-Color Bullet for this week. As always, feel free to leave comments below or shoot me an e-mail. Thanks to the many readers and listeners of Krypton Radio. Your loyalty and, dare I say, ability to recognize greatness, is deeply appreciated.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you next week!

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