Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marvel History 223: Sgt. Fury # 15

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 15
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date:  February  1965
Brief Summary:

Sgt Fury 15


Commentary:

Yep, this comic is still happening.  Fury is awesome, but everything else is, well, the same.  The typed German accents are sleazy, the Commandos are one note characters, and the war is the war.

In case you couldn't tell, this is not my favorite marvel comic.

This issue does tell the story of a young boy who can never learn the truth that his father is actually a patriot, even though it's assumed he's a traitor.  So that's alright, I guess.  But these war comics are tough to get through, I must admit.  A happy new year to all.


Favorite Panel:

No, not Weapon X, Agent X!

Next: Strange Tales # 129

Friday, December 30, 2011

Marvel History 222: Journey into Mystery # 113

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 113
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: February 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_113


Commentary:

This story basically opens up with Stan Lee explaining that Jack Kirby wanted to draw some epic Norse ass kicking, and Stan granted the request.  Whether that's the truth behind the early pages of this story and their lack of relevance towards the rest of the tale is unknown, but it does provide a few cool action shots by Mr. Kirby.

Meanwhile, Thor and Odin are still fighting about Thor's love of Jane Foster.  This would start to seem boring, except Thor actually comes clean and reveals his true identity to Jane!   Except that Odin steals his power and he can't become Thor until he really needs to and then Jane's not there and so Thor decides he doesn't really want to tell her the truth and so the status quo remains.  Yeeseeh.  Oh, and the Grey Gargoyle returns.

We see some of Loki's boyhood in the backup story.  Hint: He was kind of a brat.



Favorite Panel:
Thor takes on the Grey Gargoyle


Next: Sgt. Fury # 15

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marvel History 221: Fantastic Four # 35

Issue: Fantastic Four # 35
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date:  February  1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_35


Commentary:

Dragon Man, despite his rather lame name, is a staple in the Fan 4's rogues gallery, and he makes his first appearance here.
So, Dragon Man is a lifeless husk that the villain Diablo breathes life into, which of course raises the question of what, exactly, he is.  Stan seems to make a strong point of Dragon Man not being a robot, but what this seems to imply is that Diablo has the power of giving life.  This is quite the heady topic for a Stan Lee issue of Fan 4.

This story takes place at Reed and Ben's alma mater, State University.  Reed and Ben, of course, were former roommates.  A rather unlikely pair, I'd say.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Professor Xavier and Cyclops make a brief cameo, testing for mutants at State University
  • Peter Parker puts in an appearance too!  He's considering enrollment
  • Stan Lee uses the term B.M.O.C. (Big Man On Campus)
  • Reed has heard of Xavier, and is curious why he's never seen any of his scientific findings
  • The villain Diablo returns

Favorite Panel:

Reed lends a hand to his old college chum.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 113

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marvel History 220: Daredevil # 6

Issue: Daredevil # 6
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Wallace Wood
Publication Date:  February 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Daredevil_6


Commentary:

...Aaaaaaand we're back from the holiday break.

This issue, Daredevil takes on the second most famous fellowship of all-time, The Fellowship of Fear!!  Yes, the second most famous fellowship is well behind the first in popularity.  And, hey, it might not even be the second most famous.  Anyone who can think of another fellowship, let me know.

But anyways, this is the first appearance of Mr. Fear, who will remain a prominent villain in the MU for a long time.  This differs from the Enforcers, who are kind of...the worst.

Favorite Panel:

Mr. Fear used to run a wax museum, but don't worry, because that has nothing to do with the rest of his story.  I guess I shouldn't be too harsh, as the wax museum setting does give the artist a chance to draw plenty of Marvel characters, albeit stiff ones.

Next: Fantastic Four # 35

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Marvel History 219: Avengers # 13

Issue: Avengers # 13
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date:  February  1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_13


Commentary:

Count Nefaria makes his villainous debut, and he is a bit of a unique bad guy, as he believes the way to strike his foes is not through violence, but rather attacks on their reputation.

So, it's the Avengers against the US government this issue, and that's a welcome change of pace from the Avengers fighting other super heroes.  The public is afraid of heroes after the Avengers are impersonated doing evil things.  It's crazy how many of these stories foreshadow the Marvel crossover Civil War, and it's surprising that no one wrote something like Civil War earlier in the Marvel continuity.


Favorite Panel:

The issue ends on a sudden cliffhanger, as Wasp has been shot!!

Next: Daredevil # 6

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marvel History 218: Amazing Spider-Man # 21

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 21
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date:  February  1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_21


Commentary:

Apparently when the baddie called The Beetle, last seen here, is set free from prison, the US government gives him back his armored costume.  He claims there's no law against having said "armored costume."  This seems like a bad call on the part of the government.  Might want to work on those laws in the coming years.

A lot of time is spent on the differences between the lifestyles of Torch and Spidey, and Peter Parker is more than a touch jealous of Torch's popularity.  So, then some other stuff happens, blah blah blah, and Torch and Spidey end up fighting each other.

Betty Brant also spends most of the issue in tears, thinking Parker has ran off with another girl (he hasn't).

Favorite Panel:

Marvel super villain The Beetle, or Hunter Thompson?  You decide!

Favorite Quote: "I couldn't win a popularity contest even if I was the only one entered!" - Spider-Man

Next: Avengers # 13

Monday, December 19, 2011

Marvel History 217: X-Men # 9

Issue: X-Men # 9
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Uncanny_X-Men_9


Commentary:

The X-Men are off on a field trip to Europe to reunite with Professor X, who is in pursuit of a foe called Lucifer.  The Avengers are after the same man.  I think you can predict what happens next.

If your answer was a miscommunication leads to heroes fighting heroes, well, you would have been correct.

The team stops Lucifer, spoiling his diabolical scheme to more or less destroy the world.  Good deal.  Professor X is back with the team, so I imagine we'll see Cyclops stand down next issue.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Lucifer is the person who leaves Professor X handicapped
  • Thor's hammer can detect evil emanations, whatever those may be
  • Magneto is referenced as having telepathic powers once more
  • Thor shouts "Avengers Assemble!" - In one of the earliest uses of the phrase
Favorite Panel:

Of all Professor Xavier's crazy wheelchairs, this one might be just about the craziest.

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 21

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Marvel History 216: Tales to Astonish # 63

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 63
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Carl Burgos and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_63


Commentary:

What's Giant Man up to these days?  Well, he's swinging around town, meeting up with police officers, apprehending bad guys, etc.  Wasp gets taken out of the action by a can of bug spray.  We meet the Wrecker.  It's all pretty much par for the course.

Sadly, despite having so many fewer appearances, Hulk has a much stronger supporting cast than Giant Man.  That trend continues with the introduction of the Leader, who, despite having a terrible name, is one of Hulk's arch rivals in the coming years.  They share a gamma ray connection.  Leader got smart when he was hit with gamma rays (as opposed to Hulk, who got, you know, hulking).  This story merely sets the stage for future conflicts between these two.



Favorite Panel:

Humorous caption on this one.

Favorite Quote:

"You may not be much, but you're the only Giant Man I have!" - Wasp

Next: X-Men # 9

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Marvel History 215: Tales of Suspense # 61

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 61
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:



http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_61

Commentary:

So, Tony Stark is still trapped in his Iron Man costume, and Pepper and Happy aren't too happy that they haven't seen their boss in a month.  So, they quit!

Tony has to prove to them he's still alive, while also hiding the fact that he's trapped in his Iron Man costume.  That's good for a panel or two of comedy.

Anyway, Iron Man gets captured by the Mandarin in a story that's continued in the next issue, where it is promised that we will hear his origin.

In the Captain America story, the Cap heads over to Vietnam.  Stan is in dangerous territory when he puts his heroes into this real world conflict, although it is still rather early in the time frame of the war.  We'll have to keep an eye out for whether or not Stan continues to involve Marvel in the Vietnam War as the conflict continues during this time period in the real world.

Cap then fights a sumo wrestler, so you never know where Stan's heading.



Favorite Panel:

Is it combat?  Is it a new dance move?  Sometimes it's hard to say with the Cap.

Next: Tales to Astonish # 63

Friday, December 16, 2011

Marvel History 214: Strange Tales # 128

Issue: Strange Tales # 128
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers & Steve Ditko
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_128


Commentary:

Thing and Torch cross paths for the first time with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Quicksilver suggests that the two leave Magneto's service, but Witchy reveals the reason the two began to serve him in the first place, which is that Mags protected Scarlet Witch when a mob would have killed her for "practicing witchcraft."  This is similar to how Professor X saves Nightcrawler from being killed by a mob for his looks.  How many mutants chose to follow one ideology over another simply because of mutant kind's figureheads got to them before the other?

Anyways, if you've been following along for the last couple of months or so, Stan Lee is in love with pitting his sympathetic characters against each other.  So when Quicksilver and Witchy seek out the Fan 4, wouldn't you know that the X-Men have just released pictures to the world of Magneto's "Band" of Evil Mutants.

Combat ensues.  Thing ends up in an asbestos straight jacket.  'Nuff said.

In the backup story, Dr. Strange fights a rather boring baddie who calls himself the Demon.  Kind of ho-hum.  Strange needs a supporting cast.  Bring back Clea!



Favorite Panel:

The Doctor by night.

Next: Tales of Suspense # 61

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Marvel History 213: Sgt. Fury # 14

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 14
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


Sgt. Fury 14


Commentary:

Well, I hope you all enjoyed Captain America's appearance last issue, because now it's  back to all Howling Commando all the time.

Stan spends about two panels trying to further develop the individual Commandos, and then it's once more into the fray.  Perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on Stan.  He does tie up some loose ends this issue, like letting us know what happened to a skipper who was last seen in issue 10.  I'm guessing that some of these panels are the results of readers writing in and asking these questions, so if that's the case, that's cool.

Baron Strucker returns at a special request from Hitler, who also makes an appearance.  Strucker seems to think Hitler's a nut job, but of course he follows orders.  Is this a clever and subtle reference by Stan to the Nuremberg Trials.  Probably not, but a guy can dream!  At least it's cool that Strucker is now a recurring villain, and he's got his own squad of anti-Commandos.



Favorite Panel:
The madness of Strucker


Next: Strange Tales # 128

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marvel History 212: Journey into Mystery # 112

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 112
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_112


Commentary:

This issue opens on a bunch of kids wondering who would win in a fight, Thor or Hulk.  Stan Lee, being a charitable kind of guy, decides to give the kids their answer!  Oh wait, he already kind of covered that in this old issue of Avengers.  But he did not cover it thoroughly enough!  So, this issue is a re-examination of the battle from that old tale

Of course, as the Marvel Universe continues to grow, we will encounter time and again the re-envisioning and expansion of stories told in Marvel comics past.  This is merely the beginning of a popular trend.

The backup story reveals that Loki is not truly a son of Odin, but rather is the son of one of his enemies, found after Odin has slain his father.  Well, that kind of a explains a few things, doesn't it?  Hey, you killed my dad, so...I'm going to try to ruin your life.

Favorite Panel:

Hulk and Thor have at it.  


Favorite Quote:

"For the God of Thunder does not scatter his words rashly to the wind!"  - Thor

Next: Sgt. Fury # 14

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marvel History 211: Fantastic Four # 34

Issue: Fantastic Four # 34
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_34


Commentary:

I gotta give Stan credit on this one, as he credits a more unique villain in Gideon.  He's not a mad scientist, but more of a financial powerhouse who is tasked with defeating the Fantastic Four in order to buy out his competitors.  Also, we see that Gideon has a son who clearly loves him dearly.  The issues' end is rather touching, as Gideon renounces all of his money to spend more time with his family.  For some reason, despite the fact that he tried to destroy the Fantastic Four, the team is moved enough to let Gideon go.  Not bad, Stan.

Of course, the originality stops there, as most of the issue is spent pitting the team against each other.  Superhero vs. Superhero!?!  That's crazy!



Favorite Panel:

Thing in a Beatles wig supplied by the Yancy Street Gang.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 112

Monday, December 12, 2011

Marvel History 210: Avengers # 12

Issue: Avengers # 12
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_12


Commentary:

After fighting off cosmic forces, time travelers, and former Nazis, what challenge remains for Earth's mightiest heroes as they round out their first twelve issues of adventures?

Mole Man.  Obviously.  You can pick up more of the legacy of Double M here.

Giant Man is all over Double M's evil plans, but alas, when you're getting your tips from ants, it's hard for the rest of the team to take you seriously.  But, after Giant Man is captured, the team gets it together, and puts the whooping on Mole Man and his mole people.  



Quick Thoughts:
  • Iron Man has "roller wheels" in his suit
  • Iron Man also sometimes forgets his creations.  He should have forgotten the roller skates.
  • Red Ghost teams up with Double M towards the issues' end
Favorite Panel:

Giant Man doing his best Gulliver's Travels impersonation.

Favorite Quote:

"I know he's dead serious, but I can't help feeling there's something ridiculous about having a heart-to-heart talk with some ants!" - Wasp, who shares a popular sentiment

Next: Fantastic Four # 34

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Marvel History 209: Amazing Spider-Man # 20

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 20
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: January 1965

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_20


Commentary:

It's a New Year, and Stan's not breaking stride, as he introduces another classic villain in his first issue of 1965.  Also, I should note that this issue was probably still released in 1964, due to the strange publication dates on comics.  Anyway, onward with the Scorpion.

The story opens with someone trailing Parker, as J. Jonah Jameson wants to know how Peter gets all of his amazing photos of Spider-Man.  Adds a little credibility to Jameson just accepting that this kid gets to take all sorts of pictures of Spidey.

Jameson, in his attempts to undermine Spidey, ends up causing more damage than he actually wanted when the Scorpion is set free on the world.  You'd think this would teach Jameson a lesson, but if it did, he wouldn't be Jameson.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Steve Ditko gets top billing in the credits over Stan Lee; let the debate over the importance of the writer vs. artist begin!
  • J. Jonah Jameson is responsible for the creation of the Scorpion
  • Betty Brant's boyfriend Ned Leeds leaves for Europe for six months

Favorite Panel:

Jameson looking very much like the villain.

Next: Avengers # 12

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marvel History 208: Tales to Astonish # 62

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 62
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Carl Burgos and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_62


Commentary:

This is our last issue of 1964.  We're almost there!  We'll be talking about the Clone Saga before you know it!  1964 was another big year for Marvel.  Super hero comics are really starting to dominate Marvel's publication lineup.  It's an exciting time, as many classic heroes and villains made their debut in 1964.

Giant Man doesn't end the year well; he accidentally grows a plant the size of a skyscraper, loses his costume, and has someone discover his real identity.

In Hulk's story, he absorbs the impact of an entire gamma bomb.  So Hulk is a touch more serious than Giant Man.  We also hear mention of "The Leader," with promises that we'll see more of this villain in future issues.

Quick Thoughts:

  • The Daily Bugle is referenced
  • Hank Pym has a "memory loss serum"; again, Identity Crisis comes to mind
  • The Mighty Marvel Marching Society is revealed in the letters page

Favorite Panel:

Ant City!

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 20

Friday, December 9, 2011

Marvel History 207: Tales of Suspense # 60

Issue: Tales of Suspense # 60
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Publication Date: December 1964
Brief Summary:

http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_60


Commentary:

Things aren't going so hot for Tony Stark, as he remains trapped within his Iron Man suit (not literally, just if he wants to, you know, stay alive).

Black Widow and Hawkeye return, and Black Widow continues to mislead Hawkeye into fulfilling her wishes.  Black Widow gets captured by the Ruskies while Hawkeye is off fighting Iron Man.  So, a number of things are up in the air at the end of this issue.  Iron Man still can't get out of his suit, Pepper and Happy don't trust him given Stark's sudden disappearance, Hawkeye is on the loose, and Black Widow is captured.  Now we've got some things happening.  Go Marvel.

In the backup story, Captain America handily defeats an Army of Assassins, just for fun, really.



Quick Thoughts:
  • According to Pepper, Stark keeps all his scientific formulas in his head
  • This is the only appearance of Zemo's Army of Assassins
  • Thanks to Iron Man, the muscles in Cap's arms can control the movement of his shield
Favorite Panel:
Um, I'm Captain America, so I suggest you step off.



Next: Tales to Astonish # 62

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marvel History 206: Strange Tales # 127

Issue: Strange Tales # 127
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Dick Ayers and Steve Ditko
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Strange_Tales_127


Commentary:

Johnny Storm has got an attitude, as he's frustrated with Reed Richards for, well, no real reason.  See, Reed is awesome at everything he does, and Johnny, being a "hotshot," has a hard time accepting that.  He proposes that the Fantastic Four doesn't need a leader.  After all, the Avengers don't have one, and they do alright for themselves.

After Johnny wastes his time reciting all the foes he has beaten, Reed tells him he doesn't really give a damn what Torch does.  Thing is actually the one who doesn't want to break up the FF, which is quite a turnaround from where he was in the earliest days of the team forming.

Mr. Fantastic then decides to prove that he's the best by thwarting Torch and Thing at every single turn.  Yes, this entire comic is basically a grand standing for Reed to be able to ask his teammates who their daddy is.  Reed: 1, Torch and Thing Team up: 0, Mole Man: o.


And in the backup story, Strange's first encounter with Dormammu ends with him assisting ole Dormy in holding back mindless creatures from destroying everything.  Dormy is displeased that he needed Strange's help.  After Strange returns to earth, his master explains that one day Strange will replace him.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Liquid asbestos is the new asbestos
  • Thing's Aunt Petunia gets another reference
  • Torch mentions The Perils of Pauline, which, I must admit, I had to look up to understand the reference
  • Strange gets a new cape, and it's red
Favorite Panel:

Um, I can build replacements of both of you, so shut up.  Reed out.

Next: Tales of Suspense # 60

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marvel History 205: Sgt. Fury # 13

Issue: Sgt. Fury # 13
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


Sgt_Fury_and_his_Howling_Commandos_Vol_1_13


Commentary:

Alright, finally something interesting happens in this comic.  Captain America is a savior, in more ways than one.  Fury is a little jealous of all the adoration the Cap seems to attract.  Funny how much time Fury spends upset about Captain America's costume and (super) heroics, and how the latter part of his career is spent frequently in service to heroes like Cap.  Perhaps it's because when Fury sees Cap in action, well, that's when he starts singing a different tune.

Also of note is that Fury unknowingly stands up for a young Captain America in a bar room brawl.  Kind of neat.



Favorite Panel:

Fury, Captain America, and Bucky, Marvel legends all.

Next: Strange Tales # 127

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Marvel History 204: Journey into Mystery # 111

Issue: Journey into Mystery # 111
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Journey_Into_Mystery_111


Commentary:

This issue, we learn a little of Odin's past.  It seems that he too was once in love with someone who was forbidden to him, just as Thor loves Jane Foster.  For this reason, Odin decides to help Jane Foster stay alive.  Of course, he then trusts Loki to help with that process.  Fortunately, Odin's pals don't trust Loki any further than they can kick him down the rainbow bridge, so they do their best to prevent the trickster from causing any more harm.

Baldur plays a key role in this story, as it is he who manages to deliver the medicine to Thor that saves Jane Foster's life.  Also, Mr. Hyde and Cobra have nothing.  Zip.

In the backup story, Thor fights Sigurd, son of the Earth Sprites.  Thor gives him the rock down.

Favorite Panel:

Ladies and gentlemen, Stan Lee, master of comic irony.

Next: Sgt. Fury # 13

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marvel History 203: Fantastic Four # 33

Issue: Fantastic Four # 33
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Fantastic_Four_33


Commentary:

Namor's old flame returns after last appearing in the first Fan Four annual, and she needs the Fan Four to help Namor save his kingdom from a conquering bad ass named Attila, I mean, Attuma.

Reed has developed a solution to allow the Fan Four to breathe underwater.  It also lets Torch flame on underwater.  Reed is pretty much a beast at everything.  It makes you wonder if Reed could have invented anything that Marvel's other main inventors had created if he set his mind to it.  Could he have created Henry Pym's shrinking and enlarging pills (no jokes, please)?  Could he have built Iron Man's suit?  Basically, is there a limit to Reed's brilliance?


Alas, Namor doesn't find out that the Fan Four saved his ass, and so they are destined to fight again.  I'm sure we'll see that fight within the next couple issues.


Favorite Panel:

A rare full page spread of a location.  Here, Kirby shows the depths of the ocean.  There aren't a lot of full page spreads in any early Marvel stories, let alone ones that are completely focused on landscape.  Almost makes you wonder if they realized they were one page short and had to throw in some filler.

Next: Journey into Mystery # 111

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marvel History 202: Daredevil # 5

Issue: Daredevil # 5
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Wallace Wood
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Daredevil_5


Commentary:

Daredevil runs up against the Matador, a dude who uses his red cape to rob armored vehicles (don't ask).  Daredevil's first few encounters with the villain do not end favorably.  In fact, Matt Murdock happens across two children playing as the two characters, and neither of them wants to play as Daredevil.  Not good for the ego.

However, pride cometh before the fall, as Matador then gets the bright idea to rob a burglar alarm manufacturing company, figuring himself as a robin hood figure.  Daredevil researches the Matador, discovering how the public hated him when he was a bullfighter.  So all this super villain wants is love.

Daredevil beats him up and turns him over to the authorities.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Daredevil's costume undergoes a slight redesign
  • Wallace Wood becomes the regular artist
  • Foggy is thinking about proposing to Karen Page
Favorite Panel:

Daredevil gets into a fight at a costume party.  Is that Rama Tut I see there?

Next: Fantastic Four # 33

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Marvel History 201: Avengers # 11

Issue: Avengers # 11
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Avengers_11


Commentary:

Giant Man shows a little grumpiness about having to deal with his fellow Avengers.  But then, Giant Man is always kind of a pain in this ass.

Kang monitors the Avengers from his headquarters (you know, in the year 3,000) and decides the best way to defeat them is to send a robot of Spider-Man to fight them.  There's got to be some sort of super villain training camp where they can show aspiring do-badders the moves not to make when plotting against one's enemies.  If there isn't, someone should start one.  Hey, you'd stand to make a decent amount of money.

So the Avengers fight a Spider-Man robot, and then the real Spider-Man shows up to set things straight.  The team figures out that Kang is behind all this villainy, but their next confrontation with Kang will have to wait for another issue.


Favorite Panel:

Spidey on Spidey combat!  Now I'm going to use exclamation points for all my sentences like Stan Lee!  Huzzah!

Next: Daredevil # 5

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marvel History 200(!): Amazing Spider-Man # 19

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 19
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: December 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_19


Commentary:

Stan Lee might be the only writer ever to use the exclamation point more often than the period and get away with it.  Every line of dialogue uses them!  It's crazy!

Anyways, the Enforcers return, working with Sandman.  Spider-Man frees the Human Torch from their clutches, and then the two get trapped in his webbing.  This is actually a pretty funny incident, and showcases the inexperience of these two heroes.  It's the kind of stuff you won't see these characters screwing up twenty years down the line.

There's also a shadowed figure plotting against Spidey at issue's end, adding further intrigue as to what's to come in the next issue.  Again, as the Marvel stories have gained popularity, it seems that Stan has continued to build a more cohesive and continuous narrative.



Quick Thoughts:
  • The Spider Signal is still seeing action
  • Mary Jane's mom gets a reference
  • Betty Brant has a new boyfriend, Ned Leeds
Favorite Panel:

Favorite Quote: "If anyone asks what happened to you guys, be sure to spell my name right!  There's a hyphen in it, remember!"  - Spider-Man (note the hyphen)

Next: Avengers # 11

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marvel History 199: X-Men # 8

Issue: X-Men # 8
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: November 1964

Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Uncanny_X-Men_8


Commentary:

Cyclops is really getting into taking over for Xavier; here we see him walking around in a suit and instructing the rest of the team in their (post graduate) training.

Beast quits the team at one point, but then returns shortly thereafter to help build a device that will stop the X-Men's new foe, Unus the Untouchable.  We also get a cameo from Mastermind, as Unus is trying to join Magneto's brotherhood.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Iceman continues to look more like his present day self and less like a snowman.
  • Jean and Scott's feelings for each other are revealed via thought bubble
  • Anti mutant sentiment is starting to surface
  • Professor Xavier is off trying to track down "Lucifer"

Favorite Panel:

Iceman tries to form a prison around Unus the Untouchable.

Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 19