Spidey's Night at the Museum!
I can't hold off any longer! Spidey is my favorite superhero but, I didn't want him to be the first I'd write about. I also kind of figured that every Spider-Man book has probably been reviewed by lots of people a lot more educated in writing, history, art, ... grammar ... and common sense than me.
Regardless! I want to share my love of Marvel comics with people, and if no one will listen, I'll at least share it with the abyss that is "the internet"!
Spider-Man # 165 and #166 are very special to me. They have a lot of nostalgia attached to them as I got them when I was young. I got #165 first and I remember very specific events about it. I don't remember exactly how old I was but I think I was in 4th or 5th grade.
I was excited on this particular Saturday as I was able to ride the train to Ridgewood with my brother Jeff. This ment I would be coming back with baseball cards and comic books probably full from hoagies and iced cream.
I thought the Dinosaur man looked cool and it happened to be a cheap back issue. After I bought it, I remember my brother saying that it looked dumb. What?!
Dude. You're the one who got me hooked on Spider-Man comics, and they are all AWESOME! How dare you! I couldn't believe my bro would say something like that.
That evening, I remember reading it and thinking to myself, "That may have been the best comic book I have ever read."
I think I was trying to make it really good because I knew my brother was WRONG!
I recently read it and once again, I absolutely LOVED it.
Spidey met Nick Fury in MTU #13
The cover is okay. The word bubbles are sweet! Stegron is swatting Spidey into the mouth of glowing Dinosaur bones. A glowy Triceratops thing lies in wait. Len Wein wrote it, and the underrated Ross Andru drew it.
The issue begins with Spidey crashing through a sky light. His spider-sense was tingling. Out of curiosity ol' webhead decided to see what was going on.
The room is thrashed! Agents dressed in orange are strewn about. A foot comes out of the darkness and clobbers the unsuspecting Spider-man in the gut. Spidey gets up quick and makes chase. He runs into two more agents and our first editor's note!
Spidey realizes that this is a secret SHIELD lab and disarms Nick Fury's men. He then refers us to Marvel Team-Up #13 and lets the agents know he is a good guy and friends with Fury.
The mystery thief gets away but something about the hissing voice is very familiar. Spidey says that it sounds like a sinister TALLULAH BANKHEAD. (Haha! Good one Pete.)
Whoa! All it needs is a Pum!
Elsewhere, Curt Connors is chilling at his Apartment/Laboratory. His wife, and son Billy, come home and it's a nice family moment. They have presents! They are all cheerful as it's Christmas time!
Suddenly, Curt falls to the floor. He's having an attack of some sort. As his wife consoles him there is a KNOCK KNOCK at the door. Not now! UGH, this is not the time.
Martha asks Billy to get the door and to tell the visitor to come back later. THROOM!
It's a large orange DINOSAUR-MAN! He grabs Billy, scolds Mom for her bad manners, and gives Curt a "SPAK", knocking him across the room.
With Billy wrapped up tightly, Stegron gives Dr. Connors an ultimatum. Create the device with the instructions given, or get your son back ... bone by bone. Connors succumbs and says he will do as he must within the 48hr time limit.
Spidey changes back to civilian mode and quickly bumps into Flash Thompson. Flash and MJ have a date. What?! Peter is infuriated and gets quite bold. He tells Flash to back off. MJ is HIS girl and if he doesn't like that, there will be trouble.
Flash tells him that MJ is the one who asked him out, and that he'd never do that to Pete. Oooops. Pete feels dumb and does his best to save face by shaking Flash's hand. (That nine panel interaction between Pete and Flash was really nice and one of the stand out moments of the comic.)
Should have worn warmer coats in my opinion
Again our scene shifts. We see the familiar face of J. Jonah Jameson and a not so familiar face of a lady named Dr. Madison. She is measuring JJJ's head with a psycho-cybernetic helmet. Seems they are concocting a plan to defeat Spider-Man!
Following that little get together, we are given the finest part of the comic. MJ and Peter Parker are discussing their relationship and it's very well done. I congratulate Len Wein for adding great dialogue to an action/adventure comic book. As a kid you want the fun stuff, but moments like these really shine.
Credit also goes to Ross Andru. Look how MJ gets the hair out of her face. The wind in New York is strong this evening and Andru captures the realistic moment well.
Pete is giving MJ a hard time for playing games. MJ didn't quite know what she was doing and her immaturity in relationships is revealed. They talk all the way, past the Museum of Natural History, and arrive at their destination, the Hayden Planetarium.
(I went there when I was in high scool and saw the Pink Floyd laser light show. The laser shows are neat. Trippy, and scary, and fun!)
During the show MJ and Pete are "Shushhhed" as they continue to work things out. Oh no! There's a BLACKOUT!
What's happened? Pete tells MJ he's going to step out and see. A perfect excuse to change into ... SPIDER-MAN!
Spidey makes Stegron look silly
Back at the Connors' household, husband consoles wife until THE LIZARD begins to appear. Curt Connors' body starts to become reptilian so he quickly tells her he has work to do and leaves the room.
Stegron begins to reanimate the dinosaur skeletons. Apparently his life long dream is to hang out with dinosaurs and conquer the world and he's real close to doing that.
Spidey's change into Spider-Man is actually quite cumbersome. He is taking his shoe off. Clothes are everywhere. He still has pants on over his suit and his mask isn't on yet! Four panels later and he finally is able to get a move on.
While out and about Spidey is shocked to see a set of Brontosaurus bones walking down the steps. With three other boney dinosaurs behind the large leader, Spidey gets out of the way.
Turns out they were not interested in him. Looks like their just going to ... WAIT! Spider-sense! Spider-Man dodges the first attack and immediately knows why that voice sounded familiar. It's STEGRON!
Spidey makes Stegron look silly
Spider-Man then makes Stegron look like a total fool. Over the course of four fun panels Spidey throws blows and dodges tails, while not suffering a scratch.
What is really nice about this page is that even though the panels are separated, the fight scene is fluid do to the technique of breaking borders.
One of my favorite things is when characters limbs extend beyond the constraining border. In many circumstances, it is much more subtle than it is here on page 26. I love it when artists do it whether it's obvious or not. It adds life and fluidity to the storytelling.
I know Spidey is nimble and a good fighter but, his manhandling of Stegron all makes sense now. An editor's note at the bottom of the page tells us that they got tangled up once before in MARVEL TEAM-UP #20.
Spider-Man fought Steggy in MTU #19-20
While continuing to kick Stegron's butt, Spider-Man asks him how he escaped his drowning in MTU #20. And, while fighting, the Dinosaur Man tells him. He lowered his metabolism and drifted to shore.
Suddenly, Stegron drops his dinosaur bone controlling device and Peter Parker gets sloppy. He lunges for the machine, giving Steggy time to smack a pillar with his tail causing debris to cave in on Spidey.
Stegron grabs his device and runs away while Parker is left wondering how he'll find him again.
Cool! Check out how the Lizard's brow and right foot break the borders. Subtle.
Oh no! His fears came true. He could not stave off his reptile form and once again, Curt Connors becomes THE LIZARD.
The Lizard knows Stegron is the one who wronged him and flat out is ready to DESTROY him. Great final semi-splash by Ross Andru.
(Soak in the image and then hurry down to see how it ends!)
Back cover to ASM #165. Even the toy Sky Cycle can't make it over the Grand Canyon
Nice back view of Spidey's costume.
Ross Andru is up there with Romita and Ditko in my book!
What a great way to start a comic. Spider-Man swinging on his webs. So cool!
Parker has no leads. Since Vincent Stegron used to be Curt Connors lab assistant, then maybe he might provide some answers. Spidey approaches the New York City dwelling and is rapidly attacked by THE LIZARD. Spider-man is careful not to hurt him as he knows Curt Connors and the Lizard are one.
Before jumping down the sewer, the Lizard gives Spidey a warning. Stay out of my way. I don't want to hurt you, but I will if you interfere!
Spider-Man checks in on Martha and gets the scoop on what's going down. Billy got captured, and Dr. Connors was given 48 hrs to make a device. Spidey cleans up a bit and stands the Christmas tree back up. He tells her everything is going to be fine.
The scene goes away from Spidey and the reptiles for a bit. First, we see JJJ and Dr. Madison again. He can't believe she made him extinguish a cuban cigar. He cheers up when she shows him a SPIDER SLAYER!
Elsewhere, MJ is at the bachelor pad of Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn. Spider-Man calls in the guise of Peter and tells MJ it is going to be a bit longer until he can make it.
And, we see another reason why these issues are not dumb. There is somewhat of a MARVEL MILESTONE as Harry Osborn announces he has asked LIZ ALLEN to marry him. She said, "YES"! Woohoo!
Lizard turns down Stegron's Team-Up proposal.
In an abandoned storage vault, Stegron takes his experiment to the next level. After taunting Billy, he adds flesh to the dinosaur skeletons with his RETRO-GENERATION RAY. Stegron then reveals that the plans he gave to Curt Connors are for a formula that will allow the user to clone and create an army of dinosaurs.
Unfortunately, for Steggy, it's not Connors that showed up. It's the Lizard and he's real mad about Billy being snatched up. Let the REPTILIAN WAR begin!
During the fight, borders are broke in every panel. The brawl is evenly matched. Stegron says that maybe they should become a team.
As the skin adding process ends, the dinosaurs lumber towards Billy. Before he is crushed, the Lizard saves him. The four dinosaurs go outside and roam the streets of New York City. Spidey sees them and saves a woman. After he sees the police helping, Spider-Man checks out the place where the dinosaurs came from.
Stegron and the Lizard are surprised to see him. Spidey simultaneously smacks them both. The Lizard strikes back first. Spider-Man shoots so much web fluid into it's mouth, that it causes the Lizard to pass out.
Stegron gets in a cheap shot from behind and runs off with Billy. Spider-Man helps the now transformed Dr. Connors to his feet and then tries to fulfill his promise to Martha.
Outside the scene is horrific! Stegron rides on the back of a mighty T-Rex with Billy as his hostage. Police stand with guns afraid to hit the innocent child. Spider-Man comes swinging in and easily knocks Steggy of his mount while grabbing ahold of Billy.
A daring move, but now Spider-Man and Billy are surrounded by the giant beasts. For some reason, they stop. They revert back to bone and KRASH!
What happened? Curt Connors was able to reverse the RETRO-GENERATOR.
Would have been sweet if he gave the thumbs up like in T2. No wait. That'd be dumb.
Now, where did Stegron get off to? He's not getting away that easy! Spider-Man takes off looking for the one who caused all this havoc. It's snowing and Stegron is cowering underneath a bridge.
Spidey is close and Stegron hides. Spider-Man walks right past him without noticing. Stegron then throws a rock and Spidey falls for it! A perfect distraction. But, Stegron may have been better off getting caught. He slips and falls into the freezing water with a SPLASH!
The last we see of Vincent Stegron is his orange dino claw reaching out of the water for anything that may keep him from going under. By the time Spidey investigates, the area of water that Stegron fell into has become ice.
On his way home Spider-Man observes the Connors family from outside their window. He leaves a nicely wrapped gift hanging from a web in plain sight.
The comic ends with Spider-Man swinging over Rockafeller Center yelling, "MERRY CHRISTMAS NEW YORK-- YOU GREAT BIG SHINY APPLE YOU! And, God BLESS us every one!"
Back Cover to ASM #166
See big brother! Those issues were awesome. Kind of ...
*I forgot Flash and Harry shared a pad for a bit.
*With a name like Vincent Stegron, did he even have a chance NOT to be a mediocre villain?
*Do any hardcore Spider-Man maniacs know if they ever showed what was in the gift left for the Connors' family?)
With the X-Men stuck in the land of reprints until 1975, Magneto needs to find new heroes to toy with. He goes after a different "Uncanny" group this time. THE INHUMANS!
Our cover depicts the master of magnetism leading a gruesome army. He is directing them towards foes in wait, a level below. Black Bolt is bound and gagged but his loyal followers and devoted wife plan to defend. Medusa has a strand of her hair coiled about the arm of an unaware Magneto.
Gerry Conway scripts this 'Amazing Adventure'. The art for issue #9 is provided by Mike Sekowsky and Bill Everett. The interior also credits this as the first FULL LENGTH Inhumans story.
We open the comic to find our heroes in dire circumstance. Huddled into a small space, three of the Inhumans are hiding: Karnak, Gorgon, and Medusa..
Gorgon begins to complain but is quickly halted when he notices three hovering lights in the distance. He tells his friends to 'LOOK'! Karnak, doesn't bother to look as he is depressed. The fact that they are still in San Francisco is a bitter reminder of their failure. What failure you ask? Black Bolt, their king, is missing! They need to find him so they can return to their land and defeat MAD MAXIMUS.........
Medusa immediately reveals herself as the den mother as she keeps peace among them. Gorgon insists Karnak have a look at the sky. Karnak instantly recognizes the lights. It's the TRIKON! And, it could very well mean the end of The Inhumans. Shhhhhh! Medusa hears footsteps behind them. Hide better guys!
Scrunched in to an even more pressing hiding spot, the Inhumans are less satisfied with life. Even Medusa is pushed to the brink mentally. "Why did I leave the FRIGHTFUL FOUR", she wonders? But, the passion of her heart confirms her motivations. Black Bolt is her true love and she must find him.
Suddenly, a military type group bursts in to the room. They are equipped with guns and though they look mean, they are also ugly. The first to enter is a deformed, clairvoyant scout named "MOONEYE". (Here is where I would like to see the hiring process at some of these minion facilities. Mooneye clearly should be in charge here, yet his deformation puts him in frontline of attack.)
Upon entering the room, Mooneye immediately informs the leader as to what the situation entails. "Carefully, they stalk above", says Mooneye. The leader clumsily replies, "Above? Speak more clearly. Not all share your clairvoyant powers."
Dude. He just told you. Be careful. They stalk above. Look up or something. Then, Mooneye shouts, "Leader! Beware!" And, yet again they deny even while Medusa wraps her hair around their weapons. This gives her plenty of time to take down everyone in the room. She looks good while doing it too! What a nicely designed costume.
Two others in the ugly department try and flank her, but Gorgon uses his animal legs and gives them some mighty HOOF action!
Mooneye panics. Karnak is still hiding above. He descends on the clairvoyant soldier and beats him down with karate chops and brutal kicks. Karnak beats him up some more. Medusa tells him to be careful and Gorgon tells him to leave him awake for questioning.
It took years of discipline to learn the techniques known to Karnak. He DOES NOT use that discipline here as he hits Mooneye one more time with a punishing blow. Neither careful, nor awake.
Surprised by his interesting looks, Medusa can still get some answers from the creature. As she opens her mind, an actual darkness covers her eyes. SCARY!
She tells Karnak that, "It's Strong" but she can see Black Bolt and Destruction!
From here the scene cuts to: BLACK BOLT!
Black Bolt has amnesia. He's in a diner. He looks weird. He is wearing a regular suit and he's hanging out with a little kid. Awww, man. If there is one thing I hate, it's little side kick kids or teens in comics and movies. Black Bolt is out and about in the real world and he is experiencing earthly things for the first time.
This kid Joey gives Black Bolt a scorching cup of coffee. After burning his lip the Inhuman storms out of the shop in hopes of not killing everyone with his powerful voice. (Remember! Even a whisper from the mighty Blackbolt can cause mass destruction.)
Just outside the coffee shop, Joey apologizes. Before Black Bolt can respond, they are AMBUSHED!
Joey is left face down in the dirt. When Black Bolt awakes, he is strapped to a chair. More curious, he is now wearing his costume. Then, we hear "KLIK". A contraption slaps over his head and covers his mouth. Who could be responsible for all this?
It's MAGNETO! We find out that the deformed beings are actually MUTANTS that he has created. Magneto tries to break Black Bolt. He intends to control Black Bolt for uses of his own. Interestingly, he also informs Black Bolt that is was he who got his costume. Hmmm. Did he put it on Black Bolt as well? Already the Inhuman's mind must be reeling. Has Magneto's torture techniques already begun?
The other Inhumans are using Mooneye to lead them to Black Bolt's whereabouts. They have to go out in public so they will need disguises. Since they are in San Francisco, they don "colorful garb" to help blend in. Karnak wears a green turban. Gorgon buttons up a colored shirt. And, the one who needs to be kept secret the most; the mutant clairvoyant, is not given anything at all.
Mooneye leads them to sewer that leads to Magneto's lair. Karnak smacks Mooneye in the head again and they leave him behind.
Magneto tells Blackbolt of how he escaped!
When we get back to Magneto, we have an editor's footnote waiting for us. However, it's incorrect! One of the mutants encourages Magneto to tell Black Bolt about how he escaped from Reed Richard's confines. Stan Lee lets us know that the action took place in Fantastic Four #101. However, Stan the Man meant to clue us in to issue #104. It is in that issue that Reed Richards traps Magneto in a plastic prison.
Back in his lair, Magneto is excited to tell Black Bolt about his new powers. And, of his own escape, Magneto says, "I too am impressed."
Unable to break free from the plastic prison Magneto is stuck. Even the guards wear special suits so Magneto can not control their bodily minerals. (Very Cool!)
That's when Magnus realized what he must do. It's time to learn ZEN and YOGA!
Magneto boasts about a new power he developed. "A power previously unknown, untapped."
Making himself a projectile by using power within, he blasts out of the fantastic detention center.
The Inhumans are now close. Medusa takes out a guard. The Inhumans begin to fight a whole bunch of guards right in front of the bound Black Bolt. Medusa and her lover make eye contact and immediately the amnesia is gone.
Once Magneto steps in, the fight ends quickly. He zaps Gorgon and Medusa while Karnak is overwhelmed by deformed mutants. All looks grim.
The final panel is a glimmer of hope! In a dark alley we see stirring. It's Joey! Oh no ... This kid better not somehow find Magneto's lair and save the Inhumans. That will just be dumb.
The story was really fun! The pacing was quick and it was great seeing Magneto and his goons take on the Inhumans.
I can't wait to see how they get out of this jam in the next issue.
Magneto looks sinister as he helps introduce one of the scariest covers ever! The giant man monster in the background is absolutely disgusting as half of it's brain protrudes. I am not sure if the Inhumans can escape this after all.
Peril is about. Each Inhuman is held by a specific contraption. Poor Medusa has the worst fate. Magneto has given her a drug to melt her will.
Magneto creates a new monster mutant. It looks less scary than it did on the cover. It is a giant gorilla beast with a large alien-brain head. This creature has the ability to drain Black Bolt's will, forcing him to work for Magneto. The beast shoots beams from it's eyes into the mind of Blackbolt as his pals are forced to watch.
Magneto gives directions to his new toy and the captive Inhumans are dismayed. While the inhumans are put into a joint cell, Magneto, Black Bolt and the Gorilla-Beast-Mutant go for trip with some soldiers.
We again see Joey. The kid from last issue. He staggers from the alley. Weird! It's the three blinky lights from issue #9. The TRIKON. They cruise by and pick up Joey. Hmph! What's going on?
Back at the prison, Medusa does what her pals cannot. She strikes a super hot sexy pose and seduces a guard. A fight ensues as the Inhumans free themselves.
Meanwhile, Magneto and Black Bolt invade a government research facility. Black Bolt yells causing chaos. Military personnel go flying through the air and much of the site is wrecked. Once inside, Black Bolt's taks become more menial. Black Bolt is assigned to twist a dial while Magneto retrieves a very rare element.
We see Black Bolt make a mean face as he disapproves of Magneto's thievery. That's weird? I thought he was being ... mind controlled.
With everyone beat up, the three Inhumans go outside. The see a flying vehicle go past. It's Magneto! He's returning.
Magneto once again gloats about his escape from Reed's plastic prison and it is at that moment when Black Bolt punches him in the face.
He really wasn't mind controlled! He played along the whole time! Why did he wait so long? It looked as if some of those military people got hurt. Oh well.
The jet-chopter crashes and the other Inhumans converge on the site. Black Bolt won't use his voice here. Not with his friends so close. Time for fists!
Magneto casually tries to walk past the three Inhumans not in combat with the Gorilla-Brain-Beast. He has work to do with his UNIVERSE MACHINE. Karnak chops and kicks Magneto.
With his friends out of the picture, Black Bolt can now use his voice. No, he does not say anything. This time, he sings! It is the Ballad of Destruction, Siva's song. The Brain-Mutant is dead.
Magneto awakes. We hear a KLIK, and then witness an explosion. Magneto is gone! He ignited his rare element causing another clever escape.
Medusa strikes another pose as the victorious Inhumans stand amongst the wreckage.
The tale ends by letting us know that the Inhumans will next try and reclaim their land and defeat MAD MAXIMUS! Not really an editor's note, but Marvel advises us to pick up AVEGNERS #95 in order to learn what happens.
I can't help but wonder what is going on with Joey and the TRIKON. I am so glad I was wrong about him possibly saving the Inhumans.
The tale is not quite over as the Inhumans have a tough time filling up an entire comic. The last five pages or so contain an Inhumans ORIGIN tale by STAN LEE and JACK KIRBY.
During dawn of man, there was one super advanced race. They fled and created Atlantis. Randac as the leader tries the TERROGEN MIST and becomes the first ancestor of the Inhumans.
These two issues of AMAZING ADVENTURES were absolutely a blast to read. Strange at points, with cool action and excitement throughout!
AMAZING ADVENTURES issue #11 is a key marvel comic as it's the first time we see BEAST in furry form.
It sure is hard to root for Morbius. We are meant to sympathize with him due to his condition. He is a creepy monster that murders lots of people. His BLOODLUST is uncontrollable and he is often not to blame. I'm just saying, ... he is hard to root for and the cover to FEAR #24 does him no value in portraying him nicely.
The cover is quite glorious upon inspection. BLADE the VAMPIRE SLAYER stands defensively above a young damsel. Protecting her from a swooping Morbius, BLADE has a WOODEN KNIFE cocked back, ready to toss it down this fancy vampire's throat. Morbius' is practically embracing Blade as his fangs hope to satisfy his BLOODLUST!
Story by Steve Gerber + Art by Craig Russell
What better place to begin a story than smack dab in the middle? Once past the cover, we find Morbius in a very strange place. Stan Lee supposedly intended every comic he wrote to be somewhat of a stand alone issue. That is not the case here as this zany tale spans five issues or so.
Morbius has partnered with a creature named 'I' and is on the latter part of his space demon-dimensional-alien journey. Yes, you read that correctly. Morbius has not had much time to rest, as he lost his lover, got played by a guy named Daemond, fought a demon Monkey-Cat named Balkatar and now finds himself here ... watcing the sun set on the 4th planet from the sun Arcturus.
Steve Gerber depicts an interesting human/android barbarian-mutant civilization and Craig Russel does a good job rendering this tale with his pencils. Morbius is led to a rocket ship by 'I'. Together they hatch a plan to overthrow a mysterious group known as "the CARETAKERS".
"I" is proud of the last starship and tells the vampire about it telepathically. Morbius only cares about one thing. Will it get him to earth?
Not far away, a group of mutant-android-barbarians worship the rocket. They get in a little argument with Morbius and "I". "I" tells them to pipe down as his race built the androids in the crowd, and the spacecraft they all worship! This enrages the crowd to which they call "I" a blasphemer and quickly become aggressive.
No cup holders?
Morbius acts quickly and begins to run expecting "I" to follow. He turns only to see "I" strolling casually. Morbius quickly zips back, grabs I, and scolds him for blowing their lead. Now they are backed in a corner and it's time for Morbius to be a hero. It's time for Morbius to take center stage and find a away of of this! It's time for Morbius to grab a nice attractive female and MURDER her in front of everyone. Wait ... what? !
Yes! Backed into a corner, Morbius decides a hostage would be good. He sees a pretty blonde and is correct when he assumes she must be their queen. He glides above and grabs her. Intending only to use her as a means to escape, his BLOODLUST kicks in. He bites her neck and has sucked her dry before landing back on the ground.
More angry, the men throw rocks and seek greater vengeance. Morbius and "I" escape to the ship where they are safe inside from the puny stones and spears.
Blade is short for 'Wood Blade'!
Morbius and "I" blast off in the ship that was an idol to so many mutant-android-barbarians. As the ships thrusters blaze heavy amounts of fiery propulsion, the worshippers that did not run are burned up in an offering to their rocket-god.
After a bizarre recap page which sums up how Morbius got into his current predicament, we finally get to see BLADE! Steve Gerber lets us know that not even our murderous hero gets all the comforts of super space travel as it takes several WEEKS for them to return to earth. "I" tells Morbius to relax and enjoy the view.
Blade is out successfully hunting vampires. We first hand get to see Blade's prowess and skill. Far upon a rooftop, Blade launches a dagger into the back of a vampire. Mere moments before feeding on a pretty lady, the vampire's heart is struck by BLADE's precision. She is saved. As the woman flees, Blade finishes the job by severing the vampire's head with a second knife. The splurting blood hasn't landed before we hear "CRASH"!
Right around the corner from Blade's good deeds of killing vampire jerks, is the same ship Morbius was in. But, now the spacecraft is destroyed and there is only one passenger to be found. It's "I", and he's DEAD! Though one might think he died in the crash, Blade is a bit more perceptive than that. Not shocked that a green alien with a giant eye for a head lies before him, he immediately checks "I"s neck and is amazed to find two small puncture marks. The trip was too long to bear and Morbius made "I" his in-flight meal. Blade's first thought? Must be a SPACE VAMPIRE!
Cool! Check out the Marvel Vallue Stamp! It's RED SONJA!!! The worst thing ever is to buy a comic and have a big square hole cut out of it. :(
Blade quickly scans the area hoping to find a clue to back up his hunch. In the distance he sees Morbius looming. While being pursued, Morbius thinks that DAEMOND has somehow already learned of his arrival. He assumes Blade must be a cultist.
Blade catches up and they begin to fight. Morbius thinks his attacker is delusional as he talks about 'real' vampires such as Dracula. Morbius deals a swift kick to the face of Blade, and tells him to "get some help".
Blade uses all his will and his able to regain his bearings. He catches up with Morbius who had fled to a nearby rooftop. Diving, Blade tackles this rare breed of vampire from behind. Grabbing his hair, Blade lifts the head of the pale creature and forces him to look at a holy cross fixed atop the building.
To Blade's surprise it has no effect as Morbius' curse is 'scientific and not supernatural'. With Blade now confused, Morbius is able to toss his persistent assailant to the edge of the roof leaving him there to dangle. When Blade finally pulls himself back up, Morbius is long gone.
Blade searches every nook of the city, not paying attention to local or national news. If he had, maybe he would have heard about the string of railroad murderes from Chicago to Los Angeles!
Elsewhere, the CARETAKERS keep an eye on Morbius' every move.
I absolutely LOVED that "Adventure into FEAR". With everything going on in both their lives, fate still found time to allow MORBIUS and BLADE to get tangled up for a bit. Even though it was the middle of an insane arc, it was still an absolute thrill of a read. As a kid, I rarely had consecutive issues of comics and had to imagine what happened if flashbacks were not provided.
... the comics not done? SWEET!
"FEAR" was a reprint comic up until issue #9 with #10 featuring new material. MAN-THING got a go at the title before MORBIUS with the title ending at #31. Even while the new monsters got to romp around most of the time, the title stayed true to it's original concept and reprinted an old 'FEAR' tale from comics Golden Age of Horror.
This tale was originally printed in "WORLD OF SUSPENSE" #1 with art by Joe Maneely.
It's a strange tale as we find ourselves at the performance of 'CYRANO de BERGERAC'. Joel the janitor loves Belle, the lead actress. Knowing she must love John Sheridan the lead actor, Joel comes up with a plan to get some lovin'.
Dressed as CYRANO with nose and all, Joel tells Belle he loves her. Thinking CYRANO must be John, she says, 'Sorry, but I love another! I love Joel ... the janitor". Excited, the imposter yells, "I'm Joel!" but, to his horror the nose won't come off. He runs away forever deformed. So let that be a lesson to all you cowardly lovers. Speak your mind or get stuck with a deadly magic nose.
And now the comic is over.
Back Cover to FEAR #24
Boy oh boy! I have wanted to write about comics for a long time. I am a big fan of the Marvel Universe and I have passion and love for the art, characters, and stories that live within the pages of each comic. The addiction to comic books started very innocently in the suburbs of New Jersey around 1983.
In the summer time, my mom would allow me to ride the train with my older brother Jeff. Sometimes, my little brother Andy would come, and usually Jeff's friend Fred Timmy would come as well, but it always kind of seemed like It was just Jeff and I. Being six years younger must have been a burden, but Jeff was always cool about taking his kid brother to the comic shop.
We would catch the train in Allendale, and take it to Ridgewood. From there it was a short walk to the shop. I have no idea what it was called, but I can always picture the owner. He was balding, with long greasy hair. And, he had a great Jersey accent. It was partially a baseball card shop and I remember him talking about Rod Carooo. It was also smokey as you could still smoke indoors back then.
I would usually get a few packs of cards and a few comics, but sometimes I would buy a back issue! Older comics were so exciting to me. I felt like I had a treasured! A valuable piece of history! I knew someone before me owned it. They also cost more, so I could usually only get one. But, it sure was worth it. The stories seemed better. The fights were more fun. And, it was from a time before I was born! Anyway, this is where the love for the 60s and 70s of Marvel first began it's grasp of my life.
At first I wanted to review a Spidey comic, but then I figured no matter what book I picked, surely multitudes have posted reviews and insight about it. I like the zaniness of Marvel's Bronze Age and found myself excited to review my copy of Godzila #3. Immediately I found my self struggling. Will people want to read a review of a Godzilla comic, let alone #3? I decided to go with my gut. There has to be someone else out there who likes Godzilla and the Champions, right? Who are the CHAMPIONS?! (That's what I was afraid of.) My first ever review may be a large under taking, but I decided to do a recap of Godzilla #1 and 2, introduce the Champions to those unaware, and finally finish with Godzilla #3. I also plan to follow editior's notes when possible.
Editor's notes are a lost piece of comic history. New readers of comics probably don't even know what they are! Sad.
(For those not in the know, an editor's note was really neat! During dialogue or narration, sometimes you would see an asterisk amidst the text. Following the asterisk would tell the reader to find a certain comic book in order to get the full scoop on what was going on.) They always peaked my interest and was the sole reason I went to comic shops seeking back issues.
From the opening panel, Godzilla is furious. He busts out of an iceberg to find himself in Alaska. I'm not sure that I'd be too stoked either. He knocks over a ship and heads straight for a power plant. A distress call is sent out and SHIELD receives it. Dum Dum Dugan and Jimmy Woo are much closer so Nick Fury puts him in charge of dealing with the monster.
Dugan ponders Godzilla's origin and we as the reader get to see it. In 1956, Japanese scientists tested a nuclear bomb in the ocean thus unleashing Godzilla upon their own shores.
Don't even get me started on Wacky Packs!!!
After comparing Godzilla to the Jolly Green Giant, they drop a SHIELD laser cannon on the battlefield. They fire that baby up and shoot Godzilla directly in the face. This may be the only successful thing Dugan is able to do. From here on out he becomes an obsessive Ahab.
Godzilla is now super angry. He destroys the cannon and with his radioactive fire breath ignites an oil spill.
In from Japan, Dr. Takiguchi, his assistant Tamara and grandson Robert reveal a case supposedly holding plans for a secret weapon. The fire gets smothered after Woo and Dugan do a dance. And, for the first of many times, Godzilla heads off in the sunset towards the next unsuspecting city.
Issue #2 begins with Godzilla still super pissed from being shot in the face with a SHIELD laser cannon. He thrashes a Seattle port, and then strolls toward the center of the city.
It had to be difficult to write this comic as your main character never speaks nor thinks. Well Doug Moench shows off his ability with lots of cool code names. Dugan's flight squad is called the "Green Team" and Godzilla is now refered to as "Big Baby". Dugan's elite crew is now the "Godzilla Squad". (Good thing they didn't mix codes names and call themselves the Big Baby Squad.)
Dr. Takiguchi reveals he was the sole dissenter of the nuke experiment and fears that the explosion may have actually mutated Godzilla. The doctor also reveals the blast freed ... other monsters. Tamara and that little tagalong Robert propose that Godzilla is not evil and must not be killed. Dugan about loses it and spits his cigar out in shock!
Tamara shows off that she really does have secret plans in that fancy case and Tony Stark is going to help build them. Dugan, wearing his own Stark made Spanflex Armor, has a plan of his own and is quite excited to put it in to effect. He is going to turn out all the lights in the city and then lure Big Baby with bright beacons of light. The only problem is that the Seattle City Council is voting on the matter and can't decide if saving the city is worth turning off the power for 5 minutes. The council won't decide and Dugan tells Gabe Jones to destroy the city's main power plant thrusting Seattle in to darkness.
The plan actually works! Godzilla follows the flying SHILED pods with the bright lights all the way to the edge of a cliff far above the sea.
Grampa is holding an Inertia-Block!
Godzilla won't go for the final light out over the ocean so Dugan quickly instills his contingency. Unbeknownst to ... Big Baby, a vehicle rolls up behind him. They shoot him in the back with giant "Inertia-Blocks" that look very much like chocolate Bonkers. The force of the Bonkers knock Godzilla into the water. Success! Godzilla is heading off in the sunset and another city is partially saved! Dugan is strutting around but can't believe it when Gabe says that he does not feel like a "good guy" after treating Godzilla the way they did.
Dugan's cigar pops out of his mouth again and rightly so. Godzilla is killing and destroying everything around them. Dugan has a huge task at hand. He should not have to deal with issues like Gabe not feeling like a good guy and some japanese guy's grand kid scolding him for trying to take down a giant, monster-dinosaur beast. SECURITY!
Oct. 1975 Kane/Adkins
As you know my goal was to review issue #3 of Godzilla. That's the issue in which the Champions show up. As I'm sure any Marvel nerd who may be reading this knows who the Champions are but, your average nerd may not. So, as nerds, let's all be on the same page. (Oh, and remember, I love editor's notes and I will be tracking them.)
The Champions #1 begins with Bobby Drake and Warren Worthington III strolling the campus of UCLA. Bobby is whining about how his expensive college is no fun. He wishes he was still on the X-Men but he and Warren agree that they are not the same X-Men anymore. Warren then tells how well Beast is doing on the Avengers.
The true Champion is the one that must help Hercules strap on those pants
Luckily, our duo does not have to look far for adventure because literally 10 feet away from them a hole opens up and a gang of Harpies come flying out of it. Rather than attacking, they actually ask a citizen where "she" is? Bobby throws an iceball, hitting the lead Harpy in the head. Yelling "Destroy the icy one!", They all proceed to attack and then Warren says, hey ... "I have to go change." Bobby is left to deal with the group and does quite well. Just when he's about to get his arms ripped off, Warren shows up in a very ... interesting fashion choice and saves Iceman. Iceman is surprised that Warren is not wearing his mask and tells him to hide. To which, Warren replies, 'No! Today I go public!"
Last DD/Widow issue
The scene shits to a small room elsewhere at UCLA and our first editor's note!. Natasha Romanov is worried about getting a job and she reminisces about her times with Daredevil and their spilt in DD #124.
Ivan keeps her company as she sits worrying if she's going to get a job teaching Russian. Natasha, aka the Black Widow is looking super hot in a mini skirt when a woman in the guise of Dr. Victoria Starr walks by.
Then, another portal opens up in close proximity to our heroes, but this time 7 Amazons come out flailing swords and big words. The Hippolyta Amazons point at the doctor and confirm her as the one they are looking for. The Black Widow decides to help and Ivan shouts , "Tash! Strip for action!" Natasha removes her skirt revealing she had been wearing the costume all along.
A small scuffle ensues and Widow and the mysterious Dr. Victoria Starr jump out the window leaving Ivan alone in a room full of Amazons. (Grats Ivan!)
Cool transformation! The note refers us to G.R. #13
The scene again shifts. This time, it's Johnny Blaze out for a nice sunny afternoon motorcycle ride. No portals open up near him. No, this time a group of UCLA goers inform him trouble is brewing ahead. Johnny has a pretty cool Ghost Rider transformation and then he revs it up the road. Waiting for Ghost Rider is a large man-beast called Cerberus and our next editor's note. See it? In the top left panel! It refers us to Ghost Rider #13.
Ghost Rider's quick change in the Champions #1 reminds him of going against the Trapster
Cerberus chasing G.R. makes him think about GR #14
Ghost Rider decides to blast Cerberus in the face with his HELLFIRE. Cerberus then turns into ... a giant purple dog!
The dog chases Ghost Rider around. We get another editor's not as Ghost Rider thinks about what happened in G.R. #14 and once again ... you guessed it, the scene cuts to a different part of UCLA.
Hercules the Olympian god is backstage of an auditorium with Richard Fenster. Hercules is about to give a speech entitled, "MYTHOLOGY: WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU". Before you can say "Boo", more assailants show up. They gang up on Herc and force him out of a window. They continue to brawl and the creatures let Hercules know that they are 'MUTATES' and that we have not seen them since THOR # 163.
Ghost Rider rides past with Cerberus in hot pursuit to which Herc exclaims, "Titan's Blood!". He hops on the back of Ghost Rider's motorcycle and they cruise down the street. Together, they see Iceman, Angel, Black Widow and Dr. Starr running from the Harpies and Amazons.
The Mutates tell Hercules to read THOR #163
The scene causes Hercules to once again shout an awesome phrase. This time it's "BY THE CLOVEN HOOVES OF PAN!".
Hercules fights the giant hound, Ghost Rider takes on the Harpies and Iceman thwarts the Amazons. Dr. Starr reveals herself to be VENUS when she asks Angel to fly her above the battle. She tells the Mutates that she has the 'Cestus' and they must love her. Because they aren't exactly men, they are affected strangely and weird shaped hearts float about as they all keel over.
Hercules recognizes her and says, "Well done cousin". All six huddle and already we can tell that only destiny could bring such an ensemble together. Chumming ensues as Iceman calls his new friend "Ghost Guy".
Just when they think it's time to call it a day Herc is struck by a 'ZAT'! It's Pluto and he has a decree directly from Zeus! Hercules shall wed Hippolyta and Venus will probably have to marry Ares. If either resists ... The universe dies!
So, there you have it. The Champions of Los Angeles! And, with much delay, here is the comic I wanted to feature. I've been calling it a review but really it's more of an analysis. It's Big Baby #3!
Upon grabbing this issue, I was immediately disappointed. Why isn't Ghost Rider on the cover? Why does Godzilla aways look so dopey? Oh well. I'm sure it was the artisits choice and he'll show up inside.
The issue begins with Godzilla in San Francisco clutching the tip of the Golden Gate Bridge. Police boats try to deter him by firing at him with large standard issue police boat cannons. Godzilla destroys the police. Cut to : Los Angeles
Only two members are at Champions Inc. Hercules and Natasha. He doesn't wait a second to let her know that,"Thy company doth appeal to me." Black Widow kind of digs it but before she can respond, a 'loin-blocking' alarm goes off causing Herc to once again shout, "BY THE CLOVEN HOOVES OF PAN!"
Hercules, thou is a sly dog.
'Haha! I can fly too! (She should let Warren drive)
Widow, being team leader says they have to respond to the Godzilla alarm as no one else is around to do anything. She has no idea Dugan's Godzilla Squad is on the case. Upon running to board the ... Champscraft, Widow and herc bump in to Bobby and Warren. They state that they don't know where Ghost Rider is and that Darkstar is out doing her thing.
"WHAT?!" You don't know where Ghost Rider is? What kind of a teammate are you? No wonder he never felt accepted! And Darkstar? Why don't I remember her being a Champion? Well, I guess I only have about 8 of the 18 issues. I need to brush up. Anyway, how sweet is the CHAMPSCRAFT!
As Dugan approaches S.F., Gabe continues to pout and we learn that Jimmy Woo has been assigned to Dr. Takiguchi.
Godzilla has turned away from the bridge and is looking towards the shore as the Champscraft lands on the evacuated bridge.
Iceman immediately creates an ice bridge and zips around as the cops continue to shoot at Godzilla. Warren tries to stop the police from firing and that gives Godzilla an opportunity to swat him like a fly. About to then be stepped on, Hercules selflessly puts himself between asphalt and a giant foot. With immortal strength, the Prince of Power not only withstands the beasts mighty weight, but he pushes back and topples the behemoth as well.
Godzilla is so mad he immediately sets the countryside ablaze with his fiery scorn. Dugan is ready to try out his newly fashioned, huge electric nets called ... 'ELECTRO-MAG-NETS'. He then chides Gabe by asking him, "Godzilla your kid sister?"
Elsewhere, Stark, Woo and the Takiguchi crew meet up.
Upset that the Champs have intervened, Dugan takes matters into his own hands and flies a SHIELD carrier into Godzilla's mouth knocking him under the water. He emerges directly under the Golden Gate bridge, completely destroying it. Now it's time for Dugan's big guns. Bring out the MAG-NETS!
The nets deem completely useless as all three miss Big Baby. Dugan then calls Hercules an "overgrown hippie body builder". From the water, Hercules throws a giant piece of highway at Godzilla, once again completely missing the target and instead hitting the SHIELD heli-carrier.
The Heli-Carrier loses control and plummets to the sea. Godzilla stands looming over the entire scene, capable of destroying everyone present. Yet, all he does is crush a protruding structure with ease. Dugan and the Champs point fingers until they eventually fess up and admit that they totally blew it. Godzilla then turns and walks off in to the sunset not knowing that tomorrow he will be fighting a giant bat-dragon called "BATRAGON".
Back cover to Godzilla #3
It sure was good to have the Champions around, but it did not make the comic that much more interesting. Though I love anything Marvel related, I have a tough time getting through the Godzilla comics. I love seeing Dugan running the show, and I am also a huge Godzilla fan. Sadly, like Bill Bixby, Highway to Heaven, and the A-Team it's one note. The main character goes town to town and basically does the same thing again and again.
The highlight of the series is when Dugan is able to shrink Godzilla and the little green monster ends up battling a rather mean New York City rat.