The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it's disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it's also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
In today's edition: Who needs Godzilla when you've got Fin Fang Foom? One of the most ridiculous of the many monsters Stan Lee and Jack Kirby dreamed up in the pre-Fantastic Four era, the giant green (or maybe orange) dragon was first revived in 1974, and has shown up on a fairly regular basis over the past couple of decades. Sometimes (as in Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen's Iron Man) he's taken very seriously; sometimes (as in Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's nextwave) he's not. Here are some of his most entertaining appearances in the Unlimited archives.
Dan Slott must have been saving up his jokes over the past 16 months or so.
The Amazing Spider-Man #1, the issue that officially reintroduces Peter Parker to the Marvel Universe after a lengthy absence during which his body was under the control of Doctor Octopus, is chock full of laugh lines that really hit. Slott, artist Humberto Ramos, inker Victor Olazaba and colorist Edgar Delgado get the tone just right, but I couldn't help but feel that the story itself was a bit lacking in forward momentum, as the lingering effects of Superior Spider-Man dominated the issue's lead story.
If you weren’t aware of it before the past few weeks, even a passing interest in the recent Internet comics community likely informed you of the medical-expense-related plight a high-profile pair of comic book creators have been experiencing . First, there was Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo, in dire straits because of an extended hospital stay for his wife, Sharon. Then there’s Bill Mantlo, the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, who was severely injured in a skating accident 22 years ago and has required full-time care ever since. (He’s been under care for two decades, but Rocket's appearance in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie has brought him back into the public eye.)
Both of these men have had to turn to donations from fans and colleagues to help with their considerable expenses, and those people have made admirable efforts to help these creative artists whose work has brightened their lives. Generosity is a good thing. But it shouldn’t have to be this way.
Besides the obvious one, it’s hard to think of a writer more connected to an X-book than Peter Davidand X-Factor. (Chris Claremont and Uncanny X-Men being the obvious one, obviously.) After a two-year stint in the early nineties that remains a fan favorite, David relaunched X-Factor in 2005 and made it the most consistent X-book on the racks for his entire run. For eight years, X-Factor was routinely funny, inventive, filled with convincingly human characters, well-delivered messages, and twists that could knock you flat on your ass. The title wrapped in September of last year, shortly after David suffered a well-publicized stroke, and just a few weeks later, it was announced that the title would relaunch again as All-New X-Factor, which dropped this week. With Carmine Di Giandomenico on art, Peter David is again writing one of his most popular titles, but even with David at the controls, the new book has a lot to live up to. Does it?
X-Men Senior Editor Nick Lowe hosted this year's X-Men panel at New York Comic-Con, which featured a number of big announcements for the "X" family of books. Panellists included writers Peter David, Gerry Duggan, Dennis Hopeless, Marjorie Liu, Brian Wood, Charles Soule, Simon Spurrier, and editors Jeanine Schaefer, Jordan White and Daniel Ketchum.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 hits stores today, a new series by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven that hopes to boost the profile of Marvel's space-faring super-team ahead of next summer's movie release, so that when your non-comics friends ask you, "Who are these Guardians of the Galaxy?", you don't answer, "the who-dians of the what-now?"
But... who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? They're actually talking owls from a series of fantasy novels about... no, sorry, my editor is telling me that is not correct. Let's see... the series tells the story of Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Sandman and... no, I'm getting another note here, hang on... A talking raccoon and a tree? That can't be right.
If you're feeling a little confused, don't panic! ComicsAlliance is here to tell you everything you need to know about the Gladiators of the Gridiron! And then some.
Sad news from Florida: Peter David, the veteran writer known for his work on Marvel's X-Factor and Incredible Hulk, DC's Young Justice and Aquaman and numerous Star Trek novels and comic books, has suffered a stroke while on vacation and lost movement on the right side of his body...
Released around this time last year, the first hardcover collection of Rocketeer Adventures anthology quickly shot to the top of my list of 2011's best looking comic books. Created by the late Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer offers creators a platter of uncommon beauties with which to work --the gorgeous pre-war period and associated Americana, the masterful Rocketeer character design, and the stunning Betty, modeled after pin-up legend Bettie Page -- making Rocketeer Adventures essential reading for fans of classic comic book storytelling, great illustration and genuinely fun stories of adventure and romance...
In official DC canon, Superman and Wonder Woman have always remained just really good friends --- that is, until this October's Justice League #12, in which Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will see the two heroes begin what's promised to be a substantive relationship.
Following our exploration of some of Superman's former flames, it's time to check out the Amazing Amazon's past dance cards.
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