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 this week's edition: Replacing Peter Parker with Otto Octavius for 31 issues was a neat demonstration of how strong Spider-Man's supporting cast is -- and The Superior Foes of Spider-Man has removed its title character from the equation altogether and gotten a terrific series out of it. Even before the big mind-swap, though, there was a little tradition of Spider-Man comics without Spider-Man in them. (He doesn't appear in Amazing Spider-Man #654.1 or #676, for instance, both among 2011's best done-in-one issues of the series.) Here are some of the most entertaining examples on Marvel Unlimited.
Whether you're new to Spider-Man and interested to learn more about his history or you're a hardcore Spider-Fan looking to laugh at his tangled web of continuity, you can read on to smile spectacularly.
I didn't make it out to the theater to see TheAmazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend -- I had some crucial paint drying that needed to be watched -- but all the hype surrounding it actually did make me want to go back and read some classic Spider-Man stories. The only question was which one would have everything that I wanted, which was pretty tricky since I've only really seen Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone lately thanks to their appearances on The Tonight Show.
But then I found one of the all-time classics, Amazing Spider-Man #89, the one where Spider-Man has to go to the laundromat with a bag on his head because he's trying to get money by appearing as a guest on a talk show. It's even got Electro in it -- although I don't think any of the other 83 villains from the movie make an appearance.
Director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2will be ten years old in June. It's an important movie for fans of the superhero genre -- the first movie in this present generation to be "good", rather than "good, but..." The commitment, pathos, and unabashed joy in Sam Raimi's sequel made it nearly everyone's favorite superhero movie -- until The Dark Knight, or Avengers, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Now there's another Spider-Man 2, an "Amazing" one, the second movie in director Marc Webb's reboot for Sony's Columbia Pictures. It is definitely not more amazing than Spider-Man 2. It is resolutely and in every way a sequel to 2012's Amazing Spider-Man, for better and for worse.
If you're like me and the sight of Jimmy Fallon pulling out an acoustic guitar fills you with a vague sense of dread, you may want to look away. Don't worry, though! It turns out okay! See, AndrewGarfield, who stars as the title role ofThe Amazing Spider-Man 2, has been learning how to play guitar, and in a segment on The Tonight Show, Fallon offers one up so that Garfield can make his public debut as a musician.
His song of choice? The rollicking theme from the classic Spider-Man cartoon. And then he's joined by The Roots. It's pretty awesome.
With Captain America: The Winter Soldier and TheAmazing Spider-Man 2 in theaters now and an X-Men movie just around the corner, we are once again in the midst of the summer superhero movies, and that can mean only one thing: It's Infographic Season! Yes, we are once again at the mercy of those easily digestible fact sheets with slightly dubious information, designed to go viral just like some horrifying apocalyptic disease created in a lab by a mad scientist.
Oh c'mon, I'm kidding. But really, when you put something up and claim that it's "Every Costume Spider-Man Has Ever Worn," like Mashable did this week, you're just asking for some dork to come along and correct you. And today, my friends, I am that dork.
Q: What do you think is the essence of making a great iconic costume? -- @thenoirguy
A: With comics being a visual medium and all, especially one that's dominated by a genre marked by its own goofy language of symbolism and iconography, I think about superhero costumes pretty often. I mean, I cannot count the number of times I have written the words "Batman's Batman-Shaped Kneepads" over the past three years, but that said, I'll admit that I might not be the best person to answer this question. As Erica Henderson (artist of Subatomic Party Girls and the Ask Chris logo above) pointed out, I'm not an artist. Then she went ahead and answered the question, telling me that "It's pretty simple, iconic is something that's quick and easy to recognize. that's why nobody talks about Cable's costume."
Listen, Erica, I don't know what circles you run in, but I talk about Cable's costume a lot.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
As you may have heard, there's a new Spider-Man movie in US cinemas this weekend. As such, it seemed like a good opportunity to go through the Best Art archives and compile all our favorite Spidey pieces.
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