Monthly Archives: May 2015

Avenging the Fantastic, Part 1: The Marvel Comics Universe Begins!

FF1Also posted at Smash Cut Culture!

The Avengers have been around since long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a mainstream pop culture juggernaut. In this new series, I’ll be reading the Avengers-related titles of the original Marvel Comics Universe from the 1960s through the present over the course of many, many months, and I’ll chart my observations here every two or three weeks.

I’ll include the Fantastic Four in this, since not only is their first (hopefully) good movie coming up this summer, but they’re also a major part of the traditionally super-heroic corner of the comics universe—as opposed to the feared-and-hated characters like the X-Men and Spider-Man or vigilantes like Daredevil, though Hulk gets included on account of being a founding Avenger. (If I included those other franchises, I’d never finish.) Between the Marvel Unlimited digital library and my own collection, we’ll be able to cover most (but not all) of the books starring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the like. Special thanks to The Complete Marvel Reading Order for sparing me the hard work of keeping track of what to read next.

So face front, True Believers, as we begin our long-term tour of the evolution of Marvel with this extra-sized first issue!

Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_27Books Read

Fantastic Four #1-13, Tales to Astonish (starring Ant-Man) #27, 35-41, Incredible Hulk #1-6, Journey Into Mystery (starring Thor) #93-89, 91, Strange Tales (starring the Human Torch) #101-108, and Tales of Suspense (starring Iron Man) #39;  years spanned: 1961-3.

Fantastic Firsts

We’re at the ground floor here, so pretty much everything is new.

Though Marvel Comics had been around in some or another since the late 1930s, Marvel continuity officially begins with the introduction of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch, and the Thing in Fantastic Four #1.

The next character we meet is Hank Pym (who will be played by Michael Douglas in this summer’s Ant-Man movie) in Tales to Astonish #27, which is more a sci-fi short story about a scientist being almost done in by his own invention rather than a superhero tale. Pym becomes Ant-Man in TTA #35. Continue reading

Say good-bye to my little free friend

RIP-1-Touch.jpg“Touch,” the first novelette in RIP: Choices After Death, has been a free standalone ebook for a good long while now, and many hundreds of you have downloaded it. But the free ride is about to come to an end.

So Choices After Death can reign supreme as the one true RIP (at least until Volume 2 comes out), “Touch” must go. This Wednesday, May 20, I will click on the unpublish button, and this free sample will be no more.

If you want the freebie, now is the time to download. Then after you read it and realize you need more Rip and Serissa in your life, Choices After Death will be waiting for you.

Super Comics: Hawkeye #1-5 (2012)

Hawkeye-Clint-Barton-Kate-Bishop-Trick-ArrowsNew post at Smash Cut Culture!

After the first Avengers movie came out, Marvel wisely promoted Hawkeye into a solo ongoing series. It’s not the first time this has been attempted, but the series that launched in 2012 is easily the most successful and critically acclaimed outing for a lone Clint Barton. Well, not entirely lone.

The series only lasts 22 issues before getting a reboot with a new creative team, and there’s nothing wrong with stopping while you’re still ahead. The place for readers to start, of course, is the first trade paperback, My Life as a Weapon, which collects Hawkeye #1-5, (plus a superfluous Young Avengers Presents #6, which is okay but we’ll just ignore it here).

These short stories show how delightfully entertaining comic books can be when they’re not muddled with intricate continuity or crossovers or big events.

As the intro says, “Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, became the greatest sharpshooter known to man. He then joined the Avengers. This is what he does when he’s not being an Avenger. That’s all you need to know.”

Read the rest here, please…