Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Force Works #17

Force Works #17, "Cybermancy!" Cover Date November 1995
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Pencils by Jim Cheung, Inks by Rey Garcia

Force Works 17 Cover

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Iron Man #321

Iron Man #321, "Psi-Fi," Original Cover Date October, 1995
Written by Terry Kavanagh, Penciled by Heitor Oliveira and Marcos Tetelli, Inked by Mark McKenna

Following the thrilling conclusion to Avengers: The Crossing, you'd expect the ramifications to be felt pretty deeply in a comic starring a guy we just saw murder people. But, as the saying goes, expect the unexpected.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: Force Works #16

Force Works #16, "Traitor's Gate," Original Cover Date October 1995
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Pencils by Jim Cheung, Inks by Rey Garcia

I'm not going to try to work out the chronology of the various "The Crossing" tie-ins, but I thought it'd be a good idea to check in on "second tier" books that were part of the crossover. For those that don't know, "Force Works" was Iron Man's cool 90's team, and was featured as the supporting cast on his 90's Saturday Morning cartoon show. It was basically a re-tooled "West Coast Avengers," but with a sillier name and a 90's attitude.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: The Avengers #391

Avengers #391, "Shadows of the Past," Original Cover Date October 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Penciled by Mike Deodato Jr., Inks and finishes by Tom Palmer

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Avengers: The Crossing

Avengers: The Crossing #1, Cover Date September 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Penciled by Mike Deodato, assist by Deodato's "studio"

Avengers Crossing Cover

At last, after months of vague hints, it's The Crossing! The opening to the story that will surely be the Avenger's answer to the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline! New costumes! Avengers will die! $5 foil-embossed comics for everyone!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Avengers #390

Avengers #390, "Campfire Tales," Cover Date September 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Penciled by Mike Deodato, Inked by Tom Palmer

I've gone into it a bit already in several other posts, but 1995 saw Marvel fracture into several different editorial branches, each with its own editor-in-chief. This might not have been so bad if the editors weren't all "separate but equal," and driven by stockholders and their marketing department to directly compete with one another. Thus, the Clone Saga is born out of a desire to compete with the X-Men's successful "Age of Apocalypse," as is the slightly lesser known but equally infamous "The Crossing." So let's do it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Wonder Woman #79

Wonder Woman #79, "Taking the Spear," Cover Date October 1993
Written by William Messner-Loebs, Penciled by Steve Carr and Deryl Skelton, Inked by Andre Parks and Aaron McClellan

It seems like ages ago I reviewed Wonder Woman #78, where WW and her salad-eating friend were attacked by "Mayfly," a villain with super speed, who shoots the Flash and seems poised to kill our hero at the end of the issue. And now, the thrilling conclusion!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Avengers #389

Avengers #389, "Message From Home," Cover Date August 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Penciled by Fabio Laguna, Inked by Scott Koblish

Well, last month we wrapped up "Taking A.I.M.," so now the Avengers go into the home-stretch before "The Crossing," as Deodato needs another fill-in after a strenuous TWO issues in two months. So let's all enjoy a one-off about Deathcry!

Avengers 389 cover

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Panel: Vampirella #3 (1997 series)

What'd I tell you guys in my Vampirella #1 review?

"I'm counting the seconds before a bald Grant Morrison-looking vampire shows up in some throwaway gag that Morrison would probably call some sort of kabbalistic sigil re-strengthening blah blah blah."

Well it took all the way to issue #3:

Vampirella Grant Morrison

Seriously Grant Morrison, do you have to appear in all your comics?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: Vampirella #1 (1997 series)

Vampirella (1997 series) #1, Ascending Evil Part 1, Cover Date November 1997
Written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, Pencils by Amanda Conner, Inks by Jimmy Palmiotti

Vampirella 1 1997 Cover
One of the half-dozen covers. Collect them all!

In a rare bit of blogging synergy, I've decided to review a Vampirella comic the same day that I helped review the Vampirella movie. I picked this particular book because I'm a fan of Amanda Conner's work on Power Girl, and decided to check out her work on this character that I knew basically nothing about before I saw the movie. Not only does an unknown Amanda Conner pencil the issue, it's written by Mark Millar and Grant Morrison, two of the biggest names in comics. Let's get to it!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #16

Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #16, "Devil in Disguise," Siege of Darkness Part 12, Cover Date January 1994
Written by Chris Cooper, Art by Rurik Tyler, Inks by Bob Downs and Mike Esposito

Well it's Halloween this week, so I figured I'd focus on a couple of horror titles from the 90's. For those that don't remember, Marvel had a sort of horror revival (the original horror boom was in the 70's due to changing comics code restrictions) headed by several Ghost Rider comics, the Night Stalkers (Blade's team), and of course, Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sin. This is another title that needs a quick history lesson by way of an introduction. The Darkhold is an evil grimoire (so excited to use that term) created by Chthon, a Lovecraft-ian Elder God of "magik" to contain all the evil information Chthon had gained over the years. Later, it acted as a sort of bridge to the human plane of existence. Its evil also directly resulted in the creation of Marvel's version of vampires and werewolves, and the book was used by Dr. Strange as a deux ex machina to get rid of all vampires (except the important ones) in a famous storyline. Flash forward to the 90's when "Dwarf," a demon guy in cahoots with Chthon starts sending out free samples of the Darkhold, turning unsuspecting people into demons. It's up to Victoria Montesi, the last in a line of occult hunters, interpol agent Sam Buchanan, Jinx and Louise Hastings, an archaeologist and her granddaughter, and Modred the Mystic to track down the book and shut down its evil wherever they find it as the Darkhold Redeemers!

Darkhold 16 Dwarf

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Avengers Unplugged #1

Avengers Unplugged #1, "Unchain My Heart," Cover Date October 1995
Written by Glenn Herdling, Art by M.C. Wyman and Sandu Florea

Avengers Unplugged 1

Last month, I alluded to Marvel's corporate synergy and how it created the greatness that was Fantastic Force as part of an attempt to expand the "Marvel Universe" editorial brand that didn't have the hot sellers that X-Men and Spider-Man's clone saga had at the time. In addition to the majesty of Devlor the Inhuman, Marvel of this time created "Unplugged" versions of books like Avengers and Fantastic Four, a great way to enjoy acoustic versions of your favorite superhero comics. Seriously though, they're pretty bad. Let's get to it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: Avengers #388

Avengers #388, "Into the Breach," Taking A.I.M. Part 4/4, Cover Date July 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Pencils by Mike Deodato, Inks by Tom Palmer

Previously on The Avengers/Captain America: Our assembled heroes have arrived at Boca Caliente, an island owned by A.I.M. that was used to develop a new cosmic cube. Unfortunately, something has gone wrong and unexplained energy is shooting out of the ground and several dead characters have been willed into existence. Captain America has entered the source of the breach where he found MODOK struggling to contain the energy.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review: Captain America #441

Captain America #441, "Through the Perilous Fight," Taking A.I.M. Part 3, Cover Date July 1995
Written by Mark Gruenwald, Pencils by Dave Hoover, Inks by Joe Rosen

Captain America 441 Cover

Previously on the Avengers: we are rather obliquely told that Boca Caliente has the power to grant wishes, a result of A.I.M.'s attempts to create a new cosmic cube. Captain America apparently wishes his WWII partner Bucky back into existence, while a small boy wishes for a dog and Quicksilver inadvertently wishes for his dad Django "Unchained" Maximoff to show up. The Avengers, Cap's team, the Red Skull, and a bunch of Adaptoids are all poised for a showdown as M.O.D.O.K. appears re-born, attacking Cap and Bucky.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: Avengers #387

Avengers #387, "Island of Spirits," Taking A.I.M. Part 2 of 4, Cover Date June 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Pencil breakdowns by Mike Deodato, finishes by Tom Palmer

Previously on the Avengers: In last issue's Avengers, the team encountered the Red Skull at an abandoned base in the Yukon. Black Widow battled him to a draw until Red Skull disappeared. Captain America returned, wearing armor due to health problems. Then, in Captain America, Cap and his squad (Free Spirit, Jack Flag and Falcon), the Avengers, misandrist villain Superia, and the Red Skull all converged on the mysterious Boca Caliente, following a lead on A.I.M. creating a new cosmic cube. The group's have all split up, with Cap receiving an injection of something from Superia.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Captain America #440

Captain America #440, "Dawn's Early Light," Taking A.I.M. part 1 of 4, Cover Date June 1995
Written by Mark Gruenwald, Pencils by Dave Hoover, Inks by Joe Rosen

Captain America 440 Cover

I should admit going into this that I'm not a fan of Captain America. I think he works fine as a part of the Avengers, but I think he's an incredibly dull protagonist compared to just about every other Marvel character. So while I know a lot of obscure trivia about most Marvel characters, I've only read a few scattered issues of Captain America before Brubaker and Epting tricked me into buying an amazing crime book that featured Captain America (until he was killed off 25 issues in).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Avengers 386

Avengers 386, "Shadow Hunt," prelude to "Taking A.I.M.," Cover Date May 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Pencils by guest penciler Angel Medina, Inks by guest inker Scott Koblish

Avengers 386 cover

 Previously on the Avengers: Bob Harras had begun co-writing with Terry Kavanagh, a Brazilian artist known for his depictions of heroines in thongs took over the art chores, and the Avengers found themselves led to a base in the Yukon territory where they were attacked by the Red Skull!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Fantastic Force #1

Fantastic Force #1, "Legacy," Cover Date November 1994
Written by Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich, pencils by Dante Bastianoni, inks by Ralph Cabrera.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: Sleepwalker #20

Sleepwalker #20, "Split Decision," Cover Date January 1993
Written by Bob Budiansky, Pencils by Kelly Krantz, Inks by John Lowe

Sleepwalker 20 Cover

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Avengers 385

Avengers 385, "Evil in a Cold and Lonely Place," Cover Date April, 1995
Written by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Pencils by Mike Deodato and John Buscema, finishes by Tom Palmer

Avengers 385 Cover
Despite the cover, I can assure you that Black Widow's head does not start blasting electricity at the team. Thunderstrike (Thor's 90s equivalent) does not appear inside the issue.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cartoon Friday: Avengers: United They Stand (1999)

It's another Friday, so here's another nostalgic cartoon intro. This one courtesy of The Avengers: United They Stand. I haven't watched any Ultraforce, so this is the worst cartoon I've seen any of that I've posted so far.

I can't say I watched much of this one, even though it was on Fox, because at the time I was partial to pretty much whatever Kids WB was doing (New Batman and Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond, etc.). Lowlights include: Ant-Man, Wasp, and Hawkeye(?) armoring up in the credit sequence, and in nearly every episode to pad run-time. Costumes so hideous a barely changed Wonder Man costume might be the best among them (Wonder Man, the guy with the worst costumes ever!). Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are revealed in the final "pan up" of the intro, to remind viewers, "Oh yeah, I know those guys!" Iron Man and Cap were in one episode each, and Thor never appeared. Wonder Man is listed as a member but spends nearly the entire show in a coma (echoes of Beast in S1 of X-Men, if X-Men was canceled after that first season). The creators also received notes to "be more like Batman Beyond," but unfortunately that doesn't involve future raves, just generically setting the show in the future. Hank Pym is the leader. It's pretty bad.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: The Batman Adventures #3

Batman Adventures #3, "Joker's Late-Night Lunacy," Cover Date December, 1992
Written by Kelley Puckett, Penciled by Ty Templeton, Inked by Rick Burchett

In 1992, Fox Kids debuted Batman: The Animated Series, a series that was so popular and influential it inspired a dozen spin-off and "shared universe" style cartoons over the next 15 years. To coordinate with the success and style of the cartoon, DC naturally released "Batman Adventures," a companion comic drawn in the style of the show. While you might assume that a TV-tie in book aimed at a crossover "all-ages" market might be awful, Batman Adventures is actually a very good series: don't take my word for it! The series and its assorted spin-offs and one shots won 7 Eisner Awards over its lifespan for everything from "best single issue" to "best title for younger readers." Enough pre-amble! Let's get to it!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Namor, the Sub-Mariner #34

Namor, the Sub-Mariner #34, "Call From Home," cover date January 1993
Written by Bob Harras, Penciled and Inked by Jae Lee

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cartoon Friday: Fantastic Four (1994)

It's been a busy week here, but I still have time to post nostalgic cartoon intros. This week, it's 1994's "Fantastic Four!" The show debuted as part of a block with the "Iron Man" cartoon, and was notable for having Stan Lee introductions.

Unfortunately, Stan Lee's intros were not included in syndication or the DVD or netflix versions of the show. They are, however, on youtube.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: World Championship Wrestling #10

"Blank Slate,"  Cover Date January 1993
Written by Mike Lackey, Pencils by Ron Wilson, inks by Steve Montano (all creators credited first name in this issue was "Gorilla": Gorilla Lackey, Gorilla Wilson, Gorilla Montano, etc.)

WCW 10 Johnny B. Badd

As detailed in Marvel: the Untold Story, for the first several years of the "Marvel Universe," Marvel could only publish a certain number of books per month. In January 1967, for example, Marvel published 15 comics, priced at $.12 each, including Millie the Model, Kid Colt, and Marvel Tales, a reprint book. By 1993, Marvel's situation had completely reversed. They were the #1 publisher in the business in the middle of a boom that saw sales records for "events" like Spider-Man #1 and X-Men #1. Instead of 15 books at $.12 each, Marvel published nearly one hundred comics in January 1993 (most ranging in price between $1.25 and 1.75), including licensed characters like Conan, Barbie, and... World Championship Wrestling! That's right, in 1992, Marvel agreed to publish fictionalized adventures of WCW's wrasslers in a monthly comic! Tonight's main event: Johnny B. Badd vs. Sting for the WCW championship!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Fantastic Four 370

Fantastic Four #370, "Forever Evil," Cover Date November 1992
Written and co-plotted by Tom DeFalco, co-plotted and penciled by Paul Ryan, inked by Danny Bulanadi

Fantastic Four 370 Cover Paul Ryan

PREVIOUSLY ON FANTASTIC FOUR: the gathered heroes waited around for Galactus to charge up the Infinity Gauntlet, Sue Storm merged herself with "Malice," a holdover from John Byrne's run, and Johnny thought of Psylocke as a "living doll." Oh yeah, and Magus gained ultimate power.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cartoon Friday: The Incredible Hulk

Cartoon Friday continues with 1996's "The Incredible Hulk"!

Unlike Ultraforce, we actually don't get a straight X-Men riff, as not a single character gets their name spelled out as they hop around. Instead, we get a pretty cool instrumental song, and the introductions of most of the cast in a series of pretty cool shots. I really like the animation here, and the way we sort of blend from scenes that feel straight out of the episode to trippy psychological manifestations that don't really make any literal sense (Hulk's face in the clouds, General Ross appearing out of the rocks). I haven't watched the show since it was on, but I remember it being pretty good. It also manages the rare feet of not beginning with a lengthy origin sequence, because we all get it from watching the intro: the guy turns into the Hulk. Unlike Ultraforce, it is available on Netflix, along with a bunch of other 90's series.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Character Spotlight: Cardiac

It's another new weekly feature outside of standard reviews, as I introduce and spotlight a lesser known character that is inexorably linked to the 90's. Then, with a very complicated series of equations, I determine exactly how "90's" the character is.

First up, it's CARDIAC! Created by David Michelinie and Erik Larsen!

Spider-Man 377 Cardiac

Cardiac, the heart that beats for justice! After Dr. Elias Wirtham's brother died of a rare disease, Elias devoted his life to medicine and became hugely successful, when he discovered that a corporation had a cure for his brother's disease, but chose not to release it because of profit. After a heart transplant left Elias with an electric pacemaker, he created a staff to focus the power created by the heart, and a battlesuit to go with it. He then went on to fight for justice as Cardiac!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Wonder Woman 78

Wonder Woman 78, "The Fast Contract," Cover Date September 1993
Written by William Messner-Loebs, Pencils by Lee Moder, Inks by Ande Parks & Aaron McClellan

Wonder Woman 78 Flash Bolland

Our story begins as we watch a recording of an assassin with super speed called “Mayfly” as she is confronted by Japanese police following a hit. She proceeds to use super speed to murder everyone in the room, impressing Ari Buchanan, the mystery crime boss who has recently moved to take over the Boston underworld. His attorney and love interest, Donna Milton, confirms that she has recruited the assassin to target Wonder Woman.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cartoon Friday: Ultraforce

It's a new feature, as we flashback to classic animated intros of 90's cartoons! Coming up, from the company that gave you the Night Man, it's Ultraforce (1995)!

Gee, I wonder what they're going for here?

Review: Fantastic Four #369

Fantastic Four #369, "With Malice Towards All!", Cover Date October 1992
Written by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan, Pencils by Paul Ryan, Inks by Dan Bulanadi

Fantastic Four 369 Malice

PREVIOUSLY ON FANTASTIC FOUR: Imposter Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man escaped the assembled heroes after destroying the top floor of Four Freedom's Plaza. While the heroes planned their next move, Human Torch fought doppelgangers of the X-Men. Finally, with the aid of Agatha Harkness, Dr. Druid and the Scarlet Witch, the heroes were able to disappear into another dimension. I'm not sure where this all fits into Infinity War continuity, so I'm just reviewing this particular issue.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: Night Man #1

Night Man #1, "The Night Man" Cover Date October 1993
Written by Steve Englehart, Pencils by Darick Robertson, Inks by Andrew Pepoy

Night Man 1 cover

For those that don't remember, Malibu Comics was an independent company that suddenly took a huge market share in the comic book market when they acted as publisher of record for Image Comics in 1992. Image quickly left Malibu in 1993, but the company took advantage of their sudden presence and general comic book boom to launch the "Ultraverse," their own shared universe that featured "Prime," (he's gonna get himself some justice!) and a Justice League style "Ultraforce," that even managed to turn into an animated series in 1995.

Night Man is this universe's take on Batman, but with an incredibly bland name, and was created by long-time comics pro Steve Englehart and Darick Robertson, best known for his run on New Warriors (actually he co-created Transmetropolitan with Warren Ellis and The Boys with Garth Ennis)!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Black Canary #1

Black Canary #1, "Hero Worship Part 1," Cover Date January 1993

"Hero Worship," Written by Sarah E. Byam, Pencils by Trevor Von Eeden, Inks by Bob Smith

We begin our issue with Black Canary heroically hopping around, a running internal monologue in her head. She announces that she's "going to die" on page 1 of issue 1 of her series, which is not exactly a positive attitude. She's apparently following some girl who is in over her head, although it's not really made clear why or how following her is going to result in Canary's death. As she lands in an alley near the girl she's following, a homeless man asks her for some change for a drink. Canary says "no pockets," even though she's wearing a big bomber jacket, because she's a dirty liar. The girl Canary's following, who looks like a member of Frank Miller's "mutant gang" from Dark Knight Returns, complete with a mohawk and leather jacket that says her name, makes her way into a dive bar. As Canary crosses the street, she notices a big fancy van, which she identifies as a cop, even before we get a closeup of somebody in the window with a camera.

That forward roll was vital.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Fantastic Four 368

Fantastic Four #368, Cover Date September 1992
Plot: Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan, Pencils by Paul Ryan, Inks by Dan Bulanadi

Fantastic Four 368 Doppelgangers

PREVIOUSLY ON FANTASTIC FOUR: Sue notices Reed is acting differently as he recruits A through C-list teams, Ben meets with his estranged girlfriend Sharon Ventura. Reed turns out to be evil and explodes the FF’s headquarters while it’s full of heroes.

We open with Invisible Woman telling Thing and the Hulk to get behind her as she attempts to block the detonated gamma bomb from the heroes. All the other heroes stand there like idiots while Invisible Woman saves them, until Sue tells Thor he needs to re-direct the gamma radiation somewhere (Note: this is Eric Masterson Thor, so he barely knows what he’s doing). Thor funnels the radiation into space, while the Hulk asks how the heroes should know the rest of the FF wasn’t in on evil Reed’s plot. The Thing rightly points out that Sue just saved everyone, duh.

Fantastic Four 368 Thing Hulk Speedball
Hug it out, bros.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Alpha Flight #114

Alpha Flight #114, Cover Date November 1992

Written by Simon Furman, Pencils by Pat Broderick, Inks by Bruce Patterson

Alpha Flight 114 cover

In my Fantastic Four review, I mocked the idea of evil Reed Richards stating it was "imperative" to contact Alpha Flight. Now, in the interest of fairness, I'll review an issue from the same general time period (spoiler alert: this means AF survived the explosion from FF #367).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Fantastic Four 367

Fantastic Four #367, Cover Date August 1992

Written by Tom DeFalco, Art by Paul Ryan, Inks by Ivy & Kryssing

Fantastic Four 367 cover

As an admitted former Marvel Zombie who bought both an actual copy and an audiobook version of Marvel: The Untold Story (which I recommend to anyone who has any interest in Marvel or comic book history), I have complicated feelings about Tom DeFalco. On the one hand, he was the Editor in Chief during one of the worst periods in Marvel history, when the "tail started wagging the dog" as the marketing department took over and started selling gimmicks to an America bamboozled into thinking comics would all be worth something if you hoarded enough of them. His actual writing was noted for being extremely backwards-looking, with a clear Stan Lee influence in his dialogue and the dense melodrama he'd throw into his stories. I know I should hate him for that, but it turns out I kind of like "back to basics" approaches (look out for my review of Kurt Busiek's Untold Tales of Spider-Man). As a kid, I also loved frequent collaborator Ron Frenz's art, which seemed to be cleaner, prettier versions of Ditko and Kirby. I really enjoyed the first 50 or so issues of Spider-Girl, even if they're pretty much a 90's/early 2000's update of Lee/Ditko/Romita era Spider-Man, almost villain-for-villain. But enough preamble: let's get to the ACTION!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #403

Amazing Spider-Man #403, Cover Date July 1995

Written by JM DeMatteis, Pencils by Mark Bagley, and Inks by Mahlstedt/De La Rosa

Amazing Spider-Man 403 cover

It’s hard for me to review this issue of Amazing Spider-Man without mentioning “The Trial,” an episode of Batman: TAS that came out in May 1994. In that episode, a new DA argues that Batman is as responsible for Gotham’s super-criminals as anyone, and following a takeover at the asylum, she is forced to defend Batman against Judge Joker and Prosecutor Two-Face. Of course, in the end she realizes that the villains were always maniacs, and that it’s not Batman’s fault that Gotham City is a cesspool that breeds costume maniacs. Also Batman kicks the Joker in the face. My point is, it’s a strong episode of a classic show, and so when I read Amazing Spider-Man 403, it’s hard to not see it as fantastically derivative and inferior in basically every way.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

First Post! New Project! Radical!

Greetings, friends! My name is Dobson, and I'm the co-creator over at, a post-college continuation of a club started by myself and Nick to keep us off the streets by reviewing camp and genre movies. I still do that, and it's fun! Check it out if you haven't! But this project comes from my first love: comic books. Specifically, comic books that were made when I was a kid in the early to mid-90's. These comics by and large have a bad rap. While Jim Lee's art is still amazing and 1992-1994 is probably the most relevant the comic book industry had been to pop culture in years, a lot of the books have the reputation for being... not great. Which I just don't get at all!

Strong Guy 90's
Seriously, this belongs in a museum!
So this blog is a venue for me to review comics during a period of crazy excess, combining criticism, commentary and humor. I don't mind just straight-up recommending my influences: the Tom vs. podcast, Chris Sims's occasional comic book reviews on Comicsalliance, Not Blog X, and Gentleman of Leisure (who helped come up with a name) are what I'm trying to combine into one amalgamation. 

Dark Claw Adventures amalgam
Or... Amalgam.
I'm going to vary the actual comics I review, but for the most part I'm going to be reviewing books that haven't been reviewed often or at all online, because the internet was too busy downloading photos of Teri Hatcher at alarmingly slow speeds at the time and couldn't be bothered to review Tom DeFalco's Fantastic Four.

That said, my first post will be about Spider-Man.