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.