This will be a great way to celebrate my birthday. And they gave her the mohawk mask!!!!!!
This will be a great way to celebrate my birthday. And they gave her the mohawk mask!!!!!!
The biggest opening weekend ever, holy moley that is impressive! Ten years later, and what, nineteen movies now? Marvel is still printing money with every movie they make.
But now that most of the world has seen the monster hit known as “Avengers: Infinity War,” it’s time to look back at the comic books that inspired the latest Marvel Cinematic entry. As usual with this posts, I’m going to be taking a look at a few underrated comic stories starring some of the characters seen in Infinity War.
Before we get to my list, a quick reminder: just like my previous underrated comics posts, this Infinity War comic list features a few stories you may have missed when they first came out. But if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry.
These comics are by no means necessary to enjoy “Avengers: Infinity War” in theaters. I should also mention this list is not in any particular order. These are just good comic stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Avengers #329 (February, 1991)
Ever wanted to see how the Avengers select a new roster? Then you must check out 1991’s Avengers #329.
“Starting Line-up!” was written by Larry Hama, with art by Paul Ryan, and Inks by Tom Palmer. In the story, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes hold a meeting at their headquarters to finally decide on their new roster. After a lot of debate, the new team consists of: Captain America, Quasar, Sersi, She-Hulk, the Black Widow, Thor, and the Vision.
I bought Avengers #329 off the shelf at the New England Comic in Quincy Ma. Although I’d been reading comics for 3-4 years by then, I hadn’t read an Avengers book yet. But there was just something about the cover to #329 that called out to me.
I knew who Captain America was of course, and a few of the other heroes pictured behind him. But some of them where unknown, so I gave the issue a shot, and I’m glad I did.
Easily my favorite moment in Avengers #329 is watching Spider-Man playing pranks of a sleeping Hercules. It’s a silly moment, but oh so funny. And at the end of the day I got to see how the Avengers chose rosters, and what the heroes were like on a rare down time.
Iron Man #26 (March, 2001)
With Iron Man #26, Joe Quesada took over the writing chores with one of the most uniqe Iron Man stories I had rad until then. The art for this issue was handled by Sean Chen and Rob Hunter. Chen was a fantastic artist for Shell head, and he deserves more credit than he gets.
in “THE MASK IN THE IRON MAN” playboy Tony Stark has it all: Unlimited wealth, beautiful women and brilliance beyond compare. Things seem perfect… but are they? Sometimes, the one closest to you can become your deadliest enemy! I could tell you more about this innovative story, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8 (September, 1992)
This issue of Warlock and the Infinity Watch takes place during the Infinity War Crossover. While I’m usually not a big fan of tie-in issues, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8 actually fits in nicely with the main story in The infinity War mini-series.
“Interlude” was written by Jim Starlin, with art by Tom Raney and Keith Williams. In the issue, The Infinity Watch and Thanos marshal their strength for the final confrontation with the Magus, Adam Warlock’s evil counterpart. Meanwhile, Thanos gets re-acquainted with the Watch and finds that he is not so well liked, especially by Gamora.
The big draw in this issue for me was the art of Tom Raney. He draws a great Thanos that towers over the rest of the Infinity Watch, and his version of Gamora is still my favorite. And if you want to see Raney draw a ton of Marvel heroes, check out the splash page that ends the issue.
Spider-Man #17 (December, 1991)
Want to see Spider-Man get his ass kicked by Thanos?
Here is your chance!
Spider-Man #17 featured the story “No One gets Outta Here Alive!” The issue was written by Ann Nocenti, with art and cover by Rick Leonardi and Al Williamson. In this issue Spider-Man attempts to save the life of a little girl, but he gets killed in the process. Now, in an ominous journey through the afterworld, Spider-Man comes face-to-face with the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, and his dark mistress, Death!
Even though this issue is more “What If” than anything else, it’s still a lot of fun. Plus you really can’t go wrong with anything drawn by Rick Leonardi.
Journey into Mystery #517 (February, 1998)
Years before she became an A-lister, Black Widow rarely got solo adventures. I think by 1998 she’d had a couple of specials, but more the most part she only showed up in other heroe’s books. Then came the day I saw a copy of Journey into Mystery #517 on the comic rack at my local Shaw’s. Ever since, I’ve been a huge fan of Natasha.
This issue was Written by Scott Lobdell, with art and Cover by Randy Green & Rick Ketcham. In it, Lottie relates the story of her involvement with Ebon Flame to Agent Carter. How exactly Black Widow comes into play, you need to read this isseue to find out. And for what it’s worth, Randy Green did an awesome job on the art.
Possible spoilers ahead!!
Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Mad Titan is on a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones that make up the Infinity Gauntlet. When he gains all the stone, Thanos will be able to achieve his dream of wiping out half the population of the universe in order to preserve its precious resources and restore “balance.”
The only thing standing in his way are the Avengers: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), War Machine (Don Cheadle), the Vision (Paul Bettany), the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie).
However, earth’s mightiest heroes may not enough to stop the evil of Thanos and his Black Order. Joining the action are Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), White Wolf (Sebastian Stan), all the characters from “Black Panther” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” join the cosmic struggle against the greatest threat the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen.
Since I saw “Avengers: Infinity War” this past Friday, I have tried writing this review five or six times. But I threw them all away because the truth is, it’s almost impossible to do write a review without giving something away. One of the reasons for this problem is because Infinity War never lets up. Something happens in this movie from the moment it starts all the way to the post credit scene.
However, that’s also one of the things that I liked best about “Avengers: Infinity War.” This movie was a non-stop thrill ride. This movie is clearly inspired more by the Infinity Gauntlet saga, and several scenes in the movie were straight out of the 1991 Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim mini series. A few things are different of course, mostly due to Marvel not having the rights to some characters. But the changes worked well I thought.
“Avengers: Infinity War” was also a roller coaster of emotions for me. This is the part where I must mention that Infinity War is the first comic book movie that made me shed a tear. I won’t say why, or which scene caused me to tear up. But let’s just say I wasn’t the only one in the theater who reacted like this. I guess if this movie doesn’t make you feel something, then you’re dead inside.
One of the few complaints I’ve heard about Infinity War is that several characters don’t get much screen time and/or dialogue. The way I see it though, the task of balancing so many characters, in addition to developing Thanos for non comic book readers was a daunting one. But the Russo brothers and the screen writers did an amazing job making Thanos a credible threat and a fully fledged out character. Hell, he’s even a sympathetic at points.
The only problem I had with Infinity War was the constant use of title cards. The film jumps around between different storylines involving different groupings of characters in different locations. whenever the film went to a new place, a giant tile card greeted us. Thing is, we already knew where these characters were headed because of the dialogue in previous scenes, so the title cards were unnecessary.
Further more, some of the shifts in location and tone were jarring at times. At one point we go from what is meant to be a particularly poignant and emotional scene, but it’s soon followed by a change of scenery and a joke. Then again, with so many things going on, and dozens of characters to deal with, this is a minor complaint on my part.
With that said, there is still plenty to enjoy about “Avengers: Infinity War.” This movie is easily in my top 3 favorite Marvel movies. The action never stops and its awesome from start to finish. The stakes were also higher than ever before, and the emotions this film puts you through, were all worth the price of admission.
A tip of the hat to Marvel, the Russo brothers, and the entire cast of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Thank you for making one of the most incredible comic book movies I’ve ever seen.
“Avengers: Infinity War” score: A
Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman, the X-Men, the Justice League, and the Avengers. For me these are not just characters on a page, they are all an important part of my life since I was young. In fact, comic books have been in my life for nearly 30 or my 39 years.
I was reading comic books before people thought the characters were cool, and my hobby got me bullied for a few years at school. But no matter what people said, it never stopped me from enjoying the latest issue of X-Men or Amazing Spider-Man. Nor did Mrs. Smith, my 7th grade English teacher who didn’t mince words when she told me comic books were a waste of my time and not suitable reading material for school.
I didn’t like Mrs. Smith very much, so I continued to buy comic books, and over the following years my comic collection grew to over 26,000 issues. Sadly, I had to sell most of my comics during the last decade to pay the bills. But I’m slowly building it back up one comic at a time. Now, as I’m days away from turning 40, I’ve decided to look back at the Top 10 Favorite Comics I’ve ever owned, and here they are:
10. Superstar as Seen on TV #1
Written by: Kurt Busiek/Art by: Stuart Immonen
SUPERSTAR is the celebrity’s celebrity. A hero so beloved by his fans that they are willing to empower him with their very life-force! In other words: the more popular Superstar is, the more powerful he is.
With the public behind him, he can work miracles — but without them, he’s nothing. Superstar’s made a deal with his father, an international media tycoon, to promote him and keep him powerful enough to save the world. But now he walks a fine line — between staying famous enough to do the most good, and becoming just another “property” in his father’s portfolio.
I have always loved the concept of Superstar, and this one-shot was amazing in every way possible. But sadly, this was it. Image never published any more Superstar comics, which baffles me. But at least I got to meet Stuart Immonen at a con many years ago, and he kindly signed my copy of this book.
9. Hawkman #1
Written by: John Ostrander/Art by: Jan Duursema
In 1993’s Hawkman #1, Hawkman returned with a new costume, new weapons, new powers. With this series Hawkman become a true bird of prey…a hard-edged urban hero whose extreme measures won’t long escape the notice of the Justice League. Hawkman #1 was packed with shocking revelations and new twists. And it was all wrapped in a beautiful Gold foil-embossed cover by Jan Duursema.
I still remember buying Hawkman #1 at New England Comics in Quincy Ma. During the same visit I had picked up issue #2, but couldn’t find #1. But as I browsed through Marvel bins, something shiny caught my eye. Somebody had shoves a copy of Hawman #1 between some Darevil back issues. I don’t know if someone left it there for later or what, but it didn’t matter. This bad boy was mine!
I ended up collecting this entire series, and although the quality went downhill after the first 12 or so issues, I’ve remained a Hawkman fan to this day. And for my money, I think Jan Duursema is the most underrated Hawkman artist ever.
8. X-Men #8
Written by: Jim Lee (Plot) and Scott Lobdell/Art by: Jim Lee
In X-Men #8, Bishop is introduced to the rest of the X-Men. But it isn’t long before he has it out with Gambit over something that hasn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the X-Men enjoy a nice afternoon picnic when Gambit’s wife shows up to crash the party.
This is another comic that I remember the day I bought it and where I got it. It was on Patriot’s Day 1992,at a Tedeschi’s convenience store in Weymouth Ma. I was with my bets buddy Laneit, and we each grabbed a copy of X-Men #8. My favorite moment is the pie scene between Rogue, Gambit, and Bishop. Laneit’s favorite moment was of course when Psylocke emerges from the lake.
And can I just say Jim Lees draws the best Psylocke?
7. Incredible Hulk #417
Written by: Peter David/Art by: Gary Frank
In “Party Animals!” All of Rick Jones’ super-hero friends show up to celebrate Rick’s last night as a single man. But when they sit down to watch the traditional stag film, everyone thinks the female lead in the movie looks awfully familiar, especially to Rick.
I still can’t believe they got so many characters in this comic. Incredible Hulk #417 guest-starred Captain America, Iron Man, Hercules, Crystal, She-Hulk, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing, Silver Surfer, Doc Samson, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Quicksilver, Impossible Man, and the Teen Brigade.
It was the first time I’d seen these characters get together for something other than a crisis. And while it’s cool to see them all interact and have fun, my favorite moment is when Captain America thinks he’s hired a magician to entertain them, but when in fact Nick Fury tricked him into hiring a stripper.
6. The New Adventures of Superboy #21
Written by Cary Bates and Bob Rozakis/Art by: Kurt Schaffenberger and Dave Hunt
In The New Adventures of Superboy #21, a promoter named Huey McKay tries to gain the rights to market Superboy in “Day Superboy Sold Out.” Then, in a second story, visits an alien world with strange creatures and a red sun.
The first story in Superboy #21 is what caught my attention when I bought this comics at a flea market in the 1990’s. The simple life in Smallville looked so welcoming and peaceful, that it made me wish it was a real place. Plus I got to see Clark Kent being just good old Clark while working at the Kent general store.
5. Justice League Quarterly #3
Written by: Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones/Art by: Mike McKone
In Justice League Quarterly #3, Kilowog and Mitch Wacky travel back through time and other dimensions to prevent the Extremists from ever coming into existence and destroying Wacky’s world.
When other JLI members try to follow them, they find themselves only 6″ high…and then, in trying to return home, they travel back to the wrong time where they run into the original Justice League of America.
This 84 page comic was my introduction to the BWAHAHAHA Justice League era. At the time, Justice League Quarterly #3 was the most expensive comic I’d ever bought of the spinner rack, but I definitely got my money’s worth! That summer I read this comic over and over, to the point where one of the staples got loose, but I still enjoyed the heck out this comic book.
4. Superman Annual #3
Written by: Dan Jurgens/Art by: Dusty Abell
The tale of ARMAGEDDON 2001 continues in this annual, as Waverider searches for the hero who will become the evil Monarch of 2001. This issue looks into one of Superman’s possible futures, where we see Superman married Lana Lang after Metropolis is nuked. But the loss of so many loved ones sets the Man of Steel spinning out of control and it ends with him being pursued by Batman.
Superman Annual #3 was my first annual of any kind, and it was the first time I saw Batman battle it our with Superman. But one of the coolest things about this issue was seeing what the heroes were up to in 2001. Like Tim Drake being a senator, and commissioner Gordon as Mayor of Gotham. There are a lot of great little moments in this comic that I still enjoy almost 30 years later.
3. Moon Shot The Flight of Apollo 12 #1
Written by: D.C. Agle/Art by: Alfredo Alcala
Published by Pepper Pike Graphix, Inc. in 1994, Moon Shot The Flight of Apollo 12 #1 was written by D.C. Agle with art by Alfredo Alcala. It tells the true story of the 1969 Apollo 12 lunar landing mission.
What made this comic even more appealing to me was the fact that the Apollo 12 crew of Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard Gordon, and Alan Bean all contributed to the creation of this very fine space history comic book.
I learned about this comic thanks to an 1994 article in Wizard Magazine, and being a space buff tried hard to find a copy at the time. I never did find a copy of Moon Shot The Flight of Apollo 12 #1, in fact it took me almost 12 years to track down a copy. Maybe that’s why I treasure it so much now.
2. Deadpool #11
Written by: Joe Kelly, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnot/Art by: Pete Woods and John Romita
Deadpool #11 never gets the credit it deserves. This is one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read. In the issue, Weasel and the Great Lakes Avengers try to figure out how to bring Deadpool and Al back through time.
While In the past, Deadpool uses his image inducer to impersonate Peter Parker (Al gets to play a very grumpy Aunt May) and try to convince a young and nerdy Weasel to fix his teleporter so they can get back to the future. But things get more complicated when Kraven the Hunter and a swinging party with Peter’s pals get in the way.
The best part of Deadpool #11 is seeing Deadpool’s reactions to the people in Peter Parker’s life. He can’t keep his eyes off Harry Osbourne’s hair, or from Mary Jane. All the while, Blind Al has to deal with MJ’s obnoxious aunt. This comic is loaded with laughs, and will cheer you up no matter what kind of day you’re having.
1. Avengers #1
Written by: Kurt Busiek/Art by: George Perez
After the events of Onslaught, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have returned from the pocket universe of the Heroes Reborn just in time for an adventure that it will take the greatest assemblage of Avengers ever put together. Every hero who has ever been a member of the team must unite to face a force so dangerous that it threatens the very fabric of reality.
Now this was an awesome #1 issue.
This comic features a ton of characters and they all get a moment in the spotlight. There are some great scenes too, like the Avengers meeting in the living room while Jarvis serves tea. Another good scene happens when Spider-Man excuses himself, and the swordman goes off on him. It was just so cool to see the Avengers in their classic HQ and in their old costumes again.
Avengers #1 remains one the gems in my collection. This is the comic that made me a fan of George Perez, and the book that kept me reading the Avengers books until 2005. No other Avenger title has been able to match what Busiek and Perez accomplished with this run. This is what an Avengers book desperately needs to be again.
It would seem the House of Ideas has run out them. Yesterday, Marvel Entertainment announced their comic book line is getting a “Fresh Start” in May, thanks to a linewide relaunch. If this sounds familiar to you, please know you are not alone.
The new relaunch comes just a few months after the company unleashed Marvel Legacy last year. Legacy brought back the classic numbering for many titles, including Incredible Hulk, Avengers, and Amazing Spider-Man. When Legacy was announced in 2017, Marvel promised this would stick and that no relaunches were in the near future. Well so much for that.
ARRRGH!! I’m just so pissed off at Marvel right now. This is what, the fifth or sixth such reboot since 2012?
I’m just done, and I don’t know if I can keep doing this dance with Marvel anymore. I can’t keep track of what volume the main books are on anymore. Marvel claims they don’t want to confuse fans, well its a little late for that. I wish the company would just stick to something for a change. Even DC Comics stuck with the NEw 52 for five years for crying out loud!
What sucks even more is that Marvel Legacy brought about some GREAT comic books: Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, Captain America, and X-Men: Red to name a few. These titles brought me back to Marvel for good, or so I thought. What happens to these books now? and what will become of other good books like All-New Wolverine and Daredevil?
But maybe this will finally be the relaunch that sticks. If it doesn’t, Marvel Comics will be in massive trouble with their fan base.
Written by: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub
Art by: Kim Jacinto, David Curiel, Cory Petit
Published by: Marvel Comics
Wonder Man and Beast team up in a desperate attempt to save Jarvis, while the Avengers reel from the crushing loss of one of their own.
I was sure that afer a few issues, the Avengers’ “No Surrender” arc would suffer a bit of a slump, before ramping up again towards the end. But with Avengers #680 we are now six issues into this story, and it is still going strong!
The story by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub is moving at a brisk pace, with very little down time. Avengers #680 opens with the team still in shock by the loss of their fellow Avenger last issue. Although they mourn for a moment, I was impressed when Rogue decided it was time for the teal to live up to its name, and avenger their fallen comrade.
With this, the story gets very dark, and the battle in this issue is downright brutal. But I actually enjoyed that part of the issue. It was good to see Rogue kicking ass again, and to see the Avengers finally playing offense. And it wasn’t all gloom and doom, there’s a great scene between Wonder Man and the Beast that had just a little bit of humor, which was nice.
The art by Kim Jacinto was quite impressive throughout the issue. Jacinto’s style reminds me of a mix between Jim Cheung and Olivier Coipel, and that ain’t a bad thing. His version of Rogue is awesome, and I’m glad she got most of the spotlight in this issue. The action scenes are well executed, but so are the quiet moments like the one in the hospital.
Kim Jacinto has to deal with a lot of characters in Avengers #680, but all of them look great. None of the art in this comic looks rushes, and the facial expressions are rather good. Even without dialogue, you can see the pain in the faces of these Avengers.
I guess if I had one complaint is that I wish “No Surrender” was a bi-weekly story rather than weekly. Events are happening so fast in some places, that a few things don’t get the time to really breathe. There are a few moments in this storyline that I wish we had a bit more time to absorb. But who knows, going bi-weekly might just slow things down too much.
As issues of “No Surrender” go, this one was one of my favorites. It had action, emotion, and great dialogue and art. All in all, this is a pretty packed issue, but I was quite satisfied when I finished reading it. It was good to see the Avengers actually avenging something, while also trying to save the world. Because as Wonder Man put is: “It’s about saving the people we love.”
The Avengers #680 score: B+
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