Archive | Comics 101

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Staying on Target

I have a tendency, it must be admitted, to root for the little guy when it comes to comic-book characters. Sure, your Supermans and Wolverines and Incredible Hulks are cool, but I always tend to identify more with the “regular joes” of the superhero community, the ones who get by on their wits and nerve, […]

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Marvel’s Most Overlooked Giant: Black Goliath

Editor’s Note: Remember Laurence Fishburne in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP?  Who’s he playing, you ask? Bill Foster, a.k.a. Black Goliath. Seeing Fishburne on the screen made me think about poor doomed Black Goliath, blasted through the torso by a Thor clone back in 2007 and then buried by helicopters at full height for a bit […]

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Just Say No

What’s the most dangerous gig in the DC Universe? The Doom Patrol, right? Must be. Got the word “Doom” right there in the title. Nope. Guess again. The Justice League, maybe? After all, they handle the biggest threats – surely that’s got to be some serious hazard duty. Uh-uh. No, by my estimation, the most […]

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The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Rings

Although much is made of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s strength lying in its interconnectedness, many of my favorite Marvel films are the ones that stand alone, alike Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther or Ant-Man. Even with that, I walked into Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings yesterday a little less than confident, not having […]

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Airboy Goes to China

  Way, way back in the day, in these pages, we discussed Hillman Periodicals’ stable of slightly jingoistic characters published during World War II, military aviation heroes like Airboy, SkyWolf, the Flying Fool, the Iron Ace, Black Angel and the Heap. But what we didn’t discuss is how the character matured once the war was […]

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Too Many Earths

With both the DC and Marvel cinematic universes delving into multiverse-based storylines, I’ve been getting a lot of multiverse-related questions lately. Which makes it the perfect time for a refresher course… “What’s the difference between the Justice League and the Justice Society? Who came first?” “If Superman and Batman were around in the 1940s, how […]

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Sometimes, the New Order Stinketh

As has been discussed many times in these pages, a large part of the strength of THE AVENGERS as a concept is its ever-rotating roster of teammates. However, that doesn’t mean that every now and then, a real lemon doesn’t somehow find his or her way on to the team. Let’s take a look at […]

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Li’l League

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. As we’ve discussed in these pages previously, the hottest thing going at DC Comics in the early 1960s was JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. So hot, in fact, that a request to ape its success led to the creation of THE FANTASTIC FOUR by Lee and Kirby, which would […]

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Comics 101 In Focus: A Shocking Development

It’s all about perspective, really. If you’ve been reading SPIDER-MAN comics any time for the last few years, you know who the major villains are and who the small fry are, and odds are that the Shocker probably isn’t going to make the first list. However, when Li’l Scott was reading Spidey at the tender […]

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The Way It Began

In all of our talks in recent weeks about the Golden and Silver Ages and the early days of Marvel, we’ve been somewhat remiss in discussing the book that started it all, the book that was labeled “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!” by Stan Lee as a tongue-in-cheek boast, but which history would later prove […]

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They Came From Inner Space, Part II

Previously, in COMICS 101: When last we met, we’d been discussing Marvel’s adaptation of Mego’s cult-classic toyline the Micronauts, as realized on the page by writer (and Rocket Raccoon creator) Bill Mantlo and artist Michael Golden. We’ve just been introduced to the Micronauts: stellar explorer and man out of time Commander Arcturus Rann, royal princess […]

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They Came From Inner Space

I’ve been thinking a lot about Bill Mantlo in recent days, the amazing cinematic success being enjoyed by his creation Rocket Raccoon, and the tragedy of Mantlo’s own medical condition. Mostly, though, I’ve been thinking about what a great writer Bill Mantlo was. Which made me want to go back and re-present this look at […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.