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More Fun than Avengers Should Be Allowed to Have

Editor’s Note: To commemorate the return of David Letterman to television on the new season of his Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, we’re going to look back at Dave’s one and only comics appearance: Emotions are running a little high at COMICS 101 HQ these days, as we count down the days […]

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We Gather Together

Maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age, but I do have a soft spot for Thanksgiving. However, comics and Thanksgiving don’t really cross paths all that often, with one glaring exception: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! As far back as 1940 there’s been the occasional bit of superhero visibility at the parade, thanks […]

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He’s a Man of Wealth and Taste, Part II

For Those Who Came In Late: Last week, we introduced you to Spidey’s supreme homewrecker, Marvel’s answer to Old Scratch himself, Mephisto. We took a look at Mephisto’s first appearance in the pages of THE SILVER SURFER, and a supremely creepy Mephisto tale from John Byrne in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR. However, the Mephisto […]

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He’s a Man of Wealth and Taste

Let’s take a look back at the scariest guy in comics, with the debut appearance of Marvel’s answer to Old Scratch himself, Mephisto. Back in 1968, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Stan Lee had finally given a solo series to his favorite creation: the Silver Surfer. Stan was looking to create the ultimate villain for his noblest of […]

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Dead Man Walking

You know, some superheroes have it better than others when it comes to origins. Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive spider; irritating, but hardly traumatic. Superman’s rocketship ride to Earth from Krypton? Maybe crippling emotionally, but hey, he was young – he adjusted. When it come to origins, nobody had it worse than the Spectre, […]

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Neil Gaiman and Vertigo

Neil Gaiman often tells a story familiar to many of us who grew up reading comics. As the story goes, young Neil Gaiman, in his school’s guidance counselor’s office in Great Britain, is asked the question we all remember getting asked: “What do you want to do when you grow up?” L’il Neil’s response? “I […]

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The Short Man’s Complex, Part IV

In my humble opinion, one of the best treatments of Hank Pym was in Kurt Busiek’s and George Perez’s late-‘90s run on AVENGERS, which correctly characterized Hank Pym (calling himself Goliath again by this time) as a deeply troubled man uncertain about his role as a superhero and the propriety of his recent reconciliation with […]

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The Short Man’s Complex, Part III

We continue our journey into the COMICS 101 Vault with part III of our Ant-Man coverage… By the late 1970s, and early 80s, Hank Pym as Yellowjacket had settled into a standard supporting role in AVENGERS and other Marvel books like DEFENDERS and MARVEL TEAM-UP. As time went on, Pym began to fall into periods […]

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This Is Halloween!

So we’re gonna take a departure from the usual fare this week, because this year is a dumpster fire and we’ve all got to do whatever it takes to make us happy and keep us sane, so why not? Instead, we’re going to focus on one of my favorite times of year, and specifically something […]

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The Short Man’s Complex, Part II

Five months after the Wasp’s debut,  Henry Pym underwent the first of his identity changes, utilizing his growth serum to grow beyond normal size as Giant-Man. At first, Pym was limited to a maximum height of 12 feet, but was later able to reach heights of 100 feet, although it proved too debilitating to be […]

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The Short Man’s Complex

Was spending some quarantine time yesterday re-watching Peyton Reed’s wonderful ANT-MAN movie, and it got me in the mood to talk about Ant-Man. Let’s get started! Here’s a question I get a lot: “Who’s your favorite super-hero?” It’s a question I usually dread, because it requires a lot of explaining, but here we go. It’s […]

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Caged Heat

One thing about Marvel Comics in the ’60s and ’70s: it had no compunctions about following the popular trends. After all, this was a company that survived the dark days of comics in the 1950s by pumping out tons of comics about whatever was succeeding elsewhere, not just in comics, but TV and film as […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.