Here are the rest of the books from last week:
Words: The Spider and The Shield: Karl Kesel, Make Mine Marvel: Kurt Busiek
Pictures: The Spider and The Shield: Paulo Siqueria, Make Mine Marvel: Pat Olliffe
If done right, Annuals can be fun. Sometimes they are part of events other times the tell untold stories of our favorite heroes.
This one is the later. It not only has two stories from Spidey's past and both are fun in their own way, but the book itself is 'set' in the past.
First up, "The Spider and The Shield", telling the tale of Spidey's first meeting with Captain America. It's a little out of whack with the references to computers and the internet but if you look at this as sort of a 'what if?' or even consider Marvel Time vs. real time it is still fun. I'm sure some nit pickers will trash this story but it is pretty much out of continuity and doesn't impact anything so just take it as a fun story.
And, it's always fun seeing Spidey play the part of fanboy.
So, you have the two heroes teaming up to save Sandman from a group of Rogue Scientists who are trying to kill Sandman because, they claim, he will kill 27% of the world's population. Naturally, Cap and Spidey don't agree and try to stop them. In the end it was the interference of the Rogues what gave Sandman the power to do the deed but he was still stopped, thanks to Spidey's quick thinking, and the whole thing was set up to...impress a girl? Only in a Marvel Comic.
"Make Mine Marvel" is billed as a story from the series Until Tales of Spider-Man a series from the 1990's that told stories from the early days of Spider-Man's career. the original team was brought back for this one and it did give it a feel of the '90's style' of Marvel. we have Spidey trying to stop the human Top, who is looking for a new name while trying to steal a device of some sort. What is the device? We really don't know, the joys of these stories set back in the early days is things don't always need to be spelled out. All we know is if the Human Top wants it then it can't be good.
Spidey ends up saving a few lives, one of which is Stan Lee, and ends up getting into a deal with Marvel Comics to get a series based on him. This draws the venom of JJJ who uses Wertham-style tactics to attack Marvel and eventually the Human Top attacks Spidey in Marvel's studio. All this leads to Spidey backing out of the deal in hopes of not endangering the health of Lee and his staff as well as the business he runs. Lee, ever the thinker, then decides to STILL tell Spidey's stories but by using new reports as source material. So, now we know how the Spider-Man comics got started.
Words: Victor Gishler
Pictures: Bong Dazo
Deadpool's adventures in the Zombieverse continues! It's time to go home, that's the thought of our 'hero' as he tries to evade the Zombie Amazing Friends, minus Zombie Spider-Man that is.
Things go from bad to worse as Deadpool has to race to save Betty and AIM Bill from becoming a frozen dinner for Zombie Iceman. How does he do it? Simple; Blow up a blimp and find a motorcycle. Anyone can do that, right?
While all this is going on, Professor Veronica (Betty? Veronica? How come I just got that?) and her survivors try to fight off Zombie Absorbing Man. Only thing is, they apparently didn't try hard enough. It's going to break Deadpool's heart to find out his hot babe is now a cold Zombie.
But, with this series coming to an end soon, I'm sure he'll get over it.
Words: Jonathan Maberry
Pictures: Scot Eaton
I'm not really sure what to say about this. Maybe I'm missing something but this series seems to be going nowhere fast. Out of four issues things have progressed at a snail's pace and for what? I can't figure it out. This series was supposed to be all out war against Doctor Doom and it's turned into a war against boredom.
But then I got this issue and from the cover I felt I was in for some fun.
Boy, you know how much I hate it when a cover have nearly NOTHING to do with an issue? I mean, yeah, Deadpool IS in this issue and I'm eager to see how Doom deals with someone like him...but Deadpool doesn't show up until the last two or three pages. Why put him on the cover?
For the rest of the issue we have the Fantastic Four and Wakanda's Warriors fighting robots they knew they could never beat...then Doom puts a new mask on and any progress the heroes had made was...ended? It doesn't make much sense but I'm willing to finish this out just the same.
Words: Jonathan Hickman
Pictures: Neil Edwards
Alright, so the last few issues may not have made much sense at the time, what with all the jumping from place to place and introducing new cultures and re-introducing the Negative Zone's Annihilus to the Marvelverse, but I think things are coming together now.
Reed founded a group, a think tank of sorts, called Singularity. It was supposed to be for smart, forward thinking people. Lately it's become stupid...to put of bluntly. Reed has realized this and he resigns.
Meanwhile, apparently Sue has been talking to one of the new cultures, Old Atlantis about something interesting while Reed welcomes a boy to the Baxter Building to be part of something special.
The smart Moloids now living in the Baxter building are learning things fast and one even finds a connection between the locations of the new cultures and the frequency that opens the portal to the Negative Zone.
This all comes to a head when Reed talks to the now insane Wizard and let's him, and us, in on who the boy from the beginning of the issue was: A young clone of the Wizard himself! We also find out that Reed has been gathering some of the smartest kids from the new cultures and has formed a new group: The Future Foundation.
So...what's next and what does Nu-Earth have to do with any of this?
Words: Fred Van Lente
Pictures: M.W. Kaluta, Kano and Tom Palmer & Felix Ruiz
Reality hopping, zombie fighting adventures with Arron Stack, aka Machine Man, Howard The Duck and the Indian girl who's name I'm to lazy to look up at this moment, continues!
Now we are in the land of King Arthur. It seems a certain Black Knight has found a book which has unleashed an evil upon the land, an Army of the Undead of Darkness and it's up the the three Chosen Ones to fight them and win.
I know, it sounds familiar but the book in question is the Darkhold and the Army of Darkness has little to do with the movie of the same title....although according to Howard these zombies are 'Possessed Type-834... a "Raimi"' which I thought was funny because I was thinking these things were acting like the demons/zombies in Sam raimi's Evil Dead trilogy.
So, you have the crusades, which is where the Black Knight fits into this, and you have the holy rollers thinking everything not Christian is evil and must be destroyed. These people target those who worship Thor and Odin. The murdered innocents come back as part of the Army of Darkness.
Cut to the end: the trio end the siege of the undead and prepare for their next mission: a world with a version of Machine Man AND Jocasta. As they leave the leader of the Crusades is confronted by Thor...if only we could see that beat down!
While not the best of the series, this was still a fun read.
Also from last week I picked up:
Yeah, another reprint of the legendary first issue that began a great franchise! This time offered as part of the Marvel's Greatest Comics line which let's readers try the first or important issues of comics for just $1!There have been others but this is the first I managed to snag.
This volume reprints Fantastic Four #160-183, Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 and Marvel Two-In-One #20.
I love the Essential line. It's a great way to see the books of Marvel's past without having to shell out hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars to own them.