The early days of the “Sensational” era of She-Hulk – originally debuting in 1989, the beginning of which is collected in She-Hulk Epic Collection: Breaking the Fourth Wall – are a case study in inconsistent tone. On one hand, you have The Sensational She-Hulk: Ceremony, an ultra-serious two-issue mini-series published at the beginning of 1989 that centers on She-Hulk’s relationship with Wyatt Wingfoot and her concerns about her biological clock. On the other hand is the eponymous Sensational She-Hulk series launched a few months later by writer/artist John Byrne, which is full to the brim with hijinks, the absolute Z-est-list villains and guest stars, and the aforementioned fourth-wall-breaking that is the hallmark of the run. Character reinterpretations go hand in hand with superhero comics of course, but I find myself hard-pressed to think of a more jarring shift in characterization in a similarly short amount of time. [Read more…] about Sensational She-Hulk: Breaking the Fourth Wall Collection Review!
My first exposure to Dr. Michael Morbius, the Living Vampire, was his arc during the “Neogenic Nightmare” storyline in season 2 of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In that story, Morbius is a rival of Peter Parker’s in school and in romance who steals a vial containing a serum mixed with Peter’s blood in order to get a leg up on his own research. You see, he’s dedicated his life to curing a mysterious disease afflicting his unnamed home country. It doesn’t go well for him, however, thanks to an accident involving bats, lasers, and the stolen serum. Morbius gets transformed into a white-skinned vampiric creature with little suckers on his palms and an undeniable hunger for “plasma”. I thought he was kinda cool but very, very goofy.
While I learned later on that all that plasma talk was there to tone the character down for a younger audience, and that in the Marvel comics universe Morbius was a proper vampire with all the horror and biting (and no palm suckers!) that follows, I never could get the blue-haired, palm-suckered weirdo out of my head. But now, with the Morbius movie in theaters, I wanted to finally get a taste of the good doctor’s comics history. That exploration led me to the Living Vampire’s second go-round with the idiosyncratic Legion of Monsters in a couple of runs from 2010 to 2012. And much to my surprise, what I found there–a leader doing his best to best to help his people, all while combatting anxiety and hubris–positions Morbius in a much more heroic light than I was expecting. [Read more…] about Morbius and the Legion of Monsters Review!
Every friend group seems to have that one person who stands at the center of it. They’re the one who connects everyone else together; the one who organizes the hangouts, the parties, the group texts and vacations; the one who drops everything for a chance to catch up and makes each person in their life feel like the most important person in their life. As someone who tends to be on the more introverted side, someone who sometimes has trouble keeping in touch with people I care about, I’ve always been a little envious of those who can effortlessly balance a number of close, meaningful friendships and maintain them for decades, no matter the age or the time apart or the distance that might separate them.
The Nice House on the Lake #1-6, by writer James Tynion IV with art by Álvaro Martínez Bueno and colors by Jordie Bellaire, pose a question: What if that friend, that person you’ve bared your soul to, or dated, or look up to, or all of the above; what if that person you trust is not who you thought they were, and might be something a whole lot more sinister than you could have ever imagined? The answers to that question – at least the ones that are doled out in this first volume, released in trade paperback form on March 1 – make for one of the most compelling comics I have ever read.
I’ll note here that I’m going to do my level best to avoid discussing specific plot points, but there are some minor spoilers ahead. [Read more…] about The Nice House on the Lake Vol. 1 Review!
Marc Spector is a troubled man. In the opening pages of Moon Knight #1 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, we see the origins of these troubles – betrayed and gravely wounded by his partner Bushman, a brown-haired mercenary collapses at the foot of a statue of the Egyptian god Khonshu and apparently dies. However, it turns out that we are not witnessing the 616 origins of Marc Spector, Moon Knight, after all. We are watching the cliffhanger ending of the first episode of “Legend of the Khonshu”, a television show Spector is producing in his new stomping grounds of Hollywood. Here we have an in-story fictionalization of events whose truth has been questioned over decades of publication history – was Marc Spector truly saved from the brink of death by an ancient Egyptian god, or is psychological trauma contributing to a dangerous delusion? [Read more…] about Moon Knight By Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Review!
Thanks to the box office success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the cinematic history of Spider-Man is a hot topic around the water cooler for about a billion reasons, and with almost two decades worth of Peter Parker on the big screen, there is a lot to discuss. In those twenty-odd years, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland have each given a take on the live-action wall-crawler that captures fundamental aspects of the character we love, all while telling vastly different types of stories about who Spider-Man is and how he fits into the world around him.
Believe it or not, dear reader, there are even debates on this here Internet about which big-screen version of Spidey is the best! And it’s true that while all three performances are undeniably Peter and his alter ego, they’re not quite the same Peter. So where should you start if you want to read the stories that best represent your favorite on-screen Spidey? [Read more…] about What Comics Best Match The 3 Live-Action Cinematic Spider-Men?