SpartanNerd Review…The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows

By now, you know that Spider-Man was at one time the top of my list of comics characters.  I haven’t read any Spider-Man since “Back In Black.”  The story splitting Peter and Mary Jane Watson up repelled me, and I walked away from comics for awhile.  I did pick up Amazing Spider-Man #1 last year after Superior Spider-Man came to a close.  (The idea of Doc Ock as Spider-Man…no as Peter Parker…was also very repulsive to me.)

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So I saw this on the shelf while I was failing at Friday Night Magic…I decided to give it a shot.

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I haven’t been reading Secret Wars…Marvel’s current story…a throwback to the big story from the 1980’s.  This blurb clears things up a bit, and makes the story accessible.  For me, it also represents a disclaimer.  Presented here is almost an “else worlds” or “What If?” story.  I understand that the writers are trying to bring back fans of different past versions of their characters.  DC did this with Convergence.  Now Marvel is doing it with Secret Wars.

Incidentally, I am quite a fan of Dr. Doom.  Maybe I SHOULD be reading Secret Wars.

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The Spider-Man child…this is a new development…and very important to this particular story line.  Her name is Annie.

We are largely seeing a happy family.  MJ is concerned about Peter.  When Peter goes to work, he learns that something is happening to the super heroes.  So he goes to visit the Avengers to see what’s up.

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We get a very enlightening conversation between Spidey and Iron Man.  The Avengers don’t know Spider-Man’s identity.  Some of what was “fixed” with the same story that split Peter and MJ up.  The world “forgot” Spider-Man’s secret identity…divulged during the Marvel Civil War.  (I know this from talking to people at The Tangled Web.)

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Since a major criminal breakout happened, Spidey suddenly knew his family was in danger.  The one guy who knew his secret identity…Eddie Brock.

I would like to say that I am glad to see Venom as a bad guy again!  The SpartanTeen read that Agent Venom story, where Venom was a good guy…Also I was put-off by that story.  Could they PLEASE stop destroying the characters!

Eddie Brock Venom is as disgusting as ever.  “We will suck out her lungs,” in reference to Annie.  Typical rant from classic Eddie Brock Venom, mid 1990s.

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If a psycho said this about my daughter….What would I do…Spidey does just that.  KILLS VENOM!

Sorry for giving it away, readers.  But it is necessary…You see, this story is “The most controversial Spidey story of the year!” You were going to hear it one way or another!

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We learn that there is a bad guy…”Regent” who is killing super powered people and stealing their powers for himself.IMG_6194

What does Spidey say about this…

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Chilling!  And unexpected, really.

A lot of people have said in the past that they preferred the bachelor Spider-Man to the married man.  That Mary Jane became a liability.  Aunt May certainly always was.  The “Back in Black” story arc showed Peter and his family targeted, and Spider-Man beating up Kingpin more than I ever saw him beat anyone.

But this just outright killing of Venom, because his family’s safety was at stake…

Well that’s … controversial!

I am now hooked, and will keep reading!

I give this story a 5/5!  It does what it was supposed to do.  It is a no frills origin story of an alternate universe Spider-Man.  We have the information we need, and what might be fuzzy is clearly spelled out.  The art is good.  I even like little Annie.  (I wonder if she will have powers?)

One of my hopes is when they stitch the worlds back together, we have a married but “normal” Spider-Man!

SpartanNerd gives Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows a 5/5.  Do you agree, or disagree, oh Hub City Geeks?  Let me know in the comments!

his story is addressing the larger story…Heroes disappearing and dying. Venom is back…as Eddie Brock…Disgusting as ever.  The way I like it.  “We will suck out her brains.” Spider-Man evidently kills Venom! There is an insert talking about “The most controversial Spidey story of the year.”  More than one reason, it seems. The art wasn’t distracting at all.  It was in fact very captivating.   Talk about ASM #1 from last year…and what you thought of the art. Always “With great power comes great responsibility.”  This issue turns it on its head saying that family trumps this saying.  

Comic Review…Thor God of Thunder issues 1-12

First of all, I want to say that I am generally into religiously themed comics.

They generally, probably should offend me.  But they usually don’t.  Why?  BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST COMICS, PEOPLE!  

I have a history of reading Ghost Rider, Spawn, and yes Thor.  All religion themed books.  Spawn is especially demonic in theme, and yet I was almost never close to be offended.  I didn’t like all of it.  But it didn’t offend me.  (I haven’t been reading any Spawn since “Endgame.”)

But Thor is different, because of how close much of the language comes to the actual way in which I personally worship God.

There are times in the “Godbutcher / Godbomb” story where I got pretty close to offended.  Close.  But then I remembered.  IT”S ONLY COMICS!

That pre-qualifier said.  That disclaimer delivered.  On with my thoughts.  

Oh Yeah.  LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD

I started reading “Godbutcher” when Marvel said.  “Ok.  DC has the New 52 and the Joker chopped off his face and he’s back now.  IDW is scoring zillions of ratings points with the nerds.  We need to reboot.  Or at least look like we are.”  So they started their Marvel NOW! campaign to get our attention, killed Peter Parker.  Oh yeah.  On the sidelines, Thor got a new book.  Thor, God of Thunder.  With a title like that, we expect to get to know Thor, and how he thinks, and why.  AND we expect to learn a lot about his history and stuff like that.

I was sort of “eh….” about the cover art.  But over time, I began to appreciate it.  A kind of watercolor matte look.  The inside art is fine, with muted colors, but plain figures over all.  And there was a cool AR feature…You scan an AR panel with your phone and get to see the page come to life, hopefully….Maybe it won’t just be a commercial…or a rant from the writer or artist….(It usually was these last two.)  (Actually, I just checked.  The AR panels don’t work anymore at all…except for the ads….:(   )

“Godbutcher” begins with young viking god Thor finding a god’s head washing up on the shore, a native American god at that.  It continues with with Thor the Avenger of the present day finding a civilization that has no gods.  Shocking.  Upon investigating, he finds the planet’s gods all murdered and dismembered.  Their “godflesh” rotting slowly.  This scene should now terrify us.  Gods are supposed to be immortal!  But here we see that someone can kill them.  Something attacks the avenger…A Black Berserker.  It isn’t long before we know it is Gorr the Godbutcher who is slaying gods…And we see future Old Man Thor, the All-Father beaten into hopelessness by Gorr.

I like the way the story goes from young Viking Thor, who uses an axe instead of a hammer, Thor the Avenger, the one that we know best, and future Thor, Odin’s replacement.  This was a grand way of showing us who Thor was, is, and will be, if not confusing at times.  It also shows us that this story could have been revealed VERY slowly.  Over an entire title run.  But the writers showed us this grand story the way they did in a masterful way that makes sense if you are a persistent reader.

(I will take a brief moment to exclaim, this way of showing Thor is not unlike what we see in Conan the Barbarian stories, where he is young, mid-age adult, and eventually king.  Being a fan of the Barbarian, I see a good influence of him on the way Thor is presented to us.)

As the story of the Godbutcher goes on, we see old man Thor defeated over and over by Gorr’s minions.  Thor is the final god, saved for Gorr to kill last.  In the young Thor and Avenger Thor’s stories, we see how Thor is the one that got away from the killer.  This is why he toys with Thor as an old man.

This villain, Gorr, is a truly evil killer.  His weapon channels black energy into it’s target.  It works similarly to a Green Lantern ring in DC or the Symbiote costume for Venom…creating constructs that allow him to fly, makes swords, ropes, and whips, and more.  And when a god is attacked with the weapon, it takes something from them.  Also, the Black Berserkers are constructs of this weapon.  So we see (As Thor remarks in book  2,) Gorr has grown very powerful.

Speaking of Book 2, we get our first taste of combat between Gorr and Thor.  The young Thor utterly loses.  I like the dialogue.  Gorr says, basically “What are you the god of…poetry?”  Thor just says “Thunder,” and a bolt of lighting hits Gorr!

Book 3 is cool because we see Avenger Thor bringing up his guilt complex.  He tells Iron Man that he feels guilty because he did not kill Gorr one thousand years earlier.  And that summarizes it, pretty much.  Thor sees many more dead gods from different worlds.  This story gets more convoluted, as the three different aged Thors are having similar thoughts, and the panels switch one to another quite a bit.  Oh.  And book 3.  Old King Thor is still getting beaten up.

Book four is where I start to get a little offended.  Just a little.  Old King Thor sits on his throne, last of all gods.  In other words, the only god left.  He talks about how he has seen everyone and everything he loved killed.  He is surrounded by those Black Berserkers.  And he seems so powerless and hopeless.  The language here is nihilistic.  “Gorr won’t just let me die…” etc.  The idea of one god being powerless, is abhorrent to me.  Then I remember.  IT’S JUST COMICS.

And we could have seen where this was going.  To somewhere that time-travel can take place.  Chronux, city of the time gods.

Essentially, from this point we see Gorr’s plan coming together.  I think I have it figured out…Then I don’t.  Gorr goes back in time to the early universe, where he sees a baby god sitting and making beings out of clay.  We assume this is a god from Gorr’s own pantheon…He kills this god.  My thought was, “He’s killing all gods by killing this one.”  But nope.  That would be too simple I suppose.  Gor brings back the giant gods heart…He is going to use it as the core of a weapon that will kill all gods at all times.

Along the way, during the time-travel part of this adventure, Avenger Thor manages to rescue Old Man Thor.  The two of them fail to stop Gorr.

Issue six was a break from the larger story…a telling of Gorr’s origin.  Basically, Gorr came to curse the gods his people were devoted to.  His world was dry as a bone, and people were suffering.  His family was all killed off, and offerings, prayers, etc to their gods resulted in nothing.  Finally, as Gorr begins blaspheming, he is exiled.  In his banishment, he sees two gods in battle.  They nearly kill one another.  The “good guy” god begs for Gorr to help him.  Instead, he steals the “bad guy’s” weapon and kills him.  This is the origin of Gorr and his weapon, which we learn later is called “The Anihilablade.”  This issue introduces us to Gorr’s son as well, leaving us scratching our heads….

When I set out to read these stories, I thought they would be a smaller story arc.  Instead, it looks like Marvel roped us into eleven issues total.  Luckily, I enjoyed the book.  Unluckily it seemed that this book had an inconsistent release schedule.  It was like issue after issue came at once, then there was a lull of like six weeks….

The second part of the story is called “Godbomb.”  With the ability to control time, Gorr has gathered gods from all corners of the universe and kept them as slaves to build a bomb that will make their “species” extinct all through the ages of time.  Gorr is making himself into a god, styled after the gods that drove him to become what he is.  But he refuses to admit this to himself.  He also does other things, including giving the slaves the seventh day off, and crucifying gods who try to rebel.  (Here is some of where I got offended.  ITS JUST COMICS.  Whew.  Got that over.)  Viking Thor is among these slave gods, and when he arrives on the planet where the bomb is being built, right away he takes action and manages to escape and meet up with the other two Thors.

This story moves a little faster than the first arc, because we are not jumping around in time.  All three Thors are on the same timeline.  Which is what it would take to bring down Gorr and his plan.  We also see that the Black Bersekers are now a mighty army, and Gorr not only has a son, but also a wife.  These two are hopeful that Gorr’s dream of a godless universe will come about.

What happens basically is that the Thor’s fail.  The bomb explodes, killing ages of gods, past present, and future.

But…Thor the Avenger takes a last desperate breath, grabs his future hammer, and goes into the exploding bomb, absorbing the blast into both Mjolnir hammers.  In doing so, he also steals Gorr’s weapon.  We find out that Gorr’s wife and child were just constructs as well.  And then Viking Thor chops off his head.

I also like the follow up one-shot.  Issue 12 shows the three Thor’s returning to their proper time, forgetting all about their future adventure.

Analysis.

Gorr the Godbutcher represents humanism and agnosticism.  Both viewpoints either deny the necessity of God or deny that we are of concern to him.  Gorr is someone who lost his faith after being burned over and over, having prayers unanswered while devotion was religiously given.  He took action in the most negative way possible.  (Otherwise he wouldn’t have been a villain, right…)

Thor is seen as an evolution of Western religion.  His barbarian self represents what gods were like in early pagan times.  His Avenger self represents the active and visible religions of the world.  (I like how issue 12 portrays Thor!)  Then the All-Father Thor represents that far off and untouchable-ness people often sense from God.

So Thor and Gorr are philosophical opposites.  And in the end, Gorr had no hope.  All of his hope was in himself and his efforts.  And religion won out, living it’s legacy after the god butchers was more or less erased from history….

Hmmm….deep.

My Rating.

I rate this story arc as a 4/5.

I took a point because the story starts to ramble a bit.  I wish it were one of two things.  Either a story spread over a 100 issue series, or a lot shorter…Maybe only six books long.  Instead, we got eleven books and a twelfth book chaser.  Think.  This is a YEAR WORTH OF READING.

But it kept me interested.  I kept buying.  The high idea of the story, Humanism vs Religion as a slasher story, was very entertaining.  The art has its own style, and I am glad to see that Marvel is still printing letters at the back of almost every book.

Figure Review…Marvel Select Deadpool

This is a figure that SpartanSmurf #1 picked up at the MonsterCon.

I wish I got a picture of the unboxing, but sorry!

Let me just say…WOW!  The MOTUC figures have met their match in almost every way!

I mean, Deadpool was only $25!  He is massive!  Has tons of articulation!  And lots of accessories!

Here are some pics and my review!

This is the basic figure.

Here is his diorama and stand

Here are his accessories, minus one sai.  Trust me.  He came with another one.

Here he is with pistol, about to draw the other.

Here he is with machine gun and sai!

I used the extra large pics here to show the detail!  

First thing I noticed was the heft of the figure.  He probably weighs two pounds altogether.  That stand is a chunk!
Deadpool has very nice articulation, with double jointed knees and ball joints in lots of places.  His arms have swivel joints, but his shoulders and hips have ball joints.  His wrists swivel.  His ankles seem to have a rocker, but they are sort of weak.
Lots of detail on Deadpool.  He has extra knives, ammo pouches, a teargas grenade, holsters, etc.
I don’t know much about Deadpool.  I read a couple of the comics since my son has become interested.  They really are not for children.  Maybe I shouldn’t let him read that garbage.  But one thing is certain, this is an awesome figure!
Compared to the OTHER great figure line of today, MOTUC, he has them beat.  Shame on Mattel!  They could sell MOTUC figures in comics stores for a comparable price.  I mean Diamond is not even mainly a toy company!  
Deadpool has triple the accessories of most MOTUC figures, he is taller and even more hefty, he came with a diorama stand.  Mattel says they cannot sell their figures for less than the $28 plus shipping.  This just proves them wrong.  I do not know there deal on the amount they produce, but it could definitely sell better at comic stores.  They are holding out on us collectors!
I saw a Juggernaut Marvel Select figure at the Tangled Web last night.  Same price.  $25!  That figure was three times the size of a MOTUC figure.  In fact, Three times the size of Deadpool!  Granted, it didn’t come with as much other swag, but still.
I think I found my next toy, if they make a Thor.  Or Wolverine.  (The Spider-Man looked kind of small…and came with a big ruined car.  I just don’t think that is as great.  Maybe a Spider-Man and Hobgoblin!)

LOOOONG HIATUS!

Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Lots has happened since May 16, (My last post.)  And I am rethinking a few things.  One of them is the whole “secret identity” thing……

Should I kill Batman, or Bruce Wayne?  Should I become “Joe Clark, Fireman?”  Should I walk away, SpartanNerd’s back facing the sun?  (All three famous references.  Did you get them?)

Maybe we should co-exist, sort of like Iron Man/ Tony Stark.  This is what I am thinking.

First of all, why the long break from the blog.

I tried a giveaway.  No One Wanted What I Got.  So it seemed.  Serious discouragement.  Were all of the hits that Google showed me really non-traffic?  Next problem?  Handicapped MacBook Pro.  This one is reworking itself, however.  I type this entry on the eight year old iMac that my mother got me eight years ago.  This Beast Machine is pretty slow, but we are old friends.  And it is not handicapped in the way that the MacBook Pro is after the Great Fall.  Still, the iMac is not my favorite way to write. I have an iPhone and an iPad mini, but those are more for play than work.

So this brings me to the question.  Should I publicize this blog to my family and friends?  Pester the folks I know of FaceBook?  Promote myself on places like Pop Culture Network and He-Man.org?

Soul Searching….It’s what I have to do.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ll be writing about soon, all things which have happened.

Man of Steel
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe ongoing series
Magic Core Set 2014
Mega Man NT trading card game
Batman: Year Zero
Trinity War
Deadpool
Thoughts on “Batman and …….”
“Aquaman” Snore zzzzzzzz
MonsterCon
Spikor
Thoughts on the failure of Spider-Man
The Wolverine
Excitement for September reveals!
Superman?????

AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

Spider-Man #6 Vintage Comic Review!

Spider-Man #6 and #7, by Todd McFarlane

So this is going to be a two parter, oh faithful Hub CIty Geeks!  Feel free to comment on what I say about these two in the next couple of days!  I apparently have some readers, but no one has left any comments.  You can be among the first!

I fell in love with these two.  I read them over and over.  They are a part of my soul like the Bible is.  They are what I measure comics by.  They are the greatest comics ever published in my opinion.

I am going to go a little at a time through each one.  So here we go!

The cover of #6 features four CBG Fan Awards stamped across the top.  “Favorite Character, Favorite Penciler, Favorite Cover Artist, and Favorite Letterer.  Then the haunting dialogue box “Face it Spidey–Awards don’t mean #@*!! against the Hobgoblin!”  and a small bubble “…and wait till you see our surprise guest-star!  You also get the left hand box featuring Spider-Man under the Marvel Comics logo, and the issue number and “The Comics Code Authority” logo.  That probably shouldn’t have been there!

The cover itself features what I now know to be Todd McFarlane’s own style of posing Spidey, and this has been emulated by basically every other artist who draws him.  (I know now that Spidey was depicted as much less like a spider in the pre-McFarlane days.)  The Hobgoblin is throwing pumpkins headless horsemen style.  The pumpkins have what for a mouth?  Batman’s symbol!  What gives!  Well, Batman was super popular at this time because of his Summer blockbuster movie.  And Todd McFarlane was always sliding in humorous bits like this, (Batman being a DC character and all.)

Page 1 of this book got my attention right away…Hobgoblin removes his own face!  And all of these little purple word bubbles are hurling insults at him.  I don’t know if this is only in his mind, or if the people really are saying this stuff.  But he doesn’t like it one bit!

Pages 2 and 3 are a splash page, showing off the Hobgoblin to the reader for the first time.  On the cover, his face was blacked out.  Now you can see that this is someone demonic.

The Hobgoblin, a truly evil and powerful villain in 1990

Of note, my copy is really old!  When I was a kid, the blacks were deep dark.  These have faded.  I e-mailed Val Staples about this because he is a colorist and I heard him discussing it with Earl Norem on the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast.  Val says that the way they used to color comics was by using film, and that nowadays they are printed digitally.  So if different intensities of black show up, it is an artifact of the aging books plus the way that they were printed.

Page 4 we see the villain torturing a boy and his mother.  The woman stands out because she is so pretty.  The other women in the picture are fat, etc.  These people are “webbed” to the place by Hobgoblin’s powers.  It looks like brown goop that resembles his cape.  The scene is akin to something from “Aliens,” where people are cocooned to a wall awaiting the hatching of an alien baby!

Page 5 and 6, of course the Goblin kills this woman.  On page 5, she resembles Sigourney Weaver!  He shoves her into the goop.  He doesn’t kill her kid though….  He takes him and treats him as a favorite….He is going to make him into a disciple.

Page 7, we see a different setting.  McFarlane makes the Hobgoblin hugging the kid fade into a husband and wife…then you realize, OH!  This is Peter Parker!!!  And you see his costume thrown around the room.

Page 8 and 9….A different setting yet.  Spidey’s costume gives way to a real spider in a web with some fire around it and creepy speech bubbles…..We see the Ghost Rider hanging a criminal upside down from the top of a skyscraper.  I don’t think McFarlane had it a coincidence that this guy resembles Hobgoblin’s severed face.  He is also wearing a crucifix.  A lot could be said about this, and will be said on some other day by the old SpartanNerd.  Anyway, this criminal has been making child pornography apparently.

Now let’s stop a second…..I was 12 years old when I was reading this.  Besides my unfortunate incidence with the “WWIII” comics, I thought comics were all fluff stories.  But here, this is serious.  I am not reading a kids book at this point.  I felt I was reading an adult book, I was allowed to read it, and I was enjoying it.  This was one of the first times!  Now my family didn’t understand this still.  When my mom read this story, she just scratched her head.  Why was it such a serious subject matter?  This wasn’t “The Electric Company” Spider-Man, or the old cartoon version.  This was something entirely different.  I loved it.

Back to page 9… So Ghost rider drops this criminal!  and … on Page 10 he catches him.  Then I learned about The Penance Stare.  Ghost Rider has the power to make criminals experience the pain of their victims, by staring into their soul!  Then he rides away on that nifty motorcycle.

On Page 10 and 11, we see Peter Parker trying to sneak out the window without waking Mary Jane.  He is unsuccessful, however.  She awakes, wearing a neglige, and fussing at Peter for sneaking out on her.  Then we see a full page on Page 11 of Spidey shooting too much webbing!  (This was a joke reference to some of the criticism McFarlane received about his style.)

Peter and Mary Jane are presented as such an inseparable item, in the two pages that we have seen of them together.  Their banter, body language etc.  is so good, this aspect of Spider-Man became part of what makes him who he is, in my mind.  This is why “A Brand New Day” sucks.  “A Moment in Time” is a failure.  And this is why the “Dock Ock/Spidey” doesn’t live in my comics shelf.  At least during the clone saga, MJ still loved Peter.  In 1990, they would have been recently married.  I’ve heard the arguments for a single Spidey, and I say that Spidey should be single, for the movies and cartoons.  But he should have stayed married for the comics…..

Oh, but I was having a nerd tantrum again, wasn’t I!  So back to the story.

Page 12.  We nearly forgot about the Hobgoblin.  But here he is.  He decides that finding the kid was the purpose of his kidnapping all of those victims.  So he leaves them, takes the kid, and blows the place up!

Page 13 we hear the cops talking.  They are sort of blaming the heroes for whack job super villains.  Ghost rider is looking on the wreckage.

Page 14 features some art that McFarlane would imitate again later in Spawn….

Here we see Spidey on an antenna.  He is listening to different cable news anchors talk.  We actually see four little TV screens with talking heads and a speech bubble, each with a different “voice.”  All of them are discussing the tragedy that the Hobgoblin has caused.  It is striking that The Fantastic Four have said that Spider-Man would take care of it.  Why not them?  This was the first time I ever gave a thought to the fantastic four as well!  And they always seemed to be off the mark because of this page, in my mind.  (I like Ben Grimm.  The Human Torch is OK.  But I have never really liked Sue Storm or Mr. Fantastic.)

Page 15 and 16, a different setting.  An alleyway, where a drug user is about to snort some cocaine.  He has it in a little tube, and calls it his “angel,” in case anyone wonders if I know what I am talking about.  Spidey uses the criminal’s habit as a means of getting information about the Hobgoblin’s whereabouts.  I like what Spidey does here.  He leaves the drugs out of the criminal’s reach.  The webbed up drug-head screams at Spidey “What kind of Monster are you!!?”

Page 17 gives us a shot of how Ghost Rider gets his info.  He kicks the crap out of his information source!  His man is a gun runner.  Ghost Rider says he’ll come back some other time to deal with the guns.  This is the one page of the book I have not ever been fond of.  Ghost Rider is in the shadows.  But how can a guy with a flaming head have a shadow cover half of his face? DOH!

On page 18, we see more of the Goblin.  He’s talking more nonsense to his new kid “disciple.”  Page 19 is where Spider-Man shows up and gets called “The Devil.”  You see, Hobgoblin seems to believe he is Jesus….So of course Spider-Man is the devil.  Strategically, we don’t see part of the kid’s face.  Spider-Man doesn’t pay much mind to him either, focusing on Hobgoblin instead.  Of course, the Goblin throws some pumpkin bat symbol bombs at Spidey!

On page 20, we see how powerful Hobgoblin really is.  Rays of energy are zapping off of him everywhere.  Spider-Man says “What am I dealing with?”

Spider-Man says “What am I dealing with?”

The kid is screaming, “Stop!  Please Stop!” In my copy the Bullpen Bulletins cover the back of page 21………so when you flip the page you get a surprise!  The kid’s face is deformed, and is transforming so that half of it looks like the Hobgoblin’s faceless visage!  (Two-Face style, another Batman reference.)

This issue did not feature a letters column, so I won’t address what was said!  But Issue #7 does, if I am not mistaken.

This book captivated me so much!  I fell in love with the characters right away!  Back in 1990, the colors were very vibrant, and the art was unlike any comic art I had ever seen.  McFarlane’s take on Spider-Man was a revelation to me….I was largely unaware of the Spider-universe before this book.  The Hobgoblin was new to me.  I did not know about the Green Goblin.  I did not know about Philip Macendale.  I did not know about his dealings with the devil.  I only new that here was a villain.  A real bad guy that deserved getting his butt kicked.  And so far it seemed that the nut-job was winning!  I was inspired to find out as much about this universe as possible, which was why I began buying up Marvel comics by the dozen!

About the Comics Code…..I guess this book didn’t feature zombies…..I guess there were also no curse words…..but other than that there was 1) Violence, 2) Sex, 3) Religious elements, 4) Drug Use.  Todd McFarlane was pushing the envelope of what could be allowed under the rules of the Comics Code.  I got hooked on comics right at the end of an era, so it seems.  Nowadays, the only comics featuring that arcane logo are books like “The Adventures of the Super-Family,” “Spider-Ham,” and other similar “kiddie” titles.  Thank You Todd, for freeing the medium!

Next blog entry will feature my Vintage Comic Review of Spiderman #7, the “conclusion” of this story!

“Oh No!  I spilled Peanut Butter in my Chocolate!”

Spider-Man…The Birth of the SpartanNerd

What is my origin story?

Here goes!  My nerd life officially began with the purchase of a Value Pack of marvel comics at
Wal-Mart, in about….1990ish.  (Also….Wal-Mart was sort of new in Spartanburg at this time, on trivia buffs and historians!)

If you have been reading my blog, and some people have been apparently, (I am very grateful!), then in my post about “How I see comics…” I mention some of my history with the medium.  So here is a more detailed story, and how Spider-Man #6 and #7 were the official birth of the SpartanNerd!

1.  My first comics were without a doubt, the Mini-Comics that came with Masters of the Universe figures.  I was three or four years old at this point.

2.  I stumbled across the Sunday Funnies page at some point around six or seven years old.  It became a sort of ritual to read them every Sunday.  I remember reading “The Phantom,” as my first “serious” taste of comics, but to this day I can’t remember a single story.  All I remember was his swag.

3.  At about eight or nine years old, I got some collected editions of Masters of the Universe comics, and Transformers comics.  Oh if I still had these today!  But I remember them!  The He-Man stuff featured some nasty vine creatures.  To this day I have not seen this story archived or discussed on the internet.  The Transformers book had what was apparently the Marvel origins story of the Transformers…This was also my first Spider-Man book….It featured Spidey in the black costume, Pre-Venom!  So this was that brief stint of time between Secret Wars and Venom.  (I know this now….Back then I had no clue!)  Spidey mentions that the costume is a “cinch,” and that all he has to do is think about becoming Spider-Man in order to change.  I’m sure this was purposely reviewed so that non-comics regulars like me at the time might understand why he was in a black costume, and some of the powers it had.

4.  Knowing that I was trying to get into reading comics, my uncle got me some for Christmas at around the age of 8 or 9 as well.  I read them a few times, then my mom caught me.  They were “WWIII.”  Highly gory and lots of foul language.  She put those things in the garbage!  Sorry, Uncle!
This was my first awareness that not only kids were out there reading comics.

5.  So at around 12 years old I got this value pack of Spider-Man books.  This was a collection of five random books.  I’m pretty sure one of them was Wolverine, one of them was ghost rider, and then there were the real gems….Spider-Man #6 and #7.  There was also an re-print of a vintage crossover book that featured both Spider-Man and Ghost-Rider.  (You see, there was some rhyme and reason to this little packet!)

6.  I became a full blown comics addict, buying these value packs every time I could go to Wal-Mart, or off newstands when I could find them, eventually amassing a few hundred books. Eventually my interest waned a little and I sold them off to the Tangled Web for gas money, (which was a new store at the time.)

7.  Spurts of interest in comics would come and go.  I got all into “The Death of Superman,” and “Reign of the Supermen.”  I was allergic to the Spider-Man clone saga.  But I read it anyway, at least some of it.

8.  And now I am an old SpartanNerd who subscribes to lots of comics.  But I weigh every single comic I read against my two favorite comics, Spider-Man #6 and Spider-Man #7, either conciously or subconsciously.  To me, these are the pinnacle of the medium!

My next entry will be a review of why these two are so special to me!

“Gobbling like a Hobgoblin!”