Spider-Gwen Animation!

A snazzy few seconds of Spider-Gwen animation courtesy of someone named Michael Hollister (I think?). Really plays in the Spider-Gwen color palette well and is some fun food for thought. Given they throw just about everything in the Spider-Man cartoons these days (Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, etc), I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the line we get an animated Spider-Gwen appearance.

I really liked Spider-Gwen #1 (the first one) when I read it this year. Check it out!

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The What If Podcast on Tumblr! New Audio!

 

I just started putting up small “PodBlasts” (a term which is terrible and won’t catch on) on my What If Podcast Tumblr page. Basically talking about what’s coming up on the podcast, mixed with some random musings about comics related things. It should be fun to spew out a couple minutes about subjects I’ll forget about by the time we can get together to record a podcast. Check it out!

WIP Episode 27 – Love and Marriage on YouTube!

The What If Podcast returns, discussing love, marriage, and Spider-Man. What If Vol 2 Issues 20 & 21, What If Spider-Man Had Married Black Cat instead of Mary Jane? Plus we discuss Season 3 of Agents of SHIELD, Jessica Jones, and butt stuff!

Over The Top Tales!
http://www.indyplanet.us/product/126499/

The WIP is featured on theslimjames.com/wip

As well as iTunes:
http://tiny.cc/wipit

Stitcher:
http://tiny.cc/wipst

Blubrry:
http://tiny.cc/wipbb

Vimeo:
http://tiny.cc/wipvm

WIP – What If Podcast Episode 26 Stan-Man on YouTube!

Ant-Man, Stan “The Man” Lee, Jack Kirby, The Fantastic Four, and Archangel are discussed on the What If Podcast? How many horseman of the apocalypse are there, anyway? And didn’t you ever wonder what it would be like if Stan Lee could stretch his body to outrageous proportions?

Over the Top Tales: http://www.indyplanet.com/front/product/126499/

The WIP is featured on

theslimjames.com

As well as iTunes:
http://tiny.cc/wipit

Stitcher:
http://tiny.cc/wipst

Blubrry:
http://tiny.cc/wipbb

Vimeo:
http://tiny.cc/wipvm

and YouTube:
http://tiny.cc/wipyt

WIP Episode 23 – Victor’s Secret (Wars) – What If Podcast on YouTube

Marvel’s new Secret Wars mega-crossover will have big implications for the ongoing Marvel Universe. But what’s the story on the first Secret Wars mega-crossover? The What If Podcast returns to discuss Secret Wars of all ilks, but past (1984) and present as the Marvel Multiverse converges into a super-Battleworld? What?! Meat Mittens, Spider-Man’s symbiote, Black Bolt’s racist rants, and Dr. Doom stealing The Beyonder’s power.

The WIP is featured on theslimjames.com/wip

As well as iTunes:
http://tiny.cc/wipit

Stitcher:
http://tiny.cc/wipst

Blubrry:
http://tiny.cc/wipbb

Twitter: @theslimjames or @Giant_Size

Spider-Gwen #1 – A Review

I admit it. I got sucked in by the hype. My Facebook feed and the comic sites I visit were all hyping “Spider-Gwen #1”. It’s Gwen Stacy, as Spider-(Wo)Man! Holy moley!

I don’t read too many new comics, but I always have a soft spot for Spider-Man and all things related, and compounding that was how much my girlfriend prefers Gwen Stacy over Mary Jane (based on their characters in the movies) and the fact that Jason Latour will be appearing at the Boston Comic Con this year, so there’s potential for some sweet signage on my issue. With those facets in mind, and with a gift card to Newbury Comics paying for all of it, I decided to take the dive and pick up Spider-Gwen #1.

Would I opt for the regular cover, or spend $2 more on a Newbury Comics-exclusive variant? Well, I liked the regular cover better, so that combined with the sweet taste of savings had me going the standard route. Sometimes covers feel less “monumental” and “iconic” than those of years passed, and it could be because they haven’t been put through the filter of nostalgia yet, but the bold colors, sharp contrasts, and simple pose on Spider-Gwen #1 spoke to me more than a lot of other covers I’ve seen in recent memory (standard cover Amazing Spider-Man #1, I’m looking at you).

The interior art is great, bringing a sense of energy to the whole affair and working in a “cooler” color palette that could help this book stand out on its own. The character design of Spider-Gwen is great, using the familiar Spider-Man elements and bringing some uniqueness to the table without being too cute about the whole thing and looking corny or overdone.

The writing is what sold me on it, as Spider-Gwen brings some of the things I love about Spider-Man into a modern setting. Spider-Gwen’s got jokes and it really feels like a classic Spider-Man tale of yore as she takes on The Vulture in the first issue. Spider-Gwen also has to deal with being spurned by public opinion, as any good Spider-person has to, and deal with the very much alive Captain Stacy, which brings up something I always want to see more of: superheroes having to deal with their parents. It seems too convenient that most classic heroes were orphans (Superman, Batman, Captain America [at least according to the movie], Spider-Man) so actually seeing a heroine have to deal with a parent is refreshing. My only nitpick might be about the MaryJanes sub-plot, if only because most fictional takes on the “meteoric rise of a band” ring false to me, mostly because I’m jaded and think any band that plays instruments isn’t allowed to be famous anymore. That said, the actual story elements of layering Gwen Stacy’s Spider-Woman problems on top of band strife is unique, and it does serve to underscore what my girlfriend has thought this entire time: Mary Jane is an egotist and Gwen Stacy is far better. In that respect, I’ll give it a pass.

My other quibble would be with the alternate-universe trope of “look what these characters are doing in this universe” popping up in the form of Ben Grimm and Frank Castle involved in the police force, but that’s very much in the background and probably more a result of me reading too many “What If?”s and seeing it over and over again.

Overall, I give Spider-Gwen #1 an A-minus. The comedy is sharp, the plot elements are intriguing, and the modernity of the entire thing doesn’t feel forced. Give it a read!

Is that a 3-D Jaws card?

photo 4 (2)

Why, yes it is.

As part of my ongoing quest to finish setting up our house, I have found myself going through many things and trying to find a place for them.  This week, I was able to do a few things, so expect a couple updates within the next week.  Sorry these aren’t as Crafty as I would have liked, but if you stick them out, I did do a mini-craft that I will post.

On this site we are going to look through many collections that I have been putting together all my life.  One of the first things that I had to go through was my card collection.  I don’t mean greeting cards, or sports cards here.  Although I do still have a box of old baseball cards that I should go through.  And I didn’t include my Magic cards, as there are just too many, and I need to sell most of them.  Interested? Email us.

No, here I’m going to talk about my comic and miscellaneous, and random other ones that I had acquired, including some that I just bought last month.

image

Here is my collection, or most of it, semi-sorted into groups.  We got some Marvel cards, X-Force, X-Men, Spider-Man, Heavy Metal magazine covers, Arthur Suydam artwork, some Marvel game, TMNT TV show cards, Archer, and even one lone DC card.  That’s right, Gangbuster, in all of his glory.

My original plan was to narrow done these cards to a core group that were the best of the best and represented the interests I had.  This didn’t take as long as I thought it would.  Many cards I eliminated just because I didn’t like the way that they looked (sorry X-Force).  Some because I just had no interest in them (Marvel game and Heavy Metal).  I mean, don’t get me wrong, some of those cards were cool, but I just don’t think that I liked them enough to put them on display.

Finally I got the ones that I thought were good enough, and diverse enough, to add to my wanna-be-shelf-porn library.  As you can see, I only got vertical ones, and I did include two sketch cards and a Magic card.  I thought that this would look good in a tasteful frame.

imageTop row, left to right, they are:  Archer (Sterling Duchess), the Deadpool card from the polybagged X-Force #1 (worthless, utterly worthless, even in the bags), a Groot sketch card from last year in Boston.

Middle row: Glow in the dark Ghost Rider, Arthur Suydam artwork, Avengers team card.

Bottom: Aces Weekly sketch card from Dubai Comic-Con, Marvel “comedy” card, MTG Dark Ritual card (not a rare, but a solid card to have in a black deck).

As luck would have it, I was able to find several nice frames at Goodwill, which was having a huge sale.  So I was getting frames for under a dollar.  These were nice, too.  You’ll see some of them in a later post.  Unfortunately, the sheets of cards would not fit. So I had to do a bit of cutting and re-arranging.  In the process, I switched out a couple of cards.  This was mostly done to make it fit, but I also think it looks a bit nicer now, with the horizontal cards.

photo 4

As you can see, I took out the Avengers card, the hilarious Marvel “joke”, and the Ghost Rider.  Looking back now, I think I want to put the Ghost Rider back in and take out the Magic card, but maybe that would just be too much Marvel.  In case you can’t tell from the glare, the two horizontal cards that I put in are the Jaws card, and one of Kraven the Hunter with a gunshot wound to the head, which isn’t in the original Kraven’s Last Hunt (or Fearful Symmetry for you snobs), I don’t think.

So where does this go?  Well, for now, it goes under my shelf of many things.

image

Someday that will require updating, and so someday, that too will be an article here on Giant-Size Comic Things, your home for stuff about comics and things.  Think you got a better catch phrase? Leave it in the comments.

Monday Morning Quarter-Bin: Micronauts #1 (1978)

From Wikipedia

When site admin and contributor Turner told me he had a box of free comics for me to paw through, I was skeptical, a justifiable suspicion as I saw issue after issue covered in foil and 90sness. However in the recesses of this box was a run of Micronauts, As a kid enamored with “Captain Universe Spider-Man” who popped up on trading cards, action figures, and the like,  I knew that Captain Universe, a transient power that bounces from host to host, first appeared in, of all places, Micronauts #8. Wouldn’t you know, there was a pretty sharp copy of #8 in the collection. Only I already had it. Still, I took it anyway, in case it was in better shape than my copy (it was, so there you go). For posterity’s sake, I decided to also take the copy of Micronauts #1, to see what the whole thing was about. Based on a toy line (a fact which is hard to come by in the book itself, which is good for storytelling, bad for marketing), Micronauts features a mishmash of sci-fi characters (including “Bug”, Princess Mari, something called Acroyear, and Arcturus Rann, a space commander) as they band together to take on the autocratic Baron Karza, ruler of the Microverse. Generic sci-fi action ensues as the group evades some low level flunkies (literally named “Dog Soldier”, though not looking like the Beagle Boys) and head toward “the fringe” in their spaceship, toward…EARTH! See ya next issue (not really, I’m not getting issue 2 or any more Micronauts).

One issue this issue raises is…what’s the Enigma Force, and is it the same as the Captain Universe power? The Enigma Force is mentioned by name here by some energy being thing named “Time Traveler”. Some Wiki’s list “Enigma Force” as the real name of Captain Universe, along with naming it the “Uni-Power”. Are they different? Are they the same? Should I keep issue 1 in case it actually is the first real appearance of Captain Universe? The thing is, those same wikis universally list the first appearance of Captain Universe as Micronauts #8, so I’ll probably just stick with that. As for the Micronauts in general…if you like sprawling sci-fi, maybe, but I’ll pass.

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 5 of 5)

Spider-Man 2099 #39 was a comic I had to have.

(image from Marvel.Wikia)

Not because of fantastic cover art (SM2099…looking plain!), but because I had to, had to know who Venom 2099 was. So I went down to the comic shop, hoping they had the last issue I needed, hopefully also for $3.00 like I had paid for the previous 4. What luck! There it was. I took it home, and when I finally breached its pages, I found the answers I was looking for. Venom 2099 was Kron Stone, who was apparently Miguel O’Hara’s half brother. The origin of Venom? After getting beaten by Punisher (2099) and left in a sewer, Kron Stone was possessed by the Venom symbiote, which had been “hanging around” in the sewer for 100 years, apparently, and also apparently just evolved to be acidic. A little bit of a let down. Miguel beats Kron something fierce, which is kind of a separation of Spider-Man 2099 from modern day Peter Parker. That I liked. There was also the beginnings of new plot threads (or continuation of old ones) with Goblin 2099 and Vulture 2099, but I chose to leave the Spider-Man 2099 universe for now. For me, the explanation’s a bit of a fizzle; sure the twist of a half-brother is nice, but a sliver more imagination on where they symbiote came from would have made it all the more satisfying. A mysterious containment vessel? Maybe the symbiote morphed into some creature that lived in the sewer? Instead, it’s just a sack on the wall that’s been hanging around for 100 years.

In the end, I’m glad I revisited this chapter of my childhood. I recaptured an issue that had slipped from my grasp, and had some closure as to what actually happened with Venom 2099 after I saw his brief debut all those years ago. Combine that with a compelling storyline over the course of about three of the issues, resulting in the death of a major character, and I’m left feeling like this was a worthy addition to my collection. If you can find these (for less than $12 an issue), you wouldn’t be disappointed.

 

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 4 of 5)

This week’s entry is the thrilling conclusion of the “Venom 2099 Saga”, as I’ve deemed it, taking place in the pages of Spider-Man 2099. I’ve already reviewed issues 35, 36, and 37, and to catch you up: Venom is back, mostly liquid and secreting acid wherever he goes, he’s captured Xina and Dana, Miguel O’Hara’s dueling love interests, and in a horrible twist of fate, the SHIELD patrol’s bullets, meant for Venom, passed through his amorphous body and killed Dana!

(image from Marvel.Wikia)

So the climactic issue 38 of Spider-Man 2099 starts off with Spidey cradling Dana’s lifeless body, and I’m going to say right now before we get into the thick of things, Andrew Wildman’s pencils on this, while perhaps a bit “90’s” (in the Jim Lee/Rob Liefeld vein of intense, squinty features), are, to me, the definitive look to a Spider-Man 2099 story, and I’m glad to see he’s doing this issue after his absence in the previous issue. Spider-Man, in grieving, literally lashes out at a SHIELD agent, smashing his visor. Further demonstrating his rage, Spidey declares that “[Venom is] dead. Wherever he is, he’s dead.”

 

Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara’s mom, who gave us a nice suicide fake, tells Gabriel (another party to the Miguel/Xina/Dana love triangle) that Dana is dead, and Gabriel punches out a TV screen, though in an unintentionally funny twist, him screaming “DANA!” is presented as a sound effect rather than dialogue. Gabriel exits, likely en route to his own revenge on Venom.

 

We next find Venom, posing all “Spider-Character”-like (unnecessarily deep squats), as a warning goes out about the threat he poses. In Miguel’s Alchemax office, he and some Alchemax scientists study a piece of Venom they found, and discover it reacts to sound, as well as historic references to the “Heroic Age” Venom, meaning this Venom and modern day Venom are ostensibly the same. Tyler Stone awakens from his coma (another plot extending beyond these issues), to be met by Jake Gallows (Punisher 2099), who doesn’t have the heart to tell him Dana is dead. In another plot thread that will likely set up the next few issues, Vulture 2099 captured some girl (Kasey Nash?) and meets up with Goblin 2099.

 

Miguel, learning of Venom’s weakness to sonic attacks, has the 1984-esque ubiquitous speaker system start playing high frequency noises (so high, in fact, only Venom can hear them). With Venom weakened, Spider-Man 2099 strikes, including severing the little spider shaped pouch that rests on the outside of Venom’s body. Venom begins to go all melty from the noise (doubly so because of his acidic secretion) and Spider-Man unleashes his rage, pummeling the prone Venom. Even as the person underneath (which makes little sense, we’ve seen Venom dissolve other bodies and be liquid himself) emerges and begs for mercy, Miguel, overcome by rage for Dana’s death, shockingly resolves to kill him any way. As Spider-Man goes to choke the life out of whoever is underneath the Venom symbiote, he stops and murmurs… “You?” and does that thing where a Spider-Man mask looks sad. Who is it?

 

I know I said I only got 35-38, but I had to know who, so issue 39, next week!