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Savage Tales #5
Feb 18th, 2018 by Rusty

Savage Tales #5 cover

Savage Tales #5

Date: July 1974
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 20 black and white pages (Skull River story)
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
Notable Notes: Conan gets a new horse!

No Water

What is the longest you have ever gone without water? I once went about 30 hours, and it was terrible! I am a big water drinker, even now, since it is suppose to be healthy, and I do prefer it to the overly sweet sugar drinks that are so prominent these days. But I wonder if we, like Conan in this story, had gone a long time without anything to drink, would be prone to blackouts or agreeing to take on stupid jobs. Hmm, hopefully I’d die before fighting a rich prick and then giving all his gold to manipulative villagers! 😉
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The Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Vol. 2)
Jan 28th, 2018 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #30 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Vol. 2)

Date: June 2001
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.25
2018 NM Price: $6
Stats: 22 color pages, lots of Spider-Man themed ads and The Spider’s Web letters page
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Dan Kemp, Richard Starkings, Wes Abbot, with J. Scott Campbell cover
Notable Notes: A new writer and two new characters begin with this issue!

Bablyon 5

In 1999 I started reading the comic book series Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski and I totally loved it! There was a lot of hype, at the time, about the writer of the hit TV series Bablyon 5 writing his own comic series. Even though he had worked on a few comics in the 1980s, it seemed like it was Rising Stars that made him super popular in the comics world. Shortly after that he was tapped to write The Amazing Spider-Man, beginning with this issue. Again, lots of hype about him and the story he crafted. I figured it was high time I give his Spider-Man books a try – and this issue, at least, turned out to be really cool!
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Daredevil #85
Jan 21st, 2018 by Rusty

Daredevil #85 cover

Daredevil #85

Date: March 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2018 Price Range: $3 – $35
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: Gene Colan, Syd Shores and Jon Costa
Notable Notes: DD battles The Gladiator in the sky (on a 747!)

The End of the 747

Last year, as I was flying home from San Francisco on United airlines, I heard the news that the coolest passenger jet ever was being retired from service. I was a bit sad to hear that, because I liked 747s. I only flew on one a few times, but it was always fun to see them parked in terminals, with their big double-decker bubble heads. Anyway, this comic book was a blast to read because nearly the entire issue takes place on one of those iconic jets! I think it would have been cool if the last 747s left in service would have ordered a bunch of copies of this issue and distributed them to passengers – you know, as a kind of farewell gift!
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Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 – #6
Dec 31st, 2017 by Rusty

Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 – #6

Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 cover
Date: June – July 1997
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.95 each
2017 NM Price: $3 each
Stats: Each: 22 color pages, Bullpen Bulletins, letter column and ads
Writers: Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton
Artists: Patrick Zircher, Greg Adams, Marie Javins and Janice Chiang
Notable Notes: Non-logical Vulcans!

To Boldly Go…

In the late 1990s Marvel briefly held the Star Trek license and published a few short-lived series, of which Early Voyages was arguably the most popular. The unique aspect of this series was that it featured Captain Pike – who, if you don’t know, was the original series captain in the un-aired pilot episode. (You can watch that episode on Netflix if you are interested.) He was replaced by Captain Kirk in the second episode and never seen again… until this series! Since I am a big Star Trek fan, and I only owned these 2 comic books from the series (which contain one story arc) I figured I’d give them a try and see if they satisfied both my comic and Star Trek geekiness! So, let’s see how they did.
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Rom #75
Dec 17th, 2017 by Rusty

Rom #75 cover

Rom #75

Date: February 1986
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
2017 Price Range: $2 – $15
Stats: 23 color pages, Bullpen Bulletins and ads
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Steve Ditko, P. Craig Russell, Petra Scotese and Kevin Nowlan
Notable Notes: The last issue of the series!

The Red Eyed Action Figure

Do you remember the Rom action figure from the late 1970s? I do. Although I didn’t own one I had a couple friends that did. I always thought the toy was super popular, but I guess it wasn’t. Parker Brothers licensed the character to Marvel in an effort to build interest in the toy. It appears they did a pretty good job, because the comic series outlasted the toy!

This was the only Rom comic I ever read, and then only because it came in a bundle of comics I purchased in the mid 1980s. I figure I’ve reviewed a lot of #1 issues recently, so I’d see how the last issue of a series stacked up! It is difficult coming into a series at the end, but thanks to Wikipedia I was able to get a sense of what the series had accomplished so far. So does this issue stand on its own as a good comic book? Let’s find out, shall we.
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Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)
Nov 19th, 2017 by Rusty

Moon Knight #5 cover

Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)

Date: November 1985
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 65¢
2017 Price: $3
Stats: 22 color pages plus Knight Mail, Bullpen Bulletins and ads
Writers: Jo Duffy and Chris Warner
Artists: Chris Warner, Alan Kupperberg, Rick Parker and Christy Scheele
Notable Notes: Moon Knight helps bring White Cobra to justice!

The Power of the Moon

This is the first Moon Knight comic I have read. I may have read it when I was younger, but I didn’t remember anything about it. It appears that the titular hero gets his strength from the moon, and the more full it is the more strength he gets. Moon Knight’s first comic book appearance was to help take down a Werewolf, but he has been in many other series, and a bunch of his own series as well. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to more Moon Knight stories in the future!
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Young Allies #1
Nov 4th, 2017 by Rusty

Young Allies #1

Young Allies #1

Date: August 2010
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
2017 NM Price: $4
Stats: 23 color pages plus More About The Young Allies and ads
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: David Baldeón, N. Bowling, Chris Sotomayor
Notable Notes: The first issue featuring the Heroic Age Young Allies

Take 3

One cool and frustrating part of being a comic book reader is that there is so much history that sometimes ideas are recycled and you don’t even know it! Take this team of young super-heroes for example. I took a chance and bought the first issue of this series several years ago, and ended up loving it. I didn’t realize then that this was the third time there was a Marvel super-hero team named “The Young Allies”. Usually I don’t really like it when former ideas are resurrected and re-hashed into a newer version, but this book was an exception. See, I guess there is some value to not knowing history! 😉
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Iron Man #56
Oct 21st, 2017 by Rusty

Iron Man #56 cover

Iron Man #56

Date: March 1973
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2017 Price Range: $5 – $75
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin, Mike Esposito, Charlotte Jetter
Notable Notes: The origin of Ichabod Rasputin

Roller skates

My daughter is really into rollerblading right now. She even got me to go with her yesterday, and now I have sore legs! Anyway, I was telling her that when I was a kid it was roller skates that were the big thing. Why am I telling you this? Because this issue of Iron Man starts out with him zooming around NYC on his jet powered roller skates! Yes, it is quite ridiculous! Iron Man himself even admits that he feels like a kid. Heaven knows he sure looks like one!
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The Amazing Spider-Man #300
Sep 22nd, 2017 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #300 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #300

Date: May 1988
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.50
2017 Price Range: $9 – $160
Stats: 40 color pages plus ads and house columns
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Todd McFarlane, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: First full appearance of Venom!

New Costume or an Alien?

I was a young, comic reading teenager in the mid 1980s, and I remember when Spider-man got his new black costume. I got caught up in the first, original Secret Wars series and thought Spidey’s new costume was pretty cool – especially given how it could read his thoughts and transform itself into different types of clothing. But then I became “too grown up” to read comic books, and so fell away for about a decade. When I came back, however, I was really surprised to see that his black costume was now a separate villain know as Venom. It took me a long while to piece together what had really happened (remember, this was back before Wikipedia!) and when I finally did I had mixed feelings about Venom. Anyway, I recently decided to go back and read this classic comic book and see the beginning of the villain known as Venom.

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The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21
Jan 18th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21

Date: 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.25
Stats: 43 color pages plus ads
Writers: Jim Shooter, David Michelinie
Artists: Paul Ryan, Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: Peter and MJ get married!

Cold Feet?

Hey, I’ll admit that my feet started to get cold before my wedding. It was a big commitment, and as the day got closer and closer I got more and more nervous. Luckily I had some good friends that helped me stay the course, and now I have been married for nearly 20 years! But I never thought of how a super hero would get nervous before his or her wedding – at least until I read this issue. It gives me a new kind of respect for those that are married. This issue deals with a lot of concerns that Spider-man has going into his marriage – and he ends up handling them pretty well I think!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #292
Jan 11th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #292 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #292

Date: September 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 23 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Alex Saviuk, Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and George Roussos
Notable Notes: Spidey goes to Pittsburgh!

A New City!

I like to travel to new cities and places I’ve never seen before. And even though I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, it was fun to virtually visit that city as Peter and Mary Jane made their way past many of its sites! I think it is fun to see super heroes go to different places – as long as they don’t permanently stay there (I’m looking at you Daredevil in San Francisco!)

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The Amazing Spider-Man #291
Jan 4th, 2016 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #291 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #291

Date: August 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: John Romita, Jr., Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and George Roussos
Notable Notes: MJ in Pittsburgh and the Spider-Slayer in New York!

What is this?!

For the most part I love older comics from the 1970s and 1980s. But I gotta admit that there are some really stupid ideas in some of them! This issue is a case in point, what with the stupid elongating robot and the stereo-typical angry villain. Oh well, I guess you gotta take the bad in order to appreciate the good, right? Right?!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #290
Dec 28th, 2015 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #290 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #290

Date: July 1987
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: John Romita, Jr., Vince Colletta, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: Peter proposes to MJ!

Eternal love… or a ball-and-chain?

There are many ways to view marriage in the real world, but I’m not so convinced that it is such a good thing in the lives of comic book super heroes. It seems like the only married couple that has gone over well is the Fantastic Four’s Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Yes, I know it has been almost 30 years since Peter and MJ tied the knot, and I didn’t follow their marital events at all, but does anybody think it was a good idea for them to get married? Maybe. I decided to look at the beginning of that comic event and see how I really felt about it.

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Kickers, Inc. #1
Oct 3rd, 2015 by Rusty

Kickers, Inc. #1 cover

Kickers, Inc. #1

Date: November 1986
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
2015 NM Price: $3
Stats: 23 color pages plus Universe News and ads.
Creators: Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema, Phil Felix and George Roussos

The New Universe

The summer of 1986 was one of those times when I was really into comics. I was 15 years old and reading everything I could get my hands on. Marvel was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and started several new comic series set in an all new universe. This universe was supposed to be less magical, less fantastic and more realistic. I never really got into the titles, but the longest one only ended up running for 3 years. I guess people didn’t really want books that were more realistic. The fun part was getting to be there at the beginning, and seeing all the new origin stories!

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Thor #347
Jul 8th, 2015 by Rusty

Thor #347 cover

Thor #347

Date: September 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2015 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele

It’s About Time!

It has been several months since my last comic book review. Not that I stopped reading comics – oh no – I was just a little bit swamped with other things in life. In that intervening time, however, I was finally able to watch Thor: The Dark World. I thought it was OK, but not superb. How do I know this? Because even now, just months after watching it, I had to look up a plot summary to remember exactly what happened! That’s definitely not the sign of a great movie. Anyway, I did like the parts about the evil dark elf Malekith. Just the other day I got to thinking that I have the comics where he makes his first appearance, so I thought I’d continue my pseudo-streak of reviewing older Thor comics. Lucky you!

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