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Ms. Marvel #1

Ms. Marvel #1

Ms. Marvel swoops onto the scene, sporting scarf and bare midriff, tossing around cars to foil a bank robbery and relying on her “Seventh Sense” to get out of — and into — trouble. There is a feeling of “just add water” with this first issue, with Ms. Marvel borrowing the costume of Captain Marvel, and the book borrowing the supporting cast of Spider-Man — Carol Danvers gets a job in the magazine division of the Daily Bugel, sparks up a friendship with Mary Jane Watson, and even rescues J. Jonah Jameson from the clutches of the Scorpion in the book’s second action sequence. But the book tries for something new, too, with Carol and Ms. Marvel unaware they are in fact the same person, and with the origin and dimension of Ms. Marvel’s powers left as a mystery for another issue. The action is by-the-book (John Buscema supposedly didn’t like drawing superhero books, and it shows here), but the script is loaded with more characterization than you’d expect, with one sequence where Carol Danvers barks down Jonah Jameson in a salary negotiation being the highlight.

Ms. Marvel #1, by Conway and Buscema

Ms. Marvel would go on to enjoy a rocky career, but her debut issue was competent and readable and even aware, in it’s late-70s way, of gender issues, looking at a woman’s life in the workplace, and punctuating an action scene with a little girl declaring she wants to grow up to be a hero just like Ms. Marvel. (And where else was a Marvel kid supposed to turn? All the best female superheroes were across town, working for DC!)

Ms. Marvel #1, by Conway & Buscema

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils: John Buscema
  • Inks: Joe Sinnott

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Ms. Marvel #1

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Iron Man #94

Iron Man #94

Tony Stark does his best James Bond impression, trading barbs with an industrial super villain in his secret undersea base. Problem is, instead of a suave bad guy like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Tony is matching wits with The Kraken, a peg-legged, modern-day pirate who never-the-less talks like something out of Robert Louis Stevenson.

I like pirates as much as the next guy, but by the time Kraken got his jet-powered peg leg stuck in the floor, I was happy to see him drown. And that, dear readers, is a sentence I never thought I’d write!

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils & Plot: Herb Trimpe
  • Inks: Jack Abel

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Avengers #155

Avengers #155

(We join this multi-part crossover with Super-Villain Team-Up, already in progress). The details are muzzy, but it looks like we’ve walked in on some multi-cornered war between Doctor Doom, the Avengers, the Sub-Mariner, and Attuma and his undersea goons. But the tasty prospect of a George Perez-pencilled Avengers vs. Doctor Doom showdown must wait, as the bulk of the Avengers are knocked out on the splash page, and mostly what Doom does in this issue is gloat. And this man can gloat. (The recap pages are packed with action, though).

Eventually the battle gets going. With most of the Avengers on the sidelines, it is the Beast and Wonder Man who get the spotlight. Oh yeah, and the Whizzer, too. (Pause for adolescent snickering). The issue ends with the Vision going rogue and seemingly making common cause with Doom — we know better, of course, but it will cost us another thirty cents next month to find out what’s really going on!

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils: George Perez
  • Inks: Pablo Marcos

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Carnage #1

CARNAGE #1

Capsule Review

Writer Gerry Conway doesn’t sugarcoat a thing in this story — Carnage commits mass-murder by the third page, and artist Mike Perkins makes sure we don’t miss a detail. What follows is murder of another kind — a half-dozen pages of talking head backstory set around the lip of an old mine, which is every bit as visually riveting as it sounds. But you know what? Conway pulls it off, showing how the authorities are setting a trap for Carnage, while introducing the supporting cast and offering up an explanation of the Spider-Man/Venom/Toxin/Carnage relationship that couldn’t be more clear, but still set my head spinning. The carefully constructed plan goes wrong, of course, reminding a bit of military vs. monsters movies like Alien 2, and Perkins pushes our horror buttons with page constructions that are all jumbled panels of panicking soldiers and swirling red tentacles. It is true that this issue is largely scene-setting, but I was entertained along the way, and the scene that is set has promise. As Colonel John Jameson says at the end of the book (yep, that John Jameson), “Alone, underground, in the dark, with a super-powered mass murderer … what’s the worst that could happen?” I’m ready to find out.

Approachability For New Readers

Pretty good. The background is complex but it’s all laid out for us.

Read #2?

Sure. I wonder what will happen down in that mine?

Sales Rank

(#19 November)

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Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

 

Carnage #1

For Sale Friday: Atari Force!

Welcome to another For Sale Friday! Last week I offered up my Blue Devil collection for sale, and this week, it’s Atari Force!

Atari Force

The product of an odd bit of mid-1980s corporate synergy, Atari Force was an original science fiction epic loosely connected to Atari’s various video game brands. Author Gerry Conway saw the book as license to write star-faring space opera, while artist José Luis García-López offered beautiful pencils for most of the first dozen issues.

IMG_0275

The lot I have on offer is Atari Force #1-12. All books are individually bagged and boarded, and in mid-grade condition or better. Your price for this lot is $15.00, plus postage (U.S. addresses only, please). I will charge you exact postage based on destination — the lot will weigh about two pounds and ship from zip code 92078 in case you would like to log onto USPS.com and run some scenarios.

Atari Force

If you’d like these comics for your very own, write me — longboxgraveyard (at) gmail (dot) com — and we will work out the details. Think of it as a way of supporting Longbox Graveyard while filling out your own collection with some cool comics!

Atari Force

 

See you back here next week for another For Sale Friday … and in the meantime, please be sure to check my individual comics issues for sale, and my eBay auctions, too!

 

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