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Top 10 Longbox Graveyard Posts Of 2016

Thought I’d start the New Year off by looking backwards at the best performing Longbox Graveyard posts of 2016. Most are legacy posts from the early days of this site, with a new article elbowing in at the top of the list.

Drumroll please …

10) Guide To Comics Bargains On Ebay

A testament to loading your blog title with powerful keywords, this post is four years old, but still pulling respectable search engine traffic. Mostly it is an ode to why I can only seem to buy high and sell low on eBay, which means I’m no roadmap for that place …

eBay

9) Top Ten Spider-Man Battles, Part II

“Top Tens” and “Spider-Man” are among the most most attractive content on this site, so it is no surprise that a post containing both of those things ranks so highly. It is a formula that will appear several times in this list. Guest author Mark Ginocchio of Chasing Amazing hit it out of the park with this 2013 article, calling out Spidey’s fights with Hobgoblin, Green Goblin, Venom, Morlun, and … (click to find out!) as the top web-head battles of all time.

ASM 122

8) Marvel Unlimited Updated Review

I remain an enthusiastic subscriber of Marvel’s Unlimited digital subscription service. I first reviewed the service in 2012 — this updated review looked at the service after it evolved into an iPad-native format. If I was really chasing clicks, this would be one of the articles I’d gin up with keywords and new information, as there seems to be a hunger out there for information about Marvel’s service.

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited

7) Top Ten Spider-Man Battles, Part I

Remember how I said that Spider-Man Top Tens drew my best traffic? Well, here you go. Mark mentioned that he’s working on a Spider-Man book — hopefully he will raid the fine work he’s done for Longbox Graveyard for print.

Sinister Six

6) Top Ten Loves Of Peter Parker (Part 1)

Liz Allan

And the Spider-Man trend continues! Spidey isn’t my specialty, and I’d really be lost without generous guest-bloggers to cover Marvel’s top hero. In this case, it was was Dan Gvozden of Superior Spider-Talk who rode to the rescue. And, yes, Dan does tackle MJ vs. Gwen, but not in this post … you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find that one.

5) Top Ten Superhero Lairs

The Baxter Building

Everybody loves a good secret base. Did I really rank the Pet Avengers Mansion above the Bat Cave? Yes I did. (Sort of). Nice to see this post is still drawing comment three years after publication — I suppose I deserve my comment section censure for omitting the Legion of Superheroes cool rocket ship clubhouse from my list.

4) Confessions Of A Marvel Puzzle Quest Addict

Marvel Puzzle Quest

The sole new article from 2016 was this article from last January about the popular Match-3 Marvel puzzler. Quite a few addicted players of this one out there (and I remain among them, despite the take-this-game-and-shove-it conclusion to the post). Maybe 2017 is the year I quit this game. Maybe.

3) Top Ten Loves Of Peter Parker (Part 2)

Gwen Stacy

Here’s where you’ll find Dan’s MJ vs. Gwen opinion. (I would have wimped out and picked Aunt May).

2) Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game Vs. DC Comics Deck-Building Game

DC Comics Deck-Building Game

Gaming content has generally fared pretty well here at Longbox Graveyard. My post on Capes & Cowls was a good performer for many months, and this comparative review of two comic book deck-builders keeps getting views (and is due for an update, as both games have evolved quite a bit since my review). I’m not playing either game right now for lack of opponents, but Legendary is supposedly coming to iOS in 2017, and that might reignite my interest.

And finally, the #1 Longbox Graveyard Post of 2016 was …

1) Top Ten Captain America Villains

Captain America!

This has been my top post since it was first published — it caught a Google search wave on the run-up to release of the second Captain America movie, and it’s been chugging along ever since. It’s another post long overdue for an update, especially in view of Baron Zemo’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War. But I’m not changing the bad guy at the top of the list … and no, it’s NOT the Red Skull! Want to know who ranks as the baddest Cap villain of all time? Add a click to my pile, I’m not proud!

And with the old year taken care of, I wish all Longbox Graveyard readers a Happy 2017. See you back here every month or so for more nostalgic comics goodness!

Happy New Year!

 

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Spider-Man #1

SPIDER-MAN #1

Capsule Review

Amazing! Creators Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (with rich colors by Justin Ponsor) bring their A-game to this first/last issue of the Miles Morales Spider-Man. First, because there is a big #1 on the cover, but last, because half the reason for the recent Secret Wars seemed to be to put paid to the Ultimate universe, and bring the very popular Miles into the main Marvel line. This was my first encounter with young Miles, but I can see why he has so many fans — he’s still a beginning Spider-Man, concerned about grades and girls, hectored by his parents, dealing with his best friend, and in a bit over-his-head with this whole superhero thing … you know, all the qualities I felt were missing from Peter Parker’s most recent series. Bendis’ gift for dialogue is on full display here, with Miles and his best buddy disagreeing over how to handle dating, and then Miles taking a call from his parents where he gets chewed out about his grades. Innocuous stuff, but well-handled … and chilling when you realize this might be the last time Miles ever talks with his loved ones, because what happens towards the end of the book sure looks like the end of the world. Or at least the end of Miles’ world — I’m still confused about Marvel’s post-Secret Wars cosmology. There’s no confusion in Sara Pichelli’s art, though — she hits for the cycle with beautiful drawings, inventive layouts, solid action, and great character emotions. A wonderful book, among the best of this relaunch.

Note: This issue marks the last of Marvel’s originally-announced All-New All-Different relaunches, but I will review another half-dozen or so additional #1s as they trickle in over the coming weeks. Watch this space for more capsule reviews!

Approachability For New Readers

There probably should have been an in-story notice that this is (was?) an alternate-universe Spider-Man, but the title page kind of closes that gap, and the story stands well enough on its own.

Read #2?

Yes! I want to see what becomes of this kid.

Sales Rank

(N/A)

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

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

Spider-Man #1

 

Spidey #1

SPIDEY #1

Capsule Review

I’m not entirely clear that this book is an in-continuity part of Marvel’s re-launch, but what the heck? I dinged the new Amazing Spider-Man for starring a Peter Parker that I scarcely recognized, so this more traditional Spider-Man series should be just the tonic. And it is, to a point. This is certainly the canonical Peter Parker — he’s in high school, hanging out with Gwen and Harry and enduring Flash’s abuse; he’s uncertain of his powers; he has a doting Aunt May waiting for him at home; he tussles with Doctor Octopus. Robbie Thompson’s script checks all the boxes and I can’t find fault with Nick Bradshaw’s art. This is an entirely entertaining, professional, and recognizable Spider-Man … but it still isn’t for me! Nor is it intended to be — this is an all-ages book (though branding it such does it an injustice), aimed at people who haven’t read Peter’s story, and who will be chilled by that last-page reveal about the elder Osborn’s malevolent secret identity. For me, well, I’ve read these stories almost as many times as I’ve seen Bruce Wayne’s parents get waxed. For readers like me, who still want new stories about the old Peter Parker … well, there’s no place in all of Marvel’s Spider-Verse for us, even with dozens or hundreds of Spider-People running around.

Approachability For New Readers

The book assumes you already know about Spider-Man and his origins … but that’s really not too much of a stretch (and Spidey’s origin is recapped in case you were raised in a cave). Everything else is there for new readers to get on board.

Read #2?

No. As was the case with The Force Awakens, I feel like I’ve already seen this movie!

Sales Rank

#25 December

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

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

Spidey #1

 

 

Silk #1

SILK #1

Capsule Review

I gave the new Amazing Spider-Man poor marks because so much of what made Peter Parker into Peter Parker had gone missing. I think I found those missing elements — they’re at the core of Silk. This spider-hero is a penniless young person making their way in the big city with a low-paying media job, covering up her core insecurities by quipping with the villains, and facing family issues that would challenge someone several years her senior. Sound familiar? I’m still not sold on the need for multiple spider-characters, but I liked Cindy Moon well enough. The credits page slug told me she was bitten by the same radioactive spider that nailed Peter Parker (hey, it’s comics), and that she was raised in a sealed bunker, which sounded interesting but didn’t really pay off in this issue. Her powers are broadly similar to Spidey’s. There’s also some espionage and double-crossing stuff going on that adds a dollop of intrigue. The tone and pace were similar to Spider-Gwen, but with less teen angst, and because we aren’t literally going over the same ground as classic Spider-Man stories, Silk’s running battle with a Green Goblin cult felt fresher. Writer Robbie Thompson’s script was breezy and fast-moving. I wish colorist Ian Herring had used the same rich palette on display in Silk’s back-up story from Amazing Spider-Man #1. This particular outing didn’t look as warm, failing to round the rougher edges off of Stacey Lee’s art (which shows a little manga influence, for better or worse). It all holds together. Entertaining book.

Approachability For New Readers

Slightly better than the other rebooted spider-books, which is to say not very good. But captions from Cindy’s point of view pull us into the character, and we get to discover the world through her eyes, which helps a bit with onboarding. Would be nice to have had more whys and hows about Cindy’s early life in a “hermetically sealed bunker,” but I’m willing to be patient.

Read #2?

Yes.

Sales Rank

#33 November

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

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

Silk #1

 

Web-Warriors #1

WEB-WARRIORS #1

Capsule Review

I’m tepid on these re-launched Spider-books, and utterly indifferent to the whole notion of a “Spider-Verse,” but I kinda liked Web-Warriors. I think having dozens of Spider-Men running around is a hot mess, but this book so completely steers into the skid that it is hard to resist. If we must have a Spider-Verse, then this book does it proud. The premise here is that there are dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of Spider-People spread across a web of universes, and even more Spidey villains, and they are all intent on crossing into each other’s timelines to punch each other in the face. Our particular band of Spider-Folk have banded together to protect those worlds that have lost their own native Spider-Guy … and while I can’t get worked up about the intricacies of a Spider-World that has abolished the Earned Income Tax Credit (or whatever nonsense distinguishes one world from the next), I was charmed with an opening sequence that saw the Web-Warriors battling baddies in a world drawn directly from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon series, complete with meta-observations about swinging through the sky on webs that aren’t anchored to anything, and a meme-acknowledging cameo of the animated Web-Head sitting behind a desk. David Baldeon’s art is bouncy and versatile, and writer Mike Costa wrings good characterization out of the disparate cast, playing the many Spider-People off against each other and hanging a lampshade on the ridiculousness of it all by having his characters talk to one another about the ridiculousness of it all. By the end I decided to stop being a fuddy-duddy and just embrace it.

Approachability For New Readers

Pretty hopeless, but the whole point of the book is to whip us from world to world and character to character, so maybe it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what the heck is going on.

Read #2?

All right, all right already! I’ll read another.

Sales Rank

#26 November

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

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

Web-Warriors #1

 

 

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