Monday, 7 February 2011

200 and counting.

With one mighty bound our trusty blog racks up its 200th post and what more obvious way to celebrate such a milestone than by looking at how some of our favourite Marvel heroes celebrated their 200th issue?

I do admit to having a problem here, as many of Marvel's mags reached issue #200 in the period when I wasn't reading comics. Needless to say I'm not the sort of man to let complete ignorance of a comic's contents stop me giving an opinion on it, so I might as well give my opinion of their covers too while I'm at it.

Incredible Hulk #200, Glenn Talbot's brain
I believe this is the one where the Hulk enters Glenn Talbot's brain to cure him of his amnesia. Not that you'd know it from the cover which features the foes the Hulk comes up against but tells us nothing of the tale's central dilemma. I'm very Route One. I do like a cover that lays the story's central dilemma out for us on a plate.

I have to admit I'm also a sucker for a good speech balloon. "You came here to find Glenn Talbot's mind, Hulk," a whole array of spookily materialising bad guys would declare if I had my way. "Instead, you'll find only death!!!"

Speech balloons, that's the sort of thing I like.
Avengers #200, Ms Marvel gives birth to Immortus
Is this the one where Ms Marvel gives birth to Immortus? I did like the Avengers during this period but I'm not so sure about the cover which again tells us nothing of the contents and seems somewhat randomly laid-out with no real focus. Why don't Wonder Man and Jocasta have any interest in looking at whatever it is the rest of the Avengers are looking at? I mean, come on, this issue features Ms Marvel giving birth to Immortus, and all we get is a half-hearted pin-up type cover. "Ms Marvel!" a horrified doctor should be saying. "That thing you've given birth to. It's -- it's--!" That's what I want. Covers that lend themselves to speech balloons.

What I really don't want is the Toys R Us advert, which manages to rob the cover of any class or dignity. I've also never liked the diamond-shaped price box Marvel were using at this time.

Amazing Spider-Man #200

I think I might've read this one too but have no memory at all of what happens in it.

The cover's OK I suppose. It has a certain intrigue - is the scene a flashback to Spider-Man's first ever appearance or does it mark another encounter with the man who killed Uncle Ben?

The blurb suggests it's a new encounter but how excited would that prospect be to the reader espying it on the spinner rack? The man who killed Uncle Ben was, after all, just a small-time crook of the type Spider-Man deals with every day. Would the prospect of him reappearing make readers desperate to hand over their 75cents?

Captain America #200, Jack Kirby

I've read this one, in the last couple of years, when I bought a job-lot of 1970s' Jack Kirby Captain Americas. I can remember nothing of what happens in this issue but must admit I really didn't like what Kirby did to the strip this time round.

Conan the Barbarian #200, skeletons

Surprisingly, especially as it must've been the first sword and sorcery comic ever to reach 200 issues, there's nothing at all done to mark this out as a special event.

Maybe it's just me but I really don't like Conan's helmet. Plus where's the fit bird in need of rescuing? Wasn't it in her contract that she had to be on every cover?

Daredevil #200, Bullseye

It's easily the most eye catching of all the covers that I'm looking at here but I've never been totally sure about the idea of a grim and gritty Daredevil.Whatever would Mike Murdock have said if he'd seen his brother acting like that?

And what's with the figure of Daredevil tripping over in the corner box and having to reach out for the logo to stop himself landing flat on his face?
Fantastic Four #200, Jack Kirby, Dr Doom

I'm fairly certain I've read this one. And guess what? I can't remember what happens in it. It's a Jack Kirby cover which is an appropriate way to celebrate a landmark issue and, creaky though it might be, it has a certain charm. The top third of the page is way too crowded though,

Uncanny X-Men #200, Magneto in chains

I don't like Magneto's costume and the fight in the background has an almost comedic feel to it but the cover would make me buy the comic, so I suppose it's going its job.

Iron Man #200, Iron Monger

This is good and striking, although Iron Man's pose lacks a certain dynamism and I'm not sure about the design of his armour.


cerebus660 said...

Congrats on your 200th post, Steve!! Keep up the good work, mate!

Steve said...

Thanks, cerebus. Actually, I might take a break from it all, in a few days' time. The last few posts, I've felt distinctly jaded. A holiday is in order I think.

cerebus660 said...

Hey, do what you've gotta do, Steve. I know all too well that feeling of staring at the PC thinking "I've got nothing to say". Sometimes you need to step back for a bit and recharge the old batteries. Rest assured we'll be here when you get back.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 200th, I am following you on twitter. Keep on coming up with the wackiness!


Steve said...

Thanks, very much, Simon. It's always nice to be appreciated. Are you Simayl65 on Twitter?

Anonymous said...

Curses Steve you have discovered my secret identity. Simayl65 and Simon are one and the same. I will have to wear glasses now when I surf the web to avoid recognition.

Steve said...

I like to think it's between me and Batman as to who's the world's greatest detective.

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