Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Forget your Marvel Firsts. Steve gives you Marvel Lasts.

We all know the most head-explodingly exciting event of the century's been the recent release of the Marvel Firsts in which we can see how our favourite heroes made their debuts. But Steve Does Comics is nothing if not so far ahead of the curve that it's over the hill, under the radar and up the creek without a paddle. So I thought I'd get in there and do Marvel Lasts before someone else thinks of it.

Although I stopped reading comics in the early-to-mid 1980s, nostalgia did see me having a brief spurt of comic buying in the early 1990s. I wanted to see what my favourite characters were up to and how the art form had progressed.

It was a spell that didn't last long, mostly because my head couldn't cope with the idea of paying a mammoth 70 pence for a comic that would've once cost me six. Thus, here are the last new Marvel comics I ever bought (so far).

What strikes me is that at the time they seemed radically different from the comics I'd read in the 1970s but, now, they seem to resemble them far more than they do current comics. I mean, what madness is this? The covers actually have strong vibrant colours, and action that has something to do with what's happening inside!

Daredevil #303, the death of the Owl

Clearly some things hadn't changed too much in my absence because I pick up my first issue of Daredevil in years and who does it feature?

None other than The Owl.

Admittedly, he seemed to have sprouted Wolverine-style claws and I think he had bionic legs but still it was nice to see a familiar face.

Sadly, I wasn't seeing him for long, as, no sooner had he come back than he kicked the bucket - which, presumably means he was back and in perfect health again within six months.

Uncanny X-Men #286, the angel bursts out

I have very little memory of what happened in this comic. I think they might've been on another world. Collossus' sister might've been in it.

I picked up three issues of The Uncanny X-Men in one go - but they all seemed like soft and uninvolving fare compared to the brand new Chris Claremont/Jim Lee X-Men comic that was out.
Avengers #347, Galactic Storm, white cover

I bought this because I'd liked the previous issue which I'd liked mostly because it'd introduced me to Deathbird who seemed quite feisty. It was a funny thing but she had claws and was a bit angry, just like Wolverine.

I don't remember anything much that happened in this one other than the Supreme Intelligence had a master plan, so it all felt like a retread of the Kree/Skrull War.
Fantastic Four #363, Occulus

I have virtually no memory of what happened in this comic. Were they on some other world? Were there some sort of barbarians in it?

And did someone at Marvel really think Occulus was a great name for a villain?

Guardians of the Galaxy #23

I quite enjoyed this one. It had angry people with claws, just like Wolverine (am I spotting a trend here?). I think one of the characters was supposed to be his descendant.

I also seem to remember Dr Doom putting in a cameo appearance.

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2

This was the one I really liked.

It was disappointing to me that Jim Starlin only wrote it and didn't draw it, and it was a bit worrying that, nearly twenty years after I'd last read anything by him, he was still tinkering around with the same handful of characters as he had been back then, but it had his usual charm and was nicely drawn by whoever it was who drew it.

Also, almost uniquely for a comic of this era, it didn't feature anyone with claws.
X-Men #12

The then-brand-new X-Men comic was the only one I bought regularly. After initially finding Jim Lee's art flat, stereotyped and annoying, it started to grow on me.

Sadly, the later days of Lee's run were noticeably patchy and then he ran off to help inflict Image Comics on the world.

After one issue without him, I too ran off, feeling 70 pence was far too much to spend on a comic drawn by someone drawing just like Jim Lee.


Dougie said...

I read many of those at the time but I can't say I really enjoyed them. Ironically, they're indistinguishable from much of DC's modern-day input

R. W. Watkins said...

I fell off the comics wagon sometime around 1981, coinciding with my starting seventh grade. Both increasing price and declining quality were factors.

It was Spider-Man that drew me back in 1988, thanks to some fairly decent stories in Web and Spectacular, and a quirky new artist (Todd McFarlane) working on Amazing. I stuck with the Spidey titles up until about McFarlane's departure in '91.

Overall, I felt nearly everything at marvel had become X-themed by the late '80s / early '90s. I can only stand so much X-Men, frankly.

Steve W. said...

Seeing as it's a good twenty years since I last dipped my toes, I do feel the urge to buy some new comics, to see the current state of play, but what I've seen of DC and Marvel's recent output leaves me cold.

Boston Bill said...

The last time I bought a comic just because it was on the stand it featured a free for all among super-villains. Someone pitted the Dread Dormammu against Mysterio! Yes, DD won, but it was so ridiculous I threw the comic away. It was hastily drawn imitation of Jim Lee, with so many random ideas crammed into it that it meant nothing. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what the title was!

Steve W. said...

Somehow I can't see a fight between Mysterio and Dormammu lasting very long.

Dormammu vs Paste Pot Pete would however be an epic conflict.

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