Sunday, September 28, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #4

Wait! What? That's not a Marvel/DC amalgamation! What's going on here? Wouldn't you like to know!

Keep your eyes open for an announcement of a new blog/podcast coming in October from Shag Matthews, David Ace GutiƩrrez and the gang! (Shhh, part of the gang is me! Don't tell anybody!)

And there is also a second podcast coming from Ben Avery, which is tied in to the aforementioned blog/podcast. Stay tuned, people. It's gonna be a fun ride!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099

For those of you that were unaware, on a recent episode of the Who's Who podcast, Rob and Shag kind of dropped a hint that somebody should start a blog dedicated to the Legion of Super-Heroes because there hadn't been one in a loooong time, if ever. Well, the listeners did it. All bloggers and/or Legion fans in their own right, people like Little Russell Burbage, Kyle Benning the Metropolis Kid, Tim "Kord Industries" Wallace, David Weter, Firestorm Fan's Irredeemable Shag, David Sopko, Supergirl expert Anj, and Siskoid from Siskoid's Blog of Geekery all ganged together to start...

...The Legion of Super-Bloggers!

The blog went live September 1, 2014, and it is great! I've been...preoccupied lately, and hadn't had a chance to really look it over until today, and I have to say, the guys are doing a great job so far. So great, in fact that I was inspired to do up this blog entry dealing with the Legion teams that showed up in Amalgam Comics June 1997 comic, Spider-Boy Team-Up #1. This isn't going to be an actual review of the issue, as I will eventually be reviewing all the Amalgam stuff somewhere down the road. It's just a quick glance at the two different teams that show up in the comic.

The issue starts off with Spider-Boy fighting the Scavulture (an amalgamation of Scavenger and the Vulture). Some stuff happens and Spider-Boy finds himself in the year 2099. There he meets up with the Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099 (Legion of Super-Heroes/Guardians of the Galaxy/2099). This is the first group he meets up with before the Chronal Crisis happens:

And here's the breakdown of who the heck all those characters are amalgamations of:

Pre-Chronal Crisis LOGG 2099 Members

Bouncing Ball - Bouncing Boy/Speedball
Cannonfire - Wildfire/ Cannonball
Chameleon - Chameleon Boy/ Chameleon
Dream Date - Dream Girl/ Destiny
Fantastic Lad - Elastic Lad/ Mr. Fantastic
Growing Boy - Colossal Boy/ Growing Man
Invisible Girl - Invisible Kid/ Invisible Woman
Lady Bug - Shrinking Violet/ The Wasp
Living Lightning Lad - Lightning Lad/ Living Lightning
Living Lightning Lass - Lightning Lass/ Living Lightning
Martinex 5 - Brainiac 5/ Martinex
Molecule Lad - Element Lad/ Molecule Man
Multiple Maid - Triplicate Girl/ Multiple Man
Paste-Eater Pete - Matter-Eater Lad/ Paste Pot Pete
Phantom Cat - Phantom Girl/ Shadowcat
Psi-Girl - Saturn Girl/ Psylocke
Shadowstar - Shadow Lass/ Starhawk
Star Charlie - Star Boy/ Charlie-27
Sun Lord - Sun Boy/ Firelord
Timberwolf By Night - Timber Wolf/ Werewolf by Night
Universe Boy - Ultra Boy/ Captain Universe
Vance Cosmic - Cosmic Boy/ Vance Astro

After that, more stuff happens (told you this wasn't going to be a review of the issue) and Spider-Boy ends up encountering a different version of the Legion, along with Spider-Boy 2099. This is the team he meets up with after the Chronal Crisis:

(Oh, the Chronal Crisis, if you were wondering, is a kind of Zero Hour type event.)

Post-Chronal Crisis LOGG 2099 Members

Chameleon - Chameleon/ Chameleon
Darkstar - Umbra/ Darkstar
Invisible Girl - Invisible Kid/ Invisible Woman
Lady Bug - Violet/ Wasp
' Lectron - Livewire/ Electro
Living Colossus - Leviathan/ It, the Living Colossus
Martinex 5 - Brainiac 5/ Martinex.
Mass - Star Boy/ Charlie 27
Myriad - Triad/ Madrox
Nucleus - Element Lad/ Molecule Man
Phoenetix - Kinetix/ Rachel Summers
Phantom Cat - Apparition/ Shadowcat
Psi-Girl - Saturn Girl/ Psylocke
Sparkler - Light Lass/ Dazzler
Spider-Boy 2099 - Mon-El/ Spider-Man 2099
Universe Boy - Ultra Boy/ Captain Universe
Vance Cosmic - Cosmic Boy/ Vance Astro
Xcel - XS/ Quicksilver

So that's my quick little look at the Amalgam version of the Legion, mostly done in honor of the grand opening (8 days late. My post, I mean) of The Legion of Super-Bloggers, a blog so good I felt the need to link to it TWICE in the same blog entry. So check it out, even if you're not a huge fan of the Legion in its many incarnations. You'll love it. Of course, you'll love it more if you are a fan.

To end, here's a picture of Spider-Boy 2099. Why?

Because I felt like it. That's why.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cameo Crossovers #2: JLA #1 - Jan. 1997

This spectacular Cameo Crossover comes to us from DC Comics. The series that has the honor of being spotlit this go around is JLA.

This is another one that stands out in my memory. Some time around 1996 or 1997, I had decided to give DC another go, and JLA was the title I chose to start off with. That way, you know, I was getting a bit of all the DC bigwigs. Superman was in there, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and some dude named Martian Manhunter (pretty sure I had almost no idea who J'onn was back then, aside from knowing him to see him). How could I go wrong? So I eagerly grabbed the first issue.
And the second.

And the third.

Then I missed the fourth issue. And the fifth. Got issue seven, then missed a whole slew of issues up until around #14. My plan to successfully collect a DC title was dashed, largely in part to the crappy, no comic-store town I was living in. So I dropped DC again. Until recently.

JLA, along with other titles such as Firestorm, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Captain America, amongst others, are all on my "Try to get a Complete Run Of" LIST at the moment, and as of right now, I need around 40 more issues of JLA to have the complete set. I just moved (again) recently, and while unpacking, came across my JLA issues. (I still have that same #1 I bought waaaay back in '97.)

Flipping through JLA #1 (January 1997), I stumbled across this entry into Cameo Crossovers:

For those of you who haven't read the comic, this is the issue where Grant Morrison, the writer for this series at its start, kills off Wolverine and Doctor Doom.

Wait? WHAT?

Okay, okay. The actual storyline has it that a group of White Martians, masquerading as superheroes, begin executing super-villains without any regard for the law. Among those disintegrated are Marvel characters Wolverine and Doctor Doom. You can see Wolverine to the left of the picture, smoldering away, and Doctor Doom is to the far right of the pic, looking on in horror as he awaits his turn. Doom actually looks afraid in the pic, but you can't really tell from my cruddy scan of the page. Sorry.

That is a completely half-assed rundown of the story, which continues through the first four issues, if I remember correctly. If you want more info, head on out and grab a copy for yourselves. You won't regret it. Morrison's run is some of the best Justice League of America stuff I've ever read.

That's it for this time.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cameo Crossovers #1: Quasar #14 - Sept. 1990

Well, since I have the worst case of writer's block I've ever had at the moment, I'm skipping the Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man review for now, and will instead post this wonderful piece of useless information.

Cameo Crossovers will be an ongoing thing, featuring the many cameo appearances of Marvel/DC characters popping up in each others books. Heck, from time to time, I may post some that appear in other companies books, like Image, Dark Horse etc etc, as well. So if you see any of these 'Cameo Crossovers' anywhere, be sure and let me know.

And don't worry. As soon as this writer's block goes away, I'll get that review up.

So for the inaugural edition of Cameo Crossovers, we have a little scene from Quasar #14.

The cameo in question is from Part Two of a of a 4-part story line that ran though issues 13-16 of Quasar that was titled "Journey into Mystery". The events leading into this issue have led Quasar, along with the Squadron Supreme's Hyperion, and Makkari of the Eternals, to the lab-world of the Stranger in search of the rest of the Squadron Supreme (it's been a looooong time since I read this issue, but I'm assuming that the Stranger, who collects creatures from around the Multiverse, has 'collected' the members of the Squadron).

Anyway, as you read through the issue, you will eventually come across this page, which shows a bunch of different inhabitants of the Stanger's lab-world:

Take a good look. I mean, look really hard. Do you see him? I didn't at first, but when I did, I laughed out loud. This was one of the only comics from DC that I read during the late 80s/early 90s, so I remember being super happy with this cameo.

Yup, there he is. Up in the upper right-hand corner of the page. DC's Will Payton, otherwise known as STARMAN! Will had his own series that ran for 45 issues, starting in Oct. 1988 and running until April 1992. It was a fun series, not as good as the more popular Jack Knight Starman series that started a couple of years later in '94, but still a pretty damn good comic book.

So I guess the Stranger has visited the DC universe at some point. Who would have guessed?

That's all for this time. Feel free to contact me through here, or on the facebook page if you have any other Cameo Crossovers you'd like to see featured.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Random Panel of the Day #1


Well, here we have it, folks. Finally. After a computer crash, and a loss of some files I needed pertaining to this blog, this second post was a long time in coming, but I've finally managed to recover that which was lost, and decided it was time to sit down and write this entry.

And where better to start on a blog about Marvel and DC crossovers than with everybody's favorite character, Axel Asher, otherwise known as...Access! (Also known as 'probably NOT everyone's favorite character to a few. Or maybe a lot. I don't care, I like him.)

Just who is Access, you ask? Well, grab yourself a cup of coffee (or vodka, whatever floats your boat) and get comfortable, and I'll fill you in.

Access is a character owned by both Marvel Comics and DC Comics. He first appeared in DC vs. Marvel #1 (March 1996), the first issue in a four issue cross-over event between Marvel and DC. The character was created as a way to enable in-continuity crossovers between the two companies, an idea I thought was great! I also remember thinking "Marvel and DC characters together in one series? This is gonna be bananas!!!" Okay, I didn't actually think 'bananas', but I needed an excuse to post this picture.

Okay, back to Access. The in-story history of Access goes a little bit like this. Axel Asher first became aware of his extraordinary powers when two cosmic entities known simply as "The Brothers," (one basically is the Marvel Universe, the other, the DC Universe. Think Eternity on a larger scale) became aware of each other. This occurred as a direct result of the events in crossovers previously published by Marvel and DC (meaning stuff like Superman/Spider-Man, Hulk/Batman etc etc). Each Brother wanted to prove himself superior over the other. Picking eleven 'champions' from each universe, they pitted their heroes against each other in combat, the winner being whomever immobilized the other first. The Brother with the most wins, would be...well, the winner.

The Brothers

Axel, a normal teenager living in the New York of the Marvel Universe, happened across an old bum named Morty in an alley. Morty protected what seemed to be a big, plain old cardboard box but was in actuality a portal between the two universes. (The cardboard box/portal first appeared in the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances one-shot (Dec. 1995) which was kind of a lead-in to the whole Marvel vs. DC crossover.) Morty also revealed that Axel was next in line to bear the powers and responsibilities of being "The Access", the person in charge of preventing the universes from merging into one. Apparently, the universes are drawn to each other because they were originally one universe that split in two when The Brothers first fought each other. According to Morty, certain 'fragments' of each universe remain in both realities, the 'box' being one, Access the other.

Axel discovered that, as Access, he had the ability to create and use inter-dimensional gateways between the the Marvel/DC universes to teleport himself to either universe. He could also summon others to him. He can merge two people he touches if one is from each universe, creating an "amalgamation" of the characters (hence the whole 'Amalgam Universe' line of books. What's that? Wait and see!). The gateways also permits time travel when crossing universes. Access can also feel the presence of anything from one universe which is present in the other.

I don't really want to go in to to much more detail about the events of any of Access's appearances, as I will be covering them when I get to the actual comic reviews. I will say this. I absolutely LOVED (and still love) this character and the idea behind him. I mean, how much fun could Marvel and DC have with this character? Well, obviously not as much as I thought they were going to. I mean, here you have a character DESIGNED to make crossovers happen in-continuity, and what happens? Pretty much nothing. Oh sure, Access was around for a couple of years, and even had two limited series of his own and appeared briefly in Green Lantern #87 (June 1997), but after that, he was gone. I remember when JLA/Avengers came out, and how excited I was that I would see Access again. Nope, nothing. I would have been happy with a cameo, or at least a mention, but instead I got...yup. NOTHING!

It just didn't make any sense to me. It was even mentioned in-story that crossovers that had happened earlier (and later) that had both companies characters seeming to occupy a 'shared earth' (meaning they seemed to both always live in the same world) were just examples of dimensional fluxes where the DC and Marvel 'verses had begun to merge again. And once Access 'fixes' the fluctuations, the characters of each universe forget the crossovers even happened in the first place. Well, I guess that could be an explanation right there for JLA/Avengers, but still, a cameo would've be nice.

Will we ever see Access again? Unlikely, but never say never. I remember asking one of the bigwigs at either Marvel or DC (I think it was Tom Brevoort) if we could possibly have Access appear again, and the answer was "We aren't allowed to use him because of DC!" (Or was it Marvel?) Wait. What? Both companies own the character so why can't...ah, I'm sure there's some legal mumbo-jumbo behind it that I don't understand, so I'm not even going to bother. If any of you out there know, give me a holler.

But what we do have, in the meantime, is great fun. If you want to check out the comics containing Access, here is a checklist of all his appearances to date:

Marvel vs. DC #s 1-4, Access's first appearance.

Doctor Strangefate #1 (April 1996), a comic set in the 'Amalgam' universe, featuring an amalgamation of Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate.

DC/Marvel All Access #s 1-4, Access's first limited series.

Unlimited Access #s 1-4, Access's second and final limited series.

And the aforementioned Green Lantern #87, where Access pops in on Jade while looking for the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern. When he realizes GL isn't around, he decides to go find 'that guy with the surfboard' (meaning the Silver Surfer, for all you people who have been living under rocks).

That's it, that's all for this time. My next BIG entry on this blog will probably be a review of 1976's Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. Hope you'll all be there.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Welcome to Marvel vs DC: Crossover Craziness.

Well, here I go again. Welcome to my third (and probably last) blog. Yes, I know I said the same thing when I started my second blog, Captain Carrot's Burrow, but I'm pretty sure I mean it this time. (Although, I'm pretty sure there's an Ultraverse blog hidden deep down inside me somewhere. Hmmmm...I wonder.)

So what's this blog going to be all about, as if you couldn't guess from its title? I'm hoping to, time permitting, go through every single crossover Marvel and DC have ever had, from 1976's Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man all the way up to 2003s JLA/Avengers. Fans of my other blogs will realize that I'm sometimes slow to update, but I try to post at least once a month, so keep your fingers crossed.

So what books will I be covering first? My plan, unless somebody stops me, is to cover the crossover books in the order in which they were published, which means I will be starting with these two books:

Remember those? I barely do, but I'm sure going to have fun re-reading them for this blog. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I get to tear through X-Men/Teen Titans, Marvel vs. DC, all the Amalgam stuff, and lots more. Should be fun.

And I'm asking for your help. You see, I don't want to just cover all the big, obvious crossovers. I want the little stuff, too. You know, like Clark Kent and Lois Lane appearing discreetly in a crowd shot somewhere in a Marvel book, or Peter Parker doing the same in a DC book. If you know of any of these, let me know, and I'll post 'er up.

A HUGE thanks once again to Keith Howell for designing me another fantastic banner for this blog. In case you didn't know, he did the one over on Captain Carrot's Burrow for me, as well. I really appreciate it. (Note: Click on his name and you'll head on over to Keith's website. Check it out!)

That's it for now. Keep your eyes open. I hope to have something else up pretty damn soon.