Archive for the ‘Rick Jones’ Category

Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

September 22, 2015

Captain America Reborn 4 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
January 2010
***

Cap returns to Now to serve as the host for an uploaded Red Skull. It’s as good as Waid’s ’90s resurrection, but revivals are rarely as compelling as deaths. Here, non-Cap characters (eg Dr Doom) crowd out the book’s cast (eg Zola), with the Vision acting as Cap’s message-in-a-bottle.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’10
Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Runaways #6

June 24, 2015

Runaways 2-06Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2005
*****

My misgiving that Ultron was too far above our kids’ weight class is finessed by the post-teen cavalry saving their hides. Turns out Vaughan has written a backdoor pilot (to use an LA term) for a team of New New Warriors (AKA Excelsior—nice name!), financed by Marvel’s original c-lister, Rick Jones!

last issue: Runaways #5
next issue: Runaways #7

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

Runaways #5

June 23, 2015

Runaways 2-05Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2005
****

The kids face the secret father of a new superfriend: Dr. Doom! or maybe a Doombot! …nope, it’s Ultron! I’d usually call foul on this bait-n-switch reveal, esp. as facing a rogue Doombot would be perilous enough, plus BKV nails Doom’s voice. But AA draws the fight exceptionally well, which earns a few points!

last issue: Runaways #4
next issue: Runaways #6

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
Young Avengers #5

Thunderbolts #9

June 26, 2014

Thunderbolts 009Roger Stern with Kurt Busiek // Ron Frenz with Mark Bagley
December 1997
*****

On fill-in duty, Stern & Frenz execute a pitch-perfect pastiche of the Lee/Heck Avengers—down to 2×3 grid—showing how that team’s second wave were heroic despite public mistrust. It’s framed (by Black Widow) as a tale of redemption, & draws a canny comparison btw the T-bolts & the underdog Avs.

last issue: Thunderbolts #8
next issue: Thunderbolts #10

JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

October 6, 2013

Avengers.JLA 3 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
November 2003
****

JLA/Av retcons annual super-teamups btw Marvel & DC, a late-era Crisis (in DC terminology) complete w/ overlapping Earths. The art of mature Pérez is even better than in his ’80s Crisis. Busiek writes a tighter plot, tho it suffers from self-reference & (surprisingly for KB) a lack of central protag. For superhero lovers rather than casual readers, but those fanboys will be truly satisfied.

last issue: Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
next issue: Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Avengers #26

August 24, 2013

Avengers 26Kurt Busiek // Stuart Immonen
March 2000
****

Like a late-period ish from Claremont’s X-run, #26 lacks a single member of the mag’s cast yet it’s pivotal. A phony Cap recruits super-patsies for the Triune Cult’s smear campaign against the team. Lovely pencils from returning guest Immonen, whose dynamism balances shadow w/ 4-color buoyancy.

last issue: Avengers #25
next issue: Avengers #27

Avengers Forever #12 of 12

August 23, 2013

Avengers Forever 12Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
February 2000
***

While AF provided the epic conflict that Busiek’s Avengers needed, it never fulfilled its early promise. The Destiny War is revealed as a battle btw Avengers from noble & corrupt timelines. It ends w/ Rick Jones fused to Capt. Marvel Jr. & w/ lords of time Kang & Immortus as distinct beings.

last issue: Avengers Forever #11 of 12

also indexed for Feb ’00
Avengers #25

Avengers Forever #11 of 12

August 19, 2013

Avengers Forever 11Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
November 1999
***

As in “The Kree-Skrull War”, Rick Jones—now aged & weathered, linked once more to Capt. Marvel—manifests the author’s heroes from a field of cosmic Kirby dots. For R. Thomas, that was ’40s masked men; for Kurt B., it’s the Avengers themselves. Pacheco provides scope, but the solipsism is a letdown.

last issue: Avengers Forever #10 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #12 of 12

also indexed for Nov. ’99
Avengers #22

Avengers Forever #10 of 12

August 17, 2013

Avengers Forever 10Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
October 1999
***

The team stands trial before a tribunal of aliens from the end of time who guide history to guarantee their own birth. This year-long mini hits its third issue of expository conversation in a row. It hasn’t quite stalled but it’s dangerously close. Fortunately, Pacheco’s gridwork keeps it snazzy.

last issue: Avengers Forever #9 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #11 of 12

also indexed for Oct. ’99
Avengers #21

Avengers Forever #9 of 12

August 14, 2013

Avengers Forever 09Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
August 1999
****

#9, like #8, is an expository ish, w/o the retcon but w/ a stronger character. Kang aims to subvert destiny itself—a worthy goal for the despot! Busiek (who nails the fustian voice) smooths the pretzelled history of this character, with its divergent time-lines, multiversal councils, and alt IDs.

last issue: Avengers Forever #8 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #10 of 12

also indexed for Aug. ’99
Avengers #19

Avengers Forever #7 of 12

August 8, 2013

Avengers Forever 07Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
June 1999
***

As the team storms an Escher-like citadel in Limbo, its various members work thru internal conflicts. Cap & Hawk gain confidence while Avs from the future share a kiss. But the strongest bit is the double-act of Ant-Men, as the schizoid version (Yellowjacket from Av #59) seems to betray the team!

last issue: Avengers Forever #6 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #8 of 12

also indexed for Jun. ’99
Avengers #17

Avengers Forever #6 of 12

August 6, 2013

Avengers Forever 06Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
May 1999
***

In one future, T’Challa sacrifices his vibranium to save a pregnant android & a golden insectoid swarm. The choice has been engineered by Immortus, whose power over spacetime is bent on keeping humanity on Earth. But that plot requires some deduction, since Kurt & Roger refuse to spell it out.

last issue: Avengers Forever #5 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #7 of 12

also indexed for May ’99
Avengers #16

Avengers Forever #5 of 12

August 4, 2013

Avengers Forever 05Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
April 1999
***

Immortus begins erasing various ‘verses to stop humanity from conquering the future. Busiek echoes the classic Crisis, of course, also in that both minis seem to stall at times. To provide a dialogue assist, he’s enlisted Stern, from The Avengers‘ last glory era (& one that Busiek passes by).

last issue: Avengers Forever #4 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #6 of 12

also indexed for Apr. ’99
Avengers #15

Avengers Forever #4 of 12

August 2, 2013

Avengers Forever 04Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
March 1999
****

Busiek pays homage to Thomas & Englehart, building his mini partly around their runs. His Avengers board a time machine to stop Immortus from erasing their sidekick, Rick Jones. They’re off to the Wild West (backstage in Av #142-3!), Killraven’s future, & ’50s America—where VP Nixon is a Skrull!

last issue: Avengers Forever #3 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #5 of 12

also indexed for Mar. ’99
Avengers #14

Avengers Forever #3 of 12

July 31, 2013

Avengers Forever 03Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
February 1999
****

Epic, Avengers-defining comics, w/ goofy super-SF to rival Morrison’s JLA. Immortus invades a “chronopolis” (a city that abutts all eras) so he can gain the power to prune the timestream! Pacheco shines: his “actors” have expressive body language & his panels cut & frame subjects in compelling ways.

last issue: Avengers Forever #2 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #4 of 12

also indexed for Feb. ’99
Avengers #13

Avengers Forever #2 of 12

July 29, 2013

Avengers Forever 02Kurt Busiek // Carlos Pacheco
January 1999
*****

Rick Jones, acquiring time-manipulating superpowers, gathers Avengers to fight chrono-baddies. Ingeniously, the team’s drawn from several eras. It’s got Thomas’ delusional Yellowjacket & Englehart’s disillusioned Cap for drama, a few contempo members, & even future Avenger/current T-bolt Songbird!

last issue: Avengers Forever #1 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #3 of 12

also indexed for Jan. ’99
Avengers #12

Avengers Forever #1 of 12

July 27, 2013

Avengers Forever 01Kurt Busiek // Carlos Pacheco
December 1998
****

Busiek spins a mini out of last summer’s Kree crossover assisted by Pacheco, whose style is a mod ’90s update of Pérez’ image density. A classic Kirby AI-monster conspires to hyper-evolve perennial sidekick Rick Jones, a gambit that gets noticed by a sinister time guardian & his younger self—Kang!

next issue: Avengers Forever #2 of 12

also indexed for Dec. ’98
Avengers #11

Avengers #1

July 14, 2013

Avengers 01Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
February 1998
****

Pérez returns to Marvel’s supergroup superteam, tapping Busiek (hot off Marvels & Astro City in ’95 & last year’s T-bolts) to help w/ the relaunch. They’re well-matched: neither conservative nor radical, dense w/ info yet clear at storytelling. Echoing the Lee/Kirby original, a mage manipulates Earth’s superheroes into teaming up. This time, it’s an Arthurian, Morgan le Fey, using Asgardian magic.

next issue: Avengers #2

also indexed for Feb. ’98
Thunderbolts #11

Captain America #445

September 10, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
November 1995
****
In a nice parallel scene, an empty coffin is interred at Arlington as medtech rejuvenates the Captain. The save comes via the Red Skull (who’s body is a Cap clone, you’ll recall). The real surprise is his sidekick: the late Sharon Carter! Otherwise, it’s mostly jumpsuited thugs in secret bases.
[last issue: Captain America #444]
[next issue: Captain America #446]

The Avengers #17

June 18, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
June 1965
***
A hunt for charter Avenger the Hulk turns up blank, while a face-off w/ that subterranean tyrant, the Mole Man, & his monsters ends in a draw. The new roster, however, shows more teamwork & demos more character than the square heroes they’ve replaced. Hawkeye is aiming to replace Cap as team leader!
[last issue: The Avengers #16]
[next issue: The Avengers #18]

The Avengers #16

June 17, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Don Heck
May 1965
****
Recognizing the need to shake up this formulaic mag, editor Lee revises its mission by changing its cast. Cap excepted, the square-jawed heroes step aside for reformed criminals from other mags, antiheroes w/o titles of their own. The combat’s perfunctory; this ish aims for drama, not action.
[last issue: The Avengers #15]
[next issue: The Avengers #17]

The Avengers #15

June 16, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Don Heck
April 1965
**
Staging a battle royale btw the superteam & their evil reflection, the Masters of Evil, on the streets of NYC, this conventional ish acts as climax for the original lineup. The shake-up will help, since the all-star cast has been straightlaced, even square, ever since Cap replaced the wild-card Hulk.
[last issue: The Avengers #14]
[next issue: The Avengers #16]

The Avengers #14

June 15, 2012

Stan Lee, Paul Laiken, & Larry Lieber // Jack Kirby & Don Heck
March 1965
***
Lots of hands work on #14, but it’s Kirby’s imagination that directs them. So a twisty plot links a critically wounded Wasp, a hunt for a lung specialist, the secret Arctic citadel of pale blue aliens, & finally, an interstellar war! It’s worth lingering over the King’s strange city & war machines.
[last issue: The Avengers #13]
[next issue: The Avengers #15]

The Avengers #13

June 14, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
February 1965
***
An aristo runs a criminal syndicate, so he engineers a war btw the Avengers & the US military! Under the Marvel Method, the conventional plot is Heck’s. But Lee’s hand is seen in the Innocent Accused trope as well as the cute twist on the Mob’s popular nickname (the “Maggia”, one letter off).
[last issue: The Avengers #12]
[next issue: The Avengers #14]

The Avengers #12

June 13, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
January 1965
**
A standard superteam adventure, as the Avengers take on a megalomaniac & his doomsday device. The villain’s not even new, he’s on loan from the Fantastic Four: a subterranean tyrant & his pale yellow horde. The underground setting, at least, allows Ant-Man to prove he’s not the team’s fifth wheel.
[last issue: The Avengers #11]
[next issue: The Avengers #13]

The Avengers #11

June 12, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
December 1964
***
Once again the mag’s supervillain targets the team, as the futuristic Kang sends a Spider-Man robot to the Amazon jungles. It nearly bests the Avs till it’s stopped by the real deal. Heck’s Spidey lacks Ditko’s acrobatics; he focuses on the webbing. But his art improves as he adopts more Kirby-isms.
[last issue: The Avengers #10]
[next issue: The Avengers #12]

The Avengers #10

June 11, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
November 1964
***
The latest ally of the Masters of Evil is a sort of time-wizard, able to yank figures out of history to pit against the heroes. Compared to Kirby’s spacesuited Kang, Heck’s design—long robes, black goatee—reflects a more conservative aesthetic. His plotting too is clumsy, his fights w/o finesse.
[last issue: The Avengers #9]
[next issue: The Avengers #11]

The Avengers #8

June 9, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1964
****
A UFO brings a boastful despot to Earth, but he’s not an alien, he’s a time traveller! Curiously, Marvelites have seen this guy Kang before—in ancient Egypt, v. the FF! Still, this issue’s plot is generic, and aside from a crazy uniform, so’s the artwork (graded on a Kirby curve, anyway).
[last issue: The Avengers #7]
[next issue: The Avengers #9]

The Avengers #7

June 8, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
August 1964
*****
Nearing its anniversary, The Avengers becomes a monthly mag—so Lee & Kirby stage a helluva fight! A siren of Asgard hypnotizes Thor into fighting his teammates. And Captain America faces Zemo, the Nazi who killed his sidekick in WW2. Cap, a true war vet, burns w/ neurotic guilt at the kid’s death!
[last issue: The Avengers #6]
[next issue: The Avengers #8]

The Avengers #6

June 7, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
July 1964
****
W/ the Hulk gone, the mag finds a new center in Captain America. He leads the heroes against a superteam of their enemies, enlisted by a Nazi foe who’d hid in South America! Kirby brings his gadgets, a gang of kids, and a ranting megalomaniac; Lee adds his editorial passion for a shared universe.
[last issue: The Avengers #5]
[next issue: The Avengers #7]

The Avengers #5

June 6, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1964
****
The return of the Lava Men, whom Thor faced last fall. But aside from one of Lee’s typical warmongering advisors, these classic Kirby monsters aren’t villains. Incidentally, this ish acts as a coda to the Hulk’s career with the Avengers, after breaking w/ them finally in The Fantastic Four.
[continued from The Fantastic Four #26]
[last issue: The Avengers #4]
[next issue: The Avengers #6]

The Avengers #4

June 5, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1964
*****
Kirby & Lee resurrect Captain America, carefully retailoring him to superb effect. A disastrous WW2 mission cost Cap his sidekick Bucky & put him on ice. Reawakened, he broods mightily but fits perfectly w/ the superteam, who help an oddball (but not evil) alien while facing a resurgent Namor.
[continued in The Fantastic Four #25]
[last issue: The Avengers #3]
[next issue: The Avengers #5]

The Avengers #3

June 4, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
*****
In a Marvel irony, the teams’ foe in #3 used to be a teammate. The Hulk’s antisocial demeanor earns him attn from the original antihero, Namor—who defeats the surly monster in an underwater wrestling match! But the duo can’t cooperate when they challenge the Avengers to a battle royale under Gibraltar.
[see also Journey into Mystery #112]
[last issue: The Avengers #2]
[next issue: The Avengers #4]

The Avengers #2

June 3, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1963
****
Kirby & Lee apply the shapeshifter trope (a fave of theirs) to JLA‘s alien invasion plot. But it’s their best iteration, as the conflict reflects the book’s engine of distrust among teammates. Hulk just can’t mesh w/ the more idealistic heroes, & so, in an encore of FF 3, he stomps out on them!
[last issue: The Avengers #1]
[next issue: The Avengers #3]

The Avengers #1

June 2, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1963
*****
Stan & Jack add a Marvel twist to superteam conventions. Loki, a trickster god, dupes a handful of Earth’s mightiest heroes into fighting that monstrous antihero, the Hulk! Despite the formulas, this premiere issue is incredible, mostly cuz Kirby, inked by Ayers, offers such vigorous dynamism.
[next issue: The Avengers #2]

Tales of Suspense #60: Captain America

January 3, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
December 1964
B-story: ***
In a redux of last issue, Cap proves himself a one-man army in a pile-up w/ jumpsuited thugs. They’re flunkies for a villain in a red hood (Marvel fans would recognize Baron Zemo, but Stan omits his intro, motivation, even a “see Avengers #” caption). Definitely a backup tale, but staged well.
[A-story: Iron Man]
[last issue:  Tales of Suspense #59]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #61]

Journey into Mystery #116: Thor

November 16, 2011

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1965
A-story: ****
B-story: *****
JiM‘s fantasy backups are often stronger than the A-tale’s superheroics, so it’s no surprise Thor‘s getting more mythical. Here, Loki uses enchanted stones to win a footrace thru a hellish realm. Kirby also offers up a crazy, Incan-like headdress; Odin’s regal bathtub; & Balder in a suit’n’tie!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #115]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #117]

Wonder Man #7

October 21, 2010

Gerard Jones // Jeff Johnson
March 1992
***
Part 4 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
A belligerent Kree soldier keeps swapping places w/ Rick Jones (Marvel’s official sidekick) by using an old set of alien power braces. But Wonder Man uses crack timing to subdue the villain. Tho’ it’s an issue in a big crossover, G. Jones keeps the  tone light & the focus on our irrascable hero.
[continued from Quasar #32]
[continued in The Avengers #345]
[last issue: Wonder Man #6]
[next issue: Wonder Man #8]

Quasar #32

October 20, 2010

Mark Gruenwald // Greg Capullo
March 1992
***
Part 3 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Despite a wonky bit of pacing, Gruenwald segues smoothly into the Kree-Shi’ar War while keeping the mag’s plots aboil. Q zips around the solar system investigating alien activity on behalf of the Avengers & finds a Kree soldier exhuming the tomb of 1960s Captain Marvel for his nega-bands.
[continued from Avengers West Coast #80]
[continued in Wonder Man #7]
[last issue: Quasar #31]
[next issue: Quasar #33]

Avengers West Coast #80

October 19, 2010

Roy & Dann Thomas // Dave Ross
March 1992
**
Part 2 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Thomas helps to launch a sequel to his classic “Kree-Skrull War” epic (& other details of Marvel history—Roy’s happiest when he’s patching old plotlines into new stories). Captain America leads the WCAs into a skirmish w/ a giant robot while alien (Shi’ar) operatives swipe a Kirbytech maguffin.
[continued from Captain America #398]
[continued in Quasar #32]
[last issue: Avengers West Coast #79]
[next issue: Avengers West Coast #81]

Captain America #398

October 18, 2010

A-plot: Mark Gruenwald // Rik Levins
March 1992
A-story: ***
Part 1 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Perennial sidekick Rick Jones dreams an apocalyptic prophecy implanted by the Kree Intelligence (that floating green head). But eagle-eyed Marvelites will note that he’s attacked by a Shi’ar warrior, not a Kree. Once again, Rick’s a patsy in an intergalactic war (see The Kree-Skrull War).
[continued in Avengers West Coast #80]
[last issue: Captain America #397]
[next issue: Captain America #399]

X-Factor #76

August 14, 2010

Peter David // Tom Raney & Kevin West
March 1992
***
As part of Uncle Sam’s clandestine support for a foreign despot, our mutant g-men face a tech-heavy superteam allied w/ the Hulk. But aside from some high-&-mighty moralizing on non-Western culture’s treatment of women (berserker Wolfsbane kills a murderer!), the ish is standard superhero tussle.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #391]
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #75]
[next issue: X-Factor #77]

Alias #9

July 15, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
July 2002
*****

Dramatic dialogue underpins the A-1 character work here. A shrink’s descrip of superhero envy is esp. clever, the way it reflects Jess, Rick, & “Rick” Jones. By the way, an excellent rug-pull when, after she’s confided in him, Jess learns that the kid isn’t actually Rick J. but a pathological liar.

last issue: Alias #8
next issue: Alias #10

also indexed for Jul. 02
Avengers #54
New X-Men #126

Alias #8

July 14, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Bill Sienkiewicz
June 2002
****
Bendis sets up perennial sidekick Rick Jones to mirror Jessica: a skittish loner, alienated by a lifetime of superheroics. A visit to the FF HQ also implies a hierarchy of super-haves & have-nots. Plus, dig Sienk’s “photo” excerpts of Rick’s autobio, ironically less realistic than Gaydos’ art.

last issue: Alias #7
next issue: Alias #9

also indexed for Jun. ’02
Avengers #53
New X-Men #125

Alias #7

July 13, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Bill Sienkiewicz
May 2002
****

Part of this book’s quality is in its cinematic realism: “long takes” & slow zooms on talking heads. Alias sinks its foundations deep into the Marvel U. w/ Jess Jones’ investigation into namesake Rick Jones (of the Kree-Skrull War), which includes Watchmen-like excerpts of the sidekick’s autobio.

last issue: Alias #6
next issue: Alias #8

also indexed for May ’02
Avengers #52
New X-Men #124

The Fantastic Four #26

April 24, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1964
*****

A dynamic masterpiece. Carrying over from last ish & Avengers #1-4, this mega-arc is effectively comics’ first crossover. And the first, greatest antagonist is an alienated anti-hero. A titanic battle pits the Hulk against two teams of heroes. Kirby’s in top form, esp. his acrobatic Captain America.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #25
next issue: The Fantastic Four #27

also indexed for May ’64
The Amazing Spider-Man #12
The Avengers #5
Journey into Mystery #104
Strange Tales #120: Dr. Strange
The X-Men #5

The Fantastic Four #25

April 23, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
April 1964
*****

The Thing v. the Hulk in an all-out brawl thru NYC! Grimm, who first refuses a cure, gets outclassed by an opponent who’s bigger, stronger, & meaner. Lee & Kirby, carrying motives & momentum over from The Avengers, stitch their comics into one ongoing multi-volume story. A landmark & a classic—superhero comics at their best.

continued from The Avengers #4
last issue: The Fantastic Four #24
next issue: The Fantastic Four #26

also indexed for Apr. ’64
The Amazing Spider-Man #11
Daredevil #1
Journey into Mystery #103
Strange Tales #119: Dr. Strange

The Fantastic Four #12

April 9, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1963
****

A result of Marvel’s anti-heroic ambiguity is that heroes can clash. So the Hulk, near cancellation, gets to guest star while the FF cameo in Spider-Man’s #1! The quartet clear Banner’s monster, accused of sabotaging SDI tests. But the prize bout—Hulk v. Thing—gets halted before a winner’s declared.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #11
next issue: The Fantastic Four #13

also indexed for Mar. ’63
The Amazing Spider-Man #1
The Incredible Hulk #6
Journey into Mystery #90: Thor
Tales of Suspense #39: Iron Man

The Amazing Spider-Man #14

March 2, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
July 1964
****
I suspect Lee mandated this trip to New Mexico, to engineer a fight btw. Spidey & the Hulk. On a film shoot, our hero faces the Enforcers & a new foe, the Green Goblin. Ditko gives Gobby a pip of a design—elfin ears, a green/purple color scheme, & a Kirbytech broomstick—but no personality.
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #13]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #15]