Thursday, June 30, 2005

Snark Free No-Prize Game #5

Help us out here, folks!

Just tell us some Marvel continuity gaffes that you saw in the past year or so, and if we use your pick (and let's be honest, odds are, we will...we don't have a lot to choose from here...hehe), you will receive via the United States Postal Service an Official Snark Free No-Prize in the mail!! if you want to e-mail it rather than post it here!

Today, though, we received our first letter! Huzzah!

Adrian James writes, "Here's one: At the end of Excalibur, Captain Britain
had lost his powers and married Meggan and they were living in Braddock Manor. In Ben Raab's follow-up Excalibur miniseries, Roma died and Brian Braddock became King of Avalon. But then, when he reappeared in Chuck Austen's Avengers, he was still Captain Britain (because he had to pass on the mantle of Captain Britain to the new one) and none of this was mentioned at all! What a goof!"

Excellent question, Adrian!

However, I think the current events of Uncanny X-Men can explain this quite well. In it, Psylocke has been brought to life by her seemingly deceased brother, Jamie.

Jamie has the power to shape reality.

We have already seen what he was doing to Psylocke, but what about his OTHER sibling?

We have seen nothing as to what he was doing to Brian, so it would not take a large leap of faith to presume that he is doing something to Brian as well, like mess with his status perhaps?

I think so!

I think I will rest on the laurels of our first letter.

I want to see more, though, people!!

Back to two answers next week (hopefully two questions from you folks)!

And Adrian, if you want a Snark Free No Prize, feel free to send us your mailing address.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Snark Free Cover Homage Game #3

I post three cover homages, and you tell me what original cover that they are homaging!!

Sound like fun?


Let's commence!


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Let's see them guesses!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Snark Free Fun For the Whole (Superman) Family!! #2

Today's Superman Family spotlight is #178!

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In this issue, we have a new story of Lois Lane deciding to become a cybernetic woman, so that Superman would not have to protect here and would be willing to marry her.

Silly Lois.

In any event, the changes also transform her into a ROBOT eventually, as her body can't keep up with the changes!

There is some really crazy Kurt Schaffenberger in this issue.

Eventually, a deus ex machina machine shows up and saves her.

The Supergirl story is a classic from the late 50s, where Supergirl convinces a group of orphans that fairy tales DO exist.

But then she hypnotizes them into believing it was all a dream.

Which makes you wonder...

A. Why go through all that effort if you just plan on making them all think it was a dream? I mean, she does some elaborate tricks here.

B. Why not just hypnotize them into believing in fairy tales?

Fun story, anyways.

The Jimmy Olsen reprint, though, is a great one.

Jimmy, as Elastic Lad, finds his way into the Phantom Zone, where he spies on everyone like any normal person would do if they could look at others without being seen.

However, the other Phantom Zone villains trick him into seeing Superman change into Clark Kent - only Jimmy...KEEPS HIS EYES CLOSED!!

What a great friend he is for Superman.

Great story.

Anyone here ever read any of these stories?

Should Jughead Date?

Archie Comics tried to have Jughead date girls for a little bit, but ultimately, dropped the idea as the fans did not warm up to the idea.

Well, it's been 15 years since they last tried it, so do you think it is worth a shot again?

Or do you think it was correct to keep him uninterested in dating girls?

I vote for dating girls.

I think it would open up a whole new array of interesting stories to tell about Jughead.

And the Trula Twyst character would be a really interesting person for Jughead to date.

Imagine the banter between the two!

They could have a long storyline leading up to them getting together (similar to Love Showdown), and then have them date for a year.

After that, Archie is free to break them up.

But I think it is worth a shot!

What do you folks think?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Do You Have Any Comic Reading Traditions?

What I mean is, do you have any set way of reading your weekly comics?

Do you read the books in a certain order?

Is there a particular place in the house that you read them?

Do you read them right away or do you wait?

How long do you wait?

Fill me in!

As for me, I read my weekly comics in order of "least interested" to "most interested."

Monday Challenge - Who Could Defeat the Composite Superman?

Here's a new shtick.

I am proposing the following challenge - please tell me a character that you think could defeat the Composite Superman in a fight.

The Composite Superman, by the by, has the powers of the ENTIRE Legion of Superheroes.

He has repeatedly kicked the behind of Superman and Batman.

So who could hand him a defeat?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Great Supporting Characters - Max Mercury

One of the standouts of Mark Waid's acclaimed "Return of Barry Allen" storyline was the introduction of Max Mercury (ostensibly a reinterpretation of a Golden Age superhero, but really, this was a brand new character), the Zen master of speed.

The coolest aspect of Max was that, since he had no history, Waid was free to do what he wanted with him, so his personality could go in different directions than Waid could go with established characters.

After a couple of years of being an interesting supporting character in the ever-expanding Flash cast of speedsters, Max moved over to the Impulse title, as the mentor of the title character.

That was a very smart move on Waid's part, as it gave him (and future writers) a separate main character to play the wacky Impulse off of, and also a second main character to give plots to.

It is too bad that Max is in limbo, because he was a great supporting character.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Snark Free Fun Run for 6/25

Today's fun run is Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos' Impulse.

This book is basically THE definition of "fun."

That is, until later on, as the book got caught up in crossovers and then Waid's departure.

But early on, Mark Waid was willing to just have FUN on this title, and Ramos supplied him with the art to go with such an attitude.

Waid also introduced (and devloped quickly) a very interesting supporting cast for young Bart Allen.

His mentor, Max Mercury (a Waid creation basically).

Max's grown-up daughter.

Bart's school friends.

They all played off each other quite well.

This was a really good run by Waid.

My particular favorite was #3, Bart's first day of school.

It was a rarity at the time (mid-90s) to see such a HILARIOUS comic book!

It was such a joy for me to read it, and literally laugh out loud at certain sections, as we see Bart casually (and sometimes accidentally) become the most popular kid in middle school.

I did not dislike the later stories on this series, but the early Waid and Ramos issues are truly the pinnacle of this comic.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 6/24

Today's theme is "Goin' to the Chapel, Gonna Get...ATTACKED?!?"

Marriage is, generally speaking, a bit too boring for most comic books.

Therefore, they often are interrupted.

Cases in points...

1. Reed Richards and Sue Storm's wedding, where every major villain tussled with every major hero, but only caused a minor delay.

2. Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym's wedding, which is interrupted by the Circus of Crime (and, well, also by the fact that Hank was kinda crazy at the time)!

3. Bruce Banner and Betty Ross' wedding, which is interrupted by her father SHOOTING Bruce!

4. Barry Allen and Iris West's wedding, which is interrupted by Professor Zoom impersonating Barry!

5. Barry Allen and Fiona Webb's wedding, which is again interrupted by Professor Zoom attempting to kill the bride, but Barry stops him in time, but in doing so, kills Zoom (and goes on trial for manslaughter).

6. Wally West and Linda Park's first wedding, which is interrupted by Abra Kadabra, who kidnaps Linda and then casts a spell making everyone forget Linda ever existed!

7. Dick Grayson and Koriand’r's wedding, which is interrupted by an evil Raven showing up and killing the minister.

Feel free to share more interrupted weddings!!

Note that all but the last wedding DID eventually occur!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Snark Free No-Prize Game #4

Help us out here, folks!

Just tell us some Marvel continuity gaffes that you saw in the past year or so, and if we use your pick (and let's be honest, odds are, we will...we don't have a lot to choose from here...hehe), you will receive via the United States Postal Service an Official Snark Free No-Prize in the mail!! if you want to e-mail it rather than post it here!

Anyhow, I guess we'll have to go with some ones I've come up with on my own....

Brian C. writes in to say, "When he first showed up, Cable could not make his techno-organic arm appear human, now he can! What a goof!"

Not so fast, Brian!

If you remember, during the later issues of Cable's title (before Soldier X), he had a massive power spike.

That explains this new power quite nicely, don't you think?

B. Cronin writes in to say, "When the X-Men buried Skin in Uncanny X-Men #427, there is the WRONG NAME on the tombstone! It says Angelo Torres, but Skin's name was Angelo Espinoza! What a horrible goof!"

Ah...not so fast, Mr. Cronin!

For, you see, Angelo Espinoza already HAD a grave!

Years earlier, Angelo was presumed dead in a car explosion, and someone else's body was buried in his grave, but at the same time, he was post-humously framed for two murders he did not commit!

So since everyone thought that he was dead, it only made sense to Angelo to let them keep believing that.

Therefore, when he died for REAL, it would not be good for Angelo's mother to make her re-live her son's death AGAIN, so the X-Men clearly just used a fake name (Skin's girlfriend from that time period was named Tores, so it is close enough to think that they took that name to use for his grave).

Ta da!

Goof erased!

Okay, folks, let's see some errors!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Snark Free Cover Homage Game

I post three cover homages, and you tell me what original cover that they are homaging!!

Sound like fun?


Let's commence!

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2. Image hosted by

3. Image hosted by

Let's see them guesses!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Snark Free Fun For The Whole (Superman) Family!

Tuesdays will now be me telling you all of the joy of classic issues of Superman Family!!!

Today's first feature will be Superman Family #176.

The format of the title at the time was an alternating lead story featuring either Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane or Supergirl. The two back-up stories would feature the characters NOT featured in the lead story, and they would be reprints of older stories.

They would also TRY to have the stories all tied together with a theme, but they never tried THAT hard.

This issue had the following cover -

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Jimmy Olsen - Nashvill Super Star!

And yes, a giant guitar DID almost kill him!

In the story by Cary Bates, with art by Kurt Schaffenberger, a country singer dies and a reporter is killed who had some details on the country singer's last days.

The only answer?

Jimmy Olsen has to go undercover!!

But how can he become a Nashville country singing star?!

Quite simple - he asks Superman to use the Super-computer at the Fortress of Solitude - to WRITE HIM A HIT COUNTRY SONG!!!

And it DOES!!

How awesome is that?!?!

The Super-computer wrote him a hit country song!!!

There IS no beating that.

That is comic book gold.

Like Superman Family #176.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Do You Think Even Her Teammates Understood Her Powers?

Similar to whether the Titans even understood Donna Troy's origin, do you think the other Avengers knew what Scarlet Witch's powers were?

I mean, WE have a hard time describing them - how could Hawkeye explain them?

If someone asked Hawkeye, what would he have said?

"Uh...she makes things happen....somehow."

I mean, hex bolts?

Does anyone know what a hex bolt IS?!?!

Or the Vision.

Can you imagine someone asking the Vision about his kids?

"No, no - it's cool. My wife had some friends make magical sperm. It's all good."

Funny stuff.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Great Supporting Characters - Ben Urich

One of the coolest things about Ben Urich, in my opinion, is that he existed for five issues before Frank Miller became the artist on Daredevil, and fifteen before Miller became the writer on the title.

So to see Miller basically treat Urich as a pet character is nice to see, as it is always nice to see writers look affectionately upon supporting characters of previous writers.

Miller handled him in such a manner that is quite commonplace nowadays (letting the supporting character narrate the story), but at the time, it was quite innovative for a comic book, and Miller gave Urich such depth that it was COOL to follow the comic from his perspective.

In addition, Urich was SMART - he figured out Matt Murdock's secret identity using just know-how!

But he was honorable enough not to use that info, and he was also honorable enough to stick up against the Kingpin, even though he was basically a gnat to the power of Kingpin.

Recently, Brian Michael Bendis has made Ben one-half of the Daily Bugle's new superhero supplement, the Pulse.

The Pulse (the title) has been caught up a bit too much in crossovers at the moment, but when that is finished, expect to see more of Ben!

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fun Run for 6/18/05

Today's fun run is John Ostrander's run on Firestorm.

Ostander came on to the book with the book nearing cancellation, and when a book is that close to cancellation, you have to try something different - and Ostrander certainly did that!

With Professor Stein nearing death due to a brain tumor, Ronnie and Stein decided to do one last good deed and try to force America and the USSR to do a nuclear disarmament.

I thought this was an interesting idea, and Ostrander handled it quite well (with the reactions of the various figures in the world).

In addition, Ostrander worked in his new Suicide Squad characters into the story as well, in a conflict with Firestorm.

Really fun stuff.

Then Ostrander introduced the NEW Firestorm, who was a merger of a Russian hero, Ronnie Raymond, with the body being controlled by an amnesiac Professor Stein. A "Stranger in a Strange Land" type of deal.

The art was by Joe Borowski , and it was good.

Later on, Ostrander (when Tom Mandrake took over) went in a much different direction, with Firestorm as a Fire elemental.

That stuff was a lot weirder (but still good), but the early issues of his run, with Ostrander and Borowski, were my favorites.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 6/17


1. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing - This may be one of the most famous "everything you thought you knew was wrong" story. Moore revealed to the reader that instead of scientist Alec Holland BECOMING Swamp Thing, Swamp Thing was actually a collection of plants that BELIEVED that it was Alec Holland.

Pretty trippy, eh?

2. Mopee.

Yes, Mopee.

Mopee was the REAL cause of the lightning that hit Barry Allen. He was like the Bat-Mite.

Check it out in Flash #167.

3. Hal Jordan was lobotomized by Abin Sur.

In Peter David's Action Comics Weekly Green Lantern run, he asked the question, "Wouldn't someone literally without fear be kinda nuts?"

So David revealed that what Abin Sur's ring did was search out for the CLOSEST to fearless people he could find, and then he used the ring to MAKE Hal Jordan fearless.

4. Captain America has more reworked origins that anyone I can think of. Two (since debunked) reworkings were that he had a secret family (including a brother who died at Pearl Harbor), which was brought up by Steve Gerber, and more recently, John Ney Reiber posited that perhaps the whole "frozen in ice" story was staged by the government.

5. Recently, Spider-Man had his origin reworked that perhaps it was not the radiation that made the spider transfer powers to Peter Parker, but rather, that the spider ITSELF had powers that it transferred to Peter.

Or not.

JMS is not exactly being opaque on the topic.

6. Writer Bill Mantlo introduced the concept that the Hulk existed in Bruce Banner's subconscious well before the explosion, and it was the explosion that just allowed the Hulk to take over Banner's personality.

Can anyone name me some more?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Snark Free No Prize Game #3

Help us out here, folks!

Just tell us some Marvel continuity gaffes that you saw in the past year or so, and if we use your pick (and let's be honest, odds are, we will...we don't have a lot to choose from here...hehe), you will receive via the United States Postal Service an Official Snark Free No-Prize in the mail!! if you want to e-mail it rather than post it here!

Anyhow, I guess we'll have to go with some ones I've come up with on my own....all Black Panther edition!!

Brian C. writes, "In Black Panther #4, which is set in the past, the Radioactive Man appears - only he's Russian! What a goof!!"

Not so fast, Brian!

Notice that at no point in the book do they state that it is the SAME Radioactive Man who is currently appearing in Thunderbolts.

Yes, writer Reginald Hudlin has made some rather odd comments suggesting that he IS supposed to be the replacement for that character, but nowhere in the book does it say that.

Therefore, it is more likely that we will learn that this is just the Russian counterpart to the Chinese Radioactive Man.

B. Cronin writes, "In Black Panther, we meet a character calling himself the Black Knight, but is neither Dane Whitman nor his evil uncle! What a goof!"

As Reginald Hudlin explains, this is just a different Black Knight. Furthermore, according to my pal Loren, in this particular time in Marvel continuity, there WAS no Black Knight (as they were between Black Knights at the Dane Whitman had not yet taken over the name).

So it DOES fit into Marvel continuity!

That is it for this week, but please, folks, send in some suggestions of your own!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Snark Free Cover Homage Game

Okay, I will admit it...I have run out of cover homages that have more than four homages (I'm sure there are still some more out there - I just can't think of them).

Maybe in a week or so (when I have more photobucket room..hehe), I will post all the Pieta covers.

So now I will come up with a NEW thing!

I will post three cover homages, and you tell me what original cover that they are homaging!!

Sound like fun?

Let's commence!

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3. Image hosted by

Let's see them guesses!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Who Are The Coolest Comic Presidents?

Most of the time, the presidents in comic books are either nameless or they are the actual current president.

Here I will name the five (in my opinion) coolest fictional comic book presidents.

1. Prez - Prez Rickard (a brainchild of Joe Simon) was the first teen president.

How awesome is THAT?!?!

And how many presidents get to deal with vampires?!!?

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2. Kyle Richmond (Nighthawk of the Squadron Supreme)

This guy was so cool that after he resigned as president, he went out and took down the entire Squadron Supreme using just a bunch of second-string villains to do so!

3. Troy Stewart (Formerly Tyroc of the Legion)

He was president of New Earth during Keith Giffen's Legion of Superheroes.

Before that, he was a member of the Legion who could kick people's butts just using his VOICE!

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4. Magnus Robot Fighter

After the long war for the freedom of Earth from Malev-7, Magnus becomes President of Earth.

Only Malev-7 wasn't REALLY defeated, it was just being sneaky.

So Magnus has to pretty much take on the entire planet this time.

Tragic stuff.

5. Dragon from Savage Dragon.

Well, come on, he is obviously very cool!

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Any other cool comic presidents that I have missed?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Saved By A Cut-Off Sentence - Keeping Maggie Vague in Byrne's Superman

Let me just say upfront that, like all things on the Snark Free Waters blog, I am not saying this to be snarky.

I understand completely that John Byrne, in December 1987/January 1988, did not feel like he had the leeway to have frank and outright discussion about homosexuality.

I think everyone appreciates his efforts in giving the comic world such a cool supporting character in Maggie Sawyer (as I mentioned here) who just happened to also be a lesbian.

Good job by Byrne

However, it doesn't mean that, almost twenty years later, we can't look back at the issues and joke about how the whole "lesbian" angle had to be alluded to and not said outright.

It's all in good fun.

So let me begin!

In previous issues, Lex Luthor is shown trying to blackmail Maggie with some photos he has of her in an apparently compromising position.

She doesn't care.

In Superman #15, we see a woman call Maggie "babe" and the two of them hug as Maggie is very concerned about her daughter (who ran away from her father, who lived back in Star City, where Maggie was from).

Then we have Maggie explain to Superman her life story, including such choice lines as "I was...confused in those days. There were things happening in my head that I'd been denying for a long time. Things a proper Catholic girl didn't even want to consider. When Jim popped the question, I thought maybe that was what I'd been looking for."

and "With him gone almost all the time I was adrift. My carefully fabricated life was coming apart in my hands. That was when I finally started to come face to face with myself...with reality (this last panel showed Maggie in a bar standing next to, but apart, from a woman, with a male bartender as well).

Finally, as Superman is flying looking for her daughter, his thought balloon says "It certainly seems ridiculous in this day and age that someone as upright as Maggie Sawyer should have to give up her child because she's"

And then, a flying creature flies by!

Saved by the bell!

"Hold it!" he thinks as he then flies after the creature.

Readers were left wondering..."Because she's WHAT, Superman?!?! POLISH?!? An alien?!?!? A witch?!?!"

Hehe...funny stuff.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Change of Scenery

I liked the name "Snark Free Happy Joy Comic Blog" mainly because it let people know what to expect from this blog, it was, well, a snark free happy joy comic blog.

Now that we've been established a bit, the name is a bit too dorky, I think, so I am going with the clever title that Sean Whitmore came up with.

It may be less descriptive, but I think it is a neat title.

Let me take this opportunity to repeat two things, dear readers...

1. Remember, I am always willing to print anyone's thoughts about a comic they liked, or a classic comic moment that made them laugh. So feel free to e-mail me at and I will post them here.

2. Send us your Marvel continuity gaffes that you have caught!! You will receive an authentic Snark Free Waters No Prize for your efforts!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fun Run for 6/11/05

Yes, I am slowly but surely assigning a shtick to each day...hehe.

The new Saturday shtick is that I name a run on a title that I thought was fun, and that not THAT many people talk about (for instance, I'm not going to be hyping Byrne's Fantastic Four or Miller's Daredevil here...hehe).

Today's fun run?

Karl Kesel and Cary Nord (and a few issues by Gene Colan)'s Daredevil.

It only lasted eleven issues, but it was great fun.

Kesel took over with issue #353, and he made the basic decision, "Okay, I can't duplicate the greatness of Frank Miller's Daredevil, so why not go the completely opposite direction?"

And that's what Kesel did, by making Daredevil a FUN book, not a dreary one.

After all, going "dreary" had not helped the book for the past 50 issues or so, as we saw stuff like Murdock faking his own death or Daredevil wearing armor, etc.

No, this Daredevil embraced life, and lived it to its fullest, while having a fun relationship with his girlfriend, Karen Page.

In addition, just recently, Foggy Nelson was let in on the Daredevil secret, and Kesel latched on to that and made Foggy an important member of the cast.

The art by Nord was strong, and the later art by Colan was great as well.

One of the highlights was the issue with Spider-Man (Kesel really should get a Spider-Man book someday....heck, Kesel should get ANY book someday!)

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Another one was Daredevil taking down the Absorbing Man - totally unbelievable, but totally FUN!

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Joe Kelly's run following Kesel wasn't that bad, but it was not as good as Kesel.

For his was a fun run!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 6/10/05

Today's theme is "When some trick occurs to make it look like the villain won, but in reality, the villain did not win"!!!

1. The first one is Alan Moore's classic Superman Annual - "For The Man Who Has Everything," which showed the villain Mongul attempting to mess with Superman (on Superman's birthday, no less! The indecency of some people!) by attaching a plant to Superman which gives the person their fondest wish, but also transfixes them into a vegetative state for the rest of their lives.

The day is saved, and Mongul finds himself trapped by the plant, as the end of the issue details Mongul thinking that he has won the day and killed lots and lots of people.

2. Next, we have the Giffen/DeMatteis era of the Justice League, and a pitched battle between the League and Despero. The League is hopelessly outmatched by Despero, so the Martian Manhunter has to use his "can only use one time" Martian gift of "mayavana," which is basically like a Martian acid trip, where it tells your brain that the nicest thing ever has occured. This is usually designed as a present between loved ones, but J'onn is willing to use it FOR his loved ones (the League, natch) to trap Despero.

We see Despero reveling in destroying the world, basically.

3. When Manchester Black first showed up on the scene with the rest of his Authority-analogues, the Elite, Superman defeated them in such a manner that it APPEARED as though he had sunk to their level to stop them. But he had not. He tricked them into THINKING that he did.

Well, awhile later, Manchester Black returned the favor (in a variation of the theme), he tricks Superman into THINKING that Manchester Black killed Lois Lane. Superman freaks out, and is going to kill Manchester, when he pulls back - not willing to kil for any reason.

Manchester reveals his plot - he was going to force Superman into killing him - and then reveal that Lois was still alive, just to mess with Superman's mind...but, upon failing, Manchester just killed himself.

4. During the silly Twelve storyline, Professor Xavier needed to know that all the X-Men were themselves, and not Skrulls (as it had turned out that Wolverine was a Skrull at the time). So he devised a plan that forced all the X-Men to fight against each other and ultimately kill each other off, just to make sure no one was a Skrull.

Yeah...that really was the plot.

5. Finally, in the last storyline before Grant Morrison took over - Eve of Destruction, Jean Grey and a ragtag team of X-Men tried to stop Magneto's plans to take over the world (with an army of newly healed Genoshan mutants). At one point, it appeared as though Magneto killed Dazzler, but it all turned out that they had freed Professor Xavier, so that it was all in Magneto's head.

And then Wolverine stabs him in the chest.


Anyone have any OTHER comics to add to this theme?

Please do so!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Snark Free No Prize Game #2

Let's see some help here, people!

Just tell us some Marvel continuity gaffes that you saw in the past year or so, and if we use your pick (and let's be honest, odds are, we will...we don't have a lot to choose from here...hehe), you will receive via the United States Postal Service an Official Snark Free No-Prize in the mail!!

Anyhow, I guess we'll have to go with some ones I've come up with on my own....

Brian C. writes in to ask, "In New Warriors #1, Namorita is blue, but in her last appearances (as Johnny Storm's girlfriend) she was back to her original flesh color. In addition, when she was blue, she called herself Kymaera, not Namorita. What a goof!"

Not so, Brian!

If you remember when Namorita regained her original appearance, it was when her blue skin "shed" in an issue of Nova. However, I do not think that that shedding meant that that was going to definitively be her skin color from then on. If you remember, she had the original flesh color for a LONG time before she went to blue skin. In addition, if you might recall, the blue skin was partially attributed to the stress of leading the Warriors, so I do not think it would be surprising at all that some recent stress (perhaps her breakup with Johnny Storm?) would have brought the blue skin back.

As for the name thing, I think it is quite simple. When she first turned blue, she freaked out and wanted to live as a hermit. She specifically no longer saw herself as, well, herself. Now, she is used to it, and realizes that blue skin does not make her a different person, so she is keeping the same name.

B. Cronin writes to inform us of a goof, "In X-Men Phoenix: Endsong #2, Cyclops blasts Emma Frost with his optic blast while she is in diamond form and it just refracts by her diamond form! But Cyclops' optic beam is a CONCUSSIVE force, not a laser beam! It should have knocked her across the room, not refracted! What a mistake!"

I will admit, Mr. Cronin, that is sure looks bad for the X-Men, but if you recall, Emma Frost is a telepath, so the only reasonable solution is that the whole "Cyclops blasting her with his optic beam and the beam being refracted" thing took place in their minds.

Remember, this was at a time when Emma was concerned about their relationship, and we already saw in the pages of New X-Men that Emma was used to using the pyschic plane for therapuetic purposes. So that is what must have occured in this situation.

That's all for this week, folks!

Please, send in some picks!

I'm sick of this Cronin character!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cover Homage Fun for 6/8

Today's homage cover is known as the following cover from Uncanny X-Men #138.

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However, this cover is probably ITSELF an homage of THIS Superman cover from a few years earlier...

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The next real homage to it came in the second to last issue of New Mutants, with the departure of Sunspot from the title...

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Next (these are all around the same time period) we see Jubilee depart from the X-Men...

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Cannonball depart from X-Force...

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And there was a neat twist on the cover with the following X-Force cover...

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Cool, eh?

Finally, post-Onslaught, Professor X had to go...

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Anyone know of any others?

Hisham suggests that this cover is in the same line.

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What do you folks think? Is it meant to be an homage of the other cover?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

How to Accessorize the Marvel Way!

I have already opined about how trenchcoats make everything cooler.

However, in the 90s, Marvel also came up with another idea - AVENGERS JACKETS!!

Take a look at the following outfits by the Avengers Sersi, Black Widow, Black Knight and Crystal...

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And so these were their costumes when they were members of the Avengers during Bob Harras and Steve Epting's run, until one day, during Operation Galactic Storm, Sersi used her powers to whip up some jackets for everyone to wear.

The rest is fashion history!!

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Monday, June 06, 2005

What Changes Occured During Secret Wars?

With the news of DC leaping forward one year, I thought it would be a fun idea to look back at the event being compared to this idea, which was how each Marvel book, during Secret Wars, leaped forward a number of months during the one issue that they were missing for Secret Wars.

After the jump in time, a number of changes occured. I will now detail them...

1. Probably the most memorable one was Spider-Man gaining a new superhero costume. During Secret Wars, when all the other heroes were getting their costumes fixed, Spider-Man grabbed the wrong machine and instead got an alien symbiote that made his new costume (and eventually became Venom).

2. Ben Grimm gained the ability to turn into the Thing whenever he chose to. So Ben decided to stay behind on the Battleworld where Secret Wars took place.

3. She-Hulk joined the Fantastic Four to replace the Thing.

4. Colossus broke up with Kitty Pryde after messing around with some alien lady on the Secret Wars planet.

5. The Molecule Man got himself a girlfriend, Volcana.

6. The Absorbing Man and a new villainess, Titania, became partners.

7. Vision used the time that the Avengers were gone to plot his control of first the team, and then the world itself...eventually leading to the formation of the West Coast Avengers.

8. James Meeley responds to point out that I left off the introduction of the new Spider Woman. Good call.

9. In addition, I took a quick check at the original series, and there WAS a plot point that I wasn't sure about, but it WAS, in fact, addressed in the comic, and that was the fact that wearing Tony Stark's armor was beginning to mess with James Rhodes' head (as the armor was designed for Tony's brain, not Rhodey's). This would later become a significant plot point in the pages of Iron Man.

So will DC match these events?

Time will only tell...

(Of course, you should feel free to remind me of changes that I might have missed)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Hidden Cover Images Fun for 6/5

Now I won't tell you what Joe Quesada hid in the cover to this comic, you will just have to find it without help...hehe.

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Good huntin'!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Who Did The Best Job Wrapping Up Another Writer's Plots?

Often, there are times in comics when a writer leaves title before he or she is finished with their story.

This leaves the incoming writer often in a precarious situation, having to resolve plots started by (and presumably with resolutions known only to) the previous writer.

So which writer do you think did the best job resolving the previous writers' plots?

We will make an exception in the case of Roger Stern following up on John Byrne, as Byrne gave Stern a rough guideline to follow, so that's unfair.

Besides that, what do y'all think?

1. Peter David and Jim Owsley finishing up the Hobgoblin reveal begun by Roger Stern (I do not what role Tom DeFalco had in it). These two writers had the Hobgoblin turn out to be Ned Leeds. Stern was intending it to be Roderick Kingsley. Whose idea do you like better?

2. Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell finishing up Chris Claremont's Mister Sinister story. Claremont was to reveal that Sinister was the figment of a child's imagination (his mutant power was to make this "bad guy" appear). Nicieza and Lobdell went instead with an age-old scientist.

3. Alan Davis finishing up Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson's "The Twelve" storyline.

Which of the three did you like the best?

Any other significant wrap ups that you can recall?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 6/3/05

Today's theme is "Big Reveals"!!

1. Sensor Girl in Legion

How Long: Legion of Superheroes (Baxter series) #14-25.

Misleading Suspect: The hints were designed to make people think Supergirl.

Turned Out To Be: Queen Projectra (former Princess Projectra)

2. Hush in Batman

How Long: Batman #608-619

Misleading Suspect: Clayface pretended to be Jason Todd back from the dead.

Turned Out To Be: Tommy Elliot (although even THAT is now questionable).

3. Ruin in Adventures of Superman

How Long: Adventures of Superman #627-640 (and maybe more!)

Misleading Suspect: Could very well be Pete Ross. Otherwise, no one.

Turned Out To Be: Currently, Pete Ross.

4. Monarch in Armageddon 2001

How Long: The summer of 1991.

Misleading Suspect: It was supposed to be Captain Atom originally, but was rewritten when the fact that it WAS Atom was leaked.

Turned Out To Be: Hawk (of Hawk and Dove fame)

5. The Leader in Team Titans

How Long: Three years (from the Armaggedon 2001 Annual in 1991 to Zero Hour in 1994).

Misleading Suspect: It was supposed to be Danny Chase, but that was rewritten...I don't know why.

Turned Out To Be: Also Hawk (of Hawk & Dove fame)

6. Mr. Blue in the Hulk

How Long: 76 years (I kid, Bruce Jones, I kid!)...#34-62 of the current Incredible Hulk series.

Misleading Suspect: Every Hulk cast member ever.

Turned Out To Be: Betty Banner (back from the dead)

So, folks, what was the silliest big reveal that you can think of?

What was the coolest?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Snark Free No Prize Game #1

Let's see some help here, people!

Just tell us some Marvel continuity gaffes that you saw in the past year or so, and if we use your pick (and let's be honest, odds are, we will...we don't have a lot to choose from here...hehe), you will receive via the United States Postal Service an Official Snark Free No-Prize in the mail!!

Anyhow, I guess we'll have to go with some ones I've come up with on my own....

Brian C. writes in to ask, "In New Avengers #2, Luke Cage tells Captain America 'groups and teams, it never even occured to me to bother with it,' but Luke Cage has been a member of the Defenders, the Fantastic Four AND the Heroes For Hire! What a goof!"

It might appear that way, Brian, but really, look at the history.

The Defenders were specifically a NON-team team. They were basically just people who hung out together, ESPECIALLY the peripheral members like Luke.

As for the Fantastic Four, he was PAID to be their replacement for the Thing.

And finally, Heroes for you might recall, Luke only joined the team as a spy for the Master of the World (but really to work as a double agent), so in none of the above examples did he ever really go into the situation with an eye towards joining a team or group.

B. Cronin asks, "What was up with Wolverine chaperoning the dance in New X-Men #14 when just the PREVIOUS issue he murdered one of the students' teachers!! What a goof!"

It may sound bad, Mr. Cronin, but as New X-Men writer, Nunzio DeFilippis explains, "
However, if we figure he's not at the actual dance (there is a short hairy guy there, but we can assume that's just a short hairy student), we can say he's helping set up the dance as a sort of pennance, but is doing so with no students around, and is smarter than to show his face at the actual dance."

Works for me!

Okay, now everyone else send us continuity errors!!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cover Homage Fun For 6/1

This is a very unique cover homage.

It is because the original cover is, in and of itself, an homage ITSELF.

George Perez's cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 is an homage of the famous sculpture, the Pieta, by Michelangelo.

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However, THIS SPECIFIC cover has been homaged quite a few times, and not just the standard Pieta pose (which I'm sure I'll get around to featuring some day as well).

So here are covers that are not just Pieta covers, but homages of specifically Crisis #7.

Here is a Mighty Mouse homage..

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I think this cover probably has the most obscure death in it...

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Leading up to Zero Hour, we had this Valor cover...

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Nearing the end of the underrated Major Bummer comic (with art by future DC mainstay, Doug Mahnke)...

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Tom Strong generally skewed older for its cover homages, but went more recent for this one...

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Nearing the end for Supergirl's title as well...

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Finally, a funny Toyfare homage...

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Feel free to mention any that I might have missed!