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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It Had To Happen!

Before we get started with the comics, tonight, please allow me to "hip" you "cats" to something you may not know:

Right now, at this very moment, your various Marts are selling off their leftover Halloween paraphernalia for ridiculous discounts. What this means to you, the consumer, is simple: You can get a pair of foam nunchuks for like forty-eight cents. That's not an offer I could pass up, not when it meant a chance for my very own Customer Appreciation Chuks.

Which brings us, in a roundabout sort of way, to the subject at hand. You don't just see good cover blurbs like you used to. Sure, noted liar Micah Ian Wright used them for his last few issues of Stormwatch: Team Achilles, dropping a reference to Sgt. Rock in the process, but they seem have fallen by the wayside, which is a damn shame.

Especially since I'm pretty sure Marvel Comics succeeded solely on the strength of cover blurbs. After all, these are the people that invented the term "senses-shattering," a Kirbyism describing a comic so good that you'll lose senses. Plural. You'll be blind and deaf--at LEAST--by the time it's over. Even Lion-Head Superman can't stand up against that.

They are of course just exaggerations, judging by the fact that Marvel wasn't sued out of existence by the parents of kids who were blinded by the awesomeness of MODOK (well, you know, except for Mark Hale), but none of them come close to the sheer amount of bald-faced lies that Marvel told every time they slapped the classic "AT LAST!" onto a cover.

I'm still going through the back issue stock at work, and I've seen "AT LAST!" on what may actually be a ton of comics, and it's almost never accompanied by something that I can imagine anyone waiting with bated breath to see. It's usually something like "AT LAST! ANT-MAN CUTS LOOSE!" or similar nonsense.

But sometimes... sometimes they get it right:

Well it's about damn time.Now that's something I've been waiting to see, although apparently Marvel still had the font laying around from when they did the KISS comic. The only question is whether they just didn't think we'd notice, or if there's something about Ace Freehly that we don't know.

Comin' at you from 1980 is the Black Panther in a story by Ed Hannigan and Jerry Bingham, edited by the man who--according to Chad--has never written a bad Superman comic, Roger Stern. I saw this cover and immediately knew I had to have it, because if there's one thing you can never have enough of in comics, it's racists getting punched in the face.

Unfortunately, it's a bit of an oversell. The fight with the Klan takes place in a quarter-page montage, and while there is a certain satisfaction in seeing the Panther take out the entire group in one panel, even Batman spends a whole issue on them. I will say this, though: T'challa kicks this one dude so hard there's explosion lines coming off of it, and that'll get you excited.

As an added bonus, this issue includes a letter from Jim Owsley, writing in to talk about Marvel Premiere #49, meticulously picking apart Mark Evanier's scriptand Sal Buscema's art before closing with an allegation that Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's cover to the issue was "insulting." Owsley would, of course, go on to become Christopher Priest and write some truly phenomenal issues of Black Panther for the Marvel Knights line, which makes me think he probably enjoyed this one a little more.


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