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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Demi-God Must DIE!

Marvel's Champions Classic v.2 hit the shelves today, and to those of you who were around when I was freaking out about Volume One last June, it should come as no surprise that I'm going to go ahead and declare it to be the single greatest trade paperback of all time.

I could go on at length about the pure joy contained in this thing--and I probably will, given the daily update schedule I'm working with here--but all you really need to know is that it includes the world's most ridiculous super-team going up against Swarm and MODOK back-to-back in stories that only Bill "The Thrill" Mantlo could bring.

But since I talk about Mantlo pretty much all the time, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that this thing includes Jim Shooter and George Tuska's Avengers #163, an issue containing nothing but Hercules and Iron Man beating the living hell out of each other.

Admittedly, this was probably a lot more exciting when Iron Man wasn't beating up other super-heroes every day, but this? This is beautiful.

And the weird thing is, I'm pretty sure that's exactly how Civil War's going to end.

You're welcome.

BONUS FEATURE: Subtlety Is Not Their Strong Point

Remember a few months ago, when I wrote a column for Prism detailing the slightly homoerotic subtext inherent in a team with a biker, a bare-chested Greek gentleman in a skirt, and "two confused young men?"

Sometimes, they write themselves.


Anonymous Ron said...


I'm surprised Stark didn't cry out "Eep!" when he took that punch.

1/11/2007 2:38 AM

Anonymous TrickyNicky said...

re: the mouse-over comment on picture five.

Go see Children of Men. It's not only a great movie, but it also has a guy totally getting Batman-with-a-car-battery pwnt. I immediately thought of your blog when I saw it happen.

1/11/2007 3:56 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

Glad I wasn't the only one who thought of ISB after the battery attack...

1/11/2007 5:19 AM

Blogger Richelle said...

Wow, sometimes insomnia is worth it to catch things like this. I confess, however, I'm a bit puzzled by Hercules' I'm-an-extra-from-Ivanhoe dialect. But I guess that's how the kids are talking these days.

1/11/2007 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is that thing on Iron Man's chest? Is that a subwoofer for when he unleashes the funky power of the Iron bass?

1/11/2007 6:10 AM

Anonymous Mike Duncan said...

Sweet Jesus!
When I was but a boy, that was my favourite Avengers issue ever!
Thanks for posting up some mighty fine images that bring it all back to me in 4 colour glory!

1/11/2007 6:53 AM

Blogger Nathan P. Mahney said...

It is a fact that all the best comics have plots that are simply excuses for one character to fight another.

1/11/2007 7:57 AM

Blogger gravitybear said...

In the fourth pic, does it say, "So much for cleverness. It's down to DEPERATION."

Oh, and that's a great kick to the face.

1/11/2007 9:07 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

Oh that wacky Iron Man. I guess that we really shouldn't be surprised that he completely flipped out in Civil War...the signs were there for years.

1/11/2007 9:32 AM

Anonymous Jack R said...

Oh yes, 70s Iron Man. When the suit had built in ROLLER SKATES.

Forget the Extremis upgrade crap, you want me to read Iron Man again, bring back the damn skates!

Verification word: kllfatt, which sounds like a dietary supplement from The World That's Coming...

1/11/2007 9:44 AM

Blogger lostinube said...

Iron Man has always been a prick. Remember the Armor Wars? And you know what? He had problems with Cap back then too. Those two are so meant for each other.
Anyway, which is weirder: the eyes on Spider-Man's mask or the fact that we can clearly see the Iron Man mask displaying emotions via its mouth?

1/11/2007 9:49 AM

Anonymous Mark Engblom said...

"Iron Man has always been a prick."

Sadly, yes...as I made clear here.

Hey, Chris...thanks for the Herc/Stark clash. Nobody...and I mean NOBODY can touch George Tuska's Iron Man...not even Bombastic Bob Layton.

1/11/2007 10:44 AM

Anonymous buttler said...

goddamn i love these sound effects. good to know kang the conqueror got his name (that one, anyway) from the sound a fire hydrant makes when chucked at iron man's helmet.

also good to know that herc has a metal jaw that clangs when you punch it.

1/11/2007 1:48 PM

Anonymous the dark knight said...

That might explain why they made the entire fight between Hercules and Iron Man in Civil War #4 off panel.
If only they had put in a Stan Lee-style editor's note that said "If you wanted to see that bombastic brawl, it's already been printed! Go pick up the inscrutible issue #163 of The Avengers for a classic take on the situation!"

1/11/2007 5:42 PM

Anonymous the other chris said...

Did this Champions trade have the issue where Ghost Rider goes all sick-house on Kamo Tharn's monster squad? I read that as a kid and the bad ass John Byrne art on Blaze literally scared the hell out of me. One of the many sequences that made Ghost Rider evolve into my favorite character.

Oh, and Chris? This review from my Ghost Rider site is for you, buddy: The Champions # 1

1/12/2007 1:09 AM


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