Tag Archives: Spiderman

Fantastic Four Monsters Unleased Trade Paperback (1992)

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I think there are times when you should totally get the monthly issues as well as any of the trades available.  I must admit – this story, to me, is one of the more underrated Fantastic Four stories.  In fact, if you ask a regular comic reader I bet half wouldn’t even know about this incarnation of the FF.

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But yes, there as a time in comic history where three of the FF was missing and a new foursome had to form to face a new threat.  The pairings seemed like an odd choice at the time but were probably the most popular characters at Marvel at the time.  Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and the Hulk.

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Not just any Hulk but the grey Hulk – the Las Vegas bouncer Mr Fixit!  Also one of the more memorable features is that this story arc is drawn by the uber talented Art Adams!  My copy of the trade was signed by the artist a few years ago at Boston Comic Con.

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Originally these issues were so popular they went into the rare second printing.  While that is a common place practice now second printings didn’t just happen.  I am lucky enough to have issue #347 and am looking to add #348 when I find it.

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Marvel Legends Lizard BAF (2018)

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This BAF I was on the fence about it for a long time.  I had the head because I grabbed Lasher when he was released.  I wanted Mysterio but he was quite difficult to find – but thankfully found him at one of my LCS.  From there I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get the rest of this BAF because I had no desire to get Spider-woman, Prowler, Spider-Punk, Spider Noir AND especially Gwenpool! Neither was any of my figure collecting friends.  So I had the head and the left leg – which I refused to take out of the package because Mysterio was so difficult to find!

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My luck sort of changed when there was a collection of action figures brought into a local toy shop.  The owner was talking to the person selling the figures and he said he didn’t want any of the loose figures or pieces.  The man said he had no use for them so just to throw them away then.  I immediately said I would take them and the man selling the collection handed me the bag saying “$10”.  I argued he was just going to throw them away and he said that it was his property he could do what he wishes with it.  I told him I could just wait and take it out of the trash and after a few more back and forth arguments we came to an agreement of just $5.

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Keep in mind, I had no idea what was in the bag – all I knew was it was Marvel figures.  Turns out I had 12 figures and 6 BAF pieces including a torso, right leg and left arm to this BAF.  I was psyched and it renewed my excitement to try to collect the rest of the pieces.  One of my figure collecting friends that I mentioned before decided to get the Gwenpool figure.  I have no idea why either… the good news is that he handed me the tail I desperately needed!  All I needed now was the right arm!  Spider-Punk!  For here I had no choice but to turn to eBay.  With all of the pieces assembeled I thought I would build the Lizard and reflect on it’s amazingness – but something made me refuse to open Mysterio.  I continued to debate whether or not I should just bite the bullet and finish the Lizard but I just couldn’t do it.  Finally, I went back to eBay to get another left leg so that I may keep Mysterio in tact.

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Unfortunately, the people on the ‘bay were insane asking between $12-$20 for the leg.  I started figuring it was a lost cause and had this incomplete figure sitting in my office as a glaring aggravation.  I have preached patience in this hobby so many times and that it will eventually work out.  Well, I am letting you all know that sure enough I waited and someone put a left leg for this figure on eBay for $8.  While that’s more than I spent on any other piece (besides Lasher – which I paid retail) but it was worth it because I love this figure!  It’s easy to pose and the detail is amazing!  Yes, it is not exactly a classic representation but I am fine with this new version!  Some have complained it looks too much like a dinosaur and not like the Lizard we’ve all grown up with and adored.  I don’t mind this at all.  The torn short, the huge lashing tongue adds to the awesomeness of this character.  Another impressive BAF in a time where the BAF have continued to impress.

Spider-Ham Pop! (2018)

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Walgreen’s keeps on churning out the amazing exclusives!  Spider-Ham is not that memorable of a charcter with most people probably not remembering these issues even occuring.  The day I went into the store to see if they had the Spider-Hulk the woman came out with this little guy instead.  I was psyched to see it as I didn’t even know they were making him.  Just like the recent ML figures seeing this in person made me want to purchase him.

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I even think I might enjoy this little guy more than the Spider-Hulk!  Actually, who am I fooling – nothing compares to anything Hulk themed!  This is still a classic and unique Pop.  I am a sucker for the unique pieces.  I missed out on the first offerings that Walgreen’s had like Venom and Spider-Man 2099 but I was glad to realize and take advantage of this series of Pops!

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Spider-Man Pint Size Heroes (2016)

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Being a huge Venom and Spider-Man 2099 fan I just wanted to get these two… except every single figures feels so similar to the other that it’s impossible to tell who is who in the package.  Having a free afternoon and a few extra bucks in my pocket I decided to roll the dice and see if I can score the characters I wanted.  I don’t recommend this practice as it never usually ends quickly or the way you want.

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I grabbed a bunch of packages and walked up to the register.  I told the lady I was going to buy one at a time and open each right there at the register until I get the one that I want.  I of course let other customers through when they had one – but if not it was all me just sitting there opening package after package looking for Spidey 2099 or Venom!

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If you’re familiar with this blog then you’ll know this is not an uncommon practice – I’ve done this before and usually the employees get into the whole experience with me. So, if you do the simple equation I snagged a Spider-Man, Black Cat, Gwenpool (mask and no mask), Parker, Goblin and 2 Spidey 2099 before I was able to snag a Venom.

Mini-Series: Spirits Of Venom (1993) – The Review

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Spirits of Venom

W: Howard Mackie
I: Kubert/Reinhold
(Spirits of Vengeance)
&
Seviuk/Rubenstein
(Web of Spider-Man)

There isn’t a whole lot of favorably memorable 90’s mini-series.  Most of them are downright laughable when you start to think about them – but there is one that I don’t think gets enough credit.  Now, hold on to your hats because here’s the crazy part – this doesn’t feature the Hulk at all – and I love this thing!  No worries, I am not going soft, I just thought I would take a post off from the Hulk to revisit one of my favorite miniseries from good ‘ole 1993.

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When Venom was introduced in the late 80’s he was an instant hit – mainly due to McFarlane using his rock-star status to create an evil, muscular, black-suited Spider-man that could fight with regular Spider-Man.  In the beginning, you could tell Brock adored the power that the symbiote gave him – it wasn’t until Erik Larsen drew him that he started to show a disgusting, humongous, non-human tongue and started acting more like an monster than a man – claiming he wanted to eat Spider-Man’s brains.  You’ll be pleased to know that his craving for brains is sedated by chocolate.  Of course, it was only a matter of time that Marvel turned their newest fan favorite baddie into a watered down version who really wanted to do good.

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In this excellent series – which spans across 4 books in 2 separate titles (Web of Spider-Man #95-96 and Spirits of Vengeance #5-6) – Venom is treated as the wild card he is – and truly should be.  He isn’t ever a welcome part of the team – but sometimes used as a necessary evil – and he actually is more trouble than he’s worth.  But I digress, let’s begin with the story.  Spirits of Vengeance, which employs Ghost Rider and a total bad-ass, the non-superhero Johnny Blaze, were hot on the trail of the Deathspawn, an army of dark minions who, with the help of Hag and Troll, seek to bring their master, Deathwatch, back to life.  They cross paths with Spider-Man as he is trying to protect the Hobgoblin from the Demo-Goblin, (with the cheesiest, best Spider-Man foe of the 90’s in tow, Spider-Doppelganger) who is trying to “cleanse” the world of the Hobgoblin’s existence, while also trying to turn the foe over to the authorities.  Of course, things get real hairy when Ghost Rider and Blaze run into Venom… who, for some reason, is hanging out in the sewers.

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The only thing this mini-series may be guilty of is having too many awesome side stories cluttering the plot.  Spidey, Hobby, Gobby and Doppy all get dragged into the Spirits of Vengeance quest as they get intertwined and the Deathspawn, needing life force to reanimate Deathwatch, kidnap whomever they can.  Venom is in full force here as he has a hankering to kill Hag and Troll but then gets sidetracked when he notices Spider-Man has joined the fray.  Everything else is a second priority to killing Spidey – but he continues to get denied – first by the Doppelganger who wants a piece of Venom for itself (this is a fantastic match up I would love to see play out in a full length comic), then by an accidental grazing of Blaze’s bullet, and finally, by Ghost Rider, multiple times, snatching his jaws away from Spidey’s skull with his chains.  Venom is both a hindrance and a help the entire, action packed, four issues and it ends with another full-out brawl where Blaze has to weigh the options of letting Venom loose once again in order to save Spider-Man, even though, in turn, it will put Spider-Man in more imminent danger with Venom on the loose.

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This mini-series not only hold up over time it also had me energized enough to begin picking up the whole Spirits of Vengeance run again.  I can’t even tell you a whole lists of negatives because I think the only small criticism I have is that I wish Kubert did the art for the whole run.  Since the installments traded between the Web of Spider-Man and Spirits of Vengeance (which was aptly switched to Spirits of Vengeance Venom for two issues) he only graces the pages of parts 2 & 4.  Every issue of the 4 parts sports an impressive cover.  I have no other words to describe this forgotten gem from the days of “grunge” except: Absolutely Stellar.  I mean, it is filled with awesome enemies with classic 90’s names Llike Deathwatch… and Deathspawn!  Hag!  Troll!  Wait – those last two actually sound like things my mother called me back in the 90’s.  Seek these issues out right away and enjoy the short but sweet taste of  what the 90’s did right.  Grade: A+

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Marvel Universe She Hulk (2012)… and a Peter

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I have had this figure for a while – one of the first stores I walked into had the new shipments in – I could not believe my good luck!  The only figure I was remotely interested in was this – but then I saw the Spider-man variant (Bag Head Spidey) and I could not resist!  Hasbro has been making some really great figures lately – and by that I mean some great Hulk related figures!  The She Hulk released is really fantastic – although I am really missing accessories for the figures.  I wish Jen came with a legal binder or something!

MU Bag Head Spidey!

Peter Parker: Spider-Man #14 (2000) – The Review

Peter Parker: Spider-Man #14

Wow!  What drama did I miss?  I love Ratchet drama!  About 5 years ago I saw the guy get into a fight with an 11 year old on a go-kart track!  Not a fist fight mind you, just a shouting match, but it was still pretty hilarious.  From what I can remember the kid cut Ratchet off at the last minute and almost made him ram another person.  Then the kid climbed out of the go-kart and said “You’re racing a pro!”  From there all I remember is Ratchet telling the kid off and finding the kid’s Father where he volunteered “with the Father’s blessing” to teach the kid some manners.  It was pretty classic.

Remember the clone saga! HA!

Anyways, I take it he hasn’t heard from King Hulk, so let’s move on to the review.  Another Spider-Man issue where he faces off against the Hulk.  This is the issue with Peter trying to deal with the fact that Mary Jane is dead.  All of her loved ones gather to grieve but Peter is out taking on every one’s favorite green giant!  I know John Romita Jr. is going through a lot of criticism as of late and I think it’s a bit justified.  His recent work isn’t really up to his older work, but this issue features a knock down, drag out fight.  The thing Spider-Man has on his side is speed and his never say die attitude!

Hulk gets the Spider!

The Hulk even captures him a few times but Spider-Man finds a way out of the mess!  He even blinds the Hulk with some webbing and while the Hulk flails about he gets in a shot on Spider-Man which send him flying into a newsstand.  Papers litter the street and Peter sees an article that says Mary Jane “Feared Dead”.  Enraged, Peter heads back out to finish the battle with the Hulk!

One of the most memorable parts of the issue is where J. Jonah Jameson actually puts business aside for once in favor of letting his staff  and himself stay with Aunt May at the “wake”.  Meanwhile, Peter and the Hulk is tearing up the train tracks  in their battle!  Peter pounds and pounds and pounds until his fists are bloody and bruised screaming about finding his wife.  When he can’t hit any longer he looks up to see the Hulk starting down at him.  The savage Hulk commiserates with Spider-Man, saying that his wife is dead too.

Did you get into a fight with a brick wall? Worse... the Hulk!

That’s when Peter sees the train coming.  He tires to put the broken tracks back together and can’t, until the Hulk helps too.  The Hulk does the heavy lifting while Peter mends the track and the train passes safely.  When Peter goes to thank the Hulk… he is gone.  Peter heads home and as he sits on his bedroom floor, the phone rings.  The voice on the other end tells Peter “She’s alive.”

Hulk and Spider-Man make nice!

Overall, I think Romita Jr. did a spectacular job in drawing a brutal fight between to superheroes.  I love the end of the battle where the Hulk finally connects with Spider-Man.  This is a fun, affordable issue worth picking up is you like splash pages of the Hulk smashing things up! – Later, David