Saturday, December 31, 2016

Key Issues for Legion (David Haller)

New Mutants #26
Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

     One of the upcoming TV shows that I'm most excited about is Legion. The show premiers February 8th on FX. Legion is about David Haller who suffers from multiple personality disorder and is the son of Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men. Apparently, this show will take place in the same fictional universe as the X-Men films though I doubt we will see any characters from the films. In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer for the show:

     Though I'm sure the show will be far different from the comics, here's a list of key issues for David Haller:

X-Factor #109
Cover by Steve Epting
& Al Milgrom

New Mutants #25 - 1st appearance of Legion (David Haller) in Moira MacTaggert's notes.
New Mutants #26 - 1st appearance of Legion (David Haller) in story. Issues #26 through 28 contain the story explaining why David suffers from split personality disorder.
Uncanny X-Men #255 - One of David's personalities appears to kill Destiny. She is actually absorbed into his mind. This will eventually lead to Legion Quest and the Age of Apocalypse.

Muir Island Saga - Uncanny X-Men #278 - 280, X-Factor #69 - 70 - David becomes the host for the Shadow King.

X-men Legacy Vol 2 #4
Cover by Mike Del Mundo
& Pasqual Ferry
Legion Quest - Uncanny X-Men #320 - 321, X-Factor #109, X-Men Vol 2 #40 - 41, Cable #20 - David tries to travel back in time to kill Magneto. This story creates the Age of Apocalypse timeline that replaced all X-titles for a year.

Age of X - X-Men Legacy #245 - 247, New Mutants Vol 3 #22 - 24, Age of X Alpha #1, Age of X Univers #1 - 2 - Legion saves all of the X-Men from the Age of X reality.

X-Men Legacy Vol 2 - The entire series is about David Haller. It's excellent not only for the story and writing but also for the interior art and the fantastic Mike Del Mundo covers. My earlier review of the series can be found here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Key Issues - Marvel Two-In-One Vol 1 (1974)

Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2
Cover by Jim Starlin

Continuing with the trend of team up series, here's a list of key issues for Marvel Two-In-One.

Marvel Two-In-One #4 - 1st appearance of Tarin who becomes President in 31st century Earth.
Marvel Two-In-One #21
Cover by Ron Wilson
Marvel Two-In-One #5 - 2nd appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel Two-In-One #6 - 1st appearance of Barbara Norris' (Valkyrie) mother, Celestia Denton.
Marvel Two-In-One #9 - 1st appearance of Radion.
Marvel Two-In-One #21 - 1st appearance of Blacksun (Thomas Lightner).
Marvel Two-In-One #29 - 2nd appearance of Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew).
Marvel Two-In-One #47 - 1st appearance of Samuel Saxon (Mister Fear) as Machinesmith. This isn't fully explained until Captain America #249.
Marvel Two-In-One #52 - 1st appearance of Crossfire (Darren Cross).
Marvel Two-In-One #54 - 1st appearance of Titania (Davida Devito)Screaming Mimi (Melissa Gold), Letha (Helen Feliciano), and Poundcakes (Marian Pouncy).
Marvel Two-In-One #55 - 1st appearance of Bill Foster as Giant Man.
Marvel Two-In-One #58 - Wundarr's 1st appearance as Wundarr the Aquarian.
Marvel Two-In-One #60 - 1st appearance of Impossible Woman.
Marvel Two-In-One #61 - 2nd appearance of Kismet as Her. She was previously referred to as Paragon in Incredible Hulk Annual #6.
Marvel Two-In-One #54
Cover by George Perez
& Terry Austin
Marvel Two-In-One #63 - 1st mention of the Beyonders.
Marvel Two-In-One #64 - 1st appearance of Anaconda, Sidewinder, Black Mamba, and Death Adder.
Marvel Two-In-One #72 - 1st appearance of Maelstrom.
Marvel Two-In-One #76 - 1st appearance of Fire-Eater (Tomas Ramirez).
Marvel Two-In-One #79 - 1st appearance of Star-Dancer, mate of the Timely Comics hero, Blue Diamond.
Marvel Two-In-One #83 - 1st appearance of Alpha Flight villain Ranark the Ravager.
Marvel Two-In-One #86 - 1st appearance of the Impossible Kids.
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 - Death of Thanos until 1990 "Rebirth of Thanos" storyline. 1st appearance of Master Order and Lord Chaos.
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #6 - 1st appearance of American Eagle (Jason Strongbow).
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7 - 1st appearance of the Power Gem.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Key Issues - Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 (1972)

Marvel Team-Up #1
Cover by Frank Giacoia, Gil Kane, & Sam Rosen

Marvel Team-Up #93
Cover by Al Milgrom
& Don Perlin
I decided to put together this list of key issues for the first volume of Marvel Team Up while I was trying to make sure I had all of the first appearances for the New Mutants. I thought New Mutants Vol 1 and Marvel Graphic Novel #4 covered everyone. However, the first appearance of Xi'an Coy Manh is right here in issue 100 of Marvel Team Up so head out to your local comic shop and start digging through back issues.

Marvel Team-Up #1 - Though not named in the issue, this is the 1st appearance of Misty Knight. Her other "1st appearance" will occur 3 years later in Marvel Premiere #21.
Marvel Team-Up #8 - 1st appearance of Katrina van Horn (Man-Killer aka Amazon).
Marvel Team-Up #12 - 1st appearance of the villain Moondark.
Marvel Team-Up #15 - 1st appearance of The Orb.
Marvel Team-Up #16 - 1st appearance of the Basilisk.
Marvel Team-Up #19 - 1st appearance of Stegron.
Marvel Team-Up #21 - 1st appearance of Melinda Morrison.
Marvel Team-Up #23 - 1st full appearance of Equinox.
Marvel Team-Up #95
Cover by Bob McLeod
& Frank Miller
Marvel Team-Up #48 - 1st appearance of the Wraith (Brian Dewolff). 1st appearance of Jean Dewolff.
Marvel Team-Up #53 - John Byrne's first artwork of the X-Men.
Marvel Team-Up #55 - 1st appearance of the Gardener (Ord Zynoz)
Marvel Team-Up #65 - 1st appearance of Arcade and Miss Locke. 1st appearance of Captain Britain and Courtney Ross in an American comic.
Marvel Team-Up #66 - 1st appearance of Murderworld.
Marvel Team-Up #68 - 1st appearance of D'spayre.
Marvel Team-Up #74 - Spider-Man teams up with the cast of Saturday Night Live to fight the Silver Samurai.
Marvel Team-Up #81 - Death of Satana until she returns in Hellstorm #10.
Marvel Team-Up #87 - 1st appearance of Hellrazor.
Marvel Team-Up #89 - 1st appearance of Cutthroat.
Marvel Team-Up #91 - 1st appearance of Gorilla Girl.
Marvel Team-Up #92 - 1st appearance of Mr. Fear (Alan Fagan).
Marvel Team-Up #93 - 1st appearance of Dansen Macabre.
Marvel Team-Up #95 - 1st Bobbi Morse as Mockingbird.
Marvel Team-Up #141
Cover by Art Adams
& Mike Mignola
Marvel Team-Up #100 - 1st appearance of Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh). 1st appearance of Nguyen Ngoc Coy.
Marvel Team-Up #110 - 1st appearance of the villain Magma (Jonathan Darque).
Marvel Team-Up #117 - 1st appearance of Professor Power.
Marvel Team-Up #120 - 1st appearance of Dominic Fortune (Jerry Fortunov).
Marvel Team-Up #121 - 1st appearance of Frog-Man.
Marvel Team-Up #131 - 1st appearance of the White Rabbit.
Marvel Team-Up #138 - 1st appearance of Oswald Silkworth (the Arranger).
Marvel Team-Up #141 - Along with Amazing Spider-Man #252 and Spectacular Spider-Man #90, this is also the first appearance of Spider-Man's black symbiote costume from Secret Wars.
Marvel Team-Up #146 - 1st appearance of the Black Abbott.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Doctor Strange - 1st Appearances

If you haven't seen Doctor Strange yet, do yourself a favor and get to the movie theater.  The movie is awesome. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast and the visual effects are incredible. Like Ant-Man, it's a well paced origin story that leaves you wanting a sequel and unlike Civil War, you can see it without having any knowledge of the previous Marvel movies.

In case I haven't convinced you, here's the trailer followed by a list of the 1st comic book appearances of the characters in the film.

Issue 1st Appearance Of
Dr. Strange: The Oath #1 Dr. Nicodemus West
Strange Tales #110 Dr. Stephen Strange, Wong,
The Ancient One
Strange Tales #111 Baron Mordo
Strange Tales #126 Dormammu
Strange Tales #130 Kaecilius
Strange Tales #169 Daniel Drumm
Night Nurse #1 Christine Palmer
Runaways #1 Tina Minoru

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Didn't Plan on Buying The Avengers #1 But I Had To And Now I'm Glad I Did

As you may have figured out, I'm primarily an X-Men guy. On the DC side I read Batman and Wonder Woman, but most of the Marvel titles on my pull list are X-Men related. I don't think I've bought an Avengers book since Remender was writing Uncanny Avengers. Having said that, I always get hooked by great cover art. So today as I was picking up my books from Twilite Zone Comics, I see this book out of the corner of my eye and it starts screaming, "Buy me!"

The reasons are pretty clear just from the cover.

1. It's obviously an Alex Ross cover and it doesn't get much better.  If Alex Ross wanted to make millions, he should turn his art into wallpaper so that comic book nerds could paste it all over their houses.

2. Mark Waid is writing it. His Fantastic Four run is considered one of the best ever and his writing on Daredevil won him both an Eisner and a Harvey. Need I say more?

3. Mike del Mundo art. I can't explain how much I love this guy's artwork. His cover art for the 2013 X-Men Legacy series is mind boggling (it also won him an Eisner).  If I had a spare wall for artwork (my wife only allows me to decorate my office), I'd frame every cover of that series and put it in a grid from floor to ceiling.

4. Spider-Man: okay. Captain America: it's Avengers, right. Wasp: sure. Thor: fine. Vision: that's cool. HOLY SHIT! Is that Hercules back in the Avengers!?  I couldn't be more happy.  Hercules needs this. He can be such a great character.  Dan Abnett just gave us six wonderful issues making him more than just a drunken oaf with big muscles. I hope Waid makes him a contributor instead of just the muscle.

If those weren't enough reasons, after reading it I can tell you that this initial issue has a great hook involving Kang the Conqueror. Waid does a great job of mixing the formation of the new team (though we still don't know how Civil War II ends) and the introduction of the story thread for the first arc. The pacing is perfect. Maybe that's Waid's script or del Mundo's layouts but it works seamlessly.

Mike del Mundo's artwork is amazing as usual. Based on this book, I'm not sure anyone else should be allowed to draw and color someone changing size unless they've taken lessons from del Mundo.

See what I mean?  Here's another.

The only unfortunate is that this issue was $4.99 though it is oversized. 34 pages I think. I'm assuming the price is because of the #1. At $3.99 for future issues, this series just got added to my pull list.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Key Issues for the Mercs from Deadpool & the Mercs for Money

Deadpool & The Mercs For Money #5
Cover by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire
Caveat to this entire post: I started writing this entry several months ago when Deadpool & the Mercs for Money was just a limited series.  I had no idea it would turn into an ongoing title with a switch in the cast. Though the new team is interesting, it has a different dynamic than Deadpool's original choices.  They definitely feel less like D-listers.  I'm also aware that Solo, Foolkiller, and Slapstick are getting solo series. Something tells me these won't be around very long.

     Deadpool is everywhere right now.  His movie just came to Blu-ray/DVD/Digital after a nice run in theaters grossing over $700 million.  He's currently starring or co-starring in at least three ongoing series and at any given time there is at least one limited series featuring Wade Wilson.  If you are a Daredevil or Power Man and Iron Fist completist with OCD, Deadpool's popularity might really be pissing you off because in order to get Daredevil issue #7.1 or Power Man and Iron Fist issue #4.1 you'll need to buy Deadpool #13 with a price tag of $9.99.  Deadpool may piss you off simply because you'll be standing in line behind at least 20 to 30 people cosplaying him at the next con that you attend.

     I, however, love Deadpool.  Is he overexposed?  Definitely.  Is Marvel trying to cash in on the movie's popularity? For sure.  Do the comics suffer for it?  Absolutely not.  Fortunately, the folks writing Deadpool currently all have the same take on him, deeply flawed but likable unwilling hero. Joe Kelly handled Deadpool in the earliest days of the character by defining him and creating much more than a Deathstroke ripoff.  Gerry Duggan has grown and refined all of the traits and flaws that fans love in addition to creating a rich supporting cast.  Finally, Cullen Bunn has given us almost every brilliant limited series starring Deadpool in the past four years.

Slapstick #1
Cover by James Fry and
 Terry Austin
     Currently in both Deadpool by Duggan and Deadpool & the Mercs for Money by Bunn, Deadpool has on his payroll a team of mercenaries from around the Marvel Universe.  I was familiar with some of these characters from past Deadpool stories, but for several of them I knew next to nothing.  I love the "Mercs".  Maybe because I can empathize with their lot in life.  They're not the most popular characters, but they've likely done quite a bit of the grunt work to get things done in the Universe that no one will ever know about.  Their boss is eccentric and doesn't always make sense, but the pay is really good so they put up with it.  They may have aspired to do something else in life, but now they have a wife, some kids, and a mortgage.  This is the story of the C students that know they'll never be Avengers and don't have time to debate the morality of profiling future criminals based on predictions of the future.  I wanted to give a little recognition to these poor guys who will never get a list of their own so I did some research on them and came up with this list of key issues for the character's that make up Deadpool's Mercs For Money:

Agent Scott Adsit

Deadpool Vol 3 #1 (2013) - 1st appearance of Agent Scott Adsit.

Foolkiller (Greg Salinger)
Sub-Mariner #19
Cover by Marie Severin,
Johnny Craig, and
Artie Simek

Omega the Unknown #9 - 1st appearance of Greg Salinger.
Defenders #74 - 75 - Battles the Defenders.
Amazing Spider-Man #225 - Thrown into a mental institution after Spider-Man stops him from killing "fools" at Empire State University.
Foolkiller #1 - 10 - Greg helps the new Foolkiller (Kurt Gerhardt) after being committed to an institution.


Deadpool Vol 4 #3.1 - 1st appearance of Masacre.


Slapstick #1 - 1st appearance of Slapstick.


Web of Spider-Man #19 - 1st appearance of Solo.
St. George #2
Cover by John Muth


Tales to Astonish #95 - 1st appearance of Walter Newell.
Sub-Mariner #19 - 1st appearance as Stingray.
Avengers #262 - Sort of joins the Avengers.  There doesn't appear to be an issue where he actually joins.  Just this one where he lets the Avengers move into his Hydro-base. Afterwards, he's kind of just around trying to please Captain America.


St. George #2 (Epic Comics) - 1st appearance as Shreck on Earth-88194.
Daredevil #305 - 1st appearance as Terror in 616 universe.