Posts Tagged "Amazing Spider-Man"

Insidious: Spider-Man Villain Team-Ups

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Comic Art News | 0 comments

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1Insidious: Spider-Man Villain Team-Ups by Jerry Whitworth

 

Among the various rogues galleries of fictional characters, Spider-Man has one of the largest and most varied set of enemies in history. Even more dangerous, many of Spider-Man’s villains take little issue with organizing into a group to combat him. The first, and most prolific, such group is the Sinister Six. Formed in 1964′s Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Doctor Octopus was confidant where one villain failed to destroy Spider-Man, a group could finally do away with him. Contacting Doctor Doom, the Lizard, Green Goblin, Sandman, Electro, Vulture, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter, the last five answered the summons and formed the Sinister Six. In order to keep from stepping on each others toes, Octopus broke up the six members in different locations advantageous to the villain’s skills and abilities and lured Spider-Man into playing the game by kidnapping the Daily Bugle’s Betty Brant and Peter Parker’s Aunt May (the latter caught up when she went to the Bugle looking for her nephew). Of course, Spider-Man wins the day and triumphs over his enemies. The group would retire for almost three decades. In that time, several villain teams cropped up.

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Review: Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Comic Art News | 0 comments

Mask of the Blue Falcon

Mask of the Blue Falcon

Review: Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon by Jerry Whitworth

 

Released in February 2013, Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon is the latest installment in the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video animated film series with this instance featuring Hanna-Barbera’s Blue Falcon. Created in 1976 by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears as an analogy to Batman, Blue Falcon co-starred with sidekick Dynomutt in the series Dynomutt, Dog Wonder as part of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. Dynomutt, referred as Dog Wonder (a play on Robin the Boy Wonder), was a mechanical canine with features in the vein of Inspector Gadget (predating Gadget by several years), sharing further similarities in that their various devices malfunctioned at inopportune times. Alerted to danger by the Falcon Flash (in place of the Bat-Signal or Batphone), the duo slipped away to the Falcon’s Lair (in place of the Batcave) to report to secret agent F.O.C.U.S. One (shades of Birdman’s Falcon 7) and raced into action with the flying Falconcar (some amalgamation of the Batmobile and the Fantastic Four’s Fantasticar). In the show’s initial episode, the duo teamed with Mystery, Inc. in a fashion akin to The New Scooby-Doo Movies (which previously featured Batman and Robin as a somewhat pilot for Super Friends) as the group faced off with the villainous Mister Hyde. A frequent device employed in Dynomutt, Dog Wonder borrowed from the 1960s Batman television series featuring the heroes imperiled at the hands of their enemies though instead of leaving the cliffhanger at episode’s end, it would be before a commercial break.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2 Has Its Electro

Posted by on Dec 7, 2012 in Comic Art News | 1 comment

Electro

Electro

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Has It’s Electro by Jerry Whitworth

 

Sony has confirmed Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Horrible Bosses) has been cast as Electro, Sinister Six stalwart and one of Spider-Man’s dimmest (but most powerful) enemies, in the sequel to Amazing Spider-Man. Powerline technician Max Dillon was repairing a powerline when a freak lightning storm transformed him into a living dynamo. Using his powers to steal money, Spider-Man battled the newly dubbed Electro defeating him with a fire hose (which shorted out the villain’s powers). Despite being ridiculously powerful (comparable to the X-Men’s Magneto in abilities and degree of threat posed), Electro was frequently outsmarted by Spider-Man (comically, on occasion with a bucket of water). One of Spider-Man’s earliest foes, Electro would join Doctor Octopus’ Sinister Six where, despite the group’s changes over the years, often included the electricity-based supervillain (Electro would join up with other groups, including against the Fantastic Four and leading a team against Daredevil). Electro would became a consistent threat to Spider-Man battling him over the decades though in recent years new depth was added to the character through his relationship with his girlfriend and admitting to have become bisexual after years of being incarcerated off-and-on.

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Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Three

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Comic Art News | 8 comments

Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Three
by Jerry Whitworth

(see Part One and Part Two here if you haven’t already)

DARK AGE

X-Men #1

X-Men #1

During the Bronze Age, comic books began to make the transition from being sold at newsstands, convenience stores, and supermarkets to a direct market in comic book shops. As people began to stumble upon these stores, they would also discover that comics could be worth quite a profit as some books could be found selling for thousands of dollars. Word would spread and people began seeing comic books as savings bonds, buying and storing them like rare collectibles. Unfortunately, they failed to realize that those books going for thousands got that way because of managing to survive fifty years of being treated as disposable entertainment that was often thrown away or burned (with issues that survived generally being horribly mangled). Still, the industry took advantage, printing issues with multiple covers, sometimes with different cover art, other times with gimmicks like hologram stickers, glow-in-the-dark images, 3-D plastic pop-out items, foldout covers, and more. People were compelled to form “complete sets”, one book notorious for this was Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men #1 (1991) which to this day remains the highest grossing single comic of all time making nearly seven million dollars and selling over 8.1 million units (and printed with five unique covers four of which had different versions such as newsstand and direct market editions). The phenomenon was a boon for the industry, with new publishers popping up all over the place and comic companies in many ways couldn’t print enough books. However, as with roller coasters, this success was bound to crash when the people who became collectors realized not only were the conditions not right to make the huge payoff for their investment they believed they would get, but with so much product overproduced, the books they did buy were virtually useless as a collectible because everyone had it. To this day, you can still find comic shops with dozens of copies of X-Men #1 they can’t give away. The comic book industry nearly went out of business again roughly four decades after Wertham and Congress left it crippled.

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Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Two

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Comic Art News | 0 comments

Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Two by Jerry Whitworth

(see Part One here if you haven’t already)

BRONZE AGE

Amazing Spider-Man #96

Amazing Spider-Man #96

Comic publishing continued on, but stories about colorful superheroes swooping down to save the day, which was already considered childish, seemed even more out of place during the end of the Golden Age and on with protests against the government, the growing recreational drug market, the war on segregation, the spread of venereal disease as soldiers from foreign countries return home to “free love,” the country coming to the end of the witch hunt led by the House Un-American Activities Committee to root out Communism, and a general change in what America was up to that point; about the only place this landscape largely went unnoticed was in comic books (due in no small part to the Comics Code Authority). In the early 1970s, companies DC Comics and Marvel Comics tackled the real world at almost virtually the same time (while within the next decade companies like Dell, Harvey, Gold Key, Warren, and Charlton faded away). Stan Lee and Gil Kane dropped CCA approval for several issues of Amazing Spider-Man when the hero’s best friend (and neglected son of the Green Goblin) Harry Osborn becomes addicted to an unnamed drug after Marvel was approached by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to raise drug awareness. Spider-Man, dealing with his friend’s downward spiral while Green Goblin hunts him like an animal, forces his nemesis back into reality when he has him confront Harry who’s near-death which shocks him into becoming Norman Osborn again (the success of this arc actually inspired change in the CCA). At DC, the creative team Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams collaborated on Green Lantern/Green Arrow which had the heroes tackle virtually all the major controversies that divided the nation, beginning with racism and classism and culminating into the emerald duo discovering Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy addicted to heroin. These stories reflected a change in approach by both companies to storytelling as their worlds became more real and more dangerous.

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