We’ve talked here about our favorite covers on many occasions in the past, but it’s time we showed a little respect to the books that set the stage for the comics on which we were raised and the ones we’ve found in recent years. So buckle up for a bombastic ballyhoo of the best and brightest sequential showcases the swinging sixties saw fit to print. Man, talking like Stan Lee is exhausting. No wonder he’s looked worn out for 50+ years now.
Secret Six #1 , May 1968, Frank Springer
The cover of this debut issue is remarkable in that it’s also the first page of the actual story. I’ve always been fascinated with that notion, it’s not just some pin-up but in fact your first taste of the action. Sure, Secret Six was never one of DC’s hottest comics (certainly not in the Silver Age), but it’ll always have a place in history because of this cover.
I’ve recently been reacquainting myself with my old friends the X-Men and falling in love all over again. Part of it is based on nostalgia for my youth but another part of it based on a franchise that has had some of the most talented writers in the business and some of the worst (paradoxically sometimes they are one in the same). The X-Men’s history contains some classic stories well known throughout comicdom and also boasts a stable of characters equally as famous.
The 90’s were a tough time for comics in general but one bright spot was Jim Lee’s art, especially his work for Marvel. Although we’ve already highlighted one of his X-Men covers, it was hard to resist posting this. He will certainly go down as one of the great X-Men artists and a fan favorite for anyone who was reading during that time period. In my eyes he draws the definitive Wolverine (especially in the brown and tan costume) and Psylocke. I could go on and on about him facilitating a much needed costume overhaul for many of the core team members. Not to mention, I’m crazy for his corner box redesign in the top left corner for the soon to come X-Men (vol.2) It just seemed so cool for the time.
This cover is from Uncanny X-Men #274 in 1991 about half way through his tenure and shortly before they would launch the title into two books. For me, I can’t get enough of it. I love the pulpy aesthic and it taking place in the Savage Land with Ka-Zar helps give it a Tarzan feel. Magneto, a depowered Rogue with a side of Nick Fury? You can’t lose.
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After falling in love with Jim Steranko’s art work from afar I decided it was about time I check out his (criminally small) comics output on Marvel’s Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and later the first ever Nick Fury solo series. These have been packaged together many times, but might I recommend the trade paperback for S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jim Steranko: The Complete Collection which basically has ever scrap he’s ever touch on the subject bundled together but more importantly the art is restored to the proper coloring it was when it was originally published.
It’s finale time, Evil Geeks! After a season that some said started off painfully slow and a roller-coaster of a back-end of the season, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD finally wrapped up its first season this week in typical Marvel Cinematic U fashion; with action, intrigue, plot twists, and a guest cameo. With SHIELD on the ropes and Hydra on the upswing, will Coulson and his chosen team be able to overcome the nefarious powerhouse trio of Garrett, Ward, and of course the cybernetic hench droid, Deathlok? Let’s get to the reviewing!
I’m fascinated by Nick Fury. I love the idea of the grizzled war veteran super spy. Alas, things have certainly changed in Marvel’s landscape….don’t even get me started on Nick Fury Jr. Trying to find something I could sink my teeth into I came across the 2001/2002 miniseries Fury by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. I have heard good things about Ennis’ Preacher series as well as his grim and ultra violent take on the Punisher through the Marvel Knights imprint and later Marvel’s Max line. The idea is that the Punisher’s age hasn’t been retconned to keep up with new young readers and Frank Castle is a warped Vietnam vet. The Fury miniseries generally takes a similar approach.