Thursday, April 9, 2015

100-Word Review - Four from the Hip

Doug: What a treat we have today! Edo Bosnar decided to take the 100-Word Review challenge, and boy -- did he ever! Edo has provided us with not one, not two... but four capsule reviews of comics he's mentioned around these parts in the past. We're excited to present his thoughts, and hope that you'll enjoy your time here. So no sense in delaying any longer -- let's get to it!

Edo Bosnar: I wanted to try my hand at the 100-word reviews that Doug mentioned, and decided to write them for some random single issues I have in my current collection – books that I re-acquired simply because I remember liking them so much when I was a youngster. None of them disappointed upon being re-read: I found I like them just as much (or at least almost as much) now as I did back then. I wanted to write about them, but didn’t really feel up to doing complete blow-by-blow reviews. Nevertheless, keeping these down to just one hundred words proved quite challenging. So here they are in chronological order of publication:


DC Comics Presents #3 (November 1978)
Story: David Michelinie
Art: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

I have fond memories of the first few issues of DCCP, all so beautifully drawn by Garcia-Lopez. Originally I bought all of them in those drugstore three-packs, all with Whitman logos instead of DC’s. Years later, I came across this one in a local comic shop, also with the Whitman logo! The story is pretty simple: Supes and Adam Strange each find themselves on the other’s world, or rather, their worlds have switched solar systems. It’s all part of a nefarious plan by one of Strange’s old foes. Besides the lovely art, there’s some nice character moments in this one. 


Marvel Team-Up #79  (March 1979)
Story: Chris Claremont 
Art: John Byrne and Terry Austin

My favorite single issue of Marvel Team-Up ever. This little gem from the X-men’s legendary creative team features an unlikely team-up between Spider-man and Hyborian Age female fury Red Sonja. When a museum guard is drawn to put on a mysterious amulet on exhibit, he is transformed into the wizard Kulan Gath and begins wreaking havoc. Peter Parker is sent to the scene by Jameson; Mary Jane tags along and, after picking up a sword also on exhibit, is transformed into Red Sonja. It all makes sense by its own internal logic, and  it’s action-packed and entertaining to boot.

Marvel Two-in-One #51 (May 1979)
Story: Peter Gillis
Art: Frank Miller and Bob McLeod

Our story opens with the Thing meeting Nick Fury on the roof of the Avengers Mansion to join a poker game with Ms. Marvel, the Beast, Wonder Man, and also D.A. Tower and Jarvis. Fury gets an emergency call from SHIELD – Yellow Claw’s Sky Dragon is attacking the Helicarrier! So Ben flies Fury and the Avengers Three to the scene in the Fantasticar, and they get into a high-altitude slugfest with the invading goons (not sent by Yellow Claw, incidentally). What I like best about this largely tongue-in-cheek story is how it highlights the jocular camaraderie among the Marvel heroes. 

Star Wars #38 (August 1980)
Writer: Archie Goodwin
Art: Michael Golden (plotter/penciler/colorist), Terry Austin

This is basically a filler issue, and is only peripherally even a Star Wars story, but it’s probably my favorite of the entire series. Luke and Leia, on a covert mission in a spice tanker, are attacked by an imperial destroyer and TIE fighters. They jump into hyperspace, but apparently the hyperdrive sustained damage in the attack, and they end up in a starless void. They eventually run into an immense glowing object that appears to be alive. It sucks in their ship, and once inside they get caught up in what seems like an insane and very lethal game.


Anonymous said...

The only one I had of these was Spider-Man & Red Sonja (which I now know is pronounced Sone-ya thanks to an earlier comment by Edo). The cover of Marvel-Five-In-One inspired me to have a look at all the other covers and especially to see if #50 was the one where modern Thing vs. original Thing - which it was :)

Martinex1 said...

That Two In One is also one that I fondly remember. Bob McLeod's art (although just inking here) is underrated I think. He did some nice Bronze Age work and some really nice covers here and there. Two In One, during this time period, was pretty solid. I liked the six foot tall Thing who was at the center of the Marvel Universe. For me, it worked better that he had a lot of interaction with Marvel heroes; Spider Man in Team Up seemed more forced to me (as I always considered Spider Man as more of a loner). This era of the Thing was definitive for me.

Of all of the Byrne/Claremont Team Ups, the Red Sonja issue is one I don't have. It always comes so highly recommended; I will have to pick it up.

I didn't know Golden did any Star Wars work. I will have to check that out.

John Pitt said...

Hi Col, can you remember if they pronounced Sonja like that in the movie? I can't remember, perhaps there's a clip on YouTube.
But, you know me, Wolver-eye-ne and all that! :-)

Anonymous said...

John, I did see the Red Sonja movie once in the dim, distant past but I've completely forgotten how they pronounced it - it probably was Sone-ya.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Star Wars, but now I'm going to have to track down and read one of the old comics because its drawn by Michael Golden. And its all your fault, Edo!

On the plus side, its always a pleasure to be pointed to unknown (to me) work by the brilliant Garcia-Lopez. So thanks Edo.

Also - that MTU was surprisingly good.
For such a dumb idea, the Hyborian Age/Marvel universe crossovers they did back then (like Conan in What If) generally seemed to work surprisingly well.


Humanbelly said...

Excellent, EXCELLENT capsule reviews, edo. You strike exactly the right balance of describing the book in just enough detail without giving anything of consequence plotwise away to us folks who haven't had a chance to enjoy them yet.

Hmm-- that's a long way of saying, "Solid description, no spoilers!"

It made me want to pick each of the books up-- possibly even the STAR WARS issue. (Not a big fan, either, I'm afraid.)

Sonja = SOAN-yah, yes.
Wow-- Wolver-eyen? Never heard that one! It's kinda euphonius, really.
Hey-- how many of us oldsters thought Namor was the "Sub-MaREENer", though, eh?

There's surely a whole post's-worth of mis-pronounced hero/villain names a-waitin' for us to confess to out there. . . !

(Annihilus, anyone?)
(How 'bout Dormammu?)


J.A. Morris said...

Nice reviews from Edo, I'm a big fan of all the Marvel issues you wrote about.

Answering HB's question?:
(Annihilus, anyone?)
(How 'bout Dormammu?)

Annihilus is pronounced like the word "annihilate", with the "-us" substituted for the "-ate."

Dormammu=DormMAHmoo, with emphasis on the middle syllable.

Humanbelly said...

Thank ya, J.A.

Yes, my buddy and I called him "ANN-ih-HILL-us" throughout our youth. I think it wasn't until I read the Byrne run that it occurred to me his name was based on the word "annihilate", and made the mental correction. No lie.

Our flame-headed antagonist has always been "dor-maa-MOO" (short-a sound) in my mind's ear-- which somehow undermines his fearsome aspect, y'know? "Scooby-do and Dormammu: Snacking Along the Highway to Hades". . .


Garett said...

Great art choices for all 4 of these Edo! That issue of DC Comics Presents is some of Garcia Lopez's best work, especially as he inked it himself. I remember the first couple issues penciled by him were good, but had inking that was good but not great. I also loved his art in the DCCP issues with the Metal Men and Deadman.

I want to get that Star Wars issue now.

Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.
HB, to answer your question about Dormammu, he once appeared in that Spider-woman Saturday morning cartoon (who remembers that?), and I seem to recall that it was pronounced Door-maw-moo, with a slight stress on the final syllable. (By the way, haven't we already had a few of these 'how is it pronounced' discussions? I know we had one for creator names - and I will insist to my dying day that Kirby rhymes with Ignatowski, dammit! Which is Star Child spelled backwards...)

Anonymous said...

Great reviews, Edo. I loved that 2-in-1 issue too; the whole poker game idea was great...they should've done more like that. I loved Star Wars as a kid, but I think I was disappointed when I found out the comic basically had nothing to do with the movie continuity, so I only read one or two of them.

Mike Wilson

The Prowler said...

This was a great 4 shot of comics love. I'll have to shoot on over to Groovy's site for the DC stuff. He's like that really cool older kid who lived in the neighborhood who had all the comics you read and hundreds of others. While I'm there, I'll probably re-read that Marvel Team-Up. Good job Edo, thanks for your memories!!!

Knock knock.

Who's there?


Dormammu who?

Dormammu's so fat that it has other smaller Dormammus rotating around it!

(It's a cry for help, really).

(Woman I know you understand
The little child inside the man,
Please remember my life is in your hands,
And woman hold me close to your heart,
However, distant don't keep us apart,
After all it is written in the stars,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well).

Anonymous said...

Nice reviews Edo! Yeah I read the Spidey/Red, erm, Son-YA teamup and while you have to get past the idea of Mary Jane magically morphing into Sonja, it is a pretty good read.

It's a shame modern comics don't seem to have team-up series like Ben's MTIO or Spidey's MTU. I for one miss these a lot.

As for Star Wars, I've read some of the earlier issues of this period. I remember one issue featured a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in a flashback story; while it probably is considered non-canon now, I remember thinking 'gosh Lucas should have gone with this version of Kenobi instead of those three sequel abominations he foisted on us years later!'.

- Mike 'working on my 100 word review - up to 10 words now' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Dr. Oyola said...

Edo is making us all look bad.

But this as inspired me to get off my tuchus and finish my 100-word reviews.

Anonymous said...

Great picks...I first read the Spidey/Red Sonja team-up in the big Greatest Marvel Team-Ups book I'm sure everybody who read comics back then had. And that era of M2IO was a fantastic time for Marvel comics. Funny, I JUST picked up a copy of Star Wars #37 for cheap; it was on my "list" because supposedly this is a saber-duel between Luke and Vader Before EMPIRE was in theaters (I might be wrong there)....I like this post, thanks!


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