Spider-Man Complete Chronology Update 9

SpiderMan Chronicles

And we’re back!  This update took longer than I suspected for many reasons.  Some of them personal, some of them ironing out a few continuity issues, but luckily none of them trying to figure out if it was winter and where Peter Parker was working!

It’s a big update consisting of over 90 issues as we make our way through most of 1981-1982.

As usual, spoilers follow from here on out if you’ve missed out on the last 50 years of Spider-Man and are just getting started.

Continue reading Spider-Man Complete Chronology Update 9

The Punisher Problem


The second season of Daredevil dropped today.  I’m not one for binge watching, personally, so I have no idea how long it will take me to watch the show, but as of this typing I’ve watched the first episode and liked what I saw.

But the promised appearance of the Punisher had me reflecting that, no matter how popular a character he is, he is a weird anomaly in the Marvel pantheon of a character with little discernible personality and few memorable appearances.

Continue reading The Punisher Problem

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #55: The Sea Devils


There once was a time when various comics companies would just toss random characters out there and see what stuck.  While the Silver Age version of characters like the Flash and Green Lantern first appeared in DC Comics’ Showcase, that particular comic was initially intended as an anthology to introduce new characters.  In point of fact, the first character to be featured in Showcase was a firefighter named Fireman Farrell.  He got three short stories in that issue and as near as I can make out was never seen again.

As a digression, Farrell’s last story featured a national news TV crew following Farrell and his company around as they fought a fire, but that was to cover a story about a local (and apparently unpopular) ballot initiative to give the firemen a raise so they could do stuff like send their kids to camp (that was treated as a tragedy).  One woman interviewed said the teachers deserved a raise first, and a home viewer decried that woman as “stupid”.  I sure would like to know why wanting a raise for a nation’s educators is stupid.  Or why a local ballot initiative was national news.  I guess the point is I don’t miss Fireman Farrell.

But that “let’s see what works” approach is my best explanation for the Sea Devils.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #55: The Sea Devils

Ryan’s 2015 Movie Rankings

number one (image can be used for printing or web)

Yes, we’re already three weeks into 2016 but I finally managed to put together my movie rankings for 2015.  Because life.  I only managed to see 51 films this year, a paltry sum compared to Watson when he isn’t even trying. And eight of those were on a plane to or from China, making the theater total even lower.  Definitely a busy year, but overall a great one for movies.  Head after the jump to see how I ranked all 51!

Continue reading Ryan’s 2015 Movie Rankings

Spider-Man Complete Chronology Update 8 (Couldn’t Stand The Weather Edition)

SpiderMan Chronicles

Everything was going along just fine until disco came along.  I’m probably not the first person to write that sentence.  For our purposes I refer to the fact that even with 3 monthly books and various guest appearances, the wall-crawlers adventures had been pretty straight forward to put in order.  But then came a couple of issues where Peter went to the disco (and then teamed up with the cast of Saturday Night Live) where everything just went all to hell.

Much, much more on this after the break as I try to put this update to rest, not because I’m happy with it…but to save my sanity.  I can’t imagine what this is going to be like when I get to the 90’s…

As usual, spoilers follow from here on out if you’ve missed out on the last 50 years of Spider-Man and are just getting started.

Continue reading Spider-Man Complete Chronology Update 8 (Couldn’t Stand The Weather Edition)

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #48: The Sentry

"Look, up in the sky! It's an expy of Superman!"
“Look, up in the sky! It’s an expy of Superman!”

Writer Paul Jenkins and artist Jae Lee had a surprise hit with an Inhumans mini-series when the “Marvel Knights” line launched, so there was some anticipation for their follow-up.

That would have been a character they said was a long forgotten Marvel hero that predated the Fantastic Four.  They said his name was the Sentry.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #48: The Sentry

Geek Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four opens
A four is not a vowel.

So, I finally saw the new Fantastic Four.

Look, no one logging in here today is looking for a Fantastic Four movie review.  You want Star Wars.  But I’m prepping for an unexpected but totally expected journey.  I couldn’t go today.  Instead, I went for this…whatever it was…on pay per view.

Thoughts and some SPOILERS after the cut.

Continue reading Geek Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

Honest Trailer For 2015’s Fantastic Four


Fantastic Four is currently at 10% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.  Which is not good, but actually up a little I think.  This movie has had disaster written all over it for a long time.  So it was surprising when both Jenny and Watson give it halfway decent reviews.

I never caught it in theatres but watched it recently and surprisingly it wasn’t half bad.  Only one-third bad.  I thought it had a great sci-fi/horror vibe going for it and was ruined when it, ironically, turned into a super hero movie.  I’d be curious to see Trank’s original vision for the film as the last third of the movie felt like the studio got cold feet and stepped in to “fix” it and only made things worse.

So while I’m not advocating to run out and watch it, it’s not as bad as you probably think.  I still hope that all this means a Sony/Marvel/Spider-Man-esque agreement to bring Marvel’s First Family back into the Marvel Studio‘s fold, but time will tell.

After the cut, Honest Trailers has their say…which is not quite as kind as mine…

Continue reading Honest Trailer For 2015’s Fantastic Four

Spiders, Spiders Everywhere Part 7

Marvel Treasury Edition 013_cover

Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season for you folks in the US isn’t it?  So it’s only fitting that we start this collection of Spider-Man cameos with a Marvel holiday special.  After the break, more from this issue and other cameos that don’t quite make the cut to be included in the  Spider-Man Complete Chronology.

Continue reading Spiders, Spiders Everywhere Part 7

Tom Recommends: Planetary

Gabbing Geek Tom Recommends v2The deconstruction of the superhero genre is something that has been going on for a few decades now, and is often rather repetitive.  Generally, it is an excuse to show classic or recognizable characters doing things that normally they wouldn’t, often of a more R-rated variety.

That said, when the deconstruction is done right, such as in Watchmen, the work says something about the genre’s conventions and tropes in a way that can be highly entertaining for the reader, while also giving the reader a chance to think over the sorts of things that are taken for granted.

But one of the best deconstructions out there doesn’t just cover superheroes, but pulp literature and genre storytelling in general.  That would be the comics series Planetary, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by John  Cassaday.

Continue reading Tom Recommends: Planetary