Hey gang, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these The Box posts and that’s because I had to move the boxes into our storage unit down the road and, well, I’m somewhat lazy. And, to be honest, these four comics I’ll be talking about aren’t from those boxes anyway, but a shoebox full of comics the in-laws gave me for Christmas this year, which was obviously much appreciated. Yesterday I put the comics in alphabetical order, as I’m want to do, grabbed a stack and gave them a read through. The shoebox is mostly late 70s Marvel with a few DC books and some Modern Comics comics thrown in. I’ll be honest, I’m not familiar with that company, but they did some Judo Master comics, so I found them interesting. I’ll spread the comics out over a few posts. For the most part I found these books fun, though some of them dragged. Let’s jump right in though, shall well.
CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #35 (Marvel)
Written by David Kraft, drawn by George Perez
Working at Wizard, I learned about a lot of comic characters I otherwise probably wouldn’t know anything about. Take Man-Wolf for instance, who stars in this issue. Did you know that, when he’s in a place called the Other Realm, he becomes a guy called Stargod who is a telepath? That’s nuts! So, when I saw this issue of him fighting a red armored guy on the cover, I was sold. Stargod’s not in this issue, mind you, but it was still a fun romp as Hate Monger, in the armor for some reason, captures Man-Wolf and brings him back to his lair only to have Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. show up to save the day. There’s also some stuff with Man-Wolf’s dad J. Jonah Jameson fending off claims that his son is Man-Wolf. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on even though this 1975 comic didn’t have a recap page. And, I guess it did it’s job because I want to read more issues of Creatures On The Loose and some more Man-Wolf stuff. Oh, also, as you might have noticed George Perez penciled this issue, which, according to Comic Book Database’s entry on the artist, was only his sixth issue ever. Don’t expect to open this issue and see Teen Titans or Avengers-level Perez as he’s just cutting his teeth, but there’s a page when the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang comes busting in where you can really see Perez’s style shining through.
THE DEFENDERS #59 (Marvel)
Written by David A. Kraft, drawn by Ed Hannigan & Dan Green
Like the other issue of Defenders I read in a previous The Box, I wasn’t all too interested in this one. The main plot of the book involves Valkyrie, Hulk and Devil Slayer going to Dr. Strange and asking him for help to stop some demon people from doing…something bad. Then, all of a sudden, the story cuts to Hellcat and Nighthawk working their way through some death machines. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read much of this comic as it was proven fairly early to me that it was going to be long, overly wordy, boring and confusing. Unlike the Man-Wolf issue, this Defenders issue didn’t recap things in a way that was interesting enough to keep me focused on what was happening. Plus, the scenes with the heroes talking to Dr. Strange just seemed way too long and uninteresting. Then, the jump to the other teammates just seemed to come out of nowhere and by then, I was bored and was just looking at the cool deathtraps, which this issue is lousy with (in a good way). As it is, there’s some fights, references to other characters I’m not familiar with and then Dr. Strange dies. Or at least a bearded man tells the Defenders as such nonchalantly at the very end. I think one thing that makes Defenders comics hard for me to follow is that I have no idea why they’re a team or what their purpose is. Anyone know?
E-MAN #10 (Modern Comics)
Written by Nicola Cuti, drawn by Joe Staton
Reading this 1975 issue of E-Man, The Energy Man was an interesting experience because he is a character I knew nothing about heading into this reading experience. That’s a fairly rare occasion because it seems like I’ve at least read about most of the major (and minor) comic book characters out there. What I gathered from this issue is that E-Man was an energy being from another planet who came to earth and eventually took on human shape and became a kind of superhero and shacked up with a woman named Nova. I only know any of that because this issue was a flashback and told me most of the origin stuff. It was an interesting issue overall because it featured E-Man trying to communicate with a blond woman in the forest who loved reading fantasy books. Eventually, someone saw her talking to him as he was playing genie and wanted to kill her as a witch. E-Man came to her defense and ten all of a sudden, she flipped the script and wanted to kill her attackers. As it turned out, the girl was actually mentally unbalanced and had what sounds like bipolar disorder. I thought that was an interesting twist from a comic I didn’t expect much out of, especially because of the cartoony art by Staton. I’d be interested in checking out more E-Man issues, does anyone know about him?
FANTASTIC FOUR #207 (Marvel)
Written by Marv Wolfman, drawn by Sal Buscema & Joe Sinnott
Here’s the deal with this issue of Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four aren’t in it. Also, Johnny Storm is away at college, but it’s a college run by mind-controlling super-villain The Monocle. So, you’ve got the Human Torch flying around doing bad things and it’s up to Spider-Man to stop his old friend from doing too much damage. Oh, also, Peter Parker is now working for a different paper and trying to dig up some dirt on the place. This was another fairly straightforward and fairly boring story to slog through. Maybe I’ve read too many comics in my day, but this kind of thing just felt very been-there, done-that and thus wasn’t that interesting. Really it had me wondering what the status of the FF was at this time. Where is the rest of the team? Why would Reed, the smartest man in the world, not know that this college is being run by a super-villain? Why would anyone trust a man who wears a monocle and isn’t British? These are all questions I was left asking. It looks like the next issue will be more interesting as someone has captured Medusa of the Inhumans!!! Maybe I’ll stumble across that one at some point…or not, whatever.