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The ’90s Revisited: X-Men Series 1, Cards 28-36

Looks like my "schedule" with covering this card set is slipping! As it’s been several months since I last touched on this, I’ll "lead" with the links to the previous posts in the series!


Cards 1-9  |  Cards 10-18  |  Cards 19-27


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This is another page of mostly characters I’m at least familiar with, if not entirely informed on. Jubilee, of course, catches my attention as having been one of the primary characters in the ’90s Fox animated series, as does Rogue! Forge I always remember from the same animated series, despite being placed in a different time for that.

On with the individual cards…

028a

I think I’m actually most aware of Boom Boom from Nextwave by Warren Ellis. Here she has the "typical" look, and I think I might slightly recognize her by the bubblegum-bubble, but overall would likely not have recognized her without the name prominent on the card!

028b

And right here on the card-back is more information than I could have told you myself off the top of my head. I’d’ve thought she was a character introduced at the end of New Mutants if not X-Force #1. And I knew she could blow stuff up, but would not have recalled the "time bomb" aspect.

029a

Jubilee was a "point of view" character in the ’90s X-Men cartoon series…she was the inexperienced one, the one who could ask the same questions the viewers would have, and have stuff explained without talking down to said viewers. My first introduction to her was the cartoon, and it wasn’t until later that I first "met" her in the comics. I was aware of her earliest-on in the comics in an issue of Wolverine as well as the Uncanny X-Men issue that saw a "death" of Illyana Rasputin (Colossus’ sister) at the time.

029b

Jubilee is another character that was still very new when I came in, despite now being close to 30 years old! Nothing much new for me information-wise on this card outside of the term "plasmoids"…perhaps a way of making something sound scientific regarding her powers? I always forget if her first appearance was #242 or #244 of Uncanny X-Men, so there’s a handy reference to have.

030a

Shatterstar is a character who epitomizes "the ’90s" for me, as a character, and as a part of X-Force, and the actual X-Force title as it stood in the early-’90s. I mainly only knew the character for awhile from the Spider-Man/X-Force crossover that was collected in a tiny 3-issue volume back in the day.

030b

Reading the back of this card gives me more information than I ever could have given specifically about the character off the top of my head. It’s interesting that there are so many time/dimensional refugees that multiple characters up and down the timestream of an alternate reality found their way into the "main" one. Part of the convoluted nature of ’90s X-stuff, I guess. Also interesting to consider how relatively cliché it is that a character travels back in time to get help and simply joins the group they went back to interact with…or even some other group! Readily-assimilating (-ish) into a time not their own seems relatively common (Shatterstar, Bishop, Cable, Rachel Summers, etc to name just several!).

031a

Strong Guy I’m most familiar with from the then-current iteration of X-Factor, around the 30th anniversary of the X-Men and the whole Fatal Attractions crossover; though he became more of a standout to me due to the cliffhanger leading into the original Age of Apocalypse saga.

031b

There’s not a lot of depth to my knowledge of Strong Guy, and this card doesn’t really change that. It’s handy to see the first appearance…that’s a factoid I did not know off the top of my head. I did know he used to be a bodyguard.

032a

Captain Britain is a character I feel like I’ve been "familiar with" in terms of the character existing much more than I am with the character himself. He’s got a distinct look, and I’ve long associated the character with Excalibur–at least early issues that I’d been aware of.

032b

I’ve known about (but forgotten til reminded here) that stuff with Captain Britain is where we got the "616" designation of the "main" Marvel Universe. I can’t say this card really tells me much, but it’s such a little block of text for a fairly complex character, even back in 1992!

033a

I first "met" Forge in the X-Men animated series; though in that he was a character whose present seemed to be "The Future." Not long after that I learned a bit more about him, at least in his existing in the present-day in the comics, and there having been something between him and Storm.

033b

…and there we go: another character I’ve learned more about from a card than I might’ve been able to easily convey myself off the top of my head. I did not remember (if I even knew) of the character’s involvement with the Vietnam war (something that dates the character a bit).

034a

I don’t remember for certain when I first became aware of Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox), though it was probably somewhere around X-Factor‘s 100th issue when the character had "died" at the time. I think I’d gotten the issue as part of one of those department-store 3-packs or "boxed set" of a couple issues leading into/including the 100th issue.

034b

The main thing I learn from this card in 2018 is the first appearance of the character…I would have assumed he first appeared in an X-book. But Giant-Size Fantastic Four? Ok.

This mutant power is one of my go-to "super-powers" in answer to the question "If you could have one character’s power, which would you want?" (and excluding the likes of Superman with multiple powers).

035a

I can’t remember when I first became aware of Quicksilver…it was probably around 1993’s X-Men #25 (part of the Fatal Attractions crossover). I recall a bit of ‘hype’ around "that" issue of X-Factor where Peter David left a huge mark on the character: giving a great analogy from the character’s point of view as to why he’s always seeming like a jerk. (Something about standing in line behind someone that doesn’t know what they’re doing, and to imagine being surrounded by people who don’t know what they’re doing, every moment of every day).

035b

I’d forgotten Quicksilver started as part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with his sister, the Scarlet Witch. I also forgot (or hadn’t realized) that he had a stint as an Avenger. Same for how early he first appeared in the X-Men series…

036a

Ah…Rogue. One of my favorite X-characters, largely thanks to her depiction in the X-Men animated series. It’s safe to say that as fictional characters go, she was a definite "crush" as a kid. This is my favorite design of the character (matching the cartoon series); and though I don’t mind some of her other costumes, this one’s the one I most think of for her.

036b

I learned of Rogue’s backstory from the animated series, as well as elements from the mini-series in the earlier ’90s. I’m pretty sure I "discovered" Ms. Marvel from the animated series before any appearances in the comics. It’s interesting to see that a major part of Rogue’s character is basically non-existent in the present; same for the impact on Ms. Marvel (now Captain Marvel). While one of my "grail" comics is Uncanny X-Men #266 (the only issue I’m missing from having a run from #240ish to 500 or so), I’d also be quite interested in getting Avengers Annual #10 for Rogue’s first appearance.

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A Glimpse of the Art Wall

I finally managed to work out lighting and an angle to get a photo that–though it doesn’t manage to show off everything actually hanging–at least shows off a bit more of the size and "shape" of my "Art Wall."

art_wall_from_below_06222017

Basically, it’s one of the walls of the staircase down to the basement. I started out just pushing pins into the wall to hang a couple frames for safekeeping–it was gonna be temporary placement–but then I started adding more frames, as I found ones that worked very well for holding posters from old ’90s comics and such–from Batman issues, Robin III: Cry of the Huntress, and Reign of the Supermen as well as others. I’ve also placed some frames with comics–particularly variants that were actually display-worthy "prints" to get and such.

There’s no real "order" to the wall, as I pretty much just keep adding toward the bottom of the stairs as I find/frame something new. I may eventually get to where I replace some posters for other stuff, and might swap out the comics to keep the wall more of an "art" wall than a "show off comics" wall…but time will tell!

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This second photo’s another attempt to capture an angle of the wall…this time from the top of the stairs looking down.

I feel like the photos are really crummy compared to what I’d usually post…but these frames are basically a sheet of glass over the front, and are quite reflective at certain angles: so with better lighting, there’s more glare and reflection than viewing the actual art. But actually walking down the stairs, it’s easy to see and enjoy the art.

Just one of those things, I guess, where the real-life experience can’t be duplicated with photos online…c’est la vie and all that!

More for the "Art Wall" – June 9th

I think I started what’s become my "art wall" back in January or so. Basically, I’d had some small posters in these "gallery frames," and I decided to put ’em up on a wall, using push-pins. Then it occurred to me that some older posters I had that I was having trouble finding frames for would work in these by flipping the "backing board" of the frame over to essentially provide a "black border" and I could simply position the smaller poster within the area.

This ended up working for a bunch of old posters that had come from comics–bound in the middle of whatever issues, where I’d not found any reasonably-priced option before.

And long story short, I started adding more to this wall such that I’m actually sorta concerned it’s gonna fill up before I’m ready!

One of these days I’m going to attempt to get some photos of it for this blog, but at present, I’m having a major issue with reflection off the glass in everything, such that at the angles I’d need for the camera, I’d wind up either showing off a restroom, or otherwise have too much showing too clearly in the reflection and not enough of what I actually want the photos to show.

However, at the correct sort of angle I’m able to minimize reflection and glare…so here I’m showing off several that I’ve recently put into "gallery frames" but have yet to actually get put on the wall itself.

posters_voltron_and_riverdale

Got the Voltron poster at the Lake Effect Comic Con last weekend; they also had this Riverdale poster, though I’d gotten mine at Kemore weeks ago. I hadn’t actually watched much of Riverdale at the time, but now have finished the season (thanks to Netflix!) and quite enjoyed it, despite the massive departures from the source material. That’s a subject for another post, though for now–I’m hoping the series gets a second season, and look forward to seeing what they do with it!

And I’ve yet to watch more than a few minutes or an episode or so of the new Voltron–I’m more familiar with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and far prefer the original Megazord…but can’t deny simply enjoying the notion of the individual machines joining together to form an even bigger one, and I’m close to giving in and buying some of the toys, though I’ve thus far held off the temptation. But as a poster and liking the image, well worth putting on the wall!

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Then, at half the price of specific comic-sized frames, I’ve found that these "document frames" work very well for single-issue comics that I want to show off. As I’ve said in previous posts, this is where I’ll give in occasionally on variants–treating them as "prints" to be hung on a wall and displayed, not merely owned and filed away in the abyss of an accumulation I call my "collection."

I’m not sure how well thicker issues or squarebound issues/annuals would fare like this…but since I’m not big into variants anyway, it’s not something I expect to really have to deal with.

I have some other issues I’m thinking of framing in this way, though…but this sort of gets into different territory than the posters and prints. I suppose that’s a matter for some other time, though.

25 Years of Spawn

Spawn recently had a 25th-anniversary Director’s Cut issue published, as part of the Image 25th anniversary year releases.

I initially bought the McFarlane cover (an homage to Ultimate Spider-Man #1), enjoying the homage and ‘tradition’ of homage covers of the title.

I wound up buying a second copy (different cover) in a RARE case of finding a worthwhile variant.

spawn_25_years

The cover’s a painted version based on the original #1 issue’s cover. And having a 2nd copy of #1 anyway, I realized I could put together a great little "art piece" utilizing the two issues, and so treated the purchase of the 2nd copy to be akin to buying a print.

And here in an 11" x 14" frame (the perfect size for bound-in comics posters or 2-panel wraparound covers and such) (or in this case, two distinct/separate issues), I have a copy of 1992’s Spawn #1, and 2017’s Spawn Director’s Cut #1.

Of course, being in the frame like this still physically protects the issues–they’re held tightly in place better than they’d be in a bag ‘n board; but the frame’s glass can be simply popped out with a little effort, so I still have "access" to these AS COMICS along with having this on my "art wall."

Blast From the Past: How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

It’s been quite awhile since I bought what I would consider “Comics Reference” books…but I saw this one on a bargain table for $3, and couldn’t talk myself into passing it up.

how_to_draw_comics_the_marvel_way_book

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. It’s an old book–one I remember from my earliest days being into comics, and checking out from the library numerous times just to look through and consider making my own comics.

I certainly couldn’t “afford” it as a kid using limited allowance on comics themselves. But now as an adult…for less than most contemporary comics cost themselves, it was a well-worthwhile purchase, to me.

And despite being marked as “used,” I’d flipped through (have not yet gone singly page-by-page) and it didn’t seem to be marked up, just some shelf wear/fading and such (that I would expect of a book this age).

So I’m happy with it. Certainly FAR happier than what I recall of the library edition the last time I’d seen it, where someone had drawn in it (remember, it was a LIBRARY COPY still belonging to the library and still in CIRCULATION at the time) and otherwise basically ruined the thing.

I may not like to draw or be anything of an artist…but this is a nice addition to my collection…

Wooden Comic Covers…for Decoration

giant_comic_cover_signs_01bSome time back, at a Meijer, I happened across a display of large wooden wall decorations–comic covers. One of them was the “newsstand edition” Superman #75, and being such an iconic piece, I bought it on the spot.

There were other covers, but none of them particularly appealed to me…while others just baffled me as they did not seem all that “iconic” to me. Giant-Sized X-Men #1, a number of the early Marvel #1s, a good number of DC #1s, sure.

I put the thing on a shelf as a quasi-background piece behind some of my old Marvel Legends build-a-figures and oversized Heroclix figures and all but “forgot” about the things.

And then not far apart, I came across one of these for Adventures of Superman #423, and Man of Steel #1. Being two of the first four premieres of the “post-Crisis” Superman stuff, I bought the Adventures of Superman one…but could not find the Man of Steel one again for awhile. I finally located it again at Hobby Lobby, but a sale that had been going on was over, and I had no interest whatsoever in paying full “regular” price for the thing, so I decided to just wait, and try to notice when there was a sale again and hope it was still available.

giant_comic_cover_signs_01

Tonight I found myself near a different Hobby Lobby, and decided to pop in, figuring if nothing else, maybe I’d find a magnet for my overhead bin at work, and confirm that the section of the store with the comic stuff was indeed not on sale.

Turned out…it is. “Mens’ metal and wood wall hangings” 50% off. Including the various wooden comic covers as well as the various smaller metal versions, and enough stuff that I easily could have blown $500 given the spare finances and available wall space to justify ’em.

50% off put the Man of Steel piece exactly in what I’ve come to see as reasonable pricing, and I decided to flip through the other ones to see if there were any appealing Marvel ones. The last piece behind everything, though, was the original Superman #233…itself a highly-iconic image, so I figured why not? Two for the price of one.

Now, I’m very interested in these for Superman #1 (1986) and Superman: The Man of Steel #1 (1991) if they even exist. Despite being iconic, I’m not all that interested in the Golden Age #1s–Action Comics, Superman, Batman, Detective Comics #27, anything Wonder Woman.

Marvel-wise, I’d be most interested in 1990s stuff–X-Men Alpha or Omega, 1991’s X-Men #1 or #30, Captain America #1 or Thor #1 from the Heroes Return period…maybe a handful of others.

Though these are smaller than posters, they’re far more durable and sturdy, and I just really like them. I look forward to getting them hung, and perhaps in a later period of life, making use of them in a “man cave” or a Single Guy’s living room as actual “art pieces.”

Dropping a Comic Because of the Art

I hesitantly checked out the first Johns/Romita Jr. issue of Superman this summer, and thought I’d give it a chance, even though I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the art. I figured it would grow on me.

inconsistent_superman

I’m done.

I’m interested in the STORY but while I may not be an artist myself, I know what I do and do not like, even if I can’t typically pinpoint it.

But this week, in the latest issue (#35) I pinpointed it in this particular case. Just within a couple pages, we have at least four different people in the darned costume with varying facial structure, visual definition, and necks!

I get that there are issues of “perspective” and “angles” and all sorts of other stuff that I–as Not-an-Artist–am not gonna “get” here.

But I obviously don’t like the visual style, don’t like the way Superman (in this example) is drawn, the inking/coloring can’t get past that, and I definitely don’t like Ulysses’ look (though that could be given a pass where Superman is a far more familiar character to me).

Johns has me for the story…but the art–for me–is just such a turnoff that I’m done. This isn’t some self-contained series like All-Star Superman was. This is simply THE Superman book, but the costume is just a costume to me, if the character isn’t recognizable facially.

Vote with my wallet, right?

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