The Weekly Misadventures Of A Comicsaholic
By Sebastian Howard
After reading some James Fulton’s The Weekly Round-Up this week…. He was talking about a comic he used to have as a kid, and it’s funny because I had the exact same issue. And James never got to read the conclusion of it until recently, and it made me think…. Which comics have I read when I was little that I never got to read the conclusions to? And it got me thinking about this weird 90s Spiderman issue where he teams up with some guys, and at the end of the issue ends up captured AND IT WAS SO EXCITING AND I NEVER GOT TO READ THE END OF IT!!!
After doing a bit of research I tracked down the comic from my lil’ baby days, and found out that the entire story arc was “The Hero Killers,” and the issue I had was Amazing Spiderman Annual 26. I can’t find any of the other issues of the story BUT the conclusion which was in the first New Warriors Annual 1. So that got me in the mood to start off this column with the retro comics, and then jump into the newer stuff afterwards. So hey-ho, let’s go…
Retro Comics Reviews
The Amazing Spiderman Annual 26
God… the early 90s art is so dated by today’s standards. Not that it’s a bad thing, as I really like the late 80s, early 90s comic art style (but I fucking hate the mid 90s-early 2000s, weird shitty art…. For an example read any issue of X-Men from 1995-1999).
On the first panel, it’s a two page spread out of Spiderman getting shot at in a tiny factory, with like five people who have fully automatic machine guns shooting at Spiderman… and he doesn’t get hit once. A bit of an excessive way to open this…
As I was saying earlier, I really do like the early 90s, late 80s Marvel art style. My version of Spiderman is THAT Spiderman… I just grew up on the early 90s comics as it’s what my Dad had, and what appealed to me at comic book shops when I was little. Also I was super into the Maximum Carnage video game, which was made around 95-96, and Spiderman looks pretty much the same in that game as he looks in the comics. They draw Spiderman just a little bit darker and scarier… but at the same time it’s not completely over done, and technical ala Todd McFarlane.
Some evil people capture some blonde “lady” named Robbie who can fly or something…. And they capture him with like, a ball of energy or something, and he can’t get out of it. It’s all extremely 90s.
Spiderman saves a black hooker who’s taller than him.
Silver and Auric get captured by the evil, faceless people again. Who are Silver and Auric you might ask? Just imagine really lame 90s characters that no one remembers today in cheesy assed, generic outfits.
This guy, Mr. Scott, who I will now refer to as Scott Keith for… personal reasons, is capturing the generic 90s super heroes that no one cares about, so he can test out some new blaster or something that will kill anything in its way. Why not just like, get a Squirrel or something?
Spiderman interrupts Scott Keith from destroying Triple H with his blast cannon, and of course Scott is working out of a cramped, shitty van with like four other people in there. Somewhere Keith has a bunch of minions, and sends them to attack Spiderman. Holy fuck, giant blasters that kill anything in its way, lame 90s superheroes, and villains with no real motive… this story is so cheesy.
Some cop sees Spiderman fighting off these Minions and tries to help, but eats a shot from the giant, evil 90s blaster and it makes him really old and out of touch, and he turns into Vince McMahon, and books the 2015 Royal Rumble, all the time laughing manically.
Okay, not really, he just turns into an old dude and dies.
The New Warriors come to help out Spidey, but the villains get away by throwing fake bombs. This story is so fucking stupid I wish I was making some of it up…
One of the guys working for Scott Keith… presumably Charlie Reneke, is too guilted out by what’s going on, and tells Spidey and Friends about a bomb that’s about to go off. The New Warriors stop it.
Okay, now I remember why I thought this comic was so damn cool. There’s a bunch of evil, rich villains sitting around a giant table making evil plans, and at the end of the table is this badassed guy who’s skin is as black as ink, and is nameless…. Except for the name of Mr. Chairman. See, I can’t tell if his skin is actually super black, or if they’re just drawing him like that to draw out the mystery of who the character is.
Spiderman, Nova, and some other chick in green uniform go to save the captured heroes… but run into DREADNOUGHTS!!!! They look super sick, and threatening. Spiderman tries to exit so he doesn’t have to fight them, but ends up running into even more Dreadnoughts.
Do you want to Job to Roman?
Sub Mariner chick kills one of the Noughts in a pretty sick scene where she tears off its fucking head and rips its body in two. However, she ends up eating a blast from another Nought right behind her, a freeze blast.
God, I really do love the artwork in this comic. I can’t get over it… to me this is just how Spiderman should be drawn and nobody can tell me differently. I think it just depends on what era of Spiderman you grew up reading… or even watching. For me I was super into the 90s comics, while other people grew up in the 60s, and only like Dikto… and hate the 90s drawings.
After a pretty cool fight scene, were of course none of the heroes get even remotely hurt, Spiderman and Friends take out the Dreadnoughts. They open a door to advance to the next round, and even bigger Dreadnoughts come out of the next door. And that’s the cliffhanger. There’s a bunch of other mini-stories left in the comic so let’s get to those…
Final Thoughts: Some of the stuff felt a little dragged out, but the fight with the Dreadnoughts, the cliffhanger ending, and the mystery of who the villain is still make this comic work for me. Also the 90s art, I fucking love it.
The next story is about Eddie Brock’s start as Venom, and is called First Kill.
Some Mexicans argue.
Eddie Brock gets back to his trashy apartment and lifts 500 lbs with one arm. What a badass.
Some evil dude’s in trench coats attack the Mexicans from earlier, and Brock doesn’t like that shit so he goes to save them. Brock is so goddamn big… he’s intimidating enough without the damn Symboite.
Eddie takes out the evil dude’s but the Mexicans end up dying. The cops come and think that Brock did it and want to turn him in. Brock turns into Venom… and the drawing is super sick, and says, “We can’t let you do that!” And that’s the cliffhanger.
One thing that bothered me about this is that they’re trying to make Venom more of a good guy who just gets into bad situations… which I suppose isn’t a bad thing in itself, but the original version of Venom was an evil monster who would kill anything that got in his way. Fuck, in Ultimate Spiderman, Venom ate a little girl because he was hungry! Still a pretty good story though, but it’s a bit brought down by how short it is. We really didn’t get to develop the relationship between the Mexicans who owned the apartments and Brock… but it still seemed deep.
There’s some really weird story about a Punisher knock off saving a bunch of people from getting killed by a terrorist attack in an airport. Heh, guess this comic was a bit ahead of its time…
Next story is called Making the Grade, and it starts off with Spiderman fighting some lame ass named The Looter. The whole story is really just an excuse for Spiderman to flash back to his other villains, and make lame jokes about them, while Aaron Lopresti gets to have fun drawing Spiderman’s Rouge Gallery.
The comic ends with a pretty weak story about some guy with cosmic powers or something stupid, stealing Dagger from Cloak.
And we’re gonna cut to the conclusion of this story since I can’t find any other issues of the story.
New Warriors Annual 2
THE ORIGINAL SPHINX IS BACK AND HE’S KICKING EVERBODY’S ASS!!!!
So the issue starts off with Spiderman and Friends stuck in these giant, weird tube things and Sphinx is there kind of just teasing them about it.
Spiderman is drawn really, really well here.
Robbie Baldwin ends up getting out of his circular, tubish thing by concentrating his power… or something. He also releases Spiderman and The New Warriors.
AND IT’S GIANT FIGHT SCENE TIME, BABYYYYYYY!!!!!
It’s all for naught as The New Warriors get their asses kicked by Sphinx, and Spiderman and Firestorm get the hell out of there.
They then pretty much rip off the 90s X-Men comic, and lock up all the heroes in those cheesy wrist and ankle holders.
Spiderman and Friends save the New Warriors, and they take out Sphinx in a big fight scene.
Final Thoughts: Bit of a disappointment honestly, the artwork in the background was extremely sloppy, and it made it hard to tell what the fuck was going on (while the artwork on the actual characters was really well done). I don’t quite know what I was expecting… I feel like I had built the ending to this so much in my head that no matter what had happened it would’ve been a disappointment, but I feel it might also have to do with them focusing more on Robbie Baldwin near the end, and more of a focus on the New Warriors then Spiderman. I know this is their title… but most of this arc took place in Spiderman’s Annual books, and I feel like he should’ve been more important then he ended up being in the end. And I don’t really like any of the New Warriors characters…. Most of them seem extremely dated, and unimportant out of their era.
There’s another Annual Spiderman I want to take a look at from childhood. This is Amazing Spiderman 28, and I remember nothing about it except that the cover was really sick.
Amazing Spiderman Annual 28
Still a sick fucking cover.
Kassady is stuck in this… ridiculously constricting chair thing. He of course gets out of it two pages in by bleeding… which somehow makes him turn into Carnage. Something that bothers me here is again, how dated the art is. But the weird thing is the comic doesn’t look like Marvel early 90s, its more reminiscent of early 90s Superman.
Carnage takes out the weird DC, Superman guards… and God, he looks extremely threatening and straight up scary here. Just taunting the people he’s killing, and looking at them with this evil look of… I don’t know, he looks like a cat playing with a mouse.
Spiderman shows up… somehow already hearing about Carnage escaping, and Spiderman has this huge ass Thermo-Cannon (which is what he used to beat Carnage in Maximum Carnage.)
Carnage then does the most badassed thing ever, he grabs two cops with his tentacles and tells Spiderman to drop the Thermo-Cannon, or he’ll kill them. Spiderman doesn’t know what to do, so Carnage destroys the Cannon with a couple spikes, and then smothers the cops anyway! What a crazy mofo!
Spiderman gets absolutely pissed that Carnage killed the cops, and throws this giant assed rock at him. Carnage turns back into Kassady, and lures Spiderman closer to him by acting injured… Jesus Peter, use your brain for once in a while…
Carnage escapes by blowing up a giant truck, but Spiderman throws a Tracer on him so he knows where he’s going. Didn’t he try that with Venom in TAS, and it didn’t work?
Some black guy who looks like Robbie from TAS is in his office drinking alone, when Carnage shows up to mess his shizzle up!
And I was right about the tracer not working on a symboite as Spiderman finds his tracer dumped in the middle of the street. Hurry up Spidey, or this random black dude we don’t care about is going to die!!!!
I love Carnage’s logic here. The black guy tries getting out of getting killed by telling Carnage he only kills randomly. Carnage retorts, “Right as rain Billy-Boy! Ever since I teamed with the Alien Symbiote that mutated my blood, I’ve killed without pattern! Got so people expected it! Which means they won’t expect a specific target! An’ that makes it unexpected all over again! That’s the pretty part. I’m gonna kill you Billy-Boy, ‘cause we WERE friends!” The logic is so twisted…. How do you not love it?
Spiderman stops Billy from being killed at the last second because, of course he does.
A pretty great fight scene ensues, and Spiderman is just barely surviving. After a couple pages, Carnage is about five seconds away from killing Spiderman when Billy comes back. Billy taunts Carnage, and gets him to turn back into Kassady… which gives Spidey an opening and he takes out Kassdy with a punch to the back of the head.
Final Thoughts: Still love this comic, Carnage is a bit OTT but that’s what makes him so damn great. He’s crazy and won’t stop at anything to KILL KILL KILL!!!! He has no morals, and his logic is twisted… nobodies safe, and his brain is so demented… he’s just a well done psycho. What I really liked about this comic is how threatening they made Carnage look… he was on going toe to toe with Spiderman, AND WINNING!!! Spiderman ended up winning, but just barely, and it makes Carnage still look extremely strong, and as if Carnage could beat Spiderman in a rematch. Very well done, fun comic.
For my next two retro comics I’m going to go into a series no one ever talks about anymore, and that is really good. Marvel’s brief flirtation with Freddy Krueger and Nightmare on Elm Street. This series only lasted two issues due to Marvel getting too squeamish with the content… which sucks, but the two comics they produced were top notch quality stuff. The only gripe I remember having with it off the top of my head is that the second issue is a bit rushed, but that’s a minor complaint… and they did have to rewrite everything so the story would end in the second issue.
Nightmare on Elm Street 1
The cover here is pretty great as it has Freddles as a giant, and he’s holding a dame in his right, claw hand. Basically it looks like King Kong.
This issue starts off with a sense of urgency as an Ambulance is called over to a house. The parents are completely distraught and confused, and the paramedics go up to the girls room. She’s of course, slashed up, her feet are burnt… y’know, usual Kruger stuff.
BTW, I forgot to mention, the art in this is pretty cool, as it’s done in all Black and White, and looks extremely gritty.
There’s a chick in New York that used to live in Springwood… and well she falls asleep and things get weird. Basically the entire room becomes unsolid and a bunch of dead zombie kids come out of the elevator. “Hold us Julie, hold us!” Cut to 1428, the best house ever, and Julie’s in front of it watching the kids play jump rope and sing that ol’ tune. 1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you… Freddy shows up and says, “Aye Jules, you wanna meet your… PERFECT MATCH!!!??? And then lights everything on fire while doing his famous Englund laugh. So fucking cool.
Julie wakes up and realizes she almost started a fire as she fell asleep with a lit cig.
Cut to the girl from earlier who was put in the Ambulance, and she’s at the hospital getting surgery. Of course, she’s asleep so Freddy’s the surgeon, and her own guts start choking her out while Kruger makes some lame puns. “This is it Allison! Your moment of Guts and Glory!” I wonder if Kruger just hangs out in Nightmare World making up these puns…
Alison actually fights back, and throws Kruger into some kind of monitor and Kruger ends up getting completely burnt. Heh, as if he wasn’t already.
Anywho, Freddy gets enough after being electrocuted and leaves Alison alone for a bit. Alison goes through surgery and everything, and ends up OK.
Julie reads a letter concerning the birth and development of one, Fred Krueger. The letter starts off talking about how Freddle’s mom was raped, and beaten by a bunch of maniacs in an asylum. Why this never led to a famous movie were Freddy tries to figure out who his real dad is, and bond with him… I’m not quite sure.
I have to say, as they continue this origin story, I like it a lot better than the revamped, silly version in Freddy’s Dead (which is the worst NOES movie of all time). It just seems more realistic, and has a more noir, creepy feeling to it… then just making Freddy some white trash, red headed weirdo who got beat up by Daddy.
So Freddy ends up a lil bb, and some couple adopt him. The couple end up getting killed that night by some robbers, and the robbers grab Kruger and bail. By the age of six he was prostituting his mommy. He was also beaten up by his Dad with a razor blade and shit. Ol Fred had to deal with this shit until he was a teen and then he killed both of his parents with the razor blade, and wrote, “Rot in Hell,” across his Papa’s stomach.
The time periods kinda hard to nail down, but I’m assuming this is now somewhere in the 30’s, or 40s and Fred becomes a poor kid, pretty much sleeping outside, and doing muggings to live. Now this is when Fred started to learn how to control his dreams, as this is shown in a very well done scene were a beautiful women walks up to a young Kruger. They look like they’re going to embrace but instead Fred’s hands turn into knives, and he stabs her in the stomach. Again, I like this weird… kind of vague explanation a lot better than a bunch of sperm spirits giving Kruger power.
A psychologist is writing the letter about Fred, and it’s pretty obvious what he’s going to say. Fred had no power in the real world, as he was beaten up by his Dad, and watched his Mom get fucked by guys all the time. Even when did kill his Dad and mother he still didn’t have the complete control he wanted oh so badly, so he concentrated hard enough to be able to control his dreams. The image of the woman and him killing her is very obvious imagery, Fred’s view of sex is forever mixed with violence, and death. For him to control weather someone lives or dies… for him is sexual. I suppose the buildup is the foreplay, and the death is the climax.
Fred got older and then became the child murder we all know and love today. He grabs a kid, and brings them to his really creepy assed, abandoned power plant where he then toys around with a little girl for a bit before killing her… and he keeps her little heart shaped locket. The psychologist explains, “The victims, all children, were as helpless against him as he had been against Fringle (his father). In their pain (shows Fred holding the love locket on his claws), he found love.”
Julian gets off the plane and goes to Springwood, and gets to an apartment were of course, she decides to go to sleep. Julie and Alice meet in the dream world, and this part is pretty funny because of how dated it is. Julie asks Alison what she wants and she replies, “World peace, to win the lottery, the new Guns N’ Roses Album…” Did everyone in 1991 listen to Guns N Roses? I’m not even that into Use Your Illusion…
Fred comes out through Alison’s stomach and says he can’t stomach a whiner, BWAHAHAHAHAHA.
Julie tries pulling a Nancy and telling Kruger he’s not real, and that this is her dream, but Kruger’s not having any of it, and actually does a kind of reversal of the first movie where he killed Johnny Depp, and brings Julie through the bed with him.
Julie tries controlling her dream by making angel wings, but Kruger’s like nah, son, and clips her wings, and brings her down to his little steam factory thing. Freddy says he’s tired of it being a one sided relationship, with her knowing everything about him, and him not knowing anything about her. Before he can play with her more, Julie’s phone goes off waking her up.
Julie becomes Alison’s Doctor in real life! Woo-hoo, ripping off the third movie!
Julie tries to get Alison to control her dreams so she can beat Kruger. Bullshit, that never works! All you need is a bunch of Hypnocill.
Alison and Julie go to sleep together, and dream of a mountain. They end up on a mountain for about ten seconds, before Fred Kruger comes and makes it a wrestling arena. “You’re even supider than you look, bitch! Don’t you know wrestling is fixed!??”
Then Alison and Julie fall into a giant Freddy Kruger brain… and start sinking. And that’s the cliffhanger.
Final Thoughts: I really love this comic series, and their exploration of Kruger, and his basic psychology, and his whole origin. You can tell the writer of this was a fan of the movies as he nails Freddy, as he does give him a lot of lame one-liners, but at the same time keeps him threatnining enough so he’s never even close to a joke. Just a really well done first issue, and the second one keeps up the pace.
I was going to review new comics from this week, but just the retro one’s ended up burning me out so much I can’t even see straight. “Till next time, always remember… what would John McClane do? (Shoot people and smoke cigarettes.) :p
Tags: The Weekly Misadventures Of A Comicsaholic