The (Sub) Weekly Misadventures of a Comicsaholic With Amazing Spider-Man #358, Transmetropolitan #22, Uncanny X Men #160 & Hellblazer #47

The Weekly Misadventures Of A Comicsaholic
By Sebastian Howard


    And it’s one, two, three,
    What are we fighting for ?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
    Next stop is Vietnam;
    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
    Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.

    -Country Joe

There are a lot of comics on Vietnam, and Garth Ennis has a fascination with that war, so his Punisher Max and his Preacher issues on the topic are pretty great. He also did some pretty good Nick Fury stuff. Anywho, I’ve been far too lazy to write anything lately, and well somewhat busy too. Hanging out with friends nonstop, and trying to have as much fun as possible before I have to come back to my house because I’m hungry, hung over, or tired. So let’s get this show on the road. This week I’m doing retro comics, I think I’m just going to alternate between retro and new for each column. Last column was new comics, so this one is retro comics…

1 Amazing Spider-Man #358

2 Transmetropolitan #22 3 Uncanny X-Men #160 4 Hellblazer #47

Amazing Spiderman #358:

The first thing I want to mention is how much better Erik Larsen is then Mark Bagley on art. A lot of people give Larsen shit due to the fact that his art style is very, very similar to McFarlane’s. While that’s true, I think that Larsen had a kind of cooler, more polished version were everything didn’t look so weird and sloppy. And his Venom art is the best that Venom’s ever been drawn. Bagley in comparison is just super 90s, and good, but not on the level of Larsen or Todd.

This issue has a “special, three part gatefold cover,” were Spiderman’s teaming up with a bunch of B Lister Super heroes, and The Muthaf’n Punisher!

They kind of try to tell a story with this issue, but Bagley’s working with way too many characters here, and things just get too clogged up. What I liked about Larsen’s run was that there wasn’t always a million people over booking the title, wheras when Bagley came in around ’92 they started putting as many superheroes in the comic as possible…. As I guess that the logic was, more heroes=more money.

Lynn (Jerry?) takes out Spiderman with an arm, energy blast thingy and then his face falls off REVEALING THAT HE’S REALLY A TERMINATIOR!!!!! And so is Midnight, I guess. WHO THE ARE THESE PEOPLE!!???

This big guy comes and takes out all the villains. Yay, happy ending!

Final Thoughts: A really rushed, unfocused issue, and everything was moving so fast that I couldn’t just sit and appreciate the comic, which is quite obnoxious. Just too much shit going on at the same time…

So f’ early 90s Spiderman, let’s get all late 90s up in ‘dis bitch!!!!

Transmetropolitan #22:

This is probably one of the more famous covers…

Y’know, the main problem with me reviewing this right now… I’m craving a cigarette so badly I can’t even see straight… and I’m all out. Do you know how many goddamn cigs they smoke in this comic?

First page is an ad for Futurama. I’m sure that shows going to do just fine for itself… I used to just kind of hate Futurama and never bother with it, but AV Club has put out some really good reviews for its original seasons, so I might have to go back and check them out again with a more positive perspective…

This Asian “lady” with alien guys is chewing on gum, so her black boyfriend with a bad baldspot comes over and starts making out with her. Some weird green shit falls out of the guy’s mouth, but the “lady” is into it. Whatever turns you on I guess…

This guy who lost his legs is pissed off because he stopped everyone from, “turning into grey matter with the consistency of baby shit.” He’s also doing heroin, or whatever other weird shit people do with needles in Transmetro.

EVERYONE’S SMOKING AND I HAVE NO SMOKES!!!! WHY GOD, WHY!!!!????

A commercial for a “new animated sitcom,” Family Guy. I think it’s pretty much universally agreed that Family Guy was good for the first three seasons or so, and then completely dipped in quality, become a mean spirited unfunny show, and Peter… who was always bordering on being obnoxious and being likable, became completely obnoxious. And don’t even get me started on the inexplicable popularity of American Dad, and The Cleavand Show… Jesus.

These two people in robot suits, have sex, and then turn into gas and disappear. Hunter “Spider” Thompson looks on smoking a cigarette.

NO WAY SANDRA BULLOCK!!! I’M NOT WATCHING PRACTICAL MAGIC!!!

Holy shit, this has to be the most f’d up Ad in a comic I’ve ever seen. There’s a bunch of people in a giant car accident, and there’s a dude with a flashlight. The guy with the flashlight asks another guy, who’s on the ground facing the ground, “Can you tell me if your eyeball rolled, or bounced?” At first I thought it was an anti-drinking Ad which would’ve explained the graphicness of it, but nope, it’s a joke to show how accurate 3dfx is. What the f’?

Some woman prattles on to Spider about how the Evening news is better than the Internet or some shit.

This redheaded “lady” must have like ADHD or something as she continues to jump from topic to topic. She tries nagging Spider about smoking. “Those things will kill you.” Spider just responds with, “No they won’t.” That’s so badass! That’s going to be my line when people bitch at me for smoking. “Those are bad for you, those are gross, those will kill you,” blah blah blah… and being able to respond with, “No they won’t.” That’s just funny… to completely ignore logic and basically tell the other person to f’off.

A bunch of cops get naked and shower with each other.

The issue ends with a pretty cute story of Spider helping this little girl find her mom, and then buys her a doll that she had to give away for food money. Awhhh.

Final Thoughts: More of a placeholder issue, or I suppose a breather in between all the big political stuff that was going down in each issue. A look at how completely weird, and twisted the Transmetro city is, and obviously, how it reflects on our society. A nice issue, but again, more of a relaxing break than anything really worthwhile.

Uncanny X Men #160:

Starts off with the entire X Men training, and they all try to take out Pryde, but she just phases through all their attacks, and the X Men end up taking each other out. The thing about the X Men training in the the Danger Room… what happens if someone f’s up? Like, what if Wolverine actually did Pryde with his claws and cut her open? They’ve never even tried to explain stuff like this in the X Men comics either…

Pryde follows Illyna, some little girl… maybe her sister, and they both follow this creepy voice, and end up transported somewhere else. Meanwhile, Wolverine drinks beer.

Nightcrawler suggests that Storm should take a shower to relax, so Storm gets completely naked and makes a “shower” with her powers. Wolverine gets horny about it, and smokes cigarettes. What a badass!

The X Men realize that Pryde and Illyna have gone missing so they look around for them. This leads to them all disappearing, and being teleported elsewhere. Who are they fighting, the f’n Spot (actually The Spot was pretty cool when he was fighting Daredevil back in 2012)?

Nightcrawler ends up in the same place as Pryde, but… SWERVE… it’s not really Nightcrawler (more on that in a min), as “Nightcrawler” tries to grab Pryde’s chest which freaks her out pretty badly. This was a pretty well drawn scene, and “Nightcrawler” looked creepy as all hell in it. The dark atmosphere of Pryde being in a dark place that she’s unfamiliar with… it just worked really well creating a scary, isolated atmosphere.

Pryde runs into Belassco, who is causing all of this.

Colossus and Storm were transported to the same place, and start trying to figure what the hell to do, when Storm gets grabbed by a giant Tentacle monster. Colossus is about to help her out but gets transported again. Then, the weirdest f’n thing happens… Storm turns into a combination of Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus. Feels like some weird fan written stuff…

Okay, so it turns out that is actually Nightcrawler, but Belasco is controlling him with his dark energy or something. Also, I guess Wolverine is dead, and now a skeleton. If I was Pryde I’d be freaking the f’ out right about now…

Oh WAIT it’s not actually Nightcralwer as I guess Bleasco was full of it. Nightcrawler’s watching on, and wondering if he’s in Hell or not. Which means that Wolverine is probably OK. Also, Belasco took Pryde’s Skelton out of her body just to f’ with her…

STORM’S NAKED AGAIN!!!!

Fake Nightcralwer and the REAL DEAL go at it. Fake Nightcrawler comes out of it, and tells Belasco that he killed the real Nightcrawler …. But in actuality I’m guessing that the real Nightcrawler ko’d the fake one, and put on his clothes. SWERVE!!!!

Wolverine’s walking around, which means he’s definitely not dead. Wolverine finds Coloussus dead, with his chest torn out from the inside. Aye, Logan, we all told him not to go near those damn eggs…

Wolverine runs into Sym, who is a giant, buff pink motherf’r who works for Belasco. Sym kicks the shit out of Logan, but Logan lands on a teleport circle and well, teleports away. Sym’s not too happy about it, but he doesn’t have too much time to mope as COLLOSUS IS HERE MUTHAFUDGA!!!

Wolverine comes back, and cuts the f’ out of Sym. Sym doesn’t go down though and is about to break Wolvy’s back, when Col ko’s Sym. Then this weird guy in a cloak (ANSEM, is that you!?) who helped out Storm earlier, tells Wolvy and Col where the ladies are at.

And I was right about that swerve with the real/fake Nightcrawler, as Nightcrawler starts attacking Belasco. And to make Belsaco’s day even worse, Wolvy and Col are here!

Explaining the end of this comic is going to be a bit of a challenge… it turns out the cloaked person was Storm in the future, and that all of the X Men really did die, but it was in a different timeline, and this cloaked Storm is trying to stop the younger Storm from making the same mistake that led to the X Men all dying. The X Men get the hell out of that creepy, dark realm, but Kitty loses Iyllna for about three seconds… and then gets her back again and pulls her back to Earth. Only problem is, Illyna is now not a little girl, but a young woman… about 17-18. The three seconds that Kitty let go of her ended up being something like ten years! The issue ends with Illyna going to sleep, with the creepy voice of Belasco telling her that she’s going to become very powerful one day. Jeez…

Final Thoughts: Very, very good issue here. The only thing that really bugs me is that the over complications messed up the pace a bit at the end. That’s a minor complaint though, this issue was very, very dark and besides the Brood story which is coming in the next couple issues, is probably the most horrorish that X Men got back in the 70’s. The dark atmosphere, all the psychological twists, and no one knowing what was going on or what was real… everything worked here perfectly, and it actually made these superheroes, who can usually get out of anything… vulnerable. A very good issue, and one of my favorite X Men stories ever.

Hellblazer #47:

Did you really think I was going to do a retro comics WITHOUT Constantine? Jezus… I haven’t read one of these in a bit so I should be a bit refreshed… at the same time I’ve been OD’ing on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon lately as I’ve been reading a lot of Preacher.

The cover implies that Constantine is a ghost. BOOOOOO

Something I’ve noticed since reading more Ennis is how much Ennis loves talking about bars. In the two issues exploring Cassidy’s past the first real friends Cassidy had were in a bar, and a lot of the issue was spent inside it. Here, this issue starts off with Constantine in a bar. Both issues mention the fact that bars are nice because the isolate you from all your problems outside, and you can just relax… at least in these specific bars.

Some hot chick comes inside John’s house and invites him to go the bar later. She says his house is a mess, and mentions the weird black stuff over his sink. He tells her that it’s just four month old pieces of lung that he was coughing out when he had lung cancer (you see, he tricked Satan and Friends to getting rid of his lung cancer, and basically letting him live forever… it’s pretty complicated to explain).

Constantine after the hot chick leaves. “I half expected a visit from Kit. She left me alone after Matt’s funeral, knowing I’m not the type who wants non-stop comfort and a shoulder to cry on…. Not me, I’m macho, y’see. I’d rather brood for ages and stew in my own misery, then be pulled back from the brink of nervous breakdown at the eleventh hour. Us lads are like that.” That RIGHT THERE describes men so perfectly. I can completely relate to this… I could go bitch about my problems to my friends, and do dumb shit all the time, BUT I WANT TO SIT IN MY OWN MISERY DAMMIT!!! I’M MACHO!!!!

Constantine HASN’T SMOKED ALL DAY!!!??? What a crazy mofo…

Constantine is feeding the ducks, and is quite happy that they aren’t secretly demons from Hell.

Constantine decides to go to the bar after a hard day of sitting his room, moping, and smokes cigarettes, gets drunk, and plays cards. Sometimes Hellblazer is a bit TOO realistic…

That chick from earlier comes and her and John flirt. They both agree they don’t want anything serious, which probably means they’re going to f’ by the end of this comic… barring any Satanic shit…

Well nevermind on them f’ing, Constantine gets WAYYY too tossed, and ends up getting outdrank by a woman. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!??? C’mon now…

Some Nazi dudes beat up this old lady, and burn down the bar with her in it… such a nice way to end the issue..

Final Thoughts: Like Transmetro this one was more of a breather issue than anything extremely important. I do kind of like the issues were John’s just reflecting, and relaxing… and going about a normal day. The difference between Hellblazer and Transmetro is that everything in Transmetro is so ridiculously over exaggerated and unrealistic, while in Hellblazer you can actually see yourself there, and everything just feels REAL. While it’s always nice to reflect on Constantine’s character this was a bit of a boring issue, and the climax was just John getting too drunk. I think my favorite non action Hellblazer issue was one of the Jamie Delano ones in 1990, where it was very atmospheric and kind of acidy… everything was in shades of vibes, and what atmosphere the day and night had. Here it’s much more subtle, and straight which is a bit more boring. Not bad, but not something I’d go out of the way to read either…

Well that’s it for me today kids, I was trying to get this in earlier on Friday, but on Thursday I just wasn’t feeling the magic, and on Friday I ended up drinking too much, so I’m finishing this at 4:37 on a Saturday. Hope you guys/gals enjoyed it, and I’ll be back next week (hopefully) with new comics. ‘Till next time, have a good one.

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