Havok and Wolverine – Meltdown
Today we’re gonna start out with my favorite books, the ones that made me a fan of the medium, the oppressed super-powered mutants protecting a world that hates and fears them – The X-Men.
When i first stumbled on Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown, i was a new X-Men fan and this book, with a more mature story and ethereal watercolor artwork broadened my view on comic books as ‘kid-stuff’ and showed me the partially opened doorway into the world beyond the Comics Code Authority and into smart, visual-storytelling.
Collecting these was not easy. This was pre-internet so ordering options were limited and while Fresno had 5-6 comic stores at the time, coming across them in a box of back issues was not very likely – in fact it would be years from that point of buying the first issue to actually tracking down all four of them.
I also had a shirt with the image of issue 1 on it. i wore that shit into dust. It was so threadbare by the time i said goodbye it would have fallen apart in the washing machine.
if you knew me in the 90’s, you saw me wear this shirt
The newest X-series, The All-New X-Men, has turned out to be the book i look forward to the most every month. The story and the art have been pitch perfect since the first issue. They took a concept that i thought was not going to work and turned it into one of the best X-Books in years.
All New X-Men – one of the Marvel Now highlights
The newest X-series is the re-started Uncanny X-Men which follows Cyclops and his small band of fallen heroes collecting newly emerging mutants to join his rebellion. Its only 2 issues in but with Chris Bachalo on pencils its quickly becoming one of my favorite books just as he is one of my new favorite artists.
The Uncanny X-Men #1 covers
Bachalo’s artwork is very distinctive and the first 2 covers for Uncanny have his style all over them with stark, almost mono-chromatic colors.
The two variant covers i got for the first issue, tho not by Bachalo, are still pretty cool. Of course Skottie Young did his requisite baby cover (which is one of my favorites so far) and there is a deadpool cover with the US State birds in a not-too subtle jab at DC Comics new Justice League series where they did a variant cover for each of the 50 state flags.
Last off in the Marvel Universe for this week is another series i wasn’t quite sure about going into it but its been a really fun read and the art by Mike Allred is one of a kind – he’s one of those artists where you can recognize their stuff a mile away due to the distinctive style. He is also doing the covers for It Girl! and The Atomics (see below).
FF – the companion book to The Fantastic Four. issue 1-4 + 2 variants
FF is about the group who takes over for the Fantastic Four as Reed Richards takes his family into the universe in search of a cure for his illness in the guise of an educational trip for the kids. Reed put together a new team to cover for the FF as they go on their trip. Due to the trip being thru both time and space, Reed thought they would only be gone for 4 minutes. Now there wouldn’t be much of a story if things go according to plan so the 4 minutes come and go with no returning Fantastic Four. Now Steven Lang, AKA Ant-Man, must lead the new Fantastic Four as well as the Future Foundation – a think-tank of the best and brightest kids collected by Richards to be the best hope of leadership in the future. Its a book worth checking out.
It-Girl and The Atomics is a series on Image written by Jamie Rich with cover art by Mike Allred and is based on a character from Allred’s other book, Madman.
It-Girl and The Atomics collection
After i started collecting It Girl! (her superpower is to take on the properties of whatever substance she touches – rocks, rubber, feathers…), Jamie Rich came to Heroes Comics here in town to do an in-store signing that i had to miss because i was working. However the owner, Dave, had him autograph a stack of extras so i was able to get signed copies of issues 1-5. As i continued to go back over the next few weeks, i noticed the rest of the signed copies sitting in the bin with the rest of the issues. i watched them and when it didn’t look like they were going anywhere, i started buying them. you can see the results above. As far as i can tell the only variant for the series is a second cover for issue #3 which i really like (the balloon cover shown above).
The Rocketeer may have lost its creator, Dave Stevens, but the attempts to keep the series alive in some form go on. Some of my prized comics are the Stevens autographed copies of the original Rocketeer series from the 80’s that i got at Wonder-Con in high-school.
Dave Stevens signed Rocketeer 1 (1982)
There have been a few mini-series published since i left the world of comics. I just started to research the publication history to see what i missed but i did manage to pick up a few to get the ball rolling…
Last but not least for this update is one of my favorite series that doesn’t have a Marvel logo on it, Morning Glories.
My MG collection – only missing issue #1 !!
Im. One. Issue. Away.
but that one issue…
Morning Glories #1 un-graded on eBay
its not exactly cheap. And if i want it graded…add about $100.
Well, tomorrow is Wednesday, and that means New Comic Day!! I’m looking forward to the new Ultron crossover from Marvel, All New X-Men and of course Superior Spider-Man!
In the next week or so i will be getting a few more things shipped in and ill be doing write-ups of what I’ve gotten from Ghostbusters Adventure Time and a few other really interesting indy comics. I also ordered some REALLY cool stuff but it not going to ship for a month or 2 so keep an eye out for that…
and as always, support your local comic shop!