Publisher: Marvel Comics
Date of Publication: May 1992
Cover Price: $1.25
Creative Team: Chuck Dixon, Tod Smith, Tom DeFalco
It’s been a really long time since I read some of my collection, so I didn’t actually remember anything about this particular issue when I fished it out. It’s standard 90′s Punisher fare, though. For some reason, the toughest, gun-totingest psychopath with a code of honor in the Marvel Universe ends up in a supermarket doing some shopping. Actually, it brings to mind a question: in the Marvel Universe, certainly the police are looking for Frank Castle, so if you saw a mountain of a man who looked like police images of a killer they’re looking for, wearing a shirt with the identifying mark that he likes to wear, wouldn’t you say something? Anyway, the supermarket gets held up by some junkies, looking to score some quick cash to get their next fix. That’s another thing, actually. Why would they go to a supermarket? I mean, sure they’re junkies and they’re probably not planning too far ahead, but certainly they could see that the whole thing would probably turn into a hostage situation. Anyway, somehow they manage to get the manager of the store before he presses the silent alarm and they get him to open the safe. Frank manages to out-maneuver the junkies(no small feat there, The Punisher is a tactical genius!) and kill them all, somehow not being bothered by the fact that he just stole lobsters and probably a fair amount of cash from the supermarket, leaving me to wonder why he did it. The art for the book is standard 90′s comic art, nothing too daring, but clear and to the point, and while the plot may be a little ridiculous, for a one-off Punisher story, it is a fair amount of fun.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics/Valiant Comics
Date of Publication: November 1992
Cover Price: $2.95
Creative Team: Jim Shooter, John Ostrander, Lee Weeks, Mike Richardson, Bob Layton
Let me tell you something, I think I wrote this book off as being terrible before I even read it because of the fact that it was A) a crossover book, and B) a movie tie-in of sorts, but that was before I saw the awesome names that they had gathered to put it together. Shooter, Ostrander, and Weeks are three legendary names in comics, and they managed to do ok with what they had in this title. Now, admittedly I know very little about Magnus, and what I know about Predator is pretty much what I learned from the first Predator and the first AVP movie, but what we have here is a comic that’s not pretentious, that knows what it’s about and what it needs to be, and that’s just plain fun. Sure, the dialogue is a bit over the top, but that was just the 90′s comic scene for you. Weeks’ interiors are stellar, as I’ve never seen the guy do a bad job on anything. His backgrounds are sweeping and futuristic where they need to be, and muted and personal where they need to be. His action is clear and easy to follow, and he even manages some nice looking effects on some of his panels. Sadly, I don’t actually own the second part of this story, so I don’t know how it ends. If someone would be so kind as to tell me in the comments, or direct me to where I can find it, I’d greatly appreciate it, as I consider this to be one of the great hidden gems of my comic collection.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Date of Publication: July 1977
Cover Price: 30 cents
Creative Team: Archie Goodwin, Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito
Well readers, I was a little hesitant to review this book just because it’s actually older than I am, and may very well be the oldest comic in my collection(it’s certainly in the top 5), but I figured you guys were worth it, and it would be a fitting way to start my contribution to Spider-Man month here at Comic Booked! (Plus, the issue isn’t worth very much and my copy’s not in the best condition to start with, but we don’t need to mention that…) The first thing that hits me when I opened this book is the smell. If you have any old, cheap comics in your collection, I urge you to go smell one, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s hard to describe, but it’s very distinctive. If they sold an “Old Comics” air freshener, I would definitely buy it. Anyway, what we have here is the second part of a fight between Spider-Man and Morbius, the Living Vampire, with Glory Grant stuck in the middle. Remembering that this comic is from 1977, it makes the dialogue easier to swallow, and I have to give respect to Archie Goodwin for serving as both the writer and the editor on this book. It was probably easier to do back then, but it still couldn’t be easy to pull double duty like that. Buscema and Esposito do a great job on interiors as well and show why this series was able to last for decades. If not under the same creative team, the teams that replaced them always did at least as good of a job as these guys.