Archive for April, 2010

Northstar cameo in Cloak and Dagger #1

April 13, 2010

Cloak and Dagger #1
May 2010

Cloak and Dagger fans have been waiting since 2008 when a five issue miniseries was announced, but unfortunately, the duo’s inclusion in Norman Osborne’s Dark X-Men caused that project to be shelved. This issue is unrelated to that project, which may still come to fruition. Rather than replacing the miniseries, this book might actually clear the path for more Cloak and Dagger in the future. Northstar appears in 2 panels as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508.

After being informed by Dr. Nemesis that neither she nor Cloak are mutants, Dagger loses her sense of inclusion as an X-Men and decides to leave Utopia Island, their new floating headquarters. She travels to Boston to find Cloak. Before she leaves, Cyclops orders several X-Men to take to the skies to investigate some mysterious airborne objects. A team consisting of Angel, Pixie, Namor, Storm and Northstar assemble and are given tracking devices by Dr. Nemesis. It’s hard to find him, but Northstar can be seen to the left of Dr. Nemesis, who is also hard to find – just look to the left of Dagger’s glowing butt.

It’s not clear why Northstar wasn’t sent solo – it certainly doesn’t take five fliers to I.D. seven objects when Northstar himself can I.D. all of them in the blink of an eye. Remember that Northstar is the fastest flier there is, capable of reaching over 99.99% of the speed of light and could perform this task and return back to Utopia faster than it would take for the entire team to get ready. No real complaints here though, as he’s among some top tier A-list characters and I’m glad Stuart Moore decided to include him in such a distinguished group. Oddly, Dr. Nemesis surmises that the mysterious airborne objects might be from Hickam Air Force Base, which is in Hawaii, approximately 2400 miles (3800km) away! The mysterious objects are never explained, and were really there just as a device to show Cyclops and other senior X-Men blowing off Dagger for a more urgent matter.

Northstar is drawn by Mark Brooks without the red X-logo on his chest. The brown hair color in the flying image is just shading from the brownish hue of the sky. Note that his hair color in the glowing butt image above is correct, if you can find him.

Nation X page added

April 10, 2010

In a continuing attempt to be organized, I’ve put up a page for Nation X, a storyline recently concluded. The unassuming link can be found in the sidebar to the right or click on the logo above. It’s one of many static pages I hope to complete, eventually forming a coherent hierarchical archive of appearances by story arc, by character, by era, by theme, etc.

Jeffries explains something in Uncanny X-Men #523

April 9, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #523
Jun 2010

Chapter Two in the Second Coming story line picks up right where we left off from Chapter One. For those who were expecting the “Return of Kitty Pryde” story from the previous issue of Uncanny to warm your hearts aglow with the most heart-warmy aglowy comic book plot ever, you’re just going to have to wait. Poor Kitty. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in issue #505.

The entirety of his appearance is two very tiny cameos in what appears to be a master control room on Utopia Island, the X-Men headquarters. There, surrounded by floating monitor screens, Cyclops and Emma Frost set up a psi-link with the field teams searching for the mutant baby Hope. In one panel, Jeffries is shown very tiny with fellow X-Club member Dr. Kavita Rao explaining something while standing in front of a glowing console.

...then there was the time I transformed my armor into a frakkin’ Robot T-Rex and ripped the throat out of a real T-rex!

On the next page, he is shown also very tiny explaining something to Rogue. It isn’t clear if the thing he’s explaining to Rogue is the same thing he was explaining to Dr. Rao, or if he’s explaining something new, but clearly, he’s got a lot of explaining to do.

Note: Matt Fraction continues the use of the name “Alpha Team” for the top tier group of X-Men in the field (see previous rant), but since the writers of Chapter One started it, he gets a free pass.

Note: although Northstar was a member of the X-Men at the time, he doesn’t appear in this issue.

Note: there are two variant covers for this issue, including an inexplicable “Iron Man by Design” cover by Mike Perkins showing a… US Civil War-era steampunk drummer boy Iron Man. Additionally, there is a 2nd printing variant by Daniel Acuña and a 3rd printing variant with interior art by the Dodsons.

Uncanny X-Men #523 – Finch variant
Uncanny X-Men #523 -Iron Man by Design variant
Uncanny X-Men #523 – 2nd printing variant
Uncanny X-Men #523 – 3rd printing variant

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries cameo in X-Men: Second Coming #1

April 8, 2010

X-Men: Second Coming #1
May 2010

A new, fairly massive X-book-centric story arc begins with this one-shot that picks up where the Messiah CompleX left off. In that series, a mutant baby was born, the first after the widespread depowering of mutants on M-Day. Chapter 1 of this series features the return of the mutant baby, Hope, with a heavy trail of destruction all around. Mister Jeffries appear in a few panels as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and Diamond Lil has a small cameo as well.

While the X-Men convene their senior members in a briefing room on Utopia Island, their new home, Cyclops quickly recounts the casualties from the recent attacks during the Necrosha storyline. Up on the rightmost of three monitors is a head shot of Diamond Lil, who was unceremoniously killed by Mortis in X-Force #23. Though it was nice of Craig Kyle and Chris Yost to show this iota of respect for her, it really would have been much more respectful not to have killed her off in the first place. On the next page in the lower right corner, a close-up of Cyclops shows a poorly magnified reprinting of the same image of Lil just behind him, complete with the jagged pixelation of a novice Photoshop job. I count over a dozen re-used images in this issue, which takes away from the otherwise appealing pencils from David Finch.

On the same pages, standing next to Dr. Nemesis, Mister Jeffries broods in the shadows. He appears again much smaller in two other panels from this scene.

Man, am I pissed!

This is just about the angriest looking image of Jeffries you’ll ever see. It’s not clear why he’s so angry, as they are only discussing the extinction of their species, nothing all that gut-wrenching. He’s probably thinking what I’m thinking:

During one of the set-up sequences, Cyclops refers to his top tier of X-Men as his “Alpha Squad”. Later, Cannonball also refers to this top tier as the “Alpha Team”. This is an extremely poor choice of names for the top tier, as it is a complete and total ripoff of the way John Byrne organized the Department H members into Alpha, Beta and Gamma Flights. If you have an “Alpha Squad”, it only follows that your second-string is the Beta Squad, then the Gamma Squad, and so on. When Northstar was the faculty advisor for the Alpha Squadron kids at Xavier’s Institute, the use of “Alpha” in the team name made sense and was appropriate. In this scenario, it’s just a cheap knock-off of a long-established idea from a couple of yahoos who aren’t even worthy to sweep up John Byrne’s pencil shavings.

Note: although Northstar was a member of the X-Men during this issue, he does not appear in this book and is not a member of the Alpha Squad.

Note: There are two variant covers, a 2nd printing featuring interior art by David Finch and a 3rd printing variant also with interior art by David Finch.

X-Men: Second Coming #1 – Finch variant
X-Men: Second Coming #1 – inked Finch variant – this comic was a giveaway at the 2010 Diamond Retailer Summit on April 14-16 preceding the C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo)
X-Men: Second Coming #1 – 2nd printing variant
X-Men: Second Coming #1 – 3rd printing variant

A short FUNDay post. Still fun, just shorter!

April 5, 2010

Here’s a version of an old wedding toast, modified for modern technology:

A good blog post is like a woman’s dress. It should be long enough that it covers everything, but just short enough to keep everyone interested!

Well, this week’s FUNDay’s post covers everything and it sure is short!

Marvel Age #60
Mar 1988

Marvel Age was a monthly series featuring previews of upcoming comics, news articles about various subjects, advertisements, humorous pieces, and the occasional interview with creators and Marvel staff. Long removed from the Internet age, it was a great way (sometimes the ONLY way) to get news about what was going on in the world of Marvel Comics. Cartoon Puck appears on the calendar on the back cover.

This issue was concurrent with Alpha Flight #56 and solicited issue #57 in the section, “Marvel Coming Attractions”:

ALPHA FLIGHT #57 – The Alphans discover that nothing in space can be taken for granted as they become the catalyst for the creation of life on a baren world! But the life that’s created is out to kill Alpha Flight! “Life” is written by Bill Mantlo and penciled by Jim Lee. Direct Sales only. $1.00.

The back pages of many Marvel Age issues featured a comical calendar with staff birthdays, one-liner jokes and parodies of various Marvel characters. The back cover of this issue had a calendar for December 1987 featuring cartoon Puck on the 21st. For those of you who aren’t calendar savants, that was a Monday, which put Christmas on Friday of that week. Credits for the calendar are w-Mike Carlin, a-Ron Zalme and c-Paul Becton.