Summer may have just started, but it feels like we are already in the dog days of the baseball season. Anthony and J. R. discuss their feelings on the Cincinnati Reds seasons so far, as well as the NBA and NHL playoffs.
So I’m reading some Spider-Man comics from the mid 90’s and stumbled across the the 1995 mini-series “Planet of the Symbiotes”. In this story, Eddie Brock tries to separate himself from the Venom symbiote, which causes it to freak out & send a telepathic distress message into space, which brings a whole mess of symbiotes to Earth. Turns out that there’s an entire race of the things that travels the galaxy and bonds with different lifeforms, consuming their energy until they’re dead & then moving onto the next planet. The Venom symbiote we all know and love was actually exiled from their society for wanting to permanently bond with a host & actually live with it rather than just use it up as fast as possible and leave behind a dead husk. What a loser, right?! It was marooned on Battleworld until Spider-Man found it during Secret Wars. Anyway, Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, and Venom team up to fight off the symbiotes & save the day.
The point I should be getting to here is that issue two of this series, Spider-Man Super Special #1 (it ran in “super specials” off all the Spider titles at the time; Amazing, Spectacular, Web of, etc.) was drawn buy a guy named Joe St. Pierre. St. Pierre hadn’t been in the business that long, having gotten his start in 1992. His art style…I can only describe it like this: It’s like somebody got Todd McFarlane good & hammered drunk and had him pencil a Spider-Man book. Take a look for yourself.
Joe St. Pierre is still working today and he did go on to get a lot better. Just goes to show you that any artist would most likely be better served cultivating their own style instead of trying to mimic someone else’s.
So this is the way the Green Goblin ends.
Now with a bang but with a SPUT.
Though new comics did just come out for yesterday, May 25, I thought that instead of just picking up midway through storylines, I’d jump back a couple months and play a quick game of catch-up from the start of the new direction of Blue/Gold era X-Men. That means our starting point will be March 29’s releases in which we will be looking at X-Men Prime #1 which gives this whole era its launch, as well as the wrapping up of All New X-Men #19, in which the time-displaced original X-Men come back together to get in place for their new book X-Men: Blue.
Anyway, since we’re doing an “everything old is new again” redo for the X-Men line, Prime is a good enough nostalgia title for nerds like me to appreciate. But before we jump into it, let’s talk about just why X-Men so desperately needed this rebranding for its line. After all, once upon a time, X-Men was Marvel’s flagship property, top of sales, with some stuff that simply could do no wrong. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Numerous redos, new directions, retreads, and shocking twists and turns moved X-Men way past the status quo, far beyond uncharted waters, and pretty much to Hell. Actually, in the storyline, that can be taken literally.
Anyone who has been with us for a while probably knows that despite being a huge X-Men fan, my all-time favorite superhero is the second incarnation of the Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. I’ve loved the guy for years and have endured having to explain who the hell he is pretty much any time someone new finds out that I’m a huge comic nerd and asks “Who’s your favorite?”
You probably are also well aware that it absolutely broke my heart when DC finally gave him a spotlight issue that made people see him as the awesome hero I always knew he was, only to put a bullet in his head at the end and replace him with a new, hip youngster with the way too overboard power set of “CAN DO EVERYTHING.”
But with the most recent run of Blue Beetle, starring both Jaime Reyes AND Ted Kord, I’ve finally begun to move towards the possibility of accepting Jaime and even liking him. And then, in issue #8, he does this:
Okay, kid. You got me. I like you.
In this week’s episode in anticipation for International Tabletop Day, J. R., Anthony, and Scotty have more tales of happiness and anger while playing tabletop games. Those games include Scythe, Cavern Tavern, and Dead of Winter. Also, Jacob gives the awkward tale of Stacy X, in this week’s “Better Know an X-man.”