Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Cr to De

July 6th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I took a long break from these babies to do the Wrestlecrap articles, but now I’m back with quite a collection of characters. Some are a bit topical, too.


Captain America #360 (1989)

The story of the issue is part of an arc called the Bloodstone Hunt. It involves Captain America and Diamondback taking on Baron Zemo, Batroc, Zaron and Machete over some gem. That part isn’t really important.

Though I will say that Diamondback’s appearance is sort of off-putting here. Her outfit is pink spandex with a series of black diamonds over her front and back. Considering she’s in the water for most of the comic, she hangs around some people in bathing suits, and the way the pink is colored here, it looks like she’s wearing a black thong that doesn’t cover her chest. That’s all well and good, but her costume is torn in places, so now it looks like she has some nasty-ass skin disease.

Anyhow, she and Cap get away with the prize. As they leave, we see that they’re being watched.

Crossbones is so cool.

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Secret War Games: The Marvel WCW Comic Part 3

April 23rd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

We’re finishing off the trilogy of World Championship Wrestling articles here at 4th Letter, but first I want to talk about blame.

Ever since the moment I picked a couple of these issues up at New York Comic Con, my fellow 4L guys and my comic-reading friends all asked me the same question: why? Why would I do this to myself? Why am I always the guy on this site willingly reading comics I know are going to be lousy? The truth is, it’s all hermanos’ fault.

He and I are similar in terms of comic-reading background. He and I read stuff in the 90’s, only to break away from comics due to the Marvel Cloneslaught disaster. He got back in the game before I did and had more reading experience. He would be the one who would suggest comics that I would eventually follow obsessively. He suggested I read that Deadpool issue where he Shoryukens Kitty Pryde. He told me to read Kingdom Come. He told me that the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League is good stuff. And I won’t even tell you how many times I had to hear him push Flex Mentallo in my direction before I submitted.

A problem arises from that. It gets annoying discussing things when he’s read pretty much everything I’ve read and more. Where’s my upper hand?

So I had to dig deep in the opposite direction. Has hermanos read the comic where Venom fights Carnage inside the internet? What about the one where Skeletor controls Superman’s mind and makes him beat up He-Man? Did he read Super-Villain Team… wait, hold on. Super-Villain Team-Up turned out to be pretty great. But he didn’t read the Tekken comic, did he?! And he’s a better person for it because that thing is a stinking turd on the level of the Doom comic.

But the Tekken comic review will be for another day.

I think I’m just stalling because the cover of issue #9 features the Steiner Brothers with the blurb, “The Steiner Brothers are cruisin’ for a bruisin’! Part 2 of 4!” At least Jesse Ventura is in the upper-corner logo. That’s as good a reason as any to keep moving forward.

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Secret War Games: The Marvel WCW Comic Part 2

April 14th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

We continue our look at the adventures of our Friendly Neighborhood Steve Borden. First, another wrestling history lesson.

This Ghoul storyline looks like it’s really meant to be a mix between two “mystery man” storylines WCW had done a year or so before the comic came out. The first was the infamous Black Scorpion storyline. WCW had done Sting vs. Ric Flair to death. They needed to give Sting a new rival. They came up with the Black Scorpion, a masked man with a distorted voice that would appear in taped segments, taunting Sting. He would bring up their past and how intimately they know each other. Then he’d do magic tricks because, you know, he’s mysterious and stuff.

WCW didn’t actually have any good ideas of who the Black Scorpion would turn out to be, so in the end, they just made him Ric Flair, thereby totally defeating the purpose of this storyline.

The other “mystery man” storyline involved a wrestler called the Halloween Phantom, who defeated the Z-Man at the pay-per-view event Halloween Havoc before unmasking. The following issues are more in tune to this one.

As any wrestling fan can tell you, most of these stories turn out to be convoluted messes by the time they’re done. Kind of like the Clone Saga, now that I think about it.

The next issue (we’re on #4, if you’ve lost track) begins with the new tag team of the Diamond Studd and Stunning Steve going up against the fictional cannon fodder Jersey Jerry and Mangy Matt. First a little something on Stunning Steve.

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Secret War Games: The Marvel WCW Comic Part 1

April 3rd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Chances are, you already know what World Championship Wrestling was. If not, you at least remember the days when World Wrestling Entertainment was referred to as the World Wrestling Federation. WCW was the WWF’s competition and for quite a long while, relegated itself to being a distant second.

Though the company leaked money for many years, it stayed afloat because it was billionaire Ted Turner’s pet project. He kept the fed around because it amused him. Sure, it had its talented wrestlers and a couple personalities like Big Van Vader and Cactus Jack that I admired, but I could never really get into it at that age. I was strictly WWF. Maybe it was just a sense of being loyal. Maybe it was the feeling of blandness that clouded a show that didn’t have the Undertaker and Ted Dibiase. Maybe I was turned off by the rules that dropped the entertainment potential like a rock (like being disqualified for throwing someone over the top rope, being on the top rope or even backdropping your opponent).

That’s in the past. The product would finally get the shot in the arm it needed in the mid-to-late-90’s and would, for a while, dominate the WWF. This lasted for only a few years before the WWF got its act together and fought back, using wrestlers that WCW discarded. Two of which appear heavily in this series I’m about to review. WCW lost its momentum thanks to a lot of amusingly bad decisions, many of which came from hiring the wrestling equivalent of Chuck Austen to write the shows. It eventually drowned on its own suck and was bought by Vince McMahon, who incorporated WCW and fellow beaten wrestling fed ECW into his own company, like some kind of Crisis in Infinite Arenas.

I’m getting ahead of myself. This 12-issue comic, released by Marvel, took place during 1992-93, years before the New World Order would turn the tide. At the time, WCW had its share of problems. Their golden boy Ric Flair was off in the WWF. Another mainstay, Sid Vicious, was also playing for the winners. WCW had talent, but it didn’t have much in terms of big names.

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