This Week in Panels: Week 222

December 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Triple 2s! Neat! And with a Two-Face comic in there also!

Huge, huge week this update, breaking forty images, which may be a ThWiP record. Helps that I have Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa and Was Taters backing me up.

My time’s been eaten up by a lot of personal things, but I have some stuff coming up in the next couple days. A really nice guest article and a little something different. In the meantime, here’s a review I wrote for Den of Geek US on a comic called Rainbow in the Dark. It’s the Matrix meets Pleasantville meets They Live as a rock opera with Sam Elliot as the wise mentor character.

Animal Man #26 (Gavin’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner

Animal Man #26 (Matlock’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner

Avengers Assemble #22
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Warren Ellis, Matteo Buffagni and Paco Diaz

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


4 Elements: Scarlet Spider

October 4th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Recently, it’s been announced that Christopher Yost’s Scarlet Spider is on its way out, ending in December at issue #25. Even with the news that Venom is ending at the end of this month, Scarlet Spider‘s cancellation hits harder. It was really a better book, starring a character who will probably fade into obscurity, while Venom will continue to be a staple in the Marvel Universe.

Scarlet Spider stars Kaine, clone of Peter Parker and co-star of the infamous Clone Saga from the 90’s. After that editorial horror ended, Kaine vanished in the public eye, only appearing in the alternate future series Spider-Girl as the grizzled mentor character. A few years ago, Kaine reappeared during Spider-Man’s Grim Hunt storyline for the sake of being killed off immediately. Then he was resurrected as some kind of spider creature during Spider-Island and when everyone was cured of their spider powers, it reduced him to a less scarred and super-jacked version of Peter Parker for the first time since his birth, curing him of his madness.

Now, when you go through all that backstory, it’s not hard to understand why the series didn’t last. Fresh take or not, he’s a toxic character with a longwinded origin. Still, Christopher Yost was able to make it into one of my favorite Marvel titles.

A lot of the fun is explained in the tagline of “All the Power and None of the Responsibility!” Superhero comics are about escapism, but sometimes it can be frustrated when you see your favorite character held back morally. It’s necessary, but when people call out Peter Parker for being a flake or a coward, there’s part of me that just wants him to go, “You know what?! I’m Spider-Man! That’s why I was late! Suck my balls!” Instead, he has to shut his mouth for the greater good. He lets people talk down to him, he refuses to ever kill and he’s overly selfless out of guilt. It’s what defines him and I would never want to change any of that, but there is that desire to see the catharsis of Spider-Man completely cutting loose.

That’s really what Scarlet Spider is. Kaine doesn’t really care about the Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy situations because that wasn’t really him. He’s his own person and he’s selfish and doesn’t think of himself as a very good person. When he sees an old woman about to be hit by a car, he stomps down on the car’s hood (sending the driver flying out the windshield) and proceeds to scream in the old woman’s face and curse her out for being so stupid that she almost just died. All while he’s in his street clothes because he doesn’t care that he looks exactly like Peter Parker with a crew cut. After all, who’s going to care in Houston, Texas?

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This Week in Panels: Week 201

July 29th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

You said it, Spidey. But Sunday is Sunday, so let’s get to it.

My crew this week includes Gaijin Dan, Matlock and Space Jawa. I don’t have anything else to really add to this white noise of an intro, so here. The theme to Pacific Rim. Listen to it as you skim the rest… or as you hit a monster in the face with a battleship. Either way.

With that out of the way, panels away!

All-Star Western #22 (Matlock’s pick)
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat

All-Star Western #22 (Gavin’s pick)
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat

Aquaman #22
Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This Week in Panels: Week 192

May 26th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Welp. Time to retire that Miles pic.

Welcome to This Week in Panels, where me and some other guys take all the comics we’ve read this week and chop them up until we’re left with one panel that best acts as a teaser for the comic in question. We got some Marvel, some DC, some manga and some IDW.

To contrast the poor past couple weeks, I have a strong batch this time around. Joining me are Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Brobe, Space Jawa and Was Taters.

This week brings us to the end of Geoff Johns’ lengthy and successful run on Green Lantern. It’s a fantastic final issue as long as you ignore that Kyle Rayner has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. 19 issues of setup in New Guardians and he’s relegated to the background while Hal Jordan saves the day.

It’s a moot point, though. The comic isn’t about Kyle or Hal anyway. It’s really just about Sinestro being completely awesome. Johns gets a lot of hate for his Hal worship, but damn was his Sinestro always on point.

All-Star Western #20
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Staz Johnson

Aquaman #20
John Ostrander and Manuel Garcia

Avengers #12
Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Mike Deodato

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


We Care a Lot Part 7: The Ballad of Rad Eddie

February 2nd, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Hey, Dan Slott? You know how angry I was when you basically shat on the Juggernaut during your She-Hulk run?

All is forgiven.

(note: I still boycott Amazing Spider-Man, but I’ve allowed myself to make exceptions for Eddie Brock appearances)

Welp. I’m back to this. It’s been a while since the last We Care a Lot, so let’s do a quick recap. It started off with me reminiscing about how I was introduced to Venom comics and how it led to this site. In the comics, Venom decided that Spider-Man wasn’t so bad after all and they formed an agreement not to go after each other. That lasted for about five minutes. Then Venom went to San Francisco, where he teamed up with and/or fought Spider-Man, Punisher, Juggernaut, Hulk, Morbius, Mace and Vengeance. He then went back to New York City to get punked out by the Scarlet Spider. After dealing with his symbiote children and fighting Carnage inside the internet, Eddie Brock turned his wife into Venom for a few minutes and saved Christmas. All that and he made appearances in other comics.

All caught up? Good. Let’s pick up where we left off with Rune vs. Venom, a one-shot by writer Chris Ulm and artists Greg Luzniak, Mark Pacella and Gabriel Gecko. So who is Rune and why does he get top billing? He’s an alien vampire from Malibu’s Ultraverse line. At the time, they were doing a series of Marvel/Ultraverse crossovers and this was one of them. Fair enough.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


We Care a Lot Part 3: The Last Days of San Francisco

November 27th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I don’t care much about Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan arc in the pages of Wolverine one way or the other, but I don’t get this part. Logan and Hawkeye drive around South Dakota and pass this.

The Venom symbiote just chilling on the side of a mountain. No reference to it anywhere. It’s just that panel. The hell is that about?

Anyway, before I get into the next Venom arc, we should take a look at Marvel Comics Presents #160-163. There were no Venom appearances in these issues. There were stories involving Tigra, Slapstick, Hawkeye and Vengeance, but nothing with Venom. Why is it so important? Because it introduces a character named Mace.

Mace is a character created by Carl Potts. Through the four issues, he writes an origin for him as basically the Japanese Wolverine. A criminal organization called the Sunrise Society takes the cloned DNA of a skilled martial artist and has it genetically engineered to create the perfect warrior. Since the Society is paranoid and thinks the scientist that created Mace is a traitor, they have him killed. The scientist is quick to destroy all of his notes, making Mace one-of-a-kind. Using his new cyber ninja skills, Mace escapes the Sunrise Society and knows freedom for the first time in his life.

He’s armed with a cybernetic mace, a healing factor, a laser gun that’s fine-tuned to the tattoo on his arm so it only works when he’s holding it, special vision abilities and… you don’t care. I don’t care. Nobody cares. Nobody has ever cared about Mace other than Carl Potts. That’s why we have Venom: The Mace (Venom #16-18 for those keeping track), featuring the superhero team-up that NOBODY asked for.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Planet of the Symbiotes: History Before it Repeats Itself

October 26th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

If it wasn’t for the fact that Frank Cho apparently needs ten hours to draw each female butt cheek and get it just right, the current arc in Mighty Avengers would be long over and we would be getting ready for the symbiote invasion. That’s not stopping New Avengers, where the underdog superheroes have already been possessed by the liquid nightmares. Not too much of the story is revealed yet. We still don’t totally understand what is going on and how all this came to be. Instead, New Avengers focuses more on the Hood hanging back with old Luke Cage villains and a Punisher bad guy Bendis has taken a shining to.

We do know that in the story, we will eventually see what looks like the Carnage symbiote take over Wasp and become giant. Bendis has also spilled the beans long ago that Doctor Doom is behind this for some reason. The first place my mind goes to is the old Spider-Man arcade game from the early 90’s. Not only did that game feature a 40-foot Venom, but the gist of the plot is that Doom was trying to take over the world with an army of symbiotes.

But that’s not what this article is about. This is about the first time New York City was under siege by the toothy, gooey monstrosities. As much as it might pain you to do this, let’s take a trip back to 1995, for the Planet of the Symbiotes.

The story thus far: Venom was in the midst of his anti-hero run, which only I enjoyed, apparently. Though stationed in San Francisco for a while, he relocated to New York City because the crossover potential was stronger. Enter Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider. This clone of Peter Parker heard Venom was in the area and made his superhero debut by defeating him. By removing the symbiote from Eddie Brock with his impact webbing (remember that?), he was able to dominate Venom in a way Spider-Man never could at that point. Eddie and the symbiote stayed separated for quite a while, until getting involved in an adventure with his colorful symbiote children introduced in the Lethal Protector story. Eventually, Eddie and the symbiote became one again.

Here’s the thing that few people realize about Eddie Brock, or at least Eddie Brock in the 90’s. Eddie never really was all that crazy. He was never the picture of perfect mental health, yes, but he wasn’t a raving lunatic. All of that came from the symbiote and being Venom. When the symbiote and its influence were taken away during that period of time, Eddie had time to reflect. He realized all the death he’s caused and how pointless his hatred of Spider-Man was. He didn’t intend to ever wear the costume again and instead just wanted to die. After being forced to don the symbiote again, the subtle control over his actions returned. This time, he’s more aware of it and wants to investigate it.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 19

November 8th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Jesus, we’re actually at the top ten. And some of you haven’t even lost interest yet. I’m proud.

What If: Avengers Disassembled came out the other day. You might be wondering if I would have placed it on this list if it came out several months back. The answer is no. No, I can’t really get behind an issue that tries to retcon a major story into something that makes even less sense. Having written this paragraph, I realize the John Byrne jokes write themselves.

Before I start this, one more call for anyone interested in drawing fake covers for the countdown finale. Come on, you know you want to.


Issue: Volume 2, #30
Writer: Jim Valentino, Ron Marz
Artist: Dale Eaglesham, Rurik Tyler
Spider-Man death: No
Background: In-between having Franklin and Valeria, there was another time Sue was pregnant with Reed’s kid. Unfortunately, there were radiation-related complications due to the team’s recent venture into the Negative Zone. Reed went to Doctor Otto Octavius – supervillain Doc Ock and the biggest expert on radiation – for help. Ock went berserk for a bit and the two had it out on the rooftops of New York City. Reed calmed Ock down and he agreed to help out. Unfortunately, they were half an hour late. Sue had a miscarriage. So let’s say Ock didn’t freak out and made it just in time? We have two stories here on two different sides of the spectrum.

The first story is best described as a horror story. Franklin wakes up from a horrible vision of the future where his father is dead. His parents just think he had a simple nightmare and leave it at that, but Franklin already knows that there’s a monster living inside his mother. Over time, Sue’s pregnancy takes a horrible toll on her. She gets weaker by the day and almost skeletal, soon losing her invisibility powers. When she gives birth to her child, she dies in the process. Reed names the baby Sue in order to deal with the loss of his wife.

As experience has taught us throughout this countdown, this isn’t going to end well at all.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon