A Look Back at Warriors of Plasm #3

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

After going through the first two issues of Warriors of Plasm, I really find the sci-fi concept of Jim Shooter and David Lapham very compelling, intriguing, unique and enjoyable. There’s nothing like witnessing an empire of a race of people living not only within a really organic world but also use living things (even creatures) as a means of technology that does not involve metal, plastic and computers. And then there were people from Earth who survived the trip to the world of Plasm and got enhanced.

Excited? Let’s now take a look a look back at Warriors of Plasm #3 published by Defiant Comics in 1993 with a story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside Plasm where Lorca, Sueraceen and their troops just arrived from planet Earth. Sueraceen expressed to her lover that she found it doubly infuriating that they were trashed by the five survivors (of Earth) who, ironically, were geneti-morphed (enhanced) by him. Lorca replied that he simply experimented on them and never suspected how dangerous they might be. Sueraceen suspects treason behind Lorca’s motives.

Suddenly the five earthlings – Cookie, Rick, Louise, Martin and Elvis – arrived in Plasm flying in an organic craft, completely surprising everyone. Even though they were outnumbered, the five survivors attacked Lorca’s people with the craft and bravely went down to do battle on foot. The military officer Elvis tries to hit Lorca up-close but failed.

As Lorca’s troops continue to get pummeled by the brave earthlings, hundreds of reinforcements from Thoraxolic’s legion arrive. Instead of being encouraged, Sueraceen only gets disturbed given her grudge against Thoraxolic. The reinforcements then gang up on the five survivors…

Quality

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Highly imaginative character designs and environment in the Org of Plasm.

Unsurprisingly, Jim Shooter and David Lapham delivered yet another high-quality comic book and there never was a moment when the storytelling quality went down. Great dialogue, strong plot twists, in-depth characterization, spectacle and a strong sense of discovery…it’s all here!

What I like best in this comic book is the further and deep exploration of the organic world of Plasm which was done through the eyes of the five earthlings who have gotten more daring in taking on Lorca and his troops (who in issue #2 visited the Earth for a while). Let me confirm that the deeper the earthlings get into the Org of Plasm, the weirder and the more imaginative the place gets for us readers to see!

Speaking of characters, Jim Shooter’s approach on developing the five earthlings into braver, more capable people was nicely executed. By this time, Cookie, Rick, Louise, Martin and Elvis now have a more inspired, superhero team-style bond together. They are now worth caring for. Not to be outdone is the continuing intrigue on the side of Lorca.

Conclusion

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Look closely.

Warriors of Plasm #3 is, unsurprisingly, another excellent comic book to read and have as part of your personal comic book collection.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Warriors of Plasm #3, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4. The near-mint copy of the comic book signed by Jim Shooter is worth $7.

Overall, Warriors of Plasm #3 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Warriors of Plasm #2

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Shortly after the release of Warriors of Plasm #1 way back in 1993, I realized that I was not the only reader who really enjoyed the sci-fi epic opener of Jim Shooter and David Lapham. There were a few fellow comic book collectors I personally knew who bought the said comic book on their own and came back with rave reactions to it.

Back in those days, finding a copy of Warriors of Plasm #1 was a challenge since there were some local comic book specialty stores that did not have copies of it and other Defiant Comics titles for some reason.

Given how the story turned out, Warriors of Plasm #1 left me anticipating for more. As such, we can proceed with a nice look back at Warriors of Plasm #2, published by Defiant Comics in 1993 with a story by Shooter and visuals by Lapham (with ink work by Mike Witherby).

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins on planet Earth. The five earthlings (who were abducted by inquisitor Lorca and became the lone survivors among the many other people of Earth who died in Plasm) found themselves back on their world, specifically just outside a factory. The survivors are Cookie, Rick, Louise, Martin and Elvis. By this time, they are getting used with new abilities and skills (apart from the organic suits they are wearing) they gained from Plasm.

Feeling disoriented from the whole experience of Plasm and the unexpected way of traveling back home, the survivors struggle with deciding where to go and what to do next. Elvis, a lieutenant, insisted they should to the nearest fort believing that their situation is a military matter. Louise stated they should fine a police officer as she considered their situation to be a case of kidnapping.

Meanwhile back in the org of Plasm, a lord named Thoraxolic arrives. Lorca and his team are struggling to get rid of the evidence of his failed genetic gamble with the ten thousand Earthlings (and their corpses) that he had transported into Plasm. He tells his lust mate Sueraceen that the people from Earth were rather fragile and that only five survived.

Their private time together gets interrupted when Thoraxolic communicates with them via an organic monitor. Afterwards, Lorca and Sueraceen leave their chamber to meet with Thoraxolic who brought with her an assembled task force. There is tension between Sueraceen and Thoraxolic.

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Lorca and Sueraceen talk while their crew cleans up the remains.
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The meeting with Thoraxolic.

Quality

How is this comic book? I am happy to say that Warriors of Plasm #2 is a very solid follow-up to the previous issue. While issue #1 was all about discovering Plasm, its people and organic technology, this comic book explores more about the Plasm’s hierarchy while fleshing out the five Earth survivors who must deal with the new reality they face while they are back home.

Jim Shooter’s plotting is excellent and I really like the way this comic book followed the parallel events on Earth and Plasm. Shooter even added some realism into the story, especially when the survivors (who are still wearing the organic suits they got in Plasm) explain themselves to the police at the station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Unsurprisingly, the dialogue written is deep. Checkout the exchange below between Lorca and Sueraceen.

Lorca: Centurion, our first objective is to find and slaughter the five experimental subjects who escaped from my centrum.

Sueraceen: No. Capture them, centurion. I want them alive.

Lorca: But Sue, they could be dangerous. I’ve learned all I can from them. I’m finished with them!

Sueraceen: I’m not…especially if they’re dangerous. I want to see these “experiments.” Besides, you’re up to something that you’re not telling me about. I intend to learn the nature of your treachery, lust-mate…and against whom it’s truly intended. Intrigue…tweaks me.

More on the writing, Shooter really took his time to develop the characters and found the right situations to unveil the survivor’s respective special abilities. This is really nice because it shows there was careful planning on structuring the plot of this comic book.

Along the way, David Lapham provided really nice artwork that brought Shooter’s vision to life. While this comic book looks less grand because it has scenes set in America and lesser scenes of Plasm, Lapham pounded on the spectacle. The actions scenes are quite striking to look at and at times, I felt like I watching an R-rated sci-fi action film. When it comes to visualizing the organic figures or technologies of Plasm, Lapham continued to excel.

Conclusion

Warriors of Plasm #2 is a great comic book! Jim Shooter and his creative team successfully pulled off an excellent follow-up to the excellent first issue. After reading this comic book, I felt more engaged just as I got to learn more about the characters – especially the five survivors – and at the same time, I enjoyed the narrative’s shift to planet Earth. The spectacle that took place in the late stage of the story was a nice pay-off to the build-up and characterization that preceded it. Even though there are few scenes set in Plasm, this one still has a nice sense of discovery for readers to enjoy.

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The five survivors back on Earth.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Warriors of Plasm #2, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4. The near-mint copy with the five signatures costs $26 while the near-mint copy of the comic book signed by Jim Shooter is priced at $7.

Overall, Warriors of Plasm #2 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Warriors of Plasm #1

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

It’s truly amazing to see how a grand vision imagined by a veteran comic book creator gets realized into published form with the help of a creative team whose members listened very closely to him. Such a thing happened with Warriors of Plasm #1, published in 1993 by Defiant Comics with a story written by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham (with ink work by Michael Witherby).

Before starting this retro comic book review, let’s take a short look back at the history of Jim Shooter whose tenure as Marvel’s editor-in-chief include such epics like Secret Wars and Secret Wars II. After getting fired by Marvel in 1987, Shooter and his team of business associates tried and failed to acquire Marvel. Not settling for failure, they went on to establish Valiant Comics which made its presence felt in the superhero comic book market. After being ousted by Valiant, Shooter and some others established Defiant Comics.

That being said, here is my review of Warriors of Plasm #1.

Cover
The cover drawn by Lapham.

Early story

The story begins in the middle of a huge battle. Inside a living, organic ship (a flying creature precisely), acquisitor Lorca leads his force of invaders gradually defeating a resistance force. On the ground, a huge portion of the home city of the resistance has crumbled and Lorca’s fellow soldiers there have gained control of the war zone.

Lorca’s ship moves close to the ground to pick up high gore lord Sueraceen. As it turns out, Lorca and Sueraceen are lovers (the lady referred to him as her lust-mate) and their reunion is nothing less than sensual and expressive. As they talked, the biomass (referring to the inhabitants of the defeated city) will be incorporated genetically and organically into their world, and live again as part of their ecosystem.

After sending Sueraceen back on the ground to resume her duty of leading the troops, Lorca and his crew flew back to space to enter the Org of Plasm, an organic, fleshy space station complete with resources, inhabitants and an actual city inside.

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Admirers, followers and idolaters tried so hard to get Lorca’s attention.

Given his prominence, Lorca is highly respected, even idolized, by his fellow people.  One particular idolater even genetically reshaped his face to look like Lorca. Alone in a private chamber, Lorca is capable of cloning which is illegal. More intriguing, however, is that he has been developing a top-secret project with an intention to overwhelm the rulers of the org.

He begins his project with the holo-orb which is focused on planet Earth. As it turns out, organic beings from Lorca’s world are already present on Earth, spying on ten thousand people. Suddenly, the ten thousand got touched by the organic beings which instantly sent them back to the Org of Plasm.

Quality

Warriors of Plasm #1 is not just a high-quality comic book. It is also a great showcase of the talents of Jim Shooter, David Lapham and others molded together to form a true, sci-fi epic that remains very unique to read to this day.

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Very intriguing art and visual designs by Lapham.

When it comes to storytelling, structuring and character development, the former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief scored great points which is not surprising given his tremendous experience in comic books. With great art by Lapham, this comic book opened with literally strong arms that pulled me into an all-new, sci-fi universe that is like no other. Within the first few pages, I felt deeply immersed into discovering the universe and quickly realized Lorca’s role, what his side was doing and more. The script and arrangement of panels for the art were executed with high efficiency. Really, I never felt lost reading this comic book.

As I kept reading further, I discovered more about the culture of Lorca’s people, how they operate and traveled efficiently with organic materials and living beings that served their needs without the use of technology (no metals, no computers, no fossil fuel and no digital stuff). This comic book shows how deep and engaging Jim Shooter’s imagination really is and illustrator David Lapham lived up to the difficult task of realizing the visual concepts.

And then there is the dialogue which is really deep and engaging to read. Lorca, Sueraceen and the many other supporting characters involving the org and the surviving few from planet Earth each have unique personalities. Clearly Shooter planned each character with a purpose. What is even more intriguing in this comic book is that the line between good and evil was cleverly blurred.

The art by David Lapham, whose past credits include Magnus Robot Fighter, Harbinger and Shadowman for Valiant Comics, really outdid himself. The characters are really well defined visually but what really stood out was his work on the Plasm world and the functioning organic environment. Of the many works of the illustrator, Warriors of Plasm is his most memorable work.

Conclusion

While it is true that Defiant Comics no longer exists and Warriors of Plasm’s full potential as an entertainment franchise was never realized, this particular comic book is, in my honest opinion, still one of the best new comic books ever launched in 1993. Its epic science fiction concept opened very strongly and remained very engaging right until the very last page. I can assure you that by the time you reach the end of Warriors of Plasm #1, you will want to go out and search for the next issue.

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On the battle zone is gore lord Sueraceen leading the troops.

If you are thinking about acquiring an existing copy of Warriors of Plasm #1, please take note that as of this writing and based on the latest rates at MileHighComics.com, a near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4, $26 for the near-mint copy of the edition with five signatures, $7 for the Jim Shooter-signed edition, and $30 for the signed-and-numbered edition.

This comic book is a 1990s classic. As such, Warriors of Plasm #1 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At Bloodshot #1 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

You must have heard about the live-action Bloodshot movie (starring Vin Diesel) that failed to make big bucks at the box office. Then you must have learned about Valiant Comics.

To understand Bloodshot before reviewing the early-1990s comic book Bloodshot #1, here’s a look at the history of Valiant Comics.

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The cover with chromium and Bloodshot drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.

In the late 1980s, a team composed of former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief, former Allman Brothers Band manager Steve Massarsky and some investors failed in their bid to acquire Marvel Enterprises. Instead of letting their failure stop them, they went on to establish Voyager Communications with the backing of Triumph Capital. Voyager then created the imprint Valiant Comics which went on to launch its first titles in 1991 with Magnus, Robot Fighter (which started in the 1960s in comics published by Gold Key) and Solar, Man of the Atom (also started in the 1960s through Gold Key comics).

Subsequently Valiant’s first original superhero Rai was introduced followed by other original properties like Harbinger and Eternal Warrior. It was within the pages of Eternal Warrior #4 Bloodshot made his first appearance followed by a first full appearance in Rai #0.

Then in November 1992, the same month DC Comics released Superman #75 (The Death of Superman, Valiant released Bloodshot #1 with a cover price of $3.50 (cover dated February 1993) and a very eye-catching chromium cover of Bloodshot drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.

Now that the history lesson is done, we can finally explore Bloodshot #1 (written by Ken VanHook and drawn by Don Perlin) in this retro comic book review.

Early Story

The story begins at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. Immediately after a man and a woman (both wearing coats and hats) performed an exchange with a briefcase, two other men (also wearing coats) reacted to them but Bloodshot jumps into the action firing his gun, taking a shot to his arm and grabbing the briefcase. Bloodshot escapes from the airport.

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Adulterated action!

Behind the scenes, an old man meets with Thompson and Otomo informing them that Bloodshot was an experiment of theirs under Project Rising Spirit. The project was disrupted when a young blonde male got to Bloodshot and adjusted one of the devices. The young guy was caught by one of the operators until Bloodshot (still bald and naked) got up, attacked the personnel (freeing the young guy), gathered data from their computers and escape.

The old man noticed Bloodshot’s rampage at Heathrow Airport and was able to identify him. He issues orders to Thompson and Otomo.

“I want him returned—I do not care the condition,” he said.

Quality

Looking beyond the eye-catching chromium cover, Bloodshot #1 from the early 1990s is actually engaging and intriguing to read. While it is a superhero comic book, it sure has a dark and gritty tone as well as being noticeably grounded with reality.

With the spectacle, the action is violent and somewhat bloody. It may look tame by today’s standards but back in the 1990s, this was exceptional and it really aimed towards older comic book readers. To put things in perspective, comparing this comic book with the typical Marvel or DC Comics superhero comic book is like comparing an R-rated action film to a PG-13 action or adventure film. Don Perlin’s artwork has a nice flow when it comes to the action and the dialogue scenes.

The writing by Kevin VanHook is good even by today’s standards. I like the way he handled expository dialogue in the first half of the comic book and from that point on, the spotlight was on Bloodshot and his exploits.

There are some weak spots in this comic book. There really was no room for real character development with Bloodshot. The comic book eerily reflected the hero’s approach to doing things: no slowing down, time to take action from here.  That’s not to say it is a brainless read but rather the plotting is decent and relied on the spectacle to make up for the absence of character development. That being said, Bloodshot as a hero who was a victim under his handlers, is hard to like. Based on this comic book alone, he is a rampaging killer looking as evil as the bad guys. It does not help that he is very unstoppable (because of nanites in his blood system which worked to enhance and heal him) and, at least in this comic book, there’s no real sense of danger for him.

When it comes to supporting characters like Sinclair and Malcolm, I can’t help but keep remembering Commissioner Gordon and butler Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman comics.

Conclusion

While it has some flaws in its presentation, Bloodshot #1 is still good and fun to read. On face value, Bloodshot looks like a typical macho action hero with guns but he actually has an interesting personality even though character development was badly lacking in this particular comic book. I also enjoyed the creator’s approach on emphasizing realism by using gangs and secret sinister organizations (which conduct unethical scientific experiments on people) on the background showing that Bloodshot himself is small player in a dangerous game of secret operations.

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As a standalone story, Bloodshot #1 has more than enough good stuff to make up for its flaws and it is worth reading by today’s standards. This is the true value of the comic book that its flashy chromium cover does not reflect. In other words, this comic book is more than just a gimmick.

If you are a collector, be aware that as of this writing, Bloodshot #1 is worth over $40 for a near-mint copy according to Mile High Comics.

Overall, Bloodshot #1 (1993) is recommended. As a piece of amusement, the comic book is so much better than the Vin Diesel Bloodshot movie. That say’s a lot!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I love reading a crossover comic book that was made by very talented creators to be a whole lot of fun from start to finish. Back in the early 1980s, rivals Marvel Comics and DC Comics collaborated temporarily with inter-company crossover comic books that were made to be entertaining to fans of their respective properties.

What I’m going to review here is the 3rd superhero crossover comic book between Marvel and DC titled Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk.

Cover
The cover.

Background

Before I start, let me clarify that this particular comic book was specifically published as issue number 27 of the DC Special Series which was a series of one-shot comic books. By comparison, the 1981 crossover comic book Superman and Spider-Man (which I reviewed previously) was published under the Marvel Treasury Edition line of Marvel Comics as issue number 28.

Going back to Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk, the comic book was the final issue of the DC Special Series line and it carried a cover price of $2.50 which was quite high for its time.

The people at DC Comics made sure that the crossover was handled by the best talents they had back then. The late Len Wein (best know for creating Wolverine) was assigned to write the script (and ensure that elements from both the Hulk and Batman would mix nicely) while José Luis García-López was hired to illustrate. Dick Giordano was the embellisher and editor while Allen Milgrom and then Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter were the consulting editors. In return for their assistance, Marv Wolfman and Mike DeCarlo were acknowledged with thanks.

Now we can begin with this retro review of Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk.

The early story

The story begins when a few persons in Gotham City witness their dreams turning real beyond logic. A man dreamed he was in the arctic hunting and wakes up to discover his room was filled with snow. In a cinema where a horror movie was shown, a couple kissing each other discover, to their shock, that monsters of different sizes surrounded them out of thin air.

At the waterfront of the city, the Joker (accompanied by his gang members) talks to an unseen being (Shaper of Worlds). He gives his assurance to the being that he and his gang will acquire a specific item (needed by the being). For the Joker, what was discussed was a simple business arrangement.

A short time later inside a high-tech facility of Wayne Research, Bruce Banner (the Hulk) secretly works under the false identity as David Banks. He works along with the scientists but not on the scientific projects. Rather, he works odd tasks such as lifting hardware and putting them into places that need them. Of course, Banner did not get hired for a salary but for something much essential to him and his condition with Gamma Rays.

“I had to get a job here somehow so I could get close to the experimental Gamma-gun they’re working on,” he thought to himself.

Suddenly the facility gets filled with laughing gas incapacitating all the people inside. Banner fortunately manages to wear a radiation suit for protection. Moments later, the Joker and his gang enter searching for the Gamma-gun. From this point on, Banner decides to act.

Quality

When it comes to the selection of characters from Marvel and DC, having the mismatch of Batman and the Hulk was a very splendid idea. Not only was having the large green brute and the world’s greatest detective together as temporary rivals a fascinating concept, having them work together as a duo turned out to be a really great move. When it comes to the selected villains of the Joker and the Shaper of Worlds as the anti-hero figures of the story, the two looked like an odd pair but if you focus on the details of the story, you will realize that it made a lot of sense having them two together. The Shaper needs something which requires him to depend on the Joker who in turn brings his gang with him to cause chaos to acquire what the alien needs

All of the above details would not have worked had it not been for the excellent writing by Len Wein. Clearly Wein knew a whole lot about the defining elements of the Hulk and Batman (and the same with the Joker and Shaper), and he carefully blended those elements together to make a story that is thrilling, intriguing, engaging and at the same time still made sense. More on crossing over, there are other characters connected to Batman and the Hulk that made appearances and a few of them fit in nicely into the story.

As this was released in 1981, it was typical of the time for writers to use thought balloons to help readers understand what the characters were thinking. The use of thought balloons in this comic book truly defined Batman who not only had to fight the bad guys but also manage his way with the Hulk and do a lot of detective work.

Going back to the Hulk and Batman, this comic book has a lot of fun stuff. More than once did the two superheroes engage in action-packed encounters and their exchange of words was very nicely done. Their match-up (or mismatch) really works.

Prev1
A perfectly crafted action scene between the Hulk and Batman, complete with accurate depictions of each character! 

When it comes to the common complaint by some readers out there that the comic book was more of a Batman story and made the Hulk less prominent, I should say that the slight imbalance is not a problem at all. In fact, for me it makes perfect sense that Batman has more spotlight than the Hulk. Why? Because Batman is a detective and he performed a lot of researching, information gathering and other moves to solve problems. His detective work in the story made perfect sense for the narrative. As for the Hulk, his character really has very limited options other than causing destruction and disturbing the public. Since early on, the Hulk was best known for attracting the attention of the American military (led by General Ross) and huge destruction defined the encounters. For this crossover, the creators did not show the Hulk engaging with the military (save for the phonies) but rather he struggled to figure things out whenever he encountered Batman or the Joker. There is no way the Hulk could do detective work like Batman and having him fight the military would have weakened this comic book’s presentation. Clearly, having the story slightly slanted towards Batman is still the right move.

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Very highly imaginative and dynamic artwork by José Luis García-López.

The artwork done by José Luis García-López is excellent! He really captured the looks and details of each and every character Marvel and DC that appeared in this comic book. Back in the early 1980s, I got to read several comic books that showed Batman, the Hulk, the Joker and others and the way they appeared in this comic book was indeed accurate of the time. José Luis García-López also knew how to balance spectacle with character development and expository dialogue in terms of visual pacing and framing shots. Also his work becomes even more imaginative during the final conflict. Undoubtedly this is still a great looking comic book!

Conclusion

Overall, Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk is a great comic book and easily it is one of the greatest intercompany superhero crossover comic books ever published! From start to finish, this comic book proved to be highly engaging and there never was a single boring moment. The creators led by Len Wein (he is sorely missed) made the best possible story anyone can make involving Batman and the Hulk.

You can read a hard copy of this comic book by getting Volume 1 of Crossover Classics or, if you can afford to, hunt for a copy of this in its DC Special Series form which now sells for $280 for a very fine copy to as much as $400 for a near mint copy as of this writing according to MileHighComics.com

In ending this, I declare that Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

A Look Back At Superman and Spider-Man

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I miss the old times when big rivals Marvel and DC Comics would set aside competition temporarily to team up and rely on their respective comic creators to make superhero crossover comic books that the fans can enjoy.

Back in the 1970s, key developments related to the comic book adaptation of The Wizard of Oz brought the two rivals together as partners. In 1976, Marvel and DC’s first superhero crossover Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man got published and to this day many comic book collectors and geeks I encountered still enjoy it. A few of them even called it a classic.

The collaboration between Marvel and DC continued in 1981 with Superman and Spider-Man which was published as issue number 28 of the Marvel Treasury Edition series.

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The cover.

This is my look back at Superman and Spider-Man.

The comic book

Scripted by then Marvel Comic editor-in-chief Jim Shooter (with Marv Wolfman mentioned for plot suggestions) with art drawn by John Buscema and inkwork done by Terry Austin, Al Milgrom, Steva Leialoha, Walt Simonson, Bob Layton, Joe Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek, the comic book begins when Spider-Man swings into a construction site where he encounters several armed men and stops them singlehandedly.

Even though he stopped the bad guys, Spider-Man’s spider sense bothers him making him speculate that, because there’s no clear danger around him, the construction site seemed to be a threat.

After Spider-Man swings away from the police who just arrived, classic Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom watches via surveillance video and he was bother by the way things turned out.

“I did not like the way Spider-Man paused and look around after subduing the thieves – – as if he sensed something unusual about the excavation! Those accursed spider instincts of his,” Doom said before proceeding with his master plan.

A day later, the Hulk arrives in Metropolis causing lots of damage. Separately Superman and Spider-Man arrive to contain the green guy. However, things are not what they seem. This is where the story description ends.

Quality

What this comic book lacked compared to the 1976 Superman-Spider-Man crossover is visual impact. Clearly John Buscema had to follow closely the script which called for multiple panels per page and that left him little room to draw scenes dynamically. That’s not to see the art is weak. In fact, Buscema’s art is pretty good and he has deep knowledge about how the characters (including those many supporting characters and other minor characters from both Marvel and DC Comics) really looked from the size of Hulk’s body, the details on Wonder Woman’s costume, the distinctive look of J. Jonah Jameson, Perry White, etc. In short, I recognized the characters very easily.

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This remains fun to read.
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Peter Parker in Metropolis along with the Superman supporting characters. This is one great element that made this comic book worth reading.

While the high number of panels per page limited him, Buscema managed to come up with some action shots that packed some impact.

When it comes to writing and storytelling, this comic book exceeds that of the 1976 Superman-Spider-Man crossover big time! To start with, the plot is much more elaborate, more detailed and yet consistently remained easy to follow.

While the 1976 crossover had the most popular villains of Superman and Spider-Man as the representation of evil, this one instead had Dr. Doom and Parasite. The great news is that these two super villains complement each other nicely and that itself adds good depth into the plot. Dr. Doom is a major schemer and Parasite fitted nicely within his master plan for global chaos.

Regarding dialogue, the script had a lot of strength and was also specific in capturing the personalities of the superheroes, the super villains and the supporting cast. I can easily identify J. Jonah Jameson, Perry White, Lois Lane and others through the dialogue.

Not to be outdone is the deeper approach to the crossover aspect of the story. Right from the start, the comic book creators expected us readers to suspend disbelief and start believing that while the story is non-canon, the respective universes of Marvel and DC Comics co-existed. Because there were TV shows of Wonder Woman and the Hulk playing, the two characters were included in the comic book adding depth to the crossover.

Speaking of crossovers, this comic book was not limited to Superman and Spider-Man. The encounter between the Hulk and Superman was a short but sweet spectacle to read. The encounter between Wonder Woman and Spider-Man meanwhile was short yet fun.

Adding more to the fun in this comic book was how Clark Kent interacted with the Spider-Man supporting characters while Peter Parker interacted with the Superman supporting characters. I enjoyed every moment of these scenes.

As far as narrative is concerned, this comic book is slightly slanted towards Superman. One factor behind this was the implementation of how local authorities interact with Superman and Spider-Man. Whenever he solves crime, Superman is highly respected by the public and the police. This is not the case with Spider-Man who is often perceived to be a social menace even though he helps solve crimes. Another factor was that Superman did more detective-type work (including a visit to Latveria) while Spidey hardly contributed anything to the plot’s development.

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Nothing can be more frustrating than getting attacked by police officers when you try to help them solve their problems.

Regardless, the two icons got a fair share of the spotlight during the final stages of the story and there was enough spectacle to enjoy.

If there is any complaint I have, it would be the comic book creators’ reluctance on fully connecting itself to the 1976 crossover. In the scene wherein Peter Parker was guided into the film editing room by Jimmy Olsen, he recognized Lois Lane and remembered meeting her in the 1976 crossover (which ended with socializing). And yet when Spider-Man and Superman get together in this comic book, there was a noticeable lack of friendliness and personal cooperation between them even though they bonded nicely in the 1976 story.

Conclusion

Overall, Superman and Spider-Man is indeed a highly engaging, fun-filled superhero crossover comic book. For me, it is a true literary classic and definitely worth searching for out there. I read this crossover many times from start to finish and even though I knew the plot and the dialogue, I still had a lot of fun reading along the way. With the combined talents of Shooter, Buscema and many others, this superhero crossover was indeed one of the very best stories ever told by Marvel and DC Comics.

Given the current corporate climate Marvel and DC Comics are now in, it is very unlikely we will see another creatively fun superhero crossover collaboration between them happening soon. For the newcomers reading this, Marvel is owned by the Walt Disney Company while DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros.

Whether you search for the original comic book or its inclusion in a volume of The Marvel/DC Collection: Crossover Classics Volume 1, Superman and Spider-Man is highly recommended!


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A Look Back at Fantastic Four #275

Back in the mid-1980s, the Marvel Comics universe had revisions as a result of the best-selling series Secret Wars. As a result of that series, Spider-Man went home with the alien costume or symbiote (read: Venom), Colossus’ feelings for Kitty Pryde weakened and the Thing decided not to go home yet with the Fantastic Four.

This resulted a temporary change in the lineup of the Fantastic Four. To make up for the loss (and strength) of the Thing, She-Hulk came in as the replacement. Reflecting this particular change, here is my retro review of Fantastic Four #275.

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The cover.

Released in 1985 with a story written and drawn by the legendary John Byrne, Fantastic Four #275 begins when a sun-bathing She-Hulk got photographed by a man riding a helicopter flying at the top of the Baxter Building in New York. The sheer force of air from the helicopter’s blades temporarily causes She-Hulk’s cover to loosen which exposes her body to the photographer.

“Here I was all braced for a super-baddie, and I end up getting photographed deshabillee by an airborne peeping-tom,” She-Hulk said during the encounter.

The green-skinned lady then decides to take a huge risk by leaping off the building and grab on to the helicopter.

While this is indeed a Fantastic Four comic book, it is very focused on She-Hulk. There is a short scene about Johnny Storm as well as an epilogue at the end of the comic book showing Reed and Sue Richards however.

In terms of storytelling, John Byrne did not tell the usual good-versus-evil story rather he focused more on how being a superhero can be challenging when it comes to personal privacy. This was emphasized through She-Hulk who became the object of a magazine whose editor-in-chief views her as a public figure and that puts her in the public domain along with other famous public figures whose faces and even their private lives got exposed to the masses.

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From page 11.

If you are looking for superhero action, you won’t find much. There are some incidental forms of action in the form of collateral damage as She-Hulk crashes through walls.

Overall, Fantastic Four #275 is a fun read and its focus on how the print media treats superheroes viewed as public figures is a nice break from the typical good-versus-evil type of story. No clear villain here. Just the She-Hulk dealing with a magazine that violated her privacy.

Fantastic Four #275 is recommended.