A Look Back at X-Men #33 (1994)

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.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, X-Men fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men monthly series of the 1990s and look back into the past between Sabretooth and X-Men member Gambit which was hinted in X-Men #28 (1994). Within the context of that comic book I previously reviewed, Sabretooth was already living in a contained manner in the mansion of Professor X who views him as a patient who could be rehabilitated even though he has an established record of murder and damage. At that particular time, Gambit and Rogue were in a relationship but certain things from the Cajun’s past could negatively affect them both.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men #33, published by Marvel Comics in 1994 with a story written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Andy Kubert.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the past with a much younger Gambit (wearing a dark coat and holding a rod) traversing through the city of Paris in France. As he moves, Gambit spots a pretty lady in distress in the presence of a huge man with an unusual look. He kicks the man out of the way and tells him to back off. It turns out, the man was none other than Sabretooth (in his more classic comic book look) who responds saying that Gambit won’t score any points with the lady he just saved if he were dead and buried.

Gambit sticks close with the lady and says some words back to Sabretooth. He flashes a card and charges it, revealing his mutant power to the beastly man. Sabretooth leaves promising he will be back.

In the present day, it turns out the restrained Sabretooth has been recalling the past and sharing the details to Rogue standing some feet away from him inside the mansion. Using a highly advanced devise, images of Gambit and the lady from the past are displayed in the form of holograms right in the view of Rogue. She tells him to keep telling her more about what happened in Paris…

Quality

Andy Kubert’s own take on Sabretooth and his classic look remains impressive.

This comic book has a very rich script by Fabian Nicieza who smoothly transitions from the past to the present while succeeding in telling a very cohesive story. Without spoiling the plot, I can say that by reading this comic book as well as the earlier issues, you will question the state of the relationship of Gambit and Rogue, and you will also reflect about Sabretooth’s purpose in X-Men lore.

The tale from Gambit’s past was beautifully told and it really gave me a new look into the personality and mindset of the character. Long before he joined the X-Men, Gambit was an impulsive and cocky guy who became a member of a guild of thieves through adoption (meaning he has yet to earn his place). This version of the Cajun was undisciplined and did not take life seriously. Young Gambit also had a thing with ladies and he showed no signs of cleverly betraying a woman in favor of materialism.

Believe it or not, the most interesting character here is actually Sabretooth who appears in both the past and the present. The way he was portrayed here, young Sabretooth was cunning and knew how to be strategic and paced himself even though he had key physical advantages to overwhelm young Gambit. Sabretooth in the present day is more mature and more articulate, especially during his storytelling and interactions with Rogue. The way Sabretooth’s dialogue was structured in telling about the past was very engaging and you can see he clearly understood what happened between him and Gambit.

While the story is great, the art done by Andy Kubert is very good. However, I believe it was a missed opportunity for Kubert to redesign Gambit from the past because the famous X-Men member does not look any different from the other version. In the scenes about the past, Gambit does NOT look like a 17-year-old at all and his hair style and length are just the same! As for drawing the younger version of Sabretooth, Kubert made him more menacing and more detailed while sticking close to his original comic book look.

Conclusion

The 17-year-old Gambit with the pretty lady in France.

X-Men #33 (1994) is one of the most intriguing X-Men stories I read that took place after the Fatal Attractions storyline and the wedding of Jean Grey and Cyclops. In fact, it is also the most memorable X-Men comic book I ever read in 1994 all thanks to the great work by Fabian Nicieza whose script was finely visualized by Andy Kubert. This is one very engaging read and by the time I finished it, I really felt the impact it had on Gambit and Rogue’s relationship. More notably, it made rethink about Gambit and his place with the X-Men.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men #33 (1994) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $90.

Overall, X-Men #33 (1994) 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at X-Men #29 (1994)

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.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, X-Men fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men monthly series of the 1990s and look back at what happened after the ending of X-Men #28 (1994). For those who missed out on my previous X-Men retro review, issue #28 showed the X-Men being disturbed by the presence of Sabretooth living as a prisoner/patient in the mansion under the authority of Charles Xavier. Along the way, the wedding of Jean Grey and Cyclops is nearing.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men #29, published by Marvel Comics in 1994 with a story written by the Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Andy Kubert.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside the danger room wherein Psylocke and Sabretooth (wearing cybernetic restraints on his arms as well as a mask) engage in a sparring session while being monitored by Professor X, Warren Worthington/Archangel and Hank McCoy/Beast. Warren expresses concern about the session and Xavier replies by saying that they could not have Sabretooth develop the control he needs over his violent tendencies by having him contained in a cell every day.

After some struggle, Psylocke gains the upper hand and tells Sabretooth that she sparred without using her mutant abilities (solely out of deference to his reduced capabilities caused by the restraints) and insisted she still fought to win.

After the danger room session, Warren leaves and thinks a lot as he takes time out to watch Cyclops and Jean Grey leading the wedding preparations outdoors. Jubilee passes by with lots of mail, hands over to Warren an unusual looking envelope, then leaves. As he opens the envelope, Psylocke arrives hearing Warren talking to himself as he reads the letter. It turns out to be an invitation from the Hellfire Club…

Quality

Expository dialogue and details laid down to help readers understand the Hellfire Club.

To put things in perspective, the Hellfire Club within the Marvel Comics universe is a fictional high-class society which became a formidable force of opposition for the X-Men. Their debut during the Dark Phoenix Saga is very memorable and since that time, varied comic books – specifically X-Men comics – revisited the club from time to time.

Within the pages of this particular comic book, the Hellfire Club itself went through some changes in terms of membership and organizational structure kind of similar to the X-Men themselves. In this case, the son of Sebastian Shaw – Shinobi – gains tremendous power and even went as far as revealing to Warren/Archangel his ambitious plan to re-establish the Inner Circle and have the mentioned X-Men member (one of the pioneering students of Charles Xavier) part of it as the White King.

A key element in this story is self-pity which Archangel and Shinobi Shaw both share. For these two, there are key parts of their past that are so hurtful they respectively question their existence and purpose. Quite symbolically, Archangel and Shinobi both have fathers involved with the Hellfire Club and Psylocke herself was familiar with the club’s presence in London. More on Archangel himself, his self-pity really puts him in a very awkward place among the X-Men, especially at a time when he is supposed to be happy for his long-time teammates Jean Grey and Cyclops about to get married.

In a way, X-Men #29 was an inspired attempt to reconnect the past with the contemporary times with the Hellfire Club as the enduring factor. In my opinion, Fabian Nicieza’s work here is solid.

Conclusion

Easily the best-looking images in the comic book. Andy Kubert really rocked with this!

X-Men #29 (1994) is symbolically a quick and yet inspired way of updating readers about the state of the Hellfire Club and hint what potential conflicts they could have with the X-Men of the 1990s. Psylocke and Archangel are the most prominent X-Men members to follow here and they both have past connections with the Hellfire Club which itself is changing as Shinobi Shaw gained power. Its story is pretty intriguing and there is a descent amount of spectacle to be enjoyed. The selling point here is the story concept itself backed with solid writing by Nicieza who seem to have researched the Hellfire Club carefully. Given the legacy behind the X-Men and the fictional club, this comic book will appeal more to long-time fans of the X-Men. Reading this as a first-time discovery of the club will surely challenge newcomers.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men #29 (1994) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $90.

Overall, X-Men #29 (1994) is 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at What If #20 (1990)

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.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Marvel Comics! Before starting this newest retro comic book review, I should state that I really like Marvel’s way of exploring the unexplored scenarios related to the stories they published. Back in the 1980s, Marvel made its decision to have their icon Spider-Man – in his civilian form as Peter Parker – get married with Mary Jane Watson. Unsurprisingly, such an event added a whole lot of new elements into the life of the literary Spider-Man with regards to his struggle on balancing his life between superhero acts, domestic living and being attentive to his wife. If you really want to read about the wedding, I suggest searching for a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (1987).

Imagine what would have happened had Spider-Man not married Mary Jane? That very scenario was explored in an issue of the What If monthly series (Volume 2) back in the early 1990s. We can find out more together in this look back at What If #20, published by Marvel Comics in 1990 with a story written by Danny Fingeroth and drawn by Jim Valentino.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the Watcher narrating key events in the life of Spider-Man. It is recalled how much pain Spider-Man endured when his beloved Gwen Stacy died during his conflict with the Green Goblin. Subsequently Peter Parker resumed his relationship with Mary Jane. When Mary Jane became absent, he got involved with Felicia Hardy/Black Cat who turned out to be too wild and reckless for him. Eventually, Peter married Mary Jane.

By pointing out that there are other realities, the Watcher then begins to explore another scenario in which Spider-Man realizes is far from being all right with him. During the wedding ceremony, Peter turns down Mary Jane which shocks the guests who were present. He tells her privately that even though he loves her, she will be in danger all the time as a wife. She walks away from him, still wearing her wedding dress.

Some hours later, Spider-Man swings around New York and strikes the criminals really hard…

Quality

Spider-Man and Black Cat take on Venom!

To be clear, this comic book shows a Spider-Man who not only rejected marriage, but is also a tortured soul whose inner pain started even before the failed wedding ceremony. Silver Sable, who is often focused on missions, notices Spider-Man being too angry and careless with his performance with them taking on the bad guys. The old and frail Aunt May is deeply worried over Peter and hopes he would not harden his heart to the possibility of loving someone.

The thing about this story is that the writing done by Danny Fingeroth is pretty good as he captured Spider-Man’s essence while successfully steering him pretty close to the edge, almost blurring the boundary the separates the good and evil in him. The story moved with a nice pace and there is a good amount of suspense that will keep you wondering if Spider-Man can climb out of the deep hole of darkness he’s in.

More on the plot, I also enjoyed this comic book’s connection with Kraven’s Last Hunt and the early encounter with Venom. If there is any weak point with this story, it is the fact that it served as build-up of something set to happen in the next issue.

When it comes to the art, Jim Valentino did a good job bringing the script to life and that includes framing the character development scenes and the spectacle scenes in interesting ways. I personally enjoyed his take on Venom and Kraven.

Conclusion

Without Mary Jane as a wife, Spider-Man went on to fight the bad guys more intensely.

What If #20 (1990) is indeed a solid, alternate story about Spider-Man. It was gripping right from the start but it lacked a solid conclusion as its last few pages started to build up anticipation for the following issue. In short, this is not a standalone story and to fully enjoy what it started, you have to read What If #21. Still, I love the way Spider-Man is portrayed here and there are some characters involved that long-time fans will enjoy.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of What If #20 (1990), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $53 while the respective near-mint copies of the newsstand edition and the signed edition both cost $105.

Overall, What If #20 (1990) is 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 Spider-Man 2099 #37 (1995)

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.

If you’re looking for a powerful, dramatic tale of Spider-Man 2099 from the 1990s, you will find it right here in this retro review.

Before getting to the review, it is important to remember that Spider-Man 2099 was mainly driven by Peter David, who is one of the best-ever writers in the history of superhero comics in America. Many geeks I know admired his work on other Marvel titles, most notably The Incredible Hulk.

So how did he get involved in Marvel’s 2099 universe that was first launch in 1992? Check out Peter David’s words from an online interview in Doom2099.com:

The Marvel editors approached me, as they did a number of free lancers, and said we’re going to be doing a 2099 line. And we would like you [meaning me and other writers] to submit a proposal on how you would do Spider-Man 2099. We knew he was Spider-Man 2099. We knew he worked for a company called Alchemax. Beyond that there was nothing about him established. So I sat down and I thought, the last thing I want to do is have him be a relative of Peter Parker. Because that’s the obvious thing. So I created someone completely from scratch. I made him of mixed ethnicity, because I felt that by the end of the 21st century mixed ethnicity is going to be more common than it is now. So I made him half-Irish and half-Mexican because I thought that was the most combustible combination I could come up with. And I decided I would zig wherever Stan and Steve zagged when they created Spider-Man. Peter Parker was a white bred WASP. So Miguel O’Hara was a combined ethnicity. Peter was an orphan. Miguel would have a living mother. Peter was alone. I gave Miguel a brother. Peter had no idea how to handle girls and was a teenager. Miguel was in his 20s and had a fiancée. I just made the contrary move all the way. And I submitted my proposal. A week later I get a call from the Marvel editors and they said ‘we love your take on Spider-Man 2099. For starters, it’s the only one that doesn’t start with a relative of Peter Parker.’ And I went ok, that’s interesting. They asked me if I would be interested in writing. I said, sure. And that’s how I became involved in it.

Right from the start of the Spider-Man 2099 series, Peter David and illustrator Rick Leonardi established 2099’s New York City society and went on to develop Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 deeply as well as his relationships with his family and companions, complete with his struggle working for a sinister boss at Alchemax. Things escalated further personally for the futuristic Spider-Man during my last review and we will find out what happens next.

Here is my retro comic book review of Spider-Man 2099 #37, published in 1995 by Marvel Comics with a story by Peter David and art by Andrew Wildman.

Cover
The cover of the regular edition.

Early story

The comic book opens with a quick flashback in the past when Miguel O’Hara, his then girlfriend Xina and his brother Gabe spend time at a club talking about relationships. Eventually Gabe’s date Dana arrives late. Miguel could not help but react with his mouth open.

In the present day, Miguel faces Venom 2099 who has Xina and Dana wrapped with his symbiote. In reaction to Venom’s ploy, Miguel frees Dana which broke of Venom’s right arm. Miguel and Dana moved quickly to the next room and the door shut provided them temporary refuge from Venom. Before the two separated (Miguel to fight and Dana to leave for safety), they kissed.

Even without his costume, Miguel decides to go after Venom to free Xina…

Quality

14
Venom 2099 is truly dangerous.

Another well-crafted comic book carrying the same strong creative energy since Venom 2099’s debut in issue #35. While it is no surprise that Peter David’s writing remains top-notch and highly compelling in showing the continued conflicts between Spider-Man and Venom of the future, he inserted some flashbacks into the past showing how Miguel O’Hara got romantically involved with Dana and how it complicated matters in his family given the fact that Dana was the GF of his brother Gabe. Those flashbacks, which some might think served as padding, are actually helpful to not only inform readers about the Miguel-Xina-Dana triangle but also give readers a new look at Miguel’s personality. All of that added in the build-up leading to the very powerful ending. After being absent in issue #36, Andrew Wildman returned strongly in visualizing this comic book. His art on the ending is something I will keep remembering for a very long time.

Conclusion

11
A flashback…

The first time I read Spider-Man 2099 #37 when it was initially released, its story and ending proved to be powerful. In this review, I do confirm it still maintains that powerful impact by today’s standards. This comic book is not only great on its own, it also showed how much Venom 2099 made life for Spider-Man 2099 go upside-down. By the time this comic book got published, Miguel O’Hara transformed a whole lot since the first issue reaching the corporate leadership of Alchemax. Clearly, this means that Spider-Man 2099 carried tremendous power with him to go against his era’s Venom (who in turn really proved to be a very dangerous menace not only to the superhero but the public as well).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #37, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $34. The near-mint copies of the “Venom 2099” regular edition and the “Venom 2099” newsstand edition cost $85 and $255 respectively.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #37 (1995) 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 X-Men 2099 #34

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.

Even within the Marvel 2099 universe, the concept of the messiah figure arriving to change people’s destiny has been used. What is notable about this concept, apart from being a cliché, is that it was implemented so close to the end of the X-Men 2099 monthly series in the mid-1990s and the 2099 editor Joey Cavalieri was fired by Marvel Comics at a time of corporate turmoil. The firing led to the resignation of other writers who were sympathetic with Cavalieri. It should be noted that the last time Cavalieri’s name was listed on the credits was in issue #31.

As such, things went downhill for Marvel Comics and the 2099 line as a whole. In retrospect, did the messiah concept result any improvements for the quality of the X-Men 2099 franchise?

This is my retro comic book review of X-Men 2099 #34, published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the monstrous-looking Vulcann instantly transforming Joachim (the son of Eddie/Metalhead and Rosa) from infant form into an adult. When asked by the now-grown Joachim who he is, Vulcann lies to him saying: I am your lord and master. My word is absolute as is my love for you. Obey me and I will give you a world that will worship at your feet.

Meanwhile during a stormy day just outside of Halo City, Skullfire, Luna and Krystalin arrive in floating motorcycles. Their new task, which is very daunting, is to help as much as possible as the sea level has risen so much it has flooded the city they are responsible for (as the protectorate).

Shortly after, the X-Men and others meet in Halo City’s tower digitally communicating with Savant who explains that weather patterns around the world are equally aberrant as the storm affecting the city. He also mentions that based on the findings of Alchemax Geotechs, the polar ice caps were melting at an alarming rate…

Quality

16
Shakti returns in this comic book.

First of all, I should say that effort was made to raise the stakes within the story. The introduction of the adult Joachim guided by the evil, over-sized Vulcann was meant to show a twisted take of Christianity’s God and Jesus and turn it into a new anti-hero force against the X-Men.. Then there is the shock on Joachim’s parents, Xi’an’s return to the city and the global weather instability caused by the arrival of another moon orbiting Earth.

The problem here is that the story as a whole was not very compelling, even though the creative team brought heavy spotlight back on the X-Men after spending it on Xi’an and the Lawless. Speaking of X-Men relevance, the creators also brought Shakti back to this monthly series ending her absence (note: she was with the youth team X-Nation which had its own series). Granted, the stakes were raised but the payoff was not too strong specifically for this comic book.

Along the way, Jan Duuersema did what she could to make this story look good.

Conclusion

7
The analysis of a moon-sized satellite orbiting earth makes a good build-up for a mission.

To put it bluntly, X-Men 2099 #34 has the weakest story since before issue #25. In this comic book, I did not care much about the rushed return of Xi’an and Shakti in Halo City. I should also state that having Vulcann and Joachim parallel Christianity’s God and Jesus was done in a very bad taste even though the purpose (apart from giving the X-Men opposition) was to show that the X-Men themselves are no longer worthy to be mutantkind’s standard-bearers right in the city filled with many mutants and other outcasts. The portrayal of the X-Men, meanwhile, felt hollow and not worth caring for which makes the return of the spotlight on them a waste.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #34, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $6 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $21.

Overall, I don’t recommend buying X-Men 2099 #34 above fifty cents. Better save your money.


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 Spider-Man 2099 #36

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 has been months since I last reviewed a Spider-Man 2099 comic book. In recent times, I’ve been reviewing the final issues of X-Men 2099 so I figured now is a good time to revisit Spidey of the far future.

To put things in perspective, my review of Spider-Man 2099 #35 explored the introduction of Venom 2099. Here we get to explore the super villain and discover more about him and how he impacts the this old monthly series.

Here’s a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #36, published in 1995 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and illustrated by Keith Pollard.

Cover
The cover drawn by Jae Lee.

Early story

Picking right after the end of issue #35, the comic book opens with a charging Venom 2099 hitting Spider-Man 2099, crashing out of a high level of a hospital. As they fall down, hospital personnel enter the hospital room to provide assistance to Dana and a recovering Tyler Stone. Dana urged the personnel to move Tyler to a new location fearing that Venom will return.

While falling down, Spider-Man hits Venom, manages to stop falling down and watches him hit the ground hard. To his shock, Venom survived and proved to be much stronger than he thought. Venom climbs up the building’s wall to go after Spider-Man…

Quality

10
Venom 2099 and the armed personnel.

Dramatic and gripping. That is how I describe the tone of Peter David’s script here. As this is Spider-Man’s first encounter with Venom (which started at the end of the last issue), David not only crafted a very compelling conflict between them but also maintained consistency on developing the supporting cast members. Unsurprisingly, the sufficient focus on Venom made clear to reader that he is not only very dangerous but also uncompromising with his acts which make him a menace not only to people but even to armed personnel. His obsession with Tyler Stone is really something.

Regarding the comic book’s art, guest illustrator Keith Pollard did a fine job capturing the looks of the characters and also maintained the storytelling pace that started with issue #35. He also scored nicely on making the action look dynamic and fun to see. He also paid close attention to key details on the costumes of Spider-Man and Venom. I also like the way Pollard drew Spider-Man when it comes to swinging positions, wall-crawling, etc.

Conclusion

3
Spider-Man hits Venom while falling down.

Spider-Man 2099 #36 is a very good, old comic book! As this is one of the early comic book appearances of Venom 2099, it is significant not just in terms of financial value but also in terms of developing Spider-Man as a character. Partly helped by the massive popularity of the mainstream Venom (Eddie Brock), Venom of 2099 become one of the most significant super villains of Marvel 2099.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #36, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition (Spider-Man 2099 cover), the “Venom 2099” titled cover regular edition, and the “Venom 2099” titled newsstand edition cost $34, $85 and $255 respectively.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #36 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 X-Men 2099 #33

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.

When I first read X-Men 2099 #1 way back in 1993, I found Xi’an a pretty interesting team leader. He was a reformed person driven to help not only his fellow mutants but other people described as outcasts who are all unwanted by what he referred to as corporate structures that look down on them. The big speech he delivered in issue #1 technically highlighted diversity which reminds me of how the Political Left of America emphasizes it for their self-serving socio-political agenda. Of course in the comic book, Xi’an did not highlight diversity for political gain but to help the outcasts live on with hope and move forward to choose their destiny.

Several issues later, demons from Xi’an’s past with the Lawless caught up with him and made his leadership of the X-Men questionable. Xi’an then became more impulsive, more violent and a less compassionate person.

This time, as I’m about to do this retro comic book review, Xi’an past with the Lawless finally got him and anyone who liked him as X-Men leader will find him very alienating.

Here’s a look back at X-Men 2099 #33, published by Marvel Comics in 1996 with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Cover
Perhaps this comic book should have been re-titled as The Lawless…

Early story

The story begins with Xi’an and the Lawless on the move searching for the Foolkiller who captured their teammate Mongrel (who strongly resembles Hank McCoy/Beast of the mainstream X-Men). As Mongrel and the Foolkiller exchange words with each other, the Lawless arrive to get their teammate back and fight.

Elsewhere in Halo City, Eddie/Metalhead and Rosa enjoy the nice new place with their baby. They have a friend accompanying them. The peace gets broken when two beasts suddenly appeared to attack them…..

Quality

16
Some dynamic action by Jan Duursema.

Even though John Francis Moore continued to write consistently and proved to be knowledgeable about all the characters introduced in this monthly series, I should say that the concept of this comic book did not interest me that much. Like the previous issue, this one was less about the X-Men and more about the Lawless (with the continued spotlight on Xi’an) but the more I read it, I found myself becoming less interested. Nothing here impressed me.

As for the art, Jan Duursema’s work here showed how quickly she adapted the established look of not only the characters but also Halo City. Her art here is pretty good. She was a worthy replacement for Ron Lim. John Francis Moore himself stated in an interview that Duursema did an admirable job.

Conclusion

2
The blue-skinned character is NOT Hank McCoy/Beast.

After the dramatic turn of events for the mutants of 2099 told in issue #25, X-Men 2099 #33 is so far the weakest follow-up. It’s not a terrible comic book, it’s just not too interesting and not too compelling. Anyone who is dedicated with the X-Men team will be disappointed with the shift of the spotlight moved to the Lawless.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #33, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #33 is serviceable. If you intend to really spend money on this comic book, better buy it below its cover price. Really, you should be conscious about your money when it comes to collecting back issues of this past monthly series of the 1990s.


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 X-Men 2099 #32

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.

If you were one of the early fans of X-Men 2099 and you admire Xi’an a lot, then this next comic book I’m about review may interest you. For one thing, a whole lot has changed during the first year of the X-Men 2099 when demons from Xi’an’s past caught up with him. Since issue #25, he became much less prominent until something started building up in issue #31.

That being said, here is a look back at X-Men 2099 #32 published by Marvel Comics in 1996 with a story written by John Francis Moore and illustrated by Jan Duursema (replacing Ron Lim).

Early story

The comic book opens with a flashback set sometime in the year 2094. There on the streets of New Hope, Texas, was the gang called the Lawless led by Xi’an accompanied by his teammates including Junkpile and Ten Eagles. As a badly wounded man points his gun at him, Xi’an strikes him hard boasting supremacy.

In the present day over at Halo City, members of X-Nation spend time at a bar called The Negative Zone. They turn away a drunk blonde guy (a mutant actually) who tried to meddle with them. As the said guy leaves the bar, he bumps into a large guy who reacts by striking him. Elsewhere in the city, a large man-like beast arrives to meet Maim, Xi’an and Ten Eagles…

Quality

12
Jan Duursema’s quite good on flashy action as well as capturing the look of Meanstreak.

While the writing remains engaging and balanced with spectacle, be aware that this comic book is essentially more about the Lawless than the X-Men themselves. On face value, it looked like this was a clever set-up for a potential project featuring the Lawless complete with a villain called Foolkiller who was portrayed to be very menacing and has a major plan of his own.

Those who are followers of Xi’an will have a lot to enjoy as he slowly starts regaining the spotlight but with his old gangmates. Quite symbolically in this comic book, Xi’an even said: “It seems I cannot escape the violence of my past.”

Regarding the X-Men of 2099, their presence in this comic book is pretty short but there is a very nice reunion (note: the cover of issue #31 was technically a giveaway) that makes this story worth reading. As the reunion connected to the past, there is something brewing that would impact their future.

When it comes to the artwork, I find Jan Duursema’s work here quite good to look at. Her take on the existing X-Men members like Meanstreak, Krystalin, Metalhead, Luna and Bloodhawk was solid, and I easily recognized them. Like Ron Lim, Duursema is quite capable of visualizing action scenes. Finally, her drawing of a very angry Xi’an at the end of the story is eye-catching.

Conclusion

7
That blue-skinned beast is NOT Hank McCoy/Beast!

Given the fact that this is a story more focused on Xi’an and the return of his old gang, it’s clear that X-Men 2099 #32 will satisfy fans of the character Xi’an as well as those who want to take a short break from the main X-Men team. The short appearance of X-Nation members should delight followers of the X-Nation series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #32, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $9 and $11 respectively.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #32 is satisfactory. It is enjoyable to a certain extent but don’t pay too much for this comic book.


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 X-Men 2099 #31

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.

As mentioned before, much of the stories of X-Men 2099 were set in the southwestern region of the United States which gave the team’s adventures and misadventures a unique setting completely different from what was shown in the stories of Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099. Along the way, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim crafted stories that made the mutants of the far future unique when compared to the X-Men of the 20th century. Stories were, for the most part, original.

Historically speaking, the X-Men 2099 monthly series ended with a total of thirty-five issues. As such we are gradually nearing the end as we take a close look back at X-Men 2099 #31 published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Ron Lim.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Mexico. There a Metro Express train moves on its track smoothly until it comes close to hitting Skullfire who was just standing in front of it. Suddenly, Meanstreak grabs Skullfire moving him out of the path of the train and on to a safe spot where Luna is. Luna reminds Meanstreak that Skullfire has not been himself since their team took out the Graverobber. Meanstreak is not convinced that Tim/Skullfire has returned to normal, and he stressed that their team almost fell apart only because one leader fell off the deep end.

4
Meanstreak, Skullfire and Luna on a mission in Mexico.

As it turns out, the three of them are on a mission searching for a mutant who sent them a message claiming he was being held against his will. They start moving towards to the headquarters of the Quetzalcoatl Corporation and their mission is to raid it.

Meanwhile at another location in Mexico, a gray, rock-like mutant is held prisoner in the dark. Chairman Belize contacts him via live video asking for the market overviews he requested. The imprisoned mutant does not want to cooperate.

Back at Halo City, former X-Men leader Xi’an talks with Ten Eagles (note: Krystalin met him in the wasteland some time ago) who now has a brand new cybernetic arm…

Quality

There was no surprise that John Francis Moore confidently crafted another story showing members of the X-Men separated and placed in different situations far away from each other. As such, the characters got developed more while the plot (or in this comic book, tales of each group of X-Men) thickened.

Without spoiling too much, it was refreshing to see renewed spotlight on Xi’an and Ten Eagles, which helped flesh out the personality of Krystalin. As for the mission of Meanstreak, Skullfire and Luna, it’s nice to see them out of Halo City and take things seriously to accomplish something very important.

Regarding the mysterious mutant imprisoned by a corporation’s leader, the story emphasized once again the theme of the state of mutants in 2099 – mutants are of a lower social class disregarded or exploited by the people who have more money and power (try comparing this to the classic mutants-and-humans conflict of the classic X-Men). To analyze things a bit, there is a bit of Political Leftist influence in the presentation. Come to think of it, the concept of so-called progressive diversity within the X-Men of 2099 had started since the beginning of this monthly series. I’m confident that today’s self-proclaimed socialists, social justice warriors (SJWs) and liberals will find something to relate with in this comic book.

Regarding the art of Ron Lim, he delivered solid visuals as expected. He also exerted effort on visualizing futuristic technology that made sense within Marvel 2099’s fantasy.

Conclusion

X-Men 2099 #31 is fun and worth spending time to read. Just don’t let the cover art mislead you on what to expect with the story.

15
An action scene.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #31, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $7 while the newsstand edition’s near-mint copy costs $21.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #31 is 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 Web of Spider-Man #100

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.

As many of you already know, the 1990s was a decade of excess when it comes to American comic book publishing. It was a time when publishers released comic books with special covers (AKA gimmick covers) and high cover prices.

During that time, the presence of comic books with flashy gimmick covers really stood out among the many other comic book on display at retailers’. In 1993, there was this one time I spotted Web of Spider-Man #100 which not only had a flashy looking foil cover but also the introduction of Spider-Man’s armor. Unsurprisingly, I started speculating how significant Spider-Man in armor would be, what features the armor has and how will it be relevant for the foreseeable future of Spider-Man stories. Shortly after, I bought the comic book.

Here is a look back at Web of Spider-Man #100, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Terry Kavanagh and art by Alex Saviuk.

Cover
The cover and its excessive cover price for 1993.

Early story

The story begins with Spider-Man facing off with Dragon Man, Dreadnought, Super Adaptoid and a few others on top of a building. After surviving the attacks thrown at him, he discreetly places a spider-tracer on Dragon Man before finally getting away.

The next night, Peter Parker works on a high-tech project at Empire State University where he is taking a graduate program. His experiment fails which ironically gives him an opportunity to use the equipment until the next morning. He did not just use the equipment to make more web fluid but also something new to wear.

Meanwhile, chaos continues to happen around the city with the involvement of Nightwatch, Dragon Man, Dreadnought, Super Adaptoid, and Blood Rose to name some.

Quality

15
This is Spidey’s armor.

I’ll say it straight. Web of Spider-Man #100 is a big disappointment when it comes to highlighting Spider-Man’s new armor, the 100th anniversary issue of the monthly series and even telling a compelling Spider-Man story.

What is clear with the main story of this comic book is that it is heavily loaded with action scenes which eventually resulted a hollow reading experience. The plot is quite shallow and there was not even a single moment that I found Peter Parker in anything interesting. You wanna see Peter Parker interact with Mary Jane? Nothing. You hope to see him pay a visit to his Aunt May? Nothing. Technically this story showed Spider-Man getting involved with a bunch of uninteresting troublemakers, take time out to make his armor, and get back to the troublemakers wearing it. As a story, there is certainly no depth at all.

Regarding Spider-Man’s highlighted armor, its use in the story is also a major disappointment. You will get to see the Spidey Armor for ten pages (including the silhouette appearance) but there really is no payoff for anticipating it.

17
An armored Spider-Man in the middle of the action.

More on the presentation, it is clear that this comic book served another purpose that is quite shameless and even irresponsible – to build up Nightwatch, a caped and masked character in dark costume that was arguably Marvel Comics’ blatant imitation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. This comic book even contained an origin story of Nightwatch which was not interesting to read.

Conclusion

To make it clear, Web of Spider-Man #100 was a big disappointment for me personally back in 1993. By today’s standards, this comic book is even worse in terms of quality, artistic value, entertainment value and literary value. As a Spider-Man comic book, it is a big letdown and there really is not much for Spider-Man fans to enjoy here. His armor was just a useless showpiece and it’s even insulting that a useless character like Nightwatch got a lot of spotlight. I suppose Marvel Comics’ executives at the time thought they could lure fans of Todd McFarlane and Spawn to their side with Nightwatch serving as a magnet. Quite obviously, Marvel failed.

37
Sorry Marvel, but your blatant imitation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn is pathetic and I’m not even a Spawn fan. 

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Web of Spider-Man #100, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $11. As for the near-mint copies of the newsstand edition and the Alex Saviuk-signed edition, they cost $39 and $26 respectively.

Overall, Web of Spider-Man #100 is not recommended. Do not ever waste your money on this comic book.


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