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Face Front, True Believers! A Marvel Comics Thread


Threat Rhyme
Just FYI, Comixology has listed pretty much every single issue of Black Panther for free. This only applies to individual issues, not collected editions, so it's best to search by series.


Deadpool versus the Punisher was surprisingly fun. I often like DP more in theory than in practice (he's not the easiest character to write), but he plays a good foil for Frank.
One thing I was wondering during my chronological X-books readthrough was when Cable would be retconned out of being just a cyborg and into having some cyborg modifications but mostly looking like that because he's in a constant fight with the techno-organic virus. I kept waiting and waiting for this to happen, and even just a few months before issues I remembered definitely having the retcon as a kid, Cable was still 100% just a cyborg in both text and art.

This turned out to be another one of the times when I had as a child unknowingly read the initial retcon story without realizing it was the initial retcon story. The idea that Cable was the baby Nathan Summers who had survived the techno-organic virus was already established before The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix mini-series, but that series is where Cable transitions from having robotic parts that replaced his ravaged body to looking robotic because he is always in a constant struggle to stay alive unless the virus overtakes him.

Gene Ha's art does a lot to sell this story, bridging the visual gap between Whilce Portacio's memorable techno-organic virus imagery and Rob "I would rather draw Terminator than the New Mutants" Liefeld's design and characterization. I don't know Gene Ha's influences and I'm not familiar with his work more broadly, but there's something a little bit Moebius and a little bit Otomo Katsuhiro going in both his body horror and his vision of the future.






I think this series is an interesting capstone for the X-line at this point. The X-Cutioners' Song in 1992 started a long, slow process of reboots and retcons to try to make something out of the rubble left behind by the Image artists' abandoned reboot from 1991. Cable was one of the biggest problems they had to solve, and by this mini in 1994 they've finally done it. He was a massively popular character but also was basically still a blank slate, and this completely redefined him both visually and thematically by deftly piecing something together from the dangling and contradictory plot threads the Image artists left behind. Not everything works this successfully (Excalibur in particular is a mess post-Alan Davis), but it's a high point in a line that's generally recovering and on its way to the climax of Age of Apocalypse before things fall apart again with the excesses of Onslaught.

Also, by providing resolution to so much of Cyclops, Jean, Cable, and Rachel Summers' story until that point and by ending with a distant future confrontation with Apocalypse that's presented as final, this mini combined with the Jean/Scott wedding issue that proceeds it serves as an ending of sorts to the franchise, if you want it to be. I think this is specially true paired alongside Wolverine #75 from a few months earlier, a very strong issue where he comes to terms with leaving the team that is probably the closest thing to Claremont in the post-Claremont era. Between this and Alan Davis' Excalibur, it feels like for the most part the Claremont stories eventually do reach a satisfying resolution after he leaves, even though they do spend a while being ignored/abandoned before it happened. (And of course even though the demands of serialization mean that they eventually get un-resolved...)


..and his little cat, too
Hey guys, every issue of Black Panther on ComXology is free right now, but it's single issues only. That goes for the Killmonger and Shuri series, too.

They don't make it especially easy to find everything they've got for this in one place, though, so there might be some other stuff included somewhere in the cracks.


..and his little cat, too
I had no idea Cable was not created to be Nathan Summers.

To elaborate on this, then, Liefeld and Simonson created Cable as a mysterious cyborg badass, origin TBD to be a new adult leader for the New Mutants after they broke off with Magneto. (This was part of transitioning Magneto from hero into a grey character associated with the Hellfire Club for a hyped-for-years "Mutant Wars" event that ended up never happening due to Claremont's departure.)

In an initially totally unrelated X-Factor story plotted by Whilce Portacio, baby Nathan was sent to the future to clear the board for Portacio and Jim Lee's short-lived nostalgia driven X-Men relaunch (all the central characters go back to living in the X-mansion, Scott and Jean are back in a contrived love triangle instead of adults sorting out their issues while raising a child).

After Lee and Portacio left for Image, the new writing team (primarily Lobdell/Nicieza) tried to make something out of this popular character with no real reason to be there. They used the dangling plot hook of baby Nathan to tie Cable into the core story. This started in X-Cutioner's Song (the first big post-Image creator crossover), which revealed that Cable was a clone of baby Nathan and that Stryfe was the original child. This wasn't misdirection, it was the post-Image team's first plan to give Cable an origin, and that's how he was written for a year or so.

Then the creative team changed their minds and reverse this in Cable's solo series, making Cable the original and Stryfe was the clone. But, Cable is still just a cyborg, just for a new reason. Finally, this mini-reincorporates the techno-orgnic virus element from Portacio's X-Factor story, and the Cable solo series reflects this with some dialogue about how he'd been intentionally pretending to look like and be a cyborg. So, dear reader, don't think too hard about all of those times Liefeld drew Cable as The Terminator or that his metallic parts were definitely not a virus, that was Cable fooling you all along.
I started reading the Marvel Transformers Comics. I just started the 2nd omnibus.

Make sure to check out Transformers '84 Secrets and Lies. The third issue is the most recent and it does a great job of telling the backstory of the original series. A lot better than Regeneration One.
Not sure how much longer the deal goes on for, so jump on it while you can, but every single issue of Black Panther on Comixology is free right now. Just head on over there and add the whole megillah to your cart and hit "checkout" for $0.00. (This only applies to single issues, not trades, but whatever. It's the same thing delivered a different way.)

Mind that some issues won't show up in the search linked, so you might want to comb through the pages for the Priest (1998-2003) and Coates (2016-2018, 2018-present) runs to make sure you got all the issues.

Kind of frustrating that I inadvertently annihilated the usefulness of the 'recently purchased' smart list now.. It did happily get me to instead start looking at my unread stuff from oldest to newest and I'm suddenly back reading Bendis' Uncanny X-Men from 2013. All hail Goldballs!

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Hope that he takes less time than usual for an X-Men character to come back to life, for one thing.

HOX/POX kind of implied that they had Sinister working on some failsafes in that regard, but it also implied that you shouldn’t trust Mister Sinister to be entirely forthcoming
Al Ewing is going to write an X-Book. Art by Valerio Schiti. Cast in the picture is Magneto, Abigail Brand, Cable, Frenzy, Wiz Kid, Fabian Cortez, and former Avenger Manifold, if you're having trouble parsing anyone or just haven't heard of them before. (I didn't know Manifold...)

Full press release below, although obviously a lot of spoilers there if you care about that sort of thing.

New York, NY— September 23, 2020 — ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MUTANTKIND! This December, writer Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and artist Valerio Schiti (Empyre) bring fans the newest X-Men title, S.W.O.R.D.! In last year’s groundbreaking HOUSE OF X, the mutant nation of Krakoa was founded and quickly became a major force on the world stage. Now, Jonathan Hickman’s grand new vision for mutantkind continues as the X-Men look to do for the galaxy what Krakoa did for the planet.

In the startling aftermath of X OF SWORDS, mutantkind will take the bold next step in claiming their destiny by relaunching the Sentient World Observation & Response Directorate to deal with all things extra-terrestrial on behalf of Earth. The events of S.W.O.R.D. will have a tremendous impact not only on the X-Men’s world, but the Marvel Universe as a whole, as the mutants of S.W.O.R.D. warp the cosmic landscape forever. The stellar cast includes Magneto, Abigail Brand, Cable, Frenzy, Wiz Kid, Fabian Cortez, former Avenger Manifold, and many other fan-favorite mutants who will be stepping into the spotlight in a major way.

Known for his critically acclaimed and thought-provoking work on IMMORTAL HULK, Ewing is now ready to take the X-Men where no one in the Marvel Universe has gone before.

“It’s an absolute blast to be working with the X-team, and to bring Marvel’s merry mutants into the new Age of Space – and introduce space to the new age of Krakoa!” Ewing said. “And it’s not just X-readers and space explorers who get what they want—fans of my more cosmic Marvel work will have plenty to digest as well, as mutantkind thinks even bigger and takes it even further, into realms I’m almost surprised they let me get away with. After conquering death, what’s next – and will we survive the experience?”

S.W.O.R.D. will reunite Ewing with superstar artist Valerio Schiti. The pair previously joined forces on Marvel’s cosmic epic, Empyre.

“I really love Al’s books, so I’m very happy to have the chance to be on his side in this new adventure. We already had the chance to work together, a few years ago on Mighty Avengers and more recently on Empyre, so now we trust each other and we can use a more ‘flexible’ working method. He can switch from full script to ‘Marvel style’ when needed, and I can change panels or layouts when I think that could work better. This is definitely one the best working partnerships I’ve ever had,” Schiti said. “I can’t say much about what S.W.O.R.D. does, but I can say that every team member will have a peculiar role to play. That’s why I designed their uniforms with technical clothing, urban outfits, and even ceremonial uniforms: every role needed a different reference and a different starting point. The space outfits are inspired by trekking or hiking clothes, far from the typical space suit because these characters are explorers, not astronauts.”



Find Your Reason
That's... certainly a very different and unexpected look for Cable, yep. I'm behind on my Marvel by about six months, has he had this design for a while?


stuck in baby prison
Manifold used to have a different superhero name (I forget what it was) but came back to prominence in Coates' Black Panther run.


Post Reader
I can't think of another alias he had but he's also known by his name Eden Fesi. He's a mutant but he started out as Hickman's baby in Secret Warriors and later Avengers.

There's no way I'm not going to read this book.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Midway through Captain America and the Mighty Avengers which, after it got past its Axis tie in arc, got into the real meat and potatoes; a follow up to Nextwave that leans on cosmic horror instead of comedy (and, in fact, everyone is pretty disgusted that everyone thought it was a comedy in the first place).

I think the main villain of this story Is supposed to be a stand in for Warren Ellis, too, but I don’t have a lot of evidence to back that up.

In conclusion; Al Ewing should be the only person allowed to write Marvels team books


(Fem or Gender Neutral)
He's getting a new one thankfully. The new SWORD book, coming after the X of Swords crossover.

Edit: oh hey, I just read like five posts up, durp.
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
And finished Captain America and the Mighty Avengers

Ahh... ahh geez...

Awww geez, you guys.

Right in the ol' heartbone

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Also finished No Surrender, which perhaps wasn’t the most game changing or creative crossover event I’ve ever read, but it was relentlessly fun, shifted gears and escalated a lot, acted as a great send off to one of the better team books in recent years And also introduced one of Marvels current best stories.

Just, all in all, a Good Time.
Was readin' Fantastic Four #8 (first app of Puppet Master don'cha know) and early on, Sue fires a flare gun into the air (on a New York City street no less), creating a giant fiery "4" in the sky, to signal to the other FF that there's some kind of emergency.

I feel like the digital age has really robbed gadgetry of its fun and intrigue. Furthermore, cell phones should be abolished worldwide and replaced entirely by personalized flare guns.

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
Furthermore, cell phones should be abolished worldwide and replaced entirely by personalized flare guns.

While the idea sounds cool in theory, in practice it would derive in my mother-in-law flaring at the sky the same tiresome feel-goode kitten memes every single afternoon.