Archive for Captain America

Friday Night Fights: A Kraven for Punishment!

Awright, let’s do this — it’s Friday, we’re all ready for the weekend, and the only way to get things started is with a little random comic-book violence! It’s time again for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from September 2010′s Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #4 by Paul Tobin, Ronan Cliquet, and Amilton Santos. Kraven the Hunter has been working as a mercenary bounty hunter, which means he’s mostly been keeping the Avengers from capturing Deadpool while endangering innocent civilians. Once the team finally has the Merc with a Mouth in custody, it’s time for Captain America to deal with Kraven.

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That’s all we got for this week. See you mugs back here on Monday morning.

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Friday Night Fights: Always Bet on the Barbarian!

Holy cow, people, we got an absolute marathon set up for tonight’s edition of Friday Night Fights, so let’s get straight into it.

From February 1984′s What If? #43 by Peter B. Gillis and Bob Hall, we’ve got mighty Conan of Cimmeria — “black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet,” to quote “The Phoenix on the Sword” — and something has transported him to 1980s New York City! Can the great barbarian make an honest living in the Big Apple?

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Ha ha, NO.

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Mighty Conan cares not for paper money. He’s probably one of Ron Paul’s gold hoarders, the poor soul.

But it’s not long before Conan has picked up a good deal of American English and made himself a fair bit of money. So he buys himself some new threads and goes to visit a friend.

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Hey, man, that suit is you! You’ll get some leg tonight for sure! Tell us how you do!

But listen, it’s a Marvel comic book, and that means eventually, there’s gonna be superheroes. And then, there’s gonna be lots and lots of fighting.

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All hail Conan! All hail King Conan!

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Friday Night Fights: Patriotic Pain!

Okay, it’s way, way after Independence Day, but some stuff is just too good to pass up. You wouldn’t want me to save this a whole year for next July 4th? No way, we’re doing this right now. Buckle up, kids, it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

From 1976′s Marvel Treasury Special: Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles #1 by the King himself, Jack Kirby! For all the marbles: Captain America vs. Hitler!

Best way to start the weekend: beating the snot out of Nazis.

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Friday Night Fights: Fancy Fightin’!

Friends and neighbors, it’s been one heck of a week. We’re all worn to a frazzle, and what we’re all looking for right now is a little weekend time to unwind, relax, and reconnect with our own overworked humanity. And the best way to do that is always… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

This evening’s battle comes from October 2008′s Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #27, by Paul Tobin, Jacopo Camagni, Troy Hobbs, and Norman Lee, as Captain America and Iron Man meet up with Fancy Dan and Ox of the Enforcers. Fancy Dan? Yeah, that’s what I thought. What do you think of that, Cap?

Ox takes the harder punch here, but I’ll have to declare Fancy Dan the big loser in this battle. ‘Cause when your name is Fancy Dan, you’re always going to be a loser…

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Friday Night Fights: Bane Busted!

Well now, jadies and lentlemen, I note upon the calendar that today is the first day and the first Friday of the month, meaning it’s time for all y’all Lubbockites to get ready for the latest First Friday Art Trail. But you do know that there’s other kinds of art, right? Specifically, there’s the violent and lurid art that we like to call… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes from March 1996′s Marvel vs. DC #2. This really was a deeply flawed series — sloppy plotting, a much-despised vote-for-the-winner scheme that had scrappy bone-clawed mutant Wolverine defeating Superman-level psychotic Lobo, and many, many, many missed opportunities. But it brought about the very awesome Amalgam Comics, and it had a few other points in its favor. For example, in this sequence by Peter David, Ron Marz, Claudio Castellini, and Paul Neary, we get Marvel’s Captain America taking on DC’s Bane.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any character get hit harder by Cap’s shield. I almost feel sorry for poor Baney…

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(exasperated groan)

So Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada apologized because the teabaggers got added into an issue of “Captain America,” and for some reason, the teabaggers got mad, possibly because all they ever do is get mad, so Joe apologized because — I don’t know why.

Quesada hasn’t apologized to me yet for having Spider-Man sell his soul to the devil, or for cancelling “She-Hulk” and “Captain Britain” and “Marvel Adventures: The Avengers”… but all the crazy screaming people get apologized to because they got put into a comic book? No big surprise they’re yelling that his apology isn’t enough. I’m not sure what they want him to do — kill himself? Kill the writer? Blow up a federal building? Did Joe think the teabaggers were gonna go out and buy some comic books? Methinks not, man — once you’re the focus of the Two Minutes Hate, you never get back on their good side again.

So here’s my open letter to Big Joe Q — I’m sure he’ll be keen to read it. As long as he’s paying attention to tiny fringe groups with questionable sanity, I’m sure he’ll want to bookmark me and read me all the time:

“Dear Joe,

Please stop apologizing to the angry screaming people who hang teabags on their hats.

Ignore them, and they’ll forget about you as soon as they get distracted by whatever random object enrages them next. When you give them the attention they crave, they write your name down in their ‘These Guys Are Easy Marks Who We Can Get to Pay Attention to Us’ book, and they’ll just keep screaming at you.

P.S.: Jeph Loeb and Brian Bendis aren’t as great as you think they are. Please stop giving them so much work. Or any work. Good luck with the ‘Heroic Age’ stuff, but betwixt you and me, I reckon y’all will be right back to killing off B-list superheroes before the end of the year.

Hugs and kisses,
That Dude Who Writes ‘Hero Sandwich’”

I’d share with y’all my open letter to Dan DiDio at DC, but I don’t think y’all want to be exposed to quite that many F-bombs…

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Double Buck

I picked up a couple of comics yesterday starring people named either Buck or Bucky. Sometimes, the themes just fall into your lap. Let’s see how they shaped up…

Captain America #50

James “Bucky” Barnes, better known as the current Captain America, as well as the old Captain America’s original sidekick, is getting chased by a bunch of armored terrorists — not the best way to spend his birthday. And really, that’s about it as far as the plot goes — most of this is taken up with flashbacks to some of Bucky’s earlier birthdays during World War II, including one in the stockade and one with him, Cap, the Human Torch, and Toro being attacked by Nazi ubermensch.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, not a lot of plot, but the action is outstanding, the flashbacks are grand fun, and the dialogue and characterization are first-rate. Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross are really producing a great comic book here.

Buck Rogers #0

It took me a while to realize that this one was sitting by the counter with a price tag of just 25 cents. It’s embarrassing that it took me so long to pick up on a bargain like that.

A preview issue for a new ongoing series about the sci-fi hero, this one starts with Buck captured by invading aliens who are actually giant-sized cells. He’s able to give them the slip for a while, but they’re on the verge of conquering the Earth. Will Buck Rogers have to sacrifice himself to save the planet?

Verdict: Thumbs up, mainly because it’s just a quarter. A quarter! That’s almost as good as “All in color for a dime”! Not entirely sure I’m enthused about the story — excellent artwork, interesting aliens, but I’m not sure there’s enough in this preview to give me the ammo to recommend it or not.

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Friday Night Fights: America Bashed!

It’s been another crazy week — and an unusually busy one for me — so it’s time we all got to blow off some steam with some weekend relaxation — and as always, a quick dose of FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today, we’re going all the way back to October 1941 in Captain America Comics #7 (reprinted in last week’s Captain America Comics Special #1) by the great Jack “King” Kirby and the almost-equally-great Joe Simon. Here, we see Captain America planting his star-spangled fist somewhere about halfway through the skull of one of the Toad’s goons.

That’s violence that’ll get you to stand up and salute.

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Punching Nazis in the Face

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

This is the first of a series of comics Marvel is putting out to commemorate their 70th birthday. And I gotta say, I love the cover, with Cap and Bucky beating the snot out of Nazis, plus that retro “Timely Comics” banner — for those of you who aren’t as up on comics history, Timely was Marvel’s original name.

Anyway, our main story is written by James Robinson, one of my favorite comics writers, with illustrations by Marcos Martin. It tells a story of Steve Rogers before he became Captain America, when he was a skinny 4-F reject, heartbroken that he won’t be able to serve his country. But by blind luck, a murdered fed pushes a mysterious jewel into his hands, and Steve is on the run from a gang of Nazi saboteurs. He manages to elude them, even manages to kill a couple of them. He even pulls off some fancy stunts with a garbage can lid that suggest that Cap’s later shield-throwing abilities didn’t come from the super-soldier serum.

And there’s a followup story, a reprint from Captain America Comics #7 in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Far from the battlefields of WWII, it details Cap and Bucky’s battle against a villain called the Toad as he tries to ruin the Brookly Badgers baseball team by killing off the players. It’s a decent story, but I kept getting distracted by the villain, who despite being called the Toad, wears a costume that looks like this:

Siiiigh. You almost wish they’d just called him Batman. (Dig the jawline on his lowlife henchman, though)

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Simon and Kirby reprint is a great bonus, but the main story really is excellent. Steve’s dejection at being rejected by the Army is really well done, the chase through New York is excellent and thrilling, and the framing sequence — Cap and Bucky preparing for a paratrooper jump over Europe — is also very good. Gotta love the way 4-F Steve manages to take out so many Nazis, even if he gets winded and banged-up in the process. And of course, there are very few things, either in comics or in the real world, that are more awesome than beating the heil out of Nazis! This is just a plain wonderful comic from beginning to end.

Wonder Woman #30

Genocide is torturing Etta Candy, Zeus has resurrected Achilles to serve as his warmongering peacenik ambassador to the Earth, and Wonder Woman beats up on Cheetah, mashes the Secret Society’s headquarters, and gains Dr. T.O. Morrow as a new (though probably temporary) ally.

Verdict: Ehhh. It seems fairly well produced, but I’m just colossally bored with this whole storyline.

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Praise Gog

Justice Society of America: Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom

Again, whoaaa there, DC, let’s try to get those titles a little under control, a’ight? Less is more, ya know?

The blessings of Gog are showing their downsides more and more. Sand is able to sleep through the night, but he’s lost his predictive dreams that let him prevent murders. Dr. Mid-Nite has his regular sight back, but he’s lost his special sensory abilities that made him such a great doctor. Starman is sane, but he’s really unhappy about that. Damage is handsome again, but his vanity and egotism have gone out of control. And Citizen Steel hasn’t been granted his wish yet of being able to hug his nieces and nephews again — and I hope he doesn’t, ’cause all of the other wishes haven’t really turned out well.

What else? Stargirl and Atom-Smasher give Damage a stern talking-to, which he completely disregards. Cyclone is wearing a witch hat now, which seems a little goofy but still kinda cool. Starman has a new and fairly unpleasant job. Sand learns that Gog’s presence on Earth has a pretty darn good chance of destroying the planet. And Gog craves what all gods crave.

Verdict: Thumbs up, mainly because it finally feels like the story is moving forward. This storyline has gone on way, way too long, and I hope they get it wrapped up very soon, and with as few characters needlessly killed as possible.

Captain America #44

Bucky’s past as the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed Soviet agent, are coming back to haunt him. Batroc the Leaper is causing trouble, and a mysterious Chinese villain appears to have Bucky’s number.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I like the way they’re handling Batroc as something other than a buffoon, but right now, this is an espionage comic, and most espionage comics just don’t interest me.

The Brave and the Bold #19

The Phantom Stranger brings Hal Jordan to a private hospital that’s housing a bunch of children who were deformed during a drug trial. One of the children has begun writing in a wide variety of languages, many of them completely alien, many of them telling about far-distant catastrophes and galactic disasters. GL and the Stranger travel to Sector 3897 to assist the Green Lantern there with cleanup from a disaster that destroyed a city. It soon becomes clear that the disaster was caused by magic — magic connected to the deformed children on Earth, according to the Stranger.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Green Lantern and the Phantom Stranger aren’t the most obvious team that pops to mind, but they do seem to go together fairly well. I also like the details of the planet GL and the Stranger visit — very strange, very alien, ver much unlike Earth. And the cliffhanger at the end is excellent — I am eagerly awaiting the next issue of this one.

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