Wednesday, April 01, 2009

And now, for something completely different...

If you were to have been following this blog for the past week or so, you might think that I only read Independent comics (written by my friends). Truthfully, I tend to read more Marvel Comics (sorry kids, it is a long-standing addiction that I’m simply unable (and unwilling) to completely kick). I’ve been reading them since ‘62, and regularly purchasing them since ’71. Unfortunately, these days, I’m admittedly not having as much fun reading them as I did even a few years back. Still, there are (every once in a while) comics that do rise above the fray, and are worthy of mentioning. Off the top, I want to mention Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man which I regularly review for SpiderFan.

Another comic that always gets me smiling, is anything by Chris Giarrusso. in addition to his own work (G-Man) Chris produces the Mini Marvels. These are usually one-page humorous takes on the heroes from the Marvel Universe. As a rule, they tend to follow a theme for a period of time, and then are collected in a digest-sized comic. With the recent release of Mini Marvels Secret Invasion, Chris tells an alternate version of the Secret Invasion. All things considered, I prefer Chris’s version. In addition to the Secret Wars are broad swipes at Civil War, Spidey, and the whole Green Hulk/Red Hulk (Blue Hulk) storyline.

Chris also likes to pick on Hawkeye, and does so with gleeful abandon. As stated, another favorite target is Spidey himself, whom Chris loves to posit a young Spidey who is a paperboy for The Bugle, and regularly goes up against the Osborns (who are customers) and Venom (a competing paperboy). Again, all of this is done in good fun, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. I strongly suggest that — even if you have read all of the Mini Marvel stories in the various Marvel Comics in which they have appeared, you spring for this collection. You’ll be very happy that you did.

Here is a fun Spidey comic that my buddy James Rodriguez brought back with him from his trip to South America. It is a copy of Spidey in , well, Spanish. I have a few of these foreign language comics in my collection, and I always love getting them.

I want to also talk about The Amazing Spider-Girl. This comic ran a single issue of What If, 100 issues of Spider-Girl, 30 regular issues of Amazing Spider-Girl, plus a 0 issue and an annual, not to mention assorted issues of various other “M2” titles. I went on record several times (once in person to writer Tom DeFalco) how much I enjoyed this title. It always reminded me of being 15 again and the thril I got every month reading Spidey at that time. I’m sorry to see the series go, but I understand that it will continue in Amazing Spider-Man Family and on-line ion Marvel’s ecomics. Now while I’m not so happy about the ecomic version, I am pleased that it will still continue in print in ASMF.

Anyway, Issue # 30 of ASG was easily one of the most moving issues of this series. I could tell that DeFalco really loves this title and these characters, and really pulled out all of the stops to deliver one of the most emotionally moving stories that I have ever read. Too bad all the Spider-titles couldn't be written this consistently well.

This story proved to be quite a nice coda to the run of this title, as well as a delightful wrap-up to the final arc of this series. I truly enjoyed what Tom did in this story, and I truly have to say that I completely didn’t see the big reveal coming, even though I was looking for it.

Personally, I’m looking forward to reading the new series.

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