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Project 475

Power Man #24

Posted in Comics, Project 475

Wow, Power Man (Luke Cage, Power Man – full title) pretty much encapsulates the 70s more than any other issue in Project 475. In today’s terms, it could quite possibly be borderline blacksploitation in comic form. That said, since I wasn’t really “aware” in the 70s and can only look at things via what has come after, I can’t really say how Power Man was originally received. All I know is that Luke Cage is still roaming about the Marvel universe, and has been a part of several notable teams over the years.

Moving on, Power Man number 24 sees Luke stumble into essentially a love triangle.

Synopsis from the Marvel database:

While stopping to see a circus in California on their search for find Claire Temple, Luke Cage and D.W. Griffith witness as one of the trapeze artists is about to fall. Luke saves him, and it turns out to be one of the Great Gambonnos of the Circus of Crime. While wandering the circus grounds, Luke sees Claire and confronts her. She tells him that she is here to see her ex-husband. She explains that her ex is Bill Foster, who she meet, fell in love with, and married in university and that after their marriage Bill became involved with the Avengers, and eventually became the costumed super-hero known as Black Goliath.

At that moment, Black Goliath (who has been forced to be a member of the Circus of Crime) appears and attacks Luke in a fit of jealousy. Their fight is cut short however when both are immobilized by the Circus of Crime and put on the hypnotic spell of the Ringmaster.

Interesting 70s tidbit: There’s one scene where a reporter wants to interview Luke because he’s doing an article on Black Superheroes. Luke’s friend and co-worker attempts to defend Luke. Then there’s the whole speech/slang thing which, like I said earlier, may well border on what some could call racist in today’s society.

End thoughts: Much like the Daredevil issue, the story continues both before and after this issue. Stepping into Power Man for the first time, readers probably won’t be able to gleam much outside of the obvious love triangle.

Final Grade: B. I’ve recently become a fan of Power Man and his future partner Iron Fist. I enjoyed seeing Cage fight solo here, though there wasn’t much to the story.

April 16, 2013

Project 475 update!

Posted in Comics, Project 475

Here are the Project 475 issues I found on Friday. Both the Thor and Doctor Strange are pretty much reading copies. They are both fairly beat up, but were priced at three dollars each. I’d maybe like to find better copies at some point, but with several issues still ramianing to be found, I can wait for that.

The Howard the Duck issue isn’t actually an April 1975 issue. It does bear some significance however. This particular issue is an April issue, and it’s also the eleventh issue in the series. See how that worked out?

I hope to post a few more issue critiques this week. I was lazy toward writing this past weekend. I need to get caught up though as the month rolls on.

April 15, 2013

Daredevil #120

Posted in Comics, Project 475

Daredevil number 120 is next up in Project 475. This issue sees DD and the Black Widow face off against agents of HYRDA, including El Jaguar. I like Daredevil, though he never fully grabbed my interest. I believe I have a few of his books from the late 80s maybe, but he never made my upper tier of super heros.

Synopsis from the Marvel Database:

When Matt Murdock goes to meet the Black Widow and Ivan at the airport, he has to change into Daredevil and go into action to take down a group of terrorists that have appeared with guns a-blazing. Daredevil manages to defeat the attackers with the aid of the Black Widow and Ivan. Reunited, the two lovers quickly depart, leaving Ivan to explain the situation to the police.

On the rooftop of Matt Murdock’s apartment, the Black Widow and Daredevil talk about their relationship. Natasha expresses the fact that she used to be so independent, and that she has become less and less independent since teaming up with Daredevil. Suddenly, to break up the tension of their conversation, Daredevil swings into his apartment and reveals that he has gotten Natasha a dress to attend a special New Year’s Eve Party in.

Natasha is furious to find out that it’s a party being hosted by Foggy Nelson, whom she is still angry at for putting her on trial on trumped-up murder charges. She is about to leave when Matt convinces her to stay. Foggy attempts to warm things between he and Natasha. However, this attempt is cut short when the party is crashed by agents of Hydra who are led by a man named El Jaguar.

Matt slips away and changes into Daredevil to battle El Jaguar and his men, whom he learns have come to kidnap Foggy. Although he is injured in the fight, Daredevil manages to gain the upper hand against El Jaguar, who is beaten to the point where he is fleeing the scene. Before Daredevil can go after him, he is stopped by Nick Fury who arrives with a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Learning that the Jaguar got away, Daredevil is told by Fury that the reason why Hydra is after Foggy Nelson is because S.H.I.E.L.D. is seeking to recruit him into their fold.

This story is continued next issue….

Interesting 70s tidbit: Daredevil gives the Black Widow a slap on the ass as they’re getting ready. While this may probably still commonplace in comics today with the more seedy superheroes, I’m sure back in the 70s it was still a matter of course between men and women, even if the Black Widow could fight equally alongside the boys.

End thoughts: The story itself continues from a previous issue, and continues in subsequent issues. Based on this one issue alone, I couldn’t make heads or tails of the motives of any of the characters. This will probably ring true of many of the issues I’ll be reading for P475 in the next few weeks.The action was well done though, and Daredevil’s special abilities were on display throughout.

Final Grade: B. I liked the action well enough and the story was interesting enough to come back to at some point in the future. This isn’t the issue to jump right into Daredevil though.

April 8, 2013

The project so far

Posted in Comics, Project 475

Project 475

Project 475 rolls on! I went back to the Source yesterday to try and find a few more of the titles I added since going there last weekend. I managed to find four new titles from my list. Super happy about that. They actually had Adventure Comics 438 too, but it was priced a little too high for my needs. A few of the issues do command higher prices, so I’ll have to deal with it at some point. For now though, I’m trying to stay under the $10 mark per issue, regardless of quality.

I have one more comic shop to investigate before I have to resort to online methods of acquiring the remaining issues. I plan on hitting the other Hot Comics location later this week. I’m taking Friday off for my birthday (which is actually Thursday). I’m planning to go there, maybe Big Brain, and Uncle Hugos. Big birthday out and all that.

I’ve been thoroughly consumed by comics since returning from Munich. I love it, though I’m digging myself and even deeper hole because there’s so many titles I want to read. My coffee table is currently piled with both single issues as well as collected graphic novels. It’s getting kinda hectic.

April 7, 2013

The Indestructible Hulk #6

Posted in Comics, Project 475

So apparently the comic gods have taken to my recent Project 475 idea. Not only did they grace my life with the aforementioned Thor #354 ten years after my birth, but they’ve also slapped me into the present by having Walt Simonson return to drawing not just Thor, but the Hulk as well. Annnnd, the first issue of his run on The Indestructible Hulk began with number six, the APRIL issue!

I learned of Simonson’s involvement with the Hulk yesterday via his Facebook page. It’s pure coincidence that his run should start with the April issue. So what did I do last night? I stopped by the comic shop on my way home and bought all six issues of the series so far. I blazed through them last night and I have to say, I am a complete fan.

I had a stint with the Hulk back in the day, so he rates fairly high up on my list of heros as a result. It’s a shame I stopped collecting him when I did, and that I didn’t pick him back up when I started collecting again a few years ago. While I’m not too keen on collecting a ton of titles again any time soon, the first six issues of The Indestructible Hulk have hooked me sufficiently enough to keep me going from this point forward.

Issue number six sees a new story arc dealing with Thor specifically. Banner opens a portal into one of the Asgardian worlds while looking for a specific element that can help them solve one of the world’s many problems. While he and his team are there, they awaken a few frost giants and Thor comes in to help out. Only, Thor doesn’t recognize Banner. He also seems to be the “classic” Thor in his old school costume. Thor is knocked out by a frost giant, Banner turns into the Hulk to fight, and eventually he races over to Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) for help. Low and behold, Hulk is actually able to pick Mjolnir up! End scene.

This issue is significant in a couple of ways. First, there have only been a handful of heros who have been worthy enough to wield Mjolnir. I’m not up on current events enough to know who may have in say, the last 10 years, but for the Hulk to lift it, it must mean huge things are coming.

Second, seeing the “real” Thor appear again is awesome. I’ve missed his classic look ever since I stopped reading the old series in the late 90s. To have Simonson pick up The Indestructible Hulk with this story arc and return to HIS Thor, well, that makes the teenage Jason very happy.

Simonson’s involvement with the big green guy may only last for one arc, but it’s enough so far to get me back into collecting at least on title on a regular basis. Given my recent comic book reading/collecting resurgence, this is one surprise birthday gift I will never forget.

(Images: Marvel)

April 4, 2013