Over the years we all have enjoyed and sometimes hated the giant “epic” multi title crossovers and mini-series that are so damn popular these days. However some of my personal favorite comic book stories are short and sweet. They often times have nothing to do with the major story arc you’re currently reading in that title and especially back in the 70’s & 80’s these self contained stories that had a beginning and end to them all in one book were sometimes more heavy hitting than any crossover could ever be. So I’ll be showcasing some of my favorites and the first one that came to mind might be my favorite of them all.
Flash back to 1986 when X-Men #205 hit the shelves. This issue is easily one of the best Wolverine stories of all time, and it’s all in just one issue. A brilliant epic crafted by Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor Smith remains one of the darkest and most brutal issues of X-men to date. Let me clarify that this was during a time when Wolverine was rarely seen in solo adventures and the character was still deeply mysterious.
The story was called “Wounded Wolf” and featured Lady Deathstrike’s first appearance as a super freaky ass cyborg as well as her three Reaver mercenary minions. It also featured Katie Powers from the mutant kid team ‘Power Pack’ who during a snow storm encounters Wolverine who’s beaten to a pulp, covered in blood and nearly naked. Soon the two of them are both on the run from Lady Deathstrike and her cyborgs who’re out for bloody revenge. It reminds of a Wolverine movie storyboard Ridley Scott might have anticipated directing in the 80’s. Continue reading
Damn was The New Mutants was an awesome comic book of the 80’s and one of the things that adds immensely to it’s street cred were the amazing covers that Bill Sienkiewicz produced. Here picture is one of many stunning pieces of artwork that graced the series covers. Most of his artwork on The New Mutants was pretty intense, dreamlike and often frightening. New Mutants #18 is a prime example of how hard Bill was killing it back in the day. If you want a real treat check out his run on the series in 1983 starting with issue #18 and ending with #31. Perhaps I’ll compile all of the covers here in one post. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore…
So yesterday I did a post on Rob Liefeld, this time celebrating the times when he actually did a cool piece of artwork. I had a some people who challenged it and STILL claimed Rob’s work was filled with flaws. Well here’s “round 2” a more recent cover of Rob’s – a variant cover for Deadpool #13. I’m right now thinking this is cover is actually pretty good. In fact I almost didn’t believe he actually created it! I’ll admit yesterday’s Liefeld cover being one of his more solid pieces really wasn’t that incredibly impressive. So to all those out there that STILL think Rob can’t rise to the occasion and do some decent doodling what do you think of this?!
Rob Liefeld has gotten a TON of shit over the years for his highly critiqued artwork filled with bad perspective, highly exaggerated body parts, weird looking feet ect. etc. etc. Yeah we all have seen the criticisms of the guy, who at one point was basically a “rockstar” comic book artist in the 1990’s. I’ve never been a fan of his artwork, in fact a lot of his 90’s stuff (and many other artists from that era) has always made me cringe. Putting all of that aside, the guy had and still does have a ton of people who are big fans of his style. The dude is legendary whether you like it or not, so that leads me to do a little digging and give Liefeld some credit when he does some good work. All of his artwork isn’t all bad right? Well I’m going to use my ‘Comic Book Cover of the Week’ posts to showcase some of, in my opinion, Liefeld’s “hits”. Here’s a cover by him that I always thought was actually pretty good. I especially like the way Liefeld drew Sabretooth, nice and evil looking in New Mutants #91. Liefeld doesn’t do anything too outrageous here (there may be a missing chin), I think on this one he actually did a pretty decent job. He keeps everyone’s feet nice and hidden as well….What do you think?
Remember when Wolverine was truly awesome?! No? Well it’s been a long while since Wolverine was a mysterious, weird looking, bar brawlin’, little runt with indestructible razor sharp claws. Now he’s Old Man Logan because X-23 is the female Wolverine. Now he’s been in a bunch of mainstream movies with a tall, hot, hunky leading man playing him. He’s been way overexposed over the years so Marvel could fully cash in on big time profits. He’s hardly a mysterious character anymore. Wolverine is much like say, the band Metallica in 2016, a watered down, bland, tired version of the badass metal band they were in the 1980’s. Wolverine however didn’t always used to be this way believe it or not way back when he was the epitome of cool. He was so damn awesome back in the 1980’s even the indie comics couldn’t come up with a character who was half as kick ass as ol’ Logan. Yep Marvel had their shit fully together and they knew it. Back in the 1980’s the X-men were something special and over the years they’ve become a gang of predictable, mega mainstream pop culture icons. Well back when Wolverine was a scary dude the X-Men was really the only place you could find this character monthly until 1989 when he finally got his own series. Here’s an example of how awesome the character was in the 80’s. Another amazing cover from the master Barry Windsor Smith….
Here’s funny little team up that went down back in 1998 and happens to have a cover I think is deserving for a spotlight if not only for how odd the whole idea is! The X-men appeared along the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation for this 64 page one shot, something many people have forgotten about or perhaps just never even considered existed. But there was of course a small demand by some fans to see these guys team up against not only the Borg but also the Sentinels! This cover features artwork by Cary Nord and Scott Koblish check it out…
There was also an alternate cover too:
Now only if we could have had the X-men team up with the original crew right? Well they fucking did that shit too in 1996!
Yeah and we even got to see Wolverine and Spock tangle a bit- so there’s that! Seems like Spock just may have served Wolverine his ass on a platter if really pushed to the limit-non-berserker Vulcan style!
Alpha Flight number 13’s cover has always been one of my favorites and if you were reading the comic book back in 1983 you know it was a pretty emotional time for the Canadian super team. This was again during a time when it was kinda special when Wolverine would show up on the scene as opposed to when he was featured in every comic book on the shelves. This was also a time when Wolverine was still a weird little 5 foot 3 inch mutant berserker rather than a Hollywood hunk! Anyway this cover was done by one of my all time favorite artists ever, John Byrne and the scene on the cover is actually a piece of a creepy dream sequence in the wake of the death of Alpha Flight’s team leader Guardian.
I totally dig Wolverine’s classic cowboy style here and of course the brilliant tombstones which feature the names of classic comic book artists. Of course Byrne’s name was usually cleverly hidden as part of the background and can also be seen on the tombstone. This is such a classic cover and a cool time to be into Marvel stuff. I’m still amazed they’ve never worked Alpha Flight into any of the Marvel movies as they’re a huge part of Wolverine’s past…