You might be familiar with that name if you’re a fan of Michael Cera movies, or retro-style beat ’em up video games, but you might not have read the original comics by writer/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley that started it all – and I’m here to tell you that you absolutely owe it to yourself to do just that.
saga, titled “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life” opens with the line “Scott Pilgrim is dating a high schooler!” – and right away we meet our ‘hero’, Scott Pilgrim: a mild-mannered slacker in his early 20’s with very little ambition and no direction to speak of, which honestly sounds a lot like myself at that age. Scott’s part of a band (the Sex Bob-Ombs) and they kinda suck, but make up for it with determination.
Bryan Lee O’Malley weaves an intricate plot of weird and interesting characters with laugh out loud humor on every other page, nerdy references sprinkled throughout, and some of the most genuinely heartfelt moments in modern comics, in this ultra meta, video game inspired, coming of age story.
Well, look who it is! Back for more, eh? If you’re reading this then I’m SURE you’ve already read parts 1 and 2. Why else would you be here? The smell?
As we round home on our story Carnage and his gang of freaks have kidnapped Venom and have really handed our heroes their asses. Captain America has just arrived, and Iron Fist has rescued Deathlok from the precarious situation Carnage left him in. Will the additions of these heroes turn the tide? Can Spider-Man and Venom get on the same page for once and save the day? Let’s find out!
Back for more, huh? Just couldn’t turn down another taste of that sweet 90’s Spider-Man goodness that tastes great going down and then gives you horrible heartburn and you wonder why you keep eating it and then you do it again anyway, could you?
We rejoin our heroes and anti-heroes at a low point. Spider-Man has split from Venom and the Black Cat (who are joined by Cloak, who is still grieving the loss of his partner, Dagger) in their quest to stop Carnage and his maniacs, who seem stronger than ever. They are no closer to stopping them than they were when they started and the casualties are piling up. We’ll cover parts 6-9 here, which is the second rotation through the main Spider-Man titles.
Released: 1993 Took Place In: Spider-Man Unlimited 1-2, Amazing Spider-Man 378-380, Spectacular Spider-Man 201-203, Spider-Man 35-37, Web of Spider-Man 101-103 Written By: Tom DeFalco (Spider-Man Unlimited), David Michelinie (Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man), Terry Kavanagh (Web of Spider-Man, Spider-Man), J.M. DeMatteis (Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man) Art By: Ron Lim (Spider-Man Unlimited), Mark Bagley (Amazing Spider-Man), Sal Buscema (Spectacular Spider-Man), Tom Lyle (Spider-Man), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man) Characters Involved: Spider-Man, Venom, Carnage, Black Cat, Cloak, Dagger, Firestar, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Captain America, Morbius, Nightwatch, Demogoblin, Doppelganger, Carrion, Shriek
One of the first comics I ever got was a collection of the Walter Simonson and Arthur Adams Fantastic Four issues, which are famous for introducing a new Fantastic Four, complete with all of the most popular characters of the 1990’s. The only guy missing was the Punisher, and he ended up having a small cameo at the very end.
A runaway Skrull fugitive crash lands on Earth, and is searching for a specific weapon that will protect her from her Skrull pursuers. So she infiltrates the FF and incapacitates everyone, including Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, She-Thing, Alicia Masters, and a human Ben Grimm. She then poses as Susan Richards, and after drugging the FF to appear dead, she summons four of their allies to help her. She gets the Hulk (in his gray ‘Mr. Fixit’ persona), Ghost Rider (the Danny Ketch version), Wolverine, and Spider-Man.
My first exposure to X-Men comics was the Dark Phoenix saga, which many consider to be the greatest X-Men story ever told, even to this day. It was like saying, “Oh, you have a passing interest in trying some really light, social drug? Here, try this crack.” Before this story I would read comics occasionally. Really just whenever I would happen to get some. I never actively sought them out. After this story I wanted everything X-Men I could get my grubby little hands on.
I’m not going to get into too much detail on what came before, since a lot of that has been changed retroactively. But essentially Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl, one of the original X-Men, is imbued with the powers of the Phoenix, a cosmic entity capable of great and terrible things. For a while, Jean seemed ok. Her powers of telepathy and telekinesis were raised to an unprecedented degree, but other than that she was still just Jean.
Long before they were New, Dark, or Disassembled, the Avengers were far from Marvel’s biggest characters. While people liked Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc., they weren’t as popular as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, or the Hulk. For whatever reason, the Avengers just weren’t striking any chords with the comic book audience as a whole. There were fans, sure, otherwise the title would have been cancelled, but it was never a top seller, and just didn’t garner all that much attention. So it was a bit of a surprise when Roger Stern and John Buscema started a story that has become known as “Avengers: Under Siege”, and all of a sudden everyone was talking about the Avengers.
The line-ups for the Avengers have always been in a constant state of change. Each era has its stand-by’s, though. In the 60’s it was mostly Captain America. In the 70’s it was the Vision and/or Hank Pym. By the 80’s it was more B-list characters that usually grabbed the spotlight, like Hercules, the Black Knight, Crystal, or Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau). The roster when this story opens is Wasp (team leader), Captain America, Black Knight, Hercules, Namor, and Captain Marvel. Also worth noting is the presence of the Avengers mansion’s butler, Edwin Jarvis. Before the Siege, Namor is forced to return to Atlantis to deal with some personal issues, and Hercules, pissed that the Wasp is in charge of him, goes off to get drunk.