Taking a look back at ten, twenty-five, and fifty years of February comicbook anniversaries!
FURY’S WAR! Brian Michael Bendis, Gabriele Dell’Otto and company give us the Secret War – a five issue painted mini-series that took almost two years to complete. If I remember right, the story seemed to set the stage for Bendis’ run on Avengers, seeds for the Secret Invasion, the restructuring of SHIELD and more. It also removed Nick Fury more or less from the mainstage of the Marvel Universe for awhile. Even with all that, it still reads well as a stand alone story.
FOCUS! DC releases the Focus line starting with Hard Time by Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, Brian Hurtt and company. The Focus line featured super-powered characters in non-superhero settings or stories. Other titles that followed were Kinetic, Fraction and Touch. Hard Time season one was the only one I ever read – curious to hear if any of the others were worth reading.
SUB DIEGO! This volume of Aquaman, that starts with Rick Veitch as writer, has its ups and downs. With issue #15, it definitely hits an up with new writer Will Pfeifer (who was making a splash at the time with HERO), new artist Patrick Gleason (making a name for himself on this run before moving on to Green Lantern Corps) and the rest. These early issues of the “American Tidal” storyline, featuring a part of San Diego that sinks to the bottom of the ocean (hence the nickname Sub Diego), were hard to find once word spread of what was going on in the book. A bit of a sleeper hit, Pfeifer’s short run also gave us a new Aquagirl and a few great Alan Davis covers.
OTHER: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s the Monolith begins; Flash 207 starts a run of Michael Turner covers; Jessica Jones stars in the new Pulse series also by Bendis; and the Wildstorm universe ignites into the Coup d’Etat crossover.
THE END! After the events of the Pitt and the Draft, the New Universe ends with the War mini-series. I never got this far in the New Universe line. I wonder how hard it would be to collect the New Universe titles and power through a binge reading of it all – or if it even holds up?
REBORN! DC introduces the new post-Crisis Huntress in her very own series. Prior to her reboot, I read the Helena Wayne version in Infinity Inc, in Wonder Woman back up stories, scattered JLA/JSA team-ups and in Crisis. With this new Helena Bertinelli Huntress, it would take years to read some of her appearances. Probably not until a few Justice League International or Robin issues. And then steadily in Morrison’s JLA, “No Man’s Land”, Birds of Prey and elsewhere. It’s interesting to note that this version had a longer career in comics (only from 1989 to 2011) than her pre-Crisis version (from 1977 until 1986) and yet we’re back with the Helena Wayne version.
BEHOLD! The Vision goes through some major changes in the Byrne West Coast Avengers run.
OTHER: Justice League Europe #1 is released; Jim Starlin’s Gilgamesh II 4-issue mini-series; first issue of the Marc Spector Moon Knight series that would run for 60 issues starting with writer Chuck Dixon; First Comics’ Twilight Man #1; and along with the War, the New Universe final issues of Psi-Force, Justice and DP7.
HERE COMES… Daredevil! The Man Without Fear starts his career and is blessed with a slew of fantastic artists: Bill Everett, Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr., Gene Colan, the Buscemas, Gil Kane, Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, John Romita Jr, Lee Weeks, Scott McDaniel and so so so many more. Happy Birthday, Hornhead!
OTHER: The Silver Age Hawkman graduates to his own series; first appearances of Enchantress and Skurge the Executioner in Journey Into Mystery #103; first appearance of the Wizard in Strange Tales 102; first mention of Aunt Petunia in Fantastic Four #26; and the planet that hails Lex Luthor as a hero gets a name in Superman #168: Lexor!