Tags Matching: cable

Rob Liefeld’s New Mutants plus Levis 501 Denim

Back in the early 90’s I remember seeing a commercial for Levi’s Jeans that featured a young up and coming artist named Rob Liefeld. The commercial was directed by none other than Spike Lee, who at the time was directing a lot of Nike’s commercials. In the background you can see images of The New Mutant comics that Rob had begun illustrating for Marvel. The title was in a major slump until Rob came along and pulled it out. Later on Rob would leave and start Image comics along with some other great artists. Rob has been no stranger to controversy his career like many other artist has been plagued with many ups and downs. But I would rather focus on some of the milestones instead. These are few of my favorite New Mutant’s issues.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJhoa2SVGNA

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Top 100 Summer Comics #4

Gene Ha wasn’t meant for the world of hero comics.

He was too good.

#5 – Askani’son 1

His style was both science fiction and organic, which created this surreal futuristic setting that has not often been replicated. His take on the book MADE it – the stories are great, and Scott Lobdell deserves some major props for excellent pacing and tone. But it was Gene Ha’s unique vision that made this one of the best x-books of the ’90s, if not ever.

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Thats’s A Lotta Liefeld…

This is a HUGE lot of X-Force. All the Liefeld tiny feet you could possibly want and beyond…

(pictures of the rest of the lot available in the auction)

It’s so weird to me that X-Force managed to be so popular. Even then, I didn’t see the appeal, and the writing always seemed terrible to me. I mean, Shatterstar’s nick name was “Shatty Buns”. What does that even mean? Deadpool and Garrison Kane though, those guys were cool. I think I read issue 2 more than any other issue I had (which in total was a whooping 4 issues), just because of the opening scenes of the blabbermouth ninja guy fighting the guy who could shoot his hands. It was so ridiculous that it actually worked for me, unlike Feral being, well… feral and Cannonball getting gutted what seemed like all the time.

But hey, if X-Force was your thing, this is a good chance to score a vast majority of it.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #61

90’s X-Men isn’t for everyone. To be honest, when I read a lot of it now I’m not feeling it.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain stories that pull me into complete geekdom.

Case in point: the Askani’son miniseries, and that entire alternate future. For some reason the entire post technology / organic metric future always resonated for me. But one of the rarely included pieces in the mythos is this great issue where Jeph Loeb fleshes out some of the best action.

#61 – Cable 25

Basically one of the only meaningful(?) appearances of Jenskot, y’know, Cable’s wife? Regardless, I would have preferred 1) no time travel, just an account of the future events 2) Steve Skroce over Ian Churchill 3) Gene Ha over either – but otherwise, and those things included, dig this issue. Churchill has only gotten better with time but I think he did well here. A lot can be said about Jeph Loeb but he was one of the few who really did something cool with Cable. Props.

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Top 100 Summer Comics… #82

Jeph Loeb had a big day.

Announced today as the new head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb sure has come a long way since his days at the x-table in the mid 90s.

But sometimes, glory days still feel good once in a while.

#83 – Cable 19

Long story short, Cable kinda sucks. He’s got some really strong characteristics (the Askani stories are some of my favorite Marvel stories ever) but for whatever reasons his really had a lot of low points. Him and Gambit should hold weekly 90’s superhero phenom recovery meetings every Wednesday night. Regardless, Loeb and artist Steve Skroce got it. They did him right, perfect tone and balance of what he was. Loeb continued on with artist Ian Churchill who did a good job, but I was such a big Skroce fan I never really dug it the same. Skroce had a real unique style that I’ll have to dig into at a later point, but this issue was cool. The dude on the cover? That’s Tyler Dayspring, Cable’s son, aka Cyclops’ grandson. WEIRD.

PS – Years later Wolverine gutted this dude.

Hot 100 Summer Comics… #90

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than by looking at the tragic and short fatherhood of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops.

His son became Cable, for all that is good and bad with the character. But for me, the most interesting and cool part about the character is how he got there.

#90 – X-Factor #68


Nathan Christopher Summers was captured and infected with the techno organic virus. There was a decision to make between saving his life by sending him to the future or… well there wasn’t much of a decision. The story set up the entire Askani’son storyline / future and I have always been a huge fan. The Whilce Portacio art is on point. Loved it so much that I think I used to trace this cover. OOF. I don’t think the issue available here will have trace impression on the cover.

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Phalanx Covenant

As far as the X-Men go, I loved the 80’s. Basically the entire decade was perfect. I loved X-Factor, I loved the New Mutants, and give me Gateway and the Aussie X-Men any day.

But for many people, they think early 90’s X-Men. Jim Lee, not Marc Silvestri. Cable, not Longshot. I liked that era (some of it a lot) but it was slipping. And then it happened. I was out. X-Cutioner’s Song was one I couldn’t sing. I like it, but even now thinking about it I feel icky. It’s not what it should have, could have been. It’s weak is what I’m trying to say. The art, the story, all of it feels like too many chefs, not enough waiters. Like I said, I dipped. This was the story that pushed me out of comics.

And it was a while. Looking back I dig on the Jae Lee art but that’s almost it. Nothing else jelled. I bought every issue (all twelve) and at the end felt empty. “Like butter scraped over too much bread”…

A year and a half passed (an eternity for a 12-13 year old) and I had started to dabble. I was revisiting some of my old comics, and had even bought a couple of new comics. And then I saw this cover on the stand.

Who’s that?
Why is Wolverine all technarked?
Is that Sabretooth?

And I bought it. And I was hooked. By a book that focused on Emma Frost, Banshee, and some weird new mutants. Joe Madureira did the art. Weird, strange, but refreshing. “Alright, I’m curious.” – I bought the rest of the crossover as it came out, and bam, just like that, just like George Costanza, “I’m Back, Baby.”

It seemed during my absence the x-books had all diverted and found their groove after the abyss that was the x-cutioner’s song. The Phalanx Covenant had laid the ground work for me to jump back into all of these books and I was interested in them all. I can say that this still holds up, and the above links are to a complete set of the original issues of this crossover, featuring pretty dope holo-foil covers. All for under $10 bucks, even better. Cheaper than original cover price.

If the trade scene is your preferred route, scoop up this, “the origin of generation x” trade, that contains the series in it’s entirety, as well as Generation X #1. And for even cheaper than the collection of singles above… just no holo-foil covers. Get at this.


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Let’s talk Cannonball and X-Force. And shoulderpads.

X-Force dropped like a bomb. 

X-Force #1 sold 5 MILLION copies. Only topped by X-Men #1.

 

Five million copies – which is why you can now cop one for about… 50 cents. Still polybagged.

It was a weird time for comics. There was a speculator interest in comics for investment value. Variant covers were hot. Rob Liefeld was in a Levi’s commercial. There were button sets.

And trading cards. Lots of them. Complete sets in fact.

The Batman movies were still good. Superman was about to die. Like I said – weird times. 

And X-Force was hot. White hot. And then something happened. It wasn’t that good. If you are mad at me right now, go back and re-read those first 10 issues. Not good. Let’s be honest – issues 3+4 are absolute garbage filler created to crossover two of the three hottest books of the day (McFarlane’s Spider-Man being the other) and Liefeld’s run ONLY lasted 8 issues (1-7, 9) so for two of those 8 to be filler… wack. And the stories were thin. Issues 1 + 2 I enjoy, but the Spider crossover’s only redeeming feature is some good back and forth between Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut – that’s all.

Oh, and remember that whole development of Cannoball? Well.. it kind of.. sputters? He’s an external. Do you know what that means? He can’t die. That separates him from other Marvel heroes how? As it turns out the Sauron issues were the “highlight” of the Liefeld run, and that’s where Sam gets gutted, literally. And the rest of the team turns that hotbed of teen angst into a vengeance mission… which is about as good (and deep) as it got with X-Force.

I’ll say this – at least he’s not whining. And just as Liefeld exits stage right… so does Cable. Latchkey X-Force. (*LOL at $50.oo for the shirt below)

But then the strangest thing happens… X-Force becomes readable. Very readable. The art is spotty in the post Liefeld period but finds some consistency with Greg Capullo. who later found his nitch on this little series called Spawn. My interest, however, peaked when artist Tony Daniel joined the team.

Daniel’s art was quick, sharp, and decidedly different than the very Image influenced feel that X-Force had suffered from post Liefeld. Daniel had a style that I have a hard time of pin pointing, but will say it has sharper lines, tighter definition and makes me think of a controlled Chris Bachalo who deals in sharper angles and images; whereas Bachalo softens images with curves, Daniel gives you a sharper cut to his lines.

But a change was coming, and Jeph Loeb and artist Adam Pollina took over. Through both these runs I thoroughly enjoyed X-Force, and part of that just happened to be Cannonball leaving to join the X-Men (where he was AWFUL. Talk about paint drying level of characterization) and inevitably rejoining them.

I think this is the best and most underrated era of either the X-Force or New Mutants series and urge people to check this run out. Loeb was a great talent and huge part of making the tangential x-series (Cable, X-Force) quality, and a reason the X-Men ruled the 90’s with no real challengers. 

What happened next? Warren Ellis joined the book at a very poor period and the series fell apart. Peter Milligan shuffled the deck and gave the series a last gasp, but it was a completely different beast. 

So, my point is – Cannonball is a bummer. He’s best remembered when he’s not around. Last seen, he’s been sporting a costume with a giant “C” on his chest. He might as well right “AVERAGE” on his boots. Or maybe just “MEDIOCRE”. But decide for yourself. Maybe you always wished to be a human rocket, but not the coolest one (Nova, The Rocketeer, I’m probably forgetting a few) or a third rate Cyclops. But me?

Not a fan.

Okay, Let’s talk Cannonball and the New Mutants.

Sam Guthrie.

Or as I think of him, the hick with no schtick. 

He was supposed to be the leader of the New Mutants. Essentially, he was Cyclops with an accent. Unfortunately, he was always whiny and ineffective, which to be honest was part of the appeal of the New Mutants. They WERE losers. It definitely felt as though they LOST more than they won.

Doug dies. Warlock dies. Magick dies.

Rahne gets Genosha’d. Most of the members got put through the ringer and especially in hindsight feels like a good reflection of a “high school for superheroes” experience. Most people will tell you high school wasn’t all that fun – I’m sure Sam Guthrie would agree.

Oh p.s. – Professor X leaves for a galactic journey (he was a bad teacher anyways) and now Magneto is your professor. Until he ditches them and the new mutants might as well be renamed the Latchkey Mutants.

And then… a light in the darkness. The (new) New Mutants give the team an interesting jolt. Boom-Boom and Rictor helped this team with a bit of an edginess. Even Rusty and Skids helped make them interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, Boom-Boom likes the tall, gawky types. And… enter Cable. (And Rob Liefeld.)

(* seller’s location: “The Xavier Institute for Gifted Students.” Nice try, noob. That’s where Generation X did their x-learning.) 

And we then go through the coolest period of the New Mutants. Issues 87-100 are awesome – essentially everything I want out of comics – episodic characters going through changes, progressing and pretty high level of storytelling. Not once during these issues did I complain about odd proportions or giant guns – that’s what a breath of fresh air this was. And hey, Cannonball is coming around. Sure the ever-present “ah guess ah just dont know” was annoying, but he was finally leaving the world of wimpdom. It was nice. Oh and then Sunspot left and literally no one cared. Literally. No. One. Cared.

There were so many cool characters popping off (Domino, Deadpool, Shatterstar, Gideon, Feral, Warpath) that ‘Berto wasn’t even a blip. Boom-Boom and Cannonball were essentially all that was left of the Latchkey Mutants, and so we move into the X-Force era. What can I say – at this point I’m a fan, Cannonball is developing and has potential. He’s slowly moving away from the character with an awful stereotypical accent and who cries and has a terrible knack for failing. 

To be continued in – “Pt 2 – Let’s talk Cannonball and X-Force. And Shoulderpads.”

R.I.P. New Mutants (series 1)

Poster Xtravaganza…

Well it’s just a couple, but they’re pretty damn cool. The very excellent cover of X-Men #2 and a cool group shot of such unbelievably popular mutant heroes such as Feral, Boom-Boom, Domino and Cannonball. Man, I hate Cannonball. So corny. I like every other member of the Guthrie clan ten times more. Show me where Husk’s at?

But I do love these posters. Both deserve a frame. And for $5.99, you can afford to do it right. 

Did you know Rob Liefeld was once in a Levi’s commercial? Yeah, you probably did. But maybe you never saw this. Now try to unsee that. 

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