Tags Matching: joe madureira

I Don’t Get It

Two things I don’t understand wrapped up in one Ebay auction. Joe Mad and variant covers. There’s nothing wrong with either thing, in and of themselves. Joe Mad is a talented artist; variant covers are just more art. They shouldn’t cause such feelings to bubble up in my gut. But they do.

Joe Mad’s art doesn’t flatter any of the things I’m into. His work on X-Men really put me off from that whole period of Marvel and when people talk about Age of Apocalypse I can’t contribute. That whole time is a comic book lacuna for me. I want gravity to my stories and Mad’s art is the opposite of that. It’s pure fun and as uptight as this may sound- I’m not into fun. I get enough fun in the other parts of my life. I want comics to be engrossing and literate. Not lite and fun. I had friends attempt to explain Mad’s Battle Chasers book to me. No dice. Too “fun.”

And variant covers … that topic is worth its own blog post.

Anyway, check this out. It’s Joe Mad doing Vampirella, the character that best illustrates fun for fun’s sake. You may love it. If so, pick this one up.

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Strong Guy

Maybe some of Peter David’s finest writing is the segment where Guido, bodyguard to Lila Cheney, joins X-Factor and has to pick a code name. Strong Guy is his choice, and the irreverence and annoyance with which the other characters react is perfect. Havok has never seemed so surly, and Mr. David did it perfectly.

So for the Strong Guy diehards out there, this one’s for you. Joe Madureira original art – nothing special here, but like I said, if you are just looking for a manageably priced piece of a loved character, this would do very nicely.

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This is just weird.

Quick, you have to pick one artist to associate with Kitty Pryde.

John Byrne? Good choice.

Alan Davis? Good choice.

But how about…

JOE MADUREIRA!

Hmmmn… I’ve seen J.Mad draw Shadowcat once or twice. It was fine. Pretty good actually. But this combo makes no sense to me. Also, how awkward is that action figure? Is it even an action figure? Isn’t a Shadowcat figure more of a doll? Let’s be real.

This is an autographed Kitty Pryde doll. Be bold. Make the purchase. I thought you were a real fan.

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Deadpool x Joe Mad x Original Art

I don’t think anyone here is a big Deadpool fan, but I see his value. Maybe not even that – I see his potential. But right now, he’s the equivalent of food options on a cross country drive. You know there’s amazing food somewhere, and you want it, but all you are seeing are McDonald’s and Subway. No one’s doing the work to make this character more than a literal idiot babble stream of thought. But – the sales are there, so who am I?

Anyways, this is one of the best original art piece auctions I’ve ever seen. With two days left, it’s still at a very reasonable price, and it has a potentially awesome feature for presentation. You get the original Joe Madureira pencils, Joe Rubinstein inking, and Laura colors – so you get the entire work as it moves through the traditional comic art process. I could see this being put into a three panel frame, pencils to the left, inked work in the middle, and the final colored piece to the right.

If you are a fan of original art, you must see the auction. So cool.

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Space X-Men in Spacesuits

During the later period of Scott Lobdell’s epic run on the ’90s Uncanny X-Men, things got a little weird. An amnesiac Magneto joined the team, dubbing himself Joseph. The X-Men for some reason or another were in space, and instead of like every other time they’ve been there, they decided to get some fancy-dancy spacesuits. This screams of either Joe Madureira boredom or “we need some space variant action figures!” I’ve never seen this promo poster for this storyline.

This all led up to, of course, Uncanny X-Men #350, where it’s revealed that Gambit was involved with the Marauders and had basically aided and abetted the Mutant Massacre. This, as I believe I’ve alluded to before, was effectively the last relevant Gambit story. The issue came out in December, 1999 – what if he had just been left in the ’90s? His character has only gone through painful and terrible development since this time, and it would have been poetic for his last story to be at the very end of the decade he helped define.

Instead, we’ve been saddled with a character who’s been so embarrassing for the past ten years that there’s almost no imaginable way to revitalize him as a valuable property. To think, he was once seen as a potential contender for Wolverine / Punisher / Daredevil levels of popularity. Ooof.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #50

I wanted to do a special issue for #50 of this. Instead, an issue that has all the components of a special issue, but doesn’t quite hit the spot.

#50 – Uncanny X-Men 325

There was a great and highly underrated writer, Scott Lobdell, who wrote 60 or so straight issues of Uncanny, and at the same time threw down a 20 issue run on X-Men on top. If anyone has been forgotten unjustly, it’s Lobdell.

There was the young, trendsetting artist Joe Madureira. Mad was firing on all cylinders with this issue.

There’s an X-Men baseball game – an homage to the olden days, a Claremont era tradition. There’s Morlocks, a whole new batch (I went with the Gremlins reference intentionally).

But for some reason, this one is just real good. Not classic. I think that the problem is there lacks a tension in the issue, that the conflict just isn’t hitting the audience. No major plots were dangling or resolved, and the nu-Morlocks were just half rate. Still, a fun read. I just read it again and continue to scratch my head as to why no collections exist of this era.
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Top 100 Summer Comics #69

Joe Madureira was the first big name “NEW” artist after the trifecta of Jim Lee / Rob Liefeld / Todd McFarlane hit in the late 80’s.

That’s not to say he was the first new artist who came out. The early 90’s had some gems… but none of them garnered the hype and immediate acclaim that any of the names mentioned did. Joe Mad was an instant brand.

And Marvel was NOT going to let what went down with those other three names go down again so quickly.

#69 – Uncanny X-Men 328

What’s shocking is how little comic book work he’s actually done. Including his recent 5 issue run on Ultimates 2 with Jeph Loeb, Joe Mad has done about 43 full issues. Crazy. However, about half of them were on the Uncanny X-Men. No bigs. This issue finally brought some resolution to this whole weird “Rehabilitate Sabretooth” storyline that seemed pretty ill advised. Biggest complaint about Marvel Comics creative post 1990 – TOO MUCH REHAB. Leave unadulterated evil alone. Here… wrongs were righted.

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Anniversary Issues – a story of diminishing returns

Anniversaries are slowly becoming less relevant in our society. 

Am I wrong? Doesn’t the sentimental significance of an “anniversary” mean less and less, as our attention span zooms in on minutes and seconds over months and years?

Maybe I’m just cold. Or too real. But regardless, that’s how I feel. And comic books are on my side. Uncanny X-Men, step up to the witness stand.

Uncanny X-Men #100. “At last”? I’m willing to bet it was an absolute shock to many that the Uncanny cast made it to 100 issues. Please note – the X-Men series was actually cancelled after issue #66, and was published as reprints from #67-93. Really. So this was a big one, and had a pretty decent premise. I remember it, but it took a refresher. rating: 7/10

Uncanny X-Men #150. Great issue. The first full blown Magneto bash that the “all new, all different” team had, and this was a doozy. Pretty much a classic at any price, but the one above is still in the bargain column. Now established as a titan, Uncanny was just churning with Chris Claremont in his glory. rating: 8.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #200. The trial of Magneto. Fenris. Magneto in some weird new purple pajamas. John Romita Jr. drops in and really pulled this one together as Professor X makes yet another prolonged absence; he doesn’t reappear until #273-#275 – more on that later. A real twist as the X-Men started to veer off the tracks as far as their team direction. For me, the team only got better from here until issue #275.For anyone who’s taken a college level history course, I always enjoyed breaking it into two periods – the RISE and the FALL. I was always on the “Fall” side, as far as interests lie. Here begins the fall, and eventual rebirth. But as a single issue, well, it’s continuity heavy. And that’s gonna knock it back. rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #250. Full disclosure, this is a part of my favorite era of the Uncanny X-Men, roughly issues 235-260. A true golden era, Claremont demolishes the team to rubble with Silvestri, Dan Green and this guy named Jim Lee serving the art up on a golden platter. I dig this issue, but I will give some perspective to balance it out. Man, I want to give it a 9, but I won’t.No icons, no long lasting results, Havok and Polaris have been retconned so many times… rating: 7.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #275. So good that it needed to be included even though I’ve been sticking to the century and half century marks. Chris Claremont’s opus essentially concludes here, with a brief encore in the eponymously titled X-Men for a brief three issues. Everything and the kitchen sink – multiple long running trademark Claremont plot threads get wrapped up, Shi’ar, Xavier, Savageland, Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, dinosaurs, Magneto and some big ol’ spaceships. Absolutely classic and can be enjoyed by people who only know the X-Men from a movie or cartoon. rating: 9.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #300. A huge dropoff. I’m not going to blame the creative team – Scott Lobdell deserves a lot more credit than he receives for his X-Men contributions, and you can’t lose with John Romita Jr and Dan Green on the stick and ink. But storywise, this one’s a dud. The lamest incarnation of the Acolytes (please argue this with me, someone) with Fabian Cortez at the helm, Bishop prominently featured on the cover (a later post to detail his fail levels being dangerously high to come) and Moira MacTaggert, a leading support character who died and has seen zero interest in a resurrection. That is a testament to her lameness. Fabian Cortez, Bishop, MacTaggert… three lames and you’re out. rating: 5.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #350. The conclusion to a dangling storyline almost a decade in the wait. Probably more like five years, though for some reason this was the beginning of the end for any and all Gambit love. He never recovered his heat after this, but I will give this issue some points. Joe Mad’s only contribution on here and though I’m not his biggest fan, I do think he did a great job for the X-Franchise. The story and summation of Gambit’s past was good and I think this could be enjoyed on a single issue level. Though people maybe confused by who this “Joseph” character is… rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #400. Alright, here come those diminishing returns. I’m not going to flack this too hard, but let’s just talk about the major characters used in this one. Archangel, Chamber, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Wolverine, and Stacy X. Stacy X. Really. So let me just stop there, and for those unfamiliar, Stacy X was introduced in this arc and was a prostitute mutant who controlled pheromones. And I’m not even a HUGE detractor of the character, just on how poorly she was fleshed out and developed. Poor form. Joe Casey had a rough time to be writer on X-Men and I don’t think it was his best work. rating: 3.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #450. Chris Claremont + Alan Davis + X-Men = … BAD?!?! NO! Say it ain’t so, Joe (Q)! This is real. Alan Davis has his normal smooth style but I would even say this was a low moment for him. Some weird facial angles can really jack up what I normally love in Davis’ art, which reflect this odd oblong structure and overly pronounced cheek and lip definition. Big story development – the introduction of X-23. Not the worst, and certainly relevant now, but… overall a very anti-climactic return to Uncanny for both Claremont and Davis. rating: 3.75/10

Uncanny X-Men #500. I wanted to love this. Not just like, but LOVE. And I didn’t. I didn’t even really like it. I tried. Believe me, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are absolutely tops of the game in this era, and I have admitted to really digging on Terry Dodson’s art. But there was too many moving pieces and just a kind of poor execution here. Magneto, and Sentinels, two pencilers and two writers… it just didn’t gel. Not bad, but forgettable in that “wait, what happened in last month’s issue” kind of way. rating: 4/10

X-Men Oddlot

The X-Men were on top for basically 20 years. You could maybe extend that an extra 5-10 years on either side, but it’s pretty obvious they bow at the Avengers throne these days.

Through that 20 years, there were many artists, a handful of writers (thanks to Chris Claremont and Scott Lobdell making extended (and quality) visits at the helm) and a whole lot of great. 

What’s for sale here is basically the salad bar of Uncanny X-Men issues. Some delicious stuff, some eh stuff, and it’s all from different parts of the bar. There’s a few empty bins, but you get to a good feel. Imagine walking into your local Dollar Store and there was a package of 64 random issues of Uncanny? 

Would Buy.

Now – What if I mentioned the lot included the first Jim Lee issue of Uncanny? How about the infamous Uncanny 275? And what about the first issue of Whilce Portacio’s run (a personal favorite)? And then some good ol’ John Romita Jr., both his first and second stints on Uncanny? And to top all that off… Joe Madureira’s first full issue too. Hot damn.

Must Buy.

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