Heroes For Hire
Today I’ve got a succinct new guide for Patrons of CK that covers of the few Marvel teams I have yet to cover – and, it’s a team where anyone might turn up as a member. No, not the Avengers. Not the Defenders. I’m talking about a Guide to Heroes For Hire (& their Villains For Hire counterparts)!
This is a brief guide that won’t be exclusive to Patrons for all that long, since so many characters intersect with it. Right now, some of the series are linked from the Guide to Luke Cage and Guide to Iron Fist, others from the Guide to Shang-Chi, and some from nowhere at all. Once this is available to the general public, all of those collection links will be centralized to this guide.
This is a brief guide, but that’s because it’s just an hors d’oeuvre for a much bigger guide coming to Patrons later this week. Want a hint? It’s a guide for a character who is receiving one of Marvel’s most-recently announced omnibuses.
Stay tuned to find out more!
Patrons of Crushing Krisis currently have access to… [Read more…] about New for Patrons: Guide to Heroes For Hire & Villains For Hire
It’s our third installment of backwards time travel through Marvel runs that could easily fit into an omnibus volume to help inspire your votes on the Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot.
Today I’m taking a slightly different perspective than I did for 1998 to 2008 and 2008 to present. For those installments, I focused on runs I knew well or at least could recommend from context. However, when it comes to runs I’ve read, the 90s are pretty thoroughly covered over both by existing omnibuses and the current votes of the poll. Add to that how much of this period are covered by the end of runs from the 80s, that I’ve already mapped X-Men, and my temporary avoidance of exhaustively mapping Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, and the pickings wind up being pretty slim!
Thus, this list comes with a caveat – I’m not necessarily suggesting you run out and buy and read all of these runs right now. I mean, I own nearly all of them, and even having not read them cover to cover I can tell you that most of them are very 90s comic books.
However, they also represent under-collected material that’s relatively unknown to modern readers. While it might be more reasonable to see all of it covered with Epic Collections, I think it would be more expedient to see them collected in this format than to wait around for trade paperbacks.
Ready to dig deep into the extreme 1990s? [Read more…] about 10 Marvel runs from the 90s you might have missed (and that ought to be omnibuses) – 1990 to 1997
As we continue our trip backwards down Marvel Memory Lane, I’m here to convince you to read – or, at least, covet – 12 more Marvel runs, this time from 1998 to 2008.
While my concurrent period of X-Men looked at 2001 to 2008, for the rest of the Marvel Universe 1998 was a better starting point. That’s because Marvel’s Avengers and Fantastic Four franchises relaunched new volumes in 1998, and Spider-Man and Daredevil were rebooted within the next year as well.
(That wound up being less relevant to this post than I planned, since I decided not to touch mapping Fantastic Four or Spider-Man in the style of my exhaustive X-Men mapping. I also won’t hit the titles that are just waiting for a sequel – namely Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man. See my Orphan Report for more on those. And, one of the best runs from this period – Christopher Priest’s Black Panther – is already in the survey results.)
I’ve read less of Marvel outside of X-Men, so I’m being a little choosier with these runs so I don’t lead you astray! That’s not only a choosiness in quality, but in self-containment. While Marvel’s Universe was a little more siloed from 1998 to 2005, once New Avengers arrived titles became increasingly intertwined and reliant on events to launch and intersect with them until we hit peak tie-in after Secret Invasion in 2008, with the entire Marvel Universe being affected by Dark Reign in one way or another.
These runs aren’t that – they’re comics you could sit down and enjoy today regardless of your foreknowledge about a certain plot or character. While some of them intersect event series, none of them rely on your reading the main event to enjoy their chapters.
If you want to see any of these runs released in all-in-one omnibus editions, perhaps you should include some of them on your Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot – votes are due this Sunday!
However, omnibuses are not your only hope! The majority of these runs are collected in hardcovers and trade paperbacks listed in Crushing Comics’s Guide to Collecting Marvel Comic Books, and the vast majority of the issues are available on Marvel Unlimited, a $10/month Netflix-for-Marvel-comics.
Of course, all potential collection mapping comes with a disclaimer: all of my suggestions are subjective and subject to improvement, or at least spirited debate. If you have a correction, alteration, or disagreement, there’s no need to be shy – I’d love to hear from you in the comments, below.
Let’s dig in!
The definitive Power Man – Luke Cage – comic books issue-by-issue collecting guide and trade reading order for omnibus, hardcover, and trade paperback collections. Find every issue and appearance! Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics. Last updated December 2017 with titles scheduled for release through July 2018.
Collecting Luke Cage
Luke Cage emerged from Marvel’s early-70s habit of stealing themes from pop culture – in this case, the emergence of Blaxploitation films. That made him only the second prominent black hero at Marvel, after Black Panther – who had become a staple in The Avengers.
Cage’s story could have easily come to an end with the waning of the 70s, but Marvel made an unusual move in 1978 – they introduced the similarly fad-based character Iron Fist into Cage’s title, rechristening it “Power Man & Iron Fist.”
A street-smart man with unbreakable skin and a billionaire’s son who mastered a secret martial art. This memorable odd-couple pairing lead to another eight years of an ongoing series, until 1986 when Marvel ended several long-running 70s books at the end of Secret Wars II. Afterwards, Luke Cage was basically put into mothballs, and when he was taken out he didn’t prove a hit on his own – his 1992 self-titled series lasted only 20 issues.
Despite numerous guest-appearances and a brief Heroes for Hire run during Marvel’s late-90s struggle, it was one man who brought Cage back to prominence despite never writing him in a solo title: Brian Michael Bendis. Bendis introduced Luke Cage as a foil and on-again/off-again flame to Jessica Jones in Alias, linking the characters from that point forward (and using them both in his Daredevil run). Then, he plucked Cage from relative obscurity to join New Avengers alongside surefire sellers Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Ever since then, Luke Cage went from occasional guest-star to one of the most prominent heroes in the Marvel Universe, though he occasionally takes a break to change a few diapers. Like Hawkeye before him, he serves as an anchor and mascot for Avengers teams and as a mentor for reformed criminals the Thunderbolts. He also has a habit of popping up in any Iron Fist title.
In the wake of his smash Netflix series released at the end of 2016, Luke’s profile at Marvel was as high as ever – with him appearing in his own title, as well as Jessica Jones and a re-branded Defenders team. [Read more…] about The Definitive Luke Cage, Power Man Collecting Guide and Reading Order