I’m back today with a highly-specific guide for “pledgeonaut” Patrons of CK. This one also spun out of last week’s update to my Guide to She-Hulk, because it’s also a Guide to She-Hulk! No, not that She-Hulk, the other She-Hulk – it’s a Guide to Red She-Hulk!
Be warned: Even though the guide itself is careful not to spoil details of Red She-Hulk’s secret identity while covering pre-reveal issues, I’m talking about it openly in this post.
Honestly, it was only a secret for nine months 12 years ago! But, I think it was a fun secret executed well, so I try not to ruin it for people who might be coming to the run for the first time.
Marvel was going through an interesting period from 2005-2012 where at first they were revitalizing lines and characters purely out of the business instinct to stay alive, but then they started adjusting them even more due to the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
To me, this began with the period of Bendis launching New Avengers through the death of Captain America at the end of Civil War, with House of M sandwiched between them. Despite Marvel using the “All-New, All-Different” tagline since the Bronze Age, this was the first time in a while that the main 616-Marvel Universe felt like a truly new and different place.
(A lot of that was down to the sales and popularity pressure from the Ultimate Universe, which at that point was threatening to subsume the main one.)
One result of that period was character lines that felt larger than they used to. Marvel’s major Silver Age characters feel encouraged to reinvent their casts and build their own huge events. That was certainly true for Hulk, which went from a Marvel also-ran to one of their hottest titles on the strength of Greg Pak’s “Planet Hulk” storyline, which spun into the line-wide “World War Hulk” event.
In the wake of that, Pak and Jeph Loeb had more leeway than ever to expand the scope of Hulk comics. Suddenly, there were a lot of Hulks and Gamma-powered characters. We had Bruce Banner as Hulk, Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk, Doc Samson, Rick Jones as A-Bomb, the newly-birthed Skaar, and even Lyra – Hulk’s daughter from a potential future!
(Spoilers begin here.) [Read more…] about New for Patrons: Red She-Hulk AKA Harpy
Today in my best-of-Marvel retrospective, we’re looking at ten mega-sized runs from Secret Invasion in 2008 to Avengers vs. X-Men in 2012 that really ought to be omnibuses.
If you want to see any of them in that mega format, perhaps they ought to be your vote in the Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot – choices are due this Sunday!
However, even sans a mighty omnibus edition, all of Marvel’s modern runs are easily collected in hardcovers and trade paperbacks listed in Crushing Comics’s Guide to Collecting Marvel Comic Books, and 100% of the issues are available on Marvel Unlimited, a $10/month Netflix-for-Marvel-comics.
Whether you’re a new comics fan or a grizzled vet, read with this in mind: These potential mappings are just my own shot, and the may include errors, omissions, or choices that could be improved. That’s part of the fun, for me – it’s like playing “Fantasy Corrections Department”! If you see something fishy or have a vociferous disagreement, I’d love to know what that is via the comments, below.
The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide on collecting Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers comics books via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Comics – Guide to Marvel Comics. Last updated May 2023 with titles scheduled for release through January 2024
The Thunderbolts were a curious creation for Marvel, and its most-recent enduring property after 1991’s Deadpool. The team was introduced in early 1997, at a time when the Avengers and Fantastic Four had been banished to the Heroes Reborn pocket universe in the wake of Onslaught. Their absence left a super-team gap in the modern Marvel universe, which was obliging filled by the Thunderbolts.
The Thunderbolts were posed as a brand new super team not only in the Marvel Universe, but in the promotion around the new title. That made it all the more shocking when the end of the first issue revealed the do-good team to be the Masters of Evil masquerading behind newly made heroic identities! Fans flipped out, sales shot up, and Marvel had a new franchise on its hands.
After a brief hiatus in the early 2000s, the title returned and ran through the beginning of Marvel Now. However, it would twice detour its cast to a second title – Dark Avengers. [Read more…] about Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers – Definitive Collecting Guide and Reading Order