Saturday, May 7, 2016

ROM zero issue FCBD and Avengers Civil War

Left click to enlarge

What a thoroughly underwhelming introduction this zero issue was for this supposed revival of the greatest of the spaceknights. All those months of hype, controversy and even anticipation and this is the result. There's really not much point in summarizing the 13 page story it's pretty much what you'd expect. ROM makes planet fall, encounters some local cops and the military . . turns out the military are dire wraiths . . .fight ensues . . human cops get a reality check. Not much more to it then that and the couple little nuanced stuff in it is really not worth talking about.
Well, like Micronauts #1 the ROM zero issue is DOA. I still hate the way his armor looks they should have left the design concept alone after releasing the zero issue cover art. Hate this neutralizer it looks like something you'd see in an infomercial. But not the good kind like slapchop more like a shakeweighty kind. The new analyzer concept consists of these ruby red eye looking things on his wrist, that's also stupid the people at IDW are trying waaaaay too hard to make this new ROM concept uniquely IDW. The art work isn't ditko bad but it's pretty unimpressive as well it feels very flat and in some panels really looks much like some of the mediocre fan art we've seen over the years.


Now for those of you who are about to reply with a "well it's just the zero issue give it a chance you can't judge it yet oh and somebody come change my diaper . . " and so on. I challenge you all to grab your copy of ROM #1 (Sal and Bill ofcourse) and give it another look. That was done in 1979 and it kicked ass in every way from ROM making planet fall to when he blasts for the first time a pair of dire wraiths. And this is what IDW came up with after all these years here in 2016. It's hard to believe this is what some old school ROM fans came up with given all the resources at their disposal as a major comic book publisher.


There's a full page add in the back of the issue for ROM#1. It has the the following tag line in it "The beloved galactic warrior is reborn for a new generation!". They're very much right about that, because from what I've seen so far this stuff IDW has come up with is not for my generation and further more Micronauts#1 and ROM zero has served to remind me why new comics are just not for me any more. I'm not gonna twist any body's arm here but I'll be writing a short and not so sweet letter to IDW and if you feel the same I would recommend you take a few minutes to do so as well. Because if you find yourself around 6 months from now seriously missing having a good ROM series to read you only have yourself to blame ROMcomics@idwpublishing.com



Moving on to the better half of my day, Avengers Civil War. I liked the first Avengers film and Age of Ultron seemed to get better and better the more times I watched it. But I gotta say, it was a nice change of pace to not see The Avengers fighting another CG army of aliens or robots. This was a really well done film especially the way it handled all the character development. At no point in the movie do you ever question the motivations behind everybody's actions. This was not just due to good screen writing but also due to the exceptional effort by all the actors involved. There's a lot going on in the movie just by virtue of the massive cast ensemble but it's all handled in a cohesive story line that flows well.
They also did a good job with just the right amount of screen time for the new characters into the Avengers cinematic universe such as Spiderman and Black Panther. Again, we understand why they are on Iron Man's side and we see and understand it in a way that doesn't feel rushed or added into the script at the last minute. Ofcourse we're treated to a lot of great action, drama and shocking revelations that further fray some of the relationships. It also appears that Avengers Civil War is in part a set up for the future Black Panther movie which I'm more excited about now thanks to the Black Panther character having been handled so well in this movie. An all around good film off hand I have nothing to nit pick at I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

Avengers Civil War fan art by Nikoskap


So a big thanks to the Marvel cinematic universe for giving us yet another epic film to enjoy for years to come. However when it comes to the more mainstream Marvel print universe I say yet again fuck you marvel. I present to you this lame ass response from Marvel to a fan of the original ROM spaceknight series. We know all about those "all new all different spaceknights in the pages of guardians of the galaxy" by now don't we? This comes to us from the letter column of Venom spacewhatever 006. So thanks Gary yet again for taking another one ($) for the team.

47 comments:

  1. I did say keep what you expect in check for issue 0. The preview gave just about all it away besides his tools and the wraithhawk? Anticlimactic but then again we honestly were hoping for alot of this preview issue. Cant think of anything else to say about it..

    Ill be seeing civl war tomorrow morning

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    1. instead of being pleasantly surprised the zero issue certainly lived up to my lowered expectations and i just can't imagine ROM #1 being much different. as for Civil War i'm about to leave the house in 5 minutes to go see it.

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  2. I had low expectations about this zero issue since the interior pages preview came out, and your review confirmed them.Clearly a disappointing day for old time Rom fans.These two panels you post look really uninspired artistically, I look now at my copy of Rom annual#2 and the art is simply brilliant in comparison.
    Hope you'll enjoy Civil War and have your spirits lifted after this let down.
    Finally, many thanks for featuring my fan- art piece here, I feel flattered.

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  3. It wasn't the worst issue that I've read it was a bit underwhelming but I do like the fact that ROM is making a comeback. So I'm going to give it a chance. My Hope Is that the expanded ROM Universe with the other space Knights is going to grow and we'll see some familiar faces maybe under different names. My personal favorite space night is rainbow so hopefully she'll appear in one form or another. And yes Civil War is one of the best Marvel movies ever.

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  4. Disappointed. Really felt like a ROM-IZED version of that Onyx mini IDW ran a while back from the alien weapons to the "infection" of Earth to the "wraith-taint" angle. Then there's the fact Rom was pushed by just a couple of Wraith who obviously did not fear him. Definitely not an auspicious start.

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  5. I'm a longtime ROM fan who came upon your blog after picking up the FCBD zero-issue. I didn't even realize he was coming back until a few days ago, when I was seeing what comics would be available today.

    What an unbelievable disappointment. The cover image got me excited (and the promo image on the inside of the issue opposite the Bill Mantlo ad -- which was a nice touch itself -- looks fine too). The actual art in the issue, though, well. I guess I can say the people look OK. Everything else? Huh. And that's to say nothing of the new design, of ROM and that wraith creature. Don't like either of them.

    I was disappointed to see IDW got the rights to ROM, as I would have much preferred to see his return in the Marvel universe (though I don't really follow comics deeply these days, maybe he doesn't work as "part" of that universe anymore, but at least the Marvel-owned characters could exist)... and I also liked the murmurs that the folks behind Guardians of the Galaxy tried to make him work on film.

    I haven't been following it closely, so I don't know the details, so I'm not sure where the blame lies for that not happening (so if I'm going to blind-fire, I'll blame Hasbro ;-))

    I'll probably check out the first issue, but my expectations are pretty much at rock bottom now.

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    1. hey welcome to the party pal. regardless of whatever kind of history you have with the ROM character you're always welcomed to leave what ever is on your mind here. for years now no one has been able to get a straight answer out of marvel as to why they didn't go after the rights again after all these years and honestly i don't think we'll ever find out. as you can see you're not the only one disappointed with this zero issue the only advice i can give you is to go see Civil War it'll make you feel better.

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    2. I did see Civil War on FCBD. It was a lot of fun.

      I've been thinking more about the new ROM, and I think it's interesting you bring up Ditko. I think the *drawing* here is better (I still remember #65. Ugh.), but compared with this limited sample, I think Ditko was much better at composing an image and telling a story in pictures (otherwise I agree with you on him).

      I also felt that the art was kind of inconsistent. The ridges on ROM's head - on the back in the images - are all over the place inside the comic. In some panels (P. 11) they look like they start right at the edge of his "forehead." On P. 5 they appear to extend too far forward. (and on P4-5 they look like tire tread).

      At the moment, this does little to improve my dim view of IDW as a publisher.

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    3. oh well in that case you're gonna like my next posting it'll be up within the hour. as expected the ROM fan sites on farcebook and twitter has the usual IDW brown nosing those people remind me a lot of the Star Wars fans that couldn't come to terms with the fact that the pre-quels were garbage.

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  6. ok, just finished writing the Avengers Civil War review portion of this posting.

    nikoskap
    i feel your pain brother on the ROM zero issue but at least Civil War didn't disappoint

    Tazirai
    don't hold your breath for IDW to do anything you like with this new ROM series and that includes any sort of Rainbow spaceknight continuity.

    Brian
    i also picked up on the Onyx parallels i just didn't think it was worth mentioning in the post.

    thanks for your comments guys!

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  7. I read the comic and yes it was disappointing. To wait for so long only to get such a flat lifeless story in both the art and writing truly is depressing.

    All that hype and for what? I just hope the real comic coming in July is better than this.

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    1. yeah just think 2+ more months to more then likely be let down again. i think we should start a support group for disillusioned ROM fans like alcoholics anonymous. it certainly makes one appreciate the original series that much more.

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    2. You got that right! Bill and Sall were the perfect pair to write and draw ROM. there won't be anymore like them.

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  8. I haven't been able to read issue zero but this response do not look good.
    Bummer, I was really looking forward to this reboot and put a lot of faith in IDW because of their TF work. Any way I can get my hands on a copy to see for myself?

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    1. well if you live near a comic shop you could still swing by to see if they have any left over copies. i've seen a lot of comic shops over the years give away their FCBD left overs and sometimes they'll eventually turn up in the discount back issue boxes. i think also eventually a lot of the clip art from it will turn up on the internet but honestly bro you're not missing anything.

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  9. Shlomo, I have been lurking over your blog for the last year or so since I've loved the ROM character for a long time. For that I say thank you since I don't have the time or energy to do something similar. I have somewhat high hopes for the new series even though it's not what it used to be because, heck, ROM is relevant again in 2016. I hope Hasbro actually follows through with a movie, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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    1. well your welcome, always good to finally hear from someone who's been "lurking" around this blog for the past year or so. i'm sorry about my often cynical tone it's just hard for me to stay upbeat about all this. i'm a bit more cynical about what's to come because so far i've been nothing but disappointed over the years first with marvel and now with IDW when it comes to ROM related matters. i just feel like Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema had lightening in a bottle and i think it's been forever lost.

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    2. Shlomo your cynicism is welcomed because I would love the ROM of old too. Mantlo and Buscema will never be recreated in the new series which makes the Marvel run that much more legendary. I hope you keep up with your blog down the road despite any dissapointment so far because this blog is the only place real ROM fans can gather :)

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    3. i could not agree with you more Anonymous as far as this being the penultimate social forum for ROM fans and i can assure you as long as i keep hearing from you fine people i will keep blogging. for years much of the stuff i've seen on twitter and farcebook mostly consists of a lot of redundant stuff, crappy fan art and just plain boring stuff like ROM poetry. i try to keep things a bit more fresh and interesting here.

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  10. Well, what did you really expect from issue 0? It did what it was supposed to: Introduce the character, his equipment, the villains, and the main concept. Were you expecting a full on story? It's essentially like ROM #1 of the old series.

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    1. Well thank you for chimming in here Chris but I think you may have missed the point here a bit with our greviance with the zero issue. What it did was introduce us to a updated version of Rom that doesn't appeal to a very large segment of the fan base that had been hoping for his return for quite some time now. And that we've seen the first published story for Rom since the mid 1980s we all just kinda feel like venting. And with all due respect Chris comparing this zero issue to the classic master piece that was Rom spaceknight 1 back in 1979 is like comparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a dog just pissed on with a gourmet burger hot off the grill at a high end restaurant.

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    2. What makes it so terrible exactly? Why is the new look terrible, because it actually looks more advanced, because he has fingers now, or because his armor makes him ACTUALLY LOOK like a knight? And what makes issue 1 a masterpiece in contrast, the annoying text boxes that are in EVERY PANEL that doesn't allow the mood to speak for itself? Issue 0 is literally only 13 pages. Really, what were you expecting? The exact same as the Marvel comic? It does it's job fine. I plan on checking out the rest of both series, since I have only seen a retrospective of the Marvel comic, but I'm very interested in both versions of the character.

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    3. Chris, it sounds to me like you're either a new comer here or you haven't been paying close attention to what has been posted and discussed here for the past 6 months or. i'm not trying to be a smart ass or some kind of dick but i say that because your questions as to our issues with this new version of ROM have been discussed in great length here since December last year.
      no one is looking for a slavish copy of the original series Chris. but what we're not looking for even more was this clunky looking anime style looking version of ROM. needless to say i'm fine with the fingers and a rounder head. if you look at ROM on the cover of the zero issue as well as the ROM #1 variant in the previous posting you'll see a design that i along with most other ROM fans would have been pretty happy or at least satisfied with. as for the new look of the neutralizer and this new concept for the "analyzer" are both just plain stupid and most everybody else feels the same way. if at this point you're still not clear what so many ROM fans don't like about this new direction IDW is going into then i don't think anything else i say will help you understand. i'm not looking for you to agree with us but if nothing else just understand what it is exactly that we don't like about what we're seeing here.

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    4. I think what we were HOPING for was something more ROM. What we got was a re-hash of the Onyx mini with a ROM that was more akin to the Manga-knights that most all ROM fans despise. The character just didn't have any real 'presence'. The introduction was a bad remake of the Original with no impact on the reader. IT's like the Star Wars Prequels. Everyone looking forward to it were extremely disappointed. But at least they had artistic spectacle. The art on this ROM was just massively mediocre compared to other comics out there. IF you are really trying to relaunch a franchise gone 30 years wouldn't you think you'd put forth the best art possible?

      So either IDW isn't really intending to grab a new market and let the old fans either get on board or go away; or they are just using this as a PR thing with the other properties they've acquired.

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    5. another good point about the art work Brian. a zero issue, especially in the case of revitalizing a 30 year old licensed property is supposed to be the hook for the readers both new and old. with it being a 13 page story in particular wouldn't you go balls out on the art work at least!? on so many levels i really just don't understand IDW's thinking here and it just keeps getting worse and worse with every new thing that comes out. i really dread what #1 will be like i wish people would take the time to let IDW know how they are feeling thus far but i feel most everyone will continue with this "wait and see" approach.

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    6. Brian Whisenhunt: Oh, my gods it IS exactly like the Star Wars prequels! A big bunch of hype that left longtime fan disappointed... yet inexplicably- the new generation still loves it for some reason I'll never grasp! Damn.
      So I need to wait for The Force Awakens apology ROM series that will be just like what I wanted... but still kind of a pointless rehash.

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    7. *fans

      I'll stop drinking, I swear!

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  11. I read all Rom issues, all crossovers, etc etc and I LOVED this preview of Rom. Don't know what more to say, just looking forward to the first issue.

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    1. Well so far you're the first Doc. So I'm just dying to know what it is in particular you liked so much about this Rom zero issue?

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    2. Well after years of Marvel featuring the ensemble of the Rom character cast except Rom, and doing this for years and years, it was nice to see Rom himself. So far they have a being that cannot leave his armor, which is a big point of the Rom story. He has the usual equipment (Neutralizer, Analyzer, Universal Translator, and Rocket pack). We got to see the concept that wraiths hid among humans, and in this case, that human blood was the fuel for the wraith magic. It was a basic encounter making it clear the wraiths were the welcoming or scouting committee that was waiting for Rom. So really the preview was there to establish what Rom could do and the war he was engaged in. I think the 13 page comic did that part great. The world Rom is on is different than we are used to (no longer Marvel 616 or whatever it was). But we have the build up. Will Rom fall in love? Will we get that angst and Agony of loosing his humanity till he finishes his war with the wraiths? Will he interact with other titles that IDW covers like he did in Marvel? Not sure. All I know is Rom is the galant Spaceknight kicking Wraith butt as usual and taking names. Love it. Again love how the wraiths keep humans around to power their magic, that is an interesting turn. And just glad we are no longer being teased, IDW did something Marvel was unwilling to do and get the rights and show old toasterhead himself again. Sure it will be different, a reboot, a little updated, but it's going to be fun. :D

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    3. well Doc i'm with you 100% on your grievance with marvel's handling of all things ROM related for at least the past 15 years now. and like you i'm an old school ROM fan with the entire collection and most of the tie-ins. but even though i arrived at a very different conclusion about IDW's ROM relaunch i never the less appreciate you coming here and taking the time to articulate your point of view. if nothing else it certainly keeps things interesting over here.

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    4. Doctor Clu: I did like the little blood-magic scene- that was a nice touch I was happy to see included.
      Not sure how fun this will all be for me, over-all... but I am glad someone is enjoying it. It's just a shame it couldn't have been me!

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  12. I read it again today after civil war. And I did notice a typo( me notice that lol ) on the last of the text on the bottom the ROM story in the find out in issue 1 blurb. The using the blood was a cool concept. For the comment about clasdic ROM Im a old school comic fan so I like lots of words in comics. I like they take time to read and digest .
    As for neq ROM Will see how this goes soon enough. I was underwhelmed but not totally disappointed.

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    1. i'm also a fan of wordy comics. it's just not right when you're reading a comic on the can and you finish it long before your business is concluded. especially with comics going for 4-5 bucks these days.

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  13. That last statement is the absolute truth. That's why Trades really are the way to go if you're planning on reading while you make plop plop in the toilet.

    The FCBD ROM one wasn't bad, but wasn't all that great. I liked the art though man, no lie. It was pretty much in today's generic but servicable. I didn't mind the small updates either. I know, I know, you're probably stroking out while spiting whatever drink you're drinking, but hear me out. It wasn't that bad. I liked the gun, so sue me. Seemed like a nice update. The mid-section eye beams couldve been designed better, but I do like the update to has oven-mitt hands. Blasphemy!!!!! You begin to scream to the heavens....seriously people, ovenmitt hands? Should be hanging out with the Shocker circa 1966 with that look. I like the improvements. The eye thingy wasn't that bad either. Seriously, as much as the story was underwhelming by it's length and duration, it wasn't that bad. Not classic ROM sure, but at least it sure as fuck wasn't that ROM Spaceknights series. See? Could've been worse honestly.

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    1. no, it honestly couldn't have been any worse then it was. in fact it was so shitty i stored my copy in a dog poop bag instead of a comic book poly bag.

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    2. You liked the art, AND hate the mitten-hands!!!
      Dale... Fuck you, buddy.
      Fuck you.
      Hahaha! Come on- Spaceknights was not great but it was WAY better than this! Jim Starlin wrote circles around this Chris Ryall... let's be real here. And as far as stiff anime-style art goes- Spaceknights wins there too. I prefer a hard crap over a runny shit any day!

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  14. I thought it was merely "okay." Not nearly as yawn-inducing as the Micronauts. I do realize, however, that modern comics, and particularly these reboots weren't made for me or even long-time fans. They're made to attract new readers to the brand for the inevitable Transformers/G.I. Joe crossovers and movie universe. I don't even mind that. Sometimes you just can't recapture the magic. Ash Vs Evil Dead, even with all of the principles returning, just left me shrugging. Nostalgia rarely pays off.

    "Dr. Rann"

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    1. i don't know if you read my letter which is in the most recent posting but i tried to make the case that a less drastic modification/update to ROM could have worked just as well in regards to broad readership appeal. in further exchanges i even sent IDW my sketch and you know what they told me? "Don’t see how this differs from our version."

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    2. I can't say I love it, but I don't mind it as much as you. I would assume that the design will be modified every time the artist changes. With this, and with Micronauts, both stories suffer from being overly decompressed. Very little happens in either book. One advantage of older comics is that they could compress a lot of story into a single comic so there's more opportunity for world building which grabs new readers from the get-go. Modern books tend to be more slow-burn and it does a disservice to sci-fi action stories.

      Dr Rann

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    3. So true, anonymous person... It's just not for us. I'm finding, as I get older, a lot of things just aren't for me anymore. I agree about Ash Vs. Evil Dead too! I liked it still... but not as much as I felt I should have... ended up being- just okay for me. ReROM fell a little short of okay though. D+ I think that's a fair assessment.

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  15. Yeah... this book, man...
    This book.
    Heh, can't say it's not exactly what I expected it would be. But I won't trash or praise anything until I've actually seen or read the thing. Even though sometimes you can just tell.
    This book... *sigh*

    ...damn it.

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  16. Wow!Congratulations on the following, Shlomo!That's quite a thread you got goin' on there.
    I haven't seen that book, but from the examples of the art that you posted, it looks pretty craptacular.Flat and boring...especially that panel where the wraith hawk is tackling Rom...weak.
    I was satisfied with Civil War.I wasn't very happy with the storyline in the comics. In particular, the part where Spider-Man publicly unmasked in support of Stark's pro-registration campaign was completely out of character for Peter Parker. Just one example of how the writers of comics nowadays are completely out of touch with the essence of well-developed characters that have been around for decades. But I digress. I'm glad that Spider-Man remained masked in the film. Also, shout out to Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. For me, he was the highlight of the film. The moment that he walks on camera, the fun meter spiked. That dude is hella funny. And it was great to see Ant-Man become Giant-Man.

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    1. Hell yes! Ant/Giant-Man and Spidey were the best parts!
      -From when Peter was introduced until when Stark told him to go home was the only section of the movie I loved! Black Panther was great too- I am excited to see how his movie is handled. If it's anything like the Christopher Priest/John Romita Jr. run (and BET cartoon) then it will be fantastic!

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    2. Wait- I mean Reginald Hudlin, I think...
      AHHH! I'm getting too old to keep all this shit straight!

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    3. hey look who took time out of his busy schedule to show up here today! more of that craptacular art can be seen here . . . .
      http://littlethingsincomics.blogspot.com/2016/05/iexpectedasmuch.html
      i had mixed feelings about Peter unmasking in the comic story but i loved Jonah Jamison's response to it had me cracking up. as for Ant-Man that movie was better then i expected although for me i feel like Scott Lang works better as a supporting character but i agree he was great in this movie. in general aside from The Black Panther movie i just wanna see more Avengers films there's no need for more solo gigs for Captain America, Iron Man, Thor or The Hulk. who doesn't love Black Widow? but does she really need a solo movie at this point? same goes for Spider Man i'd rather just see him in upcoming ensemble cast Marvel movies then more solo stuff.

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    4. I'd say that Spider-Man is the strongest character for solo movies. He's got a hellavu rogues gallery, as well as a very well-developed cast of supporting characters. I think it's fairly obvious that Spider-Man is Stan Lee's favorite and, in my opinion, has been the flagship title for Marvel for decades.
      I loved the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. The third one fell short of greatest because, unlike the first two, there were three villains instead of one. Not that multiple villains isn't a great idea...a Sinister Six movie would be spectacular! I just felt like they tried to do too much in the third and, therefore, the movie wasn't as cohesive as the first two. As far as I'm concerned , the Venom saga is a strong enough story on its own. Of course, in order to do it properly, it would have to be preceded by a Secret Wars movie. But, in order to do THAT right, Marvel would have to regain the rights to X-Men and the FF. But hey...I'm a purist. I just have to keep telling myself that the cinematic Marvel universe is an alternate reality to the primary 616 universe.

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