Book Report: Spider-Man–Carnage In New York

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While comics being turned into movies and TV shows are nothing new I wonder how many people realize that even prose has seen superheroes cross over from the panel to the text? Here at The Clutter Reports I’ve already reviewed The Death & Life Of Superman by comic writer and novelist Roger Stern. I have very few prose stories based on the DC and Marvel heroes but most of them are DC, mainly Superman and Batman. (I also reviewed a “Which Way” gamebook starring Superman.) I only have one Marvel novel, a co-authorship between a comic writer and a novelist.

In the 1990s Marvel published a series of novels starring their superheroes through Byron Press, one written by another crossmedia writer, Peter David, focused on a character he knew very well, the Incredible Hulk. David Michellie is mostly known for his run on Iron Man in the comics but did spend some time on The Amazing Spider-Man so he does know the character. (I do not know if there was a novel about Iron Man but if there is I hope he worked on it.) Aiding him was novelist Dean Wesley Smith. Together they penned a story about Carnage, an offshoot of Venom. Venom has a long backstory even before Marvel tried to fill out the symbiote race. Symbiotes are goo-like beings that bond with hosts, forming a sort of costume and granting the host special abilities while symbiote feeds on his I think adrenaline and sometimes uses the host to feed on other lifeforms. Carnage is a spawn of that symbiote that found a willing host in mass murderer Cletus Kasaday, forming a bond so perfect Carnage speaks in “I/me/my” rather than “we/our”. He is one of if not the most dangerous foe in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, making him a good choice for this novel.

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Comic Organizing Mega Project: Manga Sorting

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Time for more with the project that doesn’t end. I have collected a lot of comics and some of that collection comes from Japan. I don’t just mean the translated stuff either. As noted in a previous report before the Mega Project began I ended up with these sometimes out of curiosity and sometimes because the solicit from the catalog failed to mention it was in Japanese. With so much manga being translated I didn’t always know what was and what wasn’t in English. I had considered translating this but the Japanese grammar system is so far removed from Western languages that it’s a lot more work than I care to do. I have other projects that interest me more.

However, as of this writing, the four listed in that report I still don’t know how to sell off. I tried eBay but there were no takers. Still, I decided to organize all my manga, translated or not, and move forward on the attempt with the others. I still need to look over the untranslated stuff and see if I can still follow the story enough to keep any of it. While I have collected some translated manga put into typical Western comic style I still have plenty in Japan’s usual digest form, just in my language. That I’ll go over as I do the rest of my comic collection, but first I need to sort it all alphabetically and by language. That was this week’s project.

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Quick Project: Finding Lost Comics

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I dodged a time bullet on this project. A whole section of my Marvel comics went missing when I got to that section to review for my other site (as well as seeing what I want to keep), and I got concerned. I was going to finally do the final reunification of my comic collection even though I don’t have the time to do it properly. I want to go through some comics during the reorganizing that I’m thinking I don’t want anymore.

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Mini-Comic Report: Marvel/Drakes series 2

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I’m not happy that my first Clutter Report in some time is a crosspost from the other site, never mind one I only posted this week. However, I want to get back to writing for this site and this will hopefully be the first step on that front.


Many moons ago we looked at the first collaboration between Marvel Comics and Drake’s snack cakes, a four-issue miniseries in which Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Silver Surfer were slowly drawn into battle with Doctor Doom to rescue Jubilee from his energy experiments. Apparently the promotion was good enough to create a second one in 1994, this time five issues long and drawing in the other X-Men.

Eric Fein returns as the writer of these issues with rotating art teams. Letterer Janice Chiang and editor Glenn Herdling, as well as the Editor-In-Chief at Marvel at the time, Tom DeFalco, are the only other consistent names. So until the Comicstorian (if you don’t know who that is, I think I know what the next “Internet Spotlight” is going to be on) finally goes over these, it’s up to me to complete the review of this event. Good thing we loved our Coffee Cakes and Devil Dogs at the future BW HQ at the time. Never really got into Yodels.

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Toy Report: The Lizard (Spider-Man/Toy Biz)

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The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Man anima...

The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When you think of the “Jekyll & Hyde” analog in the Marvel Universe you probably think of Bruce Banner, the incredible Hulk. But he’s not the only one. In fact I would wager Doctor Curt Connors may be closer. Attempting to create a serum that could restore his lost arm, Connors used lizard DNA, since some lizards can allegedly regrow limbs. He would soon regret not going with a starfish or something since he not only regained his lost limb but became the Lizard, a monster determined to turn the entire human race into lizard people just like him. This may be the hardest foe Spider-Man has to fight since he is friends with Connors in both identities but the Lizard shares nothing of Connors save his chemical genius.

 

Toy Biz released a Lizard action figure as part of the second “Spider-Man” toy line, and this is the version I have, although he’s appeared in toys before and since. This is the same company, I remind you, that gave us the failed attempts at Doctor Octopus and the Rhino we’ve seen in previous reports. They have good points but not enough to outweigh the bad ones. Will the last of our Spider-Foes make the cut or complete the trifecta of disappointment?

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Toy Report: Spider-Man Classics Rhino

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Rhino1

Yes, I know I already did one of these fairly recently, but I reviewed a Spider-Man comic on the other site this week and I decided I wanted to look at the toy it came with.for this week’s Report. That toy is the Rhino, another of Spider-Man’s lethal foes. If you’ve seen the recent Amazing Spider-Man 2 you do not have an accurate portrayal of the Rhino. This guy is the original version. So let’s see how good the toy came out.

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Toy Report: Doctor Octopus (Marvel Legends?)

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First, what happened last week? Surprise convention that I thought was a week later. I wasn’t ready for it. Day after the convention: Crohn’s flare-up. Been a doozy of a week. Now, on to the review.

Doc Ock 01

I wanted a Doctor Octopus action figure for my various Spider-Men to take on. He’s one of my favorite Spider-Foes. His robotic tentacles are cool and he’s a scientist, which gives Spidey a chance to use his own science knowledge that so many writers seem to forget. So of course I grabbed this. And was disappointed. If you’re a fan and wondering why he isn’t wearing shades, he actually has a pair of normal glasses…that broke off within mere seconds of breaking him out for this review. I wish this was my biggest complaint about the figure. Sadly, it is not.

(And no, comic fans, we are NOT bringing up the recent events with Spidey and Ock in the comics. Let’s not confuse everyone.)

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“Mini” Comic Report: Marvel/Drakes series 1

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Let’s  talk about Drake’s snack cakes because they’re good and they’re back. I’m so happy having my Coffee Cakes again. I thought they were gone for good when Hostess (who bout Drake’s before they shut down) came back and Drake’s didn’t. As much as love my Twinkees I do like a good Devil Dog now and then. Well, they’re back and I’m happy. To celebrate, we will take a look at the first set of Drake’s comics with Marvel Super Heroes!

Two series were produced and packed inside boxes of Drake’s different snack cakes: Ring Dings, Devil Dogs, Yodels, and Coffee Cakes. We mostly bought Coffee Cakes and Devil Dogs at the future clutter zone at the time and I don’t remember which was the “chase comic”. I may have a few multiples if I didn’t throw them out. However, I picked up all four of the first series and all five of the second one. Each had their own running story but the stories could also stand on their own, which is how I like it. Still, the running plot was enough to want to get all of the set, and thus Drake’s made much money and you gained a greater mass. Everyone wins but your body! But was it worth it?

Drake's Marvels S1

Shared credits: Eric Fein (writer) George Roussos (colorist) Rick Parker (letterer), Glenn Herdling (editor) and Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

The third comic has no credits but since these were the names on the other three it’s safe to assume they worked on that one, too. Let’s breeze through this because they’re really rather short.

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My Little Pez Collection

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One of my Twitter followers may get a kick out of this, as he blogs about Pez (so into it that the blog’s title swears) and looks for other people who collect Pez dispensers. Now I’ve never been a big Pez collector. At the time I picked most of these up I was working at a telemarketing company, and it’s as boring as it sounds. I lasted about two months before they let me go. She was a fair boss, but things didn’t work for me there. I’m sure you really didn’t care, but I only bring it up because of why I picked them up, which was to have something between calls to stave off hunger. I was actually known by one co-worker because of the Pez dispensers.

I wanted a bit of variety so I picked up a few different ones, and for fun I thought I’d share them with you. And Jason. Besides, the toy reviews seem to get the most traffic, although I should do some more organizing, too.

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Toy Report: Spider-Man review set

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Yes, another review set. This time featuring everybody’s favorite wall-crawler:

The Amazing Spider-Man!

For this review set, page 2 (page 1 being the opening page) will focus on the comic-based Spider-Man figures and page 3 the two movie figures. All five were produced by Toy Biz, now Marvel Toys. The comic versions came with a reprint comic featuring the first appearance of that particular costume (and Spider-Man as I’ll get into for non-comic readers) and wall-hanging displays while the movie figures came with a highly detailed display piece.

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