Tinkerer in Amazing Spider-Man #2

Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer

Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer The Terrible Tinkerer, art by Ditko. Pre-Retconned version. The Tinkerer is a perfect example of how a villain (or any other character) can be retconned into something very different from the original intent of the writer who created him. In this case, Stan Lee, the Tinkerer’s creator, used a common trope (aliens hidden among us), to introduce Spider-Man’s first (and, at the time, only) alien foe.  As first presented, the Tinkerer was an alien disguised as a human repairman who was spearheading an alien invasion.  He only had one Silver Age appearance, in Spidey #2.  However, he was later retconned to be, in fact, a real human who had tricked Spider-Man and others into believing he was an alien in order to stay hidden and unknown.  As the retcon goes, the Tinkerer is actually the tech guy/armorer for many supervillains.       As retcons go, this one was actually worthwhile, and helps explain how so many bad guys have their hands on such good technology.    Silver Age Appearance(s) of the Terrible Tinkerer (plus his first post-Silver Age Appearance)   1. Amazing Spider-Man #2 -vs. Spider-Man (Note: 1st Appearance is in first of two stories in this issue)     2. Amazing Spider-Man  #160-(1976-After Silver Age)   While Tinkerer only had one appearance in the Silver Age, he was retconned later to have been human (in ASM #2, he was portrayed by Lee and Ditko as an alien disguised as a human), who had disguised himself as an alien to escape detection.  The retcon, however, also turned him into a significant part of the underground supervillain society in the Marvel Universe.  As it turned out, Tinkerer was the “tech guy” for many supervillains, including Mysterio (he made Mysterio’s suit), Scorpion (made Scorp’s tail), among many others. Other villains the retconned Tinkerer has worked with/for include Hammerhead, Jack O’Lantern, Black Cat, the Beetle, the Owl, the Jester, Diamondback, Whirlwind, Grizzly, and the Latverian government of Countess Luciana Von Bardas, among many others. Sources on the Tinkerer: http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/tinkerer.html%20https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinkerer  

Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 Comic Book Review

Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 Comic Book Review   Spider-Man and Deadpool team up again!  Actually, since the two of them are probably have the most team-ups in Marvel history, it is not surprising that they are together again.  They share an interesting dynamic: Deadpool adores Spidey, while Spider-Man barely tolerates Wade, though he does usually show pity on poor ‘Pool. If you like Spider-Man and/or Deadpool, then this title is for you! In this team-up mini-series, Deadpool has been hired by a mysterious character to put the hit on an evil billionaire who abuses his power, does bad stuff, and is mean to people.  No, not Donald Trump…the hit is to be on…Peter Parker!  Yes, the Peter who is currently head of Parker Industries and, unbeknownst to Deadpool, is really Spider-Man.  And not evil. Oh, in case you were wondering, this is where we delve underground to get to the heart and soul of the spoilers…. Spider-Man/Deadpoo #5 Credit Page In this issue, Peter is already dead (killed by Deadpool in the last issue), but his soul is not in Hell, where an evil billionaire should be after death. This confuses Wade and his lovely succubus/demon wife, Shiklah (she who is queen of the Monster Metropolis which lies under New York City).  Ever the perfectionist (ha!) Deadpool returns to the scene of the crime, has Shiklah use magic to bring Peter back to life, then Wade shoots Peter again (in the head. With a shotgun.) to make sure he is really dead.  Still no evil Parker soul in the underground.  Which leads Wade to think that maybe, just maybe, he was fooled by the guy putting out the contract on Parker and maybe, just maybe, Peter Parker is not actually evil. So now Wade has to go and find out where Peter’s soul is residing.  Realizing he has to die to go find Parker (which, as all Deadpool fans know, is actually a tough thing for Wade to do), he has Shiklah skewer him with his sword, and goes downtown to find Peter being attacked by a monstrous version of…Mysterio…who is also able to manifest evil and hateful versions of Gwen, Uncle Ben, and Doc Ock (all dead last time we checked), to fight Peter. Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 Wade, using some of his knowledge of magical stuff he got from his wife, tells Parker to create a patronus (spirit protector) to help him fight Mysterio.  Peter, of course, comes up with a Spider-Man patronus (see the faded version of Spidey in the image below), to defeat Mysterio. But then we find out the real villain in this piece, and the very intriguing things he says to Peter… Yes, more spoiler-warning here… Spider-Man/Deadpool #5-Peter’s Patronus We see Mephisto show up to tell Peter a secret!  I think all Spider-Man fans can guess that this secret has to do with the events of the hated One More Day storyline from 2007.  For now, that is only a guess, as we have to see what happens in Spider-Man/Deadpool #8, which is when this story arc picks up again.  Yes, it said that at the end of the book, really! Spider-Man/Deadpool #5-Mephisto This story, by Joe Kelly, hits the mark in getting the characters of Wade, Peter, Shiklah, and yes, even Mephisto down right.  The art by Ed McGuinness is perfect for a Spidey/’Pool book, and the book itself was a pleasure to look at.  Good job all around by this creative team. If you like either Spider-Man or Deadpool, this title should be an automatic pickup.   Did you like this review of Spider-Man/Deadpool #5?  Then please consider supporting this website by donating through Patreon.  If so, please visit our Patreon donation page.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Coulson and Spider-Man on the Hover-Car

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Comic Book Review

  S.H.I.E.L.D., the comic book, not the hit Marvel TV show, is now at the third issue in the new series, and some patterns are emerging.  Good patterns, but patterns of behavior and story-telling, to be sure.  Oh, and is it a good comic to read?  See our opinion below… S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Cover With Spider-Man While the title would lead us to believe this book is about the organization named Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, or acronymed as S.H.I.E.L.D., but in reality, this comic book title (the third such volume, or series, to be named such), is really a vehicle for Agent Phil Coulson to look cool, order superheroes and supervillians around, and use his logical mind and deep knowledge of the world of the “supers” to win the day.  Did we mention that he looks cool as he saves the world? In the first issue of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson assembled a huge army of superheroes to literally save the Earth. In doing so, he introduced into Marvel Comics continuity the concept that he (and by extension, S.H.I.E.L.D.), had the authority to order pretty much any superhero to aid them as needed.  That ability comes in handy, as we shall see in issue #3. In the second issue, Coulson and his team works with the new Ms. Marvel when bad guys just happen to attack the high school she is enrolled at.  Funny how that works, eh? Now, in S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, we first see Coulson driving Lola, the cherry-red flying car toward an emergency with Spider-Man clinging to the hood. We now see a pattern:  it seems that this new S.H.I.E.L.D. series is a team-up book designed to give Agent Coulson a chance to interact with a different superhero in each issue.  Not an original idea, as Spidey himself starred in a Team-up book in the 1970s with a bevy of partners. Mild Spoilers down below…watch out…   S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Coulson and Spider-Man on the Hover-Car Another thing about this particular issue that caught our attention:  Spider-Man and Coulson are responding to a home invasion in Greenwich Village at the home of Dr. Strange (who is not home, of course).  To deal with all the magical stuff being thrown around, Coulson coerces an incarcerated villain (variously called Mister Rasputin and Doctor Rasputin) who is old foe of Dr. Strange to cooperate in dealing with the situation.  While the art in this book is by Alan Davis (and the writing by Mark Waid), several scenes are very similar in style to the art of Marvel Master Artist Steve Ditko.  In Marvel history, Steve Ditko is best known for co-creating both Spider-Man and Dr. Strange (as well as most of their early villains, such as Mr./Dr. Rasputin). So, in a sense, the “home invasion” Spider-Man, Coulson, and Rasputin are dealing with can be termed to be at “The House That Ditko Built.” S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Spider-Man and Rasputin-Ditko Style Thus, S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 is a very apt homage to the legacy of Steve Ditko. This comic book is cool.  And here is why: Coulson is cool! Spider-Man crouching on a cherry-red flying convertible. The Ditko Homage is cool! Mark Waid crafted a fun story with aptly inserted humorous dialogue, and Alan Davis’ art is, as usual, quite good! Coulson is cool!   In the next issue, Coulson teams up with the Invisible Girl.  We will also review that S.H.I.E.L.D. comic.  In the meantime, go out and buy S.H.I.E.L.D. #3!  

Spider-Man and the X-Men #2-Variant Cover

Spider-Man and the X-Men: Villains, Enemies, Rogues, and Antagonists

Spider-Man and the X-Men: Villains,  Enemies, Rogues, and Antagonists   Spider-Man X-Men #1-Meet Mr. Spider-Man   With the recent death of Wolverine, Marvel had a self-imposed hole to fill in their monthly slew of Wolverine titles.  One of the more interesting (though different), Wolvie-related comics was the Wolverine and the X-Men title.  In this series, Professor Wolverine led a group of young mutants on various adventures and school field trips to teach them the ropes of how to be X-Men.  Now that Professor Logan is gone, Marvel had to find a substitute teacher, as it were. Along comes Spider-Man, who is (or has been, depending on your continuity), an actual high school science teacher in his real identity as Peter Parker.  Logan had left a message for Spidey, asking him to take his place at the Jean Grey School and try to find a student who Logan suspected of  being a mole for the bad guys. Spider-Man and the X-Men in Class Spider-Man shows up in issue #1 of Spider-Man and the X-Men, and is assigned by Storm to teach a class in ethics.  Hoo-boy. This series is rather light-hearted and is a fun read.  But, what is a superhero comic book without some bad guys to liven things up?  As we read in the first few issues, it seems that the formula for the villains in Spider-Man and the X-Men takes the form of one Spidey villain teamed up with one X-Men villain.  Makes sense, if a bit contrived and formulaic. This page is devoted to the goal of keeping track of all of the antagonists (to use a literary term) that our new team of Mr. Spider-Man and his X-Men protégés encounter.  That means that if they fight someone, or someone’s henchmen, lackeys, monsters, or other proxy, that antagonistic character will also be listed.  On occasion, heroes fight each other, either out of stupidity, being possessed, being tricked, and so on.  In those cases, the good guy or gal will also be listed as an antagonist. Stegron Attacks Spider-Man and the X-Men The system we use to keep track of Spider-Man and the X-Men villains and antagonists will be fairly simple.  The character’s name, the comic book issues in which the conflict occurred, and any notes needed for clarification.  Next to the bad guys name will be a designator as to whether they are a Spider-Man villain, or an X-Men Villain. Chameleon (Spidey Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, #3 (teamed up with Mojo) Mojo (X-Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, #3 (teamed up with Chameleon) Sauron (X-Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men#1, #2 (teamed up with Stegron) Stegron (Spidey Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men#1, #2 (teamed up with Sauron)     Notes Related to Spider-Man and the X-Men Villains: At the end of Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, as our heroes leave Staten Island after turning over the defeated Stegron and Sauron to the Avengers, they are kidnapped by Chameleon, who is working for Mojo.  Chameleon and Mojo only appear at the very end of issue #2.    

Howard the Duck #1 (2015)

Howard the Duck #1 (2015) Comic Book Review

  The Duck is back!  Yes, Howard the Duck once again hosts his own comic book title from Marvel.  Credit for this goes to Howard’s surprise appearance in the end credit scene of the hit Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Howard the Duck #1 (2015) A bit of background is needed.  Basically, Howard is a talking duck from an alternate Earth (originally designated as Earth-47920, but was later retconned as being from Earth-791021, also known as “Duckworld”), who was captured and sent to the main Marvel reality (AKA Earth-616), where he entered into adventures with Man-Thing, Spider-Man, and many other heroes. So, here we are in 2015, and Howard the Duck is still on “our” world, enduring an ongoing lack of respect by just about everyone.  As the comic opens, we find Howard in a jail cell with a bunch of female inmates.  He is released, along with a woman, Tara Tam, a tattoo artist who befriends our irascible little duck. Tara Tam -Friend of Howard the Duck Howard is a private detective who has the good fortune to have his office in the same building as lawyer and Avenger Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk.  Howard, being not very lovable, seems to have a hate-hate relationship going on with She-Hulk. This may end up being a great ongoing piece for the writer to come back to, as She-Hulk is well-known among Marvel fans for her comedic storylines and fourth-wall-busting abilities. So, back to our summary:  The Duck takes a job from a mysterious client, who wants him to re-steal a piece of jewelry from the beautiful jewel thief Black Cat.  While trying to locate Black Cat, Howard runs into his old jail buddy, Tara Tam, who just happens to know where Black Cat lives.  As she explains to the shocked Duck Detective: “Look, unless she’s cosplaying as a ‘Sexy Golden Girl,’ there aren’t that many young, attractive ladies rocking giant white hair…She may be a great thief, but she’s lousy at low profiles.” Hiring Tara on the spot, they begin working out their plan.  Along comes Spider-Man, who also appeared in the very first Howard the Duck #1 back in 1976, to lend a hand. Howard the Duck and Spider-Man Without getting into too many spoilers here, we can say that the break-in at Black Cat’s place goes awry, a cosmic bad guy shows up to “collect” our unique Duck, and Howard ends up in a space jail cell with…aw…did you think we were going to spoil that for you? The creative team of Chip Zdarsky (writer, whose real name is Steve Murray) and Joe Quinones, doing the art, captures the manic silliness of anything and everything related to Howard the Duck.  Quinones manages to capture Howard’s visual persona well, while still making him look less like a Donald Duck clone (as he looked in the old 1970s series).  Zdarsky has a good sense of comedy and story-building, while making him sound like an anthropomorphic duck.  Howard’s frequent cries of “Waugh,” invokes the Donald Duck sound, but it does work. Howard the Duck #1 Credits Page Who should read this comic book? Anyone who liked Guardians of the Galaxy and wants to learn more about Howard the Duck; fans of the old Howard, or anyone wanting a laugh. This was a fun book. Check out our video review of Howard the Duck at our Howard the Duck Video Review page.  

Retro-Review: When Spider-Man Met the Avengers…Sort of…

When Spider-Man Met the Avengers. Or Did He?  A Look at Spider-Man’s “First” Adventure with the Avengers   With the recent news that Sony and Marvel (AKA a Disney affiliate), have finally hammered out an agreement to let Spider-Man exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (i.e. the Avengers movies), we now should look at Marvel’s Silver Age History to see when Spider-Man first met the Avengers team in the comics. The answer is not as clear as one would think… Avengers #11 Cover with Spider-Man Avengers #11 (1964) made itself out to be a significant issue in Marvel Silver Age History.  After all, the cover showed the Amazing Spider-Man meeting the Mighty Avengers, right?   On the cover the reader sees Spidey, along with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Giant-Man all trapped in a spider’s web.  The Wasp is seen flying around, clearly not trapped like the male Avengers.  Now, what is wrong with this cover?  Aren’t Spidey and the Avengers all on the same side?  Why does it look like Spider-Man is the bad guy?   Writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck (and perhaps a Spidey assist from Steve Ditko) crafted a neat package to entice fans of Spider-Man to pick up this eleventh book in the fairly new Avengers series. Avengers #11 Splash and Credits Page NOTE: If you are not familiar with the events of Avengers #11, be warned that we have SPOILERS below… Avengers #11 With Spider-Man To make a long story short, with the Avengers believing that Tony Stark was dead, and assuming Iron Man was out looking for the killer, the team decides to carry on, placing Iron Man on temporary leave of absence. (NOTE:  Despite appearing on the cover, Iron Man is not seen in this comic at all). Meanwhile, we see the Avengers’ time-travelling foe, Kang, cooking up a plot to destroy the Avengers.  He creates a “Spider-Man robot” to impersonate old Spidey and trick the Avengers into a trap. Avengers #11 Kang Creates Spider-Man Robot Robot Spidey convinces the Avengers that he wants to join them, and, he has information on the whereabouts of Iron Man.  Claiming that he overheard the Masters of Evil discussing their destination, a temple in Mexico, Robot Spidey tricks the Avengers into going to Mexico.  Falling for the trick, the Avengers all head off to Mexico to look for Iron Man. Kang transports his Spider-Man robot to Mexico, where he battles the Avengers separately, defeating and trapping them all.  Then, suddenly, the real Spider-Man shows up, saving Captain America from certain death.  Wait…how did the real Spider-Man even know about this plot?  Real Spidey explains that by saying, “Did you think you could prowl the streets of New York impersonating me without my own Spider-Sense warning me of your presence??”  Ok, that part more or less makes sense from a plot standpoint.  But just HOW did Spider-Man (who cannot fly, and does not have anything like a Spidey-Plane at his beck and call), even manage to get to this temple in Mexico?  That is never explained in-story, (nor is it explained how he got back to New York afterwards), and is a continuing mystery.  We have a few theories on that below.  But in the meantime, all we need to know now is that the real Spider-Man defeated the impersonating robot (by finding the “main control stud,” and deactivating the robot.  Of course, that was a snap for a teen-aged chemistry nerd who has never met a robot from the 30th Century before). Avengers #11 Fight Spider-Man The last we see in-story of the real Spidey, he is seen by Captain America as he floats to earth in a web-parachute after dispatching the robot.   Based on what we see in the artwork of Avengers #11, it is clear that from what is visible, the real Spider-Man never actually met or fought alongside, the Avengers. This comic book was not Stan Lee’s greatest storyline, that is for sure.  While the basic idea is sound (Kang sending robots to fight the Avengers), too many details are left up in the air.  How does the real Spidey get down to Mexico?  In-story, we see three of the Avengers hop airline flights to Mexico.  Could Spidey have done that as well, perhaps sneaking on board and then web-parachuting down to the temple?  It is unlikely he could have purchased an actual airline ticket, as Peter Parker was constantly short of money back then.  But as the two Spideys start to fight, the real one states that “I followed you silently, waiting to learn what your scheme was!” This statement implies that Spider-Man actually followed the robot.  That sounds like it takes out the hop-an-airplane theory.  Another possibility is that real Spidey was close enough to the robot in New York when Kang teleported the mechanical Spidey to Mexico that he was also transported via Kang’s science.  But wouldn’t Kang have noticed an extra Spider-Man being sent by his teleporter?  You would think so. That leaves us with one crazy( or maybe more than one) theory.  First, a little more information on our robot friend.  Since the Avengers seemingly never found him in the jungle where he fell, he was able to make another appearance in a later comic book.  The Spider-Man Robot (know called Timespinner) enjoyed a second appearance in Spider-Man Team-Up #4 (Sept. 1996). In this issue, the robot has new powers (his webs emit a temporal energy that can make people trapped inside the web age quickly), and is operating on Kang’s back-up or secondary programming.  Needless to say, the robot is still a villain.  But, as with Kang himself and his many incarnations (he is also Immortus, Scarlet Centurion, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, Iron Lad, Tom Brady (just kidding on that last one..I think), why can’t the robot also have different time-travelling versions?  It is just possible (this is my personal theory, mind you) that the “real” Spider-Man in Avengers #11 was just another version of the original robot, now a good guy, who was able to travel back in time to save the Avengers from himself?  Kind of “good Terminator/bad Terminator” scenario. Spider-Man Robot from Spider-Man Team-Up #4 Helping this crazy theory is the fact that when the real Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is first offered membership in the Avengers (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 […]

Spider-Man and Black Cat at Christmas

Spider-Man and Black Cat Celebrate Christmas Together

Spider-Man and Black Cat Celebrate Christmas Together Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979), and has become a romantic foil for Spider-Man. Before Peter Parker married Mary Jane Watson, Spidey and Black Cat actually lived together for a while. After Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane, Felicia (rather predictably), acted out her insane jealousy, even to the point of threatening Mary Jane. Spider-Man and Black Cat at Christmas Let us hope that this picture of Spider-Man and Black Cat together at Christmas time was before Peter’s wedding… [xyz-ihs snippet=”contentboxtextandimages”]

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Spider-Man Villains: The Vulture

The Vulture (Adrian Toomes) –The Vulture is a significant supervillain foe of the Amazing Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics Universe. The Vulture, whose real name is Adrian Toomes, is able to fly through the use of his winged Vulture costume.   The Vulture Codename: The Vulture Real Name: Adrian Toomes 1st Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #2 Origin Story: Amazing Spider-Man #2 Creators: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Status: Supervillian Powers/Abilities: Flight (through use of a special winged costume/flying harness); knowledge of electical engineering and biochemistry. While wearing his flying harness, Vulture can attain flight speeds of up to 95 mph, and can lift up to 700 lbs. of weight. Enemies: Spider-Man Allies/Partners: Dr. Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman, Mysterio, Electro Group Affiliations: Sinister Six   Amazing Spider-Man #2 Cover with the Vulture Sources and Links on The Vulture:  Vulture (Adrian Toomes)–Marvel Wiki