Venom is my favourite super villain (as you may or may not know). But everyday is a new opportunity to realise that there are a lot of different versions of the symbiote in the Marvel universe. In April, Michileen Martin compiled a list of the 12 best and worst Venoms.
In 1984, “Amazing Spider-Man” #252 hit the stands bearing a cover with a stark change: Instead of his trademark red and blue, Spider-Man’s costume is black and white. Inside the comic, fans learned the new costume responds to Peter Parker’s thoughts: It can disappear, transform itself into different clothing, and even store items like his wallet. Furthermore, Peter no longer needs to make web fluid, because the suit creates it all on its own. Neither Peter nor his fans knew at the time that one of Marvel’s most popular anti-heroes had just been born.
I’m happy to report—at least for my own ego—that I knew 7 of the 12 chosen, even if I don’t agree with the #1 choice.
Who’s your favourite Venom? Let me know in the comments!
I just started getting into comic books for the first time a few years ago. My son was interested as well, so we started making regular trips to the comic book store (pre-covid, of course). We loved looking at the artwork and lettering of the older comics. And like most lettering, right around the late 90s, it all went to shit. The hand-lettering masterpieces were abandoned for fonts and photoshop effects. With that said, I limited this post to the pre-’00s. I wanted to do something more vintage, but there are just too many from the 80s and 90s that I love. My absolute favorite was seeing all the interpretations of 3D type.
They’re all amazing and I’d wear each and every one of them on a t-shirt.
Jenifer has always been intrigued by portraying lesbian stories in this style, especially when she discovered the effects of storytelling in comic books. The form goes beyond simply having fun, and resonates with her in a more decisively profound way. “I always wished to see lesbian stories and art when I was growing up, and the lack of that was what ultimately motivated me to illustrate my own,” she explains. “So, I always recall that old desire as a source of inspiration.”
Today’s Nancy Comic reminds me of how we communicate with people, especially during this god-awful pandemic. Should we burden our friends and family with the truth about how things are going or how we really feel? Or will “I’m fine”, “It’s good”, and “Okay” be enough? Maybe one conversation or even one long-winded response wouldn’t be sufficient. Either way, a failure in communication can lead to a misunderstanding of one’s place in a relationship or situation, as this comic demonstrates. Good intentions don’t always lead to good impacts.
I saw this on Twitter today and thought it was hilarious and oddly poignant, from a modern political perspective.
In the panels, Popeye asks Rough House where J. Wellington Wimpy was to which RH replied “I ain’t seen him and I don’t want to see him—he hasn’t been around today.” Popeye calls Wimpy “arful” before showing pity for him, although RH didn’t share the sentiment:
Well, I don’t. Why, say—that fellow would commit a crime for a hamburger.
We then spot Wimpy taking out razor of some kind as he starts cutting through a barred window into a jail where incarcerated people are eating from a plate full of hamburgers. He sits down to their disbelief and says:
Ah, good evening, gentlemen. Pleasant weather, isnt it, we’re having?
Wimpy literally broke into jail, not to free the people incarcerated there, but to get some of his favourite delicacies, thus breaking the law that could have extended his voluntary visit. It reminded me of how we have the power to abolish jails or and attempt to dismantle the system behind it all but only show glimpses of that for moments that benefit us (i.e. how I’ve seen a lot of performative activism since last year’s BLM protests)
I’m probably reaching but so was Wimpy—behind bars, for another hamburger.
Granny Goodness, created by Jack Kirby, made her first appearance in Mister Miracle Vol. 1 #2. Most know her as the ruthless older woman who runs the orphanage on Apokolips like a daycare lady from Hell. Granny uses torture techniques and brainwashing to create some of Apokolips’ most fearsome warriors — most notably among them, her Female Furies. Her appearance could be considered to be devoid of sex appeal — almost always scowling, a bulky athletic build, forever covered from neck to toe. Ultimately, this depiction serves to make her less sympathetic, because “pretty privilege” even exists in comics. Also, her name is Granny, and, as we all know, women of a certain generation are not supposed to be desirable and function best as bitter older women.
An alien ship lands on Earth. Its occupant gets raised as human, hiding special abilities for fear of reprisal. But when the superpowered extraterrestrial becomes an adult, Truth, Justice and the American Way mean something very different. Because this strange visitor from another planet is black.
As is always the case with legacy comics characters, if you look far back enough it isn’t long before you come across stories “of their time” that reflect the distinct lack of voices that didn’t belong to straight, white men with two-dimensional ideas about people who were unlike them. Superman’s always been a symbol for an idealized form of the American dream and a mythic idea of morally sound justice. But in comics like Giant Superman #239 from 1971, an issue including multiple stories from writers Otto Binder and artists Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye, you can see how DC Comics has always had a difficult time addressing Blackness in the context of Superman stories as its own identity rather than something that exists in contrast to whiteness.
Last year was eye-opening in terms of how far “allies” will go to let you know they’re on your side without actually doing anything. Today’s Nancy comic illustrates that type of performative activism. Literally.
Avengers: Endgame was one of the biggest movies of 2019, making $2.8bn (£2.1bn) at the box office. Unlike the title suggested, it was far from the actual end, with TV shows featuring the characters of the universe becoming popular and further films planned.
The DC Universe also boasts some blockbuster films, and with characters such as Batman and Superman, it has sustained mainstream popularity for many years. Whichever superhero universe you turn to for your enjoyment, you will find plenty of material to feed your hobby.
Films draw in the big money, TV shows deliver a longer, more involved experience, whilst gaming puts you in control of your favourite superheroes, living their lives through their powers. Gaming is big business – the world’s gamers will spend around $159.3bn (£119.6bn) in 2020, on new releases and digital-only games too, which makes it an obvious industry for Marvel and DC to explore.
Not all games that use the imagery and themes put you in control of the powers, but they do all give a fan some sort of experience they find enjoyable and, in many cases, social.
Marvel fans are certainly well catered for, with a wide range of online experiences available to fans of Iron Man, Hulk and the rest of the roster. We have selected three genres of online Marvel games which you can enjoy online right now and the best titles for each genre.
Mobile gaming is on the rise, with technology allowing increasingly complex games to be played on the go. One of the best gamers have enjoyed in recent years is Marvel: Contest of Champions, a fighting game in the Street Fighter 2 mould. It boasts a huge array of playable characters, almost 200 across the different tiers and challenges. It is free to play and whilst it is the front-runner in Marvel mobile games, it is by no means alone in putting you in control of your favourite characters.
Slots & alternative genres
Some mobile experiences do not draw directly from the abilities and experiences of a superhero, rather they use their images to merge with another genre to gives fans an alternative option when gaming.
For instance, Marvel Puzzle Quest uses the characters in the context of a neat puzzle game, whilst Marvel Strike Force is a turn-based role-playing game. Deviating further from the core mechanics of a superhero game, online providers have also used the characters in online slots to open another avenue for Marvel fans.
Leading European gaming platform Tuxslots has several titles that are linked to the Marvel Universe, including Iron Man 3 and Incredible Hulk, which use popular characters in a completely different game genre. With variety for the customer often at the core of a successful provider, having a range of Marvel games is attractive to both parties.
Online console experiences
The last quarter of 2020 saw the next generation of consoles released, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox S Series.
Both take gaming to the next level and it is only fitting that the ultimate Marvel experience is available through the powerful new technology. In the past, the likes of Spider-Man and Hulk had tested consoles capabilities, but the September release Marvel’s Avengers pushes the boundaries with four-play online cooperative play.
Online gaming can mean several things – gaming on the move, gaming for physical rewards and, of course, gaming with friends. Boasting a roster that includes Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Captain America, it is perhaps the ultimate online Marvel experience you can enjoy right now.
Every sculpture starts off as a very rough Easter Island head.
But it doesn’t take long before Richter gets the face looking more realistic before he starts on the Venom half of his face. The symbiotic detailing is the real highlight of the sculpture. In fact, it was so good, he put it on his Etsy shop and it sold but you can request a custom sculpture if you want a Venom of your own.
dinos and comics is “a comic about depressed dinosaurs who find hope in each other”. I follow the Twitter account and find their comics light-hearted and amusing.
Today’s comic was particularly clever with the white dinosaur giving Rainbow T-Rex the mantras of capitalism (productivity or death), COVID (unproductivity or death), and the government (simply death).
2020 sucks hard. I feel like I’ve said or written that a hundred times but it bears repeating. So finding any glimmer of light or hope means more than usual and I found one on Sunday night.
Chan Chau (they/them) is a cartoonist from in Minnesota and they tweeted one of their comics about Soft Lead Clark Kent, in a world where he’s a cartoonist for the Daily Planet rather than the reporter we know on this earth. He visited his Bruce Wayne at his home for breakfast and expressed his fear that his work was “pointless”.
[…] You know drawing cartoons. Well, making comic strips about my cat for the Daily Planet, to be precise. It seems so… ugh, silly.
Bruce offers his opinion and it reminded me that sometimes you need something for you rather than what you think other people want or need and I felt that. Hopefully it can offer some respite and clarity for anyone who reads it.