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Stan Lee: Bring on the Bad Guys (K)

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Bring on the Bad Guys (K)


BRING ON THE BAD GUYS features the origins and/or debut appearances of six of Marvel's most notorious ne'er-do-wells. And the Abomination also shows up. These stories are absolutely classic back-in-the-day stuff, taking us back to when Marvel Comics was still wet behind the ears, when Stan "the Man" Lee bogarted all the words and a stable of legendary comic book artists regularly brought Stan's stories to visual life.

It's fitting that Marvel's most infamous villain would kick things off. FANTASTIC FOUR #5 recounts the FF's first run-in with everyone's favorite imperious monarch and sorcerer scientist Victor Von Doom, and it involves tons of time travel and the Thing, gigged out in pirate clothes, launching a legend on the high seas. Then FANTASTIC FOUR Annual #2 details Dr. Doom's backstory and how he almost became college roommates with Reed Richards. Here come six magical words: Stan Lee writes, Jack Kirby draws.

Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, flaunts his own kooky rogues gallery - Baron Mordo, Nightmare, Shuma-Gorath, etc. - but maybe his most well known adversary is the Dread Dormammu, that old scorchy face from another dimension. Reprinted material from 1964's STRANGE TALES #126 & 127 showcases Stan Lee's words and Steve Ditko's marvelously offbeat (and even abstract) illustrations. We also get first sightings of the lovely Clea and the brutish Mindless Ones.

Norse mythology never was more bombastic than when Stan Lee was chronicling the epic adventures of Thor the Thunder God. Lots of times, the bee in his bonnet, the fly in his ointment, the pea in his mattress is his step-brother Loki, the God of Evil. The reprinted "Tales of Asgard" backup segments from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, 113, & 115 give us Loki's backstory. The main story from issue #115 also features Thor whaling on the Absorbing Man, as well as more of Loki's mischief. And those six words again: Stan Lee writes, Jack Kirby draws.

Was there ever a more despicable guy than the Red Skull? For Captain America, Herr Johann Schmidt headlines the list of evil nasties. Reprinting the Captain America bits from TALES OF SUSPENSE #66-68 (Cap shared that title with Iron Man back in the day), we get an adventure set in World War II as Cap and Bucky match brawn and wits against the original Red Skull (who, by the way, predates even Marvel Comics), except that Cap succumbs to the Skull's mind-control chemical. Later, Cap must foil the Skull's attempt to hijack Project Vanish. Again, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby.

The Goblin, it's obvious, is one of Stan Lee's favorite creations. His foreword to the Goblin's section here rhapsodies over the fact that the Goblin is one of the most dangerous villains around, and yet is an honest-to-gosh good guy in his civilian identity (remember this is in the early days looooong before Dark Reign). Reprinting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Vol. 1) #40, we get the first telling of the Green Goblin's origin but alas we're still left in the dark regarding that weird cornrow thing Norman Osborn has got happening on his scalp. Meanwhile, there's Peter Parker held captive and unmasked by the Goblin and having just now learned that the Goblin is his best friend's father. This is the kind of soap opera Stan Lee loves to inject in superhero comics. John Romita, Sr. provides the classic smooth artwork.

The Leader isn't in these pages but I just like mentioning that his forehead is so humongous that whenever he furrows his brow in deep thought, even calculus gets scared. The Leader was supposed to be a match for Bruce Banner when it came to the clever, but enemy spy Emil Blonsky - a.k.a. the Abomination - was slated to be bigger and stronger than the Hulk, except that, of course, no one's stronger than the Hulk. Reprinting TALES TO ASTONISH #90-91, a story arc rife with misdirected feats of strength and the usual associated anger management issues. And I guess it should be mentioned that, in this story arc, the unearthly Stranger has influenced the Hulk's mind, causing the Hulk to rampage even more than usual. Stan Lee is the scripter, Gil Kane the dynamic artist.

Finally, SILVER SURFER (Vol. 1) #3 tells a tale of brimstone and nobility, of how Jesus Chri - er, the Surfer stands up to that grand personification of Evil, Mephisto, with the soul of the Surfer's beloved Shalla Bal at stake. Stan Lee... blah blah blah, and John Buscema submits truly beautiful artwork. I've honestly never seen the guy draw better, and he adds a truly epic, mythical vibe to the story.


Alaotsikko Origins of Marvel Villains
Tekijä Lee, Stan
Kustantaja Marvel
Sivuja 230
Sidosasu Pehmeäkantinen
Väritys 4-v.
Kieli Englanti
Julkaisuvuosi 1998
ISBN 978-0-7851-0597-8

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