Jim Shooter

The Avengers 266 (April 1986)

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So, in this Secret Wars II epilogue, the Molecule Man finally gets a happy ending. And since Shooter isn’t writing it, Volcana’s just a dim bulb, instead of being the target of endless misogyny. There’s also an (early?) example of She-Hulk tramping around, picking up Hercules in the conclusion of the issue.

But the Silver Surfer frames the whole thing and I wondering if Stern realized how perfect it was to use him, an alien observing the possible end of the planet. Regardless, it’s a nice move. This issue might be better than every other Secret Wars II crossover issue–or close, anyway.

I’m a little perplexed how the Wasp managed to be a popular character for so long, since she’s such a vapid twit. And can anyone tell me if the Black Knight and Captain Marvel get together? They should, but I don’t care enough to read more.

CREDITS

“… And The War’s Desolation!”; writers, Roger Stern and Jim Shooter; penciller, John Buscema; inker, Tom Palmer; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterer, Jim Novak; editors, Howard Mackie and Mark Gruenwald; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 9 (March 1986)

75610.jpgYay, it’s finally over.

I have no idea what happens in this issue except a bunch of superheroes hang out in the Rocky Mountains, fight the Beyonder, talk a lot, and look sad at the end.

Shooter appears–he doesn’t even reveal what the Beyonder’s final plan was going to be–to be aping 2010 (the movie) and a little of 2001 (the movie), only set in the Marvel Universe. There’s even this strange set-up for the New Universe, but I guess Marvel never directly said it was a result of this series.

The art’s really bad, from the layouts to the close-ups. No one could have thought this issue looked good–when all the heroes group together, it’s just lame. They’re moping around, not active.

The Beyonder does a video diary at one point, which makes absolutely no sense. Shooter also writes him some really stupid monologues.

CREDITS

God in Man, Man in God!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, M. Hands; letterers, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 8 (February 1986)

75609.jpgSo the Beyonder got all bent out of shape because of his failed encounter with Puma… (Puma was supposed to kill him, according Puma’s tribe’s legends) and spends this entire issue moping. Oh, he gets in a fight with the X-Men–unfortunately he doesn’t kill them, which doesn’t fit, since he’s enraged and that Rachel Summers is really annoying. He teases Molecule Man a lot and that situation gives Shooter a chance to get in some more of his misogynist writing in regards to Volcana.

Then he argues with Spider-Man. Then something else happens, then something else.

What’s funniest about the comic is how Shooter clearly doesn’t have anything to do but he’s got to get another issue published (no surprise, the major guest stars are the X-Men and Spider-Man, Marvel’s two biggest dollar draws).

The whole thing stinks, but this issue is a new low.

CREDITS

Betrayal!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterers, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 7 (January 1986)

75608.jpgThe Beyonder sits around this entire issue. What fun. Mephisto plots against the entirely passive Beyonder–who doesn’t even speak a full paragraph until the final two panels–while the Thing is basically the main hero in the issue.

Not surprisingly, Shooter doesn’t discuss Mephisto’s apparent homosexual relationship with the now-male Death. I guess Mephisto hasn’t checked the groin area yet or just doesn’t care.

There’s a really strange sequence with the Molecule Man presumably knowing a third of the galaxy is about to be destroyed–including his freaking girlfriend–and plays Trivial Pursuit (poorly) instead.

Milgrom’s artwork here is occasionally funny. There’s Mephisto about to cry (why does he have a costume, should the Devil be wearing a costume), there’s the Beyonder either looking like a white Michael Jackson or just some burly chick… Lots of fun to be had.

Wow, only two more issues to go. Whee!

CREDITS

Charge of the Dark Brigade!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Julianna Ferriter; letterers, Joe Rosen and friends; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 6 (December 1985)

75607.jpgThe issue ends with the Beyonder trying to “forgot” this chapter in his experiences; if only the reader were so lucky.

Besides featuring all of the cosmic–sorry–conceptual beings (along with an introduction to each), it’s the Beyonder plays superhero and turns it into a business. It’s all exceedingly lame, except at the end when the Beyonder has to bring Death back to life, going from a female who’s been around since the beginning of time to some lame reporter creation of Shooter’s. Shooter never gets into it whether the conceptual beings, next time they get busy with their “lover” Death, will now be gay?

Milgrom’s art is real sloppy this time around; maybe the deadlines were getting to him.

Secret Wars II is almost over and I think I’m safe saying it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. Shooter must’ve thought Marvel readers were brain dead.

CREDITS

Life Rules!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Minny Hands; letterer, Rick Parker; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 5 (November 1985)

75606.jpgI kind of remember this issue. It ends with the Marvel heroes beating up on a melancholy, downbeat Beyonder. He shuffles off while they bicker over what to do.

One of the benefits to running a company and writing its big crossover is no one’s going to tell you you’re an idiot. Shooter’s got a checklist of all the things he wants the Beyonder to show the reader–it’s like a tour of the Marvel universe–this issue it’s the Celestials. The Beyonder goes and beats them up because he’s having self esteem issues.

Why is the Beyonder having self esteem issues? Because Shooter can’t think of anything else to write about.

This issue pairs the Beyonder with a thirteen year-old sidekick (she looks eighteen at least); if Shooter was going for her age being any kind of emotional factor, Milgrom failed to convey it.

Terrible beginning to end.

CREDITS

Despair!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inkers, Steve Leialoha and Joe Rubinstein; colorist, M. Hands; letterer, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 4 (October 1985)

75605.jpgYou know what’s worse than a Beyonder who’s an obnoxious pin hole in the night sky (see Secret Wars I issue number one through twelve)? A Beyonder who won’t shut the heck up. Shooter has decided, after four issues, the Beyonder is now going to be not just a blabbermouth, but one who knows everything about earth culture. Sorry, Earth-616 culture.

The worst thing about this issue, this fourth issue, is how many issues there are left to Secret Wars II. Oh, thank goodness, it’s only nine issues. I thought it was twelve again.

Shooter fits a bunch of story into the pages, but it’s a crappy story. He does write Dazzler well, which surprised me a little, since I always figured the character was complete nonsense. But Shooter makes her into a solid character.

Milgrom’s art is really goofy at times in this issue. Bad perspective.

Five left!

CREDITS

Love Is the Answer!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inkers, Steve Leialoha and Joe Rubinstein; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterer, Joe Rosen and friends; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Daredevil 223 (October 1985)

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Jim Shooter co-wrote this issue (the first Secret Wars II crossover I’ve noticed him work on) and it shows. There’s a lot of idiotic nonsense about the Beyonder trying to buy the world legally. Of course, what lawyer to go to for help? Matt Murdock.

This issue might be my first Mazzucchelli Daredevil and, I have to say, I’m disappointed. It’s sort of Marvel style, but it’s also very retro. It looks like an old romance comic at times. The art’s fine and good and all, but I was expecting it to blow me away, it being Mazzucchelli after all.

The story itself is affecting, as Daredevil gets his sight back, but it’s way too short. Mazzucchelli creates some amazing moments, but they only last a page. If they’d stretched this one out to two issues, something, it would have been better.

Still, it’s an excellently produced comic book.

CREDITS

The Price; writers, Denny O’Neil and Jim Shooter; penciller, David Mazzucchelli; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Ken Feduniewicz; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Craig Anderson and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 3 (September 1985)

75604.jpgThis issue the Beyonder takes over the world only to release it when he realizes how borrowing ruling the world can be. It’s like a sitcom. I can’t believe Shooter thought he was doing a reasonable job. Again Shooter does pace the comic really well–lots of time passes, lots of stuff happens–but the story itself is so lame.

What’s worst about the issue is how noneof it matters. By the end of the comic, everything done has been invalidated (the Beyonder, beyond being able to mind control the entire planet, can also erase memories). I’m sure Shooter’s point was to show the Beyonder learning something, but having him do it in a Saturday morning cartoon version of the gritty New York streets (pleasant pimps and hookers with hearts of gold abound, not to mention the kindly crime boss).

Or am I giving Shooter’s artistic ambitions too much credit?

CREDITS

This World is Mine!; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars II 2 (August 1985)

75603.jpgSo, I guess in the Marvel style rules, no one gives the colorist a copy of the plot–at least not in the case of this issue, which has a bunch of action during the day and everyone talking about how it’s dark out and is the middle of the night. It’s like seeing a scene meant for day for night in some movie getting shot on the wrong film.

This issue isn’t just a wrongly colored action scene, however, it’s a disaster in twenty-five pages. Shooter is putting so much into his comic, presumably to encourage reader interest in every possible book the company was publishing at the time, bakes a cake with the ingredients of ratatouille. It’s a complete, constant mess, but with recognizable ingredients from time to time.

It’s a terrible comic.

Some nice art from Milgrom in here though. It’s impressive he could keep up.

CREDITS

“I’ll Take Manhatten…”; writer, Jim Shooter; penciller, Al Milgrom; inkers, Steve Leialoha and Joe Rubinstein; colorist, Manny Hands; letterer, Rick Parker and Joe Rosen; editor, Bob Budiansky; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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