Tuesday, December 09, 2008

COVER TO COVER: TWENTY-FIVE UP 1989-1993!
1989-1993 Top 25
#1 Shang Tsung (1992)
#2 Steel (1993)
#3 Shao Kahn (1993)
#4 Goro (1992)
#5 Sonya Blade (1992)
#6 Deadpool (1991)
#7 Dhalsim (1991)
#8 Johnny Cage (1992)
#9 Noob Saibot (1992)
#10 Raiden (1992)
#11 Robin (1989)
#12 Guile (1991)
#13 Cable (1990)
#14 Kano (1992)
#15 Fei Long (1993)
#16 Kintaro (1993)
#17 Ganthet (1992)
#18 Doppelganger (1992)
#19 Crimson Dynamo (1990)
#20 Maul (1992)
#21 T. Hawk (1993)
#22 Hellboy (1993)
#23 Spoiler (1992)
#24 Mirror Master (1989)
#25 Chun-Li (1991)
The Infinite Wars is really a bit of a big game.
We review superhero fights and they contribute to an on-going tally of win/loss records. There are many ways to enjoy, read, and perceive the site, but as you'll note from the list assembled right (of debuting characters in our spotlight five years), that tally of fighting success is only as good as the versatility we inject.

With three hundred and twenty-four characters currently recorded for our fights in 2008, we've had a pretty big year! It seems unlikely we'll knock-off the three fifty-four stack of heroes and villains we flicked through in 2007, but what we have done, I believe, is canvas a far wider perspective of superhero comics from Marvel and DC.

The nineties is a prominent piece of the Infinite Wars puzzle, dancing a line between contemporary relevance, and flashback nostalgia. It's a chance for us to connect with modern comics, while also informing some of you about the recent past. There are, after all, many readers, new and old, with dramatically distinct experiences and references from comics.

In 2008 a major part of our expansion included the popular nineties video game, Mortal Kombat. As members of 1up.com will hopefully come to know, I do have other interests, and a passion for certain video games is very much a byproduct of the similarities between two mediums. In 2007 you already got a mouthful of Street Fighter (sure to be repeated next year), but with the release of Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe, the MK Universe was an inevitable inclusion.

Take careful note of the comics characters in our top twenty-five, but do not discount the video game characters. With any luck, those of you who enjoyed meeting the MK Universe learnt to appreciate the similarities, and vice versa for the many MK fans who joined us this year.
Pollonation between the two mediums was rife in the early nineties. Many of you will know one of the feature storylines here, Maximum Carnage, from the popular scrolling beat 'em up of the same name. Certain aspects of Image Comics' movement during this period were self-confessed reactions to the changing attitudes influenced by an interactive medium that threatened to crush the booming comics industry.

Enjoy our flashback, and be sure to check out 1984-1988!

Batman #442 (1989)
"Rebirth" Wolfman/Perez/Aparo

Somewhere in space Superboy-Prime is pounding on reality, eventuating in some dramatic changes, but for the time being, Jason Todd is recently deceased.

The Batman has retreated into himself, and a young man named Tim Drake, who has deduced the identities of Batman, Robin and Nightwing - Bruce Wayne, Jason Todd and Dick Grayson, respectively - believes the Batman needs a Robin to remain in tact.

Thus, sponsored by Alfred, Tim Drake dons the tights and cape and goes to save Batman and Nightwing from certain doom at the hands of Two-Face.
With Batman and Nightwing trapped in a collapsed building that Two-Face has blown up for double-good measure -- can Tim Drake - Robin - save the day?

Amazing Spider-man #329 (February 1990)
"Power Prey!" Michelinie/Larsen

Displeased with the failure of his plan to shuffle villains in the Acts of Vengeance storyline, the Norse god of mischief, Loki, leaves the Earth a little something to remember him by.

For believing him dead; Loki magically alters a trio of newly designed Sentinels to merge them into one masterpiece of magic and machine - the Tri-Sentinel!

Lucky for Manhattan, Spider-man has been imbued with the mysterious uni-power thanks to the aptly named Enigma Force. Gaining the cosmic awareness that had been denied to him, Spider-man instantly learns of his foe, and leaps into action to avert nuclear disaster!


Phantom #972 (February 1991)
"Masked Marvel" Falk/McCoy

As far as forgotten heroes in the American mainstream, few are more prominent in the world than The Phantom! Though Lee Falk's work is dwarfed by the accomplishments of his contemporaries; men like Will Eisner and Stan Lee; his character's exploits endure in countries like Australia, Sweden, Norway, and India!

Pre-dating other early costumed heroes, (like Superman), the Phantom remains a vital part of comics history. Baring heavy influence on Bob Kane's Batman; the Phantom defines many of the transitioning establishments from pulp heroes, to the superhero genre. Wearing a colourful costume, trademarked insignias, and a history that dates back to the 1500's; the ghost who walks is a true superhero legend. Check out this Falk/McCoy classic from 1948!

Uncanny X-Men #295 (December 1992)
"Familiar Refrain" Lobdell/Peterson

When mutant popstar Lina Cheney offers Professor Charles Xavier an opportunity to speak at a public concert for awareness and acceptance of mutants, she unwittingly provides the opportunity to spark a war between factions.
A daylight attempt on the Professor's life implicates the mysterious mutant soldier, Cable, as a traitor to his people, but unbeknownst to the X-Men he is merely the victim of a murder wrap through time!

Apocalypse too finds himself caught in the web of deceit when his Horsemen are deployed to attack the X-Men. In truth, they are following the order of the mysterious mutant liberator, Stryfe, whose machinations include the kidnap of X-Men mainstays, Cyclops and Jean Grey.

With the defeat of the Horsemen, the X-Men opt to pay a visit to the ancient mutant, whose recuperation from a previous battle had been prematurely interrupted by the emergence of Mr. Sinister as Stryfe's impostor. Though weak, Apocalypse remains all too happy to cull the weak from the fit, as he faces the X-Men in mortal combat in his own safehouse!

Spider-man Unlimited #2 (August 1993)
"The Hatred, The Horror, and The Hero" DeFalco/Lim

The assembled might of Spider-man, Venom, Black Cat, Captain America, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Cloak, Dagger, Morbius and Nightwatch has finally broken up the reign of terror perpetrated by the Carnage Family, but the fight has not yet been won!

Carnage has escaped death once more, but Venom remains dedicated to hunting down the symbiote spawn of his own alien costume, and destroying it, with or without Spider-man's approval.

Spidey's sense of responsibility brings him to the fight, but as Cletus Kasady becomes further detached from reality, Spidey cannot escape the pull of pity, feeling a responsibility to protect Carnage from Venom's lethal objectives.
Has Spidey done the ultimate good, or sealed his fate by stepping into the crossfire of two of his most powerful enemies? Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Steve V said...

gotta love the tri-sentinel! Later in this arch Nova shows up and teams up with Spidey to take him down...I think...it's been a while since I read this one.

~Steve

Mike Haseloff said...

@Steve V: For sure!
One of my favourite Spidey periods, which is probably why I'm starting to come around to current issues of Amazing. As we move farther away from BND, I think we actually get closer to a Spider-man I enjoy.

It's just a shame it had to be done like this.

Say what anyone will about comics in the nineties, the two Spidey inclusions are here very deliberately.

Cheers!