Thursday, August 18, 2022

Andy Richardson:

Addicted to Comics

Spider-Man Visionaries: Roger Stern + I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!

Spider-Man Visionaries: Roger Stern

Genre: Super-Heroes

Roger Stern’s run writing several of the Spider-Man titles had a major effect on the character for years to come, introducing a variety of new villains (Hobgoblin, Belladonna) and updating some old ones (the Vulture, the Prowler). Equally significant were the developments involving Peter Parker’s supporting cast, as J. Jonah Jameson, Deb Whitman, and other co-workers became nearly as important to each issue as Parker himself. Stern understood what many writers forget: Peter Parker and his personal life are almost as important to many fans as the wall-crawler himself.

This trade collects issues of both Amazing Spider-Man #206 and Spectacular Spider-Man #43-52, 54, and features art by legends like John Byrne, Marie Severin, John Romita Jr., and many others.

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!

Genre: Super-heroes, Pin-Ups/Art Books

The super-heroes from the 1930s and 1940s that survived until today – Superman, Batman, Captain America – are the ones we know most about. Those characters’ creators, too, including Bob Kane and Jack Kirby, are the names celebrated by later generations. But for every character and creator who became legends, there were many others that were largely forgotten – like Fletcher Hanks. This collection changes that by reprinting an eclectic mix of Hanks’ comics from that era. Alien super-heroes (Stardust), skull-faced jungle women (Fantomah), and more unique creations get their day in the sun here.

This oversized collection presents some pretty wild concepts and ideas, some of which are more inspired than a lot of what did survive from the era. It includes a “Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks?” story that chronicles the editor’s meeting with Hanks’ son.

Andy Richardson is a freelance writer and editor who has been reading and writing about comics for far longer than he can believe at this point. Andy can be reached via e-mail at Please use “ComicBase” as your subject line.

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