Welcome to the regular column where I answer your comic book questions. This aims to be a place where there’s no stupid questions and answers readers’ burning questions. It’s been a while since the last edition of Your Comic Questions Answered, but I plan on making it regular again, as long as your questions come rolling in!
In this edition I answer questions about the brand new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book and give some Spider-Man reading recommendations.
Lets get the ball rolling with the first question from David…
Q: I saw something on Twitter or Facebook about a Power Rangers comic. But it looks like the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that I grew up with. And the picture I saw that issue 0. Have you seen these at all?
A: Hi David, Yes I have! I’m very excited about this as someone who watch this back in the day (and recently binged on it on Netflix). This brand new comic book series is based on the very first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, albeit with a modern twist.
At it’s core, this is the Power Rangers we grew up with but taken into today. The Rangers have updated outfits which reflect what modern teens wear – as you might remember some of the outfits they were decked out in were pretty hilarious, even by 90’s standards. But at it’s core it’s the Power Rangers you know and love and I’m sure the nostalgia will wash all over you if you decide to pick it up.
So far there’s only been the #0 issue, which acts as an issue which sets the tone for what’s coming up, with issue #1 coming next month. When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 was released last month it was an instant sellout and one of publisher BOOM Studios biggest selling comics of all time. As a result a second and third printing are on the way and will be making it to all good comic book stores on February 17th and March 2nd.
If you don’t mind reading it digitally you can get it here.
I also received a question from Artemiy, would wanted to know…
Q: Could you please give some recommendations about good Spider-Man runs and arcs? I don’t really like Superior Spider-Man and everything that followed the series, including the current ongoing title, but I am very interested in the character, and I want to read maybe some of the more modern but praised stories pre-marvel now.
A: Hi Artemiy, It’s a shame that you haven’t been digging Spider-Man recently. Luckily, there’s been some really enjoyable Spider-Man stories over the years. I’ve talked about some of them in the 14 Spider-Man Stories You Should read list, but if you’ve check any of these out I’ll give you some more modern reads for you to check out – based on the criteria for modern being anything since 2000.
Here’s some Spider-Man runs I think you might like:
J. Michael Straczynski Era
In the second half of the 1990s Spider-Man had become a little stale and many of the stories were not particularly great. Spidey needed some kind of shake-up to required to make him exciting again. Luckily, in 2001 J. Michael Straczynski, best known at the time for creating the science fiction television series Babylon 5, took up the mantle as the writer for Amazing Spider-Man, along with legendary artist John Romita Jr, and wrote a lengthy run that spanned more than 60 issues.
The one thing that he’s run is famous for is introducing the mystical side of Spider-Man and the concept of the Spider Totum, which suggested that the Spider that bit Peter Parker might not have been purely radioactive, but might’ve also had some mystic properties too. This idea opened up the creative run with a big start and introduced Morlun, who has been one of the more formidable foes to Spidey in some time.
Other changes included Peter Parker becoming a science teacher at his old high school and Aunt May discovering that he was Spider-Man.
While this run is well liked by most, there’s a few stories which are universally panned. These had a degree of editorial input which might’ve gone in a different direction if he’d had more freedom. The first is Sins Past, which added some very unpopular wrinkles to Gwen Stacy’s past. The other is One More Day, the famous story which removed the Peter Parker/Mary Jane marriage from existence. While these two stories are not well liked by the fans they’re only two of many stories during this run.
This run classic run of Spider-Man runs through Amazing Spider-Man (volume 2) #30-58 and then the renumbered Amazing Spider-Man #500-544.
Brand New Day Era
In the wake of the events of One More Day, the unpopular story which erased Peter Parker/Mary Jane marriage from existence, Spider-Man had three ongoing comics. With the marriage gone this was Marvel’s chance to bring Spider-Man back to basics and streamlined the comics by cancelling them all except Amazing Spider-Man – which was released three times a month instead to compensate. The result is bunch of great stories which get to the core of Spider-Man, which come thanks to rotating creative teams.
This idea of rotating creative teams is interesting in that it meant we got a lot of short stories which felt self-contained, but at the same time created subplots which would lay the foundation for bigger stories down the track. It made for a very rewarding read the further you went into it.
While Spider-Man was going back to his core, his roster of villains received a big shake-up in the form of new enemies and the revamps/reintroductions of some of the classics. This era brought in new villains such as Overdrive and Mister Negative who acted interesting new foes. Classic enemies also returned and came back in new and interesting ways. Most of these were well received, with most of the interpretations sticking.
The Brand New Day era of Spider-Man ran through Amazing Spider-Man #546-647.
Big Time Era
After 102 issues of the Brand New Day era it was time for Peter Parker to hit the big time. From Amazing Spider-Man #648 the title was reduced to a bi-weekly schedule and writer Dan Slott was promoted to the sole writer of the series. As well as the creative and schedule changes this saw a new status quo for Peter Parker with a new job and girlfriend in tow.
The stories themselves ranged from the kind you’d expect from our favourite wall-crawler to a march larger scale than what’s usually expected from Spidey. This includes the Ends of the Earth storyline which sees Dr Octopus and the Sinister Six take the Earth hostage. The idea I liked the most out of this era was for a short period of time Spider-Man is stripped of his spider-sense, which takes him out of his element and forces him actually learn how to fight instead of relying on his gift.
These stories lead-up to what will eventually become Superior Spider-Man and the end of this era is probably a good jumping off point for you.
The Big Time era ran through Amazing Spider-Man #648-697 with a handful of tie-ins along the way.