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I’m Glad I Wasn’t Drinking Anything When I Found Out the Slingers Were Returning

Because there would have been spit-takes for days!

Holy heck, you guys! The Slingers are returning to Marvel Comics in September! What a neat idea! I’m a Slingers fan from way back in the ’90s, when they were actually around. And I’ve patiently followed the individual characters’ exploits in the decade since their comic was cancelled. Did you know Prodigy was the first superhuman arrested under the Superhuman Registration Act in the first Civil War? Yep!

Anyway, writer Peter David, himself a fan of the 90s, is bringing the Slingers back in the pages of his pro-90s comic, Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider!

Slingers Return 01

According to the issue solicitation, which came out today, there’s someone going around in costume as a new Hornet in Las Vegas (the original died). The Slingers head to Vegas to get to the bottom of it, with Scarlet Spider caught in the middle. How many Slingers are even still around? Prodigy and Ricochet are still active, but is Dusk? I think so…

Anyway, I think it’s super neat that Peter David is going to bring them out of the mothballs for a comic book adventure! I only hope he doesn’t kill them all over the course of the story, or turn them into villains. It still stings what happened to Phil Urich…

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Spider-Verse is Coming This Fall!

The next big Spider-Man comic book event was revealed today as Spider-Verse! It’s coming this fall by regular Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, and apparently involves every single version of Spider-Man that has ever existed teaming up to take on Morlun, one of Spidey’s more recent and brutal bad guys!

I see you there, Scarlet Spider

That’s a sweet picture. You can click HERE to get an even bigger, better one!

Newsamara had the scoop today as Slott and a few other Marvel honchos talked about the event. It’s going to feature 1,000s of Spideys, including some that Slott’s going to make up for the event – not that there aren’t dozens upon dozens already circling the Multiverse. They’re gonna team up against some great threat, with Morlun first to the plate. I was reading Amazing Spider-Man back when Morlun first showed up, and he was definitely pretty monstrous back then, though I’m pretty sure he’s mellowed a bit since. Perhaps Slott will make him scary again.

All of this sounds reasonably cool, though not exactly something that gets me personally excited. I’ve never been one for big, cosmic Spider-Man stories, though I’m sure it’ll be a blast to see all the various alternate Spideys. That might be worth the price of admission alone.

I definitely see some Slingers in there!

Good Guy Green Goblin: Why the Little Guy Matters in Comics

I don’t remember how or why I came to possess a copy of Green Goblin #1 in 1995, I only remember the joy I felt flipping through its pages. I can remember marveling at the artwork by Scott McDaniel, possibly the first time I ever actually appreciated comic book art. I can remember haphazardly scouring the comic book shops and supermarkets in Central New York searching for all the follow-up issues, before I ever even knew that comic books come out on Wednesdays. And I can remember waiting 10 years, well into adulthood, before I finally managed to track down the final issue online, and how reading it after all those years was like stepping back in time. The series was just as good as I remembered – if a little dated.

With the Green Goblin series in the mid-90s, Marvel Comics was trying desperately to reach out to both youth culture and longtime fans by mixing a semi-familiar brand name with a slacker protagonist. Green Goblin was a blatant cash-grab. It only lasted 13 issues.

But those 13 issues may be the very reason why I’m such a big comic book fan today. Green Goblin was my ‘gateway drug’. And Phil Urich is my hero.

He’s a funny guy

Some of you reading this have probably never even heard of Phil Urich. He’s no Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne, that’s for sure. But nevertheless, Phil Urich came along at just the right time to hook me into comic books. Green Goblin wasn’t the first comic I had ever read, but it was the first series I ever started collecting on my own. And when all 13 issues were over, I kept reading and I kept looking for more new comics. It was a fun little series with a lot of energy and some cool ideas.

After it was cancelled, one would reasonably expect never to see Phil Urich again. His story hadn’t sold, it was cancelled; shouldn’t that be the end of it?

Nope! Apparently not! And that’s why Phil Urich is such a fascinating character. Phil kept coming back. New writers like Brian K. Vaughn and Dan Slott came long with new ideas and new roles for Phil to play. And through their work, Phil Urich’s story continues to be told, even after all these years. And that’s one of the things I love about comics: through unexpected teamwork, through new writers and new ideas, even the little guys get their own stories. Phil will never be as popular as Spider-Man or Batman, but he’s got a story nonetheless.

Join me after the jump if you’d like to hear it.

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The Slingers Reunion 12 Years in the Making!

One of my favorite comic books of all time was Slingers from 1998-1999, about a team of four college students trying and failing to be superheroes. It was a cute little series, but it didn’t have the traction to make it past 12 issues. That sucker got cancelled!

Maybe if they were called Wolverine & the Slingers...

But since comic book characters never truly disappear, the four heroes have lived on in the Marvel Universe, popping up from time to time in various roles and stories. Usually in the background, rarely in any important capacity. As a fan, it’s basically just been a game of hide and seek over the past decade trying to spot all the appearances. Usually they only appear individually, never as a team.

That is until Avengers Academy #26 this week, when two of the Slingers finally came face-to-face for the first time since their series was cancelled all those years ago! Writer Christos Gage clearly did his research on the characters to add a personal touch to the encounter, so for a Slingers fan like myself, it was a giddy little thrill – emphasis on ‘little’. This is a tiny, minuscule moment. They barely appear on the same page together.

But in a pair of talking heads, Gage has them confront one another, seeing as how they’re on two different sides of the current Avengers Academy conflict. Ricochet is with the Academy, Prodigy is with the other guys.

This is the moment, more than a decade in the making!

For a Slingers fan like myself, that’s quite the fun little tidbit.

But does that make any sense to anybody else? There’s a lot of continuity squeezed into that little confrontation. Follow me after the jump for a fun history lesson on one of my favorite comic books of all time!

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Slinger Spotted!

I have something of a niche blog. It’s very geek-oriented, with a lot of talk about comic books. There’s a big audience for that on the Internet. But there’s probably a much smaller audience who tune in specifically for my personal take on comics and geekiness. Part of me wants to do a more general type of site, that appeals to a lot of people, but part of me also wants to focus on topics that interest me the most.

Hence this post about a single, tiny appearance of one of the Slingers!

Ricochet has returned to comics as a member of the Avengers Academy, according to a single panel in the latest issue.

He's down in the corner playing tug-of-war

For those of you who don’t know, The Slingers was a very short-lived Marvel comic book in the mid-90s, but it was one of my favorites of all time. It was my favorite comic after the cancellation of the Green Goblin series, and I bought and read every one of Slingers’ dozen or so issues. It was about a team of young heroes using a bunch of discarded Spider-Man identities. Long story. They were Prodigy, Dusk, Hornet and Ricochet, and their comic was just plain fun.

Once The Slingers was cancelled, the characters just faded into comic book limbo, making sporadic appearances here and there. Hornet got killed by Wolverine, Dusk was  a victim of the Puppetmaster in the Ms. Marvel comic (now cancelled) and Prodigy actually went on to become a rather important figure in Marvel’s Civil War and the Initiative. He had a starring role in the recent Youth in Revolt tie-in to Fear Itself. So Prodigy is going places. He even appeared in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2!

Ricochet, the ostensible star of The Slingers, had a brief appearance as a member of the Loners, a series that spun out of Runaways, about former 90s teen heroes who were trying to give up the life. I liked the Loners mini-series, and Runaways cameo, even though that was the start of turning Phil Urich into a super-villain. Alas. Anyway, it seems Ricochet is still in costume because he’s randomly been added to the cast of Avengers Academy

For those of you who might be Slingers fans, this is pretty cool news.

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