Strange Tales #1
FC 48 pgs w/ ads $4.99 US / Higher in Canada
After Marvel had declared bankruptcy back in the late ’90s – they started to restructure the company and they also started experimenting with more than just the usual superhero comic. Peter Milligan and Michael Allred had an amazing run on X-Force / X-Statix which skewered the celebrity aspects of superheroing and stardom in general. And in 2002 Peter Bagge had a comic come out called The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man. His follow up The Incorrigible Hulk was shelved after a change in Marvel’s management and has been sitting on shelf for the last few years until now. Marvel has assembled a team of indy comic book stars to do various takes on Marvel’s superheroes. Along with this Marvel has finally printed Bagge’s story – splitting it into three parts over the course of the mini-series.
Along with Bagge’s story – Paul Pope does a take on the Inhumans. He tries to be humourous and it mostly works, his art is amazing but I would have preferred a more serious story from him like the work he has been doing with Adam Strange in Wednesday Comics. The next story is by John Leavitt and Molly Crabapple about a wedding that doesn’t turn out as one would suspect. Junko Mizuno does an amusing story about Spider-Man and Mary Jane moving to Spider Town. Dash Shaw tackles Dr. Strange. James Kochalka has the Hulk battle some clones. Johnny Ryan does the Punisher and Marvel’s most embarrassing moments. Michael Kupperman tries out Namor. Nick Bertozzi does a very funny look at the life of Modok. Nicholas Gurewitch of The Perry Bible Fellowship fame does a couple of very funny pages. And leaving the best for last – Jason does a hilarious Spider-Man story.
I’m glad Marvel did this and I’m really glad that Peter Bagge’s long shelved story has finally seen the light of day. I don’t know if Marvel will ever do something like this again – with all the titles that they pump out, they seldom take a chance on something different. Peter Bagge’s story did sit on the shelf for almost seven years but hopefully the success of this comic series will change their minds, but I’m not holding my breath. Still an awesome comic from today’s best independent creators. (Shane Hnetka)