Wednesday, October 4, 2017

THE STF #2000 100-PAGE SPECTACULAR!



Welcome to the 2000th Super-Team Family cover on this blog (cover #2510 overall)!  When I started back in April of 2010, my original goal was to make 500, so I am glad that I have been able to keep it going - and that folks don't seem to be getting tired of the concept.  Indeed, the site has continued to grow in popularity and I am grateful for the kind comments it has received from various comics-related sites & podcasts, industry professionals, and especially my regular visitors.  Often, someone will say something along the lines of, "I wish this was a real comic!" - Well, for this special Anniversary Issue, Let's make that wish a reality (as best I can anyway)!

First up is the main feature.  I used to draw for my own personal enjoyment, and being a fan, I enjoyed illustrating in a comic book format.  in 1994, I decided to write a huge crossover story featuring a ton of characters from Marvel and DC.  I actually got around to drawing half of it, before getting distracted with other things and putting it down.  I did post some of the pages in my STF #1000 post, and I received a few requests for the whole thing, so here it is!  Now, be kind - I had no illusions about ever being a real comic book artist or writer, this was just something I did for my own fun.  The art is far from perfect and the story is kind of all over the place.   I think I might have shown these pages to a couple of my siblings but that was it.

I apologize for the low-quality scans - these have been at the bottom of a drawer for decades and a lot of the penciling is quite faint.  So, if you don't want to squint to read my overly-wordy text, I will summarize each page for you as we go along...

(Please Note:  If viewing on an Ipad or other small screen and the images are cut off, just click on them and the full image will open up in an overlay)

Page 1.)  Doctor Doom discovers a nexus point through which the Marvel and DC universes can breach one another.


Page 2.)  Doom longs to conquer a world without superheroes to interfere with him, and fires a beam meant to counter the vibrations of the nexus and open a rift.


Page 3.)  While Doom waits for his ray to work,  in the DCU, Desaad sees that the nexus is being activated  from the other side and rushes to inform Darkseid, who has been waiting for this day.


Page 4.)  With his own plans for domination, Darkseid activates a beam of his own, this completing the breach between universes!


Page 5.)  Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate detect the cross-dimensional tampering...


Page 6.)  ... As do The Spectre and The Watcher, who each decide to travel to the Nexus to see what's happening.


Page 7.)  Darkseid and Doom instantly distrust one another.  Doom is transported to Darkseid's ship and they begin to do battle...


Page 8.) ...Only to be interrupted by The Spectre, who vows to punish them both - until The Watcher shows up and implores him to stop.


Page 9.)  Uatu explains that their tampering has already started a chain reaction that threatens to destroy both universes and they must be allowed to reverse it.  The Spectre does not like his vengeance being thwarted and as the villains vanish from his hands he turns his attention to The Watcher.  Doom and Darkseid reappear on the other side of the ship and decide it would be prudent to join forces to defeat these two powerhouses.


Page 10.)  The Spectre and The Watcher debate the merits of action versus inaction, and just as Uatu is getting through to him, The Spectre screams...


Page 11.)  ...Doom and Darkseid blast them out the airlock and manage to imprison them within the Nexus itself!  With them trapped between dimensions, their energy can be siphoned off and used to summon and send anyone from anywhere, even between the two dimensions.  The two villains then begin their master plan to rid two Earths of their superheroes.


Page 12.)  On both Earths, super-villains are disappearing from their jail cells!  Belle Reve, Arkham Asylum, The Vault and more are affected.


Page 13.)  At the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson says there's more going on than just villains vanishing from jail - brand new costumed characters are popping up all over and causing trouble, only to disappear just as quickly.  He sends Peter Parker out to get some footage, who looks up to see that...


Page 14.)  ..."Superman" and "Captain Marvel" are wreaking havoc!  Nova is in the neighborhood and decides to put a stop to their destruction...


Page 15.)   ...but finds himself in trouble, until Spider-Man joins the action!


Page 16.)  Along comes the cavalry - Hawkeye and Captain America in an Avengers Quinjet.  They blast the intruders, who begin to flee...


Page 17.)   ...into a rift in the sky.  Hawkeye tries to track it, but loses the reading.  The know this is just the beginning.


Page 18.)  In Westchester, Kitty Pryde and Scott Summers are visited by "Wildcat", "The Flash", and "Green Lantern"...


Page #19.)   The battle begins upstairs...


Page 20.)  ...And continues downstairs!


Page 21.)  Logan returns home just in time to see the "JSA" leave.


Page 22.)  We see that similar incidents are happening on the DC Earth - In Gotham City, Jack Ryder reports on them and then decides to investigate as The Creeper!


Page 23.)  Batgirl and Robin respond to reports of a monster, Batgirl regrets going in too soon.


Page 24.)  The Creeper joins Robin to face... "The Hulk"!  Robin prepares a sonic disruptor...


Page 25.)   ...Which only serves to annoy and after the building crashes down, the monster has vanished - but something grows in his place.


Page 26.)  In Metropolis, Man-Bat, The Guardian and Supergirl are attacked by "Human Torch", "Colossus" and "The Thing".


Page 27.)  Things aren't looking good for our heroes when Superman shows up.


Page 28.)  He gets a few licks in, but doesn't know who these intruders are...


Page 29.)  ...And before he can get any answers, they escape like all the others.


Page 30.)  The intruding "heroes" reappear on Darkseid's ship, where their true forms are revealed - it's the missing super-villains disguised by the energies of The Watcher and The Spectre!  They adjourn to the great hall...


Page 31.)  ...where they are met by even more villains!  Darkesid begins to explain the master plan.


Page 32.)  They will destroy the heroes of both worlds by turning them against each other - the first phase is complete, and now to begin phase two - using astral projections of the entrapped Spectre and Watcher to sow further discord!


Page 33.)  Soon, The Watcher appears in Avengers Mansion, telling Captain America to gather the team together to prepare for a major confrontation.


Page 34.)  Uatu appears before other team leaders, imploring them to do the same.


Page 35.)  In the DCU, The Spectre appears in front of the JLA Satellite, giving his own request for heroes to assemble...


Page 36.)  ...Which he does with others around the world.


Page 37.)  Doom and Darkseid tell the villains to be patient as the plan plays out, and the JSA gather together as requested.


Page 38.)  The team is feeling anxious, and they check in with The JLA...


Page 39.)  ...Who are still gathering themselves, along with the Marvel Family, Adam Strange and Plastic Man.


Page 40.)  The Metal Men are ready as well.


Page 41.)  More JLAers arrive as well as Batman and company.


Page 42.)  All the DC heroes are in place, so Doom and Darkseid look at the Marvel Earth...


Page 43.)  ...Where the Avengers are fully assembled!


Page 44.)  They establish communications with the Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Defenders, and Nick Fury's group of solo heroes.


Page 45.)  With everyone in place Doom and Darkseid send the projections of The Watcher and The Spectre back to weave their tales of deceit!


Page 46.)  The Spectre appears in front of all the DC heroes and warns that the Marvel heroes are despots who have destroyed their own planet and are now crossing dimensions to take over a new Earth - this villains seen so far were only scouts planting transmitters in various cities and now the whole army is coming to activate them, causing untold destruction...


Page 47.)   The Spectre explains that the villains will attack in the ensuing panic, and shows images so the heroes will know who they are up against.  The DC heroes divide into teams.


Page 48.)  On the Marvel Earth, The Watcher spins his own tale, Telling the heroes there that they must find the transmitters on the DC Earth and disengage them before they can destroy the world, after which the villains there plan to cross dimensions and attack.  He can send them there and shows them the opposition they can expect.


Page 49.)  The Marvel heroes choose which DC cities they will travel to, and a cackling Watcher projection can't believe they fell for the ruse!


Page 50.)  This first battle!  The Fantastic Four and the Defenders are transported to Boston, where the Metal Men are guarding one of the transmitters/thermal charges...


Page 51.)  ...with the Marvel Family as back-up!



... And as you can see, that's as far as I got.  I did write the rest of the script, though.  The rest of the story involved various battles, each with a clear winner.  At the end of the battles, Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate would have realized the ruse and notified the heroes, then head off to free The Watcher and The Spectre. With the heroes half-defeated and weakened from fighting, Doom and Darkseid send the villains gathered in the ship to take out those left standing.   The heroes who won the earlier battles work together to gain the advantage on the attacking villains.  In a panic, Doom and Darkseid send Galactus, Brimstone, Sentinels and other giants in to turn the tide.  The heroes who lost the earlier battles recuperate and arrive as the cavalry before the now-freed Watcher ans Spectre return to repair the dimensional damages as much as they are able to.  The story would have ended with a merged Earth - not like Amalgam, but with characters from Marvel and DC operating on a single Earth.  A wonky tale to be sure, but it was just an excuse for me to draw as many heroes and match-ups as possible.

and now for the back-up feature:  "Reunion" featuring the Justice League of America (plus lots of guest stars!).  This was done a few years prior to the above story, and the flaws are even more glaring - I wasn't confident in my ability to draw women, so I just didn't include them, I was rushing to finish so the final chapter basically takes place in a big empty room, more overly-wordy exposition, in one panel I draw Adam Strange's fin backwards for some reason, and so on.  Still, it's in full color and it is a complete Gardner Fox-inspired tale.  A few notes:  Alastor and Captain Rutabaga are characters that I created when I was much younger and decided to include here.  The Sentry I created just for the purposes of this story.  So here it is, warts and all:































And there you have it!  Finally one of my Anniversary Issue 100-Pagers actually has 100 pages in it!  Hopefully you got a kick out of my old doodles!

I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit the blog, and for the kind words and comments over the years.  I appreciate all of the team up suggestions as well (even if I may not respond to each on individually - the answer is always the same, "Maybe, if I can find images and an idea that works!").  Collecting comics was always a pretty solitary hobby for me as a kid, and it's been nice to have a community of friends that I can share my love for the characters and creators with.

I especially would like to thank the visitors who have shown support for the blog, whether by making a one-time contribution (via the "Donate" button below the posts/statcounter) or by becoming a Patron. Thanks also to the folks who have chosen to advertise (join them, it's still only pennies a day!).  You have all played a big part in helping this blog last as long as it has - over seven years and still going!

This is Ross, signing off - until tomorrow's cover, that is!


40 comments:

AirDave said...

Happy 2000th issue!

Anonymous said...

The story also took up a whole(?) web page!

Jonathan Allen said...

Fantastic! You could have been a pro!

Scott Bryan said...

Wow! Ok we already know you were talented at mashing up the perfect covers but you can really capture the looks of all those characters. You're like Perez. Very good... nay, AMAZING job!

Los Thunderlads said...

Very impressive! I for one hope to see more of Captain Rutabaga.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Ross. Long time fan since 2011. I actually tried my hand at making a few homemade comics, and you have truly embarrased my ass as my efforts didnt come close to the complexity of your productions. DAMN!!

Ross said...

Thanks, guys!

Haha no way I could have been a pro because I pretty much only liked drawing characters, I had lots of trouble with cars, landscapes, buildings, animals, basically everything else!

Captain Rutabaga was a cartoony superhero parody (who looked like he does in the comic Elongated man is holding at the beginning) that I did as a feature for my Junior High school mewsletter, it was kind of an in-joke to myself that I included him.

Rob Cline said...

Amazing! I salute you on behalf of the multiverse!

jack-el said...

FREAKING AWESOME!!!
You, Ross, are without a doubt "The Boss Man". (That was my sorry attempt to give you a Marvel-style nickname.)
This was great beyond anything so far...
...and I can't wait for more. You do not have to wait another 2000 issues to share more of your fledgling stories. They are always welcomed.
Thank you from we, your unworthy fans.

Ross said...

No more stories to post unless you want to see my 12-year old scribbles! Glad you liked the issue!

Rick jackson said...

Impressive. Most impressive.

Glenn Host said...

I do not have time today to give a full review but congratulations on your accomplishment. I am replacing my desktop background with your cover which is a true complement since current background is George Perez's JLA Avengers #4.

I'd recommend you get an inker and have him/her/them ink your black and white pages for you.

Ross said...

Thanks, Glenn!

Ross said...

Appreciated, Rick!

Ken said...

Amazing. I can only imagine how even more cool it would be to have an inker (with a lot of free time) tackle your penciled pages! Thanks for sharing.

Greg Morrow said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed that. I wish I had your skill. I'd also have had drawers full of drawn stories. Especially crossover stories. Thank you for sharing. If you ever manage to find the time, I suggest considering finishing your DC/Marvel crossover. But extra time is difficult to find, especially when you are already doing the Super-Team Family Covers. Nice tie-in to your story by the way.
Ordinaryguy2

Ross said...

Thank you, Greg and Ken!

Anon, I don't know if I even could - I've only drawn a few times in the past 23 years, I am very out of practice! I'm glad I held on to these.

Unknown said...

This is a badge of honor for you!

Like my younger days going to the comic book store regularly, there were certain titles that were automatic purchases.

I always visit your website each and every day above tons of other sites. 🖖👊💥

Ross said...

Glad to hear it, unknown!

GRAYSON said...

You're great and have made a great work all around these 2000 posts. I'll be seeing next ones. Congratulations

Cary Killingbeck said...

First off, let me offer a well-justified congratulations on this landmark issue. In the real world, you'd have beaten even ACTION COMICS to the four-digit punch by at least six months!

Secondly; as your horizontal slide show has only seventy-eight drawings, I presume the other twenty-two would have consisted mostly of ads. I, of course, mean the vintage cult-classic kind such as how to become a self-made millionaire selling the newspaper GRIT; or how to raise "sea monkeys" like Our Friend Billy!

Last, but not least? I thoroughly enjoyed the back-up story "Reunion." Alastor the Avenger is just the type of third-party superhero who I'm sure would quickly become a fan favorite among readers of indie-published comics like Dark Horse, Dynamite, or IDW. And, who knows? Maybe, over the _next_ two thousand issues, you could grace us with even more frequent team-ups with/appearances by current indie superheroes!

In conclusion, then, let me repeat my initial congratulations. And (despite the occasional controversies some of my past comments may have stirred up) offer my deepest thanks for all your continuing efforts.

Reno Maniquis said...

Wow! Awesome work! Issue 2000 did not disappoint! Looking forward to the next 2000. :)

Ross said...

Thank you Grayson and Reno!

Cary - look again - the "Reunion" pages are posted 2 at a time so only show up as a single image on the horizontal slide show. This issue acually comes in as 103 pages with covers.

Anonymous said...

Personal Question: Do you ever regret not enrolling or taking a course at The Joe Kuburt School of Graphic Art, or getting an internship at Marvel or DC during your college years? I know I sure do (I went to law school instead. Huge mistake!) The road not traveled.

Ross said...

It's not something I ever considered, I was way too slow at drawing.

taxicab.art music.videos said...

More Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Batman, Black Lightning, and Gandalf appearances, PLEASE! Your work is a blessing.

taxicab.art music.videos said...

I identify with Batman.
--Arthur.

mindful webworker said...

I'm waiting to read the whole comic on the office big screen when I can take my time to give your stories their due attention. BUT...

I just spent some time scrolling around an enlarged view of the front cover. It is great. Every set-up! The one I really want to see is "Westchester." I don't know what's going on in that panel, but the pairings are so evocative, all the different teams and ages those characters represent. A good example of how your cross-company pairings resonate.

Hats off to you, for all the issues, present, past, and, we all hope, a long, fruitful future. You've put your ideas, including kind-of raggedy old ones, out there in the Web, and we're grateful you have.

I think I saw something about a King Kong / Planet of the Apes crossover comic. I thought, does Ross get a cut from that?

Cary Killingbeck said...

@Ross: Yep! You're right. The New Math adds up.

Still, I miss those old ads. They were so campy! Especially, the one for "X-ray specs." Ah! If only they had truly worked.

Ross said...

Thank you, Mindful!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Just--plain--AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-D

Raphael said...

Fantastic! FWIW, I think there was a Legion of Superheroes villain named Alastor :-)

Ross said...

Yeah, I saw that - My Alastor predates it by 3 decades though! created him around 1982.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your anniversary and you early stories! Both show great promise of what was to come! Here's looking forward to more of your unique creativity! -- Gregg

Ross said...

Thank you, Gregg!

Not quite so cool! said...

Dude!

Just found your blog!

You are my hero!

Without a doubt!!!

Thanks for the fun and the memories!

Ross said...

Appreciated, Not Quite - glad you enjoy the blog!

GREY MAN said...

X-MEN APOCALYPSE DARKSEID DC

Daviticus said...

Not bad, kinda sorry this wasn't a real comic!

Perhaps the women were all at Super Hero High? 😉

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