Tuesday, March 11, 2014
It's odd to pick up an old first issue, and find out you're coming in midstream. Like this issue! From 1995, Gene Roddenberry's Lost Universe #1, "O Brave New World" Written by Lawrence Watt-Evans, pencils by James Callahan, inks by Aaron McClellan; with a concept from Gene Roddenberry and additional characters and development from Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Bill Sienkiewicz did the cover, along with some for the rest of the series; and they're pretty much the selling point for them. (Seriously, his cover for #2 would probably sell some issues of any random book you chose to put it on!)
Regardless of the level of the Roddenberrys' involvement, this issue seems to be written like part of a TV pilot, albeit the first fifteen minutes or so: Dr. Alexander Grange, returning to his homeworld Malay after recovering from a coma, finds he may have been gone for much longer than he expected. And...that's about it. It's pretty sparse, all things considered. The ship, which I believe was called the Deliverance, isn't named here; nor is his companion Penaltra given any motivation--why she's there, why she brought Grange there, what she knows, nothing. I'm not sure either character would be around by issue #6 or so, so it may not matter; in hindsight, that's almost like an actor leaving a series...
Man, I must've been flush with cash in 1995 to keep dropping it on this series. I know I read Tekno Comix Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger as well, and that had better stories from Max Allan Collins and more consistent art from Eduardo Barreto, hence that series lasted a lot longer.
Monday, March 10, 2014
It actually is the issue before Warren Ellis took over the book: from 1994, Hellstorm: Prince of Lies #11, "Life in Hell" Written by Len Kaminski, art by
After a failed attempt to storm the gates of Heaven; Daimon Hellstorm has been cast down into the fiery pits of Hell. There, he's given a walking tour of the place by a chap by the name of Simon Garth. Daimon recognizes the name, and you might as well: he was the Zombie, and says while his "mortal shell" was cursed to walk the earth, he was cursed to do the same in hell. They examine both the changing form and natures of Hell, and Garth describes it as "a mirror for the collective unconscious" as well as completely without justice. Sometimes the innocent are punished, sometimes the guilty rewarded, and souls are sent to heaven or hell more due to "flavor and texture" than sins or virtures. Of course, this may all need to be taken with a grain of salt, since Daimon realizes "Garth" knows more about hell than he should...
There's also a U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation, which means someone was getting Hellstorm in the mail at one point. Weird, huh? The average number of issues sold the previous twelve months was 123,453; with the actual number of the single issue closest to the filing date was 77,310. Hellstorm was a lower-tier book in the hundred or so titles Marvel was grinding out a month around 1993, but per the January sales numbers, nowadays those sales would be good enough for #1 or just behind #5, respectively.
Friday, March 07, 2014
From Transformers: Robots in Disguise #26, "Finis Temporis" Written by John Barber and James Roberts, art by Andrew Griffith and Livid Ramondelli. This is part nine of the Dark Cybertron storyline, and Ultra Magnus and the crew of the starship Lost Light return to Cybertron, with the titan Metroplex! Who immediately throws down with the equally massive Necrotitan, both of whom are gigantic compared to regular Autobots and Decepticons.
Even though I'm not in love with the Lost Light's design, I do like the backstory: it was bought used, for their quest to find the Knights of Cybertron; and is about 15 miles long, 10 wide. It would have to be pretty darn big, since the Transformers are normally bigger than a person; but it's also big enough to contain any number of mysteries. Although, scale is often a problem in Transformers comics: how big is any given Transformer, compared to another, in a shot with a really big ship and two huge robots?
I was thinking about Deadpool's ship the Blame and what it looks like--not like any we've seen so far!
Thursday, March 06, 2014
If I see a Legion book in the quarter bins--or dollar bins, or whatever--I'll almost always spring for it. And since I'm checking out some comic book spaceships, we'll take a quick look at this one: from 2001, Legion Worlds #3, "You Are Here: Braal" Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Paul Rivoche.
With the Legion of Super-Heroes disbanded, and many of its members missing, this series checked in with several of the alien worlds in the United Planets. As you might've guessed from the title. This issue was Braal, home of Legion members Cosmic Boy and Magno, and follows the latter, who had lost his powers but was now a member of the Science Police. It touches in on a solidly built world, but not one seen often.
Bit of a low-content week this one, but we'll see about something for tomorrow as well.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Is this really episode #239? Eh, well, maybe?
It's pretty traditional for heroes to make a trip or two into space: sometimes, it's just as far as orbit or the moon, sometimes it's to an alien world or the far end of the galaxy. For X-Men in particular, visits to the Shi'ar or the Brood are as standard as a trip to the Savage Land or Japan. I was thinking of an issue of Classic X-Men (#7) where the X-Men bum a trip to on a space shuttle from their scientist pal Dr. Corbeau--whom the X-Men hit up every time they need a space shuttle but are never anywhere to be found when he needs to move a couch. Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Banshee were kidnapped by the Sentinels; and on the shuttle's launching pad Cyclops was being mopey broody, Storm was having a claustrophobic freak-out, Colossus was likewise losing it since his brother had been a cosmonaut and was believed to have died on the launchpad. And Nightcrawler is basically "Whooo! Space! Yeah!"
I'll have to find one of Deadpool's space trips some other time.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I wonder if Marvel will get around to an Essential style reprinting of the older incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but I suppose they may not want to pull focus from the version with the tree and the raccoon. Still, I wanted to take a look at some of their ships, like the U.S.S. Captain America. (This scan was from Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1, story and art by Jim Valentino, inks by Steve Montano.)
I want to say this ship and their next one, Freedom's Lady, were rather Star Trek-styled affairs, especially with the nacelles. But I'm kind of turning an eye to starship design right now. For some reason...
Monday, March 03, 2014
I'm trying to work on some longer homemade strips, but we've got a second to check out the recent Baltimore: Chapel of Bones two-issue miniseries; written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, art by Ben Stenbeck, colors by Dave Stewart.
These issues bring the comic series up to the end of the novel Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire: the titular vampire hunter Lord Henry Baltimore summons three old friends to meet him, as his hunt of the vampire Haigus nears completion. While Baltimore blames Haigus for the deaths of his family, Haigus blames Baltimore for waking him and his kind up: by this point, World War I has been called on account of vampires and plague. But Haigus is both exhausted by Baltimore's constant pursuit, as well as unwilling to go on in the world he knows is coming. You see, while Haigus may be Baltimore's proverbial white whale, he's by no means the end boss.
This is a dark, brutal book: while Baltimore trudges along with a grumpy, fatalistic stoicism; everyone else is trying to eke out any sort of life in a world that seems like it's ending. Which is probably how it felt in that time anyway, the vampires and monsters are just icing on the cake. These two issues are 19-20 in the series, so you're not so far behind you couldn't catch up yet.