Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Speak."


We're a couple of weeks away from Dark Phoenix, which may or may not be any good; but it's a safe bet there's no big fight with Gladiator and the Imperial Guard. In fact, rumor has it a big fight at the end changed locations, from space, to a train. For...reasons. To ground the film or some such. It's probably going to be the big kiss-off for the X-Men in movies for a few, since I doubt any of the unannounced Marvel movies scheduled now are X-related.

We're maybe one chapter away from the conclusion of this Kree plotline, in two weeks! Does that mean the end of space nonsense? Doubtful, but stranger things and all that.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Budget cuts, so the narrator/host was the first to go. Guest-starring That Yellow Bastard!


I wouldn't say I've read a ton, but I've read a fair amount of Western/Gold Key's old horror comics. Among others, they had Twilight Zone and Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery for years. They were a little hit-or-miss, ranging from legitimately clever to crude and hackneyed to just tame weaksauce. Bit of the latter today...From 1982, Shadow Play #1, featuring Leo Dorfman and several uncredited writers, and art by Jose Delbo, Adolfo Bullya, Al McWilliams, and others.

The lead story, "Monster Clock," actually was from an old Boris Karloff, albeit with the narrator removed; and the original had a better cover. (In the same vein, their last issue of Twilight Zone came out the month before, and was entirely a reprint of the first issue, just with a cover nowhere near as good as the original.) Likewise, the sci-fi number "Time for a Change" could very likely have come from the Twilight Zone, it just needed that last panel of Rod Serling expressing dismay over the unfortunate events you had just read.

There were several ghost stories in this one, that almost seem blasé about it: ghosts are real, and you're absolutely going to be haunted by them, so...meh, what're you going to do? In one, "My Granddaughter will Haunt You!" a French peasant couple force their seventeen-year-old daughter to marry a rich 56-year-old, but she dies on the altar. Her grandmother swears they will be haunted by their daughter, which they laugh off, until grandma dies and the haunting starts up: the daughter had been too nice to haunt her parents, but her grandma definitely will haunt 'em up good.

I got this from the quarter bin last week, and I suspect it was from the same collection as some lower grade Twilight Zone's I had picked up earlier. Still looking for a not-overly-expensive copy of #70, with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's "The Tyranny of Time." They had a nice run of covers in there, though. (EDIT: Had the same scan twice! Fixed.)
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Monday, May 20, 2019

My love for you is like a truck...wait, I've used that one already.


Perhaps because it's fresh in mind, but I liked this issue more than any single episode I can remember of either version of the show! From 1980, Battlestar: Galactica #16, "Berserker" Plot and script by Roger McKenzie, plot assist by Bob Layton, art and colors by Walt Simonson.

Still on the run from the Cylons, the Galactica and the surviving fleet are in desperate need of fuel; and Adama reluctantly sets to order a geologist team to check out a planet described as "one huge active volcano." Before that happens, a Cylon satellite orbiting the planet sends out an alarm, which the Galactica can block temporarily, at the cost of interfering with their own communications. A Viper patrol is sent to destroy it (interestingly, and suspiciously, there's no one we know in that patrol...) but finds it too easy. Scanning, they discover the satellite is booby-trapped: destroying it would set off an explosive charge in the planet, destroying it and still warning the Cylons. The satellite would have to be disarmed first, so the demolition team is sent in. One member notes none of them have any experience, except "Master-Tech Shadrack," who I think was a recurring character in this stretch of comics but I don't think was from the show. They may have needed a Scotty-type, though. As the shuttle launches, Apollo realizes they wouldn't be able to contact the Viper patrol or Galactica, and takes another patrol after it.

Before reaching the satellite, the shuttle is attacked, by a murderously powerful fighter. The first Viper patrol is already gone, and the mystery fighter guns down the rest until only Apollo remains. And even he gets shot up, with the enemy pilot snarkily taunting him! Meanwhile, Shadrack and his team work on the satellite, which is full of deadly traps.

About to crash land, Apollo has to pull a desperate trick perhaps more Starbuck's speed: blow his canopy, then blast the fighter with his sidearm! Both ships crash, but both pilots survive, with the enemy revealed to be a Cylon--Mark III! A Mark III Imperator series, he explains chattily: you get the feeling he's grateful to have someone to talk to, even as he tries to kill Apollo. III explains he and his prototype brethren were feared and exiled for being too ambitious, but with a faster-than-light ship he could return to take the Cylon Empire from the Imperious Leader. On the run and out of breath in the volcanic craters, it's not helping that Apollo emptied his laser shooting down the Mark III, but he still has a plan: feign injury, lure him into a snare, and dump his metal ass into the lava!

By then, Shadrack had disarmed and destroyed the satellite; which was probably there to keep III there more than anything. Apollo contacts Galactica for pickup for himself and his surviving pilots; and they spend a couple weeks mining fuel from the planet. Sometime after that, a figure emerges from the lava; the Mark III lives! And while the humans may be gone, there were several wrecked Vipers for him to salvage: he had already waited a thousand years--er, 'yahrens'--for revenge, this would take no time at all. III was pretty talky for a Cylon, but I guess with Lucifer there was a precedent.
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Friday, May 17, 2019


The power was out for a bit tonight, so just a quick one for today: from 1986, Power Pack #18, "Kurse!" Written by Louise Simonson, pencils by Brent Anderson, inks by Scott Williams. And a Walt Simonson cover!

This was a Secret Wars II crossover, as well as with Thor: the Beyonder had taken the fallen dark elf Algrim, and given him a nice set of armor and immense power, to see how the newly minted Kurse would do on his single-minded quest for revenge. Power Pack's only non-family member, Franklin Richards, was having nightmares about Kurse destroying the team; but it's their mom Margaret Power that is injured by Kurse as he rampages through the city. Alex in particular takes it hard, feeling responsible for his mom being in the wrong place at the wrong time; and pushes the team towards his own revenge. Together, they wreck a building under construction and drop it on Kurse, but he wasn't done yet. Meanwhile, the Beyonder is mildly helpful to the kids, but not especially, he wants to see what happens next.

I read the Thor chapters when they first came out, but I don't think I read any Power Pack until years after the fact. And they weren't bad!

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Phrasing!


I mentioned the other day I was at a local Wal-Mart, and someone had stolen a Marvel Legends Living Laser from the packaging! Left the Thanos piece and everything. I'll probably get him eventually, probably after he's been marked down; but I wonder if I would've preferred his look from this issue: from 1981, Iron Man #153, "Light Makes Might!" Written and plotted by David Michelinie, pencils by John Romita Jr., plot and finishes by Bob Layton.

Ah, this issue features communist bad guys! That takes me back. Co-incidentally, I don't watch it often, but last night's Final Jeopardy was, "The Cold War became entrenched in the mid-1950's after the formation of these 2 rival military alliances." I got it, but I think only one contestant got it right, "What is, NATO and the Warsaw Pact?" Which means I'm older than Jeopardy contestants; that's not a good sign...Anyway, the Living Laser is working with the East Germans, and while he does feel a little bad about some light treason, he's doing it to save his life. With his metabolism altered after his run-in with Count Nefaria, LL was constantly absorbing energy from light and would probably eventually explode. The East Germans had a plan to drain energy off of him to power their orbiting weapons satellites, but the ensuing fight blows up most of their secret mountain science base. (It's not drawn very East Germany, it looks like a southwestern mesa!)

The Laser overloads, and Iron Man tosses him into the sky to explode away from a nearby reactor: necessary, but you can see how feelings might be hurt. Meanwhile, Bethany Cabe was ending her tenure as Tony's girlfriend, since her husband--drug addicted and believed to have been dead--had been found. Beth and Tony are both pretty broken up, but this feels like a way to get her out of the book without wrecking the character. She'd be back.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"Cameo."


Last year there was supposed to be a Stan Lee Build-a-Figure, which would've involved several multi-packs, but it wasn't included for some reason. But at the toy show over the weekend, we got the Stan Lee figure from SDCC 2007. Weirdly, I got the Spidey mask a couple years back; but I don't have the rest of the pieces to turn him into Spider-Man. Why would you, though?

We also got the Batman v. Superman Batmobile on deep clearance last week, and I'm hoping the driver will be a surprise in a week or two. Might need to expand the set, though.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Maybe I only like Wolvie in 8-page installments...

Actually, that doesn't quite line up: I bought the new Marvel Comics Presents last week, because it featured a Moon Knight story with his "Mr. Knight" outfit. It also had the first Wolverine story I'd read in forever; and I'll be reading the next issue as well, since it features Nightcrawler and Venom. The Wolvie feature was ten pages and a recap; but I was used to eight pages from the old biweekly MCP. Then I picked an issue without Wolverine for today...from 1994, Marvel Comics Presents #149, featuring stories by Chris Cooper, Kelly Corvese, Floyd Hughes, and John Figueroa; and art by Reggie Jones, Phil Hugh Felix, Fred Harper, and Alexander Morrissy.

Surprisingly, this looks like a completely stand-alone issue: Vengeance was still the series lead, but this was a single-issue story and not part of a serial. Vengeance decapitates a convenience-store robber that kills a clerk; then doesn't think much of it until the news reports the robber had been a cop, strapped for cash because his son needed an operation. In his secret identity, Lt. Badilino visits the family, and finds the son had taken his father's gun, intent on calling out...Ghost Rider. I don't think Vengeance was widely recognized, and he doesn't correct him. Badilino talks the kid down, but perhaps starts to wonder where vengeance--capital or small 'v'--is taking him.

The rest of the issue is three shorts: Namor, the Starjammers, and the Daughters of the Dragon. They're okay. MCP was pretty good at giving everyone a showcase; and if you were a fan of some of these characters, you were just happy to see them. I wonder if you could do that now...This was a quarter-bin purchase, but I may have bought the next issue off the racks: MCP #150 was a full-issue story with Vengeance, Wolverine, Daredevil, and Typhoid Mary. That would run into the next issue, but the first had Steve Lightle art; judging by #151's cover Lightle may have been one of the few to do a good job on DD's armor costume.
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