Tuesday, December 06, 2016

"The Fatal Finale" shouldn't be where you drop eight pages of villain backstory...

...although, that's probably the most entertaining portion of this issue: from 1990, Avengers Spotlight #36, "Bitter Pill" Written by Steve Gerber, pencils by Al Milgrom, inks by Don Heck.

This was the conclusion of a six-issue Hawkeye serial (set back a month, by last issue's Forgotten One fill-in) in which Hawkeye takes on the gangs of L.A, gets shot, recovers, and gets a new armored costume. As you did in the 90's...the implication is that Hawkeye isn't so much out of his depth, though he is, as he isn't very "street" anymore since he's been an Avenger for so long. By this chapter, his investigation into the bombing deaths of some thirty members of the "Stone Perfs," has come up with nothing; so we check in with the mastermind behind the gang warfare: one Lotus Newmark. Survivor. Entrepreneur. Drug lord. Wonder Woman fan.

Lotus takes her underling, Fernando, a.k.a. "Prince Charming," to her palatial estate, and into her confidence, telling him her life story origin: born in L.A, Lotus had lived in Hong Kong as a girl, when her mother was killed in a traffic accident. Her father, who had managed to save her, couldn't forgive himself for not saving his wife as well, and fell into gambling and drink. When crime boss Li Fong came to call in his marker, he demands two fingers as payment, to serve as an example to others. Instead, Lotus's father offers a "barter," and trades away his daughter.

Fong had taken Lotus just to further rob her father of dignity, but came to find something more in her, and would raise her almost as a son. Except he totally still had sex with her. Lotus doesn't sugarcoat her story, but also doesn't feel like a victim, since she did receive an education in business and martial arts, as well as revenge: when she turned 21, Fong gave her her freedom...and her father's address. Lotus cut two fingers off her father, forced him to look at it for a full minute, then killed him by driving her hand into her father's chest.

The next day, Hawkeye and his then-wife Bobbi are at a birthday party for Luis, a young boy who saved Clint's life; when Luis recognizes the passing "Prince Charming" as one of the Stone Perfs. Plainclothes, Clint confronts him, curious how he survived when the rest of the gang was bombed by a helicopter, but in the scuffle Luis's little sister is shot. (It's a bit brutal, it looks like it would've killed her instantly.) Charming then manages to pistolwhip Hawkeye, shoot a cop, and then escape in Hawkeye's skycycle! Charming flies it back to Lotus's estate, who wants no part of him now; and sends him packing; while Hawkeye has another skycycle and arrows dropped off by USAgent. Going after Charming, Hawkeye forces him down, and Charming nearly gets the drop on him again! Before getting gunned down by the "Terminizer," the vigilante who had murdered several other gang members, and was pretty obviously young Luis. Crying, Hawkeye tells the boy not to unmask, he didn't want to know.

Back at the Avengers Compound, Hawkeye gets an earful from USAgent for not getting the Terminizer; while a supporting Mockingbird tells Hawkeye he could tell her the story. Hawkeye says "not for ten years or so," but of course they wouldn't be together then...I don't think Lotus has returned since, but I wouldn't mind if she did.
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Monday, December 05, 2016

Hey, some comics on that blog about comics!

We're trying to get back in the swing of things, and we'll start out with another Boom! mini-series picked up on the cheap from Hastings, not unlike Hit. From 2013, Aliens vs. Parker #1-4, written by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, art by Manuel Bracchi with Gianfranco Giardina.

If Hit was in the same vein as the movie L.A. Confidential, then Aliens vs. Parker is more like...a halfway decent SyFy movie or series? Better than the Asylum, but maybe not something that would've been in theaters? The titular Parker is a crewman for a SpaceX delivery ship, a job typically known for spectacular boredom. Until they get a delivery, of a compliment of space Marines, acting as security for a pretty mining company official, trying to regain contact with a mining planet that's gone silent...

While Parker is a likable doofus, the rest of his crew is awfully quirky, even for a story like this. The dialog carries large portions of this, and is pretty good, even if just about everyone is snarky as hell. For example, I'm not sure the marine above that mentions zombies has any other lines! The aliens are fairly simple animals, but with seemingly friendly and cute offspring; they may not be all bad. Typically there's a traitor in there somewhere, a little "the real monster is man" action; but the "traitor's" motivation is relatively tame. (Still evil, but still.) A fun little read if you see it.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I don't have the full set back up, but it feels nice to be able to knock out a strip again. I'm not sure what next week's strip is going to be yet, though; since we may have to check in on the homefront...

Meanwhile, we should be back to looking at old comics soon; although I am trying to take care of a couple projects; of varying degrees of annoying. We'll let you know when they wrap up, or at least move forward.
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Monday, November 28, 2016

And we're back! Almost!

The move is nearly complete! The wife and I both have our own garage now, and while she intends to park in hers, I'm planning on shooting homemade strips and watching old VHS tapes down there. Obviously the better choice!

There have been a few things I found during the move that I hadn't seen in a while, like an X-Men pop-up book, or a couple action figure hands, or the backpack piece for the recent Walmart exclusive Falcon. (For the love of god, don't pay that price!) I do have to rebuild the set, though, and have to get back to work for Wednesday's strip.

I'm also not completely set up on anything else: right now typing, my back is to the game! Poor planning there...

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Delay of game."

It's Sunday night as I write this, and I took at least five carloads of stuff to my new apartment today. None of said stuff is really where it needs to be, most of it is in the garage right now, but I had no intention of parking in there anyway. I'm kind of fried right now, but I'm getting closer. Of course, I still have a ton of cleaning to do over Thanksgiving, and have to strike the set! We'll see if it comes together exactly the same next time!
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

There's probably half a dozen easier ways to read this issue: you could get the digital version direct from 2000 AD, or try to find the collection Tales of Nu Earth. If you're in England or thereabouts, maybe you could find the original prog from 1983, 2000 AD #317. IDW recently reprinted several issues, but I'm not sure they got this far. I went with the older American reprint, Fleetway/Quality's 1987 Rogue Trooper #9. All of which feature script by Gerry Finley-Day, and Brett Ewins art for "Fort Neuro," Cam Kennedy on "Bio-Wire!"

"Bio-Wire!" is a five-page short, involving a creeping, living barbed wire; but the bulk of this issue is Rogue's adventures in "Fort Neuro." Under protracted siege by the enemy Norts, the Souther forces entrenched in Fortress Neuropa have started to lose it: the first batch Rogue meets have gone all faux-French, for starters, naming their section "the Napoleonic Complex." With the help of a messenger droid, "Robspierre," Rogue makes his way to the next division, the Lim-ees, who aren't doing much better.

I'm positive most of the other versions are clearer, on better paper, with brighter colors--when available! But I have more than a soft-spot for the low-fi Fleetway-Quality reprints: they were my introduction to Judge Dredd and the rest of 2000 AD's stable of characters. Plus, when you can find them, they're generally cheaper than dirt...and I'll be keeping an eye out, over this weekend! I'm out for three days, we'll see if anything turns up.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016


We almost revealed where Kurt is this week, but since I'm behind, it didn't work out that way! Enjoy the suspense!
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