Friday, March 16, 2018

God Eater, God Slayer, God Butcher; there's kind of a theme.

Demogorge the God-Eater had a better design, and Gorr the God Butcher has a better name, but today we've got Desak, Destroyer of Gods! Or God Slayer. Either or. From 2001, Thor 2001, "When Fall the Gods!" Written by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Al Vey, Karl Kesel, and Scott Hanna.

This issue guest-stars Hercules and Beta Ray Bill, largely so Desak can be built up as a big deal, but Herc's also there since on Olympus, Zeus has a mysterious visitor. It's the mysterious watcher, the Silent One, who I would've thought was just a placeholder for Uatu; but actually was a character older than I am, from Thor #184! And he may not have appeared since, but he was not unlike DC's Pariah, only showing up at times of utter catastrophe. The Silent One shows the guys a destroyed Olympus in the future, and then the origin of Desak, who had been a devout man whose gods failed him, and was given power to get revenge by a mysterious apparition. Desak starts taking out gods, many of whom aren't as benevolent as the Marvel pantheon we're used to.

Off the top of my head, I want to say Jurgen's stint on Thor tried to introduce some new villains, but I'm not sure how many went on to the regular rotation. Desak might've hassled Thor for a few months, but I think that was about it.
Read more!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Is "Rapido" French? He's no Batroc, but then again, who is...

We glanced at the original Eurohit about four years ago; and that run of Punisher featured both Batroc and the Tarantula, as well as the secondary bad guy that would take the lead here, in "Eurohit '94," Rapido! From, well, 1994, Punisher Annual #7, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, pencils by Andrew Currie and Dougie Braithwaite, inks by Art Nichols, Al Williamson, and Fred Fredericks.

Rapido had survived a couple run-ins with the Punisher, in the first Eurohit, then the Suicide Run crossover, wherein the Punisher blew up an office building full of criminals. While presumably Frank gets out somehow, Rapido also survived, and meets up with Chauffard and the Architect, who were late to the mob boss meeting and thus avoided falling into Frank's trap. Rapido is upgraded with a better Gatling gun arm and targeting glasses, and settles in to doing the Architect's dirty work; like taking out supporting characters Morgan Sinclair, Jack Oonuk, and Outlaw!

Or does he? Rapido is rattled by the seeming return from the dead of his old boss, Snakebite; but he's really being gaslit by the Punisher, who had been working with the others and helped them secretly escape their hits. Sinclair takes out Chauffard and Oonuk the Architect, while Rapido and Punisher duke it out on the tracks, and Rapido is hit by a train and busted up pretty badly. He hopes Frank got run over; no luck there, but the issue ends with him in most of a body cast plotting his revenge...which hasn't happened yet. Rapido has appeared since, but not against the Punisher.
Read more!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Although I'll use one at my parents', or the bank, or when I find one unattended; I don't have a Keurig. Partially because I think they're wasteful, but mostly because when I drink coffee I'm probably going to drink an entire pot.

Also, we missed our fourth anniversary of space nonsense with Pool n' Kurt!

When I'm damn good and ready! Actually, we may be coming up on someone who has something to say about their trip, and might be able to do something about it.
Read more!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It's kind of like that movie "Passengers," except with Robin, I guess.

Yeah, I didn't see Passengers, but traditionally in sci-fi, if you don't have faster-than-light warp drive or hyperspace or what-have-you, you either have to sleep out a long space trip in hibernation or cold sleep or something, or you've got the generational ship where the original crew members at launch will be long dead and the journey will be completed by their descendants. Today we have the latter, which is usually depressing, even with the addition of Batman and Robin! From 1996, Robin Annual #5, "The Iron Sky" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Staz Johnson, inks by Rob Leigh.

This, like all the 1996 DC annuals, was the Elseworlds themed Legends of the Dead Earth; all set after earth was gone, but the legends and legacies of its heroes continued. I thought I had read more of these, but this one was new to me last week! In a future Gotham, a lowly farmer girl, Tris, is excited to see the outlaw hero Batman fighting the robot sentinels called Jokers; but she attracts the attention of the Proctors. It's obvious early the society has pretty strict classes; and in being scanned as a troublemaker, Tris becomes an outlaw as well, but she embraces the chance to become her own legend. Still, it's nearly a short one, when she runs into a Proctor gunship; but she's saved by Batman. Who takes Tris to see the truth:

Babies were created by artificial incubation, put to work on the farms when they turn nine, then Logan Run'd when they turn 30. Batman had been a Proctor, but opted out of the "Giving" and learned the truth. "Gotham" had been named after the earth city, but was a "generation ship" that was supposed to take humanity to a new home. That had been the plan, anyway: either the ship was off-course or there was nothing at their destination, and the Proctors either didn't realize or didn't care. But maybe Batman could set the ship on a new course--with a little help.

Batman and Robin fight their way into the Proctors' headquarters, to try and get access to the ship's navigation. (Dixon skips the traditional peasant uprising: they consider it, for about three seconds.) Batman sacrifices himself to get Robin in there, and she manages to get the computers to figure out a new course. And it would only take...another three centuries and change. It's a victory, even if she knows she won't live to see it. In fact, she seems pretty much done with life there, as the next pages show Tris walking into the Giving. (Even though she wouldn't make it to earth, there did seem to be a lot of inequity she could have fought; but may not have had the page count for.) And centuries later, on a beautiful new world, a grandfather tells his bratty grandkids the story, and the legend continues.

That ending was dark for me. Like, if Tris had been gunned down, that would've been more upbeat somehow. I suspect more than a few of these annuals were down endings as well, but I may have to keep an eye out for any that don't look familiar.

Read more!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sometimes, I wonder what Marvel was like in the 90's, because I'll pick up a cover like this issue's, and all I can think is "cocaine. So much cocaine." This is even the second printing! (EDIT: And I had to reload the cover, since I posted it upside down, but it was tough to see!) From 1992, Fantastic Four #371, "This Flame, This Fury" Written by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Dan Bulanadi.

I've mentioned before, that I never took to DeFalco's run here, or on Thor, because he made the cardinal sin of following Walt Simonson: a tough act to follow, to be sure. He also brought a more old-school serial soap opera style, which meant a lot of plates were spinning at any given time; but it might be a while before they paid off. In fact, I'm not sure if any of these plotlines were wrapped up in the next three months! This month, Reed and Ben are searching for Alicia Masters, kidnapped by the rogue Watcher Aron. Former Ms. Marvel/She-Thing Sharon Ventura is seemingly human again, and working on getting back together with Ben; while also reporting to a Dr. Doom-shaped shadow. Sue and Reed are having a rough patch, as Sue thinks Reed isn't paying her enough attention, even with her more provocative costume. Franklin is becoming more agitated over his parents' fighting, which may be exacerbating his latent powers. And at Empire State University, Johnny plans on quitting the team, since "they just aren't keeping pace with the changing times!" Tough talk, since he's then attacked by Paibok, Devos, and his estranged Skrull wife Lyja!

The trio zaps Johnny around for a while, until on the verge of losing, he goes nova: the bad guys disappear, and Johnny is dismayed at the substantial amount of property damage he's done the university. Which I'm pretty sure would lead to Johnny being on the run for a bit; that plotline wasn't wrapped up right away either.

Read more!

Friday, March 09, 2018


I had to ask the Wife which eye Thor lost, since she's watched Thor: Ragnarok about twenty times since it came out; and has even taken my other movie figure for her office! But it'll make a short post for the end of this week, especially since I spent most of yesterday watching the new season of Jessica Jones. Kind of nice that it came out on Thursday, since I usually have it off. Back on Monday!
Read more!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Like that Atom issue we saw a while back, this is part of a haul of some binged-up older books: from 1965, Batman #177, featuring "Two Batmen Too Many!" Written by Jack Schiff, art by Sheldon Moldoff; and "The Art Gallery of Rogues!" Written by John Broome, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff (as Bob Kane) and inks by Sid Greene. (Credits from the GCD.)

The cover proclaims "The Prize Puzzler of the Year! 'Two Batmen Too Many!'" That's...overhyped, just a bit. Batman straight gaslights a numbers runner turned jewel thief, with a scam involving a shaman's clay effigies coming to life, one big, one little, both in the image of Batman. To his credit, the thief isn't completely snowed by this, and manages to turn the tables on "Big Batman" and "Little Batman," really the Elongated Man and the Atom! Then Batman and Robin beat the gang up, which seems like they probably could have just done in the first place.

The second story, "The Art Gallery of Rogues!" involves publicity seekers and an art scam, but also includes the Alfred Foundation, since this was from a brief stretch when Alfred was dead! It's also not great. In fact, if I'd had to guess, I would've thought this issue was from ten years earlier. Still, a fun little find, that I didn't mind getting on the cheap.

Read more!