Friday, March 31, 2023

40% of this comic is probably respectfully staring at Wonder Woman; which sounds reasonable enough.

From 2006, Justice League Unlimited #19, "The Justice Rangers Ride Again" Written by Adam Beechen, pencils by Gordon Purcell, inks by Bob Petrecca.
In the Justice League's trophy room, Vigilante accidentally breaks the Time Commander's hourglass, sending him, Wonder Woman, and Elongated Man back to the old west. There they find the usual crew--Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, and El Diablo--defending a young card sharp from a posse of cowboys with ray guns. Bat had conned his pals into pursuing the sharp, since he had cheated him out of his daddy's lucky rabbit foot; but the cowboys had been after Jud Saunders to try and erase his descendant Greg from the timeline. Wonder Woman realizes the shattered hourglass had taken them to when a version of it had been in use, and they should be able to find the Time Commander, get the hourglass, and get home.
This was more cartoony than Purcell's usual style, but he nails the animated look quite well. I feel like I've seen other stories from Beechen with Elongated Man; I wonder if he was a favorite. Read more!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The hodge and the...something. It'll come to me.

1. Despite the fact that I'm 90% sure I have a remarkably favorable work-life balance, I have felt a bit burned out the last couple of weeks. I don't have a commute, my family is remarkably low-maintenance, and I live as drama-free as I can; but I still feel the press of time lately, like I can't get all of the nothing I want to do in the course of a day. I think part of that is I've recently bought tons of stuff, that I've barely had any time to appreciate. Or I get a pile of books, and maybe don't want to blog them at that very second, so I logjam myself. I have piles of toys or comics or movies or books I could dive into, yet sometimes after work I'm so fried I end up watching an X-Files rerun and playing solitaire and flipping through Twitter. Productivity has tanked a bit; I wish I was a basketball fan and could blame it on March Madness... 

2. I specifically am not a basketball fan; I was hoping Comet was going to keep their "March Monster Madness" Godzilla marathon going. My family are fans, though: pretty sure my little sister has Final Four tickets this year. And a couple years ago, my dad fell off a cliff while hiking: had to be airlifted out of a national park, wrecked both his wrists, yet it might've been an elaborate plan to watch as much basketball as humanly possible. I tease, because he didn't even tell me he was in the hospital until he'd been in there for like a week, because he figured I didn't need to be worrying about it. That's...I guess that's thoughtful, right?  
3. I don't like posting this after thinking about my folks, but I just bought the new Depeche Mode, even though I haven't had time to listen to it all yet. (Partly because I listen to random a lot; so it might take a bit to get through.) They recently lost Andy Fletcher, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be to go out and do the filming and recording and touring, any of it, without their friend. I don't know if the whole album is going to be "our friend is dead, and it's making us think about our own deaths, a lot" but I'm not sure how it couldn't be. Well, except that they're Depeche Mode, and they've probably had some practice at the whole process, I suppose. 

4. Among the piles of stuff to come in the last week or so: the last Black Panther wave, with the Attuma Build-a-Figure, from Best Buy via a tip from Preternia on Twitter. Half-off, so kinda felt like I had to, right? Although, talking to Dale the other day, I thought the Everett Ross figure should've come with a Henry Gyrich head: it'd be a little something for the comic fans, since most of the rest of the wave was strictly movie-based. I'm still a little taken aback that the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3 Legends are also movie-only: I really thought there'd be a Martinex comic-based figure or something. I probably mentioned before, I recently pre-ordered two ML waves largely again because I wanted the Build-a-Figure, and I need to put in for the Hyperion/Doctor Spectrum set...even though unlike most, I had the old Hyperion! Do I need a domino-masked head...? Sure, why not. Kind of prefer some version of Power Princess, but we'll figure that out. 

5. Even though I have a ton of other stuff to get through, now I want to re-read Captain America: the Great Gold Steal, because I'm thinking, how much gold can you carry in a duffle bag before it rips? For that matter, how much cash? In either case, I'm fairly sure you could load the bag to the point that it's not reasonably moveable, but that hasn't stopped Mezco from soliciting their "Bricks and Bread" accessory pack! Which I was eying, because I'm probably in for their upcoming Shadow figure, which has been teased but maybe isn't up for preorder yet.

6. Just for good measure, I thought I was hacked recently, when a charge I didn't recognize showed up. Turns out it might've been the aforementioned Depeche Mode album on iTunes; but it really looked like a fraud when it showed up! Oopsie. I, uh, kinda got some purchases credited back to my account; but I'll probably have to update my card number with preorders, Kickstarter, everything else. In my defense, they cleared at a weird time and probably could've been labeled better; but I suppose some people don't want whatever they bought showing up in their bank history maybe...

7. Another thing I should probably get around to, since I've had it forever: I have a third-party Death's Head...head, that I need to paint and then maybe find an appropriate body for. I've held off for a long time, and have a Chow Yun-Fat head as well that could probably go on that Everett Ross body, couldn't it? But that kind of painting is new for me and I'm afraid of it not turning out; or how functional the finished product might be.   
8. I haven't been to the movies since...the new Ant-Man movie? Which was pretty good. I saw Shin Ultraman a bit ago and it wasn't bad; but Shin Kamen Rider looks like where it's at. (If I recall correctly, the "Shin" is for new; they also had Shin Godzilla recently.) But the next thing I see in theaters will probably either be Evil Dead Rise or that Dungeons & Dragons movie, which looks really fun, and I'm glad Hasbro will be getting monsters on the racks later. I might be all-in there.

9. Hoping bike weather returns shortly...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Moonstone is, if I recall, crazy powerful; which is probably why she was able to pass herself off as Ms. (Captain) Marvel back in Dark Reign. Flying brick powers, zap-hands, pretty sure she can fly through walls and survive in space; and she's not the type to just knock over the corner bank, she could use her powers to make bank legally or sort-of legally. For instance, I'm pretty sure she could put a satellite into orbit way faster than SpaceX or whatever, and she would probably only reasonably gouge you on it.

I was momentarily afraid that I had mis-remembered and Tigra didn't have tracking/sense powers; she totally does. 
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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The variant cover has nothing to do with the interior, but okay.

Instead, we get an alternative-version of a classic episode, that's largely gone off the rails by this point. From 2015, Star Trek #47, "The Tholian Webs, part 2" Written by Mike Johnson, art by Rachel Stott. This was part of an EC Comics variant month, with the variant by Derek Charm.
Several issues of the IDW series were re-dos of original series episodes with the new movie cast, and maybe some modernization. Plus, I'm pretty sure they skipped clunkers like "And the Children Shall Lead." This started as "The Tholian Web," but diverges quite a bit: by this point, under the distorting affects of interphase, Scotty had separated the drive section of the ship from the saucer; Sulu had taken charge of the bridge; the Tholians had both parts of the ship trapped in their energy web; and Bones had put himself into a medically-induced coma. (In the original episode, those affected by interphase were enraged and inarticulate; here Scotty and Sulu have turned on everyone but otherwise seem themselves.)
But the crew starts to turn the tide: Uhura stuns Sulu, while Scotty is knocked out by his little sidekick, Keenser. (The alien lieutenant had a spotlight issue earlier and may have been a fixture of this series!) McCoy's antidote to the effects of interphase had been completed, and Spock brings him out of his coma. Kirk manages to get to Keenser, who had worked out a solution to punch through the Tholians' web, and outside of that the separated Enterprise is still more than a match for their ships. The ship sections are reunited and they escape, and although Kirk is disappointed the Federation was going to be dragged into another war, he was proud of his crew, and ends the issue with a pleasant drink with the taciturn Keenser.
Not a bad issue; just not as fun as the variant. Read more!

Monday, March 27, 2023

It's alright, but I think I'd rather have followed the girls' adventures...

I'm mildly surprised to have the last issue of this miniseries and not, say, the first: I feel like the orders probably spun downwards a bit after the hit of a #1. From 1993, Battle Tide #4, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Geoff Senior.
Genetically engineered super-soldier/immature gun nut Killpower would eventually come to a bad (and not entirely deserved) end, but he's co-lead in this one with Marvel UK's Wolverine, Death's Head II. And Wolverine. That feels a bit like a hat on a hat, I think the expression is; but Sabretooth, Psylocke, Hercules, and Marvel UK's Dark Angel also guest-star. While KP and DHII were already trying to kill each other, everybody gets sucked into a Contest of Champions-type thing on an alien world, that gets derailed when the bad guy couple "Termagent" and "Megaira" tap into the titular Battle Tide, "the demonic embodiment of eternal war." Even weirder, Termagent and Megaira may or may not have been a couple, but they were actually two halves of the same entity, and merge into "Termagaira," demon warlord! Not the best design, but if you're bringng him (them?) out in the last issue, fine.
After the usual team-up shenanagans, Killpower uses his engineering knowhow to modify Death's Head II to be able to stop the Battle Tide, at the cost of the robot's life. While the other heroes are just ready to go home, Killpower is distraught over the loss of his pal: he was basically an 8-year-old, so he thought DHII was just the coolest thing ever. Later, on a beach in the South Pacific, Killpower's partner Motormouth returns from an epic shopping trip with Death's Head II's partner Tuck, that sounds like more fun than the rest of this series? Also, they went to Aldebaran, which is an actual star but here almost certainly is a reference to Halo Jones! But, the series ends on a happy note, as Killpower has rebuilt Death's Head II. Except all these parts that were leftover...which I wonder if that came up later? Ah, probably not.
I never really took to Killpower: I liked Motormouth's book more, before he elbowed his way into second-billing! They're probably best remembered for guesting in Incredible Hulk #409 with their original artist, Gary Frank. Read more!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Since I seem to spread my purchases around, I'm not sure where I got an almost-complete run of this series; but I wonder if it was the same store I found the first issue! From 1989, Psi-Judge Anderson #1, reprinting 1985's 2000 AD #416-421, "Four Dark Judges" Written by Alan Grant and "T.B. Grover" (John Wagner), art by Brett Ewins.
The fan-favorite psychic Judge is haunted by visions of Judge Death, until she finally takes a "dimension-jump" to his dead world to confirm he was gone. Nope! The spirits of the Dark Judges--Death, Fear, Fire, and Mortis--overpower Anderson's mind and force her to resurrect them in new bodies, then kill her and return to Mega-City One to pass sentence on those worst of lawbreakers, the living. Anderson managed to play possum and survive, but is kicking herself for a serious lapse in judgement: while she's not about to let the Dark Judges run wild, she also figures this will be her last hurrah, as she will doubtless be sent to the Judges' penal colony on Titan for her screwup.
Flippant and somewhat insubordinate for a Judge, Anderson is both a beloved character, but also one that sometimes has to be accounted for or sidelined to keep the plot going: I just re-read the Necropolis serial recently, and she's injured and comatose for a large chunk of that one. Still, events in Judge Dredd are roughly real time; so Anderson felt she was getting long in the tooth for a Judge, and Psi's couldn't take the same treatments other Judges could use to stay active. Also, most of her solo appearances were written by Alan Grant, and after his demise I'm not sure she's received as much page time. I did just get some more recent Dredd recently; I'll keep an eye out for her. Read more!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Another one that won't fit in the scanner, but I didn't think I would ever have: I wasn't even positive it ever came out! From 1991, Badger Bedlam #1, written by Mike Baron, pencils by Steven Butler, inks by Ken Branch. Cover by Jay Geldhof. 

Badger is legitimately crazy, and on occasion would make poor choices. Multiple poor choices, in succession: trying to outrun the cops when they try to stop him for speeding, then fighting the cops after ditching his motorcycle in the river, then fighting the judge at his arraignment! He gets sent to the "Reich Center for Phobic Disorders," and it's pretty obvious nothing good happens there. Badger cycles through his various personalities while Dr. Reich schedules his lobotomy; but an old bad guy (who I hadn't seen before!) is there as well...A fair chunk of this issue is flashbacks, to Norbert's time as a POW in Vietnam. 

This was intended to be the first quarterly issue of First Comics new publishing scheme; moving away from traditional monthly floppies to squarebound "prestige" format books. They did not get a lot of them out before the company folded; and in all those years I don't think I'd ever seen a copy of this one! I just got a mountain of cheap books recently from Midtown Comics, and lucked into it. (A tip I hadda figure out myself: I had a Legion flight ring and a store-branded marker in my cart, but they would've DQ'd my order from free shipping!)
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