Wednesday, August 10, 2022

"Tan."

I don't think I've ever had Point Beer, despite having known about it for years from old issues of Badger. I'm not sure I'd know a good beer from moose piss anymore, though: I like a Guinness every so often, but used to have a system where I would start the evening with 'good' beer, like Henry Weinhards or such, and over the course of the evening keep reducing the quality (and price) of my drinks until I was swilling PBR at four in the morning. Read more!

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

The colors, Duke, the colors!

Like so, so many Gold Key books, the cover is way better than the story inside, but this entire book had been printed before? Did another of the stories here get the cover then? From 1976, Twilight Zone #71, cover by George Wilson, reprinting 1972's Twilight Zone #45 in its entirety! It could have the same ads, it could have the same staples, I don't know...
And of course, I'm still goddamn looking for TZ #70...Anyway, in "Art for Art's Sake," art by John Celardo; a contractor cuts a deal with a starving artist to provide some murals for his new building: in this case, 'murals' being a psychotronic nightmare on every exposed surface in the joint! The contractor gives the artist the bum's rush, but then the buyer's wife loves it and they're going to pay him double--okay, even in the Twilight Zone, that's never happened. The contractor tries to cut the artist out of the deal, and you know where this is going. Twilight Zone comics have a higher mortality rate than What If? I was flipping through this while watching a Hunter Thompson documentary, and had an inexplicable flashback to a Popsicle ad from '97-98, that I was not positive was actually real. They played this for kids, or cartoon watching twenty-somethings...moreso the latter, I'm guessing. Read more!

Monday, August 08, 2022

SDCC was last week as I type this, and I was a little underwhelmed with the Marvel Legends teased? The Disney+ She-Hulk figure looked great, as did the trailer; and while I know there's a few out there thrilled for Razorback, it didn't really do it for me. Feel like he needs a Pig Rig semi or whatever to really do him justice...Not much else grabbed me, but I may be sour because I've got about a dozen figures on pre-order, and Galactus; all of which will show up whenever. Anyway, today we've got the first appearance (maybe?) of a character that hasn't got a figure yet, but shouldn't feel bad since Sony will probably give him a whole-ass movie. From 1991, Amazing Spider-Man #344, "Hearts and Powers" Writen by David Michelinie, pencils by Erik Larsen, inks by Randy Emberlin.
Spidey is dodging guards at a warehouse, getting pictures of chemicals purchased legally but often used to process cocaine. There are a number of guards to keep reporters and/or meddling kids out, then the sudden arrival of...Cardiac! Spidey stops him smashing up the place, and while Cardiac is up for a team-up, the chemicals were technically legal? Cardiac takes out the roof, then disappears in the commotion. While Peter meets up with reporter Joy Mercado, we see Cardiac, unmasking, lamenting that his actions seemed to run across his oath as a doctor. While Peter watches Mary Jane on an early shoot for "Secret Hospital," Dr. Wirtham arrives at the tower with his name on it, part of a large hospital; but he, Peter Parker, and Justin Hammer are all increasingly concerned with Sapirdyne Chemicals. (This is old-school, megalomaniac miser Hammer; not young, hip, wants-to-be-liked MCU wannabe Hammer.) And, a little subplot hyped on the cover: in prison with his cellmate Cletus, Eddie Brock continues to work out since he needs to be in peak condition to avenge his symbiote, which is of course not as bad off as that.
That night, as Spidey patrols, Cardiac goes to take out Sapirdyne, but gets stonewalled by the Rhino! Ah, that's a lucky break, Rhino's a good get for a fledgling hero. He's tough but beatable, and has a great rep for a guy that averages less wins than the Washington Generals. Off the top of my head I can think of two Rhino/rookie fights, and you can probably think of more. Rhino actually climbs up a rope to chase Cardiac on a catwalk, but that just puts him into position for Spidey to kick him. Rhino, surprisingly, has a new trick today: a new membrane attachment to his mask, to keep webs out of his face. That appeared to be a new market for Hammer, Scorpion had gotten something similiar earlier.
During the fight, a ton of live wires are knocked loose, and Cardiac blasts open some chemical barrels; advising Spidey they would almost certainly explode. Rhino hears that and bails, and Spidey has to follow suit. Sapirdyne is leveled, but checking the reports the next day, Hammer realizes Spidey wants Cardiac stopped as much as he does: why not put him on the payroll? Ugh, he'd probably get paid less than the Chessmen. Or an unpaid internship. Anyway, this was a cheap pickup and not a completely minty issue, so I probably won't make a killing when Cardiac gets his own slightly underwhelming movie... Read more!

Friday, August 05, 2022


As often the case around here, things have been on blog-o-pilot for the last week or so: I've been out, and it's the brief stretch where it's really hot locally. Maybe this comic will make things seem cool by comparison! From 2008, Reign in Hell #4, featuring "Counterstrike!" Written by Keith Giffen, pencls by Tom Derenick, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz; and "Half Measures" Written by Keith Giffen, pencils by Justiniano, inks by Walden Wong.
No opening recap here, as war in Hell continues, with the Demon and Blue Devil smacking each other around. That's...kind of good on Danny, for going toe-to-toe with Etrigan; but on the other hand, remember when he used to be fun? Two lower-level devils cut out as the fighting gets too close, as that could maybe release something worse...Elsewhere, Dr. Fate visits, I think that's Lady Blaze? about the ongoing Neron problem, but may have said too much and gets attacked by her she-devils. Zauriel meets with part of the Shadowpact, regarding a resistance in Hell, which may also involve Zatanna.
Back on earth, the Etrigan-less Jason Blood is hitting the spell books, trying to find a way to keep the Demon from ever being bound to him again. Good luck with that! But he's visited by Deadman, who warns of Ruma Kushna losing balance: all "infernal" things had been purged from earth, but that was driving her insane. Boston advises, an intervention. Finally, the Etrigan/Blue Devil brawl hits "deep detention," something it took all of Hell to imprison in a "runespout," which of course they then fall into. After a massive explosion, a familiar figure emerges from the smoke...none other than the main man himself, Lobo! The next issue box praised the "frag-tastic" return of the "real" Lobo; what, was there a fake? I was thinking of the later New 52 version, but that was years away.

The second feature continues Dr. Occult and Yellow Peri's journey deeper into Hell, in search of Occult's "soulmate" Rose. They appear to be coming up on a weird techy part of Hell, but not much to that one.


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Thursday, August 04, 2022

Hmm, it's taken us 15 years, to blog 3 consecutive issues of Thor.

Starting with #236 in 2007, then #237 three years later. Moreover, we brought up Kamo Tharn (or Tharnn) a bit ago, and I'm sure you've been clamoring to see his first appearance...I don't care, we're doing this anyway. From 1975, Thor #235, "Who Lurks Beyond the Labyrinth!" Written by Gerry Conway, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Joe Sinnott. 

Y'know, when Thor gets stuck in the rain, he's only got himself to blame, right? Actually, he's moping, since Jane Foster was fading fast. Losing his temper, he knocks a chunk off the side of the roof, then has to finesse his hammer to save people from the falling debris. He's not the only one in a sour mood, though, as the returning Absorbing Man was trying--and largely failing--to keep a low profile, so he could put his master plan against Thor into action. (OK, it's a plan, you have to give him that much.)
Thor meets with Odin's Vizier--I feel like he should have a name other than 'Vizier,' but not sure he's ever given one--to discuss Jane's plight: she's seemingly lost a chunk of her soul, the will to live, something. The only hope is hopeless, as the Vizier has sent Hercules and Sif across the universe, in search of the Runestaff of Kamo Tharnn. After fighting through his ape-like guards, they find...what appears to be a blind hobo squatting in a library. There's something more to him, though; as he uses the Runestaff to deafen Herc! But, the staff's blasts aren't enough to keep him down, and he and Sif return to earth with the staff; only to find Thor was fighting the Absorbing Man, who had gotten close enough to touch Mjolnir and imitate its power. Hercules wants to join the fray, but Sif worries Kamo Tharnn could track them down, and they need to use the staff and save Jane now...
While Tharnn's story seems pretty wrapped up in #335, he has turned up since, since he somehow gets Elder of the Universe status. Somehow. I want to say he's in Englehart's Silver Surfer, but had to check: he wasn't one of the Elders bodied by Thanos in Thanos Quest. Also this issue: a John Severin Sgt. Fury Marvel Value Stamp and a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation: Paid circulation, actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 230,311.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

"Grog."

This was originally scheduled for mid-February, when we got Quasar and knocked a quick post out with him; and the next three strips were already scheduled. They were sequential, this one wasn't, figured I could bank it. And while I'm on vacation seems like the time to use it!

Man, I almost wish Hasbro would make a new Blob figure, so Nightcrawler could try to cram that shark in it!  

But, I just had to go back through my year-to-date figures, since the last month or two has felt dry. Possibly because I have a ton of stuff on preorder, that'll show whenever it goddamn feels like. Whenever I preorder from Target, for example, it never shows up in one batch. As I type this, I think Vulcan and Siryn showed up two weeks ago, and I haven't bothered to open them? OK, I'm kind of waiting to build Bonecrusher, but that still doesn't feel great. 

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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Like many Conan comics from this time, this one definitely falls under the 'bought three times' rule, so better get to it! From 1984 , Conan #163, "Cavern of the Vines of Doom!" Written by Michael Fleisher, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Charles Vess. Great cover by Ernie Chan!
Conan and his one-armed pal Fafnir are riding through the countryside after a recent earthquake, when they come across a village about to burn an innocent-looking blonde at the stake. Usually Conan would rush right in, but he was slightly older and wiser here, leaving that to Fafnir; perhaps feeling his friend had lost some sense with his arm. The rescue goes well enough, although Fafnir is a little groggy afterwards, and they stop at a stream. Conan notices, but can't quite believe, that as the girl Krylxxa (obviously a millennial...) wades in the water, the water level seems to go down? There's no time to consider that, as Krylxxa is then attacked by a bear: Fafnir leaps in but gets swatted away, while Conan has to wrestle it and snap its neck. Krylxxa still only has eyes for Fafnir, though. That night, Conan excuses himself to "get some firewood," somehow not giving Fafnir the Hyperborean thumbs-up; but while Krylxxa makes her move, Fafnir gets groggy again, and worries that in losing his arm he's also lost his...ahem...virility.
On their way to return Krylxxa to her village, they pass a smith owned by a family Fafnir knew. The blacksmith and his sons greet him cooly, claiming not to know him, or even have horseshoes. Thinking it a joke, Fafnir checks the chest for horseshoes--and finds the bodies of the smith and his sons! The replacements attack, although Krylxxa implores them not to hurt her love: Conan and Fafnir defeat them, but they don't bleed blood, but...water? Conan had heard Krylxxa, and suspects she knows more than she was letting on, but Fafnir defends her. Then, in the caverns, they were attacked by her 'people,' green potato-like lumps! Conan and Fafnir are captured, and are subjected to an exposition drop: The lumps were an intelligent race that existed alongside the dinosaurs, but had retreated underground when the climate changed. Centuries later, most avoided sunlight, but some had taken to the surface with an old power: to kill something or someone, and take its form. Krylxxa had killed a serving girl, but felt so bad about it she never wanted to take another life. She also explains her 'exhalations' were good for plants but bad for people, explaining Fafnir's groggy spells.
The lumps don't have any grudge against Conan or Fafnir, but can't have them tell anyone about them, and tie them up with vines. Conan manages to break free, and Krylxxa joins their escape: she won't leave Fafnir, even though leaving the caverns would mean her death if she didn't suck the life out of something else. She asks Fafnir to look away, as she dies and wilts into her true form. Fafnir says she isn't really dead, as long as his heart is beating; Conan seems less sentimental. 

Weirdly, we've seen Conan vs. body snatcher-types before; and I'd almost wager you could probably find some more like that if you read a ton of issues. Better get started!
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