Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Admit it, this would be more fun than Superman walking cross-country, or whatever...

Just a quick one today: I know Lex Luthor is traditionally a redhead, right? But I got a He-Man figure at a yard sale with a removable hairpiece, and it fit on Lex, after wedging it into the armor. And it reminded me of the old, old, pre-Crisis, pre-any sort of reboot or recon or reason, when Lex Luthor became earth's most heinous villain and tried to kill Superman for several decades, all because his hair fell out. (Which, I suppose was a retcon as well, since I think he was merely another mad scientist type in his first appearances. Shut up.)

I kind of like how the pendulum swings with Luthor: from trying to kill Superman in a relatively rational, civilized manner; to trying to kill Superman as a gibbering, criminally-insane psychotic. We've seen Luthor a few times lately so crazy as to make the Joker seem functional. How will Luthor be in Action Comics? Probably reasonably crazy, than less reasonably so.
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

With three of my favorite figures...and another one I own.

Another new One-Shots up at Articulated Discussion! The fun thing about these for me? I usually do a bunch at once, then throw 'em all at the Articulated One to sort out; so half the time I forget what I've done...
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Re-reading some John Carter, Warlord of Mars today:

Since Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep brought it up last week, and I got some on sale at the Comic Book Shop about the same time, I dug up my pile of old Marvel John Carter, Warlord of Mars comics. And realized that while I bought several issues I already had, including the first issue; I did get the Annual that I didn't have. Probably finish reading that batch later today, maybe.

I'm not a huge John Carter fan, although I've enjoyed the old Edgar Rice Burroughs novels that I've read. I still have a 1918 edition of the Gods of Mars, that was in my great-grandma's house. No idea if it was hers, which seems doubtful, or a relative's, or if there are been others there at some point. And after about two seconds of looking, you can read it yourself here. In the pre-Internet days when I read it, I had a vague idea that there was a previous book in this series, but no idea how many books it went. Or that it was going to end with a cliffhanger, either.

Also, over at It'sAllTrue.Net, John Carter was the subject of a recent Most Requested Toys feature. I remembered the Trendmasters figures from a few years back...OK, thirteen years or so. Reckon there'll be more figures from Barsoom, someday.

Splash page from John Carter, Warlord of Mars #8, "Flesh May Wither...and Stone May Crumble!" Written and edited by Marv Wolfman, illustrated by Gil Kane and Rudy Nebres. Frontispiece from the Gods of Mars by Frank E. Schoonover.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

So, I had to shave yesterday...

My goatee was getting too hot, and it so damn gray it was invisible in the wrong light. I hadn't had it that long, so I wasn't that attached to it. Still, there's that weird moment when your face doesn't look right; but that gets worse if you had facial hair for a long time. Like Tony Stark!

Yep, that's Tony, in his new, and broke, identity of "Hogan Potts." After his reputation was ruined by his old friend Tiberius Stone (who, like all previously unseen old friends in comics, was a complete psycho for all the years they knew each other) Tony simply threw in the towel. He closed his company, gave his money to the Maria Stark Foundation and the Avengers, and set himself up as a regular programmer at a company where he could work on his new Iron Man armor.

And the armor was a work in progress, to the point that the Shocker was laughing at the new suit. The Shocker, who Tony's boss rightly points out as "that nut who dresses up in a quilt and fights Spider-man."

I can't decide if this is more or less mature for Tony: while he misses some of the superficial trappings of being rich, like limos to work; he is enjoying having less responsibility. Also, because Tony's all about inappropriate workplace behavior, he has a hot supervisor that he's totally going to go after. Still, I wasn't thrilled with the new suit:

Oh, "I am the bomb," that's not dated or anything now.

Scans from Iron Man #42/387, "The Big Bang Theory" Written by Frank Tieri, pencils by Keron Grant, inks by Stull, Story and Perotta.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Chief told them "Happiness Brigade" was taken...

Although I didn't get all of DC's Silver Age out of the quarter bins last time, I did get a new copy of the Doom Patrol's issue, which is probably my favorite. Even though the DP are ostensibly depressed freaks, they have a better sense of humor and probably more fun than the entire Justice League.

This time around, the Injustice Gang having stolen the bodies and identities of the Justice League; Batman organizes a smear campaign against the 'League' in the hopes of preventing them abusing the people's trust. Batman's idea fails--he and the Flash are unable to damage the Flash's reputation, and they switch back in time to catch the flak themselves--but the Doom Patrol gets attacked in the street, because they're complete hard-luck types.

Superman, in Lex Luthor's body, gets the DP involved by 'accidentally' leaking info about Lex's cache of anti-JLA weapons; and they have to fight their traditional enemies General Immortus and Garguax for them. "Anti-JLA weapons" is a bit of a misnomer, since the weapons are darn effective against the Doom Patrol, but they'd probably do a number on you, too.

I love this version of the Doom Patrol, though: far bigger-hearted than they'd ever let on. They have a brief appearance in the concluding chapter, Silver-Age 80-page Giant #1, which we may have to take a look at later...

From Silver Age: Doom Patrol #1, "The War of the Super-Weapons!" Written by Tom Peyer, pencils by Bachan, inks by Ray Kryssing.
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Conan gets to hit stuff this week! Really!

New Bastards of the Universe up at Articulated Discussion! The Evil Bastards of the Universe appear, as opposed to the guys sitting around and Battlecat complaining. Check it out!
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

JLApe Prelude: "Manchester Monkey Business"

Oh, geez, this is going to be tougher than I thought...longtime readers will remember that not only do I not especially share DC Comics love of apes, generally they creep me out; thanks to an early childhood viewing of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Luckily, this issue starts out with Impulse, who's not my favoritest character ever, but he's fun and can ease us into this. You can see him in the panel above, thinking, "Brain," as the narration builds up the creep factor on student Gordon Matthews.

Meanwhile, at the...Manchester Monkey Business School (that pause there was me nearly quitting this) Impulse and Max Mercury are investigating the disappearance of a gorilla, two chimpanzees, and an orangutan. At super-speed, Impulse mounts a search but finds nothing. That night, as Bart leaves for a friend to study for a chemistry test (since Gordon is wrecking the curve) Max feels something wrong with the Speed Force.

Super-fast monkeys, giving France (and elsewhere) the business? Terrifying. Max sets off chasing them around the globe, realizing they're tapping the Speed Force somehow. And somewhere, someone's clamoring for Xong Tsai, super-fast panda, to get his own book or miniseries...

Meanwhile, Bart leaves his friend Carol's, but realizes he left his books behind. Returning, he finds his friend Preston tied up, and Carol kidnapped by Gordon. Bart leaves to get Impulse, which I'm pretty sure never fooled anyone: how many kids in town could have that hair? Or giant feet? Still thinking of chemistry, Impulse checks the chem lab at school first:

Impulse rushes in, but Gordon has "the entire room blanketed with an anti-speed forcefield," which would be the end of Impulse and Flash comics. Those things would be up everywhere. Gordon explains that he and Bart--he knows Impulse is Bart Allen--have been enemies since before they were born; and that Bart is a worthy foe, since he wasn't lured away by the super-fast monkeys...that Bart never saw. Gordon reveals himself as...Gorbul Mammit! I said, Gorbul Mammit!...nothing? How about, the son of Gorilla Grodd! There's a little better name recognition.

Perhaps not quite grasping the import of that, Impulse asks if Gorbul stole the gorilla from the monkey school, and Gorbul indignantly explains that she is going to be her soon as he upgrades her with Carol's brainwaves. While explaining his plan, the 'bride' tries to eat a banana-colored plug, killing the power...and the anti-speed field. Impulse pretty much kicks Gorbul's ass after that: while not especially strong, he can hit him about a million times a second, so that's pretty much game.

Gorbul does escape, teleporting out with his bride, leading to this eye-scarring panel:

Yeah, you're welcome. Anyway, Grodd makes a cameo, clucking his tongue at his boy for thinking too small...

This one doesn't have a helluva lot to do with the rest of the JLApe storyline, and I couldn't even guess if Gorbul returned since. Still, I do kinda miss Impulse: man, DC dropped the ball trying to make him Flash or Kid Flash or dead or whatever. I personally see a straight-line of character development from Impulse's no-attention span cheerful apathy to the bitter omnipresent impatience of Marvel's Quicksilver; so I guess it's kind of tough for Bart to grow at all as a character without wrecking him.

Today's scans from Legends of the DC Universe #19, written by Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt, pencils by Pop Mhan, inks by Romeo Tanghal. Next week: JLA Annual #3, part one of JLApe!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Not just for busting Hulks anymore!

I am positive, at some point, even if the Hulk's not within a hundred miles of there, Tony has gone with the Hulkbuster armor: "Meh...not feeling stealthy today...modular armor's still broken...scratched the paint on the silver...ah, hell, Hulkbuster it is!" Maybe when he's feeling fat or bloaty or something.

This was the first Iron Man Hulkbuster figure I had seen in the stores, and of course I grabbed it and sprinted like a loon to pay for it. I probably should've taken a look first, since he has a bit of a ding on his head. I don't think it shows in these pictures, there is at least some possibility that I did it myself, and frankly it's not like Tony would be able to keep the Hulkbuster suit pristine and shiny. That one's bound to take some lumps, so I'm not too broken up about it.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No, Hal was always crazy! Really! We swear.

I had been thinking of this issue before, talking about DC's fauxshadowing of Hal Jordan's heel turn to Parallax: some time after Hal went bad, then they went back to establish Hal as crazy, or on his way there. This particular scene is from Silver Age: Green Lantern #1, and by this point in the event, the Injustice Gang has traded bodies with the JLA, and is a good several dozen steps into their master plan. In Sinestro's body, Hal fights the entire Gang on Thanagar, to prevent them from getting the Absorbascon. When the local Hawk-police show up, Hal realizes he wants to beat them as well, indicating the ring is affecting his mind. Which the ring then helpfully explains.

It's an interesting idea, although I'm not sure how insane Sinestro is: he's a dick, sure, but not necessarily insane. And I know Guy Gardner wore the yellow power ring for some time, and the same would apply.

From 2000's Silver Age: Green Lantern #1, "Alone...against Injustice!" Written by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Brent E. Anderson, inks by Joe Rubinstein. It's not bad, although, to get some actual Green Lantern action in there, there's an extended flashback GL/Sonar fight; and Busiek could've pulled a better villain out of his backside...
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh, man, I still have to finish stuff for here...

New Bastards of the Universe strip at Articulated Discussion!
This is a short one, but check it out and find out Beta Ray Bill's role on the team! Read more!

If the Surfer still used his board like that, he might still have his own book.

I was looking for the second-to-last panel on this one, but it didn't scan out of the page, so here's the whole thing: from Silver Surfer Annual #3, "The Powers of the Silver Surfer's Board!" Words by Ron Marz, pictures by Ron Lim and Al Gordon.

I haven't posted a lot of Silver Surfer stuff here, but I've been reading his comics for years; even though it feels like it's been much longer than that since the Surfer had his own book. Aside from Requiem a few years back, I think the last in-continuity one was during Annihilation, and set up the still-current status quo for him: working for Galactus, and policing the universe with no sense of humor.

I've been wanting to go back and read some old issues, since the last year or so of the regular book, the Surfer had lost Zenn-La, which may or may not have been gone for some time. Returning to earth, he had lost all emotion, and went to Alicia Masters, who had helped him rediscover his humanity before when he first came to the planet. It was a really interesting premise, and I know there was a good issue of the Surfer beating the tar out of Spider-Man and Daredevil; but I don't think it wrapped up well. There were little gray aliens, since they were in at the time...

I always kinda liked the way Ron Marz wrote Galactus: not as unknowable, alien force of nature; but as a put-upon, disgruntled boss. To his eyes, Galactus gave the Surfer the universe and more, and all he hears is bitch, bitch, bitch.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

The pile of stuff on my desk this Friday:

All over the map here, so let's take a look:

Even though he's not a character I have any great fondness for, I grabbed Joker's Asylum II: The Mad Hatter as soon as I saw it, on the strength of Bill Sienkiewicz art. Actually, the art's Sienkiewicz and Keith Giffen, but nothing wrong with that. And writer Landry Quinn Walker delivers a good, disturbing story with a guy I always thought of as a C-list Batman villain. While I haven't so much as glanced at the other Joker's Asylum issues, this one is the one to get.

Between yard sales, store closures, and general clearance; I've once again built back up a small pile of unwatched DVD's. I still had the original Death Race 2000 and an Ultraman set I hadn't even opened yet; and I got cheap, used copies of G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, the Spirit, Crank 2, Big Trouble in Little China, Fight Club, Paranormal Activity...Whiteout...I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Some of these were cheaper to buy than to rent, so even if they reek it doesn't hurt anything.

And yet, I seem to watch a lot of Dr. Who and Star Trek reruns lately. (Next Gen and Original. Although I'd watch DS9 again if given the chance...or any old Dr. Who episodes. Old old, I mean.

I loved the original Clash of the Titans as a kid, and the remake is playing at the local discount theatre this week, so I was hoping to check it out today or tomorrow. (In no-D, since I'm not coughing up what, twelve bucks or more for all the bells and whistles.) And yo go re of mentioned getting the NECA Perseus figure at FYE for cheap, so I got one at my local Suncoast, also on the cheap. For some reason, this particular Suncoast still had seven or eight Perseuses...Peseusi? Apparently, they got a caseful. For a change, I checked the paint on them, since some had some smudging and one a particularly unfortunate Hitler mustache. Best guess? I'm guessing I can get Jonah Hex figures for the same rate come August...

Oh, hell; Futurama: Bender's Game is on, and I only have to be awake six hours. Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

New DC2?

I was asked to do a quick strip for Weird Western Spectacular at DC2, to celebrate the upcoming release of Jonah Hex. And it took me just about forever. I did a couple of quick Hex bits almost two years ago, when I got the DC Direct Hex figure; but I could not come up with a new one with him for the life of me. Until...well, go check it out, and check out the story there!

Thanks for Susan for the invite!
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In other news, I'm not made of stone.

The other day, Tuesday in this case; I worked some overtime, that I was not prepared for on any level. I was planning on a nice long walk after work, I still had to go to the bank, I hadn't brought any food, and I really didn't want to work very hard.

After I was done though, since I had to go get dog food anyway, I hit the Comic Book Shop. There were a few new books I wanted: American Vampire, Bob Layton's new Hercules (with Ron Lim!), the new Thanos thing...and then a ton of cheap books. "Quarter books" is a misnomer anymore, since they were mostly a buck a pop, but so much goodness.

Some John Carter, Warlord of Mars stuff (since Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep brought it up the other day...), the "Spock the Barbarian" issue of Marvel's Star Trek, the first and last issues of Marvel's Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, most of DC's Silver Age event. That last one I lost a couple years back, and I think I fished it out of the quarter bins at the time then too.

And all of DC's 1999 Annual event: JLApe! Including Legends of the DC Universe #19, the prelude featuring Impulse! I somehow missed or skipped this one the first time around, and I don't recall ever hearing anything good about it, but for a dollar an issue? Who could resist? Well, lots of people, yeah; that was a rhetorical.

I haven't even cracked the first issue yet, so here's the plan: every Thursday, I'm going to blog my way through JLApe. Starting next week, since I think I'm going to play Lego Star Wars for a bit...
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Hell to Pay."

I read a few of Blue Devil's early comic appearances, reprinted in the old DC Digests, about 26 or so years ago; and liked them a lot. But then his book went with a more whimsical tone in it's weirdness, as opposed to the demons and super-villains of varying degrees of competence and less forced humor. By the time his book was cancelled, they had moved away from everything that had worked for me. Then BD was made an actual devil, and blah, blah, blah...the further away the character got from 'stuntman trapped in devil suit, weird crap happens in a humorous fashion,' the less I was interested. I think I've read, what was that one, Shadowpact, like once.

Really like the figure, though. And I could be convinced that Blue Devil could come back, even though I really think a back to basic approach would be for the best for him.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm running behind, and I thought more Lawdog would be a quick one. Well...

Since I mentioned Lawdog last Tuesday, and I happened to find the rest of my issues (and I'm running late since I was working on BOTU strips) here's a quick scan from the last issue, Lawdog #10, "Breakdown Lane" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Flint Henry, and inks by John Stangeland.

Lawdog and his sidekick/companion Lina (who, over the course of the last few issues, has gone from punker mouthy girl to pretty tough woman) have found a world almost identical to the one Lawdog originally came from: a seeming utopia, that had the misfortune of opening a dimensional doorway to another world that promptly invaded the hell out of it. This time, the doorway to the next door dimension opened and this strolled in:

(Above scan from Lawdog #9, "All Things Considered" Still Dixon, Henry, and Stangeland.)

Leaving Lina behind, where she gets arrested and thrown into a political correctness-asylum with that world's version of Lawdog (pre-war); Lawdog backtracks to the Nazi-run dimension, and hijacks a giant walking panzer thing to spank the giant monster. Eventually, he does, and then...I'm going to put this after the break, since it's a pretty big spoiler. Remember how I said Lawdog was the American Doctor Who? Well, try to imagine the Doctor pulling this on his last episode...

Lawdog shoots the alternate version of himself on sight, and it's all downhill for Lina from there. While Lawdog brushes it off ("I know what a pain in the ass I can be...") the effect is not unlike John Wayne casually committing cold-blooded murder in the last reel of the film. Lina is shocked and appalled, but when the citizens try to use words to disarm Lawdog, he's just getting started, and guns down a batch of them:
There are a couple hints in the previous issue, the pre-war alt-Lawdog being incarcerated for charges like "unprogressive thought, insensitivity, eco racism (?), sexual bias." He had been out of place in his own world, since he was a tough-guy, take-no-crap, brute; and those were exactly the qualities that helped him survive. And now he's back, with the chance to do it all again...with an assload of guns. This time, Lawdog's running the show, and it'll all be different.

Lawdog gives Lina his car; roughly the equivalent to the Doctor giving his last companion the TARDIS. And actually, couldn't you see that happening? The Doctor getting another chance at Gallifrey, at not having to live with being the last of the Time Lords, with a chance to make things right by any means necessary? (You might not think the Doctor would do the wrong thing, even for the right reasons; I think you're underestimating how much the Doctor would not want to be the last of his kind again.)

For her part, Lina drives off, not so much into the sunset, but just across dimensions; not really trying to get home, but not really going anywhere in particular. Of course, that's probably because this was the last issue; and that in all likelihood is why Lawdog goes all dickery here too. Oddly, even though the cancellation order had to be in at some point before this issue was published, there's still four pages of subplot with bad guys from earlier in the series being gathered up for another run at Lawdog. If Peter David had written this thing, the baddies would've arrived in time to be stepped on by the monster...

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Monday, June 14, 2010

In comics, "security guard" has a life expectancy like "Bambi's mom."

Probably a little worse than that...I've known a few at my work, who thankfully have been more safe.

Anyway, this page from Xombi #1 isn't just from one of my favorite, long-cancelled books; and it underlines the utterly disposable nature of security guards in comics, but the Rustling Husks and their screaming guns are barely the start of the weirdness in this one. It still kills me that DC hasn't been able to do anything with Milestone, although I know Xombi made an appearance in DC's Brave and the Bold team-up book.

From Xombi #1, "Silent Cathedrals, part one" Written by John Rozum, art by J.J. Birch.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

The violence starts...later.

New Bastards of the Universe strip at Articulated Discussion! It's a short one, but I'm working on more; and I'm trying to put together a Masters of the Universe/knockoff-style crew of Evil Bastards. I may actually have to have voting on that one, but check out today's and let me know!

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In other news, both the Karate Kid and the A-Team open today:

Sadly, neither Pat Morita nor George Peppard could be here for this unusual pop-culture convergence. And personally, it's odd for me since I somehow have never seen the Karate Kid; while I know I loved the A-Team, I can not for the life of me recall a single episode. (To be fair, the A-Team isn't the only iconic TV show with that problem: individual episodes of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Dukes of Hazzard are likewise lost to my memory.)

If you don't think we live in a golden age of action figures, man, just check out those sculpts there. Both are yard sale finds. I bought a new A-Team B.A. Baracus the other day, and while he's smaller, the sculpt is several orders of magnitude better. Although, the review of B.A. and the van at It's All True is right: check the paint before you buy if you can; I almost got a figure where one of the eyes was way off. Ever since I first saw the pictures of the van, I've been asking myself of the odds of any children actually getting one of those, figuring they were all going to adult collectors. Then again, my Oldest son said he had the A-Team theme stuck in his head yesterday--oddly, the Youngest might have as well. So, maybe.

Anyway, if you go see either, let me know: I'll be holding out for the cheapo theatre...
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

A rule of thumb, I recommend for you as well:

If there's a Groo issue in the quarter bin, no question: buy it.
Sergio Aragon├ęs and Mark Evanier (probably more often than not accompanied by Stan Sakai on letters) have done, off the top of my head, what, a hundred-and-twenty some issues of Groo the Wanderer, through something like five different publishers? Even randomly buying Groo issues, you're probably going to get different ones every time, and they will be funny, every time.

Scans from Groo the Wanderer #34, "The Amulet" from Aragon├ęs and Evanier. Incidentally, old Groo comics from Epic are far more timeless than any of the mainstream books advertised therein, like the Fall of the Mutants X-book crossover. Just saying.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hey, a review!...on the site with the reviews.

I did a guest review over at Articulated Discussion, of a pair of unlikely Heroes. Actually, it was one of the first things I wrote for over there, but it was meant to be a fill-in for whenever, since they weren't new figures even then. And I didn't have the grading system down, so I'm pretty harsh on the figures. In their defense, I got them on a drastic markdown; and they're supporting characters, more fun with other toys than by themselves.

Hmm. And thinking about it for just a moment, the actors for both of the reviewed figures have received action figures in other lines as well. One for Star Trek: Generations, the other for Doctor Who and G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra. Oh, just go check it out! Read more!

In retrospect, it seems obvious:

Longtime readers know I'm a huge Nightcrawler fan, and that in the recent Marvel crossover "Second Coming" he was killed off. Kurt got the ax because he's one of the relatively few X-Men not killed off and brought back already, and because he hasn't had a lot to do in the X-Books lately. But it's not like he didn't have his chance: he had his own series in 2004, with art by Darick Robertson. Even with moments like Nightcrawler snapping Wolverine's neck, socking Mephisto one in the kisser, dressing up as a pirate; the book just never seemed to hit it big.

And then, while on a walk the other day, I had an idea on how it could: play up the Wolverine angle, but in a manner that hadn't been done in comics for some time and perhaps never at Marvel.
I was positive there was a Jimmy Olsen cover like this, but now I'm not sure:  I was thinking of something, though.
To be fair, that's not terrible advice...
Search Wolverine's Pal, and you're going to get a bunch of phase alternate line stuff.
Oh, Canada.
Oh, Adamantium Lad is technically obeying the Legion's rule about teenagers: he's 214.
Where is my old time distorter?
And, if the sales start to wobble, we can bring in a real draw:
Just a matter of time until Deadpool's Pal is a comic, with someone.
Wow, it is easy to write Wolverine being a dick...

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

This would be the weirdest regeneration ever...

I picked up another issue of Lawdog the other weekend at the Comicon; and really need to find the rest of my issues. In fact, I had to do a search, since I knew I had brought it up before, but never really posted about it. I did a quick Ask Cerebra search and got two hits, including the one time I mentioned it? That shall not stand! Moreover, that surprised me, since I liked it a lot, and loved the insane Flint Henry artwork, along with a great 'behind-the-curtain' issue with guest artists Gary Kwapisz and others.

And then this weekend, it hit me: Lawdog is the American Doctor Who. Seriously.

Time-travelling, anti-authoritarian hero, with a taste for young female "companions" and a quirky time machine? Check, check, and check.

Although, this is America, and our hero isn't going to have a little sonic screwdriver; he's going to have some motherlovin' guns, son.

And Lawdog's 'companion' Lina is arguably the main character of the series, especially for the issues where Lawdog is dead, pending reincarnation. He doesn't regenerate like the Doctor, but Lawdog's employers keep reincarnating him, whether he wants to or not.

Most American of all? Lawdog's time machine isn't a mere box (even if the Tardis is bigger on the inside) it's a muscle car. A muscle car with guns. U-S-A! U-S-A!

(OK, it's less a time machine, than a means to travel to alternate realities, but I'm not going to split hairs here. I like this comic too much to compare it to Sliders, for god's sake...)

Perhaps even still most American of all, is that Lawdog himself is a bit of a thuggish brute of a hero. But it's OK to be a brute when facing Nazis, zombies, and Lovecraftian monsters. Hell, it's probably encouraged.

In another Dr. Who parallel, I don't remember Lawdog or Lina ever being portrayed as especially interested in each other in any sort of romantic fashion. Like some of the Doctor's other companions, initially Lina doesn't believe in or want anything to do with Lawdog, but gets swept up along with him anyway, and stuck in situations far more dangerous than anything they previously would have dreamed off. And Lina eventually outgrows Lawdog and moves on, not unlike a companion leaving the Doctor. (Although, that may be because the series ended more than anything; Dixon may or may not have kept Lina on indefinitely had the book continued.)

I sincerely doubt Chuck Dixon and Flint Henry intended Lawdog as an American spin on Doctor Who...and yet, it seems like there's something there. Since it was handy, all scans from Lawdog #5 (or is it Law Dog? I prefer the former...maybe that's why my search results were crap.) "a new day" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Flint Henry, inks by John Stangeland. This was part of the last real gasp for Marvel's Epic Comics, in their "Heavy Hitters" line with among others, Chaykin's Midnight Men and Hansen's Untamed, which I loved. I think Lawdog only ran eight issues, and a crossover bit with Alien Legion's Jugger Grimrod? I still wonder what the sales actually were though; compared to today's numbers they may have been staggeringly good.
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Monday, June 07, 2010

I'd say sometimes I post just for me, but I always post just for me...

That Iron Man armor isn't quite right for this, and I'm not completely sold on the Robert Downey Jr. likeness; but I'd been wanting to do this scene for some time. I just didn't have a fire extinquisher, even though there is a WALL-E figure that comes with one!

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sure, I've been dragging my feet here, but...

New Bastards of the Universe and One-Shots up at Articulated Discussion!

And it's been a gloomy, rainy weekend and I've been tired, so I've been working on a few new strips, and sleeping. Still, I'm not sure I missed anything. Should have something else tomorrow, something I'd wanted to do for some time!
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Thursday, June 03, 2010

'Does whatever a Spider can,' as in suck the juices out of things...

Although there's nowhere near as many as there are for Batman, there's more than a few alternate versions of Spider-Man. Some, like Spider-Man 2099 or the Mangaverse Spidey got their own action figures; and I think the Noir version is going to be in the next Spidey videogame. But here's a version that hasn't shown up since, which isn't that suprising, since he's completely fictional. Moreso, even.

In July 2000, Marvel put out six one-shots from the "Marvels Comics Group." These books were set within the Marvel Universe as the comics that the citizens there would read, fictionalized and bowderized versions of the 'real' Fantastic Four, Captain America, and Thor. Some took more liberties than others: while the FF book was 'licensed' and comes across the closest to a typical, 'real' issue; the Spider-Man one may give Spidey a worse rap than the Daily Bugle.

Not that J. Jonah Jameson would give this book the thumbs-up, however: a thinly-veiled analog, "T.T. Thomas of the Clarion" publishes his vendetta against the mysterious killer Spider-Man, while simultaneously mourning the disappearance of his astronaut son Jay. On the verge of printing photos of Spider-Man killing a criminal, the Clarion's presses are attacked by Dr. Squid, who is seeking revenge for his reputation destroyed by Thomas' editorials. The silent Spider-Man stops Squid, and the pictures are stolen in the turmoil...

It's an interesting look at how some in the Marvel Universe might see Spider-Man, although it's hard to imagine them picturing him mute. Although, I suppose if your only exposure to Spider-Man were the pictures and accounts in the Daily Bugle, that might be what you'd imagine. And if some of T.T. Thomas' story doesn't seem familar, check here.

From Spider-Man #1, "The Menace of Spider-Man" Written by Paul Grist, art by Kyle Hotz. Hotz is a perfect choice for this, and makes a monstrous Spidey all too feasible.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"Hi, we're the replacements."

I don't have much to say about this one, maybe; except that I don't see why there couldn't be two Captain Americas or two Batmen running about. Their respective universes are big places, they would have plenty to do without stepping on each other's toes. And I'm pretty sure I never need to read another story with "...and there can only be one !" That might be true of your powered characters, your Supermen or Spider-Men, but non-powered heroes? Set 'em up like franchises. A Legion of Blue Beetles! A Question Corps! Keep your originals, and your legacies!

Don't make the mistake DC made in the 80's: some editor had the bright notion that Green Lantern, particularly Hal Jordan, wasn't 'special' enough when there were 3600 or so other ring-welders. Completely missing the point of the Green Lantern mythos: that someone, anyone, fearless and brave, could use the power ring; not just the chosen one Hal.

Anyway, there will probably be an action figure made of one of them at some later date, but I'm not loving Steve Roger's current Cap-less looks: black turtleneck and scowly-face, or his new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. pseudo-Cap outfit. Of course, I liked the black costume that eventually went to USAgent, so maybe my taste is questionable. As usual.
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In which I reference a series I have none of:

New One-Shots up at Articulated Discussion! Actually, I'm referencing the movie, which you probably only recall vaguely if you're old like me. A friend in high school rocked that soundtrack for some time, though...just go click and see if you remember what I'm talking about, 'kay? Read more!

Good idea:

John Severin art on Enemy Ace...even if he's fighting his evil double.

Bad idea?

The Unknown Soldier and his girlfriend, Japanese pirate queen Lady Jade; killing a batallion or two of Nazis by donning magic costumes at a haunted French chateau. Uh-huh...

Both stories from Unknown Soldier #261, and both the main ("Hour of the Beast!" Written by Bob Haney, art by Dick Ayers and G. Talaoc.) and the backup ("I am my own Executioner" Written by Robert Kanigher, art by John Severin.) seem to stray pretty far afield of the usual formulas for either the Unknown Soldier or Enemy Ace. But the writing may have been on the wall for DC's stable of war books: Unknown Soldier would end with #268, and even Sgt. Rock wouldn't last much longer. Outside of the occasional reprint series or revival, none of them have been able to stage a comeback. A shame, since I still like it when DC gives a non-superhero book a shot; even if they haven't seemed to hit it big again yet...
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