Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Part of the idea for this one came to me the other day as I walked to work: I checked my phone, and the light completely wrecked my night vision (it's five-thirty or so in the morning when I walk!) but I swear some of Batman's tricks have been in the comics. Just don't ask me where or when...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still wishing he got a figure:

From The Nocturnals: Troll Bridge, story and art by Dan Brereton; with art from Stephen Destefano, Kieron Dwyer, Steve Purcell, Stan Sakai, Adam Warren, Jill Thompson, and more, including the page above from Bruce Timm.

Halloween Girl and the Gunwitch seemed to steal the Nocturnals' book away from the rest of the cast; and this issue is mainly them: less than an hour after sunset on Halloween, young Eve has hit every house in town for candy. Fishing on a bridge and grumping, she meets a troll, who asks Eve to watch his treasure while he goes for burgers; and while pawing through it, she finds the Devil Lantern. Who offers, in gratitude, a wish...

I remember seeing it in ToyFare, but can't remember what company they were trying to go through for Doc Horror and Gunwitch figures. Still a shame they fell through, they're great designs.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

"Clark Quit."

From Topless Robot, CNN, Comics Alliance and elsewhere, several sources pointed out Clark Kent's quitting the Daily Planet. In this economy?

Still, I really don't see this as a permanent change, even though it's almost a realistic one, since newspapers are still not doing great. I kinda think Clark quit more because Lois is still seeing someone else, than because of outrage over "what passes for journalism today." I had been trying to think of what job Clark could do where he doesn't have to punch a clock and would be free to come and go to be Superman; but it looks like he's just going to be an online reporter now. Fine. Maybe the next Clark Kent figure will be him in his glasses and bathrobe...

Jolly J. Jonah Jameson, played to perfection by J.K. Simmons in the first three Spider-Man movies, has a line about freelancing to young Peter Parker. "No jobs! Freelance! Best thing in the world for a kid your age. You bring me some more pictures of that newspaper-selling clown, maybe I'll take 'em off your hands. But I never said you have a job. Meat. I'll send you a nice box of Christmas meat. It's the best I can do - get out of here." It seems like JJJ is being a dick and screwing Peter over by not giving him a regular job, with benefits and everything; but it's probably pretty accurate.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Here's another issue you should always buy. Really!

If for no other reason, than it may never be reprinted. Maybe. Marvel Two-In-One #99, "Sshsss" Written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Bob Hall, inks by Kevin Dzuban.

The Thing is spending a creepy, rainy night alone at the Baxter Building, when he is startled by a mysterious hissing sound, then a power outage. Luckily, the Thing still smoked back then, so he had a lighter; and he discovers a badly injured and scalding hot Rom, Spaceknight. Once Ben gets him to one of Reed's "sensor-slabs," Rom's analyzer activates it to repair him; and Rom recaps what happened to him: the Dire Wraith witches raised the dead Firefall. Or at least his armor, inhabited by the "Living Flame of Galador," or maybe the ghost of same. Either way, it scorches the hell out of Rom; but he's game to try again with the Thing backing him up.
As Rom defeats Firefall, Ben is spooked by the boogeyman nature of the witches, even though he's seen dump trucks full of weird crap by this point in his career. The witches take control of the Thing, and Rom is forced to use his Neutralizer to defend himself, negating the cosmic rays and turning Ben back to human. The heroes rally against the Dire Wraiths, and Rom banishes the lot of them to Limbo; but Ben demands to be turned back into the Thing, for fear of losing Alicia Masters. This is a bit of a poke in the eye to Rom, who was a few human parts in a metal Spaceknight shell; but sure enough Ben returns to his rocky self.

This was the second-to-last issue of Marvel Two-In-One, a book I'd have to describe as inconsistent--not just because of its team-up nature, I mean in terms of quality--but fondly remembered. It was rarely essential, but usually had at least a couple nice little moments. Something to be said for that.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special #8!

...or, the one with Squirrel Girl.

Marvel Super Heroes Winter Special, or #8; featuring stories by Michael Higgins, Scott Lobdell, and Will Murray; and art by Steve Ditko, Chris Wozniak, and M.C. Wyman.

Along with the introduction of Squirrel Girl, who both saves Iron Man and completely owns Dr. Doom; this issue also has an inventory X-Men story with the Abomination and a Sentinel and I'm not entirely sure how many tries it took me to finish reading that one.

There's also a Namor story, following up on an old issue and the death of Red Raven. I guess Red Raven has returned since then, but this issue features a new Red Raven, his daughter. Namor had planned to raise the fallen city of the Winged Ones; who adopted Red Raven as a child and gave him a winged flying suit; but died off years later in a suspended-animation mishap. (They were apparently an offshoot of the Inhumans, but I still count them as one of the several thousand hidden races of the Marvel U...) Even with Diablo as the bad guy, that one didn't do much for me.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Tooth of the Matter."

Ah, the Shark. Got him off eBay a week or two back, and he's an odd if enjoyable enough figure. He's had a few different looks in the comics, and I'm not positive the figure is strictly representative of any of them; but we saw him way back when we looked at Justice League of America #162.

I've been playing with the idea that the JLA would assign certain cases to certain members--if a power ring is in any way involved, for instance, they'd expect Green Lantern to field it. Or at least run point. On the other hand, the whole point of the Justice League is the members helping each other out, right? Except in such cases as it would undermine a character's own book, like having the Flash help Batman clean up Gotham City, or Green Lantern suddenly appearing whenever Kryptonite shows up in Metropolis. Even though those two situations should be exactly when a JLA'er should swoop in.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bored today, sorry.

Quick one today from the markdown bins: X-Campus #4, "Hellfire Club" Written by Francesco Artibani, pencils by Alessandro Vitti, inks by Santa Zangari. At the Worthington Foundation, a school for gifted (and mutant) children, Professors Magnus and Xavier are both recruiting is a Professor Trask. Uh, I only have this issue, but X-Men Evolution was a better take on the younger X-Men angle.

Sorry, got a mess of nonsense to sort through today. New homemade strip tomorrow, it's already set.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Another not-a-hundred comic review. Lazy...

Even though I got it before the X-Men DVD-ROM, I'm still working through the Fantastic Four DVD-ROM "A House Divided". Like the other GITCorp collections, this was a hundred digital comics. Thanks to Marvel's insane numbering, it runs from Fantastic Four #1 (volume 3) to #70 to #500 to #543. (And a few annuals!)

Coincidentally, like the X-Men collection mentioned, this one also features work from Alan Davis and Chris Claremont. (And Scott Lobdell, I guess.) But the FF DVD-ROM does feature a better stretch of books. Claremont's run wasn't as bad as I remembered; although I thought he squandered a nice later set-up in Reed becoming trapped in Dr. Doom's armor, forced to pretend to be Doom in order to intimidate Doom's generals from Counter-Earth. The FF fight said generals, including an evil version of Namor's Lady Dorma, what seems like a dozen times...Carlos Pacheco then has a nice little run, story and art; it looks great. (Rafael Marin, Jeph Loeb, Tom Grummett, Stuart Immonen, Mark Bagley, and others all help out at points.)

Karl Kesel and Adam Warren both have a few issues that show they would be more than capable of delivering the goods on a regular basis; but then Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo begin a great run with the nine-cent #60/489. (Wieringo isn't on every issue, but I think he was still considered the regular artist.) I'm in the middle of re-reading some of those, although I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few I either never read or had forgotten. And I'm really looking forward to #67, the prologue to "Unthinkable." I know I've read some of it, and it's horrifying. Doom also swears to his old love-interest Valeria, that he would never wear armor of metal again...I don't know what writer went back on that, but I'm still mad. (I don't think Waid did, but I guess I'll see soon. I don't think Waid has a bad issue his whole run...despite my tag for him!)

The remainder of the disc is J. Michael Straczynski's run and the start of Dwayne McDuffie's, which I'm thinking is going to run afoul of Civil War. Still, I'm enjoying this batch of books a lot. Got me reconsidering that Ghost Rider DVD-ROM...
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Friday, October 19, 2012

This "Colossus" looks like he should be from Badger, but...

Since we saw a book from this duo earlier this week, let's wrap up with another Mike Baron/Bill Reinhold comic: from 2002, Legends of the Dark Knight #155, "Colossus, part two." Kind of wish I had part one handy, so I could recap the plot, but these things happen. Per the GCD, "Someone is killing everyone connected to the long-dead designer of the Gotham Civic Center." Fine. This ish, Batman drives down to the worst part of down, and beats down a ream of thugs before leaving them to "watch" the Batmobile. Then the Batmobile beats down the thugs that mess with it...
Reinhold sneaks a Badger logo on the first thug there, too. The Batmobile gets two pages to defend its honor, which is actually pretty entertaining. There's also an honorable villain for Batman to deal with--you know the type, one that takes the law into his own hands with the best of intentions and murder, and that has to die at the end of the story. Still a solid read...if I could find part one...

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Dark Horse Presents #10!

Another Thursday, another Dark Horse Presents 80-pager: Dark Horse Presents #10, featuring stories by Brian Wood, Steve Niles, Rich Johnston, and more; and art by Christopher Mitten, Kristian Donaldson, Mark Wheatley, and more.
Strictly graded, this issue wouldn't have passed. I only enjoyed six of the ten features this ish...which is actually pretty good for an anthology book, yeah. McNeil's Finder was especially good this installment, Criminal Macabre was off to a good start, Tarzan and Skulltar weren't bad, and I liked the Andrew Vachss short with Geof Darrow illustrations. Of course, I probably would've paid $7.99 alone for new Evan Dorkin Milk & Cheese. So, not a bad issue, just not the best one. Or the best one to blog about, apparently. Read more!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Color Wheeled."

A couple of weeks back, I saw the preview at CBR for Green Lantern #13: Amanda Waller briefs the President on earth's GL's, and seemingly takes her revenge for having to be in the Green Lantern movie. "Skirt-chasing pervert, ex-cop so you know something's wrong with him, Marine (USA! USA!) and hippie-hipster artist type we don't care about..." She's a little dismissive of the lot, since they're setting up the new GL, who will be getting a figure later.

I kind of wouldn't be surprised if Kyle doesn't end up "transferred" to Blue Lantern or something. He seems to have enough fans that DC doesn't want to kill him, but with the reboot and multiple GL's running around, they don't seem sure what to do with him. Blue Kyle was an impulse purchase online, $9.99 shipped loose from China. With his blue lantern! A lucky break.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"So much fun." "So much fun."

We haven't checked out a Badger issue in a while, so it's past time. Especially since I'm still tearing my shelves apart looking for my old copy of Hexbreaker--it's 8.5" x 11" and I was convinced I had lost it. But here's an issue from the regular series running up to it: Badger #31, "Kill or Be Killed" Written by Mike Baron, art by Bill Reinhold. The title is cleverly presented, in Badger's fortune cookie...

Badger is in a bad way, since in the previous issue, he was hit with "the delayed death touch"--think Fist of the North Star, except it takes way longer--by Ron Dorgan, disciple of Hop Ling Sung. That's important, since a Chinese healer suggests if Badger (and his pal, Riley) could fight his way to Sung, he'd be honor-bound to heal him. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, since Sung is a master of "negative kung" with an island stronghold of soldiers, just like every good kung-fu bad guy should have. The healer further advises, perhaps if they had some force Sung was unfamiliar with, like Celtic magic...

So, Badger goes to his boss, ancient druid Ham, to get help. After hearing their story, Ham sets up a spell to infuse the pair with the spirits of warrior kings Crazed Edgar and Roderick the Insatiable: by saying the magic word, the spirits will enter them and they'll become unstoppable killing machines...and maybe get taken over by said spirits, but still. And all Ham needs to do it is two cows, a nest of yellowjackets, and a toucan.

After the spell is cast, Riley notices Ham sacrificed the cows and the yellowjackets but didn't touch the toucan, and wonders why Ham wanted it. The next day, Riley and Badger take a plane and parachute into Sung's island. For some kung-fu reason, there are no guns on the island; but when they find the cave tomb of a samurai, Badger finds some new toys:

Following a lengthy climb, Badger and Riley are attacked by Sung's men, which leads to a lengthy fight. Riley suggests using the magic word. They don't remember it.

Still, they fight until Sung's men withdraw, and make their way to Sung's palace. There, they meet Hop Lung Sung, and are a little surprised when he's a white guy. Still, Sung promises to cure Badger--which he does, after drugging their tea--but now Badger has to help them prepare for the tournament. Sung starts to explain about the tournament, but stops when he realizes it's not going to be important; since Badger (and probably Riley) are going to be killed momentarily by Ron Dorgan. Who makes a dramatic entrance despite exposing a lot of skin and wearing what appears to be a leather diaper.

I don't know if Badger's new claws have a proper name--he wears them on the cover as well--but they look like crazy fun. If you don't mind accidentally gouging the hell out of yourself, your friends, and your immediate surroundings...please excuse today's title, apparently I've been watching a lot of Regular Show lately. Oddly, fortune cookies came up there, too. Anyway, we'll have a little more Baron and Reinhold later this week!
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