Friday, March 30, 2018

So, I was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Pluto TV the other day, and The Sword and the Dragon was on. In one of the host segments, you can see some of the Mads' comic collection; including in the bottom left corner, Superman: the Man of Steel #30!

There was a plain cover version, but this issue is best known for being packed with Colorform-style vinyl clings that you could put on the cover, or on glass: I've lost a number of them from my copy here, left on mirrors or windows when I moved! I just bought two still-bagged copies when I was on vacation, but was able to dig up my old one. "Resurrection!" Written by Louise Simonson, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Dennis Janke.

Lobo is on his way to earth, to kill the recently returned Superman, since he felt he should be the only one coming back from the dead. On his way, Lobo inadvertently (and/or carelessly) destroys an alien space mausoleum, and the cheesed off aliens follow him to try and kill him; but instead give Superman and Lobo something to team up against! Meanwhile, Superman discovers he's now even stronger; surviving an alien disintegration blast, punching Lobo into orbit, and no longer needing to breathe! (The latter was part of John Byrne's depowering of Superman in the relaunch; although I wonder if it was the last power to return.)

After driving off the aliens, Lobo feels like Supes did him a favor, so agrees to leave Metropolis alone and wait for a rematch. Which, a helpful editorial box notes, was coming in two weeks to L.E.G.I.O.N. '94 #63. That book wouldn't have anywhere near the print run this one did; so it might be some time before I bump into it.

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Today's issue was bagged with the Code: Blue cover showing, otherwise I might not have thought to grab it. From 1995, Thunderstrike #16, featuring "Grudge Match!" Plot and script by Tom DeFalco, plot and pencils by Ron Frenz, finishes by Al Milgrom; and "Krask Force" Written by Roy Thomas, co-plotted by R.J.M. Lofficier, pencils by Larry Alexander and Grant Miehm, and inks by Charles Barnett.

The lead story was mainly about a long awaited rematch between Titania and She-Hulk. Although Titania and her man Crusher "Absorbing Man" Creel were on parole and supposedly trying to go straight, her loss against She-Hulk haunted her. Crusher reaches out to Thunderstrike, to contact She-Hulk and arrange the bout; although Thunderstrike had his own problems, like trying to keep tabs on super-powered alien Stellaris. They meet at the Delacorte Theater, but agree to let Thunderstrike use his hammer mace to transport them to Nevada, in order to lessen the property damage. Except Stellaris crashes the party, and Crusher assumes it's a trap, then all bets are off.

Stellaris makes things worse by zapping the Absorbing Man, although later he's unable to take her "too different too alien!" power. Meanwhile, while Titania was stronger than She-Hulk to begin with (at least that's what She-Hulk thinks, and may not always be the case) this time she had stacked the deck, with "sonic field enhancers" making her ten times stronger. Except she's not any smarter: She-Hulk maneuvers her into punching a rock wall and getting stuck, then punches Titania over the horizon line. Actually, that's not quite right: on the next page, Titania lands right on Thunderstrike's head! You had the whole desert to launch her, She-Hulk, c'mon.

The back-up "Double Feature" features Code: Blue, the SWAT team called in for super-powered threats in DeFalco and Frenz's books. They haven't been used as much outside of that, but the Marvel wiki mentioned them arresting Shocker and Speed Demon, and I wonder if that wasn't in Superior Foes of Spider-Man somewhere. But I mainly bought this issue because it featured the armored Daredevil on the cover, and I wanted to see how said armor fared under another artist's pencils. And...enh. The shoulder pads don't look great. Oddly, since this story features armored DD, he wasn't a lawyer at that time; but there is a ton of legalese in this story! Foggy Nelson and Code: Blue's Lt. Stone are giving a deposition, in a lawsuit against the city, brought by the law firm of Krask & Krask. (They argue that the city may have acted negligently, by sending Code: Blue instead of actual super-heroes to deal with a rampaging Doombot; and may have a point...) The depo is interrupted by the return of daddy Krask, an obscure villain from Thor #172, now an energy-being!

Meanwhile, at a press conference, the mayor (a bland and generic one, but better him than Giuliani) announces the disbanding of Code: Blue; because Thor and Thunderstrike work for free, it wasn't cost-effective, etc. Then with Krask threatening to wipe out all of Wall Street's computer data, the mayor's assistant tries to call in the Avengers, and gets Hercules, who doesn't give a goat's crap what happens to computers. Over a barrel, the mayor reinstates Code: Blue; who, with Daredevil and a squad of bean-counting civil servants, force Krask onto a CD; and the Krask brothers are forced to take a settlement for a measly half a million. Aw, too bad!
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018


That ship may look familiar...because I absolutely nicked it from a fairly recent Marvel book. We'll check it out later, though.

Kurt hadn't mentioned wanting to go home in a while; and in-story they haven't been gone as long as this has gone here. Spoiler alert: they aren't getting home next week, either. Partially because that'll be another Satana/Black Cat episode, but still.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Well, it's still not the worst Wicker Man I've ever seen.

I actually had an unfortunate experience with Wicker Man: I bought the DVD like three times and it was defective every time! I don't know what the problem was, but it was forever before I got to see the original...and it had been pretty well spoiled for me by that point, too. But I was surprised to see one in today's book: from 1990, Black Knight #4, "Knight...and Day!" Written by Roy and Dann Thomas, layouts by Rich Buckler, embellishment by Tony DeZuniga.

This was the conclusion of a four-part mini-series, featuring the original Black Knight Sir Percy in the body of the current Knight Dane Whitman, and the Valkyrie in the body of Dane's love interest Victoria Bentley; versus Morgan Le Fey and Mordred. Also here: Dane's future squire, Sean Dolan, who would go on to become Bloodwraith, and Doctor Strange. And the fight takes place at London Bridge...the London Bridge in Lake Havasu, AZ, for some reason. (And misspelled!)

By the end of this one, Dane was restored as the Black Knight; wrapping up the plotline where the curse of the Ebony Blade had been turning him into metal. That had run from maybe around Avengers #293 in 1988, then into Thor the next year. I had thought it took even longer to be wrapped up, but here we are. And now, for some reason, a Radiohead video...

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Now it's a party.

Actually, I have no idea what that's about; but we're taking a look at this book before jerks try to mark it up for the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie. From 1993, Guardians of the Galaxy #37, "Time Bears all It Sons Away" Written by Michael Gallagher, pencils by Kevin West, inks by Steve Montano.

It may have taken a thousand years, but the dread Dormammu has finally triumphed over his long-time foe, the Ancient One. The current Ancient One, that is: Dr. Stephen Strange! And the Guardians may have given Dormammu the power to kill him, but no time for that now. Kruggar, the current Master of the Mystic Arts, tries to motivate his erstwhile apprentice, Talon, to free him; but the Inhuman Guardian relies too much on brute force. Major Victory works out a plan to distract Dormammu, until Kruggar and Talon can banish him back to the Dark Dimension. Surrounded by Mindless Ones and worn out from the fight, Dormammu seems worried...

Having proven himself worthy, Talon is given Dr. Strange's original square amulet. Then, the main team of Guardians was headed to earth with Hollywood, the hero known long ago as Wonder Man! Elsewhere, Wolverine descendant-slash-cosplayer Rancor makes an attempt on Dr. Doom's life, and was about to cut out his heart with a remnant of Wolvie's claw. There's also a partially seen character that seems to be protecting or exploiting the Inhumans; and has Loki's color scheme. Is it? Well, I only have a few issues from the back half of this series, so it may be a while before we see. I know that Eternal Sprite had similar coloring...That seems like a long shot, admittedly.
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Friday, March 23, 2018

I would have to try a ride called, "Ball o'Whacks."

We saw the Legends of the Dead Earth Robin annual a week or two back, but I knew I had at least a couple besides that one. From 1996, Action Comics Annual #8, "A World of Hurt" Written by David Michelinie, art and story ideas by Kieron Dwyer.

In a far-off future, earth is so far gone we don't even see any proper humans the entire issue, except in flashback video footage or shape-changing stand-ins. Bizarro is a carnival performer, in a stage action show on the theme park planet Bizarro World; but is nearing the end of his popularity. Huggable, Barney-like new sensation Quedzl is becoming the headliner, and is so popular an intergalactic ambassador has to take his young daughter to see the show, even if his older son is too cool for that. But when terrorists take over the park, it's up to Bizarro to become the hero.

A fun little one-off, although not as fun as the more off-the-wall backwards antics usually associated with the Bizarro World. And this reminded me I had been thinking of another Dwyer issue I probably should've blogged long before now. Soon then, maybe.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

I don't know if DD's argument holds up at all, but Venom might've been snowed by his legal mumbo-jumbo.

Today's issue is probably best remembered for its cover, even though there's a lot going on in it. From 1993, Daredevil #323, "Fall from Grace, part 4: Conflict" Written by D.G. Chichester, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Hector Collazo and Rich Rankin.

This was actually the fifth part of the storyline, wherein Matt has taken on a new armored costume, as he tries to keep everyone from getting the mysterious "About Face" virus. The virus was basically a wish granted, changing the "infected" at their command. For example, this month Venom was after it, in order to take away his weakness to fire and sound, which he felt would make him "dwarfing that bug Spider-Man without question!" Daredevil and cyborg Siege are forced to defend a defecting Snakeroot ninja from Venom; DD convinces them that overcoming their "handicaps" is what makes them strong. Still, almost immediately after Venom splits, the ninja is killed by a sai-wielding assassin...

The Snakeroot were like traditional ninja bad guys the Hand, and were related somehow if nebulously. The last page of the issue reveals their secret weapons, an evil facsimile of Elektra called Erynys, and S.H.I.E.L.D. cyborg John Garrett from Elektra: Assassin! Of course Elektra was about to return, wearing white and with a shaved head. I remember Frank Miller being pretty cheesed about that; and have been trying to find an old piece he did for the long-defunct Hero Illustrated of Marvel digging up her grave. (I'm not sure if bringing her back was Chichester's idea, or if he was given that direction from editorial.)

Along with everyone else here, "Fall from Grace" also guest-starred Silver Sable, Morbius, and the Hellspawn, a.k.a. the Daredevil-doppelganger from Infinity War. The armored costume for Daredevil was a bit of a departure at the time (and everyone got armored costumes in the 90's!) but it doesn't seem that far removed from his Netflix outfit, or any current superhero costume. There's also a single page given to the ongoing subplot, with a reporter starving for the big story having stolen Ben Urich's notes and sold Daredevil's secret identity to a small tabloid, which here considers the best way to publish it without opening themselves up to litigation.

I remember enjoying this one back in 1993, but McDaniel was pretty much the only one that could draw that armor. As we may see later...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I know I've read a couple fairly recent Amazing Spider-Man comics with Mockingbird, but I'm not sure if he ever got around to asking her out, or if their relationship moved past that. And that would get rolled back anyway, so who cares. I'm glad I didn't read Spider-Man regularly for the last ten years, since Peter's probably going to be living in his aunt's basement next issue. Unless Marvel could figure out a way to get him back into high school.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Also featuring Wolverine, Sabretooth, Psylocke, Hercules, Dark Angel, Smith, and this line:

"Last one to the tower is a runny poo!" A line like that, you'd best save for the conclusion. From 1993, Battletide #4, written by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, art by Geoff Senior.

Hmm, I thought it was a two-word title, but it seems Battletide was the preferred usage. This was a four-issue, Marvel UK mini-series; featuring the heroes mentioned dragged into the usual Contest of Champions type gladiatorial combat; but it might've worked better keeping the focus on their leads, Death's Head II and Killpower. The latter had been introduced in Motormouth and was a genetically engineered warrior, but basically had the intellect and maturity of a ten-year-old. So, of course he thinks Death's Head II is about the coolest thing ever, even when the robot is trying to kill him!

As is, the book's thin yet overstuffed: with too many heroes, there really isn't space to flesh out the secondary opponents, or even give everyone something interesting to do. There's a germ of an idea with the champions Megaira and Termagent, who are a couple but also something else. And the titular Battletide, the "demonic embodiment of eternal war," is interesting but not looked at much. It reminded me of something from Grimjack, honestly. Why am I running across so much Marvel UK lately, though...?

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Monday, March 19, 2018

After three years building them up, let's quit the team in the most dickish way possible.

I've mentioned before that I like the idea of the Outsiders, much more than any Outsiders comic I've actually read; but I didn't read the book when it was first on the stands. So I remember ads for this, but hadn't read this last issue: from 1986, Batman and the Outsiders #32, "A New War's Winning!" Written and edited by Mike W. Barr, art by Alan Davis.

The first four-and-a-half pages of this one are recurring bad guys the Masters of Disaster in Markovia, kidnapping a princess on her way to her wedding; but the Outsiders are busy in Gotham, as a mob boss holds a meeting to unite since Batman had been gone for a few days. "Matches" Malone shows up to see if the boss is serious, and verifies the heist of plasma from the hospital; "Matches" of course being a longtime alias of Batman! Signaling the team, the mobsters are wrapped up quickly, and with the mission complete Geo-Storm takes the opportunity to break radio silence, and finds his country has been at war for two days! Moreover, Batman knew!

Batman claims he needed the Outsiders in Gotham, and didn't want to be running all over the world like the Justice League: " busy saving the world, we lose sight of individuals." It kind of reads more like Bats was mad he hadn't got to punch a junkie, mobster, or homicidal clown for a minute and was pitching a fit; as he disbands the team. Halo protests, and a smirking Batman seems to think they were going to cave, but she suggests they stay together themselves, without Batman! Batman leaves in a huff, noting Dick had already quit and Jason probably would someday: "...soldiers come and go, but my war never ends." He does not handle rejection well, does he?

The Outsiders would go on to face Baron Bedlam and the Masters of Disaster in Markovia; but the rest of this issue was a Looker story: formerly "mousy" Lia Briggs was now Looker, who had super-powers but was mostly just thrilled to be staggeringly hot. Her husband Greg was still adjusting, and may have missed his old wife and been uncomfortable with the attention Lia now got, but she showed no interest in the person she used to be. Yeah, I got a feeling Greg is not going to be in this book for too long.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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