Friday, May 31, 2019

Feels like cheating, but might be a bingo.

New bingo card, so you know what that means!

The Lilac City Comicon is once again this week, and even though I got a towering mound of fifty-cent books from EntertainMart last week, I'm always up for more. I haven't had a staggering amount of luck with the bingo cards, though; especially since I'm usually more interested in what I can pick up on the cheap. Still, we may have a bingo on one of our cards, finally!

It's a win with an asterisk, though; since the Star Trek books were on a DVD-ROM, and there were at least three books on this card that I have but just don't remember where I put! Well, maybe they'll turn up.

I might be looking for one of the toy sellers from that last toy show again, too. Wish me luck!
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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tough to pull off a dramatic unmasking when your face is seriously janked up.

Also, no one knowing who you are doesn't help, either. From 2004, Iron Man #88/433, "The Singularity, part 3" Written by Mark Ricketts, pencils by Tony Harris, inks by Tom Feister.

In the previous issue, Tony's longstanding on-and-off girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa had just been murdered by someone in an Iron Man suit, and this month Tony has to fight the murderer in last year's suit. Although the murderer shoots down a news copter, another cameraman broadcasts the fight: Tony was unable to put his mask on, but this does clear his name. In Times Square, Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan see the broadcast, but Pepper seems to have a bigger picture goal in mind: lecturing Happy about "the singularity," she leads him to Tony's secret war room. (Pepper seemed severely traumatized last issue after the murder of the Stark board of directors; here she seems to be treating this as a lark, a fun day out.)

As the fight goes on, outside Tony's mansion the army has gathered a team, wearing even older Iron Man armors; and their commander is relayed an order from the president: "Eliminate the last Iron Man standing." Meanwhile, the fight doesn't go Tony's way: he catches a beating and his own lecture, this one about how stupid not having a secret identity was and how he put all his loved ones at risk. The Iron Murderer then unmasks, revealing himself to be...I have no idea who that is. It's illegal arms dealer Clarence Ward back for revenge, although how he got an Iron Man suit I have no idea. I'm not even sure how the army got them, for that matter.

I got the last four issues of this series out of a quarter bin, and I'm definitely blogging this one now so I can do the final issue for year-end. This is a lot--a lot a lot--editorial clearing house and putting the genies back in the bottle. The amount of effort put into doing that, and I'm not sure how long they stayed put...
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019


I didn't plan it, but between writing this one and the last, the casting of Robert Pattinson as the new Batman was first rumored--it still hasn't happened as far as I know, yet some people are complaining like they've already seen it and hated it. I can't say he would've been my first choice, but wouldn't he be a much younger Batman than we've seen in some time? Maybe ever. Off the top of my head, I seem to recall one decent action scene from Affeck in like two-and-a-half movies; maybe they can get more out of Pattinson. And he's done better stuff since his Twilight days, so why not? Anyway, it happened to give Gambit a motivation for stealing the Batmobile besides "because it's coooooool."

As I write this part, the last episode of Game of Thrones is tonight, and there's a small-but-vocal contingent of fans--for certain values of 'fans'--pushing a petition for a do-over on this last season, since they didn't like how it's gone. Yeah, signing a petition but not fronting any of the millions it would take to re-do even an episode. (They aren't fronting money, are they? That would admittedly be putting their money where their mouth is, but also seems like a great way to get taken.) I know someone on Twitter suggested, if you don't like the ending, just write some fanfic like everybody else. It's easy to feel invested after watching so many hours of something, but what were the odds it was going to end the way you wanted it to? I seem to recall George R.R. Martin being pretty upfront about fields of graves...

Felicia and Sat have been teamed-up here since 2014? That can't be right! And we haven't seen Sat's cape since 2013--in the strips, anyway, I know exactly where that is. For a change. Felicia's photo of her dad was the MacGuffin in our Jessica Jones storyline, but here Gambit just took it to show her up. The chair, on the other hand...
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Maybe they think he looks like Prince Valiant under that thing...

The cover makes it look like the Demon was moving into romantic lead territory again, but not this time! From 1991, the Demon #17, "The Region Beyond, part II: Beyond Redemption" Written by Alan Grant, pencils by Val Semeiks, inks by Bob Smith.

This was a War of the Gods crossover, and seems to include a major event, perhaps from a different perspective: Circe the Sorceress kills Wonder Woman, by turning her back into lifeless clay. But, what may not have been seen elsewhere: a very cherubic looking Klarion the Witch Boy and Teekl the Death-Stalker go looking for mischief, teleporting to Paradise Island. Avoiding "mother hen" Amazons, Klarion sees Wonder Woman's spirit leaving her mortal remains, and decides she would probably have more fun not in the "Halls of the Dead," but "the Region Beyond." As in, hell.

Meanwhile, in hell, the Demon and Jason Blood still share a body but have switched: Jason controls the Demon, while Etrigan makes for a somewhat deranged looking (and rhyming) Jason. Jason/Demon is chained up and facing a banshee, and is having trouble making the Demon's body work for him; when Wonder Woman arrives. When she is bloodied during the fight, that gets a rise out of the Demon's body, and he responds, first taking down the banshee, planting a big sloppy kiss on Diana! She fights back, but Jason worries eventually the Demon would overpower her, and recites the rhyme to change back into "Jason," putting Etrigan back in the driver's seat. Etrigan/Jason tries to convince Diana they should work together to escape hell, but she's suspicious; then when the Thing-That-Never-Dies arrives and defends her she uses her magic lasso on Etrigan and learns the truth. She leaves him chained up, where he would face the Wild Hunt the next issue; and tries to follow the golden thread of virtue out of hell. Diana tells the Thing to keep at his own virtue, and he may free himself someday.

We saw the golden thread of virtue before, when we looked at the Demon #19 some years back: I assumed Diana escaped hell in her own title, but maybe not.
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Monday, May 27, 2019

It would be like carrying chargers for phones you don't have. Only way heavier.

Sgt. Rock was traditionally drawn with two .50 caliber machine gun belts over his shoulders, even though he didn't carry a .50 cal. He usually used a Thompson which would've been .45, not the .30 he mentions here! Well, everyone can have an off day. From 1977, Sgt. Rock #308, "One Short Step--" Written by Bob Kanigher, pencils by Lee Elias, inks by Romeo Tanghal.

Holding off Easy Company's retreat, Rock is captured when he runs out of ammo, and is taken to an old Roman arena outside a French town. The Germans are honoring "Hans Krug…the perfect German Soldier!" and to rub it in the noses of the local French, they decide to hold a little contest with Rock. Rock comes in second-best in the marksmanship and bayonet drills, but manages to knock Krug out in hand-to-hand, inspiring the French to throw down and cover Rock's escape.

Krug goes after Rock, chasing him into a cave filled with human bones, stone weapons, and paintings. Rock finishes Krug off with a flint knife, musing that people haven't changed since the stone age. You may have noticed, even captured, Rock still had his .50 cal belts!
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Friday, May 24, 2019

A DC comic from the last two years? I wasn't expecting that, but they randomly fall in my lap sometimes. From (December) 2017, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #30, "Mind Games, part one: Rude Awakening" Written by Robert Venditti, art by Patrick Zircher.

From planet Mogo in Space Sector Zero, John Stewart has to dispatch a Green Lantern to earth: Kyle and Guy want the gig, but it goes to the "favorite," as Guy puts it: Hal Jordan. John has two reasons for sending Hal, though: he's investigating the return of Sinestro, and needs to check with a witness--none other than Superman! As Supes explains, in his comic he had faced Parallax and an injured Sinestro, and managed to take Sin's ring and imprison Parallax inside it. Impressive, but Hal is skeptical. Scanning the yellow ring, he doesn't find Parallax inside; possibly because the fear entity is inside Superman!

Or is he? After a seven-plus page fight scene, Hal gets knocked down, and Superman is back to normal: he hadn't been possessed, Hal may have been--but not by Parallax? Another painful telepathic message clarifies; it was a distress call from Hector Hammond! Who is surrounded by little yellow gremlins who look they're about to process his colossal noggin for something.

"Please be my hero, Hal Jordan!" You made it weird, Hector. Should've been fun, but you made it weird...Actually, despite his terrible showing in the Green Lantern movie, I have a soft spot for him, from his appearances in Green Lantern #200 and thereabouts.

This issue has an ad for Doomsday Clock, which would come out a little over a month later, yet somehow twenty more issues of this book, and at least seven of the Grant Morrison/Liam Sharp series that followed it, managed to come out before the end of Doomsday Clock! It was supposed to be twelve issues, 'monthly' may have just been a suggestion.

Meanwhile, nothing special today, but it's the thirteenth anniversary of the blog! Entirely too long. Can't quit now.
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

It's pretty common for a comic character like Spider-Man or Batman to spend some time outside of their usual locales, often for just an issue or two. Seems like it would be a lot more work to do with Tarzan, though. From 1975, Tarzan #242, "Tarzan and the Castaways, part 3: Mayan Sacrifice" From an original story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, adaptation and pencils by Joe Kubert, finishes by Franc Reyes.

Tarzan rescues a girl from the aforementioned Mayan sacrifice in about four pages, before we get back to the castaways. The details are a little vague, but that's what happens when you come in late: assorted animals had been captured by a greedy hunter, probably leading to Tarzan's involvement, but their ship had crashed on an island that had been settled by Mayan explorers four hundred years prior. Tarzan had to save his animal pals--Tantor the elephant was there, as well as a couple orangutans that aren't named, but he does kill an angry tiger--while keeping the innocent castaways alive and making sure the smugglers and mutineers get theirs. He seems to have things pretty well handled, although a girl is surrounded by hyenas and wild dogs at the end here.

Would hyenas and wild dogs pack together? Is that what I'm having trouble believing? Actually, I didn't like the tiger-killing scene, but they were the jobbers of Tarzan's book: I picked up another random issue the same day, #228, and sure enough, he kills a sabre-tooth in that one. ("Trial by Blood!", story and art by Joe Kubert, maybe a smidge borrowed from King Kong.) I know Tarzan isn't acting out of malice, but I don't like to see animals get hurt for no reason. I'd probably read a comic with animals killing poachers, if anybody wants to get started on that.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019


We're a couple of weeks away from Dark Phoenix, which may or may not be any good; but it's a safe bet there's no big fight with Gladiator and the Imperial Guard. In fact, rumor has it a big fight at the end changed locations, from space, to a train. For...reasons. To ground the film or some such. It's probably going to be the big kiss-off for the X-Men in movies for a few, since I doubt any of the unannounced Marvel movies scheduled now are X-related.

We're maybe one chapter away from the conclusion of this Kree plotline, in two weeks! Does that mean the end of space nonsense? Doubtful, but stranger things and all that.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Budget cuts, so the narrator/host was the first to go. Guest-starring That Yellow Bastard!

I wouldn't say I've read a ton, but I've read a fair amount of Western/Gold Key's old horror comics. Among others, they had Twilight Zone and Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery for years. They were a little hit-or-miss, ranging from legitimately clever to crude and hackneyed to just tame weaksauce. Bit of the latter today...From 1982, Shadow Play #1, featuring Leo Dorfman and several uncredited writers, and art by Jose Delbo, Adolfo Bullya, Al McWilliams, and others.

The lead story, "Monster Clock," actually was from an old Boris Karloff, albeit with the narrator removed; and the original had a better cover. (In the same vein, their last issue of Twilight Zone came out the month before, and was entirely a reprint of the first issue, just with a cover nowhere near as good as the original.) Likewise, the sci-fi number "Time for a Change" could very likely have come from the Twilight Zone, it just needed that last panel of Rod Serling expressing dismay over the unfortunate events you had just read.

There were several ghost stories in this one, that almost seem blasé about it: ghosts are real, and you're absolutely going to be haunted by them, so...meh, what're you going to do? In one, "My Granddaughter will Haunt You!" a French peasant couple force their seventeen-year-old daughter to marry a rich 56-year-old, but she dies on the altar. Her grandmother swears they will be haunted by their daughter, which they laugh off, until grandma dies and the haunting starts up: the daughter had been too nice to haunt her parents, but her grandma definitely will haunt 'em up good.

I got this from the quarter bin last week, and I suspect it was from the same collection as some lower grade Twilight Zone's I had picked up earlier. Still looking for a not-overly-expensive copy of #70, with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's "The Tyranny of Time." They had a nice run of covers in there, though. (EDIT: Had the same scan twice! Fixed.)
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Monday, May 20, 2019

My love for you is like a truck...wait, I've used that one already.

Perhaps because it's fresh in mind, but I liked this issue more than any single episode I can remember of either version of the show! From 1980, Battlestar: Galactica #16, "Berserker" Plot and script by Roger McKenzie, plot assist by Bob Layton, art and colors by Walt Simonson.

Still on the run from the Cylons, the Galactica and the surviving fleet are in desperate need of fuel; and Adama reluctantly sets to order a geologist team to check out a planet described as "one huge active volcano." Before that happens, a Cylon satellite orbiting the planet sends out an alarm, which the Galactica can block temporarily, at the cost of interfering with their own communications. A Viper patrol is sent to destroy it (interestingly, and suspiciously, there's no one we know in that patrol...) but finds it too easy. Scanning, they discover the satellite is booby-trapped: destroying it would set off an explosive charge in the planet, destroying it and still warning the Cylons. The satellite would have to be disarmed first, so the demolition team is sent in. One member notes none of them have any experience, except "Master-Tech Shadrack," who I think was a recurring character in this stretch of comics but I don't think was from the show. They may have needed a Scotty-type, though. As the shuttle launches, Apollo realizes they wouldn't be able to contact the Viper patrol or Galactica, and takes another patrol after it.

Before reaching the satellite, the shuttle is attacked, by a murderously powerful fighter. The first Viper patrol is already gone, and the mystery fighter guns down the rest until only Apollo remains. And even he gets shot up, with the enemy pilot snarkily taunting him! Meanwhile, Shadrack and his team work on the satellite, which is full of deadly traps.

About to crash land, Apollo has to pull a desperate trick perhaps more Starbuck's speed: blow his canopy, then blast the fighter with his sidearm! Both ships crash, but both pilots survive, with the enemy revealed to be a Cylon--Mark III! A Mark III Imperator series, he explains chattily: you get the feeling he's grateful to have someone to talk to, even as he tries to kill Apollo. III explains he and his prototype brethren were feared and exiled for being too ambitious, but with a faster-than-light ship he could return to take the Cylon Empire from the Imperious Leader. On the run and out of breath in the volcanic craters, it's not helping that Apollo emptied his laser shooting down the Mark III, but he still has a plan: feign injury, lure him into a snare, and dump his metal ass into the lava!

By then, Shadrack had disarmed and destroyed the satellite; which was probably there to keep III there more than anything. Apollo contacts Galactica for pickup for himself and his surviving pilots; and they spend a couple weeks mining fuel from the planet. Sometime after that, a figure emerges from the lava; the Mark III lives! And while the humans may be gone, there were several wrecked Vipers for him to salvage: he had already waited a thousand years--er, 'yahrens'--for revenge, this would take no time at all. III was pretty talky for a Cylon, but I guess with Lucifer there was a precedent.
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Friday, May 17, 2019

The power was out for a bit tonight, so just a quick one for today: from 1986, Power Pack #18, "Kurse!" Written by Louise Simonson, pencils by Brent Anderson, inks by Scott Williams. And a Walt Simonson cover!

This was a Secret Wars II crossover, as well as with Thor: the Beyonder had taken the fallen dark elf Algrim, and given him a nice set of armor and immense power, to see how the newly minted Kurse would do on his single-minded quest for revenge. Power Pack's only non-family member, Franklin Richards, was having nightmares about Kurse destroying the team; but it's their mom Margaret Power that is injured by Kurse as he rampages through the city. Alex in particular takes it hard, feeling responsible for his mom being in the wrong place at the wrong time; and pushes the team towards his own revenge. Together, they wreck a building under construction and drop it on Kurse, but he wasn't done yet. Meanwhile, the Beyonder is mildly helpful to the kids, but not especially, he wants to see what happens next.

I read the Thor chapters when they first came out, but I don't think I read any Power Pack until years after the fact. And they weren't bad!

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Thursday, May 16, 2019


I mentioned the other day I was at a local Wal-Mart, and someone had stolen a Marvel Legends Living Laser from the packaging! Left the Thanos piece and everything. I'll probably get him eventually, probably after he's been marked down; but I wonder if I would've preferred his look from this issue: from 1981, Iron Man #153, "Light Makes Might!" Written and plotted by David Michelinie, pencils by John Romita Jr., plot and finishes by Bob Layton.

Ah, this issue features communist bad guys! That takes me back. Co-incidentally, I don't watch it often, but last night's Final Jeopardy was, "The Cold War became entrenched in the mid-1950's after the formation of these 2 rival military alliances." I got it, but I think only one contestant got it right, "What is, NATO and the Warsaw Pact?" Which means I'm older than Jeopardy contestants; that's not a good sign...Anyway, the Living Laser is working with the East Germans, and while he does feel a little bad about some light treason, he's doing it to save his life. With his metabolism altered after his run-in with Count Nefaria, LL was constantly absorbing energy from light and would probably eventually explode. The East Germans had a plan to drain energy off of him to power their orbiting weapons satellites, but the ensuing fight blows up most of their secret mountain science base. (It's not drawn very East Germany, it looks like a southwestern mesa!)

The Laser overloads, and Iron Man tosses him into the sky to explode away from a nearby reactor: necessary, but you can see how feelings might be hurt. Meanwhile, Bethany Cabe was ending her tenure as Tony's girlfriend, since her husband--drug addicted and believed to have been dead--had been found. Beth and Tony are both pretty broken up, but this feels like a way to get her out of the book without wrecking the character. She'd be back.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Last year there was supposed to be a Stan Lee Build-a-Figure, which would've involved several multi-packs, but it wasn't included for some reason. But at the toy show over the weekend, we got the Stan Lee figure from SDCC 2007. Weirdly, I got the Spidey mask a couple years back; but I don't have the rest of the pieces to turn him into Spider-Man. Why would you, though?

We also got the Batman v. Superman Batmobile on deep clearance last week, and I'm hoping the driver will be a surprise in a week or two. Might need to expand the set, though.
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