Tuesday, June 30, 2020

This way you don't have "Part 9 of 47" on the cover.

I've got a moment for a random comic, so let's start this pile of recent-ish Green Lantern books. "Act III, part I." Oh, comics. From 2015, Green Lantern #37, "Godhead, Act III, part I: Wall" Written by Robert Venditti, art by Francis Portela, breakdowns by Scott McDaniel.

Unfortunate event numbering aside, this was the various Lantern corps vs. the New Gods, and without looking anything up; this one opens with the bulk of them trapped in the New Gods' multiversal prison, "the Singularity Stockade." Kilowog is surprised they were betrayed by the Indigo Tribe, while Sinestro explains this is why you should have no allies. (I've recently accepted, the reason Kilowog doesn't always murder Sin on sight is that both have died, multiple times, and I'm just going to count that as evening the score.) Even with Parallax inside of him, Sinestro can't break out, but points out they all may learn a lot about fear in their prison. A valid point, that was more just for Sinestro to grouse about "the fear of our fate resting in the hands of Hal Jordan." Scary!

Back on earth, Hal is surrounded by zombies under the big top, courtesy of Black Hand. He even has the corpse of Hal's dad shuffling around, which Hal calls too far, but Hal needs Hand as an ally to stop the New Gods from using "the life equation." Death-obsessed Black Hand doesn't like the sound of that, but perks right up at the idea of space war, and joins him. Hal promises they'll settle up afterwards, which maybe gets a chuckle out of Hand. Flying out to the Source Wall...which seems like it should be more of a trip than the turn of a couple pages...instead of the Lanterns, they find Orion and his New Gods redshirts--I mean, Divine Guard! While Orion is openly contemptuous of the "glowbugs," Black Hand's ghoulish undead Lanterns put up a good fight.

Hal calls out Orion, like he wants to go fist-to-fist with him--he says "no constructs," but he's still using his ring, and a pile of undead Lanterns pile on Orion; until Black Hand gets distracted. Giddily, Hand realizes the Source Wall isn't a wall: "It's a mass grave!" Yeah, he's a little too excited.

Even with his Astro-Harness, I feel like Hal could fly circles around Orion; but hand-to-hand? No. Nooooo. Orion would leave him trying to pick up his own teeth, which would be even more challenging in zero-g. That would be a top-shelf beating; but the next chapter of Godhead wasn't the next issue; which we'll see some other time.
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Monday, June 29, 2020

I wonder if I would've been more or less pissed off reading this month-to-month: as it stands, it feels like I've been in this storyline for fifteen years now, but that probably isn't the case. Maybe. Also, all space cops may be bastards. From 2010, Booster Gold #36, "This Man...This Chipmunk!" Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, art by Pat Olliffe, cover by Kevin Maguire.

The Maguire cover makes this one look like it's going to be deadly serious, as Booster was still trying to put together the pieces of Maxwell Lord's plan, which no one else believed was a thing. He had made multiple trips back to his Justice League-heyday, and this month while Blue Beetle gets some with an alien queen; Booster, Mr. Miracle, and Big Barda are getting the hassle from a pair of Darkstars, who don't believe they were trying to disarm a planet-destroying weapon. The Darkstars had previously impounded said weapon and put a failsafe in it, then are about to get violent after they get the records on their "perps" from Apokolips. Mr. Miracle boom tubes them back to earth, then realizes they forgot Beetle, but Barda has had enough of "future boy's" nonsense. (A running gag: past characters claim they recognize future-Booster by the thinning hair, which he vehemently denies.) Barda says they had agreed to help Booster get the Book of Destiny, and unless there was something he wasn't telling them--like Beetle's future death--he didn't need their help. Booster tries to play on Barda's heartstrings, which not only gets him no help, it also gets past-Booster punched through a wall.

Booster has to return to the present to check in with the rest of his anti-Max team, in Justice League: Generation Lost, a 24-issue series with 49 covers that I have managed to not read a single one of. That goes poorly, so it's back to the past to save Beetle...who has been turned into a chipmunk by the spurned queen! I don't know if the planet is named this issue, but Queen Artemis has magic powers and the eye-antenna things the Legion's White Witch had. She claims the transformation is permanent, worse, before Booster can talk her out of the Book of Destiny, the Darkstars show up again and zap him! Beetle, Booster, and the Book are taken into custody, classified as "illegal combatants" and shipped off to Starlag. That name should ring a bell...

Booster and Beetle are in "another fine mess" verbal sparring, when they meet Vril Dox, who is not super-impressed with them. Booster realizes it's from Invasion! and that he really shouldn't discuss it with Beetle since it hadn't happened for him yet. Still, Booster knows Skeets will come for them, and the brave little 'bot is--but the gold-skinned Estrogina is making her break first!

This issue was cover-dated November 2010, and Generation Lost ran until June 2011? Giffen and DeMatteis may have stayed on until around then with BG #43, but I don't think it stayed 'bwah-ha-ha' the whole time...but Booster might not have made a lotta progress against Max Lord, either. There is an issue in there where Booster finally has to accept Beetle's death; I still haven't.

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Friday, June 26, 2020


I already had four pieces, so last weekend I sprung for the "Gamerverse" Marvel Legends Ms. Marvel and Iron Man...I forget if that IM had a mark number. There has been so many that now I've relapsed and only recognize four...Anyway, I wanted to get the last two pieces to build the Abomination. Or, "Abomination," since I don't recognize this new guy. I'm calling him 'Dim' for the time being: he doesn't have that classic Abomination head and looks like a mouth-breathing orc. Dim doesn't appear to re-use any parts from the old Abomination, but that Build-a-Figure was itself a re-use from the SDCC 2016 Raft set. Dim's funky foot claws aren't bad, though.

We're left to wonder what the Abomination does on his day off, but man, I'm thinking the Leader has read every one of those pick-up-chicks-through-targeted-negging books and probably elevated that to a science.
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Everyone probably has a Simpsons reference or two that they love but are convinced no one else gets, and one of mine is from "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", when the pro baseball players demoted to the minors gleefully split pre-game after passing their urine tests. For some reason (presumably, defective brain wiring) I was associating that with today's book; like if you fail a piss test or blow off the anti-sexual harassment training, you have to serve time on the Great Lakes Avengers #1, "Same Old, Same Old Great Lakes Avengers" Written by Zac Gorman, art by Will Robson, color art by Tamra Bonvillain. There were a few covers to this one from 2016, but the one with them in a diner may have influenced me recently!

This is the 'getting the band back together' issue: I hadn't read their 2005 mini-series, which featured the second appearance of Squirrel Girl. She went on to bigger and better things--she's having dinner with the current Avengers and misses the GLA's call--and these guys, well...Still, this opens with another character I wouldn't have expected: Connie Ferrari, lawyer and former love interest to Captain America from Dan Jurgens's run. It's implied she is still kicking herself for not landing that fish; but today she's got a job to do. After various ups-and-downs for both Tony Stark and the Avengers, through sheer luck, Dr. Val Ventura, a.k.a. Flatman, is now the legal owner of the Avengers name because he applied for a trademark way back when. (Probably back in Byrne's Avengers West Coast; Flatman has to ask "Who was president then?") Ferrari is authorized to offer the proverbial dump truck full of cash, but Flatman holds out for briefcase number two: permanent reinstatement of the Great Lakes Avengers!

That might be the easy part, since now Flatman has to convince his old teammates--the ones that survived, at any rate--to get back on board. Big Bertha's breakup with Mr. Immortal is complicating things, and Doorman has been resurrected as "an angel of death" "not doing a great job." While Mr. I is so far a no-show, since he's apparently buried himself, the rest head for their new headquarters in Detroit. Which seems to already have super-villains in the neighborhood...

I don't know that this was selling like hot cakes, but it ran into Secret Empire, an Avengers event with negative fun, and had to go with issue #7. Still, this probably works in small doses, anyway.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Look, Typhoid with a knife is just scary, even if she's just playing. Maybe especially if she's just playing.

The full-mask bit is cribbed from a Keith Giffen "Five Years Later" Legion of Super-Heroes, in which Universo realizes his allies in the Dark Circle might not be rocket scientists, as one accepts the offer of a drink while wearing a full mask. Universo was pretty sharp, so he's probably used to being the smartest in the room, but he still seemed disappointed.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I wish I could attribute the delay to (waves hands in general direction of the world) but...

...I may have just forgot! Back in May 2015, I put a box of crap together as a time capsule, marked "Do Not Open until May 2020!" Maybe five years wasn't long enough, but let's take a look.

And, if you can trust Amazon, we're off to a good start!

Ding-ding-ding! I think I have one of those NECA Superman figures still in package, too. Of course, those prices are entirely contingent on finding somebody willing to pay that. (I'm not putting anything up for sale, as of today anyway.)

Definitely the same for Agent Venom: I wonder if maybe that's about as far as that price is going to go, since he's not currently active in the comics. I suppose if the third Venom movie was Agent: Venom, that could do it. (I suspect the movie title would have a colon!)

The Magic: the Gathering figures from Funko were both in about the $15 range, so they had not taken off to date. Ditto the Lego Christmas Train. The Lego Decorating Tree, if I bought it for $3.99 like I would guess, has quadrupled in price to around $16! Again, if somebody's willing to pay that; but are Legos an underrated investment property? Should your portfolio be full of several hundred mini-kits? Hmm. I can't quite make out the number on that City set, so moving on.

I didn't see the Kre-O blind bags on Amazon right this very second, and they may, or may not, be worth more open: there are codes to see what's in them. Assuming it's still in good shape, that retailer (Hastings!) exclusive black-and-white Zdarsky cover for Secret Wars #1 might be upwards of $50. Again, maybe, maybe not. Is that Secret Wars remembered fondly? Is it remembered, period?

Crap, I missed the fourteenth anniversary of the blog, too! Well, today's post is academic anyway, since our little time capsule is still safely snuggled away in my garage. Maybe in five more years it will build up to retirement money! I'll be too old to enjoy it by then, but still.

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Monday, June 22, 2020

I wasn't expecting this one to remind me of "Born Again."

At least not in that way. From 1994, Daredevil #327, "Tree of Knowledge, part two: System Error" Written by D.G. Chichester, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Hector Collazo.

I'm positive I read "Tree of Knowledge" back when it came out, and I don't recall being wowed by it, even though I quite enjoyed Fall From Grace and the intro of DD's armored suit. It probably didn't help that #328 was an "Interlude" without Chichester or McDaniel and may have killed any momentum stone dead; or #330 guest-starring Gambit because...Wolverine was booked solid? I don't know. (From the GCD synopsis for that one, "With Matt thought to be dead, Karen is given an opportunity to star in cyberporn." Or, as we call it nowadays, porn.)

Daredevil's working the trail of some hackers, which leads to an explosion on the Staten Island Ferry. While DD is rescuing bystanders from the river, another of the hackers is murdered, but he is stopped from going after the killer by the arrival of the Avengers. This is what reminded me of "Born Again," in that Matt doesn't seem to see himself as a peer to them, that they're operating on another level. On the other hand, he's held up by a rather lippy Black Knight, and DD could've made him eat that helmet. (Not unlike Iron Man's usual scam, I think the armored DD wasn't supposed to be the same guy as the original, as far as anyone knew, although duh; but that would explain the Knight's attitude.)

Meanwhile, Karen Page...was still in this book? Huh. When we checked out #325 a couple years back, she was wrecked after news of Matt's "death," and I thought she was already gone for another long stretch, but okay: she's taking photos of schlubs leaving porn stores, to be named and shamed. Is...is that okay? Yes, men should consider women "as human beings, instead of airbrushed toys!" but...Well, Karen may be about to get a taste of her own medicine, as she's approached by two of her 'producers' from her own days in front of the camera. It's a brief appearance, but her producers seem either brutally naive or methed-out themselves, as they act like old friends, or like she was a willing participant and not drugged out of her gourd. Obviously DD never met them, he'd still be beating their asses.

Even more meanwhile, at the morgue, Captain America is on the scene with federal prosecutor Kathy Malper, when another of HYDRA's tech goons shows up: Wirehead. He seems to see the world as a virtual reality game, and he and another cohort, Steel Collar, get away with the corpse of Killobyte. Matt briefly visits the recently returned Elektra, then goes to 'work' as con man/'social engineer' Jack Batlin. (Remember last month, when we saw a Thor issue where he realized his current secret identity was a bit crap? DD wasn't quite to that realization yet, but it was coming.) Finally, both Cap and DD have questions for teenage hacker Spectrum, which looks like it's going to come to blows between them!

The Mighty Marvel Checklist this issue has the concurrent Captain America issue: #427, three issues into "Fighting Chance," a twelve-issue-plus storyline with the Super-Soldier Serum breaking down and Cap's health collapsing. Which would lead to Cap getting his own armor suit of limited duration, but it's alluded to here: Cap is not in top form, while DD was in good shape and had his new suit. I don't think their fight was until DD #330, but that issue has Iron Fist on the cover, so I'm guessing it wasn't a 12-round brawl-for-it-all.
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Friday, June 19, 2020


Quick one today, since I'll be out; but I posted most of this on Twitter...two weeks ago? When things were mildly less than terrible than they had been. They're still pretty horrible. To distract myself, I made a 1/12 scale longbox, with comics--some of which I bagged and boarded! That was fun to make, and the comics in this one are some of my favorites.

Take care of yourselves this weekend, everyone!

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Blood Syndicate was not my favorite Milestone title: I maybe read the first four issues, and some of the crossover with the Superman titles. But this issue was ninety-nine cents in 1995, and maybe a dollar when I picked it up last week! Blood Syndicate #33, "Kwai Song" Written by Ivan Velez Jr, pencils by Jeffrey Moore, inks by Rober Quijano.

The super-powered gang had been through a lot since the last issue I had read, including the rebirth of dead team leader Tech-9. The story opens with him confronting another former member, the shape-shifter Masquerade, who had previously betrayed the gang: he wanted back in. Tech-9 brings out the team...to explain this wasn't a democracy, get out. As usual, the rest of the Syndicate was not in complete agreement on that choice, but head back to bed grumbling. Tech-9 asks the intangible Fade if he still trusted him, while alluding to...an earlier relationship together. (That might not have been unheard of back in 1995, but it was rarely spoken of, even obliquely as here.)

The rest of the issue follows members Kwai and Dogg. Kwai was the 77th - and last - incarnation of a Chinese mystical being, and wanted to petition her father for another life, a final one just for her. Her request is not greeted favorably by the Jade Emperor, despite the Monkey King pulling for her, which gets him sentenced to "death without reincarnation." The Monkey King picks up the Syndicate at the end of the issue. Meanwhile, Dogg--who had gained intelligence and speech at the Big Bang, when most of the rest of the Syndicate gained their powers--has been captured, and was being taken to S.Y.S.T.E.M. I forget what their deal was, but underestimated, Dogg manages to escape.

There were only two more issues of the series: Milestone's comics would end in 1997, the company would mainly focus on licensing, namely the Static Shock cartoon. The Blood Syndicate has made a few appearances since, but few and far between.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020


I feel like I've had swordfish at some point in my life, perhaps on vacation or something; but I've never had bibimbap? I don't know that I'm an adventurous eater, though; except for the abominations that come out of my own kitchen. Hmm, I'm starving as I type this, and there are like three places to get bibimbap nearby...maybe.

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