Wednesday, August 31, 2022


I didn't intend for these guys to show up again! And they aren't done yet. Maybe my goddamn Havok will turn up today...

Darwin doesn't seem to have the trauma over fighting the old, "island that walks like a man" Krakoa that Vulcan still does: I believe he was living on the moon, at the "Summer house" with Cyclops and all, but might have since gotten thrown out: he's deeply traumatized, but also remarkably unlikeable? Vulcan was actually killed in proper continuity, and I'm not positive he's been re-spawned yet? I feel like he kind of has to be: his power was no joke; he was definitely one that could turn the tide against major attacks. Then wreck things in a massive tantrum or freakout...

I'm not sure Maggott has gone through the rebirth jazz, although for a bit a lot of young mutants seemed to be treating it rather lightly. That's the sort of thing that'll come back and bite somebody. I don't know if the mutants can bring back dead ones that fast, either: have they brought back serious numbers, like a thousand or more yet?  I also think they should have serious redundancies and back-ups ready, too. In the recent Eternals one, they hit Egg/Goldballs, but he had some eggs set up in advance: feels like they should have more of a plan, but maybe we aren't privy to it. 
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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

One of the things I think I miss most about Vertigo is the little anthology miniseries they put out here and there: later in the run they went more with 80-page specials like Unexpected, Strange Adventures, or Time Warp; but I preferred the miniseries. Although, doing the math: for this series, there was a title page and an amusing creator profile page each issue, then 22 pages of story: minus the title and profile pages, the whole thing was maybe one story away from fitting into an 80-pager. From 1999, Heartthrobs #1, featuring "The Princess and the Frog" Story and art by Brian Bolland; "Genes and a T-Shirt" Written by Robert Rodi, art by Phil Jimenez; and "Diagnosis" Written by Steven T. Seagle, art by Tim Sale. Cover by Bruce Timm!
Brian Bolland opens with a princess determined to find her frog prince, and it is funny. Bolland's art is just pristine as always, and the tale is narrated in a cheerfully meandering manner. There's actually a second story in there as well, that might be a spoiler, so I won't say. In "Genes and a T-Shirt," after a bad breakup, a young man decides to have an operation, to cut the gay out of him: the excision of the gene that "predisposed him to homosexuality." It may not be as easy a switch as that, though; but he does have some success on the pick-up scene, with a woman who wonders if he wasn't what she was looking for all her life, "a heterosexual queen." Then the boyfriend shows back up...This a fun short that thankfully doesn't go into the usual Vertigo horror territory.
Seagle and Sale's "Diagnosis" does, though: a handsome young surgeon has married his beautiful bride, and all he can think about was cutting her open. A cancer specialist, he was preoccupied with tumors, and was convinced there was some inside her. Was there only one way to find out? The bride gifts him a gold scalpel, which also seems like an invitation...The scalpel imagery of course brings back Face to me, but not bad. I picked this issue up recently, but I think I had the rest of the series already; but I don't recall if it was as strong on the art front. Read more!

Monday, August 29, 2022

His Rogues' Gallery included Illegal Use of Hands, Late Hit, 15 Yards Unsportsmanlike...

I've seen two pre-season games already this year, and August seems way too early for football. (One game was really delayed for inclement weather; something I rarely remember seeing before but have more the last two or three years.) Seems an appropriate time for a random issue from the quarter (dollar) bin, although I wonder how long it would take to put together a full run. Nobody's jumping up and down for these, but should they be...? Probably not? From 1992, NFL SuperPro #9, "Time and Again" Written by Evan Skolnick, pencils by Jose Delbo, inks by Donald C. Hudson. Cover by John Romita, Ron Frenz, and Joe Sinnott!
This is fairly by-the-numbers superhero stuff: nothing groundbreaking, but not badly done, either. In his civilian identity of Phil Greenfield, SuperPro visits his sister and her family; and worries that his niece Melanie was down in the dumps. The local board of education had kicked her off the middle school football team, and she felt like it was pointless to fight it. Phil didn't have much of a pro career, but still had some clout as a well-known reporter, and approaches Melanie's couch, who had no problem with her and maybe should've pushed harder for her to stay. Then, because this is a superhero comic, the bad guy shows up: from an earlier issue, time-skipping assassin Instant Replay! That's clever. On the cover he looks like a Snake-Eyes clone with the Multiple Man's powers, but inside he's a bit of a wreck, blipping around in time.
Phil manages to suit up as SuperPro, just in time to get distracted by Melanie's arrival, and catch some hands. Head in the game! She manages to save him with a well-thrown football, but also easily recognizes her uncle. Pissed at Melanie being threatened, SuperPro turns on the jets against Instant Replay, remembering his weakness was being repeatedly electrocuted. (Um...wait...) IR is zapped out of reality again, and Melanie gets back on the team. 

SuperPro being licensed by the NFL seems like a bug, not a feature. I'm not the writer for this, but it seems like there are a ton of stories that he would be perfect for; that the NFL wouldn't sign off on in a million years. Still, letting girls play football would've been pretty progressive for 1992, I think. This one's not as fun as "The Drop-kick that lifts!" but I just noticed a comment from artist Hilary Barta on that old post!

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Friday, August 26, 2022

Ooh, don't say "unhand."

Bit insensitive there, Sif. From 1981, Thor #312, "The Judgement of Tyr" Written by Doug Moench, layouts by Keith Pollard, embelllisments by Gene Day. 

Dr. Donald Blake is facing an inquest, for a patient who died after an operation: Blake had left immediately after the surgery to deal with Thor-stuff, and may not have been there to save a patient. If he could've been saved, which seems doubtful: the inquest kind of feels like someone had an ax to grind with Blake. Meanwhile, in Asgard, the god of war Tyr busts into Sif's house, to present himself as her boyfriend now.  
Oh, that'll go over well. Rejected and already resentful of Thor, Tyr brings a grievance to Big Daddy Odin: Asgardians weren't supposed to leave Asgard without explanation and a majority vote from the other gods! Continuing the title's proud tradition of Asgardian rules, laws, and decrees never brought up before and never referenced again. It's basically Calvinball. Tyr also claims the god of war by rule has to bring back the offender to face trial by vote; Odin thinks it's a nuisance, but can't exempt his kid from the rules other Asgardians have to obey. But that's just the pretense for Tyr to get to Midgard: he also 'borrows' Odin's "Mace of the Myth-Wars," since Thor was gonna be killed resisting arrest...
Tyr tries to murder Blake, who manages to change into Thor in time. Tyr complains Thor is overrated and would be nothing without Mjolnir, and proceeds to get his ass kicked: Thor destroys the Mace, then trounces him hand-to-hand...damn, sorry. Thor was already in a bad mood, being judged "by those who aren't in a position to fairly do so" at Blake's inquest, and Tyr's accusations felt like more of the same. Which might lead to him rushing in mad to Asgard, next month!
Also this issue: Tales of Asgard, featuring the Valkyries, in "Baptism of Fire!" Written by Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio, pencils by Keith Pollard, inks by Gene Day. Hel had annexed Valhalla into her realm of the dead, Niffleheim; so Odin sends his Valkyries to take it back. Next month's story was "Last Ride of the Valkyries!" so it's not looking good: neither is that cover, I don't think I've picked that one up at all.
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Thursday, August 25, 2022

80-Page Thursdays: Superman Family #188!

I know this title was pieced together from the other Superman books, but sometimes it still feels weird to have continued stories in an 80-page book! That should've been plenty of room! From 1978, Superman Family #188, featuring stories by E.Nelson Bridwell, Tom DeFalco, Gerry Conway, and more; and art by Ken Landgraf, Win Mortimer, Kurt Shaffenberger, and more.
It's election day for the science council in Kandor; and Superman and Jimmy Olsen visit to check it out. Unfortunately, some Kandorian separatists--whose goal is "to free Kandor of its bottle" but by any means necessary?--attack the family of Superman Reserve Squad member Van-Zee: he was also up for the council spot, but more importantly, was the current Nightwing! He's helpless with his family held hostage, and while he and Flamebird fight the original duo of Supes and Jimmy, the separatists use the enlarging gas to make them giant-sized! Relatively. They're still in the bottle, just big enough to lord it over everybody. The heroes have to fight the giants for a couple chapters, and Jimmy and new Flamebird Ak-Var have to start out resenting each other and then work through it.
Also this issue: Lois meets superhero wannabe the Human Cannonball, but he's not "The Mutant Menace of Metropolis!" Superman has to stop an alien disease, Krypto saves a train from a rockslide in remarkably difficult fashion, and Supergirl is on trial for banishing Shyla to the Phantom Zone back in Superman Family #183: she had served her sentence in the Zone, did Supergirl have the right to put her back in, even if she was a menace? Kara pleads no contest, but she has something in mind that her cousin can't see...or does he? 

Luckily, I do have the next issue, which features the conclusions to both the Superman and Supergirl stories.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2022


I am fairly sure I've never read a comic with Maggott, yet here we are. I'm probably missing his accent, but while he seems like a weird dude, both he and Darwin are probably more personable than Vulcan. Partly because Vulcan's ridiculously powerful and knows it, but also because he has been through some trauma, that he largely responded to by being a dick. But then, of course we have these three together not because they were all teammates (Vulcan and Darwin were, sure) but because they all came in the same wave!

Also, Maggott (or Meany) probably hasn't charged to the forefront of  A.X.E., but stranger things have happened? I flipped through a bit of the current Eternals series, and parts of it were good? I don't think Kieron Gillen had Thanos quite right, but kind of had to square him away with the current Eternals mythology. I've also been trying to recall if it was Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis that first started using the phrase "planetary defense system" for superheroes, like antibodies earth would generate to protect itself; but I know that gets thrown around for both the Eternals and the Star Brand. Multiple puzzle pieces that don't really fit together, but the Marvel U. still has them in the same box!   

Anyway, I'm thinking Maggott could be the X-Men's Matter-Eater Lad: what seems like a silly character with silly powers, that could be remarkably effective in the right situation. 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

I'm trying to remember the last zombie movie I watched on DVD, since it was a cheap pick-up, and spectacularly bad. (It wasn't One Cut of the Dead!) It was pretty low budget, but not no-budget; it was the plot that killed me: the protagonist boldly made the wrong choice, every time one was presented to him, getting his friends killed every time! It also had almost a rebuttal of a traditional zombie movie trope: the guy that gets bit, but tries to hide it, then turns at the worst possible time. One friend gets bit, and knows he's going to turn, so wants to stay behind, and the 'hero' won't let him! So I possibly liked that movie even less than today's comic, but it's close. From 2018, Marvel Zombie #1, written by W. Maxwell Prince, art by Steffano Raffaele.
It's a pleasant sunny day, post-zombie apocalypse, at least for Simon Garth, the capital-Z Zombie: he's not really part of the horde, since he's not that kind of zombie but close enough. While what's left of earth's heroes try to Defend against the horde, a little boy finds the other Amulet of Damballah, which prompts Simon to save him from being eaten: not because he's being controlled, but because they have matching necklaces! Once the heroes get past their shock, they realize he could come in handy: Moon Girl had created a fission device, that could probably wipe out most of the horde, except without any radioactive material, they would have to use the elements in a human body as a suicide bomber! But, there's the same atoms in Zombie, right?
As the heroes try to get the horde all together, and largely get overrun; the kid guilts Moon Girl into giving back the Amulet, and the Zombie. Simon considers her smart and compassionate, but she wonders if she's not going to hell for betraying humankind. The boy and his friend, make their way out of the city, towards...probably death! The zombies were still out there, unless Moon Girl decides to blow herself up; which she wouldn't have do; she could just stick the bomb on any zombie and it'd probably be close enough! Also, Simon is way more cheery and friendly than usual: wasn't he a tool before he became the Zombie? And Moon Girl probably could've maybe let some of the heroes know and not get eaten? She's right about going to hell. I can be sentimental too, but come on. A shame, because there were a couple jokes that landed. 

This wasn't the usual Marvel Zombies continuity, the bad guy zombies are pretty inarticulate. This issue didn't appear to be part of anything, just a lone one-off; like they had to renew the copyright or something.
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Monday, August 22, 2022

You have to make the sound effect yourself, but that's part of the fun!

I'm old enough to have had a Six Million Dollar Man action figure, which I loved very much; and I know I watched the show, but I have absolutely no recollection of it. The sound effect maybe, but that's it, and that I could've gotten from the Power Record. I should've been all in on this one; in fact, I thought I was! From 2019, the Six Million Dollar Man #1, written by Christopher Hastings, art by David Hahn. Like 9 covers for the first issue, but none were on the GCD until I uploaded this substandard one!  
Set in 1974, this is day one as a spy for Steve Austin, who seems really, really upbeat and cheery about it: Steve had occasional bouts of depression over his 'condition,' and may have been over-compensating a bit. Japanese spy Niko Abe is less impressed with him, thinking the CIA would've sent a battalion to investigate a possible ICBM, but they didn't want to step on the toes of connected businessman Takeshi Amari. Steve explains he can investigate, claim to be a lost tourist if discovered, and was chock-full of bionics that could do a lot. Niko remains skeptical.
On Ansa Island, the two quickly find the missile, and the KGB had just arrived with a nuclear payload. ("Bionic eye," Steve explains.) Steve is able to throw around the guards easily enough, but one in a devil mask and sharp suit recovers, gets back in the fight, and severs one of Steve's legs! And he didn't come alone... 

As the price sticker indicates, I pulled this out of my local shop's dollar bins; but I thought I might have read it before? I checked my Humble Bundle library and it wasn't in there; so maybe I'm wrong, or have another copy of this somewhere. Might have to find the rest now!
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Friday, August 19, 2022

This was a bad issue for follow-up. Adam's lucky he was rescued, that could've lingered like a Claremont subplot...

And we'll take a moment to check out the rest of 1980's World's Finest #262, starting with "Siren of the Sargasso" Written by Bob Rozakis, pencils by Don Newton, inks by Dan Adkins. A senator goes overboard on a fishing trip, and Congresswoman (Barbara!) Gordon asks Batman to ask Aquaman to look for him. Said senator had taken a dive after a blonde vision, which was Atlena of Atlantis--the pre-sunk version! This also doesn't go into the "blondes are evil" that a lot of DC's aqua-stories get hung up on; but she had tried to save her people by opening a hole to another Phantom Zone-like dimension, which not only didn't work but still sucked people in now and then. With Mera, Aqualad, and a pod of whales, Aquaman manages to tow out a few refugees before the dimensional rift seals up again, and they have to wait for it to re-open to save the rest. They may still be waiting!
Perhaps not waiting as long, "The Ghost of Adam Strange" visits Hawkman: archaeologist Adam is inexplicably bored visiting ruins on Rann with his wife Alanna, and an idle wish to be back on earth is granted by a legendary "id-beast," which could kill him. Trapped in a ghostly form, a medium is able to put Adam's consciousness in Hawkman; then Shayera and Red Tornado help bring Adam back with the JLA transporter. Next month appeared to be Adam recounting recent events on Rann, which sounds like a try-out to replace Hawkman! (Story by J. M. DeMatteis, pencils by Ken Landgraf, inks by Armando Gil.)
Finally, another nice-looking Don Newton story: Captain Marvel, in "The Captain Marvel of 7,000 B.C." (Story by E.Nelson Bridwell, inks by Dave Hunt.) Billy Batson is visited by the Champion from before recorded history, who gained powers from the magic word "Vlarem" and a different roster of gods. Together they thump the various Sins, and set the Rock of Eternity in place: the Champion is the young wizard Shazam, who was the Champion for like 30 centuries before everyone forget those gods. Not bad! Read more!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

"The Savage Sword of Solarr!" has a ring to it...ooh, maybe not.

I don't usually blog comics that are this recent, but this one does attempt to correct a most egregious error. That and I may be coming around on the whole Krakoa thing...from 2022, X-Men '92: House of XCII #3, written by Steve Foxe, art by Salva Espin.
This was the House/Powers of X stuff, except set in the animated X-Men continuity; so not a one-to-one comparison, but this was reading like an accelerated version. This issue was X of Swords, sort of, as longtime X-antagonist Arkon challenges Apocalypse and the mutants of Krakoa, with Arakko as the stakes. Apocalypse gathers Krakoa's mightiest; mostly X-Men from the series, plus Archangel, Psylocke, Shatterstar, the Silver Samurai, Nightcrawler, and--Solarr!? He's a deep cut, an old Captain America villain, killed off in Power Man & Iron Fist #113; but he had made an appearance in the X-Men cartoon! He's also there strictly to be jobbed; as Arkon has cheated and brought in ringers, including Apocalypse's old Horsemen, Sauron, Erik the Red, Juggernaut, Arcade, and Ms. Marvel! Apocalypse had known Solarr wasn't going to cut it, as it were; but it was a strategic move: sacrifice him, to show the rest not to hold back.
Nightcrawler doesn't get to do a whole bunch (except almost get friendly-fired by Storm!) but at least he's off the bench, since he wasn't tagged in for the regular X of Swords. Deadpool also makes a snarky cameo, piloting an animatronic Brood and wanting to get in before the Jubilee reveal. Beast is killed trying to warn the others: if killed on Polemachus, they resurrected weird; and Apocalypse faces the surprised Arkon, who is immeditately decapitated by Apocalypse's wife, Genesis. While some stay there, thousands of the Arakkii mutants return to Krakoa; and Silver Samurai, Solarr, and Beast are reborn, but off: Beast very strongly resembles the AoA Dark Beast, and seems to know of Jubilee. Professor X and Magneto suspect earth's governments aren't going to warmly embrace the mutant population doubling, but Magneto suggests maybe they should be done with earth...
There are aspects of the Krakoa era that I could care less about--again, why anyone would consider Apocalypse for the romantic lead is beyond me, and I don't know or much care about Arakko society. But it's an ongoing trainwreck: everything the mutants do has unforeseen--or completely predictable--consequences. The humans of the Marvel universe, who by and large spent literal decades spitting on mutants and laughing at their deaths, are now sore that mutants can come back from the dead and won't share. (I thought they couldn't share; but I doubt that distinction matters much.) Mankind also seems to warmly embrace the Eternals, for standing up to those muties; despite the fact the Eternals have not helped humanity noticeably in centuries? There's been a few points in the Krakoa era where mutantkind makes business or strategic moves, in their best interests, screw "humanity" and their hurt feelings; and I am 100% for it.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Kurt is old school: a proper circus should have sawdust, and elephants, and peanuts; which I'm fairly sure Cirque du Soleil doesn't. And shame on me for forgetting, and forgetting if I mentioned it before, he also has one of the old Blackbirds, which Storm gave him in his last solo series. Of course, he also seems to be able to teleport anywhere now, but whatever.

What Moon Knight has going in Mozambique isn't necessarily important; and I know in both the TV show and recent continuity Khonshu has been a god of travelers, or possibly fast travel. I just thought it was a neat way to get Moon Knight and Quasar to interact, and that I could totally see Jake suddenly realizing he needed to be somewhere across the planet in 20 minutes. Moon Knight probably used the card as a communicator at some point--probably in West Coast Avengers, I'd bet. 
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