Wednesday, May 31, 2023


I would have to look it up, but was M.A.C.H. 1 still M.A.C.H. 1? And I'm not typing the dots anymore; but I thought he upgraded a few times. I also thought the former Beetle had dated Songbird for a bit, but not an especially long time in the book? Like, shorter than that sort of thing usually runs, but it ended without them hating each other or anything. 

 I also think I'm going to keep harping on this, but the articulation for that Howard the Duck, it could be better. 
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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Is it weird I have as many Hyperion figures as I do Hyperion comics?

It's weird that that's even an option! About a week or so ago, I got the new Marvel Legends Hyperion/Doctor Spectrum two-pack (I wanna say from GameStop, but I couldn't find it on their site just now) and it seemed like a quicker-than-usual turnaround from when that was announced to when I got it. Then, they've since announced Nighthawk and Blur, and this kind of push on the Squadron Supreme almost makes me suspect some kind of announcement is forthcoming: like Hasbro wants to knock through the comic versions now, so they can push the MCU/live-action versions later...
But, we saw the previous issue some time back, and re-reading that maybe I have more issues of this series than these two? Although, brutal honesty time: there's a very good chance the next comic shop you hit, you can probably find cheap copies of the earlier issues of this series. Orders were probably cut back by these two, they'll be more trouble to run down. Or you could get the trade..."Daddy Issues"? Bad Marvel! Bad! From 2016, Hyperion #6, written by Chuck Wendig, art by Nik Virella and Marc Laming, color art by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Wendig writes a very smarmy, full-of-himself Iron Man, here this issue to bring in Hyperion for the death of Namor: in the MCU tradition, Tony has his faceplate open most of the issue as well. I'm not convinced Tony gave a rat's ass for Namor, although he tries to spin it like he had lost a friend: stopping Hyperion may have just been a science project, since he was able to use "sterile neutrinos" like Kryptonite to contain him. That works really well, until Hype's girl Thundra clocks a big honking mace into Tony's chest. Hyperion has bigger fish to fry, though, as the creepy Junior was coming back, with an army, to get the girl called "Doll." It mildly irked him that Junior was somehow still alive, apparently with the ability to reconstitute himself if even one molecule was left; which I thought was an Eternal trick. Hyperion convinces Tony to take Doll and her dog to safety, and has Thundra watch the perimeter to make sure no bad guys get out. Then, after a brief confrontation and bit of moralizing, Hyperion pretty much nukes the bad guys from orbit: although he might look like it and have to live like it, he wasn't human. Killing those guys meant nothing to him, and he tosses Junior to freeze in space for ever.
Tony gets Doll and her dog, now named 'Marc' after Hyperion, set up with a new life. Hyperion continues his trucker life, with Thundra by his side...although, I am not sure where this Hyperion is in continuity now, since there was a bunch of stuff with the Squadron Supreme replacing the Avengers in the timeline. Some of that was kind of good, although I'm fuzzy on how it ended. Read more!

Monday, May 29, 2023

If a raccoon and a tree can get a found-family; so can...whatever Zuckuss and 4-LOM are.

I had their figures when I was a kid, and have their Star Wars Black figures; but could I have told you anything about these two as characters? Um, one's a bug-guy, the other one's a droid; they bounty hunt! Done. From 2021, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters: 4-LOM & Zuckuss #1, "Zuckuss Must Die!" Written by Daniel José Older, art by 座間慧 credited as Kei Zama.
The titular duo are among the upper echelons of bounty hunters in the galaxy, but I think this series was set between Empire and Return, so Boba Fett was still top of the game, and had recently beat them both, even stealing 4-LOM's head to use for something to move his plot forward, I'd assume. A battered Zuckuss drags himself back to his usual hangout--Jega's Music Hall and Petting Zoo? Uh, sure. Zuckuss is dismayed to hear his pal "For-Elloem" was probably disintegrated, but then senses his return--in an upgraded spidery body, there to kill Zuckuss!
The first bounty hunting kill Zuckuss and 4-LOM had pulled as a team, actually got the guy's brother instead: he'd been plotting revenge ever since, and here it was. Zuckuss accepts his fate, since he won't raise arms to a friend, but the rest of the gang from the music hall have his back. Zuckuss guns down the bounty they should've got before, but a damaged and confused 4-LOM escapes into the night. Still, I like the idea that those two weirdos could have a whole Guardians of the Galaxy-style crew form around them; even though I know 4-LOM usually has to take the worst of it, because he can get repaired and put back in the story later the easiest. (The monkey-like Chat seems very Rocket Raccoon-y; he even has a fetish for collecting limbs from victims!) Read more!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Even for a Groo comic, that escalated quickly.

You can see where it's going, sure; but it's still worth the trip! From 1991, Groo the Wanderer #84, "The Puppeteers" Written, drawn, and inked by Sergio Aragonés, co-plot and dialogue by Mark Evanier, colors by Tom Luth, letters by Stan Sakai.
Groo has become addicted to the idiot box--in this case, puppet shows! And he prefers the classic, hit-him-in-the-head shows; not the boring ones with plots or characters. So, a puppeteer crew starts pandering to Groo, the absolute lowest common denominator; which attracts other viewers to see what's so funny. But the puppeteers need funds, which prompts Groo to give the local innskeeper a bit of a shakedown; so the puppeteers smooth over feathers by offering to talk up how great the inn is during their shows. This prompts other local small businesses to approach both puppet crews, buying ad time and making creative suggestions. Before long, they've branched into local "news," like a re-enactment of a murder, and pre-made "puppet dinners" so their audience won't have to stop watching to eat! Arguably, the puppeteers are almost performing a valuable service, in keeping Groo occupied; as a night-shift of assorted shills take over for late-night shows. After getting into political ads, eventually one crew leaves town, having heard there weren't puppet shows in the the market was wide open!
This issue has a dedicated subscription ad, for a somewhat sad occasion: I had to scan this cover for the GCD, since it was the last newsstand issue of the series, and it would only be available at comic shops or subscription going forward. I remember reading the first issues of Epic's Groo on the newsstand, and it feels like something important was just lost, even if few realized at the time. Read more!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

John Williams would have punched that scene up nicely.

Every December it's killing me, as I blog last issues for "the end," since I know I have the last issue of this series somewhere, but it would take Indy to find it! Entirely possible there's creepy-crawlies out there in my garage too, as well as the not-zero chance of something massive coming rolling out at you...Anyway, we're still in that pleasant, half-awake moment before the new Indy film comes out and hopes are still probably higher than they should be, so why not hit this issue: from 1984, the Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #18, "The Search for Abner, chapter 2: The City of Yesterday's Forever!" Written by David Michelinie, pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Vince Colletta, Danny Bulanadi, and Ernie Chan.
And we open in the Himalayans, with Indy and Marion Ravenwood falling to their deaths...! They were searching for a lost city and Marion's lost dad Abner, one of Indy's old teachers. That relationship was ended when Indy and Marion hooked up, since there was a somewhat problematic age difference there. Indy manages to snag their cut rope bridge on a ledge, but Marion isn't able to hold on, and falls; leaving a devastated Indy to push on. He's shortly captured by local guards, who take him to a domed city...K'un Lun? No, but close? The local priest explains not much, but good news: they had rescued Marion, from a bad landing on a lower outcropping. Then things take a creepy turn, of course: the locals were immortal, from the mystic doodad keeping the city warm, but it was immortality with a few drawbacks, as they couldn't go far from the city without horrible pain. Long since bored with eternal life, they were forcing captured outsiders--like Indy and Marion now--to capture yeti-like creatures, who would then be allowed to kill/free an immortal. As often the case, feels like some extra steps in there.
A Nazi expedition had followed Indy and Marion there; and was now fighting the yetis and the locals; while Indy and Marion try to discover if a masked outsider was Abner: they never find out, but they do manage to dynamite the mystic power-source and get out of there. But, returning to Marshall College, new problems await: an artifact Indy recovered in a previous issue has been proclaimed by experts as a fraud, damaging Indy and the museum's reputation, to the point that Marcus Brody has been removed as curator! Well, I guess that qualifies as a cliffhanger ending...maybe not. Read more!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


We haven't seen her use her actual powers around here, but Moonstone was pretty powerful; to the extent that what could divine intervention from Khonshu really do for her? That and I don't think she wants to be too beholden to him for anything: anything Khonshu could give her, he could just as easily take away, and I don't think she's interested in the subscription model of worshipping him. Also, while she's able to manipulate him pretty adeptly, Moonstone probably correctly figures other gods might also be vulnerable to her psychiatric mumbo-jumbo.

Our faux-Moon Knight, Fortnite's Brutus, has wee little feet! A mild challenge in the background there.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

I don't know when this post will go up, we'll see if I'm still mad: I just read a couple issues of Tom King's Danger Street, and I don't say this very often, but to hell with that comic. It features all the characters from 1st Issue Special...because they were all in that; that's about all they have in common. Travis is pretty much unrecognizable: he, the 70's Starman, and Metamorpho are going to use Doctor Fate's summon, then murder, Darkseid? So they can get on the Justice League? What the--?! I tried to be charitable, and just suggest it wasn't for me; but I dislike it much more than that.
To get that taste out of my mouth, back to the classics: from 1981, Warlord #41, "The Pit" Story and pencils by Mike Grell, inks by Bob Smith. 

In scenic Kaambuka, Travis and Shakira have got sucked into the local palace intrigue, with the thief-turned-king Ashir. He's got an arranged marriage coming up that he's not looking forward to, until he gets a gander at the bride: from neighboring Shamballah, Tara! She's attacked by assassins about as soon as she arrives; but while Travis dispatches them soon enough, Tara pretends not to know him. This was their first meeting since the death of their son, so I thought she might be mad at him, but this wasn't that, nor did she seem bent out of shape by the introduction of Travis's new "constant companion," Shakira! Who takes Ashir aside, then ditches him to chase a mouse; while Travis sneaks up to Tara's chambers, but is seen by a goon. Tara explains, her "council of elders" pushed the marriage on her, since the Theron army was threatening them. (Cue "War on Thera" joke again, even if the spelling changes somewhere there.) Travis thinks he can talk Ashir out of the wedding. Or stab him. Geez, man.
As a cat, Shakira overhears the plot against Ashir, with the unusual appearance of her racing away with a mouse in her mouth; and Tara and Travis are attacked by more assassins. Who aren't very effective, and Travis's Hellfire Sword defends them against a spell, but they get knocked out by a glass full of "the black lotus!" which has been putting fantasy characters under for years. The head bad guy has them hung over the titular pit, which has an orange blobby thing in it; which seems like a creepy thing for Ashir to have in his basement but maybe it came with the place? While the bad guy tries to talk the nobles into joining him, Shakira has brought Ashir, who puts an arrow in his head. Ashir realizes Tara was Travis's...wife? Girl? Steady? It's not handled well: they talk about Tara like she was Travis's property, like a horse; she clocks them both and they had it coming. Fuming, she tells Travis now she "must be won!" Travis resolves to do just that, which involves more stabbing and less flowers than you'd expect, in the next issue.
Also this issue: another "Wizard World" strip with Machiste and Mariah, "The Book of the Dead, part 2" Story and art by Mike Grell, inks by Vince Colletta. This does include a creepy little Gollum-type, who would upgrade himself to the Evil One later. Trying to think of a name for it, when self-improvement is purely for evil...
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Monday, May 22, 2023

He already thought he was a demon once, it wouldn't take much to convince him he was dead.

Even though it's not inside this issue, I swear there was a house ad with the cover for this one; but I hadn't read it until just now! From 1982, Thor #325, "A Deal with Darkoth" Written by Doug Moench, pencils by Alan Kupperberg, inks by Jim Mooney.
Darkoth wasn't even a bad guy, but does fall into the familiar villain trope of seemingly dying, a lot: he was apparently killed in Fantastic Four #194, but instead had been grabbed by Mephisto, who wants to use him against that goody-goody Thor: they had fought recently in Thor #310, and Mephisto didn't think he could get better than a stalemate directly. But, Darkoth had been test pilot Desmond Pitt, an old friend of Ben Grimm's; who tried and failed to infiltrate Dr. Doom's intelligence operation against NASA. Doom had taken Pitt, ruined his name, faked his death, made him a rather baroque cyborg, convinced him he was actually a demon, but abandoned Darkoth when he turned on him. Darkoth may or may not have been "dead" at this point: Mephisto might just be lying, about giving him enough life for this chance to kill Dr. Blake and be reunited with his son.
Refusing to murder Blake or Thor, Darkoth is eventually turned evil by Mephisto, but Thor manages to free him, at least momentarily. Darkoth begs Thor to kill him, to free him from his half-life slavery, and Thor obliges. Mephisto is furious over the loss of Darkoth's soul; and Thor smites a ton of Mephisto's lackey demons. I feel like Darkoth would've said his son's name as he died; not "my son..." like a Borat bit. Later, Dr. Blake makes arrangements for his new secretary to adopt Desmond's son, so sort of a happy ending? Even though I still think Thor and Darkoth got fooled there; and Darkoth still wasn't dead; he'd turn up in 1991's Excalibur #38.
Also this issue: another "Tales of Asgard," as Loki again steals the golden apples of immortality and the goddess Idunn. I don't think I've read the previous issue (with a fight against perennial punching-bag Graviton) but Loki seems like he thought Big Daddy Odin was maybe cheating on his adopted mom Frigga, and took extreme steps to retaliate, which included giving most of the apples to the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand. Loki maybe realizes his error, but will have a hard time convincing Tyr to come off it...("The Golden Apples of Immortality" Written by Doug Moench, pencils by Alan Kupperberg, inks by Jack Abel.) Read more!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Super behind today, but I've got this going for me, anyway.

The Spokane Toy Show was last Saturday; the day before Mother's Day: I think they even tried to pitch it as "bring mom!" but that seems like traditionally a tough sell. Anyway, instead I went back to Montana, to see my mom, which was fun. Then, this is also the time of year when I start biking more: I'm at 20-30 miles a day; which does eat up a bit of the afternoon. All this means, I'm not sure I've even read anything this week!

I did get a G.I. Joe Tiger Force Outback while in Montana, and a couple more Fortnite figures; but I wanted to get this guy out again:  Dark Voyager is actually one of my favorite figures of the last few years! He's not perfect, but a black-suited astronaut? That's just neat. Still, looking it up: there were other character variations in the Space Explorers set; including a girl Voyager and a orange "Mission Specialist" version; the latter gives real Space: 1999 vibes.
Ah, I had forgotten: Leviathan was a lot of the same mold! I still would've bought others, though; like red or white, like Lego mini-figure astronauts. Why did I give Dark Voyager a smaller version of himself...I don't know. It's not kid-sized; together they look like a really bad ventriloquism act.

Anyway, today I hope to slog my way through work, then maybe bike out to Target and see if they have the Tracksuit Mafia Marvel Legends. That and I may have one or more boxes of nonsense arriving; although the Wal-Mart Star-Lord seems late. We'll maybe get some comics read this weekend. You should too!
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Thursday, May 18, 2023

If Madame Xanadu seems annoyed, so am I: I can't figure out where I read this one before; which means I probably have another copy somewhere. I wonder if I didn't like it then, too. From 1981, Madame Xanadu #1, "Dance for Two Demons" Written by Steve Englehart, art by Marshall Rogers. Slightly-altered cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta.
A junkie breaks into Madame Xanadu's store, but his heart really isn't in it: Xanadu probably doesn't need powers to see right through him, he wants to get clean but can't. Xanadu steers him into rehab, then the next day is visited a young woman from South Dakota, who says her aunt had known a Madame Xanadu...forty years ago! She wanted advice, since she had got into said aunt's old witchcraft stuff after being told not to, and after swiping a spellbook her aunt's house burns down, with her in it. She may want reassurance more than anything, that it was a coincidence and not her fault, but gets really defensive when Xanadu doesn't immediately take her side. Their conversation is interrupted by the return of the junkie, who gave rehab a day--well, a few hours--but that wasn't working, did she have anything else? The junkie and the yokel are immediately smitten with each other, and I wish Xanadu took the old EC tradition and let them hang themselves; they were terrible. But, they keep digging in, dragging the neighborhood into a masked ball that summons Ishtar and Tammuz, which would grant them a foothold in this realm; but Xanadu manages to convince them the real magic was inside themselves. Xanadu isn't as showy as a Strange or a Fate, or even Constantine: she works in a way like God, leaving you to wonder if she really did anything?
Also this issue: "Falling Down to Heaven..." Written by J.M. DeMatteis, art by Brian Bolland. On an alien planet, an alien finds a crashed human, and takes him home to tend to him. His ailing wife hates the humans for the deaths of their children, and thinks her husband should kill him then and there, but probing the human's thoughts, he realizes he hadn't had an easy time of it, either. He had protested the treatment of the aliens, and was left alone to monitor the planet as punishment. This is just a little 7-page number, that wouldn't have been out of place in 2000 AD, but Bolland draws the hell out of it. Read more!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


I remember the cover from a Bullpen Bulletins page, but didn't read Howard the Duck #30 until recently--it was not in the Essential, which is mildly disappointing.
Howard also has an armored/power suit in Contest of Champions, rather than relying on Quack-Fu:
Anyway, I'm going to make an effort for Moonstone's Moon Knight to show up in the next strip, since it's been a bit: I didn't want to stage a fight scene with the New Warriors, but the Guardsmen may be in for it... Read more!