Friday, April 19, 2024

It's gonna be hilarious when the adaptation of this has more cultural impact than Black Adam.

Like most of DC's books in 2022, this one's got an ad for Black Adam on the cover; but it's maybe getting an adaptation soon: from 2022, Jurassic League #6, cover and script by Daniel Warren Johnson, script and art by Juan Gedeon.
I only picked up a dollar bin copy of the last issue, but yeah, this is pretty much "What If the Justice League were dinosaurs?" and this is the dramatic conclusion, as "Batsaur" has a final face-off with "Jokerzard" before the big confrontation with "Darkyloseid." "Supersaur" sacrifices himself, maybe, to take out Darkyloseid; and Batsaur and the rest of the League learn to work together with the primitive humans; which seems like a point in recent American Godzilla/Kong movies and probably dates back to Mothra or earlier, but always reminds me of the Primal Rage arcade game.
This is fluff, but harmless; unlike Black Adam: I'm pissed at the Rock, for being a candyass and complaining about his endorsement of Biden in 2020. Read more!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wait, Deadman is a publicly known figure? How?...ghost writer?

We saw the Madame X from this event some time back, but I had been looking forward to this one: from 2012, National Comics: Eternity #1, written by Jeff Lemire, art by Cully Hamner and Derec Aucoin.
Confession: Jeff Lemire has never clicked for me. I don't know why--he had a run on (Extraordinary) X-Men, he's had a bunch of books at Dark Horse, ooh, he had a Moon Knight run, that one I know I didn't love. This is a perfectly reasonable updating for Kid Eternity, which really reminded me of the iZombie TV show--which I loved, but the Kid doesn't have the supporting cast to back him up, (This issue did predate that show, though.) Here, the Kid is the survivor of a drive-by shooting, where his father was killed, but that has left him with an unusual power: he can reach into seeming Purgatory, to bring back the spirit of a recently deceased, for 24 hours. The Kid works in the police morgue, and tries to use his powers to solve crimes; despite the fact that he's barely doing his actual job, he keeps seeing a weird guy in the real world and Purgatory, and oh yeah, this recently murdered ghost is kind of a prick.
While the Kid puts together the clues, and keeps his job for another day, the weird guy introduces himself as Mr. Keeper, and tells him he'll have to learn the rules. He can't or won't tell him said rules, that's a rule right there...I already hate him. And, for good measure there's a cliffhanger ending, seemingly setting up the next episode, but this is like a pilot that didn't go to series. Man, Kid Eternity is a hook I want to like, but the Grant Morrison/Duncan Fegredo mini has a massive retcon that breaks the idea of the character, and is a bit too murky for its own good; while Nocenti's version was interesting but I don't think readers were ready for it in 1993. Read more!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

"Tweekend."

We've seen a few panels here and there of actual Darkhawk comics, and I have an actual plotline for him that's been percolating in my skull for some time and I hope to get to someday. He mentions the "Fraternity of Raptors," which I don't have a huge amount of interest in, but the family drama (as seen in Darkhawk #30) has some appeal. One of Chris's little brothers seems super big-hearted, while his other one, in another issue, had a serial killer mentor/replacement father figure! He also seemed like a jerk willing to throw Chris under the bus for all the family's assorted problems. And Chris's mom was a smokeshow! She doesn't look old enough to have a college-age son. 

The other reason Darkhawk is getting written out for a bit, is that I don't think I moved his figure for several strips! I'm glad he got made at all, sure, but he wasn't a figure they went all-out on. No swappable hands or wings.

In more cheerful news, the Crystal Method's "Tweekend" still holds up!
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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Well, a little Maguire is better than none.

This series ran for like two and a half years, but Maguire's name on the cover sold me on this one: from 2013, World's Finest #12, "The Price of Fame" Written by Paul Levitz, pencils by Kevin Maguire, Geraldo Borges, and Robson Rocha; inks by Kevin Maguire, J. P. Mayer, and Wayne Faucher.
I'm not entirely up on my post-New 52 continuity, but I believe this was set in the modern Earth-2, where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman had all apparently died while taking out Darkseid? Pardon me if I'm in error; Huntress does have a line about them landing on that earth; but currently Power Girl was an up-and-coming tech mogul in her secret identity of Karen Starr, with Huntress as her slightly-surly bodyguard. This month, Karen finally gets a meeting with rival/potential partner/maybe love interest Michael Holt, that goes abyssmally wrong when he reveals himself as Desaad! A more hands-on, and handsier, version than usual; but he mentions being in exile there: either unable to return to Apokolips, or maybe not having an Apokolips to return to. Desaad only lets Karen and Helena see his true form, while his bodyguards defend their boss, unaware he was a monster.
Unfortunately, Maguire doesn't do the whole issue; and while Borges and Rocha do a good job, there's a sudden shift to costumes mid-issue, as Huntress beats up some Yakuza types in search of intel. Power Girl isn't thrilled about having to leave a party for that, since after years of being Superman's secret weapon, she dug being famous. But, fame is fleeting, as the press seems to turn on Karen Starr, despite a very cheesecakey Time cover. And things go worse: Karen's Cambridge lab is blown up, drawing the heroines away, for Desaad to Boom Tube in tanks, wiping out her main office, and killing her assistant. Furious, they resolve to go underground, until they can find and end Desaad...which, I think took them a few issues.
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Monday, April 15, 2024

Here it is, your moment of Xen:

I've been meaning to get back to it for several years now, but I haven't sat down and read all of Earth X/Universe X/Paradise X in a while; even as I seemingly, slowly continue to randomly put together more of another run of it. (Got a cheap-but-readable Earth X #0 the other day!) From 2002, Paradise X Special: Xen #1, plot and cover by Alex Ross, plot and script by Jim Krueger, pencils by Steve Yeowell, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz.
I had to double-check a reading order for this, since there were several specials, and I wasn't sure where this fell. Also, I couldn't remember the order of the main series, and I forget there was the Marvels X prequel series from 2020, which seems like something I should be more interested in? But I kind of think it was maybe six issues of "here's where everything goes to crap and there's no stopping it," and I don't feel like getting into that? Anyway, if all of Earth X had proper numbering, prequels notwithstanding, like maybe triangle numbers like the Superman titles used to have; this would be like #41 out of #56? So, pretty deep into it, and yet there are a ton of characters this issue that readers would not have spent a lot of time with previously; as well as a few that had been involved to various degrees for much of the run.
Doctor Strange was back from the presumed dead, and gives a lengthy recap to the Xen team; most of whom openly disagree with their Lord Sunfire about this whole deal: when the Terrigen Mists mutated everyone on earth, public opinion swerved hard on earth's superheroes for their perceived failure to stop it. Strange had devoted himself to trying to figure out what happened, and didn't notice problems closer to home: Clea stabbed his body while he was in his astral form, but she had been turned against Strange by Wong, who had turned to Mephisto, seemingly in frustration over being a servant...and maybe over what his mutation had done to him. Mephisto's aid came with strings, though: the devil couldn't risk Strange's actual death, so Wong was forced into servitude maintaining Strange in a coma-like state, until discovered by Bruce Banner. Clea had been turned, with "unbridled lust" for Loki; and later Thor had banished her to Asgard: Thor and Loki had learned a lot of unpleasant truths about their father Odin, and themselves. Wong was killed by Adam Warlock, after his mutation had been revealed.
Loki and Thor advise the heroes, they can't let Odin find them too quickly; but with Strange and Xen go to Jotenheim; under the assumption that Odin wouldn't keep Clea in the city, since her magic could break the illusion of Asgard. They are set upon by Frost Giants, and Strange ponders why Xen was even a team: they weren't all Japanese, and he knew who Tao was, but didn't know why he wore a mask. The flaming Tora gives a brief origin, telling how Jim Hammond had helped her control her powers. But, this little journey had taken longer than the last few pages had indicated, and back in Japan the ghost of Fin Fang Foom is tearing up the place, while the Stark-created Seven Silver Samurai try to save the world. In Asgard, Odin feels betrayed by Mephisto, who says he's not the devil Odin knew. (Best of my recollection: "Odin" had been a storyteller, given power, to spin Asgard and the other realms besides 'Midgard' into being, setting himself up as the All-Father. Mephisto had a long game in mind; and Thor and Loki were rebelling against the roles Odin had forced them into.) While Xen fights the Warriors Three (who may have always been imaginary, creations of Odin) Tao speaks with Thor, letting him know hey, he's knows what it's like to have a villain for a dad.
Thor is distraught over the deaths of his old comrades, and Loki yells at him: none of them really "died," Odin just moved them around like pieces on a game board. At the world tree Yggdrasil, Strange tries to sense Clea, mentioning he couldn't stand to project his astral form anymore: Clea was with the Warriors Three and Balder...in Hel. Thor and Loki call foul, that Odin was changing the rules. Odin appears to them, Time Bandits-style, a giant, glowy beardy face. Thor falls back into his old role, but Loki resists, and threatens "Pops" that if he could convince Thor that Asgard was a lie, he could convince the other gods, so release Clea or else. Odin obliges, but Clea isn't overjoyed to see Strange: first, she thinks it must be a lie, or a torture, but says she'll "play along" after Strange calls her "wife." And it's brutal: Clea points out, Strange never treated her as his "wife." Strange has to admit that's true, but he's changed...no sale. Odin proclaims, someone had to take Clea's place in Hel: Loki agrees to, but Odin has no intention of letting him "poison" his realm, and takes Thor instead; sending everyone else back to earth, to the middle of the Foom/Samurai fight.
Counter-intuitively, Strange returns the ghost of Fin Fang Foom to its body; giving them the means to kill it finally. Some of Xen are still steamed with Lord Sunfire, and while Clea had supported Strange there, she didn't do it for him. Thor returns to Loki, since their plan had gone perfectly: Thor had freed all the "dead" Asgardians from Hel, even Hela. The returned Asgardians rejoice, while Odin feels his control slipping away... 

Hmm, this ends with a blurb for Paradise X #3; maybe this was issue #40 outta #56? The Foom/Samurai battle could've been a whole special by itself, too. Still, such a dense read; although I'm not positive much of Xen appeared in the rest of the run.
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Friday, April 12, 2024

An odd-shaped little freebie, but a Simonson cover? Nothing wrong with that!

From 2013, AAFES 16th Edition [Thor] #16, "Deep Freeze" Written by William Harms, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Cory Hamscher.
Hmm, the GCD says 'standard dimensions,' but my copy was slightly smaller; as you can see there. This looked like a promo for the US military--there are ads inside for "ShopMyExchange.com." On Christmas Eve, Thor tells Big Daddy Odin he's not going to make it for the festival of Yule dinner, he has to protect earth while his teammates are gone. Still, Jarvis fixes him a solid dinner; which Thor won't get to enjoy as a blizzard hits the city. More than that, it's an attack by Ymir and his Frost Giants! Of varying sizes. Some of them don't seem that big; I blame climate change.
A mom and daughter flee the Frost Giants, and are saved by Jarvis, who takes them on a little tour of the Avengers' Tower. Jarvis eventually holds off the Giants with some leftover Tony Stark gear, until Thor can banish Ymir and the rest back to Jotenheim, which, honestly, might be what they wanted in the first place? I don't know the continuity, but Ymir mentions being imprisoned on earth; and I could see him not loving that. Read more!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

"Pumpkin."

Pumpkins are probably out of season, yet here we are: I pre-ordered Hallow's Eve, since I like the idea of Ben Reilly's girlfriend taking a more active role, especially when Ben is like she says, not himself right now. Then, the other day I stumbled across the other retro-carded figures, and picked up Jack O'Lantern and Spider-Shot. Somewhat surprisingly, it only took me a few minutes to find the 2016 Jack O'Lantern, the old Toy Biz Mad Jack from 2006, and the Fortnite Punk from last year.

Chasm and Hallow's Eve appear in this week's Amazing Spider-Man--probably not especially close to how they are here, but see for yourself!
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