Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I know I've read a couple fairly recent Amazing Spider-Man comics with Mockingbird, but I'm not sure if he ever got around to asking her out, or if their relationship moved past that. And that would get rolled back anyway, so who cares. I'm glad I didn't read Spider-Man regularly for the last ten years, since Peter's probably going to be living in his aunt's basement next issue. Unless Marvel could figure out a way to get him back into high school.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Also featuring Wolverine, Sabretooth, Psylocke, Hercules, Dark Angel, Smith, and this line:

"Last one to the tower is a runny poo!" A line like that, you'd best save for the conclusion. From 1993, Battletide #4, written by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, art by Geoff Senior.

Hmm, I thought it was a two-word title, but it seems Battletide was the preferred usage. This was a four-issue, Marvel UK mini-series; featuring the heroes mentioned dragged into the usual Contest of Champions type gladiatorial combat; but it might've worked better keeping the focus on their leads, Death's Head II and Killpower. The latter had been introduced in Motormouth and was a genetically engineered warrior, but basically had the intellect and maturity of a ten-year-old. So, of course he thinks Death's Head II is about the coolest thing ever, even when the robot is trying to kill him!

As is, the book's thin yet overstuffed: with too many heroes, there really isn't space to flesh out the secondary opponents, or even give everyone something interesting to do. There's a germ of an idea with the champions Megaira and Termagent, who are a couple but also something else. And the titular Battletide, the "demonic embodiment of eternal war," is interesting but not looked at much. It reminded me of something from Grimjack, honestly. Why am I running across so much Marvel UK lately, though...?

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Monday, March 19, 2018

After three years building them up, let's quit the team in the most dickish way possible.

I've mentioned before that I like the idea of the Outsiders, much more than any Outsiders comic I've actually read; but I didn't read the book when it was first on the stands. So I remember ads for this, but hadn't read this last issue: from 1986, Batman and the Outsiders #32, "A New War's Winning!" Written and edited by Mike W. Barr, art by Alan Davis.

The first four-and-a-half pages of this one are recurring bad guys the Masters of Disaster in Markovia, kidnapping a princess on her way to her wedding; but the Outsiders are busy in Gotham, as a mob boss holds a meeting to unite since Batman had been gone for a few days. "Matches" Malone shows up to see if the boss is serious, and verifies the heist of plasma from the hospital; "Matches" of course being a longtime alias of Batman! Signaling the team, the mobsters are wrapped up quickly, and with the mission complete Geo-Storm takes the opportunity to break radio silence, and finds his country has been at war for two days! Moreover, Batman knew!

Batman claims he needed the Outsiders in Gotham, and didn't want to be running all over the world like the Justice League: " busy saving the world, we lose sight of individuals." It kind of reads more like Bats was mad he hadn't got to punch a junkie, mobster, or homicidal clown for a minute and was pitching a fit; as he disbands the team. Halo protests, and a smirking Batman seems to think they were going to cave, but she suggests they stay together themselves, without Batman! Batman leaves in a huff, noting Dick had already quit and Jason probably would someday: "...soldiers come and go, but my war never ends." He does not handle rejection well, does he?

The Outsiders would go on to face Baron Bedlam and the Masters of Disaster in Markovia; but the rest of this issue was a Looker story: formerly "mousy" Lia Briggs was now Looker, who had super-powers but was mostly just thrilled to be staggeringly hot. Her husband Greg was still adjusting, and may have missed his old wife and been uncomfortable with the attention Lia now got, but she showed no interest in the person she used to be. Yeah, I got a feeling Greg is not going to be in this book for too long.
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Friday, March 16, 2018

God Eater, God Slayer, God Butcher; there's kind of a theme.

Demogorge the God-Eater had a better design, and Gorr the God Butcher has a better name, but today we've got Desak, Destroyer of Gods! Or God Slayer. Either or. From 2001, Thor 2001, "When Fall the Gods!" Written by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Al Vey, Karl Kesel, and Scott Hanna.

This issue guest-stars Hercules and Beta Ray Bill, largely so Desak can be built up as a big deal, but Herc's also there since on Olympus, Zeus has a mysterious visitor. It's the mysterious watcher, the Silent One, who I would've thought was just a placeholder for Uatu; but actually was a character older than I am, from Thor #184! And he may not have appeared since, but he was not unlike DC's Pariah, only showing up at times of utter catastrophe. The Silent One shows the guys a destroyed Olympus in the future, and then the origin of Desak, who had been a devout man whose gods failed him, and was given power to get revenge by a mysterious apparition. Desak starts taking out gods, many of whom aren't as benevolent as the Marvel pantheon we're used to.

Off the top of my head, I want to say Jurgen's stint on Thor tried to introduce some new villains, but I'm not sure how many went on to the regular rotation. Desak might've hassled Thor for a few months, but I think that was about it.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Is "Rapido" French? He's no Batroc, but then again, who is...

We glanced at the original Eurohit about four years ago; and that run of Punisher featured both Batroc and the Tarantula, as well as the secondary bad guy that would take the lead here, in "Eurohit '94," Rapido! From, well, 1994, Punisher Annual #7, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, pencils by Andrew Currie and Dougie Braithwaite, inks by Art Nichols, Al Williamson, and Fred Fredericks.

Rapido had survived a couple run-ins with the Punisher, in the first Eurohit, then the Suicide Run crossover, wherein the Punisher blew up an office building full of criminals. While presumably Frank gets out somehow, Rapido also survived, and meets up with Chauffard and the Architect, who were late to the mob boss meeting and thus avoided falling into Frank's trap. Rapido is upgraded with a better Gatling gun arm and targeting glasses, and settles in to doing the Architect's dirty work; like taking out supporting characters Morgan Sinclair, Jack Oonuk, and Outlaw!

Or does he? Rapido is rattled by the seeming return from the dead of his old boss, Snakebite; but he's really being gaslit by the Punisher, who had been working with the others and helped them secretly escape their hits. Sinclair takes out Chauffard and Oonuk the Architect, while Rapido and Punisher duke it out on the tracks, and Rapido is hit by a train and busted up pretty badly. He hopes Frank got run over; no luck there, but the issue ends with him in most of a body cast plotting his revenge...which hasn't happened yet. Rapido has appeared since, but not against the Punisher.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Although I'll use one at my parents', or the bank, or when I find one unattended; I don't have a Keurig. Partially because I think they're wasteful, but mostly because when I drink coffee I'm probably going to drink an entire pot.

Also, we missed our fourth anniversary of space nonsense with Pool n' Kurt!

When I'm damn good and ready! Actually, we may be coming up on someone who has something to say about their trip, and might be able to do something about it.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It's kind of like that movie "Passengers," except with Robin, I guess.

Yeah, I didn't see Passengers, but traditionally in sci-fi, if you don't have faster-than-light warp drive or hyperspace or what-have-you, you either have to sleep out a long space trip in hibernation or cold sleep or something, or you've got the generational ship where the original crew members at launch will be long dead and the journey will be completed by their descendants. Today we have the latter, which is usually depressing, even with the addition of Batman and Robin! From 1996, Robin Annual #5, "The Iron Sky" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Staz Johnson, inks by Rob Leigh.

This, like all the 1996 DC annuals, was the Elseworlds themed Legends of the Dead Earth; all set after earth was gone, but the legends and legacies of its heroes continued. I thought I had read more of these, but this one was new to me last week! In a future Gotham, a lowly farmer girl, Tris, is excited to see the outlaw hero Batman fighting the robot sentinels called Jokers; but she attracts the attention of the Proctors. It's obvious early the society has pretty strict classes; and in being scanned as a troublemaker, Tris becomes an outlaw as well, but she embraces the chance to become her own legend. Still, it's nearly a short one, when she runs into a Proctor gunship; but she's saved by Batman. Who takes Tris to see the truth:

Babies were created by artificial incubation, put to work on the farms when they turn nine, then Logan Run'd when they turn 30. Batman had been a Proctor, but opted out of the "Giving" and learned the truth. "Gotham" had been named after the earth city, but was a "generation ship" that was supposed to take humanity to a new home. That had been the plan, anyway: either the ship was off-course or there was nothing at their destination, and the Proctors either didn't realize or didn't care. But maybe Batman could set the ship on a new course--with a little help.

Batman and Robin fight their way into the Proctors' headquarters, to try and get access to the ship's navigation. (Dixon skips the traditional peasant uprising: they consider it, for about three seconds.) Batman sacrifices himself to get Robin in there, and she manages to get the computers to figure out a new course. And it would only take...another three centuries and change. It's a victory, even if she knows she won't live to see it. In fact, she seems pretty much done with life there, as the next pages show Tris walking into the Giving. (Even though she wouldn't make it to earth, there did seem to be a lot of inequity she could have fought; but may not have had the page count for.) And centuries later, on a beautiful new world, a grandfather tells his bratty grandkids the story, and the legend continues.

That ending was dark for me. Like, if Tris had been gunned down, that would've been more upbeat somehow. I suspect more than a few of these annuals were down endings as well, but I may have to keep an eye out for any that don't look familiar.

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