Monday, November 30, 2015

I stacked these on top of my scanner, so no scans today.

Well, they weren't going to fit in my scanner anyway. And, I have yet to start reading any of these. But, Hastings had their used graphic novels for $2.99, and I picked up this little pile. Spider-Man: Am I an Avenger? is probably, oddly, the one I'm most looking forward to reading. I had the 1990's John Byrne/Paul Ryan issues, but haven't read them in a dog's age. Same for some chunks of Avengers: Legion of the Unliving, although it's fun to try and figure out who was or wasn't dead at the time. The 90's Iron Man/War Machine/Force Works crossover Hands of the Mandarin; I know I read the Iron Man issues at the time, maybe picked the Force Works issues out of the quarter bins later, but never read it all in one sitting.

Indestructible Hulk: Gods and Monster is from Mark Waid's all-too-brief Marvel Now run; so this is like three versions ago. (Some of the post-Waid stuff was rough, then the Doc Green stuff, Secret Wars nonsense, and most recently the Amadeus Cho Hulk.) Still, this little hardback has Walt Simonson art for a Thor guest-spot! And Daredevil guest-stars...which I think was reprinted in a DD trade I just bought, but whatever. Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. features the first fall of the spy organization, and perfectly fine Paul Neary art--but goes with a Bill Sienkiewicz cover instead of a Steranko one! I love the Sienkiewicz one, but that almost seems sacrilegious.

Lastly, we have one of Marvel's many, many attempts at making the Inhumans happen: again from the 90's, the Fantastic Four crossover Atlantis Rising. All I know about this one is that there was a "Collector's Preview for the crossover, which even at the time seemed mighty optimistic: FF was not doing well at the time, Namor's book would be cancelled during the crossover with issue #62, and I don't think Fantastic Force has ever sold decent numbers, although Marvel keeps trying. List price was $39.99 for that one, which also seems optimistic.

I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping to boot, although that probably just means I'll buy more stuff between now and then. We'll see...
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

80-Page Thursdays: Vertigo Quarterly CMYK #1!

Give thanks, it's a new 80-Page Thursday entry! From 2014, Vertigo Quarterly CMYK #1 ("Cyan") with stories by Shaun Simon, Amy Chu, Fabio Moon, Robert Rodi, and more; and art by Jock, Ana Koehler, Martin Morazzo, Alitha Martinez, and more.

While Vertigo had in recent years had other 80-page specials named for classic DC series like The Unexpected and Strange Adventures, Cyan was the first of four anthologies featuring stories tied together by a color. In this case, blue. Some of the stories are more tied to, or the art more defined by, blue than others; but that does open up the book to murder mysteries, steampunk activists, and sci-fi drug addicts.

None of the stories rocked my world or anything, but nothing was absolutely terrible either. The lead story, "Serial Artist" was a fun murder story, followed by "918," in which a drug addict doesn't find the destination he intended. "Blue Sundae" has a pair of ice-cream men versus "some sort of demon dog," which is just odd. In "So Blue" an aging pop-star plots against her up-and-coming rival, and in "Much Ado About Nothing" an anti-terrorism codebreaker is present for the accidental unlocking of the universe's numbers.

"Rebolt" is a steampunk anti-coal, anti-corporate story; and "Madame Bluebeard" tells the story of a beard for closeted actors in the fifties who lives up to her nickname. "Once Upon the End of Time..." was a post-apocalyptic love story; and "Breaking News of the Wonders the Future Holds" a short about two artists wondering about vases after their art gallery is closed. That last one is stronger than I make it sound; but the latter half of this book mostly wouldn't be out of place in a classic DC anthology. (Well, the subtext of "Madame Bluebeard" might've been a tough sell, but still.) "Cyan" is a little pretentious of a title, for a batch of shorts, but not unreadable.

I picked up this one, two other new 80-pagers (no points for guessing!) and seven other books; during a "Deal of the Day" sale from Hastings: ninety-nine cents an issue! More like two bucks with shipping, but still. $70-some worth of books for $23 shipped!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I have been tempted, more than once, to buy another bootleg "loose" Deadpool figure from overseas, so I have a "stunt" Pool. A spare that I can swap heads on, maybe take the harness on and off of, and so forth. I don't think that harness is removeable without cutting it off, and I haven't wanted to do that...yet.

Likewise, I had an idea for a practical effect for fire for the last panel, that failed miserably. Suffice to say, Kurt sets Pool on fire, 'kay?
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

With a name like 'Vampre,' you shouldn't be surprised by this turn of events.

Sometimes you buy a comic for the cover, or in this case covers: one from Mike Mignola, and a flip-cover from Gene Colan, for 1995's the Death of Lady Vampre #1, created and written by Bruce Schoengood, pencils by Dave Gutierrez, inks by M.A. Moussa.

This was the origin issue for the Blackout Comics bad girl character, as the titular vampire slaughters a wedding party and forces the groom to 'marry' her. This causes Elizabeth Vampre to recall her wedding day, in 1862, and her wedding night, which I'm features some lingerie that I'm pretty sure was not historically accurate. But her groom is murdered by a female vampire, and Elizabeth is taken to another vampire, Confederate Major Brant; who says she looks like an "Angelique." A priest saves Elizabeth from Brant, but the priest also turns out to be a vampire! The "priest," Baraclaw, used that ruse to get Elizabeth to trust him, so he could turn her into a vampire to replace his lost Angelique. The pair go on slaughtering humans through the Civil War, and Lincoln's assassination was actually Booth trying to kill Baraclaw. Which is kind of a weird place for the issue to end, but there you go.

I don't think Lady Vampre was the breakout character for Blackout, but she would have a few more appearances in the 90's.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Someone's excited about this page...

Um..."fap" of course being a common onomatopoeic representation of bats' wings flapping, and nothing else. Nothing. From 2009, the Outsiders #23, "The Hunt, part 3" Written by Peter J. Tomasi, pencils by Fernando Pasarin, inks by Jay Leisten and Scott Hanna.

Anyway, this issue Katana, Halo and the Creeper are on the trail of Killer Croc, when they run into Man-Bat. For this appearance, Kirk Langstrom had estranged himself from his family to protect them, but was seemingly addicted to being Man-Bat. His wife Francine had been working with the Outsiders, but as Man-Bat he didn't want to go back, and sides with Croc. Croc is eventually captured, but mocks Creeper as a freak, claiming his Jack Ryder persona was going to be submerged until the Creeper was all that's left.

The rest of the Outsiders wait for their friends to come back, since they already have Clayface, but they're surprised by the sudden reappearance of Geo-Force's dead sister, Terra, for the Blackest Night crossover. I forget if this next issue was one where if your comic shop bought a bunch, they got a power ring promo or two. I was also wondering if Katana and the Creeper had really interacted before the New 52 versions, where the Creeper is an evil demon living in Katana's sword and completely excised of fun...

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Well, it's upfront about Fury being an LMD this time...

Huh, I thought this was older: from 2015, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1, "Homesick." Written by Brian Bendis, art by Frank Cho.

Serving a tour with the Guardians, Captain Marvel is feeling a bit homesick; when they run across something unexpected: a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, deep in space! Manned by Nick Fury, and his all-star team including Dum-Dum Dugan, Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Gabe Jones, Jimmy Woo, and...Jessica Drew? Carol recognizes a younger version of her friend, who would go on to become Spider-Woman; which only adds to the mystery. Moreover, this helicarrier has been fighting Skrulls, since the original Kree-Skrull war hit earth; and the Skrulls aren't really around much anymore either: Star-Lord mentions "the whole empire went kablooey druing the Annihilation wave."

The Guardians had suspected the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents of being Skrulls, but the entire helicarrier is full of Life Model Decoys instead, locked in battle against remnant Skrull forces. This is barely a little diversion to most of the Guardians, but for Carol it was weird to see old friends who didn't really recognize her, and is feeling even more homesick at the end of the issue, where Groot gives her a hug. Not a bad little plot this issue, but mostly it's an excuse for Cho to draw S.H.I.E.L.D. as it was in its heyday.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

That's 'wind' like a wind advisory, not 'wind,', unwind, I guess.

There's a wind advisory locally as I write this, but I found a spare copy of this issue the other day, and wind definitely fits: from 1986, Elektra: Assassin #3, "Rough Cut" Written by Frank Miller, art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

The scary-competent Elektra has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D, but the cyborg agent John Garrett remains fixated on her...and feels connected to her as well. Scientists study Elektra, but she's already put the ninja mind whammy on Garrett, who against his will frees her; all part of her plan to get into position for a hit. She also realizes American presidential candidate Ken Wind ("like the air") has become a slave to the master of the Hand, the Beast...

Garrett's the (boorish, incompetent, drunk) face of S.H.I.E.L.D. here, instead of a more familiar character like Fury or Dugan or Quartermain; because it gives Miller and Sienkiewicz more leeway to make a fool out of him. Which Elektra does, planting drugs on Garrett at the airport and stealing his ticket back to America. There's a hint of playfulness as she does it, but Elektra straight owns Garrett, in several senses of the word...

I picked up this spare at a toy show a couple weekends back, along with some Savage Sword of Conan issues from when I was high school. The only toy I bought was a loose Star Wars snowspeeder for the Youngest; partially because I had just dropped a bit on Star Wars Black figures. I do have a full run of Elektra: Assassin though, and highly recommend it.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I don't know if we've seen that happen to Agent Venom in the comics yet: something scaring his symbiote to the point that it won't obey Flash's commands. Nor have we seen this symbiote figure before: it's from the Toy Biz Venom: Along Came a Spider line. That link says he's from 1990, but his foot says 1997; pre-Marvel Legends.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Back when Flash's defining characteristic was "gross."

I mentioned buying the first issue of this mini-series of the racks back in 1991, but only got the second at a recent show: War of the Gods #2, "The Holy Wars" Story and layouts by George Perez, additional layouts by Russell Braun, finishes by Cynthia Martin and Romeo Tanghal.

Even though this is the second issue, it's chapter 13, since each crossover issue counted as a chapter. (We checked out a Hawkworld chapter a bit back.) So I'm more than a little vague what's going on here, but that may also be because some of the titles being crossed over with were in weird places as well. For example, Captain Atom #57 was a tie-in--and that book's final issue, which seems to defeat the purpose of a crossover to drive up sales--but was also a tie-in with Armageddon 2001 #2, and seemed to be indicating the Captain was breaking bad. (Hopefully, we'll check out that issue at the end of the year!) There was a panel where Dove worries about the missing Hawk, who would turn kill her, in the aforementioned Armageddon 2001 #2, although that was a late change and isn't foreshadowed here. Similarly, the Martin-Stein Firestorm (who had been lost in space a year or two prior) had returned; a panel checks in with the Justice Society of America, who had been trapped in Limbo fighting Ragnarok for several years; still another hints at the return of the Metal Men.

The rate I'm going, I'll probably read #4 in 2063. Still, if it's the big finish, there's something to look forward to.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Not...not OK, bro.

Today's my last vacation day for the year (which the exception of the actual holidays) so we'll just take a quick look at two new figures, NECA's Superman: the Movie Christopher Reeve Superman, and Batman '66 Adam West Batman.

So much drama getting these guys! I asked Toys R Us online the other day, and was told my entire state wasn't going to get these figures. I eBay'd a Supes, a package deal with Man of Steel on DVD and like eight bucks shipping; then Hastings was maybe going to be selling them, either online or possibly in store. Then Saturday I find them in my local Toys R Us, easy as pie.

There have been reports of breakage, of quality control problems. I personally didn't have any issues, although I did spring for Toys R Us's replacement plan, which is probably dumb but I was that skittish about it. I feel like Supe's neck could use just a hair more range for him to look up and nail the flying pose, but it's not bad.

This is 7-inch scale, so this figure towers over Mattel's version. He probably won't fit in the Batmobile, so NECA Bats won't replace the older model entirely. Check them out if you see them!

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Friday, November 13, 2015

OK, my fault for coming in late:

This issue reveals a big secret from the start of the series, which would probably mean something, if I'd been reading at the start of the series. From 2011, iZombie #17, "Falling" Written by Chris Roberson, art by Michael Allred.

I picked up two random issues of the comic iZombie at a comic show, since I love the show, that sentence could be clearer, but moving on! Easily my favorite of the current crop of superhero/comic-based shows, but it's also fairly removed from the source material. Surely some of that is for budgetary concerns--talking monkeys and wereterriers probably don't cost out well--but other changes seem less so. Changing the setting from Eugene, OR to Seattle--which is fine by me, since my current home in Washington has been mentioned a few episodes! And changing the lead's name from Gwen Dylan to Olivia 'Liv' Moore...

OK, having come in from the TV version first, I like the name Liv Moore better. So, I'm pretty sure the comic version has its charms, but I was already taken by the show, sorry.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Flipping through an old Quality reprint, Rogue Trooper #29, I saw this ad and was scratching my head as to what the hell that Fantastic Four thing was:

It took me a bit of searching, especially since I thought it might've been a Bill Sienkiewicz cover: he had done a few around that time for some Judge Dredd collections, and that Dazzler: the Movie cover as well. I was way off: it was Marvel Comics Index: Fantastic Four #4, by none other than Steranko!

Anyway, that's what I was thinking about while watching football the other day. Who says it's not a productive use of time?
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Was Dr. Who the first to do the "something's in that spacesuit, not what you think it is?" The VHS cover for Def-Con 4 comes to mind as well; a great cover for a terrible movie.
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