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The ’90s Revisited – Action Comics Annual #4

90s_revisited

action_comics_annual_004Living Daylights

Written by: Dan Vado
Pencilled by: Chris Wozniak
Inked by: Karl Altstaetter, Trevor Scott, Karl Kesel, Steve Mitchell
Lettered by: Albert De Guzman
Colored by: Matt Hollingsworth
Assistant Edited by: Dan Thorslan
Edited by: MIke Carlin
Cover Art by: Joe Quesada
Cover Date: 1992
Cover Price: $2.50
Published by: DC Comics

[Note: Apparently I covered this issue once before, back in October 2013. This 2022 post is my current take on the issue.]

Professor Bennet’s daughter Mona is still under Eclipso’s control. Superman and the Justice League plead with him for help but he’s got nothing to offer. Superman decides that the only option left is that he turns himself over to Eclipso in exchange for the citizens of Crater Bay. He leaves without knowing the League’s plans, as that would just tip Eclipso off. While the League prepares for a battle with an eclipsed Superman, the man of steel goes through with his plan and gets himself eclipsed. With the help of Lex Luthor II and Professor Hamilton they get a new solar trap ready…but it’s got to be installed and is on a timer, so Booster/Fire/Ice attempt to keep Eclipso-Superman busy until the "cavalry" arrives. Said cavalry is Captain Marvel, with the power of SHAZAM…Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, The Big Red Cheese, yadda yadda yadda. A number of pages are eaten up with the fighting between Captain Marvel and Eclipsed Superman…amidst their battle, the League attempts to deal with the many eclipsed citizens…and the town winds up burning. Jerry–who we met in Superman Annual #4–meanwhile comes across the solar device and manages to change its timer to go off much sooner. Ultimately, the Crater Bay townsfolk are freed from Eclipso…but the town has been practically destroyed, and Eclipso gets away with Superman’s body.

As much as I wrote summarizing this issue, it’s a very loose summary…you’ll get a lot more out of reading the actual issue.

For me, this is very much a "key issue" that I remember from being a kid and first reading it in the summer of 1992. I’m pretty sure this was my first exposure to Captain Marvel in any "modern" sense…and was definitely one of my earliest exposures to the 1992 incarnation of the Justice League.

The cover is very memorable to me, with an enraged, eclipsed Superman in a chokehold from Captain Marvel and the tagline "The EVIL of ECLIPSO vs. the Power of SHAZAM!" It’s certainly one of my earlier exposures to Joe Quesada’s art.

I recall covering at least one issue of the Lightning Strikes Twice story that ran in Action Comics #826/Adventures of Superman #639/Superman #216 for comiXtreme/csPulp back in 2005 (ahead of the lead-up to Infinite Crisis) and feeling like it retread a bunch of stuff…and citing this particular issue as why it felt like such a retread. (Interesting to me to note that at the time, Lightning Strikes Twice was 13 years removed from Eclipso: The Darkness Within…but LST is now 17 years removed from the present!)

On this read-through I found the story to be fairly basic and simple…though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Superman gives himself up to Eclipso, the League calls in Captain Marvel, and fighting ensues. Despite expectations that the heroes would "win" and get Superman back, they don’t…and we’re left to get more of the story (and resolution) elsewhere.

The art didn’t impress me all that much, though it’s not bad. Superman seems too large at points, but overall characters I should recognize, I do…and no one looks so "off" as to be any great problem or disappointment to me. Passive acceptance of the art rather than any active response on my part.

While the issue isn’t terribly "deep," it’s definitely a "favorite" for me, if only as a bit of nostalgia. Summer 1992 and this Eclipso event were parts of my main "deep dive" into comics, that has more or less lasted for 30+ years now. I can concretely "place" this exact issue as something I definitely read that summer, I have memories of shared time with a friend, discovering comic shops, and other things that have stuck with me long-term.

I remember thinking that Eclipso: The Darkness Within had a much more linear, serialized story, largely based on this issue’s opening feeling like it came directly out of a previous issue released immediately prior. This does feel like a much more "crucial" chapter of the event than say, The Demon Annual #1 or The Flash Annual #5. With this issue, though, I am at about the halfway point of the event, though it’s breezed through 3 of 4 Superman titles of the time. I look forward to getting to the final Superman Annual and the bookend issue of the event that finished things out…but I’m definitely also curious as to how the rest of the Annuals will read. This feels like a late issue, but with half the event yet to go, we’ll see how I take ’em!

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The ’90s Revisited – Flash Annual #5

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flash_annual_005Run-In!

Story: Mark Waid & Craig Boldman
Pencils: Travis Charest
Inks: Dan Davis with Scott Hanna and John Lowe
Letters: Tim Harkins
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Edits: Brian Augustyn
Cover: Charest & Davis
Cover Date: 1992
Cover Price: $2.50
Published by: DC Comics

This issue opens with some context narration from Wally West–the Flash. As he’s out jogging he notices a building that wasn’t there before. On investigation, he finds the Trickster, and winds up ambushed by the Weather Wizard. The rogues escape…and Wally recuperates had his friend Chunk’s place. Chunk, apparently, has a black whole inside himself AND knows Wally is The Flash. Wally helps Chunk with a new device, which pretty much blows up in their faces–a warp effect arced with Chunk’s singularity, but they’re able to get it shut down. Elsewhere…Trickster, Weather Wizard, and Captain Boomerang find themselves summoned by Golden Glider…who ‘borrowed’ Captain Cold’s device to do so. She introduces them to Chillblaine…and ropes them into a plan for a heist…to steal a black diamond! Later, we see each party arrive "early," having designs on getting the treasure without the others’ involvement. Glider kisses the guys, poisoning them…and offers an antidote to whoever brings her the diamond. Flash gets involved–taking the diamond from the rogues, and having the offer extended to him as well. Flash finds himself in some sort of metal boot contraption attached to the globe-thing containing the black diamond. While Flash faces the rogues, it turns out that Glider already got the genuine diamond, and the one being fought for is a fake. Flash gets the boot device off, and he and the rogues soon learn that it’s some sort of explosive. Flash gets rid of it before anyone’s actually blown up. As Glider and Chillblaine rejoin the battle, she begins displaying Eclipso’s likeness and abilities. In the fight…Flash winds up possessed by Eclipso. The rogues slink away.

I’ll be all over the place on this one, I think. First thing, the issue ends with Flash possessed, AND a note of "End!". There’s no "To Be Continued in…" nor any blurb for where to go from here for this event. After the first few chapters directed the reader onward…this is the second annual to not do that, after The Demon. THAT one seemed tangential enough to be self-contained with no such direct continuation or follow-up…but it’s not quite the same for The Flash!

This came out in 1992…still RELATIVELY early in Wally’s career as The Flash. I’d forgotten about the whole "eating thing" for him keeping up his energy because of his speed-metabolism. And his lack of confidence and trying to measure up to Barry…stuff like that.

I liked that this felt mostly self-contained…being (re) introduced to Wally/The Flash; meeting some rogues, learning about them, seeing their interaction with Wally and each other…I actually mostly forgot that I was reading an "Eclipso issue"–other than "a black diamond" being referenced for a heist, there was nothing about Eclipso here. No Bruce Gordon showing up, no "eclipsed Starman" or other shapeshifter; no Eclipso himself monologuing his plans to obtain Flash, etc.

For the first 46 or so pages.

Glider’s got the black diamond, though, and winds up possessed by Eclipso briefly…but long enough to provoke Wally and eventually get HIM. Over 2/3 of an issue and it’s relatively routine-ish seeming stuff for Flash, in a Flash comic…and then some obligatory Eclipso action and an ending.

Except having the hero possessed at the end doesn’t seem like a proper ENDING…though it does seem an interesting "cliffhanger." So I’m a bit baffled at there not being any notes of where to pick up…even if it’d be to the very end with the 2nd bookend issue of the event.

Visually this felt like a strong issue.  I’m not sure if this is the "regular" art team for the Flash title at the time…but the work is quite good here and certainly fits the snippets I remember for early-Wally-Flash, and I’d be more than willing to read further work with this entire creative team.

Other than my repetitive noting of there not being any "To Be Continued" note, this is a solid, fun issue that gives a good taste of Flash stuff, includes some Eclipso for "theme," and actually has me thinking about–and curiosity up about–the main Flash series at the time. That’s a blind spot for me in DC, though…maybe I’ll get to it someday.

There doesn’t seem to REALLY be enough Eclipso here to fully justify it as a part of an event…though it DOES explain how the villain got Flash, assuming that fact comes into play later in the overall event. Instead of just being "told" later that Eclipso got him, this gives the details. Outside of that, this was a fun (of sorts) read, and definitely worth the time TO read, and I’d say quite worth a bargain-bin purchase.

Not the greatest Flash, certainly not the worst…but one of the better Annuals I can think of offhand for sampling the series while serving another event and inspiring interest in the ongoing series!

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The ’90s Revisited: Action Comics #686

90s_revisited

action_comics_0686Who’s Buried in Superman’s Tomb?

Writer: Roger Stern
Artists: Jackson Guice & Denis Rodier
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Glenn Whitmore
Assistant Editor: Jennifer Frank
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Date: February 1993
Cover Price: $1.25
Published by: DC Comics

While literally a bit "dark" in coloring, this is another "recognizable" cover for me…specifically because it is part of this Funeral for a Friend story, with the black border, Supergirl starring in Action Comics, showing her on the cover, with the question "Who’s buried in Superman’s tomb?" The image is presumably the point of view of the empty tomb looking out, and is a memorable cover…even though prior to this re-read, I really could not have specified from memory what actually went down in this issue.

We open on the Guardian dealing with the hijackers of a van, before he’s summoned back to Cadmus by Dubbilex. Meanwhile, Luthor and Happerson discuss Superman’s missing body and Luthor wonders if all of this is some ruse by Superman to catch him unawares–we get slight flashbacks to the "truth" behind our young Luthor here. Luthor meets Supergirl, Turpin, and Maggie Sawyer to investigate the tunnels under the tomb, while Guardian arrives at Cadmus and discovers what Westfield’s been up to. Though appalling, with the argument that they might be able to–for Superman, for Metropolis–at least create some facsimile of the Man of Steel, Guardian hesitantly stands down. Back in the tunnels, Supergirl just manages to save her "crew" when an undetonated charge detonates, flooding the tunnel. Seeing the Superman cultists outside the tomb, they agree to keep the missing body hush-hush for now. And amidst these events, we see Lana and the Kents preparing to leave, and Lana and Lois get a connecting moment.

While–as said–I could not have recounted to you from memory what went down in this issue…having now re-read it, there’s a fair bit that stands out. I do remember that at the time–first time or so I read this–I pretty much totally "missed" the Luthor stuff. I mean, I read it…but I had no context at that point. I missed the entire "Death of Luthor" stuff by a few months and this Lex Luthor II was already present when I came back during the Eclipso stuff, end of Panic in the Sky, etc. in 1992. I also knew next to nothing about Guardian’s background, particularly the present-day status quo…just that he was a character that was "there." Having come to realize–particularly from the Death and Life of Superman novel–stuff seems natural and obvious to me here such that I "know" more than what’s let on.

While the Cadmus stuff is fairly important to the story, I would’ve preferred a lot more "tell, don’t show" on that with much more page space given to Lois, Lana, and the Kents and their relationship.

Visually, this is another great issue…though it did seem to have more double-page splashes than I remembered being in most issues. At least even those have dialogue, though, rather than being multi-page filler that we often seem to get in contemporary comics.

I’m really feeling like Funeral for a Friend is essentially two 4-parters joined as one 8-parter. The first four chapters with the immediate aftermath, moving to the funeral itself and into the heroes gathering to help on Christmas Eve. And then this Cadmus-steals-Superman’s-body stuff. That leaves this as another issue I’m not gushing over, and that I felt a lot more disconnect from, compared to the opening chapters.

As with Adventures of Superman #499…I’d definitely recommend this as part of the "set" of the story, but I definitely would not specifically, singly recommend this as a stand-alone in-a-vacuum issue.

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The ’90s Revisited: Action Comics #685

90s_revisited

action_comics_0685Re: Actions

Writer: Roger Stern
Artists: Jackson Guice, Denis Rodier
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Glenn Whitmore
Assistant: Jennifer Frank
Editor: Mike Carlin
Special Thanks: Tom Grummett & Doug Hazlewood
Cover Date: January 1993
Cover Price: $1.25
Published by: DC Comics

This issue opens with contextualizing…with the front page of the Daily Planet indeed using that ‘photo’ from the cover of Adventures of Superman #498 stating Superman–Dead. Tv news informs the world of the events of the day up to Doomsday’s rampage, and recaps some of Adventures 498 and the eventual official pronunciation of Superman’s death. Meanwhile, Westfield and his Cadmus people try to get the alien bodies–Doomsday AND Superman–but are met with resistance from Maggie Sawyer, Dan Turpin and even the Guardian himself…and eventually, some Team Luthor agents and Luthor himself…and the Mayor, with faxes from the President that Superman was an American and is to be honored as such. We then get a montage of scenes as we jump to a number of people and their reactions to this news and consideration of what it means–from Lois, to Perry and Jimmy, to the Kents and Lana, to others worldwide. We then get a scene with Luthor at the morgue where he loses it, smashing a chair over Doomsday’s body. Another scene shows us the uptick in crime with authorities busy and Superman dead, though Supergirl tries to fill some part of the gap. And we close on Bibbo making it back to the Ace o’ Clubs and closing the bar, and praying for the world Superman’s left behind…lamenting that Superman is gone, but he–Bibbo–goes on living.

This is another issue that had several scenes in it that have stuck with me. The image of the Daily Planet front page definitely is one; as is the Cadmus confrontation having happened, though I didn’t remember all the details. That they were presented with an order from the POTUS that Superman was not to be considered an alien is there; and a lot of the scenes of Lois, the Planet staff, and the Kents have blurred for me over the years, clarified in re-reading this issue in the moment.

Bibbo and his prayer, though, is probably the most memorable part of the issue for me; what I feel like I "know" Action Comics #685 FOR. Because that scene has long stuck out to me and been very moving…and I recall in the past it’s even moved me to tears. Now, it gives me an ‘avatar’ of sorts…replace "Superman" with "Dad" and I could BE Bibbo. I’m pretty sure this scene was also one of the key scenes to really make me appreciate the character, far more than the drunken buffoon that tagged along with Lobo in some issue I’d read a couple years earlier.

Having JUST READ Adventures of Superman 498 and still having THAT issue’s art clearly in recent memory, I’m not AS thrilled with the art on this issue. Which is absolutely not to say that any of this issue’s art is bad…just that it’s not QUITE to the level of Jurgens or Grummett for me, apparently. As with AoS 498, the characters are all totally recognizable and do not feel like some artist’s interpretation of things…just the natural fact of the matter that different artists’ work will look different.

Story-wise I’m certainly "too close" to things to be impartial. Along with the actual Doomsday story, this one I feel like I’m extremely familiar with from multiple re-reads over the years (plus the Death and Life of Superman novel by this issue’s writer Roger Stern!). While many cite The Death of Superman as the main story, my understanding over the years has come to be that THIS is the story–Funeral for a Friend–that the writers wanted to tell, and you needed The Death of to get here so that this COULD be told.

The issue’s cover is iconic in and of itself as this 2nd chapter of Funeral for a Friend…but ALSO because it’s an obvious homage to the cover of Action Comics #1 but with Supergirl instead of Superman. And it’s even quite relevant to the issue itself with a scene playing out in the issue of Supergirl picking up a car and shaking the goons out of it/smashing the car. Something modern comics are sorely lacking in–covers actually relevant to their interior contents.

BECAUSE I’m personally so familiar with the Death/Funeral stories of Superman, and this "era" of the titles and such….this "stands alone" perfectly well for me; all the more being only a day removed from the previous chapter. That said, if you’re unfamiliar with this era of the character(s) you’ll be sure to have some questions or "huh?" moments…but I do think the issue still makes a decent read as a one-off, slice-of-life thing in the immediate aftermath of Superman’s death.

This would definitely be worth getting from a bargain bin, up to cover price or a couple dollars at most…by far not something to pay anything significant for–it has at least 3 printings, has been reprinted in multiple collected editions, and is available digitally as well. But definitely worth getting, and reading.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 25, 2019

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This is an "interesting" week of new comics. A "large" week as well, but not quite the price-shockingly-huge that several the last few months have been.

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We have the new issue of TMNT–#98–leaving us a mere 2 issues from the big #100! Odd in a way to consider that this has been running for about 1/3 the time Spawn has!

The 10th HOX/POX issue this week in Powers of X #5. Just one issue of each mini after this, before the official Dawn of X launch…which I’m struggling with on whether or not I’m going to dive in or not against better judgment.

I normally would not have picked up this The New Mutants: War Children, on principle of "only" being a one-shot, AND for being yet ANOTHER $5 issue. Buuuut…it’s Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. So, something I’d definitely want to support!

Then we’ve got the latest issues of Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Dial H for Hero…all of which I’m (still significantly) behind on reading.

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I’m several issues behind on Criminal…but that’s always a great read when I get around to it.

A $1 reprint of Crisis on Infinite Earths, that I largely got for the cover…I love this piece, and it’s great seeing it on a single issue! And another Marvel facsimile edition…something I also am enjoying supporting. I may not specifically care about every such issue, but seeing it and being able to decide "in the moment" is a welcome thing!

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A comic shop further outside my usual range had a large quantity of King Conan #1 available. I actually drove out specifically because of that, last week…partly for myself, partly for a friend. And then this week they had these other four issues, so I did another trip out. 5 issues, $5…not bad at all!

weeklyhaul_20190925d

They also had these two Batman Day issues the 2nd time (and/or maybe I just didn’t see them the first time), so snagged them. I’m not keen on The Batman Who Laughs, but as a Batman Day thing, it’s an interesting artifact, and I wasn’t sure if it was something from the mini-series or going all the way back to the original event.


All in all, a solid week. Nothing as exciting as a Spawn #300 or such; though TMNT is up there in general. And the 100th issue WILL be a big deal on a number of fronts. One of which will be that it will be the 100th issue of following ANY single series unbroken for 100 issues for me. I’ve taken "breaks" from comics altogether several times over the years, and particular series more often; such that I have NEVER BEFORE followed a single series for 100 issues! (nor any series OF series, as Marvel in particular has become).

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: May 22 to July 3, 2019

weekly_haul_draft

Well…it’s been a looooong time since my last post. I certainly had not PLANNED on being 6 weeks between posts! But here we are! Work and "life" have gotten in the way of late–by the time I’m done with work I’m usually vegging out for the night; and family stuff has gotten in the way with weekends. AND since it’s not like I do this blogging for money or anyone other than myself…for better or worse, it’s one of the first things to fall to the side.

Of course, I’ve had the INTENTION each week of at least doing the Weekly Haul post, so I’ve had photos…so let’s just play catch-up all in one large go for now!


Week of May 22, 2019

This was a surprisingly Marvel-heavy week, with three Marvel issues!

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Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Dial H for Hero from DC.

Then Mr. & Mrs. X from Marvel, along with a True Believers (or rather, Marvel’s Greatest Creators, I guess) reprint of the What If..? issue that debuted Spider-Girl back in the day. And a "Facsimile Edition" of Alpha Flight #1.

Then there’s a single-issue edition of Drawing Blood #1, which is actually already available as a full-size collected edition via a Kickstarter from a couple years ago.

Back Issue has really come onto my radar the last couple years, and I was definitely interested in this issue spotlighting the THIRTIETH-anniversary of Tim Burton‘s Batman!

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We also once again had the full 6-drop of all the DC 100-Page Comic Giant! editions at Walmart…zero pretense of the "new comics every 2 weeks" or however they were billed at first!

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MINUS the Detective Comics 1000 issue, here’s what a shelf of the first 11 months’ worth of these looks like!


Week of May 29, 2019

This was one of THE most expensive smaller weeks in quite awhile for new comics!

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There’s the $5.99 Batman: Last Knight #1; the $9.99 Superman: Leviathan Rising giant-size issue; the $5.99 X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1; 3 issues for $10 on top of the "usual" frustrating $3.99 cover prices.

Said "regular" $3.99 each for the Heroes in Crisis finale; TMNT #94; and TMNT: Urban Legends #13.

Then $4.99 for Doomsday Clock #10 (apparently I was 5 weeks to getting around to actually reading it!) and $4.99 for the Detective Comics Annual.

Quite a price tag for "only" 8 issues!


Week of June 5, 2019

This week’s haul was big for a different reason! For the first time since the 25-cent issue a couple years ago, I bought an issue of The Walking Dead!

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New issues of Batman, of Young Justice, and of Adventures of the Super Sons.

The fifth issue of the current iteration of Criminal (just after I’d caught up on the previous four issues!)

And then, thanks to BleedingCool spoiling it for me, I was able to get a copy of Walking Dead #192. Granted–it was already spoiled for me, and was itself a surprise–I’d TOTALLY figured the ending (also spoiled) of #191 was all HYPE and would not actually go the way it did! Spoiled though it was, I figured I wanted to read it for MYSELF and NOT have to wait for another collected edition.

For the novelty of it–with Peter David and Dale Keown–decided to get Incredible Hulk: Last Call.

Then TMNT: Urban Legends #13 again (different cover…oops!), and Batman/TMNT III #2.


Week of June 12, 2019

And here we have the first issue of Event Leviathan, snagged because I wouldn’t want to have to hunt it down later, but presently "unreadable" until I catch up on my Action Comics reading. THen the new issues of Superman and Supergirl…I dig the covers, and Superman in particular at a glance fooled me a couple times into thinking I was looking at a ’90s comic!

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Then the new Detective Comics issue, Wonder Twins, and GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

I’m continuing to enjoy Spider-Man: Life Story and totally equate it with Superman: Secret Identity. I’m not sure how it’s gonna read in a collected volume, as it REALLY benefits from the gap between issues for its own time jumps. It’s technically a single narrative, but more like a bunch of one-shots; each with a 10-years-older Spider-Man, having progressed from being a teenager in the ’60s, 20-something in the ’70s, 30s in the ’80s, to his 40s here in the ’90s.

And a random True Believers Spider-Man vs. the gray Hulk issue.

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I also had gotten curious about the Flash: Year One story…and finding that all three issues available at the time were…available, I opted to snag them!

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Ordered a couple weeks earlier but arriving the week of June 12th, I got the Rebirth Deluxe Editions of Action Comics vol. 2-3 and Superman 1-4. Along with the vol. 1 of Action Comics and Action Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition that I already had, this gives me basically the complete "Rebirth-era" Superman saga in hardback.

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The Action Comics #1000 volume does not begin to match the trade dress, but then it IS sort of the break-point between these and the Bendis-era stuff. I’d consider going for the Batman and Detective Comics hardcovers…but with all the changes DC‘s been making to stuff, I haven’t a clue how many they’ll do or if later volumes will fit the trade dress or be split, and so on.

I’d gotten the Action Comics volume a couple years ago, and only got these others when I realized 1. they were available for ordering all in one go and 2. they were a "complete" set.


Week of June 19, 2019

I’d bailed on Usagi Yojimbo from Dark Horse when the series tried to switch to renumbering as mini-series to the story arc after having just gotten a couple issues with the intent of jumping on long-term. Getting a new start at IDW actually WARRANTS a new #1 and I’ll give the series another shot, having been aware of it for much of its history and enjoying what I HAVE read of it!

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Along with the premiere of the new Usagi series, yet another issue of Batman. I’m a few issues behind on reading–again–but have more or less been keeping up for 30-some issues now. I’m NOT happy about Tom King being forced off the main title and will likely consciously pass on the series from there–especially with the likelihood of a renumbering being close behind.

I’m enjoying getting the various facsimile editions from Marvel…again showing that I’m more than willing to buy their older stuff and far less keen on the new! I picked up a couple issues of the Marvel MAX Howard the Duck series back in 2001 or so, but otherwise don’t think I’ve actually gotten stuff…so this reprint of the first issue ought to be a good treat to read!

The final issue of Marvels Annotated wraps up the 5-issue (#s 0-4) re-presentation of the 1994 series for its 25th anniversary.

The next issue of TMNT: Urban Legends has us about 2/3 through the series. On a whim, I got Warlord of Mars Attacks for the sheer novelty of the properties’ mash-up.

And though I’ve not been a great fan of Frank Miller OR John Romita Jr., it’s Superman so I grabbed the first issue of Superman: Year One. It’s also notable for being one of the EXTREMELY VERY RARE cases where I consciously opted for the "variant" cover, far preferring it to the generic-seeming regular cover.

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And again here with the next round of the Walmart DC 100-Page Comic Giant!s.

I’m not entirely clear on their future from here…I believe they’re continuing, but no longer Walmart EXCLUSIVE; but not being the most stringent follower of solicitations or Diamond‘s PREVIEWS, I’m not sure if they’re orderable yet through comic shops, if the things will be re-numbering (again), and so on.


Week of June 26, 2019

Getting closer to present, the week of June 26th is only a couple weeks old!

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New Action Comics, new Detective Comics, and new Flash (for Year One).

The newest Spawn–#298–leaves us with just a couple issues til the big #300, which will be quite the sentimental thing for ME (and something I’ll likely cover in another post–perhaps moreso once that issue is out!).

We have the FINAL (ugh!) issue of Mr. & Mrs. X–as the board is cleared for the Hickman re-launch of stuff. Which I may check out against my own better judgment…I have my pre-conceived notions and expectations, but sort of feel I ought to give it a chance and see if I’m still on point with it or not.

And then the latest Dial H for Hero

And after far, far too long–the third/final issue of Batman: Damned.

Finally…for the sheer novelty of it, a very good-condition copy of the black-bagged edition of 1992’s Superman #75 for "only" $10.


Week of July 3, 2019

And lookie-here…we’re finally "current" again! The most recent week of new comics!

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I was tentatively on-board for Walking Dead #193 to "see what happens next" after the events of #192–PLUS in the month SINCE #192 hit, I managed to catch up completely on reading the series, going all the way back to the immediate aftermath of All-Out War in the early #120s! 70 or so issues read in a month! Of course, I’m floored at it turned out to be the FINAL issue…though I applaud the use of the "fake solicitations" a la Ultraverse (Malibu Comics) back in 1993 when they solicited a couple additional issues of the original Exiles series despite that being a 4-issue series with an ENDING.

As mentioned earlier, I’m stupidly far behind on reading Action Comics, and thus all of the Leviathan stuff…and not being quite sure where this Lois Lane series fits into things, I snagged the first issue. Hopefully I’ll get caught up sooner than later and figure out where things are…I’m NOT all that keen on adding Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to the buys, especially if I’m not likely to get around to reading them until they’d be in collected format anyway!

Then the latest Batman/TMNT III issue; and the final issue of Adventures of the Super Sons.

Another facsimile edition in New Mutants #98. And continuing the ’90s fun…a $2.00 copy of the first print of Superman #75 "newsstand" edition. As with the previous week’s buy of the black bagged edition…got it for the novelty of the thing!

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And since I’ve taken to showing the week’s issue (albeit often un-referenced/mentioned), here’s this week’s Comic Shop News cover, spotlighting the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium coming soon.


And there I’m finally "caught up" again. Amidst all these weeks’ worth of new comics are some toy purchases I may or may not get to showing off, and a game or two, some movies, and some general "real-life" stuff.

But if I get to them, they’ll be their own posts.

And maybe sometime this summer I’ll get back to actually doing some reviews and other TRUE "content" for this blog.

At the least, I’m pretty sure I have an Exiles #4 post pretty much ready to go, and then have to get to Firearm #0, Ultraverse Premiere #0, and the November 1993 Ultraverse ads post to finish that month…and I’d like to get to December 1993’s Break-Thru event before too long. But we’ll see what real life holds in the nearer-than-not future!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 24, 2019

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Last week was a monumental week on a couple of fronts. Comic-wise, not so much. But I’ll get to those momentarily.

Avengers: Endgame premiered, and thanks to a friend scoring early tickets, I got to see a 6pm show of the film Thursday, April 22nd! I haven’t settled on quite the adjectives to use for it, and I really presently have no intention of attempting any formal review of the film.

I found the film to be "fitting," satisfying, well worth seeing, and I definitely enjoyed it. I loved catching various references and callbacks to other/earlier Marvel films, and one particularly key moment of self-identification that flashed back to the first of the Marvel Studios films.

While I lack the words, given the foundation of 21 earlier films, within the context of all those films and having seen them and all that…I’d be hard-pressed NOT to rank it up there with the original Iron Man and Captain America: Civil War. Though just as Infinity War brought back an awe originally found in the first 2012 Avengers, this one definitely surpassed that by far, for me.

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Eventually, I’m going to get caught up on Action Comics again. I’m almost going to have to, if I’m gonna follow the other Leviathan stuff coming in May. That said, there was definitely something to seeing the #1010 next to #1002–two four-digit numbers–with Detective Comics. I’ve yet to play any of the Arkham games…so this Arkham Knight stuff doesn’t hit the high notes for me that it probably does for others. I’m also still not overly keen on this new logo for the title…less so when seen next to the classic, nearly-original 80+ years old Action logo.

Heroes in Crisis #8 reveals stuff…and I was rather "shocked" when I realized that against initial intentions, I’ve kept on with each issue, after thinking I’d leave it for a collected edition if at all. I strongly feel like the title’s event(s) could EASILY have been condensed to 3-4 issues with the "interviews" done as bonus text pieces as backmatter and achieved the same effect in less than half the time/expense of the series as a whole. I’m digging King‘s Batman run…but HiC is far, far more a "miss" for me.

I also need to catch up on my reading for Mr. & Mrs. X…but keep up with the series because it’s Rogue and Gambit, and I’ve quite a bit of relative "history" with the characters going back 26-some years now.

I clearly, consciously remember getting Avengers Forever #1 "off the shelf" back in 1998–nearly 21 years ago. So it was fitting to get it again in this format–for only $1–and the realization that there are several years of high school graduates who were born AFTER the issue originally came out! In 1992/1993 as I was fully getting into comics, 21 years back was 1971/1972…I was closer to to Claremont‘s revamp of the X-Men then, than I am now to getting in post-1991!

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TMNT #93 kicks off City at War and begins the final run-up to #100. Criminal–basically, anything from Brubaker and Phillips–is always a treat. And for the heckuvit, I decided to "try" Ascender #1…though who knows when/if I’ll get to reading the darned thing.

Comic Shop News gives House of X the spotlight…and I’ve got mixed feelings on the thing. I’m curious and interested in something big and "key" with the X-Men…but I am NOT keen on the high-priced single-issues, nor the inevitable waste of space of entire pages with just a couple words on them that are typical to everything from Hickman…to say nothing of generally having a sense of pretentiousness from what I’ve read by the writer. Not so much that the writer is pretentious, but the air of the comics seem that way, as well as what I get from having to "do homework" to "appreciate" the stories. With two concurrent (and I believe, biweekly?) 6 issue-series across 12ish weeks…I’ll possibly check out first issues, but more than likely leave stuff for collected edition(s) if reviews warrant.

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I hit a significant quarter-bin jackpot on Good Friday (likely detailing that in an upcoming post). This past weekend, I found less of particular interest, despite snagging a "grail" (also in the likely-upcoming post). But for $1.75…two Wizard specials ($4.95 apiece cover price, I believe), the "chromium"/fancy covers for Bloodshot #0 and Turok #1 (another $8ish between the two), a Machine Man issue (that I mistook as some sort of 2099 special I’d missed all these years), and oversized Captain America (with stuff about Galactic Storm) and one of the number of variants from 2000’s X-Men #100. Easily $30ish in "value" for $1.75. Far superior value over even one $5 contemporary Marvel issue.


Hard to believe that the next New Comic Book Day will be MAY 2019 already. And it’ll be the first  NCBD post-Avengers Endgame. I wonder how different that may feel.

Or not.

Time’ll tell!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 27, 2019

Last week was both a small week and a HUUUUGE week!

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On the "HUUUUUGE" part, we have the 1000th issue of Detective Comics! My very first issue of the series was #604…which to some reckoning makes this the 396th issue I myself have been around for. (398 if you count the two #0 issues, over 400 if you count whatever other titled out of sequence issues).

Then there’s the latest issue of TMNT: Urban Legends, guest starring some of the Savage Dragon characters. After all, this is the series that was originally published by Image, and I believe instigated at the time by Erik Larsen, creator of the Savage Dragon and associated characters.

And there’s the second issue of the latest iteration of IDW‘s Transformers. Can’t say I’m all that impressed after reading the first two issues. Maybe it’s not bogged down with intricate continuity, but it’s not engaging me all that much.

Next is the latest Action Comics, which I’m sadly a few issues behind on reading. I’m not terribly keen on stuff with this "Leviathan" branching out to a bigger event…overall, I’m just sick and tired OF events!

Which brings us to Heroes in Crisis #7. I’m pretty sure this was supposed to originally BE a 7-issue series. While it obviously, literally has PAGES that prove its length, I feel like there still hasn’t been any significant STORY developments or forward movement. It’s like something that might be better suited for–I don’t know–a "web comic" series or something, with each of these one-page "interview sequences" serving as a "strip," and EVENTUALLY they all get collected into some print edition.

I’ve thrown in with the Wonder Comics line…the latest premiere of which is Dial H For Hero. I’ve never particularly read any iteration of this title before, but do recall having an old ’80s issue, back in the early ’90s in my earliest days being "into" comics significantly.

Where I’d figued the William Gibson Alien3 thing to be four issues, apparently it was 5 issues. Longer story is good…now to find 1-4 and read the whole thing in one sitting! Fitting in a way as the latest Alien thing for me to read. In 1992 or so, it was the novelization of the film that "hooked" me on the franchise, and that’s lasted 27-some years now!

Finally, Mr. & Mrs. X #9…reminding me yet also once more again that I’m far too "behind" on reading, but quite enjoy Rogue & Gambit and so wanted the title. At this point I believe I can catch up on some reading even without locating all my single issues, thanks to Marvel Unlimited.

I have some small hopes of getting a review of Detective 1000 up in the next week or two. In short, it was a nice, thick issue with lots to read, and took me several sittings to get through. I passed on all of the "decades variants," due to the price, primarily. The ’80s and ’90s covers would’ve had me just for nostalgia of the classic "DC bullet" as well as the title logos themselves. But the image on the ’90s cover just wasn’t distinct enough or interesting enough to me. And the Frank Miller image has got to be one of the single UGLIEST cover images of a Batman I have EVER seen!

I’m still trying to locate the Walmart Detective Comics 100-Page Giant issue…and it might be my "breaking point" on those, as I enjoy having EVERY issue. Miss one, break "the streak," and why bother with the others? But I also refuse to pay $15-20+ for a $5 comic…especially with the many Walmarts around here and the frequency at which I’m able to visit said stores.

Though this post is for the March 27, 2019 books…here’s to the first week of April 2019–April 3rd–being a good week of new comics!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 27, 2019

February ends with a rather small-ish comics week…but we have the ending of The Price, the newest Batman/Flash crossover (after 2017’s The Button) as well as the final triple-digit issue of Detective Comics!

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Detective Comics #999 is out…leaving us just a handful of weeks away from the second DC* title to hit the coveted #1000**.

(* you do recall that DC Comics takes its name from this title, right?)

(** albeit with a 52-issue gap for the New 52 run slotted into place)

The Price wraps up, and I feel like the first three chapters of this–in under a month–have covered more ground than Heroes in Crisis itself! And I have got to get my Action Comics issues pulled together and catch up on my reading, with this Leviathan Rising story that apparently spills into a huge special issue and a couple of spin-off titles later this year.

It’s the completist in me that keeps me getting Heroes in Crisis. Plus, wanting to be able to speak of it from experience and not just take issues with it because of clickbait-articles and such at Bleeding Cool. I’m grudgingly interested in where it winds up, and the true fate of Wally, and to see if there’s really anything to the story, as I do feel like so far it’s basically a ton of flashback, random talking, and hardly any PLOT. It’s also been relatively contained…I know several other comics have tied in but I don’t recall seeing any "logoed" issues with the Heroes in Crisis "branding" or ones that take their identity FROM being a tie-in. The Flash/Batman crossover this month seems to be the largest "tie-in" so far, and a Green Arrow issue last year dealing with Roy’s memorial. I may have missed something earlier in The Flash as I opted out on the post-Flash War stuff with the various Forces.

Like Action Comics, I need to get my issues of Die!Die!Die! pulled together and read. Yet another month where I thought I would have gotten to it, and so I get another issue rather than fall behind if a binge-catchup really does it for me. That said…I’m much more willing to buy like this for something from Image than I would be from say, Marvel, on principle.

Finally, I won’t pass up a 25-cent Aspen sampler. Or most any brand-new 25-cent comic, for that matter.

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I posted this photo to Twitter the other day, but with so few new comics, how about an extra photo for this post?

Here’s what all the Walmart DC 100-Page Giant*** issues look like, brought together!

(*** That I’m aware of existing as of end of February, 2019.)

There are also some of the double-the-price-of-100-pagers 80-page specials that I’ve gotten over the past couple years. The Target-exclusive DC Primal Age and more recent Man and Superman issues are not here, though.

Somehow, it’s already the end of February/start of March 2019! Time is flying…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of January 30, 2019

So after a few weeks of doubling up on what could easily be a weekly post, I’m getting to this prior to the following week’s new releases!

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This was a small-ish week of new comics. Detective Comics has a mere 2 more chapters for the current story arc, and then the big 1,000th issue. Action Comics begins a new arc, and this one "headlines" the cover in a way that I feel like I haven’t seen in too long! (Though perhaps I’m just neglecting to remember something from within a few weeks). And while I believe Heroes in Crisis was slated to be 7 issues and got expanded to 9…here I am at 5 issues in and not much has really happened, other than some characters killed off, only a couple of which seem to even have any real effect on anything outside of this title (Flash and Green Arrow due to Wally and Roy).

At "only" (and simultaneously "already at" #9, TMNT: Urban Legends puts us at about the 1/3 mark for this series.

I was only going to get the TMNT issue of the IDW 20/20 stuff, but picked up Jem on a whim, and the nostalgia of the Star Trek: The Next Generation logo here hit me such that I went ahead and grabbed that 20/20 issue. It proved a too-quick read but not horrible–written by Peter David, after all–and I REALLY dug the art!

Finally, missed out on Naomi #1 the previous week, but was able to snag a copy of it this week, to check out. While I’m loathe to add titles to what I’m buying in general, I’m beginning to wonder if I might actually enjoy this Wonder Comics imprint. I’m at least seriously considering giving the other #1s a shot. We’ll see what happens!

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Comic Shop News is a staple.

The week also saw the "physical" release of Reign of the Supermen, after it having a theatrical engagement and then a stupid "digital-only" "window" of release such that I honestly nearly forgot it was due out!

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