Monday, April 7, 2014

Malibu Monday: Firearm #4 (Break-Thru Issue)

Before I discuss the comicbook issue I want to rant a bit on computer systems being too intuitive.  Last Friday I mentioned how I went and Goggled covers for my posts.  It is lazy in some ways, but I just see it simpler than moving crap off my scanner and then scanning a cover when someone out on the interwebs has already done it.  So tonight I plan on getting an early start and I Google this issue.  It comes up and I click on "images" and get shown only guns.  Seems old Google shortened my search words to just "Firearm" and I had no comicbook covers.  After multiple attempts to get images of this cover up I gave up and scanned the sucker.  It is just weird what the interwebs does sometimes.

Now this is the only issue of Firearm I currently own.  I bought it because it ties into the Break-Thru event that Malibu had running throughout there titles.  I do know that this book was heavily marketed in-house by the company.  Every issue I have of other Ultraverse titles carry all kinds of advertising promoting this brand.  Still, to be honest I know nothing about the character really.  I gather from the issue he works as a private investigator, has a love of guns, is a tough guy, and hard to kill.  Apparently he is a non-powered character in a world of Ultra-powered characters.

The plot is a carry over from the previous issue where we can gather that the old story stand by of hunting people down for sport is used.  It is the aftermath and our protagonist is looking for some payback and maybe to save his client.  Seems that when you are captured by these Ultra-huntsmen you get served up as the main course of their after hunt banquet.  Kind of creepy.  The internal dialogue confirms our thoughts on the subject.

There is plenty of action and some cool moments in this issue.  The only Brek-Thru moment is the showing of the gal that is lighting up the sky.  That is the total connection.  Pretty cheap in a way.  Imagine you are a completest and you decide you must buy all these books, then you get FIREARM.  No real connection.  This was par for the course back then.  They hoped to snag new readers after they checked a book out.  Still the names James Robinson and Cully Hammer jump off the page of credits.  They are industry standard bearers and here they are in an Ultraverse book.  Reminds us that the big two never did have the monopoly on good stories.

BDS

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flashback Friday: Tomb Raider #18

My secret is revealed with this post.  No, I do not scan every book I write about.  It is tedious and only something I do when I can find no suitable image online.  Besides, the scanner usually has stuff on top that has to be moved.  So I do not own I copy that has Adam Hughes signature on it like the image here.  Instead I just got this issue this week in a bagged group of four comics sold as a random assortment.

It was in issue I did not have in my collection as I started late in reading the series.  This tale is a great stand alone issue.  I really have had a take it or leave it with Dan Jurgens writing for this old Top Cow series.  He was the writer that started out from the beginning and never hooked me so I had the first issue and then fell away for a time.  I must say that this issue was one of the better reads I have with him as Lara's scribe.

This is a basic "day in the life of" story.  I photo-journalist that has written negatively in the past about "tomb raiders" is tagging along on one of Lara's adventures.  Along the way he keeps trying to get her to use his first name, which she never does.  It foreshadows that Lara has a suspicion that the guy is not honorable, so she never is informal with him.  He turns into a scuzz-ball later and then transforms again literally.  The action is quick and well suited to Ms. Croft.

The death traps are elaborate and there is a mystical side to the tale.  In the end this is a find that will help me complete the series, but is not an outstanding piece of work.  It does what a Tomb Raider book should do and entertain.  There is nothing more to say unless I give all the plot away.

BDS

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday: Faces of Evil Deathstroke #1 (One Shot)

Was not sure I was going to make it tonight with a Flashback Friday.  Been baking cakes and getting ready to raise money for summer camp tomorrow, plus I have felt bad health-wise.  Still, I am making it.  I decided to discuss Slade Wilson this Friday.  He has always been linked in the past with the Teen Titans.  In his regular New 52 appearances i believe he has gotten to that point.  Not sure about all that as I will buy his book and the Teen Titans in trade form as I have cash to do so.  This One Shot combines the Titans and Slade with a ploy DC used to push the Final Crisis before it happened.  Evil was going to win and we needed a refresher course and a new beginning for many of the DC baddies.  Or maybe I have that timeline wrong, because the events of Final Crisis were occurring around the reason for Slade's incarceration.

Anyway, Slade Wilson is in a coma in Belle Reve Prison.  Geo Force had forced a final showdown and actually succeeded in besting Slade at his on manipulation game.  The result was a sword slicing Wilson's heart in half.  His regeneration abilities enabled him to survive and that allows for this story.  He comes back and then has a dying request as he seems suicidal.  They arrange for a visitor to see him as a last request.  He wants to see his daughter Rose Wilson, Ravager.

Pre-New 52 I really liked the Rose Wilson character.  She was much like Marvel's Wolverine, a clouded and disjointed past, trained as an assassin, could be sinner or saint, was actually trying to be a hero of sorts.  Her variety allowed for a great spectrum of stories.  Here she accepts the invitation, but is not surprised when as she tries to kill her Dad she discovers he is faking.  

A great fight and move by move strategy is shown here.  David Hine really understood these characters and the way the book ends in this section was just outstanding.  Rose was not beaten per se, but Slade definitely won.  He is still cut throat, but now he is going to decide who he kills.  A fresh start.  It would have lead to a creepy new beginning, but the reboot happened and we will never know what might have been.  Still, this is a great stand alone read of two awesome characters.

BDS

#Deathstroke  #SladeWilson  #TeenTitans  #Ravager #RoseWilson  #FlashbackFridays

Monday, March 24, 2014

Malibu Mondays: Hard Case #1

So I am changing up our Mondays here at "Let's Blog Comics" and it starts tonight.  Since I want to fill in some Mantra issues I am starting Malibu Mondays to substitute for Mantra Mondays.  I know I have had problems on the Monday posts and I am working on it.  I give you our first Malibu Monday with HARD CASE #1.

It is 1993 and comics has seen the gluttony of special gimmick covers and really shocking events to push a speculator market.  A new company starts that promises quality over the flash and empty glitter.  Malibu Comics debuts the Ultraverse.  It is a place where those with powers are called Ultras and Hard Case #1 is part of the first group of books to come out.  It is different for the times.

We open to a massacre.  Our cover hero is standing at ground zero for the event that stopped his acting heroically for real.  Tom Hawke was part of a group called The Squad.  This weird thing that kind of looks like an alien from the "Aliens" movies is ripping the group to shreds.  A sacrifice and long leap later we get the tragic news and see the grief of our Hero Hard Case.  

Next we see he has taken to play acting his heroics as a movie star.  You can guess that something happens to draw him back to being a hero, its a comic about a superhero after all.  The hook is gruesome, but is what one might expect in real life.  That is something Malibu wanted to get back to in comics, the relateable feel of the characters.  I liked this start and will try and complete the series.  I started over Labor Day with some Hard Case purchases.

I picked this issue up at a local flea market in a used book sellers booth.  It was just mixed in with some random books.  It was in a sleeve and in nice condition.  I paid the $1 and walked away with this very plan for Malibu Mondays in mind.  I will give you a tip.  Malibu Comics is a great group to hunt for out in the world.  There are many around flea markets and similar events.  Rarely are the prices inflated like these people tend to do with Marvel and DC.  I mean they get a price guide and think there poor condition is worth what a mint sold for, give me a break.  So Malibu can be collected most times for a dollar or less.  These are good books to start with in my opinion.  You can check here for the books and see if any trip your fancy.  

BDS

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tomb Raider #1 Survivor's Guilt

I was able to check out a bookstore that carries comics and other geeky stuff today while on a Greenhouse supply run.  Picked up Tomb Raider #1 from Dark Horse to check out what a favorite writer Gail Simone had done with the title.  Seems that this version comes from a new Tomb Raider video game that places Lara back as a newbie in the relic hunting world.  That is the premise for the new comic.  This works well for Dark Horse.  It gives a fresh view of our gal and separates her from the well known Top Cow version of Ms. Croft.

Top Cow had my interest as the run hit its stride in that series.  The crossovers with The Witchblade and other Top Cow characters was something I followed.  I even got free copies from time to time of the specials as a reviewer.  I liked that version of Lara and really believe that Fiona Avery wrote some of the best Tomb Raider stories ever.  Giving this new comic a retro start will help it attract a new group of readers I hope.  Gail Simone has written a good start for this book.  It does what it needs to do as a new book.

My problem comes from investing $3.50 each month.  I have cut around seven titles from my pull box.  I just can't add this book, as good as it was, to the list.  I will have to wait and try and grab it in trade form later on.  My not adding it should not stop any of you out there from considering this book.  It looks promising and has a strong beginning tale that it is weaving.  It is good to see Lara Croft back in a monthly series.

BDS

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sorry, no Flashback Friday

I had the images ready for a Teen Titans Flashback, but it is Basketball Tournament time and my team pulled off a big win that I watched.  N. C. State beat Syracuse tonight to advance in the ACC Tournament.  It was a competitive game and awesome for this fan that the Wolfpack won.  Added bonus is that the UNC Tarheels lost today.  So, I am going to bed and not even watching the last game because I am tired.  Sugar is a bit higher tonight and I feel drained.

BDS

Monday, March 10, 2014

From the ICU

So I let my diabetes get out of control.  I am in the ICU right now, where I have been since 10:30 PM on Friday.  I basically had too little insulin in my body and the fatty acids inside me were consumed.  Acid built up and my sugar jumped to 519.  I was on an insulin drip until last night.  Was pretty sick.

It derailed my being with my kids for the 30 Hour Famine.  It is awesome though that I have some parents and church members that stepped up and the kids raised some money and learned a bit about doing without.  I do not know exactly how much they raised so far, but from what I gather they have two kids feed and looked after for one year at least.

I owe some big thank yous when I get out.  The kids and people sent pics and a video that helped me just feel so good about my kids.  Needless to say I went more than 30 hours without eating, so I at least shared the experience.  It is funny how different this has been from the last time I was hospitalized.  It says a great deal that my church family was concerned and showed it.  Enough said about that.

Hope to get out soon.

BDS

P.S.  Out of ICU and in a room now.