Monday, October 22, 2012

Been Reading More Than Posting

I have been reading.  I have read through my Kyle Rayner Green Lantern books.  Sat down tonight and made sure all were bagged and in order as I watched the Presidential Debate.  I seem to have some near the end missing from the box.  I have to hunt them down.  I am also in the midst of Trunk Or Treat.

That is where I coordinate the people at Church to come and sit in the parking lot with there vehicle decorated and hand out candy.  It is fun, especially for me because we have nobody coming by the house.  I get to see all the kids in costumes and dress up myself.  I have switched i think to an older costume I did one year.  I found some cardboard tubes and hope to transform them into a pipe organ.

So I might be a bit scarce on here.  I have a long lag time in-between being able to buy books from the shop.  I do have some thoughts on just where DC has been heading and how it might be better than we thought.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday: Marvel Fanfare #8

            I just picked this comic up the other day.  A new store called Five Below has opened in a nearby city and it is what it claims, everything is $5 or below.  This comicbook was part of a bundle that sold for $4 and contained four comics.  I picked up the DCnU Justice League #8 in this bundle.  Some will be given as Trick or Treat treats.  I saved on cover price as this book sold for $1.50 back in 1983.  There must have just been a price increase as the inside cover has a tongue and cheek apology/explanation as to why it was increased.  Better paper seems the main selling point, also the need to pay to get top notch writers and artist.  Whatever, not my concern as it was bought as a back issue.

            The book contains two stories.  The first is a tale of the Master of the Mystic Arts.  It starts out with a man named Jim Mandarin and his love Meredith.  They are a nice couple that seems ordinary enough, even if she is painting Jim as the true Doctor Strange atop a medieval stallion.  Soon Jim is checking out a new book he bought.  He tries to do a spell and thinks nothing happens.  It becomes all too clear that he has succeeded in summoning something and it captures him and they both disappear.

            That is when Meredith heads to find Doctor Strange.  It is interesting seeing her seek out the Sanctum of Dr. Strange.  If her plight was not so serious it would almost be comical.  She does arrive and the adventure begins.  Strange, Meredith and Wong end up drawn into a different dimension where Jim is the servant of an evil force of darkness.  It is even more powerful then Dr. Strange.  Thanks to Meredith the man she loves breaks free of the Darkness and she is able to bring her painting to life.  Dr. Strange combines Jim and himself to make a dual person that can face the Darkness.

            Jim had been turned away by Dr. Strange.  After this battle he begins to reconsider his decision.  All and all this is a nice little story.

            The second story is the beginning of what we all know as The Jungle Book.  Written by Rudyard Kipling and popularized by Disney, this is a familiar tale.  Gil Kane writes and draws the tale.  It really is beautiful.  This covers the initial finding and adoption of Mowgli by the Wolf Pack.  It is cool seeing realistic animals in the roles.  The society they have created is cool as well.  This is a great back-up piece.

A cool bit of art wraps up this comicbook.  It is a Bill Sienkiewicz portfolio that includes the following; Dazzler, Doctor Strange (conjuring a vampire bunny?), Hulk, Shanna the She-Devil, and Thor.  Thor as the goofiest smile on his face and I really dislike that pic.  These are really neat, plus they ran short a few pages so we get this instead.  Still, would have been upset paying full price and having six pages of filler.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Phantom Stranger #0

            The New 52 is a year old now and the new reality is forming.  The Phantom Stranger has always been a character of mystery in the DC Universe.  He is and has been around key moments and is very powerful, yet we are always kept wondering just who and what his purpose is in the cosmos.  The New 52 gives direction to this character.  It is an interesting and bold choice in many ways.  Unlike Marvel, DC has never shied away from writing about and using the Christian God for characterization.  In fact they are very mush a company that has acknowledged Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in their Universes.  Marvel of old acknowledged that many believed in a supreme being, but that its pantheons of gods and goddesses were not connected.  They were only superhuman beings that had been worshiped on Earth.

            Why go into all of this religious talk?  Because the identity of the Phantom Stranger has been revealed.  He is Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of the Son of God.  In the DCnU his is part of what is being termed the Trinity of Sin.  A council of Wizards passed judgment upon him and now he wears the thirty pieces of silver he was paid to betray Jesus as a necklace around his neck.  No mercy was given when he asked for it.  He is returned to the world a Stranger.  Vast powers are his to command.  He wears a robe, a simple robe of cheap cloth.  It is the robe of Jesus.  That is what his cloak is after being reshaped over the centuries.

            So the Phantom Stranger wanders the Earth, forever apart from those around him.  He is told that he will be called upon to aid those that will serve good.  We get to see his first assignment that has been thousands of years in the waiting.  It is the Stranger that aids in the events that lead to the creation of the Spectre.  Not sure if it is the main DCnU Earth, or Earth 2 where this is all happening.  It will be interesting to see which it happens on.  The kicker for the Phantom Stranger is that his help will always require him to betray those he helps.  A constant reminder as to why he wanders the Earth.

            It is a brave twist and I like how they are approaching this Trinity of Sin thing.  I forget who the Question was before, but he is one part of this group and Pandora is the other.  I have a feeling that Captain Marvel will be involved in the overall story.  I hope all the Phantom Stranger issues are as good as this one was to me.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Flashback Friday: Flash #29 (1989)

My comicbook addiction (as my buddy Chris terms our mutual affliction) is all my cousin's fault.  She gave me hand-me-down comics from her son.  I marveled at the Thing and read with vigor the exploits of garishly clad heroes.  This issue of FLASH is one of this books I was given.  Back then I probably thought it was my namesake Barry Allen in the costume.  Really this is a Wally West story.  It also is my very first exposure to The Phantom Lady.

This is the humorous side of comics.  Wally starts the book in a messy room in bed.  It also is how he ends the story.  He uses his JLI tele-transpoter for a bit of a vacation.  He thinks he is in Paris, but really ends up in Lisbon, Portugal.  In a hurry he heads for Casablanca.  Instead of Rick's, Flash ends up at Dick's All American Diner.  It is apparently Spies eat for a discount night.  That is a set up for a great assassination tale.

The villains are Merlyn and Syonide.  Each has a target.  The targets are together.  The Phantom Lady has a little elderly scientist that is defecting.  When you find out what he does and the twist ending involving an Estonian Secret Police Agent you will laugh.  Flash is outstanding as a hero here and just rocks the casaba.

All in all this is a great single issue read.  It provides two outstanding adventurers that have a great adventure.  Wally seems both goofy and smart here.  It is a nice style for a hero.  He exudes the hero we want while staying fun.  That is the best way to leave this Flashback Friday, just saying this is a fun read.