Friday, November 15, 2013

Life gets in the way......

I have a few ideas for posts, just not getting them done.  Tomorrow I am going to try and make some money at an indoor yard sale, so my time has been on getting ready for that as I round up my stuff.  Was going to get part of that done on Wednesday, but someone decided to change my plans (Dad) and it added about 3 hours extra work in the building.

I am also dealing with some depression.  Once I get done with something I feel really drained.  I did go seven straight days walking.  Hope to get back this next week after the rain clears.  Been a great deal on my mind lately as well.  I hope to schedule better in the days ahead and have some post going soon.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Flashback Fridays: The Micronauts #41

Here is an example of an impulse buy from me.  I do not collect Micronauts and paid $1.00 for this issue at the local Antiques store.  The dealer booth I found this comic in has a regular stack that I look through and think "I wish I could get that price for that issue I have."  The key in my decision to buy was one factor, I do collect Doctor Doom appearances.  These are my weakness, the stories are usually cool and interesting.  

One thing that really stands out when you read this comicbook is that you READ this comicbook.  Unlike the issues of comics today this book is filled with text along with the art.  There is something nice about that fact.  It seems lost in today's market.  Maybe a $3 and $4 price would seem less costly if there were more meat in today's books to chew on.

The team of miniature freedom fighters are in trapped exile at this point in there adventures.  Much hardship has befallen them and they appear to have just come from a conflict with the Fantastic Four.  They does lead them to the American based Castle of Dr. Doom in upstate New York.  They are trying to get shrunk back down to the Microverse so they can continue the fight against ruling class of the Microverse.  Hence the traveling to Castle Doom on the word of Ben Grimm (The Thing).

It is in the Castle that they find a miniature town wit scared people.  Freedom Fighters at the core they are ready to confront a small Doctor Doom.  It all comes from a team up that had Phillip Masters (The Puppet Master) end up Mayor and then overthrown by a Doom Robot.  The story is really neat, although it never leads to escape for the Micronauts.  It is still worth the dollar I paid.  Really this book could have been part of my Comicbook Rescue Project.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallow's Eve


I found this somewhere a few years ago in a long box.  Since I was born on October 30th, Halloween is a favorite holiday for me.  I grabbed this special format comic and have loved the tale.  It is similar in style to the old Classics Illustrated books that would turn novels into graphic novels.  This one is about a young boy and girl learning about the lore of their Irish home.

There are ghoulish goblins and ghost of monks and uncles.  Each help weave the tale of the Jack O' Lantern.  It becomes the force for good that locks away an ancient evil that was neither fully dead nor fully alive.  Farmer O' Hain was an evil and greedy man.  When his goblins discover that the pumpkin seeds of the forest mice become gold when toasted, he wants that gold.  The mice folk stay hidden for a while.  As always two youngsters think it all nonsense and end up captured and feared lost.  

A rat named Phillo is the hero of the tale as he has explored the Abbey that O' Hain now haunts and controls.  He hears of the feared Jack whispered and knows that this is what the goblins and O' Hain are scared of most of all.  Sadly, Phillo will meet tragedy as he attempts to save a young girl mouse.  His plan though spawns the defeat of evil and a way to lock it away when the veil between world's is at its weakest.

This is a gorgeous and wonderful read.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mantra Monday: Mantra #19


That explanation by Lukasz in the opening page of issue #19 is all you need to understand what is happening.  I did not give away the identity of Necromantra as the attacker from last issue because it was too god of a surprise.  It also leads into a weird territory about just how Thanasi escaped death on the Godwheel.  Seems the coward fled to the next egg in Eden's womb to hide figuring that her and Lukasz would find a way to survive.  The he just waited for nature to happen and then accelerated the process.  Born a she now without the ability to body hop any more.

I have thought about Marinna a bit over the years of reading this story.  I have come to the conclusion that this really was Thanasi born and not the guy pushing the unborn soul out.  It makes sense when you read this issue as Necromantra takes Eden and little Evie hostage to drain their magic.  The child born from Eden and Lukasz already would have a genetic magical makeup.

Big battle in this issue.  It is sad in so many ways.  The resolution between two friends now turned father and daughter is rough enough, but this fight will see one hero sacrifice to ensure that there is a Mantra.  Pinnacle provides a good counter balance and asks the question at the end that makes one want to cry.  Another cliffhanger and I will not spoil it.

I do not have the next couple of issues.  So not sure what next Monday will bring.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Again

This Friday I am posting, just not any Flashbacks.  I have been sickly with seasonal allergies attacking and trying to become a major cold event.  One positive of part-time employment is when sick you can just rest and let your body get well.  I am a bit down as well.  This time next week I will be two days past turning 41 years old.  When you look at the whole of your life you can see things positive that you have done, but looking at the future you see a bleak and lonely landscape.

The pic I have posted here is of a favorite childhood duo.  I am glad the artist name is visible because I just saw it and saved it to enjoy later.  I wish someone would do a Dynomut and Blue Falcon comic like the Space Ghost origin.  That would be cool.

I do have a Halloween comic to post next week.  It is something I pulled during a ten cent sale at my LCS.  It tells of mice and the reason for the Jack O Lantern.  It is spooky and magical and the art is creepy.  I found it a bit ago and hope to have it up late Wednesday or timed to post on Halloween.

Halloween will be sad this year.  For the first time in a long time I am looking at not being a part of a Trunk or Treat.  I am down about a lot of things and this is one of them.  So much change has happened so fast in terms of work and I just have lost a bit of my mojo.  I see and feel like I am not able to be creative and stuff and I just don't want to be frustrated.  Times when it gets like this I always had my kids to interact with and those opportunities have dwindled and it leaves me empty inside.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Mantra Monday: Mantra #18

This is the all romance edition of Mantra.  Looking at the cover I bet you readers can guess what romance leads to in the end.  We begin with Lukasz and Eden's triumphant return from the Godwheel Mini Series.  They appear in the middle of the lab owned by J. D. Hunt and are surrounded by Aladdin Troopers.  It is a lopsided escape as Eden is still spastic with her magic abilities.  In fact that bugs me a bit.  They kind of make her an airhead.  They escape and are now aware it is New Year's Eve and they get some clothes and a hotel room.  After dancing the night away the two fall into each others arms and fade to black.  Let your imagination guess what they did.

When they wake up they get a shock.  Eden is suddenly very pregnant.  They are frantic and shocked and happy.  Still, they need help.  Luckily Pinnacle (Penny) from last issue survived her death at the hands of Necro Mantra.  She now has her own lab and freedom.  Of course she helps them out and we soon get a strange delivery.  After the little girl is born and named Marinna after Lukasz's long dead wife all seems well.

The problem is that this is a magical pregnancy that went to term in a matter of days.  I am not going to spoil the surprise until the next post.  Let me just say that the old foe is not so dead and gone as we thought.  Big fight coming.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Earth 2 #16

 It has been a rough few weeks for me health-wise and that has curtailed my posting.  I was doing so well for a bit there too.  I did want to give you something to read and decided it was time again to sing the praises of Earth-2.  This to me is one of the bright gems of the DCnU or The New 52.  It has taken old characters with massive histories and retooled them for today.  They feel familiar while also new.  It has been an interesting and fun read so far.

James Robinson finishes his run as of this issue.  Maybe he left because of editorial messing, maybe he just finished his part of the story.  I don't read the gossip sites or news sites anymore, so I don't know and don't care really.  I do care that he has crafted the foundation for a book I hope to enjoy for a long time to come.

Nicola Scott has been a fantastic artist on this title.  She has rocked the look and feel of this alternate Earth and it has been absolutely terrific seeing her diverse ability shine.  I first saw her work on the old Birds Of Prey.  She was good there on that title, but with Earth-2 she was able to bring more to the table.  She as much as Robinson shaped the Earth-2 foundation.  She was called upon to draw romance, war, espionage, magic, apocalyptic destruction, and natural landscapes.  She has proven herself to be one of the best artist working at DC Comics.

We get a big shocker in this issue.  The big bad is victorious, but also killed very violently to give us a new ruler.  The reveal I think will be a fake.  I have an idea on who this really might be, but to even make my guess ruins the shock ending.  I have placed the death of Steppenwolf here.  There is much in this defeat of the One World Army.  

Green Lantern may be dead as well.  I doubt it, but he took a beating to end all beatings.  The wonders all came together and pulled survivors out.  We still have two side stories going.  They don't get time this issue.  There is Hawkgirl and the new Batman on a search and the Barda and Mr. Miracle quest.  Each is just as high octane as this issue.  I am eager to see what the new writer does with the foundation that has been laid.  I also hope Nicola Scott remains on the book.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Godwheel Mini-Series by Malibu Comics

 This is the first of the ultimate plan when there is a completed run of a series.  I want to have all the images link to the posts here on the Blog so there is a quick reference for people.  I decided to start with the Ultraverse Godwheel series.  I will have these series listed on the sidebar area as well.  That is the hope and the goal with things like the Mantra and Mutant X runs.  Sorry for those who have read each post consecutively each day.  If you stumbled upon this post through a search, then enjoy.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Flashback Friday: Godwheel #3

We conclude the week with the end of the Godwheel Mini-Series from Malibu Comics.  As I said, I felt this story was advanced to use as a start to the Marvelication of the Ultraverse.  This is the issue that Thor will at last appear and that all this fighting over the Crucible of Life will conclude.  It is a satisfying end and doesn't let off the accelerator as we speed along to the end.

When we stopped there was one team and one item left on the quest for power.  Lukasz and Warstrike had teamed up to find the Crystal Crown and by doing so stop Argus in his quest to return to ultimate godhood.  It was no surprise to the reader that Necro Mantra would be the one that they would face.  Why they were surprised was funny in a way as they should have realized it would come down to that match up.

The battle is strange and at one point Eden Blake takes control back from Thanasi.  While the romantic angst is playing out Warstrike finds and dons the Crystal Crown.  It activates his pre-cognative abilities and he sees the Earth drowning in blood as people are mutilated around a throne.  Warstrike sees himself on the throne and he is served by Necro Mantra.  This vision melts his mind.  In the end Necro Mantra retrieves the Crystal Crown.

I could bore you with the action, but I will instead hit the high points.  The Crucible of Life is activated.  Pressure stumbles out as we find out she has been replaced by Rune during the Quest.  Boneyard might be dead.  Necro Mantra betrayed Argus.  Argus outsmarts her by using Primevil.  Millions of tiny Lord Pumpkins.  Big old fight.

Rune attacks Necro Mantra and Thanasi flees leaving Eden Blake as Mantra.  Mantra plays a big role as it is her magical interference that brings Thor over.  Of course with Thor rallying the Ultra Heroes the day is won and we get a extra crossover as Loki slips into the Ultraverse unseen.  It is here that I felt maybe new Ultra character would be used if the buyout had never happened.  Maybe even Ogma being returned and the start of an area where secrets of the Ultraverse would be told and the battle between Rex Mundi and The Alternate brought in.

Over all this is a great read.  Having knowledge of the Ultraverse would help, but is not necessary to enjoy.  It is too bad that months from now Marvel will beging a round of lay offs and budget cutting that will destroy the Ultraverse as if Argus had won this battle.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Godwheel #2

This is the bridge issue of this mini series.  I call it that because we are at the point where much must occur to cross into the climax and final confrontation.  Here is where the fight to gain the three items of power begins in earnest.  The items are The Windsword, Roc's Egg, and crystal crown.  In issue #2 here we will see the acquisition of the sword and egg.

I wish I had more knowledge of the characters from the FREEX comic.  I would be more understanding about Feline, Cayman, Flygirl, and especially Pressure who acts very strange according to Cayman.  Not knowing her I would think this Valerie is a smart and knowledgeable woman.  We watch her understand the science on this godyacht and even how to operate these systems at first glance.  Later she seems cold and uncaring.

We also have more distrust of Boneyard.  Knowing him it is clear that they should not trust the guy.  What we have in terms of action is division into teams to retrieve the items and Argus waiting to see where they go and sending his operatives there.  Cayman, Feline, and Pressure go after the Windsword and face off against Primevil.  It is here that we watch Cayman get swallowed and being digested by Primevil.  His teammate Pressure stands there and watches him being killed.  The shock comes as Feline takes the Windsword and chops Primevil's head off and frees Cayman.  Now Cayman looks less like a human crocodile and more like a man that has portions that look like a crocodile.  Feline has bonded with the sword and Pressure seems very unhappy.

The next team is Flygirl and Hardcase.  The ship makes a great new costume for Hardcase and it helps us not have to look at his still messed up appearance after the battle he had in his book with the MN-E thing that is a bane to all the Ultraverse.  Flygirl hits on him and it is used I think to make us sympathetic for her later.  Lord Pumpkin arrives and he fights off both and even "kills" Flygirl.  I do not know for sure if she is dead, but from here own she is no longer with the rest of the group.  Hardcase freezes up seeing her "die" and suffers flashbacks to others he has lost in battle.  Lord Pumpkin attacks and is using the Roc's Egg to finish Hardcase off when Argus brings him back.

For his betrayal Lord Pumpkin gets his pumpkin smashed and all that is left is his candle.  Two objects found, one in the Crucible of Life.  The crucible is what will give power to the one who collects all the items.  All this and the war is explained by the simulation of Ogma as the heroes and Boneyard travel to the Godwheel.  Lots of explanation about the Godwheel and what will happen if Argus succeeds.

Lukaz and Warstrike are the third team and we all know who they will face next issue, right?  Necro Mantra is up and these are two guys that care for Eden Blake who is trapped in the body that Thanasi now controls.  The question is, will Warstrike kill Mantra to stop Necro Mantra?  Will Lukasz let him?  Still so questions left as we go toward the final issue and the climax of the series.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Godwheel #1

So when we last left the series from Malibu Comics known as Godwheel, Necro Mantra had volunteered to kill all the other Ultras and serve Argus.  They flirt some and we have Thanasi show off the Necro Mantra powers and that he can be a better woman than Lukasz.  The magic sort of impresses Argus.  The thing is he needs three to collect the items of power.  So Necro Mantra is given leave to choose her allies.  Of course the first thing she does is pick Lord Pumpkin because every team needs a suit wearing Jack O Lantern.  Then we get the shock of the moment as she blast the Prime husk and gives it life.She names him Primevil.  All looks lost for the frozen heroes as death is to be there fate.

Now comes the fighting.  She Pressure was knocked out and not frozen.  She awakens in the nick of time to blast Argus and that causes him to lose concentration.  We have another free for all until a leader steps forward, Boneyard.  Yes, I was shocked as well.  Being a Mantra collector I figured he would weasel his way to Team Argus, but he decides that the heroes are the team to eventually betray.  This does help get some focus for the group.  Hardcase gets a wicked punch in that floors Argus and the heroes flee.  We also learn that Argus is losing power fast.

So the group is fleeing and really have no clue until Lukasz steps out of the shadows.  The soul of Eden Blake is shown with a relieved face.  Seems Necro Mantra teleported instead of disintegrating Lukasz.  Maybe Eden had a bit to do with that happening.  So the thing is that Lukasz found a ship.  It is alive and it was the Pleasure Space Yacht of Ogma named Zumas.  Poor old Pressure gets tossed and beaten all the time here and even has rocks fall on her before making it to the ship.  They fly off with a computer sim of Ogma telling them the need of finding the relics.  Ogma was the head god of these gods who killed each other.  He also shows us the Godwheel.

Thor has his first cameo as he is not fully shown.  It was cheesy and probably just some Marvel suit wanting a Marvel character in there somehow since Thor is being advertised all over for this series.  Next comes the team ups and the search for the items.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Godwheel #0

Following the last installment of Mantra Monday is the Ultraverse Mini-Series called Godwheel.  It begins as many Ultraverse titles had characters disappear at the end of a story.  More on that in a bit.  I am going to state an opinion I have about this series.  it is purely speculation on my part and I have no idea if it is even close to the truth of the events that surround the story.

My opinion is that Godwheel was not suppose to have happened this quick in the growth of Malibu Comic's Ultraverse.  This is the origins of a comicbook Universe laid bare and a place you could change direction with characters and even jumpstart the Ultraverse with new characters.  I believe that the buyout by Marvel Comics brought this origin tale forward and it then became the way Marvel would try and market their characters through this purchase.

It just feels forced in so many ways.  Like it was rushed.  The reason for speculating that it is the origin of the Ultraverse comes from the pages included in the series that explains out the characters and the Godwheel.  It looks like a blueprint that writers would have had to know the origins, but never tell us until many years down the road.  Near the end when Marvel puts a footprint in the Ultraverse you can easily imagine a different outcome using characters unique and new.

So what was Godwheel?  Basically you have a Supergod who is dying.  He comes home to find it in ruins and the other gods dead and gone.  Three items of power have been scattered across this massive cosmos spinning wheel where vast geography and beings make up a place where power comes from.  This Supergod is named Argus.  He has been followed by the creepy Ultra Rune and a fight between them gives Argus the ability to use the gems that Rune had to see and call forth beings of power to find the items.  He just brings them to this place called Vahdala.

He brings a very beat up Hardcase, Lord Pumpkin, Boneyard, Warstrike, four of the Freex (Feline, Flygirl, Pressure, and Cayman), Prime and Mantra.  The problem is he does not get Prime, but a Prime husk that is frozen to keep it viable.  Mantra is not Mantra as we know from Mantra #17, it is Necro Mantra.  Of course Lukasz in his new male body is brought as well because of him being Mantra.

Basically those with grudges begin beating the stuffing out of each other.  Necro Mantra strikes Lukasz and seems to disintegrate him.  Lord Pumpkin and Boneyard have a history.  Throw in Warstrike being confused by Necro Mantra and you can see that this is a great confusing battle.  It is until Argus freezes them all, except Necro Mantra.  In the end she, the male Thanasi, flirts and schemes her way into his good graces.  She even declares that as a show of loyalty she will kill the rest of the Ultras.

This is a very action packed start to a mini that will redefine the Ultraverse.  As I said, it feels rushed.  Stay tuned for the next issue of Godwheel.


#Ultraverse  #Godwheel  #Mantra

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mantra Mondays: Mantra #17

Welcome back to Mantra.  We take up where we left by looking at issue #17.  It is not strange that things would take a fast pace in the Ultraverse.  In fact I wish there were a way to have DVD type commentary about the stories of certain companies and the comics they produced.  I have mulled it over and think that this story gets made because of the buying and merger of Malibu Comics by Marvel Comics.  See, I think that maybe there was to be a longer build up to what happens in this issue and the mini-series that starts directly at the end of this story. 

We get a great deal of story in this one issue.  Lukasz infiltrates Aladdin's hidden depths to find information that will lead him to freeing his soul and Eden's from the same body.  They have fallen in love and now want to be together, but we still get that old song and dance of Lukasz wanting to be a man again.  It is fun watching Mantra use stealth by way of her powers.

The funeral for Uncle Moe, the nearly dead senior that Mantra trapped Thanasi inside, and it reveals that maybe Thanasi is not gone.  We quickly get to something good.  Lukasz spending time with the kids and we find out it is Christmas time as well.  It is good to have him being a mom and enjoying it.  Plus Eden can enjoy her kids.  Little Evie reminds us that she knows her mommy is Mantra before the two who share one body are off to find J.D. Hunt.

Hunt is one of the Ultraverse's standard villain and Ultra creator.  He made Electrocutie of the Strangers and we see her replacement as Mantra battles Pinnacle (Penny).  She appears as a new bimbo made to order for Hunt, but she is an Ultra and the fight is cool and the magic mixing with science gives us a great outcome.  After Hunt is being mind controlled there is a great scene that does not translate well in comic form of Penny walking Hunt into a wall.

Male body made and it looks like Lukasz and Eden can find happiness.  Enter Thanasi.  A man that is very comfortable taking a female form.  Little back and forth before we have both the newly self named Necro Mantra and Lukasz disappearing.  That is where Godwheel begins.  Many other Ultra books have similar disappearing tales that leads us to this explanation in a way of the origins of the Ultraverse.

The question really needing to be asked is what has happened to Eden Blake?


Friday, September 20, 2013

Not feeling the Flashback Today

I have a few comics that I could throw up as a Flashback Friday, but its been a rough week and I don't feel very creative and would probably be really bland.  I probably will do a Black Panther comic soon as for two years now that has been a keyword in searches.  Be smart to help bring people in I guess.  

If all goes as planned you should see a return of Mantra Mondays this Monday and then the four issues of the Godwheel mini that accompanied Marvel's takeover/buyout of Malibu Comics.  I am at that point in Mantra's book and it would be neat.  

On The Malibu front I have recently increased the Hardcase series by ten issues and the Strangers and Solution are in good standing as well.  I am not sure how far I am going with this collecting of Malibu Comics.  Should I just stay small and go for a few titles or go big and aim for the entire Library of Malibu?

Anyway, I am tired and felt bad all week I am gonna sign off.  Thank you to everyone who reads this silly little Blog of mine.  I appreciate it more than you know.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Demon Knights #23

Ah, The Demon Knights have come to an end.  I must say that overall I enjoyed this book very much.  It had its bumpy period with the Vampire story.  The Vandal Savage torture of Jason Blood also helped meander the tale a bit.  The last arc however sealed the book up with a nice neat bow.  We have that Black Diamond used and resolved as a plot device that never really did anything in this book until now.  Sir Ystin is healed of the vampiric taint and has secured the Holy Grail.  Horsewoman can now walk so DC is making a statement about the handicapped I guess.  Maybe the Internets has blown up with outrage that another redhead got the use of her legs back.  It did make sense in terms of showing the amazing powers of the Holy Grail.

If only Vandal Savage could have been shown in his blown to bits status.  Still, it was a funny bit of story to see him blown up after the Demon Etrigan had faked out a Giant and set his huge gag looking bomb a flame.  It was a slapstick moment as the lit fuse went down.  It all really did show the ability of this early team and as I said wrapped the entire series up in a nice neat bow.

One thought I had was to have a series of Demon Kinights one-shots.  Each would highlight characters like Horsewoman, Ystin, Al Jabar, and Exoristos.  It would be neat to see some of their solo adventures.  I doubt that it will ever come to pass as this book was always a tie to what was happening in the current time of the New 52.  I sense that in some ways these characters will be seen as throw away characters now that the book has ended.  Still, in some future year a writer might dust these heroes off and give us one more ride of the Demon Knights.

Good run, but glad for the drop in one title from my pull box as the wallet is hurting right now after Trinity War.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Flashback Fridays: Action Comics #665

Here is an oddity for you this Flashback Friday.  I bought a four pack of comics at a store called Five Below and had some great mixture of books in there when buying for really only one that I knew I wanted.  This book will probably go into the sale box, but it did give a great story of Lois Lane and her strengths as a character.  It also has a great back-up photo album and remembrances by Ma and Pa Kent.

This must have occurred as the romance that would lead up to the wedding was happening.  We have Clark and Lois supposedly on a date to meet the Kents as a way for Clark to realize Lois might be in trouble.  Seems Lois has gotten a break on a story about stolen military equipment and she makes a decision to jump on a moving truck to follow the story.  It means she never shows for the date.  While we see Lois as the cool reporter it highlights some things that are cool about Clark and his alter-ego Superman.

Clark is able as Supes to read a scribble indention about a person Lois was meeting.  As Clark he interrogates the guy and soon learns what the story is about.  We watch Superman use his powers in interesting ways to find Lois.  He is using heat vision to see the after effects of heat residue.  We watch as he is a CSI unit unto himself.  Of course Lois is eventually out-gunned and out-numbered in the hidden base she has been lead to at the end of the truck ride.  Needless to say that Superman shows up and kicks butt, although Lois stealthily takes the bad guy's gun away when Superman provides a diversion.

This is a cool little story.  The back-up pages are sweet and look at Clark's life through scrapbook pictures.  The talk of the pictures they could not have was endearing as they were shown.  


Thursday, September 12, 2013

If I Had Superpowers..........

I wrote a Google + post not so long ago about sometimes wanting the power of the Spectre to dispense punishment in this chaotic world.  The past few weeks concerning Syria have had me thinking about superheroes in our current world.  It sure looks like the younger Assad has and will be getting away with killing his people in mind boggling numbers.  Many by the use of Chemical and Gaseous weaponry.  There is no one in the world willing the avenge these dead, especially the children that were so brutally killed.  Probably good I have no powers like those I read about.  It would be hard to restrain myself from just killing those responsible in the most painful ways I could imagine.  In reality I just watch as my party bemoans the mistakes of Iraq and goes to the extreme of peace and the Republican Party start their normal isolationists ideas when there is no money to be made.  Russia plays a game with the politics and the rest of the world just watches.  All the while my country has set itself up as the power of all powers in the world and we turn our backs.

Yes, it would be nice to have someone with the power to go in there and strip Syria of all the Chemical weapons and even the conventional.  Every time either side fought around civilians, have a person able to protect those caught in the crossfire.  The question comes on whether you can force peace on anyone.  It just hurts seeing all the bad.

What really stinks is what I saw on the BBC report I watched tonight.  A father in Pakistan threw his One and a half year old daughter into a river to kill her.  He threatened his wife against reporting him, which she did after a week.  He confessed, but it seems the authorities are going to turn away and he will be released.  They are starting to question why the wife didn't report him sooner.  Idiots.  He told her if she had another girl he would kill their first born, the daughter he drowned.  It is part of a standard thing in that part of the world.  Oh how I would torment those men, both the sorry fathers and the officials that are allowing it.  Again, it is good I have no abilities.

All I do have is Hope.  Hope that good people will continue to strive to make this world better.  Hope that world leaders will remember the history that has happened when we ignore this type of atrocity.  Hope that we can be better than the evil seen in this world.  Remember that all it takes for evil to thrive is for good people to stay by and do nothing.


If you would like to help the children impacted by the violence in Syria please follow the link to WorldVision.  They are an organization I have raised money for with my Church Groups in the past and have one of the best records in the world concerning the use of money raised.  Thanks if you do, you are being a hero. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: Fantastic Four #267

Been a hard week coming off of Labor Day and the trip to the Hillsville Flea Market.  I picked up 76 comics and this was one of that lot.  Part of the reason for picking this issue comes from my stupid choice of clicking on a link about the current writers of Batwoman leaving over editorial differences.  The focal point being a possible concern over the topic of marriage between to women in that book.  It got me thinking as I was reading through the pile of comics I bought and I came to FF #267.

I have to think that in 1984 when John Byrne wrote this issue that it was controversial.  It sure blows the term "funny books" away as a way of describing comics.  Whether you like Byrne or not one has to give him props for his run on Fantastic Four.  He did some interesting stuff in his stories and it will always be a memorable run.  I guess I should call SPOILERS before moving on.  This is a very old book, but still it has a an ending that was very emotional and shocking for the time.  I also have placed the last page in this post because of the power of that scene and how it was rendered.

We have a hospital opening with the tops of that day in terms of Radiation Specialists in the Marvel U.  Michael Morbius, the Living Vampire and Blood Specialist, along with Bruce Banner and Walter Langkowski who are the tops in Gamma radiation research and accidental exposure.  They have been asked to oversee the care of a member of the Fantastic Four.  It is a heavy scene and we are going to be given a solo story of Mr. Fantastic very soon.

OK, I rambled enough that any who wish to not know about this issue's secret can be able to leave and not read about it.  It is a pregnant Susan Richards that is facing a difficult birth because of radiation from being trapped in the Negative Zone.  She and the baby are not well and it is a dire circumstance that leads all three of the men consulting to suggest another for Reed to turn to for help.  That man is the criminal Dr. Otto Octavius.  He is another expert in radiation.  So the adventure begins as we watch Reed use his contacts to get Doc Ock released into his custody.  All seems alright at first, but soon the robotic arms and the ever present reminders on billboards of Spider-Man have Ock off his rocker completely. 

The arms escape police custody and seek out the Doc and find him as they attack Reed.  It is a weird battle that is drawn very neatly as the story progresses.  Doc Ock soon is reunited with his arms and then defeated by Reed.  That leads to Mr. Fantastic begging for help as Doc Ock is paranoid and unable to see reason.  It all falls apart.

We are given the shadow of sadness as the tale turns back to the Fantastic Four's family and friends are still at the hospital.  Reed arrives to the news that he is thirty minutes too late.  The baby is gone, miscarriage.

Even today that would cause the Internet to flame up as news spread.  Back then I can only wonder at the letters that Marvel received.  It is a powerful story.  It didn't dumb down anything and I think that is why books like this one stand up to the test of time.  It was not just a tale of "lets kill Sue's baby" but more a look at real life and how even those with power, money, and status cannot stop death when it seeks to take a life.  It is relatable.  As kids grow older they gain the appreciation for the story as a craft that was once just a sad tale of the FF.

It reminds us of what seems lacking in today's comics, especially at Marvel.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ramblings and the West Coast Avengers

 I apologize for missing Mutant X Mondays for the past coupla weeks.  Been just one of those life things.  I was kinda sick feeling last night and really only felt like doing small stuff after running errands earlier in the day.  I didn't even turn the computer on yesterday.  I am noticing people coming to the Blog and I want to say thank you.  Even though comments are not made, it is nice to see that there are page views on a daily basis.  I will try and keep content fresh.  Just know that sometimes life and health will get in the way.

As I have said, I really want to one day have all these collected posts on series runs.  One that now I can add to try and do is the West Coast Avengers, or as later known, the Avengers West Coast.  I love the Avengers in general.  The thing is that there has always been something about the West Coasters that appealed to me.  It has had most of my favorite Avengers on the team at one point or another.  That is a big plus for them.  They also were kinda like a soap opera.  The Avengers had drama, but the adventures were first and foremost.  West Coast had drama and the Adventures were many times tied to that drama.  I liked that I think.

One problem I have had in recent years is buying duplicate issues.  I realize now that I can stop doing that.  I took the box last night and went through adding the one outstanding issue it seemed I needed and have a bunch of issues for the yard sale box.  I own the complete issue run excluding a few Annuals. I didn't realize that until last night as I was sorting through.  It is cool to add another series to the completed list.

This group of Avengers was always the fun group in my opinion.  They had turmoil, but that didn't stop them from having fun.  There were dates and love affairs combined with rivalries and fights.  Redemption was a central point of this group as well.  Disgraced and fallen heroes were brought back to heroic form in this book.  If you want to collect back issues of Avengers but feel overwhelmed at the number of the Original series I suggest you collect this book.  It has 102 issues and is easily accessible in fifty cent and dollar boxes at both Flea Markets and Comic Shops.  As you read you will see some of the great names in the creators list of credits.  This would be a good book to collect a run of for reading enjoyment.  You can also add the short run title Force Works to the collecting as it is what came after the team disbanded in Issue #102.  I have all of those as well.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: The Might Thor #353

Walt Simonson is by far the Master of Thor Comics.  His Art and Story drived this character from epic adventure to the most absurd situations.  One thing he always brought what that EPIC and IMMORTAL feel of Thor and the world he came from.  This issue is proof of that statement.  It is the culmination of a massive tale pulled from the Norse Mythology and crafted with the Marvel Universe as backdrop.  The Demon Lord Surtur has sought to light his Twilight Sword in the Eternal Flame so he can set the Universe ablaze.  It has built over multiple issues.  This tale is not unlike a great symphony with this as the climax of each note and instrument.

I dare say that an issue like this will never be seen again.  The current comicbook creators lack the ability to tell a story like this in an issue.  "The Finale Of The Surtur Saga" is across the book.  It is well and truly finished in these pages.  Today it would take five issues or more just to tell what this lone comic does.  There would not be the dialogue and really probably not be as good.

The action is almost more than the pages can hold.  We have Avengers, Asgardians, and others lead by Beta Ray Bill fighting hordes of Demons on Earth.  Johnny Storm is helping a man try and repair the Cask of Ancient Winters while battling Frost Giants and fairies.  Then there is the Battle Royal with Odin and his sons Thor and Loki battling Surtur in Asgard.  That is a tremendous fight that showcases the powers and skills of each warrior.  This is the ultimate in what Marvel was when it valued story and respected the reader.  This entire Saga is one great read, but the end is also a great stand alone.  Plus, BETA RAY BILL people.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Teaser for Flashback Friday

Here is a peek at tomorrow's 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mutant X Mondays: Mutant X #10 & #11

 I decided to combine this week's edition and give you two issues of Mutant X.  I gave you a tease last issue so as to not really give the cliffhanger away, but as the cover shows it is Magneto and the X-Men that have come home in this alternate dimension.  Magneto is majestic on the last page of issue 9 as he tells us a little boy asked him to come and get his father.  He is no less a force as we see him stand up to the Goblin Queen in the opening pages of issue 10.

She retreats before what appears to be a strong and commanding Magneto.  We learn later that Polaris is propping up his powers with her own.  It is just her and her Dad, Magneto that saved Alex.  This deviates from the 616 Marvel Universe as there Polaris was deemed to not be Magneto's daughter.  Still Alex is faced with the image of the woman from his reality that he loves still and the man that for years he has held as an enemy prepared to take him home to his not really my son Scotty.

Oh if that were the case.  You see the Goblin Queen has now truly been able to combine the demonic life forces within her Sentinels and a light show of that power leads the trio into a trap.  Even a demonic version of the futuristic Sentinel Nimrod appears.  All would seem lost if not for the arrival of the X-Men.  Roll call is as follows; Mystique, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Quicksilver, and rounded out by the already present Polaris.  Soon Havok blasts all foes and they all escape and live to fight another day.  Or just read Issue 11 already and see what happens next.

This is a Scotty Summers issue.  It starts with him watching everyone discussing his Mom and what to do.  Soon we have Bloodstorm abducting him.  I am sure if she had not her vampiric powers Electra would have killed her.  That is one skilled nanny little Scotty has.  In the between pages we get a glimpse of Madelyne Pryor as she seems to be trying to gain the advantage over the Goblin Entity.  It is a neat concept here having this opposite to the Phoenix Force.  It is pure evil and soon we watch it consume Maddie once more, but it strikes a note of foreshadowing.

We watch as Brute comes to see Scotty and because his mind is simple maybe it is why he is the first to fight off the Goblin Queen's mind control.  Soon he is trying to get Scotty free and becomes barbecue under The Fallen's flames.  The Fallen reveals that he is operating under his own mind and tries to kill Scotty.  Iceman and Bloodstorm become clear head long enough to aid Scotty.  The Maddie appears and The Fallen is in for a world of hurt.  That is when the strange happens.  Maddie hugs her boy and sends Brute away with him before we get full Goblin Queen again.  This leads us up to a milestone issue 12 of the series.


How Do You Promote What You Don't Read

I very much have this question in mind of late.  It is something that is causing me to feel like I come off as a "Comicbook Elite" when I talk with someone about Marvel's movies.  I walked completely away from all current Marvel titles around 2007 because of the "One More Day" story in Spider-Man's books.  I thought for a long time that Marvel was going away from character driven stories to a more here is a story and let us make a character we want fit the story way of making comics.  I suffered through Civil War and then watched Spidey betray all Aunt May and Uncle Ben taught him.  I held on to one title, Nova.  That ended as the crossover event driven model began to dominate and Nova was sucked into that as well.  So I stopped reading any current Marvel.

In fact I remember reading and even listening to Joe Quesada say at HeroesCon that if I (readers) didn't like the current stories that there were plenty of back issues we could read.  I took his suggestion.  I now read plenty of DC and have my smaller press companies, but my loyalty to Marvel was broken.  The few people who know me online can attest that this was a big break for me.  Still, it brings me to my current situation.  When people know you are a comicbook collector and love comics they want to discuss the current mainstream stuff with you.  I am having problems saying no I have not seen Wolverine and not becoming Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons in qualifying why I have not seen a movie.

Even though I dislike what and where Marvel is going I do not want their films to tank as Wolverine has in terms of the market for his film compared to the first in his franchise.  I want it to help lead people to the real stories.  If people like that type of story and they start buying books it is good for the industry in my opinion.  So how do I support the industry and not support Marvel?  It is difficult.  The shear size of the behemoth that is Marvel dominates the comicbook pop culture landscape.  So I feel bad when I seem wishy washy on support to really non-comicbook fans who are trying to connect.

There is no real answer.  I just have to try and not dampen the person's interest while relaying that I am not currently reading a bunch of current Marvel.  Be polite and just steer the conversation to what they liked.  That works well.  You do not sound arrogant and along the way you can put little nuggets into the conversation by letting them know which is a long time character and which is a new for the movie character.

As for skipping Flashback Friday, well, nothing jumped out as a book to put up last Friday.  I also had given you posts during the week.  I thought letting the Greg Rucka book stay up a bit longer was better.  I hope to have Mutant Monday up today.  The pic I found and used reminded me of something I did in college.  It was the Wall O' Marvel.  I stuck Marvel trading cards on my wall and had what looked like a giant poster.  It was cool and a nice time consuming project when I was bored.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Greg Rucka's LAZARUS ONE and TWO


One of the best times I had at HeroesCon was listening to Greg Rucka discuss WHITEOUT at a panel.  I sensed some seed of hurt from him in terms of how the mainstream work of the business had dealt with him.  What did show clear was his love of words and crafting a story.  I saw this comic listed after the Con in the back of one of my Witchblade issues.  I failed to remember to have it added to my list and thought I might have missed Issue One.  Luckily both Issues One and Two were available at the shop.

This is really the first time I have gotten into the start of one of Rucka's "Girls" as Forever will now be termed.  I love Queen & Country, especially the novels.  From Batwoman to Perfect Dark Mr. Rucka has a knack for writing strong female leads in his stories.  Forever lives up to that in just two issues of the series.  She also appears to be more than just a human.

The opening to Issue One is very graphic and according to Mr. Rucka the basis for the entire series.  He has a great commentary in the back detailing the journey to this point in the life of this comicbook.  It is all about what our country and the world has and is experiencing.  The future here is one where an even smaller 1% has subjugated the rest of the 99%.  Families own portions of the world and each has their own fiefdoms that provides for a few who do the work while the rest of humanity is known as the "Waste."  Some will say that it could never happen.  To those I say pick up a newspaper and just read every day and see how close this future really is right now.

Advantages to not being able to go to the shop every week has me reading Issue Two right after I finish the first issue.  The foul language increases so I warn all parents out there to know that straight on.  The intrigue also increases.  I found it a more compelling issue.  There are hints as to Forever and her standing in the Family Carlye.  All members are shown.  There appears to be a twin incest thing happening.  Think of Dallas and Game of Thrones being put in a blender and you can start to see the way this world is forming.  Our girl Forever has a sword.  I am a sucker for a gal with a sword.

This is good grown up drama in comicbook form.  Makes me want a LAZARUS novel from Mr. Rucka.  He is outstanding as a writer in whatever form he chooses.  This is a great read and two strong issues to start out a book.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Angel & Faith Volumes 1, 2, & 3

 I am a long time fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  I have been with the Buffy comics since the beginning and have every issue of both the regular run that happened during the TV Show lifetime and the Seasons that have followed in comicbook form.  Recently I will admit that the Buffy TVS comic has been leaving me flat after reading them.  I was on the cusp of dropping the title from my pull box.  It has been really close and only a better focus in terms of story has saved the book.  I have been hearing about the Angel & Faith book.  They answer letters for that book in the letters column for Buffy TVS.  Money has kept me from trying out the title.  I just could not afford to test the waters, especially when Buffy TVS had been disappointing me.

So how did I come to purchase the first three volumes of the collected Angel & Faith?  Timing is the easiest answer.  I had taken so things in to a local used book store and recieved around $40 in store credit.  It sat there for a few weeks and on my last trip to the comic shop I also visited the bookstore.  They had the three volumes and all were under $10 in price.  I saw Christos Gage was writing and Rebekah Isaacs was handling the art and it sealed the deal.

To be honest this is really a Faith driven comicbook.  She is the main character in most ways.  Angel is there as the draw I guess more than anything.  He provides the main plot for the series.  Angel wants to bring Giles back to life.  He killed him and his guilt is driving him to do this act.  One big problem is that magic no longer really exist in the world of Angel & Faith thanks to Buffy destroying the Seed.  All the rules have changed and even traveling to other places is whacked up.  Faith is now watching over Angel and this quest while living in London.  She inherited all of Giles fortune and stuff.  She also is watching over Slayers that are displaced because of the actions of Buffy.  This is a second plot thread that is brewing and has potential to train wreck for Faith.  

I really like what has been done with Faith's character here.  We get the same gruff gal, with a bit more wisdom and maturity.  Watching her realize she is teh mature one in any group is great fun.  Gage has brought the fun of Faith into a version that is more of what her potential always implied.  There is a thread in Volume Two concerning Dads and we get a glimpse of Faith as her Dad comes calling.  The Dad part for Angel is a guest stint for Drusilla.  Watching a non-crazy Drusilla was neat.  It gave a cool balance to the story having Angel as a Dad and having Faith visit her Dad.  Conner is mentioned and it will lead into Volume Three.  Did I mention Willow comes along for that adventure.

Adding Giles' Aunts to the story has some element of mystery.  One wonders if they are trust worthy.  One is gung ho on bring Giles back while the other seems determined to stop it.  All the time Faith is like a see saw on the topic.  One moment she is determine to stop Angel when he goes too far and the next she is convinced he should bring Giles back.  This internal struggle is a nice burden to see her have as it make her character deeper.

I wish the Buffy TVS comicbook were this good.  I definitely wish Rebekah Isaacs was doing some of the art in Buffy.  Her work on this book is outstanding.  I am glad I picked it up and look forward to reading the next collected edition I can get my hands on.