Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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...I read Daredevil Annual #1 as well, and a new-to-me $1 reprint of

  BLACK SCIENCE #1 (Image).

  The storytelling frame in the Daredevil stoty shows it to take place post-Iron Fist"s arrival. Is this the first time Marvel has renumbered an annual series, by the way?

...My memory of that Baker Dick Tracy seris was that I could picture some editor going " Ah, c"Mon, kid, gimmie some of that Dark Knight stuff, it's the latest thing, and you're good at it..." !

  It hardly seems suprising that the publishers of a movie adaptation would want the lead character drawn with the star's likeness.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

Is this the first time Marvel has renumbered an annual series, by the way?

You're kidding, right? 

...It seems like issuing annuals gas become rather rare for Marvel now, so there was nit much issuing of annuals that would have new numbering.

ClarkKent_DC said:

....would they please stop with the new number one business for annuals? Please?

I've run into problems with TPBs being renumbered for no good reason. The Mark Waid Daredevil run was inexplicably renumbered (in TPB) in the middle of the run so there are two number ones, two number twos and, I think, two number threes. My recent foray into the Jessica Jones books was confusing as their are four books covering the original MAX run and three books (also numbered 1-3) covering the most recent stand-alone stories. In this case, at least, the covers are distinctive the former having the MAX imprint and the "Alias" title.

I have no problem with the Jessica Jones collections, because as you say, the first series was named Alias and the second series was named Jessica Jones. Nothing has really been re-numbered. The Daredevil thing just sounds nuts.

As to rebooting annuals: Yeah, Marvel does it all the time.

This year's Daredevil Annual #1 is the fifth comic book to be named Daredevil Annual #1. There have been five books named Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Three books named Avengers Annual #1. Three named Captain America Annual #1. And so forth.

It's hard to tell with Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man Annual, since sometimes it's called Peter Parker, sometimes Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man, and sometimes Spectacular Spider-Man.Then there was that weird period in the late '90s when the annuals were named for the years in which they were published -- and for one year were all team-ups, so the book might be listed under either of the featured characters. For example, I don't remember if the team-up annual with Captain America and Iron Man had Cap or Shellhead first in the title, so I don't know exactly how I filed it.

More books:

WAR AGAINST CRIME! VOLUME 1: This pre-New Trend book has many familiar EC names, but a lot of names that didn't continue into the New Trend. The most frequent familiar contributor is Jack Kamen, although he isn't yet at the peak of his powers -- his art isn't as good as it would be, and he is only the writer on one story of the many he drew, whereas in the New Trend he nearly always wrote the stories he drew.

Storywise, most stories are uncredited and follow the familiar Crime Does Not Pay formula. It doesn't really read like an EC book. I'm not complaining -- I mildly enjoyed Crime Does Not Pay while Dark Horse was reprinting it, and I mildly enjoyed this.

VAMPIRONICA #3: This is an excellent book. The art is fantastic -- have I seen Greg Smallwood before? -- and the writing (by Greg and Meg Smallwood) is very engaging. So it's a high-quality book.

The plot is that a vampire has hit Riverdale and has already turned Veronica, her parents, Reggie and a small army of Riverdalians. The vampire, Ivan, is from the "Order of the Dragon," and we all know what that means, although Veronica doesn't.

Anyway, Ivan controls all the vampires he's turned except Veronica, who it was explained an issue or two ago was a strigoi and therefore exceptional. (I don't remember the details. Doesn't matter.) So Veronica is on a crusade to stop Ivan, except she's still Veronica, so her dialogue is very arch and funny. She is abetted by Dilton, who has figured out what's going on, and is assembling vampire-fighting weapons and defenses. They rescue Archie just before he's turned, and he's joined their little band. Now a climax of sorts is already occurring, as the vampires plan to turn just about everybody we know, because they're invading a party where everybody we know is attending.

It's Cheryl Blossom's party so, you know, attendance is sort of mandatory. "Riverdale, Midvale, Pembrook," muses Jughead, "everybody's invited. ... I even hear it's going to be a catered affair." Yeah -- for vampires!

All that stands between all these small towns and schools is Dilton, Archie ... and Vampironica! In haute couture, of course.

The back of the book always has text pages on the legends, myths and history of Dracula and vampires. All in all, Vampironica is a great package.

RIVERDALE VOLUME 3: I really enjoyed the stories. I really hated the art.

The Riverdale comic book series isn't quite as melodramatic, bathetic and soapy as the TV show, nor is it as light-hearted as the Mark Waid Archie reboot. It's somewhere in between.

Here we have four stories, all of which are at least mildly amusing and occasionally touching, with characters we're as familiar with as family. Two authors wrote two stories each, but the tone remained consistent. Also notable is that no two plots were from anywhere in the same neighborhood -- there was one about a play (interrupted by mono), a Reggie prank (that spiraled out of control), a keep-your-hand-on-the-truck endurance contest (that revealed character beautifully) and Jughead's determination to win top score on a video game (and his surprising competition). I enjoyed them all.

The art on all four, however, was sketchy and amateurish. I hate to use this old (and usually false) saw, but it really occurred to me on various occasions that "I could draw better than this." If nothing else, it would follow the rules of lighting and anatomy, and it wouldn't be flat-out ugly.

PREDATOR HUNTERS II #1-2: Oh, what a difference punctuation can make. I thought this series (and its predecessor) was named Predator: Hunters. Nope, there's no colon. It's Predator Hunters. Who I thought were the prey of the first series are actually former Predator victims who have teamed together to hunt and kill Predators. That they were the hunted in the first series kinda threw me off, but this series finally clued me in. (OK, I'm slow sometimes.)

While I enjoyed the first series, this one has started off kinda slow. Our remaining hunters have shipped off to Afghanistan, but so far the first two issues have been nothing but set up. Since these series are usually four issues long, that's too much set-up and not enough pay-off.

WARBEARS #1: I've been fascinated by Ken Steacy's angular, eccentric art since I first saw it in "The Sacred and the Profane" in Star*Reach back in the Long Before Time. It's smoothed out considerably in the ensuing decades, but I still see the weird spark that so fascinated me back then.

He does particularly well in this story, which was commissioned by the Canadian government (along with hundreds of others) for the country's sesquicentennial. Writers were asked to pick a date and write a story about it, and Margaret Atwood chose V-E Day -- not only an important day in Canadian (and world) history, but significant for Canadian comics, because that was the beginning of a decline of the country's homegrown industry. I think this story is set before then, and will lead to it, but it's not important.

This story is focused on the Canadian comics industry, in that our hero is a young Canadian cartoonist who gets his brainchild Oursonette published by a financially distressed comics publisher. (Oursonette is a female, humanoid werebear who fights Nazis with two polar bears.) I assume the title is going to apply to more than the character, given that the focus is on the creators and publisher.

And so far, so good. The story hasn't progressed enough for me to get a feel of where it's going, but I like the three main characters and look forward to seeing what happens.

NUTMEG: FALL TPB:  The writer describes this book as "a burgeoning teen girl crime saga with a heavy dose of baking," and that's exactly what it is.

This book is clearly aimed at prepubescent or tweenage girls, as it stars two junior high girls who try to get revenge on bullies via a baking contest. Four issues in we are nowhere near the end, and whatever "crime" is involved hasn't happened yet. But there's plenty of coming-of-age already.

It's drawn in a light-hearted, cartoony style that, again, seems aimed at girls. It's not for me, but it might be for the girls in your family.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #1: OK, this is pretty weird. But if you like comics, and you like MST3K, I think it works.

The conceit of this title is that Kinga Forrester's latest experiment is to insert the robots into old comic books. In this case, Tom Servo takes the place of the lead character in Dell's Johnny Jason, Teen Reporter #2 from 1962. Not all of Tom Servo -- just his head, which is usually wildly out of proportion with Johnny Jason's body. The dialogue and story continues as it's supposed to, with the addition of commentary by the robots (which have a little bubble at the bottom of the speech balloon as an indicator). Once you figure who's "talking," it flows pretty smoothly.

And it's pretty funny. The MST3K quick wit is present, likely because the book is written by a number of the show's veterans (including Joel Hodgson). As I say, it's weird, but if you can accept the premise you'll probably enjoy it.

I flipped through War Against Crime last night and came away with much the same impression ou did: that it's more like Crime does Not Pay than what EC would become.

I didn't see MST3K. I've been on vacation and may have missed it. Do you remember when it came out?

MST3K #1 hasn't come out yet. It's due Sept. 12. DH sent me an advance copy for review.



Annie happens upon a curiosity shop owned by Chinese businessman Wun Wey. He sells her a string of “beads” for $5. In reality it is a string of pearls. Later, “Daddy” estimates their worth to be $5000.00. The next day they both visit the shop. It turns out that Warbucks and Wun Wey are old friends, and Wun Wey recognized Annie from a photograph Warbucks had once shown him. According to Warbucks, “Wun Wey is Chinese – a Mandarin – his is one of the oldest families in all China. But, in a way, he is more than Chinese – he is cosmopolitan – a citizen of the world.

“He holds degrees from Oxford and from two of our leading universities. He speaks at least eight languages perfectly, and as for being just a storekeeper, no one knows how far his business interests extend. He is a great merchant and a great gentleman. He makes his headquarters in that little Oriental shop because he loves to be among the treasures of his own country. Once, while in China, I did what he chose to consider a favor for his family. Such a man never forgets a friend… or an enemy, either.”

After that, Warbucks begins staying out late at night and letting his business slip a little bit. Annie asks Flophouse Bill about it, but he doesn’t know what's going on. He briefly considers having Warbucks tailed, but ultimately decides his partner has a right to privacy. Secretly, “Daddy” has been concerned about raising Annie by himself. Annie asks Wun Wey about “Daddy’s” behavior. He seems to know something, but remains tight-lipped.

Hanging around Wun Wey’s shop, Annie meets Trixie Tinkkle, an ex-showgirl who has since put on some weight. Her family once had money, but lost it in the crash. She likes flashy jewelry but has no taste. Harold Gray drags the situation with “Daddy” out for a bit, but you see where this is going.

Kill or be Killed #18-20: This wraps up the series by Brubaker and Phillips. I don't think it was their best work, but a lot of creators would be doing very well to achieve this creative team's average. I think it went on a bit too long, and really it ended pretty much the only way it could.

Lazarus #27 and 28: This is the prelude to the Fracture storyline, and the last issues before the series switches to a quarterly book. Here we find out what happened to Jonah Carlyle after being dumped into the North Sea (I believe). A pretty good two-parter, and makes me realize how much time this series spans.

Mata Hari #3: This came out in April, to give you an idea how far behind I am. This series is just okay. I think this series would work better if it was told in a linear fashion. 

Moonshine #9-11: Two storylines move forward with Lou Pirlo working on a chain gang, and the Holt clan dealing with some mobsters. The pace picks up a bit with these issues, and I dug them. It seems to me that Azzarello and Risso are hitting their groove here.

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