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

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One of my holiday special treats I bought myself was the pre-Crisis Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors trade in Kindle format that was on sale then because of the WW1984 movie.

While obviously a bit dated, there is one thing that confuses me.

When Wonder Woman started this in issue 212, it was HER idea to prove herself worthy of rejoining the Justice League by having the other members observe and evaluate her next 12 adventures. Akin to Hercules and his 12 labors.

Yet when I finished reading issue 217 last night, Green Arrow is acting like it's the JLA's idea to assess whether or not Wonder Woman can rejoin the team. As if the Amazon is on probation or something.

Unless the answer is somewhere between issue 218 and the end of the trade, does anyone remember why the sudden gaffe, let alone if there was any explanation for this?

Thanks in advance!

LSH: Before the Darkness shipped today (well, yesterday, i guess) and it is hardcover. It's the third volume in this fomart yet, as noted below, is identified as "Vol. 1." (Actually, according to the way I count, it should be Vol. 16.) 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Jeff, from what I can tell, that Legion volume -- Legion of Super-Heroes volume 1: Before The Darkness -- is a hardcover. (It better be..! It costs $50!) My Amazon order says its due on Feb 2, 2021. It also includes Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes 1-3.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: Back in the DC Archives days, Legion of Super-Heroes Archives reprinted every LSH story from the beginning through Superboy #233 in 13 volumes, but that series came to a close in 2012. In 2017, released Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes picking up where the archives left off, but that series lasted only two volumes (through Legion of Super-Heroes #259). 

The Good News: A new volume (first in a series?) reprints #260-271.

The Bad News: It's a trade paperback rather than a hardcover.

IMMORTAL HULK #43: Joe Fixit is stuck in the body of Bruce Banner. Doc Samson is trapped in the body of Sasquatch. Formerly, Sasquatch was furry and naked. Now he's green-skinned and naked. His only "costume" is his pubic hair. I guess that's all it ever was was, but... yuck. Would this have passed code? Perhaps because it was grandfathered in. I have my own theory about Warlord's Skakira, too. She may have been wearing a fur top, but I don't think she ever wore a similar bikini bottom. A g-string, maybe. I digress. The U-Foes are in the background and will move to the foreground next issue. I always thought they were third string villains, but after forty years I guess they're now A-listers...? 

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #2: The meeting of Dragonflyman and Dragonfly continues. It doesn't take place on Earth Alpha or Earth Omega; it takes place on Earth Zeta. Not to be snarky, but it's too bad DC could never tell a story this imaginative; it's simply not their idiom.

FIREPOWER #8: ""Wei Lun is dead. At least, that's what the Dragon's Claw assassins believed before reporting back to Chou feng. However, Wei Lun moved his heart to avoid the fatal blow, living to fight another day. Now, Owen johnson can no longer escapr his pat, and his only choice to take back comntrol of his life--and protect his family from further attacks--is to return to the temple of the flaming fist." Even if you're not reading this series, doesn't that sound intriguing? Recommended.

FAR SECTOR #10: I've lost the story. I'll wait two more issue then read the whole thing from the beginning.

Every once in a while I try to read all the first issues that I receive as digital review copies, before becoming overwhelmed and giving up. But I managed to wade through some over the last week or so:

Black Hammer: Visions #1: It's been a while since I've read any Black Hammer, as I tradewait the series now. (Well, "Library Edition-wait" is more accurate, and that takes even longer.)

This first issue takes place in Golden Gail's life before the first issue of Black Hammer. As you may recall, she's a middle-aged woman trapped in the super-powered body of a grade schooler, so in addition to her mental torture, there are also the steps she and her "father" take to make sure nobody notices she's not aging.

But she isn't the focus of that story. That would be one of Gail's classmates, who fears she's weird because she's not into jocks or the activities that are considered normal in this faux-1950s environment. Her best friend, though, is thoroughly "normal" and it doesn't look like this friendship is going to last. Gail pops in a couple times during this saga; the first time she has to "transfer to another school" and later comes back as her "younger cousin."

Hi-jinks ensue. Actually, it's a pretty affecting tale of friendship and loss. So yes, as someone asked on this board a week or so ago, there isn't anything Patton Oswalt can't do.

Chained to the Grave #1: This is a weird Western, which I like, but the artwork is kinda cartoony, which I don't like.

It's a clever story; a two-bit desperado is summoned back from the grave by his wife, who wants the money her husband hid away from a job before he died. She's even willing to sleep with him, despite the fact that he's in mid-decay, which is just icky and shows the caliber of her character. Anyway, the couple have two kids, and when other people come looking for the money, the fam has to go on the run. This is complicated by the lead character being literally chained to the grave; his gravestone is chained to him, and for some reason he can't get it off. And then some other people, of the mystical variety, show up, with their own bone to pick with the revenant. It gets complicated fast, there's a lot of shooting and running and spell-casting and jumping on trains, and in general a good time is had by all.

But, as noted, the artwork is not to my taste. So much so that I will sadly bid this title adieu. Might not be a problem for you, though.

Deep Beyond #1: Some first issues are bogged down in exposition; this one has the opposite problem, in that it doesn't tell us enough.

There are at least three storylines, and they don't all connect.

The story begins with a scientist in some sort of underwater habitat, who is covered in some sort of growths and lesions, who is making her last call to the surface, unsure if anyone can hear her. (Evidently everyone else in the habitat has already succumbed to whatever is killing her.)

Then there's a scene where a kid is given access to a high-falutin' party, for reasons we don't know until the end of the scene. (He's the president's son, which they could have told us on the front end without spoiling anything, and certainly would have helped with my understanding of the scene.) Here we learn through dialogue that the whole world is infected with whatever was killing the scientist, and everyone has to live in climate-controlled environments -- outside, everything from plants to animals has mutated into monsters that will eat you and the whole world looks like a 1950s sci-fi cover. And I guess there's also the danger of infection, as seen on the scientist, but I don't really know the rules yet. All the info I have is more or less inferred from the dialogue.

Anyway, the party goes south thanks to some eco-terrorists, and the scene ends. Why we were shown this is unexplained.

Anyway, we are introduced to the dying scientist's ex-boyfriend, who didn't accompany her on her mission, which evidently had some opportunity for exploring/fighting the worldwide infection, because he's a coward. He is introduced over the course of a couple of pages, but that's long enough for me to dislike him -- no one likes a sniveling coward -- so he better enter his redemption arc fast. And he will, because he now has to go where his ex-girlfriend is, because  the dying scientist's twin sister shows up and makes him go at gunpoint. To Be Continued.

So, the issue ends and I have more questions than answers. That isn't necessarily a good thing; I'm not hooked in the least by seemingly unrelated vignettes. But the artwork is Image House Style, which I kinda like, and it won't hurt me to read the second issue, if only to justify the time I put into the first issue, so I probably will.

Red Sonja: Superpowers #1-2: This was a lot better than I expected.

Four superheroes do show up right away. They are apparently from a parallel Earth which is part of an organization of parallel Earths that allows a universe to join when its Earth starts exhibiting super-powered beings. This group has come to Sonja's world because of indications of super-powers, which is probably the sorcerer that Sonja has been hired to kill. They note that this probably to no avail, since this Earth is still so primitive, but they have to do their job.

Since Sonja and the Parallel Earth Away Team are both after the same guy they run afoul of each other -- and afoul it is. Sonja thinks they are more sorcerers, and attacks.

Sonja gives a good account of herself, which I was glad to see, but she is facing Superman and Batman archetypes, Chic "The Sword" Carter (a real Golden Age character, I kid thee not) and a woman whose analog I've forgotten but who is more than a match for Sonja (and probably the only member of the team not distracted by the chain-mail bikini). Sonja is imprisoned, and the super-team goes to recruit the wizard. Who is utterly evil, so this isn't going to go well.

I was afraid Sonja would join the supers, which I find utterly ridiculous. That she didn't, and is basically fighting everybody, is more the Sonja I know and was glad to see.

Red Sonja Valentine's Day Special 2021 #1: This also was better than expected.

Sonja's main bad guy is Kulan Gath, a wizard who used to fight Conan, but is now Sonja's arch-foe. Through a series of amusing accidents, Gath swallows a love potion that makes him enthralled with Sonja. The issue is basically Gath trying to woo Sonja while she's trying to kill him -- or at least drive him away -- and it's amusing in a MAD magazine kind of way.

Graphic Fantasy #1-2: This is literally Erik Larsen's early Savage Dragon stories, from when he was like 10 years old or whatever. It's shocking and infuriating that he's asking money for this drek.

Fear Case #1: This book is like "What if the mysterious case in Pulp Fiction got its own series?"

So, we meet two Secret Service agents, one of whom is about to retire, so they request a case: THE case, the oldest unsolved case in Secret Service history, one that has been around since Abraham Lincoln formed the agency.

The case is literally a case; it's a box-y sort of thing with a handle, like a valise. Every agent assigned to the case has gone mad or otherwise come to a bad end. Nobody knows what's in the case, but the earliest confirmed sighting was in World War II, when the Japanese gave it to the Nazis. Everything before that is conjectures and rumors, including the idea that it might be the Arc of the Covenant.

The case is now believed to be in Los Angeles, where these two agents are. Note that one of these agents is a fan of a (fictional) Sci-fi writer who mentions a case of some sort that travels through time. You don't have to be 99 percentile in reading comprehension to know that we aren't told this for no reason.

Anyway, they track the case to a woman sitting by her pool, covered in blood. She tells them she opened the case, and doesn't remember any more. However they find her husband, who was having an affair, essentially butchered in the house. The case is gone again.

Very interesting! Sadly, the art is, in my opinion, not quite ready for prime time. Kinda primitive, kinda smudgy. Whoever the artist is, I recommend another couple of years at the Kubert School.

I'll still probably read the next issue, just to get a better handle on the case. Heh. "Handle on the case." I crack me up.

I finished The Sky is Blue with a Single Cloud last week, and it wasn't my cup of tea. Too many of the stories were just so depressing.

Today I finished reading Wonder Woman by George Perez vol.1. It was alright, but it is just so text heavy. Is it just my imagination or do a lot of artists do that when they begin writing? Is is almost like they forget that comics are a visual medium.I know Len Wein wrote a lot of the scripts here, but still that comes off of George Perez's story.

X-MEN LEGENDS #1: There was a time (following House of X/Powers of X) I honestly thought I would never buy another of Marvel's "mutant" books again (not that I've bought all that many in the past 30 years in the first place). But one of the few I did buy in the last decade or so (Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever) I really enjoyed. That series was set circa the early '90s (our time) and was built around the premise of what Claremont would have written had he not left the title. I'm really surprised I liked it as much as I did, because I more often than not find Claremont's writing to be overwrought, his dialogue unreadable, and his plots littered with dangling threads he never bothers to resolve. IMO, his writing was better in his earlier years when he appeared to be more focused. For whatever reason, his X-Men Forever displayed such focus. 

X-Men Legends is similar to X-Men Forever in that former creators are invited to tell stories set in the past; the difference is that, according to editor Mark Basso, these stories "are all 100% truly in continuity." Issue #1 is set after X-Men (1991 series) #39 and almost makes me nostalgic for an era I never really experienced. I think it is (probably) a bit more focused than the actual X-Men comics of that era (because it has to appeal to readers not steeped in 30-year-old continuity), but it's still not exactly my cup of tea. I'm more interested in future creative teams, though (the first story is a two-peter), so I'll stick with this one for a while.

MARVEL #5: I didn't much care for #4, but #5 is more along the lines of what I liked about #1-3. One issue to go.

HAHA #2: The second in a series of standalone comics about clowns. Is "Clowns" a genre? I found the first two issues to be mildly intriguing, at least enough to buy the next issue as well.

RORSCHACH #5: The first issue of this series that didn't pull me in.

AHOY! COMICS: Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #2, Happy Hour #4, Penultiman #5. 

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CAPTAIN MARVEL: It has been long enough since the previous "Snapshots" one-shot that I kind of forgot that the premise was to spotlight a hero as seen through the eyes of an ordinery person. This issue features both Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) as seen through the eyes of  young trans girl. I am well-versed in the history of Carol Danvers (up to a point), and although the "recent" version intrigues me, I have so far been too turned off by the multiple reboots to give the series a try. I thought this issue might hook me, but even Mark Waid failed to reel me in. 

On a personal note, Tracy and recently reconnected with two very good friends of ours from years ago. Before we left St. Louis, they had a baby girl named Haley. When we hooked back up again, they spoke of taking a vacation with Matt (who used to be Haley). I realized then that we have missed his/her whole life up to this point. 

MAESTRO: WAR & PAX #2: This issue features the Pantheon, one of Peter David's best creations from the '90s. If Marvel were to publish an ongoing series about the Pantheon, written by Peter David, I would buy it.

EDGAR ALLAM POE'S SNIGTER OF BLOOD #5: The usual unbridled lunacy. 

GENERATIONS FORGED #1: Long on action, short on deep thought. I wish I would have known in advance that Generations Forged would be collected in hardcover along with Generation Shattered for the same price as both, because the two together really form one, uninterrupted narrative. Oh, well... too late now. Prior to the "Flashpoint" event, Booster Gold had been the series I was most enjoying. I think I'll filed these two one-shots along with Booster Gold

Crossover #4

I am enjoying Image Comics' "Crossover" series. Issue #4 is the latest isue that I have read. "Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. " It is great escapism especially for one such as myself who enjoys reading fantastic fiction. Comic book industries' characters and concepts crossing over into our world and having an impact that is all to real. 

Julian Gift said:

I am enjoying Image Comics' "Crossover" series. Issue #4 is the latest isue that I have read. "Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. "

That looks fascinating.

I'm right there with you, Julian. I think this series has been great so far in its short publishing life. Just in general I've enjoyed everything I've read by Donny Cates.

Julian Gift said:

Crossover #4

I am enjoying Image Comics' "Crossover" series. Issue #4 is the latest isue that I have read. "Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. " It is great escapism especially for one such as myself who enjoys reading fantastic fiction. Comic book industries' characters and concepts crossing over into our world and having an impact that is all to real. 

It is

The TPB is being released June 1. I'm going to get it. Sounds right up my alley.

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