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

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Popeye boxed a lot, too, come to think of it.

Batgirls #9: I initially picked up this series on a whim, but I'm still enjoying it more than I thought I would.. In this issue, the Hill Killer strikes again while the 'Girls battle the ridiculously-named KGBeast. (It occurs to me the "Soviet"-themed characters are really kind of dated, now.)   Also, when did Renee Montoya become commissioner?  Whither Jim Gordon?

Jurassic League #4: Another whim that turned out to be much better than I expected..  It somehow manages to be goofy and serious at the same time.

I think Montoya's been commissioner since the beginning of Infinite Frontier, more than a year ago -- Gordon has retired and was pursuing the Joker in the Joker comic. 

I need to get on board with Batgirls now that it's on DCUI. It looks like a blast. 

PARKER GIRLS #1: My Pick of the Week. Discussed here

X-MEN LEGENDS (v2) #1: Analysis here.

LOVE EVERLASTING #1: It's written by Tom King so you know it's good.

"Love Everlasting is my dream project. It is a chance to create another Vision or Mister Miracle, to explore the themes of conformity and rebellion through the tale of one woman's journey through the fantastic and horrifying world of Romance,” said King in an exclusive scoop on the announcement at ComicBook.com. “After a decade in comics, this is my first creator-owned and the most ambitious project I've ever worked on. Elsa and I are trying to create another Sandman, an epic exploration of the entire history of storytelling, of how myths and tales of love haunt us, enthrall us, imprison us, and perhaps, occasionally, free us."

I hadn't read that quote (pulled from "This Week in  Comics") prior to reading issue #1; I bought it purely on King's name alone. The first story is a straightforward 1950s style romance. I kept waiting for some kind of modern twist at the end, but no. It could have been an actual 1950s era script newly illustrated. Then I started reading the second story, set in the 1960s, and immediately knew something was up. The main character is the same, but not aged; it's as if she's from a different reality. Yet she seems to be aware, somehow, of her "other life." Other than that, the story plays out pretty much as one might expect from a 1960s era romance. 

The third story is a "western romance" set in the 19th century. Yes, it features the same character and yes, she's on some level aware of the other stories in the book. the issue ends with the splash page of a "hospital romance" story. I have no idea where Tom King is going with this, but i can't wait to find out. I've already chosen my "Pick of the Week" or this would be it. Highly recommended.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #3: If I'm reading this correctly, Cap's shield was made by the Nazis but the chief scientist is a spy working with the U.S. Army. So, yay...? Also, in Madripoor, Bucky tussles with a woman named "Peggy Carter" but it can't be the same one I know... can it? The writers of this series are profiled in this month's issues. In response to the question "Favorite Marvel Story," one of them responds "Young Avengers, Vol. 1" and the other "Young Avengers, Vol. 2." That says a lot about where these guys are coming from.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7: Adrian Toomes (the Vulture) has a hitherto unknown (by me, anyway) granddaughter. when she finds out about her grandfather's past (and how many people he has killed) she cuts off all ties with him, causing Toomes to vow revenge on Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker is given a tour of Osborn Industries by Norman Osborn himself. Apparently, the Sin-Eater has "cleansed his sins" and now Osborn is offering Peter a job. Peter doesn't see it that way, though, even though Osborn revealed a new Spidey costume. Also working for Osborn are Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) as an intern, and Mary Jane as a "brand ambassador." Osborn tries to set Peter up with Mary Jane, but it doesn't go well. She is now with a guy named Paul, and leave to "get back to the kids" (his, I assume). 

Later, Spider-Man is ambushed by the Vulture, who takes him miles into the sky, disables his web-shooters, then drops him. In two weeks (we are told): "Spider-Man's Funeral."

Read a handful of comics on the train today -- some new, some old. 

Elvira in Horrorland 3: This time she's on the Nostromo during Alien. I really love this book, though the previous two issues hit a little better with me; Alien doesn't grab me nearly as much as Psycho and The Shining do, but there IS a great Alf gag, 

Naomi 6: A good wrapup to the series, taking Naomi off the table in a heroic fashion until someone has plans for her.

Saga 60: A sad conclusion to a chapter of their lives.  

That Texas Blood 15 & 16: A serial killer has come to the county, just as a blizzard strikes. This is one of the best suspense books out there. 

And also two old issues of Little Archie -- 69 and 77, I think, from around 1972-73 -- in which Little Archie has adventures with his pals (who all call each other Little Reggie and Little Sabrina and whatnot, which is utterly charming) -- a nice mix of adventure strips, humor strips, and flat-out gags. Plus, the letters pages list a lot of kids who want to be pen pals. It'd be neat to compile these and see if there are any people we'd know today. Those folks would be around 60 now.

Today's reading has so far all been Sandman adjacent.

NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR COMICS #1: Sandman's first published appearance.

ADVENTURE COMICS #40: Sandman's first written appearance.

ADVENTURE COMICS #72: The first Sandman by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby.

I have all the Sandman stories from Adventure Comics #40-59 and from #72-102. It was in #69 that he was given a new costume and a sidekick. I'm not sure when the theme changed from "sleep" to "dreams" (#69?) but the dream motif was in place by #72. S&K immediately dropped the cape Sandman was givin in #69, and later redesigned the costume again in #76.

SANDMAN (1974) #4-"7": These issues have become a whole lot more enjoyable since Neil Gaiman's 1990 EYKIW. 

INFINITY, INC. #49-50: Hector Hall become the new Sandman.

SANDMAN (1989) #12: Fugitive nightmares Brute and Glob revealed to have created their own "Dream King" in a boy's mind, walled off from The True Dreaming.

STRANGE TALES #110, 116, 122: Dr. Strange visits The Dreaming the "Nightmare Realm" and encounters Dream Nightmare the first three (of many) times. Because these stories take place during the decades of Morpheus' captivity, "Nightmare" is likely another fugitive nightmare running pretty much the same scam as Brute and Glob. 

X-Cellent #2-5 - This is the follow-up series to the Milligan/Allred series X-Statix. There is something in this series that doesn't make it nearly as enjoyable as the previous one that I can't quite put my finger on. X-Cellent is led by the no longer dead Vivisector, who is trying one-up the X-statix as well as has a secret plan. It just ended in the middle of the arc, with a promise of more to come in the future. Which makes a perfect jumping off point for me.

Eric Powell's Albatross Exploding Funnybooks #1 - This the new anthology series by Eric Powell. Which find interesting in that he has a hand in the art and writing in every story.Which mean he-co wrote one story and someone did the colors in another. Outside of that he did everything. I thought this was pretty good.

I'm a big fan of the Hillbilly, so that was my favorite of the bunch. He is pressured into stealing one witch's magic hat by another witch. My least favorite, although it wasn't bad, was Lester of the Lesser Gods. Lester is another son of Odin, but this takes place post-apocalypse. Hes kind of dumb. Odin gives him a weapon and a mechanical duck (reminds me of Clash of the Titans). It ends with him taking on an arena of mutants to save another of the fighters there. This also includes the first chapter of a new Goon story, which was good. Plus, a new character I believe, La Diabla, a female vigilante who rescues kidnapped children. This first part has her being led into a trap. A fun book for sure!

SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE: I took a day off from my Sandman project because my internet was down and I wanted my responses to be fresh. I bought the first eight issues of this series when they were new, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for in 1993 so I dropped it. Neither of the Sandman's first two appearances (New York World's Fair Comics #1 and Adventure Comics #40) are particularly seminal, but Sandman Mystery Theatre is. I read the first story today (#1-4), and the second story is told in #5-8. I have already checked my LCS for more. They are not well-stocked on backissues, but they do have two tpbs in stock collecting #1-12 and #13-24. I'll likely skip the first trade (so as not to duplicate eight issues for only four new ones), but I'll likely buy the second if I'm still in the mood after reading #5-8. 

I have also decided to move Sandman Mystery Theatre out of my Vertigo/Sandman box into my Starman box. (Just thought you'd want to know.) 

Ah, good old Sandman Mystery Science Theatre 3000!

The Ghost in You by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The latest in the series of "Reckless" series of graphic novels. This book puts the spotlight on Anna, who is Ethan Reckless' helper? assistant? Ethan is out on another case (which will be seen next time!). A former B-movie scream queen comes to her, to see if her house is indeed haunted. Its one of those estates that had a grisly murder or two in it, has been abandoned for years, and everyone thinks its haunted.

This was a pretty cool mystery, and I enjoyed how it all played out. We also learned a lot about Anna's background, which I appreciate a lot. Especially, as it isn't just presented to us as exposition. I can't wait for the next entry which comes out in October I believe.

After reading this, I really took a moment to appreciate how much great work this creative team has given us for about 20 years now. If you include Phillips' inks on Scene of the Crime, then over 20 years.

DEFENDERS BEYOND #2: This issue sets explores the cosmology of the MU, and perhaps of the DCU as well, in that it can be interpreted to apply equally to the Celestial "Hosts" and DC's "Worlds" as well. Professional fans of Jack Kirby's work would often present their takes on his creations in tribute, but doing things "the Kirby way" involves creating something new. That is what Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez are doing here. They redefine Jim Shooter's "Beyonder" from Secret Wars II and actually make him interesting. Metatextually, the Beyonder describes his view of the original Secret Wars as "an infinite baby, learning only from TV commercials for action figures!" If the original Secret Wars was anything it was a "commercial for action figures." I never would have though that a comic book which so prominently features the Beyonder would be my Pick of the Week, but this is it.

GENIS-VELL: CAPTAIN MARVEL #2: Death has been masquerading as Moondragon, but is it Marvel's or DC's? She specifically mentions the "Brush with Death" pun from Hulk #418, but that was Gaiman's Death, not Starlin's.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOL OF TRUTH #4: Captain America fights Crossbones.

SPIDER-MAN #8: Spider-Man survives last issue's cliffhanger in a unique way. He then uses his cell phone to call Norman Osborn for help (yeah, this is "not your father's Spider-Man," as they say; probably not "yours" either). Spider-Man requests that Osborn send the prototype Spider-suit he's been working on, but Osborn is unable to help. For one thing, Osborn has no way to track his location in order to get the suit to him, but mainly, now that the Sin-Eater has taken away all of his sins, Osborn is like an alcoholic, reluctant to use the equipment himself lest he revert to type.

Spider-Man trick the Vulture into flying them both to Oscorp HQ where Spider-Man dons the new suit. It looks mostly like the old one, except it has glowing golden eyes, chest symbol and three "buttons" on each glove. The new equipment also includes a "Spider-glider" which can be ridden like a surfboard. It can also independently crawl on walls like a spider, plus it can affix itself to Spider-man's back for use as a jetpack. Spider-Man also has spherical "bombs" which release dozens of tiny spider-robots. Spider-Man uses this equipment to defeat the Vulture, then accepts Osborn's job offer.

SHAOLIN COWBOY "WHO'LL STOP THE REIGN" #4: Summary posted to dedicated thread

JUSTICE WARRIORS #3: Social commentary (police).

G.I.L.T. #5: A most satisfactory conclusion to this time-travel limited series. I hope to see more of these characters in the future, but first Alisa Kwitney and Mauricet have another series in the works.

SHAM COMICS v2 #5: Super-hero comics of the Golden Age are spoofed: Captain Midnight becomes Captain Fortnight; Steel Sterling becaomes Stainless Steel; the Phantom Lady becomes Lingerie Lass; and the magician from Smash! Comics becomes the Amazing Moopy and Wanky the Spunk Monk. 

I love Sandman Mystery Theatre. One of the best books of the 90s. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE: I took a day off from my Sandman project because my internet was down and I wanted my responses to be fresh. I bought the first eight issues of this series when they were new, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for in 1993 so I dropped it. Neither of the Sandman's first two appearances (New York World's Fair Comics #1 and Adventure Comics #40) are particularly seminal, but Sandman Mystery Theatre is. I read the first story today (#1-4), and the second story is told in #5-8. I have already checked my LCS for more. They are not well-stocked on backissues, but they do have two tpbs in stock collecting #1-12 and #13-24. I'll likely skip the first trade (so as not to duplicate eight issues for only four new ones), but I'll likely buy the second if I'm still in the mood after reading #5-8. 

I have also decided to move Sandman Mystery Theatre out of my Vertigo/Sandman box into my Starman box. (Just thought you'd want to know.) 

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