Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1, which was really good ("There will be no eating of teammates."), and G.I. Joe: Cobra #1-3. People who know me know that I don't just pick up and read a G.I. Joe comic. I've never been into them, and I was never even into the toys, really. But the guys on iFanboy really recommended this book, saying it doesn't feel like a Joe book at all. And it really doesn't. It's a lot more like a Queen and Country story. One of the guys (in the Hawaiian shirt) goes undercover, and it's an extremely good spy story so far. Cobra nor G.I. Joe (I believe) have never been mentioned in this book, but some of the characters have. VERY highly recommended!

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Is Mek Files a compilation of material that previously ran in 2000AD, or new material?

I don't remember the book, and if it's new stuff that didn't appear in the magazine, i need to hunt it down - i loved them. The ABC warriors were the best part of that abominable Judge Dredd movie what's-his-ego made a couple decades back, even just in teasing their existence.

It's all reprints from 2000AD. The first stuff.

3 said:

Is Mek Files a compilation of material that previously ran in 2000AD, or new material?

I don't remember the book, and if it's new stuff that didn't appear in the magazine, i need to hunt it down - i loved them. The ABC warriors were the best part of that abominable Judge Dredd movie what's-his-ego made a couple decades back, even just in teasing their existence.

LAST OF THE VIKING HEROES: Issues #4-12 tell an entire, unbroken story. The three “Summer Specials” are standalone and fit best between issues #3 and #4 I think.

PHANTOM FORCE: Now that I’ve finished Last of the Viking Heroes I’ve moved on to Phantom Force. Last night I read the two Image issues. The variety of inking styles was not as annoying as I remembered. It was a fun little read, lots of action with little plot. In the days to come I plan to move on to the Genesis West series.

TIME BEAVERS: I passed on this in the ‘80s because I thought it looked silly. I bought it at a quarter sale in the ‘90s but didn’t read it because I thought it looked silly. I read it last night for the first time. It was silly, but kind of fun, too. The Time Beavers are tasked with retrieving three O.P.P.s (Objects of Particular Power) which have been stolen by their enemies and scattered through time. The chase leads them to Paris at the time of The Three Musketeers, Gettysburg in 1865 and Berlin in 1945. I haven’t read the concluding chapter yet.

ON DECK: More Grimjack, more Howard Chaykin, more Daring New Adventures of Supergirl.

GRIMJACK (THE MANX CAT): The last two Grimjack stories/mini-series, Killer Instinct and The Manx Cat, have been among the best. That is to be expected since both John Ostrander and Timothy Truman had accumulated some 20 odd years more experience in their respective crafts at the time of publication. The Manx Cat was originally serialized online and collected in tpb form in 2010. Unfortunately, there has been no new Grimjack (that I know of, anyway) since then.

I remember enjoying The Manx Cat when I first read it, but I didn’t recall too many details. Reading it last night I realized I had read it only once before. Both Killer Instinct and The Manx Cat take place prior to Grimjack’s first published appearance as a back-up feature in Starslayer. Grimjack has a more detailed backstory than any other comics book character I can think of, from his early childhood in the Pit, to his adolescence in the Arena, to the time he spent in the magical dimension of Pdwyr, to the Demon Wars, to riding with the Lawkillers, to the time he spent with the TDP (Trans-Dimensional Police), to the Dancer’s Rebellion, to his time as an agent of Cadre, to becoming a freelance mercenary, to his death, rebirth as a clone, and eventual resurrection 200 years later. (Well, those last few are not antecedent action, but you get the idea.)

As important to the main character are the back-up characters, and when John Gaunt was reincarnated as Jim Twilley, John Ostrander and Flint Henry came up with an all-new supporting cast every bit as interesting as the original. And as important as the cast is the setting, the trans-dimensional city of Cynosure. It has been since 2004 when I last read Grimjack in its entirety.

Today I will be able to continue my HOWARD CHAYKIN reading project as well as keep up on current comics as both The Divided States of Hysteria and the Newsboy Legion/Boy Commandoes Special shipped yesterday.

"Boy Commandos" was the third feature DC-National gave an eponymous title, after "Superman" and "Batman". But I should note DC-AA had already given them to the Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Mutt & Jeff, and launched Picture Stories from the Bible.

"Boy Commandos" and "The Newsboy Legion" were Curt Swan's first features. He started in comics after the war. The GCD records him as having done some Newsboy Legion covers before his first stories appeared. He's one of a whole list of creators who imitated Jack Kirby, and judging by his covers he was one of the best at it.

Another thing about the Boy Commandos: most of the members left! First Jan was written out, in the story where the team was demobilised. Then Alfie was replaced by Tex in 1947. And near the end Andre was replaced by a genius named Percy, who had appeared in a story earlier. DCU Guide has more information here, The GCD says Tex joined in Boy Commandos #22, and Percy in #35.

In the last issue Percy created a super-car called the Atomobile, which could fly. I just realised that's the same idea as the Whiz Wagon, which was introduced in Kirby's first issue of Jimmy Olsen and designed by Big Words. The GCD doesn't record Kirby as having contributed to Boy Commandos's final issues, but that could mean the Atomobile was his idea.

I read most of the early 2000s DC crossover series, but never Final Crisis. I picked up a hardcover in a second-hand book store (some still exist) for $5.00, so I'm going to start that as soon as I finish the novel I'm reading.

Good thing it's the Final Crisis, and DC never again rebooted or messed with chronology in any way after that.

Let us know what you think. I loved the book, personally, but opinions varied here on this board. It's definitely Morrison-y. 

JD DeLuzio said:

I read most of the early 2000s DC crossover series, but never Final Crisis. I picked up a hardcover in a second-hand book store (some still exist) for $5.00, so I'm going to start that as soon as I finish the novel I'm reading.

Good thing it's the Final Crisis, and DC never again rebooted or messed with chronology in any way after that.

NEWSBOY LEGION / BOY COMMANDOES SPECIAL: I’ve never been a fan of the “kid gang” genre or sub-genre or whatever it is. If I had to pick a “favorite” kid gang, though, it would probably be the Newsboy Legion. If you like Howard Chaykin but find The Divided States of Hysteria too edgy (or whatever), here’s a chance to see what he can do when he’s not pushing the boundaries of propriety and good taste. I have two volumes each of Simon & Kirby’s Newsboy Legion and Boy Commandoes, and this special at least put me in the mood to read them.

I read the Jaime half of the new issue of Love & Rockets (#3); I'm saving the Beto half for once I reread his half of the new series from the start. I'm honestly not crazy about the story he's focusing on right now, and would rather he bring the focus back to Palomar, but maybe reading them all in a bunch will help me appreciate them more. 

Well, that art was amazing, and I felt the story contained many good elements: the Batman issues, for example. Combining Superman's quest to save THE UNIVERSE with a quest to save his wife. And the final Superman/Lex Luthor banter made me smile. Mr. Tawny, butt-kicking fighter.  generally like Grant Morrison.

(But you anticipate a "but" at this point, and I shan't disappoint you)

Part of the reason I didn't read it a few years back was because I knew it would require reading a zillion ancillary and crossover comic books to make any sense of the plot. Even this compilation is necessary missing key developments, which we find about after the fact. It contains some good stuff, but, story-wise, it's a mess. The original Crisis on Infinite Earths, while it tied into crossovers, often skimped on characterization, and featured panels that went internally nowhere, always kept the basic thread of a story that could be followed.  Final Crisis frequently felt like a well-illustrated cosmic dog's breakfast, regular DC doing Vertigo on dimethyltryptamine.

YMMV

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Let us know what you think. I loved the book, personally, but opinions varied here on this board. It's definitely Morrison-y. 

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