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

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Those are sort of comedy characters so we're not supposed to get all that much from them.

The problem  is, they bring me out of the story.

Gwen's death is sort of Mary Jane's Uncle Ben. Her death causes MJ to think about things she never considered.

HAUNTED HORROR: “The Monster Maker,” Baffling Mysteries #19, JAN 1954; “Ghost with a Torch,” Tales of Horror #13, OCT 1954; “?,” Worlds of Fear #8, JAN 1953; “Chilly Chamber Music,” Chamber of Chills #23, MAT 1954; “Death by Witchcraft,” Witches Tales #4, JUL 1951; “Help us to Die!” Eerie #13, OCT 1953; “The Bat and the Brain,” Skeleton Hand in Secrets of the Supernatural #2, NOV/DEC 1952.

CAPTAIN KRONOS – VAMPIRE HUNTER: This is from “Hammer Comics” (an imprint of Titan Comics). I’ve not seen the 1972 Hammer Studios cult film… not yet. I hadn’t even heard of the comic book until I saw #3 advertised in another Titan comic. It’s by Dan Abnett and Tom Mandrake, two creators whose work I know. Finally, I vampire series I can sink my teeth into (you should excuse the pun). Seriously, this is a vampire hunter. In this mythos there are different species of vampires. I read the first two issues and added the title to my pull & hold. I also ordered the movie for the sake of comparison. I should have it by tomorrow.

NOT BRAND ECHH #14: The five (or is it six?) page spoof of Secret Empire (“Secret Empire Abridged”) alone is almost worth the price. (I say “almost” because the price is four bucks.) It was written by Nick Spencer who ought to know the series weaknesses. I read elsewhere that Captain Comics didn’t think Spencer was hard enough on himself, but I think he was spot on. I would half-heartedly recommend this story to anyone who suffered through all of Secret Empire, and whole-heartedly recommend it to Detective 445. Although this is one of the few series whose “legacy numbering” I completely agree with, I wouldn’t recommend the comic itself to anyone.

Bug! #5: The final issue of Jack Kirby’s OMAC (#8, part two of a planned three-part story) continues directly into Bug! #5, much in the way truncated series of the ‘70s used to… which, I suppose, it did, just 40-some years later. It picks up right where it left off with Dr. Skuba, Seaweed and Apollo. “Brother Eye” has been incapacitated and Buddy Blank has reverted to normal. It moves the story forward (and ties it to the Fourth World) by introducing the concept of a “Brother Box” powering Brother Eye all along. By the time it wraps up, Buddy and OMAC are an integrated personality, and it looks as if Seaweed will stick around. Unfortunately, it appears as if #6 will be the final issue of this series.

I liked Not Brand Ecch #14. I thought it was pretty funny.

FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS #4: “Galaxy trio vs. Space Ghost”… an origin story tied to Space Ghost (which reminds me: to need to cap off my discussion of Hanna-Barbera cartoons).

Here’s a few from last week I wanted to say something about, but I don’t remember what, exactly.

FIGHTING AMERICA #2: I forgot what I wanted to point out specifically, but I’m really enjoying this series.

MISTER MIRACLE #4: Again, I forgot what I wanted to say about this issue in particular, but I can’t help but compare it to another current favorite, Bug!. Although they’re completely different from each other, their respective approach is fresh. Whenever I try to determine which I like better, the answer is invariably “whichever one I am reading at the time.”

FALCON #2: I really liked #1, but #2 diudn’t appeal to me as much.

MASTER OF KUNG FU #126: MOFU is one of three series I bought in its entirety from an ad in CBG back in the ‘90s. (It is also one of three series I bought in its entirety back in the ‘90s and have yet to read, but that’s neither here nor there.) Although this is one of the few Marvel series whose “legacy” numbering I agree with (the other being Not Brand Echh, see above), this comic tries desperately to be funny and fails miserably. Not Brand Echh #14 may not have been exactly my cup of tea, but it is far funnier than MOFU #16. MOFU #16 features a villain with a “funny” name, and henchmen who are just ordinary working stiffs, both concepts which have been used to greater effect elsewhere. I would recommend this only to people what have the other 125 issues and want to keeps their collections complete, but even then not to read.

THE SPIRIT: Will Eisner was inducted in May 1942. Volume 5 contains work done entirely by others’ hands, but to tell you the truth, I can’t tell the difference. There are certain panels that look like the work of Lou Fine or Jack Cole, but for the most part I can’t differentiate between the work in this volume and Eisner’s own. (I expect to notice a huge difference when he returns in 1945.) Also, the introduction to volume five mentions that the Spirit section was carried in only 20 papers at its height. Can that be right? Is that all?

SWAMP THING: I first read the Wein/Wrightson version when DC reprinted it in 1985. I lost track of exactly how my times I’ve read it since, but I can usually remember how often I’ve read a given work after moving to Texas in 2001. (I use the terms “B.T.” and “A.T.” to designete each.) This is my third time reading the Wein/Wrightson issues A.T. I read it first along with my wife when she read it (and far, far beyond) in 2003. I read it again (along with the Wein/Redondo issues, #11-13) when it was released as part of the DC Comics Classics series. Now I’m reading it for the third time (and the Wein/Redondo issues for the second). I think I can honestly say I am enjoying it more than ever before. Next, I’ll be moving into issues I have never read at all before.

I’ve added a few more “projects” since last I checked in (the first of which I’ve already finished with).

MARVEL MASTERWORKS HULK Vol. 11: These are among the earliest comics I collected, issues #184-196. This volume shot to the top of my “to read” pile.

TALES OF ASGARD: After finishing off Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 3, I moved on to the Tales of Asgard collection. I can tell you for certain that this is the third time I have read them A.T. Although I already owned them in multiple formats (comic books reprints, Marvel Masterworks, etc.), I couldn’t pass the 2010 limited series which reprinted them with state of the art colors. Recoloring older comics using today’s techniques is controversial in certain circles, but I like it. As long as I own the originals ones and can read them whenever I like, what difference does it make? Besides, it’s not as if reprinting them on glossy paper (color not withstanding) is how they looked originally, anyway. So I read the reprint series, I read it again when it was collected in hardcover, and I’m reading it for a third time (A.T.) now. I just finished the stand-alone stories Kirby adapted from his paperback on Norse mythology and I’m about to move on to the continued “epic” stories.

Injection Volume Two

Warren Ellis, writer; Declan Shalvey, artist; Jordie Bellaire, color

Image Comics, 2016

Happy to finally get back to this series: the first volume is one of my favorite recent comics. It described how a group of eccentric scientists and supernatural experts got together to create the Injection, a kind of world virus they uploaded to the Internet in an effort to fix things wrong with the world. They quickly realized that they had made a horrible mistake, as the artificial intelligence they had created immediately went its own way, self-aware and completely out of their control. In this volume consulting detective Vivek Headland tries to solve a case emerging from the Injection's influence. The general approach is heavily modeled on Sherlock Holmes stories, but with a decidedly modern twist. Headland must deal with a haunted photo, a ham made from human flesh, and a lethal cult out to control the Injection (which they do not really understand). Headland solves the case, which did indeed involve the Injection in bizarre and unexpected ways: the IE is experimenting and learning, and has no regard for human life. Team members Simeon and Bridgid are called in to help Vivek--so we learn what they have been up to--and both Maria's group the Curcus and the British Breaker's Yard attempt to recruit Cunning Morel. He decides to become the Breaker, likely setting up the next arc.

I just read Green Lantern 38 & 39, a two-part team-up with Adam Strange I pulled from the dollar bin at a convention this weekend. It's an odd time in Hal Jordan's life. It's got an odd bit of retconning in it, in that it claims that the self-doubt Hal experienced throughout the Hard-Traveling Heroes era was an aftereffect of a psychic attack he overcame in Green Lantern #75. It's a particularly elegant solution, in that 75 was the final issue before the title changed to GL/GA, and the self-doubt took hold. 

I think I'd heard of this retcon before, but I'm not sure if it was referenced (and possibly re-retconned?) in Green Lantern: Rebirth, or whether I'd just read about it on the boards somewhere. 

You're referring to issues #38-39 of the 1990 series. Is that the story that established Hal Jordan's out-of-character behavior directly due to an exposure to Ergono (specifically) in issue #75? If so, that's what I used as the basis for "The Ergono Defense" (my introductory argumentative post to the old board).

[Before Bob posts that "Hal Jordan is a Mass Murderer!" let me say the entire argument has been rendered moot by Geoff Johns' Green Lantern: Rebirth.]

I am going to post something about Hal Jordan later, but not that.

That was it! Thanks, Jeff!

And man, does "The Ergono Defense" sound like a novel co-written by Robert Heinlein and John Grisham, or what?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

You're referring to issues #38-39 of the 1990 series. Is that the story that established Hal Jordan's out-of-character behavior directly due to an exposure to Ergono (specifically) in issue #75? If so, that's what I used as the basis for "The Ergono Defense" (my introductory argumentative post to the old board).

[Before Bob posts that "Hal Jordan is a Mass Murderer!" let me say the entire argument has been rendered moot by Geoff Johns' Green Lantern: Rebirth.]

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