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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Richard Mantle said:

Finally read digitally - JSA The Golden Age

Well written, well drawn interesting spin on an Elseworlds Justice Society.

Recommended


One of my favorite comics ever. And the main reason, along with Starman, why I continually ask "what the heck happened to James Robinson?"

Amen! He always seemed like the smart-but-seldom-used Batman writer. It was always a treat to get a Brennert story.

Detective 445 said:

Tales of the Batman: Alan Brennert

On the old board we once did a poll of the Greatest Comic Runs ever, and one of my nominees was Alan Brennert's run on Batman. I was cheating a little bit becuase his Batman stories were spread across several different titles. But man, were they good. Back in the early 80s they really stood out. There was nothong quite like them and I still hold them in high regard to this day. So I was happy to finally get a digital copy of this fantastic collection. Really great stuff that holds up very well in my opinion. And Brennert's introduction is excellent as well.

Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch
Kelly Sue DeConnick, script/co-creator; Valentine De Landro, art & covers/co-creator; Taki Soma, art (Issue #6); Kelly Fitzpatrick, colors; Clayton Cowles, letters
Image Comics, 2017

The first collection was a stunner, but it could be accused of a lack of focus. There was so much groundwork to be laid in establishing the society (especially the rules for women) and a large cast of characters. The second volume is laser-focused. It begins with an issue devoted to Meiko Maki's back story (ably illustrated by guest artist Soma in a more manga style), and the "President Bitch" arc largely revolves around her, even in her absence. Meiko's architect father has been brought to the prison planet to construct a playing field for the Megation game, in record time. The prison wardens badly need his cooperation, so they go out of their way to keep her death in a prison riot a secret. One result of that riot is the demotion of former warden Whitney to prisoner in the general population. When a virtual visit with his daughter is arranged, the penny drops for Mr. Makoto (he was probably becoming suspicious already). He takes over the power station and cuts the power, which leads to many unexpected revelations. The facility is much larger than we knew. There's a whole area with transgender prisoners, and one very secret prisoner: ex-president Eleanor Doane (of the title) who was thought to be dead. She's ready to lead, and in addition to the prison planet there is a secret society back on Earth that is ready to follow her. The collection concludes with interesting conversations between the co-creators which shed considerable light on the collaborative process in this arc.

Casanova: Acedia Vol. 2
Matt Fraction, Michael Chabon, writers; Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, illustrators; Dustin Harbin, letters
Image Comics, 2017

The Acedia Vol. 1 collection came out in October, 2015; Vol. 2 in May, 2017. Matt Fraction and his co-creators are clearly committed to the series, but patience is required. After reviewing the previous volume I jumped in, and the story does indeed pick up right where it left off. Casanova Quinn still does not remember who he is, and the man he is working for (currently going by the name Akim Athabadze) is also a mystery. A mysterious couple--who Casanova seems to remember--is trying to convince him to kill his boss (who they describe as "a monster"). Athabadze is on his guard, and seems to know who Casanova really is. Meanwhile, Casanova's enemies are coming for him from another dimension, as are the Metanauts (who are still trying to kill Casanova Quinn in every dimension). As usual it's too surreal to make linear sense, but it's fun to come along for the ride. I do think that Chabon & Bá's Metanauts backup stories were better integrated with the main story line than they were in the first volume. I believe this concludes the fourth of the seven deadly sins the parts are named for (Acedia means "sloth" BTW): three more to go!

SWAMP THING #14-24: I’m reading most of this post-Wein/Wrightson run for the first time. The first of these issues continued to be written by Wein, with art by Nestor Redondo, and continued much in the same vein as #1-13. Then David Michelinie took over from Wein. Issue #20 saw the last of Abigail Arcane and Matt Cable, and was the last strictly in continuity (AFAIAC). Gerry Conway wrote issues 23-24 (although David Anthony Kraft scripted #24), which featured a new direction. The Swamp thing made his way to his home state of Oregon, and Alec Holland’s brother Edward and his woman Ruth joined the cast. Edward, also a scientist, was able to “cure” his brother, returning him to humanity. Alec and Ruth are attracted to each other, setting up a romantic triangle.

THE WALKING DEAD: I’ve finished v13 (#1456-156). There has been talk on the TWD TV show discussion that season eight has dropped in quality in comparison to seasons six and seven. No spoilers here for anyone who may be watching the show but not reading the comic, but the stories in this run of comics are on the upswing. I can hardly wait until the TV show gets to this storyline.

LI’L ABNER: I‘ve finished the 1951 Sundays and moved onto the 1952 dailies.

X-MEN FOREVER #6-10: I see how I came to lose interest in this series. Issues one through five hooked me, with story by Chris Claremont and art by Tom Grummett. Issues #6-10 featured “fill-in” artists, and although two of them were drawn by Paul Smith, and Claremont continued his ongoing arc, I kind of only “skimmed” those issues originally. Claremont introduces the theory of “mutant burnout,” a phenomenon known by Professor X but kept secret from the X-Men, namely that mutants are destined to live short lifetimes. I do not know the resolution of this conflict because I eventually stopped reading the title, but if it was never addressed in the “real continuity” X-books, it’s almost as if the stories being told here are “fictional” (in comparison to the MU proper).

DICK TRACY: I finished reading the 1966-67 volume. I don’t see how Bribery survived the climax of his story, but he’s back in current continuity. The “Haf & Haf” story was a definite improvement, a return to the Tracy of old (despite the “moon” trappings). This volume had an extremely informative afterword which pointed out the political subtext of these stories, all of which went completely over my head, yet is undeniable now that it has been pointed out.

AVENGERS #675 – “No Surrender” Pt. 1: This is, for all intents and purposes, the first Avengers I’ve read since [the execrable] “Avengers Disassembled.” A lot has changed. Not sure who this “female Sentry” is supposed to be.

DEADMAN #3: More zany goodness from the mind and pencil of Neal Adams. Did we know previously that, in addition to his twin brother Cleveland, Boston had another brother and sister? Also, the Brands’ parents are characters in this story as well, and they’re tied in with the League of Assassins.

FUTURE QUEST: I started re-reading this series, but got only two issues in because of all of the above.

At work I'm a little over half way through read the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe hardback. This came out a couple of years ago, and I have finally dedicated some time to it. It reprints every mini-comic that came packaged in the toys way back in the day (and some recent toys as well). As the editor said, each comic had a print run of like 5 millions copies. These stories are an ultimate guilty pleasure for me, and there is a certain charm to them. There are a lot of well known creators who worked on these back in the day. Steven Grant, Mark Texiera, Stan Sakai, Bruce Timm, etc. This behemoth clocks in at over 1200 pages, and includes a number of interviews. Really fun stuff.

I bought a hardcover, I want to say two years ago?, of the He-Man comics that came in the back of the figures all those years ago. I thought I would read it right away, but I haven't yet. Sounds like it's worth reading, as I thought it would be two (?) years ago. I need to make a concerted effort toward reading it in the near future.

Kill or Be Killed: Volume Two
Ed Brubaker (Writer), Sean Phillips (Illustrator), Elizabeth Breitweiser (Colorist)
Image Comics, 2017

The second collection of this supernatural crime-noir series begins in the middle of the action, as the first volume had. After that it is revealed that the action is taking place a few months after the end of the previous volume. Dylan has settled in to his vigilante mission. He has a distant relationship with his roommate, who has broken up with Kira, the love interest who caused such complications previously. She has also ended her relationship with Dylan, although they still see each other casually. Things start looking up for Dylan's love life when he reconnects with Daisy, another ex-girlfriend. But his violent activities are starting to catch up with him. The Russian mafia he crossed earlier get wind of his identity, enough to figure out how to get to him via his drug dealer. And an encounter with the NYPD finally brings his murders (which he is thinking of as executions) into the spotlight. They form a task force, which Detective Lily Sharpe joins. She has never stopped investigating since she caught the case of Dylan's first shooting: she is his worst nightmare, as she is basically on to him, even though she can't convince the other cops yet. Last but not least, Kira's nosiness reveals that Dylan has effectively been off his anti-psychotic medication for months, because his black market supplier has been giving him the wrong prescription. So maybe the demon he thinks he is serving is a hallucination after all...

Slots #2-3: Dan Panosian gives us the second and third chapters of a great little human story with some amazing, amazing art.

I wrapped the He-Man hardback today (you should read it WS). So, I'm trying to decide what to take to work next. I've pretty much decided on Y: The Last Man, as I recently picked up the entire series in trades on the cheap.

I’ve been offline since January 12, but I didn’t stop reading comics. Let me dispense with the things I can get rid of quickly, then I’ll try to post some lengthier comments later, and finally announce two new “projects” I’m excited about.

TWD: I’ve finish v14 which reprints through #168. The most recent issue was #175, so I’m caught up until the next collection. I’m eager to see this storyline on television.

LI’L ABNER: I have finished the volume collecting 1951-52. Of the many (many) collections series on which I’ve fallen behind, I’m caught up on Li’l Abner and I intent to stay that way.

X-MEN FOREVER: I finished the rest of the first series (#11-24) and took copious notes, but I’m not going to bother transcribing them because I want to get caught up. I will say that it’s becoming increasing difficult to “pretend” these stories are in continuity. [SPOILERS] Wolverine is dead, Beast is dead, Black Panther is dead. Sabretooth and Wolverine’s relationship is explicitly stated as father and son, Mystique and Nightcrawler’s relationship is explicitly stated as mother and son (I’m not sure if either of those revelations has been established (and not overturned) in mainstream continuity). There are two Storms, an adult and an adolescent. The Beast and Jean Grey were in a romantic relationship. Collosus and Black Widow are in a romantic relationship. [END SPOILERS] Next up is an annual followed by a second series, X-Men Forever 2 (which I haven’t yet decided to read at this time).

“TRUE BELIEVER” PHOENIX ONE-SHOTS: I went to my back-up store looking for an alternate cover my LCS was sold out of. I didn’t find it, but I don’t loike to leave ampty handed so I picked up six of those $1 one-shots. I had read tham all before, but it was enjoyable reading them back-to-back.

MISTER MIRACLE #6: Interesting use of the nine-panel grid. This series features what I consider to be some of the most realistic dialogue in comics. I agree completely with the cover blurb written by Brian Bendis (who writes some of the least realistic dialogue in comics): “Every year, one book stands up above everyone else’s. Fans and creators alike stop and stare in amazement at a couple of creators finding a new voice, a new point of view, and new levels of artistic expression. This year it is Mister Miracle.”

FANTASTIC FOUR #583-588: Reading X-Men Forever made me think about how much I miss Fantastic Four as well. This wasn’t the most recent “End of the FF” storyline, but, although it didn’t last long, it is one of the better ones.

AVENGERS #676: Reading this is almost like reading Astro City, so far is it removed from the Avenger I remember. But I’m intrigued.

FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS #6: The middle chapter of a three-parter with art by Steve Rude detailing Birdman’s origin. Highly recommended.

STRANGERS IN PARADISE XXV #1: My “Pick of the Week.”

I also read some Wolfman/Colan Tomb of Dracula and some Berni Wrightson horror stories.

I have quite a lot to say about my SWAMP THING reading project, so I’ll save that for later.

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