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

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Yes, it was.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #169-175: These were not among the issues I chose to get rid of back in the ‘80s. In fact, it hasn’t even been all that long since I last re-read them (during an “interim X-Men” re-reading project in conjunction with X-Men: the Hidden Years). Now (2017), of course, the “Secret Empire” storyline is being revisited, but the 1970s version was in direct response to the Watergate scandal and its aftermath.

An advertising campaign has been launched against Captain America by the Committee to Regain America’s Principles (note the acronym). Cap’s assessment: “I’ve seen the big lie technique—say anything loud enough, often enough and it’ll sound like truth. But I considered it a tool of totalitarian governments and not possible in America.” Sound familiar? In 1974 it was fiction. The Committee doesn’t have a slogan, but if it did it may well be along the lines of “Make America Great Again.”

Captain America: “Is this what it’s come to already—the country polarized into two camps—each willing to go to violent means to their ends?”

BOBBY LONDON’S POPEYE: I just started reading the first (of two) volumes collecting the run in its entirety. The paper I took at the time (mid 80s) didn’t carry Popeye, but I’ve some of these strips before in an anthology. Also, I’ve read the controversial “abortion” sequence (reprinted in its entirety in volume two) which caused him to be fired from the strip.

Story-wise, it’s gag-a-day at this point, but the humor is kind of “out there.” Topics vary wildly (and I mean wildly) from day to day, and London uses a lot of brand names and references to real things in his topics. I haven’t read much (if any) Popeye between E.C. Segart’s run and London’s, but I take it London’s represents a return to the freewheeling days of Segar’s Thimble Theatre. When Castor Oyl appears early on, for example, his appearance can be read either as the introduction of a new character or the re-introduction (for those in the know) of an old one.

It’s obvious London has real respect and affection for Segar’s creation.

Bobby London's "Dirty Duck" was a big inspiration for my cartooning aspirations.

I had no idea when I wrote the above that IDW was supposed to be releasing a Dirty Duck hardcover this week.

The Dirty Duck collection was solicited for... I dunno, sometime last year. (I don't have my notes with me, but it's not on my 2017 calendar.) I pre-ordered it, but it hasn't shipped yet as far as I know.

God Country #4: This wasn't bad. It's a really great series about a god's sword that comes into the hands of an Alzheimer's patient. When the old man has the sword in hand, he has all his memories back and is back to his old self, including memories of his granddaughter and family. He doesn't want to get rid of it, naturally, because he knows without it, he's gone again. But the god wants it back. This issue was about another godlike being holding his granddaughter hostage for the sword. It is beautifully drawn by Geoff Shaw, and Donny Cates will be a writer to look out for. Somehow, it feels familiar, though. I'm not sure if it's the southern setting or what, but it feels like I've read it before, which doesn't make any sense to me.

Archie #18-19: I have been watching Riverdale on Neftlix this past week, and it seems that Archie is now starting to weave those knotted relationships that cause so much melodrama on the show. Not a bad thing, but it's funny that way.

Flash #22: The Button, Part 4. This was okay, but not as good as the rest of the issues in the arc had built it up to be. This issue made the whole crossover look like a zero issue in retrospect rather than wrap anything up.

Plastic #1: Man, this is a book from Image and it is messed up! Kind of entertaining in a perverse, Tarantino kind of way. The art by Daniel Hillyard is really nice and cartoony without being overly so.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Flash #22: The Button, Part 4. This was okay, but not as good as the rest of the issues in the arc had built it up to be. This issue made the whole crossover look like a zero issue in retrospect rather than wrap anything up.

Like I said on The Button thread:

"I was afraid it wouldn't be a good resolution. Apparently $16 worth of comics is taking the place of a free promo book for the November event, Doomsday Clock."

Exactly! Man, it looked like it was really going somewhere during the first three issues.

Richard Willis said:

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Flash #22: The Button, Part 4. This was okay, but not as good as the rest of the issues in the arc had built it up to be. This issue made the whole crossover look like a zero issue in retrospect rather than wrap anything up.

Like I said on The Button thread:

"I was afraid it wouldn't be a good resolution. Apparently $16 worth of comics is taking the place of a free promo book for the November event, Doomsday Clock."

CAPTAIN AMERICA #176-192: Of this run of issues, the only two I chose to get rid of in the ‘80s were #187-188. Frank Robbins was the artist for a good chunk of these issues, and I did not like his style (at the time) at all. It has since grown on me and is often said to be of the Milton Caniff school. I can certainly see that, but I see a lot of Harvey Kurtzman in it, too. The reason I kept the majority of these issues although I hated the art is simple: story trumps art. This Nomad/Falcon/Red Skull is a classic, right from the iconic John Romita cover that starts it off.


In this classic arc, Steve Rogers gives up the identity of Captain America for a time, eventually adopting a new heroic identity, Nomad. This move was unprecedented, and his return to being Captain Americ was heralded by another iconic cover image.


When John Warner took over the writing from Steve Englehart, it took him two issues, #187-188, to get a handle on the characters. These are the two I chose to get rid of because they did nothing to advance the overall plot. The run reads better skipping from #186 to 189. Although I didn’t realize it back in the ‘80s the last time I read these stories, John Warner was drawing heavily on the Lee/Kirby issues of Strange Tales and Tales of Suspense.

I think that’s a good thing, because I had forgotten that Nick Fury and Captain America had such an adversarial relationship throughout the ‘70s up to this point. As the details of the Falcon’s origin come to light, Nick Fury is temporarily out of the picture, having been replaced by “co-director” (although obviously subordinate) Jeff Cochran. When he returns, he becomes Sam Wilson’s parole officer and reinstates Captain America’s A-1 Priority clearance.

NOTE TO RICHARD WILLIS: It is issue #186 in which Gabe Jones and Peggy Carter share a kiss, but Englehart had been building up to it for some time.

Incidentally, it’s not often that comic book writers nail down character’s exact ages, but it happened three times during this run: Peggy Carter is 47; Leila Taylor is 23; Deadly Nightshade is 18. I never cared much for Leila as a character, but my opinion has softened now that I know she was only 23.

Issue #192 is a done-in-one placeholder marking time until Jack Kirby was ready to take over as writer/editor with #193. It is drawn by Frank Robbins, but I kept because it introduced the character Karla Sofen, who would later go on to become Moonstone.

Thanks for pinning down the Gabe/Peggy romance. I would have sworn that it happened much earlier, and didn't remember that they kissed in-panel.

So, the other day I worked at my LCS (yay, I got paid to read some comics!). This I what I put down:

Reborn #1-6: A Mark Millar joint. A story where everyone is reborn in another dimension(?) or something? Our protagonist is the typical fantasy/sci-fi heroine of prophecy who will crush the evil of the world. It was a good not great series, and issue 6 proclaims it the end of Book 1. There were some very good bits, so I would recommend it, BUT get it on the cheap if you can. I think the trade comes out in either July or August.

Iron Fist #1-4: Now, I'm a huge Iron Fist fan, and I was hesitant about this series. I will admit I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Even if we get the tired bit of K'un L'un being destroyed. Here we get Danny going to an island that no one knows about to compete in a kung-fu tournament to get some of his chi back. This doesn't finish the storyline, which I hate, but it was still a pretty fun run of comics. Plus, thee was a neat little nod to the 80s Karate Kid movie in issue #3 that just tickled me. I recommend this as well.

*** Please note that my recommendations come one the fact that i didn't have to pay to read them ***

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