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

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Never mind. Here it is.

Will these help?

Yeah, that picture on the bottom appeares to be the reference for the panel of him speaking on the phone.

Like I said, not how I pictured him!

What did we do before the internet?

Last night I read the first three issues of Kieron Gillen’s Peter Cannon Thunderbolt. I’ve never read any of the original Peter Cannon stories, but I thought this was an interesting take.

Gillen has apparently taken inspiration from Watchmen and, in a clever twist, he casts Peter Cannon in conflict with an other dimensional version of himself who appears to be based on Ozymandias (who was ironically based on Peter Cannon in the first place!). Most of this is done in the 9 panel grid motif with some pretty decent art.

The story basically spins out of the events of Watchmen in much the same way that Doomsday Clock does and even features alternate versions of the Charlton characters filtered through their Watchmen counterparts.

This is one of the few Dynamite titles I would actually recommend.

Thanks for doing this, Dave! Yeah, I think even the most generous reading of this -- switching all the inconclusives to deaths -- only gives us a dozen. (Or slightly more, depending on how many people were in that dirigible,)

Dave Palmer said:

I don’t get 24 deaths.  Some people do die, and with the exception of the two vampires, I don’t think killing was ever Batman’s intention.  How do you interpret the deaths.  Again, I don’t get 24 unless I missed something big, like a lot of deaths when the dirigible crashed.

His phone conversation seems to be with Murray Boltinoff.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Yeah, that picture on the bottom appeares to be the reference for the panel of him speaking on the phone.

Like I said, not how I pictured him!

What did we do before the internet?

I read the first issue of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt and liked it, Tec. When I couldn't find issue 2, I decided I'd wait for the rest to go on sale for a buck apiece on Comixology; Dynamite puts their whole line up fairly regularly.  

Faithless #1: This comes from Boom, and it's written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Maria Llovet. This is about a witch (who starts out as a wanna-be witch?) who loves sexy times. It's not a Tarot book, so it's done more respectfully than you might be expecting. It's good. She meets another woman who is trying to break up with her boyfriend, but he's not having it. That's when Faith's abilities first become manifest. Not for the faint of heart, but it's a good comic. I will probably continue reading this one.

Invisible Kingdom #1: This first issue, on the other hand, was about cosmic space nuns, and while it was very well written (thanks to G. Willow Wilson) and beautifully drawn (Christian Ward), it wasn't quite enough to keep me reading. Don't get me wrong, it's very interesting, and the characters are pretty well-developed in their first issue's worth of pages. But it's simply the subject matter that wasn't enough to keep me around until next issue. There is something backward going on in the midst of a woman who seeks to become a space nun, and a group of cargo-shippers who both begin to realize that something very illegal is going down that involves both of their worlds. If you like space opera, this might be your thing.

The Curse of Brimstone #12: This final chapter of the title sees Joe face off against the bad guy (I still haven't figured out who exactly this guy is...the Salesman, he's called? Why does he have the powers of Firestorm?). It is a pretty crazy issue, which feels very padded out, but also rushed, like the title was suddenly canceled, but they couldn't wrap up what they had planned, so they just decided to spend the whole last issue marking time up to the last page, where a character suddenly changes in a way that will never be played out, because the book is canceled, and likely to be forgotten. It's written by Justin Jordan, who I normally enjoy, and the art is by Denys Cowan, who I always love. His work here stands out as the highlight of this issue.

The Terrifics #14: Honestly, this book gave me the warm fuzzies. The major battle might as well have been from a Superfriends episode, but the fallout of the battle was magical to me. It showed that this group has become a family, and it goes so far as to say it outright. Mr. and Mrs. Miracle, Metamorpho and Element Dog, Phantom Girl, Plastic Man, and Offspring (a character whom I was afraid was gone forever) all came together at the end after bidding farewell to Tom and Tesla Strong after their big battle. Very well written by Jeff Lemire and drawn nicely by Joe Bennett with inks by the power team of Scott Hanna and Dexter Vines.

Redlands #10-12: These three issues came out pretty rat-a-tat, as opposed to the previous issues. I think there may have been a lull so that the creative teams can catch up for awhile. This is a truly horrific series about witches who live in rural Florida, and it is an amazing series if you haven't read any of it yet.

I truly do not know how to describe this series, but if you are into any of the supernatural comics that deal with the occult world, like Wytches, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (comic or Netflix series), or any of the older comics like Eerie or Creepy, you should love this book.

Batman Europa: I read this hardcover on loan from the library, and while it was okay, I'm really glad I didn't pay for it. It was a miniseries from a couple years ago, but I guess had no idea what it was about.

First, it was written by Brian Azzarello and Mateo Casali. It was drawn with layouts by Giuseppe Camuncoli on all four issues, with finishes by different artists on each of the four issues: Jim Lee, Giuseppe himself, Gerald Parel, and Diego Latorre.

The story is relatively simple, but that's not a problem. Batman and his bestest pal, the Joker, are both infected with a virus. The cure for this virus sends them all around Europe--Berlin, Prague, Paris, and Rome--chasing clues as they gradually both slow down as they drain toward their demise.

The surprise villain isn't actually that big a surprise when you realize that the first time he attempted to destroy Batman, he also made sure he was really sick and tired to make him easier to beat. And if, like me, you are sick and tired of the "Batman Loves Joker" approach to uninteresting storytelling, then the cure itself will make you sick.

I really really like Brian Azzarello's writing normally, but this is not one of his better efforts for my tastes. The art is kind of cool, though.

I don't have much to add to what Jeff said, as I agree completely with his sentiments. This is one of the best Marvel comics I have read in years.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

SPIDER-MAN LIFE STORY #1: First, a nitpick concerning the advertising copy (which also is repeated on the first, non-story, page): “In 1962, a 15 year old boy…” I have read the Lee/Ditko Spider-Man many times and nowhere is it mentioned that he was 15 years old. I get the impression that he is probably a high school senior, but three years into the run, Peter Parker graduated high school. Assuming he was 18 then, someone simply counted backwards, assuming the comic took place in real time.

That assumption, however, could not be further from the truth (as the entire point of this series, which does take place in real time), tends to support. I don’t know who came up with that “15 years old” fallacy, but it wasn’t Chip Zdarsky, the series writer. Within the first two pages we learn: 1) it is 1966, 2) Peter has been Spider-Man for four years, and 3) he is a junior in college.

Beyond that, this story deals with the familiar but changes it in a unique way I have never experienced before. When Marvel was publishing Spider-Girl, OI used to pretend that it was the story of Spider-Man if he had aged in real time. Even then the math didn’t quite work, but this series is off to a good start. In this issue, Iron Man and, by the end, Captain America are fighting in Viet Nam (also not necessarily for the side one might expect in one case). Viet Nam weighs heavily on Peter Parker’s mind. Do his “great powers” not obligate him to the “great responsibility” of fighting for his country? Flash Thompson’s enlistment (in the original he was drafted) also plays a role. The main superheroic part of the story is the defeat of Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and the circumstances under which he discovered Peter’s secret and what he does about it. The situation is familiar, yet entirely new.

One additional note: the cover depicts the commonly accepted explanation of what the heck Spidey is swinging from as the end credits roll in the 1968 cartoon. I can hardly wait to see what happens next. This is my new favorite current Marvel title.

In addition to Spider-Man: Life Story #1, I also have read Superior Spider-Man # 1-4. 

This is a new series which debuted in late 2018, where Otto Octavius has once again decided to be a hero and not only a Spider-Man but the "Superior Spider-Man" (seriously, when people call him Spider-Man, he "corrects" them).  He has a new cloned body, with a new secret identity (college professor Elliot Tolliver), a new home base of San Fransisco, and a ton of flaws.  He tries to do the right thing but needs a lot of direction to get there from his former love interest Anna Maria Marconi.  He's egotistical, narcissistic, severely lacking in empathy, and basically thinks the rest of the world is beneath him because he's a genius.  In one hilarious scene, he refers to Victor von Doom as "that dropout".

The previous series from a few years back had Otto switching bodies with Peter Parker and assuming his identity.  While that series was (imo) well told, everyone knew (despite what Marvel said or hinted at the time) Otto was a place holder and at some point Peter would be back.  There were signs from the beginning that things would not end well for Otto and it didn't take long for the old villainous tendencies to pop up.  With this series, Otto and Peter have a truce to the point where Peter vouches for his old foe with Anna Maria.  It feels like Otto is making an honest effort to reform this time.  Maybe it will work, but then again it also seems like he is one bad moment from reverting to megalomaniac Doc Ock.

So far, the series has been fun.  Otto is even more socially awkward at times than Peter Parker at his nerdiest.  Anna Maria figured out Otto was Elliot Tolliver in about 5 seconds (and really, "Otto" is right there in his new identity, spell it out) and threatened to turn him in to the police until Terrax the Tamer, former herald of Galctus showed up, intent on destroying the city of SF.  From that point on, she is in his ear, helping him during the battle and guiding him to doing the right thing.  He also employs the formerly (?) villainous team of Night Shift to be his minions, with sometimes hilarious results.

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