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

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I don't remember seeing the skeletal Deadman before Kingdom Come.

Captain Comics said:

Both Maestro: War and Pax and Rorschach are books I'm trade-waiting, and am eager to read them. I'm hoping for a Maestro collection with all of his appearances, as I didn't read the last miniseries and the original two-parter is hard to get to in the Cave.

The answer to a question posted a couple of times: The Deadman Omnibus does not include the Deadman stories from Forever People. I'm kind of glad of that, since they're so off-model, plus they weren't very good. But you can be sure they contributed to the Teen Capn's confusion about the character. (I turned 13 in the summer of 1971.)

As to the skeletal Deadman, when did he begin appearing? Maybe 10 or so years ago? This Omnibus doesn't get that far, ending after Deadman's first miniseries (by Helfer and Garcia Lopez). There's a lot of fully-fleshed Deadman to go before we hit the skeleton. Which means we need a second omnibus, DC!

The skeletal Deadman first appeared in a pair of two-issue mini-series by Mike Baron and Kelley Jones, "Love After Death" (1989) and "Exorcism" (1992).

Okay. A couple of quick observations from me.

1. While I never saw that Archies story before it was reposted here on 506, the lyrics on the last page are from the actual song "A Summer's Prayer For Peace" except GOT INTENDED was changed by one letter to avoid referencing a religious icon.

2. Always liked the Deadman concept and have thought him ill used at times since the mystery of his murder was resolved, but I've never visually liked the "Dead" man as seen above.

3. As for what I'm reading, have been concentrating on my recent Kindle purchases as detailed in the "DC's New Digital Firsts" thread because my local comic book store has been closed since the week before THANKSGIVING! Uncertain if it's because of the pandemic or because of past problems detailed elsewhere that was leading to the owners considering retirement and either selling or closing the store outright. Since they claim to have never been able to establish a DC account with the new distributor, all I'm missing if we ever reestablish contact is the Shang-Chi and Fantastic Four: Antithesis mini-series from Marvel.

Don't want to set up a new account elsewhere until this situation is cleared up. Yet I've missed (so far) several issues of Wonder Woman, the end of Batgirl and Hawkman, Bendis' final issues of Superman and Action along with the ongoing Legion of Superheroes.

Since the news first broke, am strongly considering following his version of the JLA post Future State and depending upon what (if anything) DC ever decides to do with the Justice Society...

" 'A Summer's Prayer For Peace' except GOT INTENDED"

I noticed that. I assumed it was a typo.

Back to DEADMAN... Around the time of the Andrew Helfer series, Deadman appeared in a sporadic serial in Action Comics Weekly, which began with a more traditional look but ended up with the skeletal look, so the serial straddled at least the first Baron/Jones series. It was explained that the new look was a result of how Deadman perceived himself

DOONESBURY: I just finished reading YUGE! - 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, a collection of every Trump-themed strip from 1987 through April 2016. The other books in the series are #SAD (June 2016-May 2018) and LEWSER! (May 2018-May 2020). Since Doonesbury is Sunday-only now, I doubt there'll be enough material for a fourth volume (and hope there never will be).

Yesterday I read Cyberpunk 2007, and I usually don't go for comics based on video games but for some reason I picked it up. It deals with the trauma team who are a well-armed force. The main squad is a foursome, 2 medics and 2 soldier to protect them and do most of the killing. They work for a faceless, unnamed corporation who sends the teams out to their clients who have paid for this insurance.
This series deals with a medic who is the only survivor of her squad from a previous mission, but will regarded by the company because she got the client out alive. Now she is on a new mission and it deals with her and her new teammates getting another client out of a high rise.

This story was very Judge Dredd-like. It was a good read, and had a surprising ending. It was only 4 issues.

Today I read the second volume of Shazam! The World's Mightiest Mortal. This reprints Shazam! 19-35 and All New Collectors' Edition #C-58, which is the treasury size meeting of Superman and Captain Marvel. This book was a lot of fun, and I surprised how quickly I got through it. I really didn't think I would knock it out in one day. Highly recommend it. 

I took a little time this morning and read the first four issues of the William Messner-Loebs run of Dr. Fate (issues 25-28, with art by Peter Gross, then Vince Garriano). WML was really good at putting larger-than-life heroes in small-community situations, something he did on Flash, Wonder Woman, and Dr. Fate. The Nelsons superimpose the Tower of Fate onto a building Kent owns in New York -- an area that has fallen into poverty and disrepair since the 1920s, when Kent's dad bought the building. Although Kent & Inza start out as co-pilots of Dr. Fate, soon -- for reasons unexplained -- Inza starts becoming Fate on her own, with Kent locked out. She starts fixing small problems in the neighborhood -- fixing a traffic light, curing an addiction -- and they've started to notice other things improving in the neighborhood, things Inza *didn't* consciously do (fixing potholes, the bricks in buildings are in better condition, etc.). It strikes me as a metaphor for how, by taking some pride and investing in your community, you inspire others to do the same, and soon the whole place improves, only some of it through your own efforts.

That said, the magical consequences & price of Inza's efforts, and their long-term effect, remains to be seen.

I read some more issues of Dr. Fate last night. Inza is increasingly using her powers to help people around the neighborhood, rather than fight magical demons. In the most memorable moment, a cop gets shot, and Inza uses her powers to drag her back to life...but in doing so, she pulls from the life force of people around the neighborhood, nearly killing someone else. And politically, the book seems ahead of it's time: one character, Debbie, criticizes Dr, Fate because of her white savior complex.



Another scene has Thomas Bridges, a real estate tycoon (likely based on you-know-who), arguing that corporations are people (and in that case he literally uses those words: "Corporations are the real persons in this world.").

Meanwhile, we see Inza using her powers with more and more impunity. At one point we learn she's still Dr. Fate in her secret ID -- she just uses her powers to look like Inza. And at the climax of the last issue I read, she completely dismantles Bridges's skyscraper, while bridges himself disappears. By the end of the issue, Kent and Debbie discover him in a homeless shantytown, with most of his memories wiped out...

...a cliffhanger that's likely totally disrupted by the upcoming War of the Gods crossover, which takes up the next two issues of the book. Sigh.

I've begun reading the manga comic The Sky is Blue with a Single Cloud by Kuniko Tsurita. Its a collection of stories from 1966-1980, plus for me the first time I remember reading manga by a female creator. So far my favorite stories are "Nonsense" and "Anti" Some of them seem like the stories that would seem "deep" if I was blazed on weed, but that's just me.

Read some more Dr. Fate -- the War of the Gods issues weren't nearly as disruptive as I remembered, and the overarching plotline of the series kept progressing during them. Kent left Inza for a while to go on a dig in Egypt, taking the memory-wiped Tommy Bridges with him. Eventually, during WotG, Tommy got his memory back, and insisted on a return to NYC. 

Meanwhile, Inza had begun doing more and more things for the people of her neighborhood (and beyond), setting up floating Fate globes to respond to any wish, emergency or not. (In one issue, she ignores a couple calls for financial help from one family, and the husband eventually gives up and kills himself and his wife and daughter in a murder-suicide. Inza resolves to be EVERYWHERE after that.) There's a little underground movement to stop her, but it's led mostly by former robber barons who've lost their grip on the community, and when Kent gets back he wants no part of it, even though he agrees Inza has gone too far.

Then...Fate's helmet EATS Inza, and it's eventually revealed that through the whole series, she's been powered by a lord of chaos, not order. (Chaos doesn't mind doing good things, as long as they're interesting...! But he suggests that he was interested in seeing what would happen if Inza became a global dictator, so...) Eventually they fight him off, with the rest of the neighborhood banding together to lend their souls and psychic potential to the fight. A nice Spartacus-style ending, with the lord of chaos, eventually shrugging off his defeat, saying, "If Dr. Fate wasn't defeated and humiliated in front of the entire cosmos, at least I was!" And then he rides off on a bicycle.

At the end of issue 38, the neighborhood looks like it's in bad shape again, and Inza and Kent wonder, "What now?" 

The next issue will be a flashback to Kent's days as Fate, from a different team. After that the regular team -- which by this point has been joined by Scot Eaton on art, and Tom Peyer on script over WML's plot -- has two issues to wrap it up. 

I found all the issues of Captain America: Forever Allies from 2010 that featured Bucky-Cap trailing Lady Lotus (from The Invaders) who was revealed to be the same Lotus from Wonder Man. This included a flashback adventure of the re-imagined Young Allies in 1944, which was the strongest part of this series. The modern side had guest appearances by Black Widow, the Falcon and, of all people, Texas Jack Muldoon from Kirby's 70s run!

This was a sequel to 2009's Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special that modernized the racially stereotyped Golden Age versions into "real" people, particularly "Whitewash Jones" into Airman Washington Carver Jones. While the Young Allies were mentioned in both the 2005 and 2009 Golden Age Handbook of the Marvel Universe, they do not get their own entry (save for a small listing in 2005's index) and they had their own book in the 40s!

It's almost time to buy this week's comics and I haven't yet posted reactions to last week';s comics. 

MARVEL #4: If I'd've posted this last thursday rather than waiting a week, I would have given a story-by-story breakdown. Suffice it to say that none of this issue's stories appealed to me. the series has been good up until now, though, so maybe next issue will be better. Only two to go. I'm pretty enthusiastic about that new ongoing Marvels series, though, perhaps as excited as I've been about any Marvel series in recent memory.

STRANGE ADVENTURES #8: I've lost the story. I'm not tradewaiting because I've already bought the first eight periodicals, but I'll probably wait until the series is complete before reading the whole thing from the beginning. I may even wait until after I've read the Adam Strange Omnibus

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #4: A typical issue; more of the same.

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