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 recently read Henchgirl bu Kristen Gudsnuk. Mary Posa is a second-rate henchgirl, for a third-rate villain in Crepe City. She is just trying to eke out a living, and crime is what she does. She has a couple of roommates who know about her job, and they encourage her to get a legitimate one.

Along the way she meets the hero Mannequin. We learn more about her past. As well as her rivalry with another henchgirl in the gang. And more!

This was a really fun and funny read. This is well-tread material, but Gudsnuk tales a good story, and her characters are compelling. It was also bigger than I thought, as the trade is over 300 pages. Recommended

MAESTRO #3: I think this series has taken a misstep. One of the most memorable things about Future Imperfect is Rick Jones' trophy room... the implication being that the Hulk/Maestro killed all the heroes of the MU. But in this series, the Hulk wakes up from suspended animation to find Rick Jones' trophy room already complete. Also, any surprise impact this issue may have had 9or rather the cliffhanger of #2) has long since been ruined by Previews printing the cover of #4.

TOMB OF DRACULA: Up through #16.

I read #1-11 in "Essential: format, but I switched over to color for #12-16. Despite this collections butt-ugly cover, it reprints nearly five issue of continuity. (#15 is abridged.) Issue #1 gives the impression that Dracula had been in his tomb for at least 100 years or so, but a story from "Dracula's Journal" (reprinted here) establishes that he was staked for a mere three years prior to the first issue.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #250:

It has been many years since I last read Captain America #250, but I know it has not been 20. That's because, although I often have trouble remembering exactly when I last read a particular comic or run, I can generally recall where I was when I did, and I know I re-read the entire Stern/Byrne run after moving to Texas (A.T.). Come to think of it, it was probably during an election year, probably 2004 or 2008.

Obviously Cap never held the office, but how did that part of the story line turn out?

"If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve."

No, seriously, Captain America was approached by the New Populist Party to run for president as in independent third party candidate. He told them he would consider it ("...but not too seriously"), but before he gave them his reply, the NPP notified the press that he had accepted. The press release set of a flurry of differing and different opinions... from the Avengers and other heroes, the man on the street, The Daily Bugle... even both the Democratic and Republican parties, both of which contacted him to be their candidate. Finally came the night of the convention at which he made the following speech.

"Friends! Please may I have your attention! what I have to say will not take long... but I hope it will be meaningful! As you're all well aware, there has been a lot of talk these last few days... talk triggered by certain stories appearing in the press.

"I have give much thought to those stories... and to the public discussion they inspired. I have had to face the question of whether or not I should be a candidate for President of the United States. [Applause] As I was saying, I gave this much thought... and I have come to my decision. The Presidency is one of the most important jobs in the world. The holder of that office must represent the best interests of an entire nation. He must be ready to negotiate--24 hours a day, to preserve the Republic at all costs! 

"I understand this... I appreciate this... and I realize the need to work within such a framework. By the same token--I have worked and fought all my life for the advancement of the American dream. and I believe that my duty to the Dream would severely limit any abilities I might have to preserve the reality.

"We must all live in the real world... and sometimes that world can be pretty grim. but it is the Dream... the hope... that makes the reality worth living. In the early 1940s, I made a personal pledge to uphold the Dream... and as long as the Dream remains even partially unfulfilled, I cannot abandon it! and so I hope you cvan understand--that in all fairness, I cannot be your candidate!

"You need but to look within yourselves to find the people you need to keep this nation strong... and, God willing, to help make the Dream come true!"

I actually remember this version of the story better:

SAVAGE DRAGON #253:

I have never looked to Erik Larson for cogent political analysis, but DAMN! Has anyone here actually read Savage Dragon is the past decade or so? Does anyone want to know what's going on?

THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER #7-9:

I read Dan Jurgens and Bruce Patterson's 1988 Flash Gordon nine issue mini series. It was a modern retelling of Flash's first trip to Mongo. Flash is now a forty-year old, divorced with a kid, bitter ex-basketball player (much like the 1980 film version was a football player. There's no love for polo these days!), Dale Arden is a TV reporter as they had to do something with her and Doctor Zarkov had fled the Communists instead of the Nazis. Surprisingly he does not build a rocket-ship but modified a crashed Mongo probe.

They updated Ming the Merciless from being an alien "Asian" to a grey-skinned supposedly "Roman emperor" type who looks slightly Arabic. Aura still is both brat and temptress. Ming keeps his power by controlling the technologies of Mongo, convinces everyone that he is divine and pits one city against the other by saying how inferior the other races are to theirs. One city was transformed to water breathers to farm the ocean floor while another is harvested for their organs. Poverty and vice are the foundation of Ming's rule. He is outraged, apprehensive and a bit impressed by Flash and Dale's disrespect and defiance of him.

Thun of the Lion Men is a more civilized Wolverine, Vultan is a horny old bird and Prince Barin is still Timothy Dalton!

It's more hardcore science fiction than the science fantasy that made Flash Gordon such an iconic series and it was just one in a series of attempts to modernize the characters that failed.

I'm never too sanguine about those kinds of updates. Certain stories are "of" a certain period and don't update well.

FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #3: I've lost the story here. At the end of the issue, Mr. fantastic gains the power of Galactus. "Don't Ask! Just Buy It!"

IMMORTAL HULK #39: In the "Below-Place," a new Leader is introduced. On the covers (this month and next), Alex Ross does Sal Buscema. No monthly comioc has been as grotesque since Bissette & Totleben's Swamp Thing

X-RAY ROBOT #3: Next month I must remember remember to re-read the previous issues before delving into the new one. this series is going to be so good read in a single sitting.

BATMAN: THREE JOKERS #3: So much to unpack here. It makes me long for the days when there would have been a 50-page discussion of the ramifications of this series. Other than what I myself have posted, I have seen no discussion of this series whatsoever, so I'll simply say that this is the most important "Batman" comic book of the last decade.

EERIE TALES #1 & WEIRD MYSTERIES #1: These are facsimile editions of two black & white horror anthologies originally published by Hastings Associates, Inc. in 1959. They are reprinted with "framed" cardstock covers, but beneath the outer covers are full-size replica's of the originals. Artists include Gray Morrow, George Tuska, Joe Orlando, Ken Battefield, Bob Powell, Paul Reinman, Carl Burgos and Angelo Torres. A quick flip-through reminds one of a MAD magazine of the era, except it's horror, not humor. these are published by PS Artbooks and represent a "missing link" between EC horror comics and Warren publications Creepy & Eerie. There is a bar-code, but no actual price on the covers. for the record they are $11.99 a piece. (In an era when regular comic books are $3.99, these are more than a comparable value.) Recommended to Captain Comics.

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