Well here we are to my third box of unread comics. For those who haven't followed, theoretically I read a comic a day of comics I bought and never got around to reading. Some of them going back to the early '90s (well when I bought them I should say). I will review some of those comics. I tried to post one once a week, but I do get lazy. 

 

Enjoy!

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Michaelangelo #1

Dec. 1985

Cover art by: Kevin Eastman

 

 

 

Story: The Christmas Aliens

Story & Art: Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird

 

It's Christmas time in the city and Michaelangelo is wondering around taking it all in. He sees some kids tobogganing down a hill. He uses his scarf to disguise himself and asks if he can take a ride. They let him go for a ride, and he really enjoys himself. After he leaves the kids he finds a stray cat and tucks him inside his coat.

 

He next goes inside a toy store and plays with a bunch of the toys there. The cat gets frightened by one of the toys and runs out the back door. Michaelangelo follows the cat out there, and sees some hoodlums pilfering a bunch of the “Lil' Orphan Alien” toys that the store was going to donate to an orphanage. Michaelangelo then chases after the crooks once they steal away in the cargo truck. We then get a really nice fight scene that goes on a good long while. Michaelangelo fights the hijackers that ends at a crescendo of wrecking a police car, and when Mike takes over driving the truck he has to drive through a police roadblock.

 

Michaelangelo successfully hides the truck and goes to get the rest of the turtles to deliver the toys to the orphanage. They move the toys from the truck to their van and deliver them, with Mike as Santa and the rest of the turtles (and April) as some elves.

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I still remember where I got this comic from. Heritage Auction had a couple of tables at a convention, and addition to literature on their services and stuff they had 2 short boxes of dollar comics, and this was in there. Those boxes had quite a few nifty comics that I picked up. Like an issue of Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve, Frank Frazetta's Thun'da Tales (written by Gardner Fox), and this little TMNT gem.

 

It really was a fun comic, and I can't help but wonder what a pain in the ass it was to do all of that snow on all of those pages. There are a few full page splashes that look really good. The prolonged fight scene between Michaelangelo and the hijackers was really well done. I really got my dollar's worth here. This also sports a wrap around cover, but you just get the front.

 

I give it 54 turtle shells.

Cool, I really loved the Turtles when I was a kid. I never read any of their original Eastman & Laird comics though.
People tend to forget that the Turtles were pretty hardcore because of the first cartoon show but they played for keeps!

My first issue ever of TMNT was #3 of the very first series which was magazine sized? Definitely, bigger than comic book size. I enjoyed that original series for quite a while.

 

Leonardo's is the only one I am missing of these one-shots they put out.

I went searching to see if there was a collection of early TMNT. I found that there is a Hardcover collection of issues 1-7 plus the Raphael one shot. Looks like it's $40.

Is that the one that IDW is putting/has put out? Or am I totally off?

 

It has been well over 20 years since I read it, but I remember really liking the Raphael one-shot. I loved the cover with him and Casey Jones (his 1st appearance BTW)

yes It coincides with IDW's release of the new TMNT seires by the original team.
A quick programming note. There will be no new comic this week or next week. I'm not out of town per se, but I'm not at home either. I hope to be back soon, and I may do something else at this spot during that time

Moon Knight #12

Oct. 1981

Cover art by: Frank Miller & Al Milgrom

 

Story: The Nightmare of Morpheus

Writer: Doug Moench

Art: Bill Sienkiewicz (thank you copy and paste!)

 

Dr. Peter Alraune is looking over the file of his patient Robert Markham and what kind of monster he has become after trying an experimental cure of his degenerative disease. He is soon attacked by Markham, now calling himself Morpheus. A case of the cure being worse than than the disease? Maybe. Morpheus is now unable to sleep at all, and it has given him a gruesome appearance. Morpheus explains to the doctor that since he is unable to sleep and thus unable to dream he is now able to harness the unexpended psychic energies of dreams and use them in various ways. Shields to protect him, solid lines to swing upon, bolts of energy. He attacks the doctor, but he had already called the police to file a missing persons report on his patient. Once he hears the sirens, Morpheus hits the doctor with a final blast and makes his escape.

 

The doctor just happens to be Marlene's, Moon Knight's girlfriend, brother. Together they rush to the hospital to check on him. When they arrive they are told he is currently in a coma from which he may never recover. Morpheus has made his way to the hospital to resume his attack on Dr. Alraune. Marc Spector changes into his Moon Knight garb and brings the attack to Morpheus. Morpheus hits Moon Knight with one blast of his black energy and renders his impotent. It drains his energy and chills MK to the bone. Marc kind of recovers and attacks again with his truncheon, when he sees this does nothing to Morpheus attempts to leap away. Morpheus snags him around the ankle with more of his dream energy and throws hims through a car windshield. Morpheus realizes his powers are ebbing and runs away. Leaving Moon Knight to lick his wounds and feel sorry for himself for looking like such an amateur.

 

Moon Knight then decides to head on over to Dr. Alraune's office and finds police Detective Flint already there. Flint has been on the case for 36 hours and has no leads on finding Morpheus. He shares everything he knows with Moon Knight, figuring he will discover it all on his own anyways. Unfortunately, the one piece of info that he needs, where Morpheus is, Flint doesn't have. The Silver Sentinel leaves.

 

Next, we check in on Morpheus himself. He is hiding in some random tenement building. We learn that although he doesn't sleep he does feel better when he expends his dream energy. As the night goes on and the power builds up inside of him it make him more agitated and angry. There is also residual energy each night that allows him to build up more each time. He decides that he is going to build his own dream palace, but needs to rob a bank to get the funds for it.

Moon Knight happens to be near the bank that Morpheus is robbing and attacks again. Morpheus takes out the Fist of Khonshu in one shot again. When he recovers he follows Morpheus into a zoo. Morpheus frees a black panther who quickly attacks Moon Knight. MK throws the panther in the way of one of Morpheus' blasts. Morpheus is feeling pretty confident with himself and tells Moon Knight he will let MK hit him with his best shot. Marc throws his truncheon again, and misses badly. Morpheus starts laughing until the truncheon hits him in the back of the head. Moon Knight attempts to press his attack but is rebuffed when Morpheus unleashes a torrent of ebon energy from his entire body. Moon Knight in a shredded costume begins to crawl away.

 

He recovers enough to actually start running away, and is giving it his all to dodge Morpheus' blasts. Soon he stops and surrenders himself to Morpheus as he can't run any longer. Morpheus fires one last blast, and Moon Knight dodges again. The blast hits a generator and the positive electricity of that hits Morpheus and it drains him of his power. Moon Knight knocks him out.

 

Later Dr. Alraune wakes up, and Detective Flint tells the doctors at the hospital they will have to keep Morpheus in a coma until the can find a cure for him.

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Alert viewers will notice Bill Sienkiewicz's autograph on the cover, or I will just point it out each time. I dunno though this cover doesn't really work for me. Kind of static, it lacks a certain something.

 

You know some comics don't age well, but I've discovered that the Moon Knight comics hold up really well. These are pretty dynamite. Morpheus as a villain in interesting. The type of villain that Marvel specialized in; the tragic kind who was created through no fault of his own. The idea of psychic dream energy stuff was pretty neat as well. I liked that Morpheus was really powerful, and had full control of his powers. Yet, he definitely had limited stores.

 

Detective Flint was also a good character to introduce into the series. He is a Commissioner Gordon type for Moon Knight to interact with, but he seems to have more intelligence to share. Moon Knight doesn't quite have all of the connections that Batman does, or fear factor to get it from flunkies.

 

 

I give it 34 crescent darts.

Moon Knight #13

Nov. 1981

Cover art by: Ron Wilson

 

Story: The Cream of the Jest

Writer: Doug Moench

Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

 

Marc Spector is at his home fretting over the imminent release of Ace Taggert from jail. A man who has vowed to kill Moon Knight. He leaves the house in his guise of Jake Lockley, hoping to get some info on what Taggert may be planning. At the jail we see Taggert and his cell mate Jonathan Powers aka the Jester talking. Powers has solicited Taggert's help on getting revenge on the director he figures set him up to fail. Once that is done Powers will help Taggert kill Moon Knight. Since Taggert gets out four days before Powers he will start implementing Powers' plan of retribution.

 

As Jake Lockley, MK learns that Taggert has a big score lined up with the Jester. Daredevil has been following the Jester since he was released from prison. Moon Knight gets in costume and also begins to follow the Jester hoping it will lead him to Ace. Daredevil sees The Jester assault a driver and begins to swoop into action to take him back to jail. This doesn't suit Moon Knight at all and cuts DD's swing line with a well-placed crescent dart. Moon Knight follows this up with a flying tackle into a video game arcade. The Jester sees the ensuing melee, and laughs to himself as he easily slips away. The heroes battle it out for awhile until Moon Knight knocks Daredevil into some nearby civilians. They then decide to team-up to capture the pair of ex-cons. Not sure how to track them down.

 

Well not to worry since the Jester's plan involves a long prolonged robbery of the new show of the director who first hired him. He has killer robots, and fences another actor. He demands applause from the audience. Robs the box office and the audience of their valuables. By the time he is almost done, Taggert lets him know that there are cops everywhere.

 

Moon Knight knocks out Taggert outside while Daredevil moves inside in attempt to capture the Jester. Daredevil begins his fight with the Jester, and Moon Knight comes in to lend a hand. They both have to get by the Jester's inventions, and Moon Knight stops Daredevil from capturing the Jester. The Jester laughs as he makes his escape by grabbing on the the rope ladder of a helicopter. Unfortunately, it isn't the helicopter of Taggert as he thinks, but Frenchie flying MK's helicopter. Frenchie drops the Jester into the lap of the police.

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This is an old school Marvel team-up involving two of my favorite Marvel heroes and I loved it. We even got the pair fighting in the beginning, classic. The Jester is interesting to me, and I've always kind of liked him and his look. He like DC's Abra Kadabra they are just looking for the applause they think is owed to them. Well in the Jester's case cash as well.

 

I do have a problem with the cover. They should have elmininated The Jester from the background and made the two heroes larger. Plus, that damn banner ruins it as well.

 

I give it 2 silver truncheons and 3 ½ red truncheons. What a score!

Moon Knight #25

Nov. 1981

Cover art by: Bill Sienkiewicz

 

 

 

Story: Black Spectre

Writer: Doug Moench

Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

 

Carson Knowles is a war hero who has recently returned to the US. His reappearance does not go well for him. His wife leaves him, and takes his son. His boss didn't know when he would return so he gave his job to someone else. He finally gets a low paying job as a delivery man which he can keep as long as he has his own car. He also pays a visit to Mr. Cranston who is behind a powerful political machine. Cranston tells Knowles that since his father died Knowles has no political friends, and he couldn't get elected as a garbage man.

 

A few years pass and Carson Knowles learns his son was killed in a gang fight. His car gets stripped and destroyed while on a delivery so he loses his job. Carson is really in the dumps now. He reads an article the paper about Moon Knight, and uses his story as inspiration to become a criminal. He will be the Black Spectre and his underlings will be his Ghosts. His first order of business is to steal all of the incriminating documents that Boss Cranston has.

 

After he does this he goes to visit Cranston (as the Black Spectre), and tells him he needs to back Carson Knowles. Cranston refuses and the Spectre begins to beat on him, and his Ghosts take out Cranston's men. Moon Knight and Frenchie hear what is going on over their radio and head over there. Moon Knight and the Black Spectre square off, and the Black Spectre surprises MK with his speed and power. Taking out the Silver Sentinel with ease. Moon Knight does tear away the Spectre's mask and sees the man underneath. The police arrive and the Spectre and his men flee. Detective Flint and MK go talk to Cranston who refuses to tell them anything and that he is fine and was never even touched.

 

Later Marc Spector sees an ad on the TV for Carson Knowle's mayoral campaign and realizes he and Black Spectre are the same. The Black Spectre goes to talk to another political player Chiodo. Chiodo laughs at the Spectre like he did Cranston, and he tells the villain he ain't gonna play ball. Unfortunately, Chiodo brought a wrench to a sword fight. Marc Spector as Jake Lockley discovers Chiodo's dead body.

 

We next check in with Marc Spector who is having a heart to heart with Marlene. She tells Marc she can't be with him any more. He begs her to stay, not to be with him really, but to infiltrate Carson Knowles' mayoral campaign and see if she can find anything on him. She agrees. Frenchie gets beat up by some of the Spectre's men, and Marlene does get a job with Knowles, but she can find no malfeasance and refuses to believe that Carson Knowles and the Black Spectre can be the same person.

 

Moon Knight decides to go on the offense. He holds a press conference (his first ever!) and accuses Carson and the Spectre are one and the same. He has absolutely no proof to back it up. The media scoff at him, and when he tries to get Detective Flint to back him up, Flint issues a “no comment” and distances from Moon Knight.

 

Carson Knowles then calls in some favors with the police, and wants to have MK “arrested”. Some cops do find Moon Knight, and begin shooting. One of them does wing Moon Knight in the shoulder. MK stumbles back to his home, and Marlene leaves him. A pretty bad night.

 

The next night (I guess) Carson Knowles is enjoying the crowd outside of his office chanting his name. He is going up to the roof and wonders if Marlene will join him. Shes declines as she has work to do. It is then she discovers how Knowles has personal access to a lot of the public funds, and his plans to wreck the city. Knowles spies Moon Knight on the roof of an adjacent building, and he gets into his Black Spectre gear.

 

The Black Spectre gets the drop on Moon Knight and pretty much cleans his clock again. The Spectre claims victory and goes down stairs. Moon Knight collects himself and follows..eventually. He attacks the Spectre and they go crashing through the window to the street below. The police draw their guns on the pair, and Flint tells Moon Knight that just because Knowles is in the Black Spectre costume it still proves nothing. Marlene comes out of the crowd with her proof of Knowles' dealings. Carson Knowles is taken into custody and Moon Knight and Marlene leave together to work things out.

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Quite a humdinger of an anniversary issue. I generally like the villain inspired by the hero story. This was an execllent one. The Black Spectre used a cestus like Moon Knight did early in his career, and also much more brutal weapons like a sword and mace. As opposed to Moon Knights crescent darts and truncheon.

 

Sienkiewicz's art was just terrific as well. He was full blown into his own style by this point and it is amazing.

 

My only problem with this story was the timeline. I didn't know a lot of times how much time had passed between scenes, and it doesn't say. I get the years that passed between Knowles coming back and his becoming Black Spectre. The rest though I just don't follow.

 

I give it 5 1/5 Fists of Khonshu.

The 'Nam #11

Oct. 1987

Cover art by: Michael Golden

 


Story: 'Tis The Season

Writer: Doug Murray

Penciler: Michael Golden

Inker: John Beatty

 

This issue of the comic tells several smaller stories in it pages over the period a of a few weeks, so lets break it down:

 

  1. Ed Marks is saddened that he has to spend Christmas in Vietnam, but one of his comrades reminds him that he has only about 40 days left in country before he leaves. Marks asks another guy why he re-upped to stay. He tells him that he doesn't have a college to go back to, and he will soon be an instructor.

  2. Later a bunch of the G.I.s are at a show, and they are going crazy. Marks asks what the big deal is, and finds out that performers are American women. He gets excited as well.

  3. Its Christmas Eve and the Viet Cong launch an attack on the U.S. base. The Americans fend them off with helicopter support, and Marks and his friends find their barracks have been destroyed.

  4. The next day the military is giving the men a real Christmas meal with turkey and everything. They have also invited a bunch of Vietnamese kids to partake. One of them pulls out a grenade, and one of the soldiers jumps on it to protect the others.

  5. New Year's Eve the Viet Cong attack again. Once again the Americans repel the attack. Marks discovers his barracks have been destroyed again, along with the cake his mom sent over.

  6. The men send one of their own back home! Nice to see someone make it.

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I've really gotten into this series the last year or so. I've read the first two trades which collects the first 8 issues, as well as picking up a whole mess of issues from 50 cent boxes. I like stories like this that are just little vignettes, and this one is tied into the American holiday season. One time Marks, uh, remarks to one of his companions that he hates how the enemy attacks them on their holidays. He tells Marks not to worry, that they will get attacked during the Vietnamese holidays as well.

 

The 'Nam at first was told in real time, kind of, in that each issue takes place a month after the previous issue finished (I believe this was dropped at some point in time). Doug Murray was a real Vietnam veteran, and he brought some realism to the series. Michael Golden's art is a bit cartoony, but works really well in this series. The solemn look on those soldiers faces really touched me.

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