Week 7 in "Bood Hunt"

BLOOD HUNT #3 (OF 5) by writer Jed MacKay and artist Pepe Larraz. Marvel hasn't said much about this issue, but I assume thing will get worse before they get better.

Yes, sadly, that is Miles Morales on cover A, now a vampire. The Avengers have already lost Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and Thor (although the latter two have not been turned, AFAIK) so all that remains of the Avengers group shown on cover E are Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Tigra.

Wait, Tigra? Seriously, Tigra?!??




I'm guessing that this issue's Red Band cover is an homage to Vault of Horror #26, or possibly Vault of Horror #15. Hands coming out of the ground wasn't exactly a rare image in pre-Code horror, so I'm open to other possibilities!


AVENGERS #15 by writer Jed MacKay and artis C.F. Villa: I said last issue that this particular Avengers team was noticably lacking in a member who could fly, and apparently that's actually a plot point. I think Hercules on cover B adequately expresses this oversight.

But hey, they're fighting Nazi vampires in WWII Wehrmacht uniforms! I don't know where they came from, but I'm always game for Nazi vampires. Or werewolves. Or zombies. Maybe I just like seeing Captain America punch Nazis of any stripe.




  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: BLOOD HUNT #2 by writer Justina Ireland and artist Marcelo Ferreira. Still guest starring Lizard and Misty Knight.
  • MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #21 by writer Cody Zigler and artist Travel Foreman: The blurb for this issue paints Blade as a good guy fighting the vampires, but up to now, he has been depicted as the leader of the vampires. OTOH, I'm guessing he's the one that turns Miles. Brain hurt! 
  • FANTASTIC FOUR #21 by writer Ryan North and artist Ivan Fiorelli: Reed Richards and Alicia are fighting vampires in New York, while the rest of the team, family and hangers-on are "isolated in Arizona" (as expressed in the solicitation, although I understand Arizona does have cars and roads and planes and everything). Evidently the vampires didn't have an early-strike plan for the FF, disregarding the team much as Marvel management does. Anyway, Reed is trying to come up with a cure, but as the solicitation notes, "vampires are magic, illogical, impossible." Fun!
  • STRANGE ACADEMY: BLOOD HUNT #2 (OF 3): Writer Daniel Jose Older and artist Luigi Zagaria take the class to Madripoor to find the Montesi Formula, which is in the Darkhold, which is currently manifesting as a small child. Also fun!
  • X-MEN BLOOD HUNT JUBILEE #1, by writer Preeti Chhibber and artist Enid Balám, does two things for me right away. One, it establishes that Jubilee isn't a vampire any more. (I had wondered. And BTW, how did that happen? Because knowing how to de-fang people might come in handy right about now.) Two, it underscores what I've gleaned from various sources about the new status quo for X-people, which is that most mutants will not be on Earth for the present, being trapped on Arrako, or held in the White Hot Room, or kept in WritersFiatLand, or isolated in Arizona, or whatever. Only a couple hundred or so X-people will be on Earth, and Jubilee is one of them. Also Laura Kinney, Psylocke and Magik, who will star in the other three Blood Hunt X-Men tie-in one-shots. (I think it obvious that Logan, Cyclops, Magneto and Jean Grey will also be among the Earthbound mutants. And Professor X, albeit in jail. And Storm, who is joining the Avengers in August, and getting her own title as well. Who else? We get some clues below.)

This week in Spider-Man:


This week in Star Wars:


This week in Ultimates:


This week in X-Men:

X-MEN HEIR OF APOCALYPSE #1 (OF 4) by Steve Foxe (X-Men ’97, Dead X-Men) and drawn by Netho Diaz (Daredevil: Black Armor): Apparently, Apocalypse is a revered leader now, and his work on Earth considered "sacred." Since he's not one of the mutants on Earth — he'll be on Mars, doing his "sacred work" there, presumably — he'll pick someone to carry on in his stead on Earth. The candidates are Armageddon Girl (formerly Nature Girl), Cable, Cypher, Emma Frost, Exodus, Forge, Gorgon, Mirage, Mr. Sinister (are you kidding?), Penance, Rictor, and Wolverine (Laura Kinney), so now we know a few more mutants who will be on Earth post-Krakoa! I don't know how the next Apocalypse will be picked, but I imagine there will be much fighty-fight.

"The shadow of Apocalypse has loomed large over not just the Krakoan era, but a substantial percentage of mutant-focused storytelling since his debut in 1986,” Foxe shared. “These past few years have shown so many new facets of En Sabah Nur, and my Krakoan peers aren't done with him quite yet. So it's both an immense honor and a ton of pressure to step up to the slab for Heir of Apocalypse, which charts a new path for his legacy in the years to come. I've been lucky to bend the ear of past and future stewards of these characters to make sure these four issues are a meaningful entry in the Apocalypse canon — and I had every X-fan’s DREAM task of selecting 12 mutants from across the history of the franchise who might just be up for the titular role. Some are characters I've already had the privilege to write, some are characters I've eyed enviously, and some won't survive the series ... but only one will become the Heir of Apocalypse."






Elsewhere at Marvel:

SCARLET WITCH #1 by writer Steve Orlando (Scarlet Witch) and artist Jacopo Camagni (X-Men Red): The last Scarlet Witch series resumes, more or less, after the Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver hiatus. Wanda will battle Lore, her "necromantic multiversal counterpart" from the the 1994 Scarlet Witch minseries, which I don't remember in the least. Besides, we all know that Lore is the evil Data, not the evil Wanda!

Hey, check out that P. Craig Russell cover! Haven't seen him at the Big Two in a while.

"Redesigning Lore was a huge treat!” Dauterman said. “Lore is an evil Wanda variant, so I wanted to contrast the design I did for our Scarlet Witch, which was meant to be magical, vibrant, and superheroic, by going dark and sinister, with a goth, undead vibe. I’m incredible excited to also be drawing some interiors in the issue where these two Wandas face off!"






  • DEADPOOL #3 guest stars (?) Taskmaster and Crossbones.
  • G.O.D.S. #8 (OF 8): Miniseries finale. It's curious how little conversation there is about this. Hickman, from accounts, is changing the cosmic order of the Marvel U, which began with Eternity and Galactus in the '60s. Yet, all I hear is crickets.
  • GIANT-SIZE DAREDEVIL #1 by Saladin Ahmed (Daredevil) and artist Paul Davidson (X-Force) puts Matt Murdock's sins in Kingpin, or something like that, and he becomes some sort of night-stalking demon. Or something.
  • INCREDIBLE HULK #13 features Greenskin battling SUMUNGARU THE FLESH-WEAVER, which sounds very Stan Lee-ish.
  • THOR BY WALTER SIMONSON OMNIBUS NEW PTG HC: Just like the first printing, which I have (as well as the original comics), this collection skips Thor #357 and #370. Which presents a dilemma for us completists. Do I continue to buy the MMWs through this period, making the omnibus superfluous? Do I buy whatever Epic Collections cover those two issues, which duplicates a ton of material? Or do I just live with those two missing issues (as I will eventually sell the original comics) and renew my subscription to Marvel Universe if I need to read them? Collecting comics is hard!



This week in “House of Brainiac”

GREEN LANTERN #12 by writer Jeremy Adams and artists Xermanico, Kevin Maguire: Evidently, turning over the Corps to the United Planets was just as bad an idea as everyone thought it was, as some sort of corruption goes to the root of the organization, explaining why they have set the other Lanterns, Ring Hunters and "The Unseen" against the Lanterns of Sector 2814. Plus, Guy Gardner and Lobo hang out in the backup story, which is the part Maguire is drawing.


This week in Batman:

BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT: THE KRYPTONIAN AGE #1 (OF 12) by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola: Did they say "Mike Mignola"? I'm kinda there, then. But with this being the third Gotham by Gaslight series, I'm wondering if I should just wait for an omnibus. I'm not sure I have the first two in HC anyway.

And yes, "Kryptonian Age" means Superman just showed up in the 19th century.


  • RED HILL: THE HOOD #5 (OF 6)

Elsewhere at DC:

  • DC PRIDE UNCOVERED #1 (ONE-SHOT) by writer Andrea Shea and artists Jen Bartel, Phil Jimenez, Jim Lee, Joshua Sway Swaby, David Talaski, Babs Tarr, Kris Anka, more: A collection of Pride covers.
  • OUTSIDERS #8 guest stars Jinny Hex.
  • SECRET SIX BY GAIL SIMONE OMNIBUS VOL 1 HC: This was revolutionary work at the time. I bet it holds up fine.



GEIGER #3: I swear, by the cosmically conditioned cuticles of Odin, I'm going to catch up on the Unnamed Universe titles and talk about them someday. 

GEIGER VOL 1 DELUXE EDITION HC by Geoff Johns (Superman, Green Lantern, Batman: Three Jokers) and Gary Frank (Superman, Supergirl, The Incredible Hulk) collects Geiger issues #1-6, Geiger 80-Page Giant #1 and more than 30 pages of bonus material. I expect I'll get it, just to have so much of the material in one place. But wasn't there also something called Geiger: Ground Zero before the current series? And a Ghost Machine one-shot? Maybe those will be included in Volume 2, but it feels like something's missing from the character's early days, before Ghost Machine was a twinkle in anyone's eyes.


PLASTIC: DEATH & DOLLS #1 (OF 5) by writer Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard: This is a prequel to the 2017 miniseries Plastic, which told the story of retired serial killer Edwyn Stoffgruppen and the love of his life, a sex doll. She was stolen, and hi-jinks (and mayhem) ensued. This miniseries tells Edwyn's story, from his first kill at age 10 to his meet-cute with Virginia, the sex doll. 

No, I'm not making any of this up. Why do you ask?


REMOTE SPACE #1 (OF 4) by Cliff Rathburn (The Walking Dead, Brit)

REVIEW: In the year 2450, humans who have used cybernetics to go into space come into conflict with their relatives on Earth, who have used genetic mutation to survive climate change. It's X-Men vs. Dethloks in spaaaaaace!

Well, not really. We do get an arena match between a cyborg and a huge, mutated human (the mutation is actually caused by a virus, I think) so that counts. But so much of this book is set-up, I can't really say what it is yet. At first we get page after page of straight-up exposition, telling the reader how we got to the "present," so the story doesn't really start until halfway through. (And on the way, the word "castigation" is used in place of "redemption" or "salvation," and that shouldn't have made it past an editor, assuming Image has any editors.)

I will say the book is beautiful! Rathburn is clearly influenced by P. Craig Russell, and there just can't be enough P. Craig Russell in the world.

I give it three stars, as it loses a star for writing defects. But I'll be here next issue regardless. Did I mention it's beautiful?



RIFTERS #1, by writer/comedian Brian Posehn (Deadpool, The Mandalorian, Scotch McTiernan: Holiday Party), writer/musician Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy (The Holy Roller) and artist Chris Johnson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), is an ongoing "time-traveling comedy romp." I can't describe it any better than Image does: 

"Readers will be hurtled in the wild world of Rifters — where Time Cop collides with Law & Order, filtered through the lens of Mr. Show — when they meet Fenton and Geller. These two part-time Wisenheimers, full-time vice time cops suck at rule-following but excel at busting time-travel crimes. Unfortunately, their daily grind involves tedious police work — like chasing down douchebag influencers hellbent on live-streaming illegal transtemporal trips to 1920s Chicago to steal primo bootleg hooch."

These maverick cops find themselves in the middle of a homicide with far-reaching effects. Again, I turn you over to others:

“Joe and I are having a blast with Rifters, we put time travel and police procedurals in a comedy blender, we had underwear on our head and we yelled 'Dick Wolf' three times," said Posehn. "Our pal Chris Johnson is killing the art, hope you dig it!”

Trohman added: "The book is pure fun, pure escapism — a distillation of everything we love about '80s and '90s science fiction, comedy and the police procedural — big shout out to Dick Wolf. And a more enormous shout-out to dick jokes — there’s at least one in there."





Elsewhere at Image:

  • IMAGE FIRSTS: ASTRO CITY #1, no price indicated.
  • IMAGE FIRSTS: RADIANT BLACK #1, no price indicated.




REVIEW: I was under the impression that the Godzilla books from IDW were for kids. But this collection is comics for — well, not adults. But people like us.

For example, the first story is a meditation on aging for much of its first half, to which I can certainly relate. The others aren’t quite as on-the-nose for my cohort, but they are still straight-up adventure books for grown-ups. If, by grown-ups, you mean people who thrill to giant monsters fighting.

The first two stories are by James Stokoe (Aliens: Dead Orbit) and Duane Swierzynski (Secret Dead Men), and are largely centered on human characters while the monsters fight above. The art isn’t photo-realistic, but it isn’t cartoony, either. Stokoe illustrates his own story, and I enjoyed his individualistic style here as much as I did in Aliens: Dead Orbit (see preview).

The settings include Bombay, Manhattan, Rio de Janeiro and (somewhere cold) in Russia. The stories collected are Godzilla: The Half-Century War #4, Godzilla: History’s Greatest Monster #12, Godzilla in Hell #3 and Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #17.

 I give the book two stars out of four. It’s at least a three in quality, but since it’s only a sampler of unrelated issues from various series. It's designed to whet your appetite for other books elsewhere, not stand alone.


GODZILLA: SKATE OR DIE #1 by Louie Joyce

REVIEW: As a counterpoint to Best of Spacegodzilla, this book really does seem aimed at kids — young adults, at best. It’s about four skateboarders in Australia (although there’s really no sense of place; these kids could just as easily be from L.A.), who seem to be of middle school age. Social media/texting is integrated into the art. So they are kids, and they do kid things until the monsters arrive. Which, for the most part, will be in the following issue. This issue is basically set-up.

I found myself skimming the second half, as I wasn't really interested in these kids. Varan and Godzilla make cameos, but won't make full appearances until later. Alas, I won't be there to see it.

As for Joyce's art, I won't say it's specifically aimed at kids, but I get that vibe (see preview). It's angular and busy, which I don't really care for. YMMV.

I give it one star, as it's not my sort of book. YMMV.




INTO UNBEING PART ONE #1 (OF 4) by writer Zac Thompson (Cemetery Kids Don’t Die, Blow Away) and artist Hayden Sherman (Dark Spaces: Dungeon, Detective Comics).

REVIEW: This is the sort of sci-fi/horror book I'd expect from Image. That is not a criticism.

It's 2034 and four scientists working for Scientific Institute for Nascent Ecology and Worlds (yes, somebody really wanted it to spell S.I.N.E.W.) are assigned to an Australian post where almost nothing lives, thanks to climate change. They are climate-change scientists, in fact, whose organization's purpose seems to be little more than observing and recording the slow death of our world. All four are female — a fact I didn't realize until almost the end, which may be a testament to the writing, or that it simply doesn't matter. For the record, they're a botanist, a surveyor, an entomologist and a geologist. Oh, there's also a dog, Galko.

There's a seismological event, and they travel to the epicenter where a cave system has opened, one that looks suspiciously like a giant mouth in a giant head with a giant tongue hanging out (all made of rock). There are strange, inexplicable plants and animals where there should be none at all, and the geologist says the rocks appear to be from the very beginning of Earth (Hadean Era). Not strange and terrifying at all!

Then a sandstorm forces them to seek shelter in the "cave" ...

OK, I'm hooked. The author is going for a Lovecraftian horror/suspense vibe, and for the most part succeeds. I immediately thought of At the Mountains of Madness, which had "explorers discovering ancient horror in a frozen environment," which is pretty unlikely these days. So instead we have the much-more-logical "explorers discovering ancient horror in a too-hot environment."

The art is right up my alley: clear and clean with just the just right amount of Mobius-like rendering. (See preview.)

I give it 3.5 stars out of four. I'd go full four, except that it includes a couple of what I consider writing lapses. They may not be mistakes, just things the writer doesn't explain ... in which case the mistake is that he doesn't explain them:

  • Planning for the trip, the leader thinks they should pack "ultralight gear" for the "two-day trip." And then in the next panel thinks "I've got them packing for everything." Which is it? Maybe she meant ultralight personal gear, with all the other stuff ("free climbs, sample collection, portaledge camping ... forty dehydrated meals ... more than enough water") will be in their transport, a Jeep? If so, that should have been mentioned. But obviously, all that gear is going with them for the next three issues, or why else put it on Chekov's mantlepiece?
  • Why do you need both a surveyer and a geologist? In fact, why do you need a surveyor at all, unless the plot's going to call for it later? Which is a man-behind-the-curtain sort of thing.
  • Why do all four need to go on the expedition, when two are against it from the start? And since all four going leaves the base abandoned? It's just a routine recon, so why doesn't the leader just go herself, along with the other who's willing, and leave the other two back at base, available to come to the rescue should the recon crew get in trouble with this unprecedented and unknown phenomenon? That's common sense.
  • The humans take great care in personal protection, because apparently not much can live in the desert heat, especially for two days. But no provisions are made for the dog at all, not even paw protection from burning sands. (The dog should have stayed back at the base with the two reluctant ones.)





This week in "Resurgence":

THE VALIANTS (2024) #2 (OF 4) by writer Ryan Cady and artist Al Barrionuevo:  The Geomancer is facing off against Deathmate. I didn't know Deathmate was a person, because when I was buying Deathmate back in the Long Before Time, I was holding all the issues until I had the whole story. I never got the whole story — Wikipedia says the last two issues were super late, but I never even saw them — so I never read any of them. 

Anyway, I thought the Geomancer was one of the better concepts at Valiant. This one has a personal relationship with Bloodshot, as well as the professional relationship with Eternal Warrior, so she can whistle up two of the best Valiant characters any time. Let's hope she does!

X-O MANOWAR INVICTUS #2 (OF 4) by writers Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad and artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa: Aric (that's the guy in the armor) goes up against someone called Soothsayer, and the solicitation hints at romance. I've said before I'm not really interested in Aric as a character, which obviously goes for his love life, too.



AN OUTBREAK OF WITCHCRAFT GN (Little Brown Ink) by writer Deborah Noyes and artist M Duffy: A graphic novel about the Salem witch trials. From the solicitation, it appears to be going for historical accuracy. Interesting, although I don't care for the art. Amazon has a PREVIEW.



DEADWEIGHTS #3 (OF 6): Ahoy alert!

DICK TRACY #2 (Mad Cave) by writers Alex Segura and Michael Moreci and artist Geraldo Borges: This just looks good.

EVIL EYES SEA GN (Uncivilized Books)  by Ozge Samanci: An "autobiographically inspired" story is set in Istanbul during the 1955 Turkish elections, and is a "feminist political mystery." Two college students get involved in "political corruption, religious pressure and possibly murder." Samanci says it's inspired by her college days in Istanbul, but she's a current professor at Northwestern, who got her PhD in 2009, so it's very unlikely she was in Istanbul in 1955. Which is what is meant by "autobiographically inspired," I suppose. Once again, I don't care for the art.

FAIRY TALE TEAM-UP ROBYN HOOD & VAN HELSING (Zenescope) by writer Dave Franchini, David Wohl and artist Greebo Vigonte: Two female archers dressed like strippers take on a nest of wealthy vampires in L.A. Give Zenescope credit: They know their audience.

STAN MACK’S REAL LIFE FUNNIES (Fantagraphics) by Stan Mack: Stan Mack's observational comic strip about the foibles of New Yorkers appeared weekly in the The Village Voice for 20 years, and here's a collection. I can't imagine anyone having a career like that outside of New York or, if I'm being honest, I can't imagine anyone being interested in these comics outside of New York. But maybe that's just me.

HARD SWITCH SC GN (Avery Hill) by Owen D. Pomery: A story focusing on the crew of a ship that raids old, abandoned spaceships for parts. But the "hard switch" is coming, when the resource that fuels galactic travel runs out and everyone becomes stuck on whatever planet they're on. I assume our crew will be the heroes who solve this dilemma, or otherwise, what's the point of the story? But I'm capable of being surprised.

HATE REVISITED #1 (OF 4) (Fantagraphics) by Peter Bagge: I've said before that I find Bagge's art repulsive, and not in a good way. I feel like I need to take a shower after reading his work. Nothing has changed, so I won't be reading this. But if you like Bagge, this should be your bag.

HEROINE HEAVEN #5 (AC Comics) by various: I don't usually mention AC Comics, which are reprints of pre-Code, public-domain comic books in non-chronological, non-comprehensive fashion, which is not my bag. (Is it anyone's?) But this issue stood out, because it's spider-female-themed. The characters presented are Spider Queen, Spider Widow and Spider Woman. Sadly, Marvel's Golden Age Black Widow is under copyright, and can't join the party.

HIGH ON LIFE #1 (OF 4) (Titan) by writer Alec Robbins and artist Kit Wallis: Based on a video game set in the future, it features a bounty hunter and his team "on an explosive, twisting adventure across the cosmos." Looks a little silly to me, but I haven't played the game, so what do I know?


PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 28 1991-1992 (Fantagraphics) by Hal Foster: I'm collecting these. I've fallen so far behind, though, that actually reading them will have to wait for retirement.

SAFER PLACES GN (Avery Hill) by Kit Anderson: Short stories that "explore the secrets and magic typically unseen in everyday life." Avery Hill has some PREVIEW PAGES.

SCP FOUNDATION COMICS: PLAGUE DOCTOR (Aloha Comics/Para Books) by writers Djkaktus and Gabriel Jade and artists Janesonn, Phil Cttchn: SCP started life as a web series, featuring horror stories set in a world where the SCP Foundation (I don't know what that stands for) battles things that go bump in the night. On the QT, I presume. Plague Doctor is a mysterious creature who has a face like a medieval plague doctor and wears robes to match. From the PREVIEW it appears he likes to indulge in scientific experiments on living people, and the story is told from the POV of the psychiatrist tasked with containing him, who descends into madness. Pretty creepy stuff!

SHI SENRYAKU OMNIBUS ED HC (Crusade Comics) by writer Gary Cohn and artists Billy Tucci, Jim Lee, Frank Frazetta, Adam Hughes, Marc Silvestri, more: For the Shi fans for whom the artist's edition a little while back wasn't enough. Actually, I've never read any Shi myself, and I wonder if I should get this just to fill that area of ignorance.

WALKING DISTANCE GN (Avery Hill) by Lizzy Stewart: "Walking" is expanded from something you do to the bus stop to metaphor, self-reflection and other literary things. Avery Hill has a PREVIEW.

WICKED TRINITY ONE-SHOT (Archie Comics) by writer Sam Maggs and artist Lisa Sterle

REVIEW: In the PR for this issue, the regular Riverdale line is referred to as "Archie's classic-look line of kids' comics" and the recent horror books as "Archie's line of comics for older readers." That distinction was always there, but I don't recall it being spelled out like that before. And I don't remember anybody in Archie management referring to the main line of books they've been publishing since the 1940s as "kids comics," either. I always thought of them as falling between kids comics and superhero-level comics. Not Harvey's Richie Rich, but not Denny O'Neil's Batman, either.

This was buttressed by the fact that I read and enjoyed Archies as a tweenager, but instantly grew out of them my first day at White Station High School. How could I not? High school was just a vague concept before I got there. Once I did, and the White Station reality was so different from the Riverdale High School fantasy, that my suspension of disbelief crashed and burned on Day One. 

Which all leads to this book, which also falls somewhere between: Between the Riverdale line and the Archie Horror line. This seems to be written for 14-year-olds, as three girls with magic powers bicker and compete with each other in true Mean Girls fashion. The art, by Sam Maggs (named for Samantha of Bewitches, she tells us), falls direclty into line, a tad more sophisticated than the regular line, but too cartoony for grown-ups. 

Also, while the characterization carries the book, it is set-up for a later Archie Horror event (to take place after Archie Comics: Judgment Day, a three-parter ending next month). At the end, the girls do something from which there's no turning back (with a cameo of Sabrina saying, "Oh, no ...").

None of which is to say I didn't enjoy it. I like most of the Archie Horror line just for the fun of its existence. And the girls (they are not yet women) are well-written and engaging. I give it 2.5 stars out of four, losing points for being a bit on the juvenile side.






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  • Evil Variant Wanda looks like a Batwoman Ballgown cosplay.

  • Hickman's "G.O.D.S." is a favorite of mine.  Mainly, I suppose, because its characters are both incredibly powerful and utterly vulnerable. But the series can be difficult to hype, since despite being very high concept and having had a couple of harmless cameos it has hardly any impact on any other books nor in the status quo of the MCU. Nor has it been in any hurry to clearly introduce its own concepts or even the meaning of its title. 

    Still, I don't expect it to be all that self-contained.  Odds are that when it concludes we will learn that there is some sort of follow-up series or event.  The characters and ideas introduced are much too interesting to be left idle.

    The SCP Foundation, to the best of my understanding, is a particularly succesfull example of a shared repository of free-to-use ideas, concepts and characters.  It has no true canon nor even any significant way of attempting to enforce one.  It runs on popularity alone to create the provisional appearance of a canon when the need for that appears.  Much like current DC, you know. 

    In any case, SCP means "Secure, Contain, Protect".  That is the motto of the SCP Foundation that lends its name to the fictional universe as a whole.  In most uses it is an incredibly resourceful organization that has the mission to (you guessed it) secure, contain and protect the numerous odd and dangerous entities and phenomena that exist in their world.  It is the go-to place when common citizens and even governments want either explanations of or protection from the all that weirdness.  Which is not to say that it is necessarily ethical and definitely does not mean that it is free from internal weirdness itself; quite the opposite really. 

    Most SCP-world stories have the activities of the SCP Foundation at their core, as it finds, reacts to and/or deploys what it calls "anomalities".  It also has a habit of numbering anomalities and using those numbers in lieu of names (fans of Malibu's Ultraverse of the 1990s will recognize that trait as one that is shared by that universe's Alladin).  For instance, SCP-682 is perhaps its best known entity: the "Hard-to-Destroy Reptile", a significant threat despite spending nearly all of its time as a prisoner of the Foundation. SCP-343 is one of my favorites, a remarkably familiar entitiy that resides in the Foundation because they lack either the means or the will to dispose of it.  In true Marvel issue numbering tradition, the numbering is inherently unpredictable and prone to unexplained variations and repetitions (there seem to be about a half dozen very different SCP-100s, and most authors seem to simply pretend that they never noticed that ambiguity).

    Loads of fun, and ripe fodder for anyone's favorite fictional crossovers.

    • "Miniseries finale. It's curious how little conversation there is about this. Hickman, from accounts, is changing the cosmic order of the Marvel U, which began with Eternity and Galactus in the '60s. Yet, all I hear is crickets."

      "[T]he series can be difficult to hype, since despite being very high concept and having had a couple of harmless cameos it has hardly any impact on any other books nor in the status quo of the MCU."

      Twice last week I encountered the aphorism "Comic books should be fun" (once while reading an Arthur Adams comic, once while reading a Steve Rede one). It was also last week that I read Jonathan Hickman's Ultimate Spider-Man #5 and thought to myself, "This comic just ain't fun"; well-written, yes, but not fun. for a Green Goblin comic that is fun, I kept thinking of Spectacular Spider-Man #2.


      Loads of fun, and ripe fodder for anyone's favorite fictional crossovers.

      That's the most interesting thing I've heard about G.O.D.S. (above the sound of crickets).


    • I like Hickman's G.O.D.S., but here I was talking about the SCP Foundation-related fiction.

    • And as it turns out, G.O.D.S. #8 was just about perfect. Best comic I have read in a fair while.  Probably the best I ever read from Hickman as well, and by a considerable margin.

      As things stand, this issue has certainly provided more questions than answers. I will be very disappointed if this series is not followed up somewhere fairly soon.  Wyn and the others have become quite interesting, and this final issue ends in a true and very personal cliffhanger.

      I like what Jed MacKay has been doing in Doctor Strange, but this issue convinced me that Jonathan Hickman would be a more than proper writer for that character as well. Probably better than MacKay, even.

      I wish we had this series earlier instead of House of X/Powers of X.  It is much better from a creative perspective than anything that the Krakoa era gave us.

    • You've sold me! I'll get a collection when it becomes available.


  • DICK TRACY #2 (Mad Cave) by writers Alex Segura and Michael Moreci and artist Geraldo Borges: This just looks good.

    Honestly (and as ever IMO), no one who hasn't read at least some Chester Gould Dick Tracy has any business reading this book.

    PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 28 1991-1992 (Fantagraphics) by Hal Foster: I'm collecting these. I've fallen so far behind, though, that actually reading them will have to wait for retirement.

    I have fallen behind, too... my second time thorugh. Fantagraphics previously published 50 volumes of Prince Valiant in softcover (and I did read all of those), but the HC editions are roughly three times the length of the earlier ones and go far beyond the point where those left off. I am seriously considering getting back into reading Prince Valiant where I left off... soon.


    • Jeff of Earth-J said:

       DICK TRACY #2 (Mad Cave) by writers Alex Segura and Michael Moreci and artist Geraldo Borges: This just looks good.

      Honestly (and as ever IMO), no one who hasn't read at least some Chester Gould Dick Tracy has any business reading this book.

      Um ... what does this mean?

      In any case, I got the first issue, and am sold. Looking forward to the rest of the series. This would make a fine movie, but apparenly no more Dick Tracy movies are in the offing. Warren Beatty, who directed and starred in the movie from 1990, has film rights to the character. To retain them, every few years he makes some kind of video appearance in costume. Details here from Collider: "What the Hell Is Up With Warren Beatty and the Rights to ‘Dick Tracy?"

  • Odds are that when it concludes we will learn that there is some sort of follow-up series or event.  The characters and ideas introduced are much too interesting to be left idle.

    Sounds good to me.

    In any case, SCP means "Secure, Contain, Protect". ... Loads of fun, and ripe fodder for anyone's favorite fictional crossovers.

    Thanks for all the information on this corner of our hobby, about which I knew little. I'm not getting review copies of SCP books, nor does my LCS stock them (you have to order in advance). But Plague Doctor sure looks interesting.

    For a Green Goblin comic that is fun, I kept thinking of Spectacular Spider-Man #2.

    Brother, that sure brings back memories. When the first issue of Spectacular Spider-Man arrived, I loved it -- but, believe it or not, that 35-cent price was almost a deal-breaker! I almost didn't get it, especially since it wasn't in continuity (the story was later adapted into Amazing Spider-Man proper). I almost didn't get the second issue, but it was in color, and it was Green Goblin, so I coughed up the 35 cents again. There goes milk for the week! But I didn't see how I could possibly continue to get the regular 15-cent books AND this exorbitantly priced magazine, too. I don't know what I'd have done if there was a third issue.

    Fortunately (?) it was canceled. By the time Marvel got back into the magazine game again I was making enough money that it didn't sting too much, even though Marvel jumped into the market in a big way. The biggest problem there was spotty distribution, forcing me to track through all the drug stores, convenience stories and stationery stores within bicycle distance for every issue. It still took me years -- and probably a flea market -- to get Tales of the Zombie #1.

    Sometimes I don't remember what I had for lunch, but I remember all that clearly!

    Anyway, yes, Spectacular Spider-Man was (grim) fun. It was a great sequel to Amazing Spider-Man #39-40 -- so much so, that it's been repeated ad nauseum ever since.  

    Honestly (and as ever IMO), no one who hasn't read at least some Chester Gould Dick Tracy has any business reading this book.

    That's good to know. I have only read Chester Gould in the "Dick Tracy" comic strip that appeared in the newspapers of my youth. I am buying the HC collections coming out currently, which I do intend to read in the near future. Then maybe I'll see if there's a trade of this iteration.

     I am seriously considering getting back into reading Prince Valiant where I left off... soon.

    That's what I keep telling myself, but unlike "Dick Tracy," I know that's not gonna happen. At least not soon.

    I also read the TPBs that came out years ago, but don't remember much about them. Not sure I got all the way to where they stopped publishing them, even. I gave them away some time back (as they were not holding together very well anyway).

    In any case, I got the first issue (of Dick Tracy), and am sold. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Now I can't wait to start my Tracy project.

    This would make a fine movie, but apparenly no more Dick Tracy movies are in the offing.

    I thought the movie was pretty good, but Beatty was the weakest part of it IMHO. I guess he was trying to be stoic, but it came off to me as bland and wooden. And the choice to make the film in comic strip colors was an unnecessary gimmick, but I got used to it.

    Warren Beatty, who directed and starred in the movie from 1990, has film rights to the character. To retain them, every few years he makes some kind of video appearance in costume. 

    That is a weird fact I am glad to now know.

  • Um ... what does this mean?

    It's a caveate against reading a revisionist imitation and mistaking it for the real thing.

    Anyway, yes, Spectacular Spider-Man was (grim) fun. It was a great sequel to Amazing Spider-Man #39-40 -- so much so, that it's been repeated ad nauseum ever since.  

    Yes, it's repeated ad naueum now (and rightfully so), but I had to really scramble to find an original copy back in the '80s. I have often remarked that the "Stone Tablet Saga" is my favorite Spider-Man arc, but Spectacular Spider-Man #2 is my favorite individual issue.

    I am buying the HC collections coming out currently, which I do intend to read in the near future.

    I think it's safe to say that the 1940s is widely considered to be the best decade.

    I gave them away some time back (as they were not holding together very well anyway).

    I assume (I hope) you are referring to the binding.


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