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 read The Couriers: The Complete Series which was one of Brian Wood's earliest comics. It really has that feel of youthful exuberance to it. It isn't a deep comic, and Mr. Wood says as much in the introduction he just wanted to do something was really action packed. Here you have a pair of couriers in NYC who will transport just about anything for a price. They are also, apparently, the world's best martial artists and sharpshooters on the planet. Not a bad little book.

The All-New X-men #7 features a cover with Mystique curling around an entranced young Scott Summers as Cyclops.

They had me at the cover, as I couldn't wait to see what mischief she was up to, but I wasn't sure which Cyclops she was entrancing...current outlaw Cyclops or young original X-men Cyclops....frequently referred to back in the day as "Slim".

I must say I was very impressed with this issue, and the logic of Scott holding a personal safety deposit box. However, I was a bit surprised that

1) he didn't take his mask off, or at least lower his cowl before he walked into the bank.

2) Mystique knew where to find him, and what image to take to convince him to leave

As for the conversation she has with him, the interaction, the appearance that she takes and how she reveals herself to him, I was taken in.  That is, either she was straight-out honest and frank with him, giving him great advice and showing a depth and sensitivity that we've rarely ever seen out of her character before, or she is pulling the biggest con ever, and has some vicious ulterior motive for giving him such sincere and apparent warmth in her explaination.  I LOVE how she admits that things aren't always what the seem, that she has not been the best woman she could be, and that she's not always trod the straight and narrow.  It all rang extremely true to me.

And so, I'm betting that though Mystique tells someone else, a shadowy head and shoulders that she returns to in a waiting vehicle, that she has lit a time bomb that will destroy the X-men, I'm thinking that she's lying to Mastermind or whoever she's allied with, and that she was being completely honest and sincere in her private conversation with young Cyclops and that was the real purpose of her visit.  I don't see or understand how such a Dutch Uncle conversation could possibly have "lit the fuse on a bomb that will blow the X-men apart."  Adult Mystique might be that mean and vicious, but young Raven Darkholme sounded so sincere, so trustworthy, that I bought it.  Big time.

I don't know where the series is going from here, but this issue was superior. Especially with the emotional pay-off of what young Scott Summers finds in that safety deposit box and what he does with it. 

Highest marks for All New X-men #7, guys.

What did you think?

I have Essential Classic X-Men v.2 out from the library, and was just reading the Mesmero/Lorna Dane/Erik the Red story (##49-52.) The writing is credited to Arnold Drake. The first and last instalments had art by Don Heck and Werner Roth, the middle two art by Jim Steranko. The issues also had back-up stories which I won't be discussing here

 

It struck me as a very shoddily put-together story. The story isn't clearly told, although the Heck parts are better than the Steranko ones in this respect. It has a genuinely interesting idea, a city of mutants, and does almost nothing with it. I was puzzled by the way the mutants serving Mesmero do almost nothing mutant-y. Lorna's willingness to serve Magneto isn't handled convincingly.

 

But on the other hand, the two Steranko issues made me wonder what it was that was basically new about the Thomas/Adams team's run. It seems to me the approach of that run - the emphasis on and handling of action, the kinds of character conflicts depicted - was already tried in this storyline, just not pulled off as well.

 

I take it the suit channeled Cyclops's eye blasts, but if there was an explanation of this I missed it.

 

I very much like the two page spread at the beginning of #50. It promises a more interesting depiction of the mutant society than is delivered.

I agree that Classic X-men story that culminates in Eric the Red's appearance really doesn't pay off. I was left wondering if Magneto was a robot, if that meant that most of the "subjects" were robots also.

And it seemed that the only reason Lorna (a character who really never achieves a purpose, except as a foil or an object of desire) follows Magneto or Mesmero, is because her powers are so similar to Magneto's.

All of which is bizarre cause he really DOES have a daughter who was right under his nose for all those years...and a son who was even MORE like him.  Did Eric never look in the mirror when he took his helmet off?  Not even in the Savage Land?  Even Scott Summers looked at his reflection in a pond when he got there, and he was even looking through ruby colored lenses!

I remember reading the middle issues a couple of years ago or so in a Marvel Visionairies on Steranko they put out, and being disappointed because I didn't get to see how it ended.

DC Universe Presents Vol. 1 tpb: I originally was planning on getting at least the Deadman 5-parter to start the series and then decided to switch to all Trades. I'm glad I did. The Deadman story was excellent and after reading it could see Warner Bros. coming up with a Deadman tv series to compliment Arrow. I could see it as an amalgamation of Quantum Leap and Ghost Whisperer.

I've never been a Challengers of the Unknown fan but what Dan Didio and Jerry Ordway did with the concept just pulled me in and got me interested to see more. I love Ordway's art to begin with so that didn't hurt. Between OMAC and now Challengers, Dan Didio is making himself known as a writer in my book.

If you don't have this book, I would recommend getting it.

30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales contains two stories which originally ran as eight-part installments in the monthly series. The trade collection presents each story in order, and the first is "Dead Billy Dead" written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Kody Chamberlain. Billy is a newly created vampire who kills his maker, so he's on his own trying to figure out what it means. 

I would recommend Archies's New Crusaders. It really is one of the better books out there, homaging the past but not for "kids" as the ending is grim.

Also, is anyone reading Masks? It's like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for Pulp Novels and Golden Age Comics with the Shadow, the Green Hornet and Kato, the Spider, Miss Fury, the Green Lama, the Face, the Black Bat and....the Black Terror!

I've been reading Masks, and I've enjoyed it for the most part. I just think it would be better with a slightly smaller cast, but that is my only real complaint.

 

At work I wrapped up Sgt. Rock Archives vol. 1. It was enjoyable for the most part, but even that small chunk and me breaking it up over a month or so...I still got tired of reading about: "TNT eggs", "combat-happy joes", and "nothing is 'easy'  for Easy. My favorite story of the bunch was Three Stripe Hill which told the story of how Rock became a sergeant. I really liked how young Kubert made him look in the beginning of the tale, and by the end he had that furrowed brow I always identified with him.

The second story in 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales is "Juarez or Lex Nova & The Case of the 400 Dead Mexican Girls," written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. It's an odd detective story--Lex Nova is a P.I. who narrates the story noir style, but doesn't realize he's saying everything out loud--and the vampire element is almost secondary. It shows how broad the 30 Days universe can be, as it's quite different from all of the other stories set there that I've read, at least in some ways. The only thing that didn't completely work for me was Fraction's choice to tell the beginning of the story at the end.

I'm currently reading Charlton's Blue Beetle #5, 1964. The issue's main story features the scarab-powered Dan Garrett Beetle, and was written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Bill Fracchio and Tony Tallarico. The letters page has an image of a suggested alternative costume for the Beetle sent in by Alan L. Weiss. According to the post with an image of this that I've linked to this was indeed the Alan Weiss who later worked in the industry. What strikes me about it is how much it looks like the first costume worn by Hank Pym when he became Goliath. But the issue was cover-dated for Apr. 1965, while the blue and yellow Goliath costume wasn't introduced until Avengers #28, cover-dated for May 1966. The Weiss costume doesn't quite work, but it has most of the ingredients of the Goliath costume, and it's one of my favourites. I'm wondering if it could have been the Goliath costume's model. On the one hand, it's hard to imagine someone at Marvel picking up costume ideas from the letters pages of old issues of Blue Beetle. On the other hand, both costumes incorporate the unusual element of goggles or heavy glasses, these being part of the Garrett Beetle's existing costume. I don't know who designed the Goliath costume.

Luke, it was Wanda that designed the first Goliath costume. It says so in Avengers #28. HAH!

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