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 Transformers/The Terminator #1 from IDW. It's not hard to get me suckered into a crossover, but this one was exceptionally fun. It's classic Terminator being sent back to 1984, where his secondary objective is destroying the Cybertronians.

It's not going to blow your mind, but it was a nice piece of nostalgia!

I read that one. It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed it.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

I read Transformers/The Terminator #1 from IDW. It's not hard to get me suckered into a crossover, but this one was exceptionally fun. It's classic Terminator being sent back to 1984, where his secondary objective is destroying the Cybertronians.

It's not going to blow your mind, but it was a nice piece of nostalgia!

FIVE YEARS #9: Read this one out of order (the 10th and final issue shipped last week). Didn’t see the “real” cover for #10, but I now realize the “COVID-19 cover” is the cover of #1 with the cast wearing masks.

CEREBUS: It seems as if I only just blasted through six issues that have piled up. (Of all titles to come back right away, it would be one “on the chopping block.”) Dave Sim is doing a small amount of drawing: generally one shot used over and over throughout the issue. This one is “Green Dante/Green Virgil” and the one joke is that “Ben Gurion” sounds like “Guardians” pronounced sideways. There’s also some Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations-style tweets from a sorce offering free legal advice.

FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL: I’ve read three more issues (Dr. Fate, Outsiders, Codename: Assassin) in preparation of ranking them.

DARK SHADOWS (GOLD KEY): Finished the fifth and final volume, collecting issues #29-35. I also see that a second printing of v1 (which had some printing defects) has been solicited in the new Previews catalog.

I didn’t read any Tintin this weekend, but I did read several month’s worth of Steve Canyon from 1948.

I bought two other new comics last week that I did not read. I think 10 weeks off has shown me how not to read new comics.

Oh, I also read Hawkworld and some Starman.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: PATRIOT (2010) a four issue mini-series focusing on the origins and life of Jeff Mace, a reporter for The Daily Bugle who was inspired by Captain America to become the costumed Patriot who was part of the Liberty Legion. After the war, he agrees to be the THIRD Captain America, working with Bucky II, the All Winners Squad, Miss Patriot and Golden Girl. He also believes that he's in way over his head!

But he's a highly moral yet progressive man who sacrifices a lot for his convictions and duty.

FURTHER ADVENTURES OF INDIANA JONES (1983) the first two issues of the Raiders of the Lost Ark hero is by Denny O'Neil, John Byrne and Terry Austin and is an unheralded classic. It would have made a better film than Temple of Doom!

FOUR STAR SPECTACULAR #1 (Ap'76) was in my Christmas stocking in '75. It had a bizarre Silver Age Superboy story "The Stolen Identities!", a provocative Golden Age Wonder Woman tale "The Talking Lion!", a beautifully drawn Silver Age Hawkman adventure "Attack of the Crocodile Men!" and a redrawn Golden Age Flash epic "City of the Shifting Sands!"

I remember Four Star Spectacular. That was a great (reprint) series.

The only drawback was when the page count got reduced so they had to use a team up story each issue to have four starring characters.

DC (and Marvel) needs to revive the reprint concept beyond archives, facsimile issues to commemorate special events, and filler for the current line of 100 page giants.

A regular series, even at the $3.99 price point of current books, could shine the spotlight on heroes and creators of the past and reach more readers than the higher priced treasuries and occasional special.

For DC, maybe even revive the Adventure or Sensation Comics title to produce said series.

Just something to think about folks.

DC's advantage over Marvel as far as reprinting goes is that it doesn't have to do them sequentially. The beauty of books like Superman Family was that you could pick the best stories in any order you wanted. First appearances, clashes with super-villains and key stories could be done to spotlight any character.

When All Star Squadron came out, how cool would it have been to have a reprint companion title that featured Golden Age tales of Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Robotman, Tarantula and the rest. Or showcase Hawkman's meeting with Neptune Perkins, Wonder Woman's battle with Nuclear, Robotman's trial. Y'know the actual stories that were referenced in All Star Squadron!

I did not read any comic books at all over the weekend.

"When All Star Squadron came out, how cool would it have been to have a reprint companion title that featured Golden Age tales of Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Robotman, Tarantula and the rest?"

For years I desperately wanted DC to reprint some of its '40s superhero stories. The JLA/JSA crossovers weren't enough to satisfy my curiosity about those early years, especially since they didn't touch on non-JSA characters like Johnny Quick and Aquaman. When the 100-pagers began, DC began reprinting JSA stories in the back of Justice League of America, which was awesome!

But again, not enough. I guess I'll never be happy, because even though DC has finally reprinted All-Star and some other Golden Age material, it's still not enough! While I have complete (reprint) runs of Justice Society and Seven Soldiers now, reprints of the solo adventures of the lesser characters on those teams are few and far between. I still want collections starring Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, Wildcat, Shining Knight, Liberty Belle, Atom, Johnny Quick, Tarantula, Robotman, Zatanna, even Congo Bill/Congorilla. And honestly, wouldn't an Omnibus for each character pretty much reprint their entire /40s careers? Dr. Fate and Starman were complete in a single Archive each. I'd have to check, but I think the Black Canary Archives has all her pre-Silver Age stories complete.

I also want them to finish reprinting the Golden Age adventures of Blackhawk, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman, The Spectre and anybody else they started on and stopped. I want something, anything on the Golden Age Aquaman.

There is so much I want! But, alas, we seem destined to have endless Silver and Bronze age reprints, stories I already own in floppy. I buy a lot of those just for easy research, but I'd sure like something "new'!

I totally agree with you Cap, especially if DC does so in a less expensive format than the hardbound archives of years past.

Back in the early 1970s when DC was doing the 52/48 pages issues, there were some great reprints featuring solo adventures of the characters you desire. The problem now is that unless you have a copy of the original issue, any reprint—regardless of the format—only features what was then the new material.

Considering many publishers are trying to figure out how to salvage what was their original plans for this spring and summer along with what to do post-pandemic just to stay in business, maybe this time they'll actually listen to their fans/readers instead of their accountants and investors.

One can hope.

I finally finished the Timely's Greatest: Bill Everett book. Earlier I commented on the Timely's Greatest: Human Torch book that I found it kinda boring and repetitive, despite the lead characters being literally on fire. Not so with Sub-Mariner!

Man, I can't believe this character existed in the 1940s! These strips have a very modern sensibility, in that Subby has a complex personality, and other Timely characters show up occasionally, not just the Human Torch, indicating a shared universe. And even when the Torch isn't in the story, Subby might mention him!

While Namor eventually gets aligned with the war effort and becomes a welcome ally to the Navy, a lot of earlier stories have him going on, essentially, a temper tantrum and tearing up New York or other cities. He and the Torch do not get along, even when fighting together. Namor is petulant, inquisitive, good-hearted but easily aroused to anger. Sometimes he fights for America, sometimes against it.

And Namor's a killer. A casual killer. Now, everyone he kills with his hands has it coming, but he also kills a lot of sailors more or less in passing, without a murmur of concern, and it's doubtful they all deserved it. Oh, well. War is hell.

Throughout the book, the green, fish-faced Atlanteans have winged feet also. But they are never seen flying, so maybe with them they're vestigial. It does make sense, though, or otherwise those wings just appear on Namor without any explanation. Even mutant features evolve from existing biological structures.

(How they actually allow him to fly despite physics arguing otherwise, is a whole other discussion.)

Namor's bulletproof skin is only indicated once in the book that I noticed, where being shot is described as feeling like hot bees or something. The rest of the time Everett goes out of his way to depict the bullets missing. I have no idea what to make of that.

In one of the house ads, Namor is described as Neptune's half-nephew or something similar. First I've heard of that.

In most of the house ads, Timely touts Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, of course, but Captain America is conspicuously missing in most of them. Instead, Timely is pushing The Patriot, along with some other also-rans like Ka-Zar, The Angel and Terry Vance.

Man, what was the deal with The Angel? Aside from being drawn to look like Errol Flynn, I can't see anything interesting about the guy.

There are two American characters, Luther and Lynne, who keep showing up, but I don't know why. They are not very interesting, and are, as you'd expect, left out entirely in the action sequences, which involve things they couldn't survive, and are often underwater. They were just so much baggage, but Subby would go out of his way to collect them. Were they supposed to be POV characters? Was Everett aping characters in some other action strip or movie? Was Subby supposed to be hot for Lynne? Because sometimes they'd appear with Betty Dean, who I thought was supposed to be Namor's love interest.

Dorma shows up, and is described as Subby's cousin. I didn't detect any romance, especially since she looked like all the other green, fish-faced Atlanteans. Namor seemed more interested in white American women.

Speaking of which, a woman named Prentiss (I've forgotten her first name) shows up, and is very stacked (which Everett doesn't draw very well) and lays a liplock on a perfectly willing Sub-Mariner at the end. I wonder if she continued in the strip later, especially since that surname shows up as Betty Dean's married name in the 1968 Sub-Mariner series. (I'm assuming Prentiss has a brother, not gay marriage.)

All of the Atlantean names have the same strict construction: Five letters, two syllables, beginning with a consonant, ending in "A." First syllable has three letters, second one has two, accent on the first syllable. DOR-ma. FAL-da. BAR-ta.

While the Sub-Mariner strip isn't nearly as repetitive as the Human Torch strip, this is the '40s, so the dialogue, while slang-y, does repeat quite a bit. It took me a while to get through the book, because A) it is large and B) sometimes I had to take a breather and read something else.

But I'll give Everett credit for having a goodly variety of plots and locales, and more imagination than any of the Torch stories, which were ploddingly dull and repetitive. I actually enjoyed this book, instead of just reading it as an education!

The Angel was supposedly based on the Saint and was publisher Martin Goodman's favorite character.

As for reprints, would you rather see, say twenty solo Green Lantern stories or four complete issues of All American Comics per volume? I got a trade of the first four issues of Human Torch with all the stories of the different characters and I rather like that format.

No new comics (unless you include new collections).

BOOSTER GOLD – “The Big Fall”: I once bought the entire run of the original Booster Gold series (after the fact) at a quarter sale, but I never read it. “The Big Fall” is a recent collection of the first 12-issue arc. Knowing what’s ahead for both Dan Jurgens and Booster Gold, I took a chance and duplicated it. It’s not great but not bad. Highlights are #6 (origin), #6-7 (Superman) and #8-9 (LSH). The series was pitched, approved and penciled pre-Crisis, but it wasn’t released until post-Crisis. Originally, Booster’s costume was to have been composed of 1) Superboy’s flight ring, 2) Lex Luthor’s powersuit and 3) Braniac’s force field, all stolen from a museum 500 years in te future. Unfortunately, COIE rendered all of those elements unusable, so last minute changes had to be made. An article by Dan Jurgens in the collection (including penciled pages which had to be scrapped) details the changes that had to be made. I love that kind of behind-the-scenes stuff. The second volume has already been solicited.

MISTER MIRACLE (by Tom King): This is my first time reading it in collected form, second time overall. I got a lot more from it this time, and I’m sure I’ll get more still on my third. Very Zen. Looking forward to the continuation of King’s Adam Strange.

PSArtbooks: I was pleasantly surprised by Space Adventures v3, which reprints not only Science Fiction Space Adventures #11-12, but also Space Adventures Presents… #13-14, both of which cover-feature the Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett). Rounding out the volume is Space Adventures Presents… #15 which features the origin of TV’s Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (also of MST3K fame).

Cap (I think you’re the only one here other than myself who collects PSArtbooks), let me save you some time shelving some past volumes (assuming you’ve been paying as little attention to certain volumes’ contents as I have). Strange Suspense Stories (Pre-Code Classics series) v1, collects Charlton issues #16-22. [This is not to be confused with the single, unnumbered volume of Strange Suspense Stories which collects Fawcett issues 1-5.] Strange Suspense Stories (Silver Age Classics series) v3 collects Charlton issues #28-32. So what happened to volume two? Look no further than This is Suspense v2 (Pre-Code Classics series), which reprints This is Suspense #23-26 and Strange Suspense Stories #27. The publication’s title changed, then it changed back.

To summarize:

Vol. 1: Strange Suspense Stories (Pre-Code Classics) reprints #16-22
Vol 2: This is Suspense (Pre-Code Classics) reprints TIS #23-26 and SSS #27
Vol. 3: Strange Suspense Stories (Silver Age Classics) reprints #28-32

You’re welcome.

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