Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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If I am not mistaken, those two issues of Forever People have what would amount to a significant development for Deadman... except that it was ignored ever since.

There are also a few appearances of Deadman in issues of The Phantom Stranger.  It is an interesting dynamic, since the two characters have such contrasting concepts and Phantom Stranger can perceive Deadman's presence at all times.

Actually, I just looked at the story itself, and it DOES start with the old man's suicide attempt -- but Deadman doesn't jump into him to save him, he jumps into a pigeon and knocks the gun out of the guy's hand, who takes it as an act of god. The story moves in a different direction from there. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Huh, that's weird. Maybe I'm extrapolating from a striking image on a cover, and misremembering? 

Turns out I did, or from an image inside. The story I'm thinking about is in Adventure Comics 466. GCD describes the story as "Deadman tries to help a family where the grandfather wants the son to quit selling drugs.." But look at the Deadman image on the bottom of the cover: Old man, gun near his head. So that's the image I was drawing things from, and got confused.

Maybe I have a Deadman story to write!

The Phantom Stranger stories are included.

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

There are also a few appearances of Deadman in issues of The Phantom Stranger.  It is an interesting dynamic, since the two characters have such contrasting concepts and Phantom Stranger can perceive Deadman's presence at all times.

"If I am not mistaken, those two issues of Forever People have what would amount to a significant development for Deadman... except that it was ignored ever since."

You are not mistaken, Luis. For one thing, Deadman discovers that he did not discover the identity of his killer after all (because the hook was on the other hand), but also because the FP gifted him with an android "follower" to use as a physical body. According to Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby was never comfortable with Deadman... not his powers and not "taking over" someone else's creation. Still, the Powers That Be insisted he put the "Kirby Touch" on this character whose story had essentially come to an end, which is exactly what he did. They just didn't like it. 

I have spent a good part of the last two days reorganizing my Eclipse and First Comics boxes. That exercise has informed my backissue reading for the next little while.

SCOUT: WAR SHAMAN: I was in the mood to reread this series about two years ago, but I decided to reread Scout #1-24 first as a kind of a lead-in, which I did. I decided to take a break between the two series but decided that no matter how long the break ended up being, I would start next time with War Shaman. So far I'm only two issues in, but I don't know whether or not I'll finish it at this time (through #16), not because I'm not enjoying the hell out of it, but because there are other series I have reread far less frequently (or not at all).

JON SABLE: FREELANCE (& GRIMJACK): Jon Sable and GrimJack are two of my favorite series from the '80s (or ever, really). In 2005, IDW editor Mike Gold brought them both back for two mini-series each. Sable's were "Bloodtrail" and "Ashes of Eden"; GrimJack's were "Killer Instinct" and "The Manx Cat". These four minis are arguably the best of their respective series. I've already read them at least twice each but, after reading "Bloodtrail" a third time, I though I might go back and read some of the First Comics stuff I haven't read as often. For example, I have read GrimJack #1-39 far more often than I have #40-81, yet the stories of the second half of the original run are just as good as those of the first, and some are better.

THE RETURN OF VALKYRIE: This is a 1989 HC collection of the first six issues of Eclipse's Airboy series, which I decided to read at this time not because of Airboy or Valkyrie, but because an upcoming issue of the Swamp Thing discussion ("The Parliament of Trees") ties to it indirectly. I bought the entire series of Eclipse's Airboy as backissues at a quarter sale and, unlike many of the comics I bought then, I actually read them... once and pretty quickly. Although i remember liking them, I don't remember a whole lot of the details. Airboy is a series I may decide to reread in the near future. 

"Dr. Anj at the Comic Box Commentary blog has been looking over those initial Black Orchid appearances lately."

"Interesting. I plan to give that link an in-depth read later on."

Woof. Each of those topic headings expanded into longer articles of their own. I had no idea that Black Orchid had such an interesting (meta-textual) history! I would really like to read a collection of all the stories referenced in those articles. About the Supergirl angle, it reminds me quite a bit of Peter David's Supergirl/Fallen Angel from two decades back. After PAD's Supergirl came to an end, he moved directly to a new series/character many believed was Supergirl. Early on, I liked it because it was a tie to the "theology" of the DCU as depicted in Sandman and Preacher. When Fallen Angel was cancelled by DC due to low sales, PAD took the creator-owned property to IDW. I stopped reading it at that time, but Tracy continued. 

JON SABLE FREELANCE: "ASHES OF EDEN": Every bit as good as "Bloodtrail." According to the end blurb: "Jon Sable Freelance will return in 'Rules of the Hunt'," but that never happened. His next project was The Pilgrim, but only two issues of that saw print. These are not the only Grell projects that were either never published or never completed, but his series are generally worth it when they are.

THE COMPLETE GOLDEN AGE AIRBOY & VALKYRIE: After reading The Return of Valkyrie yesterday, I thought I'd follow it up by moving backwards. In 2013, Canton Street Press released this hardcover collection of every Airboy/Valkyrie story ever published; there aren't as many as one might suppose. The collection includes Air Fighters v2 #2 and #7, Airboy v2 #12, v3 #6 & #12, v4 #10 and v9 #2. In addition, it also includes Air Fighters v1 #12, which doesn't feature Valkyrie but is the first appearance of the villain Misery and serves as a complement to "The Return of Misery" (Airboy v2 #12). Incidentally, Misery appeared only twice in the Golden Age, so this collection serves as the "Complete Misery" as well.

The seven stories featuring Valkyrie, which appeared between 1943 and 1952, are extremely uneven. Only two of the stories even took place during WWII. She was a Nazi only in the very first story and defected after her first mission. In her second through fourth stories she was Airboy's friend and ally. In the fifth story, she was still a good guy, but brainwashed. In her sixth story, she became a criminal. Her final story, published five years after her last previous appearance, completely rewrites her backstory. She is a cold-blooded killer, and Airboy doesn't even recognize her at first. It is implied that he hasn't seen her since the war and she never defected. she is presumed killed at the end. 

It's an interesting character history, and it's nice to have all of the Valkyrie/Misery stories under a single cover. 

A few years ago, Canton Street Press was soliciting the Complete Nightshade. They mainly publish military-related books (hence Airboy), so I don’t know why they were planning to do Nightshade. Captain Atom and Nightshade did work with the Air Force.

After they postponed it a few times I discovered it was available from Gwandanaland, and bought their book instead.  

Canton Street Press also does a lot of facsimile editions, but they're $15 a pop.

I've been listening to the Wait What podcast's Fantastic Four read-through, Baxter Building, and have been cherry-picking issues to read as I go along; I've recently read FF13, with the Red Ghost (dressed in green, because Communism), and then Annual #1, a Sub-Mariner story. (Not gonna read every issue, although that might change as we get to later in the Lee_Kirby run.

And one thing that tickles me to no end is when they're called "the fabulous Fantastic Four" -- like the Fantastic in their name isn't enough to describe them. 

MAGGIE THE CAT #1-2: After reading "Bloodtrail" and "Ashes of Eden" last week I was in the mood to read some more Mike Grell, but I wasn't in the mood to read all of Jon Sable, so I picked this truncated series published by Image in 1996. Too bad it was never finished... I was really getting caught up in the story!

CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #0: This "Special 99 Cent Zero Issue" was published by Dark Horse in 2008. It is Timothy Truman's adaptation of Robert E. Howard's poem "Cimmeria" written in 1932. What makes this poem/story noteworthy is that it has a framing sequence set in Mission, TX. The poem itself was suggested by the Hill Country above Fredericksburg seen through a mist of winter rain. (I have been to Fredericksburg many times; the Hill Country is my favorite part of the state.) The art, by Tomas Giorello, suggests many of REH's other Conan stories. 

VALKYRIE: PRISONER OF THE PAST: "The Return of the Valkyrie" last week put me in the mood for more, but I'm not in the mood to read all of Airboy. This is a softcover collection of the three-issue 1987 series of the same name published by Eclipse Comics. It takes place circa Airboy #24. Val has been charged by Colonel Steelfox of war crimes while she flew with Hitler's luftwaffe. She's innocent of the charges, but has to prove it. It is written by Chuck Dixon and drawn by Paul Gulacy. They don't make comics like this no more, they just don't. 

SCOUT / SCOUT: WAR SHAMEN: Reading the first couple of issues of War Shaman last week did put me in the mood to read the rest of the series. I remember now. It was 2020 when I last read Scout (the first series). Scout takes place in the dystopian future of 1999 and details the lead-up to the Second U.S. Civil War. I decided to read it at that time because it looked as if we were actually heading into one. I thought if that ever happens, then I would read War Shaman, which takes place in 2015 and deals with the aftermath. Then we had an election and everything was back on track... or so I thought. Now it looks as if we're heading toward a Civil War again, so i thought I'd see what the people of 1988-89 thought that might look like. War Shaman was supposed to have been followed up by two (sequential) series, Scout: Marauder and Scout: Blue Leader, but I doubt we'll ever see those at this point. Guess we'll just have to wait for the real thing... which should be any year year now. 

You're making me eager to read some Airboy/Valkyrie, Jeff ... I bet Gwandanaland has all of it!

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