Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!
Richard Willis said:
I’ve never really followed Sgt Rock, but this sounds like a real train wreck. I have a few observations, mostly based upon my “vast experience” of almost two years in the Army fifty-two years ago.
Bring it on!
Richard Willis said:
Rock, famously, is a master sergeant. But how the promotional image for Billy Tucci's 2009 Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion (which was really a history lesson disguised as a comic) promoted Rock to first sergeant. That erroneous image was used in ads but was fixed before it appeared on the first issue's cover.
Actually, assignment as a First Sergeant isn’t normally a promotion. Depending on the type of unit, there may be more than one Master Sergeant. When a Master Sergeant is assigned to a new company, he/she may or may not be given the job of First Sergeant. If so, he/she will sport the diamond in the center the chevron. First Sergeant is not a permanent rank, Rock really should have always been a First Sergeant, if Easy Company is really a company.
Rock did have the diamond in his first true appearance in Our Army at War #83 (June 1959), and in two or three of the stories that followed. After that, it disappeared.
Richard Willis said:
How many soldiers have ever been shown as making up Easy Company? A company is always 100 soldiers (plus or minus a few).
As Rock and the Combat-Happy Joes of Easy Company are supposed to represent the "everyman," they've usually been vague about that. Rock's specific unit was never given until the aforementioned Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion (one of the various things that was wrong with that series), as Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 141st Infrantry, as part of The Big Red One.
Richard Willis said:
Other than that, well, the story proper is set in 1944, in the waning days of World War II. A German Army officer briefs Adolf Hitler about how the war is going: Badly. Their forces are short on everything: materiel, supplies, food and bodies. Hitler does not take well to this news. After he -- no, I shouldn't tell you what he does -- but after he does that, he orders another flunky to step up a secret program to get more soldiers by making zombies out of the dead.
Without seeing it, I’m willing to bet that he “shoots the messenger,” a move close to what Vladimir Putin does these days.
An excellent guess, but the shock is in how Hitler pulls it off (hint, hint).
Richard Willis said:
Story is by Bruce Campbell, famed for starring in the Evil Dead films, which means absolutely nothing to me but is supposed to be a big selling point
I don’t understand having actors write comic books. I guess a zombie story cried out for Bruce Campbell. I’ve seen a couple of Evil Dead movies and enjoyed Bruce Campbell’s appearance as Pizza Papa in Doctor Strange II.
I didn't mean to rag on Bruce Campbell; it's just that horror movies are not my thing. I remember him better for his cameos in the Spider-Man trilogy, as those films were directed by Sam Raimi, director the Evil Dead series. I also remember Campbell from The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. from the early days of the Fox TV network, a show that would fit right in with Weird Western Tales.
Richard Willis said:
But I wish Risso has stuck to Rock's look; here, he gives him dark hair shaved at the sides, and has him smoking cigars, as if he got a model sheet for Nick Fury instead of Frank Rock.
Shaved temples and/or shaved heads are a modern thing in and out of the military. In my time and certainly in Rock’s time these were not a thing.
Richard Willis said:
Plus, Kubert knew Rock sported six stripes, not four. That's going to be a burr in the saddle for me throughout this series, I'm afraid.
The three on top are called stripes. The one, two or three on the bottom are called rockers, like a rocking chair.
Thank you. I learned that the other time I complained about art mistakes in Sgt. Rock stories; I should not be so careless myself.
World's Finest #293 - Right after reading this one I knew immediately that this is going to be one of my favorite Superman/Batman stories. The villain in here was awesome, he was original and relatable. This is probably his only appearance however, but it was a perfect one-and-done story.
Null and Void returned in World's Finest Comics #304-#307. (#303 ends with a teaser for this story.)
HIGHBALL #2: Eh.
GENIS-VELL: CAPTAIN MARVEL #2: Only six pages advance the story are set in the present day.
SPIDER-MAN #11: In this version, Ned Leeds is alive. He and Betty have a baby named Winston. Hobgoblin (but we don't know which one) takes the baby from its crib and says, "I won't let them hurt him." Spider-Man asks Black Cat out on a date. Ned Leeds clues Peter Parker in that Roderick Kingsley is associating with Norman Osborn. Osborn and Kingsley meet face-to-face and are attacked by the Hobgoblin. At the Leeds' apartment, a voice (presumably the Hobgoblin from earlier but not necessarily the one who attacked Osborn and Kingsley) speaks from off-panel. The baby is sleeping and Betty has been drugged.
Batgirls #11: Still enjoying this series immensely.
Batman Incorporated #1: An interesting stsrt. I always liked thse Batmen of Many nations" characters.
Jurassic League #6: An OK wrap-up to a series that was much better than I thought it was going to be.
Basically the story is about Apocalypse returning and trying to reshape the world by reducing 90% of the population, typical supervillain stuff. The way he and The Horsemen were defeated were utterly pathetic. A team of mid-tier X-Men and Avengers was obviously too much for Apocalypse to handle and he had to run away like a punk. Ok, Iceman was there but Iceman barely did anything. I didn't like anything about this issue.
Fantastic Four #65
This was an interesting and different FF story. Basically seeing Johnny Storm as the CEO of FF Inc was really fun, besides that you had a nice side-story of an alien bug infestation in the baxter building. Sounds corny but the execution made it worth reading
MIRACLEMAN: THE SILVER AGE #1: A completely redrawn version of Miracleman #23 (1992), so even you have the original this one is worth buying. Two dozen pages of sketches as well. I'm "saving" this one; I need to "read up to it." My Pick of the Week. (It is dually numbered "LGY #23.)
MARVEL FAMILY COMICS #1 (Facsimile Edition): I bought this one on a whim. (What a "coincidence" that it was released the same day as Miracleman!) I know I have the first appearance of black Adam reprinted multiple times, but this comic also includes "The Marvel family and Baby Marvel" as well as some humor features. Like I always say, ya can't go wrong for a buck! (What? This costs four bucks? Oh, well.)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SYMBOL OF TRUTH #6: This is the better of the two "Cap" books, but frankly I'm looking for a good jumping off point for both. This issue is "Part 1" of a new storyline; if I'd've been paying closer attention, this could've been it.
DEFENDERS BEYOND #4: This really should have been my "Pick of the Week," This is the only mainstream comic book (that I know of) that really pushes the envelope. I just so happen to be rereading Alan Moore's Captain Britain right now, a book that "pushed the envelope" back in the '80s. I don't necessarily think someone reading it today for the first time would be all that impressed, just as someone reading Lee/Kirby FF in the '80s might not've been. Ewing's work is just as groundbreaking as Moore's in the '80s and Lee/Lirby's in the '60s.
SHAOLIN COWBOY: CRUEL TO BE KIN #6: Two-fisted political allegory.
MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #25 (a.k.a. "Spider-Man vs. the Hulk at the  Winter Olympics"): Written by then-current Hulk scribe Bill Mantlo and drawn by long-time Hulk artist Herb Trimpe (from a plot by Mantlo, Mark Gruenwald & Steven Grant). This is of a kind, but it's not often I get the chance to read a comic book from that era I haven't read before that I care to. This was included in Marvel Masterworks Hulk v16 which shipped yesterday. There is an ad in it for Marvel Super Heroes at the Summer Olympics. It was supposed to be "coming this summer" but i don't think it was ever published.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12: (Spoilers) Last issue, Norman Osborn and Roderick Kingsley were attacked by a Hobgoblin. Circumstantial evidence points to Ned Leeds but, when Spider-Man goes to investigate, Leeds is attacked by a Hobgoblin. Leeds is under the influence of the Winkler Device which, those of you with long memories will recall, is what Kingsley used to convince Leeds he was Hobgoblin way back when. Spider-Man pursues and unmasks the Goblin to reveal... Roderick Kingsley. Then a second Hobgoblin (Ned Leeds) joins him to attack Spider-Man. (End Spoilers)
X-MEN LEGENDS #3: Discussed elsewhere.
FIRE POWER #24: Recommended (as always).
BINGE BOOKS: Two new ones this week: Headhunter #1 and Blue Baron #3. For a little variety, I gave the new series my nod for "Pick of the Week."
PREZ: THE FIRST TEEN PRESIDENT TPB: This isn't a new release (it was first published in 2016), but it reprints every appearance of Prez up to the 2015 series, including his appearances in Supergirl, The Sandman, Dark Knight Strikes Again and Cancelled Comics Cavalcade. My LCS was culling about four longboxes of collected editions to make more room on their shelves. All hardcovers were $4 and all tpbs were $2. After I read Sandman #54 a couple of weeks ago, I checked my collection to discover that I owned only the first issue of the original series and I didn't own "Smells Like Teen President" (from Vertigo Visions: Prez #1) at all, although I'm certain I've read it before. (I must have borrowed it.) Now I've got all that stuff in a single edition for only two buck (original price: $25). there were really some bargains to be had (such as three volumes of THUNDER Agents Archives @ $4), but little I wanted that I didn't already own. There are a few additional things I saw I haven't been able to get out of my mind, so I may pick up some more next week (if not sooner).
Regarding the series I'm working my way through as the mood strikes...
THE MAZE AGENCY: Now that I've accumulated most of the backissues in one fell swoop (well, two), I've only read through #5. I'm enjoying it, but some of the set-ups are unbelievably outlandish, I mean, "never in a million years" outlandish.
WASTELAND: I'm making my way through Wasteland at a faster pace than The Maze Agency. I'm currently up to #12. These stories make for a good read right before bedtime.
PRINCE VALIANT: It's been a while since I last read Prince Valiant but, thanks to the magic of bookmarks, I was able to pick up right where I left off last time: strip #841, March 22, 1953 (somewhere in the middle of v9. The most recent volume to be released is v25, which goes into 1986. I have previously read through 1980 (where the previous series of reprints left off), so I've got quite a bit of good reading ahead.
I just started reading Dan Slott's SHE-HULK, plus I'm in the mood to read the MIRACLEMAN omnibus (by "the original author") as well as the new collection of RAY BRADBURY EC COMICS that shipped this week.
Green Lantern #47
What did I just read here? What.....? Absolute nonsensical filler story just to get a Green Arrow guest appearance I guess. One of the worst GL stories I've come across, which is a shame because I really like the cover.
Green Lantern #47 - 50
I've heard of this story just like everyone else, but reading it for the first time, it certainly didn't play out the way I expected, which was awesome. The moment where Hal snapped was done really well, it builds up to it instead of having him go crazy in the first few pages. I thought the fight between him and Sinestro is one of their best battles by far, and this was a really engrossing page-turner the entire way. I don't have any attachment to Hal Jordan so I could not care less if he's a villain, I wanted an intense page-turner, and that was exactly what I got and more.
Green Lantern #47 is, I believe (IIRC), Gerard Jones' (who objected to "Emerald Twilight") attempt to lay the groundwork for overturning the storyline due to what I call "The Ergono Defense."
Virtually everyone misremembers "Emerald Twilight" in that Hal Jordan did not, in fact, "wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps." By the time the entire are has come to an end, I believe the body count was six, which is still bad, but it's not 3599. In fact, he goes out of his way to assure that no Green Lantern lost his or her life.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
It was called off because the US boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The project became Contest of Champions.
MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #25 [...] There is an ad in it for Marvel Super Heroes at the Summer Olympics. It was supposed to be "coming this summer" but i don't think it was ever published.
I've got a stack of collections and OGNs about yea tall that I will write about eventually. But I had to jump in here because ...
Green Lantern conversation!
Jeff of Earth-J likes to say that the Incredible Hulk was his "first" favorite. For me it was Spider-Man (who I thought I was) and Hal Jordan (who I wanted to grow up to be). Well, that was back when both characters were different than today. Especially Hal Jordan ...
The moment where Hal snapped was done really well, it builds up to it instead of having him go crazy in the first few pages.
Ohhhh yeah. And if you were reading the Superman books, you saw even more build-up, where Mongol destroyed Coast City and broke Jordan's arm, and saw him start suggesting things that Big Blue didn't like. I hated, hated, hated this development for Hal Jordan, since I had wanted to be him since I was a li'l tyke. But I can't argue that it wasn't done well.
Virtually everyone misremembers "Emerald Twilight" in that Hal Jordan did not, in fact, "wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps."
I know you don't mean me when you day "everybody." Couldn't be. But ... everybody? OK, maybe you do mean me, as well. Ha-rumph. Let's see:
You know, I don't remember, nor have I ever researched, how many Green Lanterns Hal Jordan killed in Emerald Twilight. Six, you say? Sounds reasonable.
I do remember that during Jordan's breakdown, I was on the edge of my seat hoping, hoping, hoping that he wouldn't cross the line. Then he left some Green Lanterns in space with all the energy sucked out of their rings, which is ... um, probably fatal. But maybe not! Maybe the "ring saves your life" dodge John Broome built into the series saved them! Maybe a passing spaceship saved them! Maybe that big ol' hand at the beginning of the universe saved them!
So I was still holding onto hope ... until Jordan killed Kilowog. No mistaking it, that's what he did. Kilowog!
And that was enough for me. You know why I didn't like the last Star Wars trilogy? Not for the reasons you see on most message boards, but because Kylo Ren killed Han Solo. The three movies were his redemption story. But sorry, I'm not buying it. Because when you kill Han Solo you cannot be redeemed.
I felt that way after Jordan killed Kilowog. Thank goodness "Emerald Twilight" has been revamped away.
The Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth Omnibus, Volume One. Unrestrained Kirby certainly comes out trippy.
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