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

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ACTION COMICS #1050: In the old days we would have spent days discussing the ramifications of a story such as this. 

SHE-HULK #9: She-Hulk breaks the "fourth wall" in a most unexpected way.

MY BAD v2 #2: This is actually my favorite comic of the three, but I have to give my "Pick of the Week" nod to Action Comics #1050 for it's potential importance.

MIRACLEMAN: THE SILVER AGE #3: I'm still holding this series in reserve.

Tales From Earth-6: A Celebration of Stan Lee -Nothing earth-shattering, but I enjoyed seeing these characters again.

I didn't see that. Not sure whether I would have bought it or not. I don't think I've ever reread any of the the originals since their initial release. 

I've always had a fondness for the characters.  Not Stan's best work, but still an interesting idea.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I didn't see that. Not sure whether I would have bought it or not. I don't think I've ever reread any of the the originals since their initial release. 

THE COMPLETE FUNKY WINKERBEAN: I recently found out that the collections of Tom Batiuk's The Complete Funky Winkerbean have progressed beyond volume four. I decided to reread the first volume to kill time until the fifth volume arrived from Amazon, but have found I don't remember much of v1 from my first time through and am really enjoying it, so I plan to read them all in sequence. I was surprised to (re)discover that the strips original three characters were Funky, Les, Roland and Livinia.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY: AN EVILUTION: Several years ago, Tracy suggested we watch The Addams Family TV show. I was always more of a "Munsters" guy myself, but that was through chance rather than choice, so that was fine with me. Then she surprised me with this anthology of Chas Addams' comics. Now, inspired by Netflix's Wednesday TV show, I have decided to reread it. I started with the "Wednesday" section, then went back to the beginning. 

"Death Sets the Stage" (Shield-Wizard Comics #2, Winter 1940). 

Basically, The Producers ... but with less Zero Mostel/Nathan Lane and more murders and superheroes.  Let's see ... Mel Brooks would have been 14 when this hit the stands, sooo ... that just about works.

The Wizard backup stories*** are the best evidence ever of what a total nerd I am. 

This series begins with stories of the Wizard's ancestors -- also Wizards -- through American history, beginning with the first Wizard's adventures during the Revolutionary War.  Issue #2 skips ahead to the Second Wizard's adventures in the War of 1812.  The first of two stories opens with the Wizard (Blane Whitney) chatting with his fiancée, the lovely Betsy Hull, "daughter of the governor of Michigan." (The second story ends with their marriage, for those of you keeping score at home.)  In case there were any doubt, the story clearly shows us that Betsy's pappy is indeed William Hull, infamous for surrendering Detroit to the British.

After reading those two stories, I did what surely anyone would have done.  I looked up William Hull to see if he had a daughter named Betsy who married a man named Whitney.  Alas, no.  While Hull had several daughters -- including a Rebecca ("Becky"?) and an Eliza ("Elizabeth/Betsy"?) -- none is recorded as having married a Whitney.

However, since the textbooks also fail to mention the role of the Wizard in freeing Francis Scott Key from British captivity and leading the defense of Fort McHenry, I choose to believe that certain aspects of American history have been glossed over to protect the Whitney family's privacy.

*** Yes, backup.  The Wizard is a "co-star" to The Shield in the same way Donald O'Connor was a "co-star" to Francis, The Talking Mule.  Love ya, Don, but we all know who the public was paying to see.

2023 COMICS READING PROJECT

Not only did I spend all of 2022 reading "Miscellaneous Golden Age Stuff", but ... thanks to my belated discovery of Gwandanaland Comics reprints ... I now have a backlog of at least two more years worth of the stuff.

But now I'm torn as to what to do in 2023.  On the one hand, as much as I'm enjoying what I'm reading ... and looking forward to everything else in that particular pile ... I'm feeling a little GA'ed out.  On the other hand, I like having a yearly "project", and no other "big idea" is leaping out at me as especially appealing.

So ... I've decided to try something I've toyed with before.  A "random walk" through The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Deluxe Edition) Omnibus.  I'll start with the entry for The Abomination, then choose a character/place/thing cross-referenced in there, jump to that entry, and so on, and so on.  When I get bored with that or find myself at a dead end or in a loop, I'll go back, pick up at The Absorbing Man and do the same again.  And if I find myself getting bored with that ... I have umpty volumes of G'land Blue Beetle reprints calling to mr from my bookshelf.

That ought to keep me occupied this year.


Doctor Hmmm? said:

This year's comics reading is (broadly) Miscellaneous Golden Age Stuff.  

I started the year with a couple of Archives that have been sitting on by bookshelf for years: The Black Canary Archives and the Comics Cavalcade Archives.  Working my way through the alphabet, I've just started The Doctor Fate Archives (probably the heftiest Archives on my bookshelf). 

SCARLET WITCH #1: Brian  Michael Bendis broke the Scarlet Witch many years ago then left without fixing her. I check back in every couple of years to see whether or not anyone else has. "If the head of grandpa's ax has been replaced twice and the handle three times, is it still grandpa's ax?" The Scarlet Witch is like grandpa's ax. She's got a new costume, new powers, a new origin... The catchphrase of the series is: "If your NEED IS GREAT and your HOPE IS GONE, there you will meet the Scarlet Witch." She has opened up a "spiritual emporium" (magic shop) called Emporium, hired clerk named Darcy, and created the "Last Door", which is part seeking spell, part portal. "It finds those at their lowest," she explains, "those with nowhere to turn, and brings them here." Good concept.

She can fly now, and she leaves behind her a trail of magic, like the Teen  Titan's Starfire (visually). I was going to jokingly call it "magic hair" but her stat page at the end of the issue says "when using her powers, Wanda's dark/curly hair blends into magic hair with starry effect." She mentions that her "crib was a mad scientist's incubator"; I have no idea what that's about. (If you know, don't bother to tell me because I don't really care.) In addition to Darcy, Quicksilver is part of the supporting cast. The villain is the Controller. The first issue is a "done-in-one" (I like that), but it ends on a cliffhanger foreshadowing #2 as her newest client walks through the door: Vivian Vision (the Vision's "daughter").

JOE FIXIT #1: Peter Parker is in Las Vegas promoting his book (circa Hulk #349). the Kingpin arrives and makes a bid to take over Michael Berengetti's casino. the deal goes south and Berengetti's enforcer, Joe Fixit (really the Hulk) kicks the Kingpin's @$$ (as one might expect). This does not sit well with the Kingpin. The issue ends with a text feature explaining who Mr. Fixit is for new readers who might not know. (I like that.)

FANTASTIC FOUR #3: Johnny Storm is working incognito at Shopland (think "Wal-Mart") under the pseudonym "Jonathan Fairweather." The crooked owner, Mr. Merrill (for those of us with long memories) is the former Maggia goon the Human Torch defeated way back in Fantastic Four #233 forty years ago. Something, we don't know what yet but something, caused the FF to go their separate ways prior to the first issue of the new series. So far, they haven't even been shown together much less working as a team. Next issue: "No More Four-Shadowing!"

QUICK STOPS #3: So far this series has been real "hit-or-miss": #1 was good, #2 sucked, #3 is pretty good. the first part of the story takes place in 2005 and fills in some backstory we already know about from Clerks II. The second part of the story takes place in 2022 and fills in some backstory we know from Clerks III. It's an Elias-centric story and explains how he met Coltrane (his "sidekick" from CIII), who happens to be the cousin of Myra (his unseen "girlfriend" from CII). 

PARKER GIRLS #4: I posted about this issue elsewhere. It's actually my favorite comic of the week, but I awarded a first-ever tie to Scarlet Witch #1 and Joe Fixit #1 for my "Pick of the Week" because I like to vary things up a bit (and no one else is posting, which was my hope when I started the thread).

"2023 COMICS READING PROJECT"

I have been considering such a project for a while now... ever since you started doing them, as a matter of fact. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger, though... not because I don't think I could stick to it, but because it would take me away from my regular posting. Here are some tipocs I have been considering...

  1. Spend one year reading nothing but comic strip collections.
  2. Spend one year reading nothing but comics/collections I have bought but never read.
  3. Read all of EC in chronological order from the beginning of the "New Trend."
  4. Read all of Marvel in chronological order from 1961 for as long as I can.

FUNKY WINKERBEAN: Currently I'm just about to finish v2. (Two to go before I start ordering new ones.) I'm up tot he point I would have been reading the strip in the daily newspaper, but I'm not remembering specific gags, just recurring motifs. (This could count toward project 1 or project 2; THUNDER Agents could count toward project 2.) There are three strips I group as follows...

  • PEANUTS - elementary school
  • FUNKY WINKERBEAN - high school
  • DOONESBURY - college

(Of course, by the end, the latter two went far beyond where they started out.) 

I am buying fewer new comics these days than ever before, but there are still some excellent comics out there to be found. 

AVENGERS: WAR ACROSS TIME #1: Everything I hoped/expected. My "Pick of the Week."

DANGER STREET #2: My two current faves ship on the same day. Is life great or what?

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND: CULT OF DOGS #3: My LCS was shorted #2 and here it is, a full month later, and still no restock. Hey, Travis... if you're reading this, how is your shop fixed for Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #2?

(Well,I read 'em yesterday.)

Avengers: War Through Time #1


Lazarus Planet Alpha #1

I wasn't especially overwhelmed by either of these, although I'd say that the Avengers book was the better of the two.  The art in the Lazarus Planet book was kind of murky and the story was disjointed and hard to  follow.

Mr. Fixit # 1 where Joe beats up Kingpin. Spider-man was happy to see it. Classiiiiic. 

3 issue series (Summer Island, Exodus and The Lesson ) that can be read in "The Bestiary Chronicles Volume 1" paperback by Steve Coulson. and  Midjourney. I enjoyed the storyline and art showing man's losing battle against Kaiju. The final solution for defeating such enormous odds is horrorfying. 

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