Thursday, September 29, 2011

2010 DC Universe Vol.4: Going Solo The Question art by alexmax

Click To Enlarge and Expand

I haven't posted a lot of Question material here, but I fully intend to as able, and this multi-character showcases' Huntress just wasn't up to par.

"Here are a few characters that, while they may have been part of a team at some point or another (because after all, what hero hasn't been a member of the Justice League?), I think they are mostly considered as loners....

Anyways, here is a rundown on what I was thinking when I was making them...

Question: A character I'm not very familiar with. Tried to make him look like his early post-Crisis (1986) appearance."


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Anj's Resume Pt 2: From Fan To Collector

Earlier this month here at Bloodlines, I posted about my earliest comics, the beginning of my comics resume.
And I have to say, I love these stories about comic collectors. I always like to hear about how other collectors got started, why they love the characters they do, etc.

One story I thought would be cool to share is when I made the big jump in my mind from 'fan' to 'collector'. It was the late spring/summer of 1982. I was 12 years old and started doing the odd jobs that 'tweens do to make some pocket money. I was mowing lawns, stripping and painting sheds, washing cars, etc. And I was making what I thought was pretty good coin, pulling in like $35 a week. And with money ... my money ... in my pocket, I was suddenly in more control of my hobbies.

The first part of that leap from fan to collector was deciding that I would start collecting titles every month. Before I would spin the rack and look for cool covers to buy. I certainly had characters I enjoyed and often purchased but I never got 'every' issue of a book. But that changed. With the ability to go and buy my own books, I decided that I could truly follow characters.

The next part of that maturation to collector was taking better care of the issues. I used to read the comics, fold them and put them in my pocket, and when I was ready to 'store' them I would toss them into a big cardboard box. There were hundreds of them. But no filing, no order, no care.

That all changed in 1982. That summer I bought one of those phony wood grain cardboard boxes you see lawyers carry files in and a bunch of file folders. I didn't bag the books, but I stored them in that box neatly, by title, sequentially, and read them with some care.

Long boxes, bags, and backing boards came later. But that summer, I thought I was a fat cat collector with my special comic box. And I was ready to splurge. And what a great year it was for DC books. Here are the first books I truly collected.

Fury of Firestorm - I first learned about Firestorm in DC Comics Presents #17 and then saw him join the JLA in Justice League of America #179. I thought he was a great character with an interesting origin and wild powers. And I loved Pat Broderick's art. Just fantastic stuff. I ended up buying Firestorm for the first several years of the title.

Legion of Super-Heroes - I already talked about how the Legion was my earliest book and subsequently a lifelong love. I was suddenly able to buy the Legion every month and what a time to jump on board. The Great Darkness Saga started around the time I made the jump. I loved Giffen's smooth organic look back then and Darkness remains a high point for the book. I mean, Wildfire vaporized and evil clone Guardian of the Universe in that story!

Saga of the Swamp Thing - Somewhere along the way I had been given one of the original Wein/Wrightson Swamp Thing issues and read it until the cover literally fell off. When a new Swamp Thing title came out, I jumped on board. What a crazy title this was, borderline Vertigo with Swamp Thing protecting a girl named Casey who (I think) ended up being a vessel to bring about the apocalypse. Filled with crazy horror stuff and religious overtones, I loved it. It may be that my penchant for Vertigo started here.

The New Teen Titans - Do I have to explain why? Wolfman and Perez were on their A game with this book. The storyline started here introduced Brother Blood. The Titans go undercover and join his cult and it doesn't end well. This was the beginning of some great stuff on the book including the intro to Blackfire, a trip into space, and a battle with the Brotherhood of Evil as well as the demonification of Raven. Great stuff, even now. And all the sadder to look back at given the lack of Donna and the behavior of Kory in the new DCU.

Night Force - I talked about Gene Colan and Night Force here when I talked about the passing of Gene Colan. I picked up Night Force because I liked the free 16 page preview in the above issue of Titans. It was another crazy horror comic with an unsettling ending to the first arc. So unsettling, I stopped reading it. It weirded me out. It was just the perfect time for me to read a book like that, when I could still be spooked.

And, of course, later that year another book came out ...

Daring New Adventures of Supergirl - The stories may read a little dated now but the characterization of Supergirl was spot on. She was consciously stepping out of Superman's shadow, becoming her own hero, and claimed Chicago as her town. I loved and still love that book.

So that was my leap from fan to collector. I think the next step of evolution ... to 'real collector' with long boxes, bags, and the lure of back issues probably happened 5 years later when suddenly I could drive to a comic store and not rely on the local convenience store. But that's a story for a later time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

InDirect Currents: Saturday, September 24, 2011

Still playing catch-up after dropping this feature in May. Hopefully, the currents will be more direct in coming weeks...


The Absorbascon
Justice League #1 Review
In which Hal encounters a New Concept!
1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow
1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrrow, #11:

The Aquaman Shrine
Aquaman vs. The Justice League!
Aquaman vs. The Great White Shark by Mego - 1978
Justice League Lunch Bag - 1978
The Aquaman Creative Team Rocks NYCC '11
Super Heroes Checker Set!
Super Friends Swim Goggles - 1979

Armagideon Time
The Wizard that Wuz(ard): Nefarious designs
Underwater brother
Sandman trading cards!

The ArrowCave
The Arrow Cave Needs YOU!
Retro-Active Green Lantern/Green Arrow 1970'S One -Shot
Trick Arrow Tuesday!
Nifty looking drinking glass

Being Carter Hall
Heads Up JSA!
"Pleasure Chests" Hawkman
Read: Hawman v.2:no.4

Comics Make Me Happy!
Superheroes art print by Danny Haas

Michael Nelsen corners GREEN LANTERN

DC Fifty-TOO!
BLUE BEETLE(S) #1 by Mike Norton
DETECTIVE COMICS #1 by Dan Christensen
DEX-STARR #1 by Katie Cook
HOUSE OF MYSTERY #1 by Matt Kaufenberg
LIBERTY BELLE #1 by Joel Priddy

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
1977 "Help A Hero.." NCG Merchandise Ad
2006 Green Lantern & Darkstar Commission by Darryl Banks
Wonder Woman Day by Cat Staggs

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Norm Breyfogle's Batman Rogues Gallery
Kelley Jones' Batman Rogues Gallery
Tim Sale's Batman Rogues Gallery
Brian Bolland's Batman Rogues Gallery

Firestorm Fan
George Perez 1999 Firestorm Drawing
Blackest Night #3 Cover by Ethan Van Sciver Reenacted with Action Figures
1992 Impel DC Comics Firestorm Trading Card
Rafael Kayanan Firestorm Sketch
Al Milgrom Firestorm Sketch from 1979

Girls Gone Geek
Jakita Wagner
Batman Beyond

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
2011 Martian Manhunter Comicpalooza Commission by Nick Pitarra
Miss Martian and the New World Order
2011 B'rett Comicpalooza Commission by Nick Pitarra
The Magnificent Seven Revised Again
2011 B'rett Comicpalooza Color Art by Nick Pitarra

Justice League Detroit
2008 The Vixen art by Marsonite
2008 The Vixen art by larthosgrr8
2009 The Vixen Digital 3-D Pin-Up by Gustavo

Power of the Atom
2011 Justice League of America #212 Twin Pocket Folder Style #1490DC

Silver Age Comics
The Sinestro Story
Darwin of the Guardians
Flash #123
Wonder Woman 156--Return of the Golden Age

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
Raise The Flag: An overview of this pivitol 2008 mini-series
Captain Boomerang and what goes around
Countdown 22: Trickster, in the line of Deadshot's fire

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Batgirl #23
Batgirl #24
Supergirl #66
DC Retroactive: 1970s Superman
Back Issue Box: Batman Chronicles #20
Back Issue Box: Detective Comics #508

Review Section

Comic Judgment by Erika Peterman

Comic Shop Comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Huntress in "A Choice of Destinies" (June/July, 1978)

Cranston, Grayson and Wayne was a law firm based around public interest research along the lines of the work Ralph Nader made famous in his consumer advocacy. Cranston was the aged do-gooder with a painfully ineffective combover, while Dick Grayson was a partner in name only as he served as a diplomat. Helena Wayne was the third partner, fresh out of law school at 21. Roger Demarest was also at the firm, and didn't so much seethe as constantly explode over his resentment of Wayne's unearned status. A long haired sexist pig in a grotesque plaid suit (complete with a freakin' medallion,) Roger laid his feelings about Wayne having bought in abundantly clear. Cranston assured the hesitant Wayne that she was brought in on her established merits editing the law review and graduating valedictorian from Harvard.

Helena Wayne doubted not only her likely contribution to the firm, but also her efforts through it. As the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Wayne had training that might allow her to do much more for the world than any single lawyer ever could. As such, she ducked out of the office to suit up as the Huntress and investigate the near constant cases of arson taking place in the slums of South Gotham. Swinging past lackadaisical firemen, she rescued three older citizens trapped in a burning building before barely escaping herself. The Huntress must have still been of "urban legend" standing or less, since the explanations of how the rescued survived were dismissed entirely by EMS.

Somehow having concealed an entire outfit in her form fitting uniform, Helena Wayne lingered at the scene, and saw a mystery man supplying a little boy with explosives and payment for his latest arson. Wayne lost track of both, and had a mystery on her hands...

This story from Batman Family #18 was by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, & Bob Layton. It was the first solo story for the character since her debut/origin in DC Super-Stars #17, and it was not a doozy. The characters are lousy and broadly drawn, while the realistic inks of Layton combined with the caricature of Staton makes the male characters look like they have congenital disorders. The only thing duller than super-heroes battling common disasters is seeing them address them over multiple parts. It also tough to get wound up in Huntress' angst over whether to be a lawyer or super-hero, since guys like Daredevil do both, and it's a decision she probably should have come to before this point.

The Bronze Age

Friday, September 16, 2011

Direct Currents: Friday, September 16, 2011

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E.: The Maces and Masks of Hawkman!

In a few months, DC Comics will evidently have a new origin and backstory for Hawkman. But for the moment, this is where his history and continuity stand.

Rare Access To Early Superman Strips

Sid Friedfertig has posted a treasury of rare Superman comic strips that ran between 1959 and 1966. As he explains, Superman first appeared as a daily comic strip in 1939 and ran through 1966 but most of the strips from about 1944 have not been reprinted.

Say Goodbye To Summer With Photos of Acrobatic Waterskiing Super-Heroes

I hate to say it, friends, but with August coming to a close, the end of summer is upon us. [Ed. Note: Noooooo!] But before we fully brace for autumn (or as we know it around here, Hurricane Season), Marc Tyler Nobleman has unearthed the perfect piece of summer: A series of photographs of Sea World's "Salute to the Super-Heroes' Waterskiing Show from 1977, where many of DC Comics's most popular characters saved the day through the power of legitimately impressive waterskiing pyramids. And also America.

DC Confirms James Robinson And Nicola Scott On JSA… And Earth 2

'Neon Sign Posters' Light Up Batman, Superman and More in Clever Animated Ways

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) -



Green Lantern Corps Edition



Fourth of July Edition




Comic-Con Memories: The Cosplay

Comic-Con Edition

Comic-Con Fashionistas Edition!





The Absorbascon
Marriage: Lois & Clark
Marriage: Iris & Barry
Marriage: The Perfect Couple
First Comes Love...
Wonder Woman versus the Indigenous Genre

Amazon Princess
Larry Welz's Wonder Woman

The Aquaman Shrine
Ideal Justice League Playset Catalog - 1966
Aquaman Art Gallery: Chris Samnee
Aquaman: Death of a Prince Introduction
German DC Comics Ad - 1976
Death of Superman Poster - 1992
DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide

Armagideon Time
Nobody’s Favorites: Firebrand
Nobody’s Favorites: The Yellow Peri
Nobody’s Favorites: The Alpha Centurion
Nobody’s Favorites: Steel: The Indestructible Man

Being Carter Hall
Read: Hawkman v.4:no20
90s Katar Hol Rocking It Hardcore
Read: The All-New Batman: The Brave and The Bold #9
Hawkman "Cover Tryout" by Steven Butler
Read: Hawkman v.3:no.5

Comics Make Me Happy!
Think Batman will ever be like this again?
Man Up by Liam Brazier

Continued On 2nd Page Following
Batgirl #1

Evan Shaner corners AQUAMAN
Evan Shaner corners GREEN LANTERN

DC Fifty-TOO!
DEADMAN #1 by John Bishop
ELECTRIC WARRIOR #1 by Aaron Conley
JIMMY OLSEN #1 by Paul Salvi
NEW GODS #1 by Benjamin Marra
THE SEA DEVILS #1 by Dieter Van der Ougstraete
TEEN TITANS #1 by Tim Seeley
UNEXPECTED #1 by Trevor Alixopulos

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
The Next Degeneration of Teen Just Ass
2010 Wonder Woman Twin Pocket Folder Style #1490DC
2009 Wizard World Chicago Convention Sketch by Evan “Doc” Shaner
2008 Wonder Woman Icon Wallpaper by Richard Manship
The Wonder Woman Gallery

El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker
What I Read This Week

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Two thoughts on new Wonder Woman costumes (Only one of which is mine)
Wonder Woman: The Story of The Amazon Princess
Has DC been getting Wonder Woman wrong for 15 years now?
Apropos of nothing, here's an Art Baltazar drawing of Wonder Woman riding her kanga Jumpa

Firestorm Fan
Firestorm Logos Through the Years
DCnU Needs Bizarro Firestorm!
Firestorm Art by Fans
Firestorm in Flashpoint: Legion of Doom
Fred Hembeck draws Firestorm
Another Amazing Yildiray Cinar Piece
Pat Broderick 2011 Firestorm Sketch

Girls Gone Geek
Silk Spectre by Olga Ulanova
Cheetah vs. Catman: Who Would Win?
Madame Xanadu by Mikel Janín

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
Post-Pointal Reactions & Directions
2010 Martian Manhunter Brightest Day Character Design by Joe Prado
1998 Martian Manhunter Project by Marz, Hitch & Moeller
Post-Pointal Discussion: J'Onn J'Onzz and the Justice League
2011 Martian Manhunter Color Head Sketch by Jason Ho
Post-Pointal Declaration: From the Watchtower to Stormwatch
My Funny Martian

J.M. DeMatteis's Creation Point
Brooklyn Dreaming

Jim Shooter
2007 Legion of Super Heroes Overview Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Legion Overview Question and an Answer
Super Lad
10 Best Comics’ Creators’ Quips and Quotes
1984 Chicago Comicon Program Superman Cover

Justice League Detroit
Post-Pointal Discussion: Aquaman and the Justice League
2008 Zatanna Conventon Sketch by Ted Naifeh
Vixen: Return of the Lion #5 (April, 2009)
2008 Aquaman Convention Sketch by Phil Hester
2010 The Vixen by BeeBoyNYC

Power of the Atom
Post-Pointal Discussion: The Atoms and the Justice League Satellites
Captain Atom: Armageddon #7 (June, 2006)
Wonder Woman Annual #1: “Backstory” (2007)
2008 Hawkman & the Atom Convention Sketch by Phil Hester

Silver Age Comics
The Faceless Creature/Hunter from Saturn
Diamond Jim
Johnny Cloud
Plastic Man #1

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
J'onn J'onnz, the Black King?
Bronze Tiger: fan art by Stuart Sayger and more!
25 Year Suicide Squad Anniversary! Get up to speed with my handy dandy quick reference timeline

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
DC Universe Online Legends #9
Titans Annual #1
Action Comics #463
Avenging Angels Part 1: Resurrection Man #16
Avenging Angels Part 2: Supergirl #24
Avenging Angels Part 3: Resurrection Man #17

Tommy Tejeda
Green Lantern Corps

The Thought Experiment
Daily Batman: Batman begins
Fight Club Friday — Daily Batman: Punching toupees off edition
Daily Batman: Alpha, Beta
Daily Batman: Batpachino
Daily Batman: Batcam
Daily Batman: Breaking up is hard to do

Review Section

Comic Shop Comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comic Reader Résumé of Diabolu: February, 1982

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

February, 1982 was my second month of collecting new comics off the newsstand. I claimed to have bought an entirely new selection for this round, but I have vague recollections of having owned The Brave and the Bold #186, in which Batman teamed-up with Hawkman against the Fadeaway Man. I liked all but one of these characters, so it's possible I bought it new, but the memory is so vague that I can't be sure. I doubt the story by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn left much of an impression, although the lame villain couldn't have helped. The only thing that really sticks with me are flashes of Jim Aparo panels, which likely would have been enough to bring me back for more.

While I vividly remember a great many of these books from DC in-house ads and as purchases years later, my actual, factual, confirmed purchases of this month were fairly slight. I still have my copy of The New Teen Titans #19, which was likely never swiped from me by neighborhood kids because it only just barely rates as a comic book anymore. The pages are so brown they qualify as a separate ethnic group in the U.S. census, and scraps of torn pages lie sideways with the intact portions bound by polybag. This may have been my introduction to a team that has stuck with me much of my reading life, and almost certainly my introduction to Marv Wolfman and George Perez (outside spot cover illustrations from the latter.) It's a fantastic looking book, especially Perez's Hawkman, in part due to the artist clearly providing much tighter pencils to resist the wet blanket that is Romeo Tanghal finishes. The story, involving Hindu gods, weirded me out as a kid, especially their rather graphic destruction in the end.

My other new comic of the month, out the same week, was The Saga of Swamp Thing #1 by Martin Pasko and Tom Yeates. I can't honestly state what possessed me to do so. It had a swell cover, and Tom Yeates was a really appealing artist, but the story by Martin Pasko and the heavy atmosphere was way over my head. This would not be the last time Swamp Thing would do this to me, because my only sweet spot with the character was reprints of the early '70s Wein/Wrightson stories. I tried Alan Moore too early at first, then too late as an adult, when his innovations had become tropes. There was also a Phantom Stranger back-up by Bruce Jones and Dan Spiegle. I'd already been introduced to the Stranger through a Jim Aparo Brave and the Bold, but this creepy yarn was a whole other matter. While the story of a black minister fleecing his own people stuck with me, I never really warmed to Spiegel's art elsewhere.

One more maybe before I sign off on this month, Super Goof #69. I know I owned at least one issue of this series, and though I thought it had him battling the Beagle Boys, the character featured here strikes me as reasonable facsimile to facilitate confusion. Funny animals were rarely my bag.

Friday, September 9, 2011

OMAC in DCU: Brave New World #1 (August, 2006)

Michael Costner was asleep in the bed of a dingy apartment when an attractive young woman woke him up with a kiss. Vienna understood that Mike had these memory lapses, but didn't have time to jog it further. Superheroes or supervillains, both were on Mike's tail, so it was time to run. An OMAC burst through the wall, so the couple fled down a fire escape. Jumping for freedom, they landed in a convenient transport truck for chickens that drove off. Two other OMACs joined the first in being unable to figure out this impossibly clever turn of events.

Vienna explained that the OMACs were trying to take over the world, and saw Mike as their key to conquest. The OMACs had somehow erased Mike's memory, so his girlfriend had to be handy to remind him of the score. Mike's last memory was "trippin'" in Gotham, where he robbed people and bought drugs. Now he was in Las Vegas with an unfamiliar girlfriend who had helped him kick months earlier and flying robots in pursuit that could hide within any human being they encountered.

Several OMAC run-ins later, Superman showed up to hold off a pack until the JLA could arrive. Mike and Vienna caught a moment alone, in which Mike expressed his appreciation for finally finding someone who cared about him whom he could trust. Surprise! Vienna turned out to be an OMAC, erased Mike's identity, and dude woke up to find it was only a dream. Gah, not that old saw. Mike took a hit, and I could use one myself.

"OMAC" was by Bruce Jones and Renato Guedes. Whatever happened to Guedes, anyway? Every other artist in this book is still working-- well, except Justiniano, and that's a subject I'd rather not broach. Guedes was one of the prettiest and most fluid of the obvious photo-referencing crowd, and I can't remember his name coming up in a long time. It's also the only selling point of this story of the Keystone OMACs, turned from T-1000s for the super-hero set into clueless geeks outpaced by a nothing protagonist and his exposition dumping girlfriend. I'd say Kirby was rolling in his grave, but more likely the King couldn't even be bothered with a shrug in the afterlife over so slight an indignity, what with the thousands of others in the dust. Hope he liked Captain America: The First Avenger, at least.

Brave New World

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Comic Resume: Anj's Origins

I really liked reading the Comic Resume by Frank earlier this week and it made me think it would be fun to review my comic origins as much as I could. It isn't a big surprise given the blogs I am a part of that I am a dyed-in-the-wool DC guy and that predilection for the DCU can be felt in my earliest recollections.

I grew up in the era when comics where bought of a spinner rack at convenience stores. The comics I bought were often the ones whose covers interested me the most. I also was lucky enough to have a convenience store a block away from my home as well as from the summer house we lived in during July and August.

My earliest memories of comics are from that summer house. I read at a relatively early age and so my parents and older sibs would buy me comics. We also used to go to yard sales a lot in my youngest days and I would buy comics there for pennies.

So I can distinctly remember reading the following Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes comics at that beach house. These are the first issues I remember reading and I consider them my 'first' comics. These books were solicited in the winter of 1975, written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Mike Grell, and too early for me to have read and comprehend, and certainly not at a time where I would be in the summer place. So my guess it these were bought in the summer of 1976, probably at a flea market/yard sale.

These are some crazy issues, which may explain a lot about who I am.

'The Ultimate Revenge' was the main story in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #211.

In that story, Roxxas, the villain who massacred all the inhabitants of Trom except for Element Lad, escapes prison and heads back to the planet. Element Lad, usually a reserved character, disobeys the Legion and goes off on his own to track down Roxxas with the plan to get revenge/justice for his people by killing the villain.

Roxxas lands on Trom and is confronted by Element Lad. The Legion arrives as the two square off, Superboy begging Element Lad to let the Legion take Roxxas into custody. Element Lad resigns and fires his laser pistol at Roxxas apparently killing him. It turns out that Chemical King wanted to see if Element Lad would actually go through with it. So he secretly sped up the chemical reaction in the blaster's battery, making it little more than a flashlight. To complete the illusion, King slowed down Roxxas' metabolism so he would collapse. The bottom line is Roxxas lives.

Surprisingly, the villain then begs the Legion to kill him. He fled to Trom hoping he would be killed because he cannot take being haunted by the voices of the Tromians he has killed, he is in psychological anguish for his crime.

So that is pretty crazy stuff for a 6 year old to read. A hero who would kill? A man begging to be killed because his sins plague him? A discussion on the chemical reactions in batteries??


I loved it.

But to this day I wonder why Element Lad wouldn't just use his powers on Roxxas. Why not turn him to salt, make him air, or something worse? I suppose the story wouldn't work that way.

'The Jaws of Fear' was the main story in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #213.

In this story, a master thief Benn Pares decides to steal the Miracle Machine (a wish granting machine) from the Legion Headquarters. The first pages have him simply antagonizing the Legion by slipping in and out of their HQ stealing random things before telling them he is going after the machine.

I can remember the scene where the Legion literally surround the machine to make sure it can't be stolen only to realize that the clock in the very room has been pilfered. Pares snuck in the room with them and got away with the clock. For some reason, that scene really stuck with me. It turns out Pares' power is to neutralize any defense system thrown in his way - he can become intangible, walk on air, change his core temp, etc to foil any alarm.

Fearing what he might do, the Legion decides the best course of action is to destroy the miracle machine. But all their beams and punches don't even dent it.

The Pares' secret lair is discovered to be in the mouth of a galactosaur, a sort of space dragon. The Legion flies to intercept, but Ultra Boy becomes too afraid to have the ship fly into the dragon's maw, having some PTSD over his own origin (Jo Nah, swallowed by a space dragon and getting ultra energies).

Superboy, left behind as a last line of defense for the Miracle Machine, wishes he could help and suddenly finds himself standing next to the thief. He punches him, ending the threat. It turns out when all the Legionnaires punched the machine, they accidentally turned it on. When Superboy wished to help, the machine granted his wish. Shrinking Violet wonders why they didn't just use the machine to wish him captured in the beginning but Brainiac 5 warns her that they cannot use the machine to get complacent.

Still a bit crazy, no? A thief that can foil all defenses? A wish granting machine? A hero terrified? A lesson not to use an ultimate power machine?


I have been a Legion fan ever since and found myself buying that book on a semi-regular basis even in my earliest years.And the Grell Shrinking Violet costume might be my favorite Legion costume ever.

So these were my 'first issues'. There are other moments on my resume I might end up posting about at some point, like when I felt I made the jump from 'fan' to 'collector'.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Trials of Shazam! in DCU: Brave New World #1 (August, 2006)

At the Rock of Eternity, the Spectre and the wizard Shazam did unnatural battle that shattered its setting and unleashed chaos. In Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Fate attempted to capture a creature that had never entered our universe before, given purchase by the erosion of magical safeguards older than mankind. "New York City. Zatanna bravely tries to shut a dimensional warp tear. It was enveloping commuters into a sixth level underworld slave dimension." The Shade battled a centuries dead foe in Madrid, and on, and on.

Captain Marvel Junior was dealing with three Iron Goblins in Prague when his powers gave out, leaving the handicapped Freddy Freeman to be punched through a plate glass window. Mary Marvel was flying over Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a Fire Harpy when a suddenly powerless Mary Batson began a deadly free fall.

Captain Marvel himself wrangled with a Nordic Ice Giant in Antarctica. A sudden, unexpected power boost saw the World's Mightiest Mortal deliver a blow with such force that the giant's continued life was in doubt. The Big Red Cheese was surprised to catch his own reflection, and see a white bolt of hair now rested upon his head.

"The Trials of Shazam!" was by Judd Winick & Howard Porter. Not a bad set-up, especially if one has decided to convey the bare basics in the preview and save the meat for the mini-series. I heard the book was pretty good, especially by Winick standards, with the unfortunate exception that it wasn't really geared for the starring characters. Seeing as this opened the door for Cry For Justice and the Black Mary of Final Crisis, it's tough not to look back through jaundiced eyes, or dismiss the endeavor altogether. It's a shame Porter didn't continue in this quasi-painted style, as it's probably his best looking work since the early issues of JLA. I assume time was a factor, even though the book ended up taken over by an actual painter in the end.

Brave New World

Friday, September 2, 2011

Who's Dat: The Godmother

Real Name: Unknown
Occupation: Mobster
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Crime Cabal
Base of Operations: Electric City
Height/Build: Approximately 5'6", morbidly obese
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black
First Appearance: OMAC #5 (May-June 1975)

The Godmother was a high ranking member of the Crime Cabal in The World To Come who operated out of a large sun-palace in Electric City. She attempted to purchase a beautiful girl into whose body the Godmother's mind would be placed, but the deal was quashed by the arrival of OMAC. The Global Police Agency took the Godmother into their custody.

The Godmother presumably had the resources of the Crime Cabal at her disposal, which included manpower, weapons and vehicles.

"Hah! It's nuthin' money can't solve! ...and I've got plenty, Freddy! I want to be young again! ...and look like that!"

Created by: Jack Kirby