Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Direct Currents: Memorial Day 2012 Holiday Hangover Edition

Could We Get A New Justice League Of America?

Emphasis on AMERICA

ComicsAlliance's Betting Odds on DC's Next Gay Character

Yes, America, It’s Alan Scott

One Million Bigots Targets Marvel And DC Comics Over Gay Characters

Will We Get A Katana #0 From DC In September?

DC Entertainment's Burbank Office Tour

Bizarro Back Issues: The 'Rainbow Doom' of Superman (1955)

Michel Fiffe's 'Suicide Squad' Fan-Comic Takes DC's Villains to the 'DEATHZONE!'

Cosplay Round-Up: Phoenix Comicon:

 Day One, Day Two, Day Three

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 05.21.12

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 05.29.12

Dave Ault Takes a Tour of the DCU With Art Deco Travel Posters [Art]

Bunka Bathes Heroes, Villains and Monkeys in Shadow

Awesome Art Picks: Superman, Captain America, Fantasy Avengers and More

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 05.25.12


The Absorbascon
Meditations on DC Nation "Vibe"

Amazon Princess
Wonder Woman by Dave Hoover Gallery

The Aquaman Shrine
Spongebob Comics - FCBD Edition
Who's Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, Volume I
Aquaman Art Gallery: Yildiray Cinar
Mego Aquaman 12-Inch Custom
Aquaman Art Gallery: Jayoh
Super Powers Carrying Case Original Art

Armagideon Time
A true gentleman criminal…

Being Carter Hall
Read: The Savage Hawkman #7
Earth 2 Hawkgirl Revealed!
Read: The Savage Hawkman #8

The BLOG from the BOG ...SWAMP THING
Oh, Wrightson...

new 52 mini series: Shadow Hunter
Quantum Mechanix

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
1995 Wonder Woman #95 Unused Cover Concept Art by Brian Bolland
1996 Wonder Woman Gallery art by Amanda Conner

Firestorm Fan
WHO’S WHO PODCAST: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe
Fan Visions of Firestorm Animated and Redesigned
Firestorm in Zingers
Early Days of Aquaman and Firestorm – FIRE AND WATER PODCAST #20

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
Comicpalooza 2012: Artist Alley Attack
2012 Cracked.com "Wonder Woman's Sex Tape: A Lost Episode of Super Friends" video
2011 "JLA Avengers mash up" by Richard Yanizeski
Comrades of Mars: “Mother” J'onzz
2010 Martian Manhunter Sketch Card by Chris Foreman

J.M. DeMatteis's Creation Point
The Mysterious Michael Ellis

Justice League Detroit
DC Nation Vibe Cartoon Short Preview Clips!

Michael Fiffe
D E A T H Z O N E ! my Suicide Squad comic

Power of the Atom
2010 Captain Atom art by J.J. Kirby

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
Awesome Deadshot cosplay & The Shadowpact

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Review: Action Comics #9 Back-Up Story
Chrissie Zullo Commission
Review: Superboy #9
Review: Legion Lost #9
Ed McGuinness Quick Sketch
Review: Supergirl #9
Review: Supergirl #9

Tower of Fate
Dr. Fate Art by Eddy Newell
Tweety Bird Doctor Fate artwork by Mike Wood
Alternate Justice League Dark artwork by Eddy Newell
Fun Friday art work by Dov Torbin

Review Section

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Pre-New 52 review (trade paperbacks) by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone

Sunday, May 27, 2012

So Much For That Plan...

...Three days of Comicpalooza and a niece's graduation has torpedoed any misguided notions I had for daily convention coverage. I've got a boy's night out after this thing shuts down tomorrow, so I'll hopefully do a single comprehensive piece sometime on Monday. Happy Memorial Day Weekend, y'all!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Prelude to Comicpalooza 2012

By my recollection, the first convention I ever went to was around late '93/ early '94, in some rinky-dink hotel ballroom (a Radisson?) It was kind of neat having so many dealers in one space, like a tiny flea market of nothing but geek wares. I was still pretty shy back then, and had to be urged to approach my first pro, Bill Willingham. I wasn't especially familiar with his work, so we talked about his involvement in the recent "Emerald Twilight" story. He was diplomatic, but I don't think he was too keen on Hal Jordan as a mass murderer. I brought up Elementals and Ironwood as springboards, since I wasn't knowledgeable enough about either to hold an actual discussion. He'd drawn a good looking Huntress story in an issue of Showcase that I bought for change at the con, so he signed the first interior page, since the cover was by Paul Gulacy. It was a nice experience, but I soon realized autographs did nothing for me. I started working at a comic shop, which helped me come out of my shell, and even ran booths at a bunch of local cons.

The biggest show I ever attended was San Diego Comic-Con International 2001, which was arranged as an extremely generous gift from a customer-friend. That was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life, and returning home from it led to weeks of depression after coming down from the high. I was fairly disenchanted with being a comic shop proprietor, and the disparity between the life I wanted and what I was living eventually saw my partner and I dissolving the business. How well we handled it in comparison to the shops we'd outlived remains a source of personal pride.

Anyway, I had good and not so good times experiences with many pros at the con. One relevant to this discussion was standing in line for a sketch from Phil Jimenez. I had no idea how that sort of thing worked, but I imitated other people in grabbing a blank backer board. I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted in line. Eric Luke had played up a romantic entanglement between Wonder Woman and a married Superman at that point, which other writers ran with. I hated the development, so I hoped for a waist-up of Diana with her back to Kal-El. Ahead of me, a fellow cut in line to pick up a gorgeously realized Tempest commission, and I started salivating. Finally, it was my turn, and Phil swiftly dispelled my illusions of anything so grandiose on a line for free sketches. Instead, I got a very basic Wonder Woman head shot, and assurances from incoming co-writer Joe Kelly that he would soon firmly kibosh the tainted love triangle. I was plainly naive in my expectations, but at the same time, I just did not feel anything for my sketch. I put it up at my shop for show, but eventually I was worn down to sell it cheap by a customer. It wasn't meant for me.

I don't recall hearing about any conventions after I closed my shop. I started getting my comics through mail order, so I wasn't anywhere near a grapevine for that sort of thing. However, in 2010 I was working around a decent LCS, so I would bop by about once a week for giggles. They had fliers for a shows at the George R. Brown Convention Center, one of the top ten largest con facilities in the nation, which piqued my interest. They had more and bigger names than I'd ever seen locally, so I decided I would hit my first show in nearly a decade. I also used it as an opportunity to launch my yearly gathering of Martian Manhunter-related commissions. Hey, everybody's got a hobby; just some are more unique than others. You can read more about them here:

The short version of 2010 was that I spent about $400-450 on the door (x2), parking, seven commissions, and assorted comics. I was learning what I was doing as I went, running around indecisive and flustered, but ultimately happy. My big regrets of the con were not getting anything from Rob Liefeld, and getting too many headshots that I wish had bodies attached. Seriously, how awesome would a totally extreme Liefeld Martian Manhunter have been, instead of bouncing around the floor like a pinball at an arcade, too short of tokens?

Comicpalooza 2011 moved from early spring to Memorial Day weekend, which caused some problems, but upped the spectacle (recalling its namesake Lollapalooza.) I missed Terry Moore's single day, so no Captain Harding commission. Don Kramer left a day early, so my B'rett would come from someone else. I couldn't bring myself to pony up an entirely reasonable $100 for a Bob Layton piece, so I certainly wouldn't do 60% more for Alé Garza. Still, I got a solid mix of "names" and new talent for about $400 TT&L without the distressing uncertainty of 2010. I knew better how to talk to artists, what to expect from them, and what I wanted. Finer details in the links...

My Comicpalooza experiences have been satisfying, but always tinged with regret over the pieces missed due to expense and timing. I started out this year a graduate with the best paying job I ever had knowing that responsibilities would be coming by 2013. If ever I was going to in heavy ballin', 2012 was the year, but it would require forethought and savings. God knows how many hours I spent pouring over deviantART, CAF, and personal galleries for each and every attending artist. I wanted things to go perfectly, as evidenced here...

Mentsch tracht und Gott lacht. None of my "legacy" artists I was looking forward to getting repeat commissions from decided to spend another Memorial Day in Houston. Truth to tell, I've noticed that only a few guys have returned from year to year. Most of the "names" this year are from a school of style that I never gravitated toward, dampening my enthusiasm. Those I'm more into are charging close to what I spent in total at previous cons for individual pieces. Part of my deal with my girlfriend while in school was that I'd be paying for everything when I got out, and everything is not a cheap proposition. I had to finagle a weekend off, which did not come easy or without price. I never did manage to score that overtime I'd hoped for. Then, a week before the con, I got hit with some serious financial concerns that sent my dreams of dropping Gs straight into the toilet. Joe Eisma (one of the few returnees) cancelled a week ahead of time, but a plenty worthy replacement was announced in David Marquez almost immediately, so that worked out. Eric Basaldua canceled two days before the show, but he was liable to be out of my revised price range anyway. I doubt Joe Kubert will be doing any sketches, regardless of whether I have the hundreds of dollars that would cost me.

My meticulously constructed list of character "assignments" has gone all gooey, but I'll endeavor to be fluid myself. I refuse to waste all the effort I put into researching Artist Alley, and would much prefer a dozen economical pieces that putting all my eggs into one or two baskets. Ah well, it just wouldn't be a Comicpalooza Commission Collection without all the scurrying and fretting. As I said, I know what I want and from whom, so all that's left is sweet talk and scraping up the bread. At least this year I have three days to play with, so maybe I'll take advantage and make an effort to enjoy my time more without fixating on an agenda. For instance, I'll try to offer updates daily throughout the weekend right here...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Steel in Action Comics #7 (May, 2012)

"New Troy is the heart of Metropolis." Millions lived in the city's center of business and entertainment, until it suddenly vanished from the Earth. In the lead story by Morrison & Morales, Dr. John Henry Irons had calculated that "Superman" would have to run 25,000 mph going off a ramp to high jump into outer space and reach the alien kidnappers' satellite. Done. While city citizens fretted, Superman liberated an indestructible Kryptonian armor (his New 52 costume) and prepared to battle Brainiac for the fate of Earth and the bottled island of New Troy and city of Kandor. You can read more about that here.

Meanwhile, the rest of Metropolis was still falling apart, and needed Dr. Irons in his battle armor to keep it together. Dubbed the "Steel-Driving Man," Irons held a bridge up until pedestrians could escape its inevitable collapse. "Well, this settles one thing: When I upgrade to the next generation of my armor-- it needs a helmet!" Dr. Irons then borrowed a cell phone from one of the people he'd saved to check in on his family. Niece Natasha was okay, and would pass word along to her parents and Grandma Bess.

Dr. Irons continued his mission, pushing a ferry to safety and so on, but the job was too big for one mortal man. Thankfully, emergency services and concerned citizens were also up for some heroism. "Wherever I go, the people of Metropolis are coming together to meet the crisis... It doesn't take one hero. It takes millions of them.

"Meanwhile..." was a really nice back-up by Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker. John Henry Irons is The Man, building his own armor and saving multitudes while staying humble and recognizing the merits in all those around him. His heart's as big as his brain, which is huge.

New 52's Day

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Direct Currents: Saturday, May 19, 2012

The CW Orders a Full Season of 'Arrow' Based on DC Comics' Emerald Archer

Someone at the CW must really, really like Oliver Queen.

Ernie Chan Passes

DC’s go-to guy for covers in the late seventies, aged 71

Grant Morrison’s Dull Superhero Fantasies

It’s not really clear what Morrison thinks it might be like for us to be “better, more just, and more proactive.”

Brian Augustyn On Trolling The Comics Industry

Yes Mr Troll Lords himself, the Gotham By Gaslight creator...

Vibe Busts a Move on DC Nation This Weekend [Video]

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 05.14.12

Awesome Art Picks: Avengers, Thanos, Hawkeye & More

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 05.17.12


The Absorbascon
Flash is faster than Writing and Art
Dial H
At room temp'rature
Highly Unthreatening Gangster Names

The Absorbascon's Moon of the Wolf Week
#1: Werewolf of Gotham
#2: Who he is and how he came to be
#3: Prof. Milo
#4: Wayne versus Wolf
#5: God Loves Batman and All the Little Children

Amazon Princess
Always be Wonder Woman
Superheroines Through the Years

The Aquaman Shrine
FCBD 2012 - The New 52 #1
Super Powers Concept Art
Custom Ocean Master Action Figure
Who's Who in The DC Universe Ad - 1985
Aquaman Art Gallery: C.J. Duke

Armagideon Time
Nobody’s Favorites: Me and Joe Priest

Armagideon Time presents "Saturdays with Streaky"
#9, #10, #11

Being Carter Hall
Read: The Savage Hawkman #5
Hawkman Sketch by Stephen Sadowski
Read: The Savage Hawkman #6

The BLOG from the BOG ...SWAMP THING
Alec Holland/Swamp Thing - 40 Years in Continuity
Swamp Thing #1 - Nov.1972

Task Force Elite
Paradise Island: Nubia
the Elementals: Wu-Xing 5 elements of Kung Fu

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman #100 Cover Silhouette art by Brian Bolland
2008 Batgirl & Wonder Woman painting by Brian Stelfreeze

Firestorm Fan
FIRE AND WATER Episode 19: Interview with Gerry Conway
Yildiray Cinar’s Sketches of the International Firestorms

Girls Gone Geek
Cassandra Cain by Jen Zee

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
2012 Martian Manhunter Super Spectacular #2 Mock-Up
Mr. V @ Comic Vine
2012 DC Comics New 52 Television Commercial
2007 "Ms. Martian" by Angel Smith
2011 Justice League of America #193 pin-up recreation with the Avengers by Mitch Ballard

Justice League Detroit
1977 Steel, the Indestructible Man #1 Cover Concept Art

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
Checkmate posting continued
Suicide Squad #9 & Resurrection Man #9 reviews

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Super Best Friends Forever Grounded
Scott Lobdell On Superman ?
Jim Lee's Superman Costume Design
Review: Action Comics #9
Boston Comic Con 2012: Francis Manapul Commission
Review: Worlds' Finest #1
Review: Earth 2 #1

Tower of Fate
Dr. Fate Art by Jorge, Nana e Vitor
Review: Brave and the Bold # 30
MAD TV video featuring Dr. Fate
Dr. Fate Art by guyver48
Justice League t-shirt featuring Dr. Fate

Review Section

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone
Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Starfire #1

Hi all! It's Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary come once again to the DC Bloodlines blog to share some of my passion for the dustier corners of the DC Universe. As always, I want to thank Frank for setting up this group blog so folks like me have a forum for some comic love which strays from the theme of my main site.

Bloodlines has been a place for me to showcase a relatively new niche love of mine - fantasy comics and occasional sword/sorcery/sci-fi amalgam comics by DC in the early 70s. It all started with Ironwolf mostly because of my love of Howard Chaykin. That then led to Stalker, Beowulf, some Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser adaptations, and the topic of this post Starfire.

Perhaps the best things about these treasures from the past is that I typically find them in good condition for $3 or less, sometimes in the dollar box at cons!

Starfire #1 was a recent purchase from a dollar box and was worth the price for any number of reasons. First off, writer David Michelinie (who I know mostly for Iron Man and Spiderman) casts a pretty unique star in the book, especially given the time it was published. Starfire is half-asian and a woman. Certainly that must have stood out in 1976. Second, artist Mike Vosburg really shines here. Starfire is beautiful and attractive in her barely-there off unitard. But there isn't that much overt cheesecake in her renditions in the book. She comes across as athletic and strong more than anything else. And the theme within this story, of Starfire taking control of her life, realizing that slavery is utterly wrong, is nicely conveyed here. Lastly, I am always into the explosive combination of science and sorcery whether it is Thundarr the Barbarian, Thundercats, Mento and the sorcerors in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing #50, or here in Starfire. What could be a better cover than a sword-wielding warrior woman towering over an ogre, while spear wielding monsters and spaceships litter the background. Slick.

Lastly, you should notice that there is no Comics Code Authority seal on the book. While I have read that it was an oversight, the content of the book - especially the end - might have been a bit tough for the CCA to approve.

On to the story.

There are some interesting choices to this book right from the first page.

First off, we start out with an action splash page in which the lead character is both a small element and in peril. Who is this Starfire, cringing before a couple of monstrous thugs, being saved by someone in minstrel gear? Certainly not the strong sword wielding woman from the cover. Even her body language and expression says this is someone frightened, certainly not used to a situation like this, like she would be if she were a warrior.

But I also think it is interesting that the narrator isn't first person or third person. Instead it is in the second person perspective - "You are called Starfire." It is tough to pull off but if done right, it makes the reader become the main character. I don't think I have read a second-person narrator in comics in a long long time.

Starfire is rescued by this warrior/priest/bard named Dagan and whisked away on a hovercraft.

We then get a flashback of how she ended up in that desolate place. She was born 18yrs earlier on an Earth where the Mygorg, an alien race of reptilian looking humanoids (see the above splash), rule with an iron fist. Humans are slaves and the world has devolved to a more medieval place, filled with castles and courts and swords.

Because of her half-asian ancestry (described as being born from a 'yellow father and white mother' in 1970's politically incorrect parlance),  Starfire is chosen by the ruling Mygorg Sookaroth to live a courtly life. But even growing up in the lap of luxury, being educated and pampered, she wondered why the rest of her people were enslaved.

Well, on her 18th birthday, she finds out. Sookaroth will make her his bride that night. Disgusted by the thought of his slimy mitts on her, Starfire does something she has never done before. She has rebels, disobeys, and makes a run for it. And that is how she ended up alone and helpless.

But Starfire is confused with the very concepts of freedom, self-worth, and strength. She even calls Dagan master, unsure of any life but that of a slave.And so Dagan begins to re-educate her.

First, he teaches her the ways of combat and the skills of a ranger. And she is a most adept pupil,  becoming a tremendous fighter and hunter in mere weeks.

This is a nice montage panel for Vosburg.

And he teaches her the history of this Earth. The peoples of Earth were feuding. The Church (of which Dagan was a priest) was waging war, trying to gain control of the planet. They used not only science ... but counter-science (which I read as magic).

In an effort to crush their enemies, the Church summoned the Mygorg. Aided by the monstrous brutes, the Church seemed close to complete domination of the planet. But their enemies then summoned the Yorg, the enemies of the Mygorg to help their side.

Alas, it didn't take long for the Mygorg and the Yorg to realize that they really didn't have a dog in the Earth's fight. Instead, it would be easier for the two of them to simply take over the planet themselves. Thus mankind brought about their own slavery and ignorance. Only small pockets of resistance exist on the fringes.

And worse, the Mygorg and Yorg continued their war except now on Earth with humans as their troops.

But a lifetime of believing that mankind exists to serve the Mygorg can't be expunged easily.

Despite these lessons, Starfire still calls Dagan 'Master' ... although now, at least, with a pause.

So now we as readers have an understanding of this Earth and it's problems.

Of course,the weeks drag on and the lessons continue. But with it, comes the stirrings of love.

After a rather intense confrontation with a dinosaur (man, this is a weird Earth), the emotions finally flood to the surface.

The caption reads "and the feeling in your heart is no longer strange ... but shared ..."

Again, lovely art her by Vosburg, slowly zooming in.

And suddenly the two are equals, partners in hiding.

But tragedy is around the corner. While Starfire was out hunting, the couple's camp is overrun. Starfire comes back to find the place in ruins and Dagan gone.

And it is obvious by the stench who masterminded this kidnapping, her old master Sookaroth.

Using her new abilities, Starfire sneaks her way back into the castle she was raised in only to find Dagan tortured and dying.

Boy ... quite the drama ... her love, the man who gave her an understanding of freedom, a feeling of self-purpose is killed by her old master. Nice.

And with his death Starfire decides that it is up to her to bring freedom to her people, to the world.

Storming the throne room, Starfire battles Sookaroth. While the majority of this issue runs at a feverish pace, Michelinie and Vosburg take their time here giving us 3 pages of this sword battle. That time and page count devoted to this fight cements how crucial an event this is for Starfire. It is an effective story-telling tool.

And moreover, Starfire shows that she is as deadly as she is beautiful. Despite being weaponless, helpless ... despite asking for mercy, Starfire buries her sword into his throat, killing Sookaroth. Could this have been too much for the CCA?

I love the panel progession on the right, normal panel, red outlined ... highlighting her rage, and then Sookaroth's dying face reflected in her eye. That is story and art perfectly meshed.

And yet, with the adrenaline worn off, we see a crying Starfire ... and that is in the very next panel! This isn't a one note character, simple rage with a sword. This is a woman who has grown ... become strong and free, learned of love and loss, and understanding that there was a certain catharsis in this killing of Sookaroth.

Look at the slaves cheering in the background, as if they have suddenly learned that there is something more to them than being slaves, if a leader could take them there.

All right, I'll admit that some nostalgia colors my reviews of the sword/sorcery books from the DC Implosion era. But heck, this was a great little story. And boy, could people pack a lot of story into one issue back then. That is some character growth in Starfire and in one issue!

Looking at the Starfire title, it lasted a short 8 issues (as most of these books did for DC back then). Amazingly, it had 4 writers in 8 issues - Michelinie for 2, Elliot S! Maggin for 3, Steve Engelhart for 2, and Tom Defalco for the last issue.

Vosburg drew every issue and seems well suited for the book.

Did I like this book enough to look for other issues? I guess for the right price.

Overall grade: B+

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Direct Currents: Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tony DeZuñiga, Co-Creator Of Jonah Hex, Passes

He recently suffered a heart attack and was in ill health...

The Gayness of Batman: A Brief History

The Spandex Closet: 10 Superheroes Who Need To Come Out [Opinion]

Bizarro Back Issues: Robin, Batgirl and the Devil-Worshipping Ghost of Benedict Arnold (1975)

Jim Lee's Massive 'DC Comics: The New 52' Gatefold Cover for Free Comic Book Day

Des Taylor Evokes Golden Age Animation in Colorful Superhero Illustrations

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 05.07.12

Awesome Art Picks: Wonder Woman, Batman, Hulk and More

Awesome Art Picks: Superman, Captain America, Punisher and More

Awesome Art Picks: Avengers, Batman, Wonder Woman and More

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 04.27.12

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 05.04.12

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 05.11.12


The Absorbascon
Flash is the only DC Superhero
Fictionopolis Skylines #1
Fictionopolis Skylines #2
Fictionopolis Skylines #3

The Aquaman Shrine
The Fire and Water Podcast: Episode 18
Aquaman Art Gallery: Darryl Young
The Super Poderes Collection
The JLA at Sea World
Wizard "Zero Hour" Preview - 1994
Aquaman Special Review
Aquaman Art Gallery: Roboworks

Armagideon Time presents "Saturdays with Streaky"
#5, #6, #7, #8

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
1995 Wonder Woman #96 Unused Cover Concept Art by Brian Bolland
I Don't Read Wonder Woman Comics Anymore

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
A quick question for any Catwoman scholars in the reading audience

Firestorm Fan
Know Your Firestorms – New 52 Edition
Firestorm, L’Homme Nucléaire
Yildiray Cinar’s First Pitch for the New 52 Firestorm
DC Minimalist Poster and Faux Firestorm Cover by Dustin
Multiplex RPG Stats from DC ADVENTURES by Green Ronin

Girls Gone Geek
Batwoman and The Question by Kathryn Lano
Miss Martian by Olga Ulanova
‘Wonder Women’ Documentary is Powerful Viewing
Thoughts on Azzarello’s Wonder Woman

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
Creators of Mars: Joe Samachson
Justice League #8 (June, 2012)
2012 Comicpalooza Con Wish List Work In Progress Notes
Patrolman Mike Hanson
2004 Martian Manhunter color art by Jaime Castro
Professor Arnold Hugo @ Comic Vine
The Martian Manhunter Encyclopedia

Justice League Detroit
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50 (May, 2007)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #51 (June, 2007)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #52 (July, 2007)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #53 (August, 2007)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #54 (September, 2007)

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
H.G. Peter's last Wonder Woman
"Heroes Out of Time" from Mystery In Space #3 (1951)
Jimmy Wakely #1, 1949

Silver Age Comics
Superman #200
Dueling Wonders
The Suicide Squad

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
Suicide Squad #8 review: Picking up the peices with more trouble just ahead
New homage fan art from sketch to completion
Suicide Squad # 8 (1987) unused Luke McDonnell cover art
Suicide Squad 2001 Kieth Giffen series 1-12. Hightly NOT recomended but it can be yours for only $5
Checkmate Volume 1

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Back Issue Box: Supergirl #16 - Supergirl Meets Power Girl
Review: Supergirl #8
Boston Comic Con Wrap-Up And Kevin Maguire Commission
Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes #8
Review: Superman #8
Boston Comic Con: Joe Benitez Commission
Supergirl Comic Box Commentary Is Four!

Todd Klein's Blog
Ira Schnapp and the early DC logos, new information
“Logo of the Day” #50…

Tower of Fate
Dr. Fate and Detective Chimp by Gianluca Maconi.
Helm of Fate aka Helm of Nabu
Review: Dr. Fate 1-24 by J.M. DeMatteis
Ksenia Solo, Inza Nelson Doppelganger
History of Dr. Fate Pt. 6
Dr. Fate Art: Dr. Fate vs The Spectre
Dr. Fate Art

Review Section

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone
Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doom Patrol #8 (May, 2010)

Locked onto a JLA distress beacon, the Doom Patrol and their Black Lantern foes were teleported into the thick of a Blackest Night battle. Eventually, the matter was settled, and the Patrol flown back to Oolong Island. After having been cleaned up and his right arm replaced, Robotman explained it all philosophically to his friend Dusty. Cliff expressed his hard-earned comfort with being a robot, while Dusty congratulated him on how he had handled his life, plus let slip her sexual desire for Gar Logan. Larry Trainer told Cliff that he believed he was being stalked by a pelican. Cliff paused, and simply said with a gentle hand on Larry's shoulder, "Never change, man."

Rita Farr girded herself for a final confrontation with her ex-husband, Steve Dayton, who had been "skulking around" in her head as Mento. She didn't know Dayton Manor had been packed up and moved, plus an explosion alerted her that Elasti-Woman was needed elsewhere.

Father Davis couldn't get Crazy Jane released from quarantine on his own, and their friends Niles Caulder and Cliff Steele were in no position to help. Jane held out the brick in her hand to the padre. "If you build it, he will come... Danny the Brick." It used to be Danny the Street, but "Mandatory gentrification. They came, they saw, they appropriated. Gentrifiers. Pan-Dimensional Contractors.

The Meta-Movers' plane and all its contents were impounded by the Oolong guardswomen. An explosion blew out the back end of the plane, and some sort of blue cybernetic beings emerged. "We are missing a brick... Retrievable Resources Amendment 01-024-B: All raw materials are to be recycled via reconfiguration; this in order to minimize projected profit margin outlay to cover material shortages... We are short a brick." They all wore a button with an "MSE" logo.

Not only had they appropriated Danny the Street, but they served an eviction notice to all life on our plane of existence. To enforce this, they set some sort of massive cybernetic hound on the Doom Patrol. Negative Man could not affect it, and the beast ripped through Elasti-Girl's hand like flesh-toned pudding. Robotman tried to fight it off, and ended up dragged to the hospital. There the beast cornered Father Rocky, who was holding a brick that read "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers."

"Eviction Notice" was by Keith Giffen, Matthew Clark and Ron Randall, with inker John Livesay. It had the same problem as many Giffen scripts, over-complicating the plot with obtuse dialogue that alienates general audiences. Everything revolves around people with conflicting agendas arguing with one another, which is appropriate for a story that's partially about urban renewal issues like the unfairness of eminent domain. That is so much smarter and more worthwhile a discussion than most comic books offer, but it's buried under a lot of folderol, and none of it is the sort of thing to maintain a large audience. Thanks to consistent, energetic inking, you can hardly tell the two pencil artists apart, so at least the book looked like a bestseller.

Brave New World

Monday, May 7, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: June, 1984

By June 1984, I was no stranger to G.I. Joe a Real American Hero. The animated commercials were on the air, the toys were in the aisles, and friends were collecting the comics. #27 was special though: it was "Snake-Eyes: The Origin Part II," with a battle against his nemesis Storm Shadow, and a sweet Michael Golden cover. I was going to have to keep a closer eye on the book, because this issue was full of teh awesome for a kid of my age.

Blue Devil #4 was my proper introduction to Zatanna, and her flirtation with Dan made it easy to fall for her. I hadn't read much about the Satellite Era Justice League, so I was as much an awestruck visitor as Blue Devil, even with Elongated Man and Superman being the only other heroes aboard. I'm sure a big part of what endeared me to this series was Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin allowing me to be introduced to the DC Universe alongside Dan, and take part in the wonder of the experience with fresh eyes. Paris Cullins and Gary Martin had a friendly, inviting art style, each complementing the other well. By the way, despite being a fan of Cullins for the majority of my life, I never saw a picture of him before today...

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #6 was a good primer for learning the garden variety villains of the Marvel Universe. Mike Zeck was back on art, and there were some okay subplots.

I'm pretty sure I bought at least one issue of Mighty Crusaders, because I had a few of the toys and was interested in off-brand super-heroes. I think #9 was the one I had, probably maybe. The figures sucked, and I remember nothing about the comic today (or ten years ago, or ten days after reading it that one time.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Doom Patrol #7 (April, 2010)

Father Davis tried to council Niles Caulder as he recovered from his terrible injuries in the hospital, but the Chief just talked circles around him. Madam President Veronica Cale was also peeved with Caulder over his various infractions against Oolong Island, and placed him on house arrest under the guard of her all female force.

Thayer Jost, the corporate sponsor of a previous, largely forgotten 2001 incarnation of the Doom Patrol, was now looking into other avenues. Think super-villainy, beginning with Dr. Amanda Becket, better known as Botfly.

Oberon had apparently been doing well for himself. He was running "Meta Movers," which specialized in the boxing and transport of paranormal materials. He also had a full head of thick brown hair atop his overgrown white sideburns and shoulder length locks. Currently, his team was relocating the contents of Dayton Manor. A looking glass inside peered into another dimension where Danny the Street had been co-opted to devastating effect by a realty corporation.

A battered woman was found wandering the beach of Oolong and taken to the hospital. Father Davis was asked to see her. She refused to relinquish the brick that she was carrying, and offered her only name as Jane. "'Crazy' is an adjective you apply at your peril. Ouch. That came outer harsher than it sounded in my head. Crazy Jane. Okay. I can live with that. Can Cliff come out to play?"

A derelict just looking to enjoy a hamburger in "Podunk" Lowry, Nevada was put out by police surrounding the diner. Negotiations went nowhere, so the derelict sent his fellow patrons out the door before tearing the place apart. The man had become a multi-story combination of a dinosaur, living crystal, and a tree trunk/tentacle. The cops he didn't kill were roasted when stray bullets hit the gas pumps. A woman with a porcelain face and elaborate Victorian-via-Stevie Nicks dress had been watching from afar. Silently, she invited the nude derelict into a stretch limo for a cell phone conversation with Thayer Jost. "Dr. Sven Larsen, A.K.A. the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. We'll have to do something about that name." Some entity had secretly taken possession of Jost, and it had a spirit of brotherhood...

"While You Were Out..." was by Keith Giffen, Matthew Clark and Cliff Richards, with inker John Livesay. The Doom Patrol were also back on the final page, but that's better explained next issue. This was a cool "woo-- machinations" issue, the only flaw being the disparity between Clark's sweet pages and the hot mess that was Richards'. The latter were likely produced in a heated rush under deadline pressure, so no shame in saving someone else's ass.

Brave New World