Friday, February 27, 2009

Your Happenstance panel for today:

It's his cheerful, Scrooge McDuck look, even under that hood, that sells it for me.
Say what you will, but I bet Cobra Commander would have one hell of an economic stimulus plan.

From G.I. Joe #98, "He's Back!" 'Scenario' by Larry Hama, 'dessins' by M.D. Bright, 'encrage' by Randy Emberlin. I'm not a huge Joe fan, haven't seen every episode of the cartoon, not all worked up for the movie; but I do fondly remember the digest reprints and the occasional issue. This issue, Raptor takes Dr. Mindbender to the grave of the original Cobra Commander; who had been shot in the back and replaced by Crimson Guardsman Fred VII back in #61. (Editorial footnotes, please come home, all is forgiven.)

Instead, the original CC returns. The Crimson Guard were his elite troops, and CC had made it policy for them to spy on each other: each one thought they were the only one spying...patched back up by his loyal men, Cobra Commander built up a new organization, and returned to his evil ways. He had been on the verge of going straight, but now blamed his son Billy for getting him shot in the first place. Billy, Raptor, Fred VII, Dr. Mindbender...and a bunch of other characters Larry Hama was doubtless sick of writing, were forced into a landlocked freighter. Cobra Commander had arranged for explosives to flood the channel and push the freighter into a volcano, which was then blown up a bit more. That's why Cobra was so great in the comics and cartoon (and why they're going to be the suck in the movie...), every Cobra scheme hinges on doing ludicrously impractical things, but goddamnit if they don't enjoy their work.

Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, General Hollingsworth and Hawk are shocked to hear the "Jugglers," a committee of generals that have pushed to disband the G.I. Joe unit before, are...pushing to disband the G.I. Joe unit, again. Hmm. The generals point out that Cobra seems to have moved into legitimate business: "Sleazy legitimate business," Hollinsgworth notes, but legit all the same. What, I wonder? Hama doesn't specify, although insider trading seems a safe bet...

What is Mark D. "Doc" Bright doing lately? I liked his Joe work, and he did a stretch of Green Lantern and Icon, but I'm not sure where he's at now. I haven't read much of the recent G.I. Joe comics, and I know they're on another reboot or Resolute or something; but I miss the old Marvel style ones.

Out for the weekend: I might actually finish Timing! See you later.
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Timing, part thirty.

This gets weirder, and more guest-stars next week! "Duck Vs. Monkey" is actually a Bible-themed game that came with Rod and Todd Flanders in the Simpsons line from Playmates. The game pieces are all little things I've picked up for the Youngest from vending machines and whatnot. Finding them led to this, which is going off on a whole new tangent now.

I was hoping to have double posts this week, but it didn't work out. Should still be a surprisingly topical Happenstance panel up later this afternoon. It's a panel from over...god, fifteen, twenty years ago? Woof.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Timing, part twenty-nine.

A Timing post, without Nightcrawler and Deadpool? Shocker! Another short page will be up tomorrow, so check back.

EDIT: Oh, hell, I suppose I should mention: I have never read a comic with Isis, and I don't remember her TV show from the seventies. I wrote her as a standard butt-kicking superwoman, except she only speaks ancient Egyptian. Isis doesn't care if you understand her words or not, since her fists get the message across just fine. I think I bent one of her elbows, too: it didn't quite break, but Isis will be handled with kid gloves from here on.

Her opponent, um, is that Monev the Gale? From Trigun? Yeah. This is the stealth version, with lots of clear plastic, but if that thing sneaks up on you, you kinda deserve to be shot a little. A helluva toy, apparently it is stealthy: it was a gift, and I had just about forgot I had him. Read more!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm sure there were worse crossovers, but still...

Quasar has to announce who he is, since he looks different with each artist switch.
The common rebuttal to anyone complaining about big crossover comics is, "Well, if they didn't sell, Marvel and/or DC would stop doing them; but they do because you keep buying them and bitching about it." I'm not really even paraphrasing there, that's generally it.

But say what you will about today's event crossovers--that they're nothing but boldfaced cash-grabs, that 90% of them would be over in two issues tops if the main characters didn't insist on being stupid, that none of them have an end that isn't just a lead into the next one--it pains me to say it, but there is a basic level of quality. Compared to this one, anyway: Starblast #4, "The end of the world (as we know it)" Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Kong, Palant, and Buckler Jr, inks by Don Hudson and Ernie Chan.

Now, I love Mark Gruenwald's work: Squadron Supreme, Quasar, his run on Captain America. This wasn't his best, by a long shot. I think partly it's because he was trying to cram in a lot of lesser-used C-list characters: I'm cool with having Quasar, Black Bolt, Binary, and Ikaris on board; but have to draw the line at Perun, Solar Wind, and Darkstar. They say--the very same 'they' that complain about crossovers, no doubt--that every character is someone's favorite, but if there's someone whose favorite is Darkstar, they're keeping it under their hat. (Darkstar fans, feel free to prove me wrong.)

Throw in the New Universe--or at least the earth from there, since apparently in keeping with an ancient editorial edict about no aliens, the rest of the New Universe was lifeless--and the Stranger; and you're well on your way to a four-issue miniseries that's going to be virtually impenetrable to anyone who hasn't been reading a lot of cancelled comics for a decade or two. Gruenwald had successfully crossed over with the New Universe in Quasar a few years back, in a solid single issue that catches up with it after a few years. But then Quasar brings back the Star Brand--it's like a Green Lantern ring, only it's a crappy tattoo, and the powers and rules of the Brand's use are murkier and more arbitrary than a power ring--and the waters aren't just muddy, they're dirt.
A two-thousand foot tall robot should make for a good finale. If you have a fight with him, that is.
The villains don't help, either. There's Brainiac knockoff Skeletron, whose most frightening aspect is that he's a robot with toes; and perennial alien jerkwad the Stranger. Even when he's an ally, the Stranger's creepy and wrong: sending the earth heroes into battle, he heals several of them (and corrects the continuity of a couple...) then mind-controls them into fighting the bad guys they probably would've fought anyway. Which gives an excuse for another several pages of Marvel Misunderstanding, as they fight Quasar and the New Universe characters instead. And no spectacular final battle with Skeletron, just the most anti-climactic ending I think I've seen in any crossover, even the ones that lead in to other ones.
Quite possibly the worst page of art I've ever seen from Marvel.
Maybe--and this is a big maybe--art could've saved this one. And it doesn't. This was in maybe the tailend of Marvel's biggest output ever, and it was becoming painfully obvious that a lot of books were getting slammed out by artists that weren't ready, and may never be ready, for a professional mainstream comic. Even Hudson and Chan on inks couldn't salvage it. This was a Quasar-centric crossover, hard as that may be to believe, and it was plagued by a problem he often faced in his regular book as well: whenever he got a good artist, it was just a matter of time until said artist was rotated onto a popular book, leaving Quasar to be finished by whoever could be found at the last minute.

So, not the greatest comic ever. But, it still beats Genesis.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's a cliche, but a cliche unique to comics. That's something, right?

As far as sports go, I watch football (Pro. I hate college ball) and the occasional hockey game, but I don't think about them a lot. The idea for this post is probably directly cribbed from this post tying in steroid abuse and comic books from Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!, and since I had re-read Aliens: Genocide last week. I didn't have anything to say about that one at the time, especially since my only idea was going to be Red Vs. Blue, and they went with green instead. Phooey.

This story's set further on in the Aliens timeline than we see in the movies: by this point, while the Aliens (or Xenomorphs or whatever) are by no means domesticated, they are on occasion harvested for the Alien Queen's royal jelly, which has different effects depending on how it's processed, or the whims of the writer. This time, it's being used as a super-steroid and a strength-enhancing berzerker drug.

The above scene happens all the time in comics: an athlete takes a performance-enhancing drug. And immediately explodes. Or Hulks out. Or can't control his newfound strength or speed--the old New Universe book Kickers, Inc. started like that, I believe, with the enhanced characters getting too strong to play pro football. At any rate, the athlete takes a drug, and is promptly and severely punished.

But, this scenario is almost always reserved for athletes: if you're a ninety-pound weakling like Steve Rogers, or a scientist like Rex (Hourman) Tyler, why, you'll be fine. Drugs are good for you! It's a double standard even Captain America had to question, although again, there is a world of difference between steroids sold out of a locker by a skeevy guy who hangs out at the gym; and something prescribed by doctors in a secret government experiment...or developed yourself and tested by you. Huh.

And while it's been done far past the point of cliche in comics, has the "steroids turn you into a literal monster, not figurative" bit been done anywhere else? Even the Simpsons have done a PSA-style episode on steroids, but only in comics can drugs turn kids into head-crushing monsters, or explode their own skulls. Uh, yay comics?

So, I guess the lesson is, it's OK to want to better yourself by dubious chemical means, but if you're a competitive athlete you have to play by the rules. Everyone else can pound Super-Soldier formula or shoot Miraclo between their toes to their hearts' content. And that's why those nutrition "supplement" stores are still around even when the economy is in the toilet...cue "The More You Now" rainbow star.

Panels from Aliens: Genocide #1, story by Mike Richardson, script by John Arcudi, pencils by Damon Willis, inks by Karl Story, covers and colors by Arthur Suydam.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Timing, part twenty-eight.

Even though I loved Garth Ennis and Punisher MAX, I still think the Punisher should have a home in the Marvel Universe proper. (Unlike say, the Vertigo characters that seem stuck outside the DCU; I think Frank should get both.) I don't want a steady diet of that, and it would also be nice if it wasn't just Frank getting to fights with Daredevil, Spidey, Wolverine, etc. Personally, I loved Punisher meetings with characters like Moon Knight, who had no problem with him whatsoever.

Marvel Universe-Frank probably has a bemused and rather condescending attitude towards superheroes, though. With few exceptions, he doesn't have to fight the same guys over and over and over again; and when he kills somebody, better than ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they stay dead. Read more!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last chance to win!

There's still time to try and win issues #1 and #3 of Johnny Dynamite! Written by Max Collins, art by Terry Beatty; and hopefully being made into a better movie than the Spirit or Punisher: War Zone. Leave a comment on last Tuesday's post by say, noon Tuesday to enter.

(Why issues one and three? Because I had picked up spares, and finally put the whole run back together a couple weeks back. It's been collected, though, and you could probably find the other two issues pretty easily.)
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Happenstance panel for today:

From Green Lantern Corps #218, "Inside Some Other Skies!" Written by Steve Englehart, guest pencils by Bill Willingham, inks by Mark Farmer. A pretty solid issue, but coming up on the end of the book's run. Even though Hal Jordan only appears on one page, out of uniform in a subplot about being blacklisted as a pilot, within a year he would be the only Green Lantern: apparently, DC decided that being Green Lantern wasn't "special" enough if there were hundreds of them, which I'd say is missing the point of GL.

Flodo Span, the blobbyonethattalks allruntogetherlikethis, hadn't been around but a couple of issues, but was already a favorite of mine. He was an abstract lifeform, whose body was actually generated by the power ring, which makes me think he wasn't alive before the ring. I like to picture the Guardians creating a power ring that spontaneously generates it's own Lantern. Still, Flodo would be killed in the last issue of the series.

Flodo may have fared better than poor Katma, though: she was killed off-panel by Star Sapphire in an early issue of Action Comics Weekly. (#601 or #602, I think.) She deserved better.

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It's Hal Jordan's Birthday!

Really, according to an old DC calendar with that sort of thing, it's Green Lantern's birthday. And in honor of this momentous occasion, we're having reruns! Enjoy.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taking the evening off for Galactica:

Um, the TV show, actually. Catching up a bit. Two posts tomorrow, though, 'kay? One's a rerun because of the immensely special date, and the other a panel, but they're still fun. Panel from Battlestar Galactica #1 (Maximum Press) "War of Eden, part 1" Story by Rob Liefeld and Robert Napton, layouts by Karl Altstaetter, pencils by Hector Gomez, inks by Rene Micheletti.

Years before the "re-imagining," there was a brief little upsurge in Galactica's visibility, with Liefeld's comic version and new toys on the shelves--I still have one of the Cylons, I think, but the figure looks more dated than this book now.
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Timing, part twenty-seven.

I don't think it was called that, but the "Hideout District" may have been seen in that issue of Deadpool footnoted there: jobbing out as a Hobgoblin-decoy (presumably, so the real one could maintain a secret identity) Pool gets lost. In fact, I think he intended to apply for the Frightful Four, but wandered into the Hobgoblin gig instead. Sharp, Wade, sharp.

There was also a secret doorway to Dormammu's Dark Dimension visible on the map the Wizard later gives Wade. Of course, they aren't the only ones who like their warehouse hideouts, as we'll see on Monday! Read more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sometimes, you can do the dumbest stuff in a smart way:

I see that splash page, and all I can think is, how is he going to go to the bathroom? That can't be pleasant...

Despondent after security failures at Project: Pegasus, Quasar quits his job as security chief, and sits around his mom's house. (Wendell spends his days "sitting in his old bedroom, strumming his guitar, lifting weights, and avoiding life" since he's a bit too clean-cut to be getting baked...) Eventually, his dad puts him up to flying to Uranus, where his quantum-bands supposedly came from. But, he had never been into space before, and the trip would take four years in suspended animation...

Oh, there has got to be a better way to do that. Travelling about three billion kilometers, and all you're taking is a backpack? Even if you weren't worried about catastrophic failure of life-support, maybe you want to bring back some stones or something?

Geez, Wendell: if the Legion of Super-Heroes can figure out to hollow out a rock, you should be able to come up with something better than that. Even if you're going to fly there under your bands' power, maybe you want something like say, a decommissioned submarine: it would be airtight, for one thing, and have enough space for you to bring supplies and bring back samples.

Of course, there may be something to be said for not thinking things through: when he finally arrives, Quasar finds the ruins of the Uranian colony of the Eternals. All the Eternals are dead, which is usually a lot tougher to do than by explosive decompression and oxygen deprivation. Still, finding no answers and a pile of corpses doesn't exactly help Wendell's depression, so he gets a visit from Deathurge. Another holdover from old Marvel Two-in-One issues, he's a weird embodiment of suicidal urges, and occasionally skis around like DC's Black Racer.

Deathurge isn't just there because of Quasar's problems, he also drops a bit of exposition about the Uranians. Apparently, the completely examined life isn't worth living, either:
Marvel Boy has since reappeared in Agents of Atlas, but I'm not sure how, and he seems a lot weirder now too.

Deathurge takes Quasar down pretty easily, but before he can finish him, Quasar finally gets to meet his mentor: Eon, a bizarre cosmic being who appeared a few times in the old Captain Marvel comic. In fact, Captain Marvel was supposed to get the quantum bands, but through Happenstance--wait, small-H happenstance--he never got them.

Eon upgrades Wendell with a shave, haircut, updated costume, and total mastery over the quantum-bands. So, Quasar is able to drive off Deathurge, who has a great parting threat: "When we meet again, you will beg me to kill you, and I will refuse." He wasn't kidding. Still, with Eon's help, Wendell is able to quantum-jump back home, saving him a four-year return flight.

On the letters' page, since they hadn't received any yet, writer Mark Gruenwald points out that since he and Paul Ryan had come over from the cancelled New Universe book D.P.7 (which was easily the best of the New Universe books) they were at the time the longest running creative team at Marvel. Ryan didn't stay with Quasar long, though. And for good measure, facts about Uranus! It's more than just a joke, you know!

Not much more, but still.

Legion panels from Adventure Comics #319, "The Legion's Suicide Squad!" Reprinted in DC Blue Ribbon Digest #44. Written by Ed Hamilton, art by John Forte. Quasar #2, "Destiny Amidst the Ruins" Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Danny Bulanadi.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Because Mr. Miracle deserves a better class of villain.

Scott's cape is rock-solid, so he couldn't get chained to a chair, no.
Besides Granny Goodness and Darkseid and all, that is. Can you even name a Mr. Miracle bad guy that's not Fourth World related? Admittedly, fighting Darkseid would probably take up a lot of his time, but still, I think it would do him some good to be more involved in the regular DC Universe.

It would either be really fun or really annoying to watch a Saw movie with Scott, though, since that's a movie franchise tailor-made for him to yell advice at the screen. He'd probably be full of either helpful yet impractical advice, like how to breathe in and expand your chest before being chained up, or how to dislocate any of your fingers at will; or unhelpful impractical advice: "Use your Mother Box! Laser torch! Belt jets! By Highfather, do you want to die?!"

Links behind the bump!

We have actually seen a couple of non-Fourth World Mr. Miracle villains here; although I'm not sure if either were more than one-shots: Alianna and Cosimo. Alianna may have been more of an antagonist than straight-up bad guy, and Cosimo was from the Brave and the Bold, home of one-use-only villains. Over at his site, MightyGodKing may have rediscovered a Legion foe that would be a good match for Mr. Miracle.
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Happenstance Contest: Win Johnny Dynamite #1&3!

I seem to be picking out some forgotten books lately, but here's one that should definitely get a comeback. In fact, Johnny Dynamite may be on his way already: the Dark Horse miniseries from 1994 was recently collected by AIT/Planet Lar, in anticipation of Dick Wolf (of Law and Order fame) making a movie adaptation. I'm not sure where they are on that, but here's your chance to sample the book: we're giving away Johnny Dynamite issues #1 and #3!

(It's not a huge prize, but I've built up a lot of duplicate comics over the years, and this seemed like a fun way to clear a couple out. Also, it's only good karma, since I've won twice from two other sites!)

Based on the Pete Tomasi feature, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty picked up the rights to the hardboiled detective character, and gave us a four-issue mini about Johnny near the end of the line: early on, as he tells the story, Johnny confesses to a revenge killing that would probably be considered murder. He's not too worried about it:
Worst turn-down service ever!
But as Collins mentions in the introduction, the first issue is a traditional Mickey Spillane-style detective potboiler, it starts to get weird from there...
This was too big to cram into my scanner, but how can you resist a title like 'Don of the Dead'?Including a deal with the devil, zombie gangsters done way better than the last time we had them here, and the traditional dames, guns and violence. It's a ton of fun, and if you're interested, leave a comment on this post: next Tuesday I'll pick one comment at random, and mail you out two comics!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Possibly my favorite panel from recent books:

From Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #44, "Would you like Living Darkness with that?" Written by Paul Tobin, art by David Hahn. The one thing that would've made that issue perfect? Using the fan-favorite Shuma-Gorath instead of Null the Living Darkness! Maybe Tobin didn't play enough video games as a kid. But, a fun issue, and I totally need a burger right now.

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Timing, part twenty-six.

The girl that casual Captain Kirk is chasing is from McFarlane's Conan line, and is slightly more poseable than, say, a pencil.

We're just playing here, but in the Marvel Universe proper, it might stand to reason that Reed Richard's may have written a book or two. Given his somewhat staid image and dry presentation, he may make Al Gore look like the party machine, though. Now, granted, compared to the much more lively Torch or Thing, Reed seems like a droning lecturer; but the fact is, he is really excited about what he's doing. Reed's not going to be jumping up and down and waving his arms, but he is.

Of course, there are at least two very good reasons why Mr. Fantastic may not be on the New York Times Bestsellers' List: Reed may be leery of publishing anything that could possibly lead to Dr. Doom, the Wizard, or some nameless clod opening a hole into the Negative Zone and sucking the earth into it. Also, Reed has a surprisingly flighty nature: one week, it's unstable molecules, the next it's a new rocket, then it's back to trying to cure the Thing. Reed's an idea man, not so great on follow-through: almost any given one of his inventions or discoveries could change the course of the world, if he wasn't already on to the next one.

This is a lot of write-up on a character that doesn't appear this strip...Nightcrawler mentions Reed's time-travel theories, which are prominent in Marvel Two-in-One #50 and later, Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Earth X series, especially Paradise X. It may be overly optimistic to think he can fix their problem by reading all about it, and I'm not sure where Kurt got those books, either. Also, one of the stacks is a solid piece, from a Simpsons figure; but the other pile is individual pieces, which I knocked over and stacked out of order multiple times. Swell. Read more!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feud: Less 'funny-animal' than Uncle Scrooge, funnier than the Unfunnies.

I've been feeling a bit lazy and listless this week, so why not a long look at a book that just had to be a ton of work: Mike Baron and Mark Nelson's book for Epic's Heavy Hitters line, Feud. Why do I say a ton of work? Because they designed four major and distinct races for a four-issue mini.

On a world that may or may not be a far-future earth (it probably is, a Teenage Fanclub CD is one of the relics found in the first issue) long after man is dead and/or gone; four major races struggle for dominance, or at least co-existence. There are the Stokers, builders and motorheads; the Skids, sea-dwelling fishermen; the Grunts, strong plodding farmers; and the Kites, pterodactyl-like artists. While all the races are evolved enough to talk, use tools, and so forth; they are still animal enough to remember in the back of their heads when they used to eat each other; which makes getting along problematic at best.

The series opens with the royal heir of the Skids kidnapped by the Kites, who frame the Stokers for it because they're sick of the Stokers' industrial furnaces polluting their air. War begins, alliances are formed, treachery abounds; and there is more swearing, drug use, and sex then you'd expect: kinda sad that Feud was more mature than X-Men.

Looking back at it now, it almost sounds like one of those convention pitches or new series proposals that veer straight into horror-story territory: a writer or artist will try to sell a world that has sixty pages of backstory before the plot even starts. But Baron can make it happen, or enough of it to keep the ball rolling. Even within the individual races, the characters all have their own voices, and it doesn't hurt that I had already been a fan of Baron's for Nexus, Badger, Punisher, and so on. Moreover, Nelson's art helps a ton: he had previously done Dark Horse's first Aliens comics. All of the creatures are designed with a lot of personality, and a lot of body language.

In one clever bit, the Kites try to form an alliance with the Grunts. Now, the Kites are faster thinkers, almost hyperactive; while the Grunts are a bit more...steadfast would be the polite way to put it. So, the Kites send their slowest guy--not in smarts, but a little off--who then has to deal with the metabolically challenged fastest of the Grunts.
I did a little searching on Ask Cerebra, and didn't find Feud, the series, anywhere. (You will find a lot for "Feud," though.) It was released in 1993, with a pile of other books in the Heavy Hitters subset, and I don't think any of those went on to become classics. That was Marvel/Epic's go at creator-owned books, and while I enjoyed Midnight Men, Lawdog, Spyke (another Mike Baron book) and Untamed; this was also when Marvel was flooding the hell out of the comic book market. Even indie books like the Trouble with Girls or the Sam & Max Show were brought under the Marvel umbrella, and between the regular line and all their subsidiaries, Marvel was cranking out almost a hundred titles a month. (I'm pretty sure about that, but you can look that up yourself!) That, of course, was way more than even the loyalist Marvel Zombie (shuffles feet, looks away) would buy or that the market could support; and quality was all over the place: the ship may or may not have been in great shape at the time, but that's when it really started taking on water.

(By the way, even though I'm guessing the print run was higher than for any other book they had in the indies, I've never even seen a copy of the Sam & Max Show. And I'd really like to. I have the old Sam and Max trade, and it's one of my favoritest things ever. The only Marvel stuff I saw them in was a writeup in Marvel Age, which totally sold me on the book, which was nowhere to be found in the glut of Marvel UK, Razorline, who knows what else.)

We'll look at one more bit from this one after the jump. Partly because it's mildly gross, and partly because it took me so long to install the damn thing, I'm damn well gonna use it...

Ron, the chief wrench of the Stokers, admits early on that while interdependent, he sure as hell can't stand the other races. "It's an atavistic thing," he says. And during a meeting with the queen of the Skids, he proves himself right:

If this sort of thing happened "accidentally" more often, I'd totally watch more C-SPAN. From Feud #1-4, written by Mike Baron, art by Mark A. Nelson, letters by Willie Schubert, and colors by Ray Murtaugh. Flip through it if you can find it, won't you?

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Your Happenstance panel for today:

I feel like J'onn there, 90% of the time.
From Justice League International #18, "Where No League has Gone Before!" Plot and breakdowns by Keith Giffen, dialogue by J.M. DeMatteis, art by Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon. Man, Lobo seems way too thin in those first appearances. And slightly cleaner, somehow.

Still working on a longer post on an apparently completely forgotten series from the 90's. It'll be done later today, since yesterday I lucked into a bunch of quarter books to replace ones I've lost over the years, like the 80's Alpha Flight and X-Factor #1's. So, I've spent my time reading comics instead of blogging. The nerve!

But, I did find a couple books for a giveaway some time later. I'll keep you posted! Read more!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Timing, part twenty-five.

Even though Kurt isn't hearing it there, Orion actually did have a "time-winder" device, in the last issues of his series with Walt Simonson. The last issue, where Mr. Miracle reveals he's had the anti-life equation for years, is probably my favorite story ever with the New Gods. Unrelated by blood, Orion and Scott Free consider each other brothers, since they were traded by their respective parents in "The Pact."

Over at Points of Articulation, Poe had a review of Dr. Impossible up, the variant/repaint of Mister Miracle. Now, I haven't read any of the comics the bad Doctor appeared in, and Poe put forth the idea that he could be whatever your imagination wants: "As a kid, I loved figures like Dr. Impossible–characters who had virtually no characterization in the cartoons or comics, and were basically an open template for whatever I wanted them to be." So, I made the not-at-all snarky comment that he could be the Bizarro Scott Free, and he's really, really good at getting into traps.

Now I gotta buy that figure. Damnit, Poe!

Anyway, I mention that here because I was just thinking, how many kids does Darkseid have? Orion, Kalibak, (adopted, kinda) Scott, maybe or maybe not Doctor Impossible, possibly Grayven. I had thought Grayven to be a fake, like Thanos' granddaughter Nebula; since it's a little out of character, or possibly just hypocritical, for someone devoting lifetimes to Anti-Life to be grinding out kids. Then again, none of those kids really look like granite-puss, either, do they?

As far as this strip goes, I'm not thrilled with that last page. I wanted someone to keep their hand up the whole time, until Nightcrawler stares him down for lying. Rrrr. I might have to post something else today... Read more!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Like tabasco and coffee, Bill Sienkiewicz and the nine-panel grid:

Two tastes you wouldn't think go great together, but work pretty well.

Off the top of my senile little head, I can't recall him doing a lot of nine-panel pages, but here's one from Moon Knight #9 (first series), "Vengeance in Reprise" Written by Doug Moench, art by Bill Sienkiewicz. Even though it would probably be easier, maybe even cheaper, to just buy the Essentials, I keep piecing together the missing issues of the classic first Moon Knight. I am a little sad that I'm missing, long since lost or swiped, my copies of his guest spots in Iron Man, Amazing Spider-Man, and even the Fist of Khonshu first issue.

Anyway, I'm working on a longer post for Friday, and more Timing tomorrow.
And this "Read More!" didn't really go anywhere either. Sorry. Read more!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Timing, to date! 57 pages! No ads! Except the ones on the sidebar, I guess.

I started Timing December 1, or started posting it then anyway. There were even a couple of Nightcrawler and Deadpool strips leading up to it, starting in November. (Over) Two and a half months later, and I'm not quite done it's probably time for a recap!

So far I count sixty-five different action figures used. The main accessory, the time distorter, is just a Vulcan scanner from Art Asylum's Enterprise line. I also subbed in a Dragon Ball as the Skrull Bible, as seen in Secret Invasion: X-Men#1, and pretty much forgotten about before that series even ended. Also, the Skrull Bible episode, "While I Was Out," wasn't intended to be part of this mess, but falls in because on the page after, Kurt mentions Pool's return.

A big thanks to BloggerStop.Net for help setting up the "Read More" tags. It took me several tries, but this would be way too big to have on the main page. Click to enlarge, and I hope you like 'em!

Page from Uncanny X-Men #385, "Shell Game" By Chris Claremont, German Garcia, Michael Ryan and Randy Green; inks by Panosian, Pepoy, and Ketcham.

So, why do I make these? Aside from the fun, that is. I like crossover comics. I like characters and things from other worlds mixing together, especially when they usually wouldn't get the chance to. I like taking a look at the things I enjoy in comics and showing them off, but I also like bagging on the stuff I can't stand, too. I like Nightcrawler, but I kinda think he's appeared in more pages here than he has at Marvel lately...

When I started the strips with Deadpool, though, Cable/Deadpool was winding down, and it looked like it was going to be a bit until he got another book. Now, with his appearance in Wolverine: Origins coming up, Marvel is ramping up a ton of Deadpool appearances. I don't know that I'm going to buy every last one of them, but I hope to pick up the best of the lot.

Including maybe a figure or two, but that's a discussion for another time. Timing will continue Mondays and Thursdays well into March, so check back later, eh?
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