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Archie #2 (Vol. 2)
Feb 25th, 2018 by Rusty

Archie #2 cover

Archie #2 (Vol. 2)

Date: October 2015
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn and Jack Morelli.
Notable Notes: The New Riverdale universe’s new Veronica!

Still Having Car Troubles

One of the many classic running gags that this new series preserves is Archie’s beat up clunker of a car! I think it has been a nearly timeless way for teenage boys to identify with Archie – he has car problems just like they probably do in real life. Except… is that really true anymore? I may be way off base here, but I don’t know of any boys who have really terrible cars – well… except my oldest son! It seems that many kids nowadays have nicer cars than I do, and keep them looking pristine. Also, how is it that Betty is still so mechanically good? I don’t know any teenagers who can fix a car’s engine these days. It would be nice though, wouldn’t it, to have a cute girl next door to take care of your car problems? Ah, we can all dream I guess.
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Savage Tales #5
Feb 18th, 2018 by Rusty

Savage Tales #5 cover

Savage Tales #5

Date: July 1974
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 20 black and white pages (Skull River story)
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
Notable Notes: Conan gets a new horse!

No Water

What is the longest you have ever gone without water? I once went about 30 hours, and it was terrible! I am a big water drinker, even now, since it is suppose to be healthy, and I do prefer it to the overly sweet sugar drinks that are so prominent these days. But I wonder if we, like Conan in this story, had gone a long time without anything to drink, would be prone to blackouts or agreeing to take on stupid jobs. Hmm, hopefully I’d die before fighting a rich prick and then giving all his gold to manipulative villagers! 😉
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ElfQuest #5
Feb 11th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #5 cover

ElfQuest #5

Date: August 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 33 color pages plus editorial and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The end of the first Elfquest chapter.

Follow Gandhi’s Example

Whenever I see a herd of stampeding horses, or other grazing beasts, in movies or read about them in books, I always recall the movie Gandhi. It is there that the title character urges people to lie down, saying that the horses won’t step on them if they are prone. For some reason I have often thought about that part of the movie. Although I am not sure if that is true or not, it does seem logical that horses wouldn’t want to step other living creatures. I guess we are kind of like that too – how many of us would run across of carpet of cats, for example? Anyway, there is a part in this comic book where I thought the characters should heed Gandhi’s words and all lie down. However, the award winning movie didn’t come out until three years after this book was published – so I guess I can’t fault them!
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Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1
Feb 4th, 2018 by Rusty

Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Date: October 2007
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writers: Cory Doctorow, adapted by Dara Naraghi
Artists: Esteve Polls, Robert Studio and Neil Uyetake
Notable Notes: The first time a Cory Doctorow short story has been adapted to comics!

A Story and A Comic!

Several years ago I read and reviewed Cory Doctorow’s short story “Anda’s Game”. (You can still read that post over on my science fiction blog) I thought the story was pretty good, but definitely not his best work. He has written a ton of cool short stories and novels, so I was excited when I recently learned about the comic adaptations of some of his stories! I started with this one because it was the first story in the free (and legal!) TPB download. I kind of think there was something lost in the translation to graphic form, but it was still fun seeing a great short story in comic book form! Kind of like seeing a movie that was made from a novel you read. Anywho, here’s what I thought of it.
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The Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Vol. 2)
Jan 28th, 2018 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #30 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Vol. 2)

Date: June 2001
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.25
2018 NM Price: $6
Stats: 22 color pages, lots of Spider-Man themed ads and The Spider’s Web letters page
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Dan Kemp, Richard Starkings, Wes Abbot, with J. Scott Campbell cover
Notable Notes: A new writer and two new characters begin with this issue!

Bablyon 5

In 1999 I started reading the comic book series Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski and I totally loved it! There was a lot of hype, at the time, about the writer of the hit TV series Bablyon 5 writing his own comic series. Even though he had worked on a few comics in the 1980s, it seemed like it was Rising Stars that made him super popular in the comics world. Shortly after that he was tapped to write The Amazing Spider-Man, beginning with this issue. Again, lots of hype about him and the story he crafted. I figured it was high time I give his Spider-Man books a try – and this issue, at least, turned out to be really cool!
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Daredevil #85
Jan 21st, 2018 by Rusty

Daredevil #85 cover

Daredevil #85

Date: March 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2018 Price Range: $3 – $35
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: Gene Colan, Syd Shores and Jon Costa
Notable Notes: DD battles The Gladiator in the sky (on a 747!)

The End of the 747

Last year, as I was flying home from San Francisco on United airlines, I heard the news that the coolest passenger jet ever was being retired from service. I was a bit sad to hear that, because I liked 747s. I only flew on one a few times, but it was always fun to see them parked in terminals, with their big double-decker bubble heads. Anyway, this comic book was a blast to read because nearly the entire issue takes place on one of those iconic jets! I think it would have been cool if the last 747s left in service would have ordered a bunch of copies of this issue and distributed them to passengers – you know, as a kind of farewell gift!
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ElfQuest #4
Jan 14th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #4 cover

ElfQuest #4

Date: May 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Bearclaw and Joyleaf pin-up art, Laugh “Wolf” and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of Madcoil!

Rival Spurning

Have you ever been spurned by a rival? I’m talking about when you finally decide to play nice, and so you make a reconciling gesture only to be scoffed at, turned down or ridiculed? This can lead to even higher tension between rivals. I remember one case, in particular, when I was in high school where “my nemesis” and I elevated proverbial blows until we were ready to kill each other. Ah, the good old days of teenage testosterone! Nowadays I usually (emphasis on usually) laugh and let things blow over, because I am older and wiser… or is it older and weaker? One of those. Anyway, in this issue we see some male-rival-spurning going on, and I’m sure it will lead to more aggression in later issues. I can’t wait!
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Batman ’66 #1
Jan 7th, 2018 by Rusty

Batman '66 #1 cover

Batman ’66 #1

Date: September 2013
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 30 color pages
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artists: Jonathan Case and Wes Abbot
Notable Notes: The Dynamic Duo returns – to comic books!

Holy Retro Comic, Batman!

I was born just after the original Batman TV show ran its course – but I saw plenty of re-runs when I was a kid and later in life. Honestly, I was never a fan of the show – it just seemed too silly for me, although I realize now that the campiness was part of the allure. I had no plans to pick up this comic book series when it debuted several years ago, but all the rave reviews made me change my mind and grab the first trade paperback. I’m glad I reconsidered because this series has turned out to be loads of fun to read!
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Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 – #6
Dec 31st, 2017 by Rusty

Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 – #6

Star Trek: Early Voyages #5 cover
Date: June – July 1997
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.95 each
2017 NM Price: $3 each
Stats: Each: 22 color pages, Bullpen Bulletins, letter column and ads
Writers: Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton
Artists: Patrick Zircher, Greg Adams, Marie Javins and Janice Chiang
Notable Notes: Non-logical Vulcans!

To Boldly Go…

In the late 1990s Marvel briefly held the Star Trek license and published a few short-lived series, of which Early Voyages was arguably the most popular. The unique aspect of this series was that it featured Captain Pike – who, if you don’t know, was the original series captain in the un-aired pilot episode. (You can watch that episode on Netflix if you are interested.) He was replaced by Captain Kirk in the second episode and never seen again… until this series! Since I am a big Star Trek fan, and I only owned these 2 comic books from the series (which contain one story arc) I figured I’d give them a try and see if they satisfied both my comic and Star Trek geekiness! So, let’s see how they did.
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24 Awesome Batman Comics to Read Online for Free
Dec 24th, 2017 by Rusty

A gift for you, dear readers! Here is a list of high quality Batman comics that you can read online for free! It took me a long time to scour the web and compile this list, so I hope you enjoy it and make great use of it! Presented in alphabetical order, here are what I believe to be 24 great Batman comics to read online for free: Read the rest of this entry »

Rom #75
Dec 17th, 2017 by Rusty

Rom #75 cover

Rom #75

Date: February 1986
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
2017 Price Range: $2 – $15
Stats: 23 color pages, Bullpen Bulletins and ads
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Steve Ditko, P. Craig Russell, Petra Scotese and Kevin Nowlan
Notable Notes: The last issue of the series!

The Red Eyed Action Figure

Do you remember the Rom action figure from the late 1970s? I do. Although I didn’t own one I had a couple friends that did. I always thought the toy was super popular, but I guess it wasn’t. Parker Brothers licensed the character to Marvel in an effort to build interest in the toy. It appears they did a pretty good job, because the comic series outlasted the toy!

This was the only Rom comic I ever read, and then only because it came in a bundle of comics I purchased in the mid 1980s. I figure I’ve reviewed a lot of #1 issues recently, so I’d see how the last issue of a series stacked up! It is difficult coming into a series at the end, but thanks to Wikipedia I was able to get a sense of what the series had accomplished so far. So does this issue stand on its own as a good comic book? Let’s find out, shall we.
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Archie #1 (Vol. 2)
Dec 11th, 2017 by Rusty

Archie #1 cover

Archie #1 (Vol. 2)

Date: September 2015
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn and Jack Morelli.
Notable Notes: The first comic book in the New Riverdale universe!

All New Archie?!

It has been a few years since the All New Archie series re-launched the Riverdale Universe. Even then I was late to the game, and only picked up a few issues after it had been going for a while. Knowing that Mark Waid was the writer helped, because I like most of his stuff. Anyway, I had been wanting to get some more issues of this series, but they were turning out to be expensive and hard to find. So I was excited when Humble Bundle offered a bunch of the electronic TPBs recently, and I jumped on that bandwagon while I could! Anyway, here are my thoughts on the first issue of this re-launched series.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
Dec 3rd, 2017 by Rusty

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 cover

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1

Date: April 1985
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
2017 Price Range: $2 – $16
Stats: 32 color pages plus Crisis Beginnings column. (No ads!)
Writers: Marv Wolfman, Len Wein and Robert Greenberger
Artists: George Perez, Dick Giordano, Anthony Tollin and John Costanza
Notable Notes: DC finally decides to clean up its continuity and parallel Earths!

Crisis, finally!

I picked up this entire series 18 years ago, and am just now getting around to reading it for the first time! Sheesh – I feel like such a comic slacker. I know it is one of the most influential comic series of all time, but my desire to experience it hasn’t been very high. When I was a kid I never read DC comics, and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I started getting into them at all. So there’s that – plus for some reason I always thought this was a serious, no-fun series whose only goal was correcting horrible DC continuity problems. That last part may be true, but this first issue turned out to be really cool, and I am excited to read more! In the introduction the writer even states that a fun and interesting series is one of the goals. So I am happy to verify that, for this issue anyway, it was accomplished!
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Crux #1
Nov 26th, 2017 by Rusty

Crux #1 cover

Crux #1

Date: May 2001
Publisher: CrossGen Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
2017 Price: $3
Stats: 29 color pages plus creative team bios and house ads
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, Frank D’Armata and Troy Peteri
Notable Notes: The Sigil comes to Earth!

CrossGen on Earth

Back around the turn of the century, in 2000 and 2001, I was a big fan of the newly created CrossGen Comics. The fantastic artwork and intricate, inter-leaved story lines really impressed me. I collected a lot of their titles, and really enjoyed nearly all of them. But I had not read one issue of this series, Crux, until today! I picked up the first four issues of the series on the cheap after the company folded, but just now got around to reading them. Sheesh – what a slacker I am! Oh well, it was worth the wait, because this turned out to be one cool comic book!
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Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)
Nov 19th, 2017 by Rusty

Moon Knight #5 cover

Moon Knight #5 (Vol. 2)

Date: November 1985
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 65¢
2017 Price: $3
Stats: 22 color pages plus Knight Mail, Bullpen Bulletins and ads
Writers: Jo Duffy and Chris Warner
Artists: Chris Warner, Alan Kupperberg, Rick Parker and Christy Scheele
Notable Notes: Moon Knight helps bring White Cobra to justice!

The Power of the Moon

This is the first Moon Knight comic I have read. I may have read it when I was younger, but I didn’t remember anything about it. It appears that the titular hero gets his strength from the moon, and the more full it is the more strength he gets. Moon Knight’s first comic book appearance was to help take down a Werewolf, but he has been in many other series, and a bunch of his own series as well. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to more Moon Knight stories in the future!
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