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Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #1
Jul 13th, 2015 by Rusty

Astro City #1 coverKurt Busiek’s Astro City #1

Date: August 1995
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.25
2015 NM Price: $12
Stats: 24 color pages plus pullout poster, “Greetings from Astro City” and house ads
Creators: Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Richard Starkings, Steve Buccellato and Alex Ross

Dreams of Flying

When I was a kid I had many dreams where I could fly – heck, I still have them! Wouldn’t that be something – to just take off like Superman and fly away? Those were always the dreams where I was totally upset once I woke up and realized it wasn’t real. But still, it’s fun to dream isn’t it? Apparently we normal humans aren’t the only ones who dream of flying – this issue shows us that superheroes have those dreams too… even when they really can fly!

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Thor #347
Jul 8th, 2015 by Rusty

Thor #347 cover

Thor #347

Date: September 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2015 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele

It’s About Time!

It has been several months since my last comic book review. Not that I stopped reading comics – oh no – I was just a little bit swamped with other things in life. In that intervening time, however, I was finally able to watch Thor: The Dark World. I thought it was OK, but not superb. How do I know this? Because even now, just months after watching it, I had to look up a plot summary to remember exactly what happened! That’s definitely not the sign of a great movie. Anyway, I did like the parts about the evil dark elf Malekith. Just the other day I got to thinking that I have the comics where he makes his first appearance, so I thought I’d continue my pseudo-streak of reviewing older Thor comics. Lucky you!

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Captain America #14 (Vol. 3)
Feb 27th, 2015 by Rusty

Captain America #14 cover

Captain America #14 (Vol. 3)

Date: February 1999
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.99
Stats: 20 gray and color pages plus ads
Storytellers: Mark Waid, Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang, Chris Sotomayoor, Todd Klein

Like A Movie

This issue of Captain America has some similarities to the movie Schindler’s List. Most noticeable are the black and white (or gray tone) images, with splashes of red here and there. The red, in this case, being the Red Skull’s big, ugly head! Also, this is a story about WWII – in a round-about sort of way. Here we get to see an alternate life of one of Cap’s biggest foes – and it isn’t pretty!

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Silver Surfer #5
Feb 20th, 2015 by Rusty

Silver Surfer #5 cover

Silver Surfer #5

Date: October 2014
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads
Storytellers: Dan Slott, Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Clayton Cowles

Nightmares

Do you ever have bad dreams? I do, and sometimes they are the really scary ones where I start awake and my heart is beating 100 miles per hour! I often find that I have the same dreams / nightmares over and over too – whatever that means. You know – the one where you can’t run, or you can’t help somebody or something like that. Sheesh – maybe I need to see somebody about that huh? Anyway, this issue of Silver Surfer involves the king of bad dreams – Nightmare himself. And a sinister plot is afoot that may allow him to rule over the Earth forever! Gasp!

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Akiko #10
Nov 22nd, 2014 by Rusty

Akiko #10 cover

Akiko #10

Date: January 1997
Publisher: Sirius Entertainment
Cover Price: $2.50
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 20 black & white pages plus “Letters to Akiko” and 2 page back-up story
Story & Art: Mark Crilley
Notable Notes: The gang surmounts the Great Wall of Trudd.

Hang Gliding?

There is a popular hang gliding mountain near where I live in Utah. Although I have never been, every time I pass it on the freeway I see loads of gliders lazily circling their way down from the top – and I get a hankerin’ to join in! I imagine it to be fun, a little bit scary and a bit relaxing too. Maybe some day I’ll get the nerve, time and energy to do it. In this issue of Akiko the gang makes use of a giant flag to do some hang gliding of their own – and it turns out to be pretty useful too!

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Thor #346
Oct 19th, 2014 by Rusty

Thor 346 cover

Thor #346

Date: August 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page.
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Everyone is racing to find the Casket of Ancient Winters!

A Weakness For Cookies?

I love me a good cookie – especially if it has chocolate chips in it! I’ll readily admit that I have a weakness for cookies, but do you think any of the Marvel superheroes do too? Well, apparently Thor does! The hands-down lamest part of this issue is when the Son of Odin is duped by a police-officer who offers him laced cookies! C’mon! Oh well, I guess it’s good to know that our heroes have some weaknesses just like us… right?

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Daredevil #28 (Vol. 3)
Oct 12th, 2014 by Rusty

Daredevil #28 cover

Daredevil #28 (Vol. 3)

Date: September 2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Javier Rodriguez, Joe Caramagna and Chris Samnee
Notable Notes: A bully from Matt’s past shows up!

A Haunted Past?

Have you ever had someone from your childhood show up in your adult life? I have a few times, but it has never been someone that I really disliked or hated. I think that would be kind of hard to handle. In this issue we get to see Matt deal with that very thing as a bully from his childhood comes looking for his help. How would you react? Well, there is a reason Matt is a superhero – and it doesn’t always have to do with his physical abilities either!

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Doc Savage #1
Sep 6th, 2014 by Rusty

Doc Savage #1 cover

Doc Savage #1

Date: October 1972
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2014 Price Range: $3.00 – $42.00
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and “Meet Doc Savage” page
Writers Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart
Artists: Ross Andru, Jim Mooney and John Costanza
Notable Notes: 1st issue – based on the pulp fiction story “The Man of Bronze”

The First Superhero?

OK, I’ll admit it – this was the first Doc Savage story I have ever read! Of course I’d heard of him, and being the big SF fan that I am you’d think I would have read one of the many novels about him – but no. So after reading this cool comic book that was given to me by my sister several years ago, I looked up some information about this classic character. It turns out he started in story form back in the 1930s, and has been featured in a variety of media since: magazines, novels, comics and even movies. He has quite the interesting history and a cool gang of side-kicks. I think I’ll have to delve more into some of the Doc Savage stories. See – comics are still a great medium for introducing people to new characters and properties!
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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249
Aug 9th, 2014 by Rusty

Donald Duck #249 cover

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249

Date: January 1987
Publisher: Gladstone Publishing
Cover Price: 75¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $16.00
Stats: 29 color pages plus house ads and “The Quacker Box” letters page
Writers Volker Reiche, Geoffrey Blum, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Artists: Daan Jippes, Volker Reiche, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Notable Notes: Donald is a scientist, a goblin and a monster hunter!

A Scientist

I have always liked the idea of being a scientist. I used to play at it when I was a kid, and I very much enjoyed science classes in school. During the last few years I have been taking some serious social science classes at the university where I work, and have quite enjoyed them. I still like the idea of being a scientist, and am slowly moving towards that goal. In this issue we get to see Donald fantasize about the same thing – only here he actually starts mixing chemicals in a lab and disastrous results follow! C’mon – what would a Donald Duck story be without funny mayhem?

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G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #19
Jul 21st, 2014 by Rusty

G.I. Joe #19 cover

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #19

Date: January 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $18.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Postbox: The Pit!” letters page and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino, Rick Parker, George Roussos
Notable Notes: The Joes trick Cobra into attacking a fake base!
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Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
Jun 18th, 2014 by Rusty

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 cover

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

Date: April 2014
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $1.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus Itty Bitty Letters and ads
Writers: Art Baltazar & Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Notable Notes: The tiny red guy with the big hand playfully battles his cartoon-ish enemies!

Big Boxes Are Awesome!

Did you ever make a fort out of big boxes when you were little? (Do you still do it?) I did, and I loved it when my parents bought some new appliance because that meant we got a new fort for a while! The best one we ever got was a huge box from my mom’s shiny new Wurlitzer organ. It was big enough that we were able to cut kid sized doors and windows into it! Ah… what great memories. This comic book brought up all sorts of memories about the forts I used to build… and the ones I still make with my kids!

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Batman: Gotham Adventures #2
May 31st, 2014 by Rusty

Batman: Gotham Adventures #2 cover

Batman: Gotham Adventures #2

Date: July 1998
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $1.95
2014 NM Value: $3.00
Stats: 22 color pages
Writer: Ty Templeton
Artists: Rick Burchett, Terry Beatty, Lee Loughridge, Tim Harkins
Notable Notes: In which we get a glimpse of Two-Face’s dysfunctional family!

Father Issues?

Trouble with one’s parents seems to make for good story lines. This issue shows the problems Two-Face had with his old man, but we can also look to other comics for this common theme. Daredevil had minor issues with his father, and so did Peter Parker. I guess Clark Kent got along pretty well with his dad – in fact, maybe I’ve got this all backwards! Maybe fathers played a big, important role in most heroes’ lives. You know – just like real-life dads do!

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Daredevil #27 (Vol. 3)
May 11th, 2014 by Rusty

Daredevil #27 cover

Daredevil #27 (Vol. 3)

Date: August 2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads and “Letters Without Fear”.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez, Joe Caramagna
Notable Notes: Bullseye explains it all!

When Good Plans Work Well

Have you ever created a good plan – you know, a really great strategy – and had it work flawlessly? I have a few times – although not as often as I would have liked! It feels good though, knowing that you put your intellect to work and it paid off. In this issue we get to see the fruit of Daredevil’s labors – and they turn out pretty good, which is really cool!

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Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3
Apr 27th, 2014 by Rusty

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3 cover

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3

Date: 2011
Publisher: Ape Entertainment / Kizoic
Cover Price: $3.95
Stats: 25 color pages – and no ads!
Writers: Quinn Johnson, Rob Worley, Earl Kress, Patrick Rills
Artists: James Silvani, Armando Zanker, Jake Myler, Dustin Evans, Andrew Dalhouse
Notable Notes: Richie and friends uncover a secret tomb in Egypt!

2 of my favorite subjects!

You probably don’t know this about me, but I love archeology – especially the Egyptian flavor. I find the study of ancient pharaohs in splendid tombs to be infinitely fascinating. I also love science fiction – yeah, I even have my own review web site. So when this issue combined both of those wonderful ideas into one story – well, let’s just say that it was right up my alley!

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Captain America #13 (Vol. 3)
Apr 20th, 2014 by Rusty

Captain America #13 cover

Captain America #13 (Vol. 3)

Date: January 1999
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.99
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 21 color pages plus “American Graffiti” letters page, Bullpen Bulletins, fold-out gate cover and ads
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Dougie Braithwaite, Robin Riggs, Shannon Blanchard, Kevin Tinsley and Todd Klein
Notable Notes: Cap investigates a congressman.

Two Different People?

Wait a minute – Steve Rogers and Captain America are two different people?! Who would’ve thunk it! I was pleasantly surprised to see Steve Rogers follow a different path than Cap in this issue. Yeah, you know, Captain America is a national symbol and an Avenger and all that, so its not too surprising that he has to be very careful with the people and things he publicly endorses. However, as we find out in this issue, Steve Rogers is free to do whatever he likes! A very simple, yet cool, idea – and one that I totally didn’t see coming!

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