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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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ElfQuest #3
Nov 12th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #3 cover

ElfQuest #3

Date: December 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Rayek pin-up art, Meet the Wolfriders and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: Cutter and Rayek battle for Leetah’s love!

Fight For Your Right

Would you fight, literally fight, to win the heart of your sweetie? What about your job? Or your family? Or your home? Or your comic book collection? 😉 Sure, we’ve all heard of fighting for true love, but as I read this comic I asked myself “What do I consider worth fighting for?” It gave me a little bit to ponder… but not for too long, because I had the rest of the comic to read! Here is a great comic – beautifully rendered and fun to read!
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Young Allies #1
Nov 4th, 2017 by Rusty

Young Allies #1

Young Allies #1

Date: August 2010
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
2017 NM Price: $4
Stats: 23 color pages plus More About The Young Allies and ads
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: David Baldeón, N. Bowling, Chris Sotomayor
Notable Notes: The first issue featuring the Heroic Age Young Allies

Take 3

One cool and frustrating part of being a comic book reader is that there is so much history that sometimes ideas are recycled and you don’t even know it! Take this team of young super-heroes for example. I took a chance and bought the first issue of this series several years ago, and ended up loving it. I didn’t realize then that this was the third time there was a Marvel super-hero team named “The Young Allies”. Usually I don’t really like it when former ideas are resurrected and re-hashed into a newer version, but this book was an exception. See, I guess there is some value to not knowing history! 😉
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ElfQuest #2
Oct 26th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #2 cover

ElfQuest #2

Date: September 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $40
Stats: 31 color pages plus pin-up art, welcome and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The first book from WaRP Graphics

Love At First Sight

Ah, love at first sight… does it really exist? I tend to think that it should more accurately be called “lust at first sight” – at least in the real world. But in the world of fiction perhaps love at first sight is a thing that actually works out. In this issue of ElfQuest the Wolfriders’ leader, Cutter, is so smitten with a beautiful woman that he kidnaps her! But that works out OK for him – and that is another way to tell that we are in fictional world!
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Iron Man #56
Oct 21st, 2017 by Rusty

Iron Man #56 cover

Iron Man #56

Date: March 1973
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 20¢
2017 Price Range: $5 – $75
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins and letters page
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin, Mike Esposito, Charlotte Jetter
Notable Notes: The origin of Ichabod Rasputin

Roller skates

My daughter is really into rollerblading right now. She even got me to go with her yesterday, and now I have sore legs! Anyway, I was telling her that when I was a kid it was roller skates that were the big thing. Why am I telling you this? Because this issue of Iron Man starts out with him zooming around NYC on his jet powered roller skates! Yes, it is quite ridiculous! Iron Man himself even admits that he feels like a kid. Heaven knows he sure looks like one!
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ElfQuest #1
Oct 10th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #1 cover

ElfQuest #1

Date: April 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $4 – $50
Stats: 31 color pages plus forward, pin-up art and Elf-olution
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: A spruced-up reprint of ElfQuest’s first appearance!

Convoluted Publishing History

Some comic book series just really fly through the publishing companies. Astro City is one that comes to mind. ElfQuest is another one. Beginning in the late 1970s the Elf saga started off in Fantasy Quarterly #1 by an independent publisher, then it switched to the Pini’s homegrown company WaRP Graphics. Years later both Marvel and DC would pick up licenses to it, and so would Boing Boing and Dark Horse! Sheesh! Oh well, at least it is a good series, and one that deserves to be published – regardless of who is doing that publishing!
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G.I. Combat #1
Sep 29th, 2017 by Rusty

G.I. Combat #1 cover

G.I. Combat #1

Date: October 1952
Publisher: Quality Comics
Cover Price: 10¢
2017 Price Range: $97 – $1500
Stats: 29 color pages plus ads and text story
Writer: Robert Bernstein
Artists: Reed Crandall, Chuck Cuidera, Pete Morisi, Charles Nicholas
Notable Notes: First issue of one of the longest running war comics titles!

Little Interest in War

I have never really been a fan of war comics. My older brother read Sgt. Rock, but I could never get into it. In fact I have ever only had mild, passing interest in anything related to war or the military. Recently that changed, at least temporarily, when I started taking a college course about technology and global conflict. After spending several weeks reading and discussing military stuff, I have kind of been in the mood to watch war movies and try some war comics. So that is what I’m doing today – giving a classic war comic a try, and seeing how it turns out!

I decided to start with the first issue of G.I. Combat. Why? Well, because it was a famous, long running series, and it is the series where Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank got their starts. I figured that was as good a place as any to start!

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