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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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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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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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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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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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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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Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)
Dec 28th, 2016 by Rusty

Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #5 (Vol. 2)

Date: January 1997
Publisher: Image/Homage Comics
Cover Price: $2.50
2016 NM Price: $6
Stats: 24 color pages plus “Greetings from Astro City” letters column and house ads
Creators: Kurt Busiek, Brent E. Anderson, Will Blyberg, Alex Ross, John G. Roshell and Alex Sinclair

Synopsis:

Astro City superhero, Confessor, has a new sidekick: Altar Boy! They train and do detective work at the sprawling Grandenetti Cathedral, and the master teaches his apprentice to see patterns and notice what doesn’t fit. Alter Boy takes his training seriously and uses it to figure out why another superhero has recently turned to petty crime.

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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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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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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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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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