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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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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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Batman #227
Apr 12th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman #227 cover

Batman #227

Date: December 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2014 Price Range: $15 – $350
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Letters to the Batman”, Direct Currents, 1 page Casey the Cop story and Daily Planet Extra.
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Batman rescues Alfred’s niece!

A Difficult Comic to Collect!

Last fall I decided that I wanted to collect and read some of the Batman issues in the early 200s. I started with #224 and worked my way up from there. This one, #227, proved the most difficult and expensive to get so far. I didn’t realize it before, but it has a few things going for it that makes it so collectible. First, the awesome cover art is a swipe from Detective Comics #31, which itself is the classic “Batman over castle” image from 1939. Second, the cover is by the great Batman artist Neal Adams. And third, there is a wonderful classic Batman story inside by none other than legendary scribe Denny O’Neil! Put those three things together and you can see why I spent weeks on eBay bidding for copies, and finally ended up paying $50 for a mid-grade copy. And you know what? I am totally happy with it too!

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Batman #226
Feb 17th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman #226 cover

Batman #226

Date: November 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2014 Price Range: $6 – $80
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, “Letters to the Batcave” and 4 page backup story
Writer: Frank Robbins
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Origin of The Man with Ten Eyes!

Blind – But Not Powerless

Would being blind be so bad? I’m not saying I want to try it, just that blind people seem to live incredibly full lives – especially in comic books. I’ve mentioned before that when I was a little kid I would wrap a blindfold around my head and play for long stretches of time while pretending to be blind. And Daredevil doesn’t do too bad does he? In this issue Batman is temporarily blinded, and has a tangle with another blind man – but the other man has a secret that Bats doesn’t know about!

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Batman: Gotham Adventures #1
Jan 18th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman: Gotham Adventures #1 cover

Batman: Gotham Adventures #1

Date: June 1998
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
2014 NM Value: $4.00
Stats: 38 color pages
Writer: Ty Templeton
Artists: Rick Burchett, Terry Beatty, Lee Loughridge
Notable Notes: Joker gets a big, big price on his head!

A Smarter Way To Catch The Joker?

The rational, non-fun, part of me has always been a little bit disappointed that the Joker is still running around being crazy after all these years. It seems like if Batman isn’t able to put the kibosh on this villain, then maybe there is another, better way? This issue addresses that very topic, and shows us that one dedicated and vengeful man can come up with a clever method for bringing down the Joker once and for all!

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Batman #225
Nov 17th, 2013 by Rusty

Batman #225 cover

Batman #225

Date: September 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2013 Price Range: $6 – $80
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads and “Letters to the Batcave”
Writers: Denny O’Neil and Mike Friedrich
Artists: Irv Novick, Dick Giordano and Mike Esposito
Notable Notes: Batman the murderer?

When Good Heroes Go Bad!

It’s not a unique idea – in fact it is quite common – when good guys become the bad guys… or appear to do so! I think that it would be every legitimate peace-keeper’s fear that a powerful superhero would turn into their worst enemy. That is what happens in this issue… well, almost, anyway. This time it turns out that Batman is framed, and he must use all his Bat-skills to evade the police long enough to prove his innocence!

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Batman #224
Oct 8th, 2013 by Rusty

Batman #224 cover

Batman #224

Date: August 1970
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 15¢
2013 Price Range: $6 – $80
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads and “Letters to the Batcave”
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Irv Novick and Dick Giordano
Notable Notes: Batman travels to New Orleans to avenge a Jazz man’s death!

Time for Some Classic Batman!

I’ve been wanting to read some classic Batman stories lately. After doing a little bit of research I decided that I could financially delve into some of the popular Denny O’Neil stories from the early 1970s. Here is my first foray into a character I really enjoy, but haven’t read a lot of – at least in pre-modern comics.

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Dial H #4
Aug 4th, 2013 by Rusty

Dial H #4 cover

Dial H #4

Date: October 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads and 2 pages of #0 covers
Writer: China Miéville
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Tanya & Richard Horie, Steve Wands, Brian Bolland
Notable Notes: Nelse teams up with Squid to save Manteau!

Friends, Enemies and Frenemies!

This issue of Dial H really says a lot about friendship and loyalty. We get to see how when one person is a self-centered jerk it usually ruins friendships, and we also see how a loyal friend can help out someone in need – even if a super hero identity isn’t available!

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The 11 Best Sites for Free Comic Books Online
Aug 1st, 2013 by Rusty

Over the past year I have been searching for web sites where I can read comic books online for free. Guess what? There are loads of places to get free comics, and a lot of sites for online comic books too – but it has been difficult to find high quality sites which are legal. Nevertheless I persevered and have scoured the web looking for the best sites. (* See below for the criteria I used when searching for good sites) Anyway, I have finally come up with a list of what I believe are the 11 best sites for free, online comic books:

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Dial H #3
Jun 30th, 2013 by Rusty

Dial H #3 cover

Dial H #3

Date: September 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads, “Fleet Week at DC Entertainment” and 2 pages of #0 covers
Writer: China Miéville
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Tanya & Richard Horie, Steve Wands, Brian Bolland
Notable Notes: Nelse and Manteau fix his phone!

Monster Hands

Do long, gangely fingers equal alien or monster hands? I think so, at least in the comic book world. This issue has loads of stringy, creepy fingers and I’ll tell you right now they usually don’t indicate that sunshine and happiness are about to follow!

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The Man of Steel #6
Jun 15th, 2013 by Rusty

The Man of Steel #6 cover

The Man of Steel #6

Date: 1986
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads and Wonder Woman preview
Writer & Penciller: John Byrne
Other Artists: Dick Giordano, John Costanza, Tom Ziuko
Notable Notes: Clark returns to Smallville.

The End of The Mini-Series

This issue brings to a close the 6 issue mini-series from DC. Overall it has been quite enjoyable, but I wish there would have been more seamless transitioning between the issues. To me it felt like each of them were one shots. Still, a very cool series and one I would recommend to any comics fan!

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Dial H For Hero #2
Jun 1st, 2013 by Rusty

Dial H For Hero #2 cover

Dial H For Hero #2

Date: August 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Stats: 20 color pages plus ads
Writer: China Miéville
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Tanya & Richard Horie, Steve Wands, Brian Bolland
Notable Notes: Crazy superheroes battle Darren’s old gang!

Superhero Variety Hour!

Did you ever dream up your own superheroes when you were a kid? (Do you still do that?!) I sure did. Mostly I pretended to be Daredevil, but sometimes I would make up my own super powers – like magical rainbow-colored eyes that could control people! Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Um, anyway, here is comic book with some wonderfully strange superheroes. Give it a try – you may like it!

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The Man of Steel #5
May 25th, 2013 by Rusty

The Man of Steel #5 cover

The Man of Steel #5

Date: 1986
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 75¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 23 color pages plus 12 page “Mask” insert and ads
Writer & Penciller: John Byrne
Other Artists: Dick Giordano, John Costanza, Tom Ziuko
Notable Notes: The origin of Bizarro!

Are There Any Good Clones?

Why is it that in science fiction in general, and comics specifically, the cloning process always seems to have some fatal flaw? Has no big-brained superhero figured out how to correctly do it yet? C’mon people – we can clone sheep here in the “normal” world why can’t you folks clone a fantastic superhero of unknown origins? Sheesh! 😉

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Dial H For Hero #1
May 9th, 2013 by Rusty

Dial H For Hero #1 cover

Dial H For Hero #1

Date: July 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
2013 Price Range: $3.00 – $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads and “The Dark” column
Writer: China Miéville
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Tanya & Richard Horie, Steve Wands, Brian Bolland
Notable Notes: Strange phone booth creates even stranger super-heroes!

One of my Favorite Authors!

I have been a big fan of China Miéville for several years. After reading the bizarre Perdido Street Station I was totally hooked on his writing style. Embassytown, a wonderfully good alien story, only sealed the deal for me. Anyway, when I discovered that he was writing this comic series I knew I had to give it a go! The series has been getting good reviews and hasn’t been canceled yet so I figured it was time to give it a try. It is hard to judge a series or writer by one issue, but after reading this one I am impressed by Miéville’s quirky and dark humor!

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Kamandi The Last Boy On Earth #34
May 5th, 2013 by Rusty

Kamandi The Last Boy On Earth #34 cover

Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth #34

Date: October 1975
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 25¢
2013 Price Range: $2.00 – $22.00
Stats: 18 color pages plus ads and “The Time Capsule” column
Written & Drawn by: Jack Kirby
Other Artists: D. Bruce Berry
Notable Notes: Tiger War!

Tigers and Apes and Boys, oh my!

My older sister picked this comic book up for me about 10 years ago when she purchased a suitcase full of comics at a Las Vegas yard sale. I always thought it looked kind of dumb, and I never really wanted to read it until lately. Having this blog has made me want to experience a wide variety of comic books, so I figured it was time to give this one a try. Plus it was drawn by Jack Kirby – how could I pass that up?

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