Sunday, August 26, 2007

"The Weekend Catch Up"

Yes, it's Catch Up time here at "Elmo's Junction", after having worked 9 days straight before a day off, then when I did, having even more work to do.

Yesterday my wife and I made a trip up to my late father-in-law's place to help her neice (and husband and another neice) start cleaning out her dad's old two-story garage. What-a-mess.

This was a man who was a terrible packrat, and as much good "stuff" as there was stored in that garage from tools to wood for building supplies (as he used to build houses for a living), there was just as much plain ol' trash and garbage. Old clothes and magazines, and huge rolls of carpet, and lighting fixtures, at least three bicycles (which beats me why they were there as he never rode one to my knowledge), old t.v.'s & furniture and metal stands, and l.p.'s, glassware, as well as just "junk, junk, junk".

Among us we filled up a 32 square foot dumpster and a full-bed truck (like the size of a dump truck), worked over five hours and I dare say it would take yet another two full loads just in that dumpster to get rid of the trash. The auction is the first weekend in October and I'm not sure if they'll be ready for it by then.

For my efforts the one neice gave me several things, like an electric saw table, a weed-eater, a handful of l.p.s (including a KISS ALIVE! II, Glen Campbell Live DBL l.p., and a KINKS: "Sleepwalker") and a few other things she told either my wife or I to simply take home. I did run across a couple of old boxes of books, magazines and the like, but never found the newspapers from the 1940's which my F-I-L had promised me. Most of the books were in terrible shape as were the magazines, but I did salvage a copy of LIFE Magazine with The Beatles on the cover and interior story from 1968. (Already had one, but it looked like it might be heading for the dumpster had I not saved it.)

I also save a woman's magazine for my wife because of a cover photo and article on Princess Di from 1993. Hard to believe how time gets away from you. The 31st. of this month makes ten years since her death.

We got very, very hot and extremely dirty, but that still didn't keep me from stopping by Waldenbooks to pick up some new stuff. Here's a few reviews:

BRAVE & THE BOLD, THE (DC) #6: which is the continuing tale of trying to reobtain "The Book of Destiny" and rewriting it to save earth's future. This time it was a Batman/Green Lantern team-up, which reminds me of my youth when I picked a copy opf B&B 59 from the stands featuring the same team-up, and the issue which pretty much began the nearly every issue app. of The Batman with some other DC hero. It's the conclussion of the first story arch in this title, and also has app.'s of The Challengers of The Unknown, Supergirl, Adam Strange, a couple of the LOSHs members, and some quick cameos by Star Hawkins & Ilda, Space Ranger, Booster Gold, Tommy Tomorrow, etc. Just a "lotta material" crammed into this issue written by Waid and drawn by Perez, and it's a pretty decent DC title. I give this issue a "B+".

FANTASTIC FOUR (Marvel) #458: has The Black Panther and Storm as alternate members of The F.F., but Reed and Sue are there as well, with Reed trying to save Sue from the clutches of "The Frightful Four". This issue surprizes me that it's written much like a story from the silver-age. It's continued and features a surprize cameo by one of The Black Panther's old enemys at the end. I very much enjoyed it! By McDuffie and Pelletier, I give this single Marvel title I bought this week an "A".

FLASH, THE (DC) #231: is a "reboot" isue from the second series with the Wally West version of the scarlet speedster. I may have made a mistake in a previous review when I was talking about the ALL FLASH title; this is a continuation of the numbering from The Flash v2, rather than V1. There's been, like so many other comic titles, so many re-bootings over the years that at times it gets confussing. The Flash---the ORIGINAL Golden Age Flash's title, wasn't called "The" Flash, but instead, FLASH COMICS, so in 1959 when the silver age Flash was given his own title, this was changed to "The" Flash, and continued the numbering with #105 since the original run went 104 issues, stopping publication in 1949. The SECOND volume of "The" Flash was the one with Wally West, before yet a third volume became with the "Bart/Impulse" character for 13 issues. Obviously (although I admit to not keeping up with it), The Wally West title stopped with #230. (But..I digress...) This issue has a variation cover as well; one has Flash and his kids running on it and the other has just him shooting out of a daVinci-type drawing. In this issue we have sort of a recap of the birth of Flash's kids and their various powers and a "first adventure" for them. It's an "okay' "okay" title...but could be so much better. 'Fraid I have to give it a "B Minus" this time around even with the Waid script and Acuna art.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (DC) #12 gets an "A+!" for it's complete package of Alex Ross cover art, Meltzer script and Benes/Wight art. This issue will cost you an extra fifty cents as it's a "6th." issue, and it seems that every sixth issue these days DC ties the storylines up so they can be reprinted in TPB format. The few extra pages and extra price is well worth it, as this is a fairly simply tale of "Monitor Duty" as different JLA members take their turns. But there's a second story going on here of a retro sort, with two old the JLA's eldest members waxing noslgic on "the past". A great tribute to the works of Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Julie Schwartz. This is one of the DC's to definately buy this time.

And another "A+" goes to one of DC's pilot titles, SUPERMAN #665 which features "The Secret Origin of Jimmy Olsen". To my knowledge there's never been a story which told how Jimmy became a staff member of The Daily Planet. This story is done so well by Kurt Busiek and it's hard to imagine "why" it wasn't done before. Nice art by Rick Leonardi as well makes it yet another "must read" DC title this time for it's pure enjoyment factor.

And how's 'bout dat? I reviewed 5 titles and gave them all a decent grade this time. (I must be getting soft in my old age.)


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