Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Post No. 628"

Got hold of a coverless copy of Marvel's The Avengers #7 from 1964 the other day. I admit I haven't read an original copy in a while. I think the last time I read any early Avengers' tale was when I first bought a copy of The Essential Avengers V1 a few years back (which collects, at least, the first 20 issues). But it was nice to re-read a real copy, to enjoy the original coloring and that musky smell of an old comic that intoxicates any true collector of such.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were still both in the prime of writing and drawing, of course, and I'll have to admit that I enjoyed it just as much (maybe even more so) than I did now here right at 45 years ago when it first hit the stands and I plopped down my twelve cents in anticipation of becoming part of that early "Marvel Age of Comics". This issue didn't disappoint with a cast such as Captain America (in something like his 5th. or 6th. silver-age app.), The Mighty Thor, Giant-Man & The Wasp and Iron Man fighting such villians as The Excecutioner, The Enchantress and Loki (and even an app. of Baron Zemo). We had Cap's soap opera of losing his partner, Bucky, and Rick Jones's misunderstanding of such, which rather pissed Cap' off when he put on Bucky's old costume (guess Bucky had more than one costume since the original was blown up as shown in a flashback in The Avengers #4, along with him!). We even got to see that All-Father of Asguard, Odin, in this issue. Really packed tight with action and many a Marvel guest-appearance which made the reader feel the closeness of all the characters in The Marvel Universe.

That's something that Marvel worked hard on, especially in the early silver-age, was associating all of the various characters from their company with one another, to show that Thor and Giant-Man didn't live somewhere in a seperate universe, but all existed (mostly in New York City) in the same place, and that what affected one of the characters sometimes would affect another, unlike the DC Universe where there was only the occasional guest-appearance of another super hero in a title not their own (outside of The Justice League of America, The Brave & The Bold, or World's Finest), and it was a major part of what endeared their many loyal fans.

Got quite a bit of modern stuff in the way of comic books ordered, but they probably won't get here for a couple of weeks. Things like All Star Batman #1, Wonder Woman #2 (2006), JSA #9 (2006), Amz Spider-man 528, Superman V2 #'s166, 206-211,215, Superman/Batman 6,10,11,13, Fantastic Four 533,534,541, Batman: 635,636,637,639,640,641, Identity Crisis #2 , New Avengers Annual #1, & Civil War(Marvel) 1,3, & 4. (And as usual when they arrive and are read will be reviewed.)


Viper Limited Series (DC) #1 (1994) was really...pretty bad, actually, but that's not a surprize to me since there were an awful lot of pretty bad comics being published in the 1990's, DC and Marvel not withstanding. Oh, the cover showed some promise; enough to lure me inside, but the artwork was so mediocre that it failed to hold my attention long enough to finish reading it.

On the other hand...

Omega Men Limited Series (DC) #1 (2006) may have had a bit of a confusing story, but Ghod how I love that Henry Flint artwork! Plenty of action here with guest app.'s of "L.E.G.I.O.N." and cameos of other DC characters/heroes such as "The Guardians of the galaxy", "Superman", etc. which leads into the second issue. Nice book!

Gotham Girls Limited Series (DC) #'s 4 & 5 were a lot of fun. Written and drawn in a fashion comparative to the "Batman Adventures", we got to see several of the females in Bat's life, including "Poison Ivy", "Harley Quinn", "Catwoman" and "Batgirl". A nice easy read without any complications to think about (which I welcome from time-to-time in this era of the multi-ploted comic book).

Vext (DC) #1 Fortunately even when there were so many really bad comics being published by DC in the 1990's, there was the occasional gem shining through, which is the case with this title, written by Keith Giffen and illustrated by Mike McKone. Vext is the story of a lesser god, the one of misfortune (see: "Murphy's Law", i.e., anything that will and can happen wrong usually does) who's exiled on Earth and has to learn what it's like to live as a human being. His problems start right at the beginning when he has to wait 27 years just for the transfer to this planet, and things go right down the toilet from there on. It's clever, funny, and a downright shame that sales discontinued it by the sixth issue. It follows in a similiar vein of humor as "Ambush Bug" and should have been a fan-cult favorite with additional mini-series. Giffen's genius shows at the close of issue #2 with a very "Eisner-ish" approach to the final four pages done in a poetry format per panel very similiar to things I've seen done originally in "The Spirit". DC needs to bring this back!

The Next Limited Series (DC) #1 (of 6 from 2006) was also an excellant offering from that company by Tad Williams, Dietrich Smith & Walden Wong, and deals with four interdimensional-time traveling creatures akin to Earth teenagers who lose their "dog" (closest thing to relate it to) while taking a sight-seeing tour to the end of time. The "dog" ends up on Earth and is found by a teenage girl who is struck by an oncoming vehicle and almost dies. The "travelers" seeing they caused this, extract themselves from their journey to help her and give her part of their own life forces to make her well, but are now stuck on this planet. They adopt human-like forms, two female and two male. One of them looks like a short, black guy, another like a white, geeky guy, one like a preppy, blonde girl and the other like some bright-red, super female, well-endowed with "big" blonde hair. The description of "the dog" is harder to explain, but remember those plastic models you had or saw for sale as a kid called "The Visible Man", "The Visible Woman", "The Visible head", etc. They had clear plastic bodies and all of the organs were visible within? That's how "the dog" looks! Neat book!

The Spectre Limited Series (DC) #1 (2006) is one of those "Infinite Crisis" spin-offs and this time he takes the mortal form of a black man who had been murdered a year earlier. The man, when alive, had been a police detective, so he continues this persuit in death although there's nothing he can do about anything he finds out. He even trails "The Batman" just to find out his secret I.D., and does so, but then with the thought that knowing his real identity took all the mystery out of the character and now Bats to him is just "another guy in a mask". Finally from his frustration of not being able to do anything about al the crimes he's seen he allows The Spectre to inhabit his form for vengence. Not too bad a book.

Hawkgirl (DC) #'s 62-64 & 66 (2007) tied up the rest of that series which originally began as HawkMan. Walt Simonson did a fine job writing these and his covers, inked by Howard Chaykin, gave them a great appeal. Renato Arlem's interior artwork was also very good (although I occasionally got the creeps everytime he drew hawkgirl smiling while wearing her "Hawk-Mask"). These tie up the stories involving the "Hawkman/Hawkgirl-reincarnated-from-previous-Egyptian-lovers-fighting-Hath-Set" storyline. Along the way, Hawkgirl enlists help from The Batman and Superman, and has a fight with the old Jack Kirby 4th. World creation's "The Female Furies". At the end of this story, she gets possessed by the spirit of Hawkman's true love and now can see why they were so much in love with one another. Something that sets the stage for future involvement between the Hawk-Fighters which will eventually, perhaps, reunite them into both a team again as well as lovers. A nice finish to a good series from DC.

And...I've cancelled this weekend's yard sale due to all of the rain we've had, as there's still 60% chance of rain on Friday and 40% on "Derby day" Saturday. Will try to reschedule it again as soon as I can but not sure just when that'll be. It's pretty disapppinting to me after all of the hard work I've done just to get it ready, but even the yards are way too wet to mow and make look nice for the table set-ups. It figures. Let me plan something outside and take a vacation, it'll certainly end any drought.


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