Wednesday, 16 August 2017
The latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine hit the newsagents and specialist comic shops today and what a special issue this is turning out to be. Not only is there the usual Judge Dredd and Anderson tales, the Dark Judges also make their appearance in part two of Dominion. What makes this issue special is the supplement.
Sometimes a hit and miss part of the package this one featuring the never before reprinted story The Lawless Touch from Tornado issues 11 to 22 plus a short story from the Tornado Annual 1981. This was a short lived comic (only lasted 22 issues) which merged with 2000AD back in prog 129 (Sept 1979).
The Megazines editor tells us to look out for more "lost classics from the Ergmont archive being showcased here in the future. That combined with Rebellions programme of reprinting collected classics in their Treasury of British Comics series will showcase material for not just us oldies but a whole new generation of readers.
Along with the forthcoming Scream & Misty all-new special in October a sort of mini-revival is going on for us Brits and not before time too!
Also out this week is the latest issue of 2000AD. Grab your copies of these gems now!
Difficulty in getting a copy? There's always a subscription: https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/subscriptions
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Valour was one of Marvel UK's short lived titles which lasted just 19 issues. It did however produce a one-off Winter Special which is well worth picking up if you come across a copy. This issue contains two complete stories with Thor and Doctor Strange plus some colour "pin-ups" of the stars of the comic.
The extra long story Thunder over Troy sees a young Thor taking his wicked brother back to Asgard for punishment (as usual) when both of them disappear and Thor finds himself rescuing a young man who it turns out is from the ill-fated city of Troy.
With no memory of who he is or where he is from Thor declines at first to aid the besieged city despite the pleas from his new found friend Aeneas. But Thor needs to tread carefully. This realm is under the protection of other gods. The Gods of Olympus.
Inevitably Zeus discovers Thor's presence and several misunderstandings with fighting between men & gods and Thor & Zeus, the young Asgardian makes his way home unaware that his evil brother has left behind the suggestion on how the Greeks (or Argives) can penetrate the great walled city.
Only Loki eh.
The second shorter feature with art by Gene Colan (which I always think looks better in black & white) sees Doctor Strange take on the demon "god" N'Garai.
Splendid stuff that Marvel just doesn't do right anymore if you ask me.
Saturday, 12 August 2017
With the upcoming release of a Scream & Misty Special for Halloween I thought I'd pick up a copy of this one-off release from the publishers of 2000AD back in the early nineties which featured a whole range of old British comic book characters from long gone comics.
Starting with The Steel Claw from Valiant in the sixties our invisible anti-hero takes on the role of government assassin in this short story. Not bad. This is followed by the spooky Cursitor Doom from the pages of the post Power Comics SMASH! when it was turned into a more traditional "boys paper". The tale The Man Who Died Every Day showed a potential for this short lived feature which only lasted around six months despite excellent artwork by Eric Bradbury.
Up next was another refugee from Valiant in the form of Kelly's Eye who along with Robot Archie did actually appear in 2000AD, albeit the latters was very brief in Zenith.
The best story by far was the re-imagining of The Spider who turns into a British version of The Joker in this violent little tale in which the villain escapes prison. Watch out for the sequence amongst the down & outs where a certain retired soldier weaves wild tales to a young boy with a snake and a superhero has stitched his costume to his body to prevent his secret identity being exposed.
Finishing off is a tale of the crusading Doctor Sin in The Strange Case of the Wyndham Demon which is very British and takes the proverbial out of the Mary Whitehouse brigade.
The only story not up to scratch in this compendium was the oddly Kirbyesque Mytek The Mighty but then I was never a particular fan of that one.....
Sadly the copyright to most if not all these characters is held by DC/Warner Brothers so these probably won't see the light of day for a while.
However Rebellion has plenty of other goodies from the wonderful world of British comics to re-release and re-imagine.
Vampirella was the final "core" title of Warren Publishing released in 1969 and whilst horror orientated was to become something a little different to Creepy or Eerie. Vampirella was the name of the host who was to morph into a super-heroine that still gets published today!
Some years back I obtained a reprint of the first issue which is ferreted away somewhere but couldn't resist picking up a reasonably priced copy of the second issue. Vampi isn't quite herself yet so to speak. In this issue she's very the host but a bit more involved than Uncle Creepy or Cousin Eerie.
There are no less than seven stories in this excellent issue from a variety of writers and artists kicking off with Evily supposedly Vampirella's evil cousin who gets her comeuppance at the hands of our heroine. Not sure if she ever got her revenge.
Montezuma's Monster follows up with Vampi introducing the story in traditional Aztec dress or at least what the artist thought a native woman would be wearing. An average tale of greed and a well deserved fate.
Down to Earth featuring Vampi as the central character is up next and not all goes well in her search for stardom.
Queen of Horror follows on and although the reader should have seen the inevitable twist coming this is a great story.
The Octopus is one of those house oddities produced by Warren writers and sees how a father protects his children even after death. Still not sure how the evil uncle turned into a giant octopus but this is a supernatural tale is it not....
A tragic tale of a love that should not exist is the theme of One Two, Three and a sad ending it has to. My favourite story from this issue.
And finally hidden behind more than a few ad pages is the inevitable vampire tale Rhapsody in Red, though the Countess didn't count on this outcome!
Terrific stuff that would lead to a run totalling 113 issues before Warren closed up shop.
Sunday, 6 August 2017
The Phantom #1 (Hermes Press)
Ian Herman & Ron Goulart (w) Sean Joyce (a)
John F Kennedy, a PT boat meets Kit Walker (The Phantom) during World war Two in the Pacific campaign against the Japanese. In 1962 Kennedy is now President and needs the assistance of The Phantom to rescue two astronauts who have been taking photos of Russian nuclear missile positions from space before they are captured by the KGB.
Pure "pulp" adventure involving secret agents, a glamourous female spy, the Phantom and his wolf plus the Singh Brotherhood takes place in Bangalla.
Who will find the astronauts first? Who will live and who will die? This mini-series from Hermes Press is set to be a good read. Pity it's bi-monthly.
My one criticism (if you're reading this guys) is the font size. Even with my new glasses the print is too small. Remember your older readers. Please!
Alternative cover and future cover for issue #2.
Saturday, 5 August 2017
Lark's Killer #1 (Devil's Due/1First Comics)
Bill Willingham (w) Mark Dos Santos (a)
A new series from the creator of Fables hit stores today in an oversized edition with multiple covers which seem to be becoming all the rage once again. For me however one is enough because it's the content that counts and this one does not disappoint.
Unusually this story begins a hundred years after Lark was around as a family of treasure hunters seek riches in a dungeon protected by "guardians". Using a magic box they find the hidden chamber and to their surprise.....
Lark is a street runaway from "our world" in modern LA who finds herself in the Kingdom of Vess being pursued by thugs intent on killing her just like "the others". hellhounds, mercenaries and magic this isn't going to be easy for poor old Lark.
But what is her destiny?
Thirty-three pages of solid entertainment. Pick up a copy now.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
The latest edition of Previews, the comic shop catalogue has hit the stores and in the first of what I hope will be a regular feature on Howie's World of Comics are my pick of new comics for the month.
Whilst DC has a major event going on with Metal, there was one crossover that was launched last month that got little fanfare but caught my attention as it brings together two of my all-time favourite characters Wonder Woman & Conan. The second issue is solicited this month so be nice to your retailer when you back order the first issue.
Meanwhile DC starts another crossover this time with Archie Comics as Poison Ivy enlists Harley Quinn to help kidnap Veronica. Oh boy that's just gotta be worth picking up.
Both Wonder Woman/Conan and Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica are 6 issue mini-series.
Plus for Halloween there is the one-shot 80 page special; The DC House of Horror #1
Dynamite team up Vampirella & Hack/Slash in a five issue mini-series. Whilst I collect most Vampi comics, it's been a while since I've picked up Hack/Slash who co-incidentally also have a new on-going series launched over at Image Comics this month.
But lets not forget the British publishers. First off Rebellion launches the new Scream & Misty Halloween Special which I highlighted a few days ago whilst Titan brings Dan Dare back in a new four issue mini-series.
In an unexpected turn Titan have also picked up the rights to the Fighting American a hero from the fifties that fought commies and was a little reminiscent of a certain Marvel character and was created by the same people Joe Simon & Jack Kirby. Titan offer not just a trade paperback reprinting the complete adventures from the fifties but a new monthly series which continues the adventures of the Fighting American & Speedboy in the present day after they suddenly find themselves transported to the future.... Sounds promising.
All these titles will arrive in comic shops October 2017