Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Thing #36 (Marvel/1986)

The Thing #36 (Marvel)

Mike Carlin (w) Paul Neary/Sam Delarosa (a)

Picking up a back issue at random is a habit of mine, just ask the guys at 30th Century comics! Sometimes it's the cover, sometimes the story or artist. Mostly it really is a spot decision to pick up a comic and this was no exception. It's taken me a while to get around to reading this but this issue turns out to be the last of The Things first "solo" series.

Starring the ever-lovin' Benjamin Grimm, this story revolves around some wrestling saga with which I am not at all familiar and guest stars the She-Hulk and a Ms Marvel but not one I'm familiar with. In fact this ones a glorified wrestler herself from the look of it and premiered in the previous issue.

There's the inevitable good guys punch up or in this case good gals as She Hulk and Ms Marvel slug it out whilst Ben lies ill in hospital. This story does not end well with Ben buggering off into the sunset but true believers not only do we know he got better and returned to the Fantastic Four where he fights on today but this particular saga has an epilogue in West Coast Avengers #10.

I've never read a copy of West Coasts Avengers (so sue me already) and may or may not bother with that issue either even if I can find it.

No idea what happened to this "Ms Marvel" but Carol Danvers will always be my Ms Marvel anyhows!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Harley & Ivy meet Betty & Veronica TPB (DC)


Harley and Ivy meet Betty and Veronica (DC)

Paul Dini/MarcAndreyko (w) Laura Braga/Adriana Melo (a)

Sticking to the theme of inter-company mash-ups Archie and DC Comics got together to produce a charming meeting between the worlds of Gotham and Riverdale.  Harley & Ivy go all "swampy" and head to Riverdale to save the local swamp from a spurious and environmentally damaging building project being undertaken by Hiram Lodge.

The ideal opportunity arises for Holly & Ivy as the Lodges hold a costume party for Veronica and her friends as part of the launch. Enter Catwoman who Archie hits on and and the magic act just happens to be Zatanna of the Justice League. Throw in Sabrina and things all get a little, shall we say messy.

Harley & Ivy are being hunted down by Gotham's B-list gangsters and Reggie goes all Joker on everyone. Confused pick up this volume collecting all six issues of the mini-series. It's full of fun and surprises and is pure escapism!

More Archie/DC crossovers please!



Saturday, 12 October 2019

Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB (Dynamite)

Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB (Dynamite)

Tim Seeley (w) Rapha (a)

Regular readers will know I'm a great fan of inter-company crossovers they usually make for interesting and sometimes highly entertaining stories. This collection of the five issue mini-series from Dynamite is an oddity in itself. Chaos Comics went under in 2002! Their main character Lady Death remains owned by her creator Brian Pulido, briefly re-appearing under the also defunct Crossgen label but continues to be published by Coffin Comics. Pulido's latest enterprise.

Dynamite grabbed the licence to publish these characters (heroes is really not the right word except for Chastity) who were if I recall correctly were revived by Devils Due another company that's had it's ups and downs.

In many ways I had thought this line had run out of steam to be honest with only Chastity having any life left in comics and currently has her second series coming out from Dynamite. I did pick up a collected edition of the introductory series which was a bit "meh" to be honest and other than Chastity have ignored Dynamites Chaos output until now though I missed the Alice Cooper crossover which may have been amusing...

The main problem with this current revival for me is that Evil Ernie isn't evil enough and Lady Hel is no replacement for Lady Death. I found the story hard going and confusing. I have read several Hack/Slash comics some of which are good I have to say but like the Chaos characters have their limits. The art was a little disappointing and lacked the epic scope needed for a story around a war with the Devil himself.

Personally I think Dynamite should cut it's losses and concentrate on Chastity, though Purgatori being such a duplicitous bitch may prove a good opponent for Vampirella.

Chastity could do with some exposure via Vampirella. Just saying....

As they used to say in our school reports "could do better".


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Justice League Trade Paperback Vol #3 (DC)

Justice League TPB Vol #3 (DC)

Scot Snyder & James Tynion IV (w) Various (a)

Having been out of touch with the DC universe for a while it was grabbing a copy of this collection of issues of Justice League (#13 - 18 plus Annual #1) as it gives one a sort of overview of what's been going on . There's Lex Luthor's "Legion of Doom", the Joker, Brainiac up agianst the Justice League, the Green Lantern Corps and the New Gods. Throw in secret vaults on the Planet Thanagar and you have one hell of an epic.

It seems Luthor wants to revive some being called Perpetua who is imprisoned behind the Source Wall which if successful dooms the entire universe though Luthor thinks he can gain out of this.  And what part does the eighties hero Starman play in all this?

Legends and mind trips, battles and the falling apart of alliances make this a grand cosmic story that motivated me to order the next volume out in November.

The DC universe will never be the same again and again and ..... that's why I like DC, ever changing, ever developing in crisis after crisis and I haven't even got to the Doomsday Clock yet. Watch this space, just got the first volume.

In the meantime start catching up with DC in this fast paced and intriguing volume!

And place an order for the next volume.......

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Our Fighting Forces #138 (DC/1972)

Our Fighting Forces #138 (DC)

Various (w) & (a), Joe Kubert (cover)

Grabbed an unread back issue at random whilst my cake was in the oven this afternoon (yeah really, cooling as I type) which turned out to bis little gem I purchased a while back. This comic was part of a whole range of war comics produced by DC at the time and from the days when various genres including horror, mystery and love anthologies were still on the stands.

The Losers were the main feature in this period a "ragbag group of DC characters like Captain Storm (presumed dead in this issue), Johnny Cloud an air ace along with Gunner and Sarge. Not sure of the origins of the last two maybe a more knowledgeable reader can enlighten me!

Talking of enlightenment one reader complained in his letter about not just the "death" of captain Storm but the fact (shock horror) he had been replaced by ...woman! This was the seventies but even so it should have been common knowledge that women played a brave an active role across all theatres of war, especially in occupied Europe.

Now I'm not particularly "woke" as the young generation refer to these days but women have played major roles throughout history in military affairs and every other field of human endeavour.

As for the main story pretty average set in the North Sea during the Blitz looking for a mystery raider. The rest of the book is mildly entertaining and the last story very "American" for want of a better expression.

This comic is really for the fans of the genre. I bought it mainly because of the Joe Kubert cover. I love his art.

Oh and later issues show Capt Storm seemed to get better!


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Chastity #1 (Dynamite)

When I returned from a break collecting comics around 1998/9 I came across a lot of unfamiliar stuff including the world of Chaos comics which I did buy into for a while. I even took an interest in the rebooted Lady Death at the ill-fated Crossgen line. But of all their characters only Chastity the reluctant punk vampire attracted my reader loyalty.

It was probably the more down to earth stories that I found interesting (fascinating as the rest of the output by Chaos could be. And this latest outing, the second from Dynamite seems to be in this vein as a search for a job turns into something unexpected.

Oh and she goes around killing vampires.....

Worth tracking down Chaos back issues. They should at reasonable prices in back issue bins:

Chastity: Lust For Life Chastity: Rocked

Chastity: Theatre of Pain

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Previews Picks October 2019


It's that time of month again as we delve into the pages of previews the comic shops catalogue to see what takes our fancy for items coming out in December. Of course it's all a bit like being in a sweet shop we want it all (or lots of it) if we are honest but that's not possible as budgets are limited and there just isn't enough time to read it all!

One other problem is the weakness of the pound which means comics are very nearly the same price in dollars as they are in pounds. Rickety old pensioners like me have to be careful. My wants are bigger than my means so what's caught my attention this month?


From DC comes yet another "Black Label" item, Wonder Woman; Dead Earth. I no longer buy the monthly adventures and miss the Amazon Princess so this four issue mini series is a great chance to see Diana in action again.  According to the solicitation:-

When Wonder Woman awakens from a centuries-long sleep to discover the Earth reduced to a nuclear wasteland, she knows she failed. Trapped alone in a grim future, Diana must protect the last human city from titanic monsters while uncovering its secret of this dead Earth-and how she may be responsible for it.

Good enough for me and will be joining The Inferior Five (two issues this month),  The Legion of Superheroes, John Constantine: Hellblazer and Superman on my pull list. Brian Michael Bendis starts Superman this month. Worth a try I thought!


Next up is Marvel which is really taking advantage of it's renewed Conan licence and being a fan I've ordered them all including the first two issues of Conan Serpent War


Along with the Conan titles The Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy make it to my pull list this month though Guardians gets dropped after this storyline for economy reasons. Don't stop reading it on my account...


Dynamite are stretching my budget with their ever expanding range of Vampirella and Red Sonja related titles. The six issue crossover with Archie sees their adventures with Betty and Veronica continue with #7. Sigh I'm a sucker for these ladies. There is also a reprint of Vampirella #2 the Warren edition from 1969 which I'm picking up.

So these join Vampirella, Vengeance of Vampirella, Red Sonja/Vampirella, Red Sonja and Chastity on my Dynamite order this month!


One last vampire joins my order this month, Vampironica from Archies  wonderful Horror line.  Great stuff!

Other comics I chose this month were from IDW Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek Year Five!

Go where no man has gone before with the original crew of the Starship Enterprise. What's not to like.