Sunday, 26 April 2015
Ghosts #97 (DC Comics)
Writers & Artists (v)
Ghosts was a fairly long running title published by DC comics from the seventies to it's final issue in 1982. Not one of DC's better "horror" books (in my opinion) but one that was worth occasionally worth dipping into.
This issue from February 1981 is notable only for it's short story featuring Dr 13: The Ghostbreaker vs The Spectre, one of my all time favourite DC "superheroes" who I fondly remember from his short lived solo series back in the sixties.
The story is serviceable as is the rather mundane art. This title was used for lesser known artists and writer to give them a try out but with the Spectre still in his Jim Corrigan incarnation, the feature is worth a brief read.
The other three stories are the usual ghostly affair and soon forgotten. There have been better issues.
The Spectre reappears in the following issue.
Frankly The Spectre deserved better!
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Astonishing Tales #5 (Marvel Comics)
Kar-Zar: Gerry Conway (w) Barry Smith (a), Doctor Doom: Larry Leiber (w) George Tuska (a)
Astonishing Tales was an attempt by Marvel Comics to revive their "double feature" comics that had been at the centre of their success back in the sixties.
Launched in late 1970, this title featured two characters, Ka-Zar, Marvel's version of Tarzan but with dinosaurs in the hidden land which is a jungle in Antarctica. Don't ask. The second feature was the nefarious villain Doctor Doom.
This issue featured the end of Ka-Zar's "Petrified Man" story line complete with a treacherous High Priestess, a monstrous guardian and of course the tragic "villain" of the piece the immortal nameless one.
Fairly standard fair for a story set in the Savage Land and popular enough for Ka-Zar to go on and become the only feature in the book from #9 to #20.
Meanwhile Doctor Doom has been trying to have a bit of fun in the French Rivera but got bored so off he sets to his home nation of Latveria.
Not all is well.
The Red Skull has taken over in Dooms absence, hoping to use the small European nation as a base from which to build the Fourth Reich.
Doesn't last long though as Doom easily overcomes the Skulls useless Nazi minions in just a few pages.
Doom goes on to star in Super-Villain Team up.
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War (IDW/DC)
Mike Johnson (w) Angel Hernadez (a)
Two fan favourite frnachise combine this July thanks to IDW's continuing Star Trek crossover programme and what a choice, Green Lantern!
Two highly compatible science fiction franchises in one adventure.
The solicitation reads:
Set in Star Trek’s 23rd Century, the balance of the universe will be tested when the Green Lantern Corps’ Power Rings come into the possession of certain Star Trek characters while a dark and powerful evil looms around every corner. Only the combined power of the Green Lantern Corp and the Federation stand any chance of stopping those who worship evil’s might.
Available for order from Previews for July release.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
The Incredible Hulk #184 (Marvel Comics)
Len Wein (w) Herb Trimpe (a)
This issue of The Incredible Hulk was drawn by the late Herb Trimpe who was considered to be the Hulk artist by most fans. Herb certainly does evoke the image I will always remember from reading the Hulk when I were a lad.
This issue published in 1975, the year after I left school sees the Hulk fight his own shadow literally!
Utilising some defeated aliens from an old horror comic they had recently republished in Where Monsters Dwell #31, (originally from Strange Tales #79) the Hulk finds his shadow develops a life of it's own controlled by the warlord Kaa.
"Hulk never gives up alien..never! Now give back Hulks shadow..or Hulk will crush you"
Never a good idea to piss off old greenskin!
And Kaa calls him a monster!
Needless to say Kaa gets his just deserts, though all does not end well for Bruce Banner as he regains his human form.
To be continued!
Sunday, 19 April 2015
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 (Archie Comics)
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (w) Robert Hack (a)
The second and somewhat delayed issue of Sabrina finally hit the stands this week and boy was it worth the wait! Chapter two introduces readers to the The Secret History of Madam Satan and to say this is somewhat of a departure from the "family friendly all ages" material that fans are used to seeing is an understatement.
A horrifying monstrosity stalks the woods towards the sleepy camp of some children where Madam Satan undergoes a transformation in which she steals a teenagers face leaving her victim with her own visage.
And off our intrepid evil witch goes to find the woman that left her jilted and torn apart by lions (I kid you not) but you'll need to read the issue to find out why.
After prevaricating about her form of revenge she discovers the existence of Sabrina.
Be afraid, be very afraid.....
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Back Issue #79 (Tomorrows Publishing)
One of the few remaining magazines about comics (due to the dawn of the Internet) is Back Issue magazine which features comics from the "Bronze Age and beyond", covering the seventies and eighties.
The latest issue covers the Charlton Action Heroes and in particular their resurrection by DC comics.
The opening article gives a short, but comprehensive history of the Charlton line from the time the publishers met in prison to the characters sale to DC for a mere $5,000,
As is now known Alan Moore wanted to use these characters for his now classic Watchmen series, but DC had other plans for them which included new adventures following the equally classic Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline that helped bring comics to the fore in the eighties.
The two main heroes covered in this issue of the journal are Blue Beetle and Captain Atom.
Both these comics are well worth collecting and I certainly enjoyed them. You should be able to pick up copies at quite reasonable prices from your local store.
Two other heroes appeared in mini series which are also covered in this issue but were less well received, not too keen on them myself if I'm honest. These were Peacemaker and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.
Is it me or does Peacemaker remind you of a Cyberman?
Of course you can't publish a magazine about the Charlton heroes without an article about the Watchmen and that actually rounds off the issue.
Back Issue magazine is published 8 times a year so watch out for themed issues in the Magazines section of Previews.
Friday, 17 April 2015
The Fox #1 (Dark Circle/Archie Comics)
Dean Haspiel & Mark Waid (w) Dean Haspiel (a)
The second of the new titles launched by Archie Comics under the Dark Circle imprint arrived in stores this week and a good read it turned out to be!
The Fox is not a character I have much knowledge of having only seen one black & white reprint in an old issue of Alan Class's Creepy Worlds anthology and the recent mini-series that predated the launch of Dark Circle which was a little bit weird to be honest.
This issue however shows a promising start to a quite stylised Fox and features Paul Patten showing his son around the soon to be drowned by a reservoir home town that he grew up in.
All is not well as someone from his past is trying to stop the destruction. Fortunately for The Fox his son is well aware of his costumed identity so joining the fight does not pose a "Clark Kent" moment.
Not that his mask fools his sorceress opponent, the first girl he ever kissed when he was 12. Ahh, young love never dies.
Oh did I mention poisonous fungus!
Pick up a copy and place a regular order at your local comic book store now. It's going to be a fun ride!
Here's a sneak peek....