2021 Comic Reading Challenge

Dude, do you sub to SHUDDER?

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Sorry I didn’t get to any Aquaman, but I did have a good time mixing in some more '70s Batman this time.

But yeesh, I got wordy here. Should’ve broken this up into one or two posts at a time just to cut down on the wall-of-text factor, but I guess it’s done now.

Batman: The Dark Knight: 16 issues from 2013
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz (12 issues), Gail Simone (Ventriloquist Villains Month oneshot), Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (Mister Freeze Villains Month oneshot), John Layman (Clayface Villains Month oneshot), Ann Nocenti (Joker’s Daughter Villains Month oneshot)
Aw, crap, I forgot I was backing up to before Damian was gone. Gotta put up with him a little more.

Anyway, Batman putting a grapnel hook through the Scarecrow’s jaw is… a lot. I mean… again with the facial mutilation! What do you have against faces, DC?

I was going to make a joke about how Natalya’s only two character traits are “Ukrainian” and “pianist,” but then I remembered that “Natalya” is the Russian spelling of the name. “Natalia” is Ukrainian. I know this because I have made fun of Marvel for the opposite error as part of the surprisingly long list of reasons Black Widow’s name makes no sense. I think the different Romanizations are because it’s pronounced differently? Natalya with three syllables and Natalia with four?

Anyway, between Bane’s Villains Month oneshot and this, just killing nearby people at random intervals for little to no reason seems to be the new face removal among Batman villains.

So the Mad Hatter’s new origin is that some random doctor (not, like, an evil super-scientist doctor, just a completely normal doctor) gave him an untested drug with dangerous psychological side effects for no particular reason? That’s… new.

Please fasten your seatbelts and place your tray tables in the upright position, we seem to have entered a coincidence storm. Bruce happens to spend the night with Natalya (who inexplicably came to the conclusion that he’s Batman on no evidence whatsoever, so it’s OK for them to date now, I guess?) as he’s close to resolving the Mad Hatter case, they happen to oversleep so she’s late for her performance, he happens to decide it’s a good idea to fly her there in the Batplane, one of Tetch’s mind-controlled henchmen happens to be there (and happens to be wearing a baseball cap in the middle of symphony hall), and the Hatter happens to decide Natalya would make a good Alice at one look despite her not fitting the physical profile at all.

And apparently, the Bat-Signal is the new refrigerator. This was fairly inevitable, but why’d you bother wasting my time with this character?

OK, so we had the grapnel line through Scarecrow’s jaw, then the gory detail about the injury to Tweedle… Dum’s jaw? Dee? One of the two, and anyway, it gets rather graphically dislocated again. What does Hurwitz have against jaws?

I’ll save you all some time reading my ranting and say the Villains Month oneshots all suck.

Anyway, a few stray positives:

First, bad villain takes, good Bruce take. Ish. I appreciate the sense of humor, if not the deploying of the usual array of ineffective tactics to get me to care about the Forgettable Civilian Love Interest™. Nobody ever tries just not making them forgettable.

Annual #1 is… strangely… really good. If it weren’t using the same overwrought backstories for Scarecrow and the Mad Hatter as the rest of the series, I wouldn’t believe it was from the same writer. It’s just a clever, non-gory oneshot.
1,553.


Detective Comics: 6 issues from 1974
Writers: Archie Goodwin (5 main Batman stories, 5 Manhunter backups), Steve Englehart (1 main Batman story), Gardner Fox (2 Atom reprints, 3 Hawkman reprints, 1 Green Lantern reprint, 2 Doctor Fate reprints, 2 Batman reprints, 2 Elongated Man reprints), Bill Finger (3 Batman reprints), Robert Kanigher (1 Hawkman reprint, 2 Green Lantern reprints, 1 Black Canary reprint), Joe Millard (1 Kid Eternity reprint, 1 Plastic Man reprint), Joe Simon & Jack Kirby (1 Manhunter reprint, 1 Newsboy Legion reprint), William Woolfolk (1 Doll Man reprint, 1 Ibis the Invincible reprint) Bob Haney (1 Eclipso reprint), Paul Gustavson (1 Alias the Spider reprint) Joseph Samachson (2 Batman reprints), Jerry Siegel (1 Spectre reprint), Steve Ditko & Don Segall (1 Creeper reprint)
OK, this is a lot to cover because I’m getting into the era when every issue was padded out to a hundred pages with reprints circa the DC Implosion. (Well, eighty, but given the giant “100 PAGES” on the covers, I assume the ads made it add up to a hundred.)

To put it a different way… SO. MUCH. GARDNER. FOX.

HELP.

Not that many issues (a surprising number of these Silver and early Bronze Age books were on two-month schedules) and there are a lot of different things going on in each of them, so I went a little overboard with story-by-story breakdowns.

The short version is that I liked most of the new stories. A couple of Goodwin’s Batman stories fell a little flat, but they weren’t bad, the others were good, and I liked the Manhunter backup too.

A few of the reprints were interesting as historical curiosities, but at most one or two of them were all that engaging beyond that.

#438: A Monster Stalks Wayne Manor!

Pretty sure I’ve already read this one for some reason, so I’ll admit to skimming a bit.

New
Batman: A Monster Stalks Wayne Manor!
Archie Goodwin
This has a clever mystery and follows up well on Denny O’Neil’s work (RIP Ubu, though).

Manhunter: The Manhunter File
Archie Goodwin
This is mostly just shamelessly hyping the new(-ish) Manhunter up as a badass, but you know what, I’m kinda hyped.

Reprints
The Atom: World of the Magic Atom!
Gardner Fox
This is from Zatanna’s Search, which has the distinction of being the first comic crossover (in the sense of a single continuous story covering multiple titles), and that makes it sort of interesting even if it does suffer from that Fox dialogue.

Hawkman: The Men Who Moved the World
Gardner Fox
This certainly exists.

Batman: Gotham Gang Line-Up!
Bill Finger
This is well-written and surprisingly complex for a ‘60s story, though the decision to kill off Alfred was as baffling then as when Tom King did it more recently. Also, inflicting Aunt Harriet on the comics is inexcusable.

Green Lantern: The House That Fought Green Lantern
Gardner Fox
The Green Lantern one just highlights how Silver Age Hal was… kind of a doofus. The teaser at the beginning has him being menaced by a table.

#439: Night of the Stalker

New
Batman: Night of the Stalker!
Steve Englehart
Huh. Didn’t know Englehart already did some Tec stories before the Englehart run. And like that run, and oddly unlike anything else Englehart ever did, the main story is good. Check that Yale Law School diploma on Bruce’s wall at the end, though. For the record, though? Bullcrap; no way he went to law school in addition to all his other training, especially not one of the big three.

Manhunter: The Resurrection of Paul Kirk
Archie Goodwin
Manhunter is still interesting, though I’m beginning to question why the Council chose Paul Kirk when their enforcer could’ve been anyone. It’s not like they needed his skills specifically; they had to train him a bunch anyway.

(Through further research, I discovered that apparently Goodwin decided he didn’t have room in an eight-page feature to introduce a legacy character, though it seems to me that explaining how Paul Kirk is still alive and young took more time than a new character would have.)

Reprints
Hawkman: The Riddle of the Crown
Robert Kanigher
Those French accents sure are something. Also, putting a Golden Age Hawkman story in the issue right after a Silver Age one? Were you trying to confuse the poor readers? I like the ambiguity about whether “the Ghost” (Gentleman Ghost was apparently not always called that) is an actual ghost or not.

The Atom: The Gold-Hunters of ’49!
Gardner Fox
I don’t-

But that’s-

But-

He-

That isn’t-

What?

Doctor Fate: The Leopard Girl
Gardner Fox again
Fox is quite confident that a “leopard girl” is a specific type of folkloric monster and announces lots of rules of how they work, but I’ve literally never heard of this and can’t find any other information on it.

Batman: Batman’s Bewitched Nightmare!
Guess who? Gardner Fox, this one’s by Gardner Fox.
This story is from the amazingly baffling “Outsider” era, but is otherwise unremarkable (though Fox’s inconsistency about whether magic does or does not exist is very funny).

Elongated Man: The Tantalizing Troubles of the Tripod Thieves!
Rendrag Xof
Hm… I’m guessing the Outsider and Zatanna’s Search stuff may be alternating between Tec and Batman, since I seem to be seeing every other issue from each (the Atom story from the last issue followed one involving Hawkman, and the Elongated Man story here mentions that she encountered Green Lantern as well). I don’t care enough to alternate, but it’s an odd choice.

Kid Eternity: The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them!
Joe Millard
Everybody is surprisingly blasé about the sudden appearances of numerous ghosts.

#440: Ghost Mountain Midnight

New
Batman: Ghost Mountain Midnight
Archie Goodwin
Hm… I don’t have a ton of patience for the “evil redneck cult” trope. (I come from a distinguished line of rednecks on my mother’s side, and only some of them are evil and nearly none of them are in cults.) It just feels like a lot of writers are happy to indulge in very bitter stereotyping that they wouldn’t dare level at any other group of people. And I don’t know, the story is fine. I don’t dislike it. This just nags at me a little.

Manhunter: Rebellion!
Archie Goodwin
This remains interesting, but I don’t have as much to say about this chapter.

Reprints
Manhunter: Cobras of the Deep!
Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
This is Simon and Kirby, and that’s all you need to know.

Hawkman: The Fear That Haunted Hawkman
gArDnEr FoX
This is Gardner Fox, and that’s also all you need to know, in a different way.

Doll Man: A Million-Dollar Corpse!
William Woolfolk
The Doll Man reprint is- wait, Doll Man? Someone (other than me) cares enough about Doll Man to reprint him?! And it’s… actually pretty good. This only feeds my mild Freedom Fighters obsession. The Undertaker is even a pretty interesting villain. Like a proto-Black Hand.

Green Lantern: Too Many Suspects!
Robert Kanigher
Interesting and vaguely amusing that they don’t even call out that the Green Lantern story is Alan Scott and not Hal Jordan. They seem to just kinda assume the reader will figure it out.

Batman: The Inside Story of the Outsider!
Guy Gardner. What? Oh, sorry, Gardner Fox.
This is still so strange; it’s like a story idea that escaped from the ‘90s. Even the name feels like an obvious spin on, y’know, the Outsiders, but predates them by almost twenty years.

#441: Judgment Day

Hey, a whole issue with no Fox.

New
Batman: Judgment Day
Archie Goodwin
Hm… I want to like this (especially since the ‘70s are still better at disabilities than the 2010s- OK, OK, I’ll stop), but why was Melissa there if she didn’t want to be involved in the scheme? And her death comes out of nowhere. The ironic justice for the Judge makes sense, but it’s kind of unsatisfying when she didn’t do anything wrong and you’d think he wouldn’t leave her in harm’s way.

Manhunter: Cathedral Perilous
Archie Goodwin
Amazing. Bang! Bang!

Reprints
Plastic Man: Woozy Winks – Wanted for Murder!
Joe Millard
The Plastic Man story is reasonably entertaining, though how unconcerned all the characters are about the guy who tried to kill himself is about twenty-seven different kinds of horrifyingly uncomfortable in light of how Jack Cole (who created Plastic Man and did the art on this story) died.

Batman: The Case of the Prophetic Pictures
Bill Finger
This is a nice early Bill Finger Batman story. They’re nothing complex but I like them.

Ibis the Invincible: (Are we even allowed to use this word?), God of Destruction
William Woolfolk
This is… all I’ll say is while it’s not the story’s fault, I’m surprised they reprinted it because hindsight did a number on it.

Eclipso: The Two Faces of Doom
Bob Haney
The Eclipso story is unremarkable, which makes it handily the best Eclipso story I’ve ever seen.

Alias the Spider: The Secret of Mouse Malone
Paul Gustavson
Well, I guess that was sort of interesting.

Batman: The Carbon Copy Crimes
Bill Finger
… Well, at least Finger is honest about the fact that he wrote the same story twice. Also, following that Plastic Man story with two separate Batman stories which both end with the villains shooting themselves in the head is, well, triply uncomfortable.

#442: Death Flies the Haunted Sky!

New
Batman: Death Flies the Haunted Sky!
Archie Goodwin
This was decent, though it seems like it’s deploying a bunch of whodunnit tropes, except there’s no real question or investigation, and the final twist is pretty obvious.

Manhunter: To Duel the Master
Archie Goodwin
You know, I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that they’ve stuck a wartime Simon & Kirby creation in stasis to get him to the present day to fight terrorist secret societies. Guys, this is just Captain America.

Reprints
Newsboy Legion: The House Where Time Stood Still
Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
There’s something sort of disconcerting in seeing ‘40s!Kirby shaking his finger at pacifists. And another odd choice for a reprint. This is one of those “the whole thing is an ad for war bonds” comics, but, like, are people in the ‘70s gonna go buy war bonds?

Hawkman: The Magic Mirror Mystery!
Fardner Gox
Wait. Wait a minute. So, this is a locked-room mystery where emeralds that have been untouched in a room for ten years are missing when the room is opened. It turns out that the culprit pre-swapped the real emeralds with fake ones that would dissolve. Except… why the dissolving part? Why not just… normal fake emeralds? The culprit is the guy who was supposed to inherit them when the room was opened anyway. So if he used fakes that wouldn’t dissolve, he gets to have his payoff immediately, and a chance that no one would realize there had even been a theft if he just takes the fakes. There was a jeweler there to buy them, but he clearly did not plan to make a sale because there was nothing left to sell in the plan as executed, so he could have just said he wanted to keep them and not had the jeweler there at all.

Black Canary: The Huntress of the Highway
Robert Kanigher

does this count as a birds of prey story

Elongated Man: The Robbery That Never Happened!
Gaaaaaaaardneeeeeeer Foooooooox
See, I elongated his name- Ahem, anyway, this is fine.

Batman: Vanishing Village
Joseph Samachson
So… why did they bother vanishing the village?

Doctor Fate: Murders in Baranga Marsh
Sorcerer Fox
Hey! What did that poor cat do to deserve getting killed?

Doctor Fate is a monster.

#443: Gotterdammerung

New
Batman/Manhunter: Gotterdammerung
Archie Goodwin
Batman’s involvement was rather abrupt, but I liked that the Manhunter arc got a full story’s space to conclude.

Reprints
The Spectre: Dr. Mephisto
Jerry Siegel
Hey, check the Spectre being referred to as “the Dark Knight” before it was cool. This is actually pretty bad; the Spectre is basically treated like any normal superhero, just… completely invincible.

Green Lantern: The End of Sports
Robert Kanigher
Sportsmaster’s alias is so sad I legitimately thought they were just misspelling his name the whole time.

Especially since his organization (of which we never see any other members) seems to have changed their name from the “Crime Syndicate of Sports” to the “Sports Syndicate of Crime” between pages.

The Creeper: The Coming of the Creeper!
Steve Ditko & Don Segall
Weird seeing the Creeper be played pretty much seriously. I mean, he’s got one-liners and acknowledges how ridiculous his outfit is, but the story itself isn’t really trying to be funny.

Batman: The Secret of Hunter’s Inn!
Joseph Samachson
Once upon a time, Tweedledee and Tweedledum were actually a relevant threat on their own instead of the Mad Hatter’s henchmen…

And check out pre-mustache Alfred, too.

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Batman and Red Robin/Batman and Red Hood/Batman and Batgirl/Batman and Catwoman/Batman and Nightwing/Batman and Two-Face: 10 issues from 2013
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi (6 issues, Two-Face Villains Month oneshot), James Tynion IV (Court of Owls Villains Month oneshot, Ra’s al Ghul Villains Month oneshot), Tim Seeley (Killer Croc Villains Month oneshot)
If there’s one thing I just love more than trying to make Kingdom Come canon, it’s trying to make Dark Knight Returns canon.

In any case, I just do not care about anything that’s going on here. Bruce is being a jerk (a dead horse which has been ground into a fine paste over decades of repeated and unnecessary beatings) over something that I’m frankly glad happened, so if I feel bad for anyone, it’s all the various ancillary characters who are trying to convince him to get the hell over himself. They suck at it, though, so that evaporates reasonably quickly. And they’re all still salty about the non-reveal that the Joker almost but didn’t really know anybody’s identity in Death of the Family, which is annoying.

It goes on forever, too. Just issue after issue of Tomasi throwing a tantrum that his Gary Stu is dead. It takes Bruce—and this is Bruce Wayne, the G.D. Batman®, we’re talking about here—like five issues to come up with the idea of remembering his deceased loved one by fighting injustice.

On the Villains Month front, the Two-Face oneshot is adorable because it almost understands the legal references it’s making.

Back to the… main plot, if it can be called a plot, what’s the deal with replacing Sal Maroni? This book is trying way too hard to get me to think this new McKillen person (subtle naming) is a badass and I’m inclined to disagree on principle. Did the one who burned Harvey Dent’s face need to be an over-the-top supervillain in her own right?

And oh, hell, she even killed Gilda? Why? Did you just have to retcon out The Long Halloween because it was too good?
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Batman: 2 issues from 1974
Writers: Len Wein (1 main story), Denny O’Neil (1 main story), Martin Pasko (1 new backup) Bill Finger (4 reprints), Alvin Schwartz (1 reprint), Gardner Fox (2 reprints), Ed Herron (1 reprint), Don Cameron (1 reprint), Edmond Hamilton (1 reprint)
More hundred-page giants, but like none of Batman from the ‘70s is digitized (again, odd given that Detective Comics is pretty thorough), so only two of them for this year.

#255: Moon of the Wolf

New
Batman: Moon of the Wolf
Len Wein
You know, Batman jumps to the conclusion that the thief is a real werewolf really fast.

Reprints
The First Batman
Bill Finger
There are so many later writers who are inexplicably fascinated with this story, and it’s just… not good. I mean, as Golden and early Silver Age writers go, Finger is usually reasonably good. I’m not saying it’s hard to read from panel to panel like a Gardner Fox issue. It’s just… not a good idea.

I mean… none of it is a good idea. Not Thomas Wayne having started the bat costume thing, not the costume itself, not the flashback story, not the Waynes’ death being a mob hit, none of it. And modern writers keep referencing it.

The Duped Domestics!
Alvin Schwartz
What am I reading

The True False-Face of Batman!
Garter Box
So, let me get this straight. Batman knows some criminals have planted a listening device on Batgirl. He needs to indicate this fact to her so they can set the criminals up. There are no criminals in the immediate vicinity; they just have the listening device.

Now, let me stop right here. Suppose you’re Batman. How do you pull this off? If you said “Just write it on a freaking piece of paper, you idiot,” you are clearly just not as smart as Batman.

Apparently, the best way to pull this off is to (and I don’t know when you’ll have time to do this) apply traces of makeup and hair dye and then take your mask off, thereby leading her to assume that you are not Bruce Wayne but have, for some reason, made yourself up to look like Bruce Wayne (which you didn’t actually do because you already look like Bruce Wayne because you are Bruce Wayne). From this sequence, she is apparently supposed to deduce that something is wrong, which somehow leads her to play along without saying anything as you set a trap for the criminals.

You know, the sensible route.

Crazy-Quilt Comes Back!
Ed Herron
OK, this guy might actually be the most pathetic villain. Looks like we found him, guys.

The Outsider Strikes Again!
Weirdly, Scott Snyder- wait, no, sorry, it’s Gardner Fox again
These are so boring.

#256: Catwoman’s Circus Caper!

New
Catwoman’s Circus Caper!
Denny O’Neil
I imagine the twist would be a lot more surprising without 40+ years of subsequent characterization making it pretty unlikely Catwoman would be the killer. Anyway, not the best O’Neil Batman story, but that’s a high bar.

(Venom, for the record, but limiting it to the ‘70s, I might say The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge.)

If Bruce Wayne Had Not Become Batman
Martin Pasko
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be as funny as it is.

Reprints
Dinosaur Island!
Bill Finger
Wait a second, did Bill Finger just come up with Jurassic Park 47 years before Michael Crichton did?

The Penny Plunderers!
Bill Finger
The best villain

Brothers in Crime!
Don Cameron
This was solid.

The Thousand and One Trophies of Batman!
Edmond Hamilton
Doctor Doom? A crossover!

And were Batman and Robin just allowed to walk off with a genuine archaeological artifact?

Anyway, this is why you shouldn’t be a hoarder, kids.

The Secret of Batman Island!
Bill Finger
Mostly I just can’t believe I’ve never heard of Fatman before. That’s almost as good as Batman Jones.

1,571.

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Tellin ya, man, hit those HANEY BRAVE AND THE BOLD’s with the short-lived Bat-Bro. Anywhat, a quiet week here, taken over by prose and a family vacation. I havent seen ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD but the book was nice n breezy. To me, alot a new comics read like screenplays, like someone’s hoping like hell to get out of comics or be given a shot at the movies. Now what was funny about Quentin Tarantino’s book was it read like a full script for a comic, one of those ALAN MOORE full scripts that clock in at 70 typed pages for a 22 page funnybook. Any fan of ELMORE LEONARD would enjoy this as much as Tarantino enjoyed, ahem, “homaging” Mr Leonard. Comic-wise, the big stand out was FLASH ANNUAL 2021.A dash of old school flash-science nonsense, some wicked visuals, and a ton of heart putting WALLY back in the front, finally. It was a very quality over quantity week, all n all, and that’s always a welcomed occurrence.

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My reading plan is getting to be more and more of a mess. I do have reasons for my tangents, but they barely make sense even to me. That said, I actually want to add Green Lantern books to my sort of half-baked catchup run through the Batbooks. I would back up to GL: Rebirth, but I read that pretty recently. That leaves these for ‘05:

Green Lantern: 6 issues from 2005
Writer: Geoff Johns
I’ve read most of this series too, but it was a while ago. I recall liking it.

And… yeah, actually. Still good. Gotta love those vestigial Foxisms as they talk about Hector Hammond being “evolved.” It’s that weirdly specific belief that humans will eventually have giant bald heads again.
1,577.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge: 2 issues from 2005
Writers: Geoff Johns & Dave Gibbons
I have not read this, though. I think I was reading this stuff back when DCUI’s library was “curated,” so it’s possible it wasn’t there, but equally likely I was just clueless. Anyway, I recall being confused because there were a bunch of scenes I’d heard about that didn’t seem to be in the GLC ongoing, so finding them here is at least helpful. I guess the story’s interesting so far, but it’s hard to have detailed thoughts only two issues in.
1,579.

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Green Lantern: 9 issues from 2006 (and 2 from 2007 because I wasn’t paying attention)
Writer: Geoff Johns
After One Year Later, Johns spends a ton of issues just furiously retconning as many things as he can. It’s useful cleanup after Green Lantern continuity being a nonstop train wreck for eighteen years straight before he took over in ’04, it requires lots of awkward explanations.

Also, I have far less patience for Hank Henshaw now that I’ve seen so much of him in his natural habitat.

Hm. For good or ill, Johns does seem to be trying to at least tip his hat to a lot of previous eras. A lot of those previous eras are not good for one reason or another, but it’s more consideration than, say, Ron Marz showed.
1,590.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge: 3 issues from 2006
Writers: Geoff Johns & Dave Gibbons
Honor Lantern 507.1 reporting. I’m investigating a strange spatial phenomenon. According to witness reports, the planet Korugar seems to be rapidly warping between two locations several million lightyears apart, one in Sector 1417 and one in Sector 1471. I’ve yet to identify the source of the disturbance, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s because the editor is not paying attention. Knowing him, it’s probably because he’s busy trying to convince everyone that Damian Wayne is totally the most awesome dude ever and everyone should love him because he could beat up your dad in a fight.

No, seriously, it keeps switching. This is hilarious.

Anyway. This is actually good. He’s gone a little bland, but I’m even sort of liking Kyle, which is a big step up from Ron Marz.
1,593.

Sorry, sorry, I should stop taking every opportunity to dunk on-

Ion: 7 issues from 2006
Writer: Ron Marz
… Speak of the devil.

So, am I missing something here? Nothing seems to have happened to cause Kyle to become Ion, he just is from the start of this. Seriously, what am I missing?

And anyway, destroying populated planets is usually John Stewart’s job. Kyle moping about his dead girlfriends while billions are dying is pretty in-character, though.

You know, Alex Nero was no prize when he was responsible for his actions, but here he’s basically the victim. You’d think people would stop beating up on him when he’s helpless.

My life’s not exactly humdrum, but a huge guy in space armor appearing in the middle of my studio… a huge guy in space armor who knows my name… is a little out of the ordinary even for me.

Oh, please, Kyle, this happened like twenty times in your series.
1,600.

Green Lantern Corps: 5 issues from 2006
Writer: Dave Gibbons
Read this before, liked it then. Coming back after my other main experience with Gibbons’ writing being Rann-Thanagar War, I wasn’t really expecting to like it, but… it still holds up. The opening arc in particular is a favorite GL story of mine.
1,605.

Green Lantern: 6 issues from 1961
Writers: John Broome
You know what’s actually sort of fascinating in these Silver Age sci-fi stories? The fact that they still refer to any intelligent, roughly human-shaped aliens as humans. It’s just curious what kind of linguistic drift was in play to change that, since I don’t think that would, like, happen today.

Oh, huh, Hammond and the Inevitable Evolution to Giant Bald Heads™ was not a Foxism, this is still Broome. I guess I stand corrected.

I am also amused by this recurring idea of good and evil as objective, verifiable, and distinct states of mind which are treated as just sort of self-evident without a lot of elaboration as to what good or evil things the characters actually believe or want.

The Pol Manning stuff is, uh, truly something special.

However, the next issue sort of makes up for it by introducing Sinestro’s power ring, along with Hal’s brothers in what seems to be a Superman parody (where the mild-mannered, bespectacled, inconspicuous fellow the reporter is following is… actually not secretly a superhero at all).
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So awhile ago, the series RICHARD DRAGON KUNG-FU FIGHTER was to be here, but then wasnt. Yesterday, I found the HC at the library in all its completed wonder and----- it’s kinda crap. So far, at least, 4 issues in. Expectations were running high and it’s a total letdown, writing, art, all around. Issue 3 was drawn by KIRBY in what looked like two days, the other 3 issues were really bland and stiff, not good for a book based on fluid movements. The writing, again, bland,stiff. Character’s names would change, the main villian was called The Swiss(honest) because he’d poke holes in folks with his poison needles. Groan. The most interesting bits about all this were the parts I gonna need a wiki-search to explain. Richard Dragon originally began as a book by JIM DENNIS who wrote the first issue and was editor,maybe?, for the first 3 issues. His name pops up in the *footnotes. Hmmm? And how’d Kirby end up doin an issue? And the big question, is this the first time in a comics-code era book that male nipples were shown? It happens, issue one,page one, dudes as dudes and not Ken dolls. Hulk was nippleless, Conan, go look, because in the comic code era, male nipples were evil. And no one ever took a potty break. And sword could cut thru flesh but not clothing, like on that Miller issue of DAREDEVIL, the one with Elektra. For all it’s blandness, did RICHARD DRAGON KUNG-FU FIGHTER blaze new trails in male nipple acceptance? Anywhat, gonna keep reading on. I flipped thru the book, and at some point ol’ Rich punches a shark and I’m a totally sucker for any shark related nonsense. And that would make 2 weeks in a row that I’ve seen a dude KUNG-FU a shark. July’s been awesome. Later.

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Not at the moment. My movie collection is in the 1000s and I have been trying to get through those. However, I will get a hankering for Joe Bob and subscribe for a month or 2.

I also strongly suggest to subscribe to AMC+ via Amazon or Roku TV. It is $2 more but includes AMC, Shudder, Sundance, and IFC. You don’t get live programming but you get so much more!!!

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I live for the live Joe Bob Friday nights. Spend all day singin the theme song(albeit slighty butchered), driving my own non-mutant family up the walls!

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Well, RICHARD DRAGON KUNG-FU FIGHTER issues 5 and 6…still crap. Lazy crap, actually.First off, The BRONZE TIGER gets shot on issue 1, gets better, then gets shot again in issue 2 so hes pretty much out so far. LADY SHIVA pops in issue 5, but, man, it is not the Lady Shiva of today. And so far anyone that has met or encountered ol Rich has been an excuse to bust out into a lame-o fight scene. Security guards? Gotta fight. Pilots? Gotta fight. Dudes walkin down the street? Yep. There’s this set-up where ol Rich is doin missions for this organization called G.O.O.D. and they straight up say “NO ONE KNOWS WHAT G.O.O.D. STANDS FOR AND PERHAPS THEY NEVER WILL” .This is repeated and footnoted every issue! It just sounds cool, so it is. At least the plots are startin to go a little gonzo, atomic bombs dropped into volcanoes fished out by giant magnets that some bad dude named SLASH(honest) was usin to hijack passin planes, but thats all the good I have to type as of issue 6. This series is like a KUNG-FU flick for 12 year olds, edited for time, to be shown on Saturday afternoons.

4 Likes
March 2021
Justice League of America (2006) #47 1 3/1/2021 JSA Book Club
Justice Society of America (2006) #42 1 3/1/2021 JSA Book Club
Justice League of America (2006) #48 1 3/1/2021 JSA Book Club
Justice Society of America (2006) #43 1 3/1/2021 JSA Book Club
Basketful of Heads (2019) #1 1 3/2/2021
Basketful of Heads (2019) #2-7 6 3/3/2021
Batman Beyond (2016) #31-37 6 3/5/2021
Aquaman (1994) #33-36 4 3/6/2021
Aquaman (1994) #37-39 3 3/7/2021
Aquaman (1994) #40-43 4 3/8/2021
Aquaman (1994) #44-45 2 3/9/2021
Aquaman (1994) #46-47 2 3/10/2021
Aquaman Annual (1995) #4 1 3/14/2021
The Flash (2016) #86-87 2 3/27/2021
The Flash (2016) #750 1 3/28/2021
The Flash (2016) #751-755 5 3/30/2021
The Flash Annual (2016) #3 1 3/30/2021
The Flash (2016) #756 1 3/31/2021
April 2021
The Flash (2016) #757 1 4/4/2021
The Flash (2016) #758-767 10 4/6/2021
All-Star Comics (1941) #11 1 4/13/2021 JSA Book Club
Aquaman (1994) #48-49 2 4/14/2021
Aquaman (1994) #50 1 4/15/2021
Aquaman (1994) #51-53 3 4/25/2021
Aquaman (1994) #54-55 2 4/29/2021
May 2021
Aquaman (1994) #56-58 3 5/1/2021
Aquaman (1994) #59 1 5/2/2021
Aquaman (1994) #60-61 2 5/3/2021
Aquaman (1994) #62-75 14 5/4/2021 Completed
Titans Hunt (2015) #1-4 4 5/6/2021
Titans Hunt (2015) #5-8 4 5/9/2021 Completed
Dark Knights: Death Metal (2020) #1-3 3 5/14/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights (2020) #1 1 5/14/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Guidebook (2020) #1 1 5/15/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis (2020) #1 1 5/16/2021
Justice League (2018) #53 1 5/16/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Speed Metal (2020) #1 1 5/17/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Mutliverse’s End (2020) #1 1 5/17/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal (2020) #4 1 5/17/2021
Justice League (2018) #54-55 2 5/17/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Robin King (2020) #1 1 5/17/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Rise of the New God (2020) #1 1 5/17/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #1-14 14 5/18/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #15-17 3 5/20/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #18-21 4 5/21/2021
Justice Society of America (2006) #8-11 4 5/24/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #22-24 3 5/24/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #25-27 3 5/28/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #28-30 3 5/29/2021
June 2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #31-32 2 6/2/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #33-34 2 6/11/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #35-40 6 6/12/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #41-44 4 6/13/2021
Batman Eternal (2014) #45-52 8 6/15/2021
Sweet Tooth (2009) #1-6 6 6/22/2021
Sweet Tooth (2009) #7-11 5 6/25/2021
Sweet Tooth (2009) #12-40 29 6/28/2021
Justice League (2018) #56-57 2 6/29/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! (2020) #1 1 6/29/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal (2020) #5 1 6/29/2021
Dark Knights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs (2020) #1 1 6/29/2021

In May I finally finished up Peter David’s Aquaman. It took me a while to get through it but didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to. I had a few Flash’s from the comic shop that I hadn’t read and completed the physical versions of those issues. In May and June I embarked on the Dark Knights Metal stuff and Batman Eternal since I had the first Batman Eternal trade but never completed it. I think I enjoyed Dark Knights because of the McFarlane figures. Since Sweet Tooth had come out on Netflix, it was time to give that Vertigo title a read. I like the casting of the kid in the show.

I’ve been getting ready to move soon and have been reading a lot during my lunch breaks at work and before bed.

5 Likes

Updated

6 Likes



Meanwhile, in 1974…

4 Likes

January
The Dreaming Waking Hours #2-5
Joker/Harley Criminal Sanity #6
Wonder Woman #766-769
Punchline #1
Batman/Catwoman #1
Wonder Woman Dead Earth #1-4
Wonder Woman Future State #1
Harley Quinn Future State #1

February
The Dreaming Waking Hours 6-7
Joker/Harley Criminal Sanity #7
Harley Quinn Future State #2
Wonder Woman Future State #2
Wonder Woman Immortal Future State #1

March
The Next Batman #1-4
Blackout by Candace Owens
Batman/Catwoman #2-3
Wonder Woman Immortal #1
The Dreaming Waking Hours #8

April
Greenlighs by Matthew McConaughey

May
NOTHING

June
Milkman by Anna Burns

July
Batman/Catwoman #4-5
Harley Quinn #1-4
The Draming Waking Hours #9-11
Wonder Woman #770-774

4 Likes

Welcome back to the community, @gregthelucas.66421! Very impressive list so far. :partying_face: Which comic has been your favorite so far and what did you think of the Future State issues you read?

Additionally, please let the moderator team know if you need anything. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

3 Likes