Thursday, March 4, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021
On the Marvel-6 shelf are Iron Man #114-117, 130, 134, 152 and 153, Marvel Feature #1-7, Marvel Spotlight #33, Marvel Team-Up #53-55, 58-65, 67 and 79, Marvel Team-Up Annual #1 and Marvel Two-In-One #33.
When selecting the Iron Man comics that I wanted in my collection, that choice centered around the artwork of Bob Layton. Sadly, as a youngster, Iron Man comics weren’t available to me. I can only remember having one issue in particular, and that issue is #130. It’s a great issue. It contains a complete story of Iron Man facing a computer virus given mystical life, and is set in Japan. Layton does the art, and it is beautiful.
Marvel Feature vol. 2, #1 introduced Red Sonja to the world of four-color comics. The series ran 7 issues, then turned into Red Sonja’s own title. Published in 1975-1976, I would have been 10 or 11 years old when I first saw these comics. For me, at the time, a red-headed warrior woman in a chain mail bikini was the height of glamour. Issue 5 sees Sonja battle the Bear God!
Given that a bear is the mascot at my dear wife Julie's place of employment, it seems right to show that issue off. All of these but the first are drawn by Frank Thorne. Thorne’s art is perfect for this character and he gets better with every issue. Marvel Spotlight #33 begins the conclusion of the Deathlok story arc that was started in Astonishing Tales. The story finishes in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One. Marvel Team-Up is a long time favorite, especially the Claremont and Byrne issues. I’ve featured issue #59, which is the creative team’s first pairing on the title. So, this time, I’ll show off issue #79, which is their last. This issue just so happens to team Spidey up with Red Sonja! Bonus! Marvel Team-Up annual #1 features Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s an early appearance of the team that was at the time called, “the new” X-Men. It’s the same group that everyone thinks of as the X-Men today. Marvel Two-In-One #33 teams the Thing with Modred the Mystic, but more importantly it has an early appearance of Spider-Woman and lays some of the ground work for that character’s own title in the coming months. As a side note, Ron Wilson’s artwork is exquisite, especially on the character of the Thing.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
For Justice League of America, I pick issue #183. Two things stand out in my mind when I think about the Justice League of America during the period that I read the title (known as the “bronze age.”) First is the annual JLA/JSA team-ups, and second is the art of illustrator Dick Dillin.
The JLA/JSA team-ups are an interesting thing. In 1956, Showcase #4, reintroduced the superhero character known as the Flash after a 5 year absence. This Flash is a revamp and recreation of the character. Really, only the character’s name and powers are the same as his counterpart.
This leads to the return and rebirth of other characters like Green Lantern and Hawkman. By the time I started reading comics, the period prior to the superhero resurgence that began with Showcase #4 was named the Golden Age of Comics, and the period that followed with it’s newly reinmagined heroes was named the Silver Age of Comics.
The Justice League of America was a creation from the Silver Age of Comics and featured the new versions of heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern, but readers wanted to know what had happened to the earlier versions of the characters. Flash #123 (1961) featured the story, “The Flash of Two Worlds,” written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Carmine Infantino, which answered this question.
To explain how other versions of their heroes could exist, or how Superman who was originally introduced in 1938 hadn’t aged a day in over 20 years, “The Flash of Two Worlds” introduces the concept of a parallel earth: Earth 2. This Earth was older than “our” earth. The Superman of Earth 2 had come to earth in 1938, and was turning gray. To differentiate the older Earth 2 team of heroes from the modern Justice League, their team was the Justice Society of America.
By the time I started reading their adventures, team-ups between the Justice League of America of Earth 1, and the Justice Society of America of Earth 2 had become annual events. And, “Events” they were! I looked forward to these team-up issues with as much anticipation as my own birthday!
As for that second thing, the art of Dick Dillin. Dick Dillin’s artwork is fantastic, and he drew every issue of the Justice League that I read as a kid, including issue #183. Dick Dillin’s art is synonymous with the Justice League of America for me. He drew 115 issues from 1968 until his death in 1980. Issue #183 was the last issue that he drew. It is also the first part of a JLA/JSA team-up story: "Crisis on New Genesis" or "Where Have All the New Gods Gone?"
I couldn’t pick any other issue but #183 from this set.
Showcase, which was the title that reintroduced the Flash, had been out of publication since mid 1970. It came back in September of 1977 as part of the DC Explosion. The short run featured three mini-series, each three issues long, a special one-shot issue #100, and then was canceled with issue #104, which was a one-shot war stories issue. Showcase #101 begins a three part mini-series staring: Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Adam Strange. This is a favorite!
Super-Team Family #11 stars the Flash, Supergirl, and just a tiny bit of the Atom. The issue has beautiful art by Alan Lee Weiss.
Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #213 is written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Mike Grell. Jim goes on to be a big wig at Marvel comics and Mike Grell becomes more well known for his character the Warlord and for drawing and writing Green Arrow, but I will always associate both these guys with these early issues of the Legion of Superheroes.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
<< Originally posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 >>
I didn't make that transition. It was never in me to be an athlete. The sad thing is, patterns learned early in life, are hard to unlearn, and once delegated the role of social misfit, that role and the stigmas associated with it tend to stick with a person. And so, I became a social outcast. I had very few friends and grew accustomed to the idea, that for me, this is the way my life would remain.
On February 13 of this year, Robert Briggs passed away in his sleep. I am so incredibly shaken by the sadness of this event, that I can't begin to express it. All I can do, is tell you here about how we met, about the kindred spirit I found in a fellow gamer geek, and about the love and camaraderie two long time friends were able to form from across the gaming table.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Monday, February 8, 2021
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Monday, February 1, 2021
Choosing a favorite among the Dollar Comics format issues of Detective Comics that are in this run is difficult. Each has shining moments and all have a Batman lead story illustrated by Don Newton.
I’ve decided to go with Detective Comics #493. The Batman story features the Riddler, and in addition the Batgirl and Robin stories, we have Red Tornado and the Human Target. The later is illustrated beautifully by Dick Giordano.
The current state of my Flash comics is pretty disjointed. So, it’s difficult to know what to highlight. I’m going with issue #269 because, Kid Flash and dinosaurs.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Speaking of Klaus Jansen, his inks also grace the pages of the Defenders issues on this shelf. The pencils on these issues are by Keith Giffen and all four issues are gorgeous! I’m picking #45 to feature.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
As I went through planning each run of comics that I wanted to include in my collection, many factors weighed in to help me make those decisions. In the case of the Brave and the Bold, the character of Nemesis was the greatest factor.
Originally, I intended a much shorter run for the series. I knew I wanted the Hawkman team-up story in issue #139 (where the run begins,) and I knew I wanted the Ra’s Al Ghul team-up story in issue #159. The run may have ended up being just those 21 issues, but I just had to look ahead …
#160 had Supergirl. I wanted that one. #161 had Adam Strange (a personal favorite.) I wanted that one, too! #162 had Sgt. Rock! That was so unusual, that I had to put that one in the run! #163 had Black Lightning. I wanted that. #164 had Hawkman again. That created a nice symmetry. I would end my run there. 26 issues was a decent run, but what if I looked ahead just a few more …
Manbat was the next character. This tied into Manbat appearances in Batman Family and Detective Comics. I wanted that. The next issue featured the Penguin. A team-up with a villain hardly feels like a team-up at all. Stories like this could appear in the pages of Batman’s main title or Detective Comics. This wasn’t something special. I could end my Brave and Bold run at the Manbat issue, #165.
I am very happy to have discovered the character of Nemesis. These stories are not ones that I read as a boy, but I am overjoyed to include them in my collection now. Issue #192 ended the run of Nemesis as a back-up series, but issue #193 ended the story arc. Issue #193 was a full-length story (no back-up feature) that teamed Batman and Nemesis, and brought the Nemesis story to a conclusion.
Issue #193 sadly didn’t feature the art of Nemesis co-creator Dan Spiegle, but it was written by Burkett, and it featured the art of Brave and Bold’s headline artist, Jim Aparo. Jim is another favorite artist. This final issue is amazing on all fronts. #193 concludes my Brave and Bold run, and concludes the Nemesis story. That makes Brave and Bold #193 my choice for feature Brave and Bold issue on the DC-3 Shelf.
DC Comics Presents teams various characters from the DC Universe with Superman. It is one of my favorite titles, and this one has many great issues. For my favorite, I’m going with #24. This one is written by Len Wein and drawn beautifully by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and features a story staring Deadman which is a follow-up to the run featured in Adventure Comics.
The friend, with whom I traded, Jason King, told me he didn't want the issue because it featured the Penguin. He didn't want any issues that featured any of the villains he had seen in the TV show. (Kids felt that way about the 1966 TV show back then. Not me though, I loved it!)