Thursday, November 26, 2015
Give thanks, it's a new 80-Page Thursday entry! From 2014, Vertigo Quarterly CMYK #1 ("Cyan") with stories by Shaun Simon, Amy Chu, Fabio Moon, Robert Rodi, and more; and art by Jock, Ana Koehler, Martin Morazzo, Alitha Martinez, and more.
While Vertigo had in recent years had other 80-page specials named for classic DC series like The Unexpected and Strange Adventures, Cyan was the first of four anthologies featuring stories tied together by a color. In this case, blue. Some of the stories are more tied to, or the art more defined by, blue than others; but that does open up the book to murder mysteries, steampunk activists, and sci-fi drug addicts.
None of the stories rocked my world or anything, but nothing was absolutely terrible either. The lead story, "Serial Artist" was a fun murder story, followed by "918," in which a drug addict doesn't find the destination he intended. "Blue Sundae" has a pair of ice-cream men versus "some sort of demon dog," which is just odd. In "So Blue" an aging pop-star plots against her up-and-coming rival, and in "Much Ado About Nothing" an anti-terrorism codebreaker is present for the accidental unlocking of the universe's numbers.
"Rebolt" is a steampunk anti-coal, anti-corporate story; and "Madame Bluebeard" tells the story of a beard for closeted actors in the fifties who lives up to her nickname. "Once Upon the End of Time..." was a post-apocalyptic love story; and "Breaking News of the Wonders the Future Holds" a short about two artists wondering about vases after their art gallery is closed. That last one is stronger than I make it sound; but the latter half of this book mostly wouldn't be out of place in a classic DC anthology. (Well, the subtext of "Madame Bluebeard" might've been a tough sell, but still.) "Cyan" is a little pretentious of a title, for a batch of shorts, but not unreadable.
I picked up this one, two other new 80-pagers (no points for guessing!) and seven other books; during a "Deal of the Day" sale from Hastings: ninety-nine cents an issue! More like two bucks with shipping, but still. $70-some worth of books for $23 shipped!
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
I have been tempted, more than once, to buy another
Likewise, I had an idea for a practical effect for fire for the last panel, that failed miserably. Suffice to say, Kurt sets Pool on fire, 'kay?
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Sometimes you buy a comic for the cover, or in this case covers: one from Mike Mignola, and a flip-cover from Gene Colan, for 1995's the Death of Lady Vampre #1, created and written by Bruce Schoengood, pencils by Dave Gutierrez, inks by M.A. Moussa.
This was the origin issue for the Blackout Comics bad girl character, as the titular vampire slaughters a wedding party and forces the groom to 'marry' her. This causes Elizabeth Vampre to recall her wedding day, in 1862, and her wedding night, which I'm features some lingerie that I'm pretty sure was not historically accurate. But her groom is murdered by a female vampire, and Elizabeth is taken to another vampire, Confederate Major Brant; who says she looks like an "Angelique." A priest saves Elizabeth from Brant, but the priest also turns out to be a vampire! The "priest," Baraclaw, used that ruse to get Elizabeth to trust him, so he could turn her into a vampire to replace his lost Angelique. The pair go on slaughtering humans through the Civil War, and Lincoln's assassination was actually Booth trying to kill Baraclaw. Which is kind of a weird place for the issue to end, but there you go.
I don't think Lady Vampre was the breakout character for Blackout, but she would have a few more appearances in the 90's.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Um..."fap" of course being a common onomatopoeic representation of bats' wings flapping, and nothing else. Nothing. From 2009, the Outsiders #23, "The Hunt, part 3" Written by Peter J. Tomasi, pencils by Fernando Pasarin, inks by Jay Leisten and Scott Hanna.
Anyway, this issue Katana, Halo and the Creeper are on the trail of Killer Croc, when they run into Man-Bat. For this appearance, Kirk Langstrom had estranged himself from his family to protect them, but was seemingly addicted to being Man-Bat. His wife Francine had been working with the Outsiders, but as Man-Bat he didn't want to go back, and sides with Croc. Croc is eventually captured, but mocks Creeper as a freak, claiming his Jack Ryder persona was going to be submerged until the Creeper was all that's left.
The rest of the Outsiders wait for their friends to come back, since they already have Clayface, but they're surprised by the sudden reappearance of Geo-Force's dead sister, Terra, for the Blackest Night crossover. I forget if this next issue was one where if your comic shop bought a bunch, they got a power ring promo or two. I was also wondering if Katana and the Creeper had really interacted before the New 52 versions, where the Creeper is an evil demon living in Katana's sword and completely excised of fun...
Friday, November 20, 2015
Huh, I thought this was older: from 2015, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1, "Homesick." Written by Brian Bendis, art by Frank Cho.
Serving a tour with the Guardians, Captain Marvel is feeling a bit homesick; when they run across something unexpected: a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, deep in space! Manned by Nick Fury, and his all-star team including Dum-Dum Dugan, Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Gabe Jones, Jimmy Woo, and...Jessica Drew? Carol recognizes a younger version of her friend, who would go on to become Spider-Woman; which only adds to the mystery. Moreover, this helicarrier has been fighting Skrulls, since the original Kree-Skrull war hit earth; and the Skrulls aren't really around much anymore either: Star-Lord mentions "the whole empire went kablooey druing the Annihilation wave."
The Guardians had suspected the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents of being Skrulls, but the entire helicarrier is full of Life Model Decoys instead, locked in battle against remnant Skrull forces. This is barely a little diversion to most of the Guardians, but for Carol it was weird to see old friends who didn't really recognize her, and is feeling even more homesick at the end of the issue, where Groot gives her a hug. Not a bad little plot this issue, but mostly it's an excuse for Cho to draw S.H.I.E.L.D. as it was in its heyday.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
There's a wind advisory locally as I write this, but I found a spare copy of this issue the other day, and wind definitely fits: from 1986, Elektra: Assassin #3, "Rough Cut" Written by Frank Miller, art by Bill Sienkiewicz.
The scary-competent Elektra has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D, but the cyborg agent John Garrett remains fixated on her...and feels connected to her as well. Scientists study Elektra, but she's already put the ninja mind whammy on Garrett, who against his will frees her; all part of her plan to get into position for a hit. She also realizes American presidential candidate Ken Wind ("like the air") has become a slave to the master of the Hand, the Beast...
Garrett's the (boorish, incompetent, drunk) face of S.H.I.E.L.D. here, instead of a more familiar character like Fury or Dugan or Quartermain; because it gives Miller and Sienkiewicz more leeway to make a fool out of him. Which Elektra does, planting drugs on Garrett at the airport and stealing his ticket back to America. There's a hint of playfulness as she does it, but Elektra straight owns Garrett, in several senses of the word...
I picked up this spare at a toy show a couple weekends back, along with some Savage Sword of Conan issues from when I was high school. The only toy I bought was a loose Star Wars snowspeeder for the Youngest; partially because I had just dropped a bit on Star Wars Black figures. I do have a full run of Elektra: Assassin though, and highly recommend it.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
I don't know if we've seen that happen to Agent Venom in the comics yet: something scaring his symbiote to the point that it won't obey Flash's commands. Nor have we seen this symbiote figure before: it's from the Toy Biz Venom: Along Came a Spider line. That link says he's from 1990, but his foot says 1997; pre-Marvel Legends.