HAPPY 2020 EVERYONE! – Reviews and What-Not from Doc’s Corner
PREVIEWS #376 THE COMIC SHOP’S CATALOG
Believe it or not, it has been years since I’ve thumbed through a Previews. For one reason, advance warning of current titles can work against a reviewer. If I see an issue coming down the pike in a month or two that really grabs me only to discover that upon its release, it sucks I would be harsh in my criticism solely based on my expectations for those two months. So what would cause me to pick up this issue? Why the upcoming Adam Strange series! Adam Strange was a childhood favorite of mine. Growing up in the 1960-1970’s, what kid didn’t want his own personal jetpack and ray gun! And the fact that Adam as originally presented was a down to earth archeologist with a bit of devil-may-care attitude thrown in, made him a perfect role model for young boys of the time. Another reason I love Adam Strange is that fact that he keeps showing up even though no one seems to know what to do with him. He is one of those characters that ever since his first appearance in Showcase in 1958 and throughout his time in Strange Adventures Comics, he keeps returning in mini-series after mini-series and guest starring in numerous titles. But none of them ever seem to stick. Adam is part of a group of heroes/villians in the DC catalog that simply will not die. Like Angel and the Ape, Wonder Girl, and Plastic Man, these characters keep popping up throughout DC history sometimes in the most outrageous places. But no matter what is done to them or their continuity, they keep showing up every couple of years. The new creative team of Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and fellow Doc , Evan “Doc” Shaner, is a sold one. And according to the little preview blurb, the story idea is clever. So I’ll wait to see what this new team can do for me which is exactly what Previews is suppose to be for. For now I’ll go out on my back porch (and much like 8 year old me waited on my mother’s backporch) I’ll stare at the night sky waiting for that rogue Zeta Beam to flash down to carry me off to a world of adventure. I’m just sorry to say that nowadays I’m going need a bigger jetpack.
TAROT #1 MARVEL COMICS
Somebody finally gets it! And it’s the creative team of Alan Davis, Paul Renaud, and Paul Mounts! Starting us with an Invaders flashback from WWII, Davis wastes no time setting up the action and the mystery. Then he sends us on a whirlwind ride to the Defenders, then they take us to the Avengers! An old, old enemy shows up and the stage is set! In really reading this story, I couldn’t help but think of the Avengers/Defenders War story line which ran through Avengers #115-#118 and Defenders #8-#11 from the creative mind of Steve Englehart. This is how comics should read! I give it a 9 out of 10 Grahams!
ACTION COMICS #1018 DC COMICS
A crossover tale with the Legion of Doom storyline in Justice League. A storyline that I have no great love of to begin with. So why such high marks? Certainly not to the cameos or that annoying website Daily Planet page at the beginning of the story. It all comes down to (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Bendis’s dialog. Comic overachiever Brian Michael Bendis can write some fine dialog. And I am not referring to his battle interactions between heroes and villians! It’s the seven pages of interaction between Clark (soon to tell the world he’s Superman) Kent and Fire Chief Moore. Ever since her introduction to the Superman titles, she has proven to be an excellent secondary character. Dare I even say that she reminds me a bit of Lois Lane when she first appeared. (Action #1 1938 – for pity’s sake go to a library!) These pages are brilliant and shows that Bendis understands real people. The rest of the book is simply blah-blah-blah battle fight stuff. This issue is like an old Chocolate covered Cherry that you find in the frig a few weeks after Valentine’s Day. The outer shell ain’t all that great but that middle section is still really quite tasty. I give it a 8 out of 10 Grahams.
JOKER/HARLEY : CRIMINAL SANITY #2 DC COMICS
More Joker and Harley Quinn! Sigh, normally I’d start complaining about beating a dead horse right now but Kami Garcia, Maike Mayhew, and Mico Suayan are bringing us a very unique take on the couple. This title reads more like Gotham City CSI than a standard book. It shows off Harleen’s intellect and the criminals that don’t get caught by the Bat. It also keeps the Joker safely tucked away in the backround, mentioning him only in passing. A well done storyline. I give it an 8 out of 10 Grahams.
JUNGLE COMICS #2 ANTARCTIC PRESS
Ben Dunn, Chuck Dixon, Steve Ross, Isaac Cordova and Anthony Zicari keep the title moving upwards as they hold onto the reigns of classic title Jungle Comics in this second issue. With the addition of the Jungle Angels to Rhula and Shanna the Firehair, there seems to be no shortage of jungle people to fill the pages. And here is the main point, JUST LIKE IT WAS BACK THEN! In the good ole days, there was hundreds of heroes as most titles were anthologies that needed constant filler. And Antarctic Press in bring these titles back are keeping with those policies and I stand and aplaude them for their efforts. And with either Kelsey Shannon’s classic cover A or Good Girl Cover B by old friend Will Meugniot, they will both catch your eye from the comic rack. I give it a 9 out of 10 Grahams.