Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

Posted Saturday, January 26th, 2019 by Barry

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider reads more like a grindhouse movie than a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Logan takes on small town corruption to avenge the death of an innocent.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the book. The more it reminds me of those 1970s drive-in classics. The more it feels right.

Right for the character.

Gregg Hurwitz does a good job unsheathing the claws. Jerome Opena does an equally good job in rendering those claws.

Chris Claremont gave Logan his catch phrase in the 1982 Wolverine mini-series, “I’m the best at what I do. And, what I do isn’t very nice.”

None of Flies to a Spider is nice. Just satisfying.

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider

Posted Monday, January 7th, 2019 by Barry

Hulk say Subscribe

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Remember where you were in 1984?

For me it was my final year of high school. Van Halen was about to unleash their last album with David Lee Roth. The Police were about to break up. George Orwell’s dystopian novel of political fiction was a buzz word.

Comic readers/collectors/enthusiasts were paying 60 cents a book at the news stand. Specialty shops were still in their infancy. Yet, if you heeded Hulk’s offer, subscribers would receive a 14-issue subscription for “only $6.00. That’s just 43 cents a copy!”

As a “special bonus” if two titles were bought at the low, low price of six bucks, the subscriber would then be eligible to add a third title for – get this – five bucks. “That’s just 36 cents a copy! You save 40-percent on your third title!”

Titles available ranged from Alpha Flight to X-Men. In all, 25-regular monthly books were offered. Included were such titles as G.I. Joe, Crystar, Indiana Jones and ROM.

Only the venerable Savage Sword of Conan still existed under the magazine imprint and considered one of the “special” titles each month. The book boasted a hefty $17 price tag. Other “special” books included the in-house ad book Marvel Age, Ka-Zar, Micronaughts, Moon Knight, What If…?, Conan the King, and Marvel Fanfare.

Posted Monday, December 31st, 2018 by Jeff

New Year’s Eve

Cheers, everyone.  Here’s to 2019.

New Year's Eve

Posted Monday, December 31st, 2018 by Barry

Batman (1940) 247

Batman (1940) 247

Batman (1940) 247

Denny O’Neil and Irv Novick turned a hat trick with this, the third of Batman’s Christmas stories, since his return from post CCA crack down and television days. The previous two holiday tales were served up in Batman 219 and 239. For some reason the Dark Knight never celebrated in Detective Comics.

For the 1972 season O’Neal corrals both Christmas and New Year’s with “Merry Christmas…And a Deadly New Year!” The first vignette deals with the capture and subsequent escape of a terrorist who has stolen a deadly virus.

Christmas isn’t very merry as Batman and the Gotham Police Department spend the week prior to New Year’s searching for the vial. The adventure goes down to the wire as Batman finally discovers, and foils, the attempt as the ball drops counting down the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Posted Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Treasury Edition 8 (1975)

Marvel’s Giant Superhero Holiday Grab Bag hit newsstands Nov. 25, 1975 on the heels of DC’s Limited Edition (C-43) Christmas With the Super-Heroes.

This second tabloid-sized special featured a collection of already told tales from the Bullpen’s fertile imagination. Having mined the few holiday stories the House of Ideas had floating around the previous year, this second book proved more Christmas in cover and theme than interior stories.

Marvel Treasury Edition 8 (1975)

Nick Fury opens the book with “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” taken from Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. issue 10 published in 1969. Nick’s night with surprise guest Laura is interrupted by a call to save the free world from the Hate Monger. Any seasonal spirit is forgotten as Fury does his best 007 impression to foil world domination. He’s rewarded for his efforts with his blond bombshell waiting for him at his apartment to watch the sun rise on Christmas morning.

There’s as much holiday spirt in the story “Spider-Man Goes Mad!” as there is in the name. Pulled from Amazing Spider-Man issue 24, the reprint marks the first time the story saw print since it was originally published.

“Jingle Bombs” uses a snowy backdrop and a few Christmas decorations to give the impression of the holidays for Luke Cage.

An abbreviated reprint of Incredible Hulk 147 is next. Entitled “Heaven is a Very Small Place,” the Hulk believes in a mirage where even he is accepted.

Dr. Strange battles Nightmare on New Year’s Eve in “Eternity, Eternity” reprinted from Dr. Strange 180.

Posted Monday, April 16th, 2018 by Barry

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

This sappy sampling from the DC stable is a cross section of the season. Included are stories of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. Writer Dick Grayson shoehorns in some Buddhism as well amidst the other celebrations and commercialism.

“The Present” showcases the – then – new team of Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Last minute shoppers are taken hostage by a young man confusing tender caring with legal tender.

Batman is the silent guardian of hope in “The House of Peace,” though a young boy saves faith.

Ty Templeton handles creative chores in “Present Tense.” Santa lays siege to Darkseid’s domain to conduct Christmas business.

Black Lightening handles a gang’s blood feud in “Twas the Night Before Kwanzaa.”

Santa isn’t the only one watching who knows what recipients really need. Superman receives an early and much needed present in “The Gift.”

“I Left My Heart at the Justice Society Canteen” is Howard Chaykin’s love letter to Golden Age comic book creators.

Sgt. Rock is visited by the ghosts of wars past, present and future in “A Christmas Carol.” The vision is as shocking as it is undeniable.

The New Year nears with Nightwing and Oracle. “The Old Lane” is a touching tale of youth past and problems present.

Finally, Rich Burchett offers an ornaments page reminiscent of the original Christmas With the Superheroes Limited Collectors editions of 25 years earlier.

Posted Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 by Barry

Harley Quinn Holiday Special

Originally the Joker’s moll for a one off on Batman: the Animated Series, Harley Quinn has exploded in the pop consciousness in the past five years.

No one knew the impact the character would have when she first appeared on B:tAS in 1992. It was – to the month – another year before her first appearance in comic book form, Batman Adventures 12 where she shared the cover with Batgirl and Poison Ivy for “Batgirl Day One.”

Harley wouldn’t receive her own series until 2000 in her self-titled comic book running 38 issues.

By 2014 she was poised for her meteoric rise that had been a slow avalanche at first. Her second series was one of DC’s New 52 titles with a holiday special following that December.

The first of three stories, “Bad Toy,” allows Harley to revert to her psychologist origins to repair a little girl’s and her father’s relationship.

“Get Yer Cheer Outta My Ear” is a short romp in madness caused by a holiday bug and cured by Santa and sweets.

“Killer Time” rings in the New Year with a grey hair as Harley tries to halt Tyme (read the story).

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palimotti pen the three tales with various artists giving life to the written word. Darwyn Cooke pencils and inks the final story.

Posted Monday, January 1st, 2018 by Jeff

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Posted Sunday, December 31st, 2017 by Jeff

New Year’s Eve

When you reach that age where this constitutes a fun and exciting New Year’s Eve.

And to be honest, I can’t say I mind it much.

Happy New Year, everyone.

New Year's Eve

Posted Sunday, December 31st, 2017 by Jeff

New Year’s Revolution!

Forget resolutions – embrace the revolution.  Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman bring in the New Year in Batman: Li’l Gotham (2012) #4, a digital-only effort later reprinted in Batman: Li’l Gotham (2013) #2 and Batman: Li’l Gotham TPB Volume 1.  Artwork by Dustin Nguyen, written by Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs.

New Year's Revolution!