Thursday, March 22, 2018

I don't know if DD's argument holds up at all, but Venom might've been snowed by his legal mumbo-jumbo.

Today's issue is probably best remembered for its cover, even though there's a lot going on in it. From 1993, Daredevil #323, "Fall from Grace, part 4: Conflict" Written by D.G. Chichester, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Hector Collazo and Rich Rankin.

This was actually the fifth part of the storyline, wherein Matt has taken on a new armored costume, as he tries to keep everyone from getting the mysterious "About Face" virus. The virus was basically a wish granted, changing the "infected" at their command. For example, this month Venom was after it, in order to take away his weakness to fire and sound, which he felt would make him "dwarfing that bug Spider-Man without question!" Daredevil and cyborg Siege are forced to defend a defecting Snakeroot ninja from Venom; DD convinces them that overcoming their "handicaps" is what makes them strong. Still, almost immediately after Venom splits, the ninja is killed by a sai-wielding assassin...

The Snakeroot were like traditional ninja bad guys the Hand, and were related somehow if nebulously. The last page of the issue reveals their secret weapons, an evil facsimile of Elektra called Erynys, and S.H.I.E.L.D. cyborg John Garrett from Elektra: Assassin! Of course Elektra was about to return, wearing white and with a shaved head. I remember Frank Miller being pretty cheesed about that; and have been trying to find an old piece he did for the long-defunct Hero Illustrated of Marvel digging up her grave. (I'm not sure if bringing her back was Chichester's idea, or if he was given that direction from editorial.)

Along with everyone else here, "Fall from Grace" also guest-starred Silver Sable, Morbius, and the Hellspawn, a.k.a. the Daredevil-doppelganger from Infinity War. The armored costume for Daredevil was a bit of a departure at the time (and everyone got armored costumes in the 90's!) but it doesn't seem that far removed from his Netflix outfit, or any current superhero costume. There's also a single page given to the ongoing subplot, with a reporter starving for the big story having stolen Ben Urich's notes and sold Daredevil's secret identity to a small tabloid, which here considers the best way to publish it without opening themselves up to litigation.

I remember enjoying this one back in 1993, but McDaniel was pretty much the only one that could draw that armor. As we may see later...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I know I've read a couple fairly recent Amazing Spider-Man comics with Mockingbird, but I'm not sure if he ever got around to asking her out, or if their relationship moved past that. And that would get rolled back anyway, so who cares. I'm glad I didn't read Spider-Man regularly for the last ten years, since Peter's probably going to be living in his aunt's basement next issue. Unless Marvel could figure out a way to get him back into high school.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Also featuring Wolverine, Sabretooth, Psylocke, Hercules, Dark Angel, Smith, and this line:

"Last one to the tower is a runny poo!" A line like that, you'd best save for the conclusion. From 1993, Battletide #4, written by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, art by Geoff Senior.

Hmm, I thought it was a two-word title, but it seems Battletide was the preferred usage. This was a four-issue, Marvel UK mini-series; featuring the heroes mentioned dragged into the usual Contest of Champions type gladiatorial combat; but it might've worked better keeping the focus on their leads, Death's Head II and Killpower. The latter had been introduced in Motormouth and was a genetically engineered warrior, but basically had the intellect and maturity of a ten-year-old. So, of course he thinks Death's Head II is about the coolest thing ever, even when the robot is trying to kill him!

As is, the book's thin yet overstuffed: with too many heroes, there really isn't space to flesh out the secondary opponents, or even give everyone something interesting to do. There's a germ of an idea with the champions Megaira and Termagent, who are a couple but also something else. And the titular Battletide, the "demonic embodiment of eternal war," is interesting but not looked at much. It reminded me of something from Grimjack, honestly. Why am I running across so much Marvel UK lately, though...?

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Monday, March 19, 2018

After three years building them up, let's quit the team in the most dickish way possible.

I've mentioned before that I like the idea of the Outsiders, much more than any Outsiders comic I've actually read; but I didn't read the book when it was first on the stands. So I remember ads for this, but hadn't read this last issue: from 1986, Batman and the Outsiders #32, "A New War's Winning!" Written and edited by Mike W. Barr, art by Alan Davis.

The first four-and-a-half pages of this one are recurring bad guys the Masters of Disaster in Markovia, kidnapping a princess on her way to her wedding; but the Outsiders are busy in Gotham, as a mob boss holds a meeting to unite since Batman had been gone for a few days. "Matches" Malone shows up to see if the boss is serious, and verifies the heist of plasma from the hospital; "Matches" of course being a longtime alias of Batman! Signaling the team, the mobsters are wrapped up quickly, and with the mission complete Geo-Storm takes the opportunity to break radio silence, and finds his country has been at war for two days! Moreover, Batman knew!

Batman claims he needed the Outsiders in Gotham, and didn't want to be running all over the world like the Justice League: " busy saving the world, we lose sight of individuals." It kind of reads more like Bats was mad he hadn't got to punch a junkie, mobster, or homicidal clown for a minute and was pitching a fit; as he disbands the team. Halo protests, and a smirking Batman seems to think they were going to cave, but she suggests they stay together themselves, without Batman! Batman leaves in a huff, noting Dick had already quit and Jason probably would someday: "...soldiers come and go, but my war never ends." He does not handle rejection well, does he?

The Outsiders would go on to face Baron Bedlam and the Masters of Disaster in Markovia; but the rest of this issue was a Looker story: formerly "mousy" Lia Briggs was now Looker, who had super-powers but was mostly just thrilled to be staggeringly hot. Her husband Greg was still adjusting, and may have missed his old wife and been uncomfortable with the attention Lia now got, but she showed no interest in the person she used to be. Yeah, I got a feeling Greg is not going to be in this book for too long.
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Friday, March 16, 2018

God Eater, God Slayer, God Butcher; there's kind of a theme.

Demogorge the God-Eater had a better design, and Gorr the God Butcher has a better name, but today we've got Desak, Destroyer of Gods! Or God Slayer. Either or. From 2001, Thor 2001, "When Fall the Gods!" Written by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Tom Grummett, inks by Al Vey, Karl Kesel, and Scott Hanna.

This issue guest-stars Hercules and Beta Ray Bill, largely so Desak can be built up as a big deal, but Herc's also there since on Olympus, Zeus has a mysterious visitor. It's the mysterious watcher, the Silent One, who I would've thought was just a placeholder for Uatu; but actually was a character older than I am, from Thor #184! And he may not have appeared since, but he was not unlike DC's Pariah, only showing up at times of utter catastrophe. The Silent One shows the guys a destroyed Olympus in the future, and then the origin of Desak, who had been a devout man whose gods failed him, and was given power to get revenge by a mysterious apparition. Desak starts taking out gods, many of whom aren't as benevolent as the Marvel pantheon we're used to.

Off the top of my head, I want to say Jurgen's stint on Thor tried to introduce some new villains, but I'm not sure how many went on to the regular rotation. Desak might've hassled Thor for a few months, but I think that was about it.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Is "Rapido" French? He's no Batroc, but then again, who is...

We glanced at the original Eurohit about four years ago; and that run of Punisher featured both Batroc and the Tarantula, as well as the secondary bad guy that would take the lead here, in "Eurohit '94," Rapido! From, well, 1994, Punisher Annual #7, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, pencils by Andrew Currie and Dougie Braithwaite, inks by Art Nichols, Al Williamson, and Fred Fredericks.

Rapido had survived a couple run-ins with the Punisher, in the first Eurohit, then the Suicide Run crossover, wherein the Punisher blew up an office building full of criminals. While presumably Frank gets out somehow, Rapido also survived, and meets up with Chauffard and the Architect, who were late to the mob boss meeting and thus avoided falling into Frank's trap. Rapido is upgraded with a better Gatling gun arm and targeting glasses, and settles in to doing the Architect's dirty work; like taking out supporting characters Morgan Sinclair, Jack Oonuk, and Outlaw!

Or does he? Rapido is rattled by the seeming return from the dead of his old boss, Snakebite; but he's really being gaslit by the Punisher, who had been working with the others and helped them secretly escape their hits. Sinclair takes out Chauffard and Oonuk the Architect, while Rapido and Punisher duke it out on the tracks, and Rapido is hit by a train and busted up pretty badly. He hopes Frank got run over; no luck there, but the issue ends with him in most of a body cast plotting his revenge...which hasn't happened yet. Rapido has appeared since, but not against the Punisher.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Although I'll use one at my parents', or the bank, or when I find one unattended; I don't have a Keurig. Partially because I think they're wasteful, but mostly because when I drink coffee I'm probably going to drink an entire pot.

Also, we missed our fourth anniversary of space nonsense with Pool n' Kurt!

When I'm damn good and ready! Actually, we may be coming up on someone who has something to say about their trip, and might be able to do something about it.
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