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  • Longbox Junk!

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  • Posted: April 26, 2017 1:53:29 am
  • And the last of the 3 series I forgot to blog post about back in December, Dynamite's 12 issue Zorro Rides Again.

    This short-lived series started strong, and the first half was very nicely done. It resolved the cliffhanger that the previous Zorro series had ended on and then went on to define what it is that makes Zorro a true hero. Highly enjoyable and suggested reading for Zorro fans or those who want to know more about the character.

    But then. . .

    Things took a sharp turn toward the cliff starting with Issue #7 and the introduction of Zorro's first supervillain "El Galgo". And it only got worse from there. As soon as I saw the words "Lady Zorro" on issue 9, I knew this series wasn't going to end well, and it didn't. As a matter of fact, it ended SO unwell that Zorro hasn't had a regular series since then.

    Thanks, Obama.



    Up next. . .

    What happens when you mix Chtulu and Marvel superheroes? You get Invaders Now!

    Last edited April 26, 2017 2:00:30 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: April 27, 2017 3:43:50 am
  • Just finished reading Marvel and (for some reason I can't figure out) Dynamite's 5 issue Invaders Now! mini. . .

    This mini was enjoyable in a "Read it and forget it" sort of way. I liked that it was set in a sort of strange time for Captain America, where Steve Rogers was Super Soldier and Bucky Barnes was Captain America. I think (from the few bits of info that I've found) that this was one of Steve Rogers' first post-return from "death" appearances in the Captain America uniform.

    But that aside, this was a very quick read with a decent story (even if it mostly served as an excuse to get the Invaders back together). The art swerved back and forth unpredictably between very good, almost great, to pretty bad. . .but generally was pretty good.

    I'd suggest this series to anyone just looking for a quick, fun superhero read. It's good. . .not great. . .but good.


    Up next. . .

    It's another one of those strange mini's that's actually a collection of one shots.
    Dynamite's 4 issue Lone Ranger and Tonto.
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 1, 2017 2:14:56 am
  • Just finished up with Dynamite's 4 issue Lone Ranger and Tonto mini tonight. . .

    This "Mini-Series" is actually 4 unconnected one-shots with a wildly erratic shipping schedule and with a rotating creative team. They show a much darker side of the Old West than one would normally expect in a Lone Ranger comic. The first issue in particular feels like The Ranger and Tonto somehow wandered into "Weird Western Tales".

    ANYWAY. . .

    Overall (except for the 4th issue), I could find nothing to set these stories apart and justify charging $4.99 for each issue. Each of these one-shots would have done just as well being single issues in the (then) ongoing regular Lone Ranger series.

    That said. . .

    I liked the IDEA of these stories showing the darker side of the Lone Ranger's world. They weren't BAD at all, it was just that the execution of them. . .especially with some of the awful, distracting art. . .wasn't great. I think the regular series would have benefitted from a bit of this darker direction from time to time.



    I want this cover as a poster.

    Up next. . .

    Since it seems like DC is determined to force the events of Flashpoint back onto the comics map, why not refresh our memories a bit? DC's 5 issue Flashpoint mini.
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 3, 2017 3:34:16 am
  • Just finished up with DC's 5 issue Flashpoint mini tonight. . .

    Overall, I found this to be a pretty good story with rock solid art. It felt a bit rushed and some scenes seemed a little pointless, but there were a lot of small crossovers that came out along with this that I have the feeling would really benefit this story and the world that was created for it by reading them alongside the core series.

    To tell the truth, even though I found these 5 issues to be no more than average to pretty good, I wanted to know more about the world of Flashpoint. It seems a bit of a shame to have created an entire alternate DC world only to abandon it after a few months. But it seems like DC is bringing Flashpoint back onto the radar, considering the reveal on the last page of Flash #21, so there's that. . .



    Up next. . .

    HEY! Anybody remember when America put a xenophobic, unstable narcissist with crazy red hair in the highest office? What? No, son. . .COMIC BOOKS! I'm talking Norman Osborne and "Dark Reign". In particular, I'm talking about the time he went crazy after The Punisher tried to snipe him.

    Marvel's 21 issue run of The Punisher. . .the Dark Reign: The List - Punisher one shot. . .5 issues of Franken-Castle. . .and Dark Wolverine issues 88-89. The whole "Let's put The Punisher back in regular continuity." mess from 2009!

    That's right. I said friggin' FRANKEN-CASTLE!

    Last edited May 11, 2017 6:51:59 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 10, 2017 3:53:20 am
  • Just finished up with issues 1-10 of Marvel's 2009 Punisher run, plus the Dark Reign: The List - Punisher one shot tie in tonight. . .

    The first half of this set of issues was actually pretty good. Unfortunately, starting with issue #6, it went downhill fast. I really liked how they started off by playing on the sad truth that The Punisher is pretty much utterly outmatched by the superhumans of the regular Marvel Universe. . .and in a meta way, it looks like the creative team was telling the reader, "You THINK you want The Punisher in regular continutity, but guess what? It don't work, son."

    And then they went and demonstrated WHY it doesn't work. Even the weakest superhuman is a huge challenge for Punisher. . .who, at the end of the day, is basically just a highly-trained badass with a lot of guns and a relentless mindset for killing bad guys. At the end of it all, they added insult to injury (or maybe the other way around?) by literally butchering him at the hands of a wannabe Wolverine as if to say "See? THIS is what happens when you mix Punisher with superheroes. You happy?"

    BUT. . .

    They weren't done with their demonstration just yet. We're only halfway through this run, folks.



    Up next. . .

    When you see a list of top 10 strangest (modern) Marvel comic stories, there's a pretty good chance this next batch of issues has made the cut. Get ready to ride this baby straight off the rails, folks!


    Last edited May 11, 2017 6:56:21 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 16, 2017 4:43:58 am
  • Just finished up with the back half of Marvel's 2009 Punisher/Franken-Castle run tonight. . .

    Despite all the bad press, I'd have to say that I enjoyed the first half of it. . .when it was a bizarre backdoor Legion of Monsters reunion book (Don't take this the wrong way, but I love me some Man-Thing). The art was fantastic and it was just goofy throwback Bronze Age monster fun. It certainly wasn't a Punisher book, but it was pretty good. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there and was mercifully killed quickly and with the Punisher returned to his street-level status quo.

    All in all, I think this entire series was a perfect demonstration of just why The Punisher doesn't fit well in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Ultimately, Frank Castle is just an arguably insane guy with guns and an unrelenting desire to kill bad guys. In this series he was shown to be hopelessly outmatched by even the lamest superhuman being, even when in the form of an undead monstrosity powered by a Bloodstone.

    What we have here, my friends, is 24 issues of a lesson taught to us by one Mr. Remender and company. . .and that lesson being to stop asking for the Punisher to be in the mainstream Marvel continuity. . . because you might just get what you ask for.



    Up next. . .

    Speaking of giving the people what they want, whether they want it or not.

    Travel back with me to the grim-n-gritty 90's when people wanted Spider-Man without all that silly "With great power comes great responsibilities" nonsense. Venom: Lethal Protector!

    Last edited May 16, 2017 5:46:21 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 18, 2017 4:48:07 am
  • Just got done with Marvel's 6 issue Venom: Lethal Protector mini tonight. . .

    Lethal Protector is like a time capsule of 90's art and storytelling. . .and not one of the good time capsules with all sorts of awesome things from the past. No, this is like one of those time capsules where people scratch their head and wonder just what the they were thinking back when they made it.

    I'm not saying it's all bad. I'm just saying it's definitely a relic of its time. If someone tried to pass this story off today, the internet would mercilessly let them know that 1993 called and they want their comics back.

    But like I said. . .taken for what it is, it's not BAD, it's just not very good. It's okay at best, and even has some pretty good moments here and there. It just feels like something that was rushed out to capitalize on Venom's sudden popularity.



    Up next. . .

    I don't have the full run of this series, just random issues, but like the Brave and The Bold that I reviewed a while back, each one is pretty much a one-shot story anyway. I'm talking Marvel's What If. . .?

    Daredevil, Phoenix, Wolverine, Punisher, Iron Man, Captain America, and Civil War. . .OH MY!

    Last edited May 18, 2017 4:53:41 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 18, 2017 7:53:06 pm
  • I have the Gold version. Even being limited, it's limited to 10,000 which is a higher print run than many modern comics.

  • Posted: May 19, 2017 1:30:51 am
  • I have to admit that even though I wasn't impressed with the story or art in general, the first 2 issues have some nice covers.
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 23, 2017 4:38:16 am
  • Just finished reading the small handful of Marvel What If. . .? issues I have tonight. . .

    (Vol 2)
    #2: What if Daredevil killed The Kingpin?
    #32: What if Phoenix had lived?
    #43: What if Wolverine had married Mariko?
    #51: What if Punisher became Captain America?
    #64: What if Iron Man went public?
    Captain America: Fallen Son (one shot)
    Civil War (one shot)
    Wolverine (one shot)

    Overall, I found the issues I have of What If. . .? to generally be enjoyable, if a bit on the average side. Some of them depended too much on knowledge of (then current) continuity (Phoenix and the two Civil War one shots), and one of them was more of an Elseworlds than a What If. . .? (Wolverine one shot), but there weren't any really bad ones. . .and there were a couple that were really good (Daredevil and Iron Man).

    All in all, after a bit of a closer look at What If. . .? I think I'm going to keep my eye out in the back issue bins for some more.



    Up next. . .
    It's everyone's favorite immortal bloodthirsty monster, but when he was still a mortal bloodthirsty monster. Topps' 3 issue Dracula: Vlad The Impaler mini.
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
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