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  • Longbox Junk!

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  • Posted: May 24, 2017 4:14:28 am
  • Just got done with Topps' 3 issue Dracula: Vlad the Impaler mini-series. . .

    Overall, I enjoyed this little mini. Comic veteran Roy Thomas did a fine job at giving a pretty good sketch of the life of the historic figure of Vlad Dracul, while also getting monster-ific at the end of things with the transformation into fictional vampire Count Dracula. The line art by old school comic veteran, Esteban Maroto, was solid through the series and outstanding at times, with a great bronze age throwback style.

    If that all there was to it, this would be a GREAT mini-series. Unfortunately, the color art was heavy handed and inappropriately bright for the dark story at hand. Finely-drawn panels are splashed liberally with bright purples, yellows, oranges, and reds to the point that it really detracts from the quality of the series. The last issue toned things down to a more tolerable level, and it's plain to see that if the same restraint had been shown on the first two issues, this would have been a MUCH better product.


    Just look at this otherwise great cover to see what I mean about the coloring. . .


    Up Next. . .

    ONE SHOTS! I love the one shots!

    Aliens, Ruse, Batman, Captain America, The Goon, Hellboy, Punisher, Red Sonja, Boba Fett, Dracula, X-Files,
    and. . .Saddam Hussein?

    Last edited May 29, 2017 1:09:25 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 24, 2017 6:49:08 pm
  • This comic also has a red foil "no price" variant which I own.


  • Posted: May 24, 2017 10:20:37 pm
  • Yeah, there's a coupon for an entry into the drawing for one in the first issue. I think it was limited to 500 and you could only get one randomly by entering, like a lottery.. Imagine the frenzy if Marvel or DC did a lottery drawing for a hot variant cover these days. . .
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: May 29, 2017 4:11:00 am
  • Back to work after my days off and just finished with a few random one-shots. . .

    This handful of one-shots were definitely a mixed bag. . .from the excellent Ruse tie-in to the laughably -tastic Send Hussein To ! and everything in between. Generally, I liked them all except the aforementioned Desert Storm one shot, and even that wasn't ALL bad.

    The thing I DIDN'T like is that only half of these one-shots were really stand-alone stories (Aliens, Ruse, and Captain America). When I read a one-shot, I'm looking for something that stands on its own.

    ANYWAY. . .

    ALIENS: MONDO HEAT (Dark Horse)

    Not bad. Humor in the dark world of Aliens.
    It's not as funny as it wants to be, but still not bad at all.


    I really liked this one. No superheroes, but still very nice.
    What it mostly did was make me miss Crossgen. They were putting out some really good stuff in their time.



    Basically another re-telling of Batman's origin, but Rucka does a good job with it.
    Not the best Batman I've ever read, but not bad at all.



    I've talked a bit elsewhere about my belief that Marvel's woes are partly based on a BIG disconnect between their comic book characters and their counterparts in the Marvel movies. This comic is a testament to the fact that they CAN move them closer together and tell a decent story. And I LOVE this cover!



    AMERICA, YEAH! Good, jingoistic fun for 8 pages. . .and then 56 pages of utter .


    THE GOON 25-CENT SPECIAL (Dark Horse)

    "I don't care what that hoochie-coochie girl says. I don't even own an inflatable chicken."
    One of the best lines I've read in a long time. . .
    Not a great introduction to the character of The Goon, but not bad at all.



    Coming next. . .

    More one-shots! Hellboy, Punisher, Red Sonja, Boba Fett, Dracula and The X-Files!

    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 1, 2017 2:26:23 am
  • Just got done with another half-dozen one-shots tonight. . .

    Overall, this handful of one shots were less of a mixed bag than the previous batch. I generally enjoyed them all, and even though there were a few rough spots here and there, I could easily suggest reading any of these.

    I'm having a hard time deciding which one I liked best, but if I HAD to choose, I'd say Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil. Corben. Mignola. How can you NOT like it? If I had to pick the worst of the bunch, I'd say X-Files: Afterflight. A good underlying story unnecessarily padded for length and with somewhat shaky artwork. Even then, it's not BAD, just a bit disappointing.


    An outstanding short collaboration between two masters of horror comics.
    I just wish the second story was a bit longer.



    A female Punisher in Tokyo who "Punishes" with tickle torture and -paddling.
    And her arch foe is named "Skang Kee Ho". This comic is packed full of WTF.



    Fantastic anime-style art in a nice, hefty package. One of the best of this bunch.



    A scaled down, humorous story that demonstrates that not EVERY tale set in the Star Wars universe has to be epic or dark and dramatic to be good.



    A very nice little vampire story with an unusual setting. . .Ancient Japan.



    A decent story about an unusual subject (UFO sightings in the 1800's) bogged down with unnecessary subplots to pad it out to "graphic novel" length. It's not bad, it's just not as good as it could have been.



    Coming next. . .

    Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Longbox Junk.

    DC's Star Trek/Star Trek The Next Generation: The Modala Imperative 8 issue crossover mini.

    Last edited June 1, 2017 2:31:00 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 2, 2017 3:32:11 am
  • Just got done with the first half of DC's Star Trek: The Modala Imperative tonight. . .

    This mini-series was sort of a schizoprenic reading experience. On the one hand, the writer has a remarkable knack for capturing the voices of the original series T.V. cast on paper. The tone, the dialogue, the pacing is all spot on. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I could almost HEAR the actors speaking as I read.

    On the other hand. The art was barely passable during static scenes of conversation and was almost completely incapable of carrying action scenes. Except for some nice covers, the art really dragged down what COULD have been a great mini and kept it firmly in "pretty good" territory.


    Lookin' mighty good, Lt. Uhura! Shocked


    Up next. . .

    The story continues 100 years later with 4 more issues from Star Trek: The Next Generation!

    Last edited June 2, 2017 3:36:27 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 6, 2017 3:26:13 am
  • Just got done with the second part of DC's Star Trek: The Modala Imperative tonight. . .but I wish I hadn't.

    As a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the only conclusion I can come to for this steaming pile of is that I would have been better off not reading it at all. It spits in the face of those who love Star Trek. It's poorly-written, fails to capture the voice or personalities of the characters, and the art is bad to the point of distraction.

    Where the first half of The Modala Imperative (featuring the original Enterprise crew) at least made an ATTEMPT to be good, and halfway succeeded with decent writing, this half just seems like a lazy, sloppy, cash grab meant to hook fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation while it was still a hot show on T.V. (the mini is from 1991).

    Like most comic collectors, I cringe when thinking of just throwing away a comic book. This series is the FIRST time I've ever felt like tossing a perfectly good comic in the trash can. It's that bad. Unless you are an obsessive Star Trek completionist, stay away.



    Up Next. . .

    I feel the need to rinse the bad taste out of my mouth with some nice, minty Star Wars.

    Dark Horse's 6 issue Star Wars: Dark Empire II mini.

    Last edited June 7, 2017 12:58:53 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 12, 2017 3:48:49 am
  • Back from a nice weekend off. . .and I had to ruin things by reading Dark Horse's Star Wars: Dark Empire II.

    This mini-series started shaky, but okay. . .then went into an extreme nosedive with the introduction of Force trees, steam-powered spaceships, a Deus Ex Machina gang of smugglers who always managed to be in the right place at the right time to save the heroes, a cloned Emperor who looked like Count Dracula being able to put the Dark Side of the Force into just about anyone or anything, ANOTHER giant planet-killing space weapon, and last but not least. . .Princess Leia being drawn like a chubby dude wearing a trucker cap.

    As a practically life-long Star Wars fan, I find this mini to be a slap to the face followed by a sucker punch to the nuts. I find it hard to believe that this thing even exists. I WANT to deny that it exists. . .but there it is, sitting there mocking everything that I love about Star Wars.

    I said in my last review (of Star Trek The Next Generation: The Modala Imperative) that those issues were the first time I ever felt like throwing perfectly good comic books in the garbage can. . .

    I want to set THESE comic books on fire and watch them burn to ashes.



    Up next. . .

    Marvel Executive #1: Boy, those Avenger movies are doing GREAT! Everybody sure loves Captain America. What can we do to expand his exposure in other markets? Ideas?

    Marvel Executive #2: We can reboot his comic book with a new #1 issue. Everybody loves new #1 issues, right?

    Marvel Executive #1: I like the way you're thinking, #2! Anyone else?

    Marvel Executive #3: How about in the new #1 comic we have a completely different character than the one in the movies? That way we can use the name recognition to sell to the movie fans AND give the comic fans something new.

    Marvel Executive #1: YES! comic fans love it when we do new things with the old characters!

    Marvel Executive #2: And in 6 months, we can do ANOTHER reboot with ANOTHER #1 issue!

    Marvel Executive #1: I LOVE IT! what can possibly go wrong?

    (Executives #2 and #3 high five and make a "K-CHING" sound)

    Marvel's extremely short 6 issue run on All New Captain America. . .

    Last edited June 12, 2017 6:17:18 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 20, 2017 3:12:33 am
  • Just got done with Marvel's "blink and you missed it" 6 issue first swing at Sam Wilson Captain America. . .All New Captain America.

    Reading this short run, I can fully understand why a lot of people were sour on the idea of Sam Wilson as Captain America. It is little more than an unimaginative 6 issue punch-fest with a hot mess of a plot made worse by the idea of having Steve Roger's Dimension Z adoptee son as an extremely weak and unlikable sidekick character.

    The post-Secret Wars Captain America: Sam Wilson is superior in many ways. They made a lot of changes. . .but after reading this initial mess Marvel offered up, how many people didn't even give it a chance? A shame.

    On close inspection, one can pretty much see that this whole series was basically filler with the express purpose to do SOMETHING with Nomad and to retcon the new Captain America's "Snap" Wilson background out of existence.

    All things considered, I wouldn't suggest this. . .series? Can 6 issues even be CALLED a series? I wouldn't suggest this series to anyone but the most die-hard Sam Wilson Captain America or Falcon fans. Stuart Immonen's outstanding art was pretty much the only saving grace.


    But do I love this cover. . .


    Last edited June 20, 2017 3:17:05 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
  • Posted: June 26, 2017 3:09:15 am
  • Just finished up with Dark Horse's 4 issue Aliens: Berserker mini tonight. . .

    All in all, this was not bad. I liked it quite a bit. It's a quick-moving, decent piece of hard science fiction military action. If you aren't a fan of that genre of writing, then this won't be for you at all. The characters are barely-sketched military cliches, the story is basically an excuse for shooting things, and the dialogue is full of manly military bro-talk. . .but all that said, it hits the marks for a pretty good hard sci-fi story.

    The only real problem here is the art. Vehicles, machinery, weapons, aliens, and gore are all done VERY nicely. Human faces and proportions are pretty poorly rendered. This wouldn't be so much of a problem in this kind of story, but it's compounded by lousy, heavy-handed coloring. It's all too bright and splashed with primary colors in an extremely distracting way. Don't let the very nicely-painted covers fool you.

    Overall, what we have here is a decent sci-fi military story hampered by barely tolerable art.



    Last edited June 26, 2017 3:19:57 am
    Favorite Characters: Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, Captain America, The Shadow, Zorro, The Rocketeer, Jonah Hex
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