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Longbox Junk The Lone Ranger (Vol 3) Part 2: Issues 13 25

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I'm no historian, but from the little I know about the subject, the actual historic figure that Count Dracula is based on is just as terrifying (if not more so, for having actually existed) as his fictional counterpart.  This 3 issue mini tries to do two things. . .tell the terrible story of Vlad Dracula and then meld him with the fictional Count Dracula.  Does it work? Read on!

DRACULA: VLAD THE IMPALER (Topps)

ISSUE 1

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I've always been a fan of alternate reality stories. . .what would have happened if THIS would have been different, or if THAT was said, and so on.  Books, movies, T.V. shows, comic books, I love it all.  It's just interesting to me considering the path not taken.  Both Marvel and DC ran with this idea. . .DC with "Elseworlds" (Coming soon to Longbox Junk) and Marvel with "What If. . .?".

Personally, I like Elseworlds better, but since I have a small handful of What If. . .? then Why Not?

WHAT IF. . .? (Marvel)

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I'll just get this right out of the way. . .I'm not a Spider-Man fan.  As a comic book fan, I've absorbed the basic knowledge of Spider-Man by comic osmosis.  I've seen some of the movies and cartoons.  I own some Spidey comics that just sort of came into my collection by buying random boxes full of comics at auctions.  He's crossed over into other comics I've read, but I've just never been interested in following any of his regular titles.

My awareness of Venom is similar to that of Spider-Man. . .mostly absorbed by comic fan osmosis.  I knew the bare basics and that's about it.  In other words, when I got this mini in a box of auction comics a few years ago, I bagged them, longboxed them, and forgot them. . .I never read them and wasn't interested in reading them.  

BUT. . .

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So. . .The Punisher is dead.  But yet there's still 11 issues and 2 crossover issues from another title in this series.  How much further down the rabbit hole can this thing go?  Let's find out!

PUNISHER (2009)

ISSUE 11

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The Punisher is one of my favorite characters.  He's seemingly pretty shallow, but has enjoyed a pretty long run in his various series. Now here's the problem with The Punisher:  He really doesn't play well with superheroes. . .he works best in his own separate, dark, bloody world.  Unfortunately, Marvel keeps trying to make him fit into their regular continuity. . .which leads to a somewhat schizophrenic character as they realize it doesn't work and put him back into a powered-down environment, then a few years later, they try him with superheroes again.  It's a really strange cycle for a character.

ANYWAY. . .

Here's their 2009 effort at putting Punisher in the superhero sandbox again.  

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I MIGHT be in the minority of comic fans when I confess that I actually LIKED the New 52.  Okay, they really messed up Superman and they're STILL trying to fix him to this very day, but I was never much of a Superman fan to begin with.  And they really, REALLY wanted to sell Cyborg as a major player for some reason (and never really succeeded), but once again, not really a fan.  And then there was Huntress.  Okay. . .Huntress I can be pissed about. And Azrael.  And Tim Drake. And Oracle.

Okay.  I guess it wasn't ALL good.  But for the most part, I liked the New 52.  Flashpoint is where it all started.  Let's take a little refresher course, since DC seems to bringing some Flashpoint back into Rebirth. . .

FLASHPOINT (DC)

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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". 

THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO (Dynamite)

ISSUE 1

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The Invaders confused me a bit.  I thought that they were an actual Golden Age team, but I was a bit surprised to find out that they were actually created in the 60's and retconned into the WWII era.  I wonder if this might be one of the earliest examples of this being done. 

That aside, I'm also not sure why this mini was noted as a crossover between Dynamite and Marvel, maybe some licensing issues with some of the Golden Age characters?  

ANYWAY. . .

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This series leads off exactly where the previous Dynamite Zorro series ended. . .but a full year and a half later.  Why they took so long to continue the story, I don't know. It reminds me of how a season of a show like Walking Dead or Game of Thrones will end on a cliffhanger and pick up later on exactly where they left off. But unlike those shows, from the looks of the back issue values and print run numbers, it doesn't seem like anyone was particularly anxious to learn how this particular cliffhanger worked out.

ANYWAY. . .

ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Dynamite)

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After an extremely strong start, can the back half of this series keep up?  Let's find out!

ZORRO (Dynamite)

ISSUE 11

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