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I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
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This series is strangely confusing to me.  I remember it at one point being hugely popular and extremely collectable.  A little research shows me that one of the stories was nominated for an Eisner award, the series has been collected into several fairly expensive hardcover editions, and the collected edition is ranked at #13 on IGN's list of the 25 greatest Batman Graphic Novels.  Thanks to this series, whenever a comic is given the "DEEEE-Lux" treament, it's usually done in black and white.  It seems to be pretty agreed upon as being an innovative work of art and a must have for any serious Batman fan.  Plus I still see "Black and White" versions of comic statues every time I visit my local comic shop.


That's a mighty damn fine pedigree for a mini right there.  So how come the individual issues are worth less than five bucks?  How come I FINALLY found the issue I had been missing all these years (#4) a couple of months ago in a comic shop dollar box?  WHY is this influental and pretty much universally-praised comic series Longbox Junk? 

So let's leave aside my confusion for the moment and take an objective look at the junk at hand. . .

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The A-Team was a force to be reckoned with back in the 80's.  Unfortunately, it seems that when an A-Team movie was finally made in 2010, the glory days were long past and the response seems to have been a fairly unanimous "Why?"

When I decided to review this 4 issue tie-in mini put out by IDW, I hadn't seen the movie.  So out of curiosity I decided to give it a go and found out that finding a copy was actually a harder task than I would have thought.  It's not on Netflix, it's not on any of the "on demand" channels I have, it's not at Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy.  I don't really buy things off the internet because I'm old and GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!  Long story short, I finally found a used copy in a Gamestop.

Yeah. . .you're going to get a movie review along with your comic review.  Roll with it.

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After an unusually busy summer tourist season, things finally settled down at my hotel a few weeks ago.  I decided to take advantage of the calm and took a well-deserved vacation. . .because as anyone who has ever worked in hotels knows, the best time to take a vacation is when everyone else is NOT on vacation.

ANYWAY. . .

Just got back and it's time for some more Longbox Junk!

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Summer, that is. 

Still not QUITE done with, but this is the first night in almost 3 months my hotel hasn't been completely sold out.  Looking at my paperwork tonight, I see a severely sharp decline in reservations starting in about a week when even late-starting schools are back in session.  I think everyone on staff here will be glad for the break (until they start whining about how bored they are in about a month or so).  I know I'LL be glad to get back to readin' and reviewin' some Longbox Junk!

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I Hate Summer!

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I don't really hate SUMMER.  Let me restate that. . .

I hate working at a hotel during the summer vacation travel rush. 

There's a strange air of desperation for about 100 days a year when my hotel is completely sold out every single day and the phone literally doesn't go for 5 minutes without ringing and someone on the other end practically begging for a vacant room. 

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After a pretty strong start, can this unwanted and almost forgotten series stay on the rails heading into the back half?  Let's find out!

AZRAEL (VOL. 2) Part 2 (DC)

ISSUE 10

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After an unimpressive introduction in the "Death's Dark Knight" mini, I pondered the question of just how good an ongoing series starring the uninteresting character of Michael Lane could be.  

It ran for 18 issues, so there was SOME push behind it, but from what I can see on the internet (O Internet! Fountain of Comic Knowledge!) nobody really cared.  And that lack of care is reflected in the REBIRTH Bat-books where Azrael has been re-introduced, but as a strange version of Jean Paul Valley wearing a Suit of Sorrows with some sort of ancient A.I. computer built into it.  Rebirth Azrael is a steaming pile of WTF, but Michael Lane seems to have been completely forgotten by. . .well. . .everyone.

So here's a look at the ongoing series starring the Azrael nobody asked for, nobody cared about, and nobody remembers today.  I kind of feel sorry for it, because to tell the truth. . .it ain't bad.

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Let me tell you something.  It ain't easy being a defender of Azrael.

That said. . .I'm a pretty big Azrael fan, and guess what? I thought he was a decent Batman too.

Yeah, I know.  DC has pretty much admitted that they specifically created Azrael in a sort of "You want this? You got this." response to constant reader demands to make Batman more grim, gritty, and generally 90's - tastic.   But I liked Azrael, and I liked Azrael as Batman, and I liked Azrael AFTER comic fans were like "Whoa, now! Give us back the old Batman, please."

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First, let me say that I'm a big fan of the Aliens and Predator universe that Dark Horse established outside of the movie continuity in the 1990's. 

BUT. . .

The stories varied wildly in quality.  Some of them were brilliant, and are some of my favorite comics, period.  Others were steaming piles of crap.  The inconsistency of Dark Horse's Alien universe was its weak point. . .and I'm assuming the reason why it eventually faded away for quite a while (They've recently rebooted their Alien/Predator books and the quality is a lot more consistent).

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Captain America is one of my favorite (super hero) characters of all time.

BUT. . .

I'm gonna say something here that MIGHT just be a little bit disagreeable to a lot of comic book readers out there.  I REALLY like Sam Wilson as Captain America, and I hope he STAYS Captain America.

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