I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews that nobody ever asked for!
This time out, I'm going to take a look at another handful of one shot issues that were included with my recent purchase of a massive pile (about 600 issues) of non-DC/Marvel comics. I've let my daughter pick the ones to review, and I have to say that I was a little disappointed with what she gave me last time.
I'm crossing my fingers for better luck with this batch. . .so enough introduction, let's get right into it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!
I believe I've mentioned in a couple of posts that I've recently come into two longboxes STUFFED with non-DC/ Marvel comics. . .mostly from the 90's.
I bought the boxes from a closing comic shop (another one bites the dust, R.I.P.) for a measly FORTY BUCKS because the shop owner knew that nobody else but me was going to touch them. Indeed. . .his closing sale had been going on for a week and he hadn't sold but a few comics from those boxes.
SO. . .
Here I sit with about SIX HUNDRED random comics from mostly-defunct comic publishers like Valiant, Malibu, Innovation, Eclipse, NOW, Impact, Continuity, Topps, CrossGen Chaos, and others I've never even heard of. Along with a healthy sprinkle of older comics from companies that are still chugging along like Dark Horse, Image, and Antarctic.
What to do with all of that fine Longbox Junk? Unfortunately, there isn't much that's complete, as far as runs or mini's. . .so despite the bounty of bargain box books at hand, they don't really fit my concept for Longbox Junk, where I generally try to get into full runs and complete stories.
BUT. . .
Among all the incomplete runs and story fragments, there is a big, beautiful stack of ONE SHOTS!
If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know the love I have for the one shot! It's probably my favorite form of comic art. The creative team has ONE and ONLY ONE issue to tell a complete story. There's no room for error. . .no "well, maybe next issue will be better", like there is in a series. I absolutely love seeing if a creative team can step up to the challenge of the one shot.
So let's get into some of these non-DC/Marvel one shots, shall we? We shall!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the blog absolutely stuffed full of comic book reviews that nobody asked for! Well. . .at least they USUALLY don't ask for them. That's right, it's another Longbox Junk Reader Request Edition!
A while back, my comic lovin' daughter challenged me to take on some reader requests. The call went out, a decent list was formed, and now I occasionally draw one randomly from a hat (An actual hat. A set of Micky Mouse Ears monogrammed with my daughter's name from Disney World, to be specific) and then here we are!
Congratulations goes out to Spector for his fine request for some Man-Bat!
I WAS originally going to do the 1996 3 issue Man-Bat mini for this entry because I like how it feels like a non-branded Vertigo horror comic. Spector's request was actually for the 1975 two issue Man-Bat "series", but between me and my daughter, we only have the first issue of that one, and I usually only like reviewing complete stories.
BUT. . .
You know what? There's no real rules here at Longbox Junk, so I decided to just go ahead and steal my daughter's Man-Bat #1 for a nice single issue combination Retro Review and Reader Request Edition, because why not? Spector wanted Bronze Age Man-Bat, so we're gonna swing this into a Retro Review and get into some Bronze Age Man-Bat!
A bit of introduction first.
Man-Bat is one of those characters that's hard to pin down. He's a great supporting character (mostly in Batman-related comics) that's sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, but is never really able to hold down an ongoing series. He's had several rebooted origins (Let's not even talk about what they did to the poor guy in the New 52), but at the heart of things, Man-Bat is actually a horror character.
Digging down to the essence of the character, he's sort of a combination of the Hulk and Werewolf by Night. Basically, he's a brilliant scientist named Kirk Langstrom who fell victim to an experiment gone wrong. He transforms into a vicious flying humanoid bat-like creature where he has varying degrees of control over both the transformation and his state of mind once transformed.
Sometimes he has control over himself and is able to work alongside others as sort of a heroic figure (as seen in the recent Justice League Dark comics). Other times (as in the 1996 mini I mentioned above) he's almost completely inhumanly feral and capable of the most brutal and bloody acts.
So. . .science gone wrong forcing a man to share his body with a vicious creature he may or may not be able to control. I should have done some Man-Bat for Longbox Junk Halloween!
In the comic at hand, Kirk Langstrom is able to control his transformation, retains his intelligence in Man-Bat form and is able to communicate with others. . .in other words, the more heroic version of Man-Bat. Let's take a look!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk. . .the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!
It's the day before Halloween, but we're still having some spooky fun here at Longbox Junk by spotlighting some of the creepy comics hiding in the dark corners of my (and my daughter's) collection.
This month we've taken a look at American Vampires (great!), Vegetarian Duck Vampires (pretty good) and grumpy reformed Vampires (meh). So even though this Halloween Longbox Junk season HAS been a bit Vampire-Heavy, I'm of the opinion that in this time of year Vampires are like bite-size Snickers. . .you can never have enough in your bucket!
And so. . .more vampires. I pulled this one from my daughter's collection after spotting that SWEET Halloween-y cover while delving for some good Longbox Junk. I've never heard of this or read it until now, so you'll find out the same time I do:
Is this Snickers or Candy Corn?
Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk. . .the blog packed FULL of comic reviews nobody asked me for!
Even though the witching hour draws close, we're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk by taking a look at some of the spooky stuff hiding in the dark corners of my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
It's been a pretty nice Halloween season here at Longbox Junk if I DO say so myself. So far we've seen Vampires (Vegetarian and otherwise), Killer Easter Bunnies, A sci-fi take on Jekyll & Hyde, Werewolves, Frankenstein's Monster, Spirits of Vengeance, Prairie Witches, and some generally nasty people doing nasty things (like burying each other alive). So what's missing here?
Zombies. We need some zombies!
And so here's some zombies.
What we have here is a fresh chunk of Longbox Junk that's on the stands even as I write this. I only have the first issue because I basically bought it for the extremely Halloween-y zombie Batman variant cover and somehow have kept missing the following issues. I'm sure I'll spot the whole set eventually in a bargain bin, but for now I just have this first issue, so let's take a look at it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for that you could ever ask for! Wait. . .did that make sense? You know what, I don't care! Welcome!
We're in the last week of October and it's the Halloween Home Stretch for Longbox Junk before we get back to our random business as usual. So sit back and enjoy a few more posts where we spotlight some of the spooky stuff lurking in my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
I was sort of on the fence about labeling this one as a Longbox Junk "Retro Review". It sits solidly at the end of the Bronze Age in 1980. . .and at 40 years old, it's not exactly a new comic. But on the other hand, the art and the stories inside definitely have a more Modern Age feel to them. . .despite paying lip service to the CCA by sporting the (then increasingly toothless) seal of approval on the cover.
In any case, no matter where this comic may fall in terms of defining "Age", at a top value of twelve lousy bucks for a mint copy (according to Comic Book Realm) it's definitely what I would call Longbox Junk. . .so let's take a look!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk, spotlighting some of the spooky stuff haunting my (and my daughter's) comic collection. This time out, we're going into the lighter side of horror with Count Duckula!
FAIR WARNING: I'm going to digress a bit here before getting into the comic at hand.
As far as I'm concerned one of the best parts of comic collecting is the ability of a simple floppy stack of stapled paper to transport me back to various periods of time. . .I like to call it "The Paper Time Machine". This Count Duckula comic book took me back in a big way.
I don't have a personal connection to this particular issue. It came from my daughter's collection. But as I was looking through it, I was brought straight back to the very beginning of my days as a bargain bin hunter. See, before my daughter was old enough to start enjoying comics, I mostly collected what was new on the rack or what I had on subscription. I pretty much ignored the back issue boxes.
But when my daughter got to be about 4 or 5 years old, that changed when I decided to find some cheap comics for her that I wouldn't mind if she banged them up a bit. My thinking was to get her interested first and teach her how to take care of them later. So I began my long career as a "Longbox Junker" digging through bargain bins for Richie Rich, Archie, Casper, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and any other bright comic aimed at kids I could find for a quarter. . .and here we are now.
My daughter is 25 now and she's the Marvel fan of the two of us (I'm more of a DC guy). Getting deep into the convoluted continuity of Marvel's connected superhero soap opera is definitely her thing. . .but it all started with comics like this one. Just looking at this comic brings me back to the days of us sitting together on the floor of her bedroom. . .me with my new comics and her with a handful of cheap Richie Rich comics after dinner on Wednesday nights.
It's amazing to me remembering how something so inexpensive and simple as a Casper The Friendly Ghost comic from the quarter bin could bring my young daughter such happiness. What's even more amazing to me now that she's older is discovering (while digging through her collection looking for good Longbox Junk) that she still has so many of those comics I bought as throwaways!
They're worthless for all intents and purposes. Heavily read. . .some of them with covers detached, some with Kool-Aid stains, corners bent, just all sorts of damage. But she has them just as carefully bagged and boarded as the most valuable comics in her collection! When I pulled this Count Duckula comic from the box to do this review, she told me to be careful with it, even though it's probably not even "worth" a dollar.
And so even though the pages are barely hanging onto the staples, I treated this comic like a Silver Age collector item. . .because to my daughter, it's valuable. Her telling me to be careful with this "worthless" comic reminded me in a BIG way that sometimes the value of a comic has nothing to do with how much money it's worth.
Well. . .enough of that.
The comic at hand is one that I bought at some unknown point in the past for my daughter. I assumed on first look (based on the cover) that it was from the Warner Bros. stable of characters because the main character looks sort of like Daffy Duck or someone related to him. But as I said above, in those early days of Longbox Junkin' I just pulled anything that looked good for kids from the quarter box. I never actually READ any of them beyond a quick flip in the store and maybe a little reading together with my daughter if she needed help with a word or wanted to show me something funny.
BUT. . .
A quick bit of research shows me that Count Duckula is actually a character based on a British cartoon series I've never heard of called "Danger Mouse", and has nothing to do with Disney or WB. So this comic and the main character is as new for me now as it was for my daughter all those years ago. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, where you can find more comic reviews you never asked for than you could ever ask for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here in Longbox Junk by spotlighting some of the spooky stuff lurking in the shadows of my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
This time out, join me in taking a look at a Halloween Special one shot featuring Red Sonja. . .a character I wouldn't normally associate with Halloween. But then again, I just reviewed a Jonah Hex Halloween issue a few posts back, so I guess in the world of comics just about anything goes.
SO. . .Red Sonja Halloween. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find comic book reviews nobody asked for!
We're still having a bit of Halloween fun here at Longbox Junk as I take a look at some of the spooky stuff lurking in my (and my daughter's) comic collection.
What we have here today for your "I never asked for this, and where the heck did you even find it?" reading pleasure is a strange little comic book crossover of two "cult" horror television programs. . . and by "cult" I mean that generally people who were alive in the 70's might remember these shows, along with a good handful of rabid fans.
I'd be willing to take a bet that any random person born after 1990 that I might stop and ask has never seen an episode of either one, and probably won't even know either of them ever existed (In their original forms. One of the shows DID have an ill-advised reboot movie released in 2012 that came and went pretty quickly in the theaters).
The shows I'm talking about are Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Dark Shadows.
Of the two, Dark Shadows will probably ring more of a bell than Night Stalker, due to the aforementioned movie (A strange Johnny Depp/Tim Burton project which wasn't really THAT bad) and that Dark Shadows was originally on T.V. for 6 years and in pretty constant syndication throughout the 70's compared to Night Stalker's one single year of production and a few "Movie of The Week" specials.
Dark Shadows was basically a supernatural soap opera following the continuing spooky trials and tribulations of the Collins family and their Patriarch, Vampire Barnabas Collins, in and around the town of Collinsport, Maine.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker followed intrepid Chicago reporter Carl Kolchak as he investigates stories that lead him into paranormal adventures. Unfortunately, by the end of each episode, the evidence of any paranormal connection has usually been destroyed. . .so he's a bit of a hard luck guy that just can't catch a break.
SO. . .
A comic crossover of two supernatural 70's "Cult" T.V. shows. This seems like one of those sort of things that's either going to be a great little hidden gem or it's going to fail and fail hard. Let's find out which one it is!
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