I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic book reviews you never asked for!
The Good News is that there's new comics on the shelves! The Bad News is that it's barely a trickle (and only a few series I regularly subscribe to - Doctor Aphra, Batman and Detective). Well, I guess that means I'm still back issue diving for new-ish comics for a while yet. . .
SO. . .
As you know (or if you're a new reader, you will soon. . .and welcome!), I've been taking a look at single first issues of series I've pulled from the back issue boxes (not the bargain bins) of my local comic shop during this new comic drought. I call this series of Longbox Junk entries "First Issue Fun".
Reading back over the 3 First Issue Fun entries I've done so far, I notice that almost all of them involve established characters being presented to new readers with varying degrees of success. But what about some completely new characters? Characters without any baggage? Fresh and shiny, with that new character smell? Aren't there any NEW characters out there for me to try to get into?
A while back, I saw lots of ads for a bunch of new DC comics falling under the imprint of "The New Age of Heroes". They were promoted as being new characters and teams spinning out of the "Dark Knights Metal" crossover. But since I'm not a fan of bloated multi-title crossover "Events", I never paid any attention to them.
BUT. . .
Digging through the back issue bins at my local comic shop, I came across whole runs of almost every "New Age of Heroes" title (6 full runs out of 8 total titles) and decided to grab the first issue of every one of them the shop had and give them an honest chance because why not?
So, let's take a look at a few and see what's happening with this "New Age of Heroes" thing!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find more comic reviews that you never asked for than you ever asked for. What? Well it makes sense to me!
Although things are slowly getting back to something resembling normal in the great state of Utah, my work schedule is still just flappin' in the wind. It seems that the government in their "wisdom" has decided to pay an unemployment bonus that lets people make more money by NOT working than they usually make on the job. I'm not gonna get political here, but it's created an interesting situation where my hotel has full-time jobs available, but nobody wants them.
ANYWAY. . .
Because my schedule is still pretty chaotic (and to make it worse, I've also been a bit sick. . .not "the virus"), I'm still sticking to some shorter reviews of single first issues I've picked up recently during my dives into my Local Comic Shop's back issue bins. I call this little effort to keep the Longbox Junk posts coming on a somewhat regular basis "First Issue Fun".
When I read the first issue of a series, I look for TWO things: Does it introduce characters in a new reader-friendly way? Does it tell a story that I want to read more of? Is that really too much to ask for? I think it's actually a pretty low bar, but for some reason, it seems that a lot of first issues somehow manage to fail at one or both of those two little things.
So let's take a look at a couple more first issues and see what happens, shall we?
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find comic reviews you never asked for!
I've noticed something recently. Chalk it up to the strange times we're living in right now, but it seems like EVERY comic review site has suddenly transformed into a Longbox Junk franchise. There's reviews of back issues all over the place these days! How can a humble Longbox Junker like myself stand out when EVERYBODY has gone off the shelf and into the bins for material?
And so I ponder the question as I browse the shiny new Longbox Junk franchises I normally read my current comic reviews at. And as I ponder, I realize the answer is right up at the top of this very page!
Those other guys are doing reviews of Batman, Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern Avengers, Thor, X-Force, Wolverine, Deadpool, Spider-Verse, and so on and so forth. That's cool. Keepin' the lights on, at least.
BUT. . .
Who's doing reviews of New 52 Blackhawks? Who's gonna review Marvel's New Universe Justice? Who's digging deep enough to suffer through Acclaim's Gawd-Awful sequel to Waterworld. . .Children of Leviathan? Does anyone even know there IS a Gawd-Awful comic sequel to Waterworld? Who's writing reviews that NOBODY ever asked for? WHO?
You know who. And I'm taking this opportunity to thank you for reading. I really do appreciate you fine folks who take a bit of your precious time to come here and (hopefully) enjoy what I do. It means a lot to me.
ANYWAY. . .I'm not complaining about the other guys doing what they have to do. Just something that I've been thinking about lately. And seriously, thanks for reading!
Enough of that.
Due to my strange new work schedule (I don't even want to try and describe it), I have lots of time to READ comics, but finding time to write about them has become a bit challenging. So I'm going to break away from what I normally do. . .mostly limited series. . .and focus on some single issues for a little while. And so with that, we (FINALLY) come to the comics at hand. . .a pair of #1 issues I recently pulled from the back issue bins. One from Marvel, one from DC. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!
Once again, apologies for the time between my posts being pretty random these days. As the head of a skeleton crew at my job, I'm doing the work of 3 people and my schedule is just sort of swingin' in the wind. But at least I still have a job, so I'll keep the complaints to a minimum. I've been READING a lot of comics, I just don't have as much time as I'd like to write about them.
ANYWAY. . .
I'll tell you true. . .things ain't great out there. Every time I turn on the news, I feel like taking a Xanax and climbing UNDER the bed. My gut gets sour just looking at the headlines of a newspaper these days. Forget toilet paper. . .I need to stock up on TUMS!
I don't have the stomach to add to all the negativity in the air, so I've temporarily decided to make Longbox Junk a place to come and relax a bit as I take a journey through the lighter side of the comic book world. I'll get back to grinding through some rotten comics eventually. . .but not just yet.
THAT SAID. . .
I've come to discover that my comic collection tends to lean quite a bit to the darker and dramatic side of things. . .which is sort of a problem when deciding to spotlight some fun comics for Longbox Junk readers.
Luckily, my comic-lovin' daughter has come to the rescue! Since she's out of school for the time being, and generally likes her comics to be on the fun side of things, we've been having a great time digging through her collection together and finding some stuff to bring a smile to both of our faces, and I hope it will do the same for you.
Case in point. . .the comics at hand.
A five issue mini-series put out by Marvel in 2005 showcasing five stand-alone (but loosely connected) tales featuring the High-Flyin' Human Torch and your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man in light-hearted adventures paying homage to various eras of Marvel Comics from the Silver Age to the Modern Age.
DISCLAIMER. . .
These issues assume a familiarity with Marvel Continuity I don't really have, and don't specifically say when the stories are set or what creative teams they are paying tribute to. . .which will be part of the fun for readers that are established fans of these characters. I'm NOT a big fan of these characters, so if the bit of research I did do is wrong, feel free to shame/correct me in comments for my own good.
Okay? Ready? Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the blog stuffed FULL of comic reviews you never asked for!
Before we begin. . .
Sorry my posting schedule has become a bit spotty lately. As the chief bonehead managing a skeleton crew running a hotel, I'm working various shifts 6 days a week for the time being. It's a bit chaotic but at least I still have a job, which is more than a lot of people can say these days, so I ain't complaining.
ANYWAY. . .
The past couple months haven't exactly been a party, to say the least. There's no news but bad news. Heck, it's gotten to the point that I don't even want to read the paper or watch the news any more. I've got about 60 rolls of toilet paper in my house, and I don't even know why.
Keeping that in mind, I've decided to try and keep things on the lighter side here at Longbox Junk. There's not much that I can do about everything going on in the world, but hopefully MY small corner of the internet can be a place to visit and get your mind off of things for at least a few minutes. I think we can all sort of use a place like that now and then these days.
SO. . .
How about we take a look at a Pulp-Tastic IDW/DC intercompany crossover adventure featuring a team up between two of my favorite characters of all time. . .The Spirit and The Rocketeer?
It's The Spirit and The Rocketeer! Two of the most fun comic characters ever created.
How can this NOT be good?
LET'S DO 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. . .does that even make sense? It does to me!
So here we are at the back half of DC's short-lived 1993 attempt at a Black Canary solo title.
I was a bit disappointed with the first six issues. It's not that they're BAD, it's just that they could have been a lot better with a bit more effort by a stronger creative team. As it stands coming into the second six issues, things are pretty average and not very memorable. It's a decent read, but I just want a LITTLE more.- read more
Sorry about the delay on this one. I actually had it done last week, but I accidentally deleted the draft and had to completely re-write it!
ANYWAY. . .
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for!- read more
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find comic reviews you never asked for and never knew you wanted! I'm going to try and keep the introduction short so that we can jump right into the second half of this Reader Request for Valiant's Harbinger. . .
THE STORY SO FAR:
High School student Peter Stanchek discovers he has powerful psychic abilities. He goes to the mysterious Harbinger Foundation for help and is taken under the wing of Toyo Harada, the director of the Foundation and a powerful psychic as well.
Later, Peter begins to realize that the Foundation's training is sending him in the wrong direction and decides to leave. Harada retaliates by killing Pete's best friend and later trying to assassinate Pete as well. When the assassination goes wrong and Pete miraculously survives, Harada decides to capture and study him. . .forcing Pete and his girlfriend Kris to go on the run.
Pete decides to go on the offensive and try to take down Harbinger by gathering a team of superhumans of his own. Pete and Kris eventually recruit Faith (with the power of flight), Flamingo (fire powers), and Torque (superhuman strength) to their cause. . .but are still outmatched by Harada and his superhuman Harbinger students.
During a raid on a secret Harbinger training base, Pete and his team of Renegades come across encrypted information that they enlist a new member of the team (Ax, with the power to speak to and understand electronic devices) to decipher.
The information leads them to an extraterrestrial craft, which takes them to a hidden base on the dark side of the moon, where the team is quickly captured. A betrayal by Ax accidentally gives the team the opportunity to escape, but they are severely outnumbered and as they fall one by one during the fight to escape, Flamingo is left to fight the aliens, their leader, and Ax on her own. . .
Which brings us to the second half of this review.
Harbinger Part 2: Issues 4 - 7. Let's do it!
Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find comic reviews that nobody USUALLY asks for. That's right. . .it's another Reader Request Edition!
This time out, I switched things up a little. Instead of randomly drawing a request from the pickin' hat, I decided to grant a (very late) Christmas wish to one of the fine folk of Comic Book Realm and give his suggestion for Valiant's Harbinger a read and review.
Here's the thing about Harbinger. . .and most of Valiant's 90's comics in general: I don't really like them. I admit that I've never really given them the chance they deserve, but even just flipping through the ones I've gained here and there I've never really seen anything to grab and keep my interest.
BUT. . .
I'm going to give Harbinger a fair chance here. It's what Longbox Junk is all about!
A little background before we get into it.
These comics are actually from my daughter's collection, and they've been there for years. Usually when I come across any Valiant comics in auction lots or comic bundles of some sort, I'll give them to my daughter by default, so she actually has quite a few of them.
So imagine my surprise when I did a little of my usual pre-post research and discovered that these comics are actually NOT quite the Longbox Junk I thought they were, with the first issue in good shape valued at a cool $125 (according to Comic Book Realm) and high-graded slabbed copies (According to CGC) coming in at around A THOUSAND BUCKS!
I just tossed these comics (and many others) to my daughter when she was a kid in order to plump her starter collection with reader comics that could take a little abuse. Just looking at them, I would have never thought that ANY of these comics would be that "valuable".
As far as my daughter is concerned, though. . .their true "value" lies in having got them from her dad when she was a kid. She's not interested in selling them for any price, thank you very much.
ANYWAY. . .
I'm not reviewing the whole 41 issue series of Harbinger because my daughter doesn't have the whole series. After issue #10 there's a lot of gaps. So what I'm going to do here is review the first story arc, which covers issues #1 - #7 and the most "valuable" issues of Harbinger. I'm also going to break it up into two parts make things a bit more readable.
Merry (late) Christmas, Tenzil!
Harbinger #1 - #7. . .let's do it!
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