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  • atom | Male | Utah

"I have a lot of issues. . ."

I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!

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Take a look at any "Worst" or "Insane" list involving either Marvel or The Punisher and you'll come across a strange time in Punisher's history when he had killed himself and come back to life with heavenly (READ: Super) powers given to him by an angel (who was responsible for the death of Frank Castle's family and him becoming The Punisher) so that both he and The Punisher could seek redemption in the eyes of Heaven. . .

Needless to say, this new status quo was NOT popular with the fans.  Hell, even the much-maligned "Franken-Castle" arc lasted longer.  Punisher as a heavenly avenger lasted exactly two 4 issue mini's and a handful of references here and there later on.

This is the second of those mini's and the last time the comics world would see The Punisher in undead heavenly avenger mode.  I don't have all the issues of the mini that introduced this idea, but for what it's worth, from what I've read this is the better of the two.

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Retro Reviews - Cowboy Western #57

437 views • Jan 25, '18 • (0) Comments

As far as popular entertainment goes, "The Western" is a genre that has all but disappeared.  Historical research and general hindsight has pretty much washed away the shine that used to glow from the legendary figures of the old west, showing them to be deeply flawed (and for the most part, mentally disturbed) individuals on BOTH sides of the law.  The strife between brave cowboys and vile redskins has been revealed as government-sponsored genocide.  The heroes have become the villains.

But that hasn't always been the case.  There was a time in popular American entertainment when the Cowboy was king.  Western movies, T.V. shows, books, and comics were dominated by tales of the wild west.  Men of stern character fought to tame a lawless frontier full of outlaws and savage indian tribes. 

 The "Golden" age of  western entertainment is arguably the 1950's.  Classic movies such as The Big Country, High Noon, 3:10 to Yuma, Shane, Rio Bravo, and many more ruled the box office.  Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Maverick, The Lone Ranger, and others were the most popular shows on television.  Songs by Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, and other "Singing Cowboys" were all over the radio.  

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Captain Phasma has been hyped up by the promotions for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi as some sort of awesome and mysterious villain. . .and she DOES look badass with her chrome stormtrooper armor and flowing black cape.

BUT. . .

Let's face it.  The hype isn't the truth.  Captain Phasma is pretty much the new Star Wars movie's Boba Fett.  Sure, she LOOKS awesome, but she has what. . .five minutes total screen time over two movies?  That and SPOILER she dies (maybe) a weak-ass death in The Last Jedi, just like Boba Fett went out like a chump in Return of The Jedi.

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Longbox Junk - The X-Files Part 5

451 views • Jan 19, '18 • (0) Comments

And so we finally come to the last batch of Topps' X-Files run.  Fair warning, folks. . .it ain't pretty.

This series was never that good to begin with.  It has its moments here and there, but generally speaking it's been mediocre at best up until this point.  From here to the end of things it gets pretty bad.

These issues coincided with the general collapse of the 90's speculator comic market, and specifically the collapse of Topps Comics in 1998.  They also came out when the X-Files T.V. show's popularity began to wane.  The show was still high in the ratings, but nowhere near what it had been.

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Welcome to another "Retro Review", where I take a look at some of the older comics in my collection that might be a little more valuable than my regular Longbox Junk, but would still be considered filler in the boxes of any SERIOUS comic collector. 

This week, we're going to crack the plastic on the first issue of a short-lived Marvel series (9 issues) from the early 70's that seems to have been created based on the theory of "If this one thing is awesome, and so is this thing. . .then another thing combining the two will be TWICE as awesome!"

In Combat Kelly's case, the two awesome things they tried to combine were the long-running Marvel war comic "Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos" and the popular 1967 movie "The Dirty Dozen".  Unfortunately, it seems that the combination didn't work out so well, and Combat Kelly and The Dirty. . .er. . .DEADLY Dozen lasted only just over a year (it was a bi-monthly book).  

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Longbox Junk - The X-Files Part 4

441 views • Jan 16, '18 • (0) Comments

As I read this next batch of Topps' X-Files comics. . .moving through the second year of the run and into the third. . .I begin to wonder if perhaps I might be bearing witness to a conspiracy over twenty years old.


I've already touched a bit on on the conflict going on in the background of this series that eventually led to the departure of the original writer in favor of one more accepting of the fate of writing a tie-in to a hugely popular T.V. sensation, but not being able to use any of the ideas, storylines, or characters of the source material beyond bare-bones unchanging sketches of the main characters and a basic outline of the show's overall theme. 

BUT. . .

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Once again, I interrupt the regular Longbox Junk flow by bringing you fine folks of Comic Book Realm another single issue review from my collection of a comic that's a little older, maybe a bit more valuable than the Longbox Junk I normally talk about, and that I don't have a full run of.  It's already been published elsewhere, but like I always tell my kids. . .If you haven't seen it, it's new to you, right?  So let's do this!

 

SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #2

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Longbox Junk - The X-Files Part 3

448 views • Jan 5, '18 • (0) Comments

As we move in to the conclusion of the first year of Topps' X-Files comic series, I can clearly see the behind the scenes conflict that seemingly plagued this book coming into play in the form of a sudden shift and swift retcon of the overarching story being that of a government conspiracy to one of a single person being behind EVERYTHING that has happened in the first 9 issues.

 

From interviews I've read, the writer claims that the T.V. production company kept such an iron grip on the comics that it let not only to a disruptive shipping schedule due to their approval process. . .where the book would skip months, then ship THREE issues in a single month. . .but also to the departure of the original writer in favor of someone the T.V. producers could more easily work with (Read: Tell what to do and how to do it).

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I actually do reviews of single issues in my collection that are worth a little more or are considered more "collectable" and wouldn't really be called "Longbox Junk" for another site and figured that since I'm a sharing kind of guy, I'd bring a few of them here. 

The main difference between these reviews and Longbox Junk reviews (beyond the value of the comics) is that sometimes you can find other reviews of some of the Longbox Junk. . .with these, I can just about 99.99% guarantee that there has NEVER been a review, simply because most of the non-junk reviews are from the 1950's to the 1970's and comic book reviews weren't even a thing then. Uncharted territory, son!

ANYWAY. . .

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Longbox Junk - The X-Files Part 2

567 views • Dec 13, '17 • (0) Comments

I think the reason I loved the X-Files so much is that there really wasn't anything else like it on T.V.  It combined conspiracy theories and unsolved mysteries and mixed in an interesting take on the tried and true buddy cop show formula. 

The Topps comic series came out during the second season of the show, and followed a somewhat unusual path for a licensed product tie-in. . .especially a tie-in to something that was still going strong.  The comic series was supposedly happening AT THE SAME TIME as the series. 

But there was a bit of a problem with that unusual approach. . .although the comics and T.V. series were supposed to be right alongside each other, the writers of the comic were SEVERELY restricted in what characters from the T.V. show could appear.  Therefore, appearances by series regulars (such as Skinner, The Cigarette Smoking Man, and The Lone Gunmen) were little more than cameos.

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