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atom's Comic Book Blogs

  • atom | Male | Utah

"I have a lot of issues. . ."

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

November 2019

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One Shots!

I have a great love for the condensed storytelling of the one shot. They are without a doubt my favorite kind of comic book. Creators are tasked with the challenge of telling a complete story in ONE issue.  Some rise to the occasion. . .some don't. So you never know what you're gonna get.

For this batch of one shots, I decided to go with a bit of a theme: Movie adaptations.

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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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Longbox Junk - What If. . .?

724 views • May 23, '17 • (0) Comments

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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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've got a couple of GREAT ones this time out, folks! 

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (Dark Horse)

ISSUE 1

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I have a lot of one-shots in my collection.  They're probably my favorite kind of comic book.  Not that I don't like following a character month to month, but there's definitely something to be said for having a complete story in one issue.  No cliffhangers.  No waiting.  Just a single compact piece of comic book goodness.  I decided to throw some one shots into the Longbox Junk mix for the next few entries before I go back to complete runs and mini-series. . .

HELLBOY: 2017 WINTER SPECIAL (Dark Horse)

First off. What an absolutely fantastic cover!

There are three short unconnected stories in this special, let's take a look at them individually. . .

THE GREAT BLIZZARD: This story doesn't feature Hellboy or any of the B.P.R.D. characters, but some characters I'm unfamiliar with who seem to be paranormal investigators in the 1800's (David Grey and Sarah Jewell). The art is very nicely done on this one, and the dialogue between the characters is snappy. The story itself is a little disappointing, but I wouldn't mind finding out more about these new characters.

GOD REST YE MERRY: A tale set at Christmas in the 1950's starring Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm versus a possessed Santa Claus. It's played for laughs and the art isn't great. . .very cartoony. I got a chuckle out of Hellboy getting an ugly sweater for Christmas, though. Probably the worst of the three, but not terrible.

THE LAST WITCH OF FAIRFIELD: Now HERE'S some good Hellboy. The classic team of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman tracking down some lost children and coming in conflict with a witch. The ending is a chilling reminder that when it comes to the supernatural, sometimes when you win, you still lose. The best of the bunch with a great story and great art by the same artist who did that fantastic cover.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one shot. The middle story was pretty light, but that didn't drag the whole thing down.

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Longbox Junk - Astonishing Tales

998 views • Jan 19, '17 • (0) Comments

Whatever happened to all those great old anthology comics?  

ASTONISHING TALES

ISSUE 1

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