I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
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 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 my completely unnecessary reboot and renumbering of the Longbox Junk blog! I'm celebrating my 175th comic review that nobody ever asked me for by doing something else nobody ever asked for. . .reviewing the handful of issue #175 comics in my (and my daughter's) collection!
Oddly enough, I've discovered that it seems nobody really cares about hitting their 175th issue. The Walking Dead started a new (and pretty epic) storyline in #175, but I'm not sure if that was actually planned or if it just worked out that way. Superman #175 was celebrating being the 100th issue since the iconic "Death of Superman" finale. . .but I'm not convinced that's an actual celebration of hitting issue #175.
So. . .nobody cares about the one-seven-five except me.- read more
I'm gonna get this out right off the top. . .As far as I'm concerned, Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight is the best Batman series that has ever been published.
I know. . .I know. . .that's a mighty hefty claim.
I'm sure there are many who will disagree with me. But in MY extremely humble opinion (and NO opinion is more humble than mine), LOTDK (as I will be referring to it from here on out, due to basic laziness) was the ultimate perfection of Batman comics.- read more
Welcome back to another special "Retro Review" edition of Longbox Junk, where I step away from my usual dollar box fare and take a look at some of the older or more "valuable" comics lurking in my 45 Longboxes.
Sheesh. . .45 boxes? My local comic shops should send me a Christmas card thanking me for clearing out their unwanted inventory.- read more
I wasn't really that impressed with the first Batman/Alien crossover. It had its moments, but overall it was average at best, with cardboard cutout disposable 80's action movie cliche characters and art that was half and half. . .good on monsters and backgrounds, bad on human characters.
BUT. . .
There seems to have been enough people who liked the first one to merit Dark Horse and DC getting back together a few years later for a sequel. Is it any better? Let's take a look and find out!- read more
As I've stated before on this blog, I LOVE the Aliens franchise. One of my favorite movies is the much-hated Alien 3. You know anyone who publicly confesses a love for Alien 3 without a single bit of shame is a true Alien fan.
AND. . .
When it comes to DC comics, Batman is pretty much my favorite character of them all. I have 36 longboxes in my comic collection. 5 of them are nothing but Batman comics. I have more Batman comics in my collection than a lot of people have in their TOTAL collection.- read more
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. . .- read more
"A Death In The Family" is a four issue "event" that, although it's pretty much considered a standalone story, ran in the regular ongoing Batman series in late 1988, early 1989 (Issues #426-429). If you skip around the internet a bit, you're going to run across the story on just about any "Top (insert number here) Batman Stories" list you find.
But is it really any good when a hard look is taken at it? Or are people just knee-jerking it onto "Best Story" lists because of the impact on comic book history of the death of a major supporting character (SPOILER: Jason Todd Robin)? Does the story itself hold up under scrutiny, or is it coasting along on the noteriety gained by having comic fans actually call a 900 number (anyone remember those?) and decide if Robin died or not?
Let's find out!
There's nothing wrong at all with a good ongoing series, but if anyone were to ask me what my favorite form of comic art is, I would immediately answer "The One Shot". Within the framework of a single issue, the creative team is challenged to give us everything we need to enjoy a story. They're pretty much forced to swing for the fences. Here are 5 random single issues from my collection read and reviewed for your consideration. Are they home runs or foul balls? Let's find out!
- read more
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