Thursday, August 30, 2007

Join Forces? You Mean Like...

Team Up?

Hey everyone, head on over to my pal Rick's new comic blog, Mail It To Team-Up, where he'll be taking a look at an enduring concept in superhero comics -- namely, the Team-Up! Join in for all the hijinks as two guys meet, possibly fight each other for a few pages, then work together to wail on someone else!

As a tribute and a "good luck!" wish to the new blog, I present to you one of my favorite Team-Ups ever, the first meeting between Luke Cage, Power Man, and the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing, as seen in Marvel Two-In-One #13!
Marvel Two-In-One #13
Yes, the monster's name is Braggadoom. Yes, he is named after the sound effect he creates when he destroys stuff. And yes, that is in fact awesome.

So go check it out, won't you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What Looks Good?

Ch-Check-Check it out (the shipping list, that is!) and drop some dough, yo!

Okay, that's more than enough of that.

Action Comics #855 -- Did this change back to Action Comics Weekly and I just miss it? Yeesh! Anyways, let's welcome Eric Powell as it's time to get BIZZARE! OH... yeah! (See what I did there?! With the 'bizarre' and then the 'oh?' Yeah! What? Oh nevermind!)

Outsiders: Five of a Kind #5 -- Wonder Woman and Grace team up to try out for the Outsiders. Yeah my money's on the Amazon babe, too.

Wonder Woman #12 -- The Amazons Attack tie-in finally ends here... thank Hashut. To be fair the reveal at the end of the previous issue was cool. But apparently the Amazons' plan was to lull everyone to sleep.

Wow, very light week for me this week. Maybe I'll buy a trade paperback or some dollar/discount comics -- there's a few various Richie Rich titles which have been tempting me.

So what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And Now, Your Moment Of Zen

Know That You Stand Accused of AWESOME!

I would SO buy this game!

Make your own at the Atari 2600 Label Maker!

And while you are at it, blame Mike for this in the first place.

What I Read This Week

Detective Comics #835 -- I remember when Scarecrow was redesigned on Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm talked about finally making him look scary and not just lumpy. This issue (part 1 of a 2 part "fill-in" by John Rozum and Tom Mandrake) translates that attitude to the printed medium. Dr. Crane has never been freakier.

All-New Atom #14 -- Easily the best story I have ever read starring Jason Todd. Even without that dubious distinction, this is a fun little tale which features Barry Allen, Ted Kord, and Jetpack Hitler, so that's pretty much a "thumbs up."

Acton Comics #853 -- Jimmy Olsen is MISTER ACTION! I guess it's appropriate that he's the star in this title. Very traditionally written and paced -- I'm a mark, so I wouldn't mind if all my superhero comics read like this. The last page arrival cracked me up. Also; Tobias Whale!

Outsiders: Five of a Kind #3 -- Thunder and Martian Manhunter, woo! At first I didn't like Thunder but she has grown on me, and J'Jonn seems to be back to his old self (with a new costume). The art is very "90's dynamic" but I like Bedard's scripting, leading me to think I will enjoy the new series.

Outsiders: Five of a Kind #4 -- Is it bad that my main complaint for this issue was that Aquaman had the wrong color eyes? Or that this had a lot more Metamorpho, who I can take or leave, than it did Aquaman, who is awesome? Good solid little story with pretty art and a nice epilogue.

Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #33 -- I liked the action quotient in this issue, and Brainiac 5 being a smartass, but the payoff doesn't jive in my mind. What was the motivation of the bad guys to take over the planet with mind control? What were they hoping to achieve? Disappointing after the last issue.

Superman #666 -- "Superdickery" gets taken to new heights of depravity as Superman gives in and cuts loose on every little annoying thing in the world. Simonson's art is the perfect match for this tale of temptation and corruption by Busiek, who is fast becoming a Super-Scribe. The prologue, featuring Hawkman, Animal Man, and Aquaman, was a nice extra.

Annihilation: Conquest: Star Lord #2 -- It's the Suicide Squad... in space!!! Not as wacky as the first issue but overall almost as fun to read, and with a development which makes readers of the first Annihilation sit up and say "why didn't I think of that?" Very much looking forward to the main series.

Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 -- The energy-sword wielding space lesbian battles alien bugs and a giant robot on a remote world before discovering her psionic-powered lover has turned into a dragon. I feel the need to once again state that no, this comic book is not Japanese.

Iron Man #21 -- Has Shellhead ever been shown in Omaha before? The Legions of Iron Fans in Nebraska finally have their dreams come true as Tony must investigate why Graviton attacked the Initiative's team in Husker Country. Machinations upon machinations as the Knaufs ignore World War Hulk and get back to the actual story. You know. With Iron Man.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #55 -- There's only 2 issues left after this one, but that's not stopping Tad Williams from introducing new concepts, catching up with old threads, making threats to the world, and bringing in guest stars! How can there only be 2 issues left?!

Justice League of America #12 -- Probably the best issue of Metzler's run, and no, I am not just damning him with faint praise here. The plot points are driven home with a sledgehammer, but its the framing story which has me more interested. Just what is going on there?!

CLASH #1 -- The concept -- that superheroes have taken control of the world and instituted a "utopia," and are opposed by regular citizens -- appealed to me, but the execution of it is confusing and unsatisfying. Hard to follow, with a lot of characters, but not a lot of character, if you follow my meaning. Still, I'm going to stick with it, partially to see if it improves, and partially to support Moonstone, who puts out some quality stuff (see: The Phantom).

Flash #231 -- Some things annoyed me (why, when talking about how Wally vanished, is there absolutely no mention whatsoever of Bart?!!) and some things took some getting used to (the kids, the art), but overall a fun return for Wally and Waid. Doesn't seem to be taking itself too seriously, and that's a good thing.

Friday the 13th: Pamela's Tale #2 -- The previous issue was pretty neat, showing Pamela's backstory, but this one, which essentially fills in some gaps from her origin around the flashbacks in Friday the 13th, is less interesting. I liked how the end tied back into the film (a wink to hardcore fans), but overall I felt let down.

Terror, Inc. #1 -- He's missing the thingys on his face, but he is called Schrek, so that says TERROR, INC. to me! I know this is MAX and thus might not be in continuity, but if this is Terror's current status in the MU, consider me pumped. Really, really fun stuff if you can deal with the horror-esque content.

Booster Gold #1 -- I like Dan Jurgens work as a general rule -- I got into Superman when he was the head Super-Guy. And this story, wherein Booster can finally do some good and make a difference, reaffirms that. Ranks right up with Justice Society of America and Nova as a launch issue in the past year.

Pick of The Pile is Superman. Yeah, its probably cliched of me to say that, but I really enjoyed reading it and I think it's got a very timeless sort of feel to it which will give it legs. Second place is Iron Man, which shows the right way to tell political-style stories at Marvel.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Discount Bin Finds

This is a special All-Iron Man Edition! Dollar dollar bill, y'all!

IRON MAN 169Iron Man v.1:no.169 -- Denny O'Neil's hellish journey for Tony Stark takes a turn here, as Tony is so drunk that he can barely control his armor as he is trashed by B-list baddie Magma. Given the choice between his creation and another drink, Stark chooses the latter... leaving James Rhodes holding the helmet! This leads directly into the next issue, where Rhodes offically becomes Iron Man, a position he would hold pretty much for two and a half years. Can you imagine something like that today (except maybe the outing of Matt Murdoch over in Daredevil)? Having bought the majority of this run over the last two years, I have a soft spot for this story about Tony's Big Bender. Not the greatest individual Shellhead story ever but still very enjoyable and the prelude to a milestone.

Iron Man Annual #4Iron Man Annual #4 -- It's a 48 page GIANT as Shellhead tracks down MODOK with the help of the Champions. Yes, folks, its the 70s. This book is more a house ad for the Champions than anything else, which is alright since I'm sure they needed the help. Its not bad but not great; in a lot of ways this is a typical Marvel Bronze Age story just beefed up. The Champions always struck me as team you might find in a pencil and paper game where none of the players talked beforehand about what level or type of character to play. This issue also sees the debut appearance of Stryke, AIM cyborg/android guy who holds his own against Iron Man, then thinks he will be a hero in AIM, and is promptly never heard from again. The Knauf's should bring him back! There's also a very short backup featuring Midnight, the other son of Fu Mancu, trying to recruit the old Shellhead foe Half-Face. What this is doing here, and not in the pages of "Master of Kung-Fu," I have no idea. Fun but not really substantial.

Force Works #1Force Works #1 -- In the wake of the forced closure of Avengers West, Iron Man decides that now is the time to think outside the box. Assembling a team of team of similarly displaced Earth's Mightiest (Scarlet Witch, Spider-woman II, USAgent, and Wonder Man), he pitches his Force Works concept, where instead of just reacting to threats, the team would actively try to prevent them from become full-scale disasters. Unfortunately, a Kree strikeforce has other ideas! Force Works is often criticized for its art and storytelling, and while I can understand the first part, I really can't see the second part from this issue. The art is a product of the times (1994), with exagerrated anatomy and lots of scantily-clad babes (Wanda's new outfit is all sorts of wrong, though the gazongas on display here put some of today's cheesecake artists to shame!). But the story by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning is actually pretty compelling. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the creators and from Marvel itself about this title. It may have been a response to the popularity of the Image team books which were selling like hot cakes at the time, but its a well-thought out response if nothing else. Ultimately the book failed, but this first issue showed a lot of promise insofar as driving things in new directions, even if *sniff* it seemed like Simon got killed (again).

Of some note is that I not only got the first issue, but also the Ashcan preview. The Ashcan tells a little bit more of the story as the Agent and Spider-Woman meet up with the Starstealth outside the compound while the rest of the team is inside. Its not much but its a nice touch and we get introduced to the Agent's new photon-shield. More interesting is Tony's files on the team members and the little comments from the creative team, which supports my claim about enthusiasm. Iron Fans and 90s kids will like this one.

Where I come from, this is 3 bucks well spent! Anyone else have any good Discount Bin Finds?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Looks Good?

Well, I never made it to the shop last week, so this week will be BIG! Yeah yeah yeah! It's not small? No, no, no! Check out the shipping list and awaaay we go!

JSA Classified #29 -- What, you got a problem with Mr. Terrific? EVERYONE wishes they could have his powers in the real world!

Outsiders: Five of a Kind #4 -- An ocean under a desert. Why does that sound like something from AM Radio?

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #33 -- The only thing missing from this title: Lightning Lad frying dudes left and right!

Superman #666 -- 6! 6! 6! The Number of the Beast! Hell! And Fire! Were spawned to be released! *Headbang!*

Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #2 -- The most dysfunctional group this side of my family reunion takes center stage!

Iron Man #21 -- World War Hulk? What was that? We now return you to your regularly scheduled Shellhead.

Marvel Adventures: Iron Man #4 -- Last issue featured Plantman. Plantman. You know you want it.

Ray Harryhausen Presents: 20 Million Miles More #2 -- If you don't like Harryhausen, I must ask: what's the matter with you?!

Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman V.1 -- One more step in my ongoing, failing plot to get my fiancee into comics.

So what looks good to YOU?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fair Trade -- "Devil Dinosaur" Omnibus

DEVIL DINOSAUR #2... so many half-formed memories!
When I was very young, my family went on a vacation to the "train country" of Pennsylvania. My father is a model train enthusiast, and this area has tons of railroad history to explore. It was a fun vacation; at least, I remember it being fun, with all the model railroads and stuff. Anyway, at one point we were doing some antiquing, long before it became fashionable to do so. One such shop had some old comics for sale, and my parents let my brother and I get some reading material. My brother picked up a pair of G.I. Combats featuring the Haunted Tank, while I decided on Devil Dinosaur #2.

Little did I know what I was in for!

I think all little boys are fascinated with dinosaurs at some point, and I was no different. But this dinosaur, bright red even on the yellowed paper, stomping around and generally causing havoc with his little companion, was unlike anything I had ever seen save the Aurora "Prehistoric Scenes" T-Rex model. I didn't know who Jack Kirby was at the time, but I knew that the art was fantastic to me. The colors were dazzling to my young eyes and I fell in love with this big dino.

Of course, being a kid, I promptly forgot about Devil and Moon Boy not too long after we got home.

But Devil was always there in the back of my mind. I'd look out for back issues even if I never sought them out, and I'd pick up his appearances elsewhere if I heard about them. But I neve gave much thought to what others ever thought about him until I got into the blog scene, and it seemed that most people at least thought the series was kooky fun even if they didn't have the child-like affinity for it I had. So when a few months back, Marvel annouced this Omnibus, collecting the entire affair in one full-color hardcover, the "blogosphere" lit up, and I was ecstatic.

The book itself does not disappoint. Besides including the entire series, the volume also includes Jack's "Dinosaur Dispatches" columns and a nice introduction to the man and the work by Tom Brevoort. The issues themselves hold up nicely for what they are: this is not high literature, but it's a heck of a lot of fun, with fast paced adventures and colorful characters. Things tend to skew a bit younger than a lot of Marvel output from the time, but to me, this adds a certain sense of timelessness to the proceedings. Brevoort calls this a story about "a boy and his dog," and in the broadest sense, this is very true. It's a an easy theme to identify and get behind. Couple this with Kirby's world building and you have a series which appealed to children because of the titular star, but also challenged them to think and imagine beyond what is generally accepted as fact by creating a living breathing valley for his creations to play in.

Kirby's art remains bold and vibrant, especially in color, and with Royer's solid inking, everything has a certain enjoyable mass to it. Most issues have a double page splash early on, and these are always a treat to the eye. And while the scripts may not have the modernist, psuedo-social awareness of his other 70s work, each tale crackles and pops in its own way, such as the epic alien invasion which brings the fantastic into conflict with the prehistoric. If Kirby had intended to adapt Devil and Moon Boy to animation (as the story goes), one can easily see how the transition would have gone down. This is a fun, high-spirited comic book.

The pricetag is a bit high ($30 for 9 issues), but considering that it's Kirby, as well as a hardcover, that's not that bad, honestly. The volume itself is handsome, with a bright dustcover reproducing the first cover, over a black binding with silver lettering. After reading this, I was disappointed in only one sense: That DC didn't do the same for his Fourth World books, and release each one as it's own Omnibus. This is one trade which I can recommend to anyone who likes their comics bold, brash, and fun.

What Looks Good?

Action Comics #854 -- All Jimmy, All The Time.

Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 -- Space lesbians seek a mystical force to battle an intergalactic army bent on enslaving the galaxy with their technological might. No, this isn't Japanese, why would you think that?

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #55 -- The slow march towards cancellation continues. At least the stories have been kicking it and taking names.

CLASH #1 -- Superheroes take over, the people fight back. Sounds like a natural progression from Kingdom Come to me.

Flash #231 -- Back to volume 2, as Bart's corpse barely has time to cool before Wally has some sort of adventure. Too bad Waid's not sticking around, apparently.

Friday the 13th: Pamela's Tale #2 -- And you thought your parents were messed up.

Justic League of America #12 -- The preview pages showed Red Tornado going to the satelite to avoid his in-laws. I now have a man/robot-crush on him.

Outsiders: Five of a Kind #3 -- I'm in the strange, sad minority of superhero fans who actually likes Thunder. Also: Woo, Martian Manhunter!

Terror, Inc. #1 -- The man of 1000 limbs makes a comeback of sorts in thie MAX series. I'd prefer it was in continuity, but us Terror fans (all 4 of us) can't complain too much.

So what looks good to YOU?

From The Awesome Files -- Tiny Titans

This past weekend at Wizard World Chicago, DC announced a new kids title entitled Tiny Titans, from the team of Art Baltazar & Franco Aureliani, the team behind Patrick The Wolf Boy. Even if my brother wasn't friends with Franco (true story... he's known about this series for a few months now but actually kept his word and didn't spill it), I'd think this looks totally awesome. What do you think?

Tiny Titans!  (What, no tiny, moody-looking Jericho?)

Monday, August 13, 2007

What I Read This Week (Times Two)

I'm so far behind, I'm going to need a little help finishing these reviews...


Outsiders: Five of a Kind #1 -- Nightwing! Versus! Captain Boomerang Jr! An Identity Crisis tie-in... errr, waitaminute. It's pretty obvious who the Internets want to win ("We love you Dick!"), but me, I liked the ending of this one. Get back to Bludhaven, Greyson! (When are we going to see the Suicide Squad ongoing already?!)

Justice Society of America #8 -- Two done-in-one's in two months? A spotlight which matches the cover and moves along other plots? Growth from characters? A guest star villain who makes sense? An editorial footnote box?!! What the heck is going on here?! This book is on like a pot of neck bones.


Outsiders: Five of a Kind #2 -- Picking this up, I thought, 'Huh, won't this spoil the end of Trials of Shazam. But since I'm the only person who reads that series, I didn't think much of it. Well, Mike Barr, that magnificent bastard, turns in a Katana solo story guest starring the wizard Captain Marvel (Billy), sidestepping any problems. Nifty.

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 -- No, he's not ROM, Spaceknight, but this "spaghetti space opera" is quality entertainment nonetheless. This is true for newbies as well as those who read the first Annihilation, as we catch up with Kl'rt, Praxagora, and my main man Ronan. Space-tacular.

Nova #5 -- The Human Rocket spends most of this issue on his back, but that's cool, because as we all know, ragtag bunchs of Kree misfits make good reading. The second half, with Gamora going all "most deadly woman in the galaxy" on us, is great, and so is the cliffhanger, even if Wraith has basically the same one.

New Excalibur #22 -- Remember how I said I was the only one readnig Trials of Shazam? Yeah, this one too. It's the Shadow Captains versus part of Excalibur and Shadow X, and, well, it ends badly. Claremont has some interesting balls being juggled here (the inevitable clash between Sage and Lionheart, the redemption of Shadow X, pretty much everything Albion does), but alas, no one cares but moi.

The Phantom #18 -- I'm going to write more about this particular comic, as it deserves it, but for now let me say that this mag features "The Ghost Who Walks" tormenting and terrorizing a despicible African warlord, and if you get The Phantom pissed at you, well, you're about 9 different ways of screwed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What Looks Good?

Check out the shipping list and get ready to spend, SPEND, SPEND!

Action Comics #853 -- The last issue, with the Kryptonite Man, was pretty cool, so I might check this out. But I want some Big Blue to go with my Jimmy Olsen, alright?

All-New Atom #14 -- "The Search for Ray Palmer" continues as the Countdown tie-in starts. I just hope that this makes sense.

Detective Comics #835 -- I wonder what Batman will show up in Batman and The Outsiders? Dini's grounded, procedural Batman, or Morrison's insane, nutcase Batman? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Outsiders Five of a Kind: Nightwing-Boomerang -- Speaking of which, who will come out on top in this matchup? Because the first spoiler said Boomer, but the second said... neither? Huh? Maybe I should just shut up and read it?

Justice Society of America #8 -- I hope that Power Girl and Citizen Steel never hook up. Partly for fanboy issues, but also because if they do, it would probably destroy all the known universe. Wait, did I just spoil Final Crisis?

What?! ALL DCs this week? I thought The Phantom #18 was supposed to ship? And what about Black Metal? Oh well...

What I Read This Week

JSA Classified #28 -- One of the problems with Geoff Johns' work on Justice Society of America is the huge roster of characters who make up the team. This makes it difficult for everyone to get their face time, sop JSA Classified helps alleviate that, especially in the case of relatively minor characters like Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt, who star here. With the power of a genie at his disposal, Jakeem has the ability to help a lot of people. But where does his responsibility end? The almost-always reliable Fabian Nicieza turns in a nice if fairly plain story, a riff we've seen countless times for Superman and other high-powered characters. But it works well, and Steve Uy's art is quirky enough to stand out, especially in his girlish depcition of Stargirl and the gruff, world-weary GL. Fans of the JSA or Jakeem will enjoy this mag, but others can save their money without much concern.

Wonder Woman #11 -- Such is the strange days we live in: This tale, still connected to Amazons Attack, is by a different writer (Will Pfeifer, with Paco Diaz staying on), and is a new arc (part 1 of 2), but otherwise picks up immediately after the last issue. So I'm already going in a little soured because I liked the way that Picoult was building to Diana's personal revelations. But that gets tossed here, with Pfeifer turning in a somewhat perfunctory action yarn which advances the AA plot and gives the reveal on the Big Evil for those of us not following the main book. I say that the story is perfunctory, and it is, but I still thought it was a fun read all told. We get to see WW flex her muscles, we get a quick visit to Themascyra, and a cliffhanger which has my interest in a miniseries in which I previously had none. I have faith that Pfiefer can wrap this story up and set things in place for Gail Simone to come in, so the next issue should be alright from a payoff standpoint. Still, it irritates me that Jodi was left holding the bag because of DC Editorial's mistakes scheduling decisions. Ah well, maybe she'll get a shot to write the character in a one-shot or special down the road. It's been a bumpy road so far for Wonder Woman, but things are looking somewhat less better.

Marvel Adventures: Iron Man #3 -- Behold the birth of... Plantman! Only Marvel Adventures could produce something this silly and still make it work as straight superheroics. Shellhead must do battle with an insane botanist, who has spliced his own DNA with a vine, enabling to thrive in the harshest conditions. Oh, and also allows him to mentally control it, and produce a suit of armor made of it as well. I can't imagine this is a very popular series -- Iron Man was never all that popular with kids in the first place, not like the Fantastic Four or Spidey -- but for those Iron Fans out there who fondly remember the days when Tony had an actual rogues gallery, this is nothing but enjoyment from start to finish. Sure, Plantman is an absurd character, but by the time he creates a veggie-gown for Pepper Potts, you just grin and go along with it. Comics can be fun without being smug and pretentious, and this is a prime example of it. I'd say to give this comic to kids, since 1) comics are an excellent tool to help kids enjoy reading and 2) I want to create a legion of younger Iron Fans to continue the fight.

Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 -- There must have been a sale on colons the day that the title was picked out for this event. But nevermind that. All you need to know abotu this comic book is the supporting cast: Mantis, Deathcry, Bug from Micronauts, Groot, and Rocket Racoon. Rocket Racoon.

Okay, so I will say a little bit more than that. Of the four prologue minis, this one is my favorite after 1 issue -- Peter Quill, the former Starlord, has to lead a ragtag bunch of expendables into the heart of Phalanx-occupuied Kree space to strike at the heart of the invaders. It's an impossible task -- a suicide mission -- and Quill knows it. But the character who left such a mark for his gloomy heroism is the first Annihiliation shines in the same way here, knowing that he has no other choice other than to save the universe. The group he is paired with is ripe with potential as well -- whether its Mantis and her "Celestial Madonna" nonsense (Giffen is a genius), or the classic Marvel Monster Groot, or, of course, Rocket Racoon, this band certainly qualifies as "misfits." Very much looking forward to their adventures. If you're looking for a good way in to A:C, this is your best bet after the Prologue.

Heroes For Hire #12 -- I have no interest at all in Planet Hulk -- mostly because between this title and Iron Man (see below), Old Green Genes sounds like little more than a petulant brat throwing a big tantrum. That said, this story about the HFH infiltrating Hulk's stoneship to help Humbug stop the Brood is pretty neat since it focuses on something other than the main plot of the "event." I'm a fan of any time we get to see Shang-Chi look like a badass, so this issue passes muster. The backup, with Paladin and Scorpion attacking each other with an arsenal of Bronze Age weapons is a hoot, even if there's a few errors in there, although they could be deliberate. (Chemistro's alchemy gun, for instance, doesn't turn objects into gold, it transmutes matter into any other kind of matter. Plus, I think it was destroyed, unless this is the second Chemistro's gun... the third built the weapon into his gauntlets. Also, I am a dork.) But only hardcore nerds are going to find fault with it. An enjoyable tale of Marvel's fringe hero club, and it's different enough from the main book to justify picking it up as a tie-in if you are into that sort of thing.

Superman #665 -- A "Countdown Dossier." Translation: Focus on Jimmy "Mr. Action" Olsen. Busiek tells an untold tale of Jimmy's history, at a time when both he and Superman really needed a friend. Some nice character bits for "early" Clark, Lois, Perry, and Jimmy, plus manages to fit in an action sequence and some continuity name-drops (The 10! They're trying to become The 100! Someone call Black Lightning!) as well. As a stand alone issue, this is good stuff, even if it doesn't mean much at all in the grand scope of "Camelot Falls." The Countdown tie-in is minimal, but there is a long tradition of these kinds of stories in Superman comics. Fans of Jimmy and of course Superfans will not be disappointed in this one bit. Still, I am getting a little tired of Jimmy taking over Superman's books lately, what between this and the current arc over in Action.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #36 -- New writer Tony Bedard (only temporary, though) has started a pretty interesting little story here -- by sending 3 teams of 3 Legionaires each to 3 different worlds, all supposedly on a search for the missing Cosmic Boy, the reader can focus on a small group, and get familiar with and start learning about a handful of characters instead of the usual army of Legionfolk. Here, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and Garth Ranzz travel to Garth's homeplanet of Winath, only to discover... nothing. Well noone is more accurate, as the planet is completely deserted. Nice little Legion story, nothing groundbreaking but a good primer on the characters and the different groups kicking around in the 31st Century (The Legion, the Wanderers, Terra Firma, and the Science Police/UP). Bedard is only around for this one storyline, so we shall see where the title goes after that, but as of now, the verdict is "pretty neat."

Iron Man #20 -- More World War Hulk inanity, as Shellhead pulls a Superman and becomes a guest star in his own series. This is mostly about Dum Dum Duggan taking charge in Tony's abscence after the fight in the previous issue, and the tensions in the SHIELD higher-ups which has been boiling since the end of CW. Gage is game, and considering the material doesn't exactly enthuse me, this is certainly readable. And I cannot dislike a mag which saves me from having to spend three times as much on an "event" series to find out what happened to my favorite character. Still, suffers from association with the one-note tie-in. Iron Fans should buy this issue, even though a lot of them won't, just for the interplay between Tony and Dum Dum. WWH fans can pass on it, as can casual Shellhead fans (are there even such things in existance?), and Marvel readers in general.

Futurama Comics #32 -- No one plays the reference game like the folks at Bongo. In this issue, within the first three pages, they successfully spoof Doctor Who AND The Black Hole. It only gets more inane from there. Trapped in the malfunctioning time- and space-travel machine (which looks like a port-a-john) the crew end up being thrown from planet to planet and era to era -- and when Zoidberg is the hero, then you know things are bad. I know the show is coming back in the not too distant future, but for pure sci-fi silliness I'd recommend this issue, and series, to all.

Pick of the Pile is Starlord, and no, not just for Rocket Racoon. This mix of The Dirty Dozen, The Infinite Crusade, and every Toho space opera ever made is entertaining from start to finish, with a star who's seen a little too much in his day to be impressed by just about anything short of a giant alien tree carrying an anthromorphic racoon who is wielding a heavy machine gun.

So what did YOU read?