Monday, January 15, 2018

Pull List Potpourri Jan 15, 2018

Hello brothers and sisters!!

    Welcome back to TEX's Comics Quest! I sure appreciate you dropping by to set a spell, and I surely appreciate your readership.

    Today, we delve into some more great comics from my pull list, Normandy Gold, and Postal! Let's GO!

Normandy Gold #3 - #4: Gorgeous, rural sheriff, Normandy Gold, is far more than meets the eye. She ran away from a tough situation at home as a teen and drifted for a while. She's seen the worst of life and how to survive it. When she met the man who'd become a surrogate father to her, a highly skilled, honestly religious, small-town sheriff, she had no idea that one day she'd end up on the right side of the law, first as a deputy, then, after the murder of her surrogate father, a sheriff. But the past has come reaching out for Normandy. Her baby sister has been murdered in Washington, D.C. - a big city, filled with filthy political intrigue. Since her sister was a high-priced escort, the cops are turning a blind eye...But Normandy wants an eye for an eye. She's out for justice, and she's willing to do anything to get it - even work as an escort in the same illicit company as her sister in order to track down her sister's killer. Normandy's surrogate father taught her to hunt and track both animals and men, and Normandy is the best at what she does...But in a city filled with powerful, corrupt men, will the predator become the prey?

     Megan Abbott and Alison Gaylin pen this hard-boiled revenge tale that has one foot planted firmly in the exploitation genre. This used to be male writers' domain, but Abbott and Gaylin have taken a page out of the boys' playbook and they are running the ball hard to the end-zone. Normandy Gold walks in the footsteps of trailblazers like Tamara Dobson in Cleopatra Jones, or the ever-amazing Pam Grier in Coffy, and she's doing it very well. Abbott and Gaylin have laid out a tightly-written, dark storyline with a lot of twists and turns leading to something a whole lot bigger than just the murder of Normandy's sister. Every time you think you know what's going on, another clue takes the reader and Normandy deeper into a bigger, more corrupt world that threatens to swallow the protagonist whole - But Normandy is no one's meal. This is an unapologetically violent and sexually charged detective story. It is NOT for kids, nor those of tender dispositions. Steve Scott lays down lavish, sensual pencils that capture the eye, panel after panel, page after page - and he even uses some familiar faces to craft his characters, which is pretty cool. So far, I've recognized Robert Redford and Sam Elliott. Nice. Titan Comics' crime new imprint, Hard Case Crime, has really pulled out all the stops with this crime/thriller.

RATING: 9 out of 10

Postal #22 - #23: Years ago, Eden, Wyoming was founded by a psychopath named Isaac Shiffron as a  secret place where society's worst could get a second chance. Isaac ruled with a hand harder and more unbending than iron and was deposed by the only woman he loved, Laura, who nearly succeeded in killing him. Now, more than twenty years later, Isaac is back and he's building an army to take back his town, an army headed by an extremely dangerous ex-FBI agent who is possibly more insane than Isaac himself. Standing against him is Laura, his ex-wife, now mayor of Eden, a woman who has evolved into a bit of a monster in her own right. And then there's Mark. Mark is Laura's and Isaac's son and acting postmaster of Eden...But he's so much more. Even though Mark suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, his mind is as sharp, active, and coldly calculating as the minds of his parents. And by Mark's side is Maggie, an assuming waitress in Eden, a beautiful woman who has captured Mark's heart, as he has captured hers...A woman who hides a darkness and steel that just might be the key to Eden's salvation or destruction. Together Mark and Maggie have beaten the worst of the worst, but Isaac's bringing his own personal Armageddon. It's time for Eden to meet its maker.

     Consistently, month after month, without fail, Bryan Hill delivers an AMAZING, offbeat narrative in Postal that is undeniably one of the best in comics today. What I mean to say unequivocally is that Postal is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best comics coming off the presses right now. Hill has built a strange, scary, hard, violent world in this series, a world that I can't stop visiting with my imagination, but a world that I would be LOATHE to live in. Hill's world is irresistible; it's populated with the most terrible, terrifying, intriguing people that one could ever imagine. The characters are all locked in a deadly serious power struggle that provides Postal with a heavy, ever-simmering tension that sometimes boils over into the most frightening ultra-violence. This kind of story, inhabited with these kinds of people cannot have a happy ending. None of them deserve it. And I can't tear myself away from watching the dreadful ending that is coming for them all, and in the process, I have learned to sympathize, even care for, some of these monsters that Hill has created...Which is weird. Isaac Goodheart's clean, straight-forward, beautiful pencils tell a story that is dark, sketchy and heavy. A very strange juxtaposition between the story and the artwork...But highly effective. Postal is coming to what I expect to be a beautiful trainwreck of an ending in issue #25, but I can live with that knowing that soon I will have the sordid pleasure of journeying to Eden through the auspices of Hulu. I can't wait for the TV adaptation! Listen. Go. Right now. Walk into your local comic store. Buy this series and read it. You can thank me later.


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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Metapahase GN Review

Metaphase - A Graphic Novel from Alterna

     The Sentinel is Earth's greatest hero. He's taken on all comers and defeated them to keep the world safe...But he's never faced an enemy that struck more fear into his heart than Down Syndrome. The Sentinel is not just a hero, he's the father of a sweet, smart kid named Ollie. Ollie was born with Down Syndrome accompanied by congenital heart defects, so while The Sentinel protects the world, as Ollie's dad, he's made it his life's mission to protect Ollie from everything, especially himself. However, Ollie is bright, energetic, and imaginative - he longs to be a superhero like his father. In order to realize his dreams, Ollie takes a gamble that ends up making him directly responsible for the creation of a super-villain so powerful that both his father and the entire world are put in the gravest of danger...But, what can one, lone physically-challenged kid do against an evil so big and deadly? Ollie's about to remind the world that the courage to stand up for those who can't stand for themselves is the GREATEST super-power of all!

     Chip Reece pens this inspiring all ages adventure, Metapahase!! Chip Reece was an admin and writer for; however, when his son, Ollie, was born with Down Syndrome, Reece decided to do something about bringing some more diversity to the medium he loved, focusing on characters with disabilities. Well, he has done a stellar job with Metaphase which reads like good, old-fashioned, super-hero fare, and a love letter to comics and his son, Ollie. The comic is filled with tenderness as Reece moves forward with his own catharsis, pouring his heart into these glossy pages. Inside, we find a supremely able-bodied father distraught at the plight of his son, filled with love for his child, and gripped by the fear of what the future holds. We see a sweet, bright boy with an imagination that won't quit, limited by his own body, but more so by the overprotectiveness of his father. Like all kids who are growing up, Ollie takes a chance on his own that doesn't work out - but like the best of us, he's got no quit. He owns up to his mistake and sets about to make it right. Metaphase is a lot of fun to read, and best of all, it undoubtedly has a GREAT message about courage, perseverance, and inclusivity. Kelly Williams lays down some light, airy, cartoony pencils that make reading this book loads of fun. Alterna is a real up-and-comer that is putting out quality comics for more-than-reasonable prices - it's surely one to watch. Second printings of Metaphase are selling on some sites for more than $20, and the hard-to-find first printings are selling for insane prices. One seller is selling them for nearly $3,000!! SMH.

   Use your heads and buy one to share with your kids directly from Alterna here: METAPHASE, for the reasonable price of $9.99 plus shipping. 

RATING: 9 out of 10. Share it with your kids. You'll be glad you did. 

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Friday, January 12, 2018

G'day all, here are some new pick-ups i just received. Tex i have a picture of that Ghost Rider #25 pop-up for you.

Ghost Rider #25 Pop-up center fold.

Chamber of Darkness #1, -F. October 1969.1st App: Headstone P. Gravely. This is my second copy & a better one at that. 😃

Chamber of Darkness #2, December 1969. VG+

Chamber of Darkness #5, F+. June 1970. Cover by Jack Kirby & Bill Everett. 

Chamber of Darkness Special #1, -VF. January 1972.  Reprints Chamber of Darkness #1-2.

Beware #1, -VF. March 1973. Reprints stories from Menace #8, Spellbound #16 & Tales of Suspense #27. Has one hell of a creepy depiction of a werewolf by John Romita Sr. "as seen below"

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pull List Potpourri Jan 8, 2018


    You're eyes DO NOT deceive you, I'm back at it again, will some light reviews to help your comic-book groove!

     Let's get it:

1. Captain America (vol 1) #695-697: Years ago, in a small in the Midwest, Captain America took down Rampart, a white-supremacist terror group who were attempting to take an entire American county. Now, after the events of Secret Empire, the real Steve Rogers has returned. He carried the heavy burden of what his fascist counterpart did to the world, and he still feels like a man out of place and time. Captain America is on the road once more, getting out of his comfort zone, and getting to know the people of the country he holds so dear. But darkness is on the horizon - Rampart is on the move again and they want Captain America stopped once and for all. Captain America is the prey, but a mighty prey needs a mighty, ruthless hunter. Has Cap returned only to meet his final fate?

     One of the greatest Cap writers, Mark Waid, has returned to put Cap through his paces in his newest adventures! And it's back to business as usual, smashing Nazis (or Nazi-like baddies), protecting the weak and the innocent, and spouting those inspirational words we all need to hear. Marvel has taken Cap back to volume 1, which pretty much means you've got some good, old-fashioned, Cap that seems a bit neo-Bronze-Age-y with a light Silver Age aftertaste. Like in the early 100s (Cap #128, iirc) and 300's (#318, iirc) Cap takes the show on the road, and takes down super-villains in the hopes of finding himself as he discovers the new faces of his country. Sure, it's retraced steps, and sure, I think it's reactionary based on the whole hullaballoo surrounding bad Cap's Hydra turn in Secret Empire, but that's how life works, one movement initiates an oppositional movement and things swing back and forth. All that aside, it's good to see Steve back as the brooding, action-oriented, shining symbol with a heart of gold that we all know and love. And Chris Samnee's pencils are as clean and sure as Cap is in these stories, and they make the book absolutely pop. Let's hope all those "lifelong Cap fans" who were so upset about Secret Empire put their money where their mouths are and shell out those dollars to keep this volume of Cap in print for a very long time. It's on my pull list.

RATING: 10 out of 10.

2. Falcon (vol 2) #1-3: For years, his best friend was a traitor, a fascist and an Agent of Hydra. To Sam Wilson, The Falcon, Steve Rogers was the embodiment of the highest American ideals, and Sam's best friend, mentor, and brother-in-arms. Steve was the reason that Sam took the mantle of Captain America. But now, all that's gone. Sam has returned as The Falcon, determined to stand on his own, and do some good for his country in his own way. When Sam and his new protege, Rayshaun Lucas, The Patriot, decide to get hands-on with the gang violence that's burning down Chicago, they get more than they bargained for when they find a dark, malevolent, mystical hand at work. Can Doctor Voodoo help The Falcon save Chicago, or will the Falcon go down in eternal flames?

   Screenwriter and producer, Rodney Barnes, bursts onto the comics scene in Falcon!! Barnes' story is magnificent, relevant, and well-thought out. He offers no easy super-solution to the crime and violence on the streets. He doesn't condone, nor any offer excuses for the ones that commit evil against their fellow man. What Barnes does is offer us a troubled hero who won't let his fears and pain consume him, a hero who genuinely just wants to do some good, and help others to find a way to do the same, despite the dirt, violence, and crime in which they find themselves. In spite of the suffering, the discrimination, and the undeserved hate and fear, Sam Wilson is a hero that gets his hands dirty and gets down to where folks are living. He never gives up. I can surely dig that. He's going to need ALL the fight he can muster to take on the supernatural fiend he's facing. Barnes has also set Sam up with an AWESOME supporting cast in Jericho Drumm (Doctor Voodoo) and The Patriot, both of whom provide diverse personalities, methods, and ranges of experience to the book, along with light urban-style humor that just gets me smiling. I don't know who Joshua Cassara is, but the guy has talent. His pencils are heavy, kinetic and refined. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Nick Spencer made me a Sam Wilson fan; Rodney Barnes is making me LOVE the character. This book is lit!

RATING: 10 out of 10.

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Action Figure Video

Hello Brothers and Sisters!!!

    Ol' Tex, here. Since I had the day off, I got a little crazy and decided to take an absolutely terrible video of my little action figure collection. 😆

    I hope it brings a smile to your face. Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pull List Potpourri Jan. 6, 2018

Happy New Year!!!

    Whatever your ethnicity, your religion, your color or creed, your nationality or point of origin, your sexuality or lack thereof, I would like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous (whatever this means to you) New Year!!!

    I have finally found a bit of time to catch up on my comics reading! YAY!!! So, I thought that I'd gather myself and drop a little Pull-List Potpourri for y'all...So, let's skin this smoke-wagon!!!

1. Victor LaValle's Destroyer issues #4 - #6: Frankenstein's monster has returned, cutting a murderous swath through humanity on his quest to avenge himself on the last remaining heir to the Frankenstein legacy, a brilliant scientist who has used her ancestor's knowledge along with her own technological razzle-dazzle, to resurrect her murdered son. But Frankenstein's monster is not the only one who is hunting this fugitive family: The research conglomerate that she once worked for wants them as well...They seek to possess the new life form that her son is becoming...And a powerful, estranged family member is leading the charge!

Seasoned sci-fi writer, Victor LaValle, is giving Mary Shelley's classic a new, high-tech, high-octane, emotionally-charged and socially relevant twist. This book cleverly asks not only what makes a monster, but it also makes the reader question if those who make monsters are just as much to blame, if not more so, for the atrocities that the monster commits. LaValle also points out that most people are quite comfortable with monsters and atrocities, as long as they can be controlled or contained, and are not aimed at us. These last few books are action-packed with great dialogue and cool artwork that is just a bit stiff, but quite effective for the tale.

RATING: 8 out of 10

2. Spider-Man (vol 2, 2016), issues 20, 21, 234-236:  Miles Morales has had it. He's done his best to live up to Peter Parker's legacy, but he's gotten nothing but heartache, and his family has been torn apart. Miles decides to take some time off, so he heads to Japan for a little R&R, and to find himself. What he finds is trouble, with a capital "T". Miles stumbles into a plan to take down the biggest techno gangster in Japan, a plan headed up by a shadowy figure who desires to bring Miles into the dark, dangerous world of international espionage. That is if a supposedly deceased relative from Miles' past who is heading up a new Sinister Six doesn't kill Miles first.

Superstar writer, Brian Michael Bendis, is on fire in this volume of Spider-Man. Since issue #1, he's really brought Miles into his own and extracted him from Peter Parker's shadow, even working with Nick Spencer to give Miles a pivotal role in the Secret Empire event/arc. Now Bendis really lays it on, spicing up Miles's powers as he ages, seemingly moving away from the Spider-identity and hopeful into something new and all his own...Something maybe kinda James Bond-esque. I DIG IT!! The story is tight, and Bendis still has a sparkling gift for dialogue. I hope the writer who takes over when Bendis leaves (Bendis now belongs exclusively to DC), continues down this interesting path. Artists, Nico Leon and Oscar Bazaldua are on point, consistently making this book a great pleasure to look at with clean, simple lines, and high-energy action.

RATING 9 out of 10

3. Black Panther (vol 6), issues 17, 18, 166-168: Wakanda is in danger. The newly emerging constitutional monarchy is besieged on every side. The Orisha (Wakandan gods) have seemingly disappeared, leaving room for a heretic to subvert the people to a new, unknown god which is dividing the kingdom. Magical portals have begun to appear all over Wakanada, spilling out ancient bloodthirsty beings upon the people. One of T'Challa's oldest friends, Asira, has been kidnapped by a cabal of T'Challa's enemies who seek to topple him from the throne, and they have given Asira to Azania, a rival, hostile country. However, The Panther does not stand alone - friends, rivals, warriors, and subjects all unite to stand at his side to quell the coming tide. But a dark and distant past is returning to wreak vengeance upon Wakanda, attacking the very heart of what the country believes itself to be - can Wakanda survive the onslaught of violence and heartbreaking self-knowledge? And if it does, what will the new nation become?

Celebrated author and luminary, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has expanded upon and deepened the character and mythology of Black Panther and of Wakanda during his run on this volume of Black Panther, which, in my opinion, is the best I have ever seen.  From Wakanda's history to its gods to its internal workings, struggle, and intrigue, Coates has brought Wakanda alive in a way that no writer has ever done before and filled it with captivating supporting characters that keep my eyes glued to the panels even when T'Challa is not present. The storyline is just so intricate, yet so filled to the brim - just when it seems that T'Challa has put out one fire, we see that several are beginning to smolder and another is a full-on, five-alarm emergency! T'Challa wears all the hats: king, politician, protector, enforcer, covert ops director, son, brother, friend, warrior - Coates has created an environment where EVERYTHING that T'Challa's is can shine, and all his flaws are also exposed, challenged and overcome. I don't know that there is any comic out right now that is better than Black Panther. From Brian Stelfreeze to Chris Sprouse to Leonard Kirk, this book is the consistently one of the best-illustrated books, month after month. Black Panther vol 6, is simply one of the best, most intricately woven, most thought-provoking superhero comics being published today.

RATING: 10 out of 10

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Killer Instinct #1 Review

Killer Instinct #1 from Dynamite Entertainment

     The world is a shambles. An insane demigod, Gargos, pried his way from the astral plane in a desperately malicious bid to conquer, and disembowel, the Earth. He gathered his dark army of avatars and acolytes to secure his arrival to our world and ensure the utter annihilation of those who would dare stand against him. What Gargos did not foresee was that the Earth had protectors - beings of bravery, and superhuman might that would fight valiantly and savagely for the future of their world. And they won. But their victory came at a high price: death, destruction, destabilization of world governments, hunger, strife, and misery. The war has left the world ravaged, hanging by a thread, at the mercy of the strong who would prey upon the weak. Fortunately, there are still some who have not given up. One such hero is supernatural fighting-machine, Kim Wu. Kim seeks to give aid wherever she can, whenever she can, but she and others linked to the occult can feel a growing darkness swallowing the world - and the darkness is looking to destroy them all. Will Kim, and more of Earth's heroes reunite once more to beat back the darkness, or have they won the battle to only lose the war and become slaves to malevolence forever?

    From writer, Ian Edgington, comes this bleak tale of supernatural conquest, and the heroes that stand in the gap for humankind. Basing his story on the hit video game, Killer Instinct, Edgington begins very well, starting his tale off with plenty of atmosphere, a very likable, very human super-powered protagonist, and a very succinct, but effective exposition. This perfect comicbook-writer's trinity had me engaged from the very first page. I enjoyed the melancholic tone of the story, but also the bright spark of hopefulness and warmth that Kim Wu brought to the panels as well. She is the soul of kindness, with a supernatural link to what seems to be a frightening dragon-spirit, who, in combination with Kim's lightning fast feet and fists, is always ready to lay the smack down on those who prey on the helpless. Edgington's dystopian tale of mystical martial arts mayhem is bolstered by great art from Cam Adams - a guy who knows how to lay down atmospheric desolation with his pencils, as well as magical melees, and bone-jarring hand-to-hand combat action. All-in-all, this is a really fun comic with an interesting premise. Fans of mystical, martial arts stories just might dig this one. 

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

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