Thursday, December 14, 2017

DC Universe Rebirth: Suicide Squad Vol 3 Review

DC Universe Rebirth: Suicide Squad - Burning Down The House

        Amanda Waller is having the worst day ever. She has been relieved of her duties as the Head of Task Force X (Rick Flag, Katana, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Enchantress, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Hack) by none other than the President of the United States, himself...And one of her deadliest recruits, Rustam, former leader of the deadly Jihad, has returned from the dead to destroy Waller and everything she holds dear. Driven by devotion to his ideals of freedom, Rustam strikes at Waller and the heart of corruption in several of the world's governments by forming The Burning World, a group of high-powered super-villains that he breaks out of their prisons and convinces to share his vision of a liberated world. Belle Reve, Blackgate...One by one, Waller's strongholds crumble, her intel is stolen, and her avenues of escape are cut off. As Rustam closes in for the kill, Waller and the Suicide Squad strike back, only to find themselves probably outmatched, and quite possibly betrayed by a double agent in the team! Waller always knew that forcing super-powered villains to work for her was like playing Russian Roulette...But this time, Rustam just might be the bullet that ends all her machinations - annihilating her, and Task Force X forever.

   Standalone/Back-up Story: "War Crimes" - When a corrupt former Secretary of Defense is kidnapped by Strikeforce Europa, a crack team of European super-powered operatives bent on making him stand trial for various war crimes, Amanda Waller sends Task Force X to recover the crooked S.O.B. before the United States acts with force - an act which would create an international incident that may turn America's allies against her, and kick off a war!

    Rob Williams pens "Burning Down the House," an action-packed, fast-paced Suicide Squad adventure that is full of classic Task Force X betrayal, intrigue, murder, and mayhem. For the most part, this book is pretty great - it's got a villain in Rustam that may, or may not be really villainous (that's always great), and a protagonist in Amanda Waller who may or may not be good, but who is definitely a different, more virtuous kind of monster. I love how Williams juxtaposed these two characters, highlighting their many similarities, and the places where the similarities sharply end. There are also some great plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering who was going to end up dead on this mission, who was the traitor and why he or she would ever dare betray Amanda Waller and her merry gang of psychopaths. Sure, Enchantress was way funnier than Harley Quinn. And, sure, the resolution was simplistic and very Batman-y, but the stunted payoff didn't change the fact that the journey was totally worthwhile. Eddy Barrows lays down some great, atmospheric pencils for Williams' story, and John Romita, Jr. does competent work in his blocky, overly-nuanced style. "Burning Down the House" is a solid Task Force X tale, but by no means a new classic.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

   In "War Crimes," the great John Ostrander returns in top form to Task Force X, giving us a much nuttier, much funnier Harley Quinn backed up by a brilliant Rick Flag, a volatile Diablo, a crafty Captain Boomerang, and a reserved, but highly effective, Deadshot. Oh, and Mad Dog, who is basically the red-shirt of the group. While this story is hard-hitting, and high-octane, Ostrander still finds time to insert some great one-liners that are sure to make you at least crack a smile in the midst of all the mayhem. Ostrander focuses on the mechanics of the team, and has a blast with this story. I did too. It was all action, all fun. Maybe they should let Ostrander take the reins again. Who knows? Maybe even give him a shot at penning a Suicide Squad film? I would love to see that. Gus Vazquez's pencils are uncomplicated, straight-forward, and a bit cartoon-y at times which works out perfectly as the story swings from violent to slapstick and back again. Love it!

RATING: 10 out of 10.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017


G'day all who visits this nice little corner of Texas. Well in my case N.S.W. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Here are some new back issues i have just received, Enjoy!

Wolverine #55, NM. July 2007. Nice variant of Crime Suspenstories #22.

Wolverine #1/2, VF+. 1997. From Wizard Mag. #75. It's the only wizard 1/2 book i own.

Wolverine #42, VF+. July 1991. Another sweet 2nd print to add to my collection.

The Deep #1, VF+. 1977. One great book for it's age, Adaptation of the movie. 

Spider-Man and Power Pack, NM. 1984. (Give-a-way) NEA Logo.
Again, These books are becoming harder to find as time goes on. Has an "Empire Comics" stamp on the back cover (Rochester, N.Y.)

Jonah Hex #83, VF+. April 1984. This issue along with the few that followed where the start of lower prints, Series ended on #92. Great cover.

Monday, December 11, 2017

R.L. Stine's Man-Thing TPB Review

R.L. Stine's Man-Thing TPB -

      Years ago, in a lonely swamp, scientist, Ted Sallis, was betrayed while protecting his dangerous serum -  a serum that could turn men into unstoppable killers! Forced to take his own serum to keep it out of the hands of thieves, Sallis, about to die at the bottom of a murky lake in the swamp, transformed into a mindless, immortal beast with the power to make all beings burn in his grasp if they knew fear. Now, having regained his brilliant mind and the power of speech, Sallis is finding it nearly impossible to fit in in a fast-paced, superficial world. But that's the LEAST of his worries - his old self, the mindless beast, wants to dominate him again...And deep in his ancient, swamp-home, mysterious forces have joined, forces powerful enough to abduct the Oldfather, the guardian of the swamplands and protector of the gateway to the Nexus of Realities. Man-Thing hurtles himself into the Nexus to save Oldfather, but is he mighty enough to face powers strong enough to defeat Oldfather, and in an endless maze of realities, can he ever find his way home? 

    From the author of everyone's childhood fave, Goosebumps, comes a new take on an old Marvel character, Man-Thing! R.L. Stine makes his first foray into comics by re-imagining Man-Thing, and turning him into the tragic, active protagonist that we always knew that he could be. Stine returns the power of thought and intent to the mindless monster that we all love, and sends him on a mission, not only to save the swamp but to save our entire reality. So, how does Stine do on his first outing? Pretty good, I think. He manages to make Man-Thing/Ted Sallis likable, relatable, tragic, and a whole lot of zany, and sometimes, corny, fun. You can tell Stine is a comics fan from way back; this Man-Thing arc has an evident Silver Age hokiness to it, mixed with light horror, and loads of one-liners that are sure to make you chuckle, smile...or grimace at the sheer corniness of it all. Stine is in this for the fun - sure, you'll explore Man-Thing's tragic origin and plight; however, Stine didn't write this book for heavy thinkers. It's a total flight of fancy with silly humor, lots of action, and tame elements of horror.  Stine backs this arc up, with a few of his own unconnected stories - short gems from his collection which are a bit heavier on the horror and dark humor, stories in the classic EC style of storytelling. And man, are those GREAT!! Gรฉrman Peralta lays down some lovely, quirky pencils that are perfect for a story that is just as quirky. I suspect that this comic will be a disappointment for some fans of Man-Thing that have come to expect a heavier tone for the character's stories, but for R.L. Stine, this comic book was like a love letter to everything he adored about comics growing up. Sure it has its problems, but I really dig it. 

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

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Thursday, November 30, 2017


  Check out this cool fan-made film:

         Justice League: Dawn of Apokolips!!


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fu Jitsu #1 Review

Fu Jitsu #1 from AfterShock - 

      Fu Jitsu is a boy who loves burgers. But he's also a boy who is well over one-hundred years old, and a super-genius who has mastered every martial art on the planet, including cellular kung-fu, the art of rapid healing. Now, he's seeking to push himself beyond the limits of his mind, body, and spirit in his quest to do two all-important things: master sub-atomic kung-ku...And forget the girl who broke his heart. Fu, recently returned from a years-long, enhanced state of meditation, will need all of his skills to combat a deadly threat to the planet that has been brewing for well over seventy years; long ago, a madman discovered the power of mystical weapons, and has sought them for decades, finally deciding to forge the perfect one in order to dominate the world. This dark task has taken him decades, and the only person that can stand in his way is the legendary boy hero, Fu Jitsu. As the madman plans his preemptive strike, will Fu Jitsu be caught unawares, perishing after his years-long isolation, or will the would-be conqueror awake the most dangerous sleeping dragon the world has ever known?

     Jai Nitz pens this sci-fi, martial arts actioner, with a tongue-in-cheek twist!! Fu Jitsu hits all the right notes with an instantly likable, unique (but familiar), fun, burger-munching protagonist steeped in sci-fi/fantasy and over-the-top martial arts mysticism. Nitz's writing sparkles as he introduces the reader to both the protagonist and antagonist of his story in wonderful form, with just enough backstory to capture our imagination but not enough to give away the origins of the characters, leaving the juicy bits to be revealed at a later date. And I definitely want to know more about these cool characters, and this world that Nitz is bringing into existence. But Nitz isn't in this alone. Wesley St. Claire co-created Fu Jitsu along with Jai Nitz, and they're both pulling double duty; while Nitz is penning the story, St. Claire is rocking the pencils - and the pencils are gorgeous. St. Claire can do it all - from martial arts mayhem to explosions and wild action sequences to heavy, ominous villainry - St. Claire's pencils communicate the story perfectly to the reader while managing to be a lot of fun for the eyes. Shades of Karate Kid (not the movie, the comic character), Shaolin Cowboy, and Remo Williams have combined to give birth to an awesomely cool, new superhero in a wild first issue with just the right mix of action, comedy, historical fiction, and sci-fi/fantasy fun! I absolutely LOVE Fu Jitsu #1!!

RATING: 10 out of 10 for what looks like it will be 100% pure all-ages enjoyment!!

Writer's note: Please excuse my absence - a string of family illnesses and other life-related issues necessitated my hiatus. 

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

TEX's BACK-ISSUE QUEST Episode 62 (The Punisher)

Hello, fellow Questers!!

    I'm back again to bring the pain, as we talk about one of Marvel's ultimate pain-bringers...The Punisher!!

   2016 was the year that the Punisher made his small screen debut! And it was pretty great! He took on Daredevil in the much-awaited season 2 of Netflix's series of the same name. A few days ago, on November 17, 2017, The Punisher opened a can of whoop-a$$ on Netflix, with the debut of his very own series! 

   Bernthal is reportedly using "Born" and "Punisher MAX" as inspiration for his portrayal on the Punisher. This is good news for fans of the Punisher, as Garth Ennis headed up both series, a writer who, arguably, penned the best Punisher stories ever.

   To mark this exciting occasion, I thought I'd roll out some of The Punisher keys from my collection, for your eyes to see. Sound good? Sweet. Let's pop smoke:

It's Captain America #241, published in 1980. This features the first meeting between Captain America and the Punisher...And boy do they get the fisticuffs done! Frank Miller is on the cover and Frank Springer is on the interiors. 

FUN FACT: Mike Barr screwed the pooch when he wrote this one. While trying to convince the Punisher of the error of his ways, Cap waxes a bit holier-than-thou, telling Castle that he's "never willingly taken a life." Cap's a WWII war-hero. That was the bloodiest war the world has ever seen - you don't get that title without spilling some. Just sayin'.  

This is Marvel Preview Presents #2, published in 1975. In this B&W, non-Comics-Code compliant magazine, The Punisher tries to stop the murder of a politician that will be giving a speech on Wall Street; also, we get the very first telling of the Punisher's origin story showing the horrific murder of his family. While out for a day in the park, the Castle Family stumbles across a mob hit, and are mercilessly gunned down. Only Frank Castle survives.

Here are a couple of pages for you:

Gerry Conway writes and Tony DeZuniga rocks those pencils!

FUN FACT 1: The Punisher didn't exactly catch fire when he was created. He appeared in only 2 solo B&W stories and was basically a guest character in other books until he got his own series in 1986.

FUN FACT 2: This magazine also features the 1st app of Dominic Fortune (which Howard Chaykin created based on a character named Scorpion that he created for the now-defunct ATLAS SEABOARD)! It's true. I can't make this stuff up.

Next up:

Here we have The Amazing Spider-Man #135 - the second-ever full appearance of the Punisher (he had a cameo in #134), and the origin of the Tarantula! Isn't that cover just all kinds of swell?

And of course, I have the most important of them all:

It's Amazing Spider-Man #129, published in 1974, featuring the very 1st appearance of the Punisher and the first appearance of Miles Warren as the Jackal!! This swell cover was done by the hands of greats John Romita and Gil Kane!!

And finally:

Here is The Punisher #1, published in 1986. Written by Steven Grant, and drawn wonderfully by Mike Zeck, this series was in limbo since the early 80s when Grant and Zeck first asked to do it. Marvel wasn't sure about giving a hero that killed in cold blood his own title. What would the kids think? Eventually,
 Marvel published the title, but didn't put much effort in promoting it, and it is no small wonder. This series is hard-boiled. You will see things in this series that Marvel hadn't even dreamed of in that era: suicide, the death of a child, and even a sex scene. Yikes!

And to round it all out, of course, I have the full set:

FUN FACT 3: Issues 1, 3, and 4 had banners above the title stating that this was a four-issue limited series; however, issues 2, and 5 clearly state that this is actually a five-issue limited series. Which was correct? 

FUN FACT 4: It was actually a five-issue limited series. Hurray for production errors. 

That's all for today. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do posting! Comment and let me know if you enjoyed the article and if you're enjoying "The Punisher" on Netflix!

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Saturday, November 18, 2017


Hey all, I've been so busy, gets more difficult as one gets older.
So here are some new pick-ups i have. More on the way before Christmas. Till then, Enjoy!

Paragon Software give'a'way, VF+. January 1989. Surprised by finding this at Supernova, The seller didn't realize how potentially rare it was. Told him after i bought it ๐Ÿ˜  

Spectacular Spider-Man #189, VF. November 1992. 2nd Print Gold Hologram. Got this at Supernova as well from the same guy. Again i said: "thanks, that's a 2nd print" What the ...It is" he said. ๐Ÿ˜Ž 

Raphael (One Shot), F+. 1985. 1st App: Casey Jones. 4th appearance of the turtles over-all. Picked it up at Supernova.

Regular Show 2017 Special. Variant cover.