Sunday, March 18, 2018


Hello, Fellow Questers!!

    Have I got something GREAT for you today!!

    Who's the most offbeat hero ever created? Who's the most powerful adventurer that you've never heard of? Who makes the ladies swoon and sends the bad guys to their ignominious doom? Why, it's none other than...

(My copy of Herbie #1, printed by ACG in April of 1964)


   ...And you're thinking, "What's a Herbie Popnecker?"

    Herbie Popnecker is the universe's greatest, weirdest, and coolest hero. Below, you see my copy of his very first appearance in the now-defunct American Comics Group's (ACG) fun title, Forbidden Worlds, in issue #73 printed in December of 1958. Herbie Popnecker was created by Richard E. Hughes (using the pseudonym, Shane O'Shea), and comics genius, Ogden Whitney, an amazing creator, equally as cool, tragic, and forgotten and his creation, Herbie.

    Herbie Popnecker is a FAR cry from your average hero. He is short, bespectacled, fat, and dead-faced, and unlike many superheroes of the early Silver Age, Herbie was quite young. From what I can tell, he derived his superpowers from his deliciously dangerous lollipops, which gave him magnificent powers and abilities, such as superhuman strength and speed, flight-walking (Herbie is the ORIGINAL sky-walker), hypnosis, the ability to communicate in all languages (even with animals), time-travel, invisibility, and invulnerability. In this, his first adventure in Forbidden Worlds #73, Herbie catches a lot of grief from his dad for his lack of motivation and abnormality, not knowing that the son he looks down upon so much is a super-powered being who just saved the planet from an alien invasion, and found an important U.S. Senator who was thought dead but merely lost at sea.

   Herbie's coolness and relevance resonate down through the decades, especially with the marginalized, disenfranchised, and the social outcasts. Ahead of its time, Herbie's stories in Forbidden Worlds tackle difficult themes like masculinity, productivity, bullying, and self-image in a time when these issues were rarely up for any discussion. Herbie's father, Pincus, thinks of him as a "fat little nothing." Herbie is bullied and teased by his peers, and most people ignore him, denigrate him, or ignore his presence altogether. He's got all the makings of a grand super-villain, but never once does Herbie complain, or strike back at those whose minds are just too small to comprehend him. He just keeps walking through the world unnoticed, and unloved (except for by his sweet mother), all the while stopping disaster after disaster, saving lives, the planet and the universe. He is both tragic and triumphant - a character with all the trappings of an anti-hero, who, to me, is probably one of the purest forms of a superhero ever published in comics. Herbie gains nothing at all from his powers. Nothing. He is entirely and completely altruistic. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense: what would a godlike creature, confident in its abilities and powers, actually need from humans? What would it benefit by ruling or saving them? So, then, it would have to have only its own internal source of motivation which we know only in our binary terms of good and evil. Lucky for the Herbie-verse, Herbie is truly good for absolutely no reason at all but his own...Which absolutely makes him one of my most beloved comic book characters. People can learn a lot from Herbie: words cannot hurt you unless you give them the power to do so - the power that only resides deep within the universe of your very own soul. We are all Herbie.

  Can you dig it, man?

 On to the fun facts!!

FUN FACT 1 - Herbie Popnecker's powers come from his deliciously dangerous lollipops, given to him by the enigmatic Unknown. He could often defeat his enemies by smacking them with one of his strangely strong sweets. He often leveled this hilarious, yet very serious threat at villains: "...gonna bop you with this here lollipop...".

FUN FACT 2: The most powerful of Herbie's lollipops (and the most difficult to find) was the cinnamon-flavored kind.

FUN FACT 3: Herbie's co-creator, Ogden Whitney, was a tragic character in his own right. He was an alcoholic that after passing his Golden Age and Silver Age heydays, worked less and less, depending on his wife as the primary bread-winner of the household. He tried to break into advertising when his comics career dried up, but sadly he ended up dying alone in a nursing home suffering from a mental breakdown after the death of his beloved wife. However, in 2007, he was finally inducted into The Will Eisner Award Hall Of Fame.

FUN FACT: Would you believe it? Herbie Popnecker is Alan Moore's, favorite superhero! In an interview with TwoMorrows Publishing, the legendary comics writer once stated that Herbie was, "one of his all-time passions."

FUN FACT 5: Herbie received the Alley Award for "Best Humorous Comic Book" award in 1964 and 1965.

FUN FACT 6: Herbie got his own comic in 1964 (see my copy of Herbie #1 above), and as was the custom of the Silver Age (even with Archie, Reggie, and Jughead), Herbie got into the cape-and-tights game in issue #8, becoming the Fat Fury!!

Herbie #8 (I don't own one of these...Yet). 

    I agree with Alan Moore: Herbie is awesome. The world could benefit from a bit of Herbie, nowadays. Thanks for reading! Feel free to let me know how you feel about Herbie in the comments. And as a gift from me to you (actually from to all of us), you can read Herbie's earliest adventure here! is so AMAZING!! And, if you're so inclined, check out this wild, cool video by Robert Martens:

Thanks for reading!

If you like these articles, PLEASE HIT THE +1 BUTTON below. We are on Google+, follow us and we'll follow you back.  We're also on Facebook and Twitter (Tex's Comic Quest). Like our page, and share us with your friends! Help me win one million readers over to the awesome world of comics!

Friday, March 2, 2018

TEX'S Variants, Autographs and Oddities Episode 7 (Spawn 150)

Hello fellow Questers!!!

    Welcome back to another episode of...TEX'S Variants, Autographs, and Oddities!! I hope that your weekend is looking swell! Mine is looking to be really busy - but you know what they say: " Better busy than broke." LOL!

    Now, I know that you can dig that.

    Today, I hit you with a bit of that much beloved Todd McFarlane creation...SPAWN!!!

Spawn #150 (sketch variant) front cover 

Spawn #150 (sketch variant) back cover

   Isn't she lovely? It's my copy of the sketch variant of Spawn #150! It's one of the rarer covers, all done up by Jim Lee. But besides the cool cover, it's also the third part of an insanely cool story called "Random Patterns," penned by Brian Holguin and Todd McFarlane, in which we see Spawn defeated by Heaven's champion, The Disciple, and from a piece of his shredded carcass arises a child-Spawn. This new Spawn is taken under the wing of an enigmatic, universally powerful being who wishes to use him for his own plans.

  All that's nice, but why do I REALLY love this book? Simple. It's the first full appearance of...The Man of Miracles!! YEAH!!!

   Man of Miracles (M.o.M.) is basically the Mother of Existence. Bear with me here. You see, M.o.M. is the genderless, omniscient, omnipotent parent of both god and the devil, both of whom were given the Earth and wrestle for kingship over the planet. It seems the god created man (with M.o.M.'s energies), but the devil gave man free will, so they both believe they have the right to claim man as their own. Their plans were thwarted, however, when M.o.M. fell in love with mankind, seeing it as a new, unique thing in the universe. To save mankind, M.o.M. banished both god and the devil to the far reaches of the unknown universe, and then took a human form (let's just call this form, J.C.) to come down to mankind and preach a gospel of love and peace...Which mankind, of course, corrupted, leading M.o.M. train this new Spawn for his role in the coming Armageddon. The souls of M.o.M.'s 12 earthy followers became Heaven's mightiest warriors, The Disciples (the most powerful of these is the one who defeated Spawn).

   Does that name sound familiar? Man of Miracles? It should because Man of Miracles = Miracleman/Marvelman!! At least, it was supposed to anyway. You see, when Todd McFarlane purchased Eclipse Comics' creative assets back in 1996, he thought he bought the rights to Miracleman, which the previous writer and (owner of the rights), Neil Gaiman, disputed. McFarlane went ahead and introduced Mike Moran, the alter-ego of Miracleman/Marvelman, into Spawn's universe, and eventually even finished a Miracleman statue and M.o.M. action figures - some of which I own (of course):

Coolness, right?

   The action figures are sweet, and the story is a nutty, wild, fascinating thrill-ride of an adventure. You should check it out! 

On to the FUN FACTS!

FUN FACT 1 - Man of Miracles' appearance changes according to who is perceiving her.

FUN FACT 2 - Since Alan Moore first penned the first true superhero deconstruction story starring Miracleman in the pages of Warrior, Marvelman/Miracleman has garnered a hardcore fanbase, Yours truly being one of them.

FUN FACT 3 - In 2009, it was revealed that Mick Anglo, the creator of Marvelman, still owned the rights to the character...And Marvel Comics promptly bought the rights to the character from him. Sadly, Mick passed away in 2011. 

I hope you all enjoy reading these articles as much as I do writing them! I'm not a professional writer, just a guy who really loves comics. You are always welcome to let me know what you think in the comments, positive or negative. I appreciate your readership! 

If you like these articles, PLEASE HIT THE +1 BUTTON below. We are on Google+, follow us and we'll follow you back.  We're also on Facebook and Twitter (Tex's Comic Quest). Like our page, and share us with your friends! Help me win one million readers over to the awesome world of comics!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

TEX'S Back-Issue Quest Episode 64 (Black Lightning)

Hello, there fellow Questers!!

     It's T to tha E to tha X back one more time to blow your comicbook-absorbed minds! I hope that life is treating you all, and the ones you love, GREAT! Me and mine are doing more than fine!

    It's no secret that Black Panther has shocked the world, breaking box office records left and right, and pulling in more than $450 million worldwide within the first 5 days after its opening! Well, yours truly has seen Black Panther four times, and I have calculated that my family combined has spent close to $300 enjoying Black Panther in the last week. It's easily my favorite Marvel film, unseating Captain America: The Winter Soldier in my heart as Marvel's most thought-provoking, relevant film. 

   But we're not here to talk about Black Panther.

   While Marvel is the king of films, DC rules the small screen with fun, action-packed shows like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Constantine was a stellar show that was part of the Arrowverse as well; unfortunately, it did not last past one season. Well, in keeping step with MCU's first film starring a black superhero (the Blade films are not in the MCU proper), DC/Warner launched a television show on January 16, 2018, called Black Lightning! So far, the series has received excellent ratings and it has garnered praise for being relevant, powerful, entertaining and intelligent. But just who is Black Lightning? Check it:

   Above, you can see my pristine copy of Black Lightning, vol 1, #1, printed in April of 1977. It features the first appearances of Jefferson Pierce, AKA Black Lightning, his nemesis, Tobias Whale (an albino of African-American descent), and Tobias' gang, the 100. Jefferson Pierce is a high school teacher and former Olympic Gold Medal decathlete, returning to Suicide Slum, his home neighborhood, to teach at Garfield High School. Suicide Slum is a high-crime, high-poverty section of Metropolis that rarely seemed to get much attention from the Last Son of Krypton. Not long after returning, Jefferson finds himself in direct conflict with the 100's agenda, and soon a young, promising athlete who aided Jefferson in his confrontation with the 100 ends up dead. This is when Jefferson heads out to see his old friend and father-figure, Peter Gambi, a local tailor and tech wizard, who joins him in his fight against the 100 and their leader Tobias Whale. Gambi provides Jefferson with a costume, wig, mask, and the Electric Power Belt - a powerful weapon that not only generates a personal force-field but it also allows Jefferson to generate lightning bolts! And so was born...Black Lightning!!

   Black Lightning was created by comics legend, Tony Isabella (who has signed several comics for me - Thanks, Tone!), and amazing penciller, Trevor von Eden. Isabella, widely recognized for his stellar run on Marvel's first black superhero in his own title, Luke Cage, was recruited by DC to help them launch their first black superhero title. The series ran for eleven great issues...Until the storied DC Implosion erased the series from DC's publishing line-up. The series has been both praised for its relevance, grittiness, and depth, and it has been criticized for the over-the-top stereotypical behavior of some of the characters. Love it, or hate it, Black Lightning, vol 1, was jam-packed with amazing, expressive art done by a black artist, and tight, emotionally powerful writing inspired by the waning genre of blaxploitation, which was already in its death throes.

  Wanna see more great covers? Well, I have the entire series, but let's see what's already scanned to my computer to feed your need...A-HA!! Feast your eyes on Black Lightning #s 4 thru 10:

Ain't they pretty?

   On to the fun facts!!!

FUN FACT 1 - You ain't gonna even BELIEVE this one. DC's first black headlining superhero was supposed to be called The Black Bomber. If that isn't scary enough (and terrorist-y), check out the plot: The Black Bomber was a white, bigoted Vietnam vet, who after taking part in camouflage experimentation (to help white soldiers blend into the jungle better), gains the power (?) to change into a black superhero...Who saves blacks, but still hates blacks, even while he is black. Bruh.

I can't make this stuff up. Click here and let famous Fred Hembeck tell ya about it.

FUN FACT 2 - Neither Black Lightning nor Luke Cage was the first black superhero in their comicbook company; however, they both first appeared in their own titles that they were specifically created to lead.

FUN FACT 3 - Tony Isabella wrote Black Lighting until issue #10 when Denny O'Neil took over.

FUN FACT 4 - Black Lightning originally had no powers, and relied on his wits, raw athleticism and Gambi's Electric Power Belt to beat the bad guys. However, after Gambi's murder in Black Lightning, vol 1, #7, Jefferson's rage reveals that he has somehow internalized and amplified the powers of the Power Belt. It has been speculated that Jefferson was born with a latent meta-gene that was activated by the Power Belt.

FUN FACT 5 - It seems like the TV series is a mash-up of Black Lightning, vol 1, and Black Lightning: Year One, published in 2009, written by Jen Van Meter and pencilled by Cully Hammer.

FUN FACT 6 - Black Lightning fathered two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer, who both have an activated meta-gene which led to the development of superhuman powers:

Anissa became the superhero called Thunder.

Jennifer became the superhero, Lightning.

FUN FACT 7 - Black Lightning (in vol 1) as a character has caught a lot of flack due to the fact that he A: wears an afro wig, and B: speaks in an exaggerated Harlem jive to help hide his identity as Jefferson Pierce AND conceal the fact that he is an educated man. 

FUN FACT 8 - I love Black Lightning, the character, and the TV show. The TV series is awesome. It's timely, pulls few punches, showcases pretty solid writing, and a great cast with Cress Williams in the titular role. He struggles in his role as a father of two headstrong daughters in a tough inner-city area, a principal trying to give at-risk kids a future, a husband trying to win back his estranged wife, and a superhero trying to make his city a better place. 

FUN FACT 8 - Tony Isabella is a talented writer, an often overlooked comicbook treasure, and an all-around stand-up guy. You can catch up with him here at his blog. You can even converse with him. He usually replies to your comments or questions as he finds the time. 

FUN FACT 9- Black Lightning was set to appear in everyone's favorite childhood superhero show (over 40), Super Friends. However, due to disputes between DC and Tony Isabella, he could not be used. So, we got the cool knock-off, Black Vulcan instead:

FUN FACT 10 - Black Lightning has developed into a powerful superhero and a tireless, brilliant educator. He has been a member of the Justice League, The Outsiders, and he was even a member of Lex Luthor's Cabinet when he was President of the United States serving as Luthor's Secretary of Education. 

   Well, that's all for today! Are you digging the Black Lightning TV series? Are you not digging it? Do love or hate Black Lightning? Let me know in the comments!

If you like these articles, PLEASE HIT THE +1 BUTTON below. We are on Google+, follow us and we'll follow you back.  We're also on Facebook and Twitter (Tex's Comic Quest). Like our page, and share us with your friends! Help me win one million readers over to the awesome world of comics!

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Hello fellow Questers!!!

    I am BACK! And just like you, I'm excited for the release of Black Panther, that going to hit theaters and shock the world this week! As you know, Chadwick Boseman debuted as Marvel's Black Panther back in 2016 in the blockbuster hit, Captain America: Civil War and the MCU has never been the same! Boseman is a multi-talented actor and playwright and has shown that he is indeed the PERFECT choice to bring Black Panther, one of Marvel's greatest and most versatile superheroes, to the big screen. If you haven't seen Boseman's powerful performances in 42, Marshall, Get On Up, and Message From The King, I would advise that you check these out ASAP.

   Black Panther burst onto the scene in July of 1966 is this legendary issue of Fantastic Four:

Above, is my copy of Fantastic Four #52 which features the very first appearance of T'Challa, The Black Panther, created by the magical team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! The Fantastic Four are sent a flying vehicle (the Magnetic Wave Rider), a gift from the ruler of Wakanda, a mysterious and prosperous African nation. The Fantastic Four take the invitation, arriving only to be defeated one after another by a mysterious masked man, dressed in a black Panther Habit (note: "habit" is an archaic term for "dress,"  "clothing" or "outfit"). 

This Silver-Age key showcases not only the first appearance of the Black Panther, but it also features the first appearances of Wakanda, Wakandan vibranium (in the mesh of the Panther Habit), the Heart-Shaped Herb, the Techno-Organic Jungle and the Panther Habit and Idol.


It's my copy of Fantastic Four #53!! It features the second appearance of the Black Panther! It also features the first appearance of Ulysses Klaw and his Sonic Disruptor, as well as the first actual appearance and mention of Wakandan vibranium outside of the Panther Habit. In a flashback, we also see the first appearance of T'Challa's father, T'Chaka.

And then...

Here are my copies of Black Panther vol 1, #1 and #2, written and drawn by none other than the Late, Great, Jack Kirby! In these issues, a mysterious collector named Mr. Little convinces T'Challa to accompany him on a quest to gain an ancient, powerful artifact that T'Challa's grandfather, Azzuri the Wise, once possessed. This brings T'Challa into a deadly confrontation with Princess Zanda, a collector of rare artifacts, and the highly-skilled ruler of the African nation, Narobia. 

All this might be great, but maybe new comics fans are asking themselves just who is The Black Panther? No, he has nothing to do with the revolutionary Black Panther Party (BPP) that was born in the late 1960s. I mention this because there are groups on the internet who are railing against a movie titled, "Black Panther," decrying it as racist, divisive and on and so forth. It's obvious that these people are not comics fans, have no idea of who Black Panther is, nor do they know that Black Panther's creators were two men of Jewish descent, the much beloved Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, pioneers of the Marvel Universe. 

The Black Panther is actually a title passed down for thousands of years to the chief of the Panther Tribe, one of several tribes in the futuristically advanced fictional African nation of Wakanda. The Black Panther Tribe is the ruling party and its chief is naturally the ruler of the nation. T'Challa is the current, and arguably greatest, Black Panther, taking both the throne and the title after the death of his father, T'Chaka. Although the title is hereditary, it must be earned - the candidate must defeat Wakanda's greatest warriors in combat and successfully pass many nearly impossible trials to prove himself worthy of the throne and title of Wakanda's most powerful and fearsome protector. Wakanda must always come first in the heart of the Black Panther, as outsiders will always seek to take its greatest natural resource: the priceless alien metal that can only be found on Earth in one place: Wakanda (A meteor made of vibranium crashed in now what is called Wakanda in a prehistoric age). This is why Wakanda remained hidden for so long, and why it is a closed nation.

T'Challa is a very different Black Panther from those before him. He is more open to some of the outside world, and much less fearful of its influence and dangers. Educated in the best universities in the world, well-traveled, and cultured, T'Challa has made several close friends and allies outside of Wakanda, including people like Captain America, Iron Man, Daredevil and Blue Marvel. His intellect is beyond genius level in several disciplines, his tactical genius is possibly unparalleled in the MCU (nod to Captain America). He is a supremely skilled hunter, tracker, fighter, strategist, scientist, inventor, and politician. Add to this the powers conferred upon him by the Heart-Shaped Herb and the Wakandan Panther God (the combined knowledge of all Black Panthers before him, enhanced speed, durability, strength healing, reflexes agility, superhuman senses, etc) and, in short, T'Challa is, without a doubt, one of the MOST dangerous men in the Marvel Universe. On to the FUN FACTS!!

FUN FACT 1: Black Panther's name predates the founding of the Black Panther party by more than 2 months. The character was even briefly called the Black Leopard to avoid any connection to the Black Panther Party. 

FUN FACT 2: There was a Black Panther Battalion, the all-African-American 761st Tank Battalion, that served during WWII. Although not permitted to serve beside white troops, the battalion fought valiantly, earning the Presidential Unit Citation. There is even a recipient of the Medal of Honor among the men of the battalion. The most well-known member is the 761st, was First Liutenant Jack Robinson, whom the world would one day come to know as the baseball icon, Jackie Robinson.

FUN FACT 3: One of the names that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came up with for the character was Coal Tiger. It wasn't used. However, the name was later used for an alternate reality version of T'Challa, and for his son in the now-defunct MC2 universe. 

FUN FACT 4: A derivative of Wakandan vibranium appeared in Daredevil vol 1, #13 as Anti-Metal. 

FUN FACT 5: Black Panther being the first black/black African superhero is a fact that I like to dispute. I like to think that honor belongs to Lothar, best friend and partner to Mandrake the Magician who first appeared in 1934:

Lothar was "The Prince of Seven Nations" in Africa and definitely the strongest man on the planet. He performed great feats of superhuman strength, which, in my opinion, makes him the first black/black African superhero. He and Mandrake are the first interracial superhero team, and Lothar was the first black person to be treated seriously in comics. Lothar and Mandrake appeared beside Flash Gordon and The Phantom in the awesome 80s cartoon series, Defenders of the Earth:

FUN FACT 6: Black Panther and Storm of the X-Men were once married, and are still very much in love even though they are no longer married. The Wakandans are very fond of Storm. Talk about a power couple!

FUN FACT 7: Once T'Challa was injured and comatose so the title of Black Panther passed to his amazingly badass sister, Shuri, portrayed by Leticia Wright in the upcoming film:

FUN FACT 8: The Black Panther's all-female personal guard are called the Dora Milaje (The Adored Ones). They are some of the most highly-trained, lethal special ops soldiers on the planet and supremely dedicated to their king. 

In the film, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje will be portrayed by a host of ladies, including the talented Danai Gurira (of Walking Dead fame), and the stunning, captivating, intimidating Florence Kasumba:

FUN FACT 9: Black Panther has been in the hands of some good writers, but it wasn't until Christopher Priest got hold of him in Black Panther vol 3 that T'Challa really got his shine on. Priest added so much to The Black Panther mythos and the world of Wakanda, that most consider him to be the greatest Black Panther writer ever; however, celebrated author and intellectual, Ta-Nehisi Coates, is writing the current volume of Black Panther (vol 6), and he is expanding the Wakandan mythology, revealing civil unrest and even revolution, and showing T'Challa as embattled on all sides while he tries to evolve as a person, a hero, and a king, all while keeping his beloved Wakanda together. No doubt, Ta-Nehisi Coates can also be considered as arguably the greatest writer to pen Black Panther. Month after month, Black Panther (vol 6) is one of the best comics that Marvel publishes right now. 

FUN FACT 10: Matt Murdoch, one of T'Challa's closest friends, asked him to become Hell's Kitchen's guardian devil once. T'Challa became the lead hero of Daredevil in Daredevil #513 in 2011. Later, the title was changed to Black Panther: The Man Without Fear.

And now...Let's take a look at the film trailer!!

AAAAAH!!! I can't wait!! I have my daughter's ticket and mine! We are going to the special opening night fan event! And then I got us tickets for the NEXT NIGHT too!! So excited!! How do you feel about the upcoming Black Panther movie? Let me know in the comments! 

If you like these articles, PLEASE HIT THE +1 BUTTON below. We are on Google+, follow us and we'll follow you back.  We're also on Facebook and Twitter (Tex's Comic Quest). Like our page, and share us with your friends! Help me win one million readers over to the awesome world of comics!

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"