Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I did LAST weekend

As always I´m a bit behind on my posts because I wanted to post this on Sunday - of last week......not this week. In fact I have been so busy that I totally forgot that A COMICBOOK ORANGE is back on the air - so to speak.


Yes, after the seemingly endless hiatus A COMICBOOK ORANGE is back better than ever. Aside from offering the usual greatness there are some lightning quick reviews added. So I´m tempted to say : more bang for your buck...if it wasn´t for free. That´s right : FOR FREE !!! So what are you waiting for ? There are tv stations that would kill for that kind of content. Or was it there are tv stations that I would kill to get this content instead of the crap they are actually showing ?

In any case make sure to check out the new episodes if you are a regular viewer. And if you are new to the site - boy, are you in for a rollercoaster ride. What do you mean where can I find it ? It´s right there on the left, fourth link from the top.


Okay, my weekend was not that dramatic but when I finally arrived at the town hall in Leonberg I felt more dead than alive. I hadn´t slept very much the night before but because I wanted to meet someone there I wanted to arrive early. Also I have to add that I´m still recovering from my shoulder injury and even short walks wear me out a bit. So doing a marathon from the subway station all over the town of Leonberg ? Not a good idea.

Now I´m not sure if I have ever been to the Comicbörse ( comic fair ) in Leonberg before. Back in the day when we were publishing POWER FREAKS we went to all comic conventions or comic fairs we could find. No matter if it was in Erlangen, Essen ( hmm, both begin with an e ) Stuttgart or near Stuttgart we were there. No comic event was too small because the thing is that we sold almost as many issues of POWER FREAKS at a small comic fair like Stuttgart as in Erlangen which is the biggest comic convention in Germany.

That´s of course not counting the copies we gave dealers to sell on a commission basis. So we went to a lot of those small comic shingdings and Leonberg might have been one of them. If it was it has been so long ago that I totally forgot how to get there. But if there is one thing that distinguishes men from women it´s the adamant believe that we will always find our way no matter how unfamiliar the territory. We think we are like bats only we emit some kind of macho waves that pull us in the exact direction we want to go.

Okay, I´m not as convinced of my abilities in that departement that I won´t ask directions. The only problem was that either the people I asked where not from Leonberg or they had never heard of the comic fair. Because as usual I had left all information like the direction at home. So I went up and down all over Leonberg till finally deciding to head in the general direction of town hall to see if I could find any information about the comic fair.

It was pure luck that it took place right in town hall.

Now the comic fair in Stuttgart is not a very big comic event. It has a big room full of lots of tables with comics in all shapes, sizes and forms as well as everything you could imagine connected to pop culture. It´s not a big comic fair. But compared to Leonberg it´s huge.

You don´t go to the comic fair in Leonberg to buy a lot of comics. No, you go there to meet people, chat a bit about comics and get a few comics at bargain prices. I was there to talk about the next step of HORST´s quest for world domination about which I will give further notice when we have reached step two. We had our conversation cleared everything up and I already got the necessary program for the translations. It took me two days to finally get everything in working order but I have already finished the first draft for the first story. But like I said : more about that when we´re taking the next step.

For the translations for THEM OR US ! I have finished the first two stories and sent them in. Now all I have to wait for is a printed version for proof reading before going online. But back to the comic fair.

I wanted to go to the bank on Friday but I was ten minutes late so I had to get some money on Saturday before going to Leonberg. Not that I was planning on buying a lot of comics but I was totally broke and needed money for the subway and to buy something to eat so I got some money from the cash machine and my budget to spend on comics was 50 bucks max.

When I arrived at the comic fair the first thing I did was checking out the dealers tables. There were a handful of tables at the foyer and a seperate room that had about ten or twelve more tables. First I checked out the tables in the foyer than I went into the seperate room to look for the person I was supposed to meet. Naturally the first table I went to was the one of GRINGO COMICS our former partners in crime with the always indispensable Holger Bommer present. If you ever go to a Gringo Comics table at a convention or another comic event in 90 percent of the cases you will meet Holger there.


Back before we did POWER FREAKS my brother did an album together with the Gringo Comics guys called EINSAME SEELEN ( lonely souls ) who released it under the special label AMIGO COMICS that was solely created for that release and hasn´t been resurrected since. It was supposed to be released in standard comic book size but they somehow convinced my brother to do it as an album. It would have worked better as a regular sized comic but my brother found it really flattering and - well, now it´s water under the bridge. We wanted to do other projects with them but somehow that never came to pass, then we did POWER FREAKS which was pretty much the end of my active comic career but we have stayed in contact.

They publish a comic called DIE ABENTEUER VOM HARTMUT ( Adventures of Hartmut ) which is kind of difficult to explain though the idea is pretty simple.

It´s a funny book for kids and adults in which the whole stories - which are the adventures of a kid called Hartmut - are told as stick figures. Sound like the easy way out but it´s quite difficult to tell everything with stick figures.

Besides the funny art the stories are about different things and the writing is making fun of the german orthographic reform. My brother in law doesn´t read many comics but he always finds this comic hilarious and I have given him quite a few over the years as christmas presents. Which means that I always have to buy two because I need a copy for myself. Anyway, this comic comes with the highest recommendation since I don´t know anybody who doesn´t like it.

  • get more info about hartmut from the gringo comics homepage

  • read more hartmut strips at carlsen comics


    After meeting with the person to discuss this project I went to another dealers table and got DAS SAGTE NUFF 2. A few weeks earlier I already got issue 11 at my usual comic shop at half price.

    DAS SAGTE NUFF is the labor of love of Jakobkurtzberg a.k.a. Daniel Wamsler and of course the title of the mag is one of the funniest and worst translations of the famous NUFF SAID blurb that was on all the Silver Age Marvels.

    And that´s what all the magazine is about. Every issue is full of one man´s love for the Silver Age Marvels and it explores the way in which the issues came out. In each new number you can find fascinating articles about the comic series, how they were published in Germany and more about the background.

    Because back then the original issues were often censored, pages were cut, they published the issues in the order they wanted instead of in chronological order and some issues never were published in Germany.

    On the other hand there is material that was done exclusively for Germany ( those who read my COVERSTORY posts may recall the extra content for the german issues of SUPERMAN BATMAN ) that was not reprinted in the States or only in such compilations like SUPERMAN FAMILY. The issues were initially a huge success because there is an active collectors community in that segment of the collectors market in Germany but it has died down a little bit.

    One of the reasons for that might be the hefty price of 7 EUROS per 48 page black and white issue. It´s surely not because of the content which is always entertaining, funny and educational. It even has exclusive content like pages that were never before printed in Germany or exclusive interviews with comic book creators like Gene Colan. So far I´ve got 4 issues but I want to collect the whole set which will now be easier since the series will end with issue 12. So far it´s scheduled for release in winter 2009 and from the content info that has been leaked on the internet it will be the best issue yet.

    I think it´s really sad that such an ambitious project dies but who knows - I´ve been told that printed comics are dead so who knows ? It might go the way of THEM OR US ! and find a new lease on life through the internet. In any case so far there was no issue that disappointed which can´t be said about many german comic publications.

  • das sagte nuff homepage with pdf previews of issues 1 and 8

  • the blog of das sagte nuff


    After buying this issue there wasn´t much left in my budget. A dealer made me an offer that was very hard to refuse : both german hardcovers of GOTHAM NACH MITTERNACHT that collect the 12 issue series GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT and which are 25 EUROS each together for 35 EUROS. That´s a discount of 15 EUROS which is a pretty good deal.

    The only problem was that I already have all the issues and if I wanted to buy them in collected form I would prefer it to be a.) in the original english version and b.) in one tome. To buy both parts in german it would have to be as a christmas present and I really couldn´t see that. Which was a real pity because it was a good price and I probably won´t get an offer like this again.

    What I was really looking for was the german version of SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES. My sister is a big Legion fan but I think she still hasn´t read the files I gave her last year for christmas of the story. So I wanted to buy the comic but they didn´t have it so I had to buy it this week when I went to my usual comic shop. It was hard for me to buy it because the price is the same as for the english hardcover version via ( which is normally priced at 25 US dollars).

    But it´s a christmas present and I know if I buy the english version my sister might not read it because it´s too difficult. They had other comics at the table and I wasn´t sure if I should take the JLA story THE SECOND COMING or the Batgirl / Catwoman story from Batman Confidential THE BAT AND THE CAT. I was also undecided because I could probably get the english hardcovers for the same price as the german softcovers but when the dealer made me the offer of getting both for 20 bucks that was just too good to say no.

    At least the translation was done by an able person. Now I had already read the JLA story on the internet ( for some strange reason the german THE SECOND COMING collection has the cover of the american SANCTUARY collection )

    so I knew it was good. The reason why I was looking for the collected version instead of the issues ( usually I prefer the single issues ) was that there were some guest artists in the storyline and they are easier to suffer ina collection. Don´t aks me why that is. It´s a fact and let´s leave it at that for now.....this post is already starting to grow much longer than it´s supposed anyhow.

    Now THE SECOND COMING is a story that I can recommend even if some people might not like the aspect that it starts as a regular JLA vs.Amazo storyline and turns into a full blown ELSEWORLDS story. I love parellel world stories ( even if it´s not a parallel world in which everybody dies ) so it was right up my alley.

    THE BAT AND THE CAT now that I didn´t enjoy that much.

    Firstly I think that Kevin Maguire is often attached to comics that are never as funny as his JUSTICE LEAGUE stuff. There are rare exceptions like the METAL MEN co feature he´s doing in the pages of DOOM PATROL with his old partners in crime Giffen and DeMatteis which really should be the main feature. And there are such total train wrecks like their DEFENDERS mini series.

    Anyway, while THE BAT AND THE CAT is not one of the really bad comics by Kevin Maguire there are some aspects in the story by Fabian Nicieza that I didn´t like. The whole hedonist club / naked Batgirl scene seemed very forced to me as I already knew you really weren´t going to see much. The whole thing seemed more aimed to get attention on the internet than to really serve the story.

    Maybe that´s just because as someone who comes from Spain and who has seen much more naked women in comics than the general american reader it´s not that shocking or interesting to me. I mean we all know that they won´t show full frontal nudity and I always find it weird if american comic writers insist on including scenes which they know their artists will not be allowed to draw. At least not without covering up all the parts that are the reason to write such a scene in the first place. Which in my opinion makes the whole exercise a waste of time and comic pages.

    But to each their own and I bet there are a lot of comic readers who especially liked that part. My second minor problem was that since it´s an untold story ( of which there are quite a few floating around at the moment ) about the one and only true - blue - accept - no - substitutes - golden - oldie Batgirl it didn´t feel like it had any real importance. On the other hand you have to give credit that they stayed true to the characters and didn´t feel the need to re-write continuity like in the BATGIRL : YEAR ONE mini series which really torpedoed the whole book.

    So THE BAT AND THE CAT is not an essential Batman story but it is a good read with solid storytelling and great art by Mr. Maguire. Maybe it´s better that I got the german versions since I´m not sure if the hardcovers would be really necessary for my collection.

    Now after buying those two collections ( the post was initially supposed to be shorter based on that I hadn´t read the comics when I planned it ) I was almost at the end of my budget but I still wanted to find some american issues at dollar bin price. I wandered through the dealers tables but most of them had german comics so that in the end I returned to the table where I had bought issue 2 of DAS SAGTE NUFF. There were some comics for 1 EURO and I decided to invest my last money in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST 93 to 97 as I was pretty sure I don´t have those particular issues.


    Now I said that I was pretty sure I don´t have the issues because it´s not that easy to say if the issues are polybagged ( which they were ) and I´m not at home. The first issues I ever read of the series were the spanish versions which always had different painted covers than the US version and I´m not sure they had all the pages. I still have most of those old LINEA 83 issues from ZINCO because they are still in pretty good condition and the art by Kerry Gamill is just fantastic.

    It´s a real shame that he´s gone to do film design stuff instead of comics but I guess that there are things that are more important like eating or being able to pay your rent. Especially in times like these. Anyway, I already did a post about the old ZINCO issues of THE DEADLY HANDS OF SHANG CHI MASTER OF KUNG FU and all the others so I won´t delve into that topic again. Till this day I don´t know why Marvel still hasn´t done an IRON FIST or SHANG CHI movie with someone like Toy Yah since that would be one of the easiest movies to make. That´s a total no brainer in my opinion. Now instead I want to say a bit about these new POWER MAN AND IRON FIST issues I bought.

    There was one issue that looked interesting but I remembered the cover because it was the same as a french comic I bought while doing my student exchange back when I was at school. The guy I was exchanging with was only interested in football and the only member of his family who connected with me was his grangfather. So I bought all the comics I could get so I had something to read. I still have it in my collection somewhere and I remember that the art was not that great so there was no need to run the risk of buying it again.

    Even if it meant being able to finally read and understand the damn thing ( my french is not that good because most french comics are translated to german and most of them are disappointing anyway ).

    I don´t like to buy something without knowing how the art is so I said that I wanted to open the first one and if the art is not too bad I would buy all five issues. Now the artists in the first issue was Denis Cowan which would have meant no deal a few years back. But since reading Mike Grell´s GREEN ARROW series he´s on my list of underrated artist so I bought the issues. It´s strange how your perception of an artist can change based on a few issues. Before reading the GREEN ARROW issues he would have been on my list of artists to avoid.

    Anyway, the art in the other issues is done by Ernie Chan ( who is sometimes credited as Ernie Chua - at least in the beginning of his career ) and Mike Mignola on inks in the last wo issues. The stories are typical 80s bromance buddy stories without representing a special highlight of the series. With bromance I mean that POWER MAN AND IRON FIST has always been the big buddy movie turned comic book at Marvel the same way that GREEN ARROW AND GREEN LANTERN was at DC.

    There are a lot of superheroes who forge a special kind of bond over the years like Hawkman and the Atom or the Flash and Green Lantern but there is this one connection that is specail. There are soul brothers which go through thick and thin and who lay their live down for another no matter what. That´s one of the things that make these comics stand out and it´s always been an integral part of the POWER MAN / IRON FIST stories. Thankfully it was given new life in the pages of NEW AVENGERS and IMMORTAL IRON FIST. It´s one of the few things Bendis did right along with Spider - Man´s dialogue and the whole Luke Cage / Spider - Man comedy duo.

    Now there may be some people who would not like the issues because of their standard run of the mill content but I think it was one of the reasons why I bought the issues. Of course I would have preferred if the issues were the ones that John Byrne based his IRON FIST story for NAMOR on but I´m not sure if you can get those issues from the dollar bin. And in any case these issues contained all the stuff I liked about the series like Luke Cage living above the movie theatre, Coleen Wing and Misty Knight and the crazy villains with fantastic names like Chemistro ( more about that in a moment ) and of course the yellow shirt outfit with the chains and the afro.

    Now Ernie Chan - who did the second and third issue all by himself - might be best known for inking John Buscema on the best run of CONAN ever. But he´s a good artist in his own right which he already demonstrated on a few issues of THE INCREDIBLE HULK which I have the fortune to have in my own comic collection thanks to BIBLIOTEKA MARVEL. On the Hulk he did ink Sal Busema and he did a few fill-in stories in-between.

    The storiy in the five issues I bought revolve around a villain called CHEMISTRO who apparently is the second one to wear the name and a special weapon that has the power to transform things which means he can turn wood into rubber, people into glass or lead into gold. At first he´s just you basic villain but later on he tries to become the new hero - for - hire for the criminals of Times Square. Now back at that time you didn´t have to scientifically explain how something like Chemistro´s special gun is possible - since it was totally unimportant for the story - but the one thing that kept going through my mind was that if I had a gun that could turn lead into gold I sure as hell would not go fighting superheroes.

    I would spend the rest of my days at home watching cartoons on tv, reading comics and turning the trash into gold to pay the rent. I mean isn´t that what everyone would do ? Go up against one of the best martial artists in the world and his pal with unbreakable skin ? When I can buy whatever I want with a simple zap of my gun ? Yeah, right. Don´t count on me fella. Besides that I really like the stories even if the big THIS ISSUE WILL CHANGE LUKE CAGE´S LIFE FOREVER issue doesn´t change anything at all. In fact it dissuades Luke Cage from leaving Times Square to go on without him.

    The subplot in the issues is about a pink disco ball that somehow seems to resonate with Iron Fist´s powers but who is stolen by the wolfwoman who killed his mother - no kidding. Now I have to see if I can find the following issues at the Comicbörse in Stuttgart to find out what that was all about.

    The creepy thing is that while reading the comics I constantly heard the voice of Green Lantern John Stewart from the JUSTICE LEAGUE animated cartoon in my head doing the part of Luke Cage.

    So, money well spent. After I spent the rest of my budget on these issues I went on another long trek back to the subway station and finally went home. I was so tired that I went to sleep and aside from watching wrestling and taping FIREFLY I didn´t do much on Saturday. I was still tired on Sunday which is the main reason I didn´t do this post last week.

    Anyway, this is what I did last week. Since it took me a while to write it all down it has gotten longer than expected so I´m ending it now. It´s already 4.15 in the morning so I won´t watch more episodes of DR. WHO. I´m going to post this on my blog and all the corrections, additions and pictures tomorrow because it´s voting day in Germany and I have to do my best to finally send Angela Merkel packing.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • I scare people, but nothing scares me. Nothing...

    Nothing but The Batman.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Late-Linking Lad´s excellent adventure

    Since Saturday I´ve been trying to post something new but as always other things kept getting in the way. One of the reasons why I wanted to do a post is that there are new links concerning the Legion of Super - Heroes.

    Get-a-Life Boy´s Legion of Super-Heroes blog

    The first one is also the newest member in our blog roll. He posted a comment on my last post about the Legion and I asked him if he would be interested in doing a link exchange. Being the gentleman that he is he immediatelly put up the link while it took me a few days to return the favor - as usual. I´m a bit worried that I got listed with all the other Legion blogs since my blog is not only about the Legion. But there is some Legion content coming up in the future.....and I don´t mean it as a pun.....because I have finally read the last issue of LEGION OF THREE WORLDS. And I´m not complaining since that way my blog is on the top of the links. And we all know that the links on the top get checked out first. Which is the reason that all the new links on this blog are always at the top.

    GET-A-LIFE BOY´S LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES BLOG is a blog about...well, I don´t know if you could say " everything Legion ". For that I haven´t read enough of it. It does cover all the Legion appearances of the week - with spoiler warnings where necessary - as well as other topics like fixing the Legion chronology, what´s up with the " lad " or " boy " tag in the Legionnaires names or tells you all about the gayest Legion story ever.

    Although I don´t know how serious that last one is. In his own words Legion wannabe Get-a-Life Boy comments on the Legion of Super-Heroes: latest appearances, history, drooling-fanboy opinions, and whatever else. So if you have read SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES in ACTION COMICS and / or FINAL CRISIS - LEGION OF THREE WORLDS and you want to know more about the Legion this is the right way to start.

    And if you haven´t read those stories......what the f-word-ing bleep bleep is wrong with you ? How can you ignore such literary masterworks for base pointless crossover tie-in nonsense crap ? Here are some post by yours truly about the awesomeness of the stories ( with more LEGION OF THREE WORLDS coming up ) :

  • the history of the superman legion crossovers

  • superman and the legion part 1

  • superman and the legion part 2

  • Go and read it !

    Anyway, go and check out Get-a-Life Boy´s Legion of Super-Heroes blog. And to Get-a-Life Boy thanks again from yours truly SUBZERO a.k.a. Late-Linking Lad.

  • Get-a-Life Boy´s Legion of Super-Heroes blog

  • more Legion for your ears : Super Future Friends

    Yes, if you haven´t enough with THE LEGION OF SUBSTITUTE PODCASTERS Legion podcast there is a new Legion podcast called SUPER FUTURE FRIENDS. The podcast is done by Adriana and Kristen who are also artists as you can see when you go to their art blogs - Adriana is showing her skills on VERYVERY ( sorry, tried to do a facsimile of the blog header but it was more difficult than the other one )

    as well as on her art blog ( I hope I got that right ) and Kristen on TOP SECRET WORLD ORGANISATION OF LOVE.

    As with the previous Legion blog there´s a disclaimer but in this case it´s because of explicit content in the form of foul language.

    Now I have listened to part of one podcast ( god, I just can´t finish anything because I´m megabusy right now ) and so far I couldn´t find anything that sounded inappropriate but that could also mean that either I didn´t listen long enough or I´m just so foul mouthed myself and used to profanities that I don´t notice it anymore. I send them an e - mail about a possible link exchange but so far I haven´t got a response. But I guess I´m not the only one who´s busy. Here are some samples of their work ( I hope it´s okay I used it ) :

    Anyway, you can find the newset episodes on their blog and to access the archive you have to click on the " Click for mocking images " link. So far there are 27 episodes online.

  • Super Future Friends blog

  • acess to the Super Future Friends archive

  • adriana´s blog

  • adriana´s art blog

  • kristen´s blog

  • And that´s all for today. I´ll tell you more about what I did on the weekend in my next post. I thought I could put it into this post since I have already collected all the necessary pics for the post but as usual the research and the various links took more time than I thought. So the story of my visit to the Comicbörse Leonberg will have to wait. As I have done so much Legion links in this post I think it´s appropiate to put up two links from my own blog.

    Here I covered a lot about the Legion. You can of course also click on the " Legion " tag but those are my most important Legion posts with background infos, links and - especially important for readers outside America - both seasons of the Legion cartoon to watch.

  • legion background, legion links and the cartoon episodes

  • my legion beginnings and comments on the threeboot legion

  • New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • Every day that passes I have more in common with myself.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    How the Legion of Super - Villains of the 21st century was born

    As something of a Legion afficionado I´m always interested in any trivia concerning the Legion ( and one of these days I will read LEGION OF THREE WORLDS 5 ) so when someone at the german comic messageboard asked a question about Saturn Hexe ( Saturn Witch ) my interest was piqued. I couldn´t have known that it would also lead me to the reason for one of the biggest confusions in the history of the Legion.

    Which century is this anyway ?

    Now those of you who follow the podcast LEGION OF SUBSTITUTE PODCASTERS that is all about all things Legion know that a constant problem in those early Legion stories is that sometimes it´s listed as the 20st century and sometimes as the 30th century for the Legion´s time. Today it is canon that the Legion of Super - Heroes lives in the 31st century ( the 30th in the early stories as they were supposed to take place 1000 years in the future ) - because if they lived in the 21st century that would be right now - but you have to ask yourself how the whole confusion started.

    You might think that it was just someone not paying attention or just a foul up but the reason is far more devious. At first I thought this would be a good entry for COMICBOOK LEGENDS REVEALED but since it doesn´t involve any rumors that could be exposed as true or fals I decided to put it on my blog and share it with my faithful readers.

    Blame the Legion of Super - Villains

    That´s right. It´s all their fault. Now you may ask yourself how a post in the german comic messageboard about the Saturn Hexe could lead to such a startling discovery.

    Now there are a lot of topics that are discussed on the particular messageboard in question and there are of course always people who are looking for old comics they read as a kid. For us comicfans it´s easy to find them because when we remember the comics we know that it was GREEN LANTERN 145 or FLASH 211 or SPIDER - MAN 44. But when a non comicfan looks for a comic that he once read as a kid it´s more like " I´m looking for that dude with the hands who was in that team with the chick and he fought some kind of monster....with a pineapple head. "

    The case that started it all was a comic in which Saturn Witch and evil adult versions of the Legion´s founding member fought against Superman who was then aided by the adult Legion of Super - Heroes. In the end of the story Superman defeats them by using Saturn dust to free Saturn Witch of her evil impulses. He also knew that it had the origin stories in it which he described a bit.

    For me it was clear that the evil adult versions of the Legion could only be the Legion of Super - Villains who popped up in quite a few Superman comics because of the huge popularity of the Legion with the readers. You may recall the three founding members Saturn Queen, Cosmic King and Lightning Lord from their appearances in the brilliant SUPERMAN / BATMAN story ABSOLUTE POWER. Now not only did I immediatelly recognize them but I recalled hearing this story in one of the LEGION OF SUBSTITUTE PODCASTERS podcasts. So I did a little research on the internet about when the Legion of Super - Villains first appeared since I reasoned that if their origin stories were in the story it might have been their first appearance.

    Unlike today back in the day it often happened that they told the origin story in the first comic a character appeared in. This was also the case with the Legion of Super - Villains who first appeared in Superman 147 of August 1961. The title of the 11 page story was purely brilliant : The Legion of Super - Villains.

    At first I just found the base infos but after a bit of searching I found a link that detailed the whole issue. And lo and behold here is a bit from the issue info that sounds familiar :

    Luthor breaks up the fight by threatening to kill Superman, then mocks the Legionnaires' heroism by asking one of them to trade places with the Man of Steel. The villains are astounded when the Legionnaires draw straws to decide who will have the honor of dying in Superman's place. Saturn Woman draws the shortest straw and Superman asks that he be allowed to do one last super-feat in her honor, promising that he will not save her. Amused, Luthor complies, and Superman flies to Saturn where he brings back many of the meteor fragments that make up its Great Ring so that he can set them in orbit around the planetoid to give it a ring as well. Just as Luthor is about to shoot Saturn Woman, Saturn Queen uses her power of super-hypnotism to temporarily paralyze the villains. Superman correctly deduced from Saturn Queen's origin that Saturn has no crime due to the presence of the rings, whose radiations cancel out criminal traits. Upon leaving her home world and the peaceful influence of the rings, Saturn Queen turned villainous.

    It was indeed the story that guy was looking for and I even found the german comic which reprinted it. He ordered it ( he recalled the picture with the lightning beasts from the link ) and has probably already read it.

    That in itself would have been it´s own reward because I like to help people ( which is one of the reasons for this blog ) but there was one bit of info on that page about Superman 147 that was a bonus.

    Cosmic King tells Luthor that they are his "friends from the 21st century" and later refers to joining the Legion of Super-Villains "on Earth in the 21st century". This is not an error, as Cosmic King is from Venus, which has a different calendar system from Earth and, in fact, a different length of year (and therefore century). Aside from the confusing fact that a Venusian day (243 Earth days) is longer than its year (225 Earth days), the Venusian calendar is probably not based on any reference point but its own. It also indicates that people were living on Venus before Earth developed space-flight, therefore Venusians are not Earth colonists. This fact is reinforced by 20th century-based stories that have shown Superman encountering Venusians. Unfortunately, Cosmic King's distinctly Venusian point-of-view does set off a series of captions - from Adventure Comics No. 300-303 - which have a "Venusian slant" to them, by also stating that the Earth-based Legion of Super-Heroes is set in the 21st century. However, nowhere in the actual dialogue of those stories does anyone mention the century as being anything other than the thirtieth.

    Now you know it. It´s all those damn Venusians fault. With their ridiculous and illogical calendar they confused Legion fans for decades who didn´t know if it was the 20th century or the 30th century. It was all a dastardly plot started by that Venusian villain Cosmic King. But now the mystery is revealed and the truth is laid bare. It was always the 30th century.

    edit : I totally forgot that in the beginning it was the 30th century not the 31st century. Thanks to Meerkatdon who reminded of that. I have changed it in the text but left it in the title because I think " Legion of Super - Villains of the 21st century " just sounds better.

    Here´s the link with the full description of Superman 147 and much more trivia about the Legion of Super - Villains

    If you want to read the german version that appeared in this comic :

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  • We need to get Superman and Wonder Woman.

    Right now you two are Superman and Wonder Woman.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Cry me a river....cry me some Justice

    Lately I haven´t had many additions to my pull list. I don´t know how it is with you but since the price of comics has gone from 2.99 to 3.99 I haven´t added many new titles to my pull list.

    And I´m eliminating some of the ones I´m currently reading half hearted. Any good 2.99 title that´s on the list stays but other books like GHOST RIDER, FLASH or GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY had to go. Okay, in the case of Ghost Rider I just forgot to kick the title off the list when I started at my new comic shop because let´s face it : Javier Saltares totally made the title and it hasn´t been the same since heleft. But the Flash issues have been lying in my bag for almost a year now without any inclination on my part to read them. And let´s be realistic : Paul Pelletier is not coming back to Guardians. In fact he´s already moved to his new project WORLD WAR HULKS .

    I really like Paul Pelletier but it´s hell to keep up with him the way he´s jumping from title to title.

    Now it´s not so that I´m dumping all the stuff that´s in my bag. I mean I ordered it and when it´s not too horrible I will buy it sooner or later even if it´s as bad as COUNTDOWN. Yes, I knew that it had zero relevance to the FINAL CRISIS series even if it was started as the lead - in to it. Took it anyway. As well as FINAL CRISIS. I have to say FINAL CRISIS, COUNTDOWN and DEATH OF THE NEW GODS all tell the same story while they also totally contradict each other.

    Those three can´t possibly co - exist and if you have to choose one then my tip for you is DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. Because COUNTDOWN is just too different from issue to issue and the only highlight are the issues by Tom Derenick who really should be on a regular title after his great stint on SHADOWPACT. Okay, there was one issue which was extremely well written by Paul Dini, Adam Beechem and Keith Giffen. It even has art by Jim Starlin even if it doesn´t look quite as good as on DEATH OF THE NEW GODS.

    It´s issue 05 and the reason why it´s so brilliant is that it tells you a story you already know. Maybe I´m stupid or the writers on this were brilliant. My money is on the later. Now there might people who are not familiar with the particular story that is told in the issue but every fan of the particular character ( it´s not one of Jack Kirby´s most prolifient works but it has lots of fans of which some are famous comic book creators ) should know it. I should know it.

    From the cover which is really a dead giveaway to all the story elements every piece is something that should tell me which story this is. But I only started to realize that in the last few pages and I was really sure when I read the last caption. Well played Sirs.

    Now another problem with COUNTDOWN is that it plays into too many titles so you don´t get the feeling that you have all the pieces. Like with the many tie - ins to CIVIL WAR you get the impression to miss big parts of the story which leaves you unsatisfied. So I can´t really recommend the series. If you want you should at least read issue 05. There might be some other cool issues but so far none comes to mind and that is not a good sign.

    FINAL CRISIS. Well it has some pages by Carlos Pacheco and there are some interesting story elements. But all things considered the main problem is that it tried to achieve too many things at once and failed for most of it.

    When I first heard of another crisis so soon after the last one I thought it was too soon. And I was right. DC really should have waited a few decades so they could come up with a solid story. What they published instead has a lot of flash but not much real substance and is even rushed in some parts - especially the last issue.

    When CrossGen folded all the titles had to be wrapped up in the last issue and they didn´t even manage to do that on all books. On the ones they did they had to compress the remaining story into the last issue - no matter if they had just two left or another years worth - and if you have read one of those final issues you will have a deja vue when reading FINAL CRISIS 7. I also can´t recommend FINAL CRISIS because the quality also is changing from issue to issue and while Grant Morrison delivers his usual great ideas nobody really understood the ending and it really wasn´t that necessary.

    Like on HOUSE OF M the story itself was " meeh " while the best part was the immediate fallout. LEGION OF THREE WORLDS is just beyond cool ( one of these days I have to get to the last issue ) and ROGUE´S REVENGE was also a solid title even if it had the horrible Scott Kolins on art. But the end of FINAL CRISIS went just over my head and I wasn´t the only one. I felt cheated and I think Grant Morrison wrote himself into a corner. It couldn´t have been worse if Superman had defeated Darkseid with a hug. So no points for this one either.

    Why DEATH OF THE NEW GODS you might ask. Isn´t the Fourth World one of Jack Kirby´s greatest stories that should never be undone ? Yes it is. Isn´t it a really bad idea by DC to kill off the whole franchise and all the great characters involved like Mr. Miracle and Big Barda ( massitta ! ) ? Yes it is. Wouldn´t it be better if it had never happened ? Yes it would.

    The reason why it is still my favorite of the three and the one I would pick if I had to choose is Jim Starlin. Nobody destroys universes like Jim. Back when he was at Marvel he did it on a regular basis and he always did it with style. As he did on DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. There are really only a few writers who can write stories about gods really good. Oh, that doesn´t mean that somebody like Dan Juergens can´t write Thor but it will always read like Superman with a hammer.

    The gods of the Foruth World - that´s opera. Big opera with lots of pathos and deceit and lies and death. Above all death. Walter Simonson is one of the few who understands that as his run on Thor as well as his fantastic ORION series showed and another one is Jim Starlin.

    Jim Starlin writes death like no one else and the more the better. Which doesn´t mean he can´t do the quiet little deaths like in DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL but the bigger the better. A world, a planet a whole universe - that´s when he really starts to run true to form.

    Which is the reason why even if DEATH OF THE NEW GODS kills of the Fourth World you wouldn´t want anyone else to do it. The story is rooted deeply into DC lore and even if you don´t have to know it all to understand it it´s nice for the hardcore fans. COSMIC ODYSSEY is one of the stories that are referenced as the reason why Superman and Orion are at each other throats and I really liked that. As well as the fact that as the story progresses Superman reaches the limits of his powers. He´s often seen as a god by mortals but the New Gods are real gods so compared to them he´s ultimately like a child.

    It is no secret that Darkseid was the blueprint for Thanos at Marvel and after decades of writing Thanos Jim Starlin really knows how that character thinks.

    Which is not that different from Darkseid. Aside from the story - which is also a murder mystery which is also one of the reasons why I like the series - there is also the art by Jim Starlin who hasn´t looked this good since MYSTERY IN SPACE. So this series gets my thumb up as this weeks recommendation. It´s already been collected into a 256 page hardcover which usually goes for 29.99 but which you can get at for 21.99. There is also a softcover trade available but since you don´t get much of a discount from on that one it might be better to grab it at your local comic shop. And as always if you are abroad or in the States just compare prices.

    But....I didn´t want to write about the CRISIS. I just got sidetracked talking about the comics that I took on my last visit at the comic shop and that new titles have a hard time to get on my pull list.

    I haven´t added a single new book from the last five or six Diamond catalogues. Even titles I really dig like BOOSTER GOLD or INCREDIBLE HERCULES are still not on my pull list. There are more and more books that I order aside from my pull list and some of them will not get on my pull list so I can pick or choose which issues to get. Which in the two cases mentioned above is not an issue ( I missed two issues of BOOSTER GOLD but that was because I waited too long ) but in cases like the new BATMAN AND ROBIN title by Grant Morrison where they already have another artist on issue 4 I prefer it that way.

    So I can try out new books and decide later if they are added to the pull list or if I follow them in the trade format at some later time. In the case of DARK AVENGERS and SECRET WARRIORS I read the first six issue story arc and as I thought they have different artists beginning with issue 7. On SECRET WARRIORS it will probably be a permanent thing so this is clearly a candidate for the trade section. On DARK AVENGERS I´m not sure as Mike Deodato might come back after the crossover with the X - Men that is currently underway but I´m not sure how that part is going to wind up in a trade.

    I think I´ll stay clear of the issues by other artists and I will check out the issues for the next storyarc if they are by Mike Deodato. But I think it will go to the trade list anyway as 3.99 is just too much to keep it on the pull list. I know, prices for trades will be going up sooner or later but thanks to the lower prices at amazon here in Germany I still might be able to afford a few.

    Another 3.99 book I added to my reading pile that is currently not on my pull list is CRY FOR JUSTICE. Yes, today´s post is a bit all over the place - and don´t you love it that way. At least it never gets boring and even I get surprised what the post will finally be about. With all the problems the higher price brings it sounds reasonable to keep the new titles to a minimum and to just do books that are really necessary. So do we really need another book featuring the Justice League ?

    With new series or mini series involving the Justice League you have to keep in mind that each one is it´s own kind of beast. There are of course those that everybody loves like Alex Ross´JUSTICE twelve parter but there are also series like JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE which I think was one of the best JLA books ever while for others it´s the greatest pile of animal droppings ever. Each one has his favorites in that departement.

    So of course I was hesistant when I first heard of CRY FOR JUSTICE. Aside from Alex Ross not many artist who do painted artwork work as well inside a comic as on the cover as the case of Del Otto´s SECRET WAR showed. Luckily Mauro Cascioli ( who already did his magic on TRIALS OF SHAZAM ) is one of the few who can do big and impressiva as well as fast and action packed. The art was always a big factor for me when it comes to decide if I pick up a comic and Mauro already impressed me before I knew that it wasn´t some promo art for DC but for a new Justice League book.

    What always has to win me over to read a book is the story. How well is it written and is it a story which ramifications to the big picture I find interesting ? Which caracters does it select ? The Justice League as one of the premier DC team books has always been about the mix of characters and the resulting clash of personalities. May it be the fights between Hawkman and Green Arrow which are not only based on general politics but on League politics as well as we all kmow since IDENTITY CRISIS.

    May it be the difference AND the similarities between monarchs like Aquaman and Wonder Woman or the camradery of Green Lantern and the Flash.....the most interesting parts have always been when the members interact on a more human level. Which is also where the story of CRY FOR JUSTICE plays. When you look at the members of the Justice League and the power they posess you can forget that they are also human. They get angry, they get sad and they die. And when one of them does they keep his memory alive and carry on. The League endures.

    But people can endure only so much and with the bodycount of the League getting higher and higher after the last crisis ( yes, we are back to that topic ) Hal Jordan has had enough. After GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH the GREEN LANTERN title needed a bit of time to really get interesting which was sad because Carlos Pacheco had already left. Things started to roll when ONE YEAR LATER knocked and ever since the SINIESTRO CORPS WAR it´s one of the constantly best written titles DC has. And one of the reasons is that while many may think that Hal´s a boring character as Green Arrow puts it : I know when Hal gets like this --- things happen. Things change. And as legions of DC readers can recall not always for the best.

    Sometimes Hal has a short fuse and when the s - word hits the fan things get interesting for the reader. As in JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE Hal decides to become a little more pro - active about going after the criminals. One of the themes that a book like Justice League has to tackle is justice and what it means. What it means for society, what it means for superheroes like the league members who are somewhere between vigilantism and sanctioned police force. But also what it means for each member.

    Of course the way writer James Robinson assembles his particular Justice League team is nothing new but I think it´s fitting that it´s not like in JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE where you had the big discussion and afterwards the members decided which side to choose. No in CRY FOR JUSTICE you have a falling out and during the course of the history characters meet who are sometimes loners but who become united seeking the same thing : justice. all of them have suffered a loss and they want somebody to pay for it.

    Now for some this might seem primitive and an - eye - for - an - eye but one of the main parts of superhero comics has alwas been to punish the guilty " which sometimes means catching the nad guys and handing them over to the justice system. Sometimes it means taking the law into his own hands and meting out your own brand of justice. Which is just fitting where a character like Hal Jordan comes into play. People forget how powerful he really is as well that - regarding to the Guardians of the Galaxy and interstellar law - he is the designated law enforcer of sector 2814 which includes Earth.

    He works with the legal system of the world and his fellow justice leaguers - but he doesn´t have to. Whatever he decides goes as long as he stays within the directives for Green Lanterns. He could go his own way all alone but of course Ollie and the fates have decided otherwise. Hal and Ollie are DC´s big buddy duo and James Robinson writes some wonderful and funny lines for them. Continuity is always one of the thing I look out for - not so much in " where did this happen ? " but more in the sense of " is this true to the characters history ? ". And reading the issues you get a feeling for the long and rich history between Hal and Ollie.

    History also comes into play in the book in the form of the history of the DC universe as James Robinson takes some characters from the corners that are a bit off the paths we usually travel. It´s no wonder that he adds forgotten Starman Mikaal Tomas, the blue skinned alien who was also in his run on STARMAN, to the team. And I´m saying " the forgotten " because whenever somebody writes about homosexuality in comics he´s never mentioned. Another more obscure character is Congorilla who I didn´t know previously. But I always like to learn about new characters ( which might be one of the reasons why I´m not afraid of continuity ) and for those wo are not familiar with some of the cast members each issue contains an origin in the annotation section of the books.

    And of course everybody knows that comics with monkes or apes sell better. I hope it´s also true for this title but I doubt it was the only reason for including him. in the last issue I read - issue 3 - we also have Supergirl, Captain Marvel - which is Freddy Freeman - and the Atom on the team. Each following his own trail to bring someone to justice which ultimately brings them together. By adding Supergirl James Robinson has a member of the Superman family on the book and I hope that he can finally give her some character since they never accomplished that in her solo title.

    Captain Marvel is kind of new for me since I haven´t seen him since the trials and the Atom - in this case Ray Palmer - is once again somebody who walks the fine line between grey and black because of what happened during the last crisis and especially in the pages of COUNTDOWN ( see how it all comes together in the end ? ). There are now two Atoms in the DC universe and I hope they keep the new one around for a while. I mean if we can have two flashes ans more than one Green Lantern why can´t we have two Atoms ? At least for a while.

    What is a bit weird for me is that one of the villains ( I don´t know if he will be the big one in this series ) is Prometheus who James Robinson wants to restore to his former glory. The problem for me is that the last time I saw Prometheus he wiped the floor with the Justice League. Okay, he was defeated but it was very difficult. Now it seems that in the meantime - while I was away - other writers used the character so poorly that he became a total douchebag and all those stories are now being retconned by saying it was an imposter and a bad one at that.

    Works with me since I missed most of that. For me Prometheus was always one for the villains hall of fame so when a writer decides to pimp him - more power to him, I say.

    So, great story, great art, great heroes, great villains.....I don´t think there is much to add. Especailly after my little detour to Crisis Wasteland. Being a 3.99 title this will probably not go on my pull list but that´s mostly because as a seven issue limited series the next issue is already after the halfway point so it´s not worth the effort.

    There are some 3.99 books at DC like BOOSTER GOLD or DOOM PATROL that have back up features which is not the case in this comic. What it does have are extra pages with a two page origin comic for the different team members as well as a few pages by James Robinson about the series and the story of the characters that also include pencil pages by Mauro Cascioli so that you DO have added value to the book.

    In any case I will definitely keep on reading the title to see how it all ends as I suspect that this will have an impact on the regular Justice League book as James Robinson is going to be the new writer on the regular JLA book. CRY FOR JUSTICE gets my recommendation so be sure to check it out the next time you go to the comic store as it´s a book well worth your money.

    More info on CRY FOR JUSTICE :

  • preview issue 1

  • preview issue 2

  • preview issue 3

  • interview with james robinson

  • review issue 1

  • I also wanted to write a bit about Chris Claremont´s new x - title X - MEN FOREVER that picks up where he left 17 years ago but that will have to wait. You will have to read about how I came around to read it after I had decided the world doesn´t need this book in the next installment of Germany´s best comic blog.

    edit : Since it has been mentioned in the comments there were rumors that Batwoman was going to be in the book and here is the page in question ( I have marked the important part red ) although I have to say that I can´t neither deny nor affirm that it really is Batwoman.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

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  • No, baby, I´m with you. You and me. Old times, new times, all the time.