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A Strange Aeon
Mar 26, 2010

You are now a slimy little toad


The Great Twist

I'm loving these Image write ups, Random Stranger!

I always liked Moore's Supreme but never got tempted to see what he was actually overwriting. The two Supreme trades I think have all of it except for an issue or two, if I remember correctly. There's also the Judgement Day crossover book which I like as well--Moore can certainly elevate some pretty dire material, but imagining him getting a big stack of this crap in the mail to read through for research of his own reboot strikes me as hilarious!

Does anyone have the details of how all that went down? I thought he wrote a pitch for Glory as well, which ended up being used for Promethea or something like that.

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drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl and FOURTEEN KARAT GOLD!!!

Warning: SU Season 3 Spoilers


Admittedly we're only 15 days into the year but Venom: The End is probably a very strong contender for this year's most insane* comic

*in a good way

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010



They should have just signed Moore to a deal at Image.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Google Image Results for
"Sexy Guy Gardner"


El Gallinero Gros posted:

They should have just signed Moore to a deal at Image.

He did 1963, then a bunch of Wildstorm stuff. Then Rob chatted him up and gave him the Extreme characters to do whatever he wanted with them. Besides Supreme and Youngblood he had outlines for Glory and New Men that didn't see light at AWESOME, I think other writers did brief runs of those through Avatar years later. After that he bounced back over to Wildstorm and created the ABC line through them which ended up being owned by DC.

Splint Chesthair
Dec 27, 2004



Man, I loved 1963 back in the day, especially the bits where the comic was barely covering up how hosed up Egyptian mythology was. I always wished it had been finished, but I can’t see how those six issues could have been improved upon.

A Strange Aeon
Mar 26, 2010

You are now a slimy little toad


The Great Twist

Splint Chesthair posted:

Man, I loved 1963 back in the day, especially the bits where the comic was barely covering up how hosed up Egyptian mythology was. I always wished it had been finished, but I can’t see how those six issues could have been improved upon.

Yeah, it's a shame they didn't finish with a big crossover and collect it in a trade though. The letters pages threw some serious shade on Stan Lee and comic industry practices in general too!

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



Splint Chesthair posted:

Man, I loved 1963 back in the day, especially the bits where the comic was barely covering up how hosed up Egyptian mythology was. I always wished it had been finished, but I can’t see how those six issues could have been improved upon.

1963 was legit amazing and it improves the more you know about silver age Marvel. The one problem with it is the title: it's more 1965 than 1963 .

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



NO PRIZE:
sliding timescale!


Why..m why don't we have a no prize smiley?

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



Time for some more Extreme Studios read through. But one thing first, this has been too extreme for me so I'm slowing myself down. First, I'd have to slow down at this point anyway since July 1993 they kind of sort of start to get their act together. Not in terms of improving the books or spewing out half-baked ideas like a fire hose, but at least in terms of kind of regularly producing a few comics. I suspect the books that manage a psuedo-monthly schedule are the ones that Rob Liefeld has the least impact on; typically being credited as a "co-plotter". What this means is that there's a lot more books starting around this point. To keep things from getting too crazy, I'm going to try to stick to about six comics per day.

To make up for this, here's demo animation for an unproduced Youngblood cartoon series that was being pitched at the same time as the books I'm talking about this time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYcgJSDfqoI

So these are all the July 1993 books from Extreme Studios, plus one hold over from June.

Bloodstrike #2 - Bloodstrike continues to have the best art of the Extreme Studios books, but I wish it wasn't wasted on drawing people not so legally distinct from other characters. Having Not-Cable and Not-Wolverine as central characters is kind of distracting.

Compared to what I've been reading, this issue is lighter on action but that's because it consists of Bloodstrike standing around for most of the book talking about how much they're going to get Brigade. And then they go off to do that and someone shows up for a fight scene.

This is part two of the Blood Brothers crossover with Brigade and it came out after part three. I think I'm wrapping up the out of order releases this time, at least.

There's a back up story in this issue introducing yet another new team. I haven't mentioned the other back up stories that have occasionally appeared because they carried through other Image books beyond Extreme Studios and I didn't think they were part of Liefeld's group. Knight, on the other hand, is created and plotted by Liefeld. It's penciled by Chuck Jones who I'm mentioning mainly so I can say, "No, not the famous Chuck Jones."

Knight is a six page story of a scifi team who goes to a planet and fight some people and then ends in the revelation that it's been a simulation to mess with their leader's head. There's no context for who they are, why they are doing anything. The leader swears by "Great Davros" so I assume that they're Daleks, but I guess I'll find out when this story continues.

Brigade #2 - There's a character named Seahawk in Brigade who has a stupid, pointy helmet. It's his only distinguishing feature. In this issue he takes it off and impales someone with it. Then Cabbot watches this person whose superpower is flight jump out of an airplane and assumes that he's fallen to his death. Then Bloodstrike forgets the plane they're riding in and just teleports to where Brigade is so they can fight some more.

It's that kind of book.

There's a dramatic last page reveal of a monster character who I think was supposed to be one of the Brigade characters who was injured in the previous issue, but it's so contextless that I have no idea.

This Blood Brothers crossover is a good example of the Marvel cargo-cult problem I'm seeing with a lot of these books. It's a story of dramatic revelations and big fights and none of it actually means anything because they didn't do any of the work to develop up to those. It's comics being created in isolation, just the moments that Liefeld and the rest of the Extreme Studios team remembers from other, better books without understanding why those moments mattered.

Supreme #4 - I remember that back in the day people mentioned Supreme as the Rob Liefeld book that was actually good. Now, I had been burned by these people telling me about "good" books before so I didn't believe them. Reading it now, well, I still don't. But I can kind of see it.

Lasts post I mentioned how bothered I was about how this seemed to just be ultra-violent Superman for the sake of shock. Basically, Superman for the Mortal Kombat era. And then this issue opens with everyone, including the extreme 90's corporate heroes, going, "Holy gently caress! Supreme is a psychopath!" But the story here is extremely slight as Supreme has taken off to fight an alien dictator, but the alien dictator has come to earth and beats up the hero team Supreme got stuck on. The end.

It feels like Supreme is the comic where there's an idea that can work at the heart of it but it's more interested in being one long fight scene rather than engaging with the ideas it raises. Part of that is probably because it's engaging in the same behavior that it's criticizing. That makes it a kind of interesting failure.

Points off for bad thesaurus use: a sword cannot be an abattoir.

Youngblood: Strikefile #2 - This book features the only Liefeld penciled story this month as he does the Die Hard half of the flip book. Is it weird that I find Liefeld to be a better artist than most of the people on the rest of the books? Because I find it weird. His story is just one long fight scene between Die Hard and the robotic Super Patriot who should be hanging out on Eric Larsen's side of the Image universe. There's nothing really to comment on here.

The Chapel half of this book (the one with the Jae Lee art) opens with a naked woman getting shot up while the villains are trying to get Chapel. Don't worry, she didn't have a name so it's okay. And in the end, the villain just wanted Chapel to come and have the plot explained to him

Youngblood Yearbook #1 - This is the first book from Extreme Studios where Liefeld receives no creative credit. He's been listed as "co-plotter" on a lot of things, but here he's only "Creator" which I guess makes this a good moment to mention Eric Stephenson who has been the writer/scripter on a lot of these Extreme Studios books. In fact, he scripted every single comic in this post. Stephenson hasn't been good, but at the same time not offensively bad so I haven't felt a need to point him out yet, but this is a solo outing by him. Stephenson might be the biggest success to come out of Extreme Studios. While his comic book writing career has floundered, he went in a different direction and is now the publisher of Image. So, good for him. Back in 1993, however, everything he's writing reads like it's a first draft.

This story is titled "This Savage Land" and opens with the team arriving in Antarctica. So, there's Stephenson's writing for you. They do not crash their jet, but do find the hidden land filled with dinosaurs and cavemen. There's also a loincloth clad hero whose name starts with a K. They arrive, let themselves be captured by the villain who they could clearly overpower, get monologued at, totally-not-trademark-infringing character shows up and "saves" them despite not doing anything or the team needing his help, villain floats slowly backward out of the room in his chair, team runs back to frozen Antarctica where they swear to help Kaz that guy because they totally owe him one. That's the entire 32-page story.

The art in this comic features a lot of very tiny heads on very large torsos. It's aggressively bad with body parts just kind of floating, detached from each other because if they were attached it would make no sense.

There's a fold-out four page spread in this comic. It is one splash of four page-sized figures grimacing with clenched fists against no background as they each speak a paragraph of exposition indicating that there's action occurring that we can't see.

Youngblood #5 - Six months after the previous issue, this issue arrives to wrap up the story and it turns out Liefeld didn't pencil this issue! Chap Yaep who penciled the Yearbook did this comic as well. Yaep's comics career ends with Extreme Studios, but he's going to be around for a while with his tiny floating heads on huge angular torsos with no necks to connect them.

Goddamn it. The villain who was after "Kirby" uses "crash tunnels" to teleport his soldiers around and I just got it. In fairness, in issue three the Berzerkers, a team of totally not X-people, just said they had to get to "the crash tunnels" with no context and the book says they come from another time. Then in issue four there are monsters emerging from the crash tunnels in a sprawling underground complex and it seems like there's a different portal to another world.

Again, the villain monologues and then just leaves for no good reason to end the fight. Bedrock was mindcontrolled as the cliffhanger for the previous issue and in this issue he doesn't do anything other than get punched on one page. But hang on, maybe if we flip this book over...

Brigade #4 - Six months after it's previous issue and after the series relaunched, the conclusion to the Brigade story is stuck onto the back of Youngblood #5.

This is an especially boring punch fest. Brigade runs into some guys and they fight. Then the fight abruptly ends. Then they run into some more guys and they fight. One of the team members gets shot and dies. Then the fight ends in someway that is unclear and the team takes off in their spaceship that wasn't there one page previously so they can arrive back on earth two months ago. All of this takes place in featureless voids, often without even pictures of whoever it is they're beating up at that moment.

Reading this comic makes me feel untethered in both space and time, events occur but do not follow each other. The places that they are in shift in a dreamlike fashion. Brigade is everywhere and nowhere.


Something I wanted to mention this time is I can feel the raw enthusiasm from Extreme Studios. This is what would happen if you took a bunch of kids who thought about how cool those rad books were and they wanted to make their own. And the result is lacking in creativity since they're just copying what they've seen and none of them have developed the skills to do any of it well, but by god they are throwing everything they have into these books. It's the kind of thing that would make me say, "Awwww... good for you for getting out there and making some comics!" if I saw them hawking these books at a little table at a local comic convention.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

There were...
ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES.



FilthyImp posted:

NO PRIZE:
sliding timescale!


Why..m why don't we have a no prize smiley?

We do!

Behold:

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



I'm into August and September of 1993 with my extreme Extreme Studios read through.

Extreme #0 - Starting August 1993 with a funny one. You collected coupons from a bunch of books and mailed away for this comic which featured six very short "stories" and then profiles of everyone at Extreme Studios. All of the stories feature new characters.

BTW, if you want to get one of the limited edition ones signed by The Rob himself with certificate of authenticity, you can get them for $2.

The most interesting part of the book is the profiles in the back. Liefeld is one of the old men of the studio at the ancient age of 25. Five of the artists at the studio couldn't legally drink when this was published.

Cybrid is a dude with metal arms who gets jumped by ninjas while standing over his wife's(?) grave. Then he shoots them all broods some more. This one is Liefeld's contribution to the comic,

Law and Order () are a man and woman with guns who go to a criminal's house and shoot everyone there while delivering a brooding internal monologue.

Risk is a guy whose name is never given in his story (I had to look at the table of contents) and fights some cyborg people using his ninja sword, the ability to make portals, control people's minds, and his armor. His story is different from the rest as he doesn't kill his enemies effortlessly to show what a bad rear end he is and instead he gets beat up. Also, it ends with "To be continued" but I'm kind of doubtful it will be.

L.A.N.C.E.R. is an armored guy who is fighting a mysterious alien with his super armor and then blows himself up to get the alien because he always gets the job done.

Code 9 doesn't give his name in his story, either. He goes to a suburban house and murders a guy with a blade that grows out of his arm. Then tells his family that he had to do it and broods.

Black Flag is a guy with some glowing sticks who beats up some ninjas and then their boss shows up and everyone is shocked.

None of these stories do anything to make me invested in what is happening to the character. Okay, they're four to five page introductions for each of them, but a lot of them seem to be trying to sell me on future comics. As far as I know, only two of them get books and they're two years off.

Youngblood: Strikefile #3 - The rest of Liefeld's work in this post is the Die Hard half of the story.

I've got to say, I'm confused by Die Hard. He's a Superman analog where he flies, has superstrength, when he slammed into Supreme in that comic it was with the force of a nuclear explosion so he's clearly nigh invulnerable. But then he has Captain America's shield, too? Why would he even need it?

Anyhow, he continues to beat up Erik Larson's cyborg Super Patriot until the fight just ends and the Patriot is handed off to the government who put their top men on it. Top. Men. And then Die Hard realizes that sucks.

The Chapel story has him confront his evil boss and---

What. The. gently caress.

So Chapel was turned into a superhuman by the government and while they were doing this they infected him with a virus so they could control him. And that virus is HIV. And his boss has the cure for it so Chapel can't kill him.

I can't even begin to get into the things wrong with this story. It actively gives me a headache. I knew that Chapel was HIV positive; I recall that coming up in something before. I was unaware of this part of it. That's pretty bad.

Supreme #5 - I think I spotted what makes Supreme stand out from the other books. It's the one that Eric Stephenson isn't writing.

The big fight with the alien continues this issue with a lot of civilian casualties. I mean a lot. At one point he hits Supreme with a jumbo jet that has all of its passengers on board. They blow up several skyscrapers. And unlike the violence in the rest of the books I'm reading, people are freaking out over it here.

There's not much more to say about this one since it is most a fight scene, but at least its a fight scene that feels like it carries more weight than what I'm usually reading.

Deathmate: Prologue - I remember getting this because I was reading a lot of Valiant books at the time but I had some trepidation at the Image side of things because by this point I had effectively stopped getting Image books (I think I stuck with Spawn for a little while longer, but that was it). I saw that Liefeld has penciled a portion of the prologue issue so I decided to include it in my reading as well as his issue once I get to that point. However, this isn't a story, it's three pages that illustrate the merging Valiant and Image comics. I guess I'll have to save the fun Deathmate stuff until April 1994 when Liefeld's part of the crossover, originally intended to last two months, was released.

But I can still finish off another crossover.

Bloodstrike #3 - Big secrets are revealed! Battlestone is a zombie! So are all of Bloodstrike! Brigade's real mission is to take down the government! And there's a fight scene that lasts the entire issue!

If I'm brief it's because there's so little to care about here. The most amusing thing is the bad deflection on why Battlestone looks weird as a zombie but none of the other zombie characters do ("Vanity."). Even the Dan Fraga art I was enjoying seems weaker in this one.

I still have no clue what Knight is about, but the main character now has to lead a team with his rival Rival on it. I don't know what he leads teams to do or what the organization he's part of does or anything else here.

Brigade #3 - "This won't go the same way as last time!" she said despite being in the same fight that she's saying won't go the same way...

Bloodstrike insures that one of the Brigade members stays dead and Battlestone flips out and says he'll kill Cabbot for it. Then he offers to spare Cabbot if they just leave. Then he threatens to expose all the government secrets that will take down the government unless they leave, despite the fact that taking down the government is Battlestone's goal so why hasn't he just done that before? And once more a big fight scene is resolved by everyone just deciding to stop for no good reason.

These books tend to end so anti-climatically for something so bombastic. There's no resolutions or conclusions, just "Okay, we're at the end of the book so we're leaving now."

Madkal
Feb 11, 2008

It was all going well, and then the parademons showed up


Fallen Rib

Weird question but all these Extreme Studio comics reviews makes me wonder: who owns these characters? Wasn't the whole point of of Image that the people writing and doing the art owns everything, but the above reviews make it sounds like Liefelds contributions weren't that much, so do the artists and writers own a share in the comics or does Liefelds own it all?

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



Madkal posted:

Weird question but all these Extreme Studio comics reviews makes me wonder: who owns these characters?
Iirc it took like a month for "Creator Owned!" To become "I, bigshot 90s creator, Own"

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



FilthyImp posted:

Iirc it took like a month for "Creator Owned!" To become "I, bigshot 90s creator, Own"

Yep, they betrayed their ideals pretty much immediately. Rob Liefeld is listed as "creator" in all of these books and as far as I can tell, he's retained the rights to them.

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006






I only have excellent ideas


Random Stranger posted:

Yep, they betrayed their ideals pretty much immediately. Rob Liefeld is listed as "creator" in all of these books and as far as I can tell, he's retained the rights to them.

Creator, owned.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Google Image Results for
"Sexy Guy Gardner"


I think Dam Fraga owns Black Flag and that might be it.

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



I'm finishing up the September 1993 Extreme books here and moving into October.

Team Youngblood #1 - Look, another spin-off from a comic that has had five issues released so far! And speaking of Liefeld going straight to the work-for-hire abuses that he fled from, there's actually a counter example in this book! In the indica, it goes through a statement of trademarks owned by Liefeld and then lets us know that Dutch™ is owned by Chap Yaep. In case you're wondering, Dutch is a real muscly commando-type, so maybe Twentieth Century Fox has first dibs on that trademark.

The book opens with a cigar-chomping, eyepatch wearing, tough as nails colonel having a crew of last minute replacement arrive at his space station. He's determined that they're cyborgs, which aren't allowed on board, and they want to go the command deck immediately. "Ah, I thought, the colonel is going to let them in as part of a trap, but something will go wrong and that'll set the plot in motion." Nope, he really is stupid enough to let them just come in and kill all his men.

The villain is called Giger who has appeared a few times before. From general context he's a cyborg guy who does cyborg things but nothing weirdly biomechanically sexual.

There's a new team member called Masada. Yes, she's from Israel.

This is a "gathering the team" issue which is kind of surprising since it's the first time where one long fight scene hasn't been the focus of an issue. There's some brief action at the beginning that's over in one panel and a standard training room scene where they're beating up robots but that's it. This comic actually has a plot.

For what it's worth, Team Youngblood seems to take over as the Youngblood title for a while since Youngblood #6 isn't out until June 1994.

Brigade #0 - This flashback is about Battlestone and a different team of Brigade featuring people who turned up in other issues of Brigade generally not liking him but still helping punch people. They went to the house of a crimelord where they had to fight a man in black armor with 14 blades on it along with two swords he was carrying. With him out of the way, they take a job to rob the US government and fight Youngblood. That breaks up the team, but it isn't long before Battlestone starts recruiting the characters we've seen in the regular issues.

There really isn't a whole lot to say about this issue. The total lack of a sense of space made the issue feel very small despite being a globe trotting adventure. What we see of Japan is one wall. What we see of the government facility is one door. There's an office that consists entirely of a single desk in a voice and Battlestone's house which seems to be made of metal plates and some gym equipment. It felt almost like a play in how narrowly defined the locales were.

Prophet #1 - Did you guys want another Youngblood spinoff? There's almost as many direct Youngblood spin-offs as there are issues of Youngblood. This issue seems to be the bulk of Liefeld's work on his studio's books this month, too, as he wrote this one and provided layouts.

Prophet's thing is that he was a normal guy built like a linebacker until approached to take part in secret army experiments to create a supersoldier. The experiments were run by Dr. Wells who had technology far superior to anything else at that time (time, Wells, get it?!). Wells wanted him to fight the other dimensional guy they fought in previous issues of Youngblood but "woke up fifty years too early". So we're back to time travel on that I guess.

In this issue Prophet spends a lot of time reciting bible verses in a dream where he fights robots and then discovers the robots were controlled by his wife(?) and himself. Then he gives a long explanation of his origin as he prepares to to reconnect with Brother Eye Graymalkin D.O.C.C., the space station that provides him power. He's still doing this with the help of Jack Kirby. And his wife(?) is still alive, looks young despite having to be seventy years old, and is helping the government make a new Prophet.

So Prophet is actually readable. While there was a lengthy dream sequence fight scene, there was also a lot of making it clear what is going on, who is doing what, and why. Not very deep, but I'm reading characters who you can only tell apart by their costumes stumbling into and out of fights and doing things just because. I didn't talk about Prophet in the Youngblood comics because he was pretty boring; a guy who was clearly intended to be not-Captain America with a dash of Cable who punched stuff. I could see this becoming another readable book in the line if it keeps up.

Bloodstrike #4 - When Todd McFarlane heard the criticism that Spawn was a poorly written mess, he responded by getting four significant writers to fill in for him for an issue. The result was actually giving Spawn a mythos and structure that the book would carry forward. Also, lawsuits and the reason we can't properly enjoy Miracleman. Rob Liefeld couldn't recruit any big names, but he did get someone special for a few issues of Bloodstrike: Kieth Giffen. Giffen plotted this issue as well as provided layouts. Giffen will abruptly leave in a few issues and I have a general impression that it was not a happy split.

Unfortunately, it's still Eric Stephenson scripting the comic.

The issue shows us the team having some down time after the previous mission. Cabbot is a big baby who throws a temper tantrum. Not-Wolverine stalks and kills women and rips the spines out of people. He's also a vampire and seems to be identical to a Youngblood villain who appeared for two panels despite there being two of them. Forearm goes shopping for make-up. The woman who freezes people in place lures men in and then rapes them with her rotting zombie body that was concealed under the costume.

Giffen really ratcheted up the violence and disturbing imagery in this. These books have been violent, but with the exception of Supreme they've been bloodless. Yeah, someone gets impaled or shot up but there's no blood and often no consequences This issue earns the extreme in Extreme Studios.

I can tell that Giffen did the layouts since they have a lot of his beats and storytelling. However, pencillist Chris Alexander wasn't able to make imagery work. There's places where you can see the rough sketch of the beat wanted for the panel and then the characters don't look quite right fitting into that.

Regardless of anything else, Giffen has laid some seeds for interesting developments. I don't know if they'll ever sprout with him leaving the book after three issues...

In the Knight back up story the characters are on their way to the planet from the first part of the story to do something that still isn't explained and then they arrive and the bad guys know that they arrived despite the fact that they're supposed to have been sneaky. I still don't know what's going on here. Are these people space marines?

Youngblood Strikefile #4 - No pencils by Liefeld in this issue, just scripting. And they've dropped the flip book format. Now it's just one story the whole way through.

This time it's all about the Spawn villain Overtkill, a big cyborg had a lot of guns. In this issue, he's been recovered and rebuilt by the US government only to escape and Youngblood has to beat him up. The team this time is Shaft, the newly rechristened Badrock, and Die Hard who can no longer breathe in space despite doing that earlier. After a brief fight Overtkill launches his head off his body and flies back to Spawn comics.

After the villain from the Spawn movie showed up as Chapel's boss in the first three issues, and a character from Savage Dragon in the other half of those first three issues, I'm starting to wonder if this is the Youngblood crosses over with the rest of the Image line book. Maybe the next story will feature Shadowhawk?

Supreme #6 - This issue opens with Bill Clinton deciding to assassinate Supreme with Bloodstrike so I guess I have that to look forward to tomorrow.

I completely forgot to mention that Thor appeared last issue! Okay, he just showed up for one page and in this issue he just shows up for one page again flying over Scandinavia and making lightning, but there's Thor. This one being a redhead who is legally distinct from Marvel's Thor, of course.

Supreme's Lex Luthor escapes in the world wide catastrophe caused by Supreme's fight.

Wait, is that... could it be... a kind of satisfying conclusion to a fight? I've heard those things exist, but to actually encounter a story where the villain doesn't just go, "Whelp, I'm done for now. Ciao!" is crazy!

I think I'm actually kind of getting into the Supreme groove. I wouldn't have read it without my goofy decision to dive deep into Liefeld and I probably wouldn't read it regularly among everything available, but it's the best book I'm reading from Extreme Studios. I'm appreciating how Supreme is pretty terrifying, in this issue as he's giving internal monologues about how he's better than everyone else. I could see this going down a path where Supreme tries to take over the world and while I doubt it'll even approach the wobbly level of Irredeemable, having a book with some forward momentum is nice.

I would stop here but it's the weekend so I finished off the last two books of October 1993.

Brigade #4 - No Liefeld story credit in this issue, either. The plotting has been credited to "Ripley" (no other name). The talented(?) Mr. Ripley worked on four issues of Brigade and disappeared which must make it a pseudonym but I have no idea for whom. And no one seems to know the answer to this, either.

In this issue, the people who helped Battlestone out from his old team all depart and he's not happy. It's weeks after the fight and the teammember turned into Iceman is concerned about dying of thirst because everything freezes before he can drink it (maybe he's been surviving on alcohol). The team is assaulted by an underdressed guy attacking their base who has only six spikes and one blade on his armor. Turns out it was a mistake and he didn't mean to threaten them when he smashed through the skylight while having a blade strapped to his arm. Meanwhile in the back up story, one of the martial artists who left is hired to kill the other martial artist who left.

For a comic that seems to want to be about filling in some gaps about the team, this one doesn't do as well as some of the other books I've read today. Maybe it's because there's just a lot of brooding instead of doing.

Image Zero #0 - Hey, another send away #0 comic! Better get this kiddies, it's going to pay for your college tuition someday! Assuming your tuition can be covered by someone buying it from the fifty cent bin. This one consists of short, four or five page stories from each of the Image seven and it's Liefeld's only penciled pages this month. And once more it's for a new creation rather than continuing with what he had done before.

The five page story introduces Troll, another Wolverine clone and Youngblood member. He actually will get his own comic by the end of the year which I believe is supposed to be a comedy but I'll believe that when I see it.

In this story, Troll beats up some robots in training while government officials talk about him being short and saying he'll join Youngblood. The end. There's absolutely nothing else to this one. Troll doesn't even have a line of dialog.


So a few things to mention about this batch of issues: both the plotting and the art is improving. There weren't any issue long fights this time; there were establishing scenes, exposition to explain what's happening, and character building moments. The message has been received that you cannot just be all action, all the time. The art is no longer at the "kid drawing his ultra cool original character in their notebook during math class" level. It's still sloppy, has a bad tendency to rely on a handful of poses, and too many things take place in featureless voids, but it is improving.

A Strange Aeon
Mar 26, 2010

You are now a slimy little toad


The Great Twist

Any idea how well these early Extreme comics were selling? It seems like after the first few, there's not much to recommend them. Though interesting hearing about Troll's origin issue, since I think Moore did some powerful retconning on him in Judgement Day, making him thousands of years old.

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



It's a weekend so I might as well try to finish off all of the Extreme books for 1993. So this is mainly November and December's stuff. And you know what's missing this month? Any pages penciled by Rob Liefeld. He has story credits for everything and inked some pages, but there's nothing else.

Team Youngblood #2-4 - When I changed plans yesterday I forgot that there was an October issue of this comic so I've got to cover three issues of a monthly book.

For issues 2 and 3, Youngblood goes to space to fight a bad guy. They proceed to punch people a lot for a fight scene that lasts both issues.

Issue 2 gives mid-80's Marvel style breakdowns of who the characters are and it's the first time that I've know this. The guy who flies, shoots energy blasts, and mysteriously showed up between two issues of Youngblood with no explanation is a pyrokinetic and I wouldn't have known that since he never does anything with fire. The cat person is actually a member of an entire race of cat people from "deepest Africa". Dutch kills Predators.

Wait, Youngblood has a secret headquarters? That doesn't make any sense given that they're supposed to be celebrity heroes working for the US government.

When you split your team up to handle separate tasks, you know who the perfect guys to select to go after the villain who can mentally control technology? The cyborg and the guy in a mech suit.

Issue 3 opens with cameos by a bunch of Image characters who all aren't helping stop the world from getting taken over because those awesome guys at Youngblood are on the case.

Yet another fight where it just stops because the villain decides to walk away. But it's because there's a ticking clock of a self-destruct mechanism that isn't introduced until they're already stopping it.

Their secret plan to defeat the villain is to turn on a camera and broadcast them punching him a lot.

Issues two and three are enough to make me take back all the nice things I've been saying about the Extreme Studios crew. This mess was all the problems I had with their early issues all over again. Plot points introduced at random and don't make any connection with each other, half the pages are dedicates to the characters effortlessly beating up generic thugs, and characterization changing between issues. The best parts of these issues were when they cut away from the main plot for a page to set up something that might not devolve into a full issue of punching, but I doubt it.

Issue 4 is supposed to be one of those stories that show us what the team does when they're not punching people and it turns out that they're pretty boring. Masada is sad that she's haunted by ghosts of martyrs. Cougar gets stalked by other cat people. Dutch is mad at Sentinel but, goddamn does he respect him and then they go for a power handshake. There's a reporter out to get Youngblood, a team member that quit and may become a villain, and the psychic team member who liked doing Scanners stuff to enemies has jumped bodies and wants to kill more people. There's also a back up story about how Cougar has a hot mom who was abducted by cat people and then got it on with one of them, but the cat people don't like miscegenation. This issue is especially badly written as it hits the most cliched writing over and over again.

Bloodstrike #5-6 - Okay, I've had my Team Youngblood vegetables. Now I want to know what warped thing Kieth Giffen does with the rest of his Bloodstrike run.

Issue 5 picks up a thread from Supreme where they're going to take down Not Superman because of the carnage he's been causing. But first Cabbot has to punch out a teammate's spine. Then Supreme dismantles all of Bloodstrike. Literally. I'm surprised that they had one survivor as he flicked her away with a finger. The team returns from their mission carried in buckets. Giffen is leaning into the "Supreme is a terrifying monster" storyline from his own book here even when Bloodstrike aren't that much better.

The fourth and final part of the Knight back up stories finally tells me what they're trying to do: "shut down the source of an inter-dimensional flux that threatens the inhabitants of this planet". The guy in psuedo-samurai armor talks about how honorable his foes are as he effortlessly beats them up. It also turns out that the "Great Davros" they swear by is a scientist who makes war machines so maybe they really are Daleks.

Issue 6 gives us a good look at how the undead Bloodstrike recover. Battlestone who has undergone the same procedures just heals back but these characters have to be pieced back together while being unable to die. There's an extended flashback to Battlestone bringing Cabbot back from the dead and forcing him to join this project which is maybe the kind of thing that should have been brought up in the crossover all about how they hate each other. The issue wraps up with Chapel taking over the team after being fired from Youngblood for being HIV positive. Just in case this book wasn't hosed up enough already.

Brigade #5-6 - Hey, the guy who jumped through Brigade's skylight last issue for no good reason is Not Namor. Battlestone fought in World War 2 with him... which is a timeline that makes absolutely no sense since he was a young man in the late 80's when he was first given powers and joined Youngblood.

If you like people standing around and shouting at each other for no good reason, then these issues of Brigade are you for! Issue 5 has Not Namor and the team stand around and shout at each other. Then they get attacked by thugs who are effortlessly defeated. Issue 6 has the team go to Not Atlantis (hey, that one isn't trademarked; you could have used it) where they're being attacked by a guy who wants to prove that science is better than magic and to do this he needs the knowledge of a billionaire tech mogul. The easy solution would be to let the tech loving guy have him and then watch him self destruct taking hundreds of billions of dollars in venture capital with him, but instead there's a fight scene. Battlestone gets possessed by magic so he can beat up science next issue.

There's also a backup story where a guy who was friends with one of the old Brigade members gets abducted and forced to betray Brigade. It doesn't really matter.

A common thread in these Extreme Studios books is the love of the double page, rotated ninety degrees spread. It always looks terrible, inevitably does nothing to advance the story, and wastes a huge amount of space in the comics. And there's five of them in these two issues.

Supreme #7-8 - The issue opens with Supreme being confronted by his children from the future who start to give him a warning and then their pager goes off. Which I guess would be like if I went back and time and warned my father about a danger before I was conceived but since I was conceived then he wouldn't need the warning and maybe people should think about the structure of their time travel stories a little more?

In a plot twist I honestly wasn't expecting, Thor attacks a military base in Germany and demands they turn Hitler over to him. Supreme runs away from a reporter asking him some tough questions about his ethical responsibilities to go fight him. Which he does for all of issue 8 in what is a surprisingly uneventful fight for this series.

I'm not really happy with the storyline with the reporter out to get Supreme. He should be held responsible for the hundreds, possibly thousands of lives he's taken so far in the series. They seem to be shifting into justifying it by Supreme being a hard man making hard decisions. But the book has surprised me before so maybe it'll shift on me again.

Troll #1 - It opens with Troll picking up a golden idol in an ancient temple only for a giant bolder to roll after him. In dialog he says, "Holy Raiders of the Lost Ark!" and in the caption box he says, "It was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie!"

Troll is a thousand year old diminutive man who looks just like Wolverine and has globe trotting adventures. For this comic (there's no Troll #2), he's collecting gold orbs from ancient sites that some aliens are also after.

I'm not really sure what to make of this book. I think it's supposed to be witty but it's not. The action is poorly illustrated so everything is told instead of shown. And it's yet another spin-off of Youngblood when there's already too many of them.

Phantom Force #1 - Until I started working out what Extreme Studios released I completely forgot that this existed. This is something special that I haven't read before because this is Jack Kirby's final comic. Well, not this issue. Kirby passed away after completing work on issue four. And I won't get to that anyway since Extreme Studios only published the first two issues of Phantom Force, releasing them five months apart. Kirby took the book to a different publisher who could put it out monthly, and they released their first issue of Phantom Force before Extreme Studios released their second.

One interesting thing about this comic is that for the covers, Kirby penciled and all the big name Image creators inked them. Five of the Image seven inked this issue along with Jerry Ordway, Scott Williams, and Danny Miki. I can imagine these artists, at the top of their professional career talking to Kirby and he goes, "Hey, kid, ya wanna ink one of these pages?"

I'm going to be honest here, I'm writing this before I read it and I don't have high hopes for this comic. Late era Kirby tends to be sloppy like he did rough layouts and that was enough. But maybe he took extra time with this...

So, I just read an awesome Kirby comic that I had never read before! It really felt like 70's DC Kirby in style. Okay, I could have done without master of the martial arts "Gin Seng", but he was still pretty cool as a character. The art is peak Kirby. The worst thing I can say is that it almost feels like a Kirby pastiche since it hits all of his visual flares.

The premise of the book is that the government released a plague and are hiding the cure. Phantom Force which consisted of two people at the start of the issue was hired to get the cure and failed. So the rest of the book is recruiting a third member of the team to try again.

I'm annoyed that for the sake of my reading I have to wait until I reach April 1994 to get to the next issue of this one.

A Strange Aeon posted:

Any idea how well these early Extreme comics were selling? It seems like after the first few, there's not much to recommend them. Though interesting hearing about Troll's origin issue, since I think Moore did some powerful retconning on him in Judgement Day, making him thousands of years old.

Initially, they sold incredibly well. 1992 and 1993 were the peak of the boom years and Liefeld was one of the hot artists. Now, there was a lot of push back against that in the more serious minded corners of comics fandom. It's not like people decided sometime around 1998 that Rob Liefeld sucks, it's just the people who would buy multiple copies of his books for investment purposes weren't the people who stuck around.

Youngblood #1 sold over 300k copies. In December 1993, every Extreme Studios book was selling more than 100k copies. Oddly enough, the least popular book in the line was Supreme. At the moment I've reached, the market is starting to show some weakness from being flooded with garbage and by December 1994, it'll be in a proper free fall. Prophet is the only December '94 book from Extreme that sold more than 50k and sales were dropping about 10-15% per month.

Random Stranger fucked around with this message at 21:23 on Jan 19, 2020

Skwirl
May 13, 2007

The 'blood babe with the silicone chest, 200-dollar haircut, and a closet full of the latest fashions.

https://twitter.com/SienkiewiczArt/...4113048577?s=20

bad_trotsky
May 23, 2012


Besides the racist issues, which can be easily fixed with a redesign, why has Mandarin not made a bigger play? He's been a worthy Iron Man villain, is a huge deal in China which is no small feat. Why hasn't he ever become a truly global threat. Freaking Norman Osborn managed this. Surely the Mandarin could take on an Avengers team, or make a play with his connection to Gorgon and mutants and have him get into a conflict with the X-men.

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018


bad_trotsky posted:

Besides the racist issues, which can be easily fixed with a redesign, why has Mandarin not made a bigger play? He's been a worthy Iron Man villain, is a huge deal in China which is no small feat. Why hasn't he ever become a truly global threat. Freaking Norman Osborn managed this. Surely the Mandarin could take on an Avengers team, or make a play with his connection to Gorgon and mutants and have him get into a conflict with the X-men.

Because why would you want to? A racist fu manchu stereotype with ten magic rings, who was then redesigned into a racist evil Chinese business man stereotype with ten magic rings. That's not a great character to base a big event around. If they did a second redesign into something not at all racist, they'd have to cut him off entirely from his racist lineage and also change his name from "The Mandarin". And at that point you just have a brand new character with ten magic rings that used to belong to a racist stereotype.

A Strange Aeon
Mar 26, 2010

You are now a slimy little toad


The Great Twist

Kill him and have a series of 10 different people getting one magic ring each. What do they even do?

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with



A Strange Aeon posted:

Kill him and have a series of 10 different people getting one magic ring each. What do they even do?

quote:

Left little finger: "Ice Blast Ring"- a ring which can shoot out intense cold rays at an enemy, cold enough to freeze that person solid.
Left ring finger: "Mental Intensifier Ring"- this ring increases the Mandarin's mental abilities to the point that he can control people, to the limit of one person within 10 feet.
Left middle finger: "Electro Blast Ring"- this ring can shoot out an unknown amount of electricity.
Left index finger: "Flame Blast Ring"- this ring can shoot out flames, in heat form or as infrared radiation.
Left thumb: "White Light Ring"- this ring can shoot out lasers, or on one occasion, create gravity strong enough that Iron Man buried himself by trying to walk forwards.
Right thumb: "Matter Rearranger Ring"- this ring can rearrange the shape of solid objects. It can be used on almost anything.
Right index finger: "Impact Beam Ring"- this ring can shoot out a force beam with concussive force.
Right middle finger: "Vortex Beam Ring"- this ring can create a vortex of air, which can be used offensively, defensively or simply as a means of transport.
Right ring finger: "Disintegration Beam Ring"- this ring can destroy all bonds of atoms and molecules of whatever it strikes. Unlike the other rings, it takes 20 minutes to recharge.
Right little finger: "Black Light Ring"- this ring creates an area of total darkness around the person it is used on.

The chad Iron Man vs. the virgin Matter Rearranger Lad

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018


I'm the one that shoots lasers and sometimes gravity

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


the punisher shot him through the head

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Google Image Results for
"Sexy Guy Gardner"


They already had a Rings of the Mandarin arc where each ring went to a new villain. It was definitely a riff on DCs Lanterns.

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006






I only have excellent ideas


site posted:

the punisher shot him through the head

Oh yeah! I never finished that run, did Baron Zemo die?

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


umm, maybe?? frank doesnt kill him, kingpin has the supervillain ghost do something to zemo and kingpin claims hes dead, but i dont know anything about ghosts powers to know what happened


sporklift
Aug 3, 2008

Feelin' it so hard.


Been trying to downsize a bit so I have slowly selling off my collection. Took a bunch to my local bookstore today and though I got rinsed I still feel better than trying to sell that poo poo on ebay. That being said there are a few books I thought I might offer up here. They are all in great condition. Read once and shelved. Cover dings and general wear so they aren't mint or anything.



Howard the Duck Omni $30 shipped
Secret Warriors Omni $75 shipped
Young Avengers Omni $40 shipped

You can email me if interested

sporklift hotmail dot com
just put bss in the subject.

sporklift fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Jan 21, 2020

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006






I only have excellent ideas


site posted:

umm, maybe?? frank doesnt kill him, kingpin has the supervillain ghost do something to zemo and kingpin claims hes dead, but i dont know anything about ghosts powers to know what happened




The Ghost is a really cool character but I'm also unclear on what exactly his powers are. He can phase himself and other stuff-- there's a brutal old issue of Iron Man where he double-crosses the Spymaster in the middle of an escape and just unphases him in the middle of a wall. He also can turn invisible, has all sorts of bombs and stuff, and I think he can fly? So who knows, it's a vague enough death.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


Archyduchess posted:

it's a vague enough death.

im sure intentionally so in case someone wants to use him later

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006






I only have excellent ideas


site posted:

im sure intentionally so in case someone wants to use him later

One of the least flattering things about me is that I think Zemo, an objectively repugnant and odious character whose various half-hearted redemption arcs over the past 30+ years (going all the way back to J.M. DeMatteis I guess!) have ranged from unconvincing to totally ill-conceived, is a pretty cool villain and as bad as Rosenberg can be I felt like he wrote a Zemo that hit the right balance of competent, conceited, and pitifully self-interested.

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018


Archyduchess posted:

The Ghost is a really cool character but I'm also unclear on what exactly his powers are. He can phase himself and other stuff-- there's a brutal old issue of Iron Man where he double-crosses the Spymaster in the middle of an escape and just unphases him in the middle of a wall. He also can turn invisible, has all sorts of bombs and stuff, and I think he can fly? So who knows, it's a vague enough death.

Sounds like the Invisible Werewolfs from Blood Blockade Battlefront. They can phase through walls, turn invisible, and jump super long distances, all because they're able to control how much they exist.

Madkal
Feb 11, 2008

It was all going well, and then the parademons showed up


Fallen Rib

Talking about selling comics I am also thinking of downsizing and thinking of taking my stuff to my LCBS. The guy there told me to make a list for him and he will tell me what he wants. I know I will probably get a bit ripped off and such, but it would still be nice to know if I am not getting to ripped off. Does anyone know a good site to use to see an approximation on price? I know "use eBay is barameter" is generally recommended but whenever I look up prices for what I have I notice quite a huge disparity on prices.
I generally donate my old comics but I figure if I can make some scratch with a few of my more prized comics I might as well.

lifg
Dec 4, 2000
The Young Turks committed the Armenian Genocide.


Muldoon

I did that recently. I looked up the prices of any #1 issues, then I just took a box down to a store I like and let them buy what they wanted from me. The only thing of any value was Scalped #1, so I asked about it specifically.

sporklift
Aug 3, 2008

Feelin' it so hard.


Madkal posted:

Talking about selling comics I am also thinking of downsizing and thinking of taking my stuff to my LCBS. The guy there told me to make a list for him and he will tell me what he wants. I know I will probably get a bit ripped off and such, but it would still be nice to know if I am not getting to ripped off. Does anyone know a good site to use to see an approximation on price? I know "use eBay is barameter" is generally recommended but whenever I look up prices for what I have I notice quite a huge disparity on prices.
I generally donate my old comics but I figure if I can make some scratch with a few of my more prized comics I might as well.

Yeah my LCBS kinda told me they can't move omnibus anymore and are really choosy about what they take. The big used book store in town gives me about 15-20% of cover. But like I said I hate dealing with ebay and it's better than having books sit around for 10 years. No one wants physical media anymore I guess. Hell I put some of my books up on Facebook for a buck a piece and no takers.

Open Marriage Night
Sep 18, 2009

"Do you want to talk to a spider, Peter?"

sporklift posted:

Been trying to downsize a bit so I have slowly selling off my collection. Took a bunch to my local bookstore today and though I got rinsed I still feel better than trying to sell that poo poo on ebay. That being said there are a few books I thought I might offer up here. They are all in great condition. Read once and shelved. Cover dings and general wear so they aren't mint or anything.



Howard the Duck Omni $30 shipped
Secret Warriors Omni $75 shipped
Young Avengers Omni $40 shipped

You can email me if interested

sporklift hotmail dot com
just put bss in the subject.

Really tempted to get those last two. Might shoot you an email this weekend.

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



I don't think it's impossible to rebuild the Mandarin; fixing terrible old characters is something that's been done before. While there's a lot of racist stuff attached to him, the core concept of a warlord with alien tech and personal array of superweapons in rings isn't automatically racist. Yeah, you're basically making a new character but that's already been done multiple times with him. The 90's version of the character isn't the 60's version and neither of them are the 2010's version. Ditch the name, keep the rings, give him a good story that doesn't lean into stereotypes, and you might have a character that people can build on.

sporklift posted:

Yeah my LCBS kinda told me they can't move omnibus anymore and are really choosy about what they take.

I guess the audience for those books just buys online.


I'm still reading Extreme Studios books and this time it's January 1994's books. Also Prophet #2 because I forgot to include it last time.

Team Youngblood #5 - Oh, hey, speaking of lazy comic book racism, in this issue Youngblood goes to Wakanda a hidden country in central Africa with a Black Panther Leopard motif. Literally seconds after arriving, Cougar finds his hot mom being tortured by the Queen Catgirl who is mad because he's the rightful king of Catlandia. So he fights in a gladiatorial arena because somehow we haven't seen that trope used since the first Brigade #3 a year ago. The rest of Youngblood watches the fight despite specifically not being there earlier in the issue. Cougar wins and installs his apparently nineteen-year-old mother as queen for some reason despite the violent race of xenophobic catpeople wanting her dead and having established that trial by combat is how you replace rulers there. Meanwhile, Youngblood's handler is receiving "murder reports from all over the city; half around the Pentagon itself!" and it turns out that the scanner Youngblood member is behind it all. He's taken over the body of a woman and the next issue box gives the title as "Dude Looks Like a Lady" so I've got that to look forward to.

I forgot to mention this last issue, but Courgar's catperson father has the exact same name as the catperson character from Marvel Comics Excalibur. Given it's a generic fantasy name I wouldn't read too much into it, but I'm mentioning all of the instances of taking from other comics that I'm seeing...

Supreme #9 - I need to point out the the writing for the past issue or so has been taken over by "Ripley" which is probably why what had been a surprisingly okay book that seemed like it was trying to stretch itself has gone downhill. In this issue Supreme wraps up his fight with Nazi Thor, takes Mjolnir, and then hands him over to evil corporation because there's no one better than a white supremacist symbol to head their superhero team. Meanwhile, Supreme's arch enemy has invented kryptonite, Supreme visits his former sidekick, and then decides to give the reporter from last issue an interview.

In this issue Not Lex Luthor says Supreme attacked him two days ago, this was a day after Supreme arrived back on earth. A few pages later Not Captain Marvel Jr. (Supreme is an intentional pastiche so I'm not complaining on these, it just makes it easier to identify who they're supposed to be) says that Supreme has been back on earth for months.

Thinking of "Kid Supreme", Supreme feels like it borrows heavily from Miracleman only with less skill than Alan Moore brought to things. It's making me wonder if we're going to get an issue where one of Supreme's villains kills everyone in a major city while he's distracted for an hour.

Prophet #2-3 - Kirby gets a first name in this issue: it's "Jackson", just in case it wasn't already clear. We also found out that the team we know is just a Bloodstrike unit so there's more than one of them out there.

It's a simple story, Prophet breaks into an army base to hook up with Not Brother Eye, he does so and then fights Bloodstrike.

Checking the credits, I think that Rob Liefeld does all of the writing chores on Prophet. And with the comparison, I think he's actually better than the usual stable of writers at Extreme even if he keeps having Cabbot call people "Sport". Yep, I'd rather read what Liefeld writes than what Eric Stephenson or Ripley puts down on the page. Maybe after a few more issues I'll be tired of Prophet's religious fanatic shtick; for now it's an easier rear than most of the other books.

Extreme Hero - Has it been two months? I guess it's time for another give away book! This time it was associated with Hero Illustrated, the magazine that wanted to be Wizard but was somehow a bit worse. This one is similar to the Extreme #0 from a few months ago where there's a bunch of two or three page stories, including the only pencils from Liefeld this month. Many of the same characters return, though there's a couple of new people.

Cybrid, in the four pages of Rob Liefeld art, runs from the same ninjas who attacked him before. Then he shoots them and punched then with his extendable arms. "The beginning."

Law saved Order when she was a kidnapped teenager by dropping through a skylight and shooting the kidnapper in the head. That sentence was longer than the action in the story, though not longer than the severely overwritten captions.

Code 9 broods about how he has become a monster. Then he spots a woman wearing spandex and "the dance begins". We don't see the dance because that's where it ends.

The villain in the previous L.A.N.C.E.R.S. story went back and time and built an army of dinosaur men. I would say that's all that happened here, but it didn't actually happen here; we were just told it happened.

Risk uses his power to make portals to stop a surprise sex in an alley. It's cliche and not good, but this might be the best story in the book because there's actually a story in its two pages. Congratulations to Risk for winning by default.

A girl dreams that her father knows some weird people who are apparently Meta-Force. As far as I can tell they never appeared beyond these two pages where they do absolutely nothing.

There's two character profiles that I think are the Black Flag "story". They feature a woman named "Geisha" who looks like she was copied from Bubblegum Crisis and an ape with a gun named "Guerilla" who I am 90% sure was traced from Art Adams.

I also pretty sure this is the end of the "giveaway" books. Typically you cut a coupon to send away for these but the intention was to dive sales by getting people to buy more than one copy. The comics industry has begun burning through the people who would go for the multiple copies and soon it'll be hard to justify doing it. Can't say I'll miss these books.

Bloodstrike #7 - Kieth Giffen is only credited as "story assists" on this issue while the writing and script is back to Eric Stephenson. I can't say I was super fond of Giffen's work on this comic but it definitely made an impression.

Just in case you were concerned that Extreme Studios wasn't being regressive enough this month, once more they emphasize that Chapel was kicked out of Youngblood for being HIV positive because it would "tarnish their image". No, this isn't presented as an incredibly lovely thing to do.

It feels like this issue is just popping through the subplots that Giffen set up and left notes on. Cabbot and Chapel get into a brawl that doesn't matter, the guy Tag raped a couple of issues ago is infected with zombie-itis, the mystery cult is still mysterious, and the evil government organization is threatening to dig up some more operatives.

The Knight back ups conclude in what might be one of the worst things I've ever read. The story that didn't make any sense before is wrapped up by having paragraph long narrative captions written in the passive voice over placed art that doesn't really tell a story. Oh, and it ends with the villain just deciding to leave for no good reason. If I ever need to torture an English teacher, I have found my implement.

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Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006



Is anyone still binding comics? I looked for a binding thread but couldn't find one. I remember Redbackground was our expert, but I haven't seen him around here in a while either.

I have a complete run of Suicide Squad that I've been meaning to get bound for years, but never got around to it. Today I learned that JOHN OSTRANDER will be at my local comic convention, and I'd love for him to sign three hardcover volumes of his classic series, as opposed to expecting him to sign every issue of the comic (which he probably wouldn't want to do).

The convention is just under three months from now, in mid-April. Those of you who have done binding projects recently, which is the best bindery right now, and what kind of turnaround time are they dealing with? Assuming it would take me a few days to prep all my books (gently removing the double-sided ad pages and back covers, printing up nice, detailed tables of contents), do you think I'd get the bound volumes back in time, or is that cutting it way too close?

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