I review comics on Twitter at twitter.com/johnsimcoe. Here are the July through December 2008 reviews!
Buck Rogers No. 3 (Sept 79): In this early ish, Buck is still trying to prove he’s a good guy. Just as corny as the 70s TV show. OK art.
Fantastic Four No. 142 (Jan 73): It’s amazing how often Darkoth’s face is obscured through this issue. It’s like the artist was afraid of it
Justice League of America No. 235 (Feb 85): Detroit era JLA, & I really thought this was pretty good. Neat plot with Aquaman messing with Steel.
Power Man and Iron Fist 70 (June 81): Brawl in Florida. Cover says “Watch for JOLT on Page 11!” I have no idea what they were referring to.
Marvel Chillers No. 6 (Aug 76): Early art by John Byrne with entertaining Tigra story by Isabella. Simple superhero adventure and kinda fun.
Sheena Queen of the Jungle No. 5 (Jan 08): Finale to the miniseries that I’ve really liked. Makes “jungle lord” comics workable in modern times.
Sheena: Dark Secrets 1 (Oct 08): Sheena vs. South-American robo-Nazi’s. Old robo-Nazi’s that is. Art was a real stinker in this one.
Sheena: Dark Secrets 2 (Nov 08): More aged Robo-Nazis PLUS a Nazi cargo cult (look it up, Dumbo). Weak writing. No more of this book for me.
World’s Finest Comics No. 278 (April 82): 100-page ish with enjoyable stories all around. Shazam! story offered neat villain for Mary Marvel
Amazing Adventures No. 12 (Nov. 80): The original X-Men try to rescue Namor from Magneto, except Namor rescues himself. Fun, but dated.
Amazing Adventures No. 13 (Dec 80): The original muties battle the Blob as Scarlet Witch whines about being a bad guy. Typical 60s comic.
Incredible Hulk No. 290 (Dec 83): The Hulk witnesses the birth of Ms. Modok in the form of his girlfriend! Melodramatic to the max, but fun!
Fire and Brimstone No. 1 (Jun 08): Amusing book about an angel and devil working together. Love those Richard Moore girls!
Project Superpowers 7 of 7 (2008): Liked at first, but by this ish there were so many characters that at this point it was just confusing.
Superman No. 189 (Feb 03): First appearance of Traci 13. Features pointless visits by Power Girl, Batman. 1st of an arc, but I’m not interested.
Scary Tales No. 4 (Feb 76): Bought this because of the cool cover of a vampire warrior chick with a massive sword. Low-grade “Crypt” inside.
Further Adventures of Indiana Jones No. 2 (Feb 83): Indy is shanghaied and solves a mystery. Neat finale as gold-entombed corpses attack!
Wonder Woman 25 (Dec 08): This is the finale of a story arc, and boy does it show. It probably wasn’t bad, I just had no way to follow it.
Spooks Omega Team No. 2 (Sep 08): Another G.I. Joe clone, only this one pits the soldiers against supernatural threats. Cool all the way!
Spooks Omega Team No. 3 (Oct 08): Still enjoying this, though I’m puzzled by DX’s stating-the-obvious dialogue. Is supposed to be funny?
G.I. Joe No. 0 (Oct 08): IDW takes over the franchise and reboots it with the comic’s original creator. How is that a reboot? Not bad though
The Corps! No. 0 (Oct 08): Preview book for a G.I. Joe ripoff. It was actually pretty good, but it has to be amazing to beat out G.I. Joe.
Greatest Hits No. 1 of 6 (2008): Features a sleazy segment involving oral sex. Spare me your “realism,” Vertigo. Cool concept though. Fri
DC Universe Decisions No.s 1-4 (2008): Enjoyable story that melds a hefty cast without being ludicrous. I wish “big events” were more like this.
Laff-a-Lympics No. 3 (May 78): Writer Evanier makes sure to hit all the catch phrases of the Hanna-Barbera stable. Slightly off-model art.
Flash Gordon No. 1 (Aug 08): Totally inappropriate art for this classic character. Ridiculously over-colored. Riddled with cliched dialogue
Godzilla King of the Monsters No. 4 (Nov 77): Am I the only one out there that thinks that Dr. Demonicus would make a great A-list villain?
Godzilla King of the Monsters No. 6 (Jan 78): Godzilla is captured by SHIELD and escapes just as quickly. Red Ronin is almost complete!
Godzilla King of Monsters No. 11 (1977): More monsters and robots fighting in the Grand Canyon. Really uninspiring art, even for a vintage book.
Godzilla King of Monsters No. 15 (Oct 78): The Big G versus some cowboys. . Funny sceen shows G squatting like he’s on the toilet. Weird.
Secret Six No. 1 (Nov 08): Team assembles for a new mish. Awfully weird with all of its gay themes. (So sue me, I didn’t like it.) Next: BATMAN!
Secret Six No. 2 (Dec 08): Batman and Catman finally meet back up for a memorable slugfest. Good art, though I wish Cat was in his 80s duds.
El Diablo 1 (of 6): DC takes a shot at revitalizing the old Western El Diablo. Really not a bad start, but I always loved the 1990s version.
Ambush Bug Year None No. 1 (2008): I laughed at practically every panel. You gotta love Giffen and Fleming’s jabs at the DC Universe.
Ambush Bug Year None 2 (Oct 08): Though I really liked the first issue, I found this completely incomprehensible, and I mean that in the non-fun way.
GalaxyQuest 1 (Aug 08): Could have benefited from a Who’s Who refresher. The art was a bit weak for an adaptation book.
Iron Man No. 178 (Jan 83): Awful “assistant editor’s month” installment. Mixed message: Kids stuff on one side, alcoholism on the other. Wha?
Iron Man No. 192 (March 84): Jim Rhodes and Tony duke it out as Jim demands respect while in the suit. Zip tones abound in this issue!
Iron Man No. 193 (Apr 84): Iron Man and the WCAs fight a Godzilla-type monster. Luke McDonnell’s art is so good he’d easily get a job today.
Iron Man No. 194 (May 84): IM finishes battle with “Godzilla.” Rhodes dives into the Pym particle dimension, and so does a possible new villain.
Iron Man No. 195 (Jun 85): McDonnell’s final issue with IM brings Rhodey to Canada for Shaman’s help. Great splash page on this one!
Iron Man No. 196 (July 85): Neat ish pits Tony vs. Dr. Demonicus in IM armor and a suit of possessed armor. Tony becomes “Spare-Parts Man.” FUN!
Iron Man No. 198 (Sep 85): Two IMs vs. a stupid-looking Stane robot. Lots of background on Stane in this ish made it kinda boring.
Avengers No. 188 (Oct 79): The team is in Russia to fight embodiments of the periodic table of elements. Fun old skool stuff. Nice Byrne art.
Avengers No. 198 (Aug 80): Giant robot Red Ronin vs. the squad. Not sure what to make of this. Whole thing came out of left field.
Avengers No. 204 (Feb 80): Flavorless effort where the team attacks the Yellow Claw. Robot birds, giant cyber-jellyfish and stereotypes galore.
Avengers No. 207 (May 81): Not a bad fill-in issue where the squad investigates a shadow island and its master. Nice art by Gene Colan!
Avengers No. 211 (Sept 81): Fun issue where there’s a shake-up of the Avengers lineup. The possible members include several future Defenders.
Avengers No. 217 (Sept 81): Yellowjacket is duped by Egghead in the build up to a classic arc. Awful cover, but I liked what happened inside.
Avengers No. 219 (May 82): Moondragon proves, once again, that she is a manipulative b!tch. Funny thing is she’d be a perfect modern character.
Avengers No. 225 (Nov 82): Wraps up long overdue plot thread regarding Black Knight. Unpolished Greg LaRocque does art. Neat fantasy elements.
Avengers No. 227 (Jan 82): Whew is this a badly done cover! Captain Marvel just looks awful. Inside mostly focuses on Pym and Van Dyne’s woes.
Avengers No. 228 (Feb 84): Brilliant plotting by Roger Stern continues as Egghead works to further frame Hank Pym. Dramatic attempt at cover art
Avengers No. 229 (March 82): Pym finally makes his move against Egghead. This run of comics has been surprisingly good. One more issue to go.
Avengers No. 230 (Apr 83): Probably the second-most iconic cover in this run. The “after the action” finale to the Hank Pym trial. Loved it!
Avengers No. 241 (March 83): Clunky issue about astral travel, Spider-Woman and Arthurian legend. Sometimes weird mixtures just don’t work.
The Mighty Avengers No. 245 (July 84): Yet another ugly cover — it’s all hot pink. This is a Dire Wraith War tie-in with Rom. Nothing great here.
The Mighty Avengers No. 255 (May 85): OK, I’ve complained about this run’s covers, but this painted one rocks. Story is plenty entertaining too.
The Avengers 264 (Feb 85): Neat story about a criminal swiping the Yellowjacket costume out of the mansion. Focuses on Wasp. Interesting.
Avengers No. 280 (Jun 87): Flashback ish narrated by Jarvis gives his unique perspective on team history. Solid ish that’s a rewarding read.
Avengers No. 289 (March 87): Fun story with Heavy Metal squad vs. Avengers. IMPORTANT: This ish featured Marks Remarks that inspired my career.
Avengers No. 290 (Apr 88): The final stand against the Super Adaptoid, who ends up depowered. I always wondered what happened to him. So-so art.
Patsy Walker Hellcat (2 of 5): I enjoyed the first ish, but this one was a mess. Great art alone can’t make me buy a whole series. No to #3.
Last Defenders No. 6 (2008): Intriguing end to a low-selling series. Main problem is that there are no major characters or creators on it.
Booster Gold No. 11 (Oct 08): BG saves the dynamic duo from themselves, but what hath the timeline wrought? Killer Moth and his gadgets rock!
Booster Gold No. 14 (Jan 09): Booster battles mind-controlling starfish! (You know … Starro.) Pat Olliffe provides very satisfying art
Blue Beetle No. 29 (Sep 08): Beetle and Peacemaker fall in with a border-patrolling militia. Superb art, and, as usual, great characterization.
Blue Beetle No. 30 (Oct 08): Continues BB’s fight against some hopped-up illegals. Interesting developments with Paco’s new friend. Emotive art.
Blue Beetle No. 32 (Dec 08): Beetle’s in Mexico again where he fights the new Dr. Polaris. Liked the art, but kind of dull otherwise.
Blue Beetle No. 33 (Jan 09): Beetle warms up for his big fight with Polaris in entertaining team up with Teen Titans. Too bad title is dead.
Batman Confidential No. 20 (Oct 08): Maguire delivers some priceless moments, but his Catwoman ears look silly (in a bad way). Fun book so far.
Secret Invasion No. 5 (2008): Agent Brand kicks butt, all the passengers on the ship were skrulls. What a bummer. Losing interest in this book
Secret Invasion No. 6 (Nov. 08): Boy, I was really excited about this series when it started. But fight scene after fight scene gets boring.
Secret Invasion No. 7 of 8: Lots of fighting, minimal story. Yeah, the Watcher’s there. Yawn. He’ll show up to watch someone pay the rent.
Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Adventures V. 2 (2005): I expected better humor from Evan Dorkin. Why does every man he draws have squinty eyes?
Aquaman Showcase V. 1: Get the basics of the underwater avenger. Very repetitive stories, but understandable for time period. Solid artwork.
Colonia Vol. No. 1 (2001): Entertaining and pleasant fantasy similar to normal life. I hope I can find No.2. Has approachable indy-comic feel.
Alpha Flight No. 1 (Aug 83): John Byrne strikes out on his own with a great start. Love the great uniform designs and Canadian spin on things.
Teen Titans No. 61 (Sept 08): Beetle and Kid Devil battle no-namer Shockwave. Are they trying to set up a buddy relationship with these two?
Teen Titans No. 62 (Oct 08) It appears that Wendy and Marvin are done for, and it happens in a most brutal way. Big thumbs down if they don’t live
Teen Titans No. 63 (Nov 08): Bombshell comes back. Wendi’s alive, Marvin’s dead. Wonder Girl’s sick. Not sure if I care about any of it.
Teen Titans No. 65 (Jan 09): Butt-kicking issue where Wonder Girl gets a power boost. More amusement from the rest of the team. Solid action
Doctor Strange No. 60 (Aug 83): Gearing up for the big M.U. vampire kill-off. Good stuff as a mob of enthralled regulars attack Avengers Mansion.
Doctor Strange No. 62 (Dec 83): Strange wages an epic battle against Dracula in a true event comic that kills off all of Marvel’s vampires. A+++
Ms. Marvel No. 28 (Aug 08): The Secret Invasion continues as Ms. Marvel pounds the shit out of every skrull she sees. Ah, violence!
Ms. Marvel No. 29 (Sept 08): Strange how this story chugs along and then we suddenly have a fill-in artist. Kind of disrupts the flow. Boo-Hiss!
Ms. Marvel No. 32 (Dec 08): Flashback of Carol as POW in Afghanistan. Given her history in the MU, the timing doesn’t match, but it was good
Ms. Marvel No. 33 (Jan 09): Carol as a superspy in the past and its link to present. Series is on the edge of me dropping it. OK, not great.
Robin No. 148 (May 2006): I always forget that Robin uses “Throwing Rs” instead of batarangs. Kerschl, the penciller, draws an awesome Batman.
Robin No. 150 (July 06): R breaks into prison to break someone else out. OK story, but I caught it the middle so it was kinda aimless for me.
The New Guardians No. 5 (Winter 1988): The team confronts some rogue Rocket Reds. I really like Harbinger. Whatever happened to her?