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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of November 28 & December 5, 2018

Despite the sincerest of intentions to get this blog back into a more regular schedule…time just keeps getting away from me. AND I’ve been keeping vague due to some stuff in my personal life that I haven’t opted to put out in "public" just yet–despite time flying on it all!

So here we are, doubling up again on two weeks’ worth of weekly hauls…the day before a new one!


Week of November 28, 2018

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This bunch of issues includes the newest Action Comics and Heroes in Crisis. I "gave in" and bought the Nuclear Winter Special as a giant-size issue. It’s "only" 80 pages (compared to the Walmart 100-page issues) but still, it’s like a small paperback…and I’m often a sucker for these issues with a title on a spine.

I’ve yet to read the thing, but decided to try the IDW-published Marvel Action: Spider-Man issue. I don’t pretend to totally "get" Marvel "farming out" stuff like this, but I’ll take it as an IDW comic…and it’s a #1 but at "only" $3.99 instead of Marvel‘s "preferred" $4.99+ for #1 issues. And I need to sort through and figure out what I do and don’t have now for Die!Die!Die!…I may have missed an issue, and at this point probably should have "just" waited for the paperback.


Week of December 5, 2018

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Starting off December, we get Batman #60 and Nightwing #54. Also a new Shazam! series. The second issue of which apparently is already running somewhat late, and I believe this issue is itself "late," which does not bode well to me. But I’m curious about the character and where things are going, and I am a Captain (DC) Marvel fan to a certain degree, so…yeah.

I was willing to get The Merry X-Men Holiday Special as it’s a one-shot, and I’m curious about the series of single-page stories/vignettes. And much more willing to pay a bit more for a one-shot than a bunch of mini-series or simply #1 issues of supposed ongoings.

Adventures of the Super Sons is a habit-buy. I probably shouldn’t be buying it…I don’t think I’ve actually read an issue since the first couple of the previous series…but I keep telling myself I’m going to read the things (and having had some issues, was not going to double-dip switching to paperbacks, nor be "missing" a volume).

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Then there’s Die and Self Made….

Here’s Sarah, who spotted me getting photos real quick for this blog post.

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I’m not sure what it was for the week, but I decided to also grab a couple of new Image #1s in Die and Self Made (or is that Self/Made?). I should probably "know better" than to do that, but c’est la vie and all that.

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As a birthday present to myself last week, I got this Rogue pvc statue from the Marvel Gallery line from Diamond Select. I really like this one…and while I wish there were more X-Men characters available (Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Gambit, a ’90s costume Rogue, etc) I’m happy at least to have this one.

For more about it, check out FigureFan Zero‘s review of it at his blog. I actually knew about this from something he had posted on Twitter several weeks ago, and credit that with me knowing to look for this!


As we’re nearing the end of 2018, I probably ought to start figuring out firstly the "state of the blog" given the last couple of years, as well as stuff going on in my personal life, and the seemingly completely-inversed matchup of intent vs. actuality and time and all that.

Perhaps I’ll get to some sort of year in review, maybe something at the start of the new year…time will tell. For now–for this week–only time will tell if I’ll be back with anything else.

Though my own output has waned of late, please feel free to check out the Facebook Page for links to all of my posts, as well as links to a number of fellow bloggers and other content creators! I also occasionally post random photos there, and mini-rants and such on links that could almost be blog posts themselves if I was so inclined.

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On Losing Ziggy–One Year Later

December 17, 2017 was one of the worst days of my life. That day, the decision that had to be made, that was made, it rocked my world completely. It still hurts and haunts me. (35 words and I’m already in tears while I write!)

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That afternoon, shortly after 4pm, I had to say my final goodbye to this incredibly special, precious kitty.

I shared about his "secret origins" within my life last year.

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Ziggy and Chloe started out with a confrontational relationship. She would hiss fiercely at him any time she saw him…to the point that I would see him peeking around corners cautiously, and once chuckled as it occurred to me that he must be thinking "Where is she? She’s not with you? I’m so freaking tired of being HISSED at when I walk into a room!"

Eventually–across the half a decade or so they were together–they got to where they would eat out of the same bowl simultaneously…and there was no fighting, hissing, etc. Put the food down and both faces went in, chowing down!

And the way they’d PLAY…

Several times, I noticed Ziggy walk calmly past Chloe (who’d be laying somewhere minding her own business) and stop…then slowly step backwards over/onto her, and then meow pitifully as if she’d grabbed HIM on his way by!

And there’d be the jingle of Chloe’s collar/bell, and I’d look over, and they’d be wrestling silently–neither growling or hissing or such, just wrestling as cats do (both were "fixed" before ever coming into my life).

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I kept an extra water bowl in the basement for Ziggy..he always loved spending time down there, and often got treats from me. Plus, for much of his final 16 months, I slept down there, and though he wasn’t much for snuggling, I’d often find him on the bed or next to it (in a nest of blankets).

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And along with Chloe (and now Sarah), he was always curious about my comics and such when I’d lay them out to get photos for my Weekly Haul posts.

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Or whatever was handy.

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Many, many times, I’ve found myself considering my grief. What I’ve felt, the way I’ve felt it, the loss I’ve experienced, the ongoing hurt, the "need" to post photos on my Facebook every week (far too many of which are photos that never got posted before losing him).

And I’ve come across several articles in the past year that tackle this very topic–why do we grieve so hard for our pets? Why is it sometimes HARDER than losing friends, family–loved ones?

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I’ve a lotta thoughts, and as I try to type, realize they’re not gonna make it into this post. I’m already all over the place and outta focus.

Maybe it’s where I’m at, me, myself, in life. What my life is, who I am; the way my life in certain things is far different from virtually everyone else around me.

Maybe it’s that at least with parents, family, friends, we can talk and understand each other by our words, by abstracts and ideas.

Maybe it’s that Ziggy was SUCH a huge part of my life, that I so often looked forward to seeing. Parents, I could talk to on the phone. Though he was supposed to be Dad’s cat, he was "my" cat, and from September 7, 2010 until mid-July 2016, I "only" got to be around him weekends that I’d be in visiting.

And then, July 2016 until December 7, 2017…excepting less than half a dozen Saturdays when I was "out of town" for weekends with friends, Ziggy was a DAILY part of my life.

Chloe, too, and I’m more thankful than I can say, that I still have her…though I’ve become more fiercely protective of and anxious over her since losing Ziggy.

And even with Sarah coming into my life–waaayyy too early for ME to have been "ready," after losing Zig…but I could at least give her a home. The heartache and loss I feel over Ziggy in no way means I’m ungrateful for Chloe and Sarah…but while I pray I have numerous YEARS (plural!!!) with both of them…the fact is, the shock and heartbreak of actually losing Ziggy has been with me every day since.

Even WHILE I treasure and cherish every moment I get with Chloe and Sarah.

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I can look at photos of Ziggy without breaking down. I can’t dwell on having lost him, though, or I do still break down. I can and do remember him with all the memories across 7 years I had the privilege of knowing him.

I can usually talk about him, remember him, mention him, without breaking down.

But there’s been a part of me that is just missing since losing him…somehow perhaps the shock, and the relatively short time I got to spend with him. Over 18 years with Kayla; 13 1/2 with Christy. "Only" 7 with Ziggy.

And as I completely lose my focus and repetition abounds…my mind grasps onto language from a favorite poem…one which has stuck with me quite often in the last year.

Of trying to explain a loss to someone: "Though I told him about / Stars and twilight, and how autumn leaves must fall, / I could not make myself understand." And of recognizing what one HAS even as they remember the loss. "For though / My life moves on . . . / my thoughts still find you, old friend. / And though you would scowl to hear me tell of it, / And stomp and scoff, I cannot hide this plain truth: / I still need you . . ."

So much more.

It’s been a year.

One Year Later, and I may have been forced to live this year in a world without Ziggy; been forced to adjust to and accept the fact OF his absence. But it still hurts. I still miss him.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of November 14 & November 21, 2018

Time keeps on flying..! It’s amazing how busy life can get and be, especially this time of year!

Here’s stuff from the past couple of weeks!


Week of November 14, 2018

November 14 was an interesting week…with some unplanned purchases!

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Superman, Supergirl, and Mister Miracle were "givens."

I am extremely disappointed at Dark Horse losing Buffy, Angel, and ESPECIALLY Firefly/Serenity to Boom! I refuse to buy anything from Boom thanks to their crap with Power Rangers #0, and sadly, that includes even Serenity. So I was all the MORE interested in "supporting" Dr. Horrible since it’s still from Dark Horse!

Sticking with GI Joe: A Real American Hero; this title progressing from #155 1/2 to #200 and on to #250 and now #257 without renumbering leaves me HOPE that IDW might ACTUALLY allow Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to go past #100!

And though I was NOT going to, I ultimately "gave in" and bought Uncanny X-Men #1 (it’s missing a rather prominent "The" in the title!) though I’ve opted to pass on subsequent issues–$3.99 is too much; weekly is too many issues; especially with extra-priced/extra-sized issues BOOKENDING this initial launch of the title coupled with at LEAST a 25-some-issue Age of X-Man commitment already being pushed before #2 hit…

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I’d been looking forward to–and thought I’d actually MISSED–this issue of Back Issue magazine. So it was a bit of a surprise, but seeing it, I grabbed it immediately!

And of course, the usual Comic Shop News.

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I’d backed Ursa Minor awhile back on Kickstarter due to Dirk Manning‘s involvement, and that issue came in! I had actually lost track of the time, so was (pleasantly) surprised when a mystery package arrived with my name on it!

And Comic Heaven had Apama creator Ted Sikora in for a signing that day, so I picked up the first issues of Apama: The Undiscovered Animal and Tap Dance Killer. I do get the feeling 2019 MIGHT be a fairly "big" year for me delving into "indie" stuff, as I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the likes of Marvel and even DC

And speaking of: there was also Local Comic Shop Day where DC especially ticked me off with a limited-to-500-copies-only foiled The Green Lantern #1. Long commentary aside, it’s caused me to opt out of the series–I refuse now to buy #s 2-onward–in vote-with-my-wallet-for-real "protest" over the crappiness of the ultra-limited stock. (See also: 40 months I’ve refused to buy anything Valiant, and 34 months I’ve refused to buy anything Boom–I can’t bring myself to drop DC as a whole (particularly Batman and Superman/Action Comics) over The Green Lantern, but I can sure as heck drop THAT title!


Week of November 21, 2018

This past week was another HUGE week overall, thanks to Black Friday stuff added on to the usual…plus the Walmart comics!

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Here we have Batman #59, Nightwing #53, and TMNT: Urban Legends #7.

Then the spin-off GI Joe: A Real American Hero mini-series Silent Option #2. And the ONE Marvel title I’ll still buy–Mr. & Mrs. X, as I am a fan of Rogue and Gambit, so a title starring the two of them (married or otherwise) gets my money.

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This week also had the Christmas extra issue with Comic Shop News.

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Finally, despite just getting the holiday issue a couple weeks earlier, ALL FOUR of the Walmart titles from DC hit at the same time.

I was able to get these before Black Friday, so avoided whatever damages remaining issues wound up with from people checking them out in their poorly-placed area in the pop culture cards aisle by the self-checkouts.


While I might detail more in a later post, Black Friday stuff saw a lot more expense than I’d intended going in, including TMNT toys; all 3 TPBs of the weekly Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman: Trinity series; Superman in the Sixties (completing my set of 40s/50s/60s/70s/80s); Keyforge stuff; several Hordes minis packs (Skorne); some DVD seasons; and some other stuff.

I’m hoping the next couple weeks are rather light…though I suspect December will be rather screwy with Christmas and New Year timing for shipping…so we shall see!

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#BestEventEver: #UnderworldUnleashed – My Posts

Last month, a number of blogs and podcasts joined together to present #BestEventEver 2018, covering the 1995 event Underworld Unleashed! Due to computer issues, I stretched a bit into November to cover the Robin issues. In addition to my own posts, please check out these other blogs and podcasts for in-depth coverage of the various issues that were part of the event…and join in on further peeks at and discussions of the event on Twitter by joining at hashtags #BestEventEver and #UnderworldReUnleashed!

ITG | Resurrections: An Adam Warlock/Thanos Podcast | Relatively Geeky Podcast Network | The Retroist | Chris is on Infinite Earths | Cosmic Treadmill | The Pop Culture Palace | Rolled Spine’s Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Podcast | The Idol-Head of Diabolu | Justice’s First Dawn | Justice Trek: The Podcast


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The ’90s Revisited: Robin #24 – Underworld Unleashed!

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Story: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Stan Woch
Colors: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Tim Harkins
Cover: Mike Wieringo, Terry Austin, Bob LeRose, Curtis King, John Wren
Associate Editor: Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Editor: Denny O’Neil
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: December 1995
Cover Price: $1.95

Last month, a number of blogs and podcasts joined together to present #BestEventEver 2018, covering the 1995 event Underworld Unleashed! Due to computer issues and developments in my personal life, I’ve stretched my part into November to cover the Robin issues. In addition to my own posts, please check out these other blogs and podcasts for in-depth coverage of the various issues that were part of the event…and join in on further peeks at and discussions of the event on Twitter by joining at hashtags #BestEventEver and #UnderworldReUnleashed!

ITG | Resurrections: An Adam Warlock/Thanos Podcast | Relatively Geeky Podcast Network | The Retroist | Chris is on Infinite Earths | Cosmic Treadmill | The Pop Culture Palace | Rolled Spine’s Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Podcast | The Idol-Head of Diabolu | Justice’s First Dawn | Justice Trek: The Podcast


This issue is a sort of tie-in that’s not a tie-in. In the previous issue, we got to see Drury Walker and Neron and Walker’s transformation from joke-villain Killer Moth into the monstrous bug-creature Charaxes, which ties in well with the general Underworld Unleashed stuff. This issue, though…if it wasn’t for the Underworld Unleashed logo on the cover, and following directly on the previous issue–one wouldn’t even know there was some larger "event" going on! This can be read as its own thing–you don’t need Underworld Unleashed itself, and other than simply knowing Tim’s been captured by the creature, you don’t even REALLY need the previous issue! (Thanks to context and exposition…and speaking for myself, 30 years of comics-reading.)

Robin’s been cocooned ALIENS-style (well, lots-of-things-style, but I’m in an ALIENS frame of mind), unable to free himself yet, but in contact with Alfred…who can provide some information if not actual help (such as the fact that a ‘Charaxes’ is a butterfly, not a moth…but Robin’s not sure his captor’s sweating the details. While Tim struggles and eventually manages to use his extending bo to free himself…the police–even armed with a shotgun–don’t fare well against Charaxes. Robin then gets to have a go at the creature, but eventually it looks like he’ll get to experience that which Alfred had told him about…when a mysterious figure shows up, shoots Charaxes, captures him in a high-tech net…as our hero passes out. When he wakes, it’s to Batman (who arrived too late to have helped), and both are left to wonder about the mysterious entity. At school the next day, Tim is approached by a rival who is willing to put aside differences and "recruit" Tim…in vigilante opposition to the influx of new students. When he shows off a gun…he’s got Tim’s attention!

This is a fairly solid issue of Robin. We get to see our titular hero escape a "death trap," fight the villain, and even interact with Alfred and Batman. In addition, we get to see a bit of Ariana and her family in their new home, as well as see Tim at school with his friends. While this issue came off a cliffhanger, one isn’t really missing a CRUCIAL piece of story–it’s easy enough to catch up from exposition. This is from a time when comics were not locked into a rigid cycle of X number of issues = 1 graphic novel/collected volume. Each issue was episodic, rather than "just" X of Y serialized chapters of a SINGLE story.

It’s perhaps a bit fitting that I get to this issue a couple WEEKS later than I had intended–it’s a "straggler" issue for me on reading, as well as covering as part of the #BestEventEver coverage of Underworld Unleashed. While it’s technically a tie-in, it seems to be a later one, and labeled as such almost as an afterthought. You’d want to read this if you’re reading the series, and if you read the previous issue and cared about how Robin escapes from Charaxes…but this really seems to have absolutely nothing to do with Underworld Unleashed, and would be suitable for getting in conjunction with that solely for the logo on the cover.

Visually, I like the issue. It’s just Robin for me. It’s not trying to be some distinctive visual interpretation, it’s just…Robin art for a Robin issue. If I wasn’t looking at the credits I probably wouldn’t identify the artist offhand…but in the way this issue is, that’s a good thing, as it just looks like a ’90s Robin issue, and not a bad one at that.

As with most ’90s comics…this is definitely worth a 25-cent purchase, though there’s not really much to this to make it stand out as a sole, single, isolated issue. Aside from the "completist" mentality for Underworld Unlimited, if you’re not interested in early Tim Drake Robin stuff, or Killer Moth and that character’s oddities, or the art…I woudln’t suggest hunting this down for the sake of itself.

As a Robin issue, and my being a fan of this character…these two issues were a treat to revisit and I’m quite glad to have read them!


Again, please check out these other sites for additional, more in-depth coverage of the various other issues–including the main event mini itself–for Underworld Unleashed!

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The Weekly Haul – Week of November 7, 2018

Last week wound up being a decent-sized week, both for new comics as well as Half-Price Books having a coupon sale with 40% and 50% off coupons!

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First off, the new issues of Batman and Nightwing that have become top-of-the-stack reads fo rme.

Then there’s the newly-relaunched Green Lantern title with a "The" added onto the beginning, and a new, boring, plain-looking logo as The Green Lantern #1. While I had figured it’d be a curiosity, I had not expected it to be sold out less than an hour into the afternoon–arriving earlier than usual lately and it was already sold out! (Much thanks to Sean for selling me a copy that he’d had aside for himself!).

Adventures of the Super Sons is quickly solidifying as something I’ll try to read after the fact, but knowing I’ll want the singles, it’s less aggravating to just get them as they come out than try to hunt them down later.

The newest issue of The Walking Dead presents Outpost Zero as a "flip book," and I honestly bought this for the Outpost Zero segment more than anything else (and then the Walking Dead side is just a face and no actual Walking Dead logo/titling!).

I feel like Leviathan #3 is running a bit late, but i"m not certain. I’m still undecided on following this long-term, but figure with each issue as long as it doesn’t put me off too much, I’m not opposed to continuing–AND I really like the logo/title design!

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I have yet to check out the new Netflix series for Sabrina, but as usual I’m up for a $1.00 reprint, this one The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, part of the Archie horror line that seems to have more or less stalled out.

A Kickstarter that I’d backed awhile ago for a Munchkin Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally came in, and one of the "bonus" items was a reprint of the original Mirage edition of TMNT #1!

And then at a Walmart looking for other stuff, I happened to notice this latest "holiday" 100-page Giant, so snagged it, keeping myself up to date on those issues.

And finally, the newest issue of DC Nation as well as the newest Comic Shop News!

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Half-Price Books occasionally does coupon sales via email, where they send coupons every day for a week or so, with a progressively higher discount percentage, beginning at 20% then going to 30%, 40%, and then ending on 50%.

I went to an HPB further away than my "usual" area, and while I’d intended to get a game, I happened to spot Ultimate Spider-Man volume 8 in the locked case, and as the one volume I was still missing, found an employee and was able to get a look at the book itself.

It was priced significantly above cover price, but still well under what I’ve seen it sold for online…and with the 40% off coupon, that brought it down to cover price, so I jumped on it!

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…and that now gives me a complete run of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up (Ultimate Spidey) and Ultimate Spider-Man itself, vols. 1-12 and the Death of Spider-Man Omnibus…this is the entirety of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, including annuals and a mini-series/tie-in or few!


I didn’t get this post ready over the weekend, nor finished on a lunch break–and between starting this and actually posting…news hit the world that Stan Lee has passed away.

Morbid though it is, when it came to "tribute art" or such, the image I first thought of–and words to offer on his passing that came to mind–are from the cover of that omnibus.

I’ll surely have more to say later…as will likely everyone else whose lives have been touched by comics!

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The ’90s Revisited: Robin #23 – Underworld Unleashed!

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Story: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Stan Woch
Colors: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Tim Harkins
Cover: Mike Wieringo, Terry Austin, Bob LeRose, Curtis King, John Wren
Associate Editor: Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Editor: Denny O’Neil
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: December 1995
Cover Price: $1.95

Last month, a number of blogs and podcasts joined together to present #BestEventEver 2018, covering the 1995 event Underworld Unleashed! Due to computer issues, I’ve stretched a bit into November to cover the Robin issues. In addition to my own posts, please check out these other blogs and podcasts for in-depth coverage of the various issues that were part of the event…and join in on further peeks at and discussions of the event on Twitter by joining at hashtags #BestEventEver and #UnderworldReUnleashed!

ITG | Resurrections: An Adam Warlock/Thanos Podcast | Relatively Geeky Podcast Network | The Retroist | Chris is on Infinite Earths | Cosmic Treadmill | The Pop Culture Palace | Rolled Spine’s Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Podcast | The Idol-Head of Diabolu | Justice’s First Dawn | Justice Trek: The Podcast


I’m pretty sure I had not read this when it first came out…but I realized I must have read it quite a number of years ago–though at most recent, it would have been 2002! More likely 2001, when I bought a set of issues 1-40 from Capp’s Comics, which then left me (at the time) only missing 41-45 from being “current” with the series, as I’d jumped back in with #46 or so, and followed the series more or less to at least #100! So some part of me remembered having read this, the “upgrade” of Killer Moth to Charaxes! Other than this, or in spite of this, to me, the main thing I know the character from is that he was involved in an attempted kidnapping of Bruce Wayne in which Barbara “Babs” Gordon intervened as Batgirl (the incident is referenced in Untold Legend of the Batman #3, but Killer Moth himself/by name is NOT).

We open this issue on a large, green, bug-like face demanding “Do as I say or face the wrath of…Killer Moth!” The scene transitions and we see that it’s a dream, and meet the man himself–who longs to be feared and not the butt of jokes amidst even fellow villains. Neron (this is an Underworld Unleashed branded tie-in, after all!) appears to him and offers to transform him. We then shift to Robin “stalking” Tim Drake’s girlfriend, lamenting her family having had to sell their business and move. He feels angsty over stuff until Batman shows up, and asks him an interesting question–does he know who bought the family’s property? We then learn that it was bought by Wayne Enterprises at triple market value, which allows the family to thrive, and move to a better part of Gotham (which happens to be closer to Tim, close enough that Ariana will now attend the same high school!). Meanwhile, Arkham guards find a cocoon in Drury Walker’s cell, and eventually the cocoon opens, and a bug-creature emerges, agrees that “Killer Moth” is a ludicrous concept, and to call it Charaxes! At Gotham Heights High, we see Tim introduce his friends to Ariana and they interact a bit, before we see some results of Charaxes’ rampage. Eventually the actual police are called, and even they aren’t equipped to deal with this new “upgraded” threat from a previously-considered-a-joke guy. Learning of the situation, Robin prepares to head out, figuring it shouldn’t be a problem…after all, this is Killer Moth they’re talking about! Unfortunately, Robin winds up getting knocked out during the fight with the creature, and wakes up at the end of the issue stuck in a cocoon of sorts having no idea where he is or how he got there, knowing only that “it” will be back soon.

Somehow notably to me is Neron responding to Walker’s question of whether the transformation he’s agreed to will hurt. “You will forget the pain….when the transformation is complete.” This concept is something that I’ve often considered in various situations, and while I don’t know if my personal original coming across it was this issue, this issue DID spark at least a vague sense of deja vu or such with it. That painful as something is in the moment, once through it, the pain will be forgotten in light of the result.

Over the 16+ years since I would have read this, I’d forgotten plenty of details of Tim Drake’s early days as Robin. (Though he had 3 mini-series and an Annual even before about 2 years of this ongoing series…the character has been around for 30 years now and this issue was only about 6 years into that, so this is still “early” for the character.) Coming back to Tim still being with Ariana touches off a nice bit of nostalgia for me. I’d completely forgotten about subplots with her family and moving and such. For that matter, given the way most modern comics seem to be with the eye for the 4-6 issue “graphic novel,” sometimes I feel like I forget what “subplots” even were, and the sort of structure seen in this issue, with a number of points touched on that are not strictly structured for a specific, standard-sized collection.

I really like the art in this issue. As I read it, I hadn’t noted the credits…I just wanted to take in the story. I think I “assumed” the art was Tom Grummett, but was (pleasantly) surprised to find that it’s Aaron Lopresti…a name I’m more recently “re-familiar” with due to his work on the Malibu Ultraverse title Sludge.

It’s not surprising, then, that I liked the art! I’m not a huge fan of the Charaxes design…but then, I’m not a huge fan of bugs, so the character just has a look that I’m not quite comfortable with. However, I’d put that down as a success in the appearance! Throughout the issue, stuff’s not hard to follow visually, and Lopresti‘s style works very well with what I tend to think of for 1990s Robin, and fitting right in with prior Robin art so as to not be distracting or off-putting!

Story-wise, I enjoyed the memories in this, and that there wasn’t MUCH time wasted on exposition…and yet, it seemed easy enough to follow along. Granted, I’d read this issue before, know quite a bit about Robin and so on, but I didn’t feel lost or stuck “outside” the story. Even if one doesn’t know the characters or history, it’s pretty easy to pick up on the main points, much as one might casually watch an early episode of a tv series for which they’ve seen some later-season episodes.

Neron’s appearance itself is not explained or contextualized here–not even an Editor’s Note to “see Underworld Unleashed“–but his appearance here qualifies AS appearing here AND gives us the on-panel “explanation” for Walker going from some inept inmate desiring respect, to a cocoon on the ceiling and transformation into Charaxes. This seems like one of the more drastic changes to a villain, and seems fitting enough with the cocoon and all, transforming Walker physically/biologically into a killer bug, rather than having just a name and costume.

The introduction of Charaxes certainly fulfills my expectation of this as a tie-in to Underworld Unleashed, in seeing a previously-established low level villain receiving an “upgrade” into a larger threat. I don’t recall how long this change “stuck,” as I’m pretty sure “Killer Moth” as a petty, low-level villain is presently still a butt of jokes and “just human” and such, though I couldn’t say where the character is at present in 2018.

This issue doesn’t really stand out singularly or have any over-obvious cover to draw one’s attention to it in passing as to this particular story. That said, the cover image of a cocooned Robin looking wide-eyed at the giant bug-creature on the cover gives this a suitably “spooky”-ish type of imagery that would fit with an October issue (cover dates being a couple months ahead, this issue would have been an October 1995 issue).

This is a solid issue of Robin (the series), and works well in what I remember as the continuity of the time. We do have the “origin” and such of Charaxes, so there’s some significance in that regard, if one comes across it in a bargain bin. This does end on a cliffhanger, and there is a second tie-in issue (the next issue, #24) so this doesn’t work as well as a standalone thing, and is best acquired as part of the pair of issues. If you’re a fan of Robin, writer Chuck Dixon, artist Aaron Lopresti, seeking Underworld Unleashed tie-ins, or Killer Moth/Charaxes stuff, this’d be a definite treat to pick up.


Again, please check out these other sites for additional, more in-depth coverage of the various other issues–including the main event mini itself–for Underworld Unleashed!

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