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Catching up on some recent non-villains reading

ASTRO CITY #4

astrocity004This is exactly the sort of story I absolutely love from this series. Astro City brings to life a certain reality of superhumans existing in ordinary society, and rarely does so better than showing us that not every last individual that develops a power is automatically a hero or villain. We’re brought into a world of individuals who have found other uses for their powers, making a living with the use of their power outside the flash-bang of the constant hero/villain battles. In this case, a telekinetic using her powers to assist in the special effects for film, allowing model movement without cumbersome wires. of course, there are those that would see such use as a waste of talent and seek to round these folks up and force them to use their powers for someone’s gain. But that’s where a network of the non-action folks comes in as they have one another’s backs. Great story, great art, and a fantastic self-contained one-issue story. Even when I tell myself I’ll wait for the collected volume(s), it’s issues like this that keep me coming back for the single-issue Astro City experience!

BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE (2013) #1

batmanblackandwhite001Despite overall enjoyment of the one-shot nature of the Villains Month books this September, as a longer-term thing I’ve been gravitating to DC‘s digital-first stuff that basically exists on its own. I saw and passed on this issue the week it came out, but wound up buying it this past weekend on others’ recommendation and ended up quite enjoying it. While the $4.99 cover price is rather off-putting, it FELT like I had a lengthy reading experience out of the deal. The multiple short stories lend an air of added value, as not only do we not “need” to buy the next issue to resolve a cliffhanger but got several COMPLETE stories in this issue. I quite enjoyed the mix of stories and art, and look forward to the next issue. Also, while I usually hate “sketch covers” and such, which this one would certainly qualify as in my eyes…this one works here because it’s perfectly fitting to the contents of the issue and nature of the book itself. Though I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this image in full color as a poster or such.

TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #3

tmntnewanimatedadventures003I’m continuing to enjoy pretty much any dose of TMNT in comic form, and this title continues to have exactly what I’m looking for in it. I’m really enjoying Brizuela‘s art as it nicely carries the tone of the tv series while keeping a comic look and being its own thing. I did find the story itself fairly forgettable on the whole here, but in a way that could actually be a bit of a strength: it fits so well with other episodes of the tv series and earlier issues of this series that it just blends right in. The cover made me think we were getting an expanded look at Kraang-Prime, which unfortunately was not actually the case; but still made for a cool, interesting cover. There’s not much in the way of solid “mythology” to this series, as it’s truly a companion of sorts to the tv series…but I’m liking it. Now if we could just get a single-issue edition classic reprint series of the old Archie TMNT Adventures, I’d be all set!

BATMAN ’66 #3

batman66003This issue was fairly fun for me. Usually I wouldn’t much care for this sort of thing, but I enjoyed seeing the Red Hood concept introduced into the ’66 universe. It definitely fit well, and kept the typical tone I’d expect from the classic tv series. Unfortunately, I’m noticing a pattern wherein we have a story taking up 2/3 of the issue and another short filler taking up the final third…and I’ve had to basically force myself through the final story. I appreciate the pagecount for the price, but would prefer more to the main story’s segments. On the whole, I’m still getting a “feel” for this series though look forward to what else we get from it. I suppose I could pick and choose from the digital chapters, but while I’ll buy some comics digitally, since this is a title I’m choosing as a “DC Fix” or “Batman Fix” for the month, I’d prefer to buy it in print for the time-being. I do wonder how long until the visual style wears on me…I appreciate having the characters look like the actors’ depictions and such (note Joker’s facial hair in this issue), but I don’t care for some of the other flourishes.

Marvel Universe Series IV Revisited, Part 2

While these would not have been my favorite characters back in ’93 when these cards came out, looking back on them now 20 years later, these are indeed some of my favorite Marvel characters, especially this version of them!

Warlock caught my attention in ’95 or so with the Ultraverse Black September event where he wound up in the Ultraverse, in the Rune series. It was around that time that I “discovered” Thanos and a lot of the other “cosmic” Marvel characters.

It’s harder to “see” the actual full image on the individual cards in binder pages…but this one looks really good digitally, which makes me collectively like this page all the more. It’s also not nearly as “busy” as the first in this set, and works so much better for me.

Of all the characters here, I’m probably least familiar with Morg and Starhawk. The others are quite familiar for me.

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