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What do you mean it’s almost February?!?

After a long hiatus, I’m back for a fluff post, sharing some of the goodies I just snagged from a bargain bin. 63 comics for less than the price of 4 Marvels.

I’d read Green Arrow: The Wonder Year almost a decade ago for a comics class I took. That was in a collected-edition, though. And come to think of it, this MIGHT be the second time I’ve purchased this mini from a quarter-bin; I have most of the first 30ish issues of the ongoing Green Arrow series this led into.

greenarrowwonderyear

And I recognized this Cap mini-series from around that time, as well…I may have bought the first issue as a new issue back in the day…maybe the whole mini, but not being sure, and certainly to avoid the issue of rummaging through dozens of boxes, snagged all three issues:

capdeadmenrunning

Realized there was a full run of the 8-issue Green Lantern Corps Quarterly, and given the sheer size of the issues and being a run…right up my alley:

glcquarterly

While NOT QUITE a full run, Blue Beetle 1-20 were all present, and given this price for the singles, far FAR cheaper than trying to get the trades:

bluebeetle1to20

Then I noticed some Justice Society stuff. And sure enough, speaking of full runs…the 1991 JSA series:

jsa1991

And the 1992 series:

jsa1992

And of course the characters’ return in the 1999 “mini-event” or whatever it was:

jsa1999

…plus a handful of other random issues I neglected to put back. As it was, I put back probably another 40+ issues that I now regret: a lot of the “Secret Files and Origins” type specials from throughout the mid/late 90s and early 2000s for Batman, Flash, and JLA. But considering I walked away with such a significant run of Blue Beetle, and the three JSA series and whatnot…I’m a pretty happy camper.

‘course, I’m only vaguely aware that Batman #5 was part of my stack of new comics and Ghostbusters #5.

Wondering more and more what it might be like to just drop new comics altogether, and instead raid quarter bins and such. Far better value on the older stuff…especially from this comic shop!

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Brightest Day Checklist Part 2 [Checklist]

JULY 2010
Brightest Day #5
Brightest Day #6
Justice League: Generation Lost #5
Justice League: Generation Lost #6
Green Lantern #56
Green Lantern Corps #50
The Flash #4
Justice League of America #47
Justice Society of America #41
Titans #25
Birds of Prey #3
Green Arrow #2

AUGUST 2010
Brightest Day #7
Brightest Day #8
Justice League: Generation Lost #7
Justice League: Generation Lost #8
Green Lantern #57
Green Lantern Corps #51
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1
The Flash #5
Justice League of America #48
Justice Society of America #42
Titans #26
Birds of Prey #4
Green Arrow #3

Blackest Night: JSA #3 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Blackest Night: JSA #2 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Magog #1 [Review]

Lethal Force

Writer: Keith Giffen
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Hi-Fi Designs
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assoc. Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover: Glenn Fabry (variant by Porter & Dell)
Publisher: DC Comics

I was rather surprised at this issue. I almost passed on it, figuring the character to not be something I’m interested in following long-term. But I gave it a shot, and I’m pretty much glad I did.

We open on a scene that provides us with some exposition–who Magog is, his recent past and what he’s about. We also see him into action with a couple pages that were seen originally in the “preview” in the back of a bunch of DC’s books a few weeks back, showing the more military/black ops side of Magog as the soldier. What he finds there leads him back to his current home and to confrontation with the JSA. After an exchange with Alan Scott, and an introduction to supporting cast members, we see Magog back into action. He’s currently the agent of the JSA who can or WILL get his hands dirty in ways the others can’t or won’t. Magog is not a super-hero; he’s a metahuman in a world of super-heroes, but he’s a soldier. (It would be interesting to see Magog interact with The Shield, come to think of it!).

Storywise, this issue is largely setup and contextualization. It does a good job of that–bringing one up to speed on the basics of the character, putting into place a supporting cast and status quo.

The art is high quality…I really like the visual style we’re presented with here. It’s not totally some grim ‘n gritty visual, but it’s not bright, hopeful and flashy, either. It feels very down-to-earth, and appropriate for the title character.

While this Magog is not the exact same character introduced in Kingdom Come nearly a decade-and-a-half ago, the similarities are there in tone as well as name and costume. One could envision this character developing into that one, but the differences are what add a layer of interest. Differences…or simply more information and insight into the individual…giving him depth rather than being a plot-point in someone else’s story.

Giffen seems to have a good handle on this character, and though I’m not entirely ready to “commit” to this series, I’m sufficiently hooked for at least another issue to see if the magic holds beyond this premiere issue.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Justice Society of America #27 [Review]

Ghost in the Darkness

Script and Pencils: Jerry Ordway
Inks: Bob Wiacek
Colorist: Hi-Fi Designs
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Associate Editor: Rachel Cluckstern
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover: Jerry Ordway
Publisher: DC Comics

As the various JSA members go about their lives after the latest incident with Black Adam and their membership issues, a new threat shows up. First, Alan Scott’s son traps several members in the house, forcing the team to act against him, despite his claims of just trying to protect them. It’s quickly discovered that there’s more at play than first suspected, and that it is yet another “ghosts issue” for the team.

I passed on this issue when it first shipped last week–I wasn’t interested in sticking around post-Johns, and was content to go out on the high note Johns left this book on. But guilt at being in a comic shop and otherwise walking out empty-handed, I chose this issue as my token purchase…based largely on noticing Ordway’s name on the cover.

I was definitely correct in my assumption that the visuals would be top-notch for the issue, given Ordway’s being the artist. This is beyond a passive “no complaints” about the art–this is an active recognition that the art is very strong top-level stuff that I greatly enjoyed.

The story on the other hand feels rather…generic. I’m not a fan of generic “ghosts” stories, and actually avoided the Gentleman Ghost arc that closed out the previous version of this series around Infinite Crisis.

Though the characters here all seem familiar, and I want to like ’em with OR without Johns…there’s still a shift all around, and I can’t honestly say one way or the other whether I’ll be picking up the next issue or letting this title go.

Recommended for the art and for the die-hard JSA fans. Those following the book specifically for Johns’ writing may be disappointed–at the least, don’t leap into this issue thinking it a seamless change from Johns’ tenure on the series.

Story: 6/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Justice Society of America #25 [Review]

Black Adam & Isis part three: Family Feuds

Story: Geoff Johns, Jerry Ordway
Pencil art: Jerry Ordway
Ink art: Bob Wiacek & Jerry Ordway
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Michael Siglain
Cover: Alex Ross (variant by Jerry Ordway)
Publisher: DC Comics

We resume the story with “Black Mary” asserting influence on Billy–creating “Black Billy” and illustrating an interesting point of the nature of the Marvel Family’s use of the power that flows through them. While the Marvels clash with the JSA, Jay Garrick accompanies Billy’s father as things race toward pivotal “Marvel family” events.

The art on this issue is fantastic, and for me works perfectly with this story. In addition to being high quality art, the fact that it is Ordway–who has more than just passing familiarity to the Marvel family–is icing on the cake.

The story itself is accessible to me as a reader who never paid much attention to any of the Marvel family characters until relatively recently, and yet it is so obvious that this draws on continuity put down over the past couple decades (Ordway’s involvement is testament to that!)

As part three of an only four or five-chapter story, this isn’t the best point to simply jump in exactly, but as a whole if you’ve any interest in the Marvel family, this is a story you ought to be reading. And if you’re looking for a crash course or playing some wikipedia-catchup and the cover intrigues you, give this a shot!

Highly recommended.

Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 9/10

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