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Zero Hour Revisited – Damage #6

90srevisited_zerohour

damage_0006The Burning of Atlanta

Script: Tom Joyner
Pencils: Bill Marimon
Inks: Don Hillsman
Letters: John Costanza
Colors: Buzz Setzer
Editor: Jim Spivey
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: September 1994
Cover Price: $1.95

I’ve heard of Damage–primarily from back during the mid-1990s, and occasionally as a topic since–but have yet to read any issues of the series outside of this one, now. I vaguely recall knowing OF things going on but never firsthand experience actually reading them.

We open on a scene with a couple of college girls–turns out one of them is friends with Damage, and her attention is called to a small tv where news of a superhuman rumble tearing up the city includes an image of Damage in action. The scene then shifts to focus on the superhumans and what’s transpiring with them. While Damage is fighting some green-armored guy named Steelhawk, alongside an injured man (Munro?), the New Titans show up ,and a bigger battle ensues. We learn amidst the battle that Munro was once known as ‘Gladiator One’ as well as the fact that there’s some biological link between Damage and either Munro or Steelhawk…at least according to a Titan named Phantasm. A "dome" appears over the prime combatants that keeps their allies out while they themselves are bounced through time. During the time-jumping, they pick up an extra participant–Phantom Lady–and it turns out that the biological bond was likely with Munro–and that Phantom Lady (pulled into the present from the past) had a relationship with him…and THEY might actually be Damage’s real parents!

This is only the sixth issue–which would be the "final chapter" of only the "first arc" in a modern comic–so the series and character are still quite young, at their beginnings and being developed…so I have not missed out on THAT much that I know of as yet. Other than some loose references, this doesn’t have much to do with Zero Hour itself but certainly draws on the convenience of the event for some mucking-about with Time stuff that would need a lot more explanation without the event.

I recall the title character playing a key part in Zero Hour itself..though it seems that is independent of this title (or at least as it is thus far and tying to the main story).

Along with being yet another issue that doesn’t really forward the story of Zero Hour, this is also another one that isn’t bad to read but also doesn’t really impress me (nor discourage me) in story and art. It just IS. It exists, and adds ever so slightly to my general overall knowledge and context with characters but doesn’t do much to shine a huge light into some blind spots for me.

I recall there being something about Damage’s parentage being a big deal, and might be mixing him up with someone else in terms of some things Geoff Johns did later with the JSA. The reveal here of Damage’s apparent parents seems pretty significant for the title and character himself…just not much on Zero Hour.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 02, 2016

Last week proved to be a tiny week for NEW comics, but a large week for quarter-bin stuff. The only NEW comic I purchased was the first issue of a new Predator series…that apparently starts off a new "cycle" of minis to be an overall larger story in the style of 2014’s Fire and Stone books. Whether I’ll stick with singles or wait for the "inevitable" collected volume remains to be seen. I’m guessing this will be separate from the new Aliens series kicking off soon with art by Tristan Jones.

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There were also a couple of free "ashcan" comics from IDW…I won’t tend to pass up "free," though I was a bit disappointed to realize I’d already missed the first issue of the one at least…sorta defeats the purpose (to me).

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Hitting the quarter bins, I found a lot of great stuff. Several Green Arrow issues, including the first, and #100–which is an issue I’ve long been curious about, but never found in a quarter been, but never’ve been curious ENOUGH to seek it out otherwise. (Or if I have found it, I sure don’t remember it).

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The New Titans arc Who is Wonder GIrl? and its epilogue…much cheaper this way than some out-of-print, jacked-up-because-it’s-"OOP"-paperback…and less than half the cost of a single new comic.

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Several of these have some water damage/wrinkling, but again…to get Kingdom Come as well as The Kingdom for half the price of a single issue of something new is not bad at all.

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For the convenience-of-a-reread factor and nostalgia with it being present, I snagged another copy of Batman: Year 3.

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Ditto for A Lonely Place of Dying, since the three Batman issues as well as both of the The New Titans issues were present. No fuss, no hunting.

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Just for kicks and all three chapters being present, snagged The Penguin Affair. I’m fairly certain I’ve read this before, but I don’t consciously remember it.

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For the randomness of ’em, snagged Legends of the Dark Knight #1 and the Batman movie adaptation (this is the prestige format edition). I thought it was cool seeing the original Marvel Knights issue of Daredevil #1…the issue was a big thing for me when it came out, getting to jump in at the start of a Daredevil series at #1, and loved the art! Finally the Total Justice issue grabbed my attention as being based on the toys…though I neglected to realize it was a mini-series, so I’ll have other issues to (eventually/maybe) track down.

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Some "late" Solar, Man of the Atom issues from old Valiant. While my feelings toward current Valiant have soured big-time, I’m still half-heartedly looking to finish my "reading copy" collection of the original runs.

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And then along with those Green Arrow issues, got a bunch of Green Lantern. I added another 10 or so issues to this bunch the next day from quarter bins at another shop; and after all these years, finally located #81 in a back-issues bin at a third shop (I paid $3.99 for it–again, not a huge deal given its age, scarecity and NOT exceeding what I’d pay for a questionable "new" comic).

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Given the size of the stack–80 issues–rather than hassle with multiple bags and such, I bought a shortbox for the transport (and I can always use more boxes, so the only "harm" is in the timing and being an extra $5 I wasn’t planning on going in).

I’m really getting the "back issue bug" lately, and with finding Green Arrow #100, tracking down Green Lantern #81, buying a couple pre-Crisis issues (Superman and a DC Comics Presents annual); buying the Adventure Comics issue last week, I’m thinking that all the more, I may shift toward hunting back issues. Of course, while I can justify quarter-bin copies as duplicates for convenience, I cannot justify paying several dollars for an issue that is or likely is a duplicate, so I’ll need to really get the body of my collection sorted and modify some checklists to make sure that as I pursue older books, I’m not chasing issues that are merely hiding in one of my existing boxes.

The ’90s Revisited: The New Titans #65

newtitans065Dejavu

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Al Vey
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Adrienne Roy
Associate Editor: Jon Peterson
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover: Tom Grummett, George Perez
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $1.75
Cover Date: April 1990

Few bargain-bin issues really grab my attention by the cover alone the way this one did. I probably knew this existed, knew OF the issue, but I’d never read it before, and despite all my early-’90s bargain-bin buying, I don’t know that I’ve ever even owned this issue before a few days ago.

While this is a New Titans issue, the cover shows Batman with Nightwing and Tim Drake (and a Robin costume on a table), with the caption “It Began With Batman…” I first looked for the Lonely Place of Dying indicator despite the cover not being one I recognized from that story…but nothing relating to that story other than my knowledge of the characters. Still, I recognized this as being extremely early Tim Drake, and for that alone my interest was piqued.

What we get is Tim seeking out Dick per Batman for some insight/training into being “Batman’s Partner.” Not necessarily ROBIN, but Partner. Despite this being a New Titans issue, I was rather disappointed when the rest of the Titans appeared…apparently they’ve been dealing with Trigon and some sort of Plague, that Raven is still facing. This leads them to facing their teammate who–infected–turns again on the team and is ready to kill them all while they don’t even want to hurt her. Of course, Dick is eventually drawn back into things, showing his leadership and necessity to them as further emphasis that he has grown out from under the Batman.

This was quite a treat visually. Grummett‘s art stood out very well…the only characters that really looked “off” to me were Raven herself and Donna Troy, and yet the former I’m aware of having multiple “looks” through the years and same for the latter…I even recognized another character as who I believe to be her husband of the time, or at least someone I’ve seen and “known” to have been involved with this character group in the early 1990s.

Story-wise, I really, really enjoyed seeing Dick and Tim interact. This issue came out during my first real foray into comics, while Tim Drake was still a new character…not yet Robin, but the obvious successor to the role. I would have perfectly enjoyed this issue if it was nothing but Tim and Dick; but as it was, I was able to “get” what was going on with the rest of the team. If not in full, then enough to not feel like half the issue was truly wasted on them; I just wanted to see Dick training Tim.

All in all, this is easily one of the most enjoyable bargain-bin issues I’ve pulled in ages, in and of itself; and a definite rare treat as something from this era that is truly an entirely NEW read for me, rather than simply re-reading something I read 20 or so years ago! Though I paid 25 cents, and the original cover price was “only” $1.75, this would have been a rare case of an issue being well worth my paying the modern $3.99, given my enjoyment of the issue as a whole.

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