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BradHB
January 21, 2022
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Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game

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Ten: The Card Game - Review

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January 11, 2022
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Jackwraith
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January 07, 2022
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December 30, 2021
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What COMIC BOOKS have you been reading?

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02 Jan 2017 00:11 #241669 by metalface13
Ha! I thought you were talking about this comic from Image with the guy with the cosmic starfish attached to him



Then I looked up Starman. Anybody read WildStar to see if it still holds up? lol

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02 Jan 2017 00:25 #241671 by Shellhead

Tim Champlin wrote: I've been reading James Robinson's Starman. LOVE IT. I had heard lots of great things and still was not let down with the high expectations. It turns out there was some great comic coming out in the 90's after all. I've been buying them in omnibus form and just ordered the 6th and last one. The annoying thing? Volume 3 is out of print, so I had to jump from vol. 2 to vol. 4. Still worth it though. Anyone read this series before? This and Atomic Robo were my favorite comic discoveries of last year.


I got most of the Starman trades, but my enjoyment declined over the course of the series. Except for some nice covers, the art generally never rose above okay, and sometimes sucked. Sometimes the writing was good and sometimes it was trying too hard. I skipped the trade featuring Jack's journey into space and I haven't read the final one yet. My favorite was the second to last trade, featuring the Grand Guignol storyline.

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02 Jan 2017 15:10 #241691 by stoic
Rouge Trooper. Received these for Christmas. Just started on Volume 1.




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23 May 2017 23:51 #248952 by Cranberries
I just finished volume 4 of Hellboy, the big library edition. What great fun. I love how Mignola describes how some of the stories have percolated for years.

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24 May 2017 09:50 #248978 by Shellhead
I got the first several soft cover trade volumes of Hellboy, then stopped. It looks like the series takes a dramatic new direction involving the apocalypse, and I was pretty happy with the done-in-one investigations. I have read some of the Abe Sapien trades after the Apocalypse begins, and found them interesting, but not entirely enjoyable. I confess that my introduction to Hellboy was the first movie, so my view of the character is somewhat distorted.
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20 Jul 2017 18:49 - 20 Jul 2017 18:50 #251437 by Erik Twice
I wanted to read something in French so I started reading Valerian et Laureline.

I think its reputation is well-deserved, the art is fantastic. Practically every panel has something interesting going on and the artists liven up even the most mundane scenes through good colouring and lighting. They are fun books to flip through and the worlds depicted are all very imaginative.

The plots are at the same time good and irrelevant. That is, the plot as in "what happens" is not actually interesting but each scene is colorful and fun. It serves its pulp function well and doesn't go where it doesn't have any bussiness going to.

I admit I was afraid the comic would be fairly sexist given its age but I'm happy to see my fears were overblown. Laureline is never portrayed as inferior, or in need of saving or anything like that and her gender is mostly irrelevant. The only issue I have in this regard is one I have with the vast majority of media: There are extremely few female characters because the writers always depict unimportant, dumb or evil characters as male.

What this means for Valerian is that, in the first two books, she's the only woman because there are only two dignified characters. That's kind of sad.
Last edit: 20 Jul 2017 18:50 by Erik Twice.
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21 Dec 2017 12:32 - 21 Dec 2017 18:39 #259442 by Cranberries
I am almost through the four volume BPRD "Plague of Frogs" series. I'm really enjoying it.

I also read a graphic novel about the Green River Killer. I didn't realize he had confessed.



edit: I finished Plague of Frogs. Pretty good stuff, although they did go all apocalyptic with Liz.
Last edit: 21 Dec 2017 18:39 by Cranberries.

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23 Feb 2018 13:43 #263913 by Shellhead
I recently re-read the Don McGregor run on Jungle Action, starring the Black Panther. Then I read the opening arc for the Christopher Priest run on Black Panther, written about 25 years later.

Before the Jungle Action run, Black Panther was an active member of the Avengers for about six years (in real world time, not comic book time). Prior to that, he debuted in a two-issue Fantastic Four story and made some guest appearances in Daredevil. He was consistently shown to be cool, collected, smart, and capable, but depictions of his personal life and his homeland were pretty limited after his FF debut.

Jungle Action was a game-changer. The first four issues are reprints of crappy '50s adventures featuring various white people in jungle adventures. Issue #5 was a reprint of an Avengers issue that features Black Panther and his homeland of Wakanda. New Marvel writer Don McGregor commented that it seemed inappropriate for all these African adventures to feature white protagonists, and persuaded an editor to let him write new adventures starring Black Panther. I believe that this was the first time that a black character got his own comic book.

McGregor came out swinging with a 12-issue epic called Panther's Rage. Even by Marvel's compressed time standards, Black Panther had been neglecting his responsibilities as King of Wakanda for years, until a new villain named Erik Killmonger starts a civil war, which finally escalates into a big battle featuring high-tech airships battling gunmen riding dinosaurs. It sounds wacky, but it was breath-taking in scope at a time when most comic stories lasted a single issue, and a major story might wrap up within two issues.

There is a lot to still admire about McGregor's story. McGregor's Black Panther is a brooding philosopher, unenthusiastic about violence but reluctant to delegate the fighting to any of his people. His African-American girlfriend is greeted by the Wakanda people with suspicion and disapproval. One of his closest advisers is struggling with a failing marriage, and death is never handled casually in this series. Very mature material that blew my young mind and still holds up well. Some of the dialogue is nearly poetry. The art is also very good, with some especially interesting page layouts and costumes designed by African-American comic book artist Billy Graham (as opposed to some other Billy Graham).

On the other hand, I didn't enjoy watching Black Panther fight animals nearly every issue. McGregor consigns nearly all of the (Jack) Kirby-tech to an underground complex, and instead gives us a surface-level Wakandan capital that looks like a stereotypical native village, aside from a new hospital. Most of the citizens of Wakanda are wearing very traditional clothing, and most of the men are wearing little more than loincloths. McGregor gets a little too wordy at times, but it's necessary because he is going into some real depth with these characters.

After Panther's Rage, the quality of McGregor's run takes a serious dive. The action moves to the United States, specifically a small town in Georgia where Black Panther's girl friend grew up. The bad guys are not one but two different groups of robe-wearing bad guys, only one of which is the Ku Klux Klan. There is a murder mystery, and occasionally the action and the dialogue are good. But there are also some cringe-inducing moments, like when a few cops beat up the Black Panther in a grocery store. This meandering storyline doesn't even get properly resolved in Jungle Action, as a new writer is brought in to finish it in the pages of Marvel Premiere.

Fortunately, I had the early Priest run on Black Panther close at hand. Although Panther's Rage is apparently the biggest influence on the Black Panther movie, this Priest storyline ("the Client") was also a significant source of ideas. Though Priest himself is African-American, he chooses to tell this story through a white POV character named K. Everett Ross, who is a low-level bureaucrat with the U.S. State Department and a Michael J. Fox lookalike. The opening is in medias res, the pace is brisk, and the tone is funny. This time around, Black Panther is more proactive than reactive in dealing with threats, and he is using a lot more technology. Though the tone is funny, most of the humor involves Ross, and somehow every scene with Black Panther is cool and serious. And even when they are in the same panel, somehow Ross is funny and the Panther is cool.

It's been several years since the Priest run ended, but I recall that his stories sometimes got convoluted and even difficult to follow. A few too many plot twists, with not nearly enough exposition to guide the reader. At one point, Marvel did a special 'Nuff Said month (in reference to one of Stan Lee's classic letter column catchphrases), where there were no words in any of their comics that month. This happened in the middle of an especially complex Priest story, so at one point a character actually draws a diagram to try to silently explain to another characters (and the readers) about who was mentally controlling who. The final stretch of the series was still reasonably well-written, but inexplicably starred a Jewish African-American police officer who becomes the gunslinging White Tiger. wtf.

Anyway, if you enjoyed the movie, I think you will also enjoy Panther's Rage and The Client.
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22 Mar 2018 08:58 #266171 by stormseeker75
I'm not sure if we have any of these threads on here, but I've been wanting to talk about it a bit. I've really gotten into comics. I've transferred my gaming budget over to comics. And I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I can actually buy new things and enjoy them before they sit on my shelf forever, collecting dust. And I like a lot of 90s stuff so I can buy a bunch for about $30 and have several new things to scratch my lizard brain desires.

Is anyone out here reading comic books?
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22 Mar 2018 09:13 #266173 by ChristopherMD
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22 Mar 2018 09:25 #266176 by Shellhead
I am currently reading the 3rd of a 4 volume set of Master of Kung Fu omnibuses. These comics have never before been reprinted in any format until a couple of years ago, because the Sax Rohmer estate developed a snobby attitude towards comics. They kept holding out for a movie deal and finally realized that Marvel is making serious bank on movies these days. Now that we have had two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, I would not be surprised to eventually see a Master of Kung Fu movie.

Master of Kung Fu features a young and idealistic martial artist named Shang-Chi. He lived a sheltered life, spending his entire childhood since age 4 in training to become the ultimate kung fu assassin. During his first and final assassination mission, Shang-Chi discovers that his wise and dignified father known as Fu Manchu is actually a notorious evil mastermind who is obsessed with world domination. Shang joins forces with his father's enemies, a group of aging spies and adventurers lead by Sir Denis Nayland Smith. The writing ranges from good to excellent, and though most of the action is fairly tangential to the overall Marvel Universe, Master of Kung Fu had nearly a decade-long run as a monthly title. Most of the run has pretty good artwork, featuring the pencils of Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck, and Gene Day.

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22 Mar 2018 10:46 #266186 by stormseeker75
Thanks to MadDog for pointing me in this direction!

I've been reading a bunch of things:

Nailbiter - What a great story. It got a touch hokey towards the end. Felt like they rushed the conclusion just a touch, but not enough to ruin the ride. Nailbiter has taught me that I love horror comics.

Outcast - Robert Kirkman is awesome. He's got a way of humanizing people that really resonates. I haven't read The Walking Dead yet, but I should start.

The X-Tinction Agenda - This is my favorite X-Men story. I think that's partly because I loved X-Factor and this basically led to them getting back into the X-Men. The Cameron Hodge arc is great.

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07 Jun 2018 16:30 #274932 by Nodens
By sheer chance I came across the last trade of Allred/Slott's Silver Surfer run on a flea market. It had suffered from a little rain and I paid 3 whole Euros for almost 500 pages. It's very good. Way better than any super hero story I read in the last ten years. Very mature while also playful and fun.

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07 Jun 2018 18:31 #274938 by Shellhead
I am currently re-reading the entire JSA run, which started in 1998. JSA is the Justice Society of America, the very first superhero team ever in comics. Debuting in 1940, their early adventures took place during World War II. Then superheroes went out of style, and when DC Comics finally started pushing superheroes again a decade later, they re-booted their universe with heroes who tended to have powers based in science, at least by comic book standards. This included revised versions of many of the JSA members, like Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom. This new era of superhero comics came to be known as the Silver Age, while the previous generation was the Golden Age. Sort of like the difference between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers.

A couple of years after the formation of the Justice League of America, featuring the most popular DC heroes of the Silver Age, DC brought back their Golden Age heroes as inhabitants of an alternate reality who happened to be a generation older than the Silver Age heroes. This allowed writers to bring the two teams together to fight major threats. My first issue of Justice League was #100, and it featured one of these JLA/JSA team-ups. I was young, but I easily understood the concept of an alternate universe thanks to the Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek.

As the years went by, the Silver Age heroes of DC stayed eternally 20-something, but the Golden Age heroes were allowed to age somewhat and even die in some cases. By the early '80s, the Justice Society was a dwindling but still powerful team of superheroes nearing retirement age, and there was a new team (Infinity Inc.) made up almost entirely of legacy heroes. Some were direct descendants of aging JSA members, while others were just inspired to take up their names to carry on the fight against crime. I was roughly the same age as the members of Infinity Inc. during that comic's run.

By the time the JSA series had launched, DC had awkwardly merged all of their alternate realities into one, and then killed off most of the Justice Society. The then new JSA comic featured a few elder heroes from the original team, a couple of Infinity Inc. members, and some new legacy heroes. One of the writers of this new comic was David Goyer, who you might know better as the writer of the Blade movie trilogy, the most recent Batman movie trilogy, and the Constantine tv show.

This JSA comic was pretty good. Fast-paced stories but some decent characterization, even when the team sometimes got large. The artwork was good though not remarkable by comic standards. I became a big JSA fan over the years because these are the only mainstream superheroes who were ever allowed to really grow up. They matured, they got married, they had kids, they got old, and finally some of them retired or even died. Even some of the legacy heroes got to grow up somewhat. And as I grew older, these were the heroes that grew with me. Now that I'm in my early 50s, I can now more fully identify with the issues that the elder team members faced. By contrast, heroes like Batman and Superman seem to be eternally about 27 to 33 years old, and all their major life events get reversed within a few years. They are never allowed any lasting character development.

Unfortunately, DC did another major reboot in 2011, and that time they wiped out the whole history of the JSA and their legacy heroes. They brought back the alternate world idea and some original JSA folks, but it seemed meaningless because they were re-imagined as young heroes who had no connection to World War II or any other historic event of interest. That reboot lasted a few years and was replaced by another partial reboot that I just ignored. I still have my JSA comics, and I am still able to read and enjoy them.
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02 Oct 2018 21:36 #282624 by DarthJoJo
Welp. I just discovered I can borrow comic books through my library’s iPhone app, so expect a lot more activity here.

First up: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by James Tyrion IV and Freddie E. Williams II. It’s what you’d expect: Donatello geeks, Michelangelo goofs, Raphael grouchs until he has a touching moment and Leonardo and Batman are competent, but it’s fun. Shredder teams up with Ra’s al Ghul, and they mutate Arkham Asylum. It’s comic silly, but if that’s what it takes to get an elephant Bane and parrot Ventriloquist, then that’s what it takes.

As you might expect, the iPhone isn’t really designed for comics. There was an option to isolate and read panel by panel, but you lose the full page effect and still need to rotate the phone constantly. So I zoom and swipe.
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