Friday, November 24, 2017

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Justice League International #13 and Suicide Squad #13

So, what would you think a fight between the Justice League and the Suicide Squad would look like? If you thought it’d involve Harley Quinn trying to ram Wonder Woman with a motorcycle, you’d be correct. While that recent crossover was actually pretty good, that’s not the subject of today. The League and the Squad did square down before but it was less world-ending. In the late 1980’s, both teams were revamped after the crossover event, Legends. John Ostrander went gritty with the Suicide Squad while the team of Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire brought the laughs with Justice League International.

The two teams eventually had a little crossover with their books. They are Justice League International #13 and Suicide Squad #13. I first ran across this in the JLI Omnibus years ago before I eventually found the single issues. JLI was written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Instead of Maguire on the art, Giffen also did the pencils while Al Gordon did the inks. As for Suicide Squad, John Ostrander was the writer. Luke McDonnell handled the pencils while Bob Lewis handled the inks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Random Thoughts On... DC's Identity Crisis

Next up for the month is a bit of a controversial one. If you’ve ever heard of this story, you’ll know why. It’s going to get a little serious since this story deals with something a little too dark for some. Just letting you know.

In 2004, DC Comics released Identity Crisis, a seven-issue event. Like most Crisis events, it changed a lot about the landscape of DC for years to come. Unlike events such as Zero Hour and Crisis on Infinite Earths, it didn’t go all-cosmic with it. It’s pretty much a murder mystery set in the DC Universe. It’s also a miniseries that scooped up a lot of controversy as it was released throughout 2004. It was written by Brad Meltzer, a novelist who started to enter into comics. He had previously wrote on Green Arrow and apparently did so good there someone wanted him to helm an event. Ralph “Rags” Morales, a guy who’s worked on many DC books, handled the pencils while Michael Blair handled the inks.

I first ran into this event right at the end. I made my first hike to the Outer Limits on Memorial Blvd. during November, I think. By the way, there’s no way I’d do it now since they’ve moved since then. I also remember I was going to a party later that night. Anyway, I picked up a few issues like New Avengers #1 and Identity Crisis #7. I ended up reading it sometime later. Then… I ended up throwing it away. If you think it was because of that ending, I don’t think it was that. I don’t know if it got ruined or ripped. With how this event was regarded, I bet I wasn’t the only one who threw it away.
 While his interior work was fine, the late Michael Turner turned in great covers.

A couple of years later, I perused through the trade at the Waldenbooks in Cool Springs. Since then, I’ve read some of the tie-ins as well as what spun out of it. A few weeks ago, I saw it at McKay’s and finally decided to check this story out. It's a story that folk either like or hate. I’ve seen folk like Linkara tear this story a new one. On the other end the spectrum, I’ve heard the father/daughter team on the Relatively Geeky Network give it a fair but positive review. So, now that I’ve read it in full, where do I stand? By the way, “there be spoilers here, arrrr!!!”

Yeah, I’m hyping myself up for the darkness that’s about to come.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - JLA #10-15: Rock of Ages

Ah, that three/four day break from work/Nashville worked wonders. Yes, I wasn’t laying on my butt the whole time (my folks live on a farm), but you usually do that when you get a crown put on your tooth. Anyway, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Some little indie movie called Justice League is coming out soon and I thought I’d look at a few things that feature the team. It’s not completely a themed month, but it’ll be a little DC-centered.

First up for the month is a return to Grant Morrison’s run on JLA. It’s even somewhat topical since it involves a Fourth World element. It’s “Rock of Ages” and it took place through JLA #11-15. At this point, the team had a bit of a change-up. Wonder Woman’s dead (don’t ask me, man), Superman’s in his electric phase, and we got a couple of new recruits in the form of Connor Hawke (Oliver Queen’s son) and Aztek. Morrison’s writes, Howard Porter draws (mostly) and John Dell inks. Porter does get a little help on the last issue from artists Greg Land and Gary Frank.

JLA #10-15: “Rock of Ages”
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter, Greg Land (#15), and Gary Frank (#15)
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Pat Garrahy 
Separations: Heroic Age
Letters: Ken Lopez
Editors: Peter Tomasi, L.A. Williams, and Dan Raspler

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Movie Talk - The Universal Studios' Mummy Movies

Since we’re in the month of Halloween, I thought it was time to return to the Universal Monsters once again. This time, it’s the Monster with a preference for limping: the Mummy. By the way, I’m going old-school, so there will be no mention of the 2017 trainwreck with Tom Cruise. I still haven’t seen the movie yet but if I get that bored, it might be a watch. Unlike movies such as Dracula and Frankenstein, The Mummy was a bit of an original idea. It was influenced by the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb being found in Egypt. The rumors about curses befalling those who opened those tombs also played into crafting the movie.

I saw The Mummy long ago when it was available at Movie Gallery. As for the other movies, I actually didn’t see those until somewhat recently. When my sister got me and my dad the whole Universal Monster Collection, I pretty much went through the Mummy movies. They were pretty short movies, so it was pretty easy to do. I might have seen one of them as part of a marathon beforehand, but I’m not sure. I did know about them through those Crestwood books I used to pick up at the library. I re-watched them all for this post. There was another movie along with that collection that has Abbott and Costello in it, but I’ll skip it for today.