Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tales From The Trades! - Iron Man: Armor Wars

I know I've said this, but I think Iron Man’s an alright character. Even with the Iron Man movies out there, I just don’t feel drawn to the character of Tony Stark. I even got one of his most important storylines ("Demon in A Bottle") on the shelf and I still haven’t read it yet. Maybe I’ll finally crack it open after this month’s over. Even though I haven’t been the biggest fan of Stark, I thought Matt Fraction’s run (the parts I read anyway) were pretty good. I’ve even liked his moments in certain Marvel events. Plus, there’s that Robert Downey Jr. dude who’s making the waves. Then, there’s this story.

Iron Man: Armor Wars contains Iron Man #225-232. The actual storyline is called “Stark Wars,” but I guess “Armor Wars” just stuck out or something. I found this at McKay’s  years ago and thought I’d finally check it out. David Michelinie and Bob Layton handled the story. Both of these writers had done a lot with Iron Man during the 70’s and 80’s. M.D. Bright handled the breakdowns while Layton handled the finishes in the main story. Barry Winsdor-Smith handles the art for #332. So, what does happen when Tony Stark finds out IM tech has been pilfered? He becomes a bit of a douchebag as usual.

Iron Man: Armor Wars
Writers: David Michelinie and Bob Layton
Pencils: M.D. Bright and Barry Winsdor-Smith (#232)
Inks: Bob Layton
Colors: Bob Sharen, Nel Yomtov, and Barry Winsdor-Smith (#232)
Letters: Janice Chang and Bill Oakley (#232)
Editor: Mark Gruenwald

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tales From The 50 Cent Bin! - The World of Krypton

Next up for the month is a return to the world of Superman. Maybe I should say Superman’s world? He does have more than one, you know. There’s Earth, Lois, “MARTHA!!!”, and a little planet called Krypton. Usually, when we see Krypton show up in the comics, it’s there to get “blowed up real good!” Not many stories center on what Krypton was before its destruction, though. They’re few and far between. You did have some stories in the 70’s about Krypton’s past. You’ve had a couple of modern stories. Then, there’s today’s subject.

Today’s pick is the 1987 miniseries, The World of Krypton. When DC rebooted Superman’s timeline, all of that history was thrown out. This left John Byrne, the head writer on the Superman books at that time, to rebuild everything from scratch. Instead of a utopian-like planet in space, Byrne made Krypton into a cold, dying, emotionless planet. If you’ve recently visited comic stores, DC reprinted the first issue when Krypton, a new Syfy show, premiered. By the way, I still haven’t watched that show yet.

I found all four issues in the cheap bin years ago. It’s one that I’ve held off of reading for a while. I guess I was waiting for a time like this. John Byrne handled all the writing for the 4-issue mini. Handling the pencils was Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy. Rick Bryant was the inker for the first three issues while Carlos Garzon handled the last issue. So, how did a lively, utopian-like planet become such a stale, soulless place?

Superman: The World of Krypton
Writer: John Byrne
Pencils: Mike Mignola
Inks: Rick Bryant and Carlos Garzon
Colors: Petra Scotese
Letters: John Workman
Editor: Mike Carlin

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Favorites - Favorite Star Trek Episodes Involving Time Travel

Well, this didn’t take long to put together. As I said in my last list, Star Trek made time travel into a fine art. All of the series (even Discovery) have conducted in some time travel. While most of the episodes tend to be good, some of them tend to be the best the franchise ever produced. Trek has pretty much run the gamut with these stories, so finding 15 of them would be hard to do. I was going to try and rank them, but that ain’t happening. I will put my favorite up top though. If I leave one off, just know that it’s just my opinion.

1. TNG’s “All Good Things…”
I might as well start the list off with one of the best last episodes ever. It’s also a good time travel episode. In the episode, Captain Picard is somehow being transported between the past, present, and future. While the past sequence should be familiar to fans of the first season, the future is something else. It is the future, after all. I won’t spoil anything here but he does find out who caused it and why it’s happening. It ties into someone he met during the first season. It’s truly one of the best.

2. Star Trek: DS9’s “Trials and Tribble-lations”
It’s the meeting of two crews, sort of. The episode takes place during the fifth season of the show. In it, Someone uses an orb of the Prophets to send The USS Defiant to the 23rd century during TOS’s “The Trouble With Tribbles.” In order to find out who is behind it and keep the timeline safe, the crew has to integrate itself into the crew of the 23rd century. They literally go all out on this. The scenes where the DS9 crew interacts with the TOS crew are pretty cool and still hold up now. It’s an episode that honors both eras of Trek.

3. Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever”
This is considered to be one of the best episodes from franchise and it’s easy to see why. In the episode, the Enterprise finds the Guardian of Forever, a sentient time portal. When a crazed McCoy goes back in time and changes history, Kirk and Spock must go back and set things right. Things get a little complicated when they find out what they need to do, though. It’s an episode that has both Kirk and Spock at their best. It also has a nice but tragic romance. It’s definitely one of the best from the series and the franchise as a whole.

4. Star Trek: First Contact
This was the 8th movie from the franchise and the second one involving the TNG crew. In the movie, the Borg try to take over Earth by going back into the year 2063. The Enterprise-E follows them and does what it can to stop them. Not only does the crew have to stop the Borg, they need to help Earth achieve first contact with aliens. It’s part “Borg Shoot ‘Em Up” mixed with running into “great” men from history. It revamps the Borg in good ways and bad (The Borg Queen is okay). The crew itself and the folk from the past also make it a good watch.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

TV Talk - Battlestar Galactica Season 3

Next up for the month is a return to that ragtag fleet that’s being chased by really attractive robots. Yes, it’s Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. It aired between October of 2006 and March of 2007. Unlike the previous season, this one was more like a regular TV show since there wasn’t a big break between episodes. At this point, I was all in with BSG. With Season 2 ending the way it did, you know I had to come back for more. Luckily, little got in the way of my watching. I might had missed three or four episodes overall. I don’t know why but this season took a while for me to re-watch.

Hmm… so how do I describe this season without revealing what happened at the end of Season 2? That’s simple; I don’t. So, Season 2 ended with fleet finding a habitable world and colonizing it. A year later, the Cylon fleet finds them. What ships that were left airborne jumped out of there and whoever was left on New Caprica was in the hands of the Cylons. The Cylons end up being “benevolent rulers” over humanity. During that time, some of our regulars like Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders (who’s more or less a regular) start a resistance against the oppressors.

Season 3 begins as six months have passed and New Caprica is still under occupation. While things start to get worse on the planet, the fleet finally returns to save the people. Even though the fleet is reunited and gets back on the path to Earth, there was a heavy cost and a lot of damage was done. Throughout the season, the Galactica tries to look for more clues to the 13th Colony. The fleet also has to deal with what the Cylon Occupation did to them. We also learn even more things about the Cylons and find out that there are five more models that haven’t been revealed yet. As usual, the end of the season brings even more questions as well as the return of someone who was lost during the season.