Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Suicide Squad #38

So, it’s snowing in Tennessee and I’m stuck in Nashville. While being off from work is fine, I wish I got to enjoy the snow in the country. Oh well… on with the show.

Next up for the month is a return to the DC Universe. While most of them are lesser known, there are other fighters in the universe other than the Batman family. One that gets little mention is Ben Turner, aka “The Bronze Tiger,” a man who was brainwashed by the League of Assassins He was introduced along with Richard Dragon in Dragon’s Fists, a novel written by Denny O’Neil in 1975. He then appeared with Richard Dragon in the comic series Richard Dragon: Kung Fu Fighter. He then appeared here and there throughout the DC Universe. He fought Batman a couple of times… and won. Take that, uber-Batfans!!!

Ben then was made a regular member of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad, which is the subject for today. He even had Rick Flag’s job in leading the team for quite a while. Tonight’s issue is Suicide Squad #38. Even though I haven’t made it here in my read-through (I stopped at "The Janus Directive"), I thought I’d touch on this issue. John Ostrander handles the plot while Robert Greenberger does the script. Luke McDonnell did the layouts while Geof Isherwood is over finishes. So, what happens when Ben is questioned by his superiors?

Suicide Squad #38
Plot: John Ostrander
Script: Robert GreenBerger
Layouts: Luke McDonnell
Finishes: Geof Isherwood
Colors: Todd Klein
Letters: Carl Gafford
Editor:  Dan Raspler

Tales From the $3.99 Bin! - Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #1

Next up for the month is a pretty modern comic. Back in 2016, an independent publisher called Darby Pop released a mini-series called Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises. It’s a book for all ages. I don’t remember when I first heard about it, but I was kind of interested in it. It lasted four issues and I own the first two. It’s been released in the trades since then. Today, I’ll just be talking about the first issue to the miniseries.

One of the biggest things about it is that Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, is actually involved in it. She and Jeff Kline wrote the story. Kline was a producer and writer on some of the recent Transformer shows and Jackie Chan Adventures. Finding that out helps me get this comic. The artwork is handled by Brandon McKinney, the colors are done by Zac Atkinson, and Troy Peteri does the letters. Reginald Hudlin is on here as a consulting producer which sounds weird. I guess that means he’s the editor? Oh well, on to the synopsis!

Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #1
Writers: Shannon Lee and Jeff Kline
Art: Brandon McKinney
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: Troy Peteri
Design: Steve Blackwell
Consulting Producer: Reginald Hudlin

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tales From the Magazine Bin! - The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #15

A few years ago, I looked at something different for the blog: a magazine. It wasn’t any ordinary magazine, though. The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was a black-and-white comic magazine that Marvel published for 33 issues. The Kung Fu craze was at full force in the 70’s, so Marvel not only created characters like Shang-Chi and Iron Fist, they also had this magazine. The magazine contained reprints of comics, “how-to” articles, and reviews on stuff. After I looked at the one from a few years ago, I thought I'd watch out for these.

Today’s issue is #15 and it’s the magazine’s annual. It was released during the Summer of 1974. We actually get three regular-paged reprints in here this time. An artist named Nick Cardy handled the pretty cool cover of Shang-Chi and Iron Fist kicking butt. If only they had actually teamed up in the magazine.  "Midnight Brings Dark Death” was first printed in Special Marvel Edition #16."Heart of the Dragon" first came out in Marvel Premiere #16. Finally, "Retreat" originally came out in Master of Kung Fu #19.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 18: Ultimate Knights

Well, a new year has dawned on us and I’m starting it off by looking at media featuring martial arts. That’s what January has been about for the last few years and I still want to keep it up. Sorry for starting a little late. So, what can I say that isn’t related to me making fun of the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming pushed Black Panther back a few months? I might as well let go now. I don’t need to mention it anymore especially since I watched Homecoming with a pretty cool lady. Wait, what else has happened that involves a certain creator of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe?

For those who don’t know, Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of this series and many other series, has left Marvel for DC Comics. It was something that literally got me out of bed when I saw it on my phone. I didn’t believe and I’m still pretty shocked. One may wonder what caused him to leave but I wanna know what he’s going to do at DC. Maybe he could do justice with the Outsiders or B’Wanna Beast. Just keep him away from Superman because I can see that going either way.

Anyway, the next volume for this series is "Ultimate Knights" and it contains Ultimate Spider-Man #106-111. The creative team is pretty much the same. Bendis is writing, Andrew Hennessy is inking, and Justin Ponsor handles the colors. Mark Bagley is still on pencils but it has to be said that this is his last arc with this series. He and Bendis stuck with this series for over 110 single issues. Not many teams have done that. At the end of this arc, he passes the torch-shaped pencil to Stuart Immonen who does a few pages here. So, let’s see what happens when Spidey teams up with some martial artists, a crazy guy, a sorcerer, and a blind lawyer.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 18: Ultimate Knights
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen
Inks: Andrew Hennessy
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Corey Petit