Thursday, December 31, 2015

Random Thoughts #40 - This Weather's Weird, Man!

Yes, it really felt like this on Christmas.

What it is, yo? Yeah, I'm sticking with that! The time has come for that one last post of the year. Technically, it's not my last post of the year since I have one book I'm trying to get through today. I'm taking it easy tonight this time around. I might as well do this post now, so here are some lasting random thoughts.

Warm Weather During Christmas?
Well, it's finally cold during this time of year! Last week, we had not only a heatwave but some really tough rain. Christmas Day was good if pretty dull with all of the wetness and rain. I actually went back to bed after I opened my presents. On Saturday, me and my dad had to fix the fence in the front of our lot. The stream had knocked down most of it down and buried it in mud, wood, and other stuff. At least we didn't find anything weirder in there or this post would be much weirder. Now, the cold has finally settled in... Yay?

So, it's finally come. 2015 is drawing to a close and I feel good. The year wasn't great of course. Life's like that and things won't always go your way. Still, I can say that I had a blessed year. God got me through it all. So, what are my plans for 2016? The list may look familiar, but that's how it is:
  • Get closer to God and be a better man 
  • Actually lose weight (I only lost a couple this year)
  • Find a good woman (being single is nice at times, but come on)
  • Actually get to do that remodeling
  • Get rid of debt
  • Live life to its fullest
Hmm... what can I say without coming off like a jackass? Eh, I'll pass this time. At least I'm finally looking. I've even talked to some interesting ones, but nothing's come yet. Though there is next year, so maybe Mrs. Williams is around the corner...

Star Wars: The Nostalgia Awakens
I went to go see the new movie a couple of weeks ago. I may have more to say later, so these will be just the broad strokes. I liked it overall. It was fun throughout the whole way. I liked the new characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, Maz Katana, and General Hux. Kylo Ren was really cool here and his story was really interesting. There's one scene that... well, may make you like him less though. The old cast was also well used for the most part. Seeing Han, Chewie, Leia, and Luke was good.

I do have a couple of negatives about it. I do feel like it rehashed A New Hope a bit too much in places. There were some things that were left unexplained. I get they wanted to be like the original trilogy, but I do think they should have explained a little more about what happened after Return of the Jedi especially with how the galaxy now operates. I should be able to see that in the film, not a book. Other than those things and the use of one old-school character, I liked it. It does make me want to see what happens next.
Guys, that's actually me with the lightsaber. 


Well, it's been good. I'll be back next year. It might be a little less, but that's how it all goes. Here's an idea about next year:


Well, I'm out. Peace, God Bless, and be safe in the new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Batman Beyond #10

The last Batman wanna-be I’ll be doing for the year is the future boy himself: Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond. I talked about the show a couple of years ago. It was a good one. His story feels a little similar to Bruce’s. Terry got pulled into a retired Bruce Wayne’s life when his father was brutally murdered. Terry accidentally stumbles upon the Batcave and steals the last experimental suit Bruce made. After Terry uses the suit to get justice for his father, Bruce thinks that Terry could be a suitable replacement. After Terry accepts Bruce’s job, he officially becomes Batman.

He is far from that of Bruce’s Batman. He’s much younger, sarcastic, has a past as a troublemaker, and has a family.  He’s essentially another Robin but he’s doing all of the heavy lifting since Bruce is in his twilight years. They even share a connection which is something I won’t talk about here (hint: "Epilogue" from Justice League Unlimited). Unlike Jean-Paul, Dick, and even Comm. Gordon, Terry actually gets to interact and get help from Bruce on things. Heck, he’s only a high school kid, so he’s going to need a lot of help. The suit he and Bruce (Bruce wore it before he retired) wear on the show is pretty cool and has all sorts of tricks and gadgets.

DC Comics have done a few series on the character and this futuristic world. Today’s issue comes from the second volume that was coming out at the same time the show was on. Batman Beyond #10 was written by the late Hilary J. Bader. Not only did she write for the show, she also wrote for other shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Superman: The Animated Series, and The New Batman Adventures. The pencils were provided by Craig Rousseau and the inks were done by Rob Leigh.

Batman Beyond: #10
Writer: Hilary J. Bader
Pencils: Craig Rousseau
Inks: Rob Leigh
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Tim Harkins
Assistant Editor: Frank Berrios
Action Figure (Eh?): Joseph Illidge

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tales From the Trades! - Batman: Battle For The Cowl

Three cheers for Christmas shutdown! Now I can try to sleep normally for a couple of days…

Next up on the list is of Batman wanna-bes is Batman… sort of. No, this isn’t the John-Paul Valley variety either. I didn’t want to center on too many of Batman’s supporting characters this month. A lot of them are more or less knockoffs. I did at least want to look at a couple who tried to take on the mantle of the Batman. Only a few have tried it. I won’t be looking at Comm. Gordon’s more recent time as Batman aka RoboBunny. Yes, that’s happening now and it’s actually not that bad. It is Scott Snyder after all.

I’m actually looking at Batman: Battle for the Cowl, a three issue-crossover series that occurred after Final Crisis. It basically served as a midway point for Grant Morrison’s time on Batman. In Final Crisis, Batman “died."Yeah, he was actually getting his Sam Beckett on, but he’s not in Gotham where trouble is always brewing right now. By the way, I’m only looking at the three-issue crossover from the trade. The trade also has two issues that looks at other supporting characters in Batman’s world.  Tony Daniel wrote and did the pencils for this small series and I think it was his first time writing.

Batman: Battle For The Cowl
Writer and Pencils: Tony S. Daniel
Inks: Sandu Florea
Colors: Ian Hannin
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tales from the Library! - JLA #16-#17

Next up for this month is another bad boy: Prometheus. Before you ask, no, he wasn’t named after the movie either. He was created by Grant Morrison and was mostly featured in the series, JLA. Prometheus’s real name is unknown. His parents were essentially a “Bonnie-and-Clyde” ripoff. He sees them get killed in a police shootout and basically loses it. The experience even makes his hair got completely white. He dedicates his life to “annihilate the forces of justice” and take his revenge. He uses the money that his parents stole to get smarter and stronger. After he takes his revenge, he travels to Shamballa and finds an ancient alien ship that has access to the “Ghost Zone.”

Prometheus is pretty much the anti-Batman right down to the origin. Their origins match, they know how to fight, they plan ahead, and they use gadgets. Unlike Batman, Prometheus uses a helmet to do all sorts of stuff. It’s essentially his utility belt. He uses little CD’s to download information from his helmet as well.  Today’s issues are JLA #16 and #17. I read these from the JLA Omnibus at the library. Grant Morrison wrote both issues. Howard Porter and John Dell provided the art to #16 while Arnie Jorgensen, David Meikis, and Mark Pennington did the art for #17.

JLA #16 and #17
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter (#16) and Arnie Jorgensen (#17)
Inks: John Dell (#16), David Meikis (#17), and Mark Pennington (#17)
Colors: Pat Garrahy
Letters: Ken Lopez

Friday, December 25, 2015

TV Talk - Darkwing Duck: "It's a Wonderful Leaf"

Next on the list is one that I sort of have vague memories of: Darkwing Duck. Yes, you read that right. Darkwing Duck was essentially a spoof on the hero genre. It found his inspirations in Batman as well as other heroes like the Shadow, Crimson Avenger, and other older heroes. I used to watch the show back in the day on ABC. I don’t exactly remember when it went off the air though. I do remember the slammin’ theme song. It’s still good to this day.

The show was a spinoff to DuckTales, another show with a catchy theme song. Still, I don’t know if I want to grab onto some duck tails especially if danger lurks behind me and strangers are out to find me. The creators found inspiration from a couple of episodes of DuckTales for this show. It was originally going to feature Launchpad (a supporting character from DuckTales) as a James Bond knock-off called Double-O-Duck. That didn’t happen since someone actually owned the “double-o” phrase. By the way, that’s really weird. Darkwing Duck was the next name they decided to use for the show and it was decided to create a main character.

The show ran for 91 episodes and stayed on for two years. After its run, it stayed in syndication. On the show, Darkwing Duck, aka Drake Mallard, protects St. Canard from a bunch of baddies. He gets help from Launchpad, his daughter Gosalyn, and others.  For today, I’m only looking at one episode instead of the whole show. I found them all on YouTube. “It’s a Wonderful Leaf” was the show’s 54th episode. As you can tell by the title, it’s a Christmas one. After all, it is the season!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Moon Knight #1

Next up on the list of characters possibly inspired by Batman is the other Marvel character that gets compared to him: Moon Knight. This is another character I know little about. He first debuted in Werewolf by Night in 1975. He guest starred in other books for a few years until he was given his own series as well as an origin story. One of his creators was Doug Moench, a writer who one day got to write on the Batman books for DC.

It’s easy to see the similarities between Batman and Moon Knight. Marc Spector has money, uses disguises, and uses gadgets. He’s also pretty athletic and has help from his friends in fighting crime. From what I’ve heard, he’s sometimes not all there in the head. I know that some of his later series had him dealing with some mental disorder. While Bruce Wayne isn’t exactly crazy, you know he has issues if he’s dressing up as bat at night. Then, there’s the striking suit that looks pretty cool. Still, I hope no one mistakes him for being some weird Klan member.

Originally, I was going to look at an issue from the 90’s (Mark Spector: Moon Knight #50), but I ended up finding something probably much better. At McKay’s, I saw the first issue to Moon Knight’s first run laying on the comics’ shelf. I looked around to see if anyone had left it, and decided to buy it since it looked so lonely up there. Moon Knight #1 was written by Doug Moench. The pencils and some inks are handled by Bill Sienkiewicz while Frank Springer also handles some of the inks. The editor for this book was Denny O’Neil, another writer who’s mostly known for working on the Batman books.

Moon Knight #1
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Springer
Colors: Bob Sharen
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Denny O’Neil

Tales From The 50 Cent Bin! - Lee Falk's The Phantom #10

Next on the list of heroes that inspired Batman is the purple people-beater (sorry, fans) himself: The Phantom. The Phantom was created by Lee Falk for comic strips in 1936. He’s been branched out to different media over the years. He’s been in serials, novels, TV, and film. He was even used as tribal art in Africa during World War 2... yeah, seriously. The character also has been shipped around the lot of comic publishers. DC even had the rights to him in the late 1980’s. I know I’ve read a couple of the strips. The Tennessean never had that strip but Huntsville’s paper had it when I was younger. I know the character best from the 1996 movie starring Billy Zane as well as a couple of animated shows.

His origin is interesting. In 1536, British sailor Christopher Walker became the only survivor of a pirate raid that took the life of his father. He washed ashore on an African island called Bangella. Its tribe found him and nursed him back to health. He remained there and made an oath to fight against injustice and piracy as the Phantom. The title of the Phantom passes on from father to son over the years. Because of this, the Phantom is believed to be immortal and is sometimes called “The Ghost Who Walks” and “The Man Who Cannot Die.” The current Phantom (the 21st one) is Kit Walker. 

I’m not sure if he could be a direct inspiration for Batman. They do have some things in common. Their origins overlap. They both lost someone to crime, they swore to fight injustice, they’re non-powered, and they use gadgets/weapons. If anything, the Black Panther has a lot more in common with the Phantom which is something I just noticed recently. The Black Panther is a title given out and he is based in Africa.

The Phantom does have one thing that definitely influenced Batman and a lot of other superheroes: Tights. He was one of the first pulp heroes to don a skin-tight costume and that’s become a staple for the superhero genre. The costume is a bit weird but cool. Not many can rock a purple body suit with striped trunks. Today’s issue is from DC’s second series on the character. I found this one in the cheap bins, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was apparently a pretty short-lived series lasting only 13 issues. Mark Verheiden was the writer. Luke McDonnell handled the art for the book.

Lee Falk's The Phantom #10
Writer: Mark Verheiden
Artist: Luke McDonnell
Colors: Anthony Tomlin
Letters: Bob Pinaha
Editor: Brian Augustyn

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Movie Talk - The Zorro Movies

As you can tell by the title, I’ll be looking at another hero who inspired Batman’s mythos: Zorro. Zorro, aka Don Diego de la Vega, was created in 1919. He first debuted in pulp novels and then moved to other media. He’s just about been everywhere in media. He’s been in TV, film, radio, books, comics, and other things. If you can think of it, he’s probably been in it. His main setting is usually California in the early 19th century before it officially became a part of the USA. He basically stands up for the common man against any tyrannical politicians and overall bad men.

It’s easy to see what Kane and Finger took from the character. Zorro’s a nobleman, decked out in all black, sports a mask, and wears a hat. He also sports a cape, is athletic, and pretty cunning for the most part. His main weapon of choice is the rapier and he uses other gadgets in order to help people. From what I’ve seen of the character (the Banderas movies, an animated show, and a live-action show), he’s kind of a light-hearted guy and we know Batman is far from that these days. The character has also even been folded into Batman’s mythos. In some versions of his origin, The Mark of Zorro was the movie that he and his parents saw on the night they were gunned down.

Instead of a random comic, I decided to look at the more modern movies of the character and see how they are. They were both directed by Martin Campbell. Zorro was brought back to American theaters with The Mask of Zorro in 1998. It was a success back then but a sequel didn’t come until a few years later. The Legend of Zorro was released in 2005 and wasn’t as much of a success. I remember seeing the first one a lot on TV. As for Legend, I’ve only seen it once on DVD. I found both movies for a bargain at McKay’s, so I decided to check them out. What’s my verdict? Find out below.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

TV Talk - Arrow Season 1

Remember when I said I wasn’t done with Green Arrow yet? Well, here are the rest of my thoughts. Since I touched on the character in the comics, I might as well look at the first season of Arrow. I didn’t know what to think when I first heard about the show back in 2012. I was starting to work nights at the time and I really didn’t have the time to tune in. I did watch the pilot on CW’s kinda crappy website. I think the only reason I didn’t keep up with it at that time was because of their crappy website. I did get to watch the third Huntress episode and the finale when they aired fortunately. When it got put on Netflix, I finally start to really watch the show. I decided to rewatch the first season this week.

The creators of the show decided to go for a more realistic world that’s similar to Chris Nolan’s Batman. I do have to say that it works for this Oliver Queen who is a non-powered hero. Unfortunately, they might had leaned too far with that Nolan aspect as you’ll see below. I didn’t really recognize many from the show when I first saw it. I did recognize Colin Salmon (Walter Steele) from the James Bond movies. I knew Paul Blackthorne (Quentin Lance) from the Dresden Files. I also recognized Dave Ramsey (John Diggle) but I think it was from smaller roles he did. I think he was in an episode of Girlfriends and yeah, I sometimes watched that show since the women looked hot.

Arrow starts out with billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returning to Starling City (why change the name?) after being stranded on a hostile island for five years. He, his ladyfriend, his father, and some other guy were on a boat when a bad storm hit. Everyone except for Oliver died. Before his father died, he let Oliver know that Starling City was corrupt and that he had a part in it. He gives Oliver a book that has a list of people who are aiding in the city’s crime. Oliver honored his father’s wishes in his return to the city. While he tries to put on a show for his family and friends during the day, he dons a green-suit, a bow, and arrows to fight crime as Hood Guy... yeah, they couldn't come up with any good code names at first.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Captain America #314

The next hero on the list is one I don’t know too much about: Kyle Richmond aka Nighthawk. I do know there are a crapload of versions of him. There’s one in the regular Marvel Universe and then there are others in Marvel’s Multiverse. There’s even a black version of the character and I’ve heard he’s a bit of a douche. Today’s version will actually be from Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme. This team was originally created by Marvel to be analogues of the Justice League of America. They were from an alternate universe and they would sometimes crossover with the Avengers. I was originally going to look at the Superman analogue, Hyperion, back in September but didn’t get around to it.

There really isn’t much to this character that I’ve seen. As I said before, he’s a pastiche of Batman. Unlike Batman, he actually retired and decided to go into politics. When he became President of the US, an alien overlord named Overmind took over his mind and eventually took over the rest of the Squadron Supreme. This caused a lot of damage to that world but good eventually won out. Still, a lot of stuff was left ruined at the beginning of the maxi-series, so Hyperion decided that the group should take a more active place in the world by making the it into a utopia. Nighthawk was the only one against it since the team would essentially be forcing this upon the world and leaves the team.

Today, I’ll be looking at Captain America #314, a tie-in to that series. Mark Gruenwald, the writer of Squadron Supreme, also wrote the issue. He was known for a lengthy run on Captain America Paul Neary provided the pencils. Later Superman inker Dennis Janke provided the inks. I also noticed that Mike Carlin is the editor of the book. He later edited the Superman books. I had to throw that Captain America/Superman connection in somewhere.

Captain America #314
Writer: Rob Gruenwald
Pencils: Paul Neary
Inks: Dennis Janke
Colors: Ken Fedunewicz
Letters: Diana Albers
Editor: Mike Carlin
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tales From The 50 Cent Bin! - The Shadow Strikes #1

Today’s character is a bit different from the lot. Instead of an homage/analogue, this character is one of heroes that actually influenced Bob Kane and Bill Finger in creating Batman. The two actually pulled a lot of ideas from then-pulp heroes for Batman mythos and look. I said I had some surprises for this month and this is one of them. That’s kind of why it’s a weird Batman month. I’m looking at characters that may have been influenced by him and characters that helped mold him in what he became.

The first hero I want to talk about today is The Shadow. He was one of the characters that Kane and Finger pulled some ideas from. They even used a Shadow story (“Partners of Peril”) to serve as the basis for Batman’s first story in Detective Comics #27. He first debuted on radio in 1930. The Shadow’s real name is Kent Allard but he does go by different aliases. The one I know of is Lamont Cranston, a rich socialite, and that one was used in the 1994 movie. While I really only know him through the movie, I’ve always liked the look. He has been in the entire entertainment medium like radio, books, comic books, comic strips, TV and film. DC Comics had a few series that featured the character.  Batman even met the Shadow in one issue.

After his stint in World War I, he traveled around Asia for years. He later returned to the US to start a war on the crime in New York City. He has the power to cloud men’s minds and essentially make himself invisible to them. He’s all decked out in a black suit with a cape and fedora. He wears a red scarf and he’s usually armed with guns. Today, I’ll be looking at an issue from DC’s fourth series on the character. The Shadow Strikes #1 was released in 1989.  Gerard Jones is the writer. The art is provided by the late Eduardo Barreto.

The Shadow Strikes #1
Writer: Gerard Jones
Artist: Eduardo Barreto
Colors: Anthony Tomlin
Letters: David Cody Weiss
Editor: Brian Augustyn

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tales From The $3.99 Bin! - Justice League #25

Today, I think it’s time to look at one of the few villains that are similar to Batman. This one is pretty obvious: Owlman. He’s Batman’s opposite from Earth-3. Back in the 1960’s, Owlman first appeared along with the Crime Syndicate of America back in Justice League of America #29. In modern times, the character was made to actually be the older brother of Bruce Wayne, Thomas Wayne Jr. He’s pretty much Batman only evil and sporting an owl fascination. Now, there is another Owlman who’s actually a part of Scott Snyder’s run on Batman, but I’m not talking about that one. I just wanted to make that clear.

Today’s issue is Justice League #25 from 2013. This is another tie-in to the event, Forever Evil. Back in September, I looked at the tie-in that revolved around Ultraman. I know I’ll have to talk about that event one day. Geoff Johns (DC’s Lord and Overseer) is the writer. Pencils are actually handled by Doug Mahnke this time around. The inks are handled by a multitude. Mahnke’s pencils usually get a lot of inkers for some reason. DC probably wanted to get this out on time I guess.They are Christian Almany, Mark Irwin, Keith Champange, and Doug Mahkne.

Justice League #25
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne and Doug Mahnke
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina, and Rod Reis
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editors: Kate Durre and Brad Cunningham

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Midnighter: Armageddon #1

Today’s Batman homage is one I really don’t know much about: Midnighter. Midnighter aka Lucas Trent (if that’s his real name) first appeared in Stormwatch back in 1998 for Wildstorm. He has the dark suit motif and can kick buttloads of butt. That’s where the similarities more or less stop though. He does have superpowers like enhanced strength, speed, and durability. He also has the ability to know what a person is going to do before he does it. He also normally kills his villains which is something Batman doesn’t tend to do. Lastly, he’s known for being of the more prominent gay superheroes. For a time, he was actually married to Apollo, a Superman homage that I looked at in September.

I did have one issue of his (Midnighter #10) that I was going to look at but I honestly couldn’t tell what the heck was going on in it. Seriously, I didn’t get what was going on. Instead, I found another issue that I picked up in the cheap bins months ago. Midnighter: Armageddon #1 tied into an event that Wildstorm was going through back in 2007. Essentially, Void from the WildC.A.T.S. was going around to different heroes and showing them a horrible future that they had to prevent. Christos Gage is the writer. Pencils and inks were done by Simon Colbey.

Midnighter: Armageddon #1
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Simon Colbey
Colors: Wildstorm FX
Letters: Travis Lanham
Editors: Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tale From The 50 Cent Bin! - Green Arrow #1 and #2

Next up on “Wanna-be Batman Month” (which isn’t a good title since most of these guys aren’t wanna-bes) is a guy who actually started out as a copycat: The Green Arrow. He first appeared in More Fun Comics in 1941. He was obviouly influenced by Robin Hood with the get-up and skills. Mort Wesienger (his creator) even pulled stuff from a movie serial called The Green Archer. The Batman part comes with everything else. He was a rich playboy, had a kid sidekick, and had a lot of crap that was based on his name. Let’s see, there’s the Arrow-Cave, the Arrow-Car, and the Arrowplane. If he also had some Arrow-Shark Repellant and we could call it a day.

He got retooled in 1969 to be more of his own character. He lost the money, grew a cool goatee, and became one of those annoying liberals you try to get away from. By the way, I also run away from the annoying conservatives because I’m just that guy. Anyway, this new attitude and look stuck with him for the longest time until the New 52 where… I don’t know what going on there. All I know is that his book (like most books these days) tends to have rotating teams.

After the Crisis On Infinite Earths, Green Arrow was reshaped into a grittier version of himself by Mike Grell. Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters started that shift. In the mini, Oliver and Dinah (Black Canary) relocated to Seattle, WA and serious stuff happened. His new series after that mini-series kept Oliver in that direction. I picked up the trade Green Arrow Vol. 1: Hunters Moon some time ago. Today’s issues are from that trade. Green Arrow #1 and #2 were written by Mike Grell. Pencils are handled by Ed Hannigan and inks are brought to us by Dick Giordano.

Green Arrow #1 and #2
Writer: Mike Grell
Pencils: Ed Hannigan
Inks: Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin
Colors: Julia Lacquement
Letters: John Costanza
Editor: Mike Gold

Saturday, December 5, 2015

TV Talk - Daredevil Season 1

Today’s double dose of Daredevil ends with a small look at the first season to Netflix’s Daredevil. When I heard they were doing the show, I was interested. Still, it actually took me a few months to completely watch the show. Hey, there is so much stuff out there for a man to see, so this got put on the backburner. I haven’t even watched Jessica Jones yet. I actually re-watched the show this week in order to give it all another look for this post. Thankfully, the show was so good that another re-watch was something I needed. Oh yeah, I’ll  spoil a couple of things, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. I’ll wait…

Anyway, the show looks at Matt Murdock as he’s building his law firm and vigilante life. He’s not in the standard red costume yet. He’s all decked out in black with a mask covering most of his face. The whole season revolves around him trying to stop the crime and corruption in the New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. All of his crimefighting starts to ruffle the feathers of the one who’s controlling all the crime in Hell’s Kitchen: Wilson Fisk. While Matt is off doing his thing, others like Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, and Ben Urich are doing what they can to help.

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Daredevil #159

Next up for this weird Batman month is a character that’s pretty cool: Daredevil. While I like the character, he’s not one of my favorite characters. I always thought he was cool though. He is also a Marvel mainstay and has been around since the 60’s. He’s also the reason Frank Miller is/was a name. For those who don’t know, young Matt Murdock went blind when his eyes were doused by chemicals in an accident. While he can’t see, the chemicals strengthened his other senses in a major way. He learned to hone his abilities and body to do awesome things. As an adult, he’s a defense attorney during the day. At night, he is Daredevil, a red-wearing vigilante who delivers a certain sort of justice to evil!

His similarities to Batman are few but they are there. They both lost a parent to crime, they experienced tragedy at a young age (going blind isn’t fun), they honed their bodies into fighting machines, and they dress in tights… or armor. Take your pick. They also try to do some good in their civilian lives. While Bruce puts his money towards his fight against crime, he does try to use his money to better the city. He is a philanthropist playboy after all. Their lives also tend to be very crappy though Daredevil takes the cake. One wonders how he has made it this far. The only major difference is that Matt has powers.

Today’s issue is Daredevil #159. I had gotten the first volume to Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller a long while back and this is one the issues in it. I was curious on Frank Miller’s start on the title and I was listening to Dave’s Daredevil Podcast at the time (I need to catch up with that). The writer is Robert Mckenzie. Pencils are provided by Frank Miller. This was actually his second issue on the title. Klaus Janson provided the inks, Glynis Oliver Wein does the colors, and Jim Novak provided the lettering.

Daredevil #159
Writer: Robert McKenzie
Pencils: Frank Miller
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Glynis Oliver Wein
Letters: Jim Novak
Editors: Mary Jo Duffy and Allen Milgrom

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tales From The Library! - Black Panther Vol. 1: Who Is The Black Panther?

I wanted to start this themed month off with a character that I’ve liked but haven’t read a lot of: The Black Panther. He was introduced in Fantastic Four and has been around since then. He’s been a part of the Avengers and has had a few series during his time in the limelight. He was even married to Storm which could have been cool if Marvel did anything cool with it. T’Challa may be the Marvel character who is most like Batman in a lot of ways. He’s rich (Royalty, man!!), he’s a master at fighting styles and tactics, he’s pretty smart, he uses an animal with the name, and he’s lost family members to crime. There are differences of course. His world is much more expansive than Gotham, the Black Panther is a title given to him, he has no secret identity, and he will cross the line in ending his enemies permanently.

Earlier in the year, I looked at a Panther story from the 80’s. I’ve wanted to look for more stories but really haven’t yet. For this character, I decided to once again visit the library and I found something. “Who is the Black Panther” was the arc that revamped the character for his series in 2005. The trade contains the first six issues of Black Panther. It was even adapted into a kind of lackluster animated series/motion comic. At least it had good voice casting. Hollywood director and former BET Pres. Of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin handled the writing duties for the series. Coming in on art duties are John Romita Jr. for pencils and Klaus Jansen with inks.

Black Panther Vol. 1: Who Is The Black Panther?
Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Klaus Jansen
Colors: Dean White
Letters: Randy Gentile and Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor: Cory Sedlmeier
Editor: Axel Alonso