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Messages - The Adventurer

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Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 04 June, 2018, 12:56:34 am »
Just got through League of extraordinary gentlemen Vol 1-3, Black Dossier and the Nemo trilogy in time for the last and 4th volume starting next month.

What now?  Fourth volume of League or Nemo?  Not heard about that yet!

Yup. Six issue series finale Coming in July.

Issue 1 Solicitation text
After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series' spectacular fourth and final volume, "The Tempest." This six-issue miniseries is a celebration of everything comics were, are, and could be. Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha's lost African city of Kor, and the domed citadel of 'We' on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe. This is literally, and literarily, the story to end all stories. Here's how it begins.

Issue 2 Solicitation text
Opening with a 1919 death match between two American superhumans in the ruins of Utopia, the second issue of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s final volume of the beloved comic series takes its readers on a breath-taking ride over a waterfall of storytelling styles, from a startling 21st century Lincoln Island and its current incarnation of the legendary Captain Nemo, through a New York coping with an ageing costume-hero population, to a London where a drastic escalation is commenced by the rejuvenated sociopath controlling MI5. All this, and a further reprinted adventure of 1960s super-team The Seven Stars, awaits in issue two of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume IV: The Tempest.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 04 June, 2018, 12:46:04 am »
Quote from: BPP
VS - looked errr (great line art, terrible overwhelming computer colouring) junk story (its Harlem heroes but not as well told).

Thank you, I've been trying to articulate this for a while. Amaziballz artwork (would fit right into 2000AD or any Euro Comic really), but its story of 'war as sport' is just... all over the place.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 26 May, 2018, 05:36:25 pm »
Arh I used to love that Don Simpson Megaton Man stuff - such fun.

I definitely want to get some more. I'm only really familiar with his crossover with the Savage Dragon, and a series of Back-ups that ran in Savage Dragon in the early 00s.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 26 May, 2018, 05:19:28 pm »
Took a break from my Marvel Reading to go Comic Dollar Bin diving...

Found these at an Antique Store, just some random late 80s/early 90s indie stuff.

Finding those prompted me to head down to my local Comic shop and dig through their bins. Just for kicks. It took me two different days to go through everything

Day 1

Finding those three Super Patriot issues was great, since its one of the few Savage Dragon related series I've not yet read. Did not find issue 4 though. Which I worried about. Assorted issue #1s. Terminator The Burning Earth 1 was an interesting find, as it's the first comic work of Alex Ross.

Day 2 bore much fruit however

Found Super Patriot 4, which I practically jumped up and down in excitement about. A couple of Big Bang titles, a random E-Man issue. And an assortment of Keith Giffen deep cuts. Complete Trencher looks really good. Dominion was cancelled after two issues, I'm interested in the art though.

General / Re: 2018: forthcoming thrills..
« on: 15 May, 2018, 04:48:56 pm »
Not much has.

More then you’d think though. Chopper, Death Planet, War Machine, Deadlock, Tiger Sun Dragon Moon... off the top of my head.  A bunch of Exteme Edition material is starting to get rereprinted too finally.

General / Re: Where to start with Strontium Dog?
« on: 14 May, 2018, 06:34:23 am »
I missed out on the 50% discounts :(
do they do discounts often or is it a one time deal ?

Still says its on sale for me. https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/on-sale

'The World's Greatest Comics' Project - 01: Justice, Like Lightning...

Incredible Hulk 449 (Peter David, Mike Deodato Jr.) January 1997
Thunderbolts 1 - 12 (Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley) April 1997 - March 1998
Thunderbolts Annual '97 (Kurt Buseik, Mark Bagley, Various.) August 1997
(Reading Total to date... 14)

First, a quick word about what came before...

In my experience the early-to-mid 90s were not kind to the Avengers. The founding members all went through some very questionable changes, mostly involving really bad new costumes , and in Iron Man's case made to turn traitor and then being replaced by a teenaged time traveling doppelganger. The Avengers team itself always seemed to be made up of C and Z-stringers. With such amazing heroes as Sersi, The Black Knight, and former Thor understudy Thunderstrike, just to name a few who made up its seemingly always changing, always middling, roster. The 90s were the years of X-Men and Spider-Man, with everybody else playing second banana-fish-fiddle. And you could tell.

In 1994 Marvel had bought Heroes World Distribution to distribute their comics exclusively, and when the bottom fell out of the comics collectors market in 1996 that acquisition was a major factor that lead to the company's bankruptcy. Bought out by toy company Toy Biz, Marvel set to work to shore up their assets and start climbing out of the hole they were in. One of the first decisions they made was to 'kill off' their weakest selling properties; The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Fantastic Four. Then relaunch them under the control of early 90s Marvel superstars, and Image co-founders, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. These 'Heroes Reborn' were set in their own pocket universe with its own unique Marvel history. Meanwhile in the original Marvel Universe, life moved on, with the characters in that world believing their greatest heroes to be dead.

This period without the Avengers and Fantastic Four, gave Marvel an interesting opportunity, to launch a series of new titles set in the Marvel Universe to refresh, revive, and redefine some of their other languishing properties. Only now without the Avengers and Fantastic Four around to overshadow them. Out of theis came titles like John Ostrander & Pasqual Ferry's Heroes for Hire and Tom Peyer & Casey Jones on Quicksilver. But of these titles there was one that captured readers imaginations, stood the test of time, and set the tone for Marvel super-heroes in general for the next few years. That series was Kurt Buseik and Mark Bagley's Thunderbolts.

The worst kept secret in comics...

The Thunderbolts are the Masters of Evil in disguise. At the time it was one of the greatest twists in recent memory. A bait and switch so perfectly executed NOBODY WOULD SHUT UP ABOUT IT. I learned of Thunderbolts, like most of these comics, from Wizard the Guide to Comics, and that twist was something I knew from moment one as a result. The Thunderbolts had been introduced briefly in Incredible Hulk 449, and debuted in their own title a few months latter, and as best I can tell the revelation that these 'all new heroes' were actually a handful of super-villain footnotes from throughout Marvel history was kept pretty tightly kept (it was pre-internet, it was probably a lot easier). But that one twist turned what was expected to be fun classic super-hero team book from 'Why didn't they just relaunch New Warriors'? to a 'Holy shiiiiiiiii...' experience. It certainly got people talking, and I recall their first appearance in Hulk 449 becoming a very sought after issue, even in a post collectors boom period.

But a series has to be more then a twist ending. And that's the the thing I didn't have going into reading this series, the answer to why its lasted so long, becoming a major Marvel franchise even now in 2018. And you have to chalk that up to writer Kurt Buisek and artist Mark Bagley. Bagley would latter become a superstar, drawing over a 100 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, but here on Thunderbolts you can see him really cutting loose, giving the characters really classic and recognizable looks with well organized action scenes. As for Kurt Busiek, if you're creating a super-hero team book that draws heavily on obscure characters from throughout Marvel history, there is no better choice. He manages to pepper every issue with interesting trivia and obscure villains. And the team dynamic of a group of out-of-luck loner super-villains corralled under the machinations of one of Captain America's greatest foes, Baron Zemo just.... works. The process of these characters transitioning from cynical bad guys taking advantage of a power vacuum to people who start to get addicted to the public attention from their heroic actions really rung true for me.

That said, if the first 12 issues of Thunderbolts has a weakness its in its antagonists. The Thunderbolts might have made their debut battling the Hulk, but their early rogues gallery is strictly D-list. The Mad Thinker and Arnim Zola are probably the best of the bunch, but they only hangs around for one issue each. Zola is tied into the introduction of non-villain new hero Jolt. The Rat Pack and the Elements of Doom are not so interesting. The Elements of Doom do hang around long enough to draw out the majority of New York's remaining super-heroes, in a very cool team-up scene though. Ironically, or maybe even intentionally, Zemo is the Thunderbolt's greatest enemy. By undermining his teammate's changing priorities, generally manipulating them against one another, and eventually outing the team's identities to the media early just because he grew impatient with the whole scheme. I get the sense that the return of the Avengers and Fantastic Four to the Marvel Universe by issue 10 of the Thunderbolts run accelerated plans for keeping the team's identity a secret longer, both from Zemo's perspective, but probably also editorially. This premature outing by Zemo leads the majority of the Thunderbolts to revolt against their leader even though his plan to conquer the world basically goes off without a hitch. The team clashes with Zemo and the mind controlled might of a combined Avengers and Fantastic Four, in easily the best showdown of the series so far.

Overall the first year of the Thunderbolts was big, bold, and the kind of action & adventure I look for in team super-hero books. Its unique focus on villains gave it the rub it needed to stand out in crowd, and its creative team was one of the best ever put together. Some sub-par bad guys, and possibly editorially rushed end game doesn't tarnish its great character growth and bombastic battles.

Next time... 'The World's Greatest Comics' Project - 02: Heroes Reborn, Return.

I wouldnt recommend bothering with Sentry.AT ALL.
If you want a Superman who's mental,get King Hyperion.King Hyperion was a beast. :-)

From Exiles? I’ve read Exiles, it’s great stuff (when Chuck Dixon and Chris Claremont aren’t f-ingit up.

Sentry, like a couple of choices on my list, is more for its historical context.  Like it or not, these books shaped marvel's future for a long time. Also it’s short, and I recall totally getting fooled by its 'Unearthed lost Marvel Comic' lies. Gotta find out the hubbub.

The Plan: To read a ton of Marvel comics I've never read before during the span of time between Onslaught and New Avengers, 1997 to 2004. From the introduction of Busiek's Thunderbolts to the end of David's Captain Marvel. I'm dubbing this era 'The World's Greatest Comics' era, because of a house banner Marvel put over their Marvel Universe titles for just 5 months in 1997. I realize this is a tenuous branding, and literally only Thunderbolts had this banner present in my reading list... But I had to call it something!

The Series (subject to change): I'm focusing on any title from this period that interested me in any way when I was a young teen with no money. Ones I lacked access to from 1997 to 2001, and ones I had felt I'd already missed the boat on from 2001 and beyond when I did have access and money (also, when I was to busy reading Image Comics and Crossgen, and being a snob about X-Men). As such, I won't be reading any Spider-Man or most X titles from the period. New X-Men and X-Statix getting special consideration for reasons of being different from the usual. I'm also not reading Heroes Return Fantastic Four and Iron Man, just to keep things... a little more sane (also I recall their runs being a bit choppier then the rest). This list of titles was largely drawn from what I remember was nuclear hot in the pages of Wizard Magazine at the time. When the comic industry was in turmoil from the comic crash of 1996 and Marvel in particular going bankrupt. When the grim and gritty 80s and 90s got a chance to modernize into something a bit more classic, yet also became a bit more nuanced.

The series I've planned out to tackle (so far) are...

Thunderbolts 1-75
Captain America 1-50
Avengers 1-45
Thor 1-79
Black Panther 1-62
Inhumans 1-12
Avengers Forever 1-12
Captain Marvel 1-36/1-25
Marvel Boy 1-6
The Sentry 1-5
X-Force/X-Statix 116-129 /1-26
New X-Men 114-154

This is roughly 480 comics, with enough wiggle room for Annuals and few other bits and bobs I'm sure to add in as I go (will I read the Maximum Security crossover? Do I have to????), that's nearly 500 comics already! The thing about this period of Marvel, is that most of these series were helmed by just one creative team for their huge runs, with only a few having two writers, or an artist change. That's some crazy consistency compared to some books today!

My plan is to read them in roughly, but not strictly, in publication order. I'm reading these comics via the Marvel Unlimited iOS app, and it does a good job of organizing single issues by publication date, even across different titles. So switching between books as I go is easy, giving me the real comic shop experience of reading many different titles at a time. Which is how I like it. Generally I'll read three or four issues of one title, until it comes to a natural break, then catch up on another. etc... etc... In the 2000-2001 period I'll be juggling probably ten series at once before it starts to taper off. Fantastic. Or insane. I'm not sure which.

Note: I am considering adding in the Kevin Smith/Joe Quesada/David Mack run of Daredevil because its somewhat short. I didn't really want to read the Bendis run though, the premise of this exercise is based on when Bendis got the keys to the kingdom in late 2004 my interest in Marvel basically died. I'll probably Read Daredevil #1 when I get to it and see what I think first. I may also add the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty maxi-series, since it was more Mark Waid Captain America form the time.

This Thread: I figure, if I'm going to be reading 500 comic books, it might be worth talking about them a little bit. I'm already about 16 month into the timeline, so I've already got something to talk about. My next post will cover the Onslaught aftermath, Heroes Reborn, and the arrival of Busiek and Bagley's newest super-team sensation, The Thunderbolts.

I hope this proves interesting for others.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 13 May, 2018, 08:34:46 am »
I’ve been trying to come up with a way to document it. Seems like a waste not to. Maybe I will make a thread and treat it like a blog.

The World's Greatest Comics Project

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 13 May, 2018, 05:10:09 am »
So I've embarked on an insane plan. To read roughly 500 Marvel comics from between 1997 and 2004 (aproximately the time between Onsaught/Heroes Reborn and Avengers Disassembled/New Avengers. A period I like to call one of Marvels absolute best, but honestly I didn't get to read a good chuck of it at the time. So with a brand new Marvel Unlimited subscription I'm going to be reading, in approximately the order they were released in originally (app makes this really easy to do actually...)

Thunderbolts 1-75
Captain America 1-50
Avengers 1-45
Thor 1-79
Black Panther 1-62
Inhumans 1-12
Avengers Forever 1-12
Captain Marvel 1-36/1-25
Marvel Boy 1-6
The Sentry 1-5
X-Force/X-Statix 116-129 /1-26
New X-Men 114-154

Including a few other odds and ends (Annuals mostly), this is a ton of comics to get through. And I'm even skipping a few things, like Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil. But these are the books that I always though looked really interesting at the time, but I didn't really have access or money for then.

Most of these are runs by single creative teams or a single writer switch mid run (Busiek/Nicieza on Thunderbolts, Waid/Jurgens on Captain America), and are insanely long by modern standards.

I'm currently about 15 issues into Thunderbolts, and 5 each of Captain America and Avengers, taking me to about mid 1998. Marvel Knights starts up very soon in the timeline. So I've got quite a bit to look forward too.

General / Re: Where to start with Strontium Dog?
« on: 05 May, 2018, 04:34:37 pm »
Strontium Dog more then some, probably should be read from the beginning. Its not exactly continuity heavy, but it does build itself up over time enough that having that chronological reading order helps a lot.

Personally I read one of the modern stories, Traitor to his Kind, first because it was running at the time I started reading 2000 AD and while it read okay it made a lot of sense after reading the Agency Files material.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 21 April, 2018, 06:20:49 pm »
Speaking of Astro City... well I will but first let's speak about the fact there's just not enough time to read comics...

 and the return of Black Hammer in Black Hammer - Age of Doom 1 sees the core series return, all be it with a new number... well 1 Jeff Lamire really is developing his world gloriously here. I kinda think this is his Astro City (from my understanding of Astro City that is) its brilliant stuff.

hmmm, an interesting take away. The Doctor Star series in particular does feel like an Astro City tale in many respects.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 18 April, 2018, 12:00:54 am »
Astro City is a treasure. If you liked Confessions, you're probably going to love Tarnished Angel. There isn’t really another long form story again until The Dark Ages though.

General / Re: List of Meg Floppies
« on: 10 April, 2018, 11:23:48 pm »
Floppies implies... well floppies...

They're called 'floppies' because unlike standard collections, they don’t have stiff card stock covers, rather glossy paper covers. Aka, they flop.

And yes, because most regular reprints are of classic and popular content, the Megazine reprints are a bit more of a deeper cut most of the time. Which is great.

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