For the last couple of weeks I have been reading more than I have been writing so shame on me. On the other hand, I have read some really great comics. I’ve been all over the place between new comics, trade paperbacks, and dollar bin finds. Let’s get right to it.
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #3 & 4
Writer Jeff Lemire
Artist Max Fiumara
Colorist Dave Stewart
Letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot
In the third issue of the mini series the Doctor continues to try and make amends with his dying son. He travels to the moon, after having not been to space for so long, to re-activate a beacon he used to make contact with the aliens he had so many adventures with when he was younger. The Doctor hopes that one of them might be able to help his son. His call is answered promptly by an unfamiliar alien with a black star emblazoned on his chest. The Doctor does not know who he is but the alien is very familiar with him, calling him father.
It turns out that the aliens the Doctor interacted with in his adventures earlier in his life looked to him as an example. They have been observing him for years and have formed an intergalactic police force called the Star Sheriff Squadron. They’ve duplicated his technology and formed an organization made up of hundreds of different alien races all wearing his black and blue star uniform. Just as Star is realizing the impact he has had we flash back to when he returned home the first time. Many earth years had past while for him he had only been gone a short time.
His wife had turned into a mess and his grown son was serving in Vietnam. Both his wife and son rejected him, angry at how long he had been gone. Back in the present the Doctor is telling the aliens that he needs their help to cure his son of the cancer that is killing him. They explain that their healing powers would be incompatible with the humans, that they are sorry but they cannot help. The Doctor then asks how they were able to duplicate his technology so they show him. They take him to the source, a star shaped portal that is the Parazone. The Alien who has been explaining everything then says that there is nothing he can do for his son but here is the answers to all the questions he’s ever asked. We see Star considering his options and then we are back in the hospital.
The Doctor is standing next to his son’s bed. He’s explaining why he came back. He’s explaining his regrets about missing his son’s life, how he wishes he had taken him flying with him. Charlie whispers that he’s ready now. The Doctor lifts the frail form of his dying son up and takes him from the hospital flying him all the way to the moon where Charlie then passes in his weeping father’s arms.
Doctor Star was an extremely compelling and touching story. At its heart it is a simple story about a father so eager to discover new worlds that he neglects his family on this world until it is too late. Lemire also works it into the larger Blackhammer universe very nicely with appearances from Abe Slam and the Black Hammer himself, Joseph Weber. While the story obviously takes major elements from Starman and the Green Lantern Corps it is gripping and it all just works. I would highly recommend this series even if you are not reading Black Hammer.
Metal Men #47
Writer / Editor – Gerry Conway
Artist / Co-Production – Walt Simonson
Colorist – Carl Gafford
Letterer – Gaspar Saladino
This was a fun flea market find. It’s from 1976 and very early in Simonson’s career. The pencils are pretty rough in some parts but there are flashes of his signature look. The story is an enjoyable adventure where the Metal Men are trying to recover a safe filled with millions of dollars that Chemo threw into orbit from Italy and eventually landed in Antartica. Action ensues when the Metal Men are mistaken for the element shifting robot Plutonium Man who has been attacking the Army base. This was a great pick up for two bucks and was in good shape for a comic this old.
The New age of Heroes
The Curse of Brimstone #3
The Unexpected #1
Philip Tan & Justin Jordan’s Brimstone continues to impress me. I really dig the art, it has a very creepy / horror vibe and the story has been interesting. Like many modern comics the events in the story are stretched out over more issues than are necessary but this one keeps me coming back for more.
Damage seems to be going nowhere fast. In issue number four Poison Ivy is at farm trying to stop the farmers from harvesting their crops. Coincidentally Ethan is on the run and has joined a work crew that is suppose to work at the very same farm Ivy is attacking. Over the course of the two issues Ivy basically kicks Damage’s ass, choking him out with vines after the first fight. In issue five Ivy is about to stop Damage for a second time when Gorilla Grodd and a bunch of flying apes show up out of nowhere. I really don’t know where this book is head and I am not sure if I’ll be sticking around to find out.
Regarding The Unexpected I have no idea who anyone in this book is or what is going on. If I had just pulled this off the shelf I would not be going back for seconds but since I pre order several months in advance I’ll read the issues I’ve got coming before I decide to cancel it. Even with knowing nothing about what’s going on it’s still is not as bad as immortal Men.
Writer – Evan Dorkin
Artist – Veronica Fish
Layouts & Letterer – Andy Fish
Editor – Daniel Chaon
I am a big fan of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s Beasts of Burden so when a new supernatural book by Dorkin was solicited I jumped on it. The story is about several freshman going to the mysterious Blackwood college. There is a little bit of a Harry Potter vibe with several of the main characters arriving to town on a train. Four seemingly different students are given the attic room to live in. On their first night at the school the encounter some nightmarish visions and we’re off. I enjoyed the heck out of this first issue and look forward to the rest.
Supersons, Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon #1
Writer – Peter J Tomasi
Penciller – Fernando Pasarin
Inker – Oclair Albert
Colorist – Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer – Rob Leigh
I don’t care what it takes but DC should keep finding excuses for Peter Tomasi to writer Supersons stories.
This story begins with Radley Crowne, boy genius, locked up in his work room worrying his parents because he’s been in there for so long. Radley’s father interrupts him to introduce him to his new best friend, an adorable grey dog named Mutt. Of course Mutt and Radley grow up and become best friends. As a young man Radley is hitting the prime of his life but poor Mutt is getting pretty old. Radley decides that he’s not ready to let Mutt go just yet and he hooks him up to some elaborate machines.
We transition to a funeral for a co-worker of Clark and Lois Kent. They are paying their respects and have brought Jonathan with them. Jonathan is having a hard time dealing with his first funeral and heads outside for some fresh air. While Jonathan is gathering himself leaning on tree he is surprised by Damian Wayne who says that he tracked him to Big City because Gotham was quiet. Damian conveniences Jonathan to sneak away with for a bit because he’s bored and he’ll show him around Big City. Before they can get away Jonathan is shocked by a mechanical paw reaching out for him.
It turns out to be Dynomutt and he’s in rough shape. He tells the boys he smelled friends and came to find Damian. Dynomutt explains that he needs to be fixed up back at Blue Falcon’s home base. He says that Blue Falcon was taken by the Red Vulture, who also did this to him. Superboy and Robin quickly head off to save Dynomutt. Along the way Damian explains that Blue Falcon is a genius crime fighter and at one time was part of Batman Inc.
Superboy and Robin get Dynomutt hooked up to the Falcon’s machines that will start to make him better when Blue Falcon returns. He catches both boys off guard and stuns Superboy with his laser pistol. Robin dodges the shot and attacks. He’s quickly put down by the Falcon. Suddenly Falcon starts to have confusing thoughts and he does not know why he is doing what he’s doing. Just as quickly though he returns to his mind controlled self and snatches up Dynomutt to bring him to the Red Vulture. It turns out Radley created the Red Vulture but it was a failed experiment when the Vulture got away. Since then the Vulture put his mind in a human body. The problem is that said human body is deteriorating and he needs the technology used on Dynomutt to keep on living. Everything seems lost after the Vulture gets Dynomutt hooked up the machines but Superboy and Robin are back in the fight.
As Blue Falcon and the two young heroes tussle the Vulture is getting started on Dynomutt. Something starts to go wrong for the Vulture though. It turns out that the machines he hooked Dynomutt up to were just what he needed for a recharge. The feedback from the reversal that Dynomutt pulled allows him to break free and get between the Falcon and the Supersons. In a real Jedi throne room sequence Dynomutt gets the Blue Falcon to remember who he is and what they mean to each other. The Red Vulture has recovered and draws a laser pistol aimed squarely at Dynomutt. As he pulls the trigger Superboy launches into the Vulture knocking him off balance. The Vulture gets the shot off though but Blue Falcon dives in front of his best friends saving him.
As Dynomutt realizes what’s happened to his master he launches himself at the Red Vulture, meaning to end him. Robin stops him telling him that this kind of revenge is wrong. We cut to another funeral, this time for Radley Crowne. Jonathan is still uncomfortable while Damian is being a bit of a dork. Later that night Radley’s grave is being disturbed. Dynomutt is apparently not ready to let his master go. He digs up the coffin and bring the corpse back to the lab. He hooks them both up to Radley’s machines and lets the power go. The story closes with a worn out Radley Crowne winking and telling Dynomutt he’s a good boy.
This was a great story with a lot of emotion. We get a look into how a young boy feels at a funeral where no one is very comfortable. We get a wonderful story of a boy and his dog. Finally it is a great comic weaving together the DC and Hanna Barbera superhero universes in a very natural way. A lot of the time these kind of mash ups feel forced and out of place. Not this one. Tomasi brilliantly weaves the two together is a way that makes it feel like they have always been this way. It is pure wish fulfillment in that our pets never die and their masters never leave them.
Best of the Rest
Mister Miracle #9
Finally we are getting to the climax of this series. We learn what the point of this whole exercise has been. It’s not quite what I thought was going to be but I’m glad something is happening. Now I am really looking forward to see what happens.
Hawkman is back in comics and that’s a good thing. This issue was a fun adventure that involves Carter Hall finding an artifact that turns a statue in to a giant, flying Ape. How can you go wrong with that?
Plastic Man #1
This is Gail Simone’s mini series that feels like it is going to be a fun mystery. There are some great jokes and has all the makings of a good plastic man story to me. Rebirth has really shed a lot of the heavy stuff that the New 52 brought to the table and this story will continue that trend.
The One #1
I picked up this series from the dollar bins recently. After listening to this podcast I decided I wanted to read this comic for myself. The first issue did not disappoint. Having grown up in the Reagan era and the oppressive possibility of nuclear war this comic really hits home, and the PuzzFundles are just plain weird.
I’ll close this one out with a ad from the Metal Men (1976) for another fabulous career opportunity to t be a locksmith.