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Heroes and Villains – Reviewing Recent Comics 7-12-2017

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This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Divided States of Hysteria #2, Golden Voices: Frank Sinatra, Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #6, War for the Planet of the Apes #1, Mage: The Hero Denied #0, Groo: Play of the Gods #1, Youngblood #3, and Back Issue #98… be warned, there may be spoilers… and a mature content warning as well…

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Your Childhood Cartoons Meets Comics In “Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1” & Others On The Wednesday Run

Never the two shall meet.

But it’s a little kid’s dream, isn’t it?

Those after school or Saturday morning cartoons – the ones that we ALL loved so much, made even more real, given a heightened sense of heroic justification, when intermingled with the heroes of the comic books we read!

I mean, we’d regularly have crossover adventures between cartoon and comic book heroes, universes, genres and pop culture mediums with the toys that we’d buy at the local store.

We were ahead of our time.

Green Lantern. Space Ghost. Suicide Squad. Banana Splits. Booster Gold. The Flintstones. Adam Strange. Jonny Quest.

Cartoons and comic books – never the two shall meet?

Not today – today we get ALL the meetings!

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The Comics

ag1While we’re on Election Week break with the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, I thought I’d take a peek at the ongoing Marvel comic of the same name. I wrote about S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 about a year ago here, but a lot has happened since then, including this ongoing series. The Agents have become firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe of the comics, and even embroiled in Civil War II. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – the comic series.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Comic Book Collections Part 3

We’ve been through these comic book collection lists twice already this month, but there’s more. Oh, how there’s so much more!

You can read through Part 1, which mentioned a host of great, affordable comic books for the loved ones in your life. Part 2 continued to showcase great works of sequential art – but these were ones that were slightly more expensive.

This 3rd and final installment mentions the monetary apex of some of the greatest comic book works that were released throughout the year. Yes, they’re expensive. But yes, a loved one should have them in their collection. (Also, self-love is not at all shunned here!)

I know! Times a-tickin’ and the shopping window is a-closin’’! Let’s get to it right after the jump!

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From TV To Spaghetti Western To Century West On The Wednesday Run–September 18, 2013

There are comic book creators and there are comic book creators. And then there’s Howard Chaykin.

Perhaps most famous as an uncompromising and often controversial writer and artist in the medium, Chaykin is notable for his award-winning works comic book works American Flagg, Black Kiss and American Century. He famously reinvigorated the pulp character, The Shadow for DC Comics in the mid 1980’s, bringing the man “who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men” into the twentieth century. His oeuvre of work spans five decades that includes every genre you can think of including science-fiction, fantasy, crime noir, superheroes and westerns.

And that’s where today release of Chaykin’s Century West comes into focus.

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You Won’t Be Alone Enjoying The Solo Deluxe Edition Hardcover On The Wednesday Run–June 5, 2013

If you give an acclaimed writer/artist a pencil, a pen, a sheet of blank paper, a stable of beloved comic book characters to choose from amidst carte blanche direction, you’re bound to get something very, very special in return.

Comic book and sequential art fans are the true recipients of that extraordinary product, and, in 2004 through 2006, that’s exactly what happened. Thousands of story and art aficionados came together in love and wonderment over the DC Comics bi-monthly series called Solo.

If you were there the first time around, care for a return?

If you’re new to the idea of Solo, today, you’re in for a real treat!

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Time Again For Sci-Fi With Time Warp #1 On The Wednesday Run – March 27, 2013

The science fiction genre teaches you many things, but if there’s one specific lesson it reminds you of again and again, it’s that time is circular. Whether it’s a memorable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or a great read by Phillip K. Dick, events, we’re told, are meant to be repeated.

The same is true in comics.

Back in 1979-1980, DC Comics published the five-issue sci-fi anthology series, Time Warp. Today, the title comes back with a more sophisticated slant, courtesy of top industry writers and artists and published under the Vertigo Comics banner.

And boy! Is there a lot to look forward to here!

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Black Kiss 2 #1 Is Signed, Sealed And Hopefully Delivered On The Wednesday Run – August 1, 2012

When it comes to comic books and comic book stores, I have three distinct memories of the latter half of the 1980’s:

First, I remember buying multiple copies of the premiere issue of Justice League. The local comic book shop I frequented had a two-copy limit on purchases of it so I used my younger brother (who didn’t read comics) as an excuse to exceed that threshold. I cashed out with a part-timer, but the owner actually chased me into the parking lot to verify my story! Easily done when you have a bemused – and in on the game – Dad waiting for you in the car.

Secondly, I remember forlornly waiting for the last, delayed issue of Watchmen, every extra week, an eternity. “I did it thirty-five minutes ago” has an entirely different meaning in my world.

Lastly, I remember standing inside my local comic book shop in the summer of 1988 and looking up at the top shelf of the bookrack behind the cash register – the rack where many European comics were kept on display – wondering, “What’s in that sealed plastic bag?”

That, my comic book loving friends, was what the late 1980’s, had become. That was Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss #1.

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Find Out What Evil Lurks In The Hearts Of Men On The Wednesday Run – April 18, 2012

Whether you know it or not, an injustice has been thrown upon us comic book fans for too long now. The legendary, red-scarved and black-cloaked vigilante with the hooked nose, steely gaze, and ominous laugh has been unceremoniously resigned to our misty-coloured memories and plaintive sighs – but no longer!

Today is an exciting day for us suffering, pulp-deprived fans!

Lamont Cranston, the Shadow, returns in a new ongoing, monthly series from Dynamite Entertainment. Criminals will cower and the gunfire of retribution will ring out loud in the streets of 1930’s New York…for the Shadow knows – say it with me now – what evil lurks in the hearts of men!

Aren’t we lucky? You bet we are!

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Tales from the Longbox – The Shadow: Blood and Judgement (1986)

Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.

The Shadow #1-4 miniseries
“Blood and Judgement”
DC Comics
May – August 1986
Writer/Artist: Howard Chaykin

I have fond memories of listening to old recordings of The Shadow radio program. “Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts Of Men… The Shadow Knows!” I picked up issue #1 of the series when I was 15 years old and I was hooked. It was like nothing else on the comic book shelves at the time. I was a little too young to “get” Chaykin’s critically acclaimed American Flagg, but I really enjoyed this series. It was a labelled a Mature Title, so being a fifteen year old, there was a bit of a forbidden and taboo feeling about the book.

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