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Should I be reading anything into “Dark Multiverse” and “Direct Market” both being “DMs?”

§ December 2nd, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics § 3 Comments


So my efforts to catch up on my comic book reading continue apace, having managed to read a whole two this past week, both from DC’s Tales from the Dark Multiverse project.

I talked about this series before, like a week or so ago, commenting on its purpose seemingly being to make new “Batman Who Laughs”-type “dark” versions of our heroes to eventually menace the Justice League or whatever. And the patterns seems to continuue here in these two new one-shots (um, SPOILERS I guess) though the Blackest Night Sinestro isn’t really so much a villain at the end of his story as he is a huge screw-up. You know, kind of how Jar Jar is technically the villain of the Star Wars prequels, but he just kinda blundered into putting Palpatine into power out of his own clumsy nature rather than actual malice? Like that.

Anyway, I am enjoying these comics, despite their dark tone and the overall general belief that what we need less of on the stands are more “dark” comics. Well, these tell you up front “hey, these are from the Dark Multiverse,” so if you read ’em, it’s on you. But I think they’re effectively tragic “What If” type stories and I’m enjoying them on that level.

What’s interesting is that the “host” of these comics, the (hoo boy, hold on) Tempus Fuginaut, is basically telling us that what we’re seeing in these comics are deviations from the events in the regular DC Universe…i.e. the one that’s we’re reading about in the comics right now. Which is a bit confusing, as we’ve had our share of New 52s and Rebirths and such fiddling about with what is and what isn’t continuity. But ol’ Tempie, after he relates what happened in the Blackest Night series, says “that’s what happened in your universe,” so I guess we’re supposed to assume that Blackest Night, and Infinite Crisis, and the Death of Superman, complete with Red-Haired-Clone-of-Luthor-Pretending-to-Be-His-Own-Australian-Son, all happened in whatever version of the DC Universe we’ve got now. (Pending whatever happens at the end of Doomsday Clock, natch.)

And speaking of Infinite Crisis…so the deal with that is that the Earth-2 Superman and Lois, along with Earth-Prime Superboy, were in some “hypertime”* bubble outside the main DCU looking in. What the Dark Multiverse version of Infinite Crisis postulates is that there was a separate Hypertime bubble in the Dark Multiverse, featuring the survivors of the DM’s “Crisis on Infinite (Dark) Earths,” I guess. IT’S MULTIVERSES ALL THE WAY DOWN, FOLKS

Anyway, I’m overthinking it, I’m sure. That’s one heck of a spoiler on the cover of that Infinite Crisis cover, by the way. Should also note that there’s one particularly gruesome full-page shot in there, but hey, remember, says “Dark” on the cover, not “Light Happy Fun Times.” You were warned!

Like I said, I have been enjoying the stories in this series, even the “Knightfall” one, despite Azrael being like an immediate turn-off for me in nearly every other comic book appearance he’s ever had. Sorry, just don’t care for him. …I believe the next one in the series will be taking on “The Judas Contract” from New Teen Titans. Who will be the surviving future-villain-to-menace-the-regular-DCU from that, I wonder? A jaded and bitter Changeling? Dark Wonder Girl? Even Darker Raven? An armless Speedy? …Nah, forget that last one, who’d actually do anything like that?
 
 
 

* Don’t write in to tell me I’m using “Hypertime” incorrectly. As far as I can tell it can only be used incorrectly.

A couple o’brief notes.

§ October 25th, 2019 § Filed under swamp thing, this week's comics § No Comments

  • So updating my “Swamp Thing comics this week” post…turns out that Swamp Thing #1 reprint is the fastest selling DC Dollar Book yet…and that Swamp Thing Giant is the fastest selling of the direct-market availble Giants I’ve had so far. Everything’s coming up Swamp Thing! You know, like a plant. Because Swamp Thing is a plant. And plants “come up” by…growing….look, I’m tired, this is the best I’ve got. Anyway, hooray for good-sellin’ swamp monster books.
  • So I hwas doing the entire monthly funnybook order for the store yesterday, as I forgot the deadline was this week…and as usual, I double-check the solicitation for Back Issue magazine to see if there’s anything in there of specific interest to me. Because then, you know, I’d order an extra copy for myself on top of the copies i order for the shelf and the pull lists.

    This time ’round they’re doing a thing on comic book vaporware, looking at comics that were announced but never came to be. Specifically cited was the X-Men/Cerebus crossover, which I remember seeing a small piece of art for it at the time, accompanying a news blurb in The Comic Reader back in the early ’80s.

    Well, Twitter pal Bustronaut came through with a NICE, BIG pic of that image I remember seeing so long ago. And then BobH shows up with a look at X-Men/Cerebus was all about, plus some archived notes from Cerebus creator Dave Sim on the whole thing.

    You know, IT’S NOT TOO LATE

Swamp Thing comical books this week.

§ October 23rd, 2019 § Filed under swamp thing, this week's comics § 6 Comments

So I’m slowly catching up on my comic book reading. I thought I’d only been off for three or four months, due to my various eye issues, but judging by where I stopped reading on several titles, it appears I actually sopped sometime in April. Boy, that’s a long time to just be pulling a handful of new comics for myself every week, only to have it build into an imposing stack of material that hopefully someday I’ll be able to make it through.

But catching up, I have been. Current on Immortal HulkJustice League, where I read, like, the 14 most recent issues in relatively short order and boy howdy does that take you a ride. And, of course, as mentioned before, I’m up to date on Doomsday Clock, which is vitally important.

And I’m still keeping up on my Swamp Thingery, though my need to get every single minor one-panel appearance or dialogue mention or whathaveyou may have finally been broken by the whole Convergence thing with its similar-ish Swamp Thing cameo panel in every title. But I’m still getting those major appearances, and even the occasional reprint, like…


…this buck reprint from DC’s new dollar book line. Coloring’s nice, printing on bright white paper (which makes it look a little weird, as Swamp Thing in my mind is always on lightly-decayed newsprint), and the the cover remains particularly striking. It’s of course a come-on for DC’s new “Bronze Age” reprint books of ol’ Swampy, but still, it’s a nice buy for only a single Washington.


And here’s the first of the Swamp Thing Giants available directly through comic shops, versus the two or three or whatever (I’m not even quite sure) that were only distributed at Wal-Marts. Two new Swamp Thing stories, plus a few reprints, and the new stuff is probably standalone so I’ll probably be able to read this without missing out on much.


Now this series I’m not caught up on, but I’m making sure to snag each installment because Swamp Thing is generally in it. I mean, look, there’s his hand right there on the cover, waiting for a…manicure, I guess? I don’t know what’s going on in the book.

Anyway, there’s your Swamp Thing update for the week. I don’t know if he’s, say, hiding behind a tree in this week’s Action or anything (or actually being a tree, I guess), but hey, at least it’s a start.

Still waiting for my Nancy and Sluggo Funko Pops.

§ October 2nd, 2019 § Filed under nancy, this week's comics § 3 Comments

Your reminder that, while you’re out buying the new Nancy strip collection by Olivia Jaimes, out this week at better comic shops, and even mine:


…you should also be on the lookout for this other Nancy item by Jaimes, released to ye olde funnybooke stores this week as well:


Nancy’s Genius Plan is a children’s “board” book, with thick pages designed to take extra rough handling by young kids or, say, by whoever it was that went through my back issue bins a couple of days ago.

Anyway, it’s a short one, as you might imagine, but features several great full color illos by Jaimes. Also, the book is “interactive,” in that the reader is encouraged to physically interact with the book, like knocking on a window in one page to distract a character in-story, or turning the book upside-down to help Nancy get by an obstacle. Not a lot of Sluggo involvement…mostly he’s just one of the supporting cast in this particuliar adventure.

One thing I’d like to note is how, at first glance, the portraits of Nancy on both covers look identical. It’s basically the same features present on both faces, but with just the slightest adjustments, the open, genial face of Nancy on the strip collection:


…becomes that conniving Nancy on Genius Plan.

So it’s a good week to be a Nancy fan, like I know I am. Maybe I can finally make an effort to read some comics this week so that Doomsday Clock isn’t the only thing on which I’m caught up. Okay, granted, I did read Genius Plan already. Pretty much can read the book just by barely glancing at it, but then I suspect I’m slightly older than its target audience.

Still turned the book upside-down to help Nancy, though.

You do have a Swamp Thing collection, right? RIGHT?

§ August 27th, 2019 § Filed under swamp thing, this week's comics § 9 Comments


The only comic of note to be released this week is, of course, the House of Secrets #92 Facsimile Edition, reprinting the first appearance of the story “It’s Better to Give” illustrated by Alan Weiss and Tony DeZuniga, and written by Mary Skrenes under the pen name of “Virgil North.” Oh, the first Swamp Thing story is in it, too.

Anyway, someday I need to update this list I made in 2006 (eep) of all the reprints of House of Secrets #92 that I own, as I’ve picked up a few since then (including the very one pictured above). I laugh, laugh I tell you, at the concluding thought in that long-ago blog post that a mere eight copies of this issue were enough. Such is the folly of youth.

Also please note this reprint does contain the updated coloring for Swamp Thing’s eyes, making them the dark red we’re accustomed to, versus the whitish eyes of the original printing. A dealbreaker for some, I know.

Aside from that hideously untenable change, this is a nice looking reissue of this classic comic. Like Marvel’s line of facsimiles, it contains all the stories and ads and letter columns and other editorial content of the original, but on slightly better paper and with a UPC code and new improved pricing on the front cover. If you can’t get your hands on the original, or one of the dozen of more other reprints like someone you may know who’s been writing a blog for over fifteen years has, this will make a nice addition to your Swamp Thing collection.

DC borrows from Marvel, so does Marvel borrow from DC, and so has it always been and always shall be. And as what usually happens, one company sees another have a success with something, whoever’s in charge has their eyeballs pop out of their heads with little dollar signs forming at the end, and suddenly Company B is doing exactly what Company A did. And in this case, it’s the “#1000” issues DC recently published to great success for Action Comics and Detective Comics, both of which made it to that lofty peak one issue at a time, once a month (or eight times a year, or biweekly, or, hell, even weekly for a while) since their beginnings in the late 1930s.

Now Marvel doesn’t have anything really close to that at the moment…well, some things are approaching that number, but not for a while yet, and anyway Marvel’s still sticking to hiding the actual overall issue number to a series beneath their favored low issue number stemming from whatever was the most recent relaunch. Like, this week’s Amazing Spider-Man has a big ol’ “29” as its primary issue number, but beneath in smaller print it has “829,” indicating that this is in fact the 829thh issue in the series that began with that #1 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko so long ago.

Now frankly I wish they’d just pick a number and stick to it…when Marvel briefly went back to “original” (or approximate, anyway) numbering on a bunch of their titles for their “Marvel Legacy” effort, that actually seemed to goose sales a little, particularly on some of the second-string titles that could have used the sales help. Don’t know if was just a coincidence, or if customers had a little more confidence that maybe there’d be some consistency to what they’re following, and it wouldn’t be relaunched soon with a new #1 just because it’s a Brand New Creative Team or something.

Marvel Comics #1000, I believe the conceit is, is based on the idea that if the original Marvel Comics #1 from 1939 (the one with the first appearance of the Human Torch) had continued publishing, it’d be at about #1000 right now. Or maybe that’s just my interpretation of things, and besides we all know Marvel would have relaunched it with a new #1 a dozen times by now, lest they unleash the curse or whatever.

The cover I have pictured here (shameless stolen from one of the many, many eBay listings since 1) I didn’t scan the copy I got at the shop, and 2) Diamond has no image of it on their retailer site) is the “Rare” One Per Store variant, showing what I think might be the first official comic book (well, comic book cover) crossover between Marvel characters and the hometeam characters of their Disney masters. I don’t know for sure, since Marvel ain’t shy about cranking out variants and I’m sure I haven’t seen them all.

And boy oh boy I was sorely tempted. I actually like that image, quite a bit, and it’s not like I haven’t used the ol’ executive privilege to keep a variant for myself, but…well, I mentioned the eBays earlier, and this was a pretty might total on my invoice this week, so I think I’ll give it up for the sake of the bottom line rather than my collection. OH THE SACRIFICES I MAKE.

Oh, hey, big ol’ article on Dreadstar. I do loves me the Dreadstar. Let me just add this to the previous issues of Back Issue with content I want to read but still haven’t yet because of my ongoing eye issues. I’m sure it’ll make me wish Dreadstar was still a thing again, but that’s the risk I’ll just have to take.

This is the first actual physical comic book I’ve read in nearly six weeks.

§ May 31st, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics, watchmen § 4 Comments

[SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock #10]

So in the new issue of Doomsday Clock is how it introduces the idea that the various continuity shifts in the DC Universe are not only Superman-centric, but said shifts also affect the multiverse at large. Explicitly stated at last is the idea that Dr. Manhattan, as we’d figured, is responsible for the recent “Rebirth” continuity changes, as he tests out the nature of the DC Universe.

This idea of “the metaverse” (as it’s called) is a weird and interesting one, which reminds me to some extent of “Hypertime.” As you may recall, Hypertime was DC’s previous attempt at created an in-universe explanation for the various continuity boondoggles that crop up in comics, particularly since Crisis on Infinite Earths (itself created to streamline the DC Universe and reduce continuity issues, ironically enough). Hypertime was a thing where changes/glitches/inconsistencies occurred due to the intermingling of the various timelines of the DCU, basically a way of saying “don’t worry so much about stuff, just enjoy the story.” It was maybe too subtle a distinction, as eventually, as I recall, it eventually just became “here are parallel Earths again!” and I don’t know that the idea of Hypertime was cropped up much in recent years.

Anyway, we don’t have the full story yet as to why the DC Universe, or “Metaverse,” does this, outside of Manhattan’s own interference. Maybe Geoff Johns is going to bring Hypertime back in this. Wouldn’t put it past him. I do like how it’s centering on Superman, and I think it is, as I said, an interesting idea. It’s just a shame it’s being used in a series that’s (if you’ll pardon the expression) doomed to be a footnote in the history of the original Watchmen graphic novel, a curiosity that will be discussed mostly in terms of “…yeah, they actually did that comic.”

Don’t get me wrong…I’m enjoying it, sometimes on its own terms, sometimes as the off-model exploitation of a seminal, and ultimately standalone, work. But, like the “Before Watchmen” comics from some years back, like the HBO series that’s coming, like that big-budget movie, it’ll be regarded as some strange offshoots that surround the original, but never touch it.

Gonna party like it’s 1989.

§ May 22nd, 2019 § Filed under batman, collecting, retailing, this week's comics § 2 Comments

So I haven’t said a whole lot about new comics and mags lately, mostly because, due to current eyeball issues, I can’t really read comics and mags at the moment. As such, I’m building up bit of a backlog of recent goodies at home, on top of the backlog I already had, for me to attempt to plow though once my peepers are in order. Therefore I’ve been trying to be a little pickier about what I set aside for myself, though sometimes I can’t resist a certain special something.

What I definitely don’t need to be taking home for eventual reading are those magazines with articles and interviews about comics past, like Back Issue…a fine publication, but it just takes me forever to get 1) to them, and 2) through them, so I try to make sure it’s got something I really want to read about…especially right now, as who knows when I’ll finally have good enough vision to properly absorb them.

That said, they just got me for two issues in a row. The previous issue, #112, had a special focus on “nuclear heroes,” with a cover and feature on DC’s Firestorm, a character whose comics I very much enjoyed throughout the 1980s. I always like learning more about the comics I read as a somewhat-younger Mikester, so that’s how they got me there.

Issue #113, the one pictured above, came out this week, with its focus on the 30th anniversary release of the first Tim Burton Batman film, and all the Bat-hoohah and goings-on in the comics industry at the time. As some of you may recall, because I keep bringing it up, there were two major events I had to deal with shortly after I first entered the world of comics retail way back in September of 1988. One was “The Death of Robin,” and the phone calls and large number of walk-ins we had involving that. The other was, of course, that very Bat-film, and the huge explosion of interest in comics that ensued.

I talked a lot — and I mean a lot — about this film and its impact on the business about a year and a half back (here are links to that particular series of posts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 — and that is a whole lot to take in, but at least check out Wayne’s anecdote at the end of post #9. Trust me on this). But anyway, this issue of Back Issue is hitting the double-nostalgia chord with me…not just learning more about the Bat-comics I read at that time, of which, like most comic fans around then, I read a bunch. It’s also reminding me of a simpler time of comics retail, when I was just a teen, or barely out of my teens, manning a register and shuffling around comics and, okay, it’s not that different from what I do now, but I’m also paying the bills and placing the orders and just plain keeping the doors open. Not like back then, when I just had to focus on ringing up custmers and talking about comics and reading comics without also worrying about owning an actual business. I miss those days sometimes…but overall, I prefer what I’m doing now.

And if your favorite run is the John Harkness one…hey, let your freak flag fly, man.

§ March 27th, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics § 6 Comments

(SPOILERS ahead for the very few comics I’ve managed to read this week)


So while overall I’m liking the Bendis run on the Superman comics, there are always some little details, some minor quirks, in most issues that have me wondering. We haven’t had an explanation for the whole “cousinsister” reference to Supergirl yet (aside from “editing error,” though I’m still leaning toward “representation of a translation quirk from an alien language, even though it’s the only example in this character’s dialogue.”

But overall it’s nice to have a mostly consistent look, feel, and voice to the Superman books again…it may not be a voice you like, or are still getting used to, but I think there’s enough of interest here to keep me reading. Let’s get into this issue’s quirk, though, where Lois Lane just full-on says to Superman “hi, honey” right in front of Jimmy Olsen. I thought for a second “wait, does Jimmy know Superman is Clark? Did that carry over from the New 52 version?” but no, not long after it seems to be made very explicitly that Jimmy does not know the secret.

Sure, there are explanations…Jimmy wasn’t paying attention, or (as was suggested to me on the Twitters) he ain’t the brightest bulb and didn’t put two-and-two together, or maybe Lois just calls everyone “honey,” even though we’ve never seen her do that, but maybe she does it a lot off-panel. Who knows…or maybe Bendis is putting down the groundwork for some future plot twist. YOU NEVER KNOW


A surprising callback to the John Byrne-era FF in this issue…I think more ties to the Byrne issues would probably be to the benefit of the book, which, don’t get me wrong, is already pretty good. I mean, okay, the Byrne run was itself callbacks to the Kirby era, but having these ties to some of the pieces of FF lore introduced by Byrne (such as the return of his version of Ben’s Aunt Petunia) adds a little sense of history to the proceedings for those of us who have been reading comics for too long.

Also, so far, the new run of the FF avoids the usually Fantastic Four plots (as most recently discussed on this War Rocket Ajax episode), like “Johnny has to grow up,” that sort of thing. It seems sort of inherent in the FF comic that there’ll be recycling of elements (it’s not an FF comic ’til Doctor Doom and Galactus show up, as they have) but there feels like enough forward progression that we’re not just going over the same old ground again. Or, at least, there are new and different things being done with the characters, which is not easy after 1) what, six decades, and 2) following Lee & Kirby (and Byrne, and Simonson, and whoever your favorite FF team is).

In conclusion: it’s nice to have the Fantastic Four back on the stands. And even nicer…it’s still maintaining its sales levels for me at the shop!


Not 100% certain what’s going on here…I get the general gist of it, but I’m not sure we needed nine issues (expanded from eight) to get through it all, especially with some parts of the series “running in place” much like chunks of Doomsday Clock. Speaking of which, it feels like having this series and the Watchmen event is about one event too many, covering tonally similar ground. That said, I do like having a a Booster Gold-centric event series, here in the Year of Our Lord 2019, and this issue does have a good character bit for him (shared with Harley Quinn), And some time travel shenanigans begin to creep in, which is only natural, because, hey, Booster Gold. Just kinda wish getting to this point covered a fewer number of pages.


Haven’t read it yet, but amongst the cornucopia of variant covers for this special 800th issue, I finally, after much deliberation and the hemming and the hawing, decided upon the above. Oh Frank Miller, you’ve done it again!

Of course, with all this hoohar about issue #1000, what will they do for Detective #1027, the one thousandth appearance of Batman in this series (more or less, aside from issues #0 and #1,000,000, of course). I vote “embedded sound chip in the cover” which says “I’M BATMAN” or “na na na na na na Batman!” or “hey kid, this ain’t a library.”

Should also note, in fairness, Alan Moore probably would have had the Question say “Good question,” too.

§ March 6th, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics, watchmen § 7 Comments

[maybe some SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock #9 ahead)

I keep telling myself I have another deep-dive post on the whole Doomsday Clock thing, as a follow-up to this entry (and a bit more here) but it never really coalesces around much more of a center than “man, are you seeing this?” which, oddly enough, is sort of the tone of Doomsday Clock itself. “Man, are you seeing Batman fighting Rorschach? Man, are you seeing DC superheroes using swears?” You know, like that.

Issue #9, due out at your finer funnybook emporiums this week, is sort of the ultimate expression of that, where we finally get what we paid that admission price to see. It’s the DC Universe Super-Pals versus Dr. Manhattan, and I’d be lying if I said this isn’t exactly what I wanted from this comic book. I know they’re trying to say some heavy stuff about the political and society impact of superheroes in the DC Universe, a somewhat less subtle mirroring of one of the themes, itself not so subtly expressed in Watchmen. And they’re leaning hard on the anti-hero sentiment (again, as seen in the older series, and also, I’ve read Legends, thanks). And yes, we’ve got the President in here, too…we don’t see his face, but it’s Trump, tying these shenanigans to the here and now, versus the inherent weirdness of seeing Nixon as President in the original’s time frame of the late 1980s.

Hmmm…didn’t mean to do a whole “Watchmen is like this, but Doomsday Clock is like this” thing there, but it’s pretty much hard to avoid when discussing a series that on a very surface level is aping its inspiration while trying to shoehorn the format into a milieu for which it wasn’t really suited. The trappings are all there, the art is quite nice, it remains, as I’ve written before, oddly compelling almost despite itself, but it doesn’t feel right.

It certainly succeeds in not being like pretty much anything else DC has ever published…or it could be exactly like material DC has published, with characters forced to conform to a structure for which they weren’t intended. Even Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, as different from the usual comic book mold as it was, still felt like a natural extension of what had come before. Doomsday Clock feels like having your Star Wars action figures fight your Micronauts toys. Yeah, you bet it’s fun, but clearly the two lines were never really designed to be compatible.

I’m still interested…I’m looking forward to seeing the metatextual hoops the series jumps through where the Watchmen property is being used to explain DC’s real world New 52/Rebirth publishing initiatives (which, while not a fan of how we got to this point with a surfeit of reboots/relaunchs, I still contend is a clever aspect of the Doomsday Clock project as a whole). And, as a longtime Superman fan, I am very curious about Dr. Manhattan’s connection to that particular bit of DC’s continuity changes (hinted at very briefly, but More on That Next Time, I take it).

In conclusion, it’s all been worth it just for Guy Gardner is this issue.

A big week for folks with lightning bolts on their chests.*

§ February 27th, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics § 12 Comments


As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, either here or on the Twitters, due to my recent eye travails my ability to read at the pace I’m used to has been somewhat curtailed. I can read, but it takes a lot longer to get through a comic book than it used to. As such, the “to-read” pile at the secret Mikecave headquarters is beginning to pile up a smidgen, which is why I haven’t done a “this week’s comics” post on the ol’ site here in a while. By the time I get around to some of these comics, it’s more like “last month’s comics.” Which, granted, on Monday I did talk about a comic from a few decades ago, but, y’know, that’s different.

Despite all that, I have been trying to keep up with some comics…I’m current on all the Superman books, for example, and I’ve been reading the Detective issues leading up to #1000, and all the Hellboy stuff (though I think I’mm getting lost on some of the ongoing plot details again…I mean, I just reread ’em all back in 2013, guess it’s time for another go), and some others. And there are those I let stack up a bit before plowing through a bunch in a row (oh hello Flash).

But one comic I definitely kept up with was Mage: The Hero Denied (as you may have guessed I was leading up to, as per the image above), which would be the first on the stack to read every time a new one was unleashed over the last purt’near two years. Just when I got used to having a new one every few weeks, it’s gone again.

And even though it does come to a conclusion, I know I’m going to keep expecting a follow-up series in a decade or so. As I neared the end of this final issue, I kept expecting, I don’t know, something that stood out as a hint at more Kevin Matchstick adventures in our future. There’s a bit a dialogue that suggests, hey, maybe, but I’m pretty sure we’re done with Mage comics. BUT I’M STILL GONNA HOPE GOSH DARN IT.

So is it a satisfying conclusion? I think so…pretty much everything’s tied up, a plot point from earlier in the seies I kept waiting to come back to the forefront finally does, and all questions are answered about as much as you can expect them to be. And yes, there’s a fold-out. Wouldn’t be the last issue of a Mage series without one.

It’s hard to believe…I was going to say “hard to believe it’s over,” but it’s more than that. When I read the first Mage series, I was in high school. When the second Mage came out, I was managing someone else’s comic book store. This third Mage came out when I owned my own comic book store. I think it’s more like “I can’t believe something that was released and periodically returned during distinct phases of my life over a period of decades continued in a consistent and enjoyable manner and came to a conclusion on its own terms.” Not pithy, but it’ll do.


Okay, in fairness, I haven’t read this yet, but man oh man look at that cover by Michael Cho. That’s pretty swell. Even so, it was a hard choice to make as to which cover I wanted, since the “regular” cover was all Mister Mind-riffic:


I love the fact that the “serious” versions of Mister Mind DC cooks up still evoke the original design:

As to the series itself…it’s fine. Cap’s creator C.C. Beck would hate it (he hated pretty much all modern comics except Axa), but as far as current superhero comics go, it’s fun enough, and I liked the ongoing thing about Billy trying to come up with a superhero name for himself that isn’t just “Shazam” — a feeling I relate to since I really don’t like that’s what the character’s called now, as perhaps I’ve mentioned only about a hundred times on this site already.

But still…just look at that cover.

* Also, Flash came out this week…he’s got a lightning bolt on his chest, too. And there’s probably somebody else I’m forgetting. Look, there are lots of superheroes, I can’t remember them all.

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