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Gonna party like it’s 1989.

§ May 22nd, 2019 § Filed under batman, collecting, retailing, this week's comics § 1 Comment

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.

Okay, the “this week’s comics” category is misleading…look, I’m still way behind.

§ October 4th, 2018 § Filed under this week's comics § 7 Comments


DC’s latest Big Event Title is Heroes in Crisis, putting lie to the title of DC’s Final Crisis from a few years back. And as this sort of thing goes…well, first off, it’s surprising the first issue was only $3.99, in this brave new world of throwing $4.99 and up on the first issues of special events like this. (CUT TO three years later: “why couldn’t have this just been $4.99, instead of this new $7.99 price point they keep trying to push on us?”)

Anyway, there’s a place called Sanctuary where heroes go to recoup from personal difficulties and other issues, only someone’s broken the peace there and now there are piles of temprarily dead superheroes everywhere. I say “temporarily” because, well, you’ve read superhero comics before, if someone needs any of these guys for future comics, they’ll be back. Plus there are a couple of “deaths” that are 100% red herrings and will be undone over the course of the series.

It’s all pretty somber going, though the interaction between Booster Gold and Harley Quinn, a pairing one wouldn’t expect, is lively enough. Though, you know, still grim. This isn’t helping DC’s reputation amongst the fandom cognescenti, I’d imagine, but we’re still only on the first issue and in “set-up” mode…we’ll see where things go from here. Probably not going to turn out to be a laugh-fest, np. but I can see this heading in interesting directions.

Pictured above is the variant cover, and future variant covers will feature similar images of turning, or “crisis” if you will, points in characters’s lives. “Death of Superman” got me, because, well, you know. Another customer bought it because it had his birthdate on the cover…don’t know if he meant “Nov. 18th” or “July 17th” or possibly both, if it were perhaps an especially long labor.

I also saw comments here and there about Superman being way out of character in this, acting rather cold in his response as flies through the area and counts off the bodies. This didn’t bother me so much…I could read this as Superman waiting to mourn later, while focusing on getting this unpleasant job done now. Less agreeable was the bit where he couldn’t remember that one minor hero, which…c’mon, Superman remembers everybody.

A minor problem, get it.

§ June 7th, 2018 § Filed under hulk, this week's comics § 2 Comments


MILD SPOILERS AHEAD:

A couple of things about this comic:

  • Of the new Marvel first issues that came out this week, this seems to be the one of choice, outselling Deadpool (surprising), Doctor Strange (not so surprising) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (both of ’em, the mini-series and the Living Legends one-shot, inexplicably released in the same week and not confusing to my customers at all). I mean, that’s good, as Hulk’s sales have been fairly moribund of late and maybe the sorta “back to basics” nature of the new title may encourage readership.
  • I suppose “back to basics” isn’t really the right term, here, as there’s been a pretty major change to the status quo of the character: as I understand it (having not read that Avengers issue that originally establishes this new twist) Bruce Banner can be seemingly killed, but owing to the nature of the Hulk side of him, he can be revived from whatever damage was dealt. You know, hence the title “The Immortal Hulk,” I guess. It reminds me a bit of Peter David and Dale Keown’s Hulk: The End one-shot from a number of years ago, where an ancient Bruce is desperately trying to die, while the Hulk refused to let that happen, and struggles to survive.

    Anyway, it is back to basics in that we’ve returned to Banner turning into a more articulate Hulk (as he was in the early issues), a transformation triggered by sundown (also from the early issues), as well as a simplicity to the story. Not continuity heavy, not dependent on any of the larger Marvel Universe hoohar, a more-or-less done-in-one issue that establishes the premise and shows us what to expect tone-wise from this series.

    Speaking of which, this is much edgier than your standard Hulk book…to the point where I’m concerned about having to explain to parents that maybe this, a Hulk comic for pete’s sake, isn’t appropriate for kids. There’s some pretty harsh stuff in here, such as that opening act of violence that triggers the plot, as well as what I believe is only the second use of the word “asshole” in a not-explicitly-mature-readers superhero comic (after an appearance in DC’s Final Crisis #1). Certainly I think the first in a Marvel comic (again, from the standard superhero line, not like the Max books or anything), which especially surprises because I seem to recall a time where “hell” and “damn” were verboten in Marvel books. At any rate, at a time when kids are particularly interested in reading Hulk comics, thanks to the movies, something like this can be a minor problem. Already went over it with some parents n Wednesday, looking to buy ’em for their funnybook-demandin’ offspring.

  • Should note that I’m not a big fan of the two-page splashes, especially in current comics where there is an increasing shortage of storytelling space. However, in this issue, there are two two-page splashes in a row, as a payoff to the anticipation building throughout the issue, and they were very effective and welcome in this particular story. They had a way of really putting the reader inside the story, making you wonder what it would be like jn that position, with that POV, while establishing the sheer immensity of the very thing I’m very coyly not specifying by name but you can probably guess. (This week’s issue of Batman (#48) also had a nicely-used two-page image.)
  • Oh, and it was a good comic, too. Did I mention that? It was quite well-done, effectively creepy and suspenseful…just maybe keep it out of Little Billy’s hands ’til he’s a bit older.

Pardon my French.

§ May 30th, 2018 § Filed under this week's comics § 2 Comments


Of course when I heard the Brian Michael Bendis run on the Superman titles was going to begin with a six issue Man of Steel mini-series, à la the identically-titled mini from the mid-1980s that kicked off John Byrne’s brief tenure on the character, I pictured that this new iteration would be similar in structure. You know, “retell the origin,” “reintroduce the villains and supporting cast,” and so on. I mean, okay, we’re getting a little bit of that, except it’s a brand new villain (seen in that short story from Action #1000), and what appears to be a new supporting character, and we get a look at the Daily Planet and the folks there, and we get introduced to the mystery of Lois and Jon, and and and…yes, it is a reintroduction to everything, but more in the context of “here’s the latest adventure of Superman, whom we all know has been around a while” and not so much “FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNEW.” Pretty much the definition of a soft reboot, and, you know…it wasn’t bad. Nice dynamic illustration by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (along with Jay Fabok), plenty of action and quieter moments, the classic costume with the trunks and without the collar (but with the new cuffs, which frankly I barely noticed)…this really did feel like a Superman comic, which is something the Superman comics only sporadically felt like since the New 52 relaunch. I hope this bodes well.
 
 

This book is certainly a slow burn…I know it’s all leading up to the eventual Superman Vs. Doctor Manhattan showdown, but in the meantime there’s a lot of characters from either fictional franchises occasionally bumping into each other and goin’ around and doin’ stuff and it’s a whole lot of shuffling pieces around to set up the eventual payoffs. A lot of Doomsday Clock‘s raison d’être is mimicking the style of the original Watchmen (the nine-panel grid, the awkward scene transitions where someone would say, like, “I need to reflect on that” and then there’s a mirror in the next panel, the attempts at world building, the overlay of “serious world politics” over superhero shenanigans), but it seems to me there was a whole lot more…plot progress issue-to-issue in the original than in this new series. I mean, yeah, sure, I get they’re trying to apply some level of mundanity to the usually over-the-top DC Universe, and continuing at this pace is part of that.

To be fair, this issue does seem to move things along a bit more, both with the main characters and with the background world events, and a character we’ve been waiting for to show up in this series finally makes an appearance (no, not Seymour). That payoff is mostly held back ’til next time, though (assuming it’s not all done off-panel).

I have been enjoying the back matter…this time, a “magazine” looking at the state of superheroes around the world. I think I’d almost enjoy more in-universe analysis of superheroes and their political/economic impact in this faux newsmagazine style without the accompanying comic story trying to use it as underpinnings for its plot. Or even the celebrity gossip mag that was in a previous issue…that was fun, too.
 
 

Okay, haven’t read this (or any of the other DC/Hanna Barbera crossover comics that came out this week) but the very idea of Jabberjaw being just straight-up drawn as a regular-looking shark, but still a goofball, interacting with Aquaman, is hilarious to me. I mean, he looks adorable. Jabberjaw, that is, not Aquaman…though I guess Aquaman is pretty adorable in his own right, with his certain je ne sais quoi. Wait, perhaps I’ve gotten a bit off track. Anyway, this comic looks pretty great…the “variant” cover (pictured above) is amazing. I mostly liked the previous batch of HB/DC crossovers, and this year’s assortment appears to be fairly quality as well. However, this particular one also has a Captain Caveman back-up by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins, so I’m reasonably sure I know which of the one-shots this time around will be my favorite.

I’m sure I made a typo somewhere in this post which negates my entire point.

§ March 29th, 2018 § Filed under this week's comics § 11 Comments

So there I was, reading the long-awaited final issue of Dark Nights: Metal, new this week from DC Comics, a series that has been a hoot-and-a-half pretty much all the way through, until I come to this. Here, at a gathering where one person has just given an inspirational speech, the others cry out their approval with the traditional cheer of


…by which I assume they mean “hear, hear,” the shortened form of the older phrase “hear him, hear him,” which makes it even more obvious that somebody must have screwed up somewhere. It’s very much an “editing by spellcheck” error, like the kind that was prevalent at the original early ’90s Valiant Comics, which never met a misused “it’s” it didn’t like.

I mean, yeah, okay, it happens. Everyoone makes mistaaks, but it’s especially embarrassing at the end of a highly-regarded, high profile event series for which they’re dinging you a fiver per copy. As these things go, it’s fairly minor…at least the pages aren’t out of order, or the cover doesn’t have an enormous spelling mistake in big red letters:


Anyway, I found that Dark Nights typo distracting. Had it been, like, in someone’s word balloon, maybe I wouldn’t have been bothered as much, but there it is, in attention-grabbing bold letters, floating over the heads of the characters, poking me directly in my eyes. I know some people do argue for the “here, here” spelling, but my calm and rational response is that they’re wrong and must be shunned forever.

As for the comic itself, aside from all that: loud and fun nonsense, that’s taking another shot at making a certain DC Comics second-stringer usable again, which may or may not work this time. We’ll see. Also, in terms of “introducing new characters and teams and leading into new comic book series,” I give it a 0.75 on the “Last Issue of Millennium” Blatancy Scale, which I think is more than fair.

And now, a blown-up detail from a comic book that’s coming out this week.

§ December 13th, 2017 § Filed under this week's comics § 4 Comments

From the Die Kitty Die Christmas Special by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz that’s out today, a close-up of a handful of titles on a comic rack:


That first one is Space something-or-other, which I thought was Force at first until, duh, I noticed there’s a rocket ship on the cover. That second one is The Bat, which can only be a parody of Spider-Man, I’m sure you’ll all agree. But that third one…that’s Capybara Girl, while being a clear take-off on Squirrel Girl, is totally a comic book I would read, given my life-ling appreciation of the world’s largest rodent.

I’ve written about Die Kitty Die before…Archie Comics artist Parent mixes a little satire of the comics industry with some very mild cheesecake and the occasional rude gag (like this issue’s pottymouthed Mrs. Claus) and a whole lot of silliness, all wrapped around the not-dead-yet title character, Kitty…who is also a witch, by the way. It’s cute and fun and despite appearances, not for kids…and it’s put the idea of “Capybara Girl” out into the wild, so it’s okay by me.

Probably my favorite comic this week.

§ October 25th, 2017 § Filed under this week's comics § 6 Comments

Got in really late this evening, so my post is just going to be a plug for Rick Veitch‘s newest release in his “King Hell Heroica” line, Boy Maximortal:


Yeah, okay, it’s been a while since the last installment (this Bratpack/Maximortal special, I believe?), but Veitch includes a brief recap of What Had Gone Before in the original mini, and you really should own all that stuff anyway. …There’s not that much, just the Bratpack mini (which has appeared in paperback with a slightly altered ending, if I recall correctly), and the previously linked Maximortal and Bratpack/Maximortal specials.

As for this book: it’s 100 pages long, in black and whie, with the “Boy Maximortal” material taking up the first half, and the rest of the book filled with a text piece about the history of the Heroica line, commission pieces and the like. Swamp Thing fans take note: some of the featured commissioned art has Swamp Thing in it.

The Maximortal story itself continues the peculiar yet effective mix of “superhero deconstruction” with a somewhat fictionalized and not terribly flattering history of the comics industry. Some of the players are only just barely disguised versions of actual figures from the business…you can probably guess who “Stanley Burr” and “Jack Curtis” are supposed to be. Veitch also incorporates a couple of anecdotes/character details into his story that may not necessarily be common knowledge, but hoo boy it was rough to see ’em just straight up presented here. It’s like how the story about Jerry Siegel working as a delivery boy after leaving Superman, and having to take something to DC’s offices, made its way into the first Maximortal series. It’s on that level.

The book is, I believe, Print-on-Demand, like his Rare Bit Fiends volume I mentioned a while back, and you can get your own copy here:


It’s a high-quality product, squarebound with crisp printing and a nice slick color cover, in case the “print on demand” thing has you worried. It’s also slightly smaller in size (in actual physical dimensions) than your standard comic book/trade paperback.

Anyway, it’s good to see Veitch returning to this material and advancing the story. It’s been 20 years, and I hope the folks who read these comics back then can find their way to this new release. But even more, I hope new readers discover this book and seek out Bratpack and that original Maximortal, and get their minds pleasantly twisted by what they find.

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