RandoMonday: Adventure Comics #369

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

 

Adventure Comics 369

Adventure Comics #369 by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan, Jack Abel, Gaspar Saladino, Charlotte Jetter, and Neal Adams

I first read this story in Limited Collectors’ Editions (the tabloid comics DC Comics put out in the mid to late 1970s) #C-49. It was probably one of the first Legion comics I read (after Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #254 and DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #8) and what a whopper! Mordru escapes his prison and some Legion members go on the run to the past, specifically Smallville in Superboy’s time. They take on alternate identities and even fight crime, all while trying to evade Mordru’s gaze, but the issue ends with their efforts foiled. What happens next?!

I like how the story starts in media res and then we get a flashback explaining what happened, along with nearly three pages of back story in case you didn’t know who Mordru is and his impact on the Legion (hint: he’s one bad mutha!). What I really enjoy about this issue is watching the Legionnaires infiltrate Smallville residents’ homes — it was a simpler time when someone’s word was enough for you to be welcome, even if they were lying to your face. There’s also Shadow Lass in white skin makeup again (I wonder if readers of this issue thought this is where she might perish?) and Duo Damsel flirting with Superboy (she really settled for Bouncing Boy, huh?). And it is Lana Lang who betrays them all!

If you haven’t read this story and you’re curious, you can find it in the aforementioned Limited Collectors’ Edition, in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8, or on the DC Universe app.

RandoMonday: Queen and Country v1

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

 

Queen and Country v1 by Rucka, Rolstan, Luth, Sakai, and Konot.

I love spy stories, whether it’s James Bond, Atomic Blonde, Red Sparrow, or Velvet. And if one of my favorite writers is involved, even better. I’ve had this digital trade for a while now and the randomizer got me to read this finally.

The story itself is simple: British SIS spy Tara Chace assassinates a retired Russian general, Odessa wants revenge and attacks the SIS HQ, killing a couple agents, SIS Director of Ops wants revenge and works against MI5’s operation to apprehend those responsible, and Chace is used as bait by MI5 to draw out the Odessa assassins.

I don’t know why, but I expected a grander story (I blame James Bonditis), but there’s certainly nothing wrong with what we got in this first trade, though I would have liked a bit more personality/characterization. Most of what we see is only in relation to the characters’ jobs, but maybe that was the point: their jobs are all-consuming.

Rolstan’s art also is fine, but the simple, almost cartoony quality of it, for me, detracts from the tone the story is trying to evoke. It doesn’t help when you see the Tim Sale covers–I would have loved to see this comic drawn by Sale.

The question for me now is do I buy the next collection?

What did you think of this comic book?

RandoMonday: Astonishing X-Men #9

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

AstonishingXMen9

Astonishing X-Men #9 by Whedon, Cassaday, Martin, Eliopoulos, Ryan, Lowe, and Marts.

The Danger Room is ALIVE!!! And apparently trying to kill Kitty and some students while Wolverine, the newly (then) returned Colossus, Cyclops, Beast, and Emma Frost spend most of the issue trying to do … anything. Then they do exactly what the Danger Room wants — freeing it.

I want to highlight Cassaday and Martin’s art. Cassady is always a great draftsman, but I particularly enjoyed how he varied his page layout and panel structure — the former allowed for a bunch of full page shots of all these characters but the latter without making the pacing boring and one-note (plus, he just draws pretty). Martins colors really heighten the tension, going from normal lighting to a hellish landscape, and back to convey a false sense of danger averted!

Retro Review: Adventure Comics #459

Direct Download (49:09)

Adventure Comics #459

Pulled from the longbox, I talk about Adventure Comics (v1) #459 (cover date September/October 1978). This dollar comic format featured six “all-new super-star features,” including the Flash, Deadman, Green Lantern, the New Gods, Elongated Man, and Wonder Woman. Let’s find out if it’s really a “fabulous first issue–launching the most exciting new comic of the decade!”

Adventure Comics #459 back cover
Back Cover

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Favorite Comic Books of 2018

Direct Download (54:31)

It’s time for my annual tradition of looking back at the previous year of comic books and talking about my favorites. I talk about the following categories:

  • Image Comics
  • AHOY Comics
  • Dark Horse
  • Oni Press
  • Abstract Studios
  • Marvel
  • DC Comics
  • Most disappointing
  • Looking forward to in 2019

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, and visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via Apple podcasts.

Thanks for listening!