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2018 Weekly Comic Buys n' Reads
Topic Started: Jan 2 2018, 10:35 AM (79 Views)
Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Batman & the Outsiders #8
A Very Special Christmas Issue (*fart*). All the babies in Gotham are instantly being aged to senior citizens. It all unfolds around a plot involving the Phantom Stranger and his arch-enemy Tannarak. Of course, since it's the Stranger, he uses his uber-powers to defeat Tannarak and save all the babies.

I really hate Phantom Stranger. When I see him, I think: "something that SUCKS is about to happen".

The Outsiders all do various good deeds around Gotham. Meanwhile the parents of Trina Shelton; the girl whom Black Lightning accidentally killed; hire New Wave, leader of the Masters of Disaster, to get revenge.

It kinda' funny how Batman's "training" involves him yelling at the Outsiders and simply telling them to do better.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & The Outsiders #9-10
The Masters of Disasters kidnap Black Lightning and intend to execute him. Batman goes undercover as "Matches Malone" and leads the Outsiders to where they're hiding him. A quick fight breaks out and they save BL. It's established that the Masters are rookies, themselves.

Trina Shelton's mother takes a "bullet" intended for BL and it's implied she's dead. She even has the cliche' final words, telling BL he forgives her. Yet two pages later, she's alive and well.

A flashback shows how BL fought some thugs on a subway. During the melee, one of his lightning blasts knocked a thug's gun, and a bullet accidentally killed Trina Shelton, an innocent by-stander. Well, at least they've tied up that subplot.

There's also a Halo solo back-up story. Very lame, as it's something you'd find in Archie.

Batman & The Outsiders #11-12
The "origin of Katana". She was married and had two kids... but the husband's jealous brother was obsessed with Katana. So he joined the Yakuza and attacked the happy family; killing the husband (with a sword) and the two kids (in a resulting house fire).

Through some hocus-pocus, the husband is pulled out of the sword, along with some other super generic martial-arts based villains. Big fight, as the Outsiders travel to Japan. Once again, death is implied, as it seems that Katana kills the brother and the husband is returned to the sword. Katana's sword is revealed to have the souls of all whom it has killed. So, it's been her husband inside the thing.

They might've had something going with just Katana's origin, but pulling in the silly villains (including one who was a barbarian) ruined it. Also, note that Batman has no problem with taking the team away from Gotham to save a comrade. This is all contradicted when he leaves the team in issue 32.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders #13
Batman was actually poisoned by one of the villains, while in Japan. So he passes out and the only cure is to "keep him active", so the Outsiders lead him on an origin re-creation across Gotham. Huh?

Along the way, gang boss Morgan Jones tosses out a Mr.T knock-off named "Mayme". As in "MAIM" and not "May-me". Mayme and his army of generic gas-mask soldiers easily take out the Outsiders. Of course, Batman recovers in time to save the team.

Biggest deal is that, while Batman's out, the team takes him to Alfred and un-masks him. They all now know he's Bruce Wayne. When Batman fully recovers, he shows his thanks to the team by officially un-masking in front of them. Just kind of a weird plot element, with the unofficial and official un-maskings. The first one didn't need to be there.

I can't stop reading these, simply because they're so odd and terrible.
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JimBob Skeeter
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Yeah, it was bad. Nothing really big ever came out of this series. For some reason, a really bad Metamorpho arc comes to mind...........
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders #14-15
Maxie Zeus wants to impress his estranged daughter. So he escapes from Arkham and calls up the Monitor to get a team of super-powered "New Olympians". They take over the 1984 Summer Olympics at the LA Memorial Coliseum; as Zeus believes some competitor is slated to be his "queen".

Outsiders shows up and what happens is a straight-up trip to Super-Friends Ridiculousness. Heroes and villains pair off in their own quasi "competitions". Halo takes on the villain Nox in gymnastics...by flying around LA. Black Lightning and Metamorpho engage their counterparts in some sort of soccer/rugby/polo thing. Geo-Force and Antaeus...punch each other.

Batman figures out the daughter thing and shifts the scene there. The "queen" actually likes Zeus' daughter and agrees to be her mom. I don't believe the "queen" or the daughter were ever seen again.


Incredibly awful.

The Monitor's scene is referenced with the tag: "The Monitor, created by Marv Wolfman, 38. Brooklyn, NY". Again, he seems more sinister and like a villain supplier for hire. Weird.

There's also a significant appearance by Pres. Ronald Reagan, wearing a bolo tie and interacting with Batman. To quote Nick Offerman in the TV Fargo: "the man did a movie with chimpanzee. That's un-dignified."

I almost forgot: there's even a romantic subplot about Geo-Force and Halo getting together.
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Viceroy Virus
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The Return of Andre "The Fucking" Giant!
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I picked up my pull list yesterday and got a few other comics while at my LCS. I got:

Batman: White Knight #4
I've never been a huge Batman fan, but I dig Sean Murphy and this story has been an interesting take. What I thought was a throwaway joke in the first issue actually leads to a bit of mystery leading to this issue.

Dejah Thoris #0
A Dynamite intro issue for 25 cents (or free in my case), so why the heck not?

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3
Two of my favorite comic book companies team up to do a "Meets" mini-series with a few of my favorite characters. What has me intrigued is what how Poison Ivy plans to destroy Hiram Lodge for trying to build on a swamp.

Harley Quinn #34
I'm actually super behind on this title. I'm probably going to drop this title shortly after Conner and Palmiotti depart as a good jumping off point.

Invincible Iron Man #595
I can't stand these legacy numbers. I was on issue #11, then I was on issue #593. Anyhoo, Riri Williams and Tony Stark.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #26
So...Devil Dinosaur isn't listed on the cover. It's the fantastic three storyline right now, with The Thing and Human Torch teaming with their friend from Yancy Street, Moon Girl. I actually rather like the dynamic between The Thing and Moon Girl, but I'm missing Devil Dinosaur. I mean, the entire point of her Inhuman power is that she switches bodies with Devil Dinosaur.

Moon Knight #190
I wasn't pulling Moon Knight before but the Crazy Runs in the Family storyline seems interesting. A man known as The Truth is driving people to suicide and Sun King is getting closer to Moon Knight.

Ms. Marvel #26
Kamala Khan has vanished by other people are carrying on her legacy.

Old Man Hawkeye #1
Hawkeye is going blind and seeking vengeance in the name of the fallen Avengers.

Suicide Squad #32
My fourth Harley Quinn-related title this week and the second one I'm super behind on, which means it's time to drop this title and do a little catch up. My main pull for getting his book isn't just Harley (especially since she's on other book, including her own), it's Enchantress. I'm behind, but I like Enchantress and I was digging her relationship with Croc. Croc and June Moone oddly kind of work being paired off together.

Walking Dead #175
nWo - New World Order

And, for the fun of it, the Previews Guide, the Marvel Previews Guide and Image+.

I dropped Doomsday Clock, Long Lost and Motor Crush from my pull list this week. Doomsday Clock I might get as a collection and they're $5-6 per issue. Long Lost is by Scout comics. I just wanted the #1 to see where things go. We'll see if it ends up on my pull list again. Motor Crush - I love the creative team, but something about Motor Crush was moving felt a little too slowly for me.
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SamoaRowe
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dWb Superstar
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I'm officially dropping X-Men Blue. I was holding out to see what interesting things they did with time travel (in regards to Generation X) and it came and gone in one issue. This has been a digestible title, but I don't feel like I'm gaining much from reading it.

X-Men Gold is also on thin ice with me, except I kind of like the current space arc.

I dropped Weapon X a month ago. Again, a digestible title and that was always quick and fun to read, but I didn't feel I was getting anything from it once they moved on from Weapon H.

Right now I'm routinely getting Action Comics (when it doesn't sell out), The Flash, and Batman, and keeping up with Metal, Doomsday Clock, and Batman: White Knight. I try to limit myself to 3 comics at a time when I visit the shop as I have a baby and all that jazz.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders #16-18
Bruce Wayne hired Jason Bard to track down Halo's past. Along with some GENIUS Batman-reasoning: "she hasn't used her violet aura as Halo, so Violet could be her name". She turns out to be a nasty runaway wench from Missouri. How can we tell she's nasty? Because she has Jim Aparo's standard EVIL CHICK SCOWL in her flashbacks. It's all some mumbo-jumbo about how Violent Harper (Halo) had a photographic memory and saw a drug formula for Tobias Whale. She ran to Europe with her boyfriend, who subsequently was killed. Violet was killed, as well, by Whale's assassain Syonide.

While all that's happening, we're also "treated" to the main feature: Metamorpho gets zapped by the Orb of Ra, courtesy of Simon Stagg. The Outsiders (sans Halo) travel back to ancient Egypt, fairly easily. Metamorpho is mind-controlled by the EVIL Ahk-Ton, who wants to overthrow Ramses VII. Big fights, etc. When they return to the past, Sapphire Stagg asks Metamorpho to marry her.

This may have been the "really bad Metamopho arc" JBS mentioned. It is, in fact, really bad.

Batman & the Outsiders #19
They end the romantic subplot with Halo and Geo-Force, as they're more happy as "brother and sister". Geo-Force's college classmate, Denise Edwards, attempted suicide because their professor withheld her scholarship unless she performed sexual favors. Geo-Force is flaming mad and wants to KILL the prof...so Batman easily calls up Superman to stop him. Cooler heads prevail after an obligatory "Super Hero Fight of Misunderstanding", then Batman busts the prof for a history of sexual abuse. I suppose this would be "timely" and get a spot on Good Morning, America, were it released today.

The stuff with Superman is weird, because it indicates there is no riff between Batman and his JLA pals.

Batman & The Outsiders #20
More details on Halo/Violet Harper's connection with Tobias Whale and Syonide. Summed up, above. They just spaced out the "Truth about Halo" arc over a few issues, so it flows more naturally. Only real point is that Syonide KILLS Halo's parents. Of course, because the Outsiders are so damn competent, both Syonide and Tobias Whale get away.

Batman & The Outsiders #21
Filler issue. 3 solo stories on Katana, Geo-Force and Black Lightning. All like some of the crap you'd see in "Marvel Comics Presents" in the late 80's. Katana's involves a robbery that is based around the radio call of a football game between the "Gotham Goliaths" and the "Metropolis Meteors". Even the football call is blown, as it talks about the runningback is rumbling downfield, then THROWS A PASS to a receiver for the game-winning TD. Also, "the coach is wanting to put in his reserves". Which makes no sense, because you'd never put in your back-ups in a close game.

Oh, and Geo-Force fights a mechanical shark and Black Lighting fights "The Ghetto Blaster". The BL story is borderline offensive in its portrayal of characters.

Batman & the Outsiders #22
More of Halo, as they go to the old JLA satellite to use the lab. Batman's shocked that it's been destroyed and calls the JLA "fools"...further complicating what was shown as a good relationship, three issues ago.

Halo turns out to be the dead Violet Harper's body possessed by an alien energy entity, one of the "Aurakles". Dr. Jace, Markovia's scientist who pops up when the plot requires her, is also along for the ride.

Of minor note, Black Lightning and Metamorpho start to become uneasy that Batman views the team as his own little army. This is where 1998 Mike Tenay would holler: "there's dissension in the ranks of the nW....errr, BATO!" Katana has become something of an emo milksop, as all she does is whine about missing Halo.

Alan Davis also comes aboard as the regular penciler in issue 22.
Edited by Erick Von Erich, Jan 15 2018, 10:22 AM.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Batman & The Outsiders #23
Wasn't clearly communicated, last issue, but Katana apparently "killed" one of the Aurakles, trapping its essence in her sword. They use this and some Japanese mystical stuff (but not before stomping on the Yakuza) to get transported to the Aurakles' realm. They're a buncha' big energy blobs.

They actually use some teamwork to defeat the Aurakles and save Halo. Metamorpho makes a big conduit through all the Aurakles and Black Lightning uses it to fry them. Batman continues his asshole ways as he tells the Aurakles: "we could've killed you all... but we didn't". Everybody goes back home, but Halo flies off for some soul-searching.
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Erick Von Erich
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Fearless Defenders #1 (2013)
Misty Knight is hired by Dr. Annabelle Riggs to locate some Viking artifacts. Undead Vikings attack, which brings Valkyrie to the scene. In the midst of things, Riggs plants a big ol' smooch on Valkyrie. Gasp! Females kissing!

Has quite a bit of modern Marvel's somewhat humorous explanation of things and how preposterous they are. Example: "Misty Knight. Detective. Also bionic". Has a whimsical feel to it, yet I'm not surprised this title didn't last long. The letters page has an article from the writer (Cullen Bunn) about how he was a fan of the "New Defenders", circa 1983.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders Annual #1
Annuals always throw me off in my re-reads. This one's set right after issue 13, as Batman's still laid up from poison. Geo-Force gets a new costume, to separate him from his dead sister, Terra.

This story strives to be inspired by George Orwell's "1984", since it was in fact released in the middle of 1984. Yet the results are interesting. Bad rich guy B. Eric Blairman wants to spy on everybody in the US, through their television sets. He creates the super-powered "Force of July" to fight the Outsiders.

That's fine, but what's REALLY interesting is some of Blairman's dialogue. He singles out Geo-Force, Katana and Black Lightning as un-American because they have "foreign blood" and are a threat to the integrity of the US. Furthermore, when he begins executing his plan, he says it's time to "Make America Great Again"! I shit you not.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders #24
A terrorist group attacks the Gotham Zoo, while the Outsiders are visiting. It's actually a plot by Simon Stagg's business manager to kill Stagg, "accidentally". Simon Stagg and Metamorpho make up as it's a prelude to BATO Annual #2: the wedding of Metamorpho.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & The Outsiders #25-27
Halo runs off to join a hippie commune, but it's a front by the master-criminal Kobra. Korba and his organization hi-jack the space shuttle and take over the "Star Wars Defense System" (SDI); which was a big buzz in the mid-80's. The Outsiders take them out, quite easily. Only interesting note is that Batman and Kobra go one-on-one and it ends in a stalemate. There was a lot of set-up with the whole commune ruse and it did not pay off in a good climax.

I have a random issue of Kobra's 70's series, somewhere. I seem to remember that he had a "good" twin brother, who was always tying to track him down or stop him. That's completely ignored, here, so who knows what became of that?

In a crappy sub-plot, Katana goes to the bank and meets the teller, Emily Briggs. Briggs is all sad, because she's not pretty. Yes, this becomes a major plot point, soon.

There's also more set-up for Metamorpho's wedding, as Annual #2 slots in, next.
Edited by Erick Von Erich, Jan 26 2018, 02:37 PM.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & The Outsiders Annual #2
Metamorpho is set to get married, but he's replaced by a duplicate "chemical clone" from his old enemy, Maxwell Tremayne. The clone kidnaps Sapphire Stagg (Metamorpho's main squeeze) and takes her to Tremayne's mansion in Africa. The Outsiders follow, but Tremayne has hired the Masters of Disasters as security. The Outsiders take them out, pretty easily, as it's an attempt to make them the team's recurring or arch-villains.

Tremayne's a little bit like Arcane from "Swamp Thing". Old guy with machines plugged into him. He appears to disintegrate when the clone ("Even Steven") turns on him.

A very textbook paint-by-numbers story, from start to finish. The wedding resumes and Metamorpho and Sapphire are officially married. I don't seem to recall Metamorpho being married when I saw him in "Justice League Europe" in the late 80's...so I'm a little curious what happens there.
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Erick Von Erich
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Batman & the Outsiders #28-31
Emily Briggs is abducted by a mysterious subterranean race, the Abyssians (from Switzerland), as she's the last bloodline of their long-lost leader. Rex Mason (Metamorpho) and Sapphire Stagg were honeymooning in Switzerland and noticed some weird stuff...so Metamorpho ended up getting mind-controlled by the Abyssians.

What follows is a LAME fantasy wannabe. It also ties into the return of Halley's Comet, as the Abyssians' original leader was powered by a chunk from the comet/meteor. Emily Briggs is zapped by...something...and becomes Looker. From a mousey bank teller to a (supposed) hot chick. She now has eye-beams and telekinesis.

I'd forgotten about Looker-- she's a character I absolutely hate. My pre-pubescent young self didn't think she was hot at all. The story about how she was a nobody, but now she's SOMEBODY because she's suddenly "pretty" is all kinds of ridiculous, demeaning and brainless. The story ends with her banging her husband in her body, as a Christmas present. Um...okay, but it was established that her husband liked her as she was (and yeah, she was cuter as plain ol' Emily Briggs).

What's also weird is that Looker was already introduced in the direct-only "Outsiders #1", which was released a few months ago. Around the time of issue 26 or so. This is the same effect DC used in their "New Teen Titans/Tales of the New Teen Titans" mess from about a year earlier. The direct-only title is a one-year/12 issue time-jump and the original title has to play catch up and will run reprints, soon. So people already knew who Looker was (and that Batman was gone); which may be why this story was so bland and rushed.

One more official "BATO" issue to go!

On a minor, yet important, note, I'm thinking Katana's facial design is very stereotypical and might be considered offensive. I dunno...just throwing this out and thinking about it.
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