Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (DC)

SUPERGIRL: REBIRTH #1 - Cover

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (DC)

Steve Orlando (w) Emanuela Luppachino (a)

DC Comics relaunch or rather Rebirth continues apace as Supergirl returns in her own monthly title and what a debut it is. New "parents", Cameron Chase as the Director of the DEO and a threat from Krypton or rather Argo City's past..involving Red Kryptonite?

As regular DC readers will know Kara is currently without powers so the DEO have sent Kara to the Sun with Kryptonian regeneration matrix as their last hope of restoring her power. It's probably no spoiler to let you know that this is a success and just in time to as a monster attacks Kara's friends back on Earth.

Another survivor of Krypton arrives but in monstrous form and he's angry with Zor-El, Supergirls father who sent him into the Phantom Zone, an innocent man but a threat to all those that survived Krypton's destruction.

And he isn't happy when he sees the symbol of the House of El on Kara's chest...

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 art by Emanuela Lupacchino

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 art by Emanuela Lupacchino

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 art by Emanuela Lupacchino

Good set up story and hopefully a precursor to a great new series. DC is currently having a field day with sales of it's Rebirth line of titles and are outselling Marvel for the first time in three years! Meanwhile Supergirl has her own TV series, which is now out on DVD which I happen to like and a second series is on the way!

Here's the trailer for those who have not seen it! Well worth picking up!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hercules #1 (Charlton/1967)



Hercules #1 (Charlton Comics)

Joe Gill (w) Sam Glazman (a)

One of the greatest legendary figures of all time was Hercules, son of Zeus, King of the Gods and a mortal woman his stories have been told for generations including in the comics medium. Most comic readers will be more familiar with the Marvel incarnation of Hercules. Friend of Thor and Avenger. Firmly set in the world of super-heroes.

Charlton comics however provided the reader with a version of the legend set in ancient times and in a more traditional "sword & sorcery" direction. Now Charlton were not exactly renowned for their high production standards so a lot of their output has production flaws, but there was some effort put into the creative side of this title which lasted 13 bimonthly issues plus one black and white magazine edition of #8 in addition to the normal four-colour comic.

The first story line sees Hercules set out to complete twelve tasks (wrongly referred to in the text as nine) and stopping to save and then fall in love with Princess Helen who is already betrothed to a certain Alexander. Helen reciprocates his affections (and note she has a suspiciously 1960's haircut), but alas Hercules has to choose between her and joining the Gods in (or on) Olympus so engages in a fight with the Lion of Nemea and on his way he goes.







The back-up feature is Thane of Bagarth set in the world of Beowulf with all the usual intrigue. Written by Steve Skeates with art from Jim (Batman) Aparo this strip does have it's fans. Maybe it'll grow on me as I collect the set.

 

In the second issue which I picked up at the same time Hercules engages in the second of his tasks which is to defeat and kill the three-bodied giant Gerion.

The art & script in this title makes it a solid read, especially given the period it was produced in and makes a change from the normal super-hero fare produced by the "big two" Marvel and National (DC) in the late sixties.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Dracula Lives #1 (Marvel UK/1974)



The launch of Dracula Lives by Marvel UK in October 1974 finally bought the horror revival to our shores as the Lord of the Undead's adventures were reprinted in glorious black & white in this weekly comic. Slightly edited by the publishers due to Marvel's titles attracting a large number of slightly younger readers to it's comics this was nevertheless a feast of horror done in the Mighty Marvel Manner as Stan Lee used to say.

In fact the first splash page contains a personal message and photo of Stan "the man" Lee himself as he introduces Dracula himself as he says;

Dracula! The very sound of his name sends shivers up your spine! The inhuman scourge of Transylvania - the vampire who stalks by night!

This comic reprinted the adventures of Dracula from the US title The Tomb of Dracula which lasted for 70 issues between 1972 and 1979.

 

I chose to collect the Marvel UK version because I prefer my horror in black & white. Besides Gene Colan's art looks better in this "oversized format.

The first issue takes us to the cliffhanger when the deranged Clifton finds a skeleton with a stake through it and muses "so let's see what happens when I remove this stake".

The adventure begins...

But as Stan reminds back in his intro:

But have no fear, I pray you. We know there is no living dead. We know that Dracula is but a myth. We know it well - or do we?

Dracula Lives terrorised us kids for 87 issues.

The comic launched with two other features; Werewolf by Night and The Frankenstein Monster. The big three movie monsters Marvel style all in one mag.

What's not to like!

 


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Adam West, Burt Ward & Julie Newmar return....

Having just watched the excellent animated movie Batman The Killing Joke which shows the dark side of the world of Gotham, I was delighted to hear that Warner Brothers have just announced that sixties favourites Adam Ward, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar are returning in a much more light-hearted feature: Batman Return of the Caped Crusaders.

Here's the ad. released in the states on Oct 11th it's usually available a week later in the UK!

Commando #4940 The Flying Flea (DC Thomson)

Flying Flea

The latest batch of Commando comics included this wonderful little story (reprinted from an earlier edition in 1966) about a man and his son being transformed from civilians running an airfreight company on a small island near New Guinea to being on the front-line against the Japanese invaders.

The RAF arrive to build an airfield in their paradise and bring the war to them. Despite the presence of modern Tomahawk fighters, very soon survival depends on two very old fashioned planes.

The first a tiny HM14 nicknamed the "Flying Flea"which manages to survive combat with Zero fighters, for a while at least and a Vickers Virginia bomber in which the survivors must escape, be captured or worse.

A charming little story from simpler times. Complete nonsense of course but very typical of how we saw us "plucky British" during the war.

And for the boys amongst us here's some info on the real planes used in this story.

First up the "Flying Flea":



The Vickers Virginia:



Other Commando books out this week include:

Kill Me If You Can! Ram Raiders Rettreat - or Die!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Rook (Eerie #82/Warren 1977)



Time travelling heroes are quite common across comics, TV and film. DC had Rip Hunter and the BBC has arguably the most famous of them all, Doctor Who but when Warren published The Rook in the pages of anthology magazine Eerie they had a hit on their hands.

His origin and first appearance is revealed in this issue in a story called The Man that Time Forgot. Born Restin Dane he preferred the handle The Rook and used a number of scientists to help create his masterpiece, a time machine in the form of a rook from Chess.

A Castle that could travel through time. And that's exactly what happens when he returns to the Alamo to save a life. The life of a man who turns out to be his great-great-grandfather.

Then things get a wee bit complicated when he returns with great granddaddy for the second time to be looked after by his trusty robots. Every scientist should have a robot butler.

The Rook ran in Eerie in issues 82-85, 87-96 and 98-105 before getting his own magazine which ran for 14 issues. His last appearances under the Warren label were in Eerie 132, 134 & 136.

The characters popularity was such that when The Rook transferred to his own comic magazine sales of Eerie actually went down by a whopping 17%.

 

Monday, 15 August 2016

All Star Batman #1 (DC)



All Star Batman #1 (DC)

Scott Synder (w) John Romita Jr (a)

According to reports from various comic stores and websites the top-selling comic book this week is All Star Batman #1. A revival of a once ill-feted title from Frank Miller and Jim Lee this version is set to be a hit with DC's top talents producing stories that are "out of continuity" with the rest of their universe.

And boy does the Bat have a problem in this story. Two-Face is his prisoner and has made an offer to every citizen in the city that the money of the three most wealthy of Gotham's crime bosses will be paid to them anonymously if they free him.

An offer no one, and I mean no one seems able to resist.....

There's also a back up story with a new "Robin" in a mini Bat-suit and his names Duke.

\"All-Star Batman #1\" preview


All-Star Batman #1 DC Comics Rebirth Spoilers 00