So, here's the deal...
I have too many comic books.
Now, in all honesty, I think that this statement is ridiculous. How can anyone have "too many" comics. Really, it's just preposterous.
Unfortunately, it's also true. I have too many for my living space, and I really need to unload some of them. I have around 700-800 individual issues that have been marked for sale, and I'm hitting eBay big-time to do so.
So, please, I implore you, if you're in the market for some used comic books, some in wonderful condition, and others in almost-wonderful condition, then click on the link here. It will take you to my eBay listings page, which I will be updating at least once or twice a week for the foreseeable future. Everything from recent titles to random four-issue mini-series from the 1980s can be found there. Some classic stories, hidden gems, and others are just all-around fun stories. So please, do yourself (and me, I might add) a favor and check it out. I offer low starting prices and reasonable shipping. And if you have a question about the books, feel free to drop me a line.
Just so you can see the utter chaos my office has become, take a look at this...
See anything you like?
Also, if you happen to like chess, I have a glass chess board up for auction this week as well...
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Part 1” Tower of Fate
Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Editor: Mike Cotton
Wotan holds Mrs. Garrick hostage and forces the Flash and Khalid to enter the
to procure the Helmet of Nabu. When the
two enter, they are hopelessly out of their element in the winding, twisting
hallways that eventually lead them to a massive creature known as the Great
Beast. Meanwhile, Alan Scott learns that
the explosion on the train was not an attempt on his life, but rather Sam’s,
prompting him to track down Hawkgirl to ask for her help… Tower of Fate
Page 1: This is a flashback to Kendra and Khalid from two years ago, the day they both received their powers.
Note that there has, historically, been an Egyptian connection for both Hawkgirl and Dr. Fate’s powers. Nabu the Wise was a Lord of Order who came to Earth to battle the forces of chaos in Ancient Egypt. He allied himself with Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara, who would later be reincarnated as Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
Page 2: That’s the Helmet of Fate. Pretty, no?
Page 3: In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Nabu was, as I previously mentioned, a Lord of Order who came down to Earth and inhabited a human vessel to battle the servants of chaos. In the New 52 DCU, he was the greatest mage on Earth. I assume that the Lords of Order and Chaos no longer exist, which is fine, because most of them were major assholes in the first place…
Pages 4-5: So Wotan’s first name is…Karel? A fairly asexual name, don’t you think?
In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Wotan was born a woman in the Stone Age. After being raped and beaten t death, supposedly by a “servant of God,” she was determined to discover the reasons behind human existence and the suffering it entails. To this end, she studied the black arts and became a sorceress, eventually being worshiped as a goddess. She soon learned how to transfer from body to body and direct her own reincarnation into the man known as Wotan. Thus, Wotan has a history of transcending sexy and physical form.
Page 6: Flash’s super speed Parkour doesn't work so well on Wotan.
|Seems to me that this Wotan character could work at being a little bit nicer, no?|
Page 9: Talbot Mundy (1879-1940) was an English writer who traveled the world in search of adventure. Some of his exploits, confirmed or rumored, include traveling with a German circus, working as a reporter in
shooting tigers, going on a trip to Afghanistan,
venturing to China
serving in the Boer War, and going on a tramp steamer to Australia. His novels and stories were adventure tales
that appeared in pulp magazines dealing with powerful, enigmatic heroes
tackling mysticism and exotic locales.
His work later inspired Robert E. Howard, Robert A. Heinlein and Marion
Zimmer Bradley, among many others.
“A suitable vessel for his power.” As Khalid explains, Nabu resides in the Helmet; thus, those who wear the Helmet of Fate become a vessel for Nabu.
|This panel is from Earth-2 #2, Page 13. Jay saw Khalid standing in an alley, looking up at the sky and talking to himself. Jay, rightfully so, called him a "nut job." Well, not to his face.|
Page 10: Khalid reveals that he is an expert in ancient lore.
The Place of Broken Souls
The Tower of Babel refers to a story from the Book of Genesis, wherein a united humanity, one that spoke a single language, migrated from the east to the land of Shinar where they decided to build the a city and a tower, “whose top may reach unto heaven.” God, however, came down and looked upon the tower and realized that, as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach. God confounded their speech so they could not understand one another, and scattered them across the Earth, leaving the city,
Not sure what, if anything, the Place of Broken Souls, the Mighty Stone or the Mad
refer to. The
Great Beast could be a reference to either of the two Beasts mentioned in
the Bible, but I doubt it. Ark
|And who else is a part of this group? Anyone I know? Come on, just a little hint...I won't tell...|
“I also have a somewhat vested stake in Nabu, but that’s long in the past and nothing you need to know.” Did you two used to date? Come on, fess up…
“Ironically, the Flash on the other hand – your powers are magically derived, right Garrick?” Jay Garrick received his super-speed abilities from the Roman god Mercury.
Pages 12-13: The interior of the
is all trippy and resembles
the works of M.C. Escher. He was a Dutch
graphic artist known for his mathematically-inspired designs that feature
impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture and
is a city located in ,
an eastern coastal Jiansu Province . It has a history of business people involved
in province of China Shanghai commerce since the
early 20th century.
“You were grieving, Mr. Scott.” Grieving, yes. And also flying around
fighting an undead monster. But lots of grieving too, yes. Washington,
Page 15: “Oh, I don’t approve, Mr. Scott. I never did.” Mr. Zhao is being honest; he didn't approve of his son’s homosexuality or of his relationship with Alan. However, as he states, he’s much rather have his son alive and gay than dead, and he does realize, perhaps too late, that Alan and Sam made one another happy.
Page 16: “The target wasn't you at all…it was Sam himself.” So what was Sam doing that got himself and several hundred people killed?
Page 17: Bayou Lafourche is a bayou in southeastern
that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Lafourche is from the French word for “fork”
and it alludes to the bayou’s outflow of Mississippi River
“Only reason I've been hiding out here in this part of the world.” We saw Kendra’s palatial shack/weapons depot in Earth-2 #9. She’s been hanging out in
in the hopes of tracking down leftover Parademon cells.
Just as Steppenwolf is hiding out on Earth-2, so are scores of Parademons; some, as seen in Earth-2 #2, have been confined to internment camps; others are out in the world, still active.
“Not that it’s any of your business, why the hell are you even here?” Alan pretty much told Jay and Kendra that he had no use for them in Earth-2 #6. He was less than polite about it.
|What? Speak up! We can't hear you, Mr. all-powerful Green Lantern who doesn't need anyone else's help at all, never-ever-ever...|
Pages 18-19: “Stay behind me and I’ll get us through this.” Yeah, sure Jay, you’ve had you’re powers for all of what, a week? Like you’ve had a whole lot of experience with magical towers and alternate dimensions.
“He chose well.” Mercury chose Jay to receive his powers in Earth-2 #2.
|So that's the Great Beast? Doesn't look so "great" to me...|
Monday, April 8, 2013
“World’s Most Dangerous” Chapter One
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: David Finch
Colorist: Sonia Oback with Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Believing that the Justice League cannot be trusted, Amanda Waller has enlisted Steve Trevor to be field commander of a new team – the Justice League of
– that can work on behalf of A.R.G.U.S. and take on the world’s greatest
heroes, if the need should ever arise.
But even as they assemble their group, Green Arrow uncovers a new threat
to the world, a secret society comprised of the world’s deadliest
Page 1: This scene was originally depicted in Justice League #6.
The fourth panel on this page is new; it reveals that “Super-Villain #1” is actually Professor Anthony Ivo. First appeared in Justice League #3. Historical first appearance in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #30. A scientific genius who developed both the A-Maze and B-Maze Operating Systems, and created the android Amazo.
We last saw Ivo in Justice League #3, getting carried off by Parademons. Is this how his face got scarred?
The identity of Ivo's partner is still unknown.
“I have a map to make.” A map of what? The world? The future?
|This is the Dark Hunter. He's not having a very good day...|
Page 4: They might look like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman but they’re not. Trust me on this.
“Our creator wants him dead.” Said creator would be Ivo. He has this thing for building killer androids.
Page 5: This is the new 52 DCU Justice League we've come to know and love…but if you don’t know who they are by now you haven’t been paying attention at all…
Pages 6-7: Colonel Steve Trevor, head of A.R.G.U.S. First appeared in Justice League #3. Historical first appearance in All-Star Comics #8.
Amanda Waller, former member of Team 7, current head of the Suicide Squad and liaison to the Justice League. First appeared in Suicide Squad (New 52) #1, first historical appearance in Legends #1.
What’s up with the cork board, hmmm?
“Because they requested I be replaced, and you were all too eager to jump in.” Trevor was “fired” in Justice League #12. Waller was made the League’s liaison to A.R.G.U.S. in Justice League #13.
A.R.G.U.S. is the Advanced Research Group for Uniting Super-Humans; it first appeared in Justice League #7. As Waller states, if was established “by the United States to support, investigate and, if necessary, combat super-human activity that poses a threat to national security.”
“Possessed by Starro, physically shattered by Despero and most recently almost beaten to death by Mr. Graves.” Starro is a giant mind-controlling alien starfish that the Justice League of
battled in their first appearance, was back in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #28. Its New 52 DCU incarnation made a cameo
appearance in Justice League #6.
Despero is a three-eyed telepathic alien with an affinity for chess that first appeared in Justice League of America (first series) #1. He later evolved into a three-eyed, telepathic hulking brute that didn't seem to like chess as much as rampaging and killing. He will make his New 52 DCU debut in Justice League #20.
Trevor and the Justice League dealt with
in Justice League #9-12. Trevor was left near-death, and this
encounter resulted in the League firing him as their liaison, due to his
personal connection to Wonder Woman.
Unbeknownst to all, Waller is using the information Graves
discovered about the Justice League for her own purposes.
|Trevor and Wonder Woman's past was first explored in the text pages of Justice League #2.|
Page 8: “A League that isn't hiding twenty-two thousand miles above us in a satellite.” The Justice League Watchtower is located 22,300 miles above the Earth’s surface, which places it in a geostationary orbit above us.
“This image was recovered off the computers in the Justice League International’s vacated headquarters.” As seen in Justice League International (New 52) Annual #1.
|Superman and Wonder Woman kissed in Justice League #12. I'm still wondering how and why the JLI's computers got the image so quickly.|
“Well, what? Who Diana spends time with and how isn't my business.” Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Trevor; someday you’ll even sound convincing…
Page 10: “The image was uploaded by Booster Gold. Seconds later he vanished and we have no idea why.” This occurred in the aforementioned Justice League International (New 52) Annual #1. Booster was quite upset at seeing Superman and Wonder Woman making out; so upset that he literally vanished from this time period. Way to overreact, dude…
“I hope you’re not talking about Chronos.” In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, there were two men who went by the name Chronos. The first was a criminal named David Clinton, who first used time-related devices and later time travel itself to become the Atom’s arch-foe. He first appeared in The Atom #3.
Later, Walker Gabriel came into possession of
research after his death and became something of a time-traveling
anti-hero. He first appeared in Chronos #1.
Whether the New 52 DCU Chronos is Clinton, Gabriel, or a new character altogether remains to be seen.
“If it’s on a computer, Cyborg will find it.” As we have seen in recent issues of Justice League, Cyborg is connected to everything digitally, for better or for worse.
Page 11: So, it’s about time we started meeting the team, don’t you think?
Pages 12-13: Hawkman, real name Katar Hol, also known as Carter Hall. First appeared in The Savage Hawkman #1. Historical first appearance in Flash Comics #1. Possesses enhanced strength, armor and winged flight due to Nth metal.
“Katar Hol is a police officer from the planet Thanagar hunting alien fugitives and the humans working for them on Earth.” In my opinion, this is a bit of genius on Geoff Johns’ part. He’s taking the entire premise of the Silver Age Hawkman – the fact that he was an alien cop who came to Earth to hunt down criminals and study Earth police methods – as a cover story for the New 52 Hawkman.
It’s absolute baloney – Hawkman just likes to bash some skulls in – but it gives him some credibility in the eyes of the world. This is a nice way to incorporate some old concepts into this new version of the character. To be honest, this would have been a great way to start off The Savage Hawkman a year and a half ago, and might have provided some structure to a series that has been unfortunately, quite aimless for some time now.
In the pre-Flashpoint DCU. Byth Rok was a Thanagarian criminal who used a drug called Krotan that gave him the ability to shape-shift into any person or creature at will. He first appeared in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #34. Whether or not there truly is a Byth Rok that exists in the New 52 DCU remains to be seen.
Hawkman now has carte blanche to apprehend anyone he wants and use as much force as he needs to, as long as he identifies his prey as “Thanagarian fugitives.” Good gig, if you can get it.
Page 14: Katana, real name Tatsu Yamashiro. First appeared in Birds of Prey (New 52) #1. Historical first appearance in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #200. A superb martial artist and trained samurai warrior armed with the Soultaker sword that captures the souls of those it kills.
Page 15: “The rest of the world doesn’t really know who they are yet, Steve.” Given that the age of superhumans is only about five years old, these heroes haven’t been around long enough for the public to really know too much about them. Because of this, Waller wants to use this to her advantage, getting out in front of the stories and rumor and being able to cast individuals like Hawkman and Katana in a positive light so that the public will accept them as heroes.
This is also a wink and a nod to Geoff Johns’ effort to show that these heroes, who some see as B-listers, can be just as popular and engaging as the heroes who make up the Justice League. He wants to show the world who Katana, Hawkman and the rest “really are.”
“Tatsu Toro is an assassin.” Presumably, “Toro” is Katana’s maiden name.
“Now Katana and Deathstroke vie for the title, figuratively speaking.” Deathstroke is, of course, Deathstroke the Terminator, also known as Slade Wilson, one of the top mercenaries in the world.
Page 16: “In the words of the great Lando Calrissian, ‘This deal is getting worse all the time.’” Trevor’s giving a little shout-out to The Empire Strikes Back. And, if for some reason, you don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s no helping you, I am sorry…
Vibe, real name Francisco “Cisco” Ramon. First appeared in DC Comics – The New 52 FCBD Speical Edition #1 but, since that technically occurs in the near future, his first chronological appearance is in Justice League of America’s Vibe #1. Historical first appearance in Justice League of America (first series) Annual #2. Able to generate seismic vibrations as well as to detect being from other dimensions.
|As explained in Justice League of America's Vibe #1, Cisco's internal vibration is no longer in sync with the rest of the world, rendering him blurry in pictures and video.|
“Since then, Cisco’s been out of sync with the rest of the world.” A reference to his abilities, as well as commentary about the character himself. The original, pre-Flashpoint version of Vibe was not the most popular character; I’d even go so far as to say that he’s one of the more reviled heroes to join the Justice League of
America. He was a total stereotype, a Puerto Rican, break
dancing gang member that seemed to be created to reflect a fad in the mid
1980’s. As a kid, I remember reading
about him and thinking that he was a joke.
I only started liking him in Justice
League of America (first series) #258, when he was given something of a
sympathetic personality. It’s also the
issue in which he was killed by Professor Ivo.
Johns is trying to make him a likeable and viable character. To do so, he’s taking the same approach that he did with Aquaman; tackling the “controversy” about the character head-on, instead of ignoring the fact that no one thinks he belong in the JLA. Vibe is the token “red-shirt,” everyone’s waiting for him to die because he doesn’t fit in. In this way, Johns can show that he does belong and he is a hero.
Another version of Vibe’s apprehension of the candy thief can be seen in Justice League of America’s Vibe #2
Continuity note: in Justice League #9, Aquaman mentions Vibe when talking to a news reporter about whether or not he really belongs in the Justice League so, presumably, a hero known as Vibe already exists and is active.
However, the events of Justice League of America’s Vibe #1 show that Cisco was not active as a hero, with a code-name and costume, until approached by A.R.G.U.S., which occurred after Justice League #9. That name issue also showed that Cisco is “Subject 2,” as referred top by Dale Gunn and Amanda Waller.
So was the “Vibe” to whom Aquaman referred really this “Subject 1”? If it is, who was it? And, if not, who was this other guy named “Vibe”?
|That's what this series is about, the potential within all characters, big and small.|
“And with training, Vibe will be able to sever the ties that people might have to dimensional power.” Which people specifically? Who has ties to a dimensional power, hmmm?
Page 18: Oh boy…it’s not looking good for the Dark Hunter, now is it?
“It’s the blood loss. I’m going into hypovolemic shock.” Hypovolemic shock is a state of decreased volume of blood plasma; victims can feel dizzy, faint, nauseous and thirsty.
Page 19: First appearance of Stargirl. Real name Courtney Whitmore. Historical first appearance in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0. Wields the Cosmic Staff, which allows her to fly and convert solar energy into cosmic blasts.
I’ve always liked Stargirl, and am very happy to see her reintroduced into the New 52 DCU. Interesting to see that she’s on the Prime Earth and not on Earth-2, given that she was a member of the Justice Society of America in the pre-Flashpoint DCU; however, given that she was created by Geoff Johns (inspired, in part, by his sister, who died in the explosion of TWA Flight 800), it’s not surprising that he’d keep her as part of the new JLA.
“What the hell is a Q score?” Glad you asked, Trevor. A Q score is a measurement of familiarity and appeal of a brand, company or celebrity, most often used for used for marketing, advertising, public relations and media.
“And Ellen recently called you the answer to Lindsay Lohan!” “Ellen” refers to Ellen DeGneres, a stand-up comedian and television talk show host. Lindsay Lohan is an actress who is more famously known for her numerous run-ins with the law.
|Who owned the staff before Courtney? In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Jack Knight, a.k.a. Starman, gave her the Cosmic Staff in the final issue of his self-titled series.|
|What's the deal with the funky star symbol?|
“Pemberton.” I assume that this refers to Sylvester Pemberton who, in the pre-Flashpoint DCU, was the original Star-Spangled Kid (Courtney was the second). For a time, he used Ted (Starman) Knight’s cosmic rod, and soon refined the rod’s technology, devising a belt that had the same powers. He later changed his name to Skyman (I hated that name with a passion) and formed Infinity, Inc. until he was killed by Mr. Bones.
Interestingly enough, in the Smallville episode titled “Absolute Justice”, Sylvester Pemberton appears as a former member of the now-defunct Justice Society. After he is killed, Courtney Whitmore takes his cosmic staff and assumes the identity of Stargirl. Writer of this episode? Geoff Johns. Is Johns establishing that Sylvester owned the Cosmic Staff before Courtney, and something bad happened to him?
Page 21: “Pat Dugan?” In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Pat Dugan was known as Stripesy, adult sidekick to the Star-Spangled Kid. Yes, you read that right. In his later years, he married Courtney Whitmore’s mother and became the girl’s step-father, creating the robotic suit known as S.T.R.I.P.E. to aid her when she became the second Star-Spangled Kid. In the New 52 DCU, did he and Pemberton still known one another?
“Her biological father.” In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Courtney’s father was Sam Kurtis, who worked as a common thug for the Royal Flush Gang. Does the New 52 version still have a career as a criminal?
“He left the League after a drag-out fight.” We caught a glimpse of this battle between the Justice League and the Martian Manhunter in Justice League #8.
“You two have met over beers.” Trevor and Oliver Queen shared a cold one in Justice League #13.
“Is okay and Queen’s heart is in the right place – I think – but he’s not the right candidate for this spot – which is the most important spot on the JLA.” What are these spots they keep talking about, hmmm?
Page 22: Catwoman, real name Selina Kyle. First appeared in Catwoman (New 52) #1. Historical first appearance in Batman #1. Highly-skilled athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, expert burglar, and wields a bullwhip with deadly accuracy.
Page 24: “You’re Wonder Woman’s boy-toy.” Public perception of Trevor is that he’s Wonder Woman’s boyfriend, which just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet.
“Ex boy-toy.” At least he’s got a sense of humor about this.
Page 25: “I’m not talking about your identity, Miss Kyle. I’m talking about the woman who stole it.” Okay, this is a little confusing, and I’m not all that sure how to make sense of it. In Catwoman #0, writer Ann Nocenti alluded to the fact that that Selina Kyle is not Catwoman’s birth name; rather, she was a Russian orphan, brought to the United States and given that name. Oh, and she has a brother, too. But, later, when she “transforms” into Catwoman (in a scene taken straight from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns) she seems to have a bit of amnesia, which leads me to wonder if she remembers that her real name isn’t her real name. Also, I wonder if she’s pissed off that her origin has gotten so damn complicated that Wolverine now mocks her…
“She should be part of my Suicide Squad, not the Justice League of
America.” The Suicide Squad is a black ops group of
super-villains, led by Waller, that take on missions for the U.S.
|The secret revealed...the Justice League of America has been assembled to take down the Justice League, should it ever come to that.|
Some of these choices make sense. The Martian Manhunter can definitely go toe-to-toe with Superman; he might even have the advantage, given his telepathic abilities.
Hal Jordan definitely has more experience being a Green Lantern than Simon Baz does, but Baz has shown an incredible amount of willpower in recent issues of Green Lantern, such as healing his injured brother-in-law’s brain and reviving him from a coma.
Vibe has apparently been brought on board to neutralize the Flash’s other-dimensional connection to the Speed Force; this is what Waller was talking about on Page 17.
Aquaman and Hawkman are both warriors, but while Arthur has that whole regal, royal, kingly thing going on, Katar’s just a savage brute when in battle.
I’m not sure if Katana can really stand up to Wonder Woman. I mean, Diana’s a demigod. Tatsu looks a bit outmatched here.
I have no idea what Stargirl can do to Cyborg; maybe all the Internet searches for her will overload Victor’s system? Or perhaps he’s powerless up against her downright cuteness.
And then there’s Catwoman, who has, as Trevor said, “the most important spot on the JLA” – going up against Batman. She was apparently chosen because she knows Batman as well as Trevor knows Wonder Woman, but will that be enough against the Dark Knight? Poor Green Arrow, he gets kicked off the team simply because he never knocked boots with Batman…
“Agent Fed is in the debriefing room to download you on Simon Baz.” Agent Fed has been tracking down Simon Baz ever since Green Lantern (New 52) #0.
“Fed didn't bring the Lantern in with him?” Continuity issue here. In Green Lantern (New 52) #16, Agent Fed lets Simon Baz go after realizing that the new Green Lantern isn't guilty of being a terrorist. As Baz and Green Lantern B’Dg fly off, Fed calls Waller, and says that “we need to talk about this new Green Lantern.” Presumably, she would know from that conversation that Fed did not have Baz in custody.
“And get Etta and your staff on Martian Manhunter.” “Etta” refers to Etta Candy, Trevor’s assistant.
“Public perception of the Justice League is at a low because of Atlantis’ assault.” As seen in the recent “Throne of Atlantis” story line in Justice League #15-17 and Aquaman (New 52) #15-16.
Page 28: The Martian Manhunter, real name J’onn J’onzz. First appeared in Stormwatch #1. Historical first appearance in Detective Comics #225. Possesses superhuman strength, speed, senses, endurance, telepathic ability, able to become invisible or intangible, can fly and shape-shift. And he also has “Martian vision,” whatever that is. He’s pretty darn tough.
Page 29: “I know why you’re really doing this.” Please, enlighten us, J’onn.
|J'onn's not joking; he did the same thing to the Stormwatch team in Stormwatch (New 52) #12.|
|Now Trevor knows how Jim Gordon feels all the time...|
is a large plantation in Kielder
Forest surrounding the
Kieler Water reservoir. It has the
distinction of being the largest man made woodland in Northumberland,
Page 32: A-ha! I knew that the Dark Hunter seemed a bit familiar…all the self-loathing and snarkiness…
Green Arrow, real name Oliver Queen. First appeared in Green Arrow (New 52) #1. Historical first appearance in More Fun Comics #73. Skilled archer and athlete armed with an arsenal of normal and trick arrows.
This explains why Green Arrow did not answer Cyborg’s call to join the Justice League Reserves in Justice League #16; he was operating under deep cover as the Dark Hunter during that time.
“…call themselves the Secret Society…” Of Super-Villains, perhaps?