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I had a hard time picking my favorite Marvel pick of the week. It came to a tie between Jeff Loveness’ ‘Groot’ #6, and Brandon Montclare’s & Amy Reeder’s ‘Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur.’ Both titles are a far cry from Marvel’s standard fair of New York based superhero and villain mash ups–not that I don’t enjoy those, but sometimes I need a breath of fresh air outside of my violence filled reading bubble.

I want to quote all of Groot #6, but that just isn’t appropriate. Pick this one up if you can; this final issue made me laugh and cry at the same time. Groot’s and Rocket’s space road trip comes to an end, with Groot finally finding a lost friend.

‘Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur’ promises to be another uplifting book, showcasing a lovable, strong, and intelligent  young female lead. Plus it has Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy who according to Wikipedia made their debut in the Marvel Universe back in 1978. Its original incantation wasn’t successful, but it may have better luck this time around with Lunella Lafayette, a.k.a. Moon Girl.

I also picked up ‘All New Wolverine’ issues #1 & #2. Yet another #nerdconfession to make. I was originally planning to skip this one–the whole ‘Death of Wolverine’ thing left me nonplussed. But all the reviews were positive, so I picked it up.  I got the ‘boss’ hip-hop variant for issue #1. I am glad I did, and it is now in my pull list @MidtownComics.

I’m also reading Bendis’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #2 this week. Hala, the last super-powered Kree Accuser and Punisher, is on the brink of destroying not one, but two planets–and she can if she wants to.

Here are the quotes:

“You’re the Wookie obviously. I’m the cool guy in the vest who shoots stuff.”

“If you’re going to Earth …party with the X-Men.”

“The powerful always justify their actions against the weak.”

“If you have the courage to leave your old life … if you take that risk , and jump into the unknown … what you find will amaze you … there are much better places than home.”

“Life is not about the shadow you cast on your enemies … but the shade you provide to your friends.”

“I am Groot.”

Jeff Loveness, with Art by Brian Kessinger, Groot No. 6, Marvel Comics

“My brain is all the superpower I need.”

Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder, with Art by Natacha Bustos, Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur No. 1, Marvel Comics

“An eye for an eye. A planet for a planet.”

Brian Michael Bendis, with Art by Valerio Schiti, Guardians of the Galaxy No. 2, Marvel Comics

“And you have a boyfriend with wings, you totally get to exploit that.”

Tom Taylor, with Art by David Lopez & David Navarrot, All New Wolverine No. 2, Marvel Comics





I’ve been reading comics off and on for close to thirty-five years now; and as you get a little older, you become just a little more mean, jaded, and cynical–no matter how hard you try to keep it positive. I’d ask myself, how many times can Robin die?  How many times can the multiverse collapse on itself? And if this War is so Secret, how come I’m hearing about it twice?

Nowadays, I read many of these climactic tales with a resigned, “Ho Hum.” After all, with a little time travel pixie dust, everything will be as good as new; I’ve come to expect the same old story.

So what do those smug bastards @ValiantComics do?  They sell me a time traveling book with panache–‘Ivar, Timewalker’.  They get a great writer, like Fred Van Lente, to script the tales, supplement it with sublime art from Pere Perez, and the rest is … well … time traveling literary history.

When I first picked it up, from issue #1, I was like … oh no … here we go again on the time traveling merry go round–“Et Tu @ValiantComics,” I cried. I only picked it up because I’ve been buying all their books since the start of this recent iteration of @ValiantComics, and the #psychonerd in me directed me to buy it.

At the very first read it became apparent that this time traveling little tome was different. The story was fresh and inventive; it was a recursive dream come true.  If you missed it, run out and get the back issues or TPB. You’ll thank me later.

The other excellent Valiant title out this week is ‘X-O Manowar Exodus’. Here we see Aric broker a temporary peace between Humanity and the refugee Vine–if only he were real and could do the same for our current crisis in the Middle East–but now he must ready himself for the coming confrontation with Commander Trill.

Here are the quotes:

“Each second is its own precious jewel. To be studied and admired. Not polluted with regrets for the past or fears for the future.”

“We are all beautiful in our way. And each moment …is the same as an eternity of them.”

Fred Van Lente, with Art by Pere Perez, ‘Ivar, Timewalker’, @ValiantComics

“I prefer to handle one worst-case scenario at a time.”

Robert Venditti, with Art by Rafa Sandoval, ‘X-O Manowar Exodus’, @ValiantComics



The Secret Six stand behind Black Alice no matter what the cost; and Harley Quinn battles a resurrected foe.


What is Mother’s secret in Batman & Robin Eternal? And the Suicide Squad teams up with a rogue Amanda Waller.


The Titans follow a fateful hunt; and Superman controls his Wrath, only to battle … Frankenstein?


And DC Vertigo continues to up the ante with two of its latest releases: Clean Room and Red Thorn (buy ’em both).

Here are the quotes:

“Before Pangea cracked. Before Atlantis drowned. What would one day become the world’s apex predator was merely another species rolling the dice.”


Gail Simone, with Art by Dale Eaglesham & Tom Derenick, Secret Six No. 8, DC Comics

“Everything in the world is hunting for something.”


Dan Abnett, with Art by Stephen Segovia, Titans Hunt No. 2, DC Comics




Jane Foster battles cancer and Asgardian gender discrimination, as she readies for a War of the Realms in Thor #1.


A lot of time traveling this week in Inhumans #2 and Extraordinary X-Men #2.


No time travel in DeadPool #2 (it’s only a matter of time); but plenty of Deadpools to go around for everyone.


And Kamala Khan is back in Ms Marvel #1. There is yet some hope for the Marvel Universe.

Here are the quotes:

“I don’t think this is a nice, normal bloodsucking redevelopment corporation we’re dealing with.”


G. Willow Wilson, with Art by Takeshi Miyzawa & Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel No. 1, Marvel Comics

“So this is a time travel thing, isn’t it? I mean, what would the X-Men be without a time-travel thing.”


Jeff Lemire, with Art by Humberto Ramos, Extraordinary X-Men No. 2, Marvel Comics




Will someone please explain Deconnick’s and Rios’ ‘Pretty Deadly’ to me, and why I like it so much. I beg of you. The second arc commenced this week in issue # 6.

Japan’s New Gods bested the Japanese Supernatural Titans, and look to consolidate their power; but the old Gods are not ready to quit just yet. Wayward #11 is a good jumping point, as its second arc begins too.

Have Debbie and Led found a true Edenic Bushido Paradise in ‘Tokyo Ghost’ #3? Can peace be truly found in a Paradise driven by a Samurai Code?

Am I sensing a strong Eastern influence in this week’s Image Books?  How odd.

Huck, by Mark Millar, is a gentle power, whose secret is about to end.

And I read Skottie Young’s ‘I Hate Fairyland’ because it is violently funny. How am I gonna explain this one to my therapist?

Here are the quotes:

“In our quest for convenience, we’ve traded in the Earth for synthetic facsimile.”


Rick Remender, with Art by Sean Murphy, Tokyo Ghost #3, Image Comics

“Oh nonsense Butterfly. Just because you cannot see order does not mean it isn’t there.”


Kelly Sue Deconnick, with Art by Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly #6, Image Comics

“The stories of old are washed away, replaced with shallow rubbish. I’m fascinated and appalled by it.”


Jim Zub, with Art by Steven Cummings, Wayward #11, Image Comics




I picked up two @boomstudios titles this week: ‘Welcome Back’ and ‘Cognetic’.  I caught up with Welcome Back halfway through on issue #3; but I was lucky to pick up back issues #1 and #2 @midtowncomics. I was hearing a lot of buzz about ‘Welcome Back’ on the net and twitter’s comic book gossip vine, so I added it to my pull list.

Sebela’s ‘Welcome Back’ is yet another must read from@boomstudios. It’s a well written cross between Mark Millar’s ‘Wanted’ and Ronald D. Moore’s ‘Battle Star Galactica’s’ Cylon resurrection program. It’s got secret societies, assassins, and a resurrective global conspiracy spanning centuries.


Tynion “Numero Cuatro” continues his apocalyptic psychological warmongering in Cognetic. If you haven’t read ‘Memetic’, pick up the TPB. There’s a theme here–or was it a meme–and it’s all horrifically interconnected.

Here are the quotes (some catching up on ‘Welcome Back’)

“Like the scent of a lover, the singularity of their touch. We dance like old friends.”

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Like you were born too early or too late? Yeah that’s Normal.”


Christopher Sebela, with Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, Welcome Back No. 1, BOOM!STUDIOS

“I use to wonder if it really was better in the good old days, and it wasn’t. People have always been people. Now they’re just more open about it.”


Christopher Sebela, with Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Claire Roe, Welcome Back No. 2, BOOM!STUDIOS

“I want to win without losing my soul. Though I’d settle for my life.”

“Lack of information. Why did we even bother to invent social networking if you’re not going to use it properly.”


Christopher Sebela, with Art by Claire Roe,Welcome Back No. 3, BOOM!STUDIOS

“This wasn’t a gift brother, we took it like the animals we are. We’re not any different, any better.”


James Tynion IV, with Art by Eryk Donovan, Cognetic No. 2, BOOM!STUDIOS



Quotes for #NCBD 11/18/2015 (Valiant Comics)

If @ValiantComics was to offer me a minimum wage janitorial position with stock options, I’d take it in a heartbeat. It’d be a deep pay cut for me, but those options would be worth an infinite amount of currency–preferably bitcoins.

Only two comics out this week, but once again they proved that less is more.

A Golem inspired Demon taunts the Eternal Warrior in Hell as he contemplates leaving a Dantean Elysian Field within Hades.

Bloodshot is finally truly reborn, and magically in love. And were there two bus riding Bloodsquirts on that last page?

You gotta buy ’em both if you want to know more.

Here are the quotes:

“Blood be like wine. Be better with age.”

“Let’s pretend there aren’t questions.”

Robert Venditti, with Art by Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, Wrath of the Eternal Warrior No. 1 (2015), Valiant Comics

“Then she does something I didn’t see coming … she loves me anyway.”

Jeff Lemire, with Art by Butch Guice & David Baron, BloodShot Reborn No. 8, Valiant Comics





QUOTES FOR #NCBD 11/18/15 (451 Media)

I’m not sure if this is a comic book, a story board, or George & Andi’s subtle pitch to Michael Bay for a new movie. All I know is that the story and art flowed across my visual periphery like an action-packed silent film. This one is gearing up to have it all: elite special ops warfare, cartel machinations, and romance. Can’t wait for issue two.

The only downside: I wasn’t able to pick up the alt cover, so I had to settle for two copies of the original cover.

S6x No. 1


Here are the quotes:

“The way I see it religion as a whole is one big gamble. Be like asking a croupier if you should hit or stand.”

“Thank you for calling Hash’s Premium Rent-O-Kill. One of our representatives will be with you shortly. In the meantime we recommend you vacate to a safe distance away from the hostile infestation … and ensure all assholes are securely covered.”


George Pelecanos & Andi Ewington, with gritty Art by Max Chater, S6x, 451 Media #ImaginationToBurn


An Accidental #NCBD with Walter Simonson

I hope @Midtowncomics doesn’t get angry with me. I heard the price for disloyalty is banishment.

I did a bad thing today, but it turned out to be a good thing.

I went to Jim Hanley’s Universe (JHU) today, at their 32nd Street location–on a side note Matthew Rosenberg suggested I had bought a signed copy of ‘We Can Never Go Home’ at JHU (you can read about that adventure here). I did not, but it was probably that episode that subliminally seeded my mind with the idea to head out to JHU today.

I used to go to the  33rd street location across the Empire State Building many years back, to browse or pick up a TPB, whenever I happened to be in the NYC midtown area. The most recent time, I remembered prior to today, that I headed down there, was around late 2012, when I was starting to get back into collecting comic books regularly, and I was looking for Matt Fraction Hawkeye back issues, to no avail.  I ended up ordering most of that stuff online, and at a premium.  So from there on end, I bought my books @MidtownComics (GC location); and if I missed something, or needed a back issue, I’d search for it online. I’ve gotten lazy with the Internet, and I’m not sure if that is a good thing.

Today, life took a different turn. There were two key books I was looking forward to this week. One was 451 Media’s S6x, penned by George Pelecanos (former writer of HBO’s The Wire) & Andi Ewington, and Gail Simone’s Clean Room No. 2.

Both were shorted @MIdtownComics.  I wanted to get both the original and alt’ covers for S6x, but only the original was available (of which I picked up two copies if anyone wants to trade: original for alt’ if you need it).


Only Original Cover for Me

They had no copies of Clean Room No. 2. I repeat, they had no copies of Clean Room No. 2.  

The #psychonerd in me took over; even though they promised to hold it for me when it came in (and yes, I am grateful for their superb customer service).

However, I have a long work commute together with the benefit of working from home off and on to help maintain some sort of life balance–trust me it’s one of those things that sounds way cooler than it actually is–and I was probably not going to be back in the NYC til maybe early next week.  I did not want to wait til next week to get, and read, my latest copy of Clean Room.clean room 2

I then decided to go to JHU after work, around 5:30 PM to get a copy–in retrospect I should’ve called ahead to make sure they had it, but I was exhausted and working on impulse.

Of course Murphy’s Law prevailed, and I ended up in a work meeting til about 6:05 PM. Now, I had to decide: do I hoof it to East 32nd via shoe leather express, knowing I probably won’t get back to Grand Central til about 8PM, and in turn not get home til about 11PM, give or take a a half hour (for the record I ended up getting home at 11:13 PM)?

I decided to miss dinner, get a one dollar slice of pizza, walk to JHU, and enjoy the warm November night for a change.  Upon arrival, I noted a visibly long line stretching near to the end of the shop.

I asked one of the guys on queue what was going on. He told me Walter Simonson was there to sign copies of his new Hardcover: Ragnarok Last God Standing Vol. 1 (IDW).

I’ve been a huge Walter Simonson fan since his run on Marvel’s Thor back in the 80’s (Beta Ray Bill, Marvel’s Ragnarok, Balder the Brave, Star Slammers, Fantastic Four, Elric with Michael Moorcock, etc…); and today I subscribe to his newer, creator-owner, IDW Ragnarok title (I get both the regular cover and subscription cover @MidtownComics).

I was both elated and disappointed at the same time.

I was ecstatic because Walter holds a special place in my heart. In the 80s, while growing up in the projects in East New York (Boulevard Housing to be specific), it was Thor (together with Alpha Flight, but that’s a different story) that pushed me to a more serious form of comic book collecting. Back then, I’d have to walk to a Starrett City strip mall grocery store to meet my comic book needs. My first adventure searching for back issues began with Walter’s run on Thor. Why?

For starters, comic book deliveries to the grocery store were erratic, and there was no guarantee I would get the very next issue.  Also, the Owner/Grocer had this annoying countermeasure graphical system to combat comic book thievery (admittedly a pernicious problem in the ‘hood). Whenever you bought a comic from him, he would marked it with a small ‘S’ in the UPC box in the lower left.  If he caught you outside his shop with a comic book sans the annoying ‘S’ (and he was pretty much in the right, since it was the only store in the ‘nabe that sold ’em), back to the rack it went.

I never did find out what the ‘S’ stood for. Probably ‘Sold’; but me and my friends always joked it stood for ‘Sh!t’.


Thor 349 with S Stain

‘S’ Stained Thor No. 349 from 1984 – Can you see the ‘S’ Stain in the Lower Left UPC Box


Now, the only way to keep up regularly with this new run–and to own ‘S’ free copies–was for me to go to the direct comic book market.  But back then there weren’t too many comic book stores (and no Internet neither, only the Arpanet for exclusive use by the US military); and the few that existed could only be described as “shady”–Forbidden Planet didn’t make to NYC until the 90’s.  Still, via the Yellow Pages (no GOOGLE back then), I found a half decent shop in the Flatbush area that I could get to by bus; but that meant less funds available for comics, a hobby I supported on my own working part-time at a local Key Food store, while still in high school– that’s right, I’ve been working since I was 14 years old, through college and adulthood, pretty much non-stop (except for a short six month layoff in 2009). I’ve got a big SSI check coming my way in a few years.

Now fast-forward to the present ( and the reason for the slight disappointment). If I had known, that I was going to meet Walter Simonson today at JHU, I would have brought all my ‘S’ stained Thor books from the 80’s, so that he could gracefully cover over the blemishes with his artful signature.

Alas, it was not meant to be (not today at least).

However, I did get a beautiful, signed copy of the new Ragnarok Last God Standing Hardcover Vol. 1 (the art gallery in the back pages alone is worth the price of admission).




Plus I was able to pick up a back issue of Thor No. 349 for three bucks to add to my collection–a new and improved version, with  no ‘S’ stain, Walter Simonson was kind enough to sign for me.


Thor 349 Signed

New and Improved Thor No. 349 – Compliments of Walter Simonson


I doubt Walter Simonson will ever read this post (he’s got a million better other things to do), but I want to say a heart-felt Thank You to him.

Thank You for the marvelous stories and art over the years that have kept me out of trouble (and still do).  You, and many others, filled my mind with wonder and awe, distracting me from a  world that destroyed many young lives.  I was lucky to meet Walter thirty years ago in print, and again today in person (at the signing, I told him I waited twenty years to meet him; I lied but not on purpose; just bad math, it was actually closer to thirty years).

Either way, I hope we meet again; and next time I’ll have those ‘S’ stained copies for you to sign.

p.s., this is my fourth signing since I started blogging. I’d like to say I kept my composure, but I geeked out. I wasn’t expecting to meet him today. Still I got a good pict, and a smile from Walter Simonson.

This will be one of the most memorable #NCBDs for me.


Thanks, again, Walter!!!

Gail, George & Andi, I am tired now. It’s 2 AM in the morn, I’ll read your books tomorrow.

Good night 🙂




QUOTES FOR #NCBD 11/11/15 (DC Comics & Vertigo)

The countdown has begun for #NCBD 11/18/2015, and I got done with my DC Books just in time.

A young Superboy begins to blossom in Kansas in Landis’ Superman American Alien.

The Darkseid War one-shots continue to roll-out. I highly recommend the Green Lantern one-shot for it’s heartbreaking side story penned by Tom King.  The Shazam one-shot is worth a look too

Twilight Children No. 2 and Slash & Burn No.1 from DC Vertigo are also a must read from this past week.

And Batman. Don’t forget about Batman.

Here are the quotes:

“We never give up. Maybe it’s because we’re too young to believe in defeat. But that’s who we are.”


Teen Titans No. 13, Will Pfeifer, with Art by Ricken Paolo Pantalena and Noel Rodriguez, DC Comics

“I’m not normal …maybe that’s good. You know what, yeah. That’s right. Who needs normal. Maybe weird is better”


Superman American Alien No.1, Max Landis, with Art by Nick Dragotta, DC Comics

“Why wouldn’t God just come down and catch him, right? When he fell. I mean, when he went down. Isn’t that what God’s suppsed to do? Catch you when you fall?”


“This is your world to create pal. You get to choose. God gets to watch.”


The Darkseid War: Green Lantern, One-Shot, Tom King with Art by Doc Shaner, DC Comics 

“Men Reason. Gods don’t rationalize. We act boldly, decisively. And often!.”

“It’s called a God Complex for a reason.”


The Darkseid War: Shazam, One-Shot, Steve Orlando with Art by Scott Kolins, DC Comics

“They say you always hurt the one you love … which makes me a good time gal and a femme fatale.”


Slash & Burn No. 1, Si Spencer with Art by Max Dunbar, DC Vertigo Comics


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