Friday, November 30, 2018

Review: Action Comics #1005

Action Comics #1005 came out this week and was a crackling good time. This issue was a perfect sort of middle chapter for what we have been reading here, pushing forward all the plot threads organically, giving us new information, and making me want more. From its inception, Action Comics has been my favored Brian Michael Bendis super-book and issues like this is why. After last month's Lois problems, this issue righted the train.

Certainly Superman/Clark has a huge presence. He is the straw that stirs the drink. But the real power of Action is the supporting cast. From the individual mob leaders in the Invisible Mafia to the Planet staff, everyone builds on everyone else.  I want to learn more about these people and their motivations. I want to know the answers to the mysteries we have been teased with. This is an ensemble book with a superstar center and I love it.

Of course, the book is profoundly helped by the achingly fantastic art of Ryan Sook. Sook's stuff just leaps off the page. From the action sequences to shadowy crime meetings to seedy clubs to swanky affairs, Sook's page layout, panel design, and figures are about as perfect as you can get. I know he is working on some secret future project with Bendis but I need him on the super-books now and then. How about he is the perrenial Annual artist?

And I usual am horrible about not mentioning the rest of the artistic team, something I need to remedy. Brad Anderson's colors also help tell the story. The psychedelic colors of the opening scene evoke the 60's/Ditko-ness of it all. The bright colors in the posh party stand in contrast to the inkiness of the mob meeting held in darkness. And the letters by Josh Reed, especially the sound effects, add to the action.

Okay, enough gushing. On to the details.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Back Issue Box: Superman Family #174

In Supergirl Episode 406, 'A Call to Arms', Supergirl fought a dragon.

Thanks to a comment on this site, I was reminded that this wasn't the first time Supergirl had fought a dragon. I was reminded that Supergirl fought a dragon in Superman Family #174. How could I not dip into the back issue box to review it!

Of course, that led me to review the other time Supergirl fought a dragon (sort of) in Adventure Comics #418.

So sit back and relax and get ready for me to review and try as best I can to makes some sense of the following story. Because it is one of the nuttiest stories I have ever read.

Superman Family #174 came out in late 1975.

In 1974, Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane was canceled at #137. Supergirl's solo title was also canceled in 1974 at #10. And Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was renamed Superman Family with #164. Those three solo books were basically consolidated into the 'new title' Superman Family.

Readers were given one story for each of the three main players. One story would be new; the other two would be reprints. The new stories would rotate and readers would know who was the star of the new material by who dominated the cover.

And so Superman Family #174 had 'Eyes of the Serpent' starring Supergirl as the lead and fresh story.  It has a sweet cover drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger showing Supergirl using her cape to block a dragon's nostril fire.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Supergirl Episode 407: Rather The Fallen Angel

A Brief Reminder:
I am writing reviews for this show but I will no longer be adding comments or responding to comments. 
Nor will I be baited into responding to personal attacks against me.
I will be deleting comments which I feel veer into fake news, personal attacks on myself or other commenters, and anything else I (as blog owner) deem vile.
I review a television show. This show is a political metaphor but I do not run a political blog.
Thank you.

Supergirl episode #407, 'Rather The Fallen Angel' was another very good show in this strong season. This season is clearly a referendum on immigration with the villain being a xenophobe and the good guys trying to stop a violent uprising based on hate.

But one thing the show has been doing very well is show how there are shades of gray between the starkness of white and black. Agent Liberty is too far gone now, a murdering extremist. But the events that nudged him down that path were real, showing how he felt like an outcast in his own land. Manchester Black we learn here is also too far gone, attacking humans who disagree with him violently. Neither of these people, politically diametrically opposed, are heroes. But they are the extreme edges.

In the middle are people like Tom, the Children of Liberty member who realizes his error. And James, who was willing to compromise himself to save one person. And Lena who is willing to risk the lives of people for her research. Kara says it clearly at the end of this episode, the duality of people ... some mix of good and bad ... is making it more and more difficult to judge with the lens of simple 'good' and 'bad'. For a show that has worn its political heart on its sleeve in an over-the-top way, this nuanced approach is refreshing.

Agent Liberty was hurt as Ben Lockwood when he lost everything ... but his reactionary stance after was wrong. Manchester Black was hurt when he lost everything ... but his reactionary stance after was wrong. They are two sides of the same coin. But both sides have been scratched up. In essence, these were people who fell, like the fallen angels in the title.

Aside from a few plot conveniences which push the plot forward, the story here and the imagery was all very good. This is probably the strongest season for me in this show so far. On to the details.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Back Issue Review: Adventure Comics #418

Last week on Supergirl Episode 406, 'Call to Arms', we saw Supergirl fight a dragon.

It was one of the best sequences I have seen on the show in a long time. I flat out loved it.

As a result, and thanks to a nudge from someone who left a comment here, I decided that I should take a look back at other times Supergirl fought a dragon.

These are all in the fluxing time period of the early 70s. Comics were starting to get more serious. But there was still a bit of Silver Age lunacy that could mix in. As a result, the two dragon stories that I am going to review are pretty wonky. So settle in.

Believe it or not, the earlier of the two stories is the less insane one.

Adventure Comics #418 came out in 1972 and the Supergirl run as the headliner in the title was just a few issues away. This was a time when the Supergirl stories were trying to be a bit more mature. Mike Sekowsky started the 'new adventures' way back in Adventure Comics #400. But Sekowsky had left leaving a handful of other creators to pinch hit.

And so we have 'The Face of the Dragon', a story which might be trying to cash in on the Kung Fu craze happening in America at the time. It also is trying to mesh the odd mix of film noir with the four color escapades of a super-powered Maid of Might. Basically, your mileage may vary.

All that said, please pick this book up if you see it in the cheap bins. The Black Canary back-up has a story with ridiculously gorgeous Alex Toth art. That alone is worth the price.

But onto the Supergirl story!

Monday, November 26, 2018

DC February Solicits

Last week, DC released its solicits for February and I have thoughts. Here is a link to Newsarama's coverage of all the books:

Let's just say when I saw the cover for Supergirl #27 I felt a bit deflated.

I have been covering this character for ten and a half years. I have seen her character go dark and get redeemed at least 4 times over that period. Four times ... that I can think of.

It seems like every so often, DC's upper echelon thinks that a 'dark Supergirl' is what is missing in the world. And every single time the take fails ... because THAT'S NOT SUPERGIRL ... and someone has to come in and smooth things over. Sterling Gates, Tony Bedard, Mike Johnson and K. Perkins, even Steve Orlando and Jody Houser all have needed to bring Kara back from the dark and have her embrace Earth as home and swear to defend it.

So, of course, after Orlando and Houser have Supergirl back on the straight and narrow, DC pulls the plug and has Marc Andreyko send Supergirl away from Earth, away from her supporting cast, away from that role of hero, and sent her into space. From the get-go, I was nervous. But Perkins sent her to Crucible and that worked out so I took a breath.

Then I saw the first cover and read the issues. Gritty Kara, wielding a battle axe, on a path of vengeance and swearing she 'isn't Kal' ... I was worried we were back to Dark Supergirl.

I didn't know how good I had it back then.

Because now we have this Supergirl, de-powered, wielding a Liefeldian gun, shooting at some unknown foe while screaming in battle.


Look, you want to read Scarlet, Black Widow, or any of the other gritty female-led books with gun-toting heroes, go ahead! Heck, *I* read some of those books.

But who wants to read a Supergirl book with a powerless teenage girl shooting a gun?

Maybe this will all turn out fine. Maybe it's a stun gun.

But I am not happy. Supergirl shouldn't be powerless. Supergirl shouldn't be mowing people down with a rifle. So I know that Supergirl shouldn't be powerless AND be mowing people down with a rifle.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving Again! Sales Review: October 2018

As Supergirl fans, I think we should probably give thanks to Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau, someone who seems to be able to wave a magic wand over Supergirl sales. Amazing! So raise a glass of mulled cider or have an extra slice of leftover pumpkin pie today in his honor.

And why am I saying all this today?

Well the comic sales for October 2018 were recently posted. As always head to ICv2 for great coverage:

Now October had DC roll out special foil cover variants. So some of what I am about to discuss might be collector zeal for fancy, shiny covers.

Still the numbers are jaw-dropping!

Supergirl #23 was the third issue of the new direction by Marc Andreyko and Kevin Maguire.

Sales weren't exactly brisk with the bold, new direction. And one thing that had changed was that the Artgerm variant covers ended with Supergirl #20. Amanda Conner took over the variant job with the changeover. And hey ... Amanda Conner ain't a slouch. I love her work and her Supergirl work in particular.

Still, Artgerm gave us the above variant, the foil cover.

But Supergirl #22 had 22,115 units ordered through Diamond. This was a bit of an eye opener. We were two issues into a new run and sales had dropped 20% from Supergirl #21. I was waiting to see if the book was in free fall.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those who celebrate, hope you have a great Thanksgiving day.

I am, as always, thankful for the audience this place has.

Thanks for heading here and talking Supergirl!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Supergirl Episode 406: A Call To Arms

Supergirl episode 406, titled'A Call to Arms' aired earlier this week and was another very good episode in this season's overall arch about prejudice and fear. While a few notes were a little shrill, overall this episode continued to show how complex this topic is. And for a show like Supergirl which has been holier than thou at times with ham-fisted scripts I have to applaud the writers and producers.

While the main theme for the season has been fear of aliens, a clear metaphor for immigrants and racism (or any of the other phobias of 'other' out there), I think a current coursing under the theme is just how far people will be pushed by their fear and anger. And the writers have to be commended for showing us a number of shades of gray.

It starts with the villain Ben Lockwood, pushed towards anger and hate by a series of unfortunate events which left him fearing for his family's life. Warped from a reasonable person to a hate monger, he has a line he has drawn. He won't kill humans. Will his crossing that line show him the errors of his ways?

Meanwhile, the opposite side of the coin is Manchester Black, a man who loved an alien and had become a man of peace through his love. Now with his fiancee killed, he has also been twisted into a hate, killing and torturing his fellow humans to get what he wants.

And there is Kara, the beacon of hope who is constantly being asked to stay out of the mud. She has had moments of self-doubt that maybe she is too optimistic. Will she be dimmed.

But the most intriguing person might be Colonel Lahey, a side character who at times seems like a clear-thinking person, assessing threats. At other times, she is just as slimy as Lockwood. Which way will she turn? Can she be redeemed? Shown the light?

While all this was there in this episode, we also got Helen Slater, Thankisgiving dinner at the Danvers, mysterious stuff about Nia, and a fight with a dragon. Just wonderful.

On to the details.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Julius Schwartz Memorial Lecture - Brian Michael Bendis

On November 8th, I had the luck of driving just a few miles from my place of work to MIT. And there, I was able to take in the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program 2018 Julius Schwartz Memorial Lecture. Past lecturers have been Neil Gaiman and J. Michael Straczynski.

This year it was Brian Michael Bendis.

The lecture was open to the public and held in a big auditorium style class room on campus. It looked like about 100 people were in attendance.

Given that he is now on the Superman books and has written a bunch of books I loved, I was thrilled that I was able to attend.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: Superman #5

Superman #5 came out last week, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

I have said in the past that Action Comics has been more enjoyable to me recently. But the last two issues, Bendis has really brought it. There is a lot here that I loved. There is humor. There is plot progression. Bendis picks up a plot thread that has been hanging for a while. Heck, I even like General Zod in this issue. I haven't been interested in Zod in about a decade. Just amazing.

Two moments stand out. There is a moment of Ma and Pa wisdom at the end which made me sit up and cheer.  And there is a Lois mention that showed me that maybe Bendis gets the Kent/Lane relationship at its foundation. They happen back to back at the end of the book and I was thrilled. Pitch perfect ... you'll see.

Add to that the usual stand-out art by the team of Reis and Prado. There is something so classic about their approach to the material. Whether gleaming spires or ruined zones, the two bring it. In particular, Superman looks pretty ragged here, appropriate given the fight he has been through. I also love Adam Hughes' cover, riffing on the classic Superman #32 cover from the 40's.

On to the book.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Review: Supergirl #24

Supergirl #24 came out this week and I won't bury the lede. It has Doc Shaner art.

Since I discovered Shaner's art I have wanted to see his take on Supergirl and he doesn't disappoint. That is not to say that Kevin Maguire hasn't been killing it on this book; he has. But there is something just magical, just gorgeous, just grin-inducing about Shaner's art and his take on Kara that elevates this issue tremendously. Expect me to gush throughout the review even though I have already blasted you with superlatives.

The story in the issue is good, advancing the plot of detective Kara trying to uncover what Rogol Zaar and 'The Circle' had to do with Krypton's destruction. I feel like the first three issues have been something of prologue, starting Kara out on this intergalactic journey. Now, out in space, writer Marc Andreyko can start to put the rest of the pieces out on the chess board. A couple of new characters are introduced. And we continue to move forward on Kara's quest to reunite the crystals Appa Ali Apsa.

Sure, Kara seems more of the angry, 'punch first' Supergirl of past years. The cover touts her 'path of vengenace'. It seems like a step back in her characterization. At least, at times, she seems like the bright, inquisitive Supergirl we have seen recently.

But the big win here is Shaner's art. It is just a fill-in. He has no other planned issue of Supergirl ahead. Maybe the hue and cry of the common folk can bring him back as designated pinch hitter?

Onto the book.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bullet Review: Justice League #11

 I feel like it is a little bit of a cheat for me to review Justice League #11 because I am not getting the entirety of the Drowned Earth storyline. I am not getting the stand alone issues. I am only getting the main title books. So I don't know if it is fair of me to review interval chapters rather than the whole arc.

That said, I have been reviewing and lauding this book since it's premiere and I didn't think it felt right not to review the book.

So ultimately I decided that I would include a review of the issue, at least showcasing the elements that I liked as well as hitting on moments that impact plot points brought up in the earlier issues.

Scott Snyder continues the keep things moving forward at warp speed. A lot of ideas and plot progression happens here. But what I loved about this issue is the sneaky character moments that if you blink or gloss over, you'll miss.

Francis Manapul is on art and really shines here. There is a thicker, harder edge to his stuff. I usually think of breathier, more pencil-y work with Manapul. But the style works here with this world-threatening incident unfolding.

So I won't go too in depth here. But there are moments that are too good to not share.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Supergirl Episode 405: Parasite Lost

I have been very pleased with this season of Supergirl. The first four episodes were quite tight, with good character moments, good action, and very solid story-telling. Prior seasons and prior episodes have been heavy-handed or clunky. And I haven't had to say that this season so far.

Episode 405, titled Parasite Lost, was a decent episode. It progressed the overall plot. There were some nice character moments. Alex Danvers ultimately saves the day with Supergirl acting more as a bystander. While Kara the reporter gets a boost, her role as superhero is again diminished. Kara again isn't the hero in her own show. There was a great moment at the end for J'onn J'onzz which elevated this episode a lot for me.

And once more, there is a nuanced approach to the metaphor of alien as immigrant. We saw a more sympathetic view of Agent Liberty a couple of weeks ago. Here we start to see signs of how hate can drive people deeper into evil. In fact, I think two themes of the season are starting to percolate a bit.

After such a solid beginning, I felt this was a bit of a 'treading water' episode, a mini-step back from the excellence we have seen before. Good is still good. I thought this was solid. Just not as fantastic.

And we don't get a single mention of Mercy and Otis. I still don't know if they are dead!

On to the show.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Back Issue Review: Action Comics #340

Just this week on the Supergirl show, Agent Jensen was turned into the Parasite to vex our hero Kara and the DEO.

Now most people, myself included, jump to Rudy Jones as being the Parasite. So when someone named Jensen was introduced on the show way back in the premiere, I didn't think to much of it.

Then Supergirl fan extraordinaire @kara_querl that the original Parasite, from Action Comics #340 was named Raymond Jensen. Supergirl staff writer Eric Carrasco confirmed this had been planned since the first episode.

Feeling myself like a bad fan for not remembering this on my own, especially given that I actually own the issue in my collection, I decided that a back issue review was warranted. So get ready to read about the first appearance of the Parasite!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Review: The Last Siege #4

The Last Siege #6 came out last week and continues to be an ultra-dramatic story racing towards its conclusion.

I have said all along that this movie has been playing out in my head like a film, Braveheart meets The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly meets Seven Samurai. From the pacing to the panel composition to the plot, it all feels like a Spaghetti Western hopped up on mead. And I have loved every minute of it.

Writer Landry Walker has done a great job bringing this tale up to a roiling boil. After issues of set-up and back story, the pieces are all on the board. And now the board is on fire. Incredible. Along with this deliberate ratcheting up the action, we still get great character beats. We learn the history of Tomislav and Istvan both within the illustrated comic and in the text pieces in the back. We see Lady Cathryn go from innocent silent girl playing with dolls to wounded combat leader rallying the troops. This has been a meaty read from all angles.

Artist Justin Greenwood continues to bring us a bleak gritty landscape with his inky work. But one thing I have appreciated along the way has been his ability to convey information through body language. In this book, you can feel the weariness in the beaten warriors' bones. You feel the nervousness of the characters fleeing the carnage. So much is said without words.

Rounding out the team is Brad Simpson on colors. Given the amount of gore and fire in this chapter, we get a brighter palette than the usual one for this book. We are bathed in yellows and oranges that bring the story out of the shadows. We also have Pat Brosseau on lettering and he brings his usual panache.

I've been thrilled with this book so far. The end is nigh!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #4

Adventures of the Super Sons #4 came out this week and continued this hilarious romp through the DCU. From the beginning it was clear that writer Peter Tomasi was going to have fun with this series. Jon Kent was going to be changed by Brian Michael Bendis. This interaction and this duo would never be the same again. So why not just let it rip and have a blast.

I have said in prior reviews that this seems like a tour through the history of the DCU, a mix of Silver and Bronze age pastiche barely held to by a plot. But I don't care. Last issue we got a take on Superman Red/Blue and an appearance from Space Cabbie. This issue we have dialogue that is lifted from movies to a possible Marvel homage to a riff on DC's Bronze age horror anthologies. It's perfect. I am having so much fun with this book. I'm not expecting War and Peace. I am expecting a fun ride. And that is what Tomasi is giving us. It is almost perfect that this book came out a week after Halloween because this was a sweet treat, a confection.

Carlo Barberi continues to bring a zany energy to the book walking the fine line between stylized and over stylized. The somewhat cartoony like look clicks with the Looney Tunes plot. And his Sons are perfect. This is how I picture them in my mind. And that homage to DC's past is evident right from the cover, a classic horror comic motif (see cover of House of Mystery #174 of The House of Mystery treasury).

It is a shame we only have so much of this book and this dynamic left. On to the issue!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Supergirl Episode 404: Ahimsa

Supergirl episode 404, titled 'Ahimsa', aired this week and was another strong character episode in what has been a very strong season. Yes, there was action, one might say 'Marvel-ous' action. And yes there was plot progression. But this was again about looking at how the plot of alien amnesty and xenophobia is effecting people. I am thrilled with this season so far.

This is also the episode with the suited Supergirl, probably because Melissa Benoist was so far away on Broadway. The DEO is trying to clear the air of Kryptonite. And I might be looking to deep for metaphors, but each character has something weighing on them as well. They need to clear the air, revealing their problems and working through them. Some make perfect sense, like Alex suddenly dealing with the weight of leadership. Or Brainy dealing with uncertainty and how his emotions make working through that doubt difficult. Others make less sense, like J'onn saying he has lived his life 'steeped in rage'. But overall it worked. And that's all that matters.

As for the action, some of the villains' actions and motivations are a little wonky. But they are appropriately scary and nefarious. I like seeing the smooth words and charisma of Ben Lockwood coming to the foreground of the main plot.

On to the episode.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rhode Island Comic Con Wrap-Up

I consider myself a con veteran. I prepare meticulously and try to be ready. I often have the experience mapped out mentally as I enter. Yes ... I know ... insanity.

And every so often I am delightfully surprised.

I went to the Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend with very little expectations. There weren't many comic creators on the guest list. And I only had a couple of issues for signature from that limited guest list. I honestly went more because it is an annual trip for me and my brother (he is a huge Star Wars fan so we cover a swath of cons like this).

My plans were simple.

Meet Laura Vandervoort again, have her sign a Smallville comic, and not be a nervous blathering idiot like I was the first time I met her.

Meet Kevin Nash, founding member of the NWO and one of my favorite wrestlers.

Get single issues signed by Kevin Eastman and Bob Layton.

A commission wasn't even on my radar but luck favors the prepared so I chucked my main sketch book into my bag and off I went.

Bear with me because the best stuff happened at the end.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Bullet Review: Superman #16

Through cosmic alignment more than cerebral intent, I have been thinking a lot about the reintroduction of 'Supergirl' to the post-Crisis, Byrne-era DC Universe. Much of that probably was born from my recent review of what I will call 'Matrix' in  Superman #19 .

In looking back at the site, I realize that I also briefly touched on her third appearance in  Superman #20, the first time that Matrix met Ma and Pa Kent as she was trying to work her way through her muddled 'pocket universe' memories.

Heck, I've even covered the John Byrne promotional poster.

While I know that an Elseworld's Finest review is due. And a long overdue viewing of the Supergirl movie and a review of that is also due, I think I need to scratch this Byrne itch. In the end, I think I'll need to review the 'Supergirl Saga', the last Byrne storyline which changed so much of the books moving forward. (Hard to believe I haven't reviewed that before either.)

But before I get there, I figured I better cover the first appearance of Matrix in the DCU, as seen in an explosive cliffhanger in Superman #16. And I have to say I have a little movie-based theory about this first meeting.

As many know, I was lucky enough to meet Byrne at this summer's Boston Fan Expo and got some issues signed including this one. I thanked him for 'somewhat' returning Supergirl to comics and he shrugged and said 'somewhat'. And that little interaction meant a lot to me.

On to the book.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: Superman/Top Cat #1

 This October had five Wednesdays which meant that there would most likely be slim pickings on the comic shelf. While DC did put Heroes in Crisis #2 and a Batman Secret Files out there, we also got the next wave of goofy team-ups between DC characters and Hanna Barbera properties. Thus Superman/Top Cat #1 by Dan Didio and Shane Davis was available for review.

Now I had a lot of expectations for this book. For one, prior recent DC odd team-ups with cartoon characters (things like the wonderful Bugs Bunny/Legion of Super-Heroes or Batman/Elmer Fudd) were very well done, exceeding what I thought possible.

Also, I am a huge fan of the old cartoon Top Cat, watched on reruns in my youth. Here I met that smooth talking Top Cat, always trying to get rich quick. There was a Phil Silvers analogue; there was a Cary Grant analogue. They always seemed one step ahead of Officer Dibble. Top Cat is a relative unknown these days so I was thrilled to see him back in action with the Big Red S.

Unfortunately, the book was sort of a let-down. Top Cat in this comic could have been any number of cartoon characters. He wasn't 'Top Cat'-ish enough to capture the cartoon. None of the other characters appear here. And outside of some puns and some sarcasm around vegetables and Amazon, there wasn't much fun to be had here.

On to the book ...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Back Issue Review: Omega Men #3

The solicits for January 2019 were released earlier this month and the solicit for Supergirl #26 had a very interesting line in it.

Supergirl…super-captured! Still recovering from radiation poisoning, Kara finds herself in the clutches of the Citadel and its ruthless leader Harry Hokum, who is eager to experiment on one of the last Kryptonians in the known universe. 

Given the mention of Harry Hokum, I thought I would comb the back issue box and review The Omega Men #3 from 1983, an issue which is notable for being the first appearance of Hokum!

Okay, that isn't true, While this is the first appearance of Hokum, this issue is most famous for being the first appearance of the Lobo. While this is Lobo in look, this is not the Main Man most people are used to reading about. Here he is a calculating bounty hunter who sports a 'Goober Grape' one piece costume, a far cry from the cigar chomping, hog-riding, brutal killer of the current DCU.

Hokum is a pretty impressive villain here, a displaced Earth man who is somehow in the Vega system and a political manipulator from behind the scenes. He looks a bit like Vermin Vundabar of Fourth World fame. But despite his slight frame, he is able to stand up to violent leaders of The Citadel and become part of the inner circle of the fascist regime.

The book is written by Roger Silfer. But the main draw for me is the Keith Giffen art, still sporting his ultra-clean, organic look of his early Legion days. All I can say is 'wow'! I am always amazed at how Giffen's art looked back in the day. And given this was a direct market only book, he is able to get a little more r-rated here and there. I was lucky enough to get the issue signed by Giffen at Terrificon 2 summers ago. (The label is on a comic bag, not the actual book.)

Onto the issue!