Friday, February 29, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Bolo Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Bolo Arrow

This week's arrow is another that allows Green Arrow to subdue opponents without doing them any lasting harm. As you can see from the picture, the arrow is fired at the opponent, and upon impact releases a set of bolos that tangle in the legs of the victim, preventing him from running away. This is certainly less messy than the glue arrow, but also sacrifices some general utility as well. Still, has a job, and it does it well.

Plus, it looks darn cool!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sorry Guys!

Sorry folks, no post today. Work was insane (it gets that way when you're gone for a week) and I have to run out of here in a few minutes for an appointment.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Hobo Ollie, complete with Empty Soda Can Arrow!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Animation Arrows:: Justice League: The New Frontier

Title: Justice League New Frontier

Review: Well, I'm sure most of my readers will be familiar with the plot of New Frontier, but just ine case: The plot follows the 3 characters which kicked off the Silver Age, namely Martian Manhunter, the Barry Allen Flash, and Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. They team up with existing 50's era heroes like Superman and Batman to defeat an ancient menance that threatens to wipe out humanity.

Now, having watched the movie and read the series, I have to give th film 2 big thumbs up. The story was very well animated, and the voices they chose were damned near perfect (and had some big names). I especially enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris's performance as Barry Allen. My only real complaint was the length. The story clocks in at a mere 75 minutes. Whole storylines had to be cut for time, including the Losers and virtually all of John Henry's story (he was mentioned in a newscast, but had no scenes). Not only is that a real shame for the missing story, but it can be downright confusing at times. At one point, Barry Allen makes the decision to fight "The Center" and arrives at Cape Canaveral to join the fight. At almost the same time, Green Arrow, Adam Strange, and the Blackhawks also show up to help out. And that's all the intro we get for any of those people. People who are not total dorks like me may not have known who the hell those people were, they're not even named!

Other than the run-time, I have very little else to complain about. The animation was top-notch, the voices were great, and the story, as we knew ahead of time, was awesome. I picked up the 2 disc special edition from Best Buy, which came with a little Hal Jordan figure, complete with tiny Lantern. The extras on the DVD made the extra few bucks a no-brainer. The one that stuck out in my mind was the half hour long special on the history of the Justice League, complete with character profiles and interviews with various industry icons (including Stan Lee!).

Green Arrow Goodness: Not much, really. GA shows up with Adam Strange and the Black Hawks to help fight The Center, then appears in a few crowd scenes. That's about it. He does have one super awesome scene though: At the start of the fight against The Center, the Air Force launches a massive air strike as a distraction for The Flash. Batman joins them in the Batplane, but gets in a bit of trouble when about half a dozen flying dinosaurs attack at once. Bats manages to fight most of them off, but just as the last one is about to take a bite out of him, Ollie shows up in the Arrowplane, and kills it!

Go get the film kids, you won' be disappointed!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow and Black Canary #4

Issue: Green Arrow and Black Canary #4

Title: Please Play Where Daddy Can See You

Credits: Judd Winick (script) Cliff Chiang (cover, pencils) Trish Mulvihill (colors)

Synopsis: When we last left our intrepid band, they were fleeing Paradise Island after having rescued Oliver Queen from the clutches of the Amazons. Before the victory celebrations could begin, a shot rang out, hitting Connor Hawke in the chest. As the issue opens, Ollie manages to keep his head long enough to summon Superman, who carries Connor off to the hospital at super-speed.

Connor is in surgery, but that isn't good enough for Ollie. He screams for someone else until he finally arrives: Hal Jordan. Ollie unceremoniously orders him into the operating room to save his son. Hal manages to calm Ollie down a bit and promises to do everything he can. Hours pass, and finally Green Lantern returns with news: his ring was able to fully heal Connor's body, but the bullet had some kind of poison on it which had destroyed Connor's brain. His body was fine, but Connor was now effectively brain dead. The issue ends with Ollie comforting his son, telling him that "Daddy's right here."

Thoughts: Well, first off, I'm kinda bummed that Connor is a vegetable now, because I really like his character. As for the rest of the issue, I liked it. I really think that Winick got Ollie's reaction down to a tee: angry, inconsolable, and uncompromising. I also liked the bit where Black Lightning expresses his concern about the fact that Green Arrow is shouting people's real first names, in public. It's about damn time someone pointed out that that's a bad idea. I'm anxious to see where Winick is going with this, as there's a kidnapping coning up, and a mysterious kidnapping+crippled/dead person usually = Ra's Al Ghul, and I loves me some Ra's.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Lantern #77

Issue: Green Lantern #77

Title: Journey to Desolation

Credits: Neal Adams (cover, pencils) Denny O'Neil (script)

Cover Date: June 1970

Synopsis: As Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen and their Guardian of the Universe companion (does this guy ever get a name?) continue their journey to find America, they stumble across a mining town named Desolation, and straight into an ambush. Ollie and Hal bail out of the truck and engage their attackers in battle. Ollie makes short work of his opponents with his mad archery skills, but Hal's ring mysteriously fails him at a critical moment in the battle.

After questioning their attackers, GL and GA realize that the attack is a case of mistaken identity. The leader of the group, Jacob, explains that the group is made up of disaffected miners from the nearby town of Desolation. Desolation is ruled by a ruthless mine boss name "Slapper Soames" (you'd think he would have used some of his power to pick a better nickname...) who keeps the townsfolk in conditions little better than slavery. The miners have finally risen in revolt in response to Slapper's latest affront: trumping up charges against local troubadour Johnny Walden. Johnny will hang at down if nothing is done.

After a brief argument (where Hal again shows a naive trust in anything resembling authority, legitimate or not) Ollie and Hal agree to help the miners attack Slapper Soames and save Johnny Walden.

Unfortunately for them, Slapper has built himself something resembling a modern bunker, complete with artillery and hired thugs in the form of Nazi war criminals (must be a profitable mine...). Regardless, the battle is joined. Initially, the miners do well. After all, they have 2 highly skilled superheroes on their side. Things start to go south when Hal gets a message from the Guardians that his ring has been partially depowered (since he's not working his regular beat) just in time to get in the middle of a firefight and wander into a cloud of knockout gas (thanks, Guardians!)

Meanwhile, Ollie gets pistol whipped and brought into Soames' headquarters. Luckily for Ollie, he was only playing possum. He manages to defeat most of the mine boss's thugs before being betrayed by Jacob. Jacob, it turns out, is working for Soames. He's leading the miners in revolt only so Soames has an excuse to kill off the feistier ones, leaving the rest more docile than ever. Just as Ollie is about to be shot, Hal intervenes and melts Jacobs gun.

The bad guys defeated, Ollie laments that even with their victory, the miners don't really have much to look forward to... the end.

Thoughts: Alright, one thing right off the bat. As soon as Hal complained about his "power beam" not "going far enough," I made all kinds of jokes in my head involving erectile dysfunction drugs (if your power beam remains erect for more than 4 hours, contact your local Guardian immediately...). Aside from that, I thought the issue was great. I think part of it was that the situation they faced was actually a serious problem. Company towns like Desolation existed all over the Old West, even into the 20th century. Of course, I doubt situations quite like that existed in 1970. Still, the issue was well done, and managed to avoid sounding quite as preachy as the last issue.

Green Lantern's crisis of conscience continues, and continues to remain believable. His naive trust in anything resembling authority is a bit of a stretch, however. Green Arrow gets to demonstrate his usefulness in a fight in this ish (and his vulnerability to pistols in the back of the head) so as a fan of the Emerald Archer, I found that pretty satisfying. Neal Adams continues to please with his art, especially that incredibly melodramatic cover!

Thoughts anyone?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Glue Arrow

This week's Trick Arrow of the Week is Ollie's Glue Arrow. Filled with a fast drying, industrial strength adhesive, this trick arrow has a myriad of uses, including what is probably my favorite use of a trick arrow ever.

As shown in the picture to the left, Green Arrow had challenged invulnerable crime boss "Brick" to a duel. Unable to cause much damage to his rocky hide with traditional arrows, GA switched tactics, firing the glue arrow straight down Brick's throat. When the glue hardened, Brick had a slight problem, as even invulnerable people need to breath, and the glue was now blocking his airway. That's just the kind of brain over brawn thinking that made me like Green Arrow so much in the first place.

(Of course, being Ollie, he let Brick go, but not before reminding him who was the "bitch" in their little arrangement)

PS: Sorry for the late post guys. Infectious Lass paid a visit to the Arrowcave, resulting in your humble correspondent catching a nasty flu.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dossier:: Mia Dearden

Name: Mia Dearden

Alias: Speedy II

1st appearance:
Green Arrow vol. 3 #2

Modus Operandi: Teen-aged crime fighter, archer extraordinaire.

Power/Equipment: Access to same arsenal of trick arrows as Green Arrow, skilled acrobat and hand to hand combatant. Supremely talented archer.

Affiliations: Arrow Family, Teen Titans

Backstory: After running away from an abusive home, Mia found herself without support and easy prey for the dreges of society. She eventually found herself a "boyfriend," who also let other men have their way with her and collected money in return. Yup, little Mia had found her way into teen prostitution.

After a run-in with Green Arrow and his supposed ally Stanley Dover, Mia became part of the Arrow Family. After training herself in the use of the crossbow (and showing serious talent at it) Ollie finally relented and trained Mia to be the new Speedy. It was around this time that MIa also found out that her days as a prostitute came at a price: Mia is HIV positive.

After a recent run-in with a newly-resurrected Jason Todd, Mia finally gave in the Ollie's cajoling and joined the Teen Titans.

A classic hooker with a heart of gold, Mia has finally found herself a home she can be proud of.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Non-GA:: Salvation Run #4

So, I just read Salvation Run #4. I'm not actually following the series, but I was in the comic shop over my lunch break and saw the cover. As you can plainly see, this is quite possibly the most awesome cover ever createdby man.

Inside the comic, things were even more awesome. The very frist scene featured dinosaurs that shot laser beams out of their mouths.

Then we come to the fight portrayed on the cover, where a talking ape beats another talking ape to death with a disembodied brain that is also the other ape's significant other.

I have no idea what's actually going on in this issue, and I honestly don't care!

Ollie Watch: Feb. 20th

Out This Week:

Batman and the Outsiders #4: Ollie joins the Outsiders(?) in the fourth issue of the revamped series. (?)

Justice League of America #18: Keep an eye out for supporting GA characters Black Canary and Red Arrow as they battle the Suicide Squad!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol.2 #2

Credits: Mike Grell (cover, script) Ed Hannigan (pencils) Dick Giordano (color)

Cover Date: March, 1988

Synopsis: This issue picks up immediately after the last issue ended. GA is still trying to figure out how someone could survive an arrow to the chest, while Dinah comforts Dr. Green inside.
The police (and Ollie) rush to the Muncy mansion, determined to find evidence that the perp was indeed Al Muncy. Despite a tourhough search of the place, the cops find nothing. Muncy mocks both the police and Ollie, standing by and sipping beer straight out of the faucet (his family does own a brewery!).

The police conclude that the perp Ollie shot was likely a junkie looking for a fix and hoping that the Doc may have left something laying around. As much as Ollie and Lt. Cameron desperately want to nab Muncy, the evidence at the scene suggests it couldn't have been him (the footprint they found was from a larger, heavier man than Muncy).

Just then, GA has a flash of inspiration. Rushing back to the mansion, they find a partial suit of armor and a mocking note from Muncy. Green Arrow remembered the suit from earlier... when it had also included a chainmail shirt (explaining how Muncy could have survived the arrow AND why his footprints were those of a heavier man). They also find the secret passages and tunnels that the Muncy family used for bootlegging during Prohibition.

GA and Lt. Cameron down the villain...straight to Cameron's house. Muncy has Cameron's daughter and plans to kill both her and Cameron just to prove he can. Luckily, GA intervenes and puts an arrow through Muncy's wrist. Muncy manages to escape in a super sweet classic car back to his brewery. Again he mocks GA, telling him that there's another exit from the tunnel system and that he'll never find him. Muncy jumps into the elevator into the tunnels and flips the switch...and goes straight into a giant pool of beer. Earlier we'd seen GA open a valve, but were given no reason. Now we see he used it as a lethal (but probably delicious!) trap.

Thoughts: Well, Ollie kill another guy at the end of this issue, and doesn't seem to upset about it either. I can handle the grim Ollie who killed because he had to, but he seems to do it a bit too casually for my tastes in this issue. Lt. Cameron even gets on him about it, pointing out that if the perp from earlier hadn't been wearing armor, he would have been a dead man. If it turned out to be Muncy, no one would shed too many tears, but if it was some kid looking for a fix...well, Cameron promised trouble. I like that Dr. Green and Dinah spend some time talking about their mutual pain; Dinah seems to draw a great comfort from it.

I still enjoyed reading this issue. It was well written and paced, I'm just not sure of the characterization that Grell is using for GA at this point.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spotlight:: Adventure Comics #250

Issue: Adventure Comics #250

Title: The Green Arrows of the World!

Synopsis: Green Arrow hosts a convention of of crack archers from around the world, including archers from "The Jungle," Mexico, France, and Japan. A slight wrinkle appears in Ollie's plans when the British archer is waylayed by a dastardly Brit who has sworn revenge on GA for sending him to jail! The villain uses the costume he stole from the British archer to infiltrate the convention and trick GA into trying out his "Big Ben Arrow."

GA gets wise to his scheme just in time, unmasking him with an amazing shot and forcing him to flee.

Our villain, Limehouse Larkin, is delayed briefly by the Japanese Green Arrow, and finally captured by GA with the use of several trick arrows that are certain to find their way into a Friday feature soon! The story ends with GA revealing how he saw through Larkin's disguise: Larkin had shown him a British wanted poster advertising a reward of 10,000 DOLLARS, instead of pounds! Silly criminals and their lack of knowledge of international currency!

Thoughts: Wow, this story was a ton of fun. Between the ridiculous, over-the-top characterizations of the Green Arrows of the World and the silly trick arrows (a jujitsu arrow, really!) you can't help but be entertained by the sheer fun and silliness. Of course, you'll notice that GA gets no cover space on this issue which is unfortunate, but typical.

Next week: Green Lantern #77!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Handcuff Arrow

Welcome to the return of the Trick Arrow of the Week Feature! We're back and better than ever folks!

Last time we featured an arrow that makes no sense if you think too hard about it: The Boxing Glove Arrow.

This week, we feature an arrow that makes no damned sense if you think about it at all: The Handcuff Arrow. Obviously the handcuff arrow designed to allow Ollie to capture criminals who walk around with their forearms pressed together, or who make a habit of always keeping them close to a convenient pipe or railing.

The arrow was used by Connor to some effect against The Key (he had no other options) and in his earlier appearances Ollie managed to make it work more often than not. Of course, we're using comic book physics here, so that's not entirely surpsrising.

Ollie, we love ya, but you may want to retire this one and replace it with something more useful, like an arrow that brews coffee or gives massages. (Dinah will certainly appreciate the latter!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dossier Entry: Onomatopoeia

(Just for you, Benton!)

The first entry in our series on Green Arrow's associates, villains, and allies is none other than Onomatopoeia. Virtually nothing is known about Onomatopoeia's personal life, powers (if he has any) or even what he looks like.

He first shows up in Green Arrow vol. 3 #11 and wrecks havok on Ollie and his crew for the next several issues. Onomatopoeia seems to have a mission (for himself, for someone else?) to murder non-powered heroes. He start off small, killing Harrisburg, Pennslyvania's resident hero Buckeye (and his wife, too, for good measure). He works his way up from there, finally targetting Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen's son and the second man to bear the name "Green Arrow."
Despite being one of the world's finest martial artists, Connor falls before the enimatic villain. Connor is rushed to the hospital, where Onomatopoeia tries to finish the job. He runs afoul of a VERY angry Oliver Queen, along with his paramour Black Canary. Despite taking SIX arrows in various places on his body, Onomatopoeia fights on, until he falls out a seventh story window. Still, the villain manages to get up and run off before Ollie can follow him.

Oh, and his name? Onomatopoeia? The word itself means "words that are also sounds" For instance, BANG! is an onomatopoeia. This guy plays that up to the hilt, speaking ONLY in onomatopoeias throughout his appearances.

Well, appearance, ol' Ono had a brief cameo in the Battle for Metropolis, but has otherwise kept a low profile for the past several years. I think that's a shame, because the dude is seriously creepy and nigh unstoppable. I'd like to see more of him! Are you listening Judd Winick?

Note: Structure of the blog from now on

Hey guys! I'm just writing a quick note about how I plan to organize my posts from now on. Obviously I've been a bit scattershot with how often and what I post on this blog up until this point. So, to bring in a little order, I think I'm going to use the following pattern:

Mondays: Synopsis of Golden/Silver Age GA appearances (More Fun Comics, Neal Adams Green Lantern, Justice League, etc)
Tuesdays: Synopsis of Modern GA appearances (Mike Grell, Kevin Smith reboot, etc)
Wednesdays: Ollie Watch, if anything is coming out. If not, non-GA stuff like the JL Europe bit I did a while back
Thursdays: Dossier on GA supporting character (allies, villains, love interests)
Fridays: Featured Trick Arrow of the week

Saturdays and Sundays will probably be filled up with tidbits if I have time. I'm out of town on most weekends, so I don't want to make any commitments on those days.

Also: I thought about changing Ollie Watch to "Emerald Alert," but I thought spoofing a system designed to alert folks to missing children (Amber Alert) was a bit much.

What do you guys think? (about the blog structure and the "wrongness" of making fun of missing children)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol.2 #1

In 1987, the comic book world shook with an unprecidented event: Green Arrow, after having existed for four decades, finally got his own series. This prestige format mini-series, Longbow Hunters, diverged radically from previous protrayls of the Emerald Archer. Rather than a social crusader in Star City who used goofy trick arrows, Ollie was now a grim, gritty Seattle resident who used your regular old arrow almost exclusively. Following that 3-issues series (which met with great critical and commercial success) DC gave the green light for an ongoing series written by Mike Grell and drawn by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano.

The first issue of the series starts off with Ollie foiling a mugging, then gets right into the grim part of the equation. Black Canary, who was brutally beaten and possibly raped (although DC editorials later said she wasn't) is having understandable intimacy issues with poor Ollie (who killed her attacker). The couple decides that they need to seek professional help, and do just that. Enter Dr. Annie Green, psychologist to our super-couple, and also the only witness to a 20 year old crime. At 10, Annie was brutalized by someone she identified as Al Muncy, heir to a brewery fortune and an accused serial killer. Mr. Muncy has been granted a re-trial after all these years, and now Annie Green is all that stands in his way...or does she. While Muncy is under house arrest, surrounded by dozens of policeman, someone hand delivers a package to Dr. Green's office; a package containing a piece of the dress she was wearing all those years ago. Later that night, Black Canary sits with the doctor while Ollie patrols outside. He spots a masked intruder, who runs off after Ollie sinks a shaft into his torso. GA finds the arrow on the ground, bent out of shape and with no blood on it... DUN DUN DUN.

That storyline concludes in the next issue, and you'll find out how it ended next week. As for my thoughts, I had a great time reading this book, although I must say that the new grim, gritty Ollie takes some getting used to.

Ollie Watch: Out Today Green Arrow/Black Canary #5

Green Arrow/Black Canary #5 is in stores today, folks! This promises to be an interesting issue, with yet another wedding and a surprise ending!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Green Lantern #76

Overview/Review: Green Lantern #76, co-starring Green Arrow
Writer: Denny O'Neil
Artist: Neal Adams

Overview: Well, I think everyone knows the history behind this particular issue, but just in case, here goes: This is the first issue of what would turn out to be a landmark run of Green Lantern. The first of DC's attempt at producing relevant comics, these issue (running from Green Lantern 76-89) began in April of 1970. The series put together two Emerald themed DC characters, Green Lantern and Green Arrow, who engaged on a cross country journey to find America and help out the little guy. The run featured frankly astonishing art by Neal Adams and themes of corporate corruption, social injustice, and even drug abuse penned by Denny O'Neil.

The plot revolves around Hal Jordan flying over Star City, preparing to visit his JLA teammate Green Arrow, who he has not heard from in quite some time. Spying what appears to be a ruffian attacking a respectable looking businessman. Green Lantern swoops down and gives the tough a ride to police headquarters, then returns to check on the suit, who thanks him profusely. Just then, the Emerald Crusader is hit in the head by a soup can, followed by a further rain of garbage and refuse from the street and even the windows above. Not understanding what's going on, GL threatens to beat the crap out of the nearest assailant, which prompts a response from the heretofore unseen Green Arrow.

Ollie explains that the "businessman" is really the local slum lord, who plans to demolish his crappy building, evict the tenants (who have nowhere else to go) and build a parking lot. After hearing this, GL heads over to the fatcat's penthouse and spends a fruitless hour trying to talk him out of his plans. After he's rudely dismissed and manhandled by the man's hired thugs, Hal losses his temper and nearly strikes the man he rescued shortly before. This act incurs the wrath of the Guardians, who reprimand Jordan for hassling a man who has committed no crime. They order him out for some busy work, diverting an asteroid strike on one of Saturn's moons. Incensed by the lack of concern the Guardians are showing, Hal returns to Earth and enlists Green Arrow's help in bringing the slum lord down.

Previously, the villain of our piece had out a hit out on Green Arrow. Knowing he was walking into a trap, Green Arrow had planted a recording device, hoping to get the thugs to implicate their paymaster. They did, but a stray bullet fired during the struggle demolished the recorder. Lacking any hard evidence, it looks like the bad guys will walk away clean. Just then, Hal returns and comes up with an idea. He and Ollie intercept the thugs on their way back to the penthouse. Then Hal, disguised as one of the hitmen, manages to get a confession from his boss...right in front of Star City's district attorney, who Hal had disguised as the other thug.

Of course, Hal's scheme pisses off the Guardian's again, since they explicitly ordered him to stay out of it, but a passionate speech by Green Arrow gives the Guardians pause. Ollie points out that they have no right to interfere in strictly human matters, especially none of them have ever even been to Earth. The Guardians decide that Ollie has a point, and send one of their number to Earth to see what's what. Of course, he'll need people to show him around, and who better to do that than our heroes, Green Lantern and Green Arrow.

Thoughts: Whew, that summary is almost as long as the issue itself! In case you missed it, A LOT happened in this issue. We're introduced to the idea of Green Arrow as a social crusader. We also have Hal Jordan's crisis of conscience. Hal is used to black and white, good guy/bad guy worldview, and the realization that the world really doesn't work that way throws him for a loop.

Overall, I really enjoyed the issue. It did bring up several good points about how superheroes tend to focus on giant monsters and saving alien worlds, but tend to ignore the social injustice in their own backyard. The issue managed to avoid being TOO heavy handed, although you could tell there were parts where they tried just a bit too hard.

As far as the characters themselves, I felt that the creative team did a really good job with both of them. Hal Jordan, the former military, super-powered lawman makes a great contrast to the social crusading, non-super-powered Oliver Queen (leaving aside the fact that Queen was a billionaire himself). I anxious to see how those two will play off each other in future issues, especially the ones where Ollie's failings are thrown in his face (thanks Speedy!).

What do you guys think? Comment away!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Long Note About ACE

Well, as I mentioned in my quick post below, I attended the Atlanta Comics Expo over the weekend. Overall, I think it was a good show. Obviously it was not one of the more massive ones like Dragoncon or HeroesCon, but it did have plenty of comic goodness to go around.

Celebrities: Well, there were plenty of comic industry folk around, but the two that stuck out most in my mind were Ethan van Sciver and Michael Golden. Now, I wasn't particularly excited about van Sciver, he was notable to me mostly because my absent friend Joe would have loved to have met him. Unfortunately, he has some sort of thing called a job that kept him away from the convention. Some people, I tell ya. van Sciver is most famous for his work on Green Lantern, and most recently recieved good press for the Sinestro Corps War.

The other big gun was Michael Golden, co-creator of X-Man Rogue and prolific Bronze Age artist. I was interested in him mostly because of his work on Dr. Strange in the late 70's. Unfortunately, I forgot the issue of his that I owned, and none of the ones I picked up at the show were from that era. I did however get a super awesome black and white Dr. Strange/Clea print signed by Mr. Golden. One of these days, I need to get a frame for it and all my other prints.

Dealers: ACE had these a plenty, although I was disappointed by the almost total lack of bargain basement discount bins at the show. There was one booth that had 2/$1 books, and El Jacone and I hit those pretty hard. Another booth had $1 comics, but they only brought Superman, Batman and Spiderman books with them to the show (losers). I did pick up a bunch of good stuff from Columbia, SC retailer Heroes and Dragons. They lacked true bargain bins, but they did have a ton of great mid-priced books that I really appreciated. So did El Jacone, who finally found a bunch of Iron Man issues he'd been looking for.

Events/Panels: I didn't go to any of these, but I'm sure they were fun. I was there to buy comics, thank you very much.

Now, on the what I acutally picked up. Remember in my last post when I said I spent waaaay too much money? Well, now you'll get to see where it all went! (I'll divide these up by fanboy categories, an idea I stole from El Jacone.)

Doctor Strange: Unfortunately, most of the dealers had very little of my poor, unloved Sorcerer Supreme. I did pick up the last issue of Vol. 1 (the series that spun out of Strange Tales and kept its numbering) which is a nice capstone for me. Now all I have to do is work my way down! I did grab a bunch of issues of vol. 3 from the 50 cent bins I mentioned earlier, plus #56 of volume 2 (NOT drawn by Michael Golden, dammit!). Overall, not a lot of Doc action going on, which is okay I guess, considering how much money I've spent on him at previous shows.

Firestorm: I got a really nice copy of Firestorm #1 (the DC "explosion" title ((which I just found out is his first appearance! I would have expected it to be more, in that case, even for Firestorm)) along with #4 of that series for really cheap (no surprise there...) along with a few random issues of his later series. I don't have a large Firestorm collection, so the cheap stuff is just fine for me right now :)

Defenders: One lousy issue! That's all I could find of my beloved non-team! Well, it WAS issue 100, so that's pretty cool, and I wasn't really looking that hard...okay, tantrum over.

Moon Knight: Okay, I got one issue of Moon Knight as well. The pickings were pretty slim, and I was focused on another character (guess who?) so I'm not really upset about this. I'm one issue closer to completing my run of his first series, so there's that, at least.

Random stuff: Man, I went a little crazy this weekend with stuff I don't normally collect. At the Heroes and Dragons booth I ran across a nearly complete run of the Star Trek series Marvel put out to coincide with the release of The Motion Picture. The first issue I found had Kirk holding a gnome in the palm of his hand, while Spock insisted that gnomes were illogical from the background. How can you not love that? HOW?! So, of course, being anal, I had to own the rest of the series as well. I'm currently missing just 3 issues, so I have no doubt I'll be able to complete the run without too much trouble. At the same booth, I picked up What If..? vol.1 #1. I've always been a fan of the weirdness of What if...? so I couldn't resist. At $5, it was well worth it. I also grabbed a couple issues of Justice League Europe from a different booth. Damn my brother for getting me that first issue....

And now, for the fanboy character everyone's been waiting for...GREEN ARROW:

Man, did I drop a ton of cash on our friend the Emerald Archer. Its a really good thing my tax return is coming in soon, lemme tell ya.

Green Lantern/Green Arrow: This is where most of the cash went. I got the very first issue of this run (Green Lantern #76) in absolutely beautiful condition from a dealer I've worked with before, Crazy Ed. Ed, as his name implies, is a crazy person, and his prices are a little steep. Of course, you do get what you pay for; every book he has is quality work in amazing condition. You won't find the shit-tons of mid-90's blagh that clog most dealer's boxes in his booth! To keep #76 company, I also picked up 77,78,82,83,86, and 89, all from Ed. He had more to sell me, of course, but I had no more money to give him. Alas, I may have to wait until HeroesCon in June to finish the run.
However, my regular comic shop also had a booth at the show, and they had a nice copy of 85 for a really good price, so I snagged that as well. At the Heroes and Dragons Booth, I picked up 88 because of the really weird ass cover (Hal and Alan Scott, with a green Pteradactyl (spelling?) between them. Below, Hal punches a giant nutcracker toy) not realizing that is was part of that run. It turns out that it was a reprint "surprise issue" (the surprise being that Neal Adams was late with the art) that doesn't continue the story at all, but it was cheap and I'm a completist, so it went in my bag.

I didn't get the entire run, which makes me sad, but I did get most of the really important bits. I have 85 and 86, which contains the Speedy-is-a-dope-addict storyline, which is without a doubt the most famous arc in that series. I have the very first issue, where it all starts, and the last issue, where it ends. I can fill in the holes later on. Expect my thoughts on these issues once I have time to sit down and read them.

Now, the Adams/O'Neil run may be the 400lb gorilla of my weekend purchases, but I picked up a few odds and ends of the 80's Grell run (where Ollie moves to Seattle) as well. I pulled 6-9 out of the bargain bin at the Borderlands sale last weekend, so I had a good starting point. That particular run went on for quite some time, so I couldn't afford to grab everything. I settled for grabbing the first issue from Ed and filling in the rest of the first ten issues from other dealers. Again, expect my thoughts on those at some point.

All in all, the show was an amazing (if expensive) experience. I own a critical piece of my favorite character's history, I got to hang out and talk comics with El Jacone, and I now have blog fodder for the next several months!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quick note about ACE

Well, The Atlanta Comic Expo is over (well, technically its going on tomorrow, as well, but I won't be there). I spent waaaaaaay too much money, but picked up some seriously interesting finds. I did get those Neal Adams era Green Lantern issues I've been talking about, but I wasn't able to get the full run and still have enough money to eat this month. I got the important ones, though, and I'll talk more about those when I do a full write up about the con.

Until next time, kids!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Atlanta Comics Expo

Hello again, teeming masses (of like 3 people)!

This weekend marks the second annual Atlanta Comics Expo. As an Atlanta local, I'm excited that there's FINALLY a decent comics only show in the area. DragonCon (run by the same folks) is a great all-around show, but the comics aspect always seems to get burried under an avalanche of sci-fi celebrities and funny costumes (although I appreciate those as well). My source for more expensive comics, namely my near complete run of Silver/Bronze Age Namor and the first appearances of Dr. Strange and Moon Knight, will have a booth at the show this year. He's also the source for the Neal Adams era Green Lantern/ Green Arrow run I mentioned a while back on the blog. Since I was going to the con anyway, I figured I would look at the books in person before I made any purchases, not to mention the savings on shipping. I'll let you guys know how the con went, and if I got any of the GL/GA books, after the Expo this weekend.

I'm back baby, and on sale!

Hey cats and kittens. Sorry for the long hiatus, but sometimes life gets in the way. Yes, even of comic books.

Last Saturday I attended what's fast becoming an annual ritual for my circle of friends: The Borderlands Annual Sale. You aren't really "one of us" unless you've been to the Borderlands sale at least once. Borderlands is a kick-ass comic/game shop in Greenville, SC (one of the only reasons I wish I lived up that way) and every year they have a massive sale. My buddy El Jacone and I headed over there to partake in the goodness and were met with the usual sea of nerd-dom waiting outside for the doors to open. In years past I went mainly to stock up on gaming gear (miniatures mostly) but this year I went solely for the comics. Every year they put out several tables of longboxes with 3/$1 comics, and this year was no exception. In addition, their entire back issue stock was half off.

I came away with some really good books, including four early issues of the Grell run of Green Arrow (expect posts on those soon!) and various and sundry Dr. Strange, Moon Knight, Defenders, and Firestorm books, to satisfy my other fanboy urges. I also picked up the first issue of the Marvel Zorro series, which I'm excited about, and an old Gold Key Twilight Zone comic! There were also a few other odds and ends: a random issue of Justice League of America (guest starring the All-Star Squadron!) a random issue of New Teen Titans for fellow comic nerd Joe, and an issue of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (laugh if you want, that shit is GOOD) . The pickings were extremely good this year, although I think I may have cleaned them out of Moon Knight last year. I found a vein of 70's era horror and war comics for El Jacone, who should be posting about those soon, as well as a couple really tattered issues of Strange Tales (117 and 122). At $.33, I can afford to replace them with better copies later.

I also grabbed a couple issues out of the glass case at the front, including 2 issues of the first volume of Doctor Strange (the one that continued the numbering from Strange Tales) and an issue of Strange Tales itself (#124, which I already owned a cruddy copy of) for $5 each.

And then, of course, there was the table full of half-off/$5 whichever-is-cheaper trades, shirts and action figures to rummage through as well. I picked up a Green Lantern tee, a Nightwing tee, the first Legion of Superheroes trade (not sure which reboot), vol. 4 of Preacher, and a Superman Elseworlds (not sure which one). I was kind of caught up in the extiement, so I might have picked up one or two other books as well. One thing that gave El Jacone and I some serious giggles was the action figure selection for this year. It consisted entirely of a Monitor and a Harbinger action figure from the Crisis on Infinite Earths line. That doesn't sound funny, but those figures were the only two left over from last year's sale and they were STILL there at the end of this one. Seems like the good guys just aren't very popular. :)

And finally, I stumbled upon two non-comic related gems that thrilled me to no end. Situated on a shelf that was not immediately visible from the front of the store was a sign that read "all items on this shelf $1." It contained a bunch of roleplaying books, plus back issues of White Dwarf, Knights of the Dinner table and various other magazines. I assumed that the sign referred to the magazines, as $1 for most RPG books is 1/30th of the normal cost. I stopped a passing emplyee and quietly inquired about the rack. Sure enough, the ENTIRE THING was $1. I picked up about a dozen gaming supplements, including the Freedom City supplement for Mutants and Masterminds, for as many dollars. I virtually cleaned off the shelf! All that was left when I was done was the few books there had been duplicates of. By the time the rest of the store figured out what was going on, I was wandering off with my haul. I got some seriously dirty looks, but hey, I got there first! Especially awesome was the fact that the Eberron Campaign setting, plus 2 of the most critical supplements, was also on the rack. Since I'm currently playing in an Eberron Campaign, those will certainly come in handy!

The second major find was also RPG related. While waiting in line to pay for my giant stack of RPG's (and getting more dirty looks) I glanced over and noticed yet another "everything is a dollar" rack, only this time it wasn't RPG books, it was RPG minis! Their entire stock of D&D miniatures was on sale for $1 a booster pack. I don't collect those myself, but the DM in my regular D&D campaign certainly does. After a quick phone call, there was another clean shelf in Borderlands, and more dirty looks coming by way.

As you can tell from my post, Borderlands is a great place, and during the annual sale, it becomes nerd heaven. In years past I've gotten action figures for $2, shirts for a buck, trades for a buck, and a stack of 3/$1 comics almost as tall as I am. A couple years ago they had their entire stock of the recently-folded-but-much-beloved CrossGen line of trade paperbacks on sale for $1 each. Oh, if only I had found those first instead of AFTER I was out of money.

If you live anywhere near Greenville, SC, make sure you find out when Borderlands is having their sale, and then make sure not to show up! After all, the more people that come, the less likely it is that I'll get everything I want! Seriously though, check this place out and come on down every mid-February for some serious nerd fun! (I feel like Stan Lee with all those exclamation marks!)