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The Atomic Age of Heroes: An Interview with Jeff Deischer

First Comics News - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 16:31

Jeff Deischer is a noted author of 53 novels, novellas, and short story collections, and 2 novelettes. 9 non-fiction books. All of which have been published by a variety of publishers. Known for Pulps, characters in the public domain, superheroes, and other genre material, Jeff has a long and engaging career.

In this world of Kindles and Print on Demand printing, Jeff continues to have his output released by other publishers. He also has stepped into publishing other authors with Deischer Kreative Works (DKW).

Of note is a novelette by Will Murray (Track of the Trinoculus, a Three Valkyries adventure!) and the shared world anthology “Atomic Gods and Monsters“.

JOESEPH SIMON
Your output is great! It is often said that people should be employed by what they enjoy. Given you enjoy writing, it looks like you enjoy writing about things you enjoy! What is your background in writing?  

JEFF DEISCHER
I started writing at about age 10. At the time I thought I was going to be an artist more than a writer. But in college, I realized I wasn’t that good of an artist and started writing more. But I didn’t take it too seriously until I got my first computer in 1998 and wrote a Doc Savage fan fiction novel The Stone Death that was posted on the internet for a time, and my non-fiction book, The Adventures of the Man of Bronze: a Definitive Chronology. But it took me another ten years to really get serious about writing, which coincided with the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008. I worked in the auto industry and got laid off.

 

JOESEPH
How is working with the publishers that you have been published by?

JEFF
I wasn’t happy with any of the small publishers I’d worked with from 2008-2012 – they all thought that because they were publishers, they were also good editors, and insisted on unnecessary and detrimental changes – so one of my best friends, Sam Pepper, formed Westerntainment specifically to publish two books of mine he thought were important, Over the Rainow: a User’s Guide to My Dangyang, a travelogue about my trips to China, and The Marvel Timeline Project, part 1, a chronology of the early Marvel Comic stories.

 

 

 

JOESEPH
While you continue to work with the publishers that release your work, you are now a publisher. What prompted you to create DKW?

JEFF
A couple of reasons. I didn’t feel like bringing Sam into the anthology Atomic Gods & Monsters because of all the extra work involved, most of which I’d do anyway — he knows he’s not an editor and while he proofreads, he doesn’t insist on the changes he suggests – and when I told him about it, he agreed. Will Murray and I have been friends for a long time, so when the idea of publishing a new novelette by him, I also decided not to get Sam involved.  I’m in the strange position of having a publishing company that publishes other people’s work while my own is published by someone else.  I have no real plan for my own company. It was formed solely to handle the anthology. So I’m not sure if I’ll ever publish my own work, but it will be putting out a new anthology, Super AF!, which brings the Ajax-Farrell reprint characters into the present with more mature content. There will be six novelettes, and it will be out in October. The characters are Yankee Girl, the Flame, Hexmaster, Phantom Lady, Captain Speed, and Red Rocket. The writers are Robert Hudson, Jr., me, Dale Glaser, Mark Marderosian, Thomas Fortenberry, and Sebastien Gallois.

 

JOESEPH
What experiences with other publishers have you taken to help create DKW?

JEFF
I learned about formatting manuscripts and was along for the ride through all the publishing headaches Sam had with KDP.  There are a lot of technical details that have nothing to do with writing. This was one reason I agreed to Sam’s idea to let him publish my books so I wouldn’t have to learn or deal with any of it, but I ended up doing it anyway, so he wasn’t doing it all alone.

As an editor, I don’t try to make anyone else’s story like my own. My job is to help them realize the potential of what they wanted to create.

 

JOESEPH
Being a writer can be a solitary activity. Now that you are working with other writers as a publisher, have you had any realizations about your own writing (writing in general and / or working with publishers)?

JEFF
Not really. I pretty knew these things, like quality, style, diligence, before I got involved in these anthologies. I’ve worked with others before, though sometimes only as a proofreader. Most of the people who asked for my honest opinion didn’t really want it. I’m lucky the contributors to AG&M are by and largely open to suggestions.

 

JOESEPH
Will Murray is one of the hottest tickets in pulp, a fantastic genre historian, and you had the opportunity to publish his novelette. Given that you both happen to be friends, it must have been an honor to publish Will.

JEFF
It is! I’d mentioned it years ago, but the time wasn’t right. Our careers have reached the point where it was the right time for both of us. 

 

JOESEPH
A Doc Savage fan fiction and a Chronology to start off an interesting career.  And, a friend to Will Murray, writer of Doc Savage stories today. That is wonderfully in sync. How important is Doc Savage to you as a reader and as a writer? 

JEFF
Doc was probably the second novel series I read as a pre-teen, after The Three Investigators. The series’ influence on me can’t be overstated. I absorbed Lester Dent’s style, and I write in a style similar to his Doc Savage style, subconsciously.  I try to do it consciously when I write “golden age pulp”, such as my Doc Savage pastiche, Doc Brazen, but it’s always with me, even when I’m trying to write in a more florid, less pulpy style.

As far as Doc as a character, there’s no other series I’d read 200 novels to construct a chronology. I’ve written many chronology essays, but Doc is the only one to get an entire book to himself. I’d have to say he’s my favorite literary character (Elric is a close second), mostly because of Lester Dent’s narrative style and imagination.

I met Will through the Destroyer, which he wrote back in the late ‘80s and ‘90s before Bantam hired him to write new Doc Savage novels. I wrote fan letters for each of his novels in “real-time”, so he could gauge suspense, conflict, tension, etc., the way a reader did. I wrote my letters as I read, not afterward. They were pages long. So by coincidence, he was writing the only two paperback series I was reading at the time. Destroyer #102 is dedicated to me for those letters, by the way, and now I’m Will’s “first proofreader” for his current novels, starting with the first Wild Adventure of Doc Savage, Desert Demons.

Without Will, I’m not sure where my writing would be. He was kind enough to look at a few things I wrote over the years, giving me advice on how to fix the problems. I went about it ass-backward, but it would have taken even longer without his input.

My big problem with a lot of what is written about these old characters isn’t about Doc specifically, but about the process: I accept as much of what the author intended about his creation, rather than fudging facts or making my own pet theory about them. As far as fiction, I’m not really in favor of wholesale rebooting except in rare circumstances

 

JOESEPH
Your anthology Atomic Gods and Monsters is already on its 5th volume. As you know, but readers might not, I happen to be an author starting in the fourth volume.  Atomic Gods and Monsters is a shared World anthology. What is the Atomic Gods and Monsters universe? I’m joining quite a cast of creators.  From well-known to international, you’ve gathered an interesting group of people.  Who is part of Atomic Gods and Monsters?

JEFF
Let’s start with the last question first. The cast of contributors is ever-changing. Probably half the people who had a story accepted since the first volume has left for a number of reasons, some of which I know, and some I don’t. Most commonly, they feel a quarterly schedule is too hectic for them. The regulars now are  Terry Alexander, Edward S. County, me, Thomas Fortenberry, Sebastien Gallois, Robert Hudson, Jr., Edward Lee Love, Dale Russell, you, and Bryan Glosemeyer will be joining us for volume 5, Call to Duty

I came up with the idea for AG&M while perusing the PDSH wiki – that’s public domain superheroes – and found a number of characters who appeared in reprints with all new names. So I pitched the anthology idea to a number of people, some of which I knew, some of which were members of the Public Domain Heroes group on Facebook, and got more than 10 contributors. As I said, there’s been a lot of flux in the membership. Two characters have had two different authors! There are about six or eight characters that have not been used yet. 

 

JOESEPH
A lot of your work deals in the public domain. Public Domain means different things to different people. What is the public domain to you?

JEFF
“Public Domain” is a legal term meaning the copyright on a work has expired. That’s all. This is a murky area for some because trademarks are different than copyrights, and while some copyrights may be in existence, they are “orphaned” – no one claims the copyright, allowing the use of the characters.

I like PD characters because they’re inspirational: They come with a built-in history that is a springboard for new ideas.

 

JOE
Who are the heroes and villains of Atomic Gods and Monsters?  

JEFF
The current roster of heroes is Magga the Magnificent, Rocketman, the Blue Monk, Deep Sea Dawson, Atomaster, Firebird, Black Cobra, X the Phantom Fed, Olane, and the Mask. We have straight-up superheroes, mystics, scientists, pulp vigilantes, weird fantasy, jungle girls, and aviation heroes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOESEPH
What makes Atomic Gods and Monsters different from other anthologies, prose, and comics?

JEFF
This group of heroes is unique in that they had no original stories – only reprinted stories. That’s what got me interested in them. As far as contributors, we have a mix of pros and talented amateurs. In the writing groups on Facebook, I belong to, a lot of posts are about breaking into the business or how to write. I wanted to give fans of public domain characters a chance to do something about what they love, the opportunity to write a story that would be published. So the quality is a bit uneven, but we have a wide variety of genres, a lot of stories (9-11 per volume) for $3 on Kindle. The series has been praised for its originality, quality, variety, and quantity. The series started in 1954, and time progresses at a real pace. It’s now mid-1955.

 

JOESEPH
Readers don’t need to read each volume of the series to enjoy the stories. They can drop in anytime they want. Given that, what have readers missed and what do they have to look forward to?

JEFF
As you say, each story is self-contained, though some writers build on the previous work. My own series, the Blue Monk, is a serial, each story is a chapter in a novelette.  Volume 4, The Queen of Space, was a massive crossover about an alien invasion. We might be doing another of these for volume 8.

 

 

JOESEPH
How has it been being the person in charge of continuity of the Atomic Gods and Monsters’ shared-world universe?

JEFF
A headache. It’s a lot of work to edit ten stories. Some require some work, while others it’s mostly just proofreading. Then there’s bookkeeping – this is the work I wanted to spare Sam. This is work that you have to love to do. 

 

JOESEPH
Given that, the shared world concept is a popular device within the superhero genre. What shared world rules does AG&M adhere to and what do you see other companies doing wrong with the shared world concept?

JEFF
I offered some suggestions for the AG&M universe when I approached people and didn’t get much discussion, so that’s how it came to be – stuff like magic, aliens, etc. I tried to steer clear of problems I see with all comic book companies: an abundance of aliens, and heroes are too powerful. I think the rest is a matter of taste, rather than being “wrong”.

I wanted to do a WILD CARDS type of anthology, except have it progress in real-time. I loved the first WC book, but then the series jumped to the present and it became less interesting to me. So I wanted to keep the focus on the era where it began, the Fifties.

 

JOESEPH
Where can people buy Will’s novelette or Atomic Gods and Monsters?

JEFF
They’re both available on Amazon in Kindle. The first three volumes of AG&M came out in print, as well.

 

JOE
$3 on the Kindle is a great deal. $3 every 3 months.  A whole universe of super stories all in one anthology, $3 quarterly seems like a great deal to me.  I may be biased because I am a contributor, but I’ve been a reader for many decades, and let me tell you shared-world universes can get quite expensive!

JEFF
I prefer a physical book to Kindle but I know a lot of people feel just the opposite, so, as an experiment, I decided to try a Kindle only series. It’s also a lot less work to do a Kindle book than a print book, which was a plus for me, since I was busy writing my Heritage Universe superhero series when I started AG&M. Since we were ostensibly doing this for our own enjoyment more than for-profit, I set the price low so that readers would get a really good value for their money.

Hopefully, readers will find out what a value Atomic Gods and Monsters is. Public Domain and pulp goodness! Go get some! Atomic Gods and Monsters just released volume 5!  Jeff’s Doc Savage Chronology is a great addition for any Doc Savage fan! Will Murray’s “Track of the Trinoculas”! + Jeff’s Doc Brazen! A lot of pulpy goodness for people to catch up on!

Jeff many stories can be found @
 www.amazon.com//Jeff-Deischer/e/B00J30N7RQ?

Atomic Gods and Monsters can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Gods-and-Monsters/dp/B08JVH6B92

Will Murrays Track of the Trinoculus can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Track-Trinoculus-3-Valkyries-Adventure-ebook/dp/B093TNY81N/

And Jeff’s latest Doc Brazen, Millenium Bug can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Millennium-Bug-Doc-Brazen-Book-ebook/dp/B07CBD5HWH

Thank you, Jeff.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Stalwart Age Character Database Update - Just Keep Swimming!

The Splintered Realm - Sat, 09/25/2021 - 12:42

While I'm all about Shakespeare Deathmatch right now, and I'm still in transition back to school mode (first time teaching English 8 and brand new to middle school, so whew), I did find a little time to update the Stalwart Age Character Database, adding two undersea characters, Prince Aquari and his arch nemesis Lord Lamprey. There are a lot of titles being passed around in the deep, obviously.

New Flesh On Old Bones

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 11:00

Staying busy with other stuff (including gaming sessions), the blog has suffered from me having a lack of time to cogitate sufficiently for many posts on new ideas. I thought it might help to go back to the old standby of riffing off an existing setting. I find constraint sometimes stimulants creativity and placing boundaries on things limits the number of tangents that can distract you.
So, I thought it might be interesting to take some older setting that was perhaps open-ended in its approach or sparse in its presentation and see how I would develop that. At least, it's an idea to consider; whether I get around to it or not is another matter.
But what setting? The perennial favorite to "make one's own" is the Wilderlands. But there are two publishedindividual visions of that, and blogs with other good versions (and some good versions on blogs that are now lost as Atlantis). I don't know that I have anything to add there without getting really variant, and I've never really got the Wilderlands in the way these folks seem to, so I would really be riffing off them to some degree.

Another setting similarly sparse in its original presentation is the Greyhawk folio. The later box set, for that matter, is only a little more detailed. While not as popular as the Wilderlands for this sort of thing, certainly folks have offered there own take on it to--here's Evan again.

Beyond those, what else? The Known World (pre-Gazetteers) is terse in its original presentation in The Isle of Dread, though the helpful (for the neophyte GM) cultural references might hem it in more than the ones mentioned previously, despite it's shorter length. Is there anything else? Powers & Perils' Perilous Lands, or does in that way lie madness? (It's not really terse at all, but curious unspecified in some ways.)

Wednesday Comics: DC, December 1980 (wk 2 pt 1)

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 09/22/2021 - 11:00
My goal: read DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! This week, I'm looking at the comics at newsstands around September 25, 1980.

Action Comics #514: Everywhere computers are going haywire and causing trouble. After noticing the pattern, Superman traces the problem back to the Fortress of Solitude. There, he's bedeviled by his own robots and security measures, but fights his way through to the culprit: Brainiac. Brainiac is rebuilding himself after his last encounter with Superman and Supergirl and needs the help of the Fortresses computer to reprogram parts of his brain. When, he gets done, he says they won't meet like this again, shakes Superman's hand and flies off. It's a whiplash shift, and it made me wonder for a moment if their was a missing page or at least panels. But no, Superman explains that he used his powers while Brainiac was distracted to pull a Doc Savage move and reprogram Brainiac's brain for good. An interesting twist by Wolfman in an otherwise ho-hum story, one which will lead to a short "new direction" for Brainiac. Short, because he's only got only 3 more appearances over as many years before he gets his new, more robotic redesign.
The Air-Wave/Atom backup makes the Sunspotter out to be a super-powerful villain, but it isn't enough to keep him from being defeated, and it isn't really enough to make this feature interesting. Sunspotter does have sort of a Marvel vibe and design, though; he reminds me of some one or two appearance Marvel Team-Up foes. Next issue promises a solo Atom story (presumably still by Rozakis and Tanghal). We'll see how that one goes.

Adventure Comics #478: This issue will be the last of the 3-way split in Adventure. Each of the features is getting sent off to another title. But here, DeMatteis and Giordano/Mitchell finish their Black Manta storyline--sort of. Manta and his army of the disaffected attack Atlantis, but Aquaman escapes from the cell where Manta left him in time to rally the Atlantean troops and give an impassion speech to Manta's forces, many of whom desert and take an offer of sanctuary in Atlantis. Mera recovers from her illness and arrives in time to stop Black Manta, and Cal Durham is with her. Cal finally gets to tell Aquaman what he's being trying to tell him for 3 issues: that's not really Black Manta!
Levitz and Ditko have Starman succeed in saving M'ntorr from his own people, but M'ntorr is then exiled to the physical universe. He tells Starman he's proud of him and regenerates Starman's destroyed staff before deciding to die anyway. I have a hunch the follow up in DC Comics Presents will be more tying off loose ends than continuing the story. The Pasko/Staton/Smith Plastic Man has Plas up against a group of former criminals turned P.I.s who are acting like criminals again to prove they haven't "lost their touch." They also happen to look just like the Marx Brothers. Honestly, I'm surprised Plastic Man lasted as long as it did, not because it's terrible, but because I feel like it was very much out of step with what comics readers wanted in 1980.

Brave & the Bold #169: Barr and Aparo have Batman investigating Angela Marcy, faith healer of the Marcy Temple, after the suspicious death of her husband. Zatanna is an attendee of the temple and a believer. She tags along to prove Batman wrong. It turns out Raymond Marcy was killed by a mobster he refused to use his healing gift on. Angela's powers are a fraud, though her assistant has been faking the most dramatic cures without her knowledge. The killer is brought to justice, and Batman suggests Angela Marcy open a mission in Gotham's slums instead of a temple. A solid, if unremarkable team-up yarn. 
The Nemesis backup continues not to do much for me, other than I appreciate Spiegle's art. But hey, it graduates to a Batman team-up next issue so we'll see where it all winds up.

Detective Comics #497: In the lead story, Conway and Newton take Batman out of Gotham to track a gangster to Baja California. In one difficult night, Batman's mission intersects the disparate lives of several individuals, and leaves most of them better off--even when his actions interfered with their plans. It's a clever concept for a story, though I don't feel like it comes together as well as Conway might have hoped. 
The Batgirl backup is more interesting. Barbara Gordon is a suspect in the murder of Representative Scanlon, there appears to be a frame-up. The only way to alibi herself is to admit to being Batgirl. Her father has mysteriously disappeared, so she's on her own. Barbara is arrested in the issues cliffhanger ending. Delbo's art seems not up to his Wonder Woman standards here, though. 

Green Lantern #135: I just don't feel like this Dr. Polaris story needed 3 issues. It's decompression before decompression was a thing. Well, not really decompression, perhaps, but more not getting to the point. Polaris has conquered the world and a ringless Hal Jordan and his pal Thomas go to try and stop him somehow. Polaris recognizes them but spends so much time toying with Jordan that our hero has time to mentally call his ring back. Polaris keeps absorbing magnetic power so he doesn't think it matters. GL changes strategies, though, giving Polaris more power so that he becomes one with the magnetic field of the universe (or something) and disappears.
The Sutton/Rodriquez Adam Strange yarn likewise feels like a study in taking so long to get to the ending that the ending feels flat. The story title, though, is "The Zeta-Bomb Maneuver" which references the ST:TOS episode "The Corbomite Maneuver." Strange pulls exactly the same sort of trick as Kirk in that episode when he bluffs the existence of a super-weapon called a zeta-bomb to defeat the rebels.

House of Mystery #287: The Micheline/Bercasio story must have inspired the cool Kaluta cover, but doesn't really have anything to do with it. An Arctic weather outpost is plagued by mysterious deaths where the bodies are found drained of blood. Oh, and there's that coffin that's there with them nobody can explain, so already several of the remaining crew are thinking vampire. In the end, one guy, the skeptic is left, though he manages to kill the vampire, he is bitten and finds himself transformed here in the middle of no where with no blood to drink. 
The other two stories aren't quite as good, but not terrible. DeMatteis and Cruz give us a story of an old woman who is domineering toward the niece she supports because she is secretly jealous of her youth. She makes a deal with a very chipper Devil for a second youth, and for a while lives it up. Then, she realizes she's been tricked and is aging back to childhood. Her niece takes charge of her life and finances and sets out to treat her as cruelly as she feels she was treated. The last story by Oleck and Saviuk seems overly complicated in that it makes the slaughter-happy treasure-seekers attacking Native American-appearing folk aliens instead of--well, Europeans. Captain Jurok is convinced there is a city of gold, so he leads a side mission without approval of his superiors to find it. They are taken captive and forced to toil as slaves in that hidden city of gold. Jurok escapes, but dies of exposure, though not before being found by his people. They leave the planet, never noticing the shackles he wore were made of gold.

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE is LIVE on Kickstarter!!

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 21:19

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE has LAUNCHED on Kickstarter! Co-created by writer and 2019 Mad Cave Studios Talent Search winner, Jarred Luján (Dry Foot, The Twin Blades) and artist Matt Harding (GWAR, Pop Apocalypse), with colors by Warnia Sahadewa (Dry Foot, Wolvenheart), and letters by Melanie Ujimori (She Said Destroy, Elements: Fire! Anthology) comes a 44-page, horror-infused, demon-slaughtering thrill ride through consciousness.

Visit the Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/allthedevils/all-the-devils-are-here

Joe Morris is an elderly man diagnosed with dementia. As his illness worsened, Joe quickly exhibited signs of something more sinister plaguing him: a demon possessing his body. Juan-Carlos “JC” García, an exorcist mysteriously referred to as “The Eater,” is called in to assist the ailing Morris as his last true hope. However, all exorcisms require the aid and consent of the vessel, and Joe is in a sedated state. JC must enact a blood ritual, creating a shared consciousness between himself and Joe, if he is to have any chance of purging the demon.

But things quickly become more complicated for JC when discovers an evil far more powerful than he’s ever faced before. And now…it is in control. JC must brave the unholiest corners of this shared consciousness, fend off waves of the Infernal Horde, save Joe Morris, and come to terms with his own dark past.

All the Devils are Here is equal parts Inception and Constantine, set in the bizarre, bombastic world of SuckerPunch to tell a story about the power of love, loss, and memory.

“Much of this book is a memorial to my grandparents,” says Luján. “It has my heart on every page, and working alongside Matt to bring it to life has been one of the greatest creative experiences of my entire life. With Melanie and Nia in our corner, our team has created something full of heart and emotion and intensity.”

“[ATDAH] is possibly the most fun I’ve ever had working on a book. Every new page of script was wild from the first panel to the last, and the action had been some of most insane things I’ve ever gotten to draw,” Harding said. “Working with Jarred has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had- he brings excitement and energy and I can tell he loves making this comic just as much as I do, and that is a truly fun way to approach a project. I just hope I did an good job bringing such an amazing story to life with my artwork.”

Reward tiers include:

  • Script reviews by writer, Jarred Luján
  • Portfolio reviews and art commissions by artist, Matt Harding
  • An RPG one-shot set in the world of ATDAH
  • Dry Foot floppies/trades
  • Three covers to choose from
  • And plenty of chances to get Matt and Jarred’s previous books!

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE is live on Kickstarter until Oct 16th.

ATTACHED: Cover A (Matt Harding/Warnia Sahadewa), several pages with no letters that you are welcome to share.

TEAM CREDITS/PRONOUNS/TWITTER HANDLES:

Writer/Co-creator – Jarred Luján (he/him) — @jarredlujan
Artist/Co-creator – Matt Harding (he/him) – @stilltsinc
Colorist – Warnia Sahadewa (she/her) – @wksahadewa1
Letterer – Melanie Ujimori (she/her) – @merumorimaru
Script Editor – Hernán Guarderas (he/him) – @hguarderas93
Art Editor – Sara Harding (she/her) – @bansheeriot

Kickstarter Link

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Dangerous Revelations Jeopardize Everything in BRZRKR #5

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 20:52

Discover the New Story Arc in the Industry Record-Breaking Series from
Keanu Reeves in September 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 20, 2021) –  BOOM! Studios today revealed a first look at BRZRKR #5, the start of a new story arc in the top-selling twelve-issue limited series by the iconic Keanu Reeves and New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt (Folklords, Bang!), acclaimed artist Ron Garney (Wolverine, Captain America), colorist Bill Crabtree (BPRD), and letterer Clem Robins (Hellboy), about an immortal being’s eternal struggle with the hidden truth behind his existence, available in comic book stores worldwide on September 29, 2021.

What shocking new discovery will bring B. one step closer to understanding his origins? As B. and Diana’s bond continues to grow, B. opens up about a recurring trauma from his past. Will this new revelation jeopardize B. and Keever’s latest mission? Or is it all part of a plan by Caldwell to trigger more memories?

BRZRKR #5 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Lee Garbett (Skyward) and variant covers by acclaimed artists Giuseppe Camuncoli (Undiscovered Country) and Declan Shalvey (Moon Knight).

BRZRKR is the newest release from BOOM! Studios’ eponymous imprint, home to critically acclaimed original series, including Proctor Valley Road by Grant Morrison, Alex Child, and Naomi Franquiz; We Only Find Them When They’re Dead by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo; Seven Secrets by Tom Taylor and Daniele Di Nicuolo; Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera; Once & Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora; The Many Deaths of Laila Starr by Ram V and Filipe Andrade; Eve by Victor LaValle and Jo Mi-Gyeong; and the upcoming Maw by Jude Ellison S. Doyle and A.L. Kaplan. The imprint also publishes popular licensed properties, including Dune: House Atreides from Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and Dev Pramanik; Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers from Ryan Parrott, Marco Renna, and Francesco Mortarino; and Magic from Jed McKay and Ig Guara.

Print copies of BRZRKR #5 will be available for sale on September 29, 2021exclusively at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Kindle.

Print copies of BRZRKR VOL 1 SC will be available for sale in local comic shops on September 29, 2021 and in bookstores everywhere on October 5, 2021.

For continuing news on BRZRKR series and more from BOOM! Studios, stay tuned to www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter. 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

THE SCORCHED UNITES TODD MCFARLANE’S FIRST-EVER SUPERHERO TEAM, EXPANDS THE SPAWN UNIVERSE WITH NEW & ICONIC CHARACTERS

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 20:00

Two Incentive Covers Announced

PORTLAND, Ore. 09/20/2021 — The Year of Spawn continues with Todd McFarlane’s newest book, The Scorched #1. This new book comes hot off the heels of three record-breaking books, Spawn’s Universe #1, King Spawn #1 and Gunslinger Spawn #1, which were the biggest selling Image Comics books in the 21st century.

The Scorched #1 is the first all-new issue of McFarlane’s Superhero team book. After 30 years of the regular monthly Spawn book, The Scorched gathers the best of the characters for three decades and puts them together into one title. McFarlane has also recruited some of the top talent in the industry for this inaugural launch.

The initial characters in The Scorched #1 first issue will include: Reaper, Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn, She-Spawn, and many more waiting in the wings.

McFarlane again enlisted some top creative talent to contribute to The Scorched including writer Sean Lewis and artists Stephen Segovia and Paulo Sequeria. Featuring cover art by Frank Quitely, Greg Capullo, Don Aguillo, fellow Image founder Mark Silvestri, Brett Booth, and McFarlane. Booth’s cover of The Scorched #1 interconnects with King Spawn #1 and Gunslinger Spawn #1 to form one epic work of art.

The Scorched will allow myself and the creative team to bring in a rotating cast of heroes and villains and to have fun creating new characters and storylines,” said McFarlane, Spawn creator and President at Image Comics.

The Scorched #1 will have a 1:250 copy incentive cover which McFarlane will hand-sign and create a unique sequential number for each issue (based on the Final Order Cutoff total). Each signed The Scorched #1 1:250 includes a CGC Certificate of Authenticity that retailers can send in and redeem through CGC to have their books graded. This is the only time McFarlane will sign The Scorched #1 1:250 copy incentive cover.

Additionally, The Scorched #1 will have a 1:50 copy incentive variant cover by Capullo.

For every 250 copies of The Scorched #1 issues ordered, retailers will become eligible to order five incentive covers of The Scorched #1 by Capullo and one The Scorched #1 McFarlane incentive cover.

Join the battle with The Scorched #1 extravaganza as an epic tale of heaven, hell, and earth all begin to collide!

The Scorched #1 will be available at comic book shops (48 pages, full color, rated: Teen+, $5.99, premium 10 pt cover stock) and on digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play on Wednesday, December 15:

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #9 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 19:52

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #9
THE HIT HORROR SERIES THAT SPAWNED A MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL NETFLIX SERIES RETURNS! “WITCH WAR” Part 3: “The Sacrificial Lamb” – Sabrina has brought Harvey’s body back to life (along with her father’s soul). But there is a cost to everything. Unless she wants the Gates of Hell to open, Sabrina must find a person to sacrifice in Harvey’s place. But wait… Sabrina would never kill someone, would she?
Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Robert Hack, Jack Morelli
Main Cover: Robert Hack
Variant Cover: Robert Hack
On Sale Date: 10/13
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

X-MEN: THE ONSLAUGHT REVELATION #1 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 18:34

X-MEN: THE ONSLAUGHT REVELATION #1

  • SI SPURRIER (W) • BOB QUINN (A) • Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli
  • Variant Cover by Federico Vicentini
  • YOU HAVE STRAYED FROM THE WAY OF X. THE ONSLAUGHT IS UPON YOU!
    • The X-Men’s greatest foe, mutantkind’s primal evil, slithers in the minds of its most senior leaders…
    • The kids whisper of the CRUCI-BALL: a party to end all parties. A party to end everything.
    • The seals are broken, the trumpets have sounded; only a small band of eccentric mutants can hope to break the fall…
    • Can Nightcrawler light the spark that will drive out the shadows… or will Krakoa slip into the abyss…?
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE GHOST ARMY first look

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 18:29
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE GHOST ARMY

Written by ALAN GRATZ and illustrated by BRENT SCHOONOVER

Graphix | On sale August 2, 2022 | Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7

Hardcover ISBN: 9781338775907; $24.99

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781338775891; $14.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

AEW and The Owen Hart Foundation Enter Into A Relationship to Honor World Renowned Wrestler Owen Hart’s Legacy

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 18:22

September 20, 2021 – All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and The Owen Hart Foundation (OHF), a nonprofit charity which provides a vast range of assistance and opportunities to individuals in-need across the world, are collaborating to honor the legacy of late wrestler Owen Hart, a beloved figure in the professional wrestling community and beyond. This collaboration includes launching the annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament within AEW, which will see the winner receive a Cup known as “The Owen,” as well as the production and distribution of unique and original Owen Hart merchandise, including specified retail goods as well as the upcoming AEW console video game.

This alliance incorporates opportunities to develop Owen Hart action figures via AEW’s partnership with Jazwares, apparel, posters, and additional collectable merchandise. Owen Hart is survived by his wife, Dr. Martha Hart, who spearheads The Owen Hart Foundation with a mission of providing global aid to at-risk communities (e.g., scholarships, housing, various forms international assistance, food drives, backpack giveaways and Christmas projects).

“AEW’s relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen’s influence is still felt today,” said Tony Khan, AEW CEO, GM and Head of Creative. “To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community.”

“The Owen Hart Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with AEW in this wonderful joint venture to honor Owen’s substantial international wrestling career and the lasting influence he and his craft has had in the sport. AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament serves as a tremendous tribute to Owen and provides an incredible way for professional wrestling enthusiasts to celebrate his work in a most fitting way. We trust that Tony Khan and his amazing AEW team will do a brilliant job with this highly anticipated project. This OHF/AEW partnership is my special gift to all of Owen’s magnificent loyal fans who forever remember him and his inspiring repertoire of talents,” said Dr. Martha Hart.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ABLAZE Details New Artbook & Manga Releases For December

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 18:05

THE DRAGON UNIVERSE, by Olivier Ledroit and Laurent Souillé · MSRP: $29.99 ·

Release Date: December 22nd

Dragons. They reign above the eternal snows or in the depths of the abyss… They are marvelous, magical, malicious creatures… But where do these winged creatures with sparkling scales and fearsome claws come from?

 

This collection of illustrations on the theme of dragons brings together acclaimed illustrators and comic book authors from around the world: French, English, Danish, Spanish, Italian, American, Canadian… From John Howe, designer of The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia, to Todd Lockwood, illustrator of Dungeons & Dragons, and Olivier Ledroit, creator of the Chronicles of the Black Moon, and Adrian Smith, one of the authors of Warhammer, and more… They’ve pooled their talents in a Tolkien-style universe where dragons coexist, fight Dwarves, Orcs, Elves and Humans…

THE FAIRY UNIVERSE, by Various Artists ·

MSRP: $24.99 · Release Date: December 22nd

Our world is inhabited by mysterious and elusive spirits: the Elves and the Faes. Once we accept this evidence, we still must recognize them, approach them, and sometimes be wary of them… Illustrator Olivier Ledroit used all his skill to approach them, sketch them, and deliver this comprehensive guide to the most remarkable Faes and Elves.

 

The result is this illustrated encyclopedia, which combines an extraordinary history of dragons, with gorgeous, full-color art, that captures every majestic and fearsome detail of these wonderful scaly behemoths. The Fairy Universe offers readers the keys to a magical and poetic world through hundreds of drawings by Ledroit, spread over double pages in stunning watercolor and pencil, with illuminating words by Ledroit and writer/colleague Laurent Souillé.

CAGASTER VOLS. 1-6 BOX SET, by Kachou Hasimoto ·

MSRP: $29.99 · Release Date: December 22nd

It’s the year 2125, and a strange plague called “Cagaster” appears. One-in-a-thousand people is infected by this disease, which turns humans into monstrous cannibalistic insects. Two-thirds of humanity is decimated… 30 years later, young expert bug exterminator and mercenary adventurer Kidow and newfound friend Ilie struggle to survive in this brutal new world, while delving into the mysteries of the plague and its causes.

 

Kidow is tasked with finding Ilie’s mother, after being entrusted with her by her dying father. Meanwhile, the battle continues to rage against the mutated population of Earth, with the code possibly being cracked to finally end the nightmare. Cagaster is a thrilling shonen adventure into a strange apocalyptic universe, somewhere between Mad Max and Attack on Titan.

 

Published by Tokuma Shoten in Japan, Cagaster has been adapted into an anime series by Gonzo Animation called Cagaster of an Insect Cage under the direction of Koichi Chigira (Tokyo Babylon, Full Metal Panic!, Last Exile) and is streaming now on Netflix!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

VALIANT CELEBRATES THE HARBINGER #1 WITH A 1/250 METAL COVER & HARBINGER GIFT BUNDLE FOR RETAILERS

First Comics News - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 17:59

September 20th, 2021 — Ahead of the release of THE HARBINGER #1 on October 27th, Valiant Entertainment presents a first look at the special Metal Variant Cover and THE HARBINGER Gift Bundle.

From the mind of Valiant’s Director of Design and Production Travis Escarfullery, THE HARBINGER #1 Metal Cover breathes new life into Robbi Rodriguez’s eye-catching artwork that appears on the debut issue’s primary cover. Featuring a four color print over metal, the vibrant cover is available exclusively to participating retailers who will obtain one metal cover for every 250 copies they order of THE HARBINGER #1.

In addition to receiving the limited metal cover for ordering 250 copies of THE HARBINGER #1, comic book shops will also get an exclusive THE HARBINGER Gift Bundle. This limited gift bundle includes one THE HARBINGER slipcase box set, one THE HARBINGER pin, four THE HARBINGER postcards, one THE HARBINGER poster, and one THE HARBINGER bookplate signed by co-writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. Aside from THE HARBINGER pin, these items will only be available with the Gift Bundle.


Pre-order THE HARBINGER #1 at your local comic store by October 4th. THE HARBINGER #1 goes on sale October 27th. Contact your local comic book store for more information about ordering.

THE HARBINGER #1 is co-written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, colored by Rico Renzi, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Read the first issue below – no embargo on coverage!

 

THE HARBINGER #1
Written by 
COLLIN KELLY, JACKSON LANZING
Art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ
Colors by RICO RENZI
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ
Cover B by ROD REIS
Cover C by CRIS DELARA
Pre-order Cover by DAMION SCOTT
Blank Cover also available
1/250 Metal Variant by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ, TRAVIS ESCARFULLERY

Can you make the world better if you can’t be better?

A telepath with no memory. A city of superpowered teenagers suppressed.

Redemption. Destruction. Rebirth. A new era of HARBINGER begins here.

On sale OCTOBER 27th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+ | Pre-order deadline is October 4th 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Dark Sun: The Sand Raiders

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 11:00


I've run two sessions now of Dark Sun using Forbidden Lands (and the Burning Sands Dark Sun adaptation you can find online). To keep it easy as we were getting used to the system, I decided to run the short adventure in the 4e Dark Sun book.

At the caravanserai of Dur-Taruk, the party (Eowen, Elf Ranger; Insam, Ranger; and Keeb-Raa, Thri-Kreen druid) accept a job from a dwarf factor named Urum ath Wo of the merchant house Zawir. It seems a Zawir caravan arrived with one wagon missing and with it its cargo of grain, wine, and wood. Fifty silver was offered for clear directions to the cargo or its return, and the party is eager for the coin.

The party is able to pick up the trail of the lost wagon and track it to a place it was set upon by saurian silt runners.  In fact, some of the silt runners are still there, and the party engages them in combat, ultimately emerging victorious. The bodies have attracted the attention of a pack of kruthiks. The party has to kill them before they can follow the tracks showing where the silt runners too the cargo. They lead to the ruins of an ancient tower.

Stealthily approaching the tower, the party finds a vault where the silt runners and their leader have taken the cargo and the still-living wagon crew. The leader is a largely reptilian creature who has a dagger coated with some greenish ichor. He doesn't get a chance to use it because Insam puts an arrow through a gap in his carapace and kills him.

In the battle that follows, one silt runner escapes but the others are slain. The party decides the cargo is too much trouble for them to carry back, but they free the crew, and after making camp for the night in the vault, they return to Dur-Taruk in the morning for their payment.

The Dwarf Folk of the Wilderness

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 14:30
Art by Jason Sholtis
Another Antediluvian people of the Wilderness are often called names that would translate as some variation of "dwarf." They arrived as the retainers of the First Folk lords who called them simply "the smiths." They were, and often still are, forgers of implements of bronze and iron, and cunning artificers.
They are clearly cousins to mortal humankind, but are shorter in stature, more powerfully built, and courser featured. One of the first human tribes to meet them in the new world called them "hairy ones" in their tongue, a name adopted by later arrivers in a mangled form as goohagatch. These latter folk believed the dwarf people to be cursed to wander, but also protected from harm by the True God. This has not always sparred them violence from their human neighbors, and they have mostly moved away from encroaching settlements.
There are some dwarf folk who have adapted to a greater extent to humans ways, and perhaps even interbred with humans. They are sometimes called "civilized dwarfs" but just as often "petty dwarfs."

Final Cards Have Arrived

The Splintered Realm - Sat, 09/18/2021 - 17:25


It took about two weeks, but the third draft of the deck of Shakespeare Deathmatch came in - and the cards are perfect! I'm so happy with the printing, and I finally banished all of the little layout gremlins that were messing with the cards. I'm going to go through to dot I's and cross T's on the DriveThru site, and the cards should be up for sale in a few hours. I can't wait for people to start playing this game. 

By the way, I recommend the hard plastic box for an extra dollar - totally worth it.

Weird Revisited: The Black Train is Coming

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 12:25
This is a Weird Adventures related post from 2011. I don't think it made it into the book. I re-read the Manly Wade Wellman story that inspired it yesterday, so it brought it to mind...
“A black train runs some nights at midnight, they say..”

-- Manly Wade Wellman, “The Little Black Train”
Hobo-goblins, human tramps and bindlestiffs, and other Brethren of the Road, tell stories in their camps of a preternatural train that runs from this world to planes beyond. This lore is seldom shared with those outside their communities, but folklore records regular folk having chance encounters with the phantom.

The appearance of the train changes with time. It always appears old, like it has a decade or two of service behind it behind it, but otherwise stays current with locomotive technology and styles. It's not marked in any way, and has been described by observers in paradoxical ways. It’s plain and nondescript, yet powerfully commands intention. Some feel an intense unreality upon seeing it, others the cold hand of fear.

The train starts on mundane tracks, but as soon as it's "out of sight" of its observers it begins to shift into other realms. Some dreamers have seen it crossing the lunar wastes from the vantage of the parapets of the Dream Lord's castle. It is known to make stops in depots in the Hells. Planar travelers have attested to seeing rails that fade into nothingness at the mouth of the gyre at the bottom of reality.

Mostly, it seems carry certain dead to the afterlife, though why it comes for some and not others is unknown. Hell Syndicate snitches know of it, but not who operates it. Angels likewise keep a serene silence. Most who ride the train are dropped off in the waystation realm of the dead, from there to travel on to their souls' final destination.  Some, however, are taken directly to the outer planes. Others seem to ride the train for longer periods of time. They're found snoozing in couch cars, or drinking and playing cards in the dining car. Waiting, perhaps, for something. They’re sometimes inclined to conversation, though they seldom have anything useful to say.

Adventurers have sometimes used the train as a quick ride, either to the Other Side, or the Outer Planes. Hobo-goblin glyphs sometimes point the way to likely places were the train may appear. The train’s gray, nondescript, and seldom seen staff do not object to taking on new passengers, so long as they pay the fare--which varies, but is always in silver.

There's always the option, for those with fare or without, of hopping one of the train’s empty freight cars, but riding an open car through other planes is a dangerous proposition, and the boxcars are only empty of freight--not necessarily other travelers.

Wednesday Comics: DC, December 1980 (wk 1, pt 2)

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 11:00
I'm reading DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! This week, I'm continuing my look at the comics at newsstands on the week of September 11, 1980. 

G.I. Combat #224:There are two Kanigher and Glanzman/Ayers Haunted Tank stories, as usual. In the first, the tank's crew must out think a German Panzer while on loan to the British Army in North Africa. As is often the case, the crew is mistrustful of their commander, Jeb, but he saves them in the end. In the second story, U.S. tanks keep disappearing in a secluded valley that was the site of a battle in WWI. The Haunted Tank is the last to go in, and they find themselves assaulted by poison gas. Thinking quickly, they escape and discover a WWI German unit has been improbably hiding and defending this valley since the last war ended. "You can't cheat death twice," as the title says, and these Germans and done in by the Haunted Tank team. 
"Reward for A Traitor" by Kashdan and Bercasio is a cautionary tale about trusting colonial powers if you're an indigenous person.  The son of a Pacific Island chief makes that mistake with the Japanese and gets put to work in a mine for his trouble. The O.S.S. story by Kanigher and LeRose has spies making a heroic sacrifice for the war effort, which is how these stories always go. Different here is that Control can't make the decision to shoot down their plane, even if not doing so reveals to the Germans their plans. He seems much more "all about the mission" in previous stories. The next story by Douglas and Evans is an appreciation of parachute fitters and is refreshing to the extent that its protagonist wants to be as far away from combat as possible at the end of the story, despite his heroism. The next story by Wessler and Bercasio is a short, bleak tale of a unit's practical joker who, despite being a thorn in his sergeant's side, jumps on a grenade to save him, thereby playing the ultimate joke: leaving the others "stuck with the whole lousy war."

Justice League of America #185: Conway and Perez's New Gods arc comes to an end. It's good JLA/JSA team-up storytelling, with the different sub-teams coming together in the end. Highlights include Batman and Mister Miracle comparing escape artist notes, and Wonder Woman and Big Barda tag teaming against Granny Goodness. In the end, the energy meant to destroy Earth-2 is redirected to strike Darkseid instead. Perez draws an off-model Darkseid this entire issue, but that quibble aside, I feel like this three-parter has been the best of Conway's run I've reviewed so far.

New Teen Titans #2: This issue continues to move at a pretty fast pace. Starfire doesn't yet know how to speak English (she learns it here, by kissing Robin), so how were they a functional team? Anyway,  The H.I.V.E. tries to hire Deathstroke (I didn't realize he had that name from the beginning) to take them down, but the Terminator refuses, so they decide to make their own. They get a volunteer in the form of Grant Wilson, a neighbor of the Titans who Starfire stopped from committing domestic violence. He becomes the Ravager and attacks the Titans with Terminator's reluctant help while they are Claremont X-Mening it in a fan service, pool frolic. The defeated Ravager ages pretty quick from pushing his power and dies. Deathstroke attends his burial and reveals he is Grant Wilson's father. He takes the H.I.V.E. job as revenge against the Titans, which seems to be what H.I.V.E. planned all along. 
This title doesn't yet have the character drama that would be a big part of why the Wolfman/Perez run is often praised, but it is definitely different from the other DC supers offerings (even ones written by Wolfman).

Secrets of Haunted House #31: This issue features the debut of Mister E in a tale by Rozakis and Harris. He'll become a bigger deal in the Vertigo 90s. Right now, he's just a blind guy who's been stalking a vampire who's been committing murders, but he's is easily stymied by a blow to the head by the vampire's immigrant, ingenue housekeeper. Luckily, she realizes her mistake and stakes the vampire herself, otherwise this would have been Mister E's last appearance.
In "Short Road to Damnation" by Drake and Henson, a nebbish, height-challenged secretary steals a pair of Napoleon's boots and suddenly becomes a proactive and commanding guy, which includes committing two murders. The boots that gave him the ability also prove his undoing as they link him to the crime scenes, as discovered by a Detective Leba, whose name is of course an anagram for Elba. A story by Kashdan and Brozowski rounds out the issue with an escaped convict happening upon a scientist's laboratory in a swamp. The scientist is working on an antidote to the "death factor" that causes cells to die and potentially could provide immortality. The criminal takes the antidote before the scientist can explain fully and kills him in a scuffle. The criminal's caught, but he doesn't die from his gunshot wounds, and he can't be executed. Every potentially mortal wound ages him at a faster rate, however. The antidote to death was senility (though the story calls this factor "morbidity.") We end in the future time of 1999, with the criminal locked away in a futuristic prison, a wizened husk.

Superman #354: Another Silver Age-y "mystery" plot from Bates, but again a not uninteresting one. Superman takes down a group of high flying thieves led by a Mr. Alpha, who winds up escaping into the sewers, which happens to put him a good place to hear about the origins of a suit of powered armor found in the Egyptian desert. Clark Kent is there too, having responded to an invitation from senior archeologist, Thalia Tate. Tate presents the young man who was wearing the armor who claims to be a time travel from a highly advanced, prehistoric civilization. He and his beloved were separated by a time storm--and he thinks Tate's assistant Susan is actually his long lost Myyla. Supporting his story is that Susan looks like Myyla and is wearing an identical amulet to his. When she removes it, she's no longer speaking English. Susan needs some time to sort this out, but Mr. Alpha kidnaps her, forcing the visitor from the past to get in his armor and fight Superman or else.  Superman manages to keep his attacker at bay long enough to located Alpha and free Susan. He's also figured out what's really going on. It's Tate that is really the visitor from another time. Separated in the time storm, she and her beloved arrived in the future decades apart. Not wanting her beloved to have to be with an old woman, she chose an assistant that looked a lot like the younger her, did some hypnosis, gave her the amulet, etc. The truth revealed, they return to their own time with Superman's help, and Thalia/Myyla is restored to youth in the process.
The backup story is about the Superman of 2020, the grandson of the original. That has some interesting implications for when Bates thinks the first Superman's adventures take place (if it's 1980 as in the first story, you'd think Superman would have to be having his kid pretty soon), and possibly for the expected duration of heroic careers. His future is brighter than our present: 3 supermen, and no pandemic.


Wonder Woman #273: This is the first appearance of the second Cheetah, courtesy of Conway and Delbo. Wonder Woman responds to a oil tanker accident and meets a group of environmental activists led by a young woman in a bikini and a captain's hat who happens to have access to a yacht. She's Debi Domaine. After Wonder Woman gets a shower and the yacht returns to dock, Debi gets a letter from the aunt who raised her who is apparently on her death bed. Wonder Woman heads off to work and some sitcom antics as she makes dates as Diana Prince and Wonder Woman for the same evening. Debi visits her dying aunt and discovers she was once the costumed criminal, the Cheetah, and then is captured by Kobra agents. While Wonder Woman puts on her disco cape and heads out on her date, Debi is subjected to the Clockwork Orange treatment, mentally conditioning her with images of environmental devastation. She emerges as the Cheetah in an outfit similar to her aunt's except with a deep-V neck and high-heels, and is ready to become an environmental terrorist for Kobra!
 In the Huntress back-up by Levitz and Staton, Power-girl threatens the DA over a new anti-superhero vigilante rule in Gotham, which really sort of makes his point for him, I think. Huntress shows up to intervene. She and Power-Girl go to chat, and she reveals to her friend that she's been dating the DA. Meanwhile, we discover that the Thinker is behind the DA's actions, because who could be against costumed vigilantes but a super-villain, right? In the end, a sudden crimewave breaks out in Gotham at the Thinker's command.

World's Finest Comics #266: Burkett and Buckler provide the Batman/Superman story where they tangle with the new super-villain, Lady Lunar who attacks a STAR Labs moon exhibit. She is actually a double bit of continuity referencing. She has the same powers (and origin basically) as Moon Man from World's Finest #98 in 1958 (in fact, this issue is the last appearance of Moon Man's alter ego), and she turns out to be an astronaut trainee from Wonder Woman's stint as an astronaut back in 1979. The Haney/von Eeden Green Arrow story is goofy, but charming. Editor George Taylor is sure Oliver Queen is Green Arrow, so he challenges him to 48 hours of flagpole sitting for charity, convinced that Queen will be unable to meet his column deadlines. With the help of Dinah send him stories via Morse code and what not, Ollie keeps writing his stories and sending them to Dinah via arrows right under Taylor's watchful eyes. 
The Red Tornado story be DeMatteis and Delbo has RT looking for an apartment and almost getting stabbed by a 13 year-old girl who's high on...something. He takes an interest in helping the girl and saves her from falling off a building, which finally gets her mother to recognize the severity of the situation. All, the time T.O. Morrow is watching. The Rozakis/Landgraf Hawkman story "Something Sinister in Sewer Seven" has the best title of the issue. The something or somethings are giant, mutant bugs. The main conflict is city bureaucrats trying to cover it up. Birdwell and Newton unleash a space armada of ships shaped like Dr. Sivana's head on Captain Marvel. This comes after Sivana and IBAC go planet to planet and have IBAC beat up planetary despots until they declare Sivana their ruler. Meanwhile, Mr. Mind intends to side with Sivana only until he has the opportunity to destroy him. I continue to enjoy this updated "Monster Society of Evil" saga.

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