Wednesday, May 4, 2016

COMICS READING FOR APRIL: “Alien vs Psychopath (aka Superman vs Batman)”

* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

*****     All-Star Superman, We3
****      New X-Men (the early issues), Batman Inc., Batman And Robin, Dare, Arkham Asylum
***        Zenith, Seven Soldiers
**         Final Crisis, Flex Mentallo
*           Marvel Boy
DUD (or lower) Nameless, later New X-Men and any of his hippy-dippy, pseudo-mystical crap

1. Superman #8 (DC, 1987) ***½
Writer: John Byrne/Artists: John Byrne and Karl Kesel
The post-Crisis Superman meets the Legion Of Super-Heroes “for the first time” and learns about a new threat known as...Superboy? This story continued in Action Comics #591 (which I have) with Superman punching on with Superboy.
2.-7. Superman: Secret Origin (DC, 2010) ****¼
- Superman: Secret Origin #1-6 (DC, 2009-10)
Writer: Geoff Johns/Artist: Gary Frank
This is really, really good. Heavily based on the Superman: The Movie from the 70s. And loved it! Frank draws Supes as Christopher Reeves and that’s just perfect!
8.-9. DC Comics Presents #46, 62 (DC, 1982-83) **½
#46 Superman and The Global Guardians (Writer: EN Bridwell/Artists: Alex Saviuk and Pablo Marcos)
#62 Superman and The Freedom Fighters (Writer: Bob Rozakis and Dan Mishkin/Artists: Irv Novick and Dave Hunt

10.-13. Batman: Year One (DC, 1988) ****
- originally published in Batman #404.-407 (DC, 1986-87)
Writer: Frank Miller/Artist: David Mazzucchelli
14. Detective Comics #572 (DC, 1987) ***½
Writer: Mike W. Barr/Artists: Alan Davis and Paul Neary, Terry Beatty and Dick Giordano, Carmine Infantino, ER Cruz, Dick Sprang (interior); Michael Kaluta (cover)
It’s been nearly 30 years since I first read these comics. Batman: Year One is really fucking good, probably better than The Dark Knight Returns. As for the 50th anniversary issue of Detective Comics, it’s a fun lil’ read with some glorious art. Seeing Batman team up with Sherlock Holmes is a hoot. Revisiting these old comics was a hoot.

15. The Argus Super Comic, May 5, 1949 (The Argus Newspaper) **¾
- featuring Superman, Tarzan, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and more obscure strips like Hermon Wizzer
 The front page of this weekly lift-out was the colour Superman strip. The story is Supes battling...a juvenile delinquent (!!). I don’t know who did the artwork, but it’s mediocre.

16.-18. JLA Classified #1-3 (DC, 2005) ***¾
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artists: Ed McGuinnes and Dexter Vines
19.-24. JLA Classified #10-15 (DC, 2005) ***½
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artists: Butch Guice (interior); Michael Stribling (covers)
25.-27. Justice League of America #123-124, 200 (DC, 1975, 1982) ***
#123-124 – Writers: Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin/Artists: Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin (interior), Ernie Chan (cover)
#200 – Writer: Gerry Conway/Artists: George Perez and friends
28. JLA/JSA: Virtue And Vice (DC, 2002) ***½
Writers: David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns/Artists: Carlos Pacheco and Jēsus Meriño
29.-35. Tales Of The Bizarro World (DC, 2000) ***
- originally published in Adventure Comics #285-299 (DC, 1961-62)
Writer: Jerry Siegel/Artists: various (interior), Jaime Hernandez (cover)
36.-44. Batman In The Sixties (DC, 1999) ***½
- originally published in Batman #131, #144, #148, #155, #179, #181, #200, #217; Detective Comics #298, #341, #349, #369, #388-391; Batman Kellogg’s Special (DC, 1960-69)
Writers: various/Artists: various
45.-51. Identity Crisis (DC, 2005) ***¾
- originally published in Identity Crisis #1-7 (DC, 2004-05) 

52.-56. Gotham Central #1-5 (DC, 2003) ****
Writers: Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka/Artist: Michael Lark
57.-61. Gotham Central #6-10 (DC, 2003) ****
Writer: Greg Rucka/Artist: Michael Lark
Bought these off Comixology (
62.-73. Gotham Central Book Two: Jokers And Madmen (DC, 2009) ****
- originally published in Gotham Central #11-22 (DC, 2003-04)
Writers: Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka/Artists: Michael Lark and friends
A really underrated crime noir/police procedural series set in Gotham City, where the cops’ lives are forever under the shadow of “Bats” and his rogue’s gallery of insane villains. Gripping stuff.
74.-81. Justice League Beyond 2.0 Power Struggle TPB (DC, 2014) ***¼
- originally published online in Justice League Beyond 2.0 #1-16 (DC, 2014)
Writer: Christos N. Gage/Artists: Iban Coello and Rob Lean (interior); Rafael Albuquerque (cover)
82.-86. Birds Of Prey: Dead Of Winter (DC, 2007) ****
- originally published in Birds Of Prey #104-108 (DC, 2007)
87.-95. Superman: Mon-El – Man Of Valor (DC, 2010) ***½
- originally published in Superman #692-697, Superman Annual #14, Superman Secret Files 2009 #1 and Adventure Comics #11 (DC, 2009)
Writer: James Robinson/Artists: Fernando Dagnino, Bernard Chang and Javier Pina (interiors); Cafu (cover)

96.-102. Catwoman Vol. 2: Crooked Little Town (DC, 2003) ****¼
- originally published in Catwoman #5-10 and Catwoman Secret Files (DC, 2002)
103.-110. Catwoman Vol. 3: Relentless (DC, 2005) ****¼
- originally published in Catwoman #12-19 (DC, 2003)
111.-115. Catwoman Vol. 4: Wild Ride (DC, 2005) ****¼
- originally published in Catwoman #20-24 (DC, 2003)
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artists: Brad Rader; Michael Avon Oeming; Cameron Stewart, Rick Burchett; Mike Manley; Eric Shanower; Michael Lark; Javier Pulido; JG Jones and friends

116. Superman #155 (DC, 1962) ***
[“Superman Under the Green Sun!” and “The Blind Superman”] Writer: Bill Finger/Artists: Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye
["The Downfall Of Superman!”] Writer: Jerry Siegel/Artists: Curt Swan and George Klein (interior); Curt Swan and John Forte (cover)
A lame Superman comic, typical of the early 60s, but the fact that it has a short tale featuring then-super-popular pro wrestler Antonino Rocca makes it an interesting curio.
117. Action Comics #488 (DC, 1978) **¾
Writer: Cary Bates; Artists: Curt Swan & Frank Chiaramonte
118. Harley And Ivy: Love On The Lam (DC, 2001) ****
Writer: Judd Winick/Artist: Joe Chiodo
119.-121. The Superman/Madman Hullabaloo! #1-3 (DC, 1997) ***
Writer/Artist: Mike Allred
122.-124. Power Girl #97-99 (DC, 1978) **
Writer: Paul Levitz/Artists: Joe Staton, Joe Orlando and Dick Giordano
125.-131. Batman: Under The Hood Vol. 2 (DC, 2006) ***¾
- originally published in Batman #645-650 and Batman Annual #25 (DC, 2005-06)
Writer: Judd Winick/Artists: Doug Mahnke & friends
132. Superman vs Muhammad Ali: Deluxe Edition (DC, 2010) ***¾
- originally published in Superman vs Muhammad Ali DC Treasury Edition (DC, 1978)
Writer: Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams/ Artists: Neal Adams, Dick Giordano and Terry Austin (interior); Neal Adams (cover)

133. Pubs Of The Inner West (self-published, 2015) ***¾
- originally published digitally in 2012-15 by
Writer/artist: Leigh Rigozzi
I’ve been to most of the pubs Leigh writes about in this moving slice of life of love, love lost, heavy drinking and violent vomiting. We can all relate to some or all of these things, surely?
Download your copy (and throw a few bux Leigh’s way) at

134. Fumetti (self-published, 2005) **
Writer/artist: Leigh Rigozzi
This earlier work is far more patchy – it’s all to do with smoke and images blending into other images, but it just doesn’t work.

135. Folding Kimono (self-published, 201?) ***½
Writer/Artist: Jem Yoshioka
This autobiographical comic talks about Jem’s identity problems being half-Japanese/half-New Zealander. Her feeling of emptiness and inability to understand one half of her heritage is reflected in the traditional kimono her grandmother gave her and Jem’s inability to look after it properly. A very engaging short piece and Jem’s artwork is great.

136. Tales From The Crypt #10 (Eerie Publications, 1968) **¼
Writers/artists: various
Nowhere near as gruesome as later Eerie comics, from what I can gather, this comic features hackneyed BandW “tales of terror” that are pretty anaemic and look like they’ve been drawn by sub-standard 1940s artists (probably because they were, who just redrew old 40s public domain tales to begin with). A curiosity, but little more.

137. Martian Comics #1 (Martian Lit, 2014) **¾
Writers:  Julian Darius and Kevin Thurman/Artist: Sergio Tarquini (interior)/Darick Robertson (cover)
This was sent to me as a PDF via email. I was intrigued...Jesus was a Martian? A curious premise, but it’s the back-up feature (in which Jesus WAS a Martian) that was interesting. The main story kinda drags and writer/creator/egotist Julian Darius thinks he’s some kinda shit-hot genius. He’s not.
I can’t be effed reading further issues.

138. Dream Police #9 (Image, 2016) ***½
Writer; J. Michael Straczynski/Artist: Sid Kotian
139. Palefire (Secret Acres, 2015) ****
Writer: MK Reed/Artist: Farel Dalrymple
140. Andre The Giant: Closer To Heaven (IDW, 2015) ****
Writer: Brandon Easton/Artist: Denis Medri

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