Wednesday Is Comics Day! She-Ra: Legend of the Fire Princess!

The She-Ra and the Princesses of Power show on Netflix has not long concluded, but an original graphic novel has been released recently telling an untold tale from the show. I’m a fan of the original She-Ra show and liked this new one, but found it a bit more of a task to keep going with it. My favourite episodes were ones where new characters were introduced. This bodes well for this book, which presumably includes a character not seen in the show. Let’s see!

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Scott’s Scintillating Origin Story!


Hey, Scott:

You’ve shared the story of how you became a wrestling fan on many occasions. So, how did you first get into comics? What was the first title or storyline that hooked you for good? Has there ever been a title or a run that’s given you the same feelings as the current WWE product? Thanks!

Aaron​

First comic I can remember hooking me was a Legion of Superheroes digest issue from the late 70s, featuring the Starfinger storyline.  I mostly read Superman comics off the comic racks when that was still a thing.  The one that blew my mind was of course Crisis on Infinite Earth’s and from there I moved into the follow-ups like Man of Steel and Flash.  Once I was old enough to save my own money and discovered my local comic shop, I was hooked for good, although after University it turned into a real addiction for me and I’ve had to stop collecting on multiple occasions because of it. 

Waiting for the Trade – Spidergirl

Amazing Spider-Girl: Maybreak

collects Amazing Spider-Girl #25-30

by writer Tom Defalco and artist Ron Frenz

 

Why I Bought This: The easy reason is I was on vacation in Portland and it was on sale for $8. But aside from that this is the conclusion of Spider-Girl’s title, and while I didn’t regularly collect her book, I’ve always liked the core concept behind it.

 

The Plot: Spider-Girl and her extended supporting cast must deal with the return of the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. For those who don’t know Spider-Girl’s story is set 15 years in the future of the main Marvel Universe where she is May Parker, the daughter of the married Peter Parker and Mary Jane and has inherited her father’s powers. In her back-story, Norman died fighting Peter when she was six months old and has never appeared in her title.

 

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade – Captain America

Waiting for the Trade

Captain America Corps

by Roger Stern & Philippe Briones

collects Captain America Corps #1-5 and Age of Heroes #4

 Why I Bought This: This was a Christmas present from my wife, but the reason I wanted this is because it has Roger Stern, who in my opinion writes the definitive Captain America, writing the character again for the first time in 30 years.

The Plot: The Contemplator (an Elder of the Universe) becomes aware of a crisis in the multiverse and recruits several different Captain Americas from across time to solve it. They are: Steve Rogers during his rookie year in World War II, US Agent (John Walker from Gru’s Cap No More run in the 80s), Bucky-Cap (from, at the time this was published, Brubaker’s current run), American Dream (Steve’s daughter with Sharon Carter from Spider Girl’s MC2 near-future), and Commander A from the year 2410–who uses dual laser-shields with a hi-tech costume.

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade: Gambit

Waiting for the Trade

Gambit (1): Once A Thief . . .

written by James Asmus,

 illustrated by Clay Mann, Leonard Kirk, Diogenes Neves and Al Barrionuevo

collects Gambit #1-7

 Why I Bought This: I actually wasn’t much of a Gambit fan until he appeared in the Wolverine movie. I know a lot of people hate on that film, but I think it is a fine little bit of entertainment, with Gambit in particular being the best part of it in how his powers are presented visually. That film inspired me to buy the Gambit Classic trade, which was a mixed bag at best but still showed the potential of the character. Thus when this solo series was announced with the promise of focusing more on Gambit’s roots as a thief and a charmer rather than a superhero I bought the trade as soon as it hit the stores at full cover price.

The Plot: Gambit decides he misses being a thief so he pulls heist, which leads to all sorts of complications.

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade: Batman & Harley Quinn

Waiting for the Trade 

Batman: Mad Love and other stories.

by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm

collects The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, The Batman Adventures Annual #s 1 & 2, The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1, Adventures in the DC Universe #3, Batman Black and White #1, The Batman Adventures: Dangerous Dames and Demons, The Batman Chronicles Gallery #1, Batgirl Adventures #1, and Batman Gotham Adventures #10.

 Why I Bought This: Harley Quinn is my favorite thing about the 90s Batman Animated Series and this book recollects her famous, award-winning origin story so it was always on my list to buy and this past FCBD I picked it up during my local comic store’s sale.

The Plot: Mad Love is the origin of Harley Quinn by her creator Paul Dini (who wrote for the animated series). The “other stores” collected here represent all the other times Dini and Timm worked together on Batman comics—some are full length stories, while others are tiny little back up features from the annuals.

(Spoilers Below)

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Extant’s Pull List – 2015 Year In Review Part 1

I’ve been reading comic books in one form or another most of my life. I started collecting (mostly DC) comics just after the Death/Return of Superman storyline. In more than 20 years of spending money on Wednesdays, I have bought thousands of books. Several times in 2015, much like with pro wrestling, I considered giving it up entirely.

It wasn’t an altogether bad year. I’m going to try and focus on some of the high spots of the year here, but the lows have been frustrating, especially when it comes to DC Comics. Now several years into the most recent reboot, several of the characters I grew to care about are unrecognizable from their former incarnations.

Most disappointing to me has been the company’s treatment of Superman. In the second half of the year, DC Comics revealed his secret identity to the world, depowered him back to 1938 levels and has its entire world doubting him. That’s… not how Superman should be treated.

Of course, with all the complaints about what they’ve done to Superman, DC has introduced the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois – fresh from the waste of time that was the Convergence crossover – into the new universe, hiding under new identities with their son and trying to save the world in secret. So, at least there’s that.

Yes, there was a lot to complain about in the comics world throughout 2015, but there was a lot to like, too. So let’s forget the bad and focus on some of the better things I’ve read over the last 12 months.

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Waiting for the Trade = All New Cap

All New Captain America (1): Hydra Ascendant

collects All-New Captain America #1-6

written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Stuart Immonen

 Why I Bought This: As a big Cap fan, I was very curious to see how the Falcon as Cap story will play out, so much so I actually pre-ordered this on Amazon before it was released.

The Plot: Sam Wilson (The Falcon) has been named the new Captain America following Steve’s retirement (he was rapidly aged in some prior volume I haven’t read), giving the country an African-American Captain America. On his first case he uncovers a Hydra plot that includes most of Steve’s major foes (with the exception of the Red Skull).

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade: Deathmatch

Deathmatch: (2) A Thousand Cuts.

by Paul Jenkins and Carlos Magno

collects Deathmatch 5-8

 Why I Bought This: A couple years ago Deathmatch #1 was one of the Free Comic Book Day giveaways and it read well enough that I decided that one day I would read the rest of the story, particularly because it was written by Paul Jenkins, who was one of the best Spider-man writers of all time. Cut to a couple months ago, where BAM was selling all three trades that make up the entire miniseries brand new for $4 each and I grabbed them all on the spot.

The Plot: Earth’s major heroes and villains find themselves on an alien prison with no memory of how that got there and forced to battle each other in an arena to the death. Most of the characters are analogs to the major DC and Marvel heroes. In the finale of volume 1 the Lex Luthor analog hacked the prison’s computer to eliminate the guards (constructs of living light) and power dampeners, before being seemingly killed by the Batman analog.

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade – Avengers

Waiting for the Trade

 Mighty Avengers (2): Family Bonding

written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti and Greg Land

collecting Mighty Avengers #6-10

 Why I Bought This: As a fan of Roger Stern’s Avengers run I’ve always liked Captain Marvel v2.0 a lot. This title finally returned her to prominence with a fitting new code name in Spectrum so I grabbed the first volume as soon as it came out in trade. I liked it quite a bit and thus picked up volume 2 when it hit trade.

 (spoilers below)

 

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Waiting for the Trade – Masters of Evil

House of M: Masters of Evil

written by Christos N. Gage, illustrated by Mannuel Garcia

collects House of M: Masters of Evil #1-4

Why I Bought This: I like villain-centric titles and this was sitting in a 75% off discount bin at the local comic store.

The Plot: We see what life is like in the House of M reality for the super villains who usually fight the Avengers. (House of M was a crossover in which Scarlet Witch created a timeline wherein Magneto conquered the world allowing mutants to flourish at the expense of humans.)

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the trade = Fantastic Four

So in honor of the FF movie no one saw here is a review of an FF book that probably no one else has read.

Waiting for the Trade 

Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four (vol. 4): Cosmic Threats

written by Justin Gray and illustrated by Juan Santacruz and Starz Johnson.

collects Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #13-16

 Why I Bought This: I had read another volume of this series before it and it was surprisingly fun. This volume features several of Marvel’s great cosmic villains like Thanos, Grand Master and Terminus so it seemed worth picking up.

The Plot: Individual one and done stories of the FF fighting cosmic threats in the company’s kid-friendly line.

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Waiting for the Trade: Spider-man vs. Venom

Waiting for the Trade

by Bill Miller 

Spider-man: The Vengeance of Venom

by David Micheline & Peter David; art by Erik Larsen, Mark Bagley (and others)

collects Amazing Spider-man 332-333, 346-347, 361-363, and 374-375 and Spider-Man: The Trial of Venom and excerpts from Amazing Spider-man 373, 388, Annual 25-26, Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-man Annual 12 and Web of Spider-man Annual 8.

 Why I Bought This: Venom is my favorite Spider-man villain and this is a collection of stories from the character’s golden era including my favorite single-issue of Spider-man (issue 347) when he and Venom battle on the island. While I already owned the Spider-man Venom Returns trade that also collects issues 332-347, this one is a larger volume and I found it on Amazon for $5 (including shipping). At that price I wanted the additional stories, plus I love this cover which recreates the cover of issue 347.

 

The Plot: Venom hates Spider-man a lot, knows Peter’s secret identity, doesn’t trigger his spider sense and will stop at nothing to kill him. Then just when it can’t get any worse than Venom for Spidey, Carnage shows up. Overall the trade starts with the third Venom-Spider-man story and proceeds chronologically until the conclusion of their initial animosity.

(spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade = Captain America

Captain America: The Fighting Avenger

writers: Brian Clevinger, Paul Tobin and Jeff Parker

artists: Gurihiru, Chriscross, Manuel Garcia and Dario Brizuela

collects Captain America Fighting Avenger #1, Marvel Adventures Superheroes #5, and Marvel Adventures the Avengers #3 and #37.

 

 Why I Bought This: Released at the same time as the first Cap film this tells the story of Cap’s very first mission, something I don’t think Marvel has ever told before. Also I’ve enjoyed the little bit of Paul Tobin’s writing I’ve read in the past. You can grab this pretty cheap on Amazon and as I’m always looking for bargain-priced Cap stories I picked it up.

 

The Plot: The feature story shows Cap’s first mission. The book also includes several bonus reprints of Cap-centric stories from the current all-ages Avengers line.

(Spoilers below)

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Waiting for the Trade – Spider-man

Waiting for the Trade 

by Bill Miller 

Spider-man the Next Chapter vol. 3

Written by John Byrne and Howard Mackie with Gregory Wright and A.A. Ward

Pencils by John Byrne, Lee Weeks, Graham Nolan, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson &  Erik Larsen with Andy Kuhn.

collects Amazing Spider-man (vol 2) 13-19, Peter Parker: Spiderman 13-19 and Spider  Woman (vol. 3) #9

 Why I Bought This: It includes some Eddie Brock-Venom stories I’d never read before, which will always get my money eventually. In this case Venom is stalking the Sinister Six.

 

The Plot: This isn’t a plot so much as a collection of sequential issues from an era that is generally not well-regarded when Marvel first began arbitrarily canceling titles just to launch new #1s. To the extent that there is a single story here it is Peter dealing with Mary Jane’s presumed death in a plane crash.

 (spoilers below)

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