David tagged posts

New Challengers #1

One of the more unusual promotional things that I remember from comics in my youth were these sealed plastic grab-bags of random titles. I was gifted several of these but I remember almost nothing more. Yet somehow I remember The Challengers of the Unknown. I don’t even remember if I read it, and I know I didn’t have any more than the one issue. But I still remember that hourglass.

Now there’s a New Challengers, and despite my overall apathy towards many of DC’s bigger titles I really enjoyed this one. The story begins on a plane, in a storm, somewhere in the Himalayas, “then”. There’s a crazy guy covered in bandages, a glowing something, and the plane gets crashed. That’s all I really got from the prologue.

Then we skip ahead to somewhere in Colorado, “now”...

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The Shadow / Batman TPB

The Shadow / Batman crossover is a unique beast. I read it, I enjoyed it, but the entire time I was trying to figure out if I missed something. It consistently references a shared backstory between the two heroes. That backstory is amazing, and completely plausible, but it never gets more than referenced. So I went back into these two heroes past. Back. Back. Back to the 1970s, when they first met. Too far. How about six months before this series first went to print, and the Batman / Shadow miniseries I previously reviewed for your reading pleasure. (You should go read it right now.)

The two six-issue series ran back to back with the first six being published by DC, and the second six by Dynamite. (That’s one way to solve the “who gets top billing” discussion)...

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Batman / Shadow #1-6

So, the collected TPB of The Shadow/Batman, from Dynamite came out recently. As I was reading it (more on that tomorrow) I found I wasn’t sure if some of the references being made had been previously established, and as it turns out the answer is sort of.

Before Dynamite’s The Shadow / Batman miniseries, came DC’s Batman / The Shadow. So to better understand what I was reading I went back to dig out that series as well. Sadly I couldn’t get my hands on the collected TPB (entitled Batman/Shadow: The Murder Geniuses) but I was able to track down the individual issues. Full disclosure, I wasn’t able to get #4. But by most accounts, I didn’t miss much for plot in that issue, just a few great lines and a big battle...

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Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #2

Welcome back Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #2, the mini-series that is also issue #167 in the regular series (because apparently, that re-numbering irks me enough to mention for a second month.)

As I mentioned in last month’s review of issue #1, “The Hidden” takes its name from the Kakure Kirishitan or “Hidden Christians” of Japan’s Edo period. Usagi’s timeline within the context of real-world history has always been a bit loose, but one of my favorite things about Stan Sakai’s work is his love and dedication to pulling from that legitimate history. Within the context of history, The Hidden seems to take place not long after 1614 and outlawing of Christianity in Japan, given Usagi’s surprise at the fumi-e image he was ordered to step on in order to pass into town in the previous issue.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Usagi Yojimbo (Extended Edition)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Usagi Yojimbo, The Expanded Edition. If it feels like you’ve seen this cover before, it’s because you have. The ‘expanded’ edition is now the third printing of this one-shot. First, there was a regular printing, then a hardcover with a few extras, now the expanded edition. Since this is a reprint, let’s reprint my initial review and move on from there.

TMNT and Usagi have a long and storied past.  Both creations first appeared in 1984 as black and white, creator owned, anamorphic characters, with asian influences. By 1989, the Turtles’ franchise was picking up steam, and a conversation between Usagi Creator Stan Sakai and TMNT co-creator Peter Laird resulted in Usagi being released as part of the TMNT Playmate Toys line...

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