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  #91  
Old 03-27-2018, 04:09 PM
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Octo, you are very close to peak Kirby.
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  #92  
Old 03-27-2018, 04:14 PM
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I saw the cover-art of the next issue.

"I am Hype" as the children say.
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  #93  
Old 03-27-2018, 04:31 PM
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Man, Orion v. Slig is SO badass. I can't imagine what it must have been like to read that in 1971.

I love that Orion, unlike the various Marvel heroes with their petty emotional strife, actually is a grotesque, inhuman monster boiling over with rage and angst, just barely managing to hold it together. He's such a satisfying hero.
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  #94  
Old 03-31-2018, 03:46 PM
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After a few days worth of eating meals that were not conducive to simultaneously reading comic books, I had enough of a meal time time to read two issues in a row! And BOY was that worth the wait!

They're both Jimmy Olsen, and they both involve Jack Kirby drawing a lawyer-friendly Dracula. We've got The Man From Transilvane and The Genocide Spray. A two-part story that, even by the lofty standards of Kirbys Jimmy Olsen run, is completely friggin' bonkers.

Seems that, in the spooky swamp of Bloodmoore Cemetary, the vampire Dragorin , who tracks down Morgan Edges secretary, Laura, and blasts her neck with eye-lasers, giving her the telltale mark of a vampire attack. This is scarcely the only liberty Jack takes with vampiric lore, and is, perhaps, the least noteworthy of his contributions.

The next morning, at Galaxy Communications, Jimmy and Clark are prevented from seeing Morgan (still looking to confront him for all the times he tried to have them spectacularly murdered over the last week or so) by Laura, who tells them that Morgan is purposely avoiding them because they want to have him arrested so badly.

She really doesn't seem very interested in any part of this confrontation, but it's not clear if this is because of general apathy, or if it's because she's so exhausted from her sudden transformation into a Vampire in the middle of a crowded broadcasting studio.

Clark and Jimmys reactions are less of shock and horror on behalf of their friend and their terrible fate, and more of tired resignation. "Oh great, vampires now" they seem to be saying, almost rolling their eyes.

Dragorin materializes in front of them, and having knocked out Jimmy and Clark with eye-lasers (Clark is unharmed, as he is secretly Superman), interrogates Laura. He isn't looking to create a new undead consort; he just wants the address of her former employer, Dr. Dabney Donovan; a retired, eccentric NASA scientist. When Jimmy recovers, he and Clark head off to the lab Donovan worked at, trying to learn more about Dragorins motivations.

Dr. Donovan is "the closest thing the world has to a real-life Mad Scientist" explains Clark, somehow not thinking about three quarters of his social circle. Hell, in Metropolis, having a pretty good handle on the times-tables means you have a better-than-average chance of using your talents for evil.

At Donovans lab, Jimmy and Clark are attacked by a wolfman (as you do) and, in the confusion, Clark secretly runs off and reappears as Superman. Who arrives just as the wolfman fades from sight, just as Dragorin did. And, with his superior eyesight, Superman sees that they didn't disappear, they just shrank super tiny. This, coupled with Supermans knowledge that NASA hired Donovan to replicate the surfaces of alien planets in order to test Astronauts for deep space travel, leads Supes to on inescapable conclusion;



DONOVAN STOLE THE MONEY FROM NASA TO BUILD HIS OWN, TINY PLANET WITH DEVIL HORNS THAT HE CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED WITH HAMMER-HORROR MOVIES! AND, BECAUSE OF CONSTANTLY WATCHING HORIZON-FILLING MONSTER MOVIES, ALL THE INHABITANTS BECAME MOVIE MONSTERS!

HOLY CRAP!

HOLY!!! CRAP!!!

This is by a huge margin the craziest friggin' damn-ass comic book plot twist I've ever seen.

Anyway, Dragorin assumes that Superman and Jimmy are there as punishment from their cruel God, Dabney Donovan, and they're there to destroy their planet (Dabney liked adding in messages showing exactly when and how he planned to sterilize the planet to the movies he was showing the inhabitants of Transilvane) and he leads the planets inhabitants to attack the Man of Steel.

Meaning that, yes, for a page or two, we get Superman and Jimmy Olsen fighting a dracula, a frankenstein, a wolfman and a morticia! Up until Dragorin decides to end the battle by detonating a massive thermonuclear weapon right under their feet!

Which sounds bad, but it was a weapon designed for mass destruction on a planet that's the size of a sofa, and everyone nearby is regular-human sized, so it really just throws up enough smoke that Jimmy passes out from smoke inhalation.

Superman can't really take the time to deal with the small army of Munsters who are looking to torture him and Jimmy to death because his super-senses have detected that Donovans Demon Dog has just activated and is about to obliterate all life on Transilvane with its Genocide Spray. He dismantles the robot, but not before it wipes out most of Transilvanes inhabitants.

FOrtunately, quite a few were still regular sized, and thus safe from the Demon Dogs attack, and Superman offers to return them to their planet. DOnovan wasn't expecting anything to survive the sterilization process, and he's abandoned the lab, so they'll be safe, and, so they won't be forced to be monsters any more, Superman also replaces all the horror movies being beamed into the planets atmosphere with Oklahoma.

At no point is it ever explained what, exactly, research Dabney Donovan was conducting by filling an entire planet with tiny tiny Universal monsters. I just bet L'il Abbot and Wee Costello would have just friggin' hated that place, though.

Oh, also, the Newsboy Legion attempted to leave the DNA Project hospital by going through the sewer system and, by sheer coincidence, wind up at the hideout of the guy who killed the original Guardian, Roy Harper. Bragging to Intergang about having shot him several years ago, and then Intergang executes him with dynamite in order to cover up their own involvement in the murder. A whole sequence that feels kind of unnecessary, and chronologically confusing.
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  #95  
Old 04-03-2018, 04:15 PM
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Another issue read, and again, it was a hum-dingers! I feel like I shouldn't have to specify that any more. Next is Mister Miracle and Doctor Vundabars Murder Machine! Which is another amazing title.

And it begins, as issues of MM tend to, with Scott and Oberon practicing a stunt that Oberon is 100% certain is going to kill his buddy. And, if Scott wasn't the Actual Literal God of Escaping Things, he'd be right. Also; side-note; does Scott ever actually put on a show? He sure as hell practices a lot of stunts but I don't think it's ever even been mentioned if he's had a paying audience.

Anyway, not being particularly concerned with Scotts well-being while he risks his life for the entertainment of his panicky diminutive friend (and rightly so, she knows his whole deal), Barda opts to go for a swim at a nearby lake. Where she is ambushed by the henchmen of this issues special guest villain Virman Vundabar.

Or... rather, it was supposed to be an ambush for her.

Barda reacts to seeing a few dozen blood-crazed Parademon soldiers like I would to seeing a basket full of puppies.



Or like I would to a sheet of bubble wrap, at least.

Guys, I think I might need to find a way to Cool World myself into DC comics so I can give Big Barda one hundred High Fives.

Alas, the one-sided beatdown can't last longer than a couple of pages, as the attack squad was just a distraction so Virman can blast Barda with paralyzing laser beams from an air-tank (pretty much the only way to get any head-way against Barda, really), and steals her away. It's at this point where we get a bit of background on Virman as well. Like Scott, he's a graduate of Granny Goodness' orphanage on Apokolips. Unlike Scott, however, he graduated with flying colors, and earned Grannys favor, rising in rank among Darkseids elite. He's also a big ol' jackass, as you might expect from a guy literally named Virman.

Furthermore, he's also Colonel Klink.

Because "A guy who lives up to the name 'Virman'" isn't enough of an indicator that someone is a villain. He has to be a nazi, too.

Anyway, Scott gets word that Virman is on Earth and has kidnapped Barda, and Scott flies off to the rescue at Virmans special hideout, he he agrees to let Barda go and leave the Earth if Scott can escape the clutches of his MURDER MACHINE. Mister Miracle villains really only seem to have the one plan that they just keep trying, over and over again.

Anyway, Scott agrees, and the Murder Machine reveals itself to be an automated carwash that seals its victims in a sarcophagus, which is then sent through procession of increasingly deadly traps, the mildest of which still being completely fatal. And the next few pages are just the coffin getting pulverized over and over again, while Barda is forced to watch and swear vengeance, the moment she can move again.

But Scott is, of course, extraordinarily good at getting out of things, so he uses the jets in his boots to melt through the bottom of the coffin, and he then burrowed his way to safety before the first trap ever activated. And he spent the intervening time burrowing under more and more of Virmans factory, causing the whole thing to collapse under Virman and his henchmen while he and a newly liberated Barda casually stroll out.
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  #96  
Old 04-03-2018, 05:09 PM
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Guys, I think I might need to find a way to Cool World myself into DC comics so I can give Big Barda one hundred High Fives.
Or at least play a game of Pokémon with her.
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  #97  
Old 04-03-2018, 06:40 PM
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There is something about that page that is extremely Octo
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  #98  
Old 04-04-2018, 03:40 AM
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There is everything about that page that is Octo!
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  #99  
Old 04-05-2018, 04:57 AM
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Back to the Forever People with The Omega Effect, which is, honestly pretty slight. And it picks up right where the last issue left off, with Sonny having joined the Forever People and discovering that, when he holds a Mother Box, he can wield the Anti-Life Equation.

Sonny uses his newfound mastery over peoples very souls to the best end possible; forcing the Justifiers running Happyland to release the prisoners, and turn themselves over to the police for, you know, all the very many crimes they were complicit in. Then, for good measure, Vykin takes a gun and shoots one terminal in the main computer room of the park, causing the entire theme park to implode.

It was a very important computer.

Darkseid, impressed at the havoc a team of space teenagers wreaked upon on of his bases, decides to get a bit more serious with dealing with them, and he reveals his mastery over The Omega Effect. Which is a very dramatic term for eye-lasers. Previously, Darkseid was shown to be able to beat the FP by just staring at them, but that was implied to just be from the effect of staring into the empty void of his soul. This his him putting a little extra oomph into his staring contest, releasing heat-seeking eye-lasers that strike and disintegrate Vykin, Moonracer, Big Bear, Beautiful Dreamer and Sonny. He doesn’t see the point in blasting Serefin too, so he just leaves, letting the kid stand in horror at the sight of all his friends being turned into piles of ash.

Serefin then, sadly makes his way back to the Supermobile (now having transformed it self into a tiny, tiny fortress for safety sake) and lapses into a sadness-induced nap, while an army of Justifers approach.

The last three issues all took place within a few hours of one another, incidentally. These kids are having a crappy day.
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  #100  
Old 04-06-2018, 04:16 PM
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The Glory Boat (starring... The New Gods) is about as Jack Kirby as a comic title can be. And, having read the issue, I'm still not 100% certain which of several oceanic traversers it is referring to.

This issue also omits the usual Metron-centric cold-open or a brief mini-story that fills in a bit of background regarding the Fourth World. Presumably because this one is mostly big ol' splash pages full of STUFF EXPLODING!

Anyway, we're picking up right where the last issue left off, with the Deep Six (minus one) having released a new-and-improved version of the biblical Leviathan (Glory Boat contender #1)upon the world; a gigantic tusked whale-monster with a batter-ram for a head which, besides being big enough to upset the local ecology, is also going out of its way to pulverize every single man-made vessel on the seas. And Orion is giving it chase, and a consequent Astro-Forcein'.

In his pursuit, he finds some survivors of a yacht that the leviathan pulverized and tells them that he COULD rescue them, but his main priority is to track down five evil Ocean Gods and an Apokolips fish before they can cause any more deaths, so they'd probably be better off waiting for literally any other kind of rescue; even sitting stranded in the middle of the ocean would likely be safer. But they don't agree and figure they'd prefer the spaceman with the laser-jetpack is the guy to stay near.

The imperiled family consists of A Father (self-important, thinks highly of himself for storming the beaches of Normandy) and his Son (a pacifist, his dad thinks he's a coward because he refuses to enlist in the army). There's also a girl who is their daughter and sister, respectively. But that's about all the characterization she gets.

Following his Mother Box for any trace of the leviathans presence, Orion soon finds a large stone boat (Possible Glory Boat #2), which holds a captive Lightray! Who, it turns out fled New Genesis to help Orion with his battle against the Evil Gods on Earth, despite everyone telling him that, as The God of Happiness and Fun, he really, really has no business whatsoever anywhere near the same solar system a war may be being fought on. But you just try telling The God of Fun not to do something, see what happens.

Anyway, Lightray opted to help look for the Deep Six, found this boat and got captured. As it turns out, there's another mutated creature the Deep Six birthed on the boat; a twisted Lovecraft-y pile of eyeballs and tentacles that works like an external brain for the Leviathan. Orion is all fixed on blowing it to pieces, but Lightray instead uses his ability to manipulate light to turn it into a box instead (by the standards of both comic book science and especially Jack Kirby Science, this seems like a bit of a stretch). And being a box means that it will eventually hatch into a Techno-Active New Genesis Machine, purged free of the taint of Apokolips.

And while they're below decks turning an octopus into a box and yelling a bunch of gibberish about it, the castaways are on the deck, getting attacked by Jaffar of the Deep Six! He too is a fishman with a mutative touch BUT, unlike Slig, he's also ugly! Not that Slig was a particularly handsome fishman, but Jaffars face is enough to completely horrify anyone who looks at him. The father sees him and immediately goes into a fear-induced coma, and the pacifist son charges in to try to drive Jaffar off to protect his father. A task he fails at spectacularly, since Jaffar immediately mutates him to death with a touch.

Orion shows up and kills Jaffar instead with a surprise, powerful blast from the Astro Force (there's a brief bit explaining why the Deep Six are such dangerous opponents; they can also mutate themselves, evolving an immunity to most weapons instantly) while Lightray inters the young man with the Techno Active Box, that's still growing away deep inside the ship.

Orion and Lightray both now have to fight the remaining Deep Four, as well as the Leviathan, all of whom have converged on the control boat, and Orion without his flight harness (which he used to send the daughter to safety, the father is still in a panicked daze on the deck starring blankly where he watched his son die), and while they put up a good fight, facing down four evil Gods and a metaphor for sea-borne disasters is a bit much for them.

So, luckily, that's when the box finally hatches, and an entire flying battleship explodes out of the boats cargo hold, with the dead guy on its prow, bursting with Source Energy;



Also, kind of looks like a big ol' space peener.

And getting a (glory?) boat full of Cosmic Force right in the face is enough to blow up any whale; space monster or not. That's the first thing they teach you in Marine Biology school.

And so, with the Deep Six extremely dead, Orion and Lightray leave to resume the secret battle against Apokolips. And the father slowly comes to his senses and also realizes that his son was the brave one, not him. But he's also tied to the mast of a sinking ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean so... not a great conclusion to that guys story.
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  #101  
Old 04-06-2018, 08:08 PM
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Damn, I got to read this in it's entirety some day.
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  #102  
Old 04-11-2018, 03:20 PM
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Two more issues read, starting with Jimmy Olsen dealing with Something Big in a Scottish Lake. Which begins with, once again Jimmy and Clark (and also the Newsboy Legion) attempting to confront Morgan Edge with him trying to murder them a whole bunch of times. And this time getting past his secretary to do so!

And he immediately calls their claim that he rigged their car to explode with an alien super-bomb to be "poppycock". Which they accept as a response without argument. Then he tells the Newsboys and Jimmy that he'll give them a brand new Whizz Wagon if they go to Scotland and get photographic evidence of a brand new giant lake monster that's been wrecking boats up there.

And the kids all agree, despite still being pretty sure that Morgan already used this exact same rationale to try to murder them quite a number of times. They... are not wise. Though, to their credit they are reluctant to go along with this until the very moment Morgan mentions they'd be travelling to a lake. Because lakes mean water, and Flippa-Dippa has a pathological obsession with bodies of water.

Starting to get concerned about that kid.

Furthermore, the moment they step out of the room, Morgan contacts Intergang to put another hit on Jimmy and the Newsboys. Because Intergang, an international crime syndicate with access to alien super-technology has done a fantastic job of killing these six children so far.

While the kids are preparing for their all-expenses paid trip/assassination attempt to Scotland, Superman and the Golden (ne Manhattan) Guardian have been invited to a new dance club that's opened up in The Suicide Slum part of Metropolis, happy to support a new business in a low-income part of town; expecting that the presence of two bonafide superheroes will increase business.

I kind of think that Guardian is vastly underestimating the gulf of popularity between the two of them.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the kids meet up with the local guide who is going to take them to the lake where the Loch Trevor Monster has been spotted, and reveals that he has a special dog-whistle for lake monsters he's planning on using to attract the beast (amazing), and we also get some Wacky Antics where Scrapper (dressed as much like a stereotypical Scottish guy as possible) and the guide (an actual Scottish man) attempt to No-True-Scotsman one another. When they get on the water, however, treachery is afoot; turns out the Scostman WAS NO TRUE SCOTSMAN, he was an Intergang assassin who was goi ng to shoot them all dead and feed their chum to the lake monster!

Fortunately, A Little Tiny DNAlien Scrapper Trooper stowed away with the Newsboy Legion, and, in the scuffle, found the assassins Technoactive Monster Calling Flute and summon the Loch Trevor Monster (pretty much exactly Fin Fang Foom), which then eats the assassin to death. Also, they capture his beautiful daughter and plan to haul her off to jail as soon as they get a chance to.

Meanwhile, at the Discotheque in Metropolis, Superman notices that the place is a trifle-bit odd, as there's something undetectable but unpleasant in the music (admittedly, Disco is kind of an acquired taste). Furthermore, out of earshot, the patrons are saying things like "Great Darkseid!" and swearing "by the demons of Apokolips" and the like.

Somehow even more surprising, Dubbilex is also in attendance! Saying he was following a secret underground trail leading from the Wild Area that did not originate from the PROJECT headquarters. And the lead band, suspecting that there's a distinct possibility their cover might be blown, change to singing a different song that will summon something terrible to deal with Superman!

But that'll have to wait a few days, next up is Mister Miracle, who must now deal with The Funky Flashman! The cover dares pose the question "Is He Hero... or Villain? YOU DECIDE!" The correct answer is pretty unambiguous.

And the issue opens with Funky Flashman himself, a con-artist of a show biz manager (which is to say, a show-business manager), who is going to help Mister Miracle get his act off the ground so he can travel the country and start making some scratch! Funky is the one concerned with making money, mind. Scott just wants to be more mobile because he's fully aware that all of Apokolips wants him dead and they know where he lives.

At Scotts house, Barda threatens Funky, suspecting that nobody as conniving and manipulative and downright crappy as Funky Flashman could be anything but an Evil God sent to Earth in disguise to kill Scott Free in service of Darkseid.

She quickly revises her statement when she realizes that, no, Funky just sucks.

Fortunately, she gets her wish pretty quickly regarding Apokoliptic assassins, when The Female Furies suddenly appear in her bedroom; Stompa (immense strength, coupled with boots that can pulverize a mountain), Lashina (bladed whips woven throughout her costume), Bernadeth (DeSaads sister, with a Fara-knife that can burn whatever it touches) and Mad Harriet (Blanka, except a woman). Barda is, despite being Big Barda, at a marked disadvantage here as she was a member of the Furies up until she abandoned Apokolips to help Scott and they're all on roughly the same level of fighting skill and power.

The Furies disappear as soon as some backup for Barda arrives, and after several more assassination attempts that follow the same pattern, Barda realizes that the Furies are tracking Scotts Mother Box. And, wouldn't you know it, Funky Flashman up and stole the Motherbox from Scott hoping to earn some money off it.

Funky has absolutely zero idea what a Mother Box is, or what it does, he just stole it anyway, hoping that it would somehow result in him becoming more wealthy. Funky is the worst.

Furthermore, his Being the Worst leads to him being almost immediately killed by Evil Space Amazons, when the Furies teleport into his living room and immediately try to explode him for the crime of Knowing Scott Free. Funky makes a hasty retreat by literally throwing his butler at them and then vamoosing. He briefly expresses regret at having his home explode (he doesn't even mention his butler dying) and then cheers himself up by saying that at least the explosion looked very picturesque, and then he strolls down the road.

Fortunately, unseen by us, Scott and Barda show up at the last minute and save the butler and retrieve Scotts Mother Box before the explosion, and Scott figures that he can't run from his problems (he literally can not; his problems are chasing his sentient iPhone) so he's going to challenge the Furies to a trial by combat, since that seems to work pretty well on Apokolips-types.
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  #103  
Old 04-11-2018, 03:37 PM
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But that'll have to wait a few days, next up is Mister Miracle, who must now deal with The Funky Flashman! The cover dares pose the question "Is He Hero... or Villain? YOU DECIDE!" The correct answer is pretty unambiguous.

And the issue opens with Funky Flashman himself, a con-artist of a show biz manager (which is to say, a show-business manager), who is going to help Mister Miracle get his act off the ground so he can travel the country and start making some scratch! Funky is the one concerned with making money, mind. Scott just wants to be more mobile because he's fully aware that all of Apokolips wants him dead and they know where he lives.

At Scotts house, Barda threatens Funky, suspecting that nobody as conniving and manipulative and downright crappy as Funky Flashman could be anything but an Evil God sent to Earth in disguise to kill Scott Free in service of Darkseid.

She quickly revises her statement when she realizes that, no, Funky just sucks.
Oh hey, that's the character that Jack Kirby created as a caricature of Stan Lee.
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  #104  
Old 04-11-2018, 03:56 PM
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Oooooooh, that makes a lot of sense.
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  #105  
Old 04-11-2018, 05:48 PM
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Y'know, I've always been very fond of the Weisinger-era "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen"; it's silly and fun and has kryptonite by the lorry-load to try to keep things happenin' in a book where basically nothing that bad can ever happen to anybody.

And then I realise that that comic book is THIS comic book and my mind is blown every. single. time.
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  #106  
Old 04-11-2018, 05:55 PM
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Something Big in a Scottish Lake.
Great title, but it feels less like the usual Kirby bombast and more like a Twilight Zone episode title.
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  #107  
Old 04-11-2018, 06:58 PM
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Oh hey, that's the character that Jack Kirby created as a caricature of Stan Lee.
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Oooooooh, that makes a lot of sense.
This part in particular seems a lot more pointed, knowing that:

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And, wouldn't you know it, Funky Flashman up and stole the Motherbox from Scott hoping to earn some money off it.

Funky has absolutely zero idea what a Mother Box is, or what it does, he just stole it anyway, hoping that it would somehow result in him becoming more wealthy.
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  #108  
Old 04-11-2018, 07:10 PM
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Accurate or not, Funky Flashman feels kind of mean-spirited, which makes him something of an anomaly in Jack Kirby's extensive oeuvre.
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  #109  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:33 AM
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They did not part company on the friendliest of terms.
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  #110  
Old 04-12-2018, 03:09 AM
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After reading Marvel: The Untold Story, it seems like Lee was oblivious to that fact. The impression left on me is that is sort of Lee's biggest crimes: obliviousness and/or neglectful toward his fellow creators. Like, he wants to be everyone's friend and is sort of afraid to rock any sort of boat, even if it means either turning a blind eye or just not noticing when someone like Kirby is being treated poorly.
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  #111  
Old 04-14-2018, 09:47 PM
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Damn, I got to read this in it's entirety some day.
Do it now! Fate demands this of you! Don't leave "fate" hanging!

The Glory Boat is easily one of my top ten single issues of comics. If you had to launch just one comic book into space, so that distant civilizations could understand just what Jack Kirby was, it would be this issue.

The commentary between the father and son is ham-handed in the usual Kirby fashion, but among the bombastic layout it comes across as grand opera. The daughter serves zero purpose but to be ignored or whisked away. Maybe she was sea-induced madness, like the volleyball in Castaway? I think this issue and The Pact fully realize Kirby's vision for the Fourth World.
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  #112  
Old 04-15-2018, 11:48 AM
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Jimmy Olsen is next with BRIGADOOM! A story with so many abrupt plot twists I had to re-read it to make sure I didn't accidentally skip any pages.

Picking up shortly after the last issue, Jimmy and the Newsies visit the police chief of Scotland Yard (which apparently IS in Scotland. I thought that was just a name) in order to confirm that they HAD an international assassin working with Intergang living in town, but they don't any more, as he was eaten to death by a lake dragon.

A statement the chief is happy to take at face value, as the local police precinct is currently chock-a-block with medieval fantasy monsters (and one unidentified lizard-creature named Angry Charlie). All arrested on the grounds of being monsters, I guess.

Even by the standards of the DC universe, a Scottish town that's full to the brim with Chimeras is pretty odd (though, admittedly, far less so than Transilvane), so Jimmy and the Newsies split up, to hunt down where all the monsters are coming from; Brigadoom! Which I think is supposed to be spelled Brigadoon, but who am I to argue with Jacky K?

Scrapper, Jimmy and the L'il Scrapper Trooper all search the forest near where the monsters were seen looking for proof about Brigadooms whereabouts, while the rest of the Legion takes the Whiz Wagon in search of the lake monster. Which they find and convince to run back to its nest by pelting it with torpedos.

Meaning that, yes, this is a comic where a team of cloned Newsies use a mini-sub to fire torpedos at the Loch Ness Monster.

GOD, I love comic books.

As it happens, both groups meet with the exact same fate; being pelted with Compressor Waves from an Apokoliptic machine; and made Extremely Tiny (except the Mini Scrapper Trooper, who was unaffected for some reason), which lets them easily find the entrance to Brigadoom. Which nobody could find as it was VERY tiny.

And, more importantly, it's also THE EVIL FACTORY! Or... they moved the Evil Factory after the whole thing with the Four Armed Terrors went belly-up. Or maybe it's a new Evil Factory. I don't know.

Anyway, Mokkari and Simyan are still in charge of the place, despite their repeated horrible failures, and they decide to vent their frustrations on Jimmy and the Scrappers; Jimmy by using their mad science to mutate him into a Caveman (first off; YAY! Second Off; it's been 11 issues since Kirby took over Jimmy is long-overdue having been transformed into something goofy), and the Crappers they're going to feed to a very small tyrannosaur (they're saved because Mini Scrapper had bear-mace concealed in his helmet, in a nozzle pointed directly at his face which seems... like a serious design flaw).

But the Newsboy Legion is too late to save Jimmy, as he wakes up as HOMO DISASTROUS!

Oh, and also Superman shows up in the weirdest, most abrupt part of the issue; the Apokolips band he saw at the Discotheque wasn't trying to summong some unknown threat; they just played their music loud enough to demolish the building, and then they ran away via Boomtube. And Dubbilex showed off that he has telekinesis as well as being a (very friendly) grey-skinned devil man.
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  #113  
Old 04-15-2018, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Brigadoom! Which I think is supposed to be spelled Brigadoon, but who am I to argue with Jacky K?
Pretty sure that's intentional wordplay. That also appears in Dragon Quest and the musical episode of Lexx.
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  #114  
Old 04-16-2018, 03:11 PM
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Back to The Forever People with I'll Find You Yesterday. Previously, as you recall, the FP were blasted by Darkseids Omega Beams, and all killed. So this should be a real short issue.

On New Genesis, High Father learns first that a bunch of Forever People stole a Boomtube and teleported to Earth against his wishes of not escalated the War Against Apokolips, and figures "Well, heck, screw 'em! All I asked them to do was NOT escalate an intergalactic war!", and some of the FPs friends pointed out, poetically, that spiteful punishment isn't very much in the spirit of New Genesis, and High Father should really use his virtually limitless cosmic power to protect and nurture.

Meanwhile, turns out the Forever People aren't dead; the Omega Effect doesn't necessarily kill anyone; it just gets rid of them. To this end he sent them to the far reaches of time and space (kind of like a Boom Tube, except excruciatingly painful) and dumped each of the Forever People to a different place and time so they can witness (and hopefully experience) mans inhumanity to man at the scenes of a number of various atrocities.

Moonracer and Dreamer wind up at Fords Theater just in time to witness the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Vykin winds up in South America just as some gold seeking Conquistadors go hunting for Aztec gold, and Big Bear winds up in Ancient Britain witnessing the Roman Army leaving (Bear comments that Darkseid would really have liked the Roman Legion; upon seeing a vast marching column of soldiers all prepared to die for the sake of a vengeful single man). Oh, and Serefen didn't go anywhere, he's still sitting in the Supermobile, sad as allgitout with an army of Justifiers approaching him.

Fortunately for the Forever People, Darkseid took a pretty short-sighted view of how they would react to numerous scenes of violence and depravity; Moonracer attempts to talk John Wilkes Boothe out of murder, Vykins ingrained knowledge of nature leads him to lead the conquistadors to a deadly natural trap, and Big Bear uses his combined knowledge of history and Superhuman power to convince the new British people to unite under a high ranking soldier named Arthur. It's another example of how the young generations optimism and desire for change can overthrow the tyrannies of the old.

And Serefen shoots the crap out of Justifiers with the Supermobiles laser gun. PYEW-PYEW-PYEW.

Right around that time, we also find out what Highfather was doing while everyone was attempting to improve history; while Darkseid is the master of the evil and destructive Omega Effect, Highfather wields its opposite; The Alpha Bullet. A weapon that behaves in basically the same way, except it does not look nearly so terrifying and nobody seems to mind being blasted with it. The Alpha Bullets travel through time and return the Forever People to the site of the Supermobile.

Except Serefen; he's sent to Japan where he picks up the Mother Box. Turns out that Sonny Sumo opted to remain in the time period he was sent to in ancient Japan, where he became a civic leader of great renown, he bequeathed the Mother Box to the first person that would make it go PING when they walked near it.

Which is just as well, really, since Sonny was a bit OP as a character.
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  #115  
Old 04-23-2018, 03:41 PM
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Been a while since I had a nice sit-down meal.

Anyway, Jimmy Olsens next issue Homo-Disastrous is pretty light and zippy. Which is good because I'm eager to get it out of the way to get to the main event of this post. Jimmy Olsen was mutated by Mokkari and Simyan into a brutally strong caveman (because that sort of thing tends to happen to Mr. Olsen), and they quickly lose control of him.

Which, to their savviness, they admit happens to them a lot.

Caveman Jimmy goes on a rampage through the Evil Factory, while the Newsboy Legion tries to rein him in, and in his rampage he destroys some vital machinery, turning off the energy field that keeps the place and everything in it teeny-tiny so the complex can hide inside a gopher hole. And as a result, it rapidly expands and explodes, blowing a de-mutated (somehow) Jimmy and Newsboy Legion safely into the hillside, and presumably killing Simyan and Mokkari. Again.

Next up is The New Gods with The Pact. Which is The Big One. If you were going to read any single issue of the entire Fourth World saga, it should probably be this one. Or maybe Life vs. Anti-Life, or Kingdom of the Damned, I guess. This one covers the backstory of the Fourth World and lays the Biblical Space Opera thing down hard. It's also about 30 pages of Jack Kirby, at his Jack Kirbiest Jack Kirbying as hard as he ever has before, and arguably ever would again.

Opening up before New Genesis and Apokolips were ever at war, when young lovers Izaya The Inheritor (ruler of New Genesis) and his wife Avia were enjoying a scenic meadow on New Genesis, when a party of hunters from Apokolips happened upon them. Lead by Evil Link Cosplayer Steppenwolf (you will completely fail to remember him as the CG monsterman from the Justice League movie), and his unseen, but quite sneaky nephew.

Thanks to the newphews urging, and "clumsiness", the already fairly bloodthirsty Steppenwolf winds up killing Avia, and badly wounding Izaya. And we then learn that Stppenwolfs nephew is, in fact, a young Darkseid, who leaves a badly hurt but still alive (and grief-filled) Izaya as the hunters return to Apokolips; then ruled by Darkseids mother, the decadent, vain and callous Queen Heggra.

Flash forward a few years, and Izaya openly declares war on Apokolips for the murder of his wife, and he seems to be winning when Darkseid reveals he's made a deal with the New God Metron (who wasn't a native to either planet); in exchange for the technology Metron uses to teleport around the universe so easily, Darkseid will give him the formula needed to make a new chemical element that defies all comprehension. And because Metron is obsessed with knowledge, and needs that element to forge his greatest creation; the Mobius Chair, he agees. Then, when he sees the damage Darkseid was capable of inflicting so soon after being given Boom Tube technology, he turns against his former business partner and offers to similarly help New Genesis.

With the power of mass teleportation, the war between New Genesis and Apokolips rapidly escalates to levels where even "apocalyptic" would be a disservice, with enetire galaxies being weaponized as the two powers fight one another. Izaya realizes that there's nothing worth saving about Genesis if it costs the entire cosmos to do it; and he abandons the ways of war in order to resist Darkseid as his true opposite; becoming the God of Peace and renaming himself Highfather.

A few years later, and Darkseid has officially replaced his mother as Lord of Apokolips and has agreed to a conditional peace-treaty with Highfather; they will exchange their firstborn sons, Scott Free and Orion and then cease their war. Darkseid believes this is his greatest victory; the Orphanage Granny Goodness will subject Scott to will break him and make him an obedient soldier, and his own son Orion is full of endless rage and would wreak havoc across New Genesis. And while Highfather revels in peace, he will push Apokolips until it is the greatest power in the universe, and then crush New Genesis and conquer the cosmos.

And the dramatic irony that this plan completely flipped on Darkseid
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  #116  
Old 04-23-2018, 09:00 PM
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You sort of cut off there Octo.
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  #117  
Old 04-24-2018, 03:11 AM
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No, that's where the issue ends; with Darkseid laughing over his inevitable victory because he can't comprehend good actually triumphing over evil, while readers know that every step of this plan failed.

I skipped over some stuff, but that's mainly because the issue was dense
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  #118  
Old 04-29-2018, 04:52 AM
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Back to Mister Miracle with The Apokolips Trap, and I wish I weren’t tapping on a phone because this one has some panels that are just amazing. Including one that I’d never quite appreciated before because I always saw it out of context.

Anyway, as you may remember, despite his monicker, the Super Escape Artist was getting a bit sick and tired at having to escape from Granny Goodness and her assassination squads all the damn time, so he and Barda opted to confront Granny directly at her Orphanage on Apokolips. Scott tries to convince Barda to stay behind because this is a suicide mission and it’s Scott that Granny wants, not Barda. And Barda responds by saying they’ll go down that old sharks mouth and beat her to death from the inside.

And when they Boomtube to Apokolips, Barda purposely picks the longest, most involved route to the Orphanage so she can fight as many people as possible as a warm up.

I’m not sure if this has come across yet, but Barda is almost definitely my all time favorite Kirby character.

After a few wonderful pages of Barda just wrecking house on Apokolips, we are introduced to our first new New God; Kanto: The Weapons Master, Darkseids Personal Assassin (and Ren Faire enthusiast. And setting of the first Pokemon game).

Kantos mastery with all forms of deadly instruments make him a surprisingly potent foe; managing to overcome Scott’s defenses and even turning Bardas Mega Rod against her. But, despite the good show he’s put on trying to kill Scott and Barda, their murder isn’t his goal.

Turns out that being the master assassin for the God of All Evil is a pretty cushy job, but not one with that much upward momentum, and he’s so good at killing people that he can’t really find joy in it any more. So he lets Scott and Barda free to attack Granny’s orphanage, with the hope that they’ll kill her and he’ll be able to take her position.

And Scott agrees, because even he’s kind of outmatched by the variety of Kantos weaponry, and Barda was taken out of action by suddenly weighing trillions of tons by having her gravity field changed.

So they go to the Orphanage willingly to challenge Granny, and she lots to take them captive instead of honouring the duelling codes; she’s going to re-educate Barda into accepting Darkseid into her heart, and she’s just going to murder Scott by tossing him into a cage match against... The Lump!

Which is perhaps the least grandiose name Kirby has ever come up with.
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  #119  
Old 04-29-2018, 09:36 AM
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There is no comic that wouldn't be made better by having Big Barda show up. This is still true for comics that already have Big Barda in them.

I also like Kanto's casual assurance that he could kill anybody, he just lacks the desire to do so. A villain can do worse for a shtick than "dresses fancy and occasionally does a murder."
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  #120  
Old 05-02-2018, 05:32 PM
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Back to Jimmy Olsen with A Superman in Super Town, which is the first Jimmy Olsen issue that focuses mainly on his best pal!

Anyway, it picks up a couple of weeks after the last issue where, as you may recall, Jimmy Olsen was turned into, and cured of being, a caveman by explodsing the hell out of the Evil Factory. Jimm spent the few weeks convalescing from his brief bout of Cavemanism thanks to hospital care, and Scotland Yard has gotten rid of all the DNAliens it captured (how is never elaborated on) except for Angry Charlie, the bug... Frog... Lumpy.... Guy, who happened to take a shining to Gabby (or perhaps Scapper. Kind of hard to tell those two apart sometimes). Furthermore, it's revealed that Angry Charlie isn't a carnivore, or an herbivore... It's a chairnivore. It exclusively eats chairs. Possibly it just likes the taste of wood polish.

Look, after Transilvane, I'm willing to accept everything Jack puts forth without scrutiny.

Anyway, the Newsboy Legion opts to take Angry Charlie with them back to Metropolis and try to confront Morgan Edge about his trying to murder everyone with space monsters, and professional assassins. Again. Maybe it's an issue they should take up with HR, and not the guy who is trying to have them killed.

And while they're flying the Whiz Wagon over the Atlantic to do so, they're promptly shot down. By a volcano. That suddenly appeared in the middle of the Metropolis harbour. And when they wake up, they find themselves the guests of Victor Volcanus, a guy who drinks fire (from a decanted flamethrower!) and has his own volcano base and, naturally, figures he should be King of the World. More on him next issue, but he's already got my vote, just for panache!

Now, as for the title of the issue, Superman is still exploring the tunnels he found under at disco (in what is perhaps the most disjointed, hard-to-follow story arc in the Fourth World) when he finds an Armored guy stepping out of a Boomtube. And since everyone Supes has met lately that either travels by Boomtube or wears space armor has been a monster from Apokolips who wants to kill him, opts to just sucker punch the fool.

Unfortunately for Superman, this guys is Magnar; God of Magentism from New Genesis, who jumps to a similar theory about Supermans planet of origin, and he and him fight, falling back through the Boomtube and landing in Supertown on New Genesis.

Superman quickly realizes his mistake because he's seen Apokolips before, and this place isn't nearly on-fire enough, and Magnar accepts his apology. Because Apologizing and Making Friends is the New Genesis way! Superman wanders around the city, experiencing some uncharacteristic culture shock to see an entire cities worth of super-powered people (Kal, dude... I... I don't know why these things are so hard for you to grasp. You yourself are literally called Superman.) and feels like a third wheel doing his usual thing of compulsively helping people, and finding he's just an aggravating third wheel because nobody is in the slightest peril when everyone is a superhero.

Eventually Superman admits that Supertown is a neat place to visit but he has too many obligations on Earth, saving people from super dangers to really enjoy any kind of sight seeing tour, and so Highfather (the kindly bearded gent Supes is complaining to) offers to teleport him back to somewhere he can do some real good on Earth.

And so Superman finds himself in Volcanums volcano lair, in front of the Newsboy Legion, and underneath a falling Boulder.

Goodness me! Will this falling Boulder mark the end of Superman?
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