Continuing on with my series, The Longbox of love. This series is my look at what books I have held onto, instead of tossing or giving away. This time I found some real GEMS I forgot I had.
First up is:
Yes! When this came out, it became apparent very quickly that if you were not a fan of the JLA or the Avengers, this series was going to be a disappointment. But since I am a JLA junkie, I loved it! Every JLA or Avengers member EVER makes and appearance (Except for Artemis which was pointed out by the guys at Comic Geek Speak when they did their page by page footnotes). Gorgeous George Perez art. It's a book you can just stare at for long periods of time. I should get the hardcover.
Classic Legion of Superheroes. I am not sure why they can't just jump this fence here or why Element Lad can't just melt away the handcuffs, but it's all good because Superboy is on the scene!
This was one of the my favorite series ever! Bendis should write horror comics. I thought of this while skimming through these old issues of Alias. At times this book was really really creepy. The Purple Man story arc in particular was just nuts. This features the famous scene where The Purple Man makes Ant-Man order his ants to kill him (Ant Man). I think a lot of the creepiness gets lost in the trades because I remember the crazy suspense of waiting for the next issue of this book each month.
NYX came out of left field. At this time, Marvel was spitting out a lot of mutant mini series and most were just not that good. This one had some beautiful artwork by Josh Middleton. Unfortunately, despite starting off strong, this book really fell apart in the end. It didn't help that Joe Q was too busy to write the final issues and they took forever to come out. X-23 makes her first appearance here and it was really good.
Dial H for Hero! Back in the day this was a great series. DC put out a call for fans to submit ideas for new superheroes and they picked the best ones to appear in Dial H. The idea was that these two kids had stumbled onto these Hero Dials and they could dial up a new superhero personae when ever someone needed superheroic assistance. It was totally fun. Then in the earl 00's came this:
This was kind of a reinterpretation of the idea but not at all fun and clever. It was friggin good though! Man. I was so sad when it got cancelled. This incarnation featured the hero dial but the stories were gritty and kind of creepy at times. I wish they could finish up the story someday, maybe as a back-up feature in JSA.
Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison. When I first started reading this I had no idea what the hell was going on. I mean, c'mon, a supervillan group made up of DaDa existentialist art freaks? And the members of the Doom Patrol didn't seem to care for each other that much. Especially the Chief. Everyone hated him. Then Negative Man changed genders and became Rebis. Out of nowhere. Looking back I can see how awesome it all was. Morrison was truly making new boundaries for mainstream comics. It was weird but brilliant.
Chuck Austen. Ugh. He sure doesn't have a problem writing sex stories does he? This was a mess.
Remember when everyone was raising money for Africa famine relief? Me neither. But this was DC's effort. Marvel also had one called Heroes for Hope. That volume was better if only because it featured a Kitty Pride segment written by Stephen King. I think this started the notorious and disturbing trend of having Superman cry like a baby.
I got int Criminal Macabre by accident. I was looking for some 30 Days of Night back issues and I stumbled upon Steve Niles other great work. These stories are fun, action packed, and loaded with snappy dialogue. I am glad he still puts these out, especially since he's gone Hollywood now.
For a while, Image exploded with a BUNCH of good Superhero books. Out of this came Invincible, Capes, and Common Grounds. Only Invincible is still coming out. Common Grounds is a book about a coffee shop where superheroes and villains come to have a cup of joe and remember their past exploits. It had different characters each issue. It somehow managed to hit one out of the park almost every issue. Have they traded this yet? If so get it. You will not be disappointed.
Another Image idea was Gorilla Comics. This imprint was founded by George Perez, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, Tom Grummett, Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel and Barry Kitson. It failed miserablby. One of their titles was Crimson Plague. This was apparently George Perez's hobby project which he had been doing on and off for years. It was not that great but it did have some nice artwork:
Also this book featured an interesting feature. If you gave a certain amount of money to one of George's charities, he would put your name somewhere in the book. For a larger amount he would draw you into the book as well. Not as cool as it sounds because it led to pages of people looking at lists of names. I would have liked to have seen more, if only for the great art.
The Crossovers was the first comic that my wife, Rob and I all liked. It was a cool concept. A family of four each had adventures in their own strange realities while keeping them secret for each other. For example, the Dad was a a Superman like superhero. The little boy was working with some aliens to prevent an invasion. The little girl was secretly a princess of another realm that was about to go to war with some orcs. This book was flat out fun.
Remember when there were four Superman books. I loved that time. Sure most of them were crapolla but I loves me some Superman. I scanned this one because I thought it was Michael Turner artwork that didn't look so terrible for a change.
Remember Amalgam? Me neither (that joke never gets old). Seriously I loved the Amalgam books. This one featured Gary Frank art which is always a plus. Diana looks a little mannish in that cover though. I love how Frank looks like Dolph Lundgren.
Heroes Anonymous still comes out every now and again. Bongo? This book is about people with super powers going to therapy for their many personal problems. This issue was awesome. The guy in the middle was a young hero called the Gay Avenger. He inherited the name from an older version of the hero, one who lived in a time when being called Gay did not automatically indicate your sexual orientation. So this guy is just struggling with people laughing at his name. He wonders if he is secretly a homophobe, if he should change his name, change his costume...just a good story. In the end he sticks with the name.
Part two is in the can! Yahoo! What's in your longbox?