Off The Rack #87

Off The Rack #87

Monday, April 23, 2018

Old Man Winter finally got the boot to his butt here in Ottawa with temperatures soaring into the double digits recently. Got the shop vac out and cleaned up the gas BBQ so we are ready to grill to our heart’s desire. I’m hauling my boat in to Laurentian Marine to have the outboard tuned up and the trailer axles greased up so it’s ready for fishing season. I’ll be able to wet a line the second weekend in May. I will also take my bike over to Rebec and Kroes near our house to get new tires. I noticed that the original tires are nearly bald last fall. Lots of stuff to be excited about as Spring progresses. The juncos and gold finches are back at our feeders but so are the pesky red squirrels and starlings. You’ve just got to enjoy the good with the bad. I think red squirrels are cute myself.



Batman #45 – Tom King (writer) Tony S. Daniel (art) John Livesay (inking assists) Tomeu Morey (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). The Gift part 1. Booster Gold has a wedding present for Bruce and Selina. This time travel story is the worst wedding gift ever in my opinion.



Superman #45 – Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi (writers) Patrick Gleason (art) Stephen Downer (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). The Kents pack up to move to Metropolis in this heart warming issue featuring a poem by Robert Frost. This made me think about all the changes that I’ve gone through in my life so far. I’m sure there are more to come.



Daredevil #601 – Charles Soule (writer) Mike Henderson (art) Matt Milla (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). After the Hand made a pin cushion out of Mayor Wilson Fisk, guess who gets promoted? Deputy Mayor Matt Murdock is now the Mayor Without Fear of New York City. Let’s all give him a big Hand.



Super Sons #15 – Peter J. Tomasi (writer) Carlo Barberi (pencils) Art Thibert (inks) Protobunker (colours) Dave Sharpe (letters). End of Innocence part 1. It’s the return of the evil Kid Amazo. He plans to siphon off life energy to become even more powerful but who his victims are will surprise you. The boys will need some help with this bad guy.



Kick-Ass #3 – Mark Millar (writer) John Romita Jr. (pencils) Peter Steigerwald (digital inks & colours) John Workman (letters). I’m a sucker for cliff hangers and this issue has a doozy. Sure, it’s your garden variety the bad guys capture the good guy and is about to pull the mask off, but I still can’t wait to see what happens next.



Avengers #689 – Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers) Pepe Larraz (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). No Surrender part 15. This is it, the final battle for all the marbles. How will these super heroes beat the cosmic entities Grandmaster and Challenger? Find out what makes an Avenger right here.



Incredible Hulk #715 – Greg Pak (writer) Carlo Barberi (pencils) Walden Wong (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). World War Hulk II part 2. With Amadeus now just some junk in the trunk and the rampaging persona dominant, the big green galoot is itching to let loose. This war is escalating quickly.



Weapon H #2 – Greg Pak (writer) Cory T. Smith (art) Morry Hollowell (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It’s Hulkverine versus Ur-Wendigo. Talk about going back to the well. I’m going to be generous and say this is a tribute to Hulk #181 and leave it at that. Greg does add a twist at the end of this issue that makes the next one more interesting however.



Weapon X #16 – Greg Pak (writer) Roland Boschi with Andrea Sorrentino (art) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It’s Logan’s birthday so it’s time for Sabretooth to try and kill him again. But this is Old Man Logan from the future. What’s going to happen when Wolverine Alpha returns? This isn’t just an issue full of blood, sweat and claws with mindless mayhem abounding, although there are pages of that. The Andrea Sorrentino pages show Logan coming up with a final solution to deal with Sabretooth in his own timeline. It also clears up what it means when they say that Victor Creed has been inverted. You almost believe that the bad can turn good.



Amazing Spider-Man #799 – Dan Slott (writer) Stuart Immonen (pencils) Wade von Grawbadger (inks) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Well that’s a surprising turn of events. Peter and his amazing friends do their best to protect his loved ones from the Red Goblin but keeping everyone alive seems impossible. What’s more dangerous than one crazy Norman Osborn Red Goblin? Find out at the end of this pulse pounding issue. Amazing Spider-Man #800 hits the racks May 30. I can’t wait.



Action Comics #1000 – Issue #1 hit the racks 80 years ago introducing Superman, the Man of Steel by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He was faster than a speeding bullet and stronger than a locomotive. The very first comic book that I read was a Superman comic that my friend Paul had. I used to go over to his house and read his comics. Our family was too poor for me to buy any for me. I’ve been reading comic books ever since. When I got my first paper route, that’s what I spent some of my pay on, comic books. This title has reached this historic issue number because of the popularity and longevity of its main character. It was a big deal when Superman died in 1993 with media coverage and fans lining up outside comic book stores to buy that issue. I was surprised there hasn’t been much hoopla about this milestone issue. It just goes to show that this legacy title doesn’t have the same popularity that it used to. I’m going to review each story in this $7.99 US giant sized issue separately.

From the City That Has Everything – Dan Jurgens (writer) Dan Jurgens (pencils) Norm Rapmund (inks) Hi-Fi (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Oh man, talk about schmaltz. I love Dan’s art. It’s clean and pretty and his layouts are nice and easy to follow. But his stories are stuck in the sixties. The city of Metropolis gathers to thank Superman for his heroics and it’s the sweetest apple pie you’ll ever see in four colours.

Never-Ending Battle – Peter J. Tomasi (writer) Patrick Gleason (art) Alejandro Sanchez (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). We see the many changes Superman has gone through in a series of beautifully drawn one page pin-ups. I noticed that the electric Supermen Red and Blue were not featured.

An Enemy Within – Marv Wolfman (writer) Curt Swan (pencils) Butch Guice (inks pages 1-4) Curt Schaffenberger (inks page 5) Hi-Fi (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Some of my favourite Superman comics were by Curt Swan and Curt Schaffenberger. I look at their art and I’m transported back to the sixties. This is another sugary story with a happily ever after ending.

The Car – Geoff Johns & Richard Donner (writers) Olivier Coipel (art) Alejandro Sanchez & Matthew Wilson (colours) Nick Napolitano (letters). This one’s cool. I could tell from the very first panel that this story was a follow up to the classic first issue cover where Superman is holding up the front end of a car. I loved the bird, plane, Superman sequence. This creative team should do a full length Golden Age story.

The Fifth Season – Scott Snyder (writer) Rafael Albuquerque (art) Dave McCaig (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). No Superman commemorative anthology would be complete without an appearance by his arch enemy Lex Luthor. This one is weird.

Of Tomorrow – Tom King (writer) Clay Mann (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) John Workman (letters). This story finds Superman way in the future and it doesn’t kid around when they get to the end.

Five Minutes – Louise Simonson (writer) Jerry Ordway (art) Dave McCaig (colours) Carlos M. Mangual (letters). Superman’s responsibilities almost makes Clark Kent miss a deadline. Why is the Daily Planet still being printed?

Actionland – Paul Dini (writer) Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (pencils) Kevin Nowlan (inks) Trish Mulvihill (colours) Josh Reed (letters). A weird little amusement featuring another nemesis, Mr. Mxyzptlk. It’s not very PC, but I love Gspie’s costumes.

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet – Brad Meltzer (writer) John Cassaday (art) Laura Martin (colours) Chris Eliopoulos (letters). He needs to be to save a life. I liked this one too.

The Truth – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Jim Lee (pencils) Scott Williams (inks) Alex Sinclair (colours) Cory Petit (letters). This is the prequel to Brian Michael Bendis’s new DC book The Man of Steel. It’s a 6-issue mini that comes out weekly (yay) and the first issue hits the racks May 30. We meet the super alien Rogol Zarr who is out to end the house of El. Sounds like Superman’s origin story is getting another tweak. Rogol Zarr looks like he’s related to Lobo, so he’s a formidable foe indeed. I look forward to seeing this story continue.

That’s it folks. Throw in a pinup by John Romita Jr. (pencils) Danny Miki (inks) & Peter Steigerwald (colours) which maybe is a reference to the ill fated electric Superman and another pinup by Walt Simonson (art) & Brennan Wagner (colours) with a dark Frank Miller look and you’ve a got quite a package of diverse stories all espousing the themes of Truth, Justice and the America Way. Most of them made me roll my eyes but I was very impressed by the art throughout. A lot of the creators names are from way back and their stories may seem dated but they were great in their heyday. I’m glad they got to tell their Superman stories their way.


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