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James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5582
Posted: 07 April 2020 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Dave: What device do you use for digital?
----------------------------------------------

I have a 12.2 inch iPad 2 that I bought specifically to
read comics on - although I do much more with it now.

I hardly use paper at all now in work - all my notes are
on my machine and backed up.

But for comics, it's amazing. It is pretty much the same
size as a comic (although splash pages are smaller but
you can turn the screen sideways for that) and the
colours are really nice. I just download what I want to
read and then delete it from the device when I've
finished. They stay in my account so I can download them
whenever I feel like reading them again.

I buy from Comixology as it's owned by Amazon which I
assume will not go bust. I also subscribe to Marvel
Unlimited (I know, why buy the collections then? I don't
know, I'm weird).

You haven't got a physical comic you can sell later,
but, you know, since I currently have around 30 long
boxes that I am trying to sell to make space and I do a
crazy amount of travelling usually, digital means I'm
not taking more space and I can read what I want, when I
want, wherever I am in the world.
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Shawn Kane
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 04 November 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 2924
Posted: 07 April 2020 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I've got some of JB's Fantastic Four to read but I've used EBay to finish my G.I. Joe run (the last 10-12 issues were pricey). I'll be reading the complete Marvel run soon.
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Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 13 April 2020 at 8:40am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Let this one fall by the way side.

Finished the rest of Moench / Sienkiewicz Moon Knight run. Issues 6 - 15, 17 - 20, 22 - 26, 28 - 30.

Something I noted in issues 9 - 10 which features the return of Bushman and the Midnight Man is that Moench addresses the identities Marc Spector has adopted. He makes it quite clear that Moon Knight, Steven Grant and Jake Lockley are disguises Spector uses to fight crime. He is not a multiple personality. Other writers should note this when handling the character and writing him as "crazy".

There are some average stories, but issue 12 introduces Morpheus, another MK rogue, 14 Stained Glass Scarlet a lethal vigilante that MK opposes (this further sets up that MK does not kill. Another fact later writers disregard). 15 introduces Xenos a racist and weird villain. 17 - 20 are a multi part story pitting MK against a technology based villain Arsenal and his army who seek to hold New York hostage.

The series really hits its high point when Sienkiewicz changes his art style with issue 22, and Moench seems to really up his game accordingly.

22 - 23 feature the return of Morpheus, 24 is Stained Glass Scarlet,  and25 is a double sized issue introducing the Black Spectre a twisted, evil version of Moon Knight. 26 gives us Hit It a brilliant story about abuse and rage, and 29 - 30 bring back Werewolf by Night.

The run is good, and the character and concept is well fleshed out, but with issue 22 that is when Moench and Sienkiewicz really hit their stride. Just a shame it didn't happen sooner an last longer.
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Dave Phelps
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3927
Posted: 13 April 2020 at 9:26am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Agreed. Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight was solid throughout, but that last section was magical.

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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8677
Posted: 13 April 2020 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yep. Sienkiewicz pretty much quit MK just as he had figured out his very best version of the character and was producing truly stunning work as good as anyone in the entire industry at the time. In the months before his departure it seemed to me that he was headed for superstardom. It's not like he disappeared as he went on to do an interesting run on New Mutants, a couple FM projects (Elektra: Assassin and Daredevil: Love and War), the rather odd Stray Toasters, the aborted Big Numbers, some Dazzlers and various one-offs like the Dracula X-Men annual. Still, his style morphed in a different more abstract direction and I think that adventurousness cost him some popularity. I still enjoyed him and bought many of those comics but I wonder what might have been had he stuck it out on MK for another year or so. I'm sure he was ready to try new things after a couple years on that title but MK seemed like the perfect fit and he never quite reached those same heights for me subsequently.
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Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 13 April 2020 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I am surprised that Moench and Sienkiewicz have never reunited on a MK mini series. With the character having his book revived a number of times, it would seem like a natural idea.

That said, Moench only stuck around for 2 or 3 more issues after Sienkiewicz left, and then the book was cancelled shortly afterwards.
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Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 13 April 2020 at 11:21am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My next run:

Conway / Newton / Colan on Batman and Detective.

This covers Detective 501 - 526 and Batman 337 - 359.

I should include Irv Novick in this run, and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Dan Jurgens and Curt Swan as fil-ins 

Gene Colan only was on 'Tec #'s 510, 512, 517, 525, and Batman #'s 340, 343 - 345, and 348 - 351 for Conway's run.

Don Newton illustrated more. Tec #'s 501 -509, 511, 513 - 516, 518 - 520, 524, and 526. Batman #'s 346, 352, 354 - 357.

Newton took over Batman fully under Doug Moench, and Colan became full time on 'Tec with Moench.
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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8677
Posted: 15 April 2020 at 3:28pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Been diving into some slightly earlier Batmans, Greg... mostly the late 60s / early 70s Irv Novick / Neal Adams / Frank Robbins / Dick Giordano / Denny O'Neil stuff. Of course the artwork is sublime but the stories are a strange mix of gothic supernatural with the occasional stiff drawing room mystery thrown in. While the full length stories are typically excellent, I find many issues feel constrained by a format of a 15 page main story (good but with that abridged feeling) followed by a six or seven or eight page backup (usually pretty weak.) Obviously there are exceptions but 17 pages feels like the minimum to really tell a story and 20-25 is usually better in my book.
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Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 03 May 2020 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Long write up here:

Finished the Conway / Colan / Newton run on Batman and Detective, and I have to say I'm still impressed and these stories still hold up nearly 40 years later.

I'd say this was really the first time I had seen a very big Marvel approach to an established DC character (I know we had NTT and to a degree Conway had done the same on Wonder Woman, but this is far different).

Instead of the self contained stories, Conway gives us ongoing subplots, more developed characters, and, yes for a superhero comic a bit more of an "outside your own window feel". I know Englehart, Wein and Wolfman had done this to an extent, but Conway builds a huge scope of story and characters over his run.

Conway takes a lot of the threads from the Englehart / Rogers / Austin run and riffs on them while staying true to the spirit of them. He brings back Rupert Thorne only to have haunted by a smoke and mirrors ghost of Hugo Strange, and has Deadshot out to fulfil a contract on Bruce Wayne.

Things also develop in the run. Commissioner Gordon gets fired, Batman moved the Batcave back to Wayne Manor, Catwoman and Vicki Vale provide romantic interests, and Jason Todd becomes Robin. Okay some of these are illusions of change and the status quo does re-assert, but it is good fun for the ride.

Conway utilises the Rogues Gallery very effectively with some great Joker, Two-Face and Poison Ivy stories that benefit from the art of Newton, Colan and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. 

One of the best stories is the 6 parter featuring the return of the Monk and Dala where Batman is converted in to a vampire (he gets better), and the work of Gene Colan is in its element here.

All the supporting cast get better developed especially Alfred and Jim Gordon, and Gotham City and its politics and corruption are brought to the fore.

If the series has a weak point it is when Conway tries to create his own villains. I find that very few writers can create villians that stick for Batman, and this is no exception here.

We get The Snowman who is a bargain Mister Freeze, and has the origin that he is the product of his mother having sex with a Yeti!! The Sportsman who kills athletes because he wasn't good at sports as a kid and his father forced him to inject steroids. Colonel Blimp who wants revenge on the Navy for closing a project of his father's down in the 50s with an armed zeppelin.

One villain that did work was Killer Croc who plays the major antagonist role in Conway's final arc which culminates in the anniversary special in Detective # 526 where all the established rogues team up to kill Batman before Croc gets that pleasure.

Jason Todd is a Dick Grayson clone and his origin is a riff on Dick's. That said the character is more likeable here than he became after Crisis.

The art by Newton, Colan, Novick  and guest artists like Dan Jurgens, Curt Swan and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is outstanding.

The Newton and Colan work has a real haunting quality to it that suits the stories well. 

I'd say that if you can, try and read these issues. Gerry Conway can be a hit-and-miss writer for me. When he's good he's good: Spider-Man, Firestorm, JLA and Cinder and Ashe. And, fortunately, his Batman run is very good. I'd say it might be his best comics work even surpassing his two Spider-Man stints.
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Greg McPhee
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4331
Posted: 04 May 2020 at 5:14am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Next one up:

Wein / Trimpe / Buscema on "The Incredible Hulk".


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Dave Phelps
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3927
Posted: 04 May 2020 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I recently acquired runs of the 60s Atom and Hawkman series and I'm making my way through them. I find Silver Age DC goes better when you alternate features, so I added in Adam Strange, the Star Rovers and Ultra the Multi-Alien (I have Mystery in Space #80-110 and the rest in reprints) + a couple of other recently completed runs (the three JLA Brave and the Bolds and the four Metal Man Showcases).

So far (I'm on Atom #14/Hawkman #3/Mystery in Space #93) I've had the most fun with Adam Strange and the Kubert Hawkman. Adam takes a bit of a quality hit post-Schwartz. Darn Batman...    
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