Monthly Archives: October 2015

Streaky The Supercat Part I: Action Comics 261

Action Comics 261 - Cover

A couple of years ago my wonderful wife qcait bought me three old issues of Action Comics featuring Streaky the Supercat for my birthday.  So I decided to write about them in here!  This will be the first of my three part series going through each of these comics.  The first issue we will look at is Action Comics 261 which is the first appearance, and origin of Streaky the Supercat.  If you are wondering why Streaky doesn’t have top billing on the cover, this comic is old enough that they used to have multiple non-Superman stores in each issue of Action Comics.  “Supergirl’s Super Pet!” is actually the third story in this comic along with “Superman’s Fortresses of Solitude!” and “Congorilla’s Last Stand!”.  I actually didn’t read the other two stories as this comic is pretty old and I didn’t want to be handling it too much.

Action Comics 261 Front

Streaky’s origin begins with Linda Lee aka Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl hanging out at her home, an orphanage.  Her super vision spots a small piece of kryptonite falling from the sky.  She quickly changes into Supergirl to go retrieve the small rock.  Kara takes it back to her orphanage chemistry lab and begins experimenting with it to try find a way to reverse its effects.  After believing her attempts have failed she tosses the Kryptonite out a window.  Just then her new pet kitten happens to find the rock which, through her experiments, has become the new element x-kryptonite.  The x-kryptonite gives Streaky superpowers which he immediately goes out on the town to show off.  Supergirl hears Streaky’s distinct meow magnified over 50x so she goes to investigate and finds her new pet has super powers.  The two go into space to play when suddenly Streaky’s powers are lost and he starts dropping back to earth.  Kara quickly swoops him up and takes him safely back to the orphanage.

Action Comics 261 Chem Lab

Here are my stray thoughts and observations.  I was surprised to find out that Streaky was not actually from Krypton.  I had always assumed with his stripe that he had somehow gotten to earth similar to Krypto the Superdog.  I also did not know that Supergirl had an alter ego named Linda Lee.  I’ve seen the Supergirl movie in which she uses that name, but like most people I immediately blocked the film out of my memory.  I was also surprised that Supergirl wears a brown wig when she is her alter ego Linda Lee.  I mean it makes sense, Superman’s glasses have to be the worse disguise of all time.  I did laugh out loud when it said, “Next day, in a small chemical laboratory in the orphanage”.  You know the small chemical labs that orphanages are all famous for having.

Overall I really liked the story.  It was short (only 8 pages) but tells a nice little complete story.  It also was corny (as the golden / silver age tend to be) but not so corny that it was unreadable.  The art was fantastic, very detailed and able to emote a lot of action.

I don’t really collect a lot of high dollar comics so this is by far the oldest and most valuable comic I own.  So I was a little afraid to handle it and in order to read it winded up scanning the complete Streaky story.  Since I already went to the trouble of scanning the whole thing I figured I mine as well share the whole thing with you guys, so here it is the complete origin of Streaky the Supercat!

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Marvel Unlimited Plus 2015 Unboxing

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I’ve spoken about Marvel Unlimited before on my Reading Digital Comics post.  But for the uninitiated Marvel Unlimited is a streaming comics service which is basically the Netflix of Marvel Comics.  It has over 17,000 comics spanning the entire back catalog of Marvel’s history.

Marvel Unlimited has three tiers of service.  You can pay monthly for $9.99 per month, yearly for $69.99, or a plus membership for $99.99.  I’d go through the details of which membership gets what but Marvel has already put together the following chart.

Marvel Unlimited Breakdown

I’ve been a member of Marvel Unlimited for the past two years and this year I decided to upgrade from the normal subscription to the Marvel Unlimited Plus subscription.  First let’s start with what came in the box:

  • Welcome Letter and Membership Card
  • Invincible Iron Man 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • Agent Carter 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • Captain America White 1 Marvel Unlimited Exclusive Variant
  • SHIELD and SSR Pin
  • Marvel Legends Marvel Unlimited Exclusive RESCUE Figure

Here are some full unboxing shots.

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 4

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 3

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 2

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Unboxing 1

Here are close ups of each of the comic books along with a composite of all tree.

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Marvel Unlimited Plus Composite

Here is a look at the letter / membership card, Rescue Figure and Pins.

Marvel Unlimited Plus - Membership Letter Skitch

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Marvel Unlimited Plus - Rescue

So far I feel pretty good about getting the plus subscription over the normal annual subscription.  In the past the Marvel Unlimited Variant Comics resale for 20 dollars each and last year’s Rocket figure goes for 25 on ebay.  So the three comics and figure alone are worth 85 dollars.  If you were to do well on selling off your Unlimited Plus items you could reasonably pay for your entire Unlimited subscription.


DC All Access: Top 5 Spectacular Supergirl Moments

In honor of the premiere of Supergirl tonight here is a video that DC All Access put together on some of her best moments from the comics.


Comic Block September 2015

Comic Block Web Clipping

I am aware that we are half way through October before I am getting this up but I as George Washington famously said, “shit happens”.

Comic Block September - Unboxing 3

First lets get the run down of all the goodies in this months box:

  • Deadpool Vs. Thanos 1 from Marvel Comics
  • Dangergirl 1 Exclusive Comic Block Variant from IDW
  • Mirror’s Edge: Exordium 1 from Dark Horse
  • Mad Max: Fury Road 1 Exclusive Nerd Block Variant from Veritgo
  • Saga T-Shirt with Prince Robot
  • Green Lantern light up ring

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Solid box top to bottom.  Not only did we get a Green Lantern Ring and awesome Saga T-shirt but we got four comics this month instead of our normal three!  I’ve mentioned this before but part of the promise of the Comic Block has been that we will occasionally get exclusive variant covers and graphic novels.  While we have gotten variant covers o’ plenty there has yet to be a single graphic novel.  Perhaps next month?  I did read all the comics in the box and below are is my rundown of each issue.

Mad Max: Fury Road 1

Comic Block September - Mad Max Fury Road 1 Nerd Block Exclusive Variant Stitch

Witness!  From the best I can bet this comic book takes place between Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road.  It starts with a couple page run down summarizing the events of the first three Mad Max movies which feels like way more information then we actually need.  It then has Max go to Gastown to participate in a Battle Royal style Thunderdome situation in hopes to win a V8 engine.  Max is victorious however killing of one of the members of the Buzzards gang attracts their attention.  The Buzzards find where Max has been hiding, steal his engine, stab him, and tie him to the ground to be left for dead.  Max passes out and a mysterious woman frees Max and bandages his wounds.  The comic ends when Max wakes up.  The mysterious woman enlists Max’s service for an unknown job in exchange for saving his life.

The comic was so-so.  It spends too much time recapping the old Mad Max movies and not enough time moving the plot forward.  Very little actually happens.  The art is really inconsistent.  At times it looks great and extremely detailed, but at other times the faces of people look like mushy blobs.  They also go to great links to make Max not look like Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy which is a weird choice and distracting.  This is only an issue 1 so it’s job is really just to set things up but I wished we had gotten a little more.  With so little happening I wasn’t able to form any strong ties to anyone or anything so don’t have a lot of motivation to find out what happens next.

Deadpool Vs. Thanos 1

Comic Block September - Deadpool vs. Thanos 1

Deadpool has been up against a lot.  He’s been up against X-Force, Hawkeye, Carnage, and now Thanos.  I’m a little unsure on the actual plot of what happened in this comic, there were a lot of moving parts.  There was some stuff about Death being kidnapped and so the dead on earth were unable to actually die.  There was a fight between Deadpool and Thanos for the affection of Death.  Thanos kind of killed Deadpool and then brought him back to life so they could team up and find Death.  It was a little confusing, but there were a lot of jokes, breaking the fourth wall and talking about tacos.

I have real mixed feelings about Deadpool.  I like him in theory but I find most of the fourth wall breaking and jokes to be more gimmicky than actually funny.  The comics I have read with Deadpool up to this point have been ok but because of all the jokes and such there never really feels like there are any stakes.  There were some genuinely funny parts in this comic but not funny enough to get me to buy more issues.

Mirror’s Edge: Exordium 1

Comic Block September - Mirror's Edge Exordium 1

If you don’t already know Mirror’s Edge is based on a video game for PS3/Xbox360/PC that came out in 2007.  It was fairly groundbreaking at the time for being a first person shooter that involved little to no actual shooting.  It is based in a futuristic society which “runners” use parkour moves to navigate around the city delivering messages.  If I remember correctly the game sold ok but not stellar.  Everyone loved the aesthetic of the world but the game itself was painfully short (4-6 hours long) so people didn’t want to shell out 60 dollars for it.  I played it back in the day and remember liking it but also it giving me head aches from moving around so fast.  Also, if I can bitch for a moment I really hate when games allow you to have weapons but actively do things to discourage you from using them.  Either take the weapons out or make them usable don’t half ass it.

Anyway, they are finally making a sequel next year after being in some form of development over the last 7 years so this comic is most likely a tie-in or prequel.

The comic begins with Faith (our protagonist) on a mission.  She gets two guards to chase her in order to allow her team access into a building in order to steal data.  While running from the guards she accidentally interrupts some sort of deal between rival gangs and gun fire erupts.  Faith tries to get away but is captured by the gang working for the crime lord Dogen.  She is taken to Dogen who is impressed by her work and offers her a job.  She declines and leaves, trying to steal some of Dogens art on the way out.  Faith returns to her base of operations and their leader Noah is mad at her for the risk she took going on a rogue mission in the first place.  The comic ends with Faith going back to Dogen and accepting his employment.

This was a really great first issue of a comic.  A lot of things happen but they are presented in a controlled manner in which the reader can actually follow along.  They keep talking about this beatlink thing which apparently most of the advanced runners have and Faith does not.  Not having a beatlink is a slight to Faith and a cause of animosity between Noah and Faith.  Call me old, but I actually side with Noah in this when he is angry at Faith for her risky behavior.  He seems fairly reasonable and Faith just seems like a brat for not wanting to listen to him.  Overall I really liked the comic and will probably pick up more of the issues as they come in.  While I didn’t love the original Mirror’s Edge game, I did always like the world it created and liked revisiting it in this comic.

Sidenote I really liked that Dark Horse didn’t have any ads in this comic until the very end.  It was a real pleasant reading experience to be able to go through the story and not be distracted by ads every other page.

Danger Girl: Renegade 1

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant

I don’t know about you but I find this comic is best read while playing Mystikal’s Danger (Been so Long).  So I know nothing about Danger Girl, and as if the comic was reading my mind, it was filled with exposition.  It even took a pause halfway through to explain exactly what the Danger Girls are.

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant Pic 2

It starts off with Danger Girl Abbey Chase at age 12 running through the streets of Egypt.  This scene was amazingly over the top.  At one point she’s literally climbing a stack of woven baskets filled with snakes.

Comic Block September - Dangergirl 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant Pic 1

Abbey and her handler David move to Norway where there some more exposition about her Dad being on some super secret mission.  The two are ambushed and David dies in the struggle.  Abbey manages to escape and the comic jumps 13 years to a 26 year old Abbey in the Amazon jungle.  Abbey is once again being Chased (see what I did there) and narrowly escapes a villainous woman with a snake eye (literally).  The comic ends with Abbey giving  more exposition and a glimpse of the weird emerald the Snake Lady was trying to steal from Abbey.

This comic was all well and good but nothing in it really grabbed my attention enough to want to read more.  The over the top villains and ominous dark family history was just so typical that it almost felt like a parody.  On the plus side the art was at least good and like Mirror’s Edge there weren’t ads in the interior of the book.


The Quips of A-Force Issue 5

If you aren’t reading the Secret Wars Tie-In, A-Force, you really should.  It’s worth for the banter in issue 5 alone (A-Force Issue 5 on Comixology).

A-Force 5 Quips


Comic Review: The Colonel of Two Worlds

I love me some weird promotional tie in items.  I am always fascinated and amazed when TV shows or movies have weird promotional tie-in’s or product placements that they force feed into scenes.  Most of the time these are just subtle scenes of people drinking a Coke at a restaurant.  But sometimes we get a gift when subtlety is thrown to the wind and we get an insane commercial / propaganda piece  detached from all reality.  One of my favorite examples of late is the music video for the song Pretty Girls by the Legendary Ms. Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea.

Obviously Samsung is paying for this video by the amount of camera time is spent on the Galaxy S6 phones but at the 2:17 mark the music pauses and it literally becomes a commercial for the phone.  Even for a video where the two leads are playing as aliens this is the most jarring and unrealistic thing that happens in the video.

 Comic Review

This brings us to KFC Presents: The Colonel of Two Worlds Starring the Flash and Colonel Sanders, which I will refer to as KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) for short.  KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) is the perfect storm of every thing I love about weird promotional tie ins.  Does it have a fourth wall breaking moment where it simply becomes a commercial? Check.  Does it misunderstand how people fundamentally view their product? Check.  Is it unashamed at how ridiculous it is? Check.  True believers this comic is fantastic and available for free at Comixology right here.

KFC Colonel of Two Worlds 2

Let’s start by breaking down the plot of this bad boy.  It starts with the Mirror Master and Captain Cold teaming up with the evil Earth 3 version of Colonel Sanders, Colonel Sunders.  They then become fast food employees at Colonel Sunders “Easy Fried Chicken”, which is suppose to be the opposite of KFC.  The next step It is unclear but I assume Colonel Sunders used his Easy Fried Chicken money to hire henchmen in order to start committing bank robberies and other larger money making crimes.  The Flash and Green Lantern discover a spike in crime occurs whenever an Easy Fried Chicken opens.  The real Colonel Sanders is super pissed off that this imposter is using his likeness to sell below par chicken and steps in.  A fight ensues and a victorious Colonel Sanders sends the imposter Colonel Sunder back to Earth 3.  The comic ends with the Cononel convincing the Flash to allow him hire Captain Cold and Mirror Master at KFC rather than throwing them back in jail.

KFC pic 3

Let’s start with one of my favorite parts of these weird product tie-ins and that is when it jarringly switches to commercial mode.  The whole thing is a commercial in and of it self and does it’s job simply through brand recognition alone.  But KFC just can’t trust us the reader to simply pick that up and has to break the 4th wall to talk about the 11 secret herbs and spices.  Dear KFC, we get it.  You are a major brand, every one knows who you are and generally what you serve.  Breaking the fourth wall doesn’t convey that, all it does it show how insecure you are about your product.

KFC pic 4

KFC Pic 5

Another favorite of mine is when companies fundamentally don’t understand how consumers see their products.  A great example of this is the Bank of America “One Bank” song it created when it merged with MBNA (here is a cover of that by David Cross).  While this was probably a huge deal for Bank of America it’s customers could really give two shits.  Their accounts stayed the same, their cards stayed the same, it was just a shuffling around of management.  But because it so big internally Bank of America couldn’t see outside the bubble that the outside world really didn’t care.  This occurred in KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) with the concept of “Easy Fried Chicken”.  I’m sure the marketing department thought, “Hey what do people love about our chicken? Oh I know, it’s how we make it the hard way”.  This is in fact is not what people think about KFC.  We are buying your food because its easy, pretty good, and cheap.  If anything the bizarro KFC of “Easy Fried Chicken” is actually what we think of when we think of KFC.

KFC 7

I’m not here to shit talk KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) though.  I actually quite enjoyed KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) and found my self laughing out loud when Colonel Sunder used a pink slime gun to fight Colonel Sanders.

kFC 6

The art throughout the comic was actually top quality which not the norm for projects like this.  The shot of the Flash coming into frame could have easily been mistaken from a shot from the ongoing Justice League or Flash solo comic.  In general KFCP: TCOTW (STFACS) was fun, actually funny, and free.  Hopefully we get some more weird stuff like this in the future (I’m looking at you Old Spice).


Comic Bento Unboxing: October 2015

This is my first month using Comic Bento which brings you a box full of graphic novels every month.  This months theme is Fight the Fight so all the comics had a fight related theme to them (which what comic doesn’t fit that description?).  The first thing I noticed was that this box weighed a lot, over four pounds to be exact, they are not kidding around when they say a box full of comics.

Comic Bento Unboxing 1

The comics themselves came wrapped together in a thick plastic bag with a bubble wrap insert.  Being the thing weighed 4 pounds I don’t think the bubble wrap would really save it.  However, the comics were, in fact, completely undamaged, so I do have to give Comic Bento props for going the extra mile to make sure that the comics make it here in one piece.

Comic Bento Unboxing 2

Comic Bento Unboxing 5

Comic Bento Unboxing 5

There is a paper insert inside that describes the theme (this month is Fight the Fight!) and gives a break down of everything in the box.

Comic Bento Insert Front Comic Bento Insert Back

So now that I’ve shown you the outside and packaging its time to find out what is in the box (insert Brad Pitt from Seven gif here).  I’ll also note that this would be where I would normally put in a small review of said comic.  However, because these are all graphic novels (and 5 at that!) I haven’t had a chance to read them yet.  So like Harry Potter, Twilight, and Infinity War, this blog post is going to be a two parter and I’ll post my review later when I get a chance to read them all.

Comic Bento Unboxing 8

First up is Daredevil Season 1 written by Anthony Johnston and art by Willington Alves and Nelson Pereira.

Comic Bento - Daredevil - Season 1

Next is Superman/Batman Vol. 4: Vengeance written by Jeph Loeb and art by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines.

Comic Bento - Superman Batman Vengeance (Vol. 4)

Next is Executive Assistants: Hit List Agenda written by Vince Hernandez and art by Oliver Nome.

Comic Bento - Executive Assistant - The Hitlist Agenda (Vol. 1)

Finally there is X-O Manowar Vol. 2: Enter Ninjak written by Robert Venditti and art by Lee Garbett.

Comic Bento - X-O Manowar - Enter Ninjak (Vol. 2)

But wait, there’s more!  This month there was a bonus comic with none other than the Highlander.  You’re welcome in advanced for this getting this song stuck in your head.

Highlander Vol. 3: Armageddon written by Brandon Jerwa and art by Carlos Rafael

Comic Bento - Highlander (Vol. 3)

Now that we have unboxed here are some initial impressions.  First I was very impressed and happy with the care that was taken in the packaging.  Like I had said before everything was in perfect condition and brand new.  Second I was a little disappointed that the novels seem to be a mix / match of different volumes instead of all being the first volume of each series.  All and all this isn’t that big of a deal.  Each of these should contain their own story arc and be self contained, so they will still be enjoyable.  However it would have been nice to have the first volume in each.

The Comic Beno is probably the best deal I have seen in these subscription boxes.  The monthly cost is $20 dollars per month (which can drop to $17.50 if you choose a 6 month subscription) plus $5 dollars for shipping.  I did a calculation of the combined cover price of everything in the box and it came out to $84.95.  So with shipping, and the 20 dollar plan, you are still saving $59.95 which equates to 76.5% off cover price.  Now I know that this is the “suggested” MSRP and that you can likely find them all cheaper than that but even so it’s still a great deal.

Lastly the quality of the books in this box is very good.  Not only were the big two represented by there was a good showing of smaller publishers and nothing in the box that felt like filler.  It would have been real easy to have just had this filled with things from the clearance rack but Comic Bento did a great job of putting in characters I already know along with characters I am soon to know.

So the bottom line is if you are in the market for a comic subscription box that gives you a massive amount of comics to read each month this is the box for you!

Disclaimer: I was provided my Comic Bento box as a promotion for writing this piece (Thanks Comic Bento!).  However all the thoughts and opinions about this are my own.


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