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Bagged and Boarded

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I guess it began before I was even born. My dad collected comics as a kid and subsequently, I was introduced to them at an early age. The first comic book I remember getting was a treasury-sized edition of G.I. Joe #1. A few years later, I began collecting the Super Powers action figures which came with mini-comics. On the back were order forms for subscriptions to comics. The selection was sparse. I believe the options were Superman, Batman, and the Justice League. Familiar with the toys and the Super Friends cartoon, I decided that the best bet would be to get Justice League which would contain all the major heroes in one book.

Great idea, huh? Well, imagine my surprise when I get my first issue and it's Justice League of America #239. On the cover was a character named Vixen who I'd never heard of. Within the first few pages of the comic, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash quit the team. And who do they leave behind? This Vixen character, Vibe, Steel and Gypsy. They weren't in the cartoon. In fact, Aquaman, who has turned into a real jerk by this point, is the only character on the team from the cartoon. And Martian Manhunter is on the team and I recognize him from my Super Powers action figure and my dad's old comics. Somehow, that comic launched a 20-year run of collecting comics.

But when my daughter was born three and a half years ago, my comic purchasing almost completely faded. I dropped books I had been collecting for years. There were a combination of factors for this. The predominant reason being that comics were getting pricier and pricier. Despite the fact I got a good discount at the local shop, I could no longer justify dropping $2.50 or more on a single comic. Not only that, but I was becoming increasingly disenchanted with the storytelling. Maybe part of this was my own super hero burnout, but there were a lot of weak stories being published that I just didn't care for. "Hush" was a complete waste of money and I had hope for more from the writer of "The Long Halloween."

So, I have on occasion popped my head into a comic store and I still read some comic news online, but I would say that I have pretty much divorced myself from the standard super hero comics at this point. In the last two years, I bought the Serenity comics, received the V for Vendetta trade as a gift, received a Superman comic as a gift, and have a couple of trades on order waiting to be shipped to me from an online store. Despite this separation, I do still think about what I might be collecting if I were still collecting.

So, looking over the current Diamond Comics catalog, I would be moderately interested in the following books:

Spirit #14
Written by Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier Art by Mike Ploog Cover by Jordi Bernet
Join the new SPIRIT creative team of writers Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer) and Mike Ploog (Abadazad) for a case of murder! A string of killings is plaguing Central City...and the Spirit - with Commissioner Dolan - is on the case!

I did get a chance to read the first issue by Darwyn Cooke. Fun character with pulp hero roots that I dig. Interesting choice to bring on the writers of Groo to take on the storytelling for this book. I'd check it out for an issue or two.


Superman #672
Written by Kurt Busiek Art by Peter Vale & Jesus Merino Cover by Vale
It's Superman versus the all-new Insect Queen on the Moon, for the life of Lana Lang. Meanwhile, Lana (on the Moon) makes a startling discovery that could transform LexCorp's future. And back in Metropolis (sadly, not the Moon), Chris Kent's power problems build to an explosive payoff.

Kurt Busiek can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned and Superman is my favorite comic character. Busiek brings a modern sensibility to old school storytelling that I just love. Busiek and Superman make a perfect pair.


Detective Comics #840
Written by Paul Dini Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs Cover by Nguyen
Fan favorite artist Dustin Nguyen (SUPERMAN/BATMAN) joins Paul Dini on DETECTIVE COMICS as new regular penciler! Still haunted by the specter of Ra's Al Ghul, Batman returns to Gotham to face a new threat in the form of The Globe, a map-obsessed mastermind who charts his crimes with deadly accuracy.

Looking over the description, I might pass on this actually, but Paul Dini is another great writer and I love that one of the guys who made the Batman cartoon so great is actually writing Batman in the comics. At one point I read that Dini was writing stories that were told in one or two issues. I like that idea.


Robin
Written by Chuck Dixon Art by Chris Batista Cover by Freddie E. Williams II
With the return of new series writer Chuck Dixon (Robin, Nightwing, Batman) and art by fan-favorite Chris Batista (52, Legion of Superheroes), Robin #170 is the start of a new era no one will want to miss! After a life-changing battle with Ra's al Ghul in Nanda Parbat, Robin comes home to Gotham to find there's a new girl in town, wearing a color he can't ignore. The new vigilante calls herself Violet, and she steals from the rich to keep for herself...and Robin's going to find out that's not all she's playing for. Plus, the return of an old friend with something to hide!

I loved Chuck Dixon* on Robin the first time around. He turned that character into one of my all-time favorite characters. Great to see him back on Robin. Not sure I could "go home again" so to speak, but it would be neat to check it out.


Phantom #21
by Mike Bullock, Silvestre Szilagyi & Bob Pedroza
Rebels warring in Bangallan jungles, terrorist attacks in the streets of Mawitaan and an old enemy suddenly freed from prison for no logical reason. Is this a series of unrelated events or part of something far more sinister? Find out in the beginning of the biggest arc in Moonstone's Phantom run, culminating in the double sized issue #25!

I picked up a couple of these books early on. They were fun reads and Moonstone seems like a company that's really trying to come out with good product. They've got a combo of licensed character stuff including Buckaroo Banzai and they've got some creator-owned stuff.


Captain America #34
Written by ED BRUBAKER Pencils & 50/50 Cover by STEVE EPTING 50/50 Cover by ALEX ROSS
Is this the NEW Captain America?!

Not sure if I'd really want to jump in here in the middle of a big storyline, but the writer/artist combo on this title is great and I'd sure look at getting this in the trades. Not a huge fan of the new Captain America costume that Alex Ross designed. It seems like he pilfered the idea from a younger Alex Ross who didn't get to design the movie Spider-Man costume.


Maybe not super bold choices, but that's what's intriguing me right now. Although I'd certainly consider looking at anything Geoff Johns was writing as well.

*Some day I'll have to tell my Chuck Dixon story. Or actually, PLee should tell it. Even though he wasn't there, his version is better even if it's embellished greatly.

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