2021 Comic Reading Challenge

I’ve been on vacation so I’ve been spending most of my time reading books and comics. It’s a bit of an obsession, I’m afraid.

The good news is it’s far from the worst one I’ve ever had. :slight_smile:

I’m tracking comics with Google Spreadsheet. It totals them for me.

Dark Nights Metal was fun.

Trinity was extra fun since I love Tarot cards.

Loved the Old Guard. Saw the movie and bought the graphic novels. Was pleasantly surprised to see they were by Greg Rucka. He did some great stuff with Wonder Woman.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, I am still following my goal of reading every WW comic ever. I am also reading any “Crisis” or other sweeping story that ties in to her books so I have some clue of what is going on.

2021 will be a good year for reading. Hope it is good for other reasons as well.

Summary

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have you read Wonder Woman’s Earth one Graphic novels yet? They capture more of the original stories of WW… from what i know about them. Note: i read them before the reading challange so they do not count.

PS: I finished the next batch of Future state books today…its getting very interesting in the future of the former earth prime. god i am really exited for the next Catwoman book even more after reading the teaser at the end of the latest batch and and the synopsis.

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@Nobody.bladesmith I haven’t read them, but they look great. I am hoping that they will get added this year.

Haven’t caught up to Future State yet, but I am looking forward to it.

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there around 6.50 each us kindle if you’re a member of amazon prime.

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Yesterday I officially reached 100 comics for the year so far, and I figured I would post this niffty little graph that Google Sheets put together.
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So far, I’ve read a lot more from Marvel Unlimited this year than this time last year, but the lead still goes to DC Universe, which to be fair, has been helped considerably by some binge reading of Injustice. Marvel Unlimited is mostly carried by All-New Wolverine, which I suggest everyone read. I guess I’m just really excited that Tom Taylor is the next writer on Nightwing.

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With only a week to go till the big switch, I’m hoping we get some news about which new books are gonna show up. Never to late for hype, right?

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Took a trip outside my funnybook comfort-zone this week with some marvel bronze age goodies. Jim Starlin’s DREADSTAR, a heavy straight up sci-fi story and SKULL THE SLAYER, a sword n socery,sci-fi, 70s/80s exploitation action flick that just reeked of toxic masculinity but was fun as all heck. Seriously, this is the greatest CHUCK NORRIS/RICHARD ROUNDTREE/SCHWARZENEGGER movie never made. Then from there, a reread of a Secret Wars mini, WEIRDWORLD,featuring ol Skull and a blast from the past, CRYSTAR. That whole mini was a french kiss to the entire scifi, s’n’s, non-superhero funnybook style. Beautiful stuff, and because of the Crystar shout-out, my fave of the week.

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Crap, forgot…to any with COMIXOLOGY UNLIMITED, there’s a ton of USAGI YOJIMBO early books up for borrowing. The praise for this book is earned. Not a line, not a word is wasted in this series, STAN SAKAI IS A MASTER ARTIST. When the funny animals in a funny animals book stop being seen as funny animals, when they read like just well written and totally human characters, thats a good funny animal book.

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In my second week, I continued reading Excalibur and also the New Mutants from Marvel. I read the complete new 52 Swamp Thing and started Batgirl. I also read some of the Authority for my club. Total read after 2 weeks is 246.

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Teen Titans: 12 issues from 2005
Writers: Geoff Johns (10 issues), Gail Simone (2 issues)
So, let’s take this in order.

First, we have the time travel arc. Generically underdeveloped and implausible dystopia. Basically identical to any other time travel thing.

Second, four issues on a brawl with Doctor Light. It doesn’t really prove anything.

Third, Superboy gets brainwashed by Lex Luthor and apparently that means he has to shave his head and tear an “L” in his shirt. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

Fourth, there’s a guest arc by the… unexpected creative team of Gail Simone and Rob Liefeld. So on the plus side, Gail Simone. On the minus side, Rob Liefeld. But it does just feel like a lot more is happening per issue.

Fifth, the Under the Hood tie-in issue is hilarious in how cheesy it is. I mean, Jason actually has a Robin costume underneath his Red Hood stuff, and he writes his name on the wall and signs it with a handprint. Plus it has the “Jason was always violent/bad” stuff that doesn’t line up with his actual Post-Crisis stories and is just generally uncomfortable. I’m not a big Jason fan, but that’s just not fair.
55.

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Here’s everything I’ve read since January 1st. This year I’m also making my way through my golden age stuff and reading what I haven’t read yet.

-King in Black: Namor #2, Symbiote Spider-Man #3, Return of the Valkyries #1, Iron Man/Doom #1, Planet of the Symbiotes #1, Gwen’s vs. Carnage #1, Thunderbolts #1 (7)
-Taskmaster #1-2 (2)
-Thor #11
-Guardians of the Galaxy #10
-Venom #32
-Amazing Spider-Man #55-57 (3)
-Spider-Woman #8
-Wolverine #8

-Dark Knights: Death Metal #7, :The Secret Origin #1, :The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1, The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1 (4)
-Detective Comics #1033
-Future State: The Next Batman #1, Dark Detective #1, Swamp Thing #1 (3)
-Batman Annual #5
-Detective Comics #1033

-Crossover #2,3 (2)
-Spawn #312, 313 (2)
-Buster Brown Comics (1945) #7, 10 (2)
-Jack Armstrong (1947) #8
-Buck Roger’s in the 25th Century (1951) #101
-Justice Traps the Guilty (1947) #29

-Defenders: The Best Defense TPB (5)
-Marvel Universe: The End TPB (6)
-Infinity Omnibus HC (24)
-Sub-Mariner: The Depths (5)
-Famous First Editions New Fun #1
-Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex HC (13)
-Inhumanity TPB (20)
-Harrow County Omnibus vol. 1 (16)

TOTAL: 126
2021 TOTAL: 126

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Azrael: Agent of the Bat: 1 issue from 2002
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Read this because I was looking something up, but while I’m mentioning it, this is actually a pretty underrated series. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure in some ways, but I recommend it.
56.

Strange Tales: 34 issues from 1965-1968
Writers: Stan Lee (co-writer on Nick Fury story in 16 issues, co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 16 issues), Jack Kirby (Nick Fury story in 1 issue, co-writer on Nick Fury story in 18 issues), Steve Ditko (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 12 issues), Roy Thomas (Doctor Strange story in 1 issue, co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 4 issues, co-writer on Nick Fury story in 2 issues), Denny O’Neil (Doctor Strange story in 2 issues, co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 5 issues, co-writer on Nick Fury story in 1 issue), Bill Everett (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 2 issues), Marie Severin (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 8 issues), Jim Steranko (Nick Fury story in 14 issues, co-writer on Nick Fury story in 1 issue), Raymond Marais (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 2 issues), Dan Adkins (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 8 issues), Jim Lawrence (co-writer on Doctor Strange story in 5 issues)

Review

This is basically two series in one. I’m really here for Nick Fury, but I don’t mind catching the Doctor Strange stuff while I’m at it.

The Kirby-era Fury stuff is brilliant, and just so perfectly Kirby. There’s some new crazy idea every couple pages. Fury himself also has a lot of personality for a ‘60s character. And I mean, some of the stuff like Hydra’s secret weapon being attack squads of skateboard-riding assassins or S.H.I.E.L.D. distracting Mentallo and the Fixer with metronome attack sleds are perfectly ridiculous, but it’s also perfectly ridiculous. Fury seems to have noticed ‘60s characters’ habit of announcing the perfectly obvious, and his resulting sarcasm is great fun.

The Ditko Doctor Strange stories are OK, but there’s a lot of points where it seems essentially arbitrary what the characters can or can’t do. Like, sometimes Doctor Strange just does complicated magic stuff easily, and then other times the narration is all “No, really, trust us, this is really hard.” There’s also a ton of turnover in the creative team after Ditko leaves. Unsurprisingly, the O’Neil issues were my favorites. The Ancient One’s backstory at least has sort of a neat, mythic quality to it, and he tried to introduce some more relatable tension with the money problems, even if Bill Everett immediately undid it. Severin’s run gets a little ridiculous introducing a NEW MOSTEST POWERFULEST VILLAIN EVER, one after another. And it’s 99% the Ancient One’s fault, that guy is an idiot.

Jim Steranko’s run on Nick Fury is supposed to be where it gets good, but… hm. It’s got less of the sheer manic energy of Kirby’s run, but there are lots of neat twists and reversals. I liked the Hydra Island arc, but the immediate next thing it does is dredge up the Yellow Claw, who is an extremely unfortunate (and unusually literal) yellow peril stereotype.

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See that there’s some deep cut books on your list, do you use the digital comics museum site?

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Superman/Batman: 10 issues from 2005
Writer: Jeph Loeb
I feel like a broken record saying that the time travel arc always sucks, but the time travel arc always sucks. And the amount of times I say that should give you an idea of how many of these stupid things there are. It leads to… wait for it… this’ll be a surprise… hold your breath… drumroll please… a generic dystopia. But SUPERMAN AND BATMAN ARE IN CHARGE OF IT NOW.

This time travel stuff goes on for so long, too. It’s like half the year. The ensuing arc is trying to be confusing, and hey, it succeeds, but it’s just a wall of references to stuff that don’t make sense yet, so it’s just not that interesting.

Honestly, this is one of the most creatively uninspired series I’ve ever read. I usually like Jeph Loeb, so I’m not sure what happened here.
100.

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4 issues from 1968
Writer: Jim Steranko

Review

Just reading the Steranko issues from this series because they’re all that’s digitized.

Well, it’s an improvement over his Strange Tales Nick Fury stories, but I still don’t think it measures up to Kirby (which is sort of like calling someone a less talented playwright than Shakespeare, granted, but still). The Scorpio issues were more interesting (though the mystery isn’t actually resolved within this series), while the middle two were sort of tonally dissonant out-of-genre experiences.

Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.: 6 issues from 1988
Writer: Bob Harras

Review

This was actually really solid. Maybe a bit of the mystery being more interesting than the solution, which gets kind of convoluted, but it was an enjoyable read.

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No, everything on my list so far has been physical books in my collection. I do use it sometimes though when I want to read stuff that’s either to rare to find, out of my price range or if the book is too valuable and I don’t want to risk damaging it.

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I remember gettin those nick fury vs books off the stands way back when, the hit my weekly paperboy money took!

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I remember gettin those nick fury vs books off the stands way back when, the hit my weekly paperboy money took!

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Awesome. If only they could reproduce the smell of those funnybooks, huh?

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Manhunter: 10 issues from 2005
Writer: Marc Andreyko
I was really liking this, and then issue #13 delivers an absolute perfect storm of dumb. So, apparently every previous Manhunter series was a bunch of hallucinations that happened because nanomachines are magic. And it’s an OMAC Project tie-in, just to rub salt in the wound. Not that the previous Manhunter lore was all that coherent, but this just comes across as a really immature way of trying to establish Kate’s place by putting down her predecessors.

Also, establishing Dumas as Mark Shaw’s split personality is a Choice, because even if the relevant arcs of the 1988 series were all hallucinations or something, it would still suggest that Shaw’s split personality had its own split personality. Dumas was already multiple people.
120.

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I wish. That’s one of my favorite parts of reading the older comics, the smell. Theres nothing else like it.

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