Asbury Park Comic Con with Friends

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Images © Todd Klein.

About a year ago Asbury Park Comic Con organizer Cliff Galbraith invited me to be a guest at this year’s con, which I was happy to agree to, as I’d attended the 2013 con and enjoyed it. Cliff asked if there were any other pros I might want to invite. I suggested John Workman and Dave Hunt, who had also attended in 2013, and then I thought of J.H. Williams III and his wife Wendy. Jim, Wendy and I have been friends and workmates since the late 1990s. I talk often to Jim on the phone, but we’ve only met in person at the San Diego Comicon, where we enjoyed each other’s company. I floated the idea to Jim and Wendy that they might consider coming to the Asbury Park con and visit Ellen and I on the same trip, thinking they probably wouldn’t have time, but to my surprise they agreed.  Last Tuesday evening I picked them up at the Philadelphia airport, and we spent several days together at our house, and doing short trips, like one to the beach in Sea Isle City, where Wendy collected some shells. Continue reading

And Then I Read: SWAMP THING 29

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Image © DC Comics, Inc.

What a nice surprise for Alec Holland when The Sureen show up. They’re a cult that worships the avatar of The Green, and they present themselves as ready to help him in any way they can, including allowing him to occupy one of their human bodies for a time, something that appeals to Alec. But if something sounds too good to be true…  Meanwhile the other former avatars that he’s brought back from The Green with him are out making plans of their own that may or may not be in Swamp Thing’s best interests. Writer Charles Soule continues to entertain me on this book, and the art by Jesus Saiz is excellent.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: AQUAMAN 28

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Image © DC Comics, Inc.

Kind of nice to see Aquaman coming back to human level and dealing with sharks rather than immense monsters. As usual, he’s misunderstood by those he’s trying to help. And where might his trident be after he’s done here? A question that proves important in the issue. Meanwhile, Arthur Curry and Mera, back in the lighthouse on land, are invited to and attend his high school class reunion. Somewhat predictable (fish out of water), but fun. The reveal at issue’s end is going in an interesting direction. In all, I’m warming to the writing by Jeff Parker on this title, and the art by Pelletier and Parsons continues to be quite good.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE FLASH 28

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Image © DC Comics, Inc.

Writer Brian Buccellato is telling a story of ghosts and possession, and who better to guest-star than Deadman? But couldn’t they have used a better logo for the guy on the cover?

Used to be Deadman could only talk to living people when he was possessing one. That made conversation a little tricky at times. Seems no longer to be the case, as we have a long conversation between Flash and Deadman about the current serial murderer case Barry Allen is pursuing. Deadman gives him some good insights into what’s behind the murders, but not good enough to stop some very close to home. The art by Patrick Zircher is excellent.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: JUSTICE LEAGUE 28

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Image © DC Comics, Inc.

In a welcome relief from back stories of brutal criminals, this issue Geoff Johns gives us a new Metal Men. I’ve always enjoyed the characters, being a reader of their adventures since they began in SHOWCASE, and this version isn’t bad. One thing they’re missing is obedience to Doc Magnus, something he doesn’t like at all, but when the new Cyborg comes to Magnus looking for help with the villain problem, they seem like a possible solution. Of course a new version of Chemo, the Metal Men’s most interesting opponent is here, too. Fun stuff on this book for a change. The art is excellent, as usual.

Recommended.