Monday, May 22, 2017

Review- JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 2



JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 2 (Storm King, First Printing, 2016; Softcover)

Original Graphic Novel.

Writers: Steven Hoveke, John Carpenter, Deirdre Brooks, Mike Sizemore, David J. Schow, Jimmy Palmiotti, Renae Deliz, James Ninness, Duane Swierczynki, Amanda Diebert, Kealan Patrick Burke, Sandy King, and Federico De Luca

Artists: Jon Bogdanove, Dennis Calero, Daniel Leister, David Kennedy, Darick Robertson, Richard P. Clark, Joel Seguin, Ray Dillon, Axur Aneas, Trevor Denham, Cat Staggs, Jaime Carillo, and Federico De Luca

Colorists: Jeff Balke, Diego Rodriguez, Paul Mounts, Ben Glibert, and Kinsun Loh



Volume 2 of this anthology Horror series offers twice as many stories as the first volume. Like Volume 1, this book starts out with a John Carpenter penned story, this time The Traveler's Tale. It treads familiar ground but it works on all levels. All of the writers seem to channel Carpenter's style, which is fine by me.

Carn-Evil Max And The Traveling Beauty Show doesn't work as far as I'm concerned. It's the weak link in the book. The set up isn't firmly established and the Twilight Zone style riff for the ending falls flat. Patterns and The Basement are both great stories with solid artwork. Mr. Goodnight takes the cake. Jaime Carillo and colorist Kinsun Loh knocked that one out of the park.

The series host, the Groundscreeper, remains a series highlight. Please refer to my review for Volume 1 for more thoughts on him. This was enjoyable enough to make want to pick up the forthcoming third volume this Halloween. You'll have to look to find this book but it's worth it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Sewn binding in a softcover.
Cardstock cover notes: The majority of the cover has a matte finish with select spot varnish. The logo is embossed, a welcome touch which adds some class to the proceedings. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Review- JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 1



JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 1 (Storm King, First Printing, 2015; Softcover)

Original Graphic Novel.

Writers: Steven Hoveke, John Carpenter, Trent Olsen, David J. Schow, James Ninness, Duane Swierczynki, and Sandy King

Artists: Jon Bogdanove, Federico De Luca, Tone Rodriguez, Darick Robertson, Richard P. Clark, Brett Simmons, and Leonardo Manco with cover art by Tim Bradstreet

Colorists: Ray Dillon, Sian Mandrake, Diego Rodriguez, Ben Glibert, and Mariana Sanzone



EC Comics had a huge impact on the children of the 1950s...children like John Carpenter. This graphic novel takes the Horror anthology found in EC titles like Tales From The Crypt, Vault Of Horror, and Haunt Of Fear and brings them up to speed with contemporary writing and artwork. Like those titles, the book has a host, the Groundscreeper. The same one page interlude Groundscreeper image, with art by Jon Bogdanove and “Ben Day” dot style coloring by Ray Dillon, introduces each story. I have to say that I wish that more comics used this nostalgic approach. It looks more “comic book”-like, only without the drawbacks of line bleed and off-register printing. The Groundscreeper page is packed with third party narrative describing each scene and then accented with his own darkly ironic humor by way of monologue.



John Carpenter pens the first story, The Ghost Maker. Some Grub is a great story with mediocre artwork by Brett Simmons. The art is too cartoony for a serious Horror story. This is just one fan's opinion, and your mileage may vary. The beauty of the Horror anthology format is that anything goes. Any writing style, any art style. Notice To Quit and Fortune Broken are both solid stories that wrap things up nicely. This was a good read and is worthy of a spot on your shelf.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This book has that sweet Chinese-made-book smell to it, although it was printed in Canada. All of the great scents without the toxic chemicals that the Chinese probably use in their sweatshop printing presses.
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Sewn binding in a softcover.
Cardstock cover notes: The majority of the cover has a matte finish with select spot varnish. The logo is embossed, a welcome touch which adds some class to the proceedings. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review- MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2



MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2 (Marvel, First Printing, 2013; Softcover)

Collects the Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #142-168 (cover dates March, 1966- May, 1968)

Writers: Stan Lee, Denny O'Neil, Roy Thomas, Raymond Marias, Jim Lawrence, and Dan Adkins with plots by Steve Ditko (#142-146)

Artists: Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, Marie Severin, and Dan Adkins, with Penciling by George Tuska and Inking by Herb Trimpe



Steve Ditko's legendary run on this title draws to a close in grand fashion four issues into this book, with the Dread Dormammu fighting Eternity. One could end their marathon there (as the recent Doctor Strange Omnibus does), but then you'd be missing out on some real treats. This was my first time reading this material and, dare I say it, the series actually improves once Ditko leaves the fold. All of his original concepts and designs are expanded on.

Bill Everett takes over the art with #147, and this is among his finest work. Everett is a legend who created the Sub-Mariner back in the late 1930s but is largely a footnote to modern comic fans. Kaluu looks like something out his Sub-Mariner run, and the follow up villain, Dormammu's sister Umar, could have come out of his 1950s Atlas Heroes revival.

Marie Severin takes over the art chores with #153, and while she is legendary for being the colorist for EC Comics and that iconic Hulk Annual cover (you know the one...), her artwork leaves me cold. To defeat Umar, Doctor Strange must release Zom, a ridiculous looking, supposedly unstoppable demon whose Achilles heel is embarrassingly easy for Doctor Strange to find. The Living Tribunal arrives at the end of issue 157. Herb Trimpe's inking helps save Severin's artwork beginning with that same issue and running through 160.



158 is where things really get cooking. Roy Thomas has arrived with thesaurus in hand to turn comic books into purple prose Shakespeare. The psychedelic elements are continually ramped up from one issue to the next, and it's easy to see why all of the 'heads loved this series in the '60s. Thomas brings back Baron Mordo, but it's Jim Lawrence who puts a cork in this arc with a battle between The Living Tribunal and yet another cosmic entity, Nebulos.

Dan Adkins arrives with #163, and he has a real wide angle psychedelic lens. Adkins out Ditkos Ditko. +covers face to shield self from stream of rocks and tomatoes+ I love the battle with Yandroth, Scientist Supreme, who uses advanced technology to battle Doctor Strange. I really love his robot, Voltorr (renamed Voltorg one issue later for no reason), because robots rule. And science meets magic resulting in a battle with a robot rules even more.

Since Strange Tales was a split book featuring two headliners, this strip is limited to 10 pages per issue. The shortened page count keeps things moving briskly, albeit in the same dense, meaty fashion that you'd expect from a Silver Age comic book.

Bill Everett rules. 


The entirety of this book has a sort of soap opera element with the Ancient One and Clea. Doctor Strange braves untold dangers across untold dimensions for this bird, and I hope that she's worth it. Doc's spent all 304 pages looking for her for crying out loud!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Softcover Masterworks are wider than a standard trade paperback. I was all over this line when it came out, buying everything that I had passed over in hardcover. Now the Epic line of books has filled that gap.
Linework and Color restoration: Marvel Masterworks are the Criterion Blu-Rays of collected editions, with top shelf restoration and a color palette faithful to the original comic books. Romanticists yearn for Ben Day dots and off register printing, but these were never artistic considerations, folks. They were charming byproducts of the limits of printing technology of the day. The original art (and by extension, film used on these books) didn't look like that. It's a real philosophical debate amongst collected edition sorts, and it's shaken out like this: If it's Marvel or DC you get full blown restoration. Expensive and time consuming but worth preserving history correctly. Dark Horse was in the game but has gotten out for the most part. Everyone else uses scans with varying degrees of tinkering. I'm done arguing about it. It all boils down to preference, and there are benefits and drawbacks to both presentations. Given the choice I'll stick with full blown restoration though.
Paper stock: Matte coated stock, the paper used in these books (as well as Epics) is my favorite.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Review- JOHN CARPENTER'S ASYLUM VOL. 2



JOHN CARPENTER'S ASYLUM VOL. 2 (Storm King, First Printing, 2016; Softcover)

Collects John Carpenter's Asylum #7-14 (cover dates July, 2014- May 25, 2016)

Writers: Sandy King and Trent Olsen
Artists: Tom Mandrake (#7, 8) and Leonardo Manco (#8-14)
Colorists: Sian Mandrake, Leonardo Manco, Marjana Sanzone, and Nick Percival



As anyone who watches Horror movies knows, John Carpenter is the cream of the crop. His audio and visual cues have become the standard in Horror that so many others have aped. It is appropriate that Asylum is cinematic in feel and tone. This could have just as easily been a television show on FX or Netflix, but it's in comic form instead. Religion and ultimate battles between good and evil are pet themes for Carpenter, and it's played out here on a more personal scale.



In the series' second arc Beckett and Duran arrive in a small town to root out the mystery of a pattern of child abductions which have been going on for decades. All signs point to a larger evil than just a child abductor, and it turns out that they are right. While the arc was finished with #14 it doesn't seem like this series has truly ended. Hopefully we'll see a return of this series someday. Time will tell.



John Carpenter came to Detroit this past summer for a rare live performance and I missed it. I was in the throes of a major upheaval in my personal life at that time and couldn't make it. I regret not seeing him live but at the end of the day there was no other choice. Such is life, and life goes on.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- A hardcover version of this book exists but I must have missed the boat, as I was in the midst of relocating when this book was released and wasn't spending money on much of anything.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock. Not super glossy but not matte, either.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Matte finish with spot varnish. The logo and creator names on the front cover are embossed, an elegant touch on a softcover. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review- BATMAN VOL. 2: THE CITY OF OWLS



BATMAN VOL. 2: THE CITY OF OWLS (DC, First Printing, 2013; Hardcover)

Collects Batman #8-12 and Batman Annual #1 (cover dates June- October, 2012)

Writers: Scott Snyder with James Tynion
Artists: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Rafael Albuquerque, Jason Fabok, Becky Cloonan, Andy Clarke, and Sandu Florea
Colorists: FCO Plascencia, Dave McCaig, Peter Steigerwald, and Natahan Fairbairn

It should come as no surprise to readers of my blog that my tastes skew toward vintage material. That's why I enjoy reading comic books with my son. He's 10 and prefers modern comics, DC over Marvel, although he seems to love both universes. We checked this out from the library and read it together, one issue per night before bed.

I was completely blown away by the quality of the writing in the core series. The Annual seems like a throwaway to me. The whole Court Of Owls being a longstanding enemy to generations of the Wayne family was an interesting angle, but I do have a gripe about it. Why are all of the interesting concepts presented as some form of ret-con (retroactive continuity, where something is inserted into the backstory while generally going against what has been previously established)? Why can't something exciting be new? If the Court Of Owls were presented as something that popped up here and now, with the now being the ground floor, would this have been less enjoyable? My gut says no.

My son's review: It was good, full on great spectacular. Just a little too much swearing. My favorite parts are where he fights his brother in the Owl suit. (Note: My son believes that Lincoln March was indeed the second Wayne child, given the lack of concrete evidence to the contrary despite what Bruce Wayne uncovered.) Once it got into the action it never let down. He gives it a 4 out of 5.

This was an enjoyable read, even more so because it was free through my local library. I like reading comics with my son that I normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I get to see things differently through his eyes. I do not give him my opinions about things in terms of a critique while we are reading, nor do I instill any of my biases or tastes about comics into him. I prefer for him to mold his own opinions and tastes, and I like seeing how he interprets and enjoys things whether I agree with him or not. 10 is a good age for comics. I remember when I was 10 every single comic that I read was Earth-shakingly important, and those very comics formed the foundation of my opinion about what comics should be and remain favorites to this day. I won't shit on his opinion of new comics, nor will I do anything to dissuade his budding love of the medium. Even if he moves beyond comics I have instilled a love of reading into him which he will have for the rest of his life.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Thick glossy stock.
Binding: Perfect bound (read: glued). This is a library copy, and it is fascinating to see just how durable these books really are. Most of my books are read once, if that, and yet this book has been read countless times by hands less careful than mine. Maybe when I die I'll leave my collection to a library if my kids don't want it.

Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: This is a library copy, and the dustjacket has a Brodart sleeve which is taped to the hardback. I cannot comment on them since I couldn't inspect them. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review- CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES VOL. 3



CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES VOL. 3 (Dark Horse, First Printing, 2012; Hardcover)

Collects Crime Does Not Pay #30-33 (cover dates November, 1943- April, 1944)



Writers: Dick Wood, Milton Kramer, and Lev Gleason

Artists: Charles Biro, Dick Briefer, Volman, R.W. Hall, Jack Alderman, Carmine Infantino, Alvin Hollingsworth, Jack Cole, A. Kaplan, Rudy Palais, Louis Trakis, Alan Mandel, Lol Silver, Volp, and Bob Montana



As tolerant and accepting as people claim to be, many people seem to enjoy seeing criminals get theirs, at least if the comments section of any news article on Facebook are any indication. This was the most popular comic book of it's day. Name any superhero on the stands and this title outsold them. In a world where organized crime was an ongoing concern, it was cathartic for people to pick up a fat 68 page comic for one thin dime and get lost in a world where bad people have good things happen to them for a while but they all inevitably learn the fateful lesson that CRIME DOES NOT PAY!



Mister Crime is the host of the series, and he whispers in the ear of the various crooks, giving them advice along the way. Mister Crime also routinely breaks the fourth wall, speaking to readers while everyone in the story is oblivious to him. Societal mores and slang of the day are on full display.



Lots of future greats worked on this series during this time. Carmine Infantino is well known to all DC fans, while Jack Cole and Dick Briefer were known in their day and have enjoyed a renewed interest in recent years due to relatively affordable collected editions like this one which reprint their work for the masses.



While the material is stronger here than it was in the first two volumes this series still hasn't reached it's high point yet. As crudely written and drawn as many of these stories are it's the promise of what is coming in future issues that makes some of these turkeys readable. Golden Age comics are crude but they certainly have their charms. It's just that the novelty of reading previously rare, expensive comics has worn off for me and I call them as I see and read them. This might have been the best selling comic at the time but DC was burying this in terms of quality. This was still very enjoyable, but the best is yet to come.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- There is a typo on the Table of Contents page. The cover date for #33 is incorrectly listed as May, 1944, when it is in truth April, 1944.
All original text pieces and advertisements are presented. I dig looking at the old ads.
Linework and Color restoration: Solid “frame up” restoration done off of scans of the original comics.
Paper stock: Thick uncoated stock. It has a creamy off-white color, being close to Mint condition pulp paper in appearance while being of sufficient thickness that it feels like 'Archival' quality paper.
Binding: Sewn binding which is stiff and does not lay flat. This book is light and small enough where it is not an issue.




Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Nice faux leather casewrap with die foil stamping. Dustjacket has a decent lamination.



Monday, March 27, 2017

Review- ALL STAR COMICS ARCHIVES VOL. 4



ALL STAR COMICS ARCHIVES VOL. 4 (DC, First Printing, 1998; Hardcover)

Collects All Star Comics #15-18 (cover dates February/March- Fall, 1943)



Writers: Gardner Fox with Sheldon Mayer, and Jack Kirby 
Artists: Frank Harry, Joe Gallagher, Sheldon Moldoff, Stan Asch, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Ed Dobrotka, Bernard Baily, Howard Sherman, Pierce Rice, and Arthur Cazenueve



One thing becomes crystal clear five volumes (Vols. 0 and 1-4) in to this series of the original Justice Society Of America: They had a winning formula and they stuck to it. Kids back then didn't always have access to every single issue like they would today, and this approach probably wasn't even frowned upon even if they did discover it. In each issue there is an opening scene with a meeting. Each member sets out to do their part and they meet up again at the end of the issue. I like how each character's creator does their part of the story and they all contribute to the panels where multiple characters appear. It's a precursor to the comic jam.



Issue 15 introduces the Brain Wave, a villain with an enlarged bald head who “can create anything that he can think of—and control it!” He returns in #17 after surviving his seeming suicide at the end of his first appearance, reducing the JSA to the size of toy dolls. #16 finds the JSA battling the Nazis on the home front when they infiltrate the coal mines and factories that the Allies needed to assure their victory. The absolute good versus evil of Golden Age comics is something that you would never see today. Nowadays we would be told by Social Justice Warriors how we should be sensitive to Nazis or how not all Japanese are like the ones who attacked us at Pearl Harbor. #18 is fun. King Bee uses insect hormones to trick men into committing crimes for him. The insect hormones gives the men the proportionate strength and abilities of the insects.



Wonder Woman doesn't see much action here, as she is merely the team secretary. It's amazing how different the world was 75 years ago. A woman could only be a secretary on a team of men. Hawkman's portions of each issue rule. Simon and Kirby's ham-fisted reboot of the Sandman sucks. The original was so cool. Starman is pretty cool too. The Spectre is more powerful than any member on this team and yet he never wins the day here. His portrayal in More Fun Comics is more in line with what modern fans might expect. Johnny Thunder is annoying, as his shtick wore thin fast. His Thunderbolt saves the day more often than not. It's omnipotent, and only it's sense of humor making Johnny jump through hoops for it makes things somewhat interesting.

The days before drunk driving laws.


This was a fun read. Golden Age comics are simplistic and crude by today's standards but they ooze with charm. I have to be in a certain mood to read them, but they read fine as both comic book entertainment and from a historical perspective.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.

The more things change...


The OCD zone- There are multiple omissions from the original issues reprinted in this book. #15 omits the Flying Colors one page strip as well as the Hop Harrigan text story, also one page. #16 omits the Victory Puzzles half page and the 1.5 page Hop Harrigan text story. #17 omits the 1.5 page Hop Harrigan text story, ditto #18.
Linework and Color restoration: I did not do any comparison to scans of the original issues this time out. I have been very busy refurbishing and relocating my Fortress Of Solitude. Sorry.
Paper stock: Off-white matte coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding. It's pretty tight, requiring two hands to keep it open. It's not a huge deal since the book is 224 pages.



Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Thick laminated dustjacket. Casewrap has faux leather grain with foil stamping. It's a shame that DC doesn't do this for their Omnibus hardcovers these days. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Review- JUDGE DREDD: THE COMPLETE CASE FILES VOL. 10



JUDGE DREDD: THE COMPLETE CASE FILES VOL. 10 (2000 AD, First Printing, 2008; Softcover)

Collects the Judge Dredd stories from 2000 A.D. #474-522 and 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1985 (cover dates 1984 for the 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1985 and June 14, 1986- May 16, 1987).

Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant

Artists: Kevin O'Neill, Ian Gibson, Cam Kennedy, John Higgins, Barry Kitson, Robin Smith, Ron Smith, Brendan McCarthy, Cliff Robinson, Garry Leach, Steve Dillon, Mark Farmer, John Cooper, Jeff Anderson, Jose Ortiz, Kim Raymond, and Paul Hardy



I discovered something when reading this volume: Judge Dredd ages in real time. They refer to his decade of service as a Judge, and this book collects the tenth year of publication of the character. I wonder if this is still the case today. It would make him pretty darn old if it's true.

As usual, the artwork is all over the place in terms of quality. Some of it is photo realistic, while some of it is too cartoonish for my tastes. The writing is consistently solid. Gone are the huge sprawling “arcs” found in the earlier volumes in this line, in are short stories that are cranked out so fast that your head spins. The Taxidermist is one such idea that is tied up in one short story but should have gone on longer. The Shooting Party is another. I've always subscribed to the notion that it's better to be left begging for more than screaming for mercy, but some of these plots have legs beyond their seven page per week allotment.

The Interrogation is brilliant, and again, it's another idea wrapped up in a scant six pages but could have gone on ten times as long and still have been interesting. 10 Years On is amazing, a standout among the standouts in this book. There are some incredible artists who have worked on this title over the years.



I have to be in a specific mood to read Judge Dredd or else it leaves me cold. But when I am in the mood for it I enjoy the heck out of it. It's black humor and satire wrapped in an ultra-violent package. I have Volume 11, and whenever the mood strikes me I'll crack it open and tear through it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- These are wider than standard trade paperbacks. The material is still reprinted smaller than it was in the original publications.
There is a cover gallery in the back of the book which features only six of the twenty two covers that Judge Dredd appeared on out of the issue collected in this book.
Linework and Color restoration: Everything looks clean and clear. This book is printed in black and white, which is fine since that's how the title was back then with the exception of the occasional color double page spread which kicked off the strip. Those are scanned and printed in black and white, resulting in a grayscale mess.
Paper stock: Uncoated paper stock. The paper used in the European printed versions (like my copy here) feels odd to the touch. I can't quite explain it.
Binding: Sewn binding. There is gutter loss across the double page spreads, which is often annoying as the word balloons get sucked right down the middle.
Cardstock cover notes: Super thick cardstock covers with a matte coating that is sufficiently resistant to scuffing. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review- NIGHTCRAWLER VOL. 1: HOMECOMING



NIGHTCRAWLER VOL. 1: HOMECOMING (Marvel, First Printing, 2014; Softcover)

Collects Nightcrawler #1-6 (cover dates June- November, 2014)

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Todd Nauck
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

My kids love going to the library, and I enjoy taking them there. My local library system has an extensive graphic novel section, and I peek at it from time to time to see what they have. I was curious about how this series was when it came out, as I enjoy both Claremont and Nauck. Alas, there are so many books being pumped out at all times that it is impossible for me to keep on buying or reading them all. We live in an era where available content has outstripped both time and money for even the most lifeless loser. The library removes the barrier of money, so if I were willing to dedicate an evening or two I could finally answer the question about this book.

Chris Claremont is unjustly vilified by modern day comic fans as being overly wordy, having unnecessarily complex ongoing subplots, and too many stylistic ticks. While there is some merit to all of the above criticisms, make no bones about the fact that the man saved The X-Men from extinction as well as helped pave the way for the sophisticated adult fare that you find in comics today. Many of your favorite current writers would not be here if he didn't help expand the notion of how fully formed a comic book character could be. I will admit that my pet peeve with his writing is that he often overdevelops a character, but that is a discussion for another time. Right now I'm going to go into this book.

Claremont seems to have taken a razor blade to his writing, chopping off all manner of dialogue and captions to better suit modern day audiences. It works, and his writing is still meatier than many writers nowadays.

Nightcrawler is back from the dead. As someone who jumped off of The X-Men merry-go-round years ago, this doesn't surprise me. There have been so many deaths and resurrections during the history of the title that even the characters seem to yawn about it. This is a major problem. The death of Phoenix was a powerful story in its day because it showed the high stakes of being a superhero. In the decades since then it has become little more than a sales stunt, a gimmick with no real bearing on the story itself. No readers take comic book deaths seriously any more.



There are S P O I L E R S ahead. People's mileage may vary on the shelf life for the spoiler tag, but I use it regardless of age of the material.

Claremont does a good job at weaving several smaller stories into the prerequisite six issue arc. In the '80s there weren't “arcs” as they currently are, a story simply took as many or as a few issues as necessary. Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) is reunited with his longtime love interest, sorceress Amanda Sefton. He runs into a robot called Trimega, which can split into three different robots with powers of fire, water, and wind (the elements being a pet favorite of Claremont over the years). Claremont complicates things by bringing in Margali Szardos, who not so shockingly turns out to be the villain of the piece.



I don't know why the Beast has changed his appearance again, but I am thrilled to see the Grant Morrison era bastardization thrown out the window. Todd Nauck's artwork is decent enough. His action sequences and layout for story flow are excellent, but there are some panels where something seems off with the way people look. Art is subjective and your mileage may vary, this is just my two cents. This is a decent read, and I'm glad I finally found out what this series is about. My library unfortunately does not have Volume 2 available.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Standard fare Marvel trade paperback.
Paper stock: Fair weight coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock. Marvel switched to thinner cardstock a few years ago, and they end with this “curl” effect when you set them down. It's odd.


On the flip side, this being a library book is a fascinating scientific experiment of the workmanship and durability of the materials used in these trade paperbacks. Bent corners, dog ears, and creases aside, this has held up very well with the rigors of handling by hands less gentle than mine.