Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Over the last few months, I’ve jotted down in my Sunday Reviews how much I’ve enjoyed Leah Williams’s writing on the BARBARELLA/DEJAH THORIS mini-series. It was a fun story, with great dialogue and both characters had plenty of page time. At the end of the series I said I’d be keeping an eye out for more of Williams’s work.

And now she’s writing a new CHASTITY series for Dynamite.

Apart from being aware of the character as one of the many Bad Girls that ran through comics in the 90s, I know next to nothing about Chastity, but you know what? I’m going to give this a go just because I liked Williams’s work.

We’ll see what happens in September when it arrives.

One Mystery Solved

Way, way, way back in the late 70s when I was about 7 or 8, I had what my ailing memory informs me was an INCREDIBLE HULK annual. Over here in the UK, Annuals were about A4 sized, hardback, and usually released in the run-up to Christmas. British kids’ comics like THE BEANO and THE DANDY were staples for years, and as I got older, I’d get the 2000AD annual and even an ACTION annual which was the first time I read about Hook Jaw. But at some point, I had that INCREDIBLE HULK annual which contained a selection of stories.

I’m pretty sure there was one involving the Fantastic Four, possibly transporting the Hulk by plane; definitely one with the Hulk who ended up fighting some huge pink-skinned creature with yellow, fly-like eyes. The Hulk thought he was protecting the nearby mining town from the pink guy but it turned out the pink guy was welcomed in the town and was one of them, leaving the Hulk alone and rejected. (If anyone knows what that story is, let me know)

And there was a story that stuck with me for years, possibly influencing my love of horror stories.

I mention this now as I was trawling through the internet on the weekend, looking for covers to mash-up when one caught my eye. This one:

Seeing that cover brought the story back to my mind – not the details like plot or dialogue, but rather a handful of images. Searching on the net allowed me to find scans of the comics (not something I usually do – I’d much rather pay for what I read) and take me back 40 odd years to my childhood.

 

I knew nothing about Man-Thing, nor any of the other characters, not even Daredevil, and certainly not Gladiator, but I loved the idea of flesh burning through fear! This hulking, dead eyed monstrosity and the buzz-saw wielding masked man were cool as hell to my mind.

That image of Gladiator’s blade covered in muck . . . his realisation that Man-Thing wasn’t alive in any real sense . . . that has stuck in my head for over 40 years!

This battle between Daredevil and the Death-Stalker – particularly the last panel with his frozen hand – was again seared into my impressionable mind. There was nothing under that hat, for God’s sake! Nothing!

And how casually Death-Stalker defeats Daredevil, rendering him unconscious with just a touch.

There’s a ton of other stuff happening in that story, including an appearance by the Black Widow, but it was that initial fight that stuck with me; plus, the reprint in the annual only featured DAREDEVIL #114 which ends on a cliff hanger with Foggy Nelson held captive by Death-Stalker – I’ve had no idea how that story ends for the last 40 years! Now at least I can find DAREDEVIL #115 and finish the tale.

At the time, I had no real understanding of what Marvel or DC were – I just loved that story. If I hadn’t found some JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and GREEN LANTERN comics a few years later, it’s possible I could have ended up a Marvel fan rather than a DC one.

Crisis On Infinite Earths News

As we learned last year, this year’s CW TV series crossover event will be Crisis on Infinite Earths and Newsarama reports that it will involve Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and the newly announced Batwoman.

With Arrow due to finish with this latest series, is Ollie going to take the place of the Flash in the comics and sacrifice himself to save the multiverse?

In other news, DC Comics’ solicitations were released recently and contained this little gem:

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS 35TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION HC
written by MARV WOLFMAN
art by GEORGE PEREZ, DICK GIORDANO, JERRY ORDWAY and others
cover by GEORGE PEREZ and ALEX ROSS
The 12-issue epic is collected in a new anniversary edition! The mysterious Anti-Monitor has begun a crusade to end all existence. As alternate Earths are destroyed, the Monitor quickly assembles a team of heroes from across time and space to stop the menace!

Now I already own the original twelve issues, the trade paperback, the Absolute Edition and the digital version.

Do I need a Deluxe Edition?

Do I want a Deluxe Edition . . . ?