Sunday Reviews

With being on holiday for a couple of weeks and having to catch up with everything, Sunday Reviews have been a bit scarce for a while. Let’s see if we can get back into it, shall we?


BABYTEETH #16

It’s five years later and we get to see just what Satan’s made of the place since he brought his demonic horde through. Sadie and her rag-tag crew – including Clark the Anti-Christ – have somehow muddled through before deciding to return to their childhood home where they meet someone we haven’t see for a while.

Nice to have this series back and being as fun and crazy as ever.

BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE #3

The League interrogate Abraham Slam and the others, while Batman and Cyborg work at getting out of the farm. Elsewhere in the Para-Zone, Colonel Weird and John Stewart view the final fate of the Flash . . . with surprising results. And Golden Gail finds a surprising ally when she breaks out of the League’s cage.

Another fine issue of this crossover – worth it for the interrogation scenes alone.

CHASTITY #1

Chastity, fresh from hunting and killing some vampires, heads to an audition for a burlesque show where she finds a bunch of other actresses, all waiting for different auditions. Too late she realises the room’s drugged and the others fall asleep; when the bad guys arrive, they manage to overcome her as well.

I enjoyed Leah Williams’s work on BARBARELLA/DEJAH THORIS so thought I’d give this mini-series a go even though I knew next to nothing about the character of Chastity Jack. This sets things up and introduces her nice and quick, but it’s a bit lightweight. I guess we see where we go from here.

HAWKMAN #16

In order to regain their shadows, Hawkman and the Shade have journeyed to the Shadowlands to face the Shadow Thief, but the Shade recognises that something has changed within Hawkman – he’s more vicious than he’s been in a long time.

Venditti writes a good, fast paced issue with enough of a change in Hawkman to make you realise something’s off. A good issue of a solid series.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #13

On an abandoned Zamaron space station, a small group try to summon the New Gods to go up against Darkseid but what they get is Blackfire and the corpse of Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, whom Darkseid killed at the end of the previous issue. She doesn’t stay dead for long, though, as Darkseid’s own Omega Force appears to have healed and empowered her which comes in handy when they’re attacked.

I’d be surprised if anyone thought Cruz would stay dead but she’s come back with an intriguing change. Interesting to see where they go from here, but hey – Red Lantern Dex-Starr’s joined the team!

Sunday Reviews

BABYTEETH #15

The title returns with the characters still in Hell, wondering whether or not they can trust Lucifer . . . when God turns up along with an army to smite the hell out of Lucifer and his demons. Struggling to get away, drastic measures are called for and a couple of the band fall, making a sacrifice so that others may live. And then there’s those last couple of pages . . .

Glad to see this book back following a hiatus, and still going strong.

BIRTHRIGHT #38

Mikey and the troops launch an all out attack against Masteems – because, you know, that’s the best way of convincing someone to join your team. Meanwhile Brennan tries his best to get Kallista to help and that doesn’t go well at all.

Still a good series, this. Where else are you going to see minotaur’s with machine guns?

GREEN LANTERN #10

Different Lanterns from different universes are called in to save the multiverse from the Anti-Man but while that goes well, there’s still the hole that’s punched through to the anti-matter universe to contend with.

Sucker as I am for a multiversal story, this was sort of fun, though there’s the usual Morrison trick of having characters glibly mention concepts that sound cool but which don’t matter much. But then they’re off on a quest for the Cosmic Grail amid the forbidden, uncharted worlds mentioned in Morrison’s MULTIVERSITY so I can forgive him that.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #29

Jarro – the little bit of Starro that could – takes on the Legion of Doom all on his lonesome before the League join him and it’s all revealed to be a dream Jarro has cooked up. He’s convinced the only way to save the League is to become the bad guy and take them off to his homeworld to keep them safe. Batman, in a tender moment, convinces him otherwise, and the little guy ends up being his usual chirpy self again.

Not a bad one and done prologue to the forthcoming Justice/Doom War event.

The Value Of My Comic Collection

I’ve never really been bothered about how much my comic collection is worth; the majority of my comics and trades are from the 1980s onwards and with the exception of a few titles here and there, most of them – I imagine – aren’t particularly valuable.

There are some exceptions – I’m working at getting complete runs of the Silver/Bronze Age JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and GREEN LANTERN series and am on my way; currently 213 out of 261 for JLoA and 158 out of 224 for GL. Scattered amongst them are a handful of rare or key comics in varying degrees of condition. For example, I have issues #21 and #22 of JLoA that feature the first team up of the Justice League and the Justice Society and the first use of “Crisis” as a motif to describe the threat to both worlds; I also have #85 of GL where Speedy was revealed to be a heroin user:

Those are actual scans of my comics and, as you can see, they’re in pretty good condition on the whole. It makes sense from a collector’s point of view for these issues to have a monetary value as they’re not only relatively rare but also feature key or important stories.

More modern comics might fetch a price if they’re the basis of a popular TV show or film, or if they feature important events from comic history such as PREACHER #1 or JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #70:

Again, scans of my issues.

It makes sense to me that issues have value due to either their rarity and/or containing something significant in one way or another.

Hold that thought.

For the last fifteen years or so, I’ve used a comics database provided by the Collectorz.com company. It’s grown from being a fairly straightforward database to something much much larger – there’s an online master that you can download details from; there are mobile apps; even a web-based version so you don’t need to install anything; and the original software has long been customisable to one degree or another. I used to be one of the main suppliers of comic details such as creator credits and character appearances until they did away with the old forums and went solely to Facebook to interact with their customers – I’ve said before FB isn’t for me.

One of the things they’ve been great at is listening to customer feedback and improving the software as they go along and the latest release brings in something that many users have been asking for: automatic updates of the values of your collection. They’ve partnered with GoCollect.com and you can now download values for any comics that have been sold via auction sites.

It’s a nice, useful addition to the database, even for someone like me who’s never been concerned about the value of his comics. That said, once it’s in the database you can’t help look . . . which is why I’m writing this post. Not to brag that I have comics worth a couple of hundred quid but to offer up a word of caution and bafflement.

Like I said, significant and rare comics can easily command a good price, I understand that. But while my software now tells me that PREACHER #1 is worth $75, and JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #70 is worth $10, I cannot for the life of me understand why this comic:

has apparently sold at auction for $80. Eighty dollars?! Why? For the return of Booster Gold in the worst outfit he’s ever worn?! The Dan Vado run on the JLA in the mid-90s had nothing notable in it apart from the death of Ice, and was followed by Gerard Jones who ran it into the ground about a year later.

A quick check at mycomicshop.com shows the issue currently priced at $1.70 which is what I’d expect.

Maybe it’s just my copy, huh? Maybe GoCollect and Collectorz.com are working together and have realised that my copy of JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #80 contains a previously unseen page where an Easter egg has been laid that reveals the identity of Event Leviathan or something?

Maybe I should put it up for auction before anyone else realises . . .

Anyone have $80 they need to get rid of?

Sunday Reviews

BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE #1

The heroes from BLACK HAMMER are introduced before being approached by a mysterious figure; in Metropolis, the Justice League are fighting off an attack by Starro before they, too, are approached by the same figure. This mystery man manages to transport the heroes from one place to another, swapping them from one world to each other’s, with the BLACK HAMMER heroes appearing in Metropolis and the League on the Black Hammer Farm. Elsewhere, Colonel Weird is found by the Green Lantern Corps.

By necessity, there’s a bit of recapping and introduction here, more for the BLACK HAMMER characters than the League, which is understandable. It’s done well and with little preamble, though, getting into the story nice and quick. While there are no surprises with this initial swap scenario, I have hopes for more from the rest of the series.

HAWKMAN #14

Hawkman is in Kenya, hoping to find some peace and quiet in a mystical cave at the top of a mountain but his relaxation is disturbed by the arrival of one of his oldest foes, the Shadow Thief. They fight, with the Shadow Thief revealing he has new powers and abilities, and at the end of the battle, the Thief literally walks away dragging Hawkman’s shadow with him.

This is part of the Year of the Villain event happening in DC stories where, much like UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED, villains are granted new powers in order to take on their old foes. I’m confused as to why Hawkman takes so long to recognise Shadow Thief, but on the whole this isn’t a bad issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #11

As the Odyssey League feel constrained to work with Darkseid to build Sepulkore, Cyborg tries to understand what Darkseid’s doing and realises that he actually can – he shouldn’t be able to, but he can process the almost unimaginable amounts of data, much to his surprise. Darkseid isn’t surprised, though, and goads Cyborg, telling him he’s always been a machine posing as a human and that he should embrace it. The rest of the League arrive and take down Darkseid, only to find Cyborg might have taken the old god up on his offer.

Not a bad issue; this title’s come on leaps and bounds since Dan Abnett took over.

OBERON #5

Oberon and Puck battle and Bonnie is revealed to be the Lovet, the natural magician that Oberon thought she was. The Nevermen strike and Titania plots and, at the last, Oberon shows what an absolute bastard he is and just how far he’ll go to get what he wants.

It looks like this is the end of this series which is a shame – there are multiple story threads that could continue, but unless there’s a volume two coming next, this looks to be the last issue.