“Yesterday’s” Comic> Star Trek: The Next Generation #26 (DC)

That point in the toyline when you know they’ve run out of ways to keep the show’s main cast on shelves.

Star Trek: The Next Generation #26

DC Comics (December, 1991)

“Strangers In Strange Lands!”

WRITER: Michael Jan Friedman

PENCILER: Peter Krause

INKER: Pablo Marcos

COLORIST: Julianna Ferriter

LETTERER: Bob Pinaha

EDITOR: Robert Greenberger

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BW’s Daily Video: War For Cybertron Siege Stop-Motion Battle

Catch this and other Transformers videos on the official Transformers YouTube channel.

I’m not sure why they have to remind us throughout the whole video that this is stop-motion. Do people still think kids are dumb enough to believe their Transformers toys can move on their own unless specifically stated in the ads for toys with walking gimmicks?

Scanning My Collection: Countdown To Infinite Crisis (part 1)

It’s in my comiXology collection. Virtual counts. It’s time for another special edition of Scanning My Collection, complete with special logo!

 

DC Comics has said farewell to Dan DiDio, and we now wait to see if Jim Lee will fix the bad direction he kept trying to take the DC Universe. DiDio and the people he brought in never seemed to realize that the DC Universe was one of hope and optimism, the aspirational, the best of humanity versus great and sometimes minor but overreaching evil. It wasn’t about huge world-shattering epics but just really good stories with uplifting heroes. However, that doesn’t mean the stories under his tenure were necessarily bad. Some were quite good…as stories. As I’ve stated numerous times in recent years there is a difference between quality of work and quality of adaptation or continuation. It can be a great story but one that ruins characters beloved for years or simply ruins future possibilities for great characters or even minor characters that could benefit a story by showing up in recurring roles. Instead we got characters dying either to darken our heroes or characters showing they were never the heroes we looked up to. That last one is something we get enough of with real world heroes.

One of the best examples of “good story/bad adaptation” is Countdown To Infinite Crisis, part of the series of miniseries events that started leading the DC Universe down a darker path by continuing to ruin or eliminate the more fun characters in the DC Universe. In this case it’s Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle. Originally created for Fox Comics, Dan Garrett was a police officer who thanks to a special vitamin that saved his life gained enhanced strength. Using chainmail armor and a few gadgets Garrett became the Blue Beetle, whose adventures continued into radio dramas (I’ve been listening through them when the weather allows me to take a nighttime walk thanks to the Internet Archive) and a second publisher, Charlton Comics, who turned him into an archeologist who found a mystic scarab that gave him superpowers.

It was during the Charlton series that Garrett was replaced by Ted Kord, an admirer of the first Blue Beetle who had no powers at all since the scarab wouldn’t work for him. He was a good inventor and built a bunch of his own gadgets, including his own mobile headquarters, the Bug, and took over the mantle after Garrett died exposing Ted’s uncle’s plot to take over the world. His tales were later taken over by Americomics and after that by DC Comics, where he inspired the Watchmen character Owlman. (Long story and this intro is getting long as it is.) Kord built his own high-tech company and during this period often became a joke character under certain writers, losing and regaining his company many times and usually being talked into get rich quick schemes by his best friend Booster Gold. Countdown To Infinite Crisis is where Ted Kord met his end since DC wanted to replace him with teen Jaime Reyes because replacing a character and reusing a name takes less work than promoting a new character with a new name. Jaime (pronounced “hi-may” using the Spanish pronunciation) became the third and current Blue Beetle. That only matters with this comic due to foreshadowing.

The thing is Ted isn’t necessarily a joke of a hero. He’s more lighthearted than a lot of DC’s roster but done right he isn’t some comedic fool. The only Blue Beetle to deserve that moniker was a comedic character from the original The Electric Company. He doesn’t deserve what he gets in this story. The writers tried to make his death more tragic but while it’s a good story it doesn’t do Ted any favors until his final moment, making him look pathetic to everyone he works with and having only one friend when it’s all over. It’s a good story…but a poor showing for the second Blue Beetle. As I wrote this article I realized I was going to have to split it up into multiple parts, which I wish I knew before I started. I think what I’m going to do is two chapters (issues) a day for the next three days and give this the attention I think it deserves. So here’s part one of my breakdown of the good and bad of this miniseries.

“Man, we’re dropping like flies lately!”

Countdown To Infinite Crisis

DC Comics (March, 2005)

ComiXology has the trade collection, free for some reason, on their site so if you have a comiXology or Amazon account you can read along. This is the version I’ll be using.

WRITERS: Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Judd Winick

PENCILERS: Ed Benes, Phil Jimenez, Rags Morales, Ivan Reis, and Jesus Siaz

INKERS: Michael Bair, Ed Benes, Marc Campos, Andy Lanning, and Jimmy Palmioti

COVER ART: Jim Lee and Alex Ross

Unfortunately this version lacks credits and comiXology rarely credits colorists and letterers. That’s disappointing as I consider them part of the art team and the art in this miniseries is quite good.

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Iron Man vol 3 #66

The prototype for an MCU version of Operation.

Iron Man volume 3 #66

Marvel Comics (May, 2003)

“Manhunt” part 2

WRITERS: Mike Grell & Robin Laws

PENCILER: Michael Ryan

INKER: Rich Perrotta

COLORIST: Arisa Rozegar

LETTERER: Randy Gentile

ASSISTANT EDITORS: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt

EDITOR: Tom Brevoort

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BW’s Daily Video: Character Vs. Characterization And Story Vs. Agenda

Catch more commentaries by Just Some Guy on his YouTube channel.

Remember kids, presentation is important. And since he uses them as his thumbnail I want to note that I’m going to avoid discussing the New New Warriors as long as I can because plenty of other commentators have noted how stupid and insulting the concept is, including to people supposedly being represented by them.

Chapter By Chapter> Spider-Man: Carnage In New York chapter 11

Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

Welcome back to our little book club. It’s time for the second half of this book. It may have taken half the book to get Carnage lose in the city but the build-up worked. While it took time to introduce the cast and the state of the Spidey corner of the Marvel Universe at the time it did so while still moving the plot along, which is more than I can say for longer books. (I’m looking at you, Op-Center.) Now it’s up to Spider-Man to get him back and still co-sign a loan for Aunt May. Peter’s is a odd life.

You’re not practicing social distancing, MJ! Look how scared Aunt May is. (Yes, I did date this joke to the current Covid-19 situation but it’s the only joke I had.)

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Justice League Unlimited #12

Nobody can outrace the Flash except for the Flash!

Justice League Unlimited #12

DC Comics (October, 2005)

“Old School”

WRITER: Adam Beechen

PENCILER: Carlo Barberi

INKER: Walden Wong

COLORING: Heroic Age

COVER ARTIST: Ben Caldwell

LETTERER: Pat Brosseau

EDITOR: Tom Palmer, Jr.

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