Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review- ACG COLLECTED WORKS: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN VOL. 7



ACG COLLECTED WORKS: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN VOL. 7 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, 2014; Hardcover)

Collects Adventures Into The Unknown #31-36 (cover dates May- October, 1952)

Writers: Unknown

Artists: Ken Bald (covers), Edvard Moritz, Art Gates, Milt Knopf, Al Camy, Al Streeter, Charlie Sultan, Lou Cameron, Rocke Mastroserio, Pete Riss, Frank Simienski, Moe Marcus, Harry Lazarus, Lin Streeter, S. Cooper, Tom Hickey, King Ward, Paul Cooper, Paul Gattuso, Charles Nicholas, Leo Morey, Emil Gershwin, George Klein, Gus Ricca, Robert S. Pious, and other unidentified artists



I love '50s Pre-Code Horror comics. This title is fondly remembered and widely considered one of the better non-EC titles. I think that the main reason for this is that it was the first Horror anthology title and it ran for 174 issues. This particular volume has a noticeable dip in quality compared to earlier volumes. There are any number of other Horror comics of the day that crush the comics slapped between these two covers.



That's not to say that these weren't enjoyable. I'm just saying that these were not the most illustrious examples of 1950s Pre-Code Horror comics. The artwork is solid, done by the usual workhorses and journeymen of the day. It's the writing that sinks some of these stories. It's easy to sit here with 2017 eyes and sophistication and critique 65 year old comic books, but I am referring to the quality within the context of the era when compared to other then-contemporary comics.

Oh man! It's like looking into a mirror. 

One of the reasons that these stories would fall flat for readers today is that people are not as superstitious as they once were. While I enjoy stories about cursed masks from some unknown African tribe, werewolves, ghost ships, pacts with the devil, jungle curses, vampires, serpent gods, possessed paintings, ghosts, zombies, frozen cavemen who come back to life, witches, ghosts, magic, cursed jewels, and split personalities, many of these topics are now boring to modern day sensibilities. People are too smart to enjoy a good ghost story. More fool them.



Issue 36 is the best issue in the book. I am hoping that this is indicative of an uptick in quality, as I have Vols. 8-12 in my backlog waiting to be read someday.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone-PS Artbooks reprint public domain material in a high quality hardcover format. While there are several companies that reprint public domain material via Amazon's CreateSpace print on demand imprint, none of them are as nicely made as these books.
Linework and Color restoration: Like any PS Artbook, the quality varies issue by issue. Some are perfectly acceptable raw scans. Others are blurry, muddy messes sourced from lower resolution scans.
The raw scan presentation has the benefit of the feeling of reading the original comic book. The drawback, which is a huge one subjectively speaking, is that all of the shortcomings of the primitive four color printings presses are apparent. Line bleed, off register printing, and other anomalies are all present. It's a warts and all approach.
This material will likely never be given a full blown Marvel Masterworks level restoration, so this is your only chance to get it in color in hardcover.

Anyone who claims that the four color printing press and "Ben Day" dots were artistic choices are delusional. There is nothing romantic about off register printing.

Paper stock: Bright white matte stock.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Hardback cover notes: Matte casewrap with spot varnish. No dustjacket. Images printed directly onto the casewrap. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review- WOLVERINE- OLD MAN LOGAN VOL. 4: OLD MONSTERS



WOLVERINE- OLD MAN LOGAN VOL. 4: OLD MONSTERS (Marvel, First Printing, 2017; Softcover)

Collects Old Man Logan #14-18 (cover dates January- April, 2017)

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artists: Felipe Andrade (#14, 15) and Andrea Sorrentino

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire (#14, 15) and Marcelo Maiolo



What happened? Everything was moving along just fine until now. Issues 14 and 15 were abysmal dreck. The new Howling Commandos are a pathetic retread of DC's Creature Commandos. Felipe Andrade's artwork in this two issue arc left me cold.

It was more than the art that soured me on those two issues. Lemire's writing seems like it went off of the track there too. Jubille and vampires? Come on, man. It felt like Lemire had a dartboard of random plotlines and then had to patch them all together.

Fortunately #16 is right back on track like nothing ever happened in #14 and 15. Logan is still trying to right the wrongs of the past, only something goes wrong and he realizes that he needs to right the wrongs of a future yet to occur in his alternate future timeline. Lots of timeshifts, dreams, nightmares, and hallucinations make this a game of leapfrog for the reader, trying to leap from one lily pad to the next to keep up with what is really happening and what Old Man Logan thinks is really happening. It's honestly a lot of fun. The book ends on a note where you just know it's going to take an even bigger jump.



This can become a great risk. Jumping works so long as you firmly know where you are going. When you are merely jumping to avoid something or get away to the next point then the potential for catastrophe is great. Let's see what Lemire can pull off in Volume 5...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Thin coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback. This book is on the thin side and feels like a fat periodical.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Review- JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 3



JOHN CARPENTER'S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT VOL. 3 (Storm King, First Printing, 2017; Softcover)

Original Graphic Novel

Writers: John Carpenter, Steven Hoveke, David J. Schow, Louise Simonson, Joe Harris, Amanda Deibert, Richard P. Clark, Frank Tieri, James Ninness, Duane Swierczynski, Kealan Patrick Burke, and Sandy King

Artists: Tim Bradstreet, Jon Bogdanove, Luis Guaranga, Darick Robertson, Guy Dorian, Sal Buscema, Greg Scott, Cat Staggs, Richard P. Clark, James M. Daly III, Trevor Denham, Jaime J. Carrillo, Jan Duursema, Tom Mandrake, Sian Mandrake, and Ray Dillon

Colorists: Sian Mandrake, Richard P. Clark, Ross Campbell, Felipe Sobreiro, Cat Staggs, Trevor Denham, Kinsun Loh, and Ray Dillon

Letterer: Janice Chiang with Ben Gilbert (one story)



This is the biggest volume yet in this series, with eleven stories, a few sneak previews for Volume 4, and expanded Groundscreeper interludes. In previous volumes The Groundscreeper was one image with a text page which set the stage for the following tale. This time around it is a two page strip in between each tale, serving the same purpose. This has to be Jon Bogdanove's best artwork. I fondly remember his work on Power Pack and Superman, but here he is at his peak.



Like any Horror anthology, you get a mixed bag of topics with various styles of art. The first story, The Awakening, is written by John Carpenter with Luis Guaranga's Ghastly Graham Ingels inspired art. It deals with two of Carpenter's pet themes: religion and demonic possession. Let's face it, when it comes to Horror those two themes never run out of steam because it's the foundation of it all. Good versus evil in the truest sense.



Louise Simonson, another Power Pack alumni (I was a huge fan of the series in the '80s), turns in the Sci-Fi Horror tale Bug. Traveling to other worlds poses many risks. We could unknowingly contaminate ourselves with who knows what. Heck, it's possible that the rise in obesity and cancer is from something we brought back from the moon that we can't identify. That type of thing scares the crap out of me, and Bug is 21st century Horror done right.

Indivisible is a timely political Horror story. 2017 is a strange time to be an American, as identity politics has seemingly ripped our country apart. While I have a ton of tinfoil hat theories about Communist brainwashing using social media, Indivisible is not that far fetched a story. The Warren Magazines delved into timely political tales in the early '70s and it will be interesting to see how this story reads in a few decades. If we're still here to read comic books and haven't blown up the whole planet, that is.

The Captive (written by Amanda Deibert with art by Cat Staggs) is brilliant. This is another 21st century Horror concept, a cautionary tale about the horrors of online dating. There are plenty of losers to meet in real life, folks.



36 Baron Street treads well covered ground, but I'll be damned if those kinds of haunted house stories don't get me every time. I love them and can never get enough of them. EC had a ton of them, and they've been covered by every horror anthology under the sun, but they always work so why not do them?

Visitation Rights is the one that really got me, though. I went through a brutal custody battle during my divorce a year ago, so this piqued my interest from the word go. While the story wasn't as horrifying as the reality of fighting Michigan's draconian family court system with it's rich history of systemic discrimination and overt gender bias against men, it is pretty messed up stuff. I absolutely love Trevor Denham's art and colors. The text captions in lieu of word balloons is reminiscent of EC's short lived Picto-Fiction format. I don't give anything away in terms of plot twists or reveals in my reviews, but this one the real deal, a visceral piece of art.



Everlasting Peace is another haunted house type ghost story that works. This volume is easily the best one in the series yet, and I am really looking forward to Volume 4. Get off of the fence and get into this series.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Nothing unusual to report.
Paper stock: Super thick glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback. The binding is a little tight but loosens as you read it.
Cardstock cover notes: Matte finish on thick cardstock with spot varnish and an embossed logo, a nice touch. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review- PRE-CODE CLASSICS: THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED VOL. 1



PRE-CODE CLASSICS: THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED VOL. 1 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, May, 2016; Hardcover)

Collects This Magazine Is Haunted #1-7 (cover dates October, 1951- October, 1952)

Writers: Al Schutzer, John Martin, Daniel Sheldon, Earl Hammer, Jr., Eando Binder, Richard Kraus, and other unidentified writers

Artists: Sheldon Moldoff, George Evans, Bernard Baily, Bob Powell, Edd Ashe, Myron Fass, Ed Waldman, Leonard Frank, “Jokerface” (unidentified), and other unidentified artists



I adore 1950s Pre-Code Horror comic books. While EC remain the gold standard for the era, this title, published by Fawcett, gave EC a run for their money. While the writing is better than average for the genre and the time it falls just a pinch short of EC level quality.



The topics of these stories run the gamut of what was typically included in these types of series at the time. There are no real surprises here. It's not the predictable twist ending that offers the payoff here, it is the execution and the craft of these stories that kept me turning the pages so quickly.



The artwork, on the other hand, is where this title truly shines. Take a gander at the list of talent above. There are many Golden Age notables that worked on this series. And while some of these stories have been cherry-picked by other publishers in various compilation type books, it is great to have the complete issues reprinted.

Artwork by the godlike George Evans.

#5's The Slithering Horror Of Skontong Swamp! features artwork by future EC legend George Evans. Evans employs a cinematic camera angle style to his panel composition, with the results being nothing short of incredible. Issue 6's Showcase For Horror! is another brilliant story, reading like an episode of The Twilight Zone. There weren't any bad stories in the bunch, these two were just the standouts for me.



This was an absolute blast to read in the weeks leading up to Halloween. I'll have to read the rest of this series sooner than later. Maybe next Hallowe'en I'll read Volume 2.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- PS Artbooks reprint public domain material in a high quality hardcover format. While there are several companies that reprint public domain material via Amazon's CreateSpace print on demand imprint, none of them are as nicely made as these books.
Linework and Color restoration: Like any PS Artbook, the quality varies issue by issue. Some, like issue 3, are perfectly acceptable raw scans. Others, like issue #6, are blurry, muddy messes sourced from lower resolution scans.
The raw scan presentation has the benefit of the feeling of reading the original comic book. The drawback, which is a huge one subjectively speaking, is that all of the shortcomings of the primitive four color printings presses are apparent. Line bleed, off register printing, and other anomalies are all present. It's a warts and all approach.
This material will likely never be given a full blown Marvel Masterworks level restoration, so this is your only chance to get it in color in hardcover.
Paper stock: This book was released in the era when PS took the EC Annual format and put it into a hardcover. Glossy paper covers with interior paper that replicates the feeling of pulp paper, albeit much thicker. The paper is not as thick as the matte paper that Dark Horse was using in their Archives. It's a matte off white stock that I like a lot.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Hardback cover notes: Matte casewrap with spot varnish. No dustjacket. Images printed directly onto the casewrap. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review- BUSTER BROWN'S ANTICS



BUSTER BROWN'S ANTICS (Frederick A. Stokes Co.(*?), 1906(*?); Softcover)

*My copy has copyright dates on the strips of 1906 and 1907 American Journal Examiner, Great Britain. It's possible that my copy is from the UK. If so, it was released in the UK in 1908, not 1906, which is probable seeing as how the US version is copyright 1906. Contents differ wildly between countries. The French version of this book with the same cover and title has wholly different contents.

The spine of this book.


The following strips are present in my copy of this book:

Buster And The Goat- Tige To The Woods (1906)
Buster's Goat Yields To Kindness (1906)
Buster Fools His Mama/ Up In A Balloon, Boys. (1906)
Poor Buster Gets The Blame (1906)
Buster's Education/ The New Tutor (1906)
Buster Gets The Worst Of It (1907)
Why is a Goat Nearly? (1906)
What Would You Do With A Boy Like This? (1906)
Was It Not Buster's Boat? Not Yet- But- Soon (undated)
Buster's Pet Goat/ But The Goat Was Cleaned (undated)
Getting An Education (1906)
Buster's Dilemma/ And It Was Halloween Too (1906, my copy is missing the second page)

(NOTE) I can't find an exact table of contents for this book anywhere online. My copy is missing the title page, which seems to be in every other copy I've seen online. Most sources show this book as having 31 pages. My copy has a total of 23 pages, meaning that it is likely missing the title page, one story page, and three two-page stories. This was a “quarter box” equivalent beater reader copy when compared to the nicer copies found online. If you are willing to spend upwards of 400 bucks you can get some cleaner copies. I got this for a small fraction of that cost. Oh well, you get what you pay for, right?

Writer and Artist: R. F. Outcault

This is the fourth collection of Buster Brown newspaper strips that was published from what I have gathered. There is a real lack of resources on the publishing history of the character online. The usual sources have some information but it is skeletal at best. I have yet to find a definitive source on the publication history with dates for each strip. Indeed, one may not even exist.



Outcault is an absolute genius. His earlier creation, The Yellow Kid, was a real salt of the Earth concept. Buster Brown is an affluent upper class child, the Little Lord Fauntleroy prudent Victorian child that was all but fantasy to a large portion of the reading audience.

Buster seems to lead a carefree life free of all want, left to pursue fun and mischief with playmates while causing headaches for his prim and proper mother. His talking dog, Tige, seems to be the moral compass and smartest character in the strip.



This stuff bleeds charm. It's a fun read as a read, and when you factor in the obscurity, scarcity, and cultural and historical significance to the artform it's invaluable. There is one strip here which would offend today's more politically correct fanbase. I wish that Sunday Press Books, Classic Comics Press, Fantagraphics, or Library Of American Comics would rescue this strip from the dustbins of history and reprint it in hardcover. This likely hasn't happened because the strips are either scarce and/or there aren't enough fans of Outcault left in this mortal coil to buy them.



I am admittedly not an expert on the Platinum Age of Comics but am eager to learn. There are several Facebook groups on the subject and scattered resources but have yet to find some definitive source detailing the print history of the strip and assorted books. I would be grateful to anyone who can show me where to go to learn more.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Old newspapers were fricking HUGE. The Sunday pages are cut in half here, with the top half's worth of panels going across one page and the second half going across the next. Each page is single sided, likely due to the limits of printing technology of the day.

Buster Fools His Mama/ Up In A Balloon, Boys. page two is misbound behind the story which followed it. These books were bound by hand back then, so it is doubtful that the entire run was effected by my copy's defect.
Linework and Color restoration: I couldn't even begin to guess how this compares to the original newspaper strips. From what I've been able to piece together this strip wasn't even printed in color in every market. What I can tell you is that the print quality for this time is downright stunning. Four color printing with minimal line bleed or off-register printing.
Paper stock: Glossy paper of the day, far less glossy than what we would call glossy today but the paper has a slickness to it as well as bright, vibrant colors. Being 110+ years old it is brittle and there are flakes everywhere every time I flip through it.
Binding: Cloth bound. Handling a 110+ year old book felt like handling the dead sea scrolls.

This book once belonged to some children, who wrote their names on the back cover. It's wild to think that the children who wrote this are long dead and gone and likely have greatgrandchildren roaming around now.


Cardstock cover notes: The cover is pretty thick, but time and endless handling have rendered it fragile, with folds, creases, and flaking everywhere. 



Friday, November 3, 2017

Review- WOLVERINE- OLD MAN LOGAN VOL. 3: LAST RONIN



WOLVERINE- OLD MAN LOGAN VOL. 3: LAST RONIN (Marvel, Second Printing, 2017; Softcover)

Collects Old Man Logan #9-13 (cover dates September, 2016- January, 2017)

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo



The back and forth timeslip ('Then' and 'Now') method of storytelling is often a crutch for a thin plot. It is typically employed when the events would be unremarkable if presented in a linear fashion. Lemire manages to hold it together well enough though.

This arc delves into the ninja aspect of the character. Wolverine became insufferable when he started pontificating about honor and discipline and all that jazz. Logan was always too much of an undisciplined brawler for me to buy him being a ninja. Of course ninjas are cool. Who doesn't like watching them fight and throwing stars and stuff? Lemire mercifully sidesteps any honor ninja talk. 1980S Wolverine, only decades older, is holding fast.



I chuckled when Wolverine appeared in his Patch persona. I remember back when his first ongoing series was launched back in 1988, and how excited 15 year old me was at the time. Only when you flipped open the first issue you didn't have Wolverine, you had Patch, the underworld informant, and instead of Wolverine fighting supervillains you had James Bond crap going on. I bolted from that series fast as a kid, although I did read and enjoy the first 10 issues when they were reprinted in the Wolverine Omnibus a while back. I just didn't get what they were going for as a kid.

All of this leads us to the Silent Order and the Silent Monk, the very thing that brought Old Man Logan to Japan in the first place. Logan is still trying to prevent his future from happening even if it is crystal clear that this is not his timeline.



Everything is still moving along at a good pace and I am still enjoying myself. Lemire is sticking to his plan, and Andrea Sorrentino's art, while using obvious Photoshop tricks, is pleasing to the eye and clearly laid out. This gorier adult take on the character makes me smile.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- I am surprised that this book received a second printing, as Marvel typically allows material to go out of print so that it can be repurposed in Omnibus hardcovers and, once those go out of print, fat Complete Collection trades.
Paper stock: Fair weight coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback. This book is on the thin side and feels like a fat periodical.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Review- John Carpenter's Tales Of Science Fiction: Vault #1-3



John Carpenter's Tales Of Science Fiction: Vault #1-3 (Storm King, cover dates July- September, 2017)

Writer: James Ninness (series created by John Carpenter and Sandy King)

Artist: Andres Esparza

Colorist: Sergio Martinez

John Carpenter's latest comic book creation is an ongoing science fiction series, albeit with a Horror bent a la The Thing. While it is easy to pass this series off as an Alien meets The Thing riff, one would be missing the point and the punchline of this series if they did that. While the aforementioned movies are certainly reference points here they are not what this series is all about.



I try not to spoil books when I review them or give blow by blow book report style reviews. I'll try to touch on a few points and let you decide if it's something you might like. The crew of the Gaia are your standard rag tag bunch seen in these types of movies, with the dynamics of distrust and politics that you would find in any group of people. The Gaia encounters an unknown ship and decides to board it. We've all seen this before and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is wrong from the word go.

With the recent discovery of a new black hole so close to our solar system, this series was better timed than even the creators could have hoped for. Black holes are a huge mystery that we are only scratching the surface of understanding. It's here that we have the springboard for the Vault series. I'm not giving away anything else other than we are not alone and it's only a matter of time before unforeseen circumstances lead to unintended consequences for mankind.



I've read these three issues as they came out and again once the series was completed, and it works better as a whole story than as individual parts. Some comics series are like that. While I primarily read collected editions I do buy all Storm King stuff in singles first. At three issues I can't imagine this being collected as a stand alone book. It will likely be compiled with one of the other Tales Of Science Fiction series down the road. The next one is Vortex and issue 1 is out now.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Review- STUDS TERKEL'S WORKING



STUDS TERKEL'S WORKING (The New Press, First Printing, 2009; Softcover)

Original Graphic Novel

Writers: Studs Terkel, adapted by Harvey Pekar with additional adaptations by Sharon Rudhal, Peter Kuper, Sabrina Jones, Lance Tooks, Danny Fingeroth, and Gary Dumm

Artists: Sharon Rudhal, Anne Timmons, Dylan A.T. Miner, Peter Kuper, Sabrina Jones, Joan Reilly, Peter Gullerud, Ryan Insana, Lance Tooks, Bob Hall, Terry LaBan, Pablo G. Callejo, Emily Nemens, Nick Thorkelson, and Gary Dumm

Studs Terkel's Working is a fascinating look at what people do for a living. Or more accurately, what we used to do for a living. The original novel was published in 1972, and the field of labor has changed dramatically in the past 45 years. That said, many of these jobs still exist, although the attitudes against people who are employed in these fields is much different than it was at the time that the original book was published.



For example, people once looked up to teachers and factory workers. Now they are frowned upon because of unions. In the decades since the original work was published, labor has become anti-people and more pro-company. Technology and our society as a whole has dehumanized us all, to the point where we are all cogs in machines pressed to produce. Every worker is more efficient than ever and yet is valued less than before by companies.

This book is based on interviews that were done with people in various professions. Mailman, teacher, farm worker, and even prostitutes. It is that tale, Hooker, that is the most riveting in the book. While nearly all of the tales mention the downfalls and changes within the profession, it is this one which is the most disturbing.



Pekar adapted 12 of the 28 short stories that comprise this graphic novel, so it is not a true Pekar book, but most of the stories are well done. I got a kick out of seeing 1980s Marvel veterans Danny Fingeroth and Bob Hall team up for a few stories here. Most of the people who worked on this book are unknown quantities to me.

Harvey Pekar is the everyman, and he is hands down the man for the job of putting the polish on these tales. Pekar is the type of guy who no longer exists. A guy who just wants to get by, with no delusions of grandeur about becoming a CEO or someone important. He gets what is really important about life, and that is regular people who do regular work.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Library books are fascinating science experiments in the workmanship of the materials used to make these books.
Paper stock: Matte uncoated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Cardstock has a matte coating and a 1/3 length fold over on the inside of the front and back covers, giving an added heft and durability to the cover.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review- ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY



ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY (DC, First Printing, 2017; Hardcover)

Collects All Star Batman #1-5 (cover dates October, 2016- February, 2017)

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artists: John Romita Jr. and Danny Miki (My Own Worst Enemy main story) and Declan Shalvey (The Cursed Wheel back-up story)

Colorists: Dean White (My Own Worst Enemy main story) and Jordie Bellaire (The Cursed Wheel back-up story)

My son checked this out from the library and wanted to read it with me. I liked Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing run and am a huge fan of John Romita, Jr., plus I get to read comics with my son. It's a can't lose scenario!

Two-Face has Batman on the run against the clock, with the KGBeast (now known as The Beast) hot on their tail. JRJr really shines in the bonecrushing fist fight sequences. I still can't get over John Romita Jr. defecting to DC after decades with Marvel. I wonder if it was money or if it was simply boredom. He has handled every single Marvel property at one time or another and might have just felt that it was time to move on.



My only dislike about the My Own Worst Enemy story is the ret-con aspect of the flashback. I'm not sure if that facet really added anything to the overall story, even with the end result of it coming full circle. It likely flew in the face of some continuity established somewhere since 1939 and it did the story a disservice by tying it to the “then” instead of the “now”.

The Cursed Wheel was awesome, a story about a demented serial killer that Batman's new partner Duke manages to stop because he was able to piece together the clues faster than Batman. It is a dark story done at a PG-13 level. It was incredible.

This whole book was fantastic. I will freely admit that I have a double standard when it comes to DC. Their continuity doesn't have to make any sense to me since they have rebooted and ret-conned things so many times that I am not even sure if they have a definitive continuity. With that in mind I am free to read and enjoy anything that they release as it's own thing, with no thought or concern as to where it fits into the puzzle that makes up the big picture. Marvel's continuity was once as tight as a drum and I have never forgiven them for running it off of the rails.



My 10 year old son's take: I think that it was great. It was brilliant. The art was well drawn, the storyline was good. I liked that it all revolved around Two-Face. I disliked the little bit of swearing. (Note: The swearing was mostly in @#$%$% form.) It was the best Batman comic I've ever read. It was really well done.

This is so good that I am considering buying it. It's not like I will ever have to time to read it again, but it's so good that I would like to think that I'll be able to someday.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Library books are fascinating science experiments in the workmanship of the materials used to make these books. I'll be lucky to find enough time to read all of my books once, so I am not sure why I would consider buying more.
Paper stock: Good weight coated glossy stock.
Binding: Perfect binding.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: The dustjacket is in a Brodart sleeve and taped to the hardback. Difficult to evaluate on these library books.