A Look Back at Superman #423 (1986)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

How do you end an entire era of a major pop culture icon like Superman? You end it with a very great story described as imaginary and leave it up to the readers to decide if the events never happened or had happened. The famous author Alan Moore wrote such a story (in two parts actually) to help DC Comics conclude the real-life legend of Superman as they transitioned from the original DC multiverse age (1938-1986, concluded with Crisis on Infinite Earths) into a new era of superhero comic book publishing back in 1986 (the post-Crisis era).

For those who were not able to read Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985-1986, there was a time when DC Comics’ superhero universe started simple in the late 1930s and became too convoluted and confusing in the decades that followed. There were different universes in existence resulting not only different realms of existence but also different versions of the superheroes. Even Superman had different versions and there was also Superboy who went back and forth to the 30th century joining that era’s Legion of Superheroes. As Crisis on Infinite Earths concluded the old DC Comics multiverse, a fitting conclusion for Superman became inevitable so the publisher assembled Moore and other great talents to work on a definitive storyline.

If you are ready to look at what Superman was like long before Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel and long before the New 52 and DC Rebirth happened, here is a look back at Superman #423, published by DC Comics in 1986 with a story written by Alan Moore and drawn by Curt Swan with ink work done by George Perez. This is the first chapter of the storyline Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the then-future of 1997 when a journalist from the Daily Planet visiting the home of Lois Lane who is now identified as Mrs. Lois Elliot. The journalist is Tim Crane and his assignment is to interview her for their newspaper’s upcoming Superman memorial edition.

Crane starts asking Lois about the years leading up to Superman’s disappearance and presumed death. Lois recalls the time when Superman’s arch-nemesis Lex Luthor laid low as well as the pounding of Brainiac’s last organic metal body into a state beyond repair. She remembers Superman recovering every fragment except for the head of the creature. Then two other super villains (Terra-Man and Parasite) destroyed each other due to a lack of people to fight with and Superman eventually worked in space helping the government do their research.

As it turned out, the events only led to what was the first taste of the carnage that was to follow. Some years prior, Superman arrived in a heavily damaged Metropolis. Lois told him that Bizarro caused it and Jimmy Olsen stated that the super villain retreated into a nearby department store and still has not come out since. Superman then walks into the department store to face off with Bizarro…

Quality

A classic moment of Superman saving Lois Lane.

I’ll start by saying that the writing done by Alan Moore here is very great to read and clearly he made in-depth research on Superman’s extensive history, exploring the personalities and traits of the supporting characters and super villains, and, most notably, he went on to create a lot of compelling and intriguing stuff to tell. The result was a clear creative challenge towards the conventional thinking of Superman fans of the time and Moore even managed to add some adulterated themes into the narrative without making the comic book going over the edge. For one thing, a certain super villain here concluded his pre-Crisis existence with elements of genocide, homicide and suicide. There was also a scene in which Superman, in his most vulnerable portrayal, expressed his view that nuances from his past were coming back as killers which made him fear for the lives of the people he cared for.

The interview-flashback format to tell the narrative is indeed excellent in form and Moore told each flashback in great detail while capturing the essence of not just Superman but also those of the supporting characters as well as Lex Luthor, Brainiac and others. Even as the stories get told, Moore managed to pull off some great twists which you my readers should find out for yourselves. I personally enjoyed these twists and I am sure you will.

Visually, Curt Swan went all out in making great art and his decades-long experience of drawing Superman and all the related characters really show it. Swan’s art in the final page is very powerful and dramatic to look at.

Conclusion

The interview-flashback format used is great and so was the storytelling itself.

Very clearly, Superman #423 (1986) is not only a great Superman story but also one of the greatest superhero comic books ever made! This is illustrated literature with gold quality all over it and the funny thing is that this happens to be only the first part of the storyline Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The creative team of Moore and Swan produced the most striking and most engaging Superman work from start to finish. I should state that this one made me rethink and remember what I read about Superman in comic books before Crisis on Infinite Earths happened. The good news is that I enjoyed every bit of what was told in this comic book and it truly is a definitive way to conclude an age of Superman (and this is only the first chapter of the concluding storyline).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Superman #423 (1986), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $120 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $240. A signed-copy in near-mint condition costs $240.

Overall, Superman #423 (1986) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #13 (1988)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman! In case you missed the updates, the new movie Wonder Woman 1984 will eventually be released in 4K Blu-ray format although there is no release date announced yet nor a price. As the nearest cinemas remain closed, it looks like buying the movie in 4K Blu-ray is the best alternative for me and at the same time I am not a fan of streaming movies. Let me point out that what customers pay to stream Wonder Woman 1984 does NOT pay that movie’s producers, investors and creditors! You want to make a difference for the people behind Wonder Woman 1984? Buy movie tickets to watch it in the movie theaters (you will also help the theater operators and their employees) and for home viewing, buy the movie on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray in the near future.

Anyway, we are here to look back at the comic books of Wonder Woman as rebooted by the creative duo of George Perez and the late Len Wein. We are going to examine the Challenge of the Gods storyline (started in issue #10) which I personally find really intriguing and engaging to read. It is the struggle of Wonder Woman with a really strong fantasy and mythology flavor that made it stand out among superhero comic book stories in the late 1980s. Last time around, there were these great revelations about an untold chapter of the past of the Amazons as well as greater focus on Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyte who joined in the dangerous trek.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Wonder Woman #13, published in 1988 by DC Comics with a story written George Perez and Len Wein. Perez drew the comic book with ink work done by Bruce D. Patterson. This is the 4th chapter of the Challenge of the Gods storyline!

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the armored Queen Hippolyte staring at a huge, deformed man-like figure made of rock which she realizes is none other than Heracles, the same man who deceived and abused her long before the birth of Diana. She reflects on her personal hatred of him that lasted for centuries and remembers that her years in Themyscira taught her the folly of anger. She wonders what Heracles had committed to be condemned the way he is. Noticeably, anything that pierces the stony surface causes great pain and tears from Heracles.

Hippolyte moves on toe find a sleeping cyclops in a lair filled with skeletons. Behind him is a tunnel that she believes her daughter took. As she quietly sneaks, she looks back at Heracles and actually hears him mournfully moaning louder as if he was calling to her.

Among the skeletons in the cyclops’ lair is a horned human skull which Zeus and his fellow deities in Olympus believe belongs to Pan. They realize that the Pan who had spent a lot of time with them is an impostor and this causes division among them. Hera speaks out again Zeus pointing out his enormous pride and arrogance as sources of trouble. Hera believes that Gaea’s destiny will be fulfilled through the Amazons and she will not allow Zeus to abuse them.

Hera then sends Hermes to reach Wonder Woman who just joined the company of several superheroes in the California citadel of the Green Lantern Corps…

Quality

The tremendous impact of the challenge felt.

This is another high-quality creation by Perez-Wein and the stakes for not only Wonder Woman but also her mother has been raised even further. As if that was not enough, there are also some solid revelations (pertaining to the Amazons, their heritage and their destiny under the Olympus deities) and in-story surprises that made the story very engaging. As the challenge for Wonder Woman continued on, Queen Hippolyte’s involvement grew even bigger and this added and connected smoothly with her daughter’s struggles. In terms of characterization, the bond between Diana and her queen mother is dramatically deepened and their respective purpose in life got emphasized a lot more.

In terms of spectacle, this one is very loaded with action while still having a very strong fantasy element behind it all. Seeing Wonder Woman and her mother engage the minotaur and mythological creatures are sights to behold. George Perez expectedly visualized everything with high details and well-constructed panels that moved the action.

Conclusion

Wonder Woman and her mother in the heat of battle with the evil creatures.

No doubt about it! Wonder Woman #13 (1988) successfully kept the Challenge of the Gods storyline compelling and at the same time stay fresh by pulling off strong revelations that will make you think deeper about the Amazons, their heritage and their future. The portrayal of Wonder Woman here shows how pure she is as a purposeful protagonist who simply won’t give up in fulfilling the challenges, proving her true worth and making a major impact to all around her. Her role as a daughter is also very well defined.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #13 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Wonder Woman #13 (1988) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #12 (1988)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman and DC Comics! Happy New Year to you all as well! To start 2021, I have another Wonder Woman retro comic book review here.

Before getting to the review, I want to ask if you were able to watch Wonder Woman 1984? I have not seen it yet as the local cinemas in our part of Metro Manila still have not reopened. I have no intention to stream the new movie at all. Big movie productions like the one starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were clearly made for the big screens in the cinemas and I am patiently waiting for the golden opportunity to watch Wonder Woman 1984 in a theater. If the nearest local cinemas won’t reopen due to this ongoing pandemic, the next best option for me is to get the movie in its future 4K Blu-ray release.

Going back to the Wonder Woman comic series of the post-Crisis DC Comics era, I reviewed issue #11 recently which saw Princess Diana enter the forbidden zone of Themyscira as she struggles to fulfil the challenge of Olympus’ deities. Meanwhile, Queen Hippolyte decides to take action by following and search for her daughter. This naturally troubles the Amazons who themselves are uncertain about what the deities have in plan for them.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Wonder Woman #12, published in 1988 by DC Comics with a story written George Perez and Len Wein. Perez illustrated the comic book with ink work done by Bruce D. Patterson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the armored Queen Hippolyte making her way down into the forbidden zone, with a feathered companion flying just near her. Suddenly a horde of bats surround her compelling her to defend herself. She notices that the vulture made no effort to help her which convinces her that it is there to guide.

Over at Oklahoma, Steve Trevor sits by his very old father and apologizes to him for failing to be there sooner. Tearfully he remembers the demise of his mother and the times he spent with his father growing up. Downstairs, Etta Candy examines a framed photo of Steve’s mother.

Deep within the forbidden zone, Wonder Woman is struck with disbelief as she just encountered in the flesh the one mysterious warrior whom she was named after which Queen Hippolyte and the Amazons did not discuss with her…

The mysterious warrior tells Princess Diana: I’ve waited this day far longer than you could imagine—-but if there’s anything I’ve learned here, it’s that life on the mortal coil follows a grand design! We were faither to meet, child—from the day you were born!

Quality

This comic book showed more of Queen Hippolyte’s side of the story than the previous issue.

Once again, this is another high-quality work of art and literature done by the creative team led by the Perez-Wein duo and considering the way things were structured, this proves that they really planned this storyline early and this very comic book happens to be full of revelations relating to a notable event in the past of the Amazons.

In this particular chapter of the Challenge of the God’s storyline, Wonder Woman’s significance (in connection with events that took place before her birth) and her special bond with Steve Trevor (in relation to issues #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6) were deeply emphasized through the story of the mysterious warrior whose name is also Diana and also a native from man’s world. The mysterious warrior’s personal story and discovery of Themyscira were excellently dramatized by Perez-Wein, which is not surprising, and the narrative was carefully paced giving readers breathing space to learn the details.

Picking up from the previous issue, this comic book’s focus on Queen Hippolyte has grown larger effectively creating what is technically a solo adventure for her within the forbidden zone. Compared to her daughter, Queen Hippolyte has deeper knowledge of the history of the place and is naturally cautious with her search for Diana. I should state that the dialogue style written for the queen was very cleverly crafted. Meanwhile, the Olympus deity Pan was clearly portrayed to be the evil manipulator and clearly the Satan figure of the story.

Conclusion

Princess Diana meets the other Diana whose past is linked with the Amazons.

Wonder Woman #12 (1988) is another excellent work by the Perez-Wein creative team. It is more than just a Wonder Woman story and more than just a well-told fantasy of the DC Comics universe, it is filled with very profound revelations that further deepen the legacy of the Amazons and Wonder Woman’s significance. As for the influences behind the design and symbols on Wonder Woman’s costume, those have been revealed in this comic book as well.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #12 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Wonder Woman #12 (1988) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Prime #13 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Did you guys and gals have a restful Christmas weekend? I sure did! Anyway, we are about to return to the Ultraverse through the eyes of Prime. The catch here is that Prime will face not one but two guys to battle with.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Prime #13, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. This is another one of those Ultraverse 1st anniversary comic books.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Kevin Green hitchhiking alone by the road. A man driving a car allows him to come in and ride. Just a few moments after, the man reaches for Kevin’s left thigh which convinces him that the one driving is a pervert. Kevin hits the man’s face and gets off the car. He struggles to find a ride going home in the evening.

At home, Kevin wakes up from a nightmare as his mother tries to help him. His mom can easily tell that her son is troubled. During lunch break at school, realizes he is having trouble fitting in with the students and reminds himself that Kelly likes Prime a lot, and so does her mother. The students stare at him as he walks on. Eventually, Kevin meets some guys watching a portable TV showing news broadcast of two guys – the washed-up celebrity Kuttner and a certain bodybuilder – whom he previously encountered as Prime.

The said two guys are challenging Prime to a battle royale…

Quality

The battle royale itself is the highlight and alone makes this comic book worth buying.

As usual, the writing duo of Strazewski-Jones created another engaging story about Kevin and his superhero secret identity as Prime. Kevin shown struggling with his personal life? Check! Great superhero action with Prime? Check! In-depth characterization? Check!

What makes this comic book stand out is the battle royale between Prime and the two guys mention earlier, who each have very strong reasons and determination to defeat Prime. As it is indeed a very high-octane battle royale in the truest sense of the words, there was still sufficient room for readers to understand what Prime thought as he fights and dodges in the battle. Very clearly defined are the intentions of Kuttner and Planet Class, and the personalities of each plus Prime really gave their conflict a very unique flavor of its own. The battle royale is not a mindless event but rather very colorful and character-driven.

As for the art, I find Darick Robertson’s work here pretty good and many times he seemed to try to emulate the unique style and approach the late Norm Breyfogle defined the Prime series with. Although Kevin looks more like a college student, most characters were still recognizable. This one looks good!

Conclusion

It sure is hard for any teenager to be perceived as a social outcast.

Prime #13 (1994) is a very entertaining read. It does not use the typical good-versus-evil formula of superhero comic books but it sure is loaded with a lot of personality following Prime, Kuttner and Planet Class.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #13 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copies of the variant edition and the variant newsstand edition cost $8 and $26 respectively.

Overall, Prime #13 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Prime #3 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Join me on my journey to one of the early issues of the Prime monthly series. For the newcomers reading this, Prime is one of the major superheroes of the entire Ultraverse and went on to have an active part in the UV team called UltraForce.

Here we go with this look back at Prime #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and illustrated by the late Norm Breyfogle.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Prime struggling as he could not breathe. He remembered the first time, as Kevin, when he woke up inside his own dead body. Back then, Kevin was in his bedroom suffering as he changed into his overly muscular body as Prime while his parents were just outside of his bedroom trying to figure out how to help him. Kevin remembered that the Prime body did not last too long and he broke out of it. The first time he saw the fake flesh of Prime, he got scared. Since that time, Kevin kept everything a secret and has been struggling personally.

In the present, Prime finds himself strapped on a chair surrounded by scientists. He was just captured by them and their monster. One of the scientists asked Kevin how long does his ultra bodies last. The scientist is determined to find out more from Prime and educate him, teach him his nature, his destiny and function…

Quality

Prime restrained.

As expected, the story told by Strazewski and Jones is of very high quality and the engagement is very strong. What makes this one stand out over issues #1 and #2 is its element of powerful revelations (which establish not only Prime’s heritage but also the Ultraverse’s concept of military and scientific personnel tampering with nature). Reading through the well-explained in-universe history of mad science related to Prime’s origin was very gripping and thought-provoking. This also raises a question about Prime…is he a superhero or a monster?

As the tension and pressure rise, Prime is shown to act impulsively which itself is a convincing reflection of the teenager inside him. This is something that Strazewski and Jones captured perfectly!

As expected, Norm Breyfogle really brought the script to life with his compelling artwork.

Conclusion

The first time Kevin turned into Prime.

Prime #3 (1993) is a great comic book to read and a worthy addition to your collection.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #3 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.

Overall, Prime #3 (1993) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #10 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Having reviewed the first nine issues of the 2nd Wonder Woman monthly series (1987-2011) that was handled with care initially by great creators George Perez and Len Wein, I can say that the Queen of Superheroes herself was redefined not only for the readers of the post-Crisis era but in general. Under the Perez-Wein team, Wonder Woman was portrayed to be human and compassionate as she gradually discovers what her destiny is just as she takes part in the struggles and affairs of her fellow Amazons led by her mother Queen Hippolyte.

Also told along the way was the story of the deities of Olympus headed by Zeus. In their realm, the deities are divided and each has his or her own ego and agenda. Because they have tremendous power, they are able to manipulate events on the physical world and make mortals struggle. Under them, the Amazons have struggled and even people of Earth got affected as well.  

When I reviewed the ninth issue, it was the full debut of the modern Cheetah who proved to be a worthy adversary for Wonder Woman. By the way, Cheetah is the antagonist in the new film Wonder Woman 1984 portrayed by Kristen Wiig. By the end of issue #9, Wonder Woman returned home to Themyscira leaving her American friends Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis in tears.

So what happened next? We can all find out in this look back at Wonder Woman #10, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez did the art with inkwork by Bruce Patterson. This is the first chapter of the Challenge of the Gods storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the realm of the deities. They noticed Pan has been joyful recently and Zeus states that has been the case since Wonder Woman thwarted the scheme of Ares. Pan approaches Zeus and followed-up on him regarding a past conversation they had. Zeus then looks Themyscira, finding it secluded yet a true paradise. A paradise worthy of his personal favor.

On Themyscira, Princess Diana/Wonder Woman and a fellow Amazon ride horses not knowing Zeus and the others are watching them. Pan tells Zeus that as Heracles (Zeus’ son) once favored Queen Hippolyte (Diana’s mother), it is only fitting that Diana should be the first among the Amazons to experience his manly grace. Zeus then decides to come to the Amazons and tells Pan to play a love song.

Hestia and Artemis notice Zeus’ decision. An angry Artemis makes her move stating that Paradise Island (Themyscira) will be no one’s brothel.

Diana and Euboea talk while riding their horses slowly on a beach. She states that it is good to be home. She learned so much from the world of men finding its people so different and yet so much the same, that the Amazons all could learn from one another.

Meanwhile the Amazons’ council of justice discuss the gifts and records Diana brought home. Queen Hippolyte is in attendance…

Quality

Wearing armor and a helmet, Wonder Woman prepares to start taking on the challenge of the deities.

I can say that this story not only marked the beginning of a new Wonder Woman storyline but also it marked a new turning point not just for the Queen of Superheroes but also for her fellow Amazons as this involves the Olympus deities a whole lot more. The good news here is that the script is of high-quality writing and has special care made on it by the Perez-Wein creative team. As the story is more focused on Themyscira and Olympus, more details about the history and legacy of the Amazons is revealed and it is all done with a deep amount of engagement. The way the details and events were handled, it looked like Perez and Wein had these story elements planned ahead of time as they continued to develop and redefine Wonder Woman in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics.

At the heart of the first chapter of the Challenge of the Gods storyline is the link between the Amazons (who rely on Wonder Woman to represent them) and the divided deities of Olympus. With very compelling writing and visuals, you will get to see how fragile Diana, Queen Hippolyte and their Amazon sisters really are when facing the deities. In relation to that, it is a unique reading experience to see Wonder Woman struggle with interacting with Zeus and the other deities directly.

Conclusion

Princess Diana, her mother Queen Hippolyte and the Amazons analyze their situation.

Wonder Woman #10 (1987) is clearly a great comic book to read and it marked the continued excellence done by George Perez, Len Wein and their creative team.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #10 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $60 while the near-mint copies of the fold-out edition and the newsstand edition cost $30 and $120 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #10 (1987) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Mantra #3 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero geeks, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Join me on this trip back into the Ultraverse and witness the events in one of the early issues of the Mantra monthly series.

In issue #2, the male warrior Lukasz found himself really challenged being inside the body of a pretty single mother Eden Blake (Mantra) whose soul his displaced. Not only does Lukasz have to avoid getting killed by troops of Boneyard as he strives to somehow leave the lady’s body in favor of a male body, he has to adjust to living as Eden who has a home to keep, a private sector job to fulfill and two children to take care of. With those details laid down, it’s now time to take a look back at Mantra #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Terry Dodson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the hallway of the cinema wherein Mantra finds herself surrounded by the Repo Men who won’t stop at trying to overwhelm her. Mantra is at a disadvantage as she has yet to learn the ways of using magic.

As the Repo Men keep Mantra down, a group of bystanders witness what happened. Meanwhile, Eden’s daughter Evie and son Gus are in the middle of the hallway not realizing that Mantra is their mother in disguise. Eventually Mantra remembers her mantra and finally starts using magic to have the Repo Men off-balance and free herself from them. As the other Repo Men approach her, she blasts them with heat which burns them instantly in front of the bystanders. Mantra decides to fly away leaving behind Evie and Gus. The two kids are searching for their mother Eden.

Quality

Being trapped in the body of Eden Blake, the male warrior Lukasz tries to gain an advantage by charming a man he knew.

The strong quality of storytelling that started in issue #1 and followed through issue #2 is present in this comic book. Mike W. Barr’s story here remains nicely balanced between plot, character development and spectacle. I can also confirm that this story explores more of Lukasz struggling with living the domestic life of Eden which unsurprisingly makes his struggle to meet his goals even tougher. When it comes to defining the characters, there is a very touching scene in which Lukasz as Eden talks privately with a crying Evie in her bedroom, and even with an attempt to somehow separate themselves the unexpected (but really touching) result happens. And then there was another scene in which Lukasz uses Eden’s beauty to charm his way with someone for answers. This comic book’s script was undoubtedly written cleverly by Mike W. Barr.

Like in the first two issues, Terry Dodson excelled with visualizing the script. By this particular issue, the looks of Mantra and other related characters have been well established and he drawn them with a pretty good amount of detail. Dodson’s art here shines even more once Mantra begins to encounter one very particular adversary (note: she’s on the cover) and how it all turns out is something for you readers to find out for yourselves.

Conclusion

Mantra in a serious discussion.

I can confirm that Mantra #3 (1993) is a compelling Ultraverse story to read as it continues to be intriguing and define Mantra’s personality in an efficient and believable way. Along the way are revelations that further establish the core concepts of this monthly series and the way they were done shows strong preparations were made by Mike W. Barr before writing the script.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #3 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.

Overall, Mantra #3 (1993) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Darna project starring Jane de Leon now an upcoming TV series

It’s been quite a long time since there has been any official news released about the much-delayed Darna project that currently has Jane de Leon as its star. It is true that the current pandemic set much of the whole world back and that is very true with businesses, governments and entertainment to name a few. Making a production of television or movies is more challenging than before which probably explains why the Darna project with De Leon has been turned into a TV series.

That’s right! The Darna project that was conceived to be a movie that had Liza Soberano as its original star (before De Leon replaced her) will be remade for television audiences here in the Philippines. The new series should debut in 2021.

Jane de Leon is still the star of the Darna project which is now an upcoming TV series set for 2021. (photo a property of ABS-CBN)

In an article at ABS-CBN.com, the hard adjustment of the Darna project was announced on December 5, 2020 during the special contract signing event titled Star Magic Shines On. ABS-CBN’s chief operating officer of broadcast Cory Vidanes said that the Darna TV series has been approved and will indeed push through with its broadcasting sometime next year. It was also made clear that Jane de Leon is still the star in portraying the Philippine superhero icon.

Below are excerpts from the article:

“I’m overwhelmed by the happiness I feel. I am so excited for the next chapters of my life,” Jane said.

“It’s another dream come true. I have so much gratitude for our bosses because until now, they still entrust me with Darna’s stone,” she added.

Those were the details as of this writing. It remains to be seen who else will star in the Darna TV series and what characters as well as what villains will be featured. How many episodes will be made, what costume design of Darna for Jane de Leon will be used, and what the frequency of the series will be have yet to be revealed.

The way I look at it, the pandemic made ABS-CBN rethink its current strategy on selling entertainment. For many months now, most movie theaters here in the Philippines have been closed which makes a Darna movie not feasible.

This not the first time that stories of Darna will be broadcast to many households nationwide. ABS-CBN’s rival GMA Network produced a Darna series starring the famous Angel Locsin, and another series starring Marian Rivera. Both Darna TV series were released just a few years apart from each other. By the time ABS-CBN’s own series of the superhero icon finally starts broadcasting, it will be the first time in over a decade Filipinos saw new Darna stories on their TV sets.

In ending this article, I want to ask you my readers: What do you think of this latest move by ABS-CBN? Do you still want to see a Darna movie starring Jane de Leon? To answer, please comment below. Thank you and come back here for future updates about Darna.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Solution #7 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero geeks, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Some time ago, I reviewed the sixth issue of The Solution and it turned out to be a pretty compelling and fun comic book to read. I was pleasantly surprised by its high quality and presentation, and by the end I found Lela Cho/Tech (the leader of The Solution) to be a very interesting character of the Ultraverse. Clearly the creative duo of James Hudnall (who also wrote Hardcase) and John Statema literally scored a home run with The Solution #6.

As The Solution #6 focused on the background story of Tech, its portrayal of the current-day events was laced with suspense, drama and intrigue that only teased what could happen in the next moment. What else could be told about Lela Cho’s past and what might happen next in the present day? We can find out in this look back at The Solution #7, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Hudnall and drawn by Statema.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Lela Cho accompanied by Troy Wilde standing in front of her father’s grave. The two don’t seem to know that they are being spied on from a distance. A group has set up snipers to take them down.

As the two begin to talk, Lela tells Troy details from her past. She recalls that after the sudden death of her father, she could not fully gain the inheritance from her father – the corporation – as its board of directors refused to accept her. As it turned out, a crime gang anticipated her every move and stole her company. To enhance herself, she paid specialists to install wetware implants into her body to make her the mistress of electronic devices.

She arrived in the city of New York already aware that she has been marked by her enemies, and she knew they would come for her. In New York, she meets with Peter Bazinni to seek help. Not only is he a man with many powerful connections, he was also her old flame. While Peter admitted he could not help her in her conflict with the international crime gang, she gives her a reference to another professional who is her best bet. His name was Troy Wilde…   

Quality

Discovering the secret locations.

James Hudnall delivered another pretty solid story. It’s got a nice mix of elements here and there. From time to time, I felt like I was reading a detective story, then a murder tale, then a hard action tale and then a hard-edged superhero tale. While this comic book continued on telling the origin of Lela Cho, it shifted focus on the background of Troy Wilde who would eventually join the team with the codename Dropkick. How Lela and Troy first interacted with each other was very carefully crafted with believable dialogue and well-defining personalities from each (as reflected in the way they talked with each other). Another member of The Solution appeared in here is as well.

What surprised me here was the revelation of a certain villainess. At first, she looked like a probably disposable villainess but proved to be more significant than meets the eye. If you get to read the succeeding issues of The Solution, you will realize what I just stated.

As with his past works, John Statema’s art here is pretty good. The good stuff he delivered in issue #6 continued to shine here.

Conclusion

Lela Cho’s ultra ability to hack systems and alter digital stuff would help her fit in nicely with this age of social media and streaming.

The Solution #7 (1994) is not only a worthy follow-up to its predecessor, it is one of the stronger origin-type comic books of the Ultraverse as a whole. While the previous issue was focused mainly on Lela Cho, this one shows Troy Wilde/Dropkick making his first involvement with her as well as the eventual formation of their team. At this stage, the story of how The Solution got formed really took shape here. I should state, however, that the level of engagement fell down a bit compared to the previous issue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Solution #7 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Solution #7 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Sludge #1 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero geeks, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Before we revisit the Ultraverse, I should state that I am not a fan of monsters as comic book protagonists, especially when it comes to the superhero genre. In the world of pop culture, a lot of people get fascinated with monsters especially those that are dangerous to people. You got the likes of the Swamp Thing, Dracula, the monster of Frankenstein, the Werewolf, etc.

When it comes to the Ultraverse, they have a monster for a protagonist named Sludge. What I find really intriguing was that Sludge was introduced to readers not by making appearances in existing Ultraverse comic books but by actually being featured in full force in the launch of issue of his own series – Sludge #1.

With those details settled, we can find out if there is something special or unique about the Ultraverse monster in this look back at Sludge #1, published by Malibu Comics in 1993 with a story written by Steve Gerber (who previously worked on Marvel’s Man-Thing) and drawn by Aaron Lopresti.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in a very low place of Manhattan where society’s substratum meets the crust of the earth. Sludge, a grotesque monster with a human perception and a body made out of slime, slowly walks towards a group of poor and homeless people.

Elsewhere somewhere in the city, a radio talk show host talks to his listeners about Frank Hoag, a detective sergeant who worked for twenty years for the New York Police Department or NYPD. It turns out, Hoag has been missing for the past few weeks and the last thing someone knew about him was that he responded to a call about a break-in at the headquarters of a pharmaceutical firm. The next morning at the said place, company employees spotted signs of violence including blood, bullet holes and shell casings. No sign of the detective.

As the radio talk show host engages his listeners by making an issue out of the disappearance of Hoag, police officers got offended while a gang of armed thugs paid close attention to what was said. As the said gang (riding their car) move down the street of homes, they opened fire at the people.

As the gang’s car moves on, the manhole ahead of them opens. Sludge comes out of it and finds himself right on the path of the moving car…

Quality

This is why you don’t mess with Sludge.

The writing is top-notch and this is no surprise not only because of Steve Gerber’s extensive writing experience but also because he knew how to write a story with a monster as a protagonist which was what he did with Marvel’s Man-Thing. Unlike that other monster, Sludge has intelligence and awareness, therefore he is a monster with humanity still existing within. Very cleverly, Gerber introduced Sludge and notable aspects of him in a very smooth and efficient manner. By the time I finished this reading this comic, I realized that I witnessed Sludge’s first appearance and origin story which were done very nicely. I should also state that Sludge here is not a mere monster but really a struggling character worth following.

For his part, Aaron Lopresti’s art is pretty good. His visualization of Sludge really stands out and he did not pull back his punches when it came to drawing the action and presenting the violence.

Conclusion

Considering his physical state, Sludge coming out of the manhole is justified.

I can say that I am very pleasantly surprised and entertained by what was presented in Sludge #1 (1993). It really is a great monster-protagonist story written by Steve Gerber and his work here really shines. By the time I reached the end of the story, I got eager to look forward to the next issue and find out what Sludge will do next. It is a very engaging read and one of the strongest debut issues of the Ultraverse.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Sludge #1 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the ultra-limited edition costs $32.

Overall, Sludge #1 is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com