Monday, July 31, 2017


Writer/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Black Widow fights her way out of S.H.I.E.L.D. medical custody and goes in search of Daredevil, but doesn't find him at either his brownstone or Heather’s apartment. Meanwhile, Stick speaks with Matt, who is in a sensory deprivation tank hidden in his basement, while Kirigi is given an assignment to kill Stick.

Widow is also unable to locate Matt at his office and continues her search. As Matt and Stick continue their conversation, Black Widow enters the Kingpin’s office but he, too, is unaware of where Daredevil could be. As the Widow fights Kingpin’s goons, he notices that she appears to be dissolving somehow.

Meanwhile, Kirigi enters Matt’s basement but he is defeated by Stick and his associates, Shaft, Claw, and Stone. As Matt emerges from the sensory deprivation tank, Black Widow arrives and collapses.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Black Widow visits with her friend and father figure, Ivan, before setting out on her quest. She notes that “…he's been through a lot lately,” but there's no footnote explaining the comment.

(However, stay tuned to this very site and we'll find out what she means in another month or so!)

Sunday, July 30, 2017


The Spider-Man party continues this month with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT from Marvel. This book includes a notable chunk of Spidey stuff from the eighties, from the unmasking of the Hobgoblin to the SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE one-shot to wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson to the eponymous storyline featuring Kraven the Hunter. I have mixed feelings about this era. Partly it's due to a lot of substandard artwork, but more than that, the stories often feel too dark for Spider-Man -- especially SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE and "Kraven's Last Hunt". But still, if I collect every installment of no other Epic Collection line, I will collect all of Spider-Man because -- it's Spider-Man!

In addition, this month Marvel also brings the DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU OMNIBUS volume 2, a black-and-white volume completing Marvel's collection of the magazine series that starred, among others, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, and the Sons of the Tiger. As I mentioned when volume 1 was released, I've had a weird love of the Sons for many years without having read any of their actual adventures, and I'm pleased to finally rectify that. (That is to say, I'm rectifying my not having read the issues, not my love of the characters! That will endure even if I don't enjoy the stories.)

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Amazon has a "ghost" listing up for the 2018 release of the MASTER OF KUNG FU EPIC COLLECTION volume 1. I had previously speculated, based on statements from Marvel collected edition editors, that the Omnibuses might be the only way to get this material. I'm glad to see that's not the case; in addition to the fancy hardcovers, MASTER OF KUNG FU will also be available in a nice paperback format as well.

Friday, July 28, 2017


by Alex Raymond & Don Moore

Following a year’s worth of strips set in Mongo’s frozen northlands, Alex Raymond returns Flash and Doctor Zarkov to more familiar surroundings as they join up with the surviving members of Flash’s Freemen (a group which hadn’t been seen in well over a year at this point!) and head into Mingo City with plans to rescue Dale.

Interestingly, Frigia was left in sort of a state of flux by these developments. A love triangle had popped up between Flash, Dale, and Queen Fria, but Dale was soon kidnapped and Flash set out immediately to rescue her. Typically when Raymond has moved Flash from one locale to another, he’s wrapped up loose ends before doing so. Running things this way, leaving us uncertain as to whatever happened with Fria following Flash’s departure, is an unusual way to go, but is also probably more realistic than Flash tying everything up with a bow everywhere he stops.

At any rate, Flash has moved on from Frigia’s politics and so will we. Following a botched attempt to rescue Dale, Flash and Zarkov meet up with the “Power Men” who operate Mingo’s electrical systems and who promptly join up with Flash in his rebellion. Operating out of the Power Men’s underground electrical works, Flash and Zarkov succeed at their second attempt to save Dale from Ming, and we even get to see Zarkov join in the action as he rescues Flash and Dale, unconscious, from Ming’s forces at one point.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Writer/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: While Daredevil deals with his increasingly erratic hypersenses, the Black Widow fights a contingent of Hand ninjas in the New York City Morgue, but they escape with a corpse. Meanwhile, Daredevil begins a search for Stick in order to get help managing his senses. But the Hand find Stick first and attack him, though he manages to fight them off.

Daredevil is assaulted by a group of thugs looking to take advantage of his weakened state, but a cab driver rescues him and chauffeurs him to Josie’s. There, he learns Stick failed to show up for a pool game. Finally, DD staggers home to find Stick and three shadowy men conferring inside his brownstone.

Elsewhere, the Hand ninjas return to their lair with the corpse they recovered, and perform a ceremony to bring it back to life. The process is a success and Kirigi lives once more.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: After two issues featuring a new corner box (which seems to show Daredevil stumbling like he just tripped over the ottoman), this issue returns to the old one. The stumbly corner box will be back next month.

Friday, July 21, 2017


by Alex Raymond & Don Moore

“The Tyrant of Mongo” is less a single story arc than a bundle of smaller plots joined together by the overarching theme of Ming as Flash’s main antagonist. Though Ming has obviously always been involved in the ongoing saga, and even encountered Flash face-to-face multiple times, and although he has waged war against Flash’s kingdom, of Kira, deposing our hero and sending him into hiding, this may be the first time Ming brings his full hatred to bear on our hero in a nonstop series of conflicts.

Having been expelled from their underground catacombs by Ming’s floodwaters, Flash, Dale, Zarkov, Sonja, and a few of the freemen wander ashore on an island which houses the tombs of Mongo’s nobility. They befriend the cryptkeeper and soon begin waging a guerilla war against Mingo City from their new secret base. Flash leads a raid to sink several of Ming’s “rocket submarines” while they’re sitting in port, but hijacks one such craft for himself after winning its crew over to the cause of the freemen.

Subsequently, Ming makes a trip to the island to inter his uncle (who Ming himself has had executed for plotting against him). The Freemen attack, leading to one of the most iconic scenes in all of FLASH GORDON lore (so iconic that even I, who knew essentially nothing about Flash coming into this series, was aware of it): Flash faces Ming in a saber duel. Ming is ultimately captured and his forces driven off, and Raymond and Moore continue to deepen their characterization of Mongo and its people, as we meet an honorable commander in Ming’s army, Lin-Chu, who parlays with Flash and even considers him a worthy foe.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Scripter/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Daredevil shows up at Glenn Industries during a board meeting to inform Heather and the board that evidence is en route to the assistant district attorney which will shut the company down. But after he and Heather have both departed, the board’s chairman, Mr. Spindle, reveals that he's hired Stilt Man to deal with the ADA. However Stilt Man loses one of his gloves while counting Spindle’s payment, and goes to Melvin Potter’s costume shop for a new one, where he's noticed by Turk, who tails him home.

Meanwhile, Matt Murdock prepares evidence of Glenn Industries’ wrongdoings, then, as Daredevil, drops it off with ADA Maxine Lavender. Elsewhere, Turk knocks out Stilt Man and take his battlesuit, then offers his services to the Kingpin. When Kingpin turns him away, Turk decides to fulfill Stilt Man’s mission and kidnap the ADA.

While dropping off further evidence with the police, Daredevil finds Stilt Man’s alter ego, Wilbur Day, reporting the theft of his armor. Soon, when Turk kidnaps Lavender, DD shows up to save her and easily defeat the new Stilt Man.

In the aftermath of Matt's legal assault on Glenn Industries, he tells Heather that they will need to prepare her defense. Believing this has all been a ploy to leave her with no choice but to marry him, Heather accepts Matt’s proposal.

Friday, July 14, 2017


by Alex Raymond & Don Moore

When last we left Flash Gordon and friends, the villainous Grombo had escaped from Barin’s forest kingdom despite our heroes’ best efforts. As the “Outlaws of Mongo” story arc opens, Grombo is found in the neighboring desert land by some of Ming’s people — and Alex Raymond continues to play with various pastiches by presented Ming’s desert warriors as, essentially, Foreign Legionnaires.

Grombo brings word that Flash, missing in action since Ming conquered his cave kingdom, is still alive and living in Barin’s castle. When Ming gets wind of this, he demands Barin turn Flash and Dale over to him, but Barin refuses. Flash, realizing Ming won’t rest until he’s captured, leaves Barin’s kingdom under cover of night, and when Ming calls Barin again, the prince declares that he honestly does not know where Flash is.

But Flash’s mistake was in leaving Dale behind. Ming quickly changes gears and demands her instead, planning to use her as bait to capture Flash. When Barin refuses this request as well, Ming declares war on the treetop kingdom. Flash, in the desert, sees Ming’s forces marching on Barin and does his best to stop them, but in the end he’s captured. Ming calls off his invasion of Barin’s realm as Flash is brought before him and sentenced to death.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Scripter/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Heather comes to Foggy for help in getting to the bottom of her company’s apparent illicit dealings. They go together to Glenn Industries but are informed that Heather’s signature is already on all the paperwork, so if anything untoward is going on, she’s complicit. Foggy sends Heather home so he can pursue further action, unaware he's being followed by Daredevil.

Eventually Foggy’s path leads him to the Kingpin, who has purchased explosives from Glenn Industries to use in a waterfront heist. While Foggy verbally spars with the Kingpin, Daredevil thwarts the Kingpin’s operation and then warns the crime boss not to mess with “Guts” Nelson.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: “Guts” was apparently Foggy’s fraternity nickname, which he has adopted as a street name for the duration of this tale.

During his adventures, Foggy crosses paths with Eric Slaughter and Turk, with the latter accompanying him for the remainder of the story until Foggy ditches him by putting him on a plane to Chicago. The Kingpin’s right-hand man, Flint, also pops up.

Friday, July 7, 2017


by Alex Raymond & Don Moore

One of the things I like about these FLASH GORDON strips — and I’m certain something Alex Raymond probably enjoyed as well — is that the setting of Mongo allows Raymond to send our heroes off into all manner of different locales and environments. We’ve seen Ming’s city, a tribute to the splendor of ancient Rome, while Ming and his people clearly draw inspiration from “the mysterious Orient”. There was the futuristic city of Hawkmen as well, not to mention the caverns of Flash’s short-lived kingdom of Kira. Now we move into King Barin’s forest kingdom, which actually comes across more like a jungle and allows Raymond to cast Flash as a Tarzan stand-in for several weeks.

I suppose some could call this a cheat — Raymond has decided his strip will feature the best of all worlds and so, rather than doing something in the vein of PRINCE VALIANT and being stuck forever in the middle ages, he can venture into that genre for a while, then within a couple weeks dip his toe into science fiction instead. Personally, I just think it’s a canny move on Raymond’s part: by setting his story on a world where all these genres exist side-by-side in a huge mash-up, he’s ensured that he’ll never get bored with his premise since his premise can be literally whatever he wants it to be from story arc to story arc!

So: following their escape from Ming in the previous arc, Flash, Dale, and Zarkov are shot down by the warlord’s air force while en route to Barin’s kingdom. They brave the wilds, but Zarkov is set upon by a group of rabid squirlons and descends into madness even as Ming’s forces firebomb the area where our heroes’ ship crashed. The end result is that Zarkov staggers away, rambling, under the impression that Flash and Dale are dead. Eventually he runs across a group of Barin’s men, out searching for the group, and tells them exactly that.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Story & Art : Frank Miller | Finished Art & Colors: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Daredevil stops the Punisher from assassinating Hogman, then, the next day while defending Hogman in court as Matt Murdock, he runs a bluff which leads to a phone call from Coach Donahue of the local high school. The coach requests a meeting in the school gym, but when Matt shows up, Donahue is high on angel dust and attacks him. Matt subdues Donahue and considers that, although he is Hogman’s dealer to the school’s students, he doesn't seem like a user.

Meanwhile, Hogman kills a witness who saw him shoot his partner, Flapper. The next day, Hogman is acquitted of Flapper’s murder and he subsequently gloats over his guilt to Matt. Soon, Daredevil confronts Hogman and learns he has a pacemaker which kept his heartbeat even when he initially proclaimed his innocence, thus fooling DD's hypersenses.

That night, young Billy calls Hogman and requests a meeting. The boy prepares to shoot Hogman, but the Punisher intervenes. He takes out Hogman’s bodyguard and wings Hogman, but Daredevil arrives and stops him from killing the drug lord. DD shoots the Punisher with Billy’s gun and convinces Billy to let Hogman live. Soon, Hogman is indicted for the other murders on his hands, but Billy remains unconvinced justice will prevail.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: The Glenn Industries board of directors continues to manipulate Heather — or so they believe. But she investigates some of their activities and learns her company is in business with a manufacturer of plastic explosives for some unknown reason.