New in Comics, guest review by Stephen Murphy

By Michael R. Murray,

Well this is very late and it’s nobody’s fault but my own. I have soft tissue damage in my wrist resulting in my dominant hand being in a cast. What fun it is to type. Last week I asked Stephen Murphy to help with picking out what he’d like from the list of comics scheduled to go on sale. Steve did a great job even if there wasn’t much that tickled his fancy. He gave it to me on time to turn in. It just took me this long to admit I needed my son to help type this up for me. Thank you, Jonathan, for your help. I am pleased to present Stephen Murphy, author of Image Comics’ Umbra, Archie Comics’ Teenage Mutant Ninja  Turtles Adventures and co-created and self-published Puma Blues with Michael Zulli.


Not only are many of the issues found in this volume the very same comics that I grew up reading, they’re also – and more so – the absolute @#$%ing foundation of the Marvel Universe that we know and love. At the risk of repeating this volume’s press release, let me just list what we’ll find in here: the wedding of Reed and Sue, the origin of Doc Doom, the debut of the Black Panther, the first appearances of the Inhumans, the Silver Surfer and Galactus. I mean,come on – this is Stan and Jack at the heights of their imaginative brilliance! And as much as I’d love to own the individual issues (I only have a few that I somehow managed to keep all these years) I know that I never will, but I may just sell off a few less loved parts of my collection to afford the $99 that this beauty commands.


Who among us Marvel fans can ever forget the sheer joy we felt when Walt Simonson took over the reins of The Mighty Thor, smashing apart the book’s logo and slapping us all awake with that Beta Ray Bill cover to issue #337? Granted, 1983 was no high mark in overall comic book quality, but Simonson’s turn was a home run by all counts. This third Simonson collection continues his initial work as writer-artist on the title and includes the related mid-80s Baldur the Brave 4-issue mini-series that he both wrote and did the covers for (interior artwork was handled by the always solid Sal Buscema).  I’m looking forward to re-reading these issues (most of my 80s comics are long gone) and adding this trade to my bookshelf. Affordable and worth it at $30.


I love this book. The initial two years of this title was everything that I’d always wished the serialized European comics running in late-1970s Heavy Metal Magazine were: crazy, mind-churning graphics coupled with a totally original storyline that made sense (it’s that last bit that the HM stories universally lacked). And while the series has settled in and grown comfortable with its universe it still continues to keep my attention like very few Modern Age comics do.

…and there are plenty more that are not listed. For a more complete list, feel free to visit your local comic store or favorite site. If you’re interested in more of what I think, follow me on Twitter at Mycomicstore001 or like my Facebook page.


Michael R. Murray is a full-time letter carrier for the United States Postal Service who's too slow at typing with just the left hand and very thankful that his son was available to help him this week.




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