Thursday, January 06, 2011

TRADING POST: Suicide Squad #59, Fantastic Four #275

If you feel 'In my day $3.99 used to buy more", welcome to Trading Post. Here each month, I grab secondhand comics with only the price of one modern comic to spend, then when all is done, I post up short reviews on the hard-won booty, like these right here:

Suicide Squad #59
"Everyone I've killed had a father"

In the 80's if you needed dialouge that made you shiver - the one source that never failed, was John Ostrander's Suicide Squad. In this issue, that talent extends with the help of co-writer Kim Yale, to Batman, Superman and Aquaman, as the three heroes track the mysterious 'death' of their JLA teammate The Atom, right to The Wall.

Sure Count Vertigo tries to kill a comatose Poison Ivy, the Hayoth mistakingly feel they can execute a presidential arrest, Deadshot rubs everyone the wrong way, and Barbara Gordon has a frank (and long overdue) discussion with Bats re: blindfolds and batcaves - but where Ostrander really takes charge is with Aquaman.

In a mere few panels, and aided by Geof Isherwood's strong pencils, he brings the Sea King on stage dramatically and powerfully, standing him as an equal in this 'Justice Trinity' and not as some third wheel, as the 80's were sometimes inclined to do.

Dodgy morals, dodgier characters, secrets and agendas - this folks is what makes The Squad required reading. *****

Fantastic Four #275
"Well not so fast bright boys! She-Hulk would like a few words with you!"

Now my run of John Byrne's Fantastic Four is complete. Yip, the only issue I originally missed is the infamous 'She-Hulk gets photographed sunbathing topless' issue.

While the issue is mostly set to inject abit of humour in between all the godlike children and teammate affairs that were going down at the time, an issue of any title dedicated to Shulkie is never a bad thing.

Inspired by Kevin Nowlan, John probably lets the gag run a little longer than it should've, but the epilouge reminds readers of all the big plots still on the boil, just in time for the Human Torch to drop in with the ultimate in news for the Jade Giantess. *****


  1. I love these blog posts. Old comics never die, they just fade away...

  2. you picked some good ones here Dan i got both these issues. many of the things you talk about making that Suicide Squad issue so great are in general the same qualities that made that book so good in the first place. there's a recent posting about the Hayoth in the Suicide Squad blog (see IADW blog role) for anyone who's interested in learning a bit more about em. yeah i just recently became keenly aware of the $3.99 cover price for new books. aside from the rising cover prices of new comics i really miss how comics of the 80s and 90s were packed with dialogue. it's just wrong to pay 3 or 4 bucks for a comic that you finish reading before you finish your business on the can ya know what i mean? that's why finding Salvation Run #1 in the one dollar box at my local comic shop made my evening.

  3. Okay. Now I'm jealous. I always wanted to read that. Why doesn't my town have its own comic shop? I need a fix. Dan, that is one of my FAVORITE Byrne issues. I love the ending, where they "retouched" the pictures of the She-Hulk. Poor Johnny. He had his hopes so high. I don't think I've ever seen him cool off so fast. Unless it was when he found out Alicia was really a scrull. Those were the good old days.

  4. we don't have a local shop either Random. According to the early '90's edition of Trivial Pursuit, we were the smallest town with the most McDonalds

  5. Thanks for the great comments guys - awesome stuff!

    Jonny and Dave - you hit the nail on the head - the 80's truly were a magic time for comics. We were drowning in great reads, so there's still quite a charge when you dip back into that end of the pool for a read or two.

    I don't have an actual comic store in town either Random. I have to rely on online auctions and an amazing LCS an hour and a half away!

    I love the chase at the end too, it just had that whole Looney Tunes feel to it. She Hulk is even wearing a Mickey Mouse T-Shirt! An omen of things to come?

    Craig - at least you guys made Trivial Pursuit! I don't think outside our own localised version we get a mention (sniff)

  6. well this is probably gonna piss you all off. i have a local comic shop about five minutes from me. there's another one about 10 minutes from me in the neighboring town too. and about 20 minutes north of me there are two more big ones in Oakland and Berkeley. there are about 6-7 comic shops within a 30 mile radius of where i live.

  7. Ooh, Aquaman's in that issue of Suicide Squad? Off to ebay!

    And I always loved that issue of FF. Very funny, self-contained little thing--not nearly enough of that in comics!

  8. It's kind of a trade-off, though, isn't it Dave? Having to live so close to Berkeley.

  9. Yeah, I'm with Random. I'll take the frozen wastes of Maine over San Franciso any day.

  10. you guys got me there! living near America's capitol of liberal totalitarianism has it's down sides.

  11. oh i forget to mention for Rob that issue of the Suicide Squad was the first in a 4 issue story arc about the Atom which involved Aquaman, Superman, Batman, The Hayoth (Israeli meta human team) and the Jihad (meta human terrorists). it was sweet!

  12. Damn David sounds like you're in the middle of one comic friendly place! What ever happened to comics in dairys any way? Here it's all Simpsons outside of bookstores. Simpsons? Really.

    Yeah Rob Aquaman jumps up at the end of this issue for a few great boxes, but as Dave points out the story continues in the next three issues after and it seems he really pulls his punches in each! Hopefully you track em on eBay!

    Thanks for the comments all!