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TONY’S TIPS #106

May 4, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #106

Batman: The Silver Age Newspaper Comics Volume 2: 1968-1969 is first up this week. Several columns ago, I reviewed the first volume and found it wanting. This time around, well, what a difference a few years make. Whitney Ellsworth was still the strip’s writer, but, with the campy Batman television series having ended, he could write more serious stories. Some of the stories were deadly serious with Batman’s foes meeting grim endings, mostly due to their evil plans going horribly awry. Some notes on this volume: The book leads with the second part of “A History of the Batman...

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TONY’S TIPS #105

April 27, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #105

Written by Garth Ennis, War Stories is an ongoing series of tales of combat. It’s a continuation of the two, four-issue mini-series he did under DC’s Vertigo imprint. All but one of the original series stories rook place during World War II. Ennis appears to be mixing things up a bit more this time around. I’ve read the first seven issues of the new series. “Castles in the Sky” is a three-issue story with art by Matt Martin and Keith Burns. Leonard Wetmore is an American soldier assigned to a B-17 bomber, known as “The Flying...

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TONY’S TIPS #104

April 20, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #104

I looked at three new comics titles last week. I’m looking at three new comics titles this week. A pattern is emerging... I have an inexplicable fondness for the Archie Comics super-heroes, most of whom were created back in the 1940s when the publisher was known as MLJ. I see great potential in them, though that potential has rarely come close to being realized. The Fly and The Jaguar of the early 1960s were readable. The Mighty Crusaders of the mid-60s were good goofy fun.  Beyond that...Meh! Archie revived the heroes in the 1980s with name talent that never quite made...

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TONY’S TIPS #103

April 16, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #103

I’m looking at a trio of recently-published new titles this week. Here’s what I thought of them... King: Prince Valiant #1 is the final first-issue release of the five King Features books packaged and edited by Nate Crosby. I had mixed feelings about those other comics, liking some of them more than the others. I have no such mixed feelings about this one. I don’t like it. Once I got past the wonderful Darwyn Cooke cover, it was one huge disappointment after another. The Valiant present by writer Crosby and artist Ron Salas was a continent away from the epic...

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TONY’S TIPS #102

April 8, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #102

Marvel Comics publishes better super-hero comics than DC. I can’t tell you I love or even like all of Marvel’s titles. Fantastic Four has been shaky and it’s taken over a dozen issues for the team of James Robinson and Leonard Kirk to win me back. The vast Spider-Man empire lost much of its shine with the “Spider-Verse” event going on way too long. I actively despise almost all the Avengers titles, especially the ones that turned heroes into villains even prior to the loathsome “Axis” event. I’ve become so bored with the various X-Men titles that I haven’t...

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TONY’S TIPS #101

March 30, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #101

Batman: The Silver Age Newspaper Comics Volume 1: 1966-1967 was the trigger for last week’s column on Batman and yours truly. The 256-page hardcover reprints the black-and-white dailies and color Sunday strips from 1966 and 1967. An introduction by Joe Desris, one of the most knowledgeable Batman fans and historians, relates the how and why of the Batman strip’s return to newspapers after a long absence. If you think the popular television series of that era had something to do with the return, you think correctly. While the campy Batman isn’t my favorite version of the character, I’ve...

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TONY’S TIPS #100

March 23, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #100

This is my hundredth column for Tales of Wonder. Though I’ve long ago lost count of how many print and online columns I’ve written in the decades I’ve been writing columns - my best guess is well over 5,000 columns and possibly close to 10,000 columns - we have kept track of this current incarnation of “Tony’s Tips” by the simple expedient of numbering them. To celebrate this milestone, I’m kicking off a 52-week series that will change the TTU - Tony’s Tips Universe - forever. I’m getting a new costume and killing off a beloved supporting character in the...

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TONY’S TIPS #099

March 18, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #099

The next wave of Dynamite’s comic books starring heroes from King Feature’s roster of comic-strip legends has kicked off. The comic books continue from the events of the Kings Watch crossover and the Flash Gordon series that followed it. The titles, five in all, are packaged and edited by Nate Crosby. I have read the debut issues of four of the five titles. For those who came in late...Ming the Merciless attacked Earth and knocked out our world’s advanced technology. Our heroes beat back the invasion with Flash Gordon taking the fight to Ming’s empire. The struggle was not without...

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TONY’S TIPS #098

March 11, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #098

Silk #1 launches a new ongoing series featuring the young woman who was bitten by the same radioactive spider that made Peter Parker so amazing. Cindy lived for years in a bunker designed to protect her from the spider-slaying Inheritors. When Spider-Man released her, it alerted the Inheritors to her presence and started the too-many-issues-long Spider-Verse event. Spider-Verse with all its Spider-Man variants was fun for a minute until, as noted, it went on way too long. I’m not going to hold the event against Cindy, who has adopted the super-hero name of Silk. I like a lot...

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TONY’S TIPS #097

March 3, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #097

I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl . It was the third panel of the second page of the first issue by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. There be unavoidable SPOILERS AHEAD, my friends. The issue opened with Doreen Green sitting in a tree hanging with her squirrel pal Tippy-Toe and singing a Squirrel Girl theme song that sounds like the old Spider-Man cartoon theme song if you kind of sort of push the lyrics to fit. She spots a mugging in progress and, behind a super-hero and all,...

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