Three Random Non-Fantasy Comics for September

While most of my comics this month were for #FantasyComicsMonth, I did have a few that I read that were of the “normal” type (read: superheroes), most of which came from DC or Marvel grab bags I picked up at my LCS because dammit if I can’t resist the lure of a randomly selected bag full of books that are in decent condition. There’s certainly more than these three, some of which are going to be used for the next two months (Horror Comics and War Comics) and others I haven’t gotten around to yet.

Anyway, here they are.

All-Star Squadron #5 (DC Comics). Honestly, if you’re reading this blog, you probably know that any issue of All-Star Squadron is going to be good comics. This particular copy was in a DC grab bag and is in pretty crap condition, but still worth it. In it, there’s a whole plot involving Nazis, some occult stuff, an early Firebrand appearance, and a battle around the Statue of Liberty. It’s Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler, and Jerry Ordway. That’s all you need to know.

Now, I don’t have a full run of this and instead have the back end of the series in some collections (via the Crisis on Infinite Earths companion hardcovers), and it’s pretty much all on DC Infinite, so I’m not holding onto it. But you can usually find this series in back issue bins and I would recommend doing so. Donate.

Superman: The Man of Steel #45 (DC Comics). I have to say this is a striking cover–Superman dressed in black pants and a shirt that would usually be seen on David Copperfield or a ’90s soap opera star, burns his costume. It’s part of “The Death of Clark Kent” wherein Superman and everyone around him were under attack from Conduit. This particular issue takes place after Superman #100, which I believe kicked the storyline off, and now Conduit is trying to kill everyone–his family, his friends, his allies–and it looks like he is close to succeeding.

Overall, it’s a solid issue and if I were coming across this at random at the store, I may have picked it up and then wanted to get the next chapter (maybe even the previous ones, too). This is still an era where the Man of Steel’s creative teams were doing a great job, and thankfully, a lot of it is available digitally or in trade. I’ll be sending this one on, but I might go dive back into these FCTC-era issues online. Donate.

X-Force #31 (Marvel). I dropped X-Force right after the “Fatal Attractions” crossover because the X-books had become so cumbersome to read and didn’t fit into my budget. So this was about six months after that and appears to be some sort of transition or “ending” issue before a bigger storyline (a crossover with New Warriors called “Child’s Play”) and involves Black Tom and Siryn dealing with the baggage of their past.

I vaguely remember these characters from my X-Men Essentials read-through, but not enough to be really invested in this issue. The cover shows a lot of yelling and apparently powering up, but the issue is largely a conversation between the two characters where they seem to … reconcile or get closure or something?

I dunno. It’s hard to do issues like this, especially in the Nineties where the legs are long, the boobs are big, and so many panels are poses. But for what it’s worth, Fabian Nicieza proves to be better than I remember him even if Tony Daniel’s art is very much of the time (and it’s very much an early work where he was a good fit for the book because he resembled Greg Capullo enough). Still, it wasn’t enough to make me care about NINTIES X-Force. Donate.

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