Collects comics issues 1-9.


Writer: Bill Willingham

Artist: Cezar Razek

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

This comic gathers up many of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ heroes, and some villains, too.

Jason Gridley invented the Gridley wave through which people can communicate between planets and lost worlds. He was invited to speak at a gathering of scientists but is kidnapped instead. He manages to escape on an alien spaceship and crashlands near Tarzan’s home. Tarzan and his wife Jane are friends of Jason. He tells them that a villain from another world kidnapped him and is now going to take over several worlds when he uses the Gridley wave as a weapon. Jason wants to stop him and of course, Tarzan and Jane want to help. While the alien ship is repaired, Tarzan gathers up a crew of heroes. They’re about to embark on a momentous journey.

The cast is huge: 18 people from various ERB’s books are on the crew. I was familiar with Tarzan, his wife Jane, and his son Korak, and also with Ulysses Paxton from “The Master Mind of Mars” in addition to Jason Gridley. Unfortunately, as is usual with a large cast of characters, most of them are just faces in the crowd. I didn’t know most of them but I also didn’t get to know them during this story. The main hero is Tarzan and of course our narrator Jason Gridley. John Carter and Dejah Thoris appear about halfway through. The story takes us to many of ERB’s worlds, such as Caspak, Pellucidar, and eventually Barsoom.

The crew has originally five women who have been updated to modern times. Jane and Mariam, Korak’s wife, are good with guns and fight alongside the men. The others are Victoria Custer, Virginia Maxon, and Shannon Burke. The other men are Billy Byrne, the Bridge, the Oskaloosa Kid, Barney Custer, Jim Stone, Townsend Harper, Johnny la Fitte, and the Rider. All seem to be seasoned adventurers.

We get a little bit of interaction between the characters and even jealousy because La of Opar joins the crew. She’s the ruler of Opar and is convinced that Tarzan is her mate.

The artwork is good but sometimes it’s hard to tell the characters apart.

This was a fun romp but I think it could have worked better with fewer characters.

Today’s daily prompt in the SciFiMonth event is alternate history or multiverses.

I love both of these tropes but since I have to pick just one I’m going with the multiverses, specifically the Marvel comics multiverse. It seems that the movie franchise is doing something similar (I’m looking at you, Loki TV series) but it’s a bit too early to tell.


My favorite version of the comics multiverse comes from Chris Claremont and Alan Davies’ Excalibur which started in 1988. The original team included Kitty Pryde, Lockheed, Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, Meggan, and Captain Britain. The team is thrown from one universe to another. Sometimes their powers work and sometimes they don’t. The tale ran from issues 12 to 24 so our heroes went to quite a few universes because they spent only an issue or two in one of them. What I really liked about this storyline is that the universes were fun, not just dystopias all the time. We’re also introduced to Captain Britains from various worlds. The storyline is collected in Excalibur Classic vol 3 and 4.

This long story isn’t the only time Excalibur had contact with other universes. After all, they live in the Lighthouse which is a Nexus between worlds.


My second favorite is the comic book Exiles. The team is gathered from various alternate-reality versions of people we know. The original team had Blink from Age of Apocalypse, Mimic from a world where he is a hero, Nocturne who is the daughter of Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch, Thunderbird (John Proudstar), Morph, and Magnus Lensherr (son of Magneto and Rogue). The team did change quite a bit during the series because the characters aren’t required to survive. They travel from one world to the next putting things right and can’t return to their own world before doing their missions.

However, the worlds they visit are often somehow wrong, if not dystopias outright. So we get to see quite a few incarnations of familiar characters, often in worse circumstances. The original series ran for 100 issues.

The first volume in an eccentric manga series.


Denji is a poor young man who has never gone to school or even eaten jam. When his father killed himself, Denji inherited his father’s enormous debt to the yakuza, the Japanese organized crime. So now, Denji will do anything for money and food. He has sold off one of his eyes and a kidney. He has a pet devil dog Pochita who has a chainsaw on his head. So naturally, they hunt devils.

The comic is set in 1997, except for the existence of devils that attack humans and kill them. Devils can also possess dead humans. Most devils are evil and violent, but a few are more friendly, such as Pochita.

However, Denji and Pochita are ambushed. Earlier, Denji promised Pochita that if he died, Pochita could take over his body. Now, when Denji is near death, Pochita makes a pact with him. Pochita would merge with Denji if Denji showed the devil his dreams. Denji agrees and becomes a devil/human hybrid who can manifest chainsaws from his hands and head. The chainsaws come out when he pulls at a cord on his chest.

Soon, he is recruited to the Public Safety Division which protects humans from devils. Really, Denji’s choices are to join or be killed, so of course he joins. The Division has some devils working for it, as well as humans.

As you might expect, the comic is quite violent, centering on fights against devils. However, it also has dark humor and jokes. Denji’s goal is to have a normal life, including living inside, eating good food, and touching breasts. Joining the Division he gets to eat good food and live indoors, together with a crouchy male agent who doesn’t like Denji. His obsession with women’s breasts is a bit annoying. The Division has a couple of interesting characters, a brooding devil hunter who takes everything seriously and his opposite, a devil inside a girl’s body who doesn’t seem to be stable at all.

This seems like a good start to the series, introducing the world and the characters but leaving a lot of questions unanswered. Ends with a cliffhanger.

Collects issues 1-12 of the Strange Adventures maxiseries.


Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mitch Gerards, Evan “Doc” Shaner

Publisher: DC

Adam Savage is the hero of the planet Rann. He and Rann’s defenders protected the planet from invaders out of space, the Pykkts. Now, he has returned to Earth and is selling his book. He’s a celebrity.

However, some people don’t agree. They accuse Adam of mass murder during the war. JLA wants to investigate him and Adam and his wife Alanna. Batman appoints Mr. Terrific because Mr. Terrific lost his child and Adam and Alanna lost their daughter during the last days of the war.

The story has two timelines: one in the present and one in the past, during the Rann war. The past storyline has clear influences from pulp science fantasy stories (and no doubt the original Adam Savage tales which I haven’t read). Adam and Alanna must first unite Rann’s sentient species against the invaders and then lead the horrible war against the Pykkts.

The present is very much a modern story, where people doubt their heroes. Themes include war and what should and shouldn’t be done in wars.

The art is gorgeous. It also makes clear if we’re seeing the past or the present. Shaner draws the past parts in a style that is reminiscent of older comic book styles. It jars with the more violent scenes, but in a good way. Gerards’ present is darker and the characters’ faces more expressive.

No doubt this is a great read for people who enjoy deconstructing heroes. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the art, I wasn’t too wild about the storyline.

Storybundle has again two interesting bundles: the Great Galaxies SF bundle 16 days and the Pop Culture Explosion bundle for two more days.

Humble Bundle has Doctor Who 2022 bundle of DW comics for two days more.

They also have two roleplaying bundles: Shadowrun and Star Trek Adventures.

Collects Once & Future issues 1-6.


Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Dan Mora

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

The story starts in Cornwall where an archeologist has found an intact scabbard from the 5th century. But before he can examine it further, a blonde woman and her thugs kill the archeologist and take the scabbard.

Duncan McGuire is a socially awkward young man on a date with a gorgeous Indian woman when he gets a call that her grandmother has escaped from the old folk’s home. Then his gran calls him and asks him to come and pick her up. Duncan apologizes to his date and drives in the middle of the woods. Her gran, Bridgette, apparently has a stash of weapons in the middle of the forest. Then the Questing Beast attacks.

This is a reimagining of the Arthurian mythos in the modern world and it also makes Arthur the bad guy, which is a twist I’ve rarely seen. In this world, Arthur fought against the invaders who were the Anglo-Saxons. So, he’s not fond of the current inhabitants of England.

The other big thing is how a story can take over people and make them into a certain role in a story. Except I doubt that lots of people think that Arthur is undead and will kill most English people… so the two ideas don’t seem to be compatible.

Duncan’s parents left when he was a boy and Bridgette raised him, alone in the middle of nowhere. She made sure he didn’t know anything about myths or even fantasy shows or books. Bridgette is a retired monster hunter so she knows all about not just Arthurian legends but other monsters. She has a no-nonsense attitude and uses what works. She is good with guns and isn’t afraid to shoot people, even family members.

Duncan is clueless at the start of the story but finds out a lot of things quickly. He seems to accept things quickly, even when he finds some family secrets. Of course, the plot doesn’t give him much time to think. He wants to protect his gran but she doesn’t really need his protection.

Unfortunately, the story used a trope I don’t like: keeping a person ignorant claiming it’s for their own good. For once, it was a man instead of a girl, though.

This was an interesting idea but not my favorite retelling. I’m intrigued enough that I’ve ordered the next volume from the library.

Collects issues 1-12.


Writer: N. K. Jemisin

Artist: Jamal Campbell

Publisher: DC comics

Sojourner ”Jo” Mullein is the newest Green Lantern and she’s been assigned to Far Sector, far away from other inhabited planets. She’s in City Enduring, an artificial home to 20 billion people, both physical and digital. 500 years ago, the two planets that were home to the three alien peoples were in a bitter war that ended with both planets destroyed. The only way to make peace was to strip the people of their emotions. Today, all inhabitants of City Enduring are still under the effect of Emotion Exploit which shuts down their feelings. For 500 years the city hasn’t had a murder. Until now.

After one person is murdered, the ruling council (of three people, one of each species) asks Jo to come in and solve the crime. Jo is a former police officer and reluctantly agrees.

Initially, the setting seemed very intriguing. One of the species is mammalian and remarkably human-looking (ok, fine they all look like humans) except that they have wings and a tail. Another is a sentient plant species that eat other sentient people, but only if the other people agree to be eaten (that look like humans except that their cover their chins). The third are sentient AIs (that look like humans but without noses). Even without feelings, the three council members are clearly racist against each other. The city is an artificial construction and changes every day.

For the most part, the mystery was interesting with lots of twists. Jo is the only human in the city and the only person with feelings intact and that can be very lonely. Also, she has a troubled past that she’s trying to make up for. She’s determined to serve the people and not the council.

However, the twist near the end was strange and the more we find out about the alien people, the more human they became. After a handful of issues, the city itself seemd very familiar with restaurants, police offices, big business, the downtrodden poor, etc.

Jemisin explores racism, cop violence, and the violence of the rich and powerful toward the poor. It’s easy to see their counterparts on Earth and Jo even comments on how things are much like on Earth.

Still, I enjoyed this story a lot, even though the ending was a let-down.

Campbell’s art was gorgeous.

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19 days to go

The Boys versus the Girls is a massive comics bundle. It has lots and lots of the Boys, an ironic take on superheroes (or rather villains pretending to be heroes). The other comics have women as main characters: Dejah Thoris, Swords of Sorrow, Vampirella, Red Sonja, Alice in Wonderland, Jennifer Blood, Miss Fury, and lots of others.

47 days to go

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5 days to go.

Collects Exiles issues 5-11 from 2001-2002.


Writer: Judd Winick

Artist: Mike McKone, Jim Calafiore

Publisher: Marvel

Right after their traumatic second mission, our heroes are whisked away to their next task. In the Canadian woods, they meet the Alpha Flight, which is led by Wolverine and the Shaman is John Proudstar, an alternate version of Exiles’ Thunderbird. Their mission is to keep the Alpha Flight alive against a furious Hulk.

The third issue is one of the weird Marvel experiments: an issue without dialog. It works surprisingly well. Our heroes take a well-deserved rest in a hotel and we see their dreams. This was a neat idea, having a bit of a breather between intense storylines, letting us know the heroes better, and even getting in a bit of character development.

Issue eight starts with telling us that the team has been through adventures we don’t see and that they’ve become a solid team. Also, that Blink and Mimic are now a couple. I felt it was something of a cop-out, skipping a couple of years of adventures. But I can understand why Winnick (or Marvel editors) did that.

The last three issues are action-packed. The Exiles have arrived on an Earth which is under Skrull rule and has been for about a century. Humans have been enslaved and all superhumans are forced to fight each other in arenas for the amusement of Skrulls. When the story starts, the Exiles have been on this Earth for about a month. Thunderbird, Mimic, Nocturne, and Sunfire were captured very soon and are forced to fight. Blink and Morph have managed to stay free, but haven’t succeeded in freeing the others and they’re starting to get desperate. However, the Skrulls aren’t the biggest threat…

The final issue is also a stand-alone.

This was a great collection, offering a lot of action and strange alternate realities (which I love), but also character development and emotional moments. Winnick also starts to cast some doubt about just who the Timebroker is and why the Exiles are doing their jobs. Looking forward to the next one.

Cross-over adventure for two of DC’s flagship teams.


Writers: David S. Goyer, Geoff Johns

Artists: Carlos Pacheco, Jesús Merino

Publisher: DC

Publication year: 2003

The Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America team up to fight villains and each other. The story starts with a lovely piece of art as Superman and the Sentinel are on the Moon, looking at the Earth from space.

JSA and JLA get together in JLA Watchtower on the Moon to enjoy Thanksgiving together. But Bedlam attacks a world hunger conference and specifically President Luthor and Vixen who is guarding him. JLA and JSA rush to the rescue. They overcome Bedlam quickly, but something isn’t right: Batman and Mr. Terrific come to blows over leadership differences and then many of the other heroes join the fight. Soon, some of our heroes are sent to Dr. Fate’s tower, others to Limbo, and the rest must figure out what’s going on.

This was quite a fun comic. These days it would probably have been a ten-issue maxi-series and I think the writers could pull that off. The writers juggled 13 JLA members and 16 JSA members, which wasn’t easy. Still, most heroes have their moments to shine and the team-ups have heroes from different teams, which is always fun. The pace is fast and there are a few jokes, too. However, I’m unhappy with how a couple of the heroes were handled, particularly Power Girl.

Pacheco’s art is gorgeous, even if he draws oversexualized women.

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