Saturday, July 6, 2013


Western Hero ran 37 issues from #76 to 112.  Published by Fawcett,
the title continued its numbering Real Western Hero [#70-75] which
continued its numbering from Wow Comics.  As a western comic, this
title ran from September 1948 to March 1952.

All I know about Western Hero #109 [December 1951] is that it hit
the newsstands in that glorious month of my birth...that it starred
movie cowboys Tex Ritter, Tom Mix, Monte Hale and Gabby Hayes...and
that the title of the cover stories sounds like it could have been
an Uncle Scrooge story.  Probably involving the Beagle Boys.  But
I digress.

As always, I’m always delighted to learn more about the comics of
my birth month from my bloggy readers.  I’m also willing to trade
for these comics and, on occasion, purchase them.  You can e-mail
me to arrange such transactions.

Keep watching this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth.


I read a terrific Batman comic book the other day.  Okay, it was a
terrific Batman comic book with a cover date of December 2010, but
terrific Batman comic books are such a rare commodity in the “new
52" era that I wanted to review it.

Batman Confidential #49 [$2.99] features “Work That’s Never Done,”
a smart done-in-one story by James Patrick with art by Steve Scott
(pencils) and Bob Petrecca (inks).  If the police were Batman, I’d
call this a police procedural because, not only do we get exciting
and gritty Batman action, but we also get a look into how he works
his cases and what goes through his head as he does so.

It starts with Batman picking up a “9-1-1" call and getting to the
scene before the Gotham City cops.  With a child’s life at stake,
Batman works the case relentlessly.  Patrick shows us how the man’s
mind works, even as Batman does little mental digressions.  This is
my kind of Batman, always thinking but not insane.  His actions are
measured and well thought-out.

The same can be said for my pal Steve Scott’s art and storytelling.
It’s measured.  Dynamic and even explosive when it needs to be and
more subtle when it comes to the human drama.

Batman Confidential #49 is worth tracking down.  Especially if you
like terrific Batman comic books as much as I do.


I enjoyed Journey Into Mystery #646-652 [Marvel; January-July 2013;
$2.99 each}, but I don’t have a lot of say about these comic books.
That happens sometimes.

Writer Kathryn Immonen crafted a nice mix of action, humor, godly
introspection and monsters.  The issues starred Sif and she doesn’t
get nearly enough “screen time” in the Marvel Universe.  Volstagg
appeared, which is always a good thing.  Valerio Schiti’s art was
excellent.  Like I said, I enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, this series
has been cancelled. Poo.


Mostly because I’ve enjoyed so much of Geoff Johns’ work over the
years, I caught up on Justice League and Aquaman recently.  Here’s
some quick notes...

Justice League is an ugly-looking comic.  When Jim Lee drew it, I
thought the heroes looked uncomfortable in their redesigned suits.
I thought the coloring was too dark.  I thought this book did not
look like a book about super-heroes, which I contend work better if
optimism is a key component of the stories.  Lee isn’t drawing it
any more and it still looks ugly.

I don’t find any of the Justice Leaguers consistently likeable.  I
don’t think they like us either.  Humanity in general seems like a
nuisance to them.  It’s as if that entire “great power means great
responsibility” concept was their equivalent of going to church on
Sunday because their parents made them.  I’m not feeling the love
from these heroes.  So I can’t love them back.

I was somewhat amused by the appearance of a Justice League minor
league system, though dismayed it included “Fake Black Lightning.”
Justice Minor League would probably be a far more entertaining book
than Justice League.

DC’s re-invention of the original Captain Marvel ranks high among
the many epic fails of “the new 52.” It’s every bit as ugly as the
Justice League book in which it appears.  I wish DC had the wisdom
to let some characters go unused until they find someone who might
bring something good to them.  This ain’t it.

Hint: the recent Young Justice cartoon did it better.

That brings us to Aquaman...

Aquaman remains one of the very few “New 52" titles I enjoy, It’s
because, despite their flaws and sometimes unpleasant quirks, both
Aquaman and Mera are likeable characters.  I care what happens to
them.  Geoff Johns is doing his best writing on the title and I’ve
always thought artist Paul Pelletier was a fine artist who can draw
characters that look like they’re supposed to look.  His page and
panel layouts move the story forward in a clear and still exciting
manner.  I like this book.

Aquaman #20 was a done-in-one “interlude” starring the Others.  Not
that you’d know if from the erroneous credits on the cover, but it
was written by John Ostrander, penciled by Manuel Garcia and inked
by four inkers.  While the issue didn’t have the momentum of Johns’
current Aquaman storyline, it was a solidly entertaining issue on
all fronts.

The Others are like the Aquaman Justice League and I’m finding them
to be interesting characters.  I read somewhere that they will be
appearing in an Aquaman annual and that, if the annual’s sales are
good, may get their own series.  Well, “The Others” is a good name
for an offbeat super-hero team and anything that puts Ostrander on
an ongoing super-hero title is a good move.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff and the start of my countdown
to Comic-Con.  See you then.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. Actually, I'd LOVE to see Monte Hall in a western comic.

  2. Frustrating typo corrected. I kept getting either "Monte" or "Hale" wrong when I was writing this and thought I had corrected both. Sheesh!