Thursday, May 1, 2014


My daughter Kelly will graduate from The Ohio State University on Sunday with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. At last, I’ll have a crime-fighter in the family. I’m already working on a pilot script for a series about a FBI agent and her comics-writing father.  Hollywood...have your people call my people.

While this is a truly joyous occasion for the Isabella family and our friends, Kelly’s special day adds to the sometimes overwhelming busyness of my life. Once again, I ask for and thank you for your patience if I’m far less than swift in responding to your e-mails and private Facebook messages.

Taking a realistic look forward...

I’m still packaging and shipping orders from my most recent online Vast Accumulation of Stuff sale. There will be more online sales, but not until I fulfill my existing obligations.

My actual Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will commence on Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7 from nine a.m. to noon. If I still have customers in the garage come noon, I’ll stay open a bit longer to accommodate them.  I’ve some fun new ideas for the garage sales, but I’m not ready to discuss them at this time.

Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing will continue to post on a nigh-daily basis. I’ll be taking a day off here and there when I’m traveling. Otherwise, I hope to provide new content every day. Tell all your friends, especially if they want to sponsor this blog.

Tony’s Tips will continue to appear weekly at Tales of Wonder. If you like what I used to do in Comics Buyer’s Guide and what I have been doing here, you’ll like that column as well.

Comments on both features are a wee tiny fraction of the number of hits they receive. I’d really love it if more readers posted their thoughts to these columns. Though comments to the bloggy thing have to be approved by me before they appear - this eliminates spam and trolls - I try to approved them as quickly as possible.

Spam and trolls. Worst meal combination ever.

While it is a challenge I might not be able to meet, I’m hoping to complete every assignment and every interview currently on my desk by the first of June. Man’s reach should ever exceed his grasp, my friends, or what’s a heaven for?


Updates accomplished, I now turn to the page of random notes I have been jotting down since the last time I devoted a bloggy thing to the random thoughts in my head.

When I first read a solicitation for Marvel’s Original Sin, I was more than a little interested. Someone has murdered “the” Watcher who has been a friend and ally to Earth’s heroes since Fantastic Four #13 or so? That gets my attention. I was hoping the series would be a cosmic murder mystery. That might still be part of it, but, the more I read the solicitations for connected spin-offs and the issues of ongoing series tied to the event, the more my initial interest is waning.

If I’m reading these solicitations correctly and not just reading too much into them, the Original Sin event will reveal previously unmentioned sins by many Marvel heroes. As someone who has already expressed his alarm over and distaste for the demeaning/darkening of beloved heroes at Marvel and elsewhere, I really don’t want to learn more bad things about those heroes.

I try not to get too worked up about comic books before I’ve read them. I’ll read the initial issues of Original Sin and its myriad spin-offs in the fervent hope that there is more to them than I am getting from the solicitations. I hope they are so brilliant that they put my fears to rest. I know I could, if it comes to that, at least appreciate a good redemption tale or two. That said, from a reader standpoint, my willing suspension of disbelief is going to  be sorely tested if the main point of Original Sin is to expose the darkest secrets of beloved characters and leave them so tarnished I don’t want to spend time with them anymore.


On a related note...

Spider-Man will soon meet Silk, a new female super-hero bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker. Apparently, per writer Dan Slott, the spider had one more bite left in him/her/it before it died. This character and storyline spins - ouch - out of the Original Sin event.

In just the few days since the coming of Silk was first reported, I have read a number of negative comments. One fan said it made him nostalgic for the Spider-Mobile of the 1970s. Me, I’m giving Slott the benefit of the doubt.

In an article posted on the NY Daily News website, Slott was asked where Silk has been all the years since Peter Parker became Spider-Man. Slott responded by repeating the question: “Where has she been all these years? That sounds like an incredibly big secret, he said twirling his mustache.”

I’m intrigued.


Regular readers of this bloggy thing know I often read comic books years after their original publication. This affords me a greater variety than if I were to resume my way-way-way-in-the-past habit of reading each week’s new books.

If my preferred reading method leaves me confused because I haven’t read comic books that were published before or concurrently with whatever issues I’m reading, that’s on the writer and the editor. Every issue they produce should be reader-friendly.  It’s a skill not seemingly held in high regard these days, but it really should be taught and cherished.

This is a preamble to an unreasoning fear I have that Avengers: Age of Ultron (the movie) will even remotely resemble the sick, twisted disaster porn that was Age of Ultron (the comic-book event).  Every time I come across one of those oddly-numbered Age of Ultron issues of an ongoing title and read it, I loathe the event more.  I never got the point of it and I haven’t been able to figure out how much it affects the “real” Marvel Universe. It was an ugly event, more the kind of thing I expect from DC Comics than Marvel.

I do know Joss Whedon has stated that the movie story is original and not an adaptation of the crappy AU comic books.  The “crappy” is my adjective. I’m sure Whedon is way too classy a guy to dump on even bad Marvel comic books.  But one doesn’t need actual reasons to feed an unreasoning fear. I’m ashamed of myself.

In other Marvel media news...

I’m writing this about an hour before I watch this week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I have no idea how Coulson and his allies will be able to restore the organization. I keep hoping for Tony Stark to do or say something, even if we learn about this secondhand. I’m also hoping that there won’t be any soul-crushing cliffhanger at the end of this season. I don’t think I’m gonna get my wish on that one. But I’m with Coulson for the duration.

Don’t yield. Back S.H.I.E.L.D.!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens this week, but I know I won’t see it until sometime next week. I wish there was a way to block comments on movies I haven’t seen but really want to see. Sigh.

That’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with either another of these random bloggy things or another installment of my JULY 1963 series. It depends what kind of shape I’m in after watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

© 2014 Tony Isabella


  1. Without any spoilers, I so did not see the revelation at the end of the SHIELD episode coming. And that's a good thing (tm)

  2. Michael Kelly SchurmanMay 1, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I'm several episodes of Agents of SHIELD behind again. I'm behind on the movies, too. Luckily another birthday is coming soon and my daughters usually get me dvds of the movies I've missed.

    On the subject of "events," I've never liked them. Just a way to sell comics I can't afford all of and don't want to read anyway.

    I hadn't actually thought of it this way but as I do, I think Crisis on Infinite Earths was the point at which I completely gave up on the big guys' month-to-month continuities. Of course, soon after I had one girl in high school and one in college and then both in college so the comics I'd buy shrank to Gladstone Disneys and then EC reprints.

    Last decade, when I was single for a while and not yet retired, I got rid of most of my collection, traded largely for archive books and tpbs of reprints. For a while I bought quite a few comics regularly but tended toward smaller publishers and creators such as Richard Morris, Terry Moore, Jeff Smith, Frank Cho and Jimmy Gownley.

    I kept up with them because the stories were good and the art was pleasant, not because they had must-read connections to another thirty or so titles.

  3. While it was various events that drove me from the Big Two, it took two later ones (Blackest Night and Secret Invasion) to get me back. Sadly, I found that both the Marvel & DC universes just became increasingly dark and confusing for me, so I ended up dropping the product of both companies again. Probably been close to three years since I've read anything but some freebie samples from either publisher.

    I love how Agents has become such a part of the Marvel film universe. You really never know where the show is going now.