Diamonds in the Rough, Part 1: The Rublemizer Box

Rublemizer's in Springfield, Missouri is attempting to raise funds to bankroll its attendance at a series of cons and toy shows over the next couple of months, and to this end, allowed me to fill up a short box from the store's considerable inventory for $40.00. Neither Silver Age stuff or more recent books to drool over, but I'm happy with the finds I did make. In addition to a Rey Mysterio action figure for my step-son and some books I intend to trade with a friend, I discovered quite a few titles I'd never encountered before or I had forgotten. What follows is a list of some of the gems I pulled.

List items

  • This Warren Ellis series features art by Tony Harris and colors by Cully Hammer, and has the gritty feel of 100 Bullets. I am genuinely surprised more people haven't name-dropped this book to me. Sadly, I only found the first issue, but that's what mycomicshop.com is for, right?

  • Happily, I snagged # 0 (reprinting the two Gorilla Comics issues) and 1-6 of this science fiction series, which has all of the intrigue and action as Game of Thrones, and an ending which writer Mark Waid could certainly pick up again in the future.

  • In the early years of this century, J. Scott Campbell/Jim Lee-influenced artists like Bret Booth didn't do much for me, but since I had plenty of room in my box, I added all five issues of Extinction Event, and I was grateful that I did. Super-intelligent dinosaurs are awoken from millions of years of sleep and they want the Earth back. This series, essentially survival horror with dinosaurs, won me over in spite of Booth's gristle people.

  • I LOVE Brian Bolland's art. L-O-V-E. This series and the Eagle reprints of his 2000 A.D. Judge Dredd stories are the reasons why. Still have some holes in this run, but now one less.

  • These five issues in the Simone and Benes run of Birds of Prey were a nice find. I love martial arts heroes/villains (Richard Dragon, Shang-Chi), and so Lady Shiva's appearance on the covers of #s 62 and 63 led me to clean out him out of Birds of Prey. The other issues have easily won me over as a pre-52 BoP fan.

  • This one-shot anthology has P. Craig Russell and Guy Davis art, as well as a pin-up from Tim Bradstreet. I loved the Bradbury collection in high school, and I was excited to see this comic at Rublemizers'. Another of those books I never even knew existed.

  • I had no prior experience with Darkchylde, and have only seen Painkiller Jane painted by Joe Jusko or Boris Vallejo for insert posters in Wizard. However, J.G. Jones did the interiors of this one-shot, and so I was willing to give it a try. ...And it's a keeper.

  • I picked up JLA 84-89 (with the exception of 88, which the store was missing) because I loved this storyline the first time I read it. The # 89 cover with Martian Manhunter throwing down with gigantic Plastic Man is still cool.

  • AND! I picked up this issue, as well. The mounting romantic tension between Batman and Wonder Woman seems like a nice companion to what's happening in the Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman dynamic in comics and film now.

  • I cut my fanboy teeth on Mike Zeck's Captain America in the early 1980s, and I loved his GI Joe covers for Marvel later on. If only he had drawn the interiors, as well... Ahem! Anyway, I couldn't resist this Image book just for the cover.

  • Those who know me well--on both Comic Vine and offline--know of my affinity for Robinson's Starman. I gave every one of my issues away, though, to collect the HC Omnibuses. I haven't picked up all of the HC editions yet, but when I do, I'll give these to a friend to entice him or her into sharing my Jack Knight love.

  • Same.

  • I picked up the Kevin Nowlan cover, the Dave Stevens cover, AND "1C" of this Warren Ellis/Humberto Ramos Gen 13 spin-off. Warren Ellis is one of my favorite writers of fiction and in the comic book medium.

  • The Mike Mignola cover almost made up for the Sal Buscema innards, but ultimately, I love Canada's premiere superhero team, and this also led into a battle with pre-Spiral-altered Lady Deathstrike. I think it's her first appearance after the Daredevil issues that introduced her and her father, Lord Dark Wind.

  • The complete three issue run of this series illustrated by Guy Davis (Sandman Mystery Theater) is creepy and fun.

  • I love the Typhoid Mary character, and the way in which Matt Murdoch removes her from his life is so... well, you'll just have to read it for yourself. Lee Weeks was never in my personal Top 10, but nice, moody art here.

  • Another Mignola cover makes up for weaker interior art, but as a staunch supporter of Hydra (hey, I cohost a podcast about supervillains), I'm going to hang on to this issue for a while.

  • I got the Joe Corroney cover of the first issue of this limited series. It was always strange to me how the licenses for the Buffy-Verse were divided between Dark Horse and IDW, but everyone seems on the same page now. The Buffy Dracula is a sad pretender to the name's literary and historical heritage, but I like Spike and so I thought I'd give this a shot. ...Um, and I will admit that I thought that Tim Bradstreet drew the cover. My mistake. Oh, well.

  • When this issue was first released, I passed on it thinking that DC had decided to try to retool Neil Gaiman's Lady Justice to its own ends. However, there is nothing derivative about the new Crimson Avenger. I wrote a blog entry about gender bending established male characters, but the Crimson Avenger's back story is one of those instances when it definitely works.

  • ...And the end of this two-part story line definitely confirms that.

  • Art Adams saves the Savage Land! Also, the X-Babies. Bleh. But! Did I mention Art Adams? I just wish there were more dinosaurs in this issue for him to draw. He's good at them there giant thunder lizards.

  • Remember when Cap was The Captain? Y'know, before Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. introduced the one-true Captain? I had this issue when I was younger, and I'm always glad to see Titania menacing the Marvel U and I had a Marvel Team-Up as a kid wherein the Griffin was the villain. Nice, nostalgic trip.

  • In an alternate universe where this is an ongoing book and I am just as nerdy, I'm picking it up on a monthly basis.

  • The John Byrne cover was the selling point here. Also, I like Doom Patrol very much.

  • Hannibal King starts Doctor Strange down the road towards destroying every vampire in the Marvel Universe. There are some panels of Clea inside that I cannot do justice in describing here. Beautiful art.

  • I mentioned I like Doom Patrol, right? I met Curt Swan about 15 years ago at a con in Kansas City, and he was warm and engaging. Seeing his art here makes me sad for his passing, but grateful that his artistic achievements are still here to be enjoyed.

  • I really have no compelling story to tell justifying why I put this in the short box. I just like Liam Sharpe's art.

  • ...And Al Williamson's. Even more than Marvel's original Star Wars series, Classic Star Wars featured some of the most beautiful science fiction art I have ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on. Landscapes, figures, and characters I fell in love with in the movies come to life here. Williamson's art is so f***ing good.

  • I'm an old-school RPG player, and I picked this up because I have fond memories of tabletopping Cyberpunk back in the day. The Daryl Banks interiors didn't make me regret that choice.

  • Code of Honor # 1, 3 and 4 were available, but not # 2. Oh, well. Marvel tried to capture lightning in a bottle, attempting to capitalize on the success of Alex Ross' Marvels limited series. Even though this series fell a bit short, it was still a compelling read.

  • Hey! Remember that time the Viper/Madame Hydra thought she was Spider-Woman's MOM?? Here's the issue you need to refresh your memory. For me, this was another romp down memory lane.

  • So, Cap is Cap again, and after the Bloodstone Hunt storyline, he's hot on the heels of Crossbones, a then-brand new villain who had some dark ties to Cap's then-squeeze, Diamondback [Crossbones had raped her].

  • First appearance of Rose Wilson as the Ravager! Ahem! Sorry. Anyway, I have # 1 of this series, so I thought I'd pick up the next seven issues. As you may have gathered from this list, I have no special allegiance to either Marvel or DC exclusively, but I know what I like and this series was likeable for me.

  • I snagged these issues of Titans, too. I was a Perez-purist with regards to the Titans when this series was out, but now that I've softened a bit in my old age, I thought I'd best give it a shot.