Tangent, “Girlfrenzy” & other back issue reviews

I ordered myself some comic books on Labor Day, and two weeks later they finally arrived. None of the delay had to do with the postal service; I selected USPS shipping but Mile High Comics shipped my order FedEx anyway, after taking about 12 days to ship it at all. That said, despite the fact that the turnaround time seemed to approach that of mail order from the same retailer back in the days of catalogs (and MHC’s web site appears unchanged from the last time I purchased online from them years ago), I was satisfied overall. Good selection and fair prices count for much, whereas speed seems odd to worry about when I’m ordering books which in many cases are more than 20 years old.

Anyway, despite most of these books being big publisher products with prominent names, some certainly are approaching that category of “old and/or obscure comics” now. Let’s see how I made out for my $40.

“UEGO, take me back to 1998.” (No, seriously, please, take me back to 1998, I’m ready to go no need for my luggage pleeeeease.)

I think Tomorrow Woman was the best of the lot. Fair artwork, interesting plot, compelling character, pathos. Really nothing to fault. Oddly enough, the cover caught my eye out of nearly all those I was looking at ordering, and in this case the interior lived up to that first impression.

“Sue Storm: Secret Agent,” i.e. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #18 is a close alternate first place. Huge fun, as I have found to be the case with most issues from this series I have purchased. (I think there were actually two very similar series by that name but the days when I was trying to keep track of shit like that are behind me.) Simple appeal in the concept, well executed. About all one can set against this are a somewhat strained internal chronology, and a pretty schmaltzy ending; these aren’t serious complaints particularly as the series was never intended to take itself too seriously either.

The first two issues of the 2005 Aeon Flux miniseries have promise, but it’s so risky to assume anything from that (a point I shall return to anon).

Lois Lane, Donna Troy, and Tangent: Joker are all good, satisfying work offering enough of interest to elevate them above the pack. Tangent: Wonder Woman is fairly close behind. Tangent: Flash‘s oddity provides much of its appeal while also making it a little bit hard to rate; the lead character’s Valley Girl dialogue, the Wile E. Coyote plots of her father, and it’s difficult even to decide what’s going on with her mother… but the novelty is certainly worth the price of admission.

Ravens and Tangent: Power Girl both had caper-movie plots, and both were okay, but not must-haves. Secret was alright but the dude-trio lead characters were more for someone else’s tastes than mine. The Invisible Woman issue of the Captain Universe miniseries was okay; cosmically powered-up Sue kicking ass for an issue was worth doing once, for me, although in a side by side comparison, super-competent Sue dallying in a brief secret career as a SHIELD agent comes out well ahead.

Issues 2-5 of the Millennium miniseries from 2015 were not good.

Really the whole series deserves a big miss, but I had previously purchased the first issue and it displayed real potential. This is exhibit A for how a story can display real potential and then it turns out the writer had no plan for delivering on it, and never found one. This series is just rubbish. It’s like a writer scripted the first issue, then the others were finished by just handing the artist a summary of a conversation in which the writer had mentioned the characters and one or two settings. I can’t even recommend this for completists; no one but an obsessive completist has any business spending money on this, and even then I would advise holding out for a bargain price and then just shelving the issues unread.

Fortunately those four issues were the only real duds, here.

I will make a few observations on the rest as a whole—particularly the Tangent and “Girlfrenzy” families from 1998—in another post.

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