Dollar Bin Reviews: GUY GARDNER WARRIOR No. 29

As Reviewed by John Astin

Publisher: DC Comics March 1995
Writer: Beau Smith
Pencils: Phil Jimenez
Inks: John Stokes, Dan Davis

What is this: This issue takes place more than a year after the Green Lantern Corps collectively is killed and/or disbanded again (as is the cyclical nature of the franchise). At one point, Guy Gardner used to be one of Sector 2814’s many space cops (Earth is an interstellar trailer park, y’know) but after DC whacked the Green Lanterns by a rouge Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner was too popular to throw away but not enough to keep around. As a result, Guy is booted from the Corps, has his replacement gold ring removed from his days as an independent ring-slinger and, now, his human DNA by revealing him to be a member of the alien Vuldarin race who shape-shift their hands into melee weapons and have tattoos designed by finger-painting toddlers. DC editorial did manage to keep Guy Gardner's love-to-hate jackass demeanor, though.

So what happens: Guy Gardner is opening Warrior’s, his Planet Hollywood-esque restaurant and bar, with a smorgasbord of DC’s intellectual properties in attendance. And like most parties where more than five meta-human meatheads who are being served alcohol, all hell breaks loose. There’s a bar fight, penis jokes and running gags galore.

What’d you think: It’s a fun issue. Phil Jimenez, who would later jump to Wonder Woman, is spot-on in this issue. Like most guys from School of Detail (the George Perez wing, in Jimenez’s case), the coloring technology and printing capabilities hurt the art. There is a ton of detailed work and variety of characters popping up to include appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. Series writer Beau Smith did a decent job capturing the chaotic energy of a large event frequently jumping scenes but connecting them all with running gags such as the longer Tiger-Man's insistence people "pet his fur." The only beef is that I didn’t know the significance of Guy Gardner being Vuldarin, which is a big deal since Darkseid himself is spying on Warrior’s grand opening via Apokolips.

Comic book movies rule, will I like this: Probably not. If you’re a fan of the Green Lantern cartoons or film, this is very far removed from it and a bit heavy in at-the-time DC continuity with its myriad of inside jokes.

Is this online: There are a few issues of Guy Gardner: Warrior available on Comixology, but not this particular issue. Weird. This is an online or brick-and-mortar store purchase, but it’s likely to be in a quarter bin at a show.

On a side note: This issue has a special cover allowing you to open the doors to Warrior’s to see the chaos inside.

Dollar Bin Reviews: Longshot Number 1

As Reviewed by John Aston
Publisher: Marvel Comics Sept. 1985
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Pencils: Art Adams
Inks: Bill Anderson, Whilce Portacio

What is this: Longshot No. 1 debuts one of Marvel’s "third-generation" of new mutants with equally vague powers similar to the probability-shifting Scarlett Witch: he changes luck. Longshot, a 6-issue mini-series published ten years out from Giant-Size X-Men and two years after the New Mutants debuted expand the mutant menace known as the X-Men continuity.

So what happens: Longshot, primarily known as the three-fingered hero from the Mojoverse, appears in New York City on the run from enemies unknown and with a severe case of amnesia as he embarks of a fairy-tale like quest searching for a kidnapped infant taking the company of a paranoid survivalist, a mysterious anamorphic dog-like being only the main character encounters and a the missing child's single-mother. Their trek leads them to a clan of demons in their stronghold outside the city.

What’d you think: I’m actually not a fan of Longshot or the whole Mojo thing; having a reality-show themed murder world was extremely ahead of its time in the mid-80s, which is when I first began reading X-Men at the ripe old age of 9-years-old. The biting commentary regarding television network practices was lost on me at the time and nowadays been-there, heard that.

Ann Nocenti, whose comic career revived in DC’s New 52 reboot and authored an extremely underrated and overlooked Daredevil run in the 80s, seemingly cuts the book’s tether to reality. New York didn’t feel grounded in reality and as the issue progresses causing a loss of bearings as to where I am. Longshot has an intentional vagueness of a fable with general settings: city, the woods, demon world. You know you are in New York City but it doesn't feel that way.

Arthur Adams' art is a work-in-progress. He’s not the artist known for slick and beautifully rendered line work he produces today, but the pages drawn in 1985 do show a man evolving from traditional comic figures to an Americanized anime. The hyper detail is there, and at the time, rivaled George Perez. It should be noted the coloring process and technology 30 years ago was stone age quality and takes away from the visuals.

Comic book movies rule, will I like this: Longshot doesn’t seem to be involved in the X-Men films, yet. He’s not really a prominent X-Man either hitting his stride in X-Men writer and creative godfather Chris Claremont’s run during the late 80s and early, early 90s. Longshot sporadically makes appearances here and there but, really, his time was up by the time the X-Men cartoon first aired on Fox. Fans who only partake of comic-related TV and film may want to skip over this one.

Is this online: This particular Longshot mini-series (there are others) at the time of this writing is not available via legal digital download. However the mini-series was collected in a 2008 hardcover and later in 2013 in softcover. The single issues and collections are available at online comic stores and many brick-and-mortar shops.

On a side note: When I look at the 1985 Longshot art, I can see where Rob Liefeld could have been influenced visually. Also, Art Adams will be at the 2015 HeroesCon in Charlotte, N.C.

Episode 348: Ask a Black Nerd Part 1

Pictured Left to Right:  Ted, Terence, Trevor

Dollar Bin Productions in conjunction with Ask a Black Friend, presents to you the very special episode of Ask a Black Nerd.  We opened up our lines (Facebook) and you asked questions.  You may not like them, but here are your answers.