Wednesday, December 19, 2018

025. The end of a messiah complex! (Mister Miracle 25)

It's been far too long since the last true update to this blog and for that I owe apologies before we get started. NaNoWriMo and a few personal issues in its aftermath derailed much, but we are hopefully now back on track for several weeks (and hopefully months) to come! So without any more ado, let's get to the final ongoing issue of the second wave of the Fourth World as Steve Gerber, Mike Golden and Russ Heath give us the final issue of Mister Miracle.

Russ Heath's inks can't quite save the world from this Al Milgrom to
a Michael Golden comic. And people wonder why DC imploded?
The story opens with Scott hovering before the people in the aftermath of his death defying escape at the end of last issue. He declares that just as he escaped the deathtrap, they can escape the forces which seek to suffocate their lives.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

X-Mas Special: "Present Tense" by Ty Templeton

One of my all time favorite Christmas comic tales comes from the second DC Universe Holiday Bash from way back in 1997. It is a very simple two page affair, but it is honestly just an amusing juxtaposition of Santa in the DC Universe.

Thankfully, it has been heavily re-posted online, even by artist/writer Ty Templeton himself. So as Santa readies for his long ride in a few weeks, let's all find the answer to the question: what is Christmas like on Apokolips?

Don't you miss the days when Darkseid could be used for comedic purposes and no one was bothered by it? I know I do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Art of War 05: Infinity Man and the Forever People by Arthur Adams!

Arthur Adams is a legendary talent, so it's no surprise his take on the weirdest cats in the Fourth World and their body changing buddy is all kinds of impressive for this edition of the Dreaded Deadline Doom!

Just a station note: next week we will have a special holiday edition before the regular columns return after that! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Art of War 04: Orion and Kalibak by Ramon Villalobos!

Remember how I mentioned NaNoWriMo? Worry not, faithful, as November is nearly over! In the mean time, take a look at this amazing piece by Bordertown's Ramon Villalobos, as he re-imagines Orion and Kalibak as professional wrestlers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Art of War 03: Barda and Scott by Francesco Francavilla!

It's NaNoWriMo time and that means keeping up with blogs only can go so far! So until I find that twenty-fifth hour of the day, you will have to settle for this amazing Mister Miracle and Big Barda rt by the talented Francesco Francavilla! I only wish I could find a bigger version!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

024. All hope lost! (Return of the New Gods 19)

Behind a Joe Staton and Bob Layton cover, Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Dan Adkins re-unite for the final issue of the original series for these characters. They're not quite finished with them here yet, but more on that in future installments...

Our story opens with Darkseid and Desaad, the latter looking particular witch-like this time around. Darkseid asks a simple question, "Are the humans prepared, Desaad?" His lieutenant informs him that the cosmic computer is ready to solve the Anti-Life Equation once and for all. Darkseid broods on his success, even acknowledging he doesn't know the true result of the Anti-Life Equation being raised to fruition.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Art of War 02. Big Barda vs. the Female Furies by Tom Scioli

Every now and then I'm going to fall behind on this column, especially as other projects (read: the kind that pay money) take over my time. Because of this, you will sometimes see the Dreaded Deadline Doom appear, where I feature a piece of New Gods related fan art on the page. This time around I take a look at an arguable heir apparent to Kirby's high energy style in Tom Scioli (Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe, Godland.) His rendition of Big Barda in battle with her former teammates  Lashina, Stompa, Mad Harriet and Bernadeth is just all kinds of awesome!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

023. Life and Anti-Life, a tale of two equations (Return of the New Gods 18)

Al Milgrom is back yet again for this issue, but even more impressive is it has the full creative team that almost feels like the regular team by now: Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Dan Adkins. Of course, this is the penultimate issue...

The book opens with Jezebelle, Orion and Forager as they run away from the exploding Happy Land.

Once they've reached a safe distance, they hold together their Mother Boxes and reach out to see the distress on New Genesis. The ranting Highfather comes into view, and the three young gods know the future of their people is in grave danger. As Orion puts it, "This is not mere catastrophe. It is disaster unparalleled!"

Yet the heroes know they can do nothing by rushing off to their planet. Darkseid has cut the Source off from New Genesis with but a sixth of the Anti-Life Equation. They must protect their charges before he gets more. (Apparently, Orion has already forgotten they have General Torch.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

022. Not your grandma's messiah! (Mister Miracle 24)

While his interior work is still only on Detective Comics at this point in his career, Marshall Rogers delivers one of his best pieces of art for the cover of this issue, complete with the title: "Double-Bind!" Seriously, click on the picture above and bask in its glory.

The interiors of this issue are once again by writer Steve Gerber and penciler Michael Golden, joined this time around by the legendary Russ Heath on inks. A cosmic setting seems a weird choice for Heath, a man known best for his work on westerns and war comics, but his inks only seem to strengthen the young Golden's art.

The book opens with Oberon screaming bloody murder as he's in the hands of two Apokoliptan soldiers, dressed in the kind of crazy armor Golden would make a staple of Micronauts. Yet in a flash of lightning behind them all, Mister Miracle has returned to reality from his detour on (with?) Ethos.

He makes short work of Oberon's captors, but "Darkseid's Photon Patrol" shows up and starts blasting at the heroes with lasers. Instead of leaping into action, Scott Free bends down and examines the ants native to the land. He can hear their screeches of outrage, especially when he amplifies them to the point the sounds turns agonizing to the Photon Patrol. Oberon inquires how Scott was able to commit such a feat. Mister Miracle explains that he now possesses the abilities of Mother Box, after joining with her several issues back. This honestly is a godsend to any fan trying to figure out Scott's powers since he first gained them as this is the first time anyone tried to explain exactly what they are.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

021. The not-so-strange origin of Lightray! (DC Special Series 10)

Turns out before we resume our regular focus on Orion, Mister Miracle and the ongoing machinations of Darkseid, we have another detour in the road. DC Special Series was a weird book that basically allowed DC to periodically release special series to newsstands. The tenth installment features the "Secret Origins of the Super-Heroes" and if you can't guess it from the cover, one of those heroes is Lightray. And, hey, unlike their appearances in First Issue Special and Super-Team Family, the New Gods arrival here didn't bring the book to an end.

The combination is weird, but Jose draws the heck out of it.
The Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praise be his name) cover features Lightray sharing the stage with his fellow super-stars Doctor Fate and Black Canary, but that's the only interaction he will have with this book's other stars. But his origin tale would feature a familiar team to those who have followed along with me: writer Gerry Conway and penciler Don Newton take time out of their regular Return of the New Gods duty for this one, joined by Frank Chiaramonte on inks.

The combination of Newton and Chiaramonte is a bit of a foreboding one. Frank passed away at just under forty years of age in 1983 due to cancer. Don Newton would pass away, also aged forty, just a year later after a massive heart attack. Despite that note, the two men worked very well together, as Frank brought a classical ink line to Don's pages.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

020. Dark memories and darker plots! (Return of the New Gods 17)

This and all art in this article owned by DC Comics.
From the cover of this issue of Return of the New Gods, it seems clear from hindsight that this is an important moment in the history of the Fourth World. Why? The evocative cover art featuring Darkseid and Granny Goodness in powerful positions was drawn by none other than Jim Starlin. In fact this is some of his earliest DC comic art, so it seems quite clear someone at the company knew his relationship to cosmic villains.

Inside we find the regular dynamic duo of Gerry Conway and Don Newton, with Dan Adkins back on inks. We pick up right were last issue left off as Orion and Jezebelle have found themselves in a trap. Orion rages, but Jezebelle tells him to cool his anger and fly to his charge. But before either can escape, they are both blasted from the sky by a hidden laser weapon.

Switch to Darkseid as we finally see the title for this issue: "The Memory Machine." The lord of Apokolips gloats at his success while Titan reminds him of his own role in the capture. But it's Desaad that gets the final words on the page as he makes his first appearance in this era of the Fourth World. It seems crazy post-Super Powers, but the character was never as important as he became in the cartoon. But if there's a torture device to be used, Conway knew just the New God to operate it.

Yet Torch is just as stubborn against Darkseid and his minions as he was against Orion. He refuses to give up the secrets of his mind. After Torch falls unconscious, Desaad reminds his master of their capture of Orion and Jezebelle. He receives permission to enter their minds with the same device! And, of course, as Darkseid leaves Desaad is already thinking of ways he can steal the Anti-Life Equation for himself.

We switch back to Highfather and Lucifar on New Genesis while they talk about the difference between peace and weakness. The exchange seems like page filler, or just a way to keep both characters involved in this issue.

Elsewhere, Forager's own Mother Box pings. He rushes away from his protection of Dr. Bradford to find and rescue Orion!

In Happyland, robots move the unconscious heroes into another Memory Machine. The beams shoot into each's mind, probing their past.

First, we see Orion's darkest memory of the day his father exchanged him with Highfather. Then, we delve into the past of the mysterious Jezebelle.

We travel back to the training academy of Granny Goodness, where a young Jezebelle begs her to not make her fire her eye beams at her would-be friends. But like her those friends are trained to kill and they all come at her with blades. She has no choice but to cut them each down with her fiery eyes, much to Granny's pleasure.

Jezebelle was an adorable little killing machine.
Flash forward some years and she is on the front lines of the renewed battle between New Genesis and Apokolips. She hesitates to use her powers, even though she knows her fate if she fails will be death. Her indecision allows a warrior of New Genesis to strike her down with his lance.

Darkseid watches from afar as New Genesis prepares to send Lonar's body into the Source. He believes his control over the sixth of the Anti-Life Equation he holds will give him the ability to disrupt the transfer.

On Earth, Forager arrives at Happyland. He makes short work of a demonic guard, still drawn as an actual demon instead of a Parademon, much to this writer's frustration. From there, he finds his fallen comrades with ease. He destroys the computer that controls the robot and quickly rouses the two heroes. But before they can go far, their Mother Boxes all ping with desperation and terror.

Back on New Genesis, Highfather stands in front of the tablet that connects them to the Source. The surface now stands dark. Highfather screams out their fate: "the day of doom is nigh at hand!"

Way to rally the troops and not cause a panic there, Izaya. 
Conway and Newton finally give a bit of background to Jezebelle, the character they created for this run. While it is nothing out of the ordinary (and much akin to the origin of Big Barda), it seems important in her role in this series, where she seems to get the second most attention of any New God behind Orion. Sadly this run would also pretty much be it for her as a character, as no subsequent writers or artists will use her with any regularity.

Darkseid's use of a fraction of the Anti-Life Equation seems designed to start the end game for this storyline early, wisely as this era of New Gods nears its close. Conway's tale is a bit rough in places and rushed in others. Newton's art also seems to have been produced a bit too quickly with a few of his pages paling in comparison to his previous work on the series. Yet this issue also seems set to build on the drama, the impending endgame between both sides of the never-ending war!

In the next issue we're promised the secrets of the Source, the end of Darkseid's quest for the Anti-Life Equation in a story titled "Breach the Mystic Barrier or Die!" But before we see that, we've got another special heading our way. But you'll see that one next time around!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

019. A titan, a hunter and the return of the mighty Don Newton! (Return of the New Gods 16)

This and all images in this post are owned by DC Comics.
Al Milgrom returns to covers as we find our way back to Return of the New Gods. As before, his work pales in comparison to that of interior artist Don Newton, once again showing the head scratching mindset of DC production in the seventies. Newton is joined this month by regular writer Gerry Conway and legendary inker Joe Rubinstein.

The issue opens with a funeral procession. Last issue ended with the death of Lonar and he is being honored here. Orion expresses his rage as the funeral finishes and Lonar disappears into the ether of (I assume) the Source. As the proceedings end, Orion's Mother Box pings to warn him of trouble on Earth. He races off back to the Strategic Air Command base his charge resides in. A green-skinned being attacks the base.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

018. Life race and death race! (Mister Miracle 23)

Marshall Rogers did stick around for the cover to Gerber & Golden's first issue.
The team of Englehart and Rogers went out with a bang in a freeform final issue of their short run, but that didn't bring this run of Mister Miracle to an end. The team of writer Steve Gerber, artist Michael Golden and inker Joe Giella bring the world their first installment, "As Ethos is my judge...?"

After last issue, Mister Miracle was hurled into the abyss of outer space by Darkseid. (We didn't see that in the book itself, but it's covered in explanatory text on page one.) He thinks he might be on his way to his own death, reminiscing of Oberon and Big Barda. Instead he lands on a strange human-size chessboard floating in the depths of space. A red-cloaked figure welcomes him to this world or as he says, "to an oasis in the vast wasteland between worlds! Welcome to the domain of Ethos!"

He quickly realizes the strange figure's voice resembles that of Mother Box, but as he's coiled around by two snakes that turn to chains to bind him, the figure identifies himself as Ethos. Ethos is an androgynous being that serves neither Apokolips nor New Genesis.  He states a simple purpose for Scott's arrival on this plain, "to break the constraints of your own preconceptions!"

Gerber continues with another page of metaphysical mumbo jumbo that can basically be distilled into "you can't be the messiah you wish to be unless you know yourself." He ascends stairs off of the great chessboard, his chains fall away, and...

He comes to next to Oberon flying in a speeder car. He barely recovers in time to dodge around several other vehicles in an insane death race. But this death race is being ran by the gods of New Genesis and Apokolips alike. He quickly ends up in a dead heat with Darkseid himself, driving a forties era car. Darkseid throws a dagger and strikes Oberon, but Oberon insists Scott finish the race.

Mister Miracle refuses to continue the race though and shoots his speeder up into the sky instead. The speeder explodes and sends Oberon and Mister Miracle falling as the crowds cheer for him. If this all seems a bit existential, well...

It turns out Scott is still with Ethos and its all been a vision. Ethos questions Mister Miracle's sense of purpose before sending him on another quest. He quickly arrives on a jungle world, where Orion attacks him! He's beat up by Orion, even as he realizes that tiny humans are scurrying around their feet. Big Barda attacks him as well, but Mister Miracle refuses to raise his hand against her again.

He touches Mother Box in this plane and shrinks to insect size. But Darkseid arrives to squash him like a bug. But he grows suddenly in side and knocks the off-model Darkseid for a loop. (Golden apparently thought that was a cloak around his head.)

A major artist and editor blunder with the design of Darkseid's head.
Let's chalk it up to this being just a figment of the dark god.
Darkseid falls on the tiny human village though, killing the humans.

He returns to Ethos as he laments the lives lost. Here Ethos reveals why his plan for saviordom didn't work, for as a product of Apokolips and New Genesis, he's not truly comfortable in either. His comfort with humans comes for a simple reason: he is not a god of New Genesis, but a human.

His chains vanish as his admittance to his true nature has broken the chains his supposed godhood brought to him. He walks away, disappearing from Ethos as the next issue promises "Messiah, Save Thyself!"

This issue seems designed to call to a halt a lot of Englehart's ideas for this run of Mister Miracle. I'm a big fan of Gerber on Howard the Duck and Man-Thing, where he's known to get weird and out there. But the existential nonsense of this book often feels glued together after one too many recreation substance. Nor does it really progress the plot at all. Instead it seeks to change the focus for Scott himself, but whether that will stick as the next issues come about remains to be seen.

Whew! That was a wild one. Be ready next time as we fly back towards the only ongoing narrative we have left in the late seventies era.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

017. It's a mad, mad, mad, mad promethean galaxy! (Super-Team Family 15)

This and all images owned by DC Comics.
As 1977 gave way to 1978, it seemed clear that the revival of the New Gods was already wheezing towards an end. Return of the New Gods seemed to publish less and less issues, even as Gerry Conway's regular writing assignments seemed to increase. Super-Team Family was a team up title at DC, and once again the New Gods arrive just in time to end a series. I surmise this arrival was designed to try to ignite interest as sales dwindled and the DC Implosion loomed, but that's just my conjecture. Let's get to the book itself.

It starts off amazingly well with a wonderful Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praise be his name) cover. The interiors open with Flash and Lightray speeding around a planet, but as we move to the two page splash we find out this isn't a planet at all: it's the ever expanding body of Orion! We also get our creator credits with Gerry Conway on the story, Arvell Jones on pencils and the great Romeo Tanghal inking.

Metron arrives, but neither the New Gods or the human they've recruited for his scientific knowledge understand the sudden change in the catatonic Orion. Flash uses his speed powers to attune to the frequency of the Mother Box providing an atmosphere around Orion and himself as he seeks to find answers. With it, he finds an entry point into the giant Orion, but stumbles onto "a world of wires, circuitry, and crystals!" He seeks to use his speed powers to follow the processes in the giant circuit, in search of answers. Why Flash doesn't question why the giant god seems to be made of machinery can only be explained by "it's comics."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

016. A new meaning to the never-ending battle! (Mister Miracle 22)

Behind a Marshall Rogers cover, this issue starts with a dramatic statement by Scott Free: "I must kill Darkseid, Oberon! ...And the sooner, the better!"

"Midnight of the Gods" is brought to us once again by the Englehart / Rogers team, together in this book for the final time. Englehart uses his John Harkness alias here, a name he's turned to a few times when he's unhappy with the direction he's forced to take on a book he's leaving. This doesn't appear to be an editorial issue though as often was the case later when he used the Harkness name. Englehart explains on his website: "Because I didn't think it measured up to my previous issues, I put my pseudonym, John Harkness, on it... Here, it meant only that I didn't think I met my own standard."

He also explains that he dashed this issue out in one day as he prepared to leave the country. The rush nature also might be apparent from the presence of two inkers over Rogers: Rick Bryant and John Fuller. 

Moving back to our story, Oberon meets Free's declaration with humor. He jokes that he must mean they need some rest, as they're the only two men on all of Apokolips fighting the good fight. But before their conversation can finish, they're attacked by soldiers dressed somewhere between Imperial Stormtroopers and 80s era Brainiac cosplayers. He slips free of their grasps though and grabs one of their guns. By the time they realize he escaped, he's blasting them with one of their own weapons!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

015. Lonar versus the misdrawn demons of Apokolips! (Return of the New Gods 15)

Cover art by Rich Buckler, who finds his ways into the interior this time as well!
After a month long digression into the world of Mister Miracle we finally continue the Return of the New Gods with issue 15. Gerry Conway is back on writing duties, while Don Newton takes a break to allow regular cover artist Rich Buckler to take the interiors with the always impressive Bob McLeod on inks.

Buckler doesn't have quite the same chops as Newton, but his work features an interesting mix of Kirby and Neal Adams that works quite well for the gods of New Genesis. His art shines as we open the story with a New God we rarely saw in Kirby's own work: Lonar.

If you remember from way back in issue 12 (Newer Gods 008), Lonar was the chosen protector for Nomak, the Eskimo that held a part of the Anti-Life Equation locked in his mind.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

014. Scott Free of Apokolips, or The Day Darkseid created the Terminators (Mister Miracle 21)

All images copyright DC Comics. 
This issue of Mister Miracle kicks off with an interesting credits box, as it declares the Englehart / Rogers team as direct from Detective Comics. It seems even during this low selling era of Batman books, that title still sold better than our faithful New God hero. Vince Colletta returns for inks, immediately making me wonder how much better this might have looked with a better inker. Few could match Terry Austin on that Detective run, but Vinnie isn't exactly the best guy to embellish a detail-oriented artist like Rogers.

Our new tale kicks off on New Genesis. As you might recall before the insane digression into the Brave and the Bold alternate universe, Big Barda fell back under Granny's control. Now she apparently is dying, her mind damaged by the meddling inside her brain.

Scott storms off, adamant he must find a way to save her. This leaves Oberon and Highfather to have a fascinating conversation about the nature of their relationships with Mister Miracle. Oberon's weird father / sidekick role has always made him fascinating and it's used to great effect here.

Meanwhile, Scott confronts Himon about the secrets kept about the true nature of his powers. Himon reveals it was all pre-ordained. Orion needed New Genesis to tame his dark soul, while Scott would go to Apokolips to harden his soul before his powers came to flourish. It's an interesting take on the characters, although the scene is marred at the end, where Scott refers to Barda as his mortal wife. Sounds like no prize territory to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Art of War 01: Darkseid vs. Thanos by Ron Lim

Every now and then I'm going to fall behind on this column, especially as other projects (read: the kind that pay money) take over my time. Because of this, you will sometimes see the Dreaded Deadline Doom appear, where I feature a piece of New Gods related fan art on the page. First up, is the always talented Ron Lim as he draws a character he knows well, Thanos, battling his other universal antithesis Darkseid!

Next week, we will be back with more Mister Miracle action!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

013. Batman, Mister Miracle, a Captain America villain and... A BURNING DEATH! (Brave & the Bold 138)

With Mister Miracle back in his own series, it seems a no-brainer for the Brave & the Bold team of Bob Haney and Jim Aparo to bring him back for his third go around with Batman in the team-up title.

This scene definitely doesn't happen in this book. All images copyright DC Comics.
The cover is impressive in its own rights, as a villain that appears to be Marvel's Batroc the Leaper cries out, "You two are the world's greatest escape artists, but you can't escape my ISLAND OF DOOM!" The title page reveals the villain is in fact an acrobat and French, so maybe actually he is a thinly disguised Batroc.

The story opens with Batman and Mister Miracle as they leap out over the volcanic island Trond-Hag. Their descent is hastened when the pilot cuts their lines and flies away! In the water below, Batman and Mister Miracle discuss why they've came here. It appears a famed geologist Dr. Steve Lang has been missing, and he was last seen on Trond-Hag. (My guess is he's off building Sentinels.)

Honestly, the more I read Haney's writing, I wonder if he's inadvertently set his heroes on Earth-616 instead of Earth-1.

The two heroes escape the lava flows and make their way up the volcanic island. When they reach its peak, they discover the island isn't naturally volcanic at all. A machine rests inside the mound, churning out the magnetic fields that make aircraft nearby go crazy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

012. With some kind of power comes some kind of responsibility! (Mister Miracle 20)

Colletta's inks are probably the most rough on this cover. 
Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers return for Mister Miracle 20 with the somewhat unfortunate inker choice of Vince Colletta, though the infamous Vince seems to put more work in here than he often does.

“Eclipse” kicks off with Oberon at the top of the mine shaft from last issue, which you will remember Granny Goodness set to destroy. Mister Miracle shoots out of the tunnel as it explodes outward in spectacular—and oddly colored—fashion.

The art and the coloring combine for one strange looking explosion.
Mister Miracle quickly sums up the events as he sets out to repair his Mother Box. As Scott communes with the box, Oberon looks on and marvels at the strangeness of it all.

Mother Box connects directly with Scott's mind however and speaks to him. (It's been awhile since I've read the Kirby classics, so can anyone tell me if this is the first time Mother Box directly communicates?) She gives Scott bad and good news.
“Your attempts are beautiful, but futile, boy. You and I have parted forever. And yet, I am with you always, for we are joined at the Source. The miraculous things I showed you are part of your life, now! I will survive in you as you will survive in others! But you alone must forge your destiny!”
Sounds a bit trippy, but we're talking Englehart in the 70s folks. Recreational substances probably were involved in the creation process.

Anyway, Scott scoops up Oberon and flies up towards space. He realizes that he's earned the powers that are his birthright as a god of New Genesis. His destination is the moon, which we know from the sister book is Darkseid's new base. But he's heading towards a meeting with the four villains that attacked last time.

We also get our first continuity error (of sorts) between this title and Return of the New Gods. While Doctor Bedlam was in a new form in that book's last issue, here he still looks just like his Kirby original. Yet the book gives an easy solution for the discrepancy, as Bedlam sends his mind-force and enters another animate, this time in the form of a costumed Mister Miracle!

He attacks Big Barda, bent on bending her to Granny's will with thoughts of her husband's betrayal. Yet it causes Barda to smash the false Miracle in the face. Yet the real thing shows up just as the Bedlam-Miracle moes to strike again.

Scott starts to tear apart the moon-base, but the half-conscious Barda attacks him, not quite sure of herself after Granny's torture and MIND MANIPULATION!

Mister Miracle awakes in another Granny death-trap, this time two rockets bent on flying in different direstions. Bedlam wanted to kill him quickly and efficiently, but she cries that wouldn't give her the full vengeance she desires. She seems to miss the fact that Scott escapes every trap she ever set, even as she declares his death to the crucifixion.

The rockets fire in a burst of smoke. All but Kanto declare him surely dead. The swordsman has some doubts, proving he might be a total fool here.

Oberon uses the same rocket firing as a distraction to escape his own cell. The villains rush to find him, but Mister Miracle gets to him first!

Miracle simply cut himself free from one rocket and flew the other non-explosive device to its landing, where his new powers protected him.

Scott and Oberon escape the base on to the moon's surface. Barda attacks him again. But with his increased might, he's now a match for her. After trading punches, he manages to K-O his confused wife.

He knows she must be returned to New Genesis for medical attention. (How he will get her back with a Mother Box isn't shown here and will almost certainly be glossed over.)

Scott Free has other plans. He looks back at Granny's comparison to Jesus and declares that he will come to the gods of Apokolips as Jesus did to humanity, not to fight for religion but for freedom! It's a bit of a clunky concept, probably again owed to this era of Englehart's connection with the aforementioned variety of chemicals.

This is sort of a plan... I guess?
While Rogers draws a gorgeous issue here, the story proves to be a bit of a mess. The analogies don't quite work. The birthright given by Mother Box seems to have brought him into his full godlike abilities, yet Miracle talks about being human just pages later. His disregard for his wife's safety when she attacks also seems out of character, though one has to wonder if it's there to be some mandated action in the pages.

This issue doesn't give us much of a blurb, only ending with “The curtain goes up in Mr. Miracle 21” But before we reach that point, Mister Miracle has another team-up calling his name!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

011. A trap within a trap! (Return of the New Gods 14)

A decided step up from Al Milgrom.
The cover gets an upgrade for Return of the New Gods 14 as previous cover artist Al Milgrom is gone, replaced by the superior Kirby aficionado in Rich Buckler. While Buckler has talent, he's still nowhere near as good as Don Newton on interiors. The creative team on the interior remains completely intact with Newton joined by Gerry Conway and Dan Adkins as writer and inker.

Orion shouts to the heavens at his father. Darkseid watches from afar, proud to see the darkness overcome his son as Orion grows more like Darkseid himself. He summons Doctor Bedlam to his side with a new grand step in his plan.

On New Genesis, the parents of Esak question Highfather's interest in their son. Highfather confirms the boy is different than his peers, telling his father, "Esak is special, though I cannot tell you why. I have... hopes for his future." To a modern reader, this makes Esak sound like he's in some Harry Potter and Dumbledore level of poor childcare.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

010. To escape once more! (Mister Miracle 19)

Unlike on Return of the New Gods, Rogers provided his own cover. Sadly, his
first is also by far his worst work on the book. 
After years without his own title, Mister Miracle returns to his own title with issue 19 by the super-star creative team of Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers. The team is legendary these days for their year long run of Detective Comics that helped redefine the character (and gave us Silver St. Cloud, "The Laughing Fish" and the modern Deadshot.) That run was actually going concurrently to these issues. In fact, their second issue of Detective together came out the same month as this issue. They've got several issues of that series ahead of them. Not so much for this one.

The book opens with a stupendous splash page that quickly covers the nitty-gritty on the inner workings of Mister Miracle. It's a handy introduction to a character that's only had three appearances in the past three and a half years.

This is the kind of character work Englehart excels at, and Rogers kills it on the art side.
The story opens with Scott Free back on New Genesis with his bride Big Barda. Rogers draws Barda a bit more slight than she'd been before and certainly would become after this book. They allude to the events of Return of the New Gods, as both feel like they should be in battle as well. But Highfather arrives and lays out Scott's back story. Highfather admits his fault in the awfulness of Scott's upbringing. He vows to keep them free of the battle for the first time in their lives and that they should enjoy their honeymoon on New Genesis.

Do those kind of statements ever go well in comics?

Just as Scott and Barda agree and kiss, a boom tube opens right in front of them! But Apokolips hasn't sent one threat. They've sent four: Granny Goodness, Vermin Vundabar, Kanto and Dr. Bedlam! Neither of the happy couple will back down from a fight! They attack the Apokoliptans with all their force. Barda lays out Granny, but Dr. Bedlam and Kanto work together to capture her. Scott fights to free her, but before he can the villains summon another boom tube. They disappear with Barda in their hands!

Highfather warns his son that the heroes of New Genesis are on Earth. Even the Female Furies are away and busy. (At this time, they still hadn't returned to Apokolips and Darkseid.) The only person that can stop the villains and free Barda is Scott himself. Scott accepts this truth, saying, "I understand, Highfather! I have faced these four before! I can face them again! And I'll do it - the same way!"

We switch to Earth where Oberon opens the door... and sees the return of Mister Miracle! Scott followed Granny's trail back to Earth and joins his new friend (and even gives a brief mention of Scott's last Brave & The Bold appearance.) Oberon joins him as they fly off to find Granny and Barda. They trace her to a Utah mine, but before they can enter, a warning from Granny blares out to them! If he enters the mine with his Mother Box, they will kill Barda immediately. Mister Miracle knows he has no choice. He pulls the Mother Box out of his costume. He keeps a few of his trick gadgets though, ready to escape any trap Granny might have for him.

He quickly finds Kanto, Vermin and Granny, but Barda isn't here! Instead Granny shows him footage of a sedated Barda in a machine to return obedience to the former Fury. Kanto and Vermin move to secure Mister Miracle. They chain and bind Scott, them drop him into a tank to drown.

The villains have thought him too overdependent on Mother Box for his escapes. But as they leave, he removes the high tech lock pick from his mouth. He uses the device to slice right through his bindings and then cut his way free of the tank!

Mister Miracle is far craftier than the villains clearly think. 
The villains are shocked to see he's escaped again, but they are already fleeing with Barda in tow. he tries to slow them with the dynotherm bomb he smuggled in, but it fails as the villains boom away again. But earlier Vermin had let slip a comment about "looking down on you," one that helps Mister Miracle deduce the location of the villain's base. His next destination will be... the moon!

We are promised an "Eclipse" with the next issue as this one closes.

This tale isn't as strong of work as what the team brought to Detective Comics. Yet their talents shine through even in a somewhat clunky tale. Much like Newton on Return of the New Gods, Rogers lets loose here with some amazing work that really shows off his skills. Englehart clearly knows these characters, even if it feels like he's throwing out too many too fast.

We will learn the fate of Barda and experience in a few short weeks as we start the bounce from the two New Gods comics running concurrently! There's a lot ahead so stay tuned for our next installment in 7 short days!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

009. Orion and Metron get Deep Sixed! (Return of the New Gods 13)

Al Milgrom delivers a better cover than last time... but it's still got nothing on the interiors.
Issue thirteen kicks off with the entire team from the last issue: Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Dan Adkins. They start back in with Orion's escape from the US military as he again is confronted by American jetcraft. He can't outfly them (how Orion can fly without his astro-glider at all is never mentioned), so he uses his ability to survive in space to go where they simply can't.

On New Genesis, Highfather and young Esak watch Orion through a scrying pool. Esak is amazed at Orion's smile, a rare expression from the grim son of Darkseid. Conway uses the pair to sum up the events of the previous issue, just in case any new readers were joining the title.

Don Newton was a master, as shown on this impressive splash page! 
Back on Earth, Orion swoops down on an air terminal (something that would have sent the country on high alert these days.) He uses his Mother Box to walk around until he finds a man of similar height and build... and with the security status he'll need to confront General Torch again.

In his secret headquarters somewhere on Earth, Darkseid is informed their agent approaches "objective one." We also meet the first new edition to the New Gods post-Kirby in the form of Gargon, Darkseid's new hooded subordinate. (He looks disturbingly like a Durlan, actually.)

The plan jumps into gear as an alien submarine rises from the waters in New Orleans. It's spotted by a drunk, but it quickly atomizes the man before he even realizes the danger he's in. Elsewhere in the city, singer Lorraine Hampton admits she believes Metron's revelations from the previous issue. She receives a new gig from her smarmy agent. Outside, a  mysterious eavesdropping villain plans to take her at her first night on the job...

Under his new alter ego of Anthony Masters, Orion easily finds his way into the secure facility. Mother Box warns of an Apokoliptan threat, so he decides to wait it out. But before he can find the threat, the threat finds him! Jaffar of the Deep Six jumps him from behind. But Orion is far more powerful and despite taking some hits, easily takes down Jaffar in a matter of seconds. But not without making enough noise to alert the base security.

As Orion demands answers from the villain, the guards arrive. Jaffar has only time to reveal he's simply a decoy and the true attack is happening in New Orleans. He doesn't yield and is hit by a bullet that levels him. General Torch looms over him, happy to have caught his prey.

Metron follows Lorraine to her show. He quickly gains a love of her disco sound, and perhaps, a few feelings for her as well. It creates an interesting moment of humanization for the most enigmatic god of New Genesis. And it's quickly interrupted by an attack from the Deep Six's Slig! Metron is far weaker than his companions and the one strike is all it takes to lay him out!

Newton draws a few human moments for Metron as well, proving his talents in slower moments as well.
Back in Colorado, Orion has been taken to an interrogation room and strapped to a chair. Torch demands answers, instead he gets the smell of burning! Orion's Astro-Force destroys the bonds. He attacks the general and his guard!

In New Orleans, Slig grabs Lorraine and moves to make his escape. As civilians scream in terror from the monster, his victory seems assured... until Orion makes his arrival!

Slig's punch is nearly as effective as it was on Metron. But the aquatic Apokoliptan takes time to gloat. Orion's grim fury rises and as Slig looms over him, he unleashes the full power of the Astro-Force against him. Within seconds, Slig is dead and only a pile of ash remains. Lorraine is left in shock at the death and her place in the greater story.

And Darkseid watches on. Orion has won this day, but Darkseid sees his own sort of silver lining. As he ponders his son, he says, "Each time you kill you become more and more the true son of Darkseid. And someday... who knows? The father may claim his own."

The issue clothes on that truly foreboding note.

Conway doubles down on two of his plot threads from last issue. The more human side of Metron is an interesting touch for the character as before and after this issue he rarely is presented as more than an enigma. Rarely does he even take an active role in the battle against Darkseid, let alone show emotion.

Don Newton and Dan Adkins' art really brings all of it home. The two men make a stupendous team, providing art leaps and bounds above much of DC's fare at the time. Yet the old regime still had its strange ways, as their work again doesn't make the cover in favor of (IMHO) far inferior work from Al Milgrom.

Next time around, we enter the second half of the New Gods' rebirth and bring back one of the greatest writer / artist pairs in comics history. Stay tuned for "It's all in the mine!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

008. The quest for Anti-Life begins again! (Return of the New Gods 12)

Don't ask me to explain the Al Milgrom cover over a Don Newton drawn book.
Over a year after their "return" in the last 1st Issue Special DC debuted the first issue of Return of the New Gods. It seems clear that former Secret Society writer Gerry Conway was clearly more interested in these characters than the other villains, as he's back as writer here. Mike Vosburg has been replaced by the late, great Don Newton. So you know the art is great on this one.

Newton's art is a thing of beauty!
We open with a brief synopsis of the origin of New Genesis and Apokolips, beautifully rendered as a double page spread by Newton. The New Gods are soaring over New Genesis as we kick off, not just the usual suspects of Orion, Metron and Lightray, but also Forager, Lonar and Jezebelle of the Fiery Eyes, a late addition by Kirby.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

007. The ultimate sacrifice... as Earth-death looms! (Secret Society of Super-Villains 5)

The lack of New Gods on the cover signals a
bad sign for this comic. Art by Ernie Chua. 
We kick off Secret Society of Super-Villains 5 right where we left off in the last issue with the arrival of the Black Racer and Mantis groveling at Darkseid's feet. But we get a new writer and artist, rarely a good thing in part five of a five part story. Vince Colletta remains on inks, but is now joined by writer Bob Rozakis and artist Rich Buckler.

It's immediately obvious that Buckler is a much stronger artist to draw the Kirby creations. Darkseid looks on model for the first time in this series.

The story kicks off with the Society finally coming face to face with Darkseid! Darkseid banishes Black Racer before he can drag Mantis away to death as Manhunter, Star Sapphire, Mirror Master, and the Captains Cold, Comet and Boomerang confront him!

Darkseid once again sends Mantis into the fray, declaring, "Prove your loyalty to Darkseid by destroying these super-villains!" Darkseid makes his escape as Mantis faces the villains. But Manhunter won't let Darkseid escape and recruits Sapphire and Comet to pursue him. Cold, Boomerang and Mirror Master use all their abilities to disorient and weaken Mantis.

Darkseid threatens Mantis again as the bug seems near defeat. Mantis tries to save face, claiming he's toying with them, but just as he blasts the three villains, his attack fizzles out. Captain Comet has toyed with his mind. He uses the distraction to lay out Mantis with a series of punches.

Manhunter strikes at Darkseid, but Darkseid is unfazed by his assault. As the Black Racer again swoops down toward the battlefield, a boom tube arrives to allow Darkseid his escape. He declares there's nothing the villains can do to prevent it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

006. Power, pain and the San Francisco Bay (Secret Society of Super-Villains 4)

The future Ernie Chan pulled no punches with his cover!
We're back as we continue the saga of the first super-villain team in their own comic. The team of Kraft, Marcos and Colletta are back, but Ernie Chua is also here to draw one heck of a throwdown!

Secret Society of Super-Villains 6 starts out with the aftermath fo the villain fight, where the rest of the team ends up in a battle with Sinestro and Wizard, who have no interest in helping the team against Darkseid. This isn't their world, so why save it?

Star Sapphire lures her new recruit Green Lantern back to Mantis' base. Mantis attacks Hal from behind. He makes his intentions very clear, yelling "I am Mantis, Earthman - the Power Parasite - and the Agent of Your Destruction!"

Green Lantern unleashes his power against Mantis, but the villain just draws the power into himself. As GL weakens, Mantis declares "Never have I felt so might! I am bursting with power enough to rival great Darkseid himself! And soon I shall surpass even him!" He takes the wrong moment to deliver that line though. Just as he does Darkseid arrives on Earth!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

005. Even super-villains want an Earth to live on! (Secret Society of Super-Villains 2 & 3)

Secret Society of Super Villains 2 is all about the set up for the ongoing series, basically dropping much of the plot points from the first issue to reintroduce ideas from the thrown out first issue that appeared in Amazing World of DC Comics. Gerry Conway and Pablo Marcos are the creative team here, with David Anthony Kraft listed as co-writer.

The main focus of the issue is Captain Comet's return to Earth, where he's duped into helping the villains against Green Lantern. He joins them, thinking them a team of heroes. Manhunter clues him in on the fact that they aren't, something Comet already surmised. But they both come under attack by Mantis. After a short fight, Mantis retreats due to being "out of power." (Apparently his batteries were low.)

The next day, Manhunter takes the entire Society to their benefactor's lair. The benefactor is revealed to be Darkseid!

Mantis attacks again, quickly disabling Grodd and Comet. As the issue ends, he gives a simple ultimatum: "Surrender or die!"

This scene from the cover of Secret Society of Super-Villains 3 happens nowhere in the issue.
Art by Ernie Chua (Ernie Chan.)
David A. Kraft takes over full scripting duties on Secret Society of Super-Villains 3. It opens with Darkseid and a groveling Kalibak as he promises a "War for Earthdeath!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

004. Two escape artists, a communist plot and the evils of GiGi! (Brave & the Bold 128)

Before we can get to the larger adventures of the New Gods, we head back to the pages of Brave & The Bold. Bob Haney and Jim Aparo are back for another team-up between the universe's greatest escape artist and the dark knight detective.

This issue starts in a shockingly similar way to the previous team up between Batman and Mister Miracle. Batman is back on the call of Commissioner Gordon as a Shah is coming to town and in danger from communist elements. His patrol is derailed by Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Oberon as they practice a new death defying ecape.

Like the previous installment, Haney seems to gloss over the extraterrestrial orignis of Scott and Barda, instead focusing on the escape artistry of Mister Miracle.

Unfortunately, Batman's attempt to keep the Shah safe fails as he disappears from inside a moving van!

Friday, June 8, 2018

003. Lest night fall on terrible new costumes (1st Issue Special 13)

Plotter Gerry Conway, scripter Denny O'Neil and artist Mike Vosburg waste no time on the opening of 1st Issue Special #13, the final issue of that series and the "Return of the New Gods!" (It says so right on the cover.)

This will be Lightray's only appearance in this issue.
Art by Dick Giordano.

The book opens with Orion. He supports a new costume here (as seen on the cover) and it's a bit of a mess. It's far too superhero oriented for a space god, but it does little to change the character we know. He's still angry and violent. He immediately takes out his anger on a bunch of guards.

The first fun tidbit of this story comes on page two as Kalibak's death at the end of Kirby's New Gods is immediately retconned. He shows up here as the opening villain with only a claim that "the Black Racer did not take me then and he will not take me now!"

Kalibak's fashion sense has also left him as he's wearing little more than a leotard as he and Orion do battle. Their fight has all the dynamic action Mike Vosburg could create, but with dialogue stilted even by 70s DC standards.

A quick flashback shows Orion, Scott Free, Big Barda, Metron and Highfather come under attack on New Genesis from re-designed Parademons, a brief explanation for why Orion is now back on Earth.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

002. The Secret Society of Replaced Stories (Amazing World of DC Comics 11)

Cover art by Dick Dillin.
The Return of the New Gods is soon approaching this blog, but it turns out there's one other story from the period between Kirby's New Gods run and DC's first attempt to revive the characters. Secret Society of Super-Villains would soon add Darkseid to the mix, but the original version of the first issue would introduce him earlier in the run. The decision was made to do a different number one, and this issue was buried in the pages of the eleventh issue of the black and white fan magazine Amazing World of DC Comics.

Gerry Conway writes the tale with Ric Estrada penciling and Pablo Marcos inking.

The tale kicks off with Captain Cold as he's cornered by the combined Secret Society of Super-Villains, all mad because he hasn't yet joined them. The unit quickly meet the man that gathered them together, none other than Darkseid, "Prince of Apokolyps [sic]." He reveals himself as The Director, gatherer of the Society. He quickly informs the team (Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Star Sapphire, Manhunter and Clayface) that he's gathered them for a purpose and whisks them away on his sky-sled.

They attack a military installation and Darkseid reveals their goal: Wargas, the deadliest nerve gas ever made. The villains devolve into a petty squabble over who wins the gas, but Manhunter stops the entire team. He warns the other super-criminals that Darkseid is no petty criminal intent on money-making. He wants the Wargas to destroy the world and they cannot let him have it.

Grodd angrily attacks Darkseid, but Darkseid explodes at the first blow. It's revealed it is only an android simulation of the ruler of Apokolips. The Secret Society of Super-Villains decide to form a unit to continue their criminal ways while also battling Darkseid in his attempt to destroy the Earth.

Darkseid explodes in an attempt to get out of this
mess of a comic.
Frankly, this story is a bit of a mess. Darkseid in no way acts in character here at all. If it wasn't for Manhunter's reveal of his true plans, he wouldn't seem like the Kirby creation even a little. Fortunately, this story was treated as apocryphal. Darkseid would make his presence known in Secret Society of Super-Villains, but in a rather different light than this one. It's probably for the best for all characters involved here.

Be back here on Friday for the final installment in our opening week trifecta!

Monday, June 4, 2018

001. A great escape and little else (Brave & The Bold 112)

Cover art by Jim Aparo. 
When I first conceived this story, my mind was thinking about an issue of First Issue Special I hadn't yet read. That series ended with the re-debut of the New Gods, but it turns out it isn't the first appearance of any of the characters post-Kirby. It turns out that it was instead Bob Haney who dusted them off in the first place.

Braven and the Bold 112 featured a story by Haney with art by the always legendary Jim Aparo. Cover dated April-May 1974, it predates the next appearancdes by any Fourth World character by almost two years.

The tale actually takes place just before Kirby's final issue of Mister Miracle. It's mentioned right on the first page that it predates his wedding to Big Barda which happened in Mister Miracle 18. But this book was dated a good two months after that issue, so it clearly fits the bill as a starting point for us here.

The adventure kicks off at the Gotham Art Museum as Batman and Commissioner Gordon are in the middle of an intense shoot out. The attackers suicide when they can't find the statuette they sought. (The tomb is of course bat-themed because this is a Bob Haney Bat-comic.) Things grow more complicated when Inspector Sayid of the Egyptian National Police shows up with his own claim on the artifact. Sayid wants the artifact, but Batman agrees to accompany back to Egypt to uncover the secret of the hidden tomb it holds. The prize: the secret of immortality known only to the first Pharaoh of Egypt.

Meanwhile, Scott Free is in Paris with Barda and Oberon, in the middle of a death defying escape, a.k.a. the default position to always introduce Mister Miracle. He escapes from his chains on top of the Eiffel Tower as its struck by lightning. As he prepares to celebrate, he's stopped by Dr. Ingrid Borg who promises him his chance to make "the greatest escape of all time!"

We pick back up with Batman and Sayid in Egypt as Batman finds the man that sold the exhibit to the Gotham Museum dead. They peg his death as perpetrated by the same killers at the museum.

Always share the picture of Batman on the camel. 
Batman travels out into the desert on camelback, only to be stuck in a sandstorm. Meanwhile, Mister Miracle and Ingrid are flying in a helicopter, conveniently hit by the same sandstorm. The chopper crashes, but Miracle saves them both with his aero discs.

Batman escapes himself and continues on his path to the hidden tomb. A bat marks the way to the secret entrance beneath a desert oasis. As soon as he pushes the door open, it sucks him inside and closes hikm within.

Miracle and Ingrid find their own entrance, only to be trapped. Ingrid reads an etching from the same statuette whose message sent Batman on his way. It reveals the first Pharaoh Atun to be a figure descended from the heavens. He lived for decades without aging before disappearing in a flash of light. But upon continuing into the tomb, they are locked within an inner chamber. Mister Miracle's finger lasers cannot break through the door, but a strange light appears in teh chamber. Atun appears in his throne above them.

Atun questions their identities, but shows his ankh-headed staff as the source of his power. Ingrid quickly grabs it and sprints away, Mister Miracle on her tale. (Apparently there was another path away from the chamber.) The chamber quickly shifts upwards as it threatens to crush them both. Miracle's power beam breaks through the wall and allows their escape, only to find themselves on a moving stairwell that almost sends them plummeting to their death if not for Mister Miracle's aero discs.

Miracle finds an exit, only to have Ingrid betray him. She shoots, but only to have Miracle flash to the other side of the room. He flashes aroudn the room to avoid her bullets. The ricochets off the stone manage to hit Ingrid instead.

Mister Miracle reveals he lied about the escape path to expose Ingrid. He continues down it to find a tomb marked with Atun's likeness. He opens it to great shock.

Atun reveals himself and the two men attack one another with energy blasts. But their powers are equal; neither can overcome the other. Ultimately Atun collapses, his helmet falls off... to reveal the face of Bruce Wayne!

The tomb had contained Batman's costume and Mister Miracle realized the helmet had subsumed Batman's mind. With the helmet removed, he returned to himself. Batman puts his costume back on as the two men realize Ingrid must work for the same man that sent the terrorists to the museum. They continue through the labyrinth, magic staff in hand, seeking a route to escape. But an energy beam appears and threatens to strike them both down. They barely escape into another hidden chamber.

They find the steering ship inside the tomb, but unlike the ceremonial crafts of other Egyptian tombs, this is a fully functioning spaceship! They fly it from the tomb just as the strange beam escapes the tomb behind them and brings the cliff down upon it!

After our heroes crashland, the ship and the sceptre both mysteriously crumble to dust. The mystery man that wanted the sceptre dies in his tower and Atun stands before an alien counsel to be told he can never return to Earth.

Haney produced a grand adventure in his usual tradition here and it starts a sort of camaraderie between Scott Free and Batman that would come into play over the years. But this was a story filled with big ideas that Haney didn't seem interested in playing out. The sudden ending leaves no artifacts and wraps up all the loose ends in three quick panels, as though Haney didn't have an answer for the questions he posed through the course of the story.

Truly a product of its time, this issue just feels like it should have been the springboard for so much more. Haney ignored all of the Fourth World backdrop here, even if it would have served as a great answer to the secrets of Atun. Ultimately like so many issues of Brave & The Bold, this is simply a solid story with little payoff for the future. The packed nature of this story leaves little room for Aparo's art to breathe, which is truly the greatest shame of all.

That wraps up our first installment here, but stay tuned for a new one this Wednesday. But we're not quite ready for First Issue Special yet. It turns out there's one more apocryphal appearance to cover before we get to that monumental issue.

Thursday, May 24, 2018