DC Comics & Justice League #67 Spoilers & Review: Phantom Zone Torture & Who Are The Deathstrokes?!

DC Comics & Justice League #67 Spoilers & Review: Phantom Zone Torture & Who Are The Deathstrokes?!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

DC Comics and Justice League #67 Spoilers and Review follows.

Phantom Zone Torture and…

…Who Are The Deathstrokes?!

We open with a dramatis personae and storyline catch-up page.

The battle with the unappealing Synmar has way to long in this issue let alone previous issue, but…

…Batman ends it with Superman’s Phantom Zone Projector which…

…crushes Synmar emotionally.

Superman returns to the real world and…

…collects back to the projector while telling everyone of its torturous origins.

The United Order was pleased the battle is over, but want to collect the Projector as they see it as too dangerous to be held on Earth.

Despite, the United Order being empowered by the United Planets, the Justice League won’t let the projector leave Superman’s care.

The main story ends with Daemon Rose, allegedly Lois Lane’s brother, being attacked by Deathstrokes (yes, plural).

There is also a Justice League Dark back-up story.

The Pulse:

I have not liked the Synmar character since his debut during the writer’s Action Comics / Superman run. That said, it looks like his days are done in this series for now. Strong suit of main story was the art and last page with the Deathstrokes. Back-up story was solid on story and art. 6.5 out of 10.

Tags: Checkmate, Daemon Rose, DC Comics, Deathstroke, Deathstroke Inc., Justice League, Justice League Dark, Synmar, United Order

Marvel Comics & Spider-Man / Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 4 Pages Free For You Setting Up Devil’s Reign Event!

Marvel Comics & Spider-Man / Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 4 Pages Free For You Setting Up Devil’s Reign Event!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics and Spider-Man / Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers follows.

All 4 Pages Free For You…

…Setting Up Devil’s Reign Event!

Here we go.

Devil’s Reign #1 lands on shelves on December 1, 2021.


Tags: Daredevil, Devil's Reign, FCBD, FCBD 2021, Free Comic Book Day, Free Comic Book Day 2021, Kingpin, Marvel

Marvel Comics & Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 8 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Series!

Marvel Comics & Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 8 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Series!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics and Venom FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers follows.

All 8 Pages Free For You…

…Setting Up New Series!

Venom #1 lands in stores on October 27, 2021.

Creepy cool.

Tags: FCBD, FCBD 2021, Free Comic Book Day, Free Comic Book Day 2021, Marvel, Venom

Marvel Comics & Hulk FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 9 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Hulk Series!

Marvel Comics & Hulk FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 9 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Hulk Series!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics and Hulk FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers follows.

All 9 Pages Free For You…

…Setting Up New Hulk Series!

Here we go.

Plus a house ad.

Hulk #1 lands in stores on November 3, 2021.

This series appears to steer series back to its non horror roots.

Tags: FCBD, FCBD 2021, Free Comic Book Day, Free Comic Book Day 2021, Hulk, Marvel

Marvel Comics & Amazing Spider-Man FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 8 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Ben Reilly Era!

Marvel Comics & Amazing Spider-Man FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 8 Pages Free For You Setting Up New Ben Reilly Era!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics and Amazing Spider-Man FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers follows.

All 8 Pages Free For You…

…Setting Up New Ben Reilly Era!

Here we go.

Amazing Spider-Man #75 hits stands on October 6, 2021.


Tags: Amazing Spider-Man, Ben Reilly, Marvel

Marvel Comics & Avengers FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 10 Pages Free For You Setting Up Avengers #50 / #750 & New Avengers Forever Series!

Marvel Comics & Avengers FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers: All 10 Pages Free For You Setting Up Avengers #50 / #750 & New Avengers Forever Series!

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers, Top Story | No Comments

Marvel Comics and Avengers FCBD 2021 #1 Spoilers follows.

All 10 Pages Free For You Setting Up…

Avengers #50 / #750 and New Avengers Forever Series!

Here we go.

We now these are the Multiversal Masters of Evil.

Avengers #50 which doubles as Avengers #750 in legacy numbering lands in stores on November 17, 2021.

Avengers Forever #1, kicking off an new ongoing series debuts on December 1, 2021.

Interesting times ahead.

Tags: Avengers, Avengers Forever, Deathlok, FCBD, FCBD 2021, Free Comic Book Day, Free Comic Book Day 2021, Marvel, Multiversal Masters of Evil

DC Comics & Batman #113 Spoilers & Review: Batman Takes An Unexpected, Unanticipated, Unusual Turn?! Will Fear State Still Swallow Him Up?

DC Comics & Batman #113 Spoilers & Review: Batman Takes An Unexpected, Unanticipated, Unusual Turn?! Will Fear State Still Swallow Him Up?

John Babos | September 24, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

DC Comics and Batman #113 Spoilers and Review follows.

Batman Takes An…

…Unexpected, Unanticipated, Unusual Turn?!

Will Fear State Still Swallow Him Up?

The book opens with an in-story catch-up for readers…

…via the Anti-Oracle (rumored soon to be called Sear).

At the same time, Batman confronts Gotham City Police Commissioner Renee Montoya who believes the truth he tells, but she needs proof.

Batman is hunted by the Mayor’s anti-vigilante Magistrate via Simon Saint…

…Batman dispatches them easily and threatens Saint’s exposure; the fact that he has empowered Scarecrow and turned his own Peacekeeper-01 mad with the Scarecrow to establish a Future State with the Magistrate Program as Gotham City’s police arm.

Batman then decides to use mind control AI to get into his and…

…Ghost-Maker’s minds to sift out and find Scarecrow’s “programming”.

They find it and access Scarecrow’s mind as well…

…learning about his long-planned Fear State from his college and pre-villain days.

They get back to real world…

…realizing Scarecrow is controlling or maddening Peacekeeper-01 who is on a collision course with Saint’s new Peacekeeper-X!

The book also has a Clownhunter back-up.

The Pulse:

A rip-roaring ride in the main story. Compelling plot, emotional characterization and fantastic art. In contrast the Clownhunter back-up was so-so. Overall an 8 out of 10.

Tags: Batman, Clownhunter, DC Comics, Fear State, Ghost-Maker, Peacekeeper-01, Peacekeeper-X, Scarecrow

Marvel Comics & X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 Spoilers & Review: Mutants Get Religion Sorta As A New X-Men Team Emerges!

Marvel Comics & X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 Spoilers & Review: Mutants Get Religion Sorta As A New X-Men Team Emerges!

John Babos | September 23, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics and X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 Spoilers and Review follows.

Mutants Get Religion Sorta As…

…A New X-Men Team Emerges!

The book includes a storyline catch-up from the Nightcrawler led Way of X series as part of…

…a page with a dramatis personae and creators credits.

Looks like Onslaught’s scheming…

…has enveloped Professor X Charles Xavier for some time…

…with the once esteemed mentor and leader of the X-Men seemingly deleting those mutants he wishes from a database of sorts so that they do benefit from the resurrection protocol?!

In case you’re not familiar with Onslaught below is a classic Marvel Handbook Who’s Who type bio for the character.

Anyhow, back to our story…

…Onslaught is planning for a bloodbath at…

…an X-Celebration or an X-Rave of sorts!

Magneto is freed from is mental fog and wants to go after his Professor X who runs off (in a very uncharacteristic Charles Xavier way)…

…Onslaught’s party bloodbath plans are ruined, but…

…he decides to reconstitute himself in a new less cool look than his OG self.

Nightcrawler has a plan…

…involving a new Way of X, not a religion, that…

…seems to key to…

…crushing Onslaught quite literally.

The book ends with a tease of a new Legionaires X-team, but…

…whatever they are called they aren’t a religious cult or police, but they debut in 2022 with Juggernaut too!

The Pulse:

Solid art, decent plot, but confusing characterization. I am intrigued by what is to come with a few X-books have been on the chopping black in recent months including, seemingly, Way of X. Cool to see Onslaught back, but was hoping for more of him. 6 out of 10.

Tags: Charles Xavier, Legionaires, Magneto, Marvel, Nightcrawler, Onslaught, Onslaught Revelation, Professor X, Spark, Way of X, Who’s Who, X-Men

Old Henry rides into theaters on October 1

Old Henry rides into theaters on October 1

Joe Corey | September 23, 2021 | News, Press Releases | No Comments

Tim Blake Nelson is back on the cinematic range. After being the title character in the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Tim Blake Nelson puts back on his spurs and visits the Wild West in Old Henry. He plays a simple farmer who might have a complicated past. The film opens on October 1 in selected theaters so check your local listings. Here’s the press release form Shout! Studios:

Official Selection
Venice International Film Festival 
Shout! Studios Presents
A Hideout Pictures Production 
Written and Directed by Potsy Ponciroli Starring Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis with Trace Adkins and Stephen Dorff 

Old Henry is an elevated action-Western about a widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse of men claiming to be the law come for the money, the farmer must decide whom to trust. Defending against a siege of his homestead, he reveals a talent for gunslinging that surprises everyone, calling his true identity into question. A production of Shout! Studios and Hideout Pictures, Old Henry is a gripping and cinematic western that uniquely blends a captivating storyline, strong performances, and action in equal measures. 

Watch the Official Movie Trailer

Shout! Studios and Hideout Pictures
Written and Directed by     Potsy Ponciroli
Produced by                         Shannon Houchins, p.g.a.
Producer                                Michael Hagerty, p.g.a
Executive Producers          Alex Siskin, Garson Foos, Bob Emmer, Jordan Fields, Richard Foos, Trevor O’Neil, Tim Blake Nelson
Co-Producers                       Bob Burris, Chris Conner
Director of Photography    John Matysiak
Editor                                    Jamie Kirkpatrick
Music                                     Jordan Lehning
Casting by                            Lisa London, CSA, and Catherine Stroud, CSA
Movie Website

Tim Blake Nelson is a prolific actor, writer, director, and producer who has appeared in a wide variety of films such as Lincoln, Holes, The Incredible Hulk, Meet the Fockers, Minority Report, and O Brother Where Art Thou? In 2018, Nelson starred as the title character in Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, written and directed by the Coen Brothers. In the film, Nelson performs “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” which received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Song. Nelson also won a Grammy Award for his performance of “In the Jailhouse Now” on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack album, which was awarded Album of the Year. Most recently, Nelson starred in Just Mercy, The Report, Angel Has Fallen, and HBO’s Watchmen, based on the iconic graphic novel by Alan Moore. Nelson’s role in Watchmen as “Looking Glass” brought much acclaim and he was nominated for a Critic’s Choice award. In 2019, Nelson’s play Socrates premiered at The Public Theater in New York City. Other playwriting credits include The Grey Zone and Eye of God, both of which Nelson adapted and directed for the screen. Nelson will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. 
About Shout! Studios
Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital, DVD/Blu-ray, and broadcast. Shout! Studios works with creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling. Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires, and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers and producers. Upcoming releases for 2021 include dramedy Language Lessons, directed by Natalie Morales and starring Morales and Mark Duplass, Coppelia, starring world-renowned ballerina Michaela DePrince, the Western Old Henry, starring Tim Blake Nelson and making its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, the animated feature Dreambuilders, and action-thriller Take Back, starring Mickey Rourke and Michael Jai White. Recent releases include the comedy-drama Misbehaviour, starring Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Standing Up, Falling Down, starring Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal, documentary features A Crime on the Bayou, and Women In Motion: Nichelle Nichols Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA. Family films include award-winning animated features Legend of Hei, In This Corner of the World from director Sunao Katabuchi, and Swift, starring Oscar® winners Kate Winslet and Willem Dafoe, Christophe Gans’ Beauty and the Beast (La Belle Et La Bête), starring Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux, and Mia and the White Lion, starring Melanie Laurent. 
About Hideout Pictures
Hideout Pictures is a full-service content studio with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles. The company has created a fund designed to provide equity and gap financing to independent films, and to acquire IP to develop innovative content across a variety of platforms.  The latest feature projects include Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, 3022, Ted K as well as the soon to be announced Plastic and Kill Whitey, adapted from the wildly successful graphic novels of the same name. Previous television productions include the single camera comedy Still The King starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lauren Adams. Currently Hideout is producing the feature film Old Henry starring Tim Blake Nelson and Music’s Greatest Mysteries for AXS TV. Hideout also owns the newly launched distribution company Strikeback Studios. 

Tags: Old Henry, Shout! Studios, Tim Blake Nelson, western

DC Comics & I Am Batman #2 Spoilers & Review: Next Batman Now As A Classic Villain Returns!

DC Comics & I Am Batman #2 Spoilers & Review: Next Batman Now As A Classic Villain Returns!

John Babos | September 23, 2021 | Spoilers, Top Story | No Comments

DC Comics and I Am Batman #2 Spoilers and Review follows.

Next Batman Now As A Classic Villain Returns!

The book has a few variant covers below in addition to the main cover above.

Well Batman is believe to be dead after Fear State so who is this Batman?

Well, it’s Jace Fox, formerly Tim Fox, son of Batman confidante Lucius Fox who does Batman’ing differently than the OG Bruce Wayne.

As Gotham City realizes Batman isn’t dead, not realizing Jace is a different person under the cowl, it looks like his next villain foil will be classic fan-fave villain Anarky.

However, is Anarky still child prodigy Lonnie Machin and now a murderer too?

Above is a classic bio for the original Anarky while below is a fave depiction of him.

The Pulse:

A promising start. On story we get in the head of this new Batman and learn how he’s different from his codenamesake plus how Gotham City is coping after Fear State. Art is awesome! 8 out of 10.

Tags: Anarky, DC Comics, I Am Batman, Tim Fox (Jace Fox / The Next Batman)

WWE Icon Owen Hart Is All Elite Posthumously With AEW?!

WWE Icon Owen Hart Is All Elite Posthumously With AEW?!

John Babos | September 22, 2021 | News | No Comments

WWE Icon Owen Hart Is All Elite Posthumously With AEW?!

AEW reports.

AEW and The Owen Hart Foundation Enter Into A Relationship to Honor World Renowned Wrestler Owen Hart’s Legacy…

…All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and The Owen Hart Foundation (OHF), a nonprofit charity which provides a vast range of assistance and opportunities to individuals in-need across the world, are collaborating to honor the legacy of late wrestler Owen Hart, a beloved figure in the professional wrestling community and beyond. This collaboration includes launching the annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament within AEW, which will see the winner receive a Cup known as “The Owen,” as well as the production and distribution of unique and original Owen Hart merchandise, including specified retail goods as well as the upcoming AEW console video game.

This alliance incorporates opportunities to develop Owen Hart action figures via AEW’s partnership with Jazwares, apparel, posters, and additional collectable merchandise. Owen Hart is survived by his wife, Dr. Martha Hart, who spearheads The Owen Hart Foundation with a mission of providing global aid to at-risk communities (e.g., scholarships, housing, various forms international assistance, food drives, backpack giveaways and Christmas projects).

“AEW’s relationship with the Hart family dates back to our inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and Owen’s influence is still felt today,” said Tony Khan, AEW CEO, GM and Head of Creative. “To extend his memory and his legacy even further through this agreement is a powerful and meaningful moment for the entire wrestling community.”

“The Owen Hart Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with AEW in this wonderful joint venture to honor Owen’s substantial international wrestling career and the lasting influence he and his craft has had in the sport. AEW’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament serves as a tremendous tribute to Owen and provides an incredible way for professional wrestling enthusiasts to celebrate his work in a most fitting way. We trust that Tony Khan and his amazing AEW team will do a brilliant job with this highly anticipated project. This OHF/AEW partnership is my special gift to all of Owen’s magnificent loyal fans who forever remember him and his inspiring repertoire of talents,” said Dr. Martha Hart.

About The Owen Hart Foundation

The Owen Hart Foundation was established in 2000 in memory of celebrated world-renowned Canadian wrestler Owen Hart. Our mandate is ‘Education’ and our goal is to help provide opportunities worldwide for hard-working people who have limited resources but unlimited potential. www.owenhartfoundation.org

About AEW

Founded by CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan, AEW is a new professional wrestling league headlined by Kenny Omega, Dr. Britt Baker, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, Cody & Brandi Rhodes, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Adam Cole, Sting, Jon Moxley, Miro, Lucha Bros., PAC, Hangman Page, MJF, Darby Allin, Nyla Rose, Red Velvet, Ruby Soho, Hikaru Shida, Jade Cargill, Thunder Rosa, Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Orange Cassidy, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Lance Archer, and many more. For the first time in many years, AEW is offering an alternative to mainstream wrestling, with a roster of world-class talent that is injecting new spirit, freshness and energy into the industry.

“AEW: Dynamite” airs every Wednesday from 8-10 p.m. ET on TNT and attracts the youngest wrestling audience on television. The new fight-forward show “AEW: Rampage” airs every Friday from 10-11 p.m. ET. AEW’s multi-platform content also includes “AEW Dark” and “AEW Dark: Elevation,” two weekly professional wrestling YouTube series, “Being the Elite,” a weekly behind-the-scenes YouTube series, and “AEW Unrestricted,” a weekly podcast series. For more info, check out Twitter.com/AEW; Instagram.com/AllEliteWrestling; YouTube.com/AEW;Facebook.com/AllEliteWrestling.

Fascinating news.

Tags: AEW, Owen Hart, Owen Hart Cup Tournament

Image Comics & February 2022 Solicitations Spoilers: Howard Chaykin’s Time² Finally Completed!

Image Comics & February 2022 Solicitations Spoilers: Howard Chaykin’s Time² Finally Completed!

John Babos | September 22, 2021 | News | No Comments

Image Comics and February 2022 Solicitations Spoilers follows.

Howard Chaykin’s Time² Finally Completed!

Image Comics reports.


PORTLAND, Ore. — Graphically experimental, narratively daring, and visually explosive, Howard Chaykin’s Time² was a work ahead of its time2—and remains so today.

In February 2022—just in time2 to celebrate the project’s 35th anniversary—fans will be treated to the long-awaited conclusion—finally!—in a special omnibus hardcover edition from Image Comics.

In addition to remastered versions of the project’s debut in the American Flagg! Special and its long-out-of-print first two volumes, “The Epiphany” and “The Satisfaction of Black Mariah,” the Time² Omnibus completes the trilogy with the new 48-page volume “Hallowed Groundº,” plus many never-before-seen extras.

“Time2 remains among my most personal works in my fifty plus years in comics, and I couldn’t be more grateful to see it back in print, with this final volume, before I take the midnight subway to its final destination,” said Chaykin.

Time² omnibus hardcover edition (ISBN: 978-1-5343-2110-6, Diamond Code OCT210066) will be available on Wednesday, February 16 and in bookstores on Tuesday, February 22. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shop or independent bookstore or via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Indigo.

Time² omnibus will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play.


Tags: comic book solicitations, Howard Chaykin, Image, Image Comics, Time²

Marvel Comics, X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #1 & X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #2 Spoilers: Just How Dead Is The Avengers’ Scarlet Witch?!

Marvel Comics, X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #1 & X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #2 Spoilers: Just How Dead Is The Avengers’ Scarlet Witch?!

John Babos | September 22, 2021 | Spoilers | No Comments

Marvel Comics, X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #1 and X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #2 Spoilers follows.

Is The Avengers’ Scarlet Witch Really Dead?

X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #1 Spoilers follows.

The issue had a few more variant covers in addition to the main cover above.

The book includes a storyline catch-up, dramatis personae and creators credits page…

…as well as the revelation that…

…the Scarlet Witch is…

…very much alive!

Plus some symbols to go with that revelation?!

X-Men: Trial Of Magneto #2 Spoilers follows.

The issue too has a fair number of variant covers in addition to the main cover above.

The issue includes a storyline catch-up, dramatis personae and creators credits page…

…as Professor Xavier and Jean Grey attempt to use their powers to dicern what happened to Scarlet Witch…

…her teammates the Avengers also want answers.

At the same time…

…readers get inside the head of a risen Scarlet Witch.

Magneto wants none of the mind powers tomfoolery and…

…admits to murdering the Scarlet Witch, but…

…her returns unmasks that lie quickly?!

Vision and Scarlet Witch are reunited which begs the question what Magneto is on the trial for if she’s alive?

Next up is X-Men: Trial of Magneto #3 in stores on October 20, 2021.

Followed by X-Men: Trial of Magneto #4 on shelves on November 10, 2021.

Concluded in X-Men: Trial of Magneto #5 (of 5) in stores on December 22, 2021.

What do you think of this limited series thus far?

Tags: Avengers, Magneto, Marvel, scarlet witch, Trial of Magneto, Vision, X-Men

DC Comics & Shazam #3 Spoilers & Review: Old Neron Returns & A Brand New Black Adam Debuts?!

DC Comics & Shazam #3 Spoilers & Review: Old Neron Returns & A Brand New Black Adam Debuts?!

John Babos | September 22, 2021 | Spoilers, Top Story | No Comments

DC Comics and Shazam #3 Spoilers and Review follows.

Old Neron Returns and…

…A Brand New Black Adam Debuts?!

So, Billy Batson aka Shazam and Dane aka Nevermore, teammates on Teen Titans Academy…


…are on a mission to help Billy’s friend and partners Billy Batson; all roads lead through Neron.

Here is a classic who’s who bio for the character.


Neron keeps his end of the bargain and gets them to the Rock of Eternity, but in return he wants Billy Batson to be with him for eternity in the rock?!

Well, Raven breaks up the party as spoiled on the main cover of this book.

She surprisingly muscles Neron out the situation.

Here’s Raven’s classic Who’s Who bio too.


Looks like Dane is also unwell now and…

…despite his powers slowly returning, Shazam enters the Rock of Eternity to track down something to help Freddy Freeman, but…

…is confronted by an all-new all-different Black Adam?!

Is that Black Adam, his son, someone else? The last time we saw Black Adam, outside of his Infinite Frontier starring role in the ongoing Justice League, was in Future State which set up a new status quo for hell in 2021 (full spoilers here).

If you need to bone up on classic Black Adam below is a vintage Who’s Who bio for him.

The Black Adam film starring Dwayne Johnson aka WWE’s the Rock hits theaters in 2022; is this reveal a sign of things to come?

Shazam #4 (of 4) lands in stores on October 19, 2021.

The Pulse: 

Amazing art and compelling story. Curious to see who it ends and whether it seeds any mirroring of cinematic changes for Black Adam. 8 out of 10.


Tags: Black Adam, DC Comics, Neron, Raven, Shazam (Captain Marvel), Teen Titans Academy, Who’s Who

Retro Review: Avengers Forever By Busiek, Stern, Pacheco & Merino For Marvel Comics

Retro Review: Avengers Forever By Busiek, Stern, Pacheco & Merino For Marvel Comics

James Fulton | September 21, 2021 | Columns, Top Story | No Comments

Avengers Forever #1-12 (December 1998 – February 2000)

Written by Kurt Busiek

Co-plotted by Roger Stern (#3-12)

Pencilled by Carlos Pacheco

Inked by Jesús Merino

Coloured by Steve Oliff

Spoilers (from twenty-one to twenty-three years ago)

When I first started writing these Retro Reviews series, I started reading my Avengers collection at the point where it became continuous.  I really wanted to relive the Stern/Buscema days, but I was also interested in getting to Kurt Busiek’s run, which helped bring me back to reading Marvel comics in the late 90s after a few years of mostly staying away.  I remember that Busiek and Pérez made the Avengers seem like a viable team again, after the twin disasters of The Crossing and Heroes Reborn.  Contiguous with this run, Busiek wrote Avengers Forever, a side series that featured a time-lost group of heroes dealing with Kang the Conqueror.  

I loved this book.  It had wonderful Carlos Pacheco art, and gave prominent roles to Songbird and Genis-Vell, who was Captain Marvel at the time.  I think it also introduced the Avengers of the 1950s, who would later be developed into the Agents of Atlas (but I could be wrong on that).  

Kang has been a favourite villain of mine since the Stern/Buscema days (it’s weird how much I like his long purple boots), and seems to be the focus of the next round of Marvel movies.  I figured this was as good a time as any to finish my Avengers re-reading (I covered West Coast and Solo Avengers not that long ago), and I can’t wait to see how this series stands up.

Let’s track who turned up in the title:

Avengers “Forever” lineup

  • Giant-Man (Hank Pym; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Wasp (Janet Van Dyne; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Captain Marvel (Genis Mar-vell; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Hawkeye (Clint Barton; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Songbird (Melissa Gold; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Captain America (Steve Rogers; #1-8, 10-12)
  • Yellowjacket (Hank Pym; #1-8, 10-12)

Avengers (from various timelines)

  • Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff; #1)
  • Justice (Vance Astrovik; #1)
  • Firestar (Angelica Jones; #1)
  • Giant-Man (Hank Pym; #1)
  • Captain America (Steve Rogers; #1)
  • Iron Man (Tony Stark; #1)
  • Beast (Hank McCoy; #1)
  • Black Panther (T’Challa; #4-6)
  • Jocasta (#4-6)
  • Thundra (#4-6)
  • The Crimson Dynamo (#4-6)
  • The Living Lightning (#4-6)
  • Killraven (#4-6)
  • The 3-D Man (Hal; #4-5)
  • Venus (#4-5)
  • Gorilla-Man (#4-5)
  • Marvel Boy (Bob; #4-5)
  • The Living Robot (#4-5)
  • Jack of Hearts (#12)


  • Jonz Rickard (Commander, Galactic Avengers Battalion Theta-4; #1, 10)
  • Galactic Avengers (#1, 10)
  • Immortus (#1-3, 5, 7-8, 10-12)
  • Tempus (#1, 3, 7)
  • Martian Skorpsmen (#4-5)
  • Skrull posing as Richard Nixon (#4-5)
  • Space Phantoms (#5-6, 8)
  • Time-Keepers (#10-12)

Guest Stars

  • Time-Keepers (#1, 8)
  • Wildrun (Anachronauts; #3)
  • Kid Colt (#4, 6)
  • Rawhide Kid (#4, 6)
  • Two-Gun Kid (#4, 6)
  • Night Rider (#6)
  • The Ringo Kid (#6)
  • Mourning Prey (#6)

Supporting Characters

  • Rick Jones (#1-7, 9-12)
  • Supreme Intelligence (#1-2, 9-12)
  • Libra (Gustav Brandt; #1-4, 7, 11-12)
  • Kang the Conqueror (#1-6, 9-12)

Let’s take a look at what happened in these books, with some commentary as we go:

  • Avengers Forever opens with a prologue set in the twenty-sixth century, on a planet in the Beta Centauri system.  A small group of Centaurians (think of Yondu, from the Guardians of the Galaxy) plan to steal some weapons in the hope they can use them against a tyrant who has subjugated their people.  Time freezes across the whole planet before they can complete their mission, and some space vessels that look vaguely like quinjets arrive and stop bombing the place.  There are groups of soldiers that look familiar – the Hammer-Troopers are clearly based on Thor, while the Repulsor-Troopers look like Iron Man, the Shieldsmen are based on Captain America, and the Micros-Swarm utilize Ant-Man style tech.  They ravage 17% of the planet, and kill 34% of the population before time starts again, and the survivors are left to wonder what happened.  The leader of these soldiers, Battalion Theta-4 of the Galactic Avengers, is a man named Jonz Rickard, who claims to be related to Emperor Rickard.  He explains to the survivors that this damage was done because of the actions of the six Centaurians.  Three figures, whom I vaguely remember and that the internet confirms are the Time-Keepers, are not happy with what they observe and teleport away.  The actual story starts in the present (aka 1998), as the Avengers (Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Captain America, Giant-Man, Firestar, and Justice) bring the badly injured Rick Jones to the Blue Area of the Moon, where SHIELD and Starcore have taken over the ruins.  Rick recently collapsed after returning to the Avengers, and even with the help of Beast, Giant-Man and Iron Man struggled to help him.  Tony is the one who figured out that there is an energy field in Rick’s cells, and that it is a match to the one he exhibited during the Kree-Skrull War.  The Avengers take Rick to the Kree Supreme Intelligence, which is being held captive on the Moon by SHIELD.  The Intelligence agrees to study Rick, but has to negotiate a little with Cap before he’s allowed to have access to Rick on his own.  The Avengers leave, and a mysterious robed figure emerges; it’s clear that he and the SI have spent a lot of time together lately, something the guards aren’t aware of.  The Intelligence believes that Rick has a lot to do with the future of humanity’s evolution, and the robed guy talks about balance.  It becomes clear that the two of them manipulated things so that Rick would end up there.  The Intelligence sends the robed guy to speak to someone.  In Limbo, Immortus watches all of this.  He freezes time on the Moon, and sends his servant Tempus, a big icey giant guy, to deal with Rick.  Tempus starts to absorb Rick’s life force into his club, but then notices Rick starting to wake up.  Kang the Conqueror has arrived and uses a time sphere to save Rick.  Immortus insists to Kang that Jones has to die, but Kang disagrees, and instead kills Tempus.  Immortus (remember, he and Kang are the same person) uses the pieces of Tempus to create an army of soldiers from different times.  They attack Kang, who uses futuristic guns to kill them by the score.  As Kang fights, Immortus works at shrinking his time sphere around Rick.  Inside it, Rick wakes up, and is a little freaked out by all that’s happening around him.  The Supreme Intelligence is able to move again, and views this moment as humanity’s turning point.  The robed man returns and touches Rick, asking him to touch on the fabric of time to bring forth champions.  There is a burst of light, and when it passes, we see seven figures from different moments in history – Giant-Man and Wasp, Hawkeye in his old Giant-Man gear (when he wore an outfit that left his stomach and lower chest bare), Yellowjacket, Captain America (during this time, Cap didn’t have his shield, but this one does), Songbird (who at this time was in the Thunderbolts), and Genis-Vell, also known as Captain Marvel.  They are all surprised to be there.

  • These newly arrived Avengers are disoriented, and are surprised when Kang calls on them to help him fight off Immortus’s endless army.  Cap seems to hesitate the most, which disturbs Hawkeye, until Wasp takes charge and sends the heroes in to do battle.  As they fight, we learn that Songbird and Captain Marvel know each other, and that Melissa recognizes this event as the start of something called “The Destiny War.”  Giant-Man and Wasp start trying to figure things out, while Hawkeye reveals that he doesn’t have his gimmick arrows, just regular ones.  Yellowjacket seems a little arrogant and maybe manic, which both Giant-Man and Wasp recognize as a problem.  Captain America displays more than his usual strength, giving Jan a clue as to when he came from.  Immortus appears to tell the heroes that they can’t stop him from shrinking Kang’s time bubble.  Rick Jones starts floating, and uses his newly unlocked powers to push back against Immortus.  Recognizing that he can’t win, Immortus withdraws and takes his army with him.  Kang tells the Avengers to get Jones out of the timestream to protect him, and then he disappears too.  Rick’s powers fade away, and he’s left crippled again (he’d taken a beating from the Hulk not too long before this series started).  Jan has figured out that the Avengers come from different times, and is explaining that when the robed figure from before arrives and reveals his identity – it’s Libra, of the Zodiac.  He wants them all to go with him, but Cap refuses.  The Supreme Intelligence insists they go with him, and Libra leads them through some hidden passageways to a place outside the timestream.  He explains how he went to prison as a way to leave the Zodiac, and has been learning about cosmic balance or something ever since.  More recently, he faked his own death, and disputes Jan’s assertion that he recently resurfaced as a villain called Moonraker.  Libra explains that Immortus is causing an imbalance in time, and that his plan to kill Rick, who is being carried by Giant-Man, would be a disaster for humanity, although Libra doesn’t know why.  Libra believes that Rick chose these Avengers to come protect him for a reason, but doesn’t know what that is.  Yellowjacket wants to fight Libra, but Jan stops them, and instead has the team talk about when they’ve come from.  Yellowjacket arrived from right before his planned wedding to Jan, which means he’s a secretly deranged Hank Pym; this knowledge makes the other Hank very nervous.  Songbird is from the future, and Clint from the point just after the Kree-Skrull war, when he briefly joined a carnival, explaining his lack of trick arrows.  Genis is also from the future, and Rick is not too happy to realize who he is, given his own connections to Genis’s father.  Jan and Hank are more or less from the present, but a little while after Rick was dropped off on the moon, which explains why Hank is wearing a different costume (the yellow and blue joint) from last issue.  Cap, we learn, has arrived just after his fight with the Secret Empire, which shook his confidence and faith in America so much that he ended up dropping his persona and becoming Nomad.  Jan assesses the team, and they try to figure out what they should do.  Libra wants to follow Kang’s advice, but Rick wants to go figure out what’s happening.  Libra agrees to take them to Kang’s stronghold, thinking it will be safe from Immortus, and they journey through different eras to get there, finding destruction along the way.  When they reach Kang’s citadel, they find it under attack.  Immortus’s large face appears in the sky, and he thanks them for coming straight to him.  Libra thinks this has happened too quickly, and Rick feels like he’s screwed up.
  • The Avengers react to this surprise, but then they’re spotted by Immortus’s forces and the fight is on. Cap takes Rick to cover while Genis, Melissa, and Hank fight the flying ships.  Rick despairs at not being able to access his new powers.  Jan shows Yellowjacket how much her sting has improved.  The invaders pull back.  Clint stops an arrow that was shot at Yellowjacket, and is surprised to learn it was shot by Red Wolf.  He calls the others over, and by the time they come, he’s learned he’s standing over Wildrun, one of Red Wolf’s ancestors.  Libra knows him, and Wildrun explains that the rest of the Anachronauts have started turning into temporal shadows.  Kang has his slaves move a replica of his Sphinx/time travel machine.  The Avengers approach him, and he thanks them for bringing Wildrun back to him, despite the fact that he told them to hide from Immortus, instead of running towards him.  Jan argues with Kang, who explains that Immortus is after the Heart of Forever, a device that he owns, since he wasn’t able to kill Rick.  He asks the Avengers to help him stand against Immortus, and they reluctantly agree.  Yellowjacket puts the moves on Jan, and she suggests that all personal matters are off-limits until the situation is resolved.  Clint talks to Melissa, who is not used to the fact that they don’t know each other.  Genis can’t really access his cosmic awareness.  Rick shows him his new battle wheelchair, and we learn that Genis joined the Avengers after the Destiny War, and isn’t sure if he’s from the same timeline as the rest.  Jan talks to Cap about his doubts.  Clint shows Hank the bow that Kang’s armorers gave him, but then the invaders return, and the Avengers head out to fight alongside Kang.  Immortus’s forces are overwhelming.  Clint finds it hard to use his new bow, which is so powerful it makes it hard not to kill anyone.  Rick’s new chair is destroyed, and when an axe-wielding Norseman comes at him, he’s suddenly able to move his legs and kick the guy.  Hank notices that Kang’s men are retreating into the citadel, and they fall back with them.  Kang tells them to leave with Rick, and despite Jan’s objections, they follow Libra to the sphinx.  Kang keeps fighting, but retreats into his citadel, where he is attacked by the restored Tempus.  Immortus enters the room that holds the Heart of Forever, and pulls it out of the machine that houses it.  When he does that, Kang’s city of Chronopolis, which exists in multiple times, begins to fall apart, except for the sphinx, which is in its own time bubble.  Immortus has placed the chronal essence of everyone and everything in Chronopolis into the Heart, turning it into something he calls the Forever Crystal.  He’s not happy to note that the Avengers’ essences are not in it, and makes plans to track them down.

  • The Sphinx moves through the timestream, and the Avengers within it try to figure things out.  Clint is fed up with Libra talking about balance, and strikes at him with his bow, which misses, but his punch does not.  Libra decides it’s time to leave the Avengers to let them make their own way, and wanders off.  Yellowjacket and Hank (I’m going to keep calling YJ by his costumed identity, since he doesn’t know he’s Hank Pym at this stage of the game) work out how to operate the sphinx (although YJ is annoyed that the older Hank is wiser than him), and Hank identifies three instances of temporal imbalance created by Immortus, and figures that the team should split up to check them out using the timeshuttles that Yellowjacket discovers.  Jan splits them into teams – Hawkeye, Songbird, and Yellowjacket in one, with Clint leading, Hank and Cap in another, and she and Genis in the last.  Rick is not happy to be left behind, although Hank and Jan have good reasons.  After everyone’s left, he sits and talks to himself about how the situation is not fair.  Hank and Steve find themselves on a ruined future Earth, where New York is being attacked by giant alien tripod vessels.  Cap insists they help the people, and they wade into battle against the Skorpsmen.  Cap is surprised to be assisted by someone, and they come across a future version of the Avengers, led by Black Panther.  T’Challa takes off his mask and we see his hair is grey.  The rest of the team is Jocasta (in a different body than we are used to), Thundra, The Crimson Dynamo, The Living Lightning, and Killraven.  T’Challa realizes they are there as part of the Destiny War, and tells them they came in time for Earth’s last battle.  Clint, Melissa, and YJ find themselves in Tombstone Arizona in the late 1800s.  There’s a device in their shuttle that creates period (and gender) appropriate clothes for them, and Clint is excited to head into town.  He almost immediately spots Kid Colt and Rawhide Kid, and gets excited (he is from the time before he first met them, I guess).  They are joined by Two-Gun Kid who is warning them of townsfolk who are walking around like zombies.  Kang makes an appearance, and summons a tyrannosaurus rex to come and take care of them.  The three gunslingers take off, and Melissa has to stop the two Avengers from getting involved.  Kang is planning on taking over the 20th century by conquering the 19th, and seems pleased with his plans.  The Avengers return to the cave where they left their shuttle, knowing that the Avengers of another time would come to deal with this.  The thing is, their shuttle is missing.   Jan and Genis arrive in California in 1959, where they try to fit in by wearing period clothing.  It’s the Fourth of July, and everyone is at a fairground, where VP Richard Nixon is set to appear.  As Jan and Genis talk, they attract the attention of guys with communicator watches.  Genis’s cosmic awareness tells him that Nixon is actually a Skrull, but Jan stops him from doing anything.  They head to a secluded area to change into costume, and are found by a group of five costumed figures – Venus, Gorilla-Man, 3-D Man, Marvel Boy, and The Living Robot.  Marvel Boy claims they are the Avengers, and they think that Jan and Genis want to attack Nixon.
  • Rick watches the three away teams on monitors on the sphinx, wondering why they haven’t found any traces of Immortus yet.  Cap and Giant-Man continue to fight with the Avengers of the future against the Martian Skorpsmen.  During this pitched battle, we learn that Jocasta is pregnant (her husband, Machine Man is dead), and that the Martians have killed billions.  The Panther’s team pushes them back to a ship, and the Martians flee Earth.  The Avengers want to pursue them, but can’t, as they’ve scuttled the remaining ships.  T’Challa, who explains that there are only about fifty thousand people left on Earth, wants to continue to hunt down and wipe out any remaining Martians.  All this killing rattles Cap; Rick is sad to see him in such a depressed state.  Rick turns his attention to Wasp and Captain Marvel, who are trying to explain themselves to the 1950s Avengers.  3-D Man doesn’t believe their story, suspecting that they work for communist China.  A fight breaks out, until Venus is able to use her powers to distract Genis, allowing Living Robot to knock him down.  Venus tries to subdue Wasp to ask her questions, and Jan explains that’s all she’s wanted all along.  Our heroes tell the older heroes that Nixon is really a Skrull, and because Marvel Boy is scanning Jan’s mind, they believe her.  Rick notices some weird readings around Hawkeye, Yellowjacket, and Songbird’s team, and turns his attention there.  They look around the cave for clues as to who stole their timesphere, and find a holographic projection of Kang (the one who was trying to take over the 1870s, not the older version they were working with before).  He doesn’t know them, and blows the ceiling of the cave they’re in, trapping them.  Melissa is able to save them, and they try to figure out their next move.  Yellowjacket hits on Melissa, and Clint confronts him about the fact that he’s really Hank Pym, which YJ blows off.  They talk about heading into town to confront Kang, and that’s when they are joined by the Gunhawks – Black Rider, Reno Jones, and Kid Cassidy.  Clint knows them as heroes, and keeps conflict from starting.  Later, they share a fire and talk about their plans.  As they talk, Clint figures out these aren’t the Gunhawks, since Kid Cassidy was dead by 1873.  They capture them, and learn they are three different versions of the Space Phantom, who works for Immortus.  In the 1950s, two FBI agents approach the Avengers and our heroes, and pull them aside to talk about the Skrull situation.  Genis’s cosmic awareness is not working properly, because of Venus, but it reveals to him that the FBI agents are also the Space Phantom.  The Avengers of that era fight them, but Rick appears as a floating head and tells Jan and Genis that they need to get out of there.  At the same time, in front of the crowd at the fair, Nixon shakes hands with a general who is actually Immortus, and reveals that Nixon is a Skrull to everyone.  As the crowd attacks the alien, Immortus uses the Forever Crystal to purge the timeline.  As the 1950s Avengers begin to disappear into blankness, Genis and Jan flee back to their timesphere.  They have seconds to launch a chronal jump, but the whiteness reaches their vessel with one second left to go.

  • Jan and Genis barely make it back to the timestream, and as they maneuver towards the sphinx, they see some scenes from Immortus’s life (confronting Doctor Doom as Rama-Tut, doing something with the original Human Torch, officiating Vision and Scarlet Witch’s wedding, altering Thor’s hammer) appearing outside their sphere.  When they join Rick on the sphinx, similar scenes of Immortus helping Vance Astro meet his younger self, meeting with the Badoon, and officiating Jocasta and Machine Man’s wedding are playing on the viewscreen.  Genis thinks that escaping Immortus in the 1950s led to other Immortus-driven anomalies appearing.  Captain America kneels in front of a statue honouring the original Avengers, surrounded by the wreckage of the war with the Martians.  T’Challa comes to get him and Jocasta, and the Avengers take off in a ship, heading to Wakanda where they hope to make a fleet of spaceships to chase down and kill the Martians.  Hank is curious to know about Jocasta’s pregnancy.  When they land in Wakanda, they enter what is left of the mostly mined Vibranium Mound.  Some sharp-winged yellow insects attack them, and the Avengers try to protect themselves.  T’Challa releases a gas, and it draws out a human-sized butterfly woman who is the same colour as the insects.  The gas affects Jocasta, and she goes into labour.  Hank tries to clear the gas by clapping his hands, which blows most of the insects away.  This drops the butterfly woman too, and as she recovers, she seems to entrance Cap.  Rick, Genis, and Jan watch more scenes involving Immortus, including the time that Space Phantom worked with Grim Reaper, and discuss their surprise to learn that there is more than one Space Phantom, and that with his shape-shifting abilities, he could be anywhere.  Outside Tombstone, Clint and Yellowjacket argue about who is in charge.  Soon they, with Melissa, head towards town to get their chronosphere.  Two-Gun Kid is holed up in his law office with Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, Night Rider, and the Ringo Kid.  They plan to confront Kang.  Clint’s group has to walk through the mindless people that Kang has under his control, and they spot Two-Gun and his group approaching, and getting attacked by the townspeople.  Kang reveals that his hotel is actually a futuristic citadel.  Clint wants to help the gunslingers, but Melissa insists that things have to happen the way she knows they did, and leads them to the side of the citadel.  She gets YJ to blast his way in, and it does seem suspicious how detailed her memory of the Avengers’ files is.  The gunslingers are confronted by a giant gila-monster type thing.  Melissa leads them right to the chronosphere, and seems more open than before to YJ’s advances.  He surprises her and Clint by punching her across the face.  Cap communes with the butterfly woman, and stops the others from hurting her.  He has them listen as she communicates with them telepathically.  Her name is Mourning Prey, and she shows them that she was rescued from a lab by Immortus and brought to Wakanda.  The insects are her offspring, and they need the dwindling supply of vibranium to survive.  At the same time, Jocasta experiences a problem with her delivery.  The baby is causing her to vibrate dangerously, and the only way Hank can think of to save her is to use vibranium.  Basically, T’Challa has to choose between vengeance and protecting these young lives.  Clint confronts YJ, but he claims that Melissa is not who she seems to be.  He zaps her, and she turns into a Space Phantom, which also causes the real Melissa to return from Limbo.  Clint notices that YJ refers to events that happened when he was Giant-Man, and suspects he’s starting to remember his real identity.  They leave in the chronosphere.  Hank helps Jocasta deliver her synthezoid baby.  Cap talks with T’Challa, who thinks that the way the vibranium was needed was a little convenient; he suspects Immortus set things up.  Cap and Hank take their leave of T’Challa, and he’s left feeling hopeful.  With everyone back in the sphinx, they watch the same Immortus scenes on the video monitor, and Cap worries that Immortus might have had something to do with the time the Space Phantom and Grim Reaper erased the world’s knowledge of his secret identity.  The team is still trying to figure out what Immortus’s angle is when YJ hits on Melissa again.  She hits him in the stomach and reveals that in her time, she is Jan’s best friend, and that Jan and Hank are married.  Genis tries to refocus everyone on the issue of Immortus trying to alter history.  This leads to Hank suggesting that they go straight to Limbo to learn more, or put a stop to him.  Genis is worried, as he doesn’t want things to play out the way he knows they did in his past.
  • Hank and YJ have worked together to take apart a chronosphere to make a device Hank can wear to help the team navigate a platform created by Melissa through time.  As they prepare to sneak into Immortus’s base, Genis insists that Rick stay in the sphinx (without explaining why, it seems).  As they fly through the timestream, they are again given glimpses of moments in the past, mostly focusing on Vision, the original Human Torch, and the question of their connection to one another.  Hank sees himself claiming Vision was made of the Torch’s spare parts, but present day Hank realizes that couldn’t possibly be true, and wonders why he thought that.  They also see Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Mantis being guided around by a talking stick – the synchro-staff.  A final vision shows the original Avengers attacking Immortus and Captain America, but none of them remember that ever happening.  They arrive in Limbo, where things are constantly shifting in appearance.  Melissa guides them to Immortus’s fortress.  YJ uses a device to try to track Immortus, but the inside of the fortress goes MC Escher on them, and they get separated.  Clint finds himself in a room filled with statues of himself wearing past and potential future costumes.  He’s attacked by Tempus.  Cap finds himself locked in a medieval-looking dungeon, occupied by Nick Fury (as he appeared in the Second World War).  Fury encourages him to give up on escaping and get comfortable.  Jan can hear Hank, as he busts through some walls and tries to reach her, but she hears his voice in all directions, as dialogue he’s said to her over the years surrounds her like the insects we see buzzing around her head.  Yellowjacket finds some monitors showing scenes from his life, and finally realizes, as similar insects surround him, that he really is Hank Pym.  He’s very unhappy, because he doesn’t want to become Pym again; he decides to look for Immortus.  Melissa is placed on trial by her loved ones, and made to feel like she’s abandoned everyone.  Genis comes to her and tries to snap her out of it.  Rick is angry being left behind, especially since he can’t see the team on his monitors anymore, so he decides to take a chronosphere on his own.  Genis ends up kissing Melissa.  Clint taps into his Goliath powers, and manages to smash Tempus.  Fury shifts through different appearances from different eras, and as he tries to make Cap despair, he overplays his hand, so Cap (who also has insects around him) busts down a door to get back to his mission.  We see that Fury was really Libra, working to restore balance.  Melissa pushes Genis away, and he admits that in his future, they are together (they are also surrounded by bugs now).  Yellowjacket finds Immortus sitting on his throne, and tries to attack him from above.  Immortus captures him easily, and then sends a massive army after Hank, who reaches Jan.  Realizing Immortus knows they’re there (I mean, I would have thought that would have been obvious by now), Jan calls the others to meet up where they entered.  They fight their way to one another and head for their entry place, and then realize that Yellowjacket is missing.  There is a brief debate, but they know they have to retreat and leave him behind.  They flash back to the sphinx and immediately know that Rick is missing.  Clint shows them that he stole something – Immortus’s synchro-staff.  In Limbo, Yellowjacket offers to help Immortus, in return for being able to stay in this personality, and to get the girl.

  • Issue eight is a big info-dump issue.  Clint is trying to get the synchro-staff to start talking, while the others discuss the fact that Genis won’t tell them what he knows of the Destiny War, and that Melissa doesn’t know much at all.  When Clint threatens to break the staff in two, it screams and turns into a Space Phantom.  They capture him in one of Melissa’s sound bands, and begin to interrogate him.  He shares that after Immortus set up shop in Limbo, he was visited by the Time-Keepers, who put him in charge of seventy centuries of time, and he employed the Space Phantoms to help him.  The Space Phantom, who is the first one the Avengers met, explains that anyone who turns up in Limbo turns into a Space Phantom, and that Immortus has altered them to be useful; for example, when they assume a form on a mission, they lose access to their other memories.  The Space Phantom recaps his first meeting with the Avengers.  He then explains how after that, Immortus worked with Baron Zemo in an early Avengers case, but afterwards, Enchantress erased that from the timeline.  After this, Immortus decided to keep an eye on the Avengers, even though the Time-Keepers had told him to destroy them.  We learn that Immortus fooled Thor as a way of drawing the time travel abilities out of Mjolnir.  When Immortus learned of the team’s involvement in the Kree-Skrull War, from the Time-Keepers, he was upset, especially since the powers that Rick Jones developed there were exactly what he was supposed to stop.  He convinced them it was fine still, and that’s when he first learned of the future we saw in issue one, where the Avengers became a galactic army.  The Space Phantom explains that humanity is considered the most dangerous race in the universe.  Hank asks why Immortus was always so interested in the Scarlet Witch, and SP explains that it’s because her children have the potential to destroy the cosmos.  We learn that Immortus subtly influenced events so that Vision and Scarlet Witch fell in love and got married, figuring that would stop Wanda from procreating.  After they did have kids, aided by magic, Immortus dug into the whole Mephisto/Master Pandemonium connection, and then disguised himself as the version of Phineas T. Horton seen in John Byrne’s Avengers West Coast run, when the Vision was dismantled by the government (this news upsets Cap a lot).  Genis uses the sphinx’s computers to show how Immortus got involved in the story of the original Human Torch, splitting time into two simultaneous timelines existing in the same Earth, which explains some obscure continuity issues around that character and his connections to Vision.  Next, we learn that Immortus was upset when the Avengers got involved in the war between the Kree and Shi’ar (we know this as Operation: Galactic Storm).  Immortus was responsible for Iron Man’s uncharacteristic behaviour during that event, which led to a schism in the team, and the Black Knight “executing” the Supreme Intelligence.  This led to another visit from the Time-Keepers, who showed him a future where Deathcry convinced the Avengers to fight the Shi’ar to free the Kree, but then they had to occupy Kree space to continue protecting them, leading to an Interstellar Avengers Corp.  Immortus asked the Time-Keepers for another chance to fix things, and that led to him distracting the Avengers until Onslaught came along, and his continuing to influence Iron Man.  Immortus pretended to be Kang, and had a complicated plan that led to Iron Man trashing the team (is this a Heroes Reborn thing?  Or is this The Crossing?  I’m lost now) and blaming Hawkeye for murder.  Iron Man was killed and replaced by another Tony Stark.  Cap gets the Space Phantom to stop talking.  Hank asks if Immortus caused his breakdown, but SP claims that was always going to happen.  Now we understand why Immortus wants to kill Rick, which might actually be done to rescue everyone.  We see one of the Limbo bugs approach the group, and Genis yells out a warning too late.  The whole group is zapped by Yellowjacket and Immortus.  Immortus promises to give him what he wants, assuming they can save humanity first.
  • It’s another big info-dump issue!  Kang is in his retreat in a dimension that’s a form of purgatory.  He’s reflecting on his recent defeat, and listens to his recorded autobiography, feeling tired.  We see Kang’s origin as a bored person in the far future who discovered a possible ancestry in either Victor Von Doom or Nathaniel Richards, and upon discovering the remains of Doom’s time machine, rebuilt it into a statue of the sphinx.  Calling himself Rama-Tut, he took over ancient Egypt, until a meeting with the Fantastic Four derailed his plans.  It’s too much to go over everything mentioned in this issue, which I think attempts to make a unified history of every Kang appearance ever.  We see Rama-Tut lie to Doom, then splinter off into the Scarlet Centurion in another reality.  He ended up taking on the mantle of Kang and discovering his penchant for conquest, which led to a fight with the Avengers a few times.  He fell for Ravonna, the daughter of one of his vassal kings.  She died saving Kang from his father, and once he discovered Immortus’s citadel (and his body, which he didn’t know was his), he brought Ravonna back.  This created many different timelines, and he learned of the activities of all of these different Kangs.  Eventually, he brought them together into a Council of Kangs, so he could kill them all.  Immortus intervened (Ravonna was working with him), and Kang ended up absorbing the memories of his other selves, which almost drove him mad.  There were other Kangs, and other conflicts with the Fantastic Four (this is getting pretty textbook-ish).  As Kang conquered more ground, he became too involved in the day-to-day operations of his holdings, and after some more intrigue involving Doom and Thor, decided to return to simpler days.  He became Rama-Tut again, took over Egypt again, fought the Avengers again, and then fought his younger self in a bizarre act of hubris.  He saw chrono-flashes that showed Immortus agreeing to work for the Time-Keepers, and that set him off to change his destiny.  He returned to Ravonna, checked on other time-related entities (including the Time Variance Authority, and started to work against them.  He destroyed the mechanism that he used to transfer his consciousness to other bodies when killed, and set about learning how to foil Immortus’s plans.  He learned about the Supreme Intelligence and Libra, and then decided to take the course of action we’ve seen throughout this series.  Now, Kang is called by the Supreme Intelligence.  When he arrives at his chamber on the Moon, he’s greeted by Rick Jones, who lets him know the Avengers were captured.  Kang agrees to help Rick and the SI to take out Immortus and the Time-Keepers.

  • The Avengers come to, and not knowing where they are, open a door to find themselves facing hundreds of the soldiers of the Galactic Avengers (we see new versions, based on Vision and Hawkeye as well as the familiar types).  When Hank tries to explain that they are challenging the very people they are modeled on, Genis gets a flash of cosmic awareness to discover the GA actually sees the Guardians of the Galaxy (the original, futuristic version).  A fight ensues, and as the Avengers find themselves overwhelmed by their inferior enemy’s superior numbers, and are captured in energy nets, Jan tapes into some kind of cosmic power that is then shared briefly by the others.  They are suddenly brought down by a blast from Legion-Master Jonz Rickard, whom Cap immediately recognizes as a descendent of Rick Jones.  Rickard orders they be locked up until they can be executed, and they are fitted with collars that inhibit their powers.  They are left alone in a room, and are surprised to see Yellowjacket enter, carrying Cap’s shield and Clint’s bow.  He tells them he’s working for Immortus now, and we see Immortus’s head order the Avengers to come help him with an important matter.  YJ reveals that he has figured out how to use the Limbo bugs, which is what made the Galactic Avengers think they were the Guardians.  They walk through a portal to join Immortus in the hall of the Time-Keepers.  Those large figures talk about their role in existence, and how they came to be, acknowledging that in other realities, they became malignant Time-Twisters.  They start to explain that humanity is the greatest threat there is, and we learn from Immortus how he’s worked to keep mankind on Earth, erasing other timestreams where they get out of hand, or manipulating events.  Immortus wants these Avengers to work with him (it’s acknowledged that he and YJ dumped them on the GA to show the threat).  The Time-Keepers mention that humans are the only race that managed to defy Galactus and the Celestials, as well as the Infinites (in a story that hadn’t happened yet, aside from in Genis’s time).  The Tiime-Keepers want to cull most timelines to keep only enough to continue the universe’s existence, but those will all be curated to keep humanity in check.  The Avengers, including Yellowjacket, object to this approach, and the Time-Keepers assure him that he’ll still get what he wants.  Cap asks what percentage of timelines show humanity is a threat, and is surprised that the number is only 42%.  Hank asks why the Time-Keepers don’t apply the same logic to themselves, given that they are sometimes Time-Twisters.  As they argue, Yellowjacket decides to act, triggering the Destiny Force in the Avengers and handing Cap his shield.  Immortus tries to stop them, but Hank grows bigger than the Keepers.  They, in turn, grow bigger than him.  Immortus pleads that they stop their actions in order to survive, but the team unites in its opposition.  That’s when a portal opens, and YJ tells Cap he called for help.  Rick Jones drives a big Kirby-esque supreme-cycle through the portal.  Kang and the Supreme Intelligence are with him.
  • Rick and his backup give the team the chance they’re looking for.  No one notices Libra watching from a corner as the Avengers try to fight their way through the Time-Keepers’ forcefield.  Libra thinks about his own role in this struggle, and how he enabled Rick to choose each Avenger from different eras.  Libra recognizes that Cap’s uncertainty and Yellowjacket’s arrogance were needed, as was Jan’s confidence, Hank’s support, Clint’s loyalty, but also his ability to irritate YJ, and Melissa’s closeness to the others, even if they didn’t know that.  Genis was needed for his attempts to alter the outcomes.  Rick and Kang communicate with the Supreme Intelligence, trying to modulate their weapons so they can be more effective.  The Time-Keepers grab Immortus and flee.  Kang is pleased to learn that YJ planted a Limbo bug on Immortus, and can track him.  They leave on the Supreme Cycle, as does Libra.  They track the Time-Keepers to the end of time, and the place of their creation.  The Supreme Intelligence makes it clear that the Keepers are not god.  The Time-Keepers prepare to reorder all of time, but need Immortus’s Forever Crystal.  He’s reluctant to help them, wanting to continue to look after the Avengers.  That’s when the team arrives, and again starts pounding on the Keepers’ shield.  When Immortus won’t give over the crystal, the Keepers kill him, a moment which freaks Kang out.  The Keepers calibrate their chrono-cannon, and to keep the Avengers from breaking through to them, bring forth dozens of evil versions of the Avengers from the various timelines where they went bad.  The team fights, but is badly outnumbered.  Libra appears to the Supreme Intelligence, who convinces Libra to get into the fight, using the martial arts he learned from the priests of Pama.  Once he touches Rick, he awakens the Destiny Force in him, which then spreads to the other Avengers, giving them the advantage.  It’s worth noting that Genis did not get to tap into this power, because he’s not a human.  Rick seems to be enjoying himself, at least until the Time-Keepers capture Libra, and use his abilities to freeze all of the Avengers. They turn to Kang, who is not frozen, and explain that they want to punish him, but can’t kill him, since they need him to turn into Immortus some day.  They decide to transform him now, which he resists.  The frozen Avengers are able to talk, but not move.  Genis, however, is able to bring his nega-bands together, which turns him into an older, one-armed version of Rick, which shocks our Rick.  As Kang still writhes, the Avengers and the Ricks start fighting again.  Once the two Ricks share their ability to access the Destiny Force, they bring forward a massive army of good Avengers, from a variety of realities, to help them out.

  • Jan leads the multiversal good Avengers into battle with the evil ones, and we get some incredibly busy double-splash pages showing just what the Destiny War looked like.  Our main Avengers are at the centre of the fight, near the Time-Keepers and their Chrono-cannon.  Old Rick exhorts Young Rick to keep fighting, and to spread the Destiny Force across their allies.  Kang keeps fighting the change the Keepers are placing on him. When Libra makes a move, one Keeper blasts him, and the Supreme Intelligence tells him there’s nothing he can do.  Old Rick tells Rick that things might be tough for a while, and then hits his nega-bands together, bringing Genis back.  Genis knows what to do, and tells Rick to go hide somewhere before wading into the fight.  Melissa comments on how calm Genis seems, as he explains that he’s accepted what’s going to happen next.  Kang keeps fighting the transformation, and somehow rips himself out of the situation, restoring himself and causing the Keepers pain.  They call a bunch of their evil Avengers to protect them, while our squad comes towards them.  Their cannon is ready to fire, but just as it is triggered, Rick jumps in front of it, using the Destiny Force to stop it from ripping apart time.  The backlash blows up the cannon, but Rick lies on the ground close to death.  Kang confronts the Keepers, explaining to them that they were never the gods they thought they were.  He unloads his weapons into them, and goes to retrieve the Forever Crystal.  Cap is holding it though, and it gives him glimpses into a number of historical wrongs he could correct (saving Rick, saving Bucky, stopping Hitler, and stopping the Secret Empire).  He realizes that the crystal is too powerful, and using his enhanced strength, he crushes it.  This causes all of the other Avengers to disappear back to their own times and worlds.  Kang is furious, and is interrupted by a child who grows to adulthood in front of them.  Somehow, Immortus broke away from Kang, and now they are separate beings, instead of the same being from different times (kind of like how the original Human Torch is also the Vision).  Immortus explains that the crystal will reform at some time and place.  Libra helps explain what all is happening.  Immortus leaves, and then so does Kang.  The Avengers focus their attention on Rick, who is barely clinging to life.  Genis appeals to the Supreme Intelligence to do something, and then says goodbye to Songbird.  He steps into Rick, and disappears.  Rick wakes up.  Cap talks about how the Avengers need to make sure humanity doesn’t become the threat the Time-Keepers feared it would be, and debates the Intelligence on that.  Libra feels that “balance” is restored, and prepares to send everyone home.  Yellowjacket is worried that he won’t retain his memory of this, and Libra explains that they will have the memories they need.  Songbird returns to Avengers Mansion where Wasp and Jack of Hearts meet her; she tells them she was at the Destiny War, but is already beginning to forget it (here’s a thought – if they all forget it, how does Melissa know about it in the first place?).  Yellowjacket returns to his wedding.  Clint is in a bar in Belgrade with Hercules, and calls a friend to help them get home.  Cap returns to the Oval Office, and the corpse of the Secret Empire operative who it was always suggested was Richard Nixon.  Rick returns to the then-present day with Jan and Hank, and is surprised to find himself wearing the nega-bands.  When he hits them together, he is replaced by Genis, wearing his 90s costume.  He’s confused, and with a sudden flash, he finds himself in the much better costume we’ve seen him wear in this series.  He and Rick figure out that they are bonded now, and Genis flies off, furious.  On the moon, the Supreme Intelligence speaks with Libra, and after he leaves, we see he has the Forever Crystal.

This series isn’t really how I remembered it, but with the possible exception of the two deep-dives into Immortus’s and Kang’s histories, I really enjoyed it.  Busiek’s Avengers run was a high water mark at Marvel as the 90s became the 00s, and this side story is a gem.  

What really made this work was the way he took Avengers from different eras, including two Hank Pyms, so that the characters aren’t fully familiar or comfortable with one another or their situation.  Adding Songbird to the team was a cool idea, given that Busiek was writing her in Thunderbolts at the time, allowing him to signal that he had big plans for her future.

The use of Captain Marvel is also pretty unique.  I’d forgotten that Genis’s much cooler look debuted in this series, and had also forgotten that this helped launch his monthly series.  I really need to read that book – I think I only own a couple of issues (the Micronauts guest starred).  I have no idea why I wasn’t reading it at the time, because it always looked cool.  Partly, I think it’s because I’ve always been a little annoyed by Rick Jones.

Busiek found time and space in this book to do a few things.  He helped build up older versions of characters like Captain America and Hawkeye, and continued the multi-decade mission (I suspect that Roger Stern is the reason for this) of making the Wasp a believable and formidable leader.  

I’d forgotten that Roger Stern was brought in as a co-plotter starting with the third issue, but after he came aboard, the focus on past continuity continued to grow, and that is something that Stern has always been excellent at.  When I think about classic Avengers runs, I think that Stern and Busiek are at the top of the list.  Stern’s run ruled through the 1980s, and Busiek was the bridge between the 90s and 00s, before Brian Michael Bendis took over the franchise for what feels like more than a decade.  

The dives into Immortus and Kang were a little dull, but probably necessary, especially if you consider that one point of this book was to clean up aspects of the Avengers’ continuity that had become too complicated or confusing.  I like how we got what is basically a unified theory of Kang, and that the confusing aspects of the Vision’s history were clarified (even though he had next to nothing to do with this book).  

One thing I thought interesting was how many characters previewed to become Avengers, like Jack of Hearts and Spider-Woman, later on ended up joining the team, at least briefly, in runs by writers other than Kurt Busiek.

My biggest takeaway from this miniseries, though, is that the team of Carlos Pacheco and Jesús Merino are criminally underrated.  This series doesn’t have a single bad page in it.  Pacheco’s pencils are so clean, and his figures lean and heroic.  Pacheco and Merino are as good at characters’ faces during long conversations as they are at drawing incredible two-page spreads of battle scenes that feature dozens of characters.  Pacheco’s style was such a welcome antidote to the scratchy, over-dramatized art of the previous years, and I just thought that things in this book looked so good.  Pacheco’s design (I assume) for Captain Marvel is such a great updating of the original Mar-Vell’s look.

I love how coordinated the team looked in this book.  There are so many yellows, blues, and reds on all of these characters, and no one who really clashed.  I think that’s why Clint is in this weird carnival outfit the whole time, instead of in his classic purple suit.  

I also want to take a minute to discuss how much I love Kang’s look.  I think he’s one of the coolest looking villains in comics, with his gigantic boots and often flowing top, yet he comes off as hyper-masciline.  In the big gun era of comics, few could pull off weird future weaponry like Pacheco on Kang.  

I’m really glad that I dug this series out.  It got a little too deep into the continuity porn in the middle, but had a solid beginning and ending, and provided the type of Avengers story I really miss.  

Next time around, I’m going to look at another oddball series that spun-off a massively popular team book, featuring a character whose costume I’ve loved since I first saw it.

If you’d like to see the archives of all of my retro review columns, click here.

Tags: Avengers Forever, Marvel, Retro Reviews

The Weekly Round-Up #615 With Rorschach #12, Ninjak #3, Jupiter’s Legacy: Requiem #4, Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters – Boushh #1 & More!

The Weekly Round-Up #615 With Rorschach #12, Ninjak #3, Jupiter’s Legacy: Requiem #4, Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters – Boushh #1 & More!

James Fulton | September 20, 2021 | Columns, Top Story | No Comments

Best Comic of the Week:

Rorschach #12 – I enjoy these series where Tom King takes an under-utilized character and explores their psyche for a year or so.  Vision and Mister Miracle were modern classics.  Strange Adventures has been great.  Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is off to a good start.  Rorschach has been different from those books from the beginning.  First off, the actual Rorschach never once appears in this comic, which is instead interested in exploring, in an oblique way, how he continues to impact the world of the Watchmen, through the paranoia and distrust that manifests itself in different parts of society.  Our investigator goes to the Presidential candidate whose attempted assassination he’s been looking into, ostensibly to report all that he’s found.  Things turn out a little differently than expected, and in a key moment, King and artist Jorge Fornés turn the camera away.  This book has relied a lot on the structural formalism King always brings to the table, but I’ve found it to be effective here in a way I haven’t seen before.  This is a very solid closing issue, even if it leaves us with more questions than answers.  I’m looking forward to the Human Target book King has launching soon.

Quick Takes:

Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 – I’m guessing that Esad Ribic needs a little time to catch up to things on the regular Eternals series, so Kieron Gillen has a couple of one-off stories coming out to help fill in some gaps.  In this one, he teams up with the always amazing Dustin Weaver to provide the backstory needed to explain why Thanos is the only Eternal to have been born of other Eternals.  I’ve never been a big follower of the Eternals, and realized that I’ve never given any thought to that issue before.  It’s a fine issue, with a lot of exposition.  It’s nice to see Weaver’s art, always.

Iron Man #12 – Tony has to deal with the automatic defences on Taa II, while also preparing for Krovac’s arrival.  I’m liking this run, and the idea that Tony is on morphine throughout the issue, but Angel Unzueta’s art is pretty muddy on many pages, making it a little hard to follow.  I think it’s coloured a little too darkly.

Jupiter’s Legacy: Requiem #4 – There’s a lot of muddy, dark colours in this week’s comics.  This book is a little hard to read too, because figures blur into the backgrounds in places.  I’m enjoying this series, but can’t help thinking that maybe Mark Millar is reaching the end of things to say about these characters, which is why he’s pulling in all sorts of new aliens.  I find that I’m mostly just interested in the pages featuring Hutch.

The Last Annihilation: Wakanda #1 – Bridging the end of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther and the next relaunch, which is happening soon, comes this issue, which has M’Baku (the intergalactic one), Shuri, Manifest, and Vibraxas getting involved in the fight against Dormammu in Shi’ar space.  It’s a good issue, with writer Evan narcisse doing his best to incorporate the new Wakanda with the larger Marvel universe.

Marauders #24 – A former associate of Emma’s comes looking for her on Arakko, hoping to reclaim the ship that Emma stole from him.  It’s nice to see Phil Noto moving over to this book after his Cable run; I really enjoy his art, and am happy to get regular doses of it.  This issue is a bit odd, and once again focuses on the accoutrements of the Marauders and how they got them, instead of working to build character.  It’s a crutch that Gerry Duggan relies on too often.

Ninjak #3 – I’m not sure why, if you’ve got an artist like Javier Pulido drawing a book, you’d use more traditional cover artists.  This book doesn’t really stand out on the stands, but inside, it looks amazing.  Valiant seems to have moved to an even thinner interior paper than what other companies are using, making this issue feel uncomfortably delicate.  I’m enjoying Pulido and Jeff Parker’s work on this book, but something about this issue felt off.

Primordial #1 – Fans of Department of Truth or The Manhattan Projects will be interested in this book, which tells an alternate history examining the cancelled American and Soviet space programs of the late 50s, after something strange happened after each country’s first test flight using animal subjects.  An engineer is hired to help dismantle the remains of Cape Canaveral in 1961, but stumbles on some secrets.  It’s cool to see Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino working together again (I never read their Joker comic, but liked Gideon Falls), and this looks like a promising start to this series.  I’m intrigued and drawn into the story already.

Scumbag #10 – The earlier issues of this book were more amusing.  I feel like Rick Remender is floundering a little with this, as he tries to poke fun at superhero team fights, and has moved away from the silly social commentary that made the first arc of this book so delightful.  I enjoy this comic still, but I think it’s lost its focus.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #16 – Vader’s attempts to chase down Luke Skywalker outside the Crimson Dawn party goes wrong when various factions make moves against him.  The War of the Bounty Hunters is starting to sprawl a little too much, but it’s still working for now.  I love Rafaelle Ienco’s artwork.

Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Boushh #1 – As a kid, during the first Star Wars trilogy, it was the bounty hunters that intrigued me the most.  Boba Fett was easily the coolest thing I’d ever seen, but I was also drawn to Boushh, and was shocked when they turned out to be Princess Leia.  I don’t know if Boushh, and the other Ubese exiles he’s with, have appeared in other Star Wars properties over the years or not (it’s strictly comics and movies for me), but when I saw he was getting his own one-off, I was intrigued.  Boushh and his crew are hired to go after Domina Tagge, a character from writer Alyssa Wong’s Doctor Aphra book.  I like that this book ties into Aphra’s series, as I’m hoping we’ll see more of Boushh there.  I also like that we don’t see him (them?) with his helmet off, preserving some future mystery.  This book has me wanting to know a lot more about Uba IV, and the society there.

Superman And The Authority #3 – I’m still not too clear on the purpose of this book, especially as, three quarters of the way into it, we are still just assembling the team.  I thought this was going to be tied in with the mainstream DCU continuity, but it’s not, or not entirely, and so I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about purpose while reading it.  It also doesn’t read or feel like a Grant Morrison book, which is disappointing.  It’s cool to see some of these characters (I love the Enchantress), but I’m left feeling cold.  This is the first miss in the DC books I’ve been reading since Infinite Frontiers.

The Swamp Thing #7 – I started reading this book because it was tying in to the Suicide Squad, but I’m starting to find it more interesting than that book.  Ram V has found a new angle on this character, making him a guilt-ridden son who has caused strife in his homeland by helping it open up to resource extraction from a corporation.  Mike Perkins’s art is fantastic in this book, and I like the way the Squad’s b-list is drawn a lot.

X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2 – This issue has a couple of surprising moments in it, as the Avengers come to Krakoa to retrieve Wanda’s body, making them the island nation’s first official visitors.  Many characters are acting strangely – it’s hard at this point to read Magneto’s actions, but also Xavier is being a little strange too.  Leah Williams is building on her excellent X-Factor run, and keeping a lot of balls in the air here.  I find it impossible to predict where any of this is headed, but I am enjoying the ride.  The last page left me confused, and excited for the next issue.  I’m sure Vision feels the same way…

Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:

Fantastic Four Life Story #4

Kang the Conqueror #2

Tags: The Weekly Round-Up

Pull List Roundtable 9/15/2021 – Joker, Batmen, Ninjak & More!

Pull List Roundtable 9/15/2021 – Joker, Batmen, Ninjak & More!

John Babos | September 20, 2021 | Columns | No Comments

For a full list of these releases, head to ComicList: The New Comic Book.

John Babos

7 books this week.

Batman Urban Legends #7
I Am Batman #1
Joker #7
Justice League #67
Ninjak #3
Superman and the Authority #3
Titans United #1

What did you pick up?

Tags: Pull List Roundtable

Aaron Gillespie – Where The Streets Have No Name Lyrics

Where the Streets Have No Name

Aaron Gillespie

I wanna run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

I wanna feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust-cloud
Disappear without a trace
I wanna take shelter
From the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name

We’re still building and burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It’s all I can do

The city’s a flood, and our love turns to rust
We’re beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust
I’ll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name

One Eskimo – Amazing Lyrics

I feel sweet
Do you feel sweet?
It’s amazing
I have no skin
And I feel everything
It’s amazing
I feel good
When you feel good
I knew I would
And it’s amazing
I’ve wanted this for so long
Now the deed has been done
We shall rise with the sun
And spend our time as one

Now there is no sin
In anything
And it’s amazing
I love life
I hope you do too
‘Cause I love everything
It’s all amazing
I feel you
Do you feel you?
I understand
When they say we’re born again
“Cause I feel born again
I’m born again
And it’s amazing
And it’s the best thing
And it’s glorious
It’s life changing

This feeling
Is amazing
It’s the best thing
It’s glorious
It’s life changing

This feeling

This feeling
Oh lord this feeling
It’s amazing
It’s in the stars
In the sun
It’s everywhere
In everyone
And it will be every day
From now on
From now on
We are one
And it’s amazing
It’s in the stars
In the sun
It’s everywhere
In everyone
And it will be every day
From now on
From now on
We are one
And it’s amazing
It’s in the stars
In the sun
It’s everywhere
In everyone
And it will be every day
From now on
From now on
We are one
And it’s amazing

Rivermaya – Ulan Lyrics

Now here’s something from Rivermaya…

Hiwaga ng panahon
akbay ng ambon
Sa pyesta ng dahon
ako’y sumilong

Daan-daang larawan ang
nagdaraan sa aking paningin
Daan-daang nakaraan
ibinabalik ng simoy ng hangin

Tatawa na lamang o bakit hindi
ang aking damdamin pinaglalaruan ng baliw at ng
at sinong di mapapasayaw ng
at sinong di mababaliw sa

Hinulog ng langit
ang siyang ng ampon
Libo-libong alaala
dala ng ambon

Daan-daang larawan
ang nagdaraan sa aking paningin
Daan-daang nakaraan

ibinabalik ng simoy ng hangin

Tatawa na lamang o bakit hindi
ang aking damdamin pinaglalaruan ng baliw at ng
at sinong di mapapasayaw ng
at sinong di mababaliw sa

Tatawa na lamang o bakit hindi
ang aking damdamin pinaglalaruan ng baliw at ng
at sinong di mapapasayaw ng
at sinong di mababaliw sa

at sinong di aawit kapag
at sinong di mababaliw (Ako!)
at sinong di mapapasayaw
at sinong di mababaliw sa
Sa Ulan

Hurt – Forever Lyrics

Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no safe place for me, too tired
Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no safe place for me


Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no safe place for me, too tired
Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no safe place for me…

It always hurts when it’s someone you love
Wont you rise above
Wont you rise above
Theres a price in love

Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no place left for me,i’m too tired (i’m so tired)
Theres no safe place for me to hide
Theres no place left for me
I’m tired

So tell me a story about your life
I don’t mind, I don’t mind
Wont you tell me?- that will be just fine.
I don’t mind, ilde mind.
Singin’ songs about the ‘ald lang zine’
I don’t mind, I don’t mind
Just take me back to another time
I don’t mind, ilde mind

(Wont you lend me your sins against you
For every thing I understand
One thousand more won’t comprehend ((FOREVER))
It always hurts when its someone you love
Wont you rise, rise above)


(It always hurts when it’s someone you love
Wont you rise, rise above)

It always hurts when its someone you love
Wont you rise above
Wont you rise above
Theres a price in blood

I see the car that your mom keeps sending, when I breathe it feels just like my life is ending. Think
of the one that I most respected and all the words that I’m now regretting.
Id hold them now, but i’m bruised and beaten and I’m alone and I’ve barely eaten.
And it seems just like the way it goes that down the road we may have known about the love in both of us
we push and shove, betray the trust, don’t let this make a fool of us i’m tired hungry broke and just
wish I could come back home

(Calling you out I called your bluff
But “that just wasn’t good enough”
You split my face and spilled my blood
Then tears ran down the face I loved)

(It always hurts when its someone you love
Wont you rise, rise above?)

(It always hurts when its someone you love
Wont you rise, rise above?)

It always hurts when its someone you love 3x

Lynsey De Paul – My Man And Me Lyrics

My man and me
we’re close as anyone could ever be
for two
ooh and when I see his face
the worries of the day just disappear
don’t ask me why…

My man and me
we never seem to quarrel ’bout a thing
it’s true
ooh for anything he says
I know is good enough for me
don’t ask me why…

But I won’t let him down
and I want it just that way forever and ever
one and one together
that’s my man and me
my man and me

doo doo doo, doo doo

My man and me
we’re close as anyone could ever be
for two
ooh and when I see his face
the worries of the day just disappear
don’t ask me why…

But I won’t let him go
and it’s gonna be that way for ever and ever
one and one together
that’s my man and me
my man and me

that’s my man and me
my man and me
my man and me

my man and me
my man and me
my man and me
my man and me

Polly Cutter – I’m Satisfied Lyrics

Oo, I’m satisfied with your loving
When you hold me tight, I’m in Heaven
Ooo, I’m satisfied
When you’re loving me, ooo

Temptation was too strong
And when you’re in a game of love
I must control
I know you know that I give in so easily
‘Cause your love is killing me
I lose control

Oh, oh

Ooh, I’m satisfied with your loving
When you hold me tight, I’m in Heaven
Ooh, I’m satisfied
When you’re loving me

And when I’m really alone
And I call you on the phone
You come home
Tell me, yes, you do, in words and you

Whisper in my ear
And I know you’ll soon be here
‘Cause, baby, you come home, home

Ooh, I’m satisfied with your loving
When you hold me tight, I’m in Heaven
Hoo, I’m satisfied when you’re loving me

Oh, yes, I am

Oooo, I’m satisfied with your loving
When you hold me tight, I’m in Heaven
Hoo, I’m satisfied
When you’re loving me
Oh, yes, I am and you know it

Ooo, yeah, ooh, I’m satisfied with your loving
When you hold me tight, I’m in Heaven
Oo, I’m satisfied, yeah, when you’re loving me


Usain Bolt Pens Lengthy Message To Reggae/Dancehall Artists To Unite: “Say-less, Do More”

Usain Bolt calls for more unity in the reggae/dancehall music space amid success of his debut album with NJ, Country Yutes.

The fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt might be new to the dancehall arena as a producer, but he is already calling for unity in the genre. In a lengthy Instagram post, Bolt made his feelings known and explained why he felt that there is a lot more work to be done to bring all the major players in dancehall together.

The “Need Your Love” singer started by saying a big problem within the industry is that after all the hype surrounding an artist fades, the common narrative is that nothing good is happening in the genre.

“If everyone keeps pushing that narrative about the music then what we expect the world to say,” he added. This negativity must be stamped out because there is a lot of positive things happening within the genre, even though he did admit that much more can be done to bring some sort of structure to dancehall.

For it to go forward, the positives must be highlighted, Usain Bolt added.

“However it’s full time we highlight more of the positives & the progress of music as the artists/producers continues to push the envelope of the genre,” he said.

Some steps in the right direction must have been taken since so many artists around the world are now infusing dancehall into their music, he continued. Usain Bolt thinks that dancehall and reggae have never been sampled so much as is being done now. His advice is to “capitalize & secure your bag to, not bash it.”

Additionally, many artists from Jamaica are flying the flag internationally just like the athletes of the island, which is another positive thing that should be focused on. “Jamaican Athletes & Artists are the two greatest promoters of brand Jamaica. Let nobody tell you anything different,” he said.

Bolt, who recently released his debut album, Country Yutes, added that he does understand the nostalgia for dancehall from back in the day, but it is time to ensure that the new generation develops an appreciation for the genre by appreciating the artists currently in the market.

He also said that it was amazing what dancehall has been able to achieve even though it forms such a small part of the overall music industry. “The research says the genre of dancehall music is only 6% of the market. Yes ppl only 6%. But still Look at the impact the music is having on the world,” he said.

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A post shared by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt)

Usain Bolt also had suggestions of how to advance dancehall. For one thing, he suggested that instead of a few artists focusing on just doing well on the local level, like by selling out clubs, maybe about ten acts could come together and start touring together. He suggested that a tour like this could try to reach a broader market by using international arenas like O2, MSG, and the Staples Center.

“What’s better 100% of 10$ or 10% of 1 million? (FYI- Nothing is wrong with healthy competition & being the baddest artist/ lyricist/ Dancer etc It’s this competitive juice that brings out the best in all facet of life,” he added.

Usain Bolt’s resounding message was that there is power in unity, and he urged artists, producers, and fans alike to stop talking and get more practice about advancing the genre.

“PS (Unnu don’t have to listen to me. Just know I’m out here in this world & seeing how people respond happily when they hear our music. Them love it and want more me a tell Unnu,” he added.

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Leon Bailey Dedicates First Aston Villa Goal To Late Friend Steffie Gregg

Leon Bailey netted his first goal for Aston Villa and dedicated the stunner to his late friend Steffie Gregg.

Since joining Aston Villa from Bayer Leverkusen for roughly £30 million, all eyes have been on the Jamaican professional footballer. On Saturday, September 18, he netted his first goal for the English Premier League club and would’ve had a second if it wasn’t ruled an own goal against Everton.

While sharing an image on his IG page, Bailey wrote, “That One Was For You! Still Think About You Everyday. Love You Forever Sis.”

Like Raheem Sterling, Leon Bailey and late Jamaican socialite Steffie Gregg were close friends for years. After netted a stainer with his left foot in the 74th minute, Baily took off his jersey to reveal his undershirt with the words, “Forever Love Steffie Gregg.”

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling had a similar message on his undershirt during a game earlier this month when he too scored a stunner to help England win their World Cup qualifier match against Hungary 4-0.

Steffie Gregg passed away earlier this month following a battle with Covid. She reportedly had Lupus which caused complications with the deadly virus. Among the many celebrities who paid tribute to her includes her uncle Rvssian who shared his heartbreak on Instagram after her passing.

Not only was she well-known in the Jamaica entertainment scene, but Steffie was also an avid gamer who had a huge following on Twitch. Her father is a former race car driver and businessman Gary Gregg and her brother, Kyle “Speedy” Gregg, is a current race car driver.

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A post shared by Leon Bailey ??? (@leonbailey)

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A post shared by Raheem Sterling x ? (@sterling7)

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Busy Signal Drops Fun New Song “Wah Gwaan Mad Head”: Listen

Busy Signal got new music out.

The “Watch Out fi Dis” hit-maker is coming back strong with a new hit collaboration with producer Crawbagenius and Dj Tropical on the single. According to Busy Signal, whose real name is Reanno Gordon, the hit single brings its own unique style to the dancehall club rhythm, which captures its own avenue. The song is creatively centered around maintaining a positive and uplifting spirit despite what is happening in today’s society as people go through heavy days trying to stay afloat.

Busy Signal is known for his consistent ingenuity in the music industry and for producing songs that his fans can relate to. He hails among the great for always being able to bring forth distinct and out of the box topics to the dancehall genre, and “Wa Gwan Mad Head” is set to be another lyrical discourse to add a notch on his belt.

Producer Crawbagenuis, whose real name is Jermaine Henry, notes that the song is “lyrically expressed social commentary which at the same time is also a party tune, can relieve likkle stress and serious things you can laught about it.”

He added that the song is constructed with a modern sound but still sticking to the authentic dancehall elements like the drums and other instruments.

Meanwhile, Henry says he has high expectations for the song as Busy Signal is one of those artists that he likes to work with because of his creative genius.

“It’s fun working with him, pure energy, he’s a creative genius and brings out a different energy when it comes to music… he’s a workaholic and I’m expecting the song to be a hit because he [Busy Signal] is a perfectionist the way he listens to his songs over and over ensuring that he puts out something he is finally satisfied with… he’s a very simple and uncomplicated person to work with,” Henry said.

The single is set to be released on September 17, 2021, on all Digital Streaming Platforms and is produced by Crawba Production and Channel17 and distributed by ONErpm. An official visualizer will also be on Busy Signal’s VEVO channel.

Busy Signal also dropped another new song, “Too Trickify.”

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Rihanna Show Fans Love Gave Away Cash While On Date With A$AP Rocky In Harlem

Rihanna and her boyfriend, A$AP Rocky, were spotted on a late-night date on Friday (September 17) at about 3 AM. The couple was bombarded by fans on their way inside El Puerto Seafood and Fish Market in Harlem, and Rihanna is being hailed “a real one” for showing her fans love despite trying to get something to eat.

The Fenty Beauty billionaire showed her fans some love, signing autographs, hugging, and even giving one man a $20 bill before entering the eatery with a chilled A$AP Rocky by her side.

The couple seemed quite happy wearing not only huge smiles but matching leather pants. Rihanna, a fashion mogul, was rocking a white tank top underneath a black leather jacket with a fuzzy black bucket hat topping her braids.

Accessorizing the cool look was a pair of black sunglasses, a long gold medallion, and a pearl necklace. Meanwhile, her 32-year-old rapper boyfriend complimented her with a black hooded sweatshirt with reflectors on the elbows. While the dinner inside remains a private affair, the couple seemed to have enjoyed their time together, exiting the restaurant in a good mood.

Rihanna @badgalriri IG

On their way to their black SUV, the couple posed for pictures with excited fans. Videos of the encounter emerged on social media on Saturday and social media users did not hold back on commending the artistes for showing love to fans.

“They give people LIFE when they show love like that,” one person said, while another applauded, “I like stuff like this they don’t let the fame get to them and actually appreciate the fans unlike most artists and famous people.”

Dating rumors surrounding Rihanna and A$AP Rocky started back in January 2020, shortly after Rihanna and her former boyfriend Hassan Jameel broke up.

While the two artistes were friends for some time and even appeared on the red carpet at the British Fashion Awards together as just that, their relationship was confirmed in November, when they had a public date night with friends at West Village spot Beatrice Inn.

Since then, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky have been spotted on numerous dates and outings, and during the holidays last year, A$AP joined the “Umbrella” singer in her native home in Barbados.

Earlier this year, A$AP told GQ that he believes Rihanna is “the love of my life” and declared her as “the one.”

And just this week, the couple made their debut appearance on the red carpet of the 2021 Met Gala.

Asap rocky and Rihanna in harlem last night September 17 #rihanna #asaprocky #badgalriri #asapmob #rihannanavy #robynfenty #RakimMayers #247papstv #247papsofficial #Harlem pic.twitter.com/E0FyKZ1cp7

— Asaprih (@asaprihdaily) September 17, 2021

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Beenie Man Wants Embattled Former Minister Floyd Green Charged For DRMA Breach

Beenie Man questioned why embattled former Minister Floyd Green has not been charged with breaches of the Disaster Risk Manager Act, DRMA.

King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man, does not appear pleased at the punishment meted out to Agriculture Minister Floyd Green, who resigned from his post on Wednesday and assumed a backbench position in Parliament.

The Minister and his friends, including a number of high-ranking JLP members, were seen in a viral video toasting to No Movement day as Jamaicans stayed indoors and abided by the restrictions imposed by the Prime Minister in an effort to curb the spike of coronavirus infections on the island.

The video caused outrage among the Jamaican population, particularly Beenie Man, who doesn’t seem satisfied that the Minister was sufficiently punished. Drawing reference to the idea that two Jamaicas exist as the laws and rules tend to favor the richer, more affluent uptown people, Beenie Man asked if the Minister and his friends would be charged as well.

The dancehall legend also noted that police charged him for only making an announcement promoting a party.

“I was charged and fined for an announcement! What is the consequence of actually planning and attending??? Will they be arrested?? Charged?? Or fined??? #Jamaica,” Beenie Man tweeted a day after news broke that the Minister was stepping down from the Cabinet.

I was charged and fined for an announcement!

What is the consequence of actually planning and attending???

Will they be arrested?? Charged?? Or fined??? #Jamaica

— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) September 16, 2021

Beenie Man also clarified his comments as he pointed out the double standards of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

“This is not just about the party or no one individual. This is about the DOUBLE STANDARD, THE MOCKERY TO EVERYONEAND THE DISRESPECT TO WE THE PEOPLE. I watched the video and felt shame. How did you feel watching the video,” the deejay asked in a comment response to his earlier tweet.

On Wednesday (September 15), Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the withdrawal of the Minister, noted that the video has been referred to the JCF to determine whether charges would be laid.

Meanwhile, in a cruel twist to the many persons who paid the price for breaching the DRMA measures and now have a spot on their police record, supporters of Green on Thursday launched an online petition to reinstate the Agriculture Minister as they cited his impeccable work as Minister.

It’s unclear whether the Minister will be reinstated, and there is no word on whether he will be charged and placed before the court like ordinary persons.

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Lil Baby Gets Refund And Four Rings For Fake $400K Patek Philippe Watch

Lil Baby got back his $400K after learning that the Patek Philippe watch he was flaunting on Instagram was a fake.

While the Atlanta rapper was rightfully angry at the loss, he’s already come up with a way to ensure that it never happens again. His suggestion, which he posted on his stories, is simple, he should be added to the official Patek Philippe list.

Lil Baby, known for his aggressive lyrics, added that aftermarket jewelers like Rafaello And Co, who sold him the fake timepiece, are threatening to make him do something he would later regret. Maybe his colleague, Drake, who is on that list, can help him out even though Drizzy is busy these days dominating the airwaves with his massively successful new album, Certified Lover Boy.

Lil Baby shared on IG last night that he got a full refund and four giant diamond-studded rings as compensation from the jeweler for his troubles.

“Now @rafaelloandco y’all Kno better then to sell ME of all people a FAKE Or anything that could be called a FAKE ! I stand on my name the same way y’all should ! Ain’t no such thing as a mistake when that money involved! Don’t Fuccin Play Wit me Cause when I’m on that I’m on that,” Baby wrote.

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A post shared by The kiDD (@lilbaby)

Rafaello And Co has since posted a statement saying, “We do stand on our name just like he does that’s why today he got those four rings for free and his money back because we didn’t do our homework on the watch and we take Full responsibility for that. But it didn’t happen intentionally and he knows that for a fact.”

The irony is that it was just a few days ago that Lil Durk warned people of scam-happy jewelers. According to Durk, these unscrupulous jewelers have been passing off fake products to their unsuspecting clients. “Stop buying all this jewelry without knowing what you doing,” he wrote on his Instagram Story. He added: “Alot of the sh*t fake and some is over priced get 1 jeweler and stick to em I’m telling you y’all ass gone be pissed when the truth come out.”

It was not too long after that warning that Lil Baby was caught showing off his supposed limited-edition Patek Philippe watch, telling his fans that it’s “not regular.”

Some sharp fans and other pages dedicated to busting fake watches revealed that the watch was indeed a fake. Some pages even had side-by-side comparison images showing the differences between Lil Baby’s fake watch and the authentic Patek model.

One of the specialists pointed out that the font of the date is different on Baby’s watch and that the hands were the wrong shape and size. Added to that, they pointed out that the bezel was too thick and that the case had the wrong proportions. Lil Baby might be down $400, 000 but he’s learned a valuable lesson that he will not soon forget.

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Bounty Killer Marks 25th Anniversary Of His Classic Album ‘My Xperience’

Bounty Killer is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his massively successful album My Xperience.

The dancehall legend shared his appreciation for the project he put out at that time and to say that he’s not going to let anything hold him back from making more great hits. “Quarter Century Ago Today Such An Experience It Was Is And Still,” Bounty Killer wrote on IG.

At the time of release in 1996, Bounty was already a mega-star in the dancehall genre, and the album was very well received. The album boasted hints of hip-hop, which helped its popularity to grow even more.

The album focused on the plight of the impoverished and disenfranchised on the island. In 1999, the book The Rough Guide: Reggae: 100 Essential CDs listed the album as one of the must-haves.

Alex Henderson of AllMusic gave the album a 4.5 stars rating. “Those who aren’t big dancehall fans may find the hip-hop-influenced CD hard to get into; those who are heavily into it will find a lot to admire on My Xperience, which contains major dancehall hits like “Living Dangerously” and “Virgin Island,” he said at the time.

Most notable of the hip-hop influences was the immensely popular Fugees, who appeared on the album in a track called “Hip-Hopera.” Check out the tracklist below, and be sure to let us know what your favorite song from the album was.

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Bounty Killer’s My Xperience tracklist and stream.

“Fed Up” (Dunbar/Dunbar/Price/Shakespeare/Williams)
“The Lord Is My Light and Salvation” (Price/Wellington/Williams)
“Hip-Hopera” (with The Fugees)
“Guns & Roses” (with Anthony Malvo and Red Rose)
“Mama [Scare Dem Version]” (Price/Yebuah)
“Change Like the Weather” (with Busta Rhymes and Junior Reid)
“War Beyond the Stars” (Browne/Price/Steely/Williams)
“Living Dangerously” (with Barrington Levy)
“War Face (Ask Fi War)” [Remix] (with Raekwon)
“Marathon (To Chicago)” (Price/Yebuah)
“Revolution, Pt. 3” (with Beenie Man and Dennis Brown)
“Gun Down” (Jazzwad/Price/Riley/Williams)
“Mi Nature” (Dunbar/Price/Shakespeare/Wiliams)
“Virgin Island” (Jazzwad/Price/Yebuah)
“Who Send Dem” (Jazzwad/Price/Tee Tee Mouse/Yebuah)
“Seek God [Remix]” (with Junior Reid)
“Maniac” (with Richie Stephens)
“Suicide or Murder” (with Jeru the Damaja)
“Benz & Bimma” (Dunbar/Price/Shakespeare/Williams)
“My Experience” (Jazzwad/Price/Yebuah)

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