Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Long Box #11: The Craptacular B-Sides

Words: Brian David-Marshall
Pictures: Brett Weldele
November 2002-January 2003

New Jersey is home to very few heroes. The Toxic Avenger comes to mind but that's about it.
This series seeks to correct a wrong by suggesting heroes can come from all over the place.
The B-Sides consists of Laura Broadbahr AKA Fateball who has a Magic Eight Ball that tells her the answer to any question she asks.
Stuart Welles AKA Mize (it's apparently short for 'demise' which helps in pronouncing it) and he has the ability to speed up the decay of any item and even can effect people. The problem is he doesn't always have control over his powers.
Jesse Metuchen AKA Jughandle who has the ability to leave the time stream which helps him see what others are doing even though they cannot see him.
They are all brought together to be the 'hottest new super team since the New Warriors' by Charley Huckle, he's basically a con man who thinks he can make it rich quick if he managed a super hero team in a city and state that doesn't have many.
Their costumes are bowling shirts and their first meeting is in a bowling alley.

They decide to be heroes for hire...I know that sounds familiar...and their first case leads them to a man who calls himself Doctor Dark, he can solidify light...or shadow...it really isn't that clear but shadow makes more sense, right? Anyway, they try to take this drunk out and he's to much for them to handle. Fortunately (for them) the Fantastic Four shows up to help but also Reed is concerned about Jughandle's powers, his concern is if he uses them to many times he could end up destroying the fabric of time/space. Of course, kids being kids, they don't like 'the man' telling them what to do but Sue offers Jughandle something to drink which we later find out is something meant to help control his powers and not to damage to the time/space fabric.

After all this the B-Sides get involved in a small part of the Kree/Skrull War...right in new Jersey? Yeah...
So, apparently a Kree living in NJ is mad that his daughter is 'in love' with a Skrull. He goes on a tear and ends up in a diner with two cats in the microwave. Don't worry though, the cats are fine, Skrull are known for taking odd shapes.
So, we end up with the B-Sides actually taking some charge and stopping this from getting out of hand...MORE out of hand and while the FF are figuring things out.

The art is very 90's era independent comics style. Not bad, it's energetic. The covers, though...done my the great Sam Keith, creator of The Maxx. I still remember the first time I saw his art, it was on the cover of the series Marvel Comics Presents when Ghost Rider and Cable were teaming up in that series. I HATED his art on first sight but warmed up to it rather quickly.

This was another series I hadn't read since I finally located the third issue, it took a few years to locate though, and it's an enjoyable series to read. I can defiantly recommend it!

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