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Tony's Online Tips
Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
for Monday, July 19, 2004

Adventure Comics 341

Behold Computo, the god of online comics fandom!

By the power vested in me as a lapsed Roman Catholic whose mom wanted him to be a priest - sorry about that, Mom - I have decided to embody all my frustrations with the Internet into the form of Computo the Conqueror, a.k.a. "the electronic enemy programmed to wipe out super-heroes!"

Computo was created to be a good thing, a help to Brainiac 5 and the other Legionnaires. However, his great power was corrupted into great evil. Just like the Internet.

My most recent frustrations began in the midst of me trying to write a dozen TOTs before webmaster Justin took off for San Diego and Comic-Con International. The idea was that he would program my columns to post on a daily schedule until his return.

Then I got an e-mail which seemed to be from a friend of mine. It came with an attachment. As I tried to scan the attachment, I accidentally opened it...setting a virus loose on my poor computer. Hilarity ensued.

Fortunately, my tech guy was home. He just lives a few blocks from me, so I drove the computer to him. He got right on the fix, returning the computer to me before midnight. His bill now ranks among the best seventy bucks I have ever spent. By Sunday morning, Norton had updated its virus definitions and was now blocking this new virus. I could get back to work.

Except...

One of the best and most informative websites I've been using in writing the "MY FIRST MARVELS" series is down. Sigh.

So, rather than present a less-than-superb installment of the well-received series, I'm going to move on to other subjects until all my online resources are available to me. The aim is to bring you a new TOT every single day, though, of necessity, you won't be getting any really long columns until after Justin returns from the West Coast. Fair enough?

Getting back to Computo...

ADVENTURE COMICS #341 [February, 1966] brought its readers the continuation/conclusion of a two-issue thriller by Edmond Hamilton (writer), Curt Swan (penciller), and Sheldon Moldoff (inker). Swan and Moldoff also teamed on the cover.

Computo took Legionnaires hostage and built an entire army of junior Computos. Colossal Boy pretended to go crazy as part of the plan to free the hostages. Captain Kirk turned Computo's own logic against him and the machine destroyed itself. The Legion was left to ponder the meaning of Computo's last word:

"Diebold."

Legion of Super-Heroes Okay, I might not be remembering this story exactly as it was originally published, but I can't find my copy of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ARCHIVES VOLUME 5, which reprints both issues of the Computo story and many other doubtless excellent Legion tales. It's just been that kind of weekend.

The GRAND COMICS DATABASE [www.comics.org] informs me that the second story in this issue of ADVENTURE was "Superboy's Moonlight Spell" by an unidentified writer and artist Al Plastino. The GCD synopsis reads: Superboy turns to evil under the influence of a gas he accidentally created.

Insert your own Taco Bell joke here.

Having beaten back the column deadline for another day, I can now get to work on the next batch of TONY POLLS questions. Check them out at:

www.worldfamouscomics.com/tony/poll

I would tell you what the questions concern, but I won't know that until I actually write them.

Please, Computo, spare me your wrath!

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 07/18/2004 | 07/19/2004 | 07/20/2004 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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THE "TONY" SCALE

Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

Tony
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TonyTony
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

TonyTonyTony
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

TonyTonyTonyTony
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.



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