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I've been meaning to post a little more Common Grounds for a while... the series which revolves around a chain of coffee shops where heroes, villains and those in the grey areas in between can meet on neutral territory for a coffee, a danish, whatever, and as is so often the case, where there's no punching or blasting, the strangest and most fascinating stories can be heard.

it came to down this story, or the one with the observant Orthodox chap whose ability to destroy molecular bonds with his hands led to the papers dubbing him, rather crassly, as "The Acidic Jew"... but whilst that is a lovely story about the repsonsibility of superpowers, I opted for this one, an homage to times past....

Four pages from twelve )
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I've posted from Common Grounds before (check the tags), it's one of my favourite series. Like one of my other favourite series "Astro City", it's a series of slices of life in a world with superbeings, but looking at the bits BETWEEN the slugfests.

Each story has a different guest artist... in this case, George Perez which, as you might imagine, is another reason to get hold of a copy to read the whole thing .

The last time I posted, we were visited by the writer himself, which was fun.

This is another story, as a hero reflects on his...

Glory Days )
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I love a good superhero slugfest, they can be very... cathartic (If they also feature cute acrobats or the like, so much the better, but it's not absolutely required)

However, I love the offbeat too, the "slice of life" stories which look at how superpowers impact ones life, and look at why some people become heroes and some people become villains, and why some people don't actually do much with their powers. The likes of "Astro City" and "DP7" examine this sort of thing, but there are others too. This is the first of a series about one title which did it very well indeed, IMHO.

"Common Grounds" was a 6-issue mini series from Top Cow Productions in 2004, created by Troy Hickman, with two stories per issue, and a rotating cast of noted artist telling one story each.

The premise is simple. In this world there exists a chain of coffee shops; "Common Grounds", whose purpose is to create a neutral environment for super-powered beings. Anyone is welcome (though "normals" tend to be intimidated) but the one rule is "NO FIGHTING". There's no truce magic, or power neutralising effects or the like, just mutual agreement. And it holds too, because even supervillains like somewhere to get a nice kruller and a cup of really good coffee. And anyone dumb enough, or psycho enough, to try something there would discover that A) Their bouncers are superpowered too, and B) All the OTHER heroes and villains who liked it there would be after you like a shot. You think Darkseid is bad, just wait until you see Bucky deprived of his coffee and morning Danish pastry... An eternity in the Firepits of Apokalips would be a refreshing spring breeze by comparison. (It's never stated, but one might assume that the Police don't intervene on Common Grounds property because if they're having a coffee they're not robbing a bank, and if you did try to intervene then it would get very messy very quickly.)

These stories are mostly 9 pages long (a few longer, a few shorter), which makes trimming to 1/3 a beast of a job, so I would thoroughly recommend checking out the proper versions of these stories (It's available as a TPB for those who can't find the single issues) as they do deserve a proper reading.

From issue 1, the tale of Speeding Bullet, who lives

Beyond the Speed of Life )


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