Friday, September 19, 2014

Best Cover You've Never Seen--Men Are Unessential!!

OK, maybe not the best...but certainly eye-catching and wacky:

She's right, you know...

The cover to Sweethearts #119 (1971) is by Luis Avila

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Top Ten Better Ways That Marvel Could Have Done Away With Older Nick Fury!

OK, OK, I know that you're tired of my ranting about Original Sin and the transformation of Nick Fury into a genocidal douchebag who killed the Watcher for no particular reason and ended up chained to the moon's surface by unexplained parties/means in order to become "The Unseen," doomed to watch Earth forever in Uatu's place.

Yes, it really was that stupid.

As we've discussed previously, the probable motive for this bit of putrid stupidity was to remove older Nick Fury from the scene, so newer-looks-sorta-like-Samuel-L-Jackson Nick Fury can shine on his own (even though Marvel hasn't done a single interesting thing with the character since introducing him, and there seems to be no prospect for that changing in the near future).

Now, I'm no comic book writer--indeed, I'm specifically baneed from writing comics by various international treaties--but even if I agreed with the need to eliminate old Fury, I can come up with a whole lotta better solutions off the top of my head. Lots and lots.

Therefore, in my vary last comment about Original Sin [author's note: kvetching about Dum Dum Dugan is still allowed] allow me to present the following list:

From the home office in Kalamazoo, Michigan:

The Top 10 Ways Marvel Could Have "Gotten Rid" Of The Elder Nick Fury Without Making Him A Genocidal Bastard And Chaining Him To The Moon To Be The "New Watcher":

10. Give him a heroic death. Duh.

9. Nick Fury and The X-Men. Who better to replace Wolverine? Double duh.

8. Loan the character to Lionsgate for Expendables 4. C'mon, you know you'd pay to see it...

7. Instead of killing him, put him in a brand new book with his son--a buddy action/comedy, as old white Nick Fury tries to teach young black Nick Fury how to be a proper super spy in a bunch of rollicking adventures!

6. Have Fury transported to the past, to train George Washington's troop how to fight the British

5. Have Fury transported to the future to help the Guardians Of The Galaxy 3000 fight the Badoon.

4. Have Fury (and all the Howling Commandos) transported to Limbo in order to hold back Ragnarok (yeah, yeah, I know, it's been done)

3. Have Fury become Marvel's version of Astro City's The Old Solider. To quote Wikipedia: "A symbolic, legendary figure clad in martial attire of many eras who manifests in wartime, including 1863, 1898, 1918, 1944, 1959, when he assisted Honor Guard against Shirak, October 1972, when he intervened against U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, and 1975, at the fall of Saigon." Man, that would be too cool...

2. Have him wake up on The Prisoner's island of "retired" spies. ("I'm not a number, I'm Nick freakin' Fury!!") Seriously, this might be the best idea ever...

1. OK, this one is kind of crazy--how about trusting your readers to understand and handle the concept that you can have a father and son alive at the same time, who have the same name? It's not like Marvel is 21st century DC, who is afraid to death of legacy characters, is it? If we can handle Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel at the same time, than maybe--just maybe--we can wrap our tiny brains around Nick Fury and Nick Fury Jr? I'm just sayin'...

Bold Fashion Choices--Robin VI

Five years from now, believe it or not...

...they find a way to make Robin's costume even worse.

Sheesh.

From Batman And Robin: Future's End #1

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

With Green Arrow Around, Who Needs Aquaman?!?

Look, I've got some bad news for you Aquaman fans out there--the guy is completely unnecessary.

To wit: recurring Green Arrow villain The Wizard has escaped from prison. And he has a cunning plan how to avoid the Emerald Archer...

Yeah, like that's gonna stop Green Arrow for more than 30 seconds...

So how can Green Arrow fight crime underwater?

With his new weapons, Green Arrow can go completely Thunderball!!


But what about when our hero needs to control sea life? Huh? Huh??


Fact: Trick arrows are like aquatic telepathy, but cooler!!

But what about when The Wizard gets extra clever, like...

...a fake iceberg to hijack ships?!?!

Oliver has an answer for that...

Really?

Yes, really!!

"Green Arrow's rain of salt arrows!"just might be the phrase of the week...

The Wizard managed to escape, and he has one last ploy up his sleeve:

A fire-breathing sea-beast awakened by atomic testing?!? Holy crap, it's Godzilla!!

But Oliver's not licked yet...


Sure, I guess a flare arrow would "attract thousands of fish to the scene"? Maybe?

But wait--what the hell is that thing Ollie thought?!?!?

"All my telepathic power"?? Oliver Queen has telepathic power?!? Green Arrow can talk to fishes?!?!?!

Hells, yes:


Holy crap, Ollie can control sea life!!!

And as to the criminals...

Bloggers and criminals agree: "Aquaman himself couldn't have done better than Green Arrow did underwater!"

So, I believed this is CASE CLOSED. Aquaman is unnecessary and redundant!! Oliver Queen can talk to fishes, even without any of that half-Atlantean, King Of The Seas pretentious mumbo-jumbo!! He can stop underwater crime!! And Speedy makes a fine Aqualad!!!

Maybe Arthur can get a job at Seaworld or something...

From World's Finest #145 (1964)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 Covers That Explain The Current State Of DC Comics!

From DC's December solicits,here's the cover to Superman #37 (by John Romita, Jr., and Klaus Janson):

Uhhh...yay?

Anyway, here's an alternate, wrap-around cover to the same issue from Darwyn Cooke:

And the cover to Action Comics #37 (by Aaron Kuder):

Uh...wow. I guess bleak hellscapes are kind of the thing in December...

And again, there is a Cooke alternative:

I guess DC is trying to cover all bases, by making covers that appeal both to those who like oppressive, Man Of Steel-style dourness, as well as to those who like heroism (and actual colors) in their comic books.

Of course, those covers all surround the same interiors, so I guess it makes no difference which cover you buy...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Yogi Bear Goes To The United Nations!!!

This explains so much that is wrong with the world today:

You see, Yogi has found an old treaty (stuffed in a tree!!) between the U.S. government and a Native American tribe that ceded all the land of Jellystone to..."their sacred totem animals--the bears!!"

So, obviously, it's time for one of those break-away independence movements to get uppity:

Well, Ranger Smith is none too pleased, wishing to maintain rigid control over the local ethnic minority...but he accidentally inspires Yogi!



Oh, dear.

So Yogi (and Ranger Smith) take off for New York to argue their case before the United Nations!!

Meanwhile, bears get word of the new promised land, and begin to flood in Jellystone!

Well, Yogi loses his case in front of the General Assembly--it's turns out that the treaty Yogi found was one that had been superseded by a subsequent pact--and the Ranger once again begins to assert his white male dominance over the peaceful natives:

Ah, but Yogi has one more U.N.-related card up his sleeve:


So the U.N. Human Rights Commission sends a fact finding team, and...



And so...


And thus the one-world-government socialists have corrupted even Yogi Bear in their desire to disseminate their propaganda to children. And the world has been a hellhole ever since.

From Four Color # 1349 (1962)

Manic Monday Bonus--Smilin' Jack!

Admit it...

...you just want to punch this guy in the face, don't you?

[OK, OK, I should include some actual information here. Smilin' Jack was a newspaper comic strip, created by Zack Mosley, that ran for 40 years. The character had a radio show in 1939, a movie serial in 1943, and this comic book in 1944.

But you still want to smack that smug puss, don't you?]

From Four Color #36 (1944)

Manic Monday--What's In A Hero's Name?

They sure don't name heroes like they used to:

Quentin Durward?

This is actually from an 1823 novel by Sir Walter Scott, so I guess we can forgive him for not running the hero's name past a focus group. Still, Quentin Durward?

The plot involved a Scottish archer who had gone to serve in the French army under Louis XI, and his struggles to protect (and marry) noblewoman Isabelle de Croye during a tiff between Louis and some noblemen.

This particular comic is an adaptation of a 1955 MGM film adaptation of the book, as back in those days Hollywood could make films that weren't just reboots and sequels:

No one has heard of this movie, as it was a fairly big bomb, reportedly losing more than $1.2 million. Which has to be due, if you ask me, to calling it The Adventures of Quentin Durward. Because, really, is that a hero's name? Would you have gone to see Die Hard if had been titled Quentin Durward? I'm sure Guardians of the Galaxy would have bombed, too, had Star Lord been named Quentin Durward instead of Peter Quill.

There was also a 1971 French/German television series based on Scott's novel, starring Amadeus August as Durward.

Amadeus August?!?! Now there is a hero's name!!

From Four Color #672 (1956)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Best Way To Warm Up On A Cold Sunday Morning

You know why I love comic books? Because it's a cold Sunday morning, and, well...

...because sometimes you just need to see Winston Churchill riding a dinosaur and brandishing a sword while flipping everyone off.

You're welcome.

The Unauthorized Biography Of Winston Churchill: A Documentary #1 is available from Comixology.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This Scene Was NOT Approved By Milton Friedman

Superman has been forced by aliens to read every single book in the Library Of Congress (don't ask).

Things are going swimmingly, until...

Obviously, this was before Freakonomics...

From Superman #228 (1970)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Night Fights--Before They Were Illuminati Style!

No time for words today--just fighting!! Friday Night Fighting!!

Hank McCoy has just transformed into the furrier version of himself that we know and love. Meanwhile, Iron Man is snooping around the Brand Corporation because his psychic girlfriend had a bad feeling about McCoy's girlfriend (spoiler alert: she was right).

So, since it's Marvel in the 1970s, when these heroes meet, they must...FIGHT!!!


















Ouch.

Spacebooger wonders why it took so much longer for them to figure out grey was a dumb color for the Beast than it took them to figure out grey was a dumb color for the Hulk...

Man-machine vs. beast-man is from Amazing Adventures #12 (1972), as reprinted in Avengers #136 (1975), by Steve Englehart, Tom Sutton and Mike Ploog

Now is the time to go and vote for my fight.Why? I'm to busy to tell you--you decide! Now go vote!!