Thursday, May 26, 2016

Now That DC Allegedly Cares About Legacy Again...

Apparently, there was some vague notion back in the day that DC's Secret Origins would run the origin stories of Golden Age heroes more or less sorta kinda in nearly the chronological order of their first appearances. Which, in turn, seemed to have created a groundswell of questions:

I wonder what the over/under is on the number of letters that Roy Thomas considered "so many of you." Ten?

Note the claim that, at this point (1988), DC only had the right to the Marvel Family from Fawcett? That's interesting, because in the 70s DC certainly used Ibis, Bulletman, et al; and they used those characters a lot in the 90s in Power Of Shazam and Starman, and on in to the 2000s. Did they lose the rights for a few years? Did DC never properly have the rights to Ibis et al when they were used in the 70s? Or was Roy mistaken/misinformed?

Anyway, here's the list of most of the Golden Age heroes DC controls, and the order in which they first appeared. Enjoy this astonishing feat of pre-internet research!

Thank you, Roy!

Now that DC allegedly cares about "legacy" again, let's just wait and see how long it is until any of these folks appear in a Rebirth era comic, shall we?

From Secret Origins #23 (1988)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tales From The Quarter Bin--Destined For Greatness!!

Just a reminder...

...that at one point, DC thought the Floronic Man was such a potential goldmine...

That they gave him his own logo and trademark!

Because, you see, they were going to use him so often, and do toys and clothing and maxi-series and...

Floronic Man. The next big thing--guaranteed!!

Secret Origins #23 is from 1988

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How The Other Half Lives!!

You know it's a day that ends in a "y" if Betty and Veronica are trashing each other's lifestyle.

Well, you know that means it's time for a sitcom style life-swap!

See? I told you!!

So, of course, Veronica learns how awful the "simple life" is:

Umm, frak you, Veronica?

OMG, how awful!!

Well, if we're to go by the number of panel dedicated to Betty's travails, we're supposed to think that the 1% have it much rougher than the rest of us:


OMG, no!!

How will you ever survive, Cooper?!?

Of course, the comic tries to get us to believe in the false equivalence...

Yeah, clearly the fantastically wealthy lead lives of such travail that we simple folks should pity them.

From Betty And Veronica #290 (1979)

Bold Fashion Choices--Disco Darling Fashions!!

Presented without comment:

From Betty And Veronica #290 (1979)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--That Parker Luck!!

As Spider-Man has put the wraps on yet another dust-up with the Green Goblin, how does Peter Parker celebrate?

(Yes, that's Mary Jane. For about 10 minutes back then, she wore her hair like that...)

Well. I think we all know how this night ended up, right?

So next time you hear our hero whining about the "old Parker luck," just remember the night that Peter Parker got to ride the tricycle (Probably. We think.).

From Spider-Man Spectacular #2 (1968), as reprinted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #9 (1973)

Manic Monday Bonus--The Forgotten Origin Of Wonder Woman's Secret Identity!

Everyone knows the "daughter of the Amazon Queen/hunky guy crash lands on their island/insane athletic competition to decide who gets to be an ambassador" portion of Wonder Woman's origin.

But nobody seems to remember how she adopted the Diana Prince secret identity--probably because that didn't happen until her second appearance, in Sensation Comics #1 (1942).

Steve Trevor is still in the hospital, recovering form his ordeal...

[Editor's note: Wonder Woman got that money by performing "bullets and bracelets" on the vaudeville stage while waiting for Steve to regain consciousness! No, really!]

So, yes, Wonder Woman paid a woman to take her place as a nurse so she could be closer to the man she had a huge crush on, and omigod that really, really stalkerish, isn't it?

MAJOR STORY IDEA: Meanwhile, somewhere in South America, the real Diana Prince is still around...until the day she decides to come home and reclaim her identity!! [Editor's note--this is why snell isn't allowed to write comics!]

Manic Monday--Special Preview Of The Black Panther Movie!!

Ladies and gentleman...presenting:

The Black Panther!!!

OK, OK, maybe it's not the Black Panther you were expecting...but come on, have an open mind!

PRO: No hard names like T'Challa and Wakanda for the audience (and actors!) to learn!

PRO: Sure, he's been white-washed...but damn, that costume is sexy!!

PRO: Edna Turnblad may have pronounced against capes...but she never said "no tails!" What could possibly go wrong?

PRO: He'll save the penal system a lot of money!

PRO: This was the one and only appearance of this Black Panther, and we don't know a single thing about him--not his true identity, not his power set, notthing. So he's a perfect blank slate for those who are always worried that continuity is destroying our comics/movies--because this guy has no continuity!!

The better, whiter Black Panther--think about it, won't you?

From Star And Stripes Comics #3 (1941)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Golden Age Idol--The All-Losers Squad!

In the crazy days before WWII, there was lots of money to be made by creating super-heroes to sell your comic books. Superman, Batman, Captain America, et al, many big money for their publishers (if not their creators).

So it was a game everyone wanted in on. But not everyone had a Simon & Kirby or Siegel & Shuster on staff. And not everyone had one of those ur-ideas to catch lightning in a bottle and define a new style of hero. So what was a poor, small publisher to do?

If you're small-time publisher Centaur, you just take all the heroes that have debuted elsewhere, put them on a patriotic cover, and see what sticks!

And this time, nothing at all stuck.

Amazing Man, Mighty Man, The Shark, Minimidget, Iron Skull, and adventurer Reef Kincaid had all appeared earlier in Centaur's Amazing Man Comics.

Amazing Man's title ran for 20-some issues. But none of these guys were particularly successful. So why not make our own ersatz Justice Society?!? Throw 'em all on the cover of the first issue of Stars And Stripes Comics (there was no issue started with issue #2!), put 'em in patriotic drag, and watch them catch fire and rack in the dimes!

No, they weren't an actual team--their stories were all still solo adventures--but Centaur was clearly trying to capitalize on the "throw all of your heroes on the cover to attract the kids" scheme that worked so well for All-Star Comics.

Not surprisingly, it didn't work. Within 2 issues, the heroes were off the cover, replaced by the young non-powered Nazi fighters Stars And Stripes:

Yes, I know, there are three of them, but they're known collectively as Stars And Stripes.

Yup, Centaur thought a trio of goober fraternity boys (Pepper, Van & Whitey? Really?) in sad jump suits were a better sales driver than super-heroes.

Stars And Stripes Comics folded two issues later. The loser heroes continued to make occasional appearances in Amazing Man Comics, but within a few month that title ended, too. The Stars And Stripes Boys didn't even get that final bow.

Given that even I had never heard of any of these guys, it's pretty safe to say that they completely faded into obscurity. So they're just laying out there in public domain limbo. Minimidget! The Shark! Iron Skull! Amazing Man! Mighty Man! The Shark!! Reef Kincaid!! Hell, you might as well take Pepper, Van & Whitey while you're at it!! The All-Losers Squad!!

Stars And Stripes Comics #2 & 4 were from 1941

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Important Legion Reminder 2--Thunder!!

Just a reminder...

...a member of the Marvel Family (from the far distant future) was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes for awhile.

We haven't heard anything from CeCe Beck for quite awhile...The Legion and the Marvel Family--two concepts that get lots of lip service from DC, but languish in limbo because lord knows you need two Deathstroke and two Suicide Squad books every month.


 From Legion Of Super-Heroes Secret Files #2 (1999)

Important Legion Reminder 1--Snakes!

Just a reminder:

At one point Princess Projectra was a snake.

And later...

...she was a super-freaky snake.

Just because we should never forget the Jeckie was a snake.

From Legion Of Super-Heroes Secret Files #2 (1999) and Legion Secret Files 3003 (2004)