Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Night Fights--Marl(boro?) Style!!

This current bout of Friday Night Fights is Minimum Clonage--we can't re-use any fighters during these twelve rounds. So let's check the list so far:


Damn, I had a lot of Judomaster fights ready to go, too...

But today, I've got something really special: a baseball fight!! That's right, we're going to an issue of Texas Rangers In Action!!

Oh...those kind of Texas Rangers. Sigh...

Anyway, Texas Ranger Marl Kincaid...What? Oh, yes, Marl. Maybe it's short for Marlboro Man? Anyway, Marl's been tricked into thinking a slimy polecat of a crook is his long lost brother, Vince. That's what's going on in the panel above, as Marl (Marl?!? Really?) helps "Vince" get the drop on a fellow Ranger.

Marl soon finds out that he is as stupid as his name suggests:

But, "not-Vince" discovers the saddest sound a cowpoke can hear:

Yup, Marl isn't quite as stupid as he seems!!

So get ready for some rootin' tootin' fisticuffs, the cowboy way!!

Really, saved "Maw" for last?? She was in labor for 17 hours, you can't put her first??

Still, Marl did learn the important lesson that Spacebooger always teaches: when some ornery skunk claims to be your long-lost brother, check his ID (brother-ID-checking now required by law in Arizona).

The oddly named Marl Kincaid screws up but them redeems himself in Texas Rangers In Action #76 (1970), writer unknown, art by Miguel A. Repetto.

Super Fun Bonus Fact--For issues #1-4, Texas Rangers in Action was actually Scotland Yard. That musta been some transition at issue #5, Charlton...

Look, I know voting is a hassle, but it would be a bigger hassle if thieving galoots went around posing as Rangers' brothers, so do yourself (and everyone) a favor, and go vote for your favorite fight this week. Tell 'em Marl sent you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So, We're Still Not Going To Get Catwoman 2, Are We?

A couple of years ago, we heard that the president of production for Warner Brothers had declared that they would no longer do movies with women in the lead, supposedly due to poor box office results.

Much denial, much backtracking, never said it, out of context, blah blah blah.

But now, we hear the same thing from Bruce Timm, when asked by Think McFly Think about possible sequels to any of the animated DC DVDs. They were planning to do a sequel to Wonder Woman, but...

Wonder Woman’s sales started out extremely slow and then over time were eventually able to catch up to probably Justice League Frontier. The Exec’s decided because it wasn’t able to sell quickly right away, where as Justice League was, that there wouldn’t be any more female super hero films right now. We were developing and hoping to get started on a Batgirl film based on Year One, but because of Wonder Woman’s slow sales start, that won’t be happening now.

Wow. "There won't be any more female super hero films right now." Wow.

Expect much denial, much backtracking, etc.

But I doubt Bruce Timm would make that up. And that makes twice in two years that someone at Warners has declared they don't want to make movies, or cartoons, or DVDs starring women.

Way to go, jackasses. Wake me up when you get to the 20th century. I have a feeling the 21st century is out of your reach right now...

They've Put My Dreams On Paper Again

Image solicitation of the millennium:


Wait a minute...Jane Wiedlin of my beloved Go-Go's?!?!?

Yes, Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's:

Aliens from a distant planet abduct rock star JANE WIEDLIN (The Go-Go’s) and force her to play a concert for their Earth-obsessed emperor. On the trek back to their planet, they implant Jane’s body with nanobots as she sleeps. But their plan to turn her into one of their cyborg slaves backfires when Jane learns to control the nanites within her and becomes the super-powered cyborg liberator, LADY ROBOTIKA!
A new out-of-this-world shock sensation! Jane (The Go-Go’s) Wiedlin teams up with Bill (The Simpsons) Morrison to create a sexy and fun cosmic Rock and Roll fantasy!

Could this be the most perfect comic ever?

Yes, yes it could be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Have Too Many Damn Comic Books

Exhibit #2:

A feudin' hillbilly cat and mouse? Oh, Hannah-Barbera, is there no derivative premise that you can't turn into a sub-standard cartoon?

Oh, Gold Key, was there no cartoon so lame and unheralded that you wouldn't make a comic book adaptation of it?

Oh, snell, is there no comic so obscure, so ridiculous that you don't have to own it?

The answer to all three questions, obviously, is "no."

The only issue ever of Mushmouse and Punkin Puss was from 1965

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Just to show how little respect J'onn J'onzz got:

Yes, other heroes got cool monsters to fight, while J'onn got to fight the monster who projected flaming snot from his nostrils.


In the interest of full disclosure, that was the splash page, and the monster never displayed that ability in the actual story. But still....ewwwww.

BONUS: How big a wuss was the Martian Manhunter? He "suddenly loses his strength" during an important moment. The reason?

Yup...a dude with a mere lighter, standing twenty feet away and with his back to you, was enough to knock you out of action. Ye gods, what a'd hardly need the Human Flame to kill J'onn--just arm yourself with a Bic!!

J'onn needs a huge Kleenex in House Of Mystery #171 (1967).

Monday, April 26, 2010

World Without A Superman, Continued

Last week, I wrote a much commented-on post on what I perceived to be DC's attempts to marginalize Superman in their books, to try to use The Big Red S as little as possible. I speculated that it was because DC was in preparation for losing the Siegel lawsuit and losing the use of the character. I mentioned how even Action Comics, already having been Kal-El-less for a year, was apparently going to be a Lex Luthor book, without even mentioning Superman.

Well, the other shoe has dropped.

According to Rich Johnston, when JMS takes over Superman in a couple of months:

Apparently, the Man Of Steel is going to drop his Superman identity in an attempt to be a better man and to better relate to humanity. The story will follow his journey as he walk from one side of the USA to other other, trying not use his powers.

Curse my prophetic soul.

Wow. So Superman, technically, won't even be in Superman...just Clark Kent walking across the U.S. of A, undoubtedly not even in costume.

As I said last week, DC/Warner is acting nutsy, trying to hide one of their most marketable assets. And the only thing that makes sense to me is that they're trying to minimize the royalties they're going to owe, and trying to wean the DC Universe off of Superman.

Enjoy these last few DC Superman stories while you can, kids...the clock to 2013 is ticking...

Manic Monday--Just be Thankful You Didn't Sneeze!!

If you had a time machine, and you were taking a break from dashing back to buy up freshly-printed copies of Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27, and you decided to stop in 1947 to take in a movie...for God's sake don't cough!!!!!

Oh, you rude can you not know that:

Seriously...if you dare to cough, these olde tyme bearded dudes are going to mock you with their rapier wit:

So to hell with you, you filthy, coughing son of a bitch!! Go back to your far flung future, and stop offending we 1947 folk with your disgusting normal bodily functions!! If only there was some cure for the scourge you bring upon us...

...Oh. It was just an ad for cough drops. OK.

Blatant attempt to stigmatize coughers appeared in Wonder Comics #11 (1947)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Wonder The Russians Beat Us With Sputnik!

Ladies and gentlemen: the uncanny wonders of Silver Age DC Science:

Woo hoo!!

Now, such a complex scientific explanation was required to explain this cover:

And yes, for once it is actually an accurate DC Silver Age cover.

The full explanation? Well, it involved Krypto, super-ventriloquism, Lois Lane being the first "girl" to orbit the Earth in a space capsule, archeological fraud on Crete, the Superman Revenge Squad, Proty II, and Saturn Woman (no, not Saturn Girl, but Imra as an adult)!! A story so marvelously complex and dingbatty that it took 3 pages of expository flashbacks at the end to explain what the hell had been going on!!

Ye Gods, I loves me some Silver Age...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Cruelest Demotion Of All

Why you really don't want to screw up when you're in the Superman Revenge Squad:

Wait a minute--the Krypto Revenge Squad?!? Someone hook me up with those stories!!

Is there a Streaky Revenge Squad? Or is that where you get sent after you screw up on the Krypto Revenge Squad?

Dare we hope that there is a Beppo Revenge Squad?? One for each member of the Legion Of Super-Pets? I want these stories!!

Man, this really has to end up in some modern-day Superman story...

P.S. What is up with those headdresses, Revenge Squad Justices? And by the way, isn't it ironic that the Superman Revenge Squad has its own justice system?!? Since Superman fights for justice, and they oppose him, so, you know...

P.P.S. Is there a Bizarro Revenge Squad?!? Man, I should have been writing in the Silver Age...

Downward mobility amongst villains courtesy of Superman #165 (1963)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Night Fights--Judo Style!!

This current bout of Friday Night Fights is Minimum Clonage--we can't re-use any fighters during these twelve rounds. So let's check the list so far:


Spidey may be gone already, but he got me an unexpected win last week. So with that karma at my back, let's see if we can get a little more obscure this week: Judomaster!!

Rip Jagger--yes, his name really was Rip Jagger--was visiting his college alma mater, and dropped in on his old college boxing coach, Pops--yes, his name really was Pops.

While there, he discovers that Pops former prize pupil, Rocky Vars--yes, his name really was Rocky Vars--has gotten Pops mixed up with mobsters, who force his fighters to throw bouts. Because apparently there was big money to be made gambling on college boxing. Who knew?

Well, of course Rip Jagger cannot let this stand, can he? But, rather than call the cops, or just bust up the mob, he leaps into his pony-tailed Judomaster costume and proceeds to give us the world's very first Mixed Martial Arts match--Judo vs. Boxing!! (Well, not just the cover called out every other month, he was also a master of Karate and Jiu-jitsu!!):

Judo wins!! Judo wins!! Down goes Vars!! Down goes Vars!!

Spacebooger was doing his best Howard Cosell impression during that whole sequence...

Frank McLaughlin, Frank McLaughlin, and Frank McLaughlin brought us MMA the Charlton Way in Judomaster#97 (1967).

You should all vote for me because of the considerable restraint I showed in not doing any "Yo, Adrian" jokes. But even if you choose to vote for another one of the fighters, please vote--otherwise, gamblers who fix college boxing matches win, and we all lose.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

World Without A Superman?

[UPDATE: It seems I was righter than I knew when I initially wrote this post. Check here.]

OK, let's get this out of the way first...this is really stupid, and insane, and is just a glorified conspiracy theory. And I don't really believe it.


Once I get one of these thought in my head, I just can't get it out. So I'm going to try to think this through here, publicly. Doubtless this will result in great humiliation. But there you go.

So what's the bug up my butt today? The...unusual...way DC has dealt with the Superman franchise lately. Now, everything I'm about to mention has a perfectly logical and reasonable explanation. But taken all together, you can't help but think that there's a reason the DC Universe has become a world without Superman...

First is the way they yanked the plug on the next Superman movie, and announced a new "creative guide" without announcing any actual writers or directors. Now, this is nothing new, as DC/Warner has played the start and stop game with most of the potential movie versions of their franchises for a few years now. Still, given Warner's announcement that they were going to do a tentpole DC hero movie every summer, it's hard to figure why Superman is suddenly at the back of the line, behind Green Lantern and Flash and...

And then there is Geoff Johns, who was touted as eagerly looking forward to collaborating with James Robinson on the Superman titles, and writing the Superboy series for Adventure Comics. Then, suddenly, not so much--after Johns finishes the Secret Origin Of Superman series, it looks as there won't be any Supers, Man or Boy, on his docket. Again, nothing strange about that--Johns' new responsibilities meant less writing for him, right? And suddenly no continuing series for Superboy...but he'll be in Teen Titans or something, right?

And Superman is absent from the Justice League...but then again so are a lot of the big guns just now. So no biggie, right?

And Superman had nothing more than a glorified cameo in Blackest Night, and looks to be completely absent from Brightest Day. Well, that doesn't mean anything, does it? Supes did feature very prominently in Final Crisis and Trinity, after all, and he can't be the star of everything, can he?

Then we have over a year when Superman doesn't appear in Action Comics or in the eponymous Superman. Which is kind of crazy. Sure, it's a good opportunity to play up the other residents of Metropolis and all during Superman's absence. But contrast with Batman--we've actually had an INCREASE in the number of Batman titles during Bruce Wayne's "death," and they all actually star Batman--sure, it's a different Batman, but they're still marketing the character, not hiding him, like they are with Superman!!

And yes, Superman is appearing in a series, but note that his name in the logo is noticeably smaller than the title World Of New Krypton, and for most of the series he doesn't even appear in the Big S costume. And his big "crossover" is entirely self-contained in his own real contact with the rest of DC's heroes.

And when that's over? The Guggenheim Cornell run on Action looks like it will be entirely about Lex Luthor on a "greatest hits tour" around the DC Universe...the solicits for the first two stories don't even mention Superman. (Maybe that's why Guggenheim left...because he found out that he couldn't use Superman??). Still, Superman will return to being about Superman, even if it is written by JMS.

Perfectly acceptable and reasonable answers to each point. But when you pull back, at look at the whole picture, my twisted brain sees another picture.

Because to me, it sure looks like DC is trying to marginalize Superman in their universe, to get us used to the Big Red S not being a part of everyday goings on in the DC Universe.

Why? Again, I emphasize that I have absolutely no insider knowledge whatsoever, not to mention that I'm no lawyer.

But you know what I think? I think that DC/Warner is fairly certain that they're going to lose big in the lawsuit, and they're not going to be able to license him back. And they're trying to wean the DC Universe off of him; to get the fans ready for the day when he's gone. That's why we're getting Action Comics without Superman, and events without Superman, and a "new world order" in the DCU that doesn't include Superman, and the Superman movie way on the back burner behind other, far less well-known heroes, and big writers bailing on chances to write him, and...

Hey, I could be wrong. More than likely, I am wrong. But really, what other explanation makes sense of the way DC has pushed Superman away from the rest of the DCU for the past year?

And if I'm right? Get ready to see a lot less Kal-El in the near future...

No Squatters!!

This just in: Mark Millar invented word balloons and captions, so please stop using them, as that interferes with his new project that he swears will actually be out soon (it won't, actually--but don't worry, some studio will ask him to make a movie of it anyway, but because every Hollywood executive is so in awe of his awesome talent, they'll deny the story, the cowards).

Also, he invented the internet, and he's really cheesed at all you lesser talented persons using it, because he called dibs decades ago.

And don't get him started on Velcro...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Bad Were The 90s, Anyway?

Good question. Exactly how bad were the 1990s at Marvel??

Perhaps we can answer best with this example. Marvel took one of the greatest villains created in the 1980s:

Flag-Smasher, the anti-nationalist terrorist...

And in the 1990s they turned him into...

...a drug-addicted, mind-addled slave of the Roxxon Corporation.

Oh, yeah, and the gave him super-powers and a crazy jet-pack to go with the crappy new "costume."

Man, the 90s sucked.

Monday, April 19, 2010

(manic) Brightest (mon)Day #9--Things Just Move Slower In These Parts

So, at the end of Blackest Night #8...

Now, we know that Brightest Day #0 takes place at least several days later, and yet in the issue's epilogue:

Really? There's a big hole in the road, and one of the most powerful objects in the universe is just laying there, and it's still there several days later? The yokels of Silver City just sit around gawking? No one thought to call the Justice League, or S.T.A.R. Labs? Really?

I imagine the days passed like this:


Zander | MySpace Video

And if you're going to say that both of the epilogues were taking place at different times than the stories that preceded them, well, I can hardly be blamed for the ridiculously poor storytelling, can I?

(manic) Brightest (mon)Day #8--The Thing With Feathers?

In Blackest Night, Barry Allen was given the Blue Corps ring, because he embodied Hope.

Oh really?

Because this scene could be interchangeable with with almost any scene of Batman visiting an inmate at Arkham/Blackgate, couldn't it, without any real changes? And I don't see Bruce getting one of the blue rings anytime, do you? (Then again, since now Barry's parents are tragically dead, the Batman modus operandi makes sense...)

Nope, Barry doesn't seem too hopeful about Digger's future, does he? Unless, of course, hope means showing up in jail to threaten prisoners.

This is why they insisted Barry Allen come back?

(manic) Brightest (mon)Day #7--Cleared Of All Charges?

Just so we're clear...

Post-Blackest Night resurrection:

Captain Boomerang is incarcerated (yet allowed to wear his costume!!) for his pre-resurrection crimes:

Maxwell Lord is a wanted man for his pre-resurrection crimes:

But Hank Hall?

Mulligan. For some reason he's forgiven for all his crimes. Forgiven for being an asshole dystopian dictator who has killed millions; forgiven for helping to end the life of every being in the universe in Zero Hour; forgiven for murdering several members of the Justice Society.

No one's pursuing him, no one has incarcerated him...he apparently has a "get out of jail free card" for his crimes, despite making Boomer and Max look like angels.

DC--where no crime is so severe that your hero can't be completely forgiven for it.

Hank Hal, Hal Jordan and Captain Atom probably have regular meetings where they just laugh their butts off at the rest of the DC schmucks heroes...