Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why I'm Not A Cat Person

Len Wills is living the dream...he marries a rich dame, and proceeds to spend her money on...

Swamis? Really?

Of course, there are drawbacks--Gloria is a little bit...well, not nice:

PRO-TIP: Never give your husband the idea to murder you...

See, he never would have come up with that on his own!

PRO-TIP #2: Don't go to a swami for murder advice:

Well, Len poisons her, no one is the wiser, and he's living the high life. But at the funeral:

Uhhh, Len, "developed from thin air" isn't quite how reincarnation works...

Len decides that the cat IS Gloria, so he's going to keep it and mistreat it for all the years of abuse he had from Gloria:

But you can only push a cat so far...


And worse? The scratch became infected, and, well...

Must have been cat scratch fever...

Oh, but wait...this is a horror comic, so simple revenge is not enough of a twist, no sir:

So, in summary: cats are reincarnated evil women who are not-so-secretly trying to kill you.

Don't say you weren't warned.

From Mister Mystery #15 (1954). Siskoid, please feel free to pilfer the images for Cat Of The Geek.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Manic Monday--Avengers Vs. X-Men, 39 Years Early!

Well, apparently, the 1973 Avengers-Defenders War is in my brain today (and why shouldn't it be? Black Panther kicked Doctor Strange in the face--twice!!).

I very well may wrong, but I think this was maybe the first inter-book crossovers at either company, certainly of that length. If you counted the 4-page prologue in Defenders #8, the 3-page prologue in Avengers #115, and the two-page "bye, everybody" in Defenders #11, the whole thing took place over 8 issues of the two mags.

It's interesting to compare with the forthcoming Avengers Vs. X-Men book, which will be 12 issues long, plus a zero issue, plus a six-issue mini "expanding" fights from the main mini, plus 5-6 issues each of New Avengers, Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine & The X-Men.

That's a lot of issues. Granted, there are a lot more members (and series!) of the Avengers and X-Men these days. But still, it sure seems like they're giving every single member their own individual issue.

Plus, buying each issue of the Avengers-Defenders War? $1.60. Avengers Vs. X-Men? Following every word costs you approximately $196. Save your shekels, kids!

It should be noted that the entire Avengers-Defenders War was written by one person--Steve Englehart. Avengers Vs. X-Men? The twelve issue series has FIVE different writers (Bendis, Fraction, Aaron, Brubaker and Hickman). Five writers...

There are other similarities. At the time Hulk and Hawkeye were former Avengers but hanging with the Defenders, something Englehart made good use of. Present day, the multi-team statuses of Wolverine, The Beast, Namor, and Storm will certainly come into play.

Both deal with potentially universe-altering crises: Dormammu and Loki taking over the universe, the Phoenix Force coming back again for...?

So 2012? Bigger, longer, more sprawling and much more expensive. But at its core, not really that different from 1973--two teams of heroes beating each others' brains in.

And to those complaining about multi-title crossovers? Your 40 years too late for that...

Manic Monday--Identity Crisis, 31 Years Early

At the climax of The Avengers-Defenders War (in Avengers #118 (1973)), the teams are confronting a now-all-powerful Dormammu, and he's getting a little bit pissy about it:

Well, [SPOILER ALERT], the good guys win. But what about Tony and Don's secret identities?

Uh...well, OK, I guess. It was just the two of them, it was correcting something an interdimensional god did, and presumably they agreed to it.

But, in the epilogue (In Defenders #11 (1973)), they return to Earth, and hook up with S.H.I.E.L.D., who had been keeping the chaos under control. But Nick Fury has questions...


EVERY LIVING BRAIN?!? Doctor Strange just unilaterally decides to go and muck with every mind on the planet...for his personal convenience?????

(And the Avengers acquiesce to this? And Iron Man actually THANKS Strange for LETTING them remember?!? Earth's Wussiest Heroes, indeed)

(And I'm pretty certain that at some point, Nick Fury would have wised up, and his first step would have been to put a bullet in Doctor Strange's brain. Someone write that story, please)

Perhaps I'm old fashioned. But I've always been of the opinion that the Charles Xavier/Obi-Wan Kenobi/Doctor Strange style of altering the people's minds to be both offensive and unheroic. Overriding the memories and free will of people is something villains should do, not good guys.

For all its many (many, many many) faults, at least Identity Crisis presented such mind-altering hijinks as morally questionable, and having pretty terrible consequences.

Of course, Strange never learned any lesson, as in One Moment In Time, he and Stark and Richards erased Peter Parker's identity from the mind of every person on Earth, making Zatanna look like a birthday party hack magician. And not a single consequence.

(Hey, Dan Slott, here's a story idea for you...it turns out that everyone on Earth is getting seizures and strokes and turning evil as a result of Strange's tinkering with their brains, and Peter has a choice to make...which hopefully includes beating the crap out of Strange as part of the solution...)

Anyway, our lesson?? Don't piss off Marvel, or they'll have their "heroes" muck up your mind. Then again, if it could make me forget Fear Itself...? Hmmmm....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Avengers Drive Me Looney!!

So, the Ambassador from the white supremacist regime of Rudyardia has come to the Avengers for some help. T'Challa greets him, and...

Did you see? Did you see?!? He pressed the blue button, and everyone came in response to the "blue summons."

Don't they realize they can't do crap like that to me?? Look at all those other buttons...all those other colors...I must know what they do!! I MUST!!!

I mean, the blue button is the blue summons, that's obvious...and the blue summons obviously means "not important enough to get Cap, Thor and Iron Man to end their session of Call Of Duty 5."

But what about the purple button? Is that the "purple summons"?? Is that a higher or lower priority than the blue summons?!?

And what about the yellow buttons?!? There are TWO of them!!! What does that mean?!?!? Is one yellower than the other??


pant...pant...sorry I got so worked up. But these things bug me. Can someone go find Steve Englehart and Bob Brown and Dave Cockrum and Petra Goldberg and find out what all those buttons do?? Please?!?!?

Well, at least we all know what the red button does:

From Avengers #126 (1974).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mission: Impossible (And Silly)

OK, minions, I have a task for you.

We all know Galactus, Devourer Of Worlds.

And many of you know Sinistar, the greatest video game of the early 1980s.

Well, these have, on some level, a pretty strong similarity. To wit, compare and contrast this...

...with this:


...and this:

Now, you know what would be cool? If someone more computerly than I could hack Sinistar, and put Galactus' face on the bugger.

I'm not looking for some photoshop job--hell, I could do that myself (albeit badly).

Nope, I want to actually PLAY the game Sinistar, but against Galactus' head instead of Sinistar's.

The prize for whomever accomplishes this? Undying nerd worship from both comic nerds AND video game nerds.

Go to it, code monkeys--FLY, FLY!!!

(editor's note--snell doesn't really expect this to come to anything. But a boy's gotta dream, right?)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Night Fights--Suprise, Magician Style!!

You know, I've never used Doctor Strange in a Friday Night Fight before. Let's face it, true believers--a couple of cats gesturing at each other during a crazy light show doesn't make for the best fight.

Ah, but when you take Strange out of his comfortable milieu?? Then you've got a fight.

Let's head back to the famous Avengers/Defenders war. Dormammu has tricked the Defenders into reassembling the Evil Eye, which will result in his taking over our dimension. Meanwhile, his alleged ally Loki has tricked the Avengers into stopping the Defenders, telling them that the Defenders were looking to take over the world (just a few decades early on that one, Loki!).

So Doctor Strange has recovered his piece of the Evil Eye, and thinks he's home free because he's up against some ground-bound, non-superpowered Avengers:

Oh, Strange, you fool--you fail to reckon on the jungle-bred abilities of...


Spoiler Alert--Strange totally cheats and uses a sleeping spell to get away from the Black Panther and Mantis.

Spacebooger thinks it's totally unfair of me to use Sal Buscema two weeks in a row.

Steve Englehart, Sal & Frank McLaughlin show the power of feet over spells in Defenders #9 (1973).

Now the time has come to vote for my fight. Why? Because I like to win, that's why! So vote!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tales From The Quarter Bin--Troll Patrol!!

Some days the Quarter Bin makes it all too easy:

Oh, Harvey Comics in the 1990s...Trollinator? Robotroll? Predatroll? Is there any reason to go on reading comics, after experiencing a joy so sublime?

Now lest you think this was just a name...it's time to meet The Troll Patrol!!

And, of course, there are bad guys...and for once, the cover wasn't lying to us:

But wait--there's more!!

Let's take a look at...Troll TV programs!!

Yes....yes, they are...

Despite an essay on the first issue's "letters page" promising us "much more of them" in "future issues," for some reason there never was a Troll Patrol #2. So "the funniest and most exciting concept of the troll phenomenon around" never went on to "reveal more of the incredible history of the Troll Patrol." Damn you, cruel world!!

But don't fret too much. By my watch, we're due for another of the periodic outbreaks of cultural troll popularity in another 3 or 4 years...so there's hope!!

Troll Patrol #1 (and only) was from 1993.