Thursday, May 31, 2012

In An Alternate Universe, No One Listens To Joe Quesada

In this week's Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39, Peter Parker finds himself in a timeline where he (and hence Spider-Man) never existed. And one of the ways you can tell it's an alternate world? By the big-ass Times Square billboard:

Yup, a mere week after Marvel honcho Joe Quesada opined that Marvel had no female heroes capable of opening a "tent pole" summer movie, and that there were no actresses who could carry such a movie, we're shown that in at least one universe, he's pretty wrong, and there obviously is a market for such fare.

Which is especially ironic, since it's a book that has Quesada's name on it. Not that the "chief creative officer" actually reads all the books with his name on them, of course. But it seems pretty clear that Brian Reed & Lee Garbett never got the memo that women actors and women-led movies are poison.

In a perfect world, there would have been more lead time between Quesada's quote and this issue, so we could ponder if this was intended as a deliberate rebuttal to Quesada. But I'm content to just enjoy the coincidental irony.

Oh, and this alternate timeline has something for everyone:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Villains Strike!

Here's a bit of doggerel by Will Eisner and Dave Berg from Uncle Sam Quarterly #2 (1941) , that I'm sure has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on today's comic market:

[Sorry, my scan of this issue curt off the bottom line...make up your own rhyme!]

So, you don't treat the creative talent well, you have the heroes stop being heroic, and you make the villains the star, and the country goes to hell in a handbasket.

Nope, no mesage to see here. Just move along...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whistle While You Work

As the police continue their manhunt for the vigilante The Whistler, I discover yet another career option my guidance counselor never informed me was available:

It's never made clear which major metropolis The Whistler stories take place in. But apparently they had SEVERAL whistling teachers. All of whom were able to earn a living by teaching whistling, it would seem.

Which is just another reason to revive this strip...

From National Comics #52 (1946).

Golden Age Idol--The Whistler!!

It's been too long since we've inflicted Golden Age Idol upon you, dear audience--our ongoing quest to find obscure Golden Age heroes worthy of reviving (and, if they're public domain, claiming a juicy finders fee as a result).

So, since DC is reviving National Comics as a title, let's dive back into Quality's archive to find a mystery man worth resurrecting.

Say, how about The Whistler??

No relation to the radio and film noir series, our Whistler was Mallory Drake, who had a serious jones to be a police reporter:

Well, he finally gets his job, so of course he has to rush over and tell his big brother...

I don't know that "world's greatest whistler" is actually Guinness certified...but it turns out that Mallory himself is quite the whistler:

Yeah, he made that annoying "EEEEEEOWIE" noise whenever he got excited. Sorry about that.

Well, there was no decompression in those days, so of course that's the exact moment when some mob goons decide to bust up the club for defying them, and of course...

The scary thing worked!!

Now, over the few months of his existence, Drake learned a couple of new wrinkles, like ventriloquism whistling:

And he learned to make his whistle really loud:

And once, when a crook had a clever way to kill a concert violinist...

...well, obviously The Whistler could use that same principle to escape the death trap left for him:

And we found out that his amazing whistle worked on snakes, too!

Throughout the series we got a lot of up close lip shots...

...followed by Drake pummeling paralyzed nogoodniks:

The Whistler wasn't around for very long. He appeared in National Comics #48 (1945) through #54 (1946). All of those stories, except for the very last, were written, drawn and inked by Vernon Henkel.

Yes, the Whistler was a one-gimmick mystery man, but the series itself was pretty good for the era, with the stories a lot more sophisticated than the usual fare.

So, yeah, I think he's a keeper. What do you think, Steven Tyler?

Hey, stop trying to sneak in here, Donald!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Manic Memorial Day #3--The Most Apt Villain Name Since Count Vertigo

You know, with a name like this guy has, it was pretty much predestined what career he would go into:

Count Gestapo?!? Talk about being born in the right place at the right time period!! And I thought Count Vertigo's name was overly-convenient...

Sadly, Count Gestapo wasn't around for long...

SPOILER ALERT: He died in his first and only story...

From National Comics #37 (1943)

Manic Memorial Day #2--Kill The Umpire!!

It's Memorial Day, and it's a great day for watching baseball!!

Great except for that guy. Man, I hate the umpire!! And I'm not alone:

You tell 'im, unruly crowd!!

But something will happen at THIS game that I'm pretty sure you've never seen at a baseball game before...



Fortunately, ace crime reporter/occasional costumed hero Chic Carter is on the scene!!

But why?? Who would do such a thing?

So he followed the umpire around, waiting until a ball was him near him in the stands? Well, that's dedication.

I guess this is as good an excuse as any to implement instant replay in baseball. Or robot umpires!!

From National Comics #37 (1943)