Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016's Biggest Loss

Many people are lamenting 2016 as a terrible year because of the death of some people, or election results, or what have you. And that's fine.

But for me 2016 was terrible because it was the first full calendar year without a Fantastic Four comic book since 1960.

And goddammit, I miss the Fantastic Four.

I've talked about this often enough before, so I won't belabor the point. But the Fantastic Four is why I read comic books. And it's not the same without them.

Think about this: that Galactus-forsaken abomination of a Fox movie is more recent than the most most recent Fantastic Four comic.

Yet still, apparently out of nothing but poor misguided spite, Marvel refuses to publish any new FF material, and has gone so far as to stop hawking any merchandising with, and photoshopping them out of classic posters and t-shirts.

Well, that's been an effective tactic, eh, Marvel?

I miss the Fantastic Four.

And, no, having Johnny Storm hang with the Inhumans, or Ben Grimm hang with Guardians Of The Galaxy, is nowhere near enough.

By the way--is it just me, or does the thought or Johnny and Medusa being a couple make you go "eeewwwww!"?

But if Marvel wanted to re-launch Marvel Two-In-One, I wouldn't say no.

It's perhaps particularly telling that, even though the Inhumans and Guardians were both heavily involved in Civil War II, neither Johnny nor Ben made a single appearance. I guess arbitrary corporate edicts outweigh even block-buster event crossovers...

I even miss the chromium-cover-Sue-having-a-boob-window-shaped-like-a-4 era...

Even during the dreaded Heroes Reborn era, well, at least there was an FF comic.

And of course, they returned...

Lordy, I miss the FF.

Maybe if someone mentioned to Marvel that they're going to be in danger of losing the trademark to "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine"??

Maybe if this guy paid a visit to Ike Perlmutter...

So 2016 will go down as the year with no Fantastic Four...

...let's hope that someone comes to their senses during 2017.

Because does anybody really believe that the Ultimates or the U.S.Avengers or Champions could save the Earth if they had to?

I really, really miss the Fantastic Four.

So Marvel...please?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Night Fights--Dunce Cap Style!!

Sometimes, Batman can be a bit cruel, as we discover in this week's Friday Night Fights.

The Caped Crusader is chasing down the Mad Hatter...

OK, that's badass...


OK, Bats, you've beaten up the mentally-ill criminal, now let's haul him off to--

Oh, Batman, you dick.

Spacebooger thinks Batman should next shape the hat into a broach, or a pterodactyl!

Humiliation heaped on top of pain is from Batman #297 (1978) by David V. Reed (a.k.a. David Vern), Rich Buckler and Vince Colletta.

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why?!? You don't want to see what kind of cruel taunts Bruce woulds inflict on you while you're unconscious, do you? So go vote!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

More, Please!

In a week when the final (?) issue of Civil War II plopped out and thrashed around like a fetid piece of crap that proved that writing and storytelling and editing may have vanished from the landscape forever...

...redemption can be found, as Baltazar and Franco give us the Composite Superman fighting the Unknown Superman from the future.

Because comics rock. Well, they can rock. Not as often as they should, mind you, but goddamn can they rock!

From Super Powers! #2 (2017)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

That Time Batman Fought The Village People?!?

OK, OK, it was really a lot of Mad Hatters, and this is just a symbolic cover--he didn't face them all at once.

Still...Batman vs. an evil Village People? Someone get me DC on the phone!

Batman #297 is from 1978

Best Cover You've Never Seen--Feature Comics #68 (1943)!!

No matter what you do...

Don't. Frak. With. Doll. Man.

He's packin' heat!!

Cover by Al Bryant

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Golden Age idol--And You Thought The Red Bee had A Weird Shtick!

Look, I'm not big on trigger warnings and the such, but if you've got a thing about spiders, maybe don't read this post.

Because of all the oddball Golden Age heroes out there, none were more oddball, or creepier, than The Spider Widow:

There's a lot to unpack in that debut panel. "Grandmother of terror"?!? "She weaves a web of justice to trap the insects of corruption"?!? A "beautiful, wealthy and athletic" woman finding the underworld (and, of course, Axis spies)??

Let start with Miss Diane Grayton, and her...well, her not entirely heroic boyfriend:

Great suggestion!

SPOILER ALERT: She doesn't hang with Robert for very long.

Well, Diane later comes across her chauffeur being accosted by fifth columnists who just blew up a train, so she decides to leap into action with whatever is at hand...

"Pets the gardener show me"?? Whatever can she mean?

After stowing away in the crooks' trunk...

...The Spider Widow goes into action with those very same pets!!

Fortunately, even though black widow bites are not particularly life-threatening in most cases, criminals are a cowardly and squeamish lot:

When the spiders aren't doing the heavy lifting, Spider Widow shows off her athletic abilities, which are especially effective since the mask makes her look old and weak...

But when it trouble, well, Red Bee has one bee. Spider Widow...?

That's a pretty good rock and a hard place there: drowning, or dying by venom!!

Spider Widow hung around for a year and half or so, picking up new slogans...

"The most horrible dispenser of justice of all times!"

...and keeping the old:
But when push came to shove... was back to the spiders!!

(Yes, I know, I know...)


Apparently, Dianne somehow trained the spiders, although some sources claimed she could control them psychically somehow. As far as I can tell, there is literally zero evidence for either proposition in the was the Golden Age, after all, and there were no snarky bloggers around to ask questions like that!

Two more significant facts; first, at one point she picked up a sidekick/love interest called the Raven. He was just some guy who put on a bird costume and fought criminals. But it's thought that she was the first female super-hero to have a male costumed sidekick. Historic!

Secondly, she had a brief rivalry with Phantom Lady--mainly over Raven's affections!--which led to what was probably one of the first multi-part, multi-book crossover stories, in Feature Comics #69-71 & Police Comics #20-22!! So blame Quality Comics and Spider Widow for today's never-ending crossovers!

Is there room in 2017 for a beautiful and athletic heiress who dresses up like an old woman and uses poisonous trained spiders to beat crooks? Could The Grandmother Of Terror flourish more than 70 years after her final appearance? Will someone take a chance and publish new adventures of The Most Horrible Dispenser Of Justice of All Times, with a costumed boy toy?

She's public domain, guys...someone have at it!!

From Feature Comics #57-58 (1942)