Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Time flies when you're having fun.

Appropriately, my 800th post comes on New Comic Book Day. So rather than do anything huge and elaborate (or original), I'm just going to take the easy (lazy) way out by just linking to my "greatest hits" (your mileage may vary).

In other words, read my old crappy re-runs while I enjoy brand new comic books. I think I win in that exchange.

Or, in still other words, see that snell is so vain he thinks people will want to read old posts.

So enjoy archives, while I wallow in new comics & ranch gorditas...

P.S. Thanks to everyone, yada yada, keep reading, yada yada, blah blah. Sincerely.

Insane Batman makes me smile

Almost the best comics crossover ever

The single most unjustified use of Jimmy Olsen's signal watch ever

The debut of GAARD!! Where's he been lately?

Superman's forgotten powers

People really used to dress like this

Still pissed off about this...

Capturing his essence...

Why Jimmy Olsen #54 may be the best comic book ever

Thor as a Greek (well before that Incredible Hercules story started)

Wow, I REALLY had this one wrong, eh?

Seriously, for a while Lois Lane was trippier than Jimmy Olsen


The coolest thing in the history of comic books

Cap in the Olympics (not)

This had better be in the new Michael Moore movie


One of my Marvel Week entries

Oh, that's enough...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Fourth Member--The Sound Of Thundra

You know, the Frightful Four really are a bunch of losers.

Yes, I know that we already knew that. Yes, they were three 10-time losers who, never having beaten an individual member of the Fantastic Four, somehow got it into their heads that they could beat the whole FF if they just teamed up. Yes, they were idiots who somehow never read the newspaper, and never realized that once she recovered from her amnesia, Medusa was a good guy. Yes, these chowderheads thought they could hypnotize Spider-Man into being their fourth member.

Do you see the pattern here? There's a whole world of villains out there who hate the FF, or are just evil in general. Yet rather than go after them, the Wizard keeps going for the unknown character he hasn't done a proper background check on, or a hero. Really, is this the best they can do??

Sadly, yes.

Let's head back to Fantastic Four #129-130 (1072-1973), and see if these guys have learned their lessons yet.

Fortunately for the Frightful ones, the FF are down a few members. The Human Torch has quit:

You might not want to plan your whole weekend around this, Johnny...(Don't worry, readers...back in those days he quit every 6 or 7 months). Meanwhile, Reed and Sue are acting out Roy Thomas' quaint idea of the battle of the sexes:

There are duties?
Many husbands call their wives 'lady'So Benjamin J. Grimm is all by his lonesome when...

Come on, you told us on the cover!!Who? Duh.

I miss his suitAnd the Sandman isn't alone!!

So it's going to be three-on-one...except the incredible coincidence machine is working full speed:

I could use this kind of luck for my loterry tickets tonight
Later=several issuesYes, Medusa just happens to show up at the exact same moment and exact same place that her evil ex-allies choose to return. (And not to accuse Roy of sloppy storytelling, but we don't get the reason for Medusa's visit for another 2 months yet!!).

Anyway, the Frightful Three are still incredible losers, as Medusa and the Thing mop up the floor with them. Benjy even hurls a big-ass crane at them...but the mysterious new fourth member chooses to reveal herself:

And she's working with them why?
In the alternate future, people wear mismatched bootsNow, this is Thundra's first appearance ever, so at this point readers weren't aware that she was from the alternate future where Earth is known as Femizonia and ruled by the Femizons (no, I'm not making that up). So we didn't know diddly about her, except:

Roy, stop trying so hard to be StanThundra is strong.

Together, she and Sandman manage to take out the Thing:

UnfairWe get absolutely no exposition as to how the Frightful Four found Thundra (or vice versa), or why she thought these losers were worth the time of day (then again, since she thought all men were pathetic, maybe she couldn't tell winners from doofuses). But, frankly, Thundra is spectacularly unqualified to be a member of the Frightful Four. To wit:

And yet you hang out with murderers...
I thought 'Frightful' was just a nickname
See, it's ironic, because woman are weaker here...ha ha haNow, it seems to me, refusal to kill men would be a pretty big disqualifier from joining the Frightful Four, since their raison d'etre is to, you know, kill the Fantastic Four. Thundra joining up with them is like someone getting a job as a bartender and refusing to serve alcohol--why would you apply for the job? Why would they hire you?? Well, the Wizard actually has a master plan:

Geez, that plan is too stupid to describe. Fortunately, Thundra is that stupidAh, the "lie to the person who is stronger than all three of you combined and then betray her and somehow survive her wrath" ploy. That always goes well...

On to the Baxter Building. Proving that might is greater than mind, Sandman takes out Reed (along with gratuitous "limp wrist"):

Oh, Roy...Sue has come back, but apparently, after 129 issues, she still doesn't have the "the point of invisibility is to stay hidden" lesson down yet:

OopsWhich leads to one of the odder back and forths ever.

Civilized? Does he know what that word means??So, the Wizard promises not to hurt Franklin...

Thundra, didn't you read the scouting reports??...until Sue turns out to be too tough...

Wizard--cultivated he reneges on the deal...

Wait...what?!?...but then it turns out his reneging was really a trick?? Oh, my head...

So, everybody is captured, right? Game over, right?

Nope...time for blatant cheating, as Franklin whips out a previously unseen power to free Ben.

Framklin = Marvel's Dial H For HeroI guess the Wizard really shouldn't have let him be a non-combatant! That creates enough distraction so everybody else is free. And now it's time to pound the losers. Sue teaches the Sandman that you really do need a brain...

Sandman--stupider than Jupiter...the Trapster is so pathetic Medusa whoops him point blank...

Trapster--dumber than the dumbest thing ever...and Reed takes down the Wizard (I'll show you that later this week!). In the meantime, Reed gets incredibly sexist:

I freed you so I could talk down to you!!As for Ben and Thundra?

Only beats up men who don't care??
That move is illegal here, but legal in FemizoniaOh, Thundra, what is this foolish moral code you have? You can fight "the most powerful men of our world," but not if they're actually fighting for something?? How does that make sense?

Everyone escapes...

Good lord, what wussesAnd once again we must ask the question: Wizard, YOU'VE MASTERED ANTI-GRAVITY!! Why the hell are you still a super-villain? Why not patent that and become a kajillionaire??

And we finish with Reed and Sue debating gender roles, as well as getting proof positive that Roy Thomas didn't have a clue how to write Reed Richards yet:

Yes, Reed would say 'Don't talk it to death, Lady'So that's our Frightful Four: still recruiting unsuitable unknowns, and failing miserably at every turn. Stay tuned...they'll be back sooner than you think!!

BONUS: A Jim Steranko Fantastic Four cover!!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Manic Monday--In This Corner...

In last week's season debut of The Mentalist (a fine show you should be watching instead of wasting time reading this blog), Patrick Jane asks a comic book nerd question (it's about 1:50 into the clip, for those of you with no patience):

Now obviously, if the guy being questioned had been a real comic book nerd, his response would have been, "Which Green Lantern?"

Still, if would be a interesting battle, eh? So let's set the ground rules. Hal Jordan GL, satellite era, not possessed by Parallax or possessing 42 rings. Don Blake Thor, Bronze Age, not possessing the Odin-Force or any such silliness. No planets with infra-yellow atmosphere, or where uru is magnetic.

Just a stand-up no frills fight. Green Lantern:

versus Thor:

Who wins?

Have at it, people.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just A Friendly Reminder...

...Walt Disney now owns Satan.

Fact: Gil Kane did every single Marvel cover from 1973-1975. OK, not literally true, but pretty close...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The splash page of Spider-Woman #1:

Let's close in on the credits:

One more zoom:

Hmm. I can't say it's a bad thing to give credit to someone who played a vital role in the creation of Alex Maleev's art.

But this raises a whole buncha questions:

**Does this imply that Maleev DIDN'T use models for any other characters? That Agent Brand, for example, was completely drawn "from scratch?" Because it sure wouldn't seem fair to credit Jolynn Carpenter for her work, and not everybody else Maleev was using.

**Speaking of unfair, the whole credit issue seems to have its priorities misplaced. They credit the model one of the characters is based upon, but nowhere in the issue do they give any credit for the reprinted panels drawn by the Luna brothers or Leinil Yu (from Spider-Woman: Origins and Secret Invasion). So, we credit models, but not the actual artists whose actual artwork is being reprinted??????

**This could be a terrible precedent--do we have to go back and re-credit all of Maleev's previous works, either in reprints or in trades, to acknowledge the models he's used? What about all of Alex Ross' work? If our new principle is we need to give credit to an artist's models, there's a whole lot of uncredited comics modeling that needs to be acknowledged.

**On the plus side, this would mean that Greg Land owes us a pretty exciting list of adult movie stars...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Night Fights--Shocking, Positively Shocking Style!!

Well, it wouldn't be Friday Night Fights if I didn't work Shang Chi in there somewhere.

The situation--Shang is fighting Lancaster Sneed, former MI-6 agent gone rogue. Sneed is especially deadly, because not only is he an accomplished martial artist, but he's also the deadly Shockwave!!

Yes, Shockwave. That goober yellow suit he wears is actually the ultimate offensive/defensive weapon. Touch any part of it, and you receive a very nasty shock. He hits you--ZAP. You hit or kick him--ZAPP!!

Well, Sneed has Shang on the ropes a bit. Shang had found a wooden board to use as a non-conductive weapon, but Shockwave whittled that down to a little piece of wood.

So what's Shang Chi to do? Watch and learn, grasshopper, watch and learn:

Drop the board, kick it as it falls, and cream Shockwave. Now THAT is how Feet Of Fury should work!!

Man, I wish Spacebooger would let me show more than 3 panels from this fight...

Fu Manchu's son is kickin' it old school in Master Of Kung Fu #72 (1979), as presented by Doug Moench, Mike Zeck, and Bruce Patterson. Have I mentioned how much I loved Mike Zeck's MOKF?!? Criminally underrated...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nurse Curse

I know that Bendis introduced the modern version of Night Nurse, but when given the choice between this:

...and this:

I've gotta go with the version that doesn't flash deep cleavage during medical procedures, and doesn't swear like a sailor. But maybe that's just me.

Especially when, exactly three panels after telling everyone to "get the @#$% of out the room," Luke Cage's non-responsiveness causes her to go:

Uh, dear, you just kicked everybody out...whom are you asking, Ms. Bedside Manner?

Oh, Bendis, is there no character you can't cheapen and coarsen?

Perhaps the comparison between Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin's Doctor Strange: The Oath and Bendis & Stuart Immonen's New Avengers #57 isn't fair. Oh, @#$% that!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Judgment Of Solomon (With Assistance)

The coolest freaking martial arts move EVER:

Gotta start trainin' me some dogs...

Unholy awesomeness from Immortal Weapons #3 (starring Dog Brother #1)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tales Of Tempermental Sales Clerks!!

Here is a sales clerk spectacularly unsuited for her job:

Man, it's a good thing she wasn't assigned the lingerie counter...

From Leroy #5 (1950). Fact: Leroy was not, in fact, "the funniest teen-ager of them all." That was Chachi.