Friday, December 31, 2010

Headin' Out To Eden...

Hey kids--you want to be popular??

That's right, popular without doing any work?

Yes, you too can be an instant master of...


But not just any zither, brother. This one practically plays itself:

And it comes with stuff:

The net result?

Look if you don't believe us, check this out--once nerdy Mr. Spock took up the Zither, he got to hang with the cool kids!!

So, Zither, baby!! it really reaches!!

Ad from Crack Western Comics #77 (1952)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

All Of This Has happened Before, And All Of This Will Happen Again

Coming in May from Marvel:

Oh, really?

I liked it better when it was called X-Men #100 (1976):

Or when it was called X-Men #106 (1977):


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Cover Ever...?


OK, OK, here's the pesky details from Image's March solicits:

24 PAGES / FC†
The Rat Bastards are a collection of runaway and homeless teenagers that have been taken in and cared for by an aging inventor, Dante. Applying his brilliance, he crafts marvelous technological contraptions. With his vision and help, the teenagers agree to don his technology for the betterment of mankind. Together, they combat tyranny and stop madmen from bringing harm to the world.

I am sooooo on board!

The Most Ludicrously Underwhelming Uses Of Marvel Girl's Powers--Chapter 8

When you have Jean Grey around... don't need to keep the remote for your home theater system!!

From X-Men #35 (1967)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smells Like S.H.I.E.L.D. Spirit

In West Coast Avengers #43 (1989), Mockingbird is explaining how she got duped by someone who may or may not have been a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent:

Smelled like S.H.I.E.L.D.? Smelled like S.H.I.E.L.D.??

Well, of course. Because you know that Maxim magazine in the Marvel Universe is filled with ads like this:

I dare you not to buy it...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Manic Monday--This One's From The Ladies

I've made no secret of my belief that Doctor Druid was clearly THE WORST AVENGER EVER!!

But I'm apparently not the only one who feels that way. There's a back-up feature in Avengers West Coast Annual #4 (1989) by Mark Gruenwald and Amanda Connor (!!), where-in The Wasp and She-Hulk "rate the hunkiness" of every male Avenger ever (up to that point, of course) on a 1 to 10 scale.

Yes, seriously.

Anyway, when they get to Anthony Druid, well, they're pretty darn harsh:

That's worth blowing up. Janet says:

And Jennifer adds:

Ouch. Harsh, ladies!

So, proof positive: Doctor Druid was the worst Avenger ever. Case closed.

Oh, since you're no doubt curious, here's their rankings of the other Avengers, with the Wasp's opinion denoted by a W and She-Hulk's by an S:

Thor: W 10, S 10 (Jan: "Godhunk of Thunder")
Iron Man: W 9, S 7 (but Jan knows what he looks like under the mask, Jennifer doesn't...)
Captain America: W 10, S 8 (Jan: "Human beings can't get any yummier than him")
Quicksilver: W 6, S 4 (Jan: "A real Sean Penn type")
Hawkeye: W 8, S 6 (She-Hulk: "He's got a cute tush")
Hercules: W 7, S 10 (She-Hulk: "Herc is even hunkier than Thor, and he really knows how to party!")
Black Panther: W 9, S 8 (Jan: "Talk about animal magnetism!")
Vision: W 3, S 1 (She-Hulk: "Toasters are fine, but who'd ever want to marry one?")
Black Knight: W 7, S 5 (She-Hulk: "A bit of a stiff.")
Falcon: W 7, S 5 (Jan: "He's got a subtle coolness.")
Wonder Man: W 8, S 7 (She-Hulk: "Those eyes of his really turn me off!")
Starfox: W 8, S 6 (She-Hulk: "You never know if you like him as much as you think you do, or if he's manipulating you.")
Namor: W 6, S 8 (She-Hulk: "I wish the rest of the Avengers had his taste in costumes!")
Reed Richards: W 9, S 4 (Wasp: "I've always had a thing for brainy older men who smoke pipes")
Gilgamesh: W 7, S 7 (Wasp: "He has to do something about that silly name and his taste in clothes.")
U.S. Agent: W 3, S 5 (Wasp: "There's something off about him...")
Quasar: W 6, S 6 (She-Hulk: "Younger guys may be Cher's cup of tea, but not mine.")

They don't rate the Swordsman because he's dead...they don't do Hank Pym because Jan would feel weird rating him, and ditto for Jennifer not rating her cousin the Hulk. That's everybody, so...

Hey, wait a minute!! Where the hell is Hank McCoy?? Where is the Beast!?! What, you ladies can't rate his hunkiness? Why not? What's going on here?!? Nobody better let Bully know about this egregious oversight!! (And please, no furries jokes.)

They also skip Moon Knight, but, you know, meh, I've got no problem with that...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Breaking Batman??

So, last week, we were looking at a Batman/Green Lantern team-up wherein:

*Hal Jordan defected to "The People's Republic";

*They beat the living crap out of Hal;

*The U.S. government sends Batman in to bring Green Lantern back;

*Batman got captured;

*Batman beat the crap out of Green Lantern for being a traitor.

Gosh bless Bob Haney, that was only the first 6 pages. So let's continue, along with a bit of a compare/contrast with a more recent Batman epic.

Our heroes' captor, Colonel Vakla, is wisely suspicious that they might be trying to pull some fast one on him, because after all, Justice Leaguers don't defect every day, and Batman doesn't get captured very often. So he decides upon the ultimate test:

Oh, no, not The Demolishment!! (I'm sure it sounded better in the original People's Republicese...damned translators).

First up: Drugs!!

Duh!! Of course Batman has spent a lifetime building up an immunity to iocane posioning--I mean hallucinogenic drugs.

Allow me to compare to Batman R.I.P., wherein Batman was vulnerable to hallucinogenic drugs...but he had a back-up plan to create a fake personality (well, actually, two of them) in case it ever happened.

Next--The Tank!!

Again, to contrast, in Batman R.I.P., Batman was broken by the isolation take, wherein Doctor Hurt was able to implant hypnotic triggers in Bruce's mind. Bob Haney's Batman, though? Tougher than that:

No, Bruce didn't have to create "The Batman Of Zur-En-Arrh" this time around--he just had to be Batman.

Next--The Theatre Of The Absurd:

Prepare yourself, for an Aparo Freak-Out:

Enough to break Batman? Nope.

Or was it?? Batman's not out of the woods yet:

Well, looks like Batman was broken...we even get the "shoot Green Lantern, ha-ha the gun was empty" bit.

So what was behind the final door? What was the final act of The Demolishment?!?


But, guess what--Batman wasn't really broken. You see, that was the whole point of this defection/rescue escapade--to discover the secrets of The Demolishment!!

So why did Batman seem to succumb??

Ah, only pretending. Good old Batman. Even the worst the Iron Curtain had to throw at him couldn't turn him into the Manchurian Candidate.

So there are your two versions of Batman: Grant Morrison's "always prepared for everything" Batman, who could be broken but had ridiculously convoluted schemes to overcome it; and Bob Haney, whose Batman was macho enough not to broken by any of those shenanigans in the first place.

You can decide for yourself which version of Batman you prefer, but let me put this to you: which version had Batman smacking around Hal Jordan?

Case closed.

From The Brave And The Bold #134 (1977).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

At Least It Wasn't Sharon Stone?

Dear Len Wein, and Frank Quitely:

Never, never, never, never, NEVER....

...give us a buffalo shot of Darkseid again.

Oh, my eyes!! My eyes!!!

From DC Universe Legacies #8

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bruce Wayne--G Rated Playboy!!

OK, now that Bruce Wayne is back, it's time to make a very important point:

He's not a very good playboy.

At least not in the hand of modern writers. Take, for example, this conversation between jilted lovers girlfriends of Bruce's, from last week's Batman And Robin #18, complaining about his behavior in "relationships":

"Not before marriage"????? "That's ALWAYS the Bruce Wayne Story""??

Are you telling me, that out of all those models and actresses and debutantes and hot hot women he's dated, Bruce hasn't...ahem...finished the deal with any of them??

Of course, that's just scuttlebutt between a couple of jilted exes. But on the other hand, that's what Bruce's actual reputation is--the ladies are complaining that he's a saint instead of a sinner.

That's what a playboy is? Just dinners and maybe dancing while he looks for someone to propose to?

Man, I remember the good old days, when Bruce actually cared about his secret identity, and so made himself appear the drunken gadabout, the womanizer, the profligate. All the more to make it less likely that anyone will suspect that he is Batman.

Now? He's heading up international crime-fighting initiatives, and he's a "very principled" wait-until-after-we're-married-dear gentleman. Hell, I'll bet he doesn't even pretend to get drunk in public anymore.

And, if we're to believe Paul Cornell's story, the ladies get pretty ticked when you don't give them a "loving commitment" and become super-villains.

So get to work there, Bruce--it's your duty!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tales from The Quarter Bin--Rappin' With Robin

UPDATE: One of our commentators may have found the origin of the "famous routine." Video embedded below.

While Dick Grayson is attending Hudson University, another famous person has decided to get a college education, too: "Actor-singer-dancer-comedian" Davy King!!

I know what you're thinking...that life story sounds suspiciously like that of famed entertainer Danny Kaye. Well, you're right, it does...but don't worry, they explicitly acknowledge in the credits that they're doing this as a tribute to him:

Now, you might be asking, why turn the Robin back-up strip from Batman #252 (1973) into a vehicle for Danny Kaye? And I guess the only answer is...why not??

Anyhoo, a series of accidents have plagued the campus since Danny Davy arrived. (SPOILER ALERT: Davy's agent is losing money while Davy is attending classes, so he's staging accident to persuade Davy that the college is cursed, so Davy will leave and go back on tour. Seriously). And while Davy is entertaining a ton of tykes at Dick Grayson's charity boys club, there's a big explosion, and they're all trapped inside while Robin rousts the bad guy. Don't worry, though:

And how did he do that?

Oh, man, this deserves a closer look:

Now, I have to admit that I'm not familiar enough with Danny Kaye's material to know if there was a real "famous routine" that this was based on, maybe where he pulled a Billy Joel or Michael Stipe on famous names of the time, or if Elliot S! Maggin was just freestylin' here. If anyone out there knows, drop a line or link in the comments section.

But whatever the basis, we have Danny Kaye "racing through the names of super-heroes in rhythm," including several non-DC heroes!! And that's worth the quarter this comic cost me, and then some!!

Seriously, DC Borscht Belt comedians know of the Submariner and Human Torch? Maybe he wasn't from Earth-1...

UPDATE: Anonymous (bro, get a name...we're all friendly here!!) has found the bit that was doubtless the inspiration for Davy King's "famous routine":