Saturday, December 31, 2011

Choose Your Doom--Evil Mountains, Or Cephalopods?!?

Some covers just can't help lying to you:

Really, that would be an impossible mission!

For the record, it was a plain old mountain, Mount Leider. The mountain's in Germany, and the name in German translates as Mount Unfortunately. Cute, but hardly an "Evil Mountain."

More interesting is the second story in the issue, which features the IMF trying to infiltrate the despotic nation of Coluramia (ahh, Mission Impossible, you and your fake countries!) via the ocean. But unfortunately...

Sorry, Mike May, I hate to crib from your act...but I keep running into cephalopods all week!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Goldfinger Hates Cephalopods!!

It's been awhile since we checked in with Stardust The Super Wizard. Let's watch how he chills in his crib:

Batman wishes he had such wonderful toys...

Does he really need a crime-detector covering all the planets? Jupiter's been pretty safe for decades now...And "a robbery is being planned on Earth"?? Could you be just a teeny bit more specific, crime-detector?

Not to worry--Stardust knows all:

He's right, you know.

At today's gold prices, that would be over $1 trillion in swag (but Fort Knox stores only about 25% as much gold now as it did back then, so the current swag would only be $229 billion or so).

But how will they pull off this daring heist?

Wait a minute--that's Goldfinger's plan to rob Fort Knox!!!! What the frak?!? Is "Slant-Eyes" really Auric Goldfinger?!?!

And what will they do with those ill-gotten gains?

"Own the Earth"? Really? Fantastic Comics #16 was cover dated March 1941, so it wouldn't be too long until they found out just how "impregnable" their South Seas island was.

Except, of course, Stardust beats the crap out of them first.

And what is Stardust's plan for sufficiently Karmic punishment?

Now, I'm not sure exactly why Stardust had to turn the whole island upside down here. Then again, if you have the power to turn islands upside down, why the heck not, right?

Bonus points for Stardust, because he didn't have to convert any lesbians to foil this attempt to rob Fort Knox. (Goldfinger is one of the more overrated Bond movies, that's all I'm saying...)

And bonus points for you, the reader, the incomparable Dame Shirley Bassey belting out Goldfinger:

And just to prove how awesome she is, here she is doing it again, this year--WHEN SHE'S 74!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bold Fashion Choices--Proof Of America's Obesity Epidemic

If you need graphic proof that Americans are fatter than they used to be, just gaze at this and realize...In 1950, the average American woman's waist was thinner than her neck!

No, seriously, it's true!!
I mean, advertising would never lie to us, right? Especially comic book advertising!!

Plus, people apparently bought dresses from clip-out coupons in comic books in 1950...

From A Spectacular Feature #11 (1950)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The World According To Steve Ditko

From The Avenging World (1973), written, drawn, inked and lettered by Steve Ditko, presented without further commentary (except, click on any pages to embiggen them):

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Question Of Self-Reference

It's funny the stupid stuff you never notice for 35 years of comic book fandom, that suddenly leap out and smack you in the forehead.

Two panels from Fantastic Four #326 (1989). First:

"I stopped by to see how "Inferno" went"?? Really?

And later in the same issue...

"In the Secret War"???

Don't ask me why, but it just suddenly strikes me as odd to see comic book characters referring to their mega-events by the same titles the writers gave to those events. It just

I mean, I know it's convenient shorthand for the readers, but do the heroes really go around referring to the demon invasion of New York as "Inferno"? Do the participants in Secret Wars all refer to those events as 'The Secret War" (at least until Bendis came along and used the title again)?

It just seems me, you know? Do the X-Men wander around saying, "Geez, that was pretty rough, back during the X-Tinction Agenda!" (and more importantly, do they actually leave the "E" off , in their heads, when they say it?!?)?? Did DC heroes call the events of Armageddon: 2001 "Armageddon" (obviously not 2001, for sliding timeline purposes...but still)? Do Marvel heroes call that one time every villain switched up heroes "Acts Of Vengeance" when they tell the story???

It just seems weird, that's a Dickens character coming out and saying, "Well, this is indeed a Tale Of Two Cities..."

Sure, they always used to refer to a vague "Crisis" post-Crisis On Infinite Earths, but they never actually called it "Crisis On Infinite Earths". And I doubt you had a JLA meeting where Booster Gold said, "Wow, that Infinite Crisis was really something, eh?" Nor, I'm fairly certain, did you ever hear, say, Ms. Marvel opine, "Man, this sure is a Dark Reign we're experiencing, isn't it?"

Then again, people in DC's future keep referring to the "Flashpoint," so who knows. Maybe a few months from now we'll hear Avengers referring to "X-Sanction", or Hank McCoy saying, "You know, back during The Messiah Complex..."

Yeah, yeah, I know--I'm an idiot. But seeing it happen so explicitly there, twice in the same issue, just made my brain tickle. Blame Steve Englehart John Harkness, not me...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Manic Monday Public Service Announcement--Fear Your Home Computer!!

You kids and your new-fangled home computers and iPods and tablets and smart phones that you got for Christmas--you're going to be the death of human civilization!! And I can prove it!!

Let's jet back to 1989. For several issues, Reed Richards has been raving about how sweet his new home desktop computer, the Turino XL, is. This first is from Fantastic Four #326:

And he keeps on pitching it, until he sounds likes he's doing an infomercial (This is from FF #331):

Still, all is not well, as all of the Four Freedom Plaza's systems start to go haywire. As they try to take Franklin to the safe room, however...

See, Ultron apparently subscribes to the Count Alucard theory on "secret" identities...

Yeah, he just name-dropped Transfomers.

See?!? SEE?!?!? We're all doomed, unless you dispose of all of your technology immediately!! We can't ignore this dire plot from 1989!!! All of your electronics are just Trojan horses for Ultron!! Destroy them!! Dispose of them NOW!!!

Oh...wait. That was just a dream Reed was having? You mean the FF actually spent 4 issues in suspended animation, just dreaming??!! Grrrr...

Anyway, never mind about the great home computer threat. You're probably all safe. Probably...