Saturday, January 31, 2015

Best Cover You've Never Seen--The Thing: Freakshow #3 (2002)

There are those who can write their name in the snow whilst urinating.

And then, there are those...

Most impressive, Benjamin J. Grimm. Most impressive. Must have been the cosmic rays.

Man, if I could have left messages every time I puked, the world would be a different place today, I don't mind telling you.

Cover by Scott Kolins and Andy Lanning

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Night Fights--Professional Style!!

It's an international/time-travel/museum heist/natural disaster/super-hero mashup for this week's Friday Night Fights!

It's 1980, and a time-tossed Captain Canuck is stuck in a small Canadian town, which has been evacuated because it's about to be engulfed by "the forest fire of the century!"

Oh, also in the town? Crooks who've looted the local museum of priceless artifacts and are trying to get away!

Can Captain C stop them, and still get himself (and the beautiful female undercover cop who has been tagging along with him) to the evacuation site in time to avoid being char-broiled?!? Let's watch!

Oh, Canada!!

Spacebooger thinks that if this wasn't a MacGyver plot, it should have been!

Captain Canuck beats the crooks, gets the girl, and rescues everyone from the fire in Captain Canuck #14 (1981), written and drawn and inked by George Freeman, coloured and lettered by Jean-Claude St. Aubin

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why? Because Canada, dammit!! So go vote! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Misguided Attempt To Get Joss Whedon To Stay On The Avengers Franchise?

Instead of making Avengers 3A & 3B be The Infinity War, how about this?

Yes, I know they're not wearing bikinis. What do you want, titles that make sense?

OK, OK, a not-yet-released "Adults only erotic thriller" (their words, not mine) might not be the way to go.

How about a fresh, new idea?
No, no, no.

And again, no.

Let's make one more, desperate attempt:

But how can it be a naked bikini, when naked would mean no bikini, and...

I give up.

That's gotta be Hank Pym as the Masked Avenger, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Aqualad Will Die Alone!

It's Emergency Letter Time at Teen Titan headquarters!

But not everyone is as focused on Emergency Letters as they should be!!

Oh, are soooo smooth with the ladies!

No wonder Tula died rather than hang around with you...

(Emergency Letter time?!?)

From Teen Titans #5 (1966)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spider-Verse: The Untold Chapters!!

If you've been groovin' to Spider-Verse, true believer, then you might like to see a few of the alternate Spider-Men that they haven't shared with you!

You're welcome.

From Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 (1968)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Those Damn Kids Today! (Same As It Ever Was)

The next time you here some cantankerous Baby Boomer laments that "Generation X" or "The Millennials" (or whomever they're bitching about today) is going to destroy this nation, you might want to refer them to this piece, from The Perfect Crime # 27 (1952):

Preach on, Sgt. Audley V. Walsh. Preach on!

Manic Monday Bonus--So, Which Hero Is The Most Valuable Crook?

How to amuse yourself in the days before EBay:

Oh, you stupid crooks.

Anyway, for once this scene actually does happen inside the comic book! Small-time punk Peter Rickets has stumbled upon a scientific device which gives him the ability to completely control anyone mentally--even the Justice League Of America!!

Well, instead of offing them right away, he decides to auction them off to the nation's underworld leaders, who can then use them to commit crimes for them!! Hence our (surprisingly) accurate cover!

Ah, but to heck with the story. My question is this: Which hero do you think received the highest bids? Who would be, among the hypnotized JLA (Batman and Superman are off "on a mission in Dimension X"), the best "tool" for a criminal to use?

Me, I tend toward J'onn Jonzz. After all, he has the basic Superman power set, PLUS invisibility, PLUS intangibility, PLUS shape-shifting, PLUS telepathy...pretty much the perfect skills for theivery, right? He can look like anybody, walk through walls, read minds...and if there's trouble, he can fly and beat the crap out of people. Sure, there's the pesky fire problem, but you have to think that fire is a lot less common than, say, yellow.

And, given the company, Green Arrow or Aquaman had to attract the lowest bids, am I right?

Sadly, we never learn the actual amounts these nogoodniks bid in their auction, so I guess it's for all of us to decide on our own who would the most valuable to the lords of crime.

Of course, if instead of selling them individually, you sold them as a unit, you could run one hell of a criminal scheme...send them out as an Ocean's Six, as it were.

Damn, that's a fine idea. That had better be the basis of the Justice League movie...

From Justice League of America #8 (1962)

Manic Monday--G.E.O.F.F. J.O.H.N.S. S.T.R.I.K.E.S A.G.A.I.N.

Let me make full disclosure right away.

I love to invent acronyms for things. I used to mock a friend who had a MENSA membership that the name stood for Man-Eating Nasty Snarling Aliens, and the group was really a front for aliens to gather all of humanity's smartest in one place when they invaded. Hmmm, that would make a great comic book plot (or a terrible TV series plot)!

Anyway, the point is that my hands aren't clean when it comes to making the initials of preexisting names stand for something.

But there does come a point when the activity passes the point of fun and silliness, and enters the real of trendy grim realism and sucking the fun out of everything.

Take, for example, last week's episode of The Flash (don't worry, no spoilers here). Co-written by DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, it was apparently decided that the name Firestorm had to stand for something.

I mean, we can't have a teenager transformed into a nuclear super-hero just give himself the name Firestorm, can we? I mean, that is far too comic-booky for modern audiences!

No, instead the name has to derive from this:

You can click on that to embiggen.

What the screen tells us that the next hero on the DC block got his name by making an acronym of the title of an 800 page pdf file of a scientific paper.

And that F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. is really an acronym for Fusion, Ignition, Research Experiment and Science of Transmutation Originating RNA and Molecular Structures.


Isn't that the most terrible thing ever? It gets even blog-buddy notintheface points out, because the phrase contains "RNA", it's actually an acronym that includes another acronym. That is special.

I guess it's a good thing that Johns isn't working on the Marvel TV shows, or he'd reveal that D.A.R.E.D.E.V.I.L. actually stands for DNA Activated Radar Enhanced Dual Extra-sensory (non-Visual) Impairment Lessener.

Yes, it's terrible. But then again, I'm not paid to come up with better, like a certain Chief Creative Officer is.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Naive World of 2002

Ah, the modern super-hero universe, where the defenders of good and right are resented, hated, and feared...

Wait--the city is throwing them a celebration? Don't you mean a protest, and picketing, and evicting them, and throwing fruit and stuff?

People want to thank heroes?!? Are we sure this is a modern super-hero comic?

A parade?!? A parade?!? (And you have to love the Reed Richards balloon!)

Multiple parades?!? Monthly parades? People love heroes?

Not a dream, not a hoax, not an alternate reality!!

Clearly, someone never got the memo that modern super-heroes must be tormented, hunted, hated by the very people they protect, viewed as both threats and menaces. Someone hasn't absorbed the lesson that heroes must have loss in their life, with murdered relatives and tragedy, or they can't be heroes.

Who wrote this?


This is like finding a trunk in the attic full of happy love songs that Morrissey wrote as a teenager before he became Morrissey.

Still, in this series, Geoff Johns does have Ben Grimm get depressed and literally run away to join the circus, so there's that.

And we should be very, very grateful that he didn't try to turn F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C. F.O.U.R. into an acronym, like he did with Firestorm...

From The Thing: Freakshow #1 (2002)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Green Lantern's Trans-Species Dream Crisis!

Look, even in the context of the annals of Silver Age DC, there are some things that just make you go "What?"

This may be the Whatiest What that was ever Whatted.

Our story starts one week as Hal Jordan is asleep, and dreaming...

But even Hal's dreams are boring...

Fortunately, it's just a dream, right?



Yes, Hal's power ring acted on his dreams, and turned Tom Kalmaku into a seagull.


You mean Hal's ring can change someone's species?!?

So he could, for example, turn a beaten Sinestro into a mouse? Or he could turn Aquaman into a normal human (or a camel!) if they were trapped in a desert, so he wouldn't die because of the one-hour limit? Or he could turn Batman into a gorilla, because, hell, who wouldn't want to turn Batman into a gorilla?!?!? Or he could turn Starro into a cute puppy? Or...

Obviously, DC kinda backed away from this ability. I suppose if a modern Green Lantern writer addressed this, she would say something like "Hal was dreaming. And only in a dream could he believe he could actually do it--so only while dreaming would he have sufficient willpower to make the ring do this." [This is why I'm not allowed to write comics].

And, indeed, at the end of the story, Hal commands his power ring to never act on one of his dreams again. Dummy.

Anyway, for this story, it's a damn good thing that Hal did turn Tom into a seagull. Because Hal kinda screwed up and knocked himself out while trying to stop a skyjacking:

So, it's were-seagull Tom Kalmaku to the rescue!

All's well that ends well.

Still, I think this portends a pretty cool Green Lantern/Sandman crossover, right? If a GL ring can make dreams come true, well, Morpheus may want to get involved, and...

Oops, there I go again. Not allowed to write comics, snell...remember, not allowed to write comics.

From Green Lantern #7 (1961)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Night Fights--Shotgun Spinach Style!!

We have a hideously overlong Friday Night Fights this week, but I think you'll find it worth the time.

The wicked Sea Hag has been training a Boo Bird to hate Popeye! Why?

Ooh, that's not good!!

Well, Sea Hag tricks Wimpy (because Sea Hag always tricks Wimpy) into giving Popeye the Boo Bird as a birthday gift!


And so, the time has come for the Sea Hag and her minion to strike!!

Sometimes a gal has got to take matters into her own hands!

And of course, Popeye maintains a great attitude about someone trying to murder him:


Spacebooger agrees that feeding your family via shotgun is a great time-saver!

Popeye gets shot with spinach in Popeye #29 (1954), as reprinted in Classic Popeye #29 (2014), and the entire thing was a Bud Sagendorf joint.

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why?!? It's the best way to keep the Boo Birds away! So go and vote!!