Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tales From The Quarter Bin--That Weird Simon/Kirby Shield Reboot!

In the late 50s, Archie Comics asked Joe Simon's studio to recreate/relaunch the good old MLJ heroes, to catch some of the DC Silver Age zeitgeist that was out there.

Which is where this came from:

Note that he's not actually refereed to as The Shield on the cover, and only so sparingly on the innards of the book:

This guy was completely divorced from the origin identity of the original Shield. See, snoopy scientists are investigating some weird stories they'd heard about fellow scientist Malcom Fleming...

Well, they threaten to have the boy taken away, and at the same time the less-squeamish commies plan to kidnap Roger for themselves. Stuff happens, there's a car crash in the mountains, and everyone dies except Roger...who's found by a hillbilly couple:

Thank God her name is Martha, in case he ever has to fight Batman!!

So, Roger Fleming gets raised as Lancelot Strong (!!), and just about at the point his powers emerge, he's drafted!! And so, for two issues, we get the adventures of a super-powered Gomer Pyle!!

As I said, weird stuff, man.

From The Double Life Of Private Strong #1 (1959), as reprinted in Blue Ribbon Comics #5 (1984)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Somedays, You're Too Damn Busy To Fight Crime!!

We've all had days like this, right?

Even super friends are entitled to laze-around-the-house-doing-not-much days, right?

[SPOILER ALERT--This was really a cunning plan to defeat the villain by not giving him anything to react to. Because comics.]

From Super Friends #39 (1980)

Manic Monday Bonus--What If Mike Mignola Drew Avengers #1 (1963)?

It might have gone a little something like...this:

You're welcome.

From Namor, The Sub-Mariner Annual #1 (1991)

Manic Monday--Why The Fantastic Four Has To Take Uber?!?

Because they don't have very good luck with regular cabs!

As the Fantastic Four (& special guest the Impossible Man) try to get to the Baxter Building when their spaceship crashes in Central Park (long story...):

Hey, that's cheating!

And when Impy causes some mischief...


So that's why the FF has to stick to Uber. No regular txi will take them!

BTW, how does that 1976 fare compare to current NYC taxi rates?

OUCH!! There's another reason they stick to Uber!!

From Fantastic Four #176 (1976)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Is Chris Pine Too Tall To Play A Leprechaun?

After much research and stealth, I'm fairly certain that I've stumbled upon the ploy of the upcoming Wonder Woman film:

Prove I'm wrong!!

From The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia (2010). The story described is from Wonder Woman #75 (1955)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Your Tax Dollar At Work--Pip The Magic Safety Elephant!

It's always a mystery why some government PSA carton characters--like Smokey Bear or McGruff The Crime Dog--catch on, while others vanish forever into obscurity.

Then again, maybe it's not so hard to figure out sometimes...

Yes, Pip The Magic Safety Elephant was a real creation of the U.S. government!

So how did Pip get to be the "Magic Safety Elephant"? Well, at first he started out as a dumbass, like all of us:

OK, so Pip is not a magical pachyderm that I'd want to trust my kids to, at least not yet...

So far, every single animal in the world is better at safety than Pip!!

How, then, did he become magical and get the safety gig? Well, they kind of gloss over that point:

"Other similar episodes occurred"?!? Dude, you should be dead 10 times over, and you're lecturing us about safety?

Plus, you just became magic? How?

Most of Pip's duties seem to involve lazing around letting others carry the load...

And, well, he's sometimes shocking poor at prioritizing: Johnny's been eating lead paint flakes in his "inner city home" for months. Yet...

He had been eating paint FOR MONTHS, Pip. What the hell?

Anyway, yeah, Pip dispenses all the usual good advices about old medicine and household cleaners and storing chemicals and locking sheds...

Maybe it was terrible costume design...maybe it was anti-elephant prejudice. Maybe it was the fact that he was a dumbass who wasn't very good at his job. But for whatever reason, Pip vanished into the mists of time, while McGruff and Smokey are still big players on the celebrity animal safety circuit...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Riddle Me This, Mary Marvel!!

It's Mary Batson's high school graduation--and look who's come to congratulate her!

Yup, good old Bulletgirl herself!!

Unfortunately, Susan Kent had the bad manners to bring along a couple of her recurring villains: Dr. Riddle and The Weeper!!
Well, Susan is caught in an easily escapable death trap, but Mary Marvel rescues her (this will be a continuing theme).

And, of course, with a name like the Dr. Riddle...

Mary Marvel has a goofy scientist and an intelligent worm for enemies--so when she derides the Dr. Riddler as silly, well, she should know!

Well, after lots of thwarted schemes, ridiculously easy riddles, Bulletgirl getting captured while Mary rescues her, and finally Bulletgirl getting knocked out before the big crime, Mary finally gets into the spirit of things:

Now that's my kind of riddle!!

As for the Weeper?

Yes...yes, she is.

Bulletgirl was captured and knocked out 7 times on the way home...

From Mary Marvel #8 (1946)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This Really Should be An Olympic Sport!!

Gravitron has brought his little chunk of Canada to the big city!!

Man, everybody wants to make it in Manhattan! What's wrong with ruling Canada, bro?

Anyway, in one of the saddest variations of "I have a girlfriend, but she's in Canada," well, Frank's Canadian scientist crush really exists, and kills herself rather than be forced to be Graviton's queen. Oops!

Uh, don't do that, Frank...

Get ready, ladies, for the Great 1977 Marvel Beefcake Show!

Oh, dear...

Hurray!! Do it again!! Do it again!

Now, I fear that some of your primitive post-1970s minds are whining "physics" or "tidal waves" or the like.

The Bullpen has you covered, friend:

Still, Namor could have been pretty pissed...

From Avengers #159 (1977). Letter from Avengers #163 (1977)