Friday, August 29, 2014

In Which Adam Overthinks Superman's Encounter with Bluto from Popeye

Dear Ones, I'll be taking a break next week, what with Labor Day and all that.  But to ensure that we temporarily part with a smile on our faces, let's check out the second appearance of Captain Strong, courtesy of Action Comics #439:





Yup, it has all the elements of a classic Popeye tale.  Popeye romances Olive, Bluto shows up, and chaos ensues.  Although I don't remember Bluto dressing like a caveman:


And then things go way off the source material:


If your standards include the word, "midget," you need to elevate your standards.  More to the point, I'm really not sure what to make of all that.  So, was Bluto an alien and I missed it?  I think in one version of the comics, he was the child of the Sea Hag.  Why not go with that?  I'm not trying to nit-pick, but having someone turn out to be an alien or a robot is pretty cliche.

Then again, that's 439 issues into the title's run, so I guess I can just shut my big mouth.

Here's a power that took me a minute to figure out:




Okay, once I figured out what the mad scientist guy did (which was essentially make himself super skinny like the Thin Man from the Liberty Legion), I kind of understood the power set.  

But when he refers to it as a battle between someone who shrinks horizontally versus someone who shrinks vertically, that didn't make any sense.  And here's why:  If the Atom just shrunk horizontally, he'd still be the same width.  He'd be a big red and blue pancake.  

In order to make yourself tiny, you'd have to shrink both vertically and horizontally.  And I am no scientist, my friends, so Dr. Bad Haircut there certainly would have figured that out before he started yappin'.  

Maybe he deliberately gave out incorrect data to give himself an edge in battle.
Nah.

But enough of that.  Here's a great bit from Superman #144, courtesy of Robert Giles:


Superman accidentally blew up the Earth?  When the man commits a "d'oh!," it's a super "d'oh!"  But I love how all Supergirl can do is moan about it's going to inconvenience her.  Ah, teenagers.

Well, I'll see you Monday, September 8th!  Stay safe, and we'll pick things up from there!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Superman: Superfishal. Get It?

Well, here's something I hadn't seen in decades:



This was my very first exposure to Superman.  When I re-read the comic, it became apparent to me why I preferred Captain Marvel to Supes: Cap was saving the town from drowning in cherry gelatin, while Superman was being mind-controlled and coming up with various ways of creating natural disasters.  My 5 year-old brain knew what it wanted.

Anyway, there was nothing funny in there, but I certainly remember that cover.  And Superman got a lot of toothaches in that story.  And the Atom story had a guy that abused prescription drugs, but I was way too young to understand what that was all about.

Now, had I seen Action #431, my opinion of Superman might be quite different today:



Awesome!  It's like watching Mortal Kombat as Muppets!  And the icing on the proverbial cake is that the monster guy there is called The Quakerer.  If that issue had been my first impression, I'd probably be president of the Superman Fan Club.

From Batman #2, it's time for some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!)


The Real Batman!

Yes, the real Batman scoops unwilling women off the street and forces them into his vehicle.  That's who he really is and what he's really all about: He's the Real Batman.

Time for a new meme.  I call this one, Aren't You Sorry You Asked? (tm!)

It goes a little something like this:



Aren't You Sorry You Asked? (tm!)

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don't Let Batman Near Your Grandmother

In the very first issue of Batman, we not only had the Joker make his appearance (which is surprisingly lacking in funny material for this here blog), but the Catwoman as well.  She was only "The Cat" in her first appearance, but we have more Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (tm!), and that's really what it's all about.

Here's an epic series of Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (tm!) panels that shows us an... "interesting" side of Bruce:




I'm not sure where Bruce is going with all that, but I know I'm not comfortable with it.  Yet it continues:



That poor woman needed either a rape whistle or a Life Alert necklace.


Okay, I'll stop.  I think we're all feeling a little unclean right about now.

And yes, in the spirit of Fun with Out of Context... , I removed some dialogue, but I didn't actually change any.  Hence, the "Out of Context."

Here's an interesting invitation:


Being regular is very important when you get older.  Eat lots of fiber, kids.  Here me now and believe me later.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Batman's Experiment Involving Adult Criminals and Children

Again, not to blog about blogging, but I've noticed that I find more material in the bigger-named books of yore than their less-known and less-successful competitors.  For example, I read some Golden Age Ray stories and got nothin'.  But then, I get my mitts on a reprint of Batman #1, and it's an embarrassment of riches.

Let's start with a little detail:


Batman's villains are kept in an insane asylum located in Metropolis?  I would think Superman would have had Hugo Strange eating that gun before he made it anywhere near Gotham.  Surely that's just an editing mistake.

Hey!  It's time for Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!)

This one is so amazing, it takes two panels:



Yeah!

Meanwhile, I know I've mentioned this before, but it always kind of surprises me when Batman has no problem killing people:



Yeah, I don't think he hates it that much, because he does it a lot.

He also doesn't mind putting Robin in danger just to make a point:







That's a good (albeit fourth wall-breaking) message, but isn't he actually encouraging children to pick fights with mobsters?  I mean, he just had Robin do it and then he tells the readers to start fighting them, so... I guess you just have to do the best you can, Timmy!  Batman says so!

See you tomorrow!


Monday, August 25, 2014

That Time Superman Fought Popeye

Not to bore you with the deets of how this little blog keeps a' chugging along after all these years, but the biggest challenge is (as you might imagine) finding something worth writing about.  Even comics from indie publishers from the 1940's, while not technically the best comics out there, aren't always fodder for silly things to point out.  That's also the reason I generally avoid anything published after 1980.

The Silver and Bronze Ages of Comics rule.  One need look no further than Action Comics #421 to see why: 


Yup.  Superman basically fights Popeye.  Mind you, this is the company that sued the publishers of Captain Marvel because, despite obvious differences in tone and appearance, the comics world wasn't big enough for two heroes who were strong and could fly ... and were outselling them.

Hypocrisy aside, this story is nonstop good times.



It's not the first time a publisher used a "homage" to accomplish a character crossover without using the actual character, but the fact that they were giving us Popeye of all things, was just plain fun.


And, we got to see the phrase, "The Mighty Seaman":


But as any good lawyer will tell you when it comes to potential trademark violations, "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."  So, it was only meant to be a one-shot:


Yup.  Superman stole the last of the spinach sauncha, putting an end to the fun before King Features could assemble a lawsuit:


That was awesome.  True, there wasn't much to make fun of, but sometimes a story is so great that it deserves some props.  Off to the CMNS Comic Book Hall of Fame (tm!) with you.

Conversely, here's a story that had no potential: 


Yawn.  Besides, this kid has an awesome room.  He has a tv, stereo, and can drink soda in it.  I didn't even have a stereo in my room until I was 14.  The rest of the world doesn't get any better, kid.  Leave well enough alone.


Man, I wish I could find that issue.  You can't go wrong with a fight involving a gorilla.

Finally, here is a dang near perfect cover:


See?  There are some blurbs on top telling you what's in there, but there's nothing getting in the way of the picture, which is incredible.  Off to the Cover Hall of Fame (tm!) with you!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, August 22, 2014

In Which Superman Gets Told Off by His Own Cover Narration

I think we're going to get some old Batman stuff starting next week, so look forward to that.  What do you think?  Too much DC stuff?  Are there any series I should be taking a look at?  Shoot a request my way in the comments!


Okay, this is an awesome cover that belongs in the Cover Hall of Fame (tm!).  But, if you can get past the sheer awesomeness of it, check out the blurb:


First?  This is why blurbs shouldn't be on comics.  We should be able to just enjoy the beauty of a photo without a lot of chitchat.

That being said, "Wipe that smile off your face, Superman!" is bloody hilarious.  I don't know who is supposed to be saying it, but it's just great.  That's about as ham-handed an attempt at reconciling cover art with the story inside as any I can recall.  Freakin' brilliant.

Well, here was a product that caught my attention:


Oh, I don't think it's going to liven up a party at all if your guests see your Raquel Welch "Pillow."  They'll probably just be hanging onto their coats rather than laying them on your bed.

Hey!  Here's a CMNS Moment... of Comic Book Greatness (tm!), courtesy of Action Comics #415:


This has been a CMNS Moment... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

See you Monday!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Here She Is... Miss America!

Before we start, let's get in the mood:


We've had Miss America make an appearance in our comic book funhouse before, but the one we're more familiar with actually isn't the original.  The first Miss America appeared for 7 issues of Military Comics and promptly disappeared for decades.  Let's check out her cringeworthy origin:





It Was Only a Dream... Or WAS It? (tm!)

If you managed to make it that far, you'd find that she is basically omnipotent:



Miss America!  That's what I'll call myself!  The fact that it's readily-associated with a beauty queen has nothing to do with it at all!  Don't challenge me or I'll turn you into a bird.

But I found some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (tm!), so there's always that:


Heh.

She was so insignificant at the time that Timely Comics (which would later become Marvel Comics) went ahead a year or later and created their own Miss America, whose exploits we've seen right here on the blog.

Anyway, she was revived in the 1980's when Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron brought a bunch of Golden Age forgotten heroes back from publishing oblivion (much to my delight).  Here's a look at her origin from issue #26 of Secret Origins:


That guy with the Ricky Ricardo getup is Ramon, her arch enemy.  I wish I were kidding, but I'm not.


"All out of juice?"  That sure never happened in the original run, where her only limitations were her natural sense of self-restraint.


And... that sure never happened, either.  Miss America couldn't do anything unless it she could resolve it with her powers, like that creepy kid who everyone was terrified of in The Twilight Zone because he was also all-powerful but had the temperament of a spoiled child.

Enough of this.  Babalu!


See you tomorrow!