Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In Which the Hulk Fights Sting.... Ray.

Still trying to right the ship, Dear Ones.  Things are improving, but days are still so full.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Let's start out with another installment of

Fair Question (tm!)

Fair Question (tm!)

I first encountered Stingray in an issue of The Defenders where they did an impromptu membership drive and nearly every B-lister in the Marvel Universe showed up.  I kinda liked the costume. 

And I'm pretty sure this is a cameo of Archie Bunker from All in the Family:

Archie's wife's name was "Edith," but Archie was a cabbie, so....

Anyway, turns out I underestimated what a jerk Stingray is:

Again, that's a fair point.  And nice aim there, Annie Oakley.

But that led to a very satisfying off-camera smack.  Thusly:

Yeah.  That was a nice one.

And again...

... the Hulk has a point.  When the Hulk has verbally backed you into a corner, you need to seriously reconsider your position.

Which Stingray finally does:

... sorta.  Character growth is a slow process folks.

Anyway, as you might imagine, this was not a particularly challenging fight.  But it gave us another installment of... 

REVENGE!!! (tm!)

Hope to see you soon, Dear Ones!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lots of Catching Up with Silly Hulk Posts

Hey, gang!  Still plowing through a very rough patch.  Ready for 2016 to end.  But I've found a few little tidbits well worth immortalizing from The Incredible Hulk.

First, you may recall that the Hulk killed the Rhino.  But as is often the case in comics, death is rarely fatal:

The old "Waitasec!  He's still breathing!" gambit.  Works every time.  That was from issue #124, by the way.  Here's a classic Dr. Doom moment from issue #143:

No one puts you in your place like Victor Von Doom.

Here was a plot device I think everyone was happy to see go away, from issue #143:

I don't know who thought that was a good idea or what sort of plot twists it would lead to, but I think we can all agree it's best to forget about the time that Doc Samson's strength was literally related to the length of his hair.

Hey!  Here's something I haven't had a chance to say in years!

Shut up, Sue. (tm!)

Yeah!  Thanks, issue #153!

And finally, some awesomeness from issue #194, where the Hulk fights the Locust.

You don't remember the Locust?  Fought the original X-Men.  Not kiddin'.

Anyway, the Locust should appear a lot more often so we can get scenes like these:

And the piece de resistance


Hopefully I'll be able to resume regular posts soon, Dear Ones.  Wake me when 2016 is over.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bruce Banner is Super Super Serious!

Dear Ones, as I've been alluding to, the Barnetts are going through a heck of a year.  I may be out of pocket for some time as we deal with a medical situation.  I'm sure I will return at some point, but I have no clue when.  Please check back every so often.

But before I shuffle off stage right, let's catch up on the Hulk.

First, there was the Glob:

I know what you're thinking, and both the Man-Thing and the Swamp Thing were two years away.  Since he looks like a mashup between the two characters, one wonders if he wasn't an inspiration for them.

But he wasn't that great.  Here we see his origin:

In other words, he was Flint "Sandman" Marko who hid in a swamp instead of a pile of sand.  NEXT!

The next issue was a big improvement, because it had the Hulk fighting the Fantastic Four.  Well, it was more like he swatted Reed, Sue and Johnny like gnats while having to exert some effort in dealing with Ben.

And I believe it resolved a long ongoing debate among Marvel fans:

Of course it's common knowledge now that the Hulk is out of Ben's league in the sheer strength department, but there were fans that strongly argued the opposite up to that point.  

Anyway, at the next issue we learn that a formula developed by Reed and Bruce Banner gave Hulk the ability toooo: 

But although he was now in control of the transformations and Bruce Banner's brain maintained control of the Hulk, Bruce made a vow:

And he's super-serious:

Until the first time someone asks him to do it:

Ooooookay.  Once you start making qualified exceptions to your vow, your vow doesn't mean so much any more.  But okay.

Well, that vow lasted half an issue.

But then we learn that Bruce is not in control so much as he might have thought:

Which causes him to make a vow:

Yeah, when I get back we'll see how long that lasts.

Your good thoughts are appreciated for the Barnetts, my friends!  I'll post when I can!

Monday, April 4, 2016

In Which the Sandman's Personality Shifts Like... I Dunno... Sand?

I skipped a few issues of The Incredible Hulk because if it doesn't involve a super-villain (and I mean a real one, not just some one-shot alien invader), I ain't got time for that.  So you can imagine my delight when I came upon a two-part struggle with the Sandman starting with issue #113.  He's still wearing the outfit the Wizard gave him from his Frightful Four days which also apparently gave him a massive vocabulary boost:

First:  REVENGE! (tm!)

Second, why is he talking like an evil scientist?  He never talks like this.  And it keeps going:

And Sandy's verbal skills have escalated to the point where he is able to manipulate the Hulk by nothing more than fast-talking him:

Granted, it's not the toughest thing in the world to confuse the Hulk, but still.

Anyway, he talks and thinks like Dr. Doom through the whole issue: 

Now we go to part 2 in the next issue:

First: REVENGE! (tm!)

Second: I note that the creative team on this issue is exactly the same as the previous issue.  But notice the drop in proper grammar:

Followed up by some racial name-calling:

And one more time with the racism because Asians are still fair game in comics during the Silver Age: 

Why the sudden personality shift?  I have no idea.  I also noticed that Sandman is wearing the suit that enables him to mix various chemicals with his sand and doesn't use a single one while the Hulk is beating the sand out of Sandman's shorts.  Not a great showing here, but it's better than an alien.

I was wondering how I could "make" every party....

Wow!  Thanks, comics!  People will love my swinging, rocking, exciting hootenannies!

Fun fact:  "Hootenannies" is in the Google dictionary. 

See you tomorrow!

Friday, April 1, 2016

In Which the Hulk Actually Kills an Opponent

The Hulk finally took over the Tales to Astonish title in issue 102, making it The Incredible Hulk.  I was okay with this because Silver Age Sub-Mariner just didn't do it for me and the abbreviated space in shoving two stories into a regular-sized comic didn't make for mesmerizing storytelling.

So, I skipped a lot of issues and I regret nothing.  But just to catch up, the secret of the Bruce Banner / Hulk connection was out by then and Bruce had figured out he could change into the Hulk by getting himself excited... something that sounds dirty, but wasn't supposed to be.  Anyway, we're at issue #104 wherein the Hulk tangles with the Rhino and kills him.  Thusly:

And yes, it's not like the Hulk meant to start the fatal fire.

Wait a minute.

You knew that song was coming, but at least I gave you something different.

Anyway, Hulk tries to save the Rhino: 

Now, it's important to note that the fire may not have been what the Hulk was going for, it was still the direct result of the Hulk's actions.  And he meant to inflict damage.  The fact that he was more effective than he thought he would be really isn't much of a mitigating factor.

Anyway, Rhino knows he's dying and gives it one last shot:

Before you say, "Yeah, but he didn't intend to kill the Rhino," I'm going to cut you off there.  It's not the intent to kill the Rhino that is at issue.  The Hulk intentionally committed the act that brought about the Rhino's death and even someone with diminished mental capacity like the Hulk could have arguably foreseen that smashing a vehicle would cause the gas inside to explode.  Not that I wouldn't have raised that defense if I were defending him, but this is different from your typical "the bullet bounced off the hero's chest and struck the villain" or "the villain gets knocked off the cliff in combat" scenario.

In retrospect, the powers that be probably saw this as a bit problematic from a morality perspective (the Hulk was supposed to be sort of a hero, after all) and changed "death" to "coma" several issues later.  But still.

See you Monday!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Which We Act Like Future People and See What Would Have Happened if You Had Bought Property from a Comic Book Ad 50 Years Ago

So I was plodding through the rather dry Tales to Astonish when I came upon this ad in issue #91:

The notion of buying a half-acre of land for $299 even 50 years ago was pretty cheap, so I thought I'd do a little follow-up and see what history now tells us would have become of a hopeful real estate tycoon who purchased land in Deming Ranchettes.

Well, it appears that not much has happened.  If you live in Deming Ranchettes, this is what a quick search on the Google tells me you will experience today:

 30 minutes. east/southeast of Deming, New Mexico. 
Homes & Mobile Homes Allowed in Deming Ranchettes.
Horses O.K.
Lots of room to Ride, Hike, Golf or just enjoy the fresh air.
Spacious skies, mountain views.
Breathtaking Sunrises & Sunsets.

Close to Rockhound State Park, Elephant Butte Lake & Old Mexico.
Nice place to camp, vacation or build a home.
O.K. to park your R.V, Build your Dream Home & Mobile Homes O.K.  
Water will need to be hauled or a Well would have to be Drilled.
Well's & Septic's are normal for the area.
Power can be by Solar, Wind or Generator,
Electric was 2 miles away, NOW only .64 miles away on San Pablo Road

and you can get it for less than two thousand bucks!

It's rather telling that the seller has never even seen the lot he's selling.  The story I'm gathering is that the landowner divided up the property and sold it off via magazine ads, and many of the property owners today inherited the property from people who thought there was no way they could lose by buying a piece of property for $299.

As I understand it, it's pretty remote by any definition.  You have a Wal-Mart and a Kmart within a reasonable drive, but anything else takes at least an hour and you're looking at a two hour drive to get to the nearest commercial airport.  The City of Deming has about 15,000 people, which is a higher population than some towns I was unfortunate enough to find myself living briefly over the course of my life.  But I note that the official City of Deming website has links to videos for "industry and growth," "retail opportunities" and "retiring in Deming" that are dead links, so that probably tells you something about what you're in for even if you move to the bigger city.

So, I would say that "lots of room" means you're basically marooning yourself if you go there.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Yours Truly likes his creature comforts, so I will remain firmly on the grid.  It was interesting to have the advantage of looking back on how things ended up, though.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Guest Starring Bjork?

Here's something kinda funny from Contributor Robert Gillis!

Not sure what the ish number is, but it's funny that "Bjork" was considered a nonsense word.  It's actually an Icelandic patrynomic name.  Most people have heard of the name because of the singer Bjork, but I'm not a fan so I'll not post a video of her caterwauling.  You may thank me later.

Although I wonder if Bjork isn't getting shot down there.  Someone probably should investigate that.  I don't find her music remotely palatable, but I don't want the woman to come to any actual harm.

Meanwhile, here's some random fun from Master Comics #82, with an installment of Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Oh, man!  Don't use the phone!  Here at CMNS, we all know that using the phone only leads to injury:

Yeah.  Like that.

Comic lore is that they had Freddy Freeman say "Captain Marvel!" instead of "Shazam!" so that readers would be reminded that there was a "Captain Marvel" whose comics they should also be buying.

Or you could just put Captain Marvel Jr. in Captain Marvel's trademark red outfit.  There's always that.

See you tomorrow!