Friday, May 28, 2010

Sisters Spanking Sisters Friday! (aka The Best Blog Post Ever!)

I know a good blogger should never blog about blogging, but I have to admit that there are times when pickings are so slim that I wonder if I should hang it up. Have I found it all? Has it all been done before? Am I still bringing entertainment to people, or have I become a mediocre restaurant in a good location?

And then, I stumble upon something like this:

Beezy was a regular feature in Crack Comics that I don't read very often because, like most Golden Age features, it doesn't exactly push the envelope.

But every once in a while, we find something in the oddest of places, like Crack Comics #52:


I can't prove it, but I guarantee you the guy on the right never had a successful relationship with a woman. Your game needs a little work when you hunch over and charge at them with your tongue hanging out, although I will concede that every guy there seems to be employing a variation on that theme, so perhaps it was a mating ritual back in the day of our grandparents. But add that you wish to "squirm" with the "witch," and.... well, this is probably the guy who had so much girl-free time on his hands that he invented Dungeons & Dragons. Again, this is pure conjecture on my part, but I'm clearly not pulling it out of nowhere.

Anyway, this is how the story plays out:



It was mildly amusing, I suppose. But then things took quite a turn.

Quite. A. Turn.

Thusly:


Um.... excuse me? What's happening here?


I am not quite speechless, but dang near. I can't believe this treasure remained undiscovered by my friends and me throughout my adolescence. Keep in mind, kids, we didn't have the Internet or Cinemax back in the day. We lived for this sort of thing.


At least we learned a valuable lesson, boys. Beware of jailbait.

Greatest. Story. Ever.

Monday is Memorial Day, so I'll see you Tuesday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You're Quite a Load Thursday!

Here's a little glimpse of Lois Lane's body issues, courtesy of Showcase v1 #9:


At first, I thought Lois needed some serious therapeutic intervention.

Then I remembered this post. And I also remembered that Superman is a colossal douche.

Female vanity is a gold mine to get around writer's block. There is hilarity, because fat people are always causing cars to collapse:


and even Superman isn't above making comments about a woman's weight:


Keep in mind, we've seen Superman of that era lift up entire buildings. He was clearly just being a jackass. Again.

Ah, that's entertainment! Thanks, Lois Lane v1 #5! Making fun of obese people is always a good read, don't you think?

So all things considered, Lois should indeed hop on the scale every time Superman seems to be giving her the brush-off. Lesson learned, girls?

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Because There's Nothing Suspicious About Having a Name Like "Madam Fatal" Wednesday!

Today, we salute the awesomeness of Madam Fatal:


The saga of Madam (or "Madame" at times) Fatal ran for 22 issues of Crack Comics, at which point it was cancelled because believe it or not, the notion of a guy dressing as a girl and fighting crime didn't capture the attention of small children for long.

These panels are from the first appearance of Madam Fatal in Crack Comics #1, before bad guys knew better than to trifle with a harmless-looking person in comics. It's always the harmless-looking person who ends up being some kind of mutant or alien capable of pulling your brains out your nasal cavity.




See what I mean? By comic book standards, those thugs got off light.

And since this was an origin story, we learn the reason Richard Stanton dressed up as an elderly woman for eight years before this story took place. Not surprisingly, we never got a Madam Fatal: The Lost Years mini-series (although I bet I could write a great one).

Begin with the expository dialogue!:


You think that's it? Nope. Richard has been tucking his junk for eight years, and you're going to hear the whole story behind it:


What was so goofball about all this was that by the time we're finished with the very first Madam Fatal appearance, the motivation for the character is gone. Madam Fatal found and killed the guy he was looking for, and was now down to "fighting crime and lawlessness" as a transvestite:


Well, I'm not being entirely fair. Madam Fatal's daughter was still missing, being held by an undisclosed villain, so there was still something to be done. Sixty-Year Spoiler Alert!: Who had Richard's daughter was never revealed, and the daughter was never found.

DC Comics acquired the rights to Madame Fatal when the obtained the rights to all of the Quality Comics characters, but as you might imagine, they didn't see a diamond in the rough here. As far as I know, Madam Fatal only popped up twice in a DC Comic. First, in the awesome The Golden Age mini in 1993:


See? Top left. The Gambler and the Fiddler are trying to charm Madam Fatal, apparently unaware (or heck, as far as I know, maybe quite aware) that Madam Fatal is actually a dude. Then again, the giggles of the Psycho Pirate and the Harlequin make me think they are in for quite a rude surprise if they ever get to third base.

And the final indignity - - - dying off camera. Madam Fatal apparently had passed away by 1999's JSA #1:



While the Golden Age Red Tornado (the Ma Hunkel version) is the first time a woman fought crime dressed as a man, Madam Fatal was the first cross-dresser guy-to-girl, and so we give Madam Fatal props for groundbreaking, and for letting his Freak Flag fly!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Relax While She Strokes Your Head Tuesday!

Today's uncomfortable moments are brought to you by Detective Comics #152:

Vicki Vale was Batman's first real love interest. She had no boundaries:


Lady, Robin is right there, and you know it. I think she's getting some kind of weird exhibitionist enjoyment from having the kid watch. I'm calling Child Protective Services.

Vicki was also apparently a rather.... physically demonstrative woman. Here we see her doing the exact same thing for Bruce Wayne. Be mindful that at this point, she doesn't know Bruce is Batman:


Vicki, you hussy! And Dick Grayson is right there! This is some sort of serial weirdo thing. Pretty women get away with all kind of crap. You know they do.

This Robotman is not the same character from The Doom Patrol, but he had his share of weird moments:


And not to mention:


No, it doesn't even tickle. But maybe if you aimed a little lower.

Unless Robotman is built like a Ken doll. That's a great mystery of comics that no one ever really explored. There's probably a good reason.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Mind Has Been Blown Monday!

It's not that I go out of my way looking for mistakes. I understand we're talking about comics here.

But come on! See if you see the artist's goober:




Considering the escape involved ripping Batman's gloves to shreds, you would think that the artist, or the inker, or the colorist, or the letterer, or the editor might have noticed he shouldn't be wearing them when he emerges from the trap. Believe me, if I noticed, it's a substantial mistake because I'm an inattentive person.



Hey, kids! Comics!


And I have no idea what any of them mean. Now my head hurts. Was this the most stream-of-consciousness thing ever or am I just getting old? Probably both.

There is no way this was as bitchin' as it should have been:


A BB machine gun. If this was half as "deadly" as it indicated, it would have been owned by every boy ever.

It's probably a huge disappointment. But I still want one. See you tomorrow!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cross-Dressing Phallic Spaceship Friday!

With a title like Crack Comics, you have no idea what you're going to get. Believe me, I had no idea, or I might have had enough sense not to read the things.

After suffering through the Black Condor, you may find yourself reading:


Nope. Not the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Space Legion. With Rock Braddon. Sailing through space in their phallic-shaped star cruiser.....


.... and saying things like "The instruments are acting queer." That's just unfortunate.

But the real "so bad it borders on awesome" entry goes to:


Yes, Madam Fatal is a dude who fights crime by dressing up as an old lady.

Naturally, bad guys got the same idea. Or maybe there were just some guys out there who liked wearing dresses and support hose. I don't judge, I only report:


I'm no psychiatrist, but I'm sure it speaks volumes that he refers to Madam Fatal as if s/he were a completely separate person. Again, I'm not judging here, but you can't help but notice these things.

Obviously, such a premise would be a little light on the action side, but you have to admit....


.... there's just something kind of enjoyable in the sheer wrongness of it all in seeing evildoers getting their comeuppance by a geriatric transvestite. I just can't help but think that someone is going to do a Madam Fatal revival and it's going to seethe of kickassery.

See you Monday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Midget! Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha! Thursday!

It turns out Crack Comics was pretty aptly named because I think you had to be on crack to enjoy them.

In addition to Captain Triumph, this title also inflicted the Black Condor upon us. Never was a hero more boring than the Black Condor. He could fly. Granted, in real life, this would make you the most awesome person in the history of the world, but in comics, this isn't exactly something that puts you in a class of your own. Heck, even Hawkman would brain you upside the head with a mace just to liven things up.

But the Black Condor just flew around, which I suppose is handy when it comes to fighting guys who strap themselves to giant kites:


Again, in the world of comics, the Black Condor is hardly the "only human endowed with flight," although he might have been at that particular time within the Quality Comics line.

Ask me how he learned to fly. He was taught how by a race of super-intelligent condors.

Yes, apparently, we can all fly, we just don't know how.

And when he came back to civilization, he assumed the identity of a United States Senator whose assassination he himself failed to stop. Well, if you can't save the guy, you might as well steal his identity, right?

It didn't hurt that he looked just like the murdered Senator. Coincidences abound in comics!

And he had some ray that did something, but I'm not sure what. So, we have Random Ray Usage!(tm!) over and over and over....

And he would apparently make fun of you if you weren't handsome and muscular like he was:


There have been three versions of the Black Condor, if we don't count an issue of the original Justice League of America where Superman's foe Mr. Mxyzptlk produces a gender-reversed JLA and Black Canary's male counterpart is called the Black Condor. Although we probably should count him, because he's about as interesting as the main three. The best was the most recent, but even he was just a Hawkman rip-off.

Yeesh. Off to the Character Hall of Shame with you. All of you.

Crack Comics also gave us Batch Bachelor!:


I'm not sure if he ever married, but if he did, do you think he changed his name to Hubs Husband?

There were many appearances of "husky, handsome" Hack O'Hara:


I'm not sure "husky" is a nice thing to say, but since he drove around in a cab all day eating street food, he probably was just a bit. O'Hara apparently had delusions that he was a law enforcement person of some kind, because he was always sticking his nose into things and smacking lowlifes around. There was a show called "Hack" that was on tv from 2002 to 2004 that had the same premise (only the guy on tv was actually a former police officer, so it made more sense). I'm not proud that I remember that.

Hey, kids! Here's a Really Bad Idea!(tm!)


Yes, approach an armed man with a toy gun and act like it's real. Tell me how that works out for you.

Although, if you're stupid enough to do it, I suppose that's just Natural Selection. Thinning out the herd, it's nature's way.

But, for the record, what those kids are seen doing is a Really Bad Idea!(tm!)

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You are a Peach for My Whiskers Wednesday!

Sometimes I finish a comic and have a few random scans left over. They don't really fit together, other than it's a pleasant surprise - kind of like when you find those random fries in the bottom of the hamburger bag that had fallen out.

So, here are some remaining nuggets from Crack Comics #41:


I'm not sure what that meant back in the day, but please don't ever call a woman a "peach for your whiskers." That can't possibly end well.

I love these Charles Atlas ads because of the multiple Random Bitch-Slap(s)!(tm!):


Um.... Mr. Atlas, I realize you're paying for the add, but you are totally blocking the shot there.

Joe is fed up with being a weakling! So he's going to go home and knock over a lamp!


I have yet to see one of these ads where a lamp wasn't knocked over. These ads were probably underwritten by the lamp industry.

Unlike most other Atlas ads, Joe doesn't sock his foe in the mug. Instead.....


That's right! Slappity-slap-slap-slap! You'll take a bitch-slap from a he-man and you'll like it! Slappo!

I.
Must.
Have.
This.:


I know how to play chess, but I'm not a big fan and I'm not very good at it. This is probably because I have the attention span of a hummingbird. But that, my friends, is bitchin'.

But just to make it more interesting, I'd want it to start every match with an intro like from Batman Beyond:


Also quite bitchin'.

I have the Justice League Monopoly set. I never actually got to go to a WB store before AOL decided that nothing that cool could continue to exist, but I love the few things I have from there. It's probably just as well. Beloved is a bit more patient when I confine all of my comic-related things to one room. It's the same room where she has stored doll-house furniture in the original box for the last twelve years for no reason, so it's kind of a Room of Tolerance. We don't speak of it.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Specialize in Slapping Around! Tuesday!

So yesterday, we looked at Triumph, who wasn't at all triumphant. But let's check out Captain Triumph, who was in the unintentionally hilariously-named Crack Comics from issue #27 until it folded with issue #62:


Hmmmmm. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this cover. It looks like he either disarmed a thug, or he just got finished pistol-whipping an innocent bystander. I suspect we'll never know the whole truth.

As you may recall, Captain Triumph was the result of two brothers whose names I forget "merging":


Apparently, a ghost can't just float from room to room. He has to open a door. I didn't know that, did you?

Captain Triumph was kind of a mean guy:



Wow. I'm not saying the guy didn't have it coming, but Batman rarely gave his foes internal bleeding without summoning some kind of help for them after the fact.

He was even rough with fish:



I don't think it's a fair expectation that a shark is going to "get its bearings" after you've punched a hole in his chest cavity, and left his entrails dangling in the water. I think Mr. Shark is a little beyond "getting his bearings."

Besides being fodder for this blog, Captain Triumph almost saw daylight again when many Golden Age Heroes were revived in the World War II - themed book, All-Star Squadron:


I know, it's like playing "Where's Waldo?", but look hard, because he's there. It's 1981, about 32 years after his last appearance, and Captain Triumph hovers on a revival. And believe it or don't, writer Roy Thomas was planning on using Captain Triumph in this title, but just never got around to it. So, I guess Captain Triumph wasn't all that better off than "Triumph" would fare in the 90's.

If you just can't get enough of Captain Triumph, he was used a bit in the awesome Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters mini-series of 2007. And that's one to grow on!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Tragic Tale of Triumph Monday!

What's in a name? Well, when you're trying to create a successful comic character, a lot is in a name. Once a character is established and loved by readers, it isn't that important that Superman and Captain America have stupid names now, because they've been selling comics for the past seventy years, and that justifiably garners respect among nerdlingers everywhere.

If a character has a name that doesn't work for the readers, the publishers aren't adverse to changing them. Consider the original Teen Titans - every last one of them had a different name by the time all was said and done. Aqualad became Tempest, Speedy became Arsenal then Red Arrow, Kid Flash took the mantle of the Flash, Robin became Nightwing and Wonder Girl took on so many names I'm not sure what she's called.

By the same token, when Kitty Pryde appeared in the X-Men, she was given the code names of Sprite (I know, it makes me cringe as well), Ariel, then just going by her real name, then Shadowcat.... and I'm not sure what she's called now because I gave up on X-Men about the time she became a central focus.

Sometimes, things go full circle and a name becomes cool again. Red Arrow recently became Arsenal again, we had a Kid Flash once again in the 90's, and there's even a Wonder Girl back in the Titans. They even got away with a new Superboy for years before killing him off.

But if ever a character had a tragically ironic name, it was Triumph:


Triumph was created in 1994 and history was revised so that he was not only a member of the original Justice League of America, but its leader. With a name like Triumph and that kind of cred, how could he fail?

Oh, he failed. And how.

He didn't seem to work out too well in the regular Justice League, so he was dumped on writer Christopher Priest to use him in Justice League Task Force, one of many "expansion" branches the League had at the time. When I asked Priest about why he had the character on the team that he did, he told me that the roster had been decided before he had been assigned the book, and groused more that he had been stuck with Despero than Triumph.

Triumph was then fired from the Task Force by the Martian Manhunter because he was such a tool. Later, he would sell his soul to in an attempt to get back his glory, turn evil in the bargain, and then get himself turned into ice by the Spectre (because selling your soul never works out well but a lot of people in comics keep giving it a shot anyway). Oh, but that's not all.

His frozen self is then stored in Justice League Headquarters. Later, Justice League Headquarters is destroyed, but writer Grant Morrison forgot to have him taken out of the building first. So, the character was accidentally destroyed because even the writer of JLA at the time forgot about him, giving him about the same caliber of a send-off as Richie Cunningham's older brother Chuck on Happy Days. Considering the source of the character's angst was that he had been forgotten for his heroics over the years, that was rather delicious and pitiful at the same time.

Can you imagine the editorial meeting where they realize they inadvertently killed off a character?

Hey, I was thinking of doing a story on Triumph.

Well, stranger things have worked out. So, where is he right now in the DC Universe?

He was turned into a block of ice by the Spectre, remember?

Yeah, that's right. So all you have to do is revive him from JLA Headquarters.

Say, isn't that the JLA Headquarters that was.... ah, crap! Morrison, did you get Triumph out of the JLA Headquarters before it was destroyed?

Ummmmmm.... I think I did?

Are you sure?

Ummmmmm......


To their credit, the powers that be never tried to fix their mistake. Triumph was indeed killed when the JLA Headquarters went belly-up. The last appearance of Triumph was a Triumph from an alternate dimension. That's the thing about comics: When you write yourself into a corner, resort to an alternate dimension.

So, the moral of this story is to hold off on giving yourself a name that sets expectations too high. It will only end in tears.

At least we have established a new level of character fail. Whenever a character unceremoniously fizzles, we shall call it Triumph Level Fail(tm!).

Not to be confused with Captain Triumph:


That's right. In 1994, "Triumph" was a "no sale" with readers, but in 1943, "Captain Triumph" would be his birthmark-rubbin', mergin' with his dead twin brother self for a good six years, beating up people when they weren't looking:


whilst always making time for the ladies, especially ones with questionable taste in hair accessories:


So, you think we're finished? Not hardly! More on Captain Triumph tomorrow! Be there!