Friday, May 30, 2008

Dishing about Daredevil Friday!

From Daredevil #61. I liked DD long before Frank Miller got hold of him and made him even more awesome. I'm not sure why. I think I liked the billy club/cable weapon he used. I also thought he had a pretty decent rogues gallery. This issue had the very-promising unholy grouping of the Cobra & Mr. Hyde (who almost always appeared as a team) and the Jester:

What I thought was weird about this story was that, while an appearance by Cobra/Hyde usually lasted at least two issues and the Jester was usually evil enough for a three parter, the three of them together only took one issue to tell the tale.

And (here there be spoilers of a thirty-eight year old comic, so beware!) all DD really did was dodge things until the police showed up. Once I saw that happen, I was kinda surprised more comics didn't end that way. I mean, time is theoretically on your side if you're trying to enforce the law, so why not just wait for the cops to show up?

And there was even space to devote to another stop on the Karen Page Bitchapalooza Tour:

I think, if Matt wanted to stay true to his "alter ego as a blind lawyer," he could have tossed his cane at Karen's head. Wouldn't that have made for a better read? You aren't going anywhere, woman! BONK! Oh, did I hit you in the head? Sorry! Not my fault! After all, I'm BLIND! Whap!

But it did give the bad guys time to set multiple traps for DD at the local carnival. I'm not a big carnival-goer, but I've been to a few. Yet I have no idea what this particular piece of machinery is supposed to be. Has anyone ever seen anything that looks remotely like that?

I like the way the sound effect said "KLAMP!" as it clamped on DD. I think all sound-effects should be that way. "GRAB!" "SHOVE!" "TRANSMITVENEREALDISEASE!"

More fun with sound effects. I was afraid (yet hoping) the "tinkling" sound was someone taking a whiz. Turned out it was the sound of glass rattling, which wasn't nearly as entertaining.

Seriously. Wouldn't it have been awesome if DD landed and turned to face Mr. Hyde taking a whiz? Now that would have been a bold direction for the title.

Still no job offers from Marvel or DC as a staff writer. I wonder what's taking them so long?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

LSH Gots No Standards Thursday!

From Adventure #372. Legion rejects are always interesting to me. You know that these are characters that the writers came up (a la Dial H for Hero) that didn't get editorial approval. This particular story introduced us to the Legion of Super-Villains, which was chock-full of Legion rejects.

One guy who I'm surprised made the cut was Chemical King, who saw action for the first time here. I suppose if you got the boot and Chemical King made the cut, you'd have license to be a little ticked off.

Wouldn't you hate to write stories with Chemical King in them? I mean, you'd have to know science and stuff (like the very neat science about fire and rust being the same thing - blows my mind, hepcats!). That's why all of my characters would consist of rival bloggers criticizing the works of other people while having no discernible talents of their own.

Nemesis Kid was a reject, but only because he betrayed the Legion. I think they did that because, like Superboy, he's just too dang hard to figure out a way to beat on a monthly basis. Check it out as he schools Superboy:

That rocked my world! But, to be fair, they already came up with Kryptonite to keep Superboy in mortal peril all the time, so I guess all they could do was bring Nemesis Kid back every so often whenever the writers could figure out a new way to deal with him.

And, hopefully, their solutions wouldn't be as lame as this:

Okay, I readily acknowledge that it was well-established that Nemesis Kid could only defeat one opponent at a time. But, technically, isn't Duo Damsel one opponent, even if she had split into two selves? It seems like Nemesis Kid could have also split himself into two selves and given her a sound thrashing. Heck, even without adapting to her powers, I can't help but think your average teenage boy could avoid a beatdown by two teenage girls.

Unless he was Chemical King, in which case he would be so freaked out that a girl was looking at him that he would run back to his Thursday Night Dungeons & Dragons Club meeting in fear.

I think about this kind of thing way too much.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dames and Recycled Names Wednesday!

You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I go to the gym almost every day. It's part of my valiant yet laughable attempt at forestalling the ravages of time, which are throttling me with a vengeance. I wasn't much to look at before cruising into middle age, so you can imagine the horror show Beloved wakes up next to every morning.

But, more to the point, I've noticed a weird happening in the locker room: Every so often, I'll go in, and someone will have left the sink running. Just gurgling away, water being unused, literally going down the drain. It's usually hot water, no less.

Why would someone do that? And why would someone do that more than once? It's not like they're flooding the place - the water is happily going down the drain as gravity gets things done. I don't get it. Someone please explain.

Meanwhile, let's check out Daredevil #58. At the end of the previous issue, Matt revealed his identity to Karen:

Note that the glasses were apparently under his mask again. How does he do that? Of course, this beautiful moment of making oneself vulnerable to the object of one's affections totally bites Matt in the keister years later when Karen sells his secret for a hit of smack. Learn from Matt's mistake, men!

Nice moment in history, though. Within six years, Matt actually made a move in his relationship, unlike DC's Clark Kent, who wouldn't reveal his identity to Lois Lane for over 40 years, and even then only so the comics wouldn't be too different from the television show.

"The official kiss from the D.A.'s secretary"? Is that in the job description when you apply to be a secretary in the D.A.'s office? How do you bring that up in the job interview? "Well, Miss Page, you have great references, a pleasant telephone demeanor and marvelous typing skills. Just one more thing: How do you feel about kissing strangers on a public stage like some sort of carnival freak?"

From Daredevil #59:

Check out the original Torpedo. This issue would be his one and only appearance before biting the big one, but Marvel would recycle the name in a few years in this very title. Apparently, a "torpedo" was another name for a hitman. You can tell this guy was a really good hitman because he twirled his gun. Twirling a gun is reserved for badasses only.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

They are Woman Hear Them Roar Tuesday

Ah, to be back and blogging. Let's check out Adventure Comics #368:

Be ye warned: I'm a roasting the ladies today, largely because of that stupid Sex & the City movie that's getting hyped this week everywhere else. Women who are into that show are the female equivalent of trekkies. Yeah, I said it.

Isn't this an awesome cover? This is the kind of reception I get when I troll a lesbian chat room...

I suppose if you're going to lie, you might as well lie big. Yeah, sure, kid.... you can see right through the freakin' walls. Will that be cash or charge?

Yeah, Robert Wagner signed the photo. Sure, why not?

A government official? A woman? In the 30th Century? Why...sputter....sputter!

That's much more like it. Back to your sewing circle, ladies! All we need is a 30th Century television broadcasting Lifetime...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stamp Yer Foot Friday!!

Boring programming note: Since Monday is Memorial Day, I will not put up another post until Tuesday. Sorry, troopers, but I takes the holidays when they gives 'em to me.

If you believe it, you can be it! Check out Karate Kid:

From Adventure Comics #367: Karate Kid decides he's Gorgon from the Inhumans. I hate to be a poopypants, but I don't care what kind of chop-socky black belt you have, I don't think you can cause seismic vibrations. Shenanigans!

But this letter from that issue makes it all worthwhile:

Yeah, I agree! I'm running low on panels where girls get smacked!


From Adventure Comics #369:

Well, guess who's coming to dinner! A blue-skinned woman! Oh, Martha, you adorable bigot....

Did this ever really happen? If a perfect stranger showed up at my door, even if DNA tests proved they were a relative, they wouldn't be staying at my house. Frankly, I'd be hesitant to let them stay at my house especially if they proved to be a relative of mine.

See you Tuesday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Know Your Local Legionnaire Thursday!

By the time Adventure Comics #365 rolled around, the Legion was getting pretty large, so the powers that be decided it would be easier to fill those blank pages with illustrative pictures (as opposed to stories with plots, dialogue and characterization). Here are some highlights:

If you work in construction and a beam is about to fall on you, Lightning Lad will apparently electrify the beam first to make sure you are good and dead so you don't have to worry about the high cost of medical treatment.

One of Cosmic Boy's lesser-known powers seems to be the ability to generate tumbleweeds, which he likes to launch into busy intersections.

Um.... I don't care how light the tree is, unless something is affirmatively pulling it in the opposite direction, those roots are gonna keep it in the ground. See "How a Balloon String Works" by any Child Above the Age of Three.

Few people know that the ability to make objects heavier also constitutes an immunity to fire. Because it doesn't. Check your local comic shop for the Star Boy Visits the Local Burn Ward mini-series.

You may recall Element Lad's origin story. He is the last survivor of a race of people who could change one element to another. They were wiped out because they refused to convert common elements to precious ones. Here we see Element Lad converting common elements to precious ones. I guess the principles don't apply when you are making yourself rich.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Get Yourself an Arch Enemy Wednesday!

Let's face it: A hero is only as good as his bad guys. What makes Superman so dull (especially in movie form) is that his biggest adversary is Lex Luthor. Ditto for the Hulk, which is why he and Wolverine have some kind of "misunderstanding" that causes them to thrash each other in a snow-covered forest about every 18 months.

Heroes with kick-ass villains are just more fun to read: Spider-Man, Batman, the Flash . . . where would the entertainment be without their respective nemesis? Or is it nemesises? Or nemesi?

In any respect, for all you aspiring super-heroes and heroines out there, this is how you cultivate a worthy adversary:

First, you find a social outcast. Video dating services from the 1980's are wildly fertile ground:

Once your future foe has established that he is suitably creepy, he must learn a few moves so he doesn't just fold at the first punch. I recommend Ketsugo from Adventure Comics #365!

That's right.... all the martial arts moves without the "mumbo-jumbo," whatever that is. Ketsugo will also do a little something-something about your acne, according to the Google.

Finally, your foe needs a creed. I mean, a bad guy who seems to be a bad guy just for the sake of being a bad guy isn't that interesting, as every issue of Iron Man will illustrate. If you have no creed handy, Smilin' Stan Lee gave us this manifesto in Daredevil v.1 #52:

I'm sure his heart was in the right place, but this is an weird forum for it. It's like if you're watching American Idol, and right before the song starts, the karaoke poser "performer" says, "So, how many folks here are pro-life?"

Anyhoo, you get your bad guy all fixed up, and you have got yourself a butt to kick and a name to take!

I know, I was in a mood today....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daredevil's 50th Issue Extravaganza Tuesday!!

From Daredevil v.1 #50:

I'm not a big fan of telephones, and I certainly don't think I'm obliged to drop everything and answer the phone just because it's ringing. And I certainly wouldn't worry about a phone ringing while I'm having the life crushed out of me by a giant robot.

And why would Karen Page have given Matt Murdock a photo of herself, anyway? She knows he's blind! Cruel, cruel woman....

Yay for asbestos! Mom, can I have my clothes treated with asbestos like my favorite comic book hero?

I also loved the robot in this story. Apparently, you would stick a photo of someone in a device that smelled the photo and that way it knew who it was supposed to attack. Yeah, I know what I just said. The machine smelled your photo and somehow knew it was you. What's the problem?

This innocent guard will feel nothing... except the possibility of future seizures, neck surgeries, a concussion, nausea, migraines, and nerve damage! No harm, no foul! Now for his keys! Of course, I have hypersensitive fingers and could just pick the locks, but nah.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Blue People Finally Get Represented and, as Halle Berry Would Say, "The Floodgates are Opened!" Monday!

From Adventure Comics #365, where questions abound:

As a reader noted in last Thursday's post (hey, are you all reading ahead? Stop that!), the 30th Century version of a minority is blue. There still isn't a "Negro" (their term, not mine) to be seen. Why the glass ceiling broke in the Legion for blue people before black people, I have no idea.

I also have no idea why Karate Kid started speaking like Jonah Hex in that issue.

Nor do I understand why the smartest guy in the Legion started drinking water on an alien planet prior to testing it. I mean, you aren't supposed to drink the treated water in Mexico, so I can't imagine drinking water in a stagnant pond on a completely different planet as being a good idea.

You shouldn't always do what the smart guy does, because really smart people have been known to do really stupid things. I believe it is because smart people assume there is only a limited supply of intelligence in a room, and since they are obviously sucking it all up, everyone else must be a moron. But trust me, when everyone in the Legion gets the trots from swallowing a water-borne parasite, Brainiac 5 won't be looking half as smart as he thinks he is.

Friday, May 16, 2008


From Adventure Comics #364:

A good Legionnaire would never consider abusing an animal. Physically.

When you find yourself emotionally abusing a caped horse, monkey, dog, cat, and whatever Proty was, you probably need to change your prescription. I mean, you're emotionally abusing a caped horse, monkey, dog, cat, and whatever Proty was.

Check out the instructional flying chart:

Yeah, I don't want to take any flying course that obviously expects your plane to become a bifurcated flaming airborne mass at one time or another. Let's at least pretend to have a little optimism here...

Cap's Hobby Hints showed up almost every issue. They were usually pretty helpful if you were into building models, which I think was a big assumption of your average comic reader, but anyhoo. This "hint" is my personal fave.

So, basically, if a model gets damaged, throw it away. It's crap, suitable only for representing all the other crap in the ocean.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Human-Turtle-Crossover-Antennae-Trivia-30th Century-Political Correctness-Thursday!

From Adventure Comics #363, the ultimate crossover event of the 1960's:

Super-Turtle popped up a few times as filler. This was about as funny as it ever got.

Then again, this is as entertaining as Superman ever gets, so there you go.

Meanwhile, I never knew this:

and I have to admit, it answers a lot of questions I never even thought to ask.

From the letters page:

Fair question. I'm not sure who the next new member of the Legion was going to be, because Tyroc wouldn't pop up for years. I'll let you know when I come upon him/her. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Luke Cage, because that would have caused the universe to collapse under the weight of all the awesomeness as he beat the crap out of every guy and slept with all the girls.

You'd totally buy a Luke Cage and the Legion of Super-Heroes series. Don't try and tell me you wouldn't.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You are Under the Spell of Taffy-Tasting, Creepy-Winking Ka-Bala!

From Adventure Comics #363:

I think if you're in the Legion, union rules state you have to be given a chance to sell yourself every few issues. Here, Matter-Eater Lad, Phantom Girl and Invisible Kid show that it takes the three of them to take out an elderly guy who looks too much like Captain Marvel's foe, Dr. Sivana. Sadly, this was about the level of competition those three could handle. Wait to beat up on an octogenarian with no super-powers, team!

When a man winks, it's always creepy.

Hey, baby, are you an overdue library book? Because you have "fine" written all over you!

Just in case the Ouija Board wasn't enough for your weekly family "Experiment with the Occult" night. I think the only thing missing from this was the entrails of a chicken. Everything for the little Satanist in your life!

I'm considered the liberal one in my family, but if I ever catch my child playing with anything like this, I will freak out. Guaranteed. Which means her maternal grandmother (hereafter referred to as "Gram-Gram") will find her one on Ebay just to spite me. Also guaranteed.

Oddly enough, while my parents thought I was a problem child because I listened to Christian Rock music as a teenager (it was actually quite good in the 1980's), they let my sister have a Ouija Board and didn't bat an eye. I'm as old now as my parents were when I was in my later teens, so I can see a lot of things from their perspective. This, however, I still don't get.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Radar Guided Chemoid with Super Sensitive Nostrils Tuesday!

From Adventure Comics #363:

A rare moment in history when Light Lass actually comes to someone else's rescue. This would not happen again until the mid-1980's, and only because she got her lightning power back.

Check out the Moon Suit. There's some cutting-edge technology for you. Also doubles as a birth-control device. I had never heard of Major Matt Mason. Did anyone have one of these things? The Space Crawler actually looked kinda cool....

From Daredevil v1., #48:

Nostrils. Super-sensitive nostrils! The sixties were gold.... GOLD, I tells ya! They weren't afraid to toss around words like "nostril" back then.

I forget what DD was doing at that moment. I think he was at Arby's.

Monday, May 12, 2008

You Know You've Made It When They Put Your Face on a Pillow Monday!

Let's check out Daredevil v.1 #45!

One of the most awesome covers of the Silver Age. Sure, it won't be hanging in the Louvre any time soon, but photo covers are always cool to some degree.

Just in case you wanted to be sure a woman would never see the inside of your bedroom more than once, Marvel characters actually had pillows for no particular reason. This is one of the few merchandising campaigns that I was never tempted to pursue. I mean, someone could walk in and see you cuddling Thor or with your face firmly planted in Spider-Man's butt. Nope. Even I had my limits.

And just in case I still have some readers after Friday's potty humor lollapalooza:

Hey, I'll stop when they stop!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Eavesdropping on Daredevil Friday!

You know how last year I went on for months making fun of the Fantastic Four? I just couldn't help it because the stories actually got worse as I went along. Why anyone read this for the first 40 years, I don't know.

Equally baffling to me is why Daredevil paled before the FF in sales. Compared to the embarrassment of riches I had in the FF, zingers I can make about the Daredevil series are actually few and far between.

That being said, here's a couple of things from Daredevil v.1, #42:

Where do bad guys get those big photos of themselves to hang on the walls of their secret lairs? Do they go to a Moto Photo and just get the uber-wallsize, or do they take a regular snapshot to Kinko's? I'm guessing the Kinko's option, because those folks are generally pretty bored and probably wouldn't notice.

And now, a couple of totally cheap giggles I got by taking the dialogue totally out of context:

Dodging the "thrusts" were bad enough, but then things took an extra scary turn:

Not that you were wondering, but just so there is no doubt: There is no good way to "butt" me. In fact, "butting" me is not an option. My keister is exit-only, and there's no technique you're gonna come up with that will change my mind.

And, since I seem to have no shame today, here is a classic piece of dialogue from Daredevil v.1, #44:

I can't imagine why so many of Matt's ex-girlfriends ended up heroin-addicted porn stars and paid assassins....