Friday, January 30, 2009

Spittin' in the Oceanin' Friday!

Word is out that individual comics are going to hit $3.99 for the standard 28 page floppy. That will also include ads, so you are going to get about 22 pages of actual story. I'm not sayin' nothin'. These is the facts.

But enough dreary talk of money and such. Let's check out the highlights of Avengers v1 #112! What? You say you didn't know that Avengers #112 had any highlights? Well, you've just gotta look! For example:

I'm as American as a frivolous lawsuit, and I had never heard that phrase before today. I ran the Google, though, and it turns out it's not something they just made up because the Comics Code wouldn't let him say anything more profane. It doesn't quite have the same badassery of the Secret Invasion when the Panther had the corpses of his enemies piled up with "This is what happens when you invade Wakanda" written in blood, but I guess we were more subtle back then.

Now, what really bothers me is this:

Thor, absolutely do not take Iron Man up on this offer to be "pumped" until he defines his terms. You'll thank me later.

But the reason Avengers #112 ruled, for your reading enjoyment:

Yes, the Black Widow quit one whole issue after joining. Whenever Natasha gets on my nerves these days, I read these panels and pretend they just happened. I also re-read it and pretend Natasha is Sue Storm, the Scarlet Witch, Storm, the Wasp or Zatanna in the 1980's JLA. I'd keep Zatanna these days, as she's become quite the spark plug (that's a compliment in Oklahoma).

See you Monday!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do the Shutterbuggin' Thursday!

Hey, hey! I have it on very good authority that Marvel and DC legendary writer Tony Isabella is going to be checking out our little comic book funhouse! That's like Joe Montana coming to watch my flag football game! I've been a fan of Tony's since I was a small tyke, so that's a huge honor.

So, let's check out World's Finest v1 #21. Mostly because I'm pretty sure Tony Isabella had nothing to do with it:

As a concept, Robin should have been a disaster. I mean, you have this creepy guy skulking around the shadows of Gotham City with a kid in tow wearing green shorts and elf shoes. Yet it worked, because we all wished we could have been Robin. You know, we didn't actually want the big responsibilites, but we wanted to be able to swing around on rooftops, go cruising in the Batmobile, and smack the smallest henchman while Batman did the heavy lifting. It was a nice fantasy to have.

But check this out:

This is the kind of disappointment you get when the girl of your dreams finally agrees to go out with you and you learn she swears at inappropriate times and chain smokes. Hey, Bats, if I wanted my adult male role model to make me feel worse about my mistakes, I'll go sit in the same room with my old man. Jerk.

Meet Sam Garth!

Sam Garth takes himself way too seriously as an amateur photographer, Sam does.

Of course, I can't throw stones. I'm proud of this blog, so it's not like I have a life, either. Rock on, Sam!

Hey, Batman! Has your mood picked up yet?

Well, at least now I know it isn't just me. Batman is simply having one of those days.

What's the most happenin' spot in town? Wherever the amateur photographers club meets!:

I'm not surprised the girl is thrilled that someone even slightly less nerdy than the club members showed up. Frankly, I'm impressed they had a girl there at all. It's like that one girl who you spot every so often at the comic shop. Even if you're wearing green shorts and elf shoes, you still have a chance with her over the guys focusing on the Heroclix tournament.

Batman? Feeling any better?

Okay, sure. Hooray for Dick! We'll take that however you meant it.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inappropriate Parent-Child Interactin' Wednesday!

One of the lamest things to happen in a comic is when a character uses a power they've never had before, nor would there be any logical reason for them to have it now. Cue Avengers v1 #111:

You know, I like Daredevil as much as the next guy, but once you've taken down Thor, Iron Man and the Vision, I don't share the Black Widow's bubbling optimism. Shut up, Natasha.

Anyway, this is the end of a crossover event between the Avengers, the X-Men and Daredevil titles. That was back when an entire storyline of a crossover could be bought for under a buck and was over within 30 days or so. And, before you go hitting ebay to get a copy of this, while the X-Men are in this issue, they are zombies and don't do much.

Why are they zombies? Because Magneto is using his magnetism to control their minds, natch! See for yerself:

Is it just me, or is it a little creepy to have your daughter dance for you like that? I'm not a parent, but I can tell you that if/when I have a daughter, I'm not even letting her take hip-hop classes, much less put on a little bump and grind for daddy. That's just wrong.

And while we're on weird parent/child relationships:

That's some good dating advice, fellow nerds! Chicks love it when you want them to become a surrogate mother for them. Love it.

Of course, magnetism does not equal mind control no matter how you slice it. How do we get out of this one?

Well, of course. If you can become intangible, you have the ability to take over someone's body. It stands to reason, doesn't it? It's automatic. It's like being able to do long division in your head. Don't ask me for the particulars.

Fortunately, both the Vision and Magneto forgot they had the corollary ability to control the bodies of others and, to my knowledge, this sort of thing was never seen again.

That wasn't the worst thing of this issue. Sad to say, the Avengers offered the Black Widow membership for the first time. Even sadder to say, she accepted.

My heart goes out to everyone suffering in this ice storm. Cue the inspiring music!:

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Super-Hazin' Tuesday!

Many of the covers from World's Finest v1 had the theme of Batman and Superman screwing around with Robin. Here's a classic from #20:

Sure, it was all in good fun until Robin developed that bulimia.

Know what really bores me about Superman? I mean, besides the fact that he's so powerful you really can't come up with an interesting opponent for him? The way everyone fawns all over him, no matter how big of a schmoe he's being:

What? You realize, the man just left you floating in the ocean like a loogie because he doesn't want to be bothered with hauling you back to shore. But those people do everything short of knitting him a cardigan. People like that annoy me to no end.

Now this, my friends, is some confusing artwork:

Okay, near as I can tell, Green Arrow smacks a guy from behind so hard he does a loop-the-loop into Speedy's right arm, crushing it out of existence. Speedy is also missing a head. But that guy in the lower-left corner rocks my world.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Puttin' 'Em Out to Pasture Monday!

Farewell, All-Star Comics!

Um.... don't get too comfortable, Huntress:

The Star-Spangled Kid is clearly happy to be allowed off the Titanic, Wildcat is ecstatic there is another chick for him to hit on, and the Flash has an abnormally long neck.

As you can imagine, no one noticed or cared that All-Star Comics was shown the door once again. The JSA, after a couple of mini-series and an awful launch of their own title, would finally get the treatment they deserved and enjoy a very successful title today.

Now, let us celebrate the Wisdom of the Golden-Age Robin courtesy of Fun With Out-of-Context Dialogue!(tm!):

Let's all pause for a moment to think about that. Thanks, World's Finest v1 #20!

And a nod of the nerd hat to Kirby Krackle, who are in the putting out "the first Comic Book Album." Well, since I am Adam, I have to point out that, not counting the Power Records radio serial-style albums with everyone from Spider-Man to Metamorpho, there was indeed an all-music album based on a comic book character put out 33 years ago (wow, does that make me feel old):

In fact, in the 1940's, I believe there was a Superman musical, but I don't know about the availability of the soundtrack, so that may or may not count. But the Spider-Man album, awful as it is, is available on CD! I can't say I recommend it even a little bit (unless you absolutely have to have everything David Sanborn has ever played on), but there are audio clips.

And there was that song "Nobody Loves the Hulk" that I talked about a while back. And there was another band on Myspace that had an Aquaman song called "Arthur Curry" that was pretty good. I can probably do this for pages. This is what happens when you don't apply yourself in school, kids!

So, the first? Not by a long shot. But since the first song is based on Mario Kart, they may be coming out with the first video game / comic book album. In any respect, they've obviously got some talent, and I'll be curious to see what the rest of their songs sound like when it's put up tomorrow.

Hawkeye Finds His Pants Friday!

Well, just as Dark Knight was snubbed for Best Picture, Comics Make No Sense was snubbed by the 2009 Bloggies! On behalf of both of us, I'd like to say "Bite me!" The fans know who the real rockstars are.

So, anyway...

It's only fitting that we begin a new era in American History by acknowledging the beginning of another era: The Era where Hawkeye Starts Wearing Pants Again.

Avengers v1 #109 brings us back to the original outfit:

Again, it's not the most iconic look I've ever seen, but at least it manages to incorporate... oh, I don't know.... pants.

But as awful as it was, it was always great for me to pick up an issue from the pantless Hawkeye era, because I knew I'd find something somewhere in those pages worth making a comment about. For that reason, I salute the pantless Hawkeye outfit, much like the Red Baron would salute downed enemy pilots as they fell:

Pantless Hawkeye. In triplicate. It gets no better. Can you believe I'm not getting nominated for any awards with this kind of material?

Hey, it's not like anyone forced you to wear the outfit, bub. Your original duds were sitting in your closet for dang near a year.

To tell the truth, this issue is particularly bad for plot alone, but this panel is the jewel in the crown:

Okay, let me get this straight: You didn't really love the Scarlet Witch. Well, good thing you didn't tell her you were in love with her and propose, eh? Wait... You did that very thing!

This, I suspect, is why Hawkeye can't "get it on," as he puts it. He does get bonus self-awareness points for acknowledging his main concern is "getting it on." I can't imagine why he doesn't ever have a relationship that works out for him.

Hail and farewell, Hawkeye's pantless costume. Let us bid you adieu with Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!)

Oh, Hawkeye. With pants or without, your horrible choice of words will bring me blog fodder for years to come. And for that, we all thank you.

See you Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stuff No One Should Have to See Thursday!

Burn Notice starts a new season tonight. Join me, won't you?

Assume crash positions: We're almost at the end of our All-Star Comics run. I know, I can't believe it either.

But let us savor great moments like Fun With Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

and, AND:

Shots of the Star-Spangled Kid and Wildcat playing checkers. Thanks, All-Star Comics #70!

and while we're at it, let's savor "Top That" from Teen Witch!

Yeah, I'm not sure why I threw that in, either. But wasn't it awesome?

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Splash Pagin' Wednesday!

After reading today's Progressive Ruin, I was reminded of Bananas Magazine. For you young 'uns, Bananas was a humor magazine for teenagers. It didn't have a long run compared to Cracked or Mad , publishing about 70 issues from 1975 to 1984, but it was hilarious.

Anyhoo, I was doing a little research, and learned that the editor and main writer of Bananas, Jovial Bob Stine, would later become R.L. Stine, the wildly successful writer of those Goosebumps books that the kids enjoy. I'm glad to see that Stine went on to great success, but I miss his advice column Ask Granny Meatloaf. You kids today wouldn't understand.

A classic scene from Avengers v1 #106:

Wow, was that a display. Is Rick Jones acting like that girl you dated once and just never called again or what? Someone get that boy a Motrin!

Beware the Crotch Canon of Hydra!

A nifty splash page from Avengers v1 #108:

I pulled this one so you can see a pantless Hawkeye in the heat of battle. Even without pants, he was still more useful than the Wasp.

And, one more for the Pantless Hawkeye Gallery:

Hey, if I had to see it, I'm taking you with me.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Rod be Cosmic Tuesday!

I've been calling it All-Star Comics, but during the relaunch was it The Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics starring the Super-Squad? And, if so, was that the longest title for a comic book ever? And, even more importantly, was the "Super Squad" the lamest name for a super-hero group ever?

I never really understood the Super Squad. I mean, Robin had appeared as a JSA member before this, and by issue #60, the Star-Spangled Kid and Power Girl were given run of the JSA Headquarters, so I presume they were members as well. So I'm not sure who the Super Squad was, except they had a name that made you embarrassed to be caught with it in your backpack.

And check out the unfortunate cover to issue #62:

Hmmmmm... firstly, I'm pretty sure that, tough as Wildcat is, Hawkman could make him eat that funky cat mask. I mean, have you seen Hawkman in the last 10 years? We're talking about the guy who chopped off the Matter Master's arm with an axe. On purpose.

That said, the expression on Hawk's face and the way he's waiving his arms around is delightfully ineffectual and makes me giggle.

It's a good day. Know why? Because we get a double dose of Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

That little bit came from issue #62.

And here's a gem from issue #63:

Alas, I think DC figured out why everyone was snickering every time the Kid said something, because they would soon convert the rod into a belt (which would be quite painful, I would think - imagine if someone were to turn your rod into a belt!) and the "That's what he said!" moments would come to an abrupt end.

It was gold while it lasted, though. Gold!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Doin' the Batusi-in' Friday!

Before I forget, there's no post on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Holiday. Back on Tuesday.

What? They cancelled the Shazam movie? I am so bummed! So, they'll give me five movies of Superman clowning around with Lex Luthor, but I can't get one Captain Marvel movie? Bite me, DC!

From World's Finest v1 #19:

Speaking of struggles that never end:

Mind you, this was after only a few years of dealing with the Joker. After more than 65 years, I think Bruce's threat that he might just decide to quit chasing him around is a little hard to take seriously.

See the smirk on Dick's face? He knows.

Beloved has wished for a chemically-treated handkerchief many times after being trapped in a car with me after I let loose some gas.

And I have to point out that if you're Batman and the guy sitting right next to you tells you he has a device that will protect him from the gas, why don't you just judo chop the guy in the throat and take it from him? Aren't you the freakin' Batman?

Okay, I give up. Is Batman dancing there, or what? That pose is so odd, I'm surprised Jack Kirby didn't draw it.

The next time you're having a conversation with someone, assume that same pose and tell me I'm being too picky.

Joining men together in one common purpose - to celebrate the glory that is me, Johnny Everyman.

See you Tuesday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to be Pickin' Up Chicks Thursday!

From Avengers v1 #99:

Oh, Clint Barton, you smooth talker. All that remains is for you to conk her on the head with a club and drag her by her hair back to your cave. I don't think that approach would have worked with the Fonz, much less a guy wearing no pants.

From Avengers v1, #99

Check out the expression on Captain America's face. He looks like he is totally not down with the plan here, but he's afraid to say anything or he'll look like a wus.

From Avengers v1, #100:

Picking on all of the Wasp's horrible costumes over the years would probably be a separate blog in and of itself, but this one is extra bad. I don't know if it's the hot pants or the over-sized red fringe, but this is a look that, to the best of my knowledge was thankfully only inflicted on us once.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chompin' the Rod Wednesday!

When All-Star Comics was revived, I had just begun to understand the concept of team books. Up until then, I understood Batman had Robin, Spider-Man had the cast of The Electric Company, and Captain Marvel had an entire "Marvel Family." I discovered through a house ad in my 100 page (for only 60 cents) Batman comics that there was a Justice League to which Batman belonged, although I had yet to read their actual adventures. I also saw an ad for something called the Legion of Super-Heroes that didn't make sense to me at all and failed to catch my six year-old eye.

But when I saw All-Star Comics #60 on the wire carousel at the U-Totem convenience store down the street from my grandmother's house, I decided it was time to expand my horizons. I had seen the house ad for #58, and I was intrigued that there was a grown-up Robin and a hero called Wildcat, so I was somewhat primed to grab the next issue of All-Star I came upon. I swear to you, at that age I was unimpressed by Power Girl and her Power Cleavage.

So, I was introduced to the Justice Society a couple of issues after their re-introduction, back in circulation almost a quarter of a century since the legendary comic in which they starred had been cancelled. Clearly, I had some catching up to do. There was a different Flash? Why was Green Lantern blonde and wearing a cape? To someone who had cut their teeth on the Silver Age reboots, the JSA were the pretenders to the throne.

But I kinda liked these guys, and was happy to see them popping up once a year in Justice League of America. The success the team has had since then with JSA (a consistently better book than the JLA counterpart) and the currently-running Justice Society of America warms my heart and keeps me shelling out lucre so I can keep up with the tale of a team that remains cutting-edge, although despite having been around for almost 70 years.

You caught me. I loves me some Justice Society, although the revival of All-Star Comics in the early 1970's left a lot to be desired. I blame a fair portion of that on the addition of the Star-Spangled Kid, a character who was obsolete at the end of World War II:

From All-Star Comics #58. Read the sound effects again.

Why is there a chomping noise being made there? And even more important, why is the chomping noise coming from the vicinity where the Kid's head is meeting the bad guy's groin?

Don't fight anyone who was around to fight in World War II. They apparently fight dirty.

But the Kid gave us one thing: Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

From All-Star Comics #59. That dialogue was so good, I could get away with leaving the artwork in. That's gold, baby!

Besides Power Girl's amazing ability to squeeze her figure into spandex, she also had a rarely-used talent for speaking in captions.

When I was a child, I would have argued with you to the death that someone was speaking off-panel. I didn't realize the odd mistake until I re-read All-Star #60 the other day.

The Star-Spangled Kid was given Starman's cosmic rod so that he wouldn't appear as useless as he really was. This didn't make him any more interesting, but it did give us some good "rod" jokes, like this dandy exchange of ideas from All-Star #61:

Women. They always want to limit your rod usage. Zing!

For reasons I don't understand, the modern reboot of the Kid (Stargirl of the JSA) never bothered me. I thank Geoff Johns for that, because she could have been the Sue Storm of the JSA.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You Knew It was Coming Sooner or Later Tuesday!

Brace yourself:

From Avengers v1 #98:

It's not like Hawkeye's old costume was making any big fashion statements, what with the purple goes with dark blue - it does, it does! motif.

But not only is the man no longer wearing a mask, which he did even when he was Goliath, the man is clearly wearing no pants.

Picture it with me, won't you?: An editorial meeting at Marvel Comics. New York City. A major plot twist on one of their flagship titles.

Hey, let's bring Hawkeye back!

Cool! You know what would be even cooler?

What's that?

If he had no pants!

Har, har! Quit kiddin' around! Stan will NEVER let us get away with that!

Just sketch something and show it to him with a straight face. See what he does!

And the rest is history. Mind you, future versions of Hawkeye's costume had a mask, but I'm not sure how much good it did him at that point. To the Costume Hall of Shame with you, Hawkeye!

What? Art thou still in the room, Rick Jones? Oh, this be awkward. Um.... yes! Yay, verily, I was totally inviting you to come along with me on my quest. That was my intention when I first uttered my plans! It wounds my heart that you have decided not to come along on yonder quest. Truly!

Well gee, Thor, if you want me to come along...

Nay, Rick Jones! I mean.... I can see that your mind hath been made up on this matter, and the son of Odin shall not inconvenience ye any longer. Waiteth not up for me!


Check out the chest emblem:

This pains me because the character is Ares, who is quite bitchin' in the current run of Mighty Avengers.

But that's a bird's foot.

And it doesn't just look like a bird's foot, either. It's a bird's foot.

Yeah, I know - it has talons.

But it's still. A. Bird's. Foot. And that's ridiculous. It just is.

Forgive me, Ares, but allow Hawkeye to show you where the Hall of Shame is. In 30 years, you'll get the love you deserve!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Student-Nursin' Monday!

Hey! We saw Changeling with Angelina Jolie at the dollar last Saturday. Didja know that it was written by J. Michael Straczynski, writer of Amazing Spider-Man and Supreme Power? It was great stuff, but not for the young 'uns or the faint of heart (or people who like to think that being a police officer means you are somehow divinely incapable of moral fumbles).

You know who else wrote something you wouldn't think? Stan "The Man" Lee wrote a lot of romance comics in his day, none more awesome than Linda Carter, Student Nurse:

I have reached a point in life where I get as much joy from giving my comics to my favorite kids as I did collecting them. I love finding stuff I can give to Nephew Sam, Nieces Katie and Annie, and Childhood Pal Scotty's kids so that they can enjoy the old school stuff I read at their respective ages.

But no one gets my copy of Linda Carter, Student Nurse #6. I love them all too much to display such obvious favoritism. And how do I choose who should receive this sacred tome? I can't. I simply can't. They'll have to fight it out in probate court upon my passing, which should be any day now.

As you can tell by the cover, never was a comic character hit on more than Linda Carter (Student Nurse). Every male patient had some kind of nurse fantasy they were hoping Linda might oblige. But, of course, she never responded. She only had eyes for this guy:

That, my friends, is one of the wittiest things Stan Lee wrote. Ever.

Did I mention that every male character seemed to have the hots for Linda?

Easy on the family hug there, Uncle Morgan. I don't know what your "surprise" is, but I'm pretty sure it's a felony to even show it to her.

And, as you might expect, the ads were pretty dang cool as well:

Just hold that pose for another six hours, Sparky! I'll get you sketched in no time!

If this watch even sort of worked, this is the coolest invention ever. Why don't I have one? Where can I get one? Did anyone ever see one of these things in person, and if so, may I ask again why I don't have one?

And of course, every six year-old girl bought luggage through comic book ads:

I'm sure the luggage went flying out of the warehouse with orders placed as a result of the ads in Linda Carter: Student Nurse. The concept of "target groups" in marketing apparently had not yet been invented.

Someday, I will have a complete collection of Linda Carter: Student Nurse. And when I do, I'm giving it to the kid who watches out for me in my golden years.

See you tomorrow!