Monday, August 31, 2009

The Wonders of Gaberdine Monday!

I tried the demo of the Batman: Arkham Asylum game. I don't have an XBox 360 or a PS3 - I was just taking Beloved for her weekly Target run and I was bored. I have to say, that was pretty awesome.

Do you know what else was pretty awesome? This:

I've gotta say, that looks might spiffy, but why (oh why?) do they have to ruin it by putting that picture on the back of the cape? Who doesn't know what Superman looks like? Hmmmm.... red cape, big S on the front.... I'm not sure who you're trying to be there, Billy. Are you Daniel Boone?

Although my mom would probably get it wrong. She always gets that sort of thing wrong.

But you get the idea.

And the "billowing" cape? I'll be you cash money that cape was about as "billowing" as a bath towel draped over your shoulders. Heck, not even Superman's real cape ever "billowed." It just kind flapped around. Now Batman's cape "billows," which is one of many reasons Batman rules.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Valuable Lessons from the Golden Age Friday!

Some oft-overlooked but very socially relevant moments from World's Finest #78:

Willie.... gots no game.

But even a he-man knows the value of a good old fashioned slap!

See you Monday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not One but TWO Uncomfortably Phallic Images Thursday!

Here are a few head-scratchers from World's Finest #76:

Yeah, I've got an even better safety tip: Don't give Allergy a knife. Ever. For any reason or purpose.

And yes, I see it, too. Don't worry. You are probably a little twisted, or you wouldn't be here, but it's nothing the FBI is going to keep on a file on you over.

Here's something I've never seen before:

Okay, I need a Superman authority to pipe in here: Did Superman ever have a signal like this? I think Lois is yanking Batman's chain here.

And now, my favorite Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (to wit: Sound Effect)! (tm!) ever:

You're speechless, aren't you? Who could blame you? Can you believe I'm not asking for your credit card number right now?

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Item is Worth What the Market Will Bear and You Should Always Wear Pants if You Don't Want People Knowing About Your Heroin Problem Wednesday!

More good times from World's Finest #17:

Although it would be years before Oliver actually confirmed the root of the problem, he became suspicious when Roy started forgetting to wear pants....


Waitasec.... if the legend of Robin Hood isn't true, then he didn't shoot that arrow. So.... why is it valuable?

A great ad for exploiting children....

"Kids will do anything for a Baby Ruth?" Who are they marketing to here? I was going to make a "remember, kids, strangers have the best candy" joke but it seems like that might be in poor taste. That's just a really weird selling point.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unlicensed Medicine Practicin', Knowing Glance Exchangin', Unnaturally Pale Skinnin' Tuesday!

Let's poke a little fun at World's Finest #75 and see if it pokes back!

Yes, Batman, I put your leg in a cast, because I am Superman and no mere licensed physician in the Gotham City area is capable of doing such a feat. Now then, may I see your insurance card?

Um.... Clark, why did you and the copy boy exchange a knowing glance?

Why, whatever do you mean, Perry?

You know, that "we know something he doesn't" look between you and Dick Grayson, famous ward of bajillionaire Bruce Wayne who coincidentally and inexplicably became a copy boy here at the Daily Planet right at the same time Robin started teaming up with Superman?

We don't what you mean, Perry.

You're doing it right now! Seriously, can't you at least wait until I've walked away?


Sure, Batman.... and say, can I get you some bronzer or spray tan? You're looking quite pasty.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Bothered to Watch Watchmen? Monday!

So, I was chatting with Friend Kyle, now that I finally saw the Watchmen movie. He saw it opening weekend on IMAX, I saw it at home when the library got the DVD. To me, there just aren't many movies worth leaving my reclining chair over, and this certainly didn't promise to be one of them. For those of you who haven't seen it, this was my favorite part:

Oh, I'm sorry. That was Spider-Man fighting a dinosaur and professing his love for bananas. I'll edit that out later, I'm sure.

I'm with most reviewers in that Watchmen wasn't a bad movie so much as it was a movie with very limited potential and very limited appeal. When Watchmen came out in the 80's, it was very cutting edge. But it's like Beatles music: Sure, it was groundbreaking, and worthy of being revered, but how many Beatles songs do you have on your I-Pod right now? Exactly. Though it isn't nearly as relevant, you are much more likely to have some Nickelback or Katy Perry crap on there that you'll delete in six months. Beatles songs have been imitated or built-upon (depending on where you think music has gone in the past 50 years), but the source material has been left behind; remembered fondly, but not really anything you're dying to revisit in any detail. Except those people. You know who they are.

Watchmen provided a valuable service in that it brought a maturity level to mainstream comics previously unseen. Before it, you were considered an even bigger geek than you would be today if you admitted to reading those "funny books." Now, you may be regarded as someone with a guilty pleasure, but not someone with arrested development.

And, in that vein, let's take a look at Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson under tanning lights:

Seriously? They worry about their tans?

Anyway, as to Watchmen, (and I apologize to those of you who actually wrote a college term paper on it) while it has a duly-deserved place in comic history, it's simply not the best thing I've ever read. Far from it. I had the graphic novel, read it twice, then off to Ebay. It's an interesting piece of history as to the development of the comic medium, but it's nothing I'm going to shove into the hands of a non-comic reader thinking this will convert them. Heck, Avengers: Under Siege is a much better read than Watchmen is (thanks for telling me those Avengers issues are in TPB!).

So, I didn't really have high hopes for the movie. I thought it was an okay translation, but that's about it. The opening credits were fantastic, and I say that in all seriousness. Friend Kyle thought the movie was doing okay for the first half before it got out of hand. It was certainly long, but it touched on all the highlights of the story that I remembered.

I, for one, don't see why anyone would watch a movie adaptation of any book or graphic novel they've read, and this only confirmed that. You can't really lose yourself in the story because you're constantly checking the movie against the source material, and a movie can't compete with the freedom of the written word. So, Watchmen would have been a decent movie to me if I hadn't actually read it first. As it is, it was an over-hyped adaptation of an over-rated book, trying to force something into mainstream culture that really doesn't belong there.

And it didn't have any Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!):

Thanks to Robert Giles for today's scans!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Behind the Scenes at CMNS Friday!

Sometimes, I get e-mails asking me how I find the material for this site. It's all in how you look at things. F'rinstance, take Avengers # 270-276. On the surface of it, there's an epic storyline wherein the son of Baron Zemo organizes a dozen super-villains who not only overwhelm our heroes and take over Avengers mansion, but many of said bad guys would form the core roster of the Thunderbolts, one of the few titles started in the 1990's that is still going strong today. Why this isn't in TPB form, I don't know, because this was a highlight of Avengers in the 80's.

But what does Adam get out of it?

Disembodied Floating Heads!:

Another appearance of the Stunnulator!:

And a shout-out to the worst Super-Hero answering service ever!:

Note to staff: If I'm ever on a secret mission, don't just blurt it out to whoever calls. That kind of defeats the whole "secret" part of it.

So, it's more of spotting little things that, despite the high entertainment factor of the surrounding story, make you go "what just happened?"

See? Easy! Try it at home!

See you Monday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Firing Warning Shots Into the Crowd Thursday!

Are you reading the ongoing Secret Six? You should.

You should also check out the fun I found in World's Finest #72!

Ah, that Batman. Ever the master strategist, he was. Taking a little-known tactic right out of The Art of War, he suggests that rather than save the guys with weapons for last, perhaps we should take them out before we get shot!

Then again, his sidekick was the Golden Age Robin. Robin probably needed to be told those sort of things. Kids get easily distracted, and they're often none too bright.


So, Clark tosses a ball and guides its path with his X-Ray vision? Someone explain that to me. You can't, can you? I didn't think so.

Can't you just hear the crowd below?

Hey, what the hell? Is that an arrow? Who's firing arrows down on us? Is that Green Arrow up there on a giant kite? Hey, douche! You want to quit firing arrows down on us? If you want to guide the cops, howzabout you try pointing your damn finger???

Here's a little fun way to pass the time. Check out the instructions for the "Batman Word Puzzle" I found in that ish:

I fully acknowledge I'm not the smartest person you'll ever meet, but I defy any child to make heads or tails of what they're supposed to do. By the time I finished reading the instructions, I was ready for a nap.

Then again, I'm always ready for a nap. I loves me a good nap.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lost in Translation Wednesday!

An extra-good Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!) courtesy of Avengers #265:

Forsooth! Why art everyone laughing? What meanest thou, "That's what SHE said!"?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Strange yet Manly Garment Tuesday!

Hercules has had maybe one good outfit, from that mini-series back in the 1980's. I'll see if I can dig it up. Other than that, he's always bordered on "fashion challenged." Case in point:

What is with that weird metal bra-like thing? Goliath wore that back in the Silver Age, and it looked goofy on him as well:

Then again, after Goliath ditched that outfit, he came back as Hawkeye without pants, so I guess a little metal chest harness is the least of his worries.

Things you should never see:

Namor laughing. Granted, his head is shaped better than it was in yesterday's post, but he's one of those folks that should only go so far as a smirk. My grandmother used to say the same thing about Raymond Burr.

Hey! It's a Second-String Pickoff!(tm!):

That's what we're going to call any slaughterings of minor characters who never really amounted to anything. This was when the Melter got taken out by Scourge. Not that anyone cared. Which is why it was.... A Second-String Pickoff!(tm!)

And while we're at it, how about some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

What makes this special is that it's a two-stager:

Yeah! Good stuff! See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Inspector Butts? I Hardly Even Know Them! Monday!

And now, courtesy of All-Select Comics #10:

We're starting a Character Name Hall of Fame, because any character named "Inspector Butts" deserves no less.

I try not to be too critical of Golden Age comics, because I certainly couldn't draw any better and comics were still a relatively new medium, but really:

The Sub-Mariner has developed a head shaped like a Nacho Cheese Dorito. It hasn't always been that way.

Hey, here's a buck to be made!:

I've never heard the words "valuable" and "plastic" used in the same sentence. No wonder they were advertising in comic books and not, say, Popular Mechanics or Scientific American.

And, lest I forget, today's post is in tribute to my dog, Molly, who had to be put to sleep on Saturday. Molly was a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix that I found in the parking lot at work about 5 years ago. She had heartworms and was very old at the time, but we got those fixed and she lived a good amount of time with us before senility set in and rather than have her continue a life of confusion and fear, we decided to let her go. I hope she forgives us and understands why we had to do it, and we look forward to seeing her, and all of my pets, again someday. Always the wanderer, she is now free to explore Heaven to her heart's content. So long, girl.... you'll be missed.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It Ain't Cruel If You Get Someone Else to Do it for You Friday!

From All-Select #10:

Okay, so here's the situation: Back in the day, the most obvious way the Human Torch could take out a bad guy was, of course, to burn him alive. That was quickly nixed by the powers that be because it's obviously a terrible death, even for your typical mad scientist or whatever.

But as we see here, the Torch and his plucky sidekick send the bad guys to a flaming, violent death. Was it okay because the fire didn't come directly from the Torch himself? I know there aren't any hard and fast rules here, but it's interesting to see that the bad guys always seem to die in Torch stories, even if it isn't through a direct blast of fire.

You know what's really creepy, though? This:

La la la la laaaaAAAAAH! I'm having chest pains!

Okay, that was stupid, I'll admit. But it's Friday.

And what kind of "Gadget Ideas" are they teaching teenage girls of the Golden Age? How to work a stove and a vacuum cleaner?

I'll see you Monday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mechanical Lobsterin' Thursday!

Some days, you just need to see Batman and Robin fighting a giant mechanical lobster....

Ahhhhhhh... thanks, World's Finest #69!

And now, the most limited marketing ever:

Um..... I haven't gone into space, nor has anyone I personally know. I don't see me buying a lot of Baby Ruth bars if that's the prerequisite.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When Superhero Comics Fell Wednesday!

From Avengers v1 #255:

I am the Black Knight, and I remain inappropriately stiff when everyone else is clearly trying to relax! As a result, I am often not invited to social functions....

From World's Finest #69:

Wow. I get to watch Superman do math? Such a magical thing comics are...

And since superhero comics became so crummy, this paved the way for war and western comics. Let this be a lesson to all of us:

I really don't understand why Hopalong Cassidy was a film star. Frankly, he looks a little doughy and long in the tooth to be a tough guy. I imagine he became a Hollywood cowboy because the real cowboys made him muck the stalls.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just Pit-Pattering by Tuesday!

Although we strive for entertainment here at CMNS, there are times when we just have to learn a little something as well. Today, we look at the scientific method of deductive reasoning:

Batman has done that "Bat in the box" shtick more than once, and I can't help but think that it really isn't a cool thing to do to the bat. Not cool, Batman!

Songs about penguins? Always cool.

Use of the term "Indian Giver?" Not cool, Robin!

So, songs about penguins are cooler than Batman and Robin. I have to admit I'm surprised by the results.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beware the Stunnulator! Monday!

Boy, am I hitting a lame run on the Avengers.

It's not like Hercules always had the greatest of fashion sense, but this one astounds me. Nothing says "Demi-God" like a jumpsuit. I guess in his spare time, Herc did septic tank repairs.

Aw, crap on a cracker! Not a STUNNULATOR! Anything but a STUNNULATOR!

What the heck is a stunnulator? That sounds like one of those goofy things Reed Richards was always making up in his lab whenever one of the writers had written themselves into a corner in the Fantastic Four.

How many more issues of the Avengers do we have? We're only halfway through? Well, dang.

All right. Back into the cesspool, everyone! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Be a Keen Teen Friday!

Okay, here's how I see the editorial meeting going for this issue:

Sure, we could do another cover showing the Invaders beating the crap out of the Axis powers, but you know what America really needs? A picture of Cap and the Torches fighting aliens in the Antarctic!

Oh, the Golden Age... you always give me the goods.

I know we've talked about how badass Bucky was, but check out Toro:

That kid has been in the sh!t way too long to be emotionally healthy.

Hey! It's Jap Buster Johnson!

War comics had a surprising lack of profanity, considering the situation. But that didn't slow down Jap Buster Johnson! Know why? Because he's Jap Buster F'n Johnson!

It's another inappropriate ad!

Be a keen teen? I don't know what you're implying, but no thanks. However, I do appreciate any magazine that was offering "vocational guidance," although it was probably something to the tune of "learn shorthand, so you can enjoy a long, dead-end career as a secretary for some stressed-out dillhole."

See you Monday!

Octopus-Related Thursday!

This is a classic bit of disturbing comic book coverness that you might have missed:

So, people were all over the Bruce Wayne/Dick Grayson relationship in the comics, but no one saw anything here? Really? Look at that photo! And is the Rifleman peeing his pants, or is that just an unfortunate shadow? I'm seeing all kinds of subliminal evil going on here!

Une skunk de pew!!!

This was a pretty good cover, especially when you consider Superman's "super-sensitive nostrils." It's been a while since we talked about nostrils, hasn't it? Nostril, nostril, nostril.

And why is Robin flying?

For the Costume Hall of Shame:

That's some pretty nifty headgear you've got going on there, Octopus. Is that supposed to be a beak? And why is everything octopus-related in that panel colored in various shades of lilac? I don't think that's accurate at all.

Yes, I said "octopus-related." The nice thing about doing a comic blog is you never know when you're going to get to say things like "octopus-related."

See you tomorrow!