Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Artist War Zone Wednesday!

More comic fun from All Winners # 3!

Though it was a more innocent time....

.... they figured out early on how to shill other comics. Cap is supposedly reading the blurb about the guy who hung himself, but we also get a nice ad for Young Allies. It's sweeping the country, don'tcha know! And yes, I have a few copies available of Young Allies. Prepare to be aghast.

Hey! It's Cap's most dangerous battle!

I hate to be a cynic, but I can't help but think that a guy who had been on virtually every front line in WWII, facing down tanks and hundreds of Axis troops armed with automatic weapons and grenades at once, probably wouldn't have much trouble with an old man brandishing a knife. He might be pretty spry, but still.... wasn't Cap genetically altered to be the ultimate fighting machine? It's amazing to me how much trouble he's having with an elderly person.

Did I mention the old man was known as "The Artist"? That's how badass he was. You can bring down Baron Zemo and the Red Skull, but you can't say you've been in the sh!t until you've fought "The Artist!"

And hey! Check out the Whizzer's new duds!

I suppose it's an improvement over the helmet with the bird's head on it that we've seen earlier, but the Whizzer's last look had no mask whatsoever, so I'm not sure what good it's going to do him now. Then again, anyone who deliberately calls himself "The Whizzer" is operating on a level I can't begin to imagine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Running From the Solar Sponge Tuesday!

Most comic geeks remember the Sun-Eater, a mysterious force that did exactly what it advertised: It would eat suns and bring about the catastrophe that one might expect. Not only did this Silver Age thingie get a revival by being the main menace in the Final Night crossover event of 1996, but most of us will recall that the original Sun-Eater gave the Legion of Super-Heroes its first fatality ever, when Ferro Lad died delivering a bomb to its core.

But what I'll bet most folks didn't know, no matter how big of a comic book geek you are, is that there was a precursor to the Sun-Eater, almost 10 years before its first appearance. That's right: FEAR THE SOLAR SPONGE!

You think I'm kidding. I give you World's Finest #96:

That's right. In the 1950's, something called "the Solar Sponge" was considered menacing. It was a different time, people!

It made people run in small groups:

There's something funny about people screaming as they run in comics. I don't know what it is, but it can't be denied. People screaming "run! run!" when everyone is clearly already running tickles me.

It's probably just me.

One challenging theme about the Superman-Batman team-ups in World's Finest was coming up with a menace that would give Superman a challenge, but wouldn't be so tough that it rendered Batman useless. These days, the excellent Superman / Batman monthly pulls that off pretty well somehow. It's a great read, if you haven't tried it already.

But back in the day? Well, thank goodness Robin always needed saving:

Okay, everyone catch that? The "good work" for which Batman is being congratulated is nothing more than saving the bacon of his own boy sidekick. Looking at this logically, Batman did nothing more than resolve a crisis that wouldn't have happened if he had stayed home and watched The Real McCoys. You could really get away with anything in the 1950's.

And, of course, I can always count on Superman to be a douche:

I ripped off a part of this creature's body and maimed it, but I didn't do it any harm.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure PETA would disagree with those humanitarian tactics, Clark.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gravy? Mustard? Egg? Monday!

Some comic book funnin' from All Winners #3! Well, they aren't all winners! F'rinstance:

Nope. Definitely not a winner.

But Toro? He's a winner!

That was some genius application of sarcasm. I mean, Toro clearly didn't have any facts to answer to Torch's question, so he just starts throwing answers out there. I do that sort of thing to Beloved, who also tends to muse out loud. She refuses to acknowledge how hilarious it is.

Being contrary for no reason? I love it! I would have imitated it in school and had even more "behavior and attitude" comments on my report cards, but it would have been well worth it.

The Torch got a little payback there. He may have done it under the guise of "reviving" an unconscious Toro, but I'm sure that somewhere in his mind, he saw it as a chance to give the mouthy little brat a good shaking.

But the nice thing about the Golden Age was that you always had a ready supply of Axis bad guys you could send to a very painful demise, and no one would say anything:

I know some folks decry the violent content in comics these days, but those pre-Comics Code books were pretty rough.

And yes, although I just went through this with Molly a month ago, I had to put Gremlin down last Friday, so I want to take a moment to remember him. He was a shitz-zu mix I found wandering downtown Tulsa. Although he was a prissy-looking dog who weighed less than 10 pounds, he was a survivor. It was obvious he had kept himself going by killing and eating things, as I found more than one rabbit twice his size eviscerated in my back yard. He also ate many a mouse, which I appreciated. He was a scrapper, and would fight you and anyone you brought with you, but he had an undeniable charm and you had to admire his lust for life. He gave us a very entertaining 11 years, and it was very sad to let him go. Go find Molly and Buddy, Mr. Man! I look forward to seeing you again one day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stuff I Wish Happened More Often Friday!

As much as I love Joel McHale, if next week's episode of Community isn't any better than the last two, I'm taking it off my television watch list.

You know what I'll never get tired of seeing? Batman telling Superman off:

Wow! Thanks, World's Finest #95! Of course, (SPOILER ALERT!) Batman is later revealed to be under alien control, but I'll take it however I can get it.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Not Saying I Could Do Any Better Thursday!

..... but someone gave both Captain America and the Sub Mariner a serious case of lazy eye.

It's hypnotic... the more I enlarge the picture, the more visually impaired they become.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Young People Need is a Code Wednesday!

It's been awhile since we visited the Costume Hall of Shame! (tm!)

Some people think the Vision's yellow and green ensemble is a bit loud, but there's a thick line between toning things down and giving up altogether. Over the years, I've warmed up to characters who wear mostly one color (Nightwing, the Flash, etc.) but the all-white look of a character, especially a bald one, only makes me think of this:

And yes, I feel the same way about the Silver Surfer.

For those of you that visit our little Comic Book Funhouse (tm!), but don't regularly follow comics, allow me to give you a Rule to Go By (tm!):

Whenever you see Dr. Doom, it will almost always be revealed near the end of the story that he was really one of Dr. Doom's robots. Just assume it's a robot, and just assume no one else in the story will even consider that possibility even though it's usually the case.

Know what teenagers need? A Code:

What I really enjoy about this is (a) they never actually come up with a Code, so no problems are solved and (b) any teenager who wants more rules to govern his/her behavior probably doesn't need a Code to begin with. It's those loser kids who walk around with their hats turned backwards and their pants halfway down their asses who need the Code.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

She Doesn't Look Dead Tuesday!

If you missed last night's Heroes, catch it on Hulu before the season gets away from you. This could be the best season yet. Great stuff!

In World's Finest #92, yet another alien kid fell out of the sky and had super powers. So, why did this kid have super powers?

Sure, he was from a king-sized world, so he would naturally be able to fly and have X-Ray vision in ours. I mean, if stronger gravity did it for Superman, why wouldn't this explanation work? Can't you see the correlation?

Head.... hurting.

In the days before Internet personal ads.....

if you smelled like the ocean all the time, you couldn't be choosy. A breathing girl had potential in Namor's eyes!

Hey! Let's learn something!

So..... I guess the moral is that you should be accepting of people from other cultures once they prove to your satisfaction that they can do well in sports. And that's One to Grow On!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Give Me Back My Legs! Monday!

Heroes, House and The Big Bang Theory season premieres tonight? My cup runneth over!

DC Comics: Providing young women with strong female role models since 1939.

Hey! It's time for Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!)

Wow! Thanks, Batman #53!

Kids, when you meet someone who is a little different....

don't do what Dick did.

What a jackass.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 18, 2009

He-Man Woman-Hater's Club Friday!

What women don't understand: When we want to see you, we will ply you with flowers and candy. When we don't want to see you, we'll hide up in a cave. These should be fairly clear signals.

But not to Batwoman.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big Oversized Hat with a Feather in It Thursday!

Some old school heroes due for a reboot from World's Finest #89

I don't know about you, but this guy scares the living crap out of me. I mean, if you were in a dark alley and some guy dressed that way speaking broken English with a French accent came up to you, wouldn't you lose it? I sure would.

Besides having an awkward name, this character has lightning shooting down to his crotch. I'm not sure if that's a image that will attract or repel the ladies. I'm sure it will evoke strong opinions either way.

Hey! It's time for Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

Usually in the mornings, my cannon is my alarm clock!

Thank you! Thank you! I love you all!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Friends Who Abuse Drop-In Privileges Wednesday!

From World's Finest Comics #88. I'm fortunate to live in a place no one wants to vacation. Unlike my friends who live in Portland or San Francisco, I never have to worry about picking up my phone and hearing someone say, "Guess where I'm calling you from! The airport! We thought we'd surprise you with a visit!" Believe me, Tulsa is an okay place to live (and to me, it's just okay. Beloved loves it.), but no one is going to burn vacation time coming to see anything we have here.

Scotty has drop-in privileges. He and his family can pop up any time and I'd be tickled pink to put them up. But I've known Scotty since childhood, and I'm lucky I also adore his wife and kids.

But the reason I actually welcome visits from Scotty and his brood are because they never pull this:

Hmmmmm... since we know you're Clark Kent, couldn't you have just come to the front door in your secret identity? Or how about using the telephone? Either way, you could have maintained secrecy without compromising the structural integrity of Stately Wayne Manor. I'm just saying. I mean, I know you're Superman and everything, but it seems like you are ignoring some very promising alternatives to strip-mining my property without my consent.

Superman is such a jerk.

Hey! How about some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue?(tm!)

That's putting a lot of pressure on yourself to perform in what should be a relatively pressure-free situation. And no, Mom, I'm not explaining why that's funny.

Last but certainly not least, you know how they say there is no such thing as a stupid question? I give you, Exhibit "A":

Now, if you didn't know that fact prior to reading that panel, I think I agree with your parents that you probably should have paid a bit more attention in school. I'm not judging you, but come on!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gravity is the New Magnetism Tuesday!

This was a classic hodgepodge of sheer messy storytelling from World's Finest #87:

I am Superman, and only I can tell this story.... well, except Batman and Robin, who were also there. I guess it stands to reason they could also tell this story. But I'm the one that's telling it. Because only I could tell it. Except Batman and Robin.

It was very accommodating of Jor-El, who was from another planet altogether, to write instructions in English.

Who shot who in the what now? I'm no physicist, but that makes no sense at all. Here's how gravity works:

So, even if you are on a planet where gravity is lighter, what the heck kind of pill is going to replace your compensation for the lighter gravity? And if Superman's powers were based on the fact that gravity is lighter, how does that explain things like heat vision, invulnerability and his ability to do long division in his head? It's impossible, of course.

Because your average comic book reader (myself included) has a lot of time on his/her hands, I'm sure DC Comics got more than a few letters demanding an accounting of this concept than they could have hoped to answer in a million years. But instead of trying to come up with a plausible origin for Superman's powers, they decided to go in the opposite direction and say, "Okay, the sun of Krypton is red, and Earth's sun is yellow. That's why he has super-powers." This is so preposterous you can't possibly hope to successfully argue against it, so it was a genius recovery in its own way.

And, just in case I haven't mentioned it yet today, Superman is quite the douche:

You know, even if you can fly up in the sky and scream at me, I'd prefer you use the phone.

Enough of that. Let's look at another part of the comic that went horribly awry:

Yeah, let's teach the kids about respecting other cultures by discussing the history thereof. Which, I suppose, went okay until the very last panel:

Based on the text and the picture, you'd think these folks were hired help. I'm the first person to say we shouldn't dwell on the past, but that doesn't mean you ignore it. Ah, Revisionist History.... the older I get, the more you pay me a visit.

Let's bid a fond farewell to Patrick Swayze, who actually has earned our kudos. No, not because of Dirty Dancing and Ghost, but because of his role in this 1982 classic television series:

If you had been alive or old enough to control the remote, you would have watched the heck out of that show. You know you would. If you wouldn't.... well, I really don't know what you're doing here. Anyway, RIP, Patrick Swayze.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More than 99 Luftballoons Monday!

More of the World's Finest Comics. Know how we know they're the world's finest? Because they came from World's Finest #86!

That saves a lot of time? Really? I mean, I know they didn't have cel phones, but I'm showing Oliver had to shoot more than 80 arrows just to spell the word "CAPTURED." I don't care how fast he is, I'm betting I could run into a convenience store and use a phone quicker than the time it took to pull that little stunt.

Worst. Gift. Ever:

After Serena Williams' bit of douchebaggery over the weekend (which I won't elaborate on, because douchbags like Serena and Kanye West thrive on the attention they get for their douchebag behavior), I am more convinced than ever that jocks may be many things, but I think "heroes" is a massive overstatement. Let's go with "overpaid egomaniacs." But more to the point, can you imagine your kid with 500 loose photographs? Kids collect crap. It's what they do. I cannot fathom having 500 photos scattered all over my house. And yes, there are a billion comics flowing through my house at any one time, so I acknowledge I am a hypocrite.

A blast from the past:

I seem to recall hearing the Silly Putty was called "Nutty Putty" back in the day, although that makes it sound like something you'd use to keep a jock strap in place (which I'm sure is why they changed the name). I also recalled that I paid 96 cents for a plastic egg of the stuff back in the 70's, which was 4% less than it apparently cost a kid in the 50's. My head hurts.

And for those of you who didn't get the title of today's blog, here's a little 80's culture for you:

The English version stinks.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Of Dragons and Chauvanist Pigs Friday!

It's Friday, and that means it's time for World's Finest #86!

I don't know.... I know the people of Metropolis have seen a lot, but I would think that once they see that the dragon doesn't have any legs and is moving around on tank treads, they might see past that clever ruse.

No one ever understood why buildings in Gotham City and Metropolis had an unusually high occurrence of foundation problems, but I'm prepared to guess it had something to do with Superman always ripping them up and flying them all over the place. I don't think buildings were meant for that. Then again, I'm no structural engineer, so maybe it's fine to sling buildings around.

Lois' main professional character flaw is that she had a tendency to whip out the gender card whenever someone disagreed with her. You know the type.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grenade-Tipped Shaft Thursday!

This is why Superman doesn't have a kid sidekick. Say, Robin, I know it's one of the flimsiest disguises ever, but when I'm wearing glasses, do you think you could hold off calling me "Superman" in public? Hmmmmmm? That was a fun one from Robert Giles! Thanks, Robert!

As I've said before, Stan Lee is more of an idea man. Dialog is not so much his thing. Check out this classic from All-Winners #1:

Wow. Who needs art when you have that kind of narrative? Paints such a vivid picture in my brain, it does! Although I have to give this disclaimer: Children, if an adult ever really talks to you in this fashion, run to your parents as fast as your legs will carry you.

And hey! It's time for Fun with Out of Context Dialog! (tm!):

Normally, I'd think the guy is just bragging, but if your shaft is actually grenade-tipped, you are already capable of things I can't imagine.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When Menaces Roll, Hop, or Slap Wednesday!

Have you ever read the second volume of Daredevil? That's some great stuff!

You can't pass my bike? You got a badge or something you can show me, chief?

I like the idea of being a ROLLING MENACE! It's one thing to be a menace, but to be able to roll at the same time? That's super-villain material!

Here's some fun (with thanks) from Robert Giles!:

I'm not a huge fan of the Jimmy Olsen series, but it's my understanding that Lucy gets slapped a lot. And frankly, if you have to handcuff yourself before you even see the girl for fear that you're going to haul off and smack her, that's probably a sign that this isn't the healthiest of relationships.

See? See? What did we learn about being a litterbug? That it attracts kangaroos! Let this be a lesson for all of us.

See you tomorrow!