Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now With More "Interest-Absorbing" Properties Thursday!

There was no way I could avoid checking out an "interest-absorbing" character, although my interest was more absorbed by the term "interest-absorbing" than anything else.

So, this be him, and his sidekick "Rusty":

Yes, Rusty was right up there with Bucky and Tim and countless other sidekicks who wore masks but went by their real names.  

Flagman wasn't overly interesting, but I don't know what someone with the powers of a flag would really be able to do, other than hang onto a pole and flap in the wind for a really long time.  I can't imagine that would sell a lot of comics, which is why you may not be overly familiar with the character.

Oh, he wrestled a shark once, so there's that:

And apparently, he won't think twice about shoving a branding iron in your face:

So, I suppose he had his moments.  My interest was sufficiently absorbed, so I'm not going to scream "shenanigans!" or anything.

Anyway, let's check out Cat Man #5:

And by "rat," I mean that mustache.  Aren't there grooming standards in the military?

Anyway, the Colonel has no idea who Cat Man is, so he follows Lt. Merrywether's advice of placing a classified ad.  Which, you see, is a clever ruse because Merrywether is the Cat Man! 

Eh?  Eh?

Here's a brilliant cover so that Cat Man can do his thing without getting dishonorably discharged:

Why, that's an unusual request, Cat Man!  I can't imagine why Merrywether would need a leave of absence while you are on your mission, but I'll take your word for it.  Gosh, Cat Man, I wonder who you could be, you mysterious stranger?

So, are you still hanging on?  Good for you!

This particular issue of Cat Man (#5) was all kinds of noteworthy because it introduced his sidekick, Kitten:

Yes, the man hung out with a teenage girl and called her "Kitten."  Nothing creepy about that.

I would also remind everyone that the Colonel doesn't know Merrywether is the Cat Man, yet Katie (who was now Merrywether's "Ward,"  just walked in the room and revealed her own secret identity.  You pretty much have to draw the conclusion that the Colonel finally put two and two together if he hadn't already.  Then again, maybe the Colonel was too busy grooming his mustache to notice or care.  

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clothing is Optional When You Have a Great Mustache Wednesday!

So I'm reading through Cat-Man #4, and while I didn't find anything that made me say, "Wow, I can't believe this didn't take off!  What a buried treasure we have here!  My readers are sure to be charmed and delighted!", but I did find a few things of note.

Let's start with Dr. Diamond:

Obviously, the first thing of note is that awful costume.  The man runs around in shorts, boots and a cape.  Normally, I would say, "All he needs is a mustache and he's ready to become one of the Village People," but danged if there isn't a mustache right there.

He was a surgeon, you see.  And medical professionals ranking "doctor" or above in comics either have to be balding (if they're over 40) or have a mustache (see Dr. Strange).

Hey!  It's a gorilla!  This issue just became worth finding!:

As you can expect, the big twist is that it wasn't a gorilla at all, but a thug in a gorilla costume!  The chicanery!  The shenanigans!

Normally, that would put this story in the "lame" column, but it's salvaged on the final page with this, where the real gorilla gets his mitts on said thug:

Since it appears that Monstro is going to get to know Puggsy in the Biblical sense, I'd say this one was a winner, if not the feel-good story of the summer!

Here's something worth forgetting:

So, I toot my little horn there, and it acts like Sodium thiopental?  I have no idea how many stories they thought they were going to milk out of that little plot device, but I give them credit for their optimism.   Because I can only think of two off the top of my head, and one of them involves making the guy short of breath so that he has to play the horn via flatulence.

I know.  It's a sin that Marvel and DC are letting this talent languish.  A sin, I tells ya!

Anyway, I guess they quickly realized they had to expand his rather limited powers, so they had upped it to "death-causing" and "metal-dissolving" powers by the next issue.  Still, it seems like when you talk about "saving the day with your magic flute," you're setting yourself up for a string of "that's what HE said" jokes.  Not that there's anything wrong with that....

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm a Cat! See the Ears? Purrrrr.....HISSSSSS! Tuesday!

Hey!  Let's confuse all the non-comic readers by talking about a guy who wore orange and called himself Cat-Man who wasn't the lame-Batman-villain-turned-awesome-by-hanging-out-with-Deadshot-in-the-Secret-Six-and-getting-a-large-quantity-of-Deadshot's-awesomeness-on-him guy:

What was with the 1940's and guys wearing short pants?  I'm not trying to get all Seduction of the Innocent on you, but come on!  Not only does that look guarantee non-comic geeks would make fun of you for reading it, but it has no practical application.  And did these guys shave their legs?  The older I get, the more disturbing this becomes. 

Meanwhile, check out the pitch on the inside cover:

Get that?  No expense has been spared!  

Okay, does anyone not understand that these are just drawings?  You could draw a picture of me taking a whiz off the Eiffel Tower, but that doesn't mean you have to buy me a ticket to Gay Pareeeeee!  What kind of expense are we talking about?

Okay, the rest of that was a micro-fiche, and I almost went blind trying to read it, so let's jump ahead to issue #4:

Okay, did everyone get that?  He got his powers by "constant association" with cats.

You know, because he was raised by them.  Like Tarzan was raised by apes, which made a lot more sense, but I'm not here to judge.

Although in applying the same logic, this means I'll be drinking out of the toilet bowl by noon tomorrow, because there are more dogs in my house than people.  I'm just saying.

And they ran with this notion that you could physically become like a cat through some kind of osmosis:

Yup.  He can leap straight up like a cat.

I might have been willing to let that one slide, because he's arguably just mimicking what he saw cats do.

And then, as comics are want to do, they push me too far:

Okay, I don't care how much time he spent slapping around a catnip mouse with Fluffy and her pals, there is no way you're going to develop the ability to see in the dark.  It is simply not going to happen.

And then we go for the gusto:

Yes, he learned to leap large distances and land on his feet by association.

And then, like a cat, he learned to... punch people in the face.  Like a cat.

CAT-PUNCH!.... or something.

Okay, enough of this.  I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Miss Liberty and Her Erect Cape Monday!

Today's post also came from Captain Fearless #1, but it was so awesome I decided to give it a spotlight of its own. How I wish, oh I wish, I could get my mitts on Captain Fearless #2

Now, I want you to take a look at Miss Victory's cape, because I was mesmerized by it.  The thing is always up in the air.

Even when she shucks her disguise, up it goes.  Does she have underwire on that thing, or what?

See?  I was almost so distracted by the cape that I nearly missed the fact that it looks like something very wrong is going on there.  I mean, I'm sure the bad guy deserves a smiting and all that, but Miss Liberty is getting downright Biblical on the guy.  Won't he be getting enough of that in prison?

I swear to you, I didn't crop this.  There is no dialog.  She's just standing there, with her cape defying gravity.

I'm not sure why she thought they would meet again.  I don't think guys who are convicted of treason were handed community service, if you know what I mean.

We'll meet again, Mr. Axis, and when we do, I can assure you that my cape will remain ever-vertical!

Not sure what happened there.  She seems to be smiling, so I guess it was no big deal.  And the cape is still floating, so I'd say "all systems are go."

Can't you just taste the drama?  Someone had some serious storytelling skillz, yo!
And it looks like her cape might actually be a little.... er, flacid by this time, but you can't tell for sure.  Floaty Cape.  Floaty, Floaty Cape....

Where he's saying "rubber," imagine that he's referring to condoms.  That's what I did, and the entertainment value shot through the roof.

Will we see more of Miss Liberty and her cape?  Only time will tell.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blow Only in Great Danger Friday!

So, I was trolling around the public domain comics looking for Crimebuster stories, and I got distracted by Captain Fearless #1.

And there were TWO issues of Captain Fearless, smartypants, so don't get all smug.

But if you missed one of those two issues, and I'm prepared to guess most of us did, let's check in on the origin of Captain Fearless:

Wait a minute. The ghost of a guy's ancestor talks to him and then leaves him equipment for fighting injustice? Haven't we seen this exact origin before?

Why, yes we have.

Hmmmmmm. I don't know if I can go on. I mean, the guy's name is John Fearless and he has the exact same origin as the unfortunately-named Fighting Yank. Wait - what's that written on the horn?


Okay, I'm back in.

But then I see this:

You may wonder why Captain Fearless gets inducted into the Costume Hall of Shame, but here's the punchline:

This wasn't a Western series.


Hey! It's a Moment of Comic-Book Greatness!(tm!):

Can you believe this comic book didn't take off? I mean, it had Captain Fearless, and... whatever that last thing was, and Citizen Smith!

Let's check out his awesome origin!:

So, he went to the grave of his ancestor, you see? And the ancestor's ghost appeared...

.... and.... told him to.... fight injustice.

Are you kidding me? Two guys with the exact same origin in the same bleeding issue? I have endured much in my love for you, oh Cruel Mistress that is Comics, but now you have pushed me too far!

Heh.... "Blow Only in Great Danger."

Oh, I can't stay mad at you for long, my love!

I suppose it's possible. Ghosts are usually the remains of old people, and old people always feel entitled to tell you how to live your life, so if you meet a ghost you can probably anticipate it's going to give you some time-consuming mission. I can't wait until I'm old enough to do that! I'm gonna annoy the heck out of everyone, everywhere I go! You worthless kids!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Saw Superman Taking Off His Pants Under the Tree One Fine Christmas Morn Thursday!

Well, it was quite the butt-kicker of a day, so we're going to dig into the "CMNS Readers Save the Day" file and the oldest batch brings us up to another great set from Robert Gillis!

You can look at Superman in more than one way in this picture, but they all result in you spending Christmas Morning with an anatomically-correct doll showing the police officer where he did the "bad touching."

This little dandy came from Adventure Comics #227:

Boy, kids were whiny back in the day, weren't they? That kid is about twelve years old, and he's losing his marbles over a freakin' picnic. His life is a little too easy, if you ask me.

Hey, let's stigmatize overweight people with Adventure Comics #298!:

But, Pa! It's perfectly acceptable to mock people about their weight! Ask anyone who isn't overweight!

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

I think what we can glean from this is that Lana wants Clark to keep his balls far away from her uranium!

HEE! Tickled myself with that one, I did!

Thanks, Robert! And thanks to everyone who sends in panels! I'll be getting to 'em!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yiiiii! Yiiiii! Whoop! Whoop! Wednesday!

We haven't checked in on Batman over in Detective Comics for a while, have we? Let's see what's going on in the world of the intellectual chess match that is detective work:

Oh, yeah. We were in that era, weren't we?

Well, believe it or don't, this is the last issue before the "new" Batman days began. But before we bid adieu to the "weird Batman" days, let us taste that bittersweet fruit one last time:

They sure made it easy, didn't they?

Here's a little "it ain't cheatin' if the referee doesn't see it" moment from the J'Onn J'Onzz story from that very same issue.

Of course, this guy has powers very similar to Cyclops, including the need for special glasses to keep him from accidentally blasting things. So, being the ace journalist that I am, I took a look to see which came first.

The winner: Cyclops. He was, of course, introduced in X-Men #1, which had a publishing date of September, 1963, a good six months before this ish of Detective came out. I don't know how far ahead folks put together comics back in the day, so it's entirely possible that this story was either deep in the process or even in the can by the time Cyclops came about. Still, it's interesting that such similar afflictions showed up within months of one another.

Of course, Cyclops is still going strong while this guy was never heard from again as near as I can tell, so there's no doubt as to who wore the powers better. And let's face it: Comics, like movies and television, borrow and recycle ideas all the time. It's not about originality, it's about how entertaining the end result is.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Win a Live Monkey! Tuesday

No, I'm not giving away a monkey. There is a surprisingly short list of animals that should be pets, IMHO, and a monkey just ain't one of 'em. But we'll get to that.

The ninth issue of Daredevil had an obligatory text story starring Crimebuster (I'm sorry: "THE Crimebuster"). Thusly:

The only Crimebuster I ever knew about was the one from Marvel Comics in the The Man Called Nova series, but in doing a little research, these stories are surprisingly badass.

I say "surprisingly" because of the monkey sidekick and the fact that he's clearly wearing shorts over his leggings as opposed to skintight trunks, which is usually only reserved for characters who are spoofing the genre. Of course, I'm totally finding those issues and will be checking that out for myself.

Meanwhile, you can win a monkey!:

Yes, all it takes to win an amorous monkey is go back to the 1940's and come up with a name for him. I'm sure the onslaught of monkey-related domestic assaults in the 1940's were purely coincidental.

Hey! It's time for a Moment of Comic Book Greatness(tm!)!

Can't you just see Mike on one of those "Waiting Child" things they put on the news, where they're trying to find adoptive homes for children? Mike is an active child with special needs, who is very honest and expressive about his feelings....

I know - if there was any chance I was going to win one of those blog awards, I totally blew it right there. It was totally worth it.

One thing in the 1940's:

If someone had a story to tell, you were gonna listen. We don't put kids in wrestling holds enough these days. I think we ought to bring that back, along with phrases like "He's just a Good-Time Charlie."

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Gave You All This Stuff for One Eene Weene Kiss Monday!

Some random silliness from Daredevil #21:

We've all been there, haven't we, fellas? I find the women generally prefer it if you just give 'em the cash.

Let this be a lesson to you:

Do not antagonize a man who is holding a handful of darts.

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

And speaking of out-of-context, I promised to tell you what was in the trunk on Friday, didn't I? Well, I'm sure you came up with all kinds of wild ideas, like it was a hacked-up dead body or something. But the truth is....

... it was a hacked-up dead body. And no, I'm not kidding. That was it.

So, HAPPY MONDAY, everyone! I'll see you tomorrow!