Friday, March 22, 2013

Is the Beelzebub Suite Near the Ice Machine? Because I'm Sure it Has an AWESOME Minibar!

I know it doesn't hardly seem fair, gang, but I'm going to take a vacay next week.  It's been more stressful at work these last few weeks than I've had them in the last ten years here, so I'm just going to go home and hang out with Beloved and the Hounds.  And finally get around to playing Grand Theft Auto IV on the PS3.

But here's a couple of panels to get you through....

That Jay Garrick... such a gentleman.  You take the room with the Number of the Beast, Joan.... I'll be far, far away at another hotel where hopefully Satan's minions won't be able to find me.

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

That's what she said!

Okay, that was just funny.  I know you laughed at that.

So, we'll plan on seeing you around April 1st, okay?  And hopefully I'll be all rested and ready to take on the world again.  See you then!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You'll Say Grape-Nuts Flakes Taste Swell or Volto Will Kill You!

Dear Ones, I am so sorry for leaving you hanging the past few days, but work has been positively bananas lately.  Allow me to make up for it with Volto riding a roller coaster courtesy of All-Flash Quarterly #18:

Nothing makes up for days of neglect like Volto in a roller coaster.  I'm like Ike Turner giving flowers to Tina.

Now, waitaminute.  Am I to understand we have two roller coasters moving forward towards each other?  I don't know any carnies personally, but I'm not even sure how you'd accomplish that.

Time for a demonstration of powers, complete with narrative!

So, he has to say his name to get his powers to work?  Since he uses the same name to activate the powers in both his right and left arms, wouldn't that result in both of them going off at the same time?  And if so, wouldn't he spin like a propeller?  And wouldn't that be the greatest thing to ever hit the printed page if only it were true?

And poor Volto can't even introduce himself.  If he offered up a handshake and said, "Hi, I'm Volto," he'd send you sailing one way or another.

And, of course, we happen to have a box of Grape-Nuts Flakes lying around.  I rarely go to an amusement park without a box myself:

Who is this kid, anyway?  Any why doesn't he always have a box of Grape-Nuts Flakes handy so Volto doesn't have to go around begging strangers for it?

Note that we only said it "MAYBE" won't give you Volto's powers...

Again, I'm sorry for the lag, folks.  See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 15, 2013

In Which I Reduce the "Gang War" Saga to Four Panels...

It's been almost a week since we've had a new CMNS meme, so let's start a new one:  I will take a multi-part saga and reduce it to it's barest elements, thereby saving us all a lot of reading time.  Our initial voyage shall be the multi-part "Gang War" storyline with appearances by Daredevil, the Punisher and the Falcon.  I give you....


(Well.... Touche!) (tm!)

(A fat suit that somehow made him taller!)

As you can see, the Kingpin is clearly one of the 1%, as if you didn't already figure that one out.

That was some good time-savin' right there.  Tune in soon for another CMNS CROSSUNDER! (tm!)

See you Monday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pandemonium Reigns! Riots! ... And Looting!

So, just for giggles, I check out the Captain Video comic book adaptation of the television series.  I didn't know much about the series going in, but apparently he was the "Greatest Adventure Hero of Them All!" so you can see how much we've missed out.

For those of us just getting to know the good Captain, we are given the origin blurb:

And that's all we're getting.  To be fair, I don't think any of adaptations, be it television, comic or movie, gave us much more in the way of details.  His kid sidekick is known only as "The Ranger," which seems rather impersonal to me, but it could just be Captain Video's way of not getting too attached, lest the kid be eaten by a giant scorpion or something.

Anyway, I'm not familiar with the television show, but the comic gave us great moments like this:

Captain Video had a nemesis named Dr. Pauli,  who makes his appearance in comic book form for the first time right here:

Whether you are supposed to be reading that with a German or a Russian accent isn't clear.  The year is 1954 or therebouts, so probably Russian. 

 Anyway, chaos ensues.  Thusly:

Captain Video had a "ray gun."  Yes, that's what he called it.  I'm not sure what it did other than make "Blat! Blat!" noises.  Thusly:

Hey, the Ranger did almost get eaten by a giant scorpion!  Give Captain Video credit for his foresight.

And there were fighter jets fighting giant insects, which is always worth your dime:

And if you have an hour to kill, here's the actual series:

I couldn't make it through the first four minutes, but Jackie Gleason was a fan, so there must have been something to it.  I don't know.  It was a comic, so I read it.  And there are four more.  Then again, I wasn't able to get all the way through U.S. 61, so who knows what the future has in store?

Stay tuned, cadets!  See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

There's More Than ONE Orifice Wherein a Tootsie Roll Will Fit!

I was taking a break from Amazing Spider-Man and leafed through All-Flash Quarterly #17.  And, as is often the case, the ads were more interesting to me than the stories themselves.

Hey, Bill!  How's your evening going?

Oh.  Sorry I asked.

This was at the bottom of a text-only story and I found it interesting for historical reasons:

In the interests of being thorough, I checked out the American Bible Society.  It wasn't that difficult, considering they have their own web site.  It's not like I'm the paragon of investigative journalism here. But anyway, their "about us" page says: The mission of American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message.

Regardless of one's spiritual affiliation, this is interesting from a cultural perspective.  There is no indication that the ABS paid for an ad here, so did DC put it in as a public service?  Would they do so these days?  If it wasn't a PSA, would the ABS take out such an ad in comics today?  In either case, the answer would probably be "no way would we see something like this in a comic today."

Hootin' Zoots!  It's Captain Tootsie!

So, let me get this straight: Basically, Tootsie Rolls are like oxygen for Captain Tootsie.

Thanks, pals!  Although there was another way to get a Tootsie Roll in me that I've always been curious to try...

Boy, Tootsie Rolls got away with murder back in the day, didn't they?  Try and claim your chocolatey treat has health benefits these days, and it could end up costing you 3.05 million bucks.

I also saw an ad for an "Amazing New Game Sensation" called Let's Go to College, guaranteed to "panic a party," whatever that means.

So, I did a little digging (again, meaning I used the Google) and saw that this game came from the same dude who brought us Electric Baseball.  It looked like this:

This site (from whence I got the pic) filled in a few details, but I'm still not sure why it was "A COAST TO COAST CRAZE!"  But the ad assured me that it was, and I have no evidence to the contrary.  Sure, I have my doubts, but not so much that anyone should pay me $3.05 million bucks.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Which a Woman Wrecks a Submarine and Not a Single "Woman Drivers" Joke is Uttered...

From Robert Gillis and Lois Lane #54, we have a look at what happens on "LADIES' DAY IN METROPOLIS":

Let an unqualified civilian steer a military nuclear submarine?  How could this have gone wrong?

Awesome as always, Robert!  Thanks!

Taking a quick look at Amazing Spider-Man #280, we see one of the very few documented moments where Pete actually refused to tell his origin story:

I know!  He had a perfectly good opportunity to angst about Uncle Ben and actually let it pass him by. I share your disbelief... it's like finding teeth in a chicken's beak, but believe the evidence of your own eyes.

You may recall not too long ago, I discussed Amazing Spider-Man #262, which had an awesome photo cover of which I was unable to find much in the way of details.  Leave it to Brian Cronin and his awesome Comic Book Legends Revealed column to fill in the missing details.  It also talks about the infamous Spider-Man movie that was talked about, yet never saw the light of day.

But you know what did see the light of day?  A Mexican Batwoman:

Savor these days, my friends.  Savor them. 

See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Is That a Horse's Head in My Bed? What a Strange Coincidence. 'Tis That, and Nothing More...

If you haven't read the "Born Again" storyline from Daredevil, you're missing out.  It was Frank Miller at his finest, telling the story of a complete dismantling of an iconic hero by a powerful foe.  Poor Matt Murdock got it from everywhere.  I'm not going to spoil everything for you, but it's worth noting that Matt's house was blown to smithereens.

And Pete proves in Amazing Spider-Man  #277 that there's a reason they don't call him "The Particularly Bright Spider-Man."

Your pal is Daredevil, he fights the biggest mobster in New York, his house gets blown up, and Pete thinks this was a fluke accident.

If you're ever charged with a crime, you want Peter Parker on your jury.  That's all I'm saying.

But this was an interesting bit of introspection:

It is kind of odd that a character that goes by the name Daredevil who used to dress up like a circus acrobat became the noir hero that Miller turned into.  Anyway, I found this to be one of those "I never noticed it before, but that's right!" moments, kind of like when Johnny Storm came right out and said that the Fantastic Four were adventurers, not crime-fighters.

And now, it's time for: Well..... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

That, of course, was the Wraith, proving once again that it wasn't safe to be a D-list badguy in the Marvel Universe back in the late 80s.  I thought that "Scourge" was a great subplot, but it kind of culminated into a non-event, giving the big reveal in the USAgent miniseries, of all things.  Still, it was the journey, not the destination.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Long Overdue Tribute to the Human Fly!

Every so often, I run into a fun bit of head-scratching trivia, and today's is courtesy of our continued look at Amazing Spider-Man #276.

Observe, the escape of the Human Fly: 

This made me pause for a moment.  I was familiar with the character, but I always referred to him as simply "The Fly."  When we're talking about "The Human Fly," I think of this guy:

Remember him?  He was the "real" super-hero based on Rick Rojatt, a stuntman.  His comic wasn't nearly as bad as it should have been.  I mean, it wasn't Kingdom Come or anything, but it wasn't SuperPro, either.  Then again, I may be cutting it a break because it had the Ghost Rider and the original White Tiger making guest appearances at some point.

So I was a little confused and thought maybe they had the villain's name wrong.  But I looked back at his first appearance and, sure enough:

Yup.  To make matters even more complicated, Marvel introduced both characters within about a year of each other.  I complain about DC having too many characters that go by the name "the Flash," but they at least acknowledge there are a few guys going around with that name.  To the best of my knowledge, the two "Human Flies" never crossed paths nor did anyone ever mention the shared monicker.

In retrospect, of course, I remember that there was a Golden Age "The Fly" who was owned by another company, so Marvel probably couldn't get away with that one.  They could have re-named one of the characters, I suppose, but it was probably more trouble than it was worth.

So what happened to these guys?  Well... 

... and that was that, but at least he was given an "on-camera" death.  No Second String Pick-Off (tm!) here.

The stuntman/superhero disappeared when his title was cancelled with issue 19.  Why he had a rocket emblem on his costume was never explained.

But, in the "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" Department, it appears that there were talks at one point about making the character into a movie.  One can justifiably conclude that Hollywood has indeed officially run out of ideas.

And yes, "Spak Pum" is officially part of Sound Effect Theater (tm!).

See you Monday! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

You're in the Hospital? But What About MY Needs?

From Amazing Spider-Man #276, we have the first official installment of  a new CMNS Feature I like to call... Sound Effect Theater! (tm!):

When Spider-Man Pwams You...

You STAY Pwammed, My Friend!

This was the first official installment of... Sound Effect Theater! 

Remember where you were today, folks!  You'll be telling your grandkids about it, I'm sure.

Here was a panel that kind of tickled me:

In every group project, there's always that one person who doesn't actually do anything, but stands around in close proximity so she can say she's "helping."  And it's always the blonde.  Don't break a nail, Princess!

As we saw yesterday, poor Sha Shawn had been kidnapped by the Hobgoblin just after a violent parting with her philandering boyfriend, Flash Thompson.  Flash visits her in the hospital and... well...

Yes, the girl was the victim of domestic violence and kidnapping the previous day, but Flash screw that noise, because Flash's feelings are hurt!  Do you know people like that?  I sure do.  

Sha Shan, I'm begging you... no jury would ever convict you... just...

THERE ya go!

Our thanks on behalf of a grateful nation, Sha Shan for that Random Slap! (tm!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When Love Fails, Disembodied Floating Heads (tm!) will Follow....

Amazing Spider-Man #275 is something of a landmark because... well, 275 is kind of a round number, so there you go.

Here we see Flash's affair with Betty Brandt Leeds come to its inevitable conclusion.  Flash's relationship with Sha Shan really wasn't developed so much in Amazing Spider-Man (I think it played out more in the companion book Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man), so I was rather surprised to see it happen in these pages.  Thusly:

I've never understood the deal with autographed photographs.  I was around 18 when this was published, and I had never seen this in real life.  I mean, you'd sign the back of a school picture if you gave one to a friend, but you sure didn't act like you were Cary Effin' Grant and write your smooth dialogue on the front like that.  Maybe it was a New York thing.  You Yankees do all kinds of stuff I don't get.

Anyway, Pete is considering hanging up the webs.  Again.


And just as we had feared yesterday, we get the entire origin story from Amazing Fantasy #15 reprinted again.  This issue was touted as a "37 page story" and cost you an extra fifty cents, which was a pretty decent markup considering comics were only seventy-five cents back in the day, but eleven of those pages were the reprint.  So this was kind of a rip, considering how many times you've read Spidey's origin already.  I sure don't want to pay a 66% markup on a comic to read it again.  By today's standards, that would be at least a couple of bucks, and... 

Hold on.



That still doesn't excuse the reprint, but you know how I feel about wheatcakes.

Anyway, Flash is a jerk and having an appropriately terrible time, complete with Disembodied Floating Heads! (tm!)

And the only way to deal with that is with a Random Sucker Punch (tm!) on an inexplicably blonde Ned Leeds:

Flash also punched his girlfriend earlier that issue.  I didn't reprint the panels because I didn't want anyone to think I found the domestic violence depicted therein funny.  Flash is a jerk.  But anybody who wants you to call him "Flash" is giving you fair warning of what you can expect.

Meanwhile, Sha Shan is having the worst day ever when she is kidnapped and insulted:

Well..... Touche! (tm!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Does Aunt May Always Look So Startled? And Other Cosmic Questions...

Secret Wars II had everything I don't like about a comic: Cosmic forces engaging in sci-fi blah-blah, magic, and....

... well, I do like me some Disembodied Floating Heads! (tm!)

There are so many of 'em that poor Spidey can't even stand up straight on the cover of his own book.  That's a lot.  Either that, or he's mooning them.  Which, considering how often he's annoyed with Disembodied Floating Heads (tm!), I'd be considering doing that myself.

And there was this one little bit of Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!):

That's a victory in any guy's book, isn't it?

This was the end of the Secret Wars II cross-overs in Amazing Spider-Man.  The next issue would have all-new 

Oh, geez.

As we've seen, it's not like Spidey doesn't reflect on his origin story at least once every ten issues.  Do I have to pay to read it again?  Then again, it could be worse... I could be paying a hundred bucks to read it again!

 Come back, Beyonder!  I may have been too hasty!

See you tomorrow!