Friday, October 31, 2014

In Which We Look at the Firefly (Because No One Else is Gonna Do It)

Let's end the week with a look at Batman #126, which featured the second appearance of... The Firefly!

Yeah!  He's menacing, you know!

Somewhere, the original Killer Moth is looking to kick this guy's ass.

But first, he'll have to get past... a really bright light!

(A) Batman should thank the Firefly for showing him where the "off" switch is on the guy's costume and

(B) Does Batman not research these guys at all?  The guy calls himself the Firefly.  What do fireflies do?

Sadly, or perhaps not so much, the Firefly would disappear for quite some time.  I first saw him in this:

And yes, I bought it because the Creeper is awesome.  Even by 1970's standards, though, that new costume for the Firefly is embarrassing.

Then, a decade or so later, he'd show up here:

Which, as you can tell by the awesome Brian Bolland cover, was his greatest appearance and is worth reading if you see that particular issue in a bargain bin somewhere. 

That purple and green ensemble is actually his first outfit.  See?

It's not unheard of that new costumes are worse than the originals (see: Golden Age Sandman and several of the Legion of Super-Heroes), but it's funny to see how circular fashion is.  Several characters had costume changes and went back to original designs... or designs very close to it.

Anyway, the Firefly these days is an arsonist and (as is required in comic books these days) is homicidal and scary.  I think at one point he wanted to wear Nightwing's skin or something.  Ew.  What's with comics these days?

He appeared on the Arrow tv show in the first season, which shows you how awesome the Arrow tv show is.

But, all that said, I prefer to think of the Firefly this way:

As the guy who shot loud vibrating noises out of his crotch.

Happy Halloween!  See you Monday!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Naked Back Holds Secret Plans and Many Other Mysteries...

Today, we take one last look at the classic (at least by CMNS standards) issue #18 of Golden Age Captain America Comics.

First, a shot of Cap fighting tigers:

It's not quite as cool as fighting gorillas, but it's still pretty dang cool.

Here's Betty Ross's contribution to the war effort:

At least, that's what Fernando *told* me he was doing to my naked back last night!

Ewwww!  Cap is breaking the Fourth Wall and it's creeping me out.

Here, we have a Moment... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!):

The Secret Stamp gets a beating...

... and then the bad guys steal his costume.

This has been a CMNS Moment... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

Let's end our look at the ish with something fun:

Okay, the contest was to find all the mistakes in the picture.  Make it happen, folks!  Show the world that the kids of today are as observant as the kids of the 1940's!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Now I Have to Find Someone Who Has the First Appearance of the Black Toad.

Golden Age Captain America #18 is still paying off, kids!  This was a dime well spent for somebody back in the day! 

First, a little Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (tm!)

Oh, my.  Oh, my my my.

Let's watch Cap and Bucky fight demons:

So, Bucky calls Steve "Cap" when he's not in costume?  I guess he figures that since he's called "Bucky" whether he's wearing the mask or not, no one cares.

Here's a great exchange:

... which then segues into another installment of Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

I also liked how Cap actually names his adventures.  Someday, that Gigo guy from yesterday will show up and Cap will say, "We ended your evil in the case of 'The Bowling Alley of Death'!"  I think Batman does it too, but he has enough sense not to tell his villains that they made such an impression on him that he names his encounters with them.

Enough of this.  More demons!:

Is it just me, or do they look completely bored?  Like, "I am so bored!  Let's finish them now and forever already!"

How does it end?  The only way it can:

It was only a dream... or WAS it? (tm!)

Only in this case, I think everyone agrees it was only a dream.  So, like an imaginary story, it was totally pointless.  I don't have time to read about dreams, folks.  Either make it canon or tell me from the get-go this story contributes nothing to the history of the character whatsoever.  We've got things to do around here.

Well, I suppose we really don't, or we wouldn't be here, but still.  Standards, people!  Standards!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Bowling Alley of Death!

Wow, did we not like the Constantine tv show.  We groove on The Flash, Arrow, and Gotham, but Constantine was just not our cup of tea.  It was a never-ending barrage of attempted homicide by demons with no character development whatsoever.  It was like watching someone play a video game.  We'll be skipping that one.

But you know what we won't be skipping?  Golden Age Captain America #18!

Yup.  You read it right!  This story is called "The Bowling Alley of Death!"  Know why?

That's why!

I don't really follow the story all that carefully, which is pretty typical for me.  But here's some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!):

And here's more Fun with Our of Context Dialogue (tm!)

I know, it's not fair.  This could be the best-written story of the Golden Age, and I'm just making ball jokes.  Here's some action:

So, they have a bowling alley with a hole in front of the pins big enough to stick a human head through?  Bowling is one of the few sports I played, and I'm pretty sure that's not regulation.

See the little skull on it?  That's how you know you're at The Bowling Alley of Death as opposed to a "Dave & Buster's."

So, how do our intrepid heroes get out of this one?  Turns out they don't!

Not to take away anything from our fighting forces, especially those who got us through WWII, but that's not exactly Cap's proudest moment, you know what I mean?

Bucky!  What did I *just* say about the screaming?

Kids.  You can't tell 'em anything.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Did Batman Mention He was the King of Clubs?

Remember this from Friday's post?  It was a few days, so I'll forgive you for not remembering:

Next issue:

Batman was never famous for his quips, but I don't think he's even trying.  Is this supposed to be his catch phrase?  I just don't see that catching on.

Moving on to issue #124, for another installment of Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

You know would make this post awesome?  Batman and Signalman fighting on a gigantic microscope:

There it is!  Yay for comics!

Someone explain this to me:

At what point in history would people be trying to get a sunburn?  Someone educate me.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Blog is Hijacked! Sorta. Not Really. Forget I Said Anything.

It's Batman #122, and we're talking like pirates!

No, not really.  But we are having Batman fight alongside a Viking, a Centurion, a Pirate, and... well, I'm not sure who the Asian fellow is.  He kind of showed up later.  All that matters is that it was awesome!

But then along comes Hijack and the awesomeness ends:

Wow.  Get a load of that get-up.  Immediate entrance into the CMNS Costume Hall of Shame (tm!) for you!

And it's not that there are very many guys who can go toe-to-toe with Batman, but this guy clearly wasn't anticipating any resistance.  I guess he thought his opponents would be doubled-over with laughter at his costume and unable to raise a hand against him.

But here's his big play:

Oh, no!  Not a smoke bomb!

Frankly, I'm embarrassed on Batman's behalf that it worked.  Really, Bats?  I realize he's not exactly Killer Croc there, but Hijack is the kind of guy who shouldn't draw any blood on you at all.  Know what I mean?

And then we see that.... oh, just let it happen:

Really?  His name was Jack Spade?  And he chose to establish a secret identity with that motif?  Really?  I'm not sure you get credit for detective work if that's all there was to it.  That's the sort of clue I'd expect to be left for Scooby and the gang.

Ugh.  We'll try it again on Monday!  See you then!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lions Charge at Black, Flapping Things! So Sayeth the Batman!

Taking a look at Batman #121, here's a public service announcement what bears repeating:

Now more than ever, libraries simply kick ass.  Not only do they have books, but they also have movies, CD's, graphic novels.... if you haven't been to your library in a while, check it out.  Heck, they probably have a web site.  Support your local library so everyone can enjoy what's out there.

Back to Batman....

Well, it's Batman fighting a lion, so... SCORE!  But I'm not at all sure about what he's saying there.  I got on The Google to see if lions went all catnip on black flapping objects (insert your own tasteless joke here), and I got nothin'.

Anyhoo, this issue had the first appearance of Mr. Freeze.  He was originally known as Mr. Zero:

And frankly, that outfit's color scheme needed some work.  Green and red (the fact that they are traditional Christmas colors notwithstanding) just don't say "Wow, it's cold!"

Note that he also used heat, which is something I think they abandoned pretty quickly.  It didn't make a lot of sense, considering the guy had terrible reactions to anything warm.

Well, if you work in a lab in comics, stuff like that is going to happen.  It just does.

Anyway, when the 1960's Batman tv show came along, the name was changed to Mr. Freeze and it was nothing but smooth sailing for the character from that point forward...

Well, okay.  There was that.  Into every life, a little Schwarzenegger must fall.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bruce Wayne: Co-Dependent

The thing about having a blog for a while is ... well, I forget sometimes that I've gone through certain comics before.  I try to stay organized about it, but then I get a hankering for something new and ... well, it turns out I've gone through a chunk of Batman comics some years back.  Whoops!  How I didn't end up repeating myself, I don't know.

Anyway, it appears that I pooped out around issue #120, so we'll jump to that:

Bruce had a demanding elderly relative who criticized Bruce's life choices.  We have no idea what that's like, do we?  Find me an elderly person who isn't telling everyone else how they should be living their lives.  That would be a story.

Anyway, here's my question:

So, Batman takes down the robot and... that's it.

Excuse me?  Why is Professor Sheckley getting a pass on his rampaging killer robot?  We never find out.  Three-story killer robots are as common as hot dog carts in Metropolis, so I guess we're just supposed to chalk that up to life in Gotham.

Meanwhile, Bruce keeps doing risky things to gain the approval of this old coot (because that's such an emotionally healthy and worthwhile endeavor), and we run into this old device:

What?  Bruce and Batman together?  Madness!

Wait... nope, it's Alfred:

And I'm okay with that, except... that mask Alfred was wearing was a full face-mask, not just a cowl.  I can appreciate that this works from a distance, or chaos has appropriately ensued to distract people, but the man walked into a room full of reporters and had full-on conversations while no one said a thing.  I'm starting to think the journalists in Gotham aren't very good at their jobs.

But this, my friends, was one for the highlight reel:

Yes, there is no more beautiful moment than when you place a firearm in the hand of a child for the first time.  'Murica.

See you tomorrow!