Monday, February 29, 2016

High-Pockets... You're the Greatest! Would You Like to Buy a Monkey?

So, let's take a look at Tales to Astonish #61, which featured the first appearance of this thing Giant-Man and the Wasp used to get around:

This is called "The Converti-Car," which is a name every bit as sad as the vehicle itself.

Let's take a look at it from another angle:

That is just awful.  It really is.  The funny thing is, after stepping out of something that ridiculous and out-of-place....

... Hank and Jan think disguises are going to work.

Oh, and here's an ad where you can order a pet monkey in the mail: 

Less than 20 bucks?  Hmmm, you had me until you were talking "collar and leash."  If I have to use a collar and a leash on a monkey, I would find myself constantly questioning my life's choices up to this point.

Anyway, we get to the Hulk story, where we are introduced to Glen Talbot, who would be Bruce Banner's romantic rival for the nerd-chasing Betty Ross:

Glen Talbot: Not enough "o's" in smooth to describe his game.

And then there was this:

Hey, kids!  Come get your own replica of the Iron Cross!

So, we have confirmed that the Hulk getting excited indeed will turn him back to Bruce Banner.  Shouldn't that be a never-ending cycle?

Trouble has me all stressed out!  I'm changing into the Hulk!

Fighting this trouble is getting my heart racing!  I'm changing back to Banner!

Oh, crap!  I'm Bruce Banner and the Hulk accomplished nothing!  I'm changing again!

And so on and so forth.

Finally, there was this:

I would love to actually have seen a Mason shoe salesman try to sell Beloved shoes with that rig! But more to the point, the salesman seriously creeps me out.


See you tomorrow!

Friday, February 26, 2016

In Which Giant-Man Fights a Gorilla and the Hulk Might as Well Have Stayed Home

As promised, we're going to look at some more Silver-Age Incredible Hulk.  I didn't like the character mush as a kid, but he's grown on me quite a bit over the years.  He didn't have his own mag after the first six issues of his self-titled book, but he went halfsies with Giant-Man in Tales to Astonish, where we take a look at the Hulk's first appearance with number 60.  Got all that?

So, the issue starts with the Giant-Man story, because Marvel clearly has no clue as to who their rising star really is.

Well, the first thing about this tale that astonished me was that Giant-Man actually had a fan club.  He probably ought to treat his fans a bit better because... well, I'm not sure that's particularly fertile ground he's salting, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, he's got something that had him travel to East Germany.  I forget exactly what.  I doubt it's important. 

Well, now I'm astonished that his disguise was even remotely effective.  I mean, if you saw a guy walking around in a cowl like that, wouldn't you find that a bit out of the ordinary?  I would think large sunglasses and a hat might be a bit less conspicuous, but it's not like anyone is publishing my adventures so I'll just shut my yap.

Hey!  He's fighting a gorilla!  Awesome!


See that hammer and sickle on the gorilla's tights (and why does a gorilla have to wear a wrestling uniform? oh, well...)?  That way you know he's fighting a communist gorilla, which is even more awesome!

I normally wouldn't be okay with him giving the gorilla a "wham!"  Punching animals normally isn't cool, but I think in this story gorillas were given intelligence, so if they read The Communist Manifesto and decided this was the way to go, well... decisions have consequences, right?

Hey!  Giant-Man fighting SIX GORILLAS!  Maybe I was too hard on Giant-Man earlier.


He ran away from the chance to fight six gorillas.  Giant-Man, you are not awesome.

Anyway, like I said, the Hulk becomes a backup feature of the book.  Thusly:

This picture kind of weirds me out.  It looks to me like Bruce Banner is about to be forcibly administered heroin by the Hulk while General Ross looks at him disapprovingly and Betty is about to go flirt with him, which is totally enabling behavior on Betty's part.  If you're not seeing any of this, I probably should sign up for therapy. 

But I liked this blurb:

Yeah, it's not the funniest thing, but I give them props for not taking themselves too seriously.

Anyhoo, in this story Bruce Banner invents the first Hulkbuster armor and it's an unqualified success.  It shrugs off everything the Hulk throws at it and then this happens: 

Okay, does everyone see what happened?  We're used to Bruce going all Hulkified whenever he's angry or outraged, but this suggests that the same thing causes the Hulk to change back.  I hope I have this wrong, because someone has written themselves into quite a corner if that's the case.  Bruce gets wound up, and he changes to the Hulk.  Then, if the Hulk similarly gets wound up, he starts to change back???  If that's the case, what's the outcome of every conflict going to be?

Pretty much this:

And that was pretty much the end of that fight.

I'm going through these for the first time, so no spoilers from all you long-time Hulk fans!  I want to see how this plays out.

See you Monday!

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Okay, I'm hoping things go back to normal, but in the meanwhile, check out YUBIWAZA!


And apparently, it's a pretty fast thing to learn:

What?  In 2 hours I can be beating up people without making bodily contact?  Prove it!

Well... Touche! (tm!)

It's very important to note that Yoshie Imanami is pretty.  Because if she wasn't, well... why would you care what she had to say?

I looked into this a little bit and it apparently was some form of ju-jitsu finger-fighting.  Which to me means that it requires some form of physical contact, contrary to what the ad says.  I'm thinking it went something like this:

You think?

Bear with me while I get out from under this week, gang!  I picked a heck of a time to pick up the blog again, but I'll get there!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Who Is the True Master of Magnetism? Okay, it's not the most difficult question you'll be asked today...

Very pressed for time today, but just wanted to let you know that we're going to be diving into the Incredible Hulk in the coming days!  You may recall we went through the first 6 issues a few years back, but now we're going to go for the regular series.

One thing occurred to me as I was thinking about the original mini-series.  This guy:

The Metal Master!  With his amazing control over metal objects!  His was a unique power, because Stan Lee demanded originality.  You'll see no recycled ideas from Marvel under his watch, because the readers deserve... 

Oh, yeah.  There was that guy.

Fun fact, though:  The Metal Master came about a few months before Magneto.  Obviously, Magneto had a better run than the Metal Master did.  Had the original Metal Master not been established as an alien, Cyclops and Company might have been fighting him for the past 50 years and counting!

Here's a great one from Contributor Robert Gillis!

To review:  Lana thought Clark Kent was Superboy.

Lana knew Kryptonite was fatal to Superboy.

Again... Lana thought Clark Kent was Superboy.

So, for the sake of proving she's right, she basically tried to kill a guy.

Women are that way, fellas.  Even when she's wrong, tell a dame she's right.  Dames is trouble. (tm!)

Great one, Robert!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Atoman Age! It Lasts for Two Whole Months!

My lovelies, I am in for a rough few days, so please bear with me if I miss a post here or there.  But let's be optimistic as we check out Superman!

Or Atoman, as the case may be.  There's really no difference.
Anyway, here's him:

I'm not seeing a whole lot of mystery as to whether he's going to "use his strength for good or evil."  I mean, he seems awfully happy, so if he does turn out to be evil, he's going to enjoy it so much that he'll be Joker-level crazy with Captain Marvel-level power.

Which would actually be kinda awesome, now that I think about it.  Note to self.

Hey!  Random Slap! (tm!)

If you're a hired thug, you're going to get slapped at some point.  Occupational hazard.

Anyway, he was exposed to atomic radiation somehow (and it's pretty sad that I don't remember how, because I just read the issue about thirty minutes ago), and he was dang optimistic:

Yeah, everyone get on the Google and check out how the radio-active body she had turned out for her.

But these are comics, sooooooo...

How does he know he has all these powers?  I mean, he smashed one fire hydrant on the way to his lab and managed to survive a big fall.  Not that I'm a scientific genius like he is, but I'm just not connecting the dots here.

Anyway, he makes himself a terrible costume:

Wow.  That is terrible.  We make fun of costumes as looking like long underwear, but folks.... I give you Exhibit "A."

Hmmmm... turns out he can fly and rip stuff up!

Fate... if you can call crashing a plane after a guy rips off your propeller "fate."

Such optimism.  We'll be "seeing a lot of him" in the form of one more issue:

MAN, that smile creeps me out.

Anyhoo, like I said, he had one more issue.  Judging by the cover, it looks like he'd already grown so bored with himself as we were: 

Not that I can draw, but he's clearly lost of lot of enthusiasm between issue #1 and issue #2.  Maybe his atomic powers told him his sales weren't so hot.

See you tomorrow (I hope!)

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Which We See the Start of Lex Luthor's Awesome Years

Taking a look at Superman #282, which had the first appearance of Lex Luthor's purple and green outfit:

And you know, I've got to agree.  The man is a super-villain, after all, so why just go with regular clothes?  Besides, this gave the writers an excuse to have him outfitted with all kinds of weaponry so he could actually have battles with Superman.  Up until that point, he would largely just plot things and get all "excellllent" like Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons.  He would later be put in a bulky suit of armor that was probably more realistic but I loathed.  Then, he just went back to wearing regular business suits and going all Montgomery Burns again.  Everything old is new again!

But this was the "I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty" Lex Luthor.

The story began with a much younger Superman and Clark Kent than everyone was used to.  And it's a good thing people were saying it, because I really didn't notice any difference.  Anyhoo:

How did he do it?  Because he's Lex Luthor.  Next question.

See?  He had a lot of gadgets like Batman but they were things Tony Stark was more likely to come up with.  He was using these things to scalp Superman.

Yes... scalp Superman.

That makes sense, because Superman did accidentally cause Luthor to lose his hair in the first place.  And it's suitably extreme for a super-villain.  I mean, there are lots of alternatives to burning someone's scalp off with a laser and wearing it it like a hat.  But I likes my villains to be over-the-top, so it's awesome!

Anyway, it turns out that making Superman young was a total failure.  But since he's Lex Luthor and he had to be absolutely sure, he would later go full blast and turn Superman and friends into toddlers:

Okay (A) awesome Neal Adams cover and (B) it turns out that didn't work out for Luthor so well, either.  But you had to give the man props for trying all variables before chucking an idea.

Then we had the back feature, the Fabulous World of Krypton, which was rather misleading because if the stories were any indication, the people on Krypton didn't have a life I would call "fabulous."  Anyway, Superman is butting into Supergirl's life again because, as we've seen many times, Superman can't stand to see Supergirl happy.  Remember, this is the same guy who made her grow up in an orphanage rather than give her a stable home.

And you know this is going to be quite a story because he finished the sentence with a big logo.

The story is about this guy that wanted immortality.  Because that always works out well.

And... surprise!  It sucks to be him.

So, what did this have to do with Supergirl wanting a family of her own (again... something she never had because Superman wouldn't allow it)?

I have some heavy thinking as well.  Like, what the hell did that story have to do with anything?  She doesn't want to live forever!  She wants to love and be loved!  Using the "careful what you wish for" moral of that story, none of us should ever try to better our lives, ever.

I'm just going to say it:  Superman should be court-ordered to have no contact with Supergirl.  He emotionally abuses that poor girl something awful.

See you tomorrow!