Thursday, May 25, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 145: No matter what the crisis is / Do it: live it up, live it up, live it up, live it up!

Today's the Twelfth Anniversary of my blog, and what better time than the realization that it is twice as old as I am to present another astounding event and awesome act of defiance from superheroes, one of comics' great moments and as far as I'm concerned, the curtain falling on the Bronze Age of Comics: the defeat of the Anti-Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Today's Day of Defiance was suggested by fan and online-pal Preston Major, to whom I give a hearty "Gosh, Thank You!" Award with all the trimmings (stuffing, mashed potatoes, giblets, etc.) Preston's suggestion itself is a lesson in never ever ever giving up, because a couple of weeks ago when I suffered a substantial computer error (i.e., I accidentally deleted all my prepped files for future 365 Days of Defiance, like the dumbbull I am), Preston was one of many who were there to buck me up, and he reminded me that he's earlier suggested the climax of Crisis #12 as a Day of Defiance. Without his help, I wouldn't have remembered he suggested this, so all the 5,000 Hats of Jack Kirby off to him. Thanks, Preston!

So, as you may remember, as we begin Crisis #12, things are not the best that they could ever possibly be, by just a little touch:

Panel from Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (March 1986), co-ploy and script by Marv Wolfman, co-plot and pencils by George Pérez, inks by Jerry Ordway, colors by Tom Ziuko, letters by John Costanza

Oooh, that's not good. Luckily, Superman (of Earth-1) completely destroys the Anti-Monitor! Blam! It's only page six, and comic over!

UH OH! Auntie Em ain't dead yet. Well, surely he can be stopped by the world's greatest heroes, Wonder Woman and Pariohhh geez we're all doomed.

Luckily, Superman's there again to throw a rock the size of Cleveland on top of him. Problem solveOH COME ON NOW COMIC BOOK

Geez, this guy's got more curtain calls than Crosby (as Bob Hope, the only DC character who they didn't let appear in Crisis might have said). Okay, Darkseid and Alexander Luthor, you're up at bat!

Yay! He's gone! Oh wait, he's back! For Pete's sake! This comic has more fake-out defeats than The Terminator!

And here it is: the Ultimate Moment of Ultimate Defiance, and it's a nice touch that it's hammered in by the First Superhero of the DC Multiverse, the Superman of Earth-2. We salute you, Kal-L!

Ah, that does the job. Good work, Supes-2. May you never be used as thea villain in an ill-conceived comics crossover event!

Thanks Superman; thanks Preston; thanks to all of you for reading this little puppet-town cow-blog for twelve years!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 144: Make sure you don't catch Huntington's rot

Swamp Thing is possessed! And not, as we all wish, by the spirit of rock 'n' roll, but by an evil entity. Geez, it's never the spirit of rock 'n' roll. (sulks, listens to my Bob Seger albums again)

Panels from The Saga of [the] Swamp Thing (1982 series) #12 (April 1983), script by Martin Pasko, pencils and inks by Tom Yeates, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Costanza

Today's 365 Days of Defiance is brought to you by the suggestion of the Godfather of Swamp Thing Blogging, "Mighty" Mike Sterling over at Progressive Ruin, one of the the World's Finest Comics Blogs Since 1969. Hey, if'n you're a fan of Mike (and who isn't?) and/for of Swamp Thing (ditto), you oughta pitch in a buck or more a month to Mike's Patreon, which helps support his excellent blog and gets you his new series of reviews of every Swamp Thing comic ever. You can free-read the first-installment here, and it looks like it's gonna be a lotta fun. Mike is a good friend and a fine human being, so his writing and his Patreon gets two hooves up from this little stuffed me. As Mike would say, Swamp Thing, won't you?

365 Days of Defiance, Day 114: Revealed: the surprise ending of Secret Empire

Panels from Freedom Fighters (1976 series) #8 (May-June 1977), script by Bob Rozakis, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Jack Abel

365 Days of Defiance, Day 112: Females are strong as hell / Unbreakable!

Hey, I'm only a little stuffed bull age 6 years and 9 months (which is a very good age and three-quarters to be), but even I know that access to birth control is an essential and important right for women (and hey, for men too) in America today. So to insists the Prez-ident of the United States, Beth Ross, the Commander-in-Chief you and me and everybody in America voted for in 2016. (sob)

Panels from the Prez story "Trigger Warnings" in Catwoman: Election Night one-shot (January 2017), script by Mark Russell, pencils by= Ben Caldwell, inks by Mark Morales, colors by Jeremy Lawson, letters by Travis Lanham

Just to prove that despite having a progressively minded teenage girl in the Oval Office in this wonderful fictional universe, birth control is under attack by the US Senate because we can't have nice things. Nice things like an easy-to-access and fun-to-eat minty birth-control called "Mintopause." Heck, I('m a boy, stuffed, and only six, and I'd eat 'em.

Because a capable Prez can handle more than just one issue on her plate at the same time and yet still only ask for one scoop of ice cream, Beth is also introducing anti-gun violence legislature. Since she can't stop the sales of guns due to modern people somehow needing to have a not actually-that-well-regulated militia, Prez introduces legislation to restrict sales of ammunition. Because it's not people with guns who kill people, it's people with guns + ammunition who kill people! Of course, her proposal is gonna get vetoed by Congress faster than Superman on laundry day. Wait, I forgot to include the word "folded."

But Prez (of course in this wonderful, sweet, fictional universe), has an ace up the sleeve of her sleeveless top. If the sale of and easy access to bullets or any accessory that can be used in the discharge of a firearm (important distinction there) are federally protected by the Constitution, then what shape would you make birth control in?

Later, Prez met the Pope and everybody smiled and had a good meeting.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 111: All this just for Instagram popularity

Splash page from the aptly named "Captain America Battles the Camera Fiend and His Darts of Doom" Captain America Comics (1941 series) #6 (Marvel/Timely, September 1941), script and pencils by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Simon

Said it before, say it again: ain't no splash page like a Simon/Kirby Cap splashpage.

I'll skip right to the exciting bit: after an entire story spent tracking down chasing down the evil Camera Fiend and his Kodak of Death, Bucky invites Cap to make a class appearance at a school filled with camera nuts! Who do you think will be the villain, huh? Could it be the guy in the green suit? Say, where do you get a green sHEY STOP SHOOTING POISON NEEDLES AT ME!

Luckily, among the kids in the class are Bucky's Sentinels of Liberty (including a guy named, yes, Tubby). Unluckily, among the janitors in the school are the Camera Fiend's Janitors of Injustice! Hey, it's all fun and games until you kids wreck the water heater!

Hey, what word do you think was in this balloon before it was replaced with a hastily re-lettered "mugs?" I like to this it was "whippersnappers."

Once again Jack Kirby throws kids who aren't old enough to vote into the dangerous fray of fighting Nazis and fifth columnists. Geez, Jack, Tubby woulda had a thriving career in the post-war economy as a Duncan Hines frosting taster if you hadn't had killed by the Red Skull in Captain America's Easily Expendable Sentinels of Liberty #16!

But I kids the Sentinels of Liberty. Later on they more or less became the Young Allies, who, as the Wikipedia entry tells us, literally beat up all three major Axis leaders: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo. With erasers! So let Captain America salute those junior justice juys guys, and may we all learn to throw erasers at evil!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ten of a Kind: GRAB THE GLOBE!

(More Ten of a Kind here.)

Friday, May 05, 2017

Today in Comics History: Commander Alan Shepard becomes second man in space and first astronaut to become a Batman supervillain

Panel from Detective Comics (2011 series) #49 (April 2016), script by Peter J. Tomasi, pencils by Fernando Pasarin, inks by Matt Ryan, colors by Chris Sotomayor, letters by Wes Abbott

Also, he was on Star Trek!:


For a second.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Today in Comics History: Captain America goes into suspended animation to escape encroaching speech balloons

Panel from Captain America (1968 series) #332 (August 1987), script by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Tom Morgan, inks by Bob McLeod, colors by Ken Feduniewicz, letters by Diana Albers

Today in Comics History: First recorded occurrence of "Doing the Dew"

"May Day Dew!" from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #119 (January 1961), scripter and artists uncredited

Today in Comics History: Kraven's First Hunt

"Spidey and the Short Circus Make May Day Mischief" from Spidey Super Stories #11 (August 1975), script by Jean Thomas, pencils by Win Mortimer, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Irving Watanabe

Monday, May 01, 2017

Today in Comics History: Tiny, tiny masthead enrages J. Jonah Jameson

Portion of the splash page from Web of Spider-Man (1985 series) #5 (August 1985), script by Danny Fingeroth, pencils by Jim Mooney, inks by Greg LaRocque and Kyle Baker, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Phil Felix

The 1978 2017 Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar: May Misery

Geez, Peter don't know enough to come in out of the rain! What'll Aunt May say when you swing walk home soaking wet?

"May is a Dear Old Aunt" in The Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar 1978 (1977); pencils by Larry Lieber, inks by Frank Giacoia (Click picture to Rainy-Day-Mondays-Always-Get-Me-Downsize)

SPIDER-MAN NO MORE! Until the next issue, at least. This month's calendar girl picture recreates the one of the most famous images in Marvel comics, the classic John Romita Sr. full page where Peter gives up being Spidey, tossing his costume into the trash. Earlier in the day, the same thing was done by Bottle-of-Wine-Man, Bottlecap Girl, Mr. Pack of Matches, and Captain Cigarette Butt.

Page from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #50 (July 1967), script by Stan Lee, pencils by John Romita, Sr., inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Sam Rosen

How iconic is this iconic scene that is an icon? So iconic that it's been referenced by more Spider-Man comic book covers than you can count on one hand! That is, six:

Why, it was even immortalized in real life, in the excellent movie Spider-Man 2: Electro Boogaloo:

It's such a classic that frankly, comic books themselves can't stop homaging the image:

Okay, fair enough, that last one doesn't really count: instead of a costume in a barrel and the hero running away, the costume is running away and the hero's in a barrel! It's a switcharoo!

Plenty of comic books do the same on interior pages. And I thought these things copied Romita...on the outside!

And let us not forget Mike Haseloff's (of comics blog Secret Wars on Infinite Earths!) revealing classic "Namor No More!"

Yes, "Spider-Man No More" has even crossed over to all those destroyed-since-2015 alternate Earths that the Watcher used to peep in on. What If... trash cans throughout the multiverse got used for uniform disposal?!?

You can even toss away...BWAH!...your human skin! Ick! Stop that, Zombie Peter!

Yes, it's a comic book tradition everyone has to try once in a while! Even though it doesn't always work.

So, Spider-Man No More, won't you?

The 1978 2017 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters: May -Hem

It's May! For real this time, folks! (Thus contradicting Rocky, who told me that trick never works). And while you're out dancing around the maypole I've been slaving over a hot keyboard (owie! ouch! that's hot!) to bring you the constant variety of comics...the thrill of heroes...and the agony of villains...the superhuman drama of monthly big-ass brawls... This is The DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters!

"May: Batgirl and Robin" in The 1978 Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters; artwork by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin
(Click picture to sequoiadendron-giganteum-size)

What's this?!? Our boistrous Boy Wonder and dominoed Dare-Doll perniciously pestered by pestilent plants powered by Poison Pivy? I mean Ivy. She's threatening beautiful downtown District of Columbia, and she has absolutely zero regard for those clowns in Congress who were voting today to cut down all the national forests to put up a really big parking lot. Also, they're voting to roll back the rights of women and children, stifle the press, raise our taxes, and give the President cushy not-so-much under the table kickbacks!

Hey wait, why are Batgirl and Robin fighting her?!? Some self-described social justice warriors they are.

To remind you of the Pre-Crisis distance in age between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon (no relation to Gotham's famous Commissioner James Gordon*), this is the period when Dick attended the hallowed halls of Hudson University (good old H.U.! Home of the Fighting Robins!), and when Barbara was a United States Congresswoman! She represented her state which, whatever state Gotham City was in. North Delafornia!

During the summer vacation, Dick worked as a congressional aide. WHOA HANDS OFF THE CONGRESSPERSON, GRAYSON!

Don't forget we've gotta get out our fine-line El Markos and blacken in all the squares on the JLA Satellite Computer Printout (© 1974 Wayne Industries)... get ourselves a head-start on figuring out the super-secret genius behind all these disasters throughout 1978. Frankly, I'm just betting it's Outsiders foes The Masters of Disaster, which would be their cleverest trick yet, as they were not created until 1984.

Seriously, I've got to give it to the designers of this calendar: even though I have an inkling of who the answer is, I really can't tell yet from this graph and I can't even quite see where're they're going with this. Stay tuned and find out as I do!

Just in case, here's also May's entry in the Clue of the Month Club:


* No, wait, Batgirl is a relation to Jim Gordon. I've made another one of my silly mistakes.