Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Kirby's Fifth World?!?

As we celebrate Kirby Week--really? We need a special week? Shouldn't we celebrate him, and whatever we love, every single day, special occasions be damned?--let's not forget what I feel is one of the less-celebrated periods in his career--the "second Marvel stint."

I'm not sure why, but people seem to over-praise Jack Kirby's DC Fourth World era, and be, at the very least, politely dismissive of that 1976-1978 era of work. In my opinion, for what that's worth.

It also seems to be the point of view of the comics company themselves. While DC cannot go 30 seconds without trying, for the umpteenth time, to revive one of Kirby's concepts (only to see it fail once again), Marvel kind of pretends it didn't happen and does astonishingly little with the wealth of concepts that Kirby created during his 70s work for them.

We all know the Captain America story. I mean, come on--MADBOMB!!

But Arnim Zola aside, not much from this period ever is even referred to, let alone used. Almost everything else from Cap's 70s is lionized, but Kirby's run gets a collective "Meh." And this was a period that had Captain America riding a motorized skateboard in a sport called Kill-Derby!!

Meanwhile, I've made no secret of my belief that...


the Eternals are superior to the New Gods.

Yes, I'm alone in that belief, apparently. Even Marvel seems to think less of them, as the Eternals have had many fewer attempts at a revival (often half-hearted attempts) than the New Gods, the Deviants have been completely forgotten, and aside from a wonderful Ikaris appearance in the wonderful All-New Invaders series, I'm pretty sure that no Eternal has shown their face in the Marvel Universe in about 8 years or so. The Celestials themselves are fairly firm in the Marvel Canon, but they rarely show up as more than background for other Cosmic doings.

And then there's this guy:

Granted, Devil Dinosaur's time period and persona made anything other than an occasional one-off guest appearance difficult...

...but the current (fabulous) Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur series shows that it wasn't too tough a nut to crack, and to make Devil more than something that fans joked about rather than took seriously.


And then there's this (please click to embiggen to full gloriousity):

Every likes to forget Kirby's 70s Black Panther series.

Yeah, it's become trendy to snobbishly dismiss it for not being as "relevant" as Don McGregor's Jungle Action run, as if the character's co-creator wasn't entitled to explore his own inclinations.

But man, those were some fun comic books...

And then there's this forgotten gem:

It will probably never be reprinted thank to licencing issues--c'mon, MGM and whoever has the rights right now, do you seriously expect someone to come knocking on your door with a better offer in 2016? But Kirby did a Treasury-Sized special adapting the movie...

...and then followed it up with an original series, following the "adventures" of the Monolith and Star Seeds in past, present and future!

And the last few issues introduced...

Machine Man!! (Kirby called him Mister Machine initially, but what the hell, right?) Everyone forgets Jack invented the guy! He even got his own spin-off series!!


He's had a few revivals, sort of, but he never caught on with the fans until Warren Ellis turned into an asshole in Nextwave, and for some reason that's the characterization that has connected with the fans. Go figure.

Anyway, I'm certain that it's just my inner Marvel Zombie speaking here, but pound for pound, I prefer Kirby's 70s Marvel work to his 70s DC work. Yes, I am a lonely man on this point.

Manic Monday Bonus--Judge Dredd Vs. Littering (And Nuclear Weapons)!!

A citizen is upset about the way the other residents of his mega-block are disposing of their trash, so he's done the only rational response: threaten them with a homemade nuke!

Fortunately, The Law is on the job!



It's amazing how often "a nuclear strike is not the answer" is the correct thing to say!

So, problem solved?



And thus endeth the littering problem.

Bonus: 10,000 prime apartments have just opened up!!

You just gotta love justice Dredd style!!

From 2000 AD #868 (1994)

Manic Monday--Love At First Sight

Do you know what worries me? What keeps me up at night fretting?

I mean, how will I know if it's "love at first sight"? What if it's really just "lust at first sight"? Or "really really like at first sight"? What if it's just static shock from the carpet? Or some undigested bit of beef? Or...

Phew! I'm glad I'm not alone in worrying!

Leave it to romance comics to help me out!

Hmmm...that sounds like it still could be carpet shock...or maybe you're in the same room with Electro!

Well, either that, or your mutant powers just emerged (or, if it's 2010s Marvel, you were just exposed to Terrigen)...

Wait...if it's the "similarity of mental and emotional makeup that attracted you to each other in the first place," how the hell can that be "love at first sight"?!? In the first panel you defined it as you just met the guy, and you "instantaneously" feel attracted to him--before you can possibly know his mental and emotional makeup!! Unless, of course, you're telepathic or empathic...which bring us back to mutant powers!!

Ahh, so it's the "love is a drug" theory now...

Nope, I think we'll go with "love at first sight is the sudden manifestation of mutant powers" theory. Someone get me Cerebro!

From Search For Love #1 (1950)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Revealed--The Plot For The Next Batman Movie!!

I think it might go a little something like...this:

Just picture it--Ben Affleck plays Bruce Wayne/Batman. He also plays the crook who looks almost identical to Batman/Wayne...but he's a "horrible" actor!!

Good gosh, I would pay a lot of money to see that...

From The Essential Batman Encyclopedia (2008)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Whoopie Ye Buzbuz?!?!??

How about some doggerel cowboy poetry to start the weekend?



"Whoopee yee buzbuz"--a phrase that I'm willing to wager that no cowboy anywhere, anytime has ever actually uttered.

From Pioneer West Romances #3 (1950)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Night Fights--Free Foot Style!!

I love Mary Marvel.

Really, that's all the preface you need to this week's Friday Night Fights.

A slimy gangster is trying to put Watson's Watches out of business, so he can buy it himself for a song!

Poor Mr. Watson has just 24 hours to pay off his bank notes!! Fortunately, the Marvel Family has agreed to help him out!!

Mary has taken on the task of making some big sales to raise quick cash:

But...




Phew!!

But now her hands are full!!! She's vulnerable!!

Oh, no she's not!!

WHUD!!

Spacebooger would buy a watch from Mary Marvel!!

Mary's boots were made for kicking thugs in Marvel Family #32 (1949), by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why?? Mary. Freakin. Marvel. Now go and vote!!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Next X-Event?

Cover of "Evil matriarchy guides an unwitting world to its doom" by George Ratcliff, 1953.

Billionaires DO Have Greater Political Access!!

Ha! You can keep your old "red phone," Commissioner Gordon!!

Batman has a phone line that is much more important!



I wonder how many other world leaders Batman has on speed dial...

From Detective Comics #939 (2016)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Finally, The True Origin Of The Joker?

Let us travel back to ye olden days in Europe...







See?!? That's so obviously the Joker, that--

Oh. Never mind.

Still, this brings to mind a question--is the Joker the last major character (recent creations excepted) to not actually have an origin, to have his creation myth shrouded and hidden from the readers?

Wolverine's origin wasn't revealed for decades, but Marvel got to it (eventually)--hell, they even made a movie out of it!

The Phantom Stranger's beginnings were deliberately kept cloudy--famously, there was an issue of Secret Origins in the 1980s that coyly posited 4 different possible origin stories for the Stranger, without committing to any of them being the actual "truth".

Of course, once the nu52 came along, literal-minded DC ended all that: "He's Judas--deal with it!"

Yet despite insisting on ending the mystery of the one character whose mystique perhaps depended on mystery, DC has insisted on keeping the truth of the Joker's origin mum. He was Red Hood! He was a failed comedian! He was a vicious criminal! He's a super-genius whose spine is filled with mysterious fluid that can turn anyone into a Joker! He's immortal! He's a floor wax! He's a dessert topping!

Of course, we're now at the point where Geoff Johns has made it canon that there are 3 Jokers, without any explanation. (I picture Johns grinning foolishly at that little turd he left in DC's bowl as he walked away from writing comics, knowing that no one there would have the guramba to flush it away or do anything with it...)

Does it serve any purpose to keep the Joker's origin so shrouded? At best, it allows unrestrained writers to keep making The Clown Prince Of Crime more and more powerful, as he's escalated from a bank robber with a shtick to an insane nihilist to Maximus The Mad, trying to bring down all society and powerful enough to take out the whole Justice League (but not Batman--he's the bestest!).

That's one symbol of what's been going on at DC the past decade--we must completely define the Phantom Stranger, but we must keep the Joker free to grow more and more powerful and dangerous to better show off how cool Batman is.

So, since DC won't give us a Joker origin--for any of the three (!)--feel free to use the story above. Except for the "he died" part...

From The Beyond #8 (1952)