Thursday, November 23, 2017

Still Better Than The Tom Cruise Version!

What am I grateful for this Thanksgiving?










Me, I'm thankful Sal Buscema got to draw Cap and the Falcon using swords & shields to carve up telepathic mummies.

From Captain America #166 (1973)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dial E For Eternity--The Floodgates Open, And A "Mere Technicality"!!

Let's take a second to review.

For his first several stories, Kid Eternity's creators have been quite...frugal in using his most powerful ability, summoning dead heroes and legends from the afterlife.

In his first story, Kid didn't even summon anyone!! In the following stories, it was never more than 3 summonses. In fact, after 4 tales, this was the grand total of those recalled by Kid:

Achilles 1
Blackhawk 1
Nobody 1
Robin Hood 1
Samson 1
Solomon 1
Sullivan, John L. 1

Well, after this story, we're going to need a bigger list! In fact, Kid will summon more people in this story than all his prior stories combined!!


That cover just scratches the surface of what we're getting here! After being so restrained, they're realy going to let their freak flags fly!!

Good gravy!! And a couple of those guys don't even appear in the story! Don't worry, they won't be missed!! So, no, Thomas Edison and "The Discus Thrower" are not going to be added to the list, since they appear only on the symbolic splash page, not in the story itself.

Hanging about invisibly, Kid and Mr. Keeper come upon Barry and Joy, an aspiring (but broke) magician and his best gal!



Magic AND a chiseling stepbrother?!?! Man, this could be a series on FX or something!!

Anyway, Dale The Dickweed Stepbrother does try to sabotage Barry's show. So Kid makes himself visible, and pretends that he was summoned by Barry!!


Napoleon!! And Kid's not done yet!!

Marc Antony!! Noah!! Columbus!!

That's four already, and this story is barely getting started!

We should note, of course, the beginning of the phenomenon of Kid summoning figures who are...problematic from a modern viewpoint. Napoleon still has his admirers, but many view him as an autocratic despot whose grandiose ambitions brought needless war and death throughout Europe. And Columbus? Well, obviously many hold him in disrepute these days. Kid (and the narrator) probably covers themselves with the term "great person" rather than "heroes." Still Kid Eternity in present day would have to be a little more careful in whom he brought back from the dead...

Also noteworthy is that we've apparently gone past Kid transforming himself into the historical figures, just merely calling them forth. Unless he can split himself into four...Don't worry, next issue we're back to "he transforms himself." Sigh...

We should also note that Kid is merely showing off here, or rather, helping Barry show off. The 4 historical figures don't actually do anything besides stand around and talk. It's rather like the "report" at the end of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure!

And the audience reacts like they're in San Dimas--they're thrilled!!

So thrilled, in fact, that word spreads, and Barry gets a big time gig!! But success goes to his head, and Kid decides to teach him a lesson...by letting him die on stage.



So endeth Barry's career as a famous magician.

But now we get the meat of this issue's plot. When Barry's father died, Dale The Dickweed's dad took him in. And ever since, Dale treated Barry like dirt. Why?



Sure, let's call in Sherlock Holmes to solve a little family drama. No waste of talent on a tiny problem there...(In fairness, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle frequently involved Sherlock in cases that we today might consider trivial. So, no harm, really)

But no we're faced again with the 100% confirmed fictional character. No "legendary" figure who might have existed and caused tales to come about. So how can Kid summon him from "Eternity?"

Ah, like Pinocchio! That makes sense--the psychic energy of the belief of millions confer, if not actual life, than existence as a "real" legend. That "mere technicality" opens the door to Kid summoning any damn fictional character he wants (and quiets our questioning whether Achilles or Robin Hood et. al. were really "real").

Anyway, during their investigation, they find a hidden safe, and need help opening it. So why not summon...

Harry Houdini!!

Man, what a bromance those two have!!

Anyway, they discover evidence that the "scientific formulas" that made Dale's father wealthy might actually have been invented by Barry's father!!

Well, when Kid Eternity is on your side...you can just ask him yourself!!



Barry's pa also offers us information about the afterlife:

So maybe we're beyond just "Eternity" here...an actual heaven and hell? Which were Napoleon and Columbus were summoned from?

After sending Barry's dad back to his "happy" death, Barry decides he needs to confront (beat the crap out of) Dale. But he's a total wuss!!

That's OK...welcome to the Kid Eternity Workout Program!!


Pheidippies, whose run inspire the marathon!

Gentleman Jim Corbett,who had passed only a decade earlier!

Leander!!

Well, needless to say, Barry now kicks Dale The Dickweed's ass...and gets him to confess!

Well, OK, I guess that all works out in the end.

So, we added ten--10!!--new summonses this time!! Crazy, eh? So after 5 stories, the board stands at---

 
Achilles 1
Antony, Marc 1
Barry's father 1
Blackhawk 1
Columbus 1
Corbett, Jim 1
Holmes, Sherlock 1
Houdini 1
Leander 1
Napoleon 1
Noah 1
Nobody 1
Pheidippides 1
Robin Hood 1
Samson 1
Solomon 1
Sullivan, John L. 1

We're gonna need a bigger boat!!

Next time--what happens when historical figures show up--when they haven't been summoned by Kid? Plus, crazy-ass afterlife politics!!

From Hit Comics #29 (1943)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When Ditko Did Krypton

If you look at it from a certain angle, Jor-El is the ultimate Ditko/Randian type of hero--the lone genius no one will listen to, who will defy the rules of his society because he knows A is A, dammit, and he'll do what's necessary!!

So what happens when Ditko gets to tell his version of the exploding planet sending out one last ship?

[Note--writing credits for this story aren't firmly known--GCD lists it as "Joe Gill ?"--so I'll just be saying "Ditko" as shorthand, while acknowledging other hands were likely involved in at least plotting this story.]

Jack Lawson is up at his vacation cabin when a meteor almost hits him!

But it's not just any meteor...



What is it with these damned Science Councils not believing their planet is blowing up?!?

But unlike Krypton, this planet has a whole horde of believers!

Bala was not a particularly nice place...






Yeah, that shot's not familiar at all...

Anyway, Jack's "dream" ends.



Fortunately, the Balarites had the same weakness as the aliens in Signs:



So: exploding planet sends its only son to help and inspire us, or sends 10,000,000 miniaturized troops to conquer us?!?

I know which one Ditko (et. al.) believes...

From Space Adventures #27 (1959)