Sunday, May 20, 2018

DC--Use Them Or Lose Them!

As you no doubt ignored last week, I opined about Marvel wasting all of the Malibu and Crossgen characters that they owned but refused to do anything with.

Well, this week it's DC's turn.

Except the intellectual properties DC refuses to do anything with are their very own.

DC controls the vastest, deepest, and honestly most interesting collections of heroes ever assembled. Yet to get them to publish anything besides Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman seems a Sisyphean task.

It's now almost two years since Rebirth, and after all of the the shirt-rending (by the people in charge) about how someone (other than themselves) had forgotten all about legacy and DC's deep history, there's still no Legion Of Super-Heroes book. There's still no Justice Society book.

Heroes who have been mainstays of DC for nearly 80 years, and 60 years, languish in limbo. Hell, we just passed the 60th anniversary of the Legion's first appearance without a single commemoration from DC!

Yes, we were sorta kinda promised that these guys would be brought back by the storytelling magic of Rebirth. But it's all been a terrible, terrible tease.

In the two years after Rebirth, we've had, what, 3 panels in various comics suggesting that Saturn Girl is hiding in Arkham? We've had, what, 2 pages of apparently-senile Johnny Thunder rambling about not finding the lightning? That's it, over two years.

Now, if you believe the rumors (unconfirmed, but undenied), than DC wanted to sign a big-name writer, who wanted to do the Legion. But then they were told (allegedly) that no one could touch the Legion, or the JSA, until Geoff Johns was done with Doomsday Clock, the ludicrous and pointless DC/Watchmen crossover. And, as of this writing, there are still 8 bi-monthly issues of Doomsday Clock left to publish, well, we're not going to see Legion or JSA any time soon.
It's the height of stupidity, whatever the reason. The DC TV shows can bring in the JSA and the Legion...but the comics can't? Seriously, that's one of the more ridiculous situations in comics. It's even more ridiculous than Marvel's refusal to print a Fantastic Four comic because of some fit of pique.

DC's not in danger of losing the trademarks, as Marvel is with Malibu/Crossgen, because they continue to publish trades/omnibuses. That would seem to indicate some sort of public demand, right? But no comics, no new stories for the fans.

Meanwhile...

...don't get me started on DC's continued neglect of the Marvel Family...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The ABC's Of Maiming Your Friends!!

Nothing says 1950s like maiming your friends whilst practicing self-defense!

I'm sure that the "please be careful not to break both of your friend's arms" was sufficient to shield Harvey from most lawsuits!

And what if you're attacked by a member of the Chicago Cubs?

Yup, no way the tykes could ever hurt each other practicing this!!

Judo!!

From Black Cat Western #54 (1955)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Best Served Cold!

Look who's being a bit of a scamp:

 Oh, Superman, you don't mess with a person's weight!! Uncool!

 Don't worry...just 3 issues later, Dick got his revenge:

Hmm...Batman is playing the innocent bystander in these prank wars. But could he really be behind it all? Egging each one on to do revenge pranks against the other? Distracting them as he builds Brother Eye?

World's Finest Comics #20 is from 1945; #23 is from 1946

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Have I Mentioned That 1970s Spider-Man Was The Best Spider-Man?

Why was 1970s Spider-Man the best Spider-Man?

Two words: Ross Andru.



OK, three more words: "and Mike Esposito," as he was almost always Andru's inker on Amazing.

This is in no way to throw shade at any other Spider artist, before or after. But Ross Andru was the guy drawing Spider-Man when I started reading it, and to my eyes he will always be *the* Spider-Man artist. His creative page & panel layouts, his ability to capture how ridiculously fast and inhuman Spidey's movements must have looked...

Yeah, yeah, nostalgia and all that. I cop to it.

But for, Ross Andru is a big reason that 1970s Spider-Man was the best Spider-Man.

From Amazing Spider-Man #153 (1976)

Superman--Champion Of The Little People!

Con man Wilbur Wolfingham is at it again, trying to swindle folks by posing as a love counselor.

Especially for the idle rich...



Well, you know what's going to happen here.

So Superman intervenes, and comes up with a...better...solution:



"You can live in one until you're tired of it, then in the other."

Meanwhile, people in Suicide Slum are fighting evictions by evil landlords. Glad you've got your priorities straight, Kal-El.

Keep helping the oppressed, Superman!

From Superman #39 (1946)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dial E For Eternity--The Heroes (And Villains) Of Fiction!!

I realize that there are only so many stories you can tell.

But the previous story, in this very same comic book, had Kid Eternity helping a woman find a treasure hidden by her now-deceased brother.

So, what does the very next story in the very same comic bring us?


The. Exact. Same. Plot.

Some editors just didn't care, it seems, as long as they filled the pages.

Of course, Kid and Keeper see the couple in need...

And just like last story, Kid misses the obvious solution--summon the dead person who hid the treasure, and ask them where it is!!

But that would end the story on page 2, so instead he calls upon...

Kaspar Hauser?!?

Kaspar was a real person, a child who appeared in a German town under mysterious circumstances, and lead a life full of odd (and perhaps unbelievable) circumstances. One of the true oddball and unfathomable characters of history, about whom we will likely never know the truth.

So why summon him?


Hmmm...none of the sources I looked at mentioned this "power." Still, Kaspar was weird enough that it's not outside the realm of possibility that he claimed this ability, so...

Well, that wasn't a lot of help. Plus, it kind of blew the theme of summoning fictional characters this story!!

Even worse, the mocking villagers overheard, and...


Well, that's gonna be trouble.

Still, summoning the dead grandfather is clearly the way to go here...but Kid can't do things the easy way.


Sherlock Holmes!! This is his second summons!!

And he's pretty damned good at finding treasure!




Well, that's all, folks!!

No, of course not. Kid leaves Mark and Lily to find the treasure for themselves, and for no particular reason...

...he just happens to decide to look in on some crooks in the big city, who just happen to be the same crooks who Squire Humdrum sent for, and they just happen to have left a note saying where they all went, and...

Look, I never said it was a well-written story.

Anyway, Kid needs help to hunt down the crooks, so...


Uncas!

Now, Kid specifies he's from James Fenimore Cooper's novel, which is an important distinction, because while there was a real Uncas, upon whom Cooper may have based the character, he confused the Mohegan tribe with the Mahicans, so his Uncas really couldn't have been the real one. So this one is definitely a fictional character.

Cooper may have been confused, but Uncas does track down the crooks...

So Kid helps Mark get the treasure...

...but only so they can be attacked by the crooks!!

Man, that coloring sure makes it look like Kid took a bullet to the head!

Anyway, you have to fight a band of criminals, who better to call...

...than a band of pirates! Led by Long John Silver!!

And when the crooks try to get away?!?



The Four Musketeers!! For Porthos and D'artagnan, it's their second summons!! And welcome to the afterlife party, Aramis and Athos!!

Of course, they rout the hooligans...

Still, Squire humdrum got away.

But you know...it turns out that pirates are the wrong people to call upon to help you save treasure!


Oops! Who woulda thought?

Easily dealt with though.

Now it's time for Kid to impress mere mortals with his amazing powers:



Robinson Crusoe! And he makes a fairly ridiculous discovery!

Seriously--you recognize his footprints? I mean, come on now!

But he's right, and Humdrum has descended straight to cartoon villainy:


Fortunately, Kid has called upon...



The Thief Of Bagdad?!?

There are lots of versions of the tale, of course. But I'm betting that the multiple Oscar winning 1940 film was in the creators mind when they made this story. And in that version, Abu was the thief. So let's go with Abu.

But we're not done, as Kid goes nuts with the fictional dudes:


Dracula!!

Frankenstein's Monster!! And Edward Hyde!!

But the weirdest summons is...


Jimmy Skunk?!?! Yes, an anthropomorphic skunk, created by Thornton Burgess, creator of Peter Rabbit.

What the hell--Kid can summon anthropomorphic animals now? Can he summon Bugs Bunny?!?! That would resolve a lot of problems!!

Well, Squire Humdrum surrenders himself after the tidal wave of threatening fictional characters...

...and all in all it was just another day at the office for Kid Eternity!!

You did call Don Quixote already, Kid--isn't anyone keeping track?!?! It's a good thing I am, I guess...

Speaking of keeping track--after the 31st story, our standings are;

Abu 1
Achilles 3
Antony, Marc 1
Aramis 1
Arnold, Benedict 1
Arthur, King 2
Athos 1
Atlas 2
Attila The Hun 1
Attucks, Crispin 1
Baker, Lafayette 1
Barry's father 1
Bernhardt, Sarah 1
Bertillon, Alphonse 1
Blackhawk 1
Bluebeard 1
Boone, Daniel 1
Breitbart, Zishe 1
Bucephalus 1
Bunyan, Paul 2
Byron, George Gordon 1
Caesar, Octavian 1
Cagliostro, Alessandro 1
Canary, Martha “Calamity” 1
Cannon, John W. 1
Carden, Foster 1
Cherry Sisters 1
Clancy, Patrick 1
Cody, “Buffalo” Bill 2
Colt, Samuel 1
Columbus 1
Corbett, Jim 3
Cronson, Gerald 1
Crusoe, Robinson 1
Custer, George Armstrong 1
D'artagnan 2
de Leon, Ponce 1
Decatur, Stephen 1
Discus Thrower 1
Dockstader, Lew 1
Dracula 1
Drake, Sir Francis 1
Dupin, C. Auguste 1
Edison, Thomas 1
Emery 1
Ericson, Leif 2
Frankenstein's Monster 1
Galahad 1
Gotch, Frank 1
Grant, Ulysses S. 1
Greb, Harry 1
Griffiths, Albert 1
Hatfield, John 1
Hauser, Kaspar 1
Henry, Patrick 1
Hercules 1
Hickok, Wild Bill 1
Hippocrates 1
Holmes, Sherlock 2
Houdini 2
Hyde, Edward 1
Hyer, Tom 1
Jackson, Andrew 1
Javert 1
Jeffries, Jim 1
Jones, John Paul 1
Khan, Genghis 1
Kidd, William 1
Lafayette, General 1
Lancelot 1
Laughing Cavalier 1
Leander 2
Lee, Robert E. 1
Leonidas 1
Lincoln, Abraham 1
Marable, Fate 1
Mercury 3
Milo Of Croton 1
Mulgrew, Jason 1
Murphy, Charles 1
Napoleon 1
Nation, Carrie 1
Nightingale, Florence 1
Noah 1
Nobody 1
Nostradamus 1
O'Brien, David 1
Osceola 1
Paddock, Charley 1
Penelope 1
Pheidippides 1
Pinkerton, Allan 1
Plastic Man 1
Porthos 2
Prometheus 1
Quixote, Don 1
Revere, Paul 1
Rin-Tin-Tin 1
Robin Hood 2
Russell, Lillian 1
Rustum 1
Ryan, Paddy 1
Samson 2
Sandow, Eugen 1
Schleyer, Johann 1
Siegfried 1
Silver, Long John 1
Skunk, Jimmy 1
Socrates 1
Solomon 1
Sullivan, John L. 2
Tell, William 1
Thor 1
Thurston, Howard 1
Tiglath IV 1
Tut-ankh-amen 1
Twain, Mark 1
Ulysses 1
Uncas 1
Vercingetorix 1
Vulcan 1
Washington, George 2
Webster, Daniel 1
Xanthippe 1
Zbyzko, Stanislaus 1

NEXT--Viva la revoluciĆ³n!!

From Kid Eternity #4 (1947)