Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dial E For Eternity--Let's Make A List!

You know who doesn't get enough attention?

Kid Eternity, that's who doesn't get enough attention.

Insane origin, batshit crazy power set, a back story that literally anything can be projected onto...the Kid is literally the ur-example of comic book craziness, but nobody wants to do anything with him!!

It's almost as if some editor sat Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff down and said, "Give me a character who's similar to Fawcett's Captain Marvel, but also use the plot of that movie Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and throw in lots and lots of famous dead people." And boy, did they deliver. [Editor's note: It should be noted that there is disagreement whether or not the author was actually Otto Binder. Golden Age, you know? But here we'll go with Binder...]

We'll deal in depth with Kid's origin later, but you likely know the gist: orphan is mistakenly taken to heaven by an angel ("you were supposed to live another 75 years!"), as recompense he's revived and given powers, including the ability to summon anyone from the afterlife to help him in his adventures. And not just real people--he could summon up characters from mythology and folklore (Hercules! Paul Bunyan!), and on occasion he could summon up fictional characters, like Romeo. He also called up fellow Quality heroes Blackhawk and Plastic Man, for example. Were they fictional to him, or did he somehow someone the "real" people, can see how wacky this gets.

He could also turn invisible, fly, travel in time...pretty awesome power set for a child. But all was not easy street: his "guardian angel," Mr. Keeper, could withdraw those powers if Kid was misbehaving or being selfish--leaving him in quite a jam in the middle of an adventure!! And the people he summoned from the past had free will--sometimes they refused to help out, or even joined the bad guys!!

He had one of those "equal/opposite" arch enemies,  Master Man, who was given powers by Satan, so when he said "Stygia," he could summon evil people from history/mythology.

The comparisons to Captain Marvel are obvious--orphan child uses magic word to summon powers from myth to fight evil. Indeed, in a few of his earliest appearances, Kid didn't just summon heroes from the past, he actually transformed into them!! So it should be no surprise that when DC resurrected the Marvel Family in the 70s, they moved Kid Eternity to Earth-S and made him Freddy Freeman's long-lost brother, with powers also derived from the Rock Of Eternity.

But there are similarities to other heroes as well. I've long thought that Kid Eternity might be drawing from the same "source" as the bearer of the "Hero Dial"--just one used supernatural means, the other scientific. And so in the crossover...[Editor's note: This is why snell is not allowed to write comics.] That's where the title for this feature came from.

I'm just amazed that, during the post-Crisis/pre-nu52 era, DC didn't make more use of Kid Eternity in their regular universe, outside of a few Teen Titans appearances. He became retcon central for awhile--you were never in heaven! Keeper is evil! You work for the Lords Of Order now! He was killed at least twice more!! Sigh...

But look at the (better) story possibilities: this guy could bring back Thomas Wayne for a talk with Bruce. Could he summon alien dead, too? Well, there's your Jor-El story! Flash still weepy about his mom? Kid could arrange for them to have lunch together every week! He could go after fake mediums, by calling up the real dead relatives to show how full of shit the fakirs are. He could call up folks being tortured in Hell to beat the crap out of their torturer, Etrigan! [Editor's note: Again, snell is (fortunately) prohibited from writing comics...]

Anyway, trying to find out who Kid has and hasn't summoned is the inspiration for this recurring feature. Just as my friend Siskoid has a feature detailing all of the transformations from the various incarnations of Dial H For Hero, I've been wanting to compile a list of everyone Kid has summoned. As far as I can tell, there are a couple of terribly incomplete lists out there, but man, for someone as cool as the Kid, we need to be thorough, right? (Just watch, within 5 minutes of this post a reader will point out that someone else has already done a complete list and here it is and it's so much better than mine, and I suck for even having this idea. Well, tough. I'm committed, so full speed ahead!)

So, at irregular intervals, I'll be going through the Kid Eternity stories, one by one, compiling a list of the folks he's summoned from the afterlife, keeping a running total--there will be spreadsheets and everything! Of course, I won't be able to resist stopping to look at some of these stories and squawking about the insane theological implications, the incorrect history, the questionable ethics, the conveniently coming and going powers, and other Golden Age nuttiness. Plus, when we get far enough along, I will be forced to actually read the post-Morrison Vertigo series. Everybody wins!!

Then, when we're done and finally have my list, well, then I can begin my magnum opus Shazam/Dial H/Kid Eternity crossover that will rock the DC Universe to its core, and...

[Editor's note: The rest of the ranting have been deleted, as snell is still legally prohibited from writing comics, no matter how cool he thinks his ideas are.]

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Magical Fruit!!

We established back in Incredible Hulk # 182 (1974) that the Hulk likes beans!

Well, let's hop ahead a year later, to Incredible Hulk #194 (1975), when once he again encounters hoboes in the woods as they're cooking dinner. Running out of ideas, Len Wein?


Of course, ol' Jadejaws rousts them pretty easily...

But nothing smells as good as...

Dude, you really need an agent. Think of the commercials we could set up.

These stories also suggest that perhaps Thunderbolt Ross was taking the wrong approach in stopping the Hulk. Beans are a lot cheaper than tanks and missiles...

And I have no doubt that this is the Hulk's favorite song...

It was the 60s, man.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Night Fights--Sometimes You Get The Bear Style!

It's time to re-up our commitment to being the number one Google result for "man-on-animal action" in this week's Friday Night Fights!!

It's the post-apocalyptic future, the world is frozen, and our villain is about to sic his trained polar bear on our heroes!

Fortunately, our roguish bounty hunter/smuggler/human trafficker anti-hero Keaton ain't afraid of no bears!

Yeah, that just happened.

Spacebooger wishes comics still used sound effects...

Woman-on-bear violence from Frostbite #5 (2017), by Joshua Williamson and Jason Shawn Alexander

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why? Think of the polar bears!! So go and vote!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why You Didn't See More Product Placement In Stephen King's It!

Maybe it's just me...

...but maybe making Pennywise your spokesman was a bad move for Kool-Aid!


Also note--8 flavors of Kool-Aid?!?! Pity your poor forefathers, who couldn't enjoy the 91 (!) flavors available in modern times.

From Looney Tunes #175 (1956)

Seven Proofs Of An Unworthy Ruler!!

So, you think that your nation has ended up with a terrible, terrible leader.

But how can you be sure? I mean, maybe it's just sour grapes because your preferred candidate didn't win. There must be some objective test you can use to tell if your current leader is a crappy, crappy ruler.

Thanks to Celtic warrior and king Slaine, we have exactly the test we need!!


Keep going...

You don't say...

Well, sure...

So, how did your ruler come out?

Ours was 7 out of 8. A perfect eight if you count worshipping himself...sigh...

From 2000AD #2052 (2017)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Best Cover You've Never Seen--Master Of Kung Fu #3 (1981)

I could have picked any cover from the era, really...

...but somehow Shang- Chi battling foreign agents while trying to recover Nazi secrets from a sunken ship in Hong Kong tickled my fancy.

The final Master Of Kung Fu Omnibus is out, so that probably had something to do with it...

Master Of Kung Fu #103 is from 1981, cover by Gene Day

How To Evade Hal Jordan's Unwanted Attentions!

What to do when Hal Jordan pus the moves on you?

Katma Tui has a solution!

After she totally saves Hal's butt when he's been beaten by Sinestro, Hal thanks her in a way we'd consider inappropriate these days:

So, has does Katma deal with it?


This is Katma Tui, who was going to leave the Green Lantern Corps and marry male Korugaran scientist Imi Khan until Hal tricked her out of it (Silver Age!!). Then again, If Korugarans who look female to us Earthers aren't female, well, maybe males aren't male, either.

Still, this is Katma Tui, who married Earther Green Lantern John Stewart. So those trans-species gender problems suddenly didn't matter? Was John just studlier than Hal? A better kisser? (As if!!) I'm sure Hal had some questions about that wedding! ("But I thought you said...)

Or did Crisis somehow effect the gender status of Korugarans? Should we explore how that effects Sinestro and perhaps explains his obsession with Hal?!?

I've researched, and can't a single other instance where we get confirmation of Katma's "no, I just look female" status. So we have to assume that she's totally bullshitting Hal here, right?

So, I guess if someone is harassing you , you can try the "Sorry, wrong species, chum" defense. If it works against Hal Jordan, it will work against anyone!!

From Green Lantern #124 (1980)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Great Moments In Bad Predictions--Jets!

Oh, look--more predictions!!

All right, show us what you've got, 1946 comic book!


"Soundlessly like bats on the wing"?!?

Do you understand what jets are? Why do you think jets are, well, silent--when in reality, they're really, really really loud?!? Much louder than propeller planes, in general!

Yes, yes, modern aircraft are making strides at reducing noise, and the stealth bomber is pretty quiet. But I'm not giving this piece credit for those advances, when they were telling us that jets could buzz cows without disturbing them.

It's almost like comic books didn't really know anything about science!

From Green Mask Volume 2 #5 (1946)

Namor Must Have Had A Very Good Press Agent!!

Ladies and gentlemen,the Four Horsemen!


Hitler, Mussolini, Death...and Namor?!?!

It's the second half of 1941, and while the U.S. isn't in the war yet (as evidenced by the lack of Hirohito is that quadrumvirate of destruction), Namor, like many of the Timely heroes, has had a grand old time fighting Nazis.

But continuing German/British/Russian naval battles are hurting Atlantis!

Refugees from other undersea civilizations have come, seeking the Sub-Mariner's help!

Man, some weird looking dudes live under the sea...

So, they'll unite to end the war!! Huzzah!!

But Princess Rathia has more ambitious goals...

Presenting the best use of quotation marks in Golden Age history:

"Friendlier." Snort.

Anyway, Namor is letting his nether parts do the thinking, and he dreams...

So he sets out to conquer the world.

The Human Torch tries to warn everybody...

...but it's tough in the era of fake news!

As an aside, the Torch does find time to go warn his jungle buddy Ka-Zar!

[Note: that's the Golden Age Ka-Zar, not Kevin Plunder who would end up in the Savage Land. 'nuff said!]

So, yes, the jungle character is having animals build a giant ark to protect themselves against tidal waves caused by Atlantean war machines! Because comics!!

BTW, check out Namor's new fascist fashions!

Anyway, Namor captures the Torch, and uses mind-control drugs to get him to blow up vital wartime shipping!!
Ah, but when the Torch sees the American flag, that's enough to snap him of Namor's spell!!

In the meantime, as we saw in yesterday's post, Namor managed to conquer Gibraltar, destroy the Italian navy, briefly capture Berlin, and march on Chicago with mechanical whales!!

But the Torch managed to thwart him, and now has Namor on the run. Which means, it's time for the amazingly convenient renunciation of the taking of thousands of lives!!

Let's note--there was no "spell" here. No magic, no mind control, no telepathy. She just got "friendly" with Namor and Lady Macbethed him into trying to conquer the world.

But just like a Star Wars movie, saying "Gee, I'm sorry" is enough to forgive genocide!!

He does, she's captured (and never seen again, ever), and...

"You must behave"?!?!? Talk about soft on crime!!

I wonder how often these events came up at Invaders meetings...

From Human Torch #5[b] (1941)