Saturday, April 12, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 102: The Main Control Unit for the Nazi Coastal Guns

Hey, it's the Main Control Unit for the Nazi Coastal Guns!


Page from Captain America (1968 series) #109 (January 1969), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Syd Shores, letters by Artie Simek

Wow, that's some far out, fantastic KirbyTech there! (I'm hopin' it swivels!) But how on Earth do we know it's the Main Control Unit for the Nazi Coastal Guns?


Oh. Thanks, Steve!

Then Cap and Bucky blow it up.


Aw, it was all just a flashback!


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Brave and the Bold starring Batman and Angel Love


365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 101: The Skywalker's Destruction Ray

Two whole years before Star Wars hit the silver screen with the pew-pew-pew sound of zippy blasters, Denny O'Neil and Jack Kirby brought us the adventurers of a guy called...Skywalker*!


Cover of Justice, Inc. (1975 series) #2 (July-August 1975), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Royer, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by Gaspar Saladino

*No relation.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Comics News for April 10, 2014




365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 100: Bruce Banner's T-Gun

What is...the T-Gun?!?


Panel from "Not All My Power Can Save Me!" in Tales to Astonish #75 (January 1966), script by Stan Lee, layouts by Jack Kirby, finishes by Mike Esposito, letters by Sam Rosen

Wow! Whatever it is, it's big. Oh, that's it! The "T" must stand for...titanic!

Anyway, in a twist (hey, the T must stand for...twist!), Bruce Banner's mysterious T-Gun is used to target (hey, the T must stand for...target!)...the Incredible Hulk! Hey, the T must stand for...THE!


Here comes the countdown! Five! Four! Three! Hey, the T must stand for...three! Two! Hey, the T (gets strangled off camera)


YES, GENERAL ROSS, SHOOT AN UNKNOWN GUN DIRECTLY AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

And that (hey!...), ladies and gentlemen, is the last anyone ever saw of the Incredible Hulk. The End! (Hey!...)


And so, along with the Hulk, Washington DC was destroyed, and no one ever saw it again.


Well, seeing as the Hulk has been sent through time to the future and displaced in in time, we'll never be able to know what the "T" stands for in this time-shooting gun that moved Hulk forward in time. Just as a guess, I think that the "T" must stand for...TALES TO ASTONISH!

Or, possibly, television cartoon!


Marvel Super Heroes: The Incredible Hulk in "Terror of the T Gun" (November 23, 1966)


Ta-Ta!

Today in Comics History: A plan is hatched that is so crazy, it just might work


Panels from "Crime: Kidnaping! Victim: Abraham Lincoln!" in Crimefighters #4 (November 1948), pencils and inks by John Buscema

Today in Comics History: Lex Luthor spends 12 hours stealing 40 cakes


Splash panel from Action Comics #521 (July 1981), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Frank Chiaramonte, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by John Costanza

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 99: SHIELD's Scramble Helmet

"You know SHIELD's stand on psychics — they don't exist." — Victoria Hand, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD


Panels from "Operation: Brain Blast!" in Strange Tales #141 (February 1966), plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, dialogue by Stan Lee, inks by Frank Giacoia, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen

Well, Nick Knows-It-All-Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*, if psi-agents don't exist, then you need to go to your Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and tear out the page for Mentallo! And for Medusa, 'coz she's on the flip side of the page.


Aside from the power to project flashbacks on his nifty red helmet, Mentallo is cursed with internal exposition, which lets us and anybody sitting next to him at that particular Starbuck's that he's going to attack SHIELD! Which, to be honest, isn't that unusual. Guys attack SHIELD two or three times a day. Last week they were attacked seven times alone by Gary Busey. But, to be honest, that isn't that unusual for Gary Busey either.

So, what is SHIELD doing to protect itself from the villainous rampage of a guy who can think really hard at you? Well, for one, SHIELD agents are now locking that back door that Clay Quartermain keeps propping open. Also, they're trying to trick mole agents by walking into a room and casually asking "Hey, who here likes Hydra?" Also: they have developed the Scramble Helmet.


Cover of Strange Tales #141 (February 1966), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

Here's a closer look at the Scramble Helmet (not to be confused with the Scrabble Helmet, which inserts seven randomly chosen letters into your brain, usually seven consonants or seven vowels, mostly Es).


Here's how the Scramble Helmet works. Please note that I've tossed in, for no extra cost, the special KirbyTech Rocket Pistol! Who says this isn't the Boisterous Bully Age of Bombastic Bargains?


Yes, it's the ultimate in undetectable covert secret agent wear: a big-ass space helmet with an aerial on it. What, they couldn't get cable on those things?


So remember: don't yield, back the Brain Scrambler's psychic shield!

*Scramble Helmet Is Exceptionally Lovely, Donchathink?

Today in Comics History: Delicious pumpkin pie is enjoyed by all


Panels from The Road to Oz #5 (April 2013), script by Eric Shanower, pencils and inks by Skottie Young, colors by Jean-François Beaulieu, letters by Jeff Eckleberry

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 98: The Hydra Crime Dial

This is an updated version of an article I originally wrote and posted on this blog on September 9, 2010.

Blofeld catBad guys get all the best stuff. The volcano hideouts, the sharks with laser beams, the fluffy lap cat...everything cool. You know, the jet packs, the robot spiders, the space-ship swallowing ocean liners, the ocean-liner swallowing spaceships, the weather machines, the Palm Pilots, the sexy robots, the virulent plagues, and let us not forget the trained chimps. That goes double for all your criminal organizations, too: SMERSH, SPECTRE, THRUSH, KAOS, GALAXY, CHUMP, THEM, HIVE, AIM, RICO, and especially Hydra. Hydra? Yes, Hydra! The major villains of the brand-new major motion picture Captain America and the Guy Who Likes to Play in the Snow? Yep, that Hydra: the one run by the Sensational Character Find of 1969. You know, "cut one limb off and two more grow in its place" Hydra. That's a fearful power but must be really hard to buy them a sweater for Christmas.

It's true: if you can get it in the Evil Sky Mall Catalogue, then Hydra's got one or two. Who do you think it is who really shopped at Evil Brookstone's and Evil Sharper Image? Evil organizations like Hydra have got to continually keep up with the (evil) Joneses, so it's likely that more than 93% of their ill-gotten gains from gun-running, dirigible heists, and earthquake extortion goes straight back into R&D. And it's worth every penny. Why, without it, they wouldn't have the betatron bomb...

Where does Hydra get those wonderful toys?
Panel from "Sometimes the Good Guys Lose!" in Strange Tales #138 (November 1965), plot and layouts by Jack Kirby, dialogue by Stan Lee, finishes by John Severin, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen

...the overseas fire monitor...

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?

...the tel-a-larm...

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?

..and the only true friend that the Supreme Hydra has ever had.

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?

But none of those things, as amazing, extraordinary, and evil as they are, can hold a flaming stick of dynamite to...

HYDRA'S CRIME DIAL!


Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?

Because, when you're overseeing a vast criminal empire, you've got a lot on your mind, so why not apply an animal-based mnemonic to your lieutenants? (Just be sure you're up front in line so you don't get dubbed "The Wombat" or head of "The Cicada Division."

Hydra's Crime Dial allows the Supreme Hydra to contact every division of his vast nefarious staff, with the possible exception of the "flamingo" secretarial pool. Just spin the wheel, venture to buy a vowel, and reach out to touch a fox or a leopard or a beaver! (What? What? What is everyone laughing about? I don't get it.)

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?

Remember when you were in Cub Scouts and they divided the troops up into animal packs? And you wanted to get picked for the Cougars or the Bears or the Puff Adders? And instead you got stuck in Piglet Squad? Yeah, that's kind of what it's like for the members of "The Mole Squadron" at HYDRA. I picture it as being 30 Rock, but with everybody in green jumpsuits and hoods. Yes, especially Liz Lemon.

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?
Panel from "The Brave Die Hard!!" in Strange Tales #139 (December 1965), plot and layouts by Jack Kirby, dialogue by Stan Lee, finishes by Joe Sinnott, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

I suppose Hydra could have miniaturized this and put it all on a desk with pushbuttons, but hey, if last fiscal year's budget was higher than you expected, you gotta spend the cash on something or you won't get the funding next year. Thus was born the Crime Dial, from which vast troops of tigers can be sent after Nick Fury, brandishing their Sugar Frosted Flakes and telling him how GRRRRRRRREAT! he is.

And so it is why, why they are frequently defeated, Hydra will never be destroyed for good (see, for example, the mid-credits scene in that Cap movie...you didn't walk out, did you?)...because of the Crime Dial. S.H.I.E.L.D.* may have some circular things of their own...

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?
Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?
Top: Panel from "Who Strikes at—SHIELD?" in Strange Tales #142 (March 1966), plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, dialogue by Stan Lee, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek
Bottom: Panel from "The Man for the Job!" in Strange Tales #135 (August 1965), plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, dialogue by Stan Lee, inks by Dick Ayers, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

But accept no substitutions for the patented Hydra Crime Dial, the device so effective it later was seen in Daredevil #121. Albeit not by Daredevil.

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?
Panel from Daredevil #121 (May 1975), co-plot and script by Tony Isabella, co-plot and pencils by Bob Brown, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Don Warfield, letters by Karen Mantlo

Oh, and let's not forget Hydra's diabolical Wheel of Food.

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?
from Strange Tales #139

More recently, in the pages of Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors: One-Shot, the 2009 Eisner Award-winner for "Most Colons in a comic not drawn by Ernie," Hydra has finally modernized their organizational wheel. It's clear that in the years between the Crime Dial and this, somebody's been learning Powerpoint.

Star Wars
"The Zodiac Wheel" from Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors #1 (December 2009)
Click image to organizational-bloat-size

But, y'know, that can't be the real Hydra organizational chart, so I went online to the secret hidden website www.hydra.com and downloaded their real organizational chart, which I present to you here for the very first time. Enjoy, but don't tell 'em Bully sent you!

Where does HYDRA get those wonderful toys?



*Scheduled Haggis Ingestion Eliminates Lethargy and Diphtheria.

Today in Comics History: Men enjoy sports like boxing, car racing, and shooting




Panels from Arrow #28 (April 2013), story by Marc Guggenheim, script Katherine Walczak, pencils and inks by Xermanico, colors by Mado Peña, letters by Wes Abbott

Today in Comics History: President Reagan finally finishes his Hawkeye/She-Hulk fan fiction


Panels from Avengers #221 (July 1982), co-plot by Jim Shooter, co-plot and script by David Michelinie, pencils by Bob Hall, inks by Brett Breeding, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Janice Chiang

Bonus Marvel Crossover Event: Ronald Reagan commemorates his team-up with Moon Boy from Devil Dinosaur!


Monday, April 07, 2014

The Dude Abides


Panel from "Fashions in Crime" in Superman (1939 series) #23 (July 1943), script by Jerry Siegel, pencils and inks by Peter Riss

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 97: Nightshade's Hulk Head-Hurter*

You might underestimate the supervillain Nightshade because she wears a black leather bikini, but she's actually, as the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe tells us, "an extraordinary genius, and extensively self-taught in genetics, biochemistry, cybernetics, robotics and physics. She also obtained a doctoral degree from an undisclosed university while in prison." Hmm, just call her Doctor Nightshade.


Panels from Marvel Team-Up Annual #3 (1980); script by Roger Stern; pencils by Herb Trimpe; inks by Mike Esposito, Al Milgrom, Bruce Patterson, Dave Humphrys, and Joe Rubinstein, colors by John Costanza, letters by Ken Klaczak




Sunday, April 06, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 96: Doctor Doom's Widescreen TV

Doctor Doom bought this big-screen television to watch the season premiere of Game of Thrones...


Panel from Fantastic Four (1961 series) #84 (March 1969), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen

...but he just wound up using it for spying on the accursed Richards. Like always.