Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We'll draw a blueprint, it must be easy

Secret Origins #48Blueprints! You know 'em, you love 'em, and you use 'em to utterly destroy that pesky, meddling Superman. (Last applies to Earth-2 Lex Luthor only). Continuing Comics Oughta Be Fun!'s feature on blueprint and plans that actually appear within comic book stories (one of a series, collect 'em all!) And what's even more fun, you can make 'em all! So, get together your hammer, your phillips screwdriver, thirty thousand square feet of lumber, your Radio Shack Electronic Learning Lab, a spot welder, several discarded Iron Man armors, and very soon within the confines of your own basement you'll be creating a Sentinel or a set of Falcon wings or maybe a keen new hideout for you and all your pals! Just remember the first rule of safety...lock the door to the Negative Zone while you work so Ben and Johnny don't interrupt you by letting Blastaar and Annihilus free! (Really, seriously, that's one's very important.)

You too can talk to the ants, with your own patented Hank Pym Giant-Man helmet. (Say, why won't it let you talk to the giants?) Just don't wear it too long...it'll make you wasp-slappin' crazy!
Avengers #2
Panel from Avengers #2 (November 1963), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Paul Reinman, letters by Artie Simek

Here's a trio of blueprints from the swingin'est super-spy of the seventies...Colonel Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*! (What, you were expecting Bart Fargo? Phil Moscowitz? Would you believe...Neil Connery?) First up: the secret underground lair of HYDRA! (Not pictured: barracks, galley, billiard hall, or Viper's "ready room.") Hey, is this gonna be on the test? Stan says yes, it is! So trying getting into the university of your choice without knowing this, buster!
Nick Fury #15

Panel from Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #15 (November 1969), plot and dialogue by Gary Friedrich, plot by Herb Trimpe, plot and script by Dick Ayers, pencils by Herb Trimpe and Dick Ayers, inks by Sam Grainger, letters by Jean Izzo
(Click picture to Burj Dubai-size)

Coming in at #515 in the 5,000 Hats of Jack Kirby, it's a cutaway diagram of Nick Fury's Amazing Rear View Hat! Costing over ten million dollars in research and development, this chapeau de subterfuge allows Nick to see who or what is coming up behind him, allowing him to kung fu their sorry butts from here back to Moscow, comrade! Or, I s'pose, he could just, um, turn around and look.
Strange Tales #141
Panels from Strange Tales #137 (October 1965), script by Stan Lee, layouts and plot by Jack Kirby, finishes and inks by John Severin, letters by Artie Simek

And here's another HYDRA secret base...one that's liable to tick off the Sub-Mariner and his finny friends big time, because it involves a fake cruise ship, an underwater flying saucer, an underground soundproofed tunnel, and, for reasons I can't quite figure out at the moment, over 72,000 Arby's Beef and Cheddar sandwiches. I dunno why, but heck, they're such a super-succesful criminal organization, there's gotta be a good reason!
Strange Tales #141

Panel from Strange Tales #141 (February 1966), script by Stan Lee, plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia, letters by Sam Rosen
(Click picture to hydra-size)

Not so much a blueprint, more a radioactive-enhanced radar-sensed sonar x-ray-o-gram of the brownstone headquarters occupied by Matt Murdock (you 'n' me know him as the blind-as-a-bat Daredevil!) All corners are heavily padded with foam rubber and even the TV has a specially raised braille screen so DD can kick back and enjoy touching that week's episode of Mannix. Remember: cut this panel out and save it...here too, there may be a test later! Whoops! Did you just ruin your comic's future resale value? Don't worry, folks...it was only pre-Miller Daredevil...you ain't gettin' a dime either way! Haw!
DD #128
Panel from Daredevil #128 (December 1975), script by Marv Wolfman, breakdowns by Bob Brown, finishes and inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Michele Wolfman, letters by Joe Rosen

Finally, let's take a dimensional hop, a universal skip, and a jump one thousand years into the future to examine the space cruiser of the Legion of Super-Heroes using Ultra Boy's suggestively named penetra-vision. (So-called because Kal-El once beat the tar out of him in the Legion's locker room for using the trademark term 'x-ray vision'.) It's not quite the starship Enterprise and not quite a Klingon cruiser...it's a completely new design totally from the original minds of the 1970s DC (there's no stopping them now!) Please note that despite Brainiac-5's objections, the Legion Cruiser has been installed with a "human needs" section. So they could poop.
Superboy and the LSH #219

Panel from Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes #219 (September 1976), script by Jim Shooter from a suggestion by Ken Klaczak, pencils and inks by Mike Grell
(Click picture to Shooter-size)

So. Blueprints. What have we learned? Well, that when they're in comic books, they ain't blue.

*Surely He Intended Everybody Loves the Designs


Servo said...

I learned that apparently the Legion's spaceship isn't powered by real batteries. They are only sorta-like real batteries.

DeathByGiraffe said...

There wa a great Appendix to the Guide to the Marvel Universe (or whatever) that was an entire volume on equipment scematics and blueprints. I still have my copy of Ant-Man's helmet in my closet somewhere...

Vinnie Bartilucci said...

I love how you mentioned the shot of dareevil-vision was "colors by Michele Wolfman". It's ALL YELLOW. Not a lot of work on that shot.

BTW, by captcha = "forkeris". No thank you, last time I did that I spent a week getting all the frogs out of my backyard.