Saturday, April 10, 2010

Separated at Birth: How many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsing around on the airplane?

Special Edition Comics/UXM #522

L: Special Edition Comics #1 (1940), art by C. C. Beck
R: Uncanny X-Men #522 variant cover (May 2010), art by Mark Brooks

(Click picture to Estes-size)



365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 100

What If #37
Hank McCoy of Earth...I dunno, maybe Earth-8302...from What If? v.1 #37 (February 1983), script and pencils by Alan Weiss, inks and colors by Jim Sherman



Saturday Morning Cartoon: Kirk is a Jerk


From Star Trek [The Animated Series] "The Practical Joker" (1974),
written by Len Janson and directed by Hal Sutherland



Friday, April 09, 2010

Well, that'll happen.

2001 #6
Panel from 2001: A Space Odyssey #6 (May 1977), script and pencils by Jack Kirby,
inks and letters by Mike Royer, colors by George Roussos

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 99: Ryan Dunlavey Sketch Card Special Edition

Last year, Discount Comic Book Service had a special promotion: if you bought a copy of Marvel's MODOK: Reign Delay one-shot by Ryan Dunlavey, you'd get a free sketch card by Mister Dunlavey! Heckuva deal! thought I (in my Minnesota accent)! The comic arrived and I loved it—it made #35 on my Fun Fifty of 2009—and I pretty much promptly forgot about the free sketch card. DCBS sent out a notice that they were still being worked on and were forthcoming, but again they slipped my mind until I got a package this week and opened it to find, surprise, surprise, the best sketch card I could have hoped for:
Hank McCoy


Kismet, co-incidence, or cosmic fate, I can't even begin to guess how, out of the hundreds of cards Ryan Dunlavey did, that the one with The Beast wound up in my fuzzy little hooves. Short of a lucky fairy godfather at DCBS looking over me and intentionally putting this one aside for me, I'd say it's just one of those wonderful serendipitous events that as I'm doing 365 Days of Hank McCoy, this happens.

Hank looks like he's read something a little worrisome there. Maybe he's just had his basic ideas challenged by a particularly brain-blasting section of one of his favorite books...but, y'know, I think maybe he may have just got to the part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Voldemort blasts Cedric. Hank may be a big brain and all, but he's sensitive like that.

Hey, go on over to Ryan Dunlavey's blog and check out other sketch cards he did for this promotion...and there's more here...and wow, look, there's even more here! (Look careful and you'll spot mine!)

There's a heckuva lotta wonderful sketches in there. And no, you can't buy 'em...they've all gone to lucky people and little stuffed animals like me! But...and this is the important part...you can commission Ryan to do a sketch card or other artwork right here! Go ahead, what are you waitin' for?

Thanks, Mister Dunlavey, for a very cool ninety-ninth Beast of the year!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

The true origin of the Red Hulk

Beware
Panels from "The Werewolf Was Afraid" in Menace #8 (October 1953), reprinted in Beware #1 (March 1973), art by John Romita, Sr.



365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 98

X-Factor #19
Panels from X-Factor #113 (August 1987), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Walt Simonson, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Petra Scotese, letters by Joe Rosen



Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Jubilation Lee

Jubilee

Jubilee, 1990 edition:

Jubilee
Jubilee
Panels from Uncanny X-Men #268 (Late September 1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski


Jubilee, 2007 edition:

Jubilee
Panels from New Warriors v.4 (September 2007), script by Kevin Grevioux, pencils by Paco Medina, inks by Juan Vlasco, colors by Marte Gracia, letters by Joe Caramagna

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 97

UXM #113
Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men #113 (September 1978), co-plot and script by Chris Claremont, co-plot and script by John Byrne, inks by Terry Austin, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Annette Kawecki



Tuesday, April 06, 2010

All the News That's Fit to Never Be Seen

DD #242Oh, Matt Murdock, in a town that has 24/7 cable station NY1, why do you rely upon newspapers so much to get your hearsay and scuttlebutt of the crime comings and goings in Manhattan? Y'know, there's lots of alternatives to rubbing your hypersensitive fingers all over those filthy, ink-smudged rags like The New York Daily News, The New York Post, Metro and of course, The Daily Bugle, the only newspaper in the country whose slogan is "Curse you, Spider-Man!" He may be very good at rubbing his fingers over a newspaper and picking up the minuscule impressions left by those mighty presses upon flimsy wood pulp, but I still bet he has troubles reading Cathy. How can we explain Counselor Murdock's fondness for a dying industry in today's bold new information age, when he could be reading the news by rubbing his fingers all over his computer monitor? Well, that last one can be explained by Foggy's troublesome online porn addiction, but otherwise, where's the attraction to a newspaper, DD?

Maybe it's the fact that in the Big Apple, newspapers seem to love running headline stories about guys in red spandex with horns:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


...but look out, DD! Just like an issue of Marvel-Team Up with Some Guy Who Turns Out to Eventually Be a Villain, you never know when the press is going to turn on you like a rabid dog!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Well, can you blame 'em? After all, a picture is worth a thousand words...even if it has been turned into the paper by "El Photoshoppo," the villain who can put Queen Elizabeth's head on Madonna's body!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Yes, Daredevil and newspapers have a strange and beautiful relationship...

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Most of all, DD finds newspapers useful in his never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the seeing-eye dog's way...a good fish-wrapper is a crimefighter's greatest tool in combatting crooks:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?
This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?
This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


But fear not for the defeated costumed crook, dear reader...instead, weep for the poor innocent 1970s Marvel comics caught battered and torn in the fight!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Yes, around Daredevil and his reckless Gladiator-tossing ways, all periodicals shiver in fear, especially comic books like Nova! And...um...Celam!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


That's why Daredevil always champions newspapers and other popular methods of news dissemination:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


After all, as we can see through the eyes of Elektra Nachos Natchios in this panel of Daredevil's Girlfriend, Elektra #6, newspapers tell us all sorts of amazing and interesting things, right up until the point where the typesetter has a heart attack!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Yes, in Elektra's world, newspapers fight illiteracy by featuring only a few words on each page plus lots and lots of easy-on-the-eyes white space.

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Ya know, whoever wrote the headline Los Angeles Hit By Bad Weather...well, I just hope he got nominated for a Pulitzer.

Yes, after having her brain scooped out and replaced with special magic ninja foam, Elektra finds it easy to read newspapers with the classified section, business news, and London fax numbers all on the same page. Well, at least it makes more sense than Dilbert:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


That's why in the Marvel Universe, the motto of the Los Angeles Times is Gotta dog? We'll advertise it in 128 point type!

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


So now you know all about the newspapers in DD's world and how they help out him and his little lady friend-and-psychopathic assassin-for-hire Ellie N. in their chosen careers as costumed vigilantes in a world they never made. Why, just about the only thing that frustrates Daredevil about being blind is that he can't fully appreciate everything they print in a newspaper:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


But don't spare Matt Murdock any tears over that...why, he's got that problem solved with a subscription to his favorite Braille magazine:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


So remember, Daredevil always says:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?


Except for the times when he says:

This alt text is specially placed here for blind readers. Helpful, isn't it?

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 96

X-Men Alpha
Hank McCoy of Earth-295, aka the Dark Beast from the Age of Apocalypse, in a panel from X-Men: Alpha one-shot (February 1995), plot by Scott Lobdell, script by Mark Waid, pencils by Roger Cruz and Steve Epting, inks by Tim Townsend and Dan Panosian, colors by Steve Buccellato and Electric Crayon, letters by Richard Starkings



Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Night Murals: Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come

Last week, you may remember, yours little stuffed truly showed you the first fifteen issues of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition and how they interlocked to form a really really long mural. But hey! (you're no doubt saying)...the first fifteen issues? How many more were there? Why, just like any good Marvel series, the fun doesn't stop when you reach the last page, because there's issues #16 through 20 to look at now, but this is a little more solemn occasion. Please dress reverently in black and stand quietly to one side as I usher in...

Book of the Dead logo
Book of the Dead


No, no, no, that's not what I meant, man. (Altho' it is groovy.) I mean the 1985 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead Deluxe Edition...in other words, this:

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #16-20

Front and back covers of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #16-20 (June 1987-February 1988), art by Keith Pollard and Joe Rubinstein

Click once, then again, to Big Sleep-size


Lined up, the covers of Marvel's classic index and history of all the characters who had bit the bullet, kicked the bucket, and became ex-Marvelites is not quite as long as last week's mural but it's twice as dead! (Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!, in my little stuffed Vincent Price voice.) And like the first 15 issues of the series, #16 through 20 interconnect into one long mural—in fact penciller Keith Pollard has provided a solid wedge of overlap on the right and left of each issue to allow you to piece the rest-in-peaces together. Well, very nearly. There's a very small handful of mismatched images:

Mismatch
...but for the most part most elements on each cover edge line up closely enough that you can make a big long mural o' death. In fact...unlike the first fifteen issues, which had a distinct image break six issues into the series, I believe that Pollard was attempting to make this mural completely circular. Here's the right hand edge of #20 matched up with the beginning of #16:

#20-16


Although the matchup between 20 and 16 are less perfect that the other issues, look at the position of the tree and how it...well, sorta connects, as shown in this close-up:

20-16 zoom


Sure, there's only half a mausoleum there, but maybe that's where Two-Face is buried. Whoops, wrong universe. Speaking of which, although the Marvel Universe doesn't have its version of DC's Shanghalla, it does seem to have dumped everybody in the same stretch of the Greenwood Cemetery, just off the beltway in Westchester County. Visit the gift shop and pick up lovely souvenirs spoons featuring the face of Uncle Ben, or a Colonel Glenn Talbot beer mug, or the Jean Grey-brand cigarette lighter ("This flame never dies!").

After that you may reverently wander through the soft green hills and thoughtfully examine the gravestones of all those who have passed away, who have shuffled off this mortal coil, who are pushing up daisies, who are dead, dead, dead and can never come back and never return to the Marvel Universe. Characters like

Bucky!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

The Mimic!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

The Dead Skull!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

Thanos!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

My Dad!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

Sharon Carter!

Dead! Dead! Dead!

Yes, none of these characters will ever be seen again because they are finally and truly dead! Characters like

General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross!

Dead! Dead! Dead!


...oh, I guess he came back and died again. You know, as Oscar Wilde (spotlight in issue #17 featuring his battles against Iron Man) once said: "To lose one life may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

So you see, despite its cool status as a mural, the official Book of the Dead for Earth-616 contains much that is aprocryphal, if not outright incorrect. For example, why oh why, would they list this beloved character as deceased?:


Dead! Dead! Dead!

She ain't dead; I don't believe it.


365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 95

Marvels Eye of the Camera #5
Panel from Marvels: Eye of the Camera #5 (May 2009), script by Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern, pencils and inks by Jay Anacleto, colors by Brian Haberlin, letters by Richard Starkings



Sunday, April 04, 2010

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 94

X-Men Civil War #1
Panel from Civil War: X-Men #3 (November 2006), script by David Hine, pencils by Yanick Paquette and Aaron Lopresti; inks by Serge LaPointe and Jay Leisten; colors by Stephane Peru, letters by Rus Wooton



Ten of a Kind: Ten Simple Rules























Confused? Here's a clue!
(More Ten of a Kind here.)