Friday, August 18, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 230: Your decisions turn around and make you back and then you're stuck


Panel from Batman/Hellboy/Starman #1 (January 1999), script by James Robinson, pencils and inks by Mike Mignola, colors by Matt Hollingsworth, letters by Willie Schubert

A very special Bullish thank you to Magnificent Matt Rowbotham, who suggested and identified this panel for me!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 229: Frank Castle, Vampire Hunter

So What If...? the Punisher armed with Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation was fighting evil vampire X-Men. What then, huh?


Panels from What If...? (1989 series) #24 (April 1991); script by Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and Randy Lofficier; pencils and inks by Tom Morgan; colors by Tom Vincent; letters by Janice Chiang

The 1990s! There was no concept too high for that decade to embrace!

Seriously, do spray vampires with holy water.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Namor vs. Fake News


Panel from The Avengers (1963 series) #287 (January 1988), plot by Roger Stern, script by Ralph Macchio, breakdowns by John Buscema, finishes by Tom Palmer, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Bill Oakley

Today in 365 Days of Comics Defiance History, Day 228: You Say You Want a Revolution


Cover of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #7 (March 1999), pencils by Ron Frenz

Wha...? you might say in astounded, be-baffled disbelief. I'm with ya on that front! Captain America in 1781? Is this a dream, an imaginary story, or a hoax? Is it a what-if or an elseworlds or an infinities or a deviation? It is a Red Skull-changed alternate reality? Is it a comic book? (It's a comic book.) Here's the story of a lovely lady of the Steve Rogers of 1776, complete with timely mullet. He's always copying nineties-era Superman! While discussing politics and quaffing ale out of golden tankards at his local replica Revolutionary War-era Charles Cheese Inn, Steve's alerted by 1776 Foggy Nelson (or maybe it's just ponytailed Bucky Barnes) that the Declaration of Independence has been signed! Huzzah! Three day holiday weekend, woo!


Panels from Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #6 and #7 (February-March 1999), script by Roger Stern, pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Roger Langridge, colors by Tom Smith, letters by John Costanza

Steve leaves his potentially lucrative career drawing Spyder-Manne cartoons for Ye Olde Marvelle Comicks to join the Continental Army and hey wait, has he skipped a step? What happened to getting some Super-Soldier formula and some rich, delicious Vita-Rays? Well, since they didn't exist then, and Steve already has the hardy ripped brawny body of a superhero with a really huge belt buckle, I can only guess that his Super-Serum is actually 1770s beer.


Then...KOREA! I mean, VALLEY FORGE! Hey, how come there's never been a Revolutionary War-themed group of superheroes named Valley Force? Get right on that, Mike W. Barr.


Meanwhile, six years later, on today's very date, proto-Steve actually becomes Captain Young America! He's got a mighty shield and when he hits you with it, you'll see thirteen stars!


And when Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who are British spies must yield! Take that, Young James Bond!


236 years ago today at either dawn or when the Earth's sun is exploding, Cap faces off in a deadly duel with pistols against his arch enemy William Taurey. Get it? Get it? Still, it's better than if they'd called him Led Lurks or somethin'.


I will now digress both backwards and forwards in time here to point out that I riff on William Taurey's name with complete affection, as he is created by comic king Jack Kirby. (You can even sort of see Taurey's Kirbyness in Ron Frenz's depiction of him.) Here's the original groundwork on which Roger Stern expanded, in the classic Kirby Madbomb story of 1976:



Panels from Captain America (1968 series) #194 (February 1976), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia (and Mike Esposito?), colors by Janice Cohen, letters by Gaspar Saladino

So yes, it's all not merely canon, it is more sincerely Kirby-canon! But patriot Steven Rogers killed Taurey in cold blood back during the duel? How could this be? With a sense of dread let's go back to the 1781 duel! Now, I was poisonally hoping Cap would pull out a series of progressively larger guns than Taurey, but as that particular Bugs Bunny cartoon would not be created for another 167 years, he plays it honestly and by the rules. Geez, Steve, you'll never get ahead in America that way.



As for how Taurey died at the hands of Patriot Cap...well, Taurey's history left out one little thing:



What? It was all just a diary entry!


And yes, Kirby lay the foundation for that, too!


Panels from Captain America (1968 series) #200 (August 1976), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia, colors by Don Warfield, letters by John Costanza

Well, I'm sure it's fine. And now that Cap's been unfrozen in the twenty-first century, he can just look his ancestry up on one of those websites and find out that he's related to...what, he's related to Nazis now? That can't be right! Yelling and shaking my hoof angrily: RED SKULLLLLLLLLL!!!

Happy 74th Birthday, Alfred Pennyworth! (Hope You Survive the Experience!)


Panel from Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five (2015 digital series) #26 (June 2016), script by Brian Buccellato, pencils and inks by Mike S. Miller, colors by J. Nanjan, letters by Wes Abbott

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 227: Willkommen, Bienvenue, Batman

What If...? (©1976 a completely different company) Bruce Wayne had become a hero in the Berlin, Germany of 1939? Well, he would be millionreichsmark playjunge Baruch Wane...but at night he would oppose the Nazi government as The Berlin Batman!


Panel from The Batman Chronicles #11 (Winter 1998); script, pencils, and inks by Paul Pope; colors by Ted McKeever; letters by Ken Lopez

This Batman fights not merely against crime but also the clampdown on intellectualism and artistry. Here he is fighting to prevent writings from a dissident Jewish economist (stored on a train) from falling into the hands of the Nazis. And when you've got actual Nazis, who needs the Joker?



By the way, that's Komissar Garten in the green trench coat. "You're only one man, what can you do?" taunts Garten. Why, he doesn't know Der Batman very well at all, does he?



And now you know about the legend of the Berlin Batman. In the heart of evil, may we all be so brave and dedicated.


365 Days of Defiance, Day 226: Marvel the Vote

It's Local Election Time in the Ms. Marvel Universe! And, you know, I never realized she had that gauntlet only on her left wrist. You learn something new every day!


Page from Ms. Marvel (2016 series) #13 (January 2017), script by G. Willow Wilson, pencils and inks by Mirka Andolfo, colors by Ian Herring, letters by Joe Caramagna

Like, f'r instance, Ms. Marvel learning that some people just have ass-stupid reasons for not voting.


That's why it pays to know the facts. And here's where The Divine Ms. M. explains it all for you, debunking common misconceptions about voting. For instance, did you know it doesn't say anywhere in the rulebook that a stuffed bull can't be President? (looks in rulebook, notices it does say that. Oh well.) Anyway, for her attention to detail and knowledge with a capital K-N, they oughta call her Ms. Snopes!



So make sure you are registered to vote! Even if you voted last year, double-check it! And if you're not, you can register to vote right now so you'll be ready for the local, state, and national elections coming up. Learn and know your rights, your candidates, and your time and place to vote. Get involved and get the word out!




Monday, August 14, 2017

It's a Switch-a-Roo!


Panels from Daredevil (1964 series) #264 (March 1989), script by Ann Nocenti, breakdowns by Steve Ditko, pencils by Mike Manley, inks by Al Williamson and Mike Manley, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen
and from Angel Love #1 (August 1986); script and pencils by Barbara Slate, inks by John William Lopez, colors by Bob LeRose, letters by Bill Yoshida

Today in Comics History: Excuse me, I have a little dust in my eye


Panels from Back to the Future (2015 IDW series) #11 (August 2016), story by John Barber and Bob Gale, script by John Barber, pencils by Marcello Ferreira and Athila Fabbio, inks by Marcello Ferreira, Athila Fabbio, and Toni Doya, colors by Jose Luis Rio, letters by Shawn Lee

Sunday, August 13, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 225: Not many people know his first name is Philadelphia



Panels from the Captain Freedom story in Speed Comics #13 (Harvey, May 1941), pencils and inks by Arturo Cazeneuve

Today in Comics History: The Anti-Pomegranate Lobby Suddenly Becomes More Vocal


Panel from The Wicked + The Divine #20 (June 2016), script by Kieron Gillen, pencils and inks by Jamie McKelvie, colors by Matthew Wilson, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, letters by Clayton Cowles