Saturday, June 25, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: A sample from the 5,000 Lingerie Items of Chris Claremont

L: Uncanny X-Men #180 (April 1984), cover art by John Romita, Jr. and Dan Green
R: X-Men Classic #84 (June 1993), reprinting UXM #180, cover art by Kerry Gammill and Bob Wiacek

(Click picture to mohawk-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 176

Panel from Thor #352 (February 1985), script, pencils, and inks by Walt Simonson; colors by Christie Scheele; letters by John Workman, Jr.

Happy Graduation Sara!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Zen of Batman: Metafiction

From Batman: "Batman Displays His Knowledge" (February 23, 1967), script by Stanley Ralph Ross

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 175

Panel from Marvel Fanfare #36 (January 1988), script by Alan Zelenetz, pencils and inks by Charles Vess, colors by Elaine Lee, letters by John Workman

Ads That Are Comics, Day 5: No jury in the land would convict Mr. Jones

Ad in Jonah Hex #13 (June 1978) for Super Siren from Empire: Toys Kids Love

The Genial Giant

Howard the Duck meets KISS on the final page of Howard the Duck #12 (May 1977), script by Steve Gerber,
pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Steve Leialoha, colors by Janice Cohen, letters by Jim Novak

Gene Colan
Rest in Peace

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Night Spidey Didn't Give a Darn

Panels from Marvel Fanfare #27 (July 1986), script, art, and lettering by Marc Hempel

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 174

Panels from Journey Into Mystery #122 (November 1965), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

Ads That Are Comics, Day 4: The Pride of Quality That Made RC America's Fifth Best-Selling Carbonated Cola Beverage

Ad in The Adventures of Bob Hope #5 (October-November 1950) for RC Cola. (Beware the haunting RC Cola Theme if you open their website!)

Maybe I'm Amazed at the Way Thor Found Me

The solution to this afternoon's Warriors Three maze!

from Marvel Mazes to Drive You Mad! (1978), no credits given

(Click picture to solution-size)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Professor X: He's Smarter Than You!

Professor Charles Xavier sure knows a heck of a lot about mutants, superheroes and villains, and the whole dadburn Marvel Universe, doesn't he?

Wow, he knows everything! (I bet he even knows what color of underwear Psylocke is wearing!*) Where did he get this amazing knowledge which accounts for his own personal fortune through many weeks of suspicious wins on Hollywood Squares? Could it be because...Charles Xavier can read minds? No! No, of course not! Whatever gave you that idea?

No! I assure you: it's not because of his special but scary miiiiiiind powwwwwwerrsssssss (ahhhwwooooo!).

(Full disclosure sidebar: Professor X often uses his gift recklessly. And so do the others.)

But that's not why he knows everything. (Also, he did not consume Layla Miller and gain her power.) No, in fact you'll be heartened to know that Xavier got his special knowledge about Earth-616 the same way you and I did...

...He's a fanboy.

That's right! Charles Xavier reads The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Why wouldn't he? And he is telling you with his mighty mutant mind that you should too. After all, he gets a kickback from his good pal Stan Lee with every copy sold!

So don't flee, back Lee! By buying The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe today!

Just tell 'em the bald guy sent you!


365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 173

from Marvel Mazes to Drive You Mad! (1978), no credits given
(Click each picture to amazing-size)

Mephisto is only giving Thor six minutes, but I'm nice and I'll give you five hours! Solve it before midnight tonight, when I'll post the answer!

Ads That Are Comics, Day 3: Nothin' up my sleeve...

Ad in Life with Archie #44 (December 1965) for General Mills's Cheerios, starring Rocky and Bullwinkle

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Redheads Look Alike

All redheads look alike. It's true! Here's proof: two absolutely identical-looking photographs placed side-by-side for your confusion:

You might find it hard to believe, but these two photographs are actually of different people! That's not the same person at all, but actually Karen Gillan and Willie Nelson! Or maybe Willie Nelson and Karen Gillan. Let me keep looking at them to see if I can figure that out. Hmmmm.

The redheads of the Marvel Universe all look alike, too! Take gorgeous go-go gal Mary Jane Watson, f'r instance.

Panels from Marvel Team-Up #79 (March 1979), co-plot and script by Chris Claremont, co-plot and pencils by John Byrne, inks by Terry Austin, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

As usual when danger's all about and...evil is in the air, smooth operator Peter Parker ducks his date and slips away to change into his long underwear instead of hanging around with his supermodel girlfriend. Are you beginning to wonder why we idolize Spider-Man? Me too.

Not content to sit on the sidelines while Peter Parker takes photographs of Godzilla versus Iron Man or whatever happens to be going on, vivacious redhead Mary Jane takes the law into her own hands and enters the mysterious haunted museum by herself. I bet the villain is going to be some caretaker wearing a rubber mask, which means that M.J. can be one of those meddling kids. Serves her right for wearing Gwen Stacy's blouse and jacket.

I bet around about now you're wondering where the all-redheads-look-alike bit comes in. Right about now, True bullievers! Hyp-mo-tized Mary Jane grabs a convenient sword from a museum case, setting off the alarms and instigating an INTERPOL worldwide search for the debonair thief of the Pink Panther Diamond. Oh, also, she changes to somebody else. Who could it be? Gold Girl? Loincloth Lass? Yellow Young Woman?

Nope! Curvaceous redhead Mary Jane Watson transforms into curvaceous redhead Red Sonja, complete with explanatory asterisk and buy-it-now box in completely different lettering! What she really needs is a caption explaining how the heck she can wear a bikini made of silver dollars, and why it doesn't jingle when she walks, and what the heck the purpose of those thigh bands are. Red Sonja: the original Rob Liefeld character.

And then Spider-Man...and this is the important part...thinks she looks like Mary Jane. Because Mary Jane often runs around in a metal bikini waving a broadsword and attacking demons. Oh wait, that's just in Peter Parker's fan fiction.

So, there you go. Mary Jane Watson = Red Sonja. It's easy enough to see how they would be confused for each other. One of them causes tigers to hit the jackpot, and the other one cuts the heads of tigers and puts them in a stewpot. Pretty darn close. Which not only means that Sonja looks like Mary Jane, but that she also looks like every other redhead in the Marvel Universe. At least to Wolverine:

Panels from What If? v.2 #16 (August 1990), script by Glenn Herdling, pencils by Gary Kwapisz, inks by Ian Akin and Brian Garvey, colors by Daniel Vozzo, letters by Janice Chiang

Wha...huh?!? What the Sam Scratch is Wolverine doing in the era of Red Sonja? Well, there's a very simple explanation. Here's the backstory:
The year is 1990, and Department H launches the last of Canada's deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Wolverine 3 and its pilot, Captain James "Logan" Howlett, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Wolverine to Earth, 500 years previous.
Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Eh, let's just say that The Watcher did it. Anyway, Wolverine's first thought upon seeing Red Sonja is that she's popular American humorist Jean Shepherd, but then he believes her to be Jean Grey, the Girl Who Wouldn't Stay Dead™. Well that makes sen...huh??? The only way you can explain this is that all redheads look alike! Also, for some reason, Sonja thinks Wolverine hosts a late night talk show. (That last sentence satisfies the National Comic Bloggers Association's minimum mandatory requirements for a reference of Conan O'Brien when discussing Conan the Barbarian.)

Completely by coincidence in the same story, Conan the B. is transported to Wolverine's time and place, where he immediately mistakes Jean Grey for Red Sonja! Hah! It's because all redheads look alike! His misapprehension has some slightly unfortunate consequences.

So! End of the universe, everybody! End of the universe.

Before it ends, let's take another look at some Earth-616 proof that all redheads look alike. Jean Grey, completely coincidentally and for no apparent reason at all, happens to look exactly like her own evil clone, Madelyne Pryor! What are the chances of that? Especially since Maddie Pryor is related to revolutionary comedian Richard Pryor.

Cover of Mutant X #20 (June 2000), cover art by Adam Pollina

It's a good thing that when she was first introduced, Chris Claremont Scott Summers remembered to tell us that Madelyne Pryor looked exactly like Jean Grey, since we'd never seen Paul Smith draw Jean Grey yet, and for all we knew it could be a completely different redhead. If it weren't for the fact that (sing it along with me) all redheads look alike!

Panels from Uncanny X=Men #168 (April 1983), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Paul Smith, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

I always thought that Claremont and Company oughta have capitalized on the resemblance of Maddie to Jean up as the best practical joke Scott Summers would ever play. "Hey, everybody, look who's back!" "AIEEEEEEEEEEEE!" "Naw, jus' funnin' ya! Sucker!"

Panels from Uncanny X=Men #173 (September 1983), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Paul Smith, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Of course, it was only a matter of time until Jean Grey popped back up from her grave like some redheaded toaster pastry to confront her coincidentally identical genetic clone:

Cover of X-Factor #38 (March 1989), cover art by Walt Simonson

Wow! They sneer alike, they walk alike, and in these two panels they even talk alike!

Panels from X-Factor #38 (February 1989), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Walt Simonson, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Petra Scotese, letters by Joe Rosen

I've deleted the next ten panels which consist of Jean and Maddie repeating "a distorted mirror" again and again until Wolverine stabs them both through the throat. (Oh, how the X-Men and X-Factor all laughed and laughed!) Instead, here's a completely literal and not at all symbolic page in which the Giant Floating Heads of Jean Grey and Maddie Pryor face off in a battle of wits including two senior citizens, their tiny selves, and a naked girl. (Wow, I am loving these special pieces in X-Men Monopoly!)

Of course, in her first appearance, we the readers were thrown off by the miscoloring of Maddie's hair. As she was not a redhead in this cameo, we of course didn't confuse her with anyone else in the Marvel Universe at all.

Panel segment from Avengers Annual #10 (1981), script by Chris Claremont, pencils and colors by Michael Golden, inks by Armando Gil, letters by Joe Rosen

Then she got better and became a redhead, and it was like looking in Jean Grey's mirror! Well, over her shoulder so you could see Jean while you were doing so. Um, if you were angled just right so that you couldn't see yourself in the mirror but you could see Jean just fine. Or maybe even better, it was like looking in Jean Grey's mirror if you were standing next to her while she was looking in at and you are a vampire! So, to sum up, Jubilee agrees with my undeniable proof that all redheads look alike.

Panels from Uncanny X-Men #238 (Late November 1988), script by I think you can guess who by this point, pencils by Marc Silvestri, inks by Dan Green, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski

All of which leads us full circle. If Mary Jane Watson = Red Sonja = Jean Grey, then we can wrap it up like this:

Panels from Marvel Knights Spider-Man #13 (late November 1988), script by Reginald Hudlin, pencils by Billy Tan, inks by Jonathan Sibal, colors by Ian Hannin, letters by Cory Petit

Wolverine luvvvvvvvvs Mary Jane Watson.

But not to worry! I mean, it's not like Logan has ever, ever made a move on somebody else's girl, right?

In Wolverine's favor, really, he probably just thought he was making out with Mystique or Siryn or Juggernaut. Because all redheads look alike. Isn't that right, Rachel Summers?

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 172

Panels from "Welcome Back Thor" in Thor #600 (April 2009), script, pencils, inks, colors, and letters by Chris Giarrusso

Ads That Are Comics, Day 2: This Does Not Refer to Mister Spock

Ad in Mystery in Space #113 (November 1980) for Steve Jackson Games's The Awful Green Things From Outer Space

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oddly Off-Model Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

Oddly Off-Model Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

Oddly Off-Model Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

Oddly Off-Model Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

Oddly Off-Model Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

Special bonus: Archie in a peanut helmet!

Panels from Archie's TV Laugh-Out #6 (February 1971),
which possibly means it's Early Installment Weirdness Sabrina the Teenage Witch rather than off-model S.T.T.W.

Hey, this is my 3,500th post on this blog!