Saturday, November 19, 2011

Same Story, Different Cover: Worst Family Thanksgiving Get-Together, Ever

L: cover of Rawhide Kid #52 (Marvel, June 1966), pencils by Larry Lieber, inks by Sol Brodsky, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen
R: cover of The Mighty Marvel Western #8 (Marvel, May 1970), pencils and inks by Herb Trimpe, letters by Morrie Kuramoto

(Click picture to big-brawl-size)

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 323

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

Stan Lee Saturdays #18: The Day Stan Took Full Credit for a Story Written by an Alien

Page from "The Giant Monster of Midnight Valley!" in Kid Colt Outlaw #107 (November 1962),
script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Jack Keller

Friday, November 18, 2011

Because Sometimes You Just Have to Post the Story Where Batman Worked at Walmart for the Holiday Season

With Black Friday, the biggest and most frantic shopping day of the year coming up in less than a week, here's a warning to shop carefully and civilly. Stores have hired all-new clerks who won't put up with the usual nonsense of stampeding customers and grabbing the sale merchandise. You have been warned:

Panels from "Alfred's Mystery Menu!" in Batman #191 (November-December 1975), script by Gardner Fox, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff (credited as "Bob Kane"), inks by Joe Giella, letters by Gaspar Saladino

So remember: he may be wearing the traditional Walmart blue vest cape, but he will not put up with your disruptive funny business in his store! Shop nicely or don't shop at all!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 322

Splash page from "Tales of Asgard" in Thor #131, script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends, Day 5: Always the Floral Arrangement, Never the Bride

Panels from Batman Adventures v.2 #16 (September 2004), script by Ty Templeton, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Terry Beatty, colors by Heroic Age, letters by Nick J. Napolitano

Thursday, November 17, 2011

With Great Power Comes Blazing-Fast Sixgun Action!

Say, can you name this Marvel Comics hero from just a simple sentence? (Betcha can!) This orphan's life dramatically changed in a single day when his Uncle Ben was shot to death, spurring him to a life of heroism protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. Yeah, you know who that is...

And you'd be wrong.

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 321

Panel from Thor #479 (October 1994), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by M.C. Wyman, inks by Mike DeCarlo, colors by Ovi Hondru, letters by Phil Felix

Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends, Day 4:

Page from The Batman Strikes! #41 (March 2008), script by Russell Lissau, pencils by Christopher Jones, inks by Terry Beatty, colors by Heroic Age, letters by Randy Gentile

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Probably too obscure, right?

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 320

Panels from Thor #354 (April 1985), script, pencils, and inks by Walt Simonson; colors by Christie Scheele; letters by John Workman, Jr.

Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends, Day 3: It's Time for a Christmas Montage

Page from "The Harley and the Ivy" in The Batman Adventures Holiday Special one-shot (January 1995), co-plot by Paul Dini; co-plot, script, pencils, inks, and colors by Ronnie Del Carmen, letters by Richard Starkings

The single greatest panel in the history of comic books:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk Big and Punch an Animal!

Back in the Golden Age we didn't have computer-lettered comic books, no sir! (At least that's what Grampa Bull told me during his story about the time he refereed a bare-knuckle fistfight between Woodrow Wilson and The Kaiser.) No, it was an age of big talk and for that big talk we demanded big lettering! And nobody was a master of BIG TALK like the Golden Age Crimson Avenger! (It's actually listed as one of his metahuman powers in Who's Who Who Doesn't Exist in the New DC Universe Anymore.) With his ginchy yellow shorts, his kicky finned helmet and his unerring hat-tossing skills, the C.A. was fond of announcing what he was about to do, even if he was only talking in a normal first!

from Detective Comics #44 (DC, October 1940), script, pencils and inks by Jack Lehti

But as soon as criminals strike, the Crimson Avenger snaps into detective action! And when he does, he TALKS BIG!

Meanwhile, at the lair of an evil scientist attempting to create the world's mightiest soft-serve cone, BIG TALK commences and the Crimson Avenger is there to talk big right back at him! If this was a movie serial, the kids would be covering their ears right around now. And who's paying for that window? There was a perfectly good open door right there, Crimson Avenger. Sheesh.

Pretty soon everybody in the story is SHOUTING THEIR HEADS OFF! Is it any surprise that with this popular comic book came free a packet of Stuff-'Em™ brand Cotton Balls? "When you need to put cotton balls in your ears...Stuff-'Em!"

Around about now you're probably wondering where the animal-punching I promised you in this story is going to show up. Are you in's coming RIGHT ABOUT NOW!

Yes, this comic book had more ape-tossing action than any other book on the spinner rack that month! Curiously enough, even more than Fawcett's Ape-Tossing Adventure Comics #4.

It's gone strangely silent after all that shouting. Well, you wouldn't be likely to be shouting when you fall down into a lion pit, would you? It's kind of like a library. Shhhhhhhh.

And now...SHOUTING and animal abuse in the same sequence! For all of you wondering about the physics of the feat in panel two, it's established canon that Crimson Avenger's specially developed "center of gravity shoes" allow him to lift as it says on Wikipedia, "up to and including the weight of a fully-grown lion without bracing himself." Wow! Also, he can apparently toss a lion so hard that all its stuffing flies out.

Now's the point in every mystery man story where the hero puts the criminal in cuffs and frog-marches him to the baffled but grateful police commissioner, leaving enough time in the final few panels to sum up the baddie's arrest, incarceration, weeks-long trial, conviction, last meal and execution in the big chair, thus showing America's youth that it may be complicated and lengthy, but by gum, the American justice system works.

Or, he could do, y'know, that. Care to sum this entire shouty and animal-abusey case up with a clever debonair quip, Crimson Avenger?

Or, y'know, not.

Later in this series examining BIG TALK comics of the Golden Age, we'll examine Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator, with the superhuman ability to mix BIG TALK and normal speech within the boundaries of a single word balloon. Gasp!

from the "Speed Saunders" story in Detective Comics #44 (DC, October 1940), pencils and inks by Ed Winiarski (aka Fran Miller)

Special Bonus: your collectible Ironic Deaths of the Golden Age Collectible Trading Card! Clip it out and shove it in a shoebox under your bed!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 319

Panel from Thor #131 (August 1966), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends, Day 2: Bunk Beds Are Cool

Panels from Batman Adventures v.2 #3 (August 2003), script by Dan Slott, pencils by Ty Templeton, inks by Terry Beatty, colors by Zylonol, letters by Phil Felix

Monday, November 14, 2011

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

What's the toughest part of reading Batman comic book? Why, waiting for Maxie Zeus to show up again! (Seriously, Jim Lee? 12-ish maxie-series. Call me!) The second toughest thing is waiting for the next issue! These days it's not so hard 'coz we get two Batman Family titles a week, but back in the prehistoric age of Bat-Flintstone when it was all just starting, we had to wait until each ish of Detective Comics came out to get just one short tale of "The Bat-Man" at the front of 'Tec. Luckily the good folk at National kept us alert and aware, not only for enemy bombers, but for the next exciting issue that would include a Batman escapade! Let's look at the final panel of several different Batman stories over the first few years of his feature in Detective! (Mouse over the images to see not only the ish number but some "hilarious" alt-text!)

So: grab your dime and start haunting your local Rexall now!

365 Days with the Warriors Three, Day 318: Veterans Day

Scheduled for Veteran's Day last Friday, but postponed until today because of "Tales from Volstagg" Week:

from Journey into Mystery (1952 series) #630 (Marvel, December 2011), script by Kieron Gillen, pencils and inks by Richard Elson, colors by Jessica Kholinne, letters by Clayton Cowles

Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends, Day 1: Just as we hit the green, I've never been so happy to be alive

The Mid-Day Matinee this week, all week: Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends! Take one plant-based eco-terrorist, mix well with a love-smitten screwball prankster, and you don't just have trouble for've got BFFs! Yes, there's something special about the friendship of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy...they're there for each other through thick or thin, through Arkham or freedom, through murderous clowns or avenging Dark Knights. James Taylor once sang "you've got a friend"...until those two wacky gals blew him up! That's because Harley and Ivy Are Best Friends!

Panels from Batman: Harley and Ivy (June 2004), script by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, pencils by Bruce Timm, inks by Shane Glines, colors by Lee Loughridge, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Sunday, November 13, 2011