Saturday, May 04, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday, Week #14: You got a plastic name and a plastic heart

Due to our X-Tra Large Jimmy Olsen, Secret Agent installment earlier, I'll do a quick Psylocke overview, one that's skimpy (hah!) and follow up next time with the survey of X-Men Annual #10: The One with the X-Babies, Oh No. Instead, here's a brief (hee hee!) peek at the Marvel Universe edition of the Psylocke Action Pfigure!

Please do not let her play with your Cyclops action figure.

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 55 124: You Olsen Live Twice

Yesterday I suggested you come back today for the only super-spy who's more dashing, more debonair, and more DC than James Bond! Here he is, and the "O" in "Double-O" stands for Olsen!

House ad for Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #89 (December 1965); printed in Batman #177 (December 1965)
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

You know Jimmy Olsen's theme song by Shirley Bassey, right?:

Jim Olsen!
He's the man
The man with the bright green suit
Where'd you buy a green suuu-it?

Cover of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #89 (December 1965), pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Ira Schnapp

Geez, Jimmy? Why you go an' attack Superman with lasers and fire and laser fire, huh? I guess we'll find out later, because Silver Age comic book covers never lie to us, right?

Man, Jack Kirby could not get over to DC fast enough, could he?

In any case, this story starts the way a Jimmy Olsen story always starts: with Jimmy Olsen biting off more than he can chew. In this case it's seeing the exciting adventures on film of one of the many 007 imitators of the mid-1960s.

Panels from "Olsen's Super-Survival Kit!" in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #89 (December 1965), script by Otto Binder, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Milton Snapinn

Maybe Jimmy and Lucy were even watching Neil Connery, Sean's kid brother, in Operation Double 007!:

But probably not.

And then, just like every adventure of James Betty Olsen, he ruins it by taking it just a bit too far by wanting to imitate the main character in the movie. I guess we're lucky Jimmy has never seen the movie version of The Omen, huh?

Then, Jimmy decides to cosplay as the Eleventh Doctor. Jimmy, bow-ties are definitely not cool, okay? Also: that Silver Age comic book cover totally lied to us!

Also of this is just playacting and all in a usual day in the life of J.O. All fine until a nameless character who will never get his entry in Who's Who in the DC Universe passes away in Jimmy's arms, giving him a cryptic dying clue. Of course, RATHER THAN ALERTING THE POLICE, Jimmy decides to solve the case himself. No wonder Inspector Henderson shot him in every issue of the DC limited series Jimmy Olsen Takes the Law Into His Own Hands #1-12.

Jimmy instantly changes his appearance from a red-haired man in a red and black polka-dotted bow tie and a green suit to a black-haired man with a fake mustache in a red and black polka-dotted bow tie and a green suit. He has such range. Also: he steals from a Mexican man. Jimmy Olsen: fightin' mad at illegal immigration.

Of course, Jimmy is instantly captured by Evil Doctor Luchadore and tossed into an maximum security cell at the MacGyver State Prison. There he meets a beautiful señorita, and instantly escapes via Kool-Aid. Sometimes I doubt Jimmy's "he-man" personality.

Hugo Drax has his Moonraker rocket, Ernst Stavro Blofeld has his deadly dozen of beautiful international maidens, and Emile Largo has his...thunderballs...but Doctor Luchadore has his gigantic working model of the human heart. In such a way he hopes to strike at the heart of world commerce. But thanks to Olsen, Jimmy Olsen...all his efforts will be in vein. You aorta know that.

Suddenly...HI-KEEBA! There alway has to be at least one hi-keeba in a secret agent film, and even Jimmy gets one in. It's kind of cruel when they were bringing in a nice ice cold bowl of water soup and half a SPAM. Then we discover that the missing Professor truly resides in his heart. i don't understand why the Professor didn't smuggle his beautiful daughter in there, really. It's a pretty big heart. In fact, it's a ventricle built for two. (Hey-yo!)

In the adventure's heart-racing action sequence, Jimmy goes heart-racing. He's got his heart rate climbing! Wait, let me reverse that. He's got his heart climbing rate!


Of course, this adventure ends exactly the same way as every other Jimmy Olsen story: with his on-schedule emasculation by Lucy Lane. Oh, that James!

Play us off, Carly Simon!


Kick in the Crotch Month, Day 4: Zatanna's greatest sleight-of-hand

Panel from Justice League Dark #0 (November 2012); script by Jeff Lemire; pencils by Lee Garbett; inks by Cam Smith, Jack Purcell, Scott Hanna, and Walden Wong; colors by Pete Pantazis; letters by Rob Leigh

Today in Comics History, May 4, 1953: Light-Bulb Tree returns crying to his therapist

from the Roy Raymond, TV Detective story "The Most Amazing Club in the World!" in Detective Comics #219 (DC, May 1955), pencils and inks by Ruben Moreira

Friday, May 03, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 007 123

House ad for Showcase #43 [Doctor No] (April-May 1963); printed in Challengers of the Unknown #31 (April-May 1963)
Comic cover art: pencils and inks by Bob Brown
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

This adaptation of the first James Bond movie was not created in-house at DC, but purchased from British publisher Thorpe & Porter, who originally published it as an issue of Classics Illustrated:

Cover of Classics Illustrated #158A* (December 1962), painted cover by Norman J. Nodel

I wish I'd had two shillings to buy this.

The artwork on Bob Brown's Showcase cover doesn't look at all like Sean Connery, but Norman J. Nodel's interior art is such a great likeness of that famous Scot that he oughta been the artist on that big giant treasury adaptation of Zardoz we all wish was published in '74.

Panels from Classics Illustrated #158A; script by Alfred Sundel (?), pencils, inks, and colors by Norman J. Nodel

However, it errs in portraying Bond's Jamaican comrade-in-arms Quarrel as white.

...when as we all know he's black, which gives me a chance to yet again link to my infamous post You Only Quarrel Twice:

Also, I don't think the comic book truly captures the awe-inspiring vision that is Ursula Andress as Honey C. Ryder...

Well, see, make that decision for yourself!


And the ending sort of whitewashes the spirit of the usual 007 fade-out. From reading this, I think they're gonna play Travel Scrabble™ until the Royal Navy picks them up.

Come back tomorrow for the only super-spy who's more dashing, more debonair, and more DC than James Bond!

*See? Marvel isn't the first publisher to come up with adding letters after its comic book issue numbers.

Kick in the Crotch Month, Day 3: Deadly little Miho will kick the color right out of your comics

Page from Sin City: Family Values graphic novel (October 1997); script, pencils, inks and letters by Frank Miller

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious, thrifty lot

Seems like an awful lot of effort to save a dime, but hey, you don't make millions by spending money!:

Panel from "The Human Puppets" in Detective Comics #182 (April 1952), script by Bill Finger (?), Batman and Robin figure pencils by Bob Kane, other pencils by Lew Sayre Schwartz, inks by Charles Paris

Hey, wait, they're going through the toll booth in the wrong direction too!

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 122

House ad for Aquaman #34 (July-August 1967); printed in Detective Comics #364 (June 1967)
Comic cover art: pencils and inks by Nick Cardy, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Kick in the Crotch Month, Day 2: Did you have to color that red, Tatjana?

Panels from Animal Man #50 (August 1992), script by Tom Veitch, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Costanza

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Today in Comics History, May 1: John Flass celebrates his birthday with a ketchup party

from Batman: Dark Victory #3 (DC, April 2000), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings

Dumbass Things You Shouldn't Do: My intention here is serious, even tho' I have Tigra in this post

So, this psast Psaturday, in the midpst of a dipscupspsion about Psylocke, I brought you this panel showing Captain America (in his civilian identity as District Attorney Grant Gardner illustrator Steve Rogers), getting so many obsessive love vibes from a fictional version of Marvel writer Ann Nocenti during a job interview that he jumps out of the window. Creeeeeepy, FictionAnn! Stop staring at Steve's butt!

Panels from Avengers v.1 #215 (January 1982), script by Jim Shooter, pencils by Alan Weiss, inks by Dan Green, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen

As I commented at the time: And that's why Ann Nocenti punched Jim Shooter in the face. I'd now like to make it clear that was a joke. (That's a joke, I say, that's a joke, son!) Ann Nocenti would never punch Jim Shooter in the face. (For one thing, she couldn't reach.)

But is this the worst time that Captain America has ever gotten these sort of vibes from someone during an interview? Heck no. (Or else I wouldn't have much of a post tonight.) There's this "classic" moment where Steve, man-hunk that he is, loses out on a job after refusing to date Ms. Irene Clancy.

Page from Captain America Annual #5 (1981), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Dave Simons, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Joe Rosen

Immediately following this scene, Steve Rogers hired his good friends Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, who filed a five million dollar suit against Irene Clancy and Concept Inc. for sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. The company later agreed on an out-of-court 1.5 million dollar settlement, which Steve immediately spent on shield wax. Ms. Irene Clancy was immediately terminated from her position. She now manages a Hardee's in Buffalo, NY.

My point, and I do have one...don't do that.

Don't do this, either:

Panels from Avengers v.1 #215

That guy's perfectly-rectangular briefcase will never be the same again! This falls not only under this blog's usual criteria of Dumbass Things You Shouldn't Do but is also sexual harassment. Even though this is the most crowded bank in Manhattan since October 29, 1929, there simply ain't no excuse for pawing (please excuse the pun) Tigra. Not how she's dressed, not how furry she is. As one, and on behalf of all furry creatures I say "Hands off, buddy!"

It's an inappropriate, illegal, and dumbass thing to do, and not only should it get you arrested, it may just get you railed.

So let's remember this as we move into comic book convention season, and I shouldn't have to tell you this: don't be a dumbass around other people, no matter how they're dressed. Treat them with respect and hands off. Let's have comic book conventions without anyone getting manhandled, catcalled, insulted, badgered, groped, molested, or treated as an object. Okay? Okay.

Panel from Avengers v.1 #214 (December 1981), script by Jim Shooter, pencils by Bob Hall, inks by Dan Green, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Janice Chiang


Today in Comics History, May 1, 1945: Everybody is amused when Sgt. Rock is infuriated with Private Alec Holland and Rock yells "Hol-LAND!" and Alec says "Sha-ZAM!"

from Swamp Thing (1985 series) #51 (DC, January 1989), script and pencils by Rick Veitch, inks by Alfredo Alcala, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, May 1, 1958: Reed Richards sleeps through the most important physics lecture of all

from the Super 8 story insert in DC Comics cover-dated August 2011; story by J.J. Abrams and David Baronoff, script by Peter Tomaso, pencils, inks and colors by Tommy Lee Edwards; letters by John Workman

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 121

April showers bring May flowers Supergirl!

House ad for Action Comics #252 (May 1959), the first appearance of Kara Zor-El, Supergirl; printed in Adventure Comics #259 (April 1959)

Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

You may think you know that the artwork in this ad came direct from the cover of Action #252...but, as the Firesign Theater says, everything you know is wrong!

Cover of Action Comics #252 (May 1959), pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Al Plastino, letters by Ira Schnapp

The ad art is actually taken from the splash panel of the Supergirl story in Action:

Splash panel of "The Supergirl from Krypton!" in Action Comics #252 (May 1959), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Al Plastino

A story which brings us this heartwarming moment of Superman empathy and familial bonds!

Also premiering in the DC Universe in this very issue: Richard Corben, Metallo!

Panel from "The Menace of Metallo!" in Action Comics #252 (May 1959), script by Robert Bernstein, pencils and inks by Al Plastino

Yes, Metallo! The only supervillain whose superpower is to die of a massive cardiac arrest.

Geez, Superman, I know he was a villain, but that's a pretty tasteless tagline:

BWAH-HA-HA-HA Silver Age Superman is a jerk!

Kick in the Crotch Month, Day 1: Attack of the world's tiniest foot

As Dean Martin (sorta) sang:
How lucky can one guy be
I kissed her and she kissed me
Like the fella once said
Ain't that a kick in the crotch?
Yes, it's Kick in the Crotch Month! Join us every day all through May when we celebrate yet another one of comics' lowest blows! (Readers of a nervous disposition may wish to wear an athletic protector.)

Page from Black Widow (2010 series) #1 (June 2010); script by Marjorie Liu; pencils, inks, and colors by Daniel Acuña letters by Nate Piekos

No, Bandette, no!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 120

House ad for Starman (c. 1996); printed in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #82 (May 1996)
Ad art: pencils by Tony Harris, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger

Monday, April 29, 2013

Comics News for April 29, 2013

Credits: Top: from the Superman story "The Rubber Band" in World's Finest Comics #15 (Autumn 1944), script by Jerry Siegel (?), pencils by Jon Small (?), inks by George Roussos (?), touch-ups by Joe Shuster. Middle: from the Green Arrow story "Secret of the Vulnerable Vault" in World's Finest Comics #313 (Winter 1945), pencils and inks by Maurice del Burgo. Bottom: Avengers v.1 #216 (February 1982), script by Jim Shooter, pencils by Alan Weiss, inks by Dan Green, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen.
Superman is Tired; Criminal Accurately Assesses Oliver Queen; Captain America Inspiring and Creepy at Same Time

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 119

House ad for the Superman line of comics (1958); printed in Strange Adventures #97 (October 1958)
Comic cover art (Superboy #68): pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Stan Kaye, letters by Ira Schnapp
Ad designed and lettered by Ira Schnapp

Sunday, April 28, 2013