Saturday, June 22, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 173: DC Radio/TV/Movie Comics House Ads Week, Day 7: Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about

House ad for the DC TV Comics: Shazam!; Isis; Welcome Back, Kotter; and Super Friends, printed in Secret Society of Super-Villains #3 (September-October 1976)

Bear Attack! Month, Day 22: One of the first things Dick Grayson warned Jason Todd about was bear attacks

Panels from "The Mystery of the 49th Star" in Batman #126 (September 1959), pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Stan Starkman

Friday, June 21, 2013

Superman battles Mr. Exposition

Panel from "Muscles For Sale" in Superman #17 (July-August 1942), script by Jerry Siegel, pencils and inks by John Sikela

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 172: DC Radio/TV/Movie Comics House Ads Week, Day 6: He didn't mention that it stood for "hope"

Ad for Sesame Street (premiered on November 10, 1969); printed in House of Mystery* #183 (November-December 1969)

*I know! Ironic, isn't it?

Bear Attack! Month, Day 21: Green Arrow is about as effective as usual

Panels from "The Man-Bear Stalks at Midnight" in World's Finest Comics #245 (June-July 1977), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Michael Netzer, inks by Terry Austin

Today in Comics History, June 21: Robin Hood stabs Sheriff of Nottingham; writes about it in his diary

from "The Diary of a Desperado" in Adventure Comics #145 (DC, October 1949), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by George Papp

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You said it's a surprise! What's the surprise...ending?

By now this doesn't need a spoiler warning so [SPOILER WARNING] the much-heralded appearance of Todd McFarlane's Neil Gaiman's Image Comics's scantily-clad and oh-so-biblical metallic angel Angela in Age of Ultron #10 amounted to nothing more than a pop-in appearance as an epilogue, with no interaction with the Marvel characters and no connection to the plot of unplugging a killer robot. In short, it looked kinda like this:

Click bottom image to double-D-metal-bikini-top-size

Well! That was worth waiting for and collecting and putting away to make a large return on your investment for your college career, isn't it? Now is the point where you tell me Thank you, Bully, because I've saved you from opening up that polybag wrapped around Age of Ultron #10. It will be worth, oh, roughly the same amount as Adventures of Superman #500 in a few years. Smart investor you!

But before you complain (if you haven't already), I just want to remind you that this startlingly anti-climatic cameo at the end of a big-event comic book isn't the first time this has happened. No, no, no...there's a well-established and long history of unexpected, mind-shattering appearances at the very end of major comic book events. Let's look at a few of the most famous, shall we? Okay? Shall we? Oh, c'mon, go along with it for the joke, willya? Surprise appearances at the end of comic book sagas!

The Kree-Skrull War in Avengers!

The Galactus Trilogy in Fantastic Four!

Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Neil Gaiman's Sandman!

House of M!

and, The Death of Superman!

So, I think we've all learned a little bit about comic books here. Namely that what they warn us will be surprising...will literally break the internet.

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 171: DC Radio/TV/Movie Comics House Ads Week, Day 5: Well, that didn't happen

House ad for DC television and stage productions, printed in Swing with Scooter #1 (June-July 1966)

Sadly Batman did not fight Blockbuster on his 1966-1968 TV series, but can you spot another thing that didn't happen in this ad? Well, take a look at the bottom bar in that ad, promising animated Saturday morning cartoon versions of Wonder Woman, the Flash, Plastic Man and Metamorpho. While Aquaman did go on the air, the others never made it past the pitch stage. Here, along with some dandy Aquaman and Atom model art, is Filmation producer Lou Scheimer talking about it in his book Creating the Filmation Generation:

But if we don't have mid-1960s animated versions of Plastic Man, Wonder Woman and Metamorpho, we at least have all the other great, crazy, retro stuff. Here's a sample of each!:

Batman episode "Surf's Up, Joker's Under" (November 16/, 1967), starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton, Stafford Repp, Yvonne Craig and Cesar Romero

Opening titles to The Adventures of Superman (1952-1958), starring George Reeves, Noel Neill, and Jack Larson

The New Adventures of Superman episode "The Malevolent Mummy" (1967), starring the voices of Bud Collyer, Joan Alexander, Jackson Beck, and Jack Grimes

The Adventures of Superboy episode "Forget Me Not, Superdog" (1968), starring the voices of Bob Hastings, Janet Waldo, and Ted Knight

from It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman (1975 television production of the 1966 musical), starring David Wilson and Lesley Ann Warren

Aquaman episode "The Rampaging Reptile-Men" from The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1967), starring the voices of Marvin Miller, Jerry Dexter, and Ted Knight

And even tho' Metamorpho, one of my fave DC characters, never made it to TV animation in the 1960s (but he appeared in Justice League and Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the 2000s), here's the song (from a Power Records story album), that shoulda been the theme song for his cartoon:

Today in Comics History, June 19, 1933: A floaty pool toy arrives for the Loch Ness Monster

from Doc Savage (1975 magazine series) #5 (Marvel, July 1976), script by Doug Moench, pencils and inks by Tony DeZuniga, letters by Irving Watanabe

Bear Attack! Month, Day 20: BEAR...BAD.

Page from The Superman Monster one-shot (October 1999), script by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, pencils by Anthony Williams, inks by Tom Palmer, colors by Lee Loughridge, letters by Willie Schubert

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 170: DC Radio/TV/Movie Comics House Ads Week, Day 4: Some days you just can't get rid of a meme

House ad for the Batman comic strip and Batman movie (August 1967), printed in Detective Comics #356 (October 1966)

[British or Canadian?] ad for the Batman movie (1966)

Bear Attack! Month, Day 19: The bear pulled a knife on Hulk, so Hulk had to shoot him

Panels from "A Day In the Life..." in Marvel Fanfare #17 (November 1984), script by David Anthony Kraft, pencils and inks by Tony Salmons, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Rick Parker

Today in Comics History, June 19: Wonder Woman loses her powers for a day and is captured by an alien giant and placed on a human charm bracelet with Steve Trevor and I'm honestly not making any of this up, I swear

So yesterday, June 18, we discovered that due to using a really powerful shampoo...

from Wonder Woman #176 (DC, May 1968), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Ric Estrada, inks by Mike Esposito

...Wonder Woman loses all her powers every year on June 18th.

Ouch! That's some powerful shampoo. On the other hand, it did rid the Amazing Amazon of her Demonic Dandruff, so that's not all bad. But it appears it's also given her some Amazonian Amnesia, because the last time this happened, was it on June 18? No. No, it was not. It was June 19. (picks up echoing megaphone and announces through it:) Continuity!

from Wonder Woman #106 (DC, May 1959), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito

The title of this story is "The Human Charm Bracelet," and that ain't allegorical, brother sister.

On the other hand, while Ozma Queen Hippolyta watches on the Magic Picture Omni-Screen, it's clear that our Miss of Might (or is that Supergirl?) is in definite need of some ginkgo biloba. Geez, would it kill ya to give her a phone call and remind her, Hippie?

Well, long story short, yada yada yada, next thing you know it's 10:00 AM on June 19 (arbitrary, ain't it?) and Diana has lost her Amazon powers for 24 hours. And we're not given an explanation of why or how. Presumably it's in a previous issue of Wonder Woman, but there's like, a hundred of those and so many of them involve Diana getting tied up for silly reasons, so I'm not looking through those now.

No time is a good time to lose your superpowers, but this is especially a difficult moment because Wondy and Steve "The Male Lois Lane" Trevor have been a giant who clearly doesn't understand the Square-Cube Law. (And yes, I'll wait here patiently while you follow that link to and then spend the next three hours opening multiple browser tabs.)

Also ignoring any known laws of perspective, proportion, and storytelling, the giant attaches Diana, Steve, and Wonder Woman's various accoutrements (bullet-deflecting bracelets, tiara, lasso, GIANT INVISIBLE PLANE) to a charm bracelet. Hence, the title. What? The story if called "The Human Charm Bracelet" and I warned you it wasn't allegorical. And please ignore the fact that her bracelets are the diameter of the I-Jet's engines. Look, it's a human charm bracelet.

Oh! Also he's a space giant, and he has a cute girlfriend. All together now...awwwwwwwwww.

Then there's a lot of stuff about Wonder Woman competing against Mr. Space Giant Alien Guy in Love™ in a Giant Space Olympics competition in order to win her (and, as an afterthought, Steve's) freedom. In an arrow fetching contest, she hops aboard...hee hee hee...a giant arrow...hee hee!...that travels one thousand miles...BWAH-HA-HA-HA! No, seriously, folks. Wonder Woman in the late sixties, everyone: Wonder Woman.

Also, this issue features Donna Troy*: Vampire**.

Which is surprising, because, y'know, Amazon camera technology...light-years beyond ours***.

*Not actually Donna Troy.
**Not actually a vampire.
***This might be true.