Saturday, July 20, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday #17: Who She Is (in the X-Men) and How She Got That Way (in the X-Men)

When we last left our lavender-locked lass she hadn't quite made up her mind whether to join the X-Men or not, and then at the end of that issue Longshot joined the team. So obviously, this issue we're lookin' at tonight (Uncanny X-Men #213), in which she does decide to join the X-Men, must occur after UXM Annual #10. Except Longshot's not in it. Which means it happens before UXM Annual #10. Except #213 has to happen after A#10, because Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Colossus are out of action due to the Mutant Massacre in #213, but they were active in A#10. Except...augh! Claremont, why the Sam Scratch don't you date these things?

Error in continuity or not (for the No-Prize, I say Longshot was stuck at the airport picking up his luggage), this is the issue in which Betsy becomes an X-Man. She's not on the cover (Wolverine is, surprise surprise), but she does get to be in the corner box of the cover, marking her X-costumed debut...

...and she does have the honor of not only having her big Cerebro™-helmeted-face plastered all over the splash page but of having the story named after her. That's something Marvel Girl never even got!

Splash page from Uncanny X-Men #213 (January 1987), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Alan Davis, inks by Paul Neary, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Huh, now her eyes are purple too. But does anybody in comics draw a woman biting their pouty lower lip better than Alan Davis? No. No, they do not. (Get outta here, Greg Land, I said artists.)

E-Betsy-eth is eager to aid the X-Men in investigating attacks , but new X-Men headmaster Magneto and new X-Men team leader Storm think she'll be better off on the sidelines. With her "we'll take your proposal under advisement," it's obvious that Storm has been to business school. Also: Mon-El is gonna be pretty ticked when he finds out Magneto has stolen his cape.

Betsy—a former supermodel, remember—is manning Cerebro in a Laura Ashley cast-off. Or maybe it's just her bathrobe. Don't man Cerebro in your bathrobe, kids!

Suddenly, the X-Men's mortal enemy, Air-Rrgh Sabretooth attacks! Hey, why is he called Sabretooth? His teeth are perfect. I just wonder these things sometimes.

First appearance of Psylocke's fondness for sharp bladed weapons! And hey, is Sabretooth a vampire? That would explain a lot, actually. Also, somewhere in that third panel there really needs to be a Kick in the Crotch. See, Betsy, you don't even know the most common trope of comic books...that's why they won't let you in the X-Men!

Tonight, thanks to Storm's escrima stick (I bet she stole that from Tim Drake), no one will have to pay for the privilege of walking with Psylocke. I think that's what she means.

As befits everyone's introduction to a super-hero team, we see 1) Psylocke take on the villain by herself and 2) we hope she survives the experience. Also, another thought: how do Magneto and Quicksilver get their hair to do that? Mousse?

Let's face it, she's becoming an X-Man...and looking great doin' it. Say, how does she get her hair to do that?

You can tell this is a very old comic book, because how often do you see all the X-Men smiling in a single panel? Also, this is before Wolverine gave everyone on the team secondary smoke cancer and Jim Shooter made him give it up.

That Psylocke X-Men costume is actually one of my favorite of hers, although it violates some of my personal dislikes in giving supervillains something to grab onto (e.g. Ms. Marvel's sash) in her puffy sleeves, bare shoulders and dingly-danglers hanging from her wrist. What are those for?

Oh yeah! For her backup career as Olympic ribbon dancer.

Anyway, that's the story, wherever it falls in continuity, of how Psylocke came to be an X-Man. (And the Japanese version hasn't even happened yet!) So let's take a purple-eyed gander at this week's Psylocke Psurveillance Psummary:
  • Hair: Still purple.
  • Eyes: Still bionic, but now purple.
  • Outfit: Pink! Pink pink pink pink pinkety pink. Man, does she wear a lotta pink.
  • Surviving the experience count: One or two, depending on whether this happens before or after Annual #10. I worry way too much about this stuff.

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 201: Come on let's stop our fightin' and come dance with me

House ad for the Pow-Wow Smith feature debuting in Detective Comics #151 (September 1949);
printed in Detective Comics #150 (August 1949)

"Greatly reduced in size" comic art: script by Don Cameron, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by George Klein (?)

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 20: Captain Tootsie battles against the horrible tradition of blackface

"Captain Tootsie and the Return of Dr. Narsty," from World's Finest Comics #2 (May-June 1946), by C. C. Beck and Peter Constanza

Captain Tootsie Saturday Special Bonus: Not only is he an energy-filled, fists-a-pumpin', sugar-high-addled crimefighter, Captain Tootsie is also a crack magician!

Tootsie house ad from All American Western #104 (December 1948)

Friday, July 19, 2013

"I don't remember agreeing to that...oh, hey!"

Panel from "The Tick-Tock Traps of the Time Commander" in The Brave and the Bold #59 (April-May 1965), script by Bob Haney, pencils by Ramona Fradon, inks by Charles Paris

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 200: Superman Fun Bucks: It's like regular money, but fun

House ad for DC Dollar comics including All-Out War #1 (September-October 1979); artwork by ? (Something about some faces in it makes me think of Carmine Infantino?)

(Click picture to buck-a-size)

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 19: Tootsie Rolls give you quick energy to dig an escape tunnel from prison

"Captain Tootsie and the Giant Cannon," from World's Finest Comics #17 (Spring 1945), by Rod Reed and C. C. Beck

The ad promises that a Tootsie Roll will give you enough energy to ride a bicycle THREE MILES downhill, on Jupiter. If that's the case, then how many Tootsie Rolls did Superman, on the cover of that self-same issue of World's Finest, to do this:

Cover of World's Finest Comics #17, pencils by Jack Burnley, inks by Charles Paris

Superman: putting rickshaw drivers out of work since 1945.

And just for fun, here's a shortened version of the same Captain Tootsie adventure (printed one ish earlier, no less!), featuring Cap's crime-fightin' buddy Dick Tracy and Tootsie in a Jar!

Tootsie VM ad from World's Finest Comics #16 (Winter 1945)

You can see a close(r)-up of the items you'd find in a Dick Tracy Detective Kit here, but I can't find any pictures of a jar of Tootsie's answer to Ovaltine, Tootsie VM. Anybody still got some in their cupboard? I'll test it out for ya!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 199: Dear Diary, I think Lana really likes me...

House ad for Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985); printed in World's Finest Comics #312 (February 1985)
Ad art: pencils by Curt Swan (?), inks by Kurt Schaffenberger (?)

It's probably best known for a quartet of very stylized Frank Miller covers that made me think "And yet they redrew Kirby and Toth's Superman faces???".

Covers of Superman: The Secret Years #1-4 (February-June 1985), pencils and inks by Frank Miller

Today in Comics History, July 18, 1744: Burial spot of treasure marked with X proportionately fifty miles long

from "X Marks the Mystery!" in Detective Comics #215 (DC, January 1955), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Joe Certa

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 18: I'm...I'm pretty sure you can't do that to tornados with planes

"Captain Tootsie Tames a Tornado," from World's Finest Comics #34 (May-June 1948), by C. C. Beck

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Deadpool's Funny Joke

I'm been meaning to follow up on my post of Monday in which I promised you the next installment of a series about Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion, but it's just been too darn hot to write a lengthy post. How hot is it? Well, let's check in with our good pal Hawkguy and see where he's pointing on the Marvel Earth-616 Temperature Alert System!

Instead, why not sit back, quaff a fresh chilly drink of your choice, and enjoy Deadpool's Funny Joke:

Panels from Uncanny X-Force (2010 series) #1 (December 2010), script by Rick Remender, pencils and inks by Jerome Opena, colors by Dean White, letters by Cory Petit

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Today in Comics History, July 17, 2001: S.H.I.E.L.D.* agent sees that Jennifer Garner movie; kills Elektra in revenge

from Elektra (2001 series) #2 (Marvel, October 2001), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils and inks by Chuck Austen, colors by Nathan Eyring

*Surely Hollywood Ignored Elektra's Lifeless Dailies

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 198: Joan Jett Attacks!

House ad for Strange Adventures #220 (October 1969); printed in Teen Titans (1966 series) #23 (September-October 1969)
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

From the era when Strange Adventures was cover-billed as Adam Strange Advemtures, here’s Allana and Mister S. versus the Beast from the Runaway World. Run away! Run away!

Cover of Strange Adventures #220 (October 1969), pencils and inks by Joe Kubert

And, since "The Beast from the Runaway World" was a reprint from Mystery in Space, that makes this not only a double-barreled cover-stravagnaza on tonight's 365 Days of DC House Ads but also a new rare sighting of a Same Story, Different Cover!

Cover of Mystery in Space #55 (November 1959), pencils by Gil Kane, wash by Jack Adler

Which is not to be confused with The Beast from the Runaways World:

Cover of Runaways (2005 series) #4 (July 2005), panted by Jo Chen

Or, indeed, The Beat from a Runaway World.

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 17: That's Snow Statue

"Captain Tootsie at the Snow Carnival" from The Adventures of Bob Hope #7 (February-March 1951), by Bill Schreiber

"Yartmouth College." It's not Yarmouth, it's not Dartmouth, it's two, two, two colleges in one!

Today in Comics History, July 17: Celebrity falls apart when confronted by title of a song by The Who

from The Unwritten #37 (DC/Vertigo, July 2012); co-plot and script by Mike Carey; co-plot, pencils, and inks by Peter Gross; colors by Chris Chuckry; letters by Todd Klein

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 197: Thank you for coming home / I'm sorry that the chairs are all worn

House ad for Booster Gold (1986 series) #1 (February 1986); printed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11 (February 1986)
Ad art: pencils and inks by Dan Jurgens

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 16: The fall of the Third Reich, thanks to candy

"Captain Tootsie and the Secret Weapon!" from World's Finest Comics #13 (Spring 1944), by Rod Reed and C. C. Beck

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Forbidden Tales of the Mansion That Was Trying to Save on Its Electric Bill By Turning Off Unnecessary Lights During the 1970s Energy Crisis"

As you may remember a couple days ago, we were looking at the gothic romance comic Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, which presented us with neo-Wuthering-Eyre-style love stories until it abruptly ended at issue number 4. But was that the end of it? Why, no, no, it was not, and you should have guessed that just from the very existence of this post.

Cover of Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #5 (May-June 1972), pencils and inks by Nick Cardy

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 196: Neal Adams draws everyone in the DC Universe and our hearts explode in joy

House ad for DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6 (1971); printed in Detective Comics #471 (September 1971)
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

Here, take a better look at this book's beautiful wrap-around cover!

Cover of DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6 [The World's Greatest Super-Heroes!] (1971); pencils and inks by Neal Adams

(Click picture to Earth-2-size)

Can you name all the heroes above and their various origin Earths? Why, you don't have to...DC did it for ya!:

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 15: So that's what happened to British Dennis the Menace

"Captain Tootsie and the Great Jewel Robbery," from World's Finest Comics #12 (Winter 1944), by Rod Reed and C. C. Beck

Sunday, July 14, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 195: Strange women lying in nuclear power station cooling vats distributing swords is no basis for a system of government

House ad for Camelot 3000 (1983); printed in Brave and the Bold #192 (November 1982)
Ad art from Camelot 3000 #1 (December 1982), script by Mike W. Barr, pencils by Brian Bolland, inks by Bruce Patterson, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, July 14: First recorded match of tennis played with a baseball

from "The Wild One" in Young Lovers #17 (Charlton, December 1956), script by Joe Gill (?), pencils by Bill Molno (?), inks by Sal Trapani, letters by Jon D'Agostino

Captain Tootsie Month, Day 14: World's most ironic orphanage director name

"Captain Tootsie Cheers Orphans," from Batman #63 (February-March 1951), by Bill Schreiber

Today in Comics History, Bastille Day, July 14: Arkham Asylum's cafeteria mistakenly serves French toast to Calendar Man

from Batman: Arkham Unhinged #44 (DC, September 2012), script by Karen Traviss, pencils and inks by Riccardo Burchielli, colors by Alejandro Sanchez, letters by Travis Lanham