Saturday, January 18, 2014

Four out of five Silver Surfers recommend

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 18: SHIELD's "Wild Bill" Robot

Sure, I'm kinda enjoying ABC-TV's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.*, but to be honest, it could use a little more of this:

Splash page from "Who Strikes At---SHIELD?" in Strange Tales #142 (March 1966), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek

Today in Comics History, January 18: Denny O'Neil continues to harass Lex Luthor

from Queen & Country #26 (Oni, July 2004), script by Greg Rucka, pencils and inks by Mike Norton, letters by John Dranski

Friday, January 17, 2014

Today in Comics History Future, January 17, 3828: Iceman gets a job pushing robots into deep space

from "00:00:03:00" in Time Warp one-shot (May 2013), script by Ray Fawkes, pencils and inks by Andy MacDonald, colors by Lee Loughridge, letters by Sal Cipriano

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 17: The Mountain of Judgment

Say, what is this Mountain of Judgment, anyway?

Panels from Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Vince Colletta, most Superman and Jimmy Olsen faces re-pencilled and inked by Al Plastino, letters by John Costanza

Oh...okay, well, that's helpful, Guy who looks like Ben Grimm as Blackbeard. Thank you so very much.

Today in Comics History, January 17, 2014: It's discovered that aliens don't use email

Text page from Justice Leagues: JL? #1 (March 2001), script by Tom Peyer, pencils by Ethan van Sciver, inks by Ray Kryssing and Matt Martin, colors by John Kalisz, color separations by Digital Chameleon

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today in Comics History, January 16, 1926: The first episode of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" is not a huge success

from "The BBC Riot Panic" in The Big Book of Hoaxes (DC/Paradox, November 1996), script by Carl Sifakis, pencils by Lee Moder

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 16: Reed Richards's Prognostication Projector

Remember Reed's Heat-Image Tracer?: a fantastic piece of KirbyTech that allowed Dr. R. and his accompanying trio of genetically-enhanced comrades to see heat images of the past, which is a device pretty much useless in a building where there is living a Human Torch. But never satisfied with slapping a label on it and saying "done!," Reed continues to tinker and improve his devices, or create new innovations based on his previous successes, or put an "i" in front of the name and sell it for twice as much. Witness, for example, the Prognostication Projector!

Splash panel from Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #9 (October 2001), script by Tom DeFalco, co-plot and layouts by Erik Larsen, co-plot and colors by Eric Stephenson, pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Richard Starkings

Unlike the Heat-Image Tracer, which actually read temperature changes in an area on such a subatomic level that it could reproduce and project actual events in real time, the Prognostication Projector is a powerful computer brain that, when programmed with huge amounts of data (more than, say, on a floppy disc), can project elements and actions that are likely to happen in the future. Also, it has a big square glowing Kirby-On-Button.

In short, we're about to see the events that will occur later in the miniseries. I predict a Wolverine guest-appearance!

So, what do you suppose Reed, Ben, and Johnny are about to see?


Update notification! As I promised on Day One of KirbyTech, I'll update previous entries if and when I find out new information or additional major appearances of the mechanics we're scopin' out, and that I'd alert you to it in the most recent entry. And here we go: I've just updated my entry on the Enclave's Transfer-Grid to include a new appearance. Head on over there and check it out! (Edited, added text is in green!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 15: The Beehive

Tonight (at last)! The Beehive! No, no, no, not the headquarters of this schlmielel...

Panel from The Champions #15 (September 1977), script by Bill Mantlo, pencils by John Byrne, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Irene Vartanoff, letters by Bruce Patterson

...who is a Nazi made of bees, but rather the base of operations of the Enclave, who we've been talking about for the past few days. It's more technically known as the Citadel of Science, but I'm gonna just keep right on callin' it the Beehive, because that's a cool-as-ice apt name for such an awesome piece of KirbyTech (subset: KirbyTecture).

Panel from Fantastic Four (1961 series) #66 (September 1967), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Artie Simek

With that panel, I could just end this post right here and now, couldn't I?

But I shan't.

Today in Comics History, January 15, 1955: A new euphemism for "were electrocuted" is invented

from "The Big Heist" in Gang Busters #26 (February 1952), pencils and inks by John Lehti

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 14: Rocket Raccoon's Wedding Gun

Double apologies from a little stuffed bull for the lateness of this and for interrupting my series on the KirbyTech featured in FF #66-67, because I'm come up against that Dreaded Deadline Doom (and that pesky thing called "life!"), but I didn't want to miss out on Day 14 of KirbyTech, so here's an together acceptable momentary substitution. Why is it so exciting? Why, because somebody's getting married!

Sadly, it's not Keira Knightley to me. Hilariously and violently, it happens to be Deadpool!

Solicited cover art for Deadpool #27 (2014), art by Scott Koblish
(Click picture to for-better-or-worse-size)

I'm pretty sure you'll find pretty much anybody who's anybody in today's Marvel Universe at the wedding, from the Agents of Atlas to what little is left of X-Statix, from the first character who appeared in the M-U (Fin Fang Foom) to the newest (Shogo Lee). And, among Deadpool's groomsmen, star of comics and (soon-to-be-released) screen, Rocket Raccoon! And his KirbyTech wedding gun.

You know, R.R. could be the wedding photographer and that could be a camera, not a gun.

Naw, it's Rocket Racoon. It's a gun.

Edited on 03/09/14 to insert this addition:

Here's a peek at an upcoming Rocket Raccoon drink cup to promote Guardians of the Galaxy. It doesn't appear that he's holding a gun that especially Kirbyesque. Darn it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

At 13th Dimension: "Ten and a Half Things You Should Know About Miracleman"

Drop whatever you're doing right now...whoops, I'm sorry about your brand new Ming vase...and click on over to and bookmark 13th Dimension, the blog for comics news, creators, and culture! (Among other excitement, it's currently Batman '66 Week!)

Panels from "Miracleman Family and the Hollow Planet" in The Miracleman Family #2 (September 1988), reprinted from Marvelman Family #4 (c. 1956); script, pencils, and inks by Mick Anglo Studios, new colors by Marcus David, new lettering by Wayne Truman

And now my very best pal John DiBello is now writing for them, and he's contributed a column spotlighting "Ten and a Half Things You Should Know About Miracleman!" Bully says, don't ask, just click!

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 13: The Enclave's Transfer-Grid

Previously on 365 Days of KirbyTech... Reed Richards has used a Micro-Tool Assembly Unit in order to assemble a copy of The Enclave's Electronic Bracelet, which, as the FF saw on Reed's Heat-Image Tracer, was used by rogue scientist Dr. Jerome Hamilton, the kidnapper of Alicia Masters, to transport her from her apartment to the Enclave's HQ, the Beehive!

But is there some sort of giant receiving unit which brings Hamilton, his crimson helmet, and his snazzy white slacks, along with Alicia to the Beehive? Why, yes. You bet your sweet Kirby there is.

Panels from Fantastic Four (1961 series) #66 (September 1967), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Artie Simek

Sunday, January 12, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 12: Reed Richards's Micro-Tool Assembly Unit

Previously on 365 Days of KirbyTech... Reed Richards is planning to duplicate the Enclave's mysterious electronic bracelet, to track down the missing Alicia Masters, who has been kidnapped to the Beehive! (Which is a whole 'nother post.) He's sent away for an array of near-microscopic electronic parts from Radio Shack Stark International—parts which look like, as Ben Grimm so succinctly puts it...freckles!

Panels from Fantastic Four (1961 series) #67 (October 1967), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Artie Simek

Those freckles (or, to use Susan Richards's technical phrase, "fly specks") are the miniaturized components of the circuits making up the Electronic Bracelet. Or, to use Tony Stark's usual technical phrase, "transistors."

Panels from "The Mandarin's Revenge!" in Tales of Suspense #54 (June 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Don Heck, letters by Artie Simek

Okay, everybody repeat after me:


At least by FF #67 Stan Lee seems to have learned that lesson. He's got microscopic electronics here which need to be assembled in a certain pattern on a circuit board. It's a careful, time-intensive job which would require a really big magnifying glass (or Ant-Man), and even with Reed handling the circuits with his tiniest quantum tweezers, there's still the chance of human error. That's why Reed leaves the job of assembling the circuits into the body of the electronic wristband to his Micro-Tool Assembly Unit!

Voila! One fully-assembled device, assembled in mere seconds, by the computerized Micro-Tool Assembly Unit. It implants the circuits with absolute precision onto Reed's circuit board and the electronic wristband is ready! He'll have them for sale in the stores for Christmas! The holidays are saved!

Of course, you realize what Kirby has invented here—a device that actually exists in the modern real world: a computerized PCB (printed circuit board) assembly unit!


Today in Comics History, January 12, 1991: Happy birthday, HAL

from 2001: A Space Odyssey graphic novel (Marvel, 1976); script, pencils, and colors by Jack Kirby, inks by Frank Giacoia, colors by Jack Kirby and Marie Severin, letters by John Costanza

Which means he died at the age of ten. Kinda sad, huh? Don't worry: he got better!

from Marvel Super Special #37 [2010] (Marvel, 1984), script by J. M. DeMatteis, layoputs by Joe Barney and Larry Hama, finishes and colros by Tom Palmer, letteres by Rick Parker

One of the ways you can tell that Dave was properly dismantling HAL: HAL gets the square root of pi wrong. It's actually 1.77245385090...

There. I think that qualifies me for "World's Nerdiest Blog" for today.