Saturday, May 02, 2015

Psylocke Psaturday: Warning: Psylocke May Not Actually Appear in This Post

I often joke in these (digital) pages: "Hey, remember when there was only one X-Men comic?" I mean: how the Sam Scratch could they ever have a crossover event with only one comic? Luckily by the early '90s there was a fine assortment of titles that began with "X" on your comic book shop shelf, and for that matter one of 'em began with "N," one with "E," and one began with "Wolver." Most of which would somehow get tied up in the x-citing x-over x-Travangza The X-Tinction Agenda,, the Marvel event that taught a generation how to misspell the word "extinction!" And also produced house ads that were nigh-invulnerable to reading comprehension. The X-Men: blocking the literacy of America's youth since 1963!

Teniversary Countdown #24: And away goes Spidey, down the drain

Continuing the exciting countdown to my tenth anniversary of blogging by posting panels from comic books' tenth issues!

Panel from Howard the Duck (1976 series) #10 (March 1977), script by Steve Gerber, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Steve Leialoha, colors by Janice Cohen, letters by Jim Novak

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 122: Han-to-Han Combat

Panel from the Star Wars newspaper strip story "Traitor's Gambit," published from January 4-March 7, 1982, as reprinted in Classic Star Wars #8 (April 1993), script by Archie Goodwin, pencils and inks by Al Williamson, art retouch for comic book publication by Allen Nunis, colors for comic book publication by Steve Buccellato

Friday, May 01, 2015

Avengers: Age of Magnets

If you had asked me before I saw the movie, I would not have guessed that out of all Stan Lee's early-Marvel Age corny goofball gimmicks that could possibly make it into Avengers: Age of Ultron, it would be this one:


Which — it's canon, fanboys! — debuted in Avengers #6. Soon after the publication of this seminal comic book, every kid in the neighborhood was sticking refrigerator magnets to their cuffs and throwing trash can lids around. Cultural response was rapid: every dad in America yelled "Stop throwing trash can lids around!"

Panels from The Avengers (1963 series) #6 (July 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen

Yes, Captain Amagnetica's Merics America's Magnets! Designed to make his shield always return to him in those early days before a Roy Thomas retcon revealed that the shield was actually made of pure boomerang! Yes, magnets, the miracle invention that always work!

Panel from "Captain America" in Tales of Suspense #59 (November 1964), co-plot and script by Stan Lee, co-plot and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Sam Rosen

Yes, as Howard Stark's contemporary Diet Smith was often heard to intone, to anybody who was unlucky enough to get cornered by him at a party: The nation that controls magnetism controls the universe! Voila:

But it took billionaire playboy scientific genius Tony Stark, winner of the George Sanders Slimmest Mustache of 1964 Award, to steal adapt Smith's designs and turn them into a powerful weapon for Cap, which he was not allowed to put anywhere near Tony's collection of Mamas and the Papas 8-track tapes.

Panel from "The Army of Assassins Strikes!" in Tales of Suspense #60 (December 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Artie Simek

And so that, comics history buffs, is why we see Cap use magnets in every single one of his appearances for, um, three months during the sixties, and then not again until today. Because they're goofy.

Panels from "Break-Out in Cell Block 10!" in Tales of Suspense #62 (February 1965), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Artie Simek

Aw, don't pout, Cap! You'll always have a magnetic attraction to me! And Tony Stark continued to sweep the George Sanders Award annual until an upset loss in the early 1980s to John Waters. And now you know...the rest...of the story.

Hey, does this count as KirbyTech? It doesn't? OH FOR PETE'S SAKE.

Teniversary Countdown #25: How comic books destroyed the Avengers

This month, (nearly) all month, favorite panels from the tenth issues of my favorite comic book series, in celebrating of my encroaching tenth anniversary of blogging! Frankly, I am not at all certain how I did blogging during those first four years.

Kicking it off, seein' as it's National Avenging Day or somethin' like that, some panels from the tenth issue of The Avengers!

Panels from Avengers (1963 series) #10 (November 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Don Heck, inks by Dick Ayers, colors probably by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen

Yes, folks, Immortus, Master of Time, using an ad in a comic book to ensure his victory over the Avengers. I like to think it would go...a little something like this:

FLO STEINBERG: Hello sir, welcome to Marvel Comics. How can I help you?
IMMORTUS: I have returned! I trust I am not to late to place this "advertisement" on the back page of all your "comic magazines"?
FLO: Um, no, actually, not at all. In fact, we were just closing the ad deadlines on our next issues. You're just in time.
IMMORTUS: Excellent! Victory shall be mine!

(two hours later:)
FLO STEINBERG: Hello sir, welcome to Marvel Comics. How can I help you?
IMMORTUS: I am Immortus, Master of Time! And I have come to place this "advertisement" on the back page of all your "comic magazines!"
FLO: Oooh, I'm sorry, Mister Mortus, but we just sent all this month's issues to the printer. Our ad deadline was two hours ago!
IMMORTUS: Curses! (storms out)
STAN LEE: Who was that, Flo?
FLO: I don't know, boss. Never seen him before.

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 121: There's a little Captain in all of us

Cover of Star Wars (1977 Marvel series) #94 (April 1985), pencils and inks by Cynthia Martin

The 1987 2015 Marvel Age Calendar for Marvel-ous May!

May 1987 calendar from the back cover of Marvel Age #53 (August 1987),
script by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton

(Click picture to Mega-May-Size!)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 120: Bibbity Bobbity Artoo

Panel from Star Wars: Droids (1994 limited series) #4 (July 1994), script by Dan Thorsland, pencils by Bill Hughes, inks by Andy Mushynsky, colors by Pamela Rambo, letters by Steve Dutro

Today in Comics History, April 30: Eventual invention of the ATM ruins whodunit

The piercing green eyes of ex-Batgirl boyfriend Jason Bard have spotted a clue!

Hey, remember before the energy crisis when we used to let Daylight Standard Time run all April? Not anymore, of course. So thanks a heap, Jimmy Carter.


And that's enough to convict a man. Or at least punch a man. Whichever is more fun.

from "Case of the Loaded Case!" in Detective Comics #472 (DC, November 1972), script by Frank Robbins, pencils by Don Heck, inks by Joe Giella, letters by Milt Snapinn

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bully Eats Food: Raisins

To heck with this "Nature's Candy" nonsense, I want a chocolate bar.

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 119: Meanwhile on Remulac

Panels from Star Wars (Dark Horse 1998 series) #1 (December 1998), script by Jan Strnad, pencils by Anthony Winn, inks by Robert Jones, colors by Dave Nestelle, color separations by Guy Major, letters by Michael Taylor

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 118: From the creators of "Open the blast doors!"

Panels from Star Wars: Rebellion #4 (July 2006), script by Rob Williams, pencils and inks by Brandon Badeaux, colors by Wil Glass, letters by Michael Heisler

Monday, April 27, 2015

Today in Comics History, April 27, 1986: First Bi-Annual Commemoration of Death of Robin II (Observed)

from Batman Annual (1961 series) #25 (DC, May 2006), script by Judd Winick, pencils by Shane Davis, inks by Mark Morales, colors by Alex Sinclair, letters by Travis Lanham

Yep, Jason Todd died on April 27. And not at all on September 15.

Today in Comics History, April 27, 1949: One out of two doctors recommend cigarettes for their patients who smoke

from "Fright!" in Astonishing #3 (Marvel/Atlas, April 1951), script by Hank Chapman (?), pencils and inks by Bill LaCava

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 117: Ahsoka Tano is Awesome, Exhibit A

Panels from Star Wars: The Clone Wars #1 (September 2008), script by Henry Gilroy, pencils by Scott Hepburn, inks by Dan Parsons, colors by Michael E. Wiggam, letters by Michael Heisler

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today in Comics History, April 26, 1777: History momentarily distracts Veronica Lodge from shopping

from "The Missing Monument" in Archie at Riverdale High #37 (Archie, July 1976), pencils by Bob Bolling, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Bill Yoshida

365 Days of Star Wars Comics, Day 116: Focus Group Testing in the Star Wars Universe

Panels from "A Death Star is Born" in Star Wars Tales #4 (June 2000), script by Kevin Rubio, pencils and inks by Lucas Marangon, colors by Dave Nestelle, letters by Vickie Williams