Friday, October 13, 2017

House of Mystery 13

Something a little different....a quick look at the 13th issue of House of Mystery from July, 2009 and the many creepy tales within....all under his cover by Esao Andrews!

First up, a tale by Matthew Sturges and Ralph Reese, called "The Thirteenth Hour" where a man watches the world get destroyed every day during the thirteenth hour!

Next, Bill Willingham and Eric Powell give us "The Lace Anniversary", where a couple reconsider their marriage during their 13th Anniversary.

With "13th Times The Charm", two immortals who keep meeting during their long lives finally make contact, in this story by Chris Roberson, and Neal and Josh Adams...

...then a quick note about the Neal Adams' variant cover for this issue, while writers Matthew Sturges, Chris Roberson and Bill Willingham all give their take on the Clockwork Storybook.

Finally, a little levity by Matthew Sturges and Sergio Aragones, involving Cain, the original host of the House of Mystery.....

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Superman Goes To The Dentist

Taking a little break from the horror with a trip to the dentist for Superman...

....then again, that's a horror of a different variety, as shown by this Nick Cardy cover to Action Comics #434 for April, 1974.

In "The Krypton Connection" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Vince Coletta, Clark Kent ends up in a dentist chair, where Kryptonian criminals Dr. Xadu and Erndine Ze-Da use their torturous devices to put Superman under their mental control....

..leading into Action Comics #435 (May, 1974), under another wonderful Nick Cardy cover.

With "I Want To Wreck The World" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Vince Coletta, Superman is ordered to destroy Earth by Dr. Xadu and Erndine Ze-Da...but, of course, Superman recovers and doesn't (though to be honest, a bad toothache would make you want to destroy the world....).

This also wasn't the first time these Kryptonians tried mind tricks with Kal-El....that started back when he was Superboy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Batman's Heart Of A Vampire

Batman faces off against a vampire in Detective Comics #455 (January, 1976), in "Heart Of A Vampire" by Elliot S! Maggin and Mike Grell (with Grell also providing the cover).

Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth need help as their car breaks down in the woods, and end up at a boarded house, where they find Gustav Decobra, who leaves his coffin as Bruce changes to Batman to face the vampire, but...Batman has a problem with this Christopher Lee look-a-like, as stabbing his heart with wood doesn't stop the creature.   Instead, the battle makes the old clock in the house tick louder...and figuring out why is what allows Batman and his butler to survive this vampiric encounter!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Supergirl Stats: Bloodsport And More

Supergirl wasn't the first person to face Bloodsport in the comics, it was her slightly more famous cousin, Superman.

Superman even faced a few villains that went by the name of Bloodsport, and another, Demolitia, who also used the same technology to menace the Man of Steel.

Bloodsport I

Robert DuBois was the first man to wear the name of Bloodsport, using an arsenal of weapons he could teleport into his grasp to fight Superman, starting with Superman #4 (April, 1987) by John Byrne and Karl Kesel.

DuBois claimed to have a military background, having gone to war with his brother, Michael, and was manipulated by Lex Luthor to attack Superman with technology (including Kryptonite bullets).  Bloodsport was doing well against Superman, until Jimmy Olsen found out the truth about him (he was a draft dodger who was afraid to die, and fled to Canada), who felt guilty as his brother served in his place, losing some of his limbs in war, with Robert going insane because of that tragedy, ending up being captured by Superman.

Bloodsport disappeared for a time....but it wasn't Robert that returned....

Bloodsport II

Alex Trent was the next man to take up the mantle of Bloodsport, starting with Adventures Of Superman #506 (November, 1993) by Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett and Doug Hazlewood, but had more of a battle with Superman in Adventures of Superman #507 (December, 1993) by Karl Kesel, Barry Kitson and Ray McCarthy.

This Bloodsport was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, and used the Bloodsport identity (and technological abilities) to wage a race war, which Superman helped to stop.  The war continued into Action Comics #694 (December, 1993), and then in the ruins of Metropolis in Action Comics #702 (August, 1994), where Superman got help from new Daily Planet reporter Ron Troupe to stop this Bloodsport...

...with some of Alex's history being revealed in Superman: The Man of Steel #47 (August, 1995).

Both Bloodsports returned in Adventures Of Superman #526 (August, 1995 by Karl Kesel, Rodolfo Damaggio and Klaus Janson) with a "Title Bout!", having the two of them face off, yet it was Robert Dubois who died in a hail of gunfire trying to escape prison, with Alex Trent being burned to death in his prison cell by the Aryan Brotherhood as well...

...theoretically ending the threat of Bloodsport.


Marita Chavez took on the tech which created Bloodsport, but created her own identity as Demolitia in Action Comics #718 (February, 1996) by David Michelinie, Kieron Dwyer and Denis Rodier, having had her life destroyed in a plot of Luthor's which destroyed Metropolis, and then savaged by looters pretending to be rescuers, miraculously surviving the experience...and she continued her war against Luthor in Superman's Nemesis, Lex Luthor #1 and #2 in 1999, then fought Troia (Donna Troy) in Wonder Woman #175 (December, 2001) as one of the followers of Circe when she led female villains into battle against Earth's heroines..

Bloodsport III

No name was givin for the third Bloodsport, who first showed up in Superman #652 (July, 2006 by Geoff Johns, Kurt Busiek and Pete Woods), working with many Superman villains like Hellgrammite, Silver Banshee, the Puzzler, Riot and Livewire (most of which have faced off with Supergirl on her CW TV show)...

....with Superman being taxed to stop all these villains, especially as Bloodsport shot at Jimmy Olsen, with the lot being defeated in Action Comics #839 (July, 2006)...

This Bloodsport turned up in the crowd of villains transported to another planet on Salvation Run (a seven issue mini-series in 2008), and to be a quickly defeated menace in Guardian focused Superman #692 (November, 2009) with no hints on who could be under that mask, but he's still a well armed menace to the Man of Steel.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bizarro Meets Frankenstein

The title of Superman #143's cover story (drawn by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye) seems simple enough..."Bizarro Meets Frankenstein".  But the February, 1961 story by Otto Binder, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye has a little more of twist to it.

True, the cover tells you it isn't Frankenstein's Monster that Bizarro is crashing in on, but instead an actor playing the monster.  Bizarro is upset that the actor is getting more attention than him, so he continues to hang around, but gets laughter instead of fear.  Superman helps his imperfect duplicate get fear, so #1 will go home to Bizarro World.

There, Bizarro acts like any father, presenting his kids with a gift, a puppet of Superman, which scares them!  Perfect logic for the Bizarro family!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Gentleman Ghost Makes Mystic Menace In Midway

That supernatural foe of Hawkman, Gentleman Ghost, comes to make trouble right here in Midway City, bringing along magical villains Matter Master and Felix Faust...  ..forcing Hawkman to recruit Hawkgirl and the Atom to help in, in this October vignette from the 1978 DC Calendar Of Super-Disasters by Al Milgrom.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Flash Facts: Samuroids

The Samuroids were mechanical foes that first faced the Flash (Central City's protector with the alter ego of police scientist, Barry Allen)...

...but were far from the simple foes they originally appeared to be.

The Flying Samurai

The Samuroids premiered in Flash #180 (June, 1968) by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, under a cover by Andru and Esposito.

In this issue, Barry Allen and his wife, Iris, were vacationing in Japan, where Barry was warned by his friend, police Captain Hash, that war criminal, Baron Katana (who also premieres in this issue), was coming to attack Japan, with an army of Samuroids (robot samurais).

Barry goes to investigate the gathering at nearby Castle Heron as the Flash, while Iris keeps Barry's identity a secret from his friend Hash.


The Attack of The Samuroids

In the second issue, Flash #181 (August, 1968, by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, with Andru and Esposito on the cover), Flash's battle continues.

The Samuroids take Flash captive, with Captain Hash and his movie director friend, Hideki Toshira, coming to Castle Heron pretending to film a movie, which allows Barry the distraction he needs to make a flashy escape.  Baron Katana sends the Samuroids to attack, while holding Iris hostage.  Flash uses his super-speed to save his wife, as well as turn off the machine which powers the Samuroids, which sends Baron Katana fleeing into the ocean in defeat.

Thus ends the threat of the Samuroids....

American Samuroids least until Brave and the Bold #13 (July, 2008 by Mark Waid, Jerry Ordway, Scott Koblish and Bob McLeod, under a cover by Jerry Ordway), where Batman and Jay Garrick Flash face the reactivated androids and learn a little of their history.

The Samuroids were created by T. O. Morrow (a scientific villain who first faced Barry Allen Flash and Hal Jordan Green Lantern, as well as creating the android, Red Tornado).  The Samuroids ended up in a warehouse controlled by the Riddler, who gave it to the Penguin, who called in T. O. Morrow to help reactivate the Samuroids (who used coded bacteria to aid their android parts) to cause trouble in Gotham.  Batman and Jay Garrick worked together to stop the menace.