Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Heat Is On For Earth

You think it is hot now?

What if you had another planet hurtling through space towards Earth, like they did in Strange Adventures #2 (October-November, 1950) in "The Doom From Planet X" by Gardner Fox, Jim Mooney and Sy Barry (Mooney and Barry also proving the fiery cover!).

How will Earth survive?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jack Kirby's Dingbats Of Danger Street

One of the last things that Jack Kirby created for DC Comics was the Dingbats of Danger Street, a variation of a kid gang (like his Boy Commandos and Newsboy Legion), this concept sat around for a bit, with the team's introduction making it into First Issue Special #6 (September, 1975)...

...with their leader, Good Looks; strongman Krunch; eager and hungry Non-Fat and oddball Bananas, these boys lived in a rundown neighborhood depending on each other to survive as adults had done them wrong.

In this appearance, the boys fought against Jumpin' Jack and the Gasser (two near super-villains), unintentionally helping Lt. Terry Mullins capture the crooks (who had kidnapped an executive), and like all First Issue Specials, promising at the end that if enough readers buy this and write in, more adventures will follow....

Unlikely that more adventures would follow, as at the time this was published, Jack Kirby was getting ready to move back to Marvel, Twomorrows' Jack Kirby Collector does confirm that there were two more issues of the Dingbats created by the King...likely only to see the light of day there, with a sample here.

Still, nothing is totally forgotten, and the boys do have cameos in Hero Hotline #6 (September, 1989) and Adventures Of Superman #521 (March, 1995), before a return in Adventures Of Superman #549 (August, 1997, by Karl Kesel, Stuart Immonen and Jose Marzan Jr.), facing off against the electric blue Superman, as well as the Newsboy Legion (and finally finding a place to live, with a little help from another First Issue Special one-shot alumni, the Green Team,  yet another group of youths, who buy their mates a home!).

Best of all, the Dingbats first appearance can be found, reprinted in the Jack Kirby Omnibus #2 of May, 2013, along with the first appearance of Atlas and Manhunter from their First Issue Specials, the Sandman revival of the '70s Kobra and more! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Fourth Super-Team Family

Looking back at the classic collection of stories in Super-Team Family #4 (April-May, 1976), with stories featuring the Justice Society of America and the World's Finest team of Superman, Batman and Robin....

...all under a cover by Ernie Chan, in a return to all reprints in the book (after issues #2 and #3 had new stories as well as reprints), with a new editor, E. Nelson Bridwell.

All-Star Comics #33

The first story reprinted in this issue is All-Star Comics #33 (February-March, 1947) by writer Gardner Fox and artists Irwin Hasen, Joe Kubert, Stan Aschmeier, Martin Naydel, Jon C. Koziak and Paul Reiman, with "The Return Of Solomon Grundy".

Grundy was an animated corpse (formerly the man known as Cyrus Gold), that came from Slaughter Swamp in Gotham City (and facing the Golden Age Green Lantern twice before this).  Freed from the power ring bubble Green Lantern had trapped him in, Solomon Grundy went to find the emerald gladiator.  The JSA went to their meeting house, finding Green Lantern missing, so went to find him...with Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Flash, and Atom facing Solomon Grundy (and Johnny Thunder meeting a phony Grundy, with Wonder Woman playing secretary, but likely able to take out Grundy herself), eventually reuniting to stop Grundy and saving Green Lantern, who then exiled Solomon Grundy to the moon...

....who returned one time after that in the Golden Age, in Comic Cavalcade, to face Green Lantern, before his Silver Age revival, facing Dr. Fate and Hourman along with Green Lantern), with the JSA being featured in a revival of All-Star Comics at this time (including a grown up Robin, the Star-Spangled Kid and Power Girl as members, and Grundy joining the Injustice Society of the World soon after this reprint appearance).

World's Finest Comics #98

Since the Justice Society story was so large, there was only room for one more reprint, that of World's Finest Comics #98 (December, 1958) by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye, with "The Menace Of The Moonman".

The story focuses on an astronaut, Brice Rogers, who is exposed to the radiation of a green comet, that, when he returns to Earth, turns into the Moon Man under the moonlight.  Superman faces him (but that green radiation must have contained Kryptonite, as Superman is weakened), but the Moon Man reverts to Rogers, with criminals trying to use his new identity to their advantage, until Superman, Batman and Robin defeat them, and Rogers' Moon Man power fade away....but he does return, with a new person, Lady Lunar exhibiting those powers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2017 SDCC Mattel Exclusive Cyborg Figure

With Mattycollector no longer in the picture, seems the DC Multiverse is a little lacking in exclusive figures for the 2017 San Diego Comic Con...

....but the one they have comes as a real mother....

....that is, a Mother Box!

It is an exclusive, premium Cyborg figure based on the character to fully debut in the upcoming Justice League movie, packaged in a Man's World Mother Box (the device scientist Silas Stone used to save his son, Victor, and turn the lad into the super-powered Cyborg).

The 6 inch figure's eye and torso light up when with a red LED when the button on the base is pushed.  The figure includes the hero in his silver colored power suit with 20 points of articulation, his White Noise Cannon arms and a translucent mask and chest, and should be available at Mattel's booth at SDCC for $25!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Creating Superman

"If Superman Didn't Exist, Someone Would Have To Create Him!"

That's what it says on Gil Kane's cover for Action Comics #554 (April, 1984), and that's what we see....two kids named Jerry and Joe, creating Superman, in this story by Marv Wolfman (and drawn by Gil Kane) called "If Superman Didn't Exist..."!

Aliens had created pyramids existed in time, which erased the heroic myths from Earth's history, but two odd kids (Jerry and Joe) still believed in Superman, and created him (who was able to stop the aliens, and restore the timeline).

For all they did, comics owe a great debt to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, for their original creation of Superman in Action Comics #1 (June, 1938)...

...and all the action after!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Holy Birthdays, Batman

Technically, it should be "holy birthday, Robin" today is the birthday of the 1966 Batman TV show version of Robin...Burt Ward!

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up now, and what an opportunity to talk about when Robin grew up quickly in the comics as well!

Batman #107 featured the story of "The Grown-Up Boy Wonder" by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye, where Robin was exposed to a strange gas in a box Superman gave Batman and Robin to guard...which turns young Dick Grayson into an adult!   Problem is, though his body grew up, he still had the mind of a teenager (as well as having to hide that Dick Grayson and Robin grew up, so Dick creates the identity of Owlman to help Batman, but gets caught by a group of criminal acrobats, who unmasked him, and plan to look for that face to help figure out Batman's identity as well. 

Thing is, the gas wears off, and Dick goes back to being young (and Robin), so the criminals search will be fruitless (at least for many years.....). 

This story was also reprinted in Batman Annual #5 of 1963, and in the Batman Annuals Volume #2 (which reprints Batman Annuals #5 to #7).

Of course, Robin grew up other times in the comics as well, most notably when the original Robin (from the Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s) grew up and joined the JSA....

.....but that a topic already covered, but you can read about it here and Golden Age solo Robin stories, here!

Holy adult Robin, Batman, and happy birthday, Burt Ward!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Bikini Day 2017

Happy Bikini Day with this cover from Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #344 by classic artist, Dan Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge show how they keep safe from the sun... well as this cover, from Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #177 also by classic artist, Dan DeCarlo...with Betty and Veronica having fun at the beach!

You should do that too!