Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Years Eve Batman

You are suppose to countdown to the ball drop with your loved one, but instead...

...Batman faces the Joker on New Year's Eve in Batman: The Long Halloween #4 (March, 1997), of a 13 issue mini-series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, while also trying to stop the Holiday Killer.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Birthday to Stan Lee

Stan Lee's contributions to Marvel Comics are many, but one of the biggest of the them all was the "No Prize" idea.


Stan started by just getting readers to write in, promising no prizes for his contests, thus insuring there would be no losers. 

But, as letters to Stan increased, including in those letters were fans asking where their prizes were! 

Then, it changed into getting a "No Prize" for writing in to spot errors in the books (and offering explanations), which you would be credited for in the letters' pages....but again, NO PRIZE.


This still got the Marvel Bullpen letters, asking where their prize was...which resulted in the "No Prize" envelopes, sent to the readers who had sent in what they had noticed (and this caused more problems, as fans would write back, saying their prize fell out of the envelope....).


This even resulted in the Official Marvel No-Prize Book, which they published in January 1983, with a framing sequence by Jim Owsley, Roger Stern and Steven Grant, with art by Bob Camp and Vince Colletta (and a cover by Michael Golden), and various Marvel Comics mistakes and explanations inside in "Lest We Should Goof...!", back in a time when readers could take comics a little less seriously, and wish Stan Lee a happy birthday today!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Celebration Of The JSA, Green Lantern, Catwoman And Luthor

With this, the last week of the year, yet another chance to look back at collections of stories of your favorite DC heroes....

...with a focus on long lasting teams, heroes, and even a couple of villains, with the four DC Celebration anthologies of Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years, Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years, Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years and Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years....

...gathering heroes, expanding into space, and featuring a pair of fearsome foes that have bedeviled the heroes for decades!

Justice Society Of America

The first gathering of DC heroes happened in All-Star Comics #3 (Winter, 1941) by writer Gardner Fox and artists Everett Hibbard, Sheldon Moldoff, Bernard Bailey, Sheldon Mayer, Chad Grothkopf, Howard Sherman, Ben Finton and Mart Nodell, with a meeting of the members of the Justice Society Of America, though, that story did not find its way into this collection of the JSA that came out in July, 2015.

Issues reprinted:
All-Star Comics #4 (March-April, 1941) "For America And Democracy!"
All-Star Comics #37 (October-November, 1947) "The Injustice Society Of The World!"
All-Star Comics #55 (October-November, 1950) "The Man Who Conquered The Solar System"
Justice League of America #21 (August, 1963) "Crisis On Earth-One!"
Justice League of America #22 (September, 1963) "Crisis On Earth-Two"
Justice League of America #30 (September, 1964) "The Most Dangerous Earth Of All" 
Justice League of America #47 (September, 1966) "The Bridge Between Earths!"
Justice League of America #82 (August, 1970) "Peril Of The Paired Planets" 
Justice League of America #83 (September, 1970) "Where Valor Fails...Will Magic Triumph?"
Adventure Comics #466 (November-December, 1979) "The Defeat Of The Justice Society!"
Justice League of America #193 (August, 1981) "All-Star Squadron" 
All-Star Squadron #67 (March, 1987) "The First Case Of The Justice Society Of America"
Justice Society Of America #10 (May, 1993) "JSA No More?"
JSA Returns: All-Star Comics #2 (Late May, 1999) "The JSA Returns, Conclusion: Time's Arrow"
JSA #25 (August, 2001) "The Return Of Hawkman: Seven Devils"
Justice Society of America #10 (December, 2007) "What A Wonderful World"
Earth-2 #6 (January, 2013) "End Times"

A truly epic collection, gathering a few important tales of the Golden Age (though not the first, though that was just a meeting and retelling of individual tales, not the JSA's first case), as well as the first Injustice Society of the World's appearance, and the first Crisis (JLA/JSA team-ups, sadly with a couple and only their second half), a lot of retroactive continuity (detailing the JSA's first ending, and the World War II super-group, the All-Star Squadron, as well as a meeting of the JSA and a few extras), as well as tales taking the JSA into the modern day.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern made his first Golden Age appearance in All-American Comics #16 by Bill Finger and Mart Nodell, but the focus of this collection that came out in October, 2015 was on the second Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, as well as those who followed him into the emerald ranks, with Hal making his first appearance in Showcase #22 by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella.

Issues reprinted: 
All-American Comics #16 (July, 1940) [Introducing Green Lantern]
Comic Cavalcade #6 (Spring, 1944) "They Are Invincible"
Green Lantern #30 (February-March, 1948) "The Saga Of Streak"
Showcase #22 (September-October, 1959) "S.O.S. Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #7 (July-August, 1961) "The Day 100,000 People Vanished"
Green Lantern #11 (March, 1962) "The Strange Trial Of Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #16 (October, 1962) "The Secret Life Of Star Sapphire"
Green Lantern #40 (October, 1965) "The Secret Origin Of The Guardians"
Green Lantern #59 (March, 1968) "Earth's Other Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #76 (April, 1970) "No Evil Shall Escape My Sight"
Green Lantern #87 (December-January, 1971/1972) "Beware My Power"
Flash #237 (November, 1975) "Let There Be Darkness"
Flash #238 (December, 1975) "The Day Of The Falling Sky"
Flash #240 (March, 1976) "The Floods Will Come"
Green Lantern #188 (May, 1985) "Decent Exposure"
Justice League #1 (May, 1987) "Born Again"
Green Lantern #50 (March, 1994) "Emerald Twilight Part Three: The Future"
Green Lantern #51 (May, 1994) "Changing Of The Guard"
Green Lantern/Green Lantern #1 (October, 2000) "Against The Dying Of The Light"
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 (December, 2004) "Blackest Night"
Green Lantern Secret Files And Origins 2005 #1 (June, 2005) "Flight"
Green Lantern #0 (November, 2012) "The New Normal"

A galaxy of tales shrunk to fit in one volume, with the first appearances of Green Lanterns Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and John Stewart, as well as villains Sinestro, Star Sapphire and Krona, as well as appearances by the Green Lantern Corps and Kyle Rayner, and even New 52's Simon Baz, and the origins of the DC Universe and the Guardians of the Universe as well.  Epic!


Catwoman

Catwoman has been bedeviling Batman since Batman #1 (by Bill Finger and Bob Kane), but Selina Kyle was so much more than a femme fatale with a feline fetish, she developed into a foe for many, as well as befriending other heroes and villains, and becoming the love of Batman's life, as detailed here in this collection of stories from November, 2015.

Issues reprinted: 
Batman #1 (Spring, 1940) [The Cat]
Batman #3 (Fall, 1940) "The Batman vs. The Cat-Woman"
Batman #65 (June-July, 1951) "Catwoman -- Empress Of The Underworld"
Batman #69 (February-March, 1952) "The King Of Cats"
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #70 (November, 1966) "The Catwoman's Black Magic!"
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #71 (January, 1967) "Bad Luck For A Black Super-Cat!"
Wonder Woman #201 (July-August, 1972) "The Fist Of Flame"
Wonder Woman #202 (September-October, 1972) "Fangs Of Fire"
DC Super-Stars #17 (November-December, 1977) "From Each Ending...A Beginning!"
Batman #323 (May, 1980) "Shadow Of The Cat!"
Batman #324 (June, 1980) "The Cat Who Would Be King!"
Brave And The Bold #197 (April, 1983) "The Autobiography Of Bruce Wayne!"
Catwoman #1 (February, 1989) "Metamorphosis"
Catwoman #28 (January, 1996) "Larceny Loves Company"
Solo #1 (December, 2004) "Date Knight"
Catwoman #20 (August, 2003) "Other Cats"
Catwoman #52 (April, 2006) "Backward Masking"
Gotham City Sirens #1 (August, 2009) "Union"
Catwoman #35 (December, 2014) "Comfort To The Hunt Of The King"
Batman '66 #5 (January, 2014) "Tail Of The Tiger Topaz"
Batman: Gotham Adventures #4 (September, 1998) "Claws"

Catwoman has an odd collection, being a villain, then supporting character for Batman (though popping up in issues of Lois Lane and Wonder Woman), having an alternate Earth marriage to Batman (with a daughter, no less), while slowly developing as a character herself, getting her own mini-series, then multiple titles of her own, or some shared with fellow Bat-villains like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Catwoman is truly a diamond taken from its owner to shine well on its own.

Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor had been a thorn in the side of Superman for longer than both of them would like, starting with their original first meeting as shown in Action Comics #23 by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and Paul Cassidy, and from then on, it was brains versus brawn, as shown in this collection of tales from December, 2015.

Issues reprinted:
Action Comics #23 (April, 1940) [Europe At War, Part 2]
Superman #4 (Spring, 1940) [The Challenge Of Luthor]
Superman #17 (July-August, 1942) "When Titans Clash"
World's Finest Comics #59 (July-August, 1952) "Superman's Super Hold-Up"
World's Finest Comics #88 (May-June, 1957) "Superman And Batman's Greatest Foes"
Adventure Comics #271 (April, 1960) "How Luthor Met Superboy!"
Action Comics #277 (June, 1961) "The Conquest Of Superman"
Superman #164 (October, 1963) "The Showdown Between Luthor And Superman"
Superman #248 (February, 1972) "The Man Who Murdered Earth"
Action Comics #544 (June, 1983) "Luthor Unleashed"
Superman #416 (February, 1986) "The Einstein Connection"
Superman #2 (February, 1987) "The Secret Revealed"
Superman #9 (September, 1987) "Metropolis - 900 Miles"
Action Comics #678 (June, 1992) "Talking Heads"
JLA #11 (October, 1997) "Hostile Takeover"
President Luthor: Secret Files And Origins #1 (March, 2001) "The Why"
Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel #3 (July, 2005) "Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel Part 3"
All-Star Superman #5 (September, 2006) "The Gospel According To Lex Luthor"
Action Comics #894 (December, 2010) "The Black Ring Part 5"
Justice League #31 (August, 2014) "Injustice League Part 2: Power Players"

Whether he was a dictator, scientist, Smallville student, Metropolis businessman or even United States President, Luthor saw himself as a hero, fighting off Superman...and that's a good portion of what this collection presents Luthor as, as some of his best stories over the years was with Lex trying to do good (though usually for himself), but either being foiled by Superman, or something more powerful, his own ego.  As much as the collection of Superman stories didn't hit home, this one of his arch-nemesis did.

There's still a few left, collections of Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Batgirl and Harley Quinn, as well as the Spirit and Wildstorm which DC Comics collected when they had the rights to do so....but, those might wait until well into next year.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas From Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman

A Merry Christmas to all, with this classic Golden Age cover from Comic Cavalcade #5 (Winter, 1943), by Frank Harry....


...with Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman celebrating the holiday with Santa Claus.


May yours be merry as well.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sugar And Spike Surprise Santa

The delightful babies Sugar Plumm and Cecil "Spike" Wilson surprise Santa Claus in this cover by their creator, Sheldon Meyer, from Sugar & Spike #44 (December-January, 1962/1963).   

Oh the trouble these two talking babies can get into....they should try being nice, instead of naughty before Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies With Friends

Gather around the Christmas carrot (???) and celebrate the holiday with Bugs Bunny, and a few of his friends, Porky Pig, Petunia Pig, Sylvester and Tweety, all under this classic cover by Ralph Heimdahl for Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies #4 (November, 1953), one of eight issues that ran through the 1950s, with Warner Brothers' animated characters enjoying the holiday, as I hope you are with your friends!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Marvel Classic Comics A Christmas Carol

For the last issue of Marvel Classic Comics (#36, from 1978), Marvel covered a Christmas classic...that of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.


With a cover by Bob Hall, writer Doug Moench and artists Bob Hall, Al Milgrom, Dave Cockrum and inkers Frank Giacoia, Mike Esposito, Al Milgrom and Joe Rubenstein work together as Diverse Hands to tell the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge being confronted by three spirits, all to help Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, and has not been the first or last time A Christmas Carol has been adapted...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas With The Super Heroes 1

Christmas With the Super-Heroes #1 from 1988 contains reprints of many classic DC Christmas stories featuring their super heroes, all under a new cover by John Byrne.



Those stories include...

...a Batman story by Frank Miller from the DC Special Series #21 of Spring, 1980; Justice League of America #110 (March-April, 1974), by Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano; Teen Titans #13 (January-February, 1968) by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy; the Legion of Super-Heroes by Paul Levitz, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dick Giordano from the DC Special Series #21 of Spring, 1980; one of Superman's meetings with Santa Claus from DC Comics Presents #67 (March, 1984) by Len Wein, E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson and a Batman tale from Batman #219 (February, 1970) by Mike Friedrich, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano....

...all to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Superman Visits Batman And The Outsiders For Christmas

Superman came to visit Batman and the Outsiders at Christmas time, though not quite for the best of reasons in Batman and the Outsiders #19 (March, 1985) in "Who's Afraid Of The Big Red S?" by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo (with Aparo also providing an ornamental cover for the issue)....

...sadly, this wasn't a casual social call, or even singing of Christmas carols, but something a little more serious.



Halo rushed into Wayne Manor to get help from Batman (Bruce Wayne), and after a bit (where she recalled her own personal exchange with Geo-Force), explained that he had gotten a call from a fellow graduate student, one Denise Howard, who had taken too many sleeping pills.   Geo-Force rushed to her rescue, to get her to safety, and found out that Denise's professor had been trying to take advantage of her, only offering her a scholarship in return for favors.  This enraged Geo-Force, who went off to handle the matter.  Fearing for the teacher's life, Halo came to Batman for help.  Batman said he would send a friend, and that Halo should go meet him (the other Outsiders were busy; Metamorpho dealing with his girlfriend, Sapphire Stagg, and issues with her dad, and Katana and Black Lightning dealing with a mugger taking on Santas as Katana misses Halo).

The help Batman called was his friend, Superman, who went with Halo to stop Geo-Force, as he was confronting the lech, working another student in his mountain cabin.  After a brief fight, with Geo-Force using his gravity powers to nearly match Superman, Batman arrived, finding evidence of this man performing this behavior before, and taking him off to jail.  Geo-Force then checked on the then recovering Denise (in his alter ego of Prince Brion), with her recovery being the start of a Merry Christmas.

This issue was a double Christmas treat, as, while Jim Aparo had drawn much of Batman and his family, as well as the rest of the DC Universe over the years, it was a rare chance for him to draw Superman, as well as a little of his supporting cast at the Daily Planet (Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, even non-regulars like Melba Manton and Percy Bratten, all enjoying the Christmas cheer!).

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Archie And Betty Celebrate Christmas

Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper show they know how to celebrate Christmas in this cover by Dan DeCarlo for Archie's Girls Betty And Veronica #346 (February, 1987).

Let's hope Veronica Lodge doesn't turn around or Archie's likely to get coal in his stocking.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mad About Christmas

Finding everyone can only argue about everything?

Well, we can all agree on Christmas, right?

Well, maybe not even that, as an eerily prophetic cover from Mad Magazine #68 (January, 1962) by Don Martin shows....

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What Do You Get The JLA For Christmas?

So, Superman, you are part of a team that protects all of planet Earth....so, what do you get the Justice League of America for Christmas?


Well, in Superman #165 (February, 2001), Jeph Loeb answers that question, as Superman gets a little help from Lois Lane getting gifts for his friends (with the first pages with art by Ed McGuinness and Cam Smith, who also did the cover).

Martian Manhunter gets Chocos cookies, and Plastic Man gets rubber bands (with art by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher).

Rob Liefeld and Norm Rapmund provide the art for Aquaman getting a snowglobe of Metropolis.

Green Lantern gets the thing he needs, Jiffy Polish (which handles rings, bracelets, jewelry, occasionally messed up by art, which was provided by Mike Wieringo and Cam Smith).


Art Adams speeds off the art for the Flash, as Superman gets Wally West some tube socks.

For Wonder Woman, a Mjolner pendant, inspired by a recent adventure which lasted hundreds of years, with art by Ian Churchill and Norm Rapmund.


But, for Batman, the world's greatest detective and his best friend?  A magnifying glass (with art by Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend).

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Santa The Barbarian

Santa Claus decides to make some changes when the elves bring him his nice and naughty list....


....at least, that's how it goes down in Maximum Press' Santa The Barbarian #1 (December, 1996) with two stories, one by Robert Loren Fleming and Dan Fraga, "The Big Red Slay", and the other by Robert Loren Fleming and Pop Mhan, "The Night Before X-mas".

This comic was based off of the 1993 trading card by Rob Liefield for Wizard Magazine..

.....hey, it was the 1990s and violent parodies of Santa were all the rage!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Merry Christmas From Green Lantern's Mosaic

Merry Christmas from outer space!

Green Lantern John Stewart brought Christmas to Oa and the many peoples of the Mosaic in Green Lantern:Mosaic #9 (February, 1993) by Gerard Jones, Jim Balent, Mark Beachum....all under a cover by Cully Hammer and Dan Panosian.

If even aliens can have a Merry Christmas, so can you!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jingle Belle: Santa Claus Vs Frankenstein

Jingle Belle, the teenage daughter of Santa Claus, created by Paul Dini, finds Frankenstein's Monster in the ice in this Top Cow special, Jingle Belle: Santa Claus vs. Frankenstein #1 (December, 2008) by Paul Dini and Stephanie Gladden.

After freeing the monster, Jingle Belle convinces Santa to make monster toys, with the monster doing the work.  

Frankenstein's Monster returns the favor, helping Santa and his crew against a crooked politician who tries to bar Santa Claus from the United States.

This issue also has an alternate cover by artist Greg Horn.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Celebration Of The Teen Titans, Flash, Shazam and Robin

As the year draws to a close, yet another look back at collections of stories on your favorite DC heroes....


 ...this time around, a look at four more of DC's Celebration anthologies, with Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years, Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years, Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years and Robin, the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years...



 
 ...expanding on what has gone before and going beyond!




Teen Titans

Starting with the youngest of this batch, a collection from  November, 2014, focusing on the new kids on the block, the sidekicks of the DC heroes, the Teen Titans, who first met in Brave and the Bold #54 by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani.

Issues reprinted:
Brave and the Bold #54 (June-July, 1964) "The Thousand-and-One Dooms Of Mr. Twister"
Showcase #59 (November-December, 1965) "The Return Of The Teen Titans"
Teen Titans #25 (January-February, 1970) "The Titans Kill A Saint?"
Teen Titans #50 (October, 1977) "The Coast-to-Coast Calamities"
Teen Titans Year One #5 (July, 2008) "Young Heroes In Love"
New Teen Titans #6 (April, 1981) "Last Kill"
New Teen Titans #38 (January, 1984) "Who Is Donna Troy?"
Tales Of The Teen Titans Annual #3 (1984) "The Judas Contract" Part 4 "Finale!"
New Titans #83 (February, 1992) "The Jericho Gambit" Part 2 "A Thousand Souls"
Teen Titans #5 (February, 1997) "Coming Out" Part 2
Young Justice #7 (April, 1999) "Conferences"
Teen Titans #2 (October, 2003) "Child's Play"
Teen Titans #50 (October, 2007) "Friday Night Lights"
Teen Titans #39 (November, 2006) "Titans Around The World" Part 2
Teen Titans #1 (November, 2011) "Teen Spirit"
Tiny Titans #4 (July, 2008) "Robin and the Robins"/"Beast Boy's Prize"/"It's A Nightwing Thing"
Teen Titans Go #3 (June, 2014) "Party Party!"

Since it only covers 50 years, where most of these collections cover 75, the Teen Titans edition at least gives a good representation of stories and team from the decades, giving the first meeting of the sidekicks (but not of the Teen Titans), as well as the first appearance of Lilith and the Titans West, and the best of the first of the Titans' Wonder Girl's origin (in the often asked question of "Who Is Donna Troy?").  Nicer still, it shows the involvement of the whole DC Universe, incorporating Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow (and later, even Superman), with the mentors of the kids occasionally giving them grief (individually as well as together as the Justice League), all the while, with the teen struggling to find their own identities as well.


Flash

Speeding his way to the next spot, is a collection of the Flash, from  April, 2015, covering the legacy of the fastest man alive, whether it be Barry Allen, Wally West, Bart Allen, or the one that began it all, Jay Garrick, who was created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert in Flash Comics #1 (and the inspiration for Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert for Barry in Showcase #4).

Issues reprinted:
Flash Comics #1 (January, 1940) "Origin Of The Flash"
All-Flash Comics #31 (October-November, 1947) "The Secret City"
All-Flash Comics #31 (October-November, 1947) "The Planet Of Sport"
Flash Comics #104 (February, 1949) "The Rival Flash!"
Showcase #4 (September-October, 1956) "Mystery Of The Human Thunderbolt!"
Flash #110 (December-January, 1959/1960) "Meet Kid Flash!"
Flash #123 (September, 1961) "Flash Of Two Worlds!"
Flash #125 (December, 1961) "The Conquerors Of Time!"
Superman #199 (August, 1967) "Superman's Race With The Flash!"
Flash #174 (November, 1967) "Stupendous Triumph Of The Six Super-Villains!"

Flash #215 (May, 1972) "Death Of An Immortal!"
Flash #233 (May, 1975) "Deadly Secret Of The Flash!"
Flash #275 (July, 1979) "The Last Dance!"
Crisis On Infinite Earths #8 (November, 1985) "A Flash Of The Lightning!"
Flash #1 (June, 1987) "Happy Birthday Wally!"
Secret Origins Annual #2 (1988) "The Unforgiving Minute"
Flash #0 (October, 1994) "Flashing Back!"
Flash #225 (October, 2005) "Rogue War: Conclusion"
Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (August, 2006) "Lightning In A Bottle Part One: Flashback"
Flash: Rebirth #1 (June, 2009) "Lightning Strikes Twice"
Flashpoint #5 (Late October, 2011) "Flashpoint Part Five"
Flash #9 (July, 2012) "Fear"

This collection runs all over the place, giving a few of the most reprinted Flash stories of the Golden Age, a nice collection of the Silver Age (including the introductions of Barry Allen, Iris West, Wally West as Kid Flash and first meeting of Barry and Jay), as well as the first Superman/Flash race and a few great battles with Flash's Rogue's Gallery and the Reverse-Flash, as well as Golden Age Green Lantern and JSA villain, Vandal Savage, and even touching on big events in the DC Universe like the Crisis On Infinite Earths and Flashpoint.... 



Shazam!

Holy Moley!  Time for a younger point of view with the April, 2015 collection of stories of Captain Marvel, the World's Mightiest Mortal, who becomes the hero when Billy Batson says Shazam! (which he first did in Whiz Comics #2 by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck).

Issues reprinted:
Whiz Comics #2 (February, 1940) "Introducing Captain Marvel"
Whiz Comics #21 (September 5, 1941) "The Vengeful Four"
Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (December, 11 1942) "Captain Marvel Introduces Mary Marvel"
Captain Marvel, Jr. #12 (October, 1943) "Baffin Land"
Captain Marvel Adventures #38 (August, 1944) "Mr. Mind's Movie Madness"
Captain Marvel Adventures #39 (September, 1944) "Peril Behind The Camera"
Marvel Family #1 (December, 1945) "The Mighty Marvels Join Forces!"
Hoppy The Marvel Bunny #6 (October, 1946) "Phantom Of The Forest"
Captain Marvel Adventures #137 (October, 1952) "King Kull And The Seven Sins"
Captain Marvel Adventures #148 (September, 1953) "Captain Marvel Battles The World"
Superman #276 (June, 1974) "Make Way For Captain Thunder"
Shazam #1 (February, 1973) "In The Beginning"/"The World's Wickedest Plan"
Shazam #29 (May-June, 1977) "Ibac Meets Aunt Minerva!"
World's Finest Comics #275 (January, 1982) "The Snatching Of Billy Batson"
DC Comics Presents #49 (September, 1982) "Superman And Shazam"
L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31 (September, 1991) "Where Dreams End"
Power of Shazam #1 (March, 1995) "Things Change"
Power of Shazam #2 (April, 1995) "The Arson Fiend"
Power of Shazam #33 (December, 1997) "Yeah -- This Is A Face Only A Mother Could Love"
Action Comics #768 (August, 2000) "O Captain My Captain"
JSA #48 (July, 2003) "Enlightenment"
Shazam! The Monster Society Of Evil #2 (May, 2007) "Mary Takes The Cake"
Justice League #21 (August, 2013) "SHAZAM!" 

Truly one of the better collections, with a nice section of Cap's original Fawcett adventures including his first appearance, as well as Mary Marvel's, the Lt. Marvels', Black Adam's and King Kull's, his move to DC (where he had to have his saying, "Shazam!" on the cover, due to legal complications), most of his best villains (including Sivana, Black Adam, Mr. Mind, King Kull, Ibac and Aunt Minerva are all represented), and, though Superman does show up a little more than he should (as he has multiple volumes), here, at least, you can see the joy Cap gets working with the big, red, "S", as well as fighting for a place in the greater DC Universe (most notably with Lobo and the JSA).

Robin, the Boy Wonder

Last, but not least, one of the earliest sidekicks of a super-hero, Robin, in this collection from May, 2015, which focuses on the original, Dick Grayson (who premiered in Detective Comics #38, by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson), but also Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne and more!

Issues reprinted:
Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940) "Robin, The Boy Wonder"
Batman #20 (December-January, 1943/1944) "Bruce Wayne Loses Guardianship Of Dick Grayson"
Star-Spangled Comics #82 (July, 1948) "The Boy Who Hated Robin"
Star-Spangled Comics #86 (November, 1948) "The Barton Brothers"
Star-Spangled Comics #103 (April, 1950) "Roberta, The Girl Wonder"
Batman #107 (April, 1957) "The Grown-Up Boy Wonder"
Batman #156 (June, 1963) "Robin Dies At Dawn"
Detective Comics #342 (August, 1965) "The Midnight Raid Of The Robin Gang"
Batman Family #1 (September-October, 1975) "The Invader From Hell"
Nightwing #101 (Early March, 2005) "Nightwing: Year One" Part 1
Batman #408 (June, 1987) "Did Robin Die Tonight?"
Batman #424 (October, 1988) "The Diplomat's Son"
Batman #427 (Winter, 1988) "Death In The Family" Part 2
Batman #442 (December, 1989) "A Lonely Place Of Dying" Part 5
Robin #46 (October, 1997) "Dark At Dawn"
Nightwing #25 (October, 1998) "The Boys"
Superman/Batman #7 (April, 2004) "Protege"
Batman #657 (November, 2006) "Batman And Son" Part 3
Superman/Batman #77 (December, 2010) "Fright Night"
Batman and Robin Annual #1 (March, 2013) "Batman Impossible"
Justice League Of America #55 (August, 1967) "The Super-Crisis That Struck Earth-Two"
Batman: Dark Knight #2 (1986) "Dark Knight Triumphant"
DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1 (1999) "Head Games"
Robin #126 (July, 2004) "A Life More Ordinary"




Truly an odd collection, as much of it does contain Batman, still Robin does have a few solo adventures, as well as team-ups with Batgirl, Nightwing, Superboy, and Supergirl, it lacks any first appearances of any Robin other than Dick Grayson, nor does it have any of his strongest Titans stories (which are not in the Teen Titans collection either).  Still, this book does serve Dick's time as Nightwing well, as well as wonderful stories of Jason Todd, Damian Wayne and especially Tim Drake, as well as a few different versions of grown-up Robins!

All of these books also set up for future volume, which focus on the Justice Society of America and Batgirl, who get teased here, as well as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Catwoman and more!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Flash Facts: Barry And Iris' Wedding

The comic book wedding of Barry Allen and Iris West didn't quite go the same as the version seen on CW's Flash (during the Crisis On Earth-X event they had), but it was interesting nonetheless. 

In "One Bridegroom Too Many" from Flash #165 (November, 1966 by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, under a Murphy Anderson cover), Barry did indeed get his wedding interrupted, but it was the Flash doing it!   This involved some trickery from the 25th Century villain, Reverse Flash (a.k.a. Eobard Thawne), and this time, Barry had to be careful not to reveal his identity to his guests (which included Wally West's parents, Professor Ira West who Iris' thought was her father, Al Desmond who was formerly Dr. Alchemy, and Barry's parents, Henry and Nora Allen).   Barry's dilemma was that he had not yet told Iris (nor almost anyone at the wedding other than Wally), that he was the Flash.

This plot point continued for a year, with Barry finally deciding to tell Iris during the course of the "Stupendous Triumph Of The Six Super-Villains" in Flash #174 (November, 1967 by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene under a classic cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson featuring Flash's Rogue's Gallery).  This was complicated by facing a good Mirror Master and evil Flash from a parallel Earth (as well as Barry's Earth-1 Rogues including his Mirror Master), but Barry had been his own worst enemy (and the solution to his problems) as Iris already knew.  Seems Barry talks in his sleep....so, believe it or not, Flash solved his own problem, not by being the Fastest Man Alive, but by simply slowing down and being with the woman he loved!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Celebration of Superman, Batman, Lois Lane and the Joker

As the end of the years approaches, a time to look back.

What better way to look back than a quick look at collections of your favorite heroes?


This time....

...the first four to go, as we take a look at Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years, Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years, Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years and The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years!




Superman

First up, a collection from November, 2013, of one of the heroes that started DC Comics, Superman, who premiered in Action Comics #1 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Issues reprinted:
Action Comics #1 (June, 1938) his origin and [Superman, Champion Of The Oppressed]
Action Comics #2 (July, 1938) [War In San Monte]
Look Magazine #5 (February 27, 1940) [How Superman Would End The War]
Superman #17 (July-August, 1942) "Man Or Superman?"
Superman #53 (July-August, 1948) "The Origin Of Superman"
Superman #76 (May-June, 1952) "The Mightiest Team In The World!"
Action Comics #242 (July, 1958) "The Super-Duel In Space"
Superman #129 (May, 1959) "The Girl In Superman's Past"
Superman #141 (November, 1960) "Superman's Return To Krypton"
Superman #149 (November, 1961) "The Death Of Superman"
Superman #247 (January, 1972) "Must There Be A Superman?"
Action Comics #544 (June, 1983) "Rebirth!"
Superman #400 (October, 1984) "The Living Legends Of Superman"
Superman Annual #11 (1985) "For The Man Who Has Everything"
Superman #11 (November, 1987) "The Name Game"
Superman #75 (January, 1993) "Doomsday!"
Action Comics #775 (March, 2001) "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & The American Way?"
Mythology: The DC Comic Art Of Alex Ross (October, 2003) "The Trust"
Action Comics #900 (June, 2011) "The Incident"
Action Comics #0 (November, 2012) "The Boy Who Stole Superman's Cape"


A sadly misnamed collection, as Superman isn't really celebrated here.  True, his first appearance is here, but after that, readers see Superman repeatedly fail, question his abilities, mope around alone, be shown up or even die.  Still, there are plenty of great stories here including a first meeting of Superman and Batman and the first appearance (and best rebirth) of Brainiac, but as a group, a bit of a painful read for fans of the Man of Steel.

Lois Lane

Next, a collection of one of first lady of DC Comics, Lois Lane, who premiered in Action Comics #1 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and these reprints came out in November, 2013.

Issues reprinted:
Action Comics #1 (June, 1938) his origin and [Superman, Champion Of The Oppressed]
Action Comics #2 (July, 1938) [War In San Monte]
Action Comics #6 (November, 1938) [The Man Who Sold Superman]
Superman #29 (July-August, 1944) [Lois Lane, Girl Reporter: The Bakery Counterfeiters]
Superman #33 (March-April, 1945) [Lois Lane, Girl Reporter: The Purloined Piggy Bank]
Superman #34 (May-June, 1945) [Lois Lane, Girl Reporter: The Foiled Frame Up]
Superman #58 (May-June, 1949) "Lois Lane Loves Clark Kent"
Showcase #9 (July-August, 1957) "The Girl In Superman's Past"
Showcase #9 (July-August, 1957) "The New Lois Lane"
Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #5 (November-December, 1958)  "The Fattest Girl In Metropolis"
Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #16 (April, 1960) "The Kryptonite Girl"
Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #42 (July, 1963) "The Romance Of Superbaby And Lois Lane"
Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #106 (November, 1970) "I Am Curious (Black)"
Man Of Steel #2 (October, 1986) "The Story Of The Century"
Action Comics #600 (May, 1988) [Lois Lane]
Action Comics #662 (February, 1991) "Secrets In The Night"  
Superman: Lois Lane #1 (June, 1998) "Lois Lane"
Superman #168 (May, 2001) "With This Ring..."
Wonder Woman #170 (July, 2001) "She's A Wonder"
Adventures Of Superman #631 (October, 2001) "Battery: Part Five" 
Superman 80-Page Giant #1 (May, 2010) "Patience-Centered Care"
Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #23 (February, 1961) "The Wife Of Superman"
Action Comics #484 (June, 1978) "Superman Takes A Wife"
All-Star Superman #2 (February, 2006) "Superman's Forbidden Room"
All-Star Superman #3 (May, 2006) "Sweet Dreams, Superwoman"

This collection is a little happier, with some Golden Age independence for Lois Lane, some Silver and Bronze Age oddness, and more modern independence for the girl reporter....it does lack a major focus of Lois' life, that of trying to prove Clark Kent is Superman, but instead does give you the payoff of that lengthy storyline, with a happy ending for both Lois and Clark, and a few of their weddings.

Batman

Now, to the dark side of the DC Universe, the city of Gotham's protector, the Batman, who debuted in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939), written by Bill Finger, with art by Bob Kane, one of many stories in this July, 2014 collection.

Issues reprinted:
Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) "The Case Of The Chemical Syndicate"
Detective Comics #83 (January, 1944) "Accidentally On Purpose!"
Batman #49 (October-November, 1948) "The Scoop Of The Century!"
Detective Comics #211 (September, 1954) "The Jungle Cat Queen"
Detective Comics #216 (February, 1955) "The Batman Of Tomorrow!"
World's Finest Comics #94 (May-June, 1958) "Origin Of The Superman-Batman Team"
Detective Comics #327 (May, 1964) "The Mystery Of The Menacing Mask!"
Batman #181 (June, 1966) "Beware Of -- Poison Ivy!"
Detective Comics #359 (January, 1967) "The Million Dollar Debut Of Batgirl!"
Detective Comics #395 (January, 1970) "The Secret Of The Waiting Graves"
Detective Comics #442 (August-September, 1974) "Death Flies The Haunted Sky"
Detective Comics #474 (December, 1977) "The Deadshot Ricochet"
DC Special Series #21 (Spring, 1980) "Wanted: Santa Claus -- Dead Or Alive!"
Batman Special #1 (April, 1984) "...The Player On The Other Side!"
Detective Comics #574 (May, 1987) "..My Beginning...and My Probable End" 
Detective Comics #633 (Early August, 1991) "Identity Crisis"
Batman #497 (Late July, 1993) "The Broken Bat" [Knightfall 11]
Detective Comics #711 (July, 1997) "Knight Out"
Detective Comics #757 (June, 2001) "Air Time"
Detective Comics #821 (September, 2006) "The Beautiful People"
Batman #2 (December, 2011) "Trust Fall"
[The Case Of The Chemical Syndicate [Reimagined], special for this collection

With so many collections of his stories, it is hard for this one to stand out.  True, it does have the beginnings of his team-ups with Superman, the first Poison Ivy tale, the second Deadshot, the first Batgirl story, Batman's opposite number the Wraith, and Batman's toughest confrontation with Bane, it lacks his incredible collection of foes.  Still, there are many highlights, including a more modern tale focusing on Bruce Wayne that was a delight, this volume does stand nicely as a celebration.

Joker

Last, this time around, an even darker part of the DC Universe, the clown prince of crime, and main adversary of the Batman, the Joker, who first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring, 1940)  by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, to start this collection from July, 2014

Issues reprinted: 
Batman #1 (Spring, 1940) [Batman vs. The Joker]
Batman #5 (Spring, 1941) "The Riddle Of The Missing Card!"
Detective Comics #64 (June, 1942) "The Joker Walks The Last Mile!"
Batman #25 (October-November, 1944) "Knights Of Knavery"
Batman #32 (December-January, 1945/1946) "Rackety-Rax Racket!"
Detective Comics #168 (February, 1951) "The Man Behind The Red Hood!"
Detective Comics #180 (February, 1952) "The Joker's Millions"
World's Finest Comics #61 (November-December, 1952) "The Crimes Of Batman"

Batman #85 (August, 1954) "Batman -- Clown Of Crime!"
Batman #163 (May, 1964) "The Joker Jury!"
Batman #251 (September, 1973) "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge!"
Detective Comics #475 (February, 1978) "The Laughing Fish!"
Detective Comics #476 (March-April, 1978) "Sign Of The Joker!"
Superman #9 (September, 1987) "To Laugh And Die In Metropolis"
Batman #427 (Winter, 1988) "A Death In The Family (Chapter 4)"
Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #66 (December, 1994) "Gone Sane 2 Swimming Lessons"
Detective Comics #726 (October, 1998) "Fools Errand" [Aftershock]
Detective Comics #741 (February, 2000) "Endgame: Part Three: Sleep In Heavenly Peace"
Detective Comics #826 (February, 2007) "Slayride"
Detective Comics #1 (November, 2011) [One hundred Fourteen Murders Over The Past Six Years]
Batman #15 (February, 2013) "Death In The Family: But Here's The Kicker"

Of these four, the collection that stands out as a true celebration.  True, many of these stories have appeared, even together in other Joker compilations, there is a joy to these tales that still make all of them wonderful reading.  About the only flaw is they only mention his 9 issue solo series and do not provide any of its tales (though, there is a collection of them, which is mentioned in the book, which doesn't do the series justice, as if you read one of those tales, you have pretty much read them all....perhaps why none of them were included).   

These are the earliest of DC's Celebration series, and while they contain many stories reprinted elsewhere, they are interesting collections to say the least.

More have followed (and will follow), with breakdowns of future volumes on Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, the Teen Titans, the JSA, Aquaman and more, some addressing the very problems mentioned here!