Friday, May 20, 2022

Happy Birthday Zatanna And Gardner Fox

According to the DC Calendar, today is the birthday of that mistress of magic, Zatanna...as well as the birthday of her creator, author Gardner Fox.  

That little bit of magic says what better time to look back at the saga that introduced Zatanna...the search for Zatara, her father!



Hawkman and Detective Comics

It all started in Hawkman #4 (October-November, 1964) by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson, as Hawkman met Zatanna, and Hawkgirl met Zatanna....and the Hawks had to bring these two together (Zatanna had accidentally split herself in two using her magic to try to find her father).  Later, in Gotham City, Batman and Robin fought a witch in Detective Comics #336 (February, 1965) by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella, who was manipulated into fighting the dynamic duo by the Outsider...but, what does this have to do with Zatanna?

Atom and Green Lantern

With her first cover appearance in Atom #19 (June-July, 1965) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene, Zatanna recruits the Atom for help in reaching the subatomic world of Catamoore, where she thinks she can find her father.  When the duo arrive there, they battle an old foe of Zatara's, the Druid, who claims to have stolen Zatara's magic and banish him.  They defeat the Druid, but, Zatanna must continue her quest.  Green Lantern helps out next, in Green Lantern #42 (January, 1966) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene, where Hal gets a magical power boost to his ring from Zatanna, ends up in another magical dimension (Ys), where Zatara had been sent by the Druid.  There, Green Lantern and Zatanna face the Warlock, but find Zatara had already left with the Warlock of Ys' crystal ball.

Detective Comics and Justice League Of America

Stretching things a bit, Zatanna gets help from the Elongated Man in Detective Comics #355 (September, 1966) by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, where Ralph helps her find the book of I-Ching, which will help Zatanna find her father in the dark realms.  Zatanna finally finds her father in Justice League Of America #51 (February, 1967) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene, and defeats Allura (an evil elemental who caused the problem) with the help of magical duplicates of the heroes who helped her before (revealing she was the witch who bedeviled the Batman), but is nice enough to gather the real heroes to thank them for their help!

Zatanna's origins

After all that adventure, a look back at the origins of Zatanna and her father, Zatanna, including how John Zatara first learned his backward magic, and how Zatanna discovered her father was missing in a special tale originally from DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5 (November-December, 1980) by Gerry Conway, Romeo Tanghal and Vince Colletta, rounds out the collection of JLA: Zatanna's Search (2004), which has a cover by Brian Bolland.


Now, if DC would just collect these stories again, perhaps adding Zatanna's back ups from Adventure Comics, Lois LaneSupergirl and the Zatanna Special....it would be magic!



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Image's Big Bang Comics

When Image Comics hit the scene 30 years ago, it created a revolution in comics, with highly stylized art by big names and flamboyant characters...but, where would that leave the old style of comics from the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages?

Well, enter...Big Bang Comics!

For 35 issues (and a few specials) from May, 1996 to January, 2001, Big Bang Comics brought back the old school comics, with characters that looked familiar (Ultiman, the Knight Watchman, Kid Gallahad, Thunder Girl, the Blitz, the Whiz Kids and more), giving people new stories in older styles, while including modern Image heroes like Savage Dragon and Mighty Man!

the 1940s

.



the 1950s

.



the 1960s

.



the 1970s

.


the 1980s

.



Specials

.



Big Bang Comics was a fun little exercise in "new nostalgia", giving readers old style comics with new characters...


...and survives now, as its own company, Big Bang Comics, with print on demand comics, which you can find here (highly recommended!).





Now, for more of what Image was usually known for, take a look at these columns by my fellow Super Blog Team-Up contributors:

Between The Pages Blog

Killer Walking Dead Cakes


Asterisk 51

Better Late Than Never: Spawn #1


Comics, Comics, Blog: 

Image Comics: Remembering my early days


Superhero Satellite Podcast Episode 3:

Image Comics Road To Revolution


In My Not So Humble Opinion:

Astro City: That Was Then…



Jesse Starcher - Source Material -

Darker Image!!! - 


Chris is on Infinite Earths

Cable Eats a Bagel: the de-imagification of Nathan Dayspring Askani’Son Summers


.




    

 


Friday, May 13, 2022

Holy Friday The 13th Batman!

Long before Jason went to camp, the Joker was causing mayhem on Friday the Thirteenth, but here, he seems to be giving Batman and Robin all the laughs, on this Batman #40 (April-May, 1947) cover by Jack Burnley and Charles Paris


Quite an unlucky time for the clown prince of crime, by walking under a ladder, breaking a mirror and crossing the path of a black cat!


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Covering Perez Flash

Continuing our look back at covers by George Perez, this time, with issues of the world's fastest man....the Flash!

Starting with Flash #293 (January, 1981) where George even drew half the issue (teaming up with Firestorm to face the Atomic Skull), as it was his only Flash cover, and adding the iconic image from Crisis On Infinite Earths #8....well, just because!

Well, that was George's only pre-Crisis Flash cover, as he covered Flash (Wally, instead of Barry) for a few issues early in his run.

Flash #15 and #16

.


Flash #17 and Annual #2 (inked over Mike Collins' pencils)

.



Flash was also featured on covers of the Justice League of America and New Teen Titans as well....


Sadly, between the time this article was written, George Perez passed away (June 9, 1954 to May 6, 2022).  The lost to the comic book community is great, and here are a few links to other articles here on George's work, including Logan's Run, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, New Teen Titans, some on his birthday, and more to come, to keep George's legacy alive.



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Covering Perez Green Lantern

Taking a look back at the career of artist George Perez.

This time, a focus on covers he drew for Green Lantern over the years, starting in 1980!




Green Lantern 132 and 141 (September, 1980 and 1981)

.


Green Lantern 142 and 143 (June and August, 1981)

.


Green Lantern 144 and 145 (1981, almost!)

.


Action Comics Weekly 602 and Green Lantern Plus 1 (inked over Scott Kolins)

.


 Green Lantern Corps 59 and Green Lantern 65 (2011, Variants)

.


Planet Of The Apes Green Lantern 1 and 2 (2017, Variants)

.



Green Lantern Emerald Warrior 9 (June, 2011)

These, among the many covers of Justice League of America and Brave and the Bold, are just a few of the places where fans have been able to delight on Perez's version of Green Lantern!

Friday, April 29, 2022

Remembering Artist Neal Adams

Remembering artist Neal Adams (June 15, 1941 - April 28, 2022), with some of his Superman, Batman, Avengers, X-Men and other work.

An incredible artist, an influence to many, with decades of stunning work, who shall be missed.


Avengers

.


X-Men

.


Batman

.


Superman

.





House Of Mystery

.






Green Lantern

.


Deadman In Strange Adventures

.


Spectre

.


Phantom Stranger

.



For these and so many, many more, we will remember Neal Adams.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Martian Manhunter Marvin The Martian

More looney fun today from DC, with multiple men from Mars...

....that of the DC detective, the Martian Manhunter, and Looney invader, Marvin the Martian, under covers from Aaron Lopresti and Stephen DeStefano!

It's an event that thrills Martians across the multiverse.

In this DC Comics/Looney Tunes crossover, the Martian Manhunter responds to a call from Marvin the Martian looking for other Martians, and J'Onn J'Onnz has to stop Marvin from blowing up the Earth in the main story by Steve Orlando, Frank J. Barbiere, Aaron Lopresti and Jerome Moore, while, in the more animated back up by Jim Fanning and John Loter, the Martian Manhunter tries to help the little fellow with his loneliness as Marvin the Martian covets J'Onn's many Martian abilities (which Marvin doesn't have).


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Lobo Road Runner

Going out of the normal comfort range for this one, to the farthest depths of space, and the vastness of the American desert....

...here, to feature a battle royale....

...between the "Main Man", Lobo, an invincible, unkillable bounty hunter with a penchant for weaponized mayhem, and the "Accelleratii Incredibus" Road Runner, a super fast inhabitant of the highways with little regard for speed limits (or even the laws of nature and physics), with covers by Kelley Jones and Bill Morrison from August, 2017.

For this DC/Looney Tunes team up, at the behest of scientists at an Area 52 like lab, Wile E. Coyote (the Road Runner's usual nemesis, user of ACME weapons) approaches Lobo to hire him to get the Road Runner, which causes the space thug to come to Earth to track the fast running beast, yet, not unlike Wile E. Coyote, this weaponized Czarnian falls prey to the running jokes and speed tricks of the Road Runner, in the main story by Bill Morrison and Kelley Jones.  As a back-up, there are even more pranks by Road Runner on Lobo (whose failure with weapons against the bird is oddly similar to Wile E. Coyote, making this not so odd a book), in an animated style, with Bill Morrison handling both the writing and art.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Legion Of Super-Heroes Bugs Bunny

Getting close to Easter, and thinking of rabbits and gatherings, so, what would be more appropriate than taking a look at a team up...

...of the Legion of Super-Heroes and Bugs Bunny!  (???)

Enjoy these covers by Tom Grummett and Karl Kesel, and the variant by Ty Templeton.

Yes, a part of the DC/Looney Tunes series from August, 2017, with a main tale in the super-hero style (by Sam Humphries, Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna), with Supergirl in the Legion's future.  To save her, Brainiac 5 sends Computo 2 back to Smallville to recruit Superboy, but ends up with Bugs Bunny instead, with Juan Manuel Ortiz providing the animated back-up, telling the tale from the side Super-Rabbit (Bugs Bunny), and how the Legion helped his really wrong turn at Albuquerque.