Monday, October 31, 2022

Monsters Meet

Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolfman were among the first monsters who crossed each others path, and while they didn't during the run of Monsters Unleashed... are a pair of covers with one of each, and a good enough reason to review what's past.

Monsters Unleashed #6
(June, 1974) has a cover by Boris Vallejo, and the Frankenstein Monster made it onto the covers for these previously covered issues of Monsters Unleashed.

A werewolf is about to take out the tomb robbers on the cover of the Monsters Unleashed Annual of 1975 (with art by Ken Bald), with werewolves being the feature of previous covers here.

The last issue of Monsters Unleashed, #11 (April, 1975) has art by Frank Brunner and Dick Giordano, featuring devil hunter Gabriel, who would likely have no problem battling Man-Thing or other monsters as well, exorcising this month of monstrous coverage.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Secrets Of Jim Aparo

True horror fans can appreciate Jim Aparo, and the horror art he did associated with Phantom Stranger, Spectre and Deadman, but, it's haunting how few fans know of his two covers for Secrets Of Haunted House (#6 and #7, June-July and August-September 1977).

But, now you are no longer one who doesn't know!  

As a special bonus for you checking here, a few of Jim's old friends, working together as Halloween approaches!


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Superman Goes To Hell - The Blaze Satanus War!

Back with another installment for the Super Blog Team-Up, and here, like all of the blogs involved, we are going to hell.  But, our twist is...we are taking Superman with us!

Delving a little past our usual time frame, going into the "triangle" era of Superman (as the Silver Age usually had Superman fighting menaces that looked supernatural, but weren't).  Here, Superman and the Daily Planet staff are in between a battle between the demonic forces of Blaze and her brother, Lord Satanus, fighting the Blaze/Satanus War!

Blaze and Lord Satanus

Blaze first appeared in Action Comics #655 (July, 1990), as a club owner that was secretly a demon from hell.  Her machinations in Metropolis helped lead to the the death of Jerry White (the son of Alice White and Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet).  Her brother, Lord Satanus, appears first in Adventures Of Superman #493 (August, 1992), with his own plans for Metropolis, but, as that issue also starts the war, more will be revealed as we go along...

Sibling Rivalry (31)

The war begins in Adventures Of Superman #493 (August, 1992) by Jerry Ordway, Tom Grummett and Doug Hazelwood, with Blaze manipulating fired Daily Planet editor Sam Foswell to Newstime, to become their managing editor (as she saved him from suicide by pretending to be an angel).  At Newstime, as Foswell walks the corridors to meet Collin Thornton, owner of Newstime, 

Back at the Daily Planet, the crew go on as normal, with Jimmy Olsen going to his side job as Turtle Boy, with Clark Kent and Lois Lane following (and the lot going to check on Sam and his heading to Newstime).  Good thing they headed there, as after meeting with Collin Thornton, demons seems to come out of the mirrors at Newstime, as does Lord Satanus.  Clark goes into action as Superman, confronted by Lord Satanus, who plans to kill Foswell, as Blaze enjoys her scheme.

Payment Due (32)

In Action Comics #680 (August, 1992) by Roger Stern, Butch Guice and Denis Rodier, Superman and Lord Satanus form a loose alliance as Foswell flees further into Newstime, Jimmy and Lois battle demons, Metropolis gets wind of problems at Newstime as Satanus puts a mystical force field around the building.  Blaze appears as an angel to manipulate Foswell, transforming him into a demon to attack Superman, Lois, Jimmy and Satanus.  

Outside, Supergirl arrives in Metropolis and starts to tear through the force field around the building, prompting Lord Satanus to transport the whole Newstime building and its inhabitants into another dimension.

Sanctuary (33)

With Superman: The Man Of Steel #15 (September, 1992) by Louise Simonson, Kerry Gammill, Keith Giffen, Dennis Janke and Trevor Scott, the war rages on.  With the building gone, Perry White heads to the location of Newstime, where his wife Alice was headed, but they are lured into the former church turned nightclub of Blaze by the spirit of Jerry White.  Superman and Lord Satanus continue to battle Blaze's demons as Lois and Jimmy round up the Newstime employees now in a building in another dimension.  

To counter Satanus' plan, Blaze sends her church/nightclub into that other dimension with the Whites.  In this other dimension, Superman has problems controlling his powers, making the battle tough for him to fight.  To help, Perry rings the bells of the church to distract the demons, which it does, as well as distracting Satanus, allowing Blaze to appear, and reveal her plan, to manipulate Superman to help her against her brother to prevent Satanus from killing the now demon Foswell.

Evil's Pawn (34)

This battle comes to an end in Superman #71 (September, 1992) by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding, as Blaze's plan was revealed.  Lois and Jimmy have gotten the Newstime employees safely to Blaze's church/nightclub, as Superman battle Lord Satanus.  As the church, Blaze tortures the Whites with the truth their son is dead and merges her demons into one to attack the church.  Superman and Lord Satanus decide to work together as Superman gets help from the demonic Foswell (who joins Satanus).  

Satanus goes to fight the combined demon as Superman rings the bell at the church to power Satanus.  Blaze attacks Superman to stop him, but Perry rises up to continue ringing the bell, powering Satanus to defeat the demon, returning the two buildings and their inhabitants to Earth, as Superman and Blaze spin off into limbo.  On Earth, Satanus takes the leave of the Daily Planet staff, taking Foswell with him.  The duo appear in the Newstime office, where Satanus returns Foswell to human form, reveling in his new ally, and revealing that Satanus is also....Collin Thornton!

Kismet: The Road Not Taken (35)

Not wanting to leave you (and Superman) in limbo, here's a little on Adventures Of Superman #494 (September, 1992) by Jerry Ordway, Tom Grummett and Doug Hazelwood, where Superman was found by Kismet!  Here, this interdimensionally powered being encounters Superman, showing him not to have regrets, even though Superman had been manipulated by demonic forces, his goodness would still win out.

More War

Blaze and Lord Satanus continued their war, including revelations in the Power Of Shazam! that they are the children of the old wizard Shazam (and manipulating Black Adam), and later, their battles against Neron in the Reign of Hell (which inspired DC to reprint the non-Adventures Of Superman issues of the Blaze/Satanus war in the DC Universe Special).

But. enough of that special hell and onto other kinds of hell as well!

The folks at the Super Blog Team-Up have been busy little demons, working on hellish articles of their own, all with a certain common thread.

So, if you are of strong courage, and willing to explore more of the levels of hell, with your faithful companions of the SBTU, here they are:

Between The Pages Blog - Hostess Comic Book Ads Were Hot Stuff

Magazines and Monsters: Bonus Episode! - Marvel Spotlight 12 & 13 (Damon Hellstrom)- with Charlton Hero! 

The Telltale Mind - Patsy Walker - To Hell and Back (and Back and Back...)

Source Material Comics Podcast - Batman/Punisher “Lake of Fire” - Evan Bevins and Jesse Starcher

Mark Radulich : Alternative Commentary on Hell Comes to Frogtown

Ed Moore: News Print Commando Rex Zombie Killler from Bad Dog Ink/Panda Dog Press 2013

In My Not So Humble Opinion - Savage Dragon Goes To Hell

Asterisk 51 Blog - Sunday school with… Hellboy?!?!?

Comics Comics Comics Blog - The Son of Satan and the preacher's kids - Will looks at Son of Satan and the Defenders. 

Superhero Satellite: Spider-Ham in the world of Licensing Hell!

Relatively Geeky Presents #43: Afterlife With Archie, issues 1 to 6.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Miscellaneous Monsters

A couple of odd monsters that hit the covers of Monsters Unleashed back in the 1970s....making for some cool art on the covers of that black and white magazine, but they need a little explanation to go along with them!

Monsters Unleashed #7 (August, 1974) features Ch'Manu, under a painted cover by Richard Hescox. Ch'Manu was one of those creatures that was worshiped as a god before mankind existed, but was reduced to handing around in a South American temple until found by some explorers.  

Plus, stories featuring the Frankenstein Monster and Werewolf By Night!

Monsters Unleashed #9 (December, 1974) features the Wendigo, under a painted cover by Earl Norem.  Wendigo has some fame, sharing the cover with the Hulk and the Wolverine in Wolverine's debut.  This solo story has Georges Baptiste as the monster, coming fresh from that encounter with Hulk and Wolverine.  The Wendigo is a person who turned cannibal in Northern Canada, then becomes a supernatural being that feeds on human flesh.  Ew.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Remembering Artist Nick Cardy

Remembering artist Nick Cardy (October 20, 1920 - November 3, 2013) with a look at a combination of two of the genres he is most known for....horror and beautiful women....all in a combination, with a collection of some of his best covers from the Witching Hour.

The Witching Hour ran 85 issues from February-March, 1969 to October, 1978 having witches Modred, Mildred and Cynthia as hosts, with Nick providing many early covers for the series, with some of the best below!

The Witching Hour #1 and #2 (February-March and April-May, 1969)


The Witching Hour #4 and #5 (August-September and October-November, 1969)


The Witching Hour #6 and #12 (December-January, 1969/1970 and 1970/1971)


The Witching Hour #17 and #19 (October-November, 1971 and February-March 1972)


The Witching Hour #24 and #26 (October and December, 1972)


The Witching Hour #32 and #52 (July, 1973 and March, 1975)


...and one more here for good measure! 

Monday, October 17, 2022

Frankenstein Monsters

A couple of artistic covers featuring the Frankenstein's Monster, as the misbegotten monster saves some damsels in distress for Marvel magazines!

Monsters Unleashed #2 (September, 1973) has a cover by Boris Vallejo, with Monsters Unleashed #8 (October, 1974) has a painted cover by Earl Norem.   

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Dracula Lives Annual

Now, you might be wondering why Marvel's Monsters Unleashed title was a little lacking in vampires in the 1970s... was because they were working elsewhere, including in the Dracula Lives title for 13 issues, and one annual, with this stunning painted cover by Gray Morrow!

A tease on some of the regular issues, with the covers of the Dracula Lives issues that are partially reprinted in black and white in the 1975 summer annual!

Dracula Lives #2 and #3 (? and October, 1973)

art by Jordi Penalva and Neal Adams


Dracula Lives #4 and #5 (January and March, 1974)

art by Earl Norem and Luis Dominguez


Dracula Lives #6 and #9 (May and November, 1974)

art by for both by Luis Dominquez

Monday, October 10, 2022

Man-Thing Monsters

More Marvel Monsters, as the focus shifts to the Man-Thing, and his two covers of Monsters Unleashed.

Monsters Unleashed #3 (November, 1973) is a painting by Neal Adams, with Bob Larkin providing the painting for Monsters Unleashed #5 (April, 1974), showing off the protector of the nexus of realities, the uncanny Man-Thing, in full color for the covers of these black and white magazines. 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Covering George Perez Spider-Man

It's absolutely AMAZING that, with his decades in the business, artist George Perez didn't get a chance to do any covers for the Amazing Spider-Man, but he did do quite a bit a Spider-Man work, including this piece for the 1978 Spider-Man calendar (October), featuring Spider-Man and his more monstrous villains, inked by Pablo Marcos!

For those that don't know, the villains are: Man-Wolf, Punisher, Morbius, Green Goblin, Stegron, Lizard, Dracula, Mysterio and the Jackal...but you knew that, right?

Still, Perez did do a couple of covers for Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (#9 and #10, August/September 1977), when Peter teamed up with the White Tiger, inked by Frank Giacoia!


While not issues of Amazing Spider-Man, George did do three issues of Marvel Tales, featuring reprints with Spider-Man facing the Hobgoblin (#259 - #261 in 1992, George also inked covers for a mini-series featuring the Hobgoblin, but we'll cover those later!).



Just because it fit with the October/Halloween them, included a cover of Spider-Man Team Up (#4 in September, 1996), with Spidey and the Avengers, because George was better known for his Avengers work.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Werewolf Monsters

A couple of covers from Monsters Unleashed featuring werewolfs, as things get a little hairy under the full moon!

Monsters Unleased #1 (June, 1973) has a cover by Gray Morrow, and Monsters Unleashed #4 (February, 1974) is illustrated by Pujolar, incredible covers from the age of Marvel magazines.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Halloween Horror

Just a quick shot to start off October, with Halloween Horror #1 (October, 1987) from Eclipse Comics, with a painted cover by George Chastain, suggesting just a hint of the horror of Halloween to come!

Reprints of stories from Scoop Comics #3 (March, 1942), which forms the basis of the cover, as well as The Beyond #26 (April, 1954), Crime Detector #5 (September, 1954) and Frankenstein #5 (October-November, 1954).