Thursday, March 30, 2023

Strange Sports Stories Baseball

Baseball is back!

What better way to celebrate than with a couple of comic books.

What do comics have to do with baseball?

Well, here's a few Strange Sports Stories involving baseball from a five issue run in Brave and the Bold, just before the title moved from super-hero premieres to super-hero team-ups.

Challenge Of The Headless Baseball Team

Here, in Brave and the Bold #45 (December-January, 1962/1963) by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, you have an odd case, where the uniforms were strong enough to play without the players!

It was invading aliens from another dimension that fielded a team to go against Lefty Clark and the Jets.

Gorilla Wonders Of The Diamond

It was a different type of game in Brave and the Bold #49 (August-September, 1963) by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella (with a cover by Infantino/Anderson), where scientist John Emerson finds a way to evolve apes up the evolutionary ladder, but they have designs on more than winning baseball games.

John Emerson has to stop the apes from reducing humans to mindless beasts.

The best part of these stories, is that they were also collected in two issues of DC Special (#7 and #9, both with covers by Murphy Anderson) in 1970.  But, don't you wonder, who would have won...the uniforms or the gorillas if they had played each other?

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Archie's TV Laugh-Out

With Riverdale returning to TV today for its last season, a look back to a simpler time, and the last issue of Archie's TV Laugh-Out, #105 (February, 1986), with art by Stan Goldberg, which has Archie paying too much attention to what's on TV, much to the chagrin of Betty and Veronica.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Celebrating Artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Celebrating the birthday of Spanish-Argentine artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (March 26, 1948) with a tease of some of his decades of art.., focusing on his pre-Crisis covers of Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman #228 and #229 (February and March, 1977) 


Wonder Woman #230 and #234 (April and August, 1977) 


Wonder Woman #235 and #240 (September, 1977 and February, 1978) 


DC Special Series #9 and Wonder Woman #248 (March and October, 1978) 



Wonder Woman #306 and #329 (August, 1983 and February, 1986) 

Since that wasn't quite enough, here's a little from the DC Style Guide by Jose as well, which was also from that era!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Saluting The Puppet Master

Today is World Puppetry Day, so, it is time to give a little love to the Fantastic Four villain, the Puppet Master, a somewhat tragic villain, or at least he became as his story unfolded.

Puppet Master premiered in Fantastic Four #8 (November, 1962) in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, where the villain used a special radioactive clay to control the minds of others, all the while caring for his blind stepdaughter, Alicia Masters.

Strange Tales

Puppet Master did menace the Fantastic Four again, using Namor against them, but then worked against the Human Torch and the Thing, later in conjunction with the Mad Thinker, as part of deadly duo, turning the two friends against each other to further his own nefarious plans. 


Tales To Astonish and Marvel Team-Up

Puppet Master also worked against the Sub-Mariner early in his career, making Namor seem more violent than he really was.  But, the Puppet Master, real name Philip Masters, had regrets, as he had split with the Mad Thinker, and tried to undo the damage he had done as he was the one who blinded his own stepdaughter, Alicia.

Marvel Two-In-One

Still, the Puppet Master would fall back on his old ways, using his skills to put other heroes against the Fantastic Four, or even having to deal with the Thing for help around Christmas as the Puppet Master came to see his stepdaughter for the holiday.

Back to Fantastic

Sadly, Philip Masters couldn't escape his evil ways, returning again and again to face the Fantastic Four, while he did evidence concern for Alicia.

Friday, March 17, 2023

A Happy Harley Saint Patrick's Day

A happy Saint Patrick's Day to one and all...

..but Harley Quinn doesn't need anyone's well wishes, as she got the pot of gold from the leprechaun (though he seems to have put up a fight)... on the Frank Cho variant cover for Harley Quinn #71 (May, 2020).

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Jimmy Olsen Amnesiac Orphan

It seems hard to believe that with all the trials that Jimmy Olsen has been through, that he'd ever forget about them...

...but, that's just what happened here, under a cover by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye, in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #46 (July, 1960), as he lost him memory and ended up in an orphanage... 

...coincidentally, the one Supergirl was living in at the time!

Jimmy Olsen, Orphan!

In this story by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and John Forte, Jimmy gets an assignment to cover a flood (because both Lois and Clark were busy), but should be careful, as Superman is away in space.  At the town, Jimmy gets hit on the head while rescuing a cat, and loses his memory.  Jimmy is found with no identification, so ends up at an orphanage....but, it is in Midvale, where Supergirl lives as Linda Lee.  

There, Linda recognizes him, but as Superman's secret weapon at this time, cannot reveal herself as knowing him.  Linda tries to keep Jimmy from getting adopted before his memory returns.  Jimmy's memory returns as Linda triggers his memories (thanks to a previous meeting when Jimmy was a Wolf Man), but wants to stay to get a story about being an orphan.  Jimmy nearly discovers Linda's identity as Supergirl before Linda can get Superman to come and take the wayward cub reporter back to the Daily Planet. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Superman Fights Time

Ever feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day?

Well, you can join with Superman, who had that same problem in Action Comics #551 (January, 1984) by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane, where Superman fights H.I.V.E. and other disasters, but still striving to be the hero (and what would he do if he had one hour less, which is a part of Daylight Saving Time....), as the Metropolis Eagle writes negative articles about the Man of Steel.  

Superman still manages to deal with everything all over the world, including getting to Moscow to get a cure for Jeffrey and Jennifer O'Hara in Metropolis, who have a rare disease only a Russian doctor has a cure for.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Remembering Artist Gray Morrow

Remembering artist Gray Morrow (March 7, 1934 - November 6, 2001) on his birthday with a collection of his covers featuring the adaptation of the 1984 movie, Sheena, starring Tanya Roberts as the lead character (Janet Ames, who lost her parents in Africa, and was raised by the local Shaman), with support from Ted Wass.   

The Sheena movie was adapted in 1984 by Cary Burkett, with Gray Morrow providing the art for Marvel Super Special #34, with the story being split into two parts for a pair of Sheena comics, which were cover dated December, 1984 and February, 1984; the movie was a light adventure, with stunning shots of the land of Africa (as well as Ms. Tanya Roberts) suited to the artistic style of Gray Morrow.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Remembering Artist Eduardo Barreto

Remembering Uruguayan artist Eduardo Barreto (March 1, 1954 - December 15, 2011) on his birthday with his covers to the Paradise Island Princess, Wonder Woman (and one bonus team-up with Superman, who he did more than a few covers for as well).

Wonder Woman #316 and #317 (June and July, 1984)


Wonder Woman #318 and #319 (August and September, 1984)


Wonder Woman #320 and #321 (October and November, 1984)


Wonder Woman #322 and DC Comics Presents #76 (December, 1984)


Wonder Woman #323 and #327 (February and September, 1985)