Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Monster Kirby Diablo And Blip

Monsters were coming fast and furious to the Marvel Universe, as it lacked any heroes to protect it in the pre-Iron Man and pre-Ant-Man age, but again, average humans arose to meet the challenge of the unknown...

...and, here are two more monsters that faced humanity at that time (doubling up this time, as they both only had one appearance before the Fantastic Four).

Tales Of Suspense #9 (May, 1960)

First, "I Saw Diablo! The Demon From The Fifth Dimension!" (with a little help from Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers).  Diablo was a smoke demon from another dimension who came to Earth, simply looking for room (as his dimension was overcrowded).  Diablo landed in Mexico, and here, he was confronted by Ulysses Bloodstone (though this character wasn't invented until later, it was just a generic monster hunter in this issue).  Bloodstone lit a cigarette lighter and blew it out, making Diablo think humans could easily defeat him, so he went home.

Diablo seemed to have had enough of Earth.

Though all evidence shows he has not returned to Earth, Diablo was one of many aliens duplicated by Xemnu (including Goom, Taboo and our next monster) that Hulk faced in Hulk Annual #5 (November, 1976), and Bloodstone debuted in Marvel Presents #1 of July, 1975 

Tales To Astonish #15 (January, 1961)  

With this issue, "I Learned The Dread Secret Of The Blip!" as told by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.  As Diablo was sentient smoke, Blip was living energy.  Going home from exploring another galaxy, Blip got trapped in a spacewarp and exhausted his energy getting free, and ended up on Earth to recharge.  As Blip did, he caused electrical outages for Oakville, attracting the attention of a radar operator who wasn't getting any signals.  He found Blip, learned of his story, but the pair were confronted by an angry mob.  Blip, horrified by the humans, attacked them, and then left, letting them know that their savagery convinced him not to share his secrets of the universe with humans.

Blip hoped humans would advance the next time he saw them.

There were a few other members of Blips race who encountered the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, and he too was duplicated by Xemnu, but Blip himself did return to help humanity against the Leviathons during the Monsters Unleashed 5 issue event of 2017.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Monster Kirby Taboo

In that nebulous time between Captain America being frozen in the ocean and his revival in the Avengers, there were monsters roaming the Marvel Universe.

One of those menaces to Earth humans that they had to face without costumed heroes was Taboo, and here is his story.

Strange Tales #75 (June, 1960)

"Taboo! The Thing From The Murky Swamp!" first appeared in this story by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers (under a cover by Kirby and Steve Ditko). Taboo was an alien who crashed into the Amazon jungle, where he waited until he was found by author Lewis Conrad.  Taboo explained to Conrad that he needed Earth's knowledge so he could return home.  Conrad helped convince the United Nations to help, and presented Earth's knowledge to him.  With this information, Taboo revealed he was really an advanced scout for an invasion, and that the knowledge would help his people conquer Earth.  But, as he left Earth, a hydrogen bomb secreted in the records exploded, stopping Taboo from reuniting with his people.

But, that was not all for Taboo!


Strange Tales #77 (October, 1960)

Stan Lee
, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers brought back the monster with "The Return Of Taboo!".  Taboo reformed after the hydrogen bomb explosion, and went on a bit of a rampage all over New York, especially menacing Officer Dan and his wife, Susan.  Then, even worse, more alien ships approached.  It was more of Taboo's race, but, far from being an invading force, they were benevolent aliens, who were appalled by Taboo's actions, taking him into custody and repairing the damage he did to Earth.

Still, Earth wasn't about to see the last of Taboo.

Taboo would return, usually in tandem with other monstrous menaces, such as the time he was part of a group of monsters the Avengers' villain, the Collector, had kept in a flashback tale from Marvel Monsters On The Prowl #1 (December, 2005) to being one of the monsters duplicated by Xemnu (like Groot, the Blip and Goom) in Hulk Annual #5 (November, 1976).

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

End Of Life With Archie

All good things come to an end, and that was true, even of Archie Andrews.

Starting with an experiment (following Archie's life if he had alternatively, married Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge)...

...Life With Archie came to an end with Life Of Archie #37 (September, 2014), after Archie had died in the previous issue.

One of many different versions of the familiar Riverdale characters, that particular chapter closed, but later books still focus on the folks of Riverdale (including Archie)....

...and things could get even stranger from here with all the variants of Archie, Jughead, Betty and more!


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Remembering Artist Bob Brown

In trying to remember artist Bob Brown (August 22, 1915 to January 29, 1977), a problem emerged.

Of all the wonderfully wacky covers he did for Doom Patrol, the Challengers of the Unknown and Tomahawk....which series should be the focus?

Well...decided on two from each below.


Doom Patrol


More Doom Patrol goodness here!

Challengers Of The Unknown


Here's a history of the Challenger's biggest foe, Multi-Man!



Another weird revolutionary Tomahawk here!

If only DC would give as much love to Bob's Challengers as they have his Doom Patrol!


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Monster Kirby Goom

Before the Fantastic Four, the Marvel Universe was a strange place.  After the various members of the Invaders (and All-Winners Squad) disappeared, the humans of Earth were left to fend for themselves against all the various aliens of the galaxy.

Goom was one of those aliens, and here is his story.

Tales Of Suspense #15 (March, 1961)

In his first appearance (by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers), "Goom! The Thing From Planet X!" came to menace Earth after being drawn there by the broadcasts of scientist Mark Langley.  Langely and his wife Helen confronted the monster, as it then showed Earth its various powers.  Langley felt any society advanced enough for space travel should be a peaceful one, so he broadcasted again, earning the ire of Earth officials, who plan to execute him.  Langley was right, as other aliens arrived to stop the execution, take custody of Goom and leave.

But, this was not the end of Goom!

Tales Of Suspense #17 (May, 1961)

Goom hadn't finished with Earth, as the Langleys had to "Beware Of Googam, Son Of Goom!" (by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers).  Goom left behind his offspring, Googam, in a cave, and it slowly began to mature.  Leaving the cave, Googam found Billy Langley, the son of Mark and Helen, and took him hostage at the Langley home, waiting to mature to menace the Earth as his father did.  If Billy hadn't managed to trick the alien into following him in a game of tag, then leading Googam into quicksand, the Earth would have been doomed!

Still, Goom himself would return!

A duplicate of Goom would return to menace the Hulk in Hulk Annual #5 (October, 1976), along with other monstrous duplicates of Groot, the Blip, Diablo and Taboo (all created by Xemmu, the Living Titan), but (after a meeting with Venus in the Marvel Valentine Special and later retroactive adventures with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers) the real Goom would join with Groot, the Living Mummy, Brother Voodoo, the Gorilla Man (and more) in Nick Fury's Howling Commandos.  Goom even faced Kitty Pryde and Magik in the Uncanny X-Men, and returned again with other monsters to menace the whole Marvel Universe during the Monsters Unleashed event!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Celebrating Artist Billy Tucci

Saluting artist Billy Tucci on his birthday (August 13, 1966) with these covers to the award winning 2009 6 issue limited series, Sgt. Rock:The Lost Battalion, which he both wrote and drew, with an in depth look back at this important World War II character.

Sgt. Rock The Lost Battalion #1 and #2 (January and February, 2009)


Sgt. Rock The Lost Battalion #3 and #4 (March and April, 2009)


Sgt. Rock The Lost Battalion #5 and #6 (May and, June 2009)


Saturday, August 12, 2023

National Bowling Day 2023

Happy National Bowling Day, as the evil Mr. Memory attempts to bowl down the Justice League of America with an atom-ic spin on this Murphy Anderson cover for Justice League Of America #14 (September, 1962).

An important issue of the Justice League of America, as this is the issue the Atom joins the team.

The team faces Mr. Memory, who recruits Green Lantern foe Hector Hammond, Flash rogue Pied Piper, one time Aquaman menace Sea-Thief, Wonder Woman villain Angle Man and Green Arrow's nemesis Dr. Davis (all of whom capture the heroes to set up this deadly game...as well as the Joker, at least behind the scenes, who delivers Batman as well).

As for who Mr. Memory really is...he was the previously appearing Justice League villain, whose debut was in the second story reprinted in this Giant!

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Celebrating Artist Ed Hannigan

Celebrating artist Ed Hannigan on his birthday (August 6, 1951), with a few covers to the Rom series, when it was at Marvel.

Picked Rom, as, like Ed, Rom was all over the Marvel Universe!

Rom, the Spaceknight, was a hunter of the Dire Wraiths (and, at the time, did so across the Marvel Universe...

...at least until his 75 issue series ended and Marvel didn't license the character anymore).

But, Marvel has the license back from Hasbro, and is at least planning Rom's return in Omnibus form!

Rom #35 and #37 (October and December, 1982)


Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Boy Commandos Meet Dale Evans

It's a rip roaring western adventure, as Rip Carter takes the Boy Commandos (Brooklyn, Andre and Tex) out west to meet Dale Evans in Boy Commandos #32 (March-April, 1949) by Jack Kirby.