Monthly Archives November 2020

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

As with issues past and future, Comic Cavalcade cover artist Everett E. Hibbard would hit on the holiday, though the inside would be bare of any mention.

Wonder Woman is the lead off hitter in The Menace of the Rebel Manlings. The Amazon goes berserk, ‘nuff said.

Flash is next in The Galloping Greenbacks. Guesting are Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan. Also appearing is Joan Williams, the future Mrs. Jay Garrick.

A filler story titled Just a Story takes readers to New York. It would be reprinted in Justice League of America (1960) issue 114.

Seek and Hide, or The Airmail Trail, stars Hop Harrigan.

Green Lantern is the final of the tales, starring in The Meaning of D.

Also appearing in the issue are Mutt and Jeff.

Not a lot of sustenance with today’s issue, but stay with us as we count down to Thanksgiving.

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

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Marvel Super Heroes: What the-? 99 Hulk Balloons

Heroes and villains vie for a chance to represent themselves and the Marvel U at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

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Spectre (1967) 6

Pilgrims of Peril! is the story’s name, but the Pilgrims of title are not the ones associated with Thanksgiving.

These pilgrims ran from their homeland seeking religious freedom. That’s where the similarities end. Their deity of worship was from the dark depths. A being the native Americans chose to stop lest the newcomers release him.

Spectre (1967) 6

Spectre (1967) 6

The demonologists were forced to wait until 1968 before they could return to attempt Nawor’s resurrection. Both Jim Corrigan and the Spectre must battle the beast to save mankind.

Yeah, 1960’s DC cheese and misleading to anyone just looking at the cover. DC’s policy was to create an interesting cover, then craft the story. Hopefully the tale would be as tantalizing as the cover.

This usually wasn’t the case.

Spectre 6 is a prime example.

Anyone expecting a Thanksgiving story would be disappointed. Anyone spending $.12 would be disappointed.

The Spectre was first introduced in More Fun Comics (1935) 52. Creators included Jerry Siegel and Bernard Billy. Originally, he was embodied by the spirit of dead police officer Jim Corrigan. He would remain as such until Hal Jordan assumed the mantel to atone for his actions as Parallax.

Eventually Jordan is brought back to the DC fold and Crispus Allen became the host. He becomes a pivotal character in the Blackest Night company crossover.

By the New 52, Corrigan is returned as the Spectre, going full circle.

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Scooby-Doo (1997) 114

Scooby and the gang must solve a mystery before they can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in Turkey Terror at 2000 Ft.

It’s another land-grab scheme as Mystery Inc. try to save Uncle Arthur’s farm. Spoiler alert: they do and its neighbor Henry who is wearing the fake feathers – this time.

He isn’t the only one as Shaggy must wear one of his own before the holiday meal is served.

Greed is the motive for a disgruntled technician in Shoot the Moon.

The gang head to the moon for a little relaxation only to stumble across another bad guy in a rubber mask. The faux werewolf is revealed to be Mr. McCroskey who has been pilfering items to sell as collectibles.

Sushi Me? Sushi You! is a precursor to Scooby-Doo! And the Samurai Sword, the 13th installment in the direct-to-video animated features. It was released in 2009.

Scooby-Doo 114 was cover dated January 2007, though released in November 2006, beating the direct-to-video movie to the public.

Scooby-Doo 114

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The Smurfs Christmas (2013) 1

The Belgian-born franchise offers fans six stories to yule tide them till the big day.

The Smurfs Christmas (2013) 1

The Smurfs Christmas (2013) 1

Little Peter’s Christmas is a cliched tear jerker truism with the usual heroes and villains. Santa is under the weather. Gargamel takes advantage to find the Smurf’s village, but is discouraged when St. Nick bounces back.

Peter and his mother are rewarded for their poverty and observance of hard work by Santa and the Smurfs by story’s end.

The Ogre and the Smurfs has nothing to do with Christmas. For this tale, Gargamel throws the Smurfs under the bus so as not to be eaten by the giant. Fortunately for the blue woodland creatures, Ogres aren’t very bright and the table is turned on their antagonist.

A sacrifice puts Gargamel on ice in Strange Snowmen. It’s a tale of warmth, both from the heart and the sky.

The Smurfs disturb nature in Hibernatus Smurfimus. Snow blankets the woods as those who slumber through the winter sleep in oblivion. That is until a few Smurfs wake the dozing denizens. Their interruption does pay off when they escape the clutches of those who try to capture them.

Monsters and legends are undone in The Little Tree. Gargamel has turned a ferry into a tree. Her sister must procure the golden pinecones that fall in a far-off land. Lumberjack Smurf helps along the way and Gargamel’s villainy is repaid in repossession.

This does have Christmas undertones for those who are counting.

Gargamel finds the satisfaction in giving rather than receiving. The Smurfs still come out on top in The Smurfs Christmas.

The Smurfs began as a comic book before branching to television and merchandising. Their first appearance was in Johan et Pirlouit in 1958. English translations have been published in the America courtesy of Papercutz. Marvel Comics provided a mini-series in the 1980s.

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Daredevil (1964) 266

Mephisto mucks with Daredevil as he spends a solitary Christmas Eve in a bar nursing a beer.

The Devil You Say! has none of the Christmas cheer associated with holiday tales. The end has a moral uplifting, but overall the story is a lump of coal in the Christmas morning stocking.

This comic was a little late to the party in 1989, cover dated May 1 of that year. That could be because writer Ann Nocenti had just finished working on the Inferno crossover, issues 262-265.

Nocenti would pen issues 238 through 291, bringing the 1980s to an end and ringing in the 1990s. She is also associated with the New Mutants and Uncanny X-Men.

Other holiday issues featuring the Man Without Fear include Daredevil 108, Daredevil 169, Daredevil 253, Daredevil (2011) 7, Marvel Holiday Special (1992) and Marvel Treasury Edition 13.

Daredevil (1964) 266

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X-Men (1991) 165

Hark How the Bells–! marks the end of the year and the end of an era as Chris Claremont departs the title.

Again.

X-Men (1991) 165

X-Men (1991) 165

X-23’s transgression in the beginning is forgiven by books end. Between, Claremont ties up a few loose ends and tantalizes what may come. All is witnessed by Xavier and Magneto who see the festivities of promises made and kept.

The X-Men were maybe the least of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creations at the beginning of the Marvel Universe. By issue 67 the title was limping along with reprints of earlier exploits.

Not until Giant-Size X-Men (1975) one, by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, did the book publish new material. Claremont took over writing chores with issue 94, picking up where the original series left off.

As the second coming picked up speed, Claremont would expand the mutant universe with titles like The New Mutants and Excalibur. In 1991 he and Jim Lee teamed for the adjective less X-Men which remains the best-selling comic book of all time.

Claremont would leave shortly after.

He later returned to helm the Fantastic Four. The X-Men beckoned as well and he would return in 2004.

The X-books continue to be mega sellers. With or without Claremont, but it is he who pioneered the popularity.

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Archie Christmas Spectacular (2020) 1

Here’s a tradition often overlooked, the Archie Christmas Spectacular.

Wreath Wrath is a vehicle for Mr. Weatherbee who has an attack of conscience as a colossal Santa haunts his decision to ban Christmas from school. Of course, it’s Archie who sends up the warning to the aging administrator.

Holi-Dazed has Archie remembering – too late – a promise made a year earlier. The pubescent Romeo finds himself with two dates for the holiday dance. His first is sweet on him, but sours when the spirit of Christmas comes between them.

Betty and Veronica team for the Best Holiday Cookie contest in Kookie Contest. As guessed, the team-up fails and Jughead steals the show with his simple recipe.

Santa Sleighed has the big guy stranded at the Lodge’s. Veronica’s social media faux paus leads to a Christmas Eve of karaoke.

This continues the updated spectaculars restarted in 2016.

Archie Christmas Spectacular (2020) 1

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Hot Wheels (1970) 6

Neal Adams penciled the sixth and final issue of Hot Wheels as the short-lived, licensed-title celebrated the holidays with an assassination plot against the prince of Kalvania.

Hot Wheels (1970) 6

Hot Wheels (1970) 6

Prince Timothy, first heir to the throne of the postage-stamp country, was on a good-will tour of the United States. The conniving Duke of Ebenezar took the opportunity to rid himself of competition while the king lay on his death bed.

Fortunately, for the prince, he stumbles in the path of the Hot Wheels gang. A life-and-death slalom saves Timothy and the villains are deposed.

All’s well that ends well in the Humbug Run as the king recovers and the prince is sent on his way. The Hot Wheels gang celebrate Christmas and readers are reminded the reason for the season is Peace on Earth.

Adams does not handle penciling chores on the second story, Super Chick.

Also, included is a one-page bio on the Mighty Midget: K3 Magnette.

The book closes with an in-house advertisement previewing the coming changes to the Superman titles.

Mattel began manufacturing the modified hot rods – aka Hot Wheels – in 1968. The brand proved to be a huge success. The initial line up has become known as the Sweet 16.

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What If…? (1976) 26

Today is a day of decision. Whether we, the people, make it, the Electoral College or sinister societies hinted at in the best episodes of the X-Files.

Today is Election Day. The day many will file to the booths, tap their choice on a touch screen and go away feeling they may have made a difference.

Whatever the case, Four Color Holidays presents our candidate for President: Captain America.

What If…? (1976) 26

What If…? (1976) 26

True, Cap chose not to run in Captain America 250. But, this is What if…?, the series that explores other avenues not traveled in the Marvel U.

In this issue, Cap makes the fateful decision to toss his cowl into the political ring. Mike W. Barr, Herb Trimpe and Mike Esposito tell a tale in which Captain America is a symbol, but Steve Rogers is the figure.

Under the leadership of a man of honor, America prospers. As it does, the concentric circles of prosperity spread. Most notably to a small, South American country. With material aid, a dictatorship is overthrown and democracy established.

President Rogers makes a goodwill tour only to find an old evil waiting to destroy his dreams.

As with any of the What if…? stories, What if Captain America Were Elected President? is summed up in verse: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy, 4:7.

Trivia: Jack Kirby is featured as Chief Justice of the United States swearing in Cap on the cover.

Though not touted on the cover, What if…The Man-Thing had Regained Ted Sallis’ Brian? is a back story.

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