Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

Posted Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 by Barry

Lobo’s Big Babe Spring Break Special

No matter the weather, today is the first day of spring. To usher out the end of another winter the Last Czarnian, the Main Man, the bastich himself:  Lobo plays bodyguard to eight of the galaxy’s most beautiful college students. All to crown the next Miss Voluptua.

Only no one is who they seem.

Lobo’s Big Babe Spring Break Special

Lobo’s Big Babe Spring Break Special

Lobo is called in to do what he does best. Or, one of the things he does best. Lobo is to ensure no harm comes to the beauty pageant contestants. In the new and enlightened era of political correctness the Miss Voluptua ’95 contest is at risk from renegade factions protesting the objectification of women.

Alan Grant continues scripting chores sans mentor Keith Giffen. Jim Balent handles penciling duties.

Lobo first appeared in Omega Men issue three. He would continue to make cameos throughout the DC Universe in such titles as Justice League International, L.E.G.I.O.N. and its sequel R.E.B.E.L.S. before earning his self-titled, solo four-issue mini-series in 1990.

The Main Man would continue to star in one-shots and minis throughout his mercenary career including Lobo’s Paramilitary Christmas Special, Lobo’s Back, Lobo Blazing Chain of Love, Lobo Infanticide, Lobo Portrait of a Victim and Lobo Unamerican Gladiators. His own title came in 1993 and ran till 1999.

Posted Sunday, March 17th, 2019 by Barry

Wonder Woman (1942) 14

Wonder Woman (1942) 14

Wonder Woman (1942) 14

The third of DC’s Trinity, Wonder Woman met with the wee folk in the Fall 1945. Courtesy of chubby companion Etta Candy.

Etta finds herself almost going down a rabbit hole of sorts. Rather than a harried hare, she is chasing a squirrel who has stolen her last piece of candy. Instead of a tea party, Etta finds herself “Captured by the Leprechauns.” Told by Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter.

Wonder Woman saves the day – and candy.

Leprechauns Shaggy, Hoppy and Woggle would return in Sensation Comics 75 for another adventure.

St. Patricks’ Day – also known as Feast of the Irish – is celebrated on March 17, the death date of Saint Patrick the foremost saint of Ireland.

Posted Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 by Barry

Superman: Peace on Earth (1999)

As part of the 60th-anniversary of DC Comics, Paul Dini and Alex Ross brought the tabloid format back to the industry in a series of specials.

In addition to the seasonal lead-in “Peace on Earth,” Dini and Ross crafted Batman: War on Crime, Shazam: Power of Hope and Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth.

The book was released in time for the 1999 Christmas season. Superman is overcome by the season and attempts to solve the world hunger problem. He is met with distrust and disdain. Superman learns the humbling lesson that while super, he is also only a man.

The sparse prose is complimented by lavish brush strokes. Peace on Earth was the 1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards winner: Best Graphic Album – new.

Superman: Peace on Earth (1999)

Superman: Peace on Earth (1999)

Posted Thursday, February 28th, 2019 by Barry

DC Universe Christmas TPB (2000)

DC opened the new millennium with a gift-wrapped Christmas trade in both cover and manner. Readers traverse holidays from the Golden to Modern Age of comic books in 160 pages.

As diverse as the stories, the characters chosen for the Tanenbaum tome are even more so. From the old west with Bat Lash to World War I Enemy Ace to wayward West waif Impulse back from the future.

Story wise are Frank Miller’s first take on the Dark Knight, “Santa Claus – Dead or Alive!”

Flash stars in the first of two “Present Tense” stories.

“The Story of the Fir Balsam” is a Golden Age story from Sensation (Mystery) Comics (1941) issue 14 involving Nazi spies.

Superman shines in “The Gift.”

One holiday tale that always pops up is “A Swingin’ Christmas Carol” featuring The Teen Titans. The original Teen Titans. Complete with hip and mod slang for the times. Those times were the 1960s; 1966 to be exact.

Darkseid appears in the second “Present Tense” story, guest starring Santa.

Captain Marvel Adventures (1941) issue 69 is been reprinted featuring “Billy Batson’s Xmas!”

“Alone for the Holidays” proves Robin will always have family.

DC Universe Christmas TPB (2000)

DC Universe Christmas TPB (2000)

The Legion of Super Heroes star in “Star Light, Star Bright…Farthest Star I see Tonight!”

“The Present” teams Green Lantern and Green Arrow again.

“Night Prowler!” is from House of Mystery (1951) 191.

“The Harley and the Ivy” is a lush retelling from The Batman Adventures Holiday Special.

Sandman and Sandy take readers back to the Golden Age of comic books again with “Santa Fronts for the Mob.” The story originally appeared in Adventure Comics (1938) issue 32.

“An Eye for Detail” showcases old west dandy Bat Lash.

Enemy Ace takes a break from the hell of war in “Silent Night.”

Impulse plays Santa’s helper in “No, Bart, This is No Santa Claus.”

Finally, Superman closes out the book with what could possibly be DC’s first super-powered driven Christmas story in “Superman’s Christmas Adventure” from 1940.

Posted Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 by Barry

Batman Noel (2011)

Often listed in the top-10 best Batman stories, Noel is a lushly illustrated Christmas Carol.

Batman Noel (2011)

Batman Noel (2011)

Lee Bermejo is a true artist. In every sense of the word. From his staccato narration to the loving brushstrokes that create a yester-world not glimpsed for two centuries. A work Charles Dickens would enjoy himself.

Batman is the Scrooge. Bob is one of the Joker’s henchmen. His son is Tiny Tim and the Joker is, well, the Joker. Catwoman is the Ghost of Christmas Past and Superman the Ghost of Christmas Present. Jacob Marley is represented by a generic Robin.

Fans of the Batman: Arkham Origins video game were offered the Noel Bat-suit as one of the skins available for play.

Dickens’ original novella was first published in 1843 in a London scrutinizing its own traditions. So popular was the story when it was released Dec. 19, it sold out by Christmas Eve. To this day, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print.

Like Dikens’ work, Bermejo has crafted a perennial tradition with this elseworld’s work.

Posted Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 by Barry

Vintage Superman Ad

Vintage Superman AdHaving conquered print and radio, the Man of Steel turned his attention to a new medium.

The Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves, aired from 1952-58, prompting a plethora of merchandise. Even more than what came before. Madison Avenue was finding television was proving to be a very profitable medium.

National Periodicals allowed the Superman likeness and logo to be plastered on almost everything. Here is a comic book page from the 1950s advertising a gaggle of gifts any red-blooded youngster could want. Included are: a Superman watch, Superman Official Magic Kit, Superman Muscle Building set, Superman lunch box and a couple other items I can’t identify.

An odd collection of items especially the magic kit considering that’s one thing Superman is powerless against.

Posted Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 by Barry

Flash (1987) 87

Flash (1987) 87

Flash (1987) 87

Wally West earned the red union suit he sped through the post-crisis DCU wearing.

He has been part of the Speed Force since Flash (1959) 110. Originally a guest in his uncle-by-marriage’s book, Wally became a back-up feature. Later he would be one of the original Teen Titans.

When Silver Age-mentor Flash, Barry Allen, died (not really) in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally assumed the Scarlet Speedster’s mantle. By issue 87 Mark Waid was at the book’s helm. Under his guidance Wally sped through two holiday stories; the first in issue 73.

With issue 87 Wally is attempting to spend Christmas Eve with loved ones. Silver-Age holdover Abra Kadabra is the foil in Flash’s plans.

Issue 87 is a good example of how to continue an ongoing story arc while celebrating Christmas.

Posted Monday, February 18th, 2019 by Barry

Scooby-Doo (2010) 66

Scooby-Doo and gang encounter a foursome of presidential ghosts in this, a true President’s Day Special. While the cover boasts a bold proclamation, the story itself – released Feb. 10, 2016 – never mentions the federal holiday.

The lead, and only original story, “All the President’s Ghosts” showcases the spirits of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and George Washington. Those meddling kids and their dog solve the mystery in 10 pages leaving ample room for two more features.

Scooby-Doo (2010) 66

Scooby-Doo (2010) 66

The remainder of the book features already printed material. Reprinted from Scooby-Doo (1997) issue 131 is “Velma’s Monsters of the World.” Acheri, the Indian legend of a murdered little girl, is related. Shaggy dons a Santa suit owing to the color red is the only protection from her wrath.

“You Want Frights With That?” is pulled from Scooby-Doo (1997) issue 111.

Scooby-Doo was first affiliated with President’s Day Feb. 19, 2001, when Cartoon Network aired an eight-hour marathon of Scooby-Doo, Where are You! from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

President’s Day, originally cited as Washington’s Birthday, is celebrated the third Monday of February. It is the occasion to honor the incumbent president and all persons who have served as president, not just our founding father.

The food most traditionally associated with the day is cheery pie, owing to Washington’s legendary act of chopping a cherry tree down and throwing himself under the bus when confronted.

Posted Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 by Barry

World’s Finest (1990) 1-3

Post-crisis DC was an exciting era. All the old was washed away in the stroke of the 12-issue maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Not much time would pass before creators began bringing back pre-crisis pieces. Or, pulling back the facade to reveal some cracks already forming. Or, simply harken back with an else-worlds type story. The World’s Finest mini under the microscope is more of a return to the Eisenhower era. Batman and Superman were still friends – of sorts. Not the embattled super willpowers gracing the silver screen.

The Joker is as maniacal as ever, with enough murderous undercurrent to make readers nervous. Lex Luthor sports double chins, more comfortable in a three-piece suit rather than a white lab coat.

The four principle players intermingle in an awkward ballet told in three parts. From beginning to conclusion the story unfolds as slickly as the paper it was printed on.

Luthor and Joker trade stomping grounds, as do Batman and Superman in pursuit of their arch nemeses’. Christmas is a storm front that spills into New Year’s as the story reaches a false crescendo in issue two.

Issue three ties up the loose threads with a bit of pranking done on and by various participants.

Dave Gibbons brought back a sliver of the Silver Age with his script while Steve Rude was anything but with his renderings. This is a story that calls to me on a regular basis. Usually I heed.

Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2019 by Barry

Young Monsters in Love

As a long-time horror fan and one who still appreciates the Universal fore-fathers, Young Monsters in Love promised a tantalizing twist to the 2018 Valentine’s Day.

Kelley Jones’ depiction of Swamp Thing planting a big, wet one on the Frankenstein monster’s bride while the cobbled creation looks on set the mood.

This 80-page anthology is a mixed bag. Ten stories ranging from tale tellers James Robinson to Paul Dini with art by the aforementioned Mr. Jones, Guiseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Stephanie Hans, Javier Fernandez, Mirko Colak, Nic Klein, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Razer Irving, John McCrea and Guillem March.

Young Monsters in Love

Young Monsters in Love

Jones is the perfect choice to render the opening Man-Bat story, worthy of a read. Skip the Frankenstein monster’s tale for Solomon Grundy’s as Superman passes along some words of wisdom to Superboy.

Too bad Raven’s – of Teen Titans – story isn’t more like Edgar Poe’s.

Dini does Deadman – gotta love alliteration – proud keeping Boston Brand from spinning in his grave.

Swamp Thing is represented by Russell and Frazer with a flowery tale. Pun intended.

The book is rounded out with some mediocre stories. Maybe the most memorable is the Mallah and Brain taboo romance.

The torrid torch the two carry deals with their dissimilar species, but same sex attraction.

Like the allure of any solicitation, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t take my opinion, try it for yourself.