Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

Posted Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 by Barry

April Fools from a Serious Earth

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth (1989)

April Fools from Jeff and I at Four Color Holidays with the help of Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. This disturbing salutation above is from the duo’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth published in 1989. This marks Morrison’s first work on any Batman title. He would later take over writing chores on a regular basis. The book is the best-selling, original graphic novel with sales topping 600,000.

Posted Sunday, March 29th, 2020 by Barry

Secrets of Haunted House (1975) 26

Secrets of Haunted House (1975) 26

Secrets of Haunted House (1975) 26

Guest host Abel frames a Christmas sequence around three tales of (1970’s) terror.

Readers were treated to ‘Elevator to Oblivion’ first. Twins battle for organs when one learns his are failing.

‘Last Train to Eternity’ is the second story followed by the cover-touted ‘Mikey’s Friend.’

Mikey is an orphan with a pet demon. Their final-family stop is a perfect match.

Cain was one of the trinity of storytellers including Cain and Eve through the first 10 issues. Destiny of the Endless fame, became the soul host, though he would be spelled by guests.

Secrets of Haunted House ran 14 issues, 1975-78, before becoming a casualty of the DC Implosion. The title was reinstated in 1979 running till 1982.

Posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 by Barry

Blue Devil (1984) 25

Blue Devil (1984) 25

Blue Devil (1984) 25

I have no idea what is going on with this issue. It has something to do with Leprechauns and a treasure. Sure, that’s traditional St. Paddy’s Day fare, but as far as what it had to do with the character and story, I don’t know.

What is important is today is St. Patrick’s Day. Hats off to the Irish.

St. Patrick’s Day is held March 17, the death date of Saint Patrick patron saint of Ireland. Celebrations associated with the day include the wearing of green, parades, shamrocks and festivals.

Blue Devil, aka Dan Cassidy, was created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Paris Cullins in 1984. Cassidy was a stuntman filming a movie called Blue Devil. A demon known as Nebiros mistakenly believed Cassidy was real and fused the demon suit to the stuntman. He became a full-fledged denizen from the deep later.

If anything will drive up the price of his first appearance in Firestorm 24, it’s his brief appearance on the short-lived DC streaming service version of Swamp Thing.

Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2020 by Barry

Batman (1940) 181

National Flower Day won’t make most people’s radar. It’s doubtful any of you reading this even know there is such a thing. But, for the one who would embrace the day as her own, we’ll look at Poison Ivy’s debut.

Bob Kanigher, the man behind the Silver Age Flash’s origin and three decade’s worth of Sgt. Rock tales, spins “Beware Of—Poison Ivy!” Sheldon Moldoff handles the pencils. Of the two, Shelly can at least hold his head a little higher.

Batman (1940) 181

Batman (1940) 181

Not wishing to speak ill of the dead, it’s still hard not to bash the accomplished writer for the horrid tale introducing such an acclaimed character. Much like a young actress breaking into movies, Ivy has to be embarrassed by the dialog she is forced to mouth.

Batman and Robin are even worse. There’s no evidence of the Dark Knight to come as he pines for the leggy flower child. Robin can chalk part of his verbiage to age. It’s not much worse than Bob Haney’s hip mid-60s rap for the teens in the original Titans book.

The less said about the book, the better.

National Plant a Flower Day is celebrated March 12 each year. It is a time to begin thinking about what flowers are to be planted in the spring garden. If Batman 181 didn’t cost so much, it would make good compost.

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2020 by Barry

Action Comics (1938) 434

Not an endorsement for orthodontists, Action Comics (1938) 434 is still our choice to recognize National Dentist’s Day.

Action Comics (1938) 434

Action Comics (1938) 434

Cary Bates and Curt Swan authored “The Krypton Connection” for April 1974. Together they conjure a pair of Kryptonian villains from Superman’s past, Dr. Xadu and his wife, Zeda. Both originally appeared in Superboy 100.

As the boy of steel, Superman was able to exile the Phantom Zone escapees to a red-sun planet. Over time they found a way to return to Earth and exact their revenge.

Issue 434 is the set up. The antagonists fashion a way to give Clark Kent a toothache. His visit to the dentist’s office allows Xadu and Zeda to reveal their identities and plans.

Clark awakes to embark on the secret orders embedded in his subconscious: destroy the Earth.

Of course he doesn’t, but you have to buy the next issue to find out why.

Dentist’s Day is celebrated March 6 each year as a way to bring awareness to dentistry.

For more information on how to celebrate, honor or on tooth care, visit the official National Dentist’s Day site.

Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 by Barry

Joker (1975) 2

Joker (1975) 2

Joker (1975) 2

Doesn’t everyone wanna be happy?

Well, today is your day. Today is National I Want to be Happy Day. To commemorate we turn to Joker’s solo-series, specifically issue two, with Willie the Weeper. Or, ‘The Sad Saga of Willie the Weeper’ as it is titled.

Willie has aided the Harlequin of Hate in his latest departure from Arkham. To repay the favor, Joker wishes to help Willie in his criminal endeavors. One thing; the mewling criminal mastermind bungles his burglaries with tears.

The compulsive crier cannot escape without being racked with guilt; hence the tears.

Willie finally finds the misery of others is the antidote to his abnormal behavior.

The Joker ran from May 1975 to September 1976, a total of nine issues. A 10th and final issue was completed, but didn’t see print until 2019 in The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus and a stand-alone issue later.

Posted Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 by Barry

Batgirl (2017) 18

First, thanks to Jeff for not only bringing this issue to my attention, but adding it to my stocking stuffers from him for Christmas 2018.

Batgirl 18 is a serviceable issue. Other than it makes me feel old. Barb and two friends attend a Christmas party and Harley Quinn crashes.

Batgirl (2017) 18

Batgirl (2017) 18

The story makes me feel old in the fact I can’t see me at a mixer like that anymore. I wouldn’t begin to know how to dress, mingle or stay awake as late as it probably would have gone without interference.

This is not the Batgirl I grew up with. That incarnation was created by Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino; concept by William Dozer. She appeared in Detective Comics (1939) issue 359.

I also enjoyed Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown as Batgirl.

When DC unveiled the New 52 and Barbara Gordon was back complete with working limbs, I was thrilled. Gail Simone took the returned Batgirl through her paces for 34 issues and did an excellent job.

Barbara then received new writers and relocated to Burnside, a ward of Gotham City. More importantly she took on a new persona. Batgirl was now posting selfies and working personal media like a Kardashian.

Having never negotiated a Facebook page and only tweeted a year for an organization I belong to, I felt old.

On the precipice of 54 – as of this writing – social media is the tool of the devil to me. Too much drama. Too many egos asking to be stroked. I’m sure it has its merits, but not to me.

Oh, and Batgirl 18? A good read if you can’t remember when telephones hung on the wall and cartoons came only on Saturday mornings.

Posted Monday, February 17th, 2020 by Barry

Flash (1959) 210

Flash goes 1,000 years into the future to avenge the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln for this President’s Day.

Washington and Lincoln’s days were combined for create President’s Day. Not that we at Four Color Holidays have no love for the founder of our country, we’re just celebrating the 16th president of these United States. To honor the Great Emancipator, we recount Flash 210 An Earth Divided.

Flash (1959) 210

Flash (1959) 210

Flash speeds wife, Iris, to the future to visit her real parents. Upon arriving, they discover the Lincoln of the 21st century has been disintegrated by none other than John Wilkes Booth.

An incredulous Flash sets off to find the assassin while Iris provides news coverage.

Cary Bates and Irv Novick reveal their master plan that the new Lincoln is a robot programmed with the skills and intellect of the 19th-century counterpart.

And, DC wondered why Marvel was outselling them at the time.

Lincoln’s birthday has never officially been granted Federal Holiday status. However, nearly half the state governments have renamed Washington’s Birthday as President’s Day or Washington and Lincoln Day. The day is observed the third Monday of February.

Posted Friday, February 14th, 2020 by Barry

Looney Tunes (1994) 171

It’s Valentine’s Day. I’ve gotta get this one right. Not only is it supposed to be the most romantic day of the year, but it is also my anniversary.

Our anniversary.

Sandy’s and mine.

She has nothing to do with the Web site, but she might see it at some point.

So, happy Valentine’s Day from the Looney Tune’s gang.  Issue 171 promised “Heart-Pounding Giggles Ahead!”

Really.

Looney Tunes 171

Looney Tunes 171

It does.

Just read the kicker over the title.

While the cover reads ‘There’s Something About Taz,’ the story title is ‘The Debonair Devil.’ Pepe Le Pew steals more than just the spotlight in this torrid tale of love lost and won.

Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn yuck it up for a two-page side tickler.

Bugs gets the girl in ‘Roll Out the Bunny’ for the second and final Valentine’s Day tale in the book.

Elmer Fudd gives up hunting – for this issue – after tackling technology in ‘Reach Out and Bugs Someone.’

If you’re still looking for that perfect last-minute gift, this may do the trick…but, probably not.  Comic books aren’t as cool when girls are looking at them.  If they are, you’ve found a keeper.

Hope your day of romance is a good one.

Cutting this short to spend some time with my Valentine.

Posted Monday, February 10th, 2020 by Barry

Detective Comics (1937) 58

With today National Umbrella Day, the Penguin is the obvious choice to act as ambassador.

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot originally bore some resemblance to his current countenance, but was a doughier rapscallion in Detective Comics (1937) 58.  Mr. Cobblepot has firmed up a bit over the past 70 years. He has also moved on from his days of out-and-out larceny to become more of an underworld consort, catering more than cavorting.

Detective Comics (1937) 58

Detective Comics (1937) 58

In his first appearance, the Penguin begins his criminal career as an art thief, stealing under the noses of Batman and Robin themselves. He moves on to jewels in a crime spree that not only confounds the Caped Crusaders, but implicates them.

In the final showdown, Penguin manages to elude Batman, though the Dark Knight does clear his name.

Penguin does little with his bumbershoot other than spray some acid this issue. It is in subsequent appearances he and his decorative accessory earn its spot in the pantheon of weapons. Of all his assorted implements of violence, the Bulgarian umbrella is his favorite.

The umbrella has been in use since 21 AD, first seen in China as a useful and decorative cover for a four-wheeled carriage. The invention has evolved little over the years having been perfected right out of the gate.