Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

Posted Saturday, March 6th, 2021 by Barry

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

Another wrong turn leads Bugs from his Miami Beach destination.

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd butt heads in Dental Fuss. It’s also the catalyst to celebrate(?) National Dentists Day.

To commemorate the day, show your dentist you’ve improved your oral health regimen, commit to better dental habits, raise awareness, schedule a dental checkup, smile and/or take a photograph with your dentist and do a shout-out on social media accounts.

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

This National Calendar Day is held March 6 each year.

Medical Cat-tention, the second of three medical-oriented stories this issue, places Sylvester, Tweety and Granny uses a hospital backdrop for usual chase scenes.

Finally, Hubie and Bertie torture their usual feline foil with Elmer part of the problem in A Doctor in the Mouse.

Another static Looney Tunes feature, but you still hear the theme in your mind.

Posted Thursday, March 4th, 2021 by Barry

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

General Issue, formerly Government Issue, have become the preface for almost any military personnel.

Better known as G.I. the initials first appeared to denote supply records for galvanized iron. During World War I troops began associating the letters for “general issue.” By the second world war G.I. had morphed to mean a generic enlisted man.

Army Sergeant David Breger, a comic strip artist, created G.I. Joe for Yank magazine in 1942. G.I. further became engrained in the American psyche when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill that became known as the G.I. Bill.

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

Toy Company Hasbro cemented the abbreviation when they issued G.I. Joe in 1964.

To honor the men and women in service to America, today is designated National Hug a G.I. Day.

Featured guests here are the hard-fighting calvary men and commander, Lt. Jeb Stuart, Arch Asher, Rich Rawlins and Slim Stryker. Collectively they are the

G.I. Combat 87

G.I. Combat 87

crew of the Haunted Tank.

G.I. Combat began as an anthology of war-oriented stories published by Quality Comics. National bought the company in 1956, but continued the title.

Writer and editor Robert Kanigher and artist Russ Heath created the Haunted Tank and its inhabitants beginning with issue 87 in 1962. Their spin was the ghost of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart would shepherd the men in the M3 Stuart throughout the war.

The four survived their tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations only to find themselves cancelled in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths with issue 288 in 1987.

The concept was revived in 2010 with a one-shot entitled Listening to Ghosts. Matthew Sturges and Phil Winslade penned and penciled the book, respectively.

DC’s New 52 brought new life for eight issues in 2012. Jeb and company were called up for issues five through seven.

National Hug A G.I. Day began in 1996 and is the only day on the calendar that is also a military command to salute and celebrate the men and woman who serve our country.

Posted Sunday, February 28th, 2021 by Barry

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

February closes with a silly character emceeing a serious subject.

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

Matter-Eater Lad, first seen in Adventure Comics 303, is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The last Monday in February is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The week was spawned to spotlight the dangers associated with eating disorders. These disorders include, but are not limited to, Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-eating.

Eating disorders are a mental disorder that may cause illness and possibly death. They are suffered by an estimated 30-million Americans at some point during their lifetime.

To seek help for yourself or someone you know, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem, of course doesn’t suffer from any eating affliction. He’s a fictional character designed to entertain. Jerry Siegel and John Forte are his parents.

The Legionnaire is the 15th member of the Legion, following Bouncing Boy. His origins stem from the planet Bismoll. The in habitants developed the ability to consume any manner of matter as a survival tool.

While he rarely appears in Legion adventures, Kem has survived the various incarnations of both the Legion and DCU. Outside of the comic book medium, Matter-Eater Lad found a stage in television on the Legion of Super Heroes animated series. Alexander Polinsky voiced him. He was also licensed in plastic as part of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics Legion of Super-Heroes 12 pack of action figures.

Posted Monday, February 15th, 2021 by Barry

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

In the past Four Color Holidays has honored President’s Day. Today, we honor Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on the third Monday of February.

The Federal Holiday has 14 different names throughout the United States. The Founding Father is singled out in Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Louisiana and New York.

Though normally teamed with Abraham Lincoln in most states for a joint birthday party, George is paired with Thomas Jefferson in Alabama and Daisy Bates in Arkansas.

To honor Mr. Washington, we present Rip Hunter…Time Master issue 23.

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

Rip must exonerate the Father of our Country from aspersions cast upon his character. The hard part is debunking a letter written and signed by General Washington himself.

Rip, Bonnie Baxter, Jeff Smith and Corky Baxter find themselves hopscotching through time as they attempt to disprove the very words of George Washington and restore his good name.

Rip Hunter…Time Master began his historical journey in Showcase (1956) issue 20. He appeared three more times, issues 21, 25 and 26; before being granted his own book. The title ran 29 issues.

Rip and company were resurrected in 1990 with an eight-issue mini simply called Time Masters. He later appeared as Booster Gold’s mentor and son in the 2007 book.

Gotta love time travel.

Happy George Washington’s Birthday. Celebrate with a cherry pie and big sales designed to remember the Father of our Country.

Posted Sunday, February 14th, 2021 by Barry

Sugar and Spike (1956) 39

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Another year, another visit from Cupid. At least there better be cupid in the picture if there’s a significant other.

Valentine’s Day, aka Saint Valentine’s Day or Feast of Saint Valentine, as defined by Wikipedia, originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It is recognized worldwide as a romantic and commercial non-holiday.

Sugar and Spike (1956) 39

Sugar and Spike (1956) 39

Paper Valentines became popular in 19th-century England. Despite postage costs, they were even sent via mail. In 1868 Cadbury created what it called Fancy Boxes or chocolates in a decorated, heart-shaped box.

Esther Howland began mass-production of Valentine’s in America about the same time. Currently, around 190 million valentines are sent each year in the United States alone. In 2013 the individual cost of Valentine’s Day per person in America was estimated to be $131.

Costs weren’t as extravagant in 1962 when Sugar and Spike were trying to decipher Valentine’s Day in The Big Mail-Box Mystery.

What began as the discovery and misunderstanding of mail, led to a Valentine’s Day lesson. One that neither grasped by stories end.

For the holiday savvy readers, a page of Valentine’s cards in prose follow.

Included in the book are two non-related seasonal stories of snow and activities. The first is Ski-Wheeee that opens the comic. The New Kid closes.

Again, happy Valentine’s Day. We here at Four Color hope it is as magical as the books that ignited this Web site. Spend it with those you love and cherish.

Posted Saturday, February 13th, 2021 by Barry

Shazam (1972) 1

For the cheese enthusiasts out there prepare to celebrate, today is National Cheddar Day.

The birthday boy is a native of Cheddar in Somerset, England.

Shazam (1972) 1

Shazam (1972) 1

No, lie.

Cheddar is so popular it accounts for about a third of all cheese sales in the United States. Half the sales in the United Kingdom are cheddar.

The (non) holiday hails from Tillamook County, Oregon, where the cows outnumber the humans. It’s a relative newcomer to the calendar of days Hallmark doesn’t recognize. The first event was held Feb. 13, 2019.

Maybe of more interest is the history of our mascot, the Big Red Cheese himself:  Shazam.

While the character began at Fawcett Publishing in 1940 under the moniker Captain Marvel, he’s better known these days as a house hero for DC Comics.

How Shazam came into the DC fold has already been covered at Four Color.

Focusing on his reemergence, Shazam returned to spin racks in late 1972 with his self-titled book. Superman buried the hatchet with his former rival and appeared side-by-side on the cover, introducing the Big Red Cheese to a new era of comic book reader.

Not long after his return to the comic book world, Shazam became part of Saturday morning television in a live-action series by Filmation. The series ran from 1974 to 1977 on CBS. In in 1975 Shazam became a double feature with The Secrets of Isis.

Later the character would appear as part of Hanna-Barbera Productions Legends of the Superheroes in 1979.

Filmation optioned Shazam for an animated series on NBC from 1981 to 1982.

The former Captain Marvel remained in the DC animated universe appearing in animated films Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Justice League: The New Frontier. In 2010 Superman and Shazam teamed for an animated short in The Return of Black Adam.

His 2019 feature film earned $74 million at the box office after expenses.

Oh, and if you’ve read this far and aren’t aware, Shazam was christened The Big Red Cheese by arch nemesis Dr. Sivana. Hence, he’s our ambassador du jour.

Posted Sunday, February 7th, 2021 by Barry

Brave and the Bold (1955) 57

Just because there is such a thing as National Periodic Table Day, Four Color Holidays is gonna honor it since that allows us to dust off the little used, much misunderstood Metamorpho.

Let’s start with the hero of the piece; Metamorpho is the love child of Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon. Metamorpho and alter ego Rex Mason first appeared in Brave and the Bold issue 57 in 1965. Mason became a walking periodic table after being cursed by an ancient artifact the adventurer had retrieved.

Brave and the Bold (1955) 57

Brave and the Bold (1955) 57

The morphing elemental man proved popular enough in the beginning to be given his own title. It folded after 17 issues in 1968 and Mason became a wandering guest throughout the DC universe.

His Silver and Bronze Age journeys passed him through the pages of the Justice League of America, Aquaman, and Superman titles. He finally became a founding father of the original Outsiders in 1983 and emerged from Crisis on Infinite Earths as a member of Justice League Europe.

Since then, Mason has continued to make guest appearances with the occasional self-titled mini series tossed in to keep his name copyrighted.

As for the (non)holiday, National Periodic Table Day is celebrated Feb. 7 of each year. It is designed to recognize the first table of elements created in the 19th century. It was first celebrated (?) in 2016 when chemistry teacher and inventor David T. Steineker decided the creation needed to be recognized.

To celebrate, spend some time researching the history of the table or toss around some trivia regarding Johann Dobereiner’s creation.

Yeah, right.

Go find some of Keith Giffen’s and J.M. DeMatteis’s JLEs. These are some of the most fun and funniest comic books ever crafted. The same is true of their entire Justice League catalog that ended all too soon. Metamorpho is one of the inmates and is given a speaking role on the cover to JLE issue one.

Posted Friday, January 1st, 2021 by Barry

New Year’s Evil (2019) 1

Rotten Tomatoes gives New Year’s Evil a 14-percent score.

I give New Year’s Evil at least a 90-percent score.

Wait, we’re talking about two different things. Apples and, well, tomatoes.

New Year’s Evil was originally a 1980, low-budget slasher starring Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly.

DC Comics adopted the title in 1997 releasing eight one-shot specials featuring a who’s who of rogues.

The most current incarnation of New Year’s Evil came in my stocking of comic books from Jeff in 2019. Yeah, a little late with this one, but I wanted to save it for the big day.

And, here it is.

New Year’s Evil (2019) 1

New Year’s Evil 2019 features another plethora of villainy from the DCU.

First up is the Joker in The Amateur. New Year’s Eve is spoiled by someone other than the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman and the Joker must come to terms with accountability.

Superman foils the Toyman in Slaybells Ring. His attempt at monopolization of Christmas is thwarted by those he hoped would follow.

Bright and Terrible shows a different side of Sinestro when his past is misconstrued.

Poison Ivy learns she can’t change people in Auld Lang Ivy.

Wonder Woman cautions Ares his mercy may be misguided in Winter’s Root.

A surprising show of good intentions allows Black Adam to bring some tenderness in A Coal in My Stocking.

Calendar Man remains in Arkham Asylum courtesy of his own demons in New Year, New You.

The best of the lot is a surprise unveiling of Chronos’ childhood in Father Christmas.

A Prankster New Year! is just as the title reads.

New Year’s Evil closes with Harley Quinn in Little Christmas Tree. An act of kindness does not go unpaid.

Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2020 by Jeff

So long 2020. Thank goodness.

This is my traditional New Year’s Eve post – Batman and Commissioner Gordon sharing a quiet moment before the new year begins.

This year – of all years – the message seems even more poignant.

Cheers, everyone. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2021.

– Jeff

Batman and Gordon

Posted Sunday, December 27th, 2020 by Barry

Detective Comics (1937) 826

The Joker takes Robin for a ride during the 2006 Christmas season in Slayride.

Detective Comics (1937) 826

Detective Comics (1937) 826

Paul Dini pens a dark comedy with the madman behind the wheel while Don Kramer fleshes out the visuals.

It’s a long night when Robin ducks drug dealers only to find himself captive of the Joker. The clown bids the Boy Wonder welcome as he banters away the evening.

The dialog is a one-sided give-and-take of hate. All the while, the Joker is careening through the streets of Gotham randomly littering acts of lunacy.

By story’s end, the Joker’s fate is undetermined when he pulls a Michael Myers and leaves no body at his death scene.

If you haven’t read this and have some extra Christmas money, find it, buy it and read it. This is an unrealized classic. Dini’s characterization and dialog are seamless.

Dini is best known for his work in the DC Animated Universe and creation of Harley Quinn. His resume includes work on Batman: the Animated Series, Superman: the Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond and Krypto the Superdog.

He would later work for Marvel on Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Dini began his career penning episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe then moved on to work on the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. He also wrote for the Transformers and G.I. Joe. Later he would author Ewoks episodes. In 2007, Dini worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.