Category DC Comics

Franklin Richards Monster Mash (2007) 1

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Franklin sets out to prove his classmates wrong in Ready, Steady, Yeti.

With H.E.R.B.I.E. in tow, the two teleport to Mount Everest. The quickly complete their mission, to find the Abominable Snowman. The results are not what either expected.

Intestinal distress releases a monster no one expected as Franklin tackles his Little Monster; it’s not as dirty as it sounds.

Franklin Richards Monster Mash (2007) 1

Franklin Richards Monster Mash (2007) 1

Not until help from an unexpected source intercedes does Franklin learn to control the forces insides him.

Ghost in the Machine is not only the best album by the Police, but the third story in the book.

Franklin uses one of his father’s machines to turn the tables on his doubting dad. The story quickly degenerates into a Casper clone complete with the Ghostly trio. In the end, it’s Franklin who learns the lesson.

Under the Bed has Franklin taking matters in hand, behind his father’s back. He and H.E.R.B.I.E. return an interdimensional monster back to its home.

Power Trip shows Franklin how dirty the super hero business can be at times.

Another fun trip into the world of the FF’s heir apparent.

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Realworlds Justice League of America (2000)

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Realworlds Justice League of America bears more than a passing resemblance to Stephen King’s Stand By Me. Or, The Body if you are referring to King’s novella from the 1982 Different Seasons hardcover from which the screenplay blossomed.

J.M. DeMatteis’ millennial-prestige edition even manages a dash of King’s It for good measure. But, mostly Stand by Me. Right down to the, “It’s been said that no matter how far you travel in life, you’ll never have friends like the ones you had when you were 10,” line.

Realworlds Justice League of America (2000)

Realworlds Justice League of America (2000)

Stand by Me/The Body is not a bad story to swipe from. Neither is It.

The difference is DeMatteis uses a more mundane excuse to bring the former childhood friends together. Return of the Justice League has no corpse to focus on. Nor does a nigh-immortal evil dressed in clown garb terrorize a generation.

Return of the Justice League just uses longing. A longing to be 10 again. To experience friendship – real friendship – for the first time. To return to a time when whimsy and fantasy were allowed in lives.

One by one, the former gang of Richard Barrison, Nick DiMarco, Michael Riley and Karen Steuben are contacted. Each are flown home to relive a day from their past.

Only when they allow themselves to be immersed in yesterday do they realize what they’ve missed and what they have to look forward to.

Return of the Justice League is a return to youth on Halloween and Halloween eve. For the cost of a costume and imagination Richard, Nick, Michael and Karen are richly rewarded.

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Young Justice (1998) 3

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Another in a string of Happy Halloween reminders to Four Color readers. Today we’ve tapped Young Justice to herald the holiday.

Young Justice began as a bridge between Teen Titan teams. Originally the group consisted of Superboy, Robin and Impulse first tossed together in the GirlFrenzy one-shot. They next teamed in the World Without Grown-Ups mini-series before earning an ongoing title in 1998.

Young Justice (1998) 3

Young Justice (1998) 3

Red Tornado became their “guardian” and were later joined by Wonder Girl, Secret and Arrowette.

Young Justice ended as it began, serving the greater good of the Teen Titans. Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day was a three-issue mini leading into a new Teen Titans cartoon. Though billed as a maturation process for the characters, licensing proved too lucrative for art.

Issue three worked as an early example of what would come. Peter David and Todd Nauck crafted a Halloween tale that has little to do with October 31, but everything to do with the title.

Mr. Mxyzptlk makes a guest appearance in The Issue Before the One Where the Girls Show Up. Young Justice has agreed to host a Hallow-Teen Party. The fourth-dimension’s most notorious resident works on his thesis of three-dimensional primitive life forms only to be unwittingly shocked back to his former state of prankster.

This is a priceless bit of late 1990’s fun courtesy of Mr. David. The dialog is witty and relevant, right down to the Hason reference by Impulse.

As mentioned above, all good things must end and the series was cancelled by issue 55.

Drown your sorrows with some sugary treats and remember the good times that included several specials to compliment the regular series.

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Sugar and Spike (1956) 37

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Another not-so-haunting issue for Halloween 2020.

Sugar and Spike were created by Sheldon Mayer with the self-titled book running 98 issues, 1956 to 1971. It was a much simpler time when the books began and many wish for a return to such by the book’s finish.

Sugar and Spike (1956) 37

Sugar and Spike (1956) 37

Issue 37 is from 1961, when Camelot was still forming, Viet Nam was as distant in thought as proximity and the space race was far from won.

Halloween Monster has the two tots discovering Halloween. How they were never taken from their parents must be attributed to the times, but the kids are left alone while the parents partied.

Learning they are alone; Sugar and Spike sneak a peek at festivities across the yard. Neither can comprehend the costumed grown-ups devouring all the food in sight.

The two marshal their moxie and march next door to save the horderves. Their plan is discovered and the adults laugh at the two they believe are attempting to steal food.

When Mayer’s eyesight became too bad to continue, the book it was cancelled. Cameos were worked in over the years until Keith Giffen and Bliquis Evely had the pair grow up and become private eyes in Legends of Tomorrow.

Happy Halloween from a simpler time.

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Looney Tunes (1994) 155

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Every Witch Way has Witch Hazel stomping through the fairy tales. All with Bugs as her agent earning his 15 percent the hard way.

Daffy Duck shows even Gossamer can have a new look in Bad Scare Day.

Looney Tunes (1994) 155

Looney Tunes (1994) 155

Finally, Sylvester sheds eight of his nine lives with Elmer in House of Horror in another take on the couple’s haunted house routine.

Looney Tunes has been a staple of the four-color community since Dell Publishing first offered Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Comics beginning in 1941 and continuing to 1955. The success of the original book led to Bugs’ self-titled book the following year. It ran from 1942 to 1962.

Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner all had their own books, as well.

Gold Key/Whitman licensed the Looney Tunes gang from 1962 to 1984. Numbering picked up from Dell’s books.

After a 10-year hiatus, Bugs and gang returned to the comic book racks in 1993 with a three-issue Bugs Bunny mini. The main Looney Tunes book began in 1994.

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Secret Origins (1986) 44

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It’s time to get a little muddy today – in honor of National Mudpack Day.

Mud Pack is the colloquial name for Basil Karlo, Preston Payne and Sondra Fuller, the four original Clay Face personalities. That’s how we’re tying in National Mudpack Day and comic books.

The unofficial holiday celebrates the practice of mixing water and dirt to smear on one’s self. Mud packs are reputed to be therapeutic. Rumored benefits include increased circulation, the easing of muscle tension, releasing of toxins and boosting of immunity.

Secret Origins 44

Secret Origins 44

Our Mud Pack is a fictional group of Batman villains.

The Golden Age Clay Face is Karlo, first introduced in Detective Comics (1937) 40. The addled and aging actor was not invited to reprise a movie role and goes on a murder spree.

He next appeared in Batman (1940) issue 208 and Detective 496.

Matt Hagen is the heir apparent, first appearing in Detective Comics 298. Rather than acting, the second Clay Face is a treasure hunter. His discovery of a radioactive ooze does not go well and he finds himself a literal clay being.

Preston Payne is next in line for the title. His first appearance is Detective 477. A STAR Labs employee, his is a more tragic origin. The search for a cure goes unfulfilled and ending in tragedy.

Sondra Fuller is the fourth installment in the line-up. She first appeared in Outsiders (1983) 21, transformed into a shape changer by Kobra technologies.

Cassisus “Clay” Payne is the love child of Payne and Fuller. He first appeared in Batman 550.

Clay Face number six also debuted in Batman 550. Dr. Peter “Claything” Malley is a clone of Cassius Payne.

Todd Russell premiered in Catwoman (2002) issue one. Russell is more of a serial killer preying on prostitutes.

Finally, to date, is Johnny Williams. Williams first appeared in Gotham Knights 60 and was a former firefighter who became the mud monster after a mishap at a chemical plant fire.

Several other versions have cropped up throughout the DCU and in other media.

So, if you’re getting dirty, make sure your hands are clean before reading any comic books featuring the above-mentioned villains.

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Action Comics (1938) 159

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Today we celebrate a day of work by not working; today is Labor Day.

Action Comics (1938) 159

Action Comics (1938) 159

As evidenced by the cover of Action Comics 159, Superman is going to be doing the heavy lifting.

This August, 1951, dated issue comes from a simpler time. One when readers would plunk down a dime for a story in which Lois Lane convinces Superman to sign a promissory note agreeing to perform all her wishes over a three-day period. The paper is lost, only to be found by Oscar Whimple, who proceeds to work the Man of Steel like a dog.

Also, included in this issue is Showdown in Suez! Starring Congo Bill. The character would later become a full-fledged ape known as Congorilla appearing in DC Comics Vertigo imprint.

Tommy Tomorrow appears in The Planeteer from the Past! The journeyman comic book character bounced through different DC titles from 1947 to 1963.

The Vigilante takes justice into his own hands in The Trigger Trail of ‘Wild’ Eddie Meeks! Greg Sanders, aka Greg Saunders, was the original Vigilante, riding the trails in the old west beginning in Action Comics 42.

An early origin of Labor Day is attributed to the Knights of Labor in 1882. Central Labor Union Secretary Matthew Maguire is credited with the proposal of a national holiday to celebrate the worker.

A second theory is Peter J. McGuire, vice president of the American Federation of Labor is the father of Labor Day.

Whichever the case, President Grover Cleveland backed a September commemoration and Labor Day became officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894.

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Adventure Comics (1938) 210

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Krypto the Super Dog represents our four-legged friend for National Dog Day.

Whether purebred or a mutt from the street, dogs bring love to peoples lives. It is only fitting our canine compatriots are given their day.

To observe, consider adopting your own pooch. If that’s a bit extreme for your lifestyle, we suggest some virtual pet ownership through reading. More specifically, with Superboy/Superman’s dog, Krypto.

Adventure Comics (1938) 210

Adventure Comics (1938) 210

(Super)man’s best friend first appeared in Adventure Comics 210. He was Kal-El’s dog on Krypton. Jor-El tapped Krypto to test an earlier model of rocket. A quirk of fate brought the forlorn Fido to Earth to be reunited with his master.

Under the yellow sun, Krypto’s abilities were enhanced as well. The crime-fighting canine was given a yellow collar with the “S” emblem and a red cape to complement Superboy’s.

Krypto would go on to become a member of the 30th century’s Legion of Super Pets and the Space Canine Patrol Agents. He would have his own feature beginning in The Superman Family issue 182. This ran for 10 issues.

Krypto no longer existed after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Not at first. He would be reintroduced, as would so much of what had been erased during the original crisis. Krypto would go from an ordinary dog with augmented powers to a canine from Krypton once again. The New 52 would take those powers away only to have them restored with DC Rebirth.

The world’s mightiest dog has appeared in most incarnations of the animated DCU beginning with cameos in 1966’s The Adventures of Superboy. In 2005 Cartoon Network gave Krypto his own series simply titled Krypto the Superdog.

He was also mentioned in the live action Smallville.

Krypto has further appeared in DC Universe Online, Lego Batman 2: DC Super heroes, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Infinite Crisis and Lego DC Super Villains games.

Use #NationalDogDay to recognize your love of dogs today.

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Sandman (1989) 1

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Sandman (1989) 1

Sandman (1989) 1

Dream, the repository of stories, hosts National Book Lovers Day for you and us.

Escaping the fertile mind of Neil Gaiman, Sandman began publication in 1989. Initially Gaiman wanted to resurrect the Bronze Age Joe Simon and Michael Fleisher incarnation. When that didn’t happen, Gaiman was given free rein to create his own universe. One that enveloped the existing DCU, peeking around the edges.

For 70 issues and one special, Gaiman followed Morpheus as he returned to his realm and sowed the seeds of his own destruction in hubris.

Characters flowed in and out of issues, often times stealing the spotlight from the title character. Family showed as the Endless unfolded. Others became stars or were welcomed back to the literary world.

During its run, Sandman was recognized with the Harvey, Eisner, Inkpot, World Fantasy and Comic Buyers Guide awards. It continues to remain in publication in various hardcover and trade paperback forms.

Celebrate the printed word with – what else? – a book or comic book. Discover far off worlds or the one you live in.

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Man-Thing (1974) 5

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Steve Gerber and Mike Ploog combine for the chilling And When I died…! for our macabre salute to International Clown Week.

Let’s face it, clowns are the yin and yang of our childhoods. They either tickle our funny bones or terrify our souls.

International Clown Week, the first week of August, is to remember them as the fall guys of the circus. Clown week began in the 1950s, courtesy of Walt “Wabo” Savage. At least he’s believed to be the originator.

Man-Thing (1974) 5

Man-Thing (1974) 5

Ray Bickford, then president of the Clown Club of America, appointed Frank Kelly as the first International Clown Week chairman in 1966. President Richard M. Nixon proclaimed the first National Clown Week in 1970.

The representative we recognize is a clown named Darrel. His laughter had faded long before the retort of the pistol that took his life. Over the love of a woman. The love of a woman and the mistaken belief she had taken that love back.

His ghost lingered long enough to exact revenge on those who tainted that love and turned the painted crimson grin upside down.

As with many of the Man-Thing tales, the title character is more host to the story than member of it. One swipe of his muck-encrusted arm is enough to bring justice to the villains.

Man-Thing began in Savage Tales (1971) issue one. The swamp creature sloughed his way to Adventure into Fear issue 10 for a solo story. There he remained until issue 19 when he shambled into his own book. The first book ran 22 issues with five giant-size comics from 1974 to 1975.

The second run, 1979 to 1981, ran 11 issues. Afterward, Man-Thing bounced from feature to feature as well as guest starring with the remainder of the Marvel Universe.

To celebrate the week, show the world the clown you are in private.

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