Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

Posted Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 5

Just a Christmas cover with a creepy Santa Claus for the 1943 winter edition of Comic Cavalcade.

In the heat of the second World War almost half the issue is propaganda. Filler between headliners Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are illustrated tales of heroism on both the European and Pacific fronts. The “Real Life Story of George Philip Corl” features the decorated sergeant who was wounded three times before taking down a Messerschmitt over North Africa.

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 5

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 5

Hop Harrigan sinks a Japanese destroyer and a convoy of troop ships in “Combined Operations.”

“Reel Life to Real Life” is spy hunt involving a soldier, sailor and Marine in Hollywood.

Wonder Woman is featured in “Mystery of the Crimson Flame.” The Amazon finds herself in Arabia to solve the mystery of the story’s title.

Green Lantern sidekick Doiby Dickles’ hat is lost and found while foiling the plans of fashion thieves.

Man-eating plants annoy the Flash in “The Plant That Challenged the World”.

Also included as reading fare are Sargon the Sorcerer and Mutt & Jeff.

Posted Friday, April 19th, 2019 by Barry

The Unexpected (1968) 202

Host Abel welcomes readers to the House of Secrets library.

The Unexpected (1968) 202

The Unexpected (1968) 202

“Hopping Down the Bunny Trail” has no Peter Cottontail in this cautionary Easter story. Rather, the youth are held accountable for their treatment of confectionary bunnies over the years. Michael Uslan and Tenny Henson serve up this unsavory tale, darkening the pastel holiday.

Carl Wessler and Torre Repiso take the lead in “Death Trap,” the actual first story of the book. An escapee from the local asylum terrorizes the wrong person.

Following DC’s implosion in 1978, the three witches from The Witching Hour found residence with fellow refuge Abel. They take a turn at two tales, “The Midnight Messenger!” and “The Creature in the Park.”

In the first, a believed deal with the devil proves to be more celestial. By their second and final story nature turns the tables on (in)humanity.

Posted Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 by Barry

Sensation Comics (1942) 38

Wonder Woman opens Sensation Comics issue 38 with a Noel novella not to be found in any Christmas collection.

Creator William Moulton Marston describes the yule-time action that follows in the opening blurb:

“Using her Amazon airplane instead of reindeer, Wonder Woman plays Santa Claus for poor children, filling their empty stockings with presents and their longing hearts with love for the world’s most beautiful girl!

Sensation Comics (1942) 38

Sensation Comics (1942) 38

“But the lovely Amazon Princess lands in plenty to excitement and danger too, when she leaps from Miss Santa Claus’ sky charger into a hidden nest of vicious gold vault robbers. To save her two young friends, Pete and Gertie, Wonder Woman is compelled to surrender herself captive to these ruthless plunderers!

None but the maid from Paradise Isle, beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules and swifter than Mercury, could possibly escape the dangers and ordeals which confront Wonder Woman when ‘Racketeers Kidnap Miss Santa Claus’.”

Amid pleas for war bonds and ads for cereal the book is rounded out with “The Story of Sir Francis Drake,” Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys in “Treasure for 10 cents,” “Vandals Desecrate Churches” with The Gay Ghost in an untitled short and Wildcat in “Meet Mr. Waffles.”

Also tossed in to meet requirements for a cheaper mailing rate is the two-page text tale “Double Cross.”

Posted Saturday, April 13th, 2019 by Barry

Scooby-Doo (1997) 127

No holiday story, just a colorful Christmas cover for this indicia-dated February 2008 issue.

Included are three stories. “Family Monster” is the first. Velma drags the gang to Germany for the reading of a will at Castle Von Dinkley. The kids help a Frankenstein monster clone keep his home. Script by Greg Thompson and pencils by Jaime Garcia Corral.

“Football Fiend” follows with the gang foiling plans to sabotage a new stadium. Robbie Nely and Dan Davis do the honors.

The “Freeloading Ghost” finds himself homeless with plans to avenge his eviction. Scooby-Doo shows some unaccustomed bravado when the specter over-steps his bounds. All courtesy of Darryl Taylor Kravitz and Karen Matchette.

Scooby-Doo (1997) 127

Posted Monday, April 1st, 2019 by Barry

Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad April Fools’ Special (2016) 1

This one is a real stretch. Beyond the title, there’s no real April Fools shenanigans. What the issue does is act as a launch pad for Rob Williams’ Suicide Squad series to follow.

Jim Lee bookends the title with his artwork while Sean “Cheeks” Galloway takes care of the dream sequence pages. Williams sets the stage with his script.

The book is mainly Harley acting as her own Ying and Yang. Psychoanalyzing herself, Harley finds she is drawn to good – as long as she can still indulge her naughty tendencies. Her dream serves as a sounding board to her struggle between light and dark.

The book itself is designed to complement the upcoming Suicide Squad movie and comic book. Neither seemed to fare well.

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.