Posts Tagged ‘Wolverine’

Posted Monday, May 2nd, 2022 by Barry

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 120

Entering the lexicon of Four Color Holidays is National Brothers and Sisters Day.

When an unknown woman lost her brother, she realized the loss was a permanent one and wished to commemorate a day allowing siblings to remember the importance of one another.

This is not to be confused with National Siblings Day. That is defined as a day to bond with brothers and sisters.

For the site, we choose Jean-Paul Beaubier and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier as our co-hosts. The pair are better known by their trade names Northstar and Aurora, respectively.

Both debuted in the pages of Uncanny X-Men 120 along with their comrades Alpha Flight.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 120

Alpha Flight is basically the Canadian equivalent of the X-Men. It’s also Wolverine’s former (extended) family – of sorts.

Anyway, Northstar is the group’s speedster, able to whiz along at super sonic speeds as well as fire photonic blasts. He’s is also one of the first, openly gay super heroes. He was married to his husband, Kyle Jinadu, in Astonishing X-Men 51. It marked the first same-sex wedding in comic books.

Aurora has a dissociative identity disorder, leading two separate lives. Her Jeanne-Marie Beaubier identity is reserved while her super hero persona is much more flamboyant.

Like her brother, Aurora has superhuman speed and can fly. In addition, she has high endurance and stamina allowing her to attain and maintain her super speed.

Like 19 percent of their counterparts south of the border, Northstar and Aurora are completely different. Only about 10 percent of Americans say they are best friends with their sibling. Eight percent admit to having fought their sibling, leaving marks or even drawing blood.

Whatever your relationship, enjoy the day with the one you share a gene pool with – or not.

Maybe the best way to spend the day is to find a copy of Uncanny X-Men 120 and all the ones that follow through 166, curl up with some comfort food and tune out the world.

Posted Wednesday, February 9th, 2022 by Barry

The Pizza Hut Super Savings Book Featuring the X-Men (1993)

Over three billion pizzas are sold in the United States each year reinforcing the need for today’s non-holiday:  National Pizza Day.

The origin for today’s celebration is unknown. What we do know is pretty much everyone loves pizza. In addition to the three billion ordered, another billion are purchased in the freezer section of grocery stores. That’s an average annual consumption of of 23 pounds of pizza per person.

In the United States, 17 percent of all restaurants are pizzerias. The first was opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738 with Gennaro Lombardi opening the first American counterpart in 1895 in New York City.

The Pizza Hut Super Savings Book Featuring the X-Men (1993)

The Pizza Hut Super Savings Book Featuring the X-Men (1993)

So, teaming one of the largest pizzerias with the biggest comic book act of the day wasn’t a stretch of the imagination for Pizza Hut and Marvel Comics in 1993.

The X-Men animated series premiered the previous year, October 31, on Fox Kids Network. The series was a commercial and critical success, reaching over 23-million households.

Initially, Marvel and Pizza Hut offered the 12-page promotional giveaway mini comic (4 5/8”X7 ¼”) featuring a full-color abridged retelling of the history of the X-Men. Professor X was the guide. Included were Pizza Hut coupons.

The Pizza Hut franchise began in Wichita, Kansas. Brothers Dan and Frank Carney were the founders. After six months, they opened a second restaurant and within a year had six franchises.

Pizza Hut was obtained by PepsiCo in November 1977. The Hut joined fellow PepsiCo restaurants Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken to form Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. In 2002 the company was rebranded as Yum! Brands.

The chain currently has over 18,000 restaurants worldwide.

To celebrate National Pizza Day, nab your favorite pie, pepperoni being the most popular, and settle in with some semi-old school X-Men comic books or the series currently streaming in Disney+.

Some comfort food with some comfort entertainment.

Pizza Hut Coupons (no longer valid)

Pizza Hut Coupons (no longer valid)

Posted Thursday, July 8th, 2021 by Barry

Video Game Day

Need we say more?

Well, we’re gonna.

There’s no real history for the day, but there are a plethora of games that can be sampled. Rather than bore you with a lengthy dissertation, we’ll let Nixian’s YouTube offering on the Evolution of Superhero games give you a sampling.

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Posted Saturday, January 16th, 2021 by Barry

X-Men (1963) 166

For whatever reason, today is National Appreciate a Dragon Day.

Normally the backgrounds of these non-holidays are easy to find. Some are just plain goofy in origin, but there is a beginning.

National Appreciate a Dragon Day seems to be shrouded in some mystery as the day seems to float through the various pages of the calendar based on what people wish to associate dragons with.

For those at Cornell University, it’s occurs the Friday before Spring Break. First-year architecture students create a giant likeness of a winged lizard and parade it around campus.

Dragon Day is celebrated by some on the 26th of November.

X-Men (1963) 166

X-Men (1963) 166

We’re recognizing it today: January 16.

With Lockheed as our official mascot this year.

That would be Kitty Pryde’s pet first mentioned in Uncanny X-Men 153 in Kitty’s Fairy Tale. For more information, look to our celebration of National Tell a Fairy Tale Day.

Today we’ll focus on Lockheed’s first canonical appearance.

This takes place in the final story arc of the Bronze-Age X-Men’s run. The cat-sized dragon-like extraterrestrial bonds with the teenage mutant and helps save the team.

Lockheed has been associated with Kitty since.

This is really a stellar swansong to the “new” X-Men’s early adventures. Their return to Earth is met by the New Mutants and the beginning of multi-mutant titles that continue to flourish today.

Forget Game of Thrones and the magical Pete and enjoy an old school adventure. Grab whatever comfort food or drink – or both – you need and spend a wintery day warming to a story of a girl and her dragon.

Posted Saturday, December 19th, 2020 by Barry

A Colorful Christmas from the Merry Marvel Bullpen

Marvel didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the season and spread cheer with their own, unique brand of Christmas wishes. They were just as brilliant in 1983 with a multitude of the Marvel U helping Santa Thing.

By this time, Jim Shooter was midway through his reign as the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Chris Claremont’s run on the X-Men was starting to pay dividends with spin-offs appearing. Frank Miller’s Daredevil was received to financial and critical success. The first mini, Contest of Champions had launched and the Marvel-wide crossover, Secret Wars, was in the wings.

The Christmas card would be nearing its 500th year of existence, the first recorded document in 1611 from Michael Maier to James I of England and his son, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales.

In 1874, Prang and Mayer of England were the first printers to offer Christmas cards in America. Postcards eventually substituted, but by the 1920s, cards and envelopes experienced a renaissance and continue today.

Email can now be seen as a contributor to the decline in Christmas card exchange. However, the card business is far from extinct with nearly two billion sent every year.

A Colorful Christmas from the Merry Marvel Bullpen

Posted Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 by Barry

X-Men (1991) 165

Hark How the Bells–! marks the end of the year and the end of an era as Chris Claremont departs the title.

Again.

X-Men (1991) 165

X-Men (1991) 165

X-23’s transgression in the beginning is forgiven by books end. Between, Claremont ties up a few loose ends and tantalizes what may come. All is witnessed by Xavier and Magneto who see the festivities of promises made and kept.

The X-Men were maybe the least of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creations at the beginning of the Marvel Universe. By issue 67 the title was limping along with reprints of earlier exploits.

Not until Giant-Size X-Men (1975) one, by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, did the book publish new material. Claremont took over writing chores with issue 94, picking up where the original series left off.

As the second coming picked up speed, Claremont would expand the mutant universe with titles like The New Mutants and Excalibur. In 1991 he and Jim Lee teamed for the adjective less X-Men which remains the best-selling comic book of all time.

Claremont would leave shortly after.

He later returned to helm the Fantastic Four. The X-Men beckoned as well and he would return in 2004.

The X-books continue to be mega sellers. With or without Claremont, but it is he who pioneered the popularity.

Posted Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 by Barry

Giant-Size X-Men (1975) 1

Following up yesterday’s celebration of kindness is today’s day of freedom as man stretched in another dimension and conquered a new frontier. Today is National Ride the Wind Day.

Giant-Size X-Men (1975) 1

Giant-Size X-Men (1975) 1

One of those who truly is a wind rider, at least in the Marvel Universe, is Ororo Munroe, or Storm.

Her ascension to the clouds was born of a natural ability to shape the elements to her whim. When Len Wein and Dave Cockrum introduced Ororo in Giant-Size X-Men issue one, she was as much a mystery to her audience as her teammates. She shed her goddess honorific mistakenly bestowed upon her and became more.

In reality Storm became the first major black female character in comic books. In fiction she was one of the first of the new X-Men soon-to-be-scribe Chris Claremont would catapult to legendary status.

Claremont and Cockrum, later John Byrne, and Cockrum again, laid a literary foundation that became a golden goose for Marvel Comics. The X-Men earned much deserved credit through the 1980s until exploding in the 1990s as a flagship title not only in comic books, but the outside world as well.

Ororo – Storm – belonged to every incarnation of the mutant standard bearers. She would earn another honorific when she married T’Challa, aka Black Panther leader of Wakanda.

Storm has appeared in X-Men, X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men and Marvel Super Hero Squad. Other animated appearances include Black Panther, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Ultimate Spider-Man.

On the big screen, Storm was in the original X-Men trilogy as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. She made cameos in X-Men: First Class and Deadpool 2.

It will be harder for us mere mortals to “take to the air” as suggested by National Day Calendar’s site, but we can live vicariously through Ororo in all forms of media.

Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 by Barry

Obnoxio the Clown (1983) 1

Continuing to observe International Clown Week, Four Color Holidays presents Obnoxio the Clown in his first – and only – special.

Obnoxio the Clown (1983) 1

Obnoxio the Clown (1983) 1

Alan Kupperbert is judge, jury and executioner in this one-shot. He has everyone chewing the scenery like a Stan Lee-scripted comic book in Something Slimey This Way Comes.

A classic misunderstanding has the protagonists pummeling each other for a majority of the book. When the real villain is discovered, he is quickly dispatched in one panel and a witty retort.

Something Slimey is followed by Jury Duty or: “Oy, the Jury.” More slapstick and abusive asides make up the short story. The tale of tropes is not as entertaining as its predecessor, but suffices.

The book is rounded out with a few one-page puzzles and gags and wrapped up in a neat bow of homage in the form of a Marvel Masterwork Pin-Up.

Obnoxio was created by Larry Hama as a mascot to Crazy magazine. He’s described as “slovenly, vulgar and middle-aged.”

His career would cross over into comic books after Crazy. His first appearance in four color was What If..? (1977) issue 34. The second his special recounted above. Following that, the clown was basically forgotten until What The–? in 1992.

Outside of the printed world, Obnoxio made a guest appearance in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Fear Itself episode. His likeness was used for robots in the Spider-Man and the X-Men game Arcade’s Revenge video game.

Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2020 by Barry

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel Digital Holiday Special (2008)

Marvel offered the Marvel Digital Holiday Special as an exclusive to their online subscription service Dec. 17, 2008.

In the first story, the X-Men herald the holidays and service with ‘If the Fates Allow.’ Storm, Wolverine, Iceman, Angel, Beast Cyclops, Colossus, etc. celebrate with a bittersweet loss of Kitty Pryde for the first Christmas without their youngest member.

‘Last Christmas’ is a prelude to Secret Invasion.

‘Werewolf by Eve’ is a one-page slapstick story of the Russell home.

Finally, the jolly, fat one borrows the Infinity Gauntlet in ‘Santa Claus vs. The Illuminati.’ The results are not good.

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited was launched Nov. 13, 2007 with over 25,000 issues at the ready for fanboys.

Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 by Barry

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

Uncanny X-Men (1963) 153

‘Kitty’s Fairy Tale’ celebrates National Tell a Fairy Tale Day today.

Chris Claremont was firmly in the driver’s seat by the time this tale was told in January 1982. Readers had been treated to the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’ and ‘Days of Future Past.’ Magneto had returned and been retired for the 150th issue. Kitty had just escaped the clutches of the White Queen. It was time for a breather.

Claremont and Pryde took readers to the world of Nhu Yorkh as she and first mate Colossus joined forces with doppelganger X-Men to save Jean Grey from Dark Phoenix in a less lethal manner.

To observe, share some short stories with the small fry in the audience. Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.