Archive for August, 2020

Posted Friday, August 28th, 2020 by Barry

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1994) 1

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers helped launch the Fox Kids entertainment schedule in 1993 so let’s launch National Power Rangers Day with issue one.

This Japanese import is based on the Super Sentai franchise. Super Sentai is a television series based on a band of heroes and produced by the Toei Company and Bandai.

The Americanized version premiered Aug. 28, 1993. The afternoon airings spawned a merchandising juggernaut with toy sales alone totaling $6 billion by 2001.

Hamilton Comics was the first to pick up the rights. Three separate series were published from 1994 to 1995 totaling 13 issues.

Marvel Comics pumped out an adaptation of the movie along with two series equaling another 13 issues in 1995.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1994) 1

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1994) 1

Image Comics acquired the rights in 1996 and released Power Rangers Zeo. Four issues were released.

Acclaim Comics was the next publishing company to produce material. In 1997 three issues of a magazine, Power Rangers Turbo, were released. One was a crossover with Bettleborgs Metallix.

As the new millennium began, Tokyopop took over and for a year produced several photo-comic books of episodes. These included Power Rangers Ninja Storm and Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

Disney Publishing Worldwide were next with a strip in the Disney Adventures magazine.

Future Publishing also featured the Power Rangers in a strip format in its existing United Kingdom Jetix magazine from 2004 to 2009.

Egmont Group published a Power Rangers magazine from 2004 to 2010. The UK-based company focused on Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers S.P.D., Power Rangers Mystic Force, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Power Rangers Jungle Fury and Power Rangers RPM.

Bandai was responsible for a mini-comic book based on Power Ranges Jungle Fury that came with figures in 2008.

Panini Comics was responsible for publication from 2012 to 2015 with two issues based on Power Rangers Samurai, Power Rangers Super Samurai, Power Rangers Megaforce and Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

Papercutz published three issues in 2014.

Currently Boom! Studios has the contract.

Hasbro established National Power Rangers Day on Aug. 28, 2018 for the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

Posted Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 by Barry

Adventure Comics (1938) 210

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.

Posted Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 by Barry

Tick Back to School Special (1998) 1

Three of the most dreaded words known to young ears are, “back to school.” To ease the stress of returning to the hallowed halls of learning, Four Color Holidays features the above-named Tick special.

The Tick and Arthur are tapped to return to school as undercover agents. The Tick as a student and Arthur a janitor. Both are as convincing in their roles as the cast of 21 Jump Street of the previous decade.

Of course, there’s no room for reality in a Tick comic book and both pass for their assigned roles. The trouble is, neither know what they’re looking for, thanks to the Tick’s bumbling.

Tick’s naivete does reveal the fiendish plot as devised by the son of one of the duo’s earliest and most diabolical villains.

If you wanna know who, read the book.

So, mothers, enjoy the next 180-educational days as your young charges broaden their horizons. Some of what they learn will come in useful later in life.

Tick Back to School Special (1998) 1

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 Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 by Barry

X-Men (1963) 1

With his golden locks and alabaster wings, Warren Worthington III is the logical choice to host National Be An Angel Day.

X-Men (1963) 1

X-Men (1963) 1

First appearing in X-Men 1, Warren was more of an antagonist within the group in the love triangle that included Scott Cyclops Summers and Jean Marvel Girl Grey. This would continue through the book’s run of original stories with issue 66. The book went into a short hiatus only to be revived as a reprint title.

When the original team was ousted – with the exception of Cyclops – in favor of fresh blood, Angel and former X-Men teammate Iceman began anew in California. Their new team, the Champions, didn’t fare well and lasted a mere 17 issues.

Angel would return to the X-Men in guest appearances. Not until X-Factor was he member of a mutant team again. As before, he found himself gone when a new team came onboard in issue 70.

He returned to his original fold with volume two of Uncanny X-Men. He had a home there for most of the 1990s as well as a few team ups in mini-series.

Angel bounced around for a time after the new millennium dawned until finally abandoning the hero business in favor of personal business.

Other incarnations have been present in television, first with the 1966 Saturday morning Marvel Super Heroes animated feature. He appeared in two episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, but was a prominent player in X-Men: Evolution. He was Archangel in the popular 1990s X-Men Fox cartoon.

Angel was a character in several video games, but only appeared briefly on the big screen.

National Be An Angel Day is the 1993 creation of Howard Feldman to encourage acts of kindness.

Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 by Barry

Time is Running Out

Okay, time ran out.

A long time ago.

January 31, 1986, to be exact.

No matter, this in-house ad is still a time capsule. First of all, this baker’s dozen issues for $6.50 – “only 50-cents an issue” – when on-stand prices were $.65 is amazing. As of this writing, fans are paying at least four bucks a pop for their favorite heroes.

Secondly, the artwork takes us back to a time when the Hobgoblin was still a mystery to most of the Marvel U. First introduced in Amazing Spider-Man 238, March 1983, no one was privy to his private identity for years. It was unveiled in AMS 289.

Not only does it bring back memories of the Hobgoblin, but the Green Goblin, too. The illustration is a homage to Amazing Spider-Man issue 39, the issue that revealed the (original) Goblin was Norman Osborne.

The Hobgoblin is a derivative of the Green Goblin, anyway. He came about when one of the original Goblin’s hideouts was discovered. Guess it’s only fitting the advertisement resurrect one of Marvel’s best covers.

It also showcases the titles published in 1985; from Alpha Flight to X-Men. Special books, at varying prices, included Marvel Age, G.I. Joe, Sectaurs, Elf Quest, Transformers, Groo the Wanderer, Dreadstar, Alien Legion, Swashbucklers, Conan the King, Marvel Saga, Marvel Fanfare and Savage Sword of Conan.

The last book was the last of Marvel’s magazine line that played in the periphery of the 1970s.

Though time has run out for the ad, it doesn’t stop us from turning the hands of time back to relive comic book history.

Time is Running Out - 1985

Posted Monday, August 17th, 2020 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 204

Last year we celebrated Black Cat Appreciation Day with Amazing Spider-Man 194 and 195. This year let’s follow the non-holiday up with Felicia Hardy’s second appearance, Amazing Spider-Man 204 and 205.

Using one of her nine lives, Felicia has survived her plunge from Amazing Spider-Man 195. As the Black Cat, she toys with Spider-Man stealing romantically-themed works of art over the next two issues.

It is revealed the thefts were made to complete a shrine Felicia is constructing to her love: Spider-Man.

Amazing Spider-Man 204

Amazing Spider-Man 204

The infatuation would grow throughout the decade, mostly in the issues of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man. Not only grow, but become mutual.

As history has proved, Peter and Felicia were not meant to be. That fate was reserved for Mary Jane Watson.

Instead, Black Cat would go on to make various guest appearances. In 2002, she received her own mini-series.

Felicia would also co-star with Wolverine in a mini and the follow up in 2011 with a sequel. She was one of the headliners in the 2006-07 Heroes for Hire title.

In 2019 Jed Mackay began scripting her solo series.

Black Cat was introduced to viewers in the 1981 Spider-Man cartoon. She was a major player in several episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Black Cat was shelved – on television – until The Spectacular Spider-Man and brought back in the 2017 Spider-Man series on Disney XD.

To date she has only appeared as Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on the silver screen.

As fans have come to appreciate Spider-Man’s former foe, many of us have come to love Felis catus. The same nocturnal creatures that prowl our homes and yards are celebrated around the world.

However, today has been set aside to acknowledge the ebony-adorned portion of the population. August 17 has been set aside to, according to National Day Calendar Web page, “…to dispel all myths surrounding black cats.”

To observe, consider adopting a black cat.

Black Cat Appreciation Day is not to be confused with National Black Cat Day, Oct. 27.

Posted Sunday, August 16th, 2020 by Barry

Jingle Belle Gift Wrapped (2011)

This 2011 offering is courtesy of Belle creator Paul Dini with artistic aid from Stephanie Gladden.

Uncle Krampus is called to settle a family dispute. His judgement endangers Christmas until Jingle can prove her point.

Kringle and Krampus is a nice look at the relationship between the two titular characters. It proves even Santa can be wrong at times.

Also included are two one-page funnies, Slapshot and First Date.

Slapshot is a return to the ice and the release of some unwanted guests, or pests.

First Date allows Jingle to grow, but at her and her father’s pace.

Finally, Dini and Misty Lee collaborate for Polly Green in Hocus-Croakus. A little product placement is in order for Polly’s indiscretion to be undone.

An early Happy Holidays from the dysfunctional first family of Christmas.

Jingle Belle Gift Wrapped (2011)

Posted Friday, August 14th, 2020 by Barry

The Punisher Summer Special (1993) 3

The Punisher Summer Special (1993) 3

The Punisher Summer Special (1993) 3

Marvel Comics Group was riding high in 1993. The comic book boom was near its apex and publishers could push almost any title on the stands.

That meant a lot of dreck was hoisted on the public, including the third installment of the Punisher’s fun-in-the-sun series.

Pat Mills does not reprise Rough Cut in ’93. He and Tony Skinner do have an interesting concept in Dead Man Coming Through, but fail to deliver.

Faster, Faster! is a better entry. Chuck Dixon holds his head up high during this high-speed chase. Fuel by Phil Felix.

Finally, Idyll is Steven Grant’s textless flirt with danger. Only the Punisher swims away from this one.

Other than Dixon’s entry, the book is better suited as a fan than a read.

Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 by Barry

The Punisher Summer Special (1992) 2

Another Punisher Summer Special to keep everyone feeling cool.

Only three stories this time around. The first is by Pat Mills who brings back a baddie from the first special.

Rough Cut is a better sequel than Bombs “R” Us was a story. The Colonel has survived and is now making snuff films. At least Mike McKone makes it look polished.

Chuck Dixon takes a turn behind the typewriter for the final two tales.

High Risk is a short, page turner that’s entertaining as it is whimsical.

Dixon doesn’t fare as well with The Local. John Hinklenton’s art doesn’t help. The commuter theme was better played and portrayed by Liam Neeson.

Okay, time to go back to the heat.

The Punisher Summer Special (1992) 2