Archive for January, 2023

Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2023 by Barry

Pep Comics (1940) 22

Another January 12 and another National Kiss a Ginger Day.

Today is the day to celebrate that two-percent of the population with the red tresses. The scant scarlet-haired few who turn our heads. Those Balkan/Central/Western European descendants that established the geographical and historical homeland of red-haired culture as National Today puts it.

In the past we’ve celebrated with Wally West and Mary Jane Watson/Parker. Today it’s the perennial teen, Archie Andrews.

Pep Comics (1940) 22

Archie made his first four-color appearance in Pep Comics (1940) issue 22. Pep Comics was originally the home of Golden Age masked men The Shield and The Comet.

Vic Bloom and Bob Montana introduced Archie to the world in December of 1941, the month that would live in infamy for another reason. Also, appearing for the first time were the nucleus of the Archie Comic Universe with Jughead and Betty Cooper.

By war’s end, the mystery men were becoming old hat and their teen roommate the star of the show. Issue 42 marked the changing of the guard as former headliners The Shield and Hangman stood in the background while the cover trumpeted Archie and his new-found fame.

Ownership changed from the former MLJ Publications to Archie Publications, another indication of Mr. Andrew’s popularity, with issue 57.

Over the years, Archie has appeared on radio and television as well as starring in a syndicated newspaper strip. His first TV appearance was The Archie Show in 1968 with The New Archies following in 1987, both animated series. His first live-action show was Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again in 1990.

He would return to the cartoon world in 1999 with Archie’s Weird Mysteries then live-action on The CW with Riverdale beginning in 2017.

So, with 70-plus years of source material, there are many ways to celebrate today in the four-color mold. If you choose to go beyond, here are a few suggestions: Kiss a ginger but, please do so with consent so we don’t have to refer to National Restraining Order Day. Another thought is to be kind to the redhead in your life or even pull out some other entertainment by those red-haired show people we enjoy.

However you celebrate, enjoy the day.

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2023 by Barry

The Incredible Hulk (1968) 183

For the Four Color Holiday faithful – if there are any – January 9 may sound familiar. We’ve been here before, first with Electro. Then, the following year we returned with Electro. And, again, in 2022 with Black Lightning.

To clarify, follow the links and see what we mean.

For the non-initiated, January 9 is National Static Electricity Day.

Spidey’s original and ultimate villains served their purpose to inaugurate today on the site. Now we’re ready to turn up the juice and showcase a new emcee, Zzzax.

Zzzax is an accident of pure electricity who can absorb and discharge powerful currents of electricity. His size and strength are determined by the amount of electrical current he currently has absorbed.

The Incredible Hulk (1968) 183

Since the brain is composed of electrical impulses – and creators Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe wanted a dues ex machina of sorts – Zzzax can drain brain energy and claim the personality of the victim for a short period of time.

While originally a one-and-done character, Zzzax would return periodically in not only the Hulk’s titles, but to battle Luke Cage in his book, the West Coast Avengers and guest in Secret Wars II.

Zzzax would not remain rooted to the comic book universe, but appear on The Incredible Hulk animated series in the 1990s with a return in The Super Hero Squad Show series episode A Brat Walks Among Us. He would also appear on The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble.

With the master of ceremonies introduced, its time to deal with the mechanics of the day. Static electricity is an imbalance of electrical charges on or within a material. The charge remains until one of two things happens; it’s able to move in the form of a current, or it’s able to be electrically discharged. This is different from current electricity that flows from one place to another through conductors or wiring.

To keep the shocking effects of the season to a minimum, use a humidifier in the winter and treat your carpet and use dryer sheets for upholstery.

While doing so, remember, static electricity can be used to temporarily power a light bulb. Vigorously rub a balloon on your hair for two minutes then hold a light bulb to the balloon.

Repeat until finished with Hulk 183. Or, your hair starts to fall out.

Posted Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 by Barry

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 210

Welcome back for the second celebration of World Braille Day.

World Braille Day is held Jan. 4 each year recognizing the importance of braille as a way to communicate. The day reflects the birthday of its creator Louis Braille.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 210

Our host for the day is Cassandra Webb, aka Madam Web. Her first appearance predates National Braille Day by 39 years using the cover-dated Amazing Spider-Man 210.

The elderly clairvoyant and precognitive mutant suffers from myasthenia gravis leaving she attached to a life-giving chair resembling a spider web.

When Denny O’Neil and John Romita, Jr., first envisioned her, she was little more than an enigma helping Spider-Man with her visions. She proved popular enough after her inaugural appearance, and returned in Amazing Spider-Man 216 to help stop an assassination plot.

She was firmly entrenched in the Marvel Comic Universe by the two-part Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut in issues 229 and 230. During the short story arc, Spider-Man attempts to save Madam Web from the Juggernaut as he stomps through town.

In the end he finds he cannot and Web nearly kills her when the villain disconnects Web from her life support system.

Madam Web continues to live in the MCU making periodic appearances.

Outside of the printed page she guest-starred in Spider-Man: the Animated Series. She was voiced by Joan Lee, wife of Stan Lee.

For more information on the non-holiday, please refer to last year’s post with Deadpool’s Blind Al.