Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

Posted Saturday, May 8th, 2021 by Barry

More Fun Comics (1935) 73

When Oliver Queen’s Green Arrow revealed his origin in More Fun Comics 89 in November of 1941, the bowman was then a cheap imitation of Batman.

Through the reimaging and craftmanship of writers and artists, Queen has become our official spokesman for National Archery Day.

Star City’s premier resident was obviously based on Robin Hood, though he himself was as rich as one Bruce Wayne when he first appeared in issue 73 of More Fun Comics. Queen learned to become a preeminent archer after being shipwrecked on a deserted island.

More Fun Comics (1935) 73

More Fun Comics (1935) 73

Upon his return home, Queen adopted the Green Arrow moniker and a sidekick, Speedy. The colorful pair tooled around town in their Arrowcar and responded to emergencies when called via the Arrow Signal. Their chief nemesis was Bulls Eye, a clown-like villain.

His fortunes changed in 1969 when artist Neal Adams updated his appearance with a goatee and mustache as well as new costume. Compatriot Denny O’Neil had him lose his wealth and become a political liberal  as a new common man.

O’Neil and Adams partnered Arrow with Green Lantern in GL’s own book. Together they became the Hard Travelin’ Heroes from issues 76 to 89 and issue 89. Green Arrow continued his own adventures as a back up in Flash’s 217-19 and 226.

Arrow finally appeared in his own mini-series in 1983. In 1987 he earned a second mini-series called Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. Mike Grell authored and penciled both the mini and following ongoing series.

After Grell’s departure, Arrow became more involved in the DCU, eventually leading to his death.

Kevin Smith brought the bowman back in a talented 15-issue run. Judd Winick took the reins and continued the spirited storytelling for four years.

Arrow was allowed to reunite with former lover Black Canary and the two would marry. Their happiness was interrupted by Blackest Night only to return anonymously in Brightest Day.

The New 52 was an opportunity to bring combine the ageless archer with modern society and what is now known as the Arrowverse.

Arrow premiered on The CW in October 2012. The show aired through January 2020.

Green Arrow’s history is a bit more complicated than the day it represents. National Archery Day was proclaimed to be commemorated the second Saturday of May, annually.

Posted Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 by Barry

Batman Brave and the Bold (2009) 4

Batman and Aquaman spend Earth Day chasing around the time stream, fixing what Dr. Cyber has undone. Rip Hunter, Time Master, makes a guest appearance.

Menace of the Time Thief!, a Matt Wayne, Andy Suriano production; is a bittersweet reminder of Batman: Brave and the Bold that ran on Cartoon Network from Nov. 14, 2008 to Nov. 18, 2011.

Brave and the Bold may have seemed an odd choice to follow Batman the Animated Series, but, at the opposite end of the spectrum, proved cathartic. The tongue-in-cheek, deadpan humor, as delivered by Diedrich Bader, leapt from television screens and into fanboy’s hearts.

The series lasted three seasons with 26 episodes for seasons one and two and 13 episodes for season three.

Fans were treated to a reunion – of sorts – in 2018 when a feature-length animated movie went straight to video co-staring Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc.

Earth Day was established March 21, 1970 by peace activist John McConnell. His mission was to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. Earth Day is celebrated annually April 22 around the world.

Be kind to mother Earth and let’s all pause a moment to remember a series that shown a bright light on the Dark Knight in the best possible way.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4

 

Posted Monday, April 19th, 2021 by Barry

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (1982) 1

Welcome to National Farm Animals Day, a time to focus on the human care of farm animals.

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (1982) 1

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (1982) 1

Leading the march against cruelty are Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! If that’s a stretch, zoo and farm animals living lying down together, please visit another special day. We have enough of ‘em listed here.

The good Cap’n and cohorts were first featured in The New Teen Titans (1980) 16 in a 16-page special insert. Roy Thomas, fresh from Marvel, and Scott Shaw created the anthropomorphized inhabitants of Earth-C.

Members included Captain Carrot, Pig-Iron, Alley-Kat-Abra, Fastback, Rubberduck, Yankee Poodle, Little Cheese and The American Eagle. Most can guess at the species of each teammate and possible doppelganger in either the DC or Marvel universe.

The series was cancelled after 20 issues with six still on deck. The series was later reprinted in DC’s Showcase Presents trade paperback line in 2014. This was after a seven-year wait on trademark approvals.

The team was reintroduced to the public in Teen Titans (2003) 30-31 and given a three-issue mini in 2007 entitled Captain Carrot and the Final Ark.

Short of a Robot Chicken skit, Captain and crew have been relegated to their comic book world. At present there are no plans to dust off the team for future projects.

For those who want a hands-on experience with the real thing, visit a farm if possible. Enjoy the country air and discover where your meals are really coming from.

Posted Friday, April 9th, 2021 by Barry

Batman (1939) 433

A National Day of Silence bounces around the calendar, but its meaning is loud and clear. The day asks persons to respect the choices made by others and cease bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

We recognize the day with the first true story arc following the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, in Batman issues 426-29. Issue 430 was told through a visual depiction of events rather than modified with dialog or exposition.

Batman (1939) 433

Batman (1939) 433

Todd replaced Dick Grayson after the elder ward became Nightwing in the Teen Titans. Todd first appeared in Batman 357 and donned the costume in Batman issue 366.

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, Todd’s character was tweaked. Fans still disliked who they felt was a usurper. They had their say in Batman 427 when the editorial staff allowed readers to choose the fate of Todd who had been severely beaten and left in an exploding building by the Joker.

In a close count, Todd was written out of the DCU.

For a time.

Under the Red Hood was a story line that brought Todd back over a period of time under the guise of new anti-hero. Depending on whether his return is followed in comic book form or the animated, direct-to-video movie, Todd was back among the Bat Family.

But, in 1988 Batman was still stinging from Todd’s death. Writers were unsure how to continue with the character allowing John Byrne to pencil the silent issue.     The Many Deaths of the Batman, as the story arc was dubbed, lasted three issues, putting Batman back on the streets of Gotham.

To observe this National Day of Silence, take a vow of silence to demonstrate how bullying silences a victim. Or, promote the day, making others aware there is a problem.

The day was first observed and organized by a body of students from the University of Virginia.

Posted Sunday, April 4th, 2021 by Barry

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew (1982) 6

Almost a year later, we keep our promise and deliver the second part of The Secret of Easter Bunny Island.

Who knew what the year 2020 would have in store for us last April? Of course, who knows what the remainder for 2021 will be like. What we do know is the good Captain and his Zoo Crew were on hand to save the day in 1982.

Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew 6

Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew 6

Baron Von Vermin provides a little backstory for The Bunny From Beyond! The title is vintage-scribe Roy Thomas who learned at the feet of the Master of the Marvel Universe.

Anyway, according to Baron Von Vermin, the space eggs now rampaging across the planet were first brought to Earth by the Bunny From Beyond. He forced the inhabitants of Easter Bunny Island to bury the eggs. They were later uncovered by the evil protagonist, Vermin.

The villainous native of Verminy had his plans foiled when the original Oklahoma Bones spoiled his scheme to use the eggs against the victors over Verminy. Instead, Vermin returned the eggs to Easter Bunny Island for a later revenge.

As the eggs continue to wreak havoc, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew resurrect the Bunny From Beyond. He destroys the eggs and declines an invitation from Vermin to join forces.

Instead, the Bunny From Beyond turns Vermin to stone, then turns on those who freed him from his cocoon.

Captain and Crew are captured and taken to the Bunny From Beyond’s spaceship. The Captain is able to escape after returning to his alter ego’s smaller personage and slipping from the manacles.

Through slight of hand and some outside trickery, the Bunny From Beyond is cheated of a seemingly sure victory and reduced to atoms.

With the two-part storyline neatly tied up, Thomas pens a second, short tale, Digger of Doom.

The reading public put up with anthropomorphized-animal heroes and sometimes groaningly bad pet puns for 20 issues before the book was canceled. For more information on the series, read last year’s history lesson.

Oh, before Jeff and I forget, happy Easter.

Posted Thursday, April 1st, 2021 by Barry

Witching Hour (1969) 28

Witching Hour 28 hits two holidays with Never Kill Santa Claus and the following April Ghoul’s Day.

Witching Hour 28

Witching Hour 28

Christmas is never shy of publicity, but April 1st often times is overlooked. That in mind, let’s focus on the day of foolishness as associated with Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, more specifically, Nun’s Priest’s Tale.

April Ghoul’s Day finds a practical joker in a hole he can’t dig himself out of by story’s end. A simple O’Henry told in less than three pages.

Never Kill Santa Claus, as related by Witch Cynthia, is the cover story.

Greed is the motivator that causes a very naughty man to murder Santa. The dead man’s doppelganger leaves more than coal in his stocking as his deadly deed comes undone.

Kill Me Lest You Die! and Unlucky Omen are the two non-holiday stories.

The Witching Hour ran 85 issues then merged with The Unexpected in 1978 during DC’s Implosion. The double-sized dollar book featured Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia as caretakers in their respective section of the book.

Not one of DC’s big anthology-horror books, Witching Hour saw publication for over 10 years.

April Fools Day was popularized in the 1700’s, but it’s origins are unknown.

Posted Saturday, March 6th, 2021 by Barry

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

Another wrong turn leads Bugs from his Miami Beach destination.

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd butt heads in Dental Fuss. It’s also the catalyst to celebrate(?) National Dentists Day.

To commemorate the day, show your dentist you’ve improved your oral health regimen, commit to better dental habits, raise awareness, schedule a dental checkup, smile and/or take a photograph with your dentist and do a shout-out on social media accounts.

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

Looney Tunes (1994) 180

This National Calendar Day is held March 6 each year.

Medical Cat-tention, the second of three medical-oriented stories this issue, places Sylvester, Tweety and Granny uses a hospital backdrop for usual chase scenes.

Finally, Hubie and Bertie torture their usual feline foil with Elmer part of the problem in A Doctor in the Mouse.

Another static Looney Tunes feature, but you still hear the theme in your mind.

Posted Thursday, March 4th, 2021 by Barry

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

General Issue, formerly Government Issue, have become the preface for almost any military personnel.

Better known as G.I. the initials first appeared to denote supply records for galvanized iron. During World War I troops began associating the letters for “general issue.” By the second world war G.I. had morphed to mean a generic enlisted man.

Army Sergeant David Breger, a comic strip artist, created G.I. Joe for Yank magazine in 1942. G.I. further became engrained in the American psyche when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill that became known as the G.I. Bill.

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

G.I. Combat (1952) 1

Toy Company Hasbro cemented the abbreviation when they issued G.I. Joe in 1964.

To honor the men and women in service to America, today is designated National Hug a G.I. Day.

Featured guests here are the hard-fighting calvary men and commander, Lt. Jeb Stuart, Arch Asher, Rich Rawlins and Slim Stryker. Collectively they are the

G.I. Combat 87

G.I. Combat 87

crew of the Haunted Tank.

G.I. Combat began as an anthology of war-oriented stories published by Quality Comics. National bought the company in 1956, but continued the title.

Writer and editor Robert Kanigher and artist Russ Heath created the Haunted Tank and its inhabitants beginning with issue 87 in 1962. Their spin was the ghost of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart would shepherd the men in the M3 Stuart throughout the war.

The four survived their tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations only to find themselves cancelled in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths with issue 288 in 1987.

The concept was revived in 2010 with a one-shot entitled Listening to Ghosts. Matthew Sturges and Phil Winslade penned and penciled the book, respectively.

DC’s New 52 brought new life for eight issues in 2012. Jeb and company were called up for issues five through seven.

National Hug A G.I. Day began in 1996 and is the only day on the calendar that is also a military command to salute and celebrate the men and woman who serve our country.

Posted Sunday, February 28th, 2021 by Barry

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

February closes with a silly character emceeing a serious subject.

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

Adventure Comics (1938) 303

Matter-Eater Lad, first seen in Adventure Comics 303, is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The last Monday in February is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The week was spawned to spotlight the dangers associated with eating disorders. These disorders include, but are not limited to, Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-eating.

Eating disorders are a mental disorder that may cause illness and possibly death. They are suffered by an estimated 30-million Americans at some point during their lifetime.

To seek help for yourself or someone you know, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem, of course doesn’t suffer from any eating affliction. He’s a fictional character designed to entertain. Jerry Siegel and John Forte are his parents.

The Legionnaire is the 15th member of the Legion, following Bouncing Boy. His origins stem from the planet Bismoll. The in habitants developed the ability to consume any manner of matter as a survival tool.

While he rarely appears in Legion adventures, Kem has survived the various incarnations of both the Legion and DCU. Outside of the comic book medium, Matter-Eater Lad found a stage in television on the Legion of Super Heroes animated series. Alexander Polinsky voiced him. He was also licensed in plastic as part of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics Legion of Super-Heroes 12 pack of action figures.

Posted Monday, February 15th, 2021 by Barry

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

In the past Four Color Holidays has honored President’s Day. Today, we honor Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on the third Monday of February.

The Federal Holiday has 14 different names throughout the United States. The Founding Father is singled out in Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Louisiana and New York.

Though normally teamed with Abraham Lincoln in most states for a joint birthday party, George is paired with Thomas Jefferson in Alabama and Daisy Bates in Arkansas.

To honor Mr. Washington, we present Rip Hunter…Time Master issue 23.

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

Rip Hunter…Time Master (1961) 23

Rip must exonerate the Father of our Country from aspersions cast upon his character. The hard part is debunking a letter written and signed by General Washington himself.

Rip, Bonnie Baxter, Jeff Smith and Corky Baxter find themselves hopscotching through time as they attempt to disprove the very words of George Washington and restore his good name.

Rip Hunter…Time Master began his historical journey in Showcase (1956) issue 20. He appeared three more times, issues 21, 25 and 26; before being granted his own book. The title ran 29 issues.

Rip and company were resurrected in 1990 with an eight-issue mini simply called Time Masters. He later appeared as Booster Gold’s mentor and son in the 2007 book.

Gotta love time travel.

Happy George Washington’s Birthday. Celebrate with a cherry pie and big sales designed to remember the Father of our Country.