Archive for the ‘DC Comics’ Category

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.

,center.,/center.

Posted Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 by Barry

Justice League (1986) 1

Celebrate those closest to you with Best Friends Day.

Take time to cherish the people who are there for the best of times and the worst of times. The people – and, maybe pets – who you can count on no matter what. This is the day to reward that loyalty, remember the smiles and revel in the tears.

Representing the day are Ted Kord and Michael Carter, maybe better known as Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. The odd couple first met in Justice League (1986) issue one.

In the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC’s editors, writers and artists worked to piece the universe back together. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis teamed for concept and dialog chores. Kevin Maguire was the perfect choice for penciler and the quirky take on the tried and true super hero team took off.

Unlike so many comic books, the title gained speed as issue after issue rolled onto the comic book racks. Giffen and DeMatteis’s unique take added some much-needed humor to the DCU and served as a behind-the-scenes book of super heroing.

Justice League (1986) 1

Justice League (1986) 1

Two of the main jokesters, whether intentional on their part or not, proved to be Kord and Carter. Ted was a Charlton Comics re-tred updated for the times. Carter was 25th-century reject who stepped back in time to earn a reputation as a hero.

Together they became known as the “Blue and Gold” team. While serving their country and world, their main objective was to discover how to get rich quick. Their schemes escalated to the point where they “appropriated” League funds and purchased an island getaway.

Booster and Beetle would later join the short-lived Extreme Justice off-shoot of the Justice League, but eventually part ways.

They were rejoined in the 2003 Formerly Known as the Justice League reunion of Justice League International. That was followed up a year later with the six-issue story arc in JLA: Classified issues four through nine.

Both made separate guest appearances in the years that followed.

Beetle would be murdered by former employer, Maxwell Lord, in the 80-page special Countdown to Infinite Crisis.

Booster earned his own title following DC’s One Year Later. In it, he would become a time master with Rip Hunter. His heroics went – mostly – unnoticed during the venture.

One event Booster attempted time and again to mend was the untimely death of his dear friend, Beetle. Over and over he learned the hard, hard lesson some events are just meant to be and his friend could not be saved.

Giffen and DeMatteis’s five years, and subsequent returns, with their Justice League helped true comic book fans enjoy the medium as speculators began to infiltrate the hobby. Like Booster and Beetle, investors hoped to get-rich-quick by purchasing multiple issues of certain issues nearly sinking the industry.

These comic books would be a fine way to share Best Friends Day, by turning someone close to you on to these gems of books. They are as good today as they were in the waning 1980s and early 1990s.

Other ways to celebrate the day include pretty much any form of sharing and just spending quality time with that special someone or someones.

Posted Monday, May 31st, 2021 by Barry

Help Superman Crush Nick O’Teen

World No Tobacco Day is observed around the globe every year on May 31, according to National Day Calendar. The day is designed to encourage 24 hours of abstinence from any form of tobacco.

Attention is also to be focused on the reported adverse health issues from extended tobacco use. Currently seven-million deaths are attributed to tobacco use a year; 480,000 of those are Americans. Another 890,000 deaths are said to be a result of second-hand smoke.

It is estimated over one-billion persons are regular tobacco users. An estimated 34.3 million are adult smokers in the United States. Those numbers are on the decline with 21 in 100 people used to be smokers.

West Virginia has the highest rates of smoking in the United States. The Mountain State is followed by Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio and Alaska. Broken down farther, 14 percent of the US smokes.

Superman has long loaned his name and likeness to many a cause of his long-lived career. This public service announcement is another reminder the fictional do-gooder is saving the world one person at a time.

World No Tobacco Day

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.