Posts Tagged ‘Captain America’

Posted Saturday, May 1st, 2021 by Barry

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Obesity is a chronic disease affecting 100-million adults in America. Seeing the need for awareness, Kim Bielak founded National Fitness Day in 2017 to encourage healthier lifestyles. It is observed the first Saturday in May every year.

So dire is the current obesity rate, it ranks above smoking has a health hazard. About 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States have been associated with excessive weight. People with obesity in the US have higher heath care costs than those of normal weight; 27-percent more for physician visits and outpatient costs, 46-percent more for inpatient costs and 80-percent more for prescription drugs.

Common causes for obesity include genetics, physiological influences, food intake and eating disorders, sedentary lifestyle, weight history, pregnancy, drugs like steroid hormones and drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions.

Long before obesity became an epidemic, Fireside Books, coupled with Marvel, published The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book. Agile Ann Picardo authored the tome while Jumpin’ Joe Giella illustrated the book.

Basically, it was just a fun book filled with normal exercises, most isometric, to help youngsters feel like they were training like a super hero. Or, training to be a super hero.

Marvel’s stable of heroes provided their own recommendations to help tone.

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Included was Peter’s Perpendicular Leg Extensions. Instructions were as follows:  1. Lie on the floor leaning on your right elbow, feet straight out. 2. Bend the knee of your left and grab the heel of your left foot with your left hand. 3. Extend your leg straight up. Hold for a few seconds and return to your starting position. Repeat with your right leg.

Bashful’s Brutish Bottom Basher, from the Thing, instructed participants to 1. Sit on floor with your knees bent and grab your ankles 2. Rock back and forth, until you start to feel seasick.

The (J. Jonah) Jameson Roar went something like this: 1. Kneel on the floor with your bottom resting on your heels and your hands on your thighs, palms down. 2. Bend forward, open your eyes as wide as you can, and tense up every muscle in your body 3. Stick your tongue out as far as you can, spread your fingers wide apart and hold tense for a count of 12. 4. Slowly relax, bring your tongue back where it belongs and return to your starting position.

Not sure what good this one did, other than to contribute to premature balding, but Medussa’s instructions for Firey’s Furious Follicle Flourisher: 1. Sit cross legged on the floor and take hold of as much as near the scalp as you can. 2. Pull your hair forward so you can actually feel your scalp move, and then pull backward.

Other heroes contributing were Ghost Rider with his Bizarre Bicycles, the Hulk with Jade-Jaws’ Just-So Sit Ups and Banner’s Bellicose Bench Presses (without a bench), Thor with Goldilocks’ Greatest Isometric Arm Invigorators, Luke Cage’s Super Dude’s Free Squats and Luke’s Lying Down Limb Lifter, Sue Storm – when she was still the Invisible Girl – with The Fantastic One-Two-Three-Four, Captain America and the Falcon’s All-American Give and Take, Human Torch’s The Torchie Twist, Spider-Man’s Little Miss Muffet and Spread-Legged Foot Pull among others.

Some of the above worked in the fight against obesity, but other alternatives include healthy recipes, substituting fries for a salad, walking the stairs rather than taking the elevator, taking the dog for a walk, ordering from the light side of the menu, setting the alarm 20-minutes earlier to allow for some light exercising prior to beginning the day, etc.

Posted Monday, February 1st, 2021 by Barry

Captain America (1968) 163

Since Eve took some bad advice in Eden snakes have been reviled. Feared. Hunted.

Today they may show their faces. Today they may slither forth from their dens. Today they may bask in the sun – if there is any. Today is their day. Today is National Serpent Day.

Captain America (1968) 163

Captain America (1968) 163

To celebrate, National Day Calendar suggests you go to the zoo and commune with these scaly counterparts you share this Earth with. There are over 3,000 different breeds from four inches in length to J. Lo’s nightmare in Anaconda.

Three of those make up our ambassadors:  Viper, Eel and Cobra. The three original members of the Serpent Squad who first appeared in Captain America 163.

Wait, is an Eel a snake? And, is Viper just a generic term? Just work with us, please.

Cap and Falcon made short work of the new team. They were followed by a second incarnation who were defeated by Captain America’s alter ego Nomad. The team consisted of Madam Hydra as the new Viper and Princess Python in addition to Eel and Cobra.

The Serpent Squad shed its skin once more, this time to battle the Thing and Stingray in Marvel-Two-In-One 64. The latest team consisted of Sidewinder, Anaconda, Black Mamba and Death Adder.

Other squads included Copperhead, Fer-de-Lance, Puff Adder and Black Racer, all normally trounced by Cap.

If you insist on recognizing the real thing, you are encouraged to post with #NationalSerpentDay. That’s what Jeff would do.

Me?

I’d prefer to flip some four-color pages as Cap and company open a can of whup asp (ouch).

I don’t normally do this, but I do – highly – recommend Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) 46. It’s just Spidey and Cobra, but I always enjoyed that issue.

Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2020 by Barry

Marvel New Year’s Eve (2017) 1

Top radio jock Charlamagne comes out at a New Year’s Eve party at Avenger’s Mansion.

 

Marvel New Year’s Eve (2017) 1

Do they still call it Avenger’s Mansion? It’s a tower now. Kinda like Wayne Tower back in the 1970s. Man, I’m old.

Anyway, this is a digital special send-off to 2016. As mentioned above, Charlamagne is everyone’s favorite DJ. Not sure if his show’s syndicated or not, but he has a lot of listeners. Important and influential listeners.

Not to mention some infamous ones as well.

This is where Charlamagne allows his mouth to write a check others wonder if he can cash.

The DJ has chosen Norman Osborne to talk about on the next-to-last-day-of-the-year. The super-villain-slash-CEO has threatened to move his last remaining factory overseas. Charlamagne is not a fan of the idea. Osborne is what he would consider a corporate pirate with greed his favorite color.

Calling Osborne out on the radio raises the hackles on the CEO’s neck. Enough so he and colleagues choose to crash the exclusive party Charlamagne is holding New Year’s Eve. The event is a charity fundraiser solicited by the best and most beautiful of the super hero and civilian set.

The surprise is, Charlamagne has been dosed with Terrigen Mist, freeing his hidden power. Not sure what that power is, but all the villains are left in a heap ready for deposit at the raft by Cap.

Gone are the days of Dick Clark counting down the ball drop on Times Square. If you can remember that time, join the old man club with me. Hope 2021 is better.

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 3rd, 2020 by Barry

What If…? (1976) 26

Today is a day of decision. Whether we, the people, make it, the Electoral College or sinister societies hinted at in the best episodes of the X-Files.

Today is Election Day. The day many will file to the booths, tap their choice on a touch screen and go away feeling they may have made a difference.

Whatever the case, Four Color Holidays presents our candidate for President: Captain America.

What If…? (1976) 26

What If…? (1976) 26

True, Cap chose not to run in Captain America 250. But, this is What if…?, the series that explores other avenues not traveled in the Marvel U.

In this issue, Cap makes the fateful decision to toss his cowl into the political ring. Mike W. Barr, Herb Trimpe and Mike Esposito tell a tale in which Captain America is a symbol, but Steve Rogers is the figure.

Under the leadership of a man of honor, America prospers. As it does, the concentric circles of prosperity spread. Most notably to a small, South American country. With material aid, a dictatorship is overthrown and democracy established.

President Rogers makes a goodwill tour only to find an old evil waiting to destroy his dreams.

As with any of the What if…? stories, What if Captain America Were Elected President? is summed up in verse: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy, 4:7.

Trivia: Jack Kirby is featured as Chief Justice of the United States swearing in Cap on the cover.

Though not touted on the cover, What if…The Man-Thing had Regained Ted Sallis’ Brian? is a back story.

Posted Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 by Barry

Captain America (1968) 292

An American Christmas! acts as a backdrop to tie up some loose ends before the original Secret Wars kicked off.

Captain America (1968) 292

Captain America (1968) 292

Steve Rogers/Captain America is haunted by a recurring dream that isn’t a dream. A black crow visits Captain America while Steve goes about his holiday happenings.

Supporting characters receive the spotlight with J.M. DeMatteis moving the story along. The season acts as so much background with snow and Christmas decorations in the periphery.

The Black Crow is dispatched by stories end with the epilog showing the Avengers as they speed toward their destiny with the Beyonder.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars was a 12-issue mini running from May 1984 to April 1985. The series is most notable for the licensing deal with Kenner and the introduction of Spider-Man’s black costume.

A sequel, published from 1985 to 1986, ran nine issues and spilled over into most of the Marvel Universe in the form of cross overs. While the best-selling comic book of the year, it is also one of the most despised.

Posted Saturday, July 11th, 2020 by Barry

Hallmark Unleashes New Ornaments for 2020

Amid everything that is going on, Christmas is still coming. Hallmark hasn’t forgotten that (especially since it’s a big part of their bread and butter) and is rolling out their first round of superhero ornaments for the year. Included are:

Mini Marvel Studios Ant-Man Ornament, 1.7″

Marvel Captain America Metal Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy O Christmas Groot Ornament

DC Comics Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman Ornament

DC Comics Wonder Woman 1984 Princess Diana Returns Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament

DC Comics Aquaman and Storm Ornament

Posted Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 by Barry

Captain America (1968) 250

In this election year and all the turmoil surrounding the office, maybe it’s time for an official we can all trust.

Who better than Captain America? At least before he was revealed to be a Hydra operative. Is that still canonical?  I don’t keep up with all the hype anymore.

Captain America (1968) 250

Captain America (1968) 250

Well, even if he is, it may be more appropriate considering the current political landscape.

Color Holidays – meaning Jeff and I – are based in West Virginia and today is our primary. Or, would have been if not for the CCP virus.

Andy, let’s use today to showcase Captain America 250.

For those not familiar with the story, Cap saves the New Populist Party from a terrorist attack. Samuel T. Underwood, the NPP Convention Chairman, invites the Star Spangled Avenger to serve as their presidential candidate. Cap demurs, but Underwood is persistent.

After much soul searching and advice, Cap realizes he serves America in a much better way as the Sentinel of Liberty.

‘Cap for President’ is the midway point for John Byrne’s collaboration with Roger Stern on, in hindsight, a remarkable collaboration from the beginning of the 1980s. Much of the run was reflective, allowing Steve Rogers/Captain America to remember where he came from as he entered a new era.

So, having read this, go vote your hearts – or at least for the lesser of two evils.

 

Posted Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 by Barry

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

A 1978 inhouse ad from the House of Ideas – and merchandising – showcased the beginning of the graphic novel and trade paperback era.

Aside from The Incredible Hulk 1979 calendar, the advertisement promoted the Fireside books published from 1974 to 1979.

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Fireside was an imprint of publishing house Simon & Schuster. Stan Lee’s vision was to offer a more traditional format featuring Silver Age stories at affordable prices.

Fireside and Marvel teamed for 24 such books during the six-year association. Origins of Marvel Comics hit bookshelves in 1974 followed by Son of Origins of Marvel Comics in 1975. Bring on the Bad Guys and The Superhero Women were published in 1976.

The return of Jack Kirby to Marvel was heralded by The Silver Surfer The Ultimate Cosmic Experience. It also marked a reunion with collaborator Lee.

Other books included The Best of Spidey Super Stories, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel’s Greatest Battles, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts, Captain America Sentinel of Liberty, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun books one through five, The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, Marvel Mazes to Drive you Mad, The Mighty Marvel Pin-Up Book, Marvel Word Games and The Might Marvel Jumbo Fun Book.

All stocking stuffers to be sure.

Posted Friday, January 31st, 2020 by Barry

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

Science tells us time travel doesn’t exist.

But, it does.

At least in our minds. Here’s a prime example.

The holidays may be over, but here’s a look – 39 years – back at “Marvel’s Big Money…,” well, just re-read the title of today’s offering.

This one hurts my heart a bit. This was the end of an era. This was the final full year we lived back home; Virginia.

No, I didn’t order from this ad. We were fortunate enough to have one of the early comic book shops in Winchester. If I couldn’t make it there – these were the days before a driver’s license – there were newsstands and a 7-Eleven within pedaling distance.

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

Mighty Marvel’s Big Money-Saving Holiday Offer!

When the advertisement first appeared, it was just another page to flip past for more action. Looking at it now, the wreath is a portal to a time when adventures came at $.40 (plus tax) right off a spin rack.

Less if you subscribed for a year. Just read the hype: “The first subscription costs $5 – A big $1 savings off the regular sub price of $6!”

Read a little further and you could have saved an additional dollar with each subsequent subscription.

Whatta bargain.

It might have been nice, but there was – and still is – a thrill that comes when you pick up your pull box stack or find one on the wall that calls out; looking at those lavish covers and being drawn into the story without turning a page.

Hope your holidays were wonderful and the memories made will be good ones in the years to come. Jan. 31, 1981, has come and gone; buried by a lotta years. But, we can still remember.