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Posts Tagged ‘Comic Books’

  1. The Editors at DC offer their…No, YOUR…2 Cents.

    December 31, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    From the inside front cover of every DC comic book to hit the stands in December, 1961:


  2. Marvel Monster Roll Call for Nov. 1961

    November 1, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Sserpo! Amazing Adventures #6: When a frustrated scientist disposes of an experimental growth formula by tossing it into the ocean it is consumed by a tiny lizard-like creature living on the ocean floor. The missing ingredient for the growth formula was simply water so Sserpo begins to grow. Sserpo is caught by fishermen but by the time they reach port the lizard is large enough to sink the entire island. Nearly 1000 feet tall, the monster heads toward Australia. The Australian Navy diverts the creature with rockets but Sserpo (now 2000 feet high) is headed straight for Japan. Worried that the giant monster will sink their entire country when he first set foot on Japanese soil, the Japanese use an H-Bomb to scare the monster away. As Sserpo continues to grow, scientists fear that he will grow so large that he will upset the orbit of the Earth. Just in time, the inhabitants of Jupiter send a giant skyhook to snag Sserpo and carry him into space.

    The Creature from Krogarr Tales to Astonish #25: An alien contacts an Earthman through his TV set and offers to make him famous if he will just make a few adjustments to his TV and allow his body to pass from the alien’s planet to Earth. After the man does this, the alien  seizes the man and takes him back to his home planet. The alien tells the man that he will be  proof that his revolutionary new method of travel works and puts him in a cage while he calls his superiors. Once his superiors arrive and have seen the human, he is to be killed and invasion plans will be drawn up. Suddenly, the Earthman fades away just before the superiors arrive. Angered, they kill the inventor and destroy his machine which they assume is worthless. Luckily, the man had neglected to pay his electric bill and the power to the TV set was shut off, thus saving Earth.

    Giganto Fantastic Four #1:  Giganto is one of many Deviant Mutates dwelling on Monster Isle. During the first adventure of the Fantastic Four, the Mole Man makes Giganto his servant and uses him to attack nuclear power plants all over the world. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch succeeds (at least temporarily) in sealing Giganto and the Mole Man’s other monsters in their underground lair by melting the rock around the passage to the Earth’s surface.

     

    The Thing in the Black Box Journey into Mystery #74: A victim of a shipwreck washes up on a not quite deserted isle where he stumbles over beautiful Pandora and her box. Pandora is malevolent and tricks him into opening the box for her whereupon she commands the demon that emerges to make all of mankind her slave. The man begs Pandora to be allowed to return to the mainland, and she grants his request, but he has a plan and returns with a set of mirrors which he rings around the sleeping Pandora. When she awakes she cries out in despair that they be taken away. The man had gambled that centuries-old Pandora’s beauty had to be the result of hypnosis, but no one can hypnotize a mirror. He says the mirrors will be removed if she orders the demon back into the box. She does so, and they bury the box deep in the earth, and leave Pandora on her isle with her illusion of beauty.

    Orrgo…The Unconquerable Strange Tales #90: Two billion miles from earth the imperialistic race, the Mentelleronites, discuss their plan to conqure the planet Earth. One of the Mentelleronites, Orrgo, volunteers to be the planet’s invader. Orrgo believes his race to be so superior to the humans that he can accomplish the feat single-handedly. Teleporting himself across the galaxy, Orrgo materializes in a circus and tells the people audience to bow to him. The police and military are called but no one can withstand his hypnotic power. After hypnotizing the entire world’s population, Orrgo falls asleep near the circus where he originally materialized. Jo-Jo the circus gorilla becomes infuriated that his hypnotized master has not fed him and breaks out of his cage. Jo-Jo finds the sleeping Orrgo and senses  that he is responsible for his hunger. The angry ape strikes down Orrgo and saves the world. The others on Orrgo’s world sense that their brother has been defeated and decide not to try to invade Earth again, as they must be more powerful than originally thought.

    The Creature from the Black Bog Tales of Suspense #23 A retired couple exploring the Everglades comes upon an alien who has been mired in the bog after landing to make repairs and was making his way back to the ship. In exchange for their help in securing enough vines to pull him free of the bog, he removes their memories of the incident and makes them younger. Read the whole story here.

      

      


  3. The Pixie Dust of Science

    October 25, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    As all comic book readers in 1961 knew, Cosmic Rays are the pixie dust of science. There was  no telling what effects or uses could be attributed to the darn things. They granted fantastic powers like invisibility or controlled human combustion. They could transform a normal man into a super strong pile of orange rocks. They could enable certain speedsters to travel through time.

    I’m not going to burst any bubbles of fantasy on this page, but if you really want to know what cosmic rays are all about, checkout this Japanese educational comic book published in 2008: What are Cosmic Rays?


  4. What was Lois Lane up to 50 Years Ago? (Pt. 3)

    October 18, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Not that I ever need an excuse to revisit the goofy world of Lois Lane in 1961, but yesterday was Margot Kidder’s birthday and I feel kind of bad that I didn’t post this installment of “What was Lois Lane up to 50 Years Ago” a day earlier.  This story is one that was somehow overlooked when I posted about DC weddings a few weeks ago.

    In Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #28 (October, 1961) we find  a story called “Lois Lane, Gun-Moll”.

    “There’s an old theory that, as in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — each person has two personalities — one good, one evil — and that they battle for control until one dominates the other! Theory…or fact? You’ll soon see for yourself, as you watch a familiar friend change from good to evil — from reporter to robber — to become known as the notorious… Lois Lane, Gun-Moll!

    Of course, Lois’ reaction to the ray is only delayed. When it kicks in, Perry and Jimmy are the first to observe Lois in her new “evil” persona. Lois’ sister and roomie, Lucy also notices a difference.

    While snooping around in Lois’ room Lucy discovers some stolen jewelry and realizes that Lois is moonlighting as Metropolis’ newest super-villainess, the Leopard Lady. Lois chloroforms her sister and (after punching Lucy’s boyfriend Jimmy Olsen in the nose) takes her back to the Leopard Lady’s secret lair where Lois and her gang are planning their next job.

    The robbery at the Daily Planet  is interrupted by Superman in his guise as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. Kent pretends to be knocked unconscious when Leopard Lady Lois cracks him in the head with the butt of a tommy-gun, and then follows Lois and her gang back to their hideout. Superman quickly takes out Lois’ two goons but Lois lays him low with a boulder made of synthetic kryptonite. While Superman struggles against the effects of the kryptonite, Lois informs him that she’s sick of waiting around for him to return her love and has found a new man…Lex Luthor! Lois and Luthor announce their intention to be married and make a quick exit before the synthetic kryptonite wears off.

    True to their promise, the next day, the self-proclaimed King and Queen of Crime are married on the steps of city hall where a force field prevents the police or Superman from doing anything about it. As the justice of the peace asks if anyone objects to the union, Superman pounds on the force field screaming, “I object! I do! If only I could batter through!” After the justice proclaims Mr. and Mrs. Lex Luthor man and wife, Lois turns to Superman and sneers, “Hear that, Superman? That makes it official! You had your chance to marry me, but you muffed it!” The force dome explodes and the newlyweds make their escape. Superman is so dejected, even Lana Lang doesn’t want to exploit the mopey superhero’s new relationship status.

    Meanwhile back at the hideout Lex Luthor and his gang are yucking it up over the look on Superman’s face at the wedding.  The merriment is short-lived as Superman bursts through the door and turns to Lois still in her bridal gown and proclaims, “There is evil in you Lois, an evil that must be destroyed — burned out!”  Superman then uses his heat-ray vision to…reduce Lois Lane to a pile of ashes!

    Relax! It was a robot Lois Lane all along!

       


  5. The Human Light Bulb

    October 12, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    I love superhero origin stories; even those that never went anywhere. My thanks to the posters at the DC Comics Time Capsule for this page scan from House of Mystery #117 (1961).  Besides the human light bulb, the George Roussos drawn story, “The Three Who Changed” also featured a human acetylene torch and a human grasshopper.


  6. Lonely Ben Grimm

    October 11, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    At the risk of muddling my online personae, I hereby confess to being the author of a short-lived Twitter character known as Lonely Ben Grimm (@LonelyBenGrimm). Lonely Ben Grimm was based on the troubled love life of the superhero, The Thing, who made his debut in Fantastic Four #1 fifty years ago. Conditions on the romantic front don’t appear to have improved much for Ben over the last fifty years, however, he doesn’t wallow in his misfortune nearly as much as he did in his earliest appearances. The self-pity in those early years was rather galling to young men like myself who had no better luck with the ladies than the Thing did, and without the silver-lining of being able to go toe-to-toe with the Incredible Hulk.

    Here are a few samples of Ben’s pity party from the early Sixties as well as a selection of tweets inspired by the self-loathing superhero.

     

     

    “The National Federation of the Blind says there’s 650,000 blind women in this country. What’s wrong with me???”

     

     

     

     

     

    “Someone change the Baxter Building’s directory in the lobby. The new location of the Negative Zone is in my heart.”

     

     

     

    “The Frightful Four broke into the Baxter Bldg last night. I won’t tell you what Paste Pot Pete did to my collection of Vampirella mags.”

     

     

    “Mail today!!! A jury summons, a package fromYancy St, and an invitation to the Latverian embassy cotillion. Jury summons is likely a trap.”

     

     

    “Nowadays, the only Marvel Two-in-One is when Johnny and I get She-Hulk really drunk.”

     

     

     

     

     

    “I tried to write a love poem but the only rhyme I can think of for ‘Alicia Masters’ is ‘malicious bastards’”.

     

     

     

     

    “Did some speed dating tonight…I think that’s what it’s called when ya walks inta a singles bar and all the women run out the back door.”

     

     

     

     


  7. Thriller Picture Library: Battler Britton

    October 5, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Thriller Picture Library was a 64 page digest-sized comic book with black & white interior art.  Each page usually consisted of two panels; one on top of the other. Published four times a month in Britain by Fleetway it ran serialized stories featuring a variety of war, spy, and detective heroes. In 1961 the featured characters were Dogfight DixonJohn Steel, Battler Britton, Spy 13with one-off appearances by Dick Daring of the Mounties and our old friend Jet-Ace Logan.

    Today’s featured series is Battler Britton, starring Wing Commander Robert Hereward Britton of the RAF. Battler Britton was created by writer Mike Butterworth and artist Geoff Campion, but by 1961 was being drawn by an assortment of artists including Hugo Pratt, Francisco Solano Lopez, Ian Kennedy, Pat Nicolle, and Graham Coton. The character was resurrected by Garth Ennis for a 2006 mini series published by Wildstorm.

     Here is a look at some interior art by Pat Nicolle. The following scan is of two pages in the digest-sized format, seen as if you opened the book somewhere in the middle. Read the two panels on the left (top to bottom) before reading the two on the right.



  8. Thriller Picture Library: John Steel

    October 4, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Thriller Picture Library  was a 64 page digest-sized comic book with black & white interior art.  Each page usually consisted of two panels; one on top of the other. Published four times a month in Britain by Fleetway it ran serialized stories featuring a variety of war, spy, and detective heroes. In 1961 the featured characters were Dogfight DixonJohn Steel, Battler Britton, Spy 13with one-off appearances by Dick Daring of the Mounties and our old friend Jet-Ace Logan.

    Today’s featured character is John Steel, Special Agent. Artist Luis Bermejo took over the series in 1960 and may have influenced the decision in early 1961 to transplant Steel from World War Two into the Jazz Age.

     


  9. Thriller Picture Library: Dogfight Dixon

    October 3, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Thriller Picture Library  was a 64 page digest-sized comic book with black & white interior art.  Each page usually consisted of two panels; one on top of the other. Published four times a month in Britain by Fleetway it ran serialized stories featuring a variety of war, spy, and detective heroes. In 1961 the featured characters were Dogfight DixonJohn Steel, Battler Britton, Spy 13with one-off appearances by Dick Daring of the Mounties and our old friend Jet-Ace Logan.

    A 52 issue cover gallery would be a little daunting for one post, so I’m going to divy them up by featured character over the next several posts. Today’s featured character is Dogfight Dixon, RFC:

     


  10. Marvel Monsters Roll Call for Sept. 1961

    September 26, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

     

    The Glob (Journey into Mystery #72) is an alien advance scout for an invasion from space. He lies in wait for years in an old Transylvanian castle disguised as a statue and can only be resurrected by the application of a special paint. An unwitting painter brings the monster to life but ultimately succeeds in defeating  the Glob with a can of turpentine.

     

     

     

    Klagg (Tales of Suspense #21) is an alien who visits Earth and becomes so upset with the war-like ways of humanity that he declares war upon all the nations of  Earth. A young lay-about convinces communist agents to join  forces with the free world to confront Klagg. Seeing that the various nations are able to set aside their differences and band together against him,  Klagg decides that there is hope for humanity and suspends his campaign of destruction.

          

     

    Robot X (Amazing Adventures #4) is a thinking robot who is the propaganda  target of the editor of a local paper. Robot X  builds a robot army in a secret factory and assaults the town to capture and expose the newspaper editor as a Martian in disguise. The Martians knew that they could not manipulate thinking robots and had to turn the humans against them. With the alien plot foiled, Robot X and his fellow robots deactivate themselves so that humans will not need to live in fear.

          

     

    Moomba (Tales to Astonish #23) is the leader of an alien fifth column disguised as African wood carvings (I suspect he stole the idea from the Glob’s people). Moomba gives his command to strike and all the carvings get up and begin to attack their human owners. The wood they are made from is so hard that fire and bullets can’t harm them. Eventually, an African witch doctor defeats Moomba and makes him promise to leave Earth along with all of his wooden warriors.

          

     

    Zzutak (Strange Tales#88)  was created by magic paints supplied to a comic book artist by an Aztec elder.  The artist is hypnotized by the paints to travel to Mexico and create Zzutak, but after hearing the elder’s plans, he mutters under his breath “Zzutak is your enemy” while painting a second creature. When the magic paint brings the second monster into existence,  it begins a battle with Zzutak. The elder tries to get them to stop fighting, but they ignore him. During the fight, the columns supporting the temple are damaged and the whole structure soon crashes down on all three of them. The elder survives, but a blow to the head has caused amnesia and his plans are lost forever.