Thursday, October 30, 2014

80-Page Thursdays: G.I. Combat #204!

...well, that's problematic. From the days when war comics were as wholesome as a glass of milk before bedtime (1977, in this case!) G.I. Combat #204, with stories from Robert Kanigher and art from Dick Ayers, Sam Glanzman, E. R. Cruz, and more. "The Sound and Fury of War in Seven Blockbuster Tales!" Three of which feature the Haunted Tank, in battlefields from Bastogne to the South Pacific...back to Germany. There's not a lot of continuity in those stories, yeah.

One of the tank's crew this issue, Gus, was black; yet doesn't seem to have a problem with tank commander Lieutenant Jeb Stuart keeping a Confederate flag on his tank and claiming to see and be guided by the ghost of his ancestor, General J.E.B. Stuart. Admittedly, Jeb didn't seem to have a racist bone in his body, and Gus seemed to accept that Jeb had gotten them out of a ton of sticky situations one way or another. Still, I wonder if you could write a completely post-modern Haunted Tank story. I think it's been tried a few times and gets fixated on racism, and the significance of the Reb flag today rather than in WWII; but I think there's some mileage that could be gotten out of if the General was real or a manifestation of Stuart's mind trying to deal with the horrors of war or simply insanity. While blowing up Nazis. (Wikipedia says the Haunted Tank was DC's second-longest running war comic, behind only Sgt. Rock.)

Also this issue: E.R. Cruz draws a couple O.S.S. stories, one with frogmen, the other with a film director versus his Nazi counterpart. I kinda liked that one.

Dick Ayers draws a story set during the blitz in London, and there's a short tale of two pilots dueling in the skies: a German baron, and a black man. Those two were credited to Bart Regan, a pseudonym of Robert Kanigher. I don't know how many 80-Pagers G.I. Combat, but I think I had seen a few.

Read more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


With Wolverine "dead," Marvel seems to be pushing Sabretooth really, really hard: it's kinda like when Taco Bell has shrimp tacos. You're not sure why this is happening--the end of shrimp season? Some sort of die-off? Cleaning out the nation's freezer? But the Bell somehow presents it as a special event, and you know it was never meant to last, even if against all odds it somehow become really popular. I had Taco Bell the other day and was lamenting my beloved Beefy Crunch Burritos--the ones with the weird red Fritos that I don't think I've ever eaten outside of a burrito--which may explain today's metaphor. The why of it, anyway.

And now I'm hungry. Swell. Continued next week with an unexpected guest-star...that we've seen already.
Read more!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There's a reason they call it Earth-Haney.

I noticed it before in a issue guest-starring the Creeper, where he had yet another new job; but I wrote that off to just not paying a lot of attention to the Creeper's continuity. Then I saw it here, and figured unless it was a character as well-established as Clark Kent, Haney was going to put them in whatever job necessary for the story. Like today's book! From 1978, Brave and the Bold #141, "Pay--or Die!" Written by Bob Haney, art by Jim Aparo.

When several businessmen are blown to pieces, Batman begins working the case by checking their books, and finds out they were all in debt and making weekly cash payments, as to a loan shark: "Longreen." Black Canary gets involved when her career as a designer is derailed by her employer's sudden explosion. But the bomber knocked her clear, then escapes both Canary and Batman; and through "a quaint mispronunciation" come to the conclusion the loan shark "Long Grin" is none other than the Joker!

To break the case, Batman uses Alfred as bait; letting work slip that Bruce Wayne blew Alfred's pension, and that he needs to borrow "fifty big ones." The Joker takes the bait, and Alfred has a sly wit:

The Joker is able to get Alfred, even with Canary and Bats tailing him, but Alfred plays it cool, convincing the Joker he's going to recoup his losses with some insider trading, or embezzlement, either or. But after a drink from the Joker, Alfred can't recount enough details for them to find the Joker's hideout. After Canary is captured, Batman realizes Joker gave Alfred a bomb in the wine, a "chemical-timed explosive." Finally finding the Joker's hideout (which turns out to be a funeral home next to a burger joint with a giant, laughing clown mascot, because Haney) Alfred attacks him, putting him in a headlock, planning to take him with him. Canary stops the Joker's men, and Alfred is unmasked as Batman, giving the Joker a brief laugh until Bats forcibly uses the Joker to give Alfred a blood transfusion to defuse the chemical, since he knew the Joker took the antidote.

A slightly silly story, with the added effect of derailing Black Canary's new career before it even begins...
Read more!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last weekend at Pac-Con...

I was finally able to meet the man, the myth, the legend...

No, not Deadpool! I mean...

No, not that one either! I mean I was able to get Stan Lee's autograph!

The con was pretty fun, although as usual I was disappointed I was only able to get a pile of books, rather than a mountain. Plenty to blog over the coming weeks, including a return for 80-Page Thursdays! Better get started on that, then.

Read more!

Friday, October 24, 2014

I don't think I'm having Stan sign this one. Maybe.

Pac Con starts today, but I probably won't go until Saturday. The Youngest expressed a somewhat surprising interest in going, so we'll see about that. (The girlfriend/soon-to-be wife, not so much.)

I have a copy of Silver Surfer #18 that I planned on having Stan sign--and still do, if I can find the damn thing. It wasn't in the box I was positive it was, and since I had that issue out to blog about it in may take me a moment to dig up. Wish me luck!
Read more!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How do you get out of Lost Valley? Practice, practice, practice...

I'm usually up for a random issue of Turok when one falls into my lap, which is fine since there really isn't any continuity from one Gold Key issue to another. Even if sometimes you wish there was. From 1972, Turok, Son of Stone #80, "Deadly Aim" Story by Paul Newman, art by Alberto Giolitti.

Still trapped in the dinosaur infested Lost Valley, Turok and Andar get out of a narrow scrape with a tyrannosaur-type by sheer luck--and their one-hit kill poison arrows. Turok encourages the younger Andar to practice, starting with a high tree fruit as a reward. And the practice comes in handy when they find a strange white line, the "medicine" of a strange tribe, to protect them from the dinosaur "honkers." The tribesmen use a boomerang-like weapon, which is new to Turok and Andar, and Turok is captured.

Before Turok can be sacrificed, Andar is able to make a long shot to cut the rope holding him, a shot he probably wouldn't have even been able to try without their earlier practice. Turok returns the favor, shooting a boomerang out of the air to save Andar; and the pair escapes into the Lost Valley. A fun issue, and I'll have to keep an eye out for more soon...
Read more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Four five six, pick up sticks."

In Sinister Foes of Spider-Man, the Sinister Six is five guys--ostensibly because that way it seems like they have a mysterious secret member, and it's one less guy to split the take with, but it's mainly because they're kind of jerks and it's not like there's anyone jumping up and down to join them.

Also in regular Marvel continuity, the Black Cat is currently super-pissed at Spidey, since the Superior Spider-Man roughed her up and threw her in jail! And I can't remember who pointed out that the Marvel Legends Juggernaut figure looks like Shrek, but I can't unsee it.

I thought I had more Spider-Man villains lying around, but apparently not next to the set where I shot this one on the fly...still, we'll be more prepared the next time we check back with Felicia and Satana.
Read more!