Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: Uncanny X-Men #128

Have I ever mentioned that this was my first X-Men comic book? Well, it was. I remember it being part of a 3-pack my parents bought for me at the airport. Apart from a non-costume reprint story from the Astonishing Spider-Man tabloid, this was my first exposure to Marvel's less than merry band of mutants. Even as a young lad, I think I knew that everything looked better inked by Terry Austin. I was really intrigued by the character design of Colossus. I was not buying comics with an overall game plan back then (I had just turned 7 years old), but I made sure that I got a copy of #129 when it was released. There really is something very special about this particular special about this era in X-Men history and I'm happy that I climbed aboard when I did. Strange to think that I was pretty much stopped reading it by #160. I probably felt I was getting too old for comics.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Comic Book Robot of the Month: Irona

Richie rich lived in a very interesting corner of the Harveyverse, surrounded by a number of interesting characters. One of the most colourful members of the supporting cast is Irona, his robot housekeeper. She did much more than merely vacuum the rich mansion, as her unique skill set made her part security detail and part detective. She appeared in well over 100 stories and was an integral part of the Rich household. Irona was also featured in two different Richie Rich animated series, circa 1980 and 1996, and made an appearance in the straight to video live action film Richie Rich's Christmas Wish. Not many comic book robots have achieved that level of multi-media success.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Listen to Married With Clickers

Ok, so I have not pimped our podcast in a while but the time has come to try to get some new listeners from you Seduction of the Indifferent readers. We've now go more than 30 episodes published, so there should be a movie for just about every taste. In recent weeks, we've discussed 28 Days Later, The Swimmer, The Outsiders, La Belle et La Bete and Death Wish. While my wife and I do it for fun (it is nice to share a hobby), it is always great to know that there are listeners out there and even better when a new listener comes aboard. Give us a listen, let us know what you think and maybe even what movies you'd like to hear us review down the line. All shows can be downloaded from iTunes (just search Married With Clickers in the iTunes store) our directly from our Libsyn site at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exit Stage Left: Adventure Comics #503

This one really saddens me. Adventure Comics was such a great series, and extremely important from a historical context. Sandman, Starman, Superboy, the Legion of Superheroes, Supergirl and the Spectre all called it home at one point or another. During the final few years, the series really struggled to find an identity, ultimately become a Digest sized reprint book. That's not to say they weren't quality reprints, but the writing really was on the wall. This issue features a variety of stories from 60s Legion material to a mid-70s Zatanna story to the first Guardian & Newsboy Legion appearance. Another highlight is the cover gallery, featuring three covers from the 1930s. I love the border on the front and back covers. Try to see if you can name all of the characters!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gil Kane Cover of the Month: Strange Adventures #81

Even though I was not even born until 1972, I somehow feel nostalgic for the fun, science fiction covers of the 1950s. I mean, can a cover really get any more fun that the cover to Strange Adventures #81 (June, 1957)? There seems to be a bit of prototyping (if that's not a word, it should be) with a neat hybrid of Green Lantern, the Atom and even the Trigger Twins. Out hero(es) even looks like a Ray Palmer/Hal Jordan love child. This is a beautifully designed cover, and luckily neither the dialogue nor the caption obscure the artwork too much. I'm particularly fond of the use of the edge of the bunk to help establish the perspective. Being a Kane cover, I half expected this prison to issue purple uniforms to its inmates.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Single Issue Hall of Fame: Incredible Hulk Annual #5

This book is an absolute must-have for fans of pre-Fantastic Four #1 Atlas monsters. For one reason or another, an unseen villain has decided to duplicate a selection of monsters that have been kept secret by the US government. The raison d'etre of these creatures is to take down old Green Skin. A few details are skipped over, like the indentity of the villain and the explanation of why he didn't just have them all attack the Hulk at the same time. It's really just an excuse for Chris Claremont to play around in a circa 1960 sandbox and that's more just fine with me. Of course, Jack Abel's inks don't do much for Sal Buscema's terrific pencils. There's one panel in which Hulk looks as though he was drawn by a 5 year old. It all ends rather abruptly, but so did Stan's old 6 pagers. Good stuff.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hidden Gems: Legion of Super Heroes Annual #1

I really love the Legion, but I'm not one of those hardcore fans who knows the badge number of every single member of the Science Police. I'm also a bit fuzzy on post-1983 Legion stuff, so I always approach hoping that I won't come out the other side with a headache. I found this annual in a dollar bin, and could not resist the value I was getting on a 'pennies per page' basis. I had lowish expectations, but must admit that I was very pleasantly surprised to find a well told mystery tale that did not require an advanced degree in Legion Studies as it provides an accessible and intriguing look at the 31st century. The artwork is sharp throughout and, without spoiling too much, there's a really crafty tie-in to the DCU of the 20th century. It's a solid 'one and done' tale and that's one of the reasons I find myself seeking out Annuals from the 80s and 90s these days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reprint This! Nemesis

As I may have mentioned before, Brave and the Bold is my all-time favourite comic book title. The final 60 or so issues of this series were published during the peak of my childhood comic book reading. The thing is, I never really had much time for Nemesis. I didn't care for complex espionage stories and I felt that Dan Spiegle's artwork was downright ugly. Yes, I had a lot to learn. So, now I have come to love Spiegle and these kinds of stories. The problem is that I need to dig out my floppies and read these stories 8 pages at a time (save for the two team-ups with Batman). By my count, there is well over 200 pages of material here, and it would make for a terrific collection. Sadly, DC does not seem to realize that there is a market, albeit a limited one, for its non-superhero stories. Put Batman on the cover it you need to, but let's get this done!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Gorgo #2

We are in the thick of summer, and I have been spending very little time in front of my computer. That's the main reason we have not had a new Ditko cover on here in quite some time. As much as I love Charlton and Steve Ditko, I only seem to own one Gorgo comic book. I should really start to work on that. This cover has just about everything you could want in a Ditko cover: fighter jets, a giant monsters, NYC landmarks and loads of Ditko water. It's quite dynamic and I love how Gorgo absolutely dwarfs the UN Building. Kudos to the folks at Charlton for keeping the cover caption and dialogue-free. I find all of the movie studio stuff to be a bit intrusive, but at least there are two bystanders pointing to Gorgo and yelling something inane. Charlton can be admired for letting the picture do the talking. This is a very fun effort by Mr. Ditko, and I should get myself a copy.