The Silver Age of Comics was chock-full of guys whose artwork was unique and powerful, and the likes of Jack Kirby or Wally Wood could generate a panel that would blow you away. The late Gil Kane is among their number as well, with work that could give even a minor character from a relatively minor publisher the kind of rep that’d last nearly fifty years. Your Major Spoilers (retro) review awaits!
Or – “A Pioneer In More Ways Than One…”
It wasn’t all that long ago that I got in the middle one of those silly fanboy arguments that we all have now and again, this one about the first comic book to star an African-American hero. One friend said ‘Luke Cage – Hero For Hire,’ while another thought that John Stewart as Green Lantern might count, as a third questioned the possible bona fides of The Falcon. Me, I did what I always do, sat back and waited for them to ask if *I* knew. Soon enough, they did, allowing me to sit back and drop a little knowledge…
Your Major Spoilers (retro) review awaits!
Or – “It Must Be Said That I’ve Never Personally Heard Anyone Say They Monkey Around…”
This has been a pretty disheartening week for Monkees fans, due to the untimely loss of Davy Jones. But at least we have the minor upside of the sudden change of heart amongst the general internet community regarding their work. The so-called Prefab Four prefigured popular culture by nearly half a century, be it in television, music or the fabulous stream of consciousness tour de force that is their movie, ‘Head’, and I take a tiny bit of hipster pride in watching the tides of opinion turning in The Monkees favor. Of course, back in the boys’ heyday, their fame and fortune extended into the realm of comics as well…
Or -”In Which Life Is, Indeed, Somewhat Like A Hurricane…”
Y’know, I’m breaking my carefully planned and meticulously balanced Retro Review schedule to do today’s review, but what the heck? It’s the holidays!(And besides, pretty much all the Faithful Spoilerites are all too aware that I am far from meticulous nor all that much of a planner…)
Or – “From Out Of The Hidden Longbox…”
Several years ago, the previous manager at Gatekeeper Hobbies (Huntoon & Gage, Topeka, ask me about our copy of Showcase #8!) bought several longboxes of comics on Saturday buying day. One longbox contained 90′s overflow books for the 3 for a dollar bin, one contained some Bronze Age Batman, Spider-Man and such, but one box contained a stack of random Archie, Uncle Scrooge and various cartoon titles, what my late grandma would call funny books. We get a lot of these type of books brought in to the store, but they seldom get bought for anything other than filler.
Nearly four years later, I opened that box, left to gather dust in a corner of my comics cave and found this issue. Upon reading it, I started to wonder, why do the books that put the “comic” in comics always get the short shrift?
Or – “Fire BAD!!”
During the month of October, I set off on a plan to do weekly Hero Histories on Halloween-appropriate heroes, starting with Dracula, and ending with a secret character. Seein’ as how we’re about two weeks short of Christmas, you can see how well that worked. Nonethless, I think we’re still holiday appropriate, seein’ as how we’re working with a hero who wears red and green (or atleast wears red and IS green.) Though a product of possibly evil intentions, he nonetheless overcame his creation to transform into something strongly resembling Superman. Like the original Man of Steel, the Man of Science (SCIENCE!) was not himself human, but still strove to protect the weak from natural disasters, crazed lunatics and the occasional killer gorilla. Striding forth out of his castle to fight crime in all it’s forms, today’s entrant had a short career at a time where superheroes were crawling out of the woodwork, and his uniqueness added to his legend. This, then, is your Major Spoiler Hero History of the creature who called himself Frank Stone, known publically by the name of his “father…” FRANKENSTEIN!
Or – “He Doesn’t Even Drink… Wine.”
In the years since 1938 (technically even earlier, given the existence of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Zorro, the Green Hornet and others who predate the technical era of the Superman) there have been hundreds upon hundreds of publishers that create comic book adventures, with hundreds of THOUSANDS of characters involved. In all that time, there have been more than a few heroes whose existence is due mostly to bad ideas, high concept or some sort of drugs. In the case of today’s Hero History entrant, a strong case can be made for all three. His powers are unique, to say the least, his costume not-so-very fearsome, and his code-name? Well, it’s a long story. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… sit right back and you’ll hear a tale of a man fighting to overcome his family’s legacy of evil and forge a new path to greatness. This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Aloyisius Ulysses Card of Transylvania, who took his ancestor’s name in his heroic identity of… DRACULA!