Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case Files #64: Dex-Starr

If the first image I pull is this one, it is probably not ending well. Sorry, Jenny.
If the first image I pull is this one, this story is probably not ending well.            Sorry, Jenny.

The basic concept of the Silver Age Green Lantern was that the Guardians of the Universe created an intergalactic police force that would patrol various sectors of space, armed with a ring that could do more or less anything the wearer wanted it to with sufficient willpower.  All the energy in the ring came out looking green, and that was that.  Originally, a single yellow ring was worn by former Green Lantern turned bad guy Sinestro.  Writer Geoff Johns explored that concept, and came up first with the idea of another Lantern Corps armed with yellow rings like Sinestro’s.  And hey, if you’re going to have rings that work off green (willpower) or yellow (fear), why not try some other colors?

That’s where Dex-Starr comes in, one of the most tragic anti-heroes in recent comics.  Yes, it is tragic.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case Files #64: Dex-Starr

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case Files #61: Bug

His name is Bug. That is possibly the best name anyone could think of.
His name is Bug. That is possibly the best name anyone could think of.

Once upon a time, Marvel Comics got the comic book rights to, of all things, 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  Anyone who’s seen that movie knows it’s, well, an odd choice for any sort of adaptation for younger readers, but it still happened.  It was also an ongoing series.  Where do you take a story like that once you’ve recounted the story from the movie?  This wasn’t Star Wars with the promise of ongoing adventures for the characters.  Part of the answer for writer/artist Jack Kirby was to create a new character that would cross over to the main Marvel Universe, namely Machine Man.

That was not the only time a licensed character got into the main universe.  That also happened with Bug.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case Files #61: Bug

Comic Review: DC Showcase Presents Batman Volume 6

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I’ve long been a fan of DC Comics Showcase Presents line.  These inexpensive reprints of old comics in black and white allowed people like myself who enjoyed Silver Age comics to get a lot of issues without breaking the bank.  These stories were often written in an age where the average reader’s (and writer’s) knowledge of real world science may have been questionable, so pure imagination and outright silliness became the rule.  DC originally put out a volume every two weeks, often alternating between a well-known property (Superman, Green Lantern) and then a more obscure one (Metamorpho, Jonah Hex).

Sales must not have been too good, as over time volumes went on to come out once a month and then less.  I suspect that the sixth volume of Batman stories may be the last one.  I had ordered it from Amazon over a year ago when it finally showed up on my doorstep last February.  Having just finished it, I can review it.  And I will…after the cut.

Probably SPOILER-FREE, but these are 40+ year old comics, so, you know…

Continue reading Comic Review: DC Showcase Presents Batman Volume 6

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #55: The Sea Devils

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There once was a time when various comics companies would just toss random characters out there and see what stuck.  While the Silver Age version of characters like the Flash and Green Lantern first appeared in DC Comics’ Showcase, that particular comic was initially intended as an anthology to introduce new characters.  In point of fact, the first character to be featured in Showcase was a firefighter named Fireman Farrell.  He got three short stories in that issue and as near as I can make out was never seen again.

As a digression, Farrell’s last story featured a national news TV crew following Farrell and his company around as they fought a fire, but that was to cover a story about a local (and apparently unpopular) ballot initiative to give the firemen a raise so they could do stuff like send their kids to camp (that was treated as a tragedy).  One woman interviewed said the teachers deserved a raise first, and a home viewer decried that woman as “stupid”.  I sure would like to know why wanting a raise for a nation’s educators is stupid.  Or why a local ballot initiative was national news.  I guess the point is I don’t miss Fireman Farrell.

But that “let’s see what works” approach is my best explanation for the Sea Devils.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #55: The Sea Devils

Where’s Black Widow: Asian Edition

 

This is tame by comparison.
 
I haven’t had an article on Gabbing Geek for a while not because I’ve been to lazy or busy, although both are certainly true the rest of the year, but because I’ve been in China and Hong Kong. And while I’m still overseas I did find a couple of things for sale showing the Asian version of excluding female characters from toy sets. While U.S. fans still ask Where’s Rey in Star Wars sets it was only a brief few months we were asking the same about Black Widow in Age of Ultron sets. If you thought replacing Widow with Ultron was bad, check out what they do in China and Hong Kong after the break. 
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ICYMI: Awkward Justice League Thanksgiving

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It’s Thanksgiving at the Justice League of America household and things are just as awkward for them as they might be for your family. Join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more as they give thanks.

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Spectacular Superhero Stockings Are Perfect For The Holidays

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This year, why not make it a point to update that old musty-dusty stocking of yours with a bright shiny new Reindeer! I mean – Stocking! I must have Rudolph on the brain. Thanks to Creations by Catherine, there are many different heroes to choose from, like Wonder Woman, Robin, and of course the staples you see above. Each stocking runs about $35. Curious as to what these harbingers of toys and goodies look like? Check em out after the break!

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #40: General Glory

Yes, he's supposed to look familiar.
Yes, he’s supposed to look familiar.

Last week, when I covered the Beefeater in this column, I mentioned how that Beefeater’s dad was a partner to a World War II era American hero named General Glory.  When the Beefeater tried to tell his wife about his old man’s adventures with the good General, his wife reminded him that General Glory was a fictional character from American comic books.

Thing is, the Justice League books of the time dropped that line a couple times, and so it came as something of a surprise that General Glory was actually a real guy.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #40: General Glory

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #39: The Beefeater

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The Justice League was originally DC’s premier super team, the big guns team you called in when really serious problems that even Superman (theoretically) could not stop alone came a’ callin’.  Then, Post-Crisis, the League was actually turned into a book that was largely played for laughs.  That run was actually hugely popular.  Heck, Watson likes it, and he largely dislikes comics these days.  Considering the run occurred about the same time as Frank Miller and Alan Moore had (inadvertently in Moore’s case) made superheroes a lot less fun and funny, that means a whole lot more.

And hey, we got the Beefeater from that period, too.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #39: The Beefeater

Long Overdue Bat-Credit

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Anyone whose ever read a Batman comic in the past I don’t know how many years, or seen a Batman movie or cartoon since at least Michael Keaton donned a rubber suit, has possibly seen a credit somewhere that read, “Batman created by Bob Kane.”

DC Entertainment recently announced a change to that by-line, a long overdue one in the minds of many fans.

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