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

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #56: Secret

Smoking kills.
Smoking kills.

Think about it:  Casper the Friendly Ghost is really creepy.  Not for the whole “wanting to be friends with people” thing, or even how the guys on Cheers observed that Casper must somehow lose all his friends between cartoons, or that one really warped episode where Casper befriends a fox pup that gets killed, only to have the fox’s ghost show up to immediately pick up where it left off with Casper (that’s some demented stuff right there).  No, the fact is Casper is a kid, always will be a kid, and he’s a ghost hanging around for some reason.  That’s some prime potential horror right there.

That sort of thing was realized a bit better with Secret.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #56: Secret

Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Seven Part Two

convergence-justice-league-america-2
Obligatory Aquaman money shot for Watson.

(Editor’s Note: Let’s all be kind to Jimmy and pretend it is the week of May 20th.  He really does try very hard to get his work done on time.  But for someone with commitment issues (ask Ms. Impossible) he can’t seem to say “No” to any project that comes his way.  So remember, it’s May 20th, Convergence is not over, and Jimmy is awesome.  Thanks from Gabbing Geek.)

Hey everybody!  A couple of clunkers in this batch of issues as we finish up the penultimate week of Convergence.  I’m looking forward to next week when the finale gets released.  I’m sure it will all start making sense at that point.  I’m sure nothing crazy and continuity shattering will occur and everything in the New 52 will be just as we left it two months ago.

Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of:

Week One: Part One, Part Two
Week Two: Part One, Part Two
Week Three:Part One, Part Two
Week Four:Part One, Part Two
Week Five: Part One, Part Two
Week Six: Part One, Part Two
Week Seven: Part One

Read on for Week Seven spoilers after the break for Convergence Justice League America #2Convergence Green Lantern Corps #2, Convergence New Teen Titans #2, Convergence Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes #2 and Convergence The Flash #2.

Continue reading Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Seven Part Two

Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Six Part One

convergence-6

With Deimos becoming the main villain of this event, and Telos and his “Contest of Champions” being pushed to the wayside, Convergence is getting a bit more interesting.  The main mini-series anyway, the tie-ins are still not adding much.

Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of:

Week One: Part One, Part Two
Week Two: Part One, Part Two
Week Three:Part One, Part Two
Week Four:Part One, Part Two
Week Five: Part One, Part Two

Read on for Week Six spoilers after the break for Convergence #6,  Convergence Batman Shadow Of The Bat #2, Convergence Green Lantern Parallax #2, Convergence Superboy #2, Convergence Supergirl Matrix #2 and Convergence Superman The Man Of Steel #2.

Continue reading Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Six Part One

Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Three Part Two

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Hey Watson! It’s Aquaman!

Week three continues and if Watson actually read comic books anymore he’s be losing his cookies that we get to meet our THIRD Aquaman in as many weeks.  Watson, man, get in here.  There was even a Wally West Flash story in week one and I know you loves some Wally West Flash.

Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of:

Week One: Part One, Part Two

Week Two: Part One, Part Two

Week Three:Part One

Read on for Week Three spoilers after the break for Green Lantern Corps #1,  Hawkman #1,  Justice League America #1, New Teen Titans #1, Swamp Thing #1 and The Flash #1.

Continue reading Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Three Part Two

The Really Messed Up History Of The Blue Beetle

Yeah, all these guys were the Blue Beetle.
Yeah, all these guys were the Blue Beetle.

A number of superhero names have complicated backstories.  The Green Lantern, for example, was originally Alan Scott, and his ring worked against anything except for wood.  Later the ring would pass to Hal Jordan, and be less magical but more science fiction, and work against anything except the color yellow.  That weakness would be eliminated later on, but to start, you could stop the Green Lantern with either a stick or a primary color depending on which one it was.

That’s nothing compared to the Blue Beetle.

Continue reading The Really Messed Up History Of The Blue Beetle

Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Two Part One

convergence-2
Convergence #2

Welcome to Convergence Week 2.  If you read my coverage of week 1 of Convergence you saw that my Pre-Flashpoint DCU knowledge was nothing impressive.  Thanks to Tom Kelly for filling in some knowledge gaps and for an extensive comment on the Extremists of Angor.

Hopefully this week is a little more in my wheel house as the main combantants are Metroplis from the pre-Zero Hour universe and the world of Kingdom Come.  It’s been awhile but I have read Kingdom Come, and pre-Zero Hour would be right around the time I was actually collecting some DC books with the Death of Superman and Knightfall.  One of the side universes in the spotlight this week is the San Diego of Jim Lee’s Wildstorm universe, from which I read a handful of books back in it’s Image Comics days.  So things are looking up, time will tell.

Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of Week One: Part 1, Part 2

Read on for spoilers after break for Convergence #2, Batman Shadow Of The Bat #1, Supergirl Matrix #1, Green Lantern/Parallax #1, and Superboy #1.

Continue reading Jimmy Attempts To Read All Of Convergence: Week Two Part One

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #11: The Alpha Centurion

Imperius Wrecks!
Imperius Wrecks!

Superhero supporting casts can oftentimes change from creator to creator.  Its not that uncommon.  Yes, some aren’t going anywhere.  Superman will always have Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White.  Batman will always have Alfred and Commissioner Gordon.  Spider-Man is going to be weighed down by Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson for all eternity.  But lesser supporting cast members can come and go, sometimes without warning.  When writer William Messner-Loebs was working on The Flash, Wally West had a huge supporting cast of friends that succeeding writer Mark Waid decided were only sporadically useful at best and largely ignored aside from the Pied Piper.  Loebs had Wally and Linda Park say hello to each other at a mutual friend’s wedding on his last page, and aside from her and Piper, Waid built a new supporting cast made up more of various other speedsters.  More egregious would be how Judd Winick gave Kyle Rayner a gay friend, Terry, during his Green Lantern run.  At the end of one issue, Kyle appeared to die and Terry got his power ring…only for returning writer Ron Marz to come in the very next issue to see Kyle alive, well, and with the ring on the very first page, and some dialogue how sometime between issues Terry had simply returned the ring and that was that.  Terry was never seen again.

Then there was the Alpha Centurion.   No one really knows what happened to that guy.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #11: The Alpha Centurion

Barry Allen: Why Exactly Isn’t He Still Dead?

He looks like he's tripping over his own feet in that pose.
He looks like he’s tripping over his own feet in that pose.

Crisis on Infinite Earths probably didn’t kill off anywhere near as many characters as its reputation.  But reputations are kinda screwy that way anyway, considering how many people are probably unaware how any “squeal like a pig” scenes make up so little of the movie Deliverance.  But there were really only two deaths in that story that really matter as far as DC was concerned.  Three if you count Prince Ra-Man, and nobody does.  One was Supergirl.  The other was the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen.  Both of those characters stayed pretty dead for a while, but Barry’s was actually remembered by the general public, or at least by his superhero peers.

The funny thing was, Barry dying may have been the best thing to ever happen to the character.

Continue reading Barry Allen: Why Exactly Isn’t He Still Dead?

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #8: The Spectre

Beware the pale man in a cape and a pair of briefs!
Beware the pale man in a cape and a pair of briefs!

This ongoing series of mine has focused largely on forgotten or little-used heroes.  Today’s entry is nothing like that, since the Spectre has been a DC staple since his creation in 1940.

He’s just been a markedly different sort of character any time he appears anywhere.  At least with someone like Superman, you know what the guy is and where he stands.  With the Spectre, he’s more or less what the story needs.  He really is a deus ex machina, sometimes rather literally.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #8: The Spectre