Monday, March 11, 2019

Angola in the Comics #11: Thrilling Comics #1

Here's a treat - I get to combine two of my favourite things: the nation of Angola and the super hero team the Justice Society of America! I've blogged about the Justice Society of America (JSA) a few times in the past, but very briefly, they were DC Comics' premiere super hero team in the 1940s, the precursors to the Justice League of America.

In 1999, DC ran a mini-event called "The Justice Society Returns!" which ran through a series of interconnected one-shots. After this event, the new ongoing series JSA began. You might assume these two publishing events are connected, but you'd be wrong; "The Justice Society Returns!" stories were set during the team's 1940s continuity and penned by a series of writers & artists other than those responsible for JSA; JSA was set in contemporary continuity with a new Justice Society team comprised of various surviving heroes of the 40s joined by successors to various dead or retired members.

What concerns us is the comic book Thrilling Comics #1 by writer Chuck Dixon and the amazing artist Russ Heath (who passed away last year). Each of these one-shots teamed up two different Justice Society members, in this instance Hawkman and Wildcat. The one-shots were named in honour of 1940s comic book series, although the 1940s Thrilling Comics were not published by DC Comics.

Anyway, the story--"No More Tomorrows"--is set entirely in Angola and opens in the year 1945 as a Nazi patrol out in the bush are attacked by Hawkman and Wildcat. And of course, if you know anything about which African countries participated in World War II you'd be wondering why there are Nazis in Angola, considering it was pretty far from German control and that Portugal remained neutral throughout World War II. Patience, we'll get there.

Hawkman and Wildcat easily beat the Nazis, interrogate them about their leader, then move on, unaware two other figures are trailing them (we'll later learn who they are and can only wonder why they didn't reveal their presence to their fellow heroes immediately). Flying over herds of elephants and antelope, Hawkman finds an immense crater with a transmitter tower built in its center. Hawkman is shot at by a German plane and falls to the earth.

Back with the captured Nazis, night has fallen but Wildcat remains where he is, waiting for Hawkman to return. He is, after all, just a decent prizefighter who wears tights. All of a sudden Tigress leaps out of the tall grass and threatens him, but Manhunter appears and makes Tigress back off, explaining Wildcat is on their side. No idea why they waited until nightfall to have this conversation, but these are the rules of drama. Both Tigress and Manhunter are rather complicated characters and neither are members of the Justice Society; Tigress actually debuted post-war as a Wildcat villain, but was later retconned to have been a heroine during the war, and likewise made an ally of Manhunter. As to Manhunter, DC has published so, so, many versions of the character - this one is Paul Kirk, an authentic 1940s DC super hero. There wasn't much to him back in the 40s - he was simply a former big game hunter who fought crime. Considering his background, Angola isn't such an unusual place for him to turn up at.

Wildcat brings Tigress & Manhunter up to speed on the overarching plot: there's a godlike villain called Stalker who fought the Justice Society and empowered seven of his agents, whom he dispatched around the world. Justice Society comics of the 1940s would usually feature the team splitting up into solo adventures to stop the henchman of their adversary, then meet up together at the finale to face the main villain - which is actually what's happening in this mini-event. Anyway, Wildcat & Hawkman are in Angola to find one of Stalker's men.

Meanwhile, Stalker's lackey has captured Hawkman and explains why they're in Angola: "The 'neutral' government here was kind enough to allow myself and my 'security' force to build this installation." Okay, that explains the 'why'. The lackey shows Hawkman a massive drilling machine he designed to bore deep into the earth "to the rich oil pool lying miles beneath the continent. A deposit equal to all the world's known reserves." Which, sure enough, post-war Angola did discover they had a massive amount of oil & gas (although mostly in Cabinda). Hawkman notes this oil supply would be pretty valuable to the Nazis, but that's not why they're drilling: the lackey intends to ignite the oil field and "erase Africa from the map." Which, once you say it aloud, sure sounds stupid. No matter how much oil & gas is down there, I can't imagine the explosion would wipe even Angola off the map, much less the entire continent! It's a pity this is the villain's big plan, 'cause it's dumb comic book science - but maybe it was intentionally dumb in the way so many 1940s comic books were. I mean, who would ever write a story about a super-villain trying to destroy the North American continent by lighting a match underneath Texas?

Hawkman wonders what the lackey's Nazi allies think about this plan. "They think we're prospecting for oil," the lackey (who desperately needs a name) tells Hawkman. This is why his explanation was done in English. Hawkman wonders why he was left alive, to which the lackey answers he needed bait to draw out Hawkman's allies. On cue, Wildcat, Tigress and Manhunter burst in, Wildcat and Manhunter both brandishing guns. And Tigress? She's got spunk and very nasty nails; they might even break a person's skin! The lackey is unimpressed; he obtained super powers from Stalker and wanted to test them out on super-powered enemies. The lackey transforms into a giant gooey purple monster. Whereupon, Tigress turns and runs away. Good instincts!

Hawkman orders Wildcat & Manhunter to switch off the drill while he fights the gooey monster, grabbing a rifle to slash at the monster's tentacles with its bayonet, then hurls it into the monster's eye (which is strange, actually - the Comics Code Authority was still around to police this comic in 1999 and they usually censored eye injuries; eye injuries happened a few times in 1940s comics though).

While Wildcat & Manhunter destroy the drill with grenades, Tigress returns to the fight sporting a flamethrower and saves Hawkman by burning up the monster. The drill's destruction causes a big explosion which collapses the tunnels (but doesn't blow up the continent of Africa, in case you were worried). The four heroes escape the destruction and meet up with the mystical hero Doctor Occult (also not a member of the Justice Society) to be transported to the next chapter of the story. But for us, this is where we end.

Thoughts: How do you manage to set a story in Angola (or anywhere in Sub-Saharan Africa) and not depict a single black person?

It's interesting to see Angola as the scene of the story and that Dixon had enough on the ball to know the country was neutral during the conflict. It seems as though the nation was chosen because of the oil & gas supply. Angola is seldom depicted in North American comic books, much less as the setting of a historical story.

Dixon succeeded at the extremely challenging task of writing Wildcat in a way which didn't bring out my snark; however, the real props belong to Russ Heath, who turned in the sort of lush art he was renowned for.

  • +1 estrelas for correct use of an Angolan natural resource (oil)
  • +1 estrelas for correct use of Angolan wildlife (elephants, antelope, lions)
  • +1 estrelas for correct historical information about Angola's neutrality during World War II

TOTAL SCORE: TRÊS ESTRELAS!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Creator credits for Captain Marvel (2019)

Here is a list of which comic book creators were responsible for characters and story elements adapted into the most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel. If you see errors or omissions, please comment below!

My master list of Marvel Cinematic Universe creator credits is right here.

Stan Lee: co-creator of the Avengers, a team of heroes whose ranks include the Hulk (Avengers #1, 1963); of Captain America as an Avenger (Avengers #4, 1964); of the Skrulls, a race of green extraterrestrials with ridged chins who have the ability to shapeshift into anyone; of four Skrulls becoming agents on Earth (Fantastic Four #2, 1962); of Skrulls wearing the colour purple in their uniforms (Fantastic Four #18, 1963); of the Kree, an extraterrestrial race of conquerors; of the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence which rules the Kree (Fantastic Four #64, 1967); of Ronan the Accuser, a Kree who wields the hammer-like Universal Weapon (Fantastic Four #65, 1967); of Bruce Banner, the Hulk (Incredible Hulk #1, 1962); of Mar-Vell, a pink Kree agent who operates undercover on Earth using the identity of Dr. Lawson, enabling them to infiltrate NASA; of Kree uniforms with white and teal, pointed shoulder pads, a half-mask and pointed helmet; of Mar-Vell's sympathies turning towards humanity, in defiance of Kree plans; of Yon-Rogg, a pink Kree who is Mar-Vell's superior, a war-mongering Kree officer (Marvel Super-Heroes #12, 1967); of Nick Fury, Nicholas Joseph Fury, a soldier in the US Army (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1, 1963); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international espionage agency; of Nick Fury having lost his left eye; Nick Fury as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with rank of colonel (Strange Tales #135, 1965); of the Black Widow, an elite operative (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964); of the Cosmic Cube, a massively powerful artifact (Tales of Suspense #79, 1966)

Jack Kirby: co-creator of the Avengers, a team of heroes whose ranks include the Hulk (Avengers #1, 1963); of Captain America as an Avenger (Avengers #4, 1964); of Steve Rogers, alias Captain America (Captain America Comics #1, 1941); of the Skrulls, a race of green extraterrestrials with ridged chins who have the ability to shapeshift into anyone; of four Skrulls becoming agents on Earth (Fantastic Four #2, 1962); of Skrulls wearing the colour purple in their uniforms (Fantastic Four #18, 1963); of the Kree, an extraterrestrial race of conquerors; of the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence which rules the Kree (Fantastic Four #64, 1967); of Ronan the Accuser, a Kree who wields the hammer-like Universal Weapon (Fantastic Four #65, 1967); of Bruce Banner, the Hulk (Incredible Hulk #1, 1962); of Nick Fury, Nicholas Joseph Fury, a soldier in the US Army (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1, 1963); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international espionage agency; of Nick Fury having lost his left eye; Nick Fury as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with rank of colonel (Strange Tales #135, 1965); of the Cosmic Cube, a massively powerful artifact (Tales of Suspense #79, 1966)

Gene Colan: co-creator of Ronan depicted with blue skin; the Kree depicted with blue skin; of Ronan allied with Yon-Rogg; of Hala, homeworld of the Kree (Captain Marvel #1, 1968); of the enmity between the Kree and Skrull races (Captain Marvel #2, 1968); of Mar-Vell, a pink Kree agent who operates undercover on Earth using the identity of Dr. Lawson, enabling them to infiltrate NASA; of Kree uniforms with white and teal, pointed shoulder pads, a half-mask and pointed helmet; of Mar-Vell's sympathies turning towards humanity, in defiance of Kree plans; of Yon-Rogg, a pink Kree who is Mar-Vell's superior, a war-mongering Kree officer (Marvel Super-Heroes #12, 1967); of Carol Danvers, a blonde NASA officer who works with Dr. Lawson/Mar-Vell and becomes involved in Mar-Vell's struggle against the Kree (Marvel Super-Heroes #13, 1968)

Roy Thomas: co-creator of Ronan depicted with blue skin; the Kree depicted with blue skin; of Ronan allied with Yon-Rogg; of Hala, homeworld of the Kree (Captain Marvel #1, 1968); of the enmity between the Kree and Skrull races (Captain Marvel #2, 1968); of the Captain Marvel costume with red and blue colours and a starburst on the chest; of Captain Marvel's ability to generate photon blasts from the hands (Captain Marvel #17, 1969); of Carol Danvers receiving powers from the explosion of a Kree device due to Yon-Rogg (Captain Marvel #18, 1969); of Carol Danvers, a blonde NASA officer who works with Dr. Lawson/Mar-Vell and becomes involved in Mar-Vell's struggle against the Kree (Marvel Super-Heroes #13, 1968); of the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, an eagle within a circle (Strange Tales #154, 1967)

Chris Claremont: co-creator of Carol Danvers traumatized from losing her memories (Avengers Annual #10, 1981); of Carol Danvers as a US Air Force pilot (Ms. Marvel #9, 1977); of Joseph Danvers, Carol's father (Ms. Marvel #13, 1978); of Steve Danvers, Carol's older brother (Ms. Marvel #19, 1978); of Nick Fury and Carol Danvers as allies during an early period of Fury's career (Uncanny X-Men #158, 1982); of Carol Danvers receiving massively powerful energy manipulation powers, surrounding herself with swirls of cosmic energy (Uncanny X-Men #164, 1982)

Kelly Sue DeConnick: co-creator of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel; of Carol's red and blue costume with yellow highlights and red gloves; of Carol's helmet which shapes her hair into a mohawk (Captain Marvel #1, 2012); of Carol Danvers' cat turning out to be an extraterrestrial Flerken whose mouth opens up into a host of tentacles which can swallow up enormous amounts of matter; of Torfa, an alien world (Captain Marvel #2, 2014)

Gerry Conway: co-creator of Carol Danvers as a feminist; Carol Danvers discovering she has the ability to fly; of Carol Danvers wearing a blue and red costume with a starburst on the chest; of Carol having a second personality as that of a Kree warrior (Ms. Marvel #1, 1977); of Carol discovering how Yon-Rogg had been responsible for her gaining super powers (Ms. Marvel #2, 1977)

John Buscema: co-creator of Carol Danvers as a feminist; Carol Danvers discovering she has the ability to fly; of Carol Danvers wearing a blue and red costume with a starburst on the chest; of Carol having a second personality as that of a Kree warrior (Ms. Marvel #1, 1977); of Carol discovering how Yon-Rogg had been responsible for her gaining super powers (Ms. Marvel #2, 1977)

Roger Stern: co-creator of Monica Rambeau, an African-American person from Louisiana connected to Captain Marvel; of Monica asserting she can transform into energy (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, 1982); of Maria Rambeau, Monica's mother (Avengers #246, 1984); of James Rhodes as one of the Avengers (West Coast Avengers #1, 1984)

John Romita Jr.: co-creator of Monica Rambeau, an African-American person from Louisiana connected to Captain Marvel; of Monica asserting she can transform into energy (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, 1982)

Gil Kane: co-creator of the Captain Marvel costume with red and blue colours and a starburst on the chest; of Captain Marvel's ability to generate photon blasts from the hands (Captain Marvel #17, 1969); of Carol Danvers receiving powers from the explosion of a Kree device due to Yon-Rogg (Captain Marvel #18, 1969)

Dave Cockrum: co-creator of Nick Fury and Carol Danvers as allies during an early period of Fury's career (Uncanny X-Men #158, 1982); of Carol Danvers receiving massively powerful energy manipulation powers, surrounding herself with swirls of cosmic energy (Uncanny X-Men #164, 1982)

Carla Conway: co-creator of Carol Danvers as a feminist; Carol Danvers discovering she has the ability to fly; of Carol Danvers wearing a blue and red costume with a starburst on the chest; of Carol having a second personality as that of a Kree warrior (Ms. Marvel #1, 1977)

Mark Gruenwald: co-creator of Atlas, a blue Kree who works with Minerva; of Minerva wearing a domino mask and uniform similar to Carol Danvers (Quasar #9, 1990); of Korath the Pursuer, one of the Kree Pursuers (Quasar #32, 1992)

David Lopez: co-creator of Carol Danvers' cat turning out to be an extraterrestrial Flerken whose mouth opens up into a host of tentacles which can swallow up enormous amounts of matter; of the planet Torfa (Captain Marvel #2, 2014)

Dexter Soy: co-creator of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel; of Carol's red and blue costume with yellow highlights and red gloves; of Carol's helmet which shapes her hair into a mohawk (Captain Marvel #1, 2012)

John Byrne: creator of the Skrulls as a band of refugees with no homeworld (Fantastic Four #262, 1984); co-creator of James Rhodes, an African-American hero (Iron Man #118, 1979)

Brian Michael Bendis: co-creator of the Skrulls arriving on Earth as refugees (Secret Invasion #1, 2008); of Nick Fury as an African-American man (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5, 2001)

Al Milgrom: co-creator of Maria Rambeau, Monica's mother (Avengers #246, 1984); of Minerva, a female blue Kree agent who opposes Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel #50, 1977)

Jamie McKelvie: co-creator of Carol's red and blue costume with yellow highlights and red gloves; of Carol's helmet which shapes her hair into a mohawk (Captain Marvel #1, 2012)

Keith Pollard: co-creator of the Pursuers, powerful Kree soldiers who wield baton weapons (Inhumans #11, 1977); of Carol Danvers as a US Air Force pilot (Ms. Marvel #9, 1977)

Mark Millar: co-creator of Nick Fury depicted as Samuel L. Jackson; the Avengers as a team organized and run by S.H.I.E.L.D. under Fury's guidance (Ultimates #2, 2002)

Bryan Hitch: co-creator of Nick Fury depicted as Samuel L. Jackson; the Avengers as a team organized and run by S.H.I.E.L.D. under Fury's guidance (Ultimates #2, 2002)

Mike Manley: co-creator of Atlas, a blue Kree who works with Minerva; of Minerva wearing a domino mask and uniform similar to Carol Danvers (Quasar #9, 1990)

Ralph Macchio: co-creator of Project: Pegasus, a special government research institute which explores unusual sources of energy (Marvel Two-in-One #42, 1978)

Carmine Infantino: co-creator of Joseph Danvers, Carol's father (Ms. Marvel #13, 1978); of Steve Danvers, Carol's older brother (Ms. Marvel #19, 1978)

Sal Buscema: co-creator of Project: Pegasus, a special government research institute which explores unusual sources of energy (Marvel Two-in-One #42, 1978)

Don Heck: co-creator of the Black Widow as an Avenger (Avengers #111, 1973); of the Black Widow, an elite operative (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964)

Steve Epting: co-creator of Ronan working with Korath, Minerva and Atlas as members of Starforce, an elite Kree battle group (Avengers #346, 1992)

Bob Harras: co-creator of Ronan working with Korath, Minerva and Atlas as members of Starforce, an elite Kree battle group (Avengers #346, 1992)

John Romita: co-creator of Carol Danvers wearing a blue and red costume with a starburst on the chest (Ms. Marvel #1, 1977)

Roberto de la Torre: co-creator of Carol Danvers' mysterious ginger cat (Ms. Marvel #4, 2006)

Scott Edelman: co-creator of Minerva, a female blue Kree agent who opposes Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel #50, 1977)

Andy Kubert: co-creator of Bron Char, a blue Kree soldier with exceptional strength (Captain America #8, 1998)

Mark Waid: co-creator of Bron Char, a blue Kree soldier with exceptional strength (Captain America #8, 1998)

Michael Golden: co-creator of Carol Danvers traumatized from losing her memories (Avengers Annual #10, 1981)

Doug Moench: co-creator of the Pursuers, powerful Kree soldiers who wield baton weapons (Inhumans #11, 1977)

Glenn Herdling: co-creator of one of the Rambeaus using the identity 'Photon' (Avengers Unplugged #5, 1996)

M. C. Wyman: co-creator of one of the Rambeaus using the identity 'Photon' (Avengers Unplugged #5, 1996)

Leinil Francis Yu: co-creator of the Skrulls arriving on Earth as refugees (Secret Invasion #1, 2008)

Jim Steranko: co-creator of the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, an eagle within a circle (Strange Tales #154, 1967)

Joe Simon: co-creator of Steve Rogers, alias Captain America (Captain America Comics #1, 1941)

David Michelinie: co-creator of James Rhodes, an African-American hero (Iron Man #118, 1979)

Mike Allred: co-creator of Nick Fury as an African-American man (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5, 2001)

Greg Capullo: co-creator of Korath the Pursuer, one of the Kree Pursuers (Quasar #32, 1992)

Bob Layton: co-creator of James Rhodes, an African-American hero (Iron Man #118, 1979)

Bob Hall: co-creator of James Rhodes as one of the Avengers (West Coast Avengers #1, 1984)

Gerardo Sandoval: co-creator of Soh-Larr, a Kree soldier (New Avengers #4, 2016)

Peter David: co-creator of Talos, a Skrull warrior (Incredible Hulk #418, 1994)

Gary Frank: co-creator of Talos, a Skrull warrior (Incredible Hulk #418, 1994)

Brian Reed: co-creator of Carol Danvers' mysterious ginger cat (Ms. Marvel #4, 2006)

Steve Englehart: co-creator of the Black Widow as an Avenger (Avengers #111, 1973)

Al Ewing: co-creator of Soh-Larr, a Kree soldier (New Avengers #4, 2016)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Helluva shame.

As I came late to independent comics, there were many long-running series which I felt a little intimidated by and unsure whether I could jump in; for instance, it was only through the encouragement of Usagi Yojimbo fans that I started reading that series, as I learned one could begin reading anywhere and quickly pick up on the cast and stories.

I kept away from Mike Mignola's vast Hellboy stories until the release of the Hellboy motion picture in 2004 by director Guillermo del Toro. The advertising for the film intrigued me and, then as now, I felt compelled to support any film which had been adapted from a comic book. I went to see the film with my friend Craig and had a really good time; the characters were easy to care for, the plot was easy to grasp and the humour tickled me in the right places. It was the first Guillermo del Toro film I'd ever seen and although I've found much of his work off-putting - gorgeous to look at but a bit too disturbing to be immersive - Hellboy left me with a very good impression of his work.

In 2004 I made various attempts to read Hellboy. I read the first volume of his stories, Seed of Destruction. I read the first volume of BPRD by John Arcudi & Guy Davis. But I'm afraid I never made it very far into the series; from time to time I would see a new Hellboy universe comic on the stands and, taken by the artwork of talents such as John Severin or John Paul Leon, I would try it out. However, I could not make myself care about the world of Hellboy; I found most of the characters to be very thinly-written and off-putting. Unlike their film counterparts, I did not care what happened to them and the goals of their enemies were often very vague.

And then, along came a Hellboy comic which I really liked: the 2008 one-shot BPRD: The Ectoplasmic Man by John Arcudi and Ben Stenbeck. It told the origin of BPRD member Johann Kraus, a character I had been interested in from the start. For the first time, I made a strong emotional attachment to a Hellboy comic, because Arcudi's treatment of Kraus was steeped in emotion. That same year Kraus appeared in del Toro's sequel film Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but, regrettably, he was portrayed by Seth MacFarlane and played principally for laughs.

When word of the new Hellboy film began circulating, I was wary. Del Toro's version of Hellboy was and is my favourite interpretation of the character and learning that he and actor Ron Perlman would not be back dimmed my interest in the film. This was heightened when Mignola stated the new film would be truer to the characters from his comics. Well, great for Mignola, I'm sure, but again, Mignola's version of his cast are not my favourite versions. There was a sense of bad blood between Mignola & del Toro's crew, what with actor Jeffrey Tambor lashing out at Mignola on Twitter. Mignola breaking from del Toro in favour of director Neil Marshall also felt questionable; I mean, giving up an Academy Award-winner in favour of the guy who made Doomsday and a bunch of TV episodes?

But, whatever - I had decided pretty early on that the new Hellboy didn't interest me. I'm only speaking up now because of what I've learned since then - that John Arcudi had been dropped from the Hellboy comics by Mignola and, although the new movie would be employing several of his co-creations, he was apparently shut out of the project, along with Guy Davis. Arcudi has been very modest about this on Twitter, encouraging his fans to keep their cool over this, but this now this film has struck upon one of my most sensitive pet peeves - the treatment of comic book professionals. From where I sit, the picture being painted is of Mignola as a very ungenerous collaborator, a guy who once hired John Byrne to script his comics for him because he lacked confidence in his abilities, now severing ties with the people who helped make his property a success.

All of which is to say: shame on you, Mike Mignola.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

RIP Batton Lash

This is one I didn't expect to write.

I was unaware of Batton Lash's health problems until last Saturday, when his death was announced. Only 2 months ago I had received my copy of Grandfathered In, his most recent Kickstarter-funded collection of Supernatural Law comics and I had expected there would be many more to come.

Batton Lash's Supernatural Law is an utter delight, a very funny comic which is unique to Lash - no one else could tell a story about Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre, with its unique blend of horror, satire and law. Lash also wrote the incredible Archie Meets the Punisher which did the unbelievable task of telling a story which does justice to both Archie and the Punisher. This is not easily done, as you need only look at any of the mature readers Archie comics of today to see that when Archie is mashed-up with a different genre, the story generally defers to the laws of the other genre's world instead of those of Archie's. That Lash made a one-line joke into a classic comic is quite an achievement.

By all accounts Batton Lash was a fine gentleman, beloved within the comics industry. If you haven't read Supernatural Law, do yourself a favour and check out a volume or ten. Rest in peace Mr. Lash.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

On Comixology: The Iron Manual TPB

Comixology has added the Iron Manual trade paperback to its store. The contents include the All-New Iron Manual which I wrote/headed up. It's a good buy!
Iron Manual

Collects The Iron Manual, The All-New Iron Manual and Material From The Iron Man/Force Works Collector's Preview.

These are the chronicles of Tony Stark: the playboy, the genius inventor, the philanthropist, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., the futurist, the hero. This handbook is the definitive resource to the world of Iron Man, featuring Tony's closest allies (Happy and Pepper Hogan, War Machine, the Order) and deadliest foes (Justin Hammer, Mandarin, Obadiah Stane)! Includes a complete gallery of the Iron Man armors, and all-new schematics of key armors and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier! Also featuring 1993's original Iron Manual, plus unrevealed armor concepts from the Iron Man/Force Works Collector's Preview.

You can buy it from Comixology here!

Monday, December 31, 2018

OTR Holiday Month Day 31: The Shadow

Here we are - the end of 2018 and the end of my OTR holiday theme month. What better way to end the year than with our friend The Shadow! In the January 1, 1939 episode "The Man Who Murdered Time", Lamong (Bill Johnstone) and Margo (Agnes Moorehead) are taught in a temporal loop as New Year's Eve repeats itself again and again. Lamont's great mental powers allow him to avoid repeating the same events over and over, but it's a strain on his mind; can he find the person responsible for replaying the day's events before his resolve fades?

You can hear "The Man Who Murdered Time" on archive.org here.

I hope you enjoy your New Year's Eve celebrations today and I look forward to interactions on the blog in the New Year. 2019 will definitely see some changes in how this blog functions...

Sunday, December 30, 2018

OTR Holiday Month Day 30: Lights Out

Unfortunately, we don't know too much about what the show Lights Out was like when Wyllis Cooper was the writer/producer. We have a lot of shows from when Arch Oboler led the series, but precious little of Cooper's. We do, of course, have most of Cooper's show Quiet, Please intact. And we have a very interesting Lights Out episode from December 22, 1937 called "Uninhabited."

Following the first World War, a French soldier, Australian soldier and black American soldier share a train cabin together. The three men have never met before, yet they have a strange sense of deja vu... three men journeying together...

You can hear "Uninhabited" on archive.org here.

Come back tomorrow for the end of this theme month (and 2018!).