Thursday, October 30, 2008
For this installment of the Mighty Marvel Monsterbash for Halloween 2008, I present for download the first app. of the Marvel Comics take on the classic creature archetype: The Golem.
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Strange Tales #174 CBR file
Monday, October 27, 2008
Above: Christine Palmer, the red-headed Night Nurse, from the recent Nightcrawler mini-series.
Above: Linda Carter, the former blonde, now raven haired Night Nurse from her appearance in Dr. Strange: The Oath
Carter's involvement with Doc Strange of late, along with a title like "Night Nurse", make her perfect fodder for the Mighty Marvel Monsterbash....
Plus....if you do a Google image search on "Night Nurse", you find cool pics of Halloween costumes like this (so sue me....no matter how old I get, inside I'll forever be that 13 year old kid full of testosterone with no clue what to do with it....):
Take it away, Wikipedia:
Night Nurse is the name of a Marvel Comics title published in the early 1970's and the name of a character (Linda Carter) in the Marvel Comics universe known for her willingness to help injured superheroes, who first appeared (as Night Nurse) in Daredevil vol. 2, #58 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Although she uses the word "nurse" as part of her codename, she claims to now be a doctor.
Night Nurse was a Marvel Comics title that lasted four issues in late 1972 and early 1973. The series, which straddled several different genres, focused on the adventures of three female roommates who worked the night shift at the fictional Metropolitan General Hospital in New York City: Linda Carter, Georgia Jenkins, and Christine Palmer.
Night Nurse was introduced in one of a trio of Marvel Comics aimed at a female audience, alongside Claws of the Cat and Shanna the She-Devil. Marvel writer-editor Roy Thomas recalled in 2007 that editor-in-chief Stan Lee "had the idea, and I think the names, for all three. He wanted to do some books that would have special appeal to girls. We were always looking for way to expand our franchise. My idea ... was to try to get women to write them".
The series was written by Jean Thomas, then the wife of comics writer and editor Roy Thomas, and drawn by Winslow Mortimer. The stories, unlike most of Marvel's offerings at the time, contain no superheroes or fantastic elements. However, the night nurses do encounter a fair amount of "danger, drama and death", as the cover tag proclaims, as they work to foil bomb plots, malpracticing surgeons, and mob hitmen. Night Nurse, like the "relevant comics" of the early 1970s, also attempted to address real-world social issues; Night Nurse #1 features a scene where a character asking why his poor neighborhood is the one always experiencing power outages. "Why not Park Avenue for a change?".
Night Nurse #4 is the only issue of the series that takes place away from Metro General and New York City. This story shifts away from the urban drama of the first three issues and instead features Christine embroiled in a suspenseful gothic adventure, complete with a foreboding mansion, dusty secret passageways, and mysterious lights.
While it was unclear during the original publication of Night Nurse whether it took place in the Marvel Universe or in the "real world", Christine Palmer reappeared in Nightcrawler vol. 3, #1 (Sept. 2004 — 31 years after her last appearance, in Night Nurse #4). Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the writer of Nightcrawler, said in an interview that he was "a huge fan" of Night Nurse, and wanted to bring back the character when he realized that his first Nightcrawler story would take place in a hospital. Linda also re-appeared in 2004, this time sporting Night Nurse as an actual codename.
Prior to Night Nurse, the series Linda Carter, Student Nurse was published by Atlas Comics, a precursor to Marvel Comics. This series ran from 1961 to 1963. No specific connection has been drawn between the two characters.
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Night Nurse #1-#4 CBR zip file
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Y'know....I feel slightly like a fool. I've read comics for nearly 30 years, since the age of five, and never once did one of the most blatant in-jokes in Marvel Comics dawn on me until about six months ago....
In the Werewolf By Night feature, a fairly popular character during the 1970s, who debuted in Marvel Spotlight #2 in 1972, and then went on to his own monthly series that lasted 43 bi-monthly issues, the central character's name was Jack Russell...
...as in Jack Russell terrier.
Werewolf by Night (birth name Jacob Russoff, legal name Jack Russell) is a fictional character, an anti-heroic werewolf in the Marvel Comics universe. The Werewolf by Night (usually referred to by other characters simply as the Werewolf) first appeared in Marvel Spotlight vol. 1 #2.
Werewolf by Night, Volume 1 ran for 43 issues during the 1970s. Issue #32 is notable for containing the first appearance of Moon Knight. Five 'Giant-Size' editions were also published during this time. Jack Russell also co-starred with Tigra in Giant Size Creatures #1, which was the first appearance of Greer Grant as Tigra instead of the Cat.
Jack Russell was dormant for most of the 1980s. The character's appearance was radically revamped in Moon Knight, Volume 1 #29. He guest-starred in various issues of Spider-Woman, Volume 1, West Coast Avengers, and Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme.
Werewolf by Night was later revived in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents, where he appeared irregularly from 1991-1993. He also made regular appearances as a supporting cast member in the pages of Morbius, the Living Vampire from 1993-1995. A letters page in an issue of Morbius mentioned that a Werewolf by Night mini-series by Len Kaminski and James Fry was in the works, but the mini-series was never published.
Werewolf by Night, Volume 2 ran for 6 issues in the late 1990s. The series was written by Paul Jenkins and penciled by Leonardo Manco. After the book's cancellation, the story was continued in the pages of Strange Tales, which also featured the Man-Thing. That volume of Strange Tales was canceled after only two issues due to poor sales.
In early 2007, Marvel published a one-shot entitled Legion of Monsters: Werewolf by Night, with art by Greg Land.
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Marvel Spotlight #2 CBR file
Saturday, October 25, 2008
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Marvel Premeire #28 CBR file
Monday, October 20, 2008
I featured the soundtrack for the first film based on this great character from Chris Claremont and Gene Colan's classic Marvel TOMB OF DRACULA series over at our sister site, Attack of the B-Movie Muzak, so we figured we'd offer up Blade's first appearance here...
Blade was introduced as a supporting character in Marvel Comics' Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973), written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Gene Colan. The artist recalled in 2003, "Marv told me Blade was a black man, and we talked about how he should dress, and how he should look — very heroic looking. That was my input. [...] The bandoleer of blades — that was Marv's idea. But, I dressed him up. I put the leather jacket on him and so on". Colan based the character's features on "a composite of black actors" including NFL football star-turned-actor Jim Brown.
Blade appeared in most issues from #10-21, with additional appearances in #24 & #28 (altogether ranging from July 1973 - Sept. 1974). He then fought the scientifically created vampire Morbius in the latter's series in Adventure into Fear #24 (Oct. 1974), in a story written by Steve Gerber and penciled by P. Craig Russell.
Blade's first solo story came in Marvel's black-and-white horror-comics magazine Vampire Tales #8 (Dec. 1974), in an 11-page story by Wolfman and penciller-inker Tony DeZuniga. This feature continued in the following issue (Feb. 1975), with Wolfman and Chris Claremont co-scripting. Blade then appeared in a 56-page solo story in the black-and-white showcase magazine Marvel Preview #3 (Sept. 1975), written by Claremont, with two chapters each drawn by DeZuniga and by Rico Rival. A six-page backup story by Wolfman and Colan followed in Marvel Preview #8 (Fall 1976).
Blade next came into prominence in the 1990s, beginning with Ghost Rider #28 (Aug. 1992), in the Midnight Sons imprint that included issues of Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider / Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance, Midnight Sons Unlimited, Morbius, and Nightstalkers. Blade co-starred in the 18-issue Nightstalkers, and appeared with that team in a story in the anthology Midnight Sons Unlimited #1 (April 1993). He appeared in two solo stories in Midnight Sons Unlimited #2 & 7 (July 1993 & Oct. 1994).Following the cancellation of Nightstalkers, Blade debuted in his first color-comics series, Blade: The Vampire Hunter #1-10 (July 1994 - April 1995), written by Ian Edginton (with the last two issues by Terry Kavanagh) and penciled by Doug Wheatley. Blade next appeared in a 12-page inventory story in the one-shot anthology Marvel: Shadows and Light #1 (Feb. 1997). He then starred again in two solo one-shots: Blade: Crescent City Blues (March 1998), by writer Christopher Golden and penciller co-creator Colan, and Blade: Sins of the Father (Oct. 1998), by writer Marc Andreyko and penciller Bart Sears.
Marvel next announced a six-issue miniseries, Blade (storyline: "Blade: Blood Allies") by writer Don McGregor and penciller Brian Hagen, but only #1-3 (Nov. 1998 - Jan. 1999) were published. Marvel published a different six-issue miniseries later that year, Blade: Vampire Hunter (storyline: "Chaos (A)"; Dec. 1999 - May 2000), written and, except the last two issues, penciled by Bart Sears.
The next ongoing series, Blade vol. 2, by writer Christopher Hinz and artist Steve Pugh, ran six issues. Blade vol. 3, by writer Marc Guggenheim and penciller-inker Howard Chaykin, ran 12 issues (Sept. 2006 - Aug. 2007). The final two pages of the last issue were drawn by co-creator Colan.
Blade also starred in two promotional comic books: Blade ½ (1999) by writer-artist Sears and inker Bill Sienkiewicz, bundled with issues of Wizard: The Comic Magazine #2000; and Blade: Nightstalking (2005), a 22-page story by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and penciller Amanda Conner, based on New Line Cinema's Blade films, and bundled with the Blade Trinity Deluxe Edition DVD. Additionally, the second Blade movie was adapted as the Marvel comic Blade 2: Bloodhunt - The Official Comic Adaptation (April 2002) by writers Steve Gerber and David S. Goyer and penciller-inker Alberto Ponticelli.
Blade joined the cast of Captain Britain and MI: 13 beginning with issue #5 (Nov. 2008).
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Saturday, October 18, 2008
One summer during my youth, I went to a yard sale, and probably stumbled across someone else's monster collection for quite a bargain...for I purchased two boxes there for 5 bucks.
One box contained around 70 or so issues of various Warren magazines circa 1970s: EERIE, CREEPY, VAMPIRELLA, and few years worth of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND.
The other box contained around 100 or so horror comics from the same era, various issues of DC and Marvel anthology titles. 50 of those comics were the first 50 issues of Chris Claremont and Gene Colan's now classic Tomb of Dracula....
Not only did elements of this ground breaking comic inspire the money-making BLADE films (which I'll get into in a later post) and and a misguided anime attempt (Dracula: Sovereign of the Dead), but is cited by numerous fans (myself included) and professionals as being one of the better interpretations of the character around.
It also inspired a two hundred dollar impulse buy in my adult life: the below pictured kick-ass statue...
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Tomb of Dracula #1 CBR file
Monday, October 13, 2008
To help kick off our Halloween festivities around this blog, I figured I'd share my copy of the first appearance of a character that I get a chuckle out of from time to time....
I've had a long standing love for the the little niche of 1970s Marvel Comics that was inhabited by characters of a more horror and black magic bent since childhood, and while Brother Voodoo is a pretty cool character in concept, the final results on paper tended to be kinda....well....goofy, which has led the character to be the butt of several fanboys joke for years.
Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) is a fictional, supernatural superhero in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writers Len Wein and Roy Thomas, and artists John Romita Sr., John Romita Jr., and Gene Colan, he first appeared in Strange Tales #169 (Sept. 1973).
Brother Voodoo starred in his own feature in the Marvel comic-book series Strange Tales #169-173 (Sept. 1973 - April 1974), and in a backup feature in the black-and-white horror-comics magazine Tales of the Zombie #6 (July 1974, in a story continuing from Strange Tales #173) and #10 (March 1975). He has gone to guest-star very sporadically in other Marvel series, into the 21st century.
Fictional character biography
Returning to his native Haïti (born in Port-au-Prince) after 12 years (originally nearly 20) of education and practice as a psychologist in the United States, Jericho Drumm discovers that his twin brother, Daniel, the local houngan, is dying, a victim of a voodoo sorcerer who claims to be possessed by the spirit of the serpent-god Damballah. Just before he dies, Da
niel makes his brother vow to visit Daniel's mentor, Papa Jambo. Jericho does, and becomes Jambo's student. After studying under the aged houngan for several weeks, Jericho gains a greater mastery of voodoo practices than his own brother, becoming a houngan in his own right. Papa Jambo then performs a rite that summons Daniel spirit from the dead and joins it with Jericho's own. Having fashioned a worthy successor, Papa Jambo dies.
Taking the name Brother Voodoo, Jericho challenges the priest, who goes by the sa
Damballah's snakes to turn on him and evidently destroying Damballah's cult. Brother Voodoo became Haïti's houngan supreme and champion, and establishes a sprawling mansion as a base of operations. He places the wangal in a safe, its combination known only to Brother Voodoo and his manservant Bambu.
Brother Voodoo encounters the scientist Baron Samedi and artificial zombies created
Brother Voodoo eventually succumbs to the lure of power that Damballah's wangal
represented. Upon Jericho's wearing it, the god Damballah takes over Daniel's soul, burns down the mansion and apparently slays Bambu. He travels to New York City to attempt to take over the mind and body of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, who eventually frees Brother Voodoo of Damballah's influence and re-confines the evil god to the wangal. He later becomes involved with the supernatural 'Howling Commandos" operation of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D
Powers and abilities
Brother Voodoo possesses numerous mystical and quasi-physical powers derived from the loa, the spirit-gods of voodoo. He can easily enter into a trance-like state in which he does not feel the heat from fire and his skin becomes impervious to burning. He can also control flame and lower life forms. Brother Voodoo can mystically create smoke accompanied by the
sound of drums. The smoke conceals his presence while he is able to see through it. He has the ability t
o command certain living things by a mystic sort of hypnotism, most effective over animals and plants. He can summon the loa to request transport for himself and others instantaneously if they deem it necessary to his mission.
Brother Voodoo can also summon the spirit of his brother Daniel Drumm from within his body, doubling his own strength. He can also send the spirit to possess another person's body and then has total control over their actions.
Brother Voodoo also has more mundane escapist talents, once entering Strange's building, not through magic, but through the chimney. He has extensive knowledge of voudoun (voodoo) thanks to training by Papa Jambo, as well as conventional medicine and psychology with an M.D. in psychology.
He wears a mystic medallion that serves as a focus of his powers and as a focus for his contact with his personal loas. He has, at times, employed conventional firearms.
Cartoonist Fred Hembeck has a particular fascination with Brother Voodoo. He regularly featured the character in the cartoons he drew each month in Marvel Age, generally depicting him as a lame character constantly trying (and failing) to get his own series. When Brother Voodoo finally got his own solo story in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 3 #1, Hembeck drew it, in a serious art style very different from his cartooning.
In his cartoon in the final issue of Marvel Age, Hembeck claimed he had only begun mocking Brother Voodoo because he had the character confused with an "even lamer" Silver Age character, DC Comics' Brother Power the Geek.
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Saturday, October 11, 2008
After my whining and begging (much like a puppy, as my mother recalls it) bore fruit....or, as it was, peanut butter, I actually kept the jar for years afterwards. I don't ever remember whatever became of the jar, but for years I shoved pennies into it and it sat in the window ledge of my old bedroom upstairs in my father's house....at some point it disappeared after I left home and went to college.
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Superman Peanut Butter TV promo AVI file
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Y'know....if ya couldn't already tell by some of the other stuff I've posted here....I'm a huge packrat with a nostalgic streak a mile long. And in my journeys on this planet, I've accumulated some really odd stuff. And, yet again....here's another one that kinda takes the cake....
I'll set the scene....it's 1992, I'm 18 years old, just fresh outta high school, and spending the summer between graduation and starting college that September drinking as much as I can possibly get my hands on. At some point during that drunken stupor, I stumble into the hometown IGA store (that's "Independent Grocers Association" for the uninformed) and while walking down the cereal aisle take notice of familiar DC characters adorning boxes of Kellogg's Cinammon Mini Buns.
Booze'll make ya do funny things. Made me think that it was a good idea to buy arund 8 boxes of this crap trying to get the four mini comics they may or may have not contained....
Above: The 1992/93 (?) Toy Fair promo pic of the prototypes for the line
For years, I had known that this was a failed attempt by Mattell to launch a Wonder Woman themed action figure line for girls, and that it had basically made it to the prototype stage and some pre-production work had been done on an animated tie-in that never made it off the ground, but after running across this mini-comic again while digging through a box of old toy promo mini comics I had shoved under a bed in an upstairs bedroom (which, by the way, was chock full of other goodies, such as several of the Masters of the Universe mini-comics those toys came packaged with, and a complete set of all 23 Kenner Super Powers mini-comics...told ya I'm a pack rat), but I decided to do a little online research on the subject and ran across this really funny and comprehensive article at Toyotter.com on the line that tells the whole grusome story....enjoy.
Below: A piece of concept art used for the proposed animated tie-in:
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Wonder Woman and the Star Riders mini-comic CBR file