Thursday, August 29, 2013

Uncle Sam

DC Comics Uncle Sam
Didn't think Captain America was patriotic enough? Never fear! Uncle Sam is here!
Quality Comics
Uncle Sam was originally published by Quality Comics. He was the spirit of a solider killed in the American Revolutionary War. He appears whenever America needs him. He had a costume-less sidekick Buddy Smith. He appeared from 1940 to 1944.
DC Comics
DC Comics bought Quality Comics' characters. This included Uncle Sam. As such, the company used the character. In the 1970s, he turned into the leader of the Freedom Fighters, a team of former Quality Comics characters that lived in alternate reality Earth-X.
Uncle Sam's origin was changed. He is a spirit created by the Founding Fathers via occult rituals. It takes various psychical forms via possessing people. In 1870, the spirit became Uncle Sam and possessed the body of a dead cartoonist. He fought in World War I and II (using two different hosts). In Infinite Crisis, the Freedom Fighters were either killed or injured. It is unclear if Uncle Sam survived or not. When the bodies are found, Uncle Sam was missing.
Uncle Sam reappeared in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. He reappeared in the Mississippi River. Sam took control of S.H.A.D.E.'s Freedom Fighters. Here Sam's hatred of lethal combat was emphasized. Uncle Sam had minor roles in Final Crisis and Blackest Night. In the New 52 series Human Bomb, an African American version of Uncle Sam appeared. He told by a S.H.A.D.E. leader to capture the titular character.
Powers And Abilities
Uncle Sam has variety of powers. These include super strength, size-alteration, invulnerability, super speed and minor clairvoyance. He had the ability to travel to parallel universes. However, he was shown unable to use this ability later on. Uncle Sam has the ability to transport objects (including himself and other people) to the Heartland, a pocket dimension.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Batmen of All Nations

Here they are in their sterotypical glory
The legend of Batman had spread across the world and inspired new heroes. Batman decided to meet these new heroes. John Mayhem (a philanthropist) assembled group of these individuals along with Superman, Batman and Robin. Among the new heroes were Knight and Squire (from England), the Musketeer (France), the Gaucho (Argentina), Man of Bats and Little Raven (who are Native Americans), Legionary (Italy), Wingman (Sweden), the Ranger and Scout (Australia). The team's name also changed to the International Club of Heroes and later to Club of Heroes. However due to the members fighting each other, the team disbanded.
How they looked in their recent storyline
In Batman #667-669, we see what happened the members of the team:
  • The Musketeer killed a man and ended up in an asylum. After his release, he wrote an autobiography about his adventures. He sold the rights to a movie.
  • Man-Of-Bats and Little Raven (who changed his name to Red Raven) had their relationship strained. However, they joined Batman Inc. and protect a South Dakota Indian reservation.
  • Squire (due to Knight's death) fell into depression. However, Squire became the new Knight. He was nearly killed, but was saved by Man-of-Bats.
  • El Gaucho became a solo hero in Argentina. He was wounded when attempted to stop the traitor Wingman. He joined Batman Inc. 
  • Wingman changed his costume, which makes it look more like Batman's. However, he refused to admit that he worked with Batman. He killed the Ranger. John Mayhem killed him.
  • The Legionary became an out-of-shaped. He loved to reminisce about his past. He was stabbed by John Mayhem twenty-three times.
  • The Ranger became increasingly villainous and changed his name to "Dark Ranger". Wingman killed him.
  • The Knight was killed when Spring-Heeled Jack forced him to shallow an explosive. 
In the story, the group's members were brought back together and met together on John Mayhew's Caribbean resort. They were confronted by Doctor Hurt (working for the villain group Black Glove), who wounded or killed the members. Noticing his fighting style was similar to their old enemies, the heroes suspected there was a "Club of Villains". Batman discovered the "Dark Ranger" is Wingman (who stole the Ranger's identity) and Mayhem is a sadastic member of the villains Black Glove along with Wingman. Mayhem assembled the heroes a part of a bet to see if his forces of evil could defeat the Batmen's forces of good. Gaucho and Batman defeated Mayhem. However, El Sombrero, Gaucho's archenemy, "killed" John himself. El Sombrero turned out to be really John faking his death. However because John bet that he would win and lost, Black Glove had him killed.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Danny Donkey

A typical Danny Donkey appearance
It is common for works of fictions to have stories with the story. Pearls Before Swine has several. However, we will focus on Danny Donkey.
Danny Donkey is a series of children's books written by Rat. These books tend to be of poor quality. In the strip Danny appears, Goat (and sometimes others) often complains about the books. However, Pig (in his naivety) ends up loving the stories. A stuff animal Danny came to life and might (it's implied) have robbed a liquor store.
Most of the stories are about Danny having a problem (usually involving others) and doing something about it. However, Danny ends up doing something darkly comedic selfish such as beating people to make them ugly in order to improve his self-esteem or bricking people in their houses so he doesn't have to deal with them. As such, the morals tend to be things like "If you can't make yourself better, make those around you worse." or "Deceased neighbors... make good neighbors."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Buck Wild

Buck is in the foreground
Buck Wild was a hero that helped people, but accepted money for his efforts, and talked like a character from a blaxploitation film. It was explained his brain was frozen since 1972 until modern day hence his outdated speaking mannerism. When Icon (an alien superhero who looks like an African American) returned to his home planet, Buck took Icon's place (along with Icon's costume) with Rocket (Icon's sidekick) using her abilities to make it seem like he could fly. However, Buck was killed when he stopped Icon's enemy Oblivion. During his funeral, several of his enemies make eulogies. These revealed Buck also was Buck Goliath, Jim Crow (the writer is of African-descent) and Buck Lightning at various point at time. Kingfish (based on Kingpin) used the "Ruby Begonia" gem to bring Buck back to life. However, Buck later removed the gem allowing him to die.
Powers and Abilities
In his first appearance, Buck Wild had "tungsten hard skin" and "belief defyin' strength". According to the eulogies, he had various powers over time. As Buck Goliath, he could grow to giant sizes thanks to a serum. As Jim Crow, he had a winged costume that allowed him to fly. As Buck Lightning, he had the ability to generate energy bolts via a wrist apparatus. When he was brought from the dead, Buck could create green smoke, make the sounds of drum tolls and can create a ghost-esque duplicate that can possess people.
Buck Wild is parody of various black superheroes. In his first appearance, Buck is a parody of Luke Cage to the point he talks in jive talk and has an afro, yellow unbuttoned shirt and a gold headband (which Luke also has). He also had similar powers.
The alternate identities he took are parodies of other black superheroes. Buck Goliath is based on Black Goliath. Jim Crow is a parody of Falcon. Buck Lightning is based on Black Lightning. When Buck comes back from the dead, he is a parody of Brother Voodoo.

Friday, August 23, 2013


While you may remember the cartoon, Bananaman started off as a British comic book.
Titular Characters
The main character is Eric Wimp. He is a schoolboy who lives in Nuttytown. When he eats a banana, Eric transforms into the adult superhero Bananaman, who has the basic Superman powers. However, Bananaman is accident prone and moronic often defeating the villains by mistake. He can eat bananas for extra powers (although how this works varies from story to story). He has a weakness for moldy bananas. He has a Fortress of Solitude-like headquarters in the North Pole and a sidekick Crow (a talking version of his namesake).
Bananaman was a parody of Superman, Captain Marvel and various Silver Age superheroes. The comic was characterized by eccentric British humour and slapstick. The main character was given two origin stories:
  • Eric was an alien from the moon that was sent to Earth. The explanation for his powers is that because bananas look like crescent moons.
  • As a baby, he accidentally ate a banana that had "saturnium" hidden in it by Doctor Gloom.
Bananaman's villains tend to either parodies of pre-existing villains (such as the Scarlet Witch parody Witchy Woman, the Doctor Doom stand-in Doctor Gloom and the Catwoman homage Shunk Woman) or food-related (such as Appleman, Captain Cream, Kiwi Fruit Girl and Bubblegum Bert). Bananaman was aided by an Irish policeman Chief O'Reilly (who calls up Bananaman when something need him). However, O'Reilly never learns Eric and Bananaman are the same person.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Marvel Super Heroes

An ad for the cartoon since I couldn't get a screenshot
This series was the first television series adaption of Marvel Comics. It is remember for being the latter, the inept "animation" and catchy theme song.
Each episode consisted of three seven-minutes long segments. Each episodes focused on a different hero, which were determined by the day:
  • Captain America (Monday)- In World War II, Captain America battled the Red Skull. Meanwhile, his alter ego was a solider stationed in Europe.
  • The Incredible Hulk (Tuesday)- When angered, excitied or exposed to gamma rays, Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk. He frequently fights the Leader, who has a mutated brain.
  • The Invincible Iron Man (Wednesday)- Multi-millionaire Tony Stark uses his alter ego of Iron Man to battle saboteurs, spies and the megalomaniac Mandarin.
  • The Mighty Thor (Thursday)- Thunder god Thor battles his evil brother Loki, who attempts to kill Thor, Doctor Donald Blake (Thor's human half) and the latter two's love interest Nurse Jane Foster. 
  • Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner (Firday)- Namor, prince of Atlantis, defends his kingdom from invaders.
The cartoons have extremely limited animation. A majority of the cartoons is actually just photocopied images from the comics. As such, the cartoons tend to be still images with movement every now and then. So, this show is basically a slideshow with audio recordings and tiny bits of animation. The sole exception are the theme songs (each hero has one) with better (relatively speaking) animation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology In the Disney Comics

How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology In the Disney Comics (originally titled Para Leer la Pato Donald, which according to Google Translate means "To Read Donald Duck") is a book written by academics that were working in Chile.
Content and Background
In the '70s, Donald Duck comics were produced across the world. Some people felt it was spreading capitalistic propaganda. How to Read Donald Duck is an analysis of the Donald Duck comics and tries to convince the readers that the Donald Duck comics are propaganda.
One of the most notable examples is when they talk about a comic that features Donald, Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey and Louie travelling across the world. The natives are portrayed as children. According to the book, this was to show that third world countries are open to be exploited by more "advanced" cultures. Also, they claim that reason the characters tend to be nephews, uncles and so on, as opposed to sons, fathers and so on, is that they are trying to portray a world with no family ties. The supposed reason for this is to portray a world where the only hierarchy power is the amount of money you have.
According to the duo, the writers of the comics know about the propagandist undertones and intentionally put them in. However, it should be noted that much of material the duo got this book was translations of the comics made for Chile. The reason this is notable is because the comics' script were often distroted in translation.
Comic Art Propaganda by Fredrik Strömberg
Google Translate

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tawky Tawny

Captian Marvel's Pal Tawky Tawny
The DC Comics Captain Marvel has an athromorphic tiger pal. No really.
Tawky was a normal tiger raised by a missionary's son. A hermit injected Tawky with a serum that gave him the ability to speak so he could testify he didn't kill someone. Years later, Mister Tawny travelled to North America and ended up in Fawcett City. Despite unintentionally causing a panic, Tawny became Captain Marvel's friend and became a museum curator.
Mister Tawny was a stuffed doll. However, "he" was turned into a living being by Lord Satanus and (later) Ibis the Invincible. Sabina tried (and failed) to get infomation out of Tawky.
During the events of Final Crisis, he joined the All-Star Squadron. Tawky fought Kalibak, who was reborned into a Tigerman. Tawky slayed Kalibak thus earning him leadership of the Tigermen.
Powers and Abilities
Tawky Tawny has the ability to speak English and stand on two legs. He has the strength roughly the equal to an adult tiger's. He also has fangs and claws, which he can use to kill (although he is normally peaceful). He later gained the ability to transform into a smilodon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour

Aquaman and his assistant Mr. Slippery
The Aquaman and Friends Action Hour (originally "El Show de Aquaman y sus amigos", however Google claims the original title translate to  "The Show of Aquaman and his friends") is a cartoon created by Cartoon Network Latin America. It uses the comic book character Aquaman hence why I am talking about it.
The series focuses on Aquaman hosting a children show. He aided by his sidekick and butt monkey Mr. Slippery (a man in a fish costume). Meanwhile, he is being pestered by the Legion of Doom. The Legion of Doom accidentally spent all of their budget on failed attempts to take over the world and have to rent out sections of their lair to earn income. Each episode is two to five minutes long. According to TvTropes, it has a sense of humor similar to Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
The creators wanted to use the full cast of the Super Friends show. However in the USA, the Justice League show was being aired and prevented this from happening. They able to use Aquaman since he wasn't a main character on the show. The Aquaman and Friends Action Hour lasted for an entire 7 episodes. While they haven't been broadcasted outside Latin America, the episodes have been dubbed in English. In order to watch them, you'll need to find pirated copies on the World Wide Web.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Judge Death

While America's experience of the Judge Dredd franchise is limited to the movies Judge Dredd and Dredd, Judge Dredd is one of the UK's most popular comics. So, I am going to talk about a character from that series.
Sidney De'ath was the sadistic son of a sadistic dentist (insert Little Shop of Horrors reference here). He joined the Judges (who are judge, jury and executor) so he could legally kill people. He earned the nickname "Judge Death" for killing tons of criminals. He encountered "the Sisters of Death", who turned him undead. Because all crimes are commit while alive, he came to believe life itself was a crime. He had the Sisters turn several other judges into the undead Dark Judges. They killed everyone in their dimension aside from them. He and three Dark Judges went to another dimension, which contained Mega-City One (the setting of the comic). They attempted to do the same to this dimension. However, Judge Dredd and Anderson defeated them. When the spectral form of the Sisters of Death and the rest of the Dark Judges came to this dimension, they created a "necropolis" and, in the process, killing 60 million people. However, this ultimately failed and Judge Death was the only Dark Judge left. He attempted (and failed to) kill Anderson. Death travelled across the Cursed Earth and killed anyone that came across him. He ultimately decided to use WMDs to destroy all life. He used a bunker that was filled with nuke to destroy Vegas. When attempted to do the same to Mega-City One, the anti-missile system saved the city. They launched missiles back thus destroying his body, but his spirit survived. However, Death was literally dragged into Hell by the souls of the people he killed.
Powers and Abilities
Judge Death is actually a spirit that inhabits a corpse. The corpse is hard to damage unless the damage is very severe (such as severing it or burning it) and cannot feel pain. If the body is destroyed, his spirit can survive and possess the body of living humans. He prefer to use chemicals to decay the body he uses.
When using a body, he has several powers. He has super strength and capable of creating illusions. He has razor-shaped fingers. He is able to phase through matter.
The tone that Judge Death is portrayed in has changed. At first, he was dark, menacing and sinister. However, later stories portrayed him more humorously. However, there are still writers that portrayed seriously.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Megascale Metatalent Response Team Fantastic Four

Clockwise: Non-Member Annihilus (upper left),
Reed, Jonatha, Ben and Sioux
Comic companies every now and then will create out-continuity comics that reimagine their characters. Marvel had a line of comics where their heroes are reimagined as manga / anime-esque characters. This was their attempt at doing this with the Fantastic Four.
The people that would form the team were sent to a moon base to test a theory. Whatever they did blew up half of the moon. The four were the only survivors. They somehow got off the moon and given a headquarters (presumably to protect the "Negative Zone" vault, which is in the building). Also, how they gained "meta-talents" (superpowers) is never explained although the experiment on the moon may have been responsible. Sioux, Ben and Johnatha were sent by Reed to stop a Godzilla-sized alien called Annihilus (which wanted something in the vault). They were given "power packs" to increase their powers to "mecha-sized levels" (Wikipedia). After Sioux and Johnatha failed, Reed (using his powers) figured out the rod around Annihilus' neck teleported a new body every time they destroyed one. Ben destroyed the "cosmic rod" thus stopping Annihilus. Ben, Sioux and Reed were killed by the Hand (a group of ninjas).
  • Reed Richards- He is the team leader, but isn't a field agent. He is laid back and an intellectual. The members see him as insolent. He has the ability to stretch his neutron, which somehow temporarily smarter. 
  • Sioux Storm- She is the half-sister of Jonatha Storm. She is extremely emotional detached to the point of near psychosis. To get her to do anything, Reed forces her to take aggressor hormones and stimulants. She has the ability to create giant invisible constructs.
  • Benjamin- He is shy and introverted. However when using his powers, he "roleplays" (Reed's word) using an extroverted and aggressive persona. He can summon an exoskeleton made of rocks that looks somewhat like the Thing. For some reason, his name is pronounced "Ben-ya-meen".
  • Jonatha Storm- She is Sioux's half-sister. She is hotheaded and impulsive, but denies it. According to Reed, she has a short attention span. She can cover herself in flames and shoot them (like Johnny Storm but with pink and purple flames). She is the only member to not be killed by the Hand. As such, she teamed with other heroes in the hopes of getting revenge on the Hand.
Atop the Fourth Wall "Dawn of AT4W Live!"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Captain Carnage

Fan art guessing what Captain Carnage looked like
Captain Carnage may be one of the most obscure characters I've talked about. Captain Carnage was only briefly mentioned in Watchmen "Chapter I".
Captain Carnage was an unnamed person who dressed up like a super villain to get beaten up. Captain Carnage is heavily implied to get a sick pleasure when beaten. He faked a robbery at a jewelry store. Silk Spectre II (not realizing what was going on) started to hitting him. Upon hearing his odd breathing, she thought he had asthma. Carnage attempted to do the same thing with Nite Owl II. However, Nite Owl actually heard about him prior and knew his shtick. As such, Nite-Owl II simply walked away while Carnage was shouting "Punish Me!" (The bold was part of the original text). Later, he attempt to get Rorschach to beat him up. Unfortunately since Rorschach went insane prior to this, he threw Carnage into an elevator shaft and CC presumably fell to his death.
Watchmen tradepaperback

Thursday, August 15, 2013


From Daredevil issue 233
Frank Simpson was the mentally disturbed son of a rich and abusive woman prone to drinking. He had an unhealthy affectation for his babysitter. The babysitter tried to manipulate him to kill his mother. However, Wolverine (working for Weapon Plus) killed the babysitter and kidnapped Frank after his dad died. Frank was placed in the Weapon Plus project. During the Vietnam War, Frank was tortured by a Russian intelligent agent (in reality Logan posing as one). Logan carved an American flag in Frank's face and made "No V.C.!" a tigger word that would cause Frank to kill the speaker of the phrase. When freed, an American solider tried to calm him down by saying "No V.C.!" (basically meaning "this isn't the Viet Cong"). Frank went on a rampage and killed everyone in the village. After this, Frank was kidnapped and turned into a cyborg by Weapon VII. They also gave him pills to control his aggression. However, he became addicted to them.
Generalissimo Felix had Nuke (as he was called) destroyed a rebel base. Kingpin hired Nuke to kill Daredevil. However, he failed. After attempt to destroy the Daily Bugle (for an article they wrote on him), Captain America captured him and detained by the American government. Nuke was sent to kill Wolverine (who discovered his past). Wolverine stopped him and gave him to Emma Frost in the hope she could fix his mind. Norman Osborn had his own version of Thunderbolts that had a man named Scourge leading the team. Scourge turned out to be Nuke. He was demoted after a botched mission. During the Thunderbolts attempt to kill the Agent of Atlas, it turned out Nuke was a sleeper agent put in by the Agents to kill Norman when he saw him. However upon seeing a hologram of Osborn, he shot the hologram and unintentionally killed his teammate Headsman. During a battle between the Thungerbolts and Asgardian gods, Nuke was comatosed and imprisoned the superhuman prison the Raft.
Powers and Abilities
Nuke had several powers due to his cyborg implants. He has super strength. The limits of which are unknown. Nuke's body is more resistant to injury than normal humans. His skin is actually an artifical skin-like plastic that is super durable. He has another heart that is affected by his pills. Due to his insanity, he is little more than a puppet to his bosses.
Nuke takes several pills that have different effects on his second heart. Red pills originally were stated to affect his adrenal gland and caused him to go into rampages. However, it was later said that the pill simply tiggered this behavior. White pills negate the effects of the red pills. Blue pills makes him docile. The latter is used after missions.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Penny Plunderer

It's my 400th post! Have you ever wonder why Batman has a giant penny in his cave? Because of today's topic: Penny Plunderer!
Joe Coyne ("Coyne" is a real last name) sold newspapers, but was found stealing pennies (this was back when pennies were actually worth something). He decided to commit crime using pennies as his shtick. Penny tried to kill Batman and Robin with a giant penny-shaped death trap. He used the coin to help make himself a battery and signaled for help. Batman kept the giant coin as a trophy.
Penny Plunder was removed from continuity. The coin was explained as having been used by Two-Face. However, Plunderer was later reintroduced and was shown on death row. He had black hair and a green suit. In Scarecrow/Two Face: Year One, Penny Plunder (still wearing the green suit) was killed by the giant penny when Two Face destroyed the supports that prevented it from rolling away.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Reign of the Super Trod
Doctor Who had several comic strips. The first of them didn't have the rights to the iconic Doctor Who villains the Daleks. As such, they created Dalek stand-ins called "the Trods".
The Trods are robots with cone-shaped heads. Their bodies somewhat look like cones with the sharp part cut off. They are powered by static electricity. They are led by the Super Trods (who are colored differently).
In 2066, MacTaggart (a human colonist living on the planet Trodos) built the robot Trods to enslave the other colonists. The First Doctor, Gillian and John (upon visiting the planet) deactivated the Trods. Later, someone else reactivated the Trods and used them to capture the Doctor and his allies. However after the man died, the Doctor gained control over the Trods and had them go into a "furnace room" thus destroying them. More Trods appeared later and destroyed Arcalis. The Trods built their own time machine and chased the Second Doctor, who stranded them in prehistoric times. Centuries later, the Doctor went to Trodos and attempted to make peace with the Trods. However, the Daleks (who the comic creator's got the rights to them at the time) attacked and seemly exterminated all the Trods. Later on, a museum had a display on the Trods. Said display implied they have more of a history than what was revealed to us because it claimed they were "[space] warmongers for generations".

Thursday, August 8, 2013


H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics) is another comic book character made for a cartoon adaption for the comic and not the comics themselves.
The 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon couldn't use the Human Torch. Despite what an urban myth said, the reason was due to the rights being brought for a Human Torch solo movie (which was never made). As such, the show needed a fourth member. Stan Lee pitched the idea for H.E.R.B.I.E. Dave Cockrum was suppose to design the character, but he hated the character too much. As such, Jack Kirby designed him instead.
Comics Biography

H.E.R.B.I.E. was introduced in the comics shortly after he appeared in the cartoon. He was created by Master Xar and Mister Fantastic to help them defeat the villain Sphinx. However, Master Xar's enemy Doctor Sun's consciousness escaped into the robot's body. Sun used the robot as sleeper agent. He freed Blastaar (who was trapped in the Negative Zone) to kill Mr. Fantastic (although this failed). Later, Sun revealed the truth. He trapped Human Torch and Invisible Woman via the Baxter Building's security system and beat up Mr. Fantastic and the Thing. Sun transferred his mind to the Baxter Building's computer, but Reed locked Sun in the computer. H.E.R.B.I.E. (figuring out Sun could take over his body) crashed himself into the computer thus killing the both of them. A new Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics was built to keep Franklin (Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman's son) safe. However, Fraklin's fluctuating powers destroyed the second H.E.R.B.I.E. Several other H.E.R.B.I.E. robots were made. A version of the Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics appeared at the Smithsonian.
In all versions, H.E.R.B.I.E. can access tons of information and data. He is able to interface with most computers (including the Baxter Building's). While not very agile or fast, he can fly via his build-in jets. Some versions have a variety of gadgets such as tentacles and retractable manipulators.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ace Hart

During the Golden Age of Comics, America wasn't the only one making superheroes. The Brits took a shot at it. So, I am here to talk about one of Golden Age British superheroes.
Ace Hart developed serum allowed him to "harness atomic energy to his own body" thus gain superpowers. He became a superhero using his lab as his base and a device that could sense danger. He allied himself Jessie King, who also gained powers from the serum. Later, he joined the Department of Space Defense and worked with a partner, Val Venture.
Ace is super strong. He is also fly at superhuman speeds. He is invulnerable, which allows him to travel into space unprotected. He has the power generate "atomic heat rays". Among his rarely-used abilities are using an atomic-ray gun and hypnosis.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Condiment King

Harley Quinn wasn't the only villain from Batman: The Animated Series to enter the comics. Condiment King was one.
Batman: The Animated Series
Cartoon version of the King
Condiment King was created as a homage / parody of the campy '60s Batman villains. Most notably, his speech was peppered with puns involving in his theme. Some examples were "I knew you'd ketchup sooner or later" and "How I relished this meeting". It turned out he was a comedian brainwashed by the Joker.
Non-Jokerized Condiment King from the comics
He latered appeared in Batgirl: Year One. He battled (and lost to) Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. The Joker (thinking he was dying) temporally "jokerized" the Condiment King. Black Canary, Ted Kord and Time Drake (thinking he was loser) fought CK, but the Condiment King sent the heroes into anaphylactic shocks. After using milk to stop the shocks, Ted stopped and captured Condiment King.
Afterwards, he was stopped by Batman and Tim. He allied himself with General Immortus and other second-string villains. However, Human Flame killed him.
Condiment King's weapons shoot out condiments. However, in the comics, he puts special herbs (that Poison Ivy told him about) in it. This causes people to suffer from anaphylactic shock if hit by the condiments.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

History of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Part 2

This is that follow up I talked about.
Late 20th Century
After World War II, Allan and Mina disappeared while in America. The reason was because the Big Brother government took over Britain. With this and Orlando's disappearance, MI5 formed a surrogate team. This team was largely unsuccessful and failed the only mission they were went to do together. They disbanded. Members were:
  • William Samson Jr. (from Wizard and Hotspur), who is the son of a coachman from Volume II
  • The inventor Professor James Gray (from The Beano), who invented a submersing device
  • The giant robot Iron Warrior (from Thrill Comics and New Funnies)
  • Peter Brady (from The Invisible Man television series)
  • Miss Jane Warralson (from stories by W.E. Johns)
The government tried to hide the existence of the League by saying they were just stories.
After the collapse of the government from 1984, Mina and Allan (the only surviving member) stole the Black Dossier, which contain details of the League's history, from British Intelligence. Britain sent three spies to retrieve the Dossier. Mina and Allan entered into the Blazing World and were united with Oralndo, Prospero, Fanny Hill and various other members. Jimmy killed Drummond. Members of the spies were:
  • "Jimmy", who is a thinly-veiled James Bond
  • Miss Night / Emma Peel (from The Avengers television show)
  • Detective and adventurer Uncle Hugo / Bulldog Drummond (from a series of novels that started with Bulldog Drummond)
There was a 1964 British superhero team version of the team called "The Seven Star League". In 1969, their membership was revealed. Oddly, unlike the other incarnations, none of the characters are from the decade the league was formed. Instead, the heroes are mostly characters from the 40s and 50s. Members were:
  • The interplanetary hero Captain Universe
  • Martian explorer Mars Man, who wanted to understand the lifestyles and civilization of Earth people
  • Mina Murray using the alias Vull the Invisible (a character from The Ranger)
  • Zom of the Zodiac (from Big Win Comics), whose magic that allows victims fight criminals
  • Satin Astro (from the Whizzer Comics story "Burt Steele and Satin Astro in the Year 3000 AD")
  • Electro Girl (from Whizzer ComicsSuper-Duper Comics and G-Boy Comics)
  • Super speedster Captain Zenith (from Captain Zenith Comics)
Orlando, Allan Quatermain and Wilhelma Murray investigated the activities of Oliver Haddo (from The Magician). After meeting him on the astral and taking a drug, Mina was nearly insane and thrown in an ambulance and took away. Haddo entered the body of a young Tom Riddle. Allan became a drug addict and Orlando joined the British army.
21st Century
When 2009 rolled around, the League was defunct. However, Orlando (after being discharged from the army) was tasked to stop the Antichrist. He is reunited with Mina and Allan (who is now a homeless junkie). However, Allan refused to join them. Jack Nemo, the descendant of Captain Nemo, was acting as a terrorist in the Middle East. The League fought Antichrist (who turned out be a shallow parody of Harry Potter being manipulated by Haddo / Voldemort) with Allan being killed by the Antichrist and Mary ultimately killing him. Members were:
  • Mental patient Miss Wilhemina Murray
  • A junkie Allan Quatermain Jr. 
  • Now-female Orlando
  • The magically powered Mary Poppins (from the novel series of the same name)

Friday, August 2, 2013

History of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Part 1

The fifth version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has a rich history within its fictional universe. So, I am going to talk about the various incarnations of the League.
17th Century
The first league was founded in the 17th Century. It was created under orders of Queen Golriana (although the team was founded after Golriana died). The reason was to help relations with Britain and magical creatures. However, King Jacob I had purged faerie-kind from Britain. The team collapsed when Prospero, Caliban and Ariel when to the otherworldly Blazing World. Members included:
  • The wizard Prospero (from The Tempest)
  • Prospero's deformed servant Caliban (from The Tempest)
  • Prospero's sprite Ariel (from The Tempest)
  • The everyman pilgrim Christian (from The Pilgrim's Progress)
  • British explorer Robert Owe-much (from The Floating Island)
  • The Spanish aristocrat Don Quixote (from the book of the same name)
  • The gender-changing immortal Orlando (from various works especially Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography
  • The courtesan Amber St. Clair (from Forever Amber).
18th Century
The second league was founded in 1750s by Lemuel Gulliver. Their base was secretly the Montague House in London. Gilliver's death lead to the end of this league. However, they continued their association with each other. Aside from Orlando (who also joined this version), the members were:
  • Lemuel Gulliver (from Gulliver's Travel)
  • The clergy member-turned-pirate-turned-smuggler Reverend Doctor Christopher Syn / Captain Clegg / the Scarecrow (from the Doctor Syn novels)
  • Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite (from the Scarlet Pimpernel novels)
  • The "deeyslayer" Natheanael Bumpoo, who is the hero of the Leatherstocking Tales
  • Frances Hill, who is the heroine from the adult-only novels of the same name
19th Century
The first 19th century incarnation was founded in the mid-19th century. We only see paintings of them and they are not mentioned the Black Dossier, which details the history of the League. Known members are:
  • The vampire Sir Francis Varney (from Varney the Vampire)
  • The gentleman traveler Phileas Fogg (from Around the World in Eighty Days)
  • The unaging Dorian Gray (from The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Blue Dwarf (also known as Spathwa)
  • Jack Harkaway (who first appeared the Penny Dreadful fiction Boys of England)
  • Count Allamistakeo (from Some Words with a Mummy)
The next 19th century incarnation was founded by the Time Traveler. He created the team to stop Lovecraftian horrors from the world Yuggoth. Each member was from different periods of time.  However, they ultimately failed and the Yuggoth monsters would be enemies of later versions of the League. The members were:
  • The leader the Time Traveler (from The Time Machine)
  • Pre-Murray incarnation Allan Quatermain (from King Solomon's Mines and its sequels)
  • John Carter (from the novels of various Edgar Rice Burroughs novels) before going to Mars
  • John's relative Randolph Carter (from various Lovecraft's works)
The last 19th century League were the protagonist of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume one and two. They were assembled by Campion Bond for his boss, who turned out to be Moriarty (from Sherlock Holmes). Upon discovering this, the League turned on their boss and defeated him. The League disbanded after the death of Griffin, Nemo's resignation and the death of Doctor Jekyll during the War of the Worlds. Members were:
  • Explorer and elephant hunter Allan Quatermain
  • Doctor Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde (from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)
  • The invisible Hawley Griffin (who is largely based on The Invisible Man although the titular character is a different person)
  • The Indian submariner Captain Nemo (from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, The Mysterious Island and Journey Through the Impossible)
  • Wilhelmina Murray (from Dracula)
Early 20th Century
Upon returning to England in 1907 and meeting Orlando, Mina formed the first twentieth century league. They worked for British Intelligence and attempted to stop various diasters. The team disbanded around World War I after Raffles died, Carnacki felt ill and everyone else entered the Blazing World. Members included:
  • Miss Wilhelmina Murray
  • Allan Quatermain Junior, who in reality a de-aged Allan Quatermain
  • Reformed thief A. J. Raffles (from various E. W. Hornung stories)
  • Occult detective Thomas Carnacki (from Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder)
  • Orlando
Two other version of the League were formed at this time. All previous incariation of the League were British. However, France and Germany formed their own League.
Les Hommes Mystérieux was the French version of the team. They clashed with the League at the Paris Opera House. They disbanded after World War I. Members include:
  • Insane genius Jean Robur (from The Clipper of the Clouds and The Master of The World), who had built a flying machine
  • The albino Monsieur Zenith, who gained extraordinary abilities from using a special drug
  • Master thief Fantômas (from Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain works)
  • The superhero Nyctalope (from various Jean de La Hire works)
  • Master thief Arsène Lupin (from books made by Maurice Leblanc)
The German version was Die Zwielichthelden. They were formed in 1909. They worked in Berlin. After World War 1, the team supposedly survived in various incarnations (although none of these are seen). Members included:
  • The criminal genius and gambler Dr. Mabuse (from various Norbert Jacques novels)
  • Doctor Rotwang and "the female automaton" Maria (both from Metropolis)
  • The homicidal hypnotist Dr. Caligari and his mind-slave Cesare (both from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
Since this post is going on too long and there are still five more incarnations of the League, I'll have a part two follow-up.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mort "Manny" Monkton

I often talk about superheroes and supervillains on this blog. However, I don't have often talk about the little guy. So, that's why I doing a post on Mort Monkton. However, this is a rare occasion where I couldn't find an image of my subject.
Mort got in the comic book industry in the 60s and worker for the comic company Rampart. He did comics on Astro City superheroes such as the Experimentals and Silver Agent. However in the 70s, he was fired for playing fast and loose with the facts. As such, he decided to form his own comic company, Bulldog Comics, and became its editor. Bulldog Comics became popular and made comics about Jack-In-the-Box, Crackerjack, Nightgale, MPH and other heroes. Mort had a tendency of making his comics more marketable by altering details of the events. Not everybody was happy with these changes. As such, Mort has been threatened several times. He was hospitalized by Glowworm, who attacked Mort for saying he was a racist (Glowworm is actually African American). In the hospital, Mort decided to have his comics be about cosmic-level superheroes that wouldn't care about they write. However later, Mort and the Bulldog Comic building disappeared from existence. It is heavily implied a cosmic being did it.
Mort tends to be dishonest and selfish to the point of claiming Crackerjack's merchandise isn't selling as good it really is. However, he can be kind and helpful. When confronted by angered people, Mort often tries to talk his away out of the situation. He is prone to mood swings. For example, he acts calm and relax when talking one of his writers after being rude to Nightgale, who threw him into a wall.
Mort has no superpowers. However, he is described as a good-talker. He is also able to remain calm in extreme situations (such as being threatened by superhumans).
Astro City "Local Heroes" TPB