Meet the Flintstones. Are they a modern Stone Age family or a family with a hidden past?
Neighbors Betty and Barney Rubble “We thought they were so nice!”
Fred works at the local quarry and is a popular member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos. Other than occasionally being caught talking to an invisible friend Gazoo, Fred seems like an average Bedrock citizen.
He was the star of a popular television series in the 1960s and is still a celebrity. It is impossible to waltz up and down the cereal isle without finding Fred on a cereal box. Unfortunately, it is all a sham. Karen Williams and a team of investigative reporters for The Retroist have uncovered undeniable evidence that Fred and Wilma have a sordid secret history that escaped the light of public knowledge.
When we first met the Flintstones, they were living under the assumed name the Flagstones. That should have been the first sign of a hidden secret. But shortly afterwards, Fred and Wilma’s hit TV series premiered and everyone forgot about their past.
What if they were living under a different name because they were trying to hide something? Or better yet…someone? Before we go any further, we should introduce the players in this unsolved mystery.
“Meet Fred Flintstone …
His boy Junior ….
Daughter Pebbles ….
Wilma his wife …..”
I know what most of you are thinking – who is Junior? What if cute little Pebbles wasn’t Fred and Wilma’s first child? What if they had a long forgotten son, Fred Flinstone, Junior? I know it sounds like the plot from an outlandish cartoon, but we have found undeniable proof.
Before September of 1960, when the Flintstones TV show premiered, Fred and Wilma were totally unknown, so William Hanna and Joseph Barbera began a publicity campaign. For adults, Fred and Barney promoted beer and cigarettes.
For kids, there were Flintstone comic books and story books. And appropriately enough, that is where our story begins. These images come from the great site – Golden Gems.
In 1961, Little Golden Books published their first book about the Flintstones.
A few years before Pebbles was born, the Flintstones were Fred, Wilma, and Junior. While grilling, a little dinosaur snuck up and ate every hamburger that Fred had cooked. Fred was furious, but Junior thought the little dinosaur was adorable. After pleading with him, Fred gave in and let Junior keep the little dinosaur as a pet.
Junior named him Harvey and built him a dinosaur house. Harvey was happy, but the more Junior fed him, the more Harvey grew.
Harvey grew so large that finally, Fred put his foot down and sent Harvey away. A few days later, Fred was fishing in a little row boat when a storm suddenly appeared and capsized his boat.
Harvey saw that Fred was in trouble and rescued him. After this, Fred decided that having a giant dinosaur for a pet wasn’t so bad after all.
And, they all lived happily ever after? Yeah, right! What do you think this is – a cartoon? While Fred and Wilma became famous, Junior and Harvey were never heard from again. Inquiring minds want to know – what happened to Junior and Harvey?
We interviewed Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but they claimed that they’ve never heard of Junior or Harvey. I don’t trust any of the Flintstones, but Pebbles may be telling the truth since she wasn’t born until 1963.
We also interviewed Fred Flintstone, but he is old and unfortunately his memory is fading. So, he was no help.
The mystery remains regarding The Flintstones – what happened to Fred Flintstone, Junior?
If you have any information about Junior’s final fate, please contact any of The Retroist staff.
Welcome to The Death of Super Blog Team Up. As the title indicates, this time were all looking at famous deaths of fictional characters.
I decided to go with a group that is more famous after dying than they were while living – the spooky skeletons of Disneyland’s classic ride Pirates Of The Caribbean.
When I was a kid plastic and balsa wood model kits were extremely popular. Some of the most famous sets of models were…
the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean sets. One of the things which made these sets so popular is that they moved. Their Zap / Action feature was powered by rubber bands.
This is my second post about these awesome models. These Pirates Of The Caribbean Models Are To Die For! was my first post about them.
This model features a skeleton who is protecting a treasure. His Zap / Action is that his arm with the pistol moves.
Hoist High The Jolly Roger
The first six of these models features skeleton pirates. The last two feature pirates who have a little more skin on their bones. This model has a peg legged pirate standing on a treasure chest and holding a Jolly Roger on a flag pole. His Zap /Action is that his arm and sword move up and down.
Here are the model pieces still in the box.
Ghost of the Treasure Guard
I saved the best model for last! The Ghost of the Treasure Guard mixes parts from Dead Men Tell No Tales and Hoist High The Jolly Roger. The result is a model where a skeletal guard defends his treasure from a peg legged pirate. This set has two Zap / Actions. The Ghost of the Treasure Guard’s arm with the pistol moves up and down. The peg leg pirate who is attacking has a sword which also moves up and down. The idea of having model where a skeleton and human pirate fight each other for a treasure is just brilliant.
Now that you’ve had your daily rations of Pirates of Caribbean vintage models…
Welcome to The Death of Super Blog Team Up. As the title indicates, this time we’re all looking at famous deaths of fictional characters. I decided to go with a group that is more famous after dying than they were while living – the spooky skeletons of Disneyland’s classic ride Pirates Of The Caribbean.
When I was a kid plastic and balsa wood model kits were extremely popular. One of the most famous sets were for…
…the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean models. One of the things which made these sets so popular is that they moved. Their Zap / Action feature was powered by rubber bands.
For this awesome Pirates of the Caribbean models special feature we have a skeleton who is chained to a block fighting an alligator. The sword in this kit moves up and down of course.
I love this model. It features two skeletons. One is standing at the wheel steering the remains of the ship. The other skeleton pops up from a box and stabs a dagger in a map. Here are the model pieces still in the box.
Fate of the Mutineers
A skeleton has fallen into quicksand. His fellow skeleton tries to pull him out, but only succeeds in ripping off his arm. The whole time, a giant crab lurks menacingly in the background.
Here are the the parts and instructions for this model.
Freed in the Nick of Time
In this Pirates of the Caribbean model, one skeleton with a sword has to cut free a fellow skeleton before he is dragged under by a squid.
Here are the parts for this model.
Fear not, Mateys, there is more pirate treasure in your future. I found so many great photos of these spooktacular models, that I’ll be featuring more in a future post.
Welcome to Best Event Ever, an annual team-up of podcasts and blogs. Last year, we looked at Bloodlines, this year we’re tackling the 25th anniversary of Eclipso: The Darkness Within.
Eclipso: The Darkness Within was the 2nd attempt by DC Comics to turn this little known character into a major villain like The Joker, Lex Luthor, and Darkseid. Believe it or not, DC’s first attempt to make him famous occurred all the way back in the Bat-tastic Year 1966.
There is so much cool Eclipso ’66 stuff, that it has taken three separate posts to cover it. This is my 3rd and final post. My first post looked at some wonderful Whitman puzzles from 1966.
My 2nd post looked at an awesome card game from 1966. That Eclipso ’66 post was so big that it ran in two parts – part one and part two.
In February of 1966, Batman faced off against Eclipso ’66 and The Queen Bee in The Brave and Bold #64.
This issue was written by Bob Haney and penciled and inked by Win Mortimer. Bob Haney has a reputation for writing absolutely crazy stories. His fans lovingly refer to him as Zany Haney. This story is a classic example of how Bob Haney earned that nickname.
It is night time in Gotham City. A red headed woman is walking alone on a pier, when someone fires an arrow at her. Batman appears on a nearby roof and uses his Bat-rope to lasso the arrow. The woman faints, but thankfully the Dark Knight Detective catches her before she falls into the water. While all of this is going on, the archer escapes.
Batman realizes that the red headed woman is none other than his long lost love Marcia Monroe. That’s not a typo; Marcia and the Caped Crusader are an item, not Marcia and Bruce Wayne. If you think that is odd, just wait.
The couple kisses and we get dialogue that only Bob Haney could write: BATMAN: Marcia…I can hardly believe it’s you. But…but why was that bow buzzard trying to ventilate your beautiful torso?
Ms. Monroe explains that the archer was trying to get the Cat Emerald. The Dark Knight instantly recognizes the emerald, which looks like a cat’s head, because it was stolen. When asked if she stole it, Marcia explains that it was stolen by someone she loved.
Here we get the first of many flashbacks in this story. Marcia and the Caped Crusader have broken up and Marcia is now in love with Nicky Jarvas. Even though they were engaged, Nicky didn’t feel like he could compete with Marcia’s love for Batman, and he didn’t want to live off of Marcia’s wealth, so he decided to take care of both problems by stealing one of the world’s most prized gems. He succeeded, but somehow the international criminal organization CYCLOPS found out that Nicky committed the theft.
The year 1966 wasn’t just the year of The Bat, it was also the heart of Bond and Man from U.N.C.L.E. mania. You’ll see that reflected in this story multiple times. Some of CYCLOPS killers caught up with Nicky and he died in Marcia’s arms. His death wish was that the emerald would be returned, so that no one would know that he died a criminal.
After that flashback, another whole series of flashbacks shows Marcia and Batman’s love affair. Marcia was a rich girl who was bored and liked to live recklessly. The Dark Knight rescued her when she was walking on a bridge’s support system while singing, “London Bridge Is Falling Down.” Batman was the first man Marcia ever met that she looked up to, so she fell in love with him. One night, Marcia, who was a crack shot with a pistol, saved the Caped Crusaders life. They became partners in crime fighting and fell in love. Batman proposed to Marcia and told her that she would learn his secret identity when she took his name by becoming his wife. A few days later, a policeman gave Batman a ‘Dear John letter’ from Marcia. She broke off her engagement, moved to Europe, and resumed her playgirl life.
Back to the present. Marcia is in danger as long as she has the emerald, and she wants to fulfill Nicky’s dying wish. She asks the Caped Crusader if he will break in to the museum and return the jewel. Reluctantly, Batman agrees.
Batman breaks into the museum and returns the gem. The next day, Commissioner Gordon arrests him. Gordon has camera footage of the break in and the emerald is missing. Even though they’ve been friends for years and Batman has saved Gotham countless times, Commissioner Gordon automatically assumes that the Dark Knight is now a criminal.
Batman realizes that Marcia set him up. He has plenty of time to think about it, because he is sent to jail. He is still wearing his cape and cowl in jail, but at least they took his utility belt.
While in jail, he hears two criminals talking about The Queen Bee. Batman and the Justice League faced a villain named The Queen Bee in 1963, but this is not that character. This is an all new character who, to the best of my knowledge, only appeared twice – once in this comic book and the other time in the card game I talked about in my previous post.
Elsewhere, a solar eclipse has begun and it is releasing Eclipso from Bruce Gordon. Dr. Gordon’s team isn’t worried because they have Bruce strapped to a chair and are going to “hit him with a high protein light blast” which will take care of Eclipso, but two of the Queen Bee’s drones fly in, cut the power cord, and carry off Eclipso.
The Queen Bee has gathered local criminals for a meeting. The meeting is being watched over by the giant green eye of CYCLOPS. Eclipso arrives and the criminals began a crime spree. The police can’t stop them and Batman is in jail. When one of the criminals who was talking about The Queen Bee is released from jail, the Caped Crusader breaks out of jail and tails him. Batman sneaks into the headquarters, a high rise building, but he is knocked unconscious by gas. Eclipso “kills” the Dark Knight by dropping him down a chute which leads to the river. Why a high rise building in downtown Gotham City has a chute that leads to the river is beyond me.
When Batman lands in the river, the cold water revives him. He hitches a ride on a garbage barge. A police patrol boat sees Batman and opens fire. He dives in the water, and the police think they’ve killed him. I love that this river which is downtown is so large that it has barges and ferries and is patrolled by police boats.
Bruce Gordon shows up at police headquarters and offers to help Commissioner Jim Gordon (I’m pretty sure the two are related) defeat Eclipso.
Back at the hive, i.e. the criminals headquarters, a man dressed in black climbs through the giant green eye. Queen Bee assumes it is The Agent from CYCLOPS. The agent pulls a gun on Queen Bee and Eclipso. Eclipso blasts the agent with his black diamond. The agent’s cowl is blasted off, but underneath it is another cowl, this one belonging to Batman. I don’t know which is worse, Batman wearing two cowls on top of each other, or that Batman pulled a gun on Eclipso and The Queen Bee!
The Queen Bee helps Batman escape from Eclipso because she is none other than Marcia Monroe. This is not a surprising reveal because I never for once thought the Queen Bee was anyone else. Marcia explains that she had Batman jailed so he wouldn’t be part of all the trouble going on. Why is Marcia the Queen Bee? Because her father had gotten involved with CYCLOPS and they were going to kill him. She agreed to become their Queen of Crime to save her father’s life and to clear his name. The Dark Knight and The Queen Bee kiss; she gives him the Cat Emerald, and he escapes.
Eclipso has been listening to everything via a hidden microphone on the Queen Bee’s costume. Batman, Eclipso, and two of the Queen Bee’s drones have a fight on the outside of the high rise. Doctor Gordon arrives on the scene. He climbs up on a fire truck’s ladder and hurls light grenades at Eclipso. In the blinding light, no one sees Eclipso return to Doctor Gordon’s body.
The Caped Crusader returns the emerald to Commissioner Gordon, thus proving that he was framed. Batman looks for Marcia but all he finds is her costume.
The story concludes with Batman saying: “Queen Bee’s costume…Marcia’s gone! Some day, she’ll have to pay for her crimes – and when that day comes, she’ll need all my help! Until then – farewell, honey!”
To the best of my knowledge, that day never came because Monica never appeared again.
I hope you enjoyed my coverage of Eclipso ’66. In 1966, he and the Caped Crusader faced off in toys, games, and comics. Unfortunately, the one place they never faced off was in the television show!
Welcome back to the Best Event Ever, an annual team-up of podcasts and blogs. Last year, we looked at Bloodlines, this year we’re tackling the 25th anniversary of Eclipso: The Darkness Within.
A brief recap from the first post about the Batman card game. Eclipso: The Darkness Within was the 2nd attempt by DC Comics to turn the character into a major villain like The Joker, Lex Luthor, and Darkseid. Believe it or not, DC’s first attempt to make him famous occurred all the way back in the Bat-tastic Year 1966.
There is so much cool Eclipso ‘66 stuff, that it will take separate posts to cover it. It all started in fact with Eclipso ‘66…What A Puzzling Beginning! – looking at some wonderful Batman ’66 puzzles made by Whitman.
In addition, as a reminder these images are courtesy of Vintage Batman and Willie Baronet. The wonderful Batman card game also featured character portraits for:
Batman and Robin out of costume.
Their amazing butler, who unfortunately looks nothing like the wonderful Alan Napier.
Since Dick Grayson is an orphan, I always assumed that Harriet Cooper was Bruce Wayne’s Aunt. I was surprised to learn that she is in fact Dick Grayson’s Aunt.
Unfortunately, Commissioner Gordon’s sidekick Chief O’Hara didn’t get a card.
Instead, the boys in blue are represented by this card.
The Mayor of Gotham City also makes an appearance. Again, he looks nothing like Mayor Linseed.
Batman has the coolest vehicles around, so thankfully they get their own cards as well.
Of all the Batmobiles, the one from this TV series is my favorite. Launchpad McQuack could do a better job flying the Batplane!
This is probably my favorite card in the whole set. It is so silly. It looks even less air worthy than the Flintstone Flyer. Image from the amazing Cartoon Brew.
What would Batman be without his rogues gallery? This card game features seven more villains in addition to Eclipso ’66 and the Queen Bee. Batman’s big four – Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler are present.
These days, Cat Woman is one word.
Did you know that before Frank Gorshin’s wonderful performance as the Riddler, he was a minor Batman villain who didn’t appear in comics very often?
Mr. Zero was the original name of Mr. Freeze. But, I don’t think he was ever referred to as Mr. Zero in Batman ‘66.
Calendar Man is a really odd choice because in back in 1966, he was a minor villain with only a handful of appearances. It wasn’t until 1996 and Batman: The Long Halloween that he became popular.
Blockbuster was a brand new Bat-villain who first appeared in November 1965. While he is still around, he never became a major Bat-villain.
Image courtesy of YvonneCraig.Com My only complaint about this set of cards is that Batgirl wasn’t included. But in all fairness, Yvonne Craig didn’t appear on Batman ‘66 until September 1967. That is a year after these cards were produced. So, I think I can forgive her absence. :)
Remember to revisit The Retroist in a few days for the conclusion of the Eclipso ‘66 trilogy.