G.I. Robot - Weird War Tales 113

Whatever Became Of DC Comic’s G.I. Robot?

Friends, when it came to my tastes in comics as a kid, they were…well…weird. Sure I loved to pick up Batman when I could as well as Superman too. It was another DC Comic title that I gravitated to the most however and that was of course Weird War Tales. Why? That naturally had to do with being a monster kid and science fiction buff. Which is the reason I loved both The Creature Commandos and G.I. Robot!

G.I. Robot - Francesco Francavilla

Artwork is courtesy of the always impressive Francesco Francavilla.

I find it rather funny that in my youth, my Father was rather set against me picking up the likes of The House of Mystery. Yet had no qualms about me snatching up an issue of Weird War Tales. I don’t know, perhaps the former just had scarier cover art or something?
G.I. Robot - The House of Mystery

G.I. Robot actually first appeared in another DC Comics title. That was Star Spangled War Stories #101. As matter of fact this would be the first of six robots to be known as the G.I. Robot, with this first unit known as Joe.
G.I. Robot - Star Spangles War Stories

I can only assume that Joe stayed put when he ended up on Dinosaur Island. Which I certainly hope will one day make it into one of the live action DC films. The second robot with the G.I. moniker appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #125. This time it was a unit known as Mac who was teamed up with the original Suicide Squad, the team made up of WWII soldiers.
G.I. Robot - Mac

Mac made it a whole issue before sacrificing itself to halt a rampaging T-Rex. It was in Weird War Tales #101 that a brand new G.I. Robot was introduced known as J.A.K.E. 1 (Jungle Automatic Killer – Experimental Number 1). In this case the unit was teamed up with Sgt. Coker as they served in the Pacific War. Coker I should add is not only demeaning to his partner but frequently cruel as well.
G.I. Robot - J.A.K.E. 1

J.A.K.E. 1 made it twelve more issues until it too, like Mac, was destroyed. As you might have guessed though it is quite hard to keep a G.I. Robot down for the count. J.A.K.E. 2 appeared in Weird War Tales issue # 113. This is where I actually was introduced to the character!

Soon though he was teaming up with the likes of the Creature Commandos. Which is how the unit found itself on a rocket shot from Berlin, straight into outer space, to their apparent deaths.
G.I. Robot - Creature Commandos

While the Creature Commandos were later found to have survived the trip, the fate of J.A.K.E. 2 hasn’t been revealed in the comics. Although the DC Comics Encyclopedia makes mention that the robot survives up until the 31st century!

Since those issues of Weird War Tales there has been a J.A.K.E. #6.1, which was revealed in 2008. As well as a special mini-series that also began in 2008 entitled The War that Time Forgot. Written by the legendary Bruce Jones, it threw in a ton of Silver Age characters. Such as Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince, Tomahawk and of course a new G.I. Robot. One that I must point out calls itself…Joe.
G.I. Robot - The War that Time Forgot

What does the future hold for DC Comic’s robotic soldier? Obviously only time will tell but I am more than willing to bet that we haven’t seen the last of this particular comic character!

Did you know that the G.I. Robot made an appearance in 2010?

Not in a comic book of course but on the popular Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode entitled Plague of the Prototypes!. Not just our favorite military robot either, Sgt. Rock makes an appearance alongside Batman as well!

[Via] GameSpot Universe

Prisoner comic - Kirby - Royer

The Prisoner Comic Is Finally Being Released!

Friends, the Hollywood Reporter yesterday dropped some huge news for us fans of The Prisoner. Thanks to Titan Comics we will soon be able to enjoy a new comic series. A Prisoner comic that is indeed set in the universe of the cult classic TV show. However, thanks again to Titan Comics, we are going to be able to read Jack Kirby’s vision of The Prisoner.
The Prisoner #2

Sort of. As a matter of fact Steve Englehart (Doctor Strange) as well as Gil Kane (Green Lantern) had started to create a comic series in 1976. It was Stan Lee who felt the project was better suited to the legendary Jack Kirby. Although having said that it was of course Lee who eventually decided to cancel the project before it was even published.
Prisoner comic - Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby had crafted only the single issue before it had been cancelled. As a fan of The Prisoner as well as Jack Kirby. The fact I couldn’t get my hands on this work was maddening to say the least.
Prisoner comic - Kirby - Marvel

Now having said that, it is quite true that pages have been shared in the past. But not the actual full and inked Prisoner comic. Which is why the release of The Prisoner: Original Art Edition is such an amazing book. Not only are we going to get Kirby’s Prisoner comic but the script by Englehart and 18 pages of Gil Kane’s artwork.
Prisoner comic - Original Art Edition

I truly cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner‘s U.S. debut. I mean we have The Prisoner: Original Art Edition in addition to that new Prisoner comic series, right? The art will be handled by Colin Lorimer (The Hunt) with the writing by Peter Milligan (Shade, the Changing Man). In fact Milligan had this to say in the Titan Comics press release:

“For a story where all is ambiguous, it’s hardly surprising that everyone takes from The Prisoner something different; like most people I had my own theories, my own twisted notions – mostly Kafkaesque and existential – of what was really going on in those mock Italianate dwellings. Personally the stranger and more baffling it was the better it suited me,” Peter Milligan said in a statement. “So what an honor it is now, thanks to Titan Comics, to be writing Number 6’s successor into that enigmatic and beguiling world.”

I can assure you I will be making a post or two concerning the 50th anniversary on June 1st.

Actually, did you know that DC Comics released an official sequel Prisoner comic?

Prisoner comic - DC Comics

Totally true, friends. It was a 4-book Prestige format mini-series that was released in October of 1988. It followed an agent who resigns from her post at MI-5. Much like Patrick McGoohan’s character of Number 6 in The Prisoner, she has given no reason for quitting. Going on a sailing trip around the world, the young woman finds herself stranded on a seemingly deserted island. However…she is of course the new arrival at the Village. The series takes place 20 years after the end of the original television show. Things in the Village have not improved for the better.
Prisoner comic - DC comics - Dean Motter

Perhaps with the new Prisoner comic being released this might see a new release too?

Ghost Stories - Cover

Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary – Volume II

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is an upcoming graphic novel. An Adaptation of four of M.R. James’ supernatural tales of terror. By the way of Leah Moore and John Reppion, under Self Made Hero in fact but published by Abrams Books. M.R. James has been cited as being an influence on the works of both H.P. Lovecraft as well as Stephen King.

Ghost Stories - M.R. James

The esteemed M.R. James – medievalist scholar as well as writer of ghost stories!

With it being October of course, what better way to celebrate the season than with some of James’ stories? Because with the second volume of Ghost Stories of an An Antiquary you get a nice selection from the author’s work.

With Number 13, illustrated by George Kambadais. We are introduced to a young man named Mr. Anderson. Who has arrived at the Golden Lion inn in Viborg, Denmark. A researcher who certainly uncovers something startling. Whilst checking on his fellow lodgers he discovers there is no room numbered 13 listed in the available rooms. Except if that is the case…why does Mr. Anderson pass a room marked 13? As well as the mystery of the singing and laughing from behind a door to a room that isn’t supposed to exist?

Next up in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is Count Magnus! Illustrated by Abigail Larson it is the tale of one Mister Wraxall. A travel guide writer. Mr. Wraxall is visiting Sweden for research on an upcoming book. However the man instead learns of the bloody handed legacy of the titular Count Magnus. A fearsome man who it was rumored was to be on a ‘Black Pilgrimage’. In addition to causing enough fear to warrant three large padlocks on his place of rest. What might happen if those padlocks were to be opened?

Ghost Stories - Count Magnus

Some doors are not meant to be open!

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad is the third entry. In addition this is a story by M.R. James that I know well thanks to a television adaptation. This story which is illustrated by Al Davison concerns Professor Parkins, who is on holiday. While the Professor might intend to spend time playing rounds of golf, he uncovers an odd item located in a burial site. What was once a Templar preceptory hides a whistle. Being an educated man and scorning of what some might deem superstitious. Parkins blows the whistles. Twice. Being a ghost story it shouldn’t surprise you that something answers the call, right?

Ghost Stories - Oh Whistle

Professor Parkins is going to learn to keep an open mind!

The last story presented in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is The Treasure of Abbot Thomas. Illustrated by Meghan Hetrick. In this tale we meet Antiquarian, Mr. Somerton, who follows the trail of a coded message. Which in fact is hidden within a stained glass window in the Abbey of Steinfeld in Germany. Furthermore the reason for this coded message is it is said to lead to a hidden treasure. Somerton and his trusted servant, Mr. Brown – are able to decipher the clues which lead to an abandoned well that once belonged to Abbot Thomas. A well that curiously indeed contains steps that lead down into the darkness…as well as a guardian.

It is the fourth tale that is very much like the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, friends. It is probably my favorite of them all. But each one does represent a wonderful type of ghost story by the way. If you find you need a little something to help you get into the spirit of the season. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II comes out this Tuesday. Or instead you can order a copy for yourself by following the link to Abrams books.

Now that you now what to expect from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Why not watch the 1968 television adaptation for Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad?

[Via] Montague James

mickey mouse suicide

Remember when Mickey Mouse decided to commit suicide?

Unless you lived in the 1930s or are a fan of vintage comic strips you might not be aware of the attempted Mickey Mouse suicide. But it was a very real thing that ran in the Mickey Mouse comic strip from October 8th to the 24th of 1930. It is a grim series of strips, with a happy ending, that really demonstrate how culture and entertainment, especially surrounding death, have changed over the years.

The story revolves around Minnie leaving Mickey for another rodent, could be a mouse or a rat, named Mr. Slicker. Mickey is despondent and then attempts to take his life through various methods. Each time failing. Eventually he decides that life is worth living, but it is a pretty wild ride.

The strip was written and drawn by Floyd Gottfredson. In April 1930, Gottfredson started work on the just four-month-old Mickey Mouse daily comic strip. A strip that until then had heavy involvement from Walt himself. But Floyd took to it and he would define the Mickey Mouse cartoon world in the same way that Carl Barks would the world of Donald Duck.

From what I have read online, the story-line did not originate with Gottfredson, but with Walt Disney. If that is true, it is more than fascinating. We are seeing a dark side to Mickey’s life, that came straight from his creator. My guess is that this is not Mickey Mouse canon, but it might be the most “real” I have seen Mickey. So maybe it should be. I will let you decide. Here are the strips for your reading pleasure.

Mickey Mouse Suicide series of Comic Strips

In the first few days of the strip, we meet Mr. Slicker at the Mickey Mouse Miniature Golf Course. This is where he meets both Mickey and Minnie. They go out for food and Mr. Slicker defends Minnie’s honor, which impresses her. Even though Mickey tried to do that same. Sadly he failed.

Like a lot of early stories with Minnie Mouse, she is more of a prop than a real character.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 1

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 2

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 3

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 4

On Days five through seven, Mickey is pushed out. Mr. Slicker has made his move and Minnie seems to be smitten. Gotta admit, this Slicker guy is kind of…slick.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 5

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 6

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 7

Mickey is about to do something about it and Horsecollar comes along with some terrible advice. Not saying Mickey should have knocked Mr. Slicker’s block off, but he should have talked to Minnie.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 8

Now it is too late and Mr. Slicker and Minnie are thing now. Poor Mickey. I really like that sad last frame.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 9

Now come the Mickey Mouse suicide attempts. Mickey tries via gun, drowning, leaping from a bridge, gas and hanging. Each time he fails with mild comic hi-jinks resulting.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 10

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 11

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 12

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 13

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 14

The final comic is the one where Mickey decides to hang himself from a tree. While doing so he encounters some happy smiling squirrels. Their natural happiness makes him feel better and he decides that life is worth living. Instead of using the rope to hang himself. Mickey turns it into a swing. Now this is the Mickey I know!

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 15

This was a fascinating run of a great comic strip. If you are interested in more Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson, please check out the compilations that have been printed of his work.

Retro Comic Book Ads

Old comic books often act as a time capsule.  They’re full of advertisements of products from long ago.  Some are still with us, while others are not.  I often like to crack open the pages of a long forgotten comic book and just browse the advertisements found inside with which to take a trip back in time to another era.  Let’s open one of those time capsules here today.

The “time capsule” for this trip back in time is a copy of Iceman #1, from Marvel Comics in 1984.  It was the first issue of his first mini-series, and I imagine this mini-series was created to capitalize on the character’s popularity from the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon.

The first ad we come across is a real eye opener.  It’s for the Mario Bothers home video game for the Atari 2600 system.  It’s hard to think of a Mario game being on any system besides one from Nintendo, but this is from before Nintendo was launched in the USA and Mario took over the video gaming world.  This version of the game for Atari was an arcade port to the home system.

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