Super Steins

Super Steins!

Ghoul Mourning Maniacs!!

Did you ever wonder where the art for a product came from? It can be created specifically for the product or be art that gets repurposed. I submit to you my personal sleuthing to solve a question I had, regarding the 1974 Thermo-Serve Batman Super Stein.

The Super Steins were released by Thermo-Serve in 1974 and the available characters were Wonder Woman, Batman, Shazam and Superman. At some point, my sister and I received a Wonder Woman and Batman Stein. You can figure out who got what. A great selection of art. An iconic full figure illustration by of Batman racing across a field with a full moon overhead. The other side sports Batman punching out a noodnik! “WHOK!” Ok, where did the art come from?
Super Steins

Aha! Time to dig into my comic book library. ( But first, I must flip up the head on my Shakespeare statue and hit the button! Oh, I wish! ) The full figure Batman art was somewhat easy to identify. It’s by Neal Adams and is the cover art to a large format Treasury Edition comic. But, that’s not the complete origin,as that image is a variation of Neal’s Caped Crusader, in Batman 251. In that comic, Bats is missing his utility belt and the background is different. Still, an iconic Bat piece!

Now, to figure out the smaller artwork, which looked like long time Bat artist, Jim Aparo’s work. Aparo worked on many Bat books, so I had some perusing to do. Using 1974 or earlier, I had my bracket of books to look from. I couldn’t place the image, but was determined to figure it out. Mainly, because I’m a dork!

“WHOK!”

I found it in an issue of “Brave & the Bold.” Number 115, to be exact. Batman teams up with the Atom in “The Corpse that Wouldn’t Die!” A great story in which Batman is grazed by a bullet and rendered brain dead. The Atom shrinks and operates Batman’s body from inside, racing from synapse to synapse and animating him. Well, looking at the panel and comparing it to the Stein, they changed the dialogue in the word ballon and kept the “WHOK!”

I have yet to determine the origins of the other Super Stein artwork. I might in the future. I recently asked my sister if she knew about her Wonder Woman Stein and she punched me for being a dork! Ok, I deserved that, I guess. Sheesh! If you know the other art origins, please comment and we’ll super sleuth the heck out of this!!

While it has nothing to do with Super Steins, why not listen to Denny O’Neil discuss both Batman and Neal Adams?

[Via] The Comic Archive

Easter Marvels

Origins Of Marvel Comics Made For Easter Marvels

Ghoul Mourning Maniacs!

It’s almost Easter and I’m organizing some of my collection. I unearthed my copy of “Origins of Marvel Comics” by Stan Lee. As I touched the cover, I was immediately awash in some fun Easter memories from 1977. What’s the connection? Well, read on…

When I was a little monster, my Godmother/Aunt Mary brought me a pad of drawing paper and pastels, with a most amazing book, called “Origins of Marvel Comics” for Easter. This is the first in a series of Marvel Fireside books, which includes “Son of Marvel Origins,” “Bring on the Bad Guys,” “The Superhero Women” and more.
Easter Marvels

“Origins of Marvel Comics” was a great introduction to the first wave of Marvel heroes for a younger reader. The book includes reprints of the Silver Age debuts of The Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk , Doctor Strange and The Mighty Thor. Then, fast forwards to some tasty Bronze Age material.

Read with delight as the FF first gain their cosmic powers and battle Mole Man, to the issue 55 showdown between the Thing and Silver Surfer.

Can the Fantastic Four withstand the might of the Submariner?

The Hulk gets his turn in his first tale and tangle with the Gargoyle. He then goes swimming against Prince Namor, the Sub Mariner in issue 118.

Listen to the Hulk attempt to thwart an assassin!

Swing on a web to Spider-Man’s debut in “Amazing Fantasy” 15, and get a jolt from his battle with the Shocker in Amazing Spider-Man 72. Thor gets introduced in “Journey into Mystery” 83, against Stone Men from Saturn. He comes back in the Bronze Age offering of “The Mighty Thor ” 143. He teams up with Balder the Brave and Lady Sif against the Enchanters! Doctor Strange has his origin laid out for you in “Strange Tales” 115, then POOF! there he is in a strip from 155. The sorcerer didn’t get his own mag until a little later and had to share his first comic book home with Nick Fury. Wonder who the goldbrick was?

This was an “EGG-scelent ” Easter treat, and as you can see from the photo of Aunt Mary and I, I have the book in my grubby little hands! The photo was taken in front of Grandma Kaizer’s house and there are many more photos like it of my sisters and I, our cousins and more. It was an Easter family tradition to go to Grandma’s where she cooked her “Dupa”and Babushka off and fed the waves of family all day on Easter Sunday. All the Polish food you could think of. Grandpa would play jazz on the piano and smoke cigars. Then, we’d head outside and pose at that exact same spot for photos. That tradition carried on for at least three or four decades and Easter Sunday at Grandma’s was always a great time and now a great memory.

I Hope Peter Cottontail brings you chocolate and something to make you say, ” EGGcelsior!!”

(Apologies to Stan Lee).

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing The Truth

Before I get into the new book Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth, edited by Dr. Travis Langley and Mara Wood. I felt I should take a moment and share my thoughts on the character herself as well as my first introduction. Like many of you that visit The Retroist I’m willing to bet the first time you learned of Wonder Woman was thanks to the long running Super Friends TV series.

[Via] THX1968

Of course a few years after that the popular live action Wonder Woman TV series debuted on ABC. Starring the talented Lynda Carter, the first season took place in the 1940s. Afterwards the show jumped ship to CBS and was placed in the current day. In addition to becoming The New Adventures of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman

All thanks to the Wonder Woman TV show in fact, I would pick up the DC comics. To this day when I think of the power and beauty of the character. It is the illustration of the legendary José Luis García-López that comes to mind. To say nothing of the impact that George Perez had on Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman

With a film version set to hit theaters on June 2nd. It is a great time to take a closer look at the origins of the character as well as her creator, William Moulton Marston. Hard to overlook the fact that the man who invented the polygraph machine bestowed his creation a lasso of truth, right?

Except for he didn’t create the lie detector test as the book points out. Although he did in fact create the systolic blood pressure test. Which is used in polygraph tests. Furthermore there are some that cite it was his Wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, who helped in the research of said test. Fitting as she was the one to suggest the gender of William’s creation for All -American Comics!

“…one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. “Fine,” said Elizabeth. “But make her a woman.””

I have shared the pop culture psychology books by Langley before. And Sterling Publishing was kind enough to send me Travis and Wood’s latest for review. Right off the bat, Dr. Langley cuts to the truth by challenging the reader. To not get hung up on certain elements of Marston’s creation. Like “bondage” for example. Not without understanding what William was intending readers to understand.

There are 20 essays included in Wonder Woman Pyschology: Lassoing the Truth. Featuring not just a foreword by Trina Robbins but the likes of Chris and Caitlin Yogerst, Laura Vecchiolla, Mike Madrid, and Rebecca M. Langley. As well as Tim Hanley, Martin Lloyd, Wind Goodfriend, Annamaria Formichella-Elsden. In addition to Janina Scarlet, Lara and Nina Kester, Erin Currie, Eric D. Wesselman, J. Scott Jordan, J.C. Lobato, Jenna Busch, E. Paul Zehr, Jeff Pisciotta, and Alan Kistler.

The essays cover such topics as Feminist Psychology: Teaching How to Be Wonderful by Mara Wood. Balancing the Warrior and the Peace Ambassador by Eric D. Wesselman. It’s a Man’s World: Wonder Woman and Attitudes Toward Gender Roles by Erin Currie. And another favorite Snapping Necks and Wearing Pants by Travis Langley.

Wonder Woman Psychology is available for purchase tomorrow at most book dealers.

Golden Age Superman

This free Golden Age Superman Comic is absolutely stunning

Adrien van Viersen is a lifelong Superman Fan and storyboard artist with some nice superhero bonafides. He has done work on X2, X3, Game of Thrones, and The Flash. This week though he turned he released a project about Golden Age Superman. It is a wonderfully written and well-illustrated take on the Man of Steel set during 1930’s. How did Superman get his golden age costume? Why does Clark Kent wear glasses? Adrien spins a wonderful tale with delightful artistry that cries out to be printed. Want a peak? Check out this trailer for the work.

Golden Age Superman Comic Trailer

Looks pretty good right? So where do you get your hands on this free comic?

The comic is available from Adrien van Viersen for free and comes in standard comic book and mobile formatting. I have read it multiple times and the think I come away with both times is that this story has heart. It also captures the innocence that we often project into the golden age era with just a hint of modern sensibilities.

While I am satisfied with this as a one-shot. It left me wanting A LOT more. Now that I have seen Kent transform into Superman, I need to know what happens next and I am sure you will feel the same. So head on over to van Viersen’s site and download a copy and make sure you tell your friends. Supporting works like this can give brave storytellers a chance to work with an iconic brand.

And if you like what you see, van Viersen has a blog. It is filled with Easter Eggs from the comic and fun facts about his reasoning, inspiration and fandom.

Strange - Blu Ray

Embrace The Strange With Dr. Strange On Blu-Ray!

When it comes to the many comic book heroes and villians that Marvel Comics have produced over the years. Dr. Strange is certainly one of my favorite characters. I think that is pretty evident in the light of how many Super Blog Team-Up articles I’ve written over the years.
Strange

But what makes Dr. Strange such a personal favorite of mine? My go to answer is that he is a deeply flawed character. This is evident in the works of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee back in 1963, with the origin story in issue Strange Tales #115. Which as a matter of fact was his fourth appearance in the comic series.

Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon. Earning large sums of money for his skills and combined with his equally impressive egotism – frequently turned a blind eye to the needy.
Strange

Stephen Strange learns how the other shoe fits when he loses control of his car and crashes. While his life is indeed saved, his hands are ruined and his career as a surgeon is over. Strange’s ego refuses to let himself give up on the notion his hands might be fixed. Burning through his resources, chasing down any procedure that might heal him. To no avail. Which eventually leads him to travel to Tibet where he becomes the pupil to the Ancient One.
Strange - The Ancient One

All things considered while on the negative side, Stephen can’t repair his hands. On the positive side however he does replace the Ancient One, donning the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. Becoming Dr. Strange – the Sorcerer Supreme!

This origin of course is more or less covered in the excellent 2016 film adaptation of Dr. Strange. Which is available right this second on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. With the movie debuting on Blu-Ray this coming Tuesday the 28th.
Strange - Blu Ray

For Marvel Studios first foray into the magic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe they chose their cast wisely. I mean can you truly say that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t the perfect choice to play Dr. Strange?
Dr. Strange

Coupled with that you have the acting talents of the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Tilda Swinton (Adaptation.), Benedict Wong (The Martian) and of course Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale)!

Dr. Strange manages to blend humor, thrills, and more importantly – delivers on the psychedelic visuals of the original comic books. All the while opening the Marvel Cinematic Universe wider – ushering in the supernatural elements present in the comics.

Of course Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray manages to pack in the bonus extras:

  • A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
  • Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambition, imaginative films ever.
  • The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
  • Across Time and Space – Explore the endless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
  • The Score-cerer Supreme – Join composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
  • Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including MARVEL STUDIOS’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, THOR: RAGNAROK, BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
  • Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
  • Audio commentary with Scott Derrickson.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • And Gag Reel

[Via] Disney Movies Anywhere

So forget everything you think you know and pick up Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray this Tuesday!

[Via] Marvel Entertainment