New Swordquest Comic

Celebrate Atari Day With The New Swordquest Comic!

It is the 26th of the month. Atari Day is here again and you can totally celebrate it by downloading the new Swordquest comic book. In fact if you hop on over to Comixology you can get the #0 issue of Dynamite Entertainment’s new Swordquest comic book absolutely free.

New Swordquest Comic - Dynamite Comics

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

In the event that you are not aware of Atari’s Swordquest. I will give you a brief summary before talking about the brand new Swordquest comic book series.

Image courtesy of AtariAge.Com

In 1982 Atari released the first of four planned Swordquest titles with Earthworld. More than just an epic adventure/puzzle series the goal was to solve a riddle – one that could lead you to laying your hands on the Talisman of Penultimate Truth. A real life piece of jewelry worth $25,000!

Image courtesy of the 2600Connection.Com

To aid with the solving of the puzzles, Players received a DC comic book. Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway as well as being illustrated by George Perez with inking by Dick Giordano. The book introduced Players to the twins Tarra and Torr – two thieves of noble blood. Furthermore throughout the comic they are set on the path to retrieve not only the Talisman of Penultimate Truth but the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.
New Swordquest Comic - The Sword of Ultimate Sorcery

Players would navigate minigames to reach rooms in Earthworld, based on the zodiac. Moreover when figuring out what items were needed in said rooms, a message would appear.

That message directed Players to a hidden word in a panel of the Swordquest comic book. In this case for example, the Player would turn to page 25 and look closely at panel 6 for the hidden word.

Image Courtesy of AtariAge.Com

At the end of the day there were 5,000 entries for Earthworld. In fact a mere 8 were correct. Then after a special competition in 1983 between those 8 Players, it was Steven Bell who earned the talisman!

For further information on Steven Bell as well the fate of the Swordquest game series. You might wish to read Could You Have Won The Talisman of Penultimate Truth?

So it has been 33 years since a new Swordquest comic has been released. As well as the fact this new series isn’t a continuation of the saga of Torr and Tara. Writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers have instead set their story in the real world. With the plight of Peter Case, a 45-year-old man who is delivered a nasty blow by fate.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter Case

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

Forced to move back in with his Mother, Peter is reminded of his all-consuming passion for the Swordquest games. Remembering how two of his childhood friends, Alvin and Amy Perez, stood by his side in an attempt to solve the riddles. All three using their imagination as they played the Atari 2600 games. However the video game crash of 1983 put a halt to their dreams of the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter and Friends

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

Sims and Bowers have done an incredible job of making Peter a relatable character. You are going to feel for him I am sure. And as the first issue of the new Swordquest comic ends it appears that Case…is on a new quest. One fueled by nostalgia and second chances.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter's Guide

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

The artwork for the new Swordquest series is handled by Scott Kowalchuk. Who you might know especially from his work on the Batman ’66 comic series. I have a feeling that the story for this series will remain firmly in reality. With the magic of the original DC Comics being replaced in fact with the gift of nostalgia to these new characters.

In addition this is actually the first wave of Atari related comic books from Dynamite. Coming in July is none other than Centipede!

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

So hop on over to Comixology to get your free issue. Or better yet take an epic journey to your favorite comic book shop and pick up a physical copy for a mere twenty-five cents. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Atari Day?

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O site by following the link here!

Now that you know about the new Swordquest comic why not check out Earthworld in action?

[Via] High Retro Game Lord

DC Heroes Plaster Molds

DC Heroes Plaster Molds

A long time ago, I was living in Pittsburgh and worked at a store adjacent to the infamous (Dawn of the Dead) Monroeville Mall. I had a girlfriend and… what’s that? You don’t believe I had a girlfriend? Sheesh, I know my face can curdle milk, but gimme a break! Anyway…

One day, we were at the mall and I spotted this nifty plaster casting set by Toybiz. It was the DC Heroes Plaster Molds. I had to have it! She was too good to me and she wound up getting it for me with a credit card meant for college stuff or emergencies.
DC Heroes Plaster Molds

Well, superhero stuff – including the DC Heroes Plaster Molds is an emergency to some collectors. Am I right? Oh brother, she couldn’t wait to strangle my dumb neck, right after her mom strangled hers!

The DC Heroes Plaster Molds set consists of four characters: Batman, Robin, Superman and Joker. Joker is not a hero, but he was the villain in Tim Burton’s Batman film. That’d be my guess as to why he’s included. ToyBiz probably figured it would lure kids and dim bulbs like me. Yep. It worked.

The figures were well sculpted and with the two piece molds, you could make your very own copies to paint (the set includes a small selection of paints and brush) or decorate.
DC Heroes Plaster Molds - Paints and Plaster

If you want to use the set, it’s great for the collector and if you’ve got got kids or nieces/nephews, it’s a great arts & crafts activity for a rainy day. Are you hunting for the set? It’s usually selling from $50 to $100 depending on the condition on eBay.

[Via] All Lucky Seven

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.