Starman

Super-Blog Holiday Team Up: Christmas Knight

Do you hear that? That isn’t the hoof beats of eight tiny reindeer. That is the call to action for a Holiday edition of the Super-Blog Team Up. That time when writers across the internet come together to discuss and celebrate pop culture.

For this go around since it ‘Tis the Season – I will not only be talking about my second favorite Holiday. But a comic series near and dear to me as well.

Starman.

[Via]Ucara 14

No, not that Starman by the late and great David Bowie. I’m referring to the character co-created by the talented James Robinson. Although I am willing to bet he is a fan of Bowie as well.

For my entry in the Super-Blog Holiday Team Up I will be choosing a special Holiday themed story from the 81 issue run of Starman. Issue 27 of the series to be precise, entitled Christmas Knight.
Christmas Knight

Before I get into the details of Christmas Knight let me tell you a little about Starman. Originally making his appearance in September of 1994 in Zero Hour #1, Jack Knight, is in fact the youngest son of DC Comics’ Golden Age character.

James Robinson took a different approach to Jack Knight as a hero. For one thing he didn’t want to be one. Furthermore he took the mantle from his Father, Ted Knight, only after his older brother was murdered.

So guilt more than a sense of duty is why Jack took up the cosmic staff. As is also plainly evident from the panel below, Jack didn’t go for tights. Choosing something a little more casual…not to mention cool.

Here is another thing that Robinson did that made me a fan from issue one. He too loved the Golden Age of DC Comics. The writer didn’t make fun of the heroes of DC’s past like the Red Bee or Fair Play or even the original Red Tornado.

He embraced them. He masterfully helped cement the legacy of DC’s comic book past. Over and over again. He also gave Jack an interesting obsession. Not just a fan of things past but an avid collector of retro items. This new Starman is just as interested as protecting the citizens of his home town of Opal as he is tracking down some vintage View-Master reels or some original 1950’s Pyrex dishes.

As an author for The Retroist I think you can see why I was drawn to this comic series back in the day. Robinson and co-creator and original artist Tony Harris made Jack Knight incredibly human.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the character, let’s talk about Christmas Knight itself.

Don’t let that cover of this issue up above fool you. Despite it tugging at your heartstrings it is most certainly a Holiday tale of redemption and happy endings. Jack Knight is running late to a dinner he has been invited to by the O’Dares. A law enforcement family that have strong ties to the Knights and Opal City. Flying through the night sky he notices a man in a Santa Claus suit crying and lands to check on him.
Christmas Knight - Starman

Starman agrees to help the man find his missing locket. The two end up searching the city and Jack doesn’t bust heads to get the information he needs. He realizes the plight of these homeless citizens. Instead he gives money for the info the two need and also helping the poor souls they meet in the process.

Having said that there comes a point when action is needed. Dispatching the two thugs, Jack finds a situation where he is powerless. The clerk of the pawn shop has suffered an heart attack. Jack doesn’t know C.P.R. but thankfully Santa does.

While Jack and as we learn, Pete, part ways. Starman is left feeling like there is something more he can do for this man. This homeless vet who has no Family or friends to take comfort with.

I know you can see where this is going but in the very spirit of the season, Jack invites Pete to come with him.

What more could you wish for in a Holiday themed story? Both Jack and Pete have earned their just rewards. The warmth of friends and family. They have in fact helped others have a better night and Holiday. We leave the two with laughter and good cheer instead of sorrow.

In all honesty I have left quite a bit out of the telling of Christmas Knight. As I hope you will actually pick up the issue, moreover take the time to read the entire series. It is a shining point for DC Comics in the 90’s and is available right this second over at Comixology.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little of why I love Christmas Knight so much. But remember that there are other Super-Blog Team Up posts:


Between The Pages – The Ghost of Supergirl Past
The Superhero Satellite
The Crapbox of Son of Cthulhu – Impact Winter Special #1
Chris Is On Infinite Earths – Christmas with the Super Heroes #1
Longbox Graveyard
DC in the 80s
The Unspoken Decade
Coffee and Comics Blog
The Daily Rios

Underoos

1980’s The Empire Strikes Back Underoos Commercial!

You might imagine that The Empire Strikes Back was kind of a big deal when it was released in 1980. You know what was also incredibly popular at that time? Fruit of the Loom’s Underoos of course!
Underoos

It is rather a simple thing to see why those of us growing up in the 80s loved these. While the original idea for Underoos came about in 1977 thanks to Larry Weiss. The concept was sold to Fruit of the Loom – in fact they were the company Weiss hired to provide the shirts and underwear that characters would be printed on. Furthermore the company that was originally interested in the children’s line of clothing was Hanes.

Equally important are the popular properties that Fruit of the Loom went after for their Underoos. It is a rather astounding number of cartoons, toy lines, comic books, and films. The A-Team, Gremlins, Transformers, and Star Wars of course to name a few.
Underoos

This 1980’s commercial only showcases four sets of Underoos. In addition to Boba Fett, Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO. They also offered Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing pilot outfit. Princess Leia in Hoth attire, and two different colored versions of Yoda.

Star Wars TV Archive

It bears mentioning that Underoos didn’t offer anything for 1977’s Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back marked the first offerings. Although they continued with Return of the Jedi as well as The Ewoks animated series in 1985.

What was the first set of Underoos that I received?


Why none other than DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster. The Flash!

Now I hope you will forgive me but I have to leave The Retroist Vault. I have tickets to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I will let you know however if while standing in line I happen to spy any fellow Star Wars fans wearing some Underoos!

Masters of the Universe

Retro Records: Masters Of The Universe (1983)

Welcome back, friends. For this offering on Retro Records we are going with an absolutely epic LP. The 1983 Masters of the Universe record produced by Kid Stuff. Not only that but this was released in two different versions. The more common album cover you see at the top of the post in addition to a phono picture disc.

Image courtesy of the T3 Universe Blog.

Image courtesy of the T3 Universe Blog.


A very big thanks to the T3 Universe Blog for the personal images of those stunning picture discs.
Masters of the Universe - Phono Disc Side B - T3 Universe

Now bear in mind by the end of 1982, the Masters of the Universe toy line had already been hugely popular. So it naturally made sense that the merchandising arm start to spread out. I ask you, what child of the early 80s wouldn’t want to hear the adventures on Eternia? And Kid Stuff certainly ran with the early storylines of the series. In particular I mean the fantasy aspects of Masters of the Universe.

Image courtesy of He-Man.Org

Image courtesy of He-Man.Org

However this record was produced after the vintage DC Comics miniseries and classic Filmation series it seems.
Masters of the Universe - DC Comics

As He-Man is no mere barbarian in the jungles of Eternia as presented in the minicomics that came with the toys. But the alter-ego of Prince Adam. On the other hand instead of visiting the Cave of Power to transform he holds aloft the Power Sword. Having said that though you won’t hear Cringer or Battle Cat speaking or such on this record. In fact it’s like Kid Stuff combined elements of all three versions for their story.

Did I forget to mention the first record includes a five minute Masters of the Universe theme song?

So pour yourself a bowl of your favorite cereal and join us as we listen to the adventures of the Masters of the Universe!

[Videos Via] Cash Presley

Retro Records: Plastic Man – The Invasion Of The Plastic Men (1975)

Welcome back friends to another installment of Retro Records. This week we are listening to a 1975 Power Records story featuring none other than Plastic Man! If you think that giving the likes of Ol’ Plaz his own record is a kooky idea then check out who was featured on the B side – none other than Metamorpho: The Element Man!

Of course considering that Plastic Man, that criminal turned malleable and wacky hero was given his own Saturday morning cartoon series four years later starting in 1979 and lasting until 1981 – maybe I was just too young to realize how popular he was back in the day in the then current DC Comics line of books?

[Via] Hewey1972’s Cartoon Extravaganza

Our story today is entitled “The Invasion of the Plastic Men” and finds Plastic Man being falsely accused for returning to a life of crime when numerous citizens began to report they are eyewitnesses to Plaz stealing countless valuables. The question is can Plastic Man clear his name of these heinous deeds? Let’s find out together on Retro Records!

[Via] Georgemiser

Are You Well Prepared For Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders?!

Holy Cow! Talk about some news that will get most retro fans snapping their fingers in anticipation – DC Comics and Warner Bros. are releasing Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader later this year! It is an animated feature that is set in the groovy Batman ’66 universe and most importantly of all it features the return of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar lending their vocal talents to the characters of Batman, Robin, and Catwoman – roles they helped make a household name back in the day.

Batman - Return of the Caped Crusaders

While there isn’t an awful lot of information right now – thanks to this teaser trailer released yesterday we do know that the Dynamic Duo will not just be protecting the citizens of Gotham City in this feature film but also venturing into outer space. It will be available digitally starting on October 11…and I will definitely be picking it up and giving you a review…and on DVD and Blu-ray starting on November 1st.

[Via] LegoFreedom1