Shazam PSA - John Davey - Michael Gray

Have You Ever Seen This 70’s Shazam PSA?

In my youth there were a handful of comic book characters that I liked the most. Batman, The Creature Commandos, Captain America, as well as Captain Carrot. However when it came to heroes on television, it was a whole other matter. Especially on Saturday mornings when the The Shazam!/Isis Hour was playing on CBS. Although every episode of the show would end with a moral of the story, I didn’t know of a Shazam PSA!

[Via] Sean MC

As most of you know, Shazam is the magical word that young Billy Batson must utter to transform. With a blast of lightning from the Heavens, he becomes the mighty Captain Marvel. Of course being Filmation, even with it being a live action series, they had to slip in some animation. For example when Billy seeks counsel from the Elders who chose him to be Captain Marvel. Although not featured in this particular clip, Hercules is voiced by none other than Batman‘s Adam West.

[Via] Warner Archive

The Shazam! TV series lasted for 3 seasons, with a total of 28 episodes. Throughout the show, Billy Batson was played by Michael Gray, with the elderly Mentor being portrayed by Les Treymane.
Shazam PSA - Michael Gray

Captain Marvel however was played by two different actors during the series. The first actor was Jackson Bostwick. I have found some reports that he was fired after two episodes of the second season. The reason being he hadn’t shown up to the set, which indeed might have had a little to do with him having his face and eye examined. A stunt on the show, which Bostwick performed himself, didn’t go as planned. The Producers thought he was holding out for a bigger paycheck. In the end, Bostwick was replaced but won a court case against Filmation who had to pay him his contract fee.
Shazam PSA - Jackson Bostwick

It was John Davey that took over the role in Shazam! after Bostwick was let go. This included the episodes where Isis (JoAnna Cameron) and Captain Marvel crossed over into each other’s TV shows. This occurred a total of six times, with three crossovers for each series.
Shazam PSA - Isis - John Davey - JoAnna Cameron

Now then, ready to see that Shazam PSA?

[Via] Davey 7373

The Bridge - Peter J. Tomasi - Sara DuVall - Abrams Comicarts

The Bridge Is A Beautiful And Moving Graphic Novel

It shouldn’t shock a single soul that visits this site, that history is important to us. Sure, we spend most of our writing time pointing out the best in retro pop culture. However, even then we have constantly gone back and shared real moments of history. Whilst in my case it might focus more on horror films, video games, and animation. The truth is I of course am always eager to learn more about significant history. Which is exactly the case with Peter J. Tomasi and Sara DuVall’s upcoming graphic novel, The Bridge. I have not had the pleasure of reading a more entertaining as well as fascinating graphic novel in some time.

Abrams Comicarts was kind enough to send me a review copy of The Bridge. I picked it up last evening to read, and the 200 pages all but flew by. I will certainly admit I had never heard of Washington and Emily Roebling before opening the book. Nor of course, was I aware of how truly remarkable a journey Washington’s life had been. Thankfully through Peter J. Tomasi’s dream project, in addition to the beautiful artwork by Sara DuVall. You too will have the chance to find out, the type of vision and determination that was needed to see the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. As well as the absolute toll it took on both Washington’s health and the tragic loss of life it required to bring such a marvel of engineering to fruition.
The Bridge - Brooklyn Bridge

Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay Tomasi is he forced me to seek out more books about the Roeblings. The Bridge starts out in 1852, with a young Washington in some ways being molded by John Roebling, his Father. Or rather being forged into the type of person who could successfully bring about the Brooklyn Bridge. A project planned out by John and begun with his Son in 1869. It was however Washington who oversaw the actual construction.
The Bridge - Sara DuVall

A Civil War veteran, whose actions would be quite befitting a film itself, Washington Roebling wasn’t alone in his vision of the bridge. Emily Roebling proved what those of us who live in an “enlightened” age already know. There is not a single job or task that a Woman isn’t equally capable of performing. When her Husband’s health was threatened, it was Emily who ensured the project was on schedule. Supporting the Roeblings was a dedicated crew, men truly risking their lives to see the dream take shape. Just as, of course, Washington did himself – which is how he earned that respect.
The Bridge - Washington Roebling

With Tomasi and DuVall’s The Bridge, I have no doubt you will be just as amazed as I was. The story is both exhilarating and uplifting, a reminder of the good that can be accomplished for a noble endeavor. You can pick up a copy of the book on April 17th at better book dealers everywhere. Of course you can visit Abrams Comicarts official page to pre-order your copy today.

While you are waiting to grab your copy of The Bridge. Why not check out this clip from PBS America?

[Via] PBS America

Superhero Newspaper Strips - Title

Did You Read Superhero Newspaper Strips?

I love the Sunday newspaper comics and have for a long time. Full of comedy, there are so many strips to choose from. I especially liked the superhero newspaper strips. My grandparents always had bundles of them in their garage, from their delicatessen. I usually got to read them before they returned what didn’t get sold.

In 1979 there were comic strips about the World’s Greatest Superheroes, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Brenda Starr. Whoops! Skip the Brenda strip. Although, it was sort of fun. Kind of adventure/soap opera.

[Via] Video Detective

The superhero newspaper strips would offer full page colored posters for promotion. Just cut ‘em out and slap on your walls! Of the strips offered, my favorites were Hulk and World’s Greatest Heroes. The popularity of the Superfriends cartoon, Spider-Man cartoon and live action Hulk shows, was driving the demand for the strips.

“The World’s Greatest Heroes” strip started in 1978 and ran until 1985. Artists George Tuska and similar styled Vince Colletta were among the names working on the strip. It focused on Superman in its last years, scrapping the huge roster of characters.
Superhero Newspaper Strips - Batman

“The Incredible Hulk” strip started in 1978 and ended in 1982. It followed the basis of the big green guy’s television show, a wanderer trying to lay low while figuring out a cure for “hulking out.”
Superhero Newspaper Strips - The Incredible Hulk

Stan Lee and Larry Lieber started the strip off on it four year stint. Then, Lieber did both writing and art. Lieber eventually handed off art duties to Rich Buckler. The “Spider-Man “ strip started in 1977 and is still in daily papers today. Stan Lee wrote the bulk of the series and artists featured are John Romita Sr. and Larry Lieber, who is still working on the strip.
Superhero Newspaper Strips - Spider Man

Imagine the glee of finding stacks and stacks of these strips along your grandparents garage wall. You have nothing but time and a rainy afternoon to read this glorious stuff!

Honorable mentions for Superhero Newspaper Strips go to “The Phantom” and the “Star Wars”…


Superhero Newspaper Strips

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