Sunday, September 2, 2018

DC Comics 1993 Editorial Presentation



Something I love doing is going through old promotional pieces and finding comic book projects that never or barely came out. Often, these are books that I wouldn't care about if they'd actually been released, but they're far more intriguing when never realized (plus they don't cost me anything extra and have a life in the imagination.) Due to the outrageous success of comics in the 1990s, that decade was a hotbed of under-realized prospects, and there's a slew of them in "1993: The Year of Change" editorial presentation that was sent to retailers and industry types. I figured I'd highlight some of their misbegotten offerings.

  • Vince Russell never got to be that big of a name in comics, and is probably best known for inking Mark Bagley on Thunderbolts. He was set to draw the '90s Outsiders revival, but was replaced by Paul Pelletier. 
  • Not sure if this Kevin Nowlan Batman piece turned up anywhere.
  • Young playboy Rick Starr would have saved the 23rd Century from a hidden war between Earth and alien forces involving the Planeteers if Michael Jan Friedman, John Calimee & Mike Chen's 8-issue Space Ranger mini-series had come out. Randy DuBurke produced covers for issues #1, #2 and #3.
  • Here's a wicked little seen Deathstroke promotional image by Jerome K. Moore.
  • For a hot minute it looked like DC's was going to make Kirk Jarvinen a big deal, but he fell right off after producing this promo image for the ongoing Aquaman series that spun out of his "Time & Tide" mini-series. You know, the one drawn by Marty Egeland, who also fell off instead of staying the course, until we ended up with Jim Calafiore. You know, Jim Calafiore.

  • Vertigo's first and only crossover event, 1994's The Children's Crusade, was originally titled "Family Values." 
  • Dean Motter's The Heart of the Beast took twenty years to come out, with a different artist and publisher. 
  • Dick Foreman & Paul Johnson's The Rites of Alchemy was apparently, finally self-published as a giveaway in 2011. 
  • Captain Stone and the Dinosaurs was a planned one-shot by Val Semeiks and "hot new talent" (re: some dude named) Charlie Santino about time-travelers. Not sure how far that got, but there is an image in the book.
  • There was going to be a Ringworld comic by Adam Blaustein & Joe Staton that was stillborn, but here's the cover art.

DC Comics 1993 Editorial Presentation

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Who's Dat: Doctor Cobalt




PERSONAL DATA
Real Names: Onassis Sklar; "Stanley Cobalt"
Occupation: Super-criminal
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: United States
Height/Build: Average
Eyes: Light
Hair: Black
First Appearance: Triumph #1 (June, 1995)

HISTORY
In Post-Zero Hour continuity, Doctor Cobalt, the self-professed "Lord of the Atom" was a super-villain active in a period years prior to the modern age of super-heroes. The alter ego of Onassis Sklar was a thorn in the sides of both the local sheriff and the Golden Age hero Hourman, with whom he tangled often. One of Dr. Cobalt's associates was James "Jimmy Mac" MacIntyre, a getaway car driver and henchman who wore a green caped costume and drove a souped up muscle car dubbed the Finmobile. After a botched job, Sklar was wounded in the right shoulder and authorities were closing in. Jimmy Mac, acting as his wheelman, decided to take a detour to drop off their ill-gotten loot in an abandoned bomb shelter, just in case they got caught. Unbeknownst to Sklar, Jimmy Mac had arranged for his wife to steal the money out from under Sklar to take care of herself and their son "Billy Mac" if he ended up doing jail time. Sure enough, both men were soon captured, and six months into his stay at Statesville Penitentiary near Evanston, Sklar died from cancer.

Onassis Sklar's legitimate son Trevor grew up to become a lawyer, but Sklar also had a bastard named Stanley with one of his associates, May Westin. Stanley believed himself the rightful heir to the legacy of Doctor Cobalt, going so far as to legally change his surname and to repeatedly sue Onassis Sklar for a share of Onassis's estate. Through unrevealed means, Cobalt eventually developed powers and rebuilt or recovered the operation of his father. He maintained a secret base where he appeared to live with his mother, and purchased a garage from an fellow named Gomer who stayed on as his mechanic. Doctor Cobalt II arranged for Jimmy Mac to escape from prison, and after six months of work, the group was prepared to recover Onassis Sklar's final score.

However, the jailbreak eventually drew the attention of Jimmy Mac's son William, who was now operating as the super-hero Triumph due to the intervention of Hourman after his father's incarceration. Doctor Cobalt II repeatedly attempted to murder Triumph and his associates in "The Machine," as well as to frame Trevor Sklar as the culprit. Failing that, Cobalt began an intimidation campaign that was eventually used to force the Machine to aid in the recovery of the loot. Triumph misdirected Dr. Cobalt with his own plot, trapping him in a helicopter where his powers were dampened enough for Triumph to defeat him.



POWERS & WEAPONS:
Onassis Sklar was a brilliant scientist who fired radioactive blasts from his hands. Stanley Cobalt is also a great intellect, but seems to possess a much broader array of powers. From his cerebral cortex, Cobalt generates fierce electrostatic energy. He is a telepath, with telekinetic and hallucinogenic capabilities, although he is reliant on a connective medium (like the specialized suits worn by the Machine.) Doctor Cobalt II could simulate flight, strength and invulnerability through his telekinesis. In their first face-to-face confrontation, Dr. Cobalt easily brutalized Triumph, breaking multiple vertebrae and nearly killing him without trying (and in fact assuming it was a failed act when the Machine had to enact lifesaving measures.)

Quote:
"Your dad was a crook. Mine was a super-criminal. A master planner. He had a brilliant mind. Your dad was just my dad's grease monkey. His spear carrier."

Created by: Christopher Priest & Mike S. Miller

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Richard Dragon's Fists



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After nearly a year since the last episode... we're still doing random one-off spotlights rather than actually talking about the Bloodlines event. Richard Drakunovski was a bullied white boy who trained to become a world class martial artist under the Asian O-Sensei and/or an African-American man named Benjamin Stanley and/or Ben Turner, depending on what continuity we're talking about. This is all before we try to address Lady Shiva and her damsel-in-distress sister you probably never heard of. Set the Wayback Machine back to 1975 for our old coverage of Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #1, #2 & #3 and do a deeper dive on that last one by following along at Scans Daily. We'll also cover #4, and then 2004's Richard Dragon #1-6.

This episode's non-paying advertisers:
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

DC Special Podcast: Warner Bros.’ Justice League (2017)


Coarse Language: Listener Discretion is Advised


Rolled Spine Podcasts are on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, ShoutEngine and the Internet Archive.

To permanently save this episode’s MP3 file to your computer or other listening devices, right-click the link below to bring up sub-menu and select “Save Target/Link As…” Pick where you want it to save to, and you’re set.
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Meanwhile... Diabolu Frank, Mr. Fixit & Illegal Machine are unsurprisingly not unanimous in their assessment of the first ever JLA motion picture...

We Think You're Special!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Eclipso-- Hero and Villain in One Man!



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The show returns as part of a multi-blog/podcast crossover covering the 1992 DC Annual event Eclipso: The Darkness Within by offering a detailed account of the first three decades of the villain's career derived from numerous print and online sources. Created by Bob Haney and Lee Elias in 1963, Eclipso appeared in House of Secrets for 19 issues before moving on to guest roles in Justice League of America, Metal Men, Green Lantern, Adventure Comics, Outsiders, The Phantom Stranger and more! See the misadventures of Bruce Gordon, Mona & Simon Bennett as they combat the super-villain!

#BestEventEver Eclipso

  1. Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1

    Chris Is On Infinite Earths

  2. Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  3. Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #1

    Resurrections-An Adam Warlock Podcast Episode 61


  4. Green Lantern Annual #1

    For the Non-Discerning Reader


  5. Detective Comics Annual #5

    For the Non-Discerning Reader


  6. Superman Annual #4

    For the Non-Discerning Reader


  7. Justice League America Annual #6

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  8. The Demon Annual #1

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  9. The Flash Annual #5

    Coffee & Comics Podcast


  10. Action Comics Annual #4

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  11. Wonder Woman Annual #3

    Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman


  12. Green Arrow Annual #5

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  13. Robin Annual #1

    Chris Is On Infinite Earths


  14. Hawkworld Annual #3

    Pop Culture Palace Presents


  15. Deathstroke: The Terminator Annual #1

    Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman


  16. The New Titans Annual #8

    Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman


  17. Justice League Europe Annual #3

    Resurrections-An Adam Warlock Podcast Episode 62


  18. Batman Annual #16

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  19. L.E.G.I.O.N. '92 Annual #3

    I'm the Gun


  20. The Adventures of Superman Annual #4

    Professor Alan's Comic Book Reading Journal


  21. Eclipso: The Darkness Within #2

    I'm the Gun


Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Monday, June 5, 2017

DC Special Podcast: Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman (2017)


Coarse Language: Listener Discretion is Advised


Rolled Spine Podcasts are on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, ShoutEngine and the Internet Archive.

To permanently save this episode’s MP3 file to your computer or other listening devices, right-click the link below to bring up sub-menu and select “Save Target/Link As…” Pick where you want it to save to, and you’re set.
Download MP3

Meanwhile... Mr. Fixit & Illegal Machine try to talk down the hysterical, illogical Diabolu Frank as they shout about the latest addition to the DC Extended Universe for over two hours.

We Think You're Special!

Monday, March 27, 2017

DC Special Podcast: Justice League Unite Trailer (2017)

Coarse Language: Listener Discretion is Advised


Rolled Spine Podcasts are on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, ShoutEngine and the Internet Archive.

To permanently save this episode’s MP3 file to your computer or other listening devices, right-click the link below to bring up sub-menu and select “Save Target/Link As…” Pick where you want it to save to, and you’re set.
Download MP3

Meanwhile... Mr. Fixit, Illegal Machine, & Diabolu Frank talk about the first official trailer to the 2017 Warner Brothers Justice League film for about twenty times longer that the trailer actually runs, and the CGI is nowhere near as bad as our audio.

We Think You're Special!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Ballistic Sword of Azrael



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Bloodlines: Outbreak is nearly over! Before the first quarter of the event closes, we meet ex-S.W.A.T. officer Kelvin Mao in his insectoid exoskeleton, and a new blond Batman who is never positively identified throughout the story (with the reasons for his replacement only alluded to.) Guess that means we should also look at the Batman: Sword of Azrael mini-series and do an overview of Knightfall/Knightquest/KnightsEnd to better understand what Jean-Paul Valley is doing here. I once did a wine tasting tour in the Jean-Paul Valley. That's a joke I now regret because it conjures imagery I hadn't considered before making it. Where was I again? These were not engaging stories, so I keep getting distracted, but you can follow along with 1993's Batman Annual #17 at Scans Daily and get a deeper dive on the Azrael mini-series at NOT BLOG X.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: You May Call Me Doctor Mist!



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The ancient immortal African mystic Doctor Mist was introduced in a cameo on the last page of 1978's The Super Friends #12 before continuing into appearances in The Super Friends #13 & 45-46 before officially forming the Global Guardians in DC Comics Presents #46. We cover these comics to varying degrees, but our primary focus is the supposed true story of "Nommo," appended to tales starring Zatara and Zatanna. Is Dr. Mist one of the most powerful and important figures in the history of the DC Universe, or a sad and lonely fraud? You decide, and you can follow along with our reading of 1988's Secret Origins #27 at The Secret Origins Podcast.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: The Green Fury meets The Super Friends



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After slipping to an unintentional monthly schedule with some uncomfortable elements and unfortunate timing, the DC Bloodlines Podcast returns for a thirteenth episode set on breaking its unlucky streak (and nearly broke Diabolu Frank with all the editing it required.) In this novel edition, special guest Pekita Trotamundos helps produce a two-person radio drama in the style of ABC-TV's 1979 Saturday morning favorite, The World's Greatest Super Friends. This is meant to reflect the early appearances of Brazil's premier super-heroine in the DC Universe, Beatriz da Costa, originally known as The Green Fury! Later known as Fire, she was created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon for the comic book tie-in Super Friends #25, cover-dated October, 1979. After that brief cameo battling Superman, The Green Fury went on to appear in issues #42-44, with her origin finally revealed in a full length starring role in the series' final issue, the August 1981 cover-dated #47. Foregoing the usually biting commentary and contemporary music soundtrack, this episode is a loose adaptation of these stories featuring scores culled from numerous cartoon favorites of the era. However, there is a political subtext that's hard to miss. For a peek at the early Beatriz da Costa in action, here's a look at sample pages from The Super Friends #43 at Scans_Daily.


This episode's non-paying advertisers:
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Nightblade



Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or the Internet Archive, where you can also directly download an art-tagged MP3.



This episode looks at Nik Mayak, a New Blood with extraordinary body regeneration powers, supplemented by great agility and uncanny accuracy with blowing blades. Debuting in 1993's Green Lantern Annual #2, we give an overview of the rest of his career in Eclipso Annual #1 & Bloodbath #1-2, the Blood Pack mini-series, Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 & 39, Deathstroke the Terminator #49, Infinite Crisis #7, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #1-2, and finally 2010's Adventure Comics #4-5. You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Green Lantern



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The Guardians of the Universe chose Hal Jordan to be their Emerald Gladiator for Space Sector 2814, wielder of a Power Ring that could create jade energy constructs limited only by the bearer's willpower and a necessary impurity that rendered it ineffective against anything colored yellow. However, the day would come when Hal Jordan would falter, and on that day his successor would rise to command the energies derived from the Master Power Battery on Oa, and that man's name was John Stewart...

This episode, we look at the 1970s adventures of Neil Adams' & Denny O’Neil's Green Lantern John Stewart, DC Comics's first African-American super-hero (unless you count Vykin the Black or Black Racer, which virtually nobody does, despite Jack Kirby publishing them nearly a year earlier.) Also, an obligatory history of that jerk Jordan, mostly cribbed from Will Jacobs and Gerard Jones. You can follow along with our reading at Scans_Daily. Also, check out the Neal Adams interview at Robin Hood: Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: The Origin of Captain Comet!



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"He was a mystery to himself! Why-- young Adam Blake wanted to know-- was he so different from other people? How did it happen that there was no one else like him in the whole wide world? Where did he really come from? Who was he? All these questions which might have unsettled an ordinary mind-- only served to whet the brain and steel the mettle of the extraordinary youth who, without knowing it, was fated to fulfill a grand and awe-inspiring destiny on Earth-- as Captain Comet-- First Man of the Future!"


This episode, we explore comics' first mutant super-hero, a prototype from the Atomic Age who was a mental marvel and physical dynamo! Explore his Strange Adventures from the June 1951 cover-dated ninth issue through the twelfth, plus comparisons to 1987's Secret Origins Annual #1. You can follow along with our reading at Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: Myriad!



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This episode looks at the New Blood Myriad and the Cyborg Superman, neither of whom debuted in 1993's Superman Annual #5 (the only instance of that occurring in the Bloodlines annual event that was specifically created to introduce new characters.) Getting to know Hank Henshaw means going back to 1990 to cover Superman #42, Adventures of Superman #465 and especially Adventures of Superman #466, followed by Sasha Green's first (and technically last) appearance in Superman #77. Next we get to the actual story "Myriad!" followed by her cameo in Bloodbath Special #2 and her quasi-posthumous mentions in 1994's Action Comics #696 & 700 plus 1997's Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7. Finally, an overview of Frank's reading of Superman comics overall, as well as the career of Hank Henshaw specifically. This one gets political, so if you're still hypersensitive about the concept of President Trump, take heed. Bonus: Our podcast's debut appearance of the most successful New Blood, Hitman! You can follow along with our reading of the annual at Scans Daily.

This episode's non-paying advertisers: Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The DC Bloodlines Podcast: The Vixen is a Lady Fox



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Finally, the DC Bloodlines Podcast reveals its greater scope than just one 1993 event, but rather a mandate to cover the under-served DCU by looking at the earliest published (and especially the unpublished) comics of what was intended to be the first super-heroine series for a character of African decent, Mari McCabe: The Vixen! We start with the aborted 1978 first issue created by Gerry Conway & Bob Oksner from the second Xeroxed collection of "Cancelled Comic Cavalcade" and the rejected early '80s "The Power Squad" proposal before her accessible comics debut in 1981's Action Comics #521 and her second team-up with Superman in 1984's DC Comics Presents #68, plus supplemental material from Back Issue Magazine #40!


This episode's non-paying advertisers:
Spill Some Blood!!!* *across social media only.