Thursday, March 31, 2011


Welcome to the city of the darkest, most sordid future, San Futuro, and the S.F.P.D. log of Marshal Law! During a land war in a South American jungle, the U.S. government finally manages to create actual super soldiers from out of old comic books. However, their minds are not so super as to withstand the horrors of war and the changes to their bodies, so they eventually return home broken men. One such individual was Joe Gilmore, who was filled with loathing of the "capes" that lured his generation into ruining their lives. Gilmore became the one "super hero" willing to turn against his own and police the mean streets of San Futuro as the city's sole authorized "cape crusher." Marshal Law has been published by more companies than virtually any other comic book character, and his next stop is DC Comics. If Watchmen was the Citizen Kane of comics, Marshal Law was the A Clockwork Orange by way of Full Metal Jacket. It is deeply, hilariously offensive, catharticly toxic, and not for younger readers. Stay a while to indulge in the spectacle, and then sample these other great blogs over the holiday weekend!

Firestorm Fan:

The Source for DC Comics' Nuclear Man

The Indigo Tribe:

Green Lantern Reviews & Commentary

Speed Force:

Following the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive

The Web's Number One Website of Booster Gold, the Corporate Crusader!

Power of the Atom:

Sometimes the Sword of a Tiny Titan, other times saluting the Quantum Captain.

Diana Prince as the New Wonder Woman:

Figuring the Amazing Amazon out one "Bold New Direction" at a time.

The Idol-Head of Diabolu:

A Blog for J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars

Justice League Detroit:

Vibe! Vixen! Gypsy! Steel! Zatanna! Men Aquatic, Elongated & Batty!

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #6 (April, 1989)

Marshal Law had the airport staked out for Buck Caine, strip searching suspects at gunpoint at his own discretion. The Public Spirit was likely wounded in his fight with the Sleepman, reducing his flying ability. After catching a decoy, Law knew his prey was nearby, and gave chase through an airliner graveyard. The Public Spirit was "pumping ions," using his powers in ways that temporarily increased his offensive capabilities, and swelling his body.

Meanwhile, SHOCC had recovered and partially revived the Sleepman, though Marshal Law had watched the waters where he sank for hours to insure his passing. Father Hood and Doc SHOCC expected he would have further use, but "at first Danny will have ze mind of an infant und need a new mother... Bring zem forward. I tried zis experiment on chimpanzees: I remove ze baby from its' natural mother at birth, to see which surrogate it would respond to... Soft Mother who is gentle und loving... or Wire Mother who is hard und cold, but ze provider of food..."

Marshal Law thought back to his time with Lynn, and reference she had for a college paper. "The secret symbolism of the Public Spirit. How he's really the ultimate phallic symbol of male power." Exploration of this notion-- combat heroes as sexual metaphor-- continued over the present action. Law recalled the aggrandizing Public Spirit bubble gum cards, contrasted against "Zone Cards," an underground affair that depicted the grisly truth of what happened during America's dirty super hero war. Joe Gilmore's childhood favorite was Public Spirit, and one had led him to the other. "I was five when he left for the stars-- I remember I'd wanted to wear my Public Spirit costume to school-- twenty-nine when he returned. But he never grew old. He was like the heroes in the comic books. Forever young. Like all those who died in the Zone. Forever young."

Marshal Law felt the Public Spirit had betrayed the American dream and the super heroic ideal, leading young soldiers to the slaughter by his example. Caine turned the example around, pointing out Law's responsibility as a role model for his son. Danny knew Marshal Law could never return the love of a born super hero, so he resolved the conflict by becoming the Sleepman to please his birth mother and surrogate father. Physically beaten down, Marshal Law flew into an impotent rage at the accusation, as his former hero continued the assault. "You wimp! You fairy fighter! Anyone can tell from looking at you, you're a faggot! A pinko! A leather-clad tinker-bell! That's what's wrong with this country today... The feminists and the pinkos and the faggots are trying to take over... spreading subversion-- like AIDS! Spreading perversion!"

Part of Caine's theory was confirmed when Danny, at Doc SHOCC's urging, chose his mother... "Ma... Ma... Marshal Law..."

Law managed to hit Public Spirit with a fear-inducing neuro-toxin. "The realization he was all washed up made Public Spirit go 'soft'. He seemed to shrivel up in front of me... Now I'd never dream of hitting a man when he's down... That's true, you know... Well, all right... it's partly true... Okay, it's a lie." The Marshal worked Caine over good, and was prepared to haul him in, when a sniper rifle spilled Caine's brains from out of his head. Commissioner McGland thought Law would be pleased, but "I was looking forward to the trial of this piece of shit... So people can see the lie... So it can't happen again." Alas, that would have been too much of an embarrassment, and McGland already had a plane crash cover story to insure the Public Spirit's continued legacy...

Marshal Law visited the grave of his girlfriend, who had written of him before she died as Public Spirit's Dark Star Nemesis. She had questioned what kind of role model this fascistic, sadistic, but potentially masochistic figure would be. Regardless, the future of super heroics was his...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill
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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #5 (December, 1988)

The Sleepman was lost in a personal reverie in anticipation of his first meeting with Martial Law since his secret identity was revealed.

Danny Mallon was raised by his mother to hide his super powers and hate super-heroes, though he often failed at both pursuits. Danny would drape a curtain off his shoulders, and mother would paddle his bottom and call him "dirty boy!" She was highly manipulative, psychologically destructive, and set on using her son to avenge her dignity.

Even as a toddler, Danny had powers. In his teens, they prevented him from having sex with humans, but not fantasizing about it. His enormous penis proved a source of embarrassment when a daydream caused it to lift his desk. Like a Ditko character, shouts of "elephant's trunk" and visions of tape measures were all the anxiety Danny needed to self actualize. Ramos, a constant irritant, was murdered by ray blast under a bridge around October 4, 2008. Danny was finally ready for mother to tell him his origin story.

On learning his father, Buck Caine, had tried to murder mother and himself while he was still in the womb, Danny wanted the rewards he deserved as the progeny of the Public Spirit. "I'm a super hero... Where's my mansion?" Caine's crime could never be reported because of the inevitable SHOCC cover-up and dissection of Danny, so the pair lay in wait to take what they most desired in the future.

Danny became a computer expert, hacking SHOCC files to learn more truths. Doctor "SHOCC" Mendel's "hot-house" methods helped him turn embryos into future super children, with the consent of all-too-willing mothers. "Newly conceived embryos were washed from the womb, genetically reprogrammed with super physical characteristics, then replanted. My mother and father were among the early results." As time went by, Caine grew up, and helped "sell" super heroes to the general public. This led to eager young volunteers to become supers and fight in the Zone.

"Meanwhile, South America had conducted its own experiments in human engineering... As far back as 1979, Venezuela 'hot-housed' its entire 14 million population-- raising their mental skills... Other South American countries followed, hoping their 'super children' would find the solution to the continent's poverty. But when they grew up, many saw Marxism as the solution. South America exploded... The Zone began."

"The Big One" provided Danny with an excuse to play cripple, so that he would be above reproach when his intended patricide came due. As a secret policeman, he kept tabs on his returned father, and close proximity to personal hero Marshal Law. Danny also lusted after his father's new girl Celeste, which infuriated the sexually frustrated Virago, who demanded "I want you to kill her!" Danny practiced as Sleepman before the big kill. Danny wanted to confess his crimes repeatedly, but the timing was never right.

"I've rehearsed in my mind again and again what I was going to say to you, Marshal. Once you, too, knew I was bacteria. Now that moment has arrived. I hope you'll be tolerant enough to listen and not consider it too much of an imposition. You were always a very good friend to me. I realize I've let you down. Especially with Lynn. So I'd like to start by saying how sorry I am for what I did to her. I can't have given you a very good impression of me. But I didn't know she was your girl."

The Sleepman looked on as Public Spirit and Virago argued about old times on the beach. "Vi, have you forgotten how we were like brother and sister... before we were lovers. We grew up together... comforted each other when Doctor SHOCC was experimenting on us... I'd have never survived without you." Caine tried a bribe, but Virago wanted justice, with her son's help. "Bitch! Still trying to trap me! I'll shut you up for good this time!" The Sleepman only laughed, not lifting a finger as his father beat his mother to death.

Sleepman and Public Spirit traded ray blasts, until Caine fled when Marshal Law's Eagle craft appeared overhead. Law landed, and traded glares with Danny, who unmasked himself. "I was expecting an epic battle... A clash of titans..." Instead, Law calmly called him "bacteria," then gave him the "three star" treatment: a trinity of simultaneous shots of different types from his gun. "I was so surprised, I couldn't concentrate my electro-magnetic field to repel them all... And that was that. The end. Bit of a disappointment, really. But... you know best, Marshal. And, now I'm out of the way... you can go after father... Now he's finally killed mother, he can't escape justice... And I can sleep forever." Danny sank into the water, a wound through his left breast trailing blood, and lay at the ocean floor swaddled in his black cape...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
1987 Marshal Law Promotional Sticker

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #4 (August 1988)

Celeste worried about the effects of her fiance Buck Caine's use of anabolic steroids-- his mood swings, depression, and other health concerns. All the other heroes are doing it, but she can't stand not to get to her peak on her own...

The California Bastards moved into Gangreen's territory, molesting civilians and extorting money. A rumble ensued, drawing the attention of Marshal Law, hovering above on the Eagle. Exchanging fire with the Bastards, the talons of the Eagle latched onto their car, and dropped most of them in the bay. One survived to climb toward Law, with his obscene muscles and claws protruding from his fists.

"The California Bastards were amputees who'd replaced limbs they lost in the war with weapons... and undergone extensive self-mutilation. I figured he was the leader. Following the mauling Gangreen had taken recently, it was inevitable they would stage a take-over." Law needed Gangrene to maintain a peaceable balance of power, so he mauled the Bastards to even things up.

As the violence ebbed, Law found Mrs. Mallon's corner store had been ransacked. She moaned, "I tell you, when I die, I won't go to Hell, because I've had my hell here with super-heroes... They're filth! Bacteria! The lowest form of life!" Danny was present as his mother ranted, and apologized for her histrionics while offering new information. "It's about the Public Spirit... He's taking anabolic steroids. It strikes me as totally ridiculous he should have so much attention and acclaim when he owes it all to a needle... I wonder if Father O'Brian found out. He's pulled out of the wedding now... That should be all you need to prove he's the Sleepman? You're going to arrest him at the wedding?"

Marshal Law visited Father O'Brian in his confessional, demanding to know why he'd pulled his services from Public Spirit and Celeste. "...We both know you're not as strong as Montgomery Clift. We both know about the times you yielded to temptation." It seemed the Father still had lust for the ladies in more than his heart. O'Brian said Caine admitted to killing the Siren Virago, who had tried to trap him into marriage with their unborn child. Caine had the matter brought to mind because he also suspected Virago had survived and given birth...

Celeste prepared for her big day: "They call me a star whore... a female icon who's set the cause of women's emancipation back thirty years... I call them a bunch of jealous dykes... They're trying to say I encouraged the Sleepman. You know the argument-- if you have a ten dollar bill hanging out of your pocket, expect to be robbed. Sorry-- but it's still stealing... Anyway, that's all over and done with now. I'm getting married to Buck and we'll live happily ever after... If that's being a 'star whore'... Guess who pulled the best trick in the world?"

Sleepman made an argument of his own, as he burst into Celeste's room...

Outside, Caine's estate was swarming with super-heroic guests and media. The Public Spirit had a perfectly canned greeting, but was visibly annoyed when one reporter asked, "So we can expect children, then? If it's a boy, he'd have both yours and Celeste's super powers. Surely that would make him the greatest super hero of all time...? Will you re-invest your dreams in your son? So he can reach even greater heights than you?" Commissioner McGland smirked as the Public Spirit excused himself.

Marshal Law stormed the compound, gun drawn, searching for Celeste. The revelry he took in en route shook his slightly. "If Hydroman, Aquanaut and H2O Lad want to hold a depilatory party... I guess it's none of my business."

Law found Celeste's body. "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Should have realized it was you all along-- only I wanted it to be him so badly... I was too eaten up with hate for the Public Spirit... The two of you used that hate... to wind me up... to set me up... I'm the patsy. The fall guy. The executioner. Like a siren, you seduced me... with your song of hate... He failed to kill you... so for twenty five years you 'slept'... waiting for him to return from the stars... Dreaming of a thousand ways to hurt, humiliate and destroy him... as he'd destroyed you. Using a disguise a thousand times more effective than all the masks, hoods and secret bases... a corner shop. Where you and Danny planned a punishment to fit his crime: Public Castration. And found someone stupid enough to do it for you."

Marshal Law burst into the chapel, and drew down on Public Spirit, voices in his head compelling him to "Blow his balls off! NOW!" Law fought off the telepathic suggestion, and tore the maid disguise off Mrs. Mallon. She continued to expose herself, revealing the Virago costume underneath her clothes...

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill.

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #3 (April 1988)



Under the Secret Powers Act no mention is to be made of the following:
1) The death of the Public Spirit's first fiancee, the Siren Virago, twenty five years ago in a drowning accident.
2) The false accusation of police auxiliary Marshal Law that she was murdered by the Public Spirit because she was pregnant.
3) His further accusation that her pregnancy would have prevented the
Public Spirit from going on his star mission.
4) SHOCC Policy that such astronauts must not have children, due to time dilation on ships traveling close to the speed of light.
5) Any connection between the Public Spirit and the Sleepman: the murderer and rapist of five women dressed like the Public Spirit's second fiancee, the Siren Celeste.
6) The rape and murder by the Sleepman of the student Lynn Evans who was dressed as Celeste during a feminist protest at the Superdome.

Marshal Law fought to contain the caped criminals' violent breakout at the Superdome, but broke off engagement when he spied the Sleepman flying overhead. The serial killer landed in Hero-Land, where he was found by a pair of boys playing at being super. "They, too, have been afflicted by this super hero disease. Fortunately, I can cure them. I could not bear for them to go through what I went through as a child..." The boys were soon no more among the living. "Now, be brave lad... Remember... you're a hero."

The Sleepman lay in wait for Marshal Law, firing energy blasts from his hands into Gilmore's chest. "You would not think he was an antibody. When you look at him... you see, at first, a brutal thug... But when you look closer, you see... a brutal thug. But look closer still-- behind the mask-- and you see... the face of justice. The face of ordinary humanity. Fighting back, with righteous anger, against those of us who act as if we were gods... who look down from our Olympian mansions on lesser mortals... I salute you with my beams, Marshal. I love you. I love the work you do." Law and the Sleepman continued to exchange fire and blows, until the filth humbled the Marshal long enough to escape.

Marshal Law hit his regular corner store on the way home, where he chatted with MILF proprietor Mrs. Mallon, and picked up a noticeably lighter order. "She's left you then? Oh, I'm sorry, Marshal. I know how you feel. I remember when Danny's father left us... I never thought I'd get over it-- but you do... in time..."

Joe Gilmore began rebuilding the wall that separated his apartment from that of his murdered girlfriend Lynn. Earlier, her majorly uptight parents had stopped by to collect her things. "How could they ever understand Lynn? They told me they'd tried. They told me about all the arguments. All the unhappiness she'd caused them. I should have told them not to worry, she wouldn't make them unhappy anymore... but I was choking at the time. As they left, he whispered, 'Did you see the needle marks on his arm? He's another one pressing the self-destruct button.' Before I met Lynn I thought I knew everything. Then I read her books. Listened to her ideas... She'd opened up my world. But her parents were right. I was on something all right. Pure hate."

Returning to duty at his secret police cave, Marshal Law learned Scapegoat had been arrested from Danny. "He confessed to being the Sleepman. Wanted to know if he'd done enough to go to the chair." Danny then briefed Law on new evidence gathered that Public Spirit had the same rare blood type as the Sleepman. Kiloton added that he'd heard at a party from She-Beast that Buck Caine was furiously jealous over Celeste's sexploits as a Siren. Marshal Law presented these findings to a disinterested Commissioner McGland. "I was a SHOCC Officer in the Zone. Marshal Law served under me, so I know how to handle him. Especially as I'm a super hero myself. I'm a super liar." Appealing to his patriotism, promising action after Caine's nuptials, and noting Public Spirit's upcoming donation of a million dollars to the Midnight refuge for disabled heroes/veterans, McGland brought his dog to heel. "I save the best for last... I arrange for the Public Spirit to visit the Midnight to present the check... Marshal Law has to make a welcoming speech... It nearly kills him... I've put the lid back on the scandal and no... unpleasantness."

Buck Caine made with messianic posturing amongst the hobbled Midnight patients, while Sorry the Nearly Man tended to their needs without any sign of glory forthcoming. When the Public Spirit made his exit, he found Gangreen vandalizing his car. Caine blew Hot Head's cranium to pieces with an energy blast exactly like the one the Sleepman had launched earlier. Marshal Law jumped into the fray, bludgeoning Suicida and his gang with a sledgehammer. McGland was pleased that the San Futuro Police Department's own vigilante lawman, their "lunatic with barbed wire wrapped round his arm, who out-Ramboes Rambo," would continue to show the public they were on top of neighborhood crime at "a fraction of the price of really policing the inner city." Public Spirit was glad to be off Law's hook. Sorry proclaimed, "A team-up at last!" And Marshal Law himself...?

"Enjoy your freedom... Until your checks cleared. Until-- the wedding. Then I'm coming after you again... Buck. If you're the new messiah... I'm going to be the one to drive in the nails."

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #2 (February 1988)

"Before I became a secret policeman I had two other identities... I was a Screaming Eagle in the Zone... When we got home I became the vet and tried to sort out... I'm also trying to be a normal person... Joe Gilmore, unemployed blue collar worker living in the inner city... I'd met Lynn during the Big One when the wall between our apartments fell down. We'd been partying ever since." Lynn was asleep in their bed, having wasted the day instead of attending her Communication Studies lecture, "throwing away a chance I never had." Lynn was less concerned about her final year in college than her student activism, which tended to be directed against super heroes. "The idea of making it with a masked man revolts me." Feeling a bit self-conscious and defensive about his alter ego, Joe asked his girlfriend how she felt about Marshal Law. "That fascist pig? That's even worse! That's really sick! 'Sides, anyone who wears a costume like that's got to be gay. I prefer someone normal like you."

"The Superdome was an excuse by Super-Life Laboratories to show off the result of Doctor Shocc's genetic breakthrough... The possibilities were endless... and so were the mistakes, but they kept them hidden underground... I'm all for progress, but you have to draw the line somewhere. At Super-Life Laboratory they'd thrown away the ruler." The Superdome was like a state fair of super-heroics, with carnival rides, caped celebrities, Zone-themed play activities, and recruiting booths. There was also Father O'Brian, damning Celeste as a wanton woman, and calling for her lusty admirers to confess their impure thoughts to God. Mrs. Mallon was present, and disparaged Celeste in comparisons to Pod People and herself in younger years. She pushed her son Danny's wheelchair as he too took in the sight of Celeste, but his thoughts were more in line with those the padre was warning against. Marshal Law chatted with his grocer and co-worker, until Mrs. Mallon took her leave and the discussion shifted to a dark moment in Public Spirit's past. "Danny is my computer operator. He'd managed to hack into confidential SHOCC files."

Colonel Buck Caine was engaged to Celeste. Celeste was a retired Siren, a SHOCC "sleeper" spy with super-sexual powers, that ply trade in exchange for secret information. A quarter century earlier, Public Spirit had been engaged to another Siren, Virago, whom Caine reported as having accidentally drowned shortly before his mission to the stars. "But the most interesting bits in the report were the missing bits in all that lying bullshit."

Public Spirit was making a personal appearance at the Superdome, to greet his fans and hold a question & answer session. While Caine remained young thanks to relative time at near-light speed during his space trip, all the P.Y.T.s that saw him off were now well worn middle-aged women. Marshal Law cut through the soccer moms and geeks lobbing Caine softballs, and began grilling the outwardly pious, unimpeachable Public Spirit. Law led Caine into a trap, discussing the various limitations of Public Spirit's powers before holding up a card and asking, "Well, can you read this?" He could. It read, "Do you go around with a bag over your head raping women?" Rattled, Marshal Law pressed the "hero" about Virago, and how if he had married her, wouldn't he have been refused as an astronaut due to her aging in his absence... especially if she were carrying his child? "Only her body was never found to check." Law openly accused Caine of murder, and was dragged off by SHOCC troopers.

At the order of Father Hood, Doctor Shocc's heir apparent, the troopers began to rough Law up. "Do you know what it would mean if your filthy allegations were true? Cane's the star of the space program for chrissakes! Don't you care about your country?" The Marshal gave better than he took, and walked away on is own feet. "It's because I care!"

Meanwhile, Lynn was outside the Superdome with two fellow protesters, all dressed as super heroes, but with pig masks over their faces. "Super hero costumes promote sexual stereotyping demeaning to women... and legitimize the result of hideous genetic experiments carried out in the name of 'progress'...Such as the Sirens, women specifically created as 'sex machines'..." Lynn tried to rally support for the cause... even amongst the other two guys protesting. Turned out the only reason they came was to see Lynn in a Celeste costume. She threw her pig mask at them and stormed off toward a deserted area around the Superdome. The Sleepman followed.

"This isn't happening. Bad things never happen to me. They always happen to other people. To 'that poor girl down the road.' Cases you read about in the papers. On T.V. Never to me. Never to me! I'm 'that poor girl down the road.' 'Did you hear what happened to her?' they'll say. 'Oh, it was shocking! Shocking!' Never to me. Never to meeeeeeeeeee! Nev..." She was raped. She was murdered. At her request, he didn't wear a bag over his head. Instead, it was a revolting gray mask sculpted to resemble the squiggly inner tubing of a body. His blue eyes stared into hers. His dripping tongue probed her mouth. His knives penetrated her body.

Guards spotted the Sleepman after the act, and were cut to ribbons. More followed, as the filth made his way into the bowels of Super-Life Laboratories, and released "mistakes" from their cells. "They, too, are super heroes. And should be punished. In my place. Hitler Hernandez... The Betrayer... Scapegoat... Slug Fest... Rimfire... GrimGram... Blue Murder... and other unspeakable creatures who should not have been brought into existence. But one is coming who will take them out... He will hunt us all down..."

Marshal Law found Lynn's body, mostly nude, slit down the middle, Sleepman's bag-mask covering her privates. He cradled his personal WiR, then set upon the escapees, who had begun to massacre the Superdome attendees.

"...He will not rest until he has found us. And given us... what we oh, so richly deserve... Some say punishment is not the answer... We should be shown sympathy and understanding... People should pray for us... He prays for us. He prays we all go to Hell."

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law #1 (October 1987)

San Futuro, the former San Francisco, is a bombed out hell hole in a time after the Big One hits. Through its night time streets, a woman (barely) dressed in the costume of Celeste ran from a murderous stalker. She briefly encountered a pseudo-Shadow analogue.

"A masked man's following me! Can you tell me where the nearest police precinct is?"
"Sorry-- it's a secret."
"Do you know their phone number?"
"Sorry-- it's unlisted."
"Well, will you help me?"
"Sorry-- that's a job for the police."

The poor doomed girl was a strippergram in a stupid get-up who was going to be raped and murdered for no crime beyond a sartorial mistake; number five in a series. Her killer was far more guilty, including his one wardrobe choice: a skintight gray-black number, baring claws measured by the foot, and a brown sack with an eye hole tied over his head.

"I am bacteria. I am the lowest form of life. I am a super hero. My flagella are my hands. I see the world through my vacuole. I wear a bag over my head because I'm ashamed of what I am, and what I'm going to do. I am called the Sleepman. I am the pits."

Her body fell through the disabled trolleybus home of Sorry-- The Nearly Man, whose distasteful power/deformity proved no help to him in war or after. A pathetic fanboy perpetually garbed in an unwashed costume, he was assumed the murderer when the Ex-SHOCC troopers turned gangbangers Gangreen stumbled upon them. Led by Suicida, who'd taken to wearing a necklace of severed human ears while fighting in the Zone, the gang "tried" and lynched Sorry. The Nearly Man was saved by the timely arrival of Marshal Law, astride the Eagle, a sort of motorcycle/VTOL hybrid. Law began beating and killing his way through Gangreen, aided by a handgun that fired specialty rounds. The first shown, "dragnet," released spinning sensory lines that caused an explosion on contact. Suicida managed to snag the gun while being assaulted, and shot Law with a "hotline," which sent a debilitating signal to the brain faster than a super hero's "pain gate" could close it out. Law hid under a car until he could recover, then ran off Gangreen by chucking the vehicle at them.

Marshal Law went with his excited fan Sorry back to the trolley, so that belongings could be gathered before the Nearly Man would be dropped off at "The Midnight," a sort of VA for disabled super heroes. Law never suspected Sorry in the murder. "Doctor SHOCC gave us super powers to win the war. Worst of all, he gave us power over pain. If you can't receive pain, you want to inflict it. To see what you're missing. You become capable of anything... Maybe that's why I like vulnerable people... people with problems. People who aren't goddam perfect."

While conventional wisdom was that the Sleepman was a "surp'-- a surplus hero driven crazy by the Zone," Law set his sights a lot higher. "...Autopsies of the bodies-- blood and semen samples-- suggested he was a flyer... Their superhuman metabolism made a sexual relationship with an ordinary woman highly dangerous... Only a few super heroes, like the Public Spirit, could fly... That was the real reason he was engaged to Celeste... the Sirens were secret agents with super sexual powers... but maybe she still wasn't enough... There were stories..."

Marshal Law hit his regular corner store on the way to the station, where he picked up his usual, and chatted with MILF proprietor Mrs. Mallon and "The Midnight's" priest Father O'Brian. Mallon was full of hate for the super gangs and openly flirtatious with Law, who worked with her handicapped son as a fellow Cave-Cop... "That's what they call us when we work out of secret police precincts..." His was littered with masks and corpses of super heroes who should have left well enough alone.

Marshal Law held a teleconference with Commissioner McGland regarding the latest murder, though Law's suspicions about an "uptown" suspect were swiftly dismissed. Mrs. Mallon's boy Danny tended to Law's wounds, and alerted him when Gangreen was detected breaching one of the entrances to the precinct. Danny had several options available to wipe out the "vermin" en masse, but Law wasn't willing to see a turf break out in their sudden absence. Instead, Law and his massive sometime-partner Kiloton "greeted" Suicida's crew with heavy fire, sending them packing. "Let 'em go... They're just the symptoms... I'm after the disease!"

Created and owned by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

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Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Marshal Law--Fear and Loathing Prologue (June 1990)

"I was five when I felt the magic... The whole Jesus League of America was assembled... Stigmata... Shroud... Virago... Sin-Gorger... Monstrance... Private Eye... Devil's Tool (later known as Rubber Johnny)... Black Abbot and his ward Red Riding Hood... Purgatory and Whipping Boy... and their leader: super hero supreme... Colonel Buck Caine... The Public Spirit.

They were there to announce man's first mission to the stars... I didn't understand it all... especially the way girls made a fuss about him... but Buck seemed above that sort of thing... Soon after, he ascended into Heaven...

Years later, I tried to follow him... Instead... I descended... into Hell."

Joe Gilmore was an impressionable young lad who idolized the Superman-type that was the Public Spirit. Colonel Buck Caine saw it as God's will that he should join the astronauts Sherman and Lomas in their mission to reach Nemesis, our sun's dark companion star. "Travelling close to the speed of light, the round trip had taken two years... While, due to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, a quarter of a century went by on Earth." In the meantime, other artificially empowered beings were created by S.H.O.C.C., Super Hero Operational Command and Control, to fight in a Vietnam-style quagmire called the Zone. "Doctor SHoCC says... 'Thanks to my unique operation, you can go into combat without fear! When wounded, an electrical stimulator in your body will cause fat nerve fibers to generate fast impulses, closing a 'pain gate' at the spinal cord before slower pain signals from thin nerve fibers reach it. Result: No pain! Because no pain impulses can reach your brain!'"

Gilmore enlisted, joining the Screaming Eagles in a jungle nightmare, serving under McGland and alongside the future Suicida. "While back home... the long-awaited 'Big One'... the mega-quake... arrived. Nothing... would ever be the same again. Downtown became a no-go area... controlled by warring gangs. The new times... called for new solutions. New ways of dealing with law-breakers."

"After the Big One destroyed San Francisco... after the war in the Zone ended in stalemate... after the super heroes came home... It was time for... Marshal Law."

The utterly, irreparably devastated San Francisco was re-dubbed "San Futuro." The utterly, irreparably devastated Joe Gilmore was re-dubbed "Marshal Law." In his own words, "I'm a hero hunter... I hunt heroes... Haven't found any yet... Bad old days... Bad new days... We'd come full circle... Only now the outlaws were called super heroes... Lot of people say I hate super heroes... That's not true, you know... Well, all right... it's partly true... Okay, it's true. I hate the way they look... I hate what they were ordered to do. I hate what they turned us into. 'Cos God help me, I'm one. Only one who wanted the job of doing it to his own."

An eight page prologue to the 1987 "Marshal Law" mini-series from Epic Comics was created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for the 1990 trade paperback collection "Fear and Loathing." While rather decompressed when compared to the dense original story, the introduction was so seamless that it led directly into the cover reproduction of the first issue, a virgin offering that appeared as though it were a silent story page. The piece is filled with in-jokes and references to future volumes, and is the sort of extra I miss in the perfunctory collections of modern times. Trades were still an extravagance back then, you see, and having read most of the story in that volume, I can't separate the "extra" in my mind from the whole (especially a callback to a couple of gag panels in the second issue.)

Comments: 0
Posted by Diabolu at 12:00 AM

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who's Dat: Muhammad X

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Real Name: Unknown
Occupation: Vigilante
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Harlem, New York
Height: 6'3*
Weight: 225 lbs.*
Eyes: Unknown
Hair: Black
First Appearance: Superman #179 (April, 2002)

Departing from his psychiatrist's office, Superman happened upon an armed robbery suspect fleeing the scene of the crime. His efforts were ridiculed by local militant black hero Muhammad X. "Just what is Superman doing in Harlem?" Muhammad X didn't believe the Man of Steel cared about his people, and though he was only interested in seeing more of the "right kind" of hero. "I took the names of my two heroes. --Don't pretend you know anything about me. I took those names proudly and to honor men who have done more for the black cause than I could ever hope to. Who did you take your name from?"

Muhammad X sent Superman packing, giving the Man of Steel feet of clay regarding the effect he has on African Americans by being such a powerful and omnipresent white metahuman. Consulting with Natasha Irons and the Star-Spangled Kid, Superman found the younger generation approved of Muhammad X.

A few days after a pep talk from the Martian Manhunter, Superman returned to Harlem to confront Muhammad X, who was unswayed by the Kryptonian's protestations that he also faced prejudice as an alien and sought brotherhood with all mankind.

"Let me spell it out for you. We don't have any super-powered mad scientists, giant robots or aliens trying to take over this neighborhood. Nobody like that would want to."

Created by: Jeph Loeb and Ariel Olivetti


Friday, March 25, 2011

1992 Gemir Alien Parasite Form Character Design by Arthur Adams

Click To Enlarge

Set to scale against a Green Lantern Hal Jordan oddly reminiscent of Mike Mignola (who used to ink Art Adams in their early days,) here's the vainglorious scarlet Gemir in all his vampire pterodactyl bat-thing glory! You can check out the fuzzy scan of the original art through the hotlink above (complete with the taped over "Greed" logo,) or check out the larger, clearer, edited photocopy sent out to DC creators of the time at Chuck Dixon's blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics #3 (March, 1940)

"Every day millions of people listen to Billy Batson bringing thrilling news broadcasts direct from the scene of - spectacular fires - sensational prison breaks - death-dealing hurricanes!" In an unintentionally amusing series of panels, Billy broadcasts through a green backpack with a four foot antennae sticking out of it and a scoop microphone hung around Billy's neck protruding another foot in front of him. Never mind the child endangerment involved with Billy dangling from uprooting trees amidst flames and gunfire. Of course, CPS wouldn't know Billy was also "-Captain Marvel- The World's Mightiest Man."

The President of the U.S.A. received a handwritten note demanding he resign and declare Sivana emperor of the United States. Nothing so puny as knocking over banks for our boy Sivana, eh? Plus, Sivana had the most fabulous "lonely mountain fortress" in comic book history. This thing looked like it was painted in Crayola by a kindergartener tripping balls on psychotropic substances. Billy Batson says, "Kids! Don't Lick Toads!" I'm not sure where the loneliness comes from either, because "Sivana, mad scientist of destruction" was depicted with a broad grin on his face, giving an Arsenio Hall "whoop" to the troops in his mighty army. "Thousands of super-soldiers - hundreds of streamlined tanks - guns that can fire 75 miles - and 120 m.p.h. combat cars - are supported by the mightiest air fleet in history." I'm picturing Lex Luthor feeling like a redheaded stepchild, abandoning work on some new form of dynamite that will, um, be more explody... eying up all those wonderful toys and trying to figure if he could pull off a bald pate in his truly lonely warehouse lab near Suicide Slum.

When you've got an army, and F.D.R. sics his g-men on you, might as well send a lovely hand-written note that concisely declares war on the United States. Signed simply "Sivana," but you can feel the love there, right? The skies filled with troops and tanks parachuted onto American soil, then Billy Batson made his cumbersome way via prop plane. The kid proceeded to wander through the battlefield, heavy artillery zooming past his ridiculous aerial, reporting the news until "This is a job for Captain Marvel!" Yeah, sorry, it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

One "Shazam!" later, and bullets were bouncing off the World's Mightiest Man as he tossed multi-secondary-colored tanks against one another. Sivana's troops managed to dig out a gun turret foxhole in rural Connecticut or somewhere, and Captain Marvel twisted those poor bastards up in a silent, silhouetted panel that fairly screamed "Shazamland execution," causing Sivana's soldiers to retreat.

Billy Batson somehow managed to sneak behind enemy lines to the tent of Sivana's general, despite standing at about nine feet tall with his broadcasting gear. One soldier finally caught on to the kid, and grabbing him, was treated to a sock by Captain Marvel in a quick change. Meanwhile, the general had boarded a plane to meet with Sivana. Marvel raced after it, managed to grab the landing gear in a magnificent leap, and stood on the fuselage for the trip to the mountain fortress.

Given that Captain Marvel made no attempt to conceal himself, it was little surprise that Sivana spotted him before landing, and arranged for the hero to be met by armed bodyguards. Captain Marvel rushed at the men, grabbed an overhead pipe, and swung his boots across his enemies' faces. Marvel pressed forward, but was felled by a gas attack.

As Captain Marvel was chained to a wall, Sivana laughed with a "Hih! Hih! Hih!" Sivana then showed off his latest machine of destruction, a three part atom smasher painted green, red and blue. "In five minutes that machine will blast you to bits. But I won't be here. Goodbye, Captain-" You've got to respect Sivana's willingness to blow up his mountain fortress of fabulosity to nip this super-hero business in the bud. No elaborate death trap here. He's like, "Look, I can't shoot him, and I'm not screwing around until he manages to get loose. I'm just going to blow everything to hell as soon as I can reach minimum safe distance."

Unfortunately for Master Sivana, he'd promised his troops that invading the States was a can't lose proposition, and a bunch of them came back to confront him on the oversight. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel burst free from his chains and leapt out a window. Seconds later, the atom smasher blew the fortress to kingdom come. "Farewell, Sivana," Marvel said with a wave. Shazam, and Billy Batson was reporting "Ladies and gentlemen, Sivana is dead- by his own hand!" Quite the sensational scoop, but while the story ends asking the question of whether Sivana was really dead, what I wanted to know is where that broadcasting equipment went while Billy was Captain Marvel...

The first story in Whiz Comics #3, sometimes referred to as "Sivana Strikes Again," was written by Bill Parker and drawn by C.C. Beck with Pete Costanza.

Golden Age Day

Sunday, March 20, 2011

DC/WS DreamWar #1 (June, 2008)

Happy Harbor, Rhode Island was rocked by a tsunami. The Silver Age Justice League of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and the Atom looked on from the cave entrance to their Secret Sanctuary.

The Carrier trawled "the edge of existence" known as The Bleed, a space that flowed between realities in the Wildstorm multiverse. Aboard, The Authority viewed a number of anomalous entries into their universe: a T-shaped tower on top of Riker's Island Prison... a rocket ship in Siberia ("as envisioned by a grade school kid.")

Mr. Majestic investigated the former, and was taken down by The New Teen Titans. He recovered just after Spartan came to his aid. A scuffle ensued, and the Titans escaped. That is, except for Cyborg, possession of whom came into dispute when the Authority hit on the scene.

In Tranquility, Oregon, Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Ted Grant looked into a retirement home.

In Siberia, Stormwatch argued with local authorities over access to the crash site. Invisible Kid and Chameleon Boy spied on both parties.

In a Larkin, Arkansas trailer park, a fat man with a slit throat sat in a chair. A younger, heavyset man lay in bed. Superman looked in on him as he slept and smiled. "Kf... Never again."

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part one, "Chimera Rising," was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

Homage Studios Sunday

Friday, March 18, 2011

1992 DC Comics Bloodlines Full Page Teaser Ad

"In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream." No wait, make that "Insatiable, otherworldly hunger..." Any way you play it, we all know we're looking at an Alien riff. The art was taken from a Christian Alamy splash page in Lobo Annual #1. I'm not sure how long or in how many books this ran, but I pulled my scan from June 1993's Wonder Woman #75.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Great Comic Book Heroes: Superman

Jules Feiffer observed, "The advent of the superhero was a bizarre comeuppance for the American dream... Once the odds were appraised honestly, it was apparent you had to be super to get by in this world." He went on to note that all the pulp heroes like the Shadow and Green Hornet were fakes getting by with gimmicks, while Superman was essentially omnipotent. That being the case, Feiffer questioned the geeky Clark Kent put-on. "Superman as a secret masochist? Field for study there... why not a more typical identity? ...The truth may be that Kent existed not for the purposes of the story but for the reader. He is Superman's opinion of the rest of us, a pointed caricature of what we, the noncriminal element, were really like." Fans of "Kill Bill" may recall Tarantino and Carradine swiping the argument. I beg to differ.

Who amongst us talks to children openly as equals? That don't wish to be arrested, or at least become scorned by society? How can you be anything but at least a little patronizing and reserved amongst minds that just are not mature enough to be subjected to naked truth? It isn't that Superman critiques mankind-- it's just that Clark Kent is as close as he can come comfortably to our level. Yes, he's talking down to us, but with the best of intentions.

"It seems that among Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Superman there existed a schizoid and chaste menage a trois... it appears he wanted Lois to respect him for his fake self... to be there when he pretended he needed her. She never was -- so, of course, he loved her. A typical American romance. Superman never needed her... Lois chased him -- so, of course, he didn't love her... Clark Kent acted as the control for Superman... Our cultural opposite of the man who didn't make out with women has never been the man who did -- but rather the man who could if he wanted to, but still didn't... Real rapport was not for women. It was for villains. That's why they got hit so hard."

Alternately, Superman could be the overprotective guardian. Lois wants Superman, in ways a child should not want her super-daddy. Superman, naturally, races to protect her when she once again is endangered, but is then skeeved out by her advances. However, Superman is a loving authority figure who doesn't want to damage the girl's self-esteem, so he provides her with a safe, undesirable affirmation of her womanhood-- Clark Kent. Just a theory.

Next we could consider Larry Niven's 1971 essay, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. Suddenly, his heartbreaking, repetitive returns to save doomed Krypton through time travel make so much sense. Even if the Strange Visitor from Another Plant were willing to stoop to pedophilia/bestiality and lie with creatures of another species, who's to say they wouldn't "break." I seem to recall Superman once had a doomed romance with a blond actress on Krypton whose name escapes me-- that is before the world died. Of course he'd know unfathomable longing for his time-lost movie star lady love... it's the reciprocity I wonder about. Sure, Superman would be a sweetly naive, rugged brute of a man to a native Kryptonian. That might keep your interest for a while. Then it starts to set in that this guy has not spent his life amongst his super-intelligent brethren, but simple grade-schoolers. Likely the "special" kind. What would you talk about? Further, if there's one area Superman would fall short under the circumstances, it's "experience." Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? These are not quite accolades when applied to one's tender nether regions. Perhaps it was best to leave Krypton as it no longer stood? They'd always have Argo City...

I once had similar thoughts about the Martian Manhunter, until he went through a streak in the 90's when he started bed hopping. I came up with another idea for him, which can be read here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 The Huntress by Cat Staggs

Click To Enlarge

11 x 15
Bristol Vellum
Copic Markers/ white water color/digital media

made a slight adjustment to the background to separate her a little more

Spring Break Staggs
2007 DC Legacy The Atom Chase Card
2007 DC Legacy Martian Manhunter Chase Card
2009 "Tales of Wonder Wonder Woman" Charity Auction Art
2009 Zatanna Commission

Friday, March 11, 2011

2005 San Diego Comic Con Sexy Huntress Sketch by Matt Haley

Click To Enlarge

Something pretty to end a sour week on a positive note. Matt Haley is one of my favorite artists that never made it despite obvious appeal. How could this guy not have at least become a superstar cover artist like Adam Hughes? I actually liked Haley's brief interruption of Hughes' run (or did it narrowly precede it?) on Wonder Woman, and check out his 2006 Wonder Woman Day "Lynda Carter" Charity Auction Piece!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

...And the Blogs Played On...

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before on this blog, but I'm about halfway through a pretty demanding educational program that has forced me to improve my time management skills. An amusing byproduct of this was that I got better at scheduled blogging, going from quasi-daily posts on two blogs where I'd miss a week here and there to a near clockwork daily, three thrice weekly blogs, a twice weekly and this bad boy at 4-7 posts a week. I never intended to tend this blog alone, but that's how things worked out, and I managed to carry things off for a good long while.

This semester, I was fine with mediocre grades in classes I wasn't particularly happy to be in, but I just bombed my last test before spring break. As many things as I want to do on my blogs, and as tempting as a relaxing week of writing/scanning is, I have to take full responsibility for my education. That means my beloved passion projects have to take a major hit.

I've been running 365 posts a year at The Idol-Head of Diabalu: A Blog for J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars for longer than it took to write the full name (3 ½ years.) That will remain my sole daily. I've got more ready to post inventory material at Power of the Atom, my Captain/Atom/Charlton blog, than anywhere else. The only hold-up is links I want to draw with my other blogs that are unfinished. That includes Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman, where I post entirely too much filler crap, because it's just so easy to find random nonsense related to the heroine. Justice League Detroit has always puttered along, doing its own thing, so that hasn't been an issue. Vixen alone could carry that one for a while, but all three of the blogs will likely drop to weekly posts for the foreseeable future.  ...nurgh... has always been my whatever, whenever blog. That used to mean daily, but of late it's been one comic book review post and one music-related piece per week. I think that should be easy enough to stick to, especially with my monthly comic order continuing to shrink.

What to do with this blog? Well, for starters, my long threatened intention to stop the massively time-sucking "DC Currents" posts is a done deal. Cannot, will not. They haven't been all that current for a while, and I figure I've paid back this blog's past contributors as best as I could in the link love department by now. I'll still do outside links, and I may even scrounge up a "Daily Planet Review" list, but probably not in depth or on a regular basis.

As for other material here, I can't really make a firm commitment right now. I'm certain I can at least pull off a weekly like the rest, and more if you'll forgive me for pillaging my other blogs for the next few months for recycled posts of yore. When I stick to transcribing old index card synopsizes I did a decade back for my own use (Comicvine cover embedding being a telltale sign,) I can usually knock out a serviceable post inside half an hour during a lunch break. I've got a little bit of inventory here too, so that should help.

Point is, I don't want folks thinking I've lost interest, or am seeking attention as the boy who cried "hiatus!" I love this too much and am too compulsive about it to quit entirely. I just have to look after real life a bit better. I hope folks still find the blog entertaining, and if anybody wants to submit anything for publication, just drop me a line at . Thank you for your patience and understanding...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Direct Currents: The Blogs


The Absorbascon
Haikuesday with Starman
Vibe's Meat
The Set of a 1000 Olsens!
The Joker's Afro-wig Haiku

Amazon Princess
Denise Milani as Wonder Woman
Kenna Valentina & Caroline Pierce as Wonder Woman and Fan Girl
Alexandra Rodriguez Wonder Woman swimsuit (NSFW)

The Aquaman Shrine
Library Heroes Bookmark - 2000
Project Rooftop: Sea Change!
Superman 50th Anniversary Special - 1988
Argentinian Trading Cards - 1992

Being Carter Hall
Read: Hawkman v.2:no.2

Comics Make Me Happy!
Young Justice: First Impressions
Madame Xanadu #21
Only Madame Xanadu....

Steve Reed corners GREEN LANTERN #13

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
Villainy Inc: Mr. Gargoyle
2011 Charlie Sheen Quote Presented By Wonder Woman
DC Comics Wonder Woman Mouse Pad 12078MP

Diversions of the Groovy Kind
House of Mystery #270 (April 1979)
"Death Is Bliss!" from DC's The Shadow #4 (January 1974)
Jonah Hex #32 (October 1979)

El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker
Everybody's Linking For The Weekend
Everybody's Still Linking For The Weekend

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Superman as Moses Figure
Let’s talk at great length about Dennis Culver, and how awesome he is.

Firestorm Fan
Over 200 Firestorm Products for Sale on Zazzle
Firestorm the Nuclear Man by Spectacular Spider-Man Character Designer
Nuclear on the Net: More Firestorm Sightings

Girls Gone Geek
All-Star Appreciation
WTF? Wednesday: Lois Goes Black, Manages to Go Back
WTF? Wednesday: Three’s Company

Gone & Forgotten
Supplemental: The Legionnaires' New Clothes

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
2009 JLA Commission by Tan Eng Huat
Son of Superman (1999)
2011 Fred Hembeck Sketch Card: J'onn J'onzz and The Hulk 1 of 1
2005 JLA Portfolio Sample by Philip Tan

Justice League Detroit
2010 Zatanna Bust Sketch by Adam Hughes
C'Mellu Dantogi

Kevin Nowlan
Holly Wood celebrates Oksner night, with a special appearance by Mr. Warren Beauty!

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
"The Crime Chase Through Time" from Strange Adventures #4, 1950

Power of the Atom
1975 Captain Atom Pin-Up by Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
2009 Sword of the Atom sketch by Gabriel Hardman

Silver Age Comics
Super-Swipes #7: The Olympics

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
The great cartoon debate continued & the messed up personal life of Red Arrow
Maxwell Lord, I love ta hate this mother fu$%&#!
10 reasons to buy Suicide Squad in 1989 house ad

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Back Issue Box: Superman #307
Back Issue Box: Superman #308
Back Issue Box: Superman #309
Review: Action Comics #898
Scott Wegener Commission

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Great Comic Book Heroes (2003 Edition) by Jules Feiffer

I'm pretty sure I checked this book out in hardcover at a school library or two, but I was a kid, so I didn't understand why all those stupid words were set between the many classic comic reprints. As an adult, I bought Fantagraphics nifty softcover collection of "the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's classic essay on the four-color characters he thrilled to as a youth and that inspired him to become one of the 20th century's most renowned cartoonists." Without the comics, for $8.95, and worth it still. Though first published in 1965, Feiffer contemporary language and views are just as valid and intriguing today. Anyone with an interest in comic book history should do the same. What's great about the essay (running a breezy 80 pages,) is that where even the best books of this type lean toward the academic, Feiffer gives a straight from the hip recollection of both 40's fandom and professional life. Imagine a temporally displaced Kevin Smith, classier and more acerbic, but still coarse enough to gay bash Robin. Feiffer still makes more insightful observations, from a unique perspective that can still inform readers today. For instance, did you enjoy David Carradine's speech about Clark Kent being Superman's pointed critique of humanity in "Kill Bill?" Tarantino claimed he was quoting Carradine's own aside from the set, but Carradine clearly stole it directly from Feiffer.

Adding to the appeal of the essay is the very appealing presentation, both in the spiffy cover by Bob Sikoryak, and the winning interior design of Preston White. DC has been making extensive use of Chip Kidd projects that instill feelings of annoyance in me, as they're both pretentious and a bit of a hash at times. White meanwhile employs a simple, attractive design sense that only enhances the work. I haven't been picking up Fantagraphics' comic strip reprints, but I hear great things, and if White isn't a part of that team, he should be.

Anyhow, you haven't heard the last from me on "The Great Comic Book Heroes." I'll be using its chapters as springboards for some future columns. It really is a joy to read, and I can't recommend it enough.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

1992 Gemir Human Form Character Design by Arthur Adams

Click To Enlarge

Courtesy of @fter-studio. Gemir didn't quite get the whole "inconspicuous human guise" angle with his flaming hair and the general Mok Swagger vibe. Gemir was the most classically villainous of the parasites, the Dracula to Lissik's Carmilla. I guess he's my third favorite of the lot.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Direct Currents: Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Batman's Muslim Sidekick
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Comics Missing In Action by Joe Gualtieri

Usually, when people write columns about comics not collected in trade paperbacks, they look at series that haven’t been collected at all (say, Paul Jenkins’s Hellblazer) or where the collected editions were abandoned (Hitman). Instead, I’m mainly going to be looking at issues missing from collected runs of comics, prominent stories that haven’t been reprinted, and cancelled trade paperbacks.

Wednesday Make Up Review: Wonder Woman MAC

Firstly, Hollywood got hold of DC, now MAC: one of the most globalised cosmetics companies with the most diverse and commercial customer base on the planet, and they’ve decided to launch a make-up range featuring Wonder Woman. This controversial yet eagerly-awaited collaborative collection from MAC has been launched today in the UK.

Comic creators I wish would return to comics

Without getting too sentimental, here’s a list of some comic creators I’ve grown to love over the years that have (unfortunately) dropped off the American comics scene by-and-large. If you know them, tell them I’d raid my bank account for new work by them!

The Line It Is Drawn #30 – Dwayne McDuffie Tribute

The Shazam "Superhero Color-a-Deck" card game

Hipster Superheroines: An Infinite Crisis of Irony

New 'Young Justice' 6" and Two-Pack Action Figure Images

Jesse Lonergan's Super-Hero Dance Party For Batman, Spider-Man and More

Kyle Latino's iPad Superhero Portraits Reach Out and Touch You [Art]

Derek Charm Embraces Gods, Monsters and Arm-Fall-Off-Boy [Art]

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 02.25.11

Comics Everybody: The History of Lex Luthor Explained [Comic]

Geeksoaps: The Cleaning Agent for the Everyfan

Make Your Own Batman TV Show Bust Switch

Charlie Sheen Quotes Presented by Superheroes

Weekend Review Section

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu: FEBRUARY 23RD, 2011

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu: MARCH 3RD, 2011

The Virgin Read: Jennifer Blood by Nina Stone

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #97 by Diabolu Frank

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who's Dat: Karnage

Real Name: Charlie Karnage
Other Aliases:
Occupation: Enforcer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Stenville Enterprises
Base of Operations: Gotham City
First Appearance: Wonder Woman #286 (December, 1981)

Charlie Karnage was a street punk who decided his ticket to the big time rackets was to make his name as "the enforcer who offed the Huntress!" To that end, he was outfitted with weapons and a costume by a mysterious new employer named "Mister Stenville." Likely following police reports related to the Huntress centering on Gotham Memorial Hospital, Karnage assaulted the heroine in a back alley the morning after an exhausting nighttime mission. Karnage initially subdued her in a choke hold, but the Huntress broke free with a back flip and kick to the jaw. Karnage then continued his attack with advanced weaponry, but lacked the skill and aim to use them effectively, allowing the heroine to escape unharmed. Karnage returned to his employer, who suggested the enforcer kill Arthur Cranston, "--a lawyer she and Robin risked their lives to protect! Kill him. Then wait for her to come to you."

Karnage burst through the window of Cranston, Grayson and Wayne, a public interest law firm, where he encountered Helena Wayne and litigator Charles Bullock. "I want Arthur Cranston, fools-- and I want him now! That turkey's my ticket to the Huntress' funeral!" While Wayne debated compromising her secret identity, Bullock leapt to her defense. However, Karnage easily caught the shyster by the throat and tossed him aside, snapping Bullock's tie in two with his whip as he fell. Realizing Cranston wasn't on the property, Karnage left. Wayne exposed Bullock to sleeping gas to insure she wouldn't be followed, then gave chase as the Huntress.

The heroine determined that Karnage's benefactor was the same mobster whose Stenville Enterprises had tried to bury Arthur Cranston and his firm before being threatened by Huntress and Robin. Huntress badgered the mobster until he fainted from fright, then interrogated one of his goons at knifepoint to learn Karnage's whereabouts. The Huntress managed to catch Karnage unawares, and quickly separated him from his arsenal. With a kick to the Adam's apple, Karnage was taken out of commission.

Karnage possessed minor super-strength. He was armed with wrist-launching mini-missiles and an electrified bullwhip.

"Lady, you just wrote out your death notice! There ain't been a dame made who can outslug me!"

Created by: Paul Levitz & Joe Staton

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1992 Venev Alien Parasite Form Character Design by Arthur Adams

Click To Enlarge

Thanks to the six arms, Venev was one of the easiest Bloodlines parasites to identify while in alien form. I confess, I can't really tell most of the winged ones apart, especially Lissik and Pritor (at least without color.) I'd probably have trouble with Slodd too, if he had survived past one appearance. At least Gemir had batwings to clue me in. I can kind of tell Angon because of her larger size, but if the others' wings were down, I wouldn't bet on it. Venev was a bit more wiry and monochromatic green, so she really stood out from Glonth, who was the other quick tell. Fat and hairy was also distinctive, but being orange and purple of all combinations never hurt. One more confession: I thought those were lights firing out of the parasites' space vessel, until I realized it was actually a back view of Venev without her arms in the way.

Venev uses Martian Manhunter to establish scale, which pleases me immensely. I love Art Adams' take on the character, and J'Onn was sidelined from the event until the closing bookend Bloodbath because of the Bloodwynd fiasco. However, if I recall correctly, that book was also the only instance where the Manhunter and his own identity parasite teamed-up after the divorce.

There's a fresh batch of Bloodlines Parasite scans taken from reference material sent out to creators on the annual event, and they're courtesy of "The Online Home of Chuck Dixon," THE DIXONVERSE!. Check out all of his offerings in this gallery!