Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reading Room: ONE-SHOT HEROES The Wrath of...The Researcher

Next to "The Listener" or "The Watcher", the least frightening name for a comic hero is...
...however, this guy could make the name synonymous with "action hero"!
Who is The Researcher?
We never learn his real name.
Everyone calls him "Researcher", even his girlfriend.
Where did he get the money for his kool weaponry and equipment?
Is he independently-wealthy or does he bill clients?
He hob-nobs with the upper crust, including diplomats, politicians and rich businessmen.
Many are the mysteries surrounding...The Researcher!
Unfortunately, this short strip from Green Giant Comics #1 (1940) was his only appearance anywhere!
Pity, since he has a lot of potential.
Frank Thomas, the writer/artist behind this strip created a number of detective-themed characters in the Golden Age including The Eye, The Owl, and Dr Hypno.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Reading Room: PHANTOM LADY "Saturnalia of Sin"

With a title like that, how can anyone say comics aren't educational?
(A "Saturnalia" is a major-level party, a shindig people will talk about for years to come)
Seems like a kool way to close out the final tale from the final Fox issue of Phantom Lady!
The final story from Phantom Lady #23 (1949) is by writer Ruth Roche and artist Jack Kamen.
Next week, the final Fox Comics tale from All Top Comics #17!
After that, the very first Phantom Lady story from Police Comics #1!
Then, we begin the complete run of the Ajax/Farrell Phantom Lady!

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featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reading Room: JET DREAM "Powder-Puff Derby Caper"

Jet Dream meets up with her evil counterpart...
...and can someone tell me why there's always an evil counterpart to a hero/heroine?
This one even has her own team of female assassins...
Raven Red will return!
(And, she's the only villain in this series to do so!)
Script for this tale from Man from U.N.C.L.E. #12 by Dick Wood, art by Joe Certa as he assumed his position as the permanent artist on Jet Dream, except the very next issue, featuring the return of Mike Sekowsky, which we presented on our "sister" blog True Love Comics Tales™.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reading Room: PHANTOM LADY "Adventure of the Jade Maiden"

Since there were no Phantom Lady 3-D comics, we skipped last week...
...(and if there's anyone who would've been fantastic in 3-D it's her!)
 Nonetheless, we're back with the second of three tales from Phantom Lady #23, the final Fox issue!
Story probably by Ruth Roche, art most likely by Jack Kamen.

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featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reading Room: NOT WHO YOU THINK "Green Giant"

This is a "lost" tale I've been waiting a long time to see...
...ever since I held a "slabbed" copy of Green Giant Comics #1 (1940) in my hands and wondered what was inside!
When I did a profile of the character,  I emphasized that the info about the story was second-hand, as I had not actually read the tale!
Well, we can now read the one (and only) adventure of the Green Giant...
OK, several things cleared up, including...
His last name is Brentwood with no first name given!
The costume controls his growth (much like the Silver-Age Atom), not pills, gas, or a serum (like Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket/whoever Hank Pym is this week).
Elements of the costume are different. (Bare legs and no gloves in the story)
And one big mystery is presented...
He's a stockbroker?
How the hell did he become the Green Giant and end up with that size-changing garb?
Did he acquire controlling stock in a laboratory?
We'll never know the answers...

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

3-D: CAPTAIN 3-D "Man from the World of 'D'"

Get out the red/blue 3-D glasses (red on the left, blue on the right)...
 ...cause it's 3-D Week at all the RetroBlogs™!
Script by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Art by Jack Kirby (pencils) and Joe Simon, Mort Meskin and Steve Ditko (inks).
In the early 1950s, "3-D" using red and green prints of simultaneously-shot movie footage from cameras a couple of feet apart. (note: sometimes blue was used instead of green, but the stereotype of 3-D is a red / green lens juxtposition.)
When a viewer wore glasses like these they would perceive the two projected images as a single 3-D image!
Taking comic book line art and modifying it to produce a similar 3-D effect was technically simple, so almost every company attempted at least one 3-D book between 1952-55.
Most were 3-D versions of existing comics including Superman, Batman, Tales from the Crypt, even Katy Keene.
However, Captain 3-D was the Simon & Kirby team's attempt to jump on the 3-D bandwagon with NEW material.

As you've just read, Captain 3-D had both a cool premise and nice set-up, playing up the use of glasses to both empower the hero and perceive villains. (The John Carpenter movie They Live! used a similar gimmick)

Unfortunately, a legal battle involving the 3-D process all but killed the financial viability of producing 3-D books, and, though material was already finished, there was never a second issue of Captain 3-D!

Special treat: If you want to see this story in traditional full comic book color (but 2-D), go to Atomic Kommie Comics™ now.

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