Friday, May 31, 2013

DC Comics Presents: Some Quick Thoughts on Eclipso #13 (November, 1993)

Ah, Eclipso #13.

I was twelve when I picked this one up. Keen on the idea of seeing my then favorite character, the Creeper, in action. Not realizing that he’d be dead within three pages. Not realizing that he’d be the first of several C-List characters to be wiped out in that issue.

Peacemaker. Wildcat II. Manhunter [Mark Shaw]. Dr. Mid-Nite II. Commander Steel. And Major Victory.

All dead, tortured and butchered and burned alive, in a single issue.

This is the worst kind of story. The type where low-profile heroes, rarely used and so full of potential, are wasted simply to illustrate how powerful and merciless the villain is.

Even if you’ve never read this issue [or heard of -any- of its victims], you’re probably familiar with the concept. Like Superboy-Prime tearing through the ranks of the Teen Titans in Infinite Crisis. Where he punched Pantha’s head clean off her body and then proceeded to kill two more members— Bushido and Wildebeest. This happened only three issues after the deaths of Phantom Lady, The Human Bomb and Black Condor at the hands of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

There are comic fans who couldn’t care less about these obscure characters and that’s okay. Not every hero is going to be Batman or Iron Man or Wolverine. They won’t get movies, action figures and lunch boxes. Most of them won’t even get their own mini-series. But to some readers [like myself], they matter. It hurts to see them torn apart for the sake of a body count in a Big Event or to show how dangerous a bad guy can be. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DC Comics Presents: Five Ridiculous Characters Ripped From the Pages of Who's Who

I grew up reading superhero comics. There hasn't been a day in the last twenty-plus years where I wasn't interested in the adventures of costumed crime-fighters and masked vigilantes. This is probably true for a lot of long-time comic readers, though there are some that may take the genre just a little too seriously. Myself, well, I like to embrace the oddball aspects-- the brightly colored costumes and the silly codenames. That's all part of the fun.

To celebrate that love for the weird and obscure, I'm gonna be digging into the long boxes. Finding dusty, old back-issues and taking a look at some of the strangest comic characters ever to be conceived. And there is no better place to start than in the pages of Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe.

Originally published in 1984, Who's Who was a 26-issue series that served as an encyclopedia-style introduction to many of the characters and locations that populated DC's numerous series at the time. It was a perfect companion piece to the Crisis On Infinite Earths maxi-series that was also being published at the time, since it featured literally hundreds of characters, many of whom readers would not recognize or even know. Of course, there are some heroes and villains that lurk in the pages of old Who's Who that even the most dedicated of DC fanboys have probably never heard of [or, at least, wish that they hadn't].

Let's take a look at the first five that really jumped out at me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The League: Exes and Whys

Neil Sedaka told us that breakin' up is hard to do and that guy did not lie. It's never easy to let go of the people we once loved. Or the things. Especially the things. Turning your back on them after all those days, months and years spent devoted to absorbing every aspect of a television show or book series or toy-line. The warm, fuzzy feelings that became bitter over time. Who knows why that love turned to hate?


That was the question posed in this week's topic for The League of Extraordinary Bloggers and, really, could I have picked a more vague topic as my first to tackle? No, wait, don't answer that. We only care about why.

Why did I fall out of love with the things that used to mean the world to me? Let's find out.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trash Collection

I have a weakness for Good Stuff Cheap, especially when Good refers to outdated party supplies and forgotten pop culture relics. This particular vice leads me to all sorts of places: thrift shops, yard sales, flea markets, and of course, liquidation outlets. Basically, if I can walk away with a bag full of useless, but entertaining, junk for under ten dollars, then you can consider me a fan for life.

And boy, am I a fan of Building 19.

Below is a small selection of items that I picked up during a recent visit.