Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Chris started it...

Phil added to it...

More Marvel Family tomorrow!


The good Marvel Family have had thier fair share of weird-os, and scumbags... but these 10 take the cake.
"What're you laughing at?"

Mr. Banjo brings it, and what he lacks in physical prowess, he more than makes up for with his mad spy skills.

"That's "Mister" Atom to you, punk!"

Long before the giant robo craze tore up the eastern and western sci-fi landscapes, Mr. Atom, the original radioactive robot, was out there making life hard for Cap and his Lieutenants.

"I hate you."

Rowdy "Rotten" Sparkle is the cousin of Sunny Sparkle, the nicest kid on Earth... so take a guess what Rowdy's deal is.

At one point in time, this kid had his hands on a book that could teach you how to do anything, and he pretty much flipped straight to the index and looked up "Badass" and went buck wild.

Fortunately, Cap was able to reign him in, but ended up destroying the book before anybody could look up "World Peace."
"IBAC! - Wait... what happened to my shirt?"

Like Billy Batson and his crew, Stanley "Stinky" Printwhistle shouts a magic word, in this case IBAC, and is transformed into a powerhouse of a man... um, without a shirt.

Ibac's power comes from four of the most evil men in history - Ivan the terrible (terror), Cesare Borgia (cunning), Attila the hun (fierceness), and my personal favorite, Caligula (craz... sorry, cruelty).

Oh, and one time he tried to feed Captain Marvel to bunch of cannibals... without a shirt.

Um, okay... the less said about this dude the better because he really freaks me out. But I guess he's kind of like Ibac 2.0 - except when Timothy Karnes says his magic word, "SABBAC!", he doesn't call down the power of just four evil guys, but instead, invokes the demon spawned power of Satan, Aym, Belail, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, and Crateis.
So, moving on...


"Yeloh Yelom!"
As part of his senior thesis (not really, but he was trying to graduate from wizard school), Wizzo the Wizard used Captain Marvel's own reflection against him and created the equally powered, but somewhat speech impaired doppelganger, Niatpac Levram.
"Das Boot!"
After becoming a genetically altered super-soldier for the service of the Third Reich, Albrecht Krieger took the name Captain Nazi and came to the US to wreck havoc upon us "Amerikaners".
In his first adventure out, Nazi killed Jacob Freeman and crippled his grandson, Freddy.
Freddy is saved by Captain Marvel, who then grants the teenager a portion of his own power to make him Captain Marvel Jr., the boy who would become Captain Nazi's greatest adversary.
Smooth move, ex-lax.
"Call me Teth"
You probably all know this guys story, but a refresher never hurt anybody... In ancient Egypt, Teth Adam was given the power of six Egyption (retcon) gods by the wizard Shazam, but eventually began using his power for evil, forcing the old wizard to exile Adam to the farthest star fromo Earth.
It took Adam about 5,000 years to fly back, and needless to say, when he got home he wasn't very happy.
He fought the Marvel Family to a standstill, until he was tricked into saying "SHAZAM", thus reverting him to his 5,000+ year old human form and turning to dust.

"Some people say I look better without my glasses..."
Not only is Mr. Mind a worm from outer space - he's a MUTANT worm from outer space with super intelligence that can control people's minds, and project his own consciousness into others.
He's also responsible for forming the original Monster Society of Evil, which says it all.
He's the only worm to ever be sentenced to death by electric chair.

"I'm a scientist who's mad... not a mad scientist."
Dr. Sivana is Captain Marvel's arch-nemesis, and he's not afriad to use a million pounds of dynamite when he needs to.
Additional Reading:

Monday, February 26, 2007


Welcome to SHAZAM! week ladies and germs, where we here at the Bad Simian are dedicating a full 24/7 to the World's Mightiest Mortal and his Family, the Marvels!

Tonight, we kick things off with my favorite "Uh, what..?" moments from Cap's 70s comeback book, SHAZAM!, recently reprinted in DC's Showcase Presents SHAZAM!


Okay, let's see now...

"S" is for Solomon's wisdom,

"H" is for Hercules' strength,

the first "A" is for Atlas' stamina,

"Z" is for Zeus' power,

next "A" is for Achilles' courage,

and "M" is for Mercury's speed...

Nope, you're right - neither of the "A"s stand for Andretti's driving skills.

This scene comes from a story entitled Ibac, the Cursed and features the bronze age return of one of Cap's most formidible foes, the aforementiioned Ibac.

As you can see, Ibac's name and powers are derived from three of the world's most evil men... and that crazy bastard, Caligula. Don't get me wrong, history's proven that Caligula was plenty mean, but, um... there's just something kind of unsettling about seeing Caligula as drawn by C.C. Beck.

In this story, Billy is, yet again, gagged so he can't speak his magic word and call down the lightening. But, lucky for him, his tape recorder was on the last time he turned into the big read cheese, and once he remembers, he nudges the play button, and the word is "spoken" and... this doesn't make a damn lick o'sense.

Part of me is really tempted to try and make a funny "I'm Chris Hanson, and I work for DATELINE WHIZ, we're doing a show about adult men who..." joke.

But I think I'll pass.

Wisdom of Solomon, huh?


More Marvel Family goodness tomorrow night.

Thanks for stopping by.


The crazy reviews over at Silver Bullet Comic Books' site are fast becoming my favorite part of the week.

Check this out.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Civil War # 7 hit the stands Wednesday and wrapped up the House of Ideas' biggest comics story in years. I've been dragging my feet a little, trying to decide exactly what I want to say about it, and the truth is... I think I might have actually liked it, guys.

Of course, I could still be reeling from the shockingly bad Ghost Rider flick, but I seriously doubt it.

First, don't get me wrong - Civil War has plenty of problems, and one likeable issue doesn't keep it from being a trainwreck, but honestly, in the end, taking into consideration the corner Millar and Co. had backed themselves into, I didn't think the ending was so bad.

I've read a lot of reviews and commentary on the issue - Chris Sims' Civil War In 30 Seconds bit (most of you probably got here from there) is pretty good, and Matt Brady's review of # 7 over at Newsarama gives a decent blow-by-blow - so going into this, I already know my opinion isn't a popular one. But in the spirit of Civil War, I'm picking a side.

Let's ignore the fact that most of the issue was a fight comic - lots of big man posturing, kicking, and shit-talking, but this being the kind of book it is, none of us should be surprised by that. Once you get past the blackeyes and Thor-borg head smashes, I think there's something there, and much more than I ever expected there to be.
Since it's the most common complaint I've seen and/or heard about the ending, here's what I want to talk about: Captain America does not quit - Steve Rogers surrenders... but most importantly, he doesn't register and he doesn't accept amnesty.
In the end, he comes out the bigger man. When it's all said and done, he's the only one to point out that nobody - not the Underground or the Pro-Regs - are fighting for the right reasons or for the people they're supposed to be protecting.
Remember that the whole point of registration was accountability, but being registered doesn't keep any of the Pro-Regs from helping destroy several city blocks while attempting to stop, essentially, a bunch of dudes without driver's licenses.
No. Cap saw that it was a conflict that couldn't be won... not with fists, at least.
I'm actually a little proud of Marvel, here... it would've been awfully easy to kill off a character, or have someboy get raped (DC?), but instead, they chose to go out with a little class, and gave us an ending I don't think anyone expected, like it or not.

And hey, at least we didn't end up with this guy!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, today's the day Marvel wraps up their comics event in seven parts, Civil War, and I, for one, am glad to see it come to an end.

Several of you have expressed some interest in hearing my predictions, but I think I'm going to hold off and just see how things work oh, what the hell.
- Tony shaves his 'stache!

- Cap goes underground, and his regular series becomes a 70s TV show comic where he wanders town to town helping out the locals (that'd be fun, right?)!
- Thor (the real one) comes back, sees what's happened in his absence and immediately throws up his arms and mumbles under his breath, "Forget this."!

- Scarlet Witch reappears and says, "Daddy... no more continuity editors."!

- Somebody else asks, "Hey, where's the Hulk?"!

Anyway, I'll be doing another (very opinionated) review of Civil War # 7 tomorrow, so be here or be sorry!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Additional reading:

Newsarama's got a preview of next weeks Civil War Finale...

Really cool Mike Carey interview over there as well...

"How To Write Comics The Marvel Way!" Okay, not really, but in this Word Balloon interview, Allen Heinberg gives some pretty good insight as to how Quesada, Bendis, Johns, and Loeb go about writing comics...

Dimestore Productions' Small Press Idol contest is underway. I'll be submitting my official entry, The Danger Ace, later this week.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'll be honest, when it comes to comics, the romance genre is probably where I'm weakest. But I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be a different story had I known about Charlton's 48 issue run of Secret Romance...

Okay, so we don't we have romance comics today, why?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Additional Reading:

Another favorite comics couples list...


Subject: Hawkeye

"Dear, Hawkeye...

What makes you the awesomest archer around?

Is it your rapier wit combined with that "bad boy" attitude?

Or maybe it's the way you always leave us wanting more with your inability to keep an ongoing series?

Whatever the reason, we're yours... and we want you back!

Waiting patiently,


(Lil' Clint was drawn by my pal Ricardo Cabrera.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Subject: Nick Fury
(Guys feel free to chime in on this one too... I won't laugh at you.)

Monday, February 12, 2007


So it’s Valentine’s week, and instead of looking at Civil War tie-ins like I said I would, I’ve decided to dedicate this week to lovers, specifically, those of the fictional variety.

And for all you Gambit and Rogue enthusiasts, it's probably best to turn back now, cause they didn't make the list.

But here's who did…

10 - Thor & Jane Foster

We all love Thor, and the lovely and talented Jane Foster was no different.

This god-spawned romance is pretty much nonexistent in the modern day Marvel U, but in the 60s and 70s, the Don Blake/Thor/Jane Foster love-triangle practically kept the book alive.

Okay, sure… it was Lee and Kirby trying to add some romantic angst to Thor, a la Superman/Lois/Clark, but as the saga of Thor and Jane progressed, things took quite a different turn.

See, eventually, Don Blake gets tired of messing around and reveals that he’s really Thor. He then asks Jane to return to Asgard with him and become an immortal goddess, and of course, she says yes.

But Odin is not pleased, and doesn’t believe his son is truly in love with such a “simple woman.” So he wipes Jane’s memory, sends her back to Earth, and leaves the Odinson with a broken heart, and a hard lesson learned.

Jane went on to marry Keith Kinkaid and have a child with him. She later became a brilliant doctor in her own right, and can be seen currently helping the Underground Avengers in the pages of Civil War.

9 - Captain America & Agent 13

Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, doesn't play games - it's rumored he even dropped out of school when he found out about recess. Just sayin'...

A man like Cap, needs a special woman... ladies and gentlemen, meet S.H.I.E.L.D. field specialist Sharon Carter, Agent 13.

Sharon's older sister, Peggy, was Cap's girlfriend during WWII, and a large part of her childhood was spent listening to Peg's stories about Cap's exploits and adventures. Sharon was so inpired by her sister's tales that she grew up and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fast forward a few years later, Sharon, now operating under the codename Agent 13, runs into the recently revived Cap, who helps her take down Batroc, ze Leaper. They team-up a few more times, and eventually, Cap puts the pieces together, and confesses his feelings for her, despite there being some weirdness with her being Peg's little sister.

Because one's a superhero and the other's a super agent, their relationship will always be an on-again/off again thing, and it's probably safe to say they'll never share an apartment. But don't I love to see 'em get together and kick Hydra ass... and maybe sleep with each other afterwards.

8 - Nick Fury & Contessa Valantina Allegra de Fontaine

Yowch! This’s a hot one.

I can think of maybe two other guys in comicdom who carry as much machismo as Nicholas J... but neither of them have slept with the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, so Nick wins, hands down.

This little romance set the censors in the Marvel offices ablaze on more than one occasion, with the panels above being the most famous of instances.

Originally, Jim Steranko had drawn the the phone off the hook and in the last panel, it was Nick and the Contessa kneeling down, embracing each other. But when the page came across "Jazzy" John Romita's desk for approval, his jaw dropped and he immediately redraw the scene to Code standards, putting the phone back on the receiver and replacing the lovers' embrace, with Nick's pistol, fit snuggly in it's holster... and having just typed that, I'll let you decide which version of that last panel is the more suggestive of the two.

7 - Cyclops & Phoenix


Gimme just a minute with this one, wouldja?


Okay, there... I'm good.

I mentioned to my wife something about my list here, and she asked if I was going to put Wolverine and Jean on it, and right then, it occured to me that these days, post X-Men, the movie and both sequals, a lot of people think Jean is Wolverine' s love interest, and she just happens to be married to Cyclops, too.

Now me, I'm pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to these guys, and while I don't mind the whole Cyclops and Emma thing, I truly miss Scott and Jean.

I'm sure by the time I post this, Newsarama will have broken a story on Jean's return or something, but let's ignore that, and admit that these two's last moments together during the Dark Phoenix saga is probably one of the best scenes in comics, and move on...

6 - Hank Pym & Janet Van Dyne

Man, these two were SO not meant to be together...but that's never stopped 'em from trying, and you've got to admire that.

It's funny to think about it now, but once upon a time, Hank and Jan were the premier lovebirds of the Marvel U - heck, there was even a fan club devoted to them with jackets and everything.

But let's face it, Hank's crazy, and Jan's, well... Jan.

I mean, he's the kind of guy that takes his dead collegues daughter, whom he's attracted to because she reminds him of his deceased ex, and eventually transforms her into a six inch tall pixie with insect wings.

And she's the kind of gal who'll hit on every man within a foot's distance while her husband's right beside her, and then drinks too many poolside margaritas and ends up reminding her best girlfriend about her "fake" children, thus making her go crazy and ultimately eradicate 3/4 of the mutant population.

"Daddy - no more mutants?" Please...

"Janet - no more margaritas!" is more like it.

And that gets us to couple number 5...

5 - Vision & Scarlet Witch

Thomas and Engelhart - what were you boys thinking?

This couple is quite possibly the most tragic on the list.

He's a synthezoid and she's a mutant, so right there we're starting off weird.

These two eventually get married and have children that end up being lost pieces of the demon Mephisto's soul, who later finds and reclaims the pieces, thus ending the existance of both kids.

Meanwhile, Vision is dismantled by the government and quickly reassembled by Hank Pym, who, sadly, is unable to restore his original personality, leaving the Vision cold and analytical; a mere-shell of his former self.

Needless to say, the combination of these things is enough to send the Scarlet Witch off the deep end, and down the path that eventually led to Avengers Disassembled.

4 - Daredevil & Elektra

Forget Beniffer and Bendis for minute, and think back to the good ol' days when a mysterious woman from his past is hired to assassinate Matt Murdock's best pal and business partner, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson.

When Bullseye and Elektra traded blows across the rooftops of Hell's Kitchen - a battle that ended in a passionate and bloody embrace.

When Matt Murdock, the blind man who can see better than any of us, the son of a nun in a devil suit, the lawyer who takes the law in his own hands, stepped out into the night, broken and angry, and single-handidly took down the criminal empire of New York's notorious Kingpin of Crime.

That's love.

3 - The Thing & Alicia Masters

Okay, really... Ben and Alicia almost made number one.

Alicia Masters, the blind sculptress, is in love with Ben Grimm, the rock-like Thing of the Fantastic Four. Despite Alicia's inability to see, she, of all people, sees Benjy better than anybody else because of the WAY she sees him through touch, empathy, adoration, etc...

This is almost too good for words, so I'm gonna tell you to go read Fantastic Four 1 - 102, and move on to # 2...

2 - Peter Parker & Gwen Stacey


'Nuff said.

1 - Mr. Fantastic & the Invisible Woman

Shocker, right?

What can I say about these two that hasn't been said better somewhere else.

Oh, sure they're not together so much right now, but we all know, that in a few months when Rise of the Silver Surfer hits theatres, the Fantastic two will be snuggled up together in their cozy little wing of the Baxter Building, reading poetry, laughing at Namor's underpants, and calling each other "DAH-LING" way too much...

It's a real testement to the legacy of Lee and Kirby that in an industry hellbent on keeping characters from being happily married, no one really wants Reed and Sue to ever be apart.

Honorable Mentions:

Dr. Strange & Clea

The Human Torch & Crystal

Bruce Banner & Betty Ross-Banner

Logan & Mariko

Howard & Beverly Switzler

So who'd I leave out?

Thursday, February 8, 2007


New Avengers # 27.

Ronin/Echo emails Matt Murdock to let him know that "If you're reading this, I'm probably dead". She then gets killed and ressurected by the Hand, now under the leadership of Elektra. The New NEW Avengers show up in Tokyo to rescue her, and end up really pissing off Elektra in the process.

Bendis uses the email as his main narrative device, but completely botches it about two-thirds in when the message goes from "Hi, Matt... I'm most likely dead" to, "Hi, Matt. I've been captured by the Hand - don't let them turn me into a soulless assassin."

The big question is, how'd Echo get the message out to Matt? I mean, it reads like it was sent before she was killed/captured, but if that's the case, it's awfully specific.

When the Avengers show up, there's a >gasp< new Ronin with them. What, do the Avengers just keep a bunch of these suits around? And why does Bendis think this Ronin thing is such a good idea?

And finally, I know Luke Cage is a total badass... but kicking Elektra square in the crotch?

Additional Reading:

Full issue review over at Avengers Forever...

Tom Brevoort and the final panel of Civil War # 7...

Paul Jenkins responds to all the hell he's caught for The Return...

Wikipedia profile for Ronin...