Friday, December 4, 2009

UPDATED: Back when the lunatics were running the with more spring air, lever cocking action!

I know that I mentioned yesterday how I was looking forward to reading The Defenders #51 for some good, old-fashioned Hulk action. Well don't hold your breath, as Hulk was barely in the issue, although he does have one rather riveting scene with an ice cream cone vendor. You Nighthawk fans, however, will be quite pleased.

One thing I did notice in this book was how different in tone it felt from today's comics...and I mean really different. I know it was the swingin' seventies, but come on.

We'll start out with the tame one first.

Comic book characters have been smoking cigarettes and cigars for decades, so this one really isn't that big of a deal. Maybe more so for some readers who have only started reading comics since the turn of the century, but back in the old days there were a certain group of characters who would've seemed out of place without a stogie...Nick Fury first among them.

Still, it's not something that you see much of anymore so it definitely stands out. Check out this post over at Silver Age Comics for an even older example that is too funny to believe.

And since this book is drawn by Keith Giffen, we're even treated to panels drawn from Fury's second hand smoke!

That wasn't that bad, but they only get worse from here.

You know what would go really good with that stogie?

Why an ice cold Schlitz Beer! And here's Moon Knight to tell you all about it.

This panel kinda makes the whole brouhaha about Superman holding a bottle of beer on a recent cover of Action Comics seem kinda silly.

Unless all of the underage drinking that has been ravaging our vulnerable American teenage population can be blamed on this one Moon Knight panel. Then I guess I can kinda see DC's concern.

And since this book is drawn by Keith Giffen, we're even treated to a panel drawn in the shape of a beer can!

So now that Marvel has subconsciously suggested that we should all be smoking and drinking our way through life, what are they going to try to sell us in their advertisements?

Guns and ammunition, of course! It seems perfectly safe and reasonable to me.

Finally, after a hard day of reading comics, smoking stogies, drinking beer, and shooting squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional neighbor's a boy supposed to wind down and relax?

With your very own movie projector. That's right, now you too can kick back in the privacy of your own home and watch home movies.

Although somehow I don't recall my home movies being as sexy as the ones in this advertisement. Wait a minute...they're not subtly suggesting that we watch something else on this, are they?

Nah, these books are for kids. They wouldn't do that.

UPDATE: So while I was helping the wife sell her photos on the campus of Michigan State University over the weekend, a new and previously unkown bit of her history came into the light.

She used to belong to the local chapter of the Daisy Air Rifle Gun Club when she was a girl!

I truly don't know what is more amazing...the fact that she can shoot an apple off of my head at fifty paces, or that there are still untold stories about her past that I'm discovering after 15 years of being together.

Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen any of her old home movies either.


  1. Hey, I just discovered your site and I've been going through the archives--awesome idea. Fun to read your impression of some of the issues I own, and some of the ones I have yet to acquire!

    Strangely, I just recently re-read the X-Men with the Brood that you reviewed (issue #232). The whole Brood storyline (I think it was 3 parts) ended up surprisingly strongly, as I didn't have good memories of the X-Men from this period.

    I'd also forgotten about the issue of Dr. Strange (#26)--I think you've inspired me to go and dig it out!

    Since the conceit of your site is that you're reviewing a random sampling of comics, I find myself wondering about your huge collection. You say you have the comics in a database, so it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some stats, I think.

    For example,
    -What percentage of your collection is Marvel? DC? Other?
    -How many issues do you have with appearances by your favorite characters and teams?
    What % of your collection is from the 1950s? 60s? 70s? 80s? 90s? 00s?
    - other interesting tidbits


  2. Hey Thelonius Nick-

    Thanks for stopping by and being part of the conversation. I always like to hear about other people's reactions to the books that get picked for reviews. Like they say, every issue is somebody's first...and likewise, every issue has a story behind it with somebody out there.

    I've given the thought once or twice about posting some numerical and analytical data about the books in my collection, but wasn't sure if anybody would really care. I guess you have answered that question for me, so keep you eyes open in the next week or so to the answers to your questions.

    The only answer that I know of right off the top of my head is how many issues of my favorite character do I have. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone paying attention to the label cloud to the right that Superman is my favorite character. I've been actively collecting his back issues since the Death of Superman brought me into the Superman family of titles. Last count, I had about 1500 books of which Superman was either the title or starring character (not including team books like the JLA, et al), which was about 13% of my collection.

    The other thing I noticed when looking over your questions, was that I've had my database going in one form or another since about 1987. In that time, I've never catalogued the publisher along with the title! You've given me one heckuva homework assignment to update my database, because now I'm curious as to what the publisher breakdown is, so thanks for that...I think.

  3. That's really funny, isn't it? Everything's much funnier taken together; the ads are strangely enough part of the world of the single issues and set the mood in a way.
    The one bit of wiggle room is that Moonie could've "drained it" without drinking it, but I never took it that way, especially in light of Jake's enthusiasm for beer earlier in the arc. Hope you've been able to read it! If you are really lucky, you have Steve Gerber Defenders...P.S. Superman was his--and my Dad's---favorite hero, too.

  4. That's one of my favorite part about reading Bronze Age books are the ads. They truly do have a life of their own.

    I have done a little more back issue hunting over the summer and now have issues #40-60, so I plan on doing some Defenders reading in the near future. Unfortunately, only a few of those are written by Steve Gerber, so I still have some collecting to do.