This is the only picture I could find of him. So what convinced the editors at DC to change their mind? Why one of the writers of Luke Cage of course! The guy on the right is Tony Isabella, one of the early writers of Luke Cage. DC had hired Tony to create their first black superhero and in he partnered with artist Trevor Von Eden,. He actually grew up in the poorest part of Metropolis known as Suicide Slum.
After becoming a highly successful athlete an scholar he returned home and he used a newly created power belt that helped him shoot bolts of electricity to clean up the streets of drug dealers and gang members. His costume and accent were over the top and almost comical but his intentions were good and he proved himself to be a respectable hero in his own right, gaining the trust of Superman and several other figures in the city in his battle against the gang that had made Suicide Slum their home, a group called The and led by a large man known as Tobias Whale. Aside from changing the location, the show appears to be pretty loyal to the comics.
Unfortunately the individual series for the character only lasted 11 issues. Black Lightning survived, although he would only show up in other books for the next couple of years. In , he joined a group called the Outsiders, a group of superheroes led by Batman and featured mostly new characters like Katana and Geo-Force.
Unfortunately, history has a nasty way of repeating itself and the series was cancelled after 13 issues. Black Lightning has continued to exist in the DC universe as a hero making appearances in other books. He would also get a family and two children to look after. He is a teacher, a mentor, and a very capable role model for everyone in the DC universe but most importantly of all…he has the respect and attention of Batman.
He was such a huge fan that he personally begged Nichelle Nichols to keep her iconic role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on the show. The Washington Post can do a better job of explaining it than I can. Anyway, another tradition that this blog has for Martin Luther King Jr. Day is talking about black representation in the comic book industry. Today I thought it would be nice to talk about the first black comic book character to star in his own solo comic book series: Lobo. Both of them were white men from Minneapolis and Brooklyn respectively and thought that having a black cowboy as the main character of a series might be a good sales hook to lure interested readers.
The story itself starts off at the very end of the Civil War, where it is revealed that the main character fought for the Union and is happy to finally be free. The main character is fed up with the violence and decides to move West to start a new life for himself. He becomes a cattle drover on a ranch where he is framed for murder and decides to become a vigilante and hunt down other criminals. His name is never revealed and his race is never brought up as a point of contention.
Now, believe it or not, this story does have some basis in historical fact.
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There were black soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War,. So we have a publishing company at the height of its power, with a character based in a genre that was doing really well at the time and steeped in historical fact, coupled with a good creative team telling a story about a black man in the middle of one of the most progressive and forward looking eras in American history.
The series was cancelled due to poor sales numbers. Basically, how the industry worked back then was that publishers would print a certain number of copies of a book and sell it to retailers who would mark up the price and sell it to the public. Still, it was a well written, well drawn character with some serious and well meaning effort behind his creation and while we may never grace the cover of another comic book ever again, his position in the annuls of comic book history is assured as the first African American solo comic book character.
It was actually created by a company called Hellnit Publishing, which was owned by this man: Frank Z. He refuses to give his name, but mentions that he was a small time taxi operator who was charged with the murder of a cop. The man decides to do the right thing…by escaping prison and bringing those responsible to justice. Being forced to answer questions without a lawyer? Making his escape in order to clear his name?
Yep, sounds like a comic book character to me! The comic says his home was only ten miles away from the prison. The new hero manages to foil a robbery using his powers of disguise, and tells the commissioner and newspaper editor that if he manages to complete his mission, someday he will reveal who he really is. Alias X would only have a handful of appearances and ceased to exist after , a much shorter lifespan than his contemporaries.
So you remember the start of the article, where I said the character was originally published under Helnit Publishing under the control of Frank Z. The company decided to enter the comic book business by taking books created by Helnit Publishing, along with the bankrupt Fox Publications, and repackage them under the Holyoke name. Documentation over who owned what was pretty poor back then and the owner of Fox Publications would wind up suing Holyoke and winning.
Temerson, being the original owner of Alias X, would also reclaim what he lost and Holyoke would cease publishing comics in Alias X is an interesting case as far as Golden Age superheroes go. Also, unlike most of the heroes we talk about on this blog he fell off the map at the height of popularity for super heroes in American culture. Could he have survived the post war years? Would he have gone on to become one of the great heroes of the modern age? I feel compelled to talk about a well known, nostalgic, space opera about a small group of plucky rebels against an all powerful empire that threatens the freedom and safety of the entire galaxy.
It would also help if this space opera has a rabidly loyal fan base and has gone on to influence popular culture for decades. Before Superman made comic books profitable in the best way to get sequential stories published was through a newspaper comic strip. The strips were published and distributed through something called syndication. This was where a syndication company would hire a creator to create a strip and then distribute it to various newspapers around the country. How big is it? Anyway, in King Features had a problem. The strip begins with the end of the world.
A giant planet named Mongo is on a collision course with Earth and a half mad scientist named Dr.
Zarkov kidnaps a Yale polo player named Flash Gordon and his true love Dale Arden to stop the collision and save Earth. The comic was a huge hit and would go on to inspire dozens of adventures, re imaginings, and become a massive multi media franchise with the release of several movie serials between and He even got a big budget re imagining several decades later which was a pretty blatant attempt at cashing in on its nostalgic value in where the main hero was re imagined for modern audiences.
Side note: the comic has a website that publishes strips every week. Everything about the character, from the comic to the movies, is deliciously cheesy and over the top. It was also a massive influence for a lot of film makers and creative types at the time, including a little known film student named George Lucas.
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Lucas would go on to use the Flash Gordon space opera, along with ideas from film legend Akria Kurosawa and a host of others, to create a little film called Star Wars. The more you look at it, the more similarities you can find. Like Flash Gordon, Star Wars has a band of plucky rebels,. Oh, and both franchises are famous for the sheer amount of merchandise and spin offs they managed to produce. Flash Gordon is one of the greatest and most influential science fiction stories of all time. Full disclosure: The author of this article does have a personal and professional friendship with the creator of this project and it does include artwork by Frankie B.
Washington, the primary artist on a web comic published by this site. The author has also donated to this project, but no money or favors were exchanged for the writing of this article. While the Kickstarter is funding the first creation of the first issue there are plans to turn it into an ongoing series. As I mentioned at the top of the article, I know the creator of this project personally, and I can say without irony or coercion that Mr. Gleason knows his stuff. More specifically, Mr.
Gleason is very good at writing lighthearted and humorous stories that feature interesting characters and incredibly unique set ups. This project is no exception. Where else are you going to find a bear with clawed boxing gloves,. The idea of using food brands as superheroes is an awesome idea. The art team is also worth mentioning. As I said before, the comic features work from Frankie B. Washington and the principal artist is a man named Ian Waryanto,. We all know that nostalgia is big business, which has led to everything from big budget versions of our favorite toy cartoons,.
Let me put it to you this way, do you really think Michael Bay grew up on the Transformers cartoon? The answer is no, he was born in and would have been in his twenties by the time the Transformers cartoon rolled around. To properly leverage nostalgia into a product that can be profitable and enjoyable to its target audience you have to understand why audiences loved the original product in the first place.
This is usually helped by being part of the generation that grew up on said product and being given the time and freedom to put that feeling into film. If your answer was the second option than go ahead, donate to the comic about cereal and beverage mascots fighting crime and taking names. Batman was the the first superhero to have his parents killed, Doll Man was the first superhero who used his ability to change size as a superpower, Superman was the first hero to have a secret identity, the list goes on. Origin and Career Before comic books were a thing there were comic strips, serialized stories that were published in newspapers across the country and could range from a strip with a few panels, to grand and complex illustrations that could take up an entire page.
The book was published by a company called Culture Publications. Yeah, real father of the year material there. I have no idea what happened next, although I would like to assume everything wound up fine. So what happened? Sorry…got a little carried away there. Why you should donate Because kaiju are the perfect metaphor for our time. One man who understood that horror well was a little known director named Ishiro Honda, and in he gave that horror a name: Godzilla. That was Waku, Prince of the Bantu.
The character was created by artist Ogden Whitney, who worked as a fairly successful artist for several comic book companies and is most famous for co creating a hero named Herbie Popnecker. Certainly sounds familiar. This ranged from wrestling lions, to evil shamans capable of raising armies of the dead. In all of his appearanc So what happened?
Yes, there was more than one of these, and this one was actually a bit more successful. Say hello to The Eye. Bill Everett is the man who helped create Namor the Submariner and Daredevil. The character itself was created by a man named Frank Thomas. Basically Frank Thomas was a big deal, and The Eye was his contribution to the comic book world. And in a company called Malibu Comics revived a bunch of Malibu characters into a team known as The Protectors, and the Eye was cast as a supporting character. This one is going to be a short one, but boy is it a weird one. Told you this was going to be weird.
Why not? The Hand is also a capable fighter…and capable of phasing through walls. Apparently, The Hand has never heard of hats. Which kind of makes sense. It was shorter, but had more action. So The Hand was an established hero with a gimmick and a creative team behind him… So what happened? The Hand had potential, it would be a shame to forget that. Origin and Career Black Lightning was created in , a few decades after the Golden Age of Comics and the favorite time period of this blog.
Magic had been replaced by space science and monsters had been replaced by aliens. It did pretty well and helped kick off the Marvel Universe that we all know and love today. Well worth all those pages. I winced more than once at the imaginary violence on show. Yeah, Ellis really exerts himself on the one about the sniper. Oh, give over. Mark my words! I know I am forever picking up copies of FELL and exclaiming, wow, this is like the comic as a 7-inch pop single! You know how he gets, that Warren Ellis.
With his catchy tag lines and such.
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I've certainly been missing it somewhat. I can't promise this will be every week in fact, I think I feel confident in announcing that this will NOT be each and every week Let's just go full capsule-style under that jump. I wish these came out more frequently, sure, but damn if this isn't worth waiting for! I guess that's a long, tangled way of saying: EH.
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I'm sure it will read pretty swell as a book, but as individual comics I mostly thought it was meandering and plodding. I liked the end if only because it it was a generally cerebral conclusion, with a battle of wits at the core. I've got a strong GOOD in my heart for this. And damn if I don't think this book looks crazy fabulous, too -- but I'm having a great deal of cognitive dissonance with the DC universe insisting to me that Darkseid is actually a scary threat when I and you both know that he was always just All Talk in the previous continuity, while at the same time insisting that everything that had to do with Ras' al Ghul DID happen just like they've shown it before.
So this storyline has me torn between "awesome! A slightly less enthusiastic GOOD then? I'm really liking the little game they're playing with the spectre here, and I like the "new" additions to the cast, and, yeah, I just generally think this is a golden age to be a Batman fan, I guess, so, here's a solid GOOD, too. I felt like I skipped an issue or something? But I didn't? Mostly I just don't care? Sales are horrific on it at both stores, too, so I guess I am not alone. Absolutely, positively not what I was expecting felt very much like a gritty HBO pilot, not even slightly "Star Spangled"; had extremely realistic art, and low SFX, which is the opposite of what the covers promised.
It will, however, be cancelled before a year is out, I'm sure. The cover and title is entirely wrong for the book. I am intrigued by where this might go, but at the same time I am worried that Warren Ellis is only on for his usual six issues, in which case, why bother talking it up? It was clearly GOOD, though. I really liked the style and most of the execution of the work, but I thought as a piece of art it kind of failed the test of Humanity. Strongly OK is about as good as I can muster.
Yes, and hello! Maybe not as late as usual, but probably twice as rushed as I managed to survive Thanksgiving 1 last week and now have to start packing and planning for Thanksgiving 2 this week.
- Family Secrets!
- Savage Critics.
- Jacques Cousteau Unit Study.
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- The Void.
So: behind the jump, show notes of a somewhat speedy kind and the actual podcast itself. Join us, will you not? Initial topics covered under the "holy cow Graeme is so busy" rubric: CGI werewolves vs. Jeff asks Graeme. Yes, this is a book we both read. Jim Fern. Discussed: putting your best foot forward, making trite things triter, speedily padding out your show notes entries with inessential list items. Discussed: Jeff being wrong, Jeff being terrible, humor in non-superhero books, top ten tips to a ineffable, non-flabby butt, more tips for list-padding, etc.
Interestingly, despite the lesbianism and implied incest, we discussed neither, nor did Jeff mention the nagging feeling he had that he was reading brilliantly repurposed Glee fanfic, nor did we talk about the importance of discussing all the things that could have been discussed but weren't when trying to make one look like one's giving others their money's worth with regard to show notes, etc. Graeme read it, Jeff did not and his narrative strategies for show notes puffery has run out.
Perhaps he should try pulling a card from the online Oblique Strategies deck! Hmmm, the strategy is "What wouldn't you do? And a possibly crazy plan is possibly maybe hatched! Seriously, I should sit down and figure out if it's even doable, this thing we came up with.
It seems pretty crazy. Corrections and Amendments! Another link to our guest appearance on House to Astonish! And best wishes to you for a happy Thanksgiving, while acknowledging we will not be back next week! Wait, What? The nice thing about writing a post during which you lose your mind and decide the best thing to be done is to embed as many of the lyrics of an Elvis Costello song as you can is you realize: a it can't be topped; and b maybe you're allowed to go easy on yourself every now and again; and c your attempts to give the page a catchy image and a bit of punchy jibbety-jab really only go so far, as it's the actual thing you are introducing that people are or are not here for.
Also, you realize you are addicted to parentheticals and alphabetized lists, and have no idea exactly how you're going to get those particular monkeys off your back. Is there a twelve step group underwritten by the Chicago Manual of Style? Also, these muscle relaxants aren't really capable of doing shit as far as making you feel mellow and floaty, but they're kind of dynamite for making you feel like every word you're typing is WRONG, in a near-sacrilegious way.
I feel like Henry god-damned Miller writing this thing! Anyway, Wait, What? Episode 90 is here, lemme just shuffle off to Buffalo and bring it on: it's two hours and twenty-one minutes, it's Graeme and I answering the questions on Twitter we forgot about until Rick Vance I Those what like iTunes will have have already dipped their toes into our radiant tide pool. The rest are invited to remove your shoes, roll up your pant legs, and wade in below:.
Ah yes, reviews, I remember those! Been a while, but I think I'm finally back on the weekly-review-train now! I thought this was one of those issues. I'd rather read Morrison doing Superman than almost any other superhero comic by almost any other creator. I'm a little amused, however, that Brainiac is, y'know, the internet. What I don't see is how this is an ongoing series, because I can't imagine that even with the X-Force lead in , there's more than, say, 10k people by issue 4 or 5 who will want to read about alternate universe version of the X-Men?
Anyway, this comic is perfectly OK for the kind of thing it is. Characters live, characters die, and "Young Avengers" is largely thrown away as a concept by the end of this -- which is too bad, because I liked that first incarnation a whole lot. I'm glad Hulkling and Wiccan get their kiss at the end, though. I just don't think that the characterization Fraction tried to graft on here really bore any relationship to past characterizations -- but this issue I kinda liked just fine.
Either way, I can give it a low GOOD, but it's probably too late -- we sold 32 copies of 1, and just a meager 13 of 3. This is the comics equivalent of the Senate hearing on Contraception, isn't it? Also, I have to say that I think the choice of the flat matte paper was a poor one with fully digital painted art -- it looks muddy and bland, and, frankly, ugly to my eye. Shockingly EH. I mean, I liked it, don't get me wrong, and it's a big step up from the first six issues of this version, but triplet mutant killer seductresses?
- Two Duets, Opus 208: For Violin and Viola (Kalmus Edition).
- The last David?
- A Loaf of Bread?
- The Best of From The Tomb by TwoMorrows Publishing - Issuu.
Mm, dunno. Also: what on the earth could they possible have "twelve of these" be referring to? Did they each lose eight toes, somehow? Oh, and here's where I'll slot in the rant against the new DC logo. Man, it's kinda like a younger Frank Quitely. Image is on a helluva roll these days, isn't it? Much like the original series, when i think about it.
Very strongly OK, but not any better than that. And yet, I still like it adequately. I really do rather hope that out protagonist and antagonist both manage to defy their expectations -- but I also think that this "rot" plotline just can't go on indefinitely, and may already be outstaying it's welcome. One problem: the big Green Guy is too wicked powerful -- look at the way he routed all of those minions in a single double page spread. I'll just barely give it a low GOOD. There's also something boringly predictable about the Aunt May and Uncle Prowler scenes -- now all we need is for Nick Fury to step back in where he left off.
When you add that to how Miles' voice is virtually identical to Peter's Yep, a bit of a delay but here we are, more or less as promised: Wait, What? This done-in-one episode is not quite two hours and forty-five minutes and covers, um, lots of stuff. We would like to think it is on iTunes, but we are all but certain you can listen to it here, thanks to the handy link below:. Demolition Derby from Jon Pinnow on Vimeo. We are still experimenting with the done-in-one podcast although many of you have used our comments thread to weigh in and say you like multiple eps. I'm thinking I might get us back to two installments or more per ep.
Marvel comics and that sorta fits Graeme and I, in a way. But, uh, it may be a while because there's something nice about only recording one intro, mixing one episode, etc.
- Aristocratic Experience and the Origins of Modern Culture.
- Break The Cycle!
- Leading School Change: Maximizing Resources for School Improvement (The Concordia University Leadership Series).
- Burned: Fever Series Book 7;
- Guys & Dogs.
So here is all two and half hours of Wait, What? Sensible souls surely spotted said spirited show on iTunes , but for hearty heroes hoping to hear happenings here hear, hear! The image above ties into the podcast in only the most tangential of ways we discuss Frank Springer for the merest of moments but I had to include this image, in no small part because I've been enjoying Graeme's Comics Advent Calendar over at Blog Newsarama so much.
And because May be even more topical now than when it was published So, anyhoo. We had one of those podcasts where we only spoke for around ninety minutes and there wasn't much of a place to cut it very neatly. I wasn't crazy about doing an hour ten for part one, and thirty minutes for part two. So this is a "oner" episode for you, with Mr. McM and I talking about the recently releasedDefenders 1, the power of secret shout-outs, Dark Horse Digital's recent pricing hullaballoo, Avengers vs. It is so very close to being an hour and forty minutes so! Our plan is to record this week and, God help us, next week so there should be a steady stream of our patented level of giggly jibber-jabber to carry you into the new year.
As always, we hope you enjoy! And thank you for listening. Honestly, our goal is to hit a sweet spot -- somewhere between filling you up to the tippy-top and leaving that last little bit unfulfilled such that you want more. And given our druthers with the podcast, Graeme and I usually err on the side of "too much. However, this last time, we ended up talking for a little over two hours and that seemed, you know, maybe a bit excessive to listen to all at one go.
So, here is Wait, What? We also manage to discuss Ultimate Spider-Man and Yes, I think it's safe to say more. And by the end of the week, I think we can modify that to read "and
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