Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July with the Living Legend of World War II!

Art by John Romita Sr from the 1976 Marvel Bicentennial Calendar!
A classic image featuring Captain America in front of the Declaration of Independence!
(Courtesy Rip Jagger's Dojo)

Art by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia from Captain America's Bicentennial Battles
 Captain America and Uncle Sam!

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Clean-Cut, All-American Hero!

Perhaps the first comic strip to be created as a military recruiting tool...
Don Winslow U.S.N. was launched in 1934 to encourage enlistments in the U.S. Navy, which at that point had reached an all-time low.
A clean-cut role model for American Youth, Don battled spies, saboteurs, and criminals on the home front, and even made brief forays to both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war!

The strip proved to be a big success, not only improving Naval enlistments, but launching a series of novels, comic book series from several publishers, a dramatic radio show, and two movie serials (Don Winslow of the Navy and Don Winslow of the Coast Guard)!
Don finally retired from service in 1955.

Atomic Kommie Comics™ has returned Don Winslow to active duty as part of the War: Past, Present & Future™ line's enhanced World War II section of classic cover art collectibles which also includes Women of World War II and Aviators.
Any of the shirts, fridge magnets, mugs, or other kool kollectibles in these series would make fun retro-style 4th of July gifts for the veteran in your life!
(I sent a set of all four Don Winslow mugs to my Dad, a retired swabbie! He loved them!)

A Free pre-4th of July bonus from us to you: downloadable mp3s of the Don Winslow dramatic radio show!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Whatever Happened to MANHUNTER 2070 ?

You thought this was the end of Manhunter 2070?
For twenty years, you would've been correct, except for a cameo in the revived Showcase's 100th issue, during a multiverse and time-spanning tale featuring almost every character who headlined a strip in the comic* (and considered "out of continuity" even then by the authors and DC), Starker had disappeared from the Multiverse.
But in 1990, Howard Chaykin and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez did Twilight, a mini-series combining and "updating" an assortment of DC Comics' 21st Century-based characters including (from left-to-right) Star Hawkins & Ilda, Tommy Tomorrow, Karel Sorenson (and the rest of the not-pictured Star Rovers), and Manhunter 2070, who apparently survived the ambush, along with the Space Cabbie, Knights of the Galaxy, Space Ranger, and even the Space Museum!
It was also revealed that private eye Star Hawkins was actually Axel Starker, brother to Manhunter 2070, whose full name was Jon Starker, contradicting the only-child storyline from the Showcase series.
(Note: Star Hawkins was co-created by artist Mike Sekowsky [who, as a writer/artist/editor created Manhunter 2070] and writer John Broome, so the two characters were "brothers" sharing a "father", as it were.)
Chaykin had already radically re-envisioned several other characters, including Blackhawk, and The Shadow, and while his controversial Shadow updating (continued by Andy Helfer, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Kyle Baker) wasn't considered "official", the changes he introduced into Blackhawk became part of post-Crisis on Infinite Earths canon.
As to where Twilight stands in terms of continuity...well, we're not sure.
The events in the story have never been referenced in any other DC titles, nor has it ever been reprinted.
Which may be just as well, since Jon Starker dies during the tale.
But, Manhunter 2070 still had one more life you'll see Tuesday!

*One character didn't appear...James Bond, who appeared in an adaptation of Dr No in Showcase #43 (1962).
You can read the reason 007 popped up at DC HERE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reading Room MANHUNTER 2070 "Never Trust a Red-Haired Greenie" Conclusion

...tracking and capturing fugitive embezzler Milton Wallen on the planet Zoldar turns out to be the easy part as bounty hunter Starker also tries to recover the embezzled funds from the guys who fleeced Wallen in a crooked card game.
But there's a third pair involved in this hunt who neither Starker nor the criminals he's chasing are aware of...
The "buying public" apparently wasn't..buying, that is.
Not only was this tale by writer/penciler Mike Sekowsky and inker Frank Giacoia in DC's Showcase #93 (1970) the end of Starker's try-out run, but the end of Showcase as well.
But, just as Showcase was eventually revived (twice), Starker returned from the dead (twice) you'll see...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reading Room MANHUNTER 2070 "Never Trust a Red-Haired Greenie" Part 2

...Starker accepts an assignment to capture embezzler Milton Wallen, which takes the interplanetary bountry hunter to the planet Zodan, where theft is a way of life (sorta like Washington DC).
After persuading the locals (nicknamed "Greenies") to return some of his property they mistook for their own (as shown above), Starker proceeds to neighboring planet Zoldar, where Wallen headed after landing on Zodan...
I guess we can't post the disclaimer "No glyphs were harmed during the making of this comic book!"...
You'll see the finale...but not the conclusion to this tale...
Script and pencils for this tale from DC's Showcase #93 (1970) are by Mike Sekowsky, with inks provided by Frank Giacoia.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Reading Room MANHUNTER 2070 "Never Trust a Red-Haired Greenie" Part 1

Yes, I know we promised this for May, but things came up...
...yet I doubt you'll complain as you finally get to read the last, never-reprinted Showcase appearance of Starker...
Unfortunately, Starker, that's not going to happen, as we'll see
Script and pencils for this tale from DC's Showcase #93 (1970) are by Mike Sekowsky, with inks provided by Frank Giacoia.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Design of the Week: ASIAN MONSTER / DINOSAUR!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another.
This week, we ask the question: What kid doesn't love dinosaurs?
The idea of being a huge, unstoppable creature rampaging, devouring, and stepping on everything and everybody in your path has an undeniable appeal to little ones, who usually feel helpless in a world too big for them! (Why do you think the new Jurassic World flick had such a great opening day or that Godzilla is still going strong after 50 years?)
This week we say...
Once they ruled the planet!
Now they'll dominate your wardrobe!

Snap them up...before they snap you up!