Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Almost Christmas, But the Doc's Always In...and He's STRANGE!

Initially called "Doctor Strange" scientist Hugo Strange became a superhero in Nedor's Thrilling Comics #1 by ingesting a substance he created called Alosun, obtained by distilling the atoms of the Sun, which gave him super-strength and near-invulnerability.
He couldn't actually fly, but could leap great distances like the Hulk and the Golden Age Superman.
Like his inspiration, pulp hero Doc Savage, he initially wore a standard business suit, which would become shredded during the course of that issue's adventure,
But within several months, this became dark jodhpurs, riding boots, and a red safari shirt, which quickly became a faster-to-draw red t-shirt.
Again, like Doc Savage, he didn't have a secret identity, so there was no need for a mask, but Strange did have an unusually-large pompadour to give him obvious visual distinction.
When kid sidekicks became a trend, Doc introduced Mike, who wore a similar outfit.
While he never received his own title, Doc not only ran in Thrilling Comics, but as one of the features in the anthology America's Best Comics, where the covers showed him interacting with other Nedor Comics heroes like The Black Terror and Fighting Yank. (Though inside, the heroes all had separate strips and didn't appear together!)
Doc retained the Thrilling Comics cover spot for most of his run, only losing it for two months to the patriotic American Crusader, before regaining it until #60, when a jungle heroine named Princess Pantha replaced him.
Ironically, his final cover on issue #59 showed him rescuing a jungle girl, but not, as reported, Princess Pantha!
Doc stayed as a backup until #65, when he disappeared from comics.

But you can't keep a good hero down.
In the 1990s, Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing) revived Doc as one of the Terra Obscura heroes in his Tom Strong series. (He had already used Doc as the visual template for the Tom Strong character.)
Working off the Earth-One/Earth-Two alternate-Earth concept made popular at DC Comics, Alan remade Doc Strange into Tom Strange (changing his name from "Hugo Strange" to "Thomas Hugo Strange" and making him into a Golden Age variation of Tom Strong!)
The concept proved popular enough that a spin-off book entitled Terra Obscura, starring Tom Strange and his new crime-fighting companion/wife, Princess Pantha (who had replaced Doc in Thrilling Comics!) ran for 12 issues!
Doc has also appeared in Alex Ross' Project SuperPowers series, though simply called "Doc", to avoid confusion (and potential trademark conflict) with Marvel's Doctor Strange.
We at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have also revived Doc as part of our Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ line!
There are four classic covers (including his FIRST appearance) on a variety of collectibles including t-shirt, mugs, messenger bags, and other cool stuff as well as a Classic Doc Strange 2016 12-Month Calendar with a dozen different covers including his first and last!
Any of them would make great Christmas gifts, especially in conjunction with the trade paperbacks of the Project SuperPowers Golden Age revival series or Terra Obscura! (Hint, hint!)
The Doctor is in, and he's ready for action!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Make it a Kick-Butt Christmas Day!

In our ongoing quest to suggest cool Christmas gifts for our faithful fans, we of Atomic Kommie Comics™ would like to direct you to, perhaps, the most unlikely of departments--Pop Art Martial Arts™
But, when you think about it, considering how Western-based, cops-and-robbers-oriented, and military-themed toys and gifts have been part of the Yuletide for generations (I'll never forget finding my first 11.5" GI Joe under the tree one Christmas morning!) it's only natural that martial arts-oriented gifts should also be part of the holiday season!
Beyond the fact that you can't shoot your eye out with a gi, (Note: Do NOT give ninja throwing stars to kids as a present!) all these themes are based on the concept of good triumphing over evil, protecting the helpless, and having fun doing it! And, martial arts promote physical fitness! ;-)
We offer men's, women's, and kid's garb, as well as stuff to decorate your dojo.
And what a lineup! The ORIGINAL StreetFighter! Sister StreetFighter! Lady Kung Fu! Deadly China Doll! Five Fingers of Death! And, for those who want a Power Rangers-style look with rubber-suited monsters aplenty--Infra-Man!
So, make it a Merry, Martial-Arts Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho, Hi-Yahh!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson: the Inspiration for Disney's "Frozen"!

Disney has a long history of adapting classic fairy tales...
...but none went further away from the source material than "Frozen".
Yes, it's been a commercial phenomenon, but, if you're looking for the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale...this ain't it!
If you want to see an extremely-faithful version of the classic tale... HERE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Jungle Girls--Under the Tree or Swinging thru them!

Whether it's Cave Girl...
...Tiger Girl...
...or Judy of the Jungle...
Atomic Kommie Comics™ has the perfect Jungle Heroine as a Christmas present for the heroine in your life!
We even have a Jungle Girls 2016 12-Month Calendar
with nine MORE Queens of the Jungle from both comics AND movies!
Order today, before they swing away!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Reading Room ADVENTURE COMICS "Adventurers' Club: Voodoo Lizards!"

Last Monday, we introduced you to Nelson Strong and the Adventurers Club...
This cover scene by Luis Dominguez does not appear in the comic!
...where the requirement for entry was a tale about an "exciting or unusual adventure".
This never-reprinted story from DC's Adventure Comics #427 (1973) could be considered either science fiction or fantasy with a horror twist.
Either way, writer John Albano and artist Jim Aparo did a great job evoking mood and telling a cohesive story in only 8 pages, eh?
Trivia: Luis Dominguez, who illustrated the cover above (the only cover the Adventurers' Club was ever featured on) took over the art for the next (and last) tale featuring the group.
You'll see it next Monday.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Best of Holiday Reading Room MARVEL CLASSIC COMICS "A Christmas Carol"!

There have been numerous comic adaptations of Charles Dickens' Christmas ghost story...
...but this never-reprinted one from (believe it or not) Marvel Comics, has the distinction of being illustrated by more artists than any other version!
Credited to "Diverse Hands", the art styles I recognize include Bob Hall, Frank Giacoia, Frank Springer, Dave Cockrum, Marie Severin, Carmine Infantino, Steve Leialoha, John Romita Sr, Al Milgrom, Mike Esposito, and probably anybody who wandered into the Bullpen while this book was in production in 1978!
This was the final title in the Marvel Classics Comics line which had started out as color reprints of the early '70s b/w Pendulum Press "comic adaptations of classic stories" series. After a dozen issues, Marvel began doing their own adaptations, continuing for another two dozen issues.
Scripter Doug Moench was no newcomer to adapting prose to comics having worked on comics versions of literary properties including Doc Savage, The Shadow, James Bond, and Fu Manchu!
Colorist Francoise Mouly later became the art editor of The New Yorker, co-creator of the legendary comic anthology Raw, and is currently the publisher/editorial director of Toon Books.
You can read this HTF story by clicking HERE for Stave One!