Saturday, February 6, 2021

Space Force Saturdays SPEED CARTER "BEMs"

There's never a dull moment in the future world of Speed Carter... this never-reprinted tale from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #3 (1954) aptly shows!
The aliens in this story aren't identified by planet of origin or species.
The name given them, "bems", was a popular sci-fi slang term for "bug-eyed monsters"!
So, where are they from?
What species are they?
We'll never know, since they never appear again!
Written (as are all the Speed Carter stories) by Hank Chapman.
Illustrated by original artist Joe Maneely in his swan-song to the series.
Note: this was the last story in #3, but the first one from that issue we're presenting.
Maneely would later do a Famous Explorers short and a cover, but this was his last Speed Carter story.
There are two more Maneely Speed Carter tales to come...
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics
Visit Amazon and Order...
(under the pen-name "Paul French")
 Omnibus of ALL Six Space-Opera Sagas!
David Starr: Space Ranger, Pirates of the Asteroids, Oceans of Venus, Big Sun of Mercury, Moons of Jupiter, Rings of Saturn

Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday Fun CALVIN: Marvel's First African-American Humor Character!

The Black Panther was not the first Black Marvel character to get a cover-featured series!
He wasn't even the second!
He was the third!
First was Luke Cage, who received his own title...
Note: Though the series has ended, two of the stars have gone on to headline new CBS series!
Simone Missick (Misty Knight) on All Rise and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) on Evil!
Plus Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple/Night Nurse) is appearing on The Mandalorian!
The second character was...
Several months before Prince T'Challa took over a reprint book, Jungle Action, and began a memorable series that served as part of the plot of the billion-dollar blockbuster movie...
...this character took over another reprint book and began a series that nobody remembers!
[You can read every never-reprinted tale featuring Calvin and his buddies HERE!]
What makes the strip even more fascinating, beyond the vaudeville-level humor, is the identity of the writer-artist behind it!
"Kevin Banks" was not a pseudonym for an already-established creative, but an editorial staffer at Marvel in the early 1970s who received his "big break" with this strip!
Trivia: Kevin was the first (and so far, onlyMarvel creator to have a head shot illustration on an on-going series!
Even the ever-amazing comics researcher Nick Caputo could find little about the mysterious Mr Banks, as seen HERE.
What did Banks did after working at Marvel?
Did he work in advertising?
Become an art instructor?
Switch careers and become an accountant or fireman?
We may never know the answer...

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Baker Reading Room OUT OF THIS WORLD "Spymaster"

With a cover by Dick Giordano...
...and interiors by Matt Baker, this never-reprinted tale from 1959 has a moral that'll be lost on most of the readers of 2021!
If retold in the cynical, dog-eat-dog world of 2021, the "big chain" drugstore would be welcomed with open arms since its' prices would be lower, the little drugstore would be driven out of business, and the Earth would fall under alien control...
An ironic lesson in lost morality originally-published in Charlton's Out of This World #14 (1959) by writer Joe Gill, penciler Matt Baker and inker Vince Colletta.
We're giving artist Matt Baker his own "Reading Room" during Black History Month to showcase his amazing illustrating versatility!
Horror, war, romance, sci-fi, crime...there was nothing he couldn't draw!
One of the few Black artists of the Golden and Silver Ages, Matt drew only one Black character in his own strip...Voodah, whom he co-created.
you can read his premiere adventure HERE!
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics
Visit Amazon and Order...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder AIRSHIP ENTERPRISE "Infernal Machine" Part1a

We're taking a one-month detour from Lost World... present a totally-different, yet amazingly-familiar "World of Wonder"!

To Be Continued...
Next Wednesday!
While not exactly original, it's a fun "alternate universe" take on the concept.
I do have a question, though...why is the captain named "Janus", a male god?
Yeah, I know "Janus Tibbs" is a play on "James Tiberius", with "Tibbs" being a reference to Sidney Poitier's three-appearance film detective Virgil Tibbs.
But, considering writer/artist Brian Denham used performer/sci-fi aficionado Janelle Monae as the character's visual model, why not call her "Janelle"?
BTW, though it initially-appeared in Antarctic Press' b/w anthology SteamPunk Tales #1 (2014), this is from Antarctic's Airship Enterprise: the Infernal Machine #1 which re-presented the tale in color!
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics!
Visit Amazon and Order...
Graphic Novel re-presenting the mini-series along with additional goodies

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Reading Room STRANGE TALES "When a Planet Dies!"

The current "deep freeze" reminded me of the splash panel from this story...
...from Marvel's Weird Wonder Tales #22 (1973), which was actually a reworking of this (literally) cool story from Strange Tales #97 (1962)!
While the art is credited to Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, who wrote it is not entirely clear.
A number of people, myself included, think it's scripted by Kirby himself.
Bonus: Here's the cover from a previous issue of Weird Wonder Tales that supplied the Dr Druid figure on the reworked splash page above...
Art by Jack Kirby, John Romita (Dr Druid's face) and Joe Sinnott
 ...and here's the original art for the splash page!
The production artist "flipped" a stat of the Dr Druid figure and replaced the bearded aliens!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Monday Madness AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY in A Tale Twice-Told!

What do this comic...
...and this comic...
...have in common...besides both being published as a joint project by Marvel Comics and the American Cancer Society?
Here's the inside covers from both books...
Figure it out?
Here's one more comparison...the back covers from both books...
Isn't it odd Luke seems to have forgotten cigar-smoking Nick Fury and Ben (the Thing) Grimm?
The answer's the exact same comic script (including word balloons and captions), just illustrated by two different art teams a decade apart!
(OK, to be fair, the text in the block Cage is lifting is different..but that's the only thing, and it's not story-related!)
You'll see both versions of this tale Tuesday through Friday at our "brother" RetroBlog

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Football + SuperHeroes = SuperPro!

30 years ago, Marvel and the NFL teamed up to produce...
...a football-themed superhero!
...who, despite meeting a couple of Marvel's best-known heroes...
...lasted only 13 issues, then disappeared into obscurity!
Due to licensing restrictions, NFL SuperPro will never be reprinted or offered as an e-book!
However, when you can find copies, they're usually pretty cheap, like the one below...
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics
Visit Amazon and Order...