Saturday, December 31, 2011

Geek TV #11.2: Bewitched

Geek Pedigree:

Elizabeth Montgomery was nearly unrecognizable as The Woman in the Twilight Zone episode “Two.” And of course, she provided the voice for her animated alter ego in a Flintstones episode. She also voiced a barmaid in a 1995 episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

Before playing Larry Tate, David White had appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone (“I Sing the Body Electric” and “A World of Difference”), as well as two episodes of My Favorite Martian. After Bewitched, he guest starred in Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and was even cast as J. Jonah Jameson in the pilot episode of The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)!

First Darrin Dick York also appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone. His replacement, Dick Sargent, had appeared in The Beast With a Million Eyes and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, guested on I Dream of Jeannie, and later guested on The Six Million Dollar Man.

Agnes Moorehead had her first on-screen role in Citizen Kane, and ironically enough appeared as a witch in three episodes of Shirley Temple Theatre from 1958 to 1960, guested in “The Invaders” episode of Twilight Zone, provided the voice of the Black Widow on the 1966 animated Lone Ranger, guested on a Wild Wild West, two episodes of Night Gallery (playing a witch in one of those), and her last genre role was probably playing Mrs. Blair in the TV movie Frankenstein: The True Story.

George Tobias, who played Abner Kravitz, also guested on an episode of The Man From UNCLE, and reprised his role of Abner Kravitz on an episode of Tabitha. One of the Louise Tates, Kasey Rogers, had roles in Two Lost Worlds and When Worlds Collide, and also guested on The Lone Ranger, Mission: Impossible, and The Invisible Man. The other Louise, Irene Vernon, also guested on The Lone Ranger, as well as an episode of Dennis the Menace.

One of the Gladys Kravitz's, Sandra Gould, did a handful of one-shot voices on The Flintstones, appeared in two episodes of Twilight Zone, single episodes of Mister Ed, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island, I Spy, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, appeared on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and reprised her role in an episode of Tabitha. The first Gladys, Alice Pearce, was in two episodes of Denis the Menace, an episode of The Twilight Zone, and played the Dormouse in the 1955 TV movie of Alice in Wonderland.

bewitched_pic01Barnard Fox, who played Dr. Bombay, had voiced a character on The Flintstones, guested on I Spy, I Dream of Jeannie, The Girl From UNCLE, The Man From UNCLE, The Monkees, The Wild Wild West, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, played Squire Lester Moresby in Munster, Go Home, played Max in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, voiced a number of characters on the Oliver and the Artful Dodger two-part episode of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, as well as a variety of other cartoon characters here and there, played Dr. Bombay again in Tabitha and Passions, and played Captain Winston Havlock in The Mummy (1999). Oh, and he also played Dr. Jinga-Janga in an episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

Alice Ghostly probably had her first genre role playing Stepsister Joy in the 1957 TV movie of Cinderella, and later played Mrs. Nash in Captain Nice, guested in episodes of Get Smart, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Monster Squad, Tales From the Darkside, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hercules, and Passions.

Maurice Evans played Sir Norman Swickert in two episodes of The Man From UNCLE, played The Puzzler in two episodes of Batman, guested in an episode of I Spy, played General Bertram in four episodes of Tarzan, played Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and later had roles in Terror in the Wax Museum and The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping.

Paul Lynde provided voices for a number of animated shows and movies, including Pumpkinhead in Journey Back to Oz, Templeton in Charlotte's Web, Claude Pertwee in Where's Huddles?, The Hooded Claw/Sylvester Sneekly in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Mildew Wolf in The Cattanooga Cats, but he's also appeared in episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Munsters.

DVD Release: Complete seasons!

Of Mice and Magic: The Cartoons #18

Most of the cartoons I've been posting here the past month or two were used as "training" by Disney to get his animators producing the level he expected for his first full-length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Now, I'd imagine that most (if not all) of you have seen this movie at least a few times... so I'll just provided a few clips to remind you of the film!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Toy of the Week: Archie Huggable Dolls!

Ever wanted a huggable doll based on the Archies characters? Check these out:
As with most of the Archie figural items, the girls had rooted hair, while the boys had molded hair... come to think of it, that's pretty standard, isn't it? Looks like Archie and Jughead came out better in looking like themselves, eh?

Of course, these toys wouldn't have even been produced had not Filmation produced the various series of Archie cartoons that were phenomenally popular for quite some time! It looks like Archie, Jughead, Sabrina and Veronica were the only figures produced in this line. What, Sabrina and not Betty? Well, while you can't see it, the illustration on the card doesn't feature Betty hugging Archie's neck from behind -- it's Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, with her hair colored yellow! There was also a Jalopy for these dolls sold, too, and it had the same art mistake on the box! I'm guessing that since Sabrina had her own spin-off series, Mattel decided to include her, but not Betty (The fiends!).

If you need these dolls for your collection, click here to see if any are up on eBay! At the time I'm writing this, you could get Jughead for about $40 to $70, and Veronica would run you $85 to $92 or so, while the Jalopy goes for $110 -- all prices including shipping, Only one of the items mentioned above was an auction-style listing, the others were all "Buy It Now" style. There was a pair of Betty and Veronica dolls that were offered loose with a starting bid (including shipping) of $12, but nobody bid on those! Looks like if you're patient enough, you should be able to find these at the price you want!

Give-A-Show Fridays: Chad Valley 1975 Planet of the Apes, Parts 5 and 6!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cool Stuff: Marvel Stuff!

This week's first of several parts of Marvel stuff begins with this Captain America gun and badge from 1972! Sheesh, even in 1972, I knew Cap didn't need either of those!

The Indexible Hulk #18

Tales to Astonish 062Issue: Tales to Astonish #62

Title: “Enter... The Chameleon!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Pencils by Steve Ditko, Inks by George Roussos (as George Bell), Letters by Sam Rosen

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross, Major Talbot, Rick Jones

Villain: The Leader (not clearly shown), The Chameleon

Hulk Intelligence: Brute, but still with a decent command of the English language, even if he still speaks of himself in the third person.

Guest-Stars: Captain America (cameo)

Plot: As General Ross taunts the captured Hulk (who is certain he'll break free before he changes back to Banner, as the transformation works both ways triggered by extreme stress), in a hidden laboratory, the Leader takes a break from working on his humanoid creation to contact The Chameleon, ordering the master of disguise to find out what happened to the spy he sent to Ross' missile base (oh, so that's where that guy came from!). Meanwhile, Rick Jones tells Captain America (who he's been hanging around with since Avengers #4) that he needs to fly back west and try to help his big green buddy. Ironically, Rick is seated next to the disguised Chameleon on the plane ride! Back at the base, Talbot reports to Ross that he has found no trace of Bruce Banner, and that he remains convinced that Banner is a security risk, a sentiment Ross agrees with. Outside, the captured Hulk feels that the chains are beginning to weaken, and he continues to strain against them! Apparently, Rick (and the Chameleon) were on an exceptionally fast jet, as Rick arrives on the base while the Hulk is still straining against his bonds! Somehow, Rick knows that the strain will make the Hulk change back to Banner! Meanwhile, the Chameleon gets a good look at Ross (Talbot is supposed to be head of security, but he's awful at the job, as Rick Jones and the Chameleon easily get on base) and then disguises himself as Ross! He approaches the Hulk in disguise and says if Greenskin takes orders from him, he'll set the Hulk free! The Chameleon realizes that the guards present makes it difficult to plot freely, so he dismisses the men (remember, he's disguised as Ross). While this is happening, the Hulk finally changes back to Banner, who's too puny to be held in those oversized chains, and he flees! Bruce runs into Rick shortly afterwards, and is able to get changed into some extra clothes Rick happened to bring along. Later, Ross (the real one) is angry because he never ordered the guards away, and wants his imposter discovered! Bruce shows up at that time to offer his help (his excuse for his long absence is that he was doing research in the nearby caves and lost his way for a while). Talbot basically tells Bruce he's there to investigate rumors about Banner (blabbermouth), and Banner leaves. However, he's knocked out and replaced by the Chameleon, who searches Banner's lab and finds a formula for a grenade-type gama bomb, as well as a working prototype! He's about to leave when Betty arrives, but she quickly sees through the Chameleon's disguise! Meanwhile, Bruce wakes up, and the stress causes him to change into the Hulk! The Hulk smashes his way into the lab, and is about to strike the Chameleon when he sees the Gamma Grenade, and realizes what it can do! Pausing, the Hulk then notices a patrol coming, and not wanting to be captured again, flees the scene! Meanwhile, the Chameleon, still disguised as Bruce, takes Betty away, and finds the rocket speed velocity test sled (at least that's what he calls it – it appears to be the same vehicle that Reed Richards help perfect and Ben Grimm test-piloted a few installments of this index ago). He puts the unconscious Betty inside and fires it up to keep the Hulk occupied, but the Hulk stops it, then pursues the Chameleon! The Chameleon is about to set up the Gamma Grenade when more soldiers arrive, and the Hulk rips up the tarmac to shield himself! The Chameleon, meanwhile, throws the grenade at the Hulk, who throws himself on top of the grenade before it blows! The gamma rays from the explosion cause the Hulk to change back into Banner, and Bruce sneaks off. Later, at a board of inquiry, thank to Betty testifying that it wasn't really Banner who stole the Gamma Grenade, Bruce is cleared this time, but Ross and Talbot still suspect him (and still keep on telling him they suspect him). Meanwhile, the Leader, finding out the Chameleon failed, has completed his humanoid creation, and is about to use it on the Hulk!

Invention Exchange: Bruce Banner's Gamma Grenade... when did he have time to build this? We never see him starting any of these projects), the Leader's Humanoid.

Reprinted In: The Incredible Hulk Special #1, The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: As noted on the Grand Comics Database, both Rick Jones and Major Talbot call Betty “Miss Brant” in this story. Obviously Stan was getting his Bettys mixed up! As noted in the plot summary, Major Talbot and General Ross just can't stop telling Bruce that they suspect him – which is really bad security work! Why put him on the defensive? If Bruce really was the traitor he was believed to be, he could've just disappeared and built all his inventions for the other side!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Comic Book Advertisements!

First up in this week's gallery of comics ads is this half-page ad by Howard H. Rogofsky, promoting his back issue catalog! Note how prominent "Playboy" is in this ad... this ad that ran in Mighty Samson #18, a Gold Key title! And I'm guessing this same ad ran in all Gold Key titles of that month!

House of Hammer #4


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kirby Kovers #17

This week's Kirby Kover is the posthumously-published (if I recall correctly) Phantom Force #3, and while Kirby may have pencilled this cover, the printed result looks like a complete mess, no doubt due to McFarlane's inking and the way too much over-the-top coloring special effects! Kirby's art didn't need Photoshop to look fantastic, and I bet that if Kirby had ever played with Photoshop to do comic artwork, what he would've come up with would've made this look especially pathetic by comparison!

CBT: AD&D Storybook - The Forest of Enchantment!

Until I came across this recently, I had no idea that these even existed! I have two of these to share here, and here's the first!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monster Monday!

Well, I hope everyone's had a pleasant holiday weekend! Now, for the monsters!
The Old Dark House lobby card!

Dog of the Geek: Jack!

jakecutter1Breed: Jack Russell terrier

Original Appearances: Tales of the Gold Monkey TV series (ABC, 1982)
Other Appearances: None
Biography: Jack is the dog of Jake Cutter, an ex-Flying Tigers pilot operating out of the South Pacific in 1938 running an air cargo delivery service. I don't think we really know what caused Jack to lose his eye, but he used to have a false one made of opal with a star sapphire center that Jake lost in a poker game, and Jack refuses to let him forget it. Jack wears an eyepatch to cover the location of the lost eye. Jack believes that he is Jake's best friend, as opposed to alcoholic mechanic Corky.
Powers: Jack would bark once for “no,” and twice for “yes” – unless he felt like saying it the opposite way.
Group Affiliation: Cutter's Goose crew.
Tales of the Gold Monkey

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Geek TV #11.1: Bewitched

bewitched_pic04Concept: Mortal advertising executive marries gorgeous witch; hilarity ensues!

Total Episodes: 254

Original Air Dates: Fall 1964-Summer 1972

Original Network: ABC

Geek Factor: 7

Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Mongtomery): The gorgeous blonde witch married to that way too lucky Darrin! Although she promised not to use her witchcraft after she and Darrin married, she couldn't give it up entirely! One wonders why Darrin made such a big deal out of it... With a twitch of her nose, she could do anything (well, she snapped her fingers to teleport, but all the witches and warlocks did that).

Darrin Stephens (Dick York 1964-1969, Dick Sargent 1969-1972): Young advertising executive at McMahon and Tate, the luckiest man in the world (because he married Samantha), rather short-tempered at the most inconvenient times!

Endora (Agnes Moorehead): Samantha's mother who never approved of Sam's marriage to Derwood (one of the many names she called Darrin other than his real name).

Larry Tate (David White): Darrin's boss at McMahon and Tate, always quick to fire Darrin for the slightest reason, and just as quick to hire him back. Worst boss on 1960s TV? Probably!

Tabitha Stephens (Erin Murphy/Diane Murphy): Cute blonde-haired daughter of Sam and Darrin, with all her mother's magical abilities, except that she couldn't twitch, so she had to manually move her nose.

Louise Tate (Kasey Rogers/Irene Vernon): Larry's long-suffering wife. Believe it or not, both actresses played the part at various times, depending on who was available!

Abner Kravitz (George Tobias): Long-suffering husband to Gladys Kravitz, he pretty much just wanted to be left alone, and didn't think anything was up with his neighbors, the Stephens.

Gladys Kravitz (Sandra Gould/Alice Pearce): Abner's wife, obsessed with her neighbors – she really needed a hobby!

Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne): Samatha's well-meaning aunt whose magic tends not to work too well. She kind of suffers from a witchy dementia.

Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox): A real witch doctor; that is, a doctor for witches! Summoned by the chant, “Dr. Bombay, Dr. Bombay, emergency, come right away.” Typically, he's interrupted in the midst of some sort of unusual sporting event.

Drunk (Dick Wilson): Any time Darrin felt the pressure from dealing with Sam's family, he'd hit the bar and invariably run into this guy!

Phyllis Stephens (Mabel Albertson): Darrin's mother. Has a tendency to suffer from a series of “Sick Headaches” thanks to her accidental viewing of magic, which she always ends up being convinced she didn't see.

Frank Stephens (Roy Roberts/Robert F. Simon): Darrin's father. Only appeared in 12 episodes compared to the 18 Darrin's mother did.

Adam Stephens (“David Lawrence” – actually twins Greg and David Mandel): Sam and Darrin's son, born in the 1969 season. Apparently it was never made entirely clear in the show if Adam was a mortal or a warlock, as it could be interpreted that Maurice helped Adam out...

Esmerelda (Alice Ghostly): Samantha's cousin, somewhat like Aunt Clara in that her magic doesn't tend to work the way she usually intends it to.

Maurice (Maurice Evans): Samantha's father, and if anything, even more dismissive of Darrin than Endora is!

Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde): Samantha's practical joke-loving uncle.

Serena (Elizabeth Montgomery, billed as “Pandora Spocks”): Samantha's mod cousin, identical to Sam except that she has black hair to Samantha's blonde.

Geek Guest-Stars:

J. Edward McKinley appeared in ten episodes as various characters, but you may have also seen him as Mr. F. Flamm in two Joker episodes of Batman, or an episode of The Wild Wild West, or two episodes of The Munsters or a guest-appearance on My Favorite Martian, but it's more likely you'd recognize him as Raymond in The Time Travelers, or Professor Paul Weiner in Angry Red Planet.

Sara Seegar played different characters in ten episodes, but she'd be most recognizable as Mrs. Wilson on Dennis the Menace.

Paul Smith was another actor who had multiple roles (nine in all), but he's probably best remembered for playing Harley Trent on Mr. Terrific, guesting in two episodes of Batman as Artemus Knab, or perhaps even playing Parkman's Clerk in The Deadly Mantis.

Bernie Kopell played a number of characters on Bewitched himself, but will probably always be most remembered by geeks for playing Siegfried on Get Smart.

Parley Baer guested on a few episodes, but is probably better remembered for playing Major Arthur J. Henson in a half-dozen episodes of The Addams Family, although he also had minor geek roles prior to that and up until 1996, guest-starring in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

Pat Priest appeared in three episodes of Bewitched, but she'll always be remembered for playing Marilyn on The Munsters.

Dave Madden appeared in two episodes of Bewitched, and in between those episodes he was on seven episodes of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Most of you will probably remember him best as Reuben Kincaid, manager of The Partridge Family. His fellow Laugh-In alum Henry Gibson was also in a few episodes of Bewitched himself!

Arlene Martel guest-starred in two episodes, but she'll be forever identified as T'Pring in the Star Trek episode “Amok Time”. She also guest-starred in two episodes of The Monkees.

Jonathan Harris, best known for playing Dr. Smith on Lost in Space, was in two episodes of Bewitched, one in 1968 and another in 1970, playing two different characters.

Janos Prohaska played the Dodo Bird in two episodes of Bewitched, but we'll always remember him for his four episodes of Star Trek, playing different creatures in each one, especially the Horta in “Devil in the Dark”! Janos also appeared in Escape from the Planet of the Apes and played gorillas and other creatures in episodes of Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, It's About Time, Lost in Space, and The Munsters.

Bill Mumy was in two episodes of Bewitched as two different characers (one of which was a young Darrin), and of course he'll be best remembered for playing Will Robinson on Lost in Space, or perhaps three episodes of The Twilight Zone, especially “It's a Good Life,” or his role as Lennier on Babylon 5.

Felix Silla appeared as a goblin in one episode, and a troll in another. He's also known for playing Cousin Itt on The Addams Family, Polka Dotted Horse and others on H.R. Pufnstuff, Colonel Poom on Lidsville, Lucifer on Battlestar Galactica, and Twiki on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Mike Road played Hawkins in two 1966 episodes of Bewitched, but he's probably better known for his voice work in cartoons, especially Race Bannon on Jonny Quest, Ugh on the Dino Boy segments of Space Ghost, Zandor and Zok on The Herculoids, Mr. Fantastic in the 1978 Fantastic Four, and many other roles.

The legendary June Foray, best known as the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale on Bullwinkle, as well as way too many other characters to begin listing, provided voices for a few babys in 1966 episodes of Bewitched

The rest next week! 

Of Mice and Magic: The Cartoons #17

This week, another trio of Silly Symphonies, beginning with "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood"!

Next, "The Ugly Duckling"!

And last but not least, "The Old Mill," featuring Disney's then-new multiplane camera!

Next week: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"!

Christmas Countdown 2011 #24: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #2, Part 3!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Toy of the Week: AHI Flying Starship Enterprise!

Is it bizarre? Yes! Does it completely morph where things are on the Enterprise in order to create a flying toy? Absolutely! But you know what, it's a clever idea, if you ask me! Considering how many flying toys AHI made with its licenses that just didn't fit them, this one is toy gold! As mentioned last week, this card design appears to be from near the end of AHI's reign of the toy racks, and it's a pretty cool card design! And sure, purists would argue about moving the saucer section to the middle in order to make it a flying toy that could actually fly and not simply crash right away... but I'd kind of rather have that than no flying Enterprise at all. I'm a bit more annoyed by the words "Star Trek" printed on the sides of the main section, to be honest!

Now, there was a flying Enterprise toy that was kind of/sort of similar to this one, where the saucer wasn't moved... but you'll just have to wait for that one to come up! In the meantime, if you're salivating over this toy as much as I have done in the past, hie thee to eBay, and you'll be amazed at what these go for -- when they even show up! In fact, at the time I'm writing this, the only AHI Star Trek item I could find was the squirt gun I showed you last week!

Give-A-Show Fridays: Chad Valley 1975 Planet of the Apes, Parts 3 and 4!

Christmas Countdown 2011 #23: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #2, Part 2!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cool Stuff!

As many of you will no doubt recall, I'm a big fan of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, a show that I feel deserves complete season releases on DVD instead of the atrocious "Best Of" sets! Anyway, to start with, here's a few issues of the Laugh-In Magazine! Look that up in your Funk & Wagnals!

The Indexible Hulk #17

Tales to Astonish 061Issue: Tales to Astonish #61

Title: “Captured at Last!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Art by Steve Ditko, Inked by George Bell (Roussos), lettered by Sam Rosen

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross, Col. Glenn Talbot (first appearance)

Villain: The mystery spy

Hulk Intelligence: Brutish Thug

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: After defeating the Hulk in the previous issue, the spy in Bruce Banner's robot armor manages to stumble upon one of Banner's hidden cave labs (this is the first time it's mentioned that there's more than one... man, Banner was making huge money!), and plans to use the equipment there to build a crude missile to destroy Ross' base! Meanwhile, at the base lab, Banner works feverishly to build an electronic scanner to find the robot that was stolen (you may recall that last issue, Bruce figured he'd build a more powerful robot, I don't know why he changed his mind)! In Ross' office, Ross is meeting Col. Glenn Talbot, newly assigned to Ross' base, and also convinced that Banner is a traitor. When Betty arrives at Ross' office, Glenn is instantly smitten, and Ross hopes that Talbot will be the one to make Betty forget about Bruce! Betty shows Talbot around the base, but when they get to Bruce's lab, Bruce isn't there! Instead, he's using his newly-built scanner to find the robot, who by this time has built his missile! Bruce sees the robot, but also sees an Army helicopter (that has Talbot and Betty on board) and realizes the robot will attack the ship, and that stress causes him to turn into the Hulk and leap up to destroy a boulder the robot had hurled at the chopper, which had just landed! Then, the Hulk leaps at the robot, sending them both down a hill. The Hulk and the robot battle, neither giving way, until they reach the opening of a bottomless pit! Meanwhile, the missile (that was apparently just laying around Banner's lab, not built by the spy) has been automatically launched at the base! Desperately, the Hulk lunges over the opening of the bottomless pit, then uses his leg muscles to bounce off the opposite side and over the robot, and then delivers a two-fisted blow to the robot, sending it and the spy inside down into the pit! The Hulk then goes after the missile, destroying it with one punch. When he returns to the ground, however, the strain has been too much, and he lands unconscious, where Talbot and Betty find him – Talbot assuming that the Hulk threw the boulder! Talbot contacts the base, and Ross sends out a crane with special chains developed by Tony Stark, which are used to bind the Hulk. Patrols are sent to search for Bruce, and Talbot and Ross discuss their hopes that there's a connection between Bruce and the Hulk. Later, the Hulk awakens in his chains, surrounded by tanks! The chains are holding him, but as the Hulk strains against his bonds, the stress begins to build, which will surely change him back to Bruce Banner!

Invention Exchange: Bruce's electronic scanner – what, he didn't have a metal detector handy? Also Bruce's missile he carelessly left in one of his many cave laboratories. We can't forget Tony Stark's special chains (did Tony design and build these out of anger for Bruce building a suit of powered armor, even one that couldn't fly?).

Reprinted In: The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: Oddly, this issue as well as the Hulk issues from Tales to Astonish #62-66 don't seem to have been reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes, as one might have expected! Also odd is how this mystery spy was defeated and killed off without any reveal as to who he was or who he was working for!

Christmas Countdown 2011 #22: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #2, Part 1!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Comic Book Advertisements!

Maybe it's just the ads I'm coming across for this month's posts of Comic Book Advertisements, but I have to tell you... the ads in the Gold Key books seem to really be more sneaky and devious than one would think!
Check out this subscription ad from Mighty Samson #17... looks like a good deal, right? Four comics every month, 48 books a year, for only $5? But I have to be suspicious about it... There are nine titles listed there (with an ellipsis after The Flintstones), and I don't know how often these books came out (I know many of Gold Key's titles were bimonthly, but I thought some were monthly). Nine does not divide evenly into 48! So what's the deal here? Does the ellipsis indicate some other titles may appear? Notice that Little Lulu is pictured in the ad, but not mentioned below! Are you going to get every issue of these titles for that year, or will they just randomly pick four to send you each month?

Famous Monsters #30


Christmas Countdown 2011 #21: Woolworth's Christmas Book 1952!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kirby Kovers #16

Man, as much as I tried to randomize the Kirby Kovers, it does seem like there's been at least one Thor every two or three weeks already, doesn't it? Still, these are some great covers, and here's Kirby doing his take on a classic painting pose (this same pose was also used as the basis of an issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the issue where Supergirl died). Anyway, here's issue #127, and you can definitely feel how Odin feels about the (apparent) death of his son, although I think some shading on the All-Father's face would've carried this out a bit more, perhaps...

CBT: Marvel Super Heroes Christmas Coloring Book!

marvel christmas coloring00001

Christmas Countdown 2011 #20: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1956-57 Edition!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Monster Monday!

Since this is the last Monster Monday before Christmas, it's appropriate to begin with a few monster toys, eh? Above are the vampire and werewolf versions of the Monster Lab toy!

Dog of the Geek: Shelby!

shelbyBreed: Red Setter

Original Appearances: Smallville, beginning in episode 14 of the fourth season, “Krypto”.
Other Appearances: None.
Biography: Shelby was first introduced as a dog with strength comparable to Clark Kent's as a result of Kryptonite experimentation. Clark first wants to name the dog “Krypto” (explaining to Lex because of its cryptic origins). Lois Lane doesn't like the name, telling Clark he can name his next dog Krypto. Eventually, Clark names him Shelby after one of Martha Kent's old dogs... a better choice for him than Lois' favorite, “Clarky.” Shelby reappears periodically in remaining episodes of the series, although without the superstrength he'd demonstrated in that first episode.
Powers: Brief superstrength, later lost.
Group Affiliation: None.
Miscellaneous: In the comic book Superman For All Seasons, Clark Kent's farm dog is named Shelby, although that's because artist Tim Sale had a dog by the same name. In Superman Returns, Clark refers to Martha's dog as Shelby.

Christmas Countdown 2011 #19: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #1, Part 3!

Pretty much the rest of this issue loses the Christmas theme, save for a few one or two-page features, so here's the rest of this book, so we can get back to Christmas-themed comics tomorrow!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Geek TV #11: Battlestar Galactica (Original Series)

battlestara2Concept: One part Star Wars, one part assorted mythological and Egyptian stuff, and one part TV budget, and you get... “Feeling from the Cylon tyranny, the last battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest – a shining planet – known as “Earth.”

Total Episodes: 22

Original Air Dates: 1979-1978

Original Network: ABC

Geek Factor: 8

Commander Adama (Lorne Greene): Leader of the Battlestar Galactica, and father to Capt. Apollo and Athena. It's his idea to send the Galactica and the remaining humans in whatever spaceships they could find and flee their homeworlds in search of the legendary 13th Colony of Mankind, Earth.
Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch): Top-ranking Viper pilot, passionate, and fair-minded. Best friends with Lt. Starbuck, even if he doesn't always approve of Starbuck's interests.
Lt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict): Possibly a better Viper pilot than Apollo, Starbuck is the cigar-smoking, wise-cracking ladies' man who can't pass up a good game of Pyramid.
Lt. Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) reserved, thoughtful and loyal Viper pilot, in many ways the opposite of Starbuck.
Baltar (John Colicos): Mankind's greatest enemy, a human who sold out his entire race to the Cylons in return for power.
Athena (Maren Jensen): Beautiful daughter of Adama and sister to Apollo, her main position is on the Galactica bridge operating a scanner. She is in love with Starbuck, and has a rivalry with Cassiopeia.
Troy “Boxey” (Noah Hathaway): Annoying to many viewers, Boxey was the son of Serina, adopted by Apollo after the two married, now being raised by Apollo as his own son after his wife's death. When his daggit (dog) was killed during the attack on Caprica, Apollo later found a “replacement” for Boxey, a robotic daggit named Muffit II after the original daggit.
Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang): Lovely socialator turned nurse, in love with Starbuck.
Flight Sgt. Jolly (Tony Swartz): Hefty, jovial, likeable fellow, and another of Galactica's excellent Viper pilots.
Colonel Tigh (Terry Carter): Executive officer of the Galactica and a close, personal friend of Commander Adama, a no-nonsense officer and former pilot.
Omega (David Greenan): Core command crewmember, more or less the operations manager of the Galactica.
Sheba (Anne Lockhart): Daughter of the legendary Commander Cain of the equally legendary Battlestar Pegasus, Sheba transferred to Galactica after the apparent loss of Pegasus. After her transfer, she begins to develop the start of a romantic relationship with Apollo.
Flight Cpl. Rigel (Sarah Rush): Core Command operative on the Galactica, coordinating Viper defense and lauch approval procedures.
Lucifer (Felix Silla/Jonathan Harris): Cylon IL-series attached to Baltar, although the two have different ways of thinking. Probably ptu in place to keep an eye on Baltar as much as aid him.
Imperious Leader (Voice of Patrick MacNee): Highest authority of the Cylon empire who struck a bargain with Baltar that allowed the Cylons to take over the Twelve Colonies.

Geek Guest-Stars:
Let's see if I can pare down from what I've typically written for this section!
Jane Seymour, who played the ill-fated Serina, had made her first geek appearance in the James Bond film Live and Let Die as Solitaire, and later played Farah in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Her most recent geek role (at the time of this writing) was Dr. Victoria Stangel in seven episodes of the 2006 season of Smallville.
Jeff McKay, who played Cpl Komma in three episodes, was first brought to geekdom's attention playing Gordon “Gordie” Masterson in the Dr. Shrinker segments of The Krofft Supershow, and after Galactica, played Hugo Kaufman on The Wild Wild West Revisited, played Corky on Tales of the Gold Monkey, guest-starred in two episodes of The Greatest American Hero, and voiced Fireflight on The Transformers.He died in 2008.
Lew Ayers portrayed Mandemus in Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Vaslovik in The Questor Tapes, guest-starred in an episode of The Magician, two episodes of The Bionic Woman, and one episode each of The Fantastic Journey and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, also playing Bill Atherton in Damien: Omen II prior to playing President Adar in the first two episodes of Galactica. He later played Jason Burke in Salem's Lot (1979). He died in 1996.
The near-legendary (or should that be just legendary) Wilfried Hyde-White played “Doodles” Fletcher in Tarzan and the Lost Safari, guested on an episode of The Twilight Zone (1963), Mission: Impossible, and played Captain Reginauld K. Klaus in The Magic Christian before playing Sire Anton in the first two Galactica episodes. Later, he played Dr. Goodfellow in 11 episodes of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He died in 1991.
Roy Thinnes is best known for playing David Vincent in The Invaders, but he also played Colonel Glenn Ross in Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, and guested on a 1977 episode of Tales of the Unexpected before playing Croft in the two-parter episode “Gun on Ice Planet Zero.” He later played Roger Collins on the 1991 revival of Dark Shadows and played Van Order in the TV Series War of the Worlds. He played David Vincent again in the 1995 TV Movie The Invaders, and played Jeremiah Smith in three episodes of The X-Files
James Olson played Dr. Mark Hall in The Andromeda Strain, Capt. William H. Kemp in Moon Zero Two, guested in an episode of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, two episodes of The Bionic Woman, and then guested as Thane in the two-parter “Gun On Ice Planet Zero.” He later guested on Project U.F.O, and played Father Adamsky in Amityville II: The Posession
The Ice Planet Zero episode had a lot of geek guest-stars! It also had Christine Belford, who had guested on an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man prior to playing Baroness Paula Von Gunther in an episode of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman and guesting in an episode of Tales of the Unexpected. After Galactica, she guested on Beyond Westworld, The Incredible Hulk (1979-1981), The Greatest American Hero, and Mann and Machine

John Fink played George Kerby in the TV Movie Topper Returns and guested on The Bionic Woman before playing Dr. Payne in two episodes of Galactica, and also had small parts in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin
Lloyd Bridges first came to geekdom attention playing Col. Floyd Graham in Rocketship X-M, but of course he'll always be remembered for playing Mike Nelson on Sea Hunt. He also guested on Mission: Impossible and Tales of the Unexpected before playing Commander Cain in the two-part “The Living Legend.” Shortly after Galactica, he played Steve McCroskey in Airplane!, which even more people these days probably remember than Sea Hunt, and also played the White Knight in the 1985 TV movie of Alice in Wonderland. He died in 1998.

Ray Milland played Dr. James Xavier in X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes, Harry Baldwin in Panic in Year Zero!, Guy Carrell in Premature Burial, guested on Night Gallery, played Harry Flexner in Terror in the Wax Museum, Maxwell Kirshner in The Thing With Two Heads, Aristotle Bolt in Escape to Witch Mountain, and a few other geek roles before playing Sire Uri in the first two Galactica episodes. He died in 1986.

Rick Springfield voiced his animated counterpart in Mission: Magic! And guest-starred on The Six Million Dollar Man prior to playing Lieutenant Zac (the younger brother of Apollo) in the first two Galactica episodes. He also guest-starred on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk (1979), then much later played Christopher Chance in the 1992 version of Human Target
While he had several guest-starring roles on geek TV shows (including The Green Hornet), Lloyd Bochner had his first major geek roles playing Harmon Temple III in City Beneath the Sea and Dr. Cory in The Dunwich Horror. He guest-starred on The Starlost, The Magician, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Amazing Spider-Man (1978) before playing Commandant Leither in two episodes of Galactica. Much later, he guest-starred in The Adventures of Superboy and voiced Mayor Hamilton Hill on Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. He died in 2005.

battlestara1Olan Soule appeared as Carmichael on two episodes, but way before that, he'd appeared in a small part on The Day the Earth Stood Still as well as in This Island Earth, he played Aristotle “Tut” Jones in the TV series Captain Midnight, appeared in three episodes of One Step Beyond, two episodes of The Twilight Zone, three episodes of Mister Ed, an episode of The Addams Family, The Munsters and Bewitched, three My Favorite Martian episodes, an episode of Batman (1966), The Girl From UNCLE and The Monkees, and then, in 1978, he voiced Alfred and Bruce Wayne Batman on The Batman/Superman Hour, in segments later released as The New Adventures of Batman. While guesting on other shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and Mission: Impossible, he voiced Batman again in four episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and then again on Super Friends, The All-New Super Friends Hour, and Challenge of the Super Friends. During Galactica, he also guest-starred om three episodes of Project UFO. He continued to voice Batman in the 1980-1983 Super Friends before being replaced by Adam West, but in SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show he voiced Professor Martin Stein, as well as the same role in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. He died in 1994.

Geek Pedigree:
Series creator Glen A. Larson had previously created Alias Smith and Jones, wrote the TV movie The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War, created the Galactica follow-up Galactica 1980, developed Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, created Automan, Knight Rider, and wrote the TV movie NightMan, based on the comic book character.

David G. Phinney was an associate producer, and he served in that same role on The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Galactica 1980. He wrote an episode of Galactica and directed episodes of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Quantum Leap.

John Dykstra was a producer on four episodes, and is generally considered to be by many people the special effects supervisor, a position he also held on Silent Running, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alice in Wonderland (1985), My Stepmother is an Alien, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man, Spider-Man II, and X-Men: First Class.

Supervising producer on two episodes Leslie Stevens was executive producer on the original The Outer Limits, later producing episodes of The Invisible Man (1975), Gemini Man, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and the 1996-1998 version of The Outer Limits. He also wrote episodes for all of those shows or had a hand in developing them for TV. He died in 1998.

Musical composer Stu Phillips had previously composed background music for The Monkees, scored The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Spider-Man (1978-1979), Galactica 1980, Automan and Knight Rider
Dirk Benedict had previously played David Blake in Sssssss.

John Colicos played Kor in the original Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy,” guested on Mission: Impossible, Night Gallery, The Magician, The Six Million Dollar Man, and later guested on War of the Worlds (1989), voiced Apocalypse on X-Men (1992-1995), and reprised his role as Kor on three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He died in 2000.  

Patrick MacNee was the opening credits announcer, the voice of Imperious Leader, and Count Iblis, but for many geeks, he'll always be John Steed in The Avengers.

Anne Lockhart is the daughter of June Lockhart (Lost in Space). 

 Felix Silla was the man inside the Imperious Leader costume, and his small size also landed him the part of Cousin Itt on The Adams Family, as well as roles in Star Trek (a Talosian in “The Cage”), a child gorilla in Planet of the Apes, Polka Dotted Horse and others on H.R. Pufnstuf, Colonel Poom on Lidsville, Twiki on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, and an Emperor Penguin in Batman Returns. Jonathan Harris, the voice of Lucifer, will forever be known as Dr. Zachary Smith in Lost in Space, but had many, many other geek roles.

DVD Release: Complete series

Website: features both the original and remake series.

Notes: You'll no doubt recall that, amazingly, not all that long after Battlestar Galactica was cancelled, it was kind of brought back as Galactica 1980, which I'll eventually get to here. I have to admit, when I heard that the SciFi Channel was reviving Battlestar Galactica, I had my doubts, especially when I saw how different it was going to be from the original – but then I watched the first miniseries, and I was a convert (although in many ways, I'm still more of a fan of the original series). I was very excited when this show came out, and my family watched it faithfully, as did the families of all my friends, so we were somewhat surprised when it was cancelled! Well, not that surprised, maybe, as it didn't take long before we realized how often the exact same special effects shots were used over and over and over again, making the show look cheap... and then there was the Eastern Empire thing – you know, the Space Nazis? – and that whole thing went on for way too long. What originality and promise there was in the initial few episodes seemed to peter out quickly, and it went into more pastiche. Yes, Star Trek did their space Nazis, but that was in one episode... Galactica had several! Still, high points of the series were the first few episodes and the later Living Legend two-parter with the Pegasus.