Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #23!

Tales to Astonish 067Issue: Tales to Astonish #67

Title: “Where Strides the Behemoth!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Penciled by Steve Ditko, Inked by Frank Giacoia (as Frank Ray), Lettered by Art Simek

Supporting Cast: Major Talbot

Villain: Kanga Khan, Haukun Gantu

Hulk Intelligence: Angry Moron – this is pretty much the Hulk as we know him through the rest of the 1960s and the 1970s.

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: The Hulk is angry as he leaves the Red Weapons Development Base and runs into a line of tanks! He attacks the tanks, ripping off turrets with ease, but then missile trucks come in, and fire missiles at the Hulk. The Hulk takes these out by ripping up the road and flipping it as if it were a tablecloth and the tanks and missile trucks were toys upon it. The Hulk attacks anew, and soon the entire tank force is smashed, and the soldiers flee on foot. By this time, the Hulk's forgotten why he was there, so he starts jumping away, inadvertently going to Mongolia, where he stops to rest. The resting causes him to change back to Banner just in time to be captured by Kanga Khan and one of his men. Bruce tells them that if he's taken to the nearest Americans, they'll be rewarded. Kanga Khan doesn't believe this, since Bruce is in rags, but the People's Government papers insist that all Americans are rich! Bruce explains he's been lost. Khan's man suggests they should bring Bruce to the Soviets, but Khan believes the Americans are more generous. Leaving his man to guard Bruce, Kanga Khan rides off. Later, at a military installation Stateside, Major Talbot is informed about Bruce, and is assigned to get him – if Bruce is a traitor, to bring back for trial, but if innocent, to serve the US again. Some time later, Talbot (in civvies, looking rather like Indiana Jones) meets Khan's man and is brought to camp. But they are unaware that Haukun Gantu's men are watching the camp, and are ready to attack! Bruce is happy to see Talbot there to rescue him, but of course, Talbot's still convinced that Bruce is a Red agent. Suddenly, Gantu's men attack! Talbot and Banner flee the camp, climbing down a cliffside when suddenly, the outcropping they're standing on gives way, sending the two men plummeting down the cliffside!

Invention Exchange: None

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #26, The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster, 1978), Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Adapted as episode 11 of the 1966 Hulk animated series. The cover of this issue, equally divided between the Hulk and Giant-Man, features an iconic Hulk pose of the 1960s. This was Steve Ditko's last Hulk tale for some time, as Jack Kirby was returning to penciling the book the following issue. Stan still seems to be kind of treading water here, as the six pages was Hulk vs. tanks, then four pages with Bruce being captured, Talbot notified, Talbot arriving, and the attack on Kanga Khan's camp.

Give-A-Show Video Feature!

Finishing up the 1975 Kenner "Green" Release today!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Comic Book Ads!

Wow, just last month I was going on about kids destroying their toys these days... and I'd forgotten that when we were kids, we actually had toys designed to be broken -- and put back together again!

Character Collectible Spotlight: Aquaman, Part Three!

Continuing the parade of Aquaman collectibles, here's page 8 from Aquaman 44, by Jim Aparo!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


OK, I was originally planning on writing about this last month, but other things came to mind more readily, so I put it off until this month.

Let's talk about Facebook games. Now, I used to play several Facebook games, especially after I was laid off from my job at the newspaper. There were slot machine games, superhero games... most recently, I was playing Indiana Jones Adventure World, and was actually one of the top ten players.

Notice I said "was." Because I'm not anymore. I quit playing games on Facebook for good in February.

And why was this? Well, a lot of the games were fun, and they were "free" (even though they all offered to give me something to help with the game if I paid them money, such as energy to do more things in a game. And I didn't mind it, so long as I didn't HAVE to pay the money in order to play the game. But I swore, if I ever hit a point where I had to pay money in order to meet a goal, I'd quit.

Some of the games, I stopped playing because there were no more challenges left in them. There was a superheroes game where I'd basically done everything I could do, and all that was left was just fighting the same people over and over again.

Then there were some games where the challenges got to be ridiculous -- Like not being able to accomplish a single goal for weeks on end (this happens a lot with the slot machine-style games, where you have to get certain combinations of symbols in order to fill out a card, which once filled gets you to the next level). A good game should have goals that can be met in a reasonable period of time. When some of the games I was playing hit these, I finally got bored and quit them.

Some of the adventure-style games would have missions that you could play through, and if you played them enough times, you'd master them. Now, I have no problem with that concept -- but when the game designers change the game, or add things to the game where you have to go back to a mission you'd already mastered and play through it yet again to get some item you need, that starts to get ridiculous.

But what irks me even more than that is when the game gets so dependent on asking "neighbors" (i.e. friends of yours who play the same game on Facebook) for things you need that you spend more time sending off requests, sending "gifts" to neighbors, and accepting gifts than you do actually paying the game itself! And that gets tedious and frustrating.

It's especially frustrating when the game gets set up so that in the beginning, you have to do things that generate "income" in order to buy things, but then you find out that not only is there a limit to how much "money" you can have, you find out that in order to get the next upgrade on a piece of equipment, you can't just plain buy it with this useless "money", you have to ask your neighbors for stuff so you can get it!

And it gets even worse -- the people at Zygna, who do the Indiana Jones game, decided to make it so that one item you needed to build required translated runes, which you would either find while you adventure, or you could ask for them from your neighbors. Once you got them from your neighbors, you could then translate them, and hope that out of the six runes, it was the one or two runes you needed. And this item needed to be upgraded to a certain level so it would give me something I needed to finish an adventure.

This would be an adventure where I just needed that one item to finish the adventure, and there's a time limit to how long it can take me. There was no way I was going to be able to get the right runes in time to upgrade this thing and get the key I needed before time ran out on the adventure -- which I could either spend real money on in order to add extra time, or do the whole damn thing over again.

Now, while all this was going on, there kept getting to be more and more pop-up screens within the game coming up that I had to click through before I could get to the game itself -- which would sometimes freeze up my browser, requiring me to force quit and restart it.

About this time, I realized that it was these stupid Facebook games, with the greater and greater time-sink requirement, that was getting in the way of doing Random Acts of Geekery, so I quit them all.

I can't be the only person who's ever got to this point and quit... but unfortunately, there are probably lots of players out there who are going ahead and spending money on these games -- lots and lots of money!

If I'm going to spend money for a game, it's going to be a game I can play on my iPhone or iPad (like Angry Birds, a bargain for 99 cents!) or a game I can play on my iMac -- and it's not going to require me to ask other people for stuff constantly.

Do yourself a favor if you play games on Facebook. Keep track of how much time you spend each day playing these games. If you feel like you still have time to do things you enjoy every day, it's probably not a problem. But if you're thinking you have to give up things you enjoy doing because you don't have time for them, it could be these stupid Facebook games getting in the way. Just check it out, for your own sake!

Kirby Kovers!

First up this time around is this Kirby Kover that I'm pretty sure was published posthumously, for Invasion #1, and a quick check shows that, of course, I'm right -- it was released in 1997. This cover was originally a pinup in a 1979 Kirby Masterworks portfolio that's been flipped (the position of the steering wheel is a giveaway there). Pretty cool stuff, although considering that none of the reprinted stories inside were by Kirby, and certainly none had this kind of look to the aliens, kind of misleading, eh?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dog of the Geek: Astro!

astroBreed: Not specified, but he could well be a Great Dane, given his size.

Original Appearances: The Jetsons television series.

Other Appearances: Pretty much all other Jetsons items, as well as headlining the show Astro and the Space Mutts.

Biography: Astro was a stray, found by Elroy Jetson in the episode “The Coming of Astro.” George resists keeping the dog, saying an apartment is no place for a dog, and offering a robot dog as an alternative. When a cat burglar tries to rob the Jetsons, while the robot dog goes after the burglar, it's actually Astro who (accidentally) catches the criminal, causing George to change his mind. In the episode “Millionaire Astro,” it's learned that he's really the long-lost dog of zillionaire J.P. Gottrockets, and the Jetsons return Astro home. Gottrockets realizes that Astro's unhappy with him and returns him. I don't know how Astro went from being the Jetsons' pet to being a galactic police dog in Astro and the Space Mutts, and honestly, I don't really want to find out!

Powers: Astro was capable of speech, with R's being inserted in place of many consonants, much like Scooby-Doo's speech. Astro also appears to have opposable thumbs on his front paws when needed.

Group Affiliation: The Jetsons family.

Miscellaneous: Some Hanna-Barbera fans believe that Astro could well be a descendant of Scooby-Doo.

Cliffhanger! King of the Rocket Men, Chapter 4!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Monkees, Season 1, Episode 2: Monkee See, Monkee Die!

The title of this episode is "Monkee See, Monkee Die." It was written by Treva Silverman, and directed by James Frawley. Guest-starring in this episode is Henry Corden as Babbitt, Stacey Maxwell as Ellie, Milton Parsons as Ralph, Lea Marmer as Madame Roselle, Mark Harris as Kingsley, and Oliver MacGowan as McQuinney. This episode features the first in-episode appearances of the Monkeemobile, the eight-button long sleeved shirts they're best known for, and the Monkees' landlord Mr. Babbitt. Oliver MacGowan and Lea Marmer later guest-star in other Monkees episodes.

Cool Stuff!

More Batman stuff this time, starting with this rather bizarre looking belt buckle!