Friday, December 21, 2012

My Toys: Rubber Godzilla Cling Toy!

When I go to comic shows, I don't always look just for cheap comics to read -- although that is  my primary purpose. I also like to look at what fun toys people are selling, and if some cool toy is in my price range, I'll get it -- especially if it's a Godzilla toy! Now, this particular toy is one I've posted photos of from eBay auctions, so I recognized it immediately  (even if I don't know much about it specifically). It's a nice little Godzilla toy, even if the dorsal fins are almost nonexistent. The arms are on a spring mechanism, so you can squeeze his shoulders and make him grab on to just about anything. This was a very lucky purchase on my part, he was a buck at the 2011 Portland Comic Book Show!

MST3k Season One, Episode Nine: Project Moonbase!

This episode's experiment is "Project Moon Base," a 1953 movie which had a script co-written by Robert A. Heinlein! The film starred Donna Martell (who had earlier been in Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, and later guested in an episode of Men Into Space), Hayden Rorke (best known for his later role as Dr. Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie, he had also been in Francis Goes to the Races and When Worlds Collide, and guested in episodes of The Line Ranger, The Adventures of Superman Thriller, The Twilight Zone, Mister Ed, and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman), Ross Ford (he had guested in episodes of Adventures of Superman, The Lone Ranger, and My Living Doll) , Larry Johns, Herb Jacobs, Barbara Morrison, Ernestine Barrier, James Craven, John Hedloe, Peter Adams, Robert Karnes, John Straub, Charles Keane, John Tomecko and Robert Paltz. The same sets, costumes, and so on were also used for Cat-Women On The Moon, which was filmed more or less at the same time!

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 21: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #6, Part 4!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Geek TV: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!

Concept: Conflict between the heroic He-Man and the evil Skeletor on planet Eternia; or, to put it another way, a half-hour animated commercial for an action figure line (or so some believe)

Total Episodes: 130

Original Air Dates: 1983-1985

Original Network: First-run syndication

Geek Factor: 8


he-man-and-the-masters-of-the-universe-season-one-volume-two-20060117044605821-000Prince Adam/He-Man (Voice of John Erwin): Son of Eternia's rulers, King Randor and Queen Marlena. Pretty much everyone thinks Adam is useless, but when he holds his Power Sword aloft and shouts, “By the power of Greyskull, I HAVE THE POWER!” he is transformed into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe.

Cringer/Battle Cat (Voice of Alan Oppenheimer): Cringer is the royal pet, afraid of just about everything. When Adam becomes He-Man, he uses the magic of his sword to transform Cringer into Battle Cat, a fighting armored tiger whom He-Man rides like a horse.

he-man-and-the-masters-of-the-universe-season-two-volume-one-20060523043445655-000Man-At-Arms/General Duncan (Voice of Alan Oppenheimer): Man-At-Arms is He-Man's closest ally, adoptive father of Teela, and chief producer of the weaponry and vehicles used by the Eternian defenders. He is one of the few people to know that Adam is He-Man.

Teela (Voice of Linda Gary): Captain of the royal guard, Man-At-Arms' adopted daughter. Her mother is the Sorceress, who asked Man-At-Arms to raise her. She is very outspoken and opinionated, and wishes Adam could be more like He-Man.

Orko (Voice of Lou Scheimer): Magician from the parallel world of Trolla, he is inept and his spells tend to backfire, while on his homeworkd he's a master magician. Orko knows that Adam is He-Man. He's unaware that he's one of the most hated characters in any Filmation cartoon!

The Sorceress (Voiced by Linda Gary): Mystic guardian of Castle Grayskull, who gave Adam the power to become He-Man. She is not able to leave Grayskull for long, else she reverts to her falcon form, Zoar. She is the mother of Teela.

he-manvillainsSkeletor (Voice of Alan Oppenheimer): The main antagonist of He-Man, Skeletor is an evil demon from another dimension – or possibly he used to be Keldor, brother of King Randor!

Beast Man (Voice of John Erwin): Animal-like humanoid who can summon wild creatures of Eternia to aid Skeletor's schemes, but he's pretty much a buffoon.

Mer-Man (Voice of Alan Oppenheimer): Another buffoon toady of Skeletor's, Mer-Man can control sea life.

Evil-Lyn (Voice of Linda Gary): A malevolent sorceress, whose power is second only to Skeletor's. She aids Skeletor to suit her own ends.

There were a LOT of other characters in this series, but these are the main ones!

Geek Guest-Stars: Not applicable

Geek Pedigree: Naturally, being a Filmation program, Masters of the Universe has that whole Lou Scheimer thing going for it (Lou even voiced characters, not just Orko, but also King Randor and others). Episodes were written by people such as Donald F. Glut, Paul Dino, J. Michael Straczynski, Michael Reaves, Bob Forward, and many others who have had long histories with other geek TV programs and movies.

John Erwin, the voice of He-Man and others, did his first work for Filmation voicing Reggie Mantle on various Archie programs, and also did voices on Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies/Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, as well as characters on Fred and Barney Meet the Thing (the less said about that, the better!). He can also be heard as a radio sportscaster in Back to the Future Part II, and reprised his role as He-Man in a 2005 episode of Family Guy.

Alan Oppenheimer's first geek role was Dr. Contrare in Gammera the Invincible, although that may have been voice only. He also played Colonel Benkovsky in two episodes of I Spy, guested in two episodes of Get Smart, appeared in a handful of Hogan's Heroes episodes, an I Dream of Jeannie, a Bewitched, did voices in a few New Scooby-Doo Movies, played Dr. Rudy Wells in the Six Million Dollar Man, played the Chief Supervisor on Westworld, did voices for Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, Speed Buggy, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Hong Kong Phooey, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Uncle Croc's Block, Fraidy Cat, Fabulous Funnies, Battle of the Planets, Tarzan (1976-1979), Flash Gordon, Thundarr the Barbarian, Blackstar, The Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam!, and many, many other shows before and after He-Man. His most recent geek role was playing Alfred in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

He-Man_S1_DVD_lLinda Gary did the voice of Tania Frankenstein in Lady Frankenstein, provided voices for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy Doo, Tarzan, Blackstar, The Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam!, voiced Aunt May on Spider-Man (1981-1982), did voices for The Transformers, Ghostbusters, BraveStarr, She-Ra: Princess of Power, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and many other shows, including voicing Aunt May again in the 1994-1997 Spider-Man.

George DiCenzo appeared in an episode of Dark Shadows as well as the movie House of Dark Shadows, and could also be seen as an underground tour guide in The Night Strangler. He was the voice of Hercules and Sentinel One in Space Sentinels, played Roarg in an episode of Space Academy, was Major Benchley in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, voiced Captain America and others on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends as well as the 1982 Spider-Man, voiced the title character on Blackstar, and went on to voice Hordak and others on She-Ra, as well as other roles, although his geek roles started becoming fewer further between.

Erika Scheimer, Lou's daughter, and Jay Scheimer, Lou's late wife, also did a number of voice roles on the show, as they'd done for many Filmation projects prior to that.

DVD Release: BCI/Eclipse did two box sets, one for each season, as well as a “Best Of” teaser collection before that, all of which featured special features I helped work on, but are all out of print. Other releases have come since – check the publisher's name before buying!

Website: is, of course, the master site for all Masters of the Universe stuff, past, present and future!

Notes: Okay, so I have to admit, I did kind of watch this show as well as the She-Ra spin-off... and I wasn't impressed at the time (we only watched it because nothing else was on at that time of day). There are things I notice even more now, watching it so many years later, such as the reuse of animation and so forth... but it was an amazing accomplishment!

Comic Reading Library: Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle #4!


Christmas Comics Countdown Day 20: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #6, Part 3!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cover Redux!

First up this time is Avengers #61, and the reprint in Marvel Super Action #22! Of course, you'll immediately note that the image has been flipped for the reprint (because of the UPC code -- good thing all the Avengers here have costumes that aren't affected by a flip!). The recoloring, in this case, actually works better for me on the reprint, but I digress. I actually don't see anywhere that has the art altered in any way, aside from perhaps a bit of enlarging.

Comics They Never Made!


Christmas Comics Countdown Day 19: Walt DIsney's Christmas Parade #6, Part 2


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dog of the Geek: Max!

Breed: Unknown

Original Appearances: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Dr. Seuss, 1957.

Other Appearances: Animated special and film of the same name, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

Biography: Max is the faithful dog of the Grinch, who lived on snowy Mount Crumpit just north of Whoville. One year, the Grinch decided to do away with Christmas, so he disguised himself as Santa Claus and Max as a reindeer in order to steal all physical signs of Christmas from Whoville. When the Grinch discovers that Christmas isn't about the stuff, he has a change of heart, and returns everything.

Powers: None

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: Max is a true tribute to the faithfulness of dogs everywhere, given how much he tolerates from his master before the Grinch's heart grows three sizes!

Comic Book Ads!

It's time for comic book ads, and the first one this time around is from All True Crime #28 -- you'd think it would've been from a western comic, wouldn't you? You know, I'm okay with the belt and wallet here... but the pocket flashlight? One of these things is not like the others...

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 18: Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #6, Part 1!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Toy Spotlight: Big Jim, Part 1!

Been a while since I posted any of these... Big Jim was Mattel's 1970s attempt to invade the action figure market then dominated by Mego and Hasbro. Oh, they'd tried before in the 1960s with Major Matt Mason, but as the space craze died down, so did that line, unfortunately.

Big Jim originally started out to be sports-themed, but then assumed a more adventure format, eventually going into the whole P.A.C.K. thing where he became the leader of a group of crime fighters! Long after the line ended in the USA, it kept going strong overseas! I'm going to attempt to keep this to the US releases.

Big Jim with talking backpack

The Indexible Hulk #42!

Tales to Astonish 085Issue: Tales to Astonish #85

Title: “The Missile and the Monster!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, penciled by John Buscema, inked by John Tartaglione, lettered by Ray Holloway.

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

Villain: Gorki (don't worry, you'll find out soon who he is)

Hulk Intelligence: Same as last time... wants to be left alone, not too bright, short of temper

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: The Hulk continues to be at large in New York City, and aside from the brief tussle with Spider-Man (as seen in the previous post in this series), nobody's doing anything about it... not the Fantastic Four, not the Avengers, not the X-Men, not even Daredevil! So, the Hulk's accidentally causing damage everywhere he goes because he doesn't know his own strength and weight, and so he decides to leap up into the sky! Meanwhile, Rick Jones is nearing the Lincoln Tunnel in the car he's been hired to drive north from Florida. In Florida, the man who hired him, Gorki, is really a foreign agent, and he's been watching Rick via a hidden camera this whole time! His plan: Instant annihilation of New York City! At Cape Kennedy base, Talbot tells Ross that they're ready for the countdown, as it's time to test-launch the Orion Missile, which Ross says is anti-missile proof – no other missile can destroy it once it's in flight. The launch goes as scheduled, and it heads for it targeted location in the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, back in New York, the Hulk is atop a building, and being buzzed by Air Force jets, who fire on him, sending him stumbling to the streets below! This, of course, ticks off old Greenskin, and he starts picking up and throwing cars around. Suddenly, Rick pulls up in the car, and offers to help the Hulk, who climbs into the car (note that this is an open-top convertible, that really should've been groaning under the weight of the Hulk). “Minutes later, in a lonely, deserted section of the sprawling city” (the caption says – was there any such place, even in the 1960s?), Rick tries to figure out a way to change the Hulk back to Bruce Banner, but at the very mention of that name, the Hulk gets angry! Meanwhile, in Florida, Army intelligence breaks into Gorki's house, but it's too late! He presses a button on a console, and... in New York City, the trunk of the car Rick drove pops open, and out comes a robot, which expands in size as it emerges, its weight crushing the car (say what? How does it get heavier just because it's expanding like an accordion?). It fires an electronic bolt at the Hulk, and then turns and walks away. The Hulk gets up and attacks it, again and again, until the robot is destroyed. But it's already done its mission, as the Orion missile has changed course and is now headed straight for New York City! The Hulk spots it and, instinctively, leaps into the sky, catching it... but once he gets hold of it, he begins to change back to Bruce Banner!

Invention Exchange: Gorki's amazing expanding and weight-increasing robot!

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #40, The Incredible Hulk (Pocket Books, 1978), Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Yes, I'm going to say it again... this convertible can handle the weight of the Hulk in the passenger seat... yet when the robot in the trunk expands, somehow it crushes the car beneath its weight? And why did Gorki even need to have this robot in place? Why not simply have the car set so that, when activated, it becomes the new target that the Orion Missile is homed in on? Wouldn't that have been easier?

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 17: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1951) Part 2!


Sunday, December 16, 2012