Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cover Redux!

Time for another installment of this series, in which I compare and contrast the original Marvel comic cover with the reprint!

First up, we've got Amazing Spider-Man #35 and the reprint in Marvel Tales #28... and obviously, we've got a brand-new image for the reprint cover! My guess is that the new art was done for the reprint as Spidey's face is pretty much hidden on the original.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cool Stuff!

Well, my birthday was three days ago, and I've probably already posted about it by the time you see this (hey, I'm writing this post on August 12, trying desperately to keep this thing being published continuously, you know?), but I think it's safe to say that none of the items here showed up as one of my birthday presents (mostly because I'd imagine my wife had no idea I'd be interested in any of these things!):

Frankenstein, Jr. boxed puzzle!

More Frankie, Jr. stuff and other stuff after the jump!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Pitch: The Super-Team!

Here's a sneak peek at a feature I hope to be featuring monthly starting in January, as Random Acts of Geekery gets back to a two feature a day, seven days a week schedule (which it will do for Dec. 1-25, but I haven't figured out if I'll be doing it once the Christmas Comics Countdown concludes). Basically, the idea of this feature is that I'll be throwing out a pitch for something... it could be for a movie (as I'd previously done with “My Superman Movie” and the Herculoids movie) or, as in this case, it could be for a TV show.

So here's the pitch: It's a TV show about a super-team... but it's filmed as if it's a reality TV show.

The action all takes place (typically) in the headquarters of a super-hero team called The Guardians. We won't see too many powers in use, and rarely will we see any super-battles. Think of it kind of in terms of “The Real World,” but with super-heroes. Not all of the members will necessarily appear in each episode.

The opening of the show would feature news footage, shots of mocked-up comic book covers, toys based on the characters, etc., with a voice-over by the host of the show (some celebrity playing themselves, it would be cool if it was someone who actually had a role in a super-hero TV show or movie, such as Adam West or Burt Ward)... “You've seen them on the TV news and in newspaper articles... you may have bought the comic books or the toys... you may even have been rescued by one or more of them... but what do you really know about the members of the super-hero team The Guardians?” We cut to an exterior shot of the headquarters, then to interior shots. “They've been around in one form or another since World War II, defending our country as well as the entire planet from a variety of menaces, and now, for the first time, our cameras have been allowed inside Guardians Headquarters to see just what happens on a day to day basis with these caped and masked heroes.”

Then we get some individual shots of members of the team, probably just the members who are featured in the current episode. Again, remember that this would be shot as if it were a reality TV show, so we just see the character names, and not who's playing them. Of course, the last shot is of the host of the show, and then we would get an exterior shot of the HQ with a group of the Guardians.

Each episode would typically focus on some aspect of being on a super-team, such as holding tryouts for new members, being stuck on monitor duty, what heroes do when there's no crimes to tackle, etc. We'd see footage of the heroes dealing with situations in the HQ, plus of course there'd be one-on-one interviews with most of the members providing background information.

The Guardians would include the following characters:

Para-Man – The only member of the team who has been around since the beginning, as his powers apparently have retarded the aging process. He's strong, can fly, and is pretty much invulnerable. He has enhanced senses, but no heat-vision or other ranged attacks. He takes being a hero very seriously, as he has realized that he's looked up to by other heroes as an example of what being a superhero is supposed to be. Definitely wears a mask and cape, primary colors.

The Blur – Super-speedster, the Blur is one of the legacy heroes, the sixth Blur since the Second World War. His powers come from his costume, perhaps from a belt that might be referred to as a “Blur-Belt.” This Blur likes the spotlight, and as the series progresses, we see that he has a tendency to shoot his mouth off a bit... especially once he realizes that he gets more screen time if he “accidentally” lets spill potentially embarrassing information about his teammates.

Nemesis – We don't see him doing any of the one-on-one interviews, because he prefers his privacy. One of the few non-powered members of the team, he's an Olympic-level athlete with amazing powers of observation. He's often looked to by others on the team for recommendations in an investigation.

American Patriot – Every team seems to have a red-white-and-blue member, and American Patriot is this team's. He is another legacy hero, and claims that his powers are passed on from father to son. The original American Patriot's powers supposedly came from Uncle Sam himself, because his family has a history of patriotism. He's not as fast as the Blur, or as strong as Para-Man, but he definitely has a presence to himself.

Bowman – Another team requirement seems to be an archer, and you'd think that it would be another legacy hero situation, but while there have been several archers on the team over the years (the first was the Archer), none of them have had any connection between each other prior to joining the team, although all of the archers' special arrows are kept on hand for use by any current archer. The Bowman tends to be rather conservative in his views, which often put him in conflict with the Blur.

Helena Troy – The only member of the team (so far) who doesn't have a secret identity, Helena Troy is a super-strong woman who doesn't like to talk about how she got her powers. When not serving on the team, she is involved with women's shelters and similar organizations.

Flashpoint – Flashpoint is the team's resident fire-powered member. He's got a major limitation to his powers, in that he has to go completely ablaze (looking like a humanoid made of fire) in order to fly or throw firebolts. This limitation appears to be based on his not discovering his powers until his late teens, as his young sister Blaze (see below) doesn't have this limitation. As one would expect, he can be rather hot-headed, something that others on the team don't fail to point out how obvious that is.

Cosmos – The most powerful member of the team, Cosmos doesn't show up too terribly often, as his personal missions take him into space quite often, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. His powers allow him to fly at faster than light speeds, create force fields, survive in space, cast energy beams, and other abilities.

Mr. Brain – This member of the team rarely goes on field assignments, as he's usually kept busy at headquarters. Mr. Brain is the smartest man on earth (or so he claims, anyway), and is a technological genius. He's been active on the team for over 20 years, providing all the tech the team uses.

Hercules – He says he's the real Hercules from mythology, and he certainly looks and acts the part, but nobody seems 100% convinced.

Lady Occult – A female magic user, as one might suspect. Occasionally has a oracle moment where she becomes “possessed” and makes a cryptic statement about the future, which never seems to be fully understood until it actually happens. Another legacy hero, third generation magic user.

The Raptor – A rather aggressive personality type, the Raptor uses artificial wings for flight, with artificial talons on his boots that can be used for perching, grabbing, or even attacking.

The Ace – A non-powered hero, the Ace uses escape artist and stage magician skills, including throwing cards (although his cards have different effects, some are chemically treated to burst into smoke or explode, for example). He's got a flair for the dramatic, as one might expect.

There are other members of the team, as well, but those would be the most common to show up. There's also a junior team, which is comprised of Blaze (Flashpoint's younger sister) and other teen heroes. Some of these Junior Guardians are sidekicks of adult Guardians, others are independent teen heroes. About every six or seven episodes, the Junior Guardians might make an appearance.

As the series would progress, and we explore more of what happens with the Guardians, we might have episodes that are a bit more unusual... such as having one of the team's arch-foes taking over the headquarters while most of the team is away, thus giving him the opportunity to tell the world what he really thinks of the heroes. Another episode could deal with a ceremony honoring a long-term member who is retiring. There could be an evil twin episode when the budget allows for extra special effects money.

The series would be played seriously, but let's face it, there's a lot of humor potential here... the show would almost have to be pretty funny, given some of the situations that would come up.

It wouldn't be until the end credits for the show that we break from the reality TV mode, with proper credits for the actors portraying the Guardians. Thus, for those people watching the show without watching the closing credits, there might be some who wonder if this is for real!

Comics Ads: Cracker Jack!

Cracker Jack has been around for a long time, and I think most of you would agree that the snack's "glory days" are long behind them. I mean, have you bought a sack or box of the stuff these days? The toy surprises used to be over half of the perceived value when I was a kid, as there'd be any number of super cool toy surprises. Sure, they were cheap mostly plastic stuff, but it's still better than the stuff in the boxes now, it's all paper.

But I digress... we're not here to complain about the prizes these days, but to look at the Cracker Jack ads that ran in the Golden Age Fawcett Comics!

I don't know how many ads were done featuring the talking dog seen in these two ads... but I am surprised that these were the only ones I found, as I think they're kind of fun (even if the breed of dog is different from one ad to the next)!

Here's something you don't see any more... a mail-in offer through Cracker Jack? Now, I don't know if I would've been interested in this western belt when I was a kid (let's face it, the 1960s was pretty much the peak of western popularity, with shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza still on the air, and by the 1970s, the genre would all but disappear, save for reruns in syndication), but it is kind of neat!

Here's a pair of ads that specifically promote the toy surprises you could find in the good old days... including some pictures!

Lastly, here's another mail-in offer!

Yeah, this is kind of a short installment this time around... but next time, a bit more, with Baby Ruth and more!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Comics They Never Made!

Well, friends... I guess this November isn't going to be entirely monster-free, now, is it? Because it's time for an installment of "Comics They Never Made!", a gallery of comic covers mocked up by me that I wish had actually been made... or in some cases, possibly glad they weren't!

(Yes, sometimes I did mock these up to purposely have some off-register colors!)