Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the tag “DC Comics”

Superman: The ‘Mo Of Steel

Faster than a buzzing dildo! More powerful than a Mazda Miata! Able to leap tall linebackers in a single thrust! RazorFist reacts to the newly “bisexual” Superman.




Big Mouse/Magnet Man

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Giving the SUPER FRIENDS a break, it seems we’ve already covered the shows that ran against the WORLD’S GREATEST- incarnation of the series. Let’s look at what followed it then…

PLASTIC MAN was a superhero introduced by Quality Comic in 1941, later assimilated into DC Comics. He actually made a brief appearance in the first HB Super Friends incarnation (the Wendy, Marvin, Wonderdog version) as a sort of reserve JLA member. Half a dozen years later, he became the central figure in a two-hour cartoon block produced not by HB, but their proteges at Ruby-Spears.

Among the most obscure (and lame) components of this mega-block was MIGHTY MAN AND YUKK. I half-suspect they wanted to make a new MIGHTY MOUSE series, only to find out CBS already was. So they made their diminutive protagonist human.

We get a bit of a BLUE FALCON / DYNOMUTT vibe going, as Mighty Man is “assisted” by a bumbling, semi-anthropomorphic dog called Yukk. Rather than an assortment of malfunctioning bionics, Yukk’s superpower is being so catastrophically ugly that his face can drive people to insanity and shatter inanimate objects. Thus he is obliged to wear a miniature dog house like a cowl most of the time.

This one was mercifully forgotten when Plas’ show got trimmed-down the following year and Ruby-Spears moved-on to better fare including THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN. From Sept. 1979. More from the OldHorseman.




Wanted: The Super Friends

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

As we covered in recent weeks, the DC comic book superheroes came to TV animation in the ’60s, being the project that got Filmation off the ground. In 1973, Hanna-Barbera took over (mostly) and softened the superhero elements to try and satisfy the killjoy TV censorship groups by adding a big dollop of SCOOBY-DOO elements to create the SUPER FRIENDS series.

In 1977, they dropped the meddling Earth kids and their dog (who were surprisingly useful despite lack of superpowers) and replaced them with Vulcan-looking space teenagers and their blue monkey (who managed to be frequently useless despite having formidable superpowers) for the ALL-NEW SUPER FRIENDS HOUR. Covered that one while on the subject of hot Jungle Girls several weeks back. It’s how we got onto this tangent.

The following year, we got CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER FRIENDS. This incarnation brought the show much closer to comics than the earlier HB takes had been, with more action, references to alter-egos, back-stories, and actual bad guys. The first half of each show resembled the previous series’ segments. The second half featured the conflict between a larger Justice League roster and the Legion of Doom; a group of comic book villains organized by Lex Luthor and including Cheetah (with razor-sharp claws), Braniac (whose mind-games are deadly), Scarecrow (who is… uh… made of straw?), and Solomon Grundy (who wants pants too)!

During its network run, the whole program ran under the “Challenge of the Super Friends” title. For a while, the show was expanded to 90 minutes by folding-in material from the previous “All-New Super Friends Hour.” Later, for syndicated reruns, the first-half segments (which didn’t feature the LoD) were run with the 1977 series opening, while the LoD second-half segments retained the “Challenge” opening. From Sept. 1978. More from the OldHorseman.




Force Phantom

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week, we wandered into the realm of Hanna-Barbera’s SUPER FRIENDS. The various series in that franchise were a bit of a departure for HB, featuring characters owned by DC Comics. The studio’s closest competition in TV cartoons, Filmation, was more into licensed properties. In fact, they had pretty much made their start doing DC superheroes themselves.

Filmation’s 1960s DC superhero cartoons featured the JUSTICE LEAGUE, TEEN TITANS, with all their members, villains, and associated characters. They were produced in association with DC editorial, so they closely resembled the comic books. This would ultimately be the downfall of the shows, as the rock ’em, sock ’em action was decried by killjoy busybodies who were already wrecking TV in the late ’60s. (This is why the ’70s Super Friends series are so laughably neutered that actual super-villains weren’t even included in the first few iterations.)

As one might expect, Filmation’s DC superhero ‘toons started at the top, with SUPERMAN himself. Here seen in his first made-for-TV short from 1966. More from the OldHorseman.




 

SuperFriends: Fire

Hey kids (of all ages). It’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week we had an episode of JANA OF THE JUNGLE. I noticed it got a down-vote almost immediately. I’m guessing because the crummy VHS transfer didn’t live up to the thumbnail. To make it up to y’all, this week we’ll do a similar character as she’s featured in a more popular show (of which I can find decent prints).

Hanna-Barbera usually prefers characters they own outright. So it’s no surprise that they used a near-copy of RIMA, a jungle babe who had previously been animated. The odd thing is that Rima herself had been animated by HB the year before. But that was part of the SUPER FRIENDS, one of HB’s few major licensed properties. This version of Rima basically came along with the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE characters from DC. This episode is the first of her several appearances in the franchise.

Of course, Rima wasn’t created by DC comics. She actually predates TARZAN (but not MOWGLI) in literature. She only got one movie though, probably because the 1959 Audrey Hepburn vehicle flopped. DC put her into her own comic book in the ’70s, and that’s the version adapted here.

This the second incarnation of the Super Friends, which catered to ever-shortening attention spans by breaking the hour-long show into multiple, brief stories and filler segments. This one includes Doctor Fright / Drag Race / Plant Creatures / Fire.

I kinda’ feel like the popular meme image of Batman slapping the hell out of Robin applies. Seriously, Dick! Sit this one out and let ol’ Bruce ‘adventure’ with the hot, half-naked blond without you along as a third wheel! Also, just how damned fast IS the Super Friends Batmobile? That sucker seems to be able to get across the continent in no-time.

From October 1977. More from the OldHorseman.




 

Slow Death Of DC Comics

A pop culture institution comes perilously close to dissolution. More in a rant from RazorFist.




Bizarro U

Readers of DC Comics in the 1960s might remember Bizarro World, the cube-shaped planet that spawned sundry alter-ego versions of Superman and other superheroes. Bizarro World, also known as “Htrae,” or Earth spelled backwards, gave us such notables as Wonderzarro, Bizarro Flash, The Yellow Lantern and Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective. Their motto:  “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”

Flash forward to 2012, and one might think Bizzaro World has overtaken several prominent universities and colleges in the United States. A case in point: Fordham University, a Jesuit-founded school in New York City. Fordham’s President Joseph M. McShane had a conniption fit recently when the College Republicans invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus. McShane accused Coulter of spewing hate and said her message is “aimed squarely at the dark side of our nature.” As a result of his rebuke, the College Republicans rescinded their invitation to Coulter.

Now, we learn that while Coulter was being blackballed by this august university, no one on campus apparently perceived any hypocrisy in extending open arms and offering a public speaking platform to Peter Singer. Who’s Peter Singer, you ask? He’s a tenured “bioethics” professor at Princeton University who preaches against killing animals but believes it’s perfectly acceptable to commit infanticide on baby humans through their first month of life. He’s a radical proponent of animal liberation, but also has defended bestiality,  believing society ought to loosen its strictures against sex with animals.

Singer’s appearance didn’t faze McShane in the least, or draw one word of condemnation from the Fordham president. The DC Comics writers weren’t just entertaining. They were prophets, who foresaw Bizarro World right around the corner.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: YouTube has censored and removed the original video. In its place, we present Ann Coulter discussing free speech on college campuses, following publication of her book In Trump We Trust.)

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