Friday, January 22, 2021

Opening Superman #75!

In January of 1993 one of the biggest events ever in the history of comics took place. Something we never thought we would see...Superman had died! The vicious and ultra powerful Doomsday had taken the Man of Steel down in an epic battle for the fate of Metropolis! This Doomsday creature seemed to have no real reason for this destruction except his overpowering drive for carnage. It was an epic way to take down the worlds greatest hero and in our hearts, we all knew he would be back again. But for that one moment all of comic fandom shed a tear at the sight of a fallen Kryptonian. The man stood for truth, justice and the American way. In a sense we saw that ideal destroyed by a monster so vile that good could not overcome, it could only sacrifice itself for the betterment of a nation.
That being said, I was a comic collector at the time, but I mostly focused on the Archie "Adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comics. It wasn't until this "Doomsday" event that I became an avid reader of Superman. I missed picking up a first printing of Superman #75, but was able to find a 4th printing in a bundle pack at our local K-Mart. I read it and even though it was tragic, I loved it. This comic kicked my love of comics and collecting into full gear. 
It wouldn't be until about 20 years later when I was able to find a first printing "Memorial Set" of Superman #75. Now, I am opening it, to share with you the great stuff that was packed inside. 
First of all, you get this fantastic looking "Tombstone" variant cover of Superman #75. The back of the book contains an ad for the upcoming "Funeral For A Friend" storyline. This story then set the stage for the "Reign Of Supermen" event that introduced us to Cyborg Superman, Steel and Conner Kent aka Superboy!
Next up is a "PROTOTYPE" trading card from the "The Death of Superman" set from Skybox. Who didn't love getting free non-sport trading cards in the 90's? The card features the same tombstone artwork as the variant cover above. My only complaint with this card is the total lack of foil. Would a little bit of bling have killed ya?
Also packed in this bag was an obituary from the Daily Planet. This piece of memorabilia is a little macabre, but still a very cool historical document.
This armband was included so fans of the Boyscout in Blue could litterally wear their emotions on their sleeves. When you wore this foil pressed armband it showed that you were in mourning over the passing of Supes. These were worn by some characters in the DC Comics universe like Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman. It was like the comic world had meshed with the real world. It gave fans a connection to the characters on the printed pages they were reading.
A set of commemorative stamps! These are not the "sticker" type but the lick and stick type. Not sure why these were included. Were they supposed to represent a collection of images sold by the Metropolis Post Offices? If so, why would they include a photo of a deceased Superman or a pic of Doomsday? I have so many questions about this item!
Finally, there was this AWESOME poster! It shows many of the major DC personalities giving their respects to their fallen brother. Pallbearers included Justice League teammates Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Robin. I really need to get this framed and hung in my man cave aka my former basement room that kids have taken over with their Calico Critters table, Little People playsets and Hot Wheels tracks! Below is a clip from E! that covers the event from 1993. I hope you enjoy this little slice of nostalgia and never forget the time "...THAT A SUPERMAN DIED."

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Comic Book Pick 1/20/21

  The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #113

(W) Sophie Campbell (A/CA) Sophie Campbell
Karai searches for two new powerful mutants who could tip the balance of power in New York City. Meanwhile a familiar character from the future arrives with a most unusual quest! All of this AND the return of Bebop & Rocksteady? Don't miss the start of an exciting new story arc as Sophie Campbell returns to interior art!
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/18/21

 Throw on your Grill, and head to the Arcade as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!
Artist: Goodie Mob ft. TLC
Song: What It Ain't (Ghetto Enuff)
Album: World Party (1999)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: This was the final appearance of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in a TLC video before she passed away in 2002.

Friday, January 15, 2021

A brief history of the Mystery Men!

When I mention the super hero team the "Mystery Men", many people think of the Ben Stiller starring film from the late 90's or less likely, the Fox Feature comic book from the 40's. Many don't know that they were actually a vital part of one of the best & craziest independent comics of all-time...Flaming Carrot comics.
The Flaming Carrot was created by Bob Burden and made his first appreance in a magazine called "Visions" #1. The Flaming Carrot's origin is almost as ridiculous as the character himself. As the lore is told after having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as—the Flaming Carrot. In the comics Carrot saved the world and his hometown of Palookaville numerous times, but sometimes he needed help.
In 1987 the Mystery men made their debut in Flaming Carrot comics #16. This band of unreal heroes was brought together, well because no one else wanted them. Their powers are weird, their tempers are high and their clothing choices are questionable, but that never stopped them from trying to save the world. The roster has included such classic characters as The Shoveler, Mr. Furious, Screwball, Bondo man and The Spleen to name a few.
This group of  mighty misfits was popular enough that Dark Horse gave them their own, short lived comic series. The series only lasted 4 issues through October of 1999.
1999 was also the year that we saw the Mystery men make their motion picture debut! The filmed starred Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, Geoffrey Rush, Eddie Izzard & Paul Reubens among many other solid actors. The film was helmed by Kinka Usher who was best known for his work on the "Got Milk?" and Taco Bell Chihuahua commercials after Danny DeVito turned down the job due to issues over the movie's soundtrack!  I remember going to the theater to see this movie with my brother and sister. I really enjoyed it, but I was already a fan. Even though I thought it was good the movie only made around $33 million against a budget of $68 million. Those are not good numbers at all. The movie may have been deemed a flop, but at least we ended up with a cool 2 issue comic book adaptation...
a set of action figures from Playing Mantis that included The Shoveler, Mr. Furious, Captain Amazing, The Spleen, Blue Raja and The Bowler, but that's not all!
We were also gifted a kick-ass soundtrack that featured "All-Star" by Smash Mouth and the underappreciated "Who Are Those Mystery Men?" by Kel Mitchell & MAFT MCs!
After the failure of the movie and the cancellation of the Dark Horse series, the Mystery men have been missing for quite some time. Sure, they had a few cameo appearances in the Flaming Carrot comics, but they have yet to attempt a comeback all their own.
In a cool twist, the movie once known as a flop has gained status as a Cult Classic with many movie fans. I for one would love to see their creator, Bob Burden, give these blue collar heroes another go. I guess in the meantime at least I still have my VHS tape and the back issues to read through, but one issue always eluded me. That comic was one of the first appearances of the Mystery Men in Flaming Carrot #17. Now thanks to a very affordable price and a few ebay clicks, I can mark this comic off my "Want" list. Can't wait to read it!
Come back Mystery Men...wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Comic Book Pick 1/13/21

 The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
FUTURE STATE: JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

(W) Joshua Williamson, Ram V. (A) Marcio Takara, Robson Rocha
Witness the start of a new era for the Justice League starring Jonathan Kent as Superman, Yara Flor as Wonder Woman, Jo Mullein as Green Lantern, Andy Curry as Aquawoman, a new Flash from the Multiverse and Tim Fox as Batman! Together, they protect the future, yet apart, their identities are secret even from one another...but why? When their greatest adversaries wind up murdered in an abandoned Hall of Justice, all clues point to...the Justice League! The new team’s adventures begin here! And in a new tale of the Justice League Dark, a witch hunt across the DC Universe begins as magic users are harvested and executed—and the team is on the run! Zatanna and Detective Chimp (now possessed by Etrigan) must round up new and old teammates, including John Constantine, Ragman and Madame Xanadu. Their mission? To battle the power-mad Crow King, Merlin, before his plans for magical domination destroy the fabric of reality. But where is Dr. Fate? And what led the team to disband in the first place? Discover the truth here!
SRP: $5.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/11/21

   Throw on your Raiders cap, and head to the mean streets of Compton as we take you back to the 80s! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!
Artist: N.W.A
Song: Express Yourself
Album: Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: This song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart in 1989. This was the final single off the "Straight Outta Compton" album and heavily samples the song "Express Yourself" by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Wrapping Up Christmas 2020

 

Now that I am a parent Christmas is mostly all about making the kids happy and helping Santa get them the toys that were on their list. There is nothing like seeing their little faces light up on that special December morning...even if it's at 4am. I guess that's karma, but every year I still look forward to unwrapping my own gifts from my kids & wife. They typically do a great job of getting me some sweet presents and this year they did not disappoint. I know it's a little late, but lets look behind the wrapping paper and see what goodies were under the tree for me this year!
Stocking Stuffers
I've said it a million times before, but I LOVE STOCKING STUFFERS!!! My parents would allow us to open our stockings every Christmas before they got up. I'm sure it was so we would let them sleep in for another hour or so. This year I got some cool TMNT Snapz, Topps Baseball cards and of course candy!
Hickory Farms Gift Box
This is a must have gift for me every year and my wife knows how to please me. Once this box is opened, I tear into it to enjoy my ceremonial Christmas morning breakfast of beef & cheese!
Board/Card Games
This year I received the Blockbuster Movie Party Game, The Office Downsizing Game and DOS! On Christmas night the wife and myself had a blast playing the Blockbuster game after the kids went down to sleep. The oint is to try and guess the title of the movie on your partner's card by having them either give you one word to describe it, recite a quote from it or act it out. The Office game has not been played yet, but it seems to be similar to a game of clue. DOS was also fun! This card game is very similar to UNO, but the rules are a little different which makes this one fun for the whole fam!
The Goonies: Lego Dimensions Game Pack
I love this gift! I had been wanting The Goonies expansion of the Lego Dimensions game for a while now, but the prices have been pretty high. My wife found this at TJ Maxx for $10 and picked it up for me! My kids love the Dimensions game and now I have my own character to play along side their PowerPuff Girls, Batman and Ghostbusters!
Movies
The wife goes DVD/Blu Ray baragin shopping every year at Christmas. She was able to grab me Birds of Prey, IT: Chapter Two, Joker and The Jay & Silent Bob Reboot. The only movie I have seen out of these 4 is Birds of Prey. Looks like I have some late night viewing to do this month.
NBA2K21
I have been wanting a new NBA2K game for years! And when I say years, let me tell you that I was still playing NBA2K13 as of last month. This game looks really cool and I hope to delve into the career mode as soon as possible!
Mini Pac-Man Arcade Game
I have a pretty nice collection of these little arcade games that includes Asteroids, Centipede, Frogger, Galaga and a Stranger Things machine. Now I can add the classic, and one of my favorite arcade games of all time, Pac-Man to the collection.
Vinyl Figures
I had been eyeing that weird "Pizza Venkman" figure for a long time at our local calendar store, but at $20, I was not willing to budge. This one was found in the clearance section for $3 and was gifted to me for my Ghostbusters collection. Of course I had to have a TMNT item in my gifts this year. My wife found this Target exclusive Metalhead Funko POP while she was doing her online Christmas shopping. She thought I would like it...and she was right! This is now on my shelf of Ninja Turtles coolness in my basement next to my other TMNT POPs!
Halloween Gifts From Mom
A few days after Christmas a box arrived from my Mom & Dad. It contained a few gifts for the kids, some money to spend on the family and these two items for me! My Mom got me a Spirit Halloween Store branded Ghostbusters logo sign and she also sent this ice skating Ghost Halloween decoration. We had this decoration in our house when I was growing up! You wind it up and the Ghost skates around the lake while a music box version of the Ghostbusters theme song plays. There is also a switch you can hit that triggers strobing colored light effects in the house & tree and plays an annoying haunting sound. I remember taking the ghost off and playing with him around this haunted house scene. We actually broke the magnet on his bottom off, so my Mom hot glued a new one to his bottom. That magnet is still there today. Not sure why my Mom sent these Halloween decorations in December, but I am thankful!

Well, that's it for this past Christmas. I hope yours was merry, bright and full of good tidings. Merry Christmas!