Tag Archives: Balladeer’s Blog

MANTIS 13: AN ORIGIN FOR MANTIS

READERS ARE LOVING THESE LOOKS AT THE SUPERHEROINE MANTIS. FOR PART 1 CLICK HERE 

Avengers 123 An Origin For MantisTHE AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 123 (May 1974) An Origin For Mantis

As our homegirl MANTIS here passionately defends her father Libra’s eccentric decision to wear hot-pants into battle, I’ll welcome you to Balladeer’s Blog’s latest installment of The Celestial Madonna Saga.

NOTE: This issue is titled AN Origin For Mantis, not THE Origin. For reasons that will become clear later Libra is not telling the full story this time around but he still fills in a LOT of background regarding his mysterious daughter. 

AVENGERS ROSTER: Thor (Donald Blake, MD), Iron Man (Tony Stark), The Scarlet Witch (Wanda), The Black Panther (Prince T’Challa), The Vision (not applicable), The Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and MANTIS (Mantis Brandt).

AN ORIGIN FOR MANTIS

Synopsis: Our previous installment ended at the skyscraper headquarters of the international supervillain team called Zodiac. In the aftermath of the Avengers’ defeat and capture of the entire group, Libra (Gustav Brandt) revealed that the only reason he betrayed Zodiac was to save Mantis, claiming she is his daughter. 

Mantis reacts furiously, accusing Libra of claiming to be her father as some cruel attempt to garner sympathy from the Avengers, possibly for a lighter prison sentence.

The argument is cut short by Iron Man, who insists that the conversation continue ONLY away from the prying ears of their deadly foes in Zodiac. The Vision concurs, all the while hiding his fear that his android brain is beginning to malfunction and that THAT is the reason for his frantic panic episodes in Taurus’ penthouse swimming pool last time around and in Dormammu’s quicksand at the end of the Avengers-Defenders War.

So, after the authorities arrive to occupy Zodiac HQ the Avengers take in their prisoners with the sole exception of Libra. After the usual post-mission press conference and such for our heroes they gather back at Avengers Mansion with Libra temporarily released in their custody.

Mantis hai ahhThe injured Swordsman is well enough to listen from his wheelchair as his teammates interrogate Libra. Mantis impatiently insists that she never knew any father and calls Libra a liar once more. Given the way the blind member of Zodiac handles himself in battle as well as the blind superhero Daredevil does, the Vietnamese woman even goes so far as to accuse him of FAKING his blindness.

She strips off the blindfold that serves as Libra’s mask and she plus the other Avengers are shocked and disgusted at the burns and scars that surround the empty eye sockets of Libra – Gustav Brandt. He re-ties the blindfold around his eyes and begins his tale. Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Superheroes

BALLADEER’S BLOG IS SEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY

 

Mascot FOUR original pics

Balladeer’s Blog

THANK YOU once again to all of you readers for making Balladeer’s Blog so enjoyable to write. As I always say the weird and controversial items I churn out here mean that readers have to be very secure in their own beliefs not to just take offense and leave.

Here’s a look at Glitternight.com’s six biggest hits since last June 21st:

bellona-and-rennellMOST POPULAR MYTHOLOGY POST OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS: GODS OF BELLONA AND RENNELL ISLANDS 

People who enjoyed my examinations of myths from various other Polynesian island groups were especially enthusiastic about this blog post. There are similarities to figures from Hawaiian and Samoan beliefs plus deities unique to these two islands. 

TrainMOST POPULAR ANCIENT SCI FI POST OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS: A MEXICAN MYSTERY (1888) 

A story that was far ahead of its time in the whole “revolt of the machines” sub-genre of science fiction. In 1800s Mexico an inventor devises a revolutionary train engine that is so independent and capable that it soon goes on a rampage of destruction … and eventually starts using human beings as food. 

Kid Russell

MOST POPULAR GUNSLINGER LEGEND OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS: KID RUSSELL: GUNSLINGER TURNED ARTIST 

Charles Marion Russell aka Kid Russell was a real-life internationally-renowned artist who spent his younger years roaming the old west. Russell is often considered the finest painter and sculptor of depictions of America’s frontier era. Before he made the art he LIVED it. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Neglected History

TWENTY COOLEST-NAMED JUCO SPORTS TEAMS

Like all levels of college sports, the JUCO ranks have waaaay too many teams called Tigers, Eagles, Bulldogs and Wildcats, but here are the 20 Coolest Names.  

20. BAKERSFIELD RENEGADES

 Location: Bakersfield, CA 

Comment: If you “walk the streets of Bakersfield” you’re bound to hear about the Renegades, who have a nickname cool enough to be a rock group or a band of mercenaries in the notoriously bad post-apocalypse movie 2020 Texas Gladiators. Hard to believe in just a few years the country will be full of those marauding gangs, isn’t it?

19. HIGHLAND SCOTTIES 

Location: Highland, KS

Comment: You just knew a dog lover like me would include this team! And there’s no truth to the rumor that their original mascot was Star Trek’s James Doohan standing on the sidelines and saying “I need more time, Cap’n!”  

18. ASA AVENGERS

Location: New York, NY 

Comment: Insert your own Emma Peal or “Why is the Avengers movie taking so long?” joke here. This school has one seriously cool nickname and logo, don’t they? T-shirt sales must be through the roof! And I’m sure their call to practice is either “We’re needed” or “Avengers Assemble!”

17. GARDEN CITY BRONCBUSTERS

Location: Garden City, KS

Comments: No, that’s not a typo, they go by Broncbusters, not BroncObusters. Under any name and in any sport they kick major butts. And you just haven’t busted until you’ve Broncbusted, y’know? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under college sports, Cool names and cool logos

FATHER’S DAY (2011) HORROR FILM

Father's DayFATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.

Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.     

It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Bad and weird movies, Halloween Season

ADAM ANT: MADE OF MONEY

Adam Ant made of moneyJust a couple more shout-outs to Adam Ant – Stuart Leslie Goddard – then I’ll move on to another person. Previously I took a look at his songs Goody Two Shoes, Vive Le Rock, Gotta Be A Sin, Miss Thing and Room at the Top along with his cover of the Doors song Hello, I Love You.

Here is another great example regarding Adam’s eclectic style.

It’s Made of Money.

Leave a comment

Filed under opinion

MANTIS 12: SHOCKING REVELATIONS IN THE SHOWDOWN WITH ZODIAC

READER INTEREST IS THROUGH THE ROOF FOR THESE LOOKS AT THE SUPERHEROINE MANTIS. FOR PART 1 CLICK HERE 

Avengers 122 Trapped in Outer SpaceTHE AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 122 (April 1974) Trapped in Outer Space 

It’s kind of nice that you readers have been so enthusiastic about these nice little bits of escapism. That’s why I’m doing two per week now. We can all use a light-hearted distraction now and then. 

As our last installment ended, five Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, The Scarlet Witch, The Black Panther and The Vision) were battling seven of the twelve members of the supervillain team called Zodiac (Aries, Leo, Cancer, Aquarius, Pisces, Scorpio and Sagittarius).

The Avengers called MANTIS and the Swordsman were recovering from their injuries back at Avengers Mansion. Taurus, the leader of Zodiac, had lured the seven mutinous members of his criminal cartel to a seeming warehouse that was really a trap.

The Avengers, all unknowingly, had trailed the Zodiac superteam to that locale and had attacked them, only to have the battle royal interrupted by the taunts of Taurus. Taurus – openly revealing his true identity of billionaire Cornelius Van Lunt – launched the warehouse/ disguised spaceship into orbit to let his enemies die when their air runs out.    

TRAPPED IN OUTER SPACE

Synopsis: At first all of the Avengers and Zodiac members are pinned to the floor by G-Forces but eventually the huge deathtrap reaches its programmed altitude and settles into orbit. The reinforced steel door slides right to reveal the Earth far below and a mostly transparent force-field enclosing the entire warehouse.

Thor hurls his hammer at the force-field, but it just penetrates the force-field, which re-forms after it passes through. The hammer tries to return to Thor’s hand like usual but his relative position to the hammer has changed as the spaceship/ trap has moved along in its orbit. Thor’s hammer remains floating outside in the vacuum of space.

Mantis trapped in outer spaceThe Vision is not able to phase through the force-field because it is the same technology that Zodiac used to seal off Manhattan from the rest of the world in one of their previous clashes with the Avengers. In 1974, when this story was published, Thor would still magically transform back into his secret identity as the lame (as in limping), mortal Dr Donald Blake after 60 seconds without his hammer.

He leaps behind one of the prop boxes in the phony warehouse and pulls some tarp over himself just in time to avoid having Zodiac see what has happened to him. The villains HAVE noticed how paniced Thor became without his hammer Mjolnir and realize something is up. Aries leads his teammates in an attack to finish off Thor, who is obviously in dire straits.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Superheroes

WNBA RESULTS FROM LAST NIGHT

Indiana FeverGAME ONE: The INDIANA FEVER hosted the ATLANTA DREAM to tip off the evening. This was a closely contested affair and by Halftime the Fever were clinging to a 33-31 lead.

After the break Indiana slowly but surely put more and more distance between themselves and the Dream, ultimately winning the game by a final score of 85-74. Erica Wheeler led the Fever with 20 points.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under WNBA