Tag Archives: Comic Books

SOME RANDOM FRIDAY WEIRDNESS

You can insert your own Phantasm joke here.Superman Grave

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HELEN KILLER

How can you not love the joyous tastelessness of this concept? 

helen killer

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KALTHAR: NEGLECTED SUPERHERO

Superhero movies continue to dominate at the box office, so Balladeer’s Blog figured it was time to look at another neglected comic book star: in this case Kalthar, from MLJ Publishing. FOR MY BIG LIST OF NEGLECTED MLJ SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE

KaltharKALTHAR THE GIANT MAN

Secret Identity: None. Kalthar is his real name. 

Origin: The father of the infant who would become known as Kalthar the Giant Man gave his life saving the Urgana African tribe from Muslim slave traders. To thank the dead hero for his role in keeping them free the Urgana people raised his infant son as one of their own and named the child Kalthar.

As he reached adulthood Kalthar formed a Tarzan-like bond with all the jungle animals around the Urganas’ Congo River locale. Kalthar so impressed Ta-Lo, the High Priest of the tribe, that the medicine man chose the adopted young man to receive the gift of the secret grains which Urgana medicine men discovered in the jungle. Those grains enabled Kalthar to grow to giant size and helped him battle evil-doers throughout Africa.     

First Appearance: Zip Comics number 1 (February 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1941.

Powers: Continue reading

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THE FLAG: NEGLECTED ACE PERIODICALS SUPERHERO

Flag 2Superheroes continue to practically own pop culture right now. Balladeer’s Blog’s readers wanted more, so I recently posted a look at the Superhero Pantheon of Ace Periodicals. Here is another of their characters that I just added. FOR THE ORIGINAL ITEM FEATURING NEARLY TWENTY MORE FORGOTTEN HEROES AND HEROINES CLICK HERE 

FlagTHE FLAG

Secret Identity: Jim Courtney, flag-maker 

Origin: An unnamed baby was left on the doorstep of crippled World War One veteran John Courtney in 1920. Courtney, a flag-maker, was intrigued by the American Flag birthmark on the infant’s chest. He named the boy Jim and raised him as his son, teaching him his flag-making trade.

On Jim’s 21st birthday he was visited by the ghosts of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who told him he was a super-powered being and that his powers were ready to be used now that he was an adult. Jim donned a costume and fought the forces of evil as the Flag.

First Appearance: Our Flag Comics #2 (October 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1942.

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SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF ACE PERIODICALS

Readers cannot get enough items on superheroes! Whenever I go too long without a blog post on this topic the reminders to do another one start rolling in. Here is a look at the neglected Golden Age superhero pantheon from Ace Periodicals.

Captain Victory bigCAPTAIN VICTORY

Secret Identity: Jack Wilson, Diplomatic Attache

Origin: Jack Wilson was serving as a Diplomatic Attache at the American Embassy in the fictional Central American nation of Centralvo. While there he gained superpowers but Ace Periodicals’ writers never got around to explaining how during this character’s brief run.

First Appearance: Our Flag Comics #1 (August 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came that same year.

Captain Victory smallPowers: Captain Victory (No relation to the Jack Kirby character of that name) could fly and had massive super strength. The upper limits of his flying abilities and his strength were never established before the character disappeared. 

Comment: Since America had not yet entered World War Two, Captain Victory’s adventures had to walk a fine line. The hero thwarted an Axis Powers attempt to trick Centralvo into entering the war on their side, stopped a Nazi sub from secretly sabotaging the Panama Canal and – in a prescient bit – defeated a Japanese sneak attack on the American Navy. 

Lightning GirlLIGHTNING GIRL

Secret Identity: Isabel Blake

Origin: When Isabel’s Naval Officer father John was brainwashed by Lash Lightning’s supervillain foe the Teacher and forced to help the Japanese forces against the U.S. When Lash Lightning was in one of the Teacher’s death traps he transferred some of his power to Isabel so she could help him.

Her father was freed from his brainwashing and died a hero. Isabel vowed to continue fighting the Axis nations to avenge her father and became Lightning Girl, Lash Lightning’s partner.

First Appearance: Lightning Comics Volume 3 #1 (June 1942). Her final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.

Powers: Lightning Girl could fly at lightning speed, shoot lightning bolts from her hands, generate lightning-heat and track Lash Lightning through their shared electrical impulses.

This superheroine could recharge herself with any electrical outlet. Continue reading

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GOD COMICS: A DIVINE SUPERHERO

With superheroes taking over movies, television and even Halloween cosplay this seemed like a good time for a shoutout to one of my all-time favorite parody comic books. And remember, I take shots at ALL religions, including Islam, so I’m not one of those cringing cowards who only shows irreverence to Christianity. 

God Comics

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AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR PART THREE

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 91THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 91 (August 1971)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THE WASP (Janet Van Dyne), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), YELLOW JACKET (Hank Pym, PhD), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

In this superhero-crazed world readers have made it clear they want more Marvel items. It’s another warm-weather season of escapist fun with The Kree-Skrull War, the prequel to last year’s Celestial Madonna Saga. I have a soft spot for superhero stories because reading them as a kid served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera. 

Avengers 91TAKE ONE GIANT STEP … BACKWARD

Synopsis: We pick up right where we left off last time around. In the northernmost reaches of Alaska a “De-Evolution Zone” is spreading. Every life form in that zone, be it plant, insect or animal, is devolving to what it would have been over a million years ago.

The cause of that De-Evolution Zone is a citadel that is the product of alien Kree technology. Inside the citadel was Ronan the Accuser, who recently usurped the throne of the Kree Empire from the Supreme Intelligence, the Artificial Intelligence who had ruled the Empire for centuries.  

The De-Evolution Ray causing the zone was put into use by Ronan the Accuser because he thought (mistakenly, as we’ll learn in a few installments) that this De-‘Vo assault aka Plan Atavus was why the Supreme Intelligence was studying Earth’s evolutionary past when Ronan overthrew him.

The Accuser feels the Supreme Intelligence’s goal was to eliminate Earth and its plethora of super-beings as threats to the Kree Empire by setting back the planet’s evolutionary clock. This will force life to start anew on Earth and hopefully – from the Empire’s point of view – this time less-threatening life-forms will evolve.

Ronan the Accuser has been bragging about his plans to his new captive, Captain Marvel, the traitorous Kree Captain who years earlier sided with Earth against the Empire. On one viewscreen Ronan and Mar-Vell see Rick Jones and three other Avengers – the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and the Vision fighting the enormous Sentry 459 ( a Kree robot) and the enthralled Avenger called Goliath (formerly Hawkeye). 

Sentry 459 and the unwilling Goliath are preventing Wanda, Pietro and the Vizh from entering the Citadel and trying to rescue Captain Marvel. Meanwhile on another viewscreen, Ronan and Mar-Vell behold the Avenger called Yellow Jacket – now devolved to cave-man levels – approaching his fallen wife the Wasp, who was just rendered unconscious while fighting the Sentry and Goliath last issue. Continue reading

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