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SPIDER-MAN CHAPTER LINKS

Readers reminded me that I did not post an easy-reference post containing the links to each chapter of my reviews of 1970s Spider-Man classics, so here it is, belatedly!

spidey 114ONE: While searching for the missing Aunt May, Spider-Man gets caught up in the ongoing gang war between Dr Octopus and Hammerhead to see who will succeed the arrested Kingpin as crime boss of New York. Click HERE.

TWO: Spider-Man investigates what Dr Octopus is keeping from Aunt May, battles the Hulk in Canada and fails to save Gwen Stacy from the returned Green Goblin. Click HERE.

THREE: J Jonah Jameson hires Luke Cage, Power Man, to bring in Spider-Man for Norman Osborn’s death. Meanwhile, Jameson’s astronaut son John is transformed into a were-creature by a rock he brought back from the moon. Click HERE. Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL RANKINGS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

Talladega College Tornadoes NEWNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) – 1. TALLADEGA COLLEGE TORNADOES   ###    2. WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY STATESMEN   ###    3. OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY EAGLES    ###    4. LOYOLA (LA) WOLFPACK   ###    5. ARIZONA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY FIRESTORM   ###    Continue reading

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JIREL OF JOIRY: STORY TWO

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the stories of pulp heroine Jirel of Joiry, the Medieval French woman-warrior created by female author C.L. Moore in 1934. For the first story click HERE.

black god's shadowBLACK GOD’S SHADOW (1934) – This was Moore’s sequel to Jirel’s debut story Black God’s Kiss. We pick up an unknown amount of time after the conclusion of the previous tale. Jirel has been having recurring nightmares and visions ever since she killed Guillaume the Conqueror, the man she belatedly realized that she loved.

Of late the nightmares and visions have been intensifying to the point where our heroine is becoming convinced that Guillaume’s soul must be trapped in the hellish netherworld where she herself acquired the weapon she used to kill him. Castle Joiry was immediately evacuated by Guillaume’s troops in their panicked, superstitious reaction to the supernatural death of their leader.

jirel of joiryOrder had since been restored in the castle but Jirel’s sleep has not been the same. As she lies tossing and turning, she ponders the various lovers she had taken over the years, none of whom took the hold over her heart and thoughts that Guillaume did.

Determined, she armors up, takes a sword and knife with her and sets out to somehow free Guillaume’s soul by daring to reenter the hellish domain that lies far beneath Castle Joiry. Continue reading

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BRUM (1991-2002) – FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

brumBRUM (1991-2002) – This live-action British children’s series is one of those kiddie programs that is fairly enjoyable for adults, too. Brum, the title character, is a living, sentient 1920s Austin 7 vintage automobile with a childlike mind.

Brum is forever curious and adventurous, sneaking out of the garage housing his owner’s vintage auto collection at the start of each episode. The plucky little car explores Big Town (really Birmingham) and has family-friendly escapades, often involving slapstick “baddies” whose evil activities are thwarted by Brum and his latest acquaintances.    Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES FROM JANUARY 22nd

THIS IS AN ALL-CENTURY CLUB EDITION, MEANING GAMES IN WHICH AT LEAST ONE OF THE TEAMS SCORED 100 POINTS WITHIN REGULATION. NO OVERTIME GAMES.

ius_logoGAME ONE – The INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTHEAST GRENADIERS played host to the MIAMI UNIVERSITY AT MIDDLETOWN THUNDERHAWKS.

By Halftime the Grenadiers had pulled out to a 53-37 advantage, then outdid themselves after the break. In the end IUS clobbered the Thunderhawks 107-78. Ahmad Price led the Grenadiers with 25 points, while his teammate Glenn Hill, Jr notched a Double Double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. Continue reading

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MEAT LOAF: HOT PATOOTIE, BLESS MY SOUL

The singer Meat Loaf has passed away at age 74. While most sites are going with the expected musical salutes, Balladeer’s Blog is instead selecting the rock star’s iconic moment as “Eddie” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul.

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CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON: 1970s CLASSICS 4 – THE SERPENT SQUAD AND NIGHTSHADE

For Part One of this series click HERE.

ca f 163CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON Vol 1 #163 (July 1973)

Title: Beware of Serpents

Villains: The Serpent Squad

Synopsis: We pick up long after the end of our previous installment. Peggy Carter’s psychological recovery has been proceeding apace as Captain America alternates between the Carter Family’s Connecticut home and New York City where he and the Avengers have had a few recent missions. Cap’s secret identity – Steve Rogers – has officially resigned from the New York City Police Department.

NOTE: The writers apparently felt they had milked as much as they could out of Cap/ Steve’s double life as a cop and decided to put that chapter of his tales behind them. 

Nightshade

Nightshade

At the Paranormal Criminal Detention Wing of Sing Sing Prison, Thor’s old foe the Cobra has paid off corrupt prison guards to sneak their costumes and weaponry into the cells of the imprisoned Eel and his brother the Viper. Donning their gear, Eel and Viper, old foes of Cap and Falc, break out, killing at least four guards as they do. Cobra picks them up in a waiting vehicle and christens their new gang of three the Serpent Squad as they drive off to Cobra’s hideout.   

A few days later, Captain America, the Falcon, Sharon Carter, her much older sister Peggy Carter and their parents arrive at the mansion estate of the Carter Family in northern Virginia. Peggy’s new psychiatrists have declared her to have made sufficient progress that she can move to that home and try reestablishing her life.

Peggy is still fairly vulnerable, however, so Cap and Sharon have still not told her about their romance, which started during the years she was gone. Not helping the situation is the way that news reporters have smoked out enough of the facts of Cap and Peggy’s reunion to make a big story about the “miracle reunion of two lovers separated for decades” angle. Continue reading

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JIREL OF JOIRY: NEGLECTED PULP HEROINE

Jirel of JoiryJIREL OF JOIRY – From 1934 to 1939, the female author C.L. Moore wrote six stories featuring Jirel of Joiry, a sword-wielding woman warrior from late Medieval France. Moore’s thirteen tales of Northwest Smith, the 1930s version of Han Solo, were reviewed in 2014 here at Balladeer’s Blog, including the 1937 crossover story with Jirel in which they faced a time-traveling sorceror from her era.

With this blog post I’m at last beginning my promised examination of the Jirel of Joiry pulp stories from the iconic publication Weird Tales. She was the forerunner of so many recent heroines from Xena to Cara Dune. 

black god's kissBLACK GOD’S KISS (1934) – This debut story opens with Castle Joiry having for once suffered the fate that Jirel had forced upon so many other strongholds: its armies defeated and their commander, Jirel herself, taken prisoner.

Still fully armored, she has been brought before Guillaume the Conqueror, the first man to have ever beaten Jirel militarily. The cocky Guillaume, having taken the castle, is seated upon Jirel’s throne as he inspects the freshly seized enemy commander being held by two of his men who can scarcely keep the warrior restrained.

Soon he has another of his soldiers remove the helmet from the commander and is shocked to see that inside the armor it is a beautiful woman who nearly defeated him that day.

jirel coverNOTE: Since so many people are still so into the Game of Thrones universe picture a fully armored Jason Momoa as Guillaume and for Jirel picture a fiery combination of Arya, Daenerys and Brienne with Sansa’s long red hair.

Back to the story, Guillaume infuriates Jirel by talking to her as the prisoner she is and she breaks free of the two men holding her and nearly escapes before Guillaume himself catches up with her and recaptures her. He forces a kiss upon Jirel, who, the minute their mouths are disengaged, bites into his exposed neck, just missing his jugular vein.

Things escalate and Guillaume smacks our heroine unconscious. She awakens that night in the dungeons far below Castle Joiry. She easily escapes from her cell and overcomes the guard Guillaume assigned to keep watch over her. Continue reading

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FORCE OF LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: TWO LADIES WITH HOT TAKES

michelle and natalieMeet Michelle and Natalie, the two pop culture reviewers whose YT Channel is called Force of Light Entertainment. The ladies offer reviews and commentary on current day big movies and television shows, in contrast with Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of productions from the (often distant) past.

force of light entertainmentMichelle and Natalie try to stay positive when they can, and avoid the more sarcastic approach that I employ. When they do have to jump into cultural commentary depending on the item being reviewed, they push back against SJW idiocy and censorship. Below is a sample of the two sisters’ approach as they express their displeasure with an episode of The Book of Boba Fett.

To subscribe to the ladies’ channel (where their brother Michael sometimes drops by) click HERE.

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MR NO LEGS (1978)

mr no legsMR NO LEGS (1978) – Ted Vollrath, a Korean War veteran who lost his legs due to injuries he suffered during the conflict, became a multiple black belt in martial arts disciplines and established Martial Arts for the Handicapable Incorporated in 1971. In addition to appearing in a documentary titled Let Me Live In Your World he starred as a scene-stealing badass in Mr No Legs, which was also released under titles like Killers Die Hard, Pushers Die Hard, Dope Runners Die Hard and the much less descriptive Gun Fighter.   

Mr No Legs is nowhere near as outrageous as the Hong Kong kung fu movies Crippled Masters, Crippled Heroes and Crippled Avengers, nor is it as exploitative as those flicks. Vollrath plays Lou, the title character, whose wheelchair is equipped with built-in shotguns in the arm rests and Ninja stars connected to the wheels.

mr no legs titleLou himself is deadly in or out of his chair, as he is highly skilled with knives and handguns, but his most dangerous trait is the way he can use his muscular, toned body to kick the butts of all comers in unarmed combat. Lou’s status as the enforcer and hit man for a Tampa drug lord has earned him big money and a buxom blonde lady who sees to his various needs.

A real-life multiple amputee with a James Bond-gimmicked wheelchair and mastery of karate would be enough to ensure Mr No Legs a spot in Psychotronic movie Valhalla, but the film offers so much more.

Consider the following: Continue reading

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