Monday, October 30, 2017

Scary Monsters featuring Chris Claremont (2003)

Episode #31

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive

This episode, we look at the 2003 six issue mini-series JLA: Scary Monsters by Chris Claremont & Josh Hood, with a brief interview segment with the writer following the story synopsis.

Library Gallery This episode's non-paying advertiser:
We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Vile Menagerie: ARGUS WEEDE

Alter Ego: Argus Weede
Occupation: Gang Leader
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: The Weede Gang
Base of Operations: Middletown, U.S.A.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #313 (March, 1963)
Eyes: Light
Hair: Black

Argus Weede was an extremely elusive crime lord in Middletown. He successfully kept out of the reach of the law through a complex system involving contacting his men via video conferencing or meeting them in person only through an indirect route to "contact stations." These stations included at least one highly advanced underground lair hidden below an artificial tree trunk elevator. Another base was established in a lushly decorated abandoned railway car.

The asset that most set Weede apart from common criminals was his interest in "black magic" and occult artifacts. These included a magical element Weede acquired which, if combined with the notable but seemingly powerless Wand of Wodessa, would grant spectacular abilities. A small time hood named Roy Roggins who had been refused entry by the Weede Gang heard about the gang leader's interest in the wand. Roggins stole the wand from an elaborate estate known to hold a collection of magical artifacts, but was greeted upon exiting by Weede's men. Also on the scene was police detective John Jones, who chose to address the situation in his secret identity as the Manhunter from Mars. Jones had been staking out the site in hopes of capturing Weeede, and the Manhunter decided to pretend the wand had powers in order to clandestinely follow his gang back to their leader.

Eventually, the hoods reached Argus Weede, who was able to guess at the Manhunter's plan. Weede took the Wand of Wodessa from Roggins, connected the essential magical element to the tip, and temporarily trapped the Martian Marvel. The Weede Gang then launched a crime spree that The Manhunter struggled to contain, thanks to a series of magical constructs. Finally, the Manhunter faked his own seeming demise, invisibly separated Weede from the wand, and delivered the lot of them to jail.

Powers & Weapons:
Argus Weede appeared to be a man of great resources, possessing a wealth of advanced equipment of unknown origin. With the Wand of Wodessa, Weede could animated objects like statues of Civil War mounted soldiers, a humanoid champion made of raw electricity, and a smoke creature to do his bidding. The Wand of Wodessa could also levitated, collapse, explode, and otherwise broadly manipulate objects with enough force as to briefly contain a powerful Martian hero.

Quote: "I've got as many tricks up my sleeve as the Manhunter has!"

Created by Jack Miller & Joe Certa

Monday, September 18, 2017

2016 Porto “The Man of 1,000 Disguises” sketch by Antoine Mayes

After I forgot to collect my copy of Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter volume 1 and a jam piece from Antoine Mayes at one convention, and then he didn't have it with him at a second convention, he flagged me down at a third convention he wasn't even exhibiting at to get the abandoned items back to me. It worked out very much in my favor though, because besides enhancing the jam piece, Mayes had taken advantage of the reprint volume to more fully realize his own version of the Porto jam from scratch. Here he offers a distinctive “The Man of 1,000 Disguises” pondering his next bit of costumed camouflage while flanked by figures from his past misadventures, the Native American and the spaceman. Mayes had some loose ideas for additional touches at the bottom right (I seem to recall something about an orb) but as this was just a fun unsolicited sketch do-over, it was ultimately left as is. I really enjoy Mayes' angle on the character and the cool rendering of the alternate identities, making relative Mort Porto look more like a contender. I swear, Mayes has more imagination and talent with a ballpoint pen than a lot of more seasoned pros have with pricey tools...

Antoine Mayes

Monday, September 4, 2017

2014-2015 Porto Comicpalooza convention sketches by Herbie Rivera and Antoine Mayes

One of the first, and frankly, least successful jams I started in 2014 involved Porto, among the most obscure Silver Age Martian Manhunter foes. I asked Herbie Rivera to draw the character, which he did in his baseline entertainer appearance. Unfortunately, in black and white and sans any of his costumes like “The Human Fly” or “Bird-Man,” all the drawing looks like is a random dude. Further, the jam was a mess of unrelated sketches of varied perspectives, with lots of dead space. I wanted to try to better unify the total image, and I needed to better communicate “The Man of 1,000 Disguises.” I've been very impressed with Antoine Mayes' imagination on a different jam piece that he really set off, and so I handed him a copy of Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter volume 1 and let him go to town. As you can see, he didn't disappoint, supplying five additional figures in wildly varying costumes derived from Porto's sole story. I actually forgot to collect the art and the book from Mayes at the con, and then we had a few missed connections before I finally got to see my goodies again. I'm sorry for the anxiety that gave Mayes, but I do not at all regret the results that protracted time frame yielded.

There was a long delay both between the efforts of Rivera and Mayes and between initiating the commission and receiving it. I chose to make this the first new art posting since September 30, 2016 because it works so well symbolically. While it wasn't my intention, this blog went nearly a year with barely any updates, and in the meantime Photobucket ceased to offer hosting for the thousands of images that I used to illustrate this site across its now ten years in existence. Jeez, if I'd realized we'd hit a decade, I'd have gotten a post up on the first, our actual anniversary. Eh, I'm not much for pomp anyway. Point is, I'm now reclaiming this blog, slowly fixing what's been broken in my absence and returning to weekly posts. The podcast should be back on a seasonal schedule by Halloween with a special guest, and I've begun daily updates on the salvage efforts on Twitter. I appreciate your patience, and hope I can dazzle you the way Mayes dazzled me...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

2017 DC Extended Universe film intro animation Martian Manhunter

I've so far been grateful that J'Onn J'Onzz has been spared involvement in Warner Brothers' lousy shared universe of motion pictures, but the hope is that Wonder Woman will mark a course correction. This is especially true now that the new animated opening from the DC films has been released, and pretty clearly features the Manhunter from Mars in a relatively prominent position.

If you look at the final Cinemascope view of the featured characters, there are roughly five groupings, with the center section dominated by the movie Justice League. Specifically, that's The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and Aquaman, all of whom also got solo animation spotlights earlier in the clip. J'Onn J'Onzz's replacement as a League founder, Cyborg, also got a solo spot, but is inexplicably consigned to the fore of the second grouping at left of the JLA (subtext?) Green Lantern is also way in the background of the core group, flying upward, along with that classic icon... Atrocitus?

In the group at right of center are a bunch of silhouettes that appear to resemble other Lantern Corpsmen, with (I think) Sinestro the most prominent but also (probably) involving Jessica Cruz and Kilowog. Less ambiguous are Nightwing (back to his blue chest symbol,) Harley Quin, and our own Alien Atlas!
...and the Green Lantern central battery. The DCEU is very invested in GLs.

How big of a deal is this? Difficult to say. J'Onn is clearer and more visible than many of the characters here, and the more obvious inclusions all have representation in films, television, and/or animation at present. His appearances on Supergirl (also included) would seem enough to qualify him, given the presences of DC's Legends of Tomorrow's Firestorm, Hawkgirl, and Hawkman (as well as Green Arrow and DC Super Hero Girls' Bumblebee.) Still, confirmed film stars like Mera, Batgirl, Shazam and Black Adam are of similar standing in the intentionally vague group shot (as is TV's Black Lightning, admittedly) so place your bets and we'll see how it pays out...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Podcast- JLMay 2017: Justice & Liberty

Episode #30

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive

JLMay 2017-- The Justice maxi-series (2006) Podcast Crossover Event reaches chapter three, as Diabolu Frank offers a dramatic reading, which carries over into coverage of JLA: Secret Origins (2002), JLA: Liberty and Justice (2003), a smidge of Kingdom Come and more!

From here follow JLMay 2017 to these fantastic podcasts! Each will cover a different issue of JUSTICE and each will come out in May! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #JLMay when discussing on social media!
  1. Aquaman and Firestorm: The Fire and Water Podcast ep. 193
  2. Super Mates 70: The Husband & Wife Geekcast!
  3. The Idol Head of Diabolu: A Martian Manhunter Podcast #30
  4. Views from the Longbox Episode 263: A somewhat regular podcast about comic books.
  5. Pulp 2 Pixel Podcast: Secret Sagas of the Multiverse #26
  6. The LanternCast Episode #279: The Foremost Green Lantern Podcast on the Internet!
  7. Shazamcast: Earth's Mightiest Captain Marvel Podcast
  8. Comic Reflections (Weekly Discussion of Gold, Silver, and Bronze age Comics)
  9. Silver and Gold 28: The Booster Gold and Captain Atom Podcast
  10. The Power of Fishnets 22: The Black Canary and Zatanna Podcast
  11. Waiting for Doom (The Doom Patrol Podcast) Episode 95
  12. Justice’s First Dawn: A Classic Justice League of America Podcast
  13. Diana Prince Wonder Woman Podcast #14: Spirit of Truth & Justice (2001-2007)

Alex Ross & The Manhunter from Mars

We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Limited Collectors' Edition #C-61 ([March] 1979)

Taken from the book's entry at the Grand Comics Database:

DC, 1972 Series Volume: 7
Price: 2.00 USD
Pages: 84
Indicia frequency: Quarterly
On-sale date: 1978-12-14
Indicia / Colophon Publisher: DC Comics, Inc.
Brand: DC [bullet]
Editing: E. Nelson Bridwell

Color: Color
Dimensions: Tabloid
Paper Stock: Glossy Cover; Newsprint Interior
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series

[no title indexed]

cover / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Nasser
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: ?
Letters: Michael Nasser
Genre: science fiction; superhero
Characters: Martian Manhunter; Superman; Batman; Hawkman

(Table of Contents)

foreword, introduction, preface, afterword / 1 page
Script: Bob Greenberger
Letters: Typeset
Indexer Notes: On inside front cover. Uses art from cover as background.
Reprints: Super Powers (DC, 1985 series) #1 (September 1985)

...And So My World Ends!

Justice League of America / comic story / 22 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Dick Dillin
Inks: Sid Greene
Characters: Justice League of America [JLA; Atom [Ray Palmer]; Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Flash [Barry Allen]; Green Arrow [Oliver Queen]; Green Lantern [Hal Jordan]; Hawkman [Katar Hol; Carter Hall]; Martian Manhunter [J'onn J'onzz] (leaves); Superman [Clark Kent; Kal-El]]; Diana Prince [Wonder Woman]; I Ching; Commander Blanx (villain)
Reprints: Justice League of America (DC, 1961 series) #71 (May 1969)
Indexer Notes: Credits for script, pencils and inks confirmed from Julius Schwartz's editorial records, provided by DC Comics (May 2007).

JLA Trivia Quiz

Justice League of America / activity / 0.33 page
Script: E. Nelson Bridwell
Pencils: various
Inks: various
Job Number: N-1121
Genre: superhero
Characters: Metamorpho; Creeper; Batman [Earth-2]; Robin [Earth-2]; Superman [Earth-1]; Black Canary; Aquaman; Wonder Woman [Earth-1]; Elongated Man; Green Arrow [Earth-1]; Green Lantern [Hal Jordan]; Red Tornado; The Flash [Barry Allen]  
Reprints: Justice League of America (DC, 1961 series) #114 (November-December 1974)
Indexer Notes: Art reprinted from various sources. Script credit confirmed from letter column in issue #116.


activity / 0.33 page
Indexer Notes: Answers to the puzzles and quizzes in this issue.

...And So My World Begins!

Superman; Martian Manhunter / comic story / 22 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Dick Dillin
Inks: Joe Giella
Characters: J'onn J'onzz The Martian Manhunter; Superman; Bel Juz
Reprints: World's Finest Comics (DC, 1941 series) #212 (June 1972)
Indexer Notes: Credits for script, pencils and inks confirmed from Julius Schwartz's editorial records, provided by DC Comics (May 2007).

Mission Catch a Killer

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 6 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Carl Gafford
Characters: J'onn J'onzz Manhunter from Mars; R'es Eda; Flash [Barry Allen] (Cameo); Green Lantern [Hal Jordan] (Cameo); N'or Cott; Superman [Clark Kent] (Cameo)
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #449 (January-February 1977)

Return to Destiny

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 5 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Characters: J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars; Supergirl [Linda Dangers; Kara Zor-El]; N'or Cott; R'es Eda (flashback)
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #450 (March-April 1977)
Indexer Notes: Original story page 2 was removed for this edition and text from page 3 edited for omission.

The Suspects

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 6 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Liz Berube
Characters: J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars; N'or Cott; Hawkman [Carter Hall]; Hawkgirl [Shiera Hall]; R'es Eda (flashback); Superman Robot
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #451 (May-June 1977)

Today Mars, Tomorrow... The Universe

Superman; Batman; Martian Manhunter / comic story / 18 pages
Script: Bob Haney
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: Murphy Anderson
Colors: Jerry Serpe
Letters: Debra Schulman
Characters: J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter; Hawkman; Superman; Batman; Hawkgirl; N'or Cott; R'es Eda; Supergirl (flashback)
Reprints: World's Finest Comics (DC, 1941 series) #245 (June-July 1977)
Keywords: Baltaz; Crystal Mountain; Mars II
Indexer Notes: Original story pages 5-6 were removed for this edition and text from page 4 edited for omission.

[no title indexed]

Martian Manhunter / illustration / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]

[no title indexed]

Martian Manhunter / illustration / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Netzer
Inks: Josef Rubinstein
Indexer Notes: Bronze/copper ink.