Sometimes I like to spotlight a song with a timely tie-in, such as a record associated with a new movie that’s in theaters or an anniversary of some kind. Other times I just randomly select a comics character or a comics tune for no good reason. This is one of those times.
Way back on February 15th, 2006, we began a feature on this very blog called “Wacky Wonder Woman Wednesday.” Each week (on Wednesday, natch) we presented a different image of Wonder Woman. Some were super, some were sexy, and some were silly, but all of them were Wonderful. It was one of the most popular features on the ol’ I.T.C.H. You can navigate to past Wednesdays by clicking on the link in the right-hand column.
I thought it would be fun to showcase a few of these Wonder Woman pictures on a Comics Tunes TUESDAY along with a song. See if you agree.
If you cross your eyes you can see Linda Carter in 3D! (Click to enlarge.)
I am not much one for Westerns; life in the Wild West always seemed like the worst possible combination of camping and gym, which seemed like a nightmarish hellscape to a fat kid like me. Oh, I’m not made of stone. Some of my favorite movies (Cat Balou, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, etc.) and TV shows (Maverick, Wild, Wild West, etc.) are westerns. But when it comes to comics, I’m pretty much ‘meh’ on the genre. But in years past while idly leaving through the Overstreet Price Guide I would find myself staring wistfully at the beautifully painted covers of Kid Cowboy, a Ziff-Davis series that ran for ten issues between 1950 and 1952. But it wasn’t just the covers; I have to admit I was intrigued by both the kid’s snazzy cowboy outfit and the comic’s title; Kid Cowboy is without question a strong contender for “Most On The Nose” title for a comic. And it’s sub-title, “Boy Marvel of the Wild West!” was no slouch either. It was one of those comics I dreamily dreamed about one day reading, never really believing I’d ever get the chance.
The Kid dresses like Gene Autrey and shoots like The Lone Ranger (better, actually, well faster anyway; he specializes in speed as well as unerring accuracy) but has one of those “raised by Indians” origins that were fairly common back in the day, and the stories do a fairly good job of depicting Indian life (being a white guy I can not say for certain, but at the very least the stories go out of their way to show Indians weren’t backward savages). Along with his childhood chum Red Feather without benefit of either agency or visible means of support The Kid just went around helping people, the way cowboys did only in the pages of fiction. Standard stuff, yes, but once get past the John Buscema (!) cover of #1 you really can’t complain about the contents by Ogden Whitney and Bob Brown.
I went to see Jersey Boys the other day. As you know, it’s the story of the Four Seasons and the way they had mob connections despite living in New Jersey. Good film. But with today’s movie ticket prices it was an expensive two hours and 14 minutes worth of entertainment. If only there were a way to make it tax deductible…
Then I realized, one of the songs in the film was about a comic book character! I can deduct it as a research expense.
Now the IRS might question the fact that “Rag Doll” was a song about Raggedy Ann + Andy, the stars of their own comic book series (as well as being childhood icons). Can I prove that Bob Gaudio was inspired by these famous rag dolls? Can you prove he wasn’t? If the name of the group came from a bowling alley and the inspiration for “Big Girls Don’t Cry” came from a bit of movie dialogue, then “Rag Doll” was about Raggedy Ann. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Now if you’re finished asking questions, let’s move on to a cover gallery and a great song by Frankie and the boys.
Click the link below and sing along in your best falsetto!
We tend to think that after the publisher Archie published the character Archie their output was all teen comedy for the next fifty years when nothing could be further from the truth. Most enlightened comic book guys have at least heard of some of their lesser known entries in other genres, likeSuper Duck, Cosmo the Merry Martian, , The Adventures of Young Dr. Masters, etc. But when it comes to the obscure it’s hard to beat 1950′s Adventures of the Dover Boys. It was a one-shot trial balloon for an adventure series in the “boy adventurer” genre and concerned the Dover twins Tim and Dan and their search for Aztec treasure with their Uncle Bill. It borrows heavily from such boys novel series as The Hardy Boys (the title of course being a play on The Rover Boys* series) and radio serials like Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy (which was still airing in 1950). It’s fun stuff and shows the serious style of Archie artist Harry Lucey (better known for drawing Sam Hill, Private Eye for the publisher) to good advantage. I have no idea why Archie hesitated from launching the Dover Boy as a full series– the final panel is plea to readers to write in if they wanted to see more, and apparently not enough did.
*Due disclosure compels me to reveal that in my youth with artist Scott Bieser I created a comic book series called The Rovers the title of which was also inspired by The Rover Boys. If I ever get my crap together I may just post one of those comics here, but that’s not where the smart money would be.
The movie won’t even be released until August 1st but I feel like I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy already, just from all the times I’ve watched the trailer. It sure looks like fun!
Click to blow up the image to poster size
Unlike other Marvel movies, this one doesn’t have 50 years of story (and countless fans over 50) behind it. It will be interesting to see how it does at the box office. Can the Marvel magic make a hit out of a title that isn’t a household name like Spider-Man or The Hulk? Perhaps that’s why Marvel Studios started showing the trailer months before the movie opens, since it doesn’t have the built-in anticipation of, say, the Avengers sequel or another X-Men film. For a property that’s comparatively new, Guardians of the Galaxy does have some roots (pun intended) that date back even further than the Fantastic Four. And the name has been around since 1969, even though it was a very different team then.
I’m really looking forward to the movie. I especially want to see how “Hooked on a Feeling” figures into the plot.
Yes, I’m still talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past since it’s still in theaters as of this writing. I’ve lost count of how many X-Men and Wolverine movies there have been so far, and we’re not done yet. X-Men: Apocalypse is coming in 2016. There’s seemingly no end to the popularity of these X-cellent and X-citing characters. And it all dates back to a humble little comic book that wasn’t a big seller in its day. Of course, the X-Men have been re-booted, re-launched and re-drawn many times since then, with characters like Wolverine, Rogue and Mystique added to the cast. But the basic premise is unchanged since those first few issues were published back in 1963 and ’64.
Which brings us to the Sentinels. Yes, the good ol’ Sentinels. First seen in issues 14, 15 and 16 of X-Men, they still live today in the new movie. That’s staying power!
I don’t have a song about the Sentinels per se, but I do have another uncanny X-Men song that you’re sure to enjoy.
Click the link below and sing along with the Sentinels!
Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah, I was talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past, that third in a string of Marvel movies this season and the seventh film (but not the last) with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. Two Tuesdays ago, if you can remember that far back, I discussed the new movie and gave away many surprise twists of the plot that I made up. I had to. I hadn’t seen it yet. Now that I’ve seen the film I can speak more intelligently about it. But that’s just not my style.
So, back to Magneto.
The first and still the best of the evil mutants, Magneto played a big part in the first run of the X-Men comics books. (You remember comic books, those printed pamphlets they use to make before movies and the Internet took over our lives?) Once again we present a Magneto cover gallery along with a song that’s a terrific introduction to the Marvel Mutant Universe, just in case you came in late.
Click the link below and enjoy this X-tremely cool record.
As previously established though I love British comics I am not the world’s biggest fan of the output of publisher DC Thomson which tended to skew younger than their rival Fleetway. But I am not completely immune to their appeal; in the past I’ve written about my love of two adventure strips that appeared in the boys weekly The Beano, Billy the Cat and General Jumbo. Over the years they appeared with less and less frequently as the comic became increasingly humor centric but new stories did appear in the comics oversized annual, The Beano Book, all through the 00′s. And thanks to a helpful scanner I’ve finally been able to read them and now so can you.
What both features have in common is pure and simple premises crazy rice in wish fulfillment. Which is amply demonstrated in this nice little General Jumbo story from 2006′s Beano Book; it would explain more, but I believe what I mean will be instantly self-evident .
Then we have Billy the Cat; I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that the only people who would “really” fight crime in costumes are children, something the creators of the strip clearly believed as well.
And finally, here’s a Billy the Cat/General Jumbo crossover from the 2008 Beano Book written by Kev F Sutherland and drawn by Nigel Dobbyn. I am of the considered opinion that this is awesome sauce.
Time to dig in to the Comics Tunes mailbag (not a real bag) and read some of our recent made-up emails. This spurious email comes from an AOL address so you know it’s going to be good:
Dear D.J. David B.:
You did a great job writing about Catman a couple weeks ago, but what about Batman? Isn’t Batman more popular than Catman?
Good point. I’ll get back to Batman this week. Here’s another ersatz email from a total stranger:
Nice work on the Catman tribute. Any chance of a song about Batman?
Yeah, good idea. And now, another email from a faux fan:
Your blog sucks, dude! It’s terrible. Worst. Blog. Ever. By the way, when are we going to get a Batman song?
Thanks for the constructive criticism. I’ll get right on that if you just give me a minute. We have room for just one more contrived email:
Dear Most Wonderful Person:
I am writing to you from Nigeria where a person with the same surname as you left a big sack of cash on a bus and I wanted to give it to you as soon as you can confirm your identity by giving me your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number.
Thank you so very much.
That’s it for the mailbag. Now a tribute to Batman who turned 75 this year.
Click to enlarge.
Click the link below and listen to the umpteenth version of the Batman theme.
Bonus! A groovy Batman video of the same song. Look at those dancing girls go-go-go! Click the picture to see it all.
It’s out! The new movie from Marvel. No, not Captain America: Winter Soldier. No, not Amazing Spider-Man 2. No, not Guardians of the Galaxy. (That’s coming in August.) I’m talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past, the third of four Marvel movies this year. Is it just me or does it seem like Hollywood is trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg?
Anyway, if you haven’t seen the new X-Men movie yet, it’s a hoot and a half! We learn that Professor X and Magneto are really brothers, and the Cyclops and Marvel Girl are Wolverine’s parents from the future. And it’s finally revealed that The Beast and Iceman are the ones who put Professor X in a wheelchair but not before having children who, in a weird time paradox, grew up to be themselves as well as their own worst enemies. All of which proves that Xavier is his own grandpa. Wow!
I guess I should have said “spoiler alert” first. My bad.
The world hasn’t been the same since the first issue of X-Men introduced Magneto way back in issue #1, only to return in issues 4, 5, 7 and 18. What’s Magneto’s appeal? His powers? His evilness? Or just his magnetic personality? Personally I think it’s the cool helmet.
Naturally, to tie in with all this X-citement over X-Men (see what I did there?) I have a song to share with you. It’s the X-Men theme and it has been recorded so many times already it was hard to pick which version to use. Let’s just assume this is the best rendition, shall we?
Click the link below and enjoy this X-cellent song.