Archive for DC Comics

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Elvira’s House of Mystery

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, comic books, Halloween, holiday, pop culture with tags , , , , on October 9, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Continuing my chronicling of Elvira’s pop culture appearances, let’s take a look at comic books.  One comic book in particular.

In the 80s, Elvira was so mainstream that DC comics licensed her image to become the new host of their classic horror anthology comic, House of Mystery. She would debut in the first issue of Elvira’s House of Mystery in 1986.

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Elvira would introduce the stories and provide an epilogue. While the host, she introduced many different stories based on horror, science fiction and even westerns all written and drawn by a revolving door of DC talent.  The cover of the very first issue was drawn by Brian Bolland.  The cover for the final issue would be drawn by The Rocketeer’s Dave Stevens.

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Ultimately the series would last 11 issues.  Towards the end of the run, around issue 9, the original host of the House of Mystery, Cain, returns.

And then Cain’s brother, Abel, who normally hosts the House of Secrets, also returns.

It’s interesting because Cain and Abel had been “in retirement” for a while.  Then Alan Moore brought them back towards the end of his Saga of Swamp Thing run.  Then Cain shows up in Blue Devil when he discovers the House of Weirdness.  Then they show up in Elvira’s book.  Cain is trying to find out where they’ve been but no one can remember.  He tells the things he can remember and it’s all the things I just mentioned.

After this, Elvira would last another issue then disappear.  There was no real tie up to why she left.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Nobody by Jeff Lemire (2009)

Posted in comic books, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2015 by Paxton

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The Nobody is the first graphic novel for Jeff Lemire. It was published by Vertigo in 2009.

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The whole comic is sort of a re-imagining of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man novel. The setting is changed from the English countryside to a small town in what I presume is the New England area of America.  We have this drifter named Griffen, covered in bandages and wearing goggles, mosey into the tiny fishing town of Large Mouth and by just being there he causes a stir.

People speculate about why he has bandages and he generally becomes the gossip around town.  Griffen winds up befriending the town sheriff’s daughter, Vickie.  They strike up a platonic friendship that sort of grounds the book.  Soon, a few strange occurrences happen around town and all of a sudden everyone wants to blame the weird bandaged drifter.  Queue town mob and frantic search for the truth.

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I’m a fan of Jeff Lemire, especially as a writer. He’s written a lot for DC including being heavily involved in the New 52 including the titles Superboy, Justice League Dark and Animal Man. He has a quirky, dark style that I kind of enjoy so when I discovered that he had written a re-telling of The Invisible Man for Vertigo, I had to check it out. And to be honest, the only reason I found it was because I was doing The Invisible Man for AWESOME-tober-fest. So, thank you for the billionth time AWESOME-tober-fest.

The story is quirky but endearing.  It’s slow moving but fun.  It’s light until the very end when it gets a bit dark with a great “sort of” twist ending.  The artwork perfectly reflects the tone of the story.  Stark blacks and whites, tons of shadows with accents in blue and simple yet oddly complex drawings and page layouts.  This whole comic is quirky and odd but in a perfect way.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it’s fun to see the slight parallels to the source novel, but make no mistake, it certainly goes it’s own way in a pretty cool story that I’m glad I discovered for this Halloween.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Batman vs the Invisible Man (2009)

Posted in Batman, comic books, monsters, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2015 by Paxton

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You may remember a few years ago when I did vampires for AWESOME-tober-fest 2011 that I covered a Batman vs Dracula comic by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones called Red Rain.  Well, 18 years later, Moench and Jones reunited to pit Batman against another monster.  The Invisible Man.

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Batman Unseen was released in 2009 as a 5 issue mini-series.  It seems very appropriate they got Moench and Jones to do this particular story.  Especially Jones.  I’m not a huge fan of Jones’ particular style when it comes to normal Batman stories.  He’s all odd angles, deep shadows, giant cowl ears and ridiculous f**king capes that’s more weird than it is enjoyable.  However, that style works perfectly in these off-kilter Elseworlds tales that mix Batman with the supernatural (vampires, ghosts, invisible men, etc).

The gist of the story is that The Black Mask has hired a scientist who has been fired and disgraced from his previous job to work for him.  His task?  Continue work on an invisibility serum and get it to work.  The story follows the scientist as he works on the serum and uses himself as the guinea pig.  The serum starts to work but it also drives the man insane as he constantly has to administer an overdose of the chemicals to keep the effect working for longer periods of time.

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I really like how the creators have the scientist working on making each body layer invisible a bit at a time.  First he makes his skin invisible, then his musculature, then his skeleton, then his organs, etc, etc.  As the serum’s effectiveness (and the scientist’s insanity) progresses, he begins taking advantage of his invisibility by getting revenge on people he believes has wronged him.  Batman follows the trail of dead bodies and the eye witnesses who say they only saw floating gloves or knives.  Can Batman get to the scientist in time?

The story is very good.  It’s also fairly violent.  Batman takes a beating from the invisible scientist.  Hardcore.  Plus there are several graphic murders.  All perfectly in tone with the story Moench (and Jones) is trying to tell.  Moench also does a great job of deftly working in layers of story elements.  Besides the scientist’s revenge plot, there’s a subplot about Batman losing his intimidation factor among the criminals in Gotham.  It seems they’ve become used to Batman being around and they aren’t scared of him anymore.  Batman is worried about this and tries to think of ways to fix it.  It drives some of Batman’s motivations at the end of the comic.  Very fun and atmospheric read.

Like I said, the art works perfectly for the story they are trying to tell.  But damn, Kelly Jones likes his cape porn.  I thought McFarlane loved to draw capes, but Jones may have him beat.  Some of the panels in this comic have some of the most ridiculous Batman capes that have ever been drawn.

Batman Unseen - Cape Porn

How would Batman get around with a cape like that? It’s absurd.  And that’s just one example.  Jones also likes to draw giant shish-kebob ears on the cowl.  Like I said, not really my favorite but honestly, it mostly works in this book because of the subject matter and tone.

I would recommend this book, especially if you enjoyed Moench/Jones’ previous Batman and Dracula team up.  It’s a cool, weird little story.  But lots of fun.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: DC’s Blackest Night mini-series (2009)

Posted in comic books, monsters, Superman, The Flash, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by Paxton

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Summer of 2009 began the DC event, Blackest Night.  At the conclusion of the Sinestro Corps War, DC teased the coming of the Blackest Night prophecy.  The Guardians of the Universe told of the coming of 5 new Lantern Corps, each backed by a different color of the emotional spectrum.  This fracturing would lead to a war of light, the coming of the Black Lanterns, the dead rising and the eventual destruction of the universe.

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The Blackest Night mini-series was eight issues long and first appeared in June 2009.  The story starts with Black Hand walking amongst the tombstones of a cemetery. He grabs Bruce Wayne’s skull and carries it with him (this was obviously during the time just after Bruce Wayne’s fate is revealed in Final Crisis).  Black Hand keeps talking about a coming war and retribution.  And the coming of “him” (who we’ll discover later).

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We see black rings invade the Lantern crypt on Oa and start reviving all of the formerly deceased lanterns.  These “zombie” lanterns become the beginning of the Black Lantern Corps.

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Superman Week 2013: Favorite Scene Friday on To the Escape Hatch blog

Posted in comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , on June 21, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

For Superman Week, Robert over at To the Escape Hatch asked me to write another Favorite Scene Friday. This time, themed, obviously, for Superman. If you remember, I’d previously written a Favorite Scene Friday involving Young Guns.

So for this week’s Fav Scene, I talk a lot about the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.  And specifically about Lex Luthor as played by Gene Hackman.

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(Via Criminal Movies)

Head over to To the Escape Hatch to read all about it.

There’s a very slight possibility that I may get to see Man of Steel this weekend.  If that happens I’ll post a review of it next week mainly because I know there are precious few reviews of that movie out on the ‘net right now.  So, let’s hope that happens.