Marvel Super-Heroes - Ka-Zar Swings!

Ka-Zar was one of Marvel's revivals which didn't immediately get a comic book home of his own. Debuting in the X-Men in the early days of that run under Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Chic Stone, he migrated to Daredevil for some number of issues and even spent some time in Spider-Man before returning to the X-Men under the watch of Roy Thomas and Neal Adams. But he got a nod in Marvel Super-Heroes #19, a book in which he shifts from England to the Savage Land and battles against his brother The Plunderer as well as aliens who seek hegemony over the Swamp Men. Under a dynamic cover by Barry "Not-Quite-Windsor" Smith still in his earliest days and a up and coming Herb Trimpe, the comic beneath features some George Tuska artwork which frankly shows signs of having been done very swiftly. All of Mr.Tuska's shortcuts are on full display, but despite that the story by Steve Parkhouse and Arnold Drake unrolls mostly logically. Of note is that the inking is by longtime DC ma…

Nifty Presents - Wally Wood's Galaxy!

There's just something so appealing about the sleek smooth lines of a typical Wally Wood drawing and his style was just ideal for science fiction. So it's a no-brainer really that he'd find some time to work for some of the myriad sci-fi digests which once upon a time were common on the newsstands.

The one Wood made his mark in was Galaxy, a digest started in 1950 and focused on the softer side of sci-fi, the psychological and sociological transformations wrought by thinking about the present day and the possible futures. Galaxy always felt a little adult, a bit more sophisticated to me than the others, a cooler  hipper big brother of sorts.

This book showcases some beautiful Wood art, stuff which is not normally gathered in the copious Wood collections. Glad to have it.

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Justice League Unlimited 2004-2006!

Justice League Unlimited is the continuation of the Cartoon Network production, but the folks making this show were savvy enough to know that changing the format would make the fans happy and the way they did it made this fanboy very happy.

They did it by taking the Justice League and dialing it up to eleven by adding in just about as many DC characters as they could get their mitts on. I was content to live out my life never seeing the likes of Captain Atom, the Shining Knight, Vigilante (Golden Age version), Red Tornado, Metamorpho, and even B'wana Beast on a cartoon, but now I have done and I am a better person for it. A young Supergirl is featured in the series and her maturation is one of the plots that moves through several stories. Green Arrow is a featured player and that means some Black Canary. Wildcat shows up and more and more and more. It's a festival.

There's Zatanna, Hawk and Dove, alongside Dr.Fate and much of the Justice Society. Even Power Girl shows...s…

Justice League 2001-2004!

Cartoon Network's Justice League might possibly be the finest representation of the Justice League of America ever done for either the small or large screen. The makers of the cartoon series had honed their understanding of the DCU with groundbreaking series with Batman and Superman and this was just the next natural progression. What we get in these two seasons are detailed well-crafted stories with real adult appeal and members of the League who were specific distinctive personalities.

While it was of course the Big Three (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) who sold this show, the producers were keen to put the focus on other League members like Martian Manhunter, Flash, and especially Green Lantern and Hawkgirl who spark up a bit of a romance in these tales. In the first season all of the stories were two-parters, a pain when they first ran, but watching them again on DVD merely a nifty structure which assured a cliffhanger of sorts most all the time.

I was enthralled with the…

Nifty Presents - King Of The Comics!

Over the years I have gathered up quite a heaping helping of King Features comics, comics waiting for me to finally at long last read them up. I keep meaning to and something stops me, or another whim catches my fancy for a while. Prince Valiant, Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, Popeye the Sailor are all terrific King Features series, some of the most important pop culture creations of the 20th Century. So it is a grand treat to get hold of this mighty tome which has great background on those fine series as well as many many others which helped define comics as we know them today.

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Marvel Super-Heroes - Calling The Guardians!

The year is 1967 and Marvel Super-Heroes #18 is all geared up to transport us one and all to the 3007 when the countries of the Earth are united as well as the colonies of human race spread across the solar system. The tale begins by introducing us to Charlie-27, a Jovian military man returning from months-long solitary duty and two months of radio silence to find his home world of Jupiter apparently abandoned.

But soon enough he is attacked by the Badoon, an extra-solar lizard-like race which has invaded and seems to early reports to have conquered the sprawling human colonies. Using his Jovian strength and speed Charlie teleports to Pluto where he finds more Badoon and Martinex, a crystal man native to the planet (Pluto was still a planet back then...sigh). Using his powers to project both heat and cold Martinex helps the two teleport to Earth. On Earth things are not going well as Vance Astro and his taciturn colleague Yondu have been captured by the Badoon. Astro is a thousand-ye…

Nifty Presents - King Of Filmographies!

I've always liked Godzilla, but I have become somewhat besotted with Kaiju in general in recent years and with the "King of the Monsters" in particular.  Certainly the new American films have a ot to to do with that, but hardly all. In this century it has been possible to see these films in their original forms and seeing such my appreciation for the depth of meaning some of  them offer has only grown and grown.

David Kalat does an exemplary job of digging into the depths of the Godzilla franchise and finding meaning and significance in works most of the world dash off as mere momentary entertainments. Of course not all Godzilla movies are created equal, some are just what we might think they are, breezy diversions with great big monsters cracking up the territory. But so many are more, even if they don't fully succeed in what they aspire to be or say.

Kalat's book A Critical History of Toho's Godzilla Series is a film by film breakdown and takes into accoun…