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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #357

Welcome to the three hundredth and fifty-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Today, discover the fascinating behind-the-scenes connection between John Carter, Warlord of Mars and Flash Gordon! Learn whether Spider-Ham’s visual design was based on Cerebus! And marvel at the longtime DC artist who drew Superman for years and still saw DC use other artists to re-draw his Superman faces!

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and fifty-six.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Flash Gordon owes its existence to John Carter of Mars.

STATUS: True Enough for a True

In a general sense, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter, Warlord of Mars stories are the basis for any number of science-fiction heroes (heck, there is a strong case to be made for the influence of John Carter on superheroes, as well, like Superman). There is certainly a heavy dose of John Carter in, say, Adam Strange (the concept of a regular Earthman being transported to a wonderous new world, whether it be the future, Mongo, Rann or Mars).

However, when it comes to the creation of Alex Raymond’s legendary comic strip, Flash Gordon, there appears to be more of a connection to John Carter than simply Raymond being influenced by Burroughs.

In 1929, Burroughs’ Tarzan character was launched in his own comic strip (drawn by the legendary Hal Foster). On the very same day that Tarzan debuted, so, too, did a comic strip based on the Anthony Rogers series of stories in Amazing Stories by Philip Francis Nowlan, with the name changed to “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D.”

Eventually, both Tarzan and Buck Rogers would be massive hits.

In 1931, Burroughs approached his syndicated (United Features) about doing a comic strip based on his John Carter character. They turned him down, saying that the time was not yet right.

In 1933, though, King Features came to Burroughs and proposed an adaptation of John Carter to compete with Buck Rogers. After all, what better to compete with Rogers than the character who inspired Rogers? The strip would be written by Don Moore and drawn by….Alex Raymond! Eventually, the deal fell apart during negotiations, as Burroughs wanted a goodly amount of profit-sharing and control over the strip.

On January 4, 1934, they wrote to Burroughs, stating, “”I am sorry to say that at this writing it seems impossible for us to arrange syndication under terms which would suit you.”

THREE DAYS LATER, Raymond debuted Flash Gordon for King Features. Burroughs always felt that King Features simply decided that it was cheaper to just do their own Mars strip instead of paying him for John Carter.

Raymond’s early Flash Gordons owed a great deal to Burroughs’ Carter (just switch Mongo with Mars and/or Venus from Burroughs’ Carter novels), but I don’t think it is fair to say that Raymond literally just turned a John Carter strip into a Flash Gordon strip. I believe that Raymond did, indeed, create Flash Gordon, but I also believe that the fact that King Features was working on adapting John Carter into a strip in 1933 – even to the point of having Raymond INVOLVED, is strong evidence that Carter was, indeed, a direct influence into the creation of Flash Gordon. You know, like King decided sometime in 1933 “Okay, we’re not going to be doing John Carter anymore, so Alex, come up with something else similar” and then just strung Burroughs along until Flash Gordon was ready to debut (perhaps to keep Burroughs from taking Carter to United Features before Flash Gordon debuted).

Gordon, of course, became a massive success, bigger even than Buck Rogers, which it was created to compete with.

With the release of the John Carter film today, though, maybe Carter will finally have his day, as well.

Thanks to Bill Hillman and his ERBzine (plus the research of Bob Barrett) for this intriguing insight into Flash Gordon’s past.

COMIC LEGEND: Spider-Ham’s visual design was based on Cerebus.

STATUS: I’m Going With False

Awhile back, I did a legend about the creation of Spider-Ham and whether the character was created as a response to Dave Sim’s Marvel parodies like Wolveroach.

In the legend, Spider-Ham creator Tom DeFalco convincingly explains the creation of Spider-Ham and how Cerebus did not play a role in his creation. However, commenter Miken asked a fascinating question (well, I found it fascinating at least):

Is it at all possible that even though DeFalco didn’t have Cerebus/Wolveroach in mind when he conceived Spider-Ham that the artist chose to draw him with that in mind?

That sounded like it very well COULD be possible! So I went straight to the source, artist Mark Armstrong, the fellow who designed Spider-Ham and drew his first appearance (here is a Spider-Ham cover by Armsrong)….

Mark gave me a very insightful response regarding his design of Spider-Ham:

Others had a crack at Peter Porker before it fell into my hands. Editor Larry Hama sent me some photocopies of what some others had done. As I recall, one photocopy was of a cover (that has never been published, as far as I know) done by (I think) Joe Albelo, a cover that featured Porky Pig in a Spider-Man suit and Daffy Duck in a Daredevil outfit. The other photocopies were of sketches by a female artist whose name escapes me at the moment. But those photocopies were all experimental things. My Peter Porker design was the one that was chosen, and the one to be published.

Larry gave me the assignment of coming up with a Peter Porker that did not look like Porky Pig. Tom Defalco’s script specified how tall Peter was to be (4 heads tall, I think) so I deferred to those specifications in designing the character. I might otherwise have made the character slightly taller. Four-heads-tall seemed a little cramped to me. I would have been more inclined to go with four-and-a-half heads, maybe even five-heads tall.

As for Cerebus, I had never bought a Cerebus comic prior to doing Peter Porker. I may have seen the character in a TBG (predecessor to the CBG) ad, and it’s possible that it may have lodged in my subconscious, but my design for Peter Porker was not based on any existing character, Cerebus or otherwise. I was rather taken aback when Ward Batty did a piece that made that accusation. I struggled mightily to make the characters in that series unlike any I had ever seen.

The Peter Porker I designed and penciled was somewhat of the rubber hose variety, when it came to limbs. I liked the idea of a cartoony character. When Joe Albelo inked the character, though, he added in muscles. The character would have looked different had I been inking my own work. The proportions would have been the same, but there would not have been the bulging muscles, or the sharp elbows and knees.

Wonderful stuff, Mark, thanks so much for the response!

So there ya go, Miken. I think Mark’s successfully described the process behind Spider-Ham. Thanks to Miken for the question and thanks to Mark for the great look behind the scenes of the design of a great character.

COMIC LEGEND: DC began redrawing Superman’s face on Justice League of America covers after years of Mike Sekowsky drawing them himself.

STATUS: True

I have written in the past about how DC during the late 1960s/early 1970s not only re-drew Jack Kirby’s Superman faces (when Superman would guest star in Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen comics) but also the great Alex Toth, whose Superman was good enough for the smash hit Super Friends cartoon but not acceptable for comic books ABOUT the Super Friends (read here for more details).

In the case of Kirby and Toth, though, it is at least true that neither artist were known for working on Superman. Kirby hadn’t drawn the character before coming to DC in the early 1970s and Toth had never worked on the character during his time at DC Comics, either. So at least with those guys, there was something to be said for “their Superman is not ‘familiar’ to readers.”

What DC ended up doing with Mike Sekowsky is a whole other story.

Mike Sekowsky was the original artist for DC’s Justice League of America series.

But by the late 1960s, Sekowsky, too, saw his Superman faces begun to be replaced by other artists on the covers, like here, where Wayne Boring provides Superman’s face….

He still drew them himself inside, at least.

Within a few issues, though, Sekowsky was off the book completely (even before his Superman’s faces were re-drawn, Carmine Infantino has begun doing some JLA covers – typically not a good sign when the regular interior and cover artist begins to be replaced by other artists for the covers). Amusingly enough, his final issue featured a cover spotlighting Superman…drawn fully by Sekowsky!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at urbanlegendsrevealed.com.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

45 Comments

That Justice League 63 cover is weird looking. It looks like Atom is doing some sort of strange walk, not laying down.

Aaron Bourque

March 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

But Cerebus is an aardvark, and Spider-Ham is a hog! How could anyone possibly confuse the two? Just because they’re short, stubby, snouted anthropomorphic beings? That’s racist.

Earth-pig, spider-pig, they all look the same to me…

Adam Strange owes a great debt to John Carter.

Rather than Cerebus, at the time I the Spider-Ham idea seemed to owe a bit to DC’s earlier Captain Carrot.

And let’s not forget that Adam Strange was inspired by John Carter.

It actually works better for the piece if I mention Adam Strange, so I think I’ll edit that in. Thanks, David and Mike!

So are you suggesting Raymond started working on the strip as a “just in case” backup when negotiations ran into trouble? Or that he whipped it up super-fast after Burroughs got his no. And would it have been the paper’s idea or his own?

I’m suggesting that what Burroughs believes to be the case is roughly what happened. They strung him along while planning their own Mars strip for most of 1933 as soon as they decided Burroughs was asking for too much and then they just told him right before their strip was going to debut. I’m only disputing the notion that Raymond literally took strips he did for a John Carter strip and just re-drew them to be Flash Gordon strips. I think he came up with Flash Gordon on his own, but just as a riff on Carter (like Buck Rogers was a riff on Carter).

Now do one whether A.L.F.’s appearance was based on Cerebus or Spider-Ham! ;-)

Charles, A.L.F. was based on nightmares.

Odd that you mention Sekowsky and Adam Strange in the same piece and talk about using different artists for covers. Sekowsky was the original Adam Strange artist, too, but all the covers for his run were done by Gil Kane. When Infantino took over the strip, he did his own covers. So my question is if replacing him as cover artist was a bad sign or did DC just regularly have stronger artists do the covers. That makes sense from a sales point of view.

Mark McDermott

March 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

Funny, I’d always thought Superman’s face on that JLA cover was by Adams or Giordano. The body and the fallen heroes’ weird positions were pure Sekowsky, though.

Should we even get into how Arthur is supposed to be an aardvark, but looks more like a teddy bear?

As far as I can tell, JLA 59 was the only time that Superman face switch happned on Sekowsky’s covers. So that point is not as big a deal as you are trying to make it. It is nothing compared to the amount of times Irby’s art was doctored.

DC regularly published comics for which the cover artist was different from the inside artist. Not a sign of anything. Seems to me you are trying to villify them.

okay Brian, that makes sense.
i don’t think Buck Rogers has as strong a resemblance to John Carter as Adam Strange or Flash Gordon do. That’s not to say there’s influence though.

barry buchanan

March 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Marvel’s, well Chris Claremont’s, response to Dave Sim was the character S’ym.

Via Wiki: “S’ym always referred to himself in the third person (“S’ym thinks this is a bad idea”), a trait shared by Cerebus. S’ym also has the same purple-grey coloration as Cerebus, and looks vaguely like Cerebus (right down to his trademark vest), only taller, more muscular, and with a horn. And, of course, “S’ym” is pronounced the same as “Sim”.

Yeah, that was how we all got started, barry. #351 (or was it #350?) was about S’ym, which led people to ask about Spider-Ham, which led to people asking about the design of Spider-Ham. We’re one big stream of consciousness here at CBLR!

From Infantino’s Wikipedia page:
“In late 1966/early 1967, Infantino was tasked by Irwin Donenfeld with designing covers for the entire DC line.”
So this had nothing to do with Sekowsky and everything to do with DC policy. Also, Sekowsky left JLA to assume greater roles on Wonder Woman and Metal Men, so I doubt he was on the outs with anybody. I believe Marvel instituted a similar policy with John Romita Sr.

I’ve often wondered about Sekowsky, a non-writer, taking over both books for their radical change of direction. Did he have a burning desire to write the books that he never got to exercise before? Or were DC just casting around looking for someone with a new idea and he came up with some?
I’m not sure if that’s a “legend,” Brian, but if you happen to stumble across the answer …

Anthony Rogers had the “man transported to a different world to fight an alien threat” meme going on, it was just that the “different world” was the far future, after war and a meteor impact (that may have been a spaceship crash) brought aliens to power. The “Buck” strips quickly evolved from that, into stories running around in space.

I’m actually a fan of the actual stories, not the comic strip – Niven & Pournelle actually would write an outline for official sequels, that resulted in 4 books that were effectively 70s-80s style pulps. Not sure if Greg’s ever seen these, as they are a decent continuation.

It would actually be good fodder for a “Novel Legends Revealed” bit for Brian, as it appears that all 3 authors that worked on these sequels incorporated Niven & Pournelle’s hit novel “Lucifer’s Hammer” as a PREQUEL to the original “Armageddon 2419″ story (either as part of the outline, or just a logical extension since the authors were involved). They made that hit novel’s cometary fragments’ impacts the meteor impact referred to the original Rogers canon, and that its impact woke up a creche of worker caste aliens in stasis that were hidden in Mongolia. Another alien cache, a med center, had been accidentally mined into in PA and was what Rogers had stumbled into and the center’s tech put him in stasis for 492 years (I wonder if that 492 years that passed was an homage by the original author Nowlan to Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in 1492?). These sequels dealt with a new alien threat that resulted when the Han (descended from the worker caste aliens, who modified their tools into weapons, and Chinese women captured for breeding stock) woke up the creches of warrior caste aliens hidden on Earth, only to find that the warriors were the superiors of the worker caste in that society, and that they considered the half-breeds no better than the local human pests.
The books, BTW, were “Mordred”, “Warrior’s Blood”, “Warrior’s World”, and “Rogers’ Rangers” – the last is especially hard to find on the used book market, but was ironically the first of the four I owned. It took me until this year to get the middle two books, and find out the references to “Hammerfall” weren’t just limited to the other two books.

I’ve always loved that the end of Spider-Ham’s snout is Spider-Man’s mask.

I agree with Mark that on the JLA 63 cover it looks like Superman’s head was done by Neal Adams (the teeth in particular), with Sekowsky doing the rest. The GCD says that Jack Abel is confirmed as the inker from Julius Schwartz’ records: http://www.comics.org/issue/21913/

“A Princess of Mars” inspired everybody, but Raymond’s original origin story for “Flash Gordon” is more directly indebted to the novel “When Worlds Collide”.

Wait, Niven and Pournelle wrote Buck Rogers stories as sequels to “Lucifer’s Hammer”? Good gods, I love “Lucifer’s Hammer” — I’ve got to find those books!

@Allen — GCD or no GCD, I’d know Abel’s inks anywhere. Those’re definitely them.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Is there any evidence that Dc fans of the past couldn’t handle slightly different interpretations of Superman’s face?
I just wonder if all this re-drawing is something they actually had to do, or just a policy launched by a mindless middle management figure, on a personal whim/power trip.
(I may have showed my hand as to which one I think)

Not only is Atom in an awkward position on the cover of JLA 63, the way the other characters’ costumes are ripped seems odd, doesn’t it? It would appear that the heroes were clawed, which is now exactly something Superman’s powers would lend themselves to. I wonder if that has something to do with what happens in the story?

Steve Leavell

March 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

And while we’re commenting on the JLA covers, the inked on 59 was Sid Greene.

Thanks for getting Mark Armstrong’s take on Spider-Ham’s origins, Brian. Even as an adolescent, I thought Armstrong’s work was head and shoulders above the artists that followed him on the strip, and I thought Spider-Ham really suffered when he moved on.

In late 1966/early 1967, Infantino was tasked by Irwin Donenfeld with designing covers for the entire DC line.” So this had nothing to do with Sekowsky and everything to do with DC policy. Also, Sekowsky left JLA to assume greater roles on Wonder Woman and Metal Men, so I doubt he was on the outs with anybody. I believe Marvel instituted a similar policy with John Romita Sr. Also, Sekowsky left JLA to assume greater roles on Wonder Woman and Metal Men, so I doubt he was on the outs with anybody. I believe Marvel instituted a similar policy with John Romita Sr.

I don’t mean to imply that Sekowsky’s re-assignment was a matter of DC saying he was bad, as obviously he took on Wonder Woman and Metal Men soon afterwards, so they still had confidence in his abilities, they just did not want him drawing this specific title anymore. They appeared to be going in a different direction with the title all together. Note that they changed the writer on the book two issues later, as well. Also note that Sekowsky continued to draw covers for Wonder Woman and Metal Men when he was assigned those titles. So I disagree that there is no connection between taking him off JLA covers right before taking him off the comic entirely.

Interesting John Carter and Sekowsky stuff.

But of course as resident Cerebus fan, that’s where I’m interested…

The thing that popped out in Armstrong’s comments was the Ward Batty piece that apparently accused someone (Armstrong or Marvel, I assume) of making Spider-Ham to look like Cerebus. Any idea where or when that piece appeared? That to me is at least something indicating that someone else saw the similarity and commented on it back in the day, and not just that only Dave himself thinks that Marvel ripped him off.

I’d guess, then, that if both the writer and artist say they weren’t thinking of Cerebus, they weren’t, but I’d say it’s possible that someone at Marvel saw the similarity and enjoyed a chuckle over it, particularly if a third party like Batty pointed it out.

Actually, what they wanted was an overhaul of most titles. That’s why he was given MM and WW. Major changes there – the Metal Men take on human identities, Wonder Woman gave up her powers and her costume. They were shuffling the deck. I know one critic who considers 1968 the end of the Silver Age.

Alot of DC policy back in the day was run by the Superman editors.Superman was the cash cow.As for Sekowsky leaving the JLA.Was that maybe because certain editors had their favorite(or stabled) pencilers and they would go with that editor if they were reassigned.Thats how we got Infantino/Anderson and Gil Kane on the great sci-fi books of Julius Schwartz.Murphy Anderson’s Atomic Knights and the great gorilla covers of the late 50′,early 60′s are classic.Also Gil Kane’s wonderful crazy story covers on Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space were also faves of mine.The weaker art jobs were on the House of Secrets and Tales of the Unexpected.I think that editor was Jack Schiff,early Batman ed.I think thats correct.Kanigher had Kubert,Weisinger had Boring,Plastino and Swan.

“Wait, Niven and Pournelle wrote Buck Rogers stories as sequels to “Lucifer’s Hammer”? Good gods, I love “Lucifer’s Hammer” — I’ve got to find those books!”

Niven and Pournelle did a re-edit/updating of Armageddon 2419 incorporating the “Lucifer’s Hammer” concept that was issued as “Armageddon 2419: the Seminal ‘Buck Rogers’ Novel” in 1978.
(That book is NOT the same edition that was issued in 1962 and 1972)
Four sequels were done by other authors based on this revised version of Buck Rogers.
Mordred by John Eric Holmes
Warrior’s Blood & Warrior’s World by Richard S. McEnroe
Roger’s Rangers by John Silbersack

Yeah, I’m going to have to say that Buck (originally Anthony) Rogers had virtually NOTHING to do with ERB’s John Carter. Anthony Rogers was a young engineer that stumbled into a cave containing some sort of suspended animation gas, and was preserved for 500 years to wake up in a future where a devastated North America was under the cruel domination of “The Airlords of Han” (also referred to as the Mongols in the comic strip). About the only similarity you can say about the characters is that they could both jump real high — Carter because of Barsoom’s lesser gravity, Rogers because of his anti-gravity “inertron” jumping belt. When (in the comic strip), Earth was invaded by Martians, they were Tigermen who bore no resemblance to Burroughs’ Martians… but if you wanted to draw parallels between Buck’s Tigermen and Flash’s Lionmen of Mongo, feel free. And Matt Bird is spot-on in pointing out that Flash was as much influenced by Wylie & Baumer’s WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE as it was by ERB’s John Carter. So, Buck had Mongols and Tigermen, Flash had Lionmen on Mongo. Flash Gordon was a hybrid of John Carter, Buck Rogers and When Worlds Collide.

“Niven and Pournelle did a re-edit/updating of Armageddon 2419 incorporating the “Lucifer’s Hammer” concept that was issued as “Armageddon 2419: the Seminal ‘Buck Rogers’ Novel” in 1978.
(That book is NOT the same edition that was issued in 1962 and 1972)”

Damn, I never realized it was not the same book back in the day and passed on it, because I did own one of the earlier Ace paperback editions. Now I’m curious as to how this was rewritten (and by whom).

Got the first 2 sequels but missed the last two. Don’t suppose there’s a snowball’s chance in hell these’ll ever be reprinted.

There’s a bit of controversy surrounding that JLA #63 cover. Jim Shooter said in an interview a few years back that in the Sixties, when he was writing LSH and Superman for Mort Weisinger, Julie Schwartz invited him to submit a plot and cover idea for an issue of JLA, which he did, working up a cover mock-up of a crazed Superman standing over the unconscious bodies of his fellow Leaguers. Weisinger told Shooter that his pitch was turned down however, and Shooter promptly forgot about it…until he saw issue #63, with Sekowsky’s spot-on rendition of Shooter’s submitted cover, but with no acknowledgement (or payment) for Shooter’s contribution. It was a sore point for him then, since the money he made from DC was helping to support his family, and he felt he should have been paid for his cover idea (which was the standard practice at the time), but he said he got over it when he left DC in ’69 to “retire” from comics at the ripe old age of 18.

And I’ve always understood it to be that Sekowsky wasn’t removed from the JLA by DC, but rather he left willingly. He was never very happy having to draw so many different characters in each issue, and when he had the opportunity to become both artist/writer as well as editor for “Wonder Woman”, “Metal Men”, and his own original creation, “Jason’ Quest”, he happily left the Justice League behind.

Yeah, I’m going to have to say that Buck (originally Anthony) Rogers had virtually NOTHING to do with ERB’s John Carter. Anthony Rogers was a young engineer that stumbled into a cave containing some sort of suspended animation gas, and was preserved for 500 years to wake up in a future where a devastated North America was under the cruel domination of “The Airlords of Han” (also referred to as the Mongols in the comic strip). About the only similarity you can say about the characters is that they could both jump real high — Carter because of Barsoom’s lesser gravity, Rogers because of his anti-gravity “inertron” jumping belt.

Well, there are certainly more similarities than that, just in the details you’ve described. John Carter also stumbled into a cave where some sort of gas also transported him to a strange new world. In his case he wakes up not the earth’s future but on Mars, where he also wanders among the devastated remains of a great lost civilization, now dominated by brutal warlords.

The connection wouldn’t necessarily have occurred to me (unlike Buck and Flash, who are pretty clearly connected), but you’ve actually made a pretty good case for it in the course of arguing against it.

buttler, I don’t remember any gas in Carter’s cave. Furthermore, his physical body never leaves the Earth, even though his spirit is astrally projected to Mars and gains a physical solidity there. Buck has nothing to do with astral projection — he’s trapped in the cave, insensible and unconscious until he wakes in the 25th century. Philip Nowlan may have been inspired by Rip Van Winkle — or the many other novels predating Princess of Mars (like H.G. Wells’ When the Sleeper Wakes) that had “sleepers” surviving into the future. Besides, after splitting his spirit from his body, Carter is able to leave the cave to stare at the planet Mars in the sky — he isn’t trapped there, at least his consciousness isn’t.

The devastated ruins on Mars are meaningless to John Carter, since he doesn’t have a clue about the culture that left them. On the other hand, from Rogers point of view, what was once the greatest nation on Earth is now little more than disorganized rabble under the heel of the dreaded Yellow Peril.

Dennis: Yep, John Carter comments on the gas in the cave at length–noting the vapor, the odor, speculating that “a poisonous gas” is what made him unable to move his body. It’s the catalyst for him leaving his body and going off on his journey. But yes, after the gas his mode of transport is different from Buck’s.

And yeah, although Carter is fascinated by the ruins and speculates about this lost civilization, it’s not his own.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 13, 2012 at 3:04 am

Dennis – When John first falls on the floor of the cave, he smells an odor, which he thinks might be a poisonous gas, and leaves him unable to move.

OK, PERSONALLY meaningless, then. Unless you don’t recognize a difference between visiting some strange faraway country that’s been devastated by war and your own home being obliterated.

Yes, I was agreeing with you there. No one here has claimed that they were identical. Buck & Carter aren’t nearly as similar as Flash & Carter, or Flash & Buck for that matter, just riffing on some similar themes.

Next up: How John Carter is a shameless rip-off of Dorothy Gale.

We need an Essential Peter Porker The Spectacular Spider-Ham trade.

How many issue were there?

Don’t know if Armstrong follows up on this article, but thanks for a lot of enjoyment in my youth. That was good stuff.

(And I think it ran 17 issues…)

And bad anatomy aside….doesn’t that JLA cover make you want to read it? Kind of a lost art in this era of pretty covers.

You know, that “Impossible Villain” guy looks a lot like Marvel’s Mephisto. Is that why it’s impossible?

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