Tag: Wonder Woman

Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Stumble In The Jungle

Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Stumble In The Jungle

“Walking through forests of palm tree apartments. Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents. Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday, eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday. Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows; they’re fast but they’re lazy, and sleep in green meadows.” From “Bungle in the Jungle,” written by Chip Taylor, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Trevor Smith, Stig Anderson, Kamaal Fareed, Malik Taylor, Pras Michel, Forte, Benny Andersson, and Bjoern K Ulvaeus.

Let me start this week’s disquisition with an apology. A friend of mine sent me the above piece of art which he copped off the internet. He did not know who the artist was, but it so directly relates to my experiences as a comic book fan that I’m using it anyway, with sincere apologizes to its creator. It’s fantastic, it’s right on the money, and it directly addresses one of my major four-color bugaboos.

Outside of the obvious, which is clearly seen in the above purloined artwork, I never understood the massive appeal of jungle girl comics. By and large, these stories were exquisitely drawn but horribly overwritten. Of course, there wasn’t a lot of room to do brilliant heroic jungle action stories, and usually there was a male companion/savior involved. The late 40s / early 50s were like that. I guess women in four-color or full color needed saviors back then.

Only a handful of jungle heroes had “legs” — that is, the ability to successfully endure in their own title for a long period of time. There were a lot jungle women, mostly white, all in terrific shape and clothed in barnstorming costumes. Mind you, they all wore more than, say, Tarzan, but they wore it better.

These women were immortalized by a plethora of terrific artists such as Matt Baker, Frank Frazetta, Bill Everett, Bob Powell, George Evans, Lou Fine, Mort Meskin, Ralph Mayo, and Maurice Whitman… to name but a few. Clearly, these casting decisions made everybody quite happy. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Let’s Stumble In The Jungle”

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

I’ve heard you say many times that you’re better than no one and no one is better than you. If you really believe that you know you have nothing to win and nothing to lose, from fixtures and forces and friends your sorrow does stem that hype you and type you, making you feel that you gotta be just like them. “To Ramona,” written by Bob Dylan

Back in the post-WWII days when 10 cent comics cost a mere 10 cents, there were but a handful of ongoing superheroes, all of them were published by DC Comics, and each had a very distinctive look. Not the razor-sharp nearly photogenic linework of artists like Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino, but highly stylized and not quite real-world: Wayne Boring’s Superman, Dick Sprang’s Batman and Robin, Russ Andru’s Wonder Woman, George Papp (and, briefly, Jack Kirby’s) Green Arrow, and Ramona Fradon’s Aquaman. They maintained and advanced the standard for comics’ most enduring characters.

Of course, this was seven decades ago. Time seems to move on and, now, the last of these famous artists has left the building. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!

Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!

I tip-toe down the street, smile at everyone I meet. But suddenly a scream smashes through my dream. Fee fie foe fum, I smell the blood of an asylum. – “How Sweet To Be An Idiot,” written by Neil Innes

I think there are few, if any, major heroic fantasy characters that have received less respect over the past eight decades than Aquaman. Well, this ain’t gonna win me any friends, but to me that makes perfect sense.

This is not to say that the fish man didn’t have a lot of great stories. With artists like Ramona Fradon, Nick Cardy, and Jim Aparo, some swell writers, and an uninterrupted run (more or less) of 82 years, there’s a reason he’s still in the water. But let’s face it: Aquaman was created as just another bland rip-off of the Sub-Mariner, and at that one of many. In fact, Subby’s creator Bill Everett also created two other water-bound heroes, Hydroman and The Fin, as well as a third with the Sub-Mariner spin-off Namora.

Aquaman was no Sub-Mariner. For one thing, he was a nice guy. For another, he talked to fish and ordered them to do his bidding. His enemies were largely lame, and his costume looked like he escaped from an undersea disco.

For all these efforts, DC’s fishy super-friend has been severely and continuously mocked. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim created a series of really funny bumpers featuring the guy, and any number of folks have had their photos taken while engaging in deep mockery. Aquaman has been the butt of much teevee humor ever since the Boomers started getting work in the writers’ rooms. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!”

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 15: Special Guest – Tom King

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 15: Special Guest – Tom King

Mike and Bob are back this week with writer Tom King. Enjoy the show.

Tom King is an award winning writer of comic books such as Batman, Mister Miracle, Vision, Sheriff of Babylon, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Human Target, and his latest release Wonder Woman. He has also published the critically acclaimed novel A Once Crowded Sky. A former intern for both Marvel and DC comics, King spent time in the counter intelligence division of the CIA before beginning his career as writer. He has been churning out hit after hit for the past decade and has worked with a Who’s Who of amazing comic artistic talent. We are happy to have the opportunity to talk to him on the SquadCast and hope you enjoy the conversation.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Brainiac On Banjo: Batman’s Gay Apocalypse

Brainiac On Banjo: Batman’s Gay Apocalypse

Who is the manliest man? (Batman!) With the buns of steel? (Batman!) Who could choke hold a bear? (Batman!) Who never skips leg-day? (Batman!) Who always pays their taxes (NOT Batman!) — “Who’s the (Bat)Man” (from The Lego Batman Movie) written by Neal Hefti, Jason Rabinowitz, Colton Fisher, Jaron Lamot, Mansa Makili, Brayden Deskins, and Barry Pointer.

In case it hadn’t occurred to you in this specific term, bigotry is ludicrous… among other things. There is no justification for this activity.

According to the Associated Press, the overseers of all things scholastic in a suburban Atlanta Georgia county had Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, over to speak to their students about legendary comics writer Bill Finger. However, they would not permit Nobleman to speak about Finger’s relationship with his gay son, Mark, who died thirty years ago from AIDS complications. According to Nobleman, that relationship was critical to defining Bill.

It was Mark Finger’s daughter Athena who, after being found by Nobleman, worked out a deal with DC Comics’ owner du jour in which her grandfather finally received due credit for his work in co-creating Batman a mere 76 years after the feature was first published. She is, to comics fans, a hero. There’s quite a story in that, and that story has been well-publicized. I should point out that Marc Tyler Nobelman also appears in the Bill Finger documentary Batman and Bill. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Batman’s Gay Apocalypse”

New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 20, 2023

New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 20, 2023

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this month. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

This week is full of strong debuts for new series, and make sure to check the One-Shots and Special Editions for some really cool archival comic material this week.

We have books on the list from: Marvel Comics,  DC Comics, Archie Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Titan Books, Humanoids, Inc., AWA Studios, Image Comics, and Boom! Studios.

One thing to remember, we continue to measure the “comic week” as Wednesday. #NCBD is Wednesday.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


Captain America #1
Marvel Comics
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Jesus Saiz & Matt Hollingsworth
Cover Art by Saiz

WHAT FUTURE AWAITS THE MAN OUT OF TIME? Decades ago, Steve Rogers changed the world forever. Now powerful and insidious forces are assembling to ensure he never does it again. Past, present and future collide as the man out of time reckons with an existential threat determined to set the world on a darker path at any cost… Esteemed creators J. Michael Straczynski and Jesús Saiz embark on an exhilarating new journey for CAPTAIN AMERICA!

Release Date: September 20, 2023

PCS NOTES: Looks like a good jumping on point for Cap fans.


Green Lantern: War Journal #1
DC Comics
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Montos & Adriano Lucas
Cover Art by Taj Tenfold

JOHN STEWART RETURNS IN AN EPIC NEW SERIES FROM THE PAGES OF GREEN LANTERN!

John Stewart’s time as a Green Lantern has come to an end…or so he thinks. A family tragedy calls him back home, and as John begins to reclaim the career he once left behind, he tries to embrace a peaceful post-superhero life. But when a terrifying and contagious force with a mysterious connection to Oa appears on Earth, the last Green Lantern of another Universe comes seeking the only warrior to face this threat and win: the immortal “Guardian and Builder,” John Stewart himself! Can this brilliant but brash young Lantern help John discover the qualities that made him one of the greatest Lanterns of the entire Multiverse? Featuring the first appearance of an iconic and terrifying new villain!

Release Date: September 19, 2023

PCS NOTES: I always enjoy Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s take on John Stewart. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 20, 2023”

Brainiac On Banjo: No… Doctor No

Brainiac On Banjo: No… Doctor No

Have no fear, look who’s here…James Bond…They’ve got us on the run…With guns…And knives…We’re fighting for our lives…Have no fear, Bond is here…He’s gonna to save the world at Casino Royale! – “Casino Royale” (1967) written by Burt Bacharach.

I’ve long had a curious relationship with Doctor No, and it started with a comic book whose publication was truly weird.

It started in early 1963 — January 31st, if you’re setting your WABAC machine. That was a Thursday, new comics day at my friendly neighborhood drug store, and DC Comics’ Showcase was one of my favorites. Not that it mattered: my 12 year-old paws would claw through each and every comic on the rack. At the time the Doctor No adaptation interrupted their Tommy Tomorrow try-out series which offered some great Lee Elias art and some rather thin writing from Arnold Drake. I wasn’t disappointed about the interruption, but I still have a fondness for that Elias work.

I had not heard of Doctor No, nor James Bond, nor Ian Fleming. I was curious as to why the story looked like it should have appeared in Classics Illustrated. DC’s comics had a house style — more of a house attitude — and this did not fit in. But I enjoyed the book and was disappointed Bond did not return in the following issue. Showcase was a try-out book that usually introduced new series in three-issue increments. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: No… Doctor No”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay

Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay

A pretty little raven at the bird bandstand taught him how to do the bop and it was grand. They started goin’ steady and bless my soul, he out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole! — Rockin’ Robin, written by Leon René.

Proliferate: increase rapidly in numbers; multiply: the science fiction magazines that proliferated in the 1920s. (Apple Dictionary)

Make Room, Make Room: Harry Harrison’s 1966 novel about the overpopulation of Earth so massive that people had to live in stairwells. The story was set in 1999. The book was made into a movie titled “Soylent Green” after the artificial food substance manufactured to feed the teaming masses. Spoiler Alert: “Soylent Green is people.”

If you chart the growth of Robins in the DC universe, it won’t be long before there are more of those obnoxious little buggers than there are Elvis impersonators. Indeed, the way things have been going lately there will be more Robins on Earth than there are Green Lanterns in the universe.

This is not a good thing.

Mind you, even as a kid long, long ago, I disliked Robin. He was, at best, unnecessary. The idea of a child that young being trained as a superhero was not a good example of child-rearing. I mean, sure, take a kid whose mind and body was not nearly developed, put him barelegged in tight shorts and a yellow cape and toss him into action against The Joker. Hell, at that time I was barely allowed to cross the street. Even Bruce Wayne’s megabucks wouldn’t protect him from Child Protective Services. It barely protected Batman and Robin from Dr. Frederic Wertham. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay”

Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?

Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?

They cry in the dark so you can’t see their tears. They hide in the light, so you can’t see their fears. Forgive and forget, all the while, love and pain become one and the same in the eyes of a wounded child. Because hell — hell is for children. “Hell Is For Children” written by Neil Giraldo, Roger Capps, and Pat Benatar.

Quick: What did Pat Robertson have in common with Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson — and, evidently, not with Howard Chaykin?

No, no. I mean, besides that.

Back when he was alive, Pat Robertson hosted a cable teevee funfest called “The 700 Club.” I gather this offensive and bigoted daily video scree will continue despite Robertson being declared dead formally. What the hell, had Pat not been born in the first place, religious and sexual hatred would have lived on unabated. In that sense, Pat Robertson was superfluous. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Hell Is For Whom?”

Special Live SquadCast: Women in Comics History – Part 4 – A Pair of Wonderful Women

Special Live SquadCast: Women in Comics History – Part 4 – A Pair of Wonderful Women

The final episode of our special live SquadCasts celebrating Women’s History Month happens tonight at 8:00PM Eastern. We are lucky to be able to bring together two amazing comics creators.  These women are fantastic and super important to comics. One of the things that I usually say about comic professionals that have made a mark is that you can’t tell the story of comics without this person or that person. That is certainly the case with both of these women, but humanity is better for these women for having participated in it.

Our Guests:

Continue reading “Special Live SquadCast: Women in Comics History – Part 4 – A Pair of Wonderful Women”