So let's talk about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club for a minute.
I love Jimmy Olsen, and I will go to bat for him as being one of the single greatest comic book characters of all time, but even I am occasionally mystified by the fact that in the canon of the Silver Age, he had a worldwide fan club whose members thrilled to his every adventure, purely by virtue of just being Some Guy Who Knew Superman. I mean, Lois had a fan club, too, but that makes sense. She's an ace reporter and a go-getter. But I've read a lot of Jimmy Olsen comics in my day, and I don't know that I've ever seen any indication that he's actually any good at his job.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club isn't that it exists, but that it once inadvertently caused Jimmy, Superman, and Supergirl to screw up so bad that it took a dozen tiny Supermen to fix it.
Every October, I like to scour my own archives for the spookiest back issues available, but this year, one found me. It's like something out of a scary movie --- I went to my barber for a haircut and, mixed in with the regular magazines in the waiting area, they had an issue of The Brave and the Bold. It was one that I'd never read before, a terrifying team-up between Batman and the Spectre where they confront a mad sorcerer who wields the eldritch power of the Dragon God.
And when I looked up from reading it, I discovered that the barber shop had closed down... ten years ago this very night!
With the season of spookiness upon us, I thought for sure that the one thing I was guaranteed to get from 75 years of seafaring adventures was a story where Aquaman had to fight a ghost ship. It's one of those things that feels like it has to have happened at some point, but... here we are. As near as I can tell --- and please tell me if I'm wrong about this --- there has never actually been a story where Aquaman took on an undead crew of pirates out for blood and vengeance.
The closest we ever got was a story where he actually teamed up with one instead --- and even that didn't happen until 2011.
Moonchild was one of the strips that ran in Misty, which was originally conceived by Mills as a sister title for 2000 AD, complementing the sci-fi directed primarily at boys with supernatural spookiness aimed at girls. Unfortunately, Misty wasn't as successful, and was later merged with a similar title, Tammy, before finally getting the axe in the mid-'80s.
The good news, though, is that thirty years after its last issue, Misty finally saw a reprint this year, and while its take on the popular horror of the day isn't quite as over-the-top as, say, Judge Dredd's take on America as a concept, it's still well worth checking out.
It's finally October, friends and neighbors, and that means that it's the spookiest time of year: Halloween Season! That frightfully fun time of year when we turn our attention to stories about Draculas, Frankensteins, and the various other haints that perplex our favorite heroes --- and believe it or not, that's actually a little more difficult than it sounds. The same years that produced the comics I often focus on for Bizarro Back Issues --- the height of the Silver Age --- were also the years when the Comics Code Authority put a stranglehold on supernatural content, giving us two solid decades without a single wolfman to speak of.
And yet, they somehow let this story where Supergirl uses demonic skeleton magic to turn into a full-on Satan slide right through in the pages of Action Comics.
Back in the dim and distant times before the manga boom at the turn of the century, if you wanted anything that looked even remotely like Japanese comics you had to hunt through long boxes and hope that you could track down a whole story.
But like a lot of inconvenient things from the '90s --- like, say, VHS tapes --- that's an experience that I have a lot of nostalgia for, and the last time I was digging through dollar books at a con, I thought it might be fun to replicate what it was like to go into some random '90s manga completely cold. That's how I ended up with a copy of Eat-Man #1, the story of a man who eats things --- and based on this one issue, I think it might be my new favorite manga.
Getting super-powers can be a tricky bit of business. Sure, you could always wait for a magic space ring to just literally fall out of the sky, and if you're confident in your ability to be a protagonist and not just a background character, I suppose you could always try to fall into a nuclear reactor and hope you get a new costume out of the deal, or train yourself to be a world-class karate detective, but if you can't afford a rocket car to go with it, you might just end up wasting your time.
Or you could just wait for "Wizard" Holton, Criminal Scientist, to show up and offer you a big Box of Super-Powers that you can wear on your back. All things considered, that's probably the best way to go.
So let's talk about The Silver Age. No, not the period from 1954 to 1971 that was largely defined by rigid rules, bizarre transformations, and Superman constantly playing educational pranks on all of his friends and loved ones; the other Silver Age. The fifth-week event from 2000? That's the one I want to talk about today, largely because I'm not sure that anyone else ever has.
Badger is a very weird comic, and it's weird in a way that's such a product of its time that the best way to read it may be to just pick up whatever back issue you see and read it in complete isolation from the rest of the series. Which is how I got the one where the Badger teams up with Elvis to fight Bruce Lee.
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