Bizarro Back Issues
You know that movie, Class of 1984? If you've never seen it, the basic idea is that a new teacher comes to a crime ridden urban high school and finds that his students are murderous sociopaths, and ends up having to kill them all with a series of deathtraps while the band plays the 1812 overture. If you have seen it, then you probably thought the same thing I did when I was watching it: "This story would be way better if Superman was in it."
Well rest easy, friends, because that exact thing has already happened, in a Jerry Siegel / Al Plastino classic with the truly amazing title, "The Three Tough Teen-Agers!"
It was only a few days ago that I wrote about why Marvel's Godzilla comic was one of the most fun titles of the Bronze Age. The thing is, doing an overview of an entire 24-issue series doesn't really give you the opportunity to go into the specifics and explain just what it was that made it so great. So if anyone still has any doubts about whether they should be spending some time digging through back issues boxes to put together a run, I thought it might be a good idea to go a little deeper to one of the many high points of the run.
And by that, I mean the time that Godzilla shrank down to tiny size, had a fistfight with the Thing, and then went back in time to have a wrestling match against Devil Dinosaur.
Look: I have read a lot of weird old DC comics. It's kind of my thing. But the great thing about them is that no matter how crazy they get, every time I think I've seen the weirdest thing that comics have to offer, they always somehow manage to top themselves. Case in point: a Cary Bates/Ross Andru/Mike Esposito classic from 1968 that has somehow managed to outdo every other comic I have ever read. I realize I say this all the time, but this is, without question, the absolute balls-out craziest comic I have ever read.
Seriously, folks, I'll go ahead and tell you right now that Batman casually mentions owning a time machine in this one, and as far as weird stuff goes, that's not even in the top five.
For those of you who never caught their appearance on Walker: Texas Ranger, here's the basic idea of The Power Team: They're a group of Christian strong-men who travel around the country to churches and schools, bending frying pans, smashing cinderblocks with their heads and in order to lead people to the message of Jesus Christ. That might sound a little weird, but trust me. If you grew up in the South, it makes perfect sense.
They're still around today, but in the '90s -- that grim, far-off past where you couldn't just type "dude breaks baseball bat" into YouTube and had to wait for months to see it live -- they were a pretty big deal. So big, in fact, that they had their own comic book, and yes, it is every bit as amazing as you want it to be. Especially the issue where they fight Internet Devil Worship.
If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, you may recall that I was less than thrilled with the premise of the Injustice: Gods Among Us pequel comic. The major sticking point there was the scene where Superman, tripping balls on Kryptonite mushrooms or whatever it was, drags Lois Lane out into space and kills her. It's not great.
A few weeks ago at HeroesCon, I was going through quarter boxes when I found a run of Punisher 2099. I bought the whole thing as soon as I saw it, and while that might just sound like a normal comic-con impulse buy, keep in mind that I was so excited that I forgot I already owned a full run of Punisher 2099. Admittedly, that might say more about me than it does about these comics, but I don't really mind having extras, because Punisher 2099 is amazing. Seriously.
You may not have heard about it since Warner Bros. is keeping it pretty quiet, but there's a new movie about Superman coming out this week. That means that it's once again time for a new group of people to try their hand at bringing Superman to the big screen, and if there's one thing we've learned from past movies, it's that this is a darn near impossible task. Even in the best of circumstances, even if Clark Kent himself steps up to play the lead role, they're always going to get something wrong.
It probably goes without saying that here at ComicsAlliance, we've been thinking a lot about shocking returns this week, and not just because they'e a pretty well-worn plot device. We've had some first-hand experience with it over the past few days, and I'm not gonna lie: They can be pretty surreal. Of course, we only have the return of a website to talk about, so I can't even imagine how strange it would be if, say, an entire planet came back from the dead one day.
In a lot of ways, Superboy is one of DC's best stabs at capturing the kind of wish fulfillment character that Captain Marvel perfected. It's one of the simplest ideas in comics, taking all the powers of Superman and compressing them down into a pint-sized package that also went to school and was secretly way cooler and smarter than any of his classmates who probably didn't even know about the Bottle City of Kandor. You