Me and She: Happy 30th Shulkie!

Dear Jennifer,

It seems like just yesterday you and I met. It was 1983. I was on a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky. we pulled over at a gas station and I bought Avengers #236. It was the first comic I’d ever  bought with my own money. And, there you were running alongside Captain America and the Scarlet Witch, blissfully ignorant of how gaudy you looked in that orange leotard and white scrunched down legwarmers. You looked like the flag of Ireland. And, I loved you at first sight. I was 10 years old.

Over the next few years, I hunted for you in every 25 cent box in Nashville, Tennessee from The Great Escape to the flea markets and garage sales. And, with every issue of The Savage She-Hulk I found, I cursed the careless person who had the temerity to cast you aside and sell you for less than your cover price. The fools!

Our relationship hit a brief snag when my mother, knowing only that I liked to “draw superheroes a lot” decided to proudly display my many artistic works (taped to the back of my door ) to my visiting grandmother. Thankfully, you were, as always, tastefully attired in your fetching, shredded white dress. But you and I were forced to cool it for a while as the ensuing embarrassment died down. But, soon, I smuggled you back into the house in the form of a copy of the Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel . By that time, you were in the Fantastic Four and dating Wyatt Wingfoot. I forgave you. (But, not him –the rat bastard!)

I confess, seeing you covered in dead, mutant insects at the end of that graphic novel forced me to re-evaluate my feelings for you. I began to admire your wit, intelligence, verve and style. Okay, not your style. You wear purple WAY too much, girl.

But, it was time to give up comics and go to high school and be cool (FAIL!) and date a real girl (EPIC FAIL!). But, by the time I was about to turn 30, I realized all that “giving up childish things” stuff was bullshit. That being a kid even when you’re not a kid really is cool. And, being okay with who you are and what you like puts you on the road to finding someone who likes the real you. So, I got back to the business of reading comics. And, there you were. Looking fabulous as ever (except for that purple crap with the weight lifting gloves … Jen, really!?!?) and twice as spunky. Thanks for keepin’ the fire burning, Dan!

I’m not 10 anymore. I’m 36. And, you’re just 30. (Damn, wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff!) I am married now with two little girls . They know who you are. And, they think you’re a total badass. Which, of course, you are.

Happy birthday, Shulkie!


P.S. My life ambition now is to become a writer for Marvel so I can retcon out the suggestion that you or any alternate reality version of you would sleep with the Juggernaut … because that’s just ew.

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Marvel Two-In-One: She-Hulk!

One hero. One kid. One dad. Five minutes. That’s it.

To celebrate the Savage She-Hulk’s 30th birthday, Gracie and I took on the jade giantess. This was the first time the five minutes flew by … so both sketches are a little frenetic. So, basically, Shulkie is having, like, the worst hair day ever. Gracie went for the primal fury of the original She-Hulk. I went more for the sarcastic side.

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Why I Love Marvel Comics ~ Alan Davis

I would buy a comic about the meat packing industry if it were illustrated by Alan Davis. The consistency of the man’s work  … the details … the softness. He had me 25 years ago when I was given an issue of Bat-Man and the Outsisders he drew. His work was like nothing I had ever seen in comics. And, in 2010, there are darn few imitators. Sure, I bought The Nail and Another Nail and Bat-Man: Year Tw,o but it’s with Marvel characters where I feel his work really shines. Especially with his run on Captain Britian with Alan Moore — a series whic still holds me captivated, sickened and excited by its sheer audacity and the ability of Davis to make something so horrific, yet so pretty at the same time.

And, as much as I like Eaglesham’s work on The Fantastic Four, the Alan Davis covers make me wish the art inside matched them.

The dude can make any character look cool. Evidence: Check out Miss America in the two images above. Tell me you wouldn’t read a comic about her! (Umm … his She-Hulk IS a tad butch, though.)

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Marvel Two-In-One ~ HULK!

One Hero. One Kid. One Dad. Five Minutes. That’s how it works. Today’s drawing of the Hulk was created by Gracie and me as we waited for the start of a live performance of “High School Musical.” Gracie stopped rocking back and forth with anticipation long enough to engage in her other passion – drawing heroes. This time, my daughter, Cate (4) couldn’t resist joining in the fun. The squiggles are her contribution.

Once Dr. Bruce Banner was done, Gracie returned to being enraptured by Troy, Gabriella, Sharpee and the whole HSM gang. Sigh. Thank the maker for superheroes -the liferaft to which I cling as I swim in the sea of estrogen that is my life!

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That’s Marvel BadAss! ~ Week Ten

A few years ago, I came across the blog of Dan Christensen — an artist with a style that is an odd (but, engaging) mixture of modern sensibilities and nostalgia. He has his own projects, including a cool noir fencing story, but last year he showed true, Marvel badassery with his alphabet of superheroes.

Visit his blog and enjoy yourself. I hope, in years to come, we see more out of him. Much more.

P.S. His Tigra rocks. And, that X-Men…well, Ice Man in boots warms the cockles of  my heart.

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Hells Yeah! Hawkeye is Back!

To quote Commander John Crichton  of “Farscape” … can I get a “Hell yeah”!?!?!?! As you can see below, I’ve enjoyed dydreaming this week about how cool a more heroic Avengers title could be. At least, I like the campaign Marvel is putting on. And, today … Hawkeye is purple and blue … and all is right with the world.

This is confirmation of years of hope from this Hawkeye fan. Generally, I prefer the “Dead means dead,” rule. (Yes, even with Cap.) But, when it comes to Hawkeye and his ass-kicking better half — I’ve been happy to set that aside. When Clint and Bobbi came back, I welcomed it. Ronin was … okay. But, in response to today’s revelation, I can only say– “Not like this … LIKE THIS!”

P.S. I had to add Mockingbird. My mom always reminded me to keep the salt and pepper together. And, I apply that rule to Mr. Barton and Ms. Morse. They belong together. ‘Nuff said.

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UPDATED! “I AM AN AVENGER!” ~ Sneakier Peak

The insanity knows no bounds as the Smartass Squad gets its greedy little hands on the next flight of I Am An Avenger” teaser posters from Marvel. Guys, they are pulling from all corners of the Marvel U. to fill out this roster! Who the hell is next? Batroc the Leaper?


Umm  … I found this one in the trash can.

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Marvel Two-In-One ~ Falcon!

Five Minutes. One Hero. One Child. One Childish Man. That’s it. Tonight Grace and I took on Captain America’s revolutionary, stalwart and sometimes angsty partner — Sam Wilson, the indomitable Falcon. (Yeah, we the “falcon eyes” we chose to give him and pouty mouth make him extra angsty.)

P.S. Grace was kind of put out that I couldn’t get Redwing drawn within the alloted 5 minutes. That girl is a taskmaster. Oooh … now, we need to actually draw Taskmaster!

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“I AM AN AVENGER”- Sneak Peak!

If you’re like this smartass, you’re totally jazzed about the return to a more heroic, “comicbooky” Avengers team. And, you’re checking every day to see the next in the line of the “I am an Avenger posters.” Well, I couldn’t wait any longer and broke into the Marvel offices in NYC to find out what ol’ Brian Michael Bendis has in store for us in coming days … and, all I can say is … “WHAT THE…!?!?!?!”

P.S. Dear Marvel, please find a place for the Two-Gun Kid in the new Avengers titles. Pretty please with bullets on top.

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Marvel Two-In-One ~ Thor!

One Hero … One Kid … One Dad … Five Minutes. That’s how it works. This eve, the fair lady Grace hath chosen to draw the fair-haired God of Thunder, Thor! Yea verily!

Um … hey, Mr. Branaugh, Gracie is available to do storyboarding for the Thor movie.  But, my British brother, she ain’t cheap. 

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Marvel Two-In-One – Mockingbird!

Today was a snow day here in Charlotte, N.C. — which is to say, there was ice on the road somewhere in a 200-mile radius. So, there was no school today. The girls and I elected to spend the morning trying to see if an A.I.M. Agent could beat the Juggernaut on Super Hero Squad (not without much effort playing and stifling swear words).

Oh, and Gracie declared today was the day we draw Mockingbird. She chose to go with the David Lopez-designed New Avengers goggles. I went old school. And, apparently, Bobbie wasn’t too pleased about it.

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Meet the Wackos!

So, my love of the West Coast Avengers … the first team I thought of as MY team growing up … is well-documented on this site. After taking on Cap’s Kooky Quartet and the Fantastic Four in earlier nostalgia posts, my buddy Mockingnerd requested one starring our beloved Wackos. So, I turned to the Fab Four for inspiration. It’s only logical right? Whatcha’ think?

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Marvel Two-In-One ~ The Thing!

Okay, so it’s officially a tradition. My daughter Grace (6) and I now have a date for our daily “Night Draw” as she calls it. The rules? We pick a superhero and, together, we have 5 minutes to draw it. After that … bedtime. Looking at her rendition of Ben Grimm, I’ve got nothing but pride. I can almost hear him shout, “It’s Clobberin’ Time.” When I look at mine … well, I’d like to spend another two hours on it.

But, Grace reminds me … 5 minutes … then, pencils down …


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That’s Marvel BadAss! ~ Week Nine

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the incredible Web site of Maris Wicks, a truly funny person and an extremely talented artist. And,while I wish she blogged more frequently (for the purely selfish enjoyment of reading them) and a little more frequently on Marvel Comics … she is more than worthy of the title “That’s Marvel BadAss!”

Seriously, head on over to her blog and enjoy, particularly the one-panel strips she posted in 2008 and before. You’ll spend 45 minutes on the site, at a minimum. And, you’ll leave happy!

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The Ms. Marvel Two-In-One!

The newfound love my daughter, Grace, has for Ms. Marvel apparently knows no bounds. I have been asked to create a costume for her and to explain exactly who this “Binary” person is. And, now, I have even been inspired to pick up the pen and join Gracie in a little artistic expression. Being able to share a love of comics with an exuberant daughter continues to be very cool …

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“Heroic Age” – The E! True Hollywood Story

I don’t know what side of the fence you come down on, but I was really jazzed to see the promotional image for Marvel’s coming “The Heroic Age.”

Now, I’m in marketing for a living … and I am not usually susceptible to hype, but seeing my boy Clint Barton in the ol’ purple and blue made my day. Whether it lives up to my very high expectations to restore some “comicbookiness” to Marvel or whether it’s just so much spin … well, we can debate that later. Me, I’m hopeful. Let’s have fun today.

But, looking at the image, I got to wondering what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were saying as  they posed Mr. Cheung …

Please, buy Gorilla Man comics. Simian poo is very aerodynamic and VERY nasty ...

Posted in Avengers, Beast, Captain America, Comic Books, Fantastic Four, Hawkeye, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, The Heroic Age, The Thing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Folks, She’s British AND a Bad Ass!

If you have read this blog a bit or follow me on Twitter, there’s no secret that one of my “bestest” Web buddies is Jen AKA Mockingnerd.

She’s a fangirl. She’s a talented artist (check out this insane General Greivous she did) and seamstress. She works with marine animals by day and hangs out with her boyfriend at night bonding over their mutual love of comics. For cosplay, she dresses as Mockingbird and he as Hawkeye! (Folks, that’s just meant to be.)

And, now she has expanded her repertoire into custom action figures. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out her blog, go here and see more shots of her new Mockingbird action figure. Awesome.

Okay, gushing officially over …

By any measure, that's just badass!

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Marvel CounterPoint #1 ~ Iron Man (1963) vs. Iron Man (2010)

While Matt at and I were working on the 12 Days of Uncanny X-Mas in December, I cluttered up Day 8 with a little idea called “Marvel CounterPoint,” where denizens of the Marvel U. debated one another. In this case, a little discussion of politcal correctness between Cap and Shulkie.

Well, now the good folks over at have been kind enough to indulge me by hosting a weekly segment of Marvel CounterPoint by your favorite smartass and mine … me. There should be a new one up each week … and then I’ll broadcast “re-runs” on this site from time to time. And, while you’re there check it out. There’s some great commentary and truly funny stuff up on Comics Nexus.

Now, let’s let Tony Stark debate Tony Stark on the merits of upgrading. Click on the image for a more legible version.

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“DC Vampires” – You Heard It Here First!

My six year-old daughter, Grace, is still on her superhero drawing kick — scribbling on any scrap of paper she can find. Today, she decided to share her take on Power Girl (yes, she is exposed to DC, I am a bad father). And, while it is remarkable (and not just a little refreshing) that she was oblivious to PG’s … ahem … endowments, what I found most intriguing is the the fact that Gracie chose to give this superheroine pointed teeth.

Could it be that my daughter is a marketing genius? Does she have a hotline to Dan Didio? Or, is it just natural instinct to know that DC would attempt to counter the runaway success of Marvel Zombies with their own horror spin on their happy-go-lucky characters? Would they unleash hell in the form of … DC VAMPIRES?

What!?!? DC walking on the dark side!?!? Nah. That’s just ridiculous. They would never subject their characters to murder, bloodlust and horrific violence. That’s just talking crazy.

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Why I Love Marvel Comics ~ X-Men #10

Aaah,  Marvel … Aaaah, the 60s …

In just their tenth issue, Stan and Jack sent the X-Men on the first of many mutant field trips to the Savage Land for a team-up with Ka-Zar. And, following that humble little excursion to the true “land down under.” In the years following, a visit to the Savage Land damn near became a rite of passage for every hero in the Marvel U — from Captain America and the Thing to Daredevil and Mockingbird. Wanna know more? The good folks at ComicVine can lend a hand here:

This land is full of a never ending array of colorful wonders — stuff you KNOW Jack enjoyed the hell out of drawing. The place is crawling with dinosaurs and prehistoric vegatation and ape men, but that ain’t nearly crazy enough for Stan. He has to invent … THE T-REX ELEVATOR! Come on. Admit it … you want one for your backyard right now!

(Oh, yeah. Read closely on panel one. Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie … that’s not Scott you’re next to. It’s Warren. You know, the one with the wings? Scott has the groovy red glasses. I know you’re terrified and all, but, honey, that’s embarassing.)


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Behold! The Fantastic Four

To create a companion piece for the Cap’s Kooky Quartet art I posted earlier this week, Jim McCann suggested I try my hand at something for the denizens of Earth’s Greatest Comic Magazine — The Fantastic Four! This was a fun one.

I’d love to hear whatcha’ think … so make with the comments, people!

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That’s Marvel BadAss! ~ Week Eight!

When I started this blog, it was in an attempt to share a lifelong love of comics … particularly Marvel Comics … with “the world.” My intention was to be able to talk about the world of comics. But, I didn’t think that meant I’d become part of the world of comics.

One of the most welcome and unexpected results of starting Marvel Smartass has been getting to know the creators of  the artform I adore — from writers to marketing folk to artists. And, I have been humbled when people whose work I respect take the time to reach out to me to comment on the art, ideas and commentary I post here.

Today, was one of those experiences when I received a very kind note from artist and creator of Johnny Recon, Mitch Gerads. He invited me to visit the new Comic TWARTS blog he established this week with other Marvel BadAsses, Evan Shaner and Chris Samnee, and many others. And, as excited as I was to hear from Mitch, I’d already been drooling over the Zorro theme that’s up on the blog right now all week.

This blog demands being put into your favorites and your blogroll right now. It’s tops! And, totally badass. Mitch, thanks for reaching out and sharing your work. I can’t wait until next week’s TWART theme! 

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Why I Love Marvel Comics ~ Cap’s Kooky Quartet

One of my favorite Avengers teams assembled for the first time in Avengers #16Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Lovingly nicknamed “Cap’s Kooky Quartet,” this four-some was a true game changer. As a lifelong Hawkeye maniac … how could I not be enchanted with this group!?!

These days, line-up changes are the norm. But this was the first truly jarring  roster change for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (although we had seen the departure of The Hulk and the addition of Captain America before). Truly bold on Stan’s part … replacing favorites like Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp and Thor with two b-side “evil” mutants and the personification of “Murphy’s Law”… Hawkeye. There’s no way it could work, right? But, it did. Cap took a break eventually, but the core of the group stayed together until issue #52. And, have returned time and time again.

So, that’s a long way to say, I have been meaning to put together a tribute image for the “Bombastic Four” for quite a while and tonight … after a long day at work and an extremely unathletic night on the treadmill  … I was inspired. Enjoy!

Here’s another take on it …

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Junior Marvel BadAss! ~ Ms. Marvel Arrives!

Color me surprised, but the big Christmas present in my house has turned out to be the Marvel Super Hero Squad Wii game my wife got me. My little girls (4 and 6) like their ZhuZhu Pets and their art materials, but the Wii game — not meant for them — has kicked off an unexpected wave of superhero love in our house.

Dinner table conversations surround whether Invisible Woman could beat The Hulk or whether The Abomination is a “mer-man.” They want to know if the Juggernaut is married. They believe that Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo are brothers. And, they wait with rapt attention to see if today will be the day we’ll unlock the object of their anticipation — Ms. Marvel.

Well, today was the day Ms. Carol Danvers arrived in all her glory. And, there was much rejoicing. In Ms. Marvel’s honor, my oldest daughter, Grace, whipped off this picture as she was on her way to bed. My friends, I am proud of my girls for many things. But, this … well, it’s just badass. I am one proud poppa.

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That’s Marvel BadAss! ~ Week Seven!

Got a nice note about the blog from Brendan Tobin today. And, looking over his site, I found a link to Brendan’s second blog and labor of love … MARCH MODOK MADNESS … a site I do know well! And, if you haven’t been there … stop reading this blog, go there and witness awesomeness. Wait! Don’t go just yet … I need you for just one more sec.

Looking through Brendan’s blog, I found this drawing he did of the Fantastic Four. It’s a lot of fun and captures the Lee/Kirby spirit of fun and family to a tee. It’s so perfectly period, I couldn’t even bring myself to swear in the word balloon. Sue just wouldn’t approve.

Brendan…thanks for the kind words and for being a Marvel BadAss!

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Robot Chastity League – Lost Entries from the OHOTMU

Doing a little research for a future episode of Marvel CounterPoint, I noticed that the design of many of the Marvel U.’s robotic characters of the 60s included skirts and other elements to obscure the “crotchal region.” It’s all well and good for Giant Man to wear a Speedo, but it would simply not do to subject the readers to the horrors of a metallic bulge.

So, doing a little research, I found this “lost” page from the second edition of “The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.” * Click the image for an embiggened version.

* Nah. I just made it up.

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Oh yeah, it’s Primates Night!

Okay, I’ll fess up. There is no point. No commentary. No insight. No message associated with this post. When I sat down to decide what to blog next … all I could think of was creating a composite for Beast, Gorilla Man and Moon Boy having a pint down the pub. And, I have to say…I FREAKIN’ LOVE IT!

(P.S. The beers are from old Guinness ads. Nothing else would have worked!)

It's was a night to remember, until Gorilla Man started flinging poo and Moon Boy drunk dialed Devil Dinosaur.

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That’s Marvel BadAss(es)! ~ Week Six

Good evening, my little smartasses! I know you have been waiting on pins and needles for me to reveal the identity of this week’s Marvel BadAss! Well … it’s worth the wait, my friends. As there are two whose increadible badassery is worthy of note.

BadAss One: Jim McCann

Marvel’s Marketing Maven, resurrector of my beloved Mockingbird in New Avengers: The Reunion and David Lopez -collaborator, Jim McCann, is celebrating his birthday today. And, to prove he’s been a hardcore member of the Marvel Marching Society for … ahem … decades, here is a drawing of Nightcrawler he made back in 1989. (How I came by this here drawing, I can reveal but upon pain of death, my friends.)

Huzzah, good author and bearded fanboy! May 2010 bring exciting things. Oh, wait! It will … the OGN “Return of the Dapper Men” with artist Janet Lee!  (No, not Janet Leigh. That’s the shower scene chick from “Psycho.”)

Marvel BadAss Two: Joel Priddy

This week, I cracked open my copy of “The Best American Comics – 2006” and found Joel Priddy’s “The Amazing Life of Onion Jack”  – a 10-page encapsulation of the life and times of a relucatant superhero. It manages to be an incredible celebration of the “comic-bookiness” that endears me to comics, while being a taut, well-written creation of an engaging universe. I wanted more when I was done. And, if you pick up the book or visit Joel’s Beeswax Blog, I think you will, too.

But, what makes it MARVEL BadAss? Row 2 … panel 4. Panel 3 references Spider-Man, but panel 4 — oh, panel 4 —  Mongoose Serum! A REFERENCE TO THE ORIGIN OF THE WHIZZER! Beautiful. I fell in like on panel 3. I fell in LOVE on panel 4. (Oooh … that’s a name of a blog). Mr. Priddy, we salute thee!

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Why I Love Marvel Comics ~ Excalibur #14

Greatest. Panel. Ever.

Okay, gang. There is no manipulation at work here. Just the insane dreamings of Chris Claremont and that brilliant, mad Brit, Alan Davis. Three of my favorite things in one beautiful little panel. Kitty Pryde. A.I.M. flunkies. Daleks. If there were a police telephone box in the corner … I don’t think I could take it.

Oh, how do I love thee, Mr. Davis? Let me count the ways!

And, from the same comic, you have to love the various versions of Logan going after their S.A.G. card. Brilliant.

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That’s Marvel BadAss! ~ Week Five!

So, like any good little Kirby-phile, I love scanning KirbyVision for art inspired by The King. And, today I found this Dr. Doom by Australian artist/colorist, Dylan McCrae. The dude’s got him some mad skyllz. Check out his blog ( and his joint at SatelliteSoda (

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What If? West Coast Avengers #1

I had a fun day of family,  food and comics for Christmas today.

But, my celebration started a few weeks ago, when I popped down to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for a holiday sale. And, to what did my wondering eyes then appear? $1 boxes galore and some real treats … among them West Coast Avengers #1 -4.

And, that got me to thinking about covers like this one and Avengers #221, where we’re invited to wonder about what an Avengers line-up will be. UPDATE: Just found this tribute to Avengers #221 on the tremendous blog, “Covered.”

What if Mockingbird,Iron Man, Wonder Man and Tigra hadn’t answered Hawkeye’s call? What if it were others pictured — all representing a different part of the American Experience:

Hawkeye – The American Dream — a “Horatio Alger” hero who pulled himself up by his seven-league bootstraps from less than modest beginnings to stand with the world’s greatest heroes.

Puck – Representing Canada (Eh?) and the mutant population.

Red Wolf – The bastion of Native American heroism.

Thundra – A Femizonian citizen of the future United States — the “‘United Sisterhood Republic.”

Rom, Spaceknight – Illegal alien. (Come on, you know he didn’t fill out any paperwork.) He earned it. He was teased as a potential Avenger TWICE!

I know I have an affinity for D-List characters and this series would only sell, like six copies (at least three of which would have gone to me, @mockingnerd and @JimMcCann), but I would have  loved to see it.

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That’s Marvel BadAss! – Week Four!

Okay  … so it ain’t Thursday, but I couldn’t wait to share the Marvel BadAss(es) awards this week. I love the holidays for so many reasons … not the least of which is seeing what my favorite artists whip up to celebrate the season. This week, I couldn’t pick just one…not when David Lopez, Evan Shaner and Micahel Cho whipped up this incredible trio of Holiday Badass-ness!

And, make sure to visit David’s blog to read his annual holiday story. As a kid raised on the graphic novels of Will Eisner, I was right at home reading this!

Behold! Majestic bloggery!

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That’s Marvel Badass! – Week Three

Stop the presses! Santa … this is what I want for Chistmas. It combines two of my favorite things (and acronyms) in the world — M.O.D.O.K. and W.P.A. style. Seriously, I am in love here.

I couldn’t find much on the graphic artist, other than his name is Ryan Harris and he has a Tumblr site … and much bigger version of this poster. Mr. Harris, wherever you are, I salute you.

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The 12 Days of Uncanny X-Mas ~ Days Twelve!

Well, *NOW* I am finally ready for Christmas as I load the last day of the 12 Days of Uncanny X-Mas! It’s been a really fun time ringing in the season with mad mutant love. Big, big, big, big holiday ups to my partner in crime on the 12 Days — Matt, the sardonic, sarcastic tsar of The man has a gift for comedy … hell, it’s damn near a mutant power to make people laugh!

So, kick back, read and celebrate the season with our favorite representatives of ho-ho-homo superior! Click the image to embiggen! And, if you like it, please share it with friends.

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Marvel BadAss! – Week Two: Chris Samnee

This week’s Marvel BadAss Award goes to Chris Samnee for this insanely cool Iron Man sketch. For my money, it doesn’t get cooler than the red and gold armor … and Chris wrings every drop of coolness out of it here. And, in black and white, no less.  

Chris’ blog, featuring a daily sketch, is a required daily visit here in the Fortress of Smartassitude … and if you’re not following him on Twitter, well … you’re just missing out. Why don’t you just visit by clicking here and stop depriving yourself? You can even bring a little bit of his brilliance home with something from his store.  

DISCLAIMER: This message was not endorsed by Chris Samnee. It was paid for by … well … WordPress. This blog is free, baby.  

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John Byrne Terrifies Me: Avengers West Coast #54

This is another new category of exploration here in Smartassville … the twisted mind of John Byrne.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Like many of you, I worshipped all things Johnny B. back in the day. Loved X-Men. Loved Fantastic Four. LOVED Man of Steel. But, now and again, I find a panel of two that really demonstrate how truly odd he was. Not in the superhuman plots, mind you. In the glimpses of “real life” he included — what his warped Canadian brain thought of as normal. HINT: It usually involved characters with mullets and cut off T-shirts. Like this panel below from Avengers West Coast #54.

It’s not really terrifying that Wonder Man is carrying a giant scaled monster above a city … but, rather, that there’s a beach where mulletted dudes wear stripped muscle shirts from the 20s and Herculean infants (seriously, look at the baby arms in the bottom right corner) push grown women on swings. What kind of frelled up scene is this!?!? Please, Wondy, drop the monster there! Rid the world of this insane place!

(To top it all off, the blonde in the bottom left has wicked bad split ends.)


UPDATE: This just in (okay, not “just” as I have no idea when you’re reading this) … an update from Twitter:

@DazzledFirestar: To be fair, John Bryne’s weirdness is not due to him being Canadian. Trust me, as a Canadian, that’s still weird and scary.

Judge’s ruling … yep. We’ll accept that. John Byrne not weird BECAUSE he’s Canadian. He is weird because he’s weird and he HAPPENS TO BE Canadian. Important distinction. Thanks, Daz.

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K.O.D.O.M., Thy Name is Annoyance!


My little Marvel Smartasses, thrill to the villainy of a mid-level management miscreant we working joes can recognize from our 9 to 5’s … Meet K.O.D.O.M. … Kid-Brother Organism Designed Only to Micro-Manage.

Unlike George Tarleton, who was an A.I.M. scientist who was tapped to become M.O.D.O.K. , K.O.D.O.M. has absolutely no qualifications to manage. He is, in fact, the red-headed mutated form of Jason Lively, who starred as Rusty in European Vacation and, more importantly, Fred Dekker’s classic Night of the Creeps!

(Incredibly, Jason is also the brother of Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl. Seriously, how are they from the same gene pool!?!?!”)

He’s not a scientist. He’s not good at his job. He’s not helpful. He’s annoying. He’s creepy. He’s deceptively nice. He’s going to throw you under the bus over the matter of a FAX cover sheet you used that he doesn’t like.

This red-headed freak is, in fact, Marvel’s answer to Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch. He kinda looks like Oliver, too.

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Oh, CRAP! M.O.D.O.K. joined Facebook

Inspired by this hilarious story of a woman getting fired over forgetting her boss was a Facebook friend and the equally hilarious site, Oh Crap! My Parents Joined Facebook, here’s an all-new issue of “A.I.M. High.

You are going to want to see the SUPER ULTRA MEGA BIG version of this one.

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Marvel Bad Ass! Mockingnerd

 This is the first of a new Thursday feature — Marvel Bad Ass! Each week, I’ll pluck my favorite find from my Internet exploration of the Marvel U.

This week was easy, a fantastic pencil of Bobbi Morse in her Huntress costume from Marvel Super Action #1 by Mockingnerd— perhaps the biggest Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird fan in the univserse and a really cool lady. Check our her blog here.

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This Smartass loves the First Amendment

To quote DJ Kool … let me clear my throat …

I’m a smart ass. I like to speak my mind, so that means I’m very close friends with the first ammendment. And, that requries me to be open to all opinions as well as my own.

My last post noted I don’t really appreciate Vince Colletta’s work on Thor or generally on Jack Kirby’s work. I prefer dark, bold inks to compliment Kirby’s larger than life style. The delicate, light cross-hatching Colletta used on much of Thor ain’t my cup o’ tea.  But, that doesn’t mean I dislike his work in other comics and genres. He is a comics legend. And deserves such status.

Blogger Dan McFan took a little more exception to my words than were intended. I don’t necessarily agree with him or some of the ways he expresses his love for Colletta’s work, but his passion is palpable and he’s assembled a very interesting collection of art on his blog. Click here to read,  enjoy and form your own opinion.

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Thor … Thunder God & Broken Little Boy

Okay… so, I love Marvel Comics. We all get that, right? Here’s another reason why … innocence. Check out this panel from Journey Into Mystery #112. The story sets up a titanic showdown between the God of Thunder and the Rampaging Hulk at a time when fighting the Green Monster was a mark … Thing vs. Hulk, Avengers vs. Hulk, etc. Click here to read up on the issue.

This panel is on page 2, and is all about Thor sitting down with some fightin’ fanboys who are arguing in the street over who’s the biggest bad ass, Thor or Hulk. So, the fair-haired god sits down for a little chat with them. It’s all part of Stan and Jack making their heroes relatable. Heck, Marvel heroes will sit down a spell and tell you war stories. Would Superman design to do that? Batman would just punch you in the face and arrest you for jaywalking!

But, take out the dialogue … and look at it with jaded, sarcastic 2009 eyes. Doesn’t it look like he’s telling them about a childhood memory of when he was molested by the Midgard Serpent? Yes, I know it’s sick…but you thought it, too.

Tonight ... on a very special "Journey Into Mystery" ...

On a non-smartass note, Jack Kirby’s work is beautifully inked by the incomparable Chic Stone. The King’s work was made or broken by his inkers. When Vince Colletta inked Thor… not so much. But, give Jack Chic Stone or Mike Royer … your head explodes.

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The Short, Happy Life of Squad Force-X

Yesterday’s venture into the creations of my youth was wonderfully cathartic. So, I thought I’d double-dip.

“Avengers Dissassembled”!?!?! Brave!?!?! Avant garde!?!?! Please. Bendis, it’s been done.

In the mid-80s, despite brisk sales attained in 10% of the households on Cloudland Drive in Nashville, TN, ground-breaking publisher, Fantasti-Comics, Inc., chose to courageously kill off each member of Squad-Force X in just its third issue, even the very popular Cat’s Eye, whose striking resemblance to the Thundercats Panthro was mere a coincidence. Tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, if you will.

That’s realism. That’s boldness. That’s making the comic universe YOUR universe! That’s four very phallic looking missiles in the background.

P.S. You have to love that Dragon Knight [the only survivor] wore his cape OVER his radiation suit. His medieval dedication to super heroic couture is unrivaled.

Yes. The bad guys DID take the time to bury the heroes! Thanks for asking.

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The Rise and Fall of Ull – God of Skiing

As I have spent the last four months poking gentle fun of others’ creations, perhaps it’s time to apply my patented blend of smartassery on one of my own creations … 🙂

It was 1985. I was 12. I read a book on Norse mythology and became convinced that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had missed the boat on a VERY marketable god. Thor? Odin? Sif? Balder? Losers. Why not, Ull, God of Hunting and Skiing?

He would be the actual god, no human avatar, but would be a world-class archer and, of course, a genius inventor.

Mr. Ull is the handsome chap in the back right.

 No one puts Ull in the corner. Now, out of Odin’s shadow, he stood, poised to take the mantle of Marvel’s most Ewok-like god.

Just in case you weren't sure, Ull demonstrates the proper way to hold a magic arrow.

 It was killing me … why wasn’t ull taking off? Of course, he needed a team around him … and a rocket powered sled he stole from Kris Kringle.

P.S. Check out the crazy, red and white striped dude in the back. He was “Graphixxx” (must have three x’s). He put on a special belt and became a cartoon character. When I saw Slapstick years later, I almost fell over.

And, when firing a laser at a clawed, demon-like monster (left) wouldn’t any self-respecting meta-human wish for SFX that’s a little more imposing than, “Paf”?

Any resemblance to Hulk, Shadowcat, Dr. Fate or Giant Man in this image is purely conincidental due to me ripping them all off.

Any resemblances you see to the Hulk, Shawdowcat, Giant-Man and Dr. Fate are purely coincidental as I was totally ripping them off.

After years of failing to gain the notoriety he so richly deserves, Ull tried to make a late 90s return with a more earthy look and and a new attitude ready to take on his mortal enemy, PETA.

Ull added shades after seeing a late-night showing of “The Matrix” in Valhalla and dumped the hood. After all, what Norse god could be taken seriously with blue, furry ears?

In retrospect, the decision to create an “Ice and Water” partnership with Aquarias, the groovy, black Aqua Man, was an ill-conceived move by the mightly god of winter sports. Ull did, however, land a lucrative contract as a teddy bear model at Gund.

He still lifts weights and expects a call any day from Kieron Gillen.

He's dark ... he's deep ... he has a forelock that hangs in front of his goggle!

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Tales of Suspense #48 (Birth of Iron Man 2)

In honor of the unveiling of the Iron Man 2 poster,I double dip into my love of Tales of Suspense #48.

As you may have seen in my earlier post on this issue, I love many, many things about TOS #48. The gorgeous Steve Ditko art and the absurdity of a villan who wears a green sweatshirt, bizarro blue hood (which does not protect his identity in any way), names himself the imposing Mr. Doll (kinda like calling yourself “Commander Menopause” — “Fear my hot flash of doom!!!!”). Best of all, Mr. Doll forces the redesign of the original gray/gold armor.

There’s more to love. Who doesn’t love a great jump cut scene in a movie as the hero vigorously arms himself/herself for battle by stapping on loads of guns!?!? Rambo. Ripley. Sgt. Nicholas Angel. (For my money, the fashioning of Ash’s iron hand in “Army of Darkness” is the best of the lot.). Well, Mr. Tony Stark gave us a prep scene of his own as over 3 pages and 24 panels, Ditko debuted the red and gold Iron Man Mark 2.0. Awesome. Click here for a bigger version.

The only thing that would make this better would be if Tony turned to Pepper at the end and proclaimed, “Groovy!”

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Avengers West Coast #51

John Bryne is a sick man. A sick, sick man. Evidence: Avengers West Coast #51

I love Marvel Comics for their pure wild abandon. Evidence: Avengers West Coast #51

A few months ago, a writer friend of mine and I debated whether or not comics could really scare you. After all, you control the environment in which you read them. There are no sound effects, pacing tricks or camera shots to heighten your sense of fear. At best, they can disgust you. I begged to differ. Two comics have scared the hell out of me and stayed with me.

One is the Creepshow comic. Honestly. It took me years to summon the courage to touch green moss (meteorcrap!) or kill a cockroach after reading that as a 12-year-old boy.

The other is the reappearance of Master Pandemonium in Avengers West Coast. Introduced in WCA #4 … the guy was a total doofus. But, by issue #51, he stole the effing souls of Scarlet Witch’s two sons and made them into his effing arms and hands. Ick! As drawn by John Byrne, this is some sick shit. And, it stayed with me for years … so I have to love it.

This comic gives the term “baby arm” a whole new meaning. (I couldn’t resist.)

Master Pandemonium flourishes his baby arm ... ahem ... arms.

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Fantastic Four #38

I love the 60s. Such a time of feigned innocence. Political correctness meant knowing the right way to shake hands at a Kiwanis meeting, and, the Fantastic Four’s playfulness with Sue Storm was seen as cute.

That’s why this sequence from Fantastic Four #38 is so amazing looking back with 2009 eyes. In just two panels, there’s enough to make Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf assault Marvel HQ with the fire arrows from Braveheart. First, the Thing looks to be ready to administering a playful spanking to Ms. Storm … and then he and Reed play flickball with her. Score!

Actually, Sue may deserve a spanking for getting that haircut.

Honestly, this is Stan and Jack keeping the book lighthearted. The FF were a family. They loved each other. They weren’t afraid to have fun with their crazy lives and power. and Sue was the adored kid sister — well, not so much for Reed.

But, now, just a year Tigra’s beating/rape? at the hands of The Hood’s villains and Sue Dibny’s rape/beating/murder pissing loads of readers off (including me, I admit, as the father of two girls) … this scene just seems so antiquated and naive. And, it makes me not just a little nostalgic for a time when I didn’t know so much about how badly men can treat women in real life.

In case you haven’t noticed from my posts, I adore the golden/silver ages. I read comics for an escape. I have enough real life in my real life.

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USAgent or Alien Bounty Hunter?

In the age of the Greg Land, Mike Deodato, Bryan Hitch and others, we’re getting very used to looking for actors,public figures and Victoria’s Secret models (ahem … Land) in the faces of our favorite super heroes. It’s not suprising when Samuel L. Jackson appears as Nick Fury or Tommy Lee Jones stars as Norman Osborn.

But, I was suprised to see a familiar (albiet perhaps not a really famous one) face when perusing a freshly-digitized issue of West Coast Avengers on … Brian Thompson, Alien Bounty Hunter and psycho killer from everything from “Chuck” to Stallone’s “Cobra” to hunting down agents Scully and mulder. Call me crazy, I think the muscled-up, kinda’ ugly Mr. Thompson was John Byrne’s inspiration for a muscled-up, kinda’ ugly, super-patriotic John Walker.

P.S. Don’t think you know this guy? Check out his IMDB profile. This dude has worked continuously since getting his butt kicked with Bill Paxton in “Terminator.”

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Captain America Annual #3

This is a fantastic example of the classic Kirby first page. The opening prologue is punctuated with loads of dramatic Kirby Crackle. And, then, there’s that alien. Oh, the alien. Is it just me, or is that alien just a little too excited?

Best of all, Cap’s sidekick in this issue is … Hendricks. HENDRICKS! I love it. Start the petition now. We want a “Hendricks: Origin” Limited Series!

LOCAL ANCHOR MAN: What happened today, Mr. Hendricks?

HENDRICKS: Well, suh, I was tending to my fields, bustin’ up some chiffarobes and whatnot, and this great big flyin’ saucer come out of the sky and landed in mah field. I went inside and a big pink alien was tryin’ to make the animal husbandry on Captain America hisself. I just knew, I needed to find a weapon and kill me that alien. So, I done it.

LOCAL ANCHOR MAN: You are a true, American hero, Mr. Hendricks.

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Journey Into Mystery #107

Guys … this one is easy. I am going to gush forth a lot of digital love today. (Stay away from me, Chris Hansen.)

You have to love that there was a comic called, “Journey Into Mystery” … and that it made it to 107 issues by this point.

You have to love Stan and Jack created a villain named “The Grey Gargoyle” … and that they repeated his origin in each of his first four appearances almost verbatim.

And, that said villain could be seen as worth of going toe to toe with a god.

But, you’ve really got to appreciate that they show him getting into costume …

Dr. Doom Ettiquette Note: One must take time to get one's villainous boots on properly, lest one be horribly embarassed.

And, that, when attacking Dr. Donald Blake, his weapon of choice is … a paper airplane he turns into stone. I FREAKIN’ LOVE THAT!!!!!! Only in Marvel, kids. They’re here all week. Try the veal.

Modern comics are nice, but I have always … always … had an affinity for the classics. And, J.I.M. has been a particular favorite. I even tried to mount a relaunch of the title in 1985, but Marvel somehow did not take a shine to the hand-drawn, un-inked covers I mailed … with no stories inside. Go figure. Evidence Below.

Please, don’t ask me what “Klink the Iron Knight” was going to be all about. Or, what “J.O.E.” stands for in “Godakin J.O.E.” Or, even what “Godakin” means. I’m not sure I ever really had a plan.

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Marvel Smartass vs. The Vanisher

Okay. So. I apologize. I vanished off the face of the earth for a bit. 

No, it wasn’t Galactus. The Demons of Belasco didn’t haunt me. I wasn’t lost in the nagtive zone. Kang did not pull me out of time. But, work, kids, stress and Sarah Palin’s cover of Newsweek did have me heading for the hills.

But, I’m back. And I’m Smartassier than ever. Enjoy.

I know what you're thinking. I want that costume, too.

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A.I.M. High ~ Issue 10 – Game Show Armageddon!

You have to stay up really late to catch this one on “Game Show Network. ”  View a bigger version here.

P.S. You don’t even want to know the strangest place Dr. Zola has ever made whoopee.

Mr. Ego, where is the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?

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A.I.M. High ~ Issue Nine – Fanboys with Firearms

Come on, admit it, this has happened to you at work …

Click here for a bigger version.

A month later, Jenkins was killed in a debate over Jar Jar Binks.

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A.I.M. High Issue Eight ~ A.I.M. vs. Econ 101

Fin Fang Foom would shop for undies at Wal-Mart, but mothers who beat their kids in public make him queasy …

A.I.M. High - Issue Eight ~ A.I.M. vs. Econ 101 

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A.I.M. High Issue Seven ~ Dr. Arnim Zola, Motivational Speaker

I am sad to report that  Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar have been eaten by a 13-story monster made of Jell-O, leaving the status of the world’s best motivational speaker up for grabs.

And, like the Cylons, Dr. Arnim Zola has a plan …

Click here for a super-sized version.

Your mom doesn't even want you to *think* about what you could do if your face were on your tummy.

Your mommy doesn't want you to think about what you could do with a face on your belly.

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A.I.M. High Issue Six – Twin Paddles of the Apocalypse

Video games taking over the earth!?!?! Nah. Wait a minute, it’s been five minutes since I played “Halo” … AAAHHH!Now, just where *did* I leave the Atari 2600?

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A.I.M. High Issue Five – The Yellow Speedo of Doom

Guys, read this and think before you get dressed next Friday …

Darn it! I was all set to wear my puffy shirt tomorrow ...

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A.I.M. High ~ Issue Four: Rat Tails and Butt Whuppins


Remember Kids: It’s always okay to brag on yourself during your annual review.

Want to see an embiggened version? Click here.

A.I.M. High ~ Issue Four - Rat Tails and Butt Whuppins

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A.I.M. High Issue Three – The Promotion of Peril!

Don’t you just hate it when the boss’s son climbs the corporate ladder faster than you?

AIM High - Issue Three: The Promotion of Peril

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AIM High Issue Two: Walking with The Celestial Mary Jane

Remember kids: No matter what Walter Bishop says, the periodic table and psychotropic drugs are not the two great tastes that taste great together.

For a version super embiggened for your reading pleasure, click here.

This is the greatest undercover assignment Agent 13's ever had ...

This is the greatest undercover assignment Agent 13's ever had ...

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A.I.M. High – Issue Number One – “Lo, There Shall Be Boobies!”

Okay, guys, here’s my latest experiment in Marvel Smartass-ery. I have always loved the beekeeper boys in yellow. And, I know it isn’t exactly original, but this is my take on life in an A.I.M. laboratory.

Please let me know what ya’ll (yeah, I’m Southern) think …

Aim High - Issue Number One - "Lo, There Shall Be Boobies!"

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The Thing Loves a Good Shiatsu Massage

Hey, Mamma Grimm’s blue-eyed boy is one tough S.O.B., but fighting the likes of Galactus, Dr. Doom, Blastaar and Puppet Master (okay, not so much that one) can bind you up even if you’re made out of orange boulders.

On second thought, this panel is just wrong …

For the really deep massage, they bring out the unstable molecules.

For the really deep massage, they bring out the unstable molecules.

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Heroes don’t let heroes borrow costumes …

In the early days of the Marvel U., everyone was new to the hero game. The name of the game was catching radioactive crooks and learning the ropes:  The Thing was experimenting with pants and helmets. Hank Pym was small … then big … then big and small. The Hulk was turning all shades of green. And, Thor changed the length of Mjolnir’s handle, like, every week. There were no rules.

But, Tony Stark learned a big lesson when Dr. Bruce Banner borrowed the Iron Man armor for a Halloween party at the gamma base …

You don't even want to see what the hulk did the golden underwear.

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Why Iron Man shouldn’t watch Bravo!

After catching a few, fateful minutes of “Project Runway” while dressing for a showdown with The Mandarin, Tony Stark gets inspired …

Several third degree burns and five boxes of Hello Kitty Band-Aids later, the “Iron Summer” costume was permantly retired. And, Pepper Potts knocked Tony back to basic cable.

"Tony, your design was a metallic mishap. You're out."

"Tony, your design was a metallic mishap. You're out."

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Tales of Suspense #48

I love that this two-panel sequence is in existence. I love that the character that after Iron Man fought the likes of Crimson Dynamo, Jack Frost and The Melter, it was, in fact, the Mysterious Mr. Doll who made him ditch the gold costume for the badass crimson and gold. That’s right, not the Mandarin. Not the Unicorn. Not Whiplash.

The. Mysterious. Mister. Doll. [You read that right. Check it here.]

The only thing I hate is that Stan Lee wrote this dialogue and not me. God, I love Marvel Comics.
Hold still, you! I'm going to sculpt you THEN kick your ass!

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Hawkeye and Ghost Rider Do the Scooby Doo

Nothing like ending an insane comic thst starts with good ol’ Johnny Blaze taking a joy ride with a dude named Bronco Bill by pulling off the classic Scooby Doo ending with Hawkeye in tow … as well as his flamboyant cowboy buddy. Ah, the beauty of Marvel.

(And, between the Christmas-colored cowboy and Hawkeye’s resplendent purple and blue, it looks like the colorist threw up on this page.)

Hey, dudes, let's call Daphne and Velma and get stupid!

Hey, dudes, let's call Daphne and Velma and get stupid!

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Wakanda 1 – New Genesis 0

Highfather may be the leader of a cosmic boy band that communes with The Source, but he really needs to consult a trademark attourney before he starts trying to sell T-Shirts of his new look. Screwing with fashion conscious government gib wigs in the nation of Wakanda is only slightly less dangerous that stealing Galactus’ planet-sized Snuggie.

Highfather, you’d better lawyer up. The Wakandans have Jackie Chiles on retainer. “N’Gassi, your face is my case!”

Hey, HF! Before you claim responsiblity for the Internet ... Al Gore's already been there.

Hey, HF! Before you claim responsiblity for the Internet ... Al Gore's already been there.

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Thor Forsakes Asgard for the Competitive Eating Circuit

After working with the Avengers to polish off the Masters of Evil, banishing Loki to the Negative Zone and crushing Galactus in an arm wrestling contest, the God of Thunder embarks on a new course of conquest … the competitive eating circuit.

Afterwards, he and Hercules hit a vomitorium.

Imagine how many Tumms he's gonna' eat later ...

Imagine how many Tumms he's gonna' eat later ...

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OCAP! Man of the Past to Save the Future!

It’s alive! It’s alive! The Smartass is back!

Sorry it’s been a while, so I hope you enjoy this little homage to the Top 5 Classic Cap covers over at and two great Kirby creations! Here’s the original OMAC Cover:

With the aid of his trusty satellite, BROTHER FALCON, weakling Steve Rogers is transformed into OCAP - One Cool Army Patriot!

With the aid of his trusty satellite, BROTHER FALCON, weakling Steve Rogers is transformed into OCAP - One Cool Army Patriot!

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Disney Invasion: Fantastic Four #264

Guys, I know everyone is a bit on edge over Disney’s purchase of Marvel. You’re worried it will change the comics you love. But, the rabbit hole goes deeper than you know. The roots of the mouse invasion, much like the dreaded Skrulls, were planted decades ago, like in this issue of Fantastic Four … the truth is out there.

Hey tech flunkies in the back, if your boss asks you to hear a shiny, featureless mask and a purple cloak ... resign.

Hey tech flunkies in the back, if your boss asks you to hear a shiny, featureless mask and a purple cloak ... resign.

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Why I Love Marvel Comics: Secret Wars #4

It’s been a long day. I just took five to skim an Secret Wars #4 on … and what did I find, more reasons I love Marvel. It’s sharing time.
I got ... A-Lien He-ealing!

I got ... A-Lien He-ealing!


Okay, so it’s like 30 minutes after the bad guys dropped a freakin’ MOUNTAIN on the Secret Wars good guys, and what’s going on?

1)     When confronted with whether to let an alien — who may or may not be hostile — “help” the fallen heroes, the considered judgment of Reed Richards (Psst! The biggest brain in the cosmos) is “I GUESS CAN’T HURT”!?!?!?! Hey, Reed, how did that thinking work out in a few issues when Spider-Man tries out the clothing machine?

2)     Johnny Storm is ready to get his Captain Kirk on with a piece of alien “strange” he just met. Um … they have STDs on other worlds, dude. And, part of his pick up is a reference to a Culture Club reference!?!?!

3)     James Rhodes is a pilot. He is lead engineer at Stark Industries. He is qualified to operate and REPAIR a state-of-the-art suit of armor. So, why does he sound like Shaft?

BONUS: Um … what exactly is the alien healer hottie doing to She-Hulk? Is that some Barry White form of healing or something?

Man, I love me some Marvel.

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TGIW! The 800-Pound Gorilla Wants His Comics

Hey, he has opposable thumbs. He can read comics and fling his own poo at the same time.

Mr. Hale just wants his weekly books, just like any other man trapped in the body of an immortal primate.

Mr. Hale just wants his weekly books, just like any other man trapped in the body of an immortal primate.

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Don’t you just hate it when this happens?

Guys, really, in this age of technical miracles, there is no excuse for not better coordinating your outfits. Now, in fairness, Dormammu has been around since the dawn of time, so …

Oooooh ... this kind of thing can really spoil a good super heroic fight.

Oooooh ... this kind of thing can really spoil a good super heroic fight.

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Ant-Man Just Wants a Good Night’s Sleep

He’s taken down giant communist bugs; played not one, but two roles in the Destiny War; designed and worn more costumes than Ru-Paul, but stalwart scientist, Dr. Henry Pym never quite defeated the true demon in his life, speep apnea. Let’s not even start in on the deep, dark places Hank’s nasal spray addiction would take him.

Um ... yeah, he ended up on the couch again that night, poor lamb.

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Everything I Love About Marvel Comics in Just Two Panels

So, this is going to sounds like shameless plugging for, but I do love digital comics, especially as they allow me to time-travel back to the golden age. And, this Friday was no exception.

Skimming through the online release of Incredible Hulk #111, I found a two-panel sequence that perfectly encapsulates the  absolute “comic bookiness” I love about the Marvel U. I know realism is all the rage, but my lifelong love of comics was foudned on the wild abandon with which Stan, Jack, Steve and the whole family created their colorful world. And, here it is … “Bring forth the Titan Time Probe!”

time probe

OMG. I love it. The hamminess. The schlock. The unbridled imagination and utter disregard for common sense. That is a sentence that can only be uttered and believed in the world of a comic book.

 And, what is the purpose of the Titan Time Probe? Why to compute the identity of the unknown victim-to-be, of course! And, apparently the robotic probe is a “he!” And, “he” just happens to look like a low-rent lunar lander from an episode of Jon Pertwee-era Doctor Who. And, lest we forget, “he” is the only “he” who can bring forth the victim … the all-important unknown victim-to-be!

Oh, Stan … I just love you for this. 

I continued to read and found 10 more things I love about Marvel comics on glorious display in just one little issue of the Hulk. Join me, please … click here to continue.

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Project: Runway Invades the New Avengers

So … is Hawkeye trailer trash or Euro trash … ?

Thank God they pumped Project: Runway into The Winter Soldier's cryo tank.

Thank God they pumped Project: Runway into The Winter Soldier's cryo tank.

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God Love Hawkeye … I know I do.

Calling people out in public is always a dicey proposition … especially at the “who’s who hero fest” that was the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Strom in Fantastic Four Annual #3. But, that’s where Clint Barton is such a breath of fresh air, making sure Spider-Man’s lazy, prima dona move does not go unnoticed.

We love you Clint, you blunt, sarcastic bastard!

Psst ... I know this comic pre-dates the show ... it's called post-modernism, people! (Yeah, I think that term is bullshit, too.)

Psst ... I know this comic pre-dates the show ... it's called post-modernism, people! (Yeah, I think that term is bullshit, too.)

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TGIW: Doom Hits Fanboys Where It Hurts

The ultimate realization of his plans to destroy Wednesday and to control all of Comicdom was finally within Dr. Doom’s grasp. And, he would have succeeded, too, if it weren’t for that meddling postal holiday. Thursday!?!?! Not in Latveria … NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And, to think, all of this anti-social behavior could have been avoided if Reed and Ben had just taught young Victor how to do a keg stand …

Hey, dude, try reading a few comics ... you might like them!

Hey, dude, try reading a few comics ... you might like them!

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Elseworlds 2.0 – The Hulk Tosses Cars on Action Comics #1

Couldn’t resist the “Watchmen” reference on this reimagining of Action Comics #1, but doesn’t “Tunderbolt” Ross just look like a kid in a candy store here? Let’s be honest … the Hulk wouldn’t have waited 40-odd years to get with Lois Lane. He was a bit more impetuous. And, Dr. Banner’s glasses were, like, so much cooler than Clark Kent’s, anyway.

Tossing cars ... just another day in the life of the ever-lovin' Hulk ...

Tossing cars ... just another day in the life of the ever-lovin' Hulk ...

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Elseworlds 2.0: Eat it, Joe Chill … Punisher in Batman #9

The Joker, Two-Face, Riddler and Penguin may not have terrorized Gotham City so much … if they’d had a bullet between the eyes on day one. Come on, who wouldn’t want to see the “Punisher Signal” shining in the night?

In issue #10, Robin is replaced by Charlton Heston.

In issue #10, Robin is replaced by Charlton Heston.

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Elseworlds 2.0: Iron Man in Green Lantern Green Arrow #85

Ah, Speedy’s little dalliance with heroin was weak. Come on … if Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams really wanted to take on hard core addiction in comics, go with a heavier hitter … like Tony Stark. Remeber kids, drinking and using repulsor rays is never okay.

Mmmm ... Tony loves scotch, scotchy scotch scotch ...

Mmmm ... Tony loves scotch, scotchy scotch scotch ...

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