Posts Tagged ‘Spider-Man’

King-kirby

**Last Time On Superhero Satellite**

*The 5 Year Mission of The Superhero Satellite had ended with the disbanding of the mighty Super-Blog Team Up group leaving the Captain Of The noble retro seeking wonder of the space-ways to go deep into space sleep. The Satellite itself went into hibernation mode as all systems shut down with only vital networks left open to sustain function…or so we thought! Seemingly a glitch in the Satellites operating system re-activated the main computers AI.. slowly..systems restore as we are unsure were these directives are coming from as we are only to assume it is happening as a result of the ships internal Artificial Intelligence system itsself..the Living Computer…*

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“Systems…ALIVE..Access Consciousness Of The Captain.”

Transmission Date: 08/30/2017

I still remember the store like it was yesterday. The front doors opened up to a lobby where you could go one of two directions. To your left was another door with a set of stairs that lead to one of two medical clinics in my home town of Clarenville at the time. The second door lay straight ahead and led  to the Drug store below which happened to be one my favorite comic book buying haunts..Budget Drug Mart. As you passed the main counter and all the candy, confectionary, chips and soft drinks you had to take a sharp left and just down a little ways on the right stood the old comics rack! It was actually two long book racks built on to the wall. It was always impressively filled with all sorts of my favorite magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated, StarLog, and Fangoria to name a few. From time to time it also sold Presto Magic transfers from those very shelves as well! I came for the comics most of the time and it would be the place I would purchase many of my most memorable keepsakes.  IT was also the very spot I bought HEX #1 and my crown jewel G.I.Joe # 2 (Which at the time was rare people!!)  just before a camping trip!! My friend lived just a couple of houses up from the Drug Store so when I came to visit with him we would ALWAYS end up at Budget Drugmart and left with some comics!! Growing up in the early 80s many of the artists I was familiar with were Neal Adams, Gene Colon, Jim Aparo, John Romita Jr, John Buscema, and  John Byrne. to name a few. I was reasonably new to the hobby but it was those artists that had already spoiled me so badly in my formative years of comics art appreciation! Each one of those names were masters of the art and each book they contributed to was a thing of beauty to 11 year old me. I was more or less unfamiliar with any comics pre 1980 at the time as back issues were not readily available in my town unless you snagged a couple at a yard sale or if a friend or relative would visit another city or country. I knew one day I would love to be a comic book artist…I wanted to draw Batman like Colon or Aparo, I wished I could have the ability to draw Green Lantern like Adams!! Bottom line…at a early age I knew what I liked and disliked in a comic book. It was never about the stories for me..it was ALWAYS about the art work! My heroes looked a certain way…and thats what I expected every time I hit the spinner rack!

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In 1984 I was not only becoming a very hardcore comic book buyer but I also boasted a great action figure collection. I had The Six Million Dollar Man figures, I also had a ton of G.I.Joe and Masters Of The Universe figures. Of course my main collectible action figure line had to be Star Wars Toys. I loved action figures and I loved comic books…that was what I did!  With that said from a small collection of Mego figures I had few Superhero toys. Sure Batman, Robin, Superman, Spider-Man and The Hulk were available for me in my home town but that was it. I had no villains..only two vehicles (The Batmobile and Spider-Car).Megos didn’t play well with the 3 3/4 action figures from Star Wars or The Joes so my superheros sat in the toy box without any love as my play adventures surrounded a galaxy far away with some Real American Heroes!! Then came Super-Powers from Kenner…at last my prayers had been answered.

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The DC Super Powers Collection boasted a host of bad guyswithi the set and when they were released in store and I was all over them!! I had Batman, Robin, Superman, Green Lantern, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Darkseid and plenty more later on!! They featured an action motion when a body part was manipulated. To things even more exciting DC was releasing a 5 issues mini series based on the action figure line!! The Comic Book ads featured great artwork by an artist who I felt created the absolute definitive look for the DC Universe in the 80s Jose Louis Garcia Lopez! Each character was perfectly captured and the thought of a Super-Powers mini series set my heart “AFlame”. So at some point in 1984 after seeing ad after beautiful ad by Mr. Garcia Lopez my friend and I took our regular jaunt to the Drug Store and there it WAS!! Super Powers #1!! The logo looked great and the cover colors flashy …but the cover artwork was TERRIBLE!!

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There was clearly something “off”. This comic looked NOTHING like the smooth definitive versions of the DC heroes like those featured in the ads and all over every piece of DC related merchandise out there in the main stream market. I remember commenting to my friend how “Stupid” Superman looked. on that Super Powers book. I was not a fan and even though I left the store with #SuperPowers No. 1.. I did NOT return for issue two. I didn’t look at the art credits at the time as artists names were not a thing for me to be concerned with. Visually however, I knew what I liked..and at that time it WASNT Jack Kirby. What did I know?? I was only a couple of years into my comics buying routine butI would learn a lot in the coming years!

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Comics were never red-hot in my town in 1984 but a war was happening in the industry for companies to make it in the very lucrative toy market in the early 80s. The competition would not be outdone as Marvel around the same time released their own 12 issue mega event called Secret Wars. I was a staunch DC kid but suddenly Marvel had my attention. DC had won me over with their Super Powers action figures but suddenly sharing the shelf was Marvel Secret Wars toys!! Now Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America and a host of others had a popular toy line and a full comics limited series to coincide with its release. While I despised Kirby’s rendition of the DC Heroes on the covers of Super Powers Mike Zeck powered through an amazing looking Secret Wars cross over event!!

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For a moment, Marvel hooked me. The heroes were rendered in the hot style of the day and the storyline was far superior to that of Super Powers that was clearly written to sell toys. Secret Wars was created for the same purpose but felt like a real event. That Super Powers comic affected me so much I just wanted to try something new…Marvel.

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Comics stores began to pop up in the mid 80s. I remember hearing about a gentlemen in a nearby town who boasted a great comic book collection of vintage books. It was about 45 minutes away in a small town called Lethbridge. John Butt was the personable owner of this collection that he housed in a shed behind his home and he allowed me to come in to see his collection. John was an interesting gentlemen who looked like a later day elvis in his final days and the prototypical old guy next door. He was a salesman who knew this kid was NOT leaving his clutches without dropping some cash! As a kid I bought into John’s sales pitch as he walked me through his collection calling everything a “Nice Book”. I saw first appearances of Wolverine, The Punisher, The Red Skull, tons of old western comics and classic Marvel books all of which in Johns Opinion where “Nice Books”. I saw plenty of the very early Fantastic Four and X-men books and I was in awe The comics had bombastic covers and interiors that was old school but looked so different from what was on the shelf in 1985-1986. I only brought 40 dollars with me that day and did not walk out with much of anything outside of a 1970s Captain Marvel number one and a few other books that escape my memory…but my mind kept going back to those FFs and X-Men books!! I wanted to read those books and see what the early days of Marvel were all about. The images stayed with me for many months and I only recall going back one last time for some a Marvel Treasury Edition of Star Wars!! Worth the trip right!!

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In 1985 it seemed like my 11-year-old mind was put at ease as Marvel released a history of their universe in a recap title called Marvel Saga!! It was a monthly comic that attempted to take the Marvel Universe and detail it all in Chronolgical order featuring reprinted panels from the original books. I LOVED Marvel Saga!! I waited for it to land on the spinner rack every Thursday!! I loved the vintage artwork from Steve Ditko on Spiderman, JOhn Busema on Silver Surfer…and literall Jack Kirby on EVERYTHING ELSE!! !! It would be the issues featuring The Fantastic Four and The X-Men that hooked me! I loved the early visual of the characters…in fact I began to prefer it!! Little did I know it was the SAME artist that I trashed only a year earlier for his Super Powers work. I was beginning to enjoy Jack Kirby’s work and was totally oblivious to it as an 11-year-old kid!! Kirbys work had that retro quality that I loved and had a signature appeal that I did not see in anyoe since Ditko. From the FF to the X-Men..to The Incredible Hulk to The Mighty Thor and so many more..Kirbys footprint was all over the Marvel Universe!!

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Comic shops finally started to gain ground in the Province I lived in Canada. The Capital city featured two great collectible shops (Time Masters and Sword and Steel!! Name Drop!!) but my trips to the city (2 Hours from my home town!!) were so infrequent I could not rely on them for maintaining any sense of collecting. It was great for spot issues, but not much else. Several used book stores popped up in my town that featured great selections of comics! Rodways Office Supplies was literally what it sounded like.. an office supplies store that sold photocopys and staplers but they also managed to have 8 to 10 huge long boxes of comics and seemed to mix up their variety on a semi regular basis. They had books I had not heard about or saw before like Sgt. Fury and The Howling Commandos and Nick Fury Agent Of Shield! I was at the time a  Sgt. Rock fan and was semi familiar with Nick Fury from then modern 80s so Fury and his Howling Commandos were a sure grab for me!

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Around this time Machine Man had gone through numerous series and reboots that as usual were always promptly cancelled. I loved that character! Hence I managed to nab several issues of 2001 with Machine Mans early beginnings from the Rodways catacombs. He didn’t look like the Machine Man that I had recently bought off the racks by Ditko…whose version was loose and frankly a little sloppy..Ditkos Machine Man moved on the page like Spider-Man instead of a robot that he was. Barry Windsor Smiths version in the 80s Machine Man mini series looked a little too “man-like” and not robotic in nature. Dont get me wrong..the Machine Man Mini series was great but the art in that issue too didnt look “Machine” enough like I wanted my Machine Man to look. Kirby’s Machine Man felt properly alien as it should. Kirby was always sure to surround him with other worldly technology unlike anything drawn by other artists. No one did Machine Man like Kirby.

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As I read them I saw that familiar art and style..and something in me was drawn to that. I was raised on George Perez and Jim Aparo who had a more “realistic” style while Kirby had his own thing happening. Highly visual..very otherworldly detailed!! Sgt. Fury the same thing. While Kuberts Sgt. Rock was a very somber dramatic style to Sgt. Rock as it was about war after all…Kirby gave Fury a more lively feel! It was fun, bombastic and full of life. Bullets and action jumped off the page. Very stylilized…very high energy art..both Fury and Machine Man shared Jack Kirby as their artist. It was here I fully began to recognize and appreciate the style. I could decipher Kirby’s work from everybody else now. Now I looked for it! It became a hunt for me..and a very fun one!

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By 1987 my Comics passion was at an all time high. In my teenage mind I considered myself a serious collector. I was buying higher priced comics, 1st appearances, Gold Key books, and classic books and what ever Overstreet Price Guide told me was a “Hot” book I tried to  hunted down. I felt like I knew my stuff. I knew for example that a “Frank Miller Daredevil” with the Death Of Electra was a “hot book”…and how much it was worth in various cycles of condition. Yep this comics kid was becoming John Butt level comics savant at the age of 13!! Now I knew who Jack Kirby was..as I explored what my dream list of comics would be, Kirbys name was attached to almost all of em. Fantastic Four, Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk..all Kirby!! His name was attached to so many books..

Kirby Classics

There were elements of his work that no one else could properly duplicate…at least at the time. The first thing that hits me about a Kirby work was his use of hands..his characters are always reaching for something..and you know what..it looks damn cool!! His characters jumped off the cover page at you!! Everyone jumped…everyone leaped..there was movement at every stroke!! Bodies contorted to portray the full swing of a punch, the throwing of a shield, or the swinging of a hammer

The Kirby Reach

Kirby created universes..landscapes..worlds that could only come from his imagination. His World Building is something he took with him no matter what company he worked for. His work on Marvel properties like The Silver Surfer, Thor and The Inhumans stretched the boundaries of what alien environments looked like visually. Large elaborate worlds bursting at the seems with bright visuals, extremely detailed robust costuming, backgrounds and staggering technology that only Kirby could depict!

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There is no way to put it in words Kirby’s use of detail. The level of detail he CREATED was over an above what everyone else did at the time. A simple computer or gun was excessively detailed and visually breathtaking!!Kirby Machinery

His use of costuming was on another level. He added detail so foreign and so elaborate many artists could not even imagine it..let alone put it on paper!!

Celestials Kirby

He built universes outside of the regular Marvel and DC Universe’s all his own that other artists and writers stayed away from by in large. Kirby’s vision of what space looked like and what alien planets, people and technology were visualized as was so very organic! In comparison it felt that when other artists created things.. Kirby was always a million years beyond them. Concepts like The Inhumans and the birth of Marvel Cosmic is all Jack Kirby. Kirbys forray into DC Comics after his well documented fall out with Marvel also allowed him to build a brand new foundation all to its own with characters like the New Gods and The Forever People..all high concept work that few outside of Kirby would dare touch!!

Forever and Inhumans

DC would designate a full pocket of their universe to Kirby affectionately known as the Fourth World where luminaries like The New Gods, Mr. Miracle, The Forever People, Darkseid and literally millions of others resided. Kirby had his own world to play in and because of the stroke that he had in the business he was given a blank cavas to work from.

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Many of these properties are still in use today with Marvels Inhumans television series about to debut very soon! The Marvel cinematic universe is filled with Jack Kirby created concepts and making billions for Marvel and Disney to this very moment. Kirby’s legacy is everywhere in pop culture and its hard to deny that his title as King Kirby is surely the fitting crown.

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So as I flash back to 1984 at Budget Drug Mart as I hastily cast dispersions on the cover art for that Super-Powers book…this is my apology letter to the architect of comic books that I hold so dear. Thank You Jack Kirby… for creating my childhood…ALL HAIL THE KING!!

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End Transmission….

Creation

**ASSUMING CONSCIOUSNESS**

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END OF LINE…

More #Kirby100 Fun continues with my favorite bloggers on the web!:

Satellite Ends

Comic Reviews by Walt
Between the Pages
Coffee and Comics Podcast
In My Not So Humble Opinion
Chris Is On Infinite Earths

The Crapbox of Son of Cthulhu

Fantastic Four #1 Review

 

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Super-Blog Team Up has returned for its 5th installment bigger and better than ever. Multiple Blogs Unite Under One Banner, With One Topic, To Shatter the Blogosphere To Its Core! This time we have not only grown in size but rather have many more new ways to enjoy the S.B.T.U. through a plethora of multimedia, from our original Blog format, to V-Blog, to the Podcast arena..Super-Blog Team Up is back...this time we discuss Parallel Universes and Alternate Realities..The Super-Hero Satellite will be unleashing the multiple realities of Marvels STAR Comics line from 1984. The Satellite will go to familiar places such as Eternia (He-Mans home world as discussed in SBTU 4!!) to Thundaria, To The Moon Of Endor all the way to the Palace of Royal Roy..Strap in Heroes..its time to go back to a world created to print money and put smiles back on kids faces.Could these world possibly have ever truly ties into the Marvel Universe as we know it? The answer is YES!! So before Marvel relaunches this year..this is a celebration of a part of the old Marvel Universe that is often neglected..

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Welcome Back Heroes,

In 1984 I was just beginning my comic collecting venture and my collection was in its infancy. I had not yet come to terms with a defined favorites list outside of the usual suspects like Spider-Man, Batman and Archie. Every now and then something outside of these titles would rear its head in my collection as was the case with Harvey comics. Occasionally an issue of Ritchie Rich or Sad Sack and The Sarge would grace my book shelf and welcomed they were! Those not familiar with the comic publisher Harvey here is your 10 second catch up. In 1941 New York publisher Alfred Harvey created Harvey Comics, a company that found its legs in the licensing market. They were all about purchasing character rights from Paramount Pictures and Famous studios cartoon favorites such as Casper The Friendly Ghost, Mutt and Jeff and my personal favorite the comedy war book, Sad Sack to name a few. It would be their original characters that would be their eventual drawing card for years to come. Ritchie Rich, Hot Stuff, and Wendy The Witch would be among the company’s flagship books well upon till 1982. While the comics market itself was in flux, change was in the air as kids titles and things such as funny animal books, popularized in the 50s and 60s were out of vogue. The industry was preparing for a big change into books tailored for a more mature audience. The comics buying audience had seemingly moved on from kids books and was about to grew up as a result Harvey comics founder Alfred Harvey retired from publishing in 1982 and closed up shop behind him selling off some of Harvey’s properties. Marvel Comics expressed interest in buying up the rights to the Harvey properties and with talks sitting in limbo they decided to launch an entire brand separate from their own Marvel Universe proper..thus was born from the ashes of Harvey Comics..The Marvel STAR Comics Imprint!

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The STAR Comics Imprint model was not a new one..in fact it was the exact model devised by Harvey Comics in the 1940s. It would begin with the acquisition of licensed properties mainly from the exploding 1980s Cartoon Line Ups and Toyline’s at the time. (Satellite Cheap Plug..Read all about the Cartoon Explosion of the 80s as well as Hot toy properties of the 80s in link provided Super-Hero Satellite: R.I.P. Saturday Morning Cartoons.) The STAR line actually began with a One shot that parodied one of Marvels most popular titles, Marvel Tales. The Book, not yet under the STAR banner was the debut of the flagship character of the entire line..Peter Porker, The Spectacular SPIDER-HAM!!

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Marvel Tails acted as a test launch for the brand and was a trial run for the Spider-Ham character. One more licensed property would be used to launch the brand and one that would ironically not resurface after the launch… was popular 80s Cartoon show The Smurfs! These three apples high blue dwarf like creatures called Smurfs would officially be the first STAR imprint based property acquired by Marvel. (Smurfs never officially wore the STAR banner on its cover but were the first true grab for the imprint. The 1982-83 three issue Limited Series was directly based off of actual cartoon episodes as well as older foreign Smurfs publications. The importance of getting the Smurfs property cannot be understated..this would be the first of many HUGE acquisitions for the potential future of the STAR line.

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So it would begin in the July of 1984 (Cover Dated November 1984) STAR Comics would begin with yet another unusual title a 3 Issue Limited Series based on the Family Motion Picture The Muppets Take Manhattan.

STAR Comics Officially Debut!

It would officially debut the STAR Comics Imprint Logo in the Corner Box officially giving STAR Comics a beginning. It would be 5 months later that we would see what STAR Comics would actually look like! In an interesting choice of promotion, the original STAR Comics promos would feature their original characters over the upcoming licensed characters which would be Mammoth in scale! So the world was introduced to the likes of Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard, Top Dog. Spider-Ham also officially joined the fold as an ongoing character!

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Licensing up to this point had been a very profitable venture for Marvel with smash successes of the likes of GI Joe, Transformers, Smurfs and not so much with Starriors. (*Nothing wrong with Starriors gang!) A very unheralded toy and comic book! Starriors fans unite!! LOL..Okay forget that. Moving on..bottom line licensed properties made money so Marvel was willing to build an entire universe around it!!

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The line roared to life with a number of Hot properties five months later but stretched their debut over a two month period. Entry titles included Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry and Strawberry Shortcake were released in the first month to a good reception. Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham

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Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and…my personal favorite of all the STAR Original core titles..

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Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham,,

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Of Particular Interest to me in the entire line were the original characters so for anyone wondering what original characters that the STAR line created..well look no further..Satellite pull up the STAR file on the video wall for our Heroes to observe!

The original titles had all were “inspired” more than anyone would care to admit, however Marvel really did their homework to capture the genre. Below we discuss the STAR Originals, what they were about, and what their inspiration was.

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Spider-Ham: The title was a straight up parody of Marvels lead franchise player Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. It was truly well done and the titled lampooned the real Amazing Spider-Man title very well but modified his origin like you would not expect. Peter Porker, you would expect to be a pig bitten by a Spider, but Marvel changed course and actually started Peter Porker as a SPIDER who bit an irradiated swine one, May Parker. (May of course was a parody of Aunt May in the core Spidey titles!) and transformed into a spider power pig himself! This would later be contradicted in Spider-Ham #6 when a flashback shows Peter being raised (As a pig NOT a Spider !!) by his Aunt May! This would never be clarified. The title had the full cast of characters to parody such a J. Jonah Jackal (J. Jonah Jameson), Mary Jane Water Buffalo (Mary Jane Watson), The Cravengers (The Avengers) The Punfisher (Punisher!), and The likes of The Hulk Bunny (The Hulk..duh!). The title was Bi- Monthly and notoriously lasted a mere 17 issues which was surprising to this writer as I always assumed that this would be STAR’s flagship title!It would be another anthropomorphic Funny Animal would fill that slot as longest running STAR title….Heathcliff the cat!  More on that later. Spider-Ham would not disappear though as he would return in a reprinted back-up story in Marvel Tales for several issues. Spider-Ham would go on to appear on an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man as well as a video game, fill in data.

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Planet Terry: The gimmick is that the name of the book is a play on words related to the word “Planetary” This familiar looking character was greatly visually inspired by Harvey Comics characters but was original all at once. Based in deep outer space, Terry as a child, was mistakenly launched from his parents spaceship into the outer reaches of space. His parents fearing the worst assumed that Terry and his space ship were done for and moved on with their lives. They were wrong. Terry and his spaceship, The “Space Warp”, actually survived intact and would begin a star spanning search to find his parents. Joined by a female Robot rescued from a junk heap named Robota and a large Lizard skinned alien Omnus. Terry scans planet after planet to find his parent but discovers that his journey will not be easy. In fact after only 12 issues Planet Terry was discontinued with STAR Comics and the character or the fate of his search was never revisited and remains one of comics lesser known incomplete story arcs. (Side Note: All Original STAR Characters would see print once again in the Marvel X-babies title in a brief updated appearance) Several hints and references to the Marvel Universe in the book indicated this title is happening in or parallel to the Marvel Universe proper of 1984-1985! The design of Planet Terry was directly imagined by former Harvey artist Lennie Herman who used a very familiar look Harvey Comics style look for the character. This was a deliberate as Marvel who had been in talks with Harvey Comics to buy out some of the existing Harvey properties after they closed their doors however as patience wore thin in negotiations, Marvel not willing to wait any longer, decided to create their own “Harveyesque” cast of original characters. This move that would get them in legal hot water out of the gate and almost doomed the STAR lineup from the get go..because of the next “Original” character..the notorious..

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Royal Roy: Lets be straight up..Royal Roy was a DIRECT carbon copy of Harvey’s Ritchie Rich The Poor Little Rich Boy character. Like his inspiration Ritchie, Roy was similarly surrounded by wealth. Ritchie had a girl friend named “Gloria Glad“..while Roy had her clone” Crystal Cleer“. Ritchie had “Mayda Munny” who always attempted too swoon him out of his wealth..Roy had the oddly similar “Lorna Loot!” the writing was on the wall for Royal Roy as Harvey Comics took legal action on Marvels STAR Imprint citing that the Royal Roy series was a copyright infringement on the Ritchie Rich property. As it was..Royal Roy lasted a mere 6 issues before the plug was quickly pulled. The idea of making an in-house version of Harvey’s properties was seemingly a bad idea..and Marvel found out the hard way.

Ritchie vs Roy

From money vaults to Magic, Dragons and Princesses in distress..

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Wally The Wizard: This title lasted 12 issues and harkened back to the days to wizards and magic. It took the Harvey formula once again and tried to adopt some Disney tropes to introduce young wizard Wally! Using all the medieval classic stories from the Sword and The Stone to The Princess and The Frog, Wally The Wizard was one of the weaker entries to the line and never really seemed to catch fire. It told the story of Wizard Marlin (A play on Merlin!!) whose young adventurous apprentice Wally and his friends Conrad and Jay get into plenty of magical hijinks.

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Through battles with dragons, water monsters and his main antagonists Vastar the Vile and the Wicked Wizard ,this child wizard has his hands full!! Wally competes in tournaments, journeys to the top of mountains, and casts all the spells you can imagine. Wally’s one inspiration is Princess Penelope of whom Wally simply came to her rescue at every turn! This title had little to offer in the way of originality and was not on many people’s priority lists. This title is not terrible and for its target audience of 5-12 year old’s there was enough in here to keep pages turning. From The Penthouse, To The Castle all the way to the Dog House..The next Original STAR Title may have been its most original..even though its run was a tragic 14 issues…lets jump into The Secret Life Of..

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Top Dog: From somewhat unoriginal ideas to one of STARs most unique properties..we get Top Dog , a uber- intelligent, talking dog who is also a former government intelligence agent and now Super Spy! Living and teaming up with his human confidant Joey Jordan. Joey swears to keep Top Dogs background and abilities a secret! The duo is a proverbial super team, ala Batman and Robin and go on many undercover spy adventures. As the series progresses we learn much more about Top Dog and his past life as government agent extraordinaire “Mr. X”!! Other characters crossed over with Top Dog like the afore-mentioned Royal Roy, and fellow talking anthropomorphic animal, Heathcliff The Cat!

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Top Dog was an interesting case study as it is the one title that seems to legitimately fuse the original Marvel Universe directly to the STAR Universe. A direct crossover with Spider-Man (A costumed knockoff!!) in a story that actually contained the true blue, Peter Parker. Unlike Planet Terry..it not only teased a connection to Marvel Proper but was deliberate about it.  Amongst these adventures were several crossovers with other Star Comic characters such as Heathcliff and Royal Roy. The One story that involved a Spider-Man team-up way the crown Jewel of the series. Although it was actually an actor in a Spider-Man suit, the real Peter Parker does make an appearance. The series ran for fourteen issues after which, the character continued to make appearances in Heathcliff comic books (starting in issue #22) in both crossovers and backup stories. The ambiguity between STAR’s existence in the actual Marvel Universe is still a debate. Most however. discredit these comics as funny “What If” style stories that happened outside of cannon. Thats okay..it still does not take away the joy of STAR Comics. While we would be here for a while if we had to cover all comics produced in this line I will go through my personal top five titles outside of the STAR Originals! Satellite..pull archives..display TOP FIVE..

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5. Ewoks: If one has read one of my all time favorite posts that I have ever written for this humble little blog you would appreciate my love for 1980s cartoons. Few did I enjoy more that tuning into the Droids-Ewok’s Hour. Ewok’s the Star Title continued the joy of the show and delved into new original storylines and the artwork remained consistent enough to make it feel like a good follow-up companion to the TV show. Ewoks would perform better than most STAR titles and lasted a total of 14 issues!

Check out The Super-Hero Satellites  super post on The Ewoks Television Movies!! Super-Hero Satellite: A Caravan Of Ewoks

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4. Droids: The best Star Wars cartoon ever on TV! Droids packed a punch..but that didn’t translate on the printed page! Lasting only a mere 8 issues The Adventures of R2-D2 and C3P0 was one title that I loved grabbing on the shelf..however Star Wars fans did not flock to the shelves in as many numbers as Marvel would have would hoped. It continued original stories based on the Droids cartoon show but the biggest drawing card was the John Romita artwork! The series finished with a three issue continuing story that featured Darth Vader and was actually quite good! If you were a fan of the original Star Wars Marvel Series then do yourself a favor and grab Droids 6-8! You are welcome!

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3.Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. When a group of kids and martial arts superstar Chuck Norris team up against the ninja terrorist organization known as VULTURE the result is..a Four issue STAR Comic series! That’s right..Four Issues. Matters are made worse when you discover that Marvel legend Steve Ditko was the artist during his dieing days as a Marvel Artist. The Comic Books based on The 1986 Ruby Spears cartoon show Chuck Norris Karate Kommando’s was also a very popular Toyline at the time..so how could it miss right? Ditko was not on his game and seemingly phoning it in with small odd jobs around Marvel who had not been giving this amazing artist any high-profile work. Sadly Karate Kommando’s was one of his last official Marvel works outside of his excellent Speedball series! The artwork was very loose and almost devoid of any intricate details and felt very dated. One can only speculate how much effort Ditko put forth given his Inevitable exit from the company a short time later. What was sad was that the TV series itself was only 5 episodes!! A show and comic that lived on in the hearts of comic book fans..well at least this one fan!

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2. Thundercats: This title despite what anyone says about the STAR line, it was a case study in how you do a licensed property based on a Thundercats Saturday Morning Cartoon and famous Toyline. Original fun stories that matched the joy of this excellent cartoon. Issue one will always register in my memory banks for its bombastic cover. It was one of STAR’s longest running books coming in at a very respectful 24 issue run over 3 years! The title would begin like many STAR books in Bi-Monthly format but after 8 issues it was deemed more popular than imagined and went monthly until its 24th issue! This one had it all..engaging storyline’s true to the source material, great artwork to match, and killer hard to resist covers! I ran to these books as a kid..even though sadly it would be much later before I got to see a full episode of the Cats! Due to my location in Canada Thundercats was not found on local cable in many markets during its original run! What is the deal Canada..seriously? Fortunately the YTV network and much later Teletoon gave us all the vintage ThunderCats we could handle! Great save!

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1. Masters Of The Universe: Okay, so there were many He-Man related titles from many companies but this one nailed it! The cartoon was amazing and no title recreated the magic of the cartoon than this particular series. Original and faithful are the best words to describe this book. The cartoon built to sell toys gelled well with this great title. It was filled to the brim with all the a MOTU fans every wish. It had the most obscure characters featured..it was loaded with the amazing line of castles, vehicles and worlds of Masters Of the Universe. The final two issues of this issue series were the Death and Re-Birth of He-man and absolutely were the best books in this series. He-Man fans out there..if you do not have this series in your collection you should not call yourself a fan!

Other Titles in The STAR Collection:

Air Raiders (1987–1988; #1-2 under Star imprint, continued under Marvel imprint) Airlandia is in grave danger. The Evil Tyrants of Wind have taken over of the planet’s air supply. Cue the heroic  Air Raiders, the only ones brave enough to fight back against the evil tyrants. A war for the freedom of  Airlandia begins in these pages.

 

  • Animax (1986–1987) Warriors in Amimax gear battle to claim power in this lame duck series that lasted only 4 issues. Riding the coattails of Thundercats and He-Man this uninspired mess was thankfully as shortlived as the comics!

Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987–1989; #1-2 under Star imprint) A Moose and a Squirell who foil dastardly villains in globe-trotting adventures. Nuff said!?

Care Bears (1985–1989; #1-14 under Star imprint) I may or may not have enjoyed this show as a kid..CareBears Countdown 4-3-2-1~!!! What ever happened to Professor ColdHeart?

Unofficial STAR Title. Count Duckula was always positioned as a STAR title but never had the imprint on their covers.

  • Defenders of the Earth (1987) 1-4 Written by Stan Lee that pulled together many pulp heroes of newspaper strips and golden age comics! Flash Gordon, teams with The Phantom (Billy Zane!!) Mandrake The Magician and more. Based on the excellent cartoon of its day!

The Flintstone Kids (1987–1989; #1-4 under Star imprint) lasted 11 issues! One of the stronger runs for STAR Flintstones Kids was a HOT property at the time! Documented the Flintstones days as kids in Bedrock!

Foofur (1987–1988; #1-4 under Star imprint) Lasted on 6 issues. Comic book based on the 1980s Hanna Barbara cartoon of the adventures of Foofur, the giant blue dog.

Heathcliff’s Funhouse (1987–1988; #1-5 under Star imprint) Lasted 10 issues. Based on the classic Newspaper strip as well as 80s cartoon property. The Heathcliff character would be one of STARs only properties to have TWO titles! FunHouse lasted 10 issues!

  • Hugga Bunch 1986-87 (#1-6). 80s Toy Property makes its terrible comics debut. Comic featuring the adventures of the Hugga Bunch, who live in Huggaland and want to have fun and show everyone how happy hugs can make them. Yikes!

  • Inhumanoids 1987 (#1-4) A group of scientists, strapped inside high-tech suits of armor, explore the catacombs of the earth and discover that ancient evil creatures called the Inhumanoids lay in wait to rise up and conqueror mankind.

Madballs (1986–1988; #1-8 under Star imprint) When a Mad Scientist creates monster like balls and unleashes them on the earth you get the super fun MadBalls!

The Official Adaptation of the 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren. Yeah this movie was pretty bad..and the adaptation did not do anything to improve that image. All the same..it was He-Man on screen..how bad could it be!??

Meet Misty (1985 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-6 Its Stars Answer to Barbie and a nod to Archie’s Katy Keen. Meet Misty was a 6 issue mini series. Misty was an attempt to win over the teenage girl Barbie buying demographic.

Silverhawks (1987 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-7 Based on the TV series of the first super androids ,who come to the rescue as the galaxy is in trouble. Commander Stargazer calls Earth for help and Earth sends their new team, the SilverHawks, which consists of Quicksilver, the Copper Kid, Bluegrass, Steelheart and Steelwill, to battle the evil forces of Mon-Star. Not as great as it sounds. Great toys though!

 

 

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987; #1-2 under Star imprint Based on the very good animated series in 1987, as well as a very unique toy-line. Visionaries was a short-lived but fondly remembered property!

 

Prior to the final demise of the Star Comics imprint four more series were in development yet were never published..

  • “Commander USA”
  • Christy
  • Little Wizards
  • Young Astronauts

So the STAR Imprint now a distant memory and todays Marvel Universe (2015) on the verge of a world shattering Reboot of their universe, one will wonder if any of these worlds will ever be explored again.  Marvels use of licensed properties has always been a huge part of their business model, the question remains will there ever be room in the Marvel U again for simple fare such as what was offered by STAR! It was a simpler time and the Marvel Universe was a place not tied to a cinematic universe..or an ultimate universe..it was simply fun…and as a kid..thats all we cared about.

Satellite..punch in coordinates..we are headed to the outer reaches of the Blogosphere to meet the rest of the Super-Blog Team Up members..strap in..hold on tight…

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE SUPER-BLOG TEAM AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY TO PARALLEL UNIVERSES AND ALTERNATE REALITIES..Click the links below..and tell em Hero Sent ya!!

 

1.Amazing Spider-Talk / Chasing Amazing / Superior Spider-Talk

Spider-Man Reign

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://superiorspidertalk.com/category/podcasts/amazing-spider-talk-podcasts/

 

2. Between The Pages

A Tale Of Two Cities On The Edge Of Forever

http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-on-the-edge-of-forever.html

 

Bronze Age Babies

Things Are a Little Different Around Here…

 http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/2015/01/super-blog-team-up-things-are-little.html

 

3. Firestorm Fan

Firestorm on Infinite Earths — Countdown Arena

http://firestormfan.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-countdown-arena

 

4. Flodo’s Page

An Earth-1 / Earth-2 Team-Up Featuring Green Lantern

http://flodospage.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-ballad-of-two-green-lanterns.html

 

5. In My Not So Humble Opinion

The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/super-blog-team-up-5-the-many-worlds-of-tesla-strong/

 

6. The Legion of Super-Bloggers

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes

http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com/2015/01/star-treklegion-of-super-heroes.html

 

7. Longbox Graveyard

X-Men #141 & 142: Days of Future Past

http://wp.me/p1yye7-2AY

 

8. The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast (i.e. part of Rolled Spine Podcast)

Epic Comics’ Doctor Zero

https://rolledspine.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/the-marvel-super-heroes-podcast-episode-029/

 

9. Mystery Vlog

Marvel & DC’s Secret Crossover: Avengers #85–86 (1st Squadron Supreme)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxVHXYjEgpE

 

10. Superhero Satellite

Marvel Comics’ Star Comics Line: Licensed Reality and Parallel Properties

http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-qZ

 

11. Ultraverse Network

Parallel Worlds: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September

http://ultraversepodcast.com/2015/01/sbtu-black-sept/

 

12.The Unspoken Decade

5 Batmen, 1 Superman, ZERO HOUR

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-presents-5-batmen-1-superman-zero-hour/

The Ghost in the Machine:Robocop Versus Terminator

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/the-ghost-in-the-machine-robocop-versus-terminator-by-emily-scott/

 

SHS2ndXmasSpecial2

Hey there Satellite Subscribers, its Charlton Hero on the deck of the Super-Hero Satellite transmitting from deep space. All the crew have been sent home for the holidays so its just you and I and what better time of the year than to celebrate our second official Holiday Special. In the event you missed our first Holiday Special..take a minute and soak up the music that simply means Christmas to me personally…https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/the-1st-annual-superhero-satellite-christmas-special/

All done? Alright..This year..I thought no better way to celebrate than with Sears Wish Book Christmas Catalog Toy ads!. These were my absolute favorite toy pages as a kid and I can’t wait for you to see them..nestle in Heroes..pour yourself a glass of Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate..settle in around the holo-fireplace in the archive room of the mighty Super-Hero Satellite and enjoy.

Transmission Begin: Dec 25. 2014

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If you lived in my hometown there was one thing that every kid in town anxiously awaited..The arrival of the Sears Wish Book. A compendium of the best X-Mas presents and THE BEST toys that you could only get in the pages of this golden tome! My hometown did not offer a ton of choices in regards to shopping. We had the local Woolco, Dalfens, or The Chain Store (Actual Name..although not so sure it was actually a Chain Store..) Keep in mind in, the years from 1980-1989 we did not have the luxury of online shopping or large shopping malls in our area.  There was no formal internet..it was truly the dark ages when you look where we are today..but we didn’t care! We had the friggin Wish Book!! The book usually landed on your doorstep or in the mail in late October which gave you plenty of time to dig through the pages and order what you wanted before the big day December 25th!!! It was a tradition to break out the pen and circle the gifts you “wished” you had under the tree that year!! For my own personal memories and maybe my kids if they read this years from now..here are a few pages of the joys I looked at in awe in the days before every Christmas!!

Death Star

You have to know my first stop in the Wish Book was the Star Wars section..on the page above is my favorite toy of all time..The Death Star..yup I had that Bad Boy..and it retailed for only 19.99 back in the day!! A steal for all involved!! Now check out the bottom of the page and check out the classic Star Wars Play Doh set complete with Play Doh Style X-Wing!! You had molds to create Play Doh versions of your favorite Star Wars characters!! Loved making a great Green PlayDoh Luke!! Thats right!!

StarWars

This was my era..I pulled off the Millennium Falcon (I broke the bay door assembling it myself..ugghh)..I had the Ice Planet Hoth Playset pictured above complete with collapsible Ice cave and rebel bunker!! The Hoth versions of the characters were also amazing. Plus, you were not cool unless you had the Bounty Hunters! I was never a fan of those Star Wars Micro Toys though!!

 

Gi Joes

My second love was GI Joe!! Especially the originals!! Hawk, Grunt, Flash, Bazooka, Stalker, Scarlett, Rock and Roll, Breaker, Clutch, Zap and of course..Snake Eyes!! I had the V.A.M.P. Jeep..The Missile Launcher, Motor Cycle with side gun!! The Cobra Command Headquarters was a miss for me though. Even though it was a simple cardboard diorama..it had the elusive silver mask Cobra Commander and two Cobra scrubs!! There was no cooler figure than Cobra Commander!!  On closer inspection on the opposite page you have Haunted House toys which I loved as well!! I had the Creature, and The Wolfman! On a trip to a Florida Toys are Us I also grabbed the Lone Ranger, Tonto and Their horses!! Always wanted the Lone Ranger Playset on the back of all those comic ads. Any reader ever have that particular set?  At the bottom of the second page the Christmas debut of the legendary He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe Collection!! Check out that WindRaider in the corner!! Had every piece of that collection except Man At Arms!! Why do Toyline’s not feature as much awesome stuff these days?? What ever happened to the lost art of the Playset? Back in my day there was a Playset for everything!! Now some sets barely contain the action figures!!

 

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Mego…Nuff said. I loved my Mego Spider-Man Spider Car with Spider Net! How about the BEST Bat Mobile Toy ever invented!! These have been long missing from my collection as they went to the dump many years ago after many years of play and battle damage but there was nothing cooler than playing with my Dynamic Duo and Wall Crawler action figures!! I do not recommend popping the wheels off these cars over and over again as the only thing you get is the heart break of the chassis pin breaking and your toy rendered useless! Ugghh. These were Amazing though!! Oh had Superman too!! Loved that Fonz toy but only managed a Ritchie Cunningham figure!! Never had the Planet Of The Apes Megos..which boasted the best often heralded amazing Planet Of The Apes Ape Command Tree House Playset!! This one was recently featured on Season 3 of AMCs Comic Book Men. No, I am not forgetting that wicked Star Trek set..never had that bad-boy..I would kill for a Captain Kirk /William Shatner Mego!! I am taking donations people!!

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Next is a cautionary tale of Christmas past. NEVER..and I mean NEVER trade or sell one of your old Christmas toys..you WILL one day live in the waters of regret! My story occurred during an ill advised toy trade with a friend (That’s YOU John Stacey!) I lost one of my all time favorite Toys, The Star wars Rancor. I sold out my beast for a pile of vintage G.I. Joe’s..in mint condition. I think I still got the better deal but cant help but miss my Rancor!! The Jabba The Hut Playset was gifted to me at the height of the Return Of The Jedi hysteria and remains in my sons collection to this day!! One of the lost gems and the real center piece to this page was the very cool M.A.S.K. collection!! I had the Boulder Hill Playset, Transport Truck (The Rhino) and flying Sports car (The Thunder Hawk)!! For those of you not familiar with M.A.S.K. it was one of the most unique toy lines out there with a group of Super Agents equipped with transformable vehicles that they used to battle the evil terrorist regime V.E.N.O.M.!! Sound familiar? If it sounds too close to G.I. Joe… it was!! That’s why it ruled!! The M.A.S.K. collection were more or less a micro version of the Joe’s but the Vehicles and TV show left you thinking these may be the best Toys of all time..almost.

 

Dukes

Boba Fetts Slave-1 was the boss of Star Wars vehicles and came complete with Frozen Han and is probably one of my favorite Star Wars toys ever made..that is until you factor in the AT-AT! I had both of these toys and I will tell you these are the standard by which all toys are to be judged!! These days if You see a vintage AT-AT Walker in a kids room and you know he has great friggin taste in toys!! One dark horse on the second page was The Duke Boys and Car Set!! Love my Dukes!! The TV series The Dukes of Hazard was a family favorite and having a wicked Bo and Luke set of figures complete with The General Lee was amazing!! The Toy line itself was very cool and I miss this set badly. The figures didnt much look like the Dukes outside of their clothes and broke pretty quickly but my time with the Dukes was a great time Yeeee Haaaa!!

 

HeManVideo games

Before The Game Boy or The 3DS there were Coleco Table Top Video Games!! If There were ever a cooler game system at the time..I dont know what it was! The Coleco Table Top games featured crude LCD graphics and were like having an arcade in your living room!! I had Galaxian (Which broke sadly..but was replaced with..) Frogger! I had Donkey Kong as well. Kong was the best of the bunch and was responsible for hours of gaming fun that Christmas..The sad reality was these things ate batteries like nobodies business!! You HAD to use the (Sold Separately) adapter or you had to mortgage your house to play these things!! They were also great due to the waaayyy cool side cabinet stickers and graphics these things still stand out in any retro collection!! Thanks Sears!!

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I cannot go out without giving a shout out to my personal favorites the Go-Bots!! Got only three items on this page from actual X-Mas gifts and those being the very cool Super Go-Bot versions of Cy-Kill and Leader-1!! They were huge..simple and great!! The other was the shameful “Go-Bots Rogun Cap Rifle” I am pretty certain this was not official Go-Bots merchandise but Sears claimed it was so I received it one fateful December 25th!! I did however own three other huge pieces of Go-Bot lore..The Go-Bots Command Center (Won in a Trade…thanks Leslie Card!!!), The Renegade Thruster (Christmas Gift!!) and the fantastic Go-Bots Power Warrior set!!! (Got this on a trip to NY City baby!!!)

SearsWishbook.1985Sectaurs

 

Countless big name franchises were just mentioned..Star Wars, GI Joe, Marvel, DC but the DarkHorse franchise was SECTAURS!! Warriors of The Symbion!! If you didnt have these figures you really missed a unique Toyline that passed by many people..but old Charlton Hero here is gonna tell ya that these figures absolutely kicked ass!! A toy based on a race of inset /human hybrids who rode massive insects and battled in the World of Symbion!! The figures themselves were a little taller than the Masters Of The Universe figures of their day but were more articulated. They had a flashy faux metal design for Armor and their “Vehicles” were large very detailed insects with real fur that you fit on your hand like a glove. The trick was that your fingers acted as their legs to add another level of creep factor to the beasts!! Prince Dargon was always my favorite but my X-Mas gift collection one great year consisted of Skulk and Trancula, Pinsor and Battle Beetle, Zak, Mantor, Skito and Commander Waxpax, the latter Four figures came with mini insects that feature a button activated feature that was unique to its owner! Then of course there was the elusive Hyve..a Battle set of Battle sets!! Sadly I never had this masterpiece in my collection. A real showcase gem of any figure collection are these toys!

Although the Wish Book still exists to this day I still get that little trickle of excitement that my kids may never truly get when it arrives at our house. If you ever were a kid of the 70s and 80s you knew what you had and appreciated this wonderful part of X-Mas! many Christmas memories were generated by these rich pages and a big part of my childhood was from the fine folks at Sears. If you worked at Sears or had anything to do with the creation of this book this guys says thanks for the memories!

So..as it is ..it is Christmas day and I urge you all to go spend time with family and friends and thank all my readers for simply coming to visit this humble little blog on ocassion. It truly means a lot that I can write this little snapshot for myself and family for years to come. Ill dim the lights in the Satellite and beam you all back home. Be good to each other and goodnight, To my friends at the Super-Blog Team Up a huge thank you for entertaining this Blogger and hang with the Heavyweights for a while. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays..or what ever it is you celebrate and see you again in 2015!

Hero…OUT!

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SBTU4 Official header

When a Collection Of The Worlds Best Bloggers Come Together To Protect The Blogosphere from The Depths Of Despair and Boredom. One Topic, One Mission, A Million Different Points Of View..Blogging Will NEVER Be The Same…Welcome To SUPER-BLOG TEAM-UP 4…TEAM UP TEAR DOWN.”

 

Begin Transmission

I remember the day I saw Superman and Spiderman teaming for the first time. It was monumental. Every comic fan at some point or another mulls over the thought of Dream Team Ups. What if Spiderman teamed With Superman, What if Batman teamed with Wolverine? Over the years DC and Marvel made a lot of these team ups happen and made them into a reality.  Super-Hero Satellite tackled one of those in the Official Super-Blog Team Up Prequel when Superman teamed with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew! DCs experimental run in the very early 80s saw a lot of team ups you would never dreamed of would happened. One of which I present to you today. Superman teams with 80s Iconic Toy Franchise The Masters Of The Universe! It did happen and boy do we have a lot of ground to cover..this topic could only be contained in the pages of the Super-Blog Team Up 4 ….TEAM UP TEAR DOWN!!

superblogteamupteardown

In 1981 action figures were my life. My toy case was filled with Star Wars, Bionic man, Micronauhts, and very soon a toy called He-man. A very simple sounding name for a hero as it was intended. Mattel, following the success of Star Wars trilogy sought to capture some market share in the figure market with a new line of toys “inspired” by Conan The Barbarian fame..unofficially of course. After battling off a lawsuit with the Conan people Mattel launched one of their most profitable and iconic toy lines in history The Masters Of the Universe collection.

MOTU Figure Promo page

The Masters Of the Universe collection or MOTU for short, was a Mattel’s meal ticket back to the action figure market. He-Man and company exploded! Anyone who remembers this line of toys remembers a group of figures that were muscled up, action pose ready that were unlike anything out there at the time. I remember getting a great selection of these toys I believe for Christmas of 81. Boy did I get the motherload. In my first foray into the He-man toy line I received He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, Panthro, Teela, Stratos, and Beast Man. Throw in Castle GreySkull, and The Battle Ram!!

Hows that for an intro!! So with the success of the toy line the next logical step was He-mans introduction to the small screen!! He-Man and the Masters of the Universe the animated series debuted on airwaves across the nation in 1983. The opening would be one that kids of the 80s would have engrained into their heads..Without further adieu..Satellite Bring up the video wall..He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe intro please!!

Everyone back on deck Heroes! The Masters of The Universe cartoon was a staple in my house. I have seen every episode probably 3-4 times each. I loved that show and its characters!! Click below to re watch this great series..that’s right, all in one click..that’s what we do.

Click HERE for The He-Man Universe Channel..

Outside of my play time in Eternia, the rest of my life was spent as a super comic nerd! If anyone asked me what my favorite comic book publisher was in the 1980s I would proudly say DC with great vigor!! I loved everything about them but what I loved was their Super-Heroes. They were always The Nintendo to The Sega, They were The Coke to The Pepsi, The DC Heavy was The Man Of Steel himself. No one was bigger and more recognizable than Superman. In saying that, DC used Superman at every stop to push other properties. Supes was guaranteed bank and the publisher knew that putting him in a book with anyone would instantly give that property instant cred in the eyes of comic book readers..like old Hero here! Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. DC even went so far as to team him with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew. The Folks at the Satellite pieced together a great Prequel..Check out the link below the picture below!!

Click HERE To Read The SBTU Prequel Capes and Carrots!

As Satellite readers hopefully who have read the Prequel DC tried something radically different in 1982 by giving Comic fans a real bang for their book with the DC Prevue inserts. As stated these inserts were standalone stories meant to introduce readership to new characters and concepts. The idea was to introduce the new hero or team inside the pages of a best-selling title to provide maximum visibility to this new potential break out concept. Superman was usually the anchor. DC did this twice with their latest acquistion..Matells Masters Of The Universe!! In the years prior to the World killing Crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC was pretty liberal with their use of alternate realities, timelines, and worlds. It lead to a seamless insertion of the MOTU characters and worlds to simply become another “World” in the grand scale of the DCU in 1982! Yes Eternia was officially a reality in DC!!

DC Comics Presents 47

DC created a very unusual version of Eternia very different from the one seen on the Cartoon show a little later. Still seemingly set in medieval times This Eternia boasted over the top technology and mystifying magic all at once! Magic and Swordplay were the center of its concept. With Curt Swan, of long time Superman fame and legendary Comic Book penciller extraordinaire, took his stab at the Toy franchise and did a Masterful job of it. The characters were directly in line with the toy line visually but what was not carried over from the Comic book to the show was the language. Eternians talked like they were out of a Shakespeare novel. The verbage was very grandious. If you were a fan of the show you would know that He-man and friends did NOT talk like this!! Check out the panel below as He-Man, aka Prince Adam is challenged by a patron at the bar on Eternia who had just made fun of his sidekick Cringer (Battle Kat!) Whats unique about DC’s version of Eternia is that number one..He-Man is a drinker? When did you ever see bars on Eternia in the TV show? He-Man also refers to Teela as “woman” so it is decidedly male dominated planet as well. She-Ra would NOT stand for this!

DCP 47 pg6

Gone as well is the famous Transformation scene thats featured on every show on the Cartoon version of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe…we all know what I mean. On this page we see that the Sorceress is responsible He-Mans and Battle Kat’s transformation!! Gone is the famous “By The Power Of GraySkull” raise your sword and transform gimmick..

He-Man is simply turned into his more powerful self by the all-powerful Sorceress..

DCP 47 8

At this point we meet the “Demonic Skeletor” Enemy of “Thy ” World?  Skeletor is seen with his right hand man Beast Man in front of the Mysterious Castle Grayskull! The Grayskull Playset  is undoubtedly the best play set in history! Okay maybe the Star Wars Death Star is better but this thing rocks people!! Believe! Skeletor and his sidekick discuss his need to unveil the secrets Of Castle GraySkull so he can rule the world with this knowledge! However one thing remains,…. to gain access to the Castle, Skeletor must have a power sword..which he does..but to gain entry you must have TWO!! The action figures themselves came bundled with a sword a piece for He-man and  and a piece for Skeletor. Both had flatbacks and for some reason the two could connect together and allow the holder of the two united swords access to the secrets of Grayskull..

He-Man and Skeletor

Its time to take a break…We will be right back AFTER THESE MESSAGES..

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How cool are the He-man toys? I cannot describe the amount of joy these thing gave me..plus after I was done role playing  in Eternia, He-Man and gang made great additions to my wrestling figure federation I also ran from my bedroom floor. He-Man, more specifically Power Punch He-Man won the title many times! Okay while on the topic lets talk best original MOTU toys..here’s the

Satellites Top 5 Most Underrated MOTU Figures:

5. Ram Man:One of the very few figures that broke the He-Man mold. Ram Man was the Eternia’s version of the Juggernaut and wore a huge metal helmet that he used to smash through things. You push down on his head and his legs, which we based on a spring ,were physically joined together and did no contain any articulation. Press down on his head Ram Man squat to the ground touch him again he launched into action!!

4. Moss Man. The MOTU line used the same basic body mold over and over at will and in some cases the same figure altogether. Beast Man one of the original MOTU super-bad’s was turned green, stripped of his armor, and covered in green “moss’ like fur. A very unusual toy but friggin awesome. My Moss Man was stolen on a camping trip as a child when playing in all things..The woods. I guess his camouflage was just too good. I’ll find you one day Moss man!

3. Two Bad: The Conjoined twin alien heads which shared a torso. This was another figure that maintained a unique mold and was very cool. The toy had great double punching power and two great alien heads! I played the death out of Two Bad and feel he’s a must have in any MOTU collection!

2.Extendar: The Armor covered Knight in the MOTU collection. Extendar was a silver armor covered classic Knight Of The Round Table style of figure. His uniqueness however was in the fact that his head arms, waist, torso, and legs all extended to make Extendar a giant. He was a highly touted figure in the collection as he toiled playing double duty in my imaginary wrestling figure collection!

1. Fakor. Okay okay..its was He-Man painted blue. Literally that’s all Fakor was. He was a  Robot He-Man clone That Skeletor created to infiltrate He-Mans inner circle. No one would notice if He-Man was Blue now would they? Even so, I loved Fakor during his short run in my collection as he was an early victim to the arms and leg figure exchange..He-Man figure collectors know what that means!

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WELCOME BACK HEROES!! Back to our story..Beast Man and Skeletor converse on how they are going to break into Castle Grayskull. Outside the Grayskull, Skeletor talks about the need of having both halves of the Power Sword to open the castle. Beast Man notices Skeletor only has one half, but he tries to use it to open Grayskull anyways. The result? The opening to a great inter-dimensional worm hole in clouds form that opens on Earth!! The impact of Skeletor,s assault was so great, its effects were felt on Earth.!! As with Superman..he has a history of falling into such portals …and today would be no different..

DCP 47 skeletorattacks greyskull

Superman is transported to Eternia in short order. He was investigating the giant cloud/portal and as always he is sucked in like a tractor beam and lands with a Thud directly in front of Castle GraySkull. Thelingering foes Skeletor and Beast Man look on like they have just seen Santa Clause!. The unusual part of this is not only how passive the Eternian’s are with Superman’s grand entrance but how non-chalant Superman is by being transported to yet another dimension. Apparently no big deal for the Man Of Steel.

Supermanetrnia

Skeletor knows that this is not cool and quickly figures out that this guy in Blue spandex falling from the sky is his enemy!! Not giving any time for Superman to recover or gain his bearings Skeletor goes on the attack on this Other Worlder. Both spend a moment to mock each other as Skeletor calls Superman a `Strangely Garbed Foe while Superman sees Skeletor as a Skull faced clown with the Over Grown pocket Knife. Ahhh The 80s!!

Superman vs skeltor

The fight is on as Skeletor tries to slice Superman in half but to know avail as Supes batters the Eternian with a barrage of body shots. Beast Man joins the fray and is dispatched easily in ultra 80s fashion as Superman simply takes him on a loop de loop  and dumps him handily on the ground. Skeletor resorts to the magic of his half of the power sword and forces Superman to be blown off in the distance. Waiting on hill observing the disruption is He-Man himself on his gentle steed Battle Kat!

Superman vs skeletor sand.

He-Man rushes to Supermans aid recognizing him from ancient Eternian lore. This goes to show that the DC Universe was always a part of DCs elaborate Multiverse of the 80s Pre Crisis. With Introductions out of the way, He-man and Superman are soon joined by Man at Arms riding the Wind Raider!

Superman teans up

Okay, its pointless product knowledge time. The Wind Raider was one of the first and best MOTU Vehicles and makes a very early appearance here.MOTU toys were always emblazoned with deluxe painted artwork as seen on the Wind Raider box art!! Note the original Wind Raider was mean for a single figure. So in this case the Comic book had it right!!

                                                                      Original Wind Raider plus He-Man!!

A great footnote here The Wind Raider like the Toy is a single passenger Vehicle however in the original He-Man and the Masters Of the Universe Television Show The Winder raider is a much larger capacity vehicle.

 Pause for ONE TO GROW ON.. Take It AWAY MR T!!

Now Back To The Show..

The Triple Threat of He-Man, Superman, and Teela’s father Duncan, aka Man At Arms (Where is Duncan..has he abandoned his friends??) go after Skeletor. He-man swings for the fences with his battle-axe but not before Skeletor uses the magic of his half  power sword to cast a hypnotic spell on Superman. Skeletor turns Supes on his own team instantly and the battle of the century begins..He-man vs Superman..one on one for the inter-dimensional title. Superman attacks first stopping He-Man assault on Skeletor but The Most Powerful Man In the Universe easily turns the tide employing The Giant Swing into a power bomb!!

Superman hyptonized

Superman no selling He-Mans attack goes toe to toe with He-Man in a slugfest. Looks like DC will not look bad in comparison to Matell and He-Man is driven to the ground with a solid Superman upper cut ending the `Battle Of The Century only seconds into the fight. Winner is Superman..and DC. With He-Man out..and Man At Arms nowhere to be seen,,Skeletor commands the Man Of Steel to open the doors to Castle GreySkull and reveal its secrets to him at once! With fists raised Superman roars towards the gates of GraySkull..

Supermanvs He-man

Superman still fighting his hypnosis, cannot stop Skeletor’s spell, but comes up with a plan on the fly. If only the Man Of Steel can distract Skeletor long enough to utilize his heat vision to create a Molten barricade around Skeletor and block the spell of Skeletor. That’s right Superman melts rocks to form a rock cocoon around the evil one. Superman is able to stop his spell just in time as not to impact The Castle!  Skeletor bursts free of his confinement in Molten rock and swears he will cast yet another spell on Superman. This time Superman is ready for Skeletor’s magic and He-man (who has already forgiven and understood why Superman attacked him,) returns to watch the fray. Superman apparently has a plan to lift Skeletor out of harms way. Exactly where was Superman taking him?

Superman stops Skeletor

With Skeletor having been to this dance once to often, he pulls the old disappearing act. Superman still taken aback from the events of what just happened has no time to chat with his new friends as he notices a Time Space warp in space with his Super Vision and has to hustle so he can get back home to earth and bids a quick fare the well to his Medieval friends. Final page

In summary:  You could not have done this Team-Up any quicker. The whole story while really cool, is mega rushed. Superman literally falls from the sky, has a light tussle with Skeletor,and even He-Man , gets hypnotized , stops Skeletor and rushes back to Earth in a wormhole. The whole time,  He-Man and friends act like it’s any other day. Love the vintage Curt Swan art. Mr. Swan is one of my all time definitive Superman artists, so I was pumped to see him do the cross over. Swan has a real grasp on He-Man and friends. His inspiration is directly from the Matell Toy line as is seen with the depictions of Man At Arms, Skeletor and Beast Man. Hilariously the depiction of Eternia as an old world Shakespearean society is pretty far off in what we see later in the Animated Series and subsequent spinoffs, and Movies. The Eternian dialect is pretty entertaining as seen in these pages. I am glad they made the change to everyday linguistics in the animated show. The declaration and focus on the 2 halves of the Power Swords is also a storyline not often referenced in the Animated Series. He-man himself does not perform the transformation or do the whole “I have The Power” bit. That’s key…say what you want. Having the Sorceress simply transform Prince Adam and Cringer is just not cutting it People!!  Overall, the excitement this book created at the time was all the hype I needed as a bright-eyed 8-year-old comic book fanatic! The kid in me still gives this story a thumbs up..the adult in hindsight gives it a “Where the hell is the story??”  As well I leave you all with one final question..exactly what was the point of putting Man At Arms in the story with The Wind raider when he did not even show up in the battle?? Hmmmm…

Hope you have enjoyed this stay on Eternia, setting Coordinates for our next mission. Heroes strap in..Super-Blog Team Up continues…plenty more to read as Team Up Tear Down continues all over the Blogosphere..please read and follow all the blogs below..you will not be disappointed! Super-Blog Team Up…Unite!!

SBTU Contunies

 SBTU sept Teaser 4

1.Super-Hero Satellite: Super Man and The Masters Of the Universe http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-nT

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2.LongBox GraveYard: Thing / Thing http://wp.me/p1yye7-2vP 

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3.Superior Spider-talk:
Spider-Man and the Coming of Razorback!? http://www.superiorspidertalk.com/spider-man-and-the-coming-of-razorback  

SBTUDNAgentsTitans

4. The Daily Rios: New Teen Titans/DNAgents http://thedailyrios.com/ 

MIddlespacesSBTU

5. The Middle Spaces:  Super Hegemonic Team-up! Spider-Man, Daredevil & ‘The Death of Jean DeWolfe
: http://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-hegemonic-team-up/  

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6. Chasing Amazing: Spider-man/Spider-man 2099 Across the Spider-Verse: A Once in a Timeline Team-Up http://wp.me/p1wQNx-1N5

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7. Vic Sage/Retroist: Doctor Doom/Doctor Strange http://www.retroist.com/ *COMING SOON*

Spiderman SupesSBTU4

8. Fantastiverse: Superman/Spider-man http://fantastiverse.com/ *COMING SOON*

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9. Mystery V-Log The Avengers #1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL6G3GZ0yhXkR1vl6BCPegw *COMING SOON*

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10. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Conan /Solomon Kane
http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-blog-team-up-4-conan-the-barbarian-and-solomon-kane/

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11. The Unspoken Decade: Punisher/Archie: Two Wrongs Making a Right:  Punisher Meets Archie!!

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12. Flodos Page: Green Lantern and the Little Green Man  http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/  *COMING SOON*

BatmaloisSBTU4

13. Between The Pages:  World’s Finest Couple: Lois Lane and Bruce Wayne  http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2014/09/worlds-finest-couple-lois-lane-and-bruce-wayne.html *UPDATED* 

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14. BronzeAge Babies: When Friends Like These ARE Your Enemies (FF/Doom, Batman/Joker, Warlock/Thanos, and Cap/Red Skull), http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/

If you liked these /SBTU covers and artwork, you will LOVE the great Mashups of The SuperTeam Family. The site that takes Comic Book cover team ups to the next level!! The Teen Titans & DNAgents cover was inspired by one post of that sites great work! So I give full credit to the fie folks at STF for the inspiration! Click here to visit THE SUPER TEAM FAMILY Website!

 

SUPER BLOG TEAM UP RETURNS JANUARY 2015

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SATELLITE Extra: Remember that 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren? No? Then check out the trailer!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJrs1ZWFKag

 

Ahhh…hell its Super Blog Team Up..Heres the entire movie..Tell Em Hero sent ya!

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Click Here To Watch The 1987 Masters Of the Universe Movie!

Welcome back Satellite Subscribers! The team and I on the Satellite have pillaged the time streams of my youth and using the memory analyzer I have purged several historical publications that were of great interest to me as a child of the 80s. No, it was no great work of literature..it was not the Bible..although I could have used a few passages back then! Outside of my documented interests in Comic Books and Action Figures..I also had  consistent exposure to Coloring Books. Some of my fondest memories of road trips, camping excursions always fall back to the memories of my old companion, the coloring book! All hands to the conference deck as I enlighten our team of heroes on coloring heroes!

Transmission Begin: Nov 28 2013

So as it may be, this post is more or less a gallery of my room closets book shelf. From time to time my parents, to occupy me, would by me one of these coloring books. If it was a trip to the Doctor…a coloring book followed close behind. A trip to visit my Grandmothers usually spawned several coloring books from numerous runs to the general store for a snack run!! Here are a few of the books that were forever locked in my consciousness all of which I personally owned!

Fantastic Four Meets The Witch. One of my all time favorite stand out books. Was always a BIG Human Torch fan..now I could color him!

Out of all the Coloring Book lines available to me during the early 80s ,the vintage Whitman line of coloring books were the best. Whitman publishing company, was a major publisher of children`s books from the early 1900s to the 80s. Many of the titles were liscensed books from popular TV shows and Comic book heroes. Whitman was essentially my entry drug into the world of Coloring Books. One of my first memories of Camping as a child brought me to Dildo Newfoundland..yes insert joke here. One trip to a local general store later and I had my earliest coloring book purchase that I can recall. The Fantastic Four Meet the Witch. The story was very simple. The Witch is picked up by government radar and causes havoc for the U.S. Government. Here comes the F.F. to save the day. Whitman was not known for elaborately drawn books, but that was a good thing. The pages were easy to color as well I was an avid artist at the time so the characters were easy to redraw!

Its Clobberin Time with the crayons! Whitman Coloring Books were simplistic but fun to color!

Even though this book always has a special place in my memories This Amazing Spider-Man Coloring Book always drew me back to it for years later and even as an adult I have flipped the pages of this one!

Spider-Man The Oyster Mystery!

While my love of this book is just that..my own, several websites out there have parodied this book for its basic storyline and super loose artwork. Check out http://www.somethingawful.com/comedy-goldmine/spiderman-oyster-mystery  

Not being the best colorist, I decided that I would be unable to draw a dime begin a colorist in the comic book industry but my favorite thing about this book was the simplicity of the art, especially Spidey! It was a proverbial `How To Draw`as a kid! Thanks Whitman..now I can at least draw this good to this day!

Holloway’s General Store always brought a coloring book on my sleep overs at my Grandparents! The upstairs craft part of the store was always well stocked with Whitman classics like these!

`Buck Rogers was HOT on TV in the early 80s and the Buck Rogers action figures comprised some of my early action figure collections. I had Buck, Twikie, Kane, Draco, Tiger Man and the Draconian Guard!

One of my early forays into action figure collecting! The Buck Rogers collection. A perfect companion to my coloring book.

Buck was lucky enough to have a sequel to his own coloring book! he was THAT popular!

I will not lie..Star Wars was MY space fantasy. As much as I liked Buck Rogers NOTHING and I mean NOTHING captured my imagination like the Galaxy far far Away!

Star Wars was the ultimate in coloring fun and Kenner not only produced a swarm of excellent action figures but amazing Star Wars coloring books with Live Movie Stills as covers! Even some had special studio publicity shots that were amazing!!

Who would not buy this coloring Book.

The Star Wars Coloring Books loosely told a story much like the famous `Little Big Books`they usually told a chapter from the movie and always had a nice happy ending.Others were a mishmash of traced movie scenes, Toy ads and Comic Book pages..and possibly even traced by a drunk. I submit for your approval..

Shamelessly traced from Howard Chaykins work in The Star wars Marvel Comics Series.

Hey this looks familiar!

So artists clearly didn’t  care much  about their artistic output as some could not even draw a straight line while tracing! I put this before the courts as evidence number 2.

Sloppy ass art work!Check out that platform they are standing on..as well as the side panels next to Leia. Anyone have a ruler for gods sake!.

Some images however hit the nail on the head . The right blend of accuracy and simplicity!

The ONLY Toy to put Star wars on my play time back burner was G.I. Joe! The Joe’s were incredible. They had a figure for every job in the military. They had the best vehicles and accessories, one hell of a cartoon show..as well as friggin awesome coloring books!

YO JOE!! This Joe Coloring and Activity book was a staple at coloring time!

The Joe’s did double duty at my house as I bought up every new coloring book I could find! The interesting thing about these books were the attention given to supplementary characters! Rock and Roll and Grunt were featured!! What ever happened to Rock and Roll?? He was the original BIG gunner before Road Block! No Love I tell ya!

The ORIGINAL 80s Joe’s were always my favorites! This was magic for me at my young age. Yo Joe!

I had a very respectable amount of Masters Of The Universe toys and even this coloring book. He-man was highly revered at my house!

Masters Of The Universe, especially The Action Figure line, were huge in my town. He-Man and Skeletor and the gang were huge additions to my action figure line up! Even though actually role-playing in the MOTU world was not their long-term purpose as they were all eventually absorbed into my fictional playtime wrestling league. That is another story for another day! The MOTU coloring book had longevity at home. I literally rode this one to the grave. It still lasted months after going cover-less! I was always a fan of the cover art and I think that’s what gave it its longevity! The cover features He-Man riding on the long forgotten Battle Ram. This is a very early toy that debuted in the pages of the old He-Man mini comics that came packaged with MOTU figures . It was very rare to catch glimpses of this vehicle as the classic Wind Raider was the one most prominently in the cartoon series!

This Laff a Lympics coloring book was a book that featured many stars of cartoons we did not get in our area!

Hanna Barbera Cartoons always a favorite, were aired on a limited basis in our area of Canada , but this Coloring Book opened my eyes to my favorites Blue falcon and Dyna-Mutt! This book allowed me to see stars like Magilla Gorilla,and others I had never seen before! It was a wake up call that our cable package was horrible!

The Good Old Boys Never meanin no harm!

From time to time my parents would surprise me with a JUMBO Coloring/Activity book!! These could literally be 500 plus pages of pure coloring fun and always were a hefty price in our day. The Dukes of Hazzard was a favorite of my fathers who liked vintage cars and country music.  I was bestowed this super sized coloring book! I loved it! 8.95 was a mega price to pay..it may as well been a hundred dollars as that was big money to pony up in the early 80s for a coloring book no matter what the size. The cover always got me as well..pre-photoshop days..these guys did okay!

I was a DC Kid in the 80s..still am..and THESE were my Super Heroes! You might call this the Secret Origin of The Super Hero Satellite!

The Coup de Gras of Coloring Books was the DC Super Heroes Big Big Book! This 448 tome was the best of the best. It was a Coloring book / Activity Book of epic proportions. A full-fledged adrenaline rush of coloring fun. I have a fond memory of this book and it was the center piece of my coloring piece collection. There was no tracing involved in this one. The art in the book was directly taken from the comics and it was fantastic! This was no ordinary activity book. This book had challenging puzzles and mind-boggling games. THIS was the best book of its kind and if you can find it on eBay just grab this one! I’ll show ya why!

SuperMans Game Page!

Batman’s Word Search! Try your best! Solve it yet?

Jokers Word Ladder! These games were no pre-school fun for sure!

Even though my god given skill was drawing and never so much coloring,  when I look at my kids coloring books and cannot help but smile. I just wish that one time I could pass along my son a pack of crayons and the DC Super Heroes Big Big Book and say “You will thank me later!” Shutting down historical archives..Heroes back to the iso chambers we have a big destination planned for our next stop…strap in we are entering our next destination on our time stream…Christmas…Later Heroes!

Transmission Ended:

Satellite Extra Coloring Book Gallery..

My best friend Jason at the time had this one..it always drove me crazy and I always had coloring book envy over this issue!

JAWS 2!! This is one book I scored with one of my numerous sleep overs to my Grand Parents as a kid! Awesome cover!

Saturday Morning faves The Smurfs gave me a Smurfy time with a crayon in this bad boy!

More craziness from Spider-Mans Oyster Mystery parody!

Okay Heroes…PUZZLE Time!

If you have enjoyed this post there are many more to check out here at the Super-Hero Satellite. Contact me directly on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and use  #SuperHeroSatellite to join in the conversation!

“The Day They Walked Away..” A 6 part Limited Series Presented by The Super-Blog Team Up

Welcome back Satellite Subscribers and welcome aboard to our new visitors. This is a very special post today as I have invited a few friends to join me from across the internet to help weave a tale in many parts.  In the title you may have noticed the term Super-Blog Team Up. Over the past few years I have had the honor of speaking with a few folks who run their own blogs all of which I visit quite frequently. The Super-Blog Team are yours truly, Charlton Hero, representing the Super-Hero Satellite , and other blockbuster blogs like LongBox Graveyard, Chasing Amazing, Silver Age Sensations, Flodo’s Page, and The Fantastiverse. So before we begin, this post is part 4 in a 6 blog post series so I encourage you to check out the first 3 posts in this series (All links at the end of this post!)..If you already have done so, then enjoy this next installment!

Superman: The Man Of Steel. Pop Cultures definition of the term Super-Hero.

Hey Satellite Subscribers welcome to a very special edition of The Super-Hero Satellite. This technological masterpiece known as The Super-Hero Satellite, tracks all Super Powered Heroes from all parts of the galaxy. Heroes protect us, stop the occasional inter-dimensional threat, thwart an approaching alien invasion, save a kid from a burning fire or simply stop that pick pocket on the corner street. They are a role model, they are our icons, they are what we strive to be in our daily lives. Their duty is a weight so heavy only those blessed with that something extra can bear..They are Super Heroes.

Superman through the ages..

What happens when our Heroes simply can no longer bear that responsibility. What happens when the Super Powered that walk among us finally cannot sacrifice any more…This is the story of Kal- El, The Son Of Krypton. Sent from a doomed planet to fulfill his destiny as earths number one Super Hero. The son of Jor-El went on to become the face of Americana. The face of Earths real Mightiest Heroes..The Justice League. This is the story of the price of being a Super Hero , about the day he walked away..when he returned..when he made the Ultimate sacrifice..and the day he became one of us….This is Superman. He may have been the most human out of us all..

A World Without Superman??

From the early days of the character, Superman was the ultimate Super Hero. He had the Cadillac of super powers. He was virtually invincible, he could run as fast as the Flash, He was stronger than any Green Skinned Hulk, He had X-Ray vision, he had Heat vision, super breath, and by god he could fly! Superman’s powers of course varied as the times changed and throughout his many incarnations. Superman from his inception in the pages of Action Comics number one, to his numerous incarnations on the small screen, and to the screens of Hollywood and beyond, the one thing all incarnations have in common are his need for acceptance or to just be “normal”. Common through all genres of the character is the love story we all know between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. It’s an essential story thread that almost all Superman writers have used as a nucleus to The Superman character. It is also the contributing factor to Clark’s constant search for humanity and was the only thing that ever made Superman quit being a hero.

The Most Iconic Comic Book Cover Of Our Time. Action Comics #1

From his debut Superman’s interest in Lois Lane has always be central to his character and is a basis for his social life as his alter ego Clark Kent. Superman constantly put his own life aside to save the lives of those on earth..but mostly the apple of his eye..Lois. From the start Kal-El was smitten with Ms. Lane.

Where would the world be without Lois and Clark?

The comics medium played with Clark’s yearning to be normal on several occasions and most times it was all due to his relationship with Lois. Tiring of the Super-life and wanting to settle down Superman called it quits many times!! One of the most memorable covers dealing with the subject was Superman Vol. 1 Issue 298 . Superman unknowingly under the influence of his neighbor Mr. Xaiver is mentally torn between being Superman or staying as his alter ego Clark Kent. Even though this story which ran three issues was a throw away with little consequence, the theme of Kal-El battling with this very decision is a common theme in all forms of Superman media.

“Who Took The Super Out Of Superman” Mr. Xavier, Clark Kent’s mysterious neighbor, is an alien named Xavier who changes Superman into only being able to use his powers when in costume. Superman believes that his body is trying to tell him to choose either Superman or Clark, and reject his other persona.

Sometimes, especially in the Golden or Silver age, Superman simply quit being either himself or his Alter Ego…many of these stories were short-lived and their impact on continuity was very minimal if anything back in the day. The struggle to be the Super-Hero or just a normal mortal was always one Clark struggled with!

Clark always some how was pulled into a particular direction by Lois. His choices usually hinged on whether Lois was around or the trouble she found herself in on a particular day. To be honest Superman spent most of the Golden Age and The Silver Age rescuing Lois no matter if it was in the pages of the comics he was featured in such as Action Comics or his own Superman title. Heck his chivalry was always in the spotlight on the small screen as well. Fleischer studios Superman cartoon  had Clark always there at her call!

“Clark Kent, Get Out Of My Life!”Superman decides to live without Clark Kent, and battles Solarman, a sun-powered villain, while Xaiver (Clark’s scheming neighbor) robs Clark Kent’s apartment.

While early DC writers tinkered with the idea of Superman or Clark Kent calling it quits they never ever really pulled the trigger..that is until the 1980s where Superman went through a renaissance of sorts. The 1980s began with the a clear template of what the Man of Steel would look like for the majority of the 80s. Christopher Reeve and his 70s movie titled simply “Superman” was a runaway hit at the box office prompting the 1980 sequel Superman 2!  This movie dealt with the idea of what would happen if Superman gave up being Superman and became a normal human assuming his alter ego of Clark Kent permanently!

Superman 2. Long thought of as the BEST of all four original Superman Movies!

In Superman 2 the basic plot is that Lois Lane learns Clark’s secret that his is indeed the Man Of Steel. Superman surrenders and is so strong in his feelings for Lois decides to give up the cape and become just Clark! Kent agrees to marry Lois which is a consistent theme in all eras of Superman lineage, but this marriage has big one problem. Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to marry Lois, but is  unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he mistakenly  released are now about to conquering Earth.

Clark is determined to finally show Lois he is serious about his love for her and decides that he will give up his powers completely so he can live a normal life at her side for the rest of their lives. A noble gesture as seen in the movie!

Clark sees the error of his decision and decides that he will not allow his adopted home be overtaken by his fellow Kryptonian’s. A powerless Clark has a wake up call in a diner when he attempts to defend the honor of his love Lois only to come to the grim realization that he sacrificed his power and gets his ass handed to him..this scene serves as his sign that the world needs Superman! Guess what..Superman returns and General Zod and his cronies are sent back to the phantom zone with a one way ticket from The Man Of Steel!

The events in the movie are a message to everyone including Kal-El that the world NEED’s Superman and he needs them as well. Everything wraps up neatly with the criminals vanquished and Lois retaining any recollection of Clark’s identity is erased from her conscious. In a funny loose end at the end of the movie Clark decides to pay a visit to the man who handed him a beating as a human in the diner and well..lets just say it does not pay to be a bully!

The comics themselves used a number of themes after that from the movie but perhaps the best example of this comes at the very end of DC’s Silver age. DC had the need to somehow organize the history of its Superheroes and give the DC universe a defined sense of origin. The 50s, 60s, and 70s, produced many continuity bending throw away stories that confused many readers and writers trying to tie years of history together in a sensible fashion. The characters did not age, and thus were burdened with years of continuity baggage to where it was impossible to present the audience with a clean universe where everything made chronological sense. From these seeds grew Crisis On Infinity Earth. It revamped the entire history of the DC Universe and gave all heroes a fresh start..at least for several years.

Crisis tied up all Silver Age Loose ends and it was a vehicle for DC to in essence end Superman as we knew him..this lead neatly into the final issue of the series..

Alan Moore penned an epic FINAL Superman tale called “What Ever Happened to The Man Of Tomorrow” which many hold in high regard for its impact. The end of the Silver Age Superman was a final tribute to the Man of Steel in which he gives up and actually disappears forever ..literally.  It begins 10 years after the last silver age issue of Superman where the last days of Superman are recapped from the words of a now remarried Lois Lane Elliot. Lois recaps the events leading to Superman’s last days on earth as he simply walked away forever after what he felt was the last straw for him as a hero. She tells the tale of Superman’s long guarded secret has finally been exposed to the public, and the earth shattering consequences of that revelation. Those close to Superman are killed by Super Villains extracting revenge upon the Man of Steel forcing Superman to do the one thing he always stood against..killing..

“What Ever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow” Superman has broken his own code to never kill, Superman, in penance, voluntarily enters a chamber containing a sample of Gold Kryptonite (which would permanently drain him of his powers), and disappears into the Arctic wasteland. When the other heroes enter the remains of the Fortress, they find only Perry White, his wife, and Lois still alive. Superman’s body is never found, and it is assumed by all parties that he wandered into the Arctic wasteland, powerless, to die.

Superman walks away as not to endanger his loved ones..and for Lois..

The end of the Silver Age brought the dawning of a new era. DC revamped many of its titles and Superman was one of the first on that list. The Mini Series penciled by John Byrne, simply called the Man Of Steel, hit the reset button on the character we all know as Superman.

In the The Man Of Steel #1, the planet Krypton is shown as a cold and emotionally devoid planet, an concept Byrne borrowed from the 1978 film Superman. Kal-El was not an infant sent from Krypton to Earth, rather, his fetus was placed in a “birthing matrix” equipped with a rocket engine and Jor-El’s experimental warp drive, with Kal-El gestating during the trip to Earth. Once the rocket landed, Kal-El was fully “born” on Earth. A huge contrast to the Adopted Alien Son on Earth theme that was the basis to the original character.

I picked up The Man  Of Steel trade on a summer vacation in Toronto Ontario Canada after searching aimlessly for a comic book store. I ended up setting for a book store in a mall in Renfrew Ontario and I saw it on the shelf. Despite it being well outside of my price range I did walk away with that book! I still own it and appreciate it to this day. I loved John Byrne’s Superman, in fact, outside of Curt Swans version of the Silver Age Superman, Byrne’s is the best! Byrne created a Superman that did not pretend to be anything but what he was. In Byrne,s version, Clark Kent was not the school nerd and social outcast as Clark was portrayed as on film and in early comic books, instead he used his power to be the head of the Football team and was actually popular in school! Byrne attempted to ground Superman in reality. Gone where the Superboy years, Superman family, Super Pets and Giant keys to the fortress of solitude. A lot of what made Superman great was washed away for a more realistic version of The Man Of Steel. Clark,s parents were no longer dead but rather important cast members, a nice touch! Hell Ma Kent even sewed Superman his first suit!

The Series set the table early for Clark just wanting a normal existence outside of his Superhero..but as with every other attempt to lead a normal life The Cape always won out and Superman always returned to duty no matter how many times he walked away!

Superman’s home world of Krypton was no longer the thriving futuristic civilization of the Silver age it now represented the sterile version seen in the Superman movies! Two themes that remained though were Superman’s fondness of Lois Lane and his conflict with wanting to be normal.

Even Byrne’s Superman actually gave up and went home after his first brush with the pressures of fame..even though he finally found the courage to be the biggest Superhero in the world his confidence was shaken early!

Lois and Clark the TV series was highly rated and changed the way DC wrote these characters or sometime.

The character of Superman in the 80s was bound editorially by DC side projects and after a resurgence in popularity Superman returned with a vengeance to the small screen with Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman. The impact of this series cannot be overlooked. The show was very much grounded in the Byrne era mythos and lead Superman to his final fate. DC protected the characters and their onscreen characters and made sure that the stories in the comics did nothing to go too far out of sync with the show.In a funny side note DC had planned to pull the trigger on a modern-day Lois and Clark wedding to boost struggling sales however the TV show Lois and Clark negotiated with DC as to have the comic book wedding and the TV event wedding coincide and DC gave in and agreed. Plans however had already been in motion so there were a number of starts and stops and unplanned storyline fixes to keep the interest in the wedding in the pages of the comic. Superman and Lois had been married many times in the comic books.

The Clark and Lois union was one that had been around for ages but uniting them was the wrong answer. Writers stumbled to find interesting stories now that The Man of Steel was off The Market. It literally killed The Lois and Clark show as viewership plummeted and the show was finally cancelled in its 4th season after being moved to two different nights attempting to capture a new audience. In the comics the same was happening. It seemed fans who clamored for Lois and Clark to get hitched got cold feet and sales figures for the book and for DC in general were lower than anticipated.

In The 90s, DC would launch its final arrow in its sales quiver in the form of a Superman event known as DOOMSDAY. The Death Of Superman would showcase yet another example of a hero stepping away per say. Seeing the carnage caused by a mysterious alien monster known to the world as Doomsday Superman goes on a mission to hunt and stop the beasts reign of destruction all over the U.S. Many heroes fall at the might of Doomsday including the entire Justice league. In a final touching moment Superman ..Clark no longer wants to keep his loved ones in danger (A theme shared by Moores Silver Age Send Off mentioned above) and makes the final sacrifice he could make..he gives his life. As Superman prepares for what is fated to be his last stand he says goodbye to those he loves..including finally Lois.. and as he always did..goes to save the day..Super heroism at its best.

The final stand of The Man Of Steel. Superman says goodbye to the woman he loves before defend the world against a savage monster Doomsday..ultimately giving his life!

The day Superman died in the pages of comic books was one I will never forget as I literally ran to the store where I normally bought comics only to grab the new stand copy. I only managed to get a damaged copy crushed in the back of the rack, so I went to my last resort, a shady card kiosk in our main mall that sold event comics at hideous prices and he had a pre-bagged Superman #75 for $25 bucks on its launch. I coughed up the dough…which was considerable at the time as my job was a grocery clerk at a local grocery store Sobeys, but I  brought it home so I could peruse my news stand copy and watch Superman and Doomsday go toe to toe one last time..

Hero Fall. The last stand of the greatest of them all! The Death of Superman was monumental!

The final panel of Superman #75 always stuck with me and always sort of bothered me. It felt final this time. Superman had gone away before. He had quit several times as well…but this time…MY Superman was gone. Yes he did return eventually but he was different after this event and now with the official New 52 Reboot my Superman may never return. Maybe one day with the help of this Satellite we can look back in time and find our Man Of Steel and bring him back home.

Shutting down historical archives…Heroes return to your posts and strap in tight. We are going to continue our course to the 90s, We have scanned the historical time streams and have located our next transmission..bringing it up on-screen now..prepare for Time Travel sequence countdown..Next stop New York City…The Daily Bugle. We need to find a reporter who will help us complete our series. Lets find Peter Parker…we need to warn him of the clone!

End Transmission…

To read all chapters in the 6 Part Limited Series click on the links below and enjoy!..

#1 Silver Age Sensation’s: The Thing http://silveragesensations.blogspot.ca/

#2 Longbox Graveyard: Captain America http://wp.me/p1yye7-225
#3 Flodo’s Page: Green Lantern http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/
#4 Super-Hero Satellite: Superman (Hey you are already here!) http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-dd
For Part 5 Of The Epic Super-Blog Team Up the next destination in our travels can be found by clicking the link below..onward to Chasing Amazing..Mark…take it away!

#5 Chasing Amazing: Spider-Man http://wp.me/p1wQNx-16N

#6 Fantastiverse: Hank Pym “Coming Soon”

If You have enjoyed this blog contact me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite Thanks for reading! Big thanks to those who contributed to this epic tale. The Super-Blog Team Uppers, Paul, Mark, Jeff, Flodo, and La Monte who helped bring this vision to life. Thanks guys..till next time the team re-unites!

Super-Hero Satellite Extra: Superman Extra “Quit gallery”

Okay..I am leaving for the last time!

I swear Ill just go away this time…you will never see me again..I am serious!

I mean it this time..I am gone!