Posts Tagged ‘Spiderman’

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Welcome Back Heroes…its been a while! “Satellite systems ACTIVATE!” *Lights on the deck of the Satellite bridge illuminate as the gentle hum of each and every system firing up after extended inactvity..I make my way to the observation deck punching in coordinates for our next destination. The deck sits alone aside from the lone Captain. I take a seat in the Captains helm and slowly open up the com-link as a map of planet earth displays Holographically.* “Computer.. hail the Super-Blog Team Up….” *Each Team Members face displays on the Holo-grid of Members old and new…each member of the Active Roster is located and online..I wait momentarily taking a deep breath before addressing the team* “Team…I have gathered the team here today as there is a matter of extreme importance. As of 15:00 hours today the Blogoverse is in Crisis. Worlds are colliding..Paralell Universes are merging..the world we live in today will cease to exist if we do not act fast. I have called on YOU the elite SBTU Members to set our world right one last time. The mission is very dangerous..the situation is dire…many of us may not return. You are the worlds last hope. Each of us will be tasked with a separate mission…I want to thank you all for your dedicated service to the cause. The time is NOW to make a difference…so join me …UNITE for ONE LAST TIME….SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP…LETS ROLL!!…”

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Transmission Date: July 19th 2017

When I think about this blog and what it means to me I think of enjoyment, I think of good times and I think of everything and how it fit into my childhood. When piecing together what I would write about in this all important “One Last Time” installment on Super-Blog Team Up and I went through all the things “Death” related in comics. I remembered how impactful the “Death of Robin” was and the endless conversations it spawned with my friends. I remembered the Doomsday series leading into the “Death Of Superman” and how hot the collectible market was at that time and how everyone seemed to be jumping into the hobby that only a few of my friends and I shared. As years went on other Heroes died and Super-Groups disbanded. Comic Companies closed, my favorite titles cancelled. Of Course everything came back…it ALWAYS came back in comics. As prices increased, everything I loved about comics slowly changed while other parts decayed. Suddenly I was priced out of the market and forced to cut down my pull list. Then the final straw companies rebooted…and everybit of the continuity and stories that I loved so much ceased to exist and were replaced with something newer..something more sanitized and unappealing replaced what I enjoyed…so all the deaths of my favorite characters that I had read over the years  did not have as big of an impact on me as the biggest death of all..The Death Of My Passion For Comics….something I never EVER thought would happen. Then one day in 2000….I walked away from the media that gave me such joy and memories while growing up. This however is NOT a sad story…this is a story of celebration. A celebration of what it meant to me to be a comics fan and the sheer passion that went into that. So….to understand how we arrive at the Death of my passion…we must first understand the beginning. Before all the reboots, before all the computers, before all the companies came and went..there was a 6-year-old kid who walked into a convenience store saw that immortal sign for the first time..”Hey Kids…COMICS!! resting atop the loaded spinner rack. I was hopelessly hooked.

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Old Mrs. Brown would stand diligently at her cash counter at the Clarenville Shopping Center Drug store as I spun that spinner rack around no less than 50 times making my decision on how to divide up my healthy 20 dollar a week allowance! I was in my comics buying prime and I always remembered every detail of its location in the middle of the store, the sound it made as it turned, to the selection of comics it contained every week!! Mrs. Brown knew that I loved my comic books and always took special care sliding them in the thin paper bag when I got to the cash register…sometimes the bag would be so full that there would be tears in the sides of the bag!! I would hurry home on my BMX bike so I could pull them out all over my bed and read these 24 page joys! At first it was my thing…none of my other friends were so into comics as I was which gave me a competitive advantage later as a comics trader. Sure some friends had a little stack of comics but I was slowly and surely building a library.  I loved comics as a kid. It was the single investment that I bought outside of action figures of which my parents would normally foot the bill for..or my lunch money.

I got into comics sort of by default..In the very early 80s my parents moved from a small town to a bigger growing town..still small by most standards, for work. My Dad had a new Wholesale Business selling Soft Drinks and my Mom got a job at one of the few Convenience stores in the town that was strategically placed between Clarenvilles Upper and Lower roads called Stanley’s Variety. I enjoyed visiting the store while Mom worked there as it usually meant that she would buy me a treat. That could include anything from some great snacks like some Hostess Potato Chips, to a Buried Treasure Ice Creme, a paper bag of candy, a ViewMaster slide at times…or COMICS!! They were new to me as a 7-8 year old but it was like a magnet every time I walked into the store. I vividly remember classic DC comics around 1980 such as New Teen Titans #1!! It stood out in all its glory to me.

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A White bombastic cover with all sorts of new heroes I hadn’t seen before but led by my main man at the time Robin The Boy Wonder!! That was my first “Wow” that a comic ever gave me!

The 80s were rich with 80s books and I entered the market at a great time. I was a DC kid. Batman was by far my favorite character as I was a Mego collector and Batman and Robin were my first Mego toys complete with BatMobile!!

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Batman caught me in every way. He had the iconic Blue and Grey look! He was drawn by Neal Adams and Gene Colan during the first books that I received and plus he had gadgets galore and of course The Boy Wonder Robin!! My playtime with friends was dedicated to making up Batman adventures and acting them out as I toggled between playing Batman or Robin just having so much fun with our imaginations. Afterwards my friend and I would sit on the bed or at the table and read through issues of Batman..its what we did. His house was located next to a Drug Store where his Aunt worked and we would make the 2 minute pilgrimage to Budget Drug Mart in hopes of finding the latest Batman issue and a brown paper bag of candy and of course Hostess Chips!! I fondly remember us both being so blown away by the Batman “Bloodsport” storyline where Batman became Vampire!! Or maybe when Deadshot showed up..or how about when Robin was replaced by Jason Todd..so many memories..so many endless debates around Batman..my entry drug to comics!! You could not buy that type of enthusiasm!!

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DC would not let up..so many books to buy and I wanted them all!! My next obsession was the Legion Of Superheroes!! I guess I am a fan of huge Super groups because the first time I saw Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl I never turned back!!

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Team books were everything to me. Legion was something different though. They started with three basic heroes who time travelled from the future to meet Superboy..also one of my faves!

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Superboy was the odd man out…he was Super-powered but these teens always had his number and seemed infinitely more super-powered than he did! They had a Superhero Clubhouse and members had to audition to join their ranks. Even Superboy did not make the cut at first…in a manner of speaking! Each Hero had a basic super power. One controlled Lighting, others could see the future, one could bounce, others could shape shift, fly, turn invisible..and even knew Karate!! Karate you say! Charlton..what kind of super-power was ‘Karate” when compared to someone who could control ice? Gosh darn it Karate was a big deal in the 80s!! Case closed.AdventureRIPSBTU

My fondest memories of collecting were my trips to the grocery store with my Father every Thursday night in 1980 something. I would always come home with a comic or even several during our shopping excursions which also involved picking out a Novelty Cereal or two as well but usually ended with a DC Digest!! Dc Blue Ribbon, Batman, Superman, and Adventure Comics were some of the titles you would see featured alongside of check-outs at the local Co-op or Sobeys grocery stores during the 80s!! Almost certainly I hooked one every trip!! The covers always told a story and contained a ton of individual stories inside!!The Digests were compact, always full of content which introduced you to characters you probably would not have picked up individually (That means YOU Challengers Of The Unknown!!) and they were my travel companions on road trips and vacations!

As a fan no matter what my destination was I always sought out the comics rack..even in obscure places like Hardware Stores! I always remember a local Hardware store in my hometown on the water front called Handy Andy’s and they happened to have a small magazine shelf that carried a small handful of comics. The best part of that was that they rarely rotated their comics so you could find 4-5 issue arcs of your favorite books because they literally pulled NOTHING off the shelf. It also had the distinct honor of being one of the only stores that carried Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew! Comics at the time did not have that level of realistic seriousness like books of today. It was perfectly acceptable for Superman and other to team up with Funny Animal character’s. Cap and The Zoo Crew was a insanely funny book that parodied the JLA and it had a certain charm to it that appealed to this kid!!

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My DC Passion Burned brightly by the mid to late 80s as Marvel books crept their way into my weekly pull-list but I remained a staunch DC buyer. It was John Byrne who burned white-hot in the mid 80s thathooked me first with his excellent X-Men work but mostly with his Super-Man reboot called Man Of Steel! Byrnes definitive Superman art work launched a refreshed DC on the spinner rack that had recently seen their competition creep in and steal their top spot amongst Comics fans.  DC re-aligned their core titles and in my opinion did the ONLY soft reboot that made things better than worse..(That means YOU DC New 52!!) Man of Steel reimagined the Superman Mythos. Not long after JLA had broken up and reformed..New characters were everywhere!! I was overwhelmed!! Then it happened..Justice League reformed and it became my favorite title!! but that’s for a little later!!

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The Events:

Now I know that I stated that I was mostly a DC kid..however Marvel roped me in from time to time with Events!! I was an Event guy! I bought em all!! Crisis on Infinite Earths, Secret Wars, Millenium, Super Powers, Inferno, Secret Wars 2, Legends,  Invasion, Evolutionary War, you name it..I bought it!! I was a sucker for books filled with multiple characters!! Secret Wars 2..the Black sheep of the Secret Wars volumes was my favorite as a kid watching Marvels best battle the Super- Powered Jeri Curled White Micheal Jackson style character the Beyonder. He would battle every character Marvel had and beat them with ease!! On the DC side of things I waited anticipation when my favorite DC characters were revealed as Manhunters in Millenieum!!

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I yelled out loud when the JLA reformed in Legends! I popped seeing SpeedBall for the first time in the Evolutionary War and convincing myself that he was the next big thing!! Bottom line was that Events won my dollar every time. I always felt DC did better more coherent events and had longer event books with more far-reaching consequences!! My long boxes were filling fast locking with all the spinoff books from each event. I was being taken advantage of by the Comic Companys..but I loved it..the more the better. I was buying it all up!! I was a passionate fan..I ate everything that I was served and loved it!!

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My Favorites.

While I sampled most everything..I COLLECTED several titles faithfully! I loved Star Wars, G.I. Joe, The Amazing Spider-Man, from Marvel, at DC it was always Batman, Justice League, Legion Of Super-Heroes and Superman/Superboy. These were my “go to” books..above any and all these books got my money every month whether I liked the storylines or now..this was my core! Marvels Star Wars opened up the expanded universe before it was a thing and did it better in my opinion! GI Joe took a toy property and literally built it from the ground up! These were ground breaking stories with characters I loved! Spidey was the constant. I enjoyed everything John Romita!

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I loved his art..his Spidey, his MJ. When you think of Spider-Man, Romita embodied EVERYTHING that was great about the the Marvel Universe.Marvel was a cool place to be through the Spidey lens! As for DC The Legion was Loaded to the gills with all sorts of heroes of every size shape and power! It was my entry drug to Superboy and I instantly related to that team. Starting with a club house with membership then growing into time travelling adults, the Legion kicked serious ass!! The Giffen / Levitz era was amazing!! Of course NOTHING and I MEAN NOTHING beat the Justice League Bwah Ha Ha Era by Giffen and DeMattieis! This book featured many of my favorite characters and many new ones but hit every note of every page! I still have huge runs of all of these books and these are on the “No trade No sell” list. While some are not physicallyworth the paper they are printed on Price Guide wise to me you cannot put a price on the happiness they gave me!!

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My friends began to catch on to this comics thing much to my chagrin. It was a mixed blessing though as from time to time I had to compete for some of my books, However it was the thrill of the hunt was what was important!! A couple of my famous battles on the buying field yielded me great results. One of my lesser close friends had garnered a copy of Amazing Spider-Man 129 and was interested in selling it!!.The Punisher was the hot commodity at the time and by this time I considered myself a prophet and knew that this was a big win! 1st appearance of the Punisher was this big, however, as I was about to buy this prize book I was informed that one of my own cousins had already made claim to the book. I was not to be defeated..I raised his price an extra 5 bucks and said I would go get the money now rather than later like my own flesh and blood offered. In fact I jumped aboard my trusty bicycle on this Clarenville day..blazed a trail 20 minutes away to my house..begged my parents for 25 bucks..not telling them what it was for and got it!! Back to the bike..in 20 minutes later I had beaten my cousin to the punch and walked away with the prize!!

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A while later Batman was about to debut in theaters and the Dark Knight was all the rage..and of course there was competition to buy up ALL of the issues of Batman and Detective as they came out. Robin had died and being replaced as told in the Lonely Place Of Dying story arc. Cabot Pharmacy in my home town was THE destination for comics and Gail one of the cashier’s, would always hold some of the more popular books for me. However..with Batman others got in the game and the chase was on every week on comic day..it would be the first time I was shut out of an issue of a comic!! My supposed friends had beaten me to the punch!

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It would only get worse as we entered the era of excess!! The 90s proved to be a big bloated, fun time to be a comics fan. No longer were comics my little niche..now it was an aggressive market and we had two comics stores open up in our area. Butts Books and Jamie’s Comics would open up and prices exploded. Every book was HOT!! The Death Of Superman was a craze like nothing else. Superman number 75 would blow the lid off of comics! I was gouged 50 bucks at a card dealer at my mall for Supes 75 in the famous Black Bag. Of course everything was relaunching!! Jim Lee was exploding on a New X-Men Group!! Liefeld was demanding big money on the brand new X-Force, McFarlane was breaking artistic ground on Spider-Man! The comics world was exploding and I was in the middle..but now I had a job at the dollar shop and could feed my habit!! Comic shops pushed new company after new company at me that I became fond of two in particular at the time in Valiant and Image. Everyone had new characters and you could get in on the ground floor at issue number one. Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Rai and The Future Force, Bloodshot..you name it!! Then came Image with Spawn, Savage Dragon, Wildcats, Shadow Hawk, and YoungBlood led the charge from this new company that would last and be successful to this day!

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Gimmicks were everywhere..polybags, Chromium covers, Hologram covers, Trading Card inserts, Variant covers you name it..they did it!! I bought it all..and I knew it was crap but no one cared!! These things look great on the shelf!! Plus inmy teenage mind these books would bring you a fortune when you grew up. We were wrong but it didn’t matter. I loved my collection that had ballooned now to about 6000!

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Everybody had become an expert..now once scorned comic shirts were everywhere. Comics related cartoons and merchandise erupted. It was insane. Comics movies began development and my friends and I ate it up!! Comics were everywhere..and people began to charge more than ever for them. Suddenly every average Joe had a collection…then it happened. As the 90s were drawing to a close..the comics balloon broke..collectors tried to dump their inventory but there was no one buying. People sat stuck with boxes filled with Spider-Man #1 in a polybag while XMen #1 littered the streets. Prices plummeted and comic stores went under. As quick as Butts Books and Jamie’s Comics store had opened they quickly closed up shop and left town with their long boxes ticked between their legs.

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By this time I was in University until 97 and  I however had not abandoned my hobby and was still buying comics regularly with a student loan assisting me feed my habit! I endured such drek as The Spider-Man Clone Saga. The final nail in the coffin was when  prices hit the top of my pay scale and the gas tank ran empty..suddenly I could not afford all the books I wanted. My core titles were all but cancelled..and literally every company had done a complete or at least soft reboots by that time. The books I loved were unfamiliar to me now. I spoke about my undying love for titles such as GI Joe and Star Wars of which both lasted a considerable amount of time but creatively burned out. The Justice League moved away from the Bwah Ha Ha Era and changed up the cast so much I didn’t care to keep buying it. Superboy and The Legion were not even the same characters that I grew to love..I knew as the prices went up my passion for buying died with it. I could walk by a spinner rack or a magazine shelf in a grocery store and keep on walking. I remember the day I walked away completely. I picked up an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man and it had moved to $3.50 Canadian cents a book. I had bought these things since they were .50 Cents but now these titles were 4 to 5 times more expensive and honestly …these were NOT my heroes anymore. The “Hot” artists that I had grown up with like Ditko and Kirby had all but retired or passed on. The McFarlanes, Liefields, and Lees, had stepped in and out of the big two and were not used as frequently. I decided that my time as a comics fan were over. The market had forced me out and the characters did not connect with me anymore..so I stopped.

Then something funny happened…years and years had passed and I had not kept up on the industry outside of a brief chat among friends or an update online about the latest news. In the early days of podcasting I bought myself an MP3 player and decided to check out some wrestling podcasts..I had been a life long fan and really got into the daily ritual of listening. One day it dawned on me. I wonder if such podcasts existed for comics? Enter Comic Geek Speak which was the first podcast that I found and I listened to a show. It was like every conversation I had with my friends growing up about comics! These guys loved comics like I did for 20 years. They talked about all the old titles I read as a kid and even what was happening in the recent times. I was intrigued. There were more people out there who still shared my passion that once burned bright inside me. This coincided with the dawning of the digital era. Companies published their books online for the first time and I sampled them and I really, really dug them. This was the best overall discovery for me. Whether through honest or nefarious the digital age allowed me to access every book I ever read or wanted to read! I began to get weekly books again but I could read them on my computer or early midevil tablet!! I felt myself enjoying comics again for the first time in years. Twitter and Facebook had become popular and the way we discussed comics changed..suddenly there was a nation of folks to talk with. There were podcasts, early blogs, websites a plenty. I was catching up..I was talking comics again! I had unlimited digital resources to get my comics fix. My passion had returned. I felt like that 6-year-old kid picking up New Teen Titans number one from the spinner rack again! Sure I was older now but could still enjoy the things that made me happy as a kid! It was still not en vogue to be a “Nerd” per say but the once impenetrable barrier between “Geek and Normal” was shifting. Geek Culture was being reborn before my eyes and I was in front of it! I wanted to share my stories and passion with everyone so one day I decided to sit in front of my computer and begin a blog…this very blog you are reading today! The Super-Hero Satellite was my love letter to my childhood and more specifically comics!

 

I remember the joy in seeing 10 hits on my blog!! I had an audience…at least ten people took time to click on my words and even comment on what I wrote. I never claimed to be a writer and just write what I feel but I always enjoyed sharing. I read others blogs and learned from some of my favorite writers on the web and I loved it. One evening during a Twitter debate with a few of my twitter friends I shot the idea of doing a blog event…something big…something unified. Longbox Graveyard (The famous retro 70s Comics Blog!) and Flodo’s Page (A Green Lantern Blogger!) tossed Ideas back and forth and after several concepts and ideas thus was born the Mighty Super-Blog Team UP!!

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The first event was small in scale but big in feel. We felt like we did something different..Super-Blog Team Up was what was missing from my passion that was taken from me years ago. It was about Comradship..discussion..debate..but good times. As the roster grew and faces rotated in and out of the group we maintained a set of devoted bloggers to our cause but always made sure each round we introduced new faces. From Bloggers..to VBlogs to Podcasts and all other formsof social media The Mighty SBTU made an impression! Not only did it deliver unique perspectives on comics we each learned and laughed with each other!! I want to thank this unit of exceptional people who worked tirelessly with every event whether they had time or not. I am so proud of our output over the years and at the end of the day I may be considered by some the puppet master of this SBTU beast but in reality I am a fan ..a fan of all the talented people who make up this machine and who’s blogs deserve to be read. That is why I do this. I am a comic book fan again..and The Super-Blog Team Up was my redemption.

SBTU History

So as I lower the lights on The Super-Blog Team Up..I want to say a big thank you to Paul, Karen, Dean, Mike, Chris, Ben, and Walt for helping me with this last kick at the can. This one is dedicated to you guys and your passion.

I am a comic book fan…and proud of it. These are my friends ..and we are SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP. Thanks for joining us on this ride.

End Transmission…

 

 

SBTUContinues below

Comic Reviews by Walt : Death Of The Mutanimals (Archie-TMNT)

Longbox Graveyard: Death Of Captain Marvel

Between The Pages: The Death Of Spock (Wrath Of Khan)

Chris On infinite Earth’s: Death Of Supergirl

Crapbox Son Of Chthulu : Death Of My Love For Marvel Comics.

Comics and Coffee: Superman: The Man Who Murdered The World.

Superhero Satellite: Death of a Collectors Passion and the Redemption!

In My Not So Humble Opinion: The Death Of Galactus.

Retroist : These Pirates Of The Caribbean Models are to die for!

 

*I switch off all screens on the Holo-grid saying goodbye to all my colleagues* “Computer prepare my Hyper sleep chamber…we are shutting the Satellite down for an extended period. I have given you the coordinates of our next mission…however we have a long road to get there.!!”

*As I step into Hyper sleep watching the vessel close securely..I watch through the window as the lights ondeck slowly dim..each system slowly winds down as finally the once mighty Super-Hero Satellite finally rests…Only computer remains online..monitoring..watching. Without prompt..without asking I am alerted by the mainframe system…*

SHS Computer

Computer: “Rest Well Captain…YOU WILL NEED IT…Systems…OFFLINE”

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Welcome back Heroes. Today we are gathered in the Satellite briefing room for information regarding our next mission into days gone by. One of the small joys of being a kid in the 80s for me was getting to spend as much time as I wanted at a comic book spinner rack! I would love walking to the store with my hefty 20 dollar allowance and blowing every cent on a fat bag of comics, which, in my buying prime, were 65-75 cents each!! So I came out with everything I wanted. I hit Pharmacies, Drug Stores,  Grocery Stores and the occasional comic book store / Kiosk in my hunt of comic book treasures! One thing that always heightened that experience were Team – Up Issues! Marvel Team Up and Marvel 2 in 1 saw Spider-Man and The Thing team up with almost every famous Marvel hero at the time.  The thrill of seeing Spider-Man team with Captain Britain, Or The Thing and The Hulk were a fan boys wet dream!!I was a DC guy mainly in the 80s so while Spider Man and The Thing were teaming with Marvels best I was loving DCs versions of Team Ups. Batman and SuperMan were the Worlds Finest. DC marched their two biggest heavy hitters to team up with every major DC character in two classic titles created to explore the team dynamic!! DC Comics Presents featured Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. Brave and the Bold Teamed Bat-Man with everyone you could name INCLUDING the kitchen sink. DC reached for everyone you could think of from a team up such as A-Listers like Green Lantern to Z-Listers like Ambush Bug. Just when you thought there was no one else for The Man Of Steel To Team-Up with then came…THIS!!

 

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Begin Transmission: Aug.11.2014

That’s right…Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. First some context is needed here. The era was the 1980s, DC had yet to streamline its massive continuity with its Crisis Event hence there was still room for `Funny Animal characters in its history..such as Captain Carrot and The Zoo Crew. Funny Animal comic books and newspaper strips had pretty much been a staple of the 50s and 60s but only small traces of those days in comics history still lingered in the comics medium of the early 1980s. Saturday Morning cartoons had retained a certain element of the talking funny animals on TV. Scooby Doo was a runaway hit, There were the Muppets, there was Mighty Mouse, and there were Disney’s Mickey and Friends. Harvey Comics still in its final days of publishing continued on the trend of funny animals books. DC not being one to buck a trend followed suit with what would be their final attempt at a Funny Animal book. Even the term “Funny Animal Book” carried a negative connotation even in the free for all early 80s. One of Comicdoms Godfathers, Roy Thomas along with Scott Shaw created The Captain and His Zoo Crew and Unleashed them onto the world in a special 16 page insert preview (Or Prevue as DC coined it!) inside the pages of the very popular Team Book New Teen Titans #16 in Feb. of 1982!

 

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DC was experimenting with new titles at the time and were introducing new characters and concepts in various titles with 16 page previews wedged in the middle of their more high-profile books to provide maximum visibility to new properties! Such classic titles like Dial H For Hero, Arak Son Of Thunder, Night Force, Atari Force, Masters Of The Universe, Mask, Blue Devil, Amethyst, Flash Force 2000?? (Huh?), and Bat-Man and The Outsiders. (Damnit..thats when comics were comics..sigh..) Of course the most unusual title in the mix was Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!

Carrot PreviewI choose to talk about Captain Carrot because this book was an absolute favorite of mine. I loved parody comics. I frequently bought magazines like MAD Magazine and Cracked and loved that style of humor..just the style Cap and his Gang were projecting! There was a local Hardware store in my hometown called Handy Andy’s that carried comics on its magazine rack and didn’t update them frequently or rotate them so it was quite common for several issues of a title would stay on the shelf en mass. Their lack of rotation landed me Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #5-#8. I was hooked! I loved DC Comics Team Books so titles Like Legion Of SuperHeroes and of course The Justice League Of America of which Captain Carrot and his crew were inspired by! On to the team and their inspirations..Captain Carrot was “Inspired” by SuperMan, Pig-Iron by Frankenstein,and The Thing, Yankee Poodle was a combination of Captain America and Wonder Woman. Rubber Duck was clearly Plastic Man. Alley Kat Abra was Zatanna, and FastBack was The Flash. The Zoo Crew Were an anthropomorphic JLA!! (Yes for the Zoo Crew aficionados there were another group of JLA Animal Heroes in the Captain Carrot Universe called Justa Lotta Animals…J.L.A…get it? More on them later!)

 

 

As discussed, the concept behind the DC Prevue inserts was to introduce the characters to a captive audience on popular books. No bigger book in that day than New Teen Titans. DC went the extra mile with The Zoo Crew however by pairing them directly with The Man Of Steel. Yes the first appearance of Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew were in a Team Up Story!! How and why did such an event happen? Well..I am glad you asked..synopsis time!

Metropolis was experiencing an epidemic where citizens were acting like primates for no apparent reason. Superman deduced that it was the planet Pluto of which was emitting energy rays causing said effect on the people of earth. Upon investigating  the incident Superman is transported to an alternate earth know as Earth-C!!  (After Crisis it is determined that Earth -C is not a part of the Multiverse but rather a Alternate Dimension! Great backdoor DC!) Superman encountered a number of Animal inhabitants who as a result of being struck by radiated fragmented meteor! The creation of these beings were all as a result of Superman’s efforts..so in actuality it is Superman himself that is responsible for the genesis of The Cap and his entire altered animal world! After dispatching some low-level Animal criminals Superman teams with Rodney Roger Rabbit..(Copyright Check!!) aka Captain Carrot! Hell don’t let me tell ya all about it..Satellite..bring up Comic Archive..GENERATE. Now Heroes ..Enjoy!

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The result of this initial team up was almost a two year run for a “Funny Animal” book and in March 1982 Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #1 hit the stands! It was an instant hit with my circle of fans! The very end of the prevue DC introduced the Zoo Crew as all over the world Animals were being infected with super powers as a result of this mysterious Meteorite fragments! The Superman team -Up continued into the very first issue of Cap and The Zoo Crew! Superman and the team discover the sinister mastermind behind all these strange occurrences…JLA heavy..STARRO!! Starro for those who have no idea what I am talking about was a giant galactically intelligent Star Fish hell bent on de-evolutionizing  the human race! Of course the first villain of the zoo crew would be DCs Galactic Star Fish! Very appropriate! The team fought valiantly to defeat Starro but it wasnt until the team came together as a fighting unit!

 

After dispatching the giant fish Superman and the Zoo Crew thanked each other and the Man of Steel returned to his own dimension and the Zoo Crew became the official protectors of Earth – C! DC had the most unusual Super Team in the world with the Zoo Crew and I was hooked. I regret not getting every issue in the series but my unreliable comic shops did not carry every title so Carrot was one that didnt get great representation on the shelves! The issues I did have left a mark on me and I can proudly remember buying each issue! This could easily be the next great DC Cartoon series!! You listening DC…Zoo Crew in 2015..Get On it!!

 

 

 

 

In summary DCès attempt to use the Man Of Steel as a pole vault technique to launch a new series in the 80s was a recipe for success. Carrot lasted 20 issues and even returned for another mini series (The 3 issue Oz – Wonderland War!) shortly after cancellation.The Mini series alas was not my favorite Captain Carrot Story and I cannot in good faith recommend it to Satellite Readers. The Story centers on a villain called The Nome King who enslaves the world of OZ. It is up to the Zoo Crew to assist the storied land. Not satisfied with his conquest of OZ The Nome King then attempts to overthrow Wonderland..what ensues is an all out classic fairy tale cross over that should be a good read but does not work well in the context of a Captain Carrot comic. On a POSITIVE, THE ARTWORK INSIDE THIS 3 ISSUE DOUBLE SIZED MINI SERIES IS EXCELLENT!!

 

This was a special time. DC had a less serious approach to its continuity and embraced its silly past, and Superman or Batman could literally team with anyone! These days however such continuity has been all but erased however we know Captain Carrot still exists even in the NEW 52 as he was brought back in the ill-fated Threshold series as the space rabbit Captain K’Rot! It’s not my Cap but at least the leader of the Zoo Crew is still alive and well in some fashion.

 

 

 

So before we depart to other ends of the galaxy in search of retro 80s transmissions I just want to talk Zoo Crew one more time!! Who was your favorite? I was strictly an original Zoo Crew fan. Sorry Little Cheese and American Eagle but this guy keeps it old school! Sporting The Yellow and Red with a Carrot Emblazoned on the front of his suit Captain Carrot was the undisputed leader of the Zoo Crew!

 

Of Course The Captain may have been my favorite but I could not but hold a special place for the two-fisted ever loving Pig Iron! Cap was a comic book artist something I always wanted to be, but Pig Iron simply put bad guys on their asses!! Pig Iron was the reason I bought Zoo crew in the beginning! Look at a cover gallery of the best Zoo Crew issues and Pig Iron is always front and center! Frankenstein meets the Thing and BAM..Its Pig Iron!

No team is complete with out the magician character! Always wondered what a NEW 52 Zoo Crew Dark would be like? Hey DC its worth a shot! Alley-Kat-Abra would be a shoe in for that group! Doctor Strange meets his cat, meets Zatanna. Alley -Kat is a foundation member! As many of you know I am not a huge fan of the mystic arts in comics so Alley Kat was never on the top of my list for favorite Zoo Crew members but a lot of her inter-dimensional magic was heavily lifted from the great Steve Ditko run on Doctor Strange..and thats pretty damn cool.

I was always a Plastic Man fan, Rubber Duck filled the gap. Part Elongated man, Part Plastic man RubberDuck maintained the humor of Plastic man while bearing the sensibilities of old Ralph! Rubber Duck is the only member of the team who is a celebrity! His list of Funny Animal movies is great! His character is actually based on 70s and 80s celebrity Burt Reynolds. They even gave RubberDuck a celebrity buddy named after Reynolds real life best friend Dom Deluise! Thats attention to detail!

 

Fastback has probably my favorite look of all the Zoo crew even though he is underutilized in the comic. The more I think of it, if Flash inadvertently caused Flashpoint to create the goddamn horrible DC New 52 maybe Fastback is our only hope to reverse that mess! He is also the only Turtle who is just as cool or maybe far cooler than a certain group of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

 

 

Then there’s Yankee Poodle, based on 80s gossip writer  Rona Barrett , dimension’s Cs Rova Barkitt! After the incident with the meteor Barkitt gain the powers of magnetism and joined RubberDuck as he joined the Zoo Crew. Wonder Woman meets Captain America and you have Yankee Poodle. This character was more than filler but was also an antagonist for the other female character in the group Alley-Kat Abra!!

 

END TRANSMISSION..

 

 

 

WARNING HEROES…we are encountering a distress signal from the rest of The SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP gang…we need to immediately change course…For ETERNIA..Home of THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE...

 

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