Saturday, August 27, 2016

Geek or Nerd? Dork or Dweeb?

Karen: Back on Tuesday (August 23rd), in a post about stuff we didn't like, after a mention of geekdom, Doug made a comment that he didn't consider himself a geek, and even found the term offensive. After some ribbing by regulars Tom and Mike W., our esteemed leader conceded that "I suppose by someone's standards all this stuff we like is geeky. I never really cared for John Wayne films, so maybe I am geeky. I'll go fetch my pocket protector."

Karen: Today's question for you is what constitutes a geek? How about a nerd? How do you feel about these terms? Once thought of as derogatory terms, they now carry a veneer of coolness, as mega-nerds like Bill Gates conquered the world, and all the top films seem to be about super-heroes or space battles. On the other hand, dorks and dweebs are still at the bottom of the social ladder.

Karen: However, sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, especially nerd and geek. I always thought geek > nerd, because to me, nerds might have been into all the weird stuff geeks were, but they were also stuck with crushing a lack of social skills. I thought of myself as a geek, someone who loved science and the space program, science fiction in all forms, the Lord of the Rings and of course, comic books! But I could still have a conversation with a 'normal' person and not tip them off that I was of a different species. A nerd on the other hand, might love the same things as me, but would stumble and fumble their way through any social encounter, either heading for the nearest exit or loudly and awkwardly demonstrating their otherness.

Karen: I came across this Venn diagram that has divided up the terms and given them basic attributes.

Credit: Matthew Mason

Karen: So what do you think of this classification? It seems pretty good to me. The geek seems to come out ahead, and certainly, if you're a fan of comics, science fiction, and other genre fandom, you'd rather be thought of as a geek than a nerd based on these definitions. And no one would want to be a dweeb or a dork! But I'm sure there are dorks who think they are nerds...or nerds who think they are geeks...

Karen: You could probably argue for other characteristics that could define geeks/nerds/etc. And is there really overlap for all of them? I mean, could a dork just be socially inept? Or how about a nerd being more about math and science, while a geek might not be as academically inclined but more of a genre fan?

Karen: As I mentioned at the beginning, there's some thought that these terms, particularly geek and nerd, are used far too cavalierly nowadays. Most people think of nerds as being very smart, but you have a lot of folks self-labeling as nerds. Can the average person really be considered a nerd compared to, say, Neil Degrasse Tyson? And there are geeks everywhere now -I get annoyed with the self-proclaimed "Marvel geeks" who claim expertise on the characters when they've never opened a comic book -but hey, they've seen all the films five times!

Karen: No, geekdom and nerdiness are medals that were won with sweat and tears (maybe even blood, if you got beat up), and those of us who truly earned them, back when it wasn't cool, are the only ones entitled to wear them. The rest of them are just ...mundanes? What's the word for them?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Buried Treasures - Mattel's Secret Wars Bad Guys!

Doug: Hey, friends. We're finishing a 2-part look at the back panels from Mattel's Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars action figure line, on sale way back in 1984 and 1985. There were two series sold in the United States, and a third wave sold in Europe that featured Electro, the Constrictor, and Iceman. While I never had those, I did have the 13 figures that were available domestically. I say it past tense, as I sold them last week!

Last week we looked at some Handbook entries and 4-panel comic strips from the heroes' packaging. Today, it's Bring on the Bad Guys! And be sure to check the bottom line on Magneto's card. Say what?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Five Guilty Pleasures... Edo Is Correct!

Martinex1: Last month, in the responses for my post of Five Guilty Pleasures, longtime and frequent BAB commenter Edo Bosnar mentioned that there was really nothing to be guilty about in my offerings and that in fact most were quite enjoyable and honorable forms of entertainment.   Well chum, I am here to say, "You are correct!"   I was previously looking at the topic as an exploration of hidden gems and smaller works.    But in this post for August,  I am digging a little deeper and sharing some of the sheer nonsense for which I cannot deny having a fondness.   I hope you all find this a bit more cringe inducing but entertaining nonetheless.

As always, we will take a look at five out of the six categories:  Comics, Movies, Television, Literature, Music and/or Food, and identify the associated guilty pleasures.   So without further ado...

COMICS:  Cap Wolf!   Mark Gruenwald had a great run as the writer on Captain America that spanned about a decade.  His best known contributions to the series may have been stories like "The Bloodstone Hunt" and the addition of Diamondback as a supporting character and love interest for Cap.   However, I have to say I prefer the outlandish Cap Wolf arc (issues #402 - #408) in which Captain America transformed into a werewolf.   It had all of the markings of a B-Movie,  an anything goes approach, or a last ditch effort to break a writer's block.   It was just silly... but I liked every minute of it.   Only here could we see a crazed creature with the nobility of Steve Rogers, still wielding a shield, learning to speak, fighting other lupine Marvel creations, and finally battling the villainous cosmic Star-Wolf.   It has all the shortcomings of early 90's art, but it is a classic in my eyes.   I am willing to bet you won't see this story on the silver screen, but even I was shocked when I saw the action figure. 

TELEVISION:  Battle of the Network Stars!  In November of 1976, American television reached a new apex with the premiere of the pseudo-sports competition between various series' stars representing the ABC, CBS, and NBC networks.    I recently stumbled upon some reruns and was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of this 20th century strange extravaganza.    The show hosted stars like Scott Baio, Richard Hatch, Toni Tennille, Catherine Bach, Lou Ferrigno, Leif Garrett, Greg Evigan, Willie Aames, Erin Gray, David Letterman, William Shatner, Sarah Purcell, Howard Hesseman, Larry Wilcox and countless other actors fighting it out in rubber raft races, games of "Simon Says", tug-of-war, and obstacle courses... what could be better?   Some would say...the dunk tank!   I honestly cannot believe this show ever aired and I doubt it would be possible today.    Between corporate liability and less campy sensibilities, I don't think we will ever see anything like it again.   This belongs in a time capsule and on every DVR!

MOVIES:  Airport '77!  In past posts, I highlighted works from Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock. One of these things is not like the others!   As the series of four Airport movies stretched across the decade of the 1970s, they continued to get more and more outrageous as disaster movies peaked.    But this one captivated ten-year-old me, and I still cannot turn away whenever it airs.   A luxury airliner full of priceless art and aging Hollywood celebrities finds itself crashed and submerged in the Bermuda Triangle.   There is so much wrong with this film - from Jack Lemmon cast as the heroic pilot to the horrible song the pianist sings to his lone adoring fan.   But it is also so perfect, with Lee Grant chewing the scenery as a scornful and neglected wife and the blundered escape with a bursting pressurized hatch.   It also inexplicably has a scene where one of the hijackers dons a complex costume with a wig, fake mustache, and cheek implants only to have him meet one of his fellow hijackers which runs no risk at all.   Plan a double-feature of Airport '77 and Airport '79: The Concorde if you enjoy disaster movies and movies that are disasters.  

LITERATURE: The Weekly World News!  Okay, "literature" may be a stretch, but it does have words in it.    This supermarket tabloid mainstay offers some of the most creative headlines and stories you will ever see.    A college roommate introduced me to this paper decades ago and it always entertained during late night breaks.  Just thinking about it makes me chuckle.    The samples here speak for themselves.

FOOD:  Bomb Pops!  As a young kid, I would see these advertised on the side of ice cream trucks, but I never had enough to buy one as they were high-end treats that exceeded my pittance of an allowance.   When I finally got my hands on one years later from the penny-store freezer, I was treated to the sugary sensation of Cherry, Lemon, and Blue Raspberry!    Each flavor mingles slightly with the next creating a wonderful taste sensation.   I don't buy them anymore because I am pretty sure I would eat the whole box before my children could get to them.   Who thought of blue raspberry anyway?  He or she should be on the Mount Rushmore of flavorists!

So that is it for this month; we will cover "Music" next time around.    Enjoy the last days of Summer break, and stay guilty my friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Star Trek at 50: The City on the Edge of Forever

Season 1
Episode 28: The City on the Edge of Forever
Filmed:  February 1967
First Air Date: April 6, 1967

Karen: Kirk sacrifices the woman he loves to save the future. It's a heart-breaking story that has gone on to be hailed the best Star Trek episode ever by many. And yet, the original story would not have had the Captain making this soul-rending decision. Perhaps more than any other episode "City" suffered from incredible behind the scenes strife. But it turned out to be a beautiful, touching tale.

Karen: Star Trek fandom has for years heard tales of the rancor between Roddenberry and Harlan Ellison, the writer of this episode. Depending on who you're listening to, you may hear a very different version of what happened. Again, we turn to Trek historian Marc Cushman and his book These are the Voyages Volume One for a detailed and (seemingly) unbiased account. If you're looking for all the minutiae I suggest you pick up the book (well, I suggest you pick it up anyway) but the basics are that Roddenberry approached a number of high-profile science fiction authors as he began getting Star Trek off the ground. Ellison was one of them. Ellison, besides having written a number of stories, had also written scripts for TV shows, including the script for the Outer Limits episode "Demon with a Glass Hand," which won a Writers Guild award.  There was no doubt about his talent. Ellison had an idea about Kirk going back in time and meeting a character based on the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, who Kirk would fall in love with but have to let die in order for the future to proceed properly. Roddenberry gave the go-ahead and Ellison quickly produced a story treatment. This was in March of 1966.

Karen: However, while producer Robert Justman and others thought the story was beautifully written it also was not something they could film, for a number of reasons. Part of it was due to budget -there were too many things in the script that they couldn't translate to film given the meager funds they were working with. But perhaps just as important, there were things in the script that simply weren't consistent with the type of show Trek was. Maybe the best known of these is that rather than having McCoy become temporarily insane from an accidental overdose of a drug, as was filmed, Ellison had a crew member (not one of the regular cast) selling hallucinogens on the ship, and bludgeoning to death another crew member  who threatened to turn him in. This is certainly not typical behavior on the Enterprise.  It was felt by the Trek staff that the script needed revision.

A graphic novel featuring Ellison's original story is available

Karen: This is where the merry-go-round starts. Ellison provided a revision -but it took five weeks to get it. It was  May, and they were beginning to film the first episode ("The Corbomite Maneuver"). Even at this point, they were concerned about running out of scripts. They needed to turn them out with some alacrity. But Ellison was moving slowly on getting the teleplay finished. So in an act of desperation, Roddenberry set Ellison up with a desk in a tiny office at the studio, hoping they could keep an eye on him and get that script. Unfortunately, it may have distracted Ellison more, as he was frequently found on set. D.C. Fontana defended Ellison, to some extent, saying that, "Harlan did spend some time visiting the set, but that's considered necessary research for a writer. When a show hasn't been on air yet, freelance writers must have an opportunity to study the actor's speech patterns and delivery, the little gestures and nuances that each one brings to his or her role -and most of all - the character relationships which are being built episode by episode."

Karen: Robert Justman finally got his script from Ellison on June 7. After the first blush of excitement, Justman realized they were in trouble. Although the script was "brilliantly written" it was still too expensive to film, and the characters weren't acting the way they'd been established in the show. They were stuck at the same point. Ellison revised his script, unhappily, feeling that the special qualities of the script that he had worked so hard to put in were being lost with each revision. And there were many, many revisions. According to Cushman, Ellison himself provided three versions of the story outline, then did three versions of the teleplay (script), at which point Steven Carabatsos, who was still story editor (October 1966) stepped in to provide a rewrite. It was Carabatsos who removed the drug dealing element and instead introduced the idea of Dr. McCoy getting hurt and then injected with Adrenalin, which makes him go temporarily mad. After Carabatsos' effort, Ellison again went at it. What was marked as his final draft arrived in the Trek offices December 19th. It still wasn't where the staff felt they could use it. So Gene Coon took a shot at it over the Christmas holiday, then D.C. Fontana came in and worked on it, then Coon again, then Fontana, and finally Roddenberry touched it. By February of 1967,  nearly a year later, they finally had their script.

Karen: Typically, when you have this many people fiddling with a script, it comes out a mess. But somehow, they managed to create a gem. The Ellison script was, by all accounts, absolutely incredible, and would have been perfect for an anthology show like Outer Limits. But it was felt that it didn't have the 'feel' of Trek. The finished episode however is resolutely Trek to its core; the characters are the people we have spent this entire first season getting to know. Their mannerisms, their personalities, are all there. I should note that Ellison does not feel this way at all about it and you can easily find out more by searching the web. 

Karen: The acting in this episode is top-notch. Shatner is still working hard as Kirk. We see the gears turning in his head and the love and the anguish he feels is very real. Nimoy is as understated as ever but Spock's sense of concern for Kirk and his plight is tangible. DeForest Kelley gets to have some fun as the demented McCoy, but he has a sweet scene with Joan Collins as well. Kelley said that he decided to play it as if McCoy was also enchanted by Keeler. And what of Edith Keeler? Joan Collins was a well-known actress at this time and a casting coup for Trek. She and Shatner had real chemistry and the two of them made a lovely couple. Director Joe Pevney, who helmed many episodes, said of this show, "It was a pleasure working with the actors. They realized their full potential in that one."

Karen: There was one scene in this episode that I never completely saw until I got the DVD set, and that was McCoy's arrival back in 1930. When it went into syndication, they removed  the part where the derelict he encounters accidentally phasers himself out of existence. The full scene is in the clip below. 

Karen: Most of this episode was filmed back in Mayberry again -there is one well-known publicity  still where Floyd's Barbershop can be seen behind Kirk and Keeler - and desperate for stage space, the crew even borrowed the My Three Sons empty stage to film some scenes. I'd always wondered about the design of the Guardian, the mysterious machine/entity that transports our heroes through time. It was a strange design, but effective. Apparently it was not the work of the series regular designer, Matt Jeffries, who was ill at the time, but of Rolland Brooks. D.C. Fontana stated that Brooks misread the script, somehow translating 'runes' into 'ruins' and so we got the broken classical columns surrounding the Guardian. It's unclear where the lop-sided shape of the portal itself came from. Reportedly, when Jeffries walked onto the set he burst out with, "What the Hell is this?"

Karen: I have to admit, as a kid, this episode didn't do it for me. But really guts me. Throughout the series Kirk has to make many hard decisions, but this one is surely the most terrible. Despite the short time he is with Edith, she is a real kindred spirit  and it's easy to see how he could fall in love with her so quickly. The line "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one" has become a standard within Trek fandom since Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan but long before Spock performed the math on that and made his decision, Kirk does it here, to its brutal conclusion. When Kirk discovers that McCoy is in the mission and races back to it, the brief joy he and Spock and McCoy experience at being reunited, plunges quickly into utter devastation when he realizes Edith's fate has arrived, and he has to actually hold back McCoy from saving her. McCoy's anger at Kirk -"Do you know what you've done?" and Spock's almost-consoling, "He knows, Doctor. He knows" were pitch perfect. Of course the final line, uttered by Kirk as they leave the planet was the perfect way to end the episode: "Let's get the Hell out of here."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nope, I just don't like it

Karen: Back in March of last year, I put together a little post called "Nope, I Just Don't Get It" that talked about those things that are popular in fandom that leave you shaking your head - not that you necessarily disliked them, but you just didn't get the appeal (my two personal examples were The Big Bang Theory and the Harry Potter phenomenon). Quite a few of you joined in to bring up things like Avatar, Deadpool, and Dr. Who as stuff you just didn't 'get'.

Karen: Today I'm going to go more negative though, and ask about geek-related things you actively dislike. The reason I'm going here is the animated version of  The Killing Joke recently came out, and it reminded of how much I have always disliked that story. I mean, I like Brain Bolland's art in general, I've enjoyed a number of things Alan Moore has written, but this story just repulsed me. I have to say a lot of that distaste came from the way Barbara Gordon was treated, but I also didn't buy the way Batman behaved in the end. In any case, I know I am very much in the minority on this one, but I don't care. I didn't like the comic, and I have no desire to see the animated film.

Karen: There's not much I really dislike though. Most of the time there's just stuff that's not my cup of tea, like manga. I don't like to point out particular artists I don't like but...another person who was brought up here recently was  Todd McFarlane. I could not stand the way he drew Spider-Man! I know,  I am alone on an island, but that's how I feel. The webbing looked so over-complicated, and the eyes -I hate the huge eyes.

what is going on with the webbing? And is Spidey in a Keane painting?

Karen: So have at it -is there something in comics, genre movies or TV, heck, you can go outside that if you want to, that you just don't like -especially if it's something that seems to be really popular?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Comin' In On a Wing and a Prayer: Batman & Captain America

Batman/Captain America (October 1996)
"Batman & Captain America"
John Byrne

Doug: It's hard to believe this, as well as many of the other latter-day wave of DC/Marvel crossovers, is 20 years old. Seems like only a few months ago I eagerly awaited this offering to reach my 30-year old paws. Even in the mid-90s, if John Byrne was involved, a project was still going to be big news. But... did this disappoint then, and what about now as seen through the eyes of a curmudgeonly middle-aged school teacher?

No, in answer to the first question, it did not disappoint then. John Byrne's one of those guys who "gets" comic book history. Well, for the most part (the Vision debacle, for which he shall never be forgiven on this space, aside). This book is one big homage, or love-in, or whatever else you want to call it with the Golden Age of these two lead characters. Right from the Batman's first appearance, we can see that Byrne is emulating the style of Dick Sprang, mostly fondly remembered for illustrating the adventures of the Dark Knight Detective in the 1950s. But here I go again, getting ahead of myself. Of course we first need to give you that nifty little plot summary called the 100-Word Review:

Toward the end of the War, Captain America and Bucky are ordered Stateside in order to investigate millionaire Bruce Wayne, believed to be secretly bankrolling sabotage of the Gotham Project (known to history as the Manhattan Project). Batman and Robin are tracking down the Joker, who has been stealing secrets of the Project. During Cap’s surveillance of Wayne, he and Batman learn one another's identities and collaborate to find the Joker. They find that the Joker and the Red Skull are themselves collaborating, but the unpredictable Joker soon turns on the Skull – and that means war of another kind!

If you've never laid eyes on this book, it's a 64-page prestige format graphic novel. And it looks great, which brings us to...

The Good: Yes, it does look great! The art is splendid throughout and the coloring (credited to Patricia Mulvihill) is phenomenal. I don't know that I'm qualified to discern or discuss coloring innovations of the 1990s, but it's fairly obvious that Mulvihill was able to employ then-modern computer coloring techniques without losing the four-color charm that many of us cling to. 

Byrne's pencils are magnificent. Some criticisms (maybe just of mine) of Byrne in this period are that his art had become flat, or scratchy, or that his figures' torsos were sometimes oddly elongated. None of that is here. In fact, if you ask me to compare eras of Byrne's career, I'd gladly put this alongside his work in the Claremont/Byrne/Austin heyday of the Uncanny X-Men or his collaboration with Dick Giordano in the Man of Steel limited series. It's that good. 

His writing is spot on as well. I mentioned at the top the homages to Dick Sprang's art. Byrne captures the spirit of the era in his writing as well. It's not over-the-top sappy or dated in any negative way. But you can just hear Cap or the Batman talking "that way" if you were watching this on film at a Sunday matinee. The inclusion of Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, when Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos would have been included, was a nice touch. Great job of further blending the universes.

There are a few twists in the story that caught me off guard when I read this the first time twenty years ago, and again a couple of weeks ago when I re-read it. That the Joker would double-cross the Red Skull because the Skull was a Nazi seemed strange -- was it the racism, the world conquest, or the supreme egomania that turned off the Clown Prince? It was never stated, but the Joker's seeming patriotism struck an odd note. I'm not saying it was bad... not at all. In fact, it was good because it was so unexpected.

In addition to the wonderful splash of the Batcave, late in the story there is (of course) a perilous trap, timed to kill Batman and Bucky (the crossover with the sidekicks was fun). It definitely hearkened to the days of the cliffhanger endings popular in the serials of the 1940s as well as to the 1966 Batman television series.

Byrne gives a "thanks" to Roger Stern for the epilogue of the story. It's a nifty "What If?", as 20 years after the War Batman and Robin are patrolling the ocean for any signs of the Joker... Junior. "Jr.", huh? Well, this ain't yer daddy's Batman and Robin. Nope -- this is Dick Grayson wearing the mantle of the Bat and Bruce Wayne, Jr. as Robin. And as they pilot the Bat-sub, what's in that ice floe they find up ahead? I think you know what (or who) it is...

The Bad: I guess if I have one complaint it's that Bucky got a little short-shrifted in this story. He has a moment here and there, but largely it's Robin who does the more-heroic stuff. Bucky sort of comes off as a whiner, which I felt was interesting given that I'd have assumed Bucky to be older at that time than Robin -- maybe a little more mature. Too, and if we are to believe the Winter Soldier retcon (which obviously wasn't a thing yet when Byrne penned this story), I'd have liked to have seen Bucky as a bit more take-charge. But then, and as I've said, whenever I was reading the Invaders I never thought of Bucky as carrying out any "collateral damage".

Oh, and another thing -- when the Joker stole the atomic bomb, Fat Boy, and it went off in the Atlantic after our heroes worked their (lucky) magic, what are we to assume? In our reality, the bombs dropped on Japan were nicknamed Fat Man and Little Boy. So in this story was there only one bomb, and if so, was the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki not to pass? This is in no way a situation that ruins this story for me. Far from it. But it just left me to wonder. Sooooo many universes! Someone should write a Crisis...

The Ugly: Nada.

Check this out if you're able. It's been reprinted in one of the Crossover Classics volumes, and can probably be found at your LCS or online for only a buck or two. It was a nice half hour diversion, and one I'm glad that after all these years I read again.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Fall Preview TV Guide!

 Redartz:  Good day, all! As we visit today, Summer is still with us, although Autumn is looming ever closer (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). The end of summer has always been a bittersweet time for many, myself included. Years ago, it meant the imminent return of school, and the resultant loss of that summer vacation free time. Yet it also meant Fall- with Halloween, colorful leaves and cooler, invigorating weather. It also meant the return of new television programming, after three months of summer reruns. And, with the new shows, came the Fall Preview TV Guide! 

The Fall Preview issue became an anticipated tradition of Fall for me; giving notice of returning favorites and also the first news of brand-new shows (no internet buzz then, of course). This annual, special issue of the iconic tv magazine generally was expanded in size to accommodate the extra coverage and photo features. It also featured schedules of the week's programming, in the form of a chart highlighting the new shows (which sometimes generated anguish, upon seeing a familiar favorite show no longer in it's old time spot, cancelled to make room for some new show).
Schedule from Fall 1973-74

  Usually a page was devoted to a brief write-up of each new program, along with a photo to whet your viewing appetite. 

From Fall 1964-65
 A load of all-time greats debuted in the fall of 1964; this page shows a few from the Saturday night schedule...

From Fall 1964-65

 And a few from Friday night 1964...

From Fall 1973-74
 Here's the introduction to a favorite from our Bronze Age:

  Here's the great Friday night schedule from that fall of 1973...

Of course, a big highlight was the new Saturday morning cartoon schedule. Here we have the Fall 1973 Saturday morning shows...

  Here's a link to the NBC 1974 Saturday Morning Preview show:

These vintage Preview issues are a veritable treasure trove of trivia, fun and nostalgia. Aside from the programming features, they are loaded with old ads (amazing how many cigarette ads there were back then). Plus, it's a kick to read the capsule descriptions of the week's shows, see the specials and movies broadcast during the week, and just to be reminded of the evenings spent watching some beloved classics.
Nowadays, the Fall Preview TV Guide lacks the indispensable quality it once had. The tv seasons have shifted, and summer replacements are often the rule. Cable schedules vary , starting and ending all year long. Yet the big networks still rely on the fall to debut much of their new shows, and the TV Guide still produces a Fall Preview issue (sometimes two weeks' worth). I still pick it up each year. Tradition, you know...
Fall Preview 2014

Friday, August 19, 2016

Buried Treasures: Mattel's Secret Wars Box Art

Doug: Yep, I'm still selling! And because of that, I'm still finding things I'd forgotten that I had. Of course I did not forget the 13 action figures in Series 1 and 2 of Mattel's Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars line -- they've been on one shelf or another for the better part of 30 years. I decided to list the entire set on eBay this week (search dlw66 under Sellers), which included all of the accessories. The auction was not live for 15 minutes when they sold on a "Buy It Now" for $150. How's that?

But what I'd lost track of were the short comics that adorned the back of each package. Today we're going to "hero up" and look at the good guys; next week we'll Bring on the Bad Guys.

Anyone with information on the creators associated with the little 4-panel comic strips, please don't keep it a secret (see what I did there?). The material on the left side of each of these was for the most part lifted from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, albeit with some editing to focus the context toward the toy line. I got a kick out of these after not laying eyes on them since the mid-80s; I hope you enjoy them, too!

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