Saturday, December 01, 2007

"Moving Into the Last month of '07"

What a day.

Overslept a bit this morning. Meant to get up a 7AM and didn't make it until nearly 8:30. Woke up with my synuses killing me and a headache. Finally took a naproxin sodium tab and an aspirin and got to feeling better.

At least I got up in time to watch episodes of both "The Legion of Super-Heroes", and "Batman". It's been a while since I'd seen either one, but both impressed me more than previously viewed episodes. TLOSHs has been a bit retooled. They've got a new opening sequence and the character designs have been redone. They appear a little more serious than from the first episodes I'd seen. Superman looks a little older and the redesign on Braniac 5 looks decent. This was an episode where Supes and the Legion go to his "Fortress of Solitude", and Superman ends up in the shrunkened & bottled city of Kandor, where its inhabitants are all welcoming him, thinking he's return to make good on his promise to finally enlargen the city back to its original size.

For those not really familiar with this story, waaayyy back in Action 242 (1959) Superman first meets up with a space villian called "Braniac", who has this "10th. level mind", and has been going around shrinking cities off of various planets and putting them into bottles. He shrinks Metropolis, and all of its inhabitants as well including Superman, who eventually even at his diminished size, is able to re-enlarge all of the cities except Kandor. He makes the decision to sacrafice himself being unskrunk to restore that city as well, but the people of Kandor send out a spaceship that hits the enlargening button and makes Supes "large" again. (Kandor, you might recall, was the capitol of Krypton, and up until this time Superman thought he was Krypton's lone surviuvor.)

Superman takes the bottled city to his Fortress for safety and vows to one day be able to replicate Braniac's enlargening ray and restore the city.

This actually happened in Superman comics on two occasions. The first time was in Superman #158,(1963), when a group of rebels from Kandor used a small amount of a very rare element to enlargen themselves and take matters into their own hands. They discovered that Superman had made such an enlargening ray but wouldn't use it. In the end, the used it on the city, but it was unstable and the molocules started drifting apart from everything. Fearing total destruction of Kandor, Superman RE-shrunk the city again, put back into its bottle and revowed to "someday' perfect the ray.

The second time Kandor was restored was in Superman #338,(1979). Supergirl tried to stop him from using the same ray on the city again, thinking all of the people of Kandor would be killed. But Superman discovered that the drifting of molocules only affected the buildings and NOT the inhabitants. Everyone was "regular size" again, and decided to stay on a planet with a red sun (instead of the super-power-giving yellow one), and rebuild the city. Thus finally ended the whole Kandor story. But with so many flaws. Like...where were these Kandorians going to get the raw materials, electricity (or other power sources), food, etc., etc. that they needed if everything in the previous city save themselves was now gone??? Oh well...just another silly story we all bought from DC during it's pre-Crisis Bronze Age era. (But, as they say, I digress.)

In the animated Legion story the whole scenero was much more "believable". Braniac 5 links into the mind of the original Braniac and learns how to MAKE an enlargening ray and restores the city on another planet, with everything intact. (In fact, all of the broken fragments of Krypton was refused and restored back into a living planet just for this purpose beforehand.) Then, of course, Brainy wipes Supes mind clean of the whole incident so he wouldn't f*ck up his own history (when he returns to his own time)!

The Batman animated show is much better these days. For one thing they finally gave Bats back his square jaw and got rid of that ghod-awful "pointed" one from earlier episodes. This was your standard good episode starring Robin and Bat Girl as well, all fighting The Joker. My only complaint is with The Joker's hair. They need to lose the long unkept look and get back to the basics of it being shorted and more groomed. But I suppose they figure that's he's one wild and krazy guy, and that "why" he was designed as such.

Was supposed to have had company this morning, but with all of the hecticness of last night with work and then visitation at the funeral home, and then my mom calling, and trying to fix me something to eat, and cleaning up, and, etc.,etc.,etc., I forgot to email him back to let him know for certain that I was off work today. He's an old friend that I've know for a good 40 years and a fellow comic book collector, and we'll get together sometime soon I hope before Christmas as it's always great to visit with him.

I did finally get my act together and go down to the local flea market this morning. Found a little handful of cheap comics; mostly 70's humor stuff from Archie and Charlton, but there was a couple of interesting comics in it. One was a copy of Gladstone's Uncle Scrooge Adventures #5 which was an all Don Rosa issue and related a tale about McDuck's past when he was diggin' around for gold in Alaska. And the other a "Free Comic Book Day" version of Superman/Batman #1, which I've never read. And another was a copy of Beetle Bailey (Charlton) #113 (1975) which had a two page text story with 4 "spot illos" by John Byrne (done in his early career at Charlton).

I also found a boxed, 4 disc version of the flick, The Chronicles of Narnia on DVD. I'd been wanting to watch this flick and was too lazy to rent it. Plus I'd read some not so good reviews, but I wanted to see it anyway and I figured that this was the way to go as it was fairly inexpensive and in great condition with all of the discs, booklets, etc. complete. I must confess that I haven't read "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" for nearly 50 years, or at least 45 years, as I was either a pre-teen or young teen when I originally did. But I'll get around to giving everyone my 2 cents' worth on what I think of it eventually.

And in today's mail I got a small lot of four comics from the Bronze Age, all Marvel's, that I'd won for a mere 99 cents. The only reason I had really bidded on this was for the Sub-Mariner #57(1973-See ABOVE pic) due to it being ALL Bill Everett story & artwork. But the others in this lot were somewhat decent as well and included copies of Master of Kung-Fu #'s 38 (1976/Paul Gulacy art) & 62 (Jim Craig art), and Marvel Premiere #53(1980; a "Black Panther" issue). The Subby was an issue near the end of the great Everett's lifetime of comic book masterpieces. Many newer comic book fans may not know that Bill Everett created not just one aquatic super hero, but two, the other being "The Fin" (back in The Golden Age). So this has been a very comic-booky day for me with nearly a dozen new acquisitions for my collections.

And today I went outside and raked out the rest of the leaves from under the bushes and away from the side of the house and mulched them all up with the push mower. Without looking back on posts I'm not sure how long getting rid of the Autumn leaves has taken me this time, or even how many times I've already done this chore this season, but hopefully this is the last of them as 99% of the leaves have fallen from my trees. Outside of cleaning out my rain gutters on the house again, I'd say that this is over for this year. (Just a penny for every leaf I raked. Hey! 2 for a Penny! I'd still be a millionaire!) Saturday: 12-01-07.


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