Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Post No. 638"

Got in that lot of 24 Bongo Comics issues of both Futurama and Radioactive Man. The RMs have such an odd numbering system. The ones I got are as follows:

#1, 88 (No.2), 216 (No.3), 412 (No.4), 679 (No.5), 4( really the 8th. issue), 136 (really the 10th. issue), 222 (really the 11th. issue), 575 (really the 12th. issue), V2 #6 (really the 13th. issue), 8 (really the 15th. issue), RADIOACTIVE MAN 80 PG. COLOSSAL# 1 (1995/really the 7th. RM issue). The reason for this numbering is, of course, because RM's a parady comic and the writers want to make it look like it's been published since the 1940's or something, whereas currently I think only 16 issues exist (not counting a "7-11" giveaway version). One's like a Gold key comic, another like a 1970's Marvel, one like a 1960's Mighty (Archie) Comics, etc. There are still four issues of this I don't have, which are #'s 7, 100, 197 & 1000. There's one made like a 1950's Atlas comic, another that's a Kirby tribute, etc., etc. Great book!

The Futurama issues were at the generally funny best and every issue still reads to me like watching one of the animated episodes. One of the better ones which ended up being continued was about "Bender" going into another dimension inhabited by the Bongo Comics' creators, including Matt Groening.

Well. I won those copies of Strange Tales (Marvel) #'s 126 and 135 (1964 & '65, respectively) at a dirt cheap price, which really shocked me, especially here recently when I've been outbidded so much. There's a world of difference in that title a mere 10 months and 10 issues apart as they are, with the 126 still featuring "The Human Torch & The Thing" from the FF, and the 135 being the first appearance of "Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.". If you think about it, the superhero run in that title in the 1960's was pretty evenly divided with The Torch being in 101 thru 134, and Fury in 135 thru 168; that's 34 issues for the former, and 34 issues for the latter! 'Course, The Torch did have an app. in the 2nd. (and last) Annual.

Although I read that issue of 126 when it was on the stands (more impressed with Steve Ditko's "Dr. Strange" backup, actually), the 135 really took me by surprize one day when I had gotten off the school bus in the neighboring town (where I currently live) and first saw it on the stands in a drug store I frequented after school. By that time in '65 I was buying everything Marvel was putting out, and I also remember it was at the end almost of that school year. I was 14 years old, still mowing yards for extra bucks to support my 4-Color habit.

(On to other things....

50 Years ago the 16th. of next month, actor George Reeves of t.v.'s "Superman" fame, was found dead in the upstairs bedroom of his Benedict Canyon (California) home of an apparent suicide.

This film probes the subject of Reeves' career and following investigation questioning the findings of the official police report.

Reeves began his span in Hollywood about as illustrious as any actor could imagine, playing a bit part in the 1939 "Gone With The Wind". In this he was one of the Southern "twins"(w/red hair) near the beginning of the movie. It wasn't much, but he had a line and the film was in full color (something reserved only for Hollywood's best efforts of the time), and it looked like he was off to a flying (if you'll pardon the pun) start.

But Hollywood in those days was much different that it is today. Actors were practicaly owned by the studios, and did what the studios told them to do. In the late 1940's when actors were being thinned out from the studio's stables, Reeves became a victim looking for more permanant employment.

It was during this time Reeves discovered other ways of getting noted, such as having himself photographed with other celebrities and the like, when he met the wife of one of the producers and began a lengthly affair with her. She wanted to help Reeves get more movie roles, but ended up opening the door for him into a new exposure, television. And, in 1951 while t.v. was still in its infancy, Reeves starred in "Superman and The Mole Men" which led to a weekly 30 minutes per episode lead as the character in "The Adventures of Superman" in 1952.

The AOS was so popular, not among just children but adults alike, that by the 3rd. season it was being filmed in color (practically unheard of in that early stage of t.v. at that time), but Reeves and many other Hollywood actors, in general, looked down upon television as something beneath them thinking that being a movie star was everything, with only a handful of insightful actors such as Jack Benny, Lucille ball & desi Arnex, jackie Gleason (and some other) who realized that it as a doorway to fame, riches and immortality.
And t.v. made Reeves immortal whether he wanted it or not. He became so recognizable "as" the character of Superman that it was difficult for him to obtain parts in other films as a serious actor. By the latter part of the 1950's Reeves had had enough of wearing the tights and cape and was growing older. he wanted to move on to other projects such as directing and producing.

And everyone wanted to see reeves move foreward as he was very likable. Known for his sense of humor and great personality and sense of honor, insisting that actress Phillis Coates (who played "Lois Lane" in early episodes) had equal billing. was his feeling of growing older is probably 'why' he dumped the producer's wife (who was 8 years his elder) and began another affair with a younger starlet, thus producing much speculation as whether this was a suicide, or even an arranged murder by the producer himself to avenge the honor of the wife he loved, although unfaithful to him.

Secondary plots in this film involve a private detective (played by Afrien Brody) who investigates the death for Reeves' mother, and the P.I.'s relationship with his estranged wife and young son. The P.I. imagines a number of other ways Reeves death could have happened such as being accidently shot, to murder, but ultimately concludes that he shot himself due to depression and the dissatisfaction not being able to achieve the goals he, himself, had set as an actor.

Ben Affleck , at times, bares an uncanny resemblance to Reeves and does a fine portrayal. The film's not overly long, has few slow or dark areas, and is Rated "R", but that's mostly for minor brief nudes shots of Affleck's backside. Recommended watching.


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