Arguably the greatest swimming champion of the 20th century , Johnny Weissmuller was as big , if not bigger , than Michael Phelps. In the 1920s he stood on equal ground with such sports legends as Red Grange , Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth. He of course would become a movie star portraying a variation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes in six movies for MGM. And then in another six pictures for RKO. But I knew Weissmuller first as Jungle Jim from the syndicated television series. Later I would discover the 13 Jungle Jim movies he made for Columbia Pictures. And from 1954 to 1955 Weissmuller would play himself in three more flicks for Columbia, CANNIBAL ATTACK , JUNGLE MOON-MEN and DEVIL GODDESS. All of which would have been great adapted to the comic book page.
Considering just how little Columbia's Jungle Jim movies had to do
with Alex Raymond's comic strip , which they were based on , you could
have taken the stories from the movies and translated them into comic
books without anyone ever noticing. With art by the likes of Frank
Frazetta , Al Williamson and Wally Wood. That trio would have been great
illustrating some of the sexy sarong-clad native girls that appeared in
the movies. As well as the adventures of "America's No.1 Jungle Hero".
And as I could easily imagine a Johnny Weissmuller comic book I can
just as easily imagine a Johnny Weissmuller adventure digest magazine.
Just like with the Johnny Weissmuller comic book I can't understand why
publisher didn't give it a shot.
And now....Dave Goode and Vance Capley present:
Watch Dave Goode and Vance Capley discuss this blog and comic on youtube:
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
If you are a Silver Age Kid chances are you probably owned the Superman model kit from Aurora. This was a decided must have for fan-boys of the era. Pure bosso-keeno coolness from 1963. It's coolness began with the illustration on the box cover of Superman (looking more than a little bit like George Reeves) smashing through a brick wall. That was an image burned into this Silver Age kid's mind from repeated viewings of The Adventures of Superman. The man of steel more powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet crashing through a wall to save the day.
Aurora would also come out with a line of Marvel superhero model kits. The Amazing Spider-Man,the Incredible Hulk and Captain America , the Living Legend of World War Two. But after putting together the "World's Finest Team" I really had no further interest in superhero models. Now Aurora's line of classic Universal monsters was an entirely different story. I owned the model kits for Count Dracula , the Frankenstein Monster , the Wolf Man , the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. All very cool stuff.
Speaking of cool superheroes, grab your self a copy of JUDO COMICS!
That's right, Judo Comics! Featuring brand new Atomic and Silver Age superheroes and adventurers! Including Dr. Judo, Mr. Incognito, the Golden Adonis, and the Phantom Gorilla! Super neat-o articles! Fun comics! Great price!
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Silver Age kid that I am I've always had a strange fascination for the intelligent apes of the era. I love the Super-Ape minions of the commie comic book villain the Red Ghost. And what Silver Age kid wasn't a fan of Gorilla Grodd,arch-enemy of the Flash? My personal favorite intelligent ape of the 60s however was Monsieur Mallah. A six feet three inch 400 lb. French speaking gorilla.
Created by Arnold Drake (writer) and Bruno Premiani (illustrator) Monsieur Mallah first appeared in the pages of THE DOOM PATROL No.86 (March 1964) from DC Comics. He was the subject of an experiment of a scientist. The scientist raised a captured gorilla's I.Q. through shock treatments and other methods to the genius level of 178. The scientist who would later become the super-villain the Brain after losing his own body. One of those disembodied brains that you find so often in pulp fiction and B-movies. He would name the beast Monsieur Mallah and educated him for the better part of a decade training him as his assistant. The pair would become charter members of the Brotherhood of Evil and sworn enemies of the super-hero team the Doom Patrol.
Of course as a gorilla Mallah was a physically formidable foe. Standing 6' 3" he was quite a bit taller than an average gorilla.But just as strong. Silverback gorillas are 6x as strong as humans per kilo bodyweight. So a silverback gorilla (220 kg.) weighs about twice as much as a large human. So a silverback is about 12 times as strong as a human athlete. And even more impressive is the fact that they can run between 20 to 25 mph. To put that into perspective Usain Bolt ,the 3-time Olympic champion has been clocked at 23.25 mph.
In the Silver Age before CGI if you were making a Doom Patrol movie featuring Monsieur Mallah or a Flash movie featuring Gorilla Grodd you would be using an actor in an ape-suit. But we Silver Age kids were so use to men in ape-suits from repeated viewings of serials and monster movies from the thrilling 30s and fabulous 40s we wouldn't have cared. We had our own super-power. We had the ability to suspend belief.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I was about twelve or so when I discovered "men's sweat mags". The attraction was immediate and obvious. Colorful covers with steely-eyed,square-jawed American servicemen rescuing lingerie-clad women from the hordes of Hitler and Hirohito. Or maybe an American G.I. stripped to the waist and threatened with torture by some SS She-Wolf. Then there were the jungle-themed covers. Rugged safari guides protecting blondes in torn blouses from savage tribesmen or untamed animals. This was wonderfully parodied by Frank Frazetta on a National Lampoon cover. Even better were the occasional covers that had intrepid explorers captured by a tribe of Amazons , stripped to the waist and again threatened with torture. Or better yet...a "fate worse than death".
Of course the model used for many of these heroic he-men was Steve Holland. A little while back I began imagining a parallel world where Steve Holland became a huge star in B-Movies based on the stories found in the pages of men's sweat mags. Movies like the Ilsa flicks starring Dyanne Thorne. But with less nudity and sex. Or like the Johnny Weissmuller Jungle Jim movies with a bit of implied nudity and sex. Flicks with titles like " Escape From The Torture Chamber of the SS She-Wolf ". Or "I Was The Love Slave of the Panther Women of Cozi-Cozi Island ".Talking about this with buddy Vance Capley we had the idea to give you some idea what that parallel world might look like with a few faux movie posters and lobby card.
Do you enjoy action? Then you need to get JUDO COMICS today!
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
There was a wonderful bit of dialog between Uma Thurman and John Travolta in PULP FICTION that was unfortunately cut from the final film. It was about being an Elvis or Beatles fan. You can actually like both. But in the end you are going to like one more than the other. The same can be said about G.I.Joe and Captain Action as well. I'm sure there were many G.I.Joe guys who thought Captain Action was pretty neat. I say this in full confidence because I was one of them.
Captain Action was an "action figure" introduced in 1966 as the Ideal Toy Company's answer to Hasbro's popular G.I. Joe. Strangely enough both were created and designed by Stan Weston. Originally the good captain was to be called "Captain Magic" a hero who I suppose could magically transform into other heroes.For whatever reason I'm glad they decided to go with the name Captain Action. Captain Action came with a pretty neat black & blue costume,skipper's hat,ray-gun and extremely cool lightning bolt sword. Separate Aquaman ,Batman , Captain America , Flash Gordon , Lone Ranger , the Phantom , Steve Canyon ,Sgt. Fury and Superman costumes and accessories were available. In 1967 Buck Rogers , the Green Hornet , Spider-Man and Tonto were added to the line-up. And Captain Action was given a teen sidekick Action Boy who could be changed into Aqualad , Robin the Boy Wonder and Superboy. There was even a blue-skinned , bug-eyed alien scientist known as Dr.Evil that served as Captain Action's arch-enemy. The Captain Action figure was as much a part of the Silver Age of Comics as re-runs of The Adventures of Superman or the Batman television series starring Adam West. At least in my opinion.So it was appropriate that Captain Action received his own comic book series. If only for a brief run.
Captain Action No.1 (Nov.1968) published by DC Comics dropped the multi-hero idea from the toy-line largely because DC didn't own the rights to such heroes as Captain America or the Phantom. So an entire new origin was created for the comic book Captain Action written by the teenaged Jim Shooter , illustrated by the great Wally Wood and with a cover credited to Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick. On an archaeological dig Clive Arno and his associate Krellik discover a lost city that was once home to alien visitors who were the "gods" of mythology. These space-gods called the "Elders of Arsu" left their powers in coins before they departed from Earth. Arno decides to the use the powers granted by the coins to fight evil. Krellik decides to use the power granted to him for evil. Arno's son would join his father as Action Boy to thwart Krellik's plans. Shooter would also write the second issue. But Gil Kane would replace Wood as the penciller on the feature. Though Wood would ink Kane's pencils in issue two. Thereafter Kane was credited as both writer and illustrator of the feature. Though Wood would return to ink Kane's pencils again in Captain Action No.5. In issues 2 ,3 and 4 from the series Captain Action and Action Boy would face off against their arch-foe from the toy-line Dr.Evil.
In a twist Dr.Evil was Arno's father-in-law who was turned into the bug-eyed evil scientist by a lab experiment gone wrong. Just how many times has this happened in a comic book? In the 5th and final issue Captain Action and Action Boy went up against a demagogue. Not an "evil" that comic book heroes were usually seen struggling against.
There was another Captain Action comic that was published in the Silver Age. It was produced by Ideal and came with the Captain Action figure and was illustrated by comic book artist Chic Stone. It told the story of a young boy who receives the Captain Action and Action Boy figures and their accessories for his birthday. He then dreams of an alien invasion of Earth that is halted by the two heroes using their ability to turn into other heroes. Of course even though I enjoyed the story I couldn't help but wonder why they couldn't stop the invasion by simply turning into Superman and Superboy.
editor note- both Moonstone and Dynamite have made Captain Action comics. And you can grab your OWN Captain Action figure...not the original, but a modern made figure: http://www.freshmonkeyfiction.com/shop/Captain-Action-Amazing-Heroes-Action-Figure-p58570428
Do you like action packed fun?! So do we! Get JUDO COMICS!
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
More than a few years back Stan Lee had a brief Q & A in FHM magazine* in which he was asked "Can you fight in real life?" Stan replied "Not since I was in the army. I taught judo in the army. In judo , you use your opponent's strength against him. I was always skinny , but if a big guy threw a punch I'd grab his fist and flip him over." Hmm. Maybe this is why so many characters in the early Marvel Age of Comics used judo.
In TALES TO ASTONISH No.27 (Jan.1962) after research scientist Hank Pym shrinks to insect size and becomes THE MAN IN THE ANT HILL he uses judo to defend himself against an attacking ant. Later in TALES TO ASTONISH No.35 (Sept. 1962) when he adapts the superhero identity of Ant-Man he uses judo again to defend himself against an ant. In FANTASTIC FOUR No.17 (Aug.1963) Sue Storm uses judo in a fight against Dr.Doom.
In SPIDER-MAN No.10 (March 1964) comic book readers were introduced to a trio of strong-arm men working for a criminal mastermind known as the Big Man. The trio was known as the Enforcers. And one of their number was the diminutive Fancy Dan who is described as a judo black belt. This may have been a first in American comics. A villain who was an expert in judo. Other heroes ,like Daredevil , were seen using judo techniques. And of course there was Captain America.
About a year ago I had a "discussion" with someone who said back in the Silver Age Captain America was described as nothing more than a "glorified acrobat". I countered that he was sometimes called that by someone who ended up getting his behind handed to them by the American Super-Soldier. This is exactly what happened in TALES OF SUSPENSE No.59 (Nov. 1964). But the writers at Marvel "described" him as the "world's greatest human fighting machine.
In AVENGERS No.4 (March 1964) in his first Silver Age appearance Captain America uses a variation of the tomoe-nage to topple the 10-ft. tall Giant-Man. In AVENGERS No.6 (July 1964) while fighting Baron Zemo who has mastered karate the Captain reminds the Nazi war criminal that he was "adept at every form of hand-to-hand combat known to man". And in FANTASTIC FOUR No.26 (May 1964) Captain America uses the tomoe-nage to unbalance the incredible Hulk. In other stories he would be seen using karate as well as American boxing and wrestling.
Obviously two of the forms of hand-to-hand combat the Captain was adept at were judo and it's parent martial discipline jiu jitsu. Judo had been taught at Annapolis,the U.S. Naval Academy since 1912. And jiu jitsu had been taught at West Point,the U.S. Army Academy since the 1890s. So it only made sense that Captain America would be an expert at these two martial arts. After all he wasn't just a "glorified acrobat". He was the American Super-Soldier!!
* July 2000, Vol. 1, Iss. 3, pg. 100-101, by: Paul Semel, "Quote, Unquote"
Now for some retro comics
fun from Dave
Goode and Vance
Capley. Ladies and gentlemen,
If you enjoyed this fantastic adventure, you can read more in our comic book available at lulu.com...JUDO COMICS..and now, a brand new JUDO COMICS TV