Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron by Dave Goode

I can remember back in the 90s there was a rumor going about of someone remaking the cult classic FASTER,PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! that originally starred Tura Satana. Rumors circulated that the plan was to star adult film actress Tera Patrick or Penthouse Pet of the Year (1993) Julie Strain as Varla,the character Satana played in the original. I thought the 6'1" Strain might have been interesting. She did star in a number of straight-to-video action and horror flicks. But I'm glad the movie never came about. Much like "there's only one Race Bannon". There is only one Varla. And that's Tura Satana.


was film auteur Russ Meyer's 10th movie and was released on August 6,1965. With a screenplay written by Jack(Jackie) Moran. The movie was made on a budget of $45,000 and told the story of three go-go dancers who go on a kidnapping and killing spree. Imagine if you will the "bad girls" from your high school killing Moon-Doggie and kidnapping and terrorizing Gidget. One of the cool things about this flick was it's star Ms.Satana using martial arts to overcome two of the men in the movie. Satana was a real-life martial artist (aikido and karate) and it was interesting to see her use those skills in a pre-kung fu mania movie.

I got to thinking some time back that FASTER.PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! mIght have made for a cool one-shot comic book during it's initial release. Something you can easily imagine being published by Myron Fass, with art supplied by Eric Stanton and the mystery inker (Wink,Wink.) who worked with him on Sweeter Gwen and a number of other " under the counter " soft-core comics. I imagine a book featuring four individual 8-page vignettes starring the movie's four female leads Varla,Rosie,Billie and their victim Linda that lead up to the events in the film. Followed by the adaptation of the movie.  Below is a my idea of how the first vignette would look ably illustrated by my good buddy and collaborator Vance Capley.

>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Men From M.A.R.S by Dave Goode

I was lucky enough to be a seven year old when Hasbro introduced their G.I.Joe action figure line. I was a charter member of the G.I. Joe Club. And since my older brother was a Marine at the time the first Joe that I had was a Marine too. The first accessory that my Joe had was a flamethrower with back-tanks.So when I wasn't fighting an imaginary war with my Joe I could strap his back-tanks on and pretend he was Commando Cody. Eventually I got three other Joes and I would use them to play M.A.R.S Patrol.

M.A.R.S PATROL,TOTAL WAR first appeared on the stands in 1965.It was published by Gold Key and was originally titled TOTAL WAR with interior art by the great Wally Wood. Wood may also have played a hand in the creation of the series. There is no denying that the first three issues illustrated by Wood were magical. But even after he left the series the comic was a great deal of fun featuring the art by the likes of Jack Sparling and Dan Spiegle.

The comics told the story of an invasion of all the nations of the Earth by an unidentified attacker. It was implied at first and later confirmed in the series that the invader was from another world.The opposition to this enemy from space were the men from the M.A.R.S(Marine Attack and Rescue Service)Patrol. An elite squad from the U.S. Marine Corps. The series lasted a brief 10 issues running from July 1965 to August 1969. But that was long enough to bring the feature cult status to Silver Age comic book readers.

One of the interesting things about the M.A.R.S Patrol was that during the era of the Civil Rights struggle the members of the M.A.R.S team were very diversified.There were two Euro-Americans in Lt. Cy Adams, the units field commander and Cpl.Russ Stacy. Then there was Sgt.Joe Striker, an African-American and Sgt.Ken Hiro,an Asian-American.


It would remind me a bit of the diversified members of the first American Native-American, a Euro-American, and an African-American.
Olympic Judo Squad from 1964.That squad featured an Asian-American,

This was a great series from a time when it wasn't  against  the rules for American youth to play soldier.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Maciste and Tarzan...Have You Ever Seen Them Together? by Dave Goode

I've always looked at Maciste flicks as being almost the half-brother of the Tarzan movies. In the first Golden Adonis strip Vance Capley and I did together the pro wrestler turned sinew & sandal movie star notices the script for a movie he's starring in bears more than a slight resemblance to Burroughs' TARZAN AND THE CITY OF GOLD. TARZAN AND THE LOST EMPIRE is another Burroughs' tale that reads a lot like a Maciste adventure. And I can recall once seeing an European poster for a silent Tarzan movie in which they were selling Tarzan as "America's Maciste". 
Probably the most Maciste-like of Tarzan films is TARZAN'S THREE CHALLENGES starring Jock Mahoney.It's just too bad Gordon Scott was no longer playing the role of the Lord of the Jungle.

Gordon Scott who portrayed Tarzan in six movies would go to Europe after making two of the best Tarzan movies,TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURES and TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT,to star in peplum pictures. Most notably DUEL OF THE TITANS in which he and former Mr.America,Mr.World and Mr.Universe Steve Reeves play the twin demi-gods Romulus and Remus. Another favorite Scott movie from the genre is GOLIATH VS.THE VAMPIRES a.k.a Maciste contro il Vampiro.
It's just too bad no Italian movie producer got the idea of filming an adaptation of TARZAN AND THE CITY OF GOLD starring Scott or some other peplum movie star. And with a Chelo Alonso or Scilla Gabel as Nemone,Queen of Cathne the titled City of Gold. Or maybe just changing the hero's name from Tarzan to Maciste.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Before Judo Master or Karate Kid.... by Dave Goode

The other day someone was asking me if I had a chance to write a comic book feature starring a character other than one of my own what would it be? I suppose he thought I was going to say Judo Master or Magnus,Robot Fighter. Or maybe Nightwing or Thunderbolt. Or perhaps he thought I was going to say Mighty Samson or Iron Fist. Instead I told him "Bobby Bell of the Young Shields of America". He responded with a confused look on his face and asked "who?"

To those of you not in the know Bobby Bell was the star of a series of PSA strips from the early days of the Silver Age of Comic Books.Created by the legendary team of Simon & Kirby he was the Captain of The Shield's Young Americans Club a.k.a The Young Shields of America. In his strips (featured in early issues of Archie Comics' The Fly) Bell taught readers basic judo and jiu jitsu self-defense techniques.

 Originally drawn to appear anywhere from 8 to 12 years old  young Bobby gave his martial arts lessons dressed in a Shield play-suit. Things got really bizarre in later strips when Bobby a.k.a Billy taught judo in the context of short stories where he fought bullies or a street villain known as the Gargoyle. Bobby by this time was depicted as being at least sixteen and just looked ridiculous walking the streets or going on a picnic in Central Park with his girl friend dressed in an imitation Shield costume.Was he supposed to be a crime-fighter? Or was he just a nut? I thought a T-shirt with a shield emblem on it would have been enough.

I would have liked to have seen the Bobby Bell feature as an 8-page back-up. In it he would have been an all-around athlete and top student. Sort of a modern day Frank Merriwell. But in middle school.Not high school or college. He would still have been a judoka. And he would still use judo to sometimes combat bullies. But he wouldn't be teaching techniques to readers who might injure themselves practicing them without proper supervision. Instead the emphasis would have been on judo's moral teachings. And oh yes he wouldn't be wearing the Shield underoos on the street. Below is the 1st page of what a Bobby Bell strip written by me would look like ably illustrated by my buddy Vance Capley of course.
 Look for Judo Comics by
Dave Goode and Vance Capley! 

Grab yours today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Casting Charlton's Judo Master by Dave Goode

The more things change the more they stay the same.Fan-boys are still arguing about who would prevail in a fight...Batman or Captain America? Of course back in the Silver Age of Comics the argument made a bit more sense.Back then both DC and Marvel described their respective heroes as the "world's greatest athlete" and the "world's greatest human fighting machine". Only back then the super-soldier serum didn't give the Captain the ability to make a fifteen foot standing high jump. Or run a mile in a minute among other things. So a fight between the two seemed a bit more fare. Both Batman and the Captain were just superior physical specimens who were highly skilled in hand-to hand combat. So as a pre-teen I wondered how Charlton Comics' Judo Master would have fared against the Caped Crusader or the Living Legend of WW Two.
Judomaster created by Joe Gill and Frank McLaughlin

Judo Master's origin appeared in Special War Series No.4(Nov.1965) a little over a year after Captain America made his first Silver Age appearance in The Avengers No.4(March 1964). In it Steve Rogers lookalike Sgt.Rip Jagger of the U.S. Army rescues the granddaughter of a Pacific island chief known as "Sensei". The islanders are actually Japanese citizens who left their homeland to escape the nation's war-time policies.Jagger himself is rescued by native guerillas after his unit is wiped out. He is then schooled in the martial arts by the islanders and given a colorful costume to fight a guerilla war against the Japanese. Jagger who had been a collegiate boxing champion in turn,under the tutelage of the islanders, masters jiu jitsu,karate,kendo and of course judo. He eventually also gains a kid sidekick in the form of a Japanese-American named "Tiger".

Like all fan-boys I imagined my favorite comic book features turned into movies. And the casting of Rip Jagger in a Judo Master movie seemed like a no-brainer. American karate legend Joe Lewis had been an avid weight-lifter during his days as a high school wrestler. Upon graduation he joined the Marines where he first studied judo and then karate while stationed in Okinawa. After leaving the service after a stint in Viet Nam he began competing in karate tournaments. He won innumerable point karate championships and then became the U.S. Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion and the World Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion.He was twice voted the greatest fighter in karate history. And Bruce Lee regarded him as such. The part of Colt in Return of The Dragon was originally written for him. But after a falling out between Lee and Lewis the role went to fellow karate champion Chuck Norris.Who knows if Lewis had taken the role maybe he would have gone on to B-movie and TV stardom. And we'd be making jokes about "Joe Lewis Facts".

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Judo Johnny Weissmuller by Dave Goode

I've mentioned in the past that though I first knew Johnny Weissmuller as Jungle Jim he would become my favorite movie Tarzan.And I actually prefer him as Jungle Jim.I suppose that's because as Jungle Jim,Weissmuller was using judo/jiu jitsu techniques in fight scenes.In his post Tarzan movies you could see him using various armlocks and wristlocks as well as the ippon seoi nage, tomoe-nage and osoto-gari.


In the Jungle Jim flick SAVAGE MUTINY there is a scene in which Weissmuller teaches members of the jungle patrol some judo self-defense techniques.Re-watching that recently got me to thinking.Did Weissmuller ever take any lessons himself?

Of course the Olympic swimming champ swam to keep in shape.If not Tarzan shape.After all during the filming of the Jungle Jim series
Weissmuller was still appearing
in a number of aquacades and water shows. 
But playing an action/adventure
movie hero it just made sense to
me that he might have taken some
judo or jiu jitsu classes.Though
that may not have been the case.

Like George Reeves had practiced judo with Gene LeBell during the run of The Adventures of Superman television series perhaps Weissmuller had taken some classes with John Halloran.You might remember Halloran as the evil Captain Oshima in the James Cagney movie Blood On The Sun.Halloran was a former LAPD officer and judo instructor who was Cagney's instructor for this movie. And served as the movies technical advisor for the judo scenes. In any case it would be interesting to find out if Weissmuller had any formal instruction.

Order your copy of Dave Goode's Judo Comics:

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Amazing Amazon...Wotta Woman by Dave Goode

I have to say as a kid back in the Silver Age I never bought a Wonder Woman comic book. I'm not saying I never read one. I did. But only when nothing else was available. But this super-hero loving kid wasn't spending 12 cents on a Wonder Woman comic book. Not when there were alternatives and there were.And I'm quite sure that other "little boys" from that era felt the same. Wonder Woman was a "comic book for girls". And if I wasn't reading a Justice League of America comic book in which Wonder Woman was appearing I had no use for the Amazing Amazon. That is until Lynda Carter came along to play the part on television in 1975.

There had been a Wonder Woman television pilot shot during the Batmania era. But the less said about this the better. And then there was a made-for-television movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby in 1974. This flick seemed to be based on the Wonder Woman comic books that were published from 1968 to 1972 when Wonder Woman was stripped of her powers and fought crime as an Emma Peel type character. The pilot movie for THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN was a tongue-in-cheek retelling of Wonder Woman's origin from Sensation Comics No.1 written by William Moulton Marston and illustrated by Harry G.Peter. And truthfully this was one of the most faithful adaptations of a comic book story put on screen. And Lynda Carter was perfectly cast as the Amazon princess fighting evil in the man's world.

Sometimes though I imagine a 1940s big screen Wonder Woman movie starring MGM's MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID Esther Williams.With maybe Van Johnson as her love-interest Steve Trevor. Miss Williams had all the same qualities that made former Miss U.S.A Lynda Carter so perfect in the role. Tall,statuesque and with a sweet sexiness that's hard to define. Plus Miss Williams who had set multiple regional and national swimming records in her late teens was a lot more athletic.

Here's a video by my buddy Vance Capley drawing Wonder Woman in the original costume she wore back in  Sensation Comics No.1 back in 1942.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Deja Vu All Over Again by Dave Goode

To people who aren't fans of the sinew & sandal film genre the movies all seem to look alike. I've even known people who couldn't tell Steve Reeves from Reg Park. But even as a fan I have to say there are a few of these flicks that make me think didn't I see this all before? And not just because I had seen it before. For instance there's THE FURY OF HERCULES starring Brad Harris as Hercules. It's one of my favorites. Harris is in top form and performs a number of feats of strength. And then there's SAMSON also starring Harris in the title role. I should mention this Samson is not the biblical strong-man from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament. Harris wears the same costumes that he did in THE FURY OF HERCULES. The sets are the same and the cast more or less remains the same.But they're playing different roles. For instance Alan Steel plays a villain in THE FURY OF HERCULES. But in SAMSON he plays a strength hero named Millstone who teams up with Samson to battle oppression.
And then there's THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR starring Mark Forest and Marilu Tolo. I saw it written up in an article about peplum movies that said it was THE TERROR OF ROME VS. THE SON OF HERCULES. So wanting to upgrade my copy I sent away for it. I was disappointed to find they weren't the same movie at all. But I was happy to add another Mark Forest film to my collection of "movies about gladiators".  Again the two movies have the same sets. And again the casts are the same. But the actors are playing different roles. The biggest difference is that THE TERROR OF ROME VS. THE SON OF HERCULES features a battle between the gladiator-hero and a gorilla(one of the cheesiest ape-suits ever). And THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR doesn't.

The most confusing of all sinew & sandal
flicks. And the one to give you the
greatest feeling of deja vu may just be HERCULES THE AVENGER starring Reg Park. I first saw this picture when I was about nine or so.I had just read a book on Greek mythology. And I thought the story about Hercules battle with Antaeus,the Earth giant was pretty cool. And watching it in a movie was even cooler. What I didn't know was that about 75% of HERCULES THE AVENGER was made up of footage from HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD and HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN. For years whenever I watched either of those movies I'd wait for Hercules to battle Antaeus in the films climax and walk away disappointed.Until I found that the flick I was looking for was made through creative editing. Now I own copies of all three movies and can enjoy them on their own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Without a doubt the best masked wrestler movies not to come out of Mexico were the Superargo series from Italy. The two movies starred Giovanni Cianfriglia. Someone who should be familiar to all fans of European costume dramas. He worked as a body double for Steve Reeves and did stunt-work in many Italian action movies. Cianfriglia portrayed the Earth giant Antaeus in HERCULES THE AVENGER and has a memorable fight scene with Mr.Universe winner Reg Park who plays the demi-god Hercules. He also has a great fight in GOLIATH AGAINST THE VAMPIRES against former Tarzan movie star turned sinew & sandal hero Gordon Scott. Scott portrays Maciste and Cianfriglia in the course of the battle portrays an "evil twin". For years it was rumored that it was Steve Reeves that was seen in long shots as the evil Maciste/Goliath as the two men grappled. But it was in fact Cianfriglia.

In SUPERARGO VS. DIABOLICUS(1966) Cianfriglia billed as Ken Wood plays the masked wrestling champion Superargo. In what is more or less an origin tale masked wrestling champion Superargo defends his title against his friend,a wrestled called el Tigre. During the course of the match el Tigre is accidently killed. Superargo is understandably despondent and looks for purpose in life.He finds it when his former commanding officer from the army,now the head of the secret service,recruits him for a special mission. And he uses his special abilities plus a bullet-proof costume and some Bondian gadgets to take on the modern alchemist Diabolicus and his sexy red-headed accomplice who refers to her employer as the "future ruler of the universe". This flick is a lot of fun with a lot of action. And Loredana Nusciak as Diabolicus accomplice(girl friend?) and Monica Randall as Superargo's girl friend Lidia are both nice to look at.

The sequel SUPERARGO a.k.a SUPERARGO AND THE FACELESS GIANTS(1968) has Cianfriglia returning as the masked wrestler turned secret agent. Superargo's girl friend from the first flick is nowhere to be found. Instead the masked man is keeping company with Kamir a Hindu guru who has taught him to unleash his psychic abilities. Superargo is called in by the authorities to solve a case involving a group of missing athletes and ends up battling Professor Wond,played by former American western star Guy Madison,and his army of living robots.

I always thought there should have been a third movie so that fans of the masked wrestler genre would be talking about a Superargo trilogy today. Wondering what that might look like my buddy Vance Capley and I put together this faux page for a Superargo comic book.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Best Superman Movie (IMHO) by Dave Goode

For my money, the best Superman feature film to date, remains SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN from way back in 1951. Produced by Barney A. Sarecky, written by Richard Fielding and directed by Lee Sholem, this little B-Movie was distributed by Lippert Pictures Incorporated. And it introduced the world to George Reeves in the role of Superman. With no Jimmy Olsen. And Perry White only briefly mentioned in the dialogue this black and white film seemed almost like an extended live-action version of the animated shorts the Fleischer Brothers produced for Paramount back in the 1940s.

The movie jumps right into the action.Clark Kent and Lois Lane arrive in the town of Silsby to cover the story of the world's deepest oil well. The drill however has penetrated into the underground home of a race of "mole men" who come to the surface to investigate what's going on. The town's people on first contact with the strange visitors from the center of the Earth form a mob intent on killing the creatures. Luckily Superman is around to prevent a tragedy.

More or less a sci-fi flick the movie's limited budget (estimated at 275,000 dollars) is obvious. George Reeves does some pretty effective Peter Pan take-offs.But his actual flying scenes are limited to two. One is a pretty cool overhead tracking shot where the viewer never actually sees Superman in flight.But at the same time you don't feel cheated.The other is a brief animated flight scene. It's pretty bad. But we still "believed a man could fly".  And of course there is the infamous vacuum cleaner/ray-gun that the Mole Men use. Something Irwin Allen might have tried on LOST IN SPACE. But it works.

What really works is the tightly written script.And George Reeves and Phyllis Coates as Superman and Lois Lane.Reeves is the perfect Superman. Even without a wind curl on his forehead. And his Clark Kent is even better. Though some purists might argue he's a far cry from the Clark Kent that Siegal & Schuster created. I've always preferred Reeves' mild-mannered reporter to the wimpy Kent played by other actors. And Coates was the perfect Lois Lane. Independent and gutsy.

You probably have seen this movie in it's edited form that was shown in two parts on THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN television series where it was titled THE UNKNOWN PEOPLE. But if you've never seen the 58 minute movie version I suggest you search it out.Those missing 15 minutes do make a difference.