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Post #400 is Actually #401: Batman Issue #400 and others

16 Jun

Blogs, comicsI was going to save the 400th post for this spot, but after getting a chance to see a special screening for Man of Steel, I had to go with that one first. Sooooo, this is the 401th post that should have been the 400th.

In celebration, I figured it would be fun to show off the covers for some of the major comic book series that have reached the 400th issue. This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list, but it’s a lot of them since having a title run to 400 issues means the series has been in steady publication for over 30 years (if the comic comes out in the normal monthly release format).

Except for funny books like Disney, Archie, Dell, Whitman, etc., the majority of the comic books that have arrived at the illustrious number 400 are from Marvel and DC. There are several ongoing gag books, particularly in Europe that have run the total number of issues into the 1000s but we’re focusing mostly on comics with continuous stories — typically superhero tales.

So, here are covers from comic books that have reached the 400th issue. This is not a comprehensive list since I didn’t do much research. If I’ve missed any big ones, leave me a comment.

1. Batman #400 (1986)

I love this comic. It was one of the first comic books I bought back in college. This anniversary comic that actually had some thought put into it. It has a wicked cool Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced “Bill Smith”) and a fantastic Doug Moench story. It’s a thick comic that has several contributing artists including some of my favorites: Art Adams, Brian Bolland, Michael Kaluta, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lightle, Steve Rude, and Berni Wrighton plus several more.

Batman #400, Anniversary issue Cover art for Batman 400 by Bill Sienkiewicz

2. Detective #400 (1970)

What’s cool about this anniversary issue is that it’s not only a Neal Adams issue (the cover and the interior), it’s also the origin and first appearance of the Mat-Bat.

Detective Comics #400, Neal Adams, First Man-Bat

3. Dell Four Color #400: Space Cadet (1952)

Gay Comics 1955, #1Painted cover by Alden McWilliams. I like that. I also like the name of the comic.  It’s as unintentionally funny in the modern day context as as Gay Comics (1955). Speaking of gay, here’s a version we modified for a bit of fun. As you gaze upon it hum “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.

Four Color Comics #400, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet

4. Uncanny X-Men 400 (2001)

The Uncanny X-Men and its derivatives are titles that we cut our teeth on in the 1980s before they become too confusing and commercial for my tastes in the 1990s. By issue 400, I had actually stopped reading X-Men altogether. Still, cool cover by Ashley Wood.

The Uncanny X-Men #400 cover The Uncanny X-Men #400 full cover

5. Sgt. Rock #400 (1985)

War comics are hit or miss with me but it’s worth noting that this particular war hero’s stories had a very long run.  The series actually began as Our Army at War with a title change to Sgt. Rock in issue #302.  Sgt. Rock actually didn’t even enter the series until issue #83. Hmm. Maybe we shouldn’t give this title credit as a 400 issue. Oh, well. Clever cover by Joe Kubert.

Sgt. Rock #400, Joe Kubert cover

6.Amazing Spiderman #400 (1995)

The issue had two different covers, both drawn by Mark Bagley and Larry Mahlstedt. The version shown below is a white embossed special issue of the newsstand version. If you can’t tell, it shows a tombstone with Spider-man swinging in front of it. The storyline is titled Death in the Family and in it, Aunt May or a clone or an actress or an old lady that happens to be Aunt May 269 reveals to Peter Parker or or Ben Reilly or Tom Jones or some sort of doppelgänger or who-knows-what that she has always known he was Spider-man or the Scarlet Spider or Spider-bot or Spider-Balls or something. I can’t keep track of which is who and what is how much.

The Amazing Spider-man #400, Death in the Family, alternative cover

7. Superman #400 (1984)

Painted cover by one of my favorites: Howard Chaykin.

Superman #400: Anniversary issue cover by Howard Chaykin Cover art for Superman #400

8. Fantastic Four #400 (1995)

The cover by Paul Ryan is made from a foil-like substance that refracts colors in a cool way.  Is that Dr. Doom on the cover? Does the Thing have boobs? And what’s the deal with the Watchers dying? And where’s Mister Fantastic (Reid Richards)? You can tell we don’t read FF either.

Fantastic Four #400, prismatic foil cover

9. The Incredible Hulk #400 (1992)

Prismatic cover by British artist Gary Frank.

The Incredible Hulk #400: prism cover

10. Avengers #400 (1996)

Giant Size issue with wraparound cover by Mike Deadato and Tom Palmer.

Avengers #400, Giant Size Avengers #400 wraparound cover

11. The Mighty Thor #400 (1988)

Sort of a big Kirby-esque cover by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.

The Mighty Thor #400

12. Action Comics #400 (1971)

Superman sure seems to get a lot of gimmicky covers. Here’s a goofy one by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.

Action Comics #400, Neal Adams cover

13. Adventure Comics #400 (1970)

We’re not big fans of this title, but it’s a 400 issue, so here it is. The story and art were provided by Mike Sekowsky, who was famous for creating the Legion of Superheroes and several of the characters in its membership.

Adventure Comics #400, Supergirl

14. Captain America #400 (1992)

This cover by Rick Levins and Dan Panosian is pretty bland. Therefore my comment about it is too.

Captain America #400

15. Archie Comics #400 (1992)

We weren’t going to do an Archie, but that wouldn’t be fair. Besides, I needed a #16. The Cover is by Rex Lindsey.  As for me, it has always been Veronica.

Archie 400th issue

There you have it. And here’s your bonus. On June 14, 2013, I published my 400th post. Here’s a collector’s item limited edition cover for your viewing pleasure.Comics A-Go-Go! Irresponsible Blogging at its best

All Kinds of Wrong: Alan Moore gets it on with Rob Liefeld?!

9 Jun

After cracking open that old box of 1990s comic book garbage our friend gave to us, we thumbed through the 150 or so comics to see if there were any gems. No, not really. What a terrible mess it was in the 90s. Reading was overcome by speculative collecting. Art was overcome by kids on meth. The biggest culprit was probably the House that Shit Built — Image Comics — which had enough hits to count only on one hand yet dozens of horrible titles that now fill up quarter-bins and still don’t move. There was plenty of pain to spread around, though. Small press printing (high quality or not) was becoming more affordable and with an influx of investors from the sports card market, anybody with a turd of an idea could start a miserable little company.

Anyway, we kept going and then … we stumbled on this horror.

Warchild by Rob Liefeld, poorly drawn feetRob Liefeld was one of the most prominent purveyors of perfidy. It seemed like every time we turned around there was a Liefeld cover, new title or character, guest appearance, or co-marketing trash. Rob taught us that no amount of missing talent could stop a kid with a dream. We’ve highlighted him several times on comicsagogo.com, so it only seems fitting we do it again.

Alan Moore, one of the best writers in comic-dom, is not someone we thought would ever associate himself with the likes of Image Comics. Apparently, we can all be wrong sometimes. In 1996, Alan teamed up with Rob to produce an abomination called Warchild. See, the thing is, we know Alan didn’t do it for the craft. He did it for the money. And Rob had gobs of it to share. So many other quality writers had sold out, so why not Ol’ Itchy Al? Anyway, who are we to challenge the right for a goblin to earn his scratch?

A match made in Hell: Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld

Here’s a promo for the series. Can you spot the six things wrong with the image? We listed them below so no peaking until you’re done.

Warchild comic book by Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld

1. This is the most obvious one: Alan Moore + Rob Liefeld. That’s like teaming up Dylan Thomas with a sober Andy Warhol. Or putting pineapple on pizza. Or having George W. Bush pen the autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. Some odd pairings are serendipitously wonderful (like chocolate ice cream and peaches) but some things just shouldn’t be.

2. Where the hell is Warchild’s spine going? How did his head get all of the way back there? Is that an arm? Is that grass growing out of his head? What the HELL is that on his face?! What the Go fuck yourself does he keep in those damnable pouches????!!!!!

3. It isn’t just his art; Rob can be credited for coming up with some of the worst names for comic book characters. Shatterstar, Knightsabre, Psilence, Riptide, Stryfe, Thornn, Wildside … are among the eye-rolling list. But Warchild. Gross.

4. “Epic Tale.” Right.

5.  We don’t want to know what a Farmergeddon means. We know we would regret it if we did.

Alan Moore with googly eyes6. “I think WARCHILD is the best stuff I’ve written for Image yet” — Alan Moore, Wizard Magazine #52. It isn’t clear but it appears that Alan was either (a) very, very high on mushrooms, or (b) very, very relieved when he discovered he had no self-respect and that he was now very, very wealthy.

Well, since we’re on a Kick Liefeld kick, here’s a bonus for you. That ass is asking to be spanked. No, not Vogue’s ass. Rob the Ass. Haters be hatin’.

Vogue comic book character by Rob Liefeld

The Top 10 Reasons

24 Apr

Question Mark Symbol

Sometimes, the reasons by themselves are good enough. Here are those top 10 reasons in no particular order.

  1. Because I said so.
  2. Because [insert your preferred celestial being here] wills it.
  3. Because [insert your preferred demonic being here] made me do it.
  4. You’re not the boss of me! I don’t need a reason! [this is an acceptable reason for any child under the age of 10].
  5. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
  6. I figured he was already dead, so … yeah.
  7. [We do not like over trodden clichés, but this list has a life of its own] “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” [That was funny the first time every one of us heard it, but it’s been annoying ever since].
  8. Experts say … [whatever you want goes here, because when “experts say…” it doesn’t matter what the reason is — it’s golden.]
  9. It’s tradition. You cannot escape tradition.
  10. Your mama.

Bonus reason:  Evidently, “because it was there” is a valid response to every query.


The Top 25 Most Rewatchable Comedies

16 Mar

I don’t particularly like watching movies more than once. There are just too many good things to see out there that by taking 90 minutes or so out of my life to re-tread ground I’ve already covered seems like a waste of the precious 700,000 hours of time I expect to spend alive. But, there are a rare few that give back enough to make the experience feel fresh every time.

movie-reelHere is a list of 25 comedy films that I have watched more than twice (and in some cases, probably more than a half dozen times). Since a lot of these are films that have been re-released or re-telecast bunches of times, I know I’m not the only one that enjoys the hilarity. And just to be clear, these aren’t even necessarily my favorite films (although some are).

25. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: It's  Mad, Mad, Mad, WorldThis is one very loooooooooong comedy. In my opinion, comedies aren’t supposed to be long. People love to laugh, but they can’t do it for hours at a time, so it takes a special movie to hold one’s attention for almost three hours and it’s even more satisfying if people want to watch it again and again. My favorite scene is when Sylvester Marcus (played by Dick Shawn) is roaring down the road bawling: “Mama, it’s all right. Everything’s gonna be all right. Your baby’s coming to get ya.” Cracks me up every time.

24. Charade

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Charade!

Cary Grant. The incorrigible rogue. Audrey Hepburn. The elegant yet hilarious darling. Perfectly cast film with enough humor and suspense to make me want to watch it over and over again.

23. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Ferris Beuller's Day Off

The 80’s were full of quirky, coming-of-age movies. John Hughes can be thanked for that and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a funny little film that never wears out its welcome.

22. Animal House

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: National Lampoon's Animal House

College was an awesome time-and-place experience. Animal House brings back fond memories every time (not because I did any of the antics in the film but because I watched the film a lot during that time — vicarious shenaniganary; how pathetic is that?!).

21. Philadelphia Story

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: The Philadelphia Story

James Stewart pulls off the most hilarious drunk scene I’ve ever watched. And for crying out loud — Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant together. Wow. Let’s see that again.

20. The Mask

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: The Mask

Jim Carrey is to comedy as Sylvester Stallone is to action films. No one really respects him as an actor but everyone has seen most of his movies more than once (admit it – Ace Ventura is on your rewatched list whether you liked it or not). This one is my favorite Carrey film.

19. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

This movie is so dated that you might think it would stop being relevant. But it doesn’t. Oddly, I haven’t watched it nearly as much as I probably should.

18. Beetlejuice

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Beetlejuice

This is an example of a movie that isn’t one of my favorites but that I will watch if it happens to be on TV when I’m clicking through the channels. It’s Michael Keaton at his best.

17. Best in Show

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Best in Show

Christopher Guest owns the mockumentary genre.This is his best film. I’ll single out Fred Willard’s performance as the dim-witted reporter who can’t believe anyone actually takes dog shows seriously. Exactly my sentiments.

16. Addams Family

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Addams Family

Some actors fit a role so perfectly you can’t imagine anyone else playing it (and before you start screaming, I’m talking films here; John Astin was brilliant in the TV series). Raul Julia as Gomez Addams is one of the most entertaining characters I’ve ever watched. So, I watch him a lot.

15. O Brother, Where Art Thou

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: O Brother, Where Art Thou

The Coen Brothers show up a lot on pretty much all of my movie lists. They just know how to make “characters” work brilliantly with excellent casts. One of my favorite lines is “Damn! We’re in a tight spot,” which was funny the first time Everett says it but making Clooney’s character repeat it several times had me rolling on the floor.

14. Up

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Disney Pixar Up

I’m willing to watch pieces of Pixar movies anytime they’re on the Disney channel but this movie is worth watching from beginning to end in repeated showings. The sentimentality might be gooshy to some, but it’s aces for me.

13. The Princess Bride

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: The Princess Bride

You would have been shocked if this wasn’t on the list, right?

12. Raising Arizona

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Raising Arizona

Another Coen classic. Again, immensely watchable characters. How do they do it? We’d better watch it again to see if we can figure it out.

11. Napoleon Dynamite

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Napoleon Dynamite

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me. Favorite character? Kip. Everyone has met a “Kip” at some point in their lives.

10. A Christmas Story

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: A Christmas Story

This is a seasonal film, so it has an unfair advantage . Watching holiday movies is almost a required ritual that can’t be avoided. But of all the Christmas movies out there, this film is the one I actually enjoy.

9. Trading Places

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Trading Places

Trading Places is just a completely satisfying film. Comeuppance at its best.

8. The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: The Pink Panther Strikes Again

“Does your dug bite?” We talked about perfect casting above. Can you imagine anyone other than Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau? You’d think Hollywood would figure that out.

7. The Return of the Pink Panther

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: The Return of the Pink Panther

Guy Gadbois had such a short screen time that I watch this film over and over hoping I’ll see him pop up somewhere I missed.

6. Singin’ in the Rain

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Singing' in the Rain

My favorite musical. It’s got it all.

5.  Ghostbusters

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Ghostbusters

As hilarious as the main characters are (and they fantastically hilarious), Rick Moranis as Louis Tully will never grow old for me.

4. Office Space

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Office Space

This is a movie I love to hate. I have lived through cubicle hell, so why would I want to watch it again? Because it makes me laugh while I cry.

3. Toy Story

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Toy Story

One of my sons watched this movie every day for a straight month (plus a few days). I get it. All 3-D animated movies in the last 15 years owe this film tribute.

2. Galaxy Quest

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Galaxy Quest

If there are any geeks out there that do not rank this movie high on their Favorites list, they have no sense of humor and should be reprogrammed.

1. Groundhog Day

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: Groundhog Day

This film isn’t even the one I’ve watched the most repeatedly. But Groundhog Day is the comedy I enjoy the most every time I watch it. Sure, Bill Murray is at his very best in this film. Sure, Andy McDowell is cute as a button. Sure, the other quirky characters are wonderful additions to the cast. But it’s the premise, and how it unfolds, that hits a park-clearing home run. In fact, it’s about time to watch it again.


What about the movie that I have watched more than any other in bits and pieces but have never watched completely in one sitting? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Whenever it’s on TV around the holidays, I’ll pause and watch a few scenes before I get bored and move on. And yet, I keep watching it (piecemeal) every year …

Movies that are worth seeing multiple times: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

How about you? Any films you like to watch over and over that aren’t on my list?

Top 10 List of Top 10 Numbers of All Time

9 Mar

Since the beginning of numbers, there are certain numbers that are more number-ish than others. Here is a list of the Top 10 Numbers of All Time.


Number one, the number1. This number came in first. No surprise, really. It’s held that spot for essentially time and eternity and is likely to continue in that spot.


Number, the number two2. Number two is the second number on the list.



Number three, the number3. The third number is 3.



number-four4.  Number four comes in closely behind Number 3.



Five, the number5. Number five is sometimes confused with Letter “S” because of it’s shape. However, Letter “S” doesn’t even register on the Top Infinity Numbers List.


66. Number six is here at sixth place.



Nine7. In an astonishing twist, number nine actually displaces number seven and eight as the seventh number on the All Time Top 10 list.


The number seven8. Number seven is still ahead of number eight in spite of the surprising placement of number nine in the seventh position.



The number 8.9. Number eight looks like the infinity sign turned on its side. That still isn’t enough to get it to a higher position.



10 is the tenth number10. Rounding out the Top 10 list is number ten.



14While this is a strict Top 10 list, it should be noted that number fourteen placed just outside the list and has often been found to contend for the sixth position. The likelihood of breaking into the top ten is quite small but we admire the heroic effort.





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