Monday, January 26, 2015

Tribute to Bronze Age giant Sal Buscema

I hadn´t planned to do a post but after finding out that Sal Buscema celebrates his 79th birthday Today I thought I should at least do a short one since he was - and still is - such a big part of my comic reading diet.

As someone who started reading comics in the Bronze Age, Sal Buscema was always present since he did many books at that time at Marvel.

Because if you were reading comics in the Bronze Age you were reading Marvel comics since they were a cut above the rest. I would have said competition but for the largest part there was no real competition for Marvel as DC was largely selling books based on the familiarity of readers with the characters and the art than because of the quality of stories. But I might be biased in this regard since I always liked Bronze Age Marvel better than Bronze Age DC. In any case Sal Buscema was in a lot of my reading material and he became one of my favorite artists early on.

Together with his brother John Buscema he did a lot of different titles for Marvel and because of his ability to draw really fast he had a huge artistic output and doing four different titles during one month was not unusual for Sal. While some people say he only got started in the comic business because of his brother I think most people get their jobs with ye old vitamin b and the important thing is that he did have the artistic ability to become one of the all time comic greats. Since it would be too long to list all the titles he has worked on in this post I´m just going to mention the few that have played a bigger part in my comic reading journey.

So the first thing I want to talk about is part of the past but also of the present because it has to do with his unparalleled ten year run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Longtime readers have had the opportunity to read various long posts on my love for the Bronze Age Hulk especially the short period where Sal was partnered with inker Ernie Chan. For me it is one of the highlights of Sal Buscema´s epic Hulk run and one of the great injustices of history is that none of it is available in a nice hardcover edition. With Disney´s new focus on omnibus books and the new Epic Collections it is uncertain if that will ever be the case as some people question if the Marvel Masterworks are going to be continued at all.

Having just recently acquired my first Marvel Masterwork ( which featured the Celestial Madonna Saga, one of the Avengers most famous stories that includes some issues drawn by Sal Buscema ) I have to say that they are still a bit expensive for my taste but in the case of the Hulk issues by Sal Buscema and Ernie Chan I´d be willing to make an exception because they are some of the best stories Marvel ever produced - at least in my humble opinion. And issue 217, where the Hulk joins a band of circus misfits is probably one of the best comic stories of all time.

Today´s readers have no idea what a ten year run on a single title is like.

I mean, nowadays most comic creators seldom stay longer on any given title than the obligatory six issues necessary to be collected in a trade paperback. And some even have trouble accomplishing that so that the comic company has to find other artists for the issues in between.

So staying on a title for 120 consecutive issues is something readers have no concept of. To put things into perspective a bit : when I was still going to school as a kid and we went to Spain every year for the holidays, who was the artist on those issues of LA MASA I bought ? Right, Sal Buscema.

Many years later, when I was a teenager still going to school and Condor started publishing Marvel comics again in Germany, and I could read the Hulk again who was still drawing it ? You guessed right. Sal Buscema.

And once again many years later, when I was doing my education as a car mechanic in Stuttgart and had discovered a newsstand that was selling american comics, who was still doing the Hulk ? Sal Buscema was who.

Now you might say that with the spanish and german translations of the HULK comics there were issues from all periods of the title´s history.

Issues drawn by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Herb Trimpe and of course Sal Buscema. But the thing is that even when they had finally caught up to the actual issues all of those were done by Sal Buscema. I mean when I read comics as a little kid Sal Buscema had started on Hulk and when I was a grown man he was still doing it. I had just gotten my first issues of Crossroads Hulk ( comic readers from my generation will remember this period fondly ) and my pal Sal was still whipping them out every month.

Okay, I said that Sal Buscema´s historical ten year run on the Incredible Hulk title was something from my past as a comic reader but also from my present because he´s the main artist in ESSENTIAL HULK volume 7.

( as always here´s the colored version of the splash page above : )

You may recall that I started to pimp it - when it was still at a bargain price of 7.50 EUROS at amazon ( the current price is 11 EUROS but it might get even lower again ) - and then went on a tangent about the Marvel Masterworks and the new Epic collections and why there are no cheap comics available in Germany. But I never really got around to do a full post on this so you kinow there is one coming up very soon. It´s a really great book and even if I´m a bit miffed that Disney cancelled the Essential line I am glad that they made it to that volume because it comes just between issues 29 and 33 of the spanish BIBLIOTECA MARVEL line.

So even if I am nowhere near to a complete run at least I have no gaps.

And this period of time is really one of my favorite ones from the title because the book was where a lot of new characters were introduced.

A lot of them saw their first light in the pages of other publications but I encountered most of them for the first time inside of MARVEL TEAM UP

or the other Spider - Man title THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN. And yes, the artist on these books - among others - was once again Sal Buscema.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK was another Marvel book were new characters were introduced or re - introduced to newer readers which was mainly because the Hulk always needed somebody new to fight each month.

And the Hulk could appear anywhere in the world. With his giant jumps he could cover great distances very fast and he could pop up anywhere on the panet. When I first read the Contest of the Champions the few characters aside from the regular Marvel heroes who had their own book I recognized like the Arabian Knight or Sabra had previously been in the Hulk comic.

Another title where I just recently got some new hardcovers at a bargain price where Sal Buscema did some of the issues is THE AVENGERS and the stories are the classic Defender War and The Celestial Madonna Saga.

I have already mentioned the Celestial Madonna Saga I my last comic pimping post so I won´t talk about it here. Also I want to do a full post on that wacky story. The same goes for the Defenders War but I´m going to mention one thing which is that I liked the issues of THE DEFENDERS more than the AVENGERS issues because they were done by Sal. His art really makes the whole book and the DEFENDERS has always been a book on my TO - READ list. This was Marvel´s first anti - team book, there´s some great art by Sal and it´s were the Valkyrie was introduced who is one of the most often underappreciated and underused characters.

I could go on for hours like this but it´s once again time to wrap things up so I will just quickly mention two of my favorite books before closing.

The first one is the SPIDER - GIRL series which had many continuations. It´s one of the best spider related books out there and Sal Buscema did the inks on the final part of the issues. If you have had enough from all the retcons and restarts and you can´t stomach any more brand new days or Doctor Octopus taking over Pete Parker´s body here´s a book for you.

And speaking about Spider - Man and lengthy runs you might want to check out SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN where Sal did issues 134 to 238.

Last but not least I have to mention ROM, SPACEKNIGHT by Bill Mantlo where Sal Buscema did the first 58 issues and Steve Ditko did the rest.

Since Disney is not interested in reacquiring the license ( at least until there is a big blockbuster movie involved ) there will be no reprints so your only chance to read this comic gem is to work your way through back issue bins or head on over to the fabulous DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND where our good pal Old Groove is tirelessly posting the issues of ROM like issue 7 that just went online . Yes, it´s the post where I found out that it´s Sal´s birthday and you can find the first six issues here.

So no links this time but I have a DEJA VUE cover. What ? You don´t think I picked the cover for SPECTACULAR SPIDER - MAN 206 at radom, do ya ?

Now you might want to get your favorite Sal Buscema comic from your comic book collection ( I´m sure there are enough to choose from since he practically drew any Marvel character at some point of his career ) to celebrate Sal´s birthday. Or you might just want to check out Today´s videos. Since this post was pretty Marvel centric here´s another Spider - Man movie from my misspent youth : SPIDER - MAN STRIKES BACK !  

And in the cartoon section of this post we stay with Spider - Man although we include his amazing friends. Not only was this Spider - Man´s most successful cartoon, it also introduced Firestar who became a New Warrior.

And to close things out here´s another Schoolhouse Rock video, Conjunction Junction is one of the best known and most beloved videos.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lost and found : strange german comics

Today I´m just doing a quick post ( hopefully ), kind of an between posts thing. I´m always trying to keep things diverse but sometimes I can´t find an a topic for pictures I find doing the research for other things.

Now I could just put them away and hope that someday the right topic comes around but that rarely happens. And if it does I mostly no longer remember where I put the picture. So here are some german covers.

I know that a lot of my readers like to see them since it´s not something you see a lot of. And I like posting them just to show what really strange things you can find when you´re not really trying. Like this one right here.

KRIMI KLASSIKER 1 from the Bildschriftenverlag brings us Charles Rand, Spezial - Schutz - Agent der Vereinten Nationen ( Special Protection Agent of the United Nations ) a man with a rather particular fighting style.

Talk about jumping in feet first into a situation. I also picked this cover because more than a cover it is actually the splash page, the first page of the story and that´s something you don´t see in comics nowadays very often. Back when I started reading comics as a kid this happened quite often with comics since the page count between original comics from other countries and Germany where very different. So you either had to put in filler or you had to break the story up into two parts with ye old " to be continued " schtick or had to cut pages. And sometimes you had just enough pages from the cover to the last page to put in the comic if you skipped the cover. Which many companies did. I mean, it´s not like a lot of people read the cover. Sure, more than Today a cover was made to lure readers in, to grab their attention and make them buy the comic. But after that they just turn the cover and read what´s inside. And this way you could skip all the switch and bait and get right to reading the comic.

Which would be impossible to pull off with most comics Today since they not only need the space for their cover but also for the dozen of variants they need to put on almost any issue because otherwise it doesn´t sell.

But back to Charles Rand, THE FIRST MAN ON SUNDAY in THE LEAGUE OF BARKEEPERS a title that doesn´t sound too threatening. But beware :

Blackmail, treacherous murder, robberies ..... that´s the real " League of Barkeepers " ! And no country is safe from them. They spread their mischief - until Charles Rand gets the assignment to put them out of business. But their tentacles are wide spread and it seems Charles Rand has to catch them one at a time. Charles Rand often faces death and he has to apply all his tricks to avoid falling victim to them. His mission is not finished until the entire band of barkeepers is caught.

Which sometimes means hitting those dastardly rogues in the face with your feet while shouting : " What do you think about this nice kick ? "

I was a bit surprised by DIE EULE because I immediately had to think of WATCHMEN´s Night Owl. Alan Moore said in many interviews that he came up with the character because he couldn´t use BLUE BEETLE but what if he didn´t come up with the character and just used The Owl ?

Now one may argue that The Owl is a bit of an obscure character having only appeared in two issues of his own title ( when I look at the covers I think I might know why that is ) but aren´t obscure comic characters Alan Moore´s field of expertise ? And don´t forget that he also did not create all the comic characters he used in his TERRA OBSCURA limited series.

Most of them were public domain characters who had previously been published by Nedor Comics and among them was the Captain Future superhero I mentioned in my big Captain Future post I did last year.

Alan Moore knew about them so it is reasonable that he knew The Owl.

And I´m not talking about plagiarism here since those are public domain characters so they fall under fair use. I only want to say that it is possible Alan Moore used The Owl as a basis. I mean there must be something to the characters since not only Erik Larsen used some of them in SAVAGE DRAGON but they also appear in DYNAMITE´s PROJECT SUPERPOWERS.

As for any connections to the genesis of DC´s Owlman character I doubt that. Yes, Owlman was the counterpart to Batman and The Owl had a girlfriend that was a reporter who found out his secret and became his sidekick Owl Girl. And yes, her name was Bella Wayne but since The Owl first appeared in 1940 the question would be who influenced who.

I couldn´t find much on GREAT COMICBOOK DATABASE so I have to rely on wiki and according to them The Owl is one of the few original characters published by Dell. His first appearance was in CRACKAJACK FUNNIES 25 ( July 1940 ) and Owl Girl debuted in issue 32 ( February 1941 ). After the series ended, the duo appeared in Dell’s POPULAR COMICS, from issue 72 ( February 1942 ) to 85 ( March 1943 ). In the 1960s, Gold Key Comics revived The Owl and Owl Girl, inspired by the success of the Batman TV series. The two issues of Gold Key’s THE OWL — in which the duo was shown in campy, self - parodying stories — came out in April 1967 and April 1968. The Owl Girl in the revival was a different one from the 1940s version, and in the partnership she handled most of the physical combat.

In the 1970s, The Owl ( without either Owl Girl ) appeared in issue 22 of Gold Key’s THE OCCULT FILES OF DOCTOR SPEKTOR. In a text article in that issue, Doctor Spektor speculates that the Owl may have been privy to some kind of secret of prolonged youth, a secret that for some reason could not be shared with Owl Girl. In 1999, The Owl also appeared in AC Comics´ MEN OF MYSTERY COMICS 17 and 2013 Dynamite Entertainment published a 4 issue mini series starring The Owl and The Owl Girl ( this version being the granddaughter of the original ) as main characters.

Speaking about DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT and sidekicks who handled most of the physical combat the most famous one is Kato played by Bruce Lee in the cult series THE GREEN HORNET. Ah, the days when you could buy a comic for 75 Pfennig. Or how about the days when we had Pfennigs and Deutschmarks for that matter. That was an incredibly solid currency.

Speaking about going back in time one of my all time favorite movies is THE TIME MACHINE from 1960 starring Rod Taylor. Another thing I really like are the painted GOLD KEY covers for the ILLUSTRIERTE KLASSIKER.

Now this comic is not an adaption of the movie but of the book by H. G. Wells ( By the way, was I the only one who suspected that time travel was involved when I heard that the founder of S.T.A.R. labs in the new FLASH series was introduced as Doctor Wells ? ) although I have to admit I don´t know if and how they both differ since I have never read the classic book.

The same cover was used for the album version Bildschriftenverlag published later with a price increase of almost one hundred percent.

And here is where I want to end the post for Today since I have promised to do a short one and the links list is rather long even if I narrowed it down to the few websites I came across during the research for this post.

As you can probably guess from the topic most of them are about Gold Key comics and this is by no means a selection based on quality. I´m sure there must be hundred of websites out there who tread the subject that have excellent posts like the ones by MR. BLOG`S TEPID RIDE on Gold Key comics or Scott Tipton´s COMICS 101 post that covers Gold Key´s STAR TREK comics. For more on that TREK CORE has a gallery of Gold Key´s STAR TREK comics and the STAR TREK COMICS CHECKLIST has a post on British Mighty TV Comic Gold Key reprints . Also QUAZOO has a really exhaustive post on Gold Key comics that covers all the series in detail.

Bill and Sue - On Hillman´s ERBzine has galleries on Gold Key´s KORAK comics and because the blog is about all things Edgar Rice Burroughs they also have the entire issue of Dell´s JOHN CARTER OF MARS comic who is now mainly known for the scantily clad Deja Thoris. For my brother one of the main reasons why the latest Disney adaption of JOHN CARTER OF MARS flopped was that they had a political correct version of Deja Thoris.

MUSEUM OF MODERN MYTHOLOGY AND POP CULTURE has posts about Patrick McGoohan in the SECRET AGENT series and Russ Manning´s MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER , COMIC BOOK RESOURCES has the incredible covers by Gold Key as number 188 in their 365 Reasons to Love Comics countdown and a post on Gold Key one shots and the HELLO FROM FRED & ETHEL`S HOUSE blog has many Dell and Gold Key covers for tv comics in better quality than the usual suspects. Speaking about the usual suspects you probably won´t find issue 6 of the second volume of RADIOACTIVE MAN on the list that´s a total homage to those old Gold Key comics.

Thankfully COMICS OUGHT TO BE FUN has a post on that very subject .

You really find weird stuff doing these posts like the PROJECT SWORD MOONBASE CENTRAL website that has a few SUPERCAR comic covers.

A website that´s not such a big fan of Gold Key comics is STUPID COMICS and they have an entry on the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS comic with some interior artwork. Now they say they wouldn´t pay more than one Dollar for an issue of any given Gold Key title but the truth is they are rather pricey and if you want to find out current prices INVEST COMICS has a list of the Most Valuable Gold Key comics published each year from 1962 to 1984.

I´m also including this because there are some nice covers on this one.

Mike Madonna seems to hold the Gold Key comics in the same high regard as you can see by including them in his THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF STUPID blog. Since I haven´t found much interior pages I want to include his posts on TIGER GIRL 1 and BULLWHIP GRIFFIN where you can read the entire issues. And as a fan of Roger Langridge I have to include this one about issue 8 of GROSSE POINT which is a guilty pleasure of mine.

If you are interested in reading more Gold Key comics the SCOOBY DOO FAN COMMUNITY has a post on issue 25 for you that includes a story that apparently is less sexist towards Velma than the current tv cartoon show .

For me it has always been one of great mysteries in life why Velma was always portrayed as the ugly duckling type on the SCOOBY DOO cartoons when she clearly had more going on for her. The only time when Velma Dinkley was portrayed more akin to the way I always saw her was in the movie adaptions where she was played by the very hot Linda Cardellini.

I mean if you like skinny girls that have more beauty than brains then Daphne is definitely the girl for you. Velma on the other side has smarts, real curves and you bet she hides some big torpedoes under her sweater that are at least DDs. If I had to choose I would go on a date with Velma.

Since we ended Today´s proper post section with the movie version of Velma Dinkley our first clips are with the lovely Linda Cardellini. Here´s a scene from the first Scooby Doo movie where she looks really spectacular.

And here´s one from the second film with Velma in a tight red catsuit.

You have probably seen parts of Walt Disney´s classic skeleton dance short in music videos and such but here is the full original movie.

Speaking about skeletons, you always learn new things and something I knew nothing about was Schoolhouse Rock. Thanks to one of the latest episodes on COMIC GEEK SPEAK I found out about this cult series of educational animation shorts that used to be on american tv to teach whole generations of kids about basically everything. I think a big part of why kids are so stupid these days is that there are no more shows like these on tv. Anyway, to keep with the topic here´s THEM NOT SO DRY BONES that explains what the human skeleton is for. Education, yay !

Another tv show I didn´t know : UFO, an english tv series from 1970.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

" What´s my name, owlhoots ? " Wednesday

It´s SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE WEDNESDAY and it´s about time to talk about something I have mentioned before once or twice but I haven´t really done a post about it : the OGR or Original Ghost Rider if you want.

In the early days of the western United States, a masked man rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Spectre ! The Ghost Rider rides again !

Now there are probably some readers who have no idea what I´m talking about since to their knowledge the original Ghost Rider is a motorcycle riding ex - stunt driver, a skeleton clad in leather with a fiery skull.

Yes, that cowboy with the white get up appeared in some Marvel comics but wasn´t his name something like the Night Rider or Phantom Rider ?

To answer with a Walterism : Yes. And no. You see, as usual things are not so easy and I think I should address this conundrum since it ties in with one of the most read Avenger stories out there : THE SERPENT CROWN.

Depending on when you read the story and in which format the character we are talking about might have gone by any of those three names. Now if he was just an old western comic character who just had one last Hurrah in this story it might be just nit picking on my part. But the truth is that he did appear in more than one story and one will be especially remembered since it took place in the pages of WEST COAST AVENGERS and the consequences of it had a huge impact on Hawkeye´s better half.

And since we´re on the subject of comics and changing names I should probably mention that the title of WEST COAST AVENGERS was changed to AVENGERS WEST COAST when someone at Marvel realized that if the name of the comic begins with an " a " instead of a " w " it´s nearer at the top at newsstands which happen to put their goods in alphabetical order.


The whole story is a bit complicated so instead of going into the Serpent Crown story ( I still hope to do a few separate posts on this comic ) or the stories in WEST COAST AVENGERS ( which I still haven´t read since I´m not sure about buying the second Omnibus ) which might be confusing I think it´s best to start at the beginning. Which does not begin at Marvel Comics at all but rather at a comic company called Magazine Enterprises.

Magazine Enterprises was a comic book company that lasted from 1943 to 1958, and published western, humor, crime, adventure, and children's comics. It was founded by Vin Sullivan, an editor at Columbia Comics and before that the editor at National Allied Publications, which became DC Comics. Magazine Enterprises' characters include the jungle goddess Cave Girl, drawn by Bob Powell, and the funny animal hero Hot Dog, created by cartoonist George Crenshaw ( unrelated to the Archie Comics character ).

The company's superhero characters were the Avenger, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dick Ayers in THE AVENGER 1 ( March 1955 ), with Bob Powell drawing the character's three subsequent issues and all four covers and the aptly named Strong Man, an unmasked, super - strong hero in a jungle - print circus strongman outfit. The Avenger was one of the very few traditional, costumed superheroes created during the period before superheroes' revival in the Silver Age of Comics, beginning 1956.

Among the company's publications were licensed film and TV comics with Jimmy Durante, Dick Powell and the television series THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, starring Richard Greene. Additionally, LITTLE MISS SUBEAM COMICS starred the blond, pig - tailed mascot of Sunbeam Bread.

Since the copyright to Magazine Enterprises' comics were not renewed, they fell into the public domain in accordance with copyright laws at the time. Beginning in the 1980s, AC Comics issued reprint titles of Magazine Enterprises material, along with those of other defunct publishers of that era. As well, AC revived the Avenger as a guest star in FEMFORCE 19 ( 1989, no cover date ), then creating a new series. Ghost Rider reprints appeared in 1999 with the character renamed the Haunted Horseman.

The first Ghost Rider, Rex Fury was created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers for editor Vincent Sullivan in issue 11 of TIM HOLT in 1949.

Oddly enough there were no supernatural elements in the first version of his origin story published in TIM HOLT 11 but that was changed in the retold version that appeared in THE GHOST RIDER 1 ( thanks to Britt Reid at the WESTERN COMICS ADVENTURES blog for providing information ).

To make things even more complicated Rex Fury originally had a different secret identity than the Ghost Rider. He was known as the Calico Kid. Rex would pretend to be a mild mannered and wimpy traveling salesman, but he would change into the Calico Kid and become a colorfully dressed hero. He was assisted by a young Chinese boy named Sing Song whom he had saved from being framed for murder. His black horse was named Ebony, but he later got a white horse named Spectre after becoming Ghost Rider.

Federal marshal Rex Fury wore a white outfit covered with phosphorus and a cape that had phosphorescent on one side and black on the other.

Rex used the black side of the cape to cover parts of his body to give the illusion that he was merely a floating head or a pair of hands. To further the illusion, he wielded a black lariat and a black bullwhip so that he could appear to grab things at a distance, and even his twin six - guns and his horse, Spectre, glowed in the dark. He battled many foes who, like him, were not truly supernatural at all, such as an impostor of Frankenstein´s Monster and the Harpy, as well as others who were the real deal, such as werewolves and vampires. While the character never crossed over with anyone, his mask inspired the Avenger to put on a costume.

Dick Ayers later worked for Marvel and after the copyright for the original Ghost Rider had elapsed writers Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich came up with Marvel´s new non - horror western character that debuted in 1967.

I couldn´t find any information on if and how much Dick Ayers might have been involved in bringing this new version to life - apart from also being the artist on the first incarnation of the Ghost Rider -  so it might have been totally his idea or somebody at Marvel had read all those western horror comics because there are quite a few guys with similar names appearing in Marvel comics like the Avengers aquatic member Stingray.

In any case, neither the first Ghost Rider nor the second one were really horror characters and like his predecessor Marvel´s version used the old Scooby Doo schtick of faking supernatural powers with special effects.

Since I´m not really a specialist on the subject of old Marvel western comics I am not sure when he left this gimmick behind but I know that when he appeared in the Serpent Crown story with Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid and the Two Gun Kid he was just a straight forward western character.

Man, there were really a lot of " Kids " around in old Marvel westerns. I wonder if this qualifies as child labor. Back to the western Ghost Rider.

As unbelievable as it sounds to Today´s young comic readers there was a time when western was the most popular genre in movies, tv, pulp novels or comics. I don´t know how sales numbers were but some of the books like RAWHIDE KID were even published in Germany as RAUHFELL KID.

Anyway, when the popularity of western comics died out Marvel´s western heroes faded into the forgetfulness of comic limbo until writer Steve Englehart and artist George Perez brought them back in AVENGERS 142.

Yep, that´s the Iron Man armor with the nose. Suck it up, fanboy ! For those who don´t know the story ( I would question if there really are comic fans out there who are not aware of this story but there are a lot of new readers who have come in after watching the movies so let´s pretend that there are for the sake of argument ) I don´t want to spoil too much but the Avengers travel to the Wild West days where they encounter the western heroes we all know ..... or think we know.

As you can see they all had their old names except the Ghost Rider who now went under the name of Night Rider although the reason for that has to wait until our next SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE WEDNESDAY post. I hate to leave you hanging like this but it´s once again time to wrap things up.


Today´s post required quite a lot more research than I expected which is one of the reasons why I had to cut it short. For more on Ghost Rider artist Dick Ayers check out the interview by Roy Thomas from ALTER EGO volume 3 issue 10 and there´s also a remembrance of Dick Ayers , who died in 2014 by Cliff Galbraith on 13TH DIMENSION. People complain that I´m always linking the same websites but I just want to give kudos to the people who help me make the posts. It´s not my fault that the info is found on the same sites. Today´s sorces include BRONZE AGE BABIES who cover AVENGERS issue 142 as well as the rest of the Serpent Crown Saga.

You can also find entries on that story on SUPER MEGA MONKEY`S MARVEL COMICS CHRONOLOGY and AVENGERS THEN TO NOW . Kudos to all !

Before coming to the video section I just have to post this cover because the cowboy has the same hairdo as a certain Hansrudi Wäscher hero.

Because Today´s post was all about westerns the first video I want to include is from the tv series WESTERN VON GESTERN ( Yesterday´s Western ) which is where I got my regular western fix as a little kid.

For the first music video I wanted to include another TRUCK STOP video but since I don´t like to repeat myself here´s a very popular Schlager song from my youth : Gitte with I want a cowboy for a husband.

When I think about western I think about cowboys and colts and the colt I immediately associate with that is of course stuntman / bounty hunter Colt Seavers. I wanted to include the FALL GUY DOCUMENTARY but the embedding has been disabled so you´ll have to use the link to watch it.


In any case, I only wanted to have an excuse to mention 80s sexbomb Markie Post because I want to get the POP CULTURE TV SIREN - MARKIE POST post higher on my TOP TEN POST list. It´s right at the bottom. Markie Post played bail bonds contractor Terri Michaels on FALL GUY and public defender Christine Sullivan on the NBC sitcom NIGHT COURT.

At the beginning she played a minor role on FALL GUY but one of the producers must have realized what a waste it is to have somebody like Markie on the cast without letting her " show what her Mama gave her ".

So she got more involved in the stories where she stole the scene from Heather Thomas as soon as she donned a bikini ( mainly in Season 3 ), like in this scene from the " Inside, Outside " Season 3 episode 8.

The series had everything a good tv show needed : a cool main character, car chases, fisticuffs, explosions, shooting, monkeys, dangerous stunts, a lot of celebrity guest stars and the hot hardbody of Heather Thomas.

She played stunt body double ( and what a body it was ) Jody and her job was to keep the male viewers hooked by providing eye candy. She was in all episodes except for an episode in the first season. Yes, fan service is not as new as some people might want you to think and Heather Thomas mainly got the part because of her absolutely amazing bikini figure.

It took a few episodes before she could strut her stuff but once the tv guys got a taste of Heather it happened more often and the famous blue bikini scene was quickly added to the new intro of the second season.

For generations of adolescent young boys the only highlight of the week was the short moment during the intro of FALL GUY where sexbomb Heather Thomas appeared in her famous blue bikini ( if she - or later on Markie Post, or both of them - didn´t wear a bikini in the episode ).

Jody Banks was the reason guys watched THE FALL GUY - and the guest stars although when I first saw the show I didn´t know most of them.

But back to Heather Thomas . Thanks to her absolutely stunning 37 ( ! ) - 23 - 32 measurements and the exposure in THE FALL GUY she became a famous pin up model with posters in every boy's bedroom from that time.

She even replaced pin up goddess Raquel Welch on the number one spot.

Careerwise Heather just didn't manage to cash in on her popularity with her mostly male audience because she didn't want to use her hardbody to succeed. So the high points of her career were her parts in THE FALL GUY and the screwball comedy ZAPPED where she showed her lingerie.

Anyway, after a few episodes another hot babe appeared on FALL GUY : Markie Post whod was just as hot in a bikini as Heather if not hotter.

Really, if I would have had to pic only one of the two at that time I don´t know who I would have chosen. Anyway, you can read much more about Markie Post, Heather Thomas, Elvira, Kathleen Kinmont and bounty hunters on tv in the full post. Now click that link and let´s get it up.


Last but not least here´s the 2002 remake of swedish techno / folk / bluegrass band REDNEX . The group was very popular in Germany in the 90s although I have to say that I really started to like the band when new front woman Julie Anne Tulley a.k.a. Scarlett joined their line up.

Wikipedia says they´re mostly known for the hit song " Cotton Eye Joe " in 1994. Although extremely popular in Germany, where the band holds the record of most total weeks ( 25 ) at No.1 on the German singles chart over the past 30 years - scoring such hits as " Old Pop in an Oak ", " The Spirit of the Hawk ” and " Wish You Were Here " - " Cotton Eye Joe " remains Rednex's sole hit in the United States. Now the real reason the Rednex are so popular in Germany is Scarlett and her bouncing action.

They had another front woman with big boobs before ( a blonde ) but they really became most popular when Scarlett joined in 2001. Because they did a lot of live gigs on tv and Scarlett really knows how to shake it. She always puts some extra effort on making her boobies bounce as they often just jump up and down to the music. In one show ( I think it was called APRES SKI HITS ) Scarlett´s huge breasts where jumping up and down so wild they almost came up to her chin. And in this instance the cameraguy even filmed it which almost never happens on german tv.

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