Friday, May 30, 2014

Always with the Condor Comics

Yes, I cut this part of the main post because the damn thing took just forever to load. This will make it easier on your browsers. Anyway ....

Longtime readers must be really tired with hearing the name of Condor Comics whenever I write about german comics but it´s the company that published a lot of the comics in my formative comic reading years.

Not only did they do the german versions of Marvel Comics,

they also did the german versions of the Marvel Graphic Novels

and Marvel´s EPIC Illustrated magazine.

They also had DIE COSMIC RANGER with First´s WARP and GRIMJACK,


 as well as two Jack Kirby series from Pacific Comics, SILVER STAR

and CAPTAIN VICTORY, although at the time I didn´t appreciate it.

And that was just the superhero section. Condor also did a whole lot of funny and satire books like KAPUTT, the german version of MAD.

Which should not be confused with KAPUTT AG which was the german version of 13, RUE DEL PERCEBE by spanish comic icon Francisco Ibañez.

The series started in Germany under the title AUSGEFLIPPT

and it was one of the earliest works by Ibañez. The simple idea was to show a entire building and all the weird and strange tenants on one page. 


Condor must have bought the license for spanish comics in a bundle because they also did SUPERMEIER, the german version of SUPERLOPEZ,

Francisco Ibañez´s MEIN GOTT, WALTER ( a.k.a. Pepe Gotera y Otilio ),

as well as TOM TIGER & CO ( El botones Sacarino ) 

and of course Francisco Ibañez´s most famous comic in the world CLEVER & SMART or Mortadelo y Filemon how it was known all over Spain. 

But since that is a topic for an even larger post - which took up a lot of the time I spent on research these last days - you´ll have to wait until another day to find out more about that and how this lady ties in with it.

Trust me on this, she really DOES have something to do with it all ( and even if not, she does have a spectacular rear view, don´t you agree ? ).

Okay, I´ll give you a hint : it has something to do with this movie :

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lost in translated comics

After almost a week since my last post it´s finally time for me to stop with the research for the next posts and write something. Because researching comics is all I did this week and it all started with MYKROS.

I mentioned them in my last post and when fellow blogger Terry Hooper - Scharf from the excellent COMICBITS ONLINE ( you DO check it out on a religious basis, right ? ) mentioned in the comments section how a lot of his BASTEI MYKROS issues were stolen I went looking in the catacombs of my vast comic collection to see if I could come up with a few issues.

Which would have been a more successful search if I hadn´t looked in the pocket book section. Because while MYKROS was published in german by BASTEI ( apparently until issue 21 ) there were no pocket books among them. But I DID find pocket books 8 and 9 of DAS RUHMREICHE STAR - TEAM which was Condor´s german version of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS.

For some unknown reason the name of THE SHIELD was changed to STAR MAN in Germany and so the team was called THE FAMOUS STAR TEAM.

Which later on led to a lot of confusion on my part because I thought that John Carpenter movie was a comic book adaption. I was disappointed.


There have been a lot of different Starmen in comics ( not counting the one from Star Team ) and according to when you were born - or which comics you read - your Starman is either the original, Ted Knight,

a blue skinned alien named Mikaal Thomaas,

another alien ( with pinky skin ) called Prince Gavyn,

another alien played by Jeff Bridges in that sci fi classic STARMAN,

 finally a guy from good old planet Earth called Will Payton

and last but not least ( verily his is one of THE best comic series EVER ) legacy hero Jack Knight who was rather reluctant to pick up the mantle from his brother who had a far too brief stint in the original costume.

You can say what you want about ZERO HOUR but there were some great books coming out of that reboot book´s fallout and it was my starting point for happily engaging - once again - in the Legion of Super Heroes.

Which had a member, Thom Kallor, called Star Boy, who later became tied into the Starman legacy by James Robinson ( as most of the other Starmen at some point of the book ) and who played important parts in two of my favorite reads : Justice Society of America´s THY KINGDOM COME and LEGION OF THREE WORLDS. Both comics were - strangely enough  - written by Geoff Johns who was really firing on all cylinders.

But I don´t want to go into all the details of the different Starmen ( some like Ted Knight and Prince Gavyn will pop up in my next posts anyway ) because that would be a post on its own and it has already been covered at length by Professor Scott Tipton in his great COMICS 101 Starman posts ( Ted Knight / other Starmen / Jack Knight part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5 / part 6 / part 7 / part 8 / part 9 / part 10 / 101 archives ).

So let´s get back to DAS RUHMREICHE STAR TEAM, shall we ?


Going over the contents of issues 8 and 9 I realized that two of the artists on the book - Tony DeZuniga and Dick Ayers - have passed away since.

Now with Tony DeZuniga it´s not such a big surprise that he did some of the inking on this because during the time I started collecting comic books he was everywhere. There was no genre where he wouldn´t pop up sooner or later and no matter if you were a DC guy reading JONAH HEX, a Marvel guy reading THOR or you picked up such indie titles like NOW´s TWILIGHT ZONE he was there. It would be probably faster listing the DC and Marvel titles he didn´t work on and if you are reading the ESSENTIALS or SHOWCASE editions his name will be appearing in the credits again and again. He was one of Marvel´s house inkers together with other stalwarts like Romeo Tanghal and Steve Leihola - in fact Tony DeZuniga was on Peter David´s first issue of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

As for Dick Ayers, his list of work is even longer ( you can find out more about it here ) since he did every genre from monsters to westerns to war comics to superhero stuff like The Fly, Freedom Fighters, Iron Man, the Avengers or Red Wolf and even Femforce, one of my brother´s favorites.

So on STAR TEAM they both worked on it although the german credits don´t clearly state who did what. Rich Buckler also did some of the art and he´s also one of those unsung comic artists who keep popping up lately in my reading material like All - Star Squadron, DC Comics Presents or Avengers. One of those days I´ll have to do a post about him and that other dude who always did the art in the comic books I read, Keith Pollard.

Back to STAR TEAM, re - reading the pocket books wasn´t easy because one story began in number 8, was continued in number 9 and probably beyond while the rest was filled with other stories with different heroes.

Which was one of Condor´s many problems. According to The Mighty Crusaders homepage " the series was running in Germany from 1982 - 1984 in paperback form. The stories inside have been shortened and panels have been rearranged. Covers are not the original ones either. The paperbacks had just one newly made or pasted cover - the single issues covers are missing. The series was not very popular due to the lousy combination of several series in one book without any chance of continuity. " And the bad translation didn´t help sell it much either.

So it´s no wonder I have only two of the books in my collection.

If you want to know exactly which issues were in which german pocket book or if you want to check out all the full size cover scans ( I had to cut them down in size a bit ) here´s the link to THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS .


Once again I have to finish the post sooner than planned as it has gotten longer - and in different directions - than anticipated but not before the usual things have been taken care of. While looking for covers of the post ZERO HOUR Legion I found issue 78 of LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES

which of course is an homage to this ADVENTURE COMICS cover

which was used for this crossover that never happened.

Another homage is issue 101 with Ayla taking the place of her brother

from the classic THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF LIGHTNING LAD storyline that reached its culmination in ADVENTURE COMICS 312

which was reprinted in issue 403 of the same title. And if you are still not a Legion fan CBR´s article DON´T FEAR THE LEGION might convert you.

So that´s it for Today as I really should have spent most of the day with sleeping the Odin Sleep - as they say - to be fit for work on Saturday instead of writing these long postings. But we will continue this topic with more Condor, more german comics and spanish comics in our next post.

And since Today´s post started with german comic series STAR TEAM the video at the end of the post is one of Germany´s funniest comedy duos MUNDSTUHL with their sketch on Superman vs Batman. " Hitzeblick ! "

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

C´est le STRANGE feeling of Deja Vue again

It seems like I´ll never get to do my ALL - STAR SQUADRON post because every time I´m about to something else comes along. Today I wanted to continue with the INFERNO crossovers but after I had everything prepared ( I even dug out my own copy of AVENGERS 300 for this ) it´s now much too late to start with that. So I´m doing something I already prepared.

As you may have already deducted from the title Today´s post involves french comics or rather the french translation of american Marvel comics.

Yes, while most comics published in France are french or franco belgian BDs ( that´s Bande Dessinees which is the french word for comics as well as for the national union of comic artists ) there are also some american comics which are translated for the french readership. And I know this because it was one of the few things that made my student exchange sojourn to France bearable. Now I don´t know for which post I was doing the research - it was either for the SECRET WARS II posts or a HULK post - but I already mentioned that I read some Marvel comics in the french version first. Although reading is probably assuming too much since I´m not really that fluent in french. But I bought a few Marvel comics during my stay in France and I still have them somewhere in my comic boxes.

The cover you see above is from a STRANGE SPECIAL and STRANGE was one of the anthologies that presented Marvel Comics to the french audience. There was also SPIDEY but I think that came later on because - aside from various special series - the main were NOVA and STRANGE. Now I´m not so sure which comics were put into which titles but unlike what you might think Spider - Man was not in SPIDEY. SPIDEY had the X - Men and the New Mutants while Spider - Man was in STRANGE which didn´t have Doctor Strange in it and NOVA also didn´t have Nova in it but rather the Fantastic Four. And to add another wrinkle on it TITANS didn´t have the Teen Titans in it but STAR WARS and a whole lot of other stuff while the Teen Titans were published in LES JEUNES TITANS. Confusing.


It´s a bit difficult to make a clear cut to which series were published in which book because Marvel comics were published in France by three different publishers ( at least as far as I know ) Aredit - Artima, Semic SA and Editions Lug and none of them were very consequent in that regard.

STRANGE was the book that started printing Spider - Man issues

but it also contained issues of AVENGERS

as well of issues from the INVINCIBLE IRON MAN

and even the FANTASTIC FOUR

who normally were in NOVA.

STRANGE was first titled as LE JOURNAL DE SPIDER - MAN and later as LE MENSUEL DE SUPER - HEROS when it also included John Byrne´s NAMOR

and even some DC books like WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN


Now NOVA had LES FANTASTIQUES ( The Fantastic Four ) !

but also sometimes issues from the SPIDER - MAN line of books,

or THE SILVER SURFER. But here´s where the real fun starts.

Because TITANS was probably the book where they just threw in everything else they couldn´t put in the other books. From CHAMPIONS




or the AVENGERS,


In some cases I think it might have been influenced by the artist because there is no other common thing about CAPTAIN AMERICA

and SILVER SURFER than that Ron Lim did the art on both series.

On the other hand they might have just liked the cosmic stuff because they also included some issues from WARLOCK & THE INFINITY WATCH.

But I´m certain they liked Alan Davis because not only did they include his excellent EXCALIBUR series ( this book has my highest recommendation )

but also his criminally short lived CLAN DESTINE adventures.

And fellow blogger Terry Hooper would probably throw a fit if I forget to mention one of his favorite series, the french super hero saga MYKROS.

So now that I got all my faithful readers out there properly worked up and totally confused let´s get to the part I really wanted to write about Today.


I want to begin the DEJA VUE section of the post with covers that are slightly altered from the original version. I know, normally I just include cover hommages or recreations but here are a few french covers that are different from the originals. Now this happens in most of the translated covers and I have posted dozens of examples from the german versions of american comics. So don´t think I´m singling out the french people.

The first one is the cover for TITANS issue 17

which not only has less background and no speech balloons or text than on the original cover but instead of the Ghost Rider it´s his alter ego Johnny Blaze who rescues the Black Widow. Riding a bike that is not burning.

This may have something to do with overprotective parent groups or even religious reasons but I don´t want to speculate without substantial info.

What I found a bit stranger was that the cover for EXCALIBUR 42

looks quite different in the french version.

I guess they couldn´t translate the written pun adequately and went with the slapstick version instead. Because you know they love Jerry Lewis.

Now in the following case they just took a splash page from the issue and used it as a cover. You might remember it from my last HULK post.


Okay, now we come to the real cover hommages which are not as many as you might think. Which explains why I thought this would be a short post before my next REAL comic post. But then I began to write about the different french publications and which series were included in which of them - which is business as usual. Just give me any excuse to rant.

So our first original cover is SILVER SURFER 14

which was not only used for issue 9 of STRANGE ( September 1970 )

but also as the cover of issue 21 of NOVA in the October of 1979.

It was also hommaged in this wonderful masterpiece by french artist Frisano ( I think I already posted his website in an earlier post ).

Now I don´t know from where this cover of STRANGE was derived

if it´s really copied from anywhere ( at least I couldn´t find the particular cover or splash page ) but Frisano does another excellent version here.

And that´s the end of this post. As usual I should be in bed for a few hours instead of writing these long posts but what else is new ?

Now before closing I have to add the usual link section which in this case is a bit odd since all of it has to do with the INFERNO CROSSOVERS which is what I originally wanted to write about. I´m not sure if it really would have taken more time then this post but here goes. UNITED MONKEE provided the original ad for the INFERNO crossover which is number 11 in COMICBOOK RESOURCES´ list of the 50 Greatest X - Men Stories ( still not published in Germany ) which is also the topic of the portugese blog LEITURAS DE BD .Comicbook Resources also does a feature on Gilgamesh in 365 Reasons to love comics and ALL ABOUT COMICS has a post on the Avengers from around issue 110 to Disassembled while SPLINTER´S REVIEWS 1st part of Walter Simonson´s AVENGERS run covers issues 291 to 293. And last but not least GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE has a post on Uncanny X - Men 230 which also includes an ad for that AVENGERS run.

Since Today´s post was all about Marvel comics the video at the end of the post is one with Stan Lee and both John Romitas. Now I know some people think Stan´s hogging all the attention but it´s worth it for a chance to see these great artists at work. And let´s be realistic, you can´t expect them to draw and entertain the viewers at the same time.

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