Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Checkup from the Neck-up."
God, Samson looks like he's trying to sell Pool a gym membership there.

I had to do a little research on this one: I knew Estelle Getty died recently, and I thought Deadpool was hung up on her, not Bea Arthur. Incidentally, if you try a Google search for "Estelle Getty" and "Deadpool," you are not going to get the kind of results I was looking for. Just a heads up, there.

Like DC's Ambush Bug, Deadpool often breaks the fourth wall to talk to the reader, and often seems aware that he's in a comic book. I don't know that it's ever bothered Wade, like it does here: I was thinking of a Hulk issue where the guesting She-Hulk becomes agitated that she was made to look foolish in front of the readers, who the Hulk can't see, and he suggests she see none other than Doc Samson. Maybe it helped, since she doesn't talk to the reader as much anymore.

On the tail end of Cable/Deadpool, after Cable had left the book, Brother Voodoo asks Deadpool the question: Can he redeem himself? Voodoo didn't seem to think so, based on Pool's past crimes. Even if that was true, it's a harsh and foolish answer, one that could very well have given Pool permission to backslide into bad deeds again.

Next time: Samson's diagnosis. You may need to put some paper in the printer for that one...

Read more!

Monday, July 28, 2008

"This will not end well."
Good grief!
Seems like I've been waiting for this one for a long time: Doc Samson, from the Hulk/Fin Fang Foom Build-a-Figure series. Sadly, the good Doctor is probably the only one out of the wave that I'm going to buy (barring some freakish alignment of clearance markdowns) since to build the super-awesome looking dragon Fin Fang Foom would be about $120: eight figures at $15 a piece. I bought Samson in Montana, so I at least dodged the sales tax there; but if anyone wants to make a trade for the BAF part, leave a comment and we'll see if we can work something out. (It's a big piece, like Foom's lower torso/upper tail, assocological region. No Kirby shorts, either.)

As far as the figure goes, it's a little less posable than previous Marvel Legends, although that could just mean Samson's a lot more durable, too. He's done in the style of his early appearances in the sixties (no, sorry: Doc Samson first appeared in 1971) but honestly, that's aged better than his leather-and-ponytail look from John Byrne's 80's Hulk run.

Samson's origin is tied to a fake status quo change for the Hulk: Banner is cured by siphoning off some of his gamma radiation, but then mild-mannered psychiatrist Leonard Samson exposes himself to the radiation and gains super strength and luxurious, flowing green hair. Samson then starts making the moves on Banner's longtime girlfriend Betty Ross, so Banner stupidly exposes himself to gamma radiation again so he (or rather, the Hulk) can kick Samson's ass sideways. Fair enough, but then why didn't they just siphon off the radiation again? Ah, there's probably a stupid reason.

I picture Samson as being a rather buttoned-down, staid, and restrained individual; maybe even quiet, introverted, or meek. When he saw the opportunity to irradiate himself and maybe break out of his shell a bit, he took it. But even with the hair and the powers and the notoriety, Samson is still who he is: a little restrained, maybe a bit staid or conservative. He's also still better known for his psychiatric work (which is usually more bizarre and risk-taking) than his superheroing. As such, Samson fills an important spot: I've said before how the Marvel Universe used to have characters that were the go-to guys for a particular occupation. If a character needed a lawyer, Matt Murdock guest-starred. Mystic trouble? Dr. Strange. Photographer? Peter Parker. Psychiatrist? A lot of times, Doc Samson.

We're going to go a little differently this week, and have a new page every day or so. Can Doc Samson cure Deadpool's mental problems? Yeah, good luck with that... Read more!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Like Bully said, "How can I miss you when you won't leave?

Thanks to Bully at Comics Oughta Be Fun for the reference material for this one. I have the Star Trek one there, and forgot about it...

By the way, I'm taking all my comments the same way the FCC does for complaints, and counting each one of you as 50,000 people. You're worth that much easy, and thanks!

Still on vacation, though. See you next week! Read more!

Monday, July 21, 2008

On vacation, that's my excuse!

I haven't even really read this one yet, but the sheer WTF-level of this one made me buy it out of the quarter bin. MASK #8 cover by Curt Swan?

I can recall my early toys pretty clearly: Six Million Dollar Man, Mego Star Trek, classic Star Wars through Empire; then a terrible six or eight years or so where I was supposed to give a rat's ass about what other people thought and wasn't supposed to care about toys. I missed the first showings of Transformers, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, MASK...

What other people think sucks, kids. And it always will. New strip, I dunno, Wednesday? Read more!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Last Thursday in Metropolis:"
How long have I been gone? Do I have to tell you, click to enlarge?

God, I haven't posted this one already, have I? That'd be embarrassing...

Anyway, some good news: I found this one hidden away in my files, after I realized I'd only loaded one page of it to my Flickr. Duhr. So, I hadda republish the whole thing, and it's frankly just an attempt to get some use out of that Penquin figure. Yeah, he was just bought for the Metamorpho leg, but I wanted him to be good for something. I had the Superman figure out for comparison, and I was trying to figure, how could the Penguin deal with Superman? (Remember, there's a panel in Crisis on Infinite Earths where Firestorm appears to be having some trouble dealing with Penquin.) The answer: not very well, although bluffing goes a fair ways...

And after making a big stink about being done and not able to blog anymore, well, I'll probably be back soon. Um, except I'm on vacation this week, and I burned through the rest of my saved strips when I thought I wasn't going to be able to do this. And I'm in all likelihood only going to be blogging once or twice a week. And I'm severely cutting back on toy purchases, so someone else is probably gonna have to do that Wall*E/Iron Man panel. (I haven't even seen Wall*E yet, but it seems totally obvious...) And I'm probably making this announcement long after the lights are out and everyone's gone. So, um, yay? Read more!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"God, even if you're not gonna be around, there's something to be said for upkeep."
Why is Cap's statue hunched over? Hurt his back on class...sculpture day?
Even though I'm not updating...aside from this update,'s a little depressing to see the same post at the top all the time, since I'm still here a lot, since I use the sidebar to read all the blogs I read. Some I hit every day, some I hit once a week, some I can't read at work for fear of seeing something I can't unsee, but it's the easiest way for me to do it. (Not to say there's not easier ways, but I'm lazy.)

So, even if I'm not around or if I am, I'll probably keep adding to the sidebar. The Video Nasty Project and Topless Robot are both being added: they're not strictly comic book related, but there's enough overlap and both are well worth checking out.

And, a little good news: things are looking up a little around here, and I found a figuretoon I hadn't posted yet. At least, I think I didn't. I have to pull it back up, so later.

Keith Giffen art on a house ad for Avengers, from Clandestine #8. That was the last Alan Davis issue, it hobbled along for another four issues... Read more!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Everything sounds suggestive, it's the nature of the times."

And a brief note: until further notice, Random Happenstance is closed. I have family issues that need serious attention. Like Frosty, I may be back again someday, but it could be a long time. Maybe never, I don't know yet.

I wanna thank everyone who's ever stopped by and said hey, or not said hey. A big thanks to SallyP at Green Lantern Butts Forever!: I was hoping to get to that DCUC Green Lantern figure, since he's tailor-made for strips for you and Sea of Green. Well, maybe someday.

Poe Ghostal and Pete: Keep cranking out the figuretoons! I might be dark for awhile, but hopefully I'll still be around, and I know you guys will keep up the awesome until I get back.

The guys at Doomkopf and the Fortress Keeper: keep fighting the good fight, and thanks for everything.

And Siskoid: a sincere thanks for all the Trek. Each post reminds me of the old school fun.

God, this is more maudlin then I intended, I'm not dying. Let's just say, I hope to be back if and when my ship's correct, one way or the other, and hope to see everyone then. And if not, well, it has been that little slice of heaven I hear so much about. See ya. Read more!
This is what happens when you don't listen to your mom.  Or tip your lifeguard, I guess.
Another post will be up later this afternoon, and an announcement. Check back later. Read more!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Robin's Day Out, or Driving Object Lessons."

Click to enlarge. Or squint. See if I care!

That last Cobra Commander panel is terrible, sorry.

I have a Super Powers Batmobile, but no actual Super Powers figures. It was an eBay score, and there are the occasional figures that fit in it.

I love the old Animated style Robin, because he seems that much smaller than Batman or any of the bad guys, and stands out in contrast. This whole strip was little more than having Robin and some figures that would fit in the Batmobile in the same box. Incidentally, it was a box that hadn't seen a lot of use, since most of the toys I buy and display lately are larger-scale.

Plus, and this is another one of those things I could be completely misremembering, but in Batman: the Animated Series, wasn't Tim Drake initially only interested in getting revenge on Two-Face for killing his dad? And then Batman makes him Robin to keep him from getting killed, and get a new sidekick out of the deal? Kind of press-ganged Tim into the gig. Still, the voicework on Tim was better than you would've thought, and Tim seemed to have a relatively normal childhood--playing videogames and slacking off, that is--despite his dad's death, brutal training from Batman, life and death situations on a weekly basis, etc.

I do miss this style of Batmobile, though: one that's neither tank nor gothic monstrosity.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Catch-up ball: the disturbingly active social life of the Last Boy on Earth.

We're one panel in, and it's already better than the remake of Planet of the Apes. Back when I was mocking Kamandi, I was looking for this issue, and didn't find it until about a month later: Justice League Adventures #30, "This Better World." Written by Stuart Moore, pencils by Tim Levins, inks by Robin Riggs. It's 22 pages that make more sense than any of the Kamandi/Great Disaster stuff in 52, but moreover, for me it makes a good conclusion to Kirby's original Kamandi series. Blasphemy? Let's take a look!

As you saw above, Kamandi, Chichi (the monkey) and Tuftan (the tiger, accidentally called a lion three pages later for some reason) are racing ahead of the monkey army through the ruins of Metropolis. Tuftan sacrifices himself (off-panel, this is the kids'-friendly Justice League!) to give them time to get to a time machine, in the hopes of stopping their whole crummy future. They start to bring something through...

Meanwhile, in 2004, Superman, Green Lantern, and the Flash are visiting S.T.A.R. Labs. Days without accident: 0, as Flash is zapped by a malfunctioning raygun. As if that wasn't bad enough, Flash is thinking about "quitting the hero business."
I don't know, it's like, life is nothing but an unending series of Crises.  Crisises.  Crisi?
Superman gives Wally a pep talk about how all they can do is just help one person at a time, but is interrupted by their reason for being there: Professor Hamilton presents a monkey.

It's a potentially dangerous monkey, however, that "spoke a few crude sentences," distracted a zookeeper, then released half the animals in the zoo. Professor Hamilton says the monkey has a gene not unlike the Metagene that gives several DC heroes their powers, and wants to "jumpstart the little fellow's intelligence with this ultra-sonic brain enhancer." I know this is a comic ostensibly for little kids, but doesn't that sound like a spectacularly bad idea? Even if you'd never seen a Planet of the Apes movie? "Hey, this monkey nearly started an animal revolution. Let's make it smarter." Guh.

Superman, who is usually too polite to outright call B.S. on anything, is about to; when a weird red thing opens up in the lab. Flash goes to take a look, and promptly disappears. In the year 2156, Chichi and Kamandi were trying to get the ape and stop the experiment, but got the Flash instead. Kamandi explains to the befuddled Flash what everyone reading probably figured out: monkey+super-smarts=enslaved, then extinct, humanity.
Wait, do cheetahs usually attack apes, or am I just thinking of old Tarzan comics?
Before they can send Flash back, the ape army storms the building. Chichi is captured, and Flash and Kamandi are forced to flee. Kamandi guides Flash to his allies, the Cheetahs. Who dress and talk like pirates. I dunno, Jack Kirby, that's why. Kamandi rescued their chief's son from a tree. In short order, they manage to free the last of Kamandi's people (the apes were still working on the time machine, and thus had divided their forces) but Flash is dismayed to realize most humans are little more then cavemen now. He worries again that nothing ever gets better, but Kamandi, like Superman, points out that by helping him, Flash may have given them all a chance.

The Cheetah captain tells Flash and Kamandi that the time machine is almost unguarded, if they hurry. Kamandi sends Flash back to the past, promising that he'll never forget how the Flash helped make things better. (Wally figured he wouldn't remember if history changed.)

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Professor Hamilton theorizes that Flash disappeared when he started the brain enhancing experiment, so maybe he should activate it again, which just proves that he's bound and determined to destroy humanity. Flash arrives in time to tell him to quit it, and leave the monkey to evolve, or not, on its own. Even though he doesn't know for sure if the future's changed or not, Wally knows "I did manage to help one person. And that's the first step." Good advice. I'd say the second step is killing. All. Monkeys. (Not really, but still...)

Meanwhile, in the future, both humans and animals are intelligent, brave, and cooperative.
Until the next retcon, anyway.

Read more!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A bit of catch-up ball here:
See, this is why we should call each other before work.
So, a month or so ago we were talking about multiple Batmen display options, and I mentioned this issue, but couldn't find it. It was easier just to buy another copy: Superman: the Man of Steel #37, "Countdown to Zero" (which was probably the title of like three other Zero Hour crossovers) Story by Louise Simonson, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Dennis Janke.

Although it's pretty memorable for the gimmick, this one had the potential to be one of the best Zero Hour tie-ins, but it doesn't quite deliver. Perhaps valiantly, they keep their ongoing plotlines going, crossover or no. Still, one of those involves a vampire heavy metal singer playing a benefit concert for Metropolis, so while I appreciate the effort, I wish they had just gone with the A-plot.

Batman shows up in Metropolis, in person since the city had recently been nearly demolished by Lex Luthor; to warn Superman of a time anomaly that was causing people from the past to suddenly appear. This Batman's a Neal Adams-era version, who has no recollection of recent events like Bane breaking his back. Two more Batmen appear shortly, Dark Knight and Bob Kane models.

Somewhat surprisingly, they're all pretty cool with each other. I mean, if Zero Hour came out now, it feels like Batman would be the one to give his alternate versions the hassle; accusing them of being fakes or white Martians or thou shalt have no Batmen before me or something. I think the future Batman would be content to see other versions of himself that might have an easier time of things or come to a better end; while the past one would probably be thrilled to see he could be successful enough to have a legacy.

That last one would be pretty terrifying, that chin coming at you.
Still, despite a skirmish with the mutants from Dark Knight Returns (or not, they could be just lookalike vampire hunters...whatever) all the Batmen eventually disappear; as the current timeline's Batman shows up to warn Supes about that time anomaly. Supes is too polite to tell Bats he got the memo.

The issue ends with Metron showing up with his usual premonition of doom, while Jor-El and Lara show up at the Kents farm, probably to see why their son wasn't raised traditional Kryptonian or something. And I like Metron, but he's like the Phantom Stranger: does he ever show up when things aren't circling the drain? Could just stop by every once in a while and say everything's going great, Metron. Just a thought. Read more!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

(Completely) Off-topic: Neat freaks and germophobes, turn away now.

Are you a "neat freak"? Are you a compulsive cleaner? Are you "tidy"? Then yeah, you should stop reading now. This is going to be like torture porn for you.

Since I'm not especially handy, around the house my chores are mostly relegated to anything that's gross, unpleasant, or oozing. From squishing spiders to snaking drains to cleaning any of a multitude of vile fluids; I'm stuck handling biohazards while other dads are getting standing ovations for building birdhouses or drying drywall or whatever it is they do. So, one of my little jobs is cleaning the vacuum cleaner.

An odd sounding task, yes? I mean, most people just have to vacuum and call it good. I don't think I even do most of the vacuuming. I muck out the crap clogging the vacuum cleaner, pretty much every time we use it. It's not the vacuum's fault, though: it's actually a pretty good vacuum, but it's fighting a losing battle here.

The first culprit is Sam's hair, the lab mix: Sam's hair has the same molecular makeup as rat's teeth. Maybe even denser. I have found Sam's hair on my desk at work. No idea how I got it there, but there it is. Of course, I keep finding the Wife's hair as well: every so often she gets hair extensions, and no matter how nice they look, I'm now positive that extensions are the base of an elaborate pyramid scheme involving vacuum repair men and plumbers.

Both kinds of hair clog the vacuum differently: the extensions are long, and wrap up around the rotating brush, while Sam's hair forms clots with dust. What do you call it when dust and hair forms a sheet-like layer? Oh, yeah, my house.

That's just out of the brush, we haven't even got to the bag yet. There's an extension, stuck on a paper clip, with a rubber band attached. And as long as we're running forensics here, there's chunks of foam innards from at least two separate stuffed animals, or possibly the couch. (Sugarpie's been a bit on the bitey side lately.) When this vacuum dies, it should be buried with honors.

To the best of my knowledge, I've never sucked up one of my or the kids' action figure accessories. Probably because the vacuum doesn't have that kind of juice.

Anyway, that's why no comic or toy post today, but we'll be back on tomorrow. Unless I have to clean up bile or flem or something.

Edit: Not fifteen minutes after posting this, I had to go pull an extension out of Sugarpie. And not out of the front end, either.

Read more!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Some time later...

I was 90% sure that mask was from a Fist of the North Star figure, but just now I realized, I think it's from a House of the Dead toy. One of the ones that was in the zombie strip a while back. Anyway, once I stumbled across that, and it fit, well, it just fell into place. Yay, process!

Meanwhile, while right-thinking citizens are celebrating freedom by blowing stuff up and pounding warm Budweiser in the hot sun, I have a guest strip up at Fanwank! If you're a regular reader here, then you should be a regular reader there: although he accuses me of being more coherent, Fanwank's got a superior work ethic, is damn funny, and has contests! Hell, he just had a contest for Dark Knight Movie Masters Batman and Joker figures; here, I give nothing. Probably because I'm a horder. (I'm not sure if that contest is done or not, either...)

Incidentally, the other day my wife had Oprah on, and they were running a piece on "extreme horders." I thought it would be people who saved up so much junk and piled their old newspapers and rotten clothes so high that they could base jump off of it. Woo!! Extreme!! Yeah!! Imagine my disappointment. Read more!
Ripping off an old issue of What The--?! for the Fourth.

So, there was an old What The--?! page with Captain America facing off against Baron Zemo, Madame Masque, the Controller, and Dr. Doom: the All-Scar Squadron. Yeah, it was funnier when All-Star Squadron was still on the racks.

I don't remember, so I'm probably just spreading a rumor, but there was a picture going around of Thomas Jane as Jonah Hex. Anyone know what that was about? Makeup test? Mockup to build interest? Fan-made homage? I know somebody suggested early Halloween costume, and Jane seems cool, so maybe. Anyway, have a good Fourth, and stay safe!

Oh, and V (of the V for Vendetta movie) doesn't get his mask off because A. it's not removable, and B. the last thing I need is Alan Moore turning me into a toad or something. Read more!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Not the most outlandish explanation for $4 gas that I ever heard. I mean, 'supply and demand'? Who's even heard of that?

A little set-up on this one, from Kelley Jones' first The Hammer series: Isobel is a reincarnated witch, brought back by the Lovecraftian Old Ones and now leading a cult of thousands as a self-help guru. For this little get-together, she's already punched (!) through the face of one human sacrifice, but she explains a wee bit about why this lot is getting the business:
Would this even be surprising now?
Yeah, that's gonna end well... I think Steven Grant of Comic Book Resources Permanent Damage had a similar idea that he used in a writing exercise. Creepy.

A longer writeup on the Hammer is probably down the line, but scary stuff. Story and art by Kelley Jones, from the Hammer #3. Read more!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"Chicks dig scars...woo, maybe not."
Judgin' by mah 'accent,' ah ain't never been furthar south than Idaho.
A short one this week, but what the hell, click to enlarge.
Waiting on Bat Lash, Dawnstar, and the Doom Patrol now, DC Direct guys.
This one's for Dwayne, "the canoe guy," over at Matching Dragoons, certainly the blogosphere's number one site for Jonah Hex. If you have even a nodding familiarity with Jonah past, present, or future (I really liked Hex, honestly) then you need to be over there on a regular basis. He does more than just Hex coverage, but hell, that's enough!

This wave of Showcase figures is a strong one: classic Batgirl and Hawkman, and Superman with multiple Red Kryptonite inspired heads. That's mighty tempting, even though I have more Superman figures than I'd ever planned on getting. Hell, I still have to buy the electric one from DCUC.

I like a lot of characters that are either on the fringe or not traditionally part of the DC universe: in fact, I would say out of Blackhawk, Sgt. Rock, Warlord, Enemy Ace, and Jonah Hex; it's ok for them to crossover into special events like Crisis on Infinite Earths or time-travelling Justice League stories or even each other. For instance, Rock has a cameo in the Garth Ennis written Enemy Ace, and the Ace met Bat Lash in Guns of the Dragon.

That said, I think their individual books should be completely self-contained. I sure as fun don't wanna read a Jonah Hex Final Crisis crossover. If you read the superhero-tinged issues of Warlord, you'd be nodding your head in agreement right now...except nobody read those.

My DC Direct dream list gets shorter every year, as the figures I want trickle out: for example, a new Creeper is coming next year, I believe. I would love a classic Doom Patrol: Elasti-girl, Negative Man, Robotman, maybe the Chief. (No Mento. Mento sucks. I will brook no discussion on this matter.) Wildfire and Dawnstar from the Legion of Super-Heroes both have striking and toyetic looks, even if they might not fit in with the frankly, rather whitebread, other Legion figures. (Those other Legion figures are deliberately in a retro style.) OMAC. The real one, Kirby style. Hell, throw Kamandi in there too; maybe even Atlas to round out another Kirby wave.

Perhaps a wave or a box set of forgotten, ill-advised, or unpopular big bads: Extant! Monarch! Neron! Evil Max Lord! Some of these would be more fun as toys then they ever were in the comics.

There's probably more, but I'll have to think about it. If you have one you can't wait for, let me know, it might ring a bell... Read more!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"Summer toys, and one line I won't cross."

Over at his eponymous site, Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century often has Superhero T-Shirt Tuesdays, and that seemed like as good a reason as any to play with some toys with the Youngest. He got the Burger King Dumpster Throwing Abomination toy the other day, and enjoyed that a lot. Maybe not as much as that spinny Indiana Jones toy, but a lot.

I do try not to think about how much Happy Meal hamburger meat is packed into my colon, though.

I haven't been breaking my legs on any of the toys this year: Oh, I enjoy getting them, but I'm not going hardcore completist on them. So I've missed a few of each wave of toys, but the boys and I are getting a pretty good pile. I think the Indiana Jones toys helped me out quite a bit, since I didn't really want to pick up any of the regular toys: I don't buy a lot of 3 and 3/4 inch figures anymore. So, the Burger King toys made me feel like Indy was getting some toy representation.

Big thanks to the Wife for taking the pictures for this one, and for knowing I'd listen to a CD with the theme to (the old TV show) The Prisoner, and Peaches "F*** the Pain Away." Love you, hon! (Not the edited version, of course, but I'm still trying not to swear around here. It's a self-imposed rule, because if I start, there'll be buckets of profanity before long.) Read more!