Author Archive for Brian Cronin – Page 3

Comic Legends: Was Falcon’s Creation Inspired by an Underground Paper?

Comic Legends: Was Falcon’s Creation Inspired by an Underground Paper?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.


Stan Lee was inspired to create the Falcon in response to an underground newspaper that criticized Marvel’s lack of black heroes.



Reader Craig W. wrote in to ask about a story he had heard that said that Stan Lee was inspired to create the Falcon, Marvel’s first African-American hero, because of a small New York underground newspaper criticized Marvel’s lack of black characters, so Stan then refuted it by talking about Marvel’s upcoming African-American superhero, the Falcon, despite the Falcon not actually EXISTING yet.

What I think Craig (or whoever told Craig the story) is misunderstanding is a great story that Sean Howe (who wrote the awesome book, Marvel: The Untold Story), told on his Tumblr a few years back about BASICALLY that story, only it did not result in Stan Lee creating the Falcon.

The East Village Other was an underground newspaper that existed in New York City in the late 1960s. It was a truly out there newspaper. It was often contrasted with the Village Voice, by noting that it made the Voice seem tame in comparison and, of course, in the late 1960s, the Village Voice was, itself, a fairly daring newspaper. The East Village Other helped a lot of burgeoning independent comic artists get their start, like Robert Crumb and art spiegelman.

In any event, in March of 1969, D.A. Latimer wrote an opinion piece in the East Village Other discussing Marvel’s black characters, and while Latimer praised Marvel a bit, he mostly knocked them. Sean Howe has the fully Latimer essay here and here.

So, someone brought it to Marvel’s attention and Stan Lee had his assistant, Alan Hewetson, write a letter to the East Village Other. Here is the letter that he wrote (which they, of course, published):

“Dear EVO,

Neal Christensen, one of our readers, was kind enough to forward to editor Stan Lee a feature from EVO by D.A. Latimer, of March 19 this year.

We were particularly interested with your feature on Marvel and its dealings with the color situation; Mr. Latimer’s approach, however, is such that we are concerned with the one-sided opinion your readers might have appreciated.

We would remind them that comic books are unrealistic by nature, and we would not presume to have our readers believe otherwise. The HULK is certainly not your average everyday factory worker, neither could Peter be considered a typical college student. Why then would you think T’CHALLA representative of a Harlem superhero? Certainly the man is educated—many African kings, princes and leaders are Oxford taught—why should “this gentleman in any way resemble Bobby Seale”?

Furthermore, you implied that THE PANTHER was a token Negro. When we became aware of the lack of Negroes in our magazines, and decided to introduce them into our stories, don’t you think it would have looked rather foolish to suddenly have fifteen colored personalities appear and barnstorm through the books? As it is, we have T’CHALLA (THE PANTHER), Joe Robertson and his son, Willie Lincoln, Sam Wilson (THE FALCON), Gabe Jones, Dr. Noah Black (CENTURIUS) and even a super villain—THE MAN-APE. In short, we think that we have approached a decent start with these characters.

In any case, sir, our primary reason in writing was to request a few copies of the issue in which this article appeared, for our files.

Thank You.
Cordially, Alan Hewetson
Editorial Assistant.“

Sean Howe correctly noted the interesting fact that the Falcon wasn’t actually in existence just yet. Howe said, “The interesting thing about the Falcon—who would soon be Marvel’s very first African-American superhero—was that he’d never actually appeared in a Marvel Comic. In fact, the Falcon’s debut in Captain America #117 hit stands in June, which means that the issue was very likely produced immediately after Latimer’s essay was published.

I think that there, then, is where the confusion comes in. Howe is not saying that the Falcon was created BECAUSE of the article, he’s just noting that it is interesting that Lee was using the existence of the Falcon as a response when the Falcon didn’t even exist yet. However, since Howe’s post, I think some fans have gotten confused and believed that Howe was suggesting that Lee invented the Falcon in RESPONSE to Latimer’s essay.

That wasn’t the case, of course, as Lee actually introduced the Falcon in a talk at Duke University in February of 1969. On Thursday, February 27 and then, again, on Friday, February 28th, Stan Lee gave a talk at Duke titled “Comics as a Reflection of Contemporary Culture.” It was at one of those talks (maybe both?) that Stan Lee announced the introduction of a brand-new African-American hero, the Falcon.

Again, this was a bit of a case of putting the cart before the horse, bragging about the introduction of such a hero when said hero hadn’t actually been created yet, but in any event, Lee had publicly spoke about the introduction of the Falcon BEFORE Latimer’s essay had even appeared, let alone drawn a response from Marvel.

Thanks to Sean Howe for the great piece of comic book history with the posting of Latimer’s essay! Thanks to Craig W. for the great suggestion.

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed – Why did Fox need Marvel’s permission to use an X-Character in Deadpool when they already held the license to the X-Men characters?

Part 3 will be up soon! It’s also about the Falcon’s introduction, so I wanted to keep Part 3 close to Part 2! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either or!

The post Comic Legends: Was Falcon’s Creation Inspired by an Underground Paper? appeared first on CBR.

Why Was Mister Miracle Uncolored on the Cover of Mister Miracle #3?

Why Was Mister Miracle Uncolored on the Cover of Mister Miracle #3?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at

Just like last time, the question this time around wasn’t technically asked of me. The great comic book writer/artist, Dan Jurgens, posted the cover to Mister Miracle #3 on Twitter

and said of the cover:

Mister Miracle mystery question! Bought this issue as a kid and MM has no color on the cover, which I’ve wondered about ever since. Not part of the story inside. Anyone know the reason?

My friend Justin then tagged me on Twitter to see if I knew.

The answer might have something to do with how Mister Miracle was originally colored when he debuted.

You see, Jack Kirby originally had one color idea in mind for Mister Miracle but when the issue was then colored by DC, their production department handled the coloring of the character and they did not consult Kirby on what the character would look like (Kirby and DC’s production department were at odds with each other a bit at the time).

Therefore, in the first issue of Mister Miracle, his costume is a different color in the issue…

However, when Kirby asked them to change the colors on the costume, Carmine Infantino agreed to spend the money to alter the cover to the first issue. The interior pages remained the same, but at least the first cover was changed.

But then the third issue came out and the Mister Miracle figure on the cover wasn’t colored at all! It didn’t match the scene within the actual comic…

And later, whenever DC reprinted the issue, they colored the character…

It wasn’t what Kirby wanted. Mark Evanier recalled that Kirby checked with DC to find out why it wasn’t colored and they never gave him a good answer, noting “As for why Mister Miracle was completely colorless on the cover of #3…I have no idea. At the time, Jack asked and he got all sorts of double talk that he took to mean no one there knew why, either. He told us, ‘It looks like their infallible Production Department screwed up.'”

So since Kirby didn’t intend for it to be uncolored and it has always been colored in reprints, it sounds like Kirby’s best guess back then really IS the truth – it was just a simple screw-up. However, it might be that the confusion about the coloring of the costume due to the change in issue #1 LED to the screw-up. You know, like they waited to see what coloring to use and then just forgot about it and sent it sans coloring (or perhaps it was even a bit of a mini-protest). The specifics of it are unclear, but the basic answer is still – screw-up.

Thanks to Dan (indirectly) for the question (thanks to Justin for passing it along). Thanks to Mark Evanier for the answer! If anyone has a question about comics that they’d like to see answered, feel free to drop me a line at

The post Why Was Mister Miracle Uncolored on the Cover of Mister Miracle #3? appeared first on CBR.

The Legion of Super-Heroes Sure Do Choke a Lot

The Legion of Super-Heroes Sure Do Choke a Lot

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Today, we look at how much the Legion of Super-Heroes choke in their original stint as an ongoing comic book feature.

The Legion of Super-Heroes got their own regular feature for the first time in 1962’s Adventure Comics #300 (by Jerry Siegel and John Forte), roughly four years after the Legion made their first comic book appearance in Adventure Comics #247.

Jerry Siegel and John Forte was the creative team on the first five issues. Reader Andy N. wrote in to note that the Legion sure did seem to choke a lot in those early issues. So here, we’ll take a look at all of the choking that the Legion did in those six issues, a whopping FOURTEEN examples in those mere six issues!

We open up with Adventure Comics #300, where Sun Boy chokes when he (and other Legionnaires) find themselves unable to control their superpowers…

legion of super-heroes choke

Later in the issue, after bringing in the help of Mon-El from the Phantom Zone, Superboy feels bad about exposing Mon-El to his lead poisoning weakness…

In the next issue, we see the incompetent origin of the Legionnaire known as Bouncing Boy and we also see, via a flashback detailing his origins, how sad he was that he didn’t make it into the Legion of Super-Heroes at first…

In Adventure Comics #302, Sun Boy chokes up at having a statute in his honor…

However, he then discovers that his powers no longer work! He tried different methods and they all fail, which makes him choke up…

He then chokes up again when even MORE attempts fail and it looks like he’ll have to quit the Legion…

He then chokes up again when he actually is dismissed from the team…

He chokes up when he watches the Legion go into action without him (although it inspires him of a way to get his powers back)…

The following issue, the Legion believes that one of their own has betrayed the team…

New member Matter-Eater Lad thinks that they are referring to him and it chokes him up…

Later, they remain convinced that there is a traitor in the midst of the group, and that draws some sympathy chokes…

After Matter-Eater Lad escapes from the base, everyone fells stupid and even chokes up a bit (he didn’t really turn evil. It was all a plot designed by Brainiac Five).

In the next issue, Lightning Lad sacrificed himself in place of Saturn Girl and it makes her choke up…

Finally, in Adventure Comics #305, we get a re-telling of the first meeting of Superboy and Mon-El.

Edmond Hamilton took over with the next issue and that was pretty much it for the “chokes.” It was funny while it lasted!

That’s it for this installment! Thanks to Andy N. for the suggestion! Everyone else, feel free to write me at with suggestions for future Drawing Crazy Patterns!

The post The Legion of Super-Heroes Sure Do Choke a Lot appeared first on CBR.

Spider-Man Can’t Get Rid of the Tarantula That Easily!

Spider-Man Can’t Get Rid of the Tarantula That Easily!

This is “I’ve Been Here Before,” a feature that deals with a term that I coined called “nepotistic continuity,” which refers to the way that comic book writers sometimes bring back minor characters that they themselves created in the past as characters in their current work.

In every installment of this feature, I’ll spotlight an example of a character that did not appear in a comic for at least two years before then showing up in a comic written or drawn by the creator of the character.

The Tarantula showed up for the first time in 1974’s Amazing Spider-Man #134 by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and Frank Giacoia (with Dave Hunt), with a cool costume presumably designed by John Romita Sr.

spider-man tarantula gerry conway

The Tarantula was, in many ways, a sign of how Gerry Conway often liked to write Spider-Man. In Conway’s comics, Spider-Man was intentionally a bit of an underdog. He wasn’t an overly powerful character (heck, even his Spider-Sense wasn’t all that helpful during Conway’s run, as Conway added in an added bit that Spidey’s Spider-Sense sort of works on a level where it won’t protect him from danger from people that Spider-Man considers friends, which left Spidey open to Aunt May cracking a vase over his head one time). Therefore, it made perfect sense for someone like the Tarantula, someone who did not have any sort of super powers, would still be able to hold his own against Spider-Man just by virtue of his superior training.

Conway brought the Tarantula back during the Clone Saga, where he once again more than held his own in battle with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #147 (by Conway, Andru and Mike Esposito – with Dave Hunt)…

Conway left Amazing Spider-Man soon after this and left Marvel entirely for DC Comics. However, he was pretty quickly brought back and even became Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief briefly in 1976. That same year, he helped launch a brand-new second ongoing title for Spider-Man (three if you count Marvel Team-Up as a Spider-Man series). The new series, Spectacular Spider-Man, debuted with a story by Conway and Sal Buscema that involved, of course, Spider-Man fighting against the Tatantula!

And once again, the Tarantula more than held his own…

Conway then left Marvel again for DC Comics, only this time he stayed put for a decade. During the next few years, no one else was really rushing to use Tarantula in their comics. He made only one or two more appearances throughout the 1970s until Roger Stern brought him back in Amazing Spider-Man #233 (by Stern, John Romita Jr. and Jim Mooney), where Stern (in what I believe was a piece of meta-commentary by Stern about the general treatment of Spider-Man throughout most of the 1970s as a guy who would be on par with street level villains) used Tarantula as an example to show just how strong and fast Spider-Man should really be…

The next issue, the Tarantula is then mutated into an ACTUAL giant tarantula!

In #236, a distraught Tarantula decides that he’d rather be dead than be a giant tarantula and so he makes it so…

And so, the Tarantula was done as a Spider-Man villain. The only way this could have changed would be if Gerry Conway would have returned to Marvel Comics…

Page 2:

The post Spider-Man Can’t Get Rid of the Tarantula That Easily! appeared first on CBR.

How the Deadpool Film Brought Negasonic Teenage Warhead Back to Comics

How the Deadpool Film Brought Negasonic Teenage Warhead Back to Comics

In this feature I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments (as an aside, if I’m reading this correctly, it’s almost been a YEAR since I’ve last done of these – that can’t be right, can it? How odd). Today, we look at how Deadpool helped Negasonic Teenage Warhead come back to comics.

The character of Negasonic Teenage Warhead debuted in New X-Men #115, where she is a nameless student in Emma Frost’s class who has a premonition of the impending attack by the Sentinels (who Cassandra Nova sent to destroy Genosha and the millions of mutants who lived there).

In the following issue, we learn her name, and it is the awesome name that only a teenager would come up with for their own superhero name (it is a Monster Magnet song). The name sells the sequence beautifully by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Tim Townsend of a girl taken far too soon from this world and her teacher who is distraught to learn that there is nothing that she can do to save her student.

It’s such a beautiful moment. It, of course, just adds to the levels of guilt that Emma Frost feels over what happened to her former students in the Hellions and Generation X. Few X-Men characters have dealt with quite as much grief and guilt as Emma Frost.

Emma’s guilt over Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s death was reflected when Cassandra Nova used her powers to mess with Emma’s head and manipulate her into freeing Nova and giving her a new body to possess (initially, Nova was planning on taking Kitty Pryde’s body but then changed her mind and wanted Armor’s body). Among the delusions that Nova placed inside of Emma’s mind is that she saw a new Hellfire Club made up of Emma and a bunch of other characters, including Negasonic Teenage Warhead…

Oddly enough, eventually Negasonic Teenage Warhead WAS brought back to life during the “Necrosha” storyline in the pages of X-Force #21 (by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost and Clayton Crain)…

However, within a matter of issues, almost all of the mutants who Selene had brought back to life died in Selene’s rise to power (she needed all of their deaths to help power herself up).

And that was it for the character…until the Deadpool movie. The makers of the film planned to have one younger X-Man and one older X-Man get involved in Deadpool’s story. Colossus was the veteran pick and the younger X-Man was initially Cannonball, but budget concerns made it so that his powers were probably too cost prohibitive to depict. Instead, they liked the name of Negasonic Teenage Warhead so much that they adapted her into the film, changing her powers so that they could work as a substitute for Cannonball’s powers (she now had some sort of kinetic energy force field).

The 2016 movie was a huge hit, which meant that it was only a matter of time until she returned to the comics, as well…

Page 2:

The post How the Deadpool Film Brought Negasonic Teenage Warhead Back to Comics appeared first on CBR.

Comic Legends: Would Marvel Not Allow Gambit to be Bisexual?

Comic Legends: Would Marvel Not Allow Gambit to be Bisexual?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As always, there will be three different posts for each legend this week!


James Asmus tried to reveal that Gambit was bisexual during his 2012 ongoing series.



In 2012, Gambit’s most recent ongoing series launched by writer James Asmus and artist Clay Mann (working with inker Seth Mann and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg).

It was a delightfully fun series. Here’s a nice bit from issue #2…

Asmus also clearly had a blast with little gags in the comic, like having Waldo (of Where’s Waldo? fame) show up in a big scene with a bunch of villains in Gambit #8…

Anyhow, reader Bryan L. wrote in to ask whether it is true that Asmus originally intended to reveal that Gambit was bisexual in the series but he was not allowed to do so.

Rich Johnston asked Asmus about this back in 2015 and he got the answer straight from the horse’s mouth:

It’s true that I was interested in revealing Gambit to be bisexual in our series – with us first seeing him seduce a man on one of his missions, and soon thereafter meeting a member of the thieves guild Gambit previously had a more significant relationship with in his pre-X-Men debut. I never got past pitching the first part, though, as word came down we wouldn’t be redefining the character as such.

Asmus, though, made sure to throw in some very important qualifiers…

A few important disclaimers, though… first, I have no idea how high or low on the totem pole that decision was made, or for what reasons – but my editor on the book was the fabulous Daniel Ketcham who is an out man and prominent voice for LBGT diversity in comics. Though the memory is hazy (I pitched a LOT of different ideas for that book) I don’t think he was keen on the idea just from a practical / story stand point. And as I mentioned, I had lots of different concepts I was happy to explore – so in fairness, the No wasn’t something I fought against. And in hindsight, maybe that pitch was too half-baked? Either way, we never did anything to go against the idea he’s bisexual. So maybe someone else will craft that story?

Fascinating stuff.

Well, there ya go, Bryan, that was a simple answer! Rich already did the work for us!

Thanks to Bryan for the suggestion and thanks to Rich Johnston and James Asmus for the information!

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Is Sarah Michelle Gellar Really Banned for Life From McDonald’s?

Was Dumbledore Originally Going to be Straight in the Harry Potter Movies?

Did Kiefer Sutherland Add Lines to Episodes of 24 to Mess With Fans Playing 24-Based Drinking Games?

Is There Really a Law in Washington D.C. That No Building Can Be As Tall As the Washington Monument?

Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either or!

The post Comic Legends: Would Marvel Not Allow Gambit to be Bisexual? appeared first on CBR.

Line it is Drawn: The X-Files Crossover With Comic Book Characters

Line it is Drawn: The X-Files Crossover With Comic Book Characters

Welcome to Line it is Drawn, our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from your suggestions!

So every week, I post a topic here. You reply to it on the CSBG Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply), our artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post their drawings based on your suggestions here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week.

To qualify, you have to be following @csbg when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 11:59 Pacific Friday).

The topic for the next Line is…

In honor of the Legion of Super-Heroes debuting on Supergirl on January 15th, name a comic book character that you would like to see be adapted into being a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes (Storm could be Weather Witch, Iceman could be Ice Lad, stuff like that).

Read on for the drawings that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of the return of the X-Files, have Mulder and Scully mash-up or team-up with comic book characters!


I’ll put them in aphabetical order based on the name of the Twitter user who made the suggestion.

All copyright and trademarks of the following characters are held by their respective owners.

NOTE: The five new Line it is Drawn artists will debut on a second page, to milk the surprise for as long as possible.

BigMike20X6 suggested


Axel Medellin drew this one. His website is here

BigMike20X6 suggested

Mulder and Scully as Jean Grey and Cyclops

The art for this one is by Merk. His website is here.

BigMike20X6 suggested

X-Files & ALF

The art for this one is by Matt Sandbrook. His website is here.

dhacker615 suggested

Mulder & Scully find baby Kal-El

The art for this one is by Paul Shinn. His website is here.

dixonium suggested

To solve the most puzzling case of their career, Mulder and Scully must team-up with… Detective Chimp!

Nick Perks is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

Click here for a larger version of Nick’s piece.

ErichMees suggested

Mulder & Scully meet Swamp Thing

The art for this one is by Dan Wolff. His website is here.

KurtBusiek suggested

Mulder meets Scully’s cousin Jim Scully, aka Skull the Slayer, and investigates the Bermuda Triangle, time travel and the serpent cult of Slitherogue.

Scully, meanwhile, meets the Melter.

Naturally, the Melter and Scully save the other two.

The art for this miniature epic is by Gene Guilmette. His website is here.

If you’d like to see larger versions of Gene’s pages, click here for Page 1, here for Page 2 and here for Page 3.

Also, Xum Yukinori drew a cover idea for this same one (Xum also has a podcast about done-in-one comics here). Here is his website.

LordAndrew suggested

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Nick Perks is also the artist for this one. Here is his website.

therealAstrozac suggested

Mulder and Scully go to Astro City to investigate The Confessor

The art for this one is by David Duke. His website is here.

Page 2:

The post Line it is Drawn: The X-Files Crossover With Comic Book Characters appeared first on CBR.

What Happened to the Eternals’ Plan to Attack the Kree With Galactus?

What Happened to the Eternals’ Plan to Attack the Kree With Galactus?

In Left Unresolved, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved.

This story began in the pages of All-New Invaders by James Robinson and Steve Pugh. The opening arc involved an old Kree device that was used against the Invaders during World War II. Dubbed the God’s Whisper, it could control gods. Naturally, when the Invaders defeated the bad guys who were using the device, they felt that they should come up with a way to make sure that no one got their hands on it ever again. So they hid it for decades. Now, though, in the present day, the four heroes who hid it (Bucky – now Winter Soldier, Human Torch, Namor and the original Vision) found themselves under attack by a contingent of the Kree who want to use the device themselves. Namor is captured and taken to the Kree homeworld of Hala. Captain America, Winter Soldier and the Human Torch (with help from the Golden Age Vision) head to Hala to save Namor and stop the Kree from using the God’s Whisper. Sadly, when they got there, they learned in All-New Invaders #3 that the Kree had already used it on Ikaris of the Eternals!

They managed to defend themselves from the might of Ikaris long enough to defeat the Kree. They were going to try to figure out a way to help Ikaris when suddenly, his fellow Eternal, Makkari, showed up to get Ikaris at the end of the arc in All-New Invaders #5…

Once the dust settled, the Invaders decided to allow the Eternals to have control of the God’s Whisper, as they felt bad for them (plus, the Eternals were their ride home to Earth from Hala).

At the end of the issue, however, we discover that the Eternals had plans for the God’s Whisper. They were super pissed off at the Kree for daring to control Ikaris like that, so they planned on using the God’s Whisper on Galactus (who had been trapped in the Negative Zone since the events of the Cataclysm storyline in the Ultimate Universe) to get revenge on the Kree…

The thing is, that never actually quite happened. It was clearly something that Robinson and Pugh had planned for the future, but I guess it just kept getting pushed back and back (the next storyline after the opening arc was a crossover tie-in, so maybe everything got thrown out of schedule. I really don’t know for sure). Sadly, All-New Invaders got canceled after 15 issues. In the 15th issue, Steve Rogers (during the series, Steve lost his Super Soldier Serum-given powers and turned into a very old man) even notes that, oh yeah, the Eternals are out there with one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Maybe we should do something about that?

Clearly, this was Robinson and Pugh showing the readers what COULD have been had the series not been canceled.

However, we were not destined to know what the Eternals’ plan was, because whatever it was, they didn’t go through with it and Galactus showed up as part of a major storyline in the post-Secret Wars version of the Ultimates and he seemed no worse for the wear…

Maybe someday we will learn what the Eternals had planned.

That’s it for this installment! If anyone has a suggestion for a future installment of Left Unresolved, drop me a line at!

The post What Happened to the Eternals’ Plan to Attack the Kree With Galactus? appeared first on CBR.

What Was ‘Mondo Marvel The Talk Show’?

What Was ‘Mondo Marvel The Talk Show’?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to they’re e-mail questions to me at

This time around, the question is an indirect one, as it wasn’t asked specifically to me, but rather to the internet as a whole, but hey, that’s close enough.

First off, some context before we get into the question. In 1991, Marvel began doing an interesting thing on their Bullpen Bulletins pages. Dubbed the “Cool-o-Meter,” it was a list of then topical items that the folks in the Marvel Bullpen (presumably the editors of the era) found to be cool. The Cool-o-Meter also went all the way down to “uncool,” as well, so it could be an area where Marvel editors could take a valiant stand against such uncool things as “Ponytails on men,” “McLean Stevenson” (your guess is as good as mine as to why they were irked at the former MASH star, who died five years later), “bowling” and “bellybutton lint.”

I put together a collection of all of the Cool-o-Meters at the site a few years back. You can check it out here.

So anyhow, the other day, your friend and mine, CBR Managing Editor Albert Ching tweeted about the Cool-o-Meters, noting that “pop culture is so cyclical that nearly every Marvel Coolometer from the early ‘90s could run today with only a few changes.” He’s right that a lot of these things really do oddly apply today, like the one that promoted Squirrel Girl well before anyone else figured out how great that she was.

However, Albert also asked the Twitter universe about an item on the August 1991 Cool-o-Meter…

“wait what is “Mondo Marvel, the talk show”??”

It’s an excellent question. And when Albert Ching wants to know something, you can be damned sure that I am going to find out for him (it has nothing to do with Black Bolt, I just needed a featured image involving Marvel and a talk show).

I sort of guessed that maybe it was a local New York public access show. So I asked the expert on all things comics and TV related, Andy Mangels, and he told me the answer. Amusingly enough, the answer was in the PREVIOUS MONTH’S Bullpen Bulletins!

That issue debuted the Cool-o-Meter, so each of the items in the Bullpen Bulletins was about the “coolest” whatever (coolest movie, coolest comic, etc.).

And for Coolest Convention Event, we discovered that Mondo Marvel the Talk Show was a bit that Marvel was doing at comic book conventions in 1991, where Fabian Nicieza (then a Marvel editor) would host guests and talk comics…

That sounds like it would make for a really cool 2018 podcast, doesn’t it?

Thanks a lot to Andy Mangels for the answer (even though it didn’t even have anything to do with TV)!

Now, as noted, Albert didn’t technically ask me this question, but do not let that deter any of you good folks from asking me actual questions! If anyone else has a question about comic books that they’d like to know the answer to, feel free to drop me a line at!

The post What Was ‘Mondo Marvel The Talk Show’? appeared first on CBR.

Celebrating New Year’s With Joe Kelly Comics

Celebrating New Year’s With Joe Kelly Comics

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Today, on New Year’s Day, we look at Joe Kelly’s long history of comic books set during New Year’s.

Often, when we talk about recurring bits, they come to us obviously. You know, like “”focused totality of my psychic powers” or “Ah’m pretty much invulnerable while Ah’m blastin’.” Much rarer, then, are the recurring bits that really aren’t obvious at all until you look back and say, “Wow, Joe Kelly sure does like to write about New Year’s a lot.” New Year’s, you see, has long been the forgotten comic book holiday. If you’re a monthly comic book and you want to do a holiday issue in December, you’re not going to go for New Year’s Eve, you’re going to go for Christmas. And if you DO do a Christmas issue in December, the odds are that you’ll not want to spend a SECOND issue on a less famous holiday the next month, ya know? So there have not been a whole lot of New Year’s comic book stories over the years. Which is what makes it so interesting that Joe Kelly alone has written FIVE comic book set during New Year’s.

We open with X-Men #73, from Kelly’s run on X-Men (Joe Casey assisted Kelly on the story. The art was by Jeff Johnson and Dan Panosian). The issue is a bit of a fill-in story, but with sort of a framing sequence of Beast putting up a sing for the team to make their New Year’s resolutions…

new years eve joe kelly superman spiderman xmen

Here are the final resolutions…

Fun stuff.

Kelly moved from X-Men to Action Comics as part of the big Superman creative changeover in 1999. Kelly took over Action Comics. Early on in his stint on the book, they had a big crossover when 1999 turned into 2000, taking the worries over “Y2K” into a special one-shot, “Superman: YDK,” with art by Butch Guice and Will Conrad…

The whole problem was started by Brainiac 2.5!

It led to a whole crossover when Brainiac 13 showed up at the end of the issue!

It’s a really good issue, by the way. Kelly goes back into the history of Metropolis to show stories of New Year’s past (mostly involving Luthor’s ancestors). The whole digitally constructed Brainiac 13 wasn’t as cool, though (some things don’t age well).

A year later, in Action Comics #774 (art by Eric Canete), after Lex Luthor won the 2000 Presidential Election in the DC Universe, Superman is trying to avoid New Year’s with his in-laws (General Sam Lane was going to be part of Luthor’s administration) but his friend, J’onn J’onnz, convinced him to celebrate New Year’s….

Page 2:

The post Celebrating New Year’s With Joe Kelly Comics appeared first on CBR.