by Chaim Mattis Keller
Our War issue received this comment...
Subject: War Issue, Captain Marvel
An interesting aside to the war issue: in the early 1950's, the Captain Marvel stories at Fawcett actually did Korean War stories. These scarce comics are unique as few other comic books made any reference to Korea at the time (Quality's Blackhawks being a possible exception).
These Korean War issues were Captain Marvel Adventures#139-142, Captain Marvel Junior#115-116,#118-119; Marvel Family#78,#80-82,85. The Scarlet Vampire, the Hideous Headhunter, the Red Vulture, the Great Red Brain, the Mightiest Mongol, the Red Crusher, the Beast Battalion, and the Mad Mongol Monster were among these Communist or Korean War villains.
These stories are defintely not part of current continuity, and are rarely reprinted. Comic Book Marketplace#23 (May 1995) had a good article on these issues.
Thanks for the info! I'm sure many of us did not know about these.
...and this one...
From: John Fiala (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Armegeddon 2001: Ten Years Later
This is a pretty neat article. I collected the A2k+1 annuals when it was first coming out, and it was interesting to see what had happened to the various characters involved.
It looks like the number one failing of A2k+1 was that it was written with the assumption that 10 years from now = 10 comic book years, when really 10 years of comics takes up maybe 2 or 3 years of story. So instead of our characters being 10 years older, they're really more 3 years older. So no one has retired, or anything.
I've got to wonder if Pete Ross wasn't chosen to be Lex's VP partially as a reference to his run in A2k+1? It's a cute similarity.
As I remember, the end of the Flash Annual showed that the future it was portraying wasn't going to happen. Bonnie doesn't get Flash's attention at the end of the book in the way he did at the beginning, because Waverider distracted Flash. I don't know if the Flash people put that in there to give them the out, or if the A2k+1 people wanted to start hinting that Waverider was invalidating the futures he saw, or both.
Of the A2k+1 annuals, the two I like the most are the time-travelling JLA one and the Hawk & Dove one, which is particularly a shame given what happened to H&D. Re-reading the H&D series, there's a real hope and brightness to the story, that now are stained by what eventually happens to them.
Ah, well. A nice article that I really enjoyed. Thanks!
I do what the penguins tell me to do.
I also got those Annuals...I found the one with the Superman-Maxima marriage extremely touching, that one is probably my favorite. There aren't many comic books that have ever brought a tear to my eye, but that one was pretty close.
I'd say that Pete Ross's being Luthor's VP isn't a reference to Armageddon 2001, but was just there so Clark couldn't bring himself to speak out too loudly against Luthor during the campaign.
...but not much else. Aside from that, the mailbag is filled with old business. Good to see people are browsing the archives! Let's start with this one, going way back to the beginning:
From: Justin Dunnuck (email@example.com)
Subject: "Cold Metal"--What a Great Story!
Hi! This is Justin Dunnuck, aka "Gorillaboss" on the Dixonverse board.
I'm a Fanzing fan, and I've also begun to have an interest in the Metal Men. Well, of course I went to your site for some info, and I found your fiction piece.
I was amazed at both your writing style and your grasp of Metal Men "nuances." Great job!
I would LOVE to see your version of the MM Animated Series, if for no other reason than to get a 3-foot tall Chemo toy produced! :)
Our overjoyed Editor, Michael Hutchison, replies:
Yo like me! You really like me!
No, seriously, his reply is:
Justin - Thank you so much for your feedback! After four years...finally, some raves. :-)
I'd really like to see a Metal Men series, too, even if I wasn't involved in it. Perhaps it will happen if the "JLA" tv show really takes off like a rocket. TV is largely about imitation, and if there's a hit then everyone goes looking for the similar project that could be the next "Turtles", the next "Barney", the next "Pokemon". Perhaps there will be a cry for the "Next JLA".
(Yeah, Michael, but that would probably be Young Justice, not the Metal Men. Maybe they'd be the next "A. I.")
Again, thanks for the interest, and I hope you have fun reading about the Metal Men. Be sure to read my Retconvention article on the Metal Men (under the OLD issues).
The "How To Save The Comics Industry" Special Report remains a popular subject:
From: Darcey McLaughlin
Call me slow, but I just got done reading your brilliant editorial about how to fix the comic book industry (from issue20). I agree with everything, I wanted to add a couple of points.
Covers - They don't grab attention anymore. Most times, at a glance, you can't even tell what is going on or doesn't relay what is going on in that issue. When I started reading comics in 1983 it was an Batman and the Outsiders #1 that got me started. I was at the local convenience store with my mother and I was look at the magazine rack when I seen this comic cover with Batman telling Superman, Wonder Woman and others he was done with the Justice league and he had new partners (or somthing like that). the cover was easy to make out and easy to read even before picking it up. I was intrigued. Who where these Outsiders? Had Batman gone bad? So, at a cover price of .75 cents (Canadian no less) I purchased the comic.
And that was it. I got issue 2, then issue 5 crossed-over with New Teen Titans, so I started reading that and they were all available at the local store.
Comic Shops - I now have children, but I can't take my 8 year old to a comics shop. Forget it. There are too many valuable items around. Breakable statues that cost $110 or items on shelves in such a way that the slightest breeze would knock them off. I'm scared to death a Spiderman bust is going to get knocked over and I'm going to be dipping into my pocket. So I'm constantly at my son to "don't touch that" or "stay away from that". It's nuts.
On the other hand, I can see the point of view of the comics shop owner. Most shops aren't just about "comics" anymore. The merchanise is a huge seller, as are cards. And the bread and butter for these stores are the high school and college students who spend their allowances and student loans on Sandman statues, Magic cards and preacher trade paperbacks. Those customers don't want a sanatized, kid friendly environment. For a shop owner, its better to appeal to the current customer base rather than appeal to a new one that may not materialize while alienating the current customers.
Toys - Why are all the comic book toys collectors items. Really. There are tons of Spiderman and Batman items out there, but they are usually based on the TV shows and feature "special winter outfit." I was in the local comic store the other day and they had these great JSA toys. $26 for an action figure!!! I couldn't believe it. Like a kid is going to fork over that for a Sentinel toy when he can get a full movement Link (from the Zelda game) toy with sword, shield and full movement horse for $10. Still enough money for other items.
Thank you, much, for the input! Those are good points, especially about the covers. Despite the high quality of art and printing, covers don't seem to "sell" the reader like they used to.
And this one is just one month late...
From: Abram, Dominic (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Legion issue
Thanks for the message to all of us. I am indeed on the Fanzing list. I'm one of many lurkers who greatly enjoy and appreciate your work (and the people who help you) every month. I especially liked this month's Legion issue. So much so, in fact, that I dug up my copies of the Great Darkness Saga and the first Baxter issues (death of Karate Kid) and re-read them. I've always enjoyed the fiction each issue, especially the Crusaders stories and your Elongated Man v. Riddler story.
Keep up the great work!
And yet more feedback on the Legion of Super-Heroes Issue:
From Stuart Irwin
Rick Bennett's writings regarding the Legion's Earthwar saga really hit home with me as those late 70's Legion stories are up there with the best comic work ever done.
Growing up in rural New South Wales Australia was quite limiting as far as getting good comics was concerned but I had an older brother in Sydney who would regularly bring home comics he found in old book shops. The majority of these comics were black and white Australian reprints which were great for reading but doomed to remain worthless. The reprints of Superboy & the LOSH quickly became my favourites as I re-read them countless times and would often attempt to copy James Sherman's and Mike Nasser's style by drawing my own pictures.
It has taken a couple of decades but thanks to online auctions, I now have most of the original comics from that period of the series. I search regularly on the Internet for any signs of what James Sherman may be up to or other work he has done, but there doesn't appear to be much. I have a Peter Parker annual he did for Marvel featuring the end to the Man Wolf saga, but that's all.
The attraction I have to those late 70's Legion stories is also fuelled by Paul Levitz's talented writing as he gave the Legionnaires an air of maturity and emotion that they lacked in earlier issues. The death of Chemical King made the Legion seem more vulnerable instead of being the unbeatable super group that always won.
I lost touch with the Legion during the mid 80's, only briefly catching up with them during the Legionnaires 3 mini series and the Cosmic Boy Mini Series Legends tie in. Although I liked John Byrne's new re-working of Superman, I didn't agree with the killing off of Superboy to fit in with the new origin and I haven't followed this new (trying too hard to be cool look) Superboy or to that matter the current LOSH.
After the impact of Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come story, I'd love to see them do a similar thing with the LOSH characters from the 70's with heavy influence from the works of Levitz, Shooter, Sherman, Nasser, Grell, McLeod, Abel and Rubinstein.
Thanks for reading and Long Live the Legion.
Next, a comment on our Canceled Comics Cavalcade issue from July 2000:
From: Jonathan Harris (email@example.com)
Subject: Canceled comic cavalcade
To whom it may concern:
In your recent posting about the 70's cancelled comics, you stated that there were reprints of the issues that were published in the two books put out after the Explosion/Implosion of DC.
I would like to know if you can help me find some of these reprints.
If only it were that simple, Jonathan. Those books are probably the rarest comic books by a major publisher in the modern era.
My best suggestion is to keep an eye on Ebay for "Canceled Comics Cavalcade"...everything shows up there, eventually. And be ready to shell out.
Moving forward in time, a comment on our "Affirmative Action Comics" issue, from March of this year:
From: obilal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Black Power Article
Just wanted to let you guys know the Black Power Article by Rupert Griffin was right on target! I appreciated his in-depth research and his candor.
Museum of Black Superheroes
High praise indeed, considering the source. Thank you
A question that seems to be on many minds these days...
From: Josh Thorn (email@example.com)
I would like to know if we are ever going to get to read anymore of the Elseworlds story Choices about Nightwing. I know you guys put a ban on the Bat family for awhile but we haven't seen anything on this story since March! I have read every chapter to this story more than once and have loved every bit of it!! On I side note I feel that Linda Thackery should be given her own DC book to take her Crusaders team and run with it. I had never really read any stories concerning these heroes in a positve light before and I loved how she made my want the them to over come their hurdles! I understand that you have no say so about DC books but if she turns anymore fiction in I would love it if you put it on the site!! Thank you!!
It's nothing to do with our otherwise temporary "ban" on Nightwing fiction. Choices is welcome to continue; we just haven't received any new chapters. We have not even heard from Marilee in some time. We honestly don't know what's happening with her, let alone Choices, but we're hoping she'll get back to us sometime soon.
I'm sure Linda Thackery will appreciate your comments on Crusaders.
From: Glenn L Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi. I was an avid Fanzing reader a while back, but departed for a while. I'm back now, but I'm curious - did Marilee Stephens ever finish "Choices"? I only read through Chapter 12.
Our Editor, Michael Hutchison, replies:
I have e-mailed Marilee Stephens numerous times hoping to get her to write an ending. Hopefully it will come soon.
A letter from a student of the classics overseas:
Dear Folks at Fanzing,
I just want to let you know what a great site you have here.
I do hope however that you will be able to feature stuff on those awesome gone but still not forgotten pre-Crisis characters like:
1) Huntress of E-2
2) Power Girl of E-2
3) Supergirl of E-1
It would be a great nostalgic trip.
Not a bad idea for a future issue, Randy. We'll see when we can work it into the lineup.
And finally, a much=appreciated, and very useful, compliment:
From: T5 (email@example.com)
Hi there Fanzingers.
I just took a moments pause in my comic reading, web-surfing and work, to proudly say that I have added your banner in my Messgae Board. Go to http://www.t5universe.com/ and enter the FORUM. You will see the banner at the bottom of every topic page. Finally some advertising that I can enjoy...hehehe
Thank you! We appreciate the exposure on your excellent web site!
Thanks for the trip down memory lane, readers! Keep combing those archives as well as reading the current issue...and don't forget to write!
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This piece is © 2001 by Chaim Mattis Keller.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
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DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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