It is unwise to annoy cartoonists
One does not discuss superhero comics without considering John Byrne most seriously. Read the rest of this entry
The Baxter Building bathtub
September is Cosmic Zap month here at Doctor Xaos Comics Madness blog, and this is the last one for the series. I’m including this post on a Tuesday because this year brought us a September woefully short on Sundays and Thursdays, and because I wanted to finish the formal series on a more hopeful note. Namely, reading Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four with my kids.
Long live Lib
It’s 1999. I’m in my first prof job at the Bio department at Valdosta State U, in southern Georgia – a much better school and general gig than I’d thought. I’m on the organizing committee for the annual Women’s Studies Conference there, similar to roles I’d played in many such events. “But what straight white guy could do it, and handle it?” “Get Edwards.” At the end of the conference, I’m hanging out with guest of honor Kate Millet, who was kind enough to attend my talk. Read the rest of this entry
MCI misdemeanors and felonies
BONUS POST: Thanks to Markku Tuovinen and his May pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! Jared Sorensen once cogently explained why dungeons have doors: so the player-characters can break them down. Think about it; if you didn’t want them to do it, then you would have just put a wall there. Mind control in superhero comics is precisely the same in its purpose: so a hero can shake it off. Fully or just enough to resist doing the one single dastardly thing on which the villain’s plan hinges, either way.
The Black Panther(s), the Coal Tiger, and US
BONUS POST: Thanks to Larry Lade and his March pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! All you comics nuts probably already know how Lee and Kirby were developing an African black character called the Coal Tiger in early 1966, then changed the name to the Black Panther.
You might not know that the original name Coal Tiger wasn’t neutral by a long shot, as at the time, it was the media term for post-colonial African nations. The relevant name here is Patrice Lumumba, leader of resistance against the Belgian colonial government, author of Dawn in the Heart of Africa, important participant at the All-African People’s Conference in 1958, advocate for nationalizing the resources of the Congo Basin, then briefly the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo in 1961. Read the rest of this entry
The politics of Doom
Victor von Doom debuted in Fantastic Four #5, in July 1962, and his origin and general depth of character were presented in January 1964, in the FF Annual #2. This identified him as the ruler of Latveria almost immediately in the history of the character, unlike the political history of Magneto for instance, who first appeared in September 1963 and was retconned into being a survivor of the Holocaust in 1981.