With old toys like Transformers and G.I. Joe making it big in movies I thought I would put out there some toys that I liked growing up to see on the big screen.
First you could get a pretty good family western with Johnny West. He was the lead character of Marx Toys “Best of the West” collection and first came out in 1965. He had a wife with Jane West and some children. He had an Indian friend with Geronimo, local lawman Sherriff Garrett, Cavalry men and assorted soldiers that included real life character General Custer. Of course he also had his own enemy in Sam Cobra. This line of action figures ran for a long time. It ended in 1976.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
My short story Peanuts Big Adventure got a 5 star review on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20877777-peanuts-big-adventure
A few days ago I promised you a list of the 50 greatest mainstream comic book characters. Here is the list.
50. Captain Marvel Jr.
Freddy Freeman becomes Capt. Marvel Jr. by saying the name of his hero. Captain Marvel! However, he can never say his own name for fear that he will change back to normal at a bad moment. That to me was good enough to make him#50.
49. Lois Lane
Lois Lane is queen of the women in distress. However, she is a strong woman and the first woman I know of in comics who actually had a job outside the home.
48. Norman (Green Goblin) Osborne
Norman Osborne is one of the great villians of all time and even he doesn't know it. For long periods of time he is a loving Father and a hard worker. Then he blacks out and becomes the Green Goblin one of Spider-man's greatest villans. Why? Because he knows Spider-man is really Peter Parker.
47. Chuck Clayton
The world of Archie gets closer to reality by introducing us to the first African American teen ager to move to Riverdale.
46. Black Panther
One of the first African American superheroes.
45. Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)
The first real competation that Superman had on the magazine racks. He was so popular that DC sued the the company that published him and later bought the company out. Mainly to get the Captain off the market. Later, they published his adventures and gave him his own show.
44. Jimmy Olsen
This character was really created for the radio program to give Superman someone to talk to. He was so popular that they named an office boy in the comic book after him. He is the first character to cross over from another medium into comics.
43. Alfred Pennyworth
I don't know how many butlers their were before Alfred. However, Batman's butler is the king of all the comic book butlers.
42. Silver Surfer
An alien made of Silver riding on air on his surf board and he talks like he is from a Shakespeare play. That has to make the list.
41. The Crypt Keeper
He went from comic books to having a live action TV show and later his own Saturday Morning cartoon series. The man has done more dead then most people do while still alive.
40. Mighty Mouse
He is so popular that even people who don't read comics or watch cartoons know who he is. Also, any mouse who can beat up a cat deserves respect.
39. The Flash (Barry Allen)
The most popular of the heros who carried the name Flash. Even though he has been dead for years now he is still talked about and remembered fondly.
38. Rick Jones
The prince of the sidekicks. He interned under the Hulk and Captain America. He graduated to his own series by sort of becoming a superhero by sharing space with Marvel Comics version of Captain Marvel.
37. Mary Jane Watson
One of the greatest growths of any supporting cast member. She went from being a party girl to sharing her troubled past and becoming Spider-man's beloved wife. Not to mention that she admited to knowing that Peter was Spider-man since high school and she never told anyone. Not even Peter till he asked her to marry him.
36. The Joker
The character was suppose to die in his first apperance. The creators thought he was too good to lose so they kept him around. Much to the chagrin of Batman.
35. The Parasite
One of the first villans that I know of that could steal your powers just by touching you. If he held on he could take your life.
Vile villian or misguided good guy. Magneto really wants to help his fellow mutants. However he thinks the best way to do that is by taking over the world.
33. Black Widow
A beautiful female Russian spy who defects to America to use her skills for the good of mankind. It is difficult for her to earn the trust of her fellow heros but in the end she becomes a member of the Avengers.
These two are on the list as they are the forerunners of the grim and gritty realism era.
30. Nick Fury
You have to respect a man who survices WWII, rises in the ranks to Col. and later heads up the world's greatest Spy orginization.
29. The Spirit
Really a newspaper creation but he did appear in comic books and each time gave us a look at the genius of Will Eisner.
Like the Spirit did with Eisner. Plastic-Man did with Jack Cole. No matter who does good ole Plas nobody did it better then Mr. Cole.
27. Black Bolt
One word from Black Bolt can destroy a city. So he never utters a word. A man has to be very strong to communicate without words.
26. Uncle Sam
The symbol of the USA is given his own comic book and GI's everywhere are given the courage to fight on.
25. Human Torch (The Android version)
This is the first time that I know of where a robot is created that acts human and tries to help mankind. However, he is not human and wishes that he was.
24. Ben Grimm (The Thing)
Reed Richards may be the leader and the brains of the Fantastic Four but Ben Grimm is the heart of the group. How many times did he have his own humanity in his grasp but gave it up for the sake of his friends? Now that is a real hero.
23. Hawk & Dove (Hank and Don Hall are a brother team so I list them together.)
This team was brought about because of the war in Vietnam. The aggressive ones who wanted the war were called Hawks. The people against the war were called Doves. The bickering between the two brothers mirrored that and each scene of them together was priceless.
22. The Creeper
A Steve Ditko creation. Nuff' said.
21. Dr. Octopus
Peaceful man of science has an accident that grafts robot arms to him and he goes insane for power. Later he falls in love with May Parker and marries her not realizing that she is the Aunt of Spider-Man.
20. J. Jonah Jameson
Civic minded publisher. Loving husband and father. His hatred for Spider-man nearly takes over his life and if anyone is really Spidey's arch enemy it is JJJ.
19. Red Skull
Trained by Hitler to be his right hand man. To this day the Skull still fights to take over the world.
18. Dr. Doom
Dictator of his own country but he is not satisfied with that. He fights mostly his old college roomate Reed Richards for control of the world.
17. The Hulk
Usually a typical monster/superhero who just wants to be left alone. Peter David took us in to areas with the Hulk that no one else ever dreamed of. But before that Hulk got an even bigger audience with a hit TV show.
Aquaman with attitude. Aquaman is nicer and would probably make a better King but Namor is more exciting to watch. Too bad it's because he hates surface dwellers. He rides that fine line between good guy and bad guy.
15. Wonder Woman
Hey she is the best of the female superheros. That alone gets her on the list.
14. Dr. Mid-Nite
Daredevil wasn't the first blind superhero. It was Dr. Mid-Nite. His special glasses helped him to "see" so he could fight crime. Let's give credit where it is due.
13. Jughead Jones
Another prince of the sidekicks who got his own series along the way.
Ted Grant is a boxer who decides to use his boxing skills to fight crime.
11. Green Arrow
GA was just a Batman rip off at first. But with the Neal Adams version he got a new costume. He lost his millions and decided to fight for the poor and the oppressed. Oliver Queen got a personality and a real fighting spirit.
10. Captain America
The main man of all the patriotic charactors. Just being created by Simon and Kirby is enough to get him on this list.
A man who drinks a formula to change into a giant bat but he can't change back. It takes over his mind but when he is in his right mind he uses his new powers to help mankind.
8. Richie Rich
Another pair of characters who were so popular at one time that even people who don't read comics have heard of them. Having hit movies didn't hurt them either.
6. Reggie Mantle
He started out as a brat to bully Archie. He grew to be an occassional friend of Archie and the gang and for awhile had his own series of comic books.
5. Archie Andrews
Any teen age boy who is so popular that he takes over the company. Has it change it's company name to his name and they stop publishing superheros and only publish books about his friends has got to be on this list.
No one was sure that he would be a hit. So he was published in the last issue of a canceled book. End of story? No he was a smash hit. They gave him his own series and now he is the flagship character of the company and an American Icon.
3. Robin the boy wonder
The King of the sidekicks. He got his own series and is the leader of the Teen Titans. Batman is very proud.
These two have been around since the beginning. Superman is number 1 since he really started the comic book industry. Supes wasn't the first original character for comic books. That title should go to one of the policemen in Detective Comics. But without Superman there would be no comic books.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
On this list of Superhero novels Project: Hero is tied for 102 out of 179. Goodreads members please vote for this book to get it to the top of the list. It's not grim and gritty like most superhero novels. It is just a fun go with it adventure that also answers the question how do those heroes earn money and have time to fight crime? https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/10607.Super_Hero_Books_Not_Graphic_Novels_?page=2
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
During the great depression this little girl lifted the spirits of her nation and eventually the world. She could sing, act and dance all by the age of five. Her bright, bouncy and bubbly personality reached beyond the movie theaters. She held her own and even surpassed some of the more adult entertainers with whom she shared the silver screen. When Shirley was just 8 months old her parents, Gertrude and George Temple, saw that she had rhythm when their daughter would stand in her crib and move to the popular music of the day. They later enrolled her in a dance school and when the actor/director visited the school he noticed Shirley. He signed her to be in some of his shorts. Soon she was the star of her first feature film Stand Up and Cheer and her career took off. Between 1935 to 1938 she was a box office champion and would become one of the top 50 box office performers of all time. She was even asked to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. But she worked for 20th Century Fox and they refused to lend their biggest star to MGM. So they cast Judy Garland in the role. She tried to make the transition from child star to teenaged actress in such movies like the drama Since You Went Away where she starred with Claudette Colbert and in the comedy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant. I have no doubt if she kept at it she would have succeed as an adult actress. Still her success as a child star was a huge obstacle and she turned to focus her energies into her family and politics. This is where her greatest achievements came that rarely made the headlines. In the office of an ambassador she helped her country and the people of Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Rest in Peace Shirley Temple. You sang and danced your way into our hearts and made us all smile.