Daredevil

The Birth of Me in Comics

The Comic Book Database, a great resource site, has a cool new feature where you can search comic books by cover date. So, naturally I had to search for comics dated for my birth month and year: February, 1976. Play along at home!

Look out! That Assassin guy is right behind you doing exactly what you thought was impossible!

I can’t imagine it gets much awesomer than this British comic. I wish I was as tough as your boots. (Wait, did you say “Actual size”?!)

I’m not sure what’s more shocking. The Jaws double’s terribly chapped lips? Or Ghost Rider’s flaming skull and the ocean ignoring each other.

OK, I’m detecting a certain aquatic theme, possibly inspired by a certain pop culture-defining film (see: coat tail riders).

Well certainly Batman is too cool to be that lame.

Oh Batman. Really? The Olympics? Sigh…

Surely Marvel is above this kind of cheap pandering.

What in the — ?!

OK, why is Spider-Man dragging a poor innocent girl into this implausibly ridiculous yet dangerous game? Unless the little girl is subbing for the football in this demented version of Not-Soccer. You’d think something this EXTREME would bring in at least a few spectators but it looks like they couldn’t give tickets away to this game.

Later: “Eh, let’s go back to playing regular football.”

So, was it possibly football season when this issue came out?

Oh-ho! It’s funny because it’s sexist!

Oh ho! It’s funny because they have eating disorders.

Come on Captain America, help me out.

Watch out for the phallic-helmeted Trojan Horde! Let’s face it, no one can resist cataclysmic Kirby action.

To be fair, this was from a time when superheroes had to announce their ethnicity in their name. But only if they weren’t white.

Oh. My. God. I have no idea what’s happening or why, but I must have this.

If this issue doesn’t include lyrics and sheet music, I’m writing an angry letter.

Watch the hands, pal.

I understand this was the inspiration for Bill Murray’s Scrooged.

Don’t… look… behind… you. You might need more American flags printed on large sheets of cardboard paper.

Wow, this is crazy!

I think we all see what’s coming.

Dodging is so WILD!

What jerks. Worst friends ever.

Every twin I know has this exact same problem.

Stay back! It looks like someone might actually read this. We don’t stand a chance!

I love it!

This would never get published today. For several reasons.

So… Spider-Man and Storm (from the X-Men) are now thieves who steal from helpless old men? Uh… great.

And finally…

But.. but… I thought they were the same person! OK I admit it. I’m actually intrigued.

And that’s my birth month in comics! Here’s the full list, if you haven’t had enough.

(One thing to note that you may have noticed: Comics have traditionally been dated about 2-3 months in advance of their actual release date in an attempt to lengthen their shelf life, so most of these had probably been released in November or December, 1975. Still, it’s much easier go by cover date than try to determine when each individual comic actually hit stands.)

Liked Iron Man? Be a Hero and Help Out

So, how ’bout that Iron Man movie? Pretty cool, huh? You bet it was!

It’s, like, totally over 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It MUST be awesome.

It is so totally the best superhero movie ever in the history of ever since ever first started.

Way.

Yeah, it was tons of fun. You know what’s not fun? Liver failure.

Sorry, I know. Bummer seque.

Sadly, one of the comic book artists that made Iron Man so memorable for hundreds of thousands is suffering. His name is Gene Colan.

Yes, yes. Funny last name. Go on, get it out of your system. I’ll wait.

(*snicker*)

Yes, okay, where were we? That’s right, Gene Colan.

In late 1965, Gene Colan took over drawing the Iron Man stories in an anthology comic called Tales of Suspense. He replaced Iron Man co-creator and artist Don Heck, who is credited in the Iron Man movie along with fellow Iron Man creators Stan Lee, Larry Lieber (Stan Lee’s younger brother) and Jack Kirby. Gene Colan’s time with the character proved so popular, that in 1968 the character graduated to starring in his own comic book series, The Invincible Iron Man.

Gene Colan also had a significant run of drawing Daredevil in the mid-1960s to early-1970s, but most people don’t really have fond memories of the Ben Affleck movie, so we’ll just gloss over that part. He also made his mark on Howard the Duck, which was an even worse movie, but the comics were great satire.

Anyway, on May 10th, writer Clifford Meth announced that Gene Colan was sick and because people in comics back in the 1960s and 1970s didn’t get health insurance or 401K plans or anything else beyond a simple flat rate per page, Gene and his wife are facing immense medical bills. As the Iron Man movie rakes in over $200 million worldwide, it seems a shame that some of that financial gratitude can’t be passed on to one of the first artists to portray the character. Without his hard work and talent, it’s possible the character never would’ve lasted long enough to make it to the big screen. So, if you would like to help out in some small way, there are a few ways you can help:

  1. Donate to The Hero Initiative – This not-for-profit organization exists for the sole purpose of helping establish a safety net for comic creators like Gene Colan who did not financially benefit from the success of the comics and characters they worked on. And there are many. Make a donation and ask that your contribution be directed to help out Gene Colan.
  2. Bid on a fundraising auction item – Writer Clifford Meth has begun an auction to help raise money for Gene Colan. The auction started today and includes (or will include) lots of fun stuff by Stan Lee, Harlon Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Gene Colan himself, and lots of others.
  3. Buy cool Gene Colan stuff – Marvel Comics and The Hero Initiative have teamed up to help raise money for Gene Colan. If you’re going to any comic book conventions this summer (I’ll be at Comic-Con in San Diego), be sure to look for limited edition art prints. Additional Gene Colan-themed items will be released by Marvel in August and September.

Okay, that’s my spiel. And if you haven’t seen Iron Man yet, go see it!