What makes a good super hero? I would say an equally fascinating super villain, so lets start out with one of Marvels best. With his debut appearance in Fantastic Four #5, the evil genius Victor Von Doom was the first major new villain of the Marvel Age as well as a truly new kind of enemy. As villainous as he was brilliant, Doctor Doom was as strategic as he was maniacal. Being a former classmate of the Fantastic Four leader, Reed Richards, the bad doctor could match his wits with their team-leader in scientific skill and his connection to the team's past gave Victor great insight in his many battles with the super team. Psychologically and physically twisted by a lab accident in college, Doom's villainy was unquestionable, but there was always something sympathetic about his plight, as shown below in this Jack Kirby page from the Fantastic Four Annual #2. This dichotomy made him different from most comic book villains that came before as Doom served as a template for many that came after. It should come as no surprise that writer Stan Lee has said on many occasions that Doom is his favorite villain. Lee once stated that "[Doom] could come to the United States and he could do almost anything, and we could not arrest him because he has diplomatic immunity. Also, he wants to rule the world and if you think about it, wanting to rule the world is not a crime."
Monday, August 19, 2013
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Another in the series of wacky titles National tried in the 1960s was the amusing kid book, Angel and the Ape which first appeared in the anthology title Showcase #77 in September of 1968. Created by writer E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Bob Oksner, this fun loving title revolved around two unusual private eyes. Angel O'Day was a investigator who managed the O'Day and Simeon Detective Agency with her ape partner in a suit, Sam Simeon. With Sam not being your usual partner, since he was both a comic book artist and a talking gorilla, you can imaging the wild story lines over its initial short-lived run of seven issues after the first Showcase try-out tale. Oksner's charming "good girl" art approach for the lovely Angel, coupled with some delicious Wally Wood inks made the feature an attractive sell with some very energetic scripts. After its cancellation the series was revived two times, once in the 1990s by funny man artist Phil Folio and in 2001 by writers Howard Chaykin, David Tischman and artwork by Philip Bond. Other guest appearances followed over the year in DC titles and brief references making inside jokes to the characters in others, but none ever had the charm of the original series which gave many a fond memory to later baby boomers.