1971: Ra’s Al Ghul – He’s not an Arrow villain, he’s a Batman villain!

Batman_232You might recognize the name Ra’s Al Ghul from the hit CW show Arrow. You might recognize it from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Hell, you may even recognize it the from the Batman Animated series that turned this issue into the two part episode: The Demon’s Quest. As one of Batman’s biggest threats, Ra’s Al Ghul has been a mainstay in the comic books since his inception. No, not Inception, that Nolan film is unrelated.

Ra’s’ inception came with Batman #232. He comes to Batman for help after his daughter Talia, whom Batman had met a month earlier over in Detective, and Robin are kidnapped and ransomed. Continue reading

1971: THX 1138 or You’ll Never Forget Your First, But You May Try To Forget George Lucas’s

thx-1138-video-ssTHX 1138. Brainchild of the director famous for bringing Star Wars and Indiana Jones to the big screen. The letters THX are something not entirely unfamiliar to me. I see them all the time at the movies. They belong to the name of Lucas’ sound production company. But what is not always recognized is that they also belong to the name of the titular character in Lucas’ first film: THX 1138.

Continue reading

Steve Ditko Double Feature – 1967: The Question – Timeslide Part 2 and 1966: Blue Beetle

00_bluebeetle_01_ditko_cvOne great writer/artist, two great characters. Steve Ditko is famous for co creating Spider-Man with Stan Lee. Before that he worked for a now defunct company called Charlton Comics. Although Charlton doesn’t exist, all of their properties now belong to DC Comics. This includes The Blue Beetle and The Question, both of whom died (before New 52 continuity, I am not paying much attention to New 52 versions) and have been had their legacy move on to newer characters.  Continue reading

1970: No Evil Shall Escape My Sight!

imageThere are a few writer/artist duos, that individually are great, but when together, their work stand above the rest. They represent a pinacle for others to strive for. I’m talking about teams such as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 60’s, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale in the 90’s. For the 70’s it was the guys I’m about to talk about now: Dennis (Denny) O’Neil and Neal Adams. First teaming up for Detective 395 the award winning work would raise the bar for the standards of storytelling readers expected, pushed the envelope for what was permitted in comics by the Comics Code Authority, and made comics a much more realistic world. They also introduced characters such as Ra’s and Talia Al Ghul, and Green Lantern John Stewart.

Continue reading

1970: Jack Kirby’s Return to DC and Darksied’s First (cameo) Appearance

imageJack Kirby is best known for co-creating many of Marvel’s superheroes including Hulk, The Fantastic Four and Captain America. In 1970, he ended his 102 issues run of Fantastic Four and with it his work with Marvel. Moving over to DC he took over writing and penciling chores for Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen. I can can only assume that the Jimmy Olsen title was about to be cancelled and DC gave him the title to test his Fourth World story before launching new titles.

Continue reading

1969: The Andromeda Strain

imageAlien Life. Often thought of as little green men with antenna or slim grey dudes in flying saucers. Sometimes coming in peace, sometimes coming to destroy. But what if alien life isn’t what we expected? What if it wasn’t even something we can see? That is what Michael Crichton’s 1979 book The Andromeda Strain encourages you to think about.

When the entire population of a small town becomes victim to an alien virus due to poor sterilization of returning probes from outer space, a contingency team of scientists race to figure out how to stop the spread of the virus. Continue reading