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The Saturday Comics: What Were They Thinking?

10 Dec

December 10, 2011

Sometimes comic companies seem to lose their minds. You look at what they put out and you wonder who they expect to buy it. I’m not talking about a badly written story or an issue with bad art, I am talking about a comic whose very cover makes you think that just maybe the publisher has had a stroke. This week I present five WTF? covers and I am proud/sad to say that I own four of them.

 

There was a time that Batman was so popular that you could put anything on the newsstands and it would sell as long as it had Batman on the cover. Now while I am firmly of the opinion that everything is better with apes, this one leaves me scratching my head.

First of all, the ape is wearing a cowl, presumably to protect its identity. But Batman goes right ahead and blows it by blurting out his name. Way to go, Bruce.

Secondly, the gorilla must have ripped that flag pole out of its base on the roof, and I am just not sure gorillas are that strong. And really, did Batman and Robin have no other way of getting across the rooftops? Did they  forget their Batropes at home?

And finally, why? Why bother? Does Batman really need an ape sidekick?

But I have to be honest. If I were a kid I would have totally bought that issue.

 

Sticking with Big Apes (forgive me) we have this issue of Konga’s Revenge, based on the Ape from Konga which you may recall from The Late Night Movie House of Crap.

This is a comic book starring a giant rampaging ape. Did that not offer enough creative opportunities that the creators found it necessary to send him back in time too? Is Konga that much more exciting when facing a Trojan warrior? In my opinion, once you have a giant ape running amok, why mess with a good thing?

But to be fair, King Kong once had to face ancient warriors too.

 

I’ve covered Jimmy Olsen comics before and I am more convinced than ever that DC had no clue what to do with that book.

 

I must admit that not only do I own this book, I love it. It really is a lot of fun. But above all, you have to admire the sheer ego, gall, and chutzpah it took for Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to put themselves into the comic- and as the stars, no less!

The premise is that, on “our” Earth, the editors and staff of Marvel Comics received a mysterious package that turned them into the Fantastic Four. That’s Stan Lee as Mr. Fantastic, Jack Kirby as The Thing, Sol Brodsky as The Human Torch, and Flo Steinberg as The Invisible Woman. Admittedly, the Marvel bullpen was already legendary, and none more so than Stan and Jack, but to put themselves out there are comic book stars? Sheer hubris.

 

Honestly, I look at that cover and I cannot decide between “genius” and “crap.” And while I think I fall on the “crap” side of things, I’ve got to say that with a cover like that, how could that comic not sell?

On the other hand, the movie is utter, utter trash.

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5 Responses to “The Saturday Comics: What Were They Thinking?”

  1. polarflares December 10, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    I love bad covers of books, comics, cereal, whatever. They’re like marketing bloopers and the contents usually match. We keep trying to market ideas well past their use by date. Santa conquers the Martians is a great party movie. Give everyone a pencil and have them keep track of the worst parts, someone can be in charge of wardrobe, another of props, sound etc. Thanks for making me laugh tonight, I needed it.

    Like

    • bmj2k December 10, 2011 at 1:12 am #

      I appreciate that, thank you. And I’ll try that party idea.

      Like

  2. The Hook December 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Those were some pretty iconic (ahem) concepts you showcased, my friend! Awesome!

    Like

  3. disseminatedthought December 15, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    I’m with you: who wouldn’t buy a comic that features an ape dressed like Batman?

    Like

    • bmj2k December 15, 2011 at 6:16 am #

      Batman + apes= kaching!

      Like

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