Thursday, April 30, 2015


You never knew where Steve Ditko would pop up at times (like Wally Wood for that matter.)

Another Ditko cover for Blue Ribbon #1, heavily inked by Rudy Nebres!

Archie Comics published The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents  for a short while. The previous year several comics had been published by JC Comics with new and reprint stories, including one NoMan cover by Steve Ditko with inks by Willie Blyberg. 
Here's a recap of NoMan's origin!
Original artwork for the splash page!
Blue Ribbon #12,
"The Making Of A Monster"
NoMan goes to a remote island after getting a letter from Wildey, an unstable old associate (who isn't aware of his current robotic state). On the island he finds that his old friend has set himself up as a modern Doctor Moreau, creating hybrid beasts in out of control genetic experiments, and buying human slaves to experiment on.
Written by by John Carbonaro and Charlie Boatner with art by Steve Ditko and inks by Willie Blyberg. 

Great work by Ditko in this one, with complementary Blyberg's inks. The strange creatures are classic Ditko. That faceless gorilla is just creepy, and that horned cat looks like something out of Watchmen a few years later. There are some good action scenes of NoMan fighting them.

How the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents story began!

Definitely one of the better examples of Ditko's commercial work in the mid-80s, this issue is well worth picking up, if you see a copy.
Nice profile of NoMan from Wally Wood!
A favorite T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents story of mine, from Paul Gulacy!
The only issue Solson came out with, unfortunately not one of the most memorable!

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Tower Comics NoMan comics!

I especially liked the paperbacks Tower came out with!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I really enjoyed the delightful Cat & Mouse series, originally published by Silverline Comics and picked up by Aircel Comics soon thereafter. It was a bit of the Silver Age of comics. Roland (Arrow, Battletech) Mann quickly became a favorite writer of mine, along with the great art of Mitch (Green Lanter, Shi) Byrd. What first caught my eye was the fabulous Paul (Master of Kung Fu, Star Wars) Gulacy cover. The black & white series ran for 18 terrific issues. 

Promo for the only Silverline Comics issue!
Cat & Mouse #1
Silverline Comics only issue.

One of my favorite Paul Gulacy covers!
Cat & Mouse #1
"A Game of Cat & Mouse"
Demon (Keith Greyson) gets mixed up with Cat (Jerry O'Neil) & Mouse (Mandy Paige), thieves working for the Yakuza. Yakuza and Mafia are vieing for control of New Orleans. The Mafia frames Cat & Mouse for the murder of a cop. Learning the Yakuza knew about this and did not warn them, Cat & Mouse 'quit' the Yakuza and go independent. Jerry also quits the police force.
This story also serves as an origin for Demon.

Cat & Mouse #2
When the police fail to capture Cat & Mouse, the Yakuza call in Tooth & Nail. 
Begins Steve Butler covers.

Cat & Mouse #3
"The Lady Wore Black"
Kunoichi, who trained Cat & Mouse, comes by to warn them about Tooth & Nail being called in. Demon tries to fight her. The individuals who will be trained to become Skull & Crossbones are introduced. 
Demon vs Kunoichi, Part 1.

Cat & Mouse #4
"Some Tails are Going to Roll"
Demon vs Kunoichi, Part 2.
Last Steve Butler cover. 

Cat & Mouse #5  
"Working 11 to 7 Really Makes Life a Drag"
Tooth & Nail work their way down a list, eliminating cops working for the Mafia.  
Begins Mitch Byrd covers, for the rest of the series.  

Another great cover from Mitch Byrd!
Cat & Mouse #6
"What Is and Never Should Be"
Claude tries to talk Jerry into rejoining the police force.

Cat & Mouse #7
"Don't Lose Your Head"
Cat & Mouse search for evidence to clear themselves. Claude decides he wants out of the Mafia, and is killed.

Cat & Mouse #8
"Fight from the Inside"
Jerry decides to rejoin the police force. Demon begins investigating killings in his name. 

Cat & Mouse #9
"Sight for Sore Eyes"
Cat confronts Rossman and reveals his identity to him. The newly trained team of Skull & Crossbones are given their names.

Cat & Mouse #10
"Take Hold of the Flame" 
Cat prevents Tooth & Nail from eliminating Rossman, for now.
"Unofficial Observer"
Good and bad cops on a stakeout.
Cat & Mouse #11
"Into the Fire" Jerry is still trying to clear his name. Rossman receives another visit from Tooth & Nail. Mandy and Keith take in Mardi Gra.

Cat & Mouse #12
"Dead on Time"
Cat takes on Tooth & Nail to save Rossman's baby. 
Death of Nail.

Cat & Mouse #13
"Good Times, Bad Time"
Jerry is in critical care in the hospital. Keith tries to get Mandy's mind off of Jerry's condition. They take in a live rock band performance.
Only issue not done by Mitch Byrd.
One of my favorite exotic covers in the series!
Cat & Mouse #14
"Bullets to Spare"
Cat attempts to steal the money needed for Jerry's medical bills. Champion wanders the streets of Chicago. Rossman asks Cat for the bullets she holds as evidence. He plans to testify against the Mob.

Cat & Mouse #15
"Keep Yourself Alive"
Rossman turns state's evidence against the mob. The relationship heats up between Mandy and Keith. Champion is hired to go to New Orleans.
Cat & Mouse with Demon illustration.  
Sneaking in a fantastic Steve Butler cover!

Cat & Mouse #16
"Without Warning"Jerry's kidney's are failing, so Mandy asks for Kunoichi's aid in obtaining a replacement. Tooth is hired to kill a yakuza leader in exchange for a return engagement with Cat. Rossman is shot, and believed killed, but he is quietly taken away to South Dakota.

Cat & Mouse #17
"Ridin' the Storm Out"
Kunoichi protects Kimimada from Tooth. Tooth dies. Mr Ruggier brings in Champion from Chicago for an unstated purpose. Kunoichi teams up with Mandy to protect Jerry, but Skull & Crossbones get to him first. Demon seeks information about the cult of Abaddon.
Terrific simple, athletic Mitch Byrd cover!

Cat & Mouse #18
"This is the End"
Mandy and Kunoichi agree to kill Kimimada to get Jerry back. Jerry gets his kidney transplant. Mandy chooses to go back and investigate the hospital she got the kidney from. Demon and Champion (out of costume) meet. 

Adventure comics published further Demon's adventures in Demon's Tails #1. Written by Roland (Ex-Mutants, Eliminator) Mann with art by Paul (Guardians of the Galaxy) Pelletier. Missed this one, on my radar now. Love to read Ronald Mann again!

Two collections of Cat & Mouse were published. They reprinted the first eight issues of the Aircel Comics series. I believe I came across one of these books for my collection, but still missing one. Hmm.  

Cat & Mouse Collection 2!

This was a great series, fun, exciting, dynamic writing and fantastic art. I would highly recommend it, you'll probably find them in bargain bins. Good Times!

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Dandy Steve Ditko's stunning illustrations of Captain Universe appeared in Marvel Spotlight #9-#11 (the last three issues of the series.) Captain Universe co-creator Bill Mantlo wrote these stories. Michael Golden was the other creator, from their time on Micronauts. Steve Coffin, from Marvel Spotlight #9, first appeared in The Micronauts #8

The Uni-Power is an extra-dimensional force that possesses an individual (or on one occasion, twins) in a time of crisis, transforming that person into Captain Universe. The transformed person retains his or her original personality and appearance, though the costume and heroic traits superimposed over the original. The Uni-Power itself emanates from the Enigma Force, the exact nature of which, naturally, remains an enigma. It is believed, however, to be connected to the Microverse, home of the Micronauts.

The first human Captain Universe was an astronaut, Captain Ray Coffin, who battled Baron Karza and sealed the Prometheus Pit between the Microverse and Earth. Years later, the Uni-Power would possess his son Steve Coffin to battle Mister E and his shadow slaves. It next possessed identical twins Ann Stafford and Clare Dodgson to capture Nemesis and then possessed small-time cat burglar Monty Walsh to stop mafia don Guido Carboni.

Captain Universe possesses superhuman strength and durability, can fly, project energy blasts, rearrange matter (forming various weapons and equipment, like a pair of nunchaks, a skateboard, etc.), and remotely activate equipment and/or charge it with power. His Univsion allows him to analyze the composition of beings or objects. He can survive in the vacuum of space and pass through solid objects at will.

Original Michael Golden art with Captain Universe vs. Baron Garza!

Micronauts #8  Enter Captain Universe!
"Earth Wars"
Argon becomes Force Commander; Ray Coffin becomes Captain Universe; Captain Universe and Micronauts vs. Karza at HELL.
Intro & first appearance of Captain Universe from creators Bill Mantlo & Michael Golden.
First eleven pages reprinted in Micronauts Special Edition #3.  
Marvel Spotlight #9  When Shadows Fall!
"The Mystery of Mister E"
Steve Coffin has the Captain Universe power.

Marvel Spotlight #10  Two Superheroes for the Price of One! Confused...? So Were We Until We Read Double Jeopardy!
"Double Jeopardy"
Clare & Ann Dodgson get the Captain Universe power.

Marvel Spotlight #11  What Happens when a Cat Burglar Becomes Captain Universe?! Find the Answer in: Claws of the Cat!
 "The Big Time"
Next Captain Universe appearance in the Incredible Hulk Annual #10 (from Bill Mantlo & Rick Leonard.)   

 Web of Spider-Man Annual #5
"A Random Miracle"
Dr. Evan Swann becomes Captain Universe to face The Quantum Mechanic
Written by Gerry Conway with art by Steve Ditko & Al Milgrom.  

Web of Spider-Man Annual #6
"Child Star"
The Captain Universe power uses the body of 2 year old Eddie Price to save the world.
Written by Tony Isabella with art by Steve Ditko.

Captain Universe: Power Unimaginable
Trade paperback reprints Marvel Spotlight #9-11, Incredible Hulk Annual #10, Marvel Fanfare #25, Web Of Spider-Man Annual #5 and #6 (partial reprints), and Cosmic Power Unlimited #5.
Compare this and the next picture, coincidence, I think not!
To me, Captain Universe harkened back to my Charlton Comics Captain Atom days. He, or she, reminded me of a Steve Ditko superhero, something you can have fun with. Enjoy!

Profile of Captain Universe.
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Loved it when Nighshade paired with Captain Atom vs. The Ghost!

My favorite piece by Michael Golden, awesome mail away poster!