Category Archives: Ty's Top

Happy Hangover Day Bunny People! YAY!

top five 2013 logo number 1

 

NUMBER #1

The way I hear it, the best cure for the party from the night before is leftover bacon and sausage pizza and warm nog.

My wife, apparently, did not enjoy 2013, what with my many trips to the emergency room, and her mother’s many trips to the hospital, but I’m a different kind of person, I fondly remember all the trips HOME from the hospital, so…good times.

But as we say goodbye forever to 2013, never to be recalled, unless we still have bills from last month to pay, we finish with the MOST popular and LEAST popular Bun Toons of the previous year.

The winner humbled your bunny blogger…mostly because it wasn’t even remotely about me.

gaiman small

 

Well, it worked.  HOO boy did it work.  The Bun Toons got to feel for a week what it must be like to be Neil Gaiman for a day.  He linked, we got avalanched, fun was had by one and all.

Please….. the experiment is over, no need to do it again.  I feel all dirty about getting all those page hits the first time.

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The SECOND of my ego-destroying entries today, comes from the LEAST popular Bun Toon of the year.

I’ve been playing music and singing since I was about five years old, and for a good chunk of my twenties, it was my primary source of income.  Marriage and Batman curtailed the chart-topping success that was just inches from my grasp, but I like to keep my hands moving and my throat warbling whenever I can trap an audience in a room.

Last summer, my friend, singer-songwriter Glenn Reid, released a new jingle jangle country-pop adult contemporary single that I played and sang harmonies  on, and I thought I’d take a moment to promote it on my Bunny Blog, since I don’t get a chance to show off my fingers and pipes all that much around here.

Apparently, if you don’t mention Neil Gaiman or Batman, the numbers just aren’t there.

bun tunes

 

If ANYONE clicks to the link, there’s some fun country-pop songs there that Glenn wrote and sang, and I sing back-up and play keyboards on….heck the page is full of ‘em!

Next year, we write a song ABOUT Neil Gaiman and Batman and send this internet into a tizzy…

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Since this is a celebration of last year’s ego-destroying moments from the Bun Toons, I thought I’d finish the retrospective with a Bun Toon that was fairly well received (though not quite top five material), and perfectly demonstrates why ego is the enemy of us all.

the ego goes kablooey websize

 

Enjoy your new year, Bunny Peeples.  I’ll be back soon with ALL-NEW Bun Toons for the needs of a 2014 type of audience.

Everything else is SO last year.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Who’s Number Two? YAY!

top five 2013 logo number 2

NUMBER #2

Ah, the silver medal.  As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Of all the losers, they came in first”.

The loser’s winner this year is another Superman related entry on the Bun Toon countdown…or at least a Kal-el related entry, because I’m not sure I ever saw Superman in this story.

But an alien named Kal-el?  Sure…

(Spoilers for the MAN OF STEEL MOVIE coming up).

WEBSIZE MAN OF STEEL REVIEW

I confused people with this review, as I’m still approached by folks who think I hated the movie.  I didn’t hate the movie, I actually rather liked it.  I thought it was an excellent alien-first-contact movie with a race of super-powered monsters…(Kal-el being one of ‘em).   I can’t wait for the sequel where Batman and Wonder Woman try to beat the hell out of the alien menace flying around Earth named “Superman”.  I’d be scared poopless of this xeno-disaster and I’ll be rooting for Bat-Fleck to take him down.

None of that means I didn’t like the movie.  It’s just not a Superman movie.

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The Bun-Toon-as-Movie-Review up top was delightfully well received by the internet.  The Bun-Toon-as-Game-Piece was not.

During the San Diego Comic Convention weekend, I published a Bingo card for convention attendees to fill out.  The winner won something, I don’t recall what…because no one played.  So no one won.

I’m taking my game and going back home.

bingo card

We had thousands of cards printed up and distributed through FedEx.  It cost us tens of thousands of dollars.  We had to take a second mortgage on the house, and now I greatly regret it.  The prize would have bankrupted me, though.  I think it was a new car, so there’s that, I suppose.

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Since it’s my countdown, and we’ve already done the second best and the second worst, I’m tossing in a BONUS Bun Toon:  This was a follow up to the MAN OF STEEL review a couple of weekends later.  I figured since Man of Steel made mad bank, there would be imitators.

Very slight MAN OF STEEL Spoilers…

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In truth, I just wanted to reprint that horrifying Lucy-pulls-the-football panel again.  I love showing off that I could have drawn the Peanuts strip for the last five years and no one would have known, well except for all the blood.

My son likes that I made the dad on Family Circus say a doody-word.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Bun Toon #4 of 2013! YAY!

top five 2013 logo number four

Number #4!

Everyone knows that first is gold, second is silver, and third is bronze, but how many knew that fourth was Coca-Cola?  It’s why athletes refuse the prize because all that corn syrup is bad for a body in training.

We continue our annual look back at the triumphs and failures of Bun Toon with an entry celebrating the 75th anniversary of ACTION COMICS #1 and comicdom’s greatest, non-flying, Golden Age, female, DC character who isn’t Ma Hunkle.  Screw Clark and Superman, they get all the media attention…this is…

lois in four panels websize

I still have a crush on Margot Kidder, Teri Hatcher, Phyllis Coates, and Erica Durance.  Noel Neill looked too much like Lucille Ball for my tastes, and as far as I know, there haven’t been any other Lois Lanes except in the cartoons and funny books.

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As I just said, it doesn’t matter the name of the actor playing the character of Lois Lane, I love ‘em all.

Actors, and stage names, was the subject of the following ALL-TRUE-TALE of the Bunny, but it scored nary a blip on the internet radar when I revealed this hidden moment from my life last fall.  If I had thrown Lois or Superman into the narrative, it would have been BIG, I tells ya BIG!

But then it wouldn’t have been TRUE.

working actor websize

I think this one didn’t do any traffic because I skimped on the title lettering.  Lesson learned:  Always use a Comicraft font for the titles.  People flock to good lettering.

I’ll see you here again tomorrow for the #3 most popular Bun Toon of 2013, and the third least successful entry, BOTH of which feature Superman, except for one of them.  (Well neither, really, but I understand marketing and you won’t come back if I say they were cartoons about lesbians.)

Ty The Guy OUT!

Big Big Countdown Bun Toons YAY!

top five 2013 logo big

NUMBER #5

The year draws to a close, and I close out my drawings for 2013 with my annual list of what worked, what didn’t and what tickled my bunny bone for the year.  You get a replay of the five MOST popular Bun Toons of the last twelve months (chosen by most unique page hits) and the five that absolutely dropped into the ether with no attention whatsoever.  We get a range of readership here at Bun Toon Central, with some posts being seen by as few as a dozen people, and some being seen by as many four of five dozen people.

Coming in at the what’s-below-bronze position of #5 on the big, big hit parade of 2013 was a Bun Toon done in the style of Dr. Seuss’ immortal classic, ONE FISH TWO FISH RED FISH BLUE FISH.  The style suggested itself as a way to make a simple point even simpler, and since I was dealing with the complex issue surrounding Orson Scott Card’s writing an issue of Superman, Card’s particularly offensive positions on gay rights, and the possibility of a boycott of DC comics as a form of protest, I proved there’s no better way to start public discourse than to simplify it to the point of nonsense.

one fish websize

Obviously the BUN TOON worked, because there was no boycott of DC comics over this issue.  It probably helped that Chris Sprouse, the artist originally hired to draw the Superman comic Card was going to write, backed out at the last minute saying he didn’t want to be part of this controversy, and could he please go back to just drawing pictures, and then DC cancelled the issue as an afterthought.

I’ll score that as a win all around.

BONUS MOMENT:  

I returned to the ORSON SCOTT CARD controversy when the film ENDER’S GAME opened in theatres, with THIS screed about over-simplification:

MANSON VS CARD

There, now that I’ve given a reasonable, balanced opinion about the man and his body of work, you can understand the details better.

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Holiday themed Bun Toons were the big losers this year, as you’ll see as we go along.  After the great COLUMBUS DAY disasters of previous years (and the ARBOUR DAY debacle of ’05) , you’d think I’d learn to keep away from the subject of grand important holidays, but I can’t help but punch organized days-off in the groin.  It’s who I am.

This year, Easter (or BUNNY DAY as we call it around here) was a Bun Toon ignored by one and all.  Lucky you, you get a chance to ignore it all over again.  A bit of a warning, there’s some NSFW nudity coming up, but it’s subtle, you have to STARE at it for a while to see it, and then you feel all icky for staring.

easter websize

Hah!  I made you look at a woman’s European styled under-area, all in the name of making fun of Easter!  HAH!

See you back here tomorrow for more successful Bun Toon fun featuring the comic industry’s leading lady, and another piece of crap no one liked featuring a true story from my youth.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Of course, as is tradition, we wish STAN (the man) LEE a happy 91st Birthday!  Stan always has his birthday the same day we start the Bun Toon countdown because you know Stan, he’s trying to horn in on my action.  Sheesh!  You get the movie cameos big guy, stop trying to hog the Bun Toons!

Happy New Year, and the Top Bun Toons of 2012!

top five logo 2012 1

It’s the New Year, you hung over revellers, and time for one last look back at the most popular Bun Toons of the last twelve months.

And to do that, my friends, I have to go to Hollywood accounting tricks, because I DO NOT KNOW which of the following two Bun Toons was the real winner.  I know which one had more hits on my own particular blog, but that becomes meaningless when you take into account how many different blogs and websites reprinted both of these strips, driving the readership into many multiples of what the numbers were here.  The first of the two was ACTUALLY the winner around here, setting the one day record for this website on the Saturday it went up, and the most “hit” Bun Toon of all time when the dust cleared.  Like Frank Miller last year, the peoples love it when you take down a star…

THE NEW WATCHMEN ARE HERE

A friend of mine made up a pair of t-shirts that read “I love Alan Moore more than you do” and “I read Halo Jones” and wore them around me without mentioning that he’d done it.  No greater tribute to the Bun Toon could be had than destroying a white t-shirt with a black marker.

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Even though the numbers for “Who Watches the Industry?” turned out to be the highest single day and single post we’ve ever had around here, the NEXT Bun Toon had far more websites reprinting it than anything we’ve ever done, and it drove so much traffic to my homepage that we were getting fifty thousand unique hits a week for a while.

now it makes sense revised

Bleeding Cool, I09, Forbidden Planet, MTV Geek, and dozens of other websites reprinted this toon as part of the news coverage of the summer Ghost Rider nonsense, and it was often quoted as some sort of authoritative source on the facts of the case as though I was a material witness.

I hope Gary is happy and well nowadays, and that the tsuris of the summer has cleared up.  He raised a little money through the internet (and the efforts of Steves Niles and Bissette, if I recall) to offset some of his costs , and we’re all pulling for him around here.  I’m as hippy-dippy, artist-over-corporation as they come, but every now and then I have to call bullshit when I see it, and the public narrative about his story became pure bovine waste as it picked up steam.

See you all in 2013, where we promise nothing but controversy, comedy and commitment to cartooning every week.  This is a sickness with me – one that doesn’t involve fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, so it’s one of the better ones.

And finally, thank you.  I really appreciate that you folks show up and read these compulsive little blurts of creative I do every Saturday morning.  Some suck, some are memorable, but none of them go into the ether completely unseen.  That’s all any artist in history has ever hoped for when he scribbles down the idea.  Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to cut off my ear and ask brother Theo to pay my rent.   Which means in the great story of human achievement, I kick Van Gogh’s ASS.

Ty the Guy OUT!

And the Silver Goes To….

top five logo 2012 2

We finish off the calendar year (but not our top five list) with an almost winner, and an annual wrong turn. All very fitting for 2012.

Back in the summer, a web-comic called “Order of the Stick” put together a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to publish a kick-ass collection of their strips (a delightful parody of Dungeons and Dragons, drawn stick-figure style).  They needed a good chunk of cash to publish, something like forty thousand dollars if I recall…

But they raised over a million.

So I did this Bun Toon the next week.

order of the bunny websized

My Bun Toon didn’t raise a million dollars, but it raised a decent audience for a fun laugh, which is what we’re all about at Bun Toon central.  If I worked JUST for the money, I’d have gone into meth dealing like my mother always wanted me to.

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Our lovable loser this time out is entirely my fault.  When the Zombie Apocalypse broke out this fall, I did a sequel to a Bun Toon that finished 2011 in my bottom five.  The RETURN of Contessa Kristine Margarite Von Shoenefeld proved as unpopular as her first outing the previous year.

I keep suffering for my art, and now it’s your turn:

date fate web sized

Obviously I’m the only one who finds her funny.  I guess I’ll just have to do ten or fifteen more of these until I convince you.

Tomorrow is the start of 2013, and I’ve saved our TOP BUN TOONS of this year for tomorrow instead of today.  This way I start the next year with GRAND SUCCESS and it has NOTHING to do with my mis-reading the calendar a couple of days ago when I started this.  That would make me look stupid.

Ty the Guy (and 2012) OUT!

Top Bun Toons of 2012 #3!

top five logo 2012 3

More winners and losers of the year as we track the most and least popular posts of the last 12 months.

Our THIRD highest hit maker of the year came to us back in September, when I was in Montreal for a comic convention and didn’t have my scanner or my computer to get all photo-shoppy with.  Undaunted, I drew the weekly Toon at teeny size on a single piece of typewriter paper at my Brother-in-Law’s house and scanned it with his fax machine.  NOTHING stops the Bunny.

This strip was in reference to the then recent, and very exciting events of Avs.X —    This was in those wild days before Spider-Man #700, when life was so simple.

prof x bun toon websize

As of four months later, Xavier is still dead, I think.  But you never know, there’s probably a shadowy figure lurking around the Jean Grey school that might be him.  I don’t read the X-Titles like I used to.

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I got a lot of encouragement to do MORE Bun Toons in this very minimalist style, without colour, without lettering, without any drawing skill, and a few weeks later I had exactly that opportunity when I found myself in a hospital emergency room one Saturday morning, to pass a kidney stone.  While waiting for the excruciating pain to ebb, I asked the nurse for paper and pencil to Bun Toon from my sick bed.

kidney websize

Even with that level of dedication, no one read this one.   It had a classical pee-on-yourself pathos ending and everything!   So it’s not the sloppy, badly lettered artwork you guys like, it’s the sloppy, badly lettered drawings of Wolverine.  Duly noted.

See you next time for more high-flyin’ hilarity, and low-brow fail.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Top Five Bun Toon Countdown #4!

top five logo 2012 4

The annual pimping and bashing of my ego continues with entry #4 in the big, big top five countdown of the most popular Bun Toons of the year (and the five LEAST!).

For decades, the fine folks who collect and read comics have had their pantheon of cool, and it rarely includes Archie Andrews and his gang.  This year, us comics fans were schooled on what cool comics truly are…

archie superhero websize

And what became of “The Million Moms”?  Well, they never got more than about forty thousand members, and they tried to get Ellen Degeneris fired as a make-up spokesperson for Cover Girl.   Ellen is still their “face” in 2013, as far as I know.  So the score officially is:

Human decency: 2

Homophobic, dried-up, old louses: 0

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When Bun Toons fight the good fight, it’s not always so popular.  Here’s an entry about bigotry and prejudice that was ignored by the planet Earth upon arrival.  Maybe I should have coloured it in…anti-bigotry rants need a little colour, right?

And besides, I sort of stole the idea from Swift…

a modest proposal web revised 3

So much for satire.

I’ll see you tomorrow as the year-end celebration heads towards our MOST read Bun Toon EVER!  Oh, what, what, what could it be?

Ty the Guy OUT!

Top Five Bun Toon Countdown Begins! YAY!

top five logo 2012

And so, we close out the year, 2012, without the Mayan apocalypse and without Mitt Romney poised to destroy the Earth as we know it.  So two bullets dodged, and no more said about dodging bullets.

The Bun Toons has continued to delight and enthrall the internet over the last 12 months, making this site the third most visited website on the ‘net, right after Google and Facebook.  (Though ebay and twitter were giving us a run for the title for a while there, back in June, we did finally prevail as the net’s #3 site by late September).

And we got there because of you guys.  The numbers have been added up and we have tabulated the winners and losers of this annual crop of Toons de Bun, and present to you the BEST (and the WORST) of 2012.

The best, because I like to remind people of my triumphs…and the worst…because I like to remind people that the unpopular ones deserve a second chance…

FIRST UP:  The #5th most Popular Bun Toon of the Year!  I gave my review of the summer’s most talked about Super-Hero movie and my take seemed to rally the crowd.  Sure, the critics liked it, but around here, at Bunny Snark central, there was negativity in Gotham City.  And I got it all done in four panels!  HAH!

dark knight rises websize

 

Weehawkin!  I’m still fond of that Catwoman, though the movie has grown even worse in hindsight.  Sheesh, it had such potential.

SPEAKING OF POTENTIAL:

Here’s one of the Bun Toons that did no business this year, and it’s equally Gotham City centric.  It just goes to show that you can only rely on web traffic when you’re insulting something successful and popular.  This was an idea suggested by Dan (SPIDEY #700) Slott a while back, and I drew it up good.  I think it’s funny, even if no one on god’s green earth read it when I first put it up.

batman at noon websize

 

Just you wait…I’m going to DO Spider-Man of the Prairies, and stop all traffic heading towards this blog completely.  I just have to BELIEVE.

See you tomorrow for BUN TOON #4, and Bun Toon # 51 on the hit parade.  They just get better and worse from here!

Ty the Guy OUT!

For your Bonus Moment:  It’s Stan Lee’s Birthday.  All together now…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR STA-AN….HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

Stan the Man coaches The Hulk and Thor on how to be larger than life, in this rare photo from the early 60s, when the heroes would routinely visit the Marvel offices for story conferences.

Stan the Man coaches The Hulk and Thor on how to be larger than life, in this rare photo from the early 60s, when the heroes would routinely visit the Marvel offices for story conferences.

Thanks for creating Marvel comics, Mr. The Man, and giving me a place to work for the last little while.  The well-fed children thank you.

 

The Top Ten Captain Marvels

So now Carol Danvers has been switched from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel, a change in rank that might not be a promotion, given that I’m more likely to listen to a woman than a military man about almost anything.  By my count, she’s something like the twelfth or thirteenth character to use the concept, and that doesn’t include Doc Samson or the Flash stealing the Big Red Cheese’s original costume…

Given that I have a blog and twelve spare minutes today, I have no choice but to rank the Captains Marvel for the breathless internet public.
I don’t want to…I HAVE to.

Here now, the

TOP TEN CAPTAIN MARVELS

#10

Amalgam Captain Marvel.  

The easiest Amalgam of them all was little more than a wasted opportunity.  He does nothing but occupy space, he didn’t even make the cover of either of the issues he appears in.  Once you get the idea that both Marvel and DC had characters with this name, the effort is done.  There’s the stink of laziness all over this guy, and considering how clever and fun the Amalgams were, this is inexcusable.

Kree-Shazam…oh, forget it.

BEST STORY:

Not applicable. He’s an empty suit

#9

Mahr Vehl.

I must be a modern comic. Look at all that detail.

The “Ultimate” Captain Marvel is nothing of the sort.  Though some of the Ultimate comics update and re-imagine traditional Marvel characters with a sensibility better suited to a 21st Century reader, this particular Ultimate character is nowhere near as fun, sympathetic, or memorable as any other version of this character, including the Amalgam one.  The Ultimate Gah Lak Tus and the Ultimate Vision (both in the story Mahr Vehl first appears in), are  equally second rate compared to the 616 Universe. Don’t fix what ain’t broke, peoples.

BEST STORY

Ultimate Secret. But I’m being kind.

#8

Monica Rambeau

Who remembers me? Show of hands…

You have to give points to Marvel Comics for trying to create a black female super-hero (who wasn’t a mutant), who would kick butt and take charge.  A sort of Ororo/Storm for the Avengers, but using someone else’s name.  The problem was, the writers and editors never let the character earn her place after she was created by Roger Stern and JR JR in a Spider-Man annual.  She complained about being out of her league too darn much, she never really mattered in the stories she was in, never was given a major role in the Marvel U, and she gave up the name without a fuss when the opportunity came about, calling herself PHOTON.

Her last issue before the name change. Did anyone buy this?

Even when she became leader of the Avengers (briefly) she screws up on her first mission, accidentally merging with the Atlantic Ocean and barely surviving the watery event.  After that, she’s relegated to crowd scenes when EVERY character in the universe has to gather to get smacked around by Thanos or Dormammu or someone.   I think she was in MARVEL DIVAS a while back, but who read that? When the idea to be inclusive meets stories that barely rise above tokenism, you end up with this mess of a character.  It’s too bad.

BEST STORY:

The Spider-Man Annual, when her potential was yet unsquandered.

#7

Noh-Varr

The boy, before he was a captain.

My fondness for No-Varr comes from the Grant Morrison/JL Jones mini-series from a 2000 (Marvel Boy), that involved the character turning New York state into a giant swear word.  Though he started out stealing the name

What? Another stolen name?

from a 50s Marvel character, he graduated to stealing the more famous name, becoming the bad boy version of Captain Marvel from an alternate universe, and that means I can CHANGE him and make him better if only he’d let me.  That’s true love.   And as the “bad boy” Captain Marvel, it’s appropriate that he first takes the Captaincy when he joins the “Dark Avengers”.

He’s currently an Avenger called Protector, a name he stole from Atlas Comics (a company that stole their name from Marvel’s 50s incarnation, Atlas Comics…this is all so fun), and his costume is a mess of black and white stripes and boxes that looks like it took all of twenty minutes to design. Oh well, we’ll always have Marvel Boy.

The all-new “Protector” hero.

Stolen again!

BEST STORY:

He just wants someone to tame him, I swear.

#6

Genis Vell

Cool update on a classic costume, and some interesting cosmic story lines, though I could have done without the insanity stuff and the alt-universe sister showing up, also claiming to be Captain Marvel.  For a while Genis Vell thought his dad was Starfox/Eros, the super-rapist of the galaxy, but it turned out Genis  was the son of a Kree traitor instead.  Either way, no father’s day cards.  At some point, our hero drops the name Captain Marvel for the name Photon, which Monica Rambeau obviously gave up as easily as her Captain Marvel identity.  Monica can’t hold onto anything.

BEST STORY:

The run of issues by Peter David, despite the crazy and the sister.

#5

Freddie Freeman

Forgive the racism, it was a more “innocent” time.

The “Robin/Bucky” of the Fawcett Marvel world, Captain Marvel Jr. rose

The REAL Captain Marvel Jr.

above his origins to be a fairly strong character on his own.  The artwork for the Little Blue Cheese was consistently wonderful:  Mac Raboy and Kurt Schaffenberger in the Golden Age, Dave Cockrum, Don Newton and Kurt Schaffenberger in the Silver Age and Jerry Ordway in the Bronze Age, ol’ Freddie Freeman lucked out with some great visuals throughout his career, and he even had time to play first base for the Atlanta Braves for a while.  Plus:  Who doesn’t love the Tiny Tim vibe?  God Shazam us, every one.

BEST STORY:

Anything by Mac Raboy.

#4

Mary Marvel

Apparently, girls like giant butterflies.

Called Captain Marvel in the POWER OF SHAZAM series, so she counts too.  When I was a teenager, Bob Oksner was the illustrated for all the Mary Marvel stories in SHAZAM!, and these were the highlight of my month when she’d appear in the back up tales.  I had a crush on her…a line drawing.  I know it’s wrong, but I did.  She was the ultimate girl-next-door, in a way that Supergirl never quite was.  And the eight year old girl version of her from Jeff Smith’s run was amazing.  HATED what they did to her in all the awful Crisis/Countdown/Crisis/52/Blackest Night/Crisis nonsense.  Shameful handling of a great character.  I’m waiting to see that they don’t screw her up in the Gary Frank series she’s in now.

BEST STORY:

The new Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith…where Mary is about eight.

#3

Billy Baxter

That’s not a typo, I mean Baxter, not Batson.  This Captain Marvel, published briefly by Myron Fass Enterprises in the mid-sixties, has lived in my heart for decades.  His comics came out when I was about five years old, and since I have a couple of these, I  cannot view them with any objectivity.  They are simply wonderful building blocks of my childish psyche. “SPLIT!” is as powerful as “Flame on!” as far as I’m concerned…and that’s quite a co-incidence as this Captain Marvel was illustrated by Carl Burgos, creator of the original Human Torch.  Included in this series was the equally trademark squatting characters of “Dr. Fate”, “The Ray”, “Plastic Man”, “The Destroyer” and “The Bat”, proving Myron liked to live on the edge of lawsuits for thrills.   The Bat is the best, because he changed his name to “THE RAY” to avoid a DC lawsuit (even though the Ray was a Quality Comics character) and his costume looked exactly like the Martian Manhunter.  You could see why the company was called “MF Comics”; I think it was an abbreviation for something other than the publisher’s name.   This is the original squatter on the Captain Marvel title, so it gets extra points for picking at the corpse first.

BEST STORY:

All of them. There’s only six issues of this guy.

#2

Mar-Vell

This one picked at the corpse of the Billy Baxter version, technically, as it came out about two years after MF’s title.  His original appearance in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #12 was less than thrilling, and his first couple of years in his own title wouldn’t have left much of an impact on anyone…but then HOO BOY, we get the Gil Kane version, with the new costume and Rick Jones in ish #17.

Now we’re talking.

I love how that version of this familiar name went back to the idea that the Captain and a young boy would share the same identity, and would change back and forth with a bolt of lightning. I mean, if you’re going to steal a character, steal it full out. That’s bold.
But the quality of the art and stories improved so much, I forgave the obvious rip-off and dug right in. By the time Jim Starlin came along, Cap was amongst my top five favorite Marvel comics.

BEST STORY:

The Trial of the Watcher, and sadly, the Death of Captain Marvel.

#1

Billy Batson

The first, the original, at one point the best selling comic book in the world, and the basis of the SHAZAM catch phrase for Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (you youngsters can look Gomer up, I’m not explaining everything.)
He was almost called Captain Thunder or Captain Lightning, but smart marketing heads prevailed, and, as Captain Marvel, the character ended up the quintessential super-hero of the Golden Age, perhaps the best super-hero of all time. The mix of serious business and lighthearted fun was perfect for the war era, but it hasn’t translated well into modern versions and the character has been relegated to misfires and almost-gets-it-right stories for decades. It’s hard not to love the Jeff Smith and Jerry Ordway runs, and I’m sort of digging the Gary Frank version coming out now in the back of Justice League, but I can’t see how you could improve on the C.C. Beck and Otto Binder version from sixty years ago. Besides three Captain Marvels, this series gives us Lieutenant Marvels, Uncle Marvels, Hillbilly Marvels, Bunny Marvels and a sharp dressed talking tiger named Tawny. Beat THAT, comics industry.

Pictured above: Courtroom sketches from the 50s

For some reason, because the Captain could fly, he wore a cape, his secret identity was a reporter, and his arch villain was a bald scientist, DC comics felt he was a trademark infringement on Superman. Eventually a court did as well, and Fawcett closed down their publishing line in 1957 to avoid a large cash settlement.
Lawyers are scum.

BEST STORY:

The original Monster Society of Evil. Was there a second choice?

So, Carol has a hell of a legacy to live up to.  (And of course, Genis Vell was called “Legacy” in his early appearances, so that’s taken as well).

We’ll be keeping an eye on you, Ms. Danvers.  We expect Monster Society quality stuff, or at least a .285 batting average for the Braves.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Captain Marvel moment.

Legendary sax player Stan Getz got into the Captain Marvel action with this classic album from the 70s. Apparently ANYONE can use the name at this point.