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It is Essential That We Showcase This

JordynJordyn Really, Commander?Probing Uranus. Registered User regular
edited July 2009 in Graphic Violence
For a long time, I'd walk into the comic book store, get my issues for the week, check out some of the other new stuff, chat with the owner for a while and leave. Every now and then, I'd wander over to this display holding thick volumes of black and white comics, glance at them, but never buy one. I thought, they might be cool, but I'd never finish reading it. Then one day, DC put out a Martian Manhunter Showcase. Martian Manhunter is my favorite character and I couldn't pass it up. I purchased it, with low expectations. My primary goal being to get a better feel for the original writer's vision of the character. I was not prepared for what I got.

I'm sure most, probably all of you have clicked around on Superdickery.com. There's lots of hilarity to be had there. But after reading that MM Showcase and now the second volume as well, there's one big problem I have with that site. In part of his FAQ, the site owner says that he doesn't post more of the stories that the frames and covers are from because they aren't as funny in context.

THAT IS WRONG.

And I will explain and hope to demonstrate in the coming months why.

First, he seems to think that the stories themselves make the frame make sense. This is rarely, if ever the case. Because for that to work, the stories would have to make sense. And holy lord, they do not.

Secondly, the frames are usually more hilarious within the context the story because of this. Out of context, your mind tries to invent some scenario where the events in the frame would be totally cool. But see, in modern times, we know more about science and about the world and space around us. We actually manage to come up with things more logical than what usually occurred in the actual comic.

CONTEXT MAKES THEM BETTER.

Anyway, if you managed to get through all my words there, I was hoping we could use this thread to share stories we've read in our Showcase and Essential editions. My only request is hands off Martian Manhunter because I've actually bought an extra copy of each volume so I could crack the spines and scan them properly for you and do fun little story write ups, similar to my DCAU things.

Oh oh, I guess my OTHER request is that you give things context! Post some frames, yes, but tell us what happened in that story. Was it hilarious? It probably was! Everything that happened to J'onn was hilarious! Do you know how many cigarettes and oil lamps that man encountered?

Let's have fuuuuuuun with all the wacky crap that happened in those days. It'll be awesome! I'll be back in 30 seconds with my first MM write-up.

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    JordynJordyn Really, Commander? Probing Uranus. Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    THE STRANGE EXPERIMENT OF DR. ERDEL

    The tagline of J'onn J'onzz's origin story declares that we've seen all sorts of detectives in action: FBI agents, private eyes, treasury men. Wait, treasury men? Ok sure? But now we're gonna see the most unusual of them all, a sleuth from MARS brought here by THE STRANGE EXPERIMENT OF DR. ERDEL.

    Dr. Erdel is in his lab having just finished something he's referring to as the "robot brain." He's just gonna push this button and see what happens.

    fourthdimension.jpg

    Uh, Doc? I don't want to tell you how to do your job or anything but uuuh...ah nevermind, you got enough problems because a GODDAMN MARTIAN IS APPEARING OUT OF NOWHERE! The Martian is J'onn J'onzz, of course, transported to Earth by the robot brain which seems to be just out of control. Really how useful is a machine that's just gonna reach out into the emptiness of space and grab something and plop it down in front of you? No thanks.

    Dr. Erdel explains to J'onn that his machine is like, you gotta reverse it or something and he can't get him home, so J'onn is stuck here for a good long while. J'onn decides to take on a human form so he doesn't scare people. THIS scares the doctor so much he has heart attack and dies.

    Well shit.

    J'onn, now John Jones, stares off into space for a while and ponders the possibility of getting home. Then he finds a spiffy hat and coat, declares himself to look enough like an earthman to get by and heads into the city. Then he...I don't know, uses his martian powers to get some gold out of the ocean? The hell?

    goldfromtheocean.jpg

    He wanders around downtown for a while when he sees a newspaper headline that says "DETECTIVES SEARCH FOR GANGSTERS."

    Upon seeing this, he decides he is going to become a detective and fight crime, so he heads to the local police precinct. The guy smoking at the front desk gives him a hard time for all of two seconds, but I guess that hat makes him look smart, because he sends him up to take the detective test or something.

    soyouwannabeadetective.jpg

    In the next frame, John's told he's qualified and he starts tomorrow! So, exciting! What?

    Also EVERYONE IS SMOKING ALL THE TIME. God they love it.

    Jordyn on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    i have the first MM showcase as well as the shazam one.

    the shazam one is golden. I hate that you have to tear these books apart to scan them. I've got the essential power man I've been razoring pages out of to scan to color.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    NinjabearNinjabear Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I might have to pick up some of these showcase collections next time I visit the comic shop. I love these goofy old comic stories, particularly from the Superman spin off series like this one.

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    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I picked up the Elongated Man showcase after loving his stories in 52 and not being familiar with him at all, and my god are they silly. He absolutely loves coming up with new parts of his body to smack criminals with, and they love coming up with insanely retarded ways to try to throw off suspicion.

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    BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Essential Dazzler is one of my very favorite things I own

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    WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    edit: this post was rude sorry

    Weaver on
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    DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited July 2009
    I'd like to say if anyone has any ideas for projects like this, I'm encouraging you to do them. This is really cool and clever and comic book related, and it's something I'd like to see more of it. Hi5 Jordyn, you are a forums MVP

    DJ Eebs on
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    BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2009
    Oh man

    I own the War That Time Forgot Showcase

    Giant Nazi Robots fighting dinosaurs to come soon

    Blankspace on
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    wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I love my Essentials and one lonely Showcase books too much to tear them up for this. I will say, though, that The Atom Showcase book was awesome for it's abundance of silver age bullshit science. It was even better when the comic would stop to explain some of the bullshit too.

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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I read the first volume of Essential Uncanny X-Men. I loved how every member of the team, including Professor X, had a crush on Jean Grey. They all wanted her so bad.

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    Octopus MelodyOctopus Melody Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The only Showcase I have is The Phantom Stranger, which is awesome. It's a bit later than Martian Manhunter, though. My favorite bit are the names of the teenagers who keep running into Phantom Stranger and Dr. Thirteen: Spartacus, Attila, Wild Rose and Mister Square. Mister Square's always wearing a suit and tie.

    I have a bunch of Essentials, my favorite being the original Stan Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four run. That stuff is great, a lot more is packed into each issue that I'd have thought. The first issue with Dr. Doom goes through his origin story in half a page, then he sends the Fantastic Four into the past to steal treasure from pirates.

    Oh and Essential Howard the Duck rocks.

    Octopus Melody on
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    DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator Mod Emeritus
    edited July 2009
    I love the Showcase collections. The Legion of Super Heroes volumes are hilarious. Here's Superman sounding like a Kryptonian yokel on a trip to the future:

    ill_be.jpg

    DMAC on
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    The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    oh god

    I need to buy a second copy of Essential Godzilla to post some of the insanity in it

    Especially the gambler story that I told jordyn about

    The Lovely Bastard on
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    BusterKBusterK Negativity is Boring Cynicism is Cowardice Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Eliot Ness was a Treasury Agent
    So for a while Treasury Agents were considered bad-asses like Texas Rangers and G-Men

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    JordynJordyn Really, Commander? Probing Uranus. Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    THE DOG WITH A MARTIAN MASTER

    So one day John Jones is booking it after this jewel theif, Andy Fletcher, when he comes across three dudes on a bridge, looking concerned at the water below. John stops to see what's up. There's a wittle puppy dog dwowning in the water! oh noooooo! John jumps down and saves the doggy, but he was walking on water to do it, but then decides he needs to get wet anyway so he doesn't look suspicious. I'm not sure exactly how this all played out, because there's really not enough panels there. One panel he's on the bridge, the next he's under it, holding the dog, walking on the water. Did he jump down there? What happened?

    walkonwater.jpg

    What matters, I guess is that he saved the dog and is too wet to continue his chase of Fletcher. He goes back to HQ and stands around in his shorts while his clothes dry, er...his "duds." He leaves the dog the Captain? Lieutenant? I'm not sure, and continues his pursuit of Fletcher. He suspects he's in some building, so he uuuh attunes his ultra-sensitive hearing to yeah..

    ultrasensitivehearing.jpg

    Just as he doing this, that DOG shows up and starts barking! It almost kills John, to hear him tell it, and Fletcher of course hears the dog and leaves. Don't really know how the dog got out of the police station. Pretty sure someone was supposed to be watching him. Though maybe he came along, judging by this panel, which also reminds us that J'onn is weak to fire! FYI!

    btwfire.jpg

    Maybe next time just keep the dog at the station dude.

    So John takes the dog to his house and ties him up instead. SINCE APPARENTLY HIS POLICE BUDDIES CAN'T HANDLE THE RESPONSIBILITY. He finds Fletcher again, somewhere else this time. I have no idea how. His reasoning is like "well he wouldn't go into the city, so he's obviously in THIS warehouse." John is peeping him and as turned invisible, ready to take Fletcher out when, goddamn there's that goddamn dog again! The dog senses John, even though he's invisble and jumps on his back. Fletcher sees this and is all "holy nuts a floating dog, cheese it!" and John looses him again.

    He takes the dog back to his apartment and makes him a dog house out of well, out of GOLF CLUBS. He bends them into a little ball and puts the dog in there and puts a sweater on the dog and sets him out on the fire escape with some food and water and is like "all right, bye dog"

    golfclubhouse.jpg

    Naturally as soon as he leaves the dog escapes.

    John this time finds a trail, like an honest to god trail of foot prints leading him to a theater that Fletcher is hiding out in. He sneaks in, invisible, to find Fletcher messing with an oil lamp. Guess what happens to that oil lamp. It isn't hard.

    So the whole building is on fire and John has managed in his invisible and weakened state to grab Fletcher and throw him out the window to some people below who he informs is a criminal. Fletcher naturally is like, what in hell grabbed me. While John lay in the burning building, yaaaay the dog comes and pulls him to safety! He gets out and regains his strength and decides to name the dog Jupiter.

    friendsforalongtime.jpg

    And we never see Jupiter again!

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    NinjabearNinjabear Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wow.....how the hell did that dog escape the cage? Was he Houdini's dog or something?

    I'm guessing this is one of those instances where the writer had intended for the dog to become MM pet since that was a trend in superhero comics back then. But someone at DC thought it was a dumb idea and they ditched it.

    Maybe, the dog was really a ghost? Maybe, he was a visitor from the 4th dimension? Oh well....

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    golfclubhouse.jpg

    What the fuck

    what the fuck

    what the fuck

    BTW, I am an essentials fiend and highly endorse this thread.

    Jacobkosh on
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    FaynorFaynor Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Martian Manhunter endorses animal cruelty!

    Faynor on
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    JordynJordyn Really, Commander? Probing Uranus. Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    He put a sweater on him!

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    FaynorFaynor Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Does Marvel do showcases? I'm not a big fan of DC and I want to see classic avengers imprisoning animals cruelly, or spider-man using his spider sense to solve a crossword puzzle or something.

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    SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Faynor wrote: »
    Does Marvel do showcases? I'm not a big fan of DC and I want to see classic avengers imprisoning animals cruelly, or spider-man using his spider sense to solve a crossword puzzle or something.

    Marvel does Essential.
    DC does Showcases.

    Slagmire on
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    The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    the best marvel essentials are not about their main characters but shit like Dazzler and Godzilla

    The Lovely Bastard on
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    FaynorFaynor Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    That's coming from you though

    You probably have a Dazzler life-size sex doll or something

    So she can dazzle your penis

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    FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    He alternates between the 70s and 80s Dazzler sex dolls, for variety.

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    The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    dangit I am not bale

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