Saturday, June 16, 2018

Comics Lust 6/16/2018

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/graduation-hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s that dreaded time of year, Denizens. It’s graduation weekend at UCSB, which means old people in Winnebegos driving the wrong way up a one-way street, it means trying to go out to eat anywhere is an act of futility, and it means we are effectively trapped in the confines of the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement). At least we have leftover pizza that I made last night, as well as some delectable beers to quench our thirst as we hunt for some new cartoons to watch. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. It’s freakin’ great! Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Toys 2 Comics (Part 2)

It always felt great when my brother and I discovered a favorite toy had jumped platforms from the toy store shelves to the comic book spinner rack. Of course, we had our active imaginations that allowed us to build our own worlds for our toys, but when those worlds became more fleshed out and immortalized through the comic book page we found a more focused and coherent foundation to build upon. Our tiny sliver of worldly experience grew with every great comic we read, as did how we played with our action figures. Writers and artists gave us the idea of new monstrous foes, of impenetrable snowy mountains containing treasures within, or of a diabolically evil cult that threatened the world and needed to be brought to justice. It was through the ideas of others that we learned to have even bigger ideas of our own. Comics made our toys even more exciting way back when, and today we’re continuing our look at the toys that inspired some amazing (and perhaps some not so amazing) comics.

Shogun Warriors

(Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Herb Trimpe, published in 1979 by Marvel Comics)
My brother and I had many different types of Shogun Warriors toys: we had a die-cast metal and plastic Dangard Ace that could launch off its fists and head with a touch of a button; we had a three-inch-tall Combatra made of metal and plastic; and we had a five-inch Raydeen, who could semi transform into a bird. We also had the big two-foot-tall plastic Great Mazinga with its soon-to-be-lost multitude of missiles, and also the equally sized Dragun with his spring-loaded, flinging axes. These were just the tip of the iceberg, but of the many different robots that filled our closets, it was Raydeen, Combatra, and Dangard Ace that actually succeeded in making it into their own comic series. And what a comic it was, Denizens. You had good guy giant robots, bad guy giant robots, giant monsters and costumed villains that controlled them, a giant monster shaped like a hand with five heads at the fingertips, and even guest appearances by some of Marvel’s heroes. It was everything a nine-year-old boy could ever hope to have in a comic book. Now, more than anything, I want to read all 20 issues of the series; unfortunately, my dogs and time ravaged the handful of issues that we had and because of licensing issues Shogun Warriors has never been collected. I guess I’ll be joining you in scanning the bargain bins as we scrounge for these scarce beauties.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters

(Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Herb Trimpe, published in 1977 by Marvel Comics)
Back when I was just a wee-little Donist and discovering comic books for the first time, I was also discovering the glory that is Godzilla. What is there not to like about an enormous, irradiated dinosaur that would inevitably end up fighting all sorts of funky, equally enormous monsters from earth, sea, and outer space. Heck, Godzilla even befriended a freakin’ robot named Jet Jaguar in the movie Godzilla vs Megalon. It was my absolute love of everything Godzilla that made me a happy camper the day I found my five-inch tall rubber bendy toy and the two-foot-tall Shogun Warrior branded Godzilla toy that had wheels on its feet, a lever on the back of his head that made a pretend flame tongue stick out, and a clawed hand that could shoot off at the touch of a button! You might ask, “Why does Godzilla’s hand launch off?” And I would have to say that I have no worldly idea, but let’s just say that I absolutely loved the fact that it did; the tail that always fell off, though, not so much. Anyhow, when the comic came out, I was coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs for the thing. Despite the first two issues being a tad on the slower side, the action ramped up with Godzilla tackling such forces as The Champions, giant monsters, giant yeti-things, giant alien-things, The Avengers, a rat (after Godzilla was shrunk down), and even some cowboys at one point. These adversaries were cool enough, but nothing got my heart beating faster than the introduction of the giant robot Red Ronin who had a shield that produced an energy blade. Let that sink in for a moment. He had a damn shield sword, son! Alas, I have nary a single issue in my collection and because of licensing issues—much like Shogun Warriors—outside of the black and white and out of print collection floating around, you have a bit of a search ahead of you to get the 24 issues in this rare series.


(Written by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Michael Chen, published in 1984 by Marvel Comics)
I barely remember even having this toy, but after scrounging up some images of them, I had one of those oh, yeeeeeaaaahhhhh moments. But it was the toys that brought about the Starriors four-issue limited series, which is about…yeah, your guess is as good as mine. I did have these issues at one point in my teens, it’s just that I can’t remember a dang thing about any of it other than the fact that the Bill Sienkiewicz covers are gorgeous. It looks likes the bargain bins for me.


(Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Mark Texeira, published in 1985 by Marvel Comics)
Jeff had the good guy and his mountable beetle-like creature. I had the bad guy and his mountable spider-like creature. These toys were actually pretty dang cool. They had decent articulation, great sculpts and paint jobs, and best of all were the beasts they rode. The beetle and spider creatures were actually puppets that you wore on your hand with your middle finger used to open and close their mouths, and your other four fingers to act as legs; our dog Tippy HATED these things. Anyhow, I might actually still have the bad guy out in the storage, which is a scary place I don’t really like to visit, but I might have to venture out to see if I can find him. As for the was an eight-issue limited series that I once owned and enjoyed, then sold, and now I don’t remember a thing about it. The covers look nice and now that I know Mantlo wrote the series, I’ll be darned if I don’t want to repurchase the issues to see what it was all about. Man, these were cool toys and the comics sound pretty groovy, too.

I still have two biggie comic book series to talk about, but these will have to wait until next time: one concerns a movie that spawned toys that spawned a comic, and another that consisted of many comics that spawned a toy line that spawned a comic. There’s probably a couple of oddball toys/comics out there yet to be dug up as well. Happy hunting.

This Week’s Reading List

It’s Beer O’Clock, Denizens, so the puppies and I need to roll on out. However, here are some fantastic comics we loved:

  • Mister Miracle #9 (Written by Tom King, illustrated by Mitch Gerads, lettered by Clayton Cowles, published by DC Comics) Mister Miracle, Kalibak, and their respective sides meet to discuss a truce. One party offers the best of all worlds, but for a steep price. Still one of the best comics out there. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #9 (Everythinged by Matt Wagner, colored by Brennan Wagner, lettered by Dave Lanphear, consulting editor Diana Schutz, design and production by Steven Birch, published by Image Comics) Kevin continues to search for his family and no measly red caps will stop him. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Venom #2 (Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Meyer, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics) My goodness, I love Venom. I love the character. I love this comic. Cates and Stegman are slaying it, and have made me a believer. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
See you next time.


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