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February 25, 2011

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Marvel Girl, Houdini and More!

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Written by: Drew
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Blip-blap-bloppity-blippity-boop! Nothing like a stupid sound effect to start your daily diet (unless you’re reading this at night). This column just happens to be: From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Let’s start off with comic chat. Go on, stand on top your chair in your office, or on the bus if you’re reading this on your phone, and holler “COMIC CHAT!!!!!” Darn right, don’t ya feel pumped now?

DC Comics has started publishing letters again and one of the first letters off the bat was a demand for a new Shazam!/Marvel Family title. As you regulars to the column know, I, as many, thought DC’s cancellation of their only Shazam! title in the fall was a huge mistake. Apparently DC has caught on, and aside from Captain Marvel’s one-shot comic and appearance in Titans this month, DC wrote in their column they have plans to bring back the Marvel family soon. Awesome news. We don’t know if it’ll be a mini or a regular, but it’s good to know this is on their radar.

Next, much awesomeness going down at Boom with their kids’ line, including the announcement that their kids’ line is getting a small face lift and will now be called (drum-roll please): Ka-Boom!

Aside from that coolness, they are also launching two new titles that are going to rock our world. For all you Disney fans who love Darkwing Duck and Rescue Rangers, we are going to be given Ducktales in a new monthly! Also super-cool, it’s been a awhile and we are ecstatic to see back in action and print, the one, the only, the Peanuts gang! Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the bunch will be invading our pages to our delight soon!

Finally, Spider-Man as we know is joining the Fantastic Four, replacing the recently dead Human Torch, in Marvel’s new title FF coming out in March. Now Marvel’s first family is having a black and white costume re-design in their period of mourning the dead hero, however Spider-Man’s costume is changing too for this face lift. So what do you think, guys: Spider-Man’s new white suite hip, or just another way for artists to save time drawing?

Out On Stands: Marvel Girl #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art: Nuno Plati

I’ve always liked Marvel Girl. She’s smart. She’s sexy. She’s one of the strongest characters in the Marvel universe. I always wished she had more solo adventures pre-Phoenix to explore the character. The Marvel Girl one-shot published this month by Marvel as part of a series of one-shots featuring the original X-Men (to obviously plug the upcoming X-Men:First Class movie), is Marvel Girl and Marvel Girl done right.

The plot, without giving away any spoilers, is after Marvel Girl almost beats the crud out of Angel and Cyclops, who are in a classic argument over Jean’s feelings, it is recommended by Professor X for her to get away and go home and relax for a bit. Upon returning home, though, Jean almost instantly needs a break from her overbearing parents and goes off to the local mall, a place filled with memories. However, something doesn’t seem right here, and using her psychic powers she can tell it’s almost as if the mall patrons have been trapped here, unable to really leave by some unexplainable force, a force that just happens to be from Jean’s past.

Marvel Girl #1 is a great one-shot that is a fantastic solo story, reminiscent of the back-up solo stories in early Uncanny X-Men issues (if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, get yourself some Marvel Essential collections right now!), and hits all the right notes. The story by Fialkov feels classic X-Men and is perfectly at home. The thing that got me most with this issue was the art by Nuno Plati. It was fresh and fantastic, Marvel Girl looked hip and sexy, and the action was great.

Marvel Girl #1 is out on stands now, and it’s the one one-shot you should pick up this month!

Something To Watch: Houdini: The Master in Mystery

There have been many people that have captured the imaginations of people over the decades, but arguably one of the highest is the great escape artist, Houdini. In fact, today many are under the impression he was America’s first flesh and blood superhero, and substantial evidence has shown that Houdini was most likely a secret agent for the U.S. and British intelligence as he traveled the globe doing his routines. Houdini, always a great show man, didn’t just do his routine live, but carried it into a series of films and a film serial, in which he starred as himself and would perform daring tricks on celluloid.

The Master Mystery was a 13-part silent film serial, produced in 1919. Houdini plays a government agent named Locke who is going up against a corrupt patent company. There is more to this company than meets the eye, as they usually deploy a poison that causes the “Madagascar Madness,” and it’s partially run by an evil robot protector named the Automaton. As Houdini battles injustice in these 13 episodes, we get to see numerous daring feats escaping from straight jackets, padlocked crates under water, descending elevators and torture devices, and the best part is it was all real! The Master Mystery is a gem of a serial; not only do you actually get to see the real Houdini doing his real escapes, the intriguing plot and fantasy was written by Arthur B. Reeve, who created the famous serial The Exploits of Elaine, and gives us plenty of adventure in this Houdini-vehicle. Recently it was released on DVD as part of the Houdini The Movie Star collection from Kino video. Your something to watch this weekend is 100 percent The Master Mystery.

That’s it for this week, folks, see you next and remember, Gamera loves you!

Editor’s Note: has been pre-nominated for an Eagle Award! Please click here to vote for us in the “Favorite Comic Book Website” category (question #27). Thank you for your continued support!

Drew McCabe





  1. If you don’t like Peanuts then you have no soul. Period. 🙂 I will definitely be checking that one out just for the nostalgia factor.

    In regards to the new Spidey costume it does look pretty cool. It’s simple but visually effective and yeah, it probably does save time for the artists.

    Lastly, I never really liked Gamera. He just seemed like one of the shiftier monsters to me.

  2. Billy

    That Marvel Girl one shot sounds good. I think all of the comic book companies really need to focus on new/young readers so in the future, it isn’t just a bunch of old farts (us) reading comics. 😀

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