New comics releases: Superman - The Atomic Age Sundays Volume 3; Black Panther Little Golden Book; Suicide Squad - The Silver Age; Batman Brave and the Bold; Green Arrow Omnibus; Superman Adventures; Black Panther
New and notable. Click links to order from Amazon.
While I've loved Dan Slott's long run on "Amazing" (sadly coming to an end soon, apparently), I found Zdarsky's take refreshing and exhilarating. This collection of his first six issues on "Spectacular" is one of the most fun Marvel comics I've read in a long time.
I love the humor, which extends to Zdarsky's Stan Lee-style conversational explanatory blurbs. Some readers may think the humor is over the top, but it works for me. It's good to see a writer having so much fun in his work, while also poking a little good-humored fun at Marvel history and we, the readers.
Consider this blurb, which gives us the background on Normie Osborn "...son of Harry Osborn, who used to be Green Goblin, who is the son of Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin. Man, I would bet good money that Normie grows up to be a Green Goblin."
And, speaking of family trees, the first five issues here are illustrated by the great Adam Kubert, brother of the equally awesome Andy, who are both sons of the legendary Joe. Comic timing is tough to capture in a superhero comic, where figures are depicted more or less realistically, but Adam does an excellent job in capturing both the funny bits and the action, of which there's plenty.
The sixth and last issue in the collection is ably illustrated by Michael Walsh, though his style is significantly different from Kubert's.
I won't get into plots, but there's good, surprising, stuff in this first collection, including great guest bits from the Human Torch (I love to hear Spidey and Johnny Spar), Mary Jane Watson, a female "Iron Man" I didn't know existed, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, Peter's "sister" and an even more bitter than usual J. Jonah Jameson.
I'm now a wait-for-the-trade guy, so it will be a little bit, but I'm looking forward to a second helping.
Spirit: "It Shall Be: Ode & Epic Recordings 1968-1972"
Out March 23. Order now from Amazon.
NEW REMASTERED 5 CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET FEATURING EVERY RECORDING RELEASED BY THE LEGENDARY SPIRIT FOR ODE & EPIC RECORDS BETWEEN 1968 – 1972.
INCLUDES THE ENTIRE MONO MIX OF THE 1968 ALBUM SPIRIT ON CD FOR THE FIRST TIME, ALONG WITH THE SOUNDTRACK TO THE FILM THE MODEL SHOP, THE ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX OF THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER, ASSOCIATED OUT-TAKES, SINGLES AND ALTERNATE MIXES UNDERTAKEN IN 1991 FOR THE TIME CIRCLE COMPILATION.
INCLUDES AN ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH AN ESSAY BY MALCOLM DOME AND FEATURING ARCHIVE INTERVIEWS WITH BAND MEMBERS.
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a new 5CD remastered clamshell box set by the legendary American band SPIRIT. Formed in Los Angeles in 1967 from the remnants of The Red Roosters, SPIRIT was one of the great bands to emerge on the US West Coast in the Psychedelic era.
Featuring the talents of 16 year old guitarist Randy California (who had played guitar with Jimi Hendrix in New York the previous year), his step-father drummer Ed Cassidy along with Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion), John Locke (keyboards) and Mark Andes (bass), Spirit signed to producer Lou Adler’s newly established Ode Records label in late 1967.
Their self-titled debut album appeared some months later and demonstrated the breadth and diversity of the band covering psychedelic, rock and jazz influences and featuring such legendary cuts as Fresh Garbage, Uncle Jack, Topanga Windows, Mechanical World , Elijah and Taurus (the subject of a court case decades later when it was alleged Led Zeppelin had taken the musical structure of the piece as a basis for Stairway to Heaven).
The band’s follow-up album, The Family That Plays Together, spawned the hit single I’ve Got a Line on You and was one of their finest works thanks to material such as It Shall Be, Aren’t You Glad, Silky Sam and Darlin’ If. Leading up to the recording of 1969’s Clear album Spirit recorded the soundtrack to Jaques Demy’s film The Model Shop. In 1970 Spirit recorded the classic The Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus for Epic Records, from which the single Animal Zoo was taken and included excellent material such as Nature’s Way, Mr Skin, Space Child, Morning Will Come and Soldier.
Sadly the original line- up of Spirit fell apart some months later leaving just Ed Cassidy and John Locke to assemble a new incarnation of Spirit for 1972’s Feedback, which saw brothers Al and John Staehely join the band on bass and drums respectively. Spirit went on hiatus soon after, although California and Cassidy would continue to tour and record as Spirit on and off until California’s untimely death in 1997.
Newly re-mastered, this anthology features all of Spirit’s recordings for the Ode and Epic labels between 1968 and 1972 and notably includes the entire mono mix of the band’s self-titled debut album (appearing on CD for the first time), the complete soundtrack to the film The Model Shop, along with original 1968 stereo mix of The Family That Plays Together, associated out-takes, singles and alternate mixes undertaken in 1991 for the Time Circle compilation. It Shall Be also includes an illustrated booklet with essay by Malcolm Dome featuring archive interviews with Randy California and Ed Cassidy.
1. FRESH GARBAGE
2. UNCLE JACK
3. MECHANICAL WORLD
5. GIRL IN YOUR EYE
6. STRAIGHT ARROW
7. TOPANGA WINDOWS
8. GRAMOPHONE MAN
9. WATER WOMAN
10. THE GREAT CANYON FIRE IN GENERAL
TAKEN FROM THE STEREO ALBUM “SPIRIT” RELEASED IN 1968
12. I GOT A LINE ON YOU (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
13. IT SHALL BE (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
14. POOR RICHARD (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
15. SILKY SAM (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
16. THE DRUNKARD (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
17. DARLIN’ IF (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
18. ALL THE SAME (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
19. JEWISH (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
20. DREAM WITHIN A DREAM (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
21. SHE SMILED (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
22. AREN’T YOU GLAD (ORIGINAL 1968 STEREO MIX)
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM “THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER” – RELEASED IN 1968
1. THE MOVING VAN
2. MELLOW FELLOW
3. NOW OR ANYWHERE
5. GREEN GORILLA
6. MODEL SHOP I
7. MODEL SHOP II (CLEAR)
8. THE REHEARSAL THEME
9. SONG FOR LOLA
12. AREN’T YOU GLAD (DEMO)
TAKEN FROM THE FILM SOUNDTRACK “THE MODEL SHOP” – RECORDED IN 1968
13. DARK EYED WOMAN
14. APPLE ORCHARD
15. SO LITTLE TIME TO FLY
16. GROUND HOG
17. COLD WIND
18. POLICEMAN’S BALL
20. GIVE A LIFE, TAKE A LIFE
21. I’M TRUCKIN’
24. NEW DOPE IN TOWN
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM “CLEAR” RELEASED IN 1969
1. PRELUDE – NOTHING TO HIDE
2. NATURE’S WAY
3. ANIMAL ZOO
4. LOVE HAS FOUND A WAY
5. WHY CAN’T I BE FREE?
6. MR SKIN
7. SP ACE CHILD
8. WHEN I TOUCH YOU
9. STREET WORM
10. LIFE HAS JUST BEGUN
11. MORNING WILL COME
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM “THE TWELVE DREAMS OF DOCTOR SARDONICUS” – RELEASED IN 1970
13. ROUGHER ROAD
RECORDED IN 1970 DURING SESSIONS FOR “THE TWELVE DREAMS OF DOCTOR SARDONICUS”
14. CHELSEA GIRLS
15. CADILLAC COWBOYS
16. PUESTA DEL SCAM
17. RIPE AND READY
19. EARTH SHAKER
20. MELLOW MORNING
21. RIGHT ON TIME
22. TRANCAS FOG-OUT
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM “FEEDBACK” RELEASED IN 1972
1. FRESH GARBAGE (MONO MIX)
2. UNCLE JACK (MONO MIX)
3. MECHANICAL WORLD (MONO MIX)
4. TAURUS (MONO MIX)
5. GIRL IN YOUR EYE (MONO MIX)
6. STRAIGHT ARROW (MONO MIX)
7. TOPANGA WINDOWS (MONO MIX)
8. GRAMOPHONE MAN (MONO MIX)
9. WATER WOMAN (MONO MIX)
10. THE GREAT CANYON FIRE IN GENERAL (MONO MIX)
11. ELIJAH (MONO MIX)
TAKEN FROM THE MONO ALBUM “SPIRIT” RELEASED IN 1968 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED ON CD
13. FREE SPIRIT
14. IF I HAD A WOMAN
15. ELIJAH (ALTERNATE TAKE 2)
RECORDED IN 1968 DURING SESSIONS FOR “SPIRIT”
16. I GOT A LINE ON YOU (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
17. IT SHALL BE (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
18. POOR RICHARD (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
19. SILKY SAM (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
TAKEN FROM THE 1991 COMPILATION “TIME CIRCLE”
1. SCHEROZODE (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
2. ALL THE SAME (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
3. A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
4. AREN’T YOU GLAD (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
5. EVENTIDE (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
6. MODEL SHOP THEME (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
7. GREEN GORILLA (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
8. REHEARSAL THEME (“TIME CIRCLE” MIX)
TAKEN FROM THE 1991 COMPILATION “TIME CIRCLE”
10. SO LITTLE TO SAY
11. MELLOW FELLOW
12. NOW OR ANYWHERE
13. SPACE CHILE
RECORDED IN 1968 DURING SESSIONS FOR “THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER”
14. FULLER BRUSH MAN
RECORDED IN 1969 DURING SESSIONS FOR “CLEAR”
17. SWEET STELLA BABY
A & B-SIDES OF SINGLE – RELEASED IN 1970
18. ANIMAL ZOO (MONO SINGLE VERSION)
19. RED LIGHT ROLL ON
A & B-SIDES OF SINGLE – RELEASED IN 1970
20. MORNING WILL COME (MONO MIX)
RECORDED AND MIXED IN 1970
Stan Lee turned 95 on Dec. 28, which fell during our holiday break, and we'd be remiss not to observe the occasion now that we're back online!
While I'm among those who have a problem with Stan getting ALL the credit for creating the Marvel Universe, he did co-create nearly all of its best-known characters. And Marvel wouldn't have been Marvel without him.
Yes, he must share the credit with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others for Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, the X-Men and all the rest. His artist collaborators, in many cases, generated the initial ideas for characters, their look and even the plots of stories. But they wouldn't have been the same without Stan's dramatic, funny and often over-the-top dialogue.
He's also the guy who made Marvel seem like an exclusive club for readers with his conversational blurbs, Soapbox columns, No-Prizes and outsize personality. His voice on Marvel's cartoons and Fantastic Four radio series, and his appearances on TV and in the Marvel movies have made him, fairly or unfairly, Marvel's public ambassador. While that has earned him more than his fair share of credit, I'm not sure who else from the House of Ideas could have filled this role. His personality is perfectly suited to the job.
Rather than chip away at his legend, I'd rather celebrate it, but make sure, also, that his fellow creators get the credit they also deserve. I do that on a regular basis here at Pop Culture Safari, celebrating the art of Kirby, Ditko and many more. But, today and for the remainder of the week, let's celebrate Stan!
|Stan and his wife, Joan|
|Stan with Jack Kirby|
|Stan with Lou Ferrigno|