Hey happy damn 4th of July America! So today it’s just all about the USA right? You bet! Well let’s take a quick break from all of the red, white & blue festivities to pay some tribute to four lesser known superheroes who are NOT Captain America that also have an unhealthy but awesomely bizarre obsession with the United States! There’s just nothing quite like a patriotic weirdo superhero on the 4th!
The Spirit of 76
Yeah this guy is indeed a weirdo, I mean look at his utterly ridiculous costume he came up with and thought would scare the bejeezus out of all of the nasty supervillains who come to threaten the good ol’ USA! William Naslund came on the Marvel Comics scene back in 1977 and for a very brief period even assumed the mantle of Captain America! WOW. He has no superhuman powers but did manage to fashion himself a bulletproof cape!
Ok so if you thought Spirit of 76 had a dumb look, well DC Comic’s Uncle Sam has taken the patriotic thing to the god damn extreme! This guy would put fear into the hearts of evil doers just by the possibility of how crazy he’d have to be to don a costume that ridiculously yet awesomely pathetic! He first appeared WAY back in Quality Comics in 1940 and then was brought into the DC universe officially in 1973. Get this, Uncle Sam is described as a spiritual entity created through an occult ritual by the Founding Fathers. Damn, no wonder why he’s so freaky. Sam’s got super strength, invulnerability, the ability to alter his size, enhanced speed, along with some degree of clairvoyance. He also can teleport to a pocket dimension called ‘The Heartland’. Whatta guy huh?
Well here’s a dude who I can finally get behind. American Eagle is a total badass and deserves more love in Marvel Comics. Born as Jason Strongbow, a name he should have just used instead of American Eagle IMO, he first appeared in a team up with The Thing back in 1981. A member of the Navajo Nation, American Eagle possesses superhuman strength, enabling him to bench press approximately 15 tons! He also possesses superhuman speed, agility, stamina, and sturdiness as a result of radiation-induced mutation. He later got a less cultural looking costume:
He’s featured, along with our next hero in one of my favorite modern Marvel Comics stories featured in Thunderbolts #112-115 from 2007 that is a MUST read!
Here’s another guy who just could never quite get the recognition of his idol Captain America. He even settled for a second rate moniker to fight crime. Yet Jack Flag is still a pretty cool guy, even if he’s obsessed a bit too much with his country. First appearing on the scene on 1994 as part of Captain America’s computer hotline network, Flag has proven himself to be an interesting character, who was inspired by his hero Captain America to become one himself. In that same Thunderbolts run I mentioned above, where Jack Flag like The American Eagle both stand up for their Constitutional rights against the United States government during the superhuman registration act! As you can see in the picture he has been noted to go the full distance dying his hair red white and blue!
One of my personal favorite single issues of The Incredible Hulk comics is Annual #11 from 1982! I remember when this came out, I was 8 years old and I carried this issue with me EVERYWHERE! It’s story is quite relevant still especially today as we see a gamma virus running rampant among the US population that makes people sick and turns them green! Yowza!!! This issue pits the Avengers along with Spider-man up against their old teammate The Hulk and it’s a glorious little superhero sci-fi tale that also features The Leader at the core of the mayhem. It also features a super sweet short solo adventure from Doc Samson too!! One thing of course I’ve always loved about this issue was it’s magnificently simple cover by Al Milgrom which deserves the spotlight here today:
Sometimes I feel like I’m just raining on everyone’s MCU parade! I really don’t want to be THAT guy. However as a fan of the comic book as a kid in the 1980’s I can say if you’d shown me the trailer with no mention of what I was seeing I’d probably wouldn’t have guessed it was Shang Chi “The Master of Kung Fu’ I’d grown up to love!
So with all of the talking hype around the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney Plus, I thought it would be a good idea to post the cover from Captain America # 312, from 1985!
Here we get a good look at the original vision of the Flag Smasher, who now I guess represents some sort of terrorist organization instead of a all-out supervillain. This issue was actually a favorite of mine as a kid and of course I always love some Paul Neary artwork! I can’t lie, part of me really wishes that this guy would have been the one appearing on the new show!
I’m all about some Hulkin’ out retro style! So I ran across this awesome old 1987 Incredible Hulk “Rage Cage” toy commercial where you literally pump the Hulk up to get his aggression level maxed out so he can break himself out of damn cage. Like even the calmest Hulk would be able to bust those bars, but hey it’s the effort here by the toymaker here that’s so charming. They just don’t make em like this anymore true believers! Check it out!
Ok well still not satisfied? Let’s check out this one, where for some reason The Hulk & Spider-man are endowed with the elastic super power of Reed Richards?!! Ok well whatever-this commercial is what it’s all about when it comes to simpler times! Check THIS shit out!!
I’ve been saying it here literally for years, the MCU is missing the boat on one of their most outrageously hilarious superhero teams: The Great Lakes Avengers! Since the Avengers are still all the rage and essentially dismantled at the moment, it’d be the perfect time for the comedic gold of Wisconsin’s very own superhero team to get a series of their own on Disney Plus. The team was created way back in 1989 by none other than comic icon writer and artist John Byrne and their introduction back then meant a lot to me at the time being a Wisconsinite myself. Essentially a band of misfit z-grade superheroes who decide to start an Avengers team of their own to rep the Midwest, only problem is their crime fighting skills aren’t exactly “Avenger’s level”. Nope the team’s got A LOT of work to do-but none of that’s gonna stop em’ from tryin’ dammit!
Even at one point Hawkeye and Mockingbird attempt to train them, which of course proves to be quite challenging in itself. The team went on to later appear alongside Deadpool and also had a great 4-issue miniseries by Dan Slott that’s a must read. They more recently tried to give them their own monthly book, but it really lost the dark comedy angle and edge of their previous appearances and was cancelled. This great cover by John Byrne shows once again how effective simplicity can be as we got our very first look at the mighty Great Lakes Avengers!~
Ahhh the good old days where Happy meals truly made people happy! Back in the 1980s you could score a Happy Meal that really had something to offer. You could also watch a commercial that was actually better than what you got inside of it. Check out this classic 1980s Happy Meal commercial featuring Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends along with The Incredible Hulk! Back when I was a kid I would wake up early every Saturday morning and watch Spider-Man and his amazing friends and then my favorite show The Incredible Hulk part of the Marvel Comics Power Hour, then I begged my mom her one of these things- check it!!
WandaVision seems to be the talk of the town, whether you like it or not it’s Disney +’s MCU big kick off series and from what I’ve heard it’s quite daring in it’s storytelling. I still haven’t checked it out, something about it just hasn’t pulled me into setting aside time to give it a try. Maybe when all the episodes are out I’ll dive in. But before all this hype of WandaVision we had this nifty 12 part limed series with the famous superhero couple released waaay back in 1985. Maybe I’ll give this one a spin again before I dave into more Disney + schlock, I’ve got to admit the first issue sure did look promising from the cover alone don’t you think? If this was what had been marketed for the MCU series I’d be 100% down from the very damn start!
I’ve got a prediction here, and remember peeps you heard it HERE first at my measly little “hobby blog” (as John Campea would call it), that it’s no coincidence that BOTH the MCU & The DCEU’s new agenda seems to be the “multiverse” idea. I mean the MCU casting supposedly three different Spider-man actors from the past movies (Toby, Andrew and Tom Holland) & then hearing the news of The Flash going to the multiverse where we have at least Affleck and most exciting Michael Keaton BOTH as Batman sounds suspicious. I’m calling it here, the MCU & the DCEU are going to meet in the finale film’s after credits scene of all this multiverse stuff. Sound crazy? Well maybe you forgot THIS classic comic back from 1981?
Well if it does sound crazy, THAT’s exactly why I think it’s going to happen and think about it, what kind of after credits scene would shock every one after the big ass CGI finale. Think about this- The Flash and the multiple Batmans meeting the Peter Parkers at the end of this phase, or even some of the DCEU’s villains meeting an MCU villain from another dimension? How much hype would the next phase generate? I remember a couple crossovers a couple times back in the 80’s or maybe you’ve forgotten ‘DC Versus MARVEL’ in 1996? That shit was a big damn deal and I’m betting high on something like that taking place cinematically sooner than later. Think of the $$$$$ potential here-there’d be nothing bigger.
This multiverse plot line put forward at the same time by both studios is either the most lame copy cat cinema plan or it’s the event that blows the lid of of both franchises. I think there’s really no other event that could top this idea and for the studios to NOT take advantage of this with some secret back door deals would be actually ludicrous. Something is cooking true believers and remember you heard it at U-Dork first! Count on it! MCU Meets DCEU-suck it Campea!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all Universal Dorks out there!! Today hopefully people will be able to at least cook up some good food to take the edge off of the pandemic worries we’ve all felt lately? Well if that’s the case perhaps you’d consider a few recipes straight from the classic Marvel superheroes themselves! Yes in 1977 Marvel released the ‘Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cook Book’!!
This was way back when things were a bit simpler and people had more of a sense of humor about stuff in a way that people of the Earth in 2020 can’t quite seem to comprehend. Now I’m not quite sure just how tasty these recipes actually are but they’re certainly fun to check out. It’s got the art of Joe Giella who also did the Marvel fitness book which is awesome too. Anyway take a gander at some of these hilarious recipes when superheroes were still full of wonder and just plain fun..