Monthly Archives: December 2015
You’ve got to admit it
At this point in time that it’s clear
The future looks bright
On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
Well by seventy-six we’ll be A.O.K.
Donald Fagen, “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)”*
2015 has been a crazy year, in the most literal sense of the word. Grab your spandex jacket and go have a great night.
* International Geophysical Year, July 1 1957 – December 31 1958
As the year nears its end, let’s look back on the past of the future. Tomorrow was different back then.
Edmond Hamilton was a science fiction writer and primary driver behind Captain Future, a juvenile-oriented space opera series. Known as the “Man of Tomorrow” and “Wizard of Science,” The Captain sailed through many adventures…
Hey, wait, what’s he doing fighting that other Man Of Tomorrow? And did he get a promotion?
Colonel Future appeared in Superman #378 in 1982, and threw down with Supes. But who is this mystery man?
Upon recovering from his ordeal, Hamilton did what any scientist would do in his situation…. don a retro-futuristic costume and embark on a career of crime.
A man gifted and cursed with the power to see the future…. but only when in mortal danger. This was a pretty wild idea in comics at the time, and kinda blew my 12-year old mind.
Superman flies off to find Colonel Future stealing more scientific equipment, and once again fails to stop him. Our Hero begins to wonder if the Colonel really is a man from the future, as he seems to know exactly how to best Superman at every turn.
Following another defeat, Supes flies off to deal with the threatening asteroid…
The good Colonel learned his lesson… or so it seemed.
Colonel Hamilton returned in 1984…
…after having a vision that convinced him Superman was soon going to die.
Unlike the first story, which was pretty clever and engaging, this one turned out to be rather lame. The guy at the end of the page is dressed as Superman to collect for a charity drive. Several others are doing the same, and some criminals get the idea of infiltrating by wearing Superman costumes and stealing the money. Through a complicated event chain, Hamilton ends up in a costume and gets shot at and techinically dies until resuscitated by Superman, fulfilling his vision.
The story did give us this neat sequence, though –
There’s also a brief scene of Hamilton congratulating a Dr. Isaacs on a proposal for a navigation system for the space shuttle. Perhaps a shout-out to another science fiction writer turned supervillain?
BONUS ROUND: In 1978, four years before this Colonel Future appeared, there was another version in a retro-style Superman story set in the 1940s…
The Colonel was of course stopped, and four years later he appeared again, lamenting how his failure to kill Superman had hurt his standing among the supervillain community –
And that was it for this version of the Colonel. He was last seen in July 1982, a mere 5 months before the jetpack version first showed up and replaced him.
Indeed, the first Colonel didn’t even get a write-up in 1985’s Who’s Who series, listing nearly every DC Comics character that ever appeared, while the not-so-villainous villain version got a full page…
So just how did Edmond Hamilton come to be connected to Superman, anyhow? A couple of readers wrote in asking that it be explained for younger readers, and one even suggested a possible inspiration for the story of Colonel Future –
Strangely, the editor’s response didn’t mention that longtime Superman editor Mort Weisinger created Captain Future in the first place!
Extra Trivia Bonus: Captain Future’s real name was Curt Newton. The first appearance of each version of Colonel Future was drawn by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan, who drew some of Hamilton’s Superman stories. A second appearance of the first Colonel was drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. All of which, I’m sure, probably amused the writers and editor of the stories.
Night Sky Radio first began broadcasting on this date* in 1995, as one of the first internet-only radio stations. Streaming began with some of the best then-current songs and then broadened into wider genres and even discussion formats. With a stunning grand total of 4 listeners. But onward the station pressed, much like the PLAY button in the booth.
There were interruptions in service and periods of dormancy… in fact, Night Sky Radio has been off the air more than on. But since 2012, the station has been streaming continuously. And since then our average listener count has broken two digits.
Here’s a look back at the first four songs ever broadcast on Night Sky Radio…
POE: “Hello” – a fitting introductory song, and it’s about computer hacking. How appropriate for an internet station –
ALICE IN CHAINS: “Heaven Beside You”– AIC has always been a favorite band around the station, who had just released their new (and final featuring Layne Staley) album at the time, this wintery song was soon released as a single but was already being played on radio stations –
THE BEATLES: “Christmas Time Is Here Again” – The Beatles Anthology had just come out and this song from 1967 was on the B-Side of the just-released “Free As A Bird” single. Also, it was only days before Christmas, so it had to be on the list –
COLLECTIVE SOUL: “December” – Take a guess.
Thanks for listening all these years, and looking forward to many more.
Just for fun, take a look at how Night Sky Radio appeared in 1995.
* Which later became significant for other reasons as well. Naturally, we celebrated at the station.
Some stuff found on the streets.
The description reads “Bassist Jay-Tee Teterissa slaps his Marleaux Signature Bass for solid 5 minutes. This video was recorded spontaneous and in 1 take during Musikmesse 2015. Find out more about Jay-Tee: http://jayteebass.com/”
Slappin’ the bass fantastic –
Tanya and Dorise performing “The Story” –
apparently these two have something of a following in New Orleans. There are a lot of videos of them performing in the French Quarter posted to youtube.
I like their version of this song even better than the original –
Not even gonna try describing this one –
Guy earned every dollar he got.
Bonus Tanya & Dorise, because it’s just so awesome –
At the 2:56 point… the sustain, listen to it! It goes up to eleven!