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Colonel Future

As the year nears its end, let’s look back on the past of the future. Tomorrow was different back then.

EHamilton1956

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…

Captain Future Covers 1

Captain Future Covers 2 copy

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?

Colonel Future 1-2

Colonel Future 3-4

 

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.

Colonel Future 5-6

Colonel Future 7-8

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…

Colonel Future 9-10

Colonel Future 11-12

Colonel Future 13-14

The good Colonel learned his lesson… or so it seemed.

Colonel Hamilton returned in 1984…

Colonel Future Pt II 1-2

…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 –

Colonel Future Pt II 3-4

Colonel Future Pt II 5-6

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…

Colonel Future V1

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 –Colonel Edmond H Future

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…

Whos Who - Colonel Future Entry

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 –

Superman Letters Page

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.

Asimov’s Night Job

Few know that Isaac Asimov had a second career, apparently traveling and giving nighttime lectures under an assumed name [click image to embiggen]…

Asimovs Night Job 1

A clever disguise, even better than Clark Kent’s.

Skipping ahead a bit…

Asimovs Night Job 2

Asimovs Night Job 3

So the lecture circuit is just a cover for his real career…. arch-supervillain! Jimmy of course finds a way to signal his pal Superman…

Asimovs Night Job 4

Asimovs Night Job 5

Asimovs Night Job 6

Turns out he wasn’t really dead (no one ever is in comics, including Superman himself, who was killed in 1992), instead giving up his career as a supervillain and returning to the life of a science and sci-fi writer.

________________

If you’re wondering how the hell DC Comics could publish something like this without getting sued…. that’s a story for another post.

 

 

 

Happy 4th Of July

Superman July 4

Hope you all enjoy the holiday.

The Big Red ‘S’ Meets… The Big Red ‘S’

There is a man who wears red and lives at the North Pole who, one Christmas Eve, delivers presents to children all around the world.

No, not that guy…

Superman and Santa

From this comic, where Superman teamed up with Santa Claus to stop the villainous Toyman from corrupting children with his  evil toys.

DC Comics Presents 67

The best part is when Supes, of all fictional people, doesn’t believe in Santa. At least Santa shows up on the NORAD tracker.

 

BONUS: Had to post this pic from the ’40s just for fun.

Santa Calling Superman

Cape Fail Caper

Joker was kicking the flavor that made Lex wanna jump! How high Real high, cause Lex thought he could fly

Joker was kicking the punch flavor that made Lex wanna jump!
How high? Real high, cause Lex thought he could fly

The Difference Between Economics And Politics

…explained in one page.

J. Wilbur Wolfingham instructs the gentle reader in the art of politicism

J. Wilbur Wolfingham instructs the gentle reader in the art of politicism

Originally from “The Sale of The Century” by Craig Boldman, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Bob Oksner. They don’t make comics like that anymore, sadly.

Cover by Hoard Bender and Murphy Anderson

Cover by Howard Bender and Murphy Anderson. Click to embiggen

 

Going for the obvious finish to this post…

Happy 4th Of July

Your government wishes you a happy Dependence Day.

Americas Guardian

He knows where to find you, citizen

 

Okay, I can’t be completely cynical. Have another one.

 

Superman by Fred Ray, 1942

Superman by Fred Ray, 1942

 

Hope you’re all having a happy 4th.

Bonus pic, click to embiggen –

Superman in WWII, by Jerry Ordway, 1990

Superman in WWII, by Jerry Ordway, 1990

 

 

Endless Days Of Dark Knights

 

Batman75_logoBatman is 75 years old today, first appearing in Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands onMarch 30th, 1939. Along with Superman, he is one of the longest running continuing characters to be published without interruption, something that had never been done before or since (although Wonder Woman is set to hit 75 in a couple of years).

That said, he looks pretty young for his age.

JL8 88

From the webcomic JL8

This is the guy who ninja-trained Roissy.

Remember the days when it was the Superman movies that were awesome and the Batman movies… not so much? Now The Dark Knight is the height of excellence.

What Kind Of Superman Are You?


Clark Kent gets a tip

It’s International Women’s Day and artist aleXsandro Palombo has done a series called “What Kind Of Man Are You?” featuring images of well-known cartoon characters in scenes of domestic violence.

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Characters include Prince Charming and Snow White, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons, among others. I’m not sure what kind of statement he’s trying to make beyond the equivalent of flying a ribbon from your car antenna, but I think he missed the target here. This image, for example…

original-21497-1394000239-4 (1)

…isn’t particularly striking, pardon the pun, since we’ve seen Homer do worse to Bart almost since Day One. If anything, Marge is getting off easy (and I seem to recall Maggie launching an unprovoked attack at Homer at one point).

As for the superhero images, they’re pretty tame (seriously, after being hit by Superman, Wonder Woman shouldn’t even have a head anymore). Even the Super Friends cartoon, which looks to be the inspiration here, was more dynamic and energetic. But more importantly, he didn’t need to come up with some new image to show Superman committing domestic violence – there’s tons upon tons of source material in the actual comics.

In The End, Superman Always Wins

In the end, Superman always wins [click to embiggen]

Those are way niftier ways of trying to murder the one you love, especially if you have super powers. Gotta put some style in your game. But I digress.

So it’s established that Supes was not very nice to his girlfriend. But domestic violence is not always one-sided. Often the woman is an aggressor as well. It’s not as well known because women are generally less likely to manage causing physical harm to the man, which is illuminated through the extreme situation of the Superman-Lois dynamic… what’s she gonna do to him without taking extreme measures?

Which she’s done. Repeatedly. It’s only fair to look at things from Superman’s side of the story and see how Lois has treated him.

Even Lex Luthor hath no fury like a Lois scorned

Even Lex Luthor hath no fury like a Lois scorned

Superman isn’t the only one to be the victim of his girlfriend turning on him. Batman’s crazy cat lady squeeze dropped a hurt on him something fierce.

Catwoman vs Batman

Pussy Riot!!!!

Another aspect of domestic violence that is not often mentioned is that there are times when the woman starts the fight, provoking him into retaliating or sometimes even forcing the man into defending himself. With his greater strength, he is more likely to visibly injure the woman.

Who Started It

Supes was just wanting to talk til he got bitch-slapped with a light pole. Amazons be crazy, yo

The unstated assumption here appears to be that those with power will abuse it unless shamed into restraining themselves. Delving into characters like these undermines the concept – comics and cartoons are loaded with Women Of Power. Aside from Superman, who is more powerful than Wonder Woman? In addition, unlike the caped Boy Scout, she was explicitly trained to fight and even kill. So should we expect a scene like this?

Power is exchanged through the physical medium of her fist

Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman engage in a little “super power exchange'”

4000 Quatloos On The Kryptonian

Intro

Part I

Part II

Part III released today.

Addendum: this is all by just one guy working at home. Over 30,000 views in less than one day.