Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fi Fie Fo Foom!

As utterly ridiculous as a giant, green outer-space dragon wearing purple boxer shorts is, Fin Fang Foom makes it work. Created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Foom (as I like to call him) debuted in Strange Tales #89.

When Communist China threatens to invade his homeland, teenager Chan Liuchow takes matters into his own hands. Rousing the sleeping dragon from a thousand-year-old slumber, he lures the irritable creature to the Communist encampment to create mayhem and chaos as only a giant, purple-shorts-wearing dragon can. 
The character appeared off and on in Marvel comics for the next 35 or 40 years, most notably and memorably in Iron Man comics. 

Foom is experiencing a bit of a resurgence of late, appearing as a game boss in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game, an action figure and making several notable guest appearances throughout the Marvel universe of titles. He's even received a 21st century update courtesy of artist Adi Granov

It even turns out (through a bit of creative back-story) the big brute is an ancient alien from the planet Kakaranathara, which incidentally sounds like a sound-effect from a '60's comic book.
The Big Guy is goofy, yes. But I like him. He has character. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Squirrel Girl

Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, a furry. End Disclaimer.
Now, what can be said for a hottie superhero chick with a serious overbite and furry tendencies?
Created by Steve Ditko (of Spider-Man fame) and Will Murray, Squirrel Girl debuted in Marvel Superheroes, volume 2 number 8 in January of 1992. With the ability to communicate and control squirrels telepathically, in addition to a fluffy prehensile tail, Squirrel Girl is a more formidable foe than would seem at first glance.
Dude, she whupped up on Doctor Doom!

Seriously, this is a lame, lame, lame, lame, lame character. Who happens to be somewhat hot. And, just idiotic enough to be comically silly and ridiculously entertaining, if that makes any sense.

Yes. Squirrel Girl you can run up my pants leg anytime.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Diabolical Doctor Sun

Oh, the humanity! I admit I love, love, LOVE the Gene Colan/Marv Wolfman Tomb of Dracula comic from the 1970's. But, please. No really, I mean it. How did they come up with this guy!?!

If you enjoy bad '50's sci-fi as much as I do (and if you are really reading this you probably do), there is some irresistible joy in a crazy-mad human brain bent on world domination. Floating in a glass jar, natch. But when you add a cyborg, blood-drinking machine for a body? Fugeddabouddit!
After discovering he has new 'psionic' powers from the old brain transfer, Doctor Sun mentally enslaves a small army of followers to aid in his revenge and world-domination strategy. What's an up and coming world dictator without his army of red-shirt lackeys? Unfortunately for the good Doctor, he also discovers his brain needs a constant supply of fresh human blood to remain functional. Enter Dracula, stage left.
This gets so convoluted, folks, I really cannot go into enough great detail here. Suffice it to say, Doctor Sun eventually runs into the Fantastic Four and is finally subdued, in a nearly unparalleled act of dorky heroism, by the robot H.E.R.B.I.E. And when the lamest character from the 1970's Fantastic Four cartoon kills you, you know you're absolutely pathetic.
Still, there is something completely freaking cool about a sentient, severed brain inside a glass jar. Maybe it's just me.
If you're dying to know the complete details, there's more information at the entirely too in-depth Marvel Comics wiki:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And so...Morbius!

And so…Morbius!
I have great fondness for the Living Vampire (fantastic sobriquet). Some of my earliest memories involve the rather meager collection of comics and horror magazines my older brother owned. He is six years older than I and everyday, after he went to school, I would sneak into his room and attack the stack of comics and magazines on the bookshelf behind his door.
And, usually, staring up at me with its garishly fantastic four-color cover would be Adventure into Fear, number 28.
There was something fascinating to me about the one-eyed creatures and this particular comic. My lifelong obsession with vampires and the undead began slightly earlier when I discovered an issue of the wonderful Famous Monsters’ mag sporting a suitably bloodthirsty Christopher Lee on the cover. I was also an early reader, so a living vampire (who happened to look not coincidentally a little like Spider-Man and a lot like a superhero) garnered my undivided attention.
I literally read and re-read the comic so many times the cover disintegrated. I eventually taped the whole thing back together. By that time, my brother conceded it a lost cause and gave up stealing it back from me.
Morbius pops up every now and then, sometimes as a villain and sometimes as a hero (or anti-hero, if you prefer). And I try and pick up every appearance. If you want more info on Morbius, the Living Vampire here is his wikipedia entry:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why We Are Here...

Some people have an innate ability, a knack even, of finding something to like in anything. Some of us love really bad horror movies, movies so bad they actually register in negative numbers on a scale from 1 to 5. Some of us have an irresistible attraction to the most greasy, fried artery-bursting food from the local snack shack.
For me it is comic books. Well, let me quantify that: bad comic book characters. And by ‘bad’, I mean names like:
Rocket Raccoon
Rocket Racer
Silver Star
Spirit of ‘76

Hence the name of the blog, Xemnu. Therefore, I decided to feature a few of those characters here in no particular order. I did feel some explanation was in order, though, and this whole debacle is directly related to my older brother (as are most other problems in my life, but I digress). For the time being, we will leave the setup at that. However, I think I will leave you with this tantalizing name: Morbius, the Living Vampire!