The Cartoon Icon Known As Yogi Bear

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! I have a question for all your readers and friends, and it’s this:  growing up who was your favorite cartoon character? And I am not talking about a character that was created to sell a toy like He-Man or Optimus Prime, I am talking names like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, Mighty Mouse, Popeye, Porky Pig, Betty Boop and Huckleberry Hound! For me one at the top of the list is Yogi Bear as I can remember watching his cartoon at my house as well as at my Grandparents and enjoying every silly moment as something about Yogi Bear always drew my young mind in. And that is why I feel that for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary I had to cover Yogi Bear as this update is long overdue and is one that I have been planning for over 8 years and saved for this Anniversary as this iconic cartoon character needs his time to shine here on Rotten Ink. So with that let’s head to Jellystone Park and have a picnic of some honey fried chicken and hope that a bear who’s smarter than your average one and his short sidekick don’t show up and steal it, or wait I think that is what we want!

Yogi Bear 1

Yogi Bear is smarter than your average bear and loves to sneak around and steal picnic baskets from park goers and is always trying to think of ways to do so and not to be caught, and that is what he has that iconic catchphrase. While he is a bear he is fun loving and is well liked by most of the other animals and rangers at Jellystone Park were he lives, even though he does get on many of their nerves with his ways. His best friend is Boo-Boo Bear and his lady is Cindy Bear and they a lot of times get stuck going along with his plans. While Ranger Smith gets annoyed by Yogi he as well is sort of his friend and goes out of his way to protect and help him when he gets into trouble. But Yogi has many friends outside of Jellystone Park as well like Huckleberry Hound, Doggie Daddy, Quick Draw McGraw and even Top Cat all who have as well went on adventures with him in the cartoons as well as the comics. Yogi was based on the Ed Norton character from the TV Show The Honeymooners and his name was a play off the baseball player Yogi Berra. Daws Butler was the voice actor for Yogi Bear from 1958 to 1988 when he sadly passed away from a heart attack at the age of 71, but while he was the main and original and most iconic voice actor to play Yogi many others have like Mel Blanc, Greg Burson, Billy West, Dan Aykroyd and Jeff Bergman to name a few. Paste Magazine rated Yogi Bear the 40th best Cartoon character on their top 50 Countdown while CNN ranked him # 36 out of 50 and Screen Rant ranked him # 30 out of 30 for their countdown. Yogi Bear is a truly iconic character that ranks in my top 10 for sure.

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Jellystone Camp is filled with other great characters that help make Yogi’s adventures more entertaining. First up of course is his best friend Boo-Boo Bear who is a small bear who at times acts as Yogi’s voice of reason and tries his best to talk him out of some of the more mischief plans he makes. Growing up Boo-Boo was always a popular cartoon character among my friends as I remember kids talking about him on the playground. We then have Cindy Bear is the southern belle on again and off again girlfriend of Yogi who as well gets into the same trouble as they do, and is a good supporting character in the cartoon series. And last of course is Ranger Smith that poor park ranger who has to deal with all the craziness of the park and is always having to run Yogi off as he tries to steal picnic baskets. But while Ranger Smith is annoyed with Yogi, they also kind of have a weird friendship as he looks out for the pain in the butt bear. All of these characters help make the Yogi Bear cartoon series great and help add to why Yogi is one of my favorite classic cartoons of all time.

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The Yogi Bear show was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and was a syndicated cartoon series that would first air on January 30, 1961 and would each episode would be 22 minutes long and would also feature cartoons of Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle and would last for 33 episodes a total of two seasons and would end on January 6, 1962. But the show would continue on in reruns and even would get re-packaged under the name “Yogi Bear & Friends” that would show Yogi cartoons mixed with others like Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie among others. This version of the show would run for 98 episodes and would run from September 16, 1967-1968. Well in 1972 a TV movie special called “Yogi’s Ark Lark” aired on ABC and had Yogi along with other Hanna-Barbara animal characters in search of land that is not polluted, and this special would spawn a very short lived series called “Yogi’s Gang” that ran for only 15 episodes and would last from September 8, 1973-December 29, 1973, his next series “Yogi’s Space Race” would be released in 1978 and would have well Yogi in space with a new sidekick named Scare Bear and they would have a Space Race team, this would only last 13 episodes and would go into the next series called “Galaxy Goof-Ups” and would have Yogi still in space this time as a patrolman and would start in 1978 and would last until 1979 for a total of 13 episodes. And many more series would follow like “Yogi’s Treasure Hunt” that ran from 1985-1988 lasted 27 episodes, “The New Yogi Bear Show” lasted 45 episodes and was in 1988, “Yo Yogi!” that lasted 13 episodes and ran in 1991 and was one of my favorites as a kid as Yogi was young, hip and cool! And lastly “Jellystone!” started in 2021 and airs on HBO Max. And this is just the TV Shows as Yogi has also been a part of many TV Specials, Animated Movies as well as two live action films, showing that Yogi Bear is a true icon of the cartoon character world!

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I really did truly grew up watching Yogi Bear and just like so many other cartoons, it was must watch TV for me as I would never turn the channel when Yogi was on as for some reason this food stealing bear had always captured my attention, even if I had seen the episode many times before I would watch it again. While some I watched in re-runs like the classic Yogi Bear Show others I caught as they aired like The New Yogi Bear Show and Yo Yogi! both I watched when released and I can remember even having rubber stamps and some toys of Yo Yogi! that I got cereal boxes and fast food kids meals. Most of the classic Yogi shows I remember watching mostly on the USA Network as away of the Cartoon Express and have many great memories of sitting at my Grandparents house on my Dad’s side by the fireplace and watching Yogi Bear cartoons as snow fell outside and the warmth of the fire made my brother and I toasty as we watched the TV, and I also seem to remember that they also had some old VHS tapes of Yogi that we would watch as well when he was not on TV. At home as well we had VHS tapes of Yogi cartoons and one I am pretty sure we got via Jolly Time Popcorn as it was a send away, and it took forever for the tape to come but when it did I watched it a bunch. I always wanted to win a Yogi Bear stuff animal from Kings Island, but sadly never was that lucky to be able to. And while in modern times those who talk about Hanna-Barbra Cartoons will go on and on about Scooby-Doo (another amazing cartoon from my childhood) being the best and the main character from the company, I am here to tell you that back in the 60’s-80’s it was Yogi Bear who was the companies mascot and main character. And with that I will sum it up by saying Yogi Bear is a true Icon of Cartoons and will always be one of my favorites.

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Really quick, here is an old ad and coupon I found online about the Jolly Time Popcorn VHS that was from around 1994 and I was a teenager and movie collector at the time this was offered. And we ate lots of popcorn on weekends as my brother and I would eat it as a snack while we watched Horror Movies and Horror Hosts on TV. But after finding it I just wanted to share this with you all, and I also found a scan of the VHS cover! And I think at some point I am going to buy a copy of this tape so that I can have it back again.

Yogi Bear VHS Popcorn AdPopcorn Yogi Bear VHS

A very cool thing that fans of Yogi Bear can do is stay at a “Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Camp-Resorts” that are located in many starts including Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, California, New York and so many more states and each have their own charms and events! Besides camping in tents and cabins many of these Jellystone sites also have live music concerts, water parks, fishing ponds, gift shops, pools and of course walk around versions of the characters! The parks are a family friendly good time with some locations even allowing pets! Each location also has different styles of comfort from RV Hook Ups, to cabins of all types to even just land that you can use a tent to rough it for the night. I first discovered the Jellystone Park Camps when going to Chicago, Illinois with my ex-girlfriend Jennifer as we drove by one and I was hooked when I seen Yogi on the sign. Sadly, since I saw the sign I never have stayed at the park, but that is about to change as sometime soon I plan on staying at one of the camps and when I do I will update you all about it on a future Rotten Ink update.

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Did you readers know that Yogi Bear has his own themed restaurant called “Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken” that is located in South Carolina and is a landmark and attraction for the area? And did you know that it was originally a fast food franchise that had stores all around America in the 1970’s and was created to enter the growing and popular fried chicken fast food boom created by KFC at the time and Yogi Bear was used as the mascot because he was super popular with kids and adults who enjoyed a good cartoon? Did you know many of the restaurants had very cool fiberglass statues of Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith? And sadly they are all now rotting in dumpsites as they were all disposed of when the restaurants closed, and that’s a shame as I wish that people would have rescued them and gave them places to live at their homes. Sadly the franchise was bought by Hardee’s very early in opening and by the mid 70’s all of them had been closed with the one that’s still opening being the last standing, as it was clear that Hardee’s had no idea how to push fried chicken as hamburgers was their main money maker. It’s sad to think that only one of these cool themed restaurants are around as I would love for them to be closer to Ohio as I would have loved to try a meal from them. Oh and for those wonder the restaurants was created by Eugene Broome who originally wanted to theme them around actor Jackie Gleason and Yogi Bear was his second choice after watching his cartoons on TV.

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Yogi Bear also has made his way into the world of video games and has delivered some fun adventures for fans to play through and allowed them to have their favorite cartoon character be the hero they all knew he was. “Yogi Bear” was released in 1987 for the Commodore 64 in Europe and had you play as Yogi as he had to save Boo-Boo who was kidnapped by a circus. In 1990 in Europe and for Commodore 64 came “Yogi’s Great Escape” a game based on the 1987 film. “Adventures Of Yogi Bear” was released in 1994 and was for the Super Nintendo had you play as Yogi to stop Jellystone into becoming a chemical dumping ground. And lastly “Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush” was released on the Game Boy in 1994 has Yogi going after a ghost who stole money from the park. And those where the classic games based on the animated Yogi Bear and I can remember playing both the Game Boy and Super Nintendo games and loving every second of them as they were fun adventure games. I should note that Video Games for the WII was made based on the live action film. Do you readers have any memories of playing any or all of these Yogi Bear games? And I am not going to lie when I say I wish a Yogi Bear game would be made for PS5 in the future and that it’s based on the classic cartoons and features all our favorite characters like Boo-Boo, Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith, but I don’t see this happening but one can wish.

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Yogi Bear being such an amazing cartoon character that has been so popular over many decades he has lots of amazing collectibles for fans to collect over the years as his face has graced things like Toys, Board Games, Home Media, Books, Video Games, Comics, Shirts, Posters, Buttons, Fast Food Items, Spoons, Cups, Glasses, Halloween Costumes, Masks, Lunch Boxes, Puppets, Statues, Stickers, Magnets, Christmas Ornaments, Valentine Day Cards, Patches, Hats, Cups, Rings, Plastic Eggs and so much more, basically if you can think of an item Yogi Bear probably was featured on it! Growing up I really loved a stuff doll I had of Yogi Bear and a kids paperback book called “Ghost Of A Chance” that was a spooky kid friendly take featuring Yogi and Boo Boo! In fact for my Birthday this year my lady Juliet will be making me a cake that looks like Yogi Bear from a vintage metal Yogi cake pan. So in other words if you are a fan of Yogi Bear you can collect so many cool items to add to your collection. Growing up I remember having a sticker of Yogi Bear that I am pretty sure I still have to this day packed away, as it was my favorite sticker I had as a kid next to the WWF Wrestler Ultimate Warrior one. And I had many more cool merchandise over the years like toys and shirts and even a poster and the video games. Oh and I had this plastic Egg that featured Yogi Bear on it that I got from a Vending Machine that had Fred Flintstone in the middle and he would spin around and an egg would come down and inside it was a prize, that was such a cool machine.

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Kings Island is an amazing Amusement Park located in Mason, Ohio and when I was a kid, it was one of the must go to attractions for kids on summer vacation even more so then Fantasy Farm and Americana Amusement Park that where the two I visited more in my youth as both us kids and our parents liked them. But besides rides like King Cobra, The Beast and Adventure Express for me one of the cool aspects of the park was “Hanna-Barbera Land” the kid friendly part of the park that featured rides and attractions that were all tied into the cartoon characters made by that animation studio. And also all around the park they would have merchandise and prizes that as well had the likeness of Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound and Fred Flintstone to name a few. And one big attraction for many was the dark ride that featured the Smurfs as well as the Smurf Blue Ice Cream as still to this day both are talked about with great fondness by fans. But one awesome thing was that they had walk around versions of the cartoon characters and one that was always awesome to see was Yogi Bear and every time I went to Kings Island I would look for him as Yogi Bear is a true icon and I am shocked I never got a picture with him as back then I was a fool for taking pictures to capture the memories, but for me spotting him became almost like a real life “Where’s Waldo” book and added to the fun of being at the park. But sadly starting around 2001 Hanna-Barbera Land started to be phased out and by 2005 it was gone all together minus one Scooby-Doo ride. You see Kings Island went with a Nickelodeon theme instead and that made sense as Paramount Pictures ended up buying the theme park for a few years and wanted to brand areas with their own properties hence why rides like Top Gun, Face Off, Tomb Raider and Italian Job were all added. While gone, for those of us who grew up with Hanna-Barbera Land at Kings Island, the memories and fun time had will always live on. And I have heard a rumor that in one of the areas in the park that is the “Ride Graveyard” is filled not only with old ride parts, carts and signs but also many of the Hanna-Barbera stuff including the Smurfs from the Enchanted Forest as well as the walk around suits!

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Really quick I have to also point out that Yogi Bear once had a guest cameo on one of my favorite Horror Hosts shows “Nightmare Theater” with host Sammy Terry! It’s on a Christmas episode that has Sammy Terry along with his friends George The Spider and Ghoulsby the zombie talking about the big meal they will be having for dinner of Christmas day and of course its all gross stuff like poison ivy salad and brains, but when they start talking about the guests they want to invite that of course are all monsters and ghouls it’s George who wants to invite Yogi over for the dinner! Sammy is at first puzzled by this but goes along with the request and our classic cartoon icon is on the guest list. And the best part is when they say his name is image even appears making his cameo legit even if it is for only a few moments. Very cool to see and just wanted to share this with you readers, oh and the movie he hosted that night was the vampire film Deathmaster.

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Before we get to the review part of this update, I want to say that back in the 1970’s a cool team up happened when Marvel Comics and Hanna-Barbara came together and made some amazing kids comics based on their popular cartoons like Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Dynomutt, Laff-A-Lympics as well as spotlight issues. And this was a very cool thing for comic readers as well as cartoon watchers as it gave fans of these characters new adventures to enjoy before the next episode would air. And when Marvel and Hanna-Barbara came together the comic company made a big deal about it as both companies came up together in the 60’s and even some of Marvel Artists over the years had worked for the cartoon company. This was very cool and I can remember growing up that I enjoyed the Marvel Comics versions of Hanna-Barbara characters more then the Dell and Gold Key Versions that I as well had. In these modern times Marvel Comics could never make comics based on these characters again as Hanna-Barbara is owned by Warner Brothers who also own DC Comics…so yeah it will never happen again. Check this very cool piece of art below that Marvel released to announce the team up.

Marvel and Hanna Come Together

Well we are at the review part of this update, and as you can see, Jellystone Park is packed with campers and visitors and that means Yogi and Boo-Boo have to be creeping around looking for food to steal. And I am really looking forward to reading these comics as some are ones I will be revisiting from my youth while others will be first time reads. I want to thank Mom Young, Lone Star Comics, Ebay Seller and Dark Star Comics for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. And I would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that let’s find a quit place to sit back and relax eat some food and read some comics, and see if our picnic basket will go missing along the way.

Yogi Bear Comic 1

Yogi Bear # 1 ***
Released in 1977    Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #1 of 9

“The Secret Of Ghastly Grotto” in this story Yogi and Boo-Boo are exploring an off limits cave with a metal detector when they run into a dragon, and after running away Yogi notices that Boo-Boo is missing and he runs to Ranger Smith for help. Meanwhile inside we find that a crook has captured Boo-Boo as he has been hiding out in the cave for over 6 years as it’s almost 7 years and when that happens he can not be arrested for the million dollars worth of gold he has stolen! Yogi and Ranger Smith return to the cave to look for the missing bear and find the dragon and with the metal detector they find that it’s fake, and they rescue Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith arrests the crook when Yogi speeds up the clock to make him think he is protected by the statue of limitations law for his crime! In the end Yogi and Boo-Boo instead use the metal detector to find cans around the park as they feel its safer. “The Goodies Inspector” Yogi is hungry for food and is drawing mustaches on all the signs that warn camper not to feed him, but Yogi also has another idea and tells some campers that he is the Goodies Inspector and that their sandwiches have been banned by the government. As Yogi runs off with the basket the people start eating berries off the trees for lunch and when Ranger Smith walks by they tell him about the inspector and he knows this is a Yogi trick. Ranger Smith finds Yogi asleep with a belly full of sandwiches and wakes him up claiming that there really is a ban on the sandwiches and they need to find the campers who have them, Yogi thinks he is sick now and after a few moments Ranger Smith lets him in on the prank. In the end with some cut fur Yogi is now walking around with the mustache that he drew on the do not feed signs. “The Chummy Dummy” while in the park Howard Uvula gives Yogi five dollars and takes his picture and makes a comment on how they are worth a lot to him, so Yogi follows Howard and finds that he made a ventriloquist dummy that looks like him! Yogi sneaks in and takes the place of the dummy and during the show scares the audience and steals the dummy. You see Yogi was not about to be viewed as a dummy and this was his payback.

This first issue of Yogi Bear by Marvel Comics is fantastic and they creative team did a fantastic job of capturing the characters and making it feel just like the cartoons it’s based on. The issue has three Yogi Bear adventures and also has a backstory about The Flintstones and really are a great kids comic that is also must reads for fans of the character. Yogi Bear in all three stories is the normal conning and charming bear we all love and even when down and out he still ends up being ahead in some way. Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith add great backup to the stories and do their parts well. The villains of the comic is The Crook who is a robber and Howard Uvula who is just a jerk and bases his new Dummy on Yogi, I mean how rude is that. If I had to pick the best story from this issue I would say it has to be “The Secret Of Ghastly Grotto” as the haunted cave, fake dragon and a Crook looking to get away with his crime is a lot of fun and the fact that Yogi tricks the crook into give up his gun by speeding up the clock is a good cartoonish way to save the day and its perfect. Picking my least favorite is a little hard as I liked them all, but I guess I would have to say “The Chummy Dummy” just because the pay out of Yogi scaring the audience of the performer was just an ok ending for him to get revenge. The cover is very eye catching for fans of Yogi Bear and the interior art is top notched and is done by an Unknown Artist and whomever did it really draws all the characters so well and it really does help add to the enjoyment of the comic. This first issue is very cool and is one of the better kid comics based on a classic cartoon character we have covered here on Rotten Ink, so lets see what issue two is all about.

Yogi Bear Comic 2

Yogi Bear # 2 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #2 of 9

“The Trillionaire’s Bear” Jellystone Park has been sold to the rich Filthy McLucre who is wanting to turn the park into a massive shopping center. Yogi stops the bulldozer from starting the destruction of the park by acting as if Boo-Boo has been infected by sickness and that no noises and bulldozers can be around via doctors orders. Yogi then sneaks off and heads to the mansion of Filthy McLucre and acts as a teddy bear in order to get inside but soon meets Luke McLure the bratty grandson of Flithy and after being disrespected by Luke he says he would give anything in order for Luke to learn respect and discipline, and after the bratty kid torments Yogi by knocking him out of a window and even trying to run him down in a train, Yogi finally snaps and threatens to spank the mean little kid who claims he will be good! In return for teaching the kid a lesson in respect Filthy grants Yogi’s request that the park is safe and that the shopping center will be built someplace else. “Movie Madness” Yogi and Boo-Boo are walking near a cinema when they notice all the Horror Movies playing and one is about a killer bear and this makes everyone scared of the two friendly bears, and when Yogi goes to talk to the maker of the film he soon finds that the man is not very nice and kicks him out of his office. So Yogi to get revenge makes his own Horror Movie about the moviemaker and now people are scared of him! But in the end the film maker and Yogi team up and make a movie that pits both their horror film characters together and they make lots of money. “Signs Of The Time” Huckleberry Hound is visiting Jellystone Park with a picnic basket in hand and Ranger Smith tells him to make sure to please obey the park signs as its important for park safety and to help keep in clean. Yogi over hears this and decides he is going to have some fun and leaves silly signs in the path of Huckleberry like to walk on your hands, meow like a cat and of course to give your food to him! At the end of his park visit Huckleberry complains to Ranger Smith about the signs, meanwhile Yogi has eaten all of the food and is shocked when he finds out that other park goers are following his fake signs including Ranger Smith who is doing so cause he is leading by example.

What another fun issue that as well does justice to the cartoon as well as just Yogi Bear in general. This issue as well has three stories featuring Yogi and has one back-up story that is The Flintstones, with all three Yogi stories once more being very fun reads that has him saving the park to even conning the park goers for food! And like before the creators of the comic do a great job of making Yogi Bear the lovable character we all love as he is funny, silly and also even kind of a hero. My favorite story is “Movie Madness” as come on its everything I enjoy as it has Yogi Bear, Movie Theaters and of course Horror Films! Plus I love that its taking a jab at the Nature Run Amok Horror films that flooded the theaters in the 70’s like Jaws, Grizzly and Day Of The Animals to name a few. Plus I love that instead of the Moviemaker and Yogi pulling their films from theater they instead team up and make a crossover film for movie goers to see, the true nature of indie horror. And again selecting a least favorite is hard as all three were good stories but if I have to pick on I would say “The Trillionaire’s Bear” as while it’s a silly take it also is kind of just basic of a bratty kid with no manors being taught a lesson. The cover like before is really cool and has Yogi on a fishing pool being dunked in water while the kid rides on the front of a train! The interior art by Unknown Artist is once more very cool and well done and captures everything Yogi Bear. Let’s not also forget that we have a big guest star in this issue as Huckleberry Hound stops by Jellystone and is robbed of his tasty food and made to look silly by his pal Yogi in the process. Over all a great issue even if the copy I have is missing part of a panel due to a kid clipping a coupon. But lets see what issue three has in store for us!

Yogi Bear Comic 3

Yogi Bear # 3 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #3 of 9

“Below-Zero Bear” Yogi Bear has made a mistake and has hidden on a airplane that he thought was going south for the winter but it was really heading to the South Pole and worse he has been dropped off along with the supplies for a very angry man who wants to takedown Yogi for his fur to help keep him warm. Meanwhile Boo-Boo tells Ranger Smith about what Yogi has done and the two leave Jellystone to try and save their friend who they are sure is freezing and needs help getting home. Meanwhile Yogi escapes his attacker and finds the travel agent and tries to buy a ticket to get back home but is short on money, when a man offers to buy the ticket if Yogi and get a photo of the Abominable Snowman who has a summer home in the South Pole. Yogi ends up getting the picture and is shocked when the ticket he bought is not good for another six months so finds a warm bed to hibernate in, but is found by Ranger Smith and Boo-Boo and is going home. “Sheriff Yogi” has Yogi Bear going to visit his friend Quick Draw McGraw and by accident Yogi with a banana peel helps arrest Little Luke and by doing so the Mayor makes Yogi the new town Sheriff and this goes bad when Large Leo the brother of Luke comes to down and uses Yogi as a punching bag, and its Quick Draw who takes down and brings in Leo and once more becomes the Sheriff. “Swami Bear” has Yogi coming up with another plan to try and steal picnic baskets by dressing as a ranger and making park goers go through a metal detector so he can see what is in their baskets and then they visit him as a fortune teller who knows what they have brought for lunch and tells them its cursed, and of course Ranger Smith catches him and stops this scheme.

Yogi Bear in this issues goes from a Yeti photographer to sheriff to a fake swami and all the while he is bring us readers around for the fun and silly ride and of course Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith are caught up in many of these goofy plans and adventures. And what was also very cool in this issue is seeing Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey in the cameo spot and they are used well as Yogi and Boo-Boo visit them in the old west town. You also cannot go wrong with a comic that features Abominable Snowman who is on vacation in the South Pole. This issue as always features three Yogi stories and one Flintstones back up story and each of the Yogi stories are solid and I would say my favorite is Sheriff Yogi as I like the humor in it plus the adding of Quick Draw was awesome, and my least favorite is Swami Bear just cause the story is supper short and is pretty much a set up for Ranger Smith to but Yogi through the metal detector to show that his brain is hollow…silly and fun stuff. The cover for this issue is lots of fun and has Yogi in a tuxedo acting like a penguin while the Snowman is looking for him. And the Unknown Artist who does the interior art once more did fantastic work and all the characters look like they do in the cartoons. Over all yet another solid issue if you enjoy Yogi Bear like I do.

Yogi Bear Comic 4

Yogi Bear # 4 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #4 of 9

“Don’t Give Up The Sheep” has a farmer getting permission from the government to allow his sheep to graze as Jellystone while his land is getting re-seeded. But following the farmer is Hokey Wolf who steels the farmers eyeglasses as well as a sheep and does so acting as if he is Yogi Bear! The Farmer and Ranger Smith confront Yogi and do not believe him when he says he did not steel the sheep and rushes to the city to try and make things right when the Farmer threatens him if he does not bring the sheep back, so Yogi ends up entering a boxing contest and lasts 10 rounds with a heavy weight to get money to buy a sheep from a girl names Mary who is mad cause the sheep followed her to school! Once he buys the sheep he brings it to the farmer the same time Hokey shows up returning the glasses and sheep he stole as he felt bad for stealing and framing Yogi! In the end Yogi clears hi name and the Farmer goes after Hokey Wolf for causing all this drama. “The Ranger Stranger” Yogi is being annoying and out of control when Ranger Smith finally snaps and quits, and the new Ranger is mean who makes Yogi pick up trash all day around the park. Yogi escapes Jellystone and finds Ranger Smith and makes it seem that everyone that Smith see’s is him, so he thinks he misses Yogi and returns to his job at Ranger of Jellystone. “Going To Waist” Yogi is getting chubby and decides to loose a few pounds and goes to a workout instructor who pushes Yogi to the limit, but during lunch as Yogi has to eat one celery stock, he finds the instructor wears a girdle and is eating chicken! In order to hide his secret he gets Yogi a bear suit and a girdle and it now makes him look as if he lost weight.

This is another fun and silly comic that has three Yogi Bear adventures and of course is backed up by a short Flintstones one. Yogi in this issue boxes, picks up trash and gets chubby and all the while use readers are having a laugh with him. For me the best story in the issue is “Don’t Give Up The Sheep” as it not only guest stars Hokey Wolf but also has Yogi having to box a heavyweight to get money to buy a sheep from Mary who is from the Nursery Rhyme, and its also fun to see Yogi try and convince Ranger Smith that he did not steal the sheep. And the weakest story in this issue is “The Ranger Stranger” as while a fun story and some humorous gags are pulled off, I just feel the story is the weakest and the payout of getting Ranger Smith to return to his post is way to fast. One thing I have noticed as well this far in the series is that Boo-Boo while around is never fully focused on and that is a little shocking as he has always been a very popular cartoon character. The cover is pretty cool and has Hokey Wolf stealing a sheep as Yogi is bring a sheep and Boo-Boo is stuck in the middle. The interior art is good as always and one story has artist Dick Bickenback credited, the others do not and could be Bickenback or are Unknown Artist. Over all this is a good issue and truly does capture the silliness and mood of this cartoon, and with that let’s see what issue five has in store for us.

Yogi Bear Comic 5

Yogi Bear # 5 **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #5 of 9

“The Jelly Jam” Ranger Smith is mad at Yogi for trying to steal picnic baskets and runs him off, and hungry and wanting pizza he decides that he and Boo-Boo should try and mine for gold in Jellystone and head into the caves to start mining. After awhile they do not find any gold or silver but they do find all kinds of jelly flavors…in fact it’s the best jelly ever and it was made by Mother Nature, and Yogi tries to sell his jelly find to the local jelly company who in turn is mad about this tasty treat and blows up Yogi’s mine to try and stop this jelly from getting into eaters sandwiches. Yogi figures out that the Jelly Company Owner is who caused the jelly to flood the area and tricks him into falling into a ditch filled with the gooey stuff. The owner admits to Ranger Smith that he caused the jelly flood and this ends the mining, as well as Yogi every wanting to eat jelly again. “Wrap Session” it’s Cindy Bear’s Birthday and Yogi has forgotten until he overhears her telling her friend about how Yogi every year makes her day special. Yogi rushes to the toy store and after begging the owner is able to get her a plush toy, and after trying to wrap it he destroys it as well as the wrapping paper is now all around him! So in the end he gives himself as the present for Cindy for her Birthday. “The Defective Detective” has Yogi and Boo-Boo showing up to the office of Snooper and Bladder as they were going to go get lunch and catch up, but the detective pair are running late and Yogi decides to take a case from a rich woman who is paying a grand to find her lost dog. And of course Yogi fails in his attempts to find the dog and ends up on the bad end of the hunt by being bitten and trampled on by attack and stray dogs. Finally Snooper and Bladder show up and put Yogi in a mailman outfit and they find the missing dog who is biting him.

And this is another good issue but I do have to be honest this one is not as good as the others that came before it as the best story in the issue is “The Jelly Jam” as its funny and silly as Yogi mines and uncovers natural made jelly and a owner of a jelly company tries to sabotage it and causes a jelly flood and eruption in Jellystone! The other two stories are good and entertaining but do seem a little rush and the stories do not have great payouts in the end. I think that “The Defective Detective” is my least favorite as it’s a shame as it even has cameos from Snooper and Bladder. Yogi is great and it’s a shame that this issue is just an average read and again I feel two of the three stories are rushed. This issue has another backup story of The Flintstones and the cover is good and has Yogi and Boo-Boo digging for jelly. The interior art is good and done by Unknown Artist and once more captures the characters well. I want to say keep in mind this is still a fun and good issue it just does not capture the magic like the past four issues did. But with that said let’s see what issue six has in store for us.

Yogi Bear Comic 6

Yogi Bear # 6  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #6 of 9

“Surfer Bear” Yogi and Boo-Boo are in Hawaii and are looking forward to surfing, but when they get there they find that the ocean is frozen and is solid ice and this is running many peoples vacation as well as putting shops out of business. Yogi and Boo-Boo decided to get some skates and ice skate on the ocean when the ice cracks and Yogi is taken away by a monster who takes him to his cave and wants Yogi to tell the world for stop over fishing the area and Yogi is given the task to really try and stop one greedy Captain who has been bad for taking way to many fish. We also learn that the Sea Monster used icebergs to freeze the ocean, and after getting back topside and meeting the Captain a plan is in place that has the Sea Monster scare away the greedy fisherman and all is back to normal in Hawaii. “The Sinister Scheme” Yogi is dressed as Captain Yogi a superhero and is trying to nab a picnic basket when he is caught by Ranger Smith, and this causes Yogi to go into his full plan that has him acting super nice for nine days even helping around the park and not doing one thing bad, this of course makes Ranger Smith think he is planning something big and as the days go by the Ranger snaps and begs Yogi to go back to his normal ways and to not do whatever it was he was planning…and this of course is what Yogi wanted all along as he goes back to stealing the baskets from park goers. “The Homemade Hero” Yogi is in the city when he runs into his friend Top Cat and his gang of street cats and the word on the street is that Officer Dibble is in trouble and might be replaced on the street, and this would mean an officer who would be stricter on Top Cat could be assigned! So they come up with a plan to dress Yogi up as a wild bear and have Dibble capture him in front of one of his supervisors, but in the end with the help of Yogi, Top Cat and the other cats Dibble is able to capture two bank robbers and show he is a hero.

Ok this is a really fun issue of Yogi Bear by Marvel Comics as one of the stories even has Yogi teaming with one of my other favorite Hanna-Barbara cartoon characters Top Cat! And of course “The Homemade Hero” is my favorite story of the three presented in this issue as it’s a fun and silly tale of how Yogi and T.C. have to help Officer Dibble prove he is not a cop who has no results on a street that is overran by cats who eat from garbage cans and dumpsters. I also have to say I really do like how in these comics they play up the fact that Yogi is friends with all the other characters that make up the Hanna-Barbara universe. And picking my least favorite is hard as I do find both the other stories to be entertaining but if forced to pick I would say that “Surfer Bear” would be the one as its silly and a good read it also takes Yogi to Hawaii and that just seems weird. The Sea Monster and the Greedy Fisherman Captain are cool side characters and as I have said seeing Top Cat and his gang in the issue helped make it ever better. The cover on this one is also good and the use of pink makes it standout and I mean you cannot go wrong with a smiling Yogi with a surfboard. The first story has artwork by Dick Bickenback and the other two I am not sure so Unknown Artist it is and all looks great like always. Marvel Comics is back delivering another great issue for fans of Yogi with this one.

Yogi Bear Comic 7

Yogi Bear # 7  ***
Released in 1978    Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #7 of 9

“The Business Typhoon” Filthy McLucre is sick of all the headaches his money and business is given him so he heads to Jellystone to relax when he runs into Yogi and Boo-Boo who make him and honorary bear! And with that Yogi is selected to go run all the businesses and to take care of all the money! But soon Yogi finds that being rich is not great as Boo-Boo and Cindy Bear love living at Jellystone and have to interest in living or even visiting the McLure mansion. And worse one of McLure’s old workers wants the money and wants to ruin Yogi Bear in order to get it all. Finally Yogi has had enough and leaves the mansion and returns to Jellystone only to find that McLure is stealing picnic baskets and with the help of Ranger Smith and only the idea of eating berries and nuts Filthy McLucre returns to his mansion and his no good worker finds out just how hard it is to be in charge of that much money. “Exit Snagglepuss” Yogi is walking down the street when out of the TV Studio Snagglepuss is thrown out by the director who does not want to hire him for a commercial, and its then that Yogi figures out that what Snagglepuss needs is an agent and Yogi will be just that for only 10% of what he earns…but they soon find that the Director just wants nothing to do with them no matter how good Snagglepuss is! In the end after being thrown out, chased around and when he finally does get the parts its being dunked into water over and over…and he is not happy with Yogi and wants to dump water over his head.

The seventh issue in this series only features two stories with a backup The Flintstones one and each of the stories seem to be given a little more time to grow. And the guest star in this one is Snagglepuss another of my favorite characters even though I have to say his story “Exit Snagglepuss” is the weakest of the two as it just lacks something to make it full standout, again its not a bad tale just lacking something as the joke of them being kicked out of the station over and over is classic cartoon stuff. The best story is “The Business Typhoon” as it was cool to see billionaire Filthy McLucre return to Jellystone and remember Yogi as well as just be sick of being rich! And even when Yogi gets all the power and money he soon sees that the headaches are not worth it. What makes this issue also work is that the two stories are very simple and are filled with goofy jokes and as well places Yogi into odd situations that re somehow very fitting for him. The cover for this issue is good and while not it is in my opinion not the most eye catching of the series this far the art on the front and the blue color I am sure made it stand out at the newsstand. We got Dick Bickenback and Unknown Artist back on interior art and like a broken record I have to say its great stuff. Another fun issue and showed that Marvel and Hanna-Barbara should have kept working together to make these fun kids comics that are great reads for all ages.

Yogi Bear Comic 8

Yogi Bear # 8  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #8 of 9

“Big Top Bear” Boo-Boo leaves the cave to go get some water when two men kidnap him and as Yogi tries to save his friend he his tossed away by one of them. And even with the help of Ranger Smith the bad guys get away with Boo-Boo, and all Yogi and Ranger Smith have to go by us a weird saying one of the men said and after calling Snooper Yogi discovers that the saying is circus talk and they are who have his friend captive. Yogi gets to the circus and finds that its full of corruption and Yogi is also kidnaped once found and thrown in the cage with Boo-Boo, but Yogi gets an idea and tricks the Circus owner to let them out of the cage and they trick the owner and the circus strong man into a cage and with that the corrupt circus is brought down and Yogi and Boo-Boo return to Jellystone. “Frontier Father” Doggie Daddy is taking his son Augie Doggie camping and Yogi watches as Doggie Daddy fumbles at camping like setting up a tent and even fishing, all the while Augie is ashamed of his dads failed attempts. Yogi tries to help Doggie Daddy and ends up almost going over a waterfall and has to really be saved by Doggie Daddy whose son now is very proud of his dad the hero.

This is another only two adventure issue that delivers a fun read that like always captures the feel of the cartoon, and for those wondering yep it has The Flintstones back up story. Yogi Bear in this issues brings down a terrible circus and even helps a father get the respect of his son and all the while does this all in typical Yogi fashion and also of course does it with his own charm. The cameo guests in this issue is Doggie Daddy and Augie Doggie and it was great seeing them in this issue as they are characters that all us Hanna-Barbara cartoon watches know and love, and they are used really well in this issue as it was great having them camp at Jellystone Park. I also have to say that I like the Circus Strongman who is said that he can rip Phone Booths in half…not Phone Books…Booths! I can not choose witch story I like better as both are really good and solid and to be fair are pretty much dead even so I am not going to choose and just say they are both great! The cover is great and has Yogi and Boo-Boo being fired out of a cannon and is eye catching and interior art (or at least the first story) is done by Dick Bickenback and is great stuff and again I can not stress how well this Marvel Comics captures the cartoon and its characters so well. Over all another amazing issue and continues to deliver great reads for fans of Yogi Bear.

Yogi Bear Comic 9

Yogi Bear # 9  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #9 of 9

“Bearly Robin Hood” Jellystone Park is being forced to close do to a bill not passing that would help fund the parks of America and Yogi even goes to the congress man to try and get him to change his vote to help the park stay open, and he refuses and Yogi sits day and night trying to find a way to save the park. One night before bed he reads the story of Robin Hood and then has a dream about himself being Robin Yogi and with his Merry Men Boo-Boo, Doggie Daddy, Huckleberry Hound and Wally Gator and they robbed the rich like Snagglepuss and were being hunted by the Ranger who wanted to stop the crime wave. And after winning a archery contest he gets the Ranger off his back and wins a kiss from Cindy Bear…and then he wakes up he has a plan and when the Congress Man shows up to shutdown the park Yogi takes him around the park to show how hard life is at the park and it’s a good thing for it to go away and that all of the animals are happy that they now will be living with the Congress Man in his home, this ideas scares the government man who rips up the shutdown notice and says they will find the money to budget for the park and runs off…Yogi has saved the park again. “The Lonely Ranger” Huckleberry Hound is trying to get a job at being a park ranger at Jellystone and this is good news for Yogi who goes on a picnic basket stealing rampage and almost sets the world record and only needs one more to do so! Yogi sets out to get that record and picnic basket and ends up stealing one form Rancid Rob a bank robber who just robbed a bank and has the money hidden in his basket. Unknown to Huckleberry Hound that the basket is tied to a robber he goes after Yogi to get it back and enters Yogi’s cave…but just then the Police show up and surround the cave as the money has a tracker, in the end Rancid Rob is arrested, the money is returned, Huckleberry decides to not become a ranger and Yogi keeps on stealing picnic baskets.

This is the final issue of Yogi Bear from Marvel Comics and I have to say this is a great series and that all the creators behind it did a fantastic job of capturing the cartoon perfectly on the comic pages and delivering fun adventures of Yogi and Boo-Boo and do a fantastic job of working in Ranger Smith, Cindy Bear as well as many other Hanna-Barbara characters like Huckleberry Hound and Top Cat to name a few. This issue has two Yogi stories with one having him trying to save Jellystone Park from being shutdown by government greed and the other he stops a bank robber by accident and is able to return the money and get the robber behind bars. Both stories are great but I would say that “Bearly Robin Hood” is the better of the two as I really enjoy the Robin Hood dream and this opens the door for many cool cameos including Wally Gator and Magilla Gorilla two characters that are first time seen in the series and again two of my favorites. The worse part of this issue is that it’s the final issue as I had a blast covering this comic series and I wish that it would have lasted longer as again next to some of the Star Comics and Whitman Comics this is one of the better kids comics based on a cartoon. The cover for this issue is lots of fun and has Yogi dressed in his Robin Yogi look and is pretty eye catching if you’re a fan of Yogi’s. The interior art at least for this first story is done by Bickenback again and is great stuff and that’s the thing about this comic series as well all the art is great and really does look like the characters from the toons. Over all if you are a fan of Yogi Bear and enjoy comic books I say check out the Marvel Comics series as they truly are fun reads that does Yogi justice. Checkout the art below to see the style used in this comic series.

Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 1Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 2Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 3

Cartoons was a big part of my youth as watching them after school and on Saturday Morning was a wonderful time as much like a good Horror Host a good cartoon character ended up feeling like your friend that you would watch have fun, humorous and exciting adventures. Many of you my age grew up with Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and so many others in reruns as well as new cartoons, and that’s the thing doing this update made me feel like a kid again and brought back the joy of watching Yogi on TV. But for the next update we will be leaving Jellystone Park and cartoons behind and will be heading to the world of Horror Films (or Dark Comedy) as we will be chatting about the 1982 film Mary Eating Raoul and the promo comic released alongside it. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as we have a dinner date with the Blands!

Eating Raoul Preview Logo

Marvel’s Star Police Academy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. It really is hard to believe that this little blog of mine is 10 years old; what started out as just a silly way to feel nostalgic for things that I grew up loving has now turned into a way for many of you readers as well to take trips down memory lane about the topics covered. With that said, today’s update is no exception as growing up my brother and I loved the Police Academy films and we would watch them all the time, but in 1988 they also made an animated series…that was not watched all the time and this update is about that animated series and the Marvel Comics under the Star Comics branch comic series based on it. Who would have ever thought that Police Academy would get a cartoon and comic book series? I know growing up it seemed like Marvel and DC Comics did more oddball releases like this, and now they play it way too safe. So if you are ready let’s head to the station and see what is going on with Mahoney and his friends.

Police Academy Animated 1

The Police Academy Cartoon series started airing on September 10,1988 and was a syndicated show that was based on the movie series that was being released by Warner Brothers at the same time. The cartoon would follow Mahoney and his fellow Cadet friends as they bust crime and try to take down the evil Kingpin who is a member of the Council Of Crime and other baddies include Mr. Sleaze, Claw, Numbskull and Big Burger. The cartoon was made by Rudy-Spears and was released by Warner Bros. Television and would last for two seasons and a total of 65 episodes, as it would end on September 2, 1989. None of the movies cast would voice their cartoon counterparts and names like Dan Hennessey, Ron Rubin, Greg Morton and Frank Welker would lend their voices to help make the characters come alive. Growing up very few of my friends at school watched this cartoon as it really was not popular at all and to be honest while I did watch it from time to time it was not must see TV for me, and looking back this is a little odd as I was a big fan of the movies. I will say that the animation for the cartoon was good and that classic 80’s style but I do always remember not being a fan of the voices of the characters, as they sounded nothing like they should and even the kid friendly humor fell flat. The series would get some home media releases with select episodes making it to VHS and part of the series would get a DVD release. Now keep in mind while I was not a major fan of the cartoon I will say I enjoyed if even with all its flaws.

Police Academy Animated 2Police Academy Animated 3Police Academy Animated 4

While I was not a mega fan of the cartoon series, I was a fan of the action figures based on it that was released by Kenner that started in 1988 and ended in 1989 and only lasted three series. The first wave of figures featured Mahoney with Samson the dog, Tackleberry, Hightower, Jones and Zed for the heroes and for the baddies you could get Cat with Mouser Cat, Numbskull and Mr. Sleaze with FooFoo Dog. Wave one also had some cool play sets like the Precinct Police Station that was really just the Real Ghostbusters fire station re-done. Wave 2 had new versions of Tackleberry and Jones and then added baddies Flung Hi and Kingpin to the mix, and a mail away figure was Captain Harris that is very rare. The third and final wave that is called “Special Assignment Rookies” the cops added was House, Sweetchuck with new versions of Zed and Mahoney and no new baddies were added. They also had vehicles released that included Crazy Cruiser and Crash Cycle. And growing up I had several of these figures like Jones, Tackleberry, Mr. Sleaze and Cat and got them from of course Big Bear and Hearts. The one I always wanted was Hightower as he was at the top of my favorite characters in the films series as well as the animated one. Its weird as very few of the kids I grew up with had the Police Academy figures and I knew no kid who watched the cartoon, I do however knew a few classmates who had the Marvel Comics based on it. And to be honest I do not even remember Harts stocking them for very long and can not even remember them being at Hills Department Store, though I am sure they were as Hills was the place for Toys!

Police Academy Animated 5Police Academy Animated 6Police Academy Animated 7

And when I became a teenager I got ride of my Police Academy figures and regretted it later in life, so I did what any nerdy adult would do and I bought many of them back plus the ones I didn’t have when I was a youngster! And below is a group shot of the figures I have in my collection and I wanted to share it with you readers. No as you can see I do not have the full set as some figures are way over priced like House, Sweetchuck and Captain Harris as they are rare and while I had a chance to buy Sweetchuck at a local store I decided not to pay the price they were asking. But as you can see I do have a good amount of them with my two favorites being Hightower and Tackleberry as I do think they are good figures and are two of my favorite characters from the whole Police Academy series. But check below to see the figures I have, and yes over time I do hope to get more and complete the set, and when looking at them I really need to get more of the bad guys as I need Claw and Mr. Sleeze back.

Police Academy Cartoon Toys Mine

The Police Academy film series started in 1984 and followed Mahoney who is a cadet at the Police Academy who is a prankster and a ladies man who is hated by Lt. Harris, and worse his fellow cadets would follow his lead and they would become good cops who worked well with the people they are protecting. The series would spawn five sequels a cartoon and even a short-lived live action TV Show. The film series would star names like Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, Bubba Smith as Hightower, Michael Winslow as Larvell Jones, David Graf as Tackleberry, Marion Ramsey as Laverne Hooks, Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed McGlunk to name a few. The first film in the series was the biggest success bringing in $81,198,894.00 at the Domestic Box Office but with each sequel the profits dropped hard as the sixth film in the series “Police Academy 6: City Under Siege” only did $11,567,217.00 showing that the series did not have much legs behind it in the end, but to be fair to the later sequels they did do great on home media and the rental market and did their job of keeping the series alive. I have worked for several used media stores over the years and have had many of customers ask if we had Police Academy films in stock, and mostly they are looking for the sequels so that’s a sign at least that they do have a fan following. I think that if I had to choose my top three films in the series I would say that for me “Police Academy”, “Police Academy 4: Citizen’s On Patrol” and “Police Academy 3: Back In Training” make up that list with my least favorite film in the series being “Police Academy 7: Mission Moscow” a barely in the theater film that had hardly none of the original cast and had many jokes that just fell flat, but to be fair the film did star Christopher Lee and Ron Perlman as Russians. Rumors of an eighth film have been floating around for years and Steve Guttenberg has also fueled those rumors in 2018 by claiming talks are taking place, but I think sadly this sequel will never happen and if anything a remake will be made that will go direct to streaming. Say what you will but Police Academy in the 80’s was a big comedy franchise that sparked so much other media and helped make Warner Brothers some money and brought laughs to movie watchers around the globe.

Police Academy Animated 8Police Academy Animated 9Police Academy Animated 10

I want to also take a moment before we take a look at the score for the first Police Academy film that was done by Robert Folk who is also know for his music work on such films as “Toy Soldiers (1991)”, “Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time (1991)”, “Rock-A-Doodle (1991)”, “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)”, “Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)” and “Beethoven’s Big Break (2008)” to name a few. But while all the above mentioned and even the none mentioned scores are good it really is his work on the Police Academy film series that is his crown jewel as the Main Title for the series is so iconic and when it starts to play almost everyone knows that its from the film and still even more will hum along to the catchy tune, and funny enough I still even hum this song at random from time to time. And my niece plays in a marching band and my brother use to try and get her to ask her teacher if they would play the Police Academy Theme at football games, he of course said no but it was worth a try. The soundtrack was released for a limited time on CD and I was lucky enough to nab a copy before it went out of print and to be honest the whole score by Folk is really good and if you can find it cheap enough and enjoy movie score soundtracks give it a listen.

Police Academy Animated 11

And yet still before we review these comics we should talk about my three favorite characters in this series with my first being Hightower who was played by Bubba Smith in the films and voiced by Greg Morton in the cartoon, and the reason he is my favorite is he is as strong as a bull, is fair when busting crime, is as big as a pro wrestler and just is a very cool character. Next would have to be Tackleberry who is Rambo with a badge and carries a massive handgun and is really unstable who comes from a family of cops who all act just as intense as he is, Tackleberry is played by actor David Graf in the films and was voiced by Dan Hennessey. And my third favorite is Zed who was a one time criminal who turns a new leaf and joins the Police Force, but he is just as crazy as he was when he was a bad guy he is played by the awesome Bobcat Goldthwait in the films and voiced by Dan Hennessey in the cartoon. And now that you know who my top three favorite characters are I want you to take a few moments to think who yours are as I think every fan of this series has their most as well as least favorites.

Police Academy Animated 12Police Academy Animated 13Police Academy Animated 14

Well as you can see we have somehow found ourselves in Comic Book Jail all because we said we enjoy old Marvel Comics over old DC Comics in a Warner Brothers part of town and now we have to wait for Mahoney to get here to straighten this mess all out, but while we wait lets take a look at the comic book series from Marvel Comics in connection to the Star Comics brand that of course is based on the super kid friendly animated series of Police Academy. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic as well as Lonestar Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I also want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that let’s find a bunk and see what this comic series has in store for us. And on a side note I do remember reading the first issue as a kid and the rest will be first time reads for me.

Police Academy Animated Comic 1

Police Academy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel    # 1 of 6

Mahoney and Jones are acting as a two man parade for all of the higher officers at the academy, and this is bad news as they the higher ups showed up a day to early and this annoys many of them and worse when Hooks, Zed and Sweetchuck have made a float head that looks like criminal computer and tech mastermind Mad Byter! This gets Mahoney and his friends in hot water and they are sent on duty in a terrible part of town and while directing traffic Mad Byter and his henchmen drive by and the cops give chase, but the criminal makes it to his base that is a massive movie sound studio! Mahoney gets an idea and as he and the rest hide inside of the Mad Byter float head that they will have Sweetchuck drop off as a gift to the criminal and this will allow them to be inside the hideout…and it works! Once inside Mahoney and his fellow officers find that Byter is using props from movies against them and when he makes his escape Mahoney uses one of the props to capture him and get back into the graces of the higher ups. “Little Boy Blue” is the second story and is about Buster a kid who won a contest to be a police officer for a day, the downside is that he is a brat and Mahoney and Jones are the ones who end up having to take him out for the day. Buster is running wild and Mahoney comes up with a plan for him and Jones to wear ski masks and fake kidnap Dusty to teach him a lesson about manors, but a pair of real kidnappers beat them to it and this causes Mahoney and Jones to save the day and in the end they do teach Buster a life lesson on how to act.

This first issue of Police Academy is pure silly stuff and has one longer story as well as a small back up and both pack the same silly humor and jokes and while it is entertaining it does have lots of flaws including characters being in spots they should not be and jokes that are eye rolling bad, you know the type like a bad dad jokes. The first story has Mahoney and company screwing up a parade and being forced on a terrible part of town that they end up saving the city from a very bad man who is a computer hacker that robs places. And that baddie is Mad Byter and he does rob a place and even uses movie props to stall and keep the cops at bay as he and his goons try to escape, they do fail but at least he tried. The second story is shorter and has Mahoney and Jones having to watch the Mayors nephew and have to save him from kidnappers, and the odd part of this plot is that Mahoney himself has a plan to kidnap the kid to calm him down…very odd coming from a cop. Mahoney is clearly the leader of the cadets and is as snarky as ever and while he saves the day often he still is a joker who does so by falling backwards into being the hero as really in this comic he is very bad at his work! Jones is kind of the sidekick to Mahoney and because they are friends he seems to be roped into helping, even when the idea is a bad one. The rest of the characters like Sweetchuck, Zed, Hooks and so on are around they do very little in the stories and play background to Mahoney and Jones. So far this comic held up to what I remember it being as a kid and while the jokes are bad and I cannot stress that enough it was a very entertaining read and while the characters act nothing like they do in the film series they do act like their cartoon counterparts. The cover is eye catching and features the whole cast and the art by Howard Post is good kid friendly art, I do have to say that his Mahoney in some panels looks like an old woman. With that lets see what issue two has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 2

Police Academy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 2 of 6

While on a date at the beach Mahoney sees a sea monster and rushes back to the station to warn his coworkers of this danger, and unlucky for him and his normal bank of fellow officers they get sent to the beach to stakeout and capture the creature! But when the sea monster eats Zed while he was surfing, it’s Mahoney and Jones that have to go after him in a tiny submarine that looks like a goldfish. They soon find themselves out of the sub and diving toward a sunken ship that is being robbed by diver, and Mahoney and Jones get caught in a net and captured by a Captain who is holding them and Zed prisoner as the sea monster is really a submarine that he and his crew are using to scare people away as they steal the safe from the boat! And when the criminals get the safe and try to escape, its Mahoney and Jones that escape the net and use the gold fish sub to attach onto the creature sub and crash them onshore! As the Captain and his men make a run for it with the safe to get to a van our officers go to work as Hightower makes one faint and Callahan uses her martial arts to take down another. As the Captain and one of his goons make it to the van it’s Tackleberry armed with an ice cream bazooka and Sweetchuck that brings the Captain down. The second story is “The Cookoo Commandant” and has Mahoney and his fellow officers being yelled at and sent on strange missions by Commandant Lassard who is acting very different and this has lead to The Chief to force the now missing Lassard to step down and Harris to take his place, but Mahoney thinks something is going on and after seeing an old year book he thinks he might have figured it out. Mahoney along with Jones, House and Sweetchuck head to a live taping of a kids show and soon find that the host was a former cadet at the academy at the same time as Lassard and was jealous of him because he got promoted and while the real Lassard was on vacation he wanted to show up and ruin his reputation. In the end all goes back to normal as Lassard returns from vacation and is just as laidback and silly as before.

The second issue in the Police Academy comic is slightly better than the first issue as the two stories just flow better and had less flaws in the art and character placement. The first story has Mahoney at the beach with his fellow officers and they put a stop to a sneaky Captain who is using a fake sea creature in order to rob a safe from a ship that had sunk, and in this story we see that Mahoney is a jerk as he is one a date trying to be smooth with the woman that he keeps forgetting her name. And the Captain is kind of a goofy bad guy for the story as his goal is to get the safe off the ship and he runs around like a goof on the beach with a stolen safe to get into a van! And I love how Mahoney and Jones leave Zed tied up on the ship so that Mahoney can be hero again, man Mahoney is really a jerk! The second and shorty story has a kids show host who went to the academy with Lassard being mad at him and using his master of quick change into characters to try and ruin his reputation at the academy and of course Mahoney is to smart to fall for that. Over all both stories are good fun natured stuff and Mahoney is always the hero of the day, the comedy is slightly less bad but still very goofy in nature. And like before this does a great job of capturing the feel of the cartoon series and does justice to the characters even if some are not getting the time to shine of these pages. I must also say that Tackleberry and his ice cream bazooka is amazing and I wish they would do more with him as well as Hightower as both officers are pushed back into just almost cameo roles. The cover is good and eye catching and has the officers along with the sea creature as sea and as before the talented kids comics artist Howard Post does a great job on the interior art and I like the way he draws Tackleberry! Over all a good solid kids comic that was a fun read and while the plots are simple and silly that is kind of the point with kids comics.

Police Academy Animated Comic 3

Police Academy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1989     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 3 of 6

House has eaten way to many pizzas and hamburgers and has landed himself in the hospital and Mahoney and his fellow officers go to visit him on a stormy night, and when they are asked to leave the room so the doctor can look at him they learn that the doctor was a fake and now House is missing! Mahoney comes up with an idea that has them all act as staff at the hospital to find him as well as the crazed doctor. They soon find a trail of jellybeans and when they follow it they find a hidden lab and House is tied up and meet Doctor Jockensteen and his assistant Clarence who have an idea to take part of Houses brain to put into a robot monster that will be the biggest sports jock the world has ever seen. And when Doctor Jockensteen is mad cause Mahoney frees house the Jock Robot Monster goes on the attack and as the officers run off Mahoney, Jones and House jump into an ambulance and drives off only to be chased down by the robot monster, that they end up getting addicted to jellybeans and have him reprogramed to play on the youth policed baseball team. “The Singing Smash!” has Hightower being charge of a singing group that is he and his fellow officers singing, and because Zed is a fan of pro wrestling he sets up a gig at a wrestling event and they get booed out of the building but they stumble on a plot as a manger has a team kidnapped in order for his team to win the match and Mahoney comes up with an idea to teach them a lesson as Hightower, Zed and Callahan take the match and win the titles and Hightower even gets to sing for his victory.

The third issue is as well fun and the features two stories that have elements of some of my favorite things and that’s Horror and Pro Wrestling! The first tale takes place in the hospital and has a mad doctor on the loose that is trying to build a robot jock and wants to use an injured officers brain to keep it hungry for the win. While the second story has the officers having to enter a wrestling match to stop a con man from winning titles and also get the crowd to be on their side when it comes to singing Christmas carols. Mahoney as always is the main focus and the hero of the day when it comes to the first story but it is nice to see Hightower be the main officer in the second and his size and power comes in play as he beats three wrestlers pretty much by herself by slamming the whole ring on top of them! I also like that Zed as well as even House get a little more time to shine on the pages as they each have some stories, and while Mahoney and Jones are around they are not the full heroes of the issue. The main bad guy of this issue is the sinister Doctor Jockensteen who works for the hospital but is really working on his own experiments and all he cares about is making a robot that will be perfect at every sport, and the robot it’s self only follows orders and while it can be mean its only following orders. And I have to say I am glad Hightower got to be more showcased a little in the comic series, now if he can get them to do so for Tackleberry all would be good. The cover is good and fitting for a kid’s comic series and like before Howard Post did the interior art and is good for this kind of comic. With that let’s see what issue four has in store for us.

Police Academy Animated Comic 4

Police Academy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 4 of 6

Lassard when he was a cadet captured a mad bomber called Baby Boomer that was tormenting the city, and after being put away for 40 years he has escaped jail and he is going after Lassard to even the score. Mahoney comes up with an idea that he along with the others will really capture Baby Boomer but will once more give Commandant Lassard the credit and make him the hero of the day again. As Baby Boomer heads into an old amusement park to get his stolen loot, Lassard goes in after him as does Mahoney and his fellow officers. After many failed attempts to capture Baby Boomer it is Mahoney and Lassard that capture him on a roller coaster and are able to stop a dropped misplaced bomb from going off, and Lassard is once more the hero as Baby Boomer heads back to jail. Our second wacky story is “Jonesy’s Day Off” has Jones off duty but yet as we walks around town he keeps seeing miner crimes being committed as well as bratty kids not listening to their parents and uses his sound effects to stop it all. He even saves a street musicians tips from being stolen before finally given up and clocking in to work.

This fourth issue in the series is good but does lack a little of the charm that the last few issues have had as both stories while silly and kid friendly do lack a little bit of charm as well as even a thought out story as they kind of come off a little generic. The first story is the better of the two and has Lassard going after an old criminal who has escaped from jail, and he is the one who put him away in the first place and along with the help of Mahoney he does so again when he recaptures him. The second story is kind of bad as it just is Jones walking around town and using the sound effects he makes with his mouth to stop small crimes, and he then because of the stress of being off work and yet still working he decides to just clock in. The main villain is Baby Boomer a criminal who likes to use bombs to strike fear as well as rob places, and when he escapes he only gets the chance to blow up on thing and that’s a package bomb that he sends to Lassard. Mahoney of is the main focus in the first story with Jones being the main cop used in the second story. Over all nothing special when it comes to this issue and the stories it brings to the readers. The cover is pretty cool and has Mahoney and his fellow officers on a roller coaster and the interior art by Howard Post is as solid as ever. While not the best issue in the series this far, it still is pretty fun I guess for the most part.

Police Academy Animated Comic 5

Police Academy # 5  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 5 of 6

Sweetchuck is a big comic book reader and his favorite hero is Grasshopper and Flea Boy and he looses his mind when the movie based on the hero is shooting in their city and the cops have been asked to help keep the actors safe. But an accident on set leaves the actor playing Grasshopper believing he is the masked hero and he heads out into the city to stop crime, and this gives Sweetchuck an idea who puts on the Flea Boy costume and rushes to help keep an eye on the confused actor who ends up stopping a scam that is going on at a construction site, but as Sweetchuck makes it to the scene Grasshopper has another bump on the head and regains his memories and runs away from the scene of the crime leaving Sweetchunk to try and stop it on his own, that is until Mahoney and the others who up and help Sweetchuck become the Superhero of the city by stopping the concrete crime at the work site. “Callahan’s Big Date” is the second story and has everyone at the academy wanting Callahan to be their date at the Police Ball and Harris uses his power of being the one to select who enters the judo tournament to force a date from her, and when Mahoney and Jones tell her she should be herself on the date her power and skills scare Harris away and the date to the ball is cancelled and she still ends up being able to compete in the judo tournament.

This issue’s main story has Officer Sweetchuck being a big comic book reader who gets to live his dream of becoming a superhero as well as working on a move set that is based on his favorite comic superhero! And he gets to also along the way stop a crime that has a crooked man strong-arming a builder into having to buy a ton of concrete. And in the end Sweetchuck learns that cops are the true heroes and his new favorite hero is himself after he and his fellow officers really save the day. The second story is all about Harris being taught a lesson when he tries to bribe Callahan into being his date for a big ball, that is until he sees that she is not a Barbie doll and is a super strong woman that scares him with her fighting skills as well as weightlifting feats. While Harris is a scummy officer the issues main bad guy is the Concrete seller who is trying to force people to buy more than they need for construction work. Sweetchuck and Callahan are the two officers that get their time in the spotlight and Mahoney this time while around is not the main focus and that is a nice change of pace. The cover for this issue is fun and while not great is surly cool for a kid’s comic, and as always the interior artwork by Howard Post is good stuff for this style of comic. Over all a good issue that brings a few laughs and none threatening baddies.

Police Academy Animated Comic 6

Police Academy # 6  **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Price $1.00     Marvel     # 6 of 6

The police van has broken down in front of a castle and when Mahoney and his fellow officers meet the owner they soon find that they are in the middle of a war as the former owners the Von Sluggs want it back and are using all types of weapons to attack from cannons to tanks and this has became dangerous for everyone involved. But when Mahoney decides that they are going to defend that castle the officers dress like knights and find ways to stop the attack. And it’s House that ends the war when he by accident is thrown from a catapult and brings down the helicopter that King Von Slugg was in, and they family surrenders. In the end the Von Slugg family are asked to live back in the castle and to give up their acts of war and are introduced to video games to get out their aggression. The second story is “Fast Company” has Mahoney being a terrible driver as he has wrecked many police cars over the weeks as he is ogling female officers and drives wreckless. Harris takes away Mahoney’s cruiser privileges and he is forced to use a super fast skateboard and of course he uses this to stop a car thief, and in the end Mahoney understands he drives everything to fast and buys himself an old car that only goes 30mph!

This sixth issue in the Police Academy comic series is also the final issue in the series, and clearly it was not suppose to be the final issue as a seventh issue is advertised in this issue and I would guess that maybe low sales is what did this Star Comics/Marvel Comics series in. The main story of this final issue has Mahoney and the officers fighting off a family who want to take over a castle that they have sold and are war hungry to get it back. And the second issue is about Mahoney wrecking cars and using a skateboard to stop a crime, when really the story is Mahoney is a sleazebag and harasses female officers and drives like a drunk person in order to catcall them. I do like in the first story House decides to order pizza during the battle as he is hungry, and when the delivery man is attacked and drops the pizza he goes out and ends the war so that he can eat. Both stories are ok and entertaining and do a pretty good job of bring a kids comic that captures the cartoon it was based on. While Mahoney and Jones get most of the attention throughout this series House, Sweetchuck, House, Callahan, Lassard, Zed and Harris get some stories while I think Hooks, Hightower and Tackleberry are very much underused and that’s a shame. And while some of the stories are better then the others I do find that over all they are fitting and deliver fun situations for Mahoney and the officers to solve and stop and this surly entertained young readers who enjoyed the cartoon. But while the stories are good they sometimes are way to simple and even at times flaws are all over them with even skin color of characters changing from panel to panel. The interior art work by Howard Post is good while very simple captures that perfect style of art that was used at the time for so many kids comics. The cover for the final issue is ok and has the officer dressed as knights on the castle. To sum this up the Police Academy comic series that was based on the cartoon was pretty good and did a good job of bringing the comic versions of these characters to the pages of a very kid friendly series that brought the humor side of law enforcement to readers. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style of Post used in this series.

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Who would have ever thought that the 1984 comedy film Police Academy would have spawned a cartoon that would in turn spawn toys and a comic book series. And it’s also great that while all outside branding of this series says Marvel Comics inside its clear that this was a Star Comics release and I really do wish that Marvel would have ran with the Star brand for longer then they did as so many cartoons and toys could have gotten the comic book treatment. While the Police Academy cartoon was never super popular in my friend circle it still did make it’s mark in the world of 80’s cartoons and this update was a lot of fun to do for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary as growing up the brand Police Academy was big for me growing up. But for our next update we will be leaving the police academy and will be heading into our July 4th update that will feature the America Hero known as G.I. Zombie released by DC Comics. So until next time read a Star Comic or three, watch a classic cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some fireworks, grilled food and of course a DC Horror undead monster.

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The Wacky Comic World Of Daffy Duck

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and the 10 Year Celebration of this blog! On May 5, 2015 I took a look at Bugs Bunny and called him “The King Of Saturday Morning Cartoons” and pointed out how he was the most popular and recognizable Looney Tune character, but if Bugs is the King then our next character would be the Jester as his antics and crazy nature made him a hit for me and my brother who both loved watching his cartoons…and I am talking about the one and only Daffy Duck! I know that it’s Easter Bunny season and not Duck season, but what better way to celebrate this holiday time than to cover a true icon in the world of classic cartoons and one that will surely make you month a little better. So as you find a comfy place to sit and enjoy this blog update, let’s get crazy with Daffy!

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Daffy Duck made his debut in the Porky Pig cartoon “Porky’s Duck Hunt” that was seen on April 17, 1937.  In the toon Daffy was a no-name character but got viewers’ attention as his aggressive and zany attitude brought something fresh and new for the time and he became a favorite of many viewers. Early Daffy Duck was really crazy, a total loon who would bounce off the walls and laugh like a mad man all the while getting laughs from viewers and annoying his target in the toon.  He became the subject of many discussions of viewers and Daffy quickly became one of the top characters in the Looney Tune universe. Over the years Daffy Duck went from crazy to snarky and became very short tempered and would even become a frenemy of Bugs Bunny as who can forget the “Duck Season…Rabbit Season” bit! Warner Brothers knew that Daffy Duck was something special and to this day feature him in many cartoons, merchandise and even feature length movies like Space Jam 2 that was released in 2021. The term “screwball character” was termed after Daffy who was the first of the kind and started a trend of character that followed his personality and tropes. Daffy was so well liked by fans that he became one of the must watch cartoons and would rival the popularity of many other characters of his time like Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop. And even in 2019 website ScreenRant ranked Daffy Duck as # 1 in their Top 10 list of Funniest Looney Tune characters. Daffy Duck was created by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett and has had many voice actors as well as cartoon makers help flesh out the character and make him the icon he is to this day. Say what you will, but we all know that Daffy Duck is a true icon of cartoons and over the decades has made so many viewers lived just a little bit more silly and fun.

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The main voice of Daffy Duck during my childhood was the iconic voice actor Mel Blanc who created the characters iconic lisp as well as sarcastic tone and line delivery. Mel is considered one of the biggest icons in voice work in the early days of cartoons as he lent his voice to many iconic characters like Looney Tune ones like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales and Sylvester to name a few. And non-Looney Tunes characters include Flattop, Tom & Jerry, Barney Rubble and Speed Buggy to name a few. Mel would voice Daffy Duck from 1937 to 1989, the year that he passed away. And after Mel’s passing, three different voice actors would voice Daffy off and on through the years during my childhood with one being Jeff Bergman and the other two being Joe Alaskey and at a lesser level Greg Burson. And in modern times Eric Bauza has been the voice behind the Duck. And with all respect to those who followed him, let’s be honest, Mel Blanc is the amazing voice actor who made Daffy Duck the zany character we all love to this day.

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Like all great cartoon characters, Daffy Duck has had his fair share of amazing merchandise for fans of all ages to collect and I as a kid was one of those fans who owned lots of cool Daffy stuff! Over the many years of the character, such items as books, comics, shirts, dolls, toys, posters, magazines, statues, trading cards, Music, Home Media, drinking glasses, video games, hats, Shoes, Erasers, Buttons, Pins, Watches, Candy, cups, jars, stamps, socks, towels, Halloween costumes, necklaces, night lights and so much more were made. If you are a Daffy fan and have any need for an item you can find it as there are also Daffy Duck toothbrushes! Growing up some of my favorite things that I owned that featured Daffy Duck besides the comic books was an old plush doll that I had when I was super young, an old Pepsi glass that as a kid I can remember drinking Kool-Aid and chocolate milk from, a McDonalds Happy Meal Toy that had Daffy Duck as Batman and lastly an eraser of Daffy’s head that was for your pencil that I got from school in Waynesville! Daffy is awesome and has some very cool items for fans, and I for one am still a Daffy fan and have many of his items in my collection.

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Growing up I would watch Daffy Duck on Saturday Mornings via old reruns of Looney Tunes on TV and also would watch them via home media on Beta and VHS that we would rent from the library or even would buy them from a dollar store that use to stock all types of cheap VHS tapes that featured cartoons as well as silent horror movies. I would raid that section and would buy everything that I would enjoy or ever wanted to see. There was always something very special about watching Looney Tunes and for both my brother and I, some of our favorite ones to view featured Daffy Duck as we loved his crazy laugh, his bouncing around, his sarcastic attitude, his Duck Dogers persona and so much more that made him so fantastic and one of the top cartoon characters in our household. Also we would find ourselves reading Daffy Duck comics and even as a kid I can remember my brother reading the comics out loud to me and even doing goofy voices to go along with it.  It was almost like a story time. But now I am off subject and I really just wanted to share my memories of old Daffy VHS tapes and how when growing up I used to watch them all the time as I would always find myself laughing when watching him act like a total nut job! And I am sure many of you reading this blog have very similar memories of watching your favorite cartoon characters on owned or rented VHS tapes.

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One Daffy Duck cartoon that was amazing was from 1988 and was called “The Night Of The Living Duck” that has Daffy reading a horror comic book called Hideous Tales # 176 that ends of a cliffhanger and when he goes to find the next issue a clock falls and hits him in the head, and when knocked out he thinks he is a singer at a club that is filled with many classic monsters like Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Fly, Leatherface, The Mummy, Creature From The Black Lagoon and The Blob to name a few. And after being attacked by the Godzilla inspired Smogzilla in his dream world he wakes up and finds his issue of the horror comic. And for a Monster Kid like myself seeing Daffy Duck sing to many classic monsters of the movies was really awesome to see as who would ever guess that Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame would appear in a Looney Tunes cartoon! And seeing the Universal Monsters being sung to by a sauvé Daffy is very surreal and was something that I never would have thought could have happened in the world of Looney Tunes. The animation is great in this episode and really makes me wish that Warner Brothers would have made animated monster movies as it would have been great to see classic monsters get the animated treatment. So if you love classic movie monsters as well as Looney Tunes cartoons make sure to track this one down and give it a watch.

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Well now that we have taken a trip down memory lane and talked about Daffy Duck and all the elements that have made him a cartoon icon, I think we are at the point of this review that we take a look at the comics I own of him and have selected the comics from Gold Key and Whitman to cover. I want to thank several stores for having these in stock like Bell, Book and Comic, Game Swap Kettering and Mavericks Cards And Comics as well as Mom Young for having these issues for me to buy and make this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s get wacky and silly with Daffy Duck!

Daffy Duck 83 Comic

Daffy Duck # 83  ***
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 83 of 145

“High And Flighty” The Road Runner and his fellow birds are running from Wile E. Coyote and they run through the sidewalk that Daffy Duck was making and the job goes south with footprints and Daffy looses his job. Road Runner feels bad and sets up a new job for Daffy that has him trying to help Wile capture them, and of course all goes wrong. “Ego-Tripped” has Daffy Duck a host of a late night talk show along side Elmer Fudd and they have many guests that night Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester Cat and Petunia Pig and the topic is how after the cartoons end that they are all friends and this turns bad real quick as all of the Looney Tunes characters start arguing over who is the best on their shows and even leads to a end chase of Elmer trying to capture Daffy for his harsh words on the way Elmer speaks. “Dough Nuts” has Daffy Duck owning a bakery and he ends up getting Clovis Cat as a helper who is the cousin of Sylvester and he causes so many issues as he is kind of silly and ruins many orders, but he does end up stopping a robbery. “Stamp Scamp” has Daffy by accident letting one of Elmer Fudds high priced stamp blow out the window and the two have a wild chase to try and get it back, only for it to be a cheap stamp instead as Elmer was wrong on the price.

This issue has lots of guest stars and Daffy while the main attraction can kind of be lost in the shuffle when it comes to each little segments plot as sometimes the likes of Road Runner and other steal a little of the spotlight. And because of the guests and Daffy antics this is a better than average read! All four stories are really good with my favorite one being “Dough Nuts” as I enjoyed the fact that Daffy owned a bakery and was making cakes and hired a goofball cat who stumbles around ruining all his business and making customers mad. When picking my least favorite it was hard but I guess I would have to choose “High And Flighty” as it was just kind of a one joke story that had Daffy always taking a break when trying to capture Road Runner when the Runner would make a whistle noise. But with that said seeing Daffy on the payroll of Wile E. Coyote was really cool. The cover is cool and like a broken record him in the birdbath never happens in the comic. The art by Unknown Artist is really good and I like the way he drew Wile E. Coyote as well as Clovis Cat and of course Daffy and the rest look great. Over all a good read and a cool kids comic based on an amazing cartoon character and series!

Daffy Duck 86 Comic

Daffy Duck # 86  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 86 of 145

“Dr. Elmer And Mr. Fudd” Daffy Duck is babysitting a young duck who wants to hear a spooky story before bed so Daffy makes one up about Elmer Fudd being a mad scientist who makes a formula that turns a mouse into a raging monster and he as well takes the formula and turns into a monster and torments the village and its up to Daffy in the story to save the day when he follows Fudd into a warehouse that the big mouse is in and they two fight. After the story the young duck puts on a Halloween mask and scares Daffy who runs out of the house. “The Duck Who Came To Dinner” The Tasmanian Devil is locked up behind bars at a zoo and Daffy goes to mock him, but soon Taz traps Daffy in the cage and as well when Daffy escapes Taz follows as he wants to eat duck for lunch! Daffy ends up tricking and knocking Taz out and leaves the country quick to be away from Taz once and for all only to find himself stuck in Tasmania! “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” Daffy Duck is jobless and decides that he wants to take the job of Foghorn Leghorn as the rooster of the farm and does his best to set up Foghorn so that the farmer will fire him! Once Foghorn is fired Daffy takes the rooster job, but is soon found out by The Farmer and Foghorn who end up giving Daffy a new job on the far and that’s the top of the weather vein! “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” Daffy has made a formula that grows hair and his fellow ducks make fun of him as they doubt that it works, and when Daffy finds Elmer he tries to use the formula on his bold head and Elmer runs away and as Daffy gives chase he is attacked by a hawk it leaves Daffy featherless and when his formula falls on him Daffy becomes a duck covered in hair and must return to the drawing board to make a formula that will grow feathers.

This is an action packed issue when it comes to guest cameos as joining Daffy Duck in this issue is Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn and Petunia Pig and each add fun moments to the stories they are in. This issue has the normal four stories and each of them bring their own styles of humor and put Daffy Duck in all types of situations that include him almost being eaten and even being a mad scientist! The kid friendly humor in this issue works really well and the best story for me in this issue is “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” as I like how Daffy is so lazy that he thinks that being a rooster would be easy work and gets Foghorn Leghorn fired, but of course his sneaky tactics blow up in his face. Plus besides Daffy being awesome in the story so is Leghorn who is in my Top 10 favorite Looney Tunes characters. My least favorite story in this issue is “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” as I found it very lackluster and the lamest in plot in story, but seeing Daffy covered in hair was a little funny. The cover is awesome and has Daffy lifting weights that are really balloons, and you guessed it this never happens in any of the stories. The artwork is great and is very cartoonish and looks like the cartoon characters on the comic pages and is done by Unknown Artist! A good issue for sure and I am looking forward to read more of these Daffy Duck comics.

Daffy Duck 92 Comic

Daffy Duck # 92  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Gold Key     # 92 of 145

“Duckula” Daffy Duck and Porky Pig are driving a pizza truck and it runs out of gas near a creepy castle as a storm blows in and the two end up having to stay the night in the castle as the owner Count Duckula invites them in, but soon Daffy and Porky find themselves on the dinner menu as Duckula is a vampire and his friend Engelbert is a werewolf! But before Daffy and Porky can be eaten Daffy comes up with a plan the leaves them safe and the two monsters big fans of Pizza. “A Rare Bird” Daffy is in a museum looking at dinosaurs when two professors spot him and see that he is a rare breed of duck and they want to capture him and taxidermy him to place on display! And Daffy must run for his life to escape them and the museum! “Movie Madness” has Daffy Duck trying to get into Warner Brothers Studios to be casted on the new Raquel Robin film that he learned about from Sylvester Cat and Porky Pig! But standing in his way is Elmer Fudd who is the new guard at the studio gate and is told no none employees are allowed in! So Daffy has to use his bag of tricks in order to get in and meet Robin. But Daffy becomes a hero when two cast members try and steal her jewelry and he almost goes into a date with Robin that us until Yosemite Sam scares him off by wearing a monster mask. “Stop, Look, And Duck!” has Daffy faking that he is a traffic officer in order to get into Elmer Fudds house to raid his refrigerator and eat all his food, but Daffy is followed by a hungry bank robber who also breaks in and wants all the food that Daffy is stealing! But thanks to Daffy’s traffic signs and his quick thinking the robber is caught and in the end the Police make him act as a traffic signal for borrowing the signs from the city junkyard.

Wow this was a really fun kids comic and had Daffy Duck in all types of different and zany adventures! Plus like before this issue does a great job of having fellow Looney Tunes characters guest star and that includes Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and Sylvester Cat and they all play off Daffy very well in each of the segments. And really after reading this issue I had a smile on my face as it was such a silly good time, I mean Warner Brothers Studios even appears and they even make a joke about the MGM lion! And when sitting back and having to pick the best and least favorite story in this issue it was super hard but I would say “Duckula” was my favorite as I love the spooky horror feel of it and it read like a classic kids haunted house with a vampire story. And picking the least is really hard as all the stories were good but I guess I would say “Stop, Look, And Duck!” is the weakest as it’s just a Daffy stops a robber story that we have read before and it seems to be a big idea that the comic makers had when writing Daffy stories. The cover is great and showcases Duckula and shockingly it does tie into a story in the comic and that’s rare! The art is good and done once more and like always when it comes to Gold Key Comics by an Unknown Artist, and like always its very good and the characters look like they should for the most part. To sum it up this is a great issue and one of the best this far I have read of any of the Looney Toon themed comics. So with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 98 Comic

Daffy Duck # 98  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Whitman     # 98 of 145

“Snowman’s Land” Daffy Duck travels to the Himalayan Mountains in order to find the Abominable Snowman to ask him how often he clips his toenails in order to get $2.00 from Elmer Fudd who asked him that question. But once he finds the Snowman he learns that he has been fired as people do not find him scary so he makes a deal with Daffy if he helps him get his job back he will tell him the answer to the toenail question. And after trying to teach the Snowman to be scary and failing, it’s the rescue of two lost kids that gets the Snowman his job back and also gets Daffy the answer to Fudd’s question and he gets his $2.00 that is owed! “Northern Exposure” Daffy is stuck outside in a blizzard and meets an Eskimo who has been sent out by his wife to hunt a duck so they can have it for dinner, the man has never seen a duck and Daffy leads him in wild goose chases and after the poor guy is almost killed by a whale, Daffy saves him and comes clean that he is a duck and he is instead invited to dinner and they all eat fish. “Rainbow Riot” in this one Daffy is playing in the rain and after the rain stops a rainbow appears and Daffy uses this to his advantage to try and trick a free meal out of Porky Pig by dressing up as a leprechaun and promising a pot of gold to Porky if he can make Daffy happy and makes him a big meal and makes a fool of himself. And after finding out that the leprechaun was really Daffy dressed up he rushes back to the end of the rainbow and shoves a pie in the face of a leprechaun that was not Daffy but a real one!

This is such a fun read and has Daffy Duck meet the Abominable Snowman, Tricking a Duck Hunter and even acting like a leprechaun in order to get a free meal. And this one like the issue before has a Horror Comic element to one of the stories and Daffy even dresses like Count Duckula at one point in order to try and teach Snowman how to be scary. And as I am sure you guessed my favorite story in this issue is Snowman’s Land as how great and silly is it that Daffy tries to teach the Snowman how to scare people in order to find out how often he clips his toenails…and the two become friends. The weakest story of the group is Rainbow Riot as its not a bad story just the weakest of the three as it was just kind of blah as its just Daffy being a terrible friend to Porky Pig who is this issues only Looney Tune cameo. The cover is great and showcases what happens in this comic and that’s a rare thing in these types of comics made by Gold Key/Whitman. The interior art for at least the first story (Snowman’s Land) is done by artist Joe Messerli and is good stuff and I like his kid friendly take on the Abominable Snowman. Over all a solid issue that showcases just how fun these Daffy Duck comics can be for readers of all ages.

Daffy Duck 104 Comic

Daffy Duck # 104  **1/2
Released in 1976     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 104 of 145

“Shopping Cart Caper” Art is a man who owns a grocery store who is having an issue with someone stealing all his shopping carts and making him having to buy more of them for his customers. Both Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd end up trying to help Art find who is stealing and after thinking its each other, they end up finding the real thief and it is the man selling Art the carts as he is stealing them with a magnet gun and then sells them back to the store. “Relatively Speaking” Elmer Fudd is really mad at Daffy who eats much of his food acting as a food inspector, and after being chased off Daffy returns to Elmer’s home with a train jumper who looks like Elmer and the two in order to get a free meal and a place to stay lie to Elmer and act as if this guy is a long lost cousin. But when Elmer figures this out as a lie after reading his family tree he chases the two out of his home with a gun and Daffy joins the fraud on rail riding as they jump on a train. “The Broccoli Bungle” Porky Pig is shocked and worried when he finds Daffy Duck talking to a piece of broccoli, and when asked about it Daffy acts as if Porky is rude and this causes Porky to go to the grocery store and buy some broccoli and talk to it! But it was all a big joke as Sylvester Cat bet Daffy that he could not trick Porky into talking to broccoli. In the end Porky is mad and chases Daffy around and the pair run into a cop and both have to serve public serves at a broccoli farm. “The Duck Bunch” Elmer Fudd goes to a cabin by the lake to relax, but soon his peace is shattered when Daffy and his duck friends rent the cabin next door and have a party…after being mad for a bit Elmer ends up partying with Daffy and the ducks.

This is an issue that I almost forgot I owned as I had gotten it from Mavericks Cards And Comics when I worked there and after moving this issue along with other comics was missed boxed and has sat at a friends house for many years, and by luck I found it just in time to be covered…and I have to say the issue is another above average read and brought Daffy Duck into four silly adventures with three of them being alongside Elmer Fudd! And also the issue has Porky Pig and Sylvester both making a cameo in a story making this one feel like a Daffy Team-Up issue, and thinking about it they should have done a DC Comics Presents and had Superman team with Daffy Duck at some point in the 70’s or early 80’s, a wasted opportunity if you ask me. The best story in this issue for me is The Broccoli Bungle as I love the idea of Daffy and Sylvester making a free lunch bet with each other on if they could trick Porky Pig into talking to a piece of Broccoli, like a harmless prank but also poor Porky as he seems to be the butt of the joke. My lest favorite story in this issue is The Duck Bunch, nothing wrong with this one just bland as it has Daffy and fellow ducks harassing Elmer Fudd. The cover is cool but like always has zero to do with the pages inside, speaking of interior pages the art is done by Unknown Artist and is good the only thing really off is the color of Sylvester’s noise that should be red but is blue. Over all a good issue that delivered some cheesy, silly, goofy Daffy Duck comic book laughs.

Daffy Duck 107 Comic

Daffy Duck # 107  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 107 of 145

“Knight For A Night” Daffy Duck is lost flying around and finds an island the rest out and also sees an ad for a Knight wanted at a round table and he rushes to apply for the job as he thinks there will be food on the round table, but soon finds out that the King indeed of the Knight is poor due to an evil knight named Gore Thor who is stealing all his food, and after some tricks Daffy chases off the evil knight and the King’s Kingdom gets its food and knights back. “The High-Flying Queep” Daffy is in the park when a scientist and his henchman grabs Daffy and put a tracker on his leg in order to track were he goes, and Daffy ends up flying away to a western town but his tracker messes with the towns only TV and Radio and causes the sheriff to miss the weather warning of a flash flood, but the flood ends up causing Daffy to find a band of counterfeiters and for his reward the town gives him a reward and Daffy decided to fly on a plan to Hawaii but the tracker is also messing with their radio! “The Mysterious Mr. Big” Daffy Duck gets a job to go to the scary castle of Dr. Frankenfritter with a big check from Mr. Big who wants to buy the doctors new mechanical dog! And after Daffy is chased around the castle by mechanical monsters he makes the deal and takes the dog to Mr. Big who turns out to be a small flea. “The Hitch-Piker” has Daffy Duck trying to get home when he tries to get a ride from Elmer Fudd who is not happy to see him, but after getting tired Fudd ends up allowing Daffy to travel with him and even drive the car. Daffy ends up speeding around the highway and is pulled over and after finding out Daffy does not have a drivers licenses he and Fudd end up in court and Daffy has to pay a fine and work community service for seven days and Fudd must pay a fee.

Another great Daffy Duck comic that has Daffy being crazy and goofy and once more shows that Daffy Duck is great in cartoons as well as comics and in this one he even meets robotic Frankenstein Monster’s as well as takes down a evil knight that has a great name like Gore Thor! And all of the four adventures in this comic is a great read and it will be hard to choose what I think is the best but if I have to I am going to go with The Hitch-Piker as I like the idea of Daffy trying to hitchhike home cause he is to lazy to fly and ends up getting Elmer Fudd into trouble with the law when he makes the mistake of picking up Daffy. And I cannot pick a bad one from this issue as I really did enjoy them all so I am going to select none for this issue! Yeah this will be my only get out of selecting a Bad One card for this update. I mean were else can you read about Daffy busting a counterfeit ring, buy an electric dog for a man named Mr. Big, was rude to a judge and got himself and Elmer in trouble and even becomes a Knight and does battle in order to get a free meal! Great eye catching cover with Daffy making ice cubes and the use of a purple background makes it standout. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is great as I like the designs he/they created for side characters like Gore Thor and the robotic monsters. Over all a top notch read and this far is one of the top three best I have read from this Daffy series.

Daffy Duck 122 Comic

Daffy Duck # 122  **
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key     # 122 of 145

“The Robot Robbery” Armchair Daffy is back on another case and this time while at a science fair a robot steals an invention that takes control of items and allows the person with the invention to control a selected object. And when Armchair Daffy goes after the crook his armchair is thrown around and Daffy uses a bowling ball to bring down the crook and the people at the fair upgrade his armchair to fly. “Ye Olde Time Machine” has Daffy at an amusement park and goes into a funhouse called the Time Machine that really is a time machine and takes him back in medieval times and Daffy as a knight takes down a dragon as well as the Fight Knight before finally being able to go back to his own time, and he runs away from the fun house and then spends his time riding kids rides. “Aerial Grease Monkey” has Daffy becoming an in air mechanic for plans in need, and it’s hard and fast work and after an emergency landing leaves him aching he changes jobs to work as a water mechanic for boats in order to sooth his aching wounds. “Water Follies” Elmer Fudd is getting ready for a bath when he finds that Daffy Duck is in the tub and tells him that he is going to stay awhile as the government is working on the swamp! Elmer chases Daffy our only to find him now soaking in the kitchen sink! Elmer gets Daffy out of his house and ends up sneaking back in and turning Elmer’s basement into a pool and invites other ducks over! In the end Elmer is even more mad when the swamp is moved next door to him and he has to see Daffy more.

In this Daffy Duck comic he has all types of weird adventures from using a bowling ball to bring down a crook, going back in time to bring down a dragon and an evil knight, fixing planes in air and even helping other ducks in a swamp have a place to swim! But while it’s an entertaining issue it’s also very bland and middle of the road compared to other issues we have read this far. While Daffy is as zany and silly as ever he just does not do anything that truly stands out here. The best story is “Ye Olde Time Machine” as I like the idea of Daffy Duck at an amusement park and stumbling into a real life time machine and finding himself in danger in medieval times! Plus his lucky ways of defeating a dragon and an evil knight is pure cartoon/comic book stuff. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “The Robot Robbery” and that’s sad to say as I think truly it is the weakest of any Armchair Daffy case we have read here this far. It was nice to see Elmer Fudd once more have a cameo and its great as in this issue he truly hates Daffy and it shows. The cover is good and has zero to do with any of the stories and the interior art by Unknown Artist is as good as always and helps add to the silly stories you are reading. Over all a very average read, but still a good one for the most part.

Daffy Duck 123 Comic

Daffy Duck # 123  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Whitman     # 123 of 145

“Tin Pan Daffy” Daffy and his trusty horse Deadpan are trying to travel around the Old West to sell pans and by accident they wake up a pair of thieves who steal Deadpan and go and rob the towns bank, but Daffy thinks quick and uses a pan to mock the sound of a rattle snake that scares Deadpan who throws the robbers and Daffy is then able to return the money to the bank. “Rude On The Tube” has Daffy Duck going to a TV station in order to help Petunia Pig on a cooking show, and while at first it goes bad as Daffy ruins the show, but when Petunia switches his role to a taste tester things go smooth. “Big Switcheroo” Armchair Daffy is on the case, but Slippery Sal has messed with the armchair and has switched it out with a fake chair that controlled by a controller. But when Daffy finds Sal’s hideout he is able to get his armchair back and also takes Sal down and brings him to jail. “Hot Tub Snub” Elmer Fudd has belt a hot tub in his backyard on his doctor’s orders in order to relax and like always Daffy Duck ruins it by wanting to also soak in the tub, and after tricking Elmer several times and getting into the tub Elmer ends up turning the tub into a jail cell and traps Daffy in it in order to finally find his peace.

This is another fun comic featuring the zany Looney Tune character Daffy Duck and has him as always annoying the heck out of Elmer Fudd as well as solving crimes in his armchair and selling pans in the west! And in this issue the only two Looney Tune character to appear are Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they both are used well and I really like the idea that Petunia Pig has a TV Cooking Show that has Daffy Duck as her assistant, imagine if this was a real show and Daffy would ruin the recipes as well as just shovel the food into his mouth. The best story in this issue is Rude On The Tube and is for the reasons I mentioned about as it really is a fun silly read. My least favorite is Big Switcheroo just a kind of un-interesting Armchair Daffy case that kind of puts along and has a payout that is kind of bland. The cover is good and has Daffy with pie on his face after he took a bite from one on Elmer’s window seal, and yep this never happens in the comic. The interior art done by Unknown Artist is good and I really like the way whom ever they are draws Daffy as well as Elmer Fudd. So with that let’s take a look at whats next for Daffy Duck in the next comic book.

Daffy Duck 124 Comic

Daffy Duck # 124  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 124 of 145

“Tasters Choice” At a small diner a newspaper editor is worried as his food critic just quit and he notices Daffy Duck eating a ton of food and giving reviews of it to the chef and the editor finds his new critic! Daffy does a great job at the start and travels around eating all types of food, but after awhile Daffy is getting fat and brings in Tasmanian Devil as his assistant to help eat the food and that goes wrong when Taz destroys the dinning room of a restaurant and this causes Daffy to be fired by the paper and chased by Taz who is still hungry and wants to eat Duck! “The Missing “Missing Persons” Person” Daffy as his Armchair Daffy crime solver persona gets a case that takes him to a boarding house to find a missing Officer as well as a boarder of the place, but when he gets there the chair can not enter the haunted room were the people have gone missing from! Once inside Daffy solves the case as the officer and boarder fell into the caller via a loose floorboard. “Duck Calls” Yosemite Sam has decided to give up on sea life and has built a cabin in the woods to get away from stress and sound, but Daffy Duck shows up and makes all types of noise and this causes Sam to try and stop him from doing so. And when his attempts fail to keep Daffy quite Sam just leaves his cabin to return to life at sea, and Daffy takes over the cabin and enjoys the quite life. “Meteor Hunt” a scientist forces Daffy Duck to help him hunt for a fallen meteor and instead of finding the falling space rock, Daffy ends up ruining a group of friends beach clam bake when he thinks it’s the meteor that smoldering in the sand and his chased off by the angry friends.

A solid Daffy Duck kids comic here that brings the reader four tales featuring Daffy being silly, hungry and just plan old crazy! It’s always nice to see a crime being solved by Armchair Daffy and this one is classic Horror Comedy stuff as the missing people have fall through the floor and are stuck in the locked cellar, I mean come on this could be the plot of a Don Knotts film. It also was cool to see other Looney Tune characters like Yosemite Sam and Tasmanian Devil as they help add to the stories they take apart in. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “Meteor Hunt” as it was just kind of bland and the pay out of Daffy ruining a clambake is kind of just lame even for kid friendly humor. Plus let’s be honest in that story Daffy is kidnapped and forced into help labor by a nut job scientist. But for me I would pick the story “Tasters Choice” as the best as I love the idea of Daffy Duck being a food critic for a big newspaper and eating like a slob and becoming fat and ends up on the dinner menu for Taz who Daffy was silly enough to bring in as his assistant to help eat and review the food. The art is great and like before done by an uncredited artist. The cover is cool and like most Looney Tune comics from Gold Key and Whitman what Daffy Duck is doing on the cover is nothing he does in the issue. Over all another great comic featuring Daffy and is a great read for fans of the character.

Daffy Duck 126 Comic

Daffy Duck # 126  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 126 of 145

“Artsy Daffy” Elmer Fudd is near a pond trying to paint the landscape and Daffy Duck will not leave him alone as he wants to be in the painting, and after harassing Elmer who gives in and paints Daffy who in turn is annoyed by the painting as he thinks its bad. But while walking home a man buys the painting of Daffy from Elmer for $10.00 and claims that paintings of ducks are rare. Daffy says he will let Elmer paint him only if he allows him to eat everything in his fridge, Elmer agrees and after Daffy eats everything Elmer rushes outside to try and sell all his new paintings to people who seem to have no interest. In the end we learn that Daffy Duck paid the guy to buy the painting from Elmer in order to eat all his food. “Breakfast Blahs” Daffy Duck becomes a spokesman for a breakfast cereal and his commercial helps sell the food to the masses, but he is also forced to only eat the cereal for every meal and to make sure he does just that the company even hires a man to follow and watch Daffy to make sure the cereal is his only meals. But Daffy is able to get out of his contract as he finds out the dirty secret of the owner of the cereal company and uses it against him…the secret is that he eats another brand of cereal for breakfast! “Swamp Swap” Daffy is upset as the lake is now filled with swimmers and fishermen and he decides to find a new place to relax and that is a near by swamp. Once at the swamp he finds Elmer Fudd is there and is fishing and the two go back and fourth as Daffy ends up stealing food and now has to work it off by steering the boat, but after an accident the boat sinks and Daffy has to pull Elmer on a raft while he still fishes. “Just Plumb Daffy” A stamp collection worth thousands of dollars is saved by Daffy Duck and his monkey assistant M.W as they are plumbers and by doing this they get a big front page article in the newspaper. A criminal tricks Daffy to help him break into a house and search pipes for a coin collection, but when Daffy figures it out he and M.W alert the homeowner and stop the theft.

Daffy Duck as always brings us four more zany tales of silliness and like all before is a good kid comic read that brings the Looney Tunes world to the comic pages, and I do need to say that I feel as if they do an alright job at doing so…but the characters like Daffy and the others also do not 100% feel and act like the cartoon versions as these ones are way more friendly and Daffy is far less crazy and is really more about eating lots of food. And with this being a kids comic Elmer Fudd does not have his trusty shotgun and does a lot of kicking when it comes to getting Daffy Duck out of his way. And it’s also odd while characters are annoyed with each other they all also come off as if they are friends. And that’s the one thing about these Looney Tunes comics from the 60’s and 70’s they really are good kid friendly reads with characters that most of us grew up watching and while its not 100% like the cartoons they have a very familiar feel that makes them very much enjoyable to read. My lest favorite story in this issue was a hard one to choose as I enjoyed them all but the weakest of the stories is “Breakfast Blahs” as while it is entertaining the payout at the end is weak of the boss eating another brand of cereal is his dark secret. My favorite from this issue is “Swamp Swap” as I like the idea of Daffy and Elmer on a swamp trying to fish and run into issue with a ranger as well as Daffy’s hungry that causes them wreck a boat! The art as always in this series is done by an Unknown Artist and its good classic kids comic art and they character look like they should. The cover is good and has Daffy annoying Elmer and this act at least happens in two of the stories, even if it’s not the same way shown on the cover. Over all a great read and any of these comics are must have stuff for fans of Daffy Duck and Looney Tunes in general.

Daffy Duck 136 Comic

Daffy Duck # 136  **1/2
Released in 1981      Cover Price .50      Whitman     # 136 of 145

“Demolition Duck” has Daffy Duck working for the demolition track as a janitor and after moping the floors in drivers dressing room the demolition derby champion trips and injures his back and Daffy is forced to take his place in the derby and wins it all. “Super Salesman” has Daffy selling Elmer Fudd a trick door that is suppose to scare unwanted guests away, and when Elmer buys it he chases off a game show worker that could have won him lots of money and of course Elmer is mad at Daffy! “Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma” has Armchair Daffy on a case when a Crime Boss goes after him for getting his gang all locked up, and he even messes with Daffy’s chair in order to get him out of the way so he can try and breakout his gang. But in the end it back fires and the chair ends up capturing Crime Boss and putting him behind bars. “Striking It Rich” Daffy sells out of pans in the Wild West due to a gold rush but a pair of robbers steal all of Daffy’s money as well as his donkey’s gold tooth! And both are not happy and once they find the robbers they get the money back and the donkey strikes gold and becomes super rich as due to his tooth he is sensitive to gold and that allows him to find it easy. “Ambition Nutrition” Daffy Duck is so lazy that his pond land is littered with trash and Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and Petunia Pig try and ask him to clean it up and they can not get him to do so, the three end up going to a local scientist who makes a salt that will motivate who ever eats it and after tricking Daffy into using the salt on hamburgers he uses to much and is super motivated that he cleans the pond and turns it into a tourist attraction! But it’s noisy and annoying for all the neighbors and once Daffy gets lazy again when the salt wears off and Elmer, Porky and Pentunia decide to clean the pond themselves as a motivated Daffy is dangerous.

Daffy Duck is still going strong as this is another fun issue that as always takes Daffy on so many zany adventures and has him involved in some goofy moments. Plus this issue brings on the cameos from other Looney Tunes characters like Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they are used well as neighbors and friends of Daffy who are annoyed with his laziness. The best story in this issue is Demolition Duck as I like the idea of Daffy by accident hurting the Demolition Derby champ and having to take his place in order for the fans not to riot and ends up beating a challenger as well as win the event! My least favorite story is sadly Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma as the Crime Boss of Crime Co. is cool but also the story of his capture and being a thorn very briefly in Daffy’s side just is a little weak and I hate that Armchair Daffy is the weakest story again. The cover of Daffy holding onto a flying toy is cool and eye catching but as always has zero to do with any of the stories inside the issue. The Unknown Artist interior art is good and like I have said before captures the characters pretty well. So with that lets get to the next issue and see what Daffy has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 137 Comic

Daffy Duck # 137  **1/2
Released in 1981     Cover Price .50    Whitman     # 137 of 145

“The Flying Detective” Armchair Daffy is back and this time is on the case of trying to stop a pair of thieves who have a flying car, and sadly the armchair can not keep up! So Daffy adds on wings and makes his armchair fly, but did not count on rain clouds that makes the armchair fall apart, but thanks to the springs from the chair Daffy bounces up and tags a ride with the car. And after shooting the robbers in the eyes with onion juice Daffy delivers them to the police. And in the end uses the reward money to rebuild his armchair this time with wings and an umbrella. “Eskimo Daffy” in this one Daffy is an ice cream man and an accident puts his igloo shaped cart into the water and people of the town think that he is from the North Pole and throw a big feast in his honor, but when his secret is exposed that he is just an ice cream man, Daffy is forced to run out of town and when doing so he and his cart crash into a limo that ends up saving the life of the Mayor as the rail sign was not working and the limo would have been smashed by the train! And Daffy then returns to the town as a hero and is selling tons of ice cream. “The Raindance Kid” has Daffy Duck as a pot and pan salesman in the old west and most towns are mad at him as his wagon makes all kinds of noise, but soon Daffy finds out that his banging of the pans causes rain and while in a town suffering from a drought he makes it rain and it will not stop and now the town wants him dead as the streets are flooding and the roofs are leaking! But when they soon find that the rain is causing gold to come up they forgive Daffy and end up buying all his pots and pans to capture the rain from the leaky roofs and to carry their gold. “Beaver Fever” has Yosemite Sam on the hunt for beavers as if he captures and kills them he can sell the fur for $30.00 each! So he sets some traps and Daffy Duck is here to save them as he uses Sam’s own trap against him and the beavers build a dame that sweeps his house away.

This Daffy Duck has four stories as well as two small one page gags given us a lot of Daffy for very small pocket change! Daffy in this issue once more is a duck of all trades as he is a rainmaker, an animal savior, an ice cream salesmen and a detective! The best story in this batch for me is The Raindance Kid as I like the idea of Daffy in the wild west and with his pans he is able to make it rain, very silly stuff and plus I am a fan of rain so Daffy being the bringer of it is silly funny to me. My least favorite is Beaver Fever just a middle of the road story and pretty gruesome for a kids comic ad Yosemite Sam wants to murder a whole family of beavers to skin them…pretty gross stuff for what is pretty much a light hearted comic issue. I also need to say I do enjoy reading the cases of Armchair Daffy as well as he is like a very lazy version of Sherlock Holmes, but yet is also very inventive when using his chair and making upgrades and repairs to it. Interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is good as always, and the cover is good and kind of at least fits the Wild West feel of one of the stories. Over all a great issue in the Daffy Duck comic series and had many enjoyable tales to share.

Daffy Duck 139 Comic

Daffy Duck # 139  **1/2
Released in 1982     Cover Price .60      Whitman     # 139 of 145

“The Missing Moosehead” Armchair Daffy gets a case that takes him to a mansion where a mounted moosehead as well as a late night snack has gone missing! And as the owner goes to sleep Daffy sits guard and ends up finding a secret door and that the previous owner of the house is living in the walls as he is sad to have lost him mansion. In the end the new owner allows the old owner to live in the mansion as well and Daffy takes the moose head as payment. “The Clang-Bang Day” Tin Pan Daffy is arrested for all the noise his pots and pans are making as this old west town likes it quite, but also thrown into jail is a banker who has been stealing and hiding money from the safe. A pair of crooks bust Daffy out of jail thinking he is the banker and force him to show them were the money is hidden, and after leading them around he ends up using his pots to capture them and also uses the noise of his wares to annoy the banker who tells them were the money is hidden and leaves the town a hero. “Airmail Mallard” Elmer Fudd hires Daffy to deliver a poem to the wrong lady and after a second try he looses the letter and ends up writing a bad poem that coasts Elmer a date! But it works out for Elmer when he wins a free trip and Daffy is then paid to house sit and while there can eat all the food in the refrigerator. “Migration Tribulation” Daffy is flying across the ocean and is getting tired when he gets involved in hijinks as two pirates are in a sub and Yosemite Sam is on his ship hunting whales. But in the end Daffy gets both ships sunk and uses the sail to glade across the ocean. “Deputy Daffy” in this adventure Daffy becomes a Junior Deputy and annoys the town as well as Elmer Fudd, but when Fudd is robbed its Daffy who stops the crook and by the end Daffy becomes a Detective.

Well this is the final issue of Daffy Duck I have and I must say that this issue as well as all the others covered here on this update are just as fun as I remember them being from my youth growing up reading them. The thing about Daffy Duck as well as all the other Looney Tune characters is that they make great comic book characters as well and that is why they still make comic appearances from time to time as Warner Brothers and DC Comics both seem to agree. In these Gold Key and Whitman Comics they do a pretty good job of capturing the nature of Daffy from the cartoons but they do play down is zany crazy nature and add more of a food obsession to him and I get it as the comics needed to be a little more simple for young readers. And while Daffy is different from cartoon to comic he still is very much fun. The best story in this issue has to be The Missing Moosehead as this Armchair Daffy adventure is silly and has a haunted house feel and seeing the panel of Daffy zooming around the mansion in his armchair was great stuff. My least favorite story in this issue is Migration Tribulation as the story is weak, the payout bland and is a short filler story for sure. The cover is very cool on this issue and has Daffy being fired out of a circus cannon and he is scaring Elmer Fudd who is selling popcorn. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist again and is good stuff and fitting for this comic series and they do a good job of making all the Looney Tune Characters look like they should. Over all these Daffy Duck comics are great reads and if you are a fan of Daffy and enjoy reading comic books you should check these out as they are Daffy adventures that put him into more goofy situations than the cartoons ever did. Checkout the art below to see the work of the Unknown Artist and the style used to bring Daffy alive in these classic comics.

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Daffy Duck truly is one of my all time favorite Looney Tunes characters and while his comics are not 100% like the character they are still great reads that really made me flashback to being a kid and reading them when I was a youngster. And while these Daffy Duck comics might not be the most amazing cartoon based comics you will ever read, they are entertaining and bring Daffy into adventures the cartoons would not take him on, in fact almost all of the Dell/Gold Key/Whitman comics based on Looney Tune characters are worth reading. Showcasing Daffy Duck was a great way to spend one of Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary updates with as Daffy really was a big part of my life growing and needed to be apart of the fun. And our next update takes us into the world of Jack “The King” Kirby and his DC Comics creation The Sandman, one that should be a blast to talk about. So until next time, read a Looney Tune comics or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a chat in the dream world…or is that nightmare world.

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The World’s Greatest Detective: Inch High Private Eye

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, readers and friends. I think we need some help solving a case, you see this blog is 10 Years Old this year and we need a good update about a topic that I loved in my youth, something that always captured my imagination and had me glued to the TV when an episode was on. So in order to find this topic I decided to hire a detective or even a P.I. to help me find just the right topic to cover I called Dick Tracy, Batman, Sherlock Holmes and even Jonni Thunder, all of whom have gotten the Rotten Ink treatment over the years and none were available to help! But then I found a Private Eye, an Inch High one who not only helped me solve the case, but he became the case. That’s right, on this update we will be talking about the Hanna-Barbara cartoon character Inch High Private Eye! So let’s all become gumshoes, and let’s talk about a classic Private Eye that’s only an inch high that brought a young me so much entertainment via his cartoon.

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Inch High is a private investigator who took a very top-secret formula that shrunk him down to being only an inch high! Because of his tiny size, he can get the information about his subject for his client and it makes it so much easier for him to crack and solve cases. He is helped on his cases by his niece Lori, Gator and Braveheart the dog and works for The Finkerton Detective Agency for his boss Mr. Finkerton who dislikes him and keeps waiting for the day he can fire him! Inch High travels the world to solve cases and comes across all types of creeps, thieves and weirdos. Inch High would go onto be in episodes of “Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law” with his first appearance being in 2004 in an episode that has Inch High being fired over his size by Mr. Finkerton. He then hires Harvey, and they file a lawsuit about size discrimination. After that episode Inch High is shown around the office and is mostly getting tormented or squashed. Inch High also is a character on the HBOmax series Jellystone! that has many of the Hanna-Barbara characters living in the same town. So while he might not have had the fame of Yogi Bear or Scooby-Doo, Inch High Private Eye has made his mark on the world of cartoon and the world is a better place for it.

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Back in the 60’s and 70’s, one of the biggest cartoon companies was Hanna-Barbera Productions as they delivered so many now iconic characters to viewers like Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Wally Gator, Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Johnny Quest to name a very small amount. TV stations needed more and more cartoons as the youth of the time flocked to their televisions to watch the newest toon to grace their screens, and on NBC starting on September 8, 1973 they got treated to Hanna-Barbera Productions newest creation called Inch High Private Eye! The show cast Lennie Weinrib to voice Inch Eye, a skilled voice actor who is known for lending his pipes to such characters as H.R. Pufnstuf, Scrappy-Doo, Gomez Addams, Stanley Chan and Grimace for McDonalds commercials. Rounding out the main voice cast is Kathy Gori, Don Messick, Bob Luttrell and John Stephenson. The show was met with mixed reviews at the time of release with many kids enjoying it, but it did not capture that must-watch TV status and only lasted 13 episodes and was cancelled by NBC on December 1, 1973. When the show ended, it would be dormant for many years until the 1980’s when the show started to air again as part of the USA Cartoon Express on the USA Network. This is how I first saw the show and became a fan. Inch High Private Eye then would go on to be shown on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, gaining the show even more of a cult following. The series would be released as apart of Warner Brothers disc on demand releases that were based on the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons. While Inch High Private Eye is not as well known or loved as many other cartoons from the 70’s, it is one that you should check out if you have never seen it.

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Because the show was very short lived, not much merchandise was created around Inch High for fans to collect, and that’s a shame as even to this day with his cult following he still does not get much. Besides the comic book appearance for Fun-In Comics he also got some drinking glasses, a metal lunchbox, pellet gun toy as well as over the years has graced art prints, buttons, shirts and stickers. The show also has had episodes released on VHS and the complete series on DVD. It’s odd to me that he has not gotten the Funko Pop treatment yet as well as did not get at least one official figure over the years. I own the comic and the DVD and would like to at some point get a cool t-shirt of him.

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When I was growing up, cartoons were always a big topic on the playground, as kids would always talk about the newest episodes of their favorite ones and would even make up stories that featured their favorite cartoon characters. In Waynesville I can remember that lots of kids loved the old Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbra cartoons with names like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, Daffy Duck and Tasmanian Devil being super popular ones. It’s a shame that kids don’t get Saturday Morning Cartoons or after school toons any more like we had in the 80’s and 90’s…but I guess they have so many more all day cartoon networks to watch now as well as streaming services so what do I know. I want to thank an Ebay seller for having this comic in stock and want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, their entertainment value and their art and story. I also want to say that Inch High Private Eye was part of a comic series called “Fun-In” that showcased a different Hanna-Barbera character in each issue, and sadly he was only showcased on one issue! But if you are ready, let’s go on some cases with Inch High and Whitman Comics!

Fun-In Comic 14

Fun-In # 14  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .25     Whitman     # 14 of 15

“The Fashion Rustlers”- Inch High is mad at his boss Mr. Finkerton who is asleep in his office demanding that Inch High hit the streets and get the company some cases.  He then decides to go to the beach with Lori and Gator as Lori is excited to show the world her one of a kind bikini she bought from fashion designer Pierre LeFlair, but it’s not one of kind as the whole beach is filled with young ladies wearing it, and Inch Eye has a case of fashion robbery to solve as is Pierre a conman or is someone stealing is designs and selling them at discount stores. The Toy Department Manger and a man named Martin are working for the ones stealing the designs and selling them at mass market. Inch Eye is able to take down Martin and the Toy Manager and finds the Boss who is stealing the designs and brings him down by using cloth and a sewing machine. “Gives Crime –Co A Black-Eye” – Inch High notices that Lori is missing from the office, and he and Gator go to her apartment to find her not inside and signs of a struggle are all around, along with the help of trusty dog Braveheart they follow her scent and find her tied up and being held captive by Crime-Co who all rush out and think they have stomped Inch High to death! But in reality Inch High follows them to their hideout and uses Judo to take some of the bad guys out and just as Lori and Gator show up out front, Inch jumps from the window riding a paper airplane and has Gator use a sewer grate to block the door and hold the criminals inside until the police show up.

This is a fun kids comic based on the cartoon that has Inch Eye Private Eye in two adventures that have him stop crime as well as theft and all the while use his judo on those who cross his tiny path. The first case has him solving fashion theft and the second has him bringing down a crime syndicate that put a hit on him. Inch Eye in this comic is confidante and has great ideas to bring down crime, he also is skilled at fighting as he uses judo to throw around the bigger foes and can use his charm on the ladies to get answers. Inch Eye also uses his size to solve cases and is able to get into areas that others cant. Gator and Braveheart are around and add some needed muscle and tracking to the Private Eye team. Lori who is Inch Eye’s niece and secretary is also very helpful on trying to solve the cases, but I am pretty sure who ever wrote this comic had never seen an episode as at one point they do a cheesy proposal gag between Lori and Inch Eye…and as a reader I was like they are related and this is gross. The bad guys are very cookie cutter and are super easily beat and that’s fitting for a comic based on a Saturday Morning Cartoon. The stories have a good flow and build the case and then have a fun wrap up ending that has Inch Eye solving the case. But I will also say that I think modern readers who are not a fan of Inch Eye or even grew up watching the cartoon might find the comic a little boring cause its not your normal high action kids comics that we have today. The cover is great and very 70’s Whitman style and captures the mood and style of Inch Eye. The interior art is done by an unknown artist and is great stuff and looks just like the cartoon, so who ever did the art should be proud of themselves for doing it right. Over all this comic does a great job of capturing the over all look and vibe of the cartoon with only one hic-up being the weird Lori having a crush on Inch Eye thing. I would say if you watch or watched Inch Eye Private Eye you should check this comic out as I feel you would really enjoy it. Check out the art below to see the style used in this comic.

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Inch High Private Eye was one of my favorite classic characters in the world that William Hanna and Joe Barbara created, and while he is not my top favorite, he definitely is in my Top 20 from them! For those wondering, Yogi Bear is my top Hanna-Barbara cartoon character with Scooby-Doo, Blue Falcon and Huckleberry Hound all being super high as well on my list. Well now that this Update Case is over we will be leaving the office of Inch High and will be heading to back to Skull Island as we have to cover Godzilla vs. Kong and the two graphic novels based on the Titans! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for some Kaiju destruction.

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American Hero: Bob Belcher

Every year here on Rotten Ink, we take a break from our cook-outs and fireworks to honor an American hero for our Independence Day update, and this year is no exception.  Hi everyone! It’s Juliet, back in the blogger’s seat to tell you about an all-American hero of TV and comics; he’s a humble man, a burger man.  That’s right, this year we’ll be spending the Fourth of July with Bob and the entire Belcher family 

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Known for his work on celebrated animated shows Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and Home Movies, Loren Bouchard created Bob’s Burgers to fit into Fox’s animation brand in the mid 2000s, the most successful shows of the time focusing on families. He teamed with King of the Hill writer and producer Jim Dauterive to develop the concept with the aim of showing being able to explore some workplace comedy tropes while keeping with the family theme.  There was one aspect of the original concept, however, that only made it into the finished product as a joke:  Bouchard actually wanted the Belcher family to be cannibals, something that gets used as a plot device in the pilot episode but only in the form of a rumor Louise starts at school.  Another switch is that there were originally two Belcher sons, but before production began, Daniel became Tina and given her popularity, that was most definitely the right choice.  

Bob’s Burgers premiered on Fox in 2011 on Fox with a special preview airing the prior Thanksgiving on the network.  The first season was met with shaky reception, but really found its stride with critics by the second season.  In 2017, Fox announced the development of a Bob’s Burgers, which, as many fans (myself included) rightly guess, would be a musical.  However, we’re still waiting to see this movie because several things happened: in 2019, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, which wasn’t initially going to interfere with the film’s slated summer 2020 release, but then the coronavirus pandemic happened.  Like so many films, the Bob’s Burgers movie shifted around the release schedule for a while when it wasn’t certain when movie theaters would be safely reopened (and moviegoers would feel safe visiting).  Right now, it’s been delayed indefinitely, which I’m hoping is just a product of the studios having to completely redo essentially two years of release schedules.  It’s still super disappointing, though. 

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Despite being told by numerous people that I’d like Bob’s Burgers, it took me several years to give the show a try.  In fact I was rather stubbornly set on not watching because I was convinced that it was yet another show trying to be a Family Guy clone (and that’s unappealing because I’m NOT a fan of Family Guy), but what I learned is that it’s quite the opposite.  Somehow Matt convinced me to give Bob’s Burgers a try….or maybe he just put an episode on in the hopes I’d sit down and watch it, which I did, and I absolutely loved it.  In addition to being very dryly funny a lot of the time, Bob’s Burgers appeals to me because all of the characters are genuinely good people that are trying hard (even though they sometimes fail epically).  The family feels like an actual family — totally quirky but absolutely ready and able to have each other’s backs no matter what.  Unlike so many other animated and live action shows, Bob isn’t a lazy, bumbling idiot who somehow impossibly has a fairly cushy job; we get to see him as a businessman who genuinely cares about what he does (sometimes a little too much).  And then there’s Tina, who is me and I am her. It’s so great to see an utterly dorky teenage girl who isn’t a punching bag.  In fact, her family celebrates and affirms the fact that she’s into horses, writes erotic friend fiction (one of my absolute favorite details about her) and is boy crazy.  The show also has some amazing side characters from Teddy to twins Andy and Ollie to Marshmallow, who could easily be the butt of every joke as a Black trans woman but is instead celebrated and admired.  So despite my initial hesitation, Bob’s Burgers has become one of my favorite shows.  It’s utterly hilarious and is one that I both look forward to new episodes and can rewatch over and over again.  

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As Bob’s Burgers has increased in popularity and become more universally well-known, naturally, there’s been an explosion of merchandise.  The show is available on DVD (the early seasons were given proper retail releases with the latter seasons being released as “on-demand” DVDs available through Amazon).  You’ll see the Belcher family on a variety of shirts, hoodies, socks (yes, I’m the proud owner of Tina Belcher socks) and even an amazing pair of high-top sneakers made by DC Shoes.  There are Bob’s Burgers coffee mugs, a full set of Funko Pops and a variety of board games including Clue and Trivial Pursuit.  Two soundtrack albums have been released along with an awesome cookbook, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book and its smaller companion The Bob’s Burgers Burger Box.  Check out the image below for a look at some of my Bob’s Burgers collection.

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In the summer of 2014, Dynamite Entertainment began releasing a short-run series of Bob’s Burgers anthology comics.  Each issue would follow a formula with stories and features led by/highlighting each member of the Belcher Family.  That series lasted five issues, but fans wouldn’t have to wait long for more as Dynamite released a special Bob’s Burgers issue for Free Comic Book Day 2015.  That was immediately followed by another short-run (7 issue) series that began in July 2015.  Dynamite would also continue releasing Bob’s Burgers issues for Free Comic Book Day through 2019, and I can’t help but wonder if both the coronavirus pandemic and the Disney acquisition, both of which also delayed the movie, caused the delay of further comics.  Hopefully we’ll see more Bob’s Burgers comics (and the movie!!) from Dynamite, or perhaps even Marvel, in the future. 

Today on the blog we’re going to look at that first series of Bob’s Burgers comics released by Dynamite.  Matt and I have had our copies for quite a while, but I think the majority of them came from Bell, Book and Comic here in Dayton.  As a reminder, here on Rotten Ink we grade comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and are looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, their entertainment value and their art and story. So grab another Hit Me With Your Best Shallot Burger and get another helping of fries (NOT sweet potato fries though, as according to Bob, they’re not real fries) and let’s visit Ocean Avenue and get a booth at our favorite family-owned restaurant.

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Bob’s Burgers #1  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite    #1 of 5

This anthology comic features the following stories:

Tina’s Erotic friend Fiction Presents: My So-Called Life as a Horse showcases Tina as “a horse in a people world,” going to school and spending time with her human family.  However, Tina Belcher the horse aka Tinasus Belcher has a secret life as a member of the Equestranauts, and the team needs her as their secret weapon against the evil Xander, who’s stolen the Electric Leash of Doom, retrofitted to control horses. 

Burger of the Day Ideas: TV Catch Phrase Burgers & Hits of the 80s Burgers brings us a pun-tastic look at possibilities to grace the famed Burger of the Day board. I think some of these did actually make into the later years of the show

Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities: takes on Picture Day as Louise tries to avoid having her brain stolen by an alleged alien photographer.

Letters From Linda: this one-pager features a modest proposal from Linda about a new wine pairing system: pairing the quantity of wine with an activity.

Gene Belcher Presents: The Boy in the Burger, a Musical: After Gene passes out from hocking samples in his burger suit on a hot day, the suit fuses to his body. Unsure of what his life will be as a burger boy, Gene disappears into the suit ala a turtle until a wintery day when his sisters need help for some snow fun.

Each member of the Belcher family gets to shine in this inaugural issue of the Bob’s Burgers comic with the kids getting longer stories and Bob and Linda each getting a one-pager.  I think this formula works well though I’d love to see Bob and Linda get featured just a tad more in future issues.  Tina’s story was, perhaps predictably, my favorite of this issue because I felt that of all stories, it was the closest to something you’d see on the actual show.  That’s not to say, however, that others weren’t good.  The entire comic is extremely well-done, and the fact that writers from the show worked on this really shows in terms of the quality of each section and the attention to getting each character’s voice spot-on.  The interior artwork also fits with the look and feel of the show, making this a quick, fun read for fans.  The exterior covers (there are several variants) get a little more experimental in terms of style, but keep the spirit of and vibe of the Belchers while being very eye catching. A special bonus for this first issue were some joke ads for businesses in the show, and a cut-out that would allow you to recreate the Bob’s Burgers Food Truck from season two.

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Bob’s Burgers #2  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   # 2 of 5

Following the same formula as issue 1, we get 3 main stories from the kids and one page features from Bob and Linda.  The book opens with Battleship Galac-Tina, another installment of Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction Presents that features Tina as the admiral of a starship during a robot war.  After an epic space battle, a robot hostage helps teach Tina and the rest of humanity how to dance.  Louise seeks out a fellow history book defacer in Louise’s Legacy and ends up discovering that her unseen partner in crime was librarian Mr. Ambrose.  Gene’s story, Genemadus, the Musical, pits him against Peter Pescadero in a keyboard battle ala Salieri and Mozart in the classic film.  For their features, Bob explores The Ten Commandments (well five of them at least) in burger form, and Linda pitches a raccoon playground turned disco turned apop turned reality show in a letter to her local trash collection service.

This is another really solid, fun installment of the Bob’s Burgers comic that showcases each character well and once again feels as if it could have been part of an episode or two of the TV show.  My favorite story this time around was Gene’s, which is surprising because in general he’s my least favorite of the Belcher family.  However, the way they took on Amadeus and twisted into a story for Gene was really smart and funny.  I also loved Linda’s letter this time around because the escalating absurdity of it was perfect. This time around, we see many more of the supporting cast including Andy and Ollie, Regular Sized Rudy, Daryl, Peter Pescadero, and of course we get several sketches of Little King Trashmouth in action as part of Linda’s letter. The cover and interior art are once again fun and well-done and fit into the vibe of the show.  This time around, we didn’t get any fake ads, but there was a nice pinup in the middle of the book.

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Bob’s Burgers #3  ***
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   #3 of 5

We begin this issue with another installment of Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction, entitled Trick Shot Tina that has the titular character teaming up with another gun slinger, Jazz Hands Jimmy Jr., to win back a shiny belt buckle. Bob’s Burger of the Day Ideas is an attempt at a Fortune Cookie Burger, while Linda writes to Smellopolis.com to suggest new fragrances including Pinot Noir. Louise builds the ultimate cardboard box fort in Who Forted? In Guys & Frogs, Gene adopts and promptly forgets about a bunch of tadpoles, while six weeks later overrun the Belcher’s apartment and the restaurant. 

As with so many great series, this one lost a little steam with issue #3, but only a little.  There were some super fun touches like the Uncle Pennybags (aka the Monopoly Man) cameo in Tina’s story.  Once again, Linda’s letter was great because you could absolutely read it with her voice in your head. This time around my favorite story was Louise’s, although it took a more bizarre turn than you’d normally see in the show, it felt like a sequel to the season two Halloween episode Fort Night (though that episode isn’t referenced at all, which I felt like was a missed opportunity).  Some of the interior art in this issue strayed a little bit from the style of the series, but still fit the overall vibe of each story so it was distracting at all.  

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Bob’s Burgers #4   ***1/2
Released in 2014    Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   #4 of 5

It’s a (mostly) Halloween issue this time around as Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction presents Franken-Butt, the story of a girl scientist and her creation…but who’s really the monster of this tale?  After her science teacher warns of the dire consequences for doing an experiment wrong, Louise of course plans to capitalize on those consequences and turns herself invisible.  She wreaks havoc on her family and the restaurant, but then realizes she doesn’t know how to make herself reappear.  The Belcher kids go on a hunt for a chupacabra and meet the mystical creature only to learn that it wants to be a children’s magician.  So Gene, Tina and Louise set out to make their new friend’s dream come true at the restaurant.  In our non Halloween features, Bob creates a list that explores “If Heartwarming 80s Movies Were Burgers,” which includes the She’s Having a Bay Leaf Burger (cooked with bay leaf, comes with baby romaine), and Linda writes to the president of Super Sounds Records to inform them that she’s ready to record her long awaited sola album “Appetite for Lin-struction.”

Issue #3 may have been a slight disappointment, but issue #4 absolutely delivered.  Bob’s Burgers is known for its stellar Halloween episodes, and this issue delivered that spirit in comic form.  All three of the main stories felt like they could have been part of an anthology episode of the show, and the artwork and writing supported that.  It’s hard to even pick a favorite story because they were all so solid and each was special in its own way, but if pressed I’d choose Louise Is Invisible.  The other two elements, though not Halloween themed, were extremely well done too making this such a great entry in the series.

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Bob’s Burgers #5  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite    #5 of 5

In a world filled with 14 to 16 year old boy zombies, Tina is the last person on Earth or so she thinks until she meets and saves the life of Jimmy Jr.  Together they realize that the zombies aren’t actually out to make them part of the hordes of the undead; they just want to play ping pong. Louise tries to get to the bottom of a boy band conspiracy in The Faux Boo Boo, and Gene takes a musical journey to Robot College. Bob works on ideas for Book Burgers including the Brine and Bunishment Burger, and Linda writes to Ginger about her revelation that somewhere in the world there’s another Linda whose family runs another restaurant.

What a fabulous way to wrap up this first run of Bob’s Burgers comics.  This issue’s stories are stellar with The Faux Boo Boo being my favorite (Louise’s obsession with Boo Boo is so funny), and Robot College being a delightful expansion of a tiny scene in season two’s “Bob Day Afternoon.”  Like the prior issue, everything in this one feels like it could have come right from an episode with great writing and artwork.  We also get a bit of bonus content with several pages of pinup artwork wrapping up the issue.  

Comics based on TV shows are super tricky.  It can be hard to translate beloved characters to the page and capture their voice and humor, but this series proves it can be done well.  If you’re a fan of the show and looking for a quick, fun read, check out this miniseries.

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Well it’s time to shut down the grill for the night and get ready to watch some fireworks.  I hope you had a safe and happy July 4th, however you spent it.  I’ll be handing the blog back to Matt for our next update which will focus on Satanic bicycle safety…..yes, really.  In the meantime, read a comic or two, make a delicious burger (meat or veggie depending on your preference) and support a family-owned restaurant.  Join us next time for Danny and the Demoncycle.

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Malibu Comics Ultraverse Memories: Prototype

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my little spot on the web where I enjoy looking back at things I enjoyed from my past all the way up to present day.  For this update I think it’s time that we again take a look at a hero from the world of Malibu Comics that was part of their Ultraverse comic line and one I can remember reading when I was a kid. The hero I decided to choose for this one is my third favorite character from the Ultraverse who was their version of Iron Man, and of course I am talking about Prototype! And if you are ready I am ready to talk about Malibu Comics and another hero from the Ultraverse.

Malibu Comics was, for a short time in the 90’s, the third top selling comic company in America and wanted so badly to topple Marvel Comics that was sitting at the top of the mountain, and they thought that the Ultraverse was the way to do so, as they created characters that were very similar to some of Marvel and DC’s top heroes.  With the character Prototype, they wanted to have a strong contender to Iron Man! So let’s take a brief moment and talk about who Prototype is and what powers he wields. Jimmy Ruiz is a man who works for Ultra-Tech and was an Ultra Human himself as he had his own internal energy source that was perfect for their Prototype Armor as he could power it himself. But in order to get the armor Jimmy had to allow them to surgically implant the cybernetics that allows him to also control the armor. You see Ultra-Tech on purpose injured the original wearer of the armor by the name of Bob Campbell so that they could replace him with Jimmy and the pair later on team up to break free of Ultra-Tech and become the heroes they know they are supposed to be. And after this Jimmy would go onto join the superhero team UltraForce! Jimmy’s powers are that his body acted as an energy source for the suit, with the suit on as well he could control powers he had such as the ability to fly and fire blasts from hands as well as lift up to 100 tons! And what of Bob Campbell you ask, well after Marvel Comics took over Malibu Comics, during the Black September Event they wiped away Jimmy and had Bob be the only Prototype, but before that while still being under Malibu Comics, he had a new set of Armor given to him by the group Aladdin and called himself Ranger. So that was a quick crash course on who was the hero known as Prototype.

What they could have done with the character in the Marvel Universe? Of course place him in Iron Man Comics! As Tony Stark is testing new armor and weapons, and he hires Jimmy Ruiz to test them out for him, and the reason he chooses Jimmy is he himself is a metal armored hero known as Prototype and could handle the pressure of using the armors and weapons. Imagine this in the Marvel Universe in an Iron Man comic storyline that has him teaming with Iron Will, War Machine and Prototype as they have to all come together to stop a terrorist group that has hijacked tech from a Stark Industry warehouse of old weapons of war! It’s the Iron Family vs. those who want to take over the world…in my book Prototype fits so well into the Iron Man family tree. You could also use Prototype as a member of The Avengers or even bring back the team Ultraforce and have the team being lead by Prime and the members be Prototype, Hardcase, Ghoul, Mantra, Sludge, The Night Man, Rune, Firearm and Solitaire and they are the outsiders of the Marvel Universe and stick together and fight crime and evil all the while earning the respect of the Marvel Heroes. No joke, I really do think that Prototype should be dusted off and placed in the Marvel Universe…in fact all of the Malibu Characters should be.

Okay, let’s talk about this again as I think that its worth talking about often and that’s the fact that Marvel Comics has really dropped the ball with buying the Malibu Comics library and characters as they have done nothing with them and for the most part the characters have sat around collecting dust and allowing most modern comic readers to even forget they ever existed with some never even knowing they did. We readers and fans will never get the real reason of why these comic characters are being benched and sent to the Comic Character retirement home, and that is just such a major waste of characters as I feel they all have so much more to offer to readers. I don’t think that the 5% profits to creators of the characters is really a factor as 5% of sales is really not much even with how poor comic sales have been for the past few years. The fact that former Malibu Comic owner Scott Mitchell Rosenberg is the producer for all Malibu projects could be a factor as rumor has it that he is very hard to deal with and could be making their comic returns just to miserable for Marvel to want to deal with, and this I think could be a possibility and would make more sense to why they are not being used. And it could be what Marvel Comics Tom Brevoort was speaking about when he said its had nothing to do with the 5% on why no return and the explanation could not be talked about due to a non-disclosure agreement…that makes me think that the deal must have been real bad that Marvel made to buy Malibu back in the 90’s. Plus there is always the rumor that has floated around that at the time Marvel’s powers that be decided that they disliked the Malibu characters and that they didn’t fit into the Marvel Universe vision, but I don’t believe this one and think that’s just fan/readers speculation.

Whatever the reason, I feel that Marvel Comics should work it out as they now have the power of Disney behind them and get these characters back into the pages of comics as well as get them into the Marvel movies, shows and video games! In fact why doesn’t Marvel Comics just bring back the Ultraverse characters as well as all the CrossGen characters they have bought and shelved as well like Simon Archard, Emma Bishop, Arwyn, Gareth and all the others that are being hoarded and hidden away by Disney! Why not give these characters another shot at making a splash in the stale world of mainstream comics? Why not allow Prototype to smash some baddies or have Arwyn go on anther epic adventure? But sadly I think with the sad state that mainstream comics are in right now, these characters will be left in the Retirement Home Long Box all itching to be unleashed at least one more time so they can show readers what they can bring to the table. But I really do hope that one day Marvel just opens the door and allows Ultraverse and CrossGen into the Marvel Universe as the character could work very well and add the spice needed to make their stale stories much better.

Before I get to the comics, I want to take a brief moment to remind you readers about the very short lived 1994-1995 cartoon series UltraForce that not only features Prototype but also had team members like Prime, Hardcase, Topaz, Contrary and Ghoul and they fought such characters as Rune, Sludge, Lord Pumpkin and Atalon. The cartoon would also have cameos from heroes like Night Man and the hero team The Strangers. The cartoon lasted a total of 13 episodes and aired on the USA Network. And sadly the show was met with very poor reviews from critics. And also during this time toy company Galoob did a very cool toy line for the show that allowed you to get some of your favorite Malibu Comic Characters as action figures! I have had the figure of Prime for awhile now and just recently got myself a figure of Prototype for my collection, and yes I have picked up several of the other figures and will show them off when we cover their comic series. Below is a look at the cartoon series that has never gotten an official DVD release and my figure of Prototype!

Well I don’t know about you, but I am really ready for the review part of this update as it’s been a while since I have read the comic adventures of Prototype and I want to see if they hold up as I can remember really enjoying them in my youth. I want to thank Game Swap Kettering, Bell Book And Comic and Lone Star Comics for having these in stock and making this update possible as well as by stocking these I was able to put them in my comic collection again. I want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s dive back into the Ultraverse and spend some superhero time with Prototype!

Prototype # 0  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics   # 0 of 18

Stanley Leland is sitting on a couch talking to a psychiatrist as he is one of the heads of Ultratech and is talking about Bob Campbell, the original Prototype! Campbell was an ex-military and working as a stuntman on cheap Sci-Fi and Action films when he meets Leland who hires him to wear a tech suit for a demo reel that would be seen by the military powers that be, and Campbell does such a great job he is put on Ultratech payroll and travels around in the Prototype suit. But this power goes to Campbell’s head as he starts becoming a real life hero and saving the day, this angers Leland as every time he takes the suit out it coasts the company money and if pisses of Campbell’s wife Felicia as well who watches as all the ladies of the city swoon over her husband even though they can not even see his face! Campbell started drinking again and would spend his time traveling to make public appearances and fight with a metal suited bad guy named Arena that kept showing up! Bob Campbell over times keeps having a short fuse and is at odds with his employer as they want to place implants into his body and he refuses. They even create a genetic man named Glare to bring him down as they would like to see Bob die now as they just want him out of the way in order to bring in a younger man to use the Prototype suit. After Glare fails, Ultratech gets their wish when an “accident” happens that leaves Bob losing an arm and losing his job with Ultratech and that’s when Jimmy Ruiz is hired in to become Prototype.

This issue zero is a great way to try and get readers hooked on Prototype…but wait a minute this comic came out a year after the first few issues in the series was released…oh you have to love the gimmicks of 90’s comics! This comic does a fantastic job of showing the history of the original man in the Prototype suit Bob Campbell and his rise and fall of becoming the hero he thinks he was supposed to be. We see that the stress of being in this powerful suit forces him to become a hero as well and makes him start to drink heavy and even ignore his wife. Thinking about it, Bob Campbell takes to drinking just like Marvel’s Tony Stark aka Iron Man did…showing that Prototype and Iron Man really do go hand and hand. Bob Campbell aka Prototype is a military man who after serving finds himself working in movies as a stuntman and is hired by a tech company to test and showcase their new suit, but because he has a good heart he uses the suit for good and saves the day for many people who are in need, but the stress of being a hero that he thinks he needs to be drives him to drink as well as causes him to lose his wife. In the end all the good he has done for people leaves him missing and arm, no wife and no job…he is a broken hero with no suit as well. Stanley Leland, one of the heads of Ultratech, is a true scumbag as it’s clear as day that he is the one who set up Campbell’s fall from grace as he is the one who steals his wife and its very much hinted he is the one who caused the accident that took his arm as well. Stanley Leland is also the type of guy who puts profits before human life and is so greedy that he will do anything to gain cash. Arena and Glare are two villains who are clearly created by Ultratech to help show off the powers of the Prototype suit, so in other words, they are just pawns in this company’s war games for profits. I like that this comic is from three different prospective of what happened with Bob Campbell and gives you more of a look into his life and his want to truly become a hero. The cover is eye catching and shows the Prototype we all know and not the bulky suited original version that was Bob and the interior art is great and done by Gordon Purcell and is great Malibu Comics stuff. So with issue zero done, let’s see what the first issue has in store for us!

Prototype # 1  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics     # 1 of 18

Bob Campbell wakes up in the morning and remembers back to his accident as the Original Prototype that caused him to lose his arm as well as job for Ultratech and he heads out as Ultratech has a shareholders event that afternoon. Meanwhile running wild in the streets is Glare who is now on a rampage, as he wants revenge on Ultratech and Stanley Leland for turning him into a green skinned monster and he is using his power to blind people on the streets. Meanwhile at the Ultratech shareholder conference and Bob sneaks in and watches as they show the new Prototype suit that is way thinner and lighter than his old bulky suit, and the new suit, while slimmer, is having some tech issues. After Prototype heads to the backstage lab, he alerts the workers and Leland that he is having bad headaches from the suit, while out front Bob is thrown out after asking about a lawsuit he has against them about his firing after the accident. After taking some pills, the new Prototype goes out to shake hands and get his picture taken with the holders at the lunch line, but before he can do so, Glare is out front of the building taking on the police force and Ultratech send Prototype into action! Outside the building the press is filming and broadcasting as Glare and Prototype start fighting it out, but the news is not the only ones watching as Bob Campbell as well as a man from a group called Aladdin are collecting details and judging the new suited hero. The fight ends with Prototype beating Glare and it appears as if he has killed him and the onlookers are not so sure what to think of this new version of Prototype.

The first issue of Prototype starts off with a bang as we follow the rise of a new man in the Prototype suit who is being judged by the original who has been shunned by the company who made the suit. We also see that Ultratech is truly a company who does not care about people as much as they care about money and fame. The new Prototype is younger and really seems to be digging his job as the man in the suit, well besides the head splitting headaches that come with the implants and the suit that glitches. The new Prototype is also very trusting of Ultratech and seems to worry about what they think of him and the job he is doing. Bob Campbell has a new mechanical arm and is super bitter of being let go from Ultratech as being Prototype was all he had left in life, and he so wants to make them pay for firing him. Stanley Leland is as big of a scumbag as he ever has been as he only worries about getting on the news as well as making large profits for Ultratech.  It’s clear as well that he will do whatever he can in order to protect himself from failure or danger and will put others in that spot to do so. And of course Glare, who was an Ultratech experiment gone wrong, is now wanting revenge as he feels that they have to pay for what they did to him…and that’s made him a green skinned monster with freaky blinding powers of light. And for his revenge filled hate he ends up dying at the hands of the new Prototype. When reading this as a new reader you get also some mysteries that will get you hooked, like who is this guy watching the fight from Aladdin and also when will heroes like Prime and Hardcase will show up as they are both mentioned. The one downside to the first issue I feel we get more character development from Bob Campbell then we do for the new young man in the Prototype suit, and they should spent a little time building him as he is the hero we will have going forward. The cover is great and eye catching and has that 90’s charm that hooked so many buyers back in the day…wait that was because it had the # 1 on it. The interior art by David Ammerman is very well done and shows why Malibu Comics had its own house style and charm. This first issue is great and has held up for me and is making me looking forward to reading some of these issues again as well as reading many for the first time. So with that let’s get to issue two!

Prototype # 2  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 2 of 18

Prototype is in a virtual reality training program when things go wrong and he uses his own power to override the suits programing and by doing so his levels go off the chart and this impresses the workers of Ultratech, but also causes the suit to catch on fire! Once put out, he has another pounding headache and talks to his handler Hastings about the death of Glare and still doesn’t understand how his death happened and hates that the press is painting him out as a killer. Hastings does what he can to calm Prototype’s nerves over the killing and orders a woman to come down and give him a massage. Meanwhile at Ultratech headquarters Stanley Leland is mad about all the bad press over Glare dying in the streets in front of witnesses and almost wishes that Jimmy Ruiz, the new Prototype, would have died, as his main goal is a new suit called Prototype 2000! His assistant and creator of some of the tech Marjorie informs Leland that she has hired someone to take care of Campbell once and for all ending one of the company’s major headaches. At a bar Bob Campbell is buying parts from a smuggler as he is building his own suit, but he is also the target of a woman named Kaitlyn O’Hare who claims she is a stunt talent agent casting for a new Warner Brothers film. Bob and Kaitlyn end up at his place and the she shows that she is a razor clawed assassin named Backstabber who has been sent to kill him! And after almost doing so Bob saves himself thanks to help from his cat Thelma and is able to get his home made Prototype suit and is ready to fight for his life! And with the help of a buzzsaw arm he does just that, and injured he shows up at his ex-wife’s home as she is a doctor as his wounds from Backstabbers claws are deep and he needs help.

This second issue in the series once more has most of the focus being on Bob Campbell who was the original Prototype as his former employers Ultratech who wants him dead as his outspoken nature is causing them money! And to close his mouth once and for all they hire a razor clawed woman to slice and dice him! And oh yeah there is a very small amount of Jimmy Ruiz as we get he has headaches, is becoming one with the tech, feels bad about the death of Glare and that his employers are not loyal to him at all! The loose cannon that is Bob Campbell is not only trying to get answers from Ultratech about his firing but is also building his own metal suit as he wants to become a hero again. And it’s clear that while Bob is missing an arm he does not let his handicap slow him down as he fights for his life when it’s in danger and does not let him slow him down. Jimmy Ruiz meanwhile is young and seems to be enjoying his time as the main in the Prototype suit and while is comes with side effects he thinks the fame and money it brings him will be worth it. Stanley Leland is a true scumbag as he only cares about profit and the lives of Bob and Jimmy mean nothing to him, in fact after stealing Bob’s wife he also seems to now have no time for her and he lives and breathes Ultratech. The razor nailed Backstabber is a killer female who uses her good looks to bring the targets in and then takes them out, but while she is made of a metal she is not unbeatable as Bob uses a buzzsaw in order to take her out! The main thing that this issue builds up is that Leland’s end goal is a new suit of armor that he will show off in the year 2000 that is called Prototype 2000 and that he dislikes Jimmy as well as he finds him to young and annoying. We are three issues into the series when you count issue zero and all seem to be mainly focused on Bob, and I think Malibu needed to also start building Jimmy up and laying the groundwork for him to become a hero. The cover for this issue is pretty great and very 90’s and the interior art by David Ammerman is good stuff and has that Malibu Comic style. Let’s now move onto issue three and see what happens now that Bob is at his ex-wife’s house and needs help after being attacked!

Prototype # 3  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics    # 3 of 18

Jimmy Ruiz and Hastings are on a plane waiting for takeoff but like always there are delays and Jimmy is getting antsy as he wants to be on the go. Meanwhile on another plane the terrorist group Terrordyne Inc. is taking hostages as a sport team is on board and they want money for them to be returned unharmed! Jimmy hears about this and suits up as Prototype and has Hastings freaks out as they need Lelands permission to do so Prototype alerts his handler he has removed the suits shut down lock and heads off to be the hero he is hired to be. Meanwhile Bob Campbell is having his wounds treated by his ex-wife Felicia and they talk about the breakup and Bob lets her know he still cares for her very much. Meanwhile Prototype takes out the masked goons of Terrordyne Inc. but soon meats their leads the super villain called The Heater who uses fire blasts to knock Prototype down, and delivers a beating to our hero before he is able to blast Heater away. But before he can deliver a beat down to Heater he finds that the Ultratech plane has been hijacked and Hastings as been thrown from the plane that is now in the air! Prototype leaves the battle to save his friend and once back on the ground Heater is gone and Hastings alerts him that lots of tech is on that plane that needs to be saved! Prototype blows up the run away plane and this angers Leland who is getting more bad press from the event. And all the while the Aladdin company has the body of Glare and they steady it and the tech that’s inside him and then hire masked hero Wrath to follow Prototype and get the chips that are needed to make the suit any way he can.

This issues plot has a great classic superhero feel to it as a terrorist group holds hostages on a plane at an airport and out hero rushes in to save the day and by doing so more subplots are open and more tension is created between he and his employers. Jimmy Ruiz aka Prototype in this issue goes from being a bored young man into a hero who’s action saves the lives of a popular baseball team as well as takes down a bunch of henchmen that work of a terrorist company group. Jimmy also shows that he has studied his suit and is really starting to master its powers and how to control it on his own while being offline. While Jimmy is being a hero its also clear that he is making Leland very mad as he does not want him to do anything besides make money for Ultratech at public events. Leland also shows that he has more tricks up his sleeves as he wants to have staff now watch every move of Prototype as well as for them to hire more young men that can take over the role of the suited hero. We learn that Bob Campbell let Backstabber live who ran off into the night vowing revenge and that he wants his wife back! The goons of Terrordyne Inc. are masked well-armed troopers who do what they are told and they as well have an Ultra named Heater who is working for them, and he is dangerous as he has the power of fire and even puts a seed in the mind of Prototype that they are both working for criminals the only difference is his people are open about their evil deeds. And lastly we have to talk about Wrath on his way to get the chips from the Prototype suit and this hero vs. hero showdown that is about to happen has me looking forward to the next issue! Plus this issue puts us on the right track as Jimmy is the main focus and his storyline is getting new parts added to his arch. The cover is pretty dang cool and the interior art is once more great and done by David Ammerman. So let’s see what issue four has in store from Prototype as he has a list now of threats that could test his skills and even take his life as Wrath, Heater and even Backstabber are around and looking for a fight!

Prototype # 4  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 4 of 18

Jimmy Ruiz is living in a high rise apartment that is paid for by Ultratech and while he enjoys the life of being rich and having a job, he’s missing his friends as well as having control of his own life. While downstairs his ex Angella is looking for Jimmy and the night watchmen runs her off just as Wrath enters and drugs the guard and breaks into the hidden lab in the basement of the building to steal the chip off the Prototype suit and by trying one of the chips inside Jimmy alerts him something is wrong and he rushes downstairs to check on the suit and his punched in the face by Wrath who leaves Jimmy stunned on the floor. As Jimmy gets back on his feet he changes into Prototype and rushes to the lobby and has a back and fourth fight with Wrath with both one upping each other with hits! Meanwhile Leland gets the call about the fight and instead of calling for backup, he sends in the media to cover the fight! Wrath ends up getting the upper hand as he has been trained in fighter way better and when Prototype gets distracted by his ex-girlfriend Angella and takes a massive blast that damages the suit and allows Wrath to escape via a helicopter pick-up. With all his energy he uses a microwave ray to hit the chip and he hopes it ruined the data on it as Wrath is angry that this might have happened. Prototype who’s on fire is put out and Leland tries to pay Angella to go away but she tries her best to get Jimmy’s attention. Meanwhile Bob Campbell has finished his new metal suit and takes it for a test fly as well as uses the weapons he installed, but he his interrupted by the cops who alert him he is under arrest for breaking into an Ultratech lab.

This issue is a full fledged battle issue as we see Prototype from Ultratech take on Aladdin’s very own Wrath as they duke it out in a lobby of a building as well as in the streets of New York! Prototype in this issue goes from being a young man messing around with his hot company paid lady, drinking beer and looking at the moon to getting his first taste of a real fight with a really skilled fighter who can expose all his flaws and show that the suit can only do so much again experience. And this also alerts Jimmy to how flawed this armor is as it does not take damage well and becomes damaged very easily. Wrath is a hero who thinks he is on the right side of the tech war and uses his powers to try and right the wrongs and his powers are great as he can turn his opponent’s own blasts and powers against them! Wrath I am sure is both impressed and annoyed with Prototype and you know the two will meet again to finish the fight. Leland as always is a jerk and wants to use the fight as good press for him and Ultratech and don’t care about the safety of others. Angella is trying so hard to find and talk to Jimmy in order to tell him he is going to be a father, and instead gets money thrown at her by Leland to go away showing he don’t care about anyone besides himself. I also like that the police and Ultratech are blaming Bob Campbell for the break-in and that he has crafted his own big heavy armored suit in order to be a hero again! The cover is pretty good and eye catching for fans of Malibu and the art by David Ammerman is great and classic 90’s stuff. Really enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to see what happens with Bob as well as Jimmy cause both have really good stories going.

Prototype # 5  **
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 5 of 18

Security Guards are all around a launchpad where a rocket called JDH-3000 is set to launch the next day, but the Ultra-Powered team The Strangers (Atom Bob, Lady Killer, Grenade, Yrial, Spectral, Zip Zap and Electrocute) break in and steal the rocket as they need to get to the moon in order to find out more about why they have these powers. J.D. who owns the rocket is very mad as it was under the watch of Ultratech who he hired as the guards and the rocket coast them a ton of money to build. While at an Ultratech meeting Mr. Bell appearing only as a hologram is ripping into Leland and the others about the bad press of Prototype and Bob Campbell, and they get interrupted by J.D. Hunt who phones in and is raising hell over his stolen rocket as he wants Ultratech to pay for it or get it back. Meanwhile in jail Bob Campbell is sprung by Jake Alexander of the Aladdin Corporation who wants to discuss so very important business with him. Leland goes to Jimmy Ruiz and has him change into Prototype and alerts him that he is going to space to fight The Strangers and get the stolen rocket back and if he screws this up he can be replaced, he is also alerted that he will be joined by Empire-7 from Vietnam and team leader being the ravishing Russian Supra and they head off to space. The Strangers find that they can not control the stolen rocket as it will not allow them to land on the moon and instead lands on an abandon Russian space station and are attacked by an alien just as Prototype and his crew land at the station and come aboard.

I want to start by saying I know that I gave this issue only two stars and that it seems low as for me 2 ½ stars means that its great and above average read and this was a great read I just felt that so much of this issue is spent on J.D. Hunt screaming, Mr. Bell screaming and Leland screaming and plotting and not enough time was spent on Prototype or even Bob Campbell. With that said, it does do its job of setting up a run in between Prototype and The Strangers in space all over a stolen rocket and the need for answers of why powers was given to some people on Earth. Prototype in this issue is watching footage of The Strangers only to find himself being forced to fly to space to fight them and is forced to team with two other unknown powered people and is even threatened with if he don’t do this and get the rocket back they stole he will be replaced. The Strangers really just want to get to the moon as they think that the origin of what gave them all their powers came from there, but they find themselves instead on a rundown space station being attacked by an alien. Leland once more is a weasel who uses his gift of talking to try and smooth things over with a client and even dodges the rage of Mr. Bell and Mr. Hunt who are both displeased with him. Supra is clearly powerful and has some type of Ultra powers and is leading the Ultratech team on getting the rocket back, and I would guess Empire-7 as well has powers. I like the rundown Russian Space Station being the place that this showdown is going to happen in and adding a dangerous Alien is a great Sci-Fi Film touch. The cover is good and eye catching and this time around Roger Robinson is doing art and it’s well done. Over all this is an okay issue that builds a story and that’s pretty much all I can say about it. I should also say that this was part of the Break-Thru story arch.

Prototype # 6  **1/2
Released in 1994    Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 6 of 18

Prototype is heading back to Earth and is following Prime through the Earth’s atmosphere and is starting to burn up and is second-guessing if this was a good idea to trust Prime and the idea of The Strangers member Lady Killer who came up with the idea of using Prime as a heat shield. And lucky for Prototype it works and he get back to Earth, but his suit is burnt and molded together in a lump of metal. At the office of Jake Alexander he alerts Bob Campbell that he knows everything about him and they discuss that fact that Ultratech is using Jimmy Ruiz and when they are done with him they will have him killed, Jake they informs Bob that he wants the original Prototype to work for Aladdin and they even have made him a new suit that is big and heavy and filled with lots of powerful weapons. Ultratech have found the hidden office of Aladdin and have sent in a female killer that is invisible who’s touch and kiss can kill a person in minutes and she gets into the office of Jake and fights with Original Prototype and places a kiss on Jake before she flees the battle and forces Original Prototype to take Jake to the hospital to save his life. While back at the Ultratech Offices Leland gets a visit from a very angry Jimmy Ruiz who is ranting about his space mission and almost dying getting back home when Leland calms the young man down with a big money bonus as well as a new Prototype suit that once Jimmy has on Leland shows him that the suit now has a brain attack button that overloads Jimmy’s brain like a drug! Jimmy hates this new feature but before they can chat about it the office windows are blown out and the armored bad guy Arena is there, looking for a fight.

Malibu Comics dropped the ball as they did the one thing that I think Comics in the late 80’s and 90’s did that was really dumb and that’s make it that to finish a story they started in one series continue in multiple others the dreaded multi-book crossovers…and then they screw up even more by not really even explaining to readers what took place with The Strangers, Alien, Moon and so on in this issue as all we get is that Prototype is following hero Prime to get back to Earth. With that said and that terrible annoying comic trope exposed, this is a good and solid issue that features growth for both Jimmy and Bob who are now both officially Prototypes! Jimmy learns that he has friends with other Ultra-Heroes and that he should not fully trust the words of Ultratech as they do not have his well being in mind when they send him on mission of both no and total danger. Bob Campbell learns that he as well as new friends with the Aladdin Corporation do have his best interest at heart and even have built him a new suit and with that the Original Prototype is back in the hero business. I am guess the invisible woman who is a killer with a deadly touch and kiss, I would guess is Marjorie Fredericks who works for Ultratech and wants to cut off loose ends. Jake Alexander is in bad shape by the end of this issue and has a very deadly poison running through his veins thanks to Marjorie. I also like that Arena has returned and once more wants to clash with Prototype, but unknown to him this is a new person in the armor…but I don’t think it would change his mind much of beating him up or ending his life. This is again a great issue I just really dislike the lack of closer to The Strangers and The Moon storyline as they wanted you to buy two other comics to close the story. The cover is pretty cool and shows Bob “Original” Prototype in his new armor and the interior art is done by Roger Robinson and is really good. Issue six of Prototype really does want me to see what happens with many of the characters and also want to see how the characters will grow in more issues, so with that let’s see what issue seven has in store for us.

Prototype # 7  ***
Released in 1994    Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 7 of 18

Prototype and Arena start a fight above the city of New York as onlooker watch as the suited up Ultra’s exchange powerful hits. As the fight goes on Prototype alerts Arena that Bob is no longer in the suit and that he Jimmy is and that he is better then the original, Arena seems not to mind as he turns up the attacks and this leads him to also drop his powerful sword to the street bellow. While at the Hospital Bob Campbell talks to the doctor and finds that he got Jake Alexander help just in time, and Bob covers for how Jake was poisoned and goes into visit his new friend. Leland is in the Ultratech Building talking with the invisible woman who is now named Veil and she turns out to be Marjorie Fredericks and she has been hired to babysit and watch after Jimmy, and while Leland wants her to still protect him she thinks they should take him out after the fight with Arena and replace him. While poor old Angella ex-girlfriend of Jimmy is being chewed out by her mother to just forget all about Jimmy and move on with her life as she says he is beyond her now. Earl and T.J are gang members who are talking to a young girl from their neighborhood when a rival gang does a drive by, while T.J returns fire the poor young girl is shot dead. The government of New York is getting sick and tired of Leland and Ultratech and they have build their own armor hero called The Manhattan Project 1994 and they plan on letting him loose soon! While back at the battle Arena is beating up Prototype and is still comparing him to Bob Campbell and this angers Jimmy who blasts his opponent with a powerful blast and is ready for a fight!

This is a battle issue that has some side stories thrown in for good measure and delivers one heck of a fun read! The plot for this issue has Arena returning for a fight and Jimmy not being fully prepared for a fight that has his enemy being more powerful than him and worse more skilled at fighting! Prototype is becoming way to cocky and thinking that his powerful suit will win him every fight, but while the suit is powerful his fighting spirit and knowledge is not good and he is slowing figuring out that he needs a battle plan before rushing in to a fight. I also like that he is getting to the point where he is sick and tired of hearing the name of Bob Campbell and is willing to now fight over it! Bob Campbell in this issue spends his time in the hospital looking after his new friend Jake, and also figures out that he should keep his mouth shut about Ultratech for awhile. Leland and Veil are watching the battle and each have their own ideas on how this one should end, and she is sick and tired of the brat Jimmy. I cannot wait to see Manhattan Project 1994 in action and see if he is with or against Prototype! Not sure what is going to happen with the gang members T.J and Earl, and to be honest what is going to happen with Angella and her baby. I also like how the Government in New York talk about Sludge living in the sewer, just a nice touch to showcase another of their character is active in New York at the same time of these events. Arena is an interesting character as he is very much into the Ying and Yang of life and is like a super powered and armored samurai who is all about battle. The cover for this issue is solid and eye-catching and like before the interior art by Roger Robinson is great 90’s stuff. This far this series is a great above average indie superhero series and this is I think the best issue to this point, even if it’s a little all over the place. Let’s see what issue eight has in store for us!

Prototype # 8  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 8 of 18

Arena is back up and now showcases some of his powers that once more show Prototype that he is losing the battle as he uses mini missiles to bring our hero down in front of a watching crowd. Bob Campbell is working in his garage when he sees the news and decides if he should put on his new suit and aid in the fight, but not before remembering back to all his battles with Arena…The Original Prototype does not come to Ultratech and Prototype’s aid this time. Besides the fight between Prototype and Arena, the news is also reporting on the state of New York going after Ultratech for a massive fine in the billion dollars and they also talk about the young girl killed in gang violence that was the cousin of poor Angella as she starts to realize that she is going to have to raise her child in a neighborhood that is overrun with gang activity. Arena defeats Prototype in the streets and has a chance to kill him, but does not and instead tells him to seek out Bob Campbell to be trained better for fights as he will alerts our hero he will return. Prototype is mad as the crowd hurl insults at him and he marches into Leland’s hidden panic room to have words with his boss, and Jimmy alerts Leland that he quits at being Prototype as well as quiets Ultratech and that he is going home!

What another great issue that showcases that Jimmy is really out of his league and is not ready for battle against any other super powered people and he gets beat up and knocked around by Arena and also comes to see that Leland and Ultratech have lied and used him this whole time! Jimmy who started off being super cocky and headstrong turns very humbled when he is handed his first major defeat. And he also does not take the defeat well at all cause he quits being the hero Prototype! Bob Campbell the Original Prototype is also interesting as he listens to the news as he works on his new suit and almost misses Arena as his battles with him seemed to be like hanging out with an old friend in his mind. Leland is a coward and during the fight runs and hides in a panic room and is scared when Jimmy comes in and quiets, as he knows that Ultratech is starting to crumble around him. Veil almost feels sorry for Jimmy after his loss as she knows what its like to be a Ultra and even a Prototype as her invisible suit is along the same line. Arena respects Jimmy’s spirit but also smartens him up to him not being a superhero like he thinks as he exposes the lack of training he has in combat. And let’s not forget to chat about poor Angella who’s having the baby of Jimmy who is paying her no attention and now also looses her young eight year old cousin for gang violence, this poor woman can not catch a break! I am really interested in finding out what Jimmy does from here as he is so filled with chips and tech and can he walk away from the suit or can they force him to come back to Ultratech and become their “hero” who is just a glorified mascot in many peoples eyes. Cover is pretty cool and showcases Arena and art by Roger is great like always. Another homerun issue and it seems that the creators at Malibu have found their stride with Prototype.

Prototype # 9  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 9 of 18

Ultratech is holding a job interview to find the next person to wear the Prototype suit and it’s down to three people and they are all fighting each other in a open room while wearing different versions of the Prototype suit…in the end Donovan Jones gets the job! One of the interviewees is mad that he did not get picked and talks out loud about how he is going to expose Leland and Ultratech to his friend in the news and for this he is killed by Veil’s poison touch. Jimmy Ruiz is back home and chats with Angella at her cousin’s funeral and then heads to the hangout of his old street gang The Hardboys in order to try and talk them out of all the killings, they agree to stop killing only if he brings the trigger man who killed the young girl to the cops and he has only an hour to do so! Jimmy walks into the rival gangs hideout and dukes it out with them, when the gun man pulls a Uzi on him his time runs out and The Hardboys come running in with their guns, just in time to see Jimmy float into the air and shoot fire lasers from his eyes that cuts off the arm of the trigger man and leaves Jimmy passed out…the gangs run away and The Hardboys also denounce their friendship with Jimmy as they don’t think he is human anymore. Jimmy ends up at the hospital and the doctors cannot find out whats wrong with him and while there he also is told by Angella that he is going to be a father…and Jimmy knows that he must go back to Ultratech to get money for his lady and child as well as find out what the heck is wrong with him. While at Ulrtatech Leland is showing off the New Prototype who is in a bigger suit and now is Donovan Jones.

This ninth issue in Malibu’s Prototype series focuses more on Jimmy Ruiz the man who returns home to find that his old gang The Hardboys are at war with a rival and that more and more killings are happening and that his old girlfriend is about to have his baby! Jimmy shows that he has learned a little from his time at Ultratech as he learns how to take a beating, he learns that violence is not always the answer and he learns that those he cared about are suffering while he lived high on the hog working for Ultratech. I like how Jimmy tries his best to bring peace between two gangs and even risks his own life and safety to do so, but also finds that he has hidden powers even when not wearing the suit that gives him powerful eye blasts. We also see that Leland and Ultratech just move on fast even after Jimmy quite and hires a replacement in no time and even give him a more battle ready suit! Donovan Jones is the new Prototype, and I will call him Prototype III and he seems like a man who had nothing in life and is just happy to have a high paying job and will do whatever Leland and Ultratech wants, it will be interesting to see what he thinks when Jimmy comes back looking for his job as I think Donovan will fight to keep his job. Also glad that Angella finally got to tell Jimmy that she is having his baby, and also glad to see that Jimmy seems to be happy and will take being a father serious! Also I feel like The Hardboys will come back into play and will end up helping Jimmy in some way, even if he from time to time seems to have the powers of X-Men mutant Cyclops. The cover for this issue is just okay and remind me more of Robotech than Prototype and the interior art is good and done by Roger again. Well let’s see if Jimmy gets his job back at Ultratech or if he is out forever just like Bob Campbell.

Prototype # 10  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 10 of 18

Terrordyne is back and has taken hostages at the Statue Of Liberty and even blow up the head of the statue and is killing hostages while filming! Bob Campbell and Jake Alexander are watching the news and they know that they have to do something to stop this terrorist attack and save lives, Bob once in his suit is now going by Ranger and the new friends head to gear up. While at Ultratech Leland is telling Prototype III that his time to be a hero is not now and tells him he will not be sending him to save the day…just yet. While at a government lab the android hero Manhattan Project 1994 is having some major bugs and attacks anyone in his sight, and this keeps it from being a hero as well as all eyes are on the Statue Of Liberty and at this point the state is without a hero. Karl is the leader of this Terrordyne group and while Ranger is getting into position Jake enters the area and takes a bullet to the knee when trying to work out a deal with Karl who informs him that they are making no deals. Jake stands back up and alerts them that he was wearing full body armor and that they are in deep trouble as he gives the signal and Ranger shows up and starts taking down all the Terrordyne agents while Jake and other Aladdin soldiers get the hostages to safety. Karl and Egon are the only two members of Terrordyne to escape and Ranger has to get ready as he has press interviews. After the interview Bob is loading up his jeep and is approached by Jimmy Ruiz who is asking him for help, Bob flies off the handle as he blames Jimmy for stealing his job and punches the young man who responds with his whole body being on fire begging Bob for his help!

Bob Campbell is now Ranger, a metal suited Ultra who is the hero New York is looking for as he stops a terrorist attack as well as saves the lives of many hostages, and he also now has Jake Alexander and the Agents of Aladdin at his side…and he loves every second of his new gig of being a hero! And the best thing for Bob is that his new suit of armor is better than his old and he no longer is saddled with the name Prototype as he is now Ranger! And Bob also in this issue gets to punch the face of Jimmy and man he blames for taken his job at Ultratech. And speaking of Jimmy, this young man is in a panic as he no longer has his Prototype suit, no longer has his job, his about to be a father and also has weird uncontrollable powers do to all the stuff Ultratech and is in a panic and needs help and Bob Campbell is the only person he can think off. Jake Alexander and Aladdin are trying to do what they can to keep New York safe from crime and terrorist and they along with Ranger are doing a great job. The Manhattan Project 1994 is a robotic would be hero that seems to be not controllable as he attacks even his own creators. This is a great issue and spends time building Bob back up at being the hero he loved being. Plus we find out in this issue that New York not only has a gang war issue but they are also having a terrorist war issue! The cover is pretty good and showcases Prototype and Ranger and like a broken record the interior art done by Roger is good stuff. I am looking forward to the next issue and seeing if Bob can not only help Jimmy but also if the two can bury the heat between them and become friends who both wear metal costumes.

Prototype # 11  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 11 of 18

At the Aladdin Labs the thought to be dead bad guy Glare has woken up and is on a rampage and is blinding and killing anyone who is in his way…Jake Alexander has the lab sealed and as Glare pounds his way through the steal door they call Bob Campbell asking him to bring the Ranger suit! Before the call comes through Bob Campbell watches as Jimmy Ruiz almost explodes into a total meltdown and then pass out on the street as onlookers start to get rowdy about his fire and heat glow…Bob thinks fast and picks up Jimmy and drives off just as Donovan Jones watches them and judges them by comparing them to himself. Bob calls his ex-wife Felicia to meet him at the lab and while she tries to help Jimmy, he suits up and as Ranger heads into the lab to battle Glare and the pair punch it out. Meanwhile Felicia helps Jimmy as he is having another meltdown fit and works a way to reroute the power that is coming from one of him implants put in by Ultratech as they used his body to power the suit! Glare comes busting in and is ready to blind both Jake and Felicia and Jimmy uses his surging power to knock out Glare who before going down alerts Jimmy that he as Prototype never defeated him as it was Veil who did! After Glare is down, Felicia informs Jimmy that he is an Ultra and that Ultrateh used his powers to power the suit and that he needs to get the suit back on to stop the outbursts…and Bob agrees to help Jimmy break into Ultratech and steal the Prototype suit.

This issue’s plot shows that Leland and Ultratech have been users and liars from day one and have turned Jimmy Ruiz into a science experiment and fills his body with all types of chips and circuits and have turned him into a walking dangerous battery! And while Jimmy uses his power to take down Glare he is still very much a ticking time bomb that could kill and injury people. Bob Campbell aka Ranger goes hand to hand with Glare in order to save lives at the Aladdin Lab and even ends up getting his ex-wife to help Jimmy who he seems to now understand he shares a common enemy with and that Ultratech! I like the idea of Jimmy and Bob breaking into the lab in order to steal the Prototype suit as you know that when they get there they are going to have to fight Veil and Prototype III! Plus I think it’s clear that Felicia will start helping Jake and the rest of the Aladdin Lab crew as she knows much of the tech of Ultratech and the way Ultras work. Glare coming back from the dead and causing havoc is something I did not see coming and like before it shows that revenge is all that’s on his mind as he hates Leland and wants to do nothing but kill the man he blames for his strange look and powers. I would also guess that this might not be the final time we see Glare in this series, and I for one would like to see him join the side of Aladdin and become an Ultra Hero for them and as well help bring down Leland and Ultratech. Only downside for me is that I want to see Jimmy as Prototype and not just a man with X-Men type powers…so let’s hope he gets the suit back in the next issue. Interior art work by Roger is good and this cover is great and eye catching for fans of 90’s superhero comics. Over all another great issue and shows why Prototype was one of Malibu popular characters.

Prototype # 12  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 12 of 18

At the Ultratech building Felicia Campbell comes to visit Leland and before she goes to visit him she knocks out the guard and brings in her ex-husband Bob as Ranger and Jimmy and they head to the basement so Jimmy can get into the Prototype suit as they all have payback on their minds to Leland, but before Jimmy can suit up, they are attacked by Donovan Jones aka Prototype III who is cocky and wants to showcase his power to Ultratech and impress Leland. While Jimmy tries to get his suit ready for battle with Felicia, Ranger springs into action and battles with Prototype III keeping him busy even with his suit being less powerful, finally Jimmy gets into his suit and as Prototype he enters the fight and its clear the fight between Jimmy and Donovan both who feel like they have something to prove and neither want to loose and in the end Jimmy defeats Donovan with a massive energy blast that destroys the Prototype III suit and as Donavon is bleeding on the floor Felicia treats his wounds as Ranger and Prototype head to Leland’s office. Marjorie Fredericks is in Leland’s office and turns invisible with orders to kill both Jimmy and Bob and as Leland distracts them with offers of hiring them both back as spokesmen for Ultratech Marjorie tries to attack them both but is stopped by a can of pepper spray fired by Felicia who then knocks out the invisible assassin with a metal briefcase. Prototype grabs Leland and is about to smash him like a bug when Ranger reminds him that they are heroes and that they are better than violence as revenge and then alerts Leland that they are going to bury him with a press conference! But Leland is not done yet as he calls in his last chance of killing Bob, Jimmy and Felicia, and it’s Prototype 2000 the same suit of armor that took Bob’s arm during a fight! As Prototype 2000 comes close he opens fire on Leland and then tells the shocked heroes that he is really Gordon Bell the founder of Ultratech!

So many Prototypes to keep track off as this issue has a total of five of them all with different looks and all with different names and model numbers! This issues plot has Bob, Jimmy and Felicia going to Ultratech towers to get the Prototype suit for Jimmy in order to control his powers as well as to alert Leland that they are going to expose his crimes to the world, and while trying to do so they meet his armored and invisible goons and then watch the man that has caused them all so much heartbreak be killed before their eyes by the founder of Ultratech! Bob Campbell aka Ranger is very level headed in this issue and fights when he needs to do so and also is the voice of reason to Jimmy who is lashing out in anger towards those who tricked him into becoming a ticking time bomb of energy. Jimmy is clearly getting out of hand and his power surges are out of control and if not for the Prototype suit he could and would end up killing a lot of innocent people. Felicia is showing that she has a great heart and is teaming with her ex-husband in order to expose Ultratech for the greedy scumbags they are. Leland is just as selfish and evil as ever and wants to kill those who stand in the way of him making money, that’s why it’s so shocking that he is killed…or so we think he is dead as he is blasted and knocked out of a window. Ultratech’s paid muscle of Prototype III and Marjorie Fredericks fail in their attempt to stop our heroes and end up both just knocked out on the floor. The long thought to be dead Gordon Bell being the one controlling the Portotype 2000 suit has be asking so many questions like was he controlling the suit when Bob was injured? Is he really alive or is he also just tech and does this mean Bob and Jimmy are now back on the payroll? I like were the story is going, but I have to say they need to chill on all the different Prototype suits as they keep pilling up! Also I like how Leland’s death was a touch of Robocop in it as it reminds me when the board member is gunned down by Ed-209! The cover for this issue is good and has a Marvel Comics feel to it and the interior art by Roger still and is good as always. Lets see what issue 13 has in store for us!

Prototype # 13  *1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $3.50   Malibu Comics   # 13 of 18

Prototype 2000 has the mind of Gordon Bell, but he is out of touch with the times and seems to be flashing back to the time he was always at the office and is enraged by the stock market drops of Ultratech! Bob, Felicia and Jimmy are confused and not sure what to do as Leland’s body has not been found and they cannot find a shut off switch to Prototype 2000 and when they try to get close to find one, the suit fights back. On the news hero Warstrike and bad guy Blind Faith are being attacked by what looks like Prototype at Yankee Stadium and this causes Jimmy to head to the ball park and fight with this imposter Prototype that seems to be a robot, and after a brief fight the robot gets away and Prototype gets no answers from Warstrike who was confused to why he and his super villain were attacked, and Prototype wastes no time using his energy and blowing the robot up leaving scrap metal behind and Warstrike in shock of Prototypes pure power. Meanwhile back at the Unltratech Office Bob and Felicia are getting nowhere on finding an off switch, but do know that a small amount of living organisms are inside the Prototype 2000 suit and Bob puts on his helmet and as Ranger blasts Prototype 2000 hoping to expose what’s living inside it only for the killer tech suit to figure out that their stock is under attack! We then show across town in a room filled with heroes including Night Man that they are the ones going for the stock!

What a silly issue in this series as the action is packed with goofy humor and an ending that leaves you interested but also having to but other comic series to figure out what and why heroes like Night Man are trying to buy mass amounts of Ultratech stocks! The plot has our heroes trying to figure out why Prototype 2000 thinks he is the chairman of Ultratech, why Leland’s body has not been found and why a robot version of Prototype is attacking a hero at a baseball stadium. Jimmy is puzzled by why a robot wearing his suit is trying to attack a hero and get him bad press and has to rush to Yankee Stadium in order to clear his name of this weird attack. Bob is watching as his ex-wife is acting like an employee off Ultratech in order to get answers of what Prototype 2000 really is! Warstrike is the hero who is under attack by the robot version of Prototype and he is knocked around pretty bad and is super confused by the end of his real meeting with Prototype. And as for Prototype 2000 he is a super powerful tech suit with the mind of Ultratech founder Gordon Bell who is acting super sexist and like he is from the 1930’s or something, his humor is silly and eye rolling and he smacks Felicia on the butt and makes groaning sexist remakes that will make you want to watch him explode into a million different pieces. This issue also ends with showing cool Malibu hero characters like Night Man, Teknight, Solitaire and more being the ones behind the hostile takeover of Ultratech’s stock and while cool its also very goofy and also leads to the crappy other comic series crossovers that force you to buy more books to finish the story. While this was a fun read its also very generic feeling and over all not a great issue. The cover is cool and screams 90’s Superhero Comic and the interior art is just ok and is done by Dean Zachary who is not one of my favorite artist from Malibu as at times I feel his work on panels is very sloppy and rushed looking. Over all a middle of the road issue that sets up a series crossover that brings stocks into play and does have some good moments for Prototype (Jimmy) to show his new outlook on life at being a hero.

Giant Size Prototype # 1  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics    # 1 of 1

Ultratech stock is dropping fast and Nuware is buying it up dirt-cheap! Meanwhile Gordon Bell in the Prototype 2000 suit is going crazy as now the building is under attack as Ultra Heroes have shown up and Ranger heads to the lower level to confront Night Man and Solution and Prototype heads up to the roof to hold off the Teknight! After fighting the heroes in the basement Ranger is taking out of commission after putting up a good fight and the heroes have a talk with him. Meanwhile on the roof Prototype and Teknight are having a massive battle with each other and both are showing that their armor and skills are pretty evenly matched! While on the street below Ultratech workers are leaving the building with many of them quitting including Marjorie Fredericks who’s invisible and before she leaves the area decides to kill a reporter live on air! Meanwhile the battle takes Prototype and Teknight into the office of Gordon Bell and they see Ranger and the other Ultra Heroes are already there as on the street bellow J.D. Hunt of Nuware makes the announcement that his company is taking over Ultratech as they have bought the majority of the shares. Gordon Bell snaps and as the heroes run from the building her destroys Ultratech headquarters and then flies off into space with a thereat that he will one day come back for J.D. Hunt and make him pay!

This Giant Size issue showcases the end of the storyline of the Hostile Takeover and shows that Nuware and its owner J.D. Hunt was the man behind the stock takeover as well as sent the Ultra Heroes into the battlegrounds to help drive it lower so he can take it all over. Gordon Bell who is looney tunes has a part of his soul and memory inside the Prototype 2000 armor and is extremely dangerous and when pushed too far and learning that his company has been taken from him goes on a rampage and then runs away to space! He is super dangerous and to be honest all the Ultra Heroes should have teamed up and tried to destroy it before it could have went made and caused a building to come down, as think about it we have zero clue how many people might have died because of this. Prototype is fighting for Ultratech just because he needs the money that a job with them brings and Ranger is fight as he is not sure what the hell is really going on! The Ultra Heroes like Night Man and Teknight are around and while they are apart of the plot there is no real rhyme or reason for them to be helping Nuware take over Ultratech. To be honest Night Man does not even say one word! The highlight of this issue is the fight between Prototype and Teknight as they two slug it out and both are equals and each do not want to loose making them fight even harder. This also finally brings Ultrateh to an end as well as Leland and it looks as if they are bringing in a new story arch for our hero. This Giant Size comic also has a backup story that has Ranger fighting Arena and finding out that it was a she behind the armor all along. The cover is really cool and eye-catching and the interior art for the main story is done by Roger so you know its good. A great issue that helps us bring an end to the series main bad guys and that of course is the people of Ultratech.

Prototype # 14  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 14 of 18

Desperate to stop the chaos in New York The Manhattan Project is brought online and even kills its creator Douglas Platt. Meanwhile Prototype and his fellow heroes watch as Prototype 2000 blows up the Ultratech building as well as attacks other parts of New York calling out Prototype for a fight! And then Jimmy snaps out of his day dream of those past events (other comic issues from Malibu) and finds out that Ultratech is now merged with Nuware and while he is offered a job its at half of what he made and it forces him to move to New Jersey, but with a kid on the way he takes the job. He meets a few of the lab workers of Ultratech who are waiting to be let go and they talk about how terrible big tech businesses are to employees, this angers Jimmy and he leaves in a rush to get his Prototype suit on before he has an energy blast out of anger. While flying around New York getting his mind clear and trying to find a better way for the energy he builds up to be used he is attacked by The Manhattan Project to knocks our hero around. Once down The Manhattan Project starts to use his powers to drain all of Prototypes energy as he is not just a machine but a living thing from space that is now wanting to feed and become the most powerful being on Earth! Prototype has had enough and breaks The Manhattan Project’s hold on him and then over loads him with pure energy ending the fight. Jimmy goes to Bob Campbell’s house and finds that Felicia and him are getting back together and that they are moving to California again as Bob is going to work for the movies again as well as part time for Aladdin, and that Nuware has given Bob a large amount of money to clear their books of lawsuits. Bob and Felicia then offer to rent their home to Jimmy and his new family.

This is a pretty solid issue as it’s all about the fight between The Manhattan Project and Prototype and also closes some loose ends to the Ultratech story arch. In this issue Jimmy finds himself being hired by the company who bought out Ultratech with a massive pay cut and also finds out that he must move to Jersey to report into work or commute everyday. He also learns that his two new best friends Bob and Felicia Campbell are moving out of state leaving him without an Ultra Healthcare worker as well as a friend who can repair his suit when damaged. Jimmy’s life is changing and he is both scared, stressed and also slightly happy. It’s as if he knows that he needed a major change but he also can not get his head on straight as he has some much anger over what Leland had the workers of Ultratech do to him. The Manhattan Project is an alien life form that is mixed with tech and is craving raw power and energy and while he is super strong he has never faced the power of Prototype when he unleashes full blast on him, is The Manhattan Project dead or will he rise again to strike…only time and other issues will answer that question. This issue also shows that the creators behind this series wanted to take it into another direction as Ultratch is fully gone, Bob and Felicia are leaving the state, Leland, Gordon and Douglas are all presumed dead. And The Manhattan Project is destroyed making all the characters that Jimmy met in the start of this series have an ending or sorts. I think that making this issue a mostly battle one was a smart move as after building up the fall of Ultratech in issue 13 and then making the conclusion happen in other Ultraverse Comics was a crappy move and they needed to try and make readers of Prototype happy. Also bringing Roger Robinson back onto interior art was super smart as it was solid and great as always. The cover for this issue is also really cool as it has The Manhattan Project chocking the life out of Prototype. Over all a good quick read with battles in the middle of two big new plot directions for the series.

Prototype # 15  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 15 of 18

Donovan Jones is getting a laser energy tattoo of a dragon and has been accepted by Techuza, a group of Ninjas who are building him up in order to fight Prototype and Ranger in order to get revenge on the now gone Ultratech. Meanwhile Prototype and Ranger are saving people from a bridge collapse and talking about what its life to be a hero, and once everyone is safe they fly off to fanfare from those they rescued. The next day Jimmy takes the train to his new job at Nuware and meets his new boss Dennis Carlen in Marketing and the building is rundown and is a major step down for Jimmy. He gets orders that when he wears the suit he gets a $5,000 bonus from the company, but any tech repairs comes from his bonus. He then is told to sit at a desk along with many other Marketing Assistants with one massive one being called Ox. That night Jimmy takes Angella out for dinner and prepossess to her, before she answers she asks him to clear it up with her mothers as it’s a family tradition. As Jimmy and Angella leave the restaurant one of the staff is talking on the phone and is alerting someone that Jimmy is leaving and the time to strike is now. As the couple is driving away they are stopped by Donovan Jones who is now in new armor and calling himself Engine Of Destruction and Jimmy gets his Prototype suit on and the pair battle as Angella watches and questions if marrying Jimmy is what’s good for her baby and herself. We then cut to a meeting of the higher-ups of Terrordyne have a block of ice brought in and once it melts we see Leland Stanley was inside it and that he will now be the leader of the terrorist group.

The more things change the more they stay the same as it looked like we the readers had gotten away from Ultratech being the source for all the negative stuff going on in Prototypes life but while the company is gone we now see that their pains are back as Leland Stanley and Donovan Jones have came out of the wood work once more to cause some issues and deal out pain. I like that Jimmy is now working for a smaller company who just wants to use Prototype to help build their bank account and become a mascot for them of sorts, but with this new job its also clear that their bank account is not as big and that they are even more tight about money. Jimmy also is trying to be more grown up and is trying to find a way to become a “Hero” as well as a father and husband and is ready to settle his life down. Meanwhile Angella seems to be happy to have Jimmy in her life, but also seems to be fearful of his hero life and all the danger he is always in as well as what could cause issues for her and their soon-to-be born child. I like that Donovan is now working for Techuza and is now calling himself Engine Of Destruction and is so filled with hate and the want for revenge that he has forgotten his morals and just wants to kill Prototype for making him look bad and handing him his first major defeat when he was known as Prototype III. I have to be honest with you I hate the fact that Leland Stanley is back as his character had a great send off and should have been left dead, and now with him being the head of a terrorist group makes me know that his ego will be even more out of control. Over all this was a pretty solid issue that had a nice mix of adding in our new characters and stories as well as had a dash of the old story thrown in for nice measure wrapped around a grudge fight. The cover is cool and has Prototype with a cool Chinese Dragon and the interior art is done by Dean Zachary and I think that in this issue his art is really good and I will say I like it this time around and none of it looked rushed. Let’s see what issue sixteen has in store for us, and let’s hope it’s not a ton of Leland nor Jimmy being yelled at by his boss.

Prototype # 16  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 16 of 18

Prototype and Engine Of Destruction are fighting in the streets of New York as Angella watches on in shock and is wondering if this is what her life will be if she marries Jimmy. As the battle rages on Prototype learns that the more he hits Engine Of Destruction the stronger he becomes as the armor he wears repairs and protects itself, but by doing so it’s also making his suit more bulky and slowing him down. It works as Engine Of Destruction becomes too massive and it becomes hard for him to move around. As Angella watches, someone kidnaps her and says he is taking her to a place where Ultra babies are born. Meanwhile before Prototype can finish off Engine Of Destruction members of the Techuza attack and allow Engine Of Destruction to get the upper hand and take down Prototype and pound him into the ground, but Engine Of Destruction makes a big mistake when he removes Prototypes mask and Jimmy uses eye energy blasts to defeat Engine Of Destruction, but before he can really put him away the members of the Techuza come back and whisk their injured friend away and Jimmy sees that they also have kidnapped Angella and he is powerless now to save her as he wasted all his energy on that attack. We then see that Terrordyne doctors are working on Leland and are making him into something more than just a man.

Another battle issue that is surrounded by plot and like before this is a very entertaining issue that puts our hero in an epic battle and also ups the stakes as his lady love is taken away by his new enemies. Jimmy Ruiz who was a former gang member has a fighting nature and while it’s clear he wants to settle down and have a family, he also has way too much pride in being Prototype and cannot just stand around and allow bad guys to get away with crime. Angella who gets kidnapped also still is at war with herself as she loves her boyfriend and baby’s daddy Jimmy but also hates his fighting lifestyle. Terrordyne clearly has big plans for Leland as they have taken his corpse and are adding tech to it in order to bring him back to life to let him lead them as well as become more powerful than ever. Techuza are sneaky ninjas who watch out for each other but also seem to be very much into nabbing Angella as she has an Ultra Baby in her womb. Engine Of Destruction is a tank and can take a beating and use that beating to become stronger, but the man inside Donovan is also dealing with rage issues and this causes him to also make mistakes. The drama of Angella not being 100% sure if she can and should marry Jimmy adds that slight more human nature to this comic series and while she comes off very whinny its very understandable as who would want a life of super villains trying to kill your loved ones as well as yourself. The cover is pretty cool and eye-catching in a 90’s comic kind of way with the interior art being great and done by Roger Robinson again. Over all I have to say again a solid entertaining issue that makes me look forward to reading the next.

Prototype # 17  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 17 of 18

Stanley Leland wakes up after his resurrection surgery and has the body of a squid and is told by the terrorist group that he is the one they want to lead them and that they will help him get revenge on Prototype. Bob Campbell, Melina Campbell and Jake Alexander are working on the damage Prototype suit and they have made so very good adjustments to it making it run smoother and cause Jimmy far less pain when first putting it on. Once the armor is ready Prototype and Ranger fly off to save Angella from the grip of the Techuza and both in their own minds share how proud they are to be saving the day with the other. The heroes show up and fight off giant killer fish as well as Techuza henchmen and then finally they enter a room and their armor is scanned and Techuza alerts them that they have taken the fetus and that Angella is alive and they control the fate of Prototypes family! The Techuza also tells him that they are getting ready for war with Terrordyne and it will be fought with Ultras and bio-weapons and that Prototype should remember that he should be on their side as they control the fate of his family. Ranger tries to calm down Prototype who punches his hero friend and rushes to an image of Angella that turns into a pile of goo and he breaks down. Meanwhile the Techuza takes Angella back to New York and throw her out of a van minus her baby!

So a gang war between Techuza and Terrordyne is about to go down and both sides clearly will be playing for keeps as they are stockpiling Ultras as well as creating weapons that will cause mass destruction as well as death. So in other words we are in store for two terrorist groups fighting each other with heroes and normal people stuck in the middle! Prototype in this issue is filled with worry as well as rage as he just wants his girlfriend and baby back and is making bad decisions along the way cause he is lashing out and not using his mind in order to rescue her. And poor Angella has been kidnapped, her baby stolen from her womb and then dumped in a New York ally like she is trash, this poor woman has been through so much in a matter of hours. Ranger is doing his best to try and keep Prototype calm and on track and teaching him the ways of being an Ultra Hero, but is learning that Jimmy while a good guy is a little unstable and is always filled with anger. Leland is around and has the legs of an octopus, he is still snarky and ego driven and is promised revenge on Prototype if he helps Terrordyne in their quest for power, I wish Leland would have been left dead. The cover for this issue is terrible and is Leland his is octopus legs and is very cheesy and lame and not eye-catching and more laughable and the interior art this time around is done by George Dove and is good stuff. Crazy to think that we only have one more issue in this series and the Prototype would be over, let’s see how Malibu ends this series.

Prototype # 18  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $1.95.    Malibu Comics     # 18 of 18

Prototype is at a department store for their 10th Anniversary when he becomes under attack by Battlewagon a tech suited bad guy with tank treads for feet! The battle is going as reporter Lacy is on the scene broadcasting it live, when Battlewagon uses his force field to knock Prototype down with a hard blast he then uses a wall to trap our hero and reveals who he is as Battlewagon in Frankie the man who use to be Jimmy’s best friend! Frankie tells Jimmy that he feels like he was forgotten as he was given a job at Ultratech by Jimmy’s request and that was as a janitor and that one day when Prototype was fight Arena they knocked down a wall that killed Maria the love of Frankie’s life and put him into a coma. He then says that it was Terrordyne who brought him back and turned him into Battlewagon in order to get revenge on Prototype for taking everything away from him. Prototype snaps to and tries to talk to Battlewagon as he has something big to tell him, but the angry villain will not listen and as Prototype once more pulls his punches as he tries to talk to his one time friend who once more blasts Prototype with a massive shot and just as Battlewagon is about to kill our hero a voice stops him and its Maria who’s pregnant and very much alive, Terrordyne has lied to Frankie and he is overwhelmed and flees the scene. Prototype thanks Maria for coming and they both stand together wondering if Frankie will ever return.

The final issue of Prototype is a fun one that is its own story wrapped up in one issue, but it also does zero to answer the questions of issue 17 like the war between the two terrorist groups and what happed with Angella and her baby? But this issue has Prototype having a fight with a new Ultra Villain that turns out to be is one time best friend who blames Jimmy for all is issues and the death of his wife who is in fact very much alive. Battlewagon is the issue’s baddie and he is pretty cool as he has the torso of a man in a tech suit and the bottom half of a tank and he has massive firepower to boot! The downside to him is he is fighting with rage and this makes him sloppy in attacks as well as makes him way to talkative as he wants to alert our hero on why he hates him and wants him dead. Prototype in this issue is annoyed that he is having to do a meet and greet at a department store then turns into hero mode when he is attacked but ends up shocked and sadden when he fights out who his attacker is and why he is fighting. The story is very much like a soap opera and it’s clear that writer R.A. Jones knew this as he even has panels showing a soap opera on a TV, and while it feels out of place and disjointed from the last issue it still very much was an entertaining read. To be honest many times this comic series in its run feels disjointed as plots and characters seem to disappear and they also do the finish this story in this other comic series nonsense that has plagued mainstream comics for so long now. I really do enjoy Malibu Comics and Prototype is my second favorite character in the Ultraverse and it was a blast revisiting many of these issues again as well as for some a first time read and I still feel that Prototype and Ranger should be in the Marvel Universe as they are perfect fits in the Iron Man series. The cover is cool and eye-catching but has zero to do with what happens in the issue and the interior art is done by Paul Abrams and is good stuff! After this issue a mini series was suppose to be released called “Prototype Turf War” and would have been more about the terrorist war and would have wrapped up the story, but sadly it was never released thanks to the fine folks at Marvel Comics who botched everything Ultraverse from day one of them buying them. Check out some artwork bellow to see they style of art used in this series and I will say if you like 90’s Superhero comics make sure to check out Prototype as it really is a good series with some cool characters.

Prototype is one of my favorite characters from the Malibu Comics Ultraverse and his series was well done and had a nice build up and showcased many characters all with their own story arches and all building the world they live in. It’s a shame that Prototype as well as all the rest of the Malibu Ultraverse characters never fully got to have a solid ending or even found new life in the Marvel Universe. While Prototype did have flaws and some issues in storytelling, it really is a fun series to read, and I know this sounds crazy to many of you readers and friends but I would say that for me the Ultravese was better then just about everything Image Comics did in their first few years minus the likes of Spawn and Maxx, but let’s not get to much into that. For our next update I will once more be celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary Of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be heading to the world of Crazyman! So until next time read a Malibu Comic or three, watch an Ultraforce episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host! On a side note I wonder if the Warden will have some beans for us to eat when we visit The Crazyman?

For the Honor of Greyskull: She-Ra Through the Ages

Greetings readers – it’s Juliet, reporting back in for blogging duty. Back in the early days of Rotten Ink, 2013 to be exact, Matt asked his friends what franchises they thought should have been made into comics.  Interestingly several of my picks have become comics since then with one franchise in particular enjoying a reboot and subsequent relaunch into popular culture.  That franchise is She-Ra, and today we’ll be taking a look at both the classic Princess of Power and the modern Princesses of Power series including a modern comic for younger readers.  So saddle up your flying horse, grab the Sword of Protection and let’s head to Etheria for the honor of Greyskull!

In 1985, Filmation launched a spinoff to it’s animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Geared at young women, She-Ra: Princess of Power followed Princess Adora, the twin sister of Prince Adam (aka He-Man), who was kidnapped by Hordak at birth and was taken to Etheria where she served as Force Captain of the Horde.  After being saved by He-Man and reunited with her family, Adora then chooses to return to Etheria as a freedom fighter in the rebellion, taking up the Sword of Protection and the mantle of She-Ra.  

She-Ra: Princess of Power introduced many supporting characters, some of whom were created by Filmation and others by Mattel, presumably so they could add toys and other merchandise featuring the new characters. The series made its debut on TV in 1985, and the five episode introduction was packed as the film He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword. She-Ra: Princess of Power would run for two seasons and a total of 93 episodes. 

The original She-Ra series is one of those cartoons that’s just always existed for me.  I was so young when it debuted, that I can’t actually remember the first time I saw the show, rather, it was ever-present throughout my childhood.  Even after it went off the air, I had a VHS copy of He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special taped off TV that I’d regularly watch.  I loved the characters, but moreover, I loved the idea of the characters and their world.  These were the types of characters that I’d make my own stories about while daydreaming (hello, future fanfiction and original fiction writer). Like many cartoons of its era, it faded away for a while but saw a huge resurgence of interest with the rise of nostalgic pop culture in the late 90s/early 00s.  And of course, the release of the show on DVD helped fuel that fire.  I have the DVDs, and it’s been fun getting reacquainted with the series, especially getting the watch the entire run in order, something I didn’t get to do as a child.  

In 2018, a new version of She-Ra debuted on Netflix.  She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was developed by Noelle Stevenson, already well known for her Nimona and Lumberjanes comic series.  It focused on a teenaged Adora’s journey of love and friendship from being a Horde force captain to taking on the mantle of She-Ra, the savior of Etheria. This series ran a total of five seasons on Netflix to wide acclaim for both its storytelling and its inclusive characters and relationships.  

I had heard good things about She-Ra and the Princess of Power since its launch, but being notoriously late to the game on Netflix shows, it took me until the fifth and final season was released to start my watch.  In all honesty, however, my timing couldn’t have been better.  I watched the entire run of the show in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and was fairly awestruck.  It was amazing to see beloved, albeit sometimes one dimensional characters from the original series reborn with intentional stories and personalities all their own in bodies and with identities that reflect the varied and awesome realities of our world with a fantasy backdrop.  And then there’s the storytelling.  I have such appreciation for shows that are geared towards younger folks that don’t shy from complex stories and don’t pander to their intended audience.  Watching She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, I was moved to tears on more than one occasion and could imagine my younger self feeling all of the feelings when watching it.  

One thing that really surprised me going from She-Ra: Princess of Power to She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was which characters became my favorite from each show.  In the original show, I was a huge fan of Adora/She-Ra but also loved the looks of Peekablue and Frosta.  In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, I totally adored Mermista and, mostly surprisingly of all, became a diehard fan of Scorpia.  Both of those characters grow so much through the series, and with Scorpia, you just want her to win and find happiness.  

Before we go on, I have to talk for a moment about music.  Both She-Ra series have memorable theme songs.  The original 80s theme is a riff on the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe theme with a voiceover from titular hero and a chorus of their name, though I find the She-Ra theme to be much catchier.   The theme for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, however, takes catchy to a whole new level with the song “Warriors” performed by Aaliyah Rose.  It’s such a great anthem that’s guaranteed to get stuck in your head.In addition to the original run of Mattel figures and their accompanying playsets upon which the show was launched, the 80s version of She-Ra had plenty of merchandise both then and now including t-shirts, coffee mugs and cups, sticker and coloring books, board games, backpacks and Funko Pops. Starting in the 2000s, Mattel began to cash in on toy collectors’ nostalgia with several series of reissued He-Man and She-Ra figure sets, beginning with Masters of the Universe Classics.  This first series ran from 2008 until 2016 and featured She-Ra characters scattered among those from He-Man throughout the line.  These were good looking collectors’ figures that were based on the original Masters of the Universe sculpts rather than the original She-Ra figures (so they were bulkier and all plastic with sculpted hair).  My own collection includes both Adora and She-Ra as well as Teela from Masters of the Universe. There have been several additional reissue series in the same vein of Masters of the Universe Classics over the years with a new one that just started (the She-Ra from that series was released in February, 2021) and a line of ReAction figures.  Like its predecessor, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power also has its share of cool merchandise including t-shirts, enamel pins, stickers, a line of books and graphic novels aimed at younger readers, and an awesome line of Target exclusive figures.  

I had many of the original She-Ra figures growing up including She-Ra and a Crystal Swiftwind.  I remember always wanting the Crystal Castle playset, but alas, never actually had it (though my extensive Jem and the Holograms collection more than made up for that), but I do still have my childhood She-Ra coloring book.  I haven’t gotten any merchandise from the new show yet – save for the topic of our review, but I blame that on having watched it entirely during the pandemic and having not set foot in a Hot Topic in over a year as of this posting.  

So let’s talk about what we’re going to review today — in 2019, Scholastic (who you may know from your childhood book fairs) released a chapter book designed for grades 1-5 called She-Ra: Origins of a Hero.  Written by Tracey West, this book kicked off an unconnected series of books for the same age group that took place in the world of the Netflix show.  The fourth book, released in early 2020, however was a graphic novel called She-Ra: Legend of the Fire Princess.  It was written by D.G. Gigi and illustrated by Pauline Ganucheau with input from Noelle Stevenson.  That graphic novel, which was a gift from Matt, is the subject of today’s review. As a reminder, here on Rotten Ink, we grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and are looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So get ready for an adventure of friendship and wonder as we look at She-Ra: Legend of the Fire Princess

She-Ra: Legend of the Fire Princess  ****
Released in 2020   Cover Price $12.99   Scholastic   #1 of 1

The Spirit Ember is the hot topic of the day as both the Horde and the Rebellion are seeking this lost rune stone.  As Entrapta and Catra plan their search, Glimmer tells the other princess of the legend of the Fire Princess, whose years of solitude trying to master the secrets of the Spirit Ember ended up destroying her kingdom.  Adora is disturbed by the legend, but soon her attention shifts as a Horde vehicle is reported outside Thaymor.  Queen Angela sends Adora, Glimmer and the others to investigate and permits them to search for the Spirit Ember. Meanwhile, Catra and Scorpia are on their own search, but are decidedly not on the same page about their objectives for the day.  As both teams race toward the Spirit Ember, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems with the lost runestone and each team will have to not only decide if the rune stone is worth it, but also confront issues of trust and friendship along the way.

Comics based on cartoons (as opposed to cartoons based on comics) can really go either way: they can provide fans with additional stories that are faithful to the shows they love or they can utterly pale in comparison with the source material.  Lucky for us, She-Ra: Legend of the Fire Princess is the former. Just like the show, while this graphic novel is aimed at a younger audience, it’s a great read for fans of any age.  The story of a quest for a lost rune-stone would fit perfectly in the middle seasons of the show and, like all of the episodes, manages to balance the “quest of the day” with the larger things the characters are dealing with emotionally and interpersonally.  You can tell Noelle Stevenson had a hand in this because the tone is just right.  Gigi D.G.’s script is well-paced and gives each character time to shine, and Paulina Ganucheau’s art, which you can see below, fits perfectly with the style of the show.  Given that it is aimed at young readers, this will be a quick read for most, but it still manages to pack in a lot of story and a lot of heart.  If you’re a fan of the show and are craving more She-Ra content after the final season, definitely check this one out.

What a fun trip down the nearer and further stretches of memory lane.  When I proposed a She-Ra comic back in 2013, I had hoped that it would provide context and depth to the 80s characters.  Never could I have imagined a show as amazing as She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and I’m so happy we have it.  For our next update, I’ll be handing the blog back to Matt, but we’ll stay in the world of nostalgia as we visit the 90s for a look at Malibu’s Prototype.  In the meantime, support your local comic shop, be strong and be brave.

Earthworm Jim Saves Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve! It’s crazy to think that another year is almost over and that we are about to celebrate another Christmas here at Rotten Ink. This time of the year is always very special for me and makes me think back to my youth and all the cool toys, games, music, comics and books I used to get for the holidays as well as always makes me think about how lucky I am to have so many amazing people in my life as I have a great family, amazing friends and am blessed to be able to have so many creative outlets like Game Swap Kettering, Sparkle Comics, Bloodline Video, Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre, Radio, Rockstar Pro Wrestling, Rotten Ink and so many other top notch projects that allow for me to have an outlet. As I have said here before, one of the coolest Christmas gifts I ever got was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and that’s why I always think about classic video games around this holiday as if brings back great memories of playing them with family, friends and even trying to beat games myself! So for this update I have decided to take a look a video game character that made his major splash on the Sega Genesis that spawned a cartoon and even a comic series, and this cheesy character is the one and only Earthworm Jim! So if you’re ready to take a trip with Rotten Ink, Marvel Comics and Earthworm Jim this Christmas Eve, you should find a comfy chair, pour yourself some eggnog. and as we all wait for Santa, I think it’s time to have a classic game flashback.

Earthworm Jim was a normal worm on the planet earth that spent his days digging around in dirt and avoiding being eaten by birds. Meanwhile in space Psy-Crow, a feared bounty hunter, accidentally drops a cyber space suit from his ship that falls to Earth and Jim who is on the run from birds looking to make him a meal hides inside it and the suit evolves him into a more human-like life form with intelligence and a goofball charm. But with his new found power and mind, he becomes a marked worm as Psy-Crow on the orders of the evil Queen Slug-For-A-Butt is set for death and Jim himself now wants to meet the Queen’s lovely sister Princess What’s-Her-Name! And so began Earthworm Jim, space explorer and hero, who armed with his ray gun has saved worlds as well as those who are in need. Earthworm Jim in his cyber suit weighs around 154 pounds and stands about 5’8” and has super strength and a heroic heart, but he also is a little goofy as he still is a worm! Say what you will about Earthworm Jim, but he is the hero we didn’t know we needed.

Earthworm Jim is a side scrolling game that was created by Doug TenNapel and was a fun silly concept that captured the attention of not only gamers but also game publishers. The first Earthworm Jim game was released in 1994 for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo and has Earthworm Jim avoiding his enemies and trying to save Princess What’s-Her-Name! The game over the years would go on to be on many other systems like Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Nintendo Game Boy, PC and Game Boy Advance. The game was super popular and by 1995 the sequel Earthworm Jim 2 was released and continued the story of the first game and was released for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, PC and the Sega Saturn to name a few. This game was a hit but was not fully embraced by gamers and critics as the game did not change enough to warrant its quick release to cash in on the popularity of the original. The game series took a break for a while, and it was not till 1999 when the world got Earthworm Jim 3D that was only released for the Nintendo 64 and has Jim fighting to wake from a coma and must battle his rogues gallery who have all entered his mind. This game was not well received and marked the end of the series for home consoles.

In my youth, I can remember spending many of hours playing both Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 for the Sega Genesis at my friends houses as well as at my cousins Dino and Norman’s. Shocking enough, I never did ever buy my own copy of the game and always just played it with them or borrowed it from them for a short time. Sadly I have never played Earthworm Jim 3D as it just never was on my radar as by the time it was released I was all about the Sony Playstation when it came to playing games. One other thing that is crazy to think is that games like Earthworm Jim helped spawn many other weird themed games like Conker, Crash Bandicoot, Banjo-Kazooie and Boogerman to name a few, and yes I know Boogerman was released the same year as Earthworm Jim. Say what you will about the Earthworm Jim series of games, but one thing is for sure, if you grew up in the 90’s and played video games they were on many of our must play games list.

Did you know in 1995 a cartoon series was released based around the adventures of Earthworm Jim? Released by Universal Cartoon Studios and airing on Kids WB starting on September 9, 1995, this series followed Earthworm Jim as he is being attacked by all types of baddies who want his power suit for their own evil plans! This cartoon was part action, part adventure and part silly as it played up on the over all goofy nature of the character and its universe. Voice actor Dan Castellaneta played Earthworm Jim, Jeff Bennett played Peter Puppy and Kath Soucie voiced Princess What’s-Her-Name showing they had some great voice talent on this show. The series only lasted for 23 episodes and ended its run on December 13, 1996 making it a very short run cartoon that built a very small cult fan base from those who grew up in the 90s. The cartoon has made its way to home media on both VHS and DVD with the latter being the complete series. This was a cartoon I can remember seeing from time to time, but was not something I watched often as I was a little older when it was released and was more into other shows at that time. But if you like this cartoon, make sure to do yourself a favor and get the DVD set put out by VEI and relive this classic toon.

In the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s toy company Playmates was one of the kings of the toy aisle as they delivered figures based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, The Addams Family, Toxic Crusaders, The Simpsons, Dick Tracy, Skeleton Warriors, Flash Gordon, Coneheads and Zorro to name a few and along with these figures they also did Earthworm Jim ones based on the cartoon and video game! These figures were released in 1995 with a total of eight figures being made with three of them being different versions of Earthworm Jim. Also in the line was Princess What’s-Her-Name and Peter Puppy as well as baddies Psycrow, Henchrat and Bob! Each figure also came with weapons as well as a mini character like goldfish # 4 and Snott! The series of toys never made it to a wave two even though they made an appearance at Toy Fair with figures of Evil Jim, Queen Slug-For-A- Butt and The Hamstinator all planned. The figures were really cool and fit alongside Playmates other figures. Growing up I did not own any of them but do remember them in stores, to be honest it’s a little crazy that I did not at least buy Earthworm Jim as I was a fan of the game even in 1995!

Back in the 90’s Marvel Comics had already closed down their kids comic branch Star Comics and absorbed many of those titles under Marvel Comics proper like Muppet Babies and Thundercats to name a few. But they also had Epic Comics still going as it was a creator owned branch that was founded in 1982 and featured comics based on Horror Movies like Hellraiser and Nightbreed. In 1994 they tried to open a branch called Marvel Music that was comics based on musical acts like Alice Cooper, Rolling Stones and Billy Ray Cyrus and this was very short lived as by 1995 this branch was history and all titles canceled. But out of the ashes of the weirdness of Marvel Music and the cool kid friendly comics based on cartoons and toys of Star came Marvel Absurd a branch that would have issues of weird teen style comics based on popular toons and video games of the time. Some titles in this branch was just carry overs from Marvel Titles like the Nickelodeon cartoon “Ren And Stimpy” plus the hit MTV cartoon “Beavis & Butthead” that switched over to this branch way into their series. And the new title launched for this branch was “Earthworm Jim” based on the popular video game at the time not to mention the silly parody comic “Marvel Riot” that lasted only one issue. But like most things at Marvel Comics at the time as soon as it started in ended as its whole run was from around 1994-1996 as the brand was just not super popular for Marvel. But I want to take a moment to let you readers know that in 2020 I will do a Top 10 Countdown Of Things That Should Have Gotten An Absurd Comic!

So as you can see, Earthworm Jim was a perfect fit for the short lived Marvel Absurd comic line as he was wacky, weird and over the top! And not so surprisingly, this comic series is a little hard to get and the issues hold a decent price on them to get so I want to thank sellers on both Ebay and Amazon for having them in stock and making this holiday update possible. I want to remind all you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready to see what Marvel Comics and Earthworm Jim have in store for us, let’s get to the comic review section of this update.

Earthworm Jim # 1  ***
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.25      Marvel      # 1 of 3

Queen-Slug-For-A-Butt, Major Mucus and Doc Duodenum have entered Heck and asked the underground ruler Evil to let them hire an army of evil lawyers so they can sue Earthworm Jim for all the years of stopping their evil schemes! Meanwhile Jim himself is on a “date” with Princess What’s-Her-Name and they are attacked by Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head who take them prisoner, as Professor wants the cyber space suit and Psy-Crow wants to eat Jim once he is out of the suit!!! As Jim escapes the grip of Psy-Crow his suit runs amuck in the lab while talking goldfish Bob and his catmen have Princes What’s-Her-Name prisoner and force her to agree to marry him as they fake that they will kill Jim if show don’t! Meanwhile the escaped worm Jim finds himself in the prison area and meets many failed experiments that are being locked up and that includes a small puppy man named Peter Puppy, and once Jim finds these creatures need help he returns to the lab and gets his suit back by beating Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, heads to the dungeon and frees the creatures and along with Peter jumps on a rocket to stop the wedding of Princes What’s-Her-Name and Bob!

This comic is super silly and really is Absurd and that’s a great thing as a comic based on Earthworm Jim needed to be this way. The plot has all of Jim’s bad guys wanting to defeat him with some trying to hire lawyers to sue him with others wanting to kill him and steal his suit to build an army of super soldiers! But while the lawyers do not find Jim in this issue, they are still on the lookout for him as his main nemesis are Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head who kidnap him and his Princess girlfriend and want him dead in the ground! Earthworm Jim in this issue is heroic and slightly goofy but shows that he will always stand up for the little guy and do whatever it takes to do the right thing! I love how Jim in this issue also finds his inner hero when he meets a group of freaks that have been created and kept prisoner and knows he must set them free! Princess What’s-Her-Name also shows that she is a great person that is able to take care of herself as she mops the floor with many catmen! I also feel bad for her as she thinks her man Jim has been tortured and even cut by his captures, and this makes her agree to marry a goldfish. Professor Monkey-For-A-Head and Psy-Crow are the issues main bad guys as they are teaming up with the idea to finally bring down Jim once and for all and they are cruel and seem to get joy in this sick game they are playing. Bob the goldfish as well is a sick man who is a terrible creature who is trying to force love in order to gain power. We shall see how the lawsuit goes if the Lawyers of Heck come into play in one of the further issues. Over all this is a very fun action, adventures, comedy and silly comic that brings the video games/cartoon character to life on the pages of a comic book. The cover is fantastic and very eye catching and captures that 90’s style, the interior art is done by Barry Crain and is top notch and does capture the fun nature of the Earthworm Jim universe. So with this first issue being great, let’s see what the next issue has in store for us.

Earthworm Jim # 2  **1/2
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.25     Marvel     # 2 of 3

Evil, the cat leader of Heck, is upset at his lawyers and orders them to get the job done this issue or they will all way the price! While Earthworm Jim and Peter are lost in space, as they cannot find the hideout of Bob and even after getting directors from a Gas Station planet it takes them sometime to find their way. Meanwhile Bob is gloating and bullying his soon to be wife Princess What’s-Her-Name, as a cat slips a bomb into the Princess bouquet! Meanwhile Earthworm Jim has found the directions to stop the wedding, as Bob now knows that Jim is on his way to stop the wedding! Even Queen-Slug-For-A-Butt the sister of Princess What’s-Her-Name shows up for the wedding as this will truly give Bob power. Once Jim and Peter arrive they take a mutated hamster and head to the ceremony to save the day. Jim just in time is able to save the Princess before they say the “I Do’s” and Bob climbs into a mega mech suit and puts a hurting on Jim, but lucky for Jim he is able to crack Bob’s fishbowl and wins the day! As Jim, The Princess and Peter celebrate the Heck Lawyers have arrived and worse the bomb in the bouquet is about to explode!

Earthworm Jim and his puppy friend Peter are on a mission to stop a forced wedding that will see Princess What’s-Her-Name being the wife of the cruel goldfish Bob…and along the way Jim must fight off catmen, not get lost and come face to face with Bob who also now has a massive suit that is more powerful! I like in this issue that Earthworm Jim once more has a good heart and so wants to be the hero, not to mention he is still shown to be a total goof who it seems by luck is able to save the day. Peter Puppy is shown in this issue that when pushed he can and will turn into a dog monster, making him a good ally for Jim to have. Princess What’s-Her-Name who is a great and loving character shows she is willing to ruin her life in order to protect the life of her wormfriend Jim! Bob is such a jerk and when he don’t get what he wants in this issue spends his time beating up Jim, oh and he also seems to love to boss around his catmen henchmen. The Lawyers From Heck at the end of this issue finally find Jim, but worse just as they have the bomb planted is about to blow. The issue is filled with dumb humor as well as some zany action and adventure moments making for a good read. I also really enjoy the fact that both Pinhead from Hellraiser and the Creature From The Black Lagoon have cameos in this issue and Pinhead is shown as one of the Lawyers of Heck and Gillman is the Preacher for the wedding. The cover for this issue is lots of fun and has a James Bond feel to it and the interior art for the start of the comic is done by Barry Crain and is great with the later part of the issue being done by Manny Galan & Carlos Garzon and is just so-so. Over all this was a good issue, and I cannot wait to see how this series ends.

Earthworm Jim # 3  **
Released in 1996     Cover Price $2.25      Marvel     # 3 of 3

Earthworm Jim is being surrounded by all his rogues gallery as well as Lawyers from Heck as they were their for the wedding of their evil friend Bob, but things turn good when Peter by accident sneezes the flowers with the bomb in it into the crowd of baddies and the explosion leaves most of them down and out! As Earthworm Jim, Princess What’s-Her-Name and Peter escape the planet the Lawyers try and figure out where he went now so they can serve him papers. Peter would like to go back to his home world and Jim agrees to take him, but he soon learns that Peter when hurt, scared, mad or even slightly annoyed will turn into a wild dog beast that is looking for a fight! They go back and fourth with Peter raging and threatening to fight Jim that is until the Princess has had enough and puts them both in their places. Now at Peter’s home planet, they have been followed by Evil and the Heck Lawyers who know have decided to kill Jim and just sue his estate! But before Evil and them can commit the murder Jim and his people are attacked by a giant red dinosaur and Jim is stomped into the ground and is loosing the fight, but lucky for him Princess What’s-Her-Name gets into Jim’s suit and powers up her already massive power and she beats the Dinosaur with ease. With Peter home and Jim back in the suit, the puppy ends up asking if he could just go home and live with them as he now knows that his planet is a terrible place to live. Jim and The Princess agree to take Peter to their home planet and while there Peter ends up saving the day as he attacks and eats Evil and chases off all the Heck Lawyers after becoming the dog monster! In the end Earthworm Jim and Princess What’s-Her-Name continue their date and all ends well.

This third and final issue is fun, but is the weakest issue in the series as I feel they waste so much time with the joke everything sets Peter off in becoming the dog monster…and while funny maybe the first couple of times it wears thin pretty fast when its back to back to back, making me as a reader kind of be annoyed with the Peter character. It almost seemed liked they ran out of story ideas and just made this final issue filled with lots of filler moments. The plot has Earthworm Jim and Princess What’s-Her-Name taking their new friend Peter to his home planet, and they are being stalked by Evil cat ruler of Heck and his demonic army of lawyers as well as trying to survive the planet that is filled with all types of creatures all want blood and kills. In this issue, Earthworm Jim is still a hero but also shows that he can be defeated and also can have a short fuse when annoyed time and time again. As I said before, Peter is pretty annoying in this issue and spends almost all the issue being triggered by everything and going back and fourth into becoming a monster and a normal puppy man. Princess What’s-Her-Name is as always a hero and shows that she don’t even really need Jim to be her hero as she has the power and mind to take care of herself. Evil and his Heck Lawyers are pretty silly and like in the other issues just kind of fumble around and miss their chances to strike. The threat in this issue is around but the stakes don’t seem as high as really this whole issue’s purpose is to get Peter home, and to this reader I kind of feel that this is just a average read with not real thought put into the story and was made to fulfill the contract made with the people who made Earthworm Jim. The cover on this issue is great and eye catching, and the art in this issue is all done by Barry Crain and is good but also seems rushed. To sum it up, this is an entertaining comic mini series based on a very goofy video game character, and I am sure will please fans of Earthworm Jim. Check out the art below to see the style of Barry Crain and enjoy.

So before we end this update, I really wanted to share some of the Horror Movie characters that have cameos in this series. The first one I spotted was Pinhead from the movie series Hellraiser in issue # 2 who is on the planet Heck and is one of the Lawyers that has been hired to bring a lawsuit against Earthworm Jim. It was pretty cool seeing him as Marvel Comics under their Epic line use to make Hellraiser comics. Also in issue # 2 was Gillman from the Universal Monster movie Creature From The Black Lagoon as he is the preacher that is marrying Bob and Princess What’s-Her-Name! Sadly I think these two are the only two Movie Monsters in this series, but I must say this is very cool and I wish more comics would add little Easter Eggs like this more often.

So I hope you enjoyed this Christmas Eve update all about Earthworm Jim and it helped add to your holiday season with great memories of playing the video game, watching the cartoon, playing with the toys and even reading the comics. This time of the year really is filled with magic and makes me always think of my youth and all the great memories of Christmas pasts. So I don’t want to take up more of your holiday with my ramblings, but do want to let you know that our next update will be my Films Of 2019 update and will be the first update of 2020! So until next time enjoy your time with loved ones, have fun opening your gifts and always watch out for each other. Oh and make sure to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Ballad Of Stretch Armstrong

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! I am sure you readers are as excited as I am for Christmas, which is just around the corner as is my Christmas Eve special! For this update, I decided that I was going to take a look at a toy that started in 1976 and is still going strong today, Stretch Armstrong! I am sure if you’re an older reader or a younger reader to this blog, you either had a Stretch Armstrong figure, know someone who did, or at least know who he is. It’s crazy to think that Stretch Armstrong, as of the posting of this update, is 43 years old and has faded in and out of toy stores over those decades and has now finally made it to an update here on Rotten Ink as one of my countdown to Christmas Eve updates. So sit back and pour yourself some eggnog, and let’s talk about the one and only blonde muscle-bound stretchable hero known as Stretch Armstrong and enjoy this flashback down action figure lane.

Jesse D. Horowitz developed the concept of Stretch Armstrong (originally called Stretch Man) for Kenner, and he had two different directions they were going to look at with one being a muscle blonde man and the other a large sumo wrestler. They went with the muscle bound blonde to keep costs down as the sumo was just too bulky. They brought in Bill Armasmith to develop the figure once Kenner loved the idea. When the figure went into production, they used a liquid sugar gel to give the figure his stretching ability and it became a hit with youngsters. And this also sparked other figures in the Stretch Armstrong series that included bad guys that he could fight with. The original run for this toy series lasted from 1976-1980, and those are now major collectors’ items as many of the originals now are long gone to the toy chest in the sky thanks to them degrading. In the 1990’s, Cap Toys got the IP of Stretch Armstrong and tried a come back to the world of toys to once more capture the attention of the kids and become a must-have toy. They added a new villain as well as a dog sidekick called Fetch Armstrong, and this once more has a short lived run in toy stores before once more fading away. And from then on, off and on many more Stretch Armstrong remake figures have been released to stores, but have never captured attention like the original did in the late 70’s and has never made it back to the must-own figures on Christmas lists. Who knows what the future will hold for Stretch Armstrong and his conquest to once more dominate the toy aisles, but one thing is for sure, those youngsters from the past who owned one sure did enjoy playing with it and he will forever live on in their minds.

As I stated above, Stretch Armstrong had his own set of villains with the most popular being Monster Man who was a green skinned reptilian like humanoid who was released in 1978 and is our heroes most popular baddy. Monster Man is also worth lots of money as many of the original figures have not made it undamaged to this modern time. In 1977, the see-through alien Stretch X-Ray was released and was a strange looking guy who grossed out youngsters with his appearance of being able to see his guts and organs. He as well is very rare and the original sales for lots of money. Vac-Man was released in 1994 and was the newest of the Stretch bad guys and was also unique as he came with a pump that allows you to suck the air out of the toy and that made him stretchy. Vac-Man is a red skinned alien who was one mean creature. Growing up I remember the same kid who had Stretch Armstrong also had Vac-Man and all of us kids took turns playing with this figure! One thing is for sure, Stretch Armstrong had one kick butt rogues gallery that I would have loved to have seen in the pages of a comic book series when I was a kid and should have been made by Star Comics in the late 80’s or even early 90’s! Check out the pictures below to see his foes in all their evil glory!

Really quickly, we should talk about the clones of Stretch Armstrong as this figure series had its fair share of imitators that tried to cash in on its popularity with youngsters. Some of the most popular were Mego’s “Elastic Heroes” that started in 1979 and featured DC Comic heroes Batman, Superman and Plastic Man and from Marvel they had Hulk and Spider-Man. They would later add cartoon characters Casper, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Growing up, I always wanted the Hulk one but never could find one used at one of the antique stores in Waynesville or at a garage sale. In the 1980’s LJN decided to get into the game and made “WWF Stretch Wrestlers” that were stretchable pro wrestlers and in the line was Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, Randy Savage, George Steele, Junkyard Dog, Ricky Steamboat and King Kong Bundy. I knew one kid who had one of these and I can remember of the playground a lot of us kids stretching the heck out of Randy Savage! Also released in more modern times is a stretch Scooby-Doo figure that is sure to please fans of this classic cartoon character and collectors of stretchable action figures. And these toy series are just a drop in the hat of figures that were inspired by Stretch Armstrong showing that he was a major player in the world of toys and was pretty innovative in its stretchable feature. Check out the pictures below for a look at some of these inspired toys.

Like I said, as a kid I never did own a Stretch Armstrong and only played with them when my friends brought one to school or over at my cousin’s house when they had one for a short time…until they decided to cut him open and see what he was made of. Well I am proud to say that in 2018 I finally got myself a Stretch Armstrong, and best of all he is called the World’s Smallest! And while he is super small and does not stretch as far as the normal larger sized one I would say this that he is single handedly the worst Stretch Armstrong figure ever made! He is made just of rubber and has a hard plastic skeleton and a vey cheap paint job…no joke when opened I was 100% disappointed in this figure and after only stretching him for a few moments I placed him on a shelf and that’s were he has sat for over a year now. So this is just a warning if you want a Stretch Armstrong don’t go cheap and just order a normal sized one like I wish I did.

Hasbro, who now owns the rights of Stretch Armstrong, decided that they wanted to develop the toy property into movies, comics and TV shows and for years talk went around Hollywood about a big budget movie when Disney bought the rights and wanted to make a family comedy film that had many different scripts written and even stars casted including Tim Allen and Danny DeVito at one point being cast in the title role. But Disney failed to make the movie and then the rights went to Universal and it has well turned out many scripts. They wanted actor Taylor Lautner to play Stretch, but Universal as well dropped the ball and never made the film Relativity Media picked up the rights and before anything really went too far the film was scrapped once again. And the last rumor going around I have heard is that Paramount is now the ones who have the rights to make a movie and have as well just sat on the property with no movie set for production. But in 2017 Hasbro and Netflix decided to team up and make a kids cartoon based on Stretch Armstrong and called it “Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters” that would change the age and nature of Stretch and would has him be a young man and his friends who mutate into stretchable heroes! The series is still going now and is the first of Stretch Armstrong media projects to ever see the light of day.

So while Stretch Armstrong never did get his big screen flick, as you have just read, he did get his streaming show in the forum of a cartoon and because of this cartoon we also got a comic series that made this update possible! And while I wish this comic mini series was based on the original figure or even the 90’s one and not a kids show with a younger Stretch, but beggars can’t be choosy and this is was IDW has given us. I want to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics and Lone Star Comics for having these comics in stock and need to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you’re ready I am ready to have an adventure with Stretch Armstrong and see if he can bring some fun to this holiday season.

Stretch Armstrong And The Flex Fighters # 1  **
Released in 2018       Cover Price $3.99     IDW     # 1 of 3

Jake Armstrong along with his friends Nathan and Ricardo become superheroes Stretch, Wingspan and Omni-Mass respective and go by the team name The Flex Fighters. They are now in the city fighting a massive praying mantis that has emerged from the ground attacking workers for a drilling company. The Rook Company lead by Mr. Rook who is responsible for training The Flex Fighters has ground troops also on the ground being lead by Malcolm Kane who can use force if the super team fails to get the mantis under control. The Mantis is strong and is given the powered teens a run for their money, but they are finally able to use extreme sound to knock out and capture it in order for Mr. Rook to study it…but their giant insect is taken away when The Extreme Hazard Unit a government agency takes it away with plans to burn it to death. But while this is going on Omni-Mass has Stretch and Wingspan follow him into the whole the mantis came from and find that its filled with babies and she was only attacking to protect them, and the team now make a pact to save the mantis mom from death.

This very kid friendly comic captures the silly nature of the NetFlix cartoon series and delivers a pretty good middle of the road read with this first issue. The plot has Stretch Armstrong and the rest of the Flex Fighters taken on a massive insect all the while getting orders to capture it alive and protect all civilians while being heroes, and for Stretch to be dealing with the pressure of time schedules his father gives him. Stretch Armstrong is a teen who has lost his mother and has an over baring dad who pushes his son way to hard, and unknown to his father Stretch is also a super hero who has the same powers as Plastic Man and Mr. Fantastic. Stretch seems like a good kid with lots of stress and just wants to do the right thing as well as not disappoint his father. Mr. Rook and Malcolm Kane are the heads of a private group that do good deeds and try and use what they uncover to help mankind, good guys with good values. The Extreme Hazard Unit I am not sure about as they appear when the danger is neutralized and take the creature away with the promise of killing it….I think they have other plans. Wingspan is a teen with flying powers and Omni-Mass is a teen with the power to make his limbs grow massive and kind of has a rude attitude. The Mantis is just a giant mantis who fights to protect her babies and really is not bad at all. Over all not much to say about this first issue as I feel it does a great job of capturing also the atmosphere and style of classic superhero books of the 60’s and we get a little backstory on most of our heroes. The cover is pretty great and eye catching for fans of the cartoon series and the interior art by Nikos Koutsis is really good and has a very modern style of what I would think if Star Comics was still around would look like. To sum it up a pretty good first issue and does make we wonder what is going to happen next in issue two.

Stretch Armstrong And The Flex Fighters # 2  **
Released in 2018       Cover Price $3.99    IDW     # 2 of 3

The Flex Fighters are in the tunnel with all the baby mantises and make a call to their boss Malcolm Kane who shoots down their idea and plan to save the giant mantis as he reminds them that their authority runs only through the city. This does not stop them as Stretch and Omni-Mass head to the Extreme Hazard Unit base and Wingspan stays behind the babysit the little ones. Stretch and Omni steal some haze mat suits and enter the lab and set free the giant mantis and as they are about the escape they are stopped by Agent Rathjani who is the one in charge at the Extreme Hazard Unit and uses her tech to capture Stretch, Omni and the Mantis…but to the rescue comes Wingspan and the baby mantises who free their mom and friends and they all try to get away with the Extreme Hazard Unit on their tails.

The second issue the pressure and heat is turned up on the Flex Fighters who want to save a momma creature from being killed and taken away from her babies as well as must disobey their own bosses to do so! In this issue we get more of the backstory of Nathan aka Wingspan as he is from a large family and often feels as if he is over looked and never listened to. And while he is creeped out by the baby Mantises they seem to really like him and is able to lead them to help in their mom’s rescue. Stretch in very confidante that he and his friends are doing the right thing in saving the giant creature and even does a good job of trying his best to lead his friends on this rescue mission. Omni-Mass does what he does best and that’s be ready for a fight and have an attitude doing it! The Giant Mantis and her Babies seem to understand when they are being talked to and offer support and help when they can on this breakout. The Extreme Hazard Unit are jerks as is their boss Agent Rathjani as they really don’t care about leaving babies orphaned and claim they have to kill the mantis for mankind’s safety. As a reader and the cliffhanger ending of the Flex Fighters as well as the giant Mantis and her babies being stuck in the lab of The Extreme Hazard Unit with armed troopers all around! The issue still captures a real kids comic feel and delivers a simple yet entertaining adventure that helps bring more life to our hero characters. The cover is pretty great and eye catching and Nikos Koutsis interior art is great and is truly a through back to classic kids comics of the late 80’s and the 90’s. So with that let’s see what issue three the final issue has in store for us and let’s see how they wrap up this tale.

Stretch Armstrong And The Flex Fighters # 3  **
Released in 2018       Cover Price $3.99     IDW     # 3 of 3

The Flex Fighters and the giant creatures are making a run for it and Omni-Mass is holding off all the armed guards by smashing the ground around them. Once outside they are faced with tanks and it’s up to mama mantis and her babies to take them down, but while this is going on Agent Rathjani captures Stretch and informs him that he and his team are trespassing on their land and that they are going to be in very big trouble! That is until Mr. Rook shows up and informs everyone that he has bought the land and it now falls under Charter City rule and that the The Extreme Hazard Unit has 30 days to move their base and now the Mantis and her babies fall under their care! Mr. Rook and the Flex Fighters end up taking the creatures to an island Rook owns and allows them to live their life there. But as they good guys are about to leave they are being watched by Monster Man who has plans to experiment on the mantises once they leave and so ends this mini series with a cliffhanger for another that is clearly not ever coming.

Stretch Armstrong And The Flex Fighters is a mini series that has a story that could easily been wrapped up in two issues but they needed three in order to make a graphic novel to make a little extra money on licensing the IP. The story of the Flex Fighters fighting and then saving a massive mantis all the while thinking back on their personal life moments that fit for this mission at hand really does have a Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe mixed with a Star Comic issues from the 80’s. In this issues we get to learn more about the life of Omni-Mass and find out that his parents move from town to town and its been hard on him to make friends and even trust people as they are never in his life long enough, we also see he fears letting people down. Stretch and Wingspan take a back seat in this issue and just react to the battle going on around them, but they are fighting the best they can in order to save a life. Mr. Rook is the real hero who out smarts the Extreme Hazard Unit by just buying the land from under them and making their jurisdiction smaller and further out! Super smart move and a way to show up Agent Rathjani who is a pretty mean spirited government worker who loves that she has power and has no remorse for her bad actions and behavior. Another cool aspect of this series is that the giant mantis understands English and does her part in the escape and tries to not only protect her babies but as well as her new human friends. Sadly we get very little of Monster Man as he is on the island and has experiments he wants to do, but never once does he fight a Flex Fighter making the cover very misleading, but to be fair comic companies have been doing this for decades. The art for the series done by Nikos Koutsis is great in this issue as well and I would like to see him at sometime take on doing a comic based on the old Nickelodeon show Doug. Over all this kids comic is nothing special but is very well done and I am sure young readers who watch this show would also really enjoy this silly adventure. While I wish this had been a comic based on the classic Stretch Armstrong this is the series we were given and after reading it I am ok with it as I originally thought this was going to be terrible and poorly written and it really did turn out to be not that bad. Below is a look at art from this series so you can see the style of Koutsis.

So while I am sure that Stretch Armstrong will get his chance again in the world of comic books, I do think it will be many years away and will not be based on the Flex Fighters. And will a live action film based on Stretch ever be made…I am going to guess no and if he does ever show up it will be in a crossover film done by Hasbro in something like G.I. Joe or Transformers. But with this update done the next one will be my Christmas Eve update and originally I was going to cover “He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword” in honor of the live action film that was slated to be released by Warner Brothers this holiday season, but they dropped the ball and did not get the film into production in time so I decided to take a look at something super silly and fun and that’s video game icon Earthworm Jim! So until next time drink a glass of eggnog or two, spend time with your family and as always support local business this holiday season. See you in space with a mechanical suited worm very soon!

 

The Holiday Challenge Of The Go-Bots!

As I have said many times here at Rotten Ink in the early and mid 80’s robots ruled the world for kids as so many cartoons, toys, comics, video games, model kits and movies showcased them and the young and young at heart could not get enough. For many the King of 80’s cartoon/toy robots are the Transformers followed by Voltron…but for me the top are the Go-Bots! Yeah I know many of you are laughing out loud and saying how in the world could you put the Go-Bots over Transformers, Voltron, Robo Force and the answer is very simple as I liked the fact they were in scale with my G.I. Joe’s and Star Wars figures plus I liked many of the characters like Leader-1, Scooter and Cy-Kill! For me this update is lots of fun to cover and write about as The Go-Bots deserve way more respect than they get from toy collectors and it’s about time they get a proper comic book series! I also want to remind you all that Go-Bots was my # 5 out of 10 for my Should Have Been A Star Comic way back in 2013 and it took till 2018 for IDW to make this happen! So if you’re ready to take a trip down memory lane and chat about the Go-Bots lets get to it!

Go-Bots hit toy shelves in 1983 thanks to Tonka Toys who was able to get molds from a Japanese toy company Popy who had a series called Machine Robo that was going strong there. Tonka wanted to cash in on the Robot-Mania that was going strong in America and taken an unknown toy series and rebranding it for the US market seemed like a quick and easy way to cash in and deliver a cool toy line for kids who would buy them up. And this worked as Go-Bots became a pretty popular toy brand and had a good following with youngsters who enjoyed these simple changing robots who were in scale with their Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures. These guys also ended up getting their own cartoon series in order to help push the toys and give the figures more character. The figures like all good 80’s toys had good guys called Guardians that were lead by Leader-1 who could turn into a jet and the Renegades lead by the motorcycle transformer bot called Cy-Kill and they were bitter enemies who lead their respected sides into battle and every day life. But Go-Bots time at being the most loved changing robot figures was cut short when America was blessed with Transformers both as toys and a cartoon in 1984 and they dominated pretty much ever sense when it came to robot action figures. The figures even though loosing the grip of being must have transforming robot toys for kids survived until 1987 when the final GoBots were released. Tonka sold the Go-Bots to Hasbro in 1991 and that is were the brand is still to this day, even having modern figures that were made for very youngsters. While they might not be as respected nor collected like Transformers the Go-Bots are still a very cool toy and cartoon brand that was spawned in the 80’s! I for one remember using the figures in my toy wars and Leader-1 was always in the planning room with Luke Skywalker, Buck Rogers, Captain Kirk and First Sergeant Duke!

Hanna-Barbera in 1983 to go along side the toys made a cartoon mini series to help push the figures and give the characters a backstory as well as personalities. The main series “Challenge Of The Go-Bots” started in 1984 and lasted 65 episodes with 2 seasons and ended in 1985! The episodes followed the war between the good guys lead by Leader-1 as they try and stop the evil ways of Cy-Kill and his band of evil bots! Each episode ran for 22 minutes and was made by Hanna-Barbera Productions and was a semi popular cartoon for the time. I mostly remember it airing in reruns on USA Cartoon Express on the USA Network, and with this sparked my love for the figures even more! It’s crazy as just like the figures the cartoon is often over looked and forgotten about as it’s our shadowed by Transformers even in the toon world, and while the cartoon is great and I have lots of great memories of watching it…I must admit that the Transformers toon is a better show over all. The cartoon has been released on VHS as well as on DVD and are worth watching if you grew up with the Go-Bots as its are true blast from the past viewing.

A short time after the Challenge Of The Go-Bots ended Hanna-Barbera Productions and Clubhouse Pictures teamed up and made “Go-Bots: Battle Of The Rock Lords” an animated movie that hit theaters in March 21, 1986! The film is about robotic transforming rock people from space who need help from Leader-1 and the Guardians to return to their planet and overthrow the evil Rock Lord Magmar who is killing his own kind to get their power sceptres! And of course Cy-Kill joins the fight and helps Magmar and his evildoers. The film did very poorly at the Box Office here in the US only taken in $1,338,264.00 and worse critics and fans alike also trashed the film as they thought it was a poorly made family flick….not to mention “Transformers: The Movie” was also released that year and once more it out shadowed Go-Bots in another medium…is it just me or do you feel like Transformers was the bully of robot properties in the 80s? GoBots: Battle Of The Rock Lords was released on VHS and has yet to get a proper DVD or Blu-Ray release here in America. While it might be the weakest of the 80’s toy line movies released it still is a flick that entertained fans of the Go-Bots. I can remember renting this movie on VHS and liking it, but it sadly was a shell of a film compared to “He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword”, “G.I. Joe: The Movie” and “Transformers: The Movie” all that are amazing watches and captured the mood and feel of the toys and cartoon series that spawned them.

Growing up I had lots of Go-Bots that I would get from stores, garage sales and even trades with fellow kids and they seen lots of play as I really did like them, while I know they are very basic in their transforming features but they held a special place in my toy collection. I had many favorites as Cy-Kill and Turbo were at the top but for me the best figure was Leader-1 as he just was such a cool figure as both robot and jet and he was always a major part in my Toy Wars and always looked after the droids during battle. As I got older many of my toys were donated to my cousins and in that batch was my Leader-1 figure and while I am glad he made them happy and they were able to have adventures with him, he was one figure I missed. But lucky for me while at Mavericks Cards And Comics one day they had a near mint one for very cheap so I was able to get one back and now he sits on a shelf at my job looking over the store. I can remember many of my friends growing up who had Go-Bots always mentioned Leader-1 as one of their favorite figures from the line. So if you grew up with the Go-Bots or still love them to this day leave me a comment and let me know what character was your favorite.

Also besides the toys and cartoon the Go-Bots also spawned lots of cool merchandise over the years for the fans to get their hands on and for them to bring in extra money for the brand. They have and had Halloween costumes, magazines, posters, home media, lunch boxes, shirts, computer game, comic books, books, soundtrack, coloring books, card game, board game and so much more! Over the years I have had many of these items like the cartoon on VHS, a T-Shirt of Leader-1, some of the books, coloring books & magazines and of course I have the comics from IDW as they are the main attraction of this update! So if you are a fan of Go-Bots there is some great stuff out there for you to collect.

I have worked for both a Comic Book store as well as several Media stores and a topic that has came up at many is the Go-Bots or Transformers talk and I have always found it very interesting as in all the talks I have been apart of most have a very weird hatred for GoBots as the fans of the Transformers are very rabid when it comes to the honor of their favorite changing robots, and to be honest besides myself I can only think of one other coworker who would take up for them during these topics. One phrase that is said so much during talks is that Go-Bots were the K-Mart versions of the Transformers, and to me this is a silly statement as while they might not have been as detailed nor as popular they were released before and did bring transforming robots into the minds and hands of the kids to pave the way for the Transformers. Plus most modern mass market Transformers in my opinion are really junky and are bargain basement level toys. So I also need to stress I love Transformers and grew up watching the cartoons, playing with the toys as well as reading the Marvel Comics and they were a major part of my youth, I just want to take up for Go-Bots as they seem to always get the short end of the stick when it comes to respect for them when it came to 80s toys and cartoons. Plus the art below is pretty great and well played to whom ever the artist is!

So as you can see I am a fan of Go-Bots and I know many of you readers are or were a fan at one point and had at least one in your collection. So now lets get to the comic reviews and I want to thank IDW for making them and Mavericks Cards And Comic for stocking them. And for me this is really a great way to start the countdown to Christmas Eve as Go-Bots really does make me flashback to my youth. I want to remind all you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready like I am, as I have wanted a comic series based on the world of Go-Bots sense I was a youngster and now its time to finally read one.

GO-BOTS # 1  ***
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99     IDW     # 1 of 5

The Go-Bots are leaving among humans now and Leader-1 and human Mark are one secret missions to save prisoners of war. Scooter along with his human friend A.J are hanging around and while she is at classes he is getting paid to drive people around to get extra money for A.J. And the world’s top sport now is racing Go-Bots and Turbo and his human rider Matt Hunter are champions of that sport. And after winning the big race Matt and Turbo are approached by. T. Coriander Banks who takes them to an underground fight arena and the witness Cy-Kill kill other Go-Bots and robots. And Matt and Turbo soon find that Banks has tricked them and wants them to fight with Cy-Kill and they decline and barely escape alive. They return to the site of the arena and everyone is gone besides dead bodies of Go-Bots and Humans! Meanwhile Mark and Leader-1 get a new mission to stop a rouge band of Go-Bots and once found Leader-1 is tricked and all his programing and codes stolen by Cy-Kill who is running the pack of evil Go-Bots as he wants to kill all the humans and rule the world! A.J meanwhile goes to have a quick meal with her teacher Professor Braxis who informs her that he as well has his own Go-Bot and shoves her into his basement were she see’s Vamp who approaches to attack when Scooter busts in and saves her and roughs up the Professor who claims he was just joking. Once outside the world is going crazy as the Go-Bots have turned on humans due to the stolen codes and A.J asks Scooter if he is going to turn on her as he stands with his fist clinched.

This first issue shows that Go-Bots are not just kid’s toys anymore as this issue is filled with murder and death plus does a great job of building this comic universe. The plot of the comic has the Go-Bots being programed to obey humans and work alongside them and for our entertainment and when Cy-Kill the evil robot decides he wants to take over the world he and his followers start a Go-Bot revelation and turn on the humans they once served. And all of this is set in motion when Leader-1 is tricked and defeated and all his secrets and codes stolen. Leader-1 and his human friend Mark are heroes who help our government in secret missions and really is a hero who don’t care to take a human life in order to save those who are in need…that is as long as Mark allows it. Scooter and Turbo as well are good bots that as well have befriended humans and seem to do their best to protect both Matt and A.J who are their pals. This far hands down my favorite good Go-Bot is Leader-1 as I find him to be smart, brutal and yet noble. Cy-Kill is as evil as ever as he does not mind killing his fellow Go-Bots as well as humans and robots and wants nothing better than to kills anyone who opposes him on his quest to take over the world. Very evil Cy-Kill is and the perfect bad guy for this series and really is a baddie that you can fear and I look forward to see just how bad he will get as more issues are released. To be honest I have read lots of IDW comics based on toys/cartoons over the years and I must say that Go-Bots # 1 is the best I have read and really makes me hyped for this series as a whole. The cover I have is very eye catching and showcases Leader-1 who is the true icon of the Go-Bots. The interior art is done by Tom Scioli who also wrote the script and at first I was a little “blah” on the artwork when seen in previews but once reading the full book I must say I really liked it and I feel he captured the look of the characters as well as has a dash of the old school yet has a modern and updated feel. So lets see what issue two has in store for us.

GO-BOTS # 2  ***
Released in 2018     Cover Price $3.99       IDW       # 2 of 5

Cy-Kill listens as Screw Head who tells of how he and a human were working in a dangerous mind that ended up taking the like of the human and leaving the robot hurt showing mankind does not care about the Go-Bots! This sets Cy-Kill off who demands some of his followers to dump Leader-1 in a junkyard as he and his crew cause chaos and damage that will hurt mankind. Meanwhile we find out that Scooter fights the urge to attack and tries to get A.J. to safety and they end up running into Turbo and his driver Matt Hunter and they quickly know that they will have to all stick together as they are found by police Go-Bots who want to break up these do gooders. Meanwhile Leader-1 barely escapes being crushed and kills his captives and is now our for revenge. Scooter and Turbo ditch the police bots and make their way to Tonka as they hope to find a patch that can fix all this and meet a programer and his forklift Go-Bot Spoons and are informed that this has nothing to do with the chip and is all about the fact the Go-Bots are having a revolution! Once outside A.J., Matt, Scooter and Turbo figure out that they must fight to live and find T. Coriander Banks who is dying and admits he is the cause of this all and as he dies the evil GoBots attack Turbo and Scooter who fight for their lives as well as of their human friends. As things look bad for our heroes they are saved from death when Leader-1 and a band of good bots show up to take on Cy-Kill and his renegades as the humans also make their play with the army! As Leader-1 and Cy-Kill have a bloody fight that leaves them both injured its Leader-1 that comes out the winner and he is surrounded by both sides who want them to lead them…one sides wants to get things back the way it was with humans in charge while the other side want to take over…what is Leader-1 to do.

This second issue is fantastic and brings GoBots to a whole new level as the Renegades as cold blooded and enjoy not only killing humans but also fellow robots who are loyal to mankind. The plot of this issue has Cy-Kill leading his Renegades to war with the humans as Turbo and Scooter along with their humans try to survive and almost are killed until the once injured Leader-1 shows up and wins a massive battle that now leaves him with a decision to make on to help mankind or be loyal to his own GoBots who are sick of being used and taken advantage of by man. I love that this issue leaves us on a cliffhanger that leaves the hero Leader-1 with a decision that will change the lives of many and will give him not only power, but will also make him a hated figure as he will not be able to please both sides. Leader-1 in this one is a hero who steps up and becomes the warrior we all know that he is, plus I love that even with his face cut halfway off and bleeding like a stuck pig he never gave up and was able to defeat a well more rested Cy-Kill. Speaking of Cy-Kill he is 100% cold blooded and gets joy out of killing and loves that his followers do so blindly and do whatever he says. Turbo shows that he as well is a fighter and even with the odds against him is willing to fight to save his human friend as well as do what he thinks is right, meanwhile Scooter is kind of a chicken who is by no means a fighter and quickly begs for his life when things go bad. I also love that Tonka is the company who make the GoBots and they through up their hands when things go bad and say well people should have treated them better! And somehow I feel this is a hidden message for toy collectors who always seem to trash GoBots and treat them like they are generic dollar store toys. The cover for this issue is great and showcases Cy-Kill and the interior art is great and done by Tom Scioli, again his style has grown on me. So lets move onto issue three and see what Leader-1 decides and if Cy-Kill will once more rise to cause an issue for humans and robots alike.

GO-BOTS # 3  **1/2
Released in 2019      Cover Price $3.99       IDW       # 3 of 5

On GoBotron the planet of the Go-Bots and under the rule of Leader-1 is being visited by a group of astronauts from Earth who is with space shuttle bot Spay-C and are attacked by Zod a massive dinosaur robot who is the terror of the planet! And before the attack Leader-1 and his followers chase Zod off and take Spay-C prisoner and it’s clear that Leader-1 is running his world with an iron fist as he sets Spay-C to be reprogramed the next day, and the astronauts are lucky enough to escape, and they risk their lives to save him. Leader-1 has a vision and returns to ask Spay-C to help him and his followers and as they start their journey they are attacked by Cy-Kill who once more has followers and has also got Zod as an ally and this causes Leader-1 and his crew to flee to space but the renegades give chase, but are tricked and left behind. Leader-1 and his group hyperspace to the other side of the planet and Leader-1 explains that the item they seek is here, as the enter the inner layer of the planet its clear its not like the above world as this one is covered in rocks and sand and Spay-C runs off only to fall and become injured, he is later found by Turbo and Scooter who share with the astronauts that Leader-1 is not the kind Go-bot he claims to be, and as Spay-C tries to attack Turbo the astronauts run off and find Rocklords as well as that the planet they are on is Earth!

This issue takes place way after the events of issue 1 & 2 and has Leader-1 ruling over the world and is paranoid about his enemies trying to over throw his rule, but while once noble he is now more unfair and has no issues killing those who do not follow as well will brainwash to get allies. And when he meets a Go-Bot from space he thinks that he has the answer of how to bring peace to the worlds, but of course Cy-Kill and the Renegades want to rise to power and will do whatever they can to stop this quest. In this issue Leader-1 really is not a nice robot as he comes off as a crazed paranoid leader who will do whatever it takes to keep his power…and this makes him very dangerous. Cy-Kill is as power crazy as ever and seems like he will not stop until he takes over. Zod who is a massive dinosaur robot that is such a killer that all the Go-Bots fear him, plus once he joins forces with Cy-Kill all bets are off! Spay-C is an interesting character who goes from protecting his human friends to drinking the Kool-Aid that Leader-1 is forcing on him. The true hero of this series is Turbo who really is the one who watches after humas as well as his fellow Go-Bots like Scooter, he really is the most heroic bot of this series this far. I like also how in this issue the Go-Bots under the rule of Leader-1 build their own world GoBotron over Earth causing the world as we know it to be forever changed. The series has taken a real downbeat turn as it’s clear that there are very few heroes left and the world is filled with lots of greys that seem to be only looking out for themselves. The cover for the issue I have is pretty cool and showcases Spay-C and the interior art is great and done by Tom Scioli again. I do also want to say that while I enjoyed this issue it’s story does seem a little disjointed and that hurts it slightly when it comes to the star rating. But while flawed still highly entertaining and I cannot wait to see what issue four has in store for me.

GO-BOTS # 4  ***
Released in 2019     Cover Price $3.99       IDW       # 4 of 5

The astronauts are shocked and sadden by the fact Earth is now a shell that is the underbelly of a world created by the Go-Bots. Turbo meets up with the humans and forces Spay-C to explain what happened to the world and he lets them know that he has been looking out for them as from space he witnessed the destruction and was waiting to wake them from sleep chambers when things got better…but they never did. As Turbo shows the astronauts the remaining humans who have devolved Cy-Kill and the renegades appear and snatch up some humans causing Turbo and Spay-C to spring into action and save some of them. But the Renegades drop Zod who is ready to kill all in his way, and during the drop the ground shakes and Leader-1 has a vision of the Go-Bot God named Courageous and sets his way to find the Lazer Lance a staff he thinks can kill Zod and stop this fighting once and for all. After the explosion Spay-C is down for the count and Leader-1 runs into Turbo and Scooter and tries to call for a truce and asks them to help him find the Lance so they can all defeat their enemies, and Scooter knows the location! So they all climb to a skull cave and even have a run in with some of the Rock Lords, but once in the cave the run into Professor Braxis who is old and crazy and has created an army of Vamps who attack Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter and the rest of the Go-Bots but lucky for everyone during this fight the Lazer Lance is found and the Vamps flee as Leader-1 goes outside with lance in hand just as Zod and Cy-Kill and the rest of the Renegades appear! Just as Leader-1 is about to use the Lazer Lance it’s taken from him by Cy-Kill who breaks it and all looks bad for our heroes until the Rock Lords help them and cause all the Renegades to fall into a pit! Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter and the repaired Spay-C with the astronauts all join forces and use the damaged Lazer Lance to take down Zod once and for all as he explodes and causes a massive earthquake! As they regroup they notice the Go-Bots Command Center approaching and it open fire and many blasts hit Leader-1 and it even beams up Scooter and other Go-Bots…and we learn that Cy-Kill and the Renegades are the ones controlling the massive ship, and Turbo and Spay-C decide to go on a suicide mission to try and get Scooter back as the Go-Bots mourn what looks like the death of Leader-1.

This fourth issue is a great read and one heck of a great chapter in this mini series! This issues plot has Leader-1 still on his vision quest to get a lance that is his only hope to finally stop Zod, but along the way he must face Cy-Kill and his band of evil doers as well as make peace with Turbo, Scooter and the Rock Lords! Leader-1 in this issue comes off a creepy, crazed cult leader who has a vision and makes his followers follow him on a quest blindly. While in this issue Leader-1 starts off a little power crazed, by the end I think he is starting to realize that he has become a monster himself and tries to rebuild a friendship with the likes of Turbo and Scooter. And while Leader-1 was gunned down at the end of this issue and it looks like he is dead…I am going to say he is not and will be back for the 5th and final issue in the mini series. Turbo once more is the real hero as he looks out for his now dimwitted friend Scooter, is man enough to put his fight with the Go-Bots aside in order to bring down Zod. Cy-Kill is a psychopath who guns down and kills many Go-Bots, tortures humans for his own amusement and is just as power hungry as Leader-1 as he wants to rule the world. Spay-C in the issue comes around and fights on the side of good, glad to see him have a bound with Scooter and Turbo. Oh I also really like that Cop-Tur tries to step up and challenge Leader-1 to become the leader and gets his block knocked off…great stuff! One element I also found very interesting in this issue is the addition of Courageous who is a God like figure for the bots, I also like that the Rock Lords are around and have been created by the “Gods” and they are the more pure versions of the Go-Bots. While the story again jumps oddly in spots it is a great read that is packed with action, drama and even some cool cliffhangers. The cover I have is a little weak and does not do this issue justice. And like before Tom Scioli did the interior art and does a fantastic job. So with that lest see what the final issue in this mini series has in store for us, and most important lets see what the fate of Leader-1 is!

GO-BOTS # 5  ***
Released in 2019     Cover Price $3.99       IDW       # 5 of 5

Spay-C drops Turbo off on the command center that has been taken over by Cy-Kill and his Renegades in order to get his friend Scooter back and bashes and smashes all that get in his way. He finally makes it to the control room and confronts Cy-Kill and gives him a choice fight him and die or let Scooter go and let them leave…Cy-Kill decides to fight and his gunned down. Turbo finds Scooter and the pair try and leave but are found by Crasher who ends up becoming allies with them and both want to end this war that was started by Leader-1 and Cy-Kill! The newly allied Go-Bots return to Earth and Spay-C and some of the Humans are going to try time travel while the others stay and find that the Earth has been under attacked by an army of Vamps being controlled by Professor Braxis and they meet a younger generation of Go-Bots who are now fighting this war, showing that the fighting will never end. The new Go-Bots decide to head to space and make their own world and even take the bodies of Cy-Kill and Leader-1 and rebuild them as one new Go-Bot. While the humans on Earth along with Go-Bots start their own quest to rebuild the planet and in the end Spay-C and some of the some of the astronauts return to the past to warn the world about the uprising of the Go-Bots…but like always those in power do not listen so it as it appears our future is doomed.

This mini series is fantastic and has a surprise connection that I will discuss a little later in this issue review, as it’s a big spoiler. The plot of this issue has Leader-1 dead and Turbo on a quest to save his friend Scooter from the command center that is being controlled by the coldblooded killer Cy-Kill. Once Turbo finds his enemy he kills him and saves his friend only to find that GoBotron has been attacked by Vamps and that the younger Go-Bots have grown in size and have no ties to Earth and want to make their own way on a new planet so they leave. And with that the humans that are left as well as many of the old Go-Bots must find away to rebuild the Earth that has been left in terrible shop after the rise of the Go-Bots. Turbo once more shows that he is the true hero of this series as he does not care about this war that rages on over two Go-Bots egos and just wants to save his friend and respect humans and their lives. I like the fact Turbo don’t want to be in charge and really just want the world to get along and for both humans and Go-Bots to live together. I also like that this series had the guts to kill off both Leader-1 and Cy-Kill who are the franchises two biggest characters, and this move reminds me of how they killed Optimus Prime in the Transformers Movie. I also like how the astronauts decide that they will try and make the best of the new Earth and will help and try and educate the remaining humans who have almost became cavemen again. Plus its so true to life that with major warnings of doom for the world we all share, those who have power choose not to listen as they don’t want to change their lifestyles to make a difference. Now I have to talk about the series main spoilers so if you don’t want to know skip the rest of the review…..Ok I need to stress I think that it’s amazing that the younger Go-Bots will grow to be the Transformers and that the artificial planet GoBotron will become Cybertron! That’s right we get a sneak peek of Optimus Prime who is GoBot Road Ranger as well as Bumblebee and the bodies of Leader-1 and Cy-Kill and are turned into Starscream! I love that finally someone gives Go-Bots the respect they deserve, as they are really the first major changing robot toys! The cover for this issue is cool and yet silly and has Leader-1 holding the body of Cy-Kill and I must also say again the art of Tom Scioli at first was not my cup of tea, but this series made me a fan. Check out the art below to see the style of Scioli.

Go-Bots really do make me think about my youth and Christmas time so this comic mini series was the prefect way to get me into the holiday season! I would love for IDW to do more as I feel that many other stories could be shared about Turbo, Scooter and the rest of the Go-Bots. And for the next update and our countdown to Christmas Eve I will be staying in the world of classic toys turned into comic book heroes as we will be looking at Stretch Armstrong! So until next time readers and friends read a comic or three, watch a Christmas Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a stretching good time.