Have Yourself A Very Mighty Max Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve! I am sure you are like me and are shocked about how fast 2021 has flown by, and after the terrible 2020 I think we are all just happy to have life back to somewhat normal. And like the updates before, for this countdown to Christmas Eve I decided to have some fun and take a look at a comic that was based on a toy series and cartoon from when I was a youngster, a toy that had many playsets released and all of them featured something like a monster, madman, alien and even dinosaurs…and I am talking about the one and only Mighty Max! It’s a very cool toy series that started in 1992 and spawned a cartoon, video games and more and helped bring tiny mini figures with playsets to the boys. And thanks to Game Players Comics, Mighty Max also got a comic book based around the toys, cartoon and video game! So if you are ready, grab some eggnog and let’s sit around the Christmas tree and wait for Santa while we talk of Mighv Max and his adventures in all things nostalgia.

Now let’s talk about the figures in the Mighty Max series as Bluebird really made these figures to cash in on their success with the Polly Pocket line that was super popular with young girls in the UK and later America. You see Bluebird started in 1980 as a toy company created by Torquil Norman with their first major hit being the “Big Yellow Teapot House.” While they had some major hits, by the mid 80’s they started to struggle and it was Polly Pocket that saved them from closing their doors! They had the girl market but they needed something to capture the boys, and that’s when they created Mighty Max in 1992. It was a major hit as it brought the tiny figure playset craze to kids who liked monsters and aliens. And this helped them even more stay afloat and many sets were released. Sadly by 1996 Mighty Max toys came to an end, and by 1998 Bluebird was bought out by Mattel who carried over many of the company’s toys. It’s crazy to think that Mighty Max was so popular when I was a kid and many of my friends had them, but now it’s unknown to modern kids! Growing up for some reason I never had any Mighty Max figures but I really wanted them and can remember seeing them on the shelves at Big Bear/Hearts, very cool figures and a great idea for kids to take on trips. I do remember my Mom saying that the figures were too little and we could lose them easy.

Following the success of the toys, Bluebird Toys teamed with Bohbot Entertainment to deliver to the fans a cartoon series that would follow Mighty Max, a young box who travels trough time to fight evil all the while being stalked by the henchmen of the sinister Skullmaster. During his adventures, Max makes friends with Virgil, a humanoid who has a fowl look, Norman a warrior who will protect Max with his own life as well as his family, friends and pet iguana named Thor. The cartoon was well liked by fans of the toys and brought a story and new characters into the Mighty Max universe with many of them making it into the toy series. But some parents were not as keen on the cartoon as it was filled with reference to death, characters died and at times it had a very grim outlook, and like all annoying parent groups, they had to complain and cause issues for the cartoon. But these sticks in the mud did not bring the toon down as it ran for 40 episodes and a total of 2 seasons. Episodes of the cartoon have been released on VHS and weirdly enough has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray and no official release of the full series has ever been made. You can find the series on the Grey Market as well as episodes on YouTube.

Like any great toy and cartoon series from the 80’s and 90’s, Mighty Max got the video game treatment thanks to Ocean who delivered a fun side scrolling game for systems Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, heck even a Tiger Handheld game was made featuring Max having a pixel adventure! The cool thing about the SNES and Genesis release was that Ocean packed them each with a different VHS episode of the cartoon, making players get more bang for their money spent. I have played the Genesis version of this game as I can remember renting it from K&L Video many years after it was released. The Genesis game had you trying to fight and bring down the evil ways of the Skullmaster and was a pretty fun play. So if you are an old school gamer and enjoy the Mighty Max toys, I would say give the game a play. As far as the Tiger Handheld version, I am sure it plays just like every other Tiger game…and that is both a bad and amazing thing.

Plus like all good toys Mighty Max has had its fair share of other cool merchandise that includes comic magazines, posters, board games, card game, a puzzle and even his trademark red hat with the M was sold to fans! Max even had his fair share of bootleg merch showing and proving just how popular the character was around the world as fake stuff was being passed off to fans. Sadly I never had any of these cool items growing up, but as I have stressed before I wanted them! Oh I should also say that some of this merchandise was released overseas only like the comic magazines.

But in 2020 I finally cracked down and decided that I needed to collect the toys, keep reading for my collection breakdown, and man its going to be a long one. The first Mighty Max playset I want to chat about I own is called “Hammers Ax Man” and this one is really cool and plays up a slasher killer theme! The compacts look is that of a monster with green skin and wooden handles and a blade sticking out of his flesh! He has bloodshot eyes and purple teeth and looks like he is ready to eat your face off. It’s a medium sized playset and is called a Horror Heads release and is from the second series of the lines release. Below is a look at this playset closed and open that is from my collection, give it a look!

The top part of the set has a man chained to a wall and he looks super skinny and while I think he is alive, he could also be a zombie! It’s clear that he is in a dungeon and is being held captive by the sets bad guy and is clearly his next victim if Max fails to save him. The bottom part has a massive blade trap as well as a metal trigger that Max can set off to chop up the bad guy! Also there is a massive wooden pillar and almost all the floor and walls are green. A very cool over all set in the Mighty Max Horror Head series. Take a look below to see the layers of this playset.

The figures that came in the Hammers Ax Man set of course is Mighty Max who is in an almost flexing pose, and he has a goofy smirk on his face. And the sets bad guy is Ax Man aka Spike is a Viking warrior who was buried alive and has now returned with murder on his mind and is armed with an ax and a chainsaw! Very cool figures and Ax Man is badass and one of my favorite figures in the line! Check them out below.

Next lets take a look at the set called “Brain Face” and is from the Shrunken Head series and this set is a little different as its smaller and comes with only one figure and that’s Mighty Max who in this set is holding a pair of wire cutters as he will need those to bring down the playsets villain! The compact is a face one what looks like a surface of a brain and is a light green in color and he has bronze probes on his head and silver teeth! His eyes are red with his pupils being green. When opening the compact we get the sets bad guy who is called Brain Face and he is brownish in color and well has a brain for a head and is wearing a white lab coat as he was a scientist who’s experiment went wrong and now wants to use his knowledge in electricity to fry Max! A pretty cool bad guy and it’s a shame he is built into the set and never got his own mini figure. The bottom of the compact has a trap for Max that has wires connected to a metal floor plate. A pretty cool mini set that showcases a fun scenario for you to try and get Mighty Max to safety and stop the evil Brain Face from frying his brains with his trap. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like.

Next up lets take a look at the some of the mini figures I have and two of the loose figures I have are the good guys Norman the warrior who is rocking his green and grey armor and humanoid Virgil who has his purple robe on, these figures are really cool and where sold in figure packs that where tie-ins for the cartoon. These two are really great and if I were a kid they would have been helping Mighty Max on his adventures! Again I really wish I had got some of these when I was a kid. Take a look at Nathan and Virgil’s mini figures below.

The next playset we will take a look at is called “Totally Toy Holiday 93” and was a playset that was given away in McDonalds Happy Meals in 1993! This compact has the face of the Yeti on it and for a fast food toy the design is really cool and is the Yetis face! Once opened the top of the compact has two Yetis on ice and snow and hidden away is golden treasure. The bottom of the compact is Max and a massive Yeti surround by a blue ring of ice that appears to have eyes! This playset is also very different as its figures are both attached to the base as Max runs around the Yeti that’s in the middle. Max is very generic in appearance and is all yellow with a green cap on, while the Yeti is really cool and is all white with a snarl on his face. This is a really cool novelty item for fans of Mighty Max to add to their collection. Check out below to see what this Happy Meal toy set looks like.

I also have the set called “Battles Skull Warrior” and is a pretty cool little playset that’s compact show cases a weird green teethed mutant with a big green eye and a nose and a ears like a bat humanoid, he looks like a comic book bad guy! This is a medium size playset and is form the first set of Horror Heads line. This ones theme is a bounty hunter from space, so basically an alien attacks feel. This was one I was able to get off Ebay for a good price. Here is the compact closed as well as opened to show you the style of this set and what you had to work with during play.

The top part of the compact has gears and a platform for Max to stand on and with some skill you can remove the platform and make it into a flying board for Mighty Max or Skull Warrior to ride! The top part of this set is a little boring and is not all that exciting of a place for Max to battle Skull Warrior! The bottom of the compact is also not all that eye catching as its brown in color and just has a few broken robots on the ground, its clear that this set wants you to take the villain Skull Warrior and place him on his flying board and to chase Max outside of this so-so playset. To sum that up when closed the compact looks really cool…when opened its kind of bland. Check out below to see what the top and bottom halves look like.

The figures in this set is of course Mighty Max who is rocking a purple hat and has a really awkward side pose, but he does have his hands in fists so just looking for a reason to punch a baddie in their eye. The bad guy for the set is Skull Warrior a green skinned mutant cyborg bounty hunter from the Skull Territory who thinks Max is a fugitive and uses his sky board and his pistol to try and deal out intergalactic justice! Skull Warrior by all accounts sounds like a generic throwaway baddie, but I think his look helps bring him to the level of cool. Over all this is not my favorite set, but is a good one to own. Take a look at Skull Warrior and Max below.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set that I own is called “Vampyre” and the Mighty Max figure in this set is holding a massive wooden stake, he is a very cool figure for Max and breaks the norm of his generic posses. The compact has a purpled skinned, red-eyed vampire with bloody fangs! A cool little compact for fans of classic monsters like Dracula as if really does play up on the look of a vampire that we grew up with on cheap Halloween decorations. When opened the top part of the compact is our villain who is the vampire called Von Viesky who looks like Sesame Street character The Count strung out on blood from an addict! Really Von Viesky looks like a pissed off Muppet, and he is awesome for that reason! The bottom of the compact is an open grave, very spooky and once more packs that classic horror movie feel into it. Over all a cool tiny playset that youngsters and collectors of vampire and Dracula merchandise will love. Check out the pictures below to see Max and Von Viesky in all their tiny glory.

The next figures I have that I would like to take a look at is Skull Master and his evil fire henchman! For those who do not know Skull Master is the main villain of Mighty Max and is a super bad guy who wants nothing more than to kill Max! Skull Master’s figure is pretty cool and has him wearing a purple cape and looks like he is ready to jump out and scare anyone foolish enough to enter his Mountain base. He is a living skeleton as well and was created for the cartoon and latter shows up in the play sets as seen here with this figure. I also have one of Skull Master’s Orange Lava Henchmen who is pretty dang cool as he has a sword and shield and is ready to slash Max’s head off! Check out the figures below and see these two villains.

I also have another of the McDonalds Happy Meal Mighty Max releases and this one is called “Totally Toy Holiday 95” and this one is pretty cheesy and hands down the worst of the Mighty Max play sets! The compact has a cool look as it is a blue ice skeleton and really does have a cold horror look to it. The compacts upper layer has nothing, and the bottom has our figures that are built into the set and is an ice maze that has a bottom pit that is filled with stolen Christmas gifts! Mighty Max is in a running pose with as cheesy smile on his face, and also features Ice Creatures that are the sets villains. Over all this one is just kind of blah and wish they would have had mini figures and not things built into the toy. Check it out below and see it in all its lameness!

The next major set and in my opinion one of the most iconic in the series we will be looking at is called “Escapes From Skull Dungeon” and is from series one of the toys. The compact looks like a giant skull with sharp fangs, has one red bared out eye with the other being a yellow and red in color. The color of the skull is grey and looks like concrete and it also has the Mighty Max classic MM logo on its forehead! A very cool looking set and really has a creepy Halloween horror look to it. The theme of the set is Mad Scientist in a creepy castle dungeon and surly is inspired by classic Universal Monster films. Check out the over all look of this set below and see how cool it is, oh yeah and the jaw of the skeleton also opens!

The top inside of the compact has many levels with the top being a study that is filled with a desk, books and lab stuff, the next level has a hidden door as well as a skeleton chained to the wall, and the final level has stairs that lead up stairs as well as the front door. The bottom of the compact is the lab that has electronic equipment as well as the table for the Monster as well as levers and desks. I am missing two parts of this set and it the two rods that go next to the table. Over all a very simple and affective design for this play set that really does bring a classic monster feel to the toy series.

The three figures in this set include of course Mighty Max who is rocking a blue cap, has big bug eyes and is given the arms up victory pose like he just ate a bowl of Wheaties. The bad guys of the set are Dr. Gore a mad scientist who has a hunchback and is wearing a white lab coat, the other is a green skinned Frankenstein’s Monster looking creature that is named Smasher! The figures are really cheap looking and not as detailed as the figures in later sets but this lack of detail also gives them some charm. Check out the picture below to see what the figures look like.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set I want to talk about from my collection is called “Head Case” and the compact has a melted zombie look with two shades of green and purple skin with an eyeball out of socket. When opened the top of the set has the villain known as Dr. Toxin standing among lab items, he looks like a melted green skin zombie, as he loves toxic chemicals! Max from this set is holding a flamethrower and looks like he knows that he is going to torch Dr. Toxin and still have time to go to McDonalds for a kids meal! This Max figure is really cool and one of the best in the series and Dr. Toxin is a great looking villain who reminds me of the 80’s film Return Of The Living Dead! Very cool set and make sure to give it a look below.

The next solo figure I want to showcase is a very cool one as it’s a double-headed orange dragon that was apart of the “Trapped In Skull Mountain” play set! This figure is really cool as beside having orange skin and two heads he also has green eyes and is looking for Max so he can end his adventures once and for all! This was a must have figure for me when I started my Mighty Max collection, check him out below.

Next up is another from the Horror Head series and was called “Survives Corpus” and has a cemetery theme! The front of the compact has two openings and has a face of a zombie with green goo coming out of his noise and worms coming out of his eyes and crack in his skull. The face also has tan skin and brown metal plates screwed into his skull. He also has a weird purple color around one of his eyes and crack in his skull! This one has a creepy look to it and is pretty dang cool over all, check out the pictures below and see what I mean about its creepy cemetery vibe. Wait now looking at it again it also has a generic b-movie Frankenstein’s Monster look as well!

The top part of the compact is a creepy stairwell with a tiny door, boards, a green goblin head, a torch and lots of skulls and bones. This is clearly the steps that lead to our bottom part of the compact that is a crypt! In the crypt are some bones that have been left behind as well as an old wooden coffin that is broken and busted! This graveyard theme is very classic and creepy and will remind you of classic horror movies as well as Halloween ghost stories. Check out below to see this play set open!

This play set as well came with three figures with one being Mighty Max of course with this figure having him rocking a red cap and a weird stance! The bad guys are Mort The Gravedigger a short chubby guy with a shovel who likes to dig up bodies, as well as a massively tall zombie who wants to drag the living into the grave with him. Great figures for Mort and the Zombie as he looks great with purple skin and red eyes! I will say the Max of this set is just ok…but give them a look below!

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I own, this one is called “Mummy King” and the compact is a purple skinned Mummy with brown wrappings and blood shot eyes and reminds me of old Halloween decorations in appearance. When the compact is open the top part is the bad guy mummy named Thanatos who is in pyramid and is standing with a snake and scorpion and has a true undead look to his face! The bottom of the compact has sand and some treasure and has a very generic Egyptian horror look. The Mighty Max figure of this set is pretty cool and has him holding a torch and ready to use it to not only light his way but also to also use it against the Mummy, snake and scorpion! A very cool set that features a classic monster, check out the pics below and see what this set looks like.

Next up let’s take a look at another loose figure from my collection and it’s from the “Skull Mountain” play set and his name is Rock Monster and he is a henchman of Skullmaster! He is made of solid rock and wants nothing more to bring down Mighty Max and will do whatever it takes to do so! This figure is really cool and has red eyes and looks super mean! Hands down this was a must have figure for me to add to my collection.

The next play set I have is called “Trapped By Arachnoid” and is from series one Doom Zone set! The compact of this set when closed looks like a massive spider with six green eyes, a furry back complete with a batch of purple spider eggs, has two fangs and eight legs. It also has the massive MM (Mighty Max) logo as well. A great and creepy looking compact that surly fits the mood and style of this toy series. This is another of the sets I remember the most being on toy shelves as well as friends having on the playground, with Escapes From Skull Dungeon being the biggest one from my childhood. Give it a look below and see how cool and creepy it is.

When open the top part of the compact has lab equipment that is also covered with purple webs as well as skulls, also a massive circle window is present. Clearly this is where the sets villain does his evil deeds. The bottom of the compact has a stone floor that has well has bones as well as a purple teleporter and a small web cage. Also some blood splatter covers the floors showing that many of people have lost their lives in this lab. A great looking set that fits the theme of this release.

The three figures of this set are of course Mighty Max who in this set is rocking a blue cap and has a go-getter pose, very fun and cheesy Max figure for sure. Next up is Arachnoid a four armed, green-eyed spider person mad scientist, he is pretty dang cool and a great bad guy for this set and he reminds me of a monster from a 50’s sci-fi film. And last is Creep a massive spider and creation of Arachnoid who is also like his bloodthirsty pet! This really is an amazing set with some great figures and leads to some great adventures you could have with Max.

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I have that’s called “Rat Trap” and sadly is one of my least favorite mini sets I own as it over all feels very lazy. The compact when closed does look great, as it’s a yellowed sharp toothed, dark purple furred rat with red and silver eyes with a patch of red fur on his forehead. When opened we get a look at the sets bad guy the giant rat himself Rat Trap who is standing on a silver shelf and looks awkward and poorly thought out, one of the worst bad guys in the Shrunken Head sets. The bottom of the compact has a dirty floor and is ok looking and the Mighty Max figure of this set is also pretty cool as he his holding a lantern and a sword! So what the best thing about this set being is the Max figure and the compact when closed…the main villain and the rest are at the bottom of the barrel in the Mighty Max world.

Next up I want to take a look at some more loose figures I own and these figure are from the “Takes On Terror Talons” large play set that sadly I don’t own fully. I have from this set Space Aliens # 1-4 with each having their own look and Space Alien # 2 being my favorite as he has a sharp yellow teethed grin! Alien # 3 and 4 are small red guys and are pretty dang cool with one being dinosaur like. Very cool figures and check them out bellow.

The next Horror Head set I will be looking at from my collection is called “Defeats Vamp Biter” and is a creature themed set. When closed the compact has the appearance of a massive grinning bat with razor sharped teeth and red eyes, to be honest he is very menacing looking and a very frightful looking playset. The ears of the bat for this compact are also made up from the bad guy figure from this set. This is a great looking set that once more almost has a classic Halloween feel to it. This is a medium sized set and features two figures so take a look below to see just how cool this set is.

The top of the compact when opened not only acted as a perch for the massive bat, but also has stones, slime and stairs. The bottom of the compact is rocky and has bats as well as a pool of blood! Very cool and fitting for the style of this playset and is what I would imagine a lair of a giant bat would look like! A very cool compact for this set and makes good use of the medium size.

This play set comes with two figures with one of course being Mighty Max and this time around he is rocking a blue hat and a stance that makes it look like he is going to punch you in the face! The sets baddie is the giant bat that is called Nightwing and this massive guy is looking super mean and is flashing a sinister grin with a mouth full of teeth! And his backstory is that Nightwing is not only a blood drinker but also is super smart! While only consider a minor villain Nightwing really is a cool looking bad guy!

Next I want to take a look at a single figure I have and that’s Lava Lord who was from the “Blasts Magus” set and to be honest is the second biggest villain in the world of Mighty Max as he was once a minion who rises up with a goal to overthrow Skullmaster and be the one to capture and kill Mighty Max! Lava Lord is a cool looking figure and is lumpy and red and green in color and looks mean and ready to smash the face of Max, check him out below.

I want to next take a look at another medium sized Horror Head set I own that’s called “Pulverizes Sea Squirm” and this is a cool ocean monster compact when closed and like before the bad guy figures help bring the look of the compact complete making up the creatures tongues, eyes, horns and nose! The blue color of the compact is also very eye catching and to be honest when seeing Mighty Max sets used at toy and comic stores around here in Ohio this is the one I have seen the most showing that it had to be a big seller and a well liked one among Max fans. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like closed as well as opened.

When open the top part of the compact showcases a underwater cave look with some sea creatures around the walls, nothing to special and a little bland in look but fitting for the set. The bottom of the compact is like the bottom of the oceans floor and has shells, bones, sea creatures, an anchor, slime and a treasure chest all things you would surly find one any water based floor bed! I like the treasure chest as kids could use it as to the main reason of why Max is wondering around in the water. This set is well thought out and while not the flashiest or even the coolest set in the series it’s a solid one with a basic and yet super fitting design.

The Pulverizes Sea Squirm set comes with three figures with one being our main man and hero Max and in this set he is rocking a green hat and is standing looking like he is scared our of his mind, I am guessing he is scared of drowning as he is not wearing any diving equipment and is probably wondering why he has made such a poor life choice. The first of the sets villains is the black and blue skinned, red teethed Sea Serpent a wicked creatures that wants to kill the foolish Max for entering his watery home. And the sets main baddie is the massive Krillor that rocks blood stained claws and bright red eyes who is the protector of this cave as well as the watery graveyard…so you can see he wants to kill Max cause he is in the cave with the idea of stealing money and jewels from the treasure chest that belongs to those who are buried there…in other words Max is being a real drag! Check out the pictures below to see what they all look like.

Another of the Horror Head Series I have is called “Hounds Werewolf” that is really cool as I am a massive fan of werewolves in pop culture and Horror. The compact when closed is a werewolf face that has red eyes, yellow teeth and blood coming from his mouth. The ears of the werewolf is made up from the wings of the sets bad guy figures and he has like a purple/grey fur and this is a really cool looking set. Take a look at the pictures below to see the Werewolf in all his glory as well as open so you can see it fully as it has a kind of castle theme.

Once open the top part of the compact you see grey stones, green stairs, an iron gate as well as a dead rotten tree and a tombstone. Some of the stones at the top also have blood splatter on them and this has a classic spooky Horror vibe. The bottom part of the compact has more grey stones as well as more graves with one cross tombstone being broken and on the floor. Also a gold iron cage is present as is more blood splatter. This really is a cool playset and has lots of danger for Mighty Max to face.

The Hounds Werewolf set comes with three mini figures with one being our hero Mighty Max himself, this Max is rocking a red cap and is in a flexing pose like he is showing off his massive muscles…that he has none of. The other two figures are the Horror Hounds a pair of winged purple skinned wolves that are ready to attack and maul our hero. The Horror Hounds are cool and help make the ears of the werewolf compact, but I do wish they would have just had a normal werewolf in the set and not these winged hounds. Check out the pictures bellow to see them in all their glory.

Ok this is getting out of hand as you readers and friends can see I went on a Might Max shopping spree so I am only going to cover one more from my collection and its my favorite and is from the Doom Zone sets…and this one is called “Tangles With The Ape King” and is hands down one kick butt set! The compact when closed is a very angry looking gorilla who has black fur, purple skin and blood on his fangs! Truly a menacing looking creature who plays on the old Jungle Adventure movie vibe. The set when open as well has a great jungle them and really is one of my top picks when it comes to Mighty Max sets!

When opened the top part of this set features green thick vines, a golden cage, bottles and even shrunken heads! A part of the vines also swings out and make a platform for some of the figures to stand on, this is really well done and designed. The bottom of the compact is also fantastic and features the jungle floor, a dead warrior, a pot filled with with bones simmering over a fire, bloody skulls and even a massive purple cobra snake! Great classic Jungle Adventure stuff here.

The playset comes with three figures with one being of course Mighty Max who is wearing a red cap and has a pose and a look on his face of being surprised. It also comes with a native who looks like he is ready to fight both Max and the Gorilla and last of course we have Ape King a massive gorilla who is looking to eat some human meat and deal out some death…very cool figures and some of my favorites in the toy series. Check out the picture below to see them.

Mighty Max is as classic 90’s toy that while I never owned in my youth but as I said always wanted to, and in 2020 as you can see I went a little crazy and ordered so many of them! It’s crazy to think that kids of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had so many amazing toys that are now in days very collectable. Thanks for taking that walk through my collection as its crazy to say at the age of 42 I find this toy series to be really cool and just wanted to share with you my readers and friends.

So now that we have taken a look at the Toys, Video Games and Cartoon of Mighty Max we need to now get to the Promo Comic that was released by Game Players in order to promote the video game that was being released of the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. I would like to thank an Ebay seller Holiday Comics for having this comic in stock and making 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, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if your are ready lets jump into the portal and go on a adventure with Mighty Max, Norman and Virgil as we all try and save the day.

 The Adventures Of Mighty Max # 0  **
Released in 1993   Cover Price $0.00   Game Players     # 0 of 0

Easter Island is being plagued with earthquakes and the cause is coming from Skullmaster who is using his lava men to try and open a portal so that he can return to the above world from his underground prison. Meanwhile Mighty Max and his friend Felix are at a baseball game and enjoying their time, when a home run is hit Max’s way he catches it only to find a message from Virgil that he is needed and where to find the portal that will take him to his destination. Max rushes to the portal that is located on the ball field and finds himself at Easter Island along with Virgil and Norman and find that the Lava Men are hard at work working on the hole that would bring Skullmaster back! But after Virgil reads old scrolls Max gets an idea and jumps onto one of the Easter Island Statue Heads that triggers them to come alive and use the near by ocean water to cool off the Lava men that’s now dead bodies seal the hole trapping Skullmaster even more. After the fight is over Max along with Norman and Virgil return to the baseball game being the heroes of the day once more.

This Mighty Max promo comic was just ok and while entertaining it also was very uneventful as Max does not really fight any monsters and the only danger he finds himself in is when a Lava Man throws a rock at him. The plot has Skullmaster trying to escape his underground prison only to be easily stopped by Might Max and his friends. Mighty Max in this promo comic is a very young ego driven lad who is kind of a brat, but does rush to be the hero of the day and even figures out what the scrolls mean in order to stop the plot of one of the worlds super villains. Norman is shown to be on alert and takes his bodyguard statues of Max very serious and leaps into action when ever he thinks he is in danger and that means when a rock is thrown or even a foul baseball is coming his way. Virgil is around and mostly just makes the call for Max and reads the old scrolls, a cool character that is just not given much in this comic. Skullmaster besides causing the earthquake doesn’t do much besides scream orders at the Lava Men who as well don’t do much. I do think it was a wise choice to also feature Baseball in this promo comic as MLB was very popular with the youth of America in the early 90s as Baseball Cards had a major boom. I am not going to lie and act as if this comic is fantastic, while I do think it does justice to the Mighty Max toys and cartoon I do find this promo comic to be very underwhelming and nothing special at all. And it’s really a shame as to be honest there just is not much of a plot nor a threat to really write about. The cover is eye catching and is just the reused cover for the video game. The interior art is really good and captures the Mighty Max vibe is done by Gary Hartle who worked on may Marvel Comic titles like Thor, Daredevil and Conan The Barbarian. Over all this just an ok kids comic that is a fun read for fans of Might Max…but will not change your life. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Hartle.

Mighty Max in the early 90’s was a to series that I am sure made many of kids Christmases brighter when Santa brought them their most wanted play set and that is why I truly enjoyed writing this update for Christmas Eve 2021! That’s one great thing about doing this blog as it not only brings back memories of my youth for me but I hope it does the same for many of you. While Mighty Max is no longer a toy nor cartoon being made it’s still a very iconic one from the 90’s that helped make so many childhoods awesome. For the next update I will be of course talking about my favorite films that I seen in the theater in 2021 and I hope you will all return and join me for that one. And again I would like to send a heartfelt thank you for joining me this Christmas Eve and because of you this blog has been going for 10 Years!! That’s right 2022 marks 10 Years of Rotten Ink and next year I will be covering many things that I find near and dear to my heart and has captured my imagination in youth and even some more modern day discoveries that have got my attention. So until next time enjoy this Holiday Season, spend some time with a friend or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you at the movies!

DC At The Movies: Batman (The Christmas Eve Special)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Eve.  While this has been a year filled with lots of ups and downs for me, I have also had a great time loving life and am happy for all my friends and family in my life who have helped make me the person that I am today! While last year we covered Thundercats, this year we are going to cover something a little different as we will be looking at the movie series Batman that started with the Tim Burton directed film in 1989.  When that movie came to theaters on June 23rd the following Christmas every male kid I knew wanted Batman stuff for presents, and boy was their a lot to choose from! On this update we are going to cover the DC Comic Movie Adaptations of the Batman films so let’s sit back with some eggnog and wait for Santa to come down the chimney and talk DC At The Movies: Batman!

Batman 1989 Symbol

When I was a kid, the most popular superhero films were the Superman films starring Christopher Reeves as Superman/Clark Kent.  The only other DC heroes I could think of that had their own movies were Swamp Thing in 1982 and Batman had a film based off the 60’s TV show in 1966.  They did also have some great TV shows like previously mentioned Batman as well as Shazam, Wonder Woman, Legend of Isis and of course Adventures of Superman. Marvel at the time was mostly just focusing on TV with shows and made for TV Movies based on Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America and Doctor Strange and did have the bomb Howard The Duck in 1986 a cheesy film directed by George Lucas, but I must say as a kid I really liked the film Howard the Duck.  I guess very loosely you could say that the Conan films as well as Red Sonja were a sliver connected to Marvel who made comics based on those characters at the time. But when 1989 came around, and Tim Burton, director of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, made Batman, the youth at the time exploded and Batmania was born! You couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing something about this film, and most kids at school had Batman t-shirts, folders, backpacks and toys. If your grew up when the 1989 film and its sequels came out, then you know what I am talking about when I say Batman ruled the world for those months leading up to the releases and the months that followed. So before we get too much into the insane popularity and merchandise of Batman I should give you a crash course on the films, and of course I will be getting the help of IMDB for these write ups as I would be far too long winded to tell you the readers the plots. So let’s set the bat signal off and see what these films were all about! Oh I will also put on here who played Batman as well as who played the main villain in each of these films.

Batman (Keaton)Batman 1989 PosterThe Joker (Jack)

BATMAN (1989)

Gotham City: dark, dangerous, ‘protected’ only by a mostly corrupt police department. Despite the best efforts of D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner Jim Gordon, the city becomes increasingly unsafe…until a Dark Knight arises. We all know criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot…so his disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. He becomes a bat. Enter Vicky Vale, a prize-winning photo journalist who wants to uncover the secret of the mysterious “bat-man”. And enter Jack Napier, one-time enforcer for Boss Grissom, horribly disfigured after a firefight in a chemical factory…who, devoid of the last vestiges of sanity, seizes control of Gotham’s underworld as the psychotic, unpredictable Clown Prince of Crime…the Joker. Gotham’s only hope, it seems, lies in this dark, brooding vigilante. And just how does billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne fit into all of this?

Batman – Michael Keaton

Joker – Jack Nicholson

Bob The Goon – Tracey Walter

Batman (Keaton 2)Batman Returns PosterThe Penguin (Danny)Catwoman (Michelle)

Batman Returns (1992)

Having defeated the Joker, Batman now faces the Penguin – a warped and deformed individual who is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Schreck is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt to expose Batman in a different light. Earlier however, Selina Kyle, Max’s secretary, is thrown from the top of a building and is transformed into Catwoman – a mysterious figure who has the same personality disorder as Batman. Batman must attempt to clear his name, all the time deciding just what must be done with the Catwoman.

Batman – Michael Keaton

Penguin – Danny DeVito

Catwoman – Michelle Pfeiffer

Batman and Robin (Val & Chris)Batman Forever PosterThe Riddler (Jim)Two Face (Jones)

Batman Forever (1995)

The Dark Knight of Gotham City confronts a dastardly duo: Two-Face and the Riddler. Formerly District Attorney Harvey Dent, Two-Face incorrectly believes Batman caused the courtroom accident which left him disfigured on one side; he has unleashed a reign of terror on the good people of Gotham. Edward Nygma, computer-genius and former employee of millionaire Bruce Wayne, is out to get the philanthropist; as The Riddler he perfects a device for draining information from all the brains in Gotham, including Bruce Wayne’s knowledge of his other identity. Batman/Wayne is/are the love focus of Dr. Chase Meridan. Former circus acrobat Dick Grayson, his family killed by Two-Face, becomes Wayne’s ward and Batman’s new partner Robin the Boy Wonder.

Batman – Val Kilmer

Robin – Chris O’ Donnell

The Riddler – Jim Carrey

Two Face – Tommy Lee Jones

Batman Robin Batgirl (movie cast)Batman & Robin PosterFreeze Ivy Bane (movie cast)

Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman and Robin are back working side-by-side to stop the villains of Gotham City, but is there tension appearing between them, especially when one villainess who calls herself Poison Ivy can make anyone fall in love with her…literally. Along with Poison Ivy, the icy Mr. Freeze is freezing anything which gets in his way from achieving his goal.

Batman – George Clooney

Robin – Chris O’ Donnell

Batgirl – Alicia Silverstone

Mr. Freeze – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Poison Ivy – Uma Thurman

Bane – Jeep Swenson

The first two films were directed by Tim Burton and have a brooding dark feel to them while the latter two were directed by Joel Schumacher and take a more neon and goofy approach. Say what you will about any of them, you cannot deny the impact they had on the youth at the time as well as the box office. If you look at 1989, Batman was the # 1 film of the year bringing in $251,188,924.00 beating out the likes of Lethal Weapon 2, Back To The Future Part II, Ghostbusters II, The Little Mermaid, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Born on the Fourth of July, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Karate Kid Part III, 007: License To Kill, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween 5, All Dogs Go To Heaven, No Holds Barred, Cyborg, Kickboxer, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, The Burbs, Major League, Tango & Cash as well as Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade! So as you can see it had very stiff competition and ended up beating them all. Batman Returns took the # 3 spot in 1992 beating out Wayne’s World, Lethal Weapon 3, Hellraiser III, A Few Good Men and Alien 3 to name a few! While in 1995, Batman Forever took # 2 and beat out such films as Pocahontas, 007: Goldeneye, Seven, Braveheart, Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers and Billy Madison. Batman & Robin took # 12 in 1997 and beat Scream 2, Austin Powers, Cop Land, Jackie Brown, Wishmaster, An American Werewolf in Paris, Lost Highway, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and Alien Resurrection. But one thing I want to point out, is does anyone else notice that in every Batman movie in this series Bruce Wayne has a new love interest and almost always shows them that he is Batman! I think if I was Bruce Wayne, and while all the ladies are very lovely, I would try to stay with Chase Meridian played by Nicole Kidman as she is smart and very good looking! But no mater how you slice it, Wayne knows how to pick the ladies!

Kim BasingerBatmans RŸckkehrNicole Kidmanelle macpherson

The first batch of action figures based on the Batman movie was made by Toy Biz and showcased not only Batman but also The Joker and Bob The Goon. While many kids like myself rushed to get these figures to have our own Batman Movie style adventures, the figures themselves looked terrible and nothing like the actors from the film. I can remember many kids bringing these figures to the playground, and while we were happy to have them, we still all knew that the figures just looked cheap and were shells of what they should be. I had Batman and The Joker and skipped Bob The Goon, The Joker’s action was a squirting flower that acted like a squirt gun while Batman’s was his belt could be used as a hook. While Toy Biz tried, they really did fail, and the license was quickly taken away and given to Kenner.

Toy Biz Batman ToyToy Biz The Joker ToyToy Biz Bob The Goon Toy

When toy company Kenner got the license to make Batman movie toys, they went for the kill and made figures that looked like the actors as well as accessories like the Batmobile, The Batcopter and the Batcave. They also stayed with the film series and made figures for Batman Returns, Forever and Robin! Each series focused on many different versions of Batman and did all the core bad guys from the movie. On some of the molds they reused ones from their old Super Powers line as The Penguin is the same figure just his suit is painted a different color. When Kenner put these out I had to get my hands on one of the Batman’s as well as Catwoman, and they quickly replaced the Toy Biz ones when it came to Toy Wars. One thing that always cracked me up is the Poison Ivy figure done for the Batman & Robin line looks nothing like Uma Thurman who would not give them permission to use her likeness and looks like a man in drag instead! Don’t believe me, just take a look below, as well as take a look at some more of the Kenner Batman figures!

Kenner Batman ToysKenner ivy & Freeze

Back in 1989 Taco Bell released collector cups featuring Batman, and these were something that I felt I had to have when I was a kid and begged my parents to take me to Taco Bell to get one! When I did get one I can remember drinking everything from Mountain Dew to Chocolate Milk out of it, and it lasted away! After so many washings, the image on the cup began to disappear and sadly the Batman cup was retired and sold in a garage sale. I also remember them doing the cups for Batman & Robin, and I also collected those and got the whole set. McDonald’s did cups for Batman Returns, but I never did get any of those.

Taco Bell Batman Cups

McDonald’s had some Happy Meal toys as well as other merchandise for Batman Returns when the film was released, and many kids I knew had the cars that came in the meal. I can remember having Batman but none of the others. My cousins Dino and Norman had them all and so did Nathan. During this time, they also had pen necklaces that had Batman, Catwoman, Batmobile and The Penguin as topper caps on a very cheap pen. McDonald’s took some heat for putting out these toys in their kids meals by parent groups who thought the film was too violent and should not be geared towards the youth.  Parents groups sure can be silly sometimes.

McDonalds Batman Returns Happy Meal BagMcdonalds Batman Returns ToysBatman Returns Neck Pens

Trading cards have been made for all the films, but none were as popular as those based on the 1989 film put out by Topps. I used to get packs of the cards at United Dairy Farmers as well as at Big Bear and would trade my extra cards and stickers to my neighbor Carmen Fields who was making a whole set. The cards were well done, and they did two sets based just on the first film! I used to love buying old wax packs of cards and chewing on the stale gum as I flipped through to see what cards I had gotten. Oh the good old days!  But while the cards were cool, the whole set doesn’t sell for much as on Ebay.  They go for about $14.00 for both 1 and 2.

Topps Batman CardsTopps Batman Cards 2Batman Returns Cards

Batman t-shirts was also all the rage when I was younger, and while I didn’t have any for the first film I did have some for Batman Returns and as of the last few years I do have a Mr. Freeze one from Batman & Robin thanks to my brother Bryan who found it at a thrift store. I can remember that when I got my Batman Returns shirt for school I felt really cool with my all over print shirt Batman design and wore that shirt for many years after, mostly for gym or to sleep in. Sadly the shirt got holes in it and went to the big washing machine in the sky. But I am sure many of you reading this remember just how important it was for you to have the right cool shirts or shoes to fit in, I however was always just me and would wear movie and band shirts way past there popularity like my old blue Alice Cooper shirt or even Flattop from Dick Tracy. But while my old Batman shirts are gone or way too small at this point, I still have great memories of wearing them and being me.

Batman Returns T Shirt 1Batman Returns T Shirt 2Joker T-Shirt

Do you remember when companies like Post and Quaker Oats made cereals based on all types of cartoons and movies like The Addams Family and Gremlins? Well of course Batman cereal had to be made and company Ralston was the one to deliver it to the masses. Every morning when I was a kid my Mom made sure we ate some breakfast, and while some times it would be eggs & toast or oatmeal, it was mostly cereal and Batman was one that we tried and kind of liked. I can remember the main reason I choose it from the shelves of Big Bear is because it came with a free bank shrink-wrapped to the box. While the original Batman cereal was pretty good, the Batman Returns one made as well by Ralston was not so much! I can also remember eating Batman cereal watching Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Man I really do hate that in October 2014 Saturday Morning Cartoons ended on all major stations, ending an era.

batman cerealBatman Returns cereal

What would a movie be without a video game tie in back in the 80’s and 90’s and of course Batman had a number of game come out based on the blockbuster flicks. First Batman: The Video Game for NES came out in 1990 by SunSoft, and this game was super popular with the Brassfield cousins as we would all try and beat it while at our Grandparents house or even at each others. This game was followed up by Batman: Return Of The Joker, a follow up to a movie game that has no ties to any Batman movies by SunSoft for the NES and Sega Genesis in 1991 and 1992. When Batman Returns was released, a video game was made for many home consoles like NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD and even Sega Master System. Batman Forever, a very cheesy beat em up game, came out for Sega Genesis and SNES while Batman Forever The Arcade Game was made for Arcades, Playstation and Sega Saturn. Batman & Robin also got the video game treatment as a game was released for Playstation, and I can remember getting this game from Blockbuster Video and trying my hardest to beat it…I never did and I blame it on the poor controls. While they all have a charm in their own way Batman: The Video Game for NES remains the best video game based on this series.

Batman NesBatman Returns GenesisBatman Forever GenesisBatman & Robin PSX

When Batman and Batman Returns came out in theaters I did not get to see them as we had to wait for the VHS tapes for hit the library and local video rental store.  My Dad was not a fan of the 1989 film when he watched it and didn’t want to spend money on the second one. But I can remember me and my brother trying to get them to take us but it didn’t work. Well for my 15th birthday, my parents and brother took me to the Belmont Drive-In to watch Batman Forever and I can remember the night we went it was kind of rainy out but while I was not a fan of the movie it was fun watching the flick in the old family car with everyone. I can remember that they also made snack food for us to munch on. Sadly the old Drive-In went out of business thanks the those wonderful land hogs at Reynolds and Reynolds who bought them out and let the land sit empty for years till they built another soulless building in its spot. I saw Batman & Robin in the theater inside The Dayton Mall with my Brother and younger cousin Nick when our aunt asked us to babysit him and offered to pay for our tickets and snack food, how could you go wrong. After the movie we played on the arcade machines that were in front of the theater. In closing, I miss the Belmont Drive-In and wish it was still around today.

Belmont Drive In

Well my fellow Bat-Fans, we are at the point of looking at the comic adaptations and I for one can’t wait to relive many of them. You see in my youth I had read the comics based on Batman and Batman Returns and want to see if they hold up! And want to thank you for spending this Christmas Eve here at Rotten Ink. So before we Biff and Pow our way into action, I should remind you that I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, and its art and story. I want to also thank Mavericks and Lone Star Comics for having these in stock.  So put another log on the fire and get your self another glass of Eggnog we are going to be having a good Bat Time.

Batman 1989 1

Batman  # 1  ***
Released in 1989   Cover Price $2.50   DC Comics   #1 of 1

A family is robbed and left in an ally.  As the crooks make off with the loot, they get a visit from Batman who teaches them that he is the night! Crime Lord Carl Grissom is being targeted by Gotham Police Department but up to this point they have nothing on him as he has a rat in the department who fills him in and helps cover things up. Reporter Alexander Knox along with photographer Vicki Vale are on the case of who and what Batman is, as crime on the streets is lowering as criminals are in fear. Billionaire Bruce Wayne is in fact Batman, but no one besides his butler Alfred knows his secret. Grissom’s girlfriend Alicia is cheating on him with his right hand man Jack Napier who he sets up at a chemical plant that leads to Batman knocking him into a vat of chemicals, and his face is turned white and his hair green and Jack becomes The Joker! Bruce Wayne however finds himself falling in love with Vicki Vale.  As they go on a date The Joker shoots and kills Grissom and now is in charge of his operation. Vicki is following Bruce Wayne and while out The Joker attacks and his men fire guns into crowd.  When the attack is over, they interview Vicki on TV and The Joker likes what he sees. Weird deaths are happening all over Gotham as people are dying of laughter and it’s shown that The Joker is using chemicals in every day products to spread his death. The citizens found out thanks to Batman who saves Vicki Vale from a Joker attacks at a restaurant and gives her the secret.  The next day Bruce Wayne on his date with Vicki is about to tell her that he is Batman when The Joker once more attacks and with this attack Bruce Wayne figures out that Jack Napier (now The Joker) is the thug who shoot and killed his parents! The Joker throws a parade in downtown Gotham and not only giving out free “money” but also poisoning people via balloons. Batman spoils his fun as The Joker takes Vicki prisoner on top of a bell tower.  Batman comes to her aid, and the fight leaves The Joker falling to his death as Batman becomes the savior of Vicki and Gotham.

This is 100% a comic movie adaptation done right, as the look and vibe of the comic captures the magic of the film. The story of this comic is Batman is new to Gotham, and the cops nor the civilians know what to think of him as he takes down crooks with his vigilante justice, and during one of his crime stopping nights he takes a crazy crook and by accident turns him into an even more crazy crook, The Joker, who is tormenting the city! Throw in the fact that Batman is Bruce Wayne, a rich respected man who is torn between doing what he thinks is right and love as he falls for a beautiful photographer who has also captured the eye of the crazed Joker! Batman comes off as a focused hero to the helpless who takes his crime fighting very serious, while Bruce Wayne is an odd rich man who is complex and is torn between fighting and love. Vicki Vale is a likable female lead who has just the right amount of damsel in distress to make you as the reader want to see her get saved. The Joker is crazy and seems like his whole goal in the issue is to cause chaos and to murder the helpless, very great bad guy character and changed just enough from the normal comic series that was also going at the time of this comic adaptation’s release. The Joker’s death is impactful as he falls from high above and dies still with a laugh as a laugh box in his pocket goes off after the impact. The cover is very eye catching, and fans of the movie would for sure nab this one up.  The art inside done by Jerry Ordway is fantastic, and all the characters look like the actors that played them in the movie. I can remember that I read this comic when it first came out as our friend Mike Cessna had it, and I loved it back then, but then again I did have Batman fever! In closing if you like the 1989 film and like comics then check this one out as it was made for you.

Batman 89 Art 1Batman 89 Art 2Batman 89 Art 3

So The Joker is dead, and Batman is now a full savior of the city.  So what baddies awaits him in this second comic movie adaption?  Let’s read on and find out!

Batman Returns 1

Batman Returns  # 1  ***
Released in 1992   Cover Price $3.95   DC Comics   #1 of 1

It’s in the past as a family drops a baby in a basket off the side of the bridge, and as the basket floats down the river and into the sewer, a family of penguins are there to rescue it. Max Shreck is a very powerful businessman in Gotham and is a man with a vision of a more powerful city.  He has the Mayor in his back pocket and he even runs his poor assistant Selina Kyle day and night. While giving a speech about Christmas, Max and company are attacked by a band of scary circus performers know as The Red Triangle Gang.  As Batman comes to save the day, Max himself comes face to face with a strange deformed man called The Penguin who lives in the sewer and knows all Max’s dirty little secrets.  So the two team up to allow Penguin to come above ground and be loved by the people of Gotham. Max has an idea to have a power planet that does not give off energy but takes energy to store, and when Selina gets too close in looking into the plant, she is shoved out a window by Max and is saved by cats who she now has a bond with.  This also makes her an anti hero as she dons a leather cat suit and calls herself Catwoman. Bruce Wayne and Max have a meeting over the power planet but don’t see eye to eye, as Selina shows back up to work to Max’s surprise as he thought she was dead. This bad meeting makes Max turn to Penguin who he now wants to make Mayor, and they hatch a plan of mayhem as they set the Red Triangle Gang free on the city.  As Batman takes out the trash he comes to find that Penguin is not a good role model as Max wants them all to believe and also meets Catwoman who is targeting business owned by Max. Catwoman and Penguin team up to frame Batman and to get the people of Gotham to turn against him by killing The Ice Princess and making it appear as if he did it.  While he is trying to save her ,they will turn the Batmobile into an out of control death machine! With the Ice Princess dead and Batman able to get back control of his car after a nasty joy ride, he is able to use messages he tapped of Penguin to have the people of Gotham turn on him and as he goes back to the sewers he tells his gang the plan of stealing all the first born children of the city and how he wants them all to die in a watery grave! Also by this point Catwoman and Penguin have turned on each other and to make things worse Bruce Wayne has to go to a costume party put on by Max, and that’s when Selina and Bruce find out each others secret identities. Penguin crashes the party and kidnaps Max who he has now turned on, as Bruce turns into Batman and stops the kids from being killed.  With one plan stopped, Penguin now sends his animal penguin brothers above ground complete with bombs and rockets strapped to them to cause death and destruction! Batman stops this attack as well and knocks Penguin out a window and he falls into the sewer bellow. Meanwhile Catwoman kills Max and herself as Batman is powerless to stop her and looses his love.  As Penguin once more appears and is at death’s door complaining of the heat and dies in the sewer water as his animal friends take his body away. Bruce Wayne won’t forget Selina Kyle as Catwoman’s shadow is seen in a ally.

Good comic adaptation follow up to the original but slightly looses the magic of the film, as many plot moments seemed a little rushed. Bruce Wayne/Batman in this comic are almost one and the same as he allows emotions to interfere with his personal life as well as his crime fighting mission. I also am puzzled as too how quickly Vicki Vale is thrown to the side and in a matter of seconds, he is head over heels in love with Selina Kyle who he briefly meets as Bruce during a meeting at Max’s and once for seconds as Batman during the first Red Triangle Gang attack. Bruce is really like a love struck teenager who is longing to be loved and chooses the most complicated women to fall for. Max Shreck is your typical rich big business man who acts as if he cares about the people, when really he cares about his own personal gain. Max is a total scumbag who kills and manipulates whoever he can to become more powerful in Gotham. Penguin is also a very violent and conniving man who kills and takes advantage of whoever can get him ahead in his plan to take over the city. The fact that he runs a gang of circus rejects and has a plan to kill children shows you just how gross of a person he is. Penguin’s death is a little to close too The Jokers with it coming via a fall, but it still works as he makes one last attempt to kill Batman grabs the wrong umbrella, and then falls just short of making it into the cold water before he dies. Penguin is nothing like the comic version and is not classy in any way and is more of a freak, but he still does use umbrellas of all types to fight with. Catwoman/Selina Kyle is an interesting character as she is not good nor bad and while she loves Bruce Wayne, she dislikes Batman and does take the life of his boss Max in the end. This really is a cool adaptation and is a nice follow up to the first with an equally cool cover, but I will say the artwork by Steve Erwin, while good, does lack the charm of making the characters look like the actors of them film, while some do, many don’t. I can remember buying this comic as a kid from The Bookie Parlor and thinking how cool I was cause I had it.  Also while reading this comic, I listened to the score for the film done by Danny Elfman. If you like the film and liked the original film adaptation, this is a good one to have in your collection!

Batman Returns Art 1Batman Returns Art 2Batman Returns Art 3

Penguin is dead and Catwoman is missing, who will be the next to step up and get beat down by Batman? Well let’s see in this next issue based on my least favorite Batman film of all time or should I say forever?

Batman Forever 1

Batman Forever  # 1  ***
Released in 1995   Cover Price $3.95   DC Comics   #1 of 1

Two Face has escape Arkham Asylum and is robbing a bank and has a live hostage, as Batman approaches Commissioner Gordon.  Batman also meets Chase Meridian, a doctor in abnormal psychology.  He goes in to save the day, but while he does save the guard Two Face gets away. Edward Nygma works for Bruce Wayne and is a little crazy.  When Bruce shoots down his idea of a TV that broadcast into your brain he decides to kill the manager and seek revenge on Bruce whom he leaves a riddle for. Bruce takes the riddle to Chase, and after they crack it, they go to a charity circus event and when The Flying Graysons are on, Two Face enters complete with a bomb.  As son Dick Grayson gets the bomb to safety, his parents are murdered by Two Face and Bruce can do nothing to save them. Dick stays at Wayne Manor as once more Two Face tries to kill Batman and fails.  While at his hideout he gets a visit from Nygma who is know calling himself The Riddler, and they two form a team to kill Batman that involves Nygma’s TV Mind Box! Dick sneaks and follows Alfred to the Bat Cave and takes the Batmobile for a drive and saves a woman from some street punks and gets a taste and wants to join Batman as a team who of course rejects the idea. At a party for Nygma’s new invention that is making his company out do Wayne Enterprises two to one, Two Face crashes and Batman this time around is hurt in the fight but is saved by Dick who is wearing his circus outfit and a tiny mask. Alfred tries to push a bruised up Bruce that he should train Dick and allow him to help in crime fighting.  As Bruce thinks it over he becomes Batman and meets Chase at her house as it’s clear she has feelings for Batman as well as Bruce Wayne, but she in the end chooses Wayne! The Riddler finds out thanks to his TV machine that Wayne is Batman, and the evil pair decide to make a statement. Bruce invites her over to tell her he is Batman, and Two Face and The Riddler come in and shoot Wayne, kidnap Chase and blow up the Batcave. After the attack, Batman along with his new sidekick Robin (Dick Grayson) head to Nygma’s factory and battle it out with the baddies. The end fight leaves The Riddler’s brain boiled by his own machine, and Two Face falls to his death into spiked rocks and ocean water. With The Riddler crazy and in Arkham Asylum, Chase knows now she loves the man behind that bat.

I must say I liked this comic adaptation better then the film it’s based on! Gone is the terrible over acting of Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face; missing is Jim Carey’s version of The Riddler just being silly and Ace Ventura like.  Instead we get a fun kid friendly Batman adventures that is laced with some fun silly moments. The story has Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman once more falling for a woman who is torn between the two, not knowing till later that they are the same person.  Along the way Batman makes enemies with a crazy inventor and a baddy from his past comes out to play. He also adopts a circus performer who turns into his sidekick in fighting crime. Batman/Bruce Wayne in this issue is on the verge of walking away from crime fighting to settle down with a woman he once more just meet, but by some point comes to learn that both sides of his life are important, and they can come together. Dick Grayson/Robin for the most part takes a back seat and is used just right, not forcing him down your throat and allowing him to become important to the film’s end plot. Chase Meridian is smart and pretty but besides being a love interest does nothing to special to make her on the level of Vicki Vale or Selina Kyle. The Riddler/ Edward Nygma is crazy and wants to really show Bruce Wayne up and is obsessed with power.  His defeat coming by his own invention is well done, as is the fact his head becomes misshapen with the overload. Two Face loves to kill and is a good comic book villain in this comic. The lame thing is once more Two Face, much like The Joker and Penguin before him dies via a fall! The cover on this one is okay and not as eye catching as the other two.  The art done by Michel Dutkiewicz is really great and helps add to the over all appeal of the comic. To sum it up, a solid good adaptation that is better then the movie it’s based on!

Batman Forever Art 1Batman Forever Art 2Batman Forever Art 3

Two Face dead via a fall onto some pointy rocks and The Riddler looks like the Elephent Man and is in the loony bin.  So who’s next on Batman’s list to rid Gotham of?  Let’s read the last to find out!

Batman & Robin 1

Batman & Robin  # 1  **1/2
Released in 1997   Cover Price $3.95   DC Comics   #1 of 1

Batman and Robin try to stop Mr. Freeze from stealing a giant diamond but fall short when Robin is turned into an icicle and Batman must save him from freezing to death as Mr. Freeze escapes. Meanwhile in South America, Dr. Pamela Isley is working on a chemical that will make plants stronger as her partner Dr. Jason Woodrue uses it to make super soldiers and creates Bane, a muscle bound brute who does what he’s told.  When Isley finds out, he attacks her and knocks her into chemicals that turns her into Poison Ivy who kills Woodrue with a kiss, and she and Bane heads to Gothan City. Meanwhile Mr. Freeze is only doing all these bad things so that he can get money for research to cure his sick wife.  While Alfred’s niece Barbra comes to visit and stays at Wayne Manor. Batman uses diamonds from his private collection to lure Mr. Freeze out of hiding but it also draws out Poison Ivy who turns Batman and Robin against each other to get her attention. But the trap works, and they are able to capture Mr. Freeze and send him to Arkham Asylum, but the heat between Batman and Robin grows deeper. Ivy and Bane break Freeze out, and Batman and Robin find them at Freeze’s old hideout and while they fight off Bane they also come face to face with Ivy again who uses her charm to make Robin and Batman fight which leaves Robin knocked out.  She also unplugs Mr. Freeze’s wife and blames it on Batman making him want to kill his enemy. During this time we also find out Alfred is sick with the same disease that was killing Freeze’s wife leaving Bruce, Barbra and Dick helpless to save their friend and loved one. Barbra finds out the secret and becomes Batgirl and teams with Batman and Robin to fight off Ivy, Bane and Mr. Freeze who plans to make the whole world freeze in another ice age. Batgirl takes out Ivy with Robin beating Bane and Batman knocks around Mr. Freeze and tells him that Ivy pulled the plug on his wife but he saved her just in time and talks sense into him and gets him to help cure Alfred’s diseases. In the end, Alfred is okay and Batman & Robin have a new partner in Batgirl as Ivy gets a new cellmate Mr. Freeze!

The first thing that I have to say about this adaptation is that I hate the fact it starts off showing a movie set setting up the first shot…this takes you 100% out of the comic and makes you say who cares it’s all just a movie.  Dumb move by DC for allowing this to be the opening panel of this comic. But take that terrible mistake out of the picture, and this is a fun average adaptation that showcases the silly nature of the film it’s based on. The plot is Alfred is sick and his loved ones want to save him, Batman has an issue trusting that Robin can handle himself, Ivy wants to save Mother Earth and Mr. Freeze wants to save his wife….this comic is all about saving. Batman is a little controlling in this one and seems to almost have a chip on his shoulder, but as Bruce Wayne he is more caring and worried about his sick friend Alfred. Robin is a ball of rage as he feels Batman just won’t let him be the hero he is. Batgirl is a waste in this comic and besides the very end when Barbra becomes Batgirl, she is given very little to do. Alfred is caring and sick so you find yourself hoping and knowing he will get better. Poison Ivy is an extreme environmentalist who puts nature over human lives, and for all accounts is like a pretty ex-girlfriend who is borderline psychotic. Bane is a mindless brute who says nothing at all through at the whole comic.  He is as far from his comic counter part and is nothing more than a glorified henchman. Mr. Freeze retains all his cheesy one liners that all tie in to cold, and is a bad guy that you feel sorry for as he is doing everything bad to try and save his wife, but man when he’s doing bad he goes for broke! Much like the movie that I don’t think is as terrible as people say it is, this is pretty average and cuts out many of the really silly things from the movie like the Bat Credit Card. The cover is average as well and for some reason more reminds me of the kid’s novel version that you would find at a book fair. The art is done by Rodolfo Damaggio and is pretty well done.  In some panels it seems rushed but is not terrible looking even then. Over all if you like the film check it out, otherwise I would avoid this one.

Batman & Robin Art 1

That was a good time for me, and we have read some pretty good comic adaptations that did the films they were based on justice. The art of making movie adaptations seems to be lost as now it’s not so much a comic of the movie as they are mini series that act as lead up to the films. Say what you will about them now, but The Batman films was a series that got the young and young at heart hyped to go to the movies and I for one grew up being a Batman kid thanks to not only the 60’s TV show but also the 89 Burton film.  So with this I should tell you the next update will be my top films of 2014 and I look forward to bringing you that. Well I hope you all have a great Christmas and Santa brings you all what ever you asked for.  Until then spend time with your loved ones, read a comic or two and have a safe holiday.

2014

Walking In A Greasy McDonaldland

Welcome back!  I hope you all are having a fun and safe winter so far.  I used to love the winter when I was younger because there was always a chance of a snow day away from school, and if one did happen, that was a day spent playing Nintendo, reading a comic, watching a movie and playing toy wars! Of course this would also be a day of snow ball fights, that wonderful way to throw frozen ice balls at your friends face and pass it off as a fun time.  I remember having snow ball fights in Waynesville against my brother and friends like Mike Censsna, Bill Hamm, Brad Burns and so many more kids from the neighborhood.  This would also carry over to Kettering when I was working at Kroger as a teenager, and my pal Josh Weinberg and I would spend time throwing snowballs at each other while pulling carts. But one thing about winter always made me upset, the weather men who would predict snow and lots of it and poof, the next day not a flake had fallen.  Being a kid, I would stay up later the night before in my room reading comics or watching my little black and white TV and be grumpy the next day when I would find I would have to go to school. My brother Bryan and I use to always make fun of Carl Nichols, the weather man for Channel 2 who would predict “Winter Storms” and the next morning his reporting was wrong. But here is to winter and here is to all the fun memories that go along with this season, from building snowmen to sledding, this is a fun season to be a kid. Next update I will share a little more of my winter memories and fun times.

snow woods

Fast food restaurants were running wild in the 1980’s, and most of them were all trying to get the youth of America to choose their place to eat over the others and would use all types of things from kid meal prizes to cookies to get customers’ money. The thing the worked for me to choose a place to eat was the mascots and TV commercials that would show the adventures of these characters, acting as 30 second TV shows hyping the cheap food and fun idea of that place to eat. Most places had some sort of mascot. Burger King had The Burger King Kingdom with guys like Magical Burger King and Sir Shakes A Lot, and later they had the Burger King Kids Club. Wendy’s had Wendy, the cute red head with the pigtails; Captain D’s had Captain D’s, the sailor who loved history and seafood; Dominos Pizza had the Noid, a creepy little guy in a red costume and rabbit ears and so many more.  But the one that always stood out and was super popular for kids back in my time was Ronald McDonald and the rest of McDonald Land characters who were the mascots for the mega burger chain McDonald’s. Everyone in the world would say that when it comes to fast food burger joints, McDonald’s is king, and I for one grew up loving the place. Growing up in Waynesville, there were no fast food chains in downtown.  All we really had was The Hammel House, Dagwoods, Village Family Restaurant and The Dairy Corner, and all were very good and classic style small town restaurants. The Dairy Corner was a place my Mom would take us a lot, and I can remember always ordering a cheeseburger and fries and and enjoying sitting with my family and enjoying the food.  A few times over the years I would drive to Waynesville with girlfriends or friends, and we would eat at the Dairy Corner. Sadly it’s gone now and where once a fun ice cream shop that served food was alive, now sits a shell of a building. Why did it close up you ask.  Well one of the major reasons was the coming of McDonald’s, the first major fast food place to enter the small village of Waynesville and later came Subway. But while it’s gone, Dairy Corner will never be forgotten by this comic book reader.

Dairy Corner

In 1940 Richard and Maurice McDonald opened up a restaurant that was a BBQ place, but in 1948 they changed into a hamburger joint and started to use drive-thru service, paving the way of “Fast Food” along side White Castle. In 1955, Ray Kroc became a partner in the company and later bought out the brothers to become the owner of McDonald’s, and he turned it into the The King of Fast Food with changes in how the company ran and franchises it supported.  But the buyout was not a smooth one as Kroc and the brothers feuded over the business, and this went on for years. Kroc won the battle, and McDonalds expanded outside the United States and has restaurants all over the world. The restaurant is known for selling hamburgers, chicken nuggets, milkshakes, fish sandwiches and McRibs and has expanded its menu to cafe-style drinks, chicken wings and gourmet salads. McDonald’s also was a pioneer in kids meals when they introduced The Happy Meal in 1979 that had food placed in a box or bag that came with a toy.  Growing up, I loved to a Happy Meal and eat the tasty food and also collect toys based on the likes of The Muppet Babies, Barensteen Bears or Charlie Brown. McDonald’s is still the top fast food joint in the world and it continues to evolve and stay on top by doing so.

Mcdonalds logo

I don’t eat McDonald’s very often, but I still do enjoy it from time to time.  The charm of the place has been lost to me once they cut back on using Ronald McDonald and phased out the rest of the McDonald Land characters. But when I do go, I have a order that is a must for me and consists of the same items I have ordered for a very long time:  two cheeseburgers (sometimes a double cheese burger), a large french fries and a medium orange Hi-C.  The fries for me are the highlight of the meal, and I would say out of all the fast food places they have the best french fries followed by Burger King. I know some people will trash the food and spew out the same gargage that Morgan Spurlock did in his documentary Super Size Me, but if you don’t eat the food every day in extra-large portions, then you’ll be all right. I say if you’re out and are looking for a cheap burger, get yourself a Big Mac and enjoy it!

Mcdonalds CheeseburgerMcdonald FriesMcdonalds Orange Hi-C

In 2013 McDonald’s unleashed on the market their own take on chicken wings when they put out Mighty Wings! My girlfriend and I love chicken wings and have tried every major wing place in our area.  For me, the four best have to be Roosters, Wing Zone, Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3s) and Fricker’s.  So when McDonald’s said they were getting into the wing game, I knew I had to try them. I was working hard on editing a Baron Von Porkchop episode and needed to take a break for lunch.  So I called up my Mom, and we decided to go to McDonald’s to get a quick bite to eat.  In the drive thru I saw the advertisement for Mighty Wings and ordered a 5 pack. I ate them before I touched my fries or took a drink from the Hi-C, and I must say they were pretty good.  They had a nice spice level, and the meat, while a little fatty, was very juicy and flavorful. The downside to them is price at almost a dollar a wing, and the meduim size of each wing makes you really wonder just how much you overpaid. But if you like wings and are looking for a snack, a 5 pack of Mighty Wings might just hit the spot.

Mcdonalds Mighty Wings

Growing up I have many memories of McDonalds and many of them have to do with the whole McDonald land characters and merchandise. I can remember going to the local McDonald’s and pestering my Mom and Dad to get me a Happy Meal so that I could get the Baby Fozzie from the Muppet Babies on his rocking horse and they did! It always felt magical to open up the Happy Meal box with all the cool artwork around it and pulling out your food and seeing what prize you got this time. It’s a shame that nowadays they have switched meals to putting them in a paper bag and put less time pushing these meals. Another thing that always stuck in my mind was The Apple Pie Tree statue that was placed inside the stores and also outside in the playground area.  The giant grinning face also made you as a kid feel welcome. I can remember climbing all over the Tree with my brother and cousin Norman.  The Tree is burned into my memories and if I ever get a house in the country like I want, a McDonald’s Tree will for sure be in the backyard. Another memory has to be the birthday parties that McDonald’s would have.  I can remember going to one for my cousin Norman and having a fun time on the playground and being around my family. I remember the cake not being all that great but thinking it was cool to see all the McDonaldland characters on it, but to be honest I dislike cake and am not a fan of it at all. So there you have it, Ronald McDonald and his magic fast food are apart of my youth, and I am okay with that.

McDonalds Happy MealMcDonalds TreeMcDonalds Birthday Cake

McDonaldland pull back racers aka Fast Macs were a hit with me and my brother Bryan.  I can remember getting them and turning our kitchen in Waynesville into a drag strip as my brother and I would race them. He had gotten the Hamburgler in a slick red dragster built for speed and tricks, while I had Officer Big Mac in a bulky yet fast police car. We spent awhile racing them, and most the time they would crash into the kitchen table or get caught up on the walls.  I can remember losing a lot in the races, but I am sure that my brother bent the rules in his favor by saying things like “if I pop a wheelie, I win the race.” Later on we got Ronald McDonald in his yellow car of doom and Birdie in her pink race car. Over all these were great cheap toys that delivered a lot of fun for the Brassfield Brothers.

Fast Mac HamburglerFast Mac Officer Big Mac

Besides the Fast Macs and The Muppet Babies toys, I also remember liking the Changeables aka McRobots who were generic style Transformers that would change from food items into simple robots. I had a few of these growing up and would use them in toy war and even had them get crushed many times by Transformers and GoBots. The simpleness of these changing robots was their charm, and the fact that McDonalds jumped on the popular 80’s robot boom was a given. My favorite was the Big Mac one because my brother and cousins all use to say he was the leader of the others much like Optimus Prime and Leader One were in charge of their robot friends. The second best one was the milk shake one who in my mind was like the right hand man and the fighter of the group. The store I am the manager of has an Amazon store, and I have sold many of these McRobots to the masses! I am sure many of you readers have a smile on your face as you are now thinking back on these generic transforming robots.

McRobots

Not only were robots and fast food places big in the 80’s but so were collector glasses that restaurants, pop companies and even gas stations would sell and give out. Growing up I remember drinking Coke out of a Superman glass or strawberry milk from a Bugs Bunny one. Even as an adult as I am writing this I am drinking water from a Rocky The Squirrel glass put out by Pepsi. I know many of these glasses used lead paint so maybe that explains why I still love to read Star Comics. Some of the cool ones that were put out at this time were the 1977 McDonaldland character glasses.  You could choose from Ronald McDonald, Mayor McCheese, Officer Big Mac, Captain Crook and the others! Collector glasses are awesome and always helped add to a bland meal at home.  Sitting at the kitchen table and having to eat spinach chicken and peas was always a terrible time, but add in a Batman glass filled with Kool-Aid and the meal is still bad but a little easier to have to deal with. I have many of the McDonaldland glasses as well as many other character glasses and these are a super fun and cool way to make drinking fun. You can find these cool glasses on Ebay, Thrift Stores and Flea Markets.

Grimace GlassMayor McCheese GlassCaptain Crook Glass

Now that I have given you all a rundown on some of the cool stuff about McDonald’s we should now get to the main course of this mind meal and take a look at all the characters that made up the magical Mcdonaldland. Before we get into the main cast, let’s take a small look at three that did not make it to the land.

Speedee

Speedee

Speedee is a hamburger headed chief who was the mascot for McDonalds from 1948-1962. Speedee’s main purpose was to show how fast your food would get to you after you placed your order. Speedee sadly never caught on and was phased out and replaced by the 1st Ronald McDonald in 1962. While gone for many years now, Speedee will never be forgotten by fans and historians of the fast food burger place he promoted.

Original Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald # 1 

The original Ronald McDonald is nothing like the one we all know and love.  He was dubbed The Ham-Burger Happy Clown and wore a tray on his head, a magic tray belt that kept him supplied with hamburgers and a paper cup on his noise. This original Ronald was slightly creepy, and his voice was deeper and kind of menacing. He really loved to push hamburgers and tried to befriend kids to follow him back to McDonalds…wait, doen’t this kind of sound like Pennywise the Clown from the Stephen King Novel IT? Years later his look was changed and became the more iconic version of the character we all know and love. To me this first version was like the modern’s weird and crazy brother who later was locked up in the McDonaldland Asylum of Mental Health. I should note that Willard Scott played the original Ronald McDonald on TV in the D.C. area, who is known for being a weatherman on NBC, and this version started in 1962.

Mac Tonight

Mac Tonight

McDonald’s was going to start staying open late nights via the drive-thru and needed a way to let people know.  So enter the moon headed, sunglasses wearing, piano playing Ray Charles style Mac Tonight. Mac Tonight started in 1986 and was a smooth operator and gained a following with young and old and became a main stay of McDonald’s ads. Mac Tonight was so big that his image was used for over 20 commercials, was made into Happy Meal Toys and was used to great customers along side Ronald McDonald. But the moon headed man’s fun ended in 2007 when he got a CGI make over and started to be used less and less. While his image can still be seen on signs at McDonald’s, this jazz loving moon man’s popularity has dropped. Here’s hoping at some point he will rise to the charts of mascot history and be used properly once more.

So with this let’s get into the cast of characters that made up McDonaldLand! I will try and make these brief and just give you a little background of each iconic mascot.

ronald mcdonald

Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald is a fun loving clown who loves to bring joy and food to his friends thanks to McDonalds. Ronald is the ring leader of all the characters in McDonaldland and has many friends all over the world and even on other planets. Ronald is also very active and likes to go out a play sports and enjoy nature making him a very energetic. Ronald is always in a good mood and makes the mood of any room rise and turns frowns upside down. He is also the face of McDonald’s and is so popular his image has been made into toys, shirts, comics, video games, and he even had a cameo in the movie “MAC AND ME” . Ronald McDonald is more recognizable to children than JFK, Abe Lincoln, Magical Burger King and many more famous people and mascots from around the world. Ronald is the man and remains one of the most iconic characters of all time. 

Grimace

Grimace

1971 was the year kids were introduced to a giant purple character named Evil Grimace with four arms who loved soda and milkshakes and would steal them! In 1972/74 two arms disappeared, and Evil was dropped from his name and the lovable dimwitted Grimace became a well loved mascot for McDonald’s. Grimace acts as the comic relief of McDonaldland and is Ronald’s best friend. Even after turning good, Grimace still loved a good milkshake and soda as does his uncle known as O’Grimacey who loved the St. Patricks Day themed Shamrock Shake. Sadly Grimace was put into mascot retirement in 2011. Grimace in his prime had his image used for toys, cartoons, video games and even cookie cutters. Grimace is one of my favorite characters of McDonald’s. 

Birdie the Early Bird

Birdie The Early Bird

In 1980 an egg fell in McDonaldland. Ronald showed it love and it hatched to be Birdie a yellow female bird who is a terrible flyer and loves breakfast food! Birdie is much like Grimace and is very clumsy and is the first official female character mascot for McDonald’s. Over the years and many different forms of media Birdie has learned karate and even try to find aliens. Birdie has been used to sell toys, video games and dolls. Biride sadly was sent to the Mascot retirement home in 2011 alongside other characters from McDonald’s. 

hamburglar

The Hamburglar

In 1971, a pint size thief entered McDonaldland, and he had one thing on his mind: to steal hamburgers!  When first seen by viewers, he was older with a big nose and was called The Lone Jogger.  In the 1980’s he was transformed into a younger guy who while bad, became friends with all the other characters. Hamburglar spoke gibberish and his catch phrase was “Robble Robble” and was the second major villain to be introduced in the commercials. During the 80’s I always remember him being one of the most popular characters with kids wanting to collect his toys that were in Happy Meals. Sadly like Birdie and Grimace, he joined them in the mascot retirement home in 2011. 

mayor mccheese

Mayor McCheese

In 1971 Mayor McCheese was the silly cheeseburger headed Mayor of McDonaldLand, who tried so hard but was a little dimwitted and relied on the help of Ronald and the rest of the gang. The Mayor spoke with a giggly voice and was mostly a background character for the company. The Mayor was voted out of power in 2008 as McDonald’s sent him to the mascot retirement home. Mayor McCheese remains a popular character and has become a pop culture icon thanks to the internet and shows like Family Guy.

Big Mac

Officer Big Mac

Law and Order was brought to McDonladland in 1970 as Officer Big Mac was on the case to bust the likes of The Hamnurglar and Captain Crook! Officer Big Mac was a by the book character who was the main source of law in the land, also making him one of the good guys. Big Mac was phased out in the 1980’s and made a small appearance in 2008 before being sent to that sad place known as mascot retirement. While remembered, Officer Big Mac did not gain cult status like his fellow hamburger headed friend Mayor McCheese. 

Captain Crook

Captain Crook

Starting in 1970, the people of McDonaldland’s Filet-O-Fish were in big trouble as a pirate named Captain Crook took to the waterways and began stealing this sandwich, making him the first official bad guy of the land. Captain Crook was close friends to The Hamburglar and would translate his mumbles. Crook also spent a lot of time trying not to be captured by Officer Big Mac who always had his eyes on the beady eyed pirate.In the 1980’s  Captain Crook started to be phased out, and in 1999 he was sent to that retirement home for mascots. 

the professor

The Professor 

1971 was the year that a grey haired old man known simply as The Professor also made his mark in McDonaldland and was the inventor for the magical land. At first he was just a minor character, and later he became a major one that was given even a lightbulb hat. But like many other of his friends he was set to the retirement home for good in 2001 but not before being in a few cartoons and a video game. 

Happy Meal GangHamburger PatchMcNuggetsMcDonald's Characters

Happy Meal Gang/Hamburger Patch/McNugget Buddies/Fry Guys

The Happy Meal Gang was a group of talking food items such as a hamburger, fries and a cold drink who were all friends of Ronald and brought joy to customers. They were introduced in 1984 and were later joined in 1989 by the McNugget Buddies who later would replace the Happy Meal Gang altogether. In 1973 The Hamburger Patch was the main talking food and were hamburgers that grew on plants and were picked to be eaten by Ronald and customers.  They were phased out in the mid 80’s. The Fry Guys were odd colored short shaggy creatures who like to steal and eat french fries who were introduced in 1972.  They were so popular that they were used all the way till 2008. So many fun and odd talking food characters!

Cosmc

CosMc

In 1980-1985 Ronald McDonald and his gang of friends also befriended an alien from space who had many arms and wore a giant round space suit! He was a kind character who always wanted to trade McDonald’s food and wanted to share the great taste of the food with his people. CosMc was not a mainstay character and was used only a handful of times.  He did however make it into a video game and animated series based on the characters of the restaurant. I should also note he spoke like a surfer dude.

So there was a very quick rundown of some of the amazing McDonaldland characters.  I tried to make them all brief for if we broke them down too much, we would be here for another few pages of who epic and amazing they are! So now you know a little about them and your mind is recharged with memories of these characters making it time for the comic reviews that were free give aways and were called McDonaldLand Comics! I just want you all to remember I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and base it on entertainment value, quality of the story, the art and how true it stays to the source martial, and I would like to think Mile High Comics and Amazon for having these comics in stock.

McDonaldland Comics 101

McDonaldland Comics  # 101  **1/2
Released in 1976   Cover Price FREE   McDonald Corp. Comics   #101 of 102

It’s America’s 200th birthday, and Mayor McCheese has gotten an invitation to be a guest at the country’s huge birthday party! The Mayor invites Ronald, Officer Big Mac, The Professor and Grimace to go along with him on a magical train, and they decide to leave Captain Crook and Hamburglar back in McDonaldland to watch after things. Crook and Hamburglar sneak aboard the train, and they all take a tour of the amazing sites of America. But along the way the Captain Crook falls from the flying train and could be lost as they arrive at the party! The second small story in the issue is about The Hamburglar who is giving up stealing hamburgers, but now is stealing things that begin with the letter H!

The first story is a silly adventure that is a way for Ronald McDonald to teach the readers American history.  So while you as a youngster read this, you were also learning! It’s odd how in this issue the bad guys of the land, Hamburglar and Captain Crook, are supposed to be the ones left behind to watch over things.  Now don’t they like to steal and cause panic…so why would they want to leave them behind? Plus Officer Big Mac seems to be a one trick pony in the issue and repeats about the railroad being too bumpy and about arresting people.  Ronald is clearly the ringleader of the group as his word is law, and at one point he is being questioned by a cop and escapes without showing his ID so he won’t be late for the party! The story is short and ends with a cliffhanger as they get to the party but Captain Crook has fallen from the train that is flying now, so did he die? The next issue I hope will explain this. The second back up story of Hamburglar stealing things that start with an H is just a cheesy joke as the rest of the comic is filled with puzzles and such. The artwork is great and has that classic 70’s kid comic look and each character looks like they should. The cover is also pretty cool, and I am sure in 1976 kids picked up this free issue like crazy! So over all this is a fun and average free restaurant comic that was worth a read. I am going to say that the best character in this first issue would have to be Ronald McDonald himself followed by Captain Crook.  So with this let’s move onto issue 2!

McDonaldland Comics 102

McDonaldland Comics  # 102  **1/2
Released in 1976   Cover Price FREE   McDonald Corp. Comics   #102 of 102

The McDonaldland gang is gearing up for a silly version of the Olympics that include pogo stick jumps, and hamburger dashes! The gang that includes Ronald, Captain Crook, Hamburglar and Grimace are going up against The Fry Guys! But late the night before the event, a short man named Sneak-Snoop Snoggly of the Sneak-Snoop race who live in the hills comes to town and causes mischief and pranks on all the group! The pranks leave Mayor McCheese falling down a hole, Grimace squashing a giant tomato and Ronald’s pogo stick spring being so tight that he bounces up way to high and smacks into a bird! In the end they confront Snoggly who in turns falls of a high dive board and wins a medal that puts a smile on his face and all is well again in McDonaldland. The second mini story of this issue is about The Professor taking the gang around again on the flying train to see historic sites from around the USA and uses a machine that lets them see the past in the spots they are visiting.

The McDonaldland Olympic Games are filled with silly things that kids would have fun doing, pogo sticks and bouncing, sounds like Field Day events to me! This time around a trickster is causing issues in the fast food land and almost leads to Ronald’s and a bird’s death as they collide in the air and both are stunned. It’s clear that Captain Crook must have lived after his fall in issue one as he is in the Olympic Games, though they should have some how worked in how it all worked out. This main story as well only really highlights Ronald as the rest of them all take back seats, and this is to be expected as Ronald is the main mascot for the company. The second story seems a little lacking and is just more history lesson left over from the first issue.  While very informative, I wish they would have not repeated the American History lesson. The rest of the comic issue is filled with puzzles and such and I am sure had kids of the time entertained. Over all the first story is pretty fun though I wish had a little more to it.  The second story is just okay, making this issue another average issue but well worth the read, and the price it coast when it was released…FREE. 

One has to wonder why McDonaldland Comics only lasted two issues when Big Boy and Captain D’s both had comic series going at the time and years after even. One has to wonder if the cost of making the free comic just didn’t outweigh the payout of making kids have a collectors item based around their mascots. I for one would have loved to have gotten comics for free based on these characters in the 80’s and would have looked forward to getting an issue anytime we ate there. The comic series really focused on Ronald and that makes sense with the surprise two characters that seemed to get a lot of panel time being The Professor and Captain Crook. Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac all had solid roles to play in the two issues, and Grimace was almost a second thought and offered very little to the story lines, and that’s a shame cause he would have been a perfect character for a kids comic. The art, as I stated before, is great and would have been right at home if Star Comics was going in 1976.  The covers were both very well done and eye catching and better than any other free restaurant comic cover. I wish that McDonald’s would bring back all these classic characters for this modern generation who are lacking the fun wonders of mascots.  I also wish they would bring back free comic books based on these characters, and I also wish they would stop being the target of parent groups and TV “chefs” who want to make a name for themselves by attacking the worlds largest burgar chain. Well the chill in the air is telling me it’s time to go, but before we do I must tell you readers that next update will be on Christmas Eve and will be all about Thundercats! So make sure to come back and give it a read! Till then, have a great holiday season, read a comic or two and eat a Big Mac.Thundercats Logo