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By Nate VanLindt On 11 Nov, 2017 At 08:45 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, News, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Spoiler Alert!  If you haven’t read the December 1973 issue of Captain America And The Falcon (#168) yet, this article contains detailed information about the plot and storyline!  Don’t come complaining later if you ruined it for yourself!

Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some comics!  Recently, I came across a good-sized lot of Captain America And The Falcon comics from the early to late Seventies.

Forty-two issues spanning a solid seven years of Captain America with a fair number of gaps of course.  Like a lot of kids, I grew up reading the occasional Cap story, but I never really collected it.  I picked up this run because a fair chunk of the later issues was the final run written and drawn by none other than Jack ‘The King” Kirby himself, almost twenty issues.  Most of the earlier issues were written by an assortment of writers including Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella, and even Marv Wolfman.  Having never had access to this much Cap before, I figured I was in for a treat.  What I hadn’t expected was what a surprise I was in for as well.

I read a lot of Marvel Comics as a kid.  My favorite was Spider-Man.  Most of my comic collection as a child consisted of Marvel and DC from the Seventies and Eighties.  But I read those comics with a child’s eyes.  Coming back to them as an adult and reading them with an adult’s perspective shows a complex multi-layered dynamic between the characters that I’ve never realized existed before.  It’s something that isn’t in a lot of today’s modern comics; a subtext commentary about our society at the time the books were written.  It turns out Captain America And The Falcon was a book that was notably not afraid to address the issues of the day, namely racism and the inequity between blacks and whites in 1970s America.  There are comments and statements throughout the book, often between Cap and Falcon, about how African-Americans are treated in the USA.  It’s not just here or there either.  Stan Lee addresses it, Jack Kirby addresses it and bringing us to Captain America And The Falcon #168, Roy Thomas & Tony Isabella address it.

 

This issue of Captain America caught my attention, not just for the iconic cover, but also because it was a self-contained one issue story that was made into a Book And Record set which I happened to own as a child.  I’ve probably read the entire book at least fifty times, but having lost my Book and Record collection over the years, I’d almost forgotten that the story existed and had no idea that it was actually a regular issue that was released in the early Seventies as well.  So over twenty years later, I sat down to read it again.

The story starts out with Cap and Falcon out on patrol.  One of the first things you notice though is the tone of which Falcon speaks.  His dialect comes out in the writing and he sounds like he’s straight off the street in the Seventies.  This fits of course, but I never noticed it as a kid.  Captain America has a much more refined mode of speech but their banter back and forth flows naturally.   Things got surprisingly adult very quickly though, with Steve Rogers (and if you don’t know that’s who Captain America is…well, I can’t help you.  Or I just did, take your pick) worrying about the morality of having fallen in love with the daughter of the woman he used to be in love with in the 1940s.  And Falcon reassures him by telling him that it’s just ‘an old-fashioned [love] triangle’ that’s got him down.  Okay, so apparently that’s just par for the course for most people.  Who knew?

While I’m still reeling from the implications of that little bombshell, a mystery villain attacks Cap and Falcon out of the blue, spouting dire threats at Cap specifically.   Here’s where things get really interesting.  Falcon sneaks up on “The Phoenix” while he’s attacking Cap and kicks him in the back from behind.  Standard superhero stuff.  But then the Phoenix responds.

As you can see in the panel, Sam Wilson (that’s the Falcon for those of you who also didn’t know) refuses to sink to his level and makes with the witty banter in return, offering him a fair fight and the Phoenix responds again.  He then proceeds to pile drive Falcon in the chin with the butt of his um…laser rifle.  Yeah.  In 1973.  Hey, it’s a superhero comic!  But as you can imagine, the above exchange left me nearly open-mouthed.  Had I seriously read that dialogue properly?  Apparently, I had.  And make no mistake, this is a theme that is rife throughout the Captain America And The Falcon series.  It’s not unique to this issue.  However,  they did choose to make this particular issue into a Book and Record set for kids.  But don’t worry, the shocks don’t end here!

Cap then drives off Falcon to try and keep him safe and then goes hunting for the Phoenix on his own.  He finds a likely victim and ends up getting captured by the villain himself.  A chained Captain America asks him who he really is and why he holds such hatred for him and in true villain fashion, Phoenix gives Cap his life’s story.

He’s the son of Baron Zemo, a Nazi scientist who worked on weapons development for the Third Reich.  That’s right, Nazis.

But not just Nazis, Nazis and their families.  Zemo’s son portrays his father as a loving family man, working tirelessly for the benefit of the German war effort, until an attack by the despicable Captain America bonds his mask to his face and he becomes mad with anger and revenge and turns on his family, eventually meeting his doom.  Now his son is out, for blood, rising like a phoenix to wreak vengeance upon our not-so-hapless hero.  Phoenix loses in the end and loses his life too.  Falcon drops in to save the day, Phoenix spouts more racial epithets and Cap joins in to stop him, but his own weapons destroy him and Cap has an introspective moment about the nature of hatred.  Even this scene was emotionally charged and reminds us of our history.  

And as I read through more issues, the same types of themes reoccurred.  One of the Kirby issues (Captain America And The Falcon #194, February 1977) has Steve dreaming about an ancestor from the American Revolution and when he tells Sam Wilson, Falcon accuses Cap’s family of owning slaves, possibly even his own ancestors!   Isn’t that literally the exact thing that’s been in the news the last year or two?  It’s basically a conversation about white guilt, ignorance, and forgetting the past in less than 3 paragraphs!  Absolutely stunning.

Stop and think about all of this for a minute.  We have the child of a Nazi following in his father’s footsteps and coming to America to assassinate Captain America.  It does at least explain his brutally racist remarks to Falcon.  But take this book out of context for a moment.  Overlay it with the politics and mood or the country today.  It’s like we never got past that era.  We have the same racism.  We have neo-Nazis spreading across North America and Europe like a virus.  It’s FORTY-FOUR years after this comic was written and we still have the same issues for African-Americans in America as we did in 1973!  It’s right there in black and white for all of us to read in a comic primarily intended for children.

If anything, in many ways things have gotten worse instead of better, but we talk about the ‘rising racial tension in America’ like it’s shocking and new.  It’s not.  It never left.  It’s a social convention that’s been lurking about beneath the surface that we mostly avoided talking about except for the people directly suffering from it.  And it’s all wrapped up in a neat little red, white, and blue package for anyone to see in a comic written before I was even born.  Not in literature, nor in a journal article, or even an editorial.  In a superhero comic book.  THAT is how pervasive the endemic problems in our society are.  THAT is what we need to realize.  That every little thing shows us something is very wrong and we continue to ignore it, even in our kids’ comics.   Racism, white supremacy, the changing structure of relationships and learning to accept them, none of it is new. We’ve just forgotten it isn’t.  Maybe we need to look to the past and have some open discussions about these issues.  Perhaps we should put aside the politically charged arguments and the political correctness and simply look at our world…through the panels of a comic book.

A final note:

For those of you who are interested, Captain America And The Falcon is not remotely the only mainstream book that handles themes like these.  Marvel and DC in the 1970s both covered a variety of sociopolitical issues.  Notably, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Hero For Hire, and the Power Man And Iron Fist comics for Marvel and Green Lantern/Green Arrow for DC were heavy hitters.  Drugs, racism, poverty, and social inequity all get some serious contemplation between super-powered brawls.  If you get the chance, take a second look at some of those old comics.  You might just be surprised what’s inside them! 

 

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On this episode, we talk to the Host and Creator of The Show Radio, Andrew Alliance. We talk about his beginnings and how the show and how he himself has evolved. Andrew is a personal friend of this author and Real Otaku Gamer. We discuss E3 2017, the industry and his Geek/Gamer history. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with Andrew Alliance. The Audio Version is below.

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Telltale Games have announced a new title today. Batman – The Telltale Series is set to release in August for digital download for PC/Mac, consoles, iOS, and Android. On September 16, the game will release on a “season pass disc.” The physical copy of the game will include the first five episodes of the series and will credit the disc owner with digital downloads of the next four episodes which will be available at a later date. The art style of the game will resemble comic book art through a very distinct cel shading process and will be voiced by the top voice actors in the game industry, most notably Troy Baker as Bruce Wayne. Other voice talents include: Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, and Laura Bailey as Selina Kyle.

No GravatarBaltimore-Comic-Con

Baltimore Comic Con is a small but wonderful comic book convention held in Baltimore, Maryland. It is held at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year it was held from September 5th to September 7th, 2014.

Although this was my first year attending as press, I went last year as well.

One writer that was an absolute pleasure to meet was Tom King. He took the time to autograph Grayson #1 and A Once Crowded Sky for me. Although Tom spoke many praises for his work on Grayson, he expressed his passion and love for his novel: A Once Crowded Sky.

Here is a quick synopsis from Amazon on A Once Crowded Sky:

A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counter-terrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of super men stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice–PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.

A Once Crowded Sky

I look forward to reading A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King and reviewing it for everyone.

Another person that was a pleasure to meet and watch and listen to at a panel was Charles Soule. He offered his talents on Death of Wolverine, as well as other works like She Hulk and Inhuman.

Death of Wolverine

Since this convention was local to where I live, my absolute favorite comic book store was present and I had to make a stop at Third Eye Comics’ booth! If you’re not familiar with Third Eye Comics and live in the Maryland area, I highly recommend checking them out. Everyone, from Steve, the owner, to all the other workers take the time to learn your name and what you enjoy. They are an absolute joy to be around and indulge in your comic book needs.

Baltimore Comic Con may be small, but is absolutely worth the experience. I highly recommend at the very least taking a day out to enjoy.

By otakuman5000 On 5 Jul, 2012 At 02:12 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWelcome to #KillzownKomix Vol.1, where your resident ROG DJ dishes out on how he feels about comics.

If you are an avid comic reader or if you even a newbie of Marvel and DC, you must get acquainted with Alex Ross.
The man made most famous for his graphic novels Kingdom Come and Justice where the hero’s and villains where doomed and the other where the villains tried to become heroes are not just great stories, but the artwork is like a painting in comic book form. The level of detail makes Ross’sartwork so distinct that one might say he is the Van Gough or Da Vinci of comic books. Kingdom Come and Justice cemented Ross at a young age of 26 years old before only doing mini series or just cover art for big series such as Superman, Terminator and others and it became one of the biggest selling comics of all time
Comic book writers and publishers love him as well because he works (though for a fee) with everyone. Since then he’s done titles such as Earth X, Marvels, the recent Vol-tron Comics and other many other titles and cover art for comics as well. He even as an art book called Mythology, which collects his best works and breaks down the inspiration as well as the techniques.

Check out some of his art down below and let us know if you agree wit the title in the comment section below.
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By Garrett Green On 24 Apr, 2012 At 01:55 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere at Real Otaku Gamer we don’t just watch anime and read mangas, we also watch American cartoons and read American comics. Comic books have been around in America since the 1930s. Being here for around 80 years or so, one can imagine how much story and lore would be behind some of our favorite characters. It can make it a little intimidating for someone new to give reading the comics a try. Because of that notion, DC Comics decided to launch “The New 52” where all previous titles were cancelled and 52 new titles debuted starting from issue #1, following the conclusion of the event wide crossover storyline “Flashpoint.” Most of my knowledge of the DC lore comes from the animated cartoons and DVDs, but I’ve never been into the comics. If I ever wanted to know something, I would just wiki it. But I always had a yearning to read certain storylines. So with New 52, I decided to give it a try, and with the second wave about to come out, it’s a good place to evaluate how my journey through DC Comics is going.

So how is The New 52 looking so far in the eyes of a DC fan but not a DC Comic reader? So far I’m caught up on Justice League, Aquaman, Batman, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Teen Titans, and Static Shock. I’ve read the first issue of Batman: The Dark Knight, Flash, and Justice League Dark, and plan on reading Batwing, Nightwing, Batman and Robin, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns, Superboy, Deathstroke, Voodoo, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Green Arrow. Whoo, that’s a lot. So far from what I have read, I’m enjoying the re-launch a lot. While some long time readers may be a little irked about the re-launch, I think this is the perfect opportunity for newcomers to test the waters.  But be warned new comers, it can be a little confusing keeping up when some comics crossover and others are supposed to be happening at the same time while other aren’t.  When I first started reading Batman, I didn’t know which Batman was present day Batman, Batman or Batman: The Dark Knight. (Riddle me this, how many Batmans does it take to make a complete sentence) And to be honest, I am still confused, never mind the other Batman related comics like Nightwing and Batman and Robin. And then we have Justice League where all the heroes are pretty new to the world and not trusted by most. Until I read them all I think I will remain confused but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the story, which so far is really well done.

I think so far my favorites are Batman, Aquaman, and Static Shock, Aquaman being the biggest surprise so far. Everyone knows the Aquaman is usually the butt of many jokes and many don’t take him seriously.  What his comic does is genius, they take all those jokes and bring them to the forefront and basically dismiss them by showing how badass Aquaman truly is. Two of my favorite parts so far have to be a cop getting saved by Aquaman and then sulking because all of his cop buddies will make fun of him for it and a dinner full of people freaking out when Aquaman orders the fish and chips. I must say that the writing really stands out here.

What makes me a little sad is that Static Shock, along with five other titles, is already being cancelled and replaced by other titles in the new wave. For me personally, it’s a little sad to see DC losing some of its diversity with the new wave coming along. That and Static Shock is one of my favorite comic book characters.  With all that being said, The New 52 line up is so far very fun and worth checking out. If you are new to reading comics, it might be just what you need to really get into your favorite heroes.

By otakuman5000 On 12 Mar, 2011 At 12:36 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Interviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere are the interviews with various celebrities from Movies, TV, and the Comics World over at the Wizard World Miami Comic Con. Be sure to check all of them out.

 

The Ernire Hudson Interview– From Ghostbusters, Congo, OZ, and The Crow

 

The Denise Crosby Interview– From Star Trek The Next Generation, Key West

 

The Torrie Wilson Interview– From WWE Wrestling, Playboy

 

The Aaron Douglas Interview– From Battlestar Galactica

 

The Bodie Olmos Interview– From Battlestar Galactica

 

The Clare Kramer Interview– From Buffy The Vampire Slayer

 

The Defuser Interview– From Who Wants to Be a Super Hero

 

The Greg Horn Interview– Popular Comic Artist

 

The Jim Sterlin Interview– Legendary Comic Artist

 

More footage can be found here on the site as well as on our Youtube page.

 

Be sure to check out all of our footage from the convention, including panels, the showroom floor and more here on Real Otaku Gamer.com.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 9 Mar, 2011 At 08:41 PM | Categorized As Conventions | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere is footage from the Wizard World Miami Comic Con. These are excerpts from a few of the various panels and shows that were featured during the event. Below includes some popular ones such as Ray Park and Ernie Hudson.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 6 Mar, 2011 At 04:50 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Interviews, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere is a compilation of some of the many things that went on at Miami Comic Con.At the convention, we got to see all the cool panels, the stars, the artist, and most importantly, the fans. This was the first year that Wizard World had brought their comic convention to the sunny place we call Miami, and it was a huge success. But don’t take my world for it. Check out the amazing videos.

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out some of our celebrity interviews from the showroom floor. Lots of great coverage for all to see. You will love it!

By otakuman5000 On 2 Mar, 2011 At 05:14 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, Featured, News, Uncategorized | With 1 Comment

No GravatarLast weekend, I myself as well as some of the other Real Otaku Gamer staff attended the Miami Comic Con, the first big comic convention being hosted by Wizard World in Miami, Florida. We attended all the panels and hit everything on the showroom floor, taking every piece of footage we can find. Below is just a taste of some of the footage going up real soon. Be sure to check back soon for exclusive videos from Miami Comic Con.