Category Archives: comics

Friday Night Fights: Madman versus Skinless Circus Freak

Frank Einstein had a brief flirtation with a career in the circus. He traveled with the troup on a sea journey, but to say that the circus folk didn’t exactly warm to our snazzily dressed hero would be putting it mildly. Take for example this early encounter with the show’s skinless strongman:

Mamdan Fights A Circus Freak 1

Frank may in fact be something of a scaredy-cat, but the man has some serious moves:

Madman Fights a Circus Freak 3

A master of running an interior dialogue, even after getting kneed in the chain, Frank may hate pain but can still take a punch:

Madman Fights a Circus Freak 2

Pain, maybe. But never death. He has also apparently mastered some heretofore unknown martial art thatmakes his kicks have defecatory sound effects:

Madman Fights a Circus Freak 4

He even manages to lay the final smackdown while pondering some of the deeper questions that plague us on this moving sidewalk we call life:

Madman Fights a Circus Freak and kicks him in the face

Madman has it all: depth, agility, charisma. Just like Bahlactus.

Friday Night Fights: The Old (Mad)Man and the Sea

Stupid things like traveling to new parts of the country, spending time with family and friends, and working on law school briefs have really cut into my posting-scanned-comics-panels-on-the-internet time. As a result, I’ve had to sit out the last few rounds of Friday Night Fights refereed by the dread Bahlactus, but now I feel the need to step back into the ring.

Mike Allred’s Madman faces a dizzying array of opponents in Madman Gargantua, fighting robots, terrorists, and giant puke blobs with equal vigor. He even goes toe-to-toe with the creatures of the deep. To set the scene: Our Hero has been traveling on the giant swollen brain of his mutating friend and employer Dr. Boiffard. After much soul searching and bonding on the open ocean, Madman finds himself approaching an island. Unfortunately, shortly after making landfall, Madman (a.k.a. Frank Einstein) accidentally drops his rocket pack into the briny deep.

madmansea3.jpg

Much to Frank’s chagrin, he finds the device protected by some manner of purple cephalapod. Frank knows what to do.

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Having gone all Santiagio on the creature, Frank escapes from his watery grave but has to take care not to let his mind run away from him, as it were. But the wounded squid blocks his approach.

The Old (Mad)Man and the Sea 1

This quick thinking marked the end of Frank’s nautical excursion but the not the end of his time on the island.

Friday March Mad(man)ness: Q & A Part II

Q:

Hey, Frank Einstein (a.k.a Madman), What do you think about the television program Lost? I think it’s really interesting how they were able to weave such a dense, multi-layered story around a bunch of people hanging around an island. But I am a little worried that the creators sometimes try to cram too many amazing things into the story.

A:

madmanlost2.jpg

 Q:

Oh, I feel better already. Did you see the one where they got taken to a separate, nearby island? And what do you think about the mysterious appearances of Jack’s dead Dad and the otherworldly “Jacob”? Did you see those?

A:

Madman gives his opinion about the ABC show Lost

Zowie!!! March Madness, with Madman

Recently I finished reading the Madman Gargantua, a pleasantly hefty volume collecting the adventures of Mike Allred’s ginchiest creation. There will be a full review later,  but suffice it to say it’s about a re-animated hitman named Frank Einstein and his mad scientist pals and it’s overflowing with aliens, robots, time travel, and other awesome wackiness. In honor of this volume, I’ve decided to dedicate the month of March to celebrating it with a little something I’m calling March Mad(man)ness. To kick things off, our hero meets a fan:

Madman on the Bus, with a Fan

The Poor Guy

Friday Night Fights: Old School Chop Sockey

iron, fist, danny, rand, kung, fu

iron, fist, marvel, essential, comic, book, art, scan

Lately I’ve been reading the early Iron Fist stories, trying to get a better feel of the raw materials that Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are working with to craft the all-kinds-of-bad-ass Immortal Iron Fist series. There’s a fair amount of 70s cheese to the early tales from Doug Moench, Chris Claremont, et al. But from the start there is something compelling about young Danny Rand and his mystical king-fu abilities. He may not have had the coolest rogues gallery, but even jobbers like Khumbala Bey up there served the purposes of the story well enough. That purpose being: walking punching bag.

This little donnybrook occurred before the character really came into his own as a Hero for Hire alongside the eternally silk-shirted Luke Cage. Iron Fist suffered from some sartorial missteps of his own, rocking the comically over-sized collar, while showing off his chest tattoo:

iron, fist

He may not have had the keenest fashion sense, but he had the skills. His is a story as old as time. Boy goes on vacation with parents and family friend. Family friend is actually evil and kills Boy’s father and leaves Boy and his mother to die in the Himalayas. Mom gets eaten by wolves. Boy is given refuge by mystical mountain city of immortal bad-asses. Boy learns kung-fu from immortal bad-asses, thereby becoming the Grand High Bad-Ass (which the call Iron Fist). Boy uses kung-fu skills to avenge his father’s death. There are also ninjas.

I can’t help but wonder why nobody else had the idea to take this character off the shelf before Frubaker came along. But I’m glad they did.

Bahlactus knows what I mean.

Friday Night Fights: The Wrong End of a Silver Fist

Monn Knight’s Fist by Bill Sienkiewicz

The fist in question belongs to one Marc Spector, whose nom de superhero is Moon Knight. Before he went around mutilating people’s faces, he used to just lay a little smack down on the poor thugs. This example is from Essential Moon Knight Vol. 2, part of the excellent line of old school Marvel reprints that make up for the lack of color with pure grit, son. All the issues in this volume are drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, and the man was on his game at this point in the swingin’ seventies. Moon Knight may not have had the coolest villains, but he could throw down and Sienkiewcz always made it look good.

Brought to you by Bahlactus, as usual.

Friday Night Fights: The Goon is Not Interested in Silk Handkerchiefs

the goon chinatown mister wicker lead pipe eric powell

This comes from the recently released and very awesome graphic novel The Goon: Chinatown

It’s a kind of origin story for Eric Powell’s heavily scarred noir character and it looks incredible. The Goon pretends to be an enforcer for a crime family while actually running the show himself, frequently going up against zombies and supernatural weirdness as a natural cost of doing business. Chinatown varies from the usual formula, eschewing humor for a darker, more emotional tone. From the first page Powell warns the reader that “This ain’t funny” and he ain’t kidding as he shows us how The Goon got his scars, inside and out. If this is more than you want to know, take it up with Bahlactus.