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:
Frank may in fact be something of a scaredy-cat, but the man has some serious moves:
A master of running an interior dialogue, even after getting kneed in the chain, Frank may hate pain but can still take a punch:
Pain, maybe. But never death. He has also apparently mastered some heretofore unknown martial art thatmakes his kicks have defecatory sound effects:
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 has it all: depth, agility, charisma. Just like Bahlactus.
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.
Much to Frank’s chagrin, he finds the device protected by some manner of purple cephalapod. Frank knows what to do.
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.
This quick thinking marked the end of Frank’s nautical excursion but the not the end of his time on the island.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Never bring a knife to a bone breaking fight.
Never go up against a Frenchman when getting your eyeball ripped out is on the line. Bahlactus knows that. This from Global Frequency Vol. II: Detonation Radio written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Tomm Coker.
I’m not sure a man dressed as a bird should be quite so flippant when he’s squaring off with Luke Cage. But then again Nighthawk is delivering the goods here in this panel from Defenders #17. Just like Bahlactus does.
I still have time to answer the call of Bahlactus.
It starts with a vulgar display of power.
Then, I like that my brutal underground bareknuckle brawls have pseudo-philosophical tough-guy commentary.
In the noir-ish underbelly of 100 Bullets, as in real life, its usually a bad idea to bet against a guy named Jackhammer.
Because stuff like this tends to happen.
All of the preceding comes from 100 Bullets: Strychnine Lives, book numero neuve of the greatest crime/conspiracy/whatever HBO show in comic form. I love it and cannot wait until it concludes and I can read the whole confusing mess all over again.
Bucky: You really think those Green Beret Karate tricks are gonna help you?
Captian America: Well, it doesn’t look to me like I really have any choice now, does it?
Bucky: [laughing] That’s right, you don’t.
Captian America: You know what I think I’m gonna do then? Just for the hell of it?
Bucky: Tell me.
Captian America: I’m gonna take this left foot, and I’m gonna whop you on that side of your face…
[points to Bucky’s right cheek]
Captian America: …and you wanna know something? There’s not a damn thing you’re gonna be able to do about it.
Yes, really. You better believe it, son. Bahlactus does.
I’ve been reading the rather excellent Captain America omnibus collecting Ed Brubaker’s run (so far). I popped in briefly for the much-ballyhooed death but hadn’t been following otherwise. It’s a solid story and Epting does a good job drawing the requisite amount of body-swapping nazis, flying cars, and giant robots with a surprising degree of realism. He also depicts a mighty fine jaw kick.
Have you ever seen a samurai Rhinoceros stealthily pimp-slap a ronin dog?
Well you have now, courtesy of Gen (from the awesome Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai) and Bahlactus.