February is here and we’ve got to move along on a few of the Fanatic on-going projects. Let’s start with our Blog of the Month nominees.
On the Blog of the Month Nomination list were:
As I’m the only judge, I’d thought I would explain my thinking here. While Jeff’s PARKERSPACE and Comic Impact might have been able to win if the list of competitors had been different, these blogs were up against two really astonishing accomplishments in communicating the joy of comics over the internet. At the risk of insulting Mike Sterling (who still needs to add FANATIC to his bloglist for those of us living in Ventura County, California), this category could have been a hand’s down slamdunk win for Dial B for Blog. Kirk Kimball working on his Dial B blog under the pseudonym Robby Reed created something truly extraordinary.
As they say about love, apparently it is also true of Blog of the Month awards, “Timing is everything.” I started my Fanatic blog too late or Kirk started Dial B to early, but we definitely didn’t line up … and now while you can still peruse the archives of Kirk’s amazing cyberspace accomplishment, there will be NO MORE new posts to Dial B for Blog.
So under these circumstances, the Blog of the Month is going to be Mike Sterling’s PROGRESSIVE RUIN. I want to praise the truly entertaining nature of Mr. Sterling’s on-going discussion about comics. It is fun, informative and truly effective. He’s got a well-deserved large and dedicated following and I’m promoting it here because the audience should be even bigger.
For our next piece of business, there will be no real surprises if you have checked the voting box for the 2nd String Characters Hall of Fame in the sidebar.
The winner of the voting in the second round of our fanatic little contest is … wait for it … Marvel’s SPEEDBALL. It was a landslide, with Speedball getting more than twice as many votes as the three of the runners’ up … all tied were Red Wolf, Blue Devil and Ragman. There was almost no favorite love for Daredevil villain Stiltman.
People seem to have affection for the villains we’ve been listing, but they just don’t stand a chance against the heroes … just like a panel-to-panel comics face-off.
If you’re the winner, like young Robbie Baldwin (Speedball’s alter-ego), then you also get a brief biography for those philistines that don’t recognize you or know the travails and heartache that you’ve suffered because of your heroism.
SPEEDBALL was created by plotter/artist Steve Ditko and co-writer Tom DeFalco. His first appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 (1988). Robbie Baldwin’s origin and early exploits as Speedball were depicted in a solo series. Baldwin has spent most of his time as a member of the superhero team the New Warriors. Baldwin became a featured character in Civil War: Front Line, after it was revealed that he was the only New Warrior to survive the Stamford disaster. In the Marvel Comics crossover “Civil War“, Baldwin’s powers changed, and he changed his name and appearance to Penance.
Yes. You read that correctly. The collected votes of the fanatic readers here voted a character onto the 2nd String Character Hall of Fame Nomination ballot that doesn’t currently exist. Yes. I know this is comics. Yes. I know nothing is permanent including death, but … well … yeee gads … poor Robbie isn’t even Speedball anymore, he’s a Thunderbolt named Penance. And when you’re a Thunderbolt, your status vis-a-vis hero or villain is stuck in a dark gray area. So kind reader, if you think this is a miscarriage of justice (like I do … I voted for Stiltman) then be sure to vote on this next set of nominees.
And now that Round Two has been completed, strap in for the nominees in Round Three.
ROUND THREE BEGINS OF THE 2ND STRING CHARACTER HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS (I love how ridiculously long that is).
Damage (DC Hero)
High school student Grant Emerson suddenly discovers he is a superhuman with incredible explosive powers. During the Zero Hour crisis, Grant’s powers became the spark that restarted the universe after it was destroyed by Parallax. In searching for the source of his power, Grant discovers he was injected with DNA samples from some of DC’s greatest heroes as part of an experiment called Project: Telemachus. Grant has been involved in supergroups like Freedom Fighters, Justice Society of America and the Arsenal lead Titans.
Dr. Fate (DC Hero)
Dr. Fate isn’t really a character … or he’s been seven or more different characters in the DC Universe … depending on how you look at it. The character name dates back to More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940). Fate is a magical character whose origins and power were tied to a mystical being called Nabu. Fate was part of the original Justice Society of America, but the character was repeated reworked after Crisis on Infinite Earths, with many different people wearing Fate’s helmet. The current Dr. Fate is Kent V. Nelson, the grandnephew of the original.
Gladiator (Marvel Villain)
Melvin Potter is one of two Marvel characters calling himself Gladiator (the other a member of the galactic Imperial Guard). Potter was a costume designer who decided to become a criminal. He designed a suit of battle armor for himself, complete with deadly wrist blades. He was one of Daredevils first villains, appearing in issue #18. Gladiator has a sad history as a bad guy, even reforming once to fight side-by-side with DD and Elektra against The Hand. He’s also fought and lost to Spider-Man, Iron Man and the White Tiger.
Mary Marvel (DC Hero)
Mary Marvel is one of those characters that originated long ago but once in the modern era, was alternately treated with reverence and disdain. She began life as part of Fawcett’s Marvel Family, enjoying adventures in her own title and side-by-side with Capt. Marvel and Capt. Marvel Jr. As Billy Batson’s long-lost sister, Mary has been hanging around the edges of DC Universe since the 1972 reboot title SHAZAM! After losing her powers and falling into a coma in 2006, Mary’s resuscitation has included gaining the powers of arch-enemy Black Adam and becoming an evil Female Fury.
Stingray (Marvel Hero)
Oceanographer Walter Newell met Namor The Sub-mariner during the construction of an underwater city, that the Plunderer later destroyed. Out of respect (and maybe fear) of Namor, Newell built the Stingray super-suit when he was engaged by the government to confront Namor regarding water disappearing from the earth’s oceans. He’s been attacked by Iron Man for stealing Stark Technology for his suit (he was innocent) and despite this, has been loosely associated with the Avengers for many years. Post Civil War, Newell runs the Hawaiian Initiative Team, The Point Men.
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Don’t bother checking the 2nd String PAGE, I won’t get that updated until early next week. But the updated voting box has been added to the sidebar. So go vote. Yes. Go vote now. Look at this fine THIRD ROUND of nominees, makes you want to … well … vote.
(All above information thanks to on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Check it out for yourself for additional voting research details.)
And before I sign off today, I would really love to replace my Funny Book Fanatic page header (currently starring the Avenger Hawkeye) with a new header created by my fanatic readers. Just make something cool and comic book related that is exactly 770 pixels by 200 pixels and send it along.
— Dave Olbrich (DWO) Fri. Feb. 6, 2009