Rumble Young Man, Rumble

Me and the mates did some Winter Cleaning the other day, which surely enough became utter CHAOS! Above is a picture of myself pwning some defenseless closet that couldn't hold your clothes up even if they were hot glued onto it.

Sides, those closets come a dime a dozen at the "As is" section of Ikea.

Gold, Frankincense, and The Silver Age

Most comic book experts, i.e. geeks and various dorks, can agree the Silver Age began around the 1950s and lasted until the early 1970s. The times were changing and Comic book writers followed suit.

DC played it cool with revamped origin stories of there “un-popular” characters. Showcase #4 featuring the new Flash is considered by most to be the first appearance of a Silver Age superhero.

Arch villains and natural disasters weren’t the only problems superheroes faced.

Writers of the Silver age also injected realism into their heroes. The birth of Marvel’s Spiderman is a clear representation of a superhero facing real world problems like poverty, depression, and even illegal-drug use. Superheroes weren’t just for the kiddies anymore, the now teenage and adult readers of the Golden age wanted characters to identify with.

Yellow Claw and Jimmy, a Match Made in Heaven

Remember like 4 weeks ago when I introduced to you this infamous Fu Manchu clone.

I was going to talk about him two weeks ago, but I was busy then and I was only trying to get your attention away from pornography. It’s a never ending and vicious cycle, get over it!

In 1956, Atlas comics, the company that would later become Marvel, dedicated a 4 comic book mini-series featuring Yellow Claw as title character. Again the books were to rekindle the readers love for creepy, Asian men. The plot featured the same cliché of a Mad Scientist trying to take Freedom, Love, and Salve away from fun-loving Americans. By the way I love the name Yellow Claw, sounds so evil and so racists!

Who would confront this “Yellow Menace” and save us poor defenseless Americans? Would it be the patriotic Captain America, the aquatic and arrogant Submariner, or the billionaire drunkard Iron Man?

No, our nation’s safety would lie in the hands of special trained F.B.I agent Jimmy Woo.

No lies here folks, Atlas made a bold move by introducing this heroic Asian American. Al Feldstein and artist Joe Maneely created the character and made the ultimate decision to not give the character the grotesque features of common Yellow Peril characters.

Jimmy’s career did not end with Yellow Claw series; in fact he got to lead his own team of superheroes in Marvel’s What If #9. And although the What If series is considered un-canonical to the main Marvel story line, this issue managed to bypass that statute and even helped develop this year’s mini-series Agents of Atlas!

Yes, folks Jimmy’s back in business for the 2006 and he’s not only the main protagonist of the 6 issue series, but also he reprises the role of leader to some of Marvel’s classic characters. The series is only at issue 5, so I would start looking for back issues now!

Jimmy also made an appearance in the suspenseful Secret War series. Although, he was not the title character, it’s still good to see Marvel never forgot about him and if you read the graphic novel they even poke fun at his age. *Hint you think a man from the 50s should be looking so young?

Till Next Time

Alright its X-KwanHanuck time again and if your like me you probably ran out of gift ideas! Well here is my list of some comics that are worth giving this year.

Secret War 1-5: A suspenseful tale that if I tell you more about, I’ll just ruin it!

1602 1-8: Do you like Pilgrims? The series is a must have for people who like a shirtless Captain America!

Kingdom Come: The future looks good!

American Virgin: Christians, Sex, and all the celibacy you can eat!

The Quitter: A must have for someone who needs some direction in there life… okay I’m too serious!

American Splendor: If you liked Quitter, you'll like this one!

Mouse Guard: Mice and Some Lord of the Rings like action, a stocking stuffer right there

All Star Supermen: Superman and Cancer

All Batgirl back issues: I love this character, she’s no Barbra Gordon, but she has that Peter Parker innocence to her. I’ll be sure to talk more about her later… she’s Asian American! Oh and Santa I'm missing this one... appreciate it if you'd umm drop me a copy! *sigh!

Okay till then, enjoy the holidays! I won’t be back until the New Year, so please drop me a line in them comments. Or this year I’m going to have a blue X-ManMas!


Red Kryptonite

Could it be... Red Kryptonite! Better get Superman's lead suit out of the laundry. No, sorry folks the picture above is not what you think. Its not the legendary weakness of the Supes Fam, the crash site of the mighty Thor's Hammer, nor is it a Mystical Red Ring of Power!

What you see before you is $120 worth of steak that was consumed, digested, and regurgitated by this man...

One Tru Nugyuen, whose day of birth was celebrated at one of those fancy Brazilian Steak Houses! You know the kind where Gauchos come skipping around with swords laced with meats... Apparently, Tru here couldn't handle the deadly combination of Alcohol and Flesh.

You have much to learn my young Padawan.

Our final stop on the Golden Age...

Okay, okay... You folks are already probably tired of being in this time in history, but there is a couple of things I want to cover before we move on. So sit back and get some popcorn!

World War II Propaganda

If you thought Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan were a low blow to Asians and Asian Americans, then guess again, here's another one.

Above you will notice a very similar theme... Proud American Heroes kicking the stuffing out those Damn Japanese Devils!

The popularity of comic books during this bleak time raised moral for many young Americans. Characters like the super soldier Captin America and all American fighting machine Sgt. Rock were born to bring hope to Americans. Like all heroes, these characters needed villains and the Axis of Power provided a good basis for Monstrous and Atrocious adversaries.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Axis of power wasn't evil or that they were mistreated, but the propaganda advocated at this time created negative affects on Asian and Asian Americans. You will notice in the pictures above that the same characteristics from the age of Yellow Peril were being used to describe the Japanese. The same characteristics could also be applied to all Asians and Asian Americans, thus continuing anti-Asian sentiment.

Before you say I'm jumping to conclusions, I just want to bring up one thing. Let us not forget the many Japanese Americans that were sent to Interment Camps because they were seen as the enemy...

The End of Golden Age

By the end of the War, comics books were evolving from Superhero/Solider war time stories into Horror and Sci-fiction tales. And the public became concerned about the inappropriate material. The final blow came from Dr. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, a book that placed comic books under a microscope. Wertham described comic books as the leading cause of child delinquency and he convinced the public to put regulations on the contents of the books.

Pressure from the government caused many Publishers to redefine characters and stories. In the end this evolution would bring about a new era, The Silver Age.

Preview of the Silver Age

The Silver Age would redefine the image of superheroes and at the same time it would bring about the first Asian American hero, Jimmy Woo

That's right you heard me correctly, an Asian American comic book hero. And just like the cliffhanger from Heroes, you're going to have to wait another week for the story behind it all...

East Bound and Down... come on Smokey leave me a comment!