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Marvel Comics Presents #1

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 Marvel Comics presents started in 1988 as a way to showcase characters and talent that the wider comics world weren't familiar with. The idea was to have an X-Men story that would get people to buy the book (this was during the height of the X-Men popularity boom) and then have other stories featuring characters that had either faded in popularity or had never gained it in the first place. The first story in issue #1 featured Wolverine, because putting Wolverine on your cover at the time was like printing money. We see Wolverine for the first time in Madripoor, a place that would become a big part of his lore. He is going to a bar to ask about someone named Tiger. The man he plans to talk to is getting a beat down by some local thugs. Wolverine makes quick work of them. The man he rescued shows little gratitude though, as he and the others in the bar pull guns as soon as Wolverine says who sent him there. Short but just enough to whet your appetite. I'll admit I wasn't par

Kung Fu The Pilot

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Kung Fu was a popular t.v. series that ran from 1972 to 1975. It stars David Carradine as Caine, a Shaolin monk who wanders the Old West. The pilot shows how Caine became a monk, why he is wandering the West, and how he is terrible at keeping his principles. More about that later. We start with Caine in a group of boys waiting in front of a temple. The priest comes out and sends some home, telling the rest to stay. We see the boys waiting through rain. Then the priest comes out again and sends home a group that had gotten bored and started playing a game to pass the time. Caine and the other boys who weren't playing are invited in. They are given drinks, which all but Caine drink from. The others are sent home and Caine is told he can stay. When asked why he didn't drink, he said it was because the old man hadn't drunk first. This is when we learn that his parents and grandparents are all dead, and that his father was an American.  From here we see Caine in the West, with o

Superman Radio Show Episode 1

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  The Superman radio show started in 1940. It ran for 11 years. This came from a record collection of episodes from the show released by Kellog's. It's the first episode on the record collection. The story involves a gang of evildoers trying to wreck a train.  Superman uses both is powers and his Clark Kent identity to thwart the plan, but n the process the gang becomes aware of Clark Kent.

Boris Karloff Thriller #1

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What better way to market a horror comic than to have it "hosted" by the one and only Boris Karloff, Frankenstein's monster himself? This book may have been a little late to cash in on that conceit, coming out in 1960, but it's still a great idea. If anyone can surpass the iconic status of the Crypt Keeper it's Karloff. Unfortunately the first story in this anthology book doesn't live up t the promise of a group of horror stories presented by arguably the biggest name in classic horror. Gleam of Evil is about Kay, who works in a circus training big cats. She's in love with an acrobat, but she has a problem. The problem is a cat, but not one of the big ones that she works with. This cat is from Egypt and has the evil eye. This is demonstrated by the fact that Kay finds the cat sitting in front of a dead fish. The fish is in the bowl, so the only obvious conclusion is that the cat killed it with it's evil eye. The previous owner of the cat died after get

You Bet Your Life February 18, 1954

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You Bet Your Life was nominally a quiz show, but the real appeal of the show is listening to Groucho interview the contestants before they get to the quiz part of the show. It's obvious the show runners knew this, as each team of two contestants only gets asked 4 questions. The couples get to choose a dollar amount for the question from between 10 and 100 dollars. The more the money the harder the question. There is also a secret word that if spoken will get the team $100. The team who wins the most gets to come back at the end to answer a question for $3000. The first team of this episode consists of a banker and a dancer. They are both single, and Groucho goes back and forth between making a pass at the young lady himself and setting her up to be married to the banker. The best joke in this is when the banker says that deposits in the bank of up to $10,000 are insured by the federal government. Groucho responds by asking him if he's heard that the federal government is about

The Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allen Poe

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Released in 1976 Tales of Mystery and Imagination was the first album by The Alan Parsons Project. Adapting the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to music was certainly an ambitious idea for a debut album. The album is considered a cult classic of prog rock, but I can honestly see this album doing better if it had been released in the 80's. Parts of it sound very 70's, but a great deal of it sounds ahead of its time. Apparently there was a reissue in the 80's with added narration by Orson Welles. I'd love to hear that version. The album starts with A Dream Within a Dream, a bit of filler really and not terribly interesting. The Raven is a bit better and features a rhythmic bass that I really thought would have made more sense on The Tell-Tale Heart. Speaking of which, that song is pretty good. Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown does a guest vocal on it, and it is fun but not really a knockout. The Cask of Amontillado is just a sort of weak Beatles clone and not ve

Condorman #2 of 2

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Issue number 2 of the Condorman comic book adaptation picks up with Woody and Natalia having dispatched all of the pursuing vehicles. All that is except for the one driven by the killer Morovich. Woody still has one trick left up his sleeve though. The car turns into a hydrofoil and the two escape to safety. Or so they believe. Krokov knows they will go to Italy, so arranges to have them framed for murder. They are arrested and all seems lost when an agent from Monte Carlo comes to extradite them. But it turns out the agent is Woody's friend from the CIA, Harry. Morovich is also there and chases them through the streets. They duck into a wedding where Natalia interrupts to announce that the groom is already married to her. She points out Morovich as her uncle. The bride's family decide to take out their rage on him, allowing Woody, Harry and Natalia to make good their escape. Morovich has to report his failure to Krokov, but he's not upset. He has figured out the Condorman&