Welcome Back Kotter #3, March 1977

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“The Return of Augie Berelli”

Cover: Bob Oksner

Writer: Tony Isabella, Pencils: Ric Estrada & Bob Oksner

Inker: Bob Oksner, Editor: Joe Orlando

A thug visits Kotter and his wife at their home. He warns Kotter that Augie Berelli will be at the school that day and Kotter better be there.

Kotter tells his wife that Berelli, one of the most notorious gangsters in the country, was an original sweathog and a classmate of Kotter’s! In fact, Kotter won the heart of a fair maiden also wooed by Berelli, who swore vengeance!

At school, Kotter is beside himself – he believes Epstein’s note from his mother, takes Horshack seriously and apologizes to Woodman! The Sweathogs offer to help their teacher.

Berelli walks into the classroom and says hello to Kotter and his nephew Vinnie Barbarino.

NEPHEW!!? That’s right, Berelli isn’t here for vengeance, but to thank Kotter for the good job he is doing teaching his nephew.  The Sweathogs are impressed by Berelli’s charm … and wealth!

Kotter reminds his class that Berelli is a criminal, infuriating Barbarino who leaves in a huff.

The FBI approach Kotter and ask him to help catch Berelli. Barbarino hears the conversation and throws a punch at the agent. Kotter agrees to help the FBI in exchange for releasing Vinnie.

The next day, Berelli charges into the classroom to confront Kotter. The FBI get the drop on him, until he takes Kotter hostage. Barbarino tries to intervene and is rewarded with a smack from his uncle. Berelli whispers to Kotter to fight back and catch him. Fumblingly (is that a word?) he finally does so.

It turns out this confrontation was planned by Berelli and the FBI as part of a guilty plea. After Berelli found out Vinnie punched a G-Man, he realized his nephew was going down his path and did not want Vinnie to turn out like him. So, he arranged his capture by Kotter; who has the one thing Berelli does not have – his nephew’s respect.

The last panel shows Vinnie at his classroom desk crying.

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The letter column printed positive review of issue #1, most were thankful the comic was not done in the Binky/Scooter (read Archie) mode of half-page gags and two or three-page stories.

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The art here is still wonderful. The team of Estrada and Oksner work on these characters, although at times there is a lack of background art. Perhaps they were rushed by a dreaded deadline doom (to borrow a phrase from the competition)?

Tony Isabella is a wonderful comic book writer, prose author, comic book historian (1001 Comic Books You Must Read Before You Die and July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella, Volume 1) and is a very nice guy – the creator of Black Lightning, the Champions, Misty Knight and more! Black Lightning is the most recent (and welcome) addition to the current “DC/TV” line on the CW network and Tony’s latest comic book work is Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands at DC.

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

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Batwoman coming to the CW

From http://wegotthiscovered.com/tv/falls-arrowverse-crossover-introduce-batwoman/, thanks for allowing me to reprint it here!

Batwoman will be part of the DC-CW Universe.

With Gotham ending next season, the CW can slowly assimilate the hometown of the Batman Family (and maybe its gallery of rogues other than Ras Al-Ghul – whose incorporation was one of the highlights of the show!).

***

“When Stephen Amell teased that he’d be serving up an announcement this week, I’d assumed it’d have something to do with Arrow moving to a new night, which, as it happens, was confirmed earlier today (it’s relocating to Mondays at 9 pm this fall). But what I didn’t expect was for him to set the internet ablaze.

Believe it or not, none other than Batwoman will be introduced in this fall’s Arrowverse crossover! Marking her historic first appearance in live action, here’s what Amell had to say at The CW’s upfront presentation regarding this momentous occasion:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’ll be doing another crossover event this fall on the CW, and we’ll be introducing a new character. For the very first time appearing, we’ll be fighting alongside Batwoman, which is terrific…

Previously, Bruce Wayne had been name-dropped on Arrow, but there’s no way Batman can make a guest appearance on the show due to Gotham‘s existence. Regardless, being able to secure the services of his cousin, Kate Kane, is one hell of a big deal.

Additionally, CW President Mark Pedowitz had this to offer:

“We are adding the city of Gotham into the Arrowverse. This will be another full-throttled, action-packed event.”

After seeing the heroes of the Arrowverse contend with an immortal, an alien invasion, and Nazis from a parallel Earth in recent years, I’m all for seeing something more grounded this time around, awesome as those other events were. Hopefully more information trickles out of San Diego this July, but journalists and fans alike are no doubt about to begin months of speculating regarding which villains will show up. Stay tuned for more.”

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Even after I savaged the last two seasons of Arrow, I certainly will tune in for more information!

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

 

 

Agents of Shield Renewed for Sixth Season

The agents will return for another season! ABC has renewed Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD for a sixth season. Unlike the usual 22-episode count, season six will air during the 2018-2019 season with 13 episodes. It remains to be seen if this will be the final season for the superhero drama.

Earlier this year, executive producer Jed Whedon teased that the events of Avengers: Infinity War would “open up a whole new playground” for the show if it received another season. “The thing that we love about what our show has become is, the movies sort of blaze a path. Doctor Strange introduced magic, all of a sudden we could have Ghost Rider on our show. We’re just waiting for that movie to come out, so it can open up a whole new playground for us.”

It seems season six will now give fans the chance to see how the fallout from Infinity War effected the agents. The fifth season finale aired Friday, May 18, which sees Coulson’s life hanging in the balance as General Talbot prepares to tear the earth apart in his quest for more gravitonium.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Caestecker, and Natalia Cordova-Buckley.

Thank you Scoop for allowing me to reprint your article: http://scoop.previewsworld.com/Home/4/1/73/1012?ArticleID=212531

So, the question is … why? Agents of Shield is the unloved stepchild of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and on a constant mission of catching up. It has always reflected the events of the MCU with no reciprocity. None. A ship is about to explode in the atmosphere killing everyone on earth. Why wasn’t Iron Man called in? And as far as I know, the Avengers STILL are unaware of Colson’s survival – the whole reason for their staying together during the last half of the first movie. What would Captain America make of what they did to Colson?

Incorporating the events of Infinity War may make for some interest episodes. But what then?

After an interesting premier season, the next two seasons were abysmal (oh boy, they’re fighting Ward again this week …).

The first few episodes of Agents were everything that was wonderful about the MCU – fun and exciting. The show’s reaction to the events of Captain America Winter Soldier brought back the excitement for a time, as did shows that actually folded into the MCU (Sif’s appearance in “Yes Men” (1st season) and “Who You Really Are” (2nd season)).

Unfortunately, it was followed by two years of tedium … Ward, Inhumans, Ward, more Inhumans, more Ward, “I know there’s still good inside Ward!” Blam blam! “I’m bleeding out – but I know there’s still good inside Ward…”, still more Inhumans, still more Ward, Powers Boothe, and still even more Ward.

Then came Season Four and Ghost Rider. Despite some finally-injected-differences, their ratings were still in the lower mesosphere and have remained there.

I think they are doing the right thing – 13 episodes is enough to tell the tale (actually it is about 12 more than should be needed) and if the ratings are still horrid, Disney will renew it anyway.

Comic book fans should be grateful – if this wasn’t a Marvel show it would be jettisoned in its third week.  Agents of Shield averaged 2.073 million viewers per episode (https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/marvels-agents-shield-season-five-ratings/), abysmal for a network show (the #1 shows bring in 11 million viewers, the #10 show usually brings in 7 million).

Let’s hope the next season is as good as the past two. Enjoy it while we can – they could bring Ward back at any time now…

In the meantime, Season 5 will be available on Netflix as of June 17th.

Original Material 2018 by Michael Curry

Super Friends #3, February, 1977

“The Cosmic Hit Man?”

Cover: Ramona Fradon and Bob Smith

Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciler: Ramona Fradon, Inker: Bob Smith

Editor: Dennis O’Neil, Executive Editor: Joe Orlando

As two separate teams, the Super Friends defeat Spectrum and Anti-Man while Wendy and Marvin safely watch from the sidelines. But after their defeat, the villains disappear.

They were captured by Dr. Ihdrom along with a hundred other intergalactic villains. He atomizes all the villains and coalesces them into one being: the World Beater!

World Beater quickly dispatches the Justice League and then appears in the Hall of Justice to battle the Super-Friends. Wonder Woman whisks Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog and tells them of her mother’s prophecy (from last issue) that they are earth’s only hope!

World Beater defeats the Super-Friends with ease (we the readers learn that Dr. Ihdrom has been captured and jailed for his murderous crimes) leaving only Wendy, Marvin & Wonderdog.

They come up with a cunning plan: they assume if he has all the super-villains powers, perhaps he also has their weaknesses. They trick World Beater into using Spectrum’s x-ray powers (Anti-Man’s weakness – that is how Superman defeated him in the earlier pages of the story). World Beater is weakened and passes out.

Wendy and Marvin revive the Super-Friends and the Justice Leaguers and receive their thanks.

***

The letter column explains why these five heroes were given the job of training their young recruits: through some inventive reimagining of their origins, it is explained that Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman were all trained to be superheroes in their youths. Thus, having been trained as children, they know how to train children.

Ah, yes.

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The story here is still oriented to the younger audience, but still keeps a cosmic scale to it. Plus it guests most of the Justice League, whetting the appetites of the young TV-show fans who picked up the comic to read the adventures of other DC stars!

Ramono Fradon’s art is pitch-perfect for this comic. Her style is easy on the eyes and accessible to young fans who might be overwhelmed by … say … Mike Grell if he did the book. She would have been my pick for the book, too. And Kurt Schaffenberger…

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

 

The CW Fall 2018-19 Schedule

Changes are coming to our DC-CW shows. Well, at least on the days they are airing.

Originally the DC-CW shows spanned the week, now they are lumped into the first few days.

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All times are Eastern…

SUNDAY
8-9 PM — Supergirl

MONDAY
8-9 PM — DC’S Legends of Tomorrow
9-10 PM — Arrow

TUESDAY
8-9 PM  — The Flash
9-10 PM — Black LIghtning

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My internet trolling has not help me learn why. The ratings for the DC-CW shows are still stellar (for the CW) and all the shows ended up in their top ten.

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

Isis #3. March 1977

“The Wrath of Set”

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Cover Artists: Mike Vosburg & Vince Colletta

Writer: Steve Skeates; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Liz Berube

Editor: Dennis O’Neil; Managing Editor: Joe Orlando

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From DC Wikia: Andrea Thomas and Cindy Lee are walking back to school. Suddenly, a storm of hail begins falling down upon their heads, despite the fact that it is nearly Summer. They rush back to school, but Andrea is concerned that something nefarious may be responsible for the unexpected weather.

Andrea steps out and transforms into Isis. She flies into the sky and finds Set, the Egyptian God of the Desert. Set declares his intention to wrest control of Isis’ worshipers from her, so that they will instead pay homage to him. Isis explains that she does not demand worship from others, and that she only wants to help people. This concept is completely alien to Set and he cannot abide the notion of a humble god. Frustrated, he leaves her presence, vowing to return.

Isis returns to the school and switches back into her Andrea Thomas identity. She goes into class where she confers with Doctor Barnes. During the conversation, a prankish student named Jeffrey Carter tosses a paper airplane, striking Andrea in the head. She dismisses the act, but Barnes feels that she is too easygoing with her students.

During class, Cindy tells Andrea about a radio report concerning a nearby fire. Andrea excuses herself and changes back into Isis. She flies to a burning apartment building, and rescues several children caught in the blaze. Set appears before her, and confesses to perpetuating the fire in order to draw Isis out. He again announces his intention to become the patron deity of Earth, demanding worship from all those around him.

A crowd of students gather on the street to witness Isis’ confrontation with Set. Isis notices Jeffrey Carter amongst the crowd and uses him as a means of offsetting Set’s plan. Jeffrey, who apparently enjoys playing pranks on super-heroes as much as he does chemistry teachers, tosses a custard pie in Isis’ direction. Isis allows the dessert to hit her squarely in the face, but takes no action afterwards. Set is furious. It is obvious that the people of Earth have no respect for the Gods and he cannot believe Isis would allow herself to be humiliated in such a fashion. He no longer desires to have anything to do with these people and disappears

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“Politcal Rally Panic”

Plot: Steven Skeates, Writer: Jack C Harris, Pencils: Jose Delbo

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Liz Berube

Editor: Dennis O’Neil; Managing Editor: Joe Orlando

Isis is flying through the city when she sees a man named Lattimer falling out of a top-story window. She catches him and brings him safely down to the street. Lattimer explains that he is an ornithologist, who had been birdwatching so intently that he fell out of his window. After telling Lattimer to be more careful, Isis takes her leave of him.

She switches back to her civilian identity and goes to the fundraiser of a local politician named Bob Carver. Andrea is Bob’s friend, and she supports his strong anti-crime bill. During the fundraiser, several people including Andrea, begin to lose their voices. She discovers that somebody has poisoned the punch bowl. She races outside and strains her constricting vocal chords to mouth the words, “Oh, Mighty Isis”. Switching into her super-hero guise, she swoops back in and finds that the man responsible for spiking the punch is Carver’s assistant, Watkins.

Watkins, realizing that he has been exposed, runs out of the building and jumps into his car. Isis follows him and easily stops the fleeing criminal. Lattimer approaches the crime scene and reveals that he is actually an undercover police officer investigating a potential murder attempt against Bob Carver. Thanking Isis for her assistance, he takes Watkins into custody.

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The letters in the letter column all praise for the debut issue.

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The resolution of the first story is well in keeping with the TV show – you could even say Isis defeated her foe with Gandhi-like resistance by humiliating herself to reveal Set’s ego.

The art in the first story looks vaguely like Carmine Infantino’s … it’s not, but there IS a resemblance! The second story’s art by the wonderful Jose Delbo is softer than Vosburg’s sharp style.

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

Gotham Renewed for Fifth, Final Season

The future of FOX’s Batman prequel series has officially been revealed. Gotham has been renewed for its fifth and final season on the network. While Fox has yet to make an official statement, the fifth season will reportedly be 13 episodes in length – which is all the series needs to reach the 100-episode milestone for syndication. This new season will focus on the final transformation of young Bruce Wayne into the Dark Knight.

In an earlier interview with Comic Book, executive producer Danny Cannon teased what the series has in store for season five. “The catastrophic event, the cataclysmic event that happens in the last three episodes [of season four] not only will change Gotham. It not only combines so many characters that you don’t think will cooperate with each other, but it changes the face of Gotham forever, so that season five, it’s almost a reboot and a different show,” Cannon said.

Gotham stars David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Cameron Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, and Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock.

Thank you Scoop for allowing me to reprint your article:

http://scoop.previewsworld.com/Home/4/1/73/1012?articleID=212503

A reboot and a diffent show? No wonder. Ratings have been awful. Gotham averaged 2.563 million viewers per episode (https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/gotham-season-four-ratings/). But still, the renewed Agents of Shield’s averaged half-a-million less viewers. Arrow, as another example was almost one and a half million less viewers (although on a much lesser-viewed network). Still, were it not for the Batman imprint it would have been cancelled some time back.

The first season was excellent – and went downhill from there. Ironically it was concentrating more on Bruce Wayne than on the rise of the Penguin and Jim Gordon’s struggle against corruption that caused the downfall. That being said, any scene with Sean Pertwee is worth watching. Ditto Bicondova’s Selina Kyle. The rare scenes with Alfred and Selina Kyle together made the episodes!

But as with Agents of Shield, they are doing the right thing: 13 episodes is enough to finish the tale: have Mazouz put on the cape and cowl and end it.

It’s not ending on top, but it IS ending. Let’s enjoy these last episodes as much as we enjoyed the old ones. Well, some of the old ones.

I think it is ending just in time.  Or at least one season too late.

 

Original Material 2018 by Michael Curry