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May 31

Master Khan is a sinister sorcerer “god” of K'un-L'un who demands human blood sacrifices from his worshippers. He first appeared in Strange Tales #77 (May 31, 1960). Khan was a notable adversary early in Iron Fist’s career, fighting Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight on numerous occasions as well as sending his agent Scimitar against them. When Khan stole the Sons of the Tiger’s tiger talismans, he badly injured Bob Diamond. Master Khan has magical powers that enable him to distort reality, levitate, and shrink objects and beings. He can also alter his appearance, form shields, fire energy blasts. He calls on the mystic principalities, such as Cyttorak, the Faltine, and Raggadorr, for power.

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June 1

The Warriors Three first appeared when going on a quest with Thor and other Asgardians to prevent Ragnarok in Journey into Mystery #119 (June 1, 1965). The Warriors Three is made up of the Asgardians Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. The trio have multiple adventures with their friend Thor. For a time, they quest with him in outer space; one of their adventures involved saving an alien world from a naive tentacled beast. Thor and the Warriors Three are sent on a quest as penance for accidentally killing an enemy giant during a time of peace. Although they fail in their quest, through the use of each warrior’s unique capabilities, the adventure eventually comes to a good end.

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June 2

The core concept of 100 Bullets is based on the question of people willing to act on the desire of violent revenge if given the means, opportunity, and a reasonable chance to succeed. Many of the first issues involve the mysterious Agent Graves approaching someone who has been a victim of a terrible wrong. Graves gives them the opportunity to take revenge by providing a handgun, 100 bullets, and documentation about the primary target responsible for their woes. He informs the candidate the bullets are completely untraceable by any law enforcement investigation, and as soon as they are found at any crime scene, investigations will immediately cease. Although all the revenge murders enabled by Agent Graves are presented as justifiable, the candidates are neither rewarded nor punished for accepting the offer other than their own personal satisfaction. Several people decline, but others who accept find varied success or failure. The attaché and Graves’ “games” are later revealed to be only a minor part of a much broader story. The games begin in 100 Bullets #1 (June 2, 1999).

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for June 3-9, 2022...

155 years ago June 8, 1867 Marius Rossillon is born. The French artist creates the Michelin mascot “Bibendum” and works as “O’Galop.”

130 years ago June 4, 1892 Newspaper cartoonist Wally Wallgren is born. He creates the Helpful Hints feature for Stars and Stripes and the later strip Hoosegow Herman.

130 years ago June 7, 1892 Swedish writer-artist Ingrid Wallerström is born.

130 years ago June 9, 1892 Foremost Japanese woodblock artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka dies at age 53 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

100 years ago June 5, 1922 Ruggero Giovannini is born. The artist works for Il Vittorioso in Italy and Fleetway in England.

100 years ago June 6, 1922 The Belgian artist known for “Prudence Petitpas” in Tintin, Maurice Maréchal, is born.

100 years ago June 8, 1922 Artist, teacher, and animator Paul Gringle is born. The NEA cartoonist creates the Rural Delivery comic strip.

95 years ago June 6, 1927 Award-winning writer-artist Peter Spier is born. He creates “Sophie” for Spirou, the first of its strips to have a female character as protagonist.

95 years ago June 8, 1927 Artist Rocke Mastroserio is born. His comic book work begins in the early 1950s, and he is best known for his work for Charlton, for which he co-creates Mercury Man with Joe Gill.

90 years ago June 5, 1932 Belgian writer-artist Jean Mariette is born. He works as “Hao” and as “Mittéï,” draws cartoons for Studio Greg, and creates Bonaventure.

90 years ago June 6, 1932 Napoleon begins, written and drawn by Clifford McBride.

85 years ago June 9, 1937 The Italian comics magazine Il Vittorioso begins.

75 years ago June 8, 1947 Charles Schulz’ Li’l Folks begins.

70 years ago June 7, 1952 Animation artist Rick Hoberg is born. He pencils Eternity Smith.

65 years ago June 4, 1957 Writer, cartoonist, and lecturer Michal Jacot is born.

65 years ago June 6, 1957 Artist Andrew A. Munch dies at age 48. He drew features including Mac for NEA.

65 years ago June 8, 1957 Dilbert creator Scott Adams is born.

65 years ago June 8, 1957 Don Thompson meets Maggie Thompson (then Curtis) at a picnic at the home of science fiction writer Basil Wells. Among other attendees were Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett, Andre Norton, P. Schuyler Miller, and (Maggie’s mom) Betsy Curtis.

55 years ago June 5, 1967 Yarrowstalks introduces Mr. Natural in #1.

55 years ago June 7, 1967 Belgian animator and artist Willy Lateste dies at age 36.

50 years ago June 3, 1972 Writer Ken Mennell Jr. is born.

45 years ago June 3, 1977 Australian Fatty Finn comic strip artist and comic book publisher Syd Nicholls dies in a fall at age 80.

45 years ago June 6, 1977 King Features writer-artist Joseph Musial dies at age 72. He wrote The Career Guide for Cartoonists and illustrated the pioneering talking-read-along children’s book Matey.

45 years ago June 6, 1977 The Howard the Duck comic strip by Steve Gerber and Gene Colan begins.

40 years ago June 4, 1982 Danish comics artist Henning Dahl Mikkelsen (who worked as “Mik”) dies of a heart attack at age 67.

35 years ago June 5, 1987 Peter Parker marries Mary Jane Watson in Shea Stadium, Queens, NY.

35 years ago June 8, 1987 Tom Batiuk’s Crankshaft comic strip begins.

30 years ago June 3, 1992 E.C. publisher and Mad publisher William M. Gaines dies at age 70.

30 years ago June 5, 1992 Image’s Spawn #1 (dated May 1992) by Todd McFarlane sets a new direct market record with an announced 1.5 million copies sold.

30 years ago June 6, 1992 Publisher Martin Goodman dies of pneumonia at age 84. His releases included paperbacks and magazines – including titles that would provide the foundation of the Marvel Comics line.

25 years ago June 6, 1997 Golden Age artist Manny Stallman, who worked on a variety of titles for a variety of publishers, dies at age 70.

20 years ago June 3, 2002 Webcomic A Miracle of Science begins. The series by Jon Kilgannon and Mark Sachs provides a story of “mad science, space battles, robots, and true love.”

20 years ago June 7, 2002 Brazilian writer-artist and editor Waldyr Igayara de Souza dies at age 68. He created Paulistinha and set up his own comic art school.

15 years ago June 5, 2007 French artist Arnaud Leterrier dies at age 39.

15 years ago June 7, 2007 Artist and teacher Roger Armstrong dies at age 89. He drew “funny animal” comic books starring Warner Bros., Disney, and Hanna-Barbera characters for Dell/Western/Gold Key and strips including Ella Cinders, Scamp, Bugs Bunny, Napoleon, and Little Lulu.

10 years ago June 5, 2012 Influential, award-winning writer Ray Bradbury dies at age 91. A film and comics fan, he wrote stories that ended up in comic book versions.

10 years ago June 6, 2012 French artist Jean-René Le Moing dies at age 83. He was one of the original co-creators of Pilote.

5 years ago June 4, 2017 Dutch artist Rob Gorter dies at age 71.

5 years ago June 5, 2017 Award-winning writer James Vance dies of cancer at age 64. His work included co-creation of Kings in Disguise with Dan Burr.
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June 3

Albert Francis “Al” Simmons was a highly trained Force Recon Marine who was at his most successful point when he saved the President from an attempted assassination. He was promoted to a high level and recruited to a highly classified unit within the CIA devoted to black ops. Once there, he began to question the morality of what his agency was doing. Jason Wynn hired Bruce Stinson (codenamed Chapel), Simmons’ friend and partner, to kill him. In a blazing inferno, Simmons was killed and his soul sent to Hell, because he had knowingly killed innocents while working for the CIA. Simmons made a deal with an evil being known as Malebolgia: in exchange for his soul, he would get to see once again his wife, Wanda. However, when Simmons returned to the human world, five years had passed, and he had been transformed into a demonic creature with little memory of his former life. After regaining his memories, he sought out his wife, only to find she had moved on and married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and that they now had a daughter named Cyan. After this event, the Violator appeared, and revealed to Simmons the purpose of his resurrection. Spawn first appeared in Spawn #1 (June 3, 1992).

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June 4

The original incarnation of Professor Potter was the maternal uncle of Lana Lang, and first encountered the Man of Steel during his teenage years as Superboy in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #22 (June 4, 1957). An eccentric scientist, Potter often invented odd or fantastical devices which he intended to use for the betterment of humanity. However, he rarely considered the potential downsides of his inventions. While several of his devices were harmless, many others were not, and chaos often ensued when they were activated. Potter befriended three newspaper reporters from the Daily Planet: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent. Olsen, in particular, was often the intended victim of Potter’s inventions gone awry. Thanks to the professor, Olsen was briefly evolved into a super-intelligent being from one million A.D., given an elongated nose like the character Pinocchio, stricken with “flame-breath”, and cursed with an evil twin, among other calamities. However, Potter was able to recreate a serum which had once given Olsen stretchability powers. Thus, Olsen was able to occasionally use those powers as Elastic Lad.

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June 5

Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal was never exposed. In 1985, the country is edging toward World War III with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement. In 1985, DC Comics acquired a line of characters from Charlton Comics. During that period, writer Alan Moore contemplated writing a story that featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp, as he had done in his Miracleman series in the early 1980s. Moore reasoned that MLJ Comics’ Mighty Crusaders might be available for such a project, so he devised a murder mystery plot which would begin with the discovery of the body of the Shield in a harbour. The writer felt it did not matter which set of characters he ultimately used, as long as readers recognized them “so it would have the shock and surprise value when you saw what the reality of these characters was”. The story begins with New York City police investigating the murder of Edward Blake in Watchmen #1 (June 5, 1986). With the police having no leads, costumed vigilante Rorschach decides to probe further. Discovering Blake to be the face behind The Comedian, a costumed hero employed by the United States government, Rorschach believes he has discovered a plot to terminate costumed adventurers and sets about warning four of his retired comrades: Dan Dreiberg (formerly the second Nite Owl), the superpowered and emotionally detached Doctor Manhattan and his lover Laurie Juspeczyk (the second Silk Spectre), and Adrian Veidt (once the hero Ozymandias, and now a successful businessman).

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June 6

Bruce Tinsley, who was an editorial cartoonist for the Charlottesville, Virginia paper The Daily Progress, was asked to create a cartoon character as a mascot for the newspaper’s entertainment page. A duck, which Bruce named “Mallard Fillmore,” was accepted, and made his debut in the paper. Tinsley started sending samples of Mallard Fillmore, then known as The Fillmore File, to newspapers across the country and was eventually picked up by The Washington Times, and was later picked up for national syndication by King Features Syndicate, which began distributing it in June 6, 1994. Mallard Fillmore is the main character in the comic strip. He is a seasoned conservative reporter for fictional television station WFDR-TV in Washington, D.C., which hired him in order to fill its quota for “Amphibious Americans.” Mallard yearns for the “good old days,” and views himself as a victimized underdog in a world that is being overrun with political correctness, religious secularism, and hypocrisy. He is often in a state of outrage over the news item of the day, usually involving liberals.

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June 7

Noh-Varr serves as an ensign aboard the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt interstellar schooner the Marvel, which traverses millions of alternate dimensions on its way home. The ship is drawn toward the Marvel Universe and shot down by the forces of Doctor Midas, a multi-trillionaire obsessed with gaining powers through the absorption of cosmic rays. Midas blasts the Marvel out of the sky in an attempt to acquire the ship’s cosmic ray-powered engines. His friends and comrades killed, Noh-Varr emerges as the only survivor. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. capture Noh-Varr and incarcerate him in a seemingly inescapable prison known as the Cube. While in custody, Noh-Varr declares war on Earth and the human race. Noh-Varr at one stage gets the attention of the Illuminati. Its members: Professor X, Mister Fantastic, Black Bolt, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Namor are worried about the fact Noh-Varr has declared war on the entire planet and try to change his mind. They visit him at the Cube in the form of a mental projection, and speak to him in turn, explaining the legacy of Captain Marvel and telling Noh-Varr that he can choose to live as a hero or spend the rest of his life in The Cube. They ultimately leave him with the choice and tell him to earn his way out. He first appears in Marvel Boy #1 (June 7, 2000).

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June 8

The Albert Michaels version of Atomic Skull first appeared in Superman #303 (June 8, 1976). Michaels was a brilliant but genuine unfriendly scientist-administrator at S.T.A.R. Labs with a rare nervous system disorder that short-circuited the electrical impulses in his brain, creating painful and uncontrollable seizures. When he could not find a cure, he secretly contacted the criminal organization SKULL, and they implanted him with a radium-powered device designed to harness his neural disorder into deadly atomic “brain-blasts” in exchange for him becoming their agent. However, these mental blasts were difficult to control and only made his condition worse, a situation he blamed on Superman after the Man of Steel captured the only SKULL scientists who could have cured him. Swearing revenge, the evil genius donned his distinctive yellow and green costume with its visored cowl-topped skull mask and eventually became the organization’s leader, flying around in a sleek skull-shaped hovercraft of his own design assisted by his similarly costumed lover Felicia who was a panther he had artificially evolved into human form. Michaels can deliver powerful energy bolts through the visor of his mask. The energy blasts have been described as powerful brainwaves, heat vision, & atomic blasts.

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June 9

Born to a French father and a Vietnamese mother, Jade Nguyen had an unhappy childhood and was sold into slavery. As a young adult, after killing her master, Jade was informally adopted by Chinese freedom fighter Weng Chan, who taught her all he knew about guerrilla fighting. She acquired knowledge of poisons from Kruen Musenda, a famed African assassin known as the “Spitting Cobra”, whom she was married to for the two years prior to his death. She is a long-standing rival of the Teen Titans and first appeared in Teen Titans Annual #2 (June 9, 1983). However, when Roy Harper, a.k.a. the archer Speedy, went undercover for the government in a mission to get her confidence and turn her over, the two fell passionately in love. Knowing he would not be able to turn her in, he walked out; Cheshire would not learn his true identity until later. The result of their romance was a daughter, Lian, whom Roy raised. Cheshire is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and is one of the premiere martial artists and hand-to-hand combatants in the DC Universe. She is trained in several martial arts thought forever lost. In addition, Cheshire is also an expert triple-jointed acrobat, and uses this skill to move quickly and unexpectedly, and to also augment her fighting abilities. Of bigger concern are her artificial fingernails, which she dips in several varieties of poisons. She gives her weapons and other accessories a similar treatment.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for June 10-16, 2022...

185 years ago June 13, 1837 German artist Friedrich Lossow is born.

145 years ago June 14, 1877 Austrian artist and teacher Marianne Frimberger is born.

120 years ago June 10, 1902 Artist Gus Dirks dies by suicide at age 22 or 23. The comics pioneer was known for his influential Bugville strip.

110 years ago June 14, 1912 Finnish artist Ami Hauhio is born. He creates Koltan Perintö and co-creates Maan mies Marsissa with Reino Halismaa.

110 years ago June 16, 1912 Canadian cartoonist Albert Chartier is born. The illustrator is known for Onésime and Séraphin.

105 years ago June 13, 1917 Canadian cartoonist Sid Barron is born; he works for the Toronto Star.

105 years ago June 14, 1917 Golden Age artist Bob Wood is born. He works in the Harry “A” Chesler Group and co-creates the Crime Does Not Pay comic book series with Charles Biro.

105 years ago June 15, 1917 Lash LaRue is born. The Western actor and bullwhip expert’s cowboy roles lead to licensing his name and image to Fawcett comics.

100 years ago June 10, 1922 Italian comics writer Angela Giussani is born. She co-creates the Diabolik comic book antihero series with her sister Luciana and founds the Astorina publishing company.

100 years ago June 16, 1922 Comics artist Jack R. Keller is born. He’s known for his work on Kid Colt and Charlton’s hot rod and race car titles.

95 years ago June 10, 1927 Michel Tacq is born. Working as “MiTacq,” the Belgian artist is especially known for La Patrouille des Castors in Spirou.

95 years ago June 12, 1927 Australian James Bond strip artist Yaroslav Horak is born.

95 years ago June 15, 1927 Artist and editor Ross Andru is born. He’s known for his many collaborations with Mike Esposito and for co-creating The Punisher (with Gerry Conway) and Metal Men (with Robert Kanigher and Esposito), among others.

95 years ago June 15, 1927 Artist Hugo Pratt is born. He creates Corto Maltese.

90 years ago June 14, 1932 John “Dok” Hager dies 15 days before his 74th birthday. He created Dok’s Dippy Duck.

80 years ago June 13, 1942 The comic strip The Shadow by Walter B. Gibson and Vernon Greene ends.

75 years ago June 13, 1947 Spanish writer Antonio Segura is born. He works with artists including José Ortiz and (for the award-winning Eva Medusa series) Ana Miralles.

70 years ago June 15, 1952 Artist Rick Stasi is born. He has credits at First, DC, and Marvel.

60 years ago June 14, 1962 Artist Den Beauvais is born.

55 years ago June 11, 1967 Artist Kevin Paul Shaw Broden is born.

55 years ago June 11, 1967 Writer Terry Collins is born.

55 years ago June 16, 1967 Arnold Pander is born. With his brother Jacob, he draws Grendel and The World of Ginger Fox.

55 years ago June 16, 1967 The first Houston Comic Convention begins at the Ramada Inn in Houston; it runs June 16-18.

45 years ago June 13, 1977 Japanese manga artist Yanwari Kazama is born.

45 years ago June 14, 1977 Alan Reed dies of cancer at age 69. The radio performer and voice artist’s roles included Fred Flintstone.

45 years ago June 16, 1977 Stan Cross dies at age 88. The comic strip and political cartoonist was known for Wally and the Major and The Potts.

40 years ago June 10, 1982 The first Dallas Fantasy Fair begins. It runs June 10-13.

40 years ago June 10, 1982 Dutch artist Karel Links dies at age 66.

40 years ago June 12, 1982 The first Heroes Convention (also known as HeroesCon) begins in Charlotte, NC, held by Shelton Drum and his Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find store. It runs June 12-13 (and, not so by the way, is still being held every year).

35 years ago June 12, 1987 Italian artist Carlo Boscarato dies at age 61.

35 years ago June 12, 1987 Swedish writer-artist Eugen Semitjov dies at age 64. He specialized in science fiction stories.

30 years ago June 11, 1992 Born Stuart Loren Shapiro, Revolutionary Comics publisher Todd Loren is stabbed and bludgeoned to death at age 32. The murder remains officially unsolved, although it has been noted that it was similar to those perpetrated by serial killer Andrew Cunanan (who killed Gianni Versace).

25 years ago June 12, 1997 French artist Rémy Bourlès dies at age 91.

25 years ago June 15, 1997 Kim Casali dies of bone and liver cancer at age 55. Born Marilyn Judith Grove, she created the Love Is … panel cartoon series.

20 years ago June 13, 2002 Vincent Fago dies of cancer at age 87. The career of the writer, artist, and editor started in the Golden Age.

15 years ago June 10, 2007 Taizo Yokoyama dies of a lung infection at age 90. The Japanese creator was known for Pusan and Shakai Gihyo.

15 years ago June 13, 2007 Media journalist Daniel Robert Epstein dies at age 31.

15 years ago June 15, 2007 Stan Winston dies at age 62. The special effects pioneer designed the screen version of Iron Man.

10 years ago June 16, 2012 Matt Groening’s Life in Hell ends.

5 years ago June 10, 2017 Award-winning and prolific Philippine artist Malang Santos dies at age 89. Lambiek says he was the first Filipino cartoonist to publish his comics in English.
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June 10

New York City, where Casey Jones is from, was overrun by criminals. Enticed by examples from TV, Casey decided to do something about the crime in the streets. After equipping himself with a hockey mask and various sports clubs, he began his vigilante campaign. When Jones was young, his father, Arnold Casey Jones Sr., owned an auto shop. A group of Purple Dragon members burned the shop down, killed his father and took his mother and sister hostage. The badly beaten Casey refused to lie down and take Hun’s blows. He attacked Hun with a knife, stabbing him in the neck. Enraged, Hun had beaten him to within an inch of his life. It seemed that the beating he took from Hun as a teenager resulted in several mental and emotional disorders, explaining his often violent and erratic behavior. Casey first appeared in Raphael #1 (June 10, 1985). Raphael runs into Casey beating some muggers and proceeds to stop him before the crooks are murdered. Jones and Raphael fight several times before making peace with each other. Later, he comes to the aid of the Turtles, Splinter and April O'Neil when they are attacked by the resurrected Shredder at April’s home. The seven escape, and retreat to a farmhouse in Northampton, Massachusetts that once belonged to Casey’s grandmother. Casey “officially” becomes a part of the Turtles’ family around this point, and the farmhouse acts as a second home to the group for some time.

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June 11

Prime is really a thirteen-year-old boy named Kevin Green with the power to transform into a super-powered adult. He debuted in Prime #1 (June 11, 1993) under Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse imprint. Kevin retains the thoughts, memories and consciousness of his thirteen-year-old self as Prime. Kevin transforms into Prime by projecting an organic ‘liquid flesh’ material from his torso. The liquid flesh then shapes itself into a tall man with exceptionally large and defined muscular development. Prime can revert to his teenage form by destabilizing the outer body into a mess of protein goo, either consciously or when his Prime-body’s energy reserves run out. When this happens, Kevin must pull himself out of the body’s remains or risk suffocating from lack of oxygen. This is a chief source of conflict for the character as he is frequently placed in adult situations and circumstances he may not be mature enough to deal with. As Prime, Kevin possesses tremendous strength with unknown limits and once lifted an entire outdoor gym with relative ease. His resistance to physical injury is also exceptionally high, having survived a close proximity explosion of several nuclear warheads. Prime can also fly at Mach-level of velocity.

The Super-Skrull is from the Skrull world of Tarnax IV, which has been destroyed by Galactus. Skrull emperor Dorrek VII devised a way to strike back against the Fantastic Four, who thwarted the Empire’s invasion of Earth. Dorrek chose the warrior Kl'rt, who was given the combined abilities of the Fantastic Four. Kl'rt was stronger than the Thing; had superior flight and greater pyrokinetic ability than the Human Torch; had better control of invisibility and telekinesis than the Invisible Woman, and could stretch further than Mr. Fantastic. The Super-Skrull retained his shape-shifting and hypnotic abilities, and was sent to Earth to defeat the Fantastic Four and pave the way for a Skrull Empire invasion. During their first encounter in Fantastic Four #18 (June 11, 1963), the Super-Skrull keeps the Fantastic Four at bay and forces them to run away. Mr. Fantastic senses that Kl'rt’s powers are augmented by an energy beam from the Skrull home world. Blocking the beam with a device placed on him by the Invisible Girl deprives Kl'rt of his new powers. Defeated, he is imprisoned in a crater by the Human Torch when he pursues the Invisible Girl.

An early concept design for Magenta by George Pérez appeared in DC Sampler #2 (June 11, 1984), with the character’s initial name being Polara. Frankie Kane was a one time girlfriend of Wally West, who gained magnetic powers which killed her family. Not knowing her purpose in life, she became a villain and first joined the Cicada cult and the New Rogues before reforming. Magenta can generate and control magnetic fields, which she can use to move, lift, and manipulate ferrous metals. She can focus her powers into blasts of concussive magnetic force that can shatter steel, or fire electromagnetic pulses to disrupt electronic systems. She can concentrate her magnetic powers into a protective shield that repels metals and most physical assaults. By surrounding herself with an aura of magnetism that has an equal polarity to the Earth’s own geomagnetic field, she can cause the Earth to repel her upward, and thereby fly by magnetic levitation.

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June 12

Femforce, the “Federal Emergency Missions Force”, was formed by Miss Victory, She Cat, the Blue Bulleteer and the original Rio Rita in the 1940s during World War II, in which they fought as aides to the allied forces. After the war, Rio Rita retired. The rest of the Femforce continued to operate as an offshoot of the U.S. government, most of them kept young by their super-powers. In 1960, Blue Bulleteer was assaulted by thugs and nearly killed but was luckily taken in by Azagoth, a being from another dimension. When she returned from Azagoth’s home dimension as the sorceress Nightveil she brought a new ally, the reality-altering Synn, with her. Later members in the 1980s were weapons mistress Colt and the environmentalist Tara. The group also met up with the granddaughter of their old member Rio Rita, who was using the same codename as her grandmother though she never officially joined

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June 13

Batman historian Les Daniels credits Gardner Fox, the first writer other than Bill Finger to write the adventures of Batman in Detective Comics, with introducing the utility belt concept in Detective Comics #29 (June 13, 1939). In its first appearance, Batman’s utility belt “contain[ed] choking gas capsules.” Although seemingly unremarkable in appearance, the utility belt is one of Batman’s most important tools in fighting crime. Consisting primarily of a strap and buckle, the utility belt houses ten pouches or cylindrical cartridges that are attached to the outside of the belt. The buckle itself typically contains a miniature camera and a tape recorder. A secondary compartment behind the length of the belt houses Batman’s supply of batarangs. Each of the ten pouches or cylinders contains various tools integral to Batman’s war on crime, with the cylinders being interchangeable with each other. Through the years, Batman has modified the contents of his belt to accommodate various crime-fighting scenarios.

The Yellow Claw series chronicled the adventures of a Chinese-American FBI agent, Jimmy Woo, and his battles against a “yellow peril” Communist mandarin, known only as the Yellow Claw. The title character was a Fu Manchu manqué whose grandniece, Suwan, was in love with Woo. The Yellow Claw was born over 150 years ago in mainland China. He is both a genius in biochemistry and a brilliant scientist and inventor in many fields, in addition to being an expert in mysticism, alchemy, and the martial arts. The Yellow Claw has formulated elixirs that have prolonged his life span, enabling him to retain his physical vitality. Following his Nick Fury appearances, artists have depicted him with an unusual, jaundiced-looking, yellowish skin tone, possibly as a result of his life-extension chemical. The Yellow Claw has dedicated himself to achieving world domination and supplanting Western civilization. He controls a worldwide criminal organization, along with a staff of research scientists and engineers. He first appeared in The Yellow Claw #1 (June 13, 1956).

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June 14

Jack D'Auria grew up as a friend of Dan Ketch. He also studied the martial arts under sensei Yugi Watanabe. One day a motorcycle gang entered the garage where Dan and Jack frequented. They were on the run from Mister Hyde, and locked the two up. Dan turned into Ghost Rider and defeated the group as well as Hyde. Later, Jack and his sensei were targeted by Deathwatch. Jack was injured, and later abducted from the hospital. However, Ghost Rider was able to free him with the help of Yugi’s son Brass and Wolverine. Some time later, Ghost Rider found himself assisted by the mysterious Shriker. The Shriker first appeared in Ghost Rider #52 (June 14, 1994). Jack eventually revealed that he was Shriker. However, Dan asked him to stay out of the Ghost Rider’s conflicts, as things were getting too dangerous.

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June 15

When the last surviving member of the planet Xandar’s elite Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey, is dying, he selects New York high school student Richard Rider to replace him. Rider is given the uniform and powers of a Nova Centurion but little instruction on how to use them. He derives his powers from an energy source called the Nova Force. The Nova Force affords Rider superhuman powers including flight, superhuman strength, speed, and durability, as well as the power to absorb energy directed against him and release it as gravimetric pulses and beams, either from specific parts of his body or from his entire body. Nova is a good hand-to-hand combatant, and has been coached by Chord. Calling himself Nova, Rider becomes a superhero, fighting costumed supervillains such as Condor, Powerhouse, Diamondhead, the Corruptor, and the Sphinx, and teaming with heroes such as Spider-Man and Thor. He initially hides his identity, but later reveals it to his family. Nova debuted in Nova #1 (June 15, 1976).

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June 16

George Reeves was an American actor best known for his role as Superman. Reeves died of a gunshot wound to the head in the upstairs bedroom at his home in Benedict Canyon between approximately 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on June 16, 1959, according to the Los Angeles Police Department report. The police arrived within the hour. Present in the house at the time of the incident were Leonore Lemmon (who was Reeves’ fiancee at the time), William Bliss, writer Robert Condon, and Carol Van Ronkel, who lived a few blocks away with her husband, screenwriter Rip Van Ronkel. Sometime near midnight, after Reeves had gone to bed, an impromptu party began when Bliss and Carol Van Ronkel arrived at the Reeves home. Reeves angrily came downstairs and complained about the noise. After blowing off steam, he stayed with the guests for a while, had a drink, and then retired upstairs again in a bad mood. The guests later heard a single gunshot from upstairs. His death at age 45 from a gunshot remains a polarizing topic; the official finding was suicide, but some believe that he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting.

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June 17

A male child was born to the superheroes Quasar and Kismet. Just as soon as he was born on the planet Vesper, he was kidnapped and deposited on the planet Arcturus IV. The baby was discovered by an Arcturian couple who were among the last of their planet’s mutants; for much of his life, Stakar would believe that these mutants were his birth parents. The mutants were found and slain by the Reavers of Arcturus, Arcturian military cadres dedicated to eradicating the mutants of their race. The Reaver Ogord discovered the infant and, assuming him to be a normal Arcturian, adopted the child and raised him as his own with his wife Salaan, naming the boy Stakar. Stakar cultivated an interest in science and archaeology and explored ruins containing the Hawk God. He and his adoptive sister Aleta Ogord reanimated the dormant deity and were physically transformed. They took turns occupying the same physical space, while the other stayed in a type of “limbo”. They were given extraordinary power and left Arcturus IV for the stars; when dominant, Stakar adopted the costumed identity of Starhawk. Developing romantic feelings for one another, Stakar and Aleta petitioned the Hawk God to temporarily separate them. During this time, they had three children together: Sita, John and Tara. As an adventurer and protector, Starhawk revealed himself to the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Defenders in the year 3014. He first appeared in cameo in Defenders #27 (June 17, 1975). He aided them in overthrowing the Badoon occupation of Earth. Starhawk joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in a space mission, and helped defeat the Topographical Man. It is later revealed he manipulated events to bring the Guardians together; for example, when Charlie-27 teleported from Jupiter to escape the Badoon, Starhawk caused him to be transported to Pluto where he met Martinex.

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June 18

Boris Bullski was born in Makeyevka, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He was a KGB-member when he was a young man. An ambitious official of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Boris Bullski was demoted after displeasing his superiors. While working as an administrator of a Siberian labor camp, he commissioned the imprisoned scientists at the camp to build a suit of armor using the lab of Anton Vanko, the creator of the original Crimson Dynamo armor. Seeking to win back the Party’s favor, Bullski conceived the idea of winning a propaganda victory against the West by defeating the American superhero Iron Man. He assigned the scientists to create a powerful suit of titanium armor based on the Iron Man technology, though the inferior resources available to the scientists meant that the armor was twice the size of Iron Man’s. Bullski received permission to issue his challenge and Iron Man accepted, defeating Titanium Man in a battle before a worldwide television audience. Titanium Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #69 (June 18, 1965).

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June 19

Garfield originally consisted of four main characters. Garfield, the titular character, was based on the cats Davis was around growing up; he took his name and personality from Davis’s grandfather, James A. Garfield Davis, who was, in Davis’s words, “a large, cantankerous man”. Jon Arbuckle came from a 1950s coffee commercial, and Odie was based on a car dealership commercial written by Davis, which featured Odie the Village Idiot. Early on in the strip, Odie’s owner was a man named Lyman. He was written in to give Jon someone to talk with. Davis later realized that Garfield and Jon could “communicate nonverbally”. The strip, originally centered on Jon, was first rejected by the King Features, Post-Hall and the Chicago Tribune-New York News agencies, all of which asked Davis to focus on the cat, who in their opinion, got the better lines. United Feature Syndicate accepted the retooled strip in 1978 and debuted it in 41 newspapers on June 19. Common themes in the strip include Garfield’s laziness, obsessive eating, coffee, and disdain of Mondays and diets.

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June 20

The Neh-Buh-Loh is in fact the adult version of a sentient universe called Qwewq. He first appeared as the Nebula Man in Justice League of America #100 (June 20, 1972), described as a cosmic being “whose touch has the power of 20 atomic bombs.” He was supposedly created by a villain known as The Hand to defeat the original Seven Soldiers of Victory. He battled the Soldiers in Tibet. His actions scattered the Soldiers through time, a fate from which they were later saved by the Justice League and Justice Society. The Nebula Man was defeated when the sidekick of the Crimson Avenger, Wing, sacrificed himself to deliver the final blow with a cosmic device, he was buried in Tibet by Monks who witnessed his death.

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June 20

"Jaws" released in theaters

Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States

Stars on 45 single reaches the top of the pop charts

Boxer Rebellion begins in China

West Virginia enters the Union

United States and Soviet Union agree to establish a nuclear "hot line"

Bugsy Siegel, organized crime leader, is killed

Third Estate makes Tennis Court Oath

Ford signs first contract with autoworkers' union

Mountain man Joe Meek dies

German cabinet resigns over Versailles deadlock
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June 21

Plop!, “The New Magazine of Weird Humor!”, was a comic book anthology published by DC Comics in the mid-1970s beginning with Plop! #1 (June 21, 1973). It falls into the horror / humor genre. The title initially was intended to be called Zany. A number of the one-panel cartoons published in the comic included the visible prefix ZA, in reference to the originally intended title. Sergio Aragonés credits publisher Carmine Infantino with coming up with the final title: “Joe Orlando and I were sitting in a restaurant talking with Carmine Infantino. They wanted a magazine that was different, something about black humor. Carmine came up with the name. We were talking about it and he said, ‘What will we call it?’ And I said, ‘We can call it anything, because if the magazine is good, then it will stay.’ And he said, ‘No, we can’t call it, for instance … PLOP!’ And I said, ‘Yes, we can.’ And so I started making sketches of things going PLOP! and they laughed and decided the name was good.” Each issue was centered on a frame story starring three ghoulish characters with biblical names: Cain, Abel, and Eve. An issue would typically contain a story told by each of the characters, each bidding to outdo the others in fiendishness.

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June 22

The Chaste are an elite group of mysterious warriors whose base lies atop a mountain in an unknown location. Led by Stick for a time, and now led by Stone, the Chaste’s members are required to rid themselves of emotions that are considered impure. The warriors have developed astounding mental and physical abilities, and their names are associated with powers or weapons they have mastered. The Chaste and the Hand have clashed in battle for many years. The Chaste live in a remote wilderness location that can only be accessed by climbing “The Wall,” a sheer cliff. The climb also serves as an entrance exam – those who fail the climb are not considered worthy. The Chaste’s first appearance is in Daredevil #187 (June 22, 1982). Daredevil (Matthew Murdock) first encountered members of the Chaste during a period when he had temporarily lost his radar sense. He sought his old master, Stick, to help him recover his abilities. At the same time, the Hand ascertained Stick’s whereabouts and launched an attack. The blind old man was able to thwart the four attackers, but he knew he needed help in the event of another attempt on his life. Stick summoned the other six members of the Chaste. Only Stone, Shaft, and Claw arrived; Star, Flame and Wing were presumed to have been killed en route. The Hand’s deadliest warrior, Kirigi, had been resurrected for the battle, but was defeated by the surviving Chaste warriors.

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June 23

Obsidian is the codename of Todd Rice, who is the biological son of Alan Scott and Rose Canton. Todd was raised in an abusive adoptive home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He finds out in his late teens that he has a twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden, alias Jade. They meet, discover they both have superpowers and, operating under the assumption that Green Lantern was their father, decide to follow in his footsteps. As Obsidian and Jade, they were founding members of the superhero team Infinity, Inc., a group composed mainly of the children, grandchildren, and protégés of members of the Justice Society of America. He first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (June 23, 1983). Obsidian also serves with the Justice League in a space-station based headquarters. He has many various adventures there, including helping the League deal with dozens of aliens who are the last members of their species. During his tenure with the League, he undergoes therapy. For a time, he also has to deal with seemingly permanent injuries to his shadow form. Obsidian is connected to the Shadowlands, a dimension of primordial, quasi-sentient darkness. At will, Obsidian can merge with his own shadow and possess the shadows of others. In his shadow form, he is stronger than in human form, can pass through solid objects and can fly.

In the late 1970s, Batman’s popularity was waning. Producers Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan purchased the film rights of Batman from DC Comics in 1979. It was Uslan’s wish “to make the definitive, dark, serious version of Batman, the way Bob Kane and Bill Finger had envisioned him in 1939. Uslan was unsuccessful with pitching Batman to various movie studios because they wanted the film to be similar to the campy 1960s TV series. Uslan was unsuccessful with pitching Batman to various movie studios because they wanted the film to be similar to the campy 1960s TV series. After the financial success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct Batman. Burton had then-girlfriend Julie Hickson write a new 30-page film treatment, feeling the previous script by Mankiewicz was campy. The success of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Killing Joke rekindled Warner Bros.’ interest in a film adaptation. Burton was initially not a comic book fan, but he was impressed by the dark and serious tone found in both The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. When comic book fans found out about Burton directing the film with Michael Keaton starring in the lead role, controversy arose over the tone and direction Batman was going in.[17] Hamm explained, "They hear Tim Burton’s name and they think of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. They hear Keaton’s name and they think of any number of Michael Keaton comedies. You think of the 1960s version of Batman, and it was the complete opposite of our film. We tried to market it with a typical dark and serious tone, but the fans didn’t believe us.” Batman opened on June 23, 1989, grossing $43.6 million in 2,194 theaters during its opening weekend. Despite initial negative reactions from comics fans prior to the film’s release, Keaton’s portrayal of Batman was generally praised. The success of Batman prompted Warner Bros. Animation to create the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, as a result beginning the long-running DC animated universe and helped establish the modern day superhero film genre.

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June 24

SuperPatriot was once Johnny Armstrong, a soldier in World War II. Captured by the Germans, Armstrong was used as a guinea pig for scientific experiments and gained superhuman powers. He destroyed the base at which he was being kept so the Nazis could not replicate the process on their troops and donned an American flag-styled costume to become SuperPatriot. SuperPatriot later joined the superhero group called the Allies, working with such figures as Supreme and Mighty Man, and protected the innocent for many decades. He also worked with the World War II version of Die-Hard and Glory as the group ‘Allies’. Prior to becoming a cyborg SuperPatriot’s body had the stamina, endurance, strength, and agility of ten peak human athletic men as well as slowed aging process. During World War II SuperPatriot took a drug that allowed him to fly for a limited range, he discontinued the use of this drug due to its dangerous hallucinogenic side effects. SuperPatriot’s artificial eyes give him enhanced sight such as night vision, microscopic vision, and telescopic vision. SuperPatriot’s arms and legs have been replaced with nanite-powered cybernetic limbs, which obey his every mental command on a molecular level. When put to their most common use, his arms can assume the shape and function of any weapon he can think of so long as they retain its original mass. He first appeared in Savage Dragon #1 (June 24, 1992).

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for June 24-30, 2022...

120 years ago June 26, 1902 Artist Sals Bostwick is born. The Frank King assistant creates such features as Room and Board.

110 years ago June 27, 1912 Award-winning writer-artist Miné Okubo is born. She’s known for her book Citizen 13660.

105 years ago June 25, 1917 Novelist, screenwriter, and columnist William Woolfolk is born. The Golden Age comics writer for characters including Fawcett’s Captain Marvel and Quality’s Blackhawk creates Captain Marvel’s “Holy moley!” catchphrase.

100 years ago June 27, 1922 Golden Age artist and writer Ruben Moreira is born. He co-creates Roy Raymond and (with Jack Miller) Rip Hunter.

95 years ago June 27, 1927 Mel Cummin’s Good Time Guy begins.

75 years ago June 26, 1947 Italian editor and Bonelli writer Alfredo Castelli is born. He founds the first Italian comics fanzine, Comics Club 104, and creates Martin Mystère.

75 years ago June 28, 1947 Underground comix creator David Geiser is born.

75 years ago June 29, 1947 Norman Maurer marries Joan Howard, daughter of Moe.

55 years ago June 24, 1967 Samurai Penguin artist and film model maker Mark Christopher Buck is born.

55 years ago June 27, 1967 Chuck Winter dies at age 70. The Golden age artist draws in the Harry “A” Chesler shop, then for Iger’s studio, working for many companies. He co-created Liberty Belle for DC.

55 years ago June 27, 1967 ComicBase founder Peter Bickford is born.

50 years ago June 30, 1972 Comics researcher Dave Galvan is born.

40 years ago June 30, 1982 Magazine cartoonist Abner Dean dies at age 72.

35 years ago June 25, 1987 Dutch artist Bram Ohm dies at age 81.

30 years ago June 27, 1992 Irish-German writer-artist Elizabeth Shaw dies at age 72.

20 years ago June 30, 2002 Spanish artist Jaime Brocal Remohí dies at age 66. He specialized in fantasy, and his work appeared in the U.S. in Warren magazines, Heavy Metal, and Epic Illustrated.

15 years ago June 24, 2007 Italian animator and artist Giovanni Boselli dies at age 83.

15 years ago June 24, 2007 Belgian political cartoonist Joë Meulepas dies at age 92. He was known for the pantomime comic strip Meneerke Peeters.

15 years ago June 28, 2007 Howie Schneider dies at age 77 of complications from heart-bypass surgery. He was an award-winning cartoonist, editorial cartoonist, children’s book author, and sculptor and wrote and drew Eek & Meek and The Sunshine Club.

10 years ago June 24, 2012 Belgian artist and animator Iwan Lemaire (who also worked as Yvan Lemaire) dies at age 78.

5 years ago June 30, 2017 British writer Barry Norman dies at age 83. He collaborated with Wally Fawkes on the Flook comic strip.
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U.S. Air Force reports on Roswell
On June 24, 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier. Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, beg... read more clickable text



Roe v Wade overturned by the Supreme Court

98 people die in Surfside condo collapse

1982 garment workers' strike begins in New York City's Chinatown

Disney pulls Insane Clown Posse album on release day
Tom Cruise raises eyebrows in "Today" show interview

Soviets blockade West Berlin

King Philip's War begins


UpStairs Lounge arson attack
Mail bomb injures Yale professor

Napoleon's Grande Armee invades Russia

Jacqueline Bouvier and Senator John F. Kennedy announce engagement

Senate repeals Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Colorado governor orders Native Americans to Sand Creek reservation
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