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Trading Card Set of the Week – Captain Scarlet (2001, Cards Inc.)

January 23, 2015


One trading card set fate has made indestructible — Captain Scarlet! Read more…

Play Atari’s SwordQuest and realize that it doesn’t live up to its ad’s graphics, much less its ridonkulous contest!

January 21, 2015


SwordQuest was an interesting blip on the 1980s Atari radar, back in the infancy of video games, when the industry was an untrammeled field of experimentation. Read more…

DC digests are so great, Beast Boy would rather let heroes die than stop reading one – The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #18

January 19, 2015


Consider this a digest cover counterweight to the image we posted last month, of the old-timey Justice Society all pitching in on a project. Read more…

Sunday Stupid: In Praise of the Pumaman!

January 18, 2015


There were many unintentional comedic gems to be had in the 10-year run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. In that splendiferous decade, the small-town puppet show of record ran hundreds of dreadful films through the ringer, from educational shorts to old serials to monster movies to ’70s biker flicks to cobbled-together TV shows — and everything in between. In was a never-ending cornucopia of celluloid banality, only made bearable by Joel, Mike, Crow and Tom Servo and their biting, wry running commentary.

Interesting for our bent, some of the movies mocked on that show even had comic books in their day — in Gorgo’s case, a whole Charlton series of them. And the last movie ever riffed by the Satellite of Love crew was Danger: Diabolik, based on the Italian comic character of the same name. But only one of these films had a unique comic book twist. Only one had a costumed hero with a cape and real genuine superpowers, who’d fit right in with the garishly dressed members of the Justice League — if he wasn’t such a complete doofus. And that cinematic masterpiece was The Puma Man. Or The Puma-Man. Or The Pumaman. Or L’uomo puma. You know what, who cares. Read more…

Trading Card Set of the Week – Moonraker (1979, Topps)

January 16, 2015


The most recent James Bond cinematic experience, Skyfall, was a coming of age for the post-modern Daniel Craig 007. You could sense that everyone involved in the project was eschewing the recent Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace semi-grim-and-gritty realism to embrace the more absurd: a hammy gay villain with half a face and an opening chase which features Bond clawing at the back of a moving train with heavy machinery are primary exhibits. You could almost envision the next outing involving sinister bases underneath volcanoes or deep in the ocean — and indeed, Spectre promises the return of that eponymous nest of super-spy villainy, not to mention a certain Mr. Blofeld. This isn’t a bad thing. James Bond shouldn’t have the verite of a beat cop.

But nothing could ever top the apotheosis of preposterous Bond. Moonraker, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the most bubble gum card worthy of any of the Roger Moore Bond flicks, and that’s saying something. Read more…

Become a conservation officer, and take a nightstick to the heads of trash-strewing, fire-starting perps!

January 15, 2015


Perhaps last week’s post on the absurd Captain America/Campbell Kids/Department of Energy team-up got you thinking about what you could do to save the planet. (Doubtful, but roll with it.) Read more…

Captain Aurora and his prominently displayed crotch have some games for you!

January 14, 2015


Captain Aurora has to be one of the creepier superhero-ish mascots to ever grace a comic book ad. It’s the goggles, right? What’s he hiding?!?! Read more…

The 45th Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer has arrived!

January 12, 2015

Continuing with their unique method of releasing a film — more and more footage in an endless series of trailers and promos until the whole can be pieced together, like a jigsaw puzzle — Marvel pumped out the newest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer tonight. Read more…

Better watch Better Call Saul?

January 10, 2015

I’ve been skeptical of the wisdom of Breaking Bad supporting character Saul Goodman becoming the centerpiece of his own dramedy, fearing that it would land closer to AfterMASH (or, God help us, W*A*L*T*E*R) than Frasier in the spinoff pantheon. Read more…

Steve Rogers and soup mascots battle waste! Wait, what? – Captain America and the Campbell Kids

January 9, 2015


Comic book giveaways in which superheroes are pimped alongside name brands aren’t uncommon. In these virtual pages we’ve looked at such spell-binders as Superman and Wonder Woman promoting science under Radio Shack auspices, and Spider-Man battling crime and tooth decay with the backing of Aim toothpaste (the Dr. Pepper of oral care). What is rare is for the capes and tights champions to share space with the mascots of their momentary corporate partners. That’s what we have today, as Captain America stands shoulder to shoulder with the short, cherubic, big-eyed Campbell Kids. To promote energy conservation. As in electricity/natural gas energy, not the caloric kind.

What the what now? Read more…

A Penguin-ish doppelganger rides a preposterous Three-Wheel Rumbler, whatever the hell that is!

January 8, 2015


A giant eagle on the prow of your three-wheeled motorcycle certainly distracts from the fact that it’s a glorified tricycle with an engine, no? Read more…

The Ant-Man (Trailer) Cometh

January 6, 2015

I continue to ponder what Marvel film is going to be the bridge too far, the would-be blockbuster that busts no blocks, but finally exhausts the audience’s patience. I thought it might have been Guardians of the Galaxy, but that turned out really well, and became one of the MCU’s signature entries. So the search begins anew for the motion picture that strips Marvel of its Midas touch.

Will it be Ant-Man? Has America’s appetite for ant-themed cinema truly recovered after being sated, seemingly forever, by A Bug’s Life and Antz? Read more…

Reminder: Spider-Man coins, “genuine” or no, are NOT legal tender

January 6, 2015


We’ve seen a Spider-Man coin as part of an overall offering of Marvel fake currency, but never was web-slinging pretend-cash more front and center than it was in this ad. And deservedly so. Read more…

Trading Card Set of the Week – Doomsday: The Death of Superman (1992, SkyBox)

January 5, 2015


There was always a ghoulish element to DC’s best-sellingest of best-selling arcs, “The Death of Superman.” A somewhat craven ploy to boost sales and garner mainstream media attention, it certainly delivered on both those counts, and big-time — the number of black-bagged unopened comics you still find in bins is a testament to that. But the impulse to drench a beloved American icon in his own blood, and plaster images of his shattered, lifeless body all over GOTTA BUY THIS marketing? Isn’t there a snuff video quality to that, a Faces of Death perversion in pimping the loss of life (fictional, granted) in such a way, knowing months in advance that big blue is going to bite it?

Maybe, maybe not. And to be sure, comic book deaths are the most well-worn of tropes, sometimes even handled with hints of elegance. But when you add trading cards to the macabre circus, the scales tilt a bit more towards “maybe.” Read more…

The Blog into Mystery 2014 Year-End Three Paragraph Spectacular!

December 31, 2014


Another year for the site is in the books. It’s hard to believe, but in 2015 we’ll be marking the fifth year of’s storied existence — an anniversary that will be celebrated by upwards of zero people, granted, but still. When I started this thing back in the sepia-toned year of 2010, I didn’t know what I was doing, nor did I know how long I could keep it up. I still don’t know those answers, but I think I’m at least getting the hang of this internet commentary thing, at long last. I hope those of you who have visited consistently during this span have enjoyed what you’ve seen.

This year got off to a late start, as I took a few months off to recharge my batteries after a long and stressful move of the BiM World Headquarters from a dinky apartment to a dinky condo. But once we got up and running there was some good content to be had. We reviewed some movies, including the most recent Marvel movie masterpieces, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. (And we started getting ginned up for next year’s Ultron-infused Avengers installment.) We rejuvenated the Trading Card Set of the Week feature, and looked at bubble gum cards for properties as diverse as 21 Jump Street, Batman and Spinal Tap. We started up the Sunday Stupid feature. And, of course, there were the comics. President Superman. Spider-Man and condoms. Jeffrey Dahmer. As usual, everything under the sun.

What’s coming up in 2015? More of the same. More movies. More cards. And more comics, the stapled newsprint backbone of this site’s content. I hope you come along and pop in when you have the chance. This is something I enjoy doing, and that anyone else takes some small measure of joy out of it is gravy. Rich, thick gravy. A Happy New Year and a rousing “Excelsior!” to all.