Monday, October 31, 2011
I thought I would put together a special Halloween cover. Since the comic book Crypt Keeper looked so much less cool than the live action version (just an old dude in a fright wig and robe versus the beady eyed skeleton from the TV show), I had to come up with a suitable guest star... and who better than the one character in comicdom that has been allowed to remain dead!
I was more of a superhero fan when I was a kid, but I did like to check out horror comics like Tales From the Crypt, Unexpected and House of Mystery from time to time. They were always filled with pleasantly gruesome morality tales and often had some amazing artwork, both on the covers and the interiors.
Friday, October 28, 2011
It will be cool to see The Hulk return in next Summer's Avengers film. Mark Ruffalo is doing the motion capture to define the CGI performance, so it will be interesting to see the final product. What has me even more interested, however, is the Hulk TV series that is on the horizon. Not much has been said about it, but the involvement of Guillermo Del Toro has me eagerly anticipating it. With him behind the scenes, you know that the Hulk will be going up against some fearsome adversaries instead of mobsters and rednecks like in the Bill Bixby series!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
There's a lot to admire in Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man film, but I think on major misstep was the look of the Green Goblin. I've read comparisons to Power Ranger costumes and between the monochrome bodysuit and unmoving face, I can see where they are coming from. The body armor type suit was fine, but if they had thrown on a tattered putple tunic over it, it would have looked cooler and closer to the comics. for the mask, I would have tried to allow for more of Willem DaFoe's expressive performance show through. It was hard enough with Spider-Man's face completely concealed, it gets tough for an audience to engage with the characters when both hero and villain are covered up.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I understand that The Fantastic Four is due for a movie reboot. While the first two entries had some fun moments, they are largely missed opportunities. Hopefully lesson will have been learned and we will finally see the epic FF film that I know is possible. Ben Grimm's Thing form must be CGI, the man in suit version simply does not work. I'd love to see a take on Doctor Doom that was actually faithful to the comics, but given his large role in the first two movies, it is time to give him a rest. A better angle would be a Negative Zone adventures, with a suitably creepy Annihilus and brutish Blastaar as the villains. Spend a little more money this time around on shots of Reed and Johnny using their powers and play up the adventurers aspect of the team and it would be a superhero film that really stands out among the crowd.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I was intrigued when I heard that the The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon had won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2001. A book about comic creators, set against the backdrop of the Golden Age, and it was given the highest honor in writing? This I had to check out. I am glad that I did, because I found it to be a very engrossing read. The main creation of the characters, The Escapist, sounded really cool and would have fit right in with Superman, Captain Marvel, The Human Torch and the rest of the first wave of costumed heroes. The Escapist has since found a life beyonfd the pages of the novel, as some of today's top creators have crafted stories featuring him. I have hear that a Kavalier & Clay movie has been in the works for some time. It is an epic tale that has all the elements to make for a dramatic and visually interesting story, so I hope that some A-list talent is attached and the film version gets off the ground.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I always loved The Champions because of their cool roster. Two X-Men, a super spy, a Greek God, and the Spirit of Vengeance... I would never have thought to put them together, but they made for one of may favorite teams ever. Their series didn't last long, and perhaps part of that was due to the offbeat line-up. I loved how they interacted with one another and would love to see them work together as a team on a regular basis again. Marvel seems not to give up on The Defenders, giving them another relaunch every couple of years - I think it's time they gave The Champions the same chance!
Friday, October 21, 2011
The Blue beetle is one of those legacy characters for whom I enjoy every incarnation. I like the new Jaime Reyes version and i am glad that he has gotten another chance at a solo title with the New 52 at DC. I was hoping the Reboot would bring Ted Kord back in some manner - no sign of him yet but I guess there's still a chance. I am the least familiar with the Dan Garrett original, but I have enjoyed the few Golden Age stories that I have seen him in. Heck I even liked the live action, beer bellied Blue Beetle that used to appear on episodes of The Electric Company, that guy used to make me laugh!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
At first glance, The Black Cat comes off as a Catwoman clone, but Marvel has done a good job of giving her enough of her own spin to keep the character unique. I like that she is infatuated with Spider-Man and has little use or interest in his alter-ego, Peter Parker. It's a nice twist on the traditional comic book relationship where the hero is usually trying to maintain a romance without letting his superheroic side intrude. I prefer the stories where Felicia is written a bit off-balance - not really a villain, but unhinged just enough that she makes Spidey's life a nightmare as she seeks to satisfy her adrenaline junkie driven desires. The more complicated Spider-Man's life becomes, the more compelling his adventures are, and The Black Cat is one of the more entertaining love interests that has been introduced in the Spider-Man mythos..
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
It was cool that X-Men: First Class featured Hank McCoy in both his human and beastly forms. I would have like to have seen the oversized hands to go along with his big feet though. I remember the Amazing Adventures serial that featured the Beast as he first made his transformation to the blue furry look fondly. I finally tracked down all the issues after reading about him as an Avenger as well as a founding member of the X-Men. It was cool to see the bridge between the two eras. I really liked his original blue look, and the more cat-like appearance he adopted during the Grant Morrison X-Men run doesn't work nearly as well for me. I'm kind of surprised the haven't gone back to the classic look by now,
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
There are so many cool Avengers line-ups, I decided they warranted another cover. As I mentioned yesterday, I hope for Avengers film sequels to feature more of their large roster. Unfortunately, because of rights issues, it will be very unlikely that I will see my favorite grouping on the big screen because the era I loved the most was when The Beast was an Avenger. I always felt that he fit in better there than with the X-Men once he evolved into his blue furry state. Of course these days we have Wolverine and now Storm as card carrying Avengers, but that just does not work for me at all - it smacks of a decision made by corporate number crunchers rather than driven by the plot. Don't even get me started on Spider-Man as an Avenger!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Well the teaser trailer has hit, and next summer's Avengers film and while it did not show a whole lot, just seeing the characters interacting together has me sold. There was only a tease of The Hulk at the end, but I am sure those effects will take the longest to complete. I have to hand it to Marvel, their plan of introducing the characters in separate movies and then bringing them together really seems to have worked. It's an amazing feat that they were able to combine their movie franchises the way the comics share a common continuity. I hope the Avengers is the huge hit that it is expecting to be, because I'd love to see sequels featuring Giant-Man, The Wasp, Vision, The Scarlet Witch and others in the future.
Friday, October 14, 2011
I was a huge fan of the X-Men during the 80's - Chris Claremont really knew how to weave a superhero soap opera and the art by Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Paul Smith and others was always a treat. I do feel that the X-Men became a victim of their own popularity though, as more and more spinoff titles were added. Eventually, there were so many characters, crossovers and and plot lines to keep track of that I finally gave up on following them altogether. Every once in a while a new creative team I liked would come on board and I would check out one of the flagship titles again - but they were never able to capture the same magic. That changed when Joss Whedon and John Cassiday gave us Astonishing X-Men. With a streamlined cast and firm grip on the characters, it was the best X-Men title I had read in years. I only wish they had stayed on the series longer. Whedon's comic work here gives me confidence in the upcoming Avengers movie which he wrote and is directing. The trailer released this week definitely has some Whedon-esque lines!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Angel as originally conceived is a character that would never be created today. Back when he was introduced, the power of flight and the visual of a man with wings was impressive enough to hook in readers - I know that I really liked him. Somewhere along the line, it was felt that the character needed to get beefed up and given more of an edge. When he was transformed into Archangel, he was turned blue, given metallic wings that could project blades, and saddled with a new grim and gritty attitude. If this had just been for a story line that would have been fine, but he has never quite reverted back to his original status. I think the changes made him seem more like a villain than a hero. I haven't checked in on the X-books in a while so I am not sure what his status is now - I think he is still blue but are his wings metal or back to the classic feathered look? I'm an old school guy so I almost always prefer the original design.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
There are a lot of universe-spanning villains in comics, but Thanos stands out because of his unique motivation. Sure, he wants to destroy half of all sentient life, but it is for more than just the sake of domination... he wants to impress the woman whom he has a major crush on - namely, the living embodiment of death! How do you reason with a guy who has that kind of sensibility? I like how Thanos has gone from a Captain Marvel villain to a nemesis for the entire catalog of marvel characters. I have read rumors that he will be making an appearance in next summer's Avengers film, and while I take those with a huge grain of salt, the idea does intrigue me - it would be interesting to see if he could be effectively translated into live action.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Out of all the Muppet characters on Sesame Street, Grover was far and away my favorite. He was always funny and I used to love The Monster at the End of this Book. The fact that Grover would often appear as Super Grover of course put him over the top for me. When Kermit spun off into The Muppet Show, I think Grover could have easily gone along with him, he would have fit right in with that crowd. I am glad to see The Muppets getting another shot at the big screen soon, the trailers for the upcoming film look like a lot of fun and it really feels as though the filmmakers are just as big Muppet fans as I am. In this day of Pixar and CGI created children's characters, it's nice to see some old-school favorites getting some love.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I remember being interested by Sunfire when I first saw him as a member of the all-new team in Giant-Size X-Men #1. I had seen other fire controlling characters before but I liked his unique background and really dug his look based on Japanese dragon designs. It was too bad that he departed so quickly, perhaps that was because he, like Wolverine, was somewhat of a loose cannon and the powers that be only wanted one bad boy on the team at a time. I must not have been his only fan, though, because he still makes appearances in the various X-titles from time to time. I've seen attempts as costume redesigns for him, but I am glad he usually reverts back to his original look - gotta love that mask!
Friday, October 7, 2011
Starfox is a character that stands out amongst other outer space based heroes. While most have noble or tragic motivations, Eros mainly seemed to get into adventures as part of a quest for excitement. This lust for life is put into stark contrast when compared to his brother, the evil Thanos, who is obsessed with death. That relationship gives some depth to Starfox, who one the surface may seem just to be a shallow skirt-chaser.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I thought that Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers were a good fit together. I really enjoyed the various GLA mini-series and annuals written by Dan Slott. They are a great take on the fun side of superheroics and something I would like to see more of in the Marvel Universe. Hopefully they will resist the urge to make these characters more grounded and they will keep their humorous edge in future appearances.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
One of the things that has given me pause regarding the current DCU reboot is that so far, most of the fun characters are nowhere to be seen. Metamorpho, the Metal Men, Elongated Man, The Shazam Family, Blue Devil and more seem to have been cast aside in favor of more grim and gritty titles. I hope that changes soon as the diversity in character types makes for a more well rounded universe, in my opinion. Marvel doesn't have as many fun characters, but I have to say I am charmed by Squirrel Girl. Here's a character that is fun to read and really stands out among all of the more serious heroes as well as the other heroines parading around in glorified bathing suits. I hope that Marvel find more outlets for Squirrel Girl, her adventures always bring a smile to my face. Part 2 of this story is coming tomorrow!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was appointment television for me when I was growing up. I was a fan of the solo Spider-Man cartoon and remember thinking it was awesome that the new show featured Iceman as well. I probably would have preferred the Human Torch over Firestar but his rights were tied up at the time. I loved the way the series did not shy away from guest stars and by the end of its run, a good portion of the Marvel Universe had made appearances. That was a precursor to shows like Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold which have done a great job with universe-building. Another thing I remember is that each episode had its own title card at the beginning, something that Batman: The Animated Series would also use to great effect. It is beyond me why these Spidey series have not come to DVD/Blu-Ray yet... I know that I would snap up season sets in an instant if they were solicited! I used to have some grainy VHS copies, but it would be nice to see some crisp versions of these episodes (especially my favorite "Seven Little Superheroes") after so many years.