Friday, December 31, 2010

The Thing and Flash Gordon

I was only familiar with Flash Gordon through the cheesy 80's film, so I did not pay much attention to the property. Years later I picked up a copy of the old movie cliffhanger serial featuring Flash and I thought it was a ton of fun. It was when I finally read the incredible stories illustrated by Alex Raymond that I truly became a fan, though. The stories are endlessly imaginative and fast moving, and the art just has to be seen to believed. It's really some of the most beautiful comic work I have ever seen and when you compare it to most other comic work from the same era, it's even more amazing. Flash Gordon brought out the best in his illustrators, and there is also some amazing work from Al Williamson, Reed Crandall (whose art I used for this cover) and others. I have heard that there is yet another film adaptation on the horizon and I hope they go back to those Raymond tales for inspiration.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Thing and Catwoman

I was really hoping that Christopher Nolan would be using Catwoman in the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises film, since Bruce Wayne's love interest in the series is no longer. Catwoman would fit right in with the world he has created and I would love to see his take on the character. While he has not revealed who the villain(s) will be yet, there have been casting calls for a new female lead. My suspicion is that he will probably go for Talia instead, as the stink of the Halle Berry Catwoman film has still not completely washed away in filmgoers' minds and the character is a bit tarnished from it. I have also heard Julie Madison, Sarah Essen, Renee Montoya ans Silver St. Cloud mentioned as possible characters in the film, so maybe there will not be a female villain at all. Hopefully we will get some more concrete info on plot and casting soon.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Thing and Green Arrow & Black Canary

Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance are my favorite couple in comics, I always liked that they were created independently from one another in the Golden Age and years later, their Silver Age counterparts found love. Unfortunately, editors and writers just don't seem to want them to stay happy for long. They keep getting split up due to Ollie's infidelity or the fact that he died (it's comics, he got better). I was glad to see DC finally have them resolve their issues and get married, but that certainly didn't last long. These days they are running around in separate titles once again and I am not sure of their marital status. I'm sure they will find each other again and hopefully it will be more lasting the next time around.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Thing and Green Arrow

Time for another Kirby/Kirby cover. I was just getting into comics as Oliver Queen was undergoing his makeover from Batman-inspired gimmick hero to socially conscious leather wearing bearded rebel. Having Neal Adams illustrate that B&B issue gave the change a high level of legitimacy, and suddenly he had more personality than the rest of the JLA combined. It was fun seeing him bump heads with Green Lantern or Hawkman and flirt with Black Canary. His interactions made the other heroes more interesting as well.

I have enjoyed Green Arrow filling the Batman/Bruce Wayne role on Smallville as Clark Kent's non-powered superhero confidant and I am glad that the character's profile has risen as a result of his inclusion in the series. I quite enjoyed the DC Animated Short featuring Green arrow and I hope that we will more of him on the big and small screen.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Thing and G.I. Robot

I think I have only actually read a couple of stories featuring G.I. Robot. I still had to include him in this project because he always has such a cool look to him. He has one of my favorite cameo appearances on the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series. For some reason I always love robotic characters, even emotionless ones. Writers tend to tell stories that touch on the nature of humanity when using these mechanical characters, and those appeal to me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Thing and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Stepping out of the alphabetical listings to present a Seasonal cover. I always was amazed by the Rankin-Bass Christmas Specials when I was a kid, I found the stop motion animation fascinating. Rudolph especially is one I can watch over and over and it never gets old.

Yes, I know that The Thing is Jewish, but that's never stopped him from participating in Christmas or even wearing a Santa suit for Marvel's holiday specials! I am very thankful for all the regular viewers of this blog and I wish each an every one of you a wonderful holiday season, close by the ones you love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Thing and Ghostbusters

Now this was a great movie! I just watched it again recently and was amazed at how well it held up after all these years. Some of the effects are a little dodgy but the jokes are as funny as ever. I have been reading about the starts and stops regarding a Ghostbusters 3 for the past few years. If this finally happens, I really hope that they do it right. Even if it was a "passing of the mantle" type film, I would still want to see the entire original cast reunited.

This is another team-up that just makes sense to me as the Ghostbusters also operate out of NYC. I can see Ben taking them on a trip to the Negative Zone or Agatha Harkness' place.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Thing and Firestorm

I really dug Firestorm when he first hit the scene. He was one of the first all new superheroes created after I started actively collecting comics and it was exciting to get on the ground floor for once. The idea of two people operating as one hero was quite cool to me, and his appeal didn't end there. He was a teenage hero that wasn't a sidekick, a rarity for DC at the time, and he had a truly cool look and unique powers. I was happy when he joined the JLA and always got a kick out of it when he would flirt with Power Girl during the JLA/JSA crossovers. His solo series by Gerry Conway and Pat Broderick was a favorite as well, I think I had a couple of letters printed in the first few issues.

Unfortunately after a couple of years into that series, Firestorm started to flounder a bit in my opinion, with major changes to the look of the character as well as the the men who made up his two halves. DC had finally gotten the character back to where I liked him when they killed him off. I wasn't happy about the death of Ronnie Raymond, but I have to admit I did like the Jason Rusch version that replaced him. Now Ronnie is back and sharing the Firestorm matrix with Jason, a set up that that I quite like so far. I have been enjoying Firestorm's arc in Brightest Day and hope there is much more to come.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Thing and Enemy Ace

Enemy Ace was another title that I did not pay very much attention to until I started looking around for Joe Kubert illustrated stories that I had not read yet. I picked up the Showcase collections and was drawn right into the stories. Very cool wartime drama that is markedly different from the stories I had been reading that featured Sgt. Rock, The Haunted Tank or The Unknown Soldier. With Ben Grimm's piloting experience, I think this would be an interesting combo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Thing and Elongated Man

I am a huge Ralph Dibny fan and I really hate that he has gotten the short end of the stick for so long. It all started with Plastic Man getting selected instead of him for Grant Morrison's JLA series due to a perceived higher profile. I never liked that decision, Plastic Man never really fit in there and I always felt that he stole the spot. One of the great things about Ralph was his relationship with his wife, Sue Dibny. When DC unleashed all sorts of terrible things on her and ultimately killed her, it did not sit well with me at all. The Dibny's were supposed to be two of DC's lighter characters and this all just felt so wrong. I thought maybe it would propel Ralph into the spotlight, but his big storyline in 52 was mostly him moping around until he was eventually killed off as well. All would have been forgiven if he and Sue were two of the heroes brought back at the end of the Blackest Night mini series, but they were not included. There is still a White Lantern ring floating around out there, so I really hope they are revived by the time the Brightest Day mini ends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Thing and Doomsday

Yes, Doomsday was the product of a huge publicity stunt, but I thought he was a welcome addition to Superman's rogues gallery. He just doesn't have enough villains that can stand up to him for any amount of time in a physical battle, without his first being weakend by Kryptonite or something. Even big guys like Mongul or Darseid usually operate behind the scenes. So, it was nice to see Superman finally get to let loose and not hold back for once. I was suprised how much I liked the whole Death of Superman storyline, especially the year that followed with the four different Superman candidates. It was very well done - unfortunately it spawned way too many sprawling epics that were more often than not bloated with filler.

I understand that DC is bringing back Doomsday in some fashion soon. It should be interesting to check out, especially if Dan Jurgens is involved. I always liked his work on the character.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Thing and Doctor Who

A lot of friends rave about the current and recent incarnation of Doctor Who, though I must confess I have not seen an episode since Tom Baker held the title role. I remember it was on PBS just before dinner everyday when I was growing up. Despite the low budget, I used to really get a kick out of the stories, especially when Leela and K-9 were included. Tom Baker was the biggest draw though, he had such an funny personality on that program. I never seem to get the BBC so I haven't been able to follow the later Doctors, but it seems like the character is more popular than ever. I hope their special effects budgets are a little bigger these days!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Thing and Black Adam

I have really liked the increased attention on Black Adam in the past decade. He has truly developed as a character. Starting as your basic "dark reflection of the hero" bad guy, he has shown a great range of emotion and motivation through the pen of Geoff Johns and other writers. While definitely still a villain, he has many shades of grey and his own version of morality that always make him an interesting element to insert into a storyline. I also quite like that he is no longer considered strictly a Shazam Family enemy anymore, and can just as likely show up to vex The JSA, Superman or any number of other characters. He has even built up an intriguing family of his own, with the addition of interesting characters Isis and Osiris. It really is one of the best examples of how a character can be looked at from a slightly different angle, and produce some new and fantastic story possibilities.

I really hope the often mentioned Shazam! film will finally get off the ground, because the casting of Duane Johnson as Black Adam would be perfect, and he has expressed interest in the role.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Thing and Doctor Fate

Doctor Fate has one of the coolest helmets in comics. I could not wait for the JLA/JSA team-ups as a kid so I could see this cool magical guy from Earth-Two in action. He was all the more intriguing to me since he did not have an Earth-1 counterpart. The character seems to have had some starts and stops lately, with multiple hosts under the mask and a new direction cut short due to the death of Steve Gerber. Hopefully he will find some stability and we as readers can see some more classic Doctor Fate tales in the future.

I really loved Doctor Fate's appearance last year on Smallville. I felt that they got the costume right on and I loved being able to hear the voice of Nabut in Kent Nelson's head, advising him. it's one of Smalville's most successful comic to screen translations, in my opinion. Hopefully we will see him again before the end of the final season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Thing and Captain Atom

I was introduced to Captain Atom when he was brought over with the other Charlton heroes in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I followed him through his solo series and membership in the JLI was bummed when the rumor spread that he was going to be the character who turned evil in the Armageddon 2001 series. When word got out, the mystery villain was changed to Hawk - which bothered me as well, because I liked him as well. Oh well, they are both back and on the right side of the law these day. In comics, if you wait long enough, everything comes around again.

It looks like some interesting things have been happening with Captain Atom lately in the Justice League: Generation Lost series. I had been waiting to hear some reviews before deciding to get this in trade, maybe I'll have to check it out. How about the Ditko version? Is that worth reading and are there collections out?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Thing and Deathstroke, The Terminator

Deathstroke is one of the cooler villains in the DCU. I really loved his original appearances in New Teen Titans especially the whole Judas Contract saga. I must say that I wasn't crazy about him becoming somewhat of an anti-hero in his own title though. That's a trend that never seems to work with me in comics, whether its with Deathstroke, Magneto, Venom and so forth. Sometimes a villain's reformation can be handled well, but it never rings true with the really despicable types. Fortunately, Deathstroke seems to have returned to his throughly villainous roots, and that's just how I prefer him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Thing and Death

I remember discussing how Death and the rest of the Sandman related characters had fallen off of the map since the flagship title ended when I posted my Batman/Death cover. Well since then, Death has finally made another appearance - in Action Comics of all places! I for one am glad that the embargo on Vertigo characters crossing over into the standard DCU has finally been lifted after so many years. I think that restriction just limited the characters as a whole. Swamp Thing especially has never appealed to me in his Vertigo titles nearly as much as when he was firmly rooted (rooted - heh) in the mainstream DC continuity. I am hoping he returns in an ongoing series soon, and I hope that Death and company will make appearances a bit more often in the coming years.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Thing and Deadman

Deadman is one of those characters that I will pretty much follow through any title he appears in. I have always loved his look and his unique perspective on things. I am very happy that his profile has risen so much in recent years, with his apperances on the animated JLU and Batman: The Brave and Bold shows and a prominent role in the Blackest Night and Brightest Day series. Another reason to love Deadman is the great artists that have illustradted his adventures - Adams, Aparo, Garcia-Lopez... he really brought out the best in them. I wasn't crazy about the Kelley Jones emaciated version, but I have to admit it was an interesting spin on the look.

Deadman is another property that I feel could be easily developed for television. It's tailor made for a Quantum Leap-type show. They would probably discard his trapeze uniform and mask though, which would be too bad, because it looks so cool!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Thing and Darkseid

Darkseid is arguably the premier villain of the DCU. While characters like Luthor or the Joker have more popularity and mainstream recognition, Darkseid serves more as a line-wide threat than they do. He can back up that reputation, too - Kirby went beyond even Dr. Doom and Darkseid not only has a country under his dominion, but an entire planet! His great setting and menacing visual make him ideal for animation, and indeed he has shown up on many of DC's animated series and direct to video movies. He is also the main villain behind the final season of Smallville. Thus far they have only shown him in a quick effects shot at the end of the premier episode. Hopefully when he is revealed in full, he will maintain his impressive appearance from the comics..

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Thing and Cyborg

I was interested to hear of a potential Raven series in the works for the CW Network. I am sure this is yet another attempt to cash in on the Twilight audience, but it is nice to see DC thinking about using it's characters in different iterations. Of the New Teen Titans, I think Cyborg could make for a cool solo TV series. The effects shouldn't be too tough to pull off and it could be kept relatively street level for a TV budget. Who knows, if Raven gets off the ground and is a hit they will pull in related guest stars from the comics like Smallville has and they will fin a place for Vic Stone. I haven't heard if he will appear on the new Young Justice animated series or not, but I hope so, as I really like the look of that show.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Thing and Concrete

As soon as I decided to do some MTIO covers, this team-up was a no-brainer. It would make a fun story too, because the two characters could not be more different beyond the initial visual impression.

I had heard good thing's about Paul Chadwick's Concrete for a long time, so I picked up a copy of Concrete: The Complete Short Stories, and was absolutely floored. The artwork was beautiful, especially when depicting what Concrete sees with his enhanced vision. The stories were all very thought provoking, too. I must have read that whole TPB in one sitting, and I soon acquired all of Concrete's other appearances. I haven't seen a new mini-series in a couple of years though - I really hope that another is forthcoming soon. Concrete is one of those comics that I like to give to my non-comic reading friends to try.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Thing and Booster Gold

Booster Gold is a character that has really been reinvented well in the past several years. I didn't really pay much attention to him when his self titled series first hit, other than guest appearances here and there. When he joined the JLA and formed a friendship with Blue Beetle, his personality really started to come through. Still he was often seen as a buffoon or a lightweight. I am so glad that Geoff Johns, Dan Jurgens and others chose to not just have him settle for that status, ad gave him the great new role of protecting the timeline. It opens up so many story possibilities and gives him a crucial part in the DCU. Best of all, since he has to do his work in relative secret, most other characters still see him as the "old" Booster - which means we don't have to stop seeing his more humorous side. His current series is lots of fun and serves as an example of how all most b-list heroes need is a coat of polish and a new spin every now and then.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Thing and Blue Devil

I was a fan of the Blue Devil series when it first hit. It was the type of title that we don't see enough of these days - a character that existed within regular continuity that didn't take itself quite as seriously as the rest of the line. Blue Devil's stories were about action, magic, and most of all, fun! I thought the slick art of Paris Cullins set the perfect tone for the title.

Blue Devil has maintained a presence in the DCU through his memberships in JLA and Shadowpact. While I am glad he is still out there, I do feel that something has been lost along the way. He has been made a lot edgier in appearance and personality, and most of the whimsy of the character is gone. While he is still interesting to read about, I feel that this tonal shift makes him a little less unique - there are plenty of big strong tough guys around already.

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