Friday, December 30, 2011

Green Lantern and the Avengers

 

The Marvel Studios produced films have been pretty successful so far, so I am really looking forward to The Avengers, the film everything has been leading up to.   Joss Whedon is a great choice for director as he has had success writing for comics as well as handling ensemble pieces on film.  Sure there will be costume changes I would like to make and some other tweaks, but the fact that all these characters will on the big screen sharing an adventure together tells me I won't have too much to complain about.

I wish Green Lantern had fared better at the box office.  There was a lot to like about the film, but it was ultimately done in by a weak script, shoddy editing and a lackluster villain in Hector Hammond.  Warner Brothers has announced a sequel - but they said that for Superman Returns, too, so that may just be studio posturing.  I would like to see another attempt made utilizing lessons learned from the first outing, because I still think there is great potential in the franchise.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aquaman and The Sub Mariner (Part Two)



I wonder which of these two characters will be the first to get their own big screen film?  I've heard Namor bandied about as a potential future Marvel flick and Aquaman was famously brought to fictional cinema in Entourage as well as guest shots on Smallville and an unsuccessful TV pilot.  A big budget picture for an underwater superhero would face a lot of hurdles.  Underwater shoots are incredibly expensive and there's also the question of how to have the characters speak beneath the depths - easily handled in a comic but a lot tougher to make work in live action.  Both characters have famous looks that have their own challenges to pull off - making Aquaman's togs look cool and finding someone who can both act and look good in nothing but swim trunks and ankle wings.  It's a lot to overcome, but if done with care we could have a superhero movie unlike any other.  I'm betting we see one of them as a co-star in a team flick before a solo outing though.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Aquaman and The Sub-Mariner (Part One)



I am very glad the Beard and Harpoon Hand days are finally over for Aquaman.  I always saw those changes as an attempt to darken the character and make him closer to Marvel's premier ocean hero, and they never really worked for me.  Fortunately, that phase is past and Aquaman is not only back to his classic look, but starring in two hit series from the new DC Reboot.  It's nice to see him finally getting the respect he deserves.

As the cover indicates, this is a continued story... tune in for part two tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Lost Issues on Near-Mint Radio - Now on Podcast!

In case you missed it, my interview on Near-Mint Radio regarding The Lost Issues is now up at the Non-Productive Network's Podcast site, which can be found here:

I call in to the progam at 30 minutes in.  It was a fun time and they have a great group of people over at NPN.


Justice League of America Vs. The Hulk



The JLA has a wide variety of character types - street level heroes, champions from other worlds, detectives, scientists and space cops.  What they have never really had on their team is a loose cannon character, like The Hulk.  Sure, Green Arrow could be stubborn, but he never really got that out of control.  It would have been interesting to see how old jade jaws would have fit in among some of the more straight laced members of the Justice League.  Something tells me they wouldn't leave him alone for monitor duty!  It won't be too long before everyone gets to see The Hulk in a team situation, when The Avengers hits the big screen. I trust that Joss Whedon will utilize him well.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Creeper and Spider-Man



Welcome to the first issue of Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!  I was trying to think of what to do for my follow up to B&B and MTIO, and this felt like the next natural progression.  Super-Team Family was a short lived DC series in the 70's which presented a combination of reprints and new material featuring superhero teams and team-ups.  They would have the old stand-by's like Superman and Batman, but then they would have an interesting team-up like Wildcat and The Creeper or The Flash and The New Gods.  It was those offbeat team-ups that appealed to me the most, and they served as a huge inspiration for this blog.

The Original STF ran only 15 issues, but the Lost Issues will run considerably longer.  I have many, many covers ready to go and I am making more all the time, so buckle up! You will notice a few differences in this series from the other two titles that I took on.  First off, the cover says it all - going forward, there will be no fixed host of the series and any issue can feature anybody teaming with anybody.  The random numbering is gone and STF will be presented sequentially.  Also gone is posting in any kind of alphabetical order, so you'll never have an inkling of what is coming up next.  The wide open aspect of this new title has opened up a world of possibilities and I plan to have fun with it!

I decided to kick off the series with a meeting of  my two favorite Steve Ditko characters.  Of course, I was halfway through with it when I realized that I had used a Jack Kirby Spider-Man figure - oops!  Oh well, at least the headshot on the wanted poster is by Ditko!

I hope everyone who has enjoyed this blog so far will like the new direction!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Batman and The Grinch



Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of the Lost Issues readers! I truly appreciate everyone who makes the time to stop in and check out the covers and I wish you a great holiday season close by the ones you love.  The blog grew in popularity last year and hopefully will continue to do so in 2012.  I was glad to ge a chance to use the Grinch here, star of perhaps the greatest Christmas cartoon ever.  You really can't go wrong with the combination of Doctor Seuss, Chuck Jones and Boris Karloff!

Make sure you come back Monday for the ALL-NEW Lost Issues!  Be here on the ground floor of a bold new era!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Batman and Zorro



Given the strong connections between these two characters, it's surprising that we have never seen them meet up. In the days before comic book film adaptations were a commonplace occurance,  heroes like Tarzan,  Robin Hood, The Lone Ranger and Zorro were the closest thing to superheroes in the movies, and I would watch anything that featured them.  I enjoyed the Antonio Banderas Zorro movies as they reminded me of some of those earlier swashbuckling films.  It's been a while though, so I wouldn't mind a new take on Zorro to hit the big or small screen soon.

Well, folks - that's the end of the alphabet!  I have one more B&B Cover for tomorrow and that's it for B&B... where to from here?  Make sure you tune in on Monday, December 26th for the debut of the all-new Lost Issues Title!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Batman and Xena, Warrior Princess



I remember getting a kick out of watching Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and my favorite episodes were always the ones in which Lucy Lawless would guest star as Xena.  I was of course very glad then when Xena got her own spin-off series.  Sure the show could be corny and campy at times, but the beautiful New Zealand setting as well as the strength of its main actress kept me watching throughout the entire series run.  One thing the show proved to me is that there is no reason a live action Wonder Woman could not be successful again.  There have been a few projects featuring the Amazon princess that have had trouble getting off the ground in the past few years... perhaps they could have been well served by looking to Xena for inspiration.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batman and Wolverine (Retro)



It's too bad that Darren Aronofsky dropped out of the Wolverine sequel.  I was not a big fan of the first film, which kind of meandered through a very thin plot, but Aronofsky's involvement in the second had me hopeful for a more stylish thoughtful flick.  There is still hope though - the movie is reportedly based on Wolverine's first solo mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (which is what they should have done the first time).  That tale truly cemented the character's iconic status and should make for a markedly different film from the rest of Logan's cinematic outings.  Interviews with Hugh Jackman indicate a willingness to really try and capture the feel of those issues, and I hope he succeeds at that.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Batman and Warlock



Marvel's cosmic line has been in the spotlight again in the past few years, due to the talents of writers like Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.  This is a good thing because they have such a strong stable of space-faring characters - The Inhumans, The Guardians of the Galaxy, The Annihilators, and of course, Warlock.   I have liked Adam Warlock ever since I stumbled onto an issue of his self titled series as a kid.  The Jim Starlin artwork on that gave it a sleek, modern look that set it apart from most comics of the day.  Hopefully, fans of the new cosmic stories will seek out his earlier adventures.

The Countdown to the All-New Lost Issues Title has begun! 7 days left until the big change on December 26th... stay tuned!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Batman and Usagi Yojimbo



This cover fulfills a request from a friend.  I have to confess that I have yet to read an issue of Usagi Yojimbo.  It was years before I realized he had a scar on his forehead and wasn't just always cocking his eyebrow.  I remember seeing Usagi Yojimbo when it first came out and thinking it was just another TMNT type parody comic.  From what I have heard and seen since, that first impression could not be more incorrect.  It seems to have stood the test of time and developed into quite an epic saga.  So, where is a good place to start for folks like me who have never read the character before?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Batman and Union Jack



I've always liked the look of Union Jack.  I first encountered the character during the classic run of Captain America by Roger Stern and John Byrne.  He seemed cool to me so I checked out his adventures as part of the Invaders as well.  Comic characters with costumes based off of a flag motif are pretty common, but I think that Union Jack's is the most successful.  It is at once patriotic, intimidating and utilitarian.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Batman and David Dunn: Unbreakable



M. Night Shyamalan has taken some flack for his more recent output, but I still admire his work on the first few films that he directed.  I remember seeing Unbreakable and the first thing that appeared on the screen was some text describing comic book collecting... I knew then that I was going to like the movie!  I liked the slow, deliberate pace of the film and the real world angle it gave to the superhero genre.  I don't think the film was a huge commercial success (at least in relation to The Sixth Sense) and that's too bad.  Shyalaman has stated that he saw the story of David Dunn as a trilogy, and I would have loved to have seen another installment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Batman and Two-Gun Kid



My first exposure to Two Gun Kid was when he traveled to the present in the pages of The Avengers.  I liked his friendship with Hawkeye  and I always enjoy man-out-of-time stories.  I thought he had returned to the old west at some point but he showed up in the pages of Dan Slott's She-Hulk series a few years back so I guess he never made it back home.  Y'know, I made this cover some time after I had done the Rawhide Kid cover and I just noticed that both have Batman being shot by his co-stars... he just does not get along with Marvel cowboys!

The Lost Issues on Near Mint Radio - Tonight!

I will be on Near Mint Radio on the Non-Productive network tonight to discuss the Lost Issues blog and announce the big change that's coming up!  The program begins at 7PM EST and I will be on around 7:30PM.  You can listen live at non-productive.com tonight... and if you miss it, the program will be listed in their podcast archives in a few days.

Batman and Tigra



I have been a fan of Tigra since her original appearances as The Cat, to her fully felinte transformation and then her time as an Avenger.  She is currently being featured in Avengers Academy.  I get a kick out of the fact that she is still rocking the bikini... I don't ever remember any of my teachers dressing like that!

I was glad that this pairing finally gave me a chance to do an all Bruce Timm cover.  He has a great grasp of body language and the ability to distill a character down to a simple streamlined iconic look.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Batman and Thor (Retro)



Well, I have seen the Thor film a few times now and for me it is a mixed bag.  The casting was great and I really enjoyed the performances, particularly by Tom Hiddleston as Loki.  OK, maybe they should have gotten a fatter actor for Volstagg! Asgard looked great and the battle with the Ice Giants was suitably epic.  My problems with the movie are that Thor spends way too much time depowered and out of costume... and even when he wears the costume it is without the helmet save for five seconds at the beginning.  And the helmet looks great, there's no reason not to have it on in battle (a trend that looks to be continued in the Avengers).  The battle with the Destroyer and final battle with Loki both seemed a bit abrupt as well.  Still, Thor is one of the tougher characters to pull of on film and Kenneth Branagh did an admirable job.  He is not returning for the sequel and the replacement director has already left the project so the next installment is currently up in the air.  Hey, Marvel - give Peter Jackson a call!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Batman and The Young Allies (Retro)



Long before the likes of the New Mutants or even the Teen Titans, the Young Allies blazed the trail for future teenage superhero groups.  Indeed they were Marvel's first ongoing team book.  Bucky, Toro and a plucky group of kids helped foil plots by the Red Skull and real world Axis Leaders.  With a renewed interest in Bucky these days due to his high profile return as the Winter Soldier as well as his recent cinematic exposure, I hope to see some new tales of this WWII super group hit the stands.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Batman and Marvelman (Retro)



Marvelman is one of the comics I would most like to read and have not gotten the chance to.  I've read great things about  the character, especially the stories in which he was renamed Miracleman. These tales have been tied up with legal issues for years, preventing any reprints from being produced.  The original issues have skyrocketed in price as a result.  In recent years much has been written about Marvel Acquiring the rights to the character (meaning use of the Marvelman name is no longer a problem), but thus far I have only seen some of his most early adventures collected. Hopefully whatever legal red tape remains will be unraveled soon and the rest of his tales can be brought back to the market.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Batman and The X-Men (Retro)



Well, I've had Batman in retro adventures with each of the individual members, I guess it's time for him to meet the merry mutants as a whole.  Now, here's the First Class I was really hoping to see on the big screen.  Alas, with the X-films wonky continuity, it seems as though only a full franchise reboot will allow for that to happen.  It was great at least to finally see the traditional yellow and navy blue outfits on screen at last, proving they could look cool regardless of any comments made in earlier films.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Batman and The West Coast Avengers



I was a big fan of the first West Coast Avengers mini-series and the ongoing series that followed it.  The Avengers had included a lot of cool members over the years and the idea of a second team operating concurrently would allow more characters to be showcased.  Little did I realize what a trend that would start!  Now not only are certain characters diluted by multiple versions of them running around, entire teams have their own variants.  There are multiple versions of the Avengers, X-Men and the Justice League operating simultaneously and it's getting pretty crowded out there.  It used to be an honor to join the Avengers or the JLA... now it makes a character more unique if they've never been a member!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Batman and The Vision and The Scarlet Witch



I have featured each of these characters before, but wanted to use them together because I always enjoyed them as a couple.  Sure, a romance between a mutant and a synthezoid was a little freaky, but that's what made their relationship so compelling.  Unfortunately, both characters have been through the wringer for the past few decades, with The Scarlet Witch growing increasingly more unstable and The Vision receiving personality wipes and new bodies.  Their romance was one of the first casualties of all of this tampering.  I think it is time to get them both back to a more stable, iconic place and see if there is any of that old magic left.  I'm just sentimental enough to think that these two crazy kids could still make it work after all of these years.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Batman and The Viking Prince



A pretty obscure character today, but I figured as one of the original stars of The Brave and the Bold (predating the Batman team up era), the Viking Prince deserved and inclusion here. Of course, the fact that his adventures were illustrated by the incomparable Joe Kubert makes him even more appealing to me.  DC recently released a collection of all of the Viking Prince stories and I highly recommend it for any fans of  swashbuckling action  and top notch artwork.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Batman and the Thunderbolts



Thunderbolts is one of Marvel's best concepts in the past few decades.  The original run by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley came out at a time when comics were all about gimmicks - lots of foil covers and variant issues to drum up interest.  The Thunderbolts had the best gimmick of all though, a great plot twist at the end of the first issue which gave the series a unique hook.  Having villains disguised as heroes led to a lot of fascinating character arcs, as each member of the team reacted differently to their newfound hero status.  Some embraced the new outlook and tried to stay on the path of the truly heroic, while others relished in the deceit and grew even more devious.  It was a great exploration of some characters that had been around in comics for many years, and it gave them all some real depth.  Busiek and Bagley proved once again that every character has growth potential when placed in interesting enough circumstances.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Batman and The Thing (Retro)



It was fun to go back to a Thing cover again... this actually makes my fourth pairing with these two (sixth if you count Fantastic Four covers).  They are my two favorite characters from their respective companies so I really dig the idea of them sharing adventures together.  How I would have loved to see Jim Aparo illustrate The Thing in B&B, or John Buscema give us a Marvel version of the team up in MTIO... Such wishes filled my head as a child and the untapped possibilities they suggest are the basis for this blog.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Batman and The Super-Skrull



It was a fun moment at the end of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer when Johnny Storm temporarily gained the powers of the entire team. It was clearly a nod to one of the Fantastic Four's coolest villains, the Super Skrull.  That was a nice tease but what I as a fan really would have preferred was a full out adventure with the actual Super Skrull.  I had the same feeling when watching Ang Lee's Hulk - Lee made the strange decision to combine the Hulk's abusive father with classic villains Zzzax and The Absorbing Man.  I would have much rather had a solo appearance by one of those villains rather than the odd mashup we got.  There's still hope for future movies, though.  With a FF film reboot on the horizon as well as rumored Skrull involvement in the Avengers film, maybe there's a chance we'll finally see the Super Skrull on the big screen one day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Batman and The Sub-Mariner (Retro)



Namor has been getting around a lot lately.  Already a current or former member of The Invaders, The Defenders, The Avengers and The Illuminati, he has most recently been hanging out with The X-Men.  Boy, for a supposedly anti-social character, he sure joins a lot of teams!  I guess it was only a matter of time, given his status as Marvel's first official mutant.  I don't mind seeing the Sub-Mariner in a team setting - it's fun to watch him interact with other characters with his no-nonsense attitude.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Batman and The Sinister Six



It will be interesting to see a new take on the Spider-Man film franchise, but part of me was hoping that the new films would continue in the previous movie's continuity.  That way we could have Spider-Man 4 with Kraven hunting the Lizard and Spidey in the middle, then a Spider-Man 5 with Mysterio and/or Electro as the villains... all setting the stage for Spider-Man: Sinister Six!, where the foes from each movie unite to finally try an take the web-slinger down for good.  It would be a crowded film but so cool to see one of my favorite Annuals come to life.  Ah well, perhaps it is never meant to be, but we still have the comics and the animated adaptations of the Sercret Six to enjoy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Batman and The Silver Surfer (Retro)



Before the studio decided to reboot the Fantastic Four film franchise, there was talk of a Silver Surfer spin-off movie.  I don't know if the reboot plans have scuttled this, but it is something that I would still be interested to see.  The Surfer was easily the best part of the FF sequel, he looked spot on and I liked Laurence Fishburne providing the voice.  They could have a film set completely off of Earth and finally do Galactus justice (no clouds. please). Throw in an appearance by Beta Ray Bill or a trip to Ego, the Living Planet and you would have a summer blockbuster like no other!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Batman and The Secret Wars



Marvel and DC have fallen into a repetitive cycle with one major  line wide event after another, complete with countless spin-off mini-series and tie-in issues and the sheer abundance of them has certainly diluted the impact for me.  When Marvel first released Secret Wars, huge crossovers were still a rare happening and I have very fond memories of devouring the issues as they came out.  Marvel's move of featuring it's characters returning from the Secret Wars on Battleworld with all of their changes (Spider-Man's new costume, She-Hulk in the FF, etc.) was a clever one, it really made me want to read the year-long series to find out what had happened.  I also loved the Mike Zeck art and wish he could have completed the full twelve issues.  Like DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, there are some flaws to be found upon rereading, but I will always hold it in high regard due to the memories it conjures up.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Batman and The Rawhide Kid



I was glad to see that with the Recent DC reboot, they are still giving the western comic a chance in today's market.  I was a big fan of Marvel & DC's Western Characters like Jonah Hex, The Two-Gun Kid, The Rawhide Kid and Scalphunter.  I think the genre is well suited for comics and provides a nice contrast to all of the super science and fantastical action found in the majority of titles. John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's The Kents was a great read and I keep meaning to try the current Jonah Hex stories.  Marvel brought The Rawhide Kid back in a controversial mini series a few years back, but the less said about that, the better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Batman and The New Warriors



When the New Warriors first appeared, I wondered why it had taken Marvel so long to put together a team like theirs.  There had not been a team of non-mutant teenage heroes since The Young Allies in the golden age (OK, they did have Power Pack, but that group was pre-teen).  I think the Success of DC's New Teen Titans at the time encouraged them to give the concept a try.  The formula must have worked for Marvel, as we have seen teen groups The Runaways, Young Avengers and The Future Foundation follow in their wake. The New Warriors was the first though, and it would be nice to see them make a return.  They have never seemed to quite recover form the destruction of the group in Marvel's Civil War event.  There have been a few attempts to relaunch a New Warriors comic, but nothing has stuck yet.  The original team had an interesting roster of characters, and hopefully we will see a more permanent return soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Batman and The Matrix



I was lucky enough to see the first Matrix on opening day and thus did not have any of the movie spoiled for me beforehand.  I never knew where the movie was going and it was a wild ride from start to finish.The two sequels each had some cool visual moments but didn't really capitalize on all the potential from where the first film left off, in my opinion.  On the other hand, I wholeheartedly endorse The Animatrix, the direct to DVD film with six stories set in the continuity of The Matrix, each one animated in its own unique style.  Even if you are not a fan of the 2 Matrix sequels, it is still well worth seeking out.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Batman and The Mask

  

I did not know much about The Mask as a comic book series other than the basic concept and the fact that I liked the John Arcudi artwork.  So when the movie version of the comic came out, I went in with an open mind.  I thought it was a perfect vehicle for Jim Carrey and it is still one of my favorite performances of his.  I was hoping to see a sequel, but unfortunately the studio went the cheap route and cut the budget and star power form it.  The results  were forgettable, and it's too bad.  This was a property that at one point had a successful comic, movie and cartoon series running, and I hope to see new material from it in the future.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Batman and The Lone Ranger



I used to get a kick out of the Lone Ranger with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels as a kid.  When we would play cowboys, our imaginary villains would be Butch Cavendish and the Cavendish Gang, the Ranger's longtime enemies.  I was excited when I heard there was going to be a big screen Lone Ranger film, and disappointed that it turned out to be that infamous Clinton Spilsbury fiasco.  Now there is a new Lone Ranger film in Development, and I am surprised that it took so many years for Hollywood to give the property another try.  I hope it will finally do the characters justice, but I'm still unsure about Johnny Depp as Tonto.  I'll withhold my judgment until I see a trailer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Batman and The Legion of Monsters



Now this is a cool team that I wish we could have gotten to see more of.  Like yesterdays entry with the LoEG, this is another teamed formed by pre-existing characters that share a particular genre.  it was offbeat team ups and teams like the Legion of Monsters that really fueled my imagination for what other crossovers could be possible and led to this blog.  Have they made any other appearances together as a team after their initial outing?  I have seen more modern images of them but I am not sure if they are from a full story.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Batman and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen



Being the huge fan of team-ups that I am, I was instantly drawn to the concept of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I love the idea of so many great fictional characters crossing over in one big story, and the creative team of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill pulled it off incredibly well.  The stories featuring this team are dense and rewarding, chock full of literary references in the script and art, and make the reader want to seek out the tales that these characters originally starred in.  The movie version is a major departure from the comics, and people looking for a faithful adaptation will be disappointed.  I have to admit that if I disassociate it with the Moore/O'Neil stories I kind of enjoy it on a popcorn movie level,  It was nice to see Sean Connery back for one more action role.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Batman and The Kingpin



It's interesting that the villain most closely related to Daredevil originally started out as a foil for Spider-Man.  There was something always very menacing about Wilson Fisk.  Sure, he had a lot of muscle mass and could hold his own in a brawl, but his real power was in the influence that he held over the underworld.  There had been plenty of crime bosses in comics, but The Kingpin was the first to fully tap into that Godfather type vibe which really set him apart from the average foe. Writers like Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker have done a great job of exploring the complexities that make him tick, and it's always interesting to see what he will be up to next.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Batman and The Irredeemable Ant-Man



I wasn't sure what to make of the new Eric O'Grady version of Ant-Man when I first heard of him.  I usually prefer a new concept rather than another character simply taking over an existing identity.  The mini-series that he was introduced in by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester garnered a lot of positive reviews so I decided to check it out.  It was a lot off fun and this new, more amoral Ant-Man grew on me pretty quickly. There was a lot of fun humor in the story and the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, was a big part of it, rather than being completely cast aside to make room for the new guy.  Since that introduction, O'Grady has shared a mini-series with Pym and has even become a member of the Thunderbolts.  That's a great spot for him, as it features characters that fall between the lines of heroism and villainy, and explores which path they will ultimately take.  I like O'Grady as a reluctant hero, but I hope he doesn't completely lose some of his more questionable attributes because they keep him interesting.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Batman and The Iron Giant



I remember being early for some event and going to see The Iron Giant in the theaters to kill some time.  I was very glad that I made that decision because it turned out to be one of my favorite movies ever.  Filled with great character design, beautiful animation and a story brimming over with humor and heart, it has earned its title as a modern day classic.  This was due in no small part to the work of director Brad Bird, who went on to join Pixar and bring us such gems as Ratatouille and The Incredibles.  Bird's next project is Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and it will be interesting to see if he can bring the same level of excellence to a live action project.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Batman and The Inhumans (Retro)



I have heard that The Inhumans is one of the properties up for a potential film treatment.  It would be tough to pull off, but if done well it could be a very cool idea.  I think that the Inhumans and their world contain some of the very best Jack Kirby design work and any adaptation would have to embrace the unique look that he created.  The Asgard scenes in Thor showed the potential of this, but they didn't go far enough in my opinion.  None of this showing the helmet for five seconds and then never using it again business, a motion picture Inhumans must be unashamed of it's comic book roots.  A filmmaker like Peter Jackson might be able to do it justice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Batman and The Human Torch (Retro)



Johnny Storm was recently killed off in the pages of The Fantastic Four (It was his turn, I think every other team member had "died" and returned at least once before).  Of course, the death was off-panel, so it is almost certainly just a matter of time before hewill be resoted to life in some manner.  There has been a flurry of promotion recently for the upcoming 600th issue and I wonder if that is where Johnny will make his return.  It seems a bit obvious though, so I wouldn't e surprised if writer Jonathan Hickman throws a bit of a curve ball.  Whatever happens, I fully expect Johnny to be back by the time the Fantastic Four reboot film hits theaters, gotta keep that corporate synergy intact!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Batman and The Hulk (Gray)



I've loved the Batman and Hulk pairing ever since that great tabloid sized adventure they shared by Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, so I thought I would feature an updated version of the story from my retro issue, this time starring the Gray Hulk.  I really enjoyed when Peter David brought back the Hulk in his Gray persona back during his run on the title.  The Hulk can be a tough character to write on an extended basis and this was a nice way to mix things up and avoid repetition.  While the classic green version is still my favorite, it was interesting to read the adventures of this smarter and more devious version for a while.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Batman and Tales From The Crypt



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

Batman and The Hulk (Retro)



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

Batman and The Green Goblin



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

Batman and The Fantastic Four (Retro)



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

Batman and The Ecapist



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

Batman and The Champions



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

Batman and The Blue Beetle (Retro)



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

Batman and The Black Cat



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..

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