Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adam Strange and The Silver Surfer

This cover features two of my favorite artists.  Jose Luis Garcia Lopez has  been my favorite Superman artist since I first saw him take on the character in the early issues of DC Comics Presents (which is where I got the main image for this cover from).  He isn't just great on Superman, though.  It's no wonder that DC used his work for their style guides and so much advertising.  John Buscema was a god to me once I got a copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.  I absolutely loved that book. It was my introduction to the mechanics of producing comics, which made me only enjoy the hobby more.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black Canary and Elektra

Here are two great characters that have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to live action adaptations.  The original Elektra storyline in Daredevil was epic which is why it was such a frustration to see the very watered down version we got in the theaters.  The solo Elektra film just expanded on the character they already got wrong so it was an even bigger failure.  Yes, Daredevil is being rebooted, but I can imagine they will ant to set it apart from the earlier film, so it may be a while before we see a live action Elektra done right.  An almost unrecognizable Black Canary showed up in the ill-fated Birds of Prey TV series, and the less said about that, the better.  She also appeared in a handful of Smallville episodes and was closer to the comics version - but her appearance was still kind of off with the close cut hair and "makeup mask".  I hear the role of Dinah Lance has been cast in the upcoming Green Arrow pilot, Arrow... hopefully this will be the most successfully realized version yet, time will tell.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blue Devil and Doctor Strange

Blue Devil is yet another fun character that is nowhere to be found in the New DCU.  He is also one character that I am surprised never made an appearance on the excellent Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon series.  He would have fit right in there!  Doctor Strange is back in a new Defenders series, and I have to say I like the new look he is sporting there.  It looks like another costume that is meant to be more live action friendly, but this one works better than most.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dynomutt & The Blue Falcon and Spider-Man

Who wouldn't have wanted to tune in and see this pairing together on TV in the early 80's?  I used to love seeing cartoon crossovers back in the day.  Birdman showing up on Space Ghost, Batman meeting Shaggy and Scoobie, The Laff-A-Lympics, even Fred and Barney meeting The Thing... they were all so cool to me!  Those offbeat and sometimes cross-company team ups were right up my alley and fueled my imagination.  They were definitely a big influence on this blog.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Tornado and The Vision

I've always liked these red-faced automatons and would love to see them return to prominence in their respective universes.  For me, The Vision has never quite recovered from the end of his relationship with The Scarlet Witch and being rebuilt in the pages of West Coast Avengers.  I have to admit that I haven't checked in on him since he got a new "teenage" synthezoid form so I don't know what his status is these days.  Red Tornado might not even have a status currently because I haven't seen a hint of him in the new DCU yet.  I have enjoyed solo adventures with these heroes, but I think they both worok the best in a team setting, so hopefully soon they will become active members of the Justice League and The Avengers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Plastic Man and Mister Fantastic

What can I say, I was in a goofy mood the day I made this one. I always thought it was interesting that the two most popular stretching heroes in comics were so different from each other, apart from their power set.  Reed Richards was a brilliant inventor and family man who had science based adventures while Eel O'Brien  was a wise cracking lowlife trying to make up for a past criminal history whose adventures often veered into the surreal.  And while I really dig both characters, my favorite stretchy guy was always Ralph Dibny - The Elongated Man, who was kind of between their two extremes.

Reed Richards will eventually be seen on film again in the Fantastic Four reboot movie and I hope we will have much better stretching effects this time around!  I have heard talk of a Plastic Man movie for years, but nothing solid ever seems to come of it.  It's looking like we are going to see a Stretch Armstrong film first, which just doesn't seem right!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sgt. Rock Vs. The Red Skull

I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Red Skull was realized on film this past summer.  The combination of Hugo Weaving's performance, along with the make-up and CGI effects made what could have been an overly cartoonish character into a formidable villain.  I think that the filmmakers made right decision to separate Hydra from Hiler and Nazi's so as not to diminish the bravery and sacrifices of actual WWII soldiers.

I have heard rumors of a Sgt. Rock movie over the hears, with names like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached.  I just don't know if there is any actor out there who could effectively embody the  iconic role of Frank Rock.  As much as I love the stories, maybe Sgt. Rock is a property best left in print.  I'd love to be proven wrong about that, though!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hawkman and The Falcon

I have always loved the Falcon's classic look.  His very first costume was all right, but when he added the wings and changed the color scheme to red and white, he became one of the coolest looking superheroes around.  I remember I used to have a Falcon Mego action figure and the costume looked really cool there, too (unlike the Human Torch for instance, who had red long johns with flames printed on them).  I don't think Mego ever made a Hawkman figure - the bulky wings were probably an issue I guess.  It would have been cool to see how they would have done the helmet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Galactus and Darth Vader

Besides The Emperor, there aren't many characters out there that Darth Vader would willingly be a subordinate to.  I think Galactus might be an exception, though.  The lure of the power cosmic could be just enough to convince him to form an alliance.  It would be fun to watch the universe tremble at the coming of this tag-team!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Batgirl and Peter Parker

As soon as I saw this Phil Noto Batgirl image, I knew just the cover I wanted to create with it.  It was just a matter of finding the right stand-in for Dustin Hoffman.  It's interesting to watch The Graduate now... it turns out that Mrs. Robinson isn't quite as old as I once used to think.  Or maybe, I just got a lot older!  That film is always worth watching for the soundtrack alone.  Simon and Garfunkle were really in the zone then.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Martian Manhunter and John Carter, Warlord of Mars

I am very curious to see how the upcoming John Carter film does at the box office.  The trailers seem cool enough, but I haven't heard much buzz about this movie, so I don't know how much interest there is.  Then again, with popular shows like Spartacus and Game of Thrones currently airing, maybe audiences are ready for a big screen sword-and-sandals type epic.  I am not as familiar with John Carter as I am with Tarzan so I don't expect to be put off by minor changes in characters or story if there are any.  I would like a better look at the Tharks - it seems like the design is right, but they move so quickly in the trailers I've seen that it is hard to judge the CGI.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tarzan and Conan

I have no idea who would win a battle between these two, but it would be epic to behold, I'm sure.  I never got around to catching the new Conan film that recently was released.  From what I saw from commercials and read in reviews, it didn't offer much that the Schwarzenegger original did better.  Tarzan is a much revisited franchise, but frankly, I don't think any live action version has gotten the character just right yet.  I'd still like to see a film that stylishly adheres to his earliest adventures.  It wouldn't be easy to pull off, but if handled properly it could be incredibly cool.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wonder Woman and Wonder Man

Despite the similarity in their superhero names, this is a relationship that I don't think would go very far.  Simon's love for the celebrity lifestyle would probably clash with Diana's personality.  Still, it would be fun to watch, especially if there was a big bad guy who decided to interrupt things (as often will happen at a comic book social event)!  I was happy that this pairing allowed me to do an all-George Perez cover.  He continues to amaze in the way that he just seems to keep getting better and better - I'm looking forward to his work on the new World's Finest series.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The All-Star Squadron and Spider-Man

I was glad to see a cover image for James Robinson's Earth Two series posted today on but have to admit I am surprised to see it featuring Earth Two versions of the big three - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  I figured that they would concentrate more on the trio of Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Ted Grant.  It will be interesting to see if the big three will be a regular part of the series or perhaps killed off early on to serve as a motivation for the rest of Earth Two's heroes and a divergence point from the mainstream DCU. I am very glad to see Jerry Ordway getting regular work in the DC reboot, but I kind of wish he was on this Earth Two title... he is my favorite JSA artist, hands down.

This cover was tougher to do than I thought it would be.  I figured it would be a simple matter of swapping out The Tarantula for Spider-Man, but repairing and replacing parts of the background spider web was a pain!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

KISS and The X-Men

There have been a handful of attempts to combine musical acts with comics - Alice Cooper, The Beatles and Night Cat come to mind... but none of them were really ever anything more than an isolated oddity.  I think the reason that KISS had a little more success with the transition is that they already seemed like comic book characters to begin with.  Their elaborate costumes and personas made for a good fit and suggested story ideas right off the bat. They were able to tap into their existing fan base by utilizing the themes they had all along.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Green Lantern and Iron Man

I think these two characters go well together, and the pairing became even more appealing to me when I realized I could use Gil Kane images for both of them.  I was also glad to fit in cameos by Mogo and Ego... sentient planets are just too cool, and I've always enjoyed stories featuring either of them.  If the Green Lantern movie actually gets a sequel (c'mon, Clash of the Titans got one!), I'd love to see Mogo get an onscreen appearance.  I definitely got a kick out of the animated Mogo Doesn't Socialize segment from the recent Green Lantern: Emerald Knights DVD.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Firestorm and Spider-Man

I always saw Firestorm as DC's first real attempt to create a Peter Parker-type character.  He was an adolescent superhero who was not a sidekick or spin-off of any existing character, and had lots of outside trials and tribulations that complicated his crime fighting efforts. Heck, One of my first letters ever published was a missive that I sent off to the editors of Fury of Firestorm in their first year comparing Ronnie Raymond with Peter Parker.  At 13 years old, I got a real kick out of seeing my name in print... in the pre-internet era, that was about the only way to express your views to fellow comic fans!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Superman and Thor (Versus Mongul)

I already made a Silver Age version of this pairing, but I wanted to do a Bronze Age version as well, so here it is.  This is an example of artwork that has provided inspiration for more than one cover for me.  I loved the issue of DC Comics Presents that this came from, as it introduced me to the Prince Gavyn Starman.  I used the Starman image from that cover for my Batman/Starman B&B Lost Issue cover.  Now, for this team-up, I put Thor in Starman's place.  I did a lot of tweaking with the orange Kirby Dots as well, to make the cover work as a whole.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Doctor Fate and Doctor Strange

I wonder who the first comic character to go by the title "Doctor" was?  It may be Doctor Fate, but perhaps there's a character that predates him.  I know there were some villainous doctor types... Doctor Death comes to mind.  And of course he didn't use the full term but there's Doc Savage, who came before he wave of superhero fiction.  He did serve as an inspiration for a lot of characters so maybe that's where the Doctor as superhero name trend came from.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Atom and Yellowjacket

Hank Pym has had a lot of identities (Yellowjacket, Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, The Wasp) and just as many costumes.  I have to say my favorite look of his is the Yellowjacket costume.  It looked cool and sleek and I loved the big vibrating shoulder wings.  Unfortunately, this is the outfit he was wearing when the ill-advised the decision to have him have a breakdown and smack his wife, so it has been since associated with the abusive, unhinged Pym.

I have always liked Gil Kane's design for The Atom's costume, but I do admit it looks a bit dated.  I thought that the Justice League Unlimited cartoon had a great take on it - they kept the overall design but had the costume made from a shiny material and gave him Batman-like whited out eyes.  It stayed true to the classic look but gave it a nice modern feel.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The New Teen Titans Vs. The New Warriors

Here are two great teams that I wish could recapture some of the magic they had in their prime.  The Teen Titans never quite recovered from the loss of Perez and Wolfman for me, despite some very nice work from creators like Tom Grummett, Geoff Johns and Dan Jurgens.  I really like the new Young Justice cartoon, and was hoping the New DCU Teen Titans series would take its cues from that, but they went in another direction that bears very little resemblance to the team of my youth.  The New Warriors have never quite bounced back since the events of Civil War.  At least Speedball is out of his Penance phase.  These two teams are among the most revamped and relaunched properties in comics, so maybe I just have to wait for the next inevitable incarnations and see if those strike more of a chord with me.

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