Friday, March 30, 2012
Brian Bolland can illustrate just about anything, but if there was a single character that he was born to draw, it's The Joker. I had many issues with the story in The Killing Joke, but the artwork in it is stunning - even more so when you see the re-colored pages in the new edition that was recently released. If you are a fan of his work, I highly reccomend The Art of Brian Bolland and Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland, two great books which contain tons of great art and insights from the artist.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
I have always liked The Guardian and think that is is too bad that never quite reached the heights of Jack Kirby;s other shield-wielding classic hero. Still, he made for a cool supporting character in the Superman titles for a while, and has recently made his animation debut in a few episodes of the excellent Young Justice series. I look forward to the Avengers movie, although I feel Cap's modern-day suit does not look as good as the WWII version designed for his solo film. I could forgive it if they had gotten the wings right instead of wimping out and just painting them on the sides (and will someone tell Thor to pus his helmet on already?)
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I am split when it comes to Nightwing. On one hand, it has been interesting to watch his evolution from teen sidekick to solo adult hero, which gives him an interesting perspective on things. Then again, the aging and eventual abandonment of the Robin identity in New Teen Titans set forth a domino effect in the DCU. By aging Dick Grayson, you had to age all the Teen Titans, which aged all of the mentors even more. Before long we had multiple Robins, Kid Flashes, and Wonder Girls running around and things got a bit confusing and clunky. I thought that some of the original sidekicks would be de-aged in the rebooted DCU when I heard that the characters were supposed to only have been around for five years, but now it makes even less sense to me now. Batman has had 4 robins in five years?
Is Nightcrawler still dead? I've seen solicitations recently which seem to include him but for all I know that may be some alternate reality Kurt Wagner. Sheesh, comics were never this hard to follow when I was a kid!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Jack Knight Starman series by James Robinson was a favorite of mine. Some of my favorite issues were the "Times Past" tales that would chronicle early adventures of Ted Knight. Between those and the current day Ted Knight as a supporting character, Robinson was really able to find new depth in a character that had been around for decades. He also did some nice work with Ted Knight in the Golden Age mini-series, well worth seeking out if you have not read it. I originally started creating this cover because I thought that the images went well together, and then I realized the cosmic connection between the two characters, so this pairing wasn't as out there as I had originally thought.
Monday, March 26, 2012
The Phantom Stranger was the perfect character for Jim Aparo to illustrate. Aparo's mastery of mood and shadow really got a chance to shine when depicting the mysterious Stranger, forever cast in dim light. The Watcher has had a few different looks over the years, from a chubby guy in a fancy toga to a more alien looking design with huge gaping white eyes. I decided to make Uatu a little more proactive on this cover because it seems that most times he shows up, he winds up breaking his vow of silence anyway!
Friday, March 23, 2012
I'm a bit confused as to who is The Atom these days. I grew up with the Ray Palmer version, and then a few years back he went missing and Ryan Choi was introduced as his replacement. A few years later he was killed off and Ray Palmer returned to reclaim his title. Now the entire DCU has been rebooted and from art solicitations it looks like the Ryan Choi version will be back, at least in the JLA. I think Ray Palmer may have a supporting role somewhere but not as the Atom. It's all a bit murky. Over at Marvel, poor Hank Pym finally started to be getting hi act together when his on and off partner The Wasp was killed off! I'd like to see her back among the living and the two of them acting like a non dysfunctional couple for once.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I understand that Michael Bay will be staying with the Transformers franchise, but promises to revamp it with a completely new cast, to be led by Jason Statham. While the previous movies have some great moments of spectacle, they are undone by flat attempts at humor and overly long running times. We'll see if the new film adjusts for these shortcomings... but I don't expect Bay to take my advice, given the hundereds of millions the films have earned. Now, Bay producing a big-screen Metal Men epic? That's a movie I would be first in line for!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
You have to love a big sprawling superhero wartime story. Unfortunately, judging by the solicitations, it looks like the new Earth Two series from DC will be taking place during current times, severing the JSA from the backdrop of World War II once and for all. While I can understand the desire to modernize their line, I think they are letting go of a big part of the appeal of the Goden Age characters. I always enjoy seeing superhero period pieces and even when those characters are brought into present day, it's cool to see how they interact with others, given their sensibilities from a bygone era.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I was really hoping to get the Mandarin and Fin Fang Foom as villains In Iron Man 3 to set it apart from the "man in suit vs. man in bigger suit" match ups we have seen thus far in the series. Imagine my surprise when what kind of looked like Fin Fang Foom was chasing Iron Man in the final shot of the awesome Avengers trailer that was recently released! I have since read speculation that it is probably the Asgardian Serpent, which makes a little more sense. Still, It looks like Joss Whedon is using his comic chops to give us a superhero outing unlike any we have seen before. Hopefully the inevitable success will finally get a JLA movie in motion again.
Monday, March 19, 2012
I have always liked how The Joker can always seem to hold his own when placed alongside much more powerful super-villains. He may not have any special abilities, but his insanity gives him an unpredictability that can give him the edge over more methodical characters. It's always fun to see him alongside other villains because you are just waiting to see who is going to double-cross who first!
Friday, March 16, 2012
While there hasn't been any solicitation for a Doom Patrol series in the newly rebooted DCU, Robotman at least got a spotlight in the My Greatest Adventure mini-series. I wasn't crazy about his new design, which seems to be a throwback to Cliff Steele's brief 70's look and I haven't checked out the series so I don't know if any reference to the other members of the Doom Patrol was made. The X-Men are another team I haven't checked in on in a while, not really wanting to dive into the sea of so many titles and characters to follow. Hopefully once the huge Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover has ended and the dust settles there will be a more streamlined title that a lapsed reader can easily join.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Sandman is such an iconic name in comics. It has been used by such a wide variety of characters, each one cool in their own way. While I really like Neal Gaiman's Dream and Jack Kirby's 70's hero, the above two are my favorites to bear the name. Wesley Dodds was the first and greatest to use it. I have always loved his gas mask and trench coat look and became an even bigger fan after reading the excellent Sandman Mystery Theater series (which really should be turned into a TV show one of these days, it's perfect for it). Flint Marko has always been in the top tier of Spider-Man's villains for me and his powers are as versatile as they are visually interesting. I like that he is somewhat of a sympathetic bad guy as well. It would be less fun if he went completely good, but it's nice to see some shades of grey in there.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
This would be an interesting match up. Maybe a quick one as well - these are two guys who never miss, so it might just be a matter of who gets a shot off first! I liked the utilization of some of Bullseye's abilities in the Daredevil movie but neither his appearance or Colin Farrell's performance seemed much like the character from the comics. Deadshot showed up on Smallville, but he was barely recognizable too. I'm surprised he hasn't shown up in a Batman movie yet - he's the kind of low-tech villain that would work well in the films.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Well, it has been announced that Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the Avengers titles for the X-Men titles once the Avengers Vs. X-Men series is over. Maybe we will finally have Spider-man off of the Avengers now. Don't get me wrong. I like having Spidey guest star in tales featuring The Avengers or the FF, but as a full time tema member it just doesn't work for me. Spidey's loner status is a big part of his appeal and I think he loses something when he becomes an accepted member of a premier super-team. Of course, now that BMB is going to be on the X-Books, maybe we'll be seeing Spidey in an X-Man uniform soon!
Monday, March 12, 2012
I was a big fan of New Mutants during its first few years. First of all, it was just cool to have a spin-off book from Uncanny X-Men... which seems like a crazy thing to say today given the gigantic amount of X-related comic books out there! At the time though, it was a very new thing and a cool way to expand the world set forth in the original title. Wolfsbane was having teenage werewolf angst decades before those Twilight kids became all the rage! Those early Supergirl stories also focused just as much on teen drama as they did with superheroic activity. The tales would often be more about getting asked to the dance than defeating the villain of the month. Still, I always checked them out, if only to enjoy the great artwork. Jim Mooney could draw some pretty girls!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Ultron is far and away my favorite Avengers villain and I think he could definitely give the JLA a run for their money. The Avengers film looks to be huge, and I imagine they are already brainstorming ideas for a sequel. I think the best way to go would be an Ultron-based story - that way they could introduce Hank Pym, The Wasp and The Vision! Plus, Ultron is one of those characters where you will not have to alter his look in any way and he will look great in live action. Hopefully The Avengers will be a big enough success to convince Warner Brothers to finally get serious about assembling a Justice League film. The underperformance of Green Lantern may have slowed down momentum, but I hope they don't wait too long to make that a reality.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
This would be a fun pairing as we have two characters that can be simultaneously savage and regal. I gotta say though, if they are going out looking like that, someone is either going to be too warm or too cold! I've spoken before about how we are due for a new Tarzan in the theatres. I've heard talk of a Black Panther film for over a decade now, but nothing ever seems to come of it. I hope that changes soon though, because the character has everything necessary for a successful transition to the big screen.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I always thought that these two characters were visually quite similar. Their personalities are quite different however, and a tale featuring them both could be very interesting. Etrigan is once again appearing monthly in the pages of Demon Knights, but I have lost track of The Gargoyle in recent years. I hope Marvel finds a place for him because I have a soft spot for the character.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Ah, the Super-Mobile and the Spider-Mobile... never were there two more unnecessary superhero vehicles! I have to admit, though - despite the fact that their respective heroes didn't really need them, I found them both to be kind of cool. Those big telescoping hands on Superman's ride were funny and awesome at the same time. Spider-Man's car kind of resembled a dune buggy that my father had when I was growing up, so I thought that was cool too. I remember there was a cool toy version of the Super-Mobile (probably one of the key reasons for its existence), but I'm not sure if the Spider-Mobile ever had one.
Monday, March 5, 2012
I like that Ted Grant became a mentor to so many heroes in the DCU. It gave an added depth to a character that I had always enjoyed anyway. It makes sense that there would be a go to guy for up and coming mystery men in training. With Wolverine's spotty memory and world travels over the decades, who's to say he never spent some time at Ted Grant's gym? I think there could be a fun story there!
Friday, March 2, 2012
While I am glad that DC is bringing back Earth Two, the solicits are a little different from what I was hoping for. The emphasis on the big three (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) actually has me interested, as they have been out of JSA continuity since the 80's. I suspect it will only be for the introductory story and will, through sacrifice or otherwise, lead into the team of Wildcat, Green Lantern, Flash and the others. The Writer, James Robinson, has an impressive JSA resume already and I would be surprised if he stayed away from the larger team for too long. Still, I would love to see another series set during World War II, when the JSAers were all still new and in their prime. Hopefully there will be some flashbacks or mini-series with that treatment down the road.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Well, the new Avengers trailer has been released and we finally got a good look at The Hulk in action. That shot of him catching Iron Man in mid-air looked awesome! This is going to be a fun summer for movies!
While doing this cover I wondered whether Lou Ferrigno and Mr. T were ever featured together in anything. They used to make those Incredible Hulk TV movies after the series had ended - how fun would it have been if Mr. T had appeared in one of them and gone toe to toe with The Hulk? They really missed a golden opportunity there!