Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Black Racer and The Silver Surfer



Only Jack Kirby could come up with a space faring character on a surf board and make it cool!  Kirby then went a step further and created an interstellar character that traveled via skis... and rather than treat him as a joke, he was one of the most grim and powerful members of The New Gods pantheon.  Other creators' attempts at giving a character a popular mode of transport met with less success... Rocket Racer and his skateboard never really took off and Dazzler soon ditched her roller skates.  His ability to make wild concepts work is another reason that Jack Kirby will always be at the top of the list for character creation.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Legion of Super-Heroes and The Inhumans



This is the kind of story I would have loved as a kid.  I was, of course, a big fan of team and team up comics and I would love tales that would feature many characters interacting.  The master of this was Gardner Fox.  In his Justice League stories, he would have his characters split off into smaller teams for a series of chapters, and then bring everyone back together for a slam bang finale.  It was great to see stories on such a large scale, yet completely told in the span of a single issue.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Batman and the Outsiders and The Phoenix



I read with interest yesterday a report that among the upcoming DC Zero issues will possibly be Katana #0.  Katana has recently been a member of the new Birds of Prey series, and will have a supporting role in the new CGI Beware the Batman animated series.  I have liked the character since Mike W. Barr created her and I am glad she is finally getting a higher profile.

Despite her name and history, The Phoenix has surprisingly remained deceased in the Marvel Universe for a while now.  The Phoenix force seems to be central to the current Avengers Vs. X-Men event, so we may just be seeing Jean Grey back before the story line's  end.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Man-Bat Vs. Spider-Man



Man-Bat is one of my favorite Batman villains.  Villain is probably the wrong word though, as he is often not in control of his own actions when pitted against the caped crusader.  I like tales featuring the more clear headed, heroic Man-Bat as well.  I still think there is a great Batman movie to be had using Dr. Hugo Strange and pulling in Man-Bat and Killer Croc in via his monster men experiments.  Alas, that film is only in my fevered imagination, so I will have to make do with Spider-Man battling the Lizard in a few weeks.  That looks to be fun, but I wish the Lizard looked closer to his comic counterpart.  As Man-Bat illustrates - monsters are cool, but monsters wearing pants are cooler!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Spectre and Doctor Strange



The Spectre is one of my all time favorite characters, particularly the Jim Corrigan version.  He has had other hosts since Corrigan finally faced his demons in the excellent 60 issue series by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, but they never quite seemed to work as well as the original version.  Here's hoping that when The Spectre reemerges in the new DCU, it will be Corrigan beneath the cloak once again.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Barda and Valkyrie



This would be a great battle, and I don't know how I would call it.  Whoever won, it would sure be fun to watch!  I am glad to see that Valkyrie has been enjoying a larger profile lately.  I have liked the character since her days as a Defender and have always felt that she was worthy of wider recognition.  Big Barda is a character that works well in or out of her Fourth World setting, and hopefully DC wont wait too long before reintroducing her.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Green Lantern and The Hulk



It has been very encouraging to see the positive reaction to The Hulk as a result of his appearance in The Avengers.  The fact that there is renewed interest in a solo Hulk sequel proves that audiences are willing to give a character a second (or third) chance to get things right.  I hope that DC/Warner Brothers understands this and will be able to give us a Green Lantern sequel that learns from the mistakes of the first entry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Superman and Captain Marvel



When I think of Jim Starlin, my mind goes to his great artwork on Warlock and Captain Marvel.  The comics that really made me a fan of his, though, were his issues of DC Comics Presents.  His artwork on tales featuring Superman with J'onn J'onzz, Supergirl, Starman, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl are among the best from that series and was a lot more dynamic than I was used to for Superman titles at the time.   Nobody illustrates a space epic like Starlin!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mister Miracle and The Escapist



It's been a while since I have heard of any movement on a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  I hope it is still in the works because I thought it was a great read with a unique backdrop and has the potential to be a movie with a unique visual style.  I think it is very cool The Escapist has made the transition from the pages of the novel to starring in actual comic book adventures.

Mister Miracle has yet to appear in the new DCU as far as I know.  I love his gaudy costume and can only imagine what kind of redesign DC has in store for his eventual return.  Hopefully they won't change it up too much.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Justice League of America and Stan Lee



One of my favorite things about watching a movie based on a Marvel property is seeing how the director manages to fit in a Stan Lee cameo.  Stan usually gets in a good one liner or reaction shot. My favorite by far was his role as Willie Lumpkin the Mail Man in the first Fantastic Four film.  In a film that certainly had its share of flaws, that little moment was perfect!  Hmmm, maybe it would have been fun to have Stan as one of the shadowed figures that Nick Fury was taking orders from in The Avengers.

George Perez had a short but fantastic run on Justice League of America.  As much as I loved his work on New Teen Titans, it always bummed me out that he left the title and never got a chance to return.  His JLA/Avengers was a nice tease of what could have been, but I would love for him to get another chance at the main title.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tarzan and The Phantom



I have to confess that this cover suffers from some technical difficulties.  For some reason when I saved the main image it got all pixilated.  That's never happened before or since so I am not sure what I did wrong there.  Oh well, it gives the cover sort of a worn, pulpy feel which fits with the characters... Yeah, that's it - I did it on purpose!

Cover quality aside, This would be a fun pairing to see and a pretty natural one as well.  I can definitely see them at odds with a band of poachers or discovering a lost society together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Karate Kid and Iron Fist



There were a bunch of characters created to reflect the big Kung-Fu craze of the 70's and these were two of my favorites.  Iron Fist had a great look and crossed the superhero and martial arts genres well.  Karate Kid stood out amongst his more alien and powerful LSH allies and even was spun off into his own solo series.  Sure, it didn't last long, but graduating from team member to solo star was a rare move in those days and he beat a lot of higher profile characters to the punch with that achievement.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ragman and Cloak and Dagger (Part Two)



Given the cool visuals that these character have, especially when they use their powers, it's too bad that none of them have been animated yet.  I was hoping for at least a Ragman cameo on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but that never came to pass.  The new Ultimate Spider-Man has Power Man,Iron Fist and The White Tiger as supporting characters - I think that Cloak and Dagger would fit in well there.  We'll see if they make an appearance in upcoming episodes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ragman and Cloak and Dagger (Part One)



I love these characters and always like it when they show up in various titles from time to time.  Ragman I was originally drawn to because of the beautiful Joe Kubert arwork, and I loved his unique and gritty background.  I thought that Cloak and Dagger were cool supporting members in the Spider-Man titles, and I have fond memories of the Rick Leonardi illustrated solo mini-series of theirs.  Given the similar properties of the cloaks involved, I thought this could make for a fun pairing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Avengers in Crisis



Well, The Avengers is approaching 800 million worldwide and it has a chance to make over a billion by the end of the weekend.  This will open the doors for a lot of comic based films which could be a good or bad thing depending on the quality of the productions.  Based on the mid-credits sequence, Marvel is not shying away from the truly epic events for future films, which opens up a lot of possibilities as well.  We still have The Dark Knight Rises to come this summer so it will be a one-two punch for great comic movies.  if the new incarnation of Spider-Man does well, it'll just be gravy.  It's a great time to be a comic book movie fan and the future looks very bright.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wonder Woman and Hercules



This would be a fun pairing to see, given their similar backgrounds.  Plus the differences between Marvel's Hercules and the DC version that has appeared in WW titles is quite stark and could make for some good story fodder.

The Destroyer was great to see come to life in the Thor film... perhaps a Hercules appearance in a future sequel is in order?

Tomorrow: STF #100!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Superman Vs. The Hulks



Actually, I wouldn't mind this comic being real, to just weed out the glut of Hulks.  Don't get me wrong, I liked that Hulk had some gamma related supporting characters back in the day.  Doc Samson and She-Hulk were interesting spins on the Hulk theme.  But somewhere along the line it got crazy, with his entire main supporting cast of Betty Ross, Rick Jones and Thunderbolt Ross now being Hulks themselves, and they even have a Hulk Jr. running around!  Yeesh, it just dilutes the brand in my eyes.  That said, I do understand that Red Hulk and some of the others have gained a following, so maybe I should give the comics another chance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Metamorpho Vs. Thor



I liked the solo Thor film, but was hoping to see a little more action, as he was de-powered for much of the movie.  Fortunately, The Avengers made up for that with great action scenes for the God of Thunder.  I loved the fights with Iron Man and the Hulk and when he summoned lightning on the Chrysler Building, it was like a page from the comics!  I was also very glad to see him sporting his more traditional sleeveless look throughout most of the film as well, It made him look closer to the classic version.  My one complaint was the lack of the helmet again... I mean, he was going into battle with an army, there was even a reason to wear it!

Sadly, I have to admit that I don't think we'll ever see a live action Metamorpho, which is too bad, because he is one of my favorite characters.  But c'mon, who wouldn't want to see Bruce Willis kicking butt in the role?  OK, maybe just me...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Green Arrow and The Avengers



Well, I saw and loved The Avengers - Joss Whedon really pulled it off.  He managed to give every character their big moments and stayed true to the portrayals from the earlier films.  It was amazing how well the story weaved in with all the solo films.  I felt the Iron Man and Hulk action sequences were better than anything in either of their solo movies.  The Hulk especially was done perfectly with a few moments that just bring down the house.  Hawkeye was the only character that I felt got short changed, with the least amount of screen time and hypnotized state throughout much of the film.  Still, the use of his trick arrows was very cool, and showed how an archer can fit in well with a team of heavy hitters.  So when a Justice League film gets made (and the success of The Avengers makes that a lot more likely), hopefully we'll see Green Arrow on the team... at least in the sequel!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Indiana Jones and Captain America



We'll, I am off to see The Avengers in a few hours and from what I have read, it will not disappoint.  It will be great to see the characters interacting with one another, but the one story line I am really looking forward to seeing continued is Captain America's.  His film left off on such a cliffhanger moment, I really wanted to see how they handled Cap's transition into modern life. It'll be fun to see the follow through on that.

This pairing doesn't seem that crazy to me.  In fact, The Red Skull referred to Raiders of the Lost Arc in Captain America when he mentioned something about "the fuhrer digging for trinkets in the desert" - I loved that moment.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Robin Vs. The Hulk (Part Two)



I have to admit I groaned a bit when Damian Wayne was introduced.  There had already been three Robins and I felt that one more would continue to dilute the concept.  Add to that the fact that he was written with a snotty attitude and I was turned off to the character.  Grant Morrison and other writers were able to explain his behavior and  have given him some depth, and made him a more likeable character to me, though.  I still think there are too many Robins, especially with the newly stated 5-year young career of Batman... but I have to admit it is interesting to watch the dynamic between Damian and Bruce Wayne.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Robin Vs. The Hulk (Part One)



I am in eager anticipation to go see The Avengers this weekend.  One report that I am very encouraged by is that the Hulk is the best version of the character that we have seen thus far in the movies.  Indeed, he has been such a hit with international audiences that Marvel is considering another Hulk solo film, which I was hoping would happen.  Bring on The Leader!

I also caught the new Dark Knight Rises trailer, and if there's a film I am looking forward to more than The Avengers, that's it.  Christopher Nolan keeps his cards close to his chest and I am still unsure as to what Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character plays in the film... but from the trailer it looks like he plays someone concerned when Batman goes missing... maybe a Robin type character?  Nolan previously said there wouldn't be a Robin in this series though, so who knows what he's up to?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Black Lightning and Spider-Man



I haven't yet seen any mention of Black Lightning in the new DCU, but I am sure it is only a matter of time before he appears in one form or another.  In recent years DC had tried a few new looks for Jefferson Pierce, with varying degrees of success in my eyes.  The look that I thought really worked the best was Cully Hamner's slight redesign of Black Lightning's original costume (adding in the black T-shirt and changing up his hair style), and I hope when we see the character again he will sport a look close to that.

I have a feeling that if Black Lightning were a Marvel character, he would have been a frequent guest star in Marvel Team-Up.  He and Spidey would make for a good pair.

Support STF: The Lost Issues!