Monday, December 31, 2012
I missed the recent Dredd while it was in theaters, and I will have to catch it when it is available for rental. It certainly looked like a much more faithful adaptation of the character in comparison to the Sylvester Stallone film. One thing that kept me from seeing this is the highly stylized gore and violence that I saw in some of the clips. I know that is in keeping with the printed stories, but I don't enjoy watching lots of blood on screen - which coincidentally killed my enjoyment of the most recent Punisher film. I'll still check it out as I am a fan of the character and Karl Urban... plus I feel a strong urge to support any comic book film where the hero not only wears his helmet but keeps it on the whole time!
Friday, December 28, 2012
After all of the controversy with the whole clone saga, I am surprised to see Marvel once again replacing Peter Parker - this time with Doctor Octopus occupying Spider-Man's body while Peter has been killed off. Don't get me wrong, this type of mind-swapping thing is hardly new to comics, but it is the kind of thing usually resolved in an issue or two. Going to the length of ending the series and beginning a new one featuring Spider-Ock seems a bit much for a stunt that even a casual comic reader knows will be undone (right in time for the next Spider-man film, most likely). We've already seen Spider-Man killed and replaced in the Ultimate Universe, and there are plenty of non-Parker spider-types running around Marvel these days as it is, so this latest wrinkle doesn't do much to excite me. Hopefully the writers will find a fresh enough take on the whole villain in a hero's body plotline and Superior Spider-Man will be a pleasant surprise.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
I enjoyed the animated Legion of Super-Heroes series for what it was, a cartoon geared at younger viewers. It handled the large cast well and introduced viewers to a side of the DCU that was only hinted at on other shows. What I would really like to see, however, is the Legion in one of DC's direct to video animated movies. The Great Darkness Saga would be a cool story to adapt in that format. DC's animated movies are great, but they seem to be in a cycle of Batman - Superman - JLA stories, which are I guess more guaranteed sales. Hopefully they will venture out into more of their properties and we can see a true animated LSH epic one of these days.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
These two atomic heroes have been around for decades and have each been published by multiple comic companies, so I thought it was about time they shared an adventure together. I have liked Captain Atom since his introduction to the DCU in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but I didn't have a chance to try out his New 52 series. I'm not crazy about his recent redesign as I think it makes him look too similar to The Silver Surfer. I haven't read as much of Solar, but I have always liked the cool artwork associated with the character, from the classic Gold Key covers to Barry Windsor-Smith's beautiful work during his first Valiant run.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday today close by the ones the love the most. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to check out the blog, it is a labor of love and it has made me happy to see it grow in popularity over the past year. I especially appreciate those visitors who leave feedback - positive, negative or neutral. It can be hard to tell what is working or not on here and I am always interested in reading reactions. Thanks for all the cool suggestions too - and the patience in waiting for me to get around to them. I have a bunch of reader request covers coming up and I hope they will be worth the wait. So, stay tuned! There are hundreds more covers coming and 2013 will see the switch from MS Paint to Photoshop as my cover-creating program, so we're just getting started! Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 24, 2012
I don't think that Marvel ever got these two guys together when they had the Doc Savage rights, but I think it would have made for a cool story. They both work well in various time frames so I can envision an epic saga that would span decades. Get legendary Captain America writer Roger Stern to pen the tale and you would have a classic on your hands.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Breaking Bad is my favorite TV series currently running... and just maybe my favorite series ever. It has just about the strongest first episode of any show I have ever seen. I don't know how anyone can watch that first episode and not want to find out what happens next. The show has maintained its excellent quality ever since. Top notch writing, acting and directing all around have made this a must watch for me. There are only eight episodes left and it's going to be a long wait until Summer when they air. I highly recommend any comic fan to watch this show as it could just as well be called "Creation of a Super-Villain". Bryan Cranston has masterfully portrayed a character that you will at times root for and at times cringe at, but you can never take your eyes off of him. His slow descent into evil over the seasons has been done so well that everyone has a different opinion as to when he passed the point of no return. Aaron Paul, Dean Norris and the rest of the cast are always incredibly watchable as well. It's just about a perfect show.
I was glad to be able to use an image from the awesomely cool fan-film Batman: Dead End for this cover. I loved the costume they used for it, and the cowl and cape are especially impressive. To me, they look far better than anything used in the big budget Hollywood films.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Well, it seems that at long last DC has given up on the Captain Marvel name, and the original hero to go by that moniker is now called Shazam. I understand the reason for the change, but still think that Captain Thunder would have been a better choice for a new name. Shazam is a great transformation word and even a fitting name for the old wizard, but it still doesn't seem right to me for the main hero. So when Mary Batson gets her powers will we be calling her She-Zam now?
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
As I mentioned yesterday, the Red Circle/Archie line of superheroes have gone through multiple incarnations throughout the years. The latest version of the New Crusaders by Ian Flynn and Ben Bates looks to be pretty appealing to old school comics fans. I especially like the designs of the characters, particularly The Shield and Fly-Girl. Fly-Girl is the daughter of the original Flygirl, a character that has been around for decades. She has a great superhero name that works even better today than when it was originally conceived. I am hoping that this version of Fly-Girl and the rest of the Crusaders can find a solid following, because they really deserve the chance to thrive.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Archie Comics' cast of superhero characters seem to resurface every few years with a new take on them. I remember liking some of DC's Impact comics line when they had ownership of the characters many years back. The Fly stood out to me as it was my introduction to the great artwork of the late Mike Parobeck. It looks like the Crusaders are back in yet another incarnation, and I quite like the new designs - more on that tomorrow, because this story will be continued then...
Monday, December 17, 2012
I don't know if Jimmy Olsen will be part of the Man of Steel film, but I hope they give the character a nod. It was cool to me that Jimmy was a sidekick that you could actually relate to a little more than most, which were simply younger versions of the starring hero. Jimmy was just a regular awkward kid that Superman saw something special in, and it gave the reader the feeling that they could be worthy of being Superman's Pal too. Hopefully Jimmy will not be deemed too "uncool" and be jettisoned from this new film iteration altogether.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I was a big fan of the revamped Battlestar Galactica series and I was very excited when I heard about Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, a series featuring Adama in his 20's, just joining the war against the Cylons. I liked Caprica OK, but this seemed like the prequel I was really waiting for. Unfortunately the show is not going to be picked up, and all that was produced was a pilot. I watched it in installments at http://www.machinima.com/ and was very surprised at how much I liked it. The acting, story line and effects all kept me quite engaged, and I highly recommend that BSG fans check it out. SYFY is going to air the pilot in February and hopefully there will be a big enough reaction that they will perhaps reconsider their decision not to go forward with the series.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Green Lantern movie had a lot of potential, but the final result was a decidedly mixed bag. The biggest mistakes they made were with the villains. Their best villain was Sinestro - he looked right and Mark Strong performed the character perfectly... but they decided to sideline him and wait for the sequel to let him shine - which seems like a wasted opportunity since that sequel is looking very unlikely at this point. Hector Hammond was never a great villain in the comics so the decision to feature him so prominently puzzled me... couple that with the fact that they made him look so goofy design-wise, and his scenes are the worst in the movie for me. Finally we have Parallax, who should have been this very fearsome creature, and they made him another giant cloud, just like Galactus from the Second Fantastic Four film. Cloud Galactus was roundly mocked by fans and non-fans alike, so it baffled me why Warner Brothers would not learn from that, and just make the same mistake. A staight up Hal vs. Sinestro plotline would have probably been a lot more successful.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
These guys both have pretty impractical costumes for crime fighting, but I give them a pass because they just look so cool. An all-white costume is probably not the best choice for a night-based hero like Moon Knight, and Dr. Mid-Nite's duds look kind of heavy and clunky for running around in. That's the beauty of comics though, you don't have to be so beholden to functionality. These outfits look great on the printed page, and that's what matters most.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Blue Devil's original series was a ton of fun and the kind of comic that we don't see enough of nowadays. I have enjoyed the character's appearances in various team titles since his own series ended, but attempts to darken him have taken away some of the original appeal for me. Daimon Hellstrom was always a dark character, but he took on more of a superheoish role than he would later be known for when I first encountered him in the pages of The Defenders. That remains my favorite version of the character, and the later, grittier stories he was involved in didn't do much for me.
Monday, December 10, 2012
To be honest, I don't know how long that Doctor Doom would put up with a partnership with the Joker, but that would be part of the fun of a story like this. This cover represents the two greatest rivalries in comics, in my opinion. The Joker and Batman are such complete opposites that it is always interesting watching them clash with one another. Doom and Reed Richards on the other hand had quite a bit in common at one time - their great intellects led them to the same courses in college, after all. The drama between them lies in how their personalities sent them on widely divergent paths. I get the feeling that Doom is secretly envious of Mr. Fantastic while The Joker probably pities Batman in his own crazy way.
Friday, December 7, 2012
I always read about how Batman could beat anybody, given time to prepare. I think that the same argument could me made for Captain America in the Marvel Universe. Cap may not have as many gadgets as Batman, but his "never give up" attitude is unparalleled by any other superhero. Some of my favorite Captain America stories are where he is up against unfathomable power like Kang or The Cosmic Cube... and he still finds a way to win. Chris Evans has done well with this aspect of the character, you really believe this is a guy who could take anything thrown at him.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The movie rights to Daredevil have reverted back to Marvel, and I am very curious to see what approach they take with the character. Something tells me that we won't be seeing any playground battle scenes featuring Matt Murdock in his street clothes next time out. Marvel would be wise to avoid a "hip" soundtrack that only serves to date the movie the next time around as well. I recently watched a great sports movie, Warrior, which starred Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte and Joel Edgerton. Egderton is a great actor and a tough looking redhead who can take on very physical roles. I think Marvel should look very closely at this guy for their next live action Daredevil.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Captain Britain's original costume is one of my favorites. It seems like it shouldn't work but for some reason it just looks cool to me. The Guardians' appearance has gone through a few changes over the years. I am glad that they don't all look pretty much identical to one another anymore. The Green Lantern movie over-thought their design (as they did with the overly glowing GL uniforms) by giving them translucent heads that reminded me of Mars Attacks more than anything else. Don't get me started on the silly giant chairs they were perched upon! Those seemed a bit impractical.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
As I was making this cover, I realized that I was featuring a couple of Steve Ditko characters, but without using Ditko artwork - so I decided to sneak in a back-up feature to make up for that. It's too bad that Steve Ditko never once returned to Spider-Man after he left the character. I saw a documentary recently where Stan Lee expressed the desire to get together with the reclusive Ditko for one more Spidey tale. I don't know if he could ever convince him to do that, but I would pick that issue up in a second!
Monday, December 3, 2012
Marvel has once again retooled their Thunderbolts title and I am surprised to see The Punisher in the line up, alongside Red Hulk, Deadpool, Electra and Venom. Sure Frank Castle has crossed paths with many other characters in his career, but this is the first time I have seen him become a full fledged team member. Don't get me wrong, the team that has been assembled here sounds like it will be interesting to follow, but The Punisher joining a super group seems crazy to me, even a hard edged group like this one. I hope that Writer Daniel way comes up with a plausible reason for his inclusion, because nothing in Frank Castle's past appearances suggests that he was much of a joiner.