Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Justice Society of America and The Avengers: In Memoriam

Nobody has ever been better at illustrating team comics than George Perez.  His ability to give each character distinct body and facial types is put to great effect, as is his talent at creating densely paneled pages and detailed backgrounds.  These skills allow each member of a large cast to shine and give the whole comic a more cinematic feel.  Could any other artist have pulled off Crisis on Infinite Earths nearly as well as he did, with its cast of hundreds? I think not!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spider-Man and Halo

As a fan  of Mike W.Barr and Jim Aparo's Batman and the Outsiders, I am glad to see Katana finally getting some increased exposure with her self-titled series, membership in the JLA, and appearances on the Beware the Batman CGI series.  Now it's time for DC to take another look at her teammate, Halo.  Here is a great character that they have all but ignored for decades.  She has it all, a unique look, power set and back story.  Best of all, she is a truly original creation, and not just a female version of  an already existing male hero.  It's beyond me why DC decides to keep her on the shelf and out of the comic pages.  If nothing else, she should show up in the pages of Katana, those two always had an interesting relationship.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wonder Woman and Captain America in: "The Trouble With Trevor!"

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Steve Trevor would be playing an active role in the recently relaunched Justice League of America series.  He is one character that has really benefited from DC's new continuity, for decades it seemed like writers couldn't figure out what to do with him, more often than not he was just written out of the series entirely.  It looks like DC is building up the character before having he and Wonder Woman start up any kind of romantic relationship, which is probably the right approach.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Super-Team Family: The Lost issues at Boston Comic Con!

It's one week until the Boston Comic Con and I will be attending on Saturday, August 3, along with a couple of my brothers.  It has been a few years since I have been to a con and decades since I have been to one in Boston, so I am really looking forward to it.  My brothers and I will be wearing some custom made Lost Issues T-Shirts, so if you see us, make sure you say hello, we'd love to meet some fellow comic fans!  My brother, Alan, will be showing off artwork from his autobiographical story Merlin the Phoenix.  He is a great artist and has quite a story to tell, so I can't wait for his work to find the audience it deserves!  There's a ton of cool guests showing  up and the weather should be great - it looks to be a fun time and I can't wait!

You can find all the details on the Guests, Location  and Tickets here, hope you can join me!

Here's Alan's graphic design website:

Aquaman and Iron Man

Iron Man's future on the big screen seems to be in good hands, with slated appearances in at least two more Avengers films.  There aren't any more solo films planned, but that probably isn't a bad thing, for now.  I'd rather have fewer appearances by the character rather than Iron Man be over saturated with a bored Robert Downey Jr. phoning in the role.

With a Batman/Superman film announced, it seems like DC is finally on the road to a Justice League movie - but will it include founding member Aquaman?  He seems like a harder character to introduce within a JLA movie, but would DC/Warner brothers really take a chance on a solo film that is bound to be very expensive to make, given the largely underwater locales?  I think the only way it could work is if they got a major star for the lead role and a top director behind the camera.  The Favreau/Downey Jr. combo took everyone by surprise with a previously B-list character and we need the same kind of collaboration with Aquaman.  It's a tall order, but I think it could be done well, and look unlike any superhero that audiences have seen before.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Watcher Watches The Watchmen

I originally put this cover together as kind of a goof because I liked how the names went together, but now that I think about it, there could be a fun story to be told.  The Watcher is no stranger to divergent timelines, so I can see him peeking into The Watchmen's world and wanting to see if events would have unfolded differently in another reality.  Sure, he's got a vow of non-interference, but when has that ever stopped Uatu?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Atari Force and The Micronauts

Comics based on toys usually held only marginal interest for me, but there were a couple of exceptions.  The Micronauts was based on some of my favorite toys of my youth, and featured the gorgeous art of Michael Golden.  The fact that Marvel had the characters firmly rooted in the Marvel universe, with plenty of guest appearances, made it even better.  I didn't really pay much attention to the video game tie-in aspect to Atari Force, it was the amazing artwork of Jose Luis Garcia Lopez that drew me in.  I'd love to see either of these teams return, but with tangled rights situations, I am not holding my breath.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Green Hornet and Nightwing

The Green Hornet film was an insult to the classic character, in my opinion.  I was worried that it would tarnish the property, but I am glad to see that in the comics, The Green Hornet is forging right ahead.  He has attracted some amazing talent and I think that the character on the printed page is looking better than ever.  Here's hoping that a live action reboot will take its cues from the comic books next time around.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The X-Men Vs. Lex Luthor

I thought that Luthor's power-suit was a bit much when I first saw it, but it has since grown on me, mainly from its use in the Justice League cartoons.  They did a good job of reconciling the various types of Luthors that we had seen over the decades in the comics, from corrupt executive to ringleader of fellow villains and even to his Presidential aspirations. The writers, along with Clancy Brown's excellent vocal work, always kept Luthor fresh and exciting throughout the various animated shows that he starred in.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Masked Marvel and Stupendous Man

Calvin and Snoopy are two of the most classic comic strip characters, and they share one major trait in common.  They both have incredible imaginations and picture themselves in all sorts of exciting roles: space captain, world war II fighting ace, private detective, prize winning author, and of course - masked heroes!  The strips that depicted those imaginary worlds are among my favorites, and you can really tell that Charles Schulz and Bill Watterson put their hearts into those adventures.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nemesis and Nick Fury

I remember when I first saw the Nemesis 8-page backup stories that ran after the main feature in Brave and the Bold.  I was much more interested in the batman team ups and only glossed over them.  A few years later, I decided to give these stories a fair shake and read them all back to back.  I was very glad I did, because writer Cary Burkett and Artist Dan Spiegle wove a great tale featuring deceptions, disguises and daring escapes.  They really knew how to take advantage to the format and really kept the pace of the saga pumping along.  I don't think that these stories have ever been collected, and that's a shame because they deserve to find a wider audience.  Nemesis floated around the DCU for years, with notable appearances in Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman before the New 52 hit.  Time will tell if he appears again - I certainly hope so.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Firestorm and The Vision

A coldly logical synthezoid with a desire to be more human and a headstrong rookie hero eager to be taken more seriously... this is a combination that would make for some interesting conflict.  Then again, I remember Ronnie Raymond having a good relationship with The Red Tornado, so maybe he and The Vision could find some common ground.  Whichever direction the writer chose to go, it would be fun to read about!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Elongated Man and Quicksilver

In an interesting turn of events, Quicksilver is slated to appear in both X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers 2.  He is one of the few characters shared between 20th Century Fox  and Marvel and thus there will be two different live action interpretations to compare.  It seems that he will have a more substantial role in Avengers, given the glut of characters in X-Men... but then again, his father is Magneto, so how small could his role be there?

Ralph Dibny is still MIA at DC... along with Wally West and Alex Luthor.  Jimmy Olsen was turned into a brunette girl for the movies and Richard Dragon has been remade as a bald guy.  I'm not sure why DC is suddenly so anti-ginger, but I can't say it sits well with me!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Justice League of America Vs. Dr. Doom

Now that Man of Steel is a financial success, chances for a JLA movie down the line just got a little bit stronger, after a few years of doubt and false starts.  Everyone is expecting the big 5 - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern - to show up, but who will fill out the roster?  Can Aquaman work?  Will they go for Cyborg to reflect the newest comics?  The most important question to me is whether they will include The Martian Manhunter - a founding member who nevertheless has never achieved the high profile of his teammates.  I think he is a must for a JLA film, as he is the heart and soul of the team for me.  I even have the perfect actor to play him in mind.  Henry Simmons was great on NYPD Blue, and I always thought that he had the physique and intellect to bring J'onn J'onzz to life.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Decoders

I had fun assembling this team.  I tried to select members based on the function they could serve.  Max Headroom would be the conduit to all media, C3PO would handle communications with any type of language or code, Tron is the ultimate inside man with his ability to enter the computer grid, Arno Stark is the high-tech muscle, and Oracle runs the show and coordinates the operatives.  I almost included Cypher from the New Mutants but C3PO covered his skill set.  Looking at the team, I think their varied personalities would make for some fun interaction as they worked together.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Creeper and Daredevil in "Media Blitz!"

I always thought that the Creeper was cool. I really liked that his alter ego, Jack Ryder, was a TV tabloid journalist - that seemed like a great springboard for story ideas.  The Creeper was one of  the characters missing from DC's New 52 that I had been hoping to see reappear.  It seems he has now, in name at least, in the pages of Katana.  I've seen some pages featuring a Creeper that looks more like a parade dragon than the Ditko designed hero of the previous continuity.  I haven't read the stories though, so I don't know if that will be the final form of the character.  Can anyone tell me what's up?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Green Arrow & Black Canary and The Man-Thing

Justice League of America #200 has one of the most amazing artistic line-ups of any single issue that I have ever read.  I remember loving seeing so many of my favorite artists - Jim Aparo, Joe Kubert, Gil Kane, George Perez, Dick Giordano, and so on together in one big story... and then there was the amazing chapter featuring Green Arrow and Black Canary versus Batman by an artist that was completely new to me at the time.  I'm sure I had seen some Brian Bolland covers at that point, but this was the first time I had seen his interiors, and they blew me away.  His characters maintained realistic proportions but were still larger than life and his detailed artwork was done with a meticulous precision unlike any I had seen before.  I had a similar experience with Art Adams - as great as his covers were, I really began to appreciate him when I saw his interiors on Longshot and his various Marvel Annuals, where he really got to show off his storytelling abilities in addition to his character design.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Spectre and Doctor Strange Vs. Nightmare!

Of all of Marvel's second phase movie plans, what has me the most intrigued is Doctor Strange. Some vague plot points and characters have been released and so far it sounds like they are on the right track.  Still, what I really need to hear is who is going to star as Strange and who will direct.  It's one of the tougher properties to pull off and  hopefully Marvel will make the right decisions.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The New Mutants and Jor-El.

One of the surprises for me in watching Man of Steel was Russel Crowe's performance as Jor-El.  I came in with lowered expectations because I had just seen the man almost single-handedly destroy the film adaptation of Les Miserables (he is a talented actor, but his singing voice leaves much to be desired).  I thought he handled the role of Superman's birth father well, and I was not expecting him to have so much screen time.  I especially liked the extended opening sequence on Krypton, it was cool to see Crowe in full action hero mode again.  I wouldn't have minded a whole film set on Krypton from what I saw there, it was a visual feast.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Galactus and Mr. Mind

Villains come in all sizes in the world of comics, and these two are clear reminders of that.  One of the scariest things about Galactus was that, due to his extreme size and power, he generally considered humans to be less than insects and beneath his notice.  Mr. Mind, on the other hand, would often go unnoticed and underestimated by mankind - much to its regret!  I can only imagine a union of these two would be bad news for Earth.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Angel and Hawkgirl

There is something very iconic about winged characters that has always appealed to me.  They look great on the page, even in silhouette.  The ability to fly seems to be the most common choice when people are asked what power they would like to have, and that is certainly part of the attraction.  Depending on the design, wings can make your character appear more angelic, demonic or avian, so there's a broad range of stories that can be told with them.  This cover features two of my favorite heroes to sport this look.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sandman And Rorschach

These guys have the right idea.  If you want to put together a cool crime fighting costume, most heroes opt to look like circus performers.  Sure, it may allow for freedom of movement, but there's a big risk of being a fashion disaster.  These guys  simply grabbed a hat, trench coat and face-concealing mask for their ensemble, and it works!  They are two of the cooler looking street level characters in comics.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Vigilante and John Wayne

Well it looks like the latest incarnation of The Lone Ranger was a bit of a dud critically and commercially. It's too bad because I think there is a great movie to be had with the character if handled properly.  It'll probably be another 20 years before he gets a theatrical chance again, so maybe it's time to give The Vigilante a shot at the big screen!  Country singer by day, masked hero by night, maybe some cameos from his teammates in the Seven Soldiers of Victory... I know I would buy a ticket!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Green Lantern and She-Hulk

You can't really blame She-Hulk for being fed up here.  The Guardians of the Universe have a long history of manipulating the heroes they work with for their own mysterious ends.  Apparently this has come to a head in the Green Lantern titles, and Hal Jordan has taken over leadership of the Corps. It will be interesting to see where this change in status will take that corner of the DCU.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Robotman and Robocop

Marvel just wrapped up another Ultron epic and it is good to see him and Hank Pym in the spotlight again.  Ultron is easily my favorite Avengers villain and I really want to see him adapted to the big screen - hopefully this new focus is the first indication of that becoming a reality.

Robocop will be heading back into theaters with a rebooted version soon.  There is some impressive talent involved, but I can't help but worry that this will be another Total Recall type unnecessary redo.  I hope I will be proven wrong, and I will try to keep an open mind until I see some actual footage.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The JSA and The Avengers in "Cruel Intentions in Dual Dimensions!"

I featured a these two teams together in their more modern incarnations a few weeks back, and I thought I would try my hand at a more retro cover.  I used to love checking out the All-Star Comics reprints that would show up in 100-Page JLA issues.  As cool as it was for me to see all those heroes together at once, I can only imagine how it must have felt for a young fan seeing the original issues on the newsstand back in the 40's.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Phantom Stranger on The Death Star

The Phantom Stranger was always known to arrive at points of great conflict and offer his sage advice, so it it that much of a stretch that he could show up to offer the Empire's soldiers the choice to break free from their predetermined mission?  It might make for a fun story that would combine science fiction with magic, something the Star Wars universe is no stranger to.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Atom and Machine Man

The first Machine Man mini-series that came out during the 80's was a revelation for me.  Mini-Series were still relatively new at that point , so it was cool to see one of my favorite lower tier characters get a chance to shine.  It was a fun, inventive story as well - set in the future with appearances by Iron Man 2020.  What stood out the most for me though was the artwork of Barry Windsor-Smith.  It was the first time I had seen BWS' pencils and inks, and I was blown away.  Then there were those covers - the 4-issue format gave him the opportunity to do something really neat.  Each cover featured a close-up of Machine Man's head, being assembled more and more with each issue.  They were so eye-catching and unlike any covers I had seen before, they really made the comic stand out on the racks.  It was a great design choice that I remember fondly to this day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Captain America and The Shield

I hope everyone is having a happy 4th of July today (regardless of where you come from).  The town I live in has fireworks just a few blocks away, so all I needed to do was pull up a chair to my window and watch them go off last night, it was a blast (in more ways than one)!  Anyway, I thought today would be a good time to feature a double dose of Jack Kirby flag-bearing heroes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It Girl and Power Girl

I have written before about how much I love Mike Allred's artwork.  His clean, expressive style is always filled with interesting designs and body types.  I can tell he really has fun with the breakout star of The Atomics, It Girl.  Her ability to mimic the properties of anything she touches really allows Allred to get visually creative.  Ramona Fradon is one of the greatest underestimated artists that the industry has seen, in my eyes.  Take a look at her work on Aquaman or Metamorpho and you will see that she has many of the same artistic sensibilities that make modern illustrators like Allred so appealing.  It's even more impressive when you consider how male dominated the industry was back when she broke into the scene.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sub-Mariner and The Demon

These are two characters that are just as likely to work against the heroes of their respective universes as they are to work with them, and that's one thing that makes them interesting to me.  I think they work best when they are depicted as loose cannons, and not too chummy with the rest of the superheroic community - that tension makes for good drama and a more unpredictable story.  I can imagine that they would really butt heads if they shared a tale together, and that would be fun to read about.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Tick Vs. Doctor Doom

Nobody wants to squash villainy more than the Tick, and nobody has less patience for shenanigans than Victor Von Doom, so I think this would make for an interesting match up. I don't know who I would give the edge to in this battle, but  it would be fun watching Doom's nerves getting increasingly frayed.

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