Thursday, May 31, 2018

Black Lightning and The Falcon

The idea of a family of superheroes is an appealing one.  The Fantastic Four, The Incredibles, The First Family, even TV's short lived No Ordinary Family - I have found all of their adventures to be very entertaining.  Now, we have Jefferson Pierce and his daughters on the CW's Black Lightning.  I loved the first season and I can't wait to see where the series goes now that a three are embracing their heroic sides.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Insect Queen and Ant-Man

After the enormous cast and giant stakes of Avengers: Infinity War, I am looking forward to the smaller scale (in more ways than one) Ant-Man and The Wasp.  I especially am intrigued by the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, and hope we get to see more footage of the originals in action.  The Ghost looks very cool from the trailer, and promises to be an interesting adversary.  Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster mentions his time as Goliath, can we hope to see a flashback of him in full superhero form as well?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Superman and Mr. Fantastic

Krypton isn't a perfect show, but the first season turned out to be a lot more watchable than I had expected.  Brainiac made for a suitably creepy big bad, and the quick glimpse we got of Doomsday was a lot more faithful than the version we got in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am hoping that Adam Strange will become more faithful to his comic book counterpart as well when the show returns.  I'd love to see other DCU races introduced for Season Two... bring on the Thanagarians, Okaarans, and Khunds!

Superman first faced Annihilus in STF #873...

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Partridge Family in The Marvel Universe

I remember seeing ads for "The biggest rock event of the decade", as Stan Lee so subtly put it - Spider-Man Rock Reflections of a Superhero,  and wondering what that was all about.  I am sure that I can find the contents on YouTube, but did anyone here get this when it first came out?  If so, did you find it to be any good?  Was there a story thread or just random songs strung together?  And does anything on it top the classic Metamorpho theme song from Power Records?  That's a high bar.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Guardians of the Galaxy Vs. The Anti-Monitor

OK, if by some chance you haven't seen it and haven't had it spoiled for you yet - here there be SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War...

I loved the movie, even if I was a little annoyed by the cliffhanger ending, when we were led to believe that there wouldn't be one. You have to give the Russo Brothers credit for being able to balance to many characters so well, giving almost everyone a moment to shine.  They also balanced the humor, action and drama very deftly.  In some of Marvel's more recent attempts, the humor undercut the tension an bit too much for my taste, but here it was done just right. Gamora's death was the big shocker for me, I didn't expect it at all, even though story wise it was probably inevitable.  I think it will stick, too - as will all the deaths before the SNAP!  Zoe Saldana will be OK - she has two other space epic franchises with Star Trek and Avatar, after all - and her absence will make for great drama in the third Guardians of the Galaxy film.  There may be some hope for The Vision to return as the seeds were planted there with Shuri's attempts to save him.  As for those who turned to ash after the SNAP!, I think the question is about how they return rather than if, considering how many are slated to appear in already announced sequels.  I am sure I will enjoy this movie a lot more once the follow-up Avengers movie is released.  As it stands, it's a great half of a story.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Flash Gordon and Captain Comet

I am always amazed at the level of artwork talent that worked on Flash Gordon comic strips.  Alex Raymond, Gray Morrow, Al Williamson, Mac Raboy, Jime Keefe, Austin Bridges, Dan Barry and more provided beautifully detailed illustrations to go with the thrilling tales of intergalactic derring-do.  I am sure that reading his adventures inspired many a future comic artist... not to mention members of the space program!

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Atom and Machine Man in: "Get Out of My head!"

With the events of Avengers: Infinity War, it looks like The Vision may be off the table for a while, if not for good.  While I will miss the synthezoid, that does provide an opening for another robotic character.  How cool would it be to see Machine Man make the leap to the big screen - especially if the stayed close to the original Jack Kirby design?  I compute that it would be extremely cool!

This tale picks off directly from the events of STF #448, one of my personal favorite covers...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mister Miracle Vs. Doctor Doom

I am hoping that Mister Miracle will be the focal point of the New Gods film that is currently in the planning stages.  He is easily my favorite of all of Kirby's Fourth World characters, and the escape artist aspect will certainly make for some exciting action sequences.  Keeping his colorful costume is a must - between his showmanship on Earth and the otherworldly tech of Apokolips, there's no reason not to use it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thunderbolts Vs. The Secret Society of Super-Villains

Ever since I was a kid watching The Legion of Doom on Super Friends, I have always liked seeing villains joining together to make teams of their own.  It's cool to see so much power amassed together and the conflicts that arise when a group of evil, self-serving personalities attempt to work as one.  The Thunderbolts took the concept one step further by having the villains pose as heroes, and explored the effect that had on all of them - making it one of my favorite Marvel series.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hercules and Mary Marvel

Shazam! has finished filming and now the movie is in the visual effects stage, so hopefully there will be enough completed to show us some footage soon.  The film promises to finally have some lighter fare in contrast to the heavy goings-on that we have seen in the DCEU thus far, so I have hope that it will mark a turning point and strike a positive chord with audiences.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cyclops and Swamp Thing

I was very glad to hear that a new Swamp Thing series will be a part of DC's new streaming service.  If they follow the Alan Moore run on the character and the effects are up to par, it could be very cool. The previous series featuring the muck-monster, both live action and animated, did not set a very high bar - so there's nowhere to go but up!

A big thank you to David Miller for giving me the suggestion to put Swamp Thing on Krakoa, a concept full of possibility!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

C-3PO Vs. Brainiac

Reviews for Solo: A Star Wars Story are coming in and while the film seems to be not nearly as divisive as The Last Jedi, nobody seems overwhelmed by it either.  Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian gets the most praise, and the rest of the film is said to be okay, even if the stakes aren't very high.  I actually don't mind that it's a smaller story set in the Star Wars universe, not everything has to have galaxy threatening events to be entertaining.  I'll wait to see what general audiences feel once it is officially released before deciding whether this is worth a trip to the theater or just a rental.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ms. Marvel and The Huntress

I have some Avengers: Infinity War speculation here, so beware if you haven't seen it....

OK, so the post credits scene featured Nick Fury sending a distress call to Captain Marvel, using a retro-looking phone.  Earlier we saw Doctor Strange telling Tony Stark that giving up the Time Stone was the only way that they could hope to defeat Thanos.  Some leaked images have shown Captain America in his costume from the first Avengers alongside of Ant-Man, who never met him until Civil War.  It seems as though there is going to be some timeline hopping and possibly restructuring in the next movie - I wouldn't be surprised to find out Strange had tampered with the stone before turning it over.  I thought this plot device would not be used until Kang was available as a character, but that seems like where we are headed - and it opens up all kinds of fun possibilities.

Friday, May 18, 2018

X-Men and The Flash

I am looking forward to the season finale of The Flash next week.  This season, they finally got away from the big bad being yet another speedster and went with The Thinker instead, and it has been pretty solid so far.  I do hope they find a way to resurrect Elongated Man, who was taken over by the villain a few episodes back, I was really enjoying him on the show.  The series might not be perfect, but it does a much better job of bringing The Flash to life than the Ezra Miller Justice League movie version did.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cyborg and Brother Voodoo

One frustration that I had with Cyborg in Justice League stems from his final moment in the film.  In the epilogue montage, we see him morph his robotic body into something close to the comic book version - and it looks great!  The frustration is that we only see it for all of two seconds.  If they had that design, why did they go with the "crumpled up tin foil" look for the remainder of the movie, which did not work nearly as well?  Just one of a number of maddening choices that were made for the movie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Justice Machine and Blue Beetle

DC has acquired characters from other comic companies over the years, but none seemed to integrate as well as the heroes from Charlton comics.  Maybe it was because most of the Charlton creators also worked for DC, or because of DC's willingness to go and include the characters in their own series and as members of team books right away.  Blue Beetle in particular seemed to fir right in - he seemed like he had always been a member of the DCU. and was finally where he belonged.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Crimson Avenger and Dick Tracy

I liked The Crimson Avenger when I was a kid, but he didn't really stand out among the other non-powered Golden Age heroes for me.  That all changed when I read his appearance in a Whatever Happened To... tale in an issue of DC Comics Presents.  In just a few pages, we were treated to the tale of his final, self-sacrificing adventure.  It made a huge impact on me, and I have always made a point to check out his appearances since then.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Haunted Tank and The Hulk

The Marvel cinematic Hulk has been undergoing some changes.  In Thor: Ragnarok, it was revealed that he remained in Hulk form for over 2 years, and then in Avengers: Infinity War (SPOILERS past this point...……), we see the opposite playing out, with Banner in on the action and The Hulk refusing to emerge after getting smacked down by Thanos.  Are the Russo Brothers leading towards a merged Hulk in the next Avengers movie, with all the strength and intelligence of both of his sides working together?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Doc Samson Vs. Harley Quinn in: "Psychiatric Breakdown!"

DC seems determined to bring Harley Quinn back to the big screen, they just don't seem to be able to decide just how to do that.  There have been films floated for Harley and The Joker, Gotham City Sirens, Batgirl, Suicide Squad 2 and Batman - any of which could showcase  Dr. Harleen Quinzel's breed of insanity.  A Batgirl film seems to be getting the most steam these days, but DC changes their plans from week to week, so who knows where Margot Robbie will put on the face paint again?

 These two shrinks first crossed paths in STF #1216...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Star Wars and The Justice League of America

Concluding our 4-part tale, we see that The League finally gets to meet the main players in the Rebellion.  I was the perfect age when the original Star Wars was first released - 8 years old.  I remember our parents packing all 7 of us kids plus three of our cousins into the van and going to see it while we were on vacation.  I hadn't even seen an advertisement for it so I had no idea what I was in for.  The most special effects I had seen on the big screen up to that point was Freaky Friday, so my little head just about exploded with excitement from what I was watching on screen.  in those pre-video days, it would be many years before I saw the movie again, but it was already embedded into my subconscious, I was an instant fan of the world George Lucas created.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Darth Vader Vs. The Justice League of America

Presenting another two-part adventure - well, actually, this is part three of a four-part adventure since it picks off of events that began in STF #1103 and then continued into STF #1104... so stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

The more I watch Justice League, the more I am disappointed by the decisions made on that film.  For a movie that cost so much money, it looks really cheap - the entire third act appears as if it takes place on a big empty soundstage, with CGI elements added in later, making it look a lot more like a video game than a movie... and who are are the League saving anyway?  As far as I can tell, there was only a single family of civilians. I kind of wish there was a shot at the end of Avengers: Infinity War with the League fading away, so we can just start over with the DCEU (OK they can keep the actors for WW and Superman maybe).

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Superman and Mandrake the Magician

Given Superman's vulnerability to magic, I am surprised that he wasn't paired up with DC's mystical characters more often.  He didn't have much interaction with Doctor Fate or The Spectre, despite their Justice Society of America connection.  Zatara was also introduced in Action Comics #1, and yet I don't recall if they ever shared an adventure together... which would have been cool to see.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Green Arrow and The Beast in "Get a Grip!"

It will still probably be some time before we hear any announcements concerning the movie plans for characters that Marvel can now use due to the Disney/Fox merger, but there are so many cool possibilities.  Many people are looking forward to a new, more comics accurate version of the X-Men, myself included - but my main hope is for the movies to imitate the comics and have a hairy Hank McCoy become a full fledged Avenger himself.  He was on the team during my favorite era of that group and I would love to see that time represented.

Green Arrow and The Beast first shared an adventure together back in STF #525...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Catwoman and Power Man & Iron Fist (Part Two)

Continued from yesterday's cover, we se nothing is ever easy where The Serpent Crown is concerned...

So, it looks like DC is really about to go through with a marriage between Batman and Catwoman. A big change, to be sure, but strong writing made it work with Superman so maybe it can work here as well.  Selina Kyle always seemed like Bruce Wayne's greatest love interest and it will be interesting where things go from here.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Catwoman and Power Man & Iron Fist (Part One)

It will be interesting to see how the Netflix' Marvel shows address the events of Avengers: Infinity War.  Thus far, the connections to the larger MCU have been relatively minor - a comment here and there, or a newspaper headline in the background.  But given the major ramifications of the final moments of Infinity War, I don't see how the Netflix characters cannot have a reaction.  My guess is that they will avoid the issue by placing the next seasons of each show before the events of Thanos' attack.

This is only Part One of a Two- Part tale, so make sure you return here tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dynomutt and Robotman

DC has had some fun teaming their heroes up with the stars of Hanna-Barbera, so maybe we will see something close to this one day.  I understand that the Doom Patrol will be featured on DC's upcoming streaming  channel Titans show.  I hope they do a live action Cliff Steele justice.  So far the I have seen costumes that look great (Robin, Hawk and Dove), and some that I am not impressed with (Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy), so I'll keep my fingers crossed the DP is represented well.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Martian Manhunter and Firestar

It's been a nice treat to see Carl Lumbly as the father of J'onn J'onzz on Supergirl.  His voicing of the Martian Manhunter on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited was great and it's cool to see him working with the character again.  Plus, I have been a fan of his since his own 90's superhero show, M.A.N.T.I.S.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Blue Devil and Sasquatch

I remember when Alpha Flight first came out, John Byrne was on absolute fire.  He was at the top of his game and was also on his amazing Fantastic Four run at the same time.  It was a great time to be a comics fan, getting a double dose of Byrne goodness each month.  I was always sorry that he never returned to the Alpha Flight characters later on in his career.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thor Vs. The Flash

This is another cover that was suggested by Comics Historian and Patron of this blog, Marc Tyler Nobleman - and a pairing that frankly I was surprised that I had not gotten to yet.  By the Way, if you haven't checked out Nobleman's documentary, Batman and Bill, treat your self and do so.  It's playing on Hulu and tells the story of how Nobleman spearheaded the effort to give Bill Finger the proper credit for his role in creating Batman.  Even if you think you know the story, there is so much more to it, and it made for a very enjoyable watch.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Hit Squad

This cover, team name and all, comes from a suggestion by Mike Shirley, a Patron of this blog - thanks, Mike!  Hitman was a series that I didn't think would be my cup of tea, but after checking out an issue on a whim, I found it so entertaining that I ended up buying a bunch of TPB's t catch up on all the back issues.  Funny stuff!

Support STF: The Lost Issues!