Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Here's another guy who would fit right in at Ben's poker table. Ted is still deceased in the comics but is one of the harder working dead guys in the business what with flashbacks, time travel stories and his appearance on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It's nice to see him getting some post-death visibility, but hopefully DC will bring him back for real one of these days.
Apparently, the new Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) will be making an upcoming appearance on Smallville this season. That will be interesting to see, I hope it is handled well. I did see some supposed test footage that was floating around, but that may be from a separately proposed project.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I was aware of Blackhawk from their guest appearances in more superhero themed magazines, but it wasn't until the co-feature in Action Comics Weekly that I began to follow the characters. I liked the personality that Howard Chaykin gave to Janos Prohaska and really enjoyed the sleek art of Rick Burchett on that series.
With its international flavor and wartime action, this is another property that could find success on the big screen, if handled cleverly enough. I could see it working as a period piece or even updated for the present day.
Friday, November 26, 2010
I still think it is a crime that Black Lightning was not used on The Super Friends and they instead decided to feature the copycat Black Vulcan. I think that if they had gone with the real deal then Jefferson Pierce could have really hit the big time as far as public awareness goes. I have enjoyed this character throughout the years, beginning with his original series by Tony Isabella. I also quite liked Isabella's second run on the character with the great moody pencils by Eddie Newell. Black Lightning was utilized well in the Outsiders and even though it was cool that he finally got his shot as a member of the JLA, I am glad to see him back with his first team. I encourage fans of the character to seek out the recent mini-series Black Lightning: Year One, by Jen Van Mateer and Cully Hamner. It was my favorite of the recent "Year One" titles and Hamner really knocked it our of the park with the art. I'd love to see him work on the character again.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I think it's only fitting that Ben meets the Birds on Thanksgiving! I hope you all have had a wonderful day filled with turkey, family and football!
I think The Birds of Prey is one of the best concepts that DC has come up with in years. I have truly enjoyed their adventures, which have had solid tales by Gail Simone and Chuck Dixon that strike a great balance between action and characterization. It's another team book that serves as a worthy home for characters that might not be able to generate the sales for a solo title. I love the fact that Lady Blackhawk has found a new lease on life there, for instance. The addition of Hawk and Dove in the most recent series is a very welcome one, as well. The art can be a bit too cheesecake for my taste at times, but don't let that put you off the title - it's always been very dependable.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I think that Geoff Darrow is one of the most amazing artists ever to work in comics. It's a shame that he doesn't do more work, but maybe not all that surprising since the art he provides is so incredibly meticulous and detailed. I could stare at his pages from Big Guy or Hard Boiled for hours. There was a short lived cartoon series featuring Big Guy and Rusty several years back. I was very cool to see Darrow's creations in motion, even in simplified form. I know that Darrow does a lot of film concept work, but I hope he returns with a new comic book project one of these days - I know I would definitely be first in line for it!
I was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of Darrow sketches featuring today's guest stars - here they are:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
One of the reasons that I wanted to use Thing as the new host of this cover project was that I wanted to see if I could do some Kirby/Kirby mash-ups using some of his creations from his time at DC. Here is the first one, I have a few more all-Kirby covers waiting in the wings as well.
I was happy to see Big Barda get a lot of screen time in the recent Superman/Batman: Apocalypse animated feature. Smallville is having a Darkseid-centric season this year, so maybe she will pop up there too. The Fourth World characters seem to still be in limbo at DC for the time being, but it's only a matter of time before they are dusted off and utilized again. Hopefully when that happens, Barda and Scott Free will be front and center.
Monday, November 22, 2010
The caption I used on the Batman Beyond cover got me thinking of whether I could make a cover utilizing BTTF and this is what I came up with. I loved the film when it was first released, I still remember my brother driving me and my friends to go see it. I am even a fan of the sequels (although they missed reaching the heights of the first installment by not including Crispin Glover's character). I'm thinking Ben could introduce Doc Brown to Reed Richards and by combining Doom's time platform with the DeLorean, epic adventures would ensue!
Friday, November 19, 2010
I would really love to see a Batman Beyond feature film. I have a feeling that Christopher Nolan is going to be saying goodbye to Batman after The Dark Knight Rises, so BB would be a good film to follow it up with. I already have the perfect casting in mind for Bruce Wayne: Clint Eastwood. All they would have to do is adapt the first few episodes of the animated series and you have cinema gold, right there.
It's nice to see the world of Batman Beyond enduring through the character's new ongoing self titled solo series. DC has been smart about taking what works well in their properties' TV and film efforts and weaving them into the comic continuity. Terry McGuiness, Harley Quinn and most recently Chloe Sullivan have all made the leap, and I am sure we will see more in the future.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Well, it looks like Ben settled into his new role! As I wrote yesterday, I am glad to see the the full team is finally back in action in the current Outsiders title. This is especially true for Halo and Katana. There are still far too few women heroes that aren't simply female versions of pre-existing male characters. It was a shame that Gabrielle and Tatsu were neglected for so many years. I hope their stock continues to rise. It was very fun to see the Outsiders team in action on a recent episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Toobad it was just for the opening pre-credits segment, it really made me want more!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I remember being very disappointed when I first found out that The Brave and the Bold was being cancelled with issue #200 and creators Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo would be moving on to a new team series. B&B was my favorite series ever and it should be clear by now that it was quite missed once it was gone. I still loved Aparo though and would follow him anywhere, so after reading the preview story from the final issue of B&B, I gladly began to follow the new series. I loved it, first of all, it included Metamorpho and Black Lightning, two of my favorite DC characters that I felt had been woefully under-used up to that point. I also liked all three new characters, Geo-Force, Katana and especially Halo. Barr infused them all with interesting personalities that bounced off of Batman in different ways.
The Outsiders I don't think ever really fully rebounded since Batman first left the team. There have been a few re-imaginings, but I am glad that the most recent version is very close to the original team. I quite like the addition of The Creeper, I think he fits right in. Hopefully, now that Batman is back and more opening to work with partners, he will fight alongside his former allies once again.
By the way, this story is continued... Part Two is coming tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When people talk about which comic costumes have been best translated to screen, they always seem to overlook Yvonne Craig's excellent Batgirl outfit from the 60's Batman series. Not only did it look exactly like the comic version, I don't think anyone has looked as good in a superhero costume since.
I am torn on the whole Barbara Gordon issue. I really don't like what Alan Moore did to the character in The Killing Joke, but I must say that her re-emergence as Oracle has been one of the coolest character arcs in all of comics and makes for a very unique hero. There are so few superheroes with disabilities that it would be a shame now to magically heal her, which DC has resisted thus far. That said, the Batgirls that have replaced her haven't really captured my attention. I really liked the idea of Commissioner Gordon's daughter as Batman's partner. I'm not sure there's any way to have it both ways other than feature Babs Batgirl in "untold stories" from time to time.
Here's a page from Batman Confidential featuring Batgirl, beatiful pencil art by Kevin Maguire:
Monday, November 15, 2010
I've never been a huge fan of gory horror films, so I never sought out the Evil Dead films when they were first released. Finally, a friend sat me down and had me watch Evil Dead 2. It was absolutely nothing like I had expected it to be. I thought it was great! I loved the inventiveness of the action and crazy camera shots. It made me a true Sam Raimi fan. Plus, Bruce Campbell as Ash really put 150% into his performance and earned his coolness pedigree right there.
I think Ben Grimm would enjoy battling the undead with Ash. They are both unimpressed and unafraid when faced with creatures that would make most of us head for the hills, and they both like to get off a few choice one-liners as they kick butt.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Aquaman seems to finally be coming out from under the "lame" status that has been unfairly cast upon him since he appearances in Super Friends. After years of writers trying to make him cooler with dramatic alterations (hook hand, teenage version, mystical version), DC has finally gotten him back to his classic look and attitude. I have been enjoying his appearances in Brightest Day quite a bit. Also, with popular appearances on Smallville and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the character is staying in the public eye. He looks to be making appearances in the upcoming Young Justice cartoon as well.
I was always drawn to Aquaman for the art most of all. Nick Cardy, Ramona Fradon and Jim Aparo all really shone on his adventures. I loved their depictions of Atlantis and the whole undersea world, just beautiful stuff.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
This is a match up that I would really like to see, because I get the feeling that Buddy Baker and Ben Grimm would get along well. Despite all of the crazy and fascinating things that these characters have seen and experienced, there are still just regular guy's at heart. I think Animal Man would fit right in at one of The Thing's famous poker nights.
Animal Man has been out of the spotlight since his last mini series. Hopefully DC will rectify that soon, he's a character that I love to follow and I will give any title prominently featuring him a try.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I have to give Warner Animation credit that between the Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoons, they have been able to bring an amazing number of their characters to the small screen. Ambush Bug is really a noticeable exception, though. With his simple design and irreverent meta attitude, he would be perfect for the cartoon treatment. Hopefully we will get one someday down the line!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Now that DC seems to really be pushing their characters for TV and film, I think it is time for Adam Strange to get his shot at the big screen. It really is such a great set-up: Earth man discovers a beam that temporarily transports him across space to an alien world where he finds love and becomes a hero, only to have the beam wear off at the worst possible moments forcing him to try and locate another and return in time to save the day. I think it has all the elements so make a big time blockbuster or even a series.
Adam Strange was out of the spotlight for a bit but in the past few years he has returned in a number mini-series, specials and team books. I even like his current look, just the right amount of updating on the classic costume. I am glad that he and a few of their other space-themed properties have been dusted off to appear in new adventures.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I think the above cover says it all. As of today, The Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues becomes Marvel Two-In-One: The Lost Issues! That's right, The great Ben Grimm will be taking on hosting duties for the next few months, while Bruce Wayne will take a much deserved breather. This does not mean that I am done with B&B covers by any means... I will still create new ones when inspiration strikes and they will eventually be posted on this blog. But for the immediate future, I hope you all enjoy the MTIO covers!
Here's a Mike Wieringo page featuring The Thing to celebrate the new direction:
Friday, November 5, 2010
I have always had a soft spot for Simon Williams. I liked that he was an aspiring actor, as I was at one point. For Simon, the superhero thing has often been a secondary focus and he can be a somewhat reluctant hero at times - but he always steps up when he is needed. I especially enjoy his adventures when he is paired with The Beast - those two were like the Booster Gold and Blue Beetle of the Marvel Universe (indeed, well before Blue&Gold were matched up!) I'd love to see Marvel do more with them. Simon's short lived self titled series was pretty fun as well.
And now for a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT:
When I return on Monday, this blog is undergoing a transformation of sorts. What exactly that will be, I cannot say for now, but my post on November 8 should make everything clear. I will try to have it up by 5PM EST... See you then!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Out of all of the Marvel/DC crossovers, I can't believe this one has not happened yet. Yes, I know there were those two Dark Claw comics that sprang out of the Amalgam concept from DC Vs Marvel, and presented a smooshed up version of the two heroes - but I am talking about a true team-up between Logan and Bruce Wayne. I mean, put halfway decent creators on the title and it would be like printing money. Hopefully if the companies enter more cooperative times, we will finally see this pairing one day.
Wolverine is undoubtedly a great character, but the overexposure got to such a degree that I stopped caring about his adventures as a whole a few years back. The fact that he is a member of the Avengers now is just so silly to me. With him hanging out with so much of the Marvel Universe, it takes away so much of the danger and mystery that made him appealing in the first place.
I like Hugh Jackson's portrayal of Logan for the most part, even though he cries a little too much and is way too tall. The films he has appeared in have been a mixed bag, my least favorite being the solo Wolverine film. I have much higher hopes for the sequel though, given the director (Darren Aronofsky) and the fact that it looks as though it will follow the storyiline of the original Claremont/Miller Wolverine mini-series.
Here are a couple of Wolverine Sketches, from Jae Lee and Dave Cockrum:
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
OK, I almost didn't post this one due to the low quality. It is another very early one and even though I found some poses that went together well, I couldn't find a big enough version of the Batman image I wanted to use. I blew up a smaller version and this was the result. Oh well, live and learn. I never made that mistake again and I feel like in the interest of honesty and completion, I should even post my dud covers. I will promise that this is the last of the early examples, so going forward the technique should be a lot better.
Of all the classic monster movies, the werewolf ones were always my favorite, so I was glad to see Marvel try out their own spin on the concept. Even better was the fact that they were not shy about teaming him up with their superhero characters, I always got a kick out of the blending of the two genres.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I always liked the character of Jim Rhodes, especially the time he spent in the Iron Man armor, substituting for Tony Stark. When Stark returned to the role, it was good to see Rhodey continue on as War Machine. I wasn't that crazy about the armor, though - I felt it looked too bulky and that he was always in danger of tipping over from the weight of the shoulder cannon. Well, I have to rethink that initial opinion because I thought the War Machine armor looked very cool in Iron Man 2. That movie was not as good as the first and had a few plot holes, but Don Cheadle really sold the Jim Rhodes character. I hope to see more of him in the third installment.
Monday, November 1, 2010
A day late for Halloween, I know. I can still remember my first glimpse of Vampirella as a very young lad. It was an ad for monster-themed model kits by Revell or Aurora or one of those toy makers. It depicted the various kits you could order - the line up was something like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon... and Vampirella. I knew those other guys, but who was the lady with the scandalously cut one-piece and the pet bat? I was instantly intrigued. Little did I know at the time that that model ad was probably the most chaste depiction of Vampirella ever printed!