Monday, September 30, 2013
I really miss seeing this grouping of Titans together. They were the biggest hit DC had seen in ages when they first hit the scene in a the 80's, and I was hoping to see them in adventures as a team for decades. Unfortunately, the characters keep getting pulled into different parts of the DCU and while the Teen Titans has remained a constant concept, it has never regained the prestige of the Wolfman/Perez years. The Young Justice animated series did a good job of utilizing all eras of the Titans, but that was cancelled before it could really influence the comics. I live in hope that the classic Titans will return again in one form or another.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
I can't believe it has taken me this long to feature these two in a cover together. Even as a little kid, I noticed the similarity in appearance that they shared, and I thought there was definite crossover potential to be had. I imagine that any story featuring guys with such short fuses as Black Adam and Namor would have to be filled with conflict, and that would make for a fun, action packed comic.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I have to confess that I have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, but I have heard nothing but great things about the series and plan to watch it in full some day. So when I heard that one of the directors from that show - Alan Taylor - would be taking over the reigns for Thor: The Dark World, I thought it sounded promising. The trailers are out now and it does indeed look impressive. I liked Thor but felt he spent too much time depowered and felt it was the weakest of the Marvel produced films. The sequel looks to address the issues I had with the first one and really ramps of the action and Asgardian side of things, I'm really looking forward to it!
Friday, September 27, 2013
Here are a couple of team ups that I think are just natural pairings. Man-Thing looks like he stepped right off of a cover of one of DC's Bronze Age horror titles, so him crossing paths with Cain seems like a no-brainer. Rita Farr and Sue Storm are both the sole females in a quartet of heroes and I am sure they would have plenty to talk about if they got together. Put both adventures in one issue and you have a comic that I would have snapped up in a second!
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I like the idea of a Manchurian Candidate type of superhero team. That is to say, a group of heroes that don't even realize that they are part of a covert team until they hear a secret phrase that springs them all into action. Not only would you have the fun of high-stakes action, there would also be the ongoing mystery of how the team was formed in the first place.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I've been a big fan of all of DC's animated movies and wish the creators involved could get a crack at the live action feature films as well. My one complaint is that sometimes their adaptations can feel a bit rushed due to the usual 70-75 minute running time. Fortunately, they decided to split the animated Dark Knight Returns into two films. While I originally balked at not getting the whole story at once, it turned out to be a great move. They were able to get everything I loved from the mini series in and it made for their best work yet.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Here are a couple of characters who have proven so popular that they have been taken out of their usual futuristic time period and inserted into current comic continuity. Miguel O'Hara has kept popping up despite the cancellation of Marvel's 2099 line, and is now going to be mixing it up in the Superior Spider-Man titles. Carrie Kelley has recently shown up in the present day DCU, and I'm not sure what's up there, is she supposed to be related to the DKR version, or is it a completely alternate version?
Monday, September 23, 2013
Joe Kubert will always be my favorite Tarzan artist from the comics, but he certainly isn't the only one to make his mark. I quite like John Buscema's version of the character as well. Buscema was an artistic god to me ever since I got a copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, and he seemed to be able to illustrate just about any type of story. As much as I enjoyed his artwork on the more mainstream superhero titles, for me he really shined on titles like Tarzan and Conan. He was great at mixing in fantastical elements with realistic looking landscapes and giving his characters a broad range of facial expression.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
When I think of cosmic comic books, my mind always goes to the artwork of Jim Starlin. I remember being so impressed by his work on titles like Warlock and Captain Marvel - his sleek illustrations gave the space sagas that he illustrated a modern feel that set them apart from any other comics on the stands. Just from looking at the covers you knew you were going to be in for a wide screen epic!
Saturday, September 21, 2013
I came up with this as one of my off the wall combinations, but now that Disney owns the rights to all the characters, maybe it isn't such a crazy idea after all. They will all be back on the big screen in a couple of summers, anyway - with the return of the Star Wars franchise and The Avengers returning in what promises to be a tech-heavy sequel (Jarvis being relegated to a robotic voice over for the films).
Friday, September 20, 2013
Well, The Beast has mutated once again in the pages of the comics. I still think that his classic Bronze Age look, featured here, works the best - but at least his current appearance is a step up from the "kittycat" years that lasted way too long. Still, since the X-Men films model their Beast after the classic look, I'm surprised that Marvel would not want to follow suit.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I was a fan of JJ Abrams' first Star Trek outing, I liked the timeline twisting plot and thought it had plenty of heart and action while staying true to the classic characters. I was really looking forward to the follow up, Star Trek Into Darkness, being a big Benedict Cumberbatch fan from his work on Sherlock. While there were some fun moments, the sequel was somewhat of a letdown due to the inexplicable decision to pay such heavy handed homage to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It seemed to me that the writers and director did not have enough confidence in themselves to come up with an original story and decided to just ape what worked before, and all it wound up doing was remind me of a better Star Trek movie. Bryan Singer's Superman Returns made a similar mistake in staying too close to the previous films in its franchise,
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I have wanted to make a cover that features both characters by Marcio Takara for a while now. I love his fluid style and the way his figures look constantly in motion. He has worked on titles like The Flash and Blue Beetle, and hopefully we will see lots more from him in the future.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
One of my earliest television memories is watching an episode of Lancelot Link. I remember thinking that these monkeys dressing and talking like humans was just about the funniest thing I had seen in my short life. So, it's no surprise that I get a kick out of Detective Chimp, in both his classic and modern appearances. I can see him working with Howard, making for a fun good cop/bad cop pair.
Monday, September 16, 2013
I started with Avengers #211 as a beginning point for this cover. I always loved "membership drive" issues in team comics and that issue is probably my favorite. Who better to join the team (whether the Avengers like it or not) than the DNAgents, a team that intrigued me back in the day but never seemed to break through to the big time. I thought they were poised to do so with the unofficial team up that they had with DC's New Teen Titans (a thinly disguised team by the name of The RECOMbatants appeared in NTT), but and actual crossover never wound up happening.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I had established in an earlier cover the familial relation between these two, and I decided to play around with that concept some more. There will be future covers dealing with their sisterhood as well.
Ms. Marvel's transition into Captain Marvel and her subsequent costume change works for me. I can see that Marvel wanted to go for a more movie-friendly costume, but it works for the comics as well. Hopefully we will see her up on the big screen by the time a third Avengers film rolls around. I have read rumors that Katee Sackhoff is being considered for the role, and I think that would be perfect casting.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Here are a couple of guys who each have warring sides to their personalities that they must contend with every day, and that might make for an interesting team up. They are both Jack Kirby designs as well, and their adventures revolve around super science as much as brute force. Yeah, I think these two would find that they have plenty of common ground - once they stopped beating the snot out of one another!
Friday, September 13, 2013
The first video game console I ever purchased for myself was the Sega Genesis. The games were a far cry from the immersive experiences found in today's hits like Uncharted and Arkham City, but there were definitely some standouts. I was a huge fan of NBA Jam and I spent many an hour playing Sonic Spinball, an incredibly fast paced video game that I found quite addicting. It was fairly simple but had a great replayable value that was not unlike some of the classics I loved as a kid - Defender, Joust, and of course Pac-Man! Oh, the quarters I spent...
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Erik Luke's creation, Ghost, is an interesting concept that has clearly struck a chord with other creators. Looking over the issues she has appeared in, the artist line up is filled with some of the best in the business today. Talents like Adam Hughes, Lee Moder, Dave Bullock, John Cassiday, Ivan Reis, Goug Braithwaite and Terry Dodson have all graced the pages of Ghost. I can't blame them either, she has one of the cooler designs that I have seen for a comics character and it's cool to see so many top illustrators depictions of her.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I have to believe that if these two shared a common universe, they would be crossing paths all the time. That is of course, if they were both alive - as each has had a prominent death depicted in the comics. Hal Jordan was eventually revived and given a second chance. He went on to gain more popularity than ever, and I still hold out hope that Mar-Vell will be given a similar opportunity to shine again one of these days.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Tom Strong was my favorite among Alan Moore's ABC Comics line, as it was chock full of imagination and nods to great comic adventurers of the pst, so I am glad it has found continued life beyond Moore's departure. I was worried that when he left, that was the last we would see of hs various ABC creations (although I'm still hoping for the return of Jack B. Quick). Nexus similarly is a character that just can't be kept down. He seems to reappear every few years, sometimes switching comic companies. I love that Steve Rude design and it's a good thing to see him in continuing adventures.
Monday, September 9, 2013
I remember being amused that Sting from the band The Police was suddenly a supporting character in during Alan Moore's now classic Swamp Thing run. Well, not really, but John Constantine was certainly illustrated to look like the famous rocker. I was surprised at how quickly the character became a fan favorite, soon getting his own series and helping to define the whole Vertigo imprint. Constantine is back to being immersed in the mainstream DCU, which is probably a turnoff to some, but I have to admit I like how he interacts with some of the more mainstream heroes.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
The stories from Superman's Silver Age could sometimes be a bit hokey, but they were filled with such creativity and high concept ideas I couldn't help but get a kick out of them. I get that writers want to modernize Superman and give him a more serious edge these days, but I hope they don't completely get rid of the whimsy or "anything can happen" attitude of some of his earlier adventures. Writers like Grant Morrison and Alan Moore have done a good job showcasing both sides of the character, and I think that's one reason why their interpretations have been so popular.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
I wanted to include a couple more of my favorite ugly characters, so I made this adventure a two parter. I could have extended it even more though, because the list of hideous yet heroic characters is quite long, I have always liked the concept, I think it speaks to the outcast in all of us - that outward appearances matter only so much, it's what's in your heart and your actions that truly make up who you are. Plus, most of them just look so darn cool! Of course, Rex is a victim of the New 52, and hasn't appeared since the reboot. Not in the comics anyway, he did appear on an episode of "Beware the Batman", which gave me a spark of hope that DC is not done with "the freak who never fails" yet...
Friday, September 6, 2013
I remember seeing Wonder Wart-Hog for the first time and not being sure what to make of it. I had seen some underground comics before but they usually stayed away from superhero fare. Here was a cross between the traditional stories that I was used to, and the strange world of the black and white independent comix scene. That's a line that would get more and more blurred as my comic reading went on, and it was cool to see that there could be such a different take on the superhero genre.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Today's cover features a relative newcomer that has been slicing her way through the comics scene. Shinku is a samurai that hunts down vampires from the creative mind of Ron Marz and the talented pen of Lee Moder. Her adults only Image comics mini-series was a sell out, and hopefully that means there is more to come. I imagine that even veteran horror star Vampirella would think twice before crossing Shinku's path!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Stretching can often be seen as one of the goofier powers, so I am glad that emphasis was also put on the intellect of these two heroes. Reed Richards of course is one of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe. Even without his cosmic ray induced abilities, his ability for invention would probably still keep him in the middle of plenty of super-heroic adventures. Ralph Dibny is definitely a lighter character, but his nose for mystery and investigative skills give him a bit more of an edge. I always liked it when he was in a JLA story without Batman and had to step up as the detective of the group.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I created a Deadshot Vs. Bullseye cover as one of my earliest "villain battle" covers, and I thought that I would revisit the pairing, this time flipping the tables and giving Bullseye the upper hand. Deadshot has become one of DC's better defined villains through the writing of John Ostrander and Gail Simone in the pages of Suicide Squad, Secret Six and his own mini-series. He has made a few appearances in other media (Batman: Gotham Knight and Arrow), but those appearances did not really depict the character as we know him fom the comics. Hopefully he will get another shot to break out of the comics pages. Bullseye was famously brought to life by Colin Ferrel, but that was more of a campy depiction than I was hoping for. Daredevil as a film property is back in Marvel's hands, so I have confidence that we will see a more faithful portrayal should they use Bullseye again.
Monday, September 2, 2013
While the new Dredd film didn't set the box office charts on fire, it was still certainly better received than the Stallone summer blockbuster attempt from 1995. There is still a talk of a sequel, if they can get the budgeting to work and if they can get star Karl Urban to shoot it while he isn't busy with his new TV series. I hope this comes to pass because I liked the Clint Eastwood type of attitude he brought to the role.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
I recently purchased and thoroughly devoured a hardcover copy of The Phantom: The Complete Series - The Charlton Years: Volume One. It was great to finally have all those Jim Aparo illustrated tales in one place, I had been wanting to track these issues down for years. One part depressed me a little though. As an added feature, a few black and white pages featuring Aparo's original art for the series were included. When I compared these pages to what was actually printed, it was a crime how much loss of detail there was! The muddy printing techniques and shoddy coloring that was used back when these comics came out did so much to obscure the fine line work of Aparo, and truly did a disservice to the artist. I have to wonder how much better his body of work would look with today's reproduction and coloring capabilities. It is a tribute to Aparo that his pencils and inks still looked so great despite these major obstacles that he had to contend with.