Category: comic books

Comic Cover of the Week: Alpha Flight & CRYSTAR!

Oh how I miss being an 80’s kid and here’s a comic book that brings back some memories: The Saga of Crystar the Crystal Warrior! It’s been a while since I thought about this title but it was BIG on my radar back in the day, mostly because of the awesome action figures I owned from the Crystar toyline. Here however, is one of my fave covers of the series, beautifully illustrated by Michael Golden, featuring unlikely guest stars: Alpha Flight! One of my all time favorite super-teams of Marvel. 

Most of the short lived series, only eleven issues long (this being the final one) had consistently quite impressive art work on their covers. So as a kid all it took was one look to reel me into the Crystal Universe and BEG my mom to let get a few of their truly unique action figures!

Comic Cover of the Week: Wisconsin’s Forgotten 1980s Superhero!

Here’s a flashback to late 1980s indie comics who’s covers pack a punch (or more so a KICK)! Wisconsin superhero Badger was always a favorite of mine, for one reason because the cheese state, from which I hail, never got much attention in the superhero spectrum. Mike Baron’s ‘First Comics’ creation was a truly unique spin on the genre. This incredible cover was one as a Wisconsinite always stuck in my mind! Badger was truly reppin’ the Midwest! A dynamic cover from 1988 by Steve Rude is one of my faves hands DOWN!

Comic Cover of the Week: Iron Man Gets Seriously Bullied!

I loved the old Marvel Fanfare, back in the day it worked as a unique little anthology book. Featuring some lesser known, as well as big name superheroes in their own little self contained unique adventures. Printed on glossy paper and featuring often times more unconventional stories in the way they were presented. They also of course had some knockout covers, this one, from Marvel Fanfare #22 from 1982 features a  unique moment where we see Doctor Octopus and unlikely villain for Iron Man completely intimidating him with a gang of dangerous supervillains all getting ready to gang up on Tony Stark! I’ve always loved to see comic books where superheroes face off against villains who they might not normally be associated with. This one is a great representation of that as we see Iron Man truly vulnerable, in a deadly situation beautifully illustrated by Ken Steacy in this iconic fold out cover!  Oh how I miss the 1980s…

Comic Cover of the Week: Jim Lee’s BIG Break- Samurai Santa!!

A skilled japanese martial artist masquerading as a department store Santa Clause isn’t what anyone thinks of when thinking of comic book icon Jim Lee. HOWEVER Samurai Santa one shot from 1986 was really his BIG break!

This cool little long forgotten indie comic book is perfect for the Christmas season! Jim Lee was the inker on this one shot holiday themed adventure, which eventually landed him a job with Marvel Comics on Alpha Flight in the late 80s. This is a cool little off the wall Christmas story and a sweet simple one for the season! It might be time to give this one a re-read and hey maybe someone needs to adapt it into a live action movie?!

 

Halloween Comic Cover of the Day: Jack-O-Lantern Attacks!

When we think of Marvel Comics’ most Halloween themed characters normally The Green Goblin or The Hobgoblin come to mind first. However there’s one villain who takes the cake as the most Halloween themed character in all of the Marvel’s history: Jack-O-Lantern!

This character might be a bit of a rip off of The Green Goblin but I’ve always thought he was pretty cool looking, pretty bad ass and a bit underutilized as a villain. Oddly enough he 1st appeared in Machine Man #19 from 1981, the same year as the Spider-man issue showcased above.

 

Obviously Jack-O is the perfect villain for the Halloween season!  He’s battled a lot of A-listers like like Captain America, as you can see right here hes got some spooky skills to show off.

He definitely deserves some love today and though I could go on and give you his entire back story why not just take a look at this awesome little entry in the Marvel Universe Official Handbook from way back in the day for the scoop on this weirdo! 

 

 

 

Comic Cover of the Week: Frank Miller, Daredevil & THE HULK!

I’m done waiting around for Daredevil to appear in the latest She-Hulk Disney Plus series! IMO the show is a complete annoying, trainwreck and I really don’t care to see whatever pathetic version of Daredevil they end up bringing to the screen. I say this as a huge fan of The Sensational She-Hulk series by John Byrne too. So here’s a classic cover with Daredevil in his prime facing a real Hulk from issue #160 from 1980! I love the simplicity here and how we really only need to see The Incredible Hulk’s giant green hand to witness the fear in Daredevil’s face.  The man without fear? I’m not so sure! Excellent work Frank Miller!!

She-Hulk Ruins The Great Lakes Avengers’ MR. IMMORTAL?!

OMG! Disney Plus MCU really does make dreams come true?! I’ve been begging for the appearance of the Great Lakes Avengers, one of my favorite ridiculous “D-lister” comic book teams to appear in their cinematic universe for years. Today on the latest episode of SHE-HULK they gave us the live action version of the classic GLA team member/founder Mr. Immortal.

Unfortunately they of course, completely ruined the character, Craig Hollis, transforming him from a frumpy but charismatic, misunderstood, misfit, underdog superhero to a pompous, rich, lame, uninterseting, selfish old prick. Yet another unlikable character to add to the shows already long list of IMO crappy cast members.

Mr. Immortal from the comic books was a poor, down on his luck, extremely depressed person who mustered up the strength and courage to form a team of misfit superheroes at his local YMCA  thrrough ads in the local paper’s want ads.

Being a native of Wisconsin of I’d always found this team particularly endearing being based in Milwaukee. The Midwest never got to have cool superheroes & their origin story, I always imagined, would be a unique one to see unfold on the big or small screen. Even the Russo brothers who helmed Avengers: Endgame/Infinity War had recently suggested the team would make a great addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. I really couldn’t agree more, there’s so much  fun to be had with them…

So unfortunately everything on these terrible Disney MCU TV streaming shows seems to be cannon. Yep they have indeed officially ruined the character and likely any hope for a Great Lakes Avengers show to ever materialize.

Apparently they even inserted a QR code into the episode when the character appears which will lead you to West Coast Avengers #46, the 1st appearance of the team just to rub it in all of our faces..

If you’re going to change a character this much from the comic book version why not just avoid it alltogether and introduce someone different in the role? Ughh..After watching this pathetic attempt at comedy today, I can honestly now confidently say that She-Hulk is easily one of the worst things I have seen in the MCU.  It’s absolutely incredible how “funny” they think their show is too, when in reality I think it’s completely possible that these scripts are being generated by AI. It also leads me on to believe another sad fact, if you were a die hard fan of the classic Marvel Comics, the current version at least of the MCU is most definitely NOT for you. 

Hey I’m probably the only person out there who actually gives a damn about The Great Lakes Avengers or Mr. Immortal, but this one kind of hurt. They already completely ruined the live action version of The Wrecking Crew in this series so it’s no surprise I guess.

So at the end of the day I guess I really don’t care because The Great Lakes Avengers were always destined to fail. Especially if they were introduced into the current version of the MCU. They’d never have the guts to actually tell their truly unique darkly comedic origin story on their platform anyway. That all being said, if you’re diggin’ She-Hulk I’m really happy for you, no ill will there, continue on, however the exit from the MCU for me is looking much closer than it ever has before…

Comic Cover of the Week: SHOCKWAVES of ’85!!!

One of the most memorable Marvel Comics covers of the 1980s oddly comes from the most unsuspecting title!! The Teansformers #5 is one of the best of the era hands down! It’s a brilliant work of iconic art by Mark Bright from 1985 that gave the series sn “edge”, transforming it from a mere kids toy property to a possibly gritty sci-fi series..A truly stunning example of how to execute comic book cover perfection….

Comic Covers of the Week: The Sensationally Savage SHE-HULK!

It’s no secret that She-Hulk has been one of my all time favorite comic book characters since the 1980s! Being that we are currently in the midst of her very 1st streaming series it only seemed appropriate to showcase a couple of my favorite covers from the original ‘Savage She-Hulk’ and ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ from the 80s. First we go SAVAGE! A brilliant cover illustrated by the legendary Michael Golden from 1980!

Next we go SAVAGE again with a sweet cover from iconic Hulk artist Dale Keown. This cool epic cover features her transformation into a grey ultra “Hulked out” version of the character, more in line with the more recent hefty beefy less feminine She-Hulk. A great one from 1989!

Larry Cohen’s 1992 SHE-HULK Movie That Should’ve Been!

So today the first episode of the long awaited SHE-HULK series premieres on Disney Plus & though I’m excited for it I’m still a bit saddened that we will never have gotten a LIVE action She-Hulk on the big OR small screen. If I’m not making myself entirely clear it’s because the version of She-Hulk we’re getting today is indeed a fully CGI generated character. However what most people don’t realize is that waaaay back in the early nineties there was indeed a live action She- Hulk movie in the works!

Even more amazing was that at its helm was Larry Cohen one of my all time favorite cult cinema directors- Even MORE “sensational” was the inclusion of Brigitte Nielsen in the title role of the Jade Giantess! This was indeed a match made in heaven. And after watching Larry Cohen’s brilliant 1990 movie ‘The Ambulance’ I’m convinced Stan Lee and him had made the connection for producing a She-Hulk movie during that production.

If you’ve never seen ‘The Ambulance’ you gotta check it out. Eric Roberts stars as a Marvel Comic Book artist who goes on an insane journey chasing a mysterious ambulance across New York City. Stan even makes several  cameos in it as himself (above). 

After the the Cohen/Stan Lee connection had been established, New World Pictures was seemingly ready to produce a live action She-Hulk movie, shooting for a 1992 release & indeed had Larry attached to direct (and rumored to have written the script). Apparently an attempt was made to attract investors by doing some concept photo shoots for the character with Brigitte Nielsen, who would also be in the role of Jennifer Walters. 

I remember running across these photos in ‘Comics Scene’ magazine way back when and being pretty excited about what the possibilities of this collaboration might produce even if her look and outfit were a bit off in the promo photos. The script is shrouded in mystery and has never really but really had any sort of leaks except that Eric Roberts was to appear as a villain. I can only imagine with Larry Cohen directing we would have gotten something at the very least intriguing and fun. It’s also not certain whether these concept photos were really reflective of the true “final look” of the character. It’s imagined that once production was started on it they would’ve fleshed  out her character design much more & hopefully made her skin tone at least darker green. 

 Whatever the case Brigitte would have filled the role perfectly, The Red Sonja star was a dream cast for the movie. I can only imagine that this ultra campy version of the character might have eventually morphed into a cult classic. The early synopsis promo:                                                         

SHE-HULK (Larry Cohen, 1992). A mild-mannered lawyer (Brigitte Nielsen) receives a life-altering blood-transfusion after being shot by a local mobster (Eric Roberts). As a result, she finds herself transformed into a magical green rage-monster.

Though it sounded promising, they had several cinematic misses under their belt by that time with Howard the Duck, Captain America & The Punisher films all flopping and barely meeting the mark for comic fanatics. However my faith in Larry Cohen as a director and script writer only confirms that this particular project would’ve indeed been something memorable. Brigitte in 1990 was fully fit and definitely ready for the role.

It’s a real shame that never it never happened, I think a She-Hulk movie coming from that era would have been so much fun and I’m so curious where are they would have gone with everything. Even if it had turned out to be one giant ball of gamma radiated cheese it still would’ve been interesting to see a real live action version of the character and given Brigitte a chance to shine like Lou Ferrrigno did in his classic role….