Hey happy damn 4th of July America! So today it’s just all about the USA right? You bet! Well let’s take a quick break from all of the red, white & blue festivities to pay some tribute to four lesser known superheroes who are NOT Captain America that also have an unhealthy but awesomely bizarre obsession with the United States! There’s just nothing quite like a patriotic weirdo superhero on the 4th!
The Spirit of 76
Yeah this guy is indeed a weirdo, I mean look at his utterly ridiculous costume he came up with and thought would scare the bejeezus out of all of the nasty supervillains who come to threaten the good ol’ USA! William Naslund came on the Marvel Comics scene back in 1977 and for a very brief period even assumed the mantle of Captain America! WOW. He has no superhuman powers but did manage to fashion himself a bulletproof cape!
Ok so if you thought Spirit of 76 had a dumb look, well DC Comic’s Uncle Sam has taken the patriotic thing to the god damn extreme! This guy would put fear into the hearts of evil doers just by the possibility of how crazy he’d have to be to don a costume that ridiculously yet awesomely pathetic! He first appeared WAY back in Quality Comics in 1940 and then was brought into the DC universe officially in 1973. Get this, Uncle Sam is described as a spiritual entity created through an occult ritual by the Founding Fathers. Damn, no wonder why he’s so freaky. Sam’s got super strength, invulnerability, the ability to alter his size, enhanced speed, along with some degree of clairvoyance. He also can teleport to a pocket dimension called ‘The Heartland’. Whatta guy huh?
Well here’s a dude who I can finally get behind. American Eagle is a total badass and deserves more love in Marvel Comics. Born as Jason Strongbow, a name he should have just used instead of American Eagle IMO, he first appeared in a team up with The Thing back in 1981. A member of the Navajo Nation, American Eagle possesses superhuman strength, enabling him to bench press approximately 15 tons! He also possesses superhuman speed, agility, stamina, and sturdiness as a result of radiation-induced mutation. He later got a less cultural looking costume:
He’s featured, along with our next hero in one of my favorite modern Marvel Comics stories featured in Thunderbolts #112-115 from 2007 that is a MUST read!
Here’s another guy who just could never quite get the recognition of his idol Captain America. He even settled for a second rate moniker to fight crime. Yet Jack Flag is still a pretty cool guy, even if he’s obsessed a bit too much with his country. First appearing on the scene on 1994 as part of Captain America’s computer hotline network, Flag has proven himself to be an interesting character, who was inspired by his hero Captain America to become one himself. In that same Thunderbolts run I mentioned above, where Jack Flag like The American Eagle both stand up for their Constitutional rights against the United States government during the superhuman registration act! As you can see in the picture he has been noted to go the full distance dying his hair red white and blue!
So sooner or later The Joker was bound to get tired of Gotham and Batman! 1987’s Superman #9 has one hell of an awesome cover by John Byrne and the story is pretty fun as The Joker stops by Metropolis to make people go crazy with his deadly laughing gas! He’s also managed to bring along a robot Superman with a freakin’ nuclear bomb inside, thats when Superman steps onto the scene! He easily foils the Joker’s plan asking point blank why he came to Metropolis, Joker simply laughs and says “Ooh Superman…Why not?”
What I really love here is just seeing seeing The Joker on the cover of a Superman comic, something we rarely, if ever, had seen before this. It’s always great I think when we see a traditional villain of one superhero square off against another. Byrne captures the Joker in his own unique way here on this amazing cover I want on a t-shirt! My only issue is I wish The Joker had been able to give Superman a better run for his money!
I’ve got a prediction here, and remember peeps you heard it HERE first at my measly little “hobby blog” (as John Campea would call it), that it’s no coincidence that BOTH the MCU & The DCEU’s new agenda seems to be the “multiverse” idea. I mean the MCU casting supposedly three different Spider-man actors from the past movies (Toby, Andrew and Tom Holland) & then hearing the news of The Flash going to the multiverse where we have at least Affleck and most exciting Michael Keaton BOTH as Batman sounds suspicious. I’m calling it here, the MCU & the DCEU are going to meet in the finale film’s after credits scene of all this multiverse stuff. Sound crazy? Well maybe you forgot THIS classic comic back from 1981?
Well if it does sound crazy, THAT’s exactly why I think it’s going to happen and think about it, what kind of after credits scene would shock every one after the big ass CGI finale. Think about this- The Flash and the multiple Batmans meeting the Peter Parkers at the end of this phase, or even some of the DCEU’s villains meeting an MCU villain from another dimension? How much hype would the next phase generate? I remember a couple crossovers a couple times back in the 80’s or maybe you’ve forgotten ‘DC Versus MARVEL’ in 1996? That shit was a big damn deal and I’m betting high on something like that taking place cinematically sooner than later. Think of the $$$$$ potential here-there’d be nothing bigger.
This multiverse plot line put forward at the same time by both studios is either the most lame copy cat cinema plan or it’s the event that blows the lid of of both franchises. I think there’s really no other event that could top this idea and for the studios to NOT take advantage of this with some secret back door deals would be actually ludicrous. Something is cooking true believers and remember you heard it at U-Dork first! Count on it! MCU Meets DCEU-suck it Campea!!!
First let’s get this out of the way-HAPPY DAMN NEW YEAR! Let’s hope 2021 is leaps and bounds better than 2020, I mean things can’t get worse can they? Well back in 1973 Batman had one shitty ass New Years in issue #247. He and Robin had their hands full trying to stop a weirdo in a holiday sweater who’s planted canisters of nerve gas all around Gotham! Phew I’m glad I’m only suffering from a hangover and not doing THAT today. Check out this blast from the Caped Crusader’s troubled holiday past with this sweet classic cover drawn by Dick Giordano & Gaspar Saladino!
I’m all for 80’s throwback nostalgia, it was the decade where I spent most of my damn childhood for cryin’ out loud. That being said HBO’s “home pandemic theater” holiday release ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ should have really been a dream come true for me. Literally tailor made for someone just like me who still often longs for the good old days and full on nostalgia of the 1980s. However ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ somehow completely misses the mark and simply seems to try an make a checklist of what Hollywood thinks we want to see from that era, it’s the DCEU’s version of 2016’s ‘X-Men: Age of Apocalypse’, which in my opinion supremely failed at what should have been a sure-fire nostalgic hit with the awesome source material they had in their hands.
The funny thing is I’m not quite sure how to pin point just exactly what doesn’t work for me with Wonder Woman 1984. On paper it sounded like a wonder-ful idea to have Diana Prince hangin’ out in that particularly colorful fun filled era of cinema. It just made sense. There seems like so many totally radical scenarios to put her and the supporting characters in, but as the movie slogged by with it’s flimsy plot it was quite clear to me: This was not the 1980s I remember sooooo fondly. I guess the main problem is the plot’s pointlessly random approach to almost everything that occurs in it 2 hour and 30 minute run time. Dressing it all up in wild neon 80s fashion and the whole “fish out of water” approach just doesn’t save this one from being a bit of a stinker. I know Patty Jenkins was attempting to recreate the magic of Richard Donner’s Superman and and in the first 20 minutes it seemed like she was on track. It was soon apparent though it had more in common with say, George Lucas’ ‘Howard the Duck’ than ‘Superman II’.
Something this time around about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman just didn’t resonate with me in the way it did in the charming first installment. Sure we got the ‘Mandalorian’ himself Pedro Pascal as the greedy “Lex Luthor” type villain who apparently has spent his entire life searching for some ancient magic crystal that grants wishes-why? Who knows and I guess who really cares right? Then you have Kristen Wiig playing the frumpy coworker of Diana’s at the Smithsonian Institute, who’s also set on becoming the next Iconic villain for Wonder Woman. Far from it. Of course Pedro Pascal or ‘Max Lord’ conveniently figures out that the two of them are in possession of and studying his most coveted crystal treasure. Things from there increase to get incredibly uninteresting, the pace slows way down and lets you enjoy the most boring aspects of the 1980s. Oh but wait, we just cannot forget Diana’s ex-lover, Chris Pine shows up, resurrected from the dead and randomly in the body of another man for some reason that I guess is connected to the magic crystal’s wish granting power.
The action scenes are decent, the acting isn’t half-bad and the 80s backdrop was for the most part handled fairly well. But this movie’s bland overly random plot points combined with it’s stereotypically boring supporting characters (mainly two uninteresting villains with ridiculous motivations) had me checking the time counting down the minutes tell it’d finally be over.
We do of course get to see Wonder Woman in a fully CGI final battle against a (for some reason fully CG) generated Kristin Wiig “Cheetah” that harkens back to that terrible final fight underground train sequence in the Black Panther! Yeeehaw! Trust me as someone who grew up in the 80s I can assure you they were much more totally radical than this. As a fan of the first outing this one, as we said in the 80’s this one gagged me with a spoon….I’ll gladly take THIS instead any day!
The Snyder cut Justice League movie is I guess all the rage for the HBO Max, but to me I think it looks like more bad DCEU stuff that’s not aging well! Luckily for me someone decided to make this cool retro trailer for the Justice league, featuring some of my favorite faces from the past! This one is a ton of fun and I wish it was the movie they were premiering! I’d be signed up for sure! So maybe in the mulitverse alternate reality this is a real thing?!!
Here’s a super sweet old school comic book cover from waaaay back in 1973! This super spooky Christmas horror issue of ‘The Witching Hour’ urges us to “never kill a Santa Claus” a truly classic cover filled to the brim with holiday horror. This largely forgotten horror anthology comic series ran for nearly 10 years from 1969-1978. Clearly inspired by the legendary EC comics ‘Tales from the Crypt’ this issue features some truly frightening Christmas horror imagery, particularly impressive for the era it appeared in…
Damn there’s a lot of Joker news going around these days, first and foremost the release of the upcoming solo ‘Joker’ movie’s trailer that dropped today! Joaquin Phoenix stars as the clown prince of crime and if you haven’t seen it check it out now:
I’m totally impressed with all I’m seeing here with Phoenix’s take. It’s looks totally intriguing and so far of all the movie Jokers I actually think Phoenix looks most like the actual comic book version of the character. He lost a TON of weight for the role and finally we see a much thinner version of the character more in line with his comic book look, instead of say Nicholson’s more “husky” version and Leto’s “jacked up Juggalo frat boy” style Joker. Add to this the fact that Phoenix is a grade A actor with the chops and then some to make this more than some glossy CGI superhero flick. I think there’s also a truly mysterious quality to this new movie, as it’s not connected to anything out there in the current DCEU. Is Batman somewhere out there in this version of Gotham? Is this the start of a whole new DC movie universe altogether? It’s odd because we, not too long ago, were just introduced to a new Joker in Suicide Squad. So this random Joker flick certainly came out of left field. So far I’m fully invested and going as far to say this one is one of my most anticipated movies of 2019. What do you think?
…..So there’s yet ANOTHER new Joker as well that’s set to appear in the season finale of the Gotham Tv series and boy thhis one looks pretty damn crazy literally. The Joker appears to be some sort of psychotic burn victim and is yet another pretty damn bizarre version of the character. Again I should say I’ll literally take anything to avoid more Jared Leto Joker! I’ll admit I’ve never watched Gotham simply because I tend to avoid shows that are are on regular TV as I find most to be bland as hell. This though raises the level of interest and just maybe I’ll give it a shot!
Still one of my favorite and overlooked Jokers remains to be from the legendary Batman Dead End short film from 2003 and feature the Joker played by the late Andrew Koenig. The look of the Joker here is ripped straight out of the comics. If you’ve never seen it check it out, it’s a TON of fun and has plenty of twists!!
It’s time too take a look at some cool Holiday themed comic book covers from yesteryear! Here’s a great one waaay back from 1991, the Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special! This crazy Christmas tale feature Lobo as he goes on a hunt to execute Santa Claus, why you might ask? Because the jealous drunken Easter Bunny hired him to do it! A super bizarre Christmas adventure features a total bad ass superpowered Santa to who’s ready to throw down with just about anyone. I love this cover art too by Simon Bisley and the odd disclaimers that can be see on it “Seriously suggested for mature readers” and on the bottom right hand corner reads, “WARNING: Contains Bad Taste In The Form Of Ultra-Violence, Icon-Bashing, And “The Finger.” More Offensive Than Christmas Usually Is.” A total classic 90’s odd ball adventure from DC comics!
Wait but THAT’S not all in 2002 someone made this into a damn short film, no kidding check this shit out!!
Today we got the sad news that comic book legend Len Wein passed away at the age of 69. Len was most well know for co-creating The Swamp Thing, X-Men’s Colossus, Storm, Night Crawler oh and another character you might know… yeah, just a guy called ‘Wolverine’.
Those are some serious heavyweights. He worked closely with the likes of Berni Wrightson & Alan Moore as well on The Watchmen. He made an incredible footprint in the world of comics, thanks Len for all of the amazing adventures you’ve taken us all on…RIP