Tagged: 1980s

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….

Disney SHE-HULK: A Four Episode Gamma-Migraine!

I’ve been a She-Hulk fan since the 80s and been highly anticipating the “live action” version of the character in the MCU for quite some time! I really enjoyed the original 1980 Savage She-Hulk series and LOVED that the character replaced The Thing in the Fantastic Four in the mid eighties. By 1989 I was a teenager and got heavily into the John Byrne ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ run, it was one of my favorites and I’ll admit right now I had a major crush on the character!

Flash forward to 2022! One of my childhood wishes finally came true, She-Hulk got her own “live action” series. I’d initially been worried that they were going to botch this show by making her look and act more like The Incredible Hulk, not sticking to the original character’s classic vibe. Lucky for me they stuck to the landing and gave us a more traditional comic book accurate version of the character. However they also managed to make the character look incredibly unrealistic with some truly unimpressive dated looking CGI.

I’m still baffled that Disney/MCU has such an aversion to casting a real actor in the role, instead of using some weird looking rubbery CGI. There’s absolutely no reason that the green giantess couldn’t have been a real living breathing person. I’m guessing they really do want everything to look like a video game? But Hey I’m willing to set that all aside, even though it bothers me and just take the show for what it is. So after 4 episodes I can firmly say that the most the most appropriate word to describe this show in my humble opinion is: annoying. 

It’s jam packed with annoying one dimensional characters, annoying “plots”, annoying character designs & lazy annoying attempts at comedy.  At this point in the show the most likable characters are merely cameos, I’d rather be watching a series about Wong and Madisynn. Seriously. 

 Also I’m admittedly a bit tired of the MCU brand of “quirky/snarky Joss Whedon” humor and this dials it up to 11. People tell me to just enjoy it like like a classic sitcom but in order for any classic sitcom to work it’s gotta have some stellar comedic timing. The likes of Three’s Company, Martin or Diff’rent Strokes & OG Sex in the City among a long list of many other of my favorites. So if it’s not succeeding (in my opinion) as a sitcom and it’s not succeeding as a superhero/courtroom drama I don’t know exactly what this thing is supposed to be and who it’s exactly for? And kudos to you if you’re enjoying it, I have NO problem with that, this is just my personal opinion as a fan of the classic character.

I’m not so sure about the Disney Plus MCU stuff, the only series I was truly able to make it through was the Falcon and the Winter Soldier (which I dug!). I know there are a lot of overdramatic man babies/woman babies out there whining about the series being too “woke”, most of them merely complaining to get clicks, views and followers on their lame YouTube channels. I don’t honestly give a damn if it’s woke or not I just want a well crafted cohesive storyline and at least a few characters who I genuinely give a rat’s ass about.  I mean is there even an actual plot to this show so far? Do any characters have any actual endearing qualities or charm?  So far I’m really not finding anyone on the entire show to be very likable and I really think the Smart Hulk is bore. But Hey maybe I’m missing the big picture? Does anyone know what that is?

All of this Disney Plus stuff though feels a bit soulless, kind of like our big green CGI generated lead in She-Hulk. It’s sad to say but I feel the end of an era coming for me and the beloved MCU. Now I’ve just got to pull out all of my old Sensational She-Hulk comic books to make sure that I’m not just pining for teenage nostalgia’s sake, I mean who knows, maybe those comics lack the charm I remember them having?! I’m totally ready to admit I’m wrong! Unfortunately I’ve got to admit that my comic book crush has officially come to an end with She-Hulk…so be it!

Crazy 80s Aussie Rock Opera: SONS OF STEEL!

I’ve been stating lately here that I’m just not a big fan of movie musicals. BUT perhaps the type of musicals I’ve seen my entire life just don’t bring the fucking goods to the dance floor! I recently viewed 1988’s Australian musical oddity ‘Sons of Steel’ at a double feature movie night & paired it up with ‘The Legend of the Stardust Brothers’ from 1985! It was a gloriously cheezy musical combo!  

 If you were to ask me to really explain to you the plot of Sons of Steel I’d have a big problem trying to do so. It’s basically a “Dee Snyder” (Twisted Sister) look-a-like who sings a buttload of cock rock songs and also travels into the future or something where he meets some weird barbarians to try to try to stop an evil genius with a “mini-me” sidekick from destroying the planet?!  I guess that’s the gist, but who really gives a damn, it’s one giant awesome mess of a rock opera with a TON of foggy, neon atmosphere, bizarre characters, a meandering wild plot, jam packed with terribly excellent heavy metal songs!

 If you’re looking for a tubular 80s party movie this is definitely a BANGER! It’s sure to get the juices with it’s unusual plot & wild fashion, however, this like many other Aussie genre flicks of this era (Razorback, Fortress, Road Games, The Quest) have some truly stunning cinematography and rich atmosphere that amplify the onscreen antics to eleven. Simply said as dumb (and fun) as it’s story is, this movie looks far more fantastic that it has any right to. Easily one of the aspects here that make this such enjoyable viewing aside from the leather clad wardrobe, roaring motorcycles and two tone proto punk hairdos soaked in loads hairspray.

It’s leading musclebound  man, Rob Hartley, (who portrays Black Alice) is a real joy to watch. He overacts and grunts his way through most of the strange dialogue as well as belts out some mindnumbing musical numbers. Apparently trying to save the world from a nuclear holocaust, he’s not quite the person you want to put the fate of the planet in the hands of. That being said Black Alice gets into some good trouble and there’s some pretty impressive action scenes to chomp into as well. I was excited to check out director Gary Keady’s  filmography, however Sons of Steel remains his sole, one and only contribution! What a pedigree! Lucky for us all this one received received a snazzy fancy new blue ray release last year from Future Video-if you wanna ROCK check this shit out!

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!

1980s Cine-MAGIC From Japan: The STARDUST BROTHERS!

I’m willing to bet you’re just like me and never heard of this near “forgotten ’til now” 80s gem from Japan: The Legend of The Stardust Brothers! This incredible movie from 1985 is most definitely one of the most unique oddities I’ve stumbled upon in quite sometime. An incredibly ambitious musical gem, packed with practical effects and eighties fashion that will likely knock your neon socks right off!

It tells the tale of  two struggling rival musicians: one a rowdy punk rocker and the other an egotistical wanna be popstar who meet a mysterious man while sharing the same bill  at a seedy night club. He offers them the contract of a lifetime, claiming that within one week, if they follow all the rules, the two of them will be rocketed to full blown pop super stardom. That is as long as they join forces, from that point on become The Stardust Brothers and tell the world they are indeed real bonafide brothers.

Now admittedly I’m not a real big fan of musicals, there’s only a few that I really love (Popeye, The Wizard of Oz & Little Shop of Horrors immediately come to mind). However this one has now EASILY made the list as a must watch and it’s something I’ll be watching over and over again. Essentially it’s the wildly unpredictable story of the bizarre rise and fall of this pop duo. It’s firmly glued together with a series of incredible little musical vignettes that are a visual and sonic feast.

A sweet mixture of punk rock, powerpop & some cool new wave numbers, connecting a series of incredibly ambitious music videos within one insane narrative. There are touches of the supernatural as well as a ton of amazing special effects, stop motion & practical monster effects that really impress, especially if your a fan of the 80s. It’s also filled to the brim with some of the best Japanese fashion of the era to go along with the catchy songs. As I write this, their theme song is still stuck firmly in my brain. I’d love to get my hands on some vinyl of the soundtrack. Aside from the cool music, luckily it’s got a pretty unique story that blends elements of scifi, horror and even a bit of romance. It’s unexpected twists and turns deliver a frenetic, action packed finale that will  leave you pondering the events of the entire film. Its all done with a heroic dose of heart too.

Just how far do you really go to live the life of a superstar without any of the hard work required to get to the top? The Stardust Bros go the distance and the musical journey is definitely a wacky one worth taking. Apparently director Makoto Tezuka tried to catch lightning in a bottle a few years ago by producing a direct sequel, but after doing a little poking around it doesn’t seem like he was quite to able to recreate the neon electromagnetic magic of the first.

In the meantime I highly recommend picking this one up on a newly released blu ray from SRS Cinema. The Legend of the Stardust Brothers is packed with pure charisma, tons of vibrant youthful energy and shows you exactly how inventive some directors in the 1980s were in Japan with a limited budget!  Don’t sleep on this one!

 

Did You Spot the Sinister Emerald Green LAMP in ‘Stranger Things’ 4?!!

Did you see it?! The legendary mysterious emerald green lamp has reared its bizarre head in the latest season of Stranger Things! If you’re in the dark about the odd real world Hollywood conspiracy theories around the lamp, don’t fret, get the full scoop HERE!

 OK so now that you’re well versed in the strange & mysterious Hollywood conspiracy theory of the Emerald green lamp, I wanted to just showcase a couple of the screenshots in case you might have not noticed it’s appearance in the show recently. Of course Stranger Things is the perfect series for the elusive lamp to make its re-emergence onto the scene.

If the fantastical rumors are indeed true, we might speculate perhaps the lamp has been brought back into circulation to try to ensure Netflix’s rise back to the top again? They were reportedly suffering a problematic subscriber drop. Maybe the lamp was brought to set to amplify the actors abilities or maybe even subliminally affect the viewers? Whatever the case the only thing that really matters here is that the emerald green lamp has emerged into 2022!

 

 

 

 

The SHE-HULK Series’ “Roger Rabbit” Style CGI!

Yowza!! So the day has finally come, yes, we finally get the official full length ‘She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law’ trailer that dropped TODAY!  Awwwww yeah!

As a giant fan of the character, who’s been one of my favorites since the 1980s (especially the ’89 John Byrne series) I’ve got a little bit to say about this! How can it possibly be that Marvel’s CGI seems to be getting WORSE rather than better?!

  I’ve been very apprehensive about how they were going to create ol’ Shulkie and bring her to the “live action” MCU & my literal worst nightmare just came true upon viewing this damn trailer! Arrrrrrgh! She-Hulk definitely has a retrovibe here, but not in a good way but a retro nineties level CGI vibe! 

 First and foremost let me say that I was actually impressed with the with the “story” and style of the trailer & with the direction that it seems to be headed. It’s exactly what I was hoping for in a She-Hulk series! That’s why this is particularly frustrating.

I can definitely feel the spirit of John Byrne’s iconic run right here materializing on screen in this trailer. Nice work, unfortunately She-Hulk looks more like Shrek, when I saw just how bizarre the CGI on She-Hulk AND The Incredible Hulk actually are so far here. At this point I just kind of wish they would have gotten a real living breathing female body builder to portray the character. This is what I like to call a sort of “Roger Rabbit” style live action CGI attempt, only unlike Roger rabbit we’re supposed to believe SHE is an actual real life character. Hmmm..this is indeed perplexing for a couple reasons..

I’m just NOT buying it true believers!  Somebody better jump in quick and “Sonic the Heddgehog” this shit. She-Hulk deserves way better than this, there’s simply no excuse for the sub par level of FX in a show by produced by a multi-billion dollar corporation. Disney/Marvel get your shit together fast, cuz this is embarrassing!

Comic Cover of the Week: John Byrne’s Black & White Genius!

It’s always been clear at U-Dork that’ my all time favorite comic book artist is John Byrne & I wanted to showcase his brilliance when he only uses 2 colors to craft an utterly breathtaking a comic book cover. Sometimes keeping it real simple can be the best way to make something truly memorable. Take a look here as John uses this duo color scheme to create an unforgettable and bizarre comic book cover for Fantastic Four number 276 from 1984!

He’s done this style a couple other times, once with the Web of Spider-Man:

…and another very similar toned Alpha Flight cover:

It’s also available to be seen here in the reverse color scheme which is equally effective. Byrne does it again!

Comic Cover of the Week: The Sentinels Hunt…The FALCON?!

Here’s a visually stunning cover from the nearly forgotten ‘Falcon’ 4 issue mini-series from 1983! I’ve always loved this one & this sweet series had four super memorable covers. This one by Paul Smith, whom I just love so much for his work on the X-Men in the eighties, always stuck with me as I found it intriguing that the mutant hunter Sentinels had a chance run in with The Falcon, was he a mutant? This again proves how effective, emotionally resonant, and truly memorable a simplistic cover can truly be…

Now I have to revisit the series  To find out exactly what was really up with this issue! Its been way too long…

That Time The HULK Fought The HUNCHBACK of Notre Dame?!

I was rewatching some of my favorite eighties cartoon episodes straight from my childhood recently & was reminded why The Incredible Hulk series from that era remains one of my faves! It used to be paired with ‘Spider-man and His Amazing Friends’ during the Marvel “power hour” on Saturday mornings!

 I’ve stated here a few years ago that as much as I liked The Incredible Hulk animated series of the early eighties there just wasn’t enough appearances from the jade giants rogue’s gallery. As far a real villains, he only really went head on with The Leader, Doctor Octopus oddly and the Puppetmaster. As a kid I’d always hoped to see The Abomination, The Rhino, The Bi-Beast or M.O.D.O.K. pop up to cause The Hulk some trouble. Instead in a strange twist we got an epic battle between the green goliath and of all people, The Hunchback of Notre Dame(?!) in an episode from 1982 called ‘When Monsters Meet’.

Yep, Quasimodo for some reason showed up not only in the animated series but also in a special one shot issue from 1983 the that I still personally adore to the this day! And at a mere 60 cents you just CAN’T complain right?!

What’s so perplexing is I could never quite figure out just why the hell they chose to pit the Hulk against him in the first place? I mean surely there were better villains to feature in an animated series! But still…

 …And really who would’ve thought that Quasimodo actually had the super human strength to go one-on-one with The Incredible Hulk in the first place?! I’m impressed! They actually managed to make him into a pretty frightening and formidable foe. Go Quasi! 

 I’m guessing that this particular one shot issue, which featured actually a pretty sweet savage battle, was created in some sort of way to generate more excitement around the animated TV series? Either that or someone was just a real BIG fan of The Fighting Irish and just simply couldn’t resist making Quasimodo into a bonafide Incredible Hulk bad-ass villain. I think the results worked shockingly well, don’t you?

Whatever the case I just had a an 80s flashback of owning this weirdo one shot comic book beautifully illustrated by Sal Buscema and seeing this particular episode for the first time. Believe me, though an ODD choice of a story and semi stupid villain, it made me long for those Saturday mornings and sugary cereals of sooo many years past…