A monumental time for me as a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk (R.I.P.) was back in 2001 when the ‘Banner’ limited series was released and the artwork was handled by the legend Richard Corben! I most remember him in my youth as being an artist on badass comic magazines like Eerie & Heavy Metal but really he’s been around forever producing some of the most unique artwork around. Well the ‘Banner’ limited series was a knockout made especially for die hard Hulk fans. This is a perfect example of the the kind of classic Hulk stories I’d like to read in 2016. It’s a full on battle between Banner and his alter ego as we finally explore the damage an enraged Hulk puts on the population of innocent civilians. It also featured Doc Samson, one of my favorite characters in the Hulk’s world getting serious about taking out the Jade Giant one and for all. It’s a gritty no B.S. story by Brian Azzarello and Corben’s artwork is absolutely perfect. Put down your ‘Totally Awesome Hulk’ for a moment and see what a real Hulk story looks like!
Do you remember some of the movies that really scared you as a kid? Well for me ‘Curtains’ from 1983 was one of those that I remember only seeing one scene from on an episode of ‘At The Movies’ with Siskel and Ebert way back when. In fact this particular scene today is still pretty damn creepy, the whole movie however…..um…well let’s just say you can probably skip this one. When I was a little kid I was super frightened of old vintage baby dolls, I mean they’re legitimately creepy right? Well my mom had a few that she kept sitting in her room all on an old rocking chair and I’ll admit I really was scared shitless of em’! My older brother would often play pranks on me with them, putting them in my bed at night or having one jump around the corner at me at any given moment. It was after we saw this clip form the movie Curtains that really inspired him to take it to the next level of freaking me out. Ahhh..the good ol’ days of being a kid.
Well it just so happens that they decided to put the creepy ass baby doll (who’s really not in the movie much more than a minute) from the movie on the cover so that I can always be reminded of those freaky ass baby dolls of my youth. I’ll admit also this is a great VHS cover and it’s still likely to give me bad dreams. More recently I decided to face my fears and watch the movie for real and found that the movie itself is merely a third rate 80’s snooze of a slasher flick, however it does have that ONE scene that still to this day terrifies me! Of course Youtube has it all and here’s that exact fucking scene!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!
Ok so check this out, here’s two of my favorite movie covers /posters for two of the coolest 80’s movies ever! Dreamscape and A Nightmare on Elm Street, now I know that probably everyone is very familiar with the artwork of both of these BUT I found out recently something when I was trying to figure out if these two movies shared the same cover artist. They do not but they share something else quite sinister I found out. It turns out that the artwork of a Nightmare on Elm Street features a familiar face from the Dreamscape movie universe- OR perhaps it’s the other way around?! If you look closely first at the Dreamscape art done by Drew Struzan take note of the snake creature above the title, who makes several appearances in the movie:
Ok now let’s take a look at the equally incredible artwork by Matthew Peak who did the artwork first five Elm Street flicks. Look closely above the blade of the pinky finger on the right, do you see it? It’s the snake creature from Dreamscape…..
Here’s it blown up a bit…
Both of these movies came out in 1984 and as I did more research on it it was indeed added by Matthew Peak as an homage and this could be proof that maybe just maybe Dreamscape and A Nightmare on Elmstreet are shared universes- Now if this took place today I’m certain you’d likely see Dennis Quaid in an Elm Street sequel where enters the dreams of Freddy’s victims and takes on Mr. Krueger himself! Damn what a missed opportunity-how awesome would that have been?!!!
Here’s a look at one heck of a great cover by the master Barry Windsor Smith way back from 1985 with Daredevil #217! This has always been a favorite of mine and there’s just no denying that Barry’s unique style rivals any current artist. Anytime in the 80’s that he was involved you just knew you were going to get something memorable. This particular cover is no exception to the rule, Barry gives us an epic cover with Daredevil & The Back Widow swinging high up in the skyscrapers giving our ol’ pal Spidey a run for his money for pure perfection in acrobatic form!
The Badger has definitely returned to form in the latest second issue from Devil’s Due / 1First Comics! It’s always nice to read a solid debut these days but it means a lot when the second issue in many cases is better than the first and this is the case in the latest reboot of the legendary Badger series from creator Mike Baron. You can read my review of issue #1 right here.
Anyway the second issue brings back a more familiar feel to the cult 80’s indie icon. We’re really seeing more of a modern retelling of the origin story of Norbert Sykes, which is thus far packed with the perfect amount of that familiar Baron style of quirky comedy and a degree of realism that make this comic thus far one of my favorite recent monthly titles. I actually think the current writers of Deadpool could learn a thing or two from Baron’s tasty recipe on this title.
So what do we get this issue? Well Norbert and his buddy Ham are mysteriously released from the mental ward, partly due to Ham’s “magical” abilities as an ancient druid. Ham also purchases an old castle on the outskirts of Madison Wisconsin where the two of them plan to live. Ham however reveals he’s got a a serious problem with a powerful wizard rival none other than Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Or could Ham just be batshit cray?!
Well things get worse when a Russian enforcer breaks into the castle ready to kill, good thing Norbert Sykes has got multiple personalities, one of which is the Kung Fu ass kicker The Badger! Lastly we get a glimpse of Putin himself as he and his crew of scientists are thawing out a prehistoric mammoth in a glacier. Yeah it’s crazy shit and also a ton of fun.
I’m really happy this character is being given a chance in 2016, so far the series has great potential, I’m not a huge fan of the artwork in issue two, I personally think Badger deserves better. It looked a bit rushed, I wish they could land someone like Paul Pope or old schooler Mike Zeck as a regular on the series. Aside from that I totally dig it as a whole and will definitely be back for issue #2. Ask your local shop to carry Badger as I don’t think this series is getting enough attention!
Iron Maiden is the best metal band of all time and they’re back with a new album ready to drop! “Book of Souls” will be out on September 4th of this year and I’m totally pumped for it! I’m even more pumped to see them live again as they’re easily one of the best live bands out there despite the band forming way back in 1975. These guys have more spastic energy than most bands in their twenties and blend a good amount of amazing theatrics into their live shows. So now Maiden returns, a band not guilty as selling out or changing their sound like bands like Metallica remain guilty of doing. Nope Maiden has kept their sound true for the most part their entire career.
They’ve got a brand new song called ‘Speed of Light’ that just so happens to haveT cool new video to go along with it. This one’s a classic style Iron Maiden power metal anthem! They’ve still got the metal magic so check this one out as their mascot ‘Eddie’ decides to hit the arcade and literally ends up being sucked inside of the video games!! I’m so pumped on this!!
Hellboy and the BPRD have both moved up the ranks these days as probably my favorite comic book series currently on the market! The reason for that being really being one man, Mike Mignola! Mignola is a visionary, he’s been doing comic books for ages and his artwork is unmistakable. He has always been a fave of mine since the 1980’s and his Hellboy universe has grown extensively through the years. I am personally surprised at how many of my friends that read comic books still AREN’T reading the Hellboy and BPRD stuff! It’s better than anything Marvel is putting out that’s for sure-here’s one of my fave Hellboy covers-number 14 where Mignola creates the Golden age Hellboy!!
Here’s on of my fave covers from the 1980’s era New Mutants. Issue number 19 from 1984 always stuck in my head clearly because of the incredible skills of Mr. Bill Sienkiewicz! Seriously, this guy’s artwork is some of the most unforgettable in comic book history. The comic master of the abstract, you always know you’re getting something special when his name’s attached. Back in the mid 1980’s he did some incredible artwork for The New Mutants, most of which was very dark, jagged and gritty. It further set the tone of the mutant based books in the 80’s as just that. Something a little more hard edged than the regular superhero books. This is one of my faves from that era of the New Mutants but believe me all of his cover artwork for the title is breathtaking. He’s a true comic book legend in every way….
Sorry folks I had computer problems for the whole last week and wasn’t able to effectively blog unless blogging from a smart phone sounds fun? Anyway I kinda missed reporting my thoughts on the whole Star Wars future trilogy / Disney fiasco. So first let me say I think it’s a great thing that we finally got Star Wars away from Lucas. Sorry George! I also think this will mean BETTER films for the franchise. The prequels can’t be erased from our minds sadly but maybe we can tarnish off the shit that has been coating Star Wars and get something truly amazing that the fans will lose their god damn minds over. I have a feeling that is exactly what we’ll get. In fact I think a great director will be chosen and like J.J. Abrams did for Star Trek this director will do similars wonders for Star Wars.
So today I want to address the fact that we are getting major speculation that Episode Seven will feature possibly Luke Skywalker, Leia and Han Solo. They won’t be casting new actors, they will be including Hamill, Fisher and Ford. I’ve already heard people bitching about this idea, calling them too old to carry a movie. Quite possibly this really could be the case. I however think that with a few younger cast members the movie could be rounded out perfectly and capture the nostalgia for longtime fans and younger fans alike. My real focus here though is on Luke Skywalker. I feel Episode Seven must feature Hamill as Luke, much like the way the last Star Trek movie featured Nimoy as Spock. However I’d like to see Luke as a major player in the movie rather than a cameo, maybe not first billed but a great supporting part played. So let’s cut the small talk and get to the point is he too old for the role?
That’s what I hear people saying, however one thing that has been a constant theme in Star Wars is one simple fact. A Jedi is dangerous, but and OLD Jedi is the most lethal and deadly of them all. Obi-Wan, Yoda, Vader, Dooku? Need I go on?
So this makes perfect sense to me to have Mark Hamill return as an older Jedi. I mean I almost wish Hamill was even older for the role. I imagine him training someone in the Jedi Ways and having to fight along side his student/students against whatever threat is chosen for the next film. I’d also agree that Hamill would have to take this role very seriously, I mean he better be running on the damn treadmill as I type this. All we need is him to get back into shape, he can look old as shit but he’s got to look like he can still kick some major butt with a lightsaber. I also think it could possibly end up being the most bad ass Skywalker role yet if done tastefully. I think it’s a must, it would tie the films together and make a lot of sense. Now Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher? I’m not so certain about. What I do know is these movies cannot possibly be worse than the prequels, so whatever we get will seem like a god damn Academy Award winner next to the last few films. One thing to seriously consider is who else could return form the past for these movies? Bring ’em on Disney!