With all the excitement over the latest movie sensation that is Wonder Woman I thought it’d be cool to show off a couple of my favorite covers by the master himself Brian Bolland. It’s no secret that Bolland is easily one of the best comic book cover artists of all time and of course after his classic artwork in The Killing Joke it’s apparent no one can capture the clown prince of crime quite like he can. I dig these two Wonder Woman covers as well because it’s not every day that you see Diana facing off against The Joker.
The first one Wonder Woman #97 is from 1995
….and the second a bit more recent #41 from 2015.
A couple of my favorites!
Here’s the second installment of the all time greatest one shot comics, featuring small self contained stories that begin & end all within the span of one single issue! Today we’ve got an excellent story from 2001 in The Incredible Hulk #26 (vol. 2) written by Sean Mckeever and drawn by one of my personal favorites, the amazing Kyle Hotz. I immediately had a soft spot for this issue as it takes place in Wausau, Wisconsin (and even features ‘Eagle River’ on a highway sign, a place where my family’s had a cottage for ages) a state that we don’t normally see superhero adventures taking place. I had a feeling that Mckeever must’ve been a Wisconsin native to include such random small towns in this story and I was right as his Wiki page states he’s from Appleton (I used to live there!).
Anyway the story features The Hulk as he wanders aimlessly through the night on a lonely highway being drawn to a nearby city’s lights in the distance. The Hulk appears to be at peace in the quiet night, but hey we all know for the jade giant tranquility never lasts long. The cool thing about this particular issue is that Hulk kinda takes a back seat as the story really follows the exploits of b-lister down on his luck supervillain ‘The Killer Shrike’ and his wife Nadine who’re traveling the country aimlessly in his beat up van. I love what this one brings to the table as we’re able to see Simon Maddicks (The Killer Shrike) life as a real person. We witness the struggle of a woman who’s stuck by her mate as he’s chosen a life as a superhuman criminal constantly on the run from the law. She’s tired and ready to live a normal boring life. Shrike’s promising her soon he’ll be ready and willing to give up the life of crime and pulls into Wausau claiming that it could be the city for both of them to settle down in.
It doesn’t take long for her to realize Simon’s lying through his teeth as he eyes up a convenience store and tells her he’s got a new plan. Rather than looking for the big score like he has for years he’s gonna hit small towns hard where there’s no superhuman resistance. We get a real glimpse in to what life might really be like for a supervillain who at his core is just a regular small time crook. There haven’t been too many comics that have covered this topic so intimately and really given us a look at the starving supervillain’s daily life. It’s too bad The Killer Shrike doesn’t realize this small city’s also harboring the most powerful brute force on the planet-The Hulk. We get a compelling introspective into just what makes The Hulk tick and where his thoughts wander to when he’s in a state of peace with his surroundings. There’s a lot of great dialogue packed into this little story and Hotz’s unique artwork really brings this tale to life
The Killer Shrike suits up in his van and hit’s the convenience store with an easy small time score, or so he thinks. On his way out with the cash he nearly runs head on into you guessed it…good ol’ green jeans himself. The Shrike in sheer panic attacks The Hulk, who really just wants to be left alone. He’s doesn’t let up either as he’s convinced he can take down The Hulk himself, he keeps on striking until he levels an entire building upon the jade giant. The Killer Shrike however quickly realizes that very building also crushed his getaway van with his lover, Nadine inside. As things often go wrong when puny humans decide to pester the Hulk, this issue delivers a heartfelt punch to the gut as we witness one fateful night in the life of Simon Maddicks. I wish Marvel could capture this type of depth in their characters and villains more often as The Incredible Hulk #26 would be great issue to present to Marvel executives today as they ponder upon why their comic book sales have declined so much recently. Check this issue out next time you’re at the comic shop roaming through the back issue boxes, it’s a damn fine little slice of storytelling! P.S. here’s an old Marvel Universe profile for the Killer Shrike!
Here’s a personal favorite cover of mine way back from 1983! This particular issue was one I must have read 100 times as a kid and I just loved the imagery of the Hulk being attacked by a cluster of The Leader’s pink rubbery silly putty style humanoids. It got me thinking of how much I miss those old classic Hulk story lines and how today we don’t even have Banner or the original classic Hulk anywhere to be found. I realize the old days of the Hulk are likely gone as comic books today are a bit more of a real life social statement. I’m missing those days of the jade giant and Banner fighting monsters, the military and all the cool sci-fi adventures they embarked on. Times have truly changed but they can never take away those classic comics of yesteryear….
Damn was The New Mutants was an awesome comic book of the 80’s and one of the things that adds immensely to it’s street cred were the amazing covers that Bill Sienkiewicz produced. Here picture is one of many stunning pieces of artwork that graced the series covers. Most of his artwork on The New Mutants was pretty intense, dreamlike and often frightening. New Mutants #18 is a prime example of how hard Bill was killing it back in the day. If you want a real treat check out his run on the series in 1983 starting with issue #18 and ending with #31. Perhaps I’ll compile all of the covers here in one post. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore…
Rob Liefeld has gotten a TON of shit over the years for his highly critiqued artwork filled with bad perspective, highly exaggerated body parts, weird looking feet ect. etc. etc. Yeah we all have seen the criticisms of the guy, who at one point was basically a “rockstar” comic book artist in the 1990’s. I’ve never been a fan of his artwork, in fact a lot of his 90’s stuff (and many other artists from that era) has always made me cringe. Putting all of that aside, the guy had and still does have a ton of people who are big fans of his style. The dude is legendary whether you like it or not, so that leads me to do a little digging and give Liefeld some credit when he does some good work. All of his artwork isn’t all bad right? Well I’m going to use my ‘Comic Book Cover of the Week’ posts to showcase some of, in my opinion, Liefeld’s “hits”. Here’s a cover by him that I always thought was actually pretty good. I especially like the way Liefeld drew Sabretooth, nice and evil looking in New Mutants #91. Liefeld doesn’t do anything too outrageous here (there may be a missing chin), I think on this one he actually did a pretty decent job. He keeps everyone’s feet nice and hidden as well….What do you think?
Well it’s officially election day and it’s been one helluva mess this election season that’s for sure! It seems like this election has been going on forever and even stranger are the two candidates at the forefront of it all. Both Trump & Clinton are the most disliked candidates in ALL of American history. It seems that the people just couldn’t find and honest or non-offensive person any where near the Democratic or Republican party in 2016 (Wait there was a guy called Bernie Sanders running at one point). It made me remember a classic comic way back from 1980, Captain America #250. Yeah that’s when Steve Rogers gave serious consideration of running for president as Captain America. Now there’s an unbeatable candidate huh? I’d like to see Trump or Hillary try to win that contest!
I really liked the idea of Cap running, and it was cool that in this issue he was hanging out with a third party called the Populist Party whom he save from a terrorist attack. He’s given the idea by them that he himself should be indeed running for President as their candidate. Cap at first thinks it’s a bit of a foolish idea but then gets to really thinking about it and starts giving it some serious consideration. The newspapers get wind and begin printing stories about his campaign, which pushes Rogers even further into thought about it.
Reporters & people are going nuts around the idea and I guess you could say the ‘Cap for Prez’ movement started going “viral”! He talks to his fellow Avengers about it and get their feedback, some supportive and others discouraging. In the end he decides against it, realizing he’d be really unable to fight for America the way he does best. Perhaps he just needs to wait until he’s like seventy years old like most politicians?!
It’s a great issue and if there’s ever been the perfect time to read it I’d say it would be tonight! It’s got a truly iconic cover & art by John Byrne and this issue always just begged for a ‘What If?’ story- “What if Captain America did indeed run for President?” Anyway check out Cap # 250 it’s a total classic. I hope in 2020 Steve Rogers finally reconsiders and comes back on the scene for the Populist Party!
Here’s a cool cover I’ve always been a big fan of that’s more relevant today than ever! Yeah it seems all we’re hearing about is how bad the Russians are and it’s looking like a conflict in the real world with the russians is closer than ever before. Well it just so happens in the Marvel Comics universe the Russians have their own awesome version of the Avengers by way of the Soviet Super Soldiers! I’ve always thought this was one bad ass super team and back in 1992 Marvel did indeed try to give them their own series. Today though that seems like the last thing Marvel would want to do, they just might revive them if things keep heating up and have them square off with The Avengers, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that though in the real world. Anyway issue #258 of The Incredible Hulk was their first appearance way back in 1981. The epic cover was epically drawn by the legend Al Milgrom a truly awesome battle for the Hulk!