Have you noticed the overload of retro style throwback movies that have been coming out over the last ten years or so? You surely seen all those retro style movie posters that seem to to borrow so heavily from those cult flicks of yesteryear. Well here I’m going to start a weekly post where I’m going to give you some of my personal favorite VHS box covers of all time. Most of these are ones as a kid in the 80’s I’d see when visiting the video store, some of those incredible covers will oddly always bring back great memories of being a kid. So for the first installment I picked one of the coolest from a bizarre werewolf movie from 1984 called “A Company of Wolves”. Seeing this one at Bricco’s Video Vault (I think that’s what it was called) back in Neenah Wisconsin back in the 80’s kinda freaked the shit out of me! It makes me wanna revisit this movie as it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. But here it is in all of it’s crazy glory….
I can’t begin to tell you just how much I love this particular comic book cover and how much as a child I loved this particular issue of ‘What If?’!! It really make sense as we get one of the greatest comic book artists ever responsible for this masterpiece, Bill Sienkiewicz doing an unforgettable rendition of the jade giant on issue #45. ‘What If?’ was an incredibly fun comic book back in the classic Marvel days and this issue from 1984 was one as a kid I carried with me everywhere. This one retells the classic origin story but in this reality Banner fails to save Rick Jones from the gamma blast and while Rick doesn’t die the Army ends up killing him-Sending the Hulk into a crazy rage. The Hulk freaks out and takes down the Fantastic Four and Iron Man killing several them in the process. It’s a great, surprisingly violent issue and in the end The Hulk’s rage costs him his own life. Anyway this cover will always remain one of my faves, Sienkiewicz never fails when doing comic book covers, with the pencil and ink in his hands you always knew you were going to get something truly special!
I had thoughts this morning for some reason about the 1979 Plastic Man cartoon! It made me wanna feature a cool old classic Plastic Man cover. This one from 1966 sees Plastic Man caught down in the sewers battling a creature created from meat by products and sludge?! Yep! Yuck! Plastic Man had some weird ass stories and villains back in the day and this cover is one of the coolest from that era wonderfully drawn by Ramona Fradon.
While we’re on topic lets take a peek back at that Plastic Man Cartoon!
And let’s not forget there was an elastic Plastic Man action figure too:
also here’s Robert Smith from The Cure as Plastic Man for the hell of it:
Also Plastic Man on the Superfriends! Whatta team up!
and some live action Plastic Man!
We’ve got some artists in the comic book industry who really were meant to draw certain characters and one who always needs mention when it comes to The Incredible Hulk is Dale Keown!! Yep it really doesn’t get much better than Keown’s version of the Hulk & from 1990 to ’92 when he took over the art on the title it was clear his version of the Hulk would go down in history as one of the best. He’s right up there with Sal Buscema and John Byrne in my book as all time best Hulksters. In fact back in 1990 his artwork on Hulk reminded me a lot of Byrne’s version of the character. Keown would go on to Image to introduce us all to his own “Hulk” type character, “Pitt”. Anyway Here’s a great Keown cover from 1990 that shows he’s one of the best Hulk artists of all time!!
Oh and if you still don’t think Keown was one of the best Hulk artists ever here’s a few more images to prove my point!
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!!
No matter what you though about the controversial cancelled Bat Girl variant cover you can’t deny it’s got people talking about what they think is appropriate in 2015 for the two big major comic book companies! Well here we another pic that’s generating some buzz by Ray Dillon it’s Superman being terrorized by Doomsday, the very villain who at one time killed him! What do you think he’s trying to say about the topic?
First let it be known, I’m not a dedicated reader of the latest Bat Girl series, but I’ve obviously read “The Killing Joke”, arguably the greatest Batman story ever. In that classic graphic novel The Joker became one of the most frightening villains in all of comic book history. We saw a Joker that was far more dangerous, insane and sick than anything we ever witnessed before and this all involved what he did to Barbara Gordon (Bat Girl). The Joker kidnaps her, shoots her, strips her naked and then photographs her for her father to later see. This was a chilling sequence in the original comic book, and it left you wondering just what else the Joker may have done to her that was not shown but rather implied by a few of the panels.
Flash forward to present time and we have a newer Bat Girl series, with a lighter tone and delivering a positive message of empowerment to women. Then along comes this very different feeling variant cover by Raphael Albuquerque….
It was meant as a throwback cover to The Killing Joke and has caused loads of controversy. DC has received threats of violence and harassment for the image. People have deemed the cover as too inappropriate because of it’s clearly dark imagery a frightened, crying and bleeding Bat Girl with the Joker’s arm wrapped around her, gun in hand. It’s a variant cover so it really doesn’t need to have anything to do with the story inside the comic and most often these covers are meant for die hard collectors. I’m thinking a few things as I view it, first it’s an incredibly creepy cover, mostly if you know exactly what happened to Barbara Gordon back in The Killing Joke. Second it’s clearly a awesome piece of artwork portraying an excellent clearly insane Clown Prince of Crime. Third it’s maybe one of the most powerful comic book covers I’ve seen in years, it clearly strikes a nerve and leaves you with a feeling of utter dread.
I don’t think the cover is so offensive that it should be cancelled, but it may be tonally wrong for the series at the current moment in time. People in an uproar however also need to realize that this is fiction, not every story is going to an uplifting experience, some of the best stories do at times involve tragedy, in fact that’s what makes The Killing Joke so powerful in the first place. I agree, this cover may just be too disturbing for the current Bat Girl series, it does show a Bat Girl in a state of pure fright, some may view it as a women portrayed as weak, it brings back some those bad vibes of the Alan Moore tale but I also can say as a fan of The Killing Joke, if this was the cover to an actual Bat Girl story that was related to 1988 classic, DC would’ve have me picking up Bat Girl on a regular basis for the first time in my life…