I recently pulled out my old ‘Machine Man’ limited series from 1984, some thing I do pretty regularly because it’s just that damn awesome. The series brings Machine Man into the future of 2020 where he faces off with the evil Arno Stark, the next Iron Man! The thing that sets this series apart from a lot of the stuff back then is the fact that Barry Windsor Smith showcases how much of a bad ass he is with his stunning artwork on not only the cover but the inside as well. The series of 4 covers is pretty amazing as it shows his circuitry transforming him into his original form. Here’s issue #3:
They reissued the series again a decade later and then issued a trade paperback with yet another amazing cover by Barry!!
WandaVision seems to be the talk of the town, whether you like it or not it’s Disney +’s MCU big kick off series and from what I’ve heard it’s quite daring in it’s storytelling. I still haven’t checked it out, something about it just hasn’t pulled me into setting aside time to give it a try. Maybe when all the episodes are out I’ll dive in. But before all this hype of WandaVision we had this nifty 12 part limed series with the famous superhero couple released waaay back in 1985. Maybe I’ll give this one a spin again before I dave into more Disney + schlock, I’ve got to admit the first issue sure did look promising from the cover alone don’t you think? If this was what had been marketed for the MCU series I’d be 100% down from the very damn start!
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!
The Death of Wolverine #2 is a comic book I’ve really been looking forward to for the last week! I was super impressed with the first issue even though it was five bucks and had a bunch of useless filler, it felt in part like the old Wolverine stories I used to love! So issue two continues the story in the classic setting of Madripoor- One of my favorite places in the Marvel Universe! There we meet a disguised Logan (“hipster Logan”, I personally would have preferred “Patch”instead) who’s been hanging out there for weeks looking for Viper, with some valuable merchandise for sale. This leads Logan to an odd encounter with several villains from his past. Sounds cool huh?
Well I don’t wanna spoil anything but it all seems a bit too forced. We’ve got important characters that disappear from the pages of the story as fast as they appear. Maybe this series needed to be a six or eight parter instead of four? It already is feeling a bit rushed, issue #2 feels quite a bit different from the first. I would have liked to have seen at least two issues of Madripoor and now it appears at the end of this issue we are off to yet another “classic” locale.
The story at issue two has lost it’s flow and lost my interest substantially. I get it now, they’re trying to cram as many classic characters into this four part series as possible and it seems issue three is likely to continue doing the same. Considering that how large the panels per page are in this series so far (a lot of panels simply divide up on single drawing into multiples) it’s likely that we’re not going to get the quality story telling we’d thought we were promised with issue number one. I’m on board for the last two though, I could easily be proven wrong and might be simply dazzled by the last two.
However, with issue number two and it’s rather paper thin plot, uninspired and unnecessary fight sequences and mish mash of random classic characters coming and going I’m starting to think it’s hard to make Wolverine interesting anymore for more than a single issue. At least McNiven’s art is still beautifully rendered. Oh yeah this issue is also 5 bucks and jam packed with a bunch of dull extras that somehow Marvel thinks justify the high cover price. What I predict we’re in store for is a rushed storyline that could have been amazing. If they don’t pull this off correctly I doubt anyone will be be anticipating Wolverine’s return from the dead anytime soon…
I won’t lie, I’ve been looking forward to finally seeing the trailer for ‘The Wolverine’ for quite some time now. The wait is over, we finally got to see a glimpse of what we’re in store for this summer. As you may know I loathed X-men Origins: Wolverine with a passion. I still have a hard time pumping myself up for any Hugh Jackman Wolverine stuff after enduring that giant heaping turd of a film. However I’m a fair guy and give things more than their fair share of chances, though I’ve said here before that I’d actually love a Wolverine reboot with a whole new cast. Still I am reaching deep down within my soul and looking past the last couple Wolverine based flicks and again giving Hugh one LAST chance to redeem himself as everyone’s favorite berserker. So I watched the trailer several times now and to me this looks like a pretty solid attempt at a ‘decent” Wolverine adventure.
Did it wow me like I was hoping? No. Did it suck as bad as I was expecting? Not at all. I give this teaser a solid B. This meaning that it could go one of two ways. Way down or way up on the scale of what us true Wolverine fans have really always wanted. First I gotta say Jackman looks good as he always has in the role, he’s a great actor and fully capable of bringing us the best Wolverine performance we’re likely to ever see on screen. I can be knit picky about wanting Wolverine’s crazy comic book hair all day, but hey this is Hollywood and they want to make Wolverine super sexy, not a freaky, hairy little five foot tall mutant with fucked up hair. I get it. I let go of ever seeing that version of the character on screen.
So with this trailer we see Logan apparently heading back to Japan to become “mortal” because he’s tired of living forever with all the pain he’s endured in his life. It appears Lord Shingen weakens his healing factor much like in the original Claremont/Miller limited series from 1982 which this movie is loosely based on. However in that story he heads to Japan to find his fiancee has been forced into marriage by her father Lord Shingen, to an abusive Yakuza crimeboss. Hence Wolverine goes batshit crazy against a clan of ninjas ect.
This movie version looks like it’s trying to head into a “more epic” storyline, amping up the special effects and including a bunch of villains into the mix. This to me could be the first sign of a mistake in the movie. Trying to cram too much into a perfectly human story of love and revenge. However it’s really too soon to jump to any conclusions. One thing that appears to be missing is the blood and violence needed to properly tell the store of a man with razor sharp blades indestructibly bound to his knuckles. This movie better not skimp on the blood. I want to see Wolverine’s claws slice and dice like they do in the comic, in all of the past films we never see any blood, severed arms, legs, ect. I know this is a PG-13 movie but at least give us a little in the way of what sort of damage this mutant would do in a real world with weapons like that. Again, too soon to tell, this movie could indeed give us all that and more. I just can’t take another bloodless kiddie Wolverine flick. So all that said I wasn’t blown away by the trailer. It has potential, unfortunately we don’t yet know if it will finally raise the bar to the true potential of what an amazing Wolverine flick can and should be….what do you think?
Back in 1986 it was a real treat when John Byrne took over Superman starting with the mini series The Man of Steel. He rebooted the series with that limited series and then took over Superman and Action Comics entirely doing the writing and artwork. He gave the people of the 80’s a more adult version of Superman and drastically changed his arch nemesis Lex Luthor into simply an evil billionare instead of an adversary that would often times tangle physically with The Man of Steel.
Byrne was on top of his game artistically as well and here is one of my favorite covers from that era where Superman takes down my personal faves The Teen Titans in Action Comics #584. Damn may have to pull out my Superman back issues later tonight, I have every issue of the Byrne era and it still withstands the test of time…
Check out this rad article that gives you the full story on the John Byrne era Superman stuff, a fun read to say the least!
I hope that my faith can be restored in Hugh Jackman’s next appearance in the upcoming Wolverine movie expected to be delivered next summer. I have serious doubts and I have even went as far to suggest that they completely reboot the Wolverine movie franchise. However it seems the wheels are turning quite quickly now with the movie as people are being cast for the film finally. This movie will see Logan in Japan and is based on the amazing Claremont / Frank Miller limited series from the early eighties. Sounds good to me as I am a huge fan of that arc, but it’s also scary because as we all know Hollywood loves to slaughter childhood nostalgia and ruin us comic book fanatics dreams. I am keeping my expectations real real low for this one as I am sure this gritty tale will end up a shiny flimsy cg fueled turd by the time it hits the big screen.
Well the big news today is that they cast The Silver Samurai. Will Yun Lee will portray the legendary Wolverine foe and son of the movie’s main villain, Shingen Yashida. The Silver Samurai is easily one of my fave Wolverine villains, I personally think this character could carry his own title. So let’s hope Lee does him justice.
Hopefully they doe this right and keep the limited series near by to reference when they decide to do something totally lame. I have to admit this does make me a little more excited for this film, but I’m not holding my breath. My standards for a Wolverine movie are pretty high, this time there better be some blood, guts and a real story behind this one. It’s gotta be good to erase the last one from my mind….
Being a huge Alpha Flight fan I was somewhat saddened by the news today that Alpha Flight is no longer going to be an ongoing series as recently announced. It seems that all we are going to get right now is the recent limited series which was for the most part a pretty fun solids ride. It was great to have all the original characters back again-and even better that Major Maple Leaf was no where in sight! Still however I think that Alpha Flight could have been and should have been even better this time around.
It seems to me that no one can make it quite as interesting as the original series by John Byrne. Heck we even got Wolverine making a cameo in this last run-yeah yeah I know Wolverine is everywhere these days, but one place he really needs to be is Alpha Flight as he was once a member and has a crazy history with the group. I for one think he needs to quit the Avengers and hell maybe even the X-men and head back to his roots in Canada. How awesome would that be? Become a full fledged member again? At the very very least I think there should be a series, much like the current Captain America & Bucky, that chronicles his past with the team from when Mac and Heather Hudson (his other red headed obsession) found him. How about that Marvel?
Either way I am pretty disappointed Marvel went back on their decision to make Alpha a mainstay monthly. From what I hear in the latest issue though is that two Alpha members are going to make a major impact on the X-universe. My guess is it’s Northstar and Aurora, but they quite honestly have had their chance, Northstar already was a member of the X-men and Aurora part of the Weapon X series….My hope would be for Sasquatch, Puck or Snowbird. Either way I hold hope someday someone will truly do justice to the team as their stories could be right up there with any superhero team around today! Long Live Alpha Flight!!