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!
This week I had the great pleasure to see the legendary Jon Mikl Thor live right here in Portland Oregon! But that wasn’t all, before he hit the stage he gave us all a screening of the new documentary “I am Thor”!!
Some of you might not even know who Thor is but if you like 80’s metal and 80’s horror flicks then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this guy. To me, my first introduction to him was in the cult favorite flick ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare’ and this one really has got to be seen to be believed. It’s one of the best cheezy 80’s flicks of all time. Don’t believe me check this shit out:
Anyway to make a long story short, Jon Mikl Thor was a successful body builder who fronted the band Thor way back in 1973. He looked like a real life version of the Marvel Comics character or heck he could easily have passed as He-Man as well!
He really never achieved the success he’d always wanted and spent most of the 70’s and 80’s touring the world. He had a short career in B-movies as well and in 1997 he decided to pick up the hammer again and rock the world as Thor one more time.
The documentary covers this and so much more and is filled the heart and determination of a man who’s willing to defy the odds for the sheer love of Rock & Roll. It follows his rise and fall as well as his quest to return to the stage years later. In many ways it’s quite similar to another excellent documentary about another Canadian metal band called Anvil. If you want a dynamic double feature I highly recommend “I Am Thor” and “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” they will inspire you to never give up on your dreams.
We get a lot of great info on Jon Mikl Thor as well, one interesting thing was learning that he was originally asked by Jerry Only from the Misfits to front the 90’s version of the band before eventually getting Michale Graves to replace Danzig. Man, how awesome would a Thor fronted version of The Misfits have been?!! Well to me it sounds awesome.
If you get a chance check this movie out, it’s a lot of fun and by the end of it you’ll feel like you really know the guy personally. I guess that’s one reason why I had such a good time at the show, after the movie we got to see Thor rock again with a full band. Though he doesn’t have the long hair or ultra ripped body that he used to he’s still got the pipes and at age 62 he’s got a ton of great energy. It was a real treat seeing a band playing that style of metal and while not fully familiar with all of his music (mainly because I didn’t own any of it personally yet), when I attended the show by the end of his set I couldn’t get his power metal anthems out of my head.
I knew I had to go much deeper into the music and film career of John Mikl Thor! He’s a true character who never gave up on his dreams and though his shows don’t sell out you can see how much this guy truly appreciates every person in attendance. It was a night that still has me smiling days later. It takes a very special person to make you feel that in this day and age. Long live Thor, you’re still the number one Warrior of the Universe in my opinion…
I recently was lucky enough to catch one the best Rock n’ Roll horror flicks of the 90’s: “Shock ‘Em Dead”! To be exact this one came out in 1990 and man was it a good time. This one is the perfect party flick and a good amount of booze is recommended in conjunction to get the ultimate enjoyment out of this giant ball of cheez. Shock ‘Em Dead is one of Traci Lords’ legitimate Hollywood movies and that’s not saying much in this case! To be fair though I think she was the only woman in this movie that actually didn’t get naked! So at least she was really trying to make it a point to distance herself from her well known controversial racy porn career.
However Shock ‘Em Dead is far from a good horror movie per say, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a total riot to watch! We’ve got a movie that’d fit quite nicely next to “Rock & Roll Nightmare” for a double feature. Yep you get it all here folks hot babes, hot dudes, heavy metal & of course Satan!! The story follows Martin, a lone nerd pizza boy / terrible guitarist, who’s sick and tired of being made fun of by everyone in town. Well things get worse for Martin after he decides to try out for the local rising rockstar band “Spastic Colon” as lead guitarist.
After being humiliated for sucking so bad on guitar he’s off to make a deal with the devil with a Miss Cleo look-alike voodoo lady. Soon Martin is transformed into a super over the top glam rock god, who sizzles on a double necked B.C. Rich Warlock guitar and returns to wow Spastic Colon with his hyper doodling chops! But man you’d think if you made a deal with the devil you’d go try and join Iron Maiden or Van Halen instead?!
Anyway Martin, now going by the name Angel Martin decides he wants Spastic Colon’s manager Traci Lords (because I’m thinking he might have seen a few of her previous film work)?! Well now that Martin joined the band and is sporting a totally fucking over the top ridiculous glam rocker style with a full on spazzed out gigantic black wig it seems that indeed Traci is beginning to fall some how for this dipshit!
Not only that but as the band’s popularity seems to skyrocket, some weird deaths begin to occur at their shows all at the hands of the devilishly dark Angel Martin . This flick delivers on all cylinders, giving you a totally laughable plot, incredible late 80’s early 90’s glam rocker style, unbelievable dialog & some totally awesomely idiotic songs like Spastic Colon’s big hit “Virgin” Girl!
Did I mention you’ll also get the insanely flashy guitar noodling of Nitro’s very own Michael Angelo Batio too? Yep they hired him to double as Angel Martin’s hand’s when he’s fucking shredding on the double edge axe guitar.
There are so many awesome things about this movie that will have you laughing your ass off and if you’re ok with some pretty un PC humor this one will seriously get the party started and then if anything else you get to watch Traci Lords for an hour and a half-seek this one out, I saw it on VHS but I think it was released this year on special edition dvd!
Some good news for fans of metal music and horror flicks! Yeah the power of real metal isn’t showcased enough these days so this is a sweet bit of info for all you headbangers! First is the trailer for New Zealand flick “Deathgasm”! This one looks like a throwback to movies like “Rock & Roll Nightmare”, “The Gate” and “Trick Or Treat” from the 1980’s with a bit of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive thrown in for good measure. By the trailer and a few recent reviews it’s sounds like this one is gonna be full on shock rocker!
Here’s the synopsis:
“After his mother is institutionalized, misfit Brodie is sent to live with his Uncle Albert and Aunt Mary, whose son David torments him. A heavy metal fan, Brodie forms a band called DEATHGASM with his friends Zakk, Dion, and Giles. When bandmates break into a local house, they discover that one of their idols, reclusive musician Rikki Daggers, lives there. Daggers gives the band magical sheet music, which a cult later murders him to find. Skeptical of the sheet music’s power, the band plays it, only to summon a demon. With the help of his crush, Medina, and his bandmates, Brodie must find a way to defeat the demon.”
This one looks gory, creepy, action packed and super cheezy- here’s the trailer:
So I say Deathgasm took a nod from the movie “Rock & Roll Nightmare” I mentioned earlier and if you’ve never seen that movie then you’re by no means a fan of cheezy 80’s heavy metal horror! It’s star, metal musician Jon Mikl “Thor” was quite a guy back in those days and kicked the Devil’s ass in the cult flick. But not without and epic battle!
The final battle between the two is one of the most ridiculous movie battles of all time! Thor has been at it since the mid 1970’s and today is back at it again enthralling die hard metal fanatics with his crazy stage shows. So now I hear there’s a new documentary coming out soon about Thor and it looks totally lovable in every way. We’ll finally get the full scoop on the legend himself!
Check this out:
Still not convinced Thor is the real deal well then take gander at this classic music video from Thor, which many deem the worst music video of all time! I however disagree, it just might be one of the best!!
Oh and here’s the trailer for the epic 80’s classic Rock & Roll Nightmare:
This awesome comic book cover from 1983 has gotta be one of my favorites ever! Thor #337 features my favorite character from the norse god’s mythos-Beta Ray Bill! This super weird character made his first appearance in this issue and as odd as this guy looked he was deemed worthy of Thor’s hammer! So Beta Ray to me is just as cool as Thor, even more so I’d dig it if rather than a woman Thor, we’d just get him to take place of the character completely for a while instead. Also Walt Simonson uses simplicity to make this one of the coolest covers ever for The Mighty Thor comic series. I also really love it when characters affect the comic book covers logo’s and such-I’ve gotta sit down and dig this one out of my collection and give it another read pronto!! They need to put this guy into the next Thor flick dammit!
I love a good superhero / super villain battle! We all love to see our favorite superheroes go head to head with their classic villains, who doesn’t love the classic battles of Lex Luthor and Superman?! Or The Hulk and The Abomination?! Or Batman and The Joker? Spider-man vs. The Green Goblin?! But let me tell you what I have always liked often times more than those classic battles are when a superhero ends up battling someone else’s classic villains. This just doesn’t happen nearly enough but when it does it’s always a great unexpected little piece of comic book history! So let’s look at a few of my favorites in this FIRST installment of “When Superheroes Trade Villains”!! This small list was actually a lot harder than I thought it’d be to comprise. I figured it’s be easier to find or recall classic villains fighting non traditional battles with superheroes they normally don’t come in direct contact with!
Thor #178: Thor vs. The Abomnination!!
We are all so used to seeing the Hulk and The Abomination go head to head but in Thor #178 we got to see Thor face off with the other big bad green gamma behemoth! Unfortunately this isn’t really the greatest battle or story we’ve ever seen, but hey it’s cool to see these two guys go at it a bit! The real bad guy here kinda turns out to be The Stranger who’s imprisoning creatures on his planet to do his bidding but hey I’ll take a Thor/Abomination beat down any day!
Captain America 259: Cap vs Doc Ock!
Yeah Doctor Octopus is notoriously known for his battles with everyone’s favorite web head but in Cap #259 we got see Captain America tangle with ol’ Otto! Doc Ock decides he’s gotta steal Cap’s trusty shield so he can study the metal it’s made from to make even stronger robotic arms-however Cap is totally NOT cool with this and this soon erupts into a unique battle with one of Spider-man’s most popular baddies!
Superman #9: Supes vs. The Joker!
Sooner or later The Joker was bound to get tired of Gotham and Batman! Superman #9 has one helluva awesome cover by John Byrne and the story inside is pretty fun as The Joker stops by Metropolis to make people go crazy with his deadly laughing gas and a robot superman with a nuclear bomb inside, thats when Superman steps onto the scene! He easily foils the Joker’s plan asking him why he came to Metropolis, Joker simply laughs and says “Ooh Superman…Why not?”
Daredevil #104: Murdok vs. Kraven The Hunter!
Yeah Kraven decides to fuck with someone else finally other than Spidey this time! Kraven really doesn’t have much of a beef with Daredevil but he’s hired to take him out! Whatta jerk doing it for the money huh?! Nope, get this, Kraven actually refuses the cash and does it simply for the thrill of the hunt! This leads Kraven to kidnap the Black Widow and ultimately face Daredevil in the San Francisco zoo because well you know….Kraven wants to feel like he’s in the muthafuckin’ jungle when he faces off with the Man Without Fear!
Transformers #3: Spider-man vs. Megatron?!
Yeah well back in the 1980’s Marvel had the rights to the Transformers. So in their limited series we find out in issue #3 that they exist in the same universe as the Marvel superheroes! This leads to Spider-man guesting in the third issue and taking on Megatron! Now this is a real superhero/ super villain mash up if I have ever seen one!!
So help me out here what are some other issues where Superheroes trade classic villains in an unlikely battle?!
Oh and here is a great animated classic Hulk episode “Tomb of the Unknown Hulk” where the Hulk squares off against Dock Ock!! I always though this was super cool as Ock was an unlikely villain for a full Hulk episode, this segment has their short but awesome battle in it’s finale!
What If was one of the coolest Marvel Comic books ever, it was kinda like a weird ass Twilight Zone episode starring your favorite characters! This cover here to What If #13 is a personal favorite and it wouldn’t be the last time Conan grazed the pages of this particular title. He’d go on to face off with the likes of Thor and Wolverine as well here. But this at the time was a trippy idea-what if Conan walked the Earth today? You just know that he’d get into some major shit as it clearly shows by the situation arising on the cover here. This was way back in 1978(notice the Star Wars poster in the background!) and this cover was beautifully drawn by John Buscema and Ernie Chan! A true classic!!
Am I the only one that remembers those Marvel Comics Swimsuit issues?! Yeah, these were as weird as they sounded it was basically Marvel’s version of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues except with all your favorite characters posing for sexy shots! These were put out by Marvel Annually from 1990 to 1995 and often had funny articles and fake advertisements. It was a strange idea but I’m gonna be honest there were quite a few characters I was kinda pumped to see posing 😉 These are definitely worth hunting down, they’re super funny and ultimately amusing. Anyway here’s a some pictures from those very issues as we look back to those Superhero bikini days!! Yeeeeeah!!
I have done several posts here about how the “old dog” comic artists need to come back and show the young’ins how it’s done. I have ranted about John Byrne, Mike Zeck, Barry Windsor Smith and Walt Simonson. Well I guess I am going to eat my words here as I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. Walt Simonson’s latest artwork well kinda….SUCKS. There I said it. It’s out there on the table. I was initially thrilled to find out that him and Bendis were teaming up for the latest running arc of The Avengers but upon initially seeing the artwork I was stunned at just how terrible his skills have gotten over the years. So what gives? Did he just forget how to draw? Was he rushed and didn’t give a shit? Or am I crazy and maybe he always sucked? Lets take a closer look…
New Simonson 2012 (these are random images I found online, perhaps I can scan some soon that may really get my point across, however if you are reading Avengers currently you know what I mean) :
Walt Simonson 1980’s:
Well Walt all I ask is that you put a little more effort into it dude! It’s clear you got the skills still, maybe you don’t think you need to prove anything? Well I’ll be watching closely for a return to form
It’s no doubt to me that I have seen two of the BEST movies this year at the theater in the span of a week! How often does that happen? Last week I was lucky enough to catch “The Raid: Redemption” which will easily be the best action movie of the year or maybe even the past decade. This Saturday I saw “Cabin in the Woods” and was blown away!
What an awesome original idea for a movie. I know, I know you think it’s just another Evil Dead rip off? Wrong. It’s not at all what I expected, though to say it doesn’t share some similarities with Evil Dead wouldn’t be true. However it’s something truly of it’s own. I did a blog a couple weeks ago about wishing for Hollywood to kick out something original instead of remakes and rehashes. Well this movie is a prime example of what I wished for in every way. A fresh, inventive slice of cinema.
Now I am not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. What I can say is that it best that you know as little as possible about this one if you plan to see it. I purposely avoided reading reviews for this before I saw it and it really did make the experience that much better! So stay away from spoilers for as long as you can!
What I will say here is that it’s a comic book, sci fi, horror fan’s wet dream in every way imaginable. It’s a funny, scary, exciting, gory , unique adventure-with some great twists along the way. The effects are brilliant as well, straying as far as possible from CG schlock as it can. Most of the film has a highly organic vibe to it and when there is any CG it’s used only when needed and tastefully at that. We all know that Hemsworth stars in the movie and I can’t help but think they waited strategically to release this movie, as it was made a couple years ago, to cash in on his Avengers/Thor star power. My question is where does The Cabin in the Woods go from here? I can only hope it doesn’t spawn any un-needed sequels and if it does it better have the same creative team of Whedon & Goddard. Personally I think this movie is best left alone as a one shot. It just can’t get any better than this!