Comic Cover of the Week: ENTER ‘SQUATCH!
To this day one of my all time favorite Marvel comics characters is most definitely Sasquatch, known mainly as a member of Canada’s greatest super hero team: Alpha Flight. However over the years he’s had several great tussles with The Incredible Hulk, one of my favorites is this 1979 Hulk annual, where we get to see the two of them go toe to toe. I’ve always loved how HUGE they made him, as a kid I just could not get enough of him and the Alpha Flight. This particular comic was one I got in the 1980s and the cover always blew me away. The giant tree being used as a weapon was a truly nice touch and it wouldn’t be the first time these two met in the wilderness! Looking at this more closely today again brought me back to a time when comic books felt very special in a day and age when they feel mostly disposable. These books (especially the annuals) had some real weight to them and I’ll always appreciate these older back issues and the wonder they filled me with. A great cover by Al Milgrom a true comic book icon…
And as I mentioned earlier the size of Sasquatch in the comics, here Hulk penciller Sal Buscema really brings the beastly gentle giant to life. What a great full panel!
This issue was loosely made into an animated episode too of the Incredible Hulk in the 1990s-check out a clip fellow ‘Squatch fans!
Comic Cover of the Week: Iron Man Gets Seriously Bullied!
I loved the old Marvel Fanfare, back in the day it worked as a unique little anthology book. Featuring some lesser known, as well as big name superheroes in their own little self contained unique adventures. Printed on glossy paper and featuring often times more unconventional stories in the way they were presented. They also of course had some knockout covers, this one, from Marvel Fanfare #22 from 1982 features a unique moment where we see Doctor Octopus and unlikely villain for Iron Man completely intimidating him with a gang of dangerous supervillains all getting ready to gang up on Tony Stark! I’ve always loved to see comic books where superheroes face off against villains who they might not normally be associated with. This one is a great representation of that as we see Iron Man truly vulnerable, in a deadly situation beautifully illustrated by Ken Steacy in this iconic fold out cover! Oh how I miss the 1980s…
Halloween Comic Cover of the Day: Jack-O-Lantern Attacks!
When we think of Marvel Comics’ most Halloween themed characters normally The Green Goblin or The Hobgoblin come to mind first. However there’s one villain who takes the cake as the most Halloween themed character in all of the Marvel’s history: Jack-O-Lantern!
This character might be a bit of a rip off of The Green Goblin but I’ve always thought he was pretty cool looking, pretty bad ass and a bit underutilized as a villain. Oddly enough he 1st appeared in Machine Man #19 from 1981, the same year as the Spider-man issue showcased above.
Obviously Jack-O is the perfect villain for the Halloween season! He’s battled a lot of A-listers like like Captain America, as you can see right here hes got some spooky skills to show off.
He definitely deserves some love today and though I could go on and give you his entire back story why not just take a look at this awesome little entry in the Marvel Universe Official Handbook from way back in the day for the scoop on this weirdo!
Eating My Words? KENOBI Finally Gets Good!
I really try not to post that much here about the new Disney Star Wars stuff because everybody and their long lost step brother seem to be having that well covered all over the Internet! So that being said, this one will be short and sweet. So far the Obi Wan Kenobi series in my opinion has been totally lackluster, The story has been pretty bland, the fight choreography feels off, and just the look of the show in general feels like something you might come across at times on the SyFy channel.
To me something of this scale really deserved to be set on the big screen. All of these Star Wars TV shows are just making the franchise feel a little too available and not incredibly special. Gone are the days of waiting for the next movie patiently I guess, Now are the days of each Star Wars series almost overlapping each other once the other ends. Kenobi’s first four episodes haven‘t felt like the “rematch of the century”,
However with the latest, episode 5 I’ve I’ve got to admit I’ve begun to change my opinion on the series at least so far. In my opinion though this took far too long to get here and fans deserve so much more than this for a true return of Vader and Kenobi. Spoilers AHEAD!
I’ve already seen people complaining about the opening scene of episode 5 with the flashbacks featuring Hayden and McGregor sparring in the “prequel era”. The biggest complaint I’m hearing from some fans is they’re upset that they didn’t use the the de-aging techniques they’ve been utilizing in previous series. I might be in the minority here but I think it was a truly wise decision & a complete breath of fresh air to see Hayden playing Anakin in a flashback without some weird rubbery de-aged face. It really made the scene more believable and allowed some REAL more compelling acting with room to breathe. It also felt more fierce, his real face added exactly what this scene needed, more depth. It was for the most part perfectly executed.
Secondly the focus more on Vader AND Kenobi was finally a real step in the right direction, this felt like the show I was hoping for.. Even if James Earl Jones is NOT actually voicing Vader, (instead they used some AI generated respeecher). I really was let down to find out my “vision” of James Earl Jones voicing Darth Vader in a cozy dark studio was actually just more weird digitized shenanigans. It’s for reasons like THIS I was so thrilled to see the real Hayden in the flashbacks! Vader nonetheless was awesome here, powerful and scary. Reva too really blossomed into a much more interesting character with her true backstory and motivations revealed. I was pretty underwhelmed thus far with her in the series, but for the most part this changed almost everything. Of course some of the writing still feels sloppy, but hey look at the damn prequels right?
Also I love that the real Grand Inquisitor is back somehow, seeing him standing next to Vader was a great view: bring on the cool villains! So yeah, I am now pretty excited to see the finale and hope we get a continued focus on mainly Vader and Kenobi, but now I’m also am really intrigued to see Reva’s next move: Way to turn it around Deborah! I’ll be back for more for sure! One last thing though, After being shaped with a lightsaber can people please start dying from that again? I mean the whole surviving being impaled by a being impaled by a laser over and over is getting a little questionable….
DC’s Most IDIOTIC Villain: Codpiece!
Yowza!! I have in the past here, covered some of the most ridiculous comic book heroes & villains of all time, but somehow the most pathetic one slipped through the cracks! Yes Codpiece is TRULY and literally the biggest knob in town, a truly weird and insecure dipshit of a villain! Ok, First just what is a “codpiece” exactly?! Well the official definition states it as: “a covering flap or pouch that attaches to the front of the crotch of men’s trousers, enclosing the genital area.” Ummm…yeah, what sort of moron would think THAT was a cool supervillain name?! Well look no further, here he is in ALL his stupid glory! CODPEICE!
Whatta guy huh?! The incredible thing about this loser is that he was actually created waaay back in 1993, appearing in Doom Patrol #70. Looking like something that we might see in ‘The Boys’ it’s quite interesting that DC was willing to feature such an offensive bizarre villain within its pages in the early nineties.
Codpiece’s back story is also quite stupid, apparently when he was in high school a girl made some remarks about “his size” so naturally he assumed she was talking about his wee wee. In reality however she was merely saying he was short, but this guy took things to the extreme with his insecurities and designed a full on weiner weapon system that he strapped around his groin! Finally feeling like the big man on campus he goes on a crime spree, now quite satisfied with the size of his wang FINALLY! Hunt down this back issue to get the full story, but sadly Codpiece was only featured in this one issue and never made a return. It left millions of his fans wondering just where he went and what hes been up to all of these years. Let’s hope codpiece makes a return soon to comics, hell, maybe even give this insecure comic book character his own title and see how it goes? I’m sure it would be quite a hit in 2022 don’t you?
That Time The HULK Fought The HUNCHBACK of Notre Dame?!
I was rewatching some of my favorite eighties cartoon episodes straight from my childhood recently & was reminded why The Incredible Hulk series from that era remains one of my faves! It used to be paired with ‘Spider-man and His Amazing Friends’ during the Marvel “power hour” on Saturday mornings!
I’ve stated here a few years ago that as much as I liked The Incredible Hulk animated series of the early eighties there just wasn’t enough appearances from the jade giants rogue’s gallery. As far a real villains, he only really went head on with The Leader, Doctor Octopus oddly and the Puppetmaster. As a kid I’d always hoped to see The Abomination, The Rhino, The Bi-Beast or M.O.D.O.K. pop up to cause The Hulk some trouble. Instead in a strange twist we got an epic battle between the green goliath and of all people, The Hunchback of Notre Dame(?!) in an episode from 1982 called ‘When Monsters Meet’.
Yep, Quasimodo for some reason showed up not only in the animated series but also in a special one shot issue from 1983 the that I still personally adore to the this day! And at a mere 60 cents you just CAN’T complain right?!
What’s so perplexing is I could never quite figure out just why the hell they chose to pit the Hulk against him in the first place? I mean surely there were better villains to feature in an animated series! But still…
…And really who would’ve thought that Quasimodo actually had the super human strength to go one-on-one with The Incredible Hulk in the first place?! I’m impressed! They actually managed to make him into a pretty frightening and formidable foe. Go Quasi!
I’m guessing that this particular one shot issue, which featured actually a pretty sweet savage battle, was created in some sort of way to generate more excitement around the animated TV series? Either that or someone was just a real BIG fan of The Fighting Irish and just simply couldn’t resist making Quasimodo into a bonafide Incredible Hulk bad-ass villain. I think the results worked shockingly well, don’t you?
Whatever the case I just had a an 80s flashback of owning this weirdo one shot comic book beautifully illustrated by Sal Buscema and seeing this particular episode for the first time. Believe me, though an ODD choice of a story and semi stupid villain, it made me long for those Saturday mornings and sugary cereals of sooo many years past…
Comic Cover of the Week: The Hulk vs The Big Green Gamma Brain!
Today I’m showcasing one of my favorite Incredible Hulk comic book covers, issue number 224, which features an epic battle with the Jade Giant versus the biggest brain in Marvel Comics, The Leader! I’ve always loved the dynamic between these two characters being pure brute strength with minimal brain capacity and one being a total weakling with gamma spawned super intellect. I’d go as far to say that The Leader is probably my favorite villain of The Incredible Hulk. He always had to use some sort of weird robotic contraption to actually battle The Hulk head on. This cover perfectly showcases their iconic rivalry with a beautiful cover drawn by Ernie Chan from 1978! Chan is one of my all time favorite Incredible Hulk artists & this in my opinion is one of his best pieces of cover work. I’d love to see something like this scenario materialize in the MCU in an incredible Hulk solo movie sequel which is long overdue…
Comic Cover of the Week: Zeck’s Iconic Kraven The Hunter!!!
Mike Zeck in my opinion is easily one of the BEST comic book cover artists of all time! Now with the news of Spider-man’s arch nemesis Kraven the Hunter being cast with Aaron Taylor Johnson in the role, I thought it’d be the perfect time to revisit one of the classic covers of the 1980’s limited series. Check out The Amazing Spider-man #293 from 1987’s brilliant cover by Zeck. Hopefully the cinematic version of Kraven will honor not only this iconic look but also pay homage to the classic storyline. This cover truly shows just how great Zeck is with this brilliant work of art!
THE MAGIC CRYSTAL: Hong Kong’s Killer 1986 Cynthia Rothrock Kung Fu Sci-Fi Adventure!
So you’re in the mood for an ass kickin’, science fiction, martial arts packed 80’s adventure? Look no further, ‘The Magic Crystal’ from 1986 delivers the damn goods and THEN some!! It also delivers the iconic action star Cynthia Rothrock in one of her earliest roles doing what she does best, throwing the beat down on the wise guys. This Hong Kong production filmed largely in Greece, has some truly stunning locations and makes good damn use of them, following a stylin’ cool guy mercenary (Andy Lau) who’s hot on the trail of an alien artifact, you guessed it, a magic crystal. This green crystal which actually looks more like a glowing green glob also houses an alien within it shimmering surface.
Of course there’s an evil mastermind named Karov (Richard Norton), who’s also head of the KGB and also full on martial arts maestro who’s dead set on acquiring the magic crystal for his own villainous plans. This huge dude is so bad ass it almost always requires at least two kung fu masters to take him on and even then he usually ends up on top. He also wears some awesome evil black studded outfits while he does his sinister business and is just a plain awesome bad guy here.
Andy Lau soon meets up with a small cast of colorful allies, Cynthia Rothrock being one of them, who help him on his pursuit for the alien artifact. Luckily for the mysterious crystal it ends up in the hands of a little boy who quickly discovers what’s actually inside of it. From here the movie goes in another different direction as the kid forms a bond with the alien and we end up with a sorta E.T. type of thing going down. Yeah the crystal even grows a creepy glowing finger and shares some of it’s “ancient wisdom” and “power” with the kid leading them on a bit of an adventure of their own.
The whole movie is simply a delight to behold. With it’s fun sets, beautiful greek isle locations, endearing characters, pulpy villains and that oh so sweet era of the mid 1980’s for it’s ambitious story to take place in. The action is top notch as well and though the movie is jam packed with bone breaking stunts and martial arts it’s definitely not simply just a kung fu flick. In fact the final third of the movie plays out more like an Indiana Jones adventure as our band of heroes delve deep into trap filled caverns and tunnel slides for our characters to glide down to more even more danger.
It actually kinda feels like this flick might have been where Spielberg got his idea for ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’! Hey you never right? There’s so much fun here to be had, the classic 80’s fx in play and a ridiculous paper mache alien that could have used a bit more work still come off as charming. Cynthia is also right on top of her game here as well and it’s fucking awesome to see her in some of these Hong Kong productions where she looks right at home in their frenetic bone breaking action sequences. The kind that US productions never could seem to replicate but never stopped trying. I checked the movie out on Blu Ray, though it sadly wasn’t an official release (it desperately needs one!), you can watch the English Dub on Youtube and get the scoop about the flick from Cynthia herself right here below,
Comic Cover of the Week: Happy Valentine’s Day from The Absorbing Man & Titania?!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! There’s love in the air today so we’re going to have to go way back to the 1990’s, particularly 1997, which admittedly was an era where I wasn’t religiously reading comics books like I was in the 80’s and early 90’s. Here though is an actual Valentine’s Day special from Marvel that I thought was particularly interesting for the choice for one particular couple featured on the cover..,,Titania & The Absorbing Man!! They strangely feature poor Daredevil and Venus all by themselves, we of course get the obvious couples of Spidey and M.J. & Cyclops and Phoenix. But the inclusion of the powerhouse duo of Absorbing Man & Titania is pretty unexpected, even though they were (are still?) a true match made in heaven. They met all the way back in ’84’s classic ‘Secret Wars’, eventually ended up getting married and continued to kick ass all over the place together. I’ll admit I’ve never read this one, but my interest is peaked as I’m pretty curious if the two of them actually get a little story of their own!