Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
With all of the “Battle for the Cowl” shit going on in most of the other Batman titles, this excellent introduction to a fine pair of comic book writers was just what the doctor ordered for yours truly. I had noticed another blogger commenting favorably on this story arc and just had to see for myself, and while admittedly, I was drawn to the promised artwork of longtime DC veteran Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez on the Dark Knight again, I didn’t realize going in that the esteemed Kevin Nowlan was providing the inks on these issues. The combination of Garcia-Lopez and Nowlan makes this Batman story a true thing of beauty. It’s like the Caped Crusader stepped right out of a lost 1970’s Detective Comics issue, because at least for this creative pairing of talented writers and artists, the focus was simply on a cracking good adventure tale, which prominently features established Batman foe, The Riddler, and at the same time, introduces us to an entirely new villain of note (based on a campy bad guy from the old 1960’s Batman television series), King Tut.
People, this, THIS, is what DC Comics should be doing with Batman….every month. Not the “Battle of the Cowl” pabulum. The last of the three issues by DeFilippis, Weir, Garcia-Lopez & Nowlan is on the stands, and I encourage everyone that likes Batman to rush out and buy these issues…immediately. Distance yourselves from “Battle of the Cowl” with equal haste!
There is a bit of hope at the end of the three-part story, an implied cliffhanger which suggests that a return of Tut might be in the offing. If so, and “if”, DC can bring this creative team back for another round, I would be glad to add Batman Confidential to my pull list.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Some of the selected provisions of the Code are as follows:
· If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
· Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation.
· In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
· Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
· No comic magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title.
· All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
· All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
· Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
· Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
· Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
· Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
· Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
· Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
· Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
· Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden. Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
The WWE Diva Search competition was a live Internet contest, but there was no contract involved. However, she did receive a photo shoot in the November 2003 edition of WWE Raw Magazine as well as extra publicity, which helped jump start her modeling career.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Marilyn Chambers 1972 adult film, Behind the Green Door was a game changer. No only did it introduce the X-rated film set to former Ivory Snow model Marilyn, but the film prominently included the first major sex scene between a white female and a black male.
It's been too many years since I've actually viewed the movie, but it did elevate the sordid world of porn films somewhat. After Green Door, better production values and slightly better plotting became more common in adult films. Chambers had a storied "acting" career, and she even crossed over on rare occasion to standard movies, such as the horror film, Rabid. However, when it came to XX-film work, there was literally nothing that Marilyn wouldn't do. She gets an "A" from the Catacombs for that level of commitment.
Either way, she really "earned" her fame and notoriety, and with her recent death, many condolences go out to her family, friends and fans.
It seems that the Controllers have arrived seeking a power source of their own, in order to challenge their ancient masters, the Guardians of the Universe. Bypassing the rotting carcass of a large alien beast, to their eternal regret the Controllers discover an orange lantern aglow with "light" power similar to that of the Guardians Green Lantern Corps. Unleashing the fury of Larfleeze and his Orange Lantern Corpsmen, the Controllers are slaughtered where they stand and "Agent Orange" lashes out into the universe, first encountering Green Lantern member, Stel, who also gets trashed by this awesome new threat.
We catch up with the star of this book, Hal Jordan, who is currently on the planet called Odym, home world of the Blue Lantern Corps (yeah, I know). Given that the green power ring which gives him his super-heroic name is fueled by will-power and that over the last year or so, readers have been introduced to the concept of various Lantern Corps of different colors, different attributes and different ideologies, this will come as no surprise to you regulars.
It seems that in order to operate, the entirety of the Blue Lantern Corps has to be in the vicinity of a Green Lantern Corpsman – like Hal – but the blue ring (which he has also received) seems to be giving him a fit and per Ganthet (former Guardian and current Blue Lantern chief), Hal has to tap into his inner "hope". You see it’s "hope", not will that fuels the blue rings. With no clear idea of what to make of his situation, Hal flies off in search of the villainous Sinestro of the Yellow Lantern Corps. However, we will just have to wait and see how that all works out for Mr. Jordan, because the issue ends with Larfleeze breaking into Oa to take the Guardians to task for "their" Controllers violating the old agreement to stay out of the Vega System. And one of the Guardians declares that with the War of Light impending, the little blue man had better rethink the whole Vega jurisdiction thing and get their asses over to that end of the universe to find out what the heck is going on.
When Geoff Johns is on, he is really on. "Agent Orange" was both exciting and riveting, and the art by Mr. Tan was just as good as what I’ve seen from Ivan Reis or Ethan Van Sciver. I may not have been picking up Green Lantern, but after hearing lots of good word of mouth, I gave this book a try and I will be on board for the remainder of this storyline. Hopefully, "Blackest Night" will live up to its hype too, but I do have to wonder just how many more "colors" we will be introduced to and where it all will ultimately lead. I can foresee a character down the line who manages to wield one ring of each color on each finger of his (or her) hand. Maybe he/she will be called Sauron or the Mandarin. One ring to rule them all. Sheesh!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Although I've done an occasional Profile Antics feature, I was inspired by my pal Wayne (who has been posting profiles of some of his favorite artists over at this link) and I thought that it was a good enough idea to mimic. Since I have virtually run out of 1970's Flashback subjects (and while I am in the process of compiling plenty of 1980's Flashbacks), I will be putting up Profile Antics featurettes for those great illustrators who I enjoy, respect and love.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Gil Kane illustrated about ten issues before Rudy Nebres and Ernie Chan took over art chores. Chris Claremont replaced Wolfman as writer after fifteen issues.
Friday, April 10, 2009
After finagling the password out of one of Kang's henchmen, the team rides into Tombstone in disguise in order to launch an assault on his artificially constructed headquarters. However, before we are treated to that tension fraught skirmish, we briefly pop back to the future (our present) to check in on the rest of the Avengers who find themselves trapped within the walls of the Brand Corporation, thanks to the Squadron Supreme (last issue). Captain America hatches a nifty scheme which allows the Vision to free them from their energy-prison, alongside Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, the Beast and Patsy Walker (who will adopt her own superhero identity next issue).
The action then returns to Tombstone, where Kang has used 41st century science to unleash a monstrous, genetically modified coyote on Hawkeye, Moondragon and the Two-Gun Kid, who pretty much get the stuffing kicked out of them. Unbeknownst to the Conqueror, the remaining disguised member of the team, has quietly flanked him, and with the aid of his trusty hammer Mjolnir, the Thunder God called Thor knocks Kang completely through the walls of his own fortress and out into the streets of 1873 Tombstone.
Inside the citadel, Moondragon recovers long enough to mindblast the horrific beast before he can crush Two-Gun (who is obviously rattled by this experience) and then we see Thor lay some serious smackdown on poor Kang, whose only option is to release greater and greater amounts of energy, but whoops, he overdoes it and inadvertently destroys himself in the process.
The issue closes out with a quick manifestation of Immortus who tells the assembled heroes that the cycle has been broken and now, none of the visages of Kang will ever have existed. For those of you who don't know, that also includes Kangs latter identities of Rama-Tut and Immortus. At the end, Moondragon sheds a tear over the loss of another "god", since she suffers delusions of grandeur herself (having recently missed out on becoming the Celestial Madonna).
It's worth mentioning that the otherwise superb Gil Kane cover strangely depicts the Avengers contingent from the "present" battling against the genetically-modified coyote that the 1873 team encounters inside this issue. Weird! The early Perez art still holds lots of charm all these years later and Sam Grainger was a terrific inker over Gentleman George's pencils. The script by Englehart is really well done and exciting, and even with this issue being the middle portion of an extended story arc (not a term used back in those days), it was easy to follow along. Although I used to have issues in and around this one, I hadn't ever read this one until recently. Don't you just love old comics? And yes, I do remember that it is supposed to be "Gal" Friday today, but that post will be added a bit later in the day.
Relax! It will be worth the wait.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
At this point, unlike the Man-Thing himself, the readers are treated to a nifty back-story which reveals that twenty-four years earlier on the planet Dakkam, [mirroring the golden age origin of the legendary Man of Steel] an astronomer called Hektu desperately tried to warn the leaders of his world that their planet was doomed due to the imminent supernova of the planets sun. Failing to convince them, and under the penalty of imprisonment, Hektu and his wife Soja toil for six Earth months, to construct a spacecraft to transport them to safety on another world. At the last moment, the authorities dispatch police forces to stop their efforts, in order to prevent an unnecessary panic. Hektu and Soja are both killed, but not before Soja places their infant son, called Wundarr, into the spaceship and activates the launch of the craft.
Arriving on Earth in July 1951, the rocket ship is espied by an old couple as it crashes into the nearby swamp [again, mirroring the golden age Superman's Ma & Pa Kent], however the two opt to ignore the "flying saucer"; since it could be Martians or communists. I kid you not! The infant trapped inside then spends the next two dozen years "growing up" within the confined womb of the vessel, innocently thinking that this is all that the world amounts to; that is until the Man-Thing shatters his illusions. Spotting the shambling beast, but without the verbal skills to address it, Wundarr leaps with joy - thinking that the brute is his "mother" and surprisingly discovers that he has phenomenal powers granted to him on Earth that he would not have on his native Dakkam.
Wundarr's leap carries him several miles away, where he comes plunging down, destroying a large construction crane in the process. Subsequently driven away by the gunshots (which don't actually harm him) of the construction crew, Wundarr uses his nascent x-ray vision to spot the Man-Thing who is still fumbling around back at the original crash site several miles away. After a brief tussle with an alligator, Wundarr - still not in command of his great strength - manages to return to the site of his "birth" and engages the Man-Thing in all-out brawl which spills over to the nearby hamlet of Citrusville.
The obligatory battle effectively culminates in a draw between the two relative innocents, and as the muck-monster finally loses interest and shambles away, Wundarr realizes that his beseeching pleas to his “mother” have fallen on deaf ears, so he flies away to seek comfort elsewhere.
Gerber turns in a very fun story and an interesting homage to Superman, the artwork is pretty cool, too. Even the coloring by George Roussos is excellent, and it should be mentioned that Wundarr’s costume makes use of the same color scheme as DC’s Man of Tomorrow (although the colors are inverted on this issues cover). The issues cover art is provided by Frank Brunner.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
One of Marvel Comics least seen heroes, The Scarecrow, made his debut in Dead of Night #1 in 1975; which was the final issue of that short run series of reprinted horror stories. After an additional appearance (or two), the Scarecrow disappeared for years, but his back-story was fleshed out in recent years, with the end result that since a regular villain bears the same name, the heroic version is currently called the Straw Man. The following information is taken from Marvel’s own website:
Kalumai's agent Bartolome sought to retrieve the horn by piping night demons through the gateway, but the Straw Man banished Bartolome and his demons. When the painting was publicly displayed, Kalumai found a sympathetic onlooker and recreated him as an avatar of his power. While the possessed man battled the Fantastic Four's Thing (who had accompanied his blind artist girlfriend Alicia Masters to the showing at the request of Jess Duncan, who wanted his help in unraveling the mystery of the Scarecrow), the Straw Man presumably controlled Dave. Tricking Kalumai's pawn into sealing the painting/gateway permanently with Kalumai's own power, the Straw Man vanished into the burning painting, apparently taking Dave Duncan with him forever.