Gary Elya was a Marvel fan from back when the company turned itself around under the guidance of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. With Gary’s passing, his massive collection of comics is now up for auction with a veritable gold mine for comic collectors. Ranging from the Silver Age to today, just some of the pieces includes:
• John Romita Sr.’s Amazing Spider-Man run including the unmasking of the hero’s arch-nemesis Green Goblin and the iconic “Spider-Man No More!” issue.
• The Amazing Spider-Man Drug Trilogy.
• Amazing Spider-Man #252 where the hero dons the black alien symbiote costume.
• The first appearances of Wolverine in the pages of Incredible Hulk.
• Giant-Size X-Men #1 featuring a new, international team of X-Men including Wolverine and Storm.Read More
Recently, G.I. Joe: Retaliation hit theaters becoming number one at box office and having the second biggest Easter weekend opening in movie history. However, something was notably absent from the film’s premier, namely a video game adaptation. In part, this maybe because traditionally G.I. Joe video games have been awful. The same was largely true of sister franchise Transformers until the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron (and its sequel Transformers: Fall of Cybertron). Both third-person shooters, the games borrowed from but didn’t adapt any particular incarnation of its franchise. A rich story with a well thought out world and impressive gameplay, G.I. Joe would do well to learn from Transformers (the Batman: Arkham series another example of following a similar formula to much success). Lets take a look at what could be a winning formula for a good G.I. Joe video game.Read More
After months of speculation, the third game in the Batman: Arkham video game series has been officially announced. Titled Batman: Arkham Origins and set for release October 25, 2013 on the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, the game is centered around Black Mask placing a bounty on the head of Batman bringing eight of the world’s most dangerous assassins to come to Gotham City on Christmas Eve. A prequel to the first two games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, longstanding rumors persist the Dark Knight will cross paths with heroes that later form the Justice League of America together. Reportedly, players will also have the opportunity to do battle with villains not generally associated with Batman on side missions. It’s also being reported the map of the game will be twice the size of Arkham City as Batman will be able to adventure through Old Gotham (largely the setting of Arkham City) and New Gotham (seen from Arkham City in the distance in the previous game). There is some controversy that should be noted with this third game in that writer Paul Dini and game studio Rocksteady, who were the architects of the first two games, were not involved in the new game’s development. Only time will tell what effect, if any, this new avenue will have with the franchise. Lets take a look at who could be some of the assassins that will try to collect on Black Mask’s bounty.Read More
Released in February 2013, Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon is the latest installment in the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video animated film series with this instance featuring Hanna-Barbera’s Blue Falcon. Created in 1976 by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears as an analogy to Batman, Blue Falcon co-starred with sidekick Dynomutt in the series Dynomutt, Dog Wonder as part of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. Dynomutt, referred as Dog Wonder (a play on Robin the Boy Wonder), was a mechanical canine with features in the vein of Inspector Gadget (predating Gadget by several years), sharing further similarities in that their various devices malfunctioned at inopportune times. Alerted to danger by the Falcon Flash (in place of the Bat-Signal or Batphone), the duo slipped away to the Falcon’s Lair (in place of the Batcave) to report to secret agent F.O.C.U.S. One (shades of Birdman’s Falcon 7) and raced into action with the flying Falconcar (some amalgamation of the Batmobile and the Fantastic Four’s Fantasticar). In the show’s initial episode, the duo teamed with Mystery, Inc. in a fashion akin to The New Scooby-Doo Movies (which previously featured Batman and Robin as a somewhat pilot for Super Friends) as the group faced off with the villainous Mister Hyde. A frequent device employed in Dynomutt, Dog Wonder borrowed from the 1960s Batman television series featuring the heroes imperiled at the hands of their enemies though instead of leaving the cliffhanger at episode’s end, it would be before a commercial break.Read More
When animation fans want to see their childhood shows come to DVD to add to their collection, often one of two scenarios play out: a limited release by the owners of the material (holding the rest of the series hostage depending on sales of the first release) or a release of horrendous quality from a licensor of the material (sometimes even illegal bootlegs using VHS transfers make it to stores). Of course, such is not always true but is often enough to cause headaches for fans. Warner Bros has shifted to another tactic which seems to be working for the company. In 2009, Warner started the Warner Archive Collection producing DVDs made on demand using unrestored footage of its extensive film library sold directly to the consumer (cutting out the middle man in brick-and-mortar stores, thus slashing costs). Warner had previously operated the Looney Tunes Golden Collection beginning in 2003 followed by the Hanna–Barbera Golden Collection, later the Hanna–Barbera Classic Collection, beginning in 2004 (with The Flintstones: The Complete First Season) followed by the DC Comics Classic Collection the next year (with Batman: The Animated Series – Volume Three) making older series available in stores. These lines would be folded into the Warner Archive the year of its creation with titles like Yogi’s First Christmas and The Flight of Dragons added to its made on demand catalog. It should be noted, the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection began release in 2004 and in 2011 the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection began release which at this time continues to be produced for in store sales. Lets take a look at the pros and cons of the Warner Archive Collection and what it could mean for the future of home video release.Read More
Last summer, Warner Bros inked a deal with 20th Century Fox to produce merchandise based on the likenesses of the Batman television series from the 1960s. The advent is quite revolutionary considering both companies have gone back and forth over the franchise for decades with this deal being the first time since the show left the air that something new has been made from the material (save for replica miniatures of the show’s vehicles). While as yet there are no plans to see the series make the transition to DVD or Blu-Ray, which is something fans have rallied to see happen for many years, the new deal gives hope of this. However, short of the series released for home video, fans will be happy to see the series adapted for comics starting this summer as a digital first title from the creative team of Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case (with covers by Michael Allred). Lets take a look at the genesis of the Batman television series, its cultural impact, and its legacy.Read More
Written by: Geoff Johns
Pencils by: David Finch
Colors: Sonia Oback with Jeremy Cox
When I saw the solicitation for Justice League of America I didn’t feel the need to call my LCB and add it to my pull list. Another team book spun out of another team book has become a commonality in the industry. Slap Avengers or [insert adjective] X-Men on the cover and it should sell (granted I’m a complete sucker for anything with an X in the title). So the concept didn’t leap out at me. It didn’t help that David Finch was doing the pencils. But, as I sorted through the books in my pile I determined I could pick up a few more and I came across Justice League of America (which sported 52 state flag variant covers) and the flag of my home state of Ohio and said why not. At the very least I’d have a book in my collection with Ohio’s flag on it.Read More
On March 16, 2013, the television series Young Justice came to an end with the final broadcast of the show on Cartoon Network as part of the DC Nation programming block. While no reasons have been given for the show’s end, in truth there has yet to even be confirmation of its demise by the network, there are a number of reasons that have been speculated upon: poor sales of the toyline, Cartoon Network’s mishandling of its schedule, jumping ahead in time for the second season, the rising cost of hand-drawn animation, the show not reflecting more of what DC Comics is currently producing in their titles, or Cartoon Network’s penchant for canceling shows when they reach a “magic number.” Some, often jokingly, attribute the series’ end to showrunner Greg Weisman (Disney’s Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man) who produces critically-acclaimed series with cult-like followings that only last two seasons. Whatever the reason, the move has generated outrage from the show’s fervent community who have made the show trend on Twitter during broadcasts, sign petitions trying to save the program (one on Change.org reaching over 32,000 signatures), and have begun a letter writing campaign directed at Cartoon Network. The community has pushed for fans to purchase Young Justice paraphernalia such as the DVDs and trade paperbacks of its comic book and reportedly individuals close to the show’s producers have generated a survey in order to show interest in the program’s continuation. Only time will tell what effect these efforts will have. At this time, however, the show has no future and those close to it have moved on to other projects. Lets take a look at the show from its beginning to its end.Read More
Recently watching Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two, I started a conversation about the film and mentioned some disgust with the portrayal of Superman in the piece. A friend chimed in that he felt the portrayal was fairly consistent with Superman, which struck me as odd. To me, Superman is many things but I couldn’t readily picture him as the moronic, nigh-mindless, sycophant and yes-man in the film. This Superman had lost his hope and faith which largely walks in the opposite direction of what the hero has always represented. A possible future, I chalked up the change in character to background the audience is not made privy to and yet, some people observe that Superman as the Superman. To understand Superman, you have to understand his genesis. The Great Depression had ravaged America. The United States was rife with racism, sexism, and antisemitism. Immigrants from Europe, especially non-Protestants, were treated as garbage by Americans who considered themselves “natives” (having been born on US soil for a couple generations). Likely the most tread upon people were Jewish immigrants. Work was next to impossible to find and so work for Jews was virtually non-existent, often the case only Jews would hire other Jews. Largely, the comic book industry grew out of this condition. Among the echelon of accepted jobs in media, advertisement art and comic strips were pretty low, but even lower was pulp fiction and at the bottom was comic books. Comic publishers were owned and operated by Jews, in part hiring Jews because of the aforementioned reasons, but also because the structure made hiring them cheap. While it would take decades for comic book creators to crawl up this social structure, the comic book would climb new levels with the advent of Superman.Read More
With Power Rangers Megaforce, the Power Rangers franchise is celebrating twenty years of airing on American television. In Japan, the Super Sentai series is a franchise and genre which Power Rangers is adapted from. Super Sentai is in fact a sub-genre of tokusatsu, a genre in Japanese cinema featuring special effects generally of a science fiction nature. However, it’s likely American cinema may have inspired tokusatsu, especially the works of Willis H. O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen. O’Brien, a master of special effects and stop motion animation, helped bring to life a film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World in 1925. Along a similar line, O’Brien went on to apply his craft to King Kong in 1933 which would forever change the landscape of what was possible to produce on film. Featuring a giant, monstrous ape, King Kong started the giant monster genre imitated frequently both locally and internationally (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Gorgo, and Reptilicus a scant few examples). Giant monsters would even transition into comics with characters such as National/DC Comics’ Titano and Marvel Comics’ Fin Fang Foom. In 1949, O’Brien would take on an assistant in Ray Harryhausen on the film Mighty Joe Young. Harryhausen would take special effects and stop motion to even greater heights when he broke out on his own working on films such as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. Where America had O’Brien and Harryhausen, Japan had Eiji Tsuburaya.Read More
(Official Hype From Marvel)
New York, NY—March 7, 2013—They’re protecting the Marvel Universe one alien invasion at a time, and TODAY get your first look at just who the Guardians of the Galaxy really are in all-new, FREE Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comics! Last year, Marvel changed how the world experienced digital comics with Infinite Comics, and today the Marvel ReEvolution continues as blockbuster writer Brian Michael Bendis and artists Mike Oeming, Ming Doyle & Mike Del Mundo, introduce fans to the cast of one of the biggest comic launches of the year! Representing the latest form of comic book storytelling using tablets and smartphones as a new canvas, each new Marvel Infinite Comic continues to take advantage of modern technology while staying true to medium’s greatest strengths!Read More
With the latest series in the franchise’s history, Power Rangers Megaforce celebrates twenty years of Power Rangers. As the ten year anniversary was celebrated with the Power Rangers: Wild Force episode “Forever Red” (with ten red rangers) and fifteen year anniversary with “Once a Ranger” from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (with five returning rangers), speculation is high how Megaforce plans to ring in the advent. Further, this will be the first time Saban Brands (the company’s Haim Saban, with Shuki Levy, originally brought Super Sentai to America with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) has an opportunity to produce an anniversary special as the two previous examples were handled by Disney (who acquired Power Rangers in its tenth year) as Saban recently regained the franchise with Power Rangers Samurai. With footage from Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle (the film that celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of Super Sentai in Japan with almost every hero from the franchise) appearing in several episodes of Megaforce already, fans know at the very least they’re in for a treat. With rumors spreading that former rangers will appear in Megaforce‘s second season, lets take a look at some of the characters that could possibly return.Read More