Ah, good ol’ Archie! It’s not something I’ve talked about much on this blog, but I LOVED Archie back in the day. Specifically, the double digest collections where all kinds of Archie comics were compiled into a nice compact form suitable to be held by small hands. I had a couple of issues and I read them over and over again.
Unfortunately, I have only one of those double digests still in my collection after all these years:
While flipping through it, I came across this fun ad for 1990’s Archie calendar:
It was tough being an 8 year old kid with no money. Every time I flipped through a comic book in those days, I was teased and tormented by offer such as a monthly comic book subscription, but in this case… it’s the 1990 Archie calendar! Of course, I didn’t have the $9.95 to cover the cost of the calendar. I didn’t have have the $2.05 to pay for postage and handling. And I could never convince my mom to drop something like $10 down on an Archie Comics calendar, but man, I could dream and stare at this ad in wonder (and frustration) about what it would be like to see up close and in person.
As a side note, in the last couple of years I’ve slowly dipped my toes and wiggled them around in the waters of Archie Comics. There’s just something about them that I still enjoy. I love the Archie style of art and the stories are wholesome fun. It’s somewhat of an anomaly in this day and age to see these stories not only being reprinted for today’s audience, but to see that NEW Archie stories have never stopped being told.
Of course, Archie Comics has done some unique things over the years, separate from their main line of Archie books, to attract an older and more mature audience. But, maybe I’ll save that topic for another time.
In the meantime, I wonder if I can buy that calendar now on eBay? Hmm…
Well, we’re well into Phase III of the unlimited number of “phases” that Marvel’s cinematic universe will be having, and Marvel releases three or so movies every year, so obviously this list will need to be updated quite often, but let’s give it a go…
#15 – The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The second MCU movie to be released (it followed Iron Man). This movie is a big improvement over Ang Lee’s 2003 standalone Hulk snoozefest, but it’s nothing special on its own terms. Apparently, Edward Norton agreed as he decided not to reprise the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk for 2012’s Avengers. It would be interesting to see Marvel give it a go again with Mark Ruffalo, but we’re already getting elements of the popular “Planet Hulk” comic book story in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie, so I don’t think Marvel has any plans for the Hulk to star in his own movie again anytime soon.
#14 – Iron Man 2 (2010)
It’s amazing to me how spot-on Marvel was with the release of the first Iron Man movie, but then could release this garbage. The movie was a financial success, making just a little less than the original, but man, is it terrible. I mean… Whiplash? That’s the best you could come up with as the villain? And he looked completely ridiculous and nothing like his comic book counterpart. This would easily be the worst Marvel movie of the bunch if not for the fact that The Incredible Hulk was so boring.
#13 – Thor (2011)
Very cheesy/squeaky clean/visually polished movie that really overdid it with the CGI. Sometimes, watching these “live-action” superhero movies is more like watching a CGI cartoon. Plus, to me, Thor just isn’t interesting as a standalone character. Continue Reading
The second most popular cold-based villain in the DCU. A long-time foe of the Flash and leader of The Rogues. Really just a bank robber in a parka with a freeze gun but he’s interesting because he has sometimes been portrayed as having a sense of honor.
Similar to Mister Freeze, Cryonic Man wished to save his wife from dying by cryogenically freezing her. Cryonic Man debuted in the ’80s and battled Batman and the Outsiders after trying to steal organs from a Gotham City hospital. He hasn’t been seen in the main DCU since that failing effort.
To date, there have been three villains known as the Icicle. The original Icicle ( debuted in the 1940s, had a mischievous appearance, and functioned similarly to Captain Cold . The second Icicle’s run was extremely brief. He was the grandson of the original and had a more horrific, ghostly appearance. The most recent version of the Icicle is the son of the original and does not need any type of cold/freeze gun to use his powers. Both the first and third Icicle have been members of the Injustice Society. Continue Reading
Last year, I talked about Six Spectacularly Spooky Spider-Man Villains. This year, I’m talking about six more!
The original Candyman?
Swam has a weird backstory: a Nazi scientist who escaped to South America where he experimented with mutant bees who then consumed his flesh and merged with his consciousness. He is nothing but a skeleton surrounded by a swarm of bees. You have to admit, he looks pretty awesome. He debuted as an adversary for the Champions in the late ’70s, but then later become more associated as a Spider-Man villain.
A version of Swarm appeared in the classic series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. This take on Swarm featured no human host, a beehive sentient due to the radiation of a fallen meteorite.
Not a Nazi.
Jack O’ Lantern
Multiple people have assumed the moniker of Jack O’ Lantern, but o matter who is behind the pumpkin, I love Jack O’ Lantern. In fact, I love actual jack ‘o lanterns and pumpkins in general. Earlier designs featured Jack O’ Lantern as your typical cheesy super-villain dressed up for Halloween, but I love his most recent look where he’s all lanky, with leather and belts and legit rides a jet-powered broomstick instead of a bootleg Goblin Glider like previous versions had done.
Regardless of the villain’s true identity at any point in time, Jack O’ Lantern is ultimately a B-level villain who usually works with, or for, other villains such as the second Hobgoblin, Red Skull, Blackwing, Crime Master, and Norman Osborn. Continue Reading
Why only six? Well, because I need sequel material for Halloween Scream 2016, that’s why! Besides, the alliteration works.
Just like Batman, Spider-Man has all kinds of kooky and gimmicky foes. Both characters seem to excel in attraction villains that would fit right in a horror movie or at a Halloween costume party. Here’s a handful of spooky Spider-villains that are dressed for Halloween all year ’round!
Well, might as well start off with the most obvious one! The Green Goblin has been a thorn in Spider-Man’s side since 1964. Variations of the costume have come and gone, as have the characters behind the mask, but the original version seen above (with both Norman and Norman Osborn donning this look) is iconic. Absolutely perfect design for a villain and perfect for Halloween! C’mon, the guy rides a Goblin Glider and throws pumpkin bombs!
From the same people who put together Nerd Block, Horror Block, Gamer Block, etc. now comes Comic Block! May 2015 is the first month for this new mystery box service and having recently gotten hooked on stuff like this and being a comic book fan, I was excited to see what the Comic Block would bring. I won’t go into details of the service (Hey, I’m not getting comped here, so why should I?) but head on over to nerdblock.com/comic if this ends up looking like your thing.
The Comic Block box as it arrived in the mail! I wonder if they’ll change the theme of the box every month. Lots of cool comic book-related stuff they could do.
Opening the box, the first thing I see is a shirt. I couldn’t remember if a t-shirt came with this Block. All I could remember to expect was some comic books but t-shirts are pretty common for this type of stuff. In fact, I think the t-shirt is usually the best thing about these mystery boxes and they usually make the subscription price or one-time fee well worth paying.
Continuing my reignited fascination with Batman, I was burning through movies based on the character thanks to DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix back in December and January. So here I’ll toss out my thoughts on the original movie franchise, the Nolan movies and a few animated movies. I know there’s tons of animated Batman movies now but I’m only discussing the earliest ones that I recently re-watched.
The other week I discussed the live-action Superman movies. So be sure to check that out!
Batman: The Movie
1966, 20th Century Fox
I grew up watching the ’60s Batman TV show on The Family Channel every afternoon. I was obsessed with it and this was then Bat-mania was sweeping the nation thanks to 1989’s Batman movie. When I realized the TV show had spun off it’s own movie, I nearly went insane.
I thought it was a great idea to bring together the four biggest villains (Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler) to take on Batman & Robin. This movie is a super-sized version of the TV show, but I mean that in a good way because I LOVE the TV show. It was great to see the villains teaming up and interacting. I don’t think that was ever done on the TV show.