In 1970s, Marvel Comics launched a handful of horror/sci-fi anthology books that reprinted stories that were originally published in the 1950s by Atlas Comics (Marvel’s predecessor). The stories within featured the work of legendary creators such as Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Jack Kirby & Bill Everett but the cover art was brand new with a colorful and dynamic style that fit right in with the Marvel Comics of the 1970s.
Eventually, a few of these titles would go on to feature brand-new stories and introduce us to a few new Marvel characters. Here’s a look back at some of my favorite cover art from those titles.
The skeleton is on the loose and wants some new pajamas!
They don’t make comic book covers like this anymore! LOVE the perspective.
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
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.
The second annual Pensacon was held this weekend in Pensacola, Florida and I was lucky enough to be able to go on Saturday morning. As someone who deals with anxiety issues and general anti-socialness, I didn’t plan on spending all day there but just a few hours.
First off, I’m really happy there is a convention like this in the area for fans of comic books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc. to gather together. Any time there’s some type of event going on in my region, it usually involves country music or seafood: two things I couldn’t care less about.
Pensacon features the usual convention fare like gaming tournaments, costume contests, celebrities panels, artists alley, photo ops/signings, plus a large assortment of vendors selling things like steam punk gear, leather goods, Pokemon plush dolls, trading cards, comic books, movie posters, old video games, toys, vinyl records, jewelry, t-shirts, artwork. It was crazy how many vendors there were and how much they had to sell. One item that really stuck out to me was a vinyl copy of the Doctor Who serial ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ from the Tom Baker era and it featured the original voice cast from those episode. It was $30, which is about the going rate for it online as well, but I didn’t pick it up. One very cool toy I saw was the original G1 Galvatron from Transformers. Used, but complete and in box for $150.