Monday, February 28, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: K is for Ka-Zar #3 (1974)

Ka-Zar #3 (Mike Friedrich, Don Heck, Mike Royer)

For anyone not in the know, Ka-Zar is Marvel’s version of Tarzan, but instead of an ape named Cheeta, Ka-Zar has a sabre-toothed cat name Zabu. And instead of Africa, Ka-Zar lives in the Savage Land, Marvel’s version of The Lost World.

The cover is... vibrant. A giant bald guy wearing Renaissance fair boots is punching a tree and shouting while Ka-Zar and Zabu leap at him. Also, there is a woman with a ripped blouse staring directly at Ka-Zar’s loincloth with a horrified expression. Who ripped her blouse? Who messed up her face? Will she actually appear in the comic (spoiler alert: not really)?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Done in One: Marvel Vault Doctor Strange

Marvel Vault: Doctor Strange, script by Roger Stern, pencils by Neil Vokes

In comics biz there are a lot of projects that almost make it to publication, but for one reason or another are shelved indefinitely. The Marvel Vault is a series of one-shots that have been pulled from editorial limbo and into the light of publication.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Movie Review: The Eagle

Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle is based on the 1954 novel The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. It’s the second century AD, and when the 9th Legion of the Roman Empire and their eagle standard disappear in northern Britain, Ceasar has the Hadrian wall built to mark the end of the civilized world. Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) is the son of the 9th’s commanding officer, and his family bears the burden of the loss of the eagle standard. When Marcus hears rumor that the eagle is being displayed as a trophy by northern tribes, he and his slave Esca (Jamie Bell) set off into the north to recover the eagle and restore Marcus’ honour. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: J is for Justice League America #51 (1991)

Justice League America #51 (J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Adam Hughes) (1991)

Out of all the books I’ve reviewed for Back Issue Alphabet, this is the first issue from a series that I’ve previously read. I’ve enjoyed volumes one through four of J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen’s Justice league International, which encompasses issues #1 through #30 of the series. It changed it’s name to "Justice League America" to differentiate itself from its spin-off, Justice League Europe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of NBC’s “The Cape”

This week we’ll be looking at episode 5 and 6, “Dice” and “Goggles and Hicks.” Overall, these were good episodes, but The Cape is still having problems with scenes and lines that just don’t make any sense.

In Episode 5 “Dice,” Flemming is targeted for assassination by a savant named “Dice,” who calculates probability on the scale of quantum mechanics. Real science is hard, but pseudo science is fun, and easy! This leads to some pretty cool visuals while Dice is analyzing probability.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: I is for Iron Man: Director of Shield #31

Iron Man: Director of Shield #31 With Iron Hands Part 3 of 4 (Stuart Moore, Carlo Pagulayan, Steve Kurth)

The cover is a very nice drawing of Tony in armour, which is lost in a sea of hundreds of very nice drawings of Tony in armour just sort of standing around or flying. I really wish comic book covers were more like they were in the 80s and earlier, where the cover was relevant to what was actually going on in the book itself.

I’ve been following Iron Man comics since Matt Fraction took over in 2009, so it was interesting to see this issue come up in my random selections. In “With Iron Hands,” Tony has to deal with the consequences of being brilliant and rich. Well, that sounds quite sarcastic, but when people rise above the masses they become easy targets for the disgruntled and the jealous.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Advertising Action Hour: The Crossover That Wasn't

Going through the old comics for my Back Issue Alphabet articles, I occasionally run across some fascinating old adverts. Mostly they serve as time capsules, either promoting soon-to-fail game systems or movies that have faded into obscurity, but sometimes I find some that blow my mind. Like this gem:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Guardian Project: NHL Super Heroes

Comic book legend Stan Lee (no relation to the phonetically similar hockey trophy) has teamed up with the NHL to create a superhero mascot and accompanying short comic book (written by Chuck Dixon) for each of the 30 NHL teams. It’s called The Guardian Project, and the results are about as bizarre as you would expect. Seeing as 30 characters would make an unwieldy super group, let’s take a look at the six Canadian Guardians in order of least to most ridiculous.