Saturday, July 03, 2010

Same Story, Different Cover: Gotta get outta here and I got no time to lose, hey, here he comes

FF #38/MGC #35

L: Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott
R: Marvel's Greatest Comics #35 (June 1972), reprinting FF #48, art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott

(Click picture to Uatu-size)

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 184

Discovered just a couple days too late for my own birthday...oh well, here it is!:

UXM #39
UXM #39
from X-Men: The Hidden Years #22 (Marvel, September 2001), script, pencils, and letters by John Byrne, inks by Tom Palmer, colors by VLM

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Wonder Woman and other TV series with animated openings

Play this just once and I dare you not to have this theme stuck in your head for the rest of the weekend.

Animated first season titles of Wonder Woman (1976)

And, while we're at it:

Friday, July 02, 2010

In Her Satin Tights

Oh no! They are changing Wonder Woman's costume! NOOOOOOOOOOO! To this!:

Wonder Woman

They can't do that! They're gonna ruin the character! What's up with that? She needs to stay in the original costume we first saw her in!:

Wonder Woman

I'm telling you, Mister DiDio, nobody wants to see your souped-up remake costume that just simply is not Wonder Woman! We know what Wonder Woman looks like, and anybody who's anybody will tell you she must look like this!:

Wonder Woman

Wonder WomanSo be sure to boycott DC Comics until they change the travesty that is the "new" Wonder Woman back into the traditional, original, and still the best Wondy costume of them all...the real Wonder Woman! That's right, I'm calling boycott! I think all of us should not buy any DC Comics at all ever again, until the next issue of Batman and Robin comes out. But aside from buying most of the Green Lantern spin-offs and okay, that story where Superman is walking across America, don't buy any DC Comics! Oh, and The Return of Bruce Wayne. Other than that, boycott all DC Comics. Oh wait, there's some good ones coming up from Vertigo.

On this patriotic weekend, won't you please take a moment from your busy schedule of barbecuing and playing with fireworks and blowing your fingers off to remember that Wonder Woman is an icon, not a commercial commodity, and no one has the right to change her looks or give her a new origin! In fact, if there's a new Wonder Woman movie coming out, who better than the original television Wonder Woman to play Diana's mom, the beautiful Amazon Hippolyta, than the Wonder Woman we all remember from that TV movie, right?

Wonder Woman

So get with it, DC, and bring back the only Wonder Woman who matters...after all, she's the real Wonder Woman as seen in the comics!:

Wonder Woman

Sigh. Well, you know what...I guess it's okay if they change Wonder Woman's outfit. I guess I could learn to live with a new look. But I'm telling you...I really mean this...they'd better not change the original Captain America costume that we all know and love:

Captain America

That's right, I'm looking at you, Marvel. Don't even think about changing this iconic look!

Captain America

Let's not even talk about how much they've changed Batman's look from the original.

Na na na na na na na na...BATMAN!

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 183

UXM #39
Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men #39 (December 1967), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Don Heck, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Artie Simek

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Go Bully! It's your birthday! (And my A-Team movie review)

X-Men #4Today is my birthday! I am six years old today. Which is a very good age to be!

It's not every day a little stuffed bull turns six, y' know, so today was a very special day when Marshall and Shelly and all my animal pals woke me up early to bring me breakfast in bed! That's a very special treat. I sat up in bed and they gave me orange juice and toast and waffles and butter and syrup and a Pop-Tart and tea (Earl Grey, black). I just wish they had put it all on a plate, and some cups.

After I finished doing the laundry and hanging out the bedclothes, it was such a beautiful day that I took my Razor Scooter out and went scooting all around Park Slope. Everyone was waving and wishing me happy birthday! It's nice to have so many friends in the neighborhood. My pal at the dry cleaners, Puck, the cute funny dog with the curly tail, even let me ride on his back for a while for a special treat while he wished me happy birthday! I think. He speaks Chinese and I don't really understand him. But when he brought out his Calgon I got to say to him "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?" And we all laughed and laughed and laughed.

In the afternoon I took my Metrocard and headed off for the all-new, all-different MTA subway (No more V trains! Different color M trains! I wonder if the tunnel pigs had to get dye jobs on the M line.) and went into the city to treat myself to a lovely lunch at Danny Meyers' Shake Shack! It is a long long long wait in line but luckily Mister Meyer came out and saw me and declared that I didn't have to wait in line, not the famous Bully, not on my birthday, and he escorted me right up to the Shack where I got a free chocolate malted concrete shake on the house. After the brain freeze headache went away, I thanked Mister Meyer and headed off uptown to my next afternoon at the movies! I'd really, really wanted to see a special movie and I had my Moviecash gift card (personalized with my photo on it!) so I headed over to 42nd Street and into the vast, sprawling AMC Empire 25, home of as many movies as you'd ever possibly wanna see, as long as ten of them are The Last Airbender.

But was I heading to see that new movie by M. Dark Knight Shyalaman? No I was not. There is a movie out based on one of my favorite TV shows of all time so I couldn't wait to see it. I told the ticket clerk how excited I was that my favorite TV show had finally come to the big screen and I asked her if little stuffed bulls got discounted rates and free popcorn and all the bubbly fizzy Coca-Coca in a giant barrel-size cup that I could drink because it was my birthday, and she said "No."

There's so many people at the movies even in the afternoon, and I rushed from floor to floor to find my theater out of the approximately seventy-three billion that are in this megaplex. I rushed into the auditorium just in time for the lights to go down on the screen and everyone's cell phones to light up and start chirping, and then the movie I've wanted to see for weeks began...The A-Team! Yayyyyyyyyyyy!

The A-TeamRecite it along with me: In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team. Hooray! I was sure looking forward to lots of action-adventure stunts, car chases and van crashes, elaborate confidence schemes against the bad guys, a last-minute escape from the pursuing military police, and maybe a guest appearance by a Cylon in the opening credits. But, you know, I've gotta hand it to the studio...they certainly went in a different direction than you would expect! It's a pity they couldn't get George Peppard and Mister T and all the rest of the original cast, but the quartet of actors that made up the A-Team in the movie was an interesting choice. Sarah Jessica Parker narrated a lot of the action from the opening scene where the team went undercover at a gay wedding...I'm not quite sure why, but wow, that was some great costuming, huh? their escape from...I dunno, some the end of the film. Sarah Jessica P. didn't smoke any of Peppard's signature cigars, though. I guess that's the studio's way of saying don't smoke, kids! Which is a very good cause and you all should remember it.

The A-TeamThe rest of the cast rounded out the A-Team with energy and verve. Cynthia Nixon played up her flirty side as the ever-on-the-prowl Face, and Kristin Davis wisely chose to bring out her most insane performance as H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock. Really, nobody acts that neurotic in real life, but it's funny to see Murdock stress about the little things. But by far the standout of the cast was Kim Cattrall , who perfectly captured the spirit and the persona of the loud-mouth, rough-and-tumble B.A. Baracus and his crazy-ass jewelry and ghetto outfits. Hah! I pity the fool who tangles with B.A.!

On the other hand, I expected bigger and better stunts and pyrotechnics in a movie version of this action show, and I've got to say I was a little disappointed at how modestly they played up the stunts and shooting. That might go right along with the absent cigars: don't shoot people, kids! Which is another very good thing to remember. Except the A-Team and the bad guys never even hit anything in the TV series. They could fire off a round of two thousand bullets from a van-mounted machine gun and all they would hit is the tires on the army jeep pursuing them and then it would go WHOOOOOP up and fly over and flip, but you'd always see the Army guys getting out and shaking themselves off. Nobody ever really got hurt on The A-Team, unless you count Dirk Benedict's chances of doing a Battlestar Galactica sequel. Haw! But I kids the Dirk Benedict.

The A-Team

The plot involved something about the team heading to the Middle East. I was hoping they were gonna go up against terrorists or something, but instead they just spent all their time lounging around the pool and gossiping and shopping and making phone calls to people back home. I guess that's a modern-day updating of the A-Team to say to you don't stereotype Middle Easterners as terrorist, kids, which is a pretty good idea.

The A-TeamThen there was a whole sequence where Hannibal met one of his long-lost loves, and I thought we were gonna have one of those nicely done romantic scenes you used to get once in a while in the TV show where one of the A-Team came back into contact with a love from his past but they couldn't stay with her because they were all on the run from the law (see the aforementioned "still wanted by the government.") I kept waiting for something to blow up or the A-Team to make a tank out of a golf cart but they still just kept on shopping and talking about shoes. That's a little quibble I had with the reality of this movie. If you're going to fight bad guys and keep one step ahead of Colonel Decker, you've gotta have on sensible shoes: army boots, or maybe even Face's glamourous but practical spiffy shoes. I really don't think you'd be able to run and jump and do stunts in four inch Louboutins, whatever they are.

The A-Team

You know, now that I think about it...hmmmm. Unless it was all during the time when I was out at the snack bar getting my 444-ounce soda refilled, or maybe the six or seven times I had to run to the rest room, I actually didn't see any action sequences at all. Nobody running, jumping, nothing exploding or shooting. Why, there weren't even any guns at all in the movie! I got excited when Kim Cattrall said a guy she had met had a big "love gun," and I thought All right! Now we're gonna see some action adventure! But then it was just a long scene of B.A. and another guy, I dunno, I think they were wrestling, and because they were in the desert it was really hot so they took off their...look, there weren't any guns at all in this movie!

The A-TeamYou know something...I'm beginning to think that wasn't a very good A-Team movie at all. I don't know why critics said it was a "fun big-screen reboot" and full of "rousing action set pieces laced with sardonic humor". This was a pretty bad A-Team movie. Why, when I told the theater clerk that I wanted a ticket to see that big-screen version of the hit TV show, I never expec


Wait a minute.

(checks my ticket stub)

Curse you, AMC Empire 25!!!!!

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 182

Beginning the sensational second half of 365 Days with Hank McCoy with one of my favorite Beast scenes of all time!:

Beast #2
Panels from Avengers #189 (November 1979), co-plotted by Mark Gruenwald and Roger Stern, co-plotted and scripted by Steven Grant, "creative kibitzing" by David Michelinie, pencilled by John Byrne, inks by Dan Green, colored by Ben Sean, lettered by Jim Novak

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'd climb the Empire State Building, fight Muhammad Ali / Just to team-up with DD

From Metro, the free newspaper that makes littering on the subway a fun game for the entire city, here's a headline that's a stern warning to those who would take the law in their own hands, the vigilante heroes of the Big Apple. Especially one guy who is the man without fear:

DD banned from ESB

Well, there's some gratitude for all the times Matt Murdock has saved New York City, huh?

DD knows when he's not wanted. And he's not touching you, Empire State Building. He's not touching you!:

DD banned from ESB

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 181

Beast #2
Panels from The Beast #2 (June 1997), plot by Keith Giffen, script by by Terry Kavanagh, pencils by Cedric Nocon, inks by Jamie Mendoza, colors by Ariane Lenshoek, letters by Richard Starkings and Albert Deschesne

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday Tuesday Night Murals: Children of the Atom, Go Where I Send Thee

Hey, look! It's the entire history of the X-Men in one easy-to-understand (e.g., no Claremont) mural!:

X-Men: Legacy

Covers of X-Men: Legacy #208-212 (April-July 2008), art by David Finch
Click image to Giant-Size-X-Men-#1-size

Well, no wonder Jean keeps coming back from the dead all the time...there's four of her.

Still, that's kinda cheatin' for a cover mural, because Marvel's trimmed off some space between each of the covers so they don't interlock completely. I don't know whether that's intent or carelessness...but who cares! Because I've got the full image for you of David Finch's poster that you can buy at your local comic book store (tell 'em a little stuffed mutant bull sent ya!). Huh, maybe Marvel trimmed the images on purpose so you'd have to buy the poster. Pretty sneaky, Quesada! (in my "playing Connect Four" voice):

X-Men: Legacy

Cool! Everybody who's anybody is on there. Or...are they? According to this poster, X-Men history seems to stop around UXM #143. Who designed this thing anyway...John Byrne? Where's all our favorite latter-day X-Men,, that guy, and what's-'er-'face with the know what I mean...the big eyes.

So, here's my special gift to you: a cover mural I made for you by my little own self, featuring pretty near all the rest of the X-Men. Including that guy! Aw, you know the one.

X-Men: Legacy

Go ahead! Print it out, cut 'em apart, paste 'em on your comic books! Sell them to your local comic book store as rare, previously unseen variants! Pocket that cash and go buy some penny whistles and moon pies. You know you want to!

Oh, and in case you wanted more Wolverines (Wolverii?), here's one for you.


Still not happy? Sheesh, then take this one and go put Cypher or Domino on it! Or, more probably, not! And post 'em if you got 'em in the comments! Neatness counts—unless you're doing Cable, in which case incomprehensibility counts.

Blank cover

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 180

Hulk #277
Panels from Hulk #277 (November 1982), script by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak

Monday, June 28, 2010

And now here's something we hope you'll really like

...The Avengers take a bus!

Avengers #176
Avengers #176
Avengers #176
Panels from Avengers #176 (October 1978), plot by Jim Shooter, script by David Michelinie, pencils by Dave Wenzel, inks by Pablo Marcos, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Rick Parker

Special bonus: The Avengers ride in a pick-up truck!

Avengers #214

Panels from Avengers #214 (December 1981), script by Jim Shooter, pencils by Bob Hall, inks by Dan Green, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Janice Chiang

Be sure to tune in next time when...The Avengers ride Segways!

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 179

Avengers #1
Panel from Avengers v.3 #1 (February 1998), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by George Pérez, inks by Al Vey, colors by Tom Smith, letters by Richard Starkings

Sunday, June 27, 2010

She's leaving home, bye bye

See also. And this too.

(More Ten of a Kind here.)

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 178

X-Factor Annual #6
Panel from X-Factor Annual #6 (1991), script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Terry Shoemaker, inks by Al Milgrom, colors by Brad Vancata, letters by Joe Rosen

Sunday Morning Silents: The Patchwork Girl of Oz

The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914), directed by J. Farrell MacDonald and featuring Harold Lloyd as a (uncredited) Tottenhot!