Archive for comic books

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Angel vs Frankenstein (2009)

Posted in comic books, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, TV shows, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2016 by Paxton

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Back in 2011, when I did Dracula/vampires for my theme, I covered the appearance of Dracula in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This included several comic book appearances with Buffy and Spike.  So, I thought I should next cover another Buffy character teaming up with another classic monster.  Let’s see if this one fares any better.

In 2009, IDW released a one-shot called Angel vs Frankenstein. It was written and drawn by the great John Byrne.

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The story takes place after Mary Shelley’s novel, which we get a brief recap of in the comic. It also takes place before Angel is cursed by the gypsy to have a soul.  So, after Frankenstein discovers Victor dead in the arctic at the end of Shelley’s novel, he decides to return to his home to claim the right as the last heir of Frankenstein.  However, the monster realizes he can’t do it alone, so the monster hires Angelus to return to Castle Frankenstein with him to help. However, Angelus has different ideas and throws the monster out of the stagecoach and over a cliff.  He then goes to the castle to claim the fortune for himself. But the monster didn’t die, and it makes its way back for his revenge. Queue Frankenstein vs Angelus fight.

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It’s a pretty good story. I like the setup. I love Byrne’s art. I enjoyed reading it. It’s only a one-shot, so it’s short, but Byrne makes the most of it.

Then in 2010, IDW released a sequel called, appropriately, Angel vs Frankenstein II.  This one-shot was also written and drawn by John Byrne.

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This takes place many years after the first comic. Angelus is now just Angel. He’s in America and working as a janitor at a mental hospital. He discovers the monster bound up in a hidden set of rooms in the hospital. Angel tries to sort out the mystery of how the monster got there but when the monster sees Angel, he goes off on a rampage thinking it’s Angelus and Angel has to stop him from tearing apart the city. We also learn a few secrets about the nature of this Frankenstein monster.

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Again, this is a good, if a bit more understated comic story. It’s another one shot, but Byrne makes good use of the characters and his art is great. I like the wrap up of the Frankenstein monster here. I’d definitely recommend these comics to a fan of Angel.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Asher Cobb from The Sixth Gun

Posted in comic books, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, mummy, pop culture, Western with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to talk about a specific mummy character from one of my favorite comic series, The Sixth Gun, by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt.
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The comic is a horror western about six cursed pistols and the battle between good and evil to possess the guns and prevent them from destroying and remaking the world. There’s so much stuff running through this comic like gunfighters, undead Civil War generals, dark swamp gods, skinwalkers, black magic, ghosts and a 9 foot tall mummy. It really is worth a read and I can’t recommend it enough. The series as a whole ended this year with issue #50 and I recently did a re-read of the entire series from Book 1 up to the final issue and I loved every bit of it.  The comic really gets deep into its own mythology and I really liked how it ended.

Anyway, the part of this comic I want to discuss today is the aforementioned 9 foot tall mummy. His name is Asher Cobb.

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Asher first shows up in the series in the collected edition Book 3: Bound.  Specifically in the final page of issue #12.

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He shows up out of nowhere and steals the coffin containing the undead corpse of the evil General Hume.  He fights spectacularly for the next issue and a half.  Then, in issue #14, we finally get his origin as told to us by an old carnie.

Asher Cobb was born deformed. He was oversized, which made him an outcast.  To add to that, he also received visions.  Visions of the future.  He was befriended only by a nice girl named Ruth who he fell in love with.  One day he received a terrible vision of Ruth’s death.  So to prevent the death of the girl he loved, he sought out some old witches and made a devil’s bargain to cheat death.  But to do that, he had to endure death.

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Unfortunately Asher was not able to prevent Ruth’s death so he is constantly wandering, driven crazy by his unnaturally long life and the knowledge that he couldn’t prevent Ruth’s death.  He is at first used by the forces of evil as a tool, but Asher would show up much later helping out the good guys and hoping that whomever acquired the guns and remade the world, would also bring back his beloved Ruth.

Asher is a pretty great character, both in the story but also visually.  He is super strong, gets visions of the future and just looks awesome.  He’s just one of the reasons I love this comic.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: A tomb full of mummy covers

Posted in comic books, monsters, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2016 by Paxton

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We’re getting towards the end of my mummy themed weeks.  Next week, the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest, will be my usual “greatest hits” articles where I revisit previous topics in the history of my Halloween celebration.

But, now, let’s continue our slow, creeping walk down mummy lane with a variety of mummy covers for comics and magazines.

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I spoke about this character earlier in the month, so here are two more covers for The Living Mummy’s appearances in Marvel’s Supernatural Thrillers.  (Supernatural Thrillers #7, 1974, John Romita cover, Supernatural Thrillers #11, 1975, Frank Brunner cover)

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Here’s the Living Mummy teaming up with The Thing in a cover by Ron Wilson and Chic Stone (Marvel Two-in-One, 1983).

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The Gold Key Star Trek title even got in on some mummy action. (Star Trek #21, 1973)

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Wonder Woman battling mummies in a cover by Ross Andru (Wonder Woman #161, 1966).

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The Shadow wants in on some of that battling mummies action. Cover by Frank Robbins. (The Shadow #8, 1974).

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I’ve reviewed other Dell comic monster adaptations with Frankenstein, Wolf Man and Dracula.  Here are two covers for Dell’s adaptation of the Universal Mummy movie. Unfortunately Dell didn’t try to turn the mummy into a super hero.

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If you listen to the Nerd Lunch Podcast, you should remember the character of Fantomah. I talked about her on episode 197 where we were modernizing Golden Age comic characters. CT assigned me Fantomah.  Well, Fantomah was rebooted several years after her “wild jungle girl” phase into an adventurer who was descendant of ancient Egyptian royalty.

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Here are two Hammer Horror magazines featuring cover stories on the Hammer mummy movies.  I love that Mummy’s Shroud painted cover on the right.

 


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Marvel’s The Living Mummy

Posted in comic books, monsters, mummy, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2016 by Paxton

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Marvel has had a long history with monsters.  I’ve covered several monster titles from Marvel for previous AWESOME-tober-fests like Tomb of Dracula, Frankenstein and Werewolf by Night.  Well, not surprisingly, Marvel also had a mummy character.  He was called The Living Mummy and he debuted in the horror anthology series Supernatural Thrillers, issue #5, August 1973.

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You may remember the comic Supernatural Thrillers as I reviewed issue #2 last year which contained an adaptation of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man.

The first four issues of Supernatural Thrillers were mostly adaptations of existing work; Stephenson’s Jeckyll & Hyde, Robert Howard’s Valley of the Worm, Sturgeon’s It! and the aforementioned The Invisible Man.  With issue #5, editor Roy Thomas had Steve Gerber create a new original character to be run as a feature.  While issue #6 would contain a somewhat sequel to Irving’s Sleepy Hollow, issues #7-15 would solely feature the character The Living Mummy.

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The Living Mummy started out as N’Kantu, son of the Chief of the Swarili Tribe in ancient Cairo.  He is 21 and is preparing to become a tribal warrior by taking the Test of the Lion.  While away on a hunt, N’Kantu returns to his tribe to discover that the Pharoah Aram-Set has conquered his tribe and enslaved them to work building monuments. N’Kantu helps plot a rebellion, but his planning is discovered and he is sprayed with a paralyzing liquid that renders him immobile. Then his blood is replaced by a special alchemical embalming fluid, he is wrapped in bandages and put in a coffin to lay, immobile, for the next thousand years.

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After about a thousand years, the paralyzing liquid wears off and N’Kantu escapes from his coffin, however, he is completely insane due to being trapped immobile in the dark for a millennia. So he goes on a rampage in “modern” Cairo.

He gets electrocuted which knocks him out, then is electrocuted AGAIN and is revived.  Goes on another rampage.  Meets an archaeologist who cures his insanity, but unfortunately N’Kantu is then sent to another dimension. And in this dimension, we get a few stories of The Living Mummy…wait for it…IN SPACE.

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Yep, he’s trapped in space fighting aliens.  Doesn’t get much more awesome than that, ladies and gentlemen.

After the mummy shenanigans in Supernatural Thrillers, N’Kantu would break out and guest star in other titles like Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up and Deadpool Team Up.  He made the jump to television in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, Super Hero Squad and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH and even joined The Legion of Monsters at one point.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Fourth of July Showdown: Uncle Sam vs Captain America

Posted in comic books, holiday, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2016 by Paxton

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Happy 4th of July! To celebrate today I’m back with a quick holiday themed Cavalcade Comics cover. If you remember, July 4th last year, I showed you Uncle Sam: The Ultimate Ninja. Well, I thought it was time to bring Uncle Sam back. But instead of my Ultimate Ninja version, I’m bringing you a more traditional version of the character. And he has a few words for Captain America.

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Yikes, Sam, that’s gonna leave a mark. I thought this idea was too perfect to pass up on this, the celebration of America’s Independence Day.  And I thought labeling it Civil War II was appropriate since Marvel is actually doing Civil War II right now.

So, where did I get the images? I found Uncle Sam from the cover of Freedom Fighters #8, June 1977.  The cover was done by Rich Buckler.

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Captain America was taken from his own title, issue #124 from 1968. It was drawn by Marie Severin.

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I had to jockey around a few things but for the most part the images fit together nicely. Now, the background. I’ll admit, I had the HARDEST time finding a background that worked. I originally wanted the background from Freedom Fighters but it was a generic city street. I wanted something more “Washington DC”, like the White House or Capitol Building. I was close to using The Flash #200 from 1970 as it had the dome in the background.  But then I happened upon another Cap issue, #444 from 1995.  And I decided to roll with that.

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As you can see, it’s got the nice government building in the background and I thought it would be great to have Cap and Sam slugging it out on the steps of that building.  I had to change the perspective a little and use layers upon layers to hide Cap’s shield, but I think it turned out nicely.

Cavalcade Comics #11 – The Frankenstein Monster vs The Winter Olympics

Posted in comic books, Frankenstein, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2015 by Paxton

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I’m temporarily sticking my head out from where I’m hibernating during the winter to post up this newest cover in my Vintage Comic Throwdown series.

This month’s cover isn’t necessarily holiday themed, as I don’t really have a “Christmas” themed cover in my back log.  But I do have a “winter-y” themed cover I can use.  Peep your ‘balls on The Frankenstein Monster vs The Winter Olympics.

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I’m sort of in love with the concept as well as the execution of this cover.  It was birthed almost entirely out of one awesome Marvel Treasury front cover as well as the back cover pin-up.  Check out that cover’s double sided awesomeness right here (click to see BIGGER).

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This is Marvel Treasury Edition #25 from June 1980.  The front cover was drawn by Al Milgrom and Jack Abel.  The back cover “pin-up” was drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz and Bruce Patterson.  So much action-y goodness that I couldn’t pass up using the majority of the elements in this layout.  You can see all of them in the cover.  The skiers, the snow, the broken light pole, the building in the background with the crowd.  All re-purposed for my Frankenstein gone amok cover.

An element that I didn’t use from the Marvel cover is the Frankenstein monster himself, which comes from Marvel’s The Frankenstein Monster #7 from Nov 1973.  Drawn by the great John Buscema.

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I love doing these monster mashups. I have another Frankenstein monster mashup stashed away as well as a return for Ghost Rider! But is it the old gunslinger Ghost Rider or the Hell Cycle ridin’ demon? You’ll have to wait to find out.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Scarlet in Gaslight (1987)

Posted in comic books, Dracula, Genres, horror, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2015 by Paxton

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This week, instead of the Invisible Man, I am revisting some of my earlier AWESOME-tober-fest themes. Today I’m looking back at Dracula, whom I covered back in 2011.

The comic Scarlet in Gaslight was released by Eternity Comics in 1987-1988.

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This comic is a Sherlock Holmes mystery where the detective meets the Prince of Darkness, Dracula. It was written by Martin Powell and drawn by Seppo Makinen.  If they sound familiar these are the guys who did the Sherlock Holmes vs Invisible Man comic I talked about earlier, A Case of Blind Fear.  They actually did this Dracula comic a few years before they did the invisible man mystery.

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In style and execution this comic is very similar to A Case of Blind Fear.  Only, sadly, it isn’t quite as successful.  The story tries to incorporate Sherlock Holmes into the events of the Bram Stoker novel which, like in A Case of Blind Fear, would cause changes to the novel’s events as well as the outcome.  In the comic you see Lucy suffering in her room where Dracula has been visiting her.  You see Van Helsing trying to help her by covering the room in garlic.  We also see Dracula has the look from Stoker’s novel with the mustache, but it just isn’t working as well for me as it would a few years later with A Case of Blind Fear.

Lucy gets a bigger part and you see Sherlock having lots of issues with all of the supernatural things going on.  He even has sort of a breakdown in the middle of the comic because his precise mind can’t process what it sees.  This stuff is interesting but also, in the full run of the comic I was mostly bored reading.  I just couldn’t connect to this comic the same way I connected with the later invisible man story.  A lot of that may be my issues I have with the Bram Stoker novel itself, but I can’t be sure.  Taken at face value, some of this comic is pretty cool, it just has trouble keeping that coolness flowing throughout the four issue story.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.