Category Archives: earth 2

RIP Carmine Infantino

This is rough, losing two of my influences and inspirations in the same day. Artist, innovator, publisher, and legend Carmine Infantino passed away today at the age of 87.

Other than the “Batman” 1966 TV series, Carmine Infantino was my gateway drug into comics through the old issues of Flash my big brother Warren had. I remember one comic specifically, an 80-Page Giant, issue #169, no cover and missing a few pages but I read my brother’s copy ragged. In it was a feature called ‘How I Draw the Flash’ by Carmine Infantino.

I am no artist by any means, but I was entranced by these two pages and they spurred in me an interest at least to try to draw. I learned perspective, anatomy, and of course comic book dynamics from these two pages of Infantino imparting his artistic secrets. To this day, I can’t draw, but I can draw the Silver Age Flash, thanks to Mr. Infantino.

From those days of reading my brother’s comics, the Flash became my favorite character. I grew up with a Flash written by Cary Bates and illustrated by Irv Novick. That was my Flash, but it was always a known fact, Infantino’s Flash was the real Flash. He was among those that created the first of the Silver Age revamps of the heroes of the Golden Age, the Flash in Showcase #4, a more realistic, scientifically based superhero for a new age.

Not only had he drawn the original scarlet speedster back in the Golden Age, he was a collaborator in bringing back those heroes in the legendary groundbreaking “Flash of Two Worlds” story that created both Earth-2 and began DC Comics’ multiverse. Infantino’s ‘Colors of Evil’ from a rejected comic strip of his were the basis for the Flash’s Rogues Gallery, the most unique assortment of baddies this side of Batman.

Speaking of Batman, he also revamped the character for the Silver Age, giving the stories a more realistic detective feel, and also adding the golden circle to the Bat-symbol. His Batman was just as definitive as his Flash. Infantino also left his mark on such characters as Adam Strange (still one of my favorites thanks to a team-up between the hero and the Justice League in a story by Infantino), Black Canary, the Elongated Man, Dial H for Hero, and others in his time at DC. Later he became the publisher, invigorated design, streamlined production, and put together such event comics as the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man.

Eventually he left DC as publisher and moved on to other projects like the Marvel version of Star Wars and also Spider-Woman and Nova, and returning to DC to draw the Flash once again, and even Batman in a newspaper strip. He has become one of the industry’s living legends. I got to meet him once at a con, and told him silly stories of my brother, the Flash, and my hideous artistic endeavors. He smiled and laughed. He was that kind of guy.

We have lost one of the big ones. Carmine Infantino was a giant in the industry, a legend of the comics field. He will be missed.

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Arrow: Muse of Fire

After a Thanksgiving break, “Arrow” is back, with the Huntress.

In the first part of this special Huntress double feature on “Arrow” we see the debut of a DC Comics super-heroine with a decidedly special pedigree.

History lesson time. Originally the Huntress was Helena Wayne, the adult daughter of the Batman and Catwoman of a parallel universe called Earth-Two. She was an extremely popular character, representing a next generation of crimefighters on that world.

When DC Comics decided to clean house in the 1980s, they effectively erased Earth-Two from continuity and rebooted the Huntress as Helena Bertinelli, the vigilante daughter of a crime boss. Notably this version lacked the charm of the original and was subsequently less popular.

When the CW (of was it the WB then?) decided to bring the comic Birds of Prey to the small screen about a decade ago, they featured the Huntress as once again the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. The show only lasted one season and was, while sometimes fun, mostly bad, and a mish-mash of comic continuity. It’s interesting that the show came up at dinner with friends the other night, and it was remembered with only contempt. You can read my thoughts from the time on the “Birds of Prey” series here.

Interestingly enough, DC Comics has returned to the Earth 2 concept and brought the Huntress back to her first origins. It’s a shame that “Arrow” has decided to use the Helena Bertinelli version for their show. Maybe they thought the Batman reference would be confusing? Well, then they’d better stop referencing Bludhaven is all I have to say.

I think it’s worth noting up front that in the comics, the Huntress and Green Arrow are two characters that have had very little interaction, despite their choice in common weaponry. The Huntress is an odd selection to show up here, just saying.

As “Muse of Fire” opens, Oliver’s mom is caught in the crossfire of a mob hit. She was having lunch at the time with the mobster. And the hitter turns out to be our lovely Huntress, as played by Australian Jessica DeGouw, not the most charming or likable or even talented actress. Disappointingly her character turns out to be simply a female version of Arrow, working through her own list. I could think of more interesting ideas than that.

This episode also features the return of Kelly Hu as China White, as the Triad is revealed to be a rival of Helena’s dad, crime boss Frank Bertinelli. The latter, scared, starts to rattle the cages toward a mob war. One incident leads to the first confrontation between Arrow and the Huntress. Great exchange between Diggle and Oliver follows as they try to figure her motives. I love Diggle more and more every episode. I just wish he wasn’t so ‘Alfred’ in this one.

Anyone else ever notice that Tommy Merlyn is always around? At the Queen house, at their job, at Laurel’s job, but he’s never there to see his best friend Oliver. It’s just odd. Did he just take his place with the family in a very creepy way while Oliver was on that island thought dead?

Tommy goes to dinner with Laurel, and Oliver goes to dinner with Helena. There is clever well written dialogue for both, and Stephen Amell does his best, acting against the cardboard wall that is DeGouw. Meanwhile Captain Jack Harkness visits Oliver’s Mom’s sickbed. It has been frustrating but I have admire how well the writers have concealed the identity of the character John Barrowman plays on “Arrow.”

Spoiler alert for those who have seen it yet, but the secret comes out here. He’s not Maxwell Lord, or John Deleon, or Count Vertigo. He’s someone rather boring, at least for the comics fans. John Barrowman is Malcolm Merlyn, Tommy’s dad. Of course, wouldn’t it be cool if Barrowman turned out to be Merlyn the Magician?

There’s a nice shout out to the co-creator of the comic book Huntress, Joe Staton, in the name of Helena’s late fiancé. Nice touch. He also gave her the cross she wears around her neck – as much a symbol for the second comics Huntress as the bat was for the first.

The episode ends with Oliver and Helena entwined in a kiss, kindred souls in justice, revenge, and an understanding of one another. What happens next? Be here tomorrow, same Arrow time, same Arrow channel.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 8-1-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts the Invincible Ed Evans and the Glenn Walker of Earth 2 (Allison Eckel returns next week, promise!) discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week’s sadly Allison-less episode includes: Earth 2 doings, Superman in Action and Smallville, JLI, Animal Man and Swamp Thing, Nite-Owl and Rorshach, Defenders #9, AvsX and the non-participatory X-Men, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #13, Invincible Iron Man #522, Hawkeye #1, Avenging Spider-Man #10, Deadpool sans tutu, Daredevil #16, Spawn #222, Transformers Regeneration One #82, The Shadow and The Spider, Strawberry Shortcake and The Muppets, The Boys #69, Courtney Crumrin #4, whole lotta Sonic, Ed’s trades and Troll dolls.

Be sure to check out the wacky new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The Special Fourth of July All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Invincible) Evans, Allison (No-Marvel Girl) Eckel, and Glenn (Ozymandias) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week’s special Fourth of July episode includes: The Walking Dead #100 and the Midnight Release Event, Batman Earth One, Earth 2 #3, Worlds’ Finest #3, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 by James Robinson, the JT Krul fan club, how to pronounce Ozymandias, Red Lanterns #11, DK’s Batman The World of the Dark Knight, Fairest #5, Amazing Spider-Man #689, AvsX #7, Ed’s X-books, straight Punisher, Deadpool and funny Marvel names, Steve Gerber’s Infernal Man-Thing #1, Invincible #93, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

Be sure to check out the patriotic new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 6-6-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Allison (Arrowette) Eckel, and Glenn (Dial H) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here! The much-missed Ed Evans will be back next week.

Discussion featured in this special Ed-less episode includes: What day is it?, Allison takes on Green Arrow, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1, Earth 2 #2, anarchy in the DC, the Batman books, Dial H #2, G.I. Combat #2, Fairest #4, the AvsX report of the week, other Marvels, X-O, Harbinger and the story of Valiant, the rest of the indies, Allison’s kids comics, and trades and toys.

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes, even when she’s on vacation.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-2-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Blue Lantern Ed Evans, Honorary Avenger Allison Eckel, and the Glenn Walker of Earth 2 discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this brand new extended episode includes: Free Comic Book Day 2012, the Batman Court of the Owls hardcover signed by Scott Snyder giveaway, the FCBD comics, Avengers and X-Men titles for the week, Invincible Iron Man #516 by Matt Fraction, Spider-Men, Earth 2 #1 by James Robinson, Action Comics #9, Night of the Owls, Red Lanterns #9, Dial H #1 by China Mieville, Teen Titans Annual #1, Smallville Season 11 #1, X-O Manowar #1 from the new Valiant Comics, Avengelyne #8 by Mark Poulton and Owen Gieni, Dynamite’s The Spider #1 by Davis Liss, Voltron Year One #2 sans Voltron, guess who Archie marries this week, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

Be sure to check out the wild new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!