Category Archives: neal adams

Arrow: Year’s End

In many areas this episode was pre-empted or rescheduled because of the 12-12-12 Benefit Concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I have no complaints about that, it’s a noble and just cause, and being right in the center of the devastation, I know how bad it was. My nit is with local CW affiliate channel 57 – it might have been nice to let viewers know what was up with your regular programming, that’s all, just a bit of courtesy. For the record, this episode of “Arrow” airs tomorrow night at eight.

Now on to “Year’s End,” the mid-season finale of “Arrow,” which I hoped was good because the Huntress two-parter was very lacking. I was at first surprised and excited by this show only to be let down by those last two episodes. Although, from ‘previously on “Arrow”‘ clips, this -could- be good.

We open on a member of The List, a Brian Michael Bendis lookalike (Marc Guggenheim?), being murdered by a shadowy someone who looks suspiciously like Oliver. The tool? Black arrows. Not green. Only one DC Comics character in the Green Arrow mythos uses black arrows. That’s Merlyn the Magician AKA Arthur King or as reimagined here on “Arrow,” Tommy and/or Malcolm Merlyn. On “Smallville,” he was called alternately Vortigan, and the Dark Archer. He is (or will be) played by either John Barrowman or Colin Donnell. Finally. Just wait.

In the first ten minutes, in quick, almost HBO style plot succession we get some wonderful interaction with Diggle and Oliver, a return to the island flashbacks, and at a Queen family dinner party, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn names the vigilante “Green Arrow.” Yeah. Squeee. It seems this special Christmas episode might just be a gift for the viewers.

Things I like include that Arrow, ahem, Green Arrow is beginning a tenuous relationship with the police, or at least Quentin Lance; and that Felicity Smoak is turning into Oracle/Chloe. At this point, it’s a cliche character, but nerd girl Emily Bett Rickards is just so likable. Moreso than Laurel, and definite more than the cardboard Huntress. I also liked the shout out to Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, the comics creators who revitalized Green Arrow in the late 1960s.

The island flashbacks bring much revelation. Yao Fei and the still unnamed Deathstroke were the only two survivors of a prison that was the island. There’s even a quick rematch between the two. All fun stuff, but seriously, why does Oliver still have the top button of his shirt buttoned?? Maybe that’s why he’s always walking around shirtless since he got back to civilization.

As with most confrontations on “Arrow,” and for that matter, the aforementioned “Smallville” (I seem to remember this being the case with both Doomsday and Darkseid), that don’t last long. Such is the case with Oliver (even though I’ve done it, it still doesn’t feel right to say Green Arrow) and the unnamed Dark Archer. For the latter, he’s called the copycat more than anything else. It’s a brief fight that ends with Oliver on the short end of the arrow, literally, and his foe escaping. More than unsatisfying.

Oliver defeated and the Other Archer on the loose (but finally revealed), that’s the note this episode ends with. Malcolm Merlyn has a master plan for Starling City that doesn’t look good, and has abducted Walter to keep Moira in line. None of this looks good. A bit of a downer, but an excellent episode. Can’t wait ’til after the New Year.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 3-21-2012

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 Ed (Shazam) Evans and Glenn (Captain Marvel) Walker (the much-missed Allison will be back next week) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

This first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The Big Avengers Vs. X-Men Event at ATF!, Justice League #7 by Geoff Johns and Gene Ha, more Flashpoint trades, Green Lantern Corps #7, Batman #7, comics of the future, ‘chick’ comics, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents V2 #5 (of 6) by Nick Spencer, Wes Craig and Michael Choi, Neal Adams’ Batman Odyssey V2 #6 (of 7), Catwoman’s day after, and the rest of the DC New 52.

The discussion continues here in segment two including: Fables #115 by Bill Willingham, Tiny Titans #50 by Franco and Art Baltazar, kids comics, Kick-Ass 2 #7, Supercrooks #1 by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu, Amazing Spider-Man #682 by Dan Slott, Invincible Iron Man #514 by Matt Fraction, Avengers X-Sanction #4, Deadpool #52, the X-titles, indies, and trades.

Be sure to check out the thrilling 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!

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Philadelphia Comic Con – Day Three

Another good day at the con. Here are a few observations about this year’s Philadelphia Comic Con:

~ As my buddy Ray noted, booth babes are back. There are the Suicide Girls of course. I’ve never been able to figure out what that is all about other than hot scantily clad women posing and vamping. This year there is also the massage station manned by hot female masseuses. To me, this seems like a step backwards. Just as we guys are finally getting our female significant others to come to these things, we are presented with a reason for them not to let us come. Not cool. Well, cool, but not cool.

~ I’m not a drinker so maybe this has been going on for a while and I just haven’t noticed, but has beer always been available at the comic con? It just seems like another bad idea to me. If you think a fat sloppy fanboy in a makeshift Batman costume arguing post-Crisis continuity is annoying – wait until you get him drunk.

~ There’s a secret phenomen that happens at all comic book conventions late in the afternoon on Sundays, and Wizard World Philly is no exception. The dealers drop their prices, sometimes drastically. The thinking being that what they sell, they don’t have to carry home. Lots of deals happening here today.

~ Friday after the show I went to the store and bought a whole package of hot dogs, a package of hot dog rolls and a Coke for the same price I could have had one dog and soda at the Convention Center. Wow. This is like going to the Wachovia Center or seeing a movie at Loews.

~ Oh my god oh my god oh my god! I saw the Batmobile, the real Batmobile!

~ Linda Hamilton does in fact have an identical twin sister who is local to the area. My question is – does she come to conventions and pretend to be her sister? I swear I saw a much younger looking Linda Hamilton on Friday than I did on Saturday. Just wondering.

~ Can someone tell me where they are giving away Stormtrooper armor? They must be giving it away because the Stormtroopers are everywhere. I think they are multiplying because there are more at the con everyday. I certainly hope they all used the little Stormtrooper’s room before the con because those things must be hell to take off. And doesn’t wearing a Stormtrooper costume sorta promote fascism anyway? Think about it. You know I’m right.

~ Khoi Pham is not only the nicest guy in comics, a featured guest at this con, and one of Marvel’s ‘young guns’ from last year, but also one of my favorite artists. I think he should be entered into the pantheon of great Avengers artists – along with Byrne, Heck, Buscema, Yu, Cho, Brown, Cockrum, Adams, Epting and the master of them all, Perez. Take a look at this terrific Mighty Avengers page I am now the proud owner of, and tell me otherwise. The dude rocks.

Thank you to Jerry Milani and all the folks at Wizard for putting up with us, our not-so-complimentary reports and of course for hooking us up with press passes. Thank you! Next year’s convention is already planned and scheduled for June 10-12 2011 – save the dates!

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Dick Giordano 1932-2010

There is very sad news today, award-winning comics legend Dick Giordano has passed away. He began as an artist in the 1950s with Charlton Comics and soon rose to editor-in-chief as he introduced their action hero line and brought in many new talents who would themselves later become legends in the field.

The realistic art style that defined the realism of the 1970s was largely due to his distinctive inking. Any artist he inked became instant dynamic, among them Neal Adams, Dick Dillin and Ross Andru. Some of the best known and loved versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, the Human Target and especially Green Lantern and Green Arrow hold his brilliant lines.

As an editor at DC Comics, Giordano helped to relaunch many of their characters in the 1980s. He helped create their mature imprint Vertigo, brought in talent from the UK like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, and was instrumental in the fight for creators’ rights.

His legacy and inspiration is evident in every facet of the comics industry both inside and outside. We have lost one of the great ones. Dick Giordano will be missed. Rest in peace, sir.

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Astonishing

Marvel Comics’ follow-up to the highly acclaimed Spider-Woman Motion Comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev is actually a bit of a surprise. Rather than another work created specifically for the format, they have gone old school (or as old school as one can go in the new realm of this technology) and chosen a story already presented in comic book form – “Gifted” the controversial first storyline from Josh Whedon and John Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men.

One might think this is a backward step in motion comic production until one actually sees it. This is moving forward into new territory. With the help of Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios, who also directed “Gifted” along with original artist John Cassaday, Marvel is bringing a whole new dimension to the artform.

Originally motion comics of the twenty-first century were nothing more than moving some elements across a static background to imitate movement, similar (sadly) to the infamous “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons from 1966. Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., a few months back was the first to be designed specifically for the motion comic format and utilized a style that brought the story and action to life.

Now, Neal Adams, who pioneered the realistic artstyle in comics of the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes things even farther into the future with Astonishing X-Men. These characters breathe. They speak as if animated, blink, move, etc. This is the next wave. It has to be seen to be believed. Marvel is riding the wave of the motion comic to the next frontier. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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NYCC 2009 Day One


FRIDAY

The day was not off to a great start. With very little sleep I made the trek from 30th Street Station in Philly to Penn Station in New York. While waiting for the train, my watch broke. I mean, it was still running, it had just decided to show the wrong time and refused to be reset. Then just before New York the train had to stop “to wait for the other trains to leave the tunnel.” Now I’m not sure if we were waiting for every train in Manhattan to use the tunnel first or not, but we were stopped for well over forty-five minutes.

The original plan was to stop at the hotel first and check in (more on that later) but I was already late so I made my way to the Jacob Javitz Center first to pick up my press credentials and see what there was to see. Seeking out the press room I met a guy from Issues The Series. Go check it out, lots of fun, kinda like “Scrubs” meets Clerks.

Also saw Mighty Avengers artist Khoi Pham waiting in the professional line to get in. He called after me to say hello. I just have to reiterate my estimation that he’s the nicest guy in the comics biz. How many pros go out of their way to say hi to fans. Helluva artist, helluva guy, class act all the way. While I’m sharing plugs, I hung out with my friend Abraham from Avengers Forever and also bumped into the multi-talented Rob from the Aquaman Shrine.

The Schedule Guide for NYCC #4 has a gorgeous cover by living legend Neal Adams featuring the Green Lanterns Kilowog, Katma Tui, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and a weird-eyed Hal Jordan. Everything is beautiful but Hal’s eyes. It’s disturbing. Maybe they’re crossed, maybe they’re not, but either way they seem to follow you around the room. Brrrr…

Inside are sneak previews of Flash: Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver and Detective Comics #854 by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III. Other than Kate Kane’s pasty goth skin, the latter actually looks pretty spectacular. The former has me spellbound though. After these five pages I don’t know when the last time I’ve been so excited about a comic. It’s got it all. The Rogues, the JSA, good characterization, respectful characterization, and a Kid Flash is back? I’m going to be loving this book. I can’t wait.

I had to bail on some panels I wanted to see this afternoon to check into our hotel. What a clusterf*ck that was. First there was some confusion over whether it was on the shuttle bus route from the Javitz Center – it’s not, even though folks were telling me it was on the NYCC website. And then there was the question of the non-existent free wireless internet. By the time everything was sorted, the afternoon was gone. But I was determined to get to the Wonder Woman premiere so I went back through crazed taxis and rush hour traffic to get there.

It was well worth it. Also had one of the Javitz Center’s famous (or is it infamous?) hot dogs and saw the CAG Awards as well. I’ll end with a quote I heard as I was leaving the Javitz, “How do the cabs know to stop and pick us up?” Hmmm… and I thought I was out of my element here.

The All Things Fun! Podcast – Episode Eight: Road Trip

The All Things Fun! Podcast is back. Here’s Episode Eight, “Road Trip,” part one of the NY Comic Con highlights…

Host Ed Evans and the gang head out to the 2008 New York Comic-Con for this special “live” episode.

Glenn Walker interviews legendary Batman artist Neal Adams and Wonder Woman scribe Gail Simone.

Allison Eckel talks to Mattel about their new “Super Friends” line of toys.

We also hear from Upper Deck about their new World of Warcraft Miniatures Game and we get the scoop on the forthcoming games from Fantasy Flight.

We also meet Peter Fernandez AKA Speed Racer!

And we wrap up this extra long episode with Wes Hitchins reviewing the forthcoming game, Mutant Chronicles.

Check it out here:

http://www.allthingsfun.libsyn.com/