Category Archives: teen titans

Nick Cardy 1920-2013

A big chunk of my comics childhood has passed away. Nick Cardy, born Nicolas Viscardi, was perhaps the first influential artist on Aquaman and Teen Titans, but most importantly, he illustrated almost every DC Comics cover in the early 1970s. To me, Nick Cardy’s versions of the DC superheroes were the definitive versions, as those were the ones I saw all throughout my childhood, and even on the covers of books I didn’t read. And he was damn good. Nick Cardy passed away this weekend.

Here is the official press release from DC Comics:

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Cardy, one of the industry’s greatest artists. A talented draftsman with a knack for layout and energetic cover design, Cardy’s art leapt off the page and helped redefine some of DC Comics’ most lasting characters for a new age.

“Like many early comic pros, Cardy began his career working under the tutelage of the legendary Will Eisner, as part of the Eisner and Iger studio. But it was his arrival at DC Comics in 1950 that saw the artist begin to show signs of the legend that would soon form around him.

“Cardy’s smooth line and dynamic sense of action graced the first appearance of the Teen Titans in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #60, not to mention almost 40 issues of AQUAMAN during the character’s initial Silver Age solo series.

“Cardy continued his relationship with DC’s teen team for the entirety of TEEN TITANS 43-issue Silver Age run, redefining the collection of sidekicks through his innovative and yet still classical brushstroke, with a dash of post-modernist design and 60s swagger.

“Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2005.

“We’ve lost one of the artistic pillars here at DC,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment. “Nick’s work on Aquaman, Teen Titans and beyond helped define how we look at these characters today. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and many fans.”

“Nick Cardy was a wonderful artist and person, but I’ll always remember his amazing covers,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “From the classic “Is This My Foe?” AQUAMAN #42 image that featured a victorious Black Manta hoisting Aquaman above him to the first appearance of the Teen Titans, Cardy just knew how to get a reader’s attention – and that is a talent that can never be understated. He was my definitive DC cover artist for the 60s.”

“Nick Cardy’s work helped define some of the things we see in comics today and take for granted,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “He broke out of the mold in terms of covers and layout and created a truly interactive experience for the reader that directly points back to his time with the Eisner studio. His versions of Aquaman, the Teen Titans and Bat Lash – to name a few – remain iconic today. Our sympathies go out to his family during this difficult time.”

When I think of the Teen Titans, I think not of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’ wonderful New Teen Titans, I think of Nick Cardy’s Titans. The heroes of the comic my big sister read, on which I learned to read, the ones that even taught me about Shakespeare, and slavery, and the Civil War, and the civil rights movement. We have lost a comics legend, and I have lost a piece of my childhood.

To see a few more of Nick Cardy’s covers, check out my Tumblr here.

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Arrow: The Undertaking

About mid-season of the “Arrow” series, the powers that be finally gave a name to the master plan that the bad guys of The List had for Starling City. They called it The Undertaking. It’s never been clear what it actually was, but we know it has sinister implications for The Glades – the ‘bad’ section of the city, and home to Roy Harper, the Verdant nightclub, and the ersatz Arrowcave. One supposes by the title of this episode, we’ll finally find out exactly what The Undertaking is.

From all indications, we might just find out what happened to Walter as well. A unique flashbacknot to the island, shows us a meeting of The List several years prior. It seems their original plan was to blackmail bad people into doing good things, but John Barrowman’s Merlyn suggests a new ‘undertaking,’ leveling The Glades and starting from scratch. No Glades, no crime. And there it is.

And OMG, the thing that’s going to level The Glades is called the Markov device. Comics readers know that half-siblings Brion and Tara Markov are Geo-Force and Terra, metahumans with earth elemental powers. Brion was a hero who joined the Outsiders and later the Justice League. Tara was a teenage psychopath who joined the Teen Titans in order to betray them to… Deathstroke, with whom she had a very unhealthy and possibly illegal relationship. Wow. I’m guessing The Glades go in an earthquake.

In the soap opera zone, Laurel goes to Verdant to cry on Oliver’s shoulder about her break-up with Tommy. Felicity’s awkward walk-in may have sent odd signals to Laurel. Sigh. To quote one of my favorite “Simpsons” lines, “When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?” In this case, fireworks factory equals superhero action.

In a slightly more high quality melodrama moment we get to watch Barrowman tell of his wife’s death in order to convince Oliver’s father to go along with The Undertaking. It really the first time “Arrow” has given the man room to act. Finally. And we get a glimpse into the making of a villain.

In the distracting secondary plot of the episode (because on “Arrow,” the overarc is always the main plot), Felicity goes undercover in a casino to find clues of Walter’s whereabouts. As I’ve said before, Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity cleans up real nice, but then again I like her in and out of nerd.

With no Diggle for back-up, The Hood has to save her, doing so like a bull in a china shop. I counted at least four arrows to the chest, one a woman, probably some of them only patrons to the casino. Once again, I find myself rooting for the police to put this murderous Bizarro version of Green Arrow away.

At first it seems that Walter was dead, and then alive. The Hood saves him, plowing through henchmen to get him, but first parachuting down onto their hideout from a plane. I couldn’t get past that. Who was flying the plane? Wouldn’t they know it was The Hood on board, and jumping out? Seems like a major loose end here.

Things are heating up and finally coming together. Oliver makes up with Diggle. And he admits to Laurel he still loves her. And, most importantly, he knows that Merlyn and his mom have been lying to him, and they are behind The Undertaking. The secrets are out, time for the real game to begin.

Other shout outs to the comics in this episode include Ted Kord for whom a fundraiser was held in flashback. Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle. And Walter was being held in Bludhaven, Dick (Nightwing) Grayson’s old stomping ground.

Yes, things are finally heating up, I can’t wait for the next episode. As long as they keep tying up loose ends, that is.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 2-22-2012

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 (Off the Rails) Evans, Allison (Non-Marvel Girl) Eckel and Glenn (Get Off My Throne) Walker 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 Live Used Game Auction, the AvsX Launch Event, the AvsX Program Guide, the Avengers and X-Men titles of the week, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, Thor and Ultimate Spider-Man, All-Star Western #6, Teen Titans #6 and Titans semi-continuity, The Ray #3 (of 4), and more non-sparkling vampires.

The discussion continues here in segment two including: Hoarders moment, Aquaman #6 by Geoff Johns, The Flash #6 by Francis Manapul, Wally West speculation, Batman The Dark Knight #6 by David Finch and Paul Jenkins, Batman vs. Bane, The Savage Hawkman #6, and the rest of DC, Star Wars comics and other goodies, indies including Chew, Danger Girl, Transformers, and Godzilla, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

Be sure to check out the dynamic 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!

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Don’t forget, The Virtual Book Tour for THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES by Fran Metzman continues today at Krista Magrowski’s blog. Don’t miss it! For a full list of Blog Tour stops, go here.

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 10-26-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Ed (purveyor of Legion Flight Rings) Evans, Allison (awesome sauce) Eckel and Glenn (get off my lawn) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Ed goes first with Legion Secret Origin #1 and Legion Flight Rings, the Indies, pin-up covers from Zenescope, IDW’s Star Trek #2, The Walking Dead #90, Star Wars and Avengelyne #4 from Mark Poulton and Rob Liefield.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Madness in the morning, Aquaman #2 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, The Flash #2 by Francis Manapul, Teen Titans #2, Gail Simone’s Firestorm #2, Savage Hawkman #2, Fear Itself and Spider-Island, fast Marvels, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

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

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 9-21-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (“I remember the 1980s”) Eckel and Glenn (“Hey you kids get off my lawn”) Walker (boss man Ed Evans returns next week!) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 including Scott Snyder’s Batman #1, the multiple Robins and their heights, iffy Teen Titans continuity, Catwoman #1, Wonder Woman #1, Birds of Prey #1, Blue Beetle #1, Supergirl #1, J.T. Krul’s Captain Atom #1, and the rest.

The discussion continues in segment two including: We forgot about Ed, Hawaiian hot dogs, the Fear Itself comics of the week including Avengers #17, Brian Michael Bendis’ talking heads and dissing 9/11, Allison’s kids comics, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #2, Tiny Titans and Young Justice, Treehouse of Horror, more Marvels, a pair of X-Factors, Ultimate X-Men in a bag, the indies, and the trades.

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

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Wizard World Philly – Sunday

Got a late start today and friend and fellow Comic Widows writer Anthony came along for the ride this time. The main thrust of the trip today was to attend the Avengers panel, so after showing the press room to Ant, trying to do some writing and helping myself to one of their kindly offered Cokes, I was off to Avengers-land.

In attendance: king of the Annihilation pimps Bill Rosemann, the gracious Molly Lazer, Jim McCann, CB Cebulski of Loners (applause) fame and of course, Bendis (who was late).

The panel began with (what else?) a slide show. We got to see House of M: Avengers again. They said that libraries and bookstores had requested more House of M because it were so popular(!). They pushed Avengers/Transformers really hard. It made me wonder if they were worried about this one, or just really proud of it. It’s got the pre-Civil War Captain America in it, now there’s a selling point.

Then we dived into Skrull territory. With the dead Electra being revealed as a Skrull in the most recent issue of New Avengers, the vibe has been – who can we trust? Who is a Skrull and who isn’t? Bendis pointed out that this has been going on for almost three years at least, referencing the “shadowy figure on page two of New Avengers #1.” Hmmm, I had always thought that was Nick Fury, but maybe it was the Skrull double of Nick Fury?? Nevertheless, Bendis said the Skrull story will come to a head early next year.

Next slide was about appearances of Tigra, Machine Man and Sleepwalker in upcoming issues of Ms. Marvel. The cover shown looked like a ‘catfight’ between Carol and Tigra. I’m glad my buddy Ray wasn’t there today. 😉

The talk returned to Skrulls. Bendis put forth the idea that this was a great opportunity to get more for your money with your comics. You could re-read all the books from the last few years, play detective and look for clues as to who is and who isn’t a Skrull. What is out of character behavior because of a change of attitude, and what is a change because of Skrulliness? The Skrulls have always attacked with rayguns and spaceships, why should they when they are shapechangers and could just infiltrate us? This is especially viable with the state of the world today with terrorism and all that. Who can you trust?

Next up for me was the Marv Wolfman panel, which wasn’t really a panel at all, but just himself with a slideshow. He talked his career from fanzines to Warren to Marvel to DC and today. He of course spotlighted Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the slides were done he went to the room for questions.

Regarding Crisis Marv said he hated continuity. Continuity ties the hands of good writers with the stories of bad writers. Interesting. This was merely the first of many astonishing statements from Mr. Wolfman. He doesn’t read any series he’s written after he’s left that book. He never saw Deathstroke as a villain. He didn’t want to kill the Barry Allen Flash, that was forced on him. He thinks we are in the ‘real Golden Age’ now because we have so many truly talented people in the industry today. What about your generation and before, Marv? Told ya, astonishing.

Wolfman discussed his creation of the current version of Lex Luthor. He grew up in the 1950s where Luthor in his prison grays would escape every other issue, and thought the super-suit was a mistake, as Luthor would never be Superman’s equal physically. He surmised Luthor’s greatest weapon was his brain, so he should use it to conceive crimes he could never be convicted of. Also, jealousy not vanity would be why Lex hates Superman. Better idea, better motivation. He also praised Michael Rosenbaum for his portrayal of Luthor on “Smallville.”

Marv talked of Dick Grayson and how he preferred Robin as the responsible leader of the Teen Titans rather than the jerky pun-spouting brat who was Batman’s partner. He said when the Bat-editors wanted Robin back he suggested they create a new one. They loved it, and came up with Jason Todd and Marv made Dick Grayson Nightwing. He didn’t care, as long as he got to keep Grayson.

He briefly discussed new projects like a new Superman series, and he just finished the script for the new animated Teen Titans movie. All in all, a pretty enjoyable if surprising panel of one. By that time, Anthony and I were hungry and beat. After a stop at Philly’s Hard Rock we were done.

I had a lot of fun and really wore myself out. I was stunned by the amount of folks who knew me, both from Comic Widows and especially Avengers Forever. I have to say that comparatively this was a smaller con than most Wizards I’ve been to. Perhaps New York and the Heroes Con in Charlotte are taking a bite out of Wizard’s reign?