Thursday, January 01, 2009

"Post No. 597"

And...Into 2009 we go---

Batman VS. Dracula (90 min.,animated) was better than I expected. I had watched just parts of this animated flick before, never setting through the whole thing and thought I'd give it a chance. On a par with other animated Batman flicks it holds up well, although I've never been a fan of the way "The Joker" is drawn with the green dreadlocks, but "The Penquin", "Vicki Vale" and others are done okay. Bruce Wayne may look a bit too high school jock-ish, but at least they eliminated that annoying pointed chin as he was depicted in earlier episodes of the regular series. Good fight scenes with Dracula. Worth the watch.

At the end of this showing, Cartoon Network ran an episode of the new Batman: the Brave & The Bold half hour series. It began with a short sequence where the current incarnation of DC's "The Blue Beetle" was helping Bats fight "The Sports Master" in a bowling alley, and progressed into a Christmas themed main episode of "The Red Tornado" aiding Batman and attempting for his androidic brain to comprehend the true meaning of Christmas. It was well made and written, but it may be a while before I get used to the 1950's style Dick Sprangish sort of way Bats is drawn in these. I'm sure I'll enjoy it more as I see future episodes.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skulls (2008, 2 hrs.+, Harrison Ford) surprized me as to how good it was. It's hard for me to decide whether I liked the first movie in this series, and this final one the best (HATED the second one), as this new movie ties in several aspects related in "Raiders of The Lost Ark", and I'm amazed at how well an actor now in his 60s pulled off the aging character. (SPOILERS AHEAD!!

This flick is set in the 1950's and begins at the warehouse which we saw at the closing of "Raiders" where the ark had been stored. Now instead of nazis, Indy has communists to contend with, and they're there to steal a top secret item from the place, of course, making Jones use his knowledge to locate it in such a vast array of crates.

You just know that "somewhere" along the way, Indy's going to see that crate with the ark in it, or some such thing, and they don't disapoint. Although he doesn't notice it personally, a section of the crate is blown away, revealing it's that same storage box (to the delight of this Indiana Jones fan).

More spoilers here if you've not seen it:
Indy is contacted by a teenage boy whose mother has sent him to find Indy to rescue her, which turns out to be the woman from the first flick and the teenager actually Indy's son. We see some scenes liken to "Raiders" with chases, much "whip action" from Jones, a few humourous sections, and lost empires on a grandeur scale as these characters along with a professor who's been lost in The Amazon go on the quest to locate other crystal skulls and discover more than they can chew off, as we as do the communists trailing them. And we have an ending similiar to both "Raiders" and "Holy Grail" where the villians get their upins for trying to use such power wrongly.

In the end, Indy gets married and his son begins to put on the famous Indiana Jones hat, which Jones quickly takes from him, giving one the idea that Jones is thinking, "There can be only ONE Indiana Jones!"

It's a grand adventure, and although I had my hesitations about this being made well here around 20 years since the last flick, I'm glad it was as I enjoyed it very much.


In the way of recent acquisitions, I won 49 of the 51 issues of DC's Countdown series, which are read backwards from #51 and followed the previous series called "52". Unlike 52, these issues all have tie-ins with various other DC titles and are summerized in another title called DC Universe #0 (after which yet a third title was done called Final Crisis which set the stage for the laterest version of the DCU).

Also won are issues of DC's The Spirit completing a full run up to issue #21, and one Marvel Comic: Spider-man Collectible Series Vol.24.

You may recall a couple of years ago, some of the newspapers around the country had this Spider-man reprint insert, weekly in their Sunday editions for a consecutive 24 weeks. I had a full run except for the last issue, and now that's completed. (The reprints were from Amazing Fantasy #15, and Amazing Spider-man Vol. 1, #'s 1 thru 11.)

The latter I won for a whole total of .01. Yep. A whole penny! The seller had started it out at that price and I was the only bidder. In fact, it almost wasn't worth the win of the comic due to it probably not being worth more than a buck, but I'd won the other issues very cheaply as well and I figure I came out better had I been able to buy all of the Sunday newspapers in which they were contained.

Surfing the web recently I came across the site of Brandon Bird and found his artwork very nice! Check it out! (There's some funny links as well such as his "Letters to Chris Walken".)

Silver-Age DC artist, Al Plastino, recently turned 87. His artwork really influenced my mind as a kid, and he did some pretty classic covers, such as Action Comics 252 (1st. app. of "Supergirl") and Adventure Comics #247 (1st. app. of "The Legion of Super-Heroes"), both of which have been swiped and homaged numberous times over the years. He, along with such as Wayne Boring and Curt Swan were the Superman artists "back in the day".

On Christmas Eve while sitting at home relaxing after a seven day stretch straight at work, mom called and said she'd had a nagging cough all day and some other problems, which prompted me to take her down to the local emergency room for a couple of hours to get checked out. Fortunately it wasn't pneumonia; just some broncial condition which the doctor gave her some antibiotics to clear up. On Christmas day my wife and I went to visit with her and fix dinner and exchanged presents. Mom gave me some much needed new clothing, and one very special gift. A small, green metal and glass lantern which belonged to my father who acquired it at age 2, which would have been in 1924. It now sets behind the safety of glass and wooden doors in the china cabinet here at home.

My wife made out like a bandit, as usual, from the gifts I gave her this time. She gave me an adjustable art desk which I'd wanted to replace the bulky old one I'd had since I was a teenager, plus other necessities of life. We watched one showing of "The Christmas Story", plus the Disney parade, then returned home to do some chores around here and get a bit of rest.

Eartha Kitt passed away this past Christmas. Not my favorite of the actresses who played "Catwoman" on the 1960's Batman t.v. show, but she did have a great quality to her. Definately a different version from the part played by either Julie Newmar or Lee Meriwether

Our t.v. finally went out so we went over to Wallyworld and picked up a new 20" RCA. Took a while to reprogram the thing but the picture looks really good and we no longer have to squint to see the channel info as I had drug in the 10" set from the pc room to just have something to watch. Having that small set next to my pc works out just fine since all I watch on it are DVDs, but in here it's only about 2 foot from the computer. In the living room it was sitting a good 12 foot from the sofa! Would have loved to had purchased a nice flat-screen but, geez! Even the smallest ones they had were $500.

Fantastic Four (Marvel) #561(01/09) The team of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch continue to entertain me on this title which I have been regularly buying and reading again now for nearly a year and a half, starting right before they took over the book when Michael Turner was doing the cover atwork. The story continues from where the "future" Defenders (composed of the last son of The Hulk, The future version of Susan Storm and others) have traveled back in time after capturing Galactus and using him (literally) as a power source for a time machine to save the billions of people on future Earth. In previous stories we found them capturing Johnny Storm as well to syphon power from him to achieve this goal, and in this conclusion (of sorts) all of this finally comes to a head, but not without casualties. No. I won't say which ones get "killed off", but it has it's usual surprize ending which leads into yet another storyline, and there's one of the future Defenders that turns out to be quite a surprize as to who he is. I still recommend this title.

Justice League of America (DC) #27 (01/09) is by McDuffie and Benes, and although I've missed a few issues here and there in this run, each seperate issue brings one into continuity of what's been going on here. Conflicts in the love life. between "Red Arrow" and "Hawkgirl", and a cross-over of the Milestone characters, "The Shadow Cabinet" into the regular DCU as they kidnap the current version of "Dr. Light" (for yet reasons unknown). There's a funny scene where someone asks "Black Lightning" if he's the father of "Static", and he replies something like, "Why do I always get that?!" Still a pretty decent comic.

Supergirl (DC) 36 (02/09) is yet another title I've missed issues of, and now in some of the Superman-related comics DC's doing this "New Krypton" storyline. In this issue, Kara's father, "Zor-El", gets killed, and her mother, "Alura", seems hellbent on war. We get a surprize visit from "SuperWOMAN" (a character I haven't seen in the DCU since the 1980's). The team of Gates, Igle and Champagne really don't impress me "that much" on this title, but they still have managed to keep me interested in it enough to continue purchasing future issues.

Superman (DC) 682(01/09) also has the "New Krypton" storyline going in it. The version I got has a really nice Alex Ross cover, but there's a variant with a cover by Rodolfa Migliari. Personally I prefer Ross's fine work (but that's all a matter of personal taste). This issue is pretty crammed full of app.'s by a lotta characters: Bizarro, Mon-El, The Prankster, The Toyman, The Silver Banshee, as some super-powered Kryptonians start eliminating threats to Superman's life. Along the way they kill some innocents and "Alura" seems to just consider they casualties of war! And we see the old bronze-age Kirby character by Jack Kirby, "Atlas", who had formerly appeared pretty much as a one shot in First Issue Special being used interestingly. Superman remains a strong title for DC.

The Spirit (DC) #'s 14 thru 21 (mostly 2008 issues) had a variety of tales by the likes of Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier, and the majority of the artwork was by Paul Smith. Tales involve everything from jeweled tiaras from a beauty contest being smuggled into the country to valuable bonds being smuggled as the wrappings of mummies, and even trained dolphins used to retrieve sunken valuables. Over-all they were pretty decent, albiet one or two stories that didn't seem as well plotted as others. There's sort'a a funny tale about a comic book artist being stabbed multiple times by his co-workers due to them saying he was destroying a classic "character" (a satire I'm sure of what's been done with Eisner's own). All-in-all, it's not Will Eisner, but I'll still read them.

Zombie Jamboree (Adapted, drawn and published by David Allen Jones/small press publication, An "Archives of Oblivion" Production, B&W, digest-size, 8 pages, original price=50 cents;1986) is a fun adaptation of the Harry Nilsson song from his 1976 l.p. "That's The Way It Is". This publication features classic Jones work from way back nearly 23 years ago, mostly full page pen and ink illustrations. For those interested in obtaining a copy you need to contact him at his blog site as fellow bloggers know him as "Johnny Bacardi". (Neat stuff!)



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home