Tag Archives: Iron Man

Summer Blockbuster Bun Toons! YAY!

The webcomic is free, but we make our money on the popcorn and soda

The webcomic is free, but we make our money on the popcorn and soda

Hollywood relies on the summer blockbuster as an integral part of their fiscal year.  Without the hundreds of millions worth of income the summer brings the studios, there would be no money left for the budgets of next year’s miserable bombs.  So if you want any more Green Lanterns or John Carters to be made, you have to see this year’s crap to give them the liquidity.

But for those who just want to watch the cream of the crop, don’t worry, I’ve reviewed EVERY summer comic book movie, before any of them have come out.  How can I do it?

I have mystic powers…

movie predictions rev

I know all…I see all…if only Hollywood came to me first, we could save everyone a lot of trouble.

Ty the Guy OUT!

When it comes to Comic Book based movies, there is only ONE possible bonus moment:

When one considers the high quality talent associated with this film, it's almost against science that this film is so, so, so bad.

If one considers the high quality talent associated with this film, it’s almost against the laws of physics that this film is so, so, so genuinely awful.

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For last week's Lois Lane at 75 Bun Toon, click the fun lettering above

For last week’s Lois Lane at 75 Bun Toon, click the fun lettering above

For the Bun Toon archive, please click the bunny with the bun

For the Bun Toon archive, please click the bunny with the bun

Let Them Eat Avengers Cake!

I’ve been a busy Canadian Beaver here for the last few weeks (it’s why I’ve been slightly blog absent, but for my award-wishing Bun Toons comics) making Spider-Man for the peoples (Avenging Spider-Man #8 and Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures #3, both out in stores SOON!), and starting up the next Award-Hoping issue of HOLMES INCORPORATED (in store in a few months, so I’ll get more pushy about that later)!!

But in the meantime, because you folks are just so suh-weet,  I pass along to you some of the sweet and magnificent creations of my sweet and magnificent daughter-in-law.

Vector from Despicable Me (a cake topper–don’t have a pic of the finished cake, sorry)

We’ve featured her confectionery sculpting a few times here on the blog, but in the spirit of the Assembling Avengers that is sweeping the culture I give you more geek-cred samples of Jessica Costley: Ass Kicking Cake Boss!

Layers of cake based goodness…ASSEMBLE!

And because one hammer is NEVER enough (that’s what she said)…

Mjolnir, Baby!!

Is this fair?  I get to write and draw Spider-Man and the Simpsons, I get to be married to the World’s Bestest Gal, and I have a daughter-in-law who makes these magnificent baked masterpieces.

I win.

Ty the Guy OUT!

 (I’ll have just a small piece, thanks.  I’m saving room for Chicken Kiev and caviar.)

Here now, your Bonus Comic Book Cake Moment:

Not one of Jessica’s cakes, but the expression is divinely insane. Who wants a nice slice of Hulk Face?

When Santas Attack! The Top 7 Homicidal Santa Comics

Christmas is a time for giving, for sharing, and for running for your lives from a St. Nick gone mad.

We start our Christmas week countdown, here at Art Land, with the Top Seven  homicidal Santas on a killing spree.  Beware, kids…SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!

#7

We start slow.  This Santa is armed and likely dangerous, and I’m worried that I can’t see his eyes…but at least he’s not opened fire…YET.  The only one he’s currently harming is himself with that cancer stick.  BAD Santa.  BAD.

-

#6

My favorite part of this is that Santa has clearly decapitated Sonic and his pals, and the only expression Sonic can manage is one of mild annoyance.  That’s rolling with the punches, no?

-

#5

NOW, we’re talking.  Santa is tired of simply LOOKING menacing, and he’s started the hand to hand combat.  If ever there was a reason to go all “EMO” for the holidays, it’s that Santa broke your goddamn jaw.

-

#4

Punching Robin with the bag of presents:  Not bad.  Shooting at Batgirl:  Excellent.  Trying to escape a snowmobile on a three man bobsled without skis:  That takes a level of insanity that works for me.  Go crazy Santa, GO!

-

#3

Wearing all those tight fitting clothes UNDER a Santa suit would be hot and itchy, so who can blame Kingpin for opening fire?  And when you consider this happened in DALLAS…?  It’s a wonder Mr. Fisk didn’t die of heat stroke before he had a chance to shoot someone.

-

#2

It’s not like the elves know how to build armor piercing bullets, so I don’t see what this homicidal Santa is trying to achieve, unless he’s attempting suicide by super-hero.  If Iron Man has dipped into the spiked egg nog (as is his wont) then this could end very badly.

-

#1

By far, the best homicidal Santa cover of all time.  Dig that crazy expression on the dude driving the motorized sleigh, fellow babies.  And he’s not just running down pedestrians…he’s running down INJURED pedestrians.  That’s a killer Santa I can respect.  Don’t give ‘em a chance, Kris Kringle.  Once they’re dead, the voices in your head will finally stop!

That’s it for today.  Join us tomorrow for the TOP SEVEN MONSTER SANTAS, it’s sure to give you kids the same nightmares that today’s list gave you.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your Christmas Comic moment of Zen:

Isn't the Phantom Strange the spirit of the Roman guard who killed Christ? I seem to remember that from Secret Origins...Nice artwork on this cover, though...

Iron Man 2. Not too bad, but that’s about it.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I indulged myself in a little Iron Man filmgoing instead of a full 12 hour workday.   Now, I’m an old and crotchety scoundrel, and rarely find a comic book movie that I can recommend to people, but Iron Man 1 was one of those rare movies.  The original was clever and exciting, with an Academy Award winning cast, wonderful human moments of character interaction next to epic moments of HUGE Marvel punch-em-outs, gleefully updating the Iron Man story with flawless ease.

War Machine: A new actor, and a GIANT plot hole, all in one tepid character this time out.

I’m afraid the sequel is not playing in the same league.  Iron Man 2 is a fun little romp, entertaining for the two hours you’re sitting there, but it is not in the same league.  This sequel is dumb where the original was smart.  It’s slow fat in the middle, where the original was fast paced.  And perhaps most unforgivably, this is a sequel about the Iron Man suit itself, and not really about the man within it.

So, it’s an adequate movie with some very cool special effects, and some fun fight scenes.  That’s what I get for my twelve bucks, and I couldn’t ask for more.    But I’d come to expect a little more from this crew.  I was hoping for another 10, and we got a respectable 7.    It’s got all the bells and whistles that exploding-robot boy movies require.  It’s just missing that hint of humanity, or sparkling character dialog that made the original an instant classic.

Not bad, but that’s about it.

Now, THIS is something to write home about. A sexy Russian super-spy with a leather catsuit designed in the 70s? I'm SO there.

Get these muther-****ing snakes out of this muther-****ing Iron Man suit.

NOTE:  Every scene with Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), was fantastic.  I’m with the rest of the world and I want my S.H.I.E.L.D.  and BLACK WIDOW movie franchise right now.  If and when you go see this, make sure you sit up and pay attention when Natasha Romanov is onscreen.  She owns every frame of film she’s on, and we totally believe she can take down fifteen people in under a minute.

(By the way…the people she knocks out, maims, hurts, strangles and kicks in the crotch are all security guards working for a legal company, trying to earn a respectable buck to feed their families.  It’s a huge mistake to put blue collar men in the hospital for this scene, as I wasn’t cheering for the Widow so much as I was horrified at the damage she was doing to hard-working, innocent American citizens.  In the context of the story, it couldn’t be helped, but it made the movie a bit mean spirited when it was supposed to be way-cool at that moment.  One of the flaws of tone that run through this film…)

And Mickey Rourke is not too bad.  He’s a two dimensional cartoon action

I got yer Wild Orchid right here, pal.

figure, unlike Bridges’ Obidiah Stane from the last installment (who was chilling, complex and interesting) –but Mickey does his best with an empty script.  I just wish EVERY villain in these movies wasn’t a copy of Iron Man, right down to the technology involved.  We get it.  Evil twins are extra evil.  But it’s been done, and done, and done, and done.

As I said…overall this is a 7 out of 10.  Perfectly acceptable, a passing grade, no one can blame them for not being genius-good every time.

But I was hoping….

Ty the Guy

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The Ten Greatest All-Nude Fight Scenes in Comics

The all-nude fight scene has been a staple of literature since Eve asked Adam to bite into the fruit of knowledge and Adam said, “Make me.”

This can't be legal. And it better not be in a museum somewhere.

And why not?  We like nudity, AND we like fighting.

Back in the really old days, when the Youtube was called “actual Roman gladiators”, naked fighting was literally the “bread” in “bread and circuses“.  The circus part involved lions, but that’s another story.  What matters is that a snarling knock-down, drag-out is better when the delicate goodies are in play, and never more so, then when super-powers are involved.

And so, to continue my scholarly series about the prurient world of comic book decadence (following the highly educational “LOIS LANE: BONDAGE QUEEN” and “Comic Book Easter Zombie Parade” posts), and bring to you…

THE TOP TEN NAKED SUPER-HERO FIGHTS IN COMICS.

But before the festival of naughty bits, three quick ground rules:

RULE #1:
No Adult Comics. No taking the piss out of WARRIOR NUN, DANGER GIRL, VAMPIRELLA, or

Russ Heath's forgotten masterpiece.

ANYTHING HOWARD CHAYKIN HAS WRITTEN as that’s low hanging fruit, and I don’t pick, grab, fondle or tug at so easy a target.    Sadly, it means no COWGIRLS AT WAR, but we’re sticking to mainstream super-heroes—and do I mean STICKING!

RULE #2:
Only one nudie shot per customer.  WOLVERINE, for example, can pop it out of his pants as often as he pops them out of his knuckles… if we don’t impose the limit, the whole list becomes about Logan’s dangly-bits.

RULE #3:
The appearance of nudity isn’t good enough.  The character must have actual genitalia.  Sorry Howard the Duck and Silver Surfer.

As sexy as this super-hot cover seems to be, I consider it cheating if there’s no possibility of balls.

And now, without further ado, or further use of the phrase “dangly-bits”…

#10
AVENGERS ILLUMINATI #1

As a millionaire playa, Tony Stark was always willing to slip out of the Armani suit for the hunnies, and as a drunken gutter dweller, he was willing to step out of the Iron Man suit and give it to his pal Rhodey.  The suit, I mean.   Clearly Tony is very willing to drop trou, and that’s why he’s so calm, cool and TEACHING SCHOOL in this nude-fight classic.  With nothing but his “little Iron Man” to help him, and a few well remembered “training sessions” with Steve Rogers, Tony Stark smoothly kicks butt while his own is dancing in the breeze.

This is why they call him "Shell-Head".

IN TONY’S FAVOR:  Skrulls are not human, so it’s like being naked in front of your cat.  The things I do naked in front of my cats would get me arrested if I was doing them in front of say, the neighbors, tied up in my shower–

#9
The Watchmen.  Issue 12

Flee, enemies of democracy! The American Superman can stay clothed for only SO LONG...

The Watchmen is the greatest super-hero comic book of all time so it has to be on all lists that include the words “greatest” and “super-hero”.  Lucky for us, the naked fight scene between Rorschach and Doc Manhattan in Issue 12 is a keeper!  And it follows memorable  naked quantum physics scenes and naked menage a doppelganger scenes that changed my dating ambitions forever.

The socio-political implications of Alan Moore’s narrative and the intricate mechanism of this novel have been discussed endlessly by greater critics than I, so I’ll just leave you with two thoughts:

1)  It’s bad enough being killed by a friend, but killed by one waving his little blue weenie at you is insulting.
2)   Rorschach said was naked without his mask on, so he’s joining Doctor Manhattan’s free spirit–dying with his nose and lips exposed.

No matter what else, this is a dick move. Oh, and I've ruined the ending of the novel for you. Which is a dick move on my part.

#8
HOVERBOY #91
Hoverboy vs. Doc Natural.

With all the tags that say "nude Super-hero" this cover is going to get a lot of web hits.

If ever there was a reason to avoid calling him “The Bucket Headed Super-Hero” this issue is it.  After being hit with “fiber melting herbs” by the hippie super-villain Doc Natural, Hoverboy is forced to fight crime in the nude.  He learns to avoid shame by reading the first part of Genesis over and over, and eventually smacking anyone in the face who looks at him “down there”.

#7
TARZAN VS. TUBLAT the GORILLA

If you’re into the twin aesthetics of decorative baroque, and boy’s pink bums, you can’t do better than Burne Hogarth’s TARZAN  graphic novel, published in 1972 by Watson-Guptill.

I can't explain this, and I won't even try.

Freed of the comics code, Tarzan is naked for the first hundred pages…and just so you’d know where Burne’s bread was buttered, we are shown nothing but Greystokes curiously un-tanned buttocks for those hundred pages– the Jungle Lord’s crown jewels were hidden in shadows, or behind vines or strategically placed gorillas the whole time.  But, oh those glistening backside orbs were in full display–page after page—bulbously leaping from tree to tree in a cascade of male glute flesh rarely seen outside a clergyman’s rectory.

There really is a lot of this, all through the book.

And when Tublat (Tarzan’s gorilla father) starts messing with Kala (Tarzan’s gorilla mother), we’re treated to the second bloodiest naked super-hero fight scene on the list.

Um...could you check out what's happening in panel one?

EXTRA NAKED POINTS:  Everyone in this scene is stripped to the gonzos, INCLUDING TARZAN’S MOM!  I dare you to fight someone while your mom is watching nude.

#6
LEGEND OF AQUAMAN SPECIAL

Bark like a sea lion, boy! I said BARK!

If you didn’t want to see an “in the buff” teen-Aquaman fighting a grown man in rubber pants, then why have you read this far?  Seriously.  Some self examination is in order.

Don't sass me, nude boy. I'll teach you who wears the rubber pants around here!

Okay, I get that Aquaman’s origin story was kinda like “Tarzan of the Fish”, and if his dolphin pals weren’t ashamed of their blow holes, why should he be?  But this scene  goes that extra special mile for its entertainment dollar.  It involves, rubber pants, choking, punching, animal noises and a young lad tied starkers and spread in a chair.  That’s at least three-fifty downtown, but the comic retailed for two dollars, quite a bang for your buck in 1989.  You always wondered why Aquaman has such a devoted following–  it’s not just because he can breathe underwater.

How did THIS scene end up in a DC comic?!?

#5
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #77

Pants? I know I brought pants...

I wasn’t kidding about how often Logan goes sans pants. They even have a special term to alert the students at the X-Mansion when Wolverine is “sunnin’ the package”: It’s called “mid-afternoon”.

But of all the nudie Wolverine fights, this is the yardstick against which all others are measured.  And if you’re measuring with a yardstick, you’re already impressing me.

The zenith of Logan’s multi-issue

Graaah! Graah! Snarrlll! Graaahhh!

birthday suit wood romp comes when he fights the equally unclothed and competitively hirsute wolves in MCP: WEAPON X #77, and bathes in their mighty blood when it’s all done.  The most badass moment in comics is suitably bare assed and  has been referenced again and again.

Snarrll....grrrrr.....grrrrr....I swear to GOD I had pants....

#4
Ultimates #9

Big deal, you gotta take a PILL to be called "Giant Man".

Millar and Hitch’s Ultimates run was a leader in the naked fight scene genre, with an average of one naked fight per 3.7 issues.  The Cap/Naked Giant Man fight from #9 is my favorite, simply because it  involves a giant guy waggling the wand six stories above your head.

One of the most important aspects of a man to man fight is the ability to look your opponent in the eye and say belittling things to him.  But when you have to crane your neck just to glimpse your opponent’s eyes behind his BUICK-SIZED REPRODUCTIVE SAUSAGE, it’s a trifle intimidating!

And Cap hands Hank the beat down that he had coming all the same.  THAT’S why you salute the man with the shield.

Hank goes DOWN! Hank goes DOWN! Into the big, phallic tube-y things!

#3
Batman #357.

WTF? This is in a published comic? At least Bruce is saying "NO".

This can’t be a co-incidence.  There’s no way that the editor was  unaware that the first two words in this naked fight scene are “swish” and “Dick..?”–  WHICH WERE THE TITLES OF MY FIRST TWO HOMO-EROTIC HAIKU!!  Someone had to be spying on me.

And the second page of this memorable sequence begins with another unfortunately worded balloon that I’m not going to type up, in case I enjoy it more than I should.  Just read it yourself…out loud if the elderly are present.

This had to be a prank. This was never published...

And it all ends with a spread eagle boy wonder, and naked Bruce looking down on him, again saying “Dick…?”.  Don’t take my word for it.  Follow Bruce’s stare….Go check, I’ll wait.

It was as though the editorial team at DC had decided to give into the fan mail they’d been getting from “that anti-Wertham” crowd, and just let them have one issue to call their own.

I think the story had something to do with mind control, and Hugo Strange, and something like that.  Did anyone read the other eighteen pages in this issue when people were wearing clothes?  My copy won’t open.

#2
ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #1

Okay. He's naked, and unashamed. Got it?

This is special in so many ways.  First off, the Ultimate Hulk was a walking naked fight scene from the word go.  That was is raison d’etre, his meaning in life, his chewy center.  He doesn’t care if he defeats the Leader, or The Abomination…he just wants to meet a special someone and settle down, and the nudity was his version of Hulk Sized Foreplay.

This ANNUAL is nothing more than a big, long, extended, full length, and blood engorged naked fight scene that ends in a punch to the cojones that was visible from space.  And the subject

Ohh. Strike one against the Mighty Nards of the Hulk. The "Nulks".

matter of the fight?  Some chick named Zarda gets hired by Captain America to make the Hulk wear pants.  She attacks his Hulklings until he agrees, and then they go to a motel and snuggle like very bad bunnies who are not married to each other, and might not even be considering a formal engagement.   No wonder comics are considered literature nowadays.

And one more 'nad cruncher, in case you're missing the subtlety of the story.

#1
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #18

This is why we all evolved to have eyes.

When the end comes, and the world is crumbling around me due to nuclear devastation or social upheaval, this is the comic I take with me to the escape shelter.  Full Respect to Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire for making this objet d’art for us to enjoy.

Okay. That's a nice drawing.

The story has something to do with Catwoman stealing something, and running into an all-nude fetish club to escape Batgirl chasing her…and Batgirl follows her in and stuff happens.  Good god, I’m heterosexual, how am I supposed to remember the plot?

You’ll notice how sparse this list has been for naked super-HEROINE fights…up until now.  Oh, sure, She-Hulk and Black Cat do sometimes get all jiggy with their bid’ness, but they don’t seem to be PUNCHING anyone when they do it.  And Danger Girl and Codename:  Knockout don’t count if that’s ALL they do.  But THIS…?   This is naked fighting, folks, not naked prancing.  You want naked prancing, visit your congressman.

Honestly, it just goes on like this for pages and pages...

There are other naked fight scenes in comics.  I seem to remember Magneto fighting for his life in the shower.  And let’s never forget Bruce Banner’s narrow escape from Jim Shooter’s Traveling Shower Rape Stereotype Duo from that Rampaging Hulk in the Eighties…Ah, those memories I can’t seem to purge.

If you’ve got a naked fight scene you’d like to see featured in this column, please drop us a line.   We’re always willing to look at naked people smacking at each other, whether they’re flying through the air or not.

That’s it for today.  A long one, but a good one.  (That’s what she said!)

I’ll see everyone back here tomorrow for some all new BUN TOONS!  A new installment of LAST ROUNDUP ON THE SINISTER SPACECRAFT OF FORBIDDEN LOVE, and MORE!

Ty the Guy


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THE SEVEN WORST RESURRECTION STORIES IN COMICS.

The New New Testament?

In the spirit of Easter Monday, the day that Christians believe that Jesus resurrected and started showing off a little of that holy spirit, I’ve turned my attention to the subject of resurrection in comic books.

We’re all thrilled that Joker was brought back to life by editor Whitney Ellsworth in his very first appearance.  And we cheered Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Luthor, Bucky, Reed Richards, Captain Marvel and Captain America when they all returned from the dead.  And Batman when he comes back, and whoever is next to go…it’s all part of the gig.  But what about the mistakes?  The horrible retcons and the undoing of GREAT farewell issues?   Because I’m a cynical bastard at heart, I tend to focus on the screw ups and the terrible tales…I love that stuff.

And so, on this, the arbitrarily chosen anniversary of one of the bigger resurrection tales in history, I list

MY SEVEN LEAST FAVORITE RESURRECTION STORIES IN COMICS

8

#7

RESURRECTION MAN

Today is a good day to die. And so is Thursday. And the weekend is good, perhaps around brunch.

Created by Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett and Jackson Guice for DC Comics in the late 90s, the character of Mitchell Shelly was a lawyer who could not die.  Shoot him in the face,  he was back in ten minutes, thanks to an experimental nanotechnology formula coursing through his veins that fixed any hole, rupture, exploded heart or crushed skeleton he bad-lucked his way into that issue.  And you know, if you left it there, you have an interesting idea.  But the concept of an un-killable lawyer wasn’t pants wetting enough for these guys, Old R-Man had a GIMMICK, too!  Every time Mitch died and came back, he got a brand new super-power, because you know, that’s logical.   Sometimes when he picked himself up off the ground, he could fly, or shoot beams from his eyes, or he suddenly understood the intricacies of feng shui, and it was different every time.  Then it got weird.

He developed this device he wore around his wrist called “The Resurrector”, which allowed him to know what powers he would get, depending on how he next died.  So it was ENCOURAGING him to commit suicide.  It was a Suicide Watch, clearly, but they hadn’t the courage to name it . Can we all say ICCCCKKKK at the same time?

The scripts were actually okay, really, and the art by Butch Guice was excellent…but how could a series based around so wholesome and friendly a concept as continuous suicide ever get canceled?

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#6

Norman Osborn

I'll bet this comic had "meaning" and "drama" when you first read it, suckers!

Oh, THIS old tale.  An industrialist ingests an experimental formula, gains super-intelligence-and-mad-strength, dons a Halloween goblin costume, fights Spider-Man, kills the love of that hero’s life, and ends up impaled on his own rocket glider.  Gone, dead, gone—a beautifully told tale that runs from Spider-Man’s first year, until issues #121-122.  And at least this time, the experimental formula is going inside an INDUSTRIALIST.  No more undead lawyers.

You couldn’t bring a character like the Goblin back after so dramatically correct an ending as he saw in #122.   But a fleeting twenty years later, towards the end of the universally despised CLONE NONSENSE, we discover that Osborn was alive and well, and had been behind damn near every piece of evil shit that happened to Spider-Man in the years in-between, including the Clone Stuff, Spider-Man’s tax audit, Gwen Stacy’s lost virginity and the death of Aunt May.

The explanation?  See, the Goblin had long ago healed himself of that nasty bout of “impaled chest cavity” disease more or less just because he was all “super-heal-y” and stuff, we just didn’t know… and he had more or less just gotten up off the slab at the morgue, replaced himself with a recently chest-impaled homeless guy,  and wandered off to Europe to secretly pull the strings of damn near every piece of evil shit that happened to Spider-Man in the years in-between.

A world famous Super-Villain and equally world famous billionaire industrialist, went wandering undead around Europe for twenty years and did not get noticed.  Lucky guy was only world famous in the United States I guess.

Though there have been a few good Norman stories of late, the Osborn resurrection made us all victims of the Gwen-Stacy-gave-Norman-her-virginity-and-had-kids-with-him-that-grew-up-to-try-to-kill-Peter story line that made a generation of Spider-Man fans physically ill a few years back.  And that I cannot forgive.

—————————————————————————————

#5

Iron Man – The Crossing  – Timeslide

This comic is a good argument for going blind.

Not a resurrection in the technical sense, so it’s lower on the list than it should be.  For its sheer nonsense factor, it should be around #2, but here’s the 411:  Around Avengers #395, it started to come out that Tony Stark had been a long time agent of Kang, the Avengers time traveling enemy.  And now Iron Man was working against the Avengers and the only way to stop him was to travel back in time and pick up a teenage Tony Stark from BEFORE he was a Kang agent, and strap the teenage Stark into some IRON MAN armor and let the teenage one kill the middle aged, drunken Kang Bad Guy Iron Man so he could be replaced by a new, commercially friendly TEEN IRON MAN.

Lordy lordy, it was awful.  A special kind of awful.  And thankfully, it all wrapped itself up in less than a year, as the entire Avengers franchise was handed over to Rob Liefeld to clean it up, and it was swept under the rug like the skin of a dead animal.  Imagine a time when Rob Liefeld was an improvement on what you were getting previously, and pray you never read these comics.  Pray hard.

———————————————————————————–

#4:

Alfred Pennyworth

I'm betting the terrible skin rash is influencing his decision to turn evil.

The granddaddy of the preposterously stupid resurrection stories of the Batman Universe.  Show of hands, how many of you knew Batman’s famous butler had died?  We ancient fans, in our mid-forties, recall a time (Detective #328) when Alfred pushed the Caped Crusaders to safety one evening, whilst they were menaced by a giant boulder, and he was squished flat by this boulder and left for dead by Batman and Robin who wandered off to put a little Aunt Harriet in their lives.  (An editorial decision had hoped that folks might stop thinking Bruce and Dick were gay if they had a spinster aunt living with them.   Well, obviously, the gays never go near the spinster aunts!) Sadly, with crime to fight, there was no time to go back and get Alfred’s body for burial, or even to think much about it after a while, and Batman and Robin

Dressing up in swim trunks while Batman pounds you on the chest=NOT GAY.

left Pennyworth’s rotting corpse to the hands of a mad scientist named BRANDON CRAWFORD, who we find out (in Detective #356) sort of fiddled around with Alfred’s dead body, hoping to resurrect him.   He had mixed results, bringing Alfred back to life all right, but accidentally turning him into a boil covered telekinetic super-villain named the Outsider.   After turning the Batmobile and Batcave against our Dynamic Duo, the OUTSIDER  effects kind of “wore off” and that was that.  Smiles all around.

And then they kicked Aunt Harriet out of their lives, and resumed what they were doing before all this nonsense began.  Alfred NEVER talks about it.  Neither do we.

—————————————————————————————-

#3

Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom cannot come to the battle right now, but if you leave your name and power level, he'll get back to you.

I have had enough of bringing Doctor Doom back from the dead.  The first eighty-six times they did it, it was all kinds of fun-cookery, but after a while, who didn’t notice the pattern?  As soon as someone kicks Doctor Doom’s ass, and he falls off a cliff, into the nether-lava, we all know IT’S NOT DOCTOR DOOM.  It’s a clone, or a robot, or his brother in-law, or his chiropractor.  In fact, any time you start to think you have the drop on Doctor Doom, you might as well pack up and go home, because it won’t be him.  Face it.  Doom is a pussy.  A complete pussy.  He wouldn’t go into battle with a real enemy if there was any danger on the line, and he’s shown it over and over again.  He hides at HOME.  Punk ass pussy.  You know that green costume he wears?  It was originally BLUE, but the gallons of coward urine this knee-knocking candy boy has been spraying from his terrified urethra has stained it green over the years.

That’s right, Doom.  You heard me.  You’re a coward, and I’m calling you on it.  What are you going to do?  Send your best friend from summer-camp after me in a Doom Suit?  Call me when you grow a pair.  Ty’s new rule.  You CAN’T KILL DOCTOR DOOM anymore.  We no longer care.

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#2

Jason Todd.   Robin II

Hey everybody! There's no reason not to like me!

If we depend on my obviously fuzzy memory,  Jason was either an orphaned circus boy (like Dick Grayson), or an jerk street kid who stole the wheels off of the Batmobile on a whim and became Robin the Second.  I seem to recall that Jason was fairly popular when first introduced, and equally unpopular once he’d morphed into the “total douche” version of Robin after the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (or “Ass-Hat-Robin”, as he was known at the time).  But rather than just “improving the writing”, (a tactic abandoned in a number of comics throughout the nineties), DC had a phone line poll to see if the brat lived or died.  After a judicial application of tire-iron to the boy’s skull, at the hands of the Joker, the phone calls were counted.  The kid lost, and Crap-Robin was mercifully Dead.  Gone.  Dead.  Batman got mopey.  Tim Drake eventually showed up as the new Robin.  We got on with our lives…

Enter Superboy-Prime and the glorious, magical, transcendent RETCON PUNCH.

I’ll try to explain this to the unfamiliar, and you’ll believe me insane when I do, but here goes: There’s a version of Superboy from a parallel world, and that world got destroyed before THAT Superboy had much of a chance at a career of super-ing  Instead of saving banks from teenage Lex Luthor, Superboy-Prime got to see his universe wiped out, and as a reward, he got to live on a farm in the parallel nether-world of Paradise Wonder Cove Land, with an older version of himself that was married to old Lois Lane.  And there was a teenage version of Luthor there, too…with a terrible perm and metal pants.  So Superboy-Prime did what any teenager with the powers of a god would do (when the only nearby female was married to an older version of yourself)…he punched the walls of his pocket  universe in frustration.  And each punch changed someone’s history back here on Earth (including dead Jason Todd’s), because, like, the Super-ripples of continuity super-frustration and confusion, went forth from the parallel world and just…”did stuff” to the universe, man. POW!  The Doom Patrol is sort of not dead.  POW, Brother Power the Geek has a muskrat farm in Ohio.  BANG.  What ever the royal f**k your head could blort out, could be explained away by one of these retcon punch things….

NOTE TO EDITORS:  You CANNOT allow writers to use just ANY substance to help them be inspired. NO ingesting cactus and anything with little pictures of Care Bears printed on them.

Anyway, a Superboy-Prime punch caused the highly tire-ironed and very much ripped-apart-in-an-explosion Jason Todd to just “wake up” in his coffin and claw his way to the surface.  And the digging out section of his week didn’t require any air, but it did require temporary superhuman strength, to push the six feet of dirt and coffin lid off him, but then that went away.

And now Jason’s back.  Sometimes he’s Nightwing.  Sometimes he’s the Red Hood.  Once he pretended to be Clayface pretending to be Jason Todd.  It’s all good.

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#1:

Aunt May dies beautifully in Amazing Spider-Man #400.

Comes back with a bomb in her head, about four years later.

If you don't cry reading this comic, you're a psychopath.

At the time they killed off Peter Parker’s perennial pill popping Aunt May, I thought it was a poor choice, as the character was too important to the basic Spidey dynamic to lose (especially after so many other core characters had died… Uncle Ben… high school sweetheart Gwen… best friend Harry, favorite high school teacher Professor Warren, and best villain, the Goblin, amongst others).  But it was impossible to argue the story wasn’t touching and memorable.  May gets a sense that it’s “her time” and she and Peter go to the Empire State Building, where she confesses to Peter that she’s known he was Spider-Man all along, and she tells him that she’s secretly proud of him and Ben would be, too.  They discuss tiny details of their time together, and wrap up a lifetime of love.  Then she goes home, lies down, cradles Peter’s face, gets a sudden worrying fever, and dies, while Mary Jane waits in the hall outside with her Aunt Anna.

Go read the story and try not to cry.  I’m sobbing like a bear caught in a leg trap just typing this.

But a few years later, Howard Mackie returned Aunt May to the world or Spider-Man using a little known writing trick called “not giving a crap if you suspend disbelief or not.”

Here’s the rub:  The Aunt May who died at home, surrounded by family, friends and detailed memories of their lives together, was, in fact, an actress, hired by Norman Osborn, and given DNA altering compounds and plastic surgery to more closely resemble Aunt May…all because Normie wanted to make Peter experience the death of a loved one, essentially as a really mean prank.   This was part of his being behind everything awful that happened to Peter scheme mentioned earlier.  Why KILLING the actual Aunt May wouldn’t have been a far meaner prank is beyond any mortal mind to comprehend.  Instead, the Goblin kidnaps the REAL Aunt May and replaces her with the actress…then, after carefully not killing Aunt May at all, he surgically implants her with a bizarre weapon/device/bomb in her skull that makes nearby people melt into piles of DNA goo if Norman presses a button.  THEN, he puts May Parker into suspended animation, to pull out as a goo-melting dead-Aunt trump card, should he need one in the middle of a battle.  Which he does in Spider-Man #75.

I swear to god Marvel published it.  I didn’t just dream it.  It may be the single worst retcon of all time.  And I’m including the much maligned BRAND NEW DAY, which resurrected Harry Osborn with the delightfully succinct “I’ve been in Europe”, where the undead are clearly commonplace.

What happened at the editorial meeting where someone said “Let’s bring back Aunt May, wire her head with a flesh-gooing weapon, claim the one in the gravesite next to Ben was a genetically altered actress, and the fans will just ADORE it!”?!?  How could a loving and forgiving god have allowed this comic to be published?

HOW?!?

Please...let my soul rest with peace and dignity...please...

Peter...why won't they let me die in peace...Peter...?

I’m sure I missed some.  Hammerhead escaping a nuclear explosion by turning into a ghost.  Red Skull becoming a disembodied spirit of  hate…and ALL those Life Model Decoys taking one for the team.  If there’s an especially awful resurrection I left out, let me know in the comments section.

Til then, happy Resurrection Day!

Ty the Guy

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More Rough Stuff and Getting Mad

In yet another of my embarrassing and self indulgent flights of internet exhibitionism, I present more of those (Yechh) Ty Templeton covers from last year’s San Diego Convention Mad Giveaway along with some rough stuff you kids seem to enjoy.  As I mentioned last time, these phony covers are from a script by the one, the only (Yay) Evan Dorkin!  (Last time I posted a few covers from this Mad stuff, Evan wrote me a nice letter, and I was so happy to hear from him that I skipped around the back yard like a one legged virgin, invited to her prom.  So “Hi again, Evan” if you’re ego-googling your lonely nights away once more…we should work together more often.)

Back to clearing out the digital basement of more of these little funbags (I’m using the word correctly, right?) and  I hope that by seeing how much work is involved in drawing these furshlugginer things, I’ve scared a few of the younger cartoonists away from this life of tears…and they’ve found more fulfilling work in the fields of  food service or appliance repair.

The four drawings you see here represent 1) the original thumbnail the left  2) The “final sketch” below.  3) The penciled and half inked version of the image below that and 4) the final version in colour for the magazine up top.

Thumbnails are about three inches high (the image here is actually a bit large) and just created to first put the ideas in a fluid, two dimensional space. They’re not really a form of drawing, it’s more a process of thinking about images and where they go.   After the thumbs are approved by the Editor they get blown up to about eight inches high, and I add the right proportions, shadows, etc.  This is more of a drawing now, but it’s by no means the final.  I’m still trying to get the “story” of the image onto the page, while adding the illustrative aspects.

In the case of a normal cover, I’d blow this sketch up to fifteen inches high, as that’s standard for cover original art in our biz, but since these covers were appearing four to a page in their printed form in Mad Magazine, it wasn’t worth being that large. So I did them at 12 inches high.

Below is a couple more of the covers from the project.  Just the thumbs and finals here, you don’t need a lecture every damn time I open my mouth.

Oh, and a small promise:  The next time we gather digitally to see more of my Mad Stuff, I’ll post the very first job I ever did for Mad back in the nineties.  The story behind THAT assignment makes me look like a complete jackass, so I’ll need to get roaring drunk to tell it right.  The problem is, when I get really drunk, I don’t post on the internet, I go into the woods near my home and “shoot coyotes”.

And yes, “shooting coyotes” is a euphemism for something, but I refuse to tell you what.  All you need to know is that it requires whiskey and towels.

So much of life involves towels.

Ty the Guy. Jan 25, 2010.  Not out of the woods, yet.

NOTE:  The characters in the Iron Man sketch that get removed are “Harold and Kumar” and the lovely and vivacious ladies of “Two Girls/One Cup”.  They get replaced by the “Chocolate Rain” guy.  Not my call, so I can’t tell you why.  ALSO:  Click on any image, and they open in a larger window!  Neat-o, eh?