Turn some pages.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Turn some pages.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Karen: One thing I like about Hawkeye is that, at least for his archer costumes, he kept the same blue and purple color scheme! And of those costumes, there's only one that's really flat-out horrific - you know the one I am talking about!
Doug: Do I ever! Let's do a little history lesson on our pal. Clint started off with a Don Heck-designed (Tales of Suspense #57, September 1964) get-up that's really been Hawkeye's enduring look. I, too, have always viewed it as purple and navy blue; however, in the Fantastic Four/John Byrne article in the current Back Issue! (#38), Byrne states that when he changed the FF's uniforms and increased the amount of white, the suits were black and white, not blue and white. Byrne's contention was that blue was a lighting effect, and his example was a good one -- Superman's hair is often colored with a lot of blue, but does anyone really think that he has blue hair? So I guess I am going to assume that Hawkeye's main garb is black with purple accents. What about you? How do you view it?
Karen: Eh, Byrne might be right about some outfits but I think ol' Clint is wearing purple and blue! What's interesting to me is all the minor variations we've seen in his costume. I think he had a slightly more detailed costume than most 60s characters. So little things would get tweaked, like the 'H' on his forehead, or his arm bands. Sometimes his hands were bare, sometimes gloved. Later on, I believe it was George Perez who added little pouches to his strap of his quiver.
Karen: Oh boy, I just had a terrible thought - Hawkeye on the same team as Phantom Lady! The poor girl would never get a moment's peace! As for the Goliath outfit, I wonder if John Buscema designed it? To me it has more of a Buscema feel to it. Of course, it also has the weird harness thing going on, which I guess harkens back to circus strongmen. Hercules had something similar. I thought the red and blue color scheme worked best.
Karen: You know, I like Barry Smith's work. Really I do. But I've often said that I thought he was better suited to non-super-hero titles. I think this design is proof of that. Who is Clint supposed to be? I guess Smith took his namesake seriously, because he could have stepped out of Last of the Mohicans - although I think even that Hawkeye would have worn leggings!
Doug: So, what's your verdict, Karen? I will state that the ol' standby Hawkeye outfit is a winner that's stood the test of time, and according to press ahead of the coming new Avengers title, Clint's back in that suit (readers will note that neither Karen or I chose to discuss (and I hate even this acknowledgement!) the Ronin fiasco). As for his stint as Goliath, like you, I also prefer the red and blue schematic, but not the costume in general. And everyone should guess where we both stand on his third get-up -- and that's what it was -- a get-up!
Karen: Hawkeye's standard garb is a classic, and despite a few mis-steps here and there, I consider him "dressed for success"!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Karen: My comrade in comics, Doug, has inspired me with his selection of the split-book, Amazing Adventures. Since I've been reading Astonishing Tales featuring Deathlok, I decided to go waaay back to issue 3 of that title, back when it was a split book as well, shared by the incongruous pairing of Dr. Doom and Ka-Zar! I've had this book plus a number of other early Astonishing Tales issues sitting in my comic boxes, unread. So I pulled out the earliest one I had and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the art of Barry Smith. While best known for Conan, Smith left his mark in a number of other titles, such as Avengers and Dr. Strange. But I've always felt that his style worked best with the non-super-heroes. There is a sort of otherworldliness to it - at least, in my eyes. Here, he turns in a terrific Ka-Zar, who resembles Conan in many ways - the blond hair being the primary difference!
The story in this issue, "Back to the Savage Land," was written by Gerry Conway, another guy who popped up all over the Marvel universe. According to Wikipedia, this was Conway's first writing job for Marvel. If that's the case, then it's no wonder he was soon scripting almost every title Marvel had. It's a really solid adventure that continues with the next issue. But probably the most interesting thing about it is that it is the precursor to a much-better known X-Men story. Chris Claremont, John Byrne, and Terry Austin basically did a sequel to this issue in issues 114-116 of that title, when the X-Men found themselves stuck in Ka-Zar's home base.
In this story, the blood-thirsty priestess Zaladane of the Sun People uses the worship of their god, Garokk, to influence her tribe to attack and conquer the other people of the Savage Land, breaking years of peaceful co-existence. In the meantime, Ka-Zar, who has been living in New York, is contacted by the Petrified Man, the human avatar of Garokk. The Petrified Man was originally a sailor in the 16th century who wound up in the Savage Land. By drinking mystical water consecrated to Garokk he has become immortal; but he has also been turned into stone (but can still move, obviously). He senses things are not right in the Savage Land, so he and Ka-Zar return to their jungle home. They soon discover what Zaladane is up to and try to stop her.
I really enjoyed the artwork in this issue. I think Barry Smith is one of the most immediately-recognizable of artists - I knew as soon as I looked at the first page that this was his work. He does an excellent job here in depicting the hidden world of the Savage Land, and his pacing moves the story along at just the right speed. His figures are dynamic. All in all, just a real joy to look at. It's always great fun for me to read an old book like this for the very first time - but when it is a truly good story, so much the better.
I won't review the Dr. Doom story here, but I must say something about the Wally Wood artwork. It is truly beautiful. It has a heavy, dark feeling that perfectly suits Dr. Doom. In some ways, it feels 'old' to me. But in a good way. It's extremely dramatic, and well....just take a look. Wow.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
And yes, that's Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, and I am a long-suffering Cubs fan...
Friday, February 12, 2010
If you happen to notice the hit counter to your left, and you are the 10,000th reader of the Bronze Age Babies blog, then consider yourself exalted! And, leave us a comment and identify yourself so the world might bask in your glory!!
Thanks to all for giving us a try -- we hope to keep you interested as we head toward 20K!
Doug and Karen
Karen:Welcome back to the on-going saga of Deathlok the Demolisher! This time around I'll look at Astonishing Tales #30 - and no, I didn't skip an issue; issue 29 featured a Guardians of the Galaxy reprint.
Karen: For this issue, Doug Moench is back as scripter on pages 6-32, with Rich Buckler credited for pages 1-5. The art team is a real smorgasbord, with Buckler, Keith Pollard, and Arvell Jones as pencillers, and Al McWilliams inking. Not to insult anyone, but I have to say right upfront, I thought this issue had was the weakest, art-wise. And I don't think any of these artists are bad individually, but the mix really leaves something to be desired.
Karen: Our story picks up with Deathlok and the mysterious revolutionary who was following him being threatened by Ryker's cyber-tank. From there it's one long chase, with Ryker's unstoppable tank and a group of laser -armed thugs following the cyborg as he makes his way through the deserted and dilapidated city.
Karen: Ryker continues to rant and rave and generally appear like a complete loon. He has plans to turn himself into "The Savior-Machine", whatever that might be. So far, Ryker has seemed so over-the-top that I really can't take him seriously.
Karen: Deathlok overcomes the thugs and somehow destroys the tank by creating a huge crossbow out of junkyard materials - no, I am not making this up! This issue had a very rushed feel to it. It also felt too similar to the previous issue, with the majority of time spent with Deathlok on the run. Perhaps if the art had been better it would have been a more enjoyable issue. These early issues have been more promise than pay-off, but that's all about to change starting with the next issue!