Thursday, January 8, 2015

Readers' Choice: Face-Off - PI Shows, Pop Sirens, Space Cowboys, and Superhero Togs!


Karen: Hello all of you in BAB-land! Today's post is a Face-Off: this means, you get to choose two related things and then debate about which one was better. For example, in the past we've compared Marvel Team-Up vs. Marvel Two-In-One, and asked you about The Who vs. Led Zeppelin. Any subject -comics, movies, music -as long as it appeals to our Bronze Age sensibilities, is welcome.




37 comments:

Humanbelly said...

Hmm. Possibly too obscure for our overseas contingent. . . and maybe a little too far back for the younger amongst us. . . but I'll toss it out just in case something more dynamic doesn't appear:

NBC Sunday Mystery Movie:

McCLOUD vs. COLUMBO vs. McMILLAN & WIFE

(The only reason these spring to mind is because one of our antennaTV "retro" stations often has them in pretty heavy rotation.)

Believe me, no offense if this is bypassed, eh?

HB

Colin Jones said...

Madonna vs. Whitney Houston. HB, those are not at all obscure for an overseas contingent, all three were shown on British TV. The only McMillan & Wife episode I remember is one where their house is being fumigated and Mrs, McMillan gets knocked unconscious and trapped in the house and McMillan has to save her before she gets gassed to death.

Colin Jones said...

Oops, I just realised Madonna vs. Whitney might be a bit late for the Bronze Age period.

Humanbelly said...

Ah, that's a relief-- thanks Colin-!

Whitney over Madonna-- approximately 10 times out of 10 tries. While not a devotee of either, Madonna seemed to be the harbinger of a truly dreadful pop-vocal style (high tone, nasally centered behind the facial mask, articulated w/ a whine/moan, and COMPLETELY lacking in full breath support from the diaphragm) that became painfully dominant in the 25 or so years since "Like A Virgin". That slough of subsequent boy-bands since then all co-opted it. . . to our eternal dismay. Nah, the late Ms Houston had a helluva great vocal instrument, and she used it brilliantly.

HB

Colin Jones said...

My only complaint about Whitney is that she was almost shouting during some of her songs. In about 1987 I read an interview with Whitney when she said "if my children grow up to be like Madonna I'll shoot them" so it's ironic that Madonna turned out to be the boring, sensible one (writing children's books and adopting African babies etc) while goody-two-shoes Whitney became a hopeless crack addict who was dead at 47.

Anonymous said...

Colin - not a big follower of either but I'd have to go with Whitney. When I think of her at her best I think of "I Will Always Love You". Madonna never did anything like that.

HB - I vote Columbo and would have to credit (blame) my mom for that. She would watch Columbo religiously. Not so much McCloud or McMillian.

In fact, I watched an episode of Columbo this past Sunday night on one of those antenna TV stations. I found myself thinking that this type of show is waaaay toooo sloooow for the current generation. But I always liked the aspect of the show that they showed you who the killer was at the beginning and then you got to watch Columbo figure it out. Basically, if you didn't like Peter Falk's quirky character, you wouldn't like the show.

Tom

david_b said...

I liked Whitney's first album or two, but her "I Will Always Love You" rendition..?

It was okay, but I strongly prefer Dolly Parton's original treatment. Far superior to Whitney's, less glossy and superficial, more heartfelt.

As for McCLOUD vs. COLUMBO vs. McMILLAN & WIFE..? Eh, I'll watch 'em for any cool guest stars, thats about it. Columbo did have Robert Conrad on one episode, that was fun to watch.

J.A. Morris said...

I'll go with Columbo in the Mystery Movie face-off. Sure, every episode was the definition of formulaic, but Falk was so damn entertaining.

The Prowler said...

I think from a very early age, Madonna realized she wanted to be famous. I don't know if she ever realized that there's not much that she can do that is any better than what most people do. Average dancer, singer, thespian, musician. But so way above average in her desire to be FAMOUS!!! I think that's why she's constantly re-inventing herself. If she had to stay with one thing, one image, one style, too long, people would see the shallowness of her. Two things before I "Whitney", I think its funny that she gets mad when younger performers "copy" her when she was ripping off Marilyn for so many years and that she still lists "drummer" as one of her instruments. Its much like when I still list my weight as 167.

Whitney grew up in an environment that not only nurtured her talent but fed her ego. She was that once in a generation voice (not counting Mariah) that sets a standard that few can match.

Is it ironic that we talk about Whitney on this, Elvis' birthday? Do most deaths happen in the kitchen or the bathroom?

I can't pick just one. I think I might be able to eliminate McCloud but that vote would be close. Columbo perhaps in setting the template for "quirky" investigators. Psych, Perception, didn't Goldblum have a show for a while? Rainn Wilson's new show. How many husband and wife crime solving teams have there been?

( I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain...).

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

" Humanbelly said...
Hmm. Possibly too obscure for our overseas contingent. . . and maybe a little too far back for the younger amongst us. . . but I'll toss it out just in case something more dynamic doesn't appear:

NBC Sunday Mystery Movie:

McCLOUD vs. COLUMBO vs. McMILLAN & WIFE"


I am mid-way through the final season of McMillan (sans Wife) and I find that I enjoy it more than when Susan Saint James was there.

However, of all those Mystery Movie titles, I'll take Columbo over any of them (with Quincy a close second, though he only sort of counts).

My Bronze Age Face Off: Whitman Comics' (or was it Gold Key?) Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon? Both had TV or movie properties going on circa 1980.

J.A. Morris said...

My face-off:

Wolverine's yellow and blue costume?
Or Wolverine's brown and tan costume? I choose the brown and tan uniform.

Garett said...

First I'll go with Columbo as I haven't seen the other 2! I watched the first first season of Columbo a couple years ago on dvd--very entertaining, Falk is great.

I wasn't really a fan of either Whitney or Madonna. Whitney had a super talent with her voice. But as David said, on a song like I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton outshines Whitney with her straightforward authenticity over Whitney's vocal gymnastics. Madonna has one song I like, Ray of Light-- the rest seems mediocre.

Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. I haven't read the Gold Key comics, but of the original cartoon strips the winner has to be Flash Gordon for the super art by Alex Raymond. In 1980 I liked both the Flash movie and Buck tv show--I'll go with the Flash Gordon movie as the better of the two, as it's over the top but very entertaining, and gets me pumped up with the music by Queen.

Karen said...

J.A.: No love for Wolvie's borrowed 'Fang' costume? ;)

dbutler16 said...

I'd have to go with Colombo. I loved Peter Falk in that role, though franky I've only seen maybe one or two episodes on McCloud and I've never seen McMillan and Wife, so Colombo almost wins be default.

I'll easily take Madonna over Whitney. They both have some stuff I like, but for Whitney, I mostly only like her early stuff. Madonna has changed her sound many times, and managed to stay fresh and relevant for decades. There's stuff I like of hers from the 80's, 90's, and 00's, which isn't easy to do in the music industry.

Again, I almost have to take Buck Rogers by default. I loved the 70's TV show, mostly because of Erin Moran, but I also remember having the Twiki action figure. I only know Flash Gordon from a small number of those old Saturday morning serials I watched in high school. I also used to have a collection of Buck Rogers comic strips, but alas, nothing in the way of Flash Gordon. :-(

Doug said...

Well what varied content we have today on the BAB! Truly, something for everyone!

I'll have to side with Colombo, simply because I loved Peter Falk in the role and can't muster enough memories of McMillin and Wife to comment.

Madonna. She was the "slutty girlfriend" every college boy wanted. No?

Can't really raise an opinion on the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers debate, either. Going on the 1940s serials alone, I'll take Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon.

As to Wolverine's outfit, as far as comics go I am partial to the original color scheme (I'm a traditionalist). However, I know that the brown hues play better in real life, on screen, etc. Oh wait, he wears black leather, right...?

Doug

Anonymous said...

d - I think you mean Erin Gray. Erin Moran was Joanie on Happy Days. :-)

Did we accidentally come up with another one? Moran vs. Gray? I hear Joanie's not doing so well these days.

Tom

Anonymous said...

What, no love for Banacek? Wasn't he one of those Mystery Movie guys? I loved Banacek! But of the three you mentioned, I gotta go with McCloud; Dennis Weaver was perfect in that role.

For Wolvie, brown costume; for Madonna/Whitney, I can't stand either one; Buck vs. Flash...hmmm, neither was exactly what you'd call brilliant, but both were OK for what they were. Ornella Muti made a very compelling villain in Flash Gordon, but so did Pamela Hensley in Buck Rogers...but Erin Gray tips it in favour of Buck for me; she was great as Col. Deering.

As McCloud would say, "There you go!"

Mike W.

Edo Bosnar said...

Ah, nice to be back home (and no longer forced to use my dad's Ipad - not a fan of those things...)

Anyway, Columbo wins for me, hands down.
Not really a fan of either Madonna or Whitney Houston, but I guess I'd go with Madonna because - although I pretty much hated her back in the '80s - I've grown to grudgingly respect her more recently.
Wolverine: I think I like his original yellow suit better.
Flash v. Buck: Buck Rogers, based almost exclusively on Erin Grey (and Pamela Hensley).

david_b said...

Garett, we are a rare breed indeed.

Whenever I profess to choose Dolly over Whitney for that song rendition, I get THE WORST looks ever.

It was indeed a shining moment for Whitney, one of her career highlights, obviously. I just prefer Dolly's more heartfelt and original version. Period.

Anonymous said...

Marvel v DC anyone? Seems the most obvious face off...

-sean

Dr. Oyola said...

Columbo over EVERYTHING! Including both Madonna and Wolverine!

I will say that Whitney's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is just about a perfect pop song and I have warm memories of dancing to it with my wife at my wedding.

J.A. Morris said...

Marvel vs. DC?
In the Bronze Age, it's Marvel, not even close.

Colin Jones said...

Drat !! - I was planning to suggest Buck Rogers as a future "Discuss" topic as I'm currently watching the 1936 serial on YouTube. Primitive special effects and terrible acting but they're fantastic. Marvel vs. DC ? Without a doubt Marvel - Stan Lee made a big effort to appeal to the UK market, DC never bothered.

Colin Jones said...

I mean FLASH GORDON !!!!

Humanbelly said...

Am I remembering that Buster Crabbe was either Flash or Buck in one of those early serials? Or was he just in, like, everything else?

HB

Humanbelly said...

Hey, wow--

I just checked IMDB, and he played BOTH spacefarers during his peak years! Man, how cool would that be?

(I've seen one Christmas episode of his "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion" series from the mid-fifties. Hoo-boy-- not A-1 television, that. Also cast his young son as his. . . young son. Tough watching. . . )

HB

Martinex1 said...

Brown and tan wolvie, Madonna and dolly over Whitney, Buck Rogers, Marvel, although McMillan was a close second Columbo wins it.

Uh, just one more thing ..

Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish or Tales of Suspense?

Humanbelly said...

Pfft-- once the Hulk arrives in issue #59, it's Tales to Astonish for this Greenskin-o-phile all the way! And when the Sub-Mariner feature began a few months later, the book was often an unrecognized powerhouse as far as the artwork was concerned. Although no one seemed to settle in for long on either title, we were treated to a surprising chain of Hall of Famers. Gene Colan's (as "Adam Austin") work on Subby was particularly ahead of its time-- just beautiful. The same with some of Marie Severin's work on the Hulk feature later on (particularly the High Evolutionary arc)--- it almost seemed out of place during that point in the Silver Age.

Oh hey-- the confusion with Banacek & Quincy & a few others? They were all products of NBC's sister umbrella program: The NBC Wednesday (then Tuesday) Mystery Movie. It just never got the same viewership, though. If we were going to lump ALL of those series together, then my favorite would actually be Richard Boone's HEC RAMSEY. A surprisingly cool, rough, gritty "procedural" masquerading wonderfully as a grimy, dusty, traditional Western series. That's the one that I would sneak downstairs to watch when us kids were supposed to have gone to bed. . .

HB

Martinex1 said...

I have to say I never saw HEC Ramsey. I will have to look it up. I was a Quincy fan though. I remember as a youngster my science teacher asking about an illness that they had no cure for yet; she was looking for the answer of the "common cold" but I answered Legionnaire's Disease because it was in a Quincy episode.

Regarding Tales to Astonish I agree that the book is a bit underrated. The art is really nice as HB said. I think that carried into Subby's title as well. The covers for the Sub-Mariner series always drew me in. Really top notch covers.

Anonymous said...

Madonna is one heck of a smart cookie, but Whitney trumps her in the vocal department. That voice! The music world lost a great one when she died.

Marvel over DC. Brown & tan Wolvie costume over the yellow and black. I'm wondering - wasn't the borrowed Fang costume the inspiration for the brown & tan costume Wolvie wore later on?

I'm sorry people, but Sherlock Holmes trumps everyone here! The Jeremy Brett version, that is (sorry Benedict Cumberbatch!).


- Mike 'super sleuth' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Y'know Mike, I think a Sherlock Holmes discussion would be an extremely satisfying topic all its own. (Take note, Doug & Karen!) I think the fact that there are currently three on-going mainstream incarnations/adaptations bouncing around of this quintessentially "chestnut" character is about the coolest thing ever (The RDJr films; SHERLOCK; and ELEMENTARY)-- even though they all take wild liberties with the character and his premise(s).

But yeah-yeah---- let's save that for a future face-off or Who's The Best? or something, eh?

HB

Karen said...

You know HB, I thought I had already run a post on Sherlock Holmes, but I just went through our tags and I can't find anything that indicates we've had one previously. So I'll set one up to run after the break -how's that?

Garett said...

Thanks for the tip on Hec Ramsey, HB. I'm a big fan of Richard Boone on Have Gun Will Travel, and Ramsey sounds interesting.

Humanbelly said...

Ah Karen, yer the best, you are-- !
I'll do nothing over the next few weeks but collect my Holmesian thoughts. (Gonna be rough on my family-- they do rely on me to do most of the cooking. . . )

HB

dbutler16 said...

I missed commenting on Wolverine's costume. Normally, I prefer brightly garbed superheroes, but for Wolverine, I prefer the brown costume, probable because it matches the character, as well as the superhero name of Wolverine, better. Actually, I really like it when he wore Fang, of the Imperial Guard's costume for a couple of issues.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

I neglected to answer some of the face-off questions. :o

Whitney or Madonna- I'll choose Madonna. Despite having "come of age" during the '80s, I despise the decade's music (and fashions, and politics), BUT, Madonna's song "Live to Tell" is magnificent. Whitney did do a beautiful, powerful, and unmatched "Star Spangled Banner", however.

Marvel vs. DC- It's a draw. Marvel kicks DC's butt in the super-hero department, but Make Mine Distinguished Competition in the war and western areas.

Wolverine's Costume- The yellow and blue, hands down! I associate that outfit with the vastly superior stories and art and on that basis alone it wins.

As for a Sherlock Holmes topic: bring it on! I have the BIG Green Box that is the Jeremy Brett series and I watch the episodes frequently. Oh, how I love their take on "The Priory School"!

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