Friday, September 23, 2016

Paul Ryan Flash Friday : Cause and Effect

It´s like I planned this. Today would have been Paul Ryan´s 67th birthday and it´s a Friday which means we have to postpone the next chapter of Race Against Time to bring you the next chapter of Paul Ryan´s FLASH run.

It´s still hard to compute that he´s really gone but I hope these FLASH FRIDAY post have helped you to remember all the great work he did. He will always be remembered for his epic FANTASTIC FOUR run that started out slow, became really glorious in the middle and petered out just a little bit at the end. Still it was solid throughout and during a time when comics were not so great his Fantastic Four were like they were supposed to be. And that new redesigned costume for Susan Richards didn´t hurt either.

These posts are also my chance to pay homage to MY Flash, Wally West who is still absent from the DC universe although with the horrible way they handled other classic DC books like TEEN TITANS I don´t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. And these posts may also help some of my readers to survive until season three of THE FLASH which airs in October.

Now because of various reasons the last post from Paul Ryan´s FLASH run was more than a month ago so you might want to go back and re - read that and if you want to read my other Paul Ryan posts just use the label at the bottom of this post. Wisely enough I decided to wrap up the current story before continuing with other Flash issues so you don´t really need to go back as issue 125 is the first part of a two part story in which the Flash goes up against Major Disaster. This is after UNDERWORLD so Major Disaster´s powers have been amped up to the point where he can cause major disasters - hence the name - by doing little things kind of like in the Final Destination movies. What scientists like to call cause and effect. 

With these FLASH FRIDAY posts there are almost never any links to add so we can go right on to the celebrity birthdays with Anthony Mackie who turns 38 and who plays Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon in the Marvel movies.

Originally I wanted to add his epic lip synch battle ( I´m not going to spoil it by telling you as who since that is half of the fun. People who have seen it know what I´m talking about. ) but since I couldn´t find that here´s a review of Captain America : Civil War for my german readers.

You either know Jamie Bergman from her sizzling pictorials as Playmate Of The Month January 1999, her role of lifeguard B J Cummings on the tv show Son Of The Beach or her parts in movies like Daybreak or Any Given Sunday. In any case she´s celebrating her 41st birthday with her husband David Boreanaz. Can you believe this guy ? He´s on his third hit show now after Buffy and Angel AND married to a playmate. THAT`S how you do it ! 

Speaking about the one that got away, Jermaine Dupri turns 44 and while he cited that he didn´t want to be referred to as just Janet Jackson´s boyfriend as one of the reasons why they split up now he will be always remembered as the guy who let a first grade babe like Janet Jackson slip away. And before you think like me that now you have chances with Janet I have to inform you that she got married in 2012. Yup, that was news to me too but we´ll always have such great videos like Gotta Getcha. And Jermaine, this is what you´ll never Getcha again so take one last look.

Chi McBride celebrates his 55th birthday whom I have last seen on Hawaii Five O and we´re so far behind with episodes in Germany that I don´t know if his character is still on the show or even if it still airs. On a comic related note he also is in Human Target and you might recognize his voice as the black Nick Fury ( I´m old so I make that distinction ) from Avengers Assemble, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H or Ultimate Spider - Man.

We stay with tv entertainment as Jason Alexander turns who was the voice of Catbert but is best knwon for his role of George Costanza on Seinfeld alongside Jerry Seinfeld and the very underrated sexbomb Julia Louis - Dreyfus. She´s currently on Veep and I still haven´t watched this year´s Emmy Awards ( shocking, I know ) but in the clips I have seen the show got some awards. I´ll have to order some of the seasons very soon.

I would have liked to do a post on Peter David´s 60th birthday but Paul Ryan´s anniversary was just more important - plus I already had all the necessary material. If I´m not bummed out too much by making all these posts ( we´ll see if I managed to do a post on Bob Layton´s birthday this Sunday ) maybe I can do another THIS MAN THIS MONSTER post about his HULK run. Since none of Dale Keown´s HULK issues are reprinted in any of the upcoming Epic Collections I ordered all the Hulk Visionaries : Peter David trades by Dale Keown I could get and boy did Dale Keown´s career suffer from his PITT book. That guy was born to draw Hulk but now he´s mostly doing covers. Anyway, Peter David has had great runs on books whenever he could get past his own ego and one series I still haven´t dipped my toe in - besides what came out in the 90s - is his X - FACTOR.

We start our Dearly Departed section with Mickey Rooney who was in Night At The Museum : Secret Of The Tomb which I saw just a few weeks ago. As somebody who did acting, singing and dancing he was forever in those old black and white movies alongside the great Judy Garland.

I also want to pay homage to Michelle Thomas who played the biggest Steve Urkel fan in the world, Myrna Monkhouse on Family Matters. The producers of that show sure wished they would have had a cristal ball to predict the future because Michelle really boobed out on that show so it became very unrealistic that Steve was still pining for Laura when there was this hot girl with a body to die for who even genuinely liked him.

Heck, even Laura´s best friend Maxine played by Cherie Johnson was hotter than Laura so it was totally unrealistic that he would be interested in this boring looking, snobbish girl who always was dismissive to him and seemed to hate his guts. For a show that´s so popular there are not a lot of good clips on YouTube but here´s one I found which clearly shows why Steve should have gelled more with Myra and just ignored Laura Wilson.

The last anniversary I want to mention is of Santo, El enmascarado de plata, wrestling mystery man of countless mexican feature films where he fights anything from monsters to martians to bumbling comedy stars.

Since I have already posted a few of El Santo´s movies - and you can find them without any trouble - here´s an episode from his Cartoon Network series. Just ask Spider - Man how much trouble those clones can be.

I can´t put up videos for all the celebrity birthdays so shout outs also go to Bruce Springsteen ( 67 ), John Woo ( 70 ), Julio Iglesias ( 73 ), Ray Charles and Romy Schneider. Now usually I try to avoid spoilers but the reason why I´m posting the new trailer for the next season of The Flash is that I have seen it a dozen times already and I´m super hyped. So there is still time to binge watch the first two seasons until the next one starts.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

By George ! The Brave And The Bold - 2

With the last few posts there has been a lot more Marvel content than DC so to make up for that a little I want to continue with Mark Waid´s and George Perez´ great run on the resurrected THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.

Lately it seems I can´t find the time to post more regularly and even the posts I manage to do take forever to finish ( like the Elvira birthday post which I´m still working on ) and the only valid excuse for not posting this sooner is that I hope the quality of the posts make up for that. Speaking of that like always I´m including all the original artwork pages I could find to give this post the extra ooomph you have come to expect from me.

Now you might go back to the first issue - which I posted way back at the first of August, yeesh - to refresh your memory or read my encapsulation of what the series was all about. Because I don´t want to bore my readers with endless repetition. In this issue we have Green Lanter and Supergirl team up which leads to some friction because Hal Jordan is just so full of himself and thinks he´s god´s gift to women and Supergirl is just being Supergirl. I have mentioned once or twice that the first twelve issues of DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL by Paul Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino have finally been released as a trade and while I wasn´t always a big fan of Carmine Infantino´s art I saw some of the issues online ( I will put up links below ) and I can not wait to read them in printed form.

Much more than any post crisis incarnation which - to be blunt - have all been annoying and very disappointing. My brother used to read one of the newer series and there was a point where things got almost interesting but after two issues they returned everything to the status quo. And don´t get me started on the Peter David Supergirl - as - an earth - angel crap where he expected readers to wait fifty issues before the big payoff.

Anyway, ever after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS DC had no clue what to do with Supergirl which is also apparent in this series. Thankfully Mark Waid is a competent enough writer so that you can still enjoy Supergirl despite her obvious lack of any kind of personality and she´s not that annoying.

And like promised you can read Paul Kupperberg´s and Carmine Infantino´s Supergirl series at SUPERGIRL : THE MAIDEN OF STEEL. To facilitate the navigation here are the links for issue 1 , issue 2 , issue 3 , issue 4 , issue 5 , issue 6 , issue 7 , issue 8 , issue 9 , issue 10 , issue 11 , issue 12 , issue 13 , issue 14 , issue 15 , issue 16 , issue 17 , issue 18 , issue 19 , issue 20 , issue 21 ( the art in this one was done by Eduardo Baretto and as a kid the german issue of SUPERMAN BATMAN that contained the issue was one of my prized possessions, Eduardo drew one damn fine Supergirl ! ) ,

issue 22 and issue 23 . I originally bookmarked them for another Gil Kane post as he did most of the covers on that series but there´s no time like the present. And for those who only know Supergirl from the cartoons, the  movie ( how many remember that movie ? ) or the tv show MAJOR SPOILERS has the complete hero history of Supergirl in the comics.

We start Today´s birthdays with Rob Morrow who turns 54. His last big tv show was Numbers which ran 6 seasons but he´ll always be remembered as Dr. Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure which according to critic John Leonard is the best of the best television in the last 10 years. And I couldn´t agree more, not only because it co stars the lovely Janine Turner.

I´m constantly pimping Northern Exposure ( or like it is called in Germany Alaska Of All Things probably because of the alliteration in the german language ) because as one reviewer in Germany phrased it german tv is waging war against this series. They made it virtually impossible to watch the show by sticking it into time slots when the audience is almost zero and they even changed that nonstop. After decades the complete show is finally available on DVD in german - although most people who buy these so far are the few ones to managed to see one of the elusive episodes.

Currently available in german are season one for 20 Euro and the complete series in a wooden box set for 135 Euros with a lot of extras. There is also an UK edition for 69 Euros but it only has the english language which does not work for me since I am used to hear the actors with german voices. There is however a regular edition of the complete series scheduled for the 7th of October which will cost around 100 Euros so save your nickels for that. Now who says you never get important information here ?   

Bill Murray celebrates his 66th birthday who - after the sobering failure of Ghostbusters II - has always lobbied against another sequel except if they have a really good script. The current reboot of the movie seems to prove him right. There are a lot of videos about that out there but I picked one that is impartial and actually tells you why the new movie doesn´t work. 

You know, I used to read all books of Stephen King as a teenager but the man has such a staggering output that it is impossible to keep up with all the books, tv series and movies. He turns 69 and I have to admit that I have fallen behind on the Dark Tower comic books, mainly because they switched from the hardcover format to trades only. I could write an entire post about those only right now I don´t have that much material for it.

I´m not sure if his newer series like Under The Dome really interest me but I have probably seen most of the movie adaptions and while they are of varying success even the worst of them have some redeeming quality.

Today would also have been the 85th birthday of Larry Hagman best known for his role of J. R. Ewing on Dallas which featured just a plethora of hot babes like Stacy Sanchez, Michelle Johnson, Priscilla Presley, Coleen Camp, Charlene Tilton, Deborah Shelton, Morgan Fairchild, Barbara Carrera, Tracy Scoggins, Claudia Christian, Lesley Anne - Down, Victoria Principal, the aforementioned Janine Turner or Audrey Landers who together with her sister Judy Landers was one of the hottest commodities of that time.

The show also reunited Larry Hagman with Barbara Eden, his co star from I Dream Of Jeannie for five episodes but since I already posted an episode from that show here´s another episode of Family Feud where the cast of Dallas faces off against the cast of Eight Is Enough which is a television series I´m not familiar with since it was never shown in Germany.

A shoutout also goes to Chuck Jones best known for his work on Looney Toones, Tom And Jerry and Who Framed Roger Rabbitt ? whose female protagonist Jessica Rabbit was surely influenced by Tex Avery´s Red. 

Originally I wanted to post one of the shorts for the US government or one of his cartoons to honor Chuck Jones I selected a documentary that has plenty of examples that show what was so special about his animations.

Speaking about televison entertainment from my youth Today is also the anniversary of Vico Torriani´s birth and I may loose some serious coolness points for this but I know all of his great Schlager hits like Kalkutta liegt am Ganges, Cafe Oriental, Capri Fischer, Zwei Spuren im Schnee, the now highly political incorrect Du schwarzer Zigeuner ( pfui ! ) or La Montanara.

Closing Todays celebrity birthdays is novelist H. G. Wells who is the inspiration for all time travel stories. You probably expected me to put another Doctor Who video here but there is a now tv show based on the 1979 movie Time After Time with Malcolm McDowell in which H. G. Wells has to hunt down Jack The Ripper who has escaped into the 20th century.

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