Thursday, December 17, 2015

Too much Bart Sears and not enough time

I´m in a dilemma because Bart Sears AND Mark Texiera celebrate their birthday Today. But as I already did a long post on Mark Texiera on his birthday last year , and it gives me a chance to talk about his work on JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE ( and Power Girl ) this year it´s Bart Sears turn.

And I had almost forgotten about those birthdays if facebook hadn´t reminded me. I was too busy trying to finish up the material for my cult siren post on Alyssa Milano who celebrates her 42nd birthday on Saturday.

On my old boob blog I had already done a few posts on Alyssa but those were mostly a lot of pics and download links so I want to add something with a bit more substance. And since I could not post them way back this includes some GIFs - at least from the best scenes. Now this time I went on the internet before making my own GIFs - except for a few I already had done - and I found a lot of good ones that I then had to sift through. But as usual there were some from my top moments with Alyssa missing and in the end I had to make a few ones myself again. Right now I have most of the important ones finished and I might have to do a second post because I will not manage to put all the GIFs into one post. Well, I could but then the post will probably take forever to load. I just hope the post turns out like I´m picturing it and all this work will not have been in vain.

This time of the year is kind of crammed with birthdays of importance to this blog and while I can´t probably do posts on all of them I plan on crossing off as many candidates of that growing list as possible.

For a few I have already selected all the material but for others like Mark Texiera I just wanted to pick up where we left off last year. I have to say that while I planned to read more of his recent comic stuff I really have not gotten around to it. And this is one of the reasons why I like to do these anniversary posts. Because with all the things I have constantly on my mind I forget a lot of stuff. Like with Teri Hatcher. Writing about her reminded me what an absolutely brilliant series LOIS & CLARK - THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN was and that it should already be part of my DVD collection. So the next time the series was in the " 3 tv series for 25 EUROS " section I scooped up all four seasons. It also reminded me how fantastic John Byrne´s revamp of Superman was and at the moment I´m trying to complete the MAN OF STEEL trades. For some strange reason DC stopped with volume eight and I´m now onlyl missing volume five. One of these days I will have to get back to that part of the 90s Superman epos so I can finally talk about the totally Airwolf SUPERMAN : EXILED saga. 

Back to Mark Texiera, the comics that are still on my list are two new Punisher mini series, PUNISHER IN SPACE ( which I have heard is not that good or genius depending on who you ask ) and PUNISHER NIGHTMARE, as well as independent comics PSCYTHE ( which I haven´t been able to find anywhere so far ), RED SPIKE from iMAGE comics ( where he only does part of the artwork ) and A HERO`S DEATH with the guys from IDW. 

So even if I had the time to do another post on Mark Texiera Today it would not make much sense because I don´t have much to add to last year´s post. Which ends my as usual long winded intro and brings us to the really important part about Bart Sears. It all started with Power Girl. 

As all things do. Really, in one way or another every single thing that happens in this universe can be tracked back to Power Girl in the end.

All joking aside, in this case it´s true and I guess I have already told the story of how when I was transferred from Bruchsaal to Munich during my military service it was just before Christmas - I guess around the same time as now - when I found my way to Munich city and the first REAL comic shop, JÜRGENS COMIC SHOP, and bought a whole bag of original american comics, many of which I had never heard of and others which I knew but were restarted after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Now I would like to say that among those was issue one of JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE and that I got in on the ground floor but the truth is that the first issue I bought from this series was issue 4, where the team goes to Bialya.

So when I filled my bag with comics I tried everything that looked halfway interesting and I don´t know if I had seen Bart Sears´ art before but his style got me hooked from the first page. And I won´t lie, his depiction of females and Power Girl in particular made a huge impression on me. As you always remember your first time in the story the Queen Bee has taken over the team of the Global Guardians - DC´s precursors to the Justice League Europe - and the Justice Leaguers went there to investigate.

They arrived at the hotel with the usual hijinks and banter ( to which I wasn´t accustomed to since this was my first issue ) like Flash offering to help Power Girl to get into her costume which was something I hadn´t seen in a comic book before. Of course I was familiar with the Justice League from the stories I read in the Ehapa GERECHTIGKEITSLIGA comics but the heroes in those stories were not as relatable and I don´t think I had read any stories with Wally West as the new Flash at that time.  I already posted the page but I couldn´t find it in better quality, sorry. 

Well, I was young, in my sexual prime and had a lot of spare time in the barracks ( we were three in one room but the others went home after duty so I had the black and white television set with a lot of TUTTI FRUTTI and PLAYBOY LATE NIGHT all to myself which didn´t exactly help my situation ) so I re - read the issue a few times imagining what could have happened if Animal Man would have gotten Power Girl under his control with pheromones. Ah, the things I would have done to her.

But enough about my Power Girl fetish. While Bart Sears had some other work at DC - like the wrap up issue for the INVASION crossover - this was really the first time I saw his work and Bart used his chance at a big title to not only draw a historic version of Power Girl ( let´s face it, this is the one most people know and all other versions are compared to ) but to flex his muscles and show the reading audience what he was capable of.

While the regular JUSTICE LEAGUE title was more widely known as the " Bwah Ha Ha " League ( which is not to say that they didn´t have their serious scraps ) JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE did have some depressing storylines that dealt with issues like zombie plagues, would be world conquerors, atomic arms races and post apocalyptic parallel worlds.

Speaking about would be world conquerors, one of the Justice League´s classic villains appears in a 3 part saga. I don´t know what the guy was smoking who came up with Starro but you got to love the giant starfish.

Of course this was a walk in the park compared to the earlier five part story The Extremist Factor where they are totally out matched by a quintet from a parallel earth which are analogues to Marvel villains.

From left to right we have Lord Havok ( Doctor Doom ), levitating in the foreground Dreamslayer ( Dormammu ), Doctor Diehard ( Magneto ), Tracer ( Sabretooth ) and last but not least Gorgon ( Doctor Octopus ).  

This was Gerard Jones first story on the title and he really put out all the stops and showed what would happen in the real world ( well, as real as a world populated by DC heroes can be in the end ) if villains like Doctor Octopus and Magneto took control over the atomic arsenal of the world.

Now I could go on about all the wonderful stories on JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE but since this post is about Bart Sears and only in part about the JLE the last story I wanted to mentioned is the one with Metamorpho´s kid where Metamorpho goes up against Guy Gardner and the Metal Men.

This post has already become much longer than anticipated so I´m afraid we have to continue with this subject in my next post where I can talk more about all the other books Bart Sears did. I just hope I can finish this post before I have to start on the Alyssa Milano celebrity birthday post.

Since I already mentioned Starro I wanted to add a little DEJA VUE section to the post as I know that most readers like these and I haven´t done one since my celebrity birthday post about Demi Moore . I wanted this to be more than just a collection of Starro covers so I went with the " face hugger " motif which starts with JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 190.

The story was included in SUPERMAN präsentiert GERECHTIGKEITSLIGA ( Die großen Superhelden in einem Team ! ) Album 17 from Ehapa comics where most of the cover was blocked out by banners and logos. Wonder Woman´s chin is cut off and you can´t even see what shape Starro has.

This cover was also adapted for issue 5 of JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES, the tie in series to the successful tv series which was actually quite good ( often better than the actual comic ) and gets highest recommendations.

Bart Sears also did some homage covers for the Starro three parter : issue 26 is another version of the cover for JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE 1

which - of course - was an homage to the cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE 1.

Issue 27 is a riff on what I call the " Face Off " cover. I know there is probably one cover on which all others are based but there are just so many variations of teams going against each other - with one team on this side and the other team on that side - that I´m not even trying to pinpoint the exact point of origin and just throw them into one big pile. 

And I don´t know if issue 28 was based on any previously existent cover so for now I´m gonna title it " a trip to the fish market gone wrong ".

Usually I do the link section after finishing the post but Today I have to include them before finishing the main part because they keep lining up.

When you´re looking for one page from JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE you´re bound to find a lot of posts about the best Justice League EVER and COMIC BOOK RESOURCE`s section Comics Should Be Good has various entries on the best JLE stories like The Justice League Europe Takes French Lessons , The Extremist Factor ( in which Power Girl debuts her white and yellow sprayed on costume ) or the Fight Against Starro story. They also list Every Time A Character Actually " Bwah Ha Ha " ed and have a post on the abandoned storyline of Wonder Woman Joining The JLE .

It is said that new comic readers come in every day and while it´s nothing to be ashamed of those readers might want to brush up on their DC 101 at NOTHING BUT COMICS who have a few posts on post Crisis series like the Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis JUSTICE LEAGUE , Mike W. Barr´s DETECTIVE COMICS , Mike Grell´s GREEN ARROW or Mark Waid´s The Return of Barry Allen ( which I still hope in a future FLASH FRIDAY post ) . And if you are a fan of the ARROW and FLASH tv show the last two are of special interest because they highlight the best periods from the comics.

Another website I came across - and which is one of the reasons why Today´s unplanned post is shorter than it deserves - is NOSTALGIC INVESTMENTS and while the reguar reader of this blog has probably not the necessary moolah to buy any of the original art pages on this site you can at least enjoy fine art pieces from such masters as Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, John Buscema, Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, George Perez, both John Romitas, Mike Zeck, Barry Windsor Smith, Gene Colan, Norm Breyfogle, John Byrne, Bob Layton, Arthur Adams, Jim Starlin, Mike Grell, Jim Lee or Dave Cockrum. They even have some MASTER OF KUNG FU originals and a WOLVERINE page by Mark Texiera.

I usually end the video section with a cartoon but his time I want to start with this video about TOP 5 FORGOTTEN BUT AWESOME CARTOONS just because it includes the COPS cartoon which had a comic adaption at DC which was one of the first jobs Bart Sears did for a major company.

And I have to say I don´t agree with the selection. SILVERHAWKS had a better theme song than it was as a series, MASK is neither forgotten nor that awesome, DINOSAUCERS is probably not forgotten without a good reason ( unless the series is far better than the intro ) and COPS was questionable at best. The only cartoon I would put on my top five is BIONIC SIX which was really one of the best ever. I guess my list of the best 80s cartoon would also include GALAXY RANGERS, SABER RIDERS, DRAGONBALL and since it can´t be CAPTAIN FUTURE ( the series is from the 70s ) the last one would be THUNDERCATS or something funny like COUNT DUCKULA. So what do you think ? What would be your picks ?

Well, Wonder Woman never really made it into the JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE but at least she made it into this post. Here´s the only real Hollywood Wonder Woman Lynda Carter on Intimate Portrait.

Justice League Europe would be only half as entertaining without the constant banter between Flash and Power Girl so because there are more Flash videos than I can post in my FLASH FRIDAY posts ( to which I hope to return in the not too distant future ) here are 10 TOP FLASH FACTS.

Speaking about Power Girl, I told you I would post more Screen Team videos so here is one with the lovely Angie Griffin cosplaying as the .... well, does Power Girl have a moniker like the Maid of Mighty Mammaries, the Queen of Cleavage or the Princess of Power in the NEW 52 universe ?

It also has a tutorial on how to make comic book art which reminds me of ZUGESCHAUT UND MITGEBAUT, a show Terry Hooper might remember.

We end the post with another music video from America´s Got Talent ( soon I´ll have to add another label for these shows ) this time with a guy.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

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